WorldWideScience

Sample records for microbial functional gene

  1. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  2. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  3. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  4. The Biogeographic Pattern of Microbial Functional Genes along an Altitudinal Gradient of the Tibetan Pasture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Qi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available As the highest place of the world, the Tibetan plateau is a fragile ecosystem. Given the importance of microbial communities in driving soil nutrient cycling, it is of interest to document the microbial biogeographic pattern here. We adopted a microarray-based tool named GeoChip 4.0 to investigate grassland microbial functional genes along an elevation gradient from 3200 to 3800 m above sea level open to free grazing by local herdsmen and wild animals. Interestingly, microbial functional diversities increase with elevation, so does the relative abundances of genes associated with carbon degradation, nitrogen cycling, methane production, cold shock and oxygen limitation. The range of Shannon diversities (10.27–10.58 showed considerably smaller variation than what was previously observed at ungrazed sites nearby (9.95–10.65, suggesting the important role of livestock grazing on microbial diversities. Closer examination showed that the dissimilarity of microbial community at our study sites increased with elevations, revealing an elevation-decay relationship of microbial functional genes. Both microbial functional diversity and the number of unique genes increased with elevations. Furthermore, we detected a tight linkage of greenhouse gas (CO2 and relative abundances of carbon cycling genes. Our biogeographic study provides insights on microbial functional diversity and soil biogeochemical cycling in Tibetan pastures.

  5. The Biogeographic Pattern of Microbial Functional Genes along an Altitudinal Gradient of the Tibetan Pasture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi, Qi; Zhao, Mengxin; Wang, Shiping; Ma, Xingyu; Wang, Yuxuan; Gao, Ying; Lin, Qiaoyan; Li, Xiangzhen; Gu, Baohua; Li, Guoxue; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2017-06-13

    As the highest place of the world, the Tibetan plateau is a fragile ecosystem. Given the importance of microbial communities in driving soil nutrient cycling, it is of interest to document the microbial biogeographic pattern here. We adopted a microarray-based tool named GeoChip 4.0 to investigate grassland microbial functional genes along an elevation gradient from 3200 to 3800 m above sea level open to free grazing by local herdsmen and wild animals. Interestingly, microbial functional diversities increase with elevation, so does the relative abundances of genes associated with carbon degradation, nitrogen cycling, methane production, cold shock and oxygen limitation. The range of Shannon diversities (10.27–10.58) showed considerably smaller variation than what was previously observed at ungrazed sites nearby (9.95–10.65), suggesting the important role of livestock grazing on microbial diversities. Closer examination showed that the dissimilarity of microbial community at our study sites increased with elevations, revealing an elevation-decay relationship of microbial functional genes. Both microbial functional diversity and the number of unique genes increased with elevations. Furthermore, we detected a tight linkage of greenhouse gas (CO2) and relative abundances of carbon cycling genes. Our biogeographic study provides insights on microbial functional diversity and soil biogeochemical cycling in Tibetan pastures.

  6. Available nitrogen is the key factor influencing soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Xu, Han; Li, Yide; Deng, Ye; Li, Diqiang; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-08-20

    Tropical rainforests cover over 50% of all known plant and animal species and provide a variety of key resources and ecosystem services to humans, largely mediated by metabolic activities of soil microbial communities. A deep analysis of soil microbial communities and their roles in ecological processes would improve our understanding on biogeochemical elemental cycles. However, soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforests and causative factors remain unclear. GeoChip, contained almost all of the key functional genes related to biogeochemical cycles, could be used as a specific and sensitive tool for studying microbial gene diversity and metabolic potential. In this study, soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest was analyzed by using GeoChip technology. Gene categories detected in the tropical rainforest soils were related to different biogeochemical processes, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling. The relative abundance of genes related to C and P cycling detected mostly derived from the cultured bacteria. C degradation gene categories for substrates ranging from labile C to recalcitrant C were all detected, and gene abundances involved in many recalcitrant C degradation gene categories were significantly (P rainforest. Soil available N could be the key factor in shaping the soil microbial functional gene structure and metabolic potential.

  7. Microbial functional genes enriched in the Xiangjiang River sediments with heavy metal contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jie, Shiqi; Li, Mingming; Gan, Min; Zhu, Jianyu; Yin, Huaqun; Liu, Xueduan

    2016-08-08

    Xiangjiang River (Hunan, China) has been contaminated with heavy metal for several decades by surrounding factories. However, little is known about the influence of a gradient of heavy metal contamination on the diversity, structure of microbial functional gene in sediment. To deeply understand the impact of heavy metal contamination on microbial community, a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) has been used to study the functional genes structure, composition, diversity and metabolic potential of microbial community from three heavy metal polluted sites of Xiangjiang River. A total of 25595 functional genes involved in different biogeochemical processes have been detected in three sites, and different diversities and structures of microbial functional genes were observed. The analysis of gene overlapping, unique genes, and various diversity indices indicated a significant correlation between the level of heavy metal contamination and the functional diversity. Plentiful resistant genes related to various metal were detected, such as copper, arsenic, chromium and mercury. The results indicated a significantly higher abundance of genes involved in metal resistance including sulfate reduction genes (dsr) in studied site with most serious heavy metal contamination, such as cueo, mer, metc, merb, tehb and terc gene. With regard to the relationship between the environmental variables and microbial functional structure, S, Cu, Cd, Hg and Cr were the dominating factor shaping the microbial distribution pattern in three sites. This study suggests that high level of heavy metal contamination resulted in higher functional diversity and the abundance of metal resistant genes. These variation therefore significantly contribute to the resistance, resilience and stability of the microbial community subjected to the gradient of heavy metals contaminant in Xiangjiang River.

  8. GeoChip-based insights into the microbial functional gene repertoire of marine sponges (high microbial abundance, low microbial abundance) and seawater

    KAUST Repository

    Bayer, Kristina

    2015-01-08

    The GeoChip 4.2 gene array was employed to interrogate the microbial functional gene repertoire of sponges and seawater collected from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Complementary amplicon sequencing confirmed the microbial community composition characteristic of high microbial abundance (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges. By use of GeoChip, altogether 20 273 probes encoding for 627 functional genes and representing 16 gene categories were identified. Minimum curvilinear embedding analyses revealed a clear separation between the samples. The HMA/LMA dichotomy was stronger than any possible geographic pattern, which is shown here for the first time on the level of functional genes. However, upon inspection of individual genes, very few specific differences were discernible. Differences were related to microbial ammonia oxidation, ammonification, and archaeal autotrophic carbon fixation (higher gene abundance in sponges over seawater) as well as denitrification and radiation-stress-related genes (lower gene abundance in sponges over seawater). Except for few documented specific differences the functional gene repertoire between the different sources appeared largely similar. This study expands previous reports in that functional gene convergence is not only reported between HMA and LMA sponges but also between sponges and seawater.

  9. GeoChip-based insights into the microbial functional gene repertoire of marine sponges (high microbial abundance, low microbial abundance) and seawater

    KAUST Repository

    Bayer, Kristina; Moitinho-Silva, Lucas; Brü mmer, Franz; Cannistraci, Carlo V.; Ravasi, Timothy; Hentschel, Ute

    2015-01-01

    The GeoChip 4.2 gene array was employed to interrogate the microbial functional gene repertoire of sponges and seawater collected from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Complementary amplicon sequencing confirmed the microbial community composition characteristic of high microbial abundance (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges. By use of GeoChip, altogether 20 273 probes encoding for 627 functional genes and representing 16 gene categories were identified. Minimum curvilinear embedding analyses revealed a clear separation between the samples. The HMA/LMA dichotomy was stronger than any possible geographic pattern, which is shown here for the first time on the level of functional genes. However, upon inspection of individual genes, very few specific differences were discernible. Differences were related to microbial ammonia oxidation, ammonification, and archaeal autotrophic carbon fixation (higher gene abundance in sponges over seawater) as well as denitrification and radiation-stress-related genes (lower gene abundance in sponges over seawater). Except for few documented specific differences the functional gene repertoire between the different sources appeared largely similar. This study expands previous reports in that functional gene convergence is not only reported between HMA and LMA sponges but also between sponges and seawater.

  10. Interconnection of Key Microbial Functional Genes for Enhanced Benzo[a]pyrene Biodegradation in Sediments by Microbial Electrochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Zaisheng; He, Yuhong; Cai, Haiyuan; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Krumholz, Lee R; Jiang, He-Long

    2017-08-01

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) can stimulate the degradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments, but the mechanism of this process is poorly understood at the microbial functional gene level. Here, the use of SMFC resulted in 92% benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) removal over 970 days relative to 54% in the controls. Sediment functions, microbial community structure, and network interactions were dramatically altered by the SMFC employment. Functional gene analysis showed that c-type cytochrome genes for electron transfer, aromatic degradation genes, and extracellular ligninolytic enzymes involved in lignin degradation were significantly enriched in bulk sediments during SMFC operation. Correspondingly, chemical analysis of the system showed that these genetic changes resulted in increases in the levels of easily oxidizable organic carbon and humic acids which may have resulted in increased BaP bioavailability and increased degradation rates. Tracking microbial functional genes and corresponding organic matter responses should aid mechanistic understanding of BaP enhanced biodegradation by microbial electrochemistry and development of sustainable bioremediation strategies.

  11. Dramatic Increases of Soil Microbial Functional Gene Diversity at the Treeline Ecotone of Changbai Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Congcong; Shi, Yu; Ni, Yingying; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Chu, Haiyan

    2016-01-01

    The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500-2200 m) on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0), we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites) pattern for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC). This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  12. Dramatic increases of soil microbial functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone of Changbai Mountain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congcong Shen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The elevational and latitudinal diversity patterns of microbial taxa have attracted great attention in the past decade. Recently, the distribution of functional attributes has been in the spotlight. Here, we report a study profiling soil microbial communities along an elevation gradient (500 to 2200 m on Changbai Mountain. Using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 5.0, we found that microbial functional gene richness exhibited a dramatic increase at the treeline ecotone, but the bacterial taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing did not exhibit such a similar trend. However, the β-diversity (compositional dissimilarity among sites for both bacterial taxa and functional genes was similar, showing significant elevational distance-decay patterns which presented increased dissimilarity with elevation. The bacterial taxonomic diversity/structure was strongly influenced by soil pH, while the functional gene diversity/structure was significantly correlated with soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC. This finding highlights that soil DOC may be a good predictor in determining the elevational distribution of microbial functional genes. The finding of significant shifts in functional gene diversity at the treeline ecotone could also provide valuable information for predicting the responses of microbial functions to climate change.

  13. Long-term oil contamination alters the molecular ecological networks of soil microbial functional genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuting eLiang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available With knowledge on microbial composition and diversity, investigation of within-community interactions is a further step to elucidate microbial ecological functions, such as the biodegradation of hazardous contaminants. In this work, microbial functional molecular ecological networks were studied in both contaminated and uncontaminated soils to determine the possible influences of oil contamination on microbial interactions and potential functions. Soil samples were obtained from an oil-exploring site located in South China, and the microbial functional genes were analyzed with GeoChip, a high-throughput functional microarray. By building random networks based on null model, we demonstrated that overall network structures and properties were significantly different between contaminated and uncontaminated soils (P < 0.001. Network connectivity, module numbers, and modularity were all reduced with contamination. Moreover, the topological roles of the genes (module hub and connectors were altered with oil contamination. Subnetworks of genes involved in alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation were also constructed. Negative co-occurrence patterns prevailed among functional genes, thereby indicating probable competition relationships. The potential keystone genes, defined as either hubs or genes with highest connectivities in the network, were further identified. The network constructed in this study predicted the potential effects of anthropogenic contamination on microbial community co-occurrence interactions.

  14. Functional gene diversity of soil microbial communities from five oil-contaminated fields in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Yuting; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Wu, Liyou; Zhang, Xu; Li, Guanghe; Zhou, Jizhong

    2011-03-01

    To compare microbial functional diversity in different oil-contaminated fields and to know the effects of oil contaminant and environmental factors, soil samples were taken from typical oil-contaminated fields located in five geographic regions of China. GeoChip, a high-throughput functional gene array, was used to evaluate the microbial functional genes involved in contaminant degradation and in other major biogeochemical/metabolic processes. Our results indicated that the overall microbial community structures were distinct in each oil-contaminated field, and samples were clustered by geographic locations. The organic contaminant degradation genes were most abundant in all samples and presented a similar pattern under oil contaminant stress among the five fields. In addition, alkane and aromatic hydrocarbon degradation genes such as monooxygenase and dioxygenase were detected in high abundance in the oil-contaminated fields. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated to the local environmental variables, such as oil contaminant concentration, nitrogen and phosphorus contents, salt and pH. Finally, a total of 59% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by oil contamination, geographic location and soil geochemical parameters. This study provided insights into the in situ microbial functional structures in oil-contaminated fields and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables, which is important to the application of bioremediation in oil-contaminated sites.

  15. Analysis of the functional gene structure and metabolic potential of microbial community in high arsenic groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Jiang, Zhou; Wang, Yanhong; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Yuan, Tong; Liu, Han; Wei, Dazhun; Zhou, Jizhong

    2017-10-15

    Microbial functional potential in high arsenic (As) groundwater ecosystems remains largely unknown. In this study, the microbial community functional composition of nineteen groundwater samples was investigated using a functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0). Samples were divided into low and high As groups based on the clustering analysis of geochemical parameters and microbial functional structures. The results showed that As related genes (arsC, arrA), sulfate related genes (dsrA and dsrB), nitrogen cycling related genes (ureC, amoA, and hzo) and methanogen genes (mcrA, hdrB) in groundwater samples were correlated with As, SO 4 2- , NH 4 + or CH 4 concentrations, respectively. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) results indicated that some geochemical parameters including As, total organic content, SO 4 2- , NH 4 + , oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and pH were important factors shaping the functional microbial community structures. Alkaline and reducing conditions with relatively low SO 4 2- , ORP, and high NH 4 + , as well as SO 4 2- and Fe reduction and ammonification involved in microbially-mediated geochemical processes could be associated with As enrichment in groundwater. This study provides an overall picture of functional microbial communities in high As groundwater aquifers, and also provides insights into the critical role of microorganisms in As biogeochemical cycling. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-06

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  17. Functional Gene Diversity and Metabolic Potential of the Microbial Community in an Estuary-Shelf Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbes play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes in the ocean, including carbon (C, nitrogen (N, and phosphorus (P cycling. Functional gene diversity and the structure of the microbial community determines its metabolic potential and therefore its ecological function in the marine ecosystem. However, little is known about the functional gene composition and metabolic potential of bacterioplankton in estuary areas. The East China Sea (ECS is a dynamic marginal ecosystem in the western Pacific Ocean that is mainly affected by input from the Changjiang River and the Kuroshio Current. Here, using a high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip, we analyzed the functional gene diversity, composition, structure, and metabolic potential of microbial assemblages in different ECS water masses. Four water masses determined by temperature and salinity relationship showed different patterns of functional gene diversity and composition. Generally, functional gene diversity [Shannon–Weaner’s H and reciprocal of Simpson’s 1/(1-D] in the surface water masses was higher than that in the bottom water masses. The different presence and proportion of functional genes involved in C, N, and P cycling among the bacteria of the different water masses showed different metabolic preferences of the microbial populations in the ECS. Genes involved in starch metabolism (amyA and nplT showed higher proportion in microbial communities of the surface water masses than of the bottom water masses. In contrast, a higher proportion of genes involved in chitin degradation was observed in microorganisms of the bottom water masses. Moreover, we found a higher proportion of nitrogen fixation (nifH, transformation of hydroxylamine to nitrite (hao and ammonification (gdh genes in the microbial communities of the bottom water masses compared with those of the surface water masses. The spatial variation of microbial functional genes was significantly correlated

  18. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  19. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  20. New Dimensions in Microbial Ecology—Functional Genes in Studies to Unravel the Biodiversity and Role of Functional Microbial Groups in the Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imhoff, Johannes F.

    2016-01-01

    During the past decades, tremendous advances have been made in the possibilities to study the diversity of microbial communities in the environment. The development of methods to study these communities on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis was a first step into the molecular analysis of environmental communities and the study of biodiversity in natural habitats. A new dimension in this field was reached with the introduction of functional genes of ecological importance and the establishment of genetic tools to study the diversity of functional microbial groups and their responses to environmental factors. Functional gene approaches are excellent tools to study the diversity of a particular function and to demonstrate changes in the composition of prokaryote communities contributing to this function. The phylogeny of many functional genes largely correlates with that of the 16S rRNA gene, and microbial species may be identified on the basis of functional gene sequences. Functional genes are perfectly suited to link culture-based microbiological work with environmental molecular genetic studies. In this review, the development of functional gene studies in environmental microbiology is highlighted with examples of genes relevant for important ecophysiological functions. Examples are presented for bacterial photosynthesis and two types of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, with genes of the Fenna-Matthews-Olson-protein (fmoA) as target for the green sulfur bacteria and of two reaction center proteins (pufLM) for the phototrophic purple bacteria, with genes of adenosine-5′phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (aprA), sulfate thioesterase (soxB) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) for sulfur oxidizing and sulfate reducing bacteria, with genes of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) for nitrifying/ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, with genes of particulate nitrate reductase and nitrite reductases (narH/G, nirS, nirK) for denitrifying bacteria and with genes of methane

  1. New Dimensions in Microbial Ecology—Functional Genes in Studies to Unravel the Biodiversity and Role of Functional Microbial Groups in the Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes F. Imhoff

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available During the past decades, tremendous advances have been made in the possibilities to study the diversity of microbial communities in the environment. The development of methods to study these communities on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis was a first step into the molecular analysis of environmental communities and the study of biodiversity in natural habitats. A new dimension in this field was reached with the introduction of functional genes of ecological importance and the establishment of genetic tools to study the diversity of functional microbial groups and their responses to environmental factors. Functional gene approaches are excellent tools to study the diversity of a particular function and to demonstrate changes in the composition of prokaryote communities contributing to this function. The phylogeny of many functional genes largely correlates with that of the 16S rRNA gene, and microbial species may be identified on the basis of functional gene sequences. Functional genes are perfectly suited to link culture-based microbiological work with environmental molecular genetic studies. In this review, the development of functional gene studies in environmental microbiology is highlighted with examples of genes relevant for important ecophysiological functions. Examples are presented for bacterial photosynthesis and two types of anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, with genes of the Fenna-Matthews-Olson-protein (fmoA as target for the green sulfur bacteria and of two reaction center proteins (pufLM for the phototrophic purple bacteria, with genes of adenosine-5′phosphosulfate (APS reductase (aprA, sulfate thioesterase (soxB and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB for sulfur oxidizing and sulfate reducing bacteria, with genes of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA for nitrifying/ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, with genes of particulate nitrate reductase and nitrite reductases (narH/G, nirS, nirK for denitrifying bacteria and with genes

  2. Taxa-area Relationship (TAR) of Microbial Functional Genes with Long-TGerm Fertilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liang, Yuting; Wu, Liyou; Clark, Ian; Xue, Kai; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Hirsch, Penny; Mcgrath, Steve; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-05-17

    Diversity and spatial patterns in plant and animal communities are well documented as a positive-power law of a taxa-area relationship (TAR). At present little is known whether this also applies to soil microbial communities and whether long-term fertilization has an influence on the underlying microbial diversity. To test the effects of long-term fertilization on above-ground botanical diversity and below-ground microbial diversity, a nested sampling approach on Park Grass plots (12d& 11/2c) of Rothamsted Reseach in United Kingdom, both at ~;; pH 5 but with plant diversities of between 42 and 13 respectively were used. GeoChip 3.0, covering approximately 57, 000 gene sequences of 292 gene families involved in nitrogen, carbon, sulfur and phosphorus cycling, metal reduction and resistance, and organic contaminant degradation, was used to determine the gene area relationships for both functional and phylogenetic groups and the relationship to plant diversity. Our analysis indicated that the microbial communities were separated by different plant diversity based on DCA. The soil microbial diversity was in accord with plant diversity. Soil microbial community exhibited different z value with different plant diversity, z = 0.0449 with higher plant diversity and z = 0.0583 with lower plant diversity (P< 0.0001). These results suggest that the turnover in space of microorganisms may be higher with long-term fertilization.

  3. Microbial gene functions enriched in the Deepwater Horizon deep-sea oil plume

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Z.; Deng, Y.; Nostrand, J.D. Van; He, Z.; Voordeckers, J.; Zhou, A.; Lee, Y.-J.; Mason, O.U.; Dubinsky, E.; Chavarria, K.; Tom, L.; Fortney, J.; Lamendella, R.; Jansson, J.K.; D?haeseleer, P.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2011-06-15

    The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the deepest and largest offshore spill in U.S. history and its impacts on marine ecosystems are largely unknown. Here, we showed that the microbial community functional composition and structure were dramatically altered in a deep-sea oil plume resulting from the spill. A variety of metabolic genes involved in both aerobic and anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation were highly enriched in the plume compared to outside the plume, indicating a great potential for intrinsic bioremediation or natural attenuation in the deep-sea. Various other microbial functional genes relevant to carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and iron cycling, metal resistance, and bacteriophage replication were also enriched in the plume. Together, these results suggest that the indigenous marine microbial communities could play a significant role in biodegradation of oil spills in deep-sea environments.

  4. Metagenomes reveal microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Jinxing; Wang, Zhiwei; Li, Huan; Park, Hee-Deung; Wu, Zhichao

    2016-06-01

    Metagenomic sequencing was used to investigate the microbial structures, functional potentials, and biofouling-related genes in a membrane bioreactor (MBR). The results showed that the microbial community in the MBR was highly diverse. Notably, function analysis of the dominant genera indicated that common genes from different phylotypes were identified for important functional potentials with the observation of variation of abundances of genes in a certain taxon (e.g., Dechloromonas). Despite maintaining similar metabolic functional potentials with a parallel full-scale conventional activated sludge (CAS) system due to treating the identical wastewater, the MBR had more abundant nitrification-related bacteria and coding genes of ammonia monooxygenase, which could well explain its excellent ammonia removal in the low-temperature period. Furthermore, according to quantification of the genes involved in exopolysaccharide and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) protein metabolism, the MBR did not show a much different potential in producing EPS compared to the CAS system, and bacteria from the membrane biofilm had lower abundances of genes associated with EPS biosynthesis and transport compared to the activated sludge in the MBR.

  5. Patterns in wetland microbial community composition and functional gene repertoire associated with methane emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Shaomei; Malfatti, Stephanie A; McFarland, Jack W; Anderson, Frank E; Pati, Amrita; Huntemann, Marcel; Tremblay, Julien; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Waldrop, Mark P; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Tringe, Susannah G

    2015-05-19

    Wetland restoration on peat islands previously drained for agriculture has potential to reverse land subsidence and sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide as peat accretes. However, the emission of methane could potentially offset the greenhouse gas benefits of captured carbon. As microbial communities play a key role in governing wetland greenhouse gas fluxes, we are interested in how microbial community composition and functions are associated with wetland hydrology, biogeochemistry, and methane emission, which is critical to modeling the microbial component in wetland methane fluxes and to managing restoration projects for maximal carbon sequestration. Here, we couple sequence-based methods with biogeochemical and greenhouse gas measurements to interrogate microbial communities from a pilot-scale restored wetland in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California, revealing considerable spatial heterogeneity even within this relatively small site. A number of microbial populations and functions showed strong correlations with electron acceptor availability and methane production; some also showed a preference for association with plant roots. Marker gene phylogenies revealed a diversity of major methane-producing and -consuming populations and suggested novel diversity within methanotrophs. Methanogenic archaea were observed in all samples, as were nitrate-, sulfate-, and metal-reducing bacteria, indicating that no single terminal electron acceptor was preferred despite differences in energetic favorability and suggesting spatial microheterogeneity and microniches. Notably, methanogens were negatively correlated with nitrate-, sulfate-, and metal-reducing bacteria and were most abundant at sampling sites with high peat accretion and low electron acceptor availability, where methane production was highest. Wetlands are the largest nonanthropogenic source of atmospheric methane but also a key global carbon reservoir. Characterizing belowground microbial communities

  6. Dynamic changes in functional gene copy numbers and microbial communities during degradation of pyrene in soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng Jingjing; Cai Chao; Qiao Min; Li Hong; Zhu Yongguan

    2010-01-01

    This study investigates the dynamics of pyrene degradation rates, microbial communities, and functional gene copy numbers during the incubation of pyrene-spiked soils. Spiking pyrene to the soil was found to have negligible effects on the bacterial community present. Our results demonstrated that there was a significant difference in nidA gene copy numbers between sampling dates in QZ soil. Mycobacterium 16S rDNA clone libraries showed that more than 90% mycobacteria detected were closely related to fast-growing PAH-degrading Mycobacterium in pyrene-spiked soil, while other sequences related to slow-growing Mycobacterium were only detected in the control soil. It is suggested that nidA gene copy number and fast-growing PAH-degrading Mycobacterium could be used as indicators to predict pyrene contamination and its degradation activity in soils. - nidA gene and fast-growing PAH-degrading Mycobacterium can serve as indicators for pyrene contamination.

  7. Functional gene array-based analysis of microbial community structure in groundwaters with a gradient of contaminant levels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waldron, P.J.; Wu, L.; Van Nostrand, J.D.; Schadt, C.W.; Watson, D.B.; Jardine, P.M.; Palumbo, A.V.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2009-06-15

    To understand how contaminants affect microbial community diversity, heterogeneity, and functional structure, six groundwater monitoring wells from the Field Research Center of the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Science Program (ERSP; Oak Ridge, TN), with a wide range of pH, nitrate, and heavy metal contamination were investigated. DNA from the groundwater community was analyzed with a functional gene array containing 2006 probes to detect genes involved in metal resistance, sulfate reduction, organic contaminant degradation, and carbon and nitrogen cycling. Microbial diversity decreased in relation to the contamination levels of the wells. Highly contaminated wells had lower gene diversity but greater signal intensity than the pristine well. The microbial composition was heterogeneous, with 17-70% overlap between different wells. Metal-resistant and metal-reducing microorganisms were detected in both contaminated and pristine wells, suggesting the potential for successful bioremediation of metal-contaminated groundwaters. In addition, results of Mantel tests and canonical correspondence analysis indicate that nitrate, sulfate, pH, uranium, and technetium have a significant (p < 0.05) effect on microbial community structure. This study provides an overall picture of microbial community structure in contaminated environments with functional gene arrays by showing that diversity and heterogeneity can vary greatly in relation to contamination.

  8. Analyses of the influencing factors of soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest based on GeoChip 5.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Jing; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Xu, Han; Li, Yide; Deng, Ye; Li, Diqiang; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-09-01

    To examine soil microbial functional gene diversity and causative factors in tropical rainforests, we used a microarray-based metagenomic tool named GeoChip 5.0 to profile it. We found that high microbial functional gene diversity and different soil microbial metabolic potential for biogeochemical processes were considered to exist in tropical rainforest. Soil available nitrogen was the most associated with soil microbial functional gene structure. Here, we mainly describe the experiment design, the data processing, and soil biogeochemical analyses attached to the study in details, which could be published on BMC microbiology Journal in 2015, whose raw data have been deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus (accession number GSE69171).

  9. Analysis of Microbial Communities in the Oil Reservoir Subjected to CO2-Flooding by Using Functional Genes as Molecular Biomarkers for Microbial CO2 Sequestration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Feng eLiu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Sequestration of CO2 in oil reservoirs is considered to be one of the feasible options for mitigating atmospheric CO2 building up and also for the in situ potential bioconversion of stored CO2 to methane. However, the information on these functional microbial communities and the impact of CO2 storage on them is hardly available. In this paper a comprehensive molecular survey was performed on microbial communities in production water samples from oil reservoirs experienced CO2-flooding by analysis of functional genes involved in the process, including cbbM, cbbL, fthfs, [FeFe]-hydrogenase and mcrA. As a comparison, these functional genes in the production water samples from oil reservoir only experienced water-flooding in areas of the same oil bearing bed were also analyzed. It showed that these functional genes were all of rich diversity in these samples, and the functional microbial communities and their diversity were strongly affected by a long-term exposure to injected CO2. More interestingly, microorganisms affiliated with members of the genera Methanothemobacter, Acetobacterium and Halothiobacillus as well as hydrogen producers in CO2 injected area either increased or remained unchanged in relative abundance compared to that in water-flooded area, which implied that these microorganisms could adapt to CO2 injection and, if so, demonstrated the potential for microbial fixation and conversion of CO2 into methane in subsurface oil reservoirs.

  10. GeoChip-based analysis of microbial functional gene diversity in a landfill leachate-contaminated aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhenmei; He, Zhili; Parisi, Victoria A.; Kang, Sanghoon; Deng, Ye; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Masoner, Jason R.; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.; Suflita, Joseph M.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2012-01-01

    The functional gene diversity and structure of microbial communities in a shallow landfill leachate-contaminated aquifer were assessed using a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0). Water samples were obtained from eight wells at the same aquifer depth immediately below a municipal landfill or along the predominant downgradient groundwater flowpath. Functional gene richness and diversity immediately below the landfill and the closest well were considerably lower than those in downgradient wells. Mantel tests and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) suggested that various geochemical parameters had a significant impact on the subsurface microbial community structure. That is, leachate from the unlined landfill impacted the diversity, composition, structure, and functional potential of groundwater microbial communities as a function of groundwater pH, and concentrations of sulfate, ammonia, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Historical geochemical records indicate that all sampled wells chronically received leachate, and the increase in microbial diversity as a function of distance from the landfill is consistent with mitigation of the impact of leachate on the groundwater system by natural attenuation mechanisms.

  11. Phylogeny and phylogeography of functional genes shared among seven terrestrial subsurface metagenomes reveal N-cycling and microbial evolutionary relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maggie CY Lau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on community phylogenetics and phylogeography of microorganisms living in extreme environments are rare. Terrestrial subsurface habitats are valuable for studying microbial biogeographical patterns due to their isolation and the restricted dispersal mechanisms. Since the taxonomic identity of a microorganism does not always correspond well with its functional role in a particular community, the use of taxonomic assignments or patterns may give limited inference on how microbial functions are affected by historical, geographical and environmental factors. With seven metagenomic libraries generated from fracture water samples collected from five South African mines, this study was carried out to (1 screen for ubiquitous functions or pathways of biogeochemical cycling of CH4, S and N; (2 to characterize the biodiversity represented by the common functional genes; (3 to investigate the subsurface biogeography as revealed by this subset of genes; and (4 to explore the possibility of using metagenomic data for evolutionary study. The ubiquitous functional genes are NarV, NPD, PAP reductase, NifH, NifD, NifK, NifE and NifN genes. Although these 8 common functional genes were taxonomically and phylogenetically diverse and distinct from each other, the dissimilarity between samples did not correlate strongly with either geographical, environmental or residence time of the water. Por genes homologous to those of Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii detected in all metagenomes were deep lineages of Nitrospirae, suggesting that subsurface habitats have preserved ancestral genetic signatures that inform the study of the origin and evolution of prokaryotes.

  12. Analyses of the influencing factors of soil microbial functional gene diversity in tropical rainforest based on GeoChip 5.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Cong

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available To examine soil microbial functional gene diversity and causative factors in tropical rainforests, we used a microarray-based metagenomic tool named GeoChip 5.0 to profile it. We found that high microbial functional gene diversity and different soil microbial metabolic potential for biogeochemical processes were considered to exist in tropical rainforest. Soil available nitrogen was the most associated with soil microbial functional gene structure. Here, we mainly describe the experiment design, the data processing, and soil biogeochemical analyses attached to the study in details, which could be published on BMC microbiology Journal in 2015, whose raw data have been deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus (accession number GSE69171.

  13. Amoxicillin effects on functional microbial community and spread of antibiotic resistance genes in amoxicillin manufacture wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Lingwei; Li, Xiangkun; Wang, Xinran; Ma, Kaili; Liu, Gaige; Zhang, Jie

    2017-11-01

    This study aimed to reveal how amoxicillin (AMX) affected the microbial community and the spread mechanism of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the AMX manufacture wastewater treatment system. For this purpose, a 1.47 L expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) reactor was designed and run for 241days treating artificial AMX manufacture wastewater. 454 pyrosequencing was applied to analyze functional microorganisms in the system. The antibiotic genes OXA- 1 , OXA -2 , OXA -10 , TEM -1 , CTX-M -1 , class I integrons (intI1) and 16S rRNA genes were also examined in sludge samples. The results showed that the genera Ignavibacterium, Phocoenobacter, Spirochaeta, Aminobacterium and Cloacibacillus contributed to the degradation of different organic compounds (such as various sugars and amines). And the relative quantification of each β-lactam resistance gene in the study was changed with the increasing of AMX concentration. Furthermore the vertical gene transfer was the main driver for the spread of ARGs rather than horizontal transfer pathways in the system. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  14. Microbial respiration and gene expression as a function of very low oxygen concentration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tiano, Laura

    and denitrification, were only partially described. In spite of the importance of aerobic respiration as a key process in the global carbon cycle, the available data are still few, and highly biased with respect to season, latitude and depth. The main aims of this Ph.D were to: i) develop and test a highly...... to pure cultures (Manuscript III), in order to assess the response of three species of NOB (Nitrospira defluvvi, N. moscoviensis and Nitrospina gracilis) to low O2 concentrations, and the oxygen regulation on the expression of the terminal oxidases genes in N.moscoviensis. The oxygen affinities...... of these pure cultures were lower than found for natural communities of NOB (apparent Km values~ 1- 4 µM), but higher than the ones from the well-studied opportunistic NOB Nitrobacter. The expression of high-affinity terminal oxidases in these NOB could, however, not be confirmed. Overall the results of this Ph...

  15. Uses of antimicrobial genes from microbial genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorek, Rotem; Rubin, Edward M.

    2013-08-20

    We describe a method for mining microbial genomes to discover antimicrobial genes and proteins having broad spectrum of activity. Also described are antimicrobial genes and their expression products from various microbial genomes that were found using this method. The products of such genes can be used as antimicrobial agents or as tools for molecular biology.

  16. Linking Changes in Snow Cover with Nitrogen Cycling and Microbial Abundance and Functional Gene Expression in Agricultural Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goyer, C.; Brin, L.; Zebarth, B.; Burton, D.; Wertz, S.; Chantigny, M.

    2016-12-01

    In eastern Canada, climate change-related warming and increased precipitation may alter winter snow cover, with potential consequences for soil conditions, microbes, and N2O fluxes. We conducted a two-year field study with snow removal, passive snow addition, and ambient treatments in a potato-barley crop system. We measured in situ greenhouse gas (N2O and CO2) fluxes and belowground gas accumulation, and quantified abundance and expression of denitrifier (nirS, nirK, nosZ) and nitrifier (ammonium oxidizing archaeal (AOA) and bacterial (AOB) amoA) genes. Soil gas accumulated throughout winter, and surface fluxes were greatest during spring thaw. Greatest mid-winter soil N2O accumulation and spring thaw N2O fluxes were associated with snow removal in winter 1 and ambient snow in winter 2. High N2O accumulation and fluxes may have been due to increased substrate availability with increased frost intensity in removal plots in winter 1, but with greatest water content in ambient plots in winter 2. In each winter, greatest abundances of nirS, nirK gene denitrifiers and/or amoA gene of AOA were observed in the treatments with the greatest N2O accumulation and fluxes. Gene expression did not vary with treatment, but highest expression of amoA gene of AOA and AOB, and nosZ gene was measured near 0ºC, indicating activity during periods of stable snow cover and spring thaw. Results suggest that the magnitude of fluxes during spring thaw were related to soil conditions and microbial communities present during the prior winter, and not solely those during thaw. Furthermore, the effects of changing snow cover on microbes and N2O fluxes were not a straightforward effect of snow depth, but were likely mediated by temperature and moisture.

  17. MicroScope-an integrated resource for community expertise of gene functions and comparative analysis of microbial genomic and metabolic data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Médigue, Claudine; Calteau, Alexandra; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Gachet, Mathieu; Gautreau, Guillaume; Josso, Adrien; Lajus, Aurélie; Langlois, Jordan; Pereira, Hugo; Planel, Rémi; Roche, David; Rollin, Johan; Rouy, Zoe; Vallenet, David

    2017-09-12

    The overwhelming list of new bacterial genomes becoming available on a daily basis makes accurate genome annotation an essential step that ultimately determines the relevance of thousands of genomes stored in public databanks. The MicroScope platform (http://www.genoscope.cns.fr/agc/microscope) is an integrative resource that supports systematic and efficient revision of microbial genome annotation, data management and comparative analysis. Starting from the results of our syntactic, functional and relational annotation pipelines, MicroScope provides an integrated environment for the expert annotation and comparative analysis of prokaryotic genomes. It combines tools and graphical interfaces to analyze genomes and to perform the manual curation of gene function in a comparative genomics and metabolic context. In this article, we describe the free-of-charge MicroScope services for the annotation and analysis of microbial (meta)genomes, transcriptomic and re-sequencing data. Then, the functionalities of the platform are presented in a way providing practical guidance and help to the nonspecialists in bioinformatics. Newly integrated analysis tools (i.e. prediction of virulence and resistance genes in bacterial genomes) and original method recently developed (the pan-genome graph representation) are also described. Integrated environments such as MicroScope clearly contribute, through the user community, to help maintaining accurate resources. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. Two fundamentally different classes of microbial genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Yuri I; Makarova, Kira S; Lobkovsky, Alexander E; Koonin, Eugene V

    2016-11-07

    The evolution of bacterial and archaeal genomes is highly dynamic and involves extensive horizontal gene transfer and gene loss 1-4 . Furthermore, many microbial species appear to have open pangenomes, where each newly sequenced genome contains more than 10% ORFans, that is, genes without detectable homologues in other species 5,6 . Here, we report a quantitative analysis of microbial genome evolution by fitting the parameters of a simple, steady-state evolutionary model to the comparative genomic data on the gene content and gene order similarity between archaeal genomes. The results reveal two sharply distinct classes of microbial genes, one of which is characterized by effectively instantaneous gene replacement, and the other consists of genes with finite, distributed replacement rates. These findings imply a conservative estimate of the size of the prokaryotic genomic universe, which appears to consist of at least a billion distinct genes. Furthermore, the same distribution of constraints is shown to govern the evolution of gene complement and gene order, without the need to invoke long-range conservation or the selfish operon concept 7 .

  19. New Markov Model Approaches to Deciphering Microbial Genome Function and Evolution: Comparative Genomics of Laterally Transferred Genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borodovsky, M.

    2013-04-11

    Algorithmic methods for gene prediction have been developed and successfully applied to many different prokaryotic genome sequences. As the set of genes in a particular genome is not homogeneous with respect to DNA sequence composition features, the GeneMark.hmm program utilizes two Markov models representing distinct classes of protein coding genes denoted "typical" and "atypical". Atypical genes are those whose DNA features deviate significantly from those classified as typical and they represent approximately 10% of any given genome. In addition to the inherent interest of more accurately predicting genes, the atypical status of these genes may also reflect their separate evolutionary ancestry from other genes in that genome. We hypothesize that atypical genes are largely comprised of those genes that have been relatively recently acquired through lateral gene transfer (LGT). If so, what fraction of atypical genes are such bona fide LGTs? We have made atypical gene predictions for all fully completed prokaryotic genomes; we have been able to compare these results to other "surrogate" methods of LGT prediction.

  20. Soil-borne microbial functional structure across different land uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuramae, Eiko E; Zhou, Jizhong Z; Kowalchuk, George A; van Veen, Johannes A

    2014-01-01

    Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate regression tree analysis of soil physicochemical properties and genes detected by functional microarrays, the main factor that explained the different microbial community functional structures was C : N ratio. C : N ratio showed a significant positive correlation with clay and soil pH. Fields with low C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes for carbon degradation, carbon fixation, metal reductase, and organic remediation categories, while fields with high C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes encoding dissimilatory sulfate reductase, methane oxidation, nitrification, and nitrogen fixation. The most abundant genes related to carbon degradation comprised bacterial and fungal cellulases; bacterial and fungal chitinases; fungal laccases; and bacterial, fungal, and oomycete polygalacturonases. The high number of genes related to organic remediation was probably driven by high phosphate content, while the high number of genes for nitrification was probably explained by high total nitrogen content. The functional gene diversity found in different soils did not group the sites accordingly to land management. Rather, the soil factors, C : N ratio, phosphate, and total N, were the main factors driving the differences in functional genes across the fields examined.

  1. Soil-Borne Microbial Functional Structure across Different Land Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiko E. Kuramae

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate regression tree analysis of soil physicochemical properties and genes detected by functional microarrays, the main factor that explained the different microbial community functional structures was C : N ratio. C : N ratio showed a significant positive correlation with clay and soil pH. Fields with low C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes for carbon degradation, carbon fixation, metal reductase, and organic remediation categories, while fields with high C : N ratio had an overrepresentation of genes encoding dissimilatory sulfate reductase, methane oxidation, nitrification, and nitrogen fixation. The most abundant genes related to carbon degradation comprised bacterial and fungal cellulases; bacterial and fungal chitinases; fungal laccases; and bacterial, fungal, and oomycete polygalacturonases. The high number of genes related to organic remediation was probably driven by high phosphate content, while the high number of genes for nitrification was probably explained by high total nitrogen content. The functional gene diversity found in different soils did not group the sites accordingly to land management. Rather, the soil factors, C : N ratio, phosphate, and total N, were the main factors driving the differences in functional genes across the fields examined.

  2. Quantification of Functional Marker Genes for Denitrifying Microbial Populations in the Chandeleur Islands Impacted by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, P.; Flournoy, N.; Taylor, C.; Tatariw, C.; Mortazavi, B.; Sobecky, P.

    2017-12-01

    Barrier island ecosystems provide protection by reducing storm surges, dissipating wave energy, and economically through services such as fisheries, water catchment, and water quality. As these ecosystems are deteriorating and threatened in this century, services provided to humans are being valued monetarily to communicate their importance. Events such as the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, act as catalysts to accelerate deterioration and further loss of these vital ecosystem services. The oil spill impacted the Chandeleur Islands, barrier islands in Louisiana waters located forty miles south of Gulfport, MS. Island chain vegetation; i.e., Avicennia germinans and native Spartina alterniflora was heavily damaged as a result of the oil spill. As oil was deposited differentially, it was important to investigate the microbiology of oil-impacted areas as marsh vegetation is directly linked to microbe-driven ecosystem services such as denitrification, a nitrogen (N) cycle pathway. The objectives of this study were: i) characterize the biodiversity of microorganisms; ii) quantify denitrifying microbial populations using functional marker genes; and iii) measure rates of denitrification during a one-year period. Eco-functional marker genes narG, nirS, norB, nosZ, and nrfA were selected to represent denitrification. Three different marsh sites were selected for study based upon estimated amounts of prior oiling. Highest rates of denitrification were in September while the lowest rates were observed in February. The highest nirS abundance was detected for two of the three sites (Site 1 and 2) in September while Site 3 exhibited the highest abundance in November. Similarly, the highest abundances observed for norB and nosZ varied by site and by month. Weathered oil was also detected in some of the marsh sediment cores and chemically typed to Macondo oil. Studies such as this one are designed to characterize the barrier island microbial biodiversity and N cycle processes to

  3. Patterns of prokaryotic lateral gene transfers affecting parasitic microbial eukaryotes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alsmark, Cecilia; Foster, Peter G; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The influence of lateral gene transfer on gene origins and biology in eukaryotes is poorly understood compared with those of prokaryotes. A number of independent investigations focusing on specific genes, individual genomes, or specific functional categories from various eukaryotes have...... approach to systematically investigate lateral gene transfer affecting the proteomes of thirteen, mainly parasitic, microbial eukaryotes, representing four of the six eukaryotic super-groups. All of the genomes investigated have been significantly affected by prokaryote-to-eukaryote lateral gene transfers...... indicated that lateral gene transfer does indeed affect eukaryotic genomes. However, the lack of common methodology and criteria in these studies makes it difficult to assess the general importance and influence of lateral gene transfer on eukaryotic genome evolution. RESULTS: We used a phylogenomic...

  4. Horizontal gene transfer in an acid mine drainage microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jiangtao; Wang, Qi; Wang, Xiaoqi; Wang, Fumeng; Yao, Jinxian; Zhu, Huaiqiu

    2015-07-04

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has been widely identified in complete prokaryotic genomes. However, the roles of HGT among members of a microbial community and in evolution remain largely unknown. With the emergence of metagenomics, it is nontrivial to investigate such horizontal flow of genetic materials among members in a microbial community from the natural environment. Because of the lack of suitable methods for metagenomics gene transfer detection, microorganisms from a low-complexity community acid mine drainage (AMD) with near-complete genomes were used to detect possible gene transfer events and suggest the biological significance. Using the annotation of coding regions by the current tools, a phylogenetic approach, and an approximately unbiased test, we found that HGTs in AMD organisms are not rare, and we predicted 119 putative transferred genes. Among them, 14 HGT events were determined to be transfer events among the AMD members. Further analysis of the 14 transferred genes revealed that the HGT events affected the functional evolution of archaea or bacteria in AMD, and it probably shaped the community structure, such as the dominance of G-plasma in archaea in AMD through HGT. Our study provides a novel insight into HGT events among microorganisms in natural communities. The interconnectedness between HGT and community evolution is essential to understand microbial community formation and development.

  5. FunGene: the functional gene pipeline and repository.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish, Jordan A; Chai, Benli; Wang, Qiong; Sun, Yanni; Brown, C Titus; Tiedje, James M; Cole, James R

    2013-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer. While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/) offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes.

  6. FunGene: the Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan A. Fish

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer.While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/ offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes.

  7. High taxonomic variability despite stable functional structure across microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Jacques, Saulo M S; Pires, Aliny P F; Leal, Juliana S; Srivastava, Diane S; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Farjalla, Vinicius F; Doebeli, Michael

    2016-12-05

    Understanding the processes that are driving variation of natural microbial communities across space or time is a major challenge for ecologists. Environmental conditions strongly shape the metabolic function of microbial communities; however, other processes such as biotic interactions, random demographic drift or dispersal limitation may also influence community dynamics. The relative importance of these processes and their effects on community function remain largely unknown. To address this uncertainty, here we examined bacterial and archaeal communities in replicate 'miniature' aquatic ecosystems contained within the foliage of wild bromeliads. We used marker gene sequencing to infer the taxonomic composition within nine metabolic functional groups, and shotgun environmental DNA sequencing to estimate the relative abundances of these groups. We found that all of the bromeliads exhibited remarkably similar functional community structures, but that the taxonomic composition within individual functional groups was highly variable. Furthermore, using statistical analyses, we found that non-neutral processes, including environmental filtering and potentially biotic interactions, at least partly shaped the composition within functional groups and were more important than spatial dispersal limitation and demographic drift. Hence both the functional structure and taxonomic composition within functional groups of natural microbial communities may be shaped by non-neutral and roughly separate processes.

  8. Soil-Borne Microbial Functional Structure across Different Land Uses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, E.E.; Zhou, J.Z.; Kowalchuk, G.A.; van Veen, J.A..

    2014-01-01

    Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate

  9. Soil-borne microbial functional structure across different land uses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuramae, Eiko E; Zhou, Jizhong Z; Kowalchuk, George A; van Veen, Johannes A

    2014-01-01

    Land use change alters the structure and composition of microbial communities. However, the links between environmental factors and microbial functions are not well understood. Here we interrogated the functional structure of soil microbial communities across different land uses. In a multivariate

  10. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaohui; Xia, Yu; Wen, Xianghua; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong

    2014-01-01

    Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD). Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA), a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  11. Microbial community functional structures in wastewater treatment plants as characterized by GeoChip.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaohui Wang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Biological WWTPs must be functionally stable to continuously and steadily remove contaminants which rely upon the activity of complex microbial communities. However, knowledge is still lacking in regard to microbial community functional structures and their linkages to environmental variables. AIMS: To investigate microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs and to understand the effects of environmental factors on their structure. METHODS: 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. A comprehensive functional gene array named GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur cycles, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance and organic contaminant degradation. RESULTS: High similarities of the microbial community functional structures were found among activated sludge samples from the four WWTPs, as shown by both diversity indices and the overlapped genes. For individual gene category, such as egl, amyA, lip, nirS, nirK, nosZ, ureC, ppx, ppk, aprA, dsrA, sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA showed that the microbial functional patterns were highly correlated with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO, ammonia concentrations and loading rate of chemical oxygen demand (COD. Based on the variance partitioning analyses (VPA, a total of 53% of microbial community variation from GeoChip data can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25% and operational parameters (23%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs.

  12. Functional characterization of a Penicillium chrysogenum mutanase gene induced upon co-cultivation with Bacillus subtilis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bajaj, I.; Veiga, T.; Van Dissel, D.; Pronk, J.T.; Daran, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Microbial gene expression is strongly influenced by environmental growth conditions. Comparison of gene expression under different conditions is frequently used for functional analysis and to unravel regulatory networks, however, gene expression responses to co-cultivation with other

  13. Functional Enzyme-Based Approach for Linking Microbial Community Functions with Biogeochemical Process Kinetics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Minjing [School; Qian, Wei-jun [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; Gao, Yuqian [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; Shi, Liang [School; Liu, Chongxuan [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington 99354, United States; School

    2017-09-28

    The kinetics of biogeochemical processes in natural and engineered environmental systems are typically described using Monod-type or modified Monod-type models. These models rely on biomass as surrogates for functional enzymes in microbial community that catalyze biogeochemical reactions. A major challenge to apply such models is the difficulty to quantitatively measure functional biomass for constraining and validating the models. On the other hand, omics-based approaches have been increasingly used to characterize microbial community structure, functions, and metabolites. Here we proposed an enzyme-based model that can incorporate omics-data to link microbial community functions with biogeochemical process kinetics. The model treats enzymes as time-variable catalysts for biogeochemical reactions and applies biogeochemical reaction network to incorporate intermediate metabolites. The sequences of genes and proteins from metagenomes, as well as those from the UniProt database, were used for targeted enzyme quantification and to provide insights into the dynamic linkage among functional genes, enzymes, and metabolites that are necessary to be incorporated in the model. The application of the model was demonstrated using denitrification as an example by comparing model-simulated with measured functional enzymes, genes, denitrification substrates and intermediates

  14. Microbial community functional structure in response to antibiotics in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yu; Xie, Jianping; Liu, Miaomiao; Tian, Zhe; He, Zhili; van Nostrand, Joy D; Ren, Liren; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Min

    2013-10-15

    It is widely demonstrated that antibiotics in the environment affect microbial community structure. However, direct evidence regarding the impacts of antibiotics on microbial functional structures in wastewater treatment systems is limited. Herein, a high-throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0) in combination with quantitative PCR and clone libraries were used to evaluate the microbial functional structures in two biological wastewater treatment systems, which treat antibiotic production wastewater mainly containing oxytetracycline. Despite the bacteriostatic effects of antibiotics, the GeoChip detected almost all key functional gene categories, including carbon cycling, nitrogen cycling, etc., suggesting that these microbial communities were functionally diverse. Totally 749 carbon-degrading genes belonging to 40 groups (24 from bacteria and 16 from fungi) were detected. The abundance of several fungal carbon-degrading genes (e.g., glyoxal oxidase (glx), lignin peroxidase or ligninase (lip), manganese peroxidase (mnp), endochitinase, exoglucanase_genes) was significantly correlated with antibiotic concentrations (Mantel test; P functional genes have been enhanced by the presence of antibiotics. However, from the fact that the majority of carbon-degrading genes were derived from bacteria and diverse antibiotic resistance genes were detected in bacteria, it was assumed that many bacteria could survive in the environment by acquiring antibiotic resistance and may have maintained the position as a main player in nutrient removal. Variance partitioning analysis showed that antibiotics could explain 24.4% of variations in microbial functional structure of the treatment systems. This study provides insights into the impacts of antibiotics on microbial functional structure of a unique system receiving antibiotic production wastewater, and reveals the potential importance of the cooperation between fungi and bacteria with antibiotic resistance in maintaining the

  15. Natural Microbial Assemblages Reflect Distinct Organismal and Functional Partitioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilmes, P.; Andersson, A.; Kalnejais, L. H.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Lefsrud, M. G.; Wexler, M.; Singer, S. W.; Shah, M.; Bond, P. L.; Thelen, M. P.; Hettich, R. L.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to link microbial community structure to function has long been a primary focus of environmental microbiology. With the advent of community genomic and proteomic techniques, along with advances in microscopic imaging techniques, it is now possible to gain insights into the organismal and functional makeup of microbial communities. Biofilms growing within highly acidic solutions inside the Richmond Mine (Iron Mountain, Redding, California) exhibit distinct macro- and microscopic morphologies. They are composed of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, including archaea, bacteria and eukarya. The proportion of each organismal type depends on sampling location and developmental stage. For example, mature biofilms floating on top of acid mine drainage (AMD) pools exhibit layers consisting of a densely packed bottom layer of the chemoautolithotroph Leptospirillum group II, a less dense top layer composed mainly of archaea, and fungal filaments spanning across the entire biofilm. The expression of cytochrome 579 (the most highly abundant protein in the biofilm, believed to be central to iron oxidation and encoded by Leptospirillum group II) is localized at the interface of the biofilm with the AMD solution, highlighting that biofilm architecture is reflected at the functional gene expression level. Distinct functional partitioning is also apparent in a biological wastewater treatment system that selects for distinct polyphosphate accumulating organisms. Community genomic data from " Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" dominated activated sludge has enabled high mass-accuracy shotgun proteomics for identification of key metabolic pathways. Comprehensive genome-wide alignment of orthologous proteins suggests distinct partitioning of protein variants involved in both core-metabolism and specific metabolic pathways among the dominant population and closely related species. In addition, strain- resolved proteogenomic analysis of the AMD biofilms

  16. Cross-biome metagenomic analyses of soil microbial communities and their functional attributes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierer, Noah; Leff, Jonathan W; Adams, Byron J; Nielsen, Uffe N; Bates, Scott Thomas; Lauber, Christian L; Owens, Sarah; Gilbert, Jack A; Wall, Diana H; Caporaso, J Gregory

    2012-12-26

    For centuries ecologists have studied how the diversity and functional traits of plant and animal communities vary across biomes. In contrast, we have only just begun exploring similar questions for soil microbial communities despite soil microbes being the dominant engines of biogeochemical cycles and a major pool of living biomass in terrestrial ecosystems. We used metagenomic sequencing to compare the composition and functional attributes of 16 soil microbial communities collected from cold deserts, hot deserts, forests, grasslands, and tundra. Those communities found in plant-free cold desert soils typically had the lowest levels of functional diversity (diversity of protein-coding gene categories) and the lowest levels of phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity. Across all soils, functional beta diversity was strongly correlated with taxonomic and phylogenetic beta diversity; the desert microbial communities were clearly distinct from the nondesert communities regardless of the metric used. The desert communities had higher relative abundances of genes associated with osmoregulation and dormancy, but lower relative abundances of genes associated with nutrient cycling and the catabolism of plant-derived organic compounds. Antibiotic resistance genes were consistently threefold less abundant in the desert soils than in the nondesert soils, suggesting that abiotic conditions, not competitive interactions, are more important in shaping the desert microbial communities. As the most comprehensive survey of soil taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity to date, this study demonstrates that metagenomic approaches can be used to build a predictive understanding of how microbial diversity and function vary across terrestrial biomes.

  17. A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    dos Santos, Marcelo Bertalan Quintanilha; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Nielsen, Henrik Bjørn

    2010-01-01

    To understand the impact of gut microbes on human health and well-being it is crucial to assess their genetic potential. Here we describe the Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence...

  18. Predicting taxonomic and functional structure of microbial communities in acid mine drainage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuang, Jialiang; Huang, Linan; He, Zhili; Chen, Linxing; Hua, Zhengshuang; Jia, Pu; Li, Shengjin; Liu, Jun; Li, Jintian; Zhou, Jizhong; Shu, Wensheng

    2016-06-01

    Predicting the dynamics of community composition and functional attributes responding to environmental changes is an essential goal in community ecology but remains a major challenge, particularly in microbial ecology. Here, by targeting a model system with low species richness, we explore the spatial distribution of taxonomic and functional structure of 40 acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial communities across Southeast China profiled by 16S ribosomal RNA pyrosequencing and a comprehensive microarray (GeoChip). Similar environmentally dependent patterns of dominant microbial lineages and key functional genes were observed regardless of the large-scale geographical isolation. Functional and phylogenetic β-diversities were significantly correlated, whereas functional metabolic potentials were strongly influenced by environmental conditions and community taxonomic structure. Using advanced modeling approaches based on artificial neural networks, we successfully predicted the taxonomic and functional dynamics with significantly higher prediction accuracies of metabolic potentials (average Bray-Curtis similarity 87.8) as compared with relative microbial abundances (similarity 66.8), implying that natural AMD microbial assemblages may be better predicted at the functional genes level rather than at taxonomic level. Furthermore, relative metabolic potentials of genes involved in many key ecological functions (for example, nitrogen and phosphate utilization, metals resistance and stress response) were extrapolated to increase under more acidic and metal-rich conditions, indicating a critical strategy of stress adaptation in these extraordinary communities. Collectively, our findings indicate that natural selection rather than geographic distance has a more crucial role in shaping the taxonomic and functional patterns of AMD microbial community that readily predicted by modeling methods and suggest that the model-based approach is essential to better understand natural

  19. Functional ecology of soil microbial communities along a glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Martínez, Miguel A; Pointing, Stephen B; Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Arróniz-Crespo, María; Green, T G Allan; Rozzi, Ricardo; Sancho, Leopoldo G; de Los Ríos, Asunción

    2016-09-01

    A previously established chronosequence from Pia Glacier forefield in Tierra del Fuego (Chile) containing soils of different ages (from bare soils to forest ones) is analyzed. We used this chronosequence as framework to postulate that microbial successional development would be accompanied by changes in functionality. To test this, the GeoChip functional microarray was used to identify diversity of genes involved in microbial carbon and nitrogen metabolism, as well as other genes related to microbial stress response and biotic interactions. Changes in putative functionality generally reflected succession-related taxonomic composition of soil microbiota. Major shifts in carbon fixation and catabolism were observed, as well as major changes in nitrogen metabolism. At initial microbial dominated succession stages, microorganisms could be mainly involved in pathways that help to increase nutrient availability, while more complex microbial transformations such as denitrification and methanogenesis, and later degradation of complex organic substrates, could be more prevalent at vegetated successional states. Shifts in virus populations broadly reflected changes in microbial diversity. Conversely, stress response pathways appeared relatively well conserved for communities along the entire chronosequence. We conclude that nutrient utilization is likely the major driver of microbial succession in these soils. [Int Microbiol 19(3):161-173 (2016)]. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  20. Modeling of Phenoxy Acid Herbicide Mineralization and Growth of Microbial Degraders in 15 Soils Monitored by Quantitative Real-Time PCR of the Functional tfdA Gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bælum, Jacob; Prestat, Emmanuel; David, Maude M.

    2012-01-01

    continents. The mineralization patterns were fitted by zero/linear or exponential growth forms of the three-half-order models and by logarithmic (log), first-order, or zero-order kinetic models. Prior and subsequent to the mineralization event, tfdA genes were quantified using real-time PCR to estimate...

  1. Microbial community functional change during vertebrate carrion decomposition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Pechal

    Full Text Available Microorganisms play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter, which contributes to energy and nutrient transformation in every ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the functional activity of epinecrotic microbial communities associated with carrion. The objective of this study was to provide a description of the carrion associated microbial community functional activity using differential carbon source use throughout decomposition over seasons, between years and when microbial communities were isolated from eukaryotic colonizers (e.g., necrophagous insects. Additionally, microbial communities were identified at the phyletic level using high throughput sequencing during a single study. We hypothesized that carrion microbial community functional profiles would change over the duration of decomposition, and that this change would depend on season, year and presence of necrophagous insect colonization. Biolog EcoPlates™ were used to measure the variation in epinecrotic microbial community function by the differential use of 29 carbon sources throughout vertebrate carrion decomposition. Pyrosequencing was used to describe the bacterial community composition in one experiment to identify key phyla associated with community functional changes. Overall, microbial functional activity increased throughout decomposition in spring, summer and winter while it decreased in autumn. Additionally, microbial functional activity was higher in 2011 when necrophagous arthropod colonizer effects were tested. There were inconsistent trends in the microbial function of communities isolated from remains colonized by necrophagous insects between 2010 and 2011, suggesting a greater need for a mechanistic understanding of the process. These data indicate that functional analyses can be implemented in carrion studies and will be important in understanding the influence of microbial communities on an essential ecosystem process, carrion decomposition.

  2. Predictions of Gene Family Distributions in Microbial Genomes: Evolution by Gene Duplication and Modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yanai, Itai; Camacho, Carlos J.; DeLisi, Charles

    2000-01-01

    A universal property of microbial genomes is the considerable fraction of genes that are homologous to other genes within the same genome. The process by which these homologues are generated is not well understood, but sequence analysis of 20 microbial genomes unveils a recurrent distribution of gene family sizes. We show that a simple evolutionary model based on random gene duplication and point mutations fully accounts for these distributions and permits predictions for the number of gene families in genomes not yet complete. Our findings are consistent with the notion that a genome evolves from a set of precursor genes to a mature size by gene duplications and increasing modifications. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society

  3. Predictions of Gene Family Distributions in Microbial Genomes: Evolution by Gene Duplication and Modification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yanai, Itai; Camacho, Carlos J.; DeLisi, Charles

    2000-09-18

    A universal property of microbial genomes is the considerable fraction of genes that are homologous to other genes within the same genome. The process by which these homologues are generated is not well understood, but sequence analysis of 20 microbial genomes unveils a recurrent distribution of gene family sizes. We show that a simple evolutionary model based on random gene duplication and point mutations fully accounts for these distributions and permits predictions for the number of gene families in genomes not yet complete. Our findings are consistent with the notion that a genome evolves from a set of precursor genes to a mature size by gene duplications and increasing modifications. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society.

  4. In Silico Gene-Level Evolution Explains Microbial Population Diversity through Differential Gene Mobility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Dijk, Bram; Hogeweg, P.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial communities can show astonishing ecological and phylogenetic diversity. What is the role of pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in shaping this diversity in the presence of clonally expanding "killer strains"? Does HGT of antibiotic production and resistance genes erase phylogenetic

  5. Characteristics of microbial community functional structure of a biological coking wastewater treatment system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Dev Raj; Zhang, Yu; Zhang, Hong; Gao, Yingxin; Yang, Min

    2018-01-01

    Nitrogenous heterocyclic compounds are key pollutants in coking wastewater; however, the functional potential of microbial communities for biodegradation of such contaminants during biological treatment is still elusive. Herein, a high throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) in combination with Illumina HiSeq2500 sequencing was used to compare and characterize the microbial community functional structure in a long run (500days) bench scale bioreactor treating coking wastewater, with a control system treating synthetic wastewater. Despite the inhibitory toxic pollutants, GeoChip 5.0 detected almost all key functional gene (average 61,940 genes) categories in the coking wastewater sludge. With higher abundance, aromatic ring cleavage dioxygenase genes including multi ring1,2diox; one ring2,3diox; catechol represented significant functional potential for degradation of aromatic pollutants which was further confirmed by Illumina HiSeq2500 analysis results. Response ratio analysis revealed that three nitrogenous compound degrading genes- nbzA (nitro-aromatics), tdnB (aniline), and scnABC (thiocyanate) were unique for coking wastewater treatment, which might be strong cause to increase ammonia level during the aerobic process. Additionally, HiSeq2500 elucidated carbozole and isoquinoline degradation genes in the system. These findings expanded our understanding on functional potential of microbial communities to remove organic nitrogenous pollutants; hence it will be useful in optimization strategies for biological treatment of coking wastewater. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Presence and Expression of Microbial Genes Regulating Soil Nitrogen Dynamics Along the Tanana River Successional Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, R. D.; Rogers, S. L.

    2004-12-01

    We report on work to assess the functional gene sequences for soil microbiota that control nitrogen cycle pathways along the successional sequence (willow, alder, poplar, white spruce, black spruce) on the Tanana River floodplain, Interior Alaska. Microbial DNA and mRNA were extracted from soils (0-10 cm depth) for amoA (ammonium monooxygenase), nifH (nitrogenase reductase), napA (nitrate reductase), and nirS and nirK (nitrite reductase) genes. Gene presence was determined by amplification of a conserved sequence of each gene employing sequence specific oligonucleotide primers and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Expression of the genes was measured via nested reverse transcriptase PCR amplification of the extracted mRNA. Amplified PCR products were visualized on agarose electrophoresis gels. All five successional stages show evidence for the presence and expression of microbial genes that regulate N fixation (free-living), nitrification, and nitrate reduction. We detected (1) nifH, napA, and nirK presence and amoA expression (mRNA production) for all five successional stages and (2) nirS and amoA presence and nifH, nirK, and napA expression for early successional stages (willow, alder, poplar). The results highlight that the existing body of previous process-level work has not sufficiently considered the microbial potential for a nitrate economy and free-living N fixation along the complete floodplain successional sequence.

  7. Responses of the functional structure of soil microbial community to livestock grazing in the Tibetan alpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yunfeng; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yuan, Mengting; Xu, Depeng; Yu, Hao; Hu, Yigang; Duan, Jichuang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; van Nostrand, Joy; Wang, Shiping; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in various biogeochemical processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. However, changes of microbial community at the functional gene level by livestock grazing, which is a global land-use activity, remain unclear. Here we use a functional gene array, GeoChip 4.0, to examine the effects of free livestock grazing on the microbial community at an experimental site of Tibet, a region known to be very sensitive to anthropogenic perturbation and global warming. Our results showed that grazing changed microbial community functional structure, in addition to aboveground vegetation and soil geochemical properties. Further statistical tests showed that microbial community functional structures were closely correlated with environmental variables, and variations in microbial community functional structures were mainly controlled by aboveground vegetation, soil C/N ratio, and NH4 (+) -N. In-depth examination of N cycling genes showed that abundances of N mineralization and nitrification genes were increased at grazed sites, but denitrification and N-reduction genes were decreased, suggesting that functional potentials of relevant bioprocesses were changed. Meanwhile, abundances of genes involved in methane cycling, C fixation, and degradation were decreased, which might be caused by vegetation removal and hence decrease in litter accumulation at grazed sites. In contrast, abundances of virulence, stress, and antibiotics resistance genes were increased because of the presence of livestock. In conclusion, these results indicated that soil microbial community functional structure was very sensitive to the impact of livestock grazing and revealed microbial functional potentials in regulating soil N and C cycling, supporting the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating the consequence of land-use and/or climate changes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  8. Responses of microbial community functional structures to pilot-scale uranium in situ bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, M.; Wu, W.-M.; Wu, L.; He, Z.; Van Nostrand, J.D.; Deng, Y.; Luo, J.; Carley, J.; Ginder-Vogel, M.; Gentry, T.J.; Gu, B.; Watson, D.; Jardine, P.M.; Marsh, T.L.; Tiedje, J.M.; Hazen, T.C.; Criddle, C.S.; Zhou, J.

    2010-02-15

    A pilot-scale field test system with an inner loop nested within an outer loop was constructed for in situ U(VI) bioremediation at a US Department of Energy site, Oak Ridge, TN. The outer loop was used for hydrological protection of the inner loop where ethanol was injected for biostimulation of microorganisms for U(VI) reduction/immobilization. After 2 years of biostimulation with ethanol, U(VI) levels were reduced to below drinking water standard (<30 {micro}gl{sup -1}) in the inner loop monitoring wells. To elucidate the microbial community structure and functions under in situ uranium bioremediation conditions, we used a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip) to examine the microbial functional gene composition of the sediment samples collected from both inner and outer loop wells. Our study results showed that distinct microbial communities were established in the inner loop wells. Also, higher microbial functional gene number, diversity and abundance were observed in the inner loop wells than the outer loop wells. In addition, metal-reducing bacteria, such as Desulfovibrio, Geobacter, Anaeromyxobacter and Shewanella, and other bacteria, for example, Rhodopseudomonas and Pseudomonas, are highly abundant in the inner loop wells. Finally, the richness and abundance of microbial functional genes were highly correlated with the mean travel time of groundwater from the inner loop injection well, pH and sulfate concentration in groundwater. These results suggest that the indigenous microbial communities can be successfully stimulated for U bioremediation in the groundwater ecosystem, and their structure and performance can be manipulated or optimized by adjusting geochemical and hydrological conditions.

  9. PanFP: pangenome-based functional profiles for microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jun, Se-Ran; Robeson, Michael S; Hauser, Loren J; Schadt, Christopher W; Gorin, Andrey A

    2015-09-26

    For decades there has been increasing interest in understanding the relationships between microbial communities and ecosystem functions. Current DNA sequencing technologies allows for the exploration of microbial communities in two principle ways: targeted rRNA gene surveys and shotgun metagenomics. For large study designs, it is often still prohibitively expensive to sequence metagenomes at both the breadth and depth necessary to statistically capture the true functional diversity of a community. Although rRNA gene surveys provide no direct evidence of function, they do provide a reasonable estimation of microbial diversity, while being a very cost-effective way to screen samples of interest for later shotgun metagenomic analyses. However, there is a great deal of 16S rRNA gene survey data currently available from diverse environments, and thus a need for tools to infer functional composition of environmental samples based on 16S rRNA gene survey data. We present a computational method called pangenome-based functional profiles (PanFP), which infers functional profiles of microbial communities from 16S rRNA gene survey data for Bacteria and Archaea. PanFP is based on pangenome reconstruction of a 16S rRNA gene operational taxonomic unit (OTU) from known genes and genomes pooled from the OTU's taxonomic lineage. From this lineage, we derive an OTU functional profile by weighting a pangenome's functional profile with the OTUs abundance observed in a given sample. We validated our method by comparing PanFP to the functional profiles obtained from the direct shotgun metagenomic measurement of 65 diverse communities via Spearman correlation coefficients. These correlations improved with increasing sequencing depth, within the range of 0.8-0.9 for the most deeply sequenced Human Microbiome Project mock community samples. PanFP is very similar in performance to another recently released tool, PICRUSt, for almost all of survey data analysed here. But, our method is unique

  10. Microbial Gene Abundance and Expression Patterns across a River to Ocean Salinity Gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline S Fortunato

    Full Text Available Microbial communities mediate the biogeochemical cycles that drive ecosystems, and it is important to understand how these communities are affected by changing environmental conditions, especially in complex coastal zones. As fresh and marine waters mix in estuaries and river plumes, the salinity, temperature, and nutrient gradients that are generated strongly influence bacterioplankton community structure, yet, a parallel change in functional diversity has not been described. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses were conducted on five water samples spanning the salinity gradient of the Columbia River coastal margin, including river, estuary, plume, and ocean, in August 2010. Samples were pre-filtered through 3 μm filters and collected on 0.2 μm filters, thus results were focused on changes among free-living microbial communities. Results from metagenomic 16S rRNA sequences showed taxonomically distinct bacterial communities in river, estuary, and coastal ocean. Despite the strong salinity gradient observed over sampling locations (0 to 33, the functional gene profiles in the metagenomes were very similar from river to ocean with an average similarity of 82%. The metatranscriptomes, however, had an average similarity of 31%. Although differences were few among the metagenomes, we observed a change from river to ocean in the abundance of genes encoding for catabolic pathways, osmoregulators, and metal transporters. Additionally, genes specifying both bacterial oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis were abundant and expressed in the estuary and plume. Denitrification genes were found throughout the Columbia River coastal margin, and most highly expressed in the estuary. Across a river to ocean gradient, the free-living microbial community followed three different patterns of diversity: 1 the taxonomy of the community changed strongly with salinity, 2 metabolic potential was highly similar across samples, with few differences in

  11. Microbial Gene Abundance and Expression Patterns across a River to Ocean Salinity Gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Caroline S; Crump, Byron C

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate the biogeochemical cycles that drive ecosystems, and it is important to understand how these communities are affected by changing environmental conditions, especially in complex coastal zones. As fresh and marine waters mix in estuaries and river plumes, the salinity, temperature, and nutrient gradients that are generated strongly influence bacterioplankton community structure, yet, a parallel change in functional diversity has not been described. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses were conducted on five water samples spanning the salinity gradient of the Columbia River coastal margin, including river, estuary, plume, and ocean, in August 2010. Samples were pre-filtered through 3 μm filters and collected on 0.2 μm filters, thus results were focused on changes among free-living microbial communities. Results from metagenomic 16S rRNA sequences showed taxonomically distinct bacterial communities in river, estuary, and coastal ocean. Despite the strong salinity gradient observed over sampling locations (0 to 33), the functional gene profiles in the metagenomes were very similar from river to ocean with an average similarity of 82%. The metatranscriptomes, however, had an average similarity of 31%. Although differences were few among the metagenomes, we observed a change from river to ocean in the abundance of genes encoding for catabolic pathways, osmoregulators, and metal transporters. Additionally, genes specifying both bacterial oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis were abundant and expressed in the estuary and plume. Denitrification genes were found throughout the Columbia River coastal margin, and most highly expressed in the estuary. Across a river to ocean gradient, the free-living microbial community followed three different patterns of diversity: 1) the taxonomy of the community changed strongly with salinity, 2) metabolic potential was highly similar across samples, with few differences in functional gene abundance

  12. Habitat constraints on the functional significance of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Leloup, Julie; Ruamps, Léo; Pouteau, Valérie; Chenu, Claire

    2017-04-01

    An underlying assumption of most ecosystem models is that soil microbial communities are functionally equivalent; in other words, that microbial activity under given set of conditions is not dependent on the composition or diversity of the communities. Although a number of studies have suggested that this assumption is incorrect, ecosystem models can adequately describe ecosystem processes, such as soil C dynamics, without an explicit description of microbial functioning. Here, we provide a mechanistic basis for reconciling this apparent discrepancy. In a reciprocal transplant experiment, we show that microbial communities are not always functionally equivalent. The data suggest that when the supply of substrate is restricted, then the functioning of different microbial communities cannot be distinguished, but when the supply is less restricted, the intrinsic functional differences among communities can be expressed. When the supply of C is restricted then C dynamics are related to the properties of the physical and chemical environment of the soil. We conclude that soil C dynamics may depend on microbial community structure or diversity in environments such as the rhizosphere or the litter layer, but are less likely to do so in oligotrophic environments such as the mineral layers of soil.

  13. Increased microbial functional diversity under long-term organic and integrated fertilization in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Long-Jun; Su, Jian-Qiang; Sun, Guo-Xin; Wu, Jin-Shui; Wei, Wen-Xue

    2018-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in diverse biogeochemical processes including nutrient cycling. However, responses of soil microbial community and functional genes to long-term integrated fertilization (chemical combined with organic fertilization) remain unclear. Here, we used pyrosequencing and a microarray-based GeoChip to explore the shifts of microbial community and functional genes in a paddy soil which received over 21-year fertilization with various regimes, including control (no fertilizer), rice straw (R), rice straw plus chemical fertilizer nitrogen (NR), N and phosphorus (NPR), NP and potassium (NPKR), and reduced rice straw plus reduced NPK (L-NPKR). Significant shifts of the overall soil bacterial composition only occurred in the NPKR and L-NPKR treatments, with enrichment of certain groups including Bradyrhizobiaceae and Rhodospirillaceae families that benefit higher productivity. All fertilization treatments significantly altered the soil microbial functional structure with increased diversity and abundances of genes for carbon and nitrogen cycling, in which NPKR and L-NPKR exhibited the strongest effect, while R exhibited the least. Functional gene structure and abundance were significantly correlated with corresponding soil enzymatic activities and rice yield, respectively, suggesting that the structural shift of the microbial functional community under fertilization might promote soil nutrient turnover and thereby affect yield. Overall, this study indicates that the combined application of rice straw and balanced chemical fertilizers was more pronounced in shifting the bacterial composition and improving the functional diversity toward higher productivity, providing a microbial point of view on applying a cost-effective integrated fertilization regime with rice straw plus reduced chemical fertilizers for sustainable nutrient management.

  14. Dissection of Microbial Community Functions during a Cyanobacterial Bloom in the Baltic Sea via Metatranscriptomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Berg

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Marine and brackish surface waters are highly dynamic habitats that undergo repeated seasonal variations in microbial community composition and function throughout time. While succession of the various microbial groups has been well investigated, little is known about the underlying gene-expression of the microbial community. We investigated microbial interactions via metatranscriptomics over a spring to fall seasonal cycle in the brackish Baltic Sea surface waters, a temperate brackish water ecosystem periodically promoting massive cyanobacterial blooms, which have implications for primary production, nutrient cycling, and expansion of hypoxic zones. Network analysis of the gene expression of all microbes from 0.22 to 200 μm in size and of the major taxonomic groups dissected the seasonal cycle into four components that comprised genes peaking during different periods of the bloom. Photoautotrophic nitrogen-fixing Cyanobacteria displayed the highest connectivity among the microbes, in contrast to chemoautotrophic ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota, while heterotrophs dominated connectivity among pre- and post-bloom peaking genes. The network was also composed of distinct functional connectivities, with an early season balance between carbon metabolism and ATP synthesis shifting to a dominance of ATP synthesis during the bloom, while carbon degradation, specifically through the glyoxylate shunt, characterized the post-bloom period, driven by Alphaproteobacteria as well as by Gammaproteobacteria of the SAR86 and SAR92 clusters. Our study stresses the exceptionally strong biotic driving force executed by cyanobacterial blooms on associated microbial communities in the Baltic Sea and highlights the impact cyanobacterial blooms have on functional microbial community composition.

  15. Gene Ontology Terms and Automated Annotation for Energy-Related Microbial Genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mukhopadhyay, Biswarup [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States); Tyler, Brett M. [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States); Setubal, Joao [Univ. of Sao Paulo (Brazil); Murali, T. M. [Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States)

    2017-11-03

    Gene Ontology (GO) is one of the more widely used functional ontologies for describing gene functions at various levels. The project developed 660 GO terms for describing energy-related microbial processes and filled the known gaps in this area of the GO system, and then used these terms to describe functions of 179 genes to showcase the utilities of the new resources. It hosted a series of workshops and made presentations at key meetings to inform and train scientific community members on these terms and to receive inputs from them for the GO term generation efforts. The project has developed a website for storing and displaying the resources (http://www.mengo.biochem.vt.edu/). The outcome of the project was further disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and poster and seminar presentations.

  16. Distinct Trajectories of Massive Recent Gene Gains and Losses in Populations of a Microbial Eukaryotic Pathogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Fanny E; Croll, Daniel

    2017-11-01

    Differences in gene content are a significant source of variability within species and have an impact on phenotypic traits. However, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for the most recent gene gains and losses. We screened the genomes of 123 worldwide isolates of the major pathogen of wheat Zymoseptoria tritici for robust evidence of gene copy number variation. Based on orthology relationships in three closely related fungi, we identified 599 gene gains and 1,024 gene losses that have not yet reached fixation within the focal species. Our analyses of gene gains and losses segregating in populations showed that gene copy number variation arose preferentially in subtelomeres and in proximity to transposable elements. Recently lost genes were enriched in virulence factors and secondary metabolite gene clusters. In contrast, recently gained genes encoded mostly secreted protein lacking a conserved domain. We analyzed the frequency spectrum at loci segregating a gene presence-absence polymorphism in four worldwide populations. Recent gene losses showed a significant excess in low-frequency variants compared with genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism, which is indicative of strong negative selection against gene losses. Recent gene gains were either under weak negative selection or neutral. We found evidence for strong divergent selection among populations at individual loci segregating a gene presence-absence polymorphism. Hence, gene gains and losses likely contributed to local adaptation. Our study shows that microbial eukaryotes harbor extensive copy number variation within populations and that functional differences among recently gained and lost genes led to distinct evolutionary trajectories. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  17. Function analysis of unknown genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rogowska-Wrzesinska, A.

    2002-01-01

      This thesis entitled "Function analysis of unknown genes" presents the use of proteome analysis for the characterisation of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) genes and their products (proteins especially those of unknown function). This study illustrates that proteome analysis can be used...... to describe different aspects of molecular biology of the cell, to study changes that occur in the cell due to overexpression or deletion of a gene and to identify various protein modifications. The biological questions and the results of the described studies show the diversity of the information that can...... genes and proteins. It reports the first global proteome database collecting 36 yeast single gene deletion mutants and selecting over 650 differences between analysed mutants and the wild type strain. The obtained results show that two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry based proteome...

  18. Diverse gene functions in a soil mobilome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Wenting; Xu, Zhuofei; Riber, Leise

    2016-01-01

    Accessing bacterial mobilomes of any given environment enables the investigation of genetic traits encoded by circular genetic elements, and how their transfer drives the adaptation of microbial communities. Here we take advantage of Illumina HiSeq sequencing and report, for the first time......, the soil mobilome sampled from a well-characterized field in Hygum, Denmark. Soil bacterial cells were obtained by Nycodenz extraction, total DNA was purified by removing sheared chromosomal DNA using exonuclease digestion, and the remaining circular DNA was amplified with the phi29 polymerase and finally...... sequenced. The soil mobilome represented a wide range of known bacterial gene functions and highlighted the enrichment of plasmids, transposable elements and phages when compared to a well-characterized soil metagenome that, on the other hand, was dominated by basic biosynthesis and metabolism functions...

  19. Biotransformation of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing pollutants during coking wastewater treatment: Correspondence of performance to microbial community functional structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Dev Raj; Zhang, Yu; Gao, Yinxin; Liu, Yuan; Yang, Min

    2017-09-15

    Although coking wastewater is generally considered to contain high concentration of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing pollutants, the biotransformation processes of these compounds have not been well understood. Herein, a high throughput functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) in combination with Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene were used to identify microbial functional traits and their role in biotransformation of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds in a bench-scale aerobic coking wastewater treatment system operated for 488 days. Biotransformation of nitrogen and sulfur-containing pollutants deteriorated when pH of the bioreactor was increased to >8.0, and the microbial community functional structure was significantly associated with pH (Mantels test, P functional microbial community structure (P functional genes for biotransformation of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing pollutants. Functional characterization of taxa and network analysis suggested that Burkholderiales, Actinomycetales, Rhizobiales, Pseudomonadales, and Hydrogenophiliales (Thiobacillus) were key functional taxa. Variance partitioning analysis showed that pH and influent ammonia nitrogen jointly explained 25.9% and 35.5% of variation in organic pollutant degrading genes and microbial community structure, respectively. This study revealed a linkage between microbial community functional structure and the likely biotransformation of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing pollutants, along with a suitable range of pH (7.0-7.5) for stability of the biological system treating coking wastewater. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Relating Anaerobic Digestion Microbial Community and Process Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkiteshwaran, Kaushik; Bocher, Benjamin; Maki, James; Zitomer, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) involves a consortium of microorganisms that convert substrates into biogas containing methane for renewable energy. The technology has suffered from the perception of being periodically unstable due to limited understanding of the relationship between microbial community structure and function. The emphasis of this review is to describe microbial communities in digesters and quantitative and qualitative relationships between community structure and digester function. Progress has been made in the past few decades to identify key microorganisms influencing AD. Yet, more work is required to realize robust, quantitative relationships between microbial community structure and functions such as methane production rate and resilience after perturbations. Other promising areas of research for improved AD may include methods to increase/control (1) hydrolysis rate, (2) direct interspecies electron transfer to methanogens, (3) community structure-function relationships of methanogens, (4) methanogenesis via acetate oxidation, and (5) bioaugmentation to study community-activity relationships or improve engineered bioprocesses.

  1. New microbial resource: microbial diversity, function and dynamics in Chinese liquor starter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuhong; Yi, Zhuolin; Jin, Yanling; Zhao, Yonggui; He, Kaize; Liu, Dayu; Zhao, Dong; He, Hui; Luo, Huibo; Zhang, Wenxue; Fang, Yang; Zhao, Hai

    2017-11-06

    Traditional Chinese liquor (Baijiu) solid state fermentation technology has lasted for several thousand years. The microbial communities that enrich in liquor starter are important for fermentation. However, the microbial communities are still under-characterized. In this study, 454 pyrosequencing technology was applied to comprehensively analyze the microbial diversity, function and dynamics of two most-consumed liquor starters (Jiang- and Nong-flavor) during production. In total, 315 and 83 bacterial genera and 72 and 47 fungal genera were identified in Jiang- and Nong-flavor liquor starter, respectively. The relatively high diversity was observed when the temperature increased to 70 and 62 °C for Jiang- and Nong-flavor liquor starter, respectively. Some thermophilic fungi have already been isolated. Microbial communities that might contribute to ethanol fermentation, saccharification and flavor development were identified and shown to be core communities in correlation-based network analysis. The predictively functional profile of bacterial communities showed significant difference in energy, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism and the degradation of aromatic compounds between the two kinds of liquor starters. Here we report these liquor starters as a new functionally microbial resource, which can be used for discovering thermophilic and aerobic enzymes and for food and feed preservation.

  2. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridl, Jakub; Kolar, Michal; Strejcek, Michal; Strnad, Hynek; Stursa, Petr; Paces, Jan; Macek, Tomas; Uhlik, Ondrej

    2016-01-01

    Plant-microbe interactions are of particular importance in polluted soils. This study sought to determine how selected plants (horseradish, black nightshade and tobacco) and NPK mineral fertilization shape the structure of soil microbial communities in legacy contaminated soil and the resultant impact of treatment on the soil microbial community functional potential. To explore these objectives, we combined shotgun metagenomics and 16S rRNA gene amplicon high throughput sequencing with data analysis approaches developed for RNA-seq. We observed that the presence of any of the selected plants rather than fertilization shaped the microbial community structure, and the microbial populations of the root zone of each plant significantly differed from one another and/or from the bulk soil, whereas the effect of the fertilizer proved to be insignificant. When we compared microbial diversity in root zones versus bulk soil, we observed an increase in the relative abundance of Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria or Bacteroidetes, taxa which are commonly considered copiotrophic. Our results thus align with the theory that fast-growing, copiotrophic, microorganisms which are adapted to ephemeral carbon inputs are enriched in the vegetated soil. Microbial functional potential indicated that some genetic determinants associated with signal transduction mechanisms, defense mechanisms or amino acid transport and metabolism differed significantly among treatments. Genetic determinants of these categories tend to be overrepresented in copiotrophic organisms. The results of our study further elucidate plant-microbe relationships in a contaminated environment with possible implications for the phyto/rhizoremediation of contaminated areas.

  3. Management with willow short rotation coppice increase the functional gene diversity and functional activity of a heavy metal polluted soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, K; van Nostrand, J D; Vangronsveld, J; Witters, N; Janssen, J O; Kumpiene, J; Siebielec, G; Galazka, R; Giagnoni, L; Arenella, M; Zhou, J-Z; Renella, G

    2015-11-01

    We studied the microbial functional diversity, biochemical activity, heavy metals (HM) availability and soil toxicity of Cd, Pb and Zn contaminated soils, kept under grassland or short rotation coppice (SRC) to attenuate the risks associated with HM contamination and restore the soil ecological functions. Soil microbial functional diversity was analyzed by the GeoChip, a functional gene microarray containing probes for genes involved in nutrient cycling, metal resistance and stress response. Soil under SRC showed a higher abundance of microbial genes involved in C, N, P and S cycles and resistance to various HM, higher microbial biomass, respiration and enzyme activity rates, and lower HM availability than the grassland soil. The linkages between functional genes of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties, HM availability and biochemical activity were also investigated. Soil toxicity and N, P and Pb availability were important factors in shaping the microbial functional diversity, as determined by CCA. We concluded that in HM contaminated soils the microbial functional diversity was positively influenced by SRC management through the reduction of HM availability and soil toxicity increase of nutrient cycling. The presented results can be important in predicting the long term environmental sustainability of plant-based soil remediation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Land use type significantly affects microbial gene transcription in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nacke, Heiko; Fischer, Christiane; Thürmer, Andrea; Meinicke, Peter; Daniel, Rolf

    2014-05-01

    Soil microorganisms play an essential role in sustaining biogeochemical processes and cycling of nutrients across different land use types. To gain insights into microbial gene transcription in forest and grassland soil, we isolated mRNA from 32 sampling sites. After sequencing of generated complementary DNA (cDNA), a total of 5,824,229 sequences could be further analyzed. We were able to assign nonribosomal cDNA sequences to all three domains of life. A dominance of bacterial sequences, which were affiliated to 25 different phyla, was found. Bacterial groups capable of aromatic compound degradation such as Phenylobacterium and Burkholderia were detected in significantly higher relative abundance in forest soil than in grassland soil. Accordingly, KEGG pathway categories related to degradation of aromatic ring-containing molecules (e.g., benzoate degradation) were identified in high abundance within forest soil-derived metatranscriptomic datasets. The impact of land use type forest on community composition and activity is evidently to a high degree caused by the presence of wood breakdown products. Correspondingly, bacterial groups known to be involved in lignin degradation and containing ligninolytic genes such as Burkholderia, Bradyrhizobium, and Azospirillum exhibited increased transcriptional activity in forest soil. Higher solar radiation in grassland presumably induced increased transcription of photosynthesis-related genes within this land use type. This is in accordance with high abundance of photosynthetic organisms and plant-infecting viruses in grassland.

  5. Physical Factors Correlate to Microbial Community Structure and Nitrogen Cycling Gene Abundance in a Nitrate Fed Eutrophic Lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Highton, Matthew P; Roosa, Stéphanie; Crawshaw, Josie; Schallenberg, Marc; Morales, Sergio E

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogenous run-off from farmed pastures contributes to the eutrophication of Lake Ellesmere, a large shallow lagoon/lake on the east coast of New Zealand. Tributaries periodically deliver high loads of nitrate to the lake which likely affect microbial communities therein. We hypothesized that a nutrient gradient would form from the potential sources (tributaries) creating a disturbance resulting in changes in microbial community structure. To test this we first determined the existence of such a gradient but found only a weak nitrogen (TN) and phosphorous gradient (DRP). Changes in microbial communities were determined by measuring functional potential (quantification of nitrogen cycling genes via nifH , nirS , nosZI , and nosZII using qPCR), potential activity (via denitrification enzyme activity), as well as using changes in total community (via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing). Our results demonstrated that changes in microbial communities at a phylogenetic (relative abundance) and functional level (proportion of the microbial community carrying nifH and nosZI genes) were most strongly associated with physical gradients (e.g., lake depth, sediment grain size, sediment porosity) and not nutrient concentrations. Low nitrate influx at the time of sampling is proposed as a factor contributing to the observed patterns.

  6. Physical factors correlate to microbial community structure and nitrogen cycling gene abundance in a nitrate fed eutrophic lagoon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Paul Highton

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogenous run-off from farmed pastures contributes to the eutrophication of Lake Ellesmere, a large shallow lagoon/lake on the east coast of New Zealand. Tributaries periodically deliver high loads of nitrate to the lake which likely affect microbial communities therein. We hypothesized that a nutrient gradient would form from the potential sources (tributaries creating a disturbance resulting in changes in microbial community structure. To test this we first determined the existence of such a gradient but found only a weak nitrogen (TN and phosphorous gradient (DRP. Changes in microbial communities were determined by measuring functional potential (quantification of nitrogen cycling genes via nifH, nirS, nosZI and nosZII using qPCR, potential activity (via denitrification enzyme activity, as well as using changes in total community (via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Our results demonstrated that changes in microbial communities at a phylogenetic (relative abundance and functional level (proportion of the microbial community carrying nifH and nosZI genes were most strongly associated with physical gradients (e.g. lake depth, sediment grain size, sediment porosity and not nutrient concentrations. Low nitrate influx at the time of sampling is proposed as a factor contributing to the observed patterns.

  7. Mapping microbial ecosystems and spoilage-gene flow in breweries highlights patterns of contamination and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Bergsveinson, Jordyn; Ziola, Barry; Mills, David A

    2015-03-10

    Distinct microbial ecosystems have evolved to meet the challenges of indoor environments, shaping the microbial communities that interact most with modern human activities. Microbial transmission in food-processing facilities has an enormous impact on the qualities and healthfulness of foods, beneficially or detrimentally interacting with food products. To explore modes of microbial transmission and spoilage-gene frequency in a commercial food-production scenario, we profiled hop-resistance gene frequencies and bacterial and fungal communities in a brewery. We employed a Bayesian approach for predicting routes of contamination, revealing critical control points for microbial management. Physically mapping microbial populations over time illustrates patterns of dispersal and identifies potential contaminant reservoirs within this environment. Habitual exposure to beer is associated with increased abundance of spoilage genes, predicting greater contamination risk. Elucidating the genetic landscapes of indoor environments poses important practical implications for food-production systems and these concepts are translatable to other built environments.

  8. Microbial community composition and functions are resilient to metal pollution along two forest soil gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azarbad, Hamed; Niklińska, Maria; Laskowski, Ryszard; van Straalen, Nico M; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Wen, Chongqing; Röling, Wilfred F M

    2015-01-01

    Despite the global importance of forests, it is virtually unknown how their soil microbial communities adapt at the phylogenetic and functional level to long-term metal pollution. Studying 12 sites located along two distinct gradients of metal pollution in Southern Poland revealed that functional potential and diversity (assessed using GeoChip 4.2) were highly similar across the gradients despite drastically diverging metal contamination levels. Metal pollution level did, however, significantly impact bacterial community structure (as shown by MiSeq Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes), but not bacterial taxon richness and community composition. Metal pollution caused changes in the relative abundance of specific bacterial taxa, including Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Planctomycetes and Proteobacteria. Also, a group of metal-resistance genes showed significant correlations with metal concentrations in soil. Our study showed that microbial communities are resilient to metal pollution; despite differences in community structure, no clear impact of metal pollution levels on overall functional diversity was observed. While screens of phylogenetic marker genes, such as 16S rRNA genes, provide only limited insight into resilience mechanisms, analysis of specific functional genes, e.g. involved in metal resistance, appears to be a more promising strategy. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Stable carbon isotope fractionation of chlorinated ethenes by a microbial consortium containing multiple dechlorinating genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Na; Ding, Longzhen; Li, Haijun; Zhang, Pengpeng; Zheng, Jixing; Weng, Chih-Huang

    2018-08-01

    The study aimed to determine the possible contribution of specific growth conditions and community structures to variable carbon enrichment factors (Ɛ- carbon ) values for the degradation of chlorinated ethenes (CEs) by a bacterial consortium with multiple dechlorinating genes. Ɛ- carbon values for trichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride were -7.24% ± 0.59%, -14.6% ± 1.71%, and -21.1% ± 1.14%, respectively, during their degradation by a microbial consortium containing multiple dechlorinating genes including tceA and vcrA. The Ɛ- carbon values of all CEs were not greatly affected by changes in growth conditions and community structures, which directly or indirectly affected reductive dechlorination of CEs by this consortium. Stability analysis provided evidence that the presence of multiple dechlorinating genes within a microbial consortium had little effect on carbon isotope fractionation, as long as the genes have definite, non-overlapping functions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of uranium concentration on microbial community structure and functional potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutcliffe, Brodie; Chariton, Anthony A; Harford, Andrew J; Hose, Grant C; Greenfield, Paul; Elbourne, Liam D H; Oytam, Yalchin; Stephenson, Sarah; Midgley, David J; Paulsen, Ian T

    2017-08-01

    Located in the Northern Territory of Australia, Ranger uranium mine is directly adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park, with rehabilitation targets needed to ensure the site can be incorporated into the park following the mine's closure in 2026. This study aimed to understand the impact of uranium concentration on microbial communities, in order to identify and describe potential breakpoints in microbial ecosystem services. This is the first study to report in situ deployment of uranium-spiked sediments along a concentration gradient (0-4000 mg U kg -1 ), with the study design maximising the advantages of both field surveys and laboratory manipulative studies. Changes to microbial communities were characterised through the use of amplicon and shotgun metagenomic next-generation sequencing. Significant changes to taxonomic and functional community assembly occurred at a concentration of 1500 mg U kg -1 sediment and above. At uranium concentrations of ≥ 1500 mg U kg -1 , genes associated with methanogenic consortia and processes increased in relative abundance, while numerous significant changes were also seen in the relative abundances of genes involved in nitrogen cycling. Such alterations in carbon and nitrogen cycling pathways suggest that taxonomic and functional changes to microbial communities may result in changes in ecosystem processes and resilience. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Influence of microbial community diversity and function on pollutant removal in ecological wastewater treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Yaohui; Huo, Yang; Liao, Kailingli; Qu, Jiuhui

    2017-10-01

    Traditional wastewater treatments based on activated sludge often encounter the problems of bulking and foaming, as well as malodor. To solve these problems, new treatment technologies have emerged in recent decades, including the ecological wastewater treatment process, which introduces selected local plants into the treatment system. With a focus on the underlying mechanisms of the ecological treatment process, we explored the microbial community biomass, composition, and function in the treatment system to understand the microbial growth in this system and its role in pollutant removal. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that ecological treatment significantly decreased influent bacterial quantity, with around 80% removal. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the ecological treatment also altered the bacterial community structure of the wastewater, leading to a significant change in Comamonadaceae in the effluent. In the internal ecological system, because most of microbes aggregate in the plant rhizosphere and the sludge under plant roots, we selected two plant species (Nerium oleander and Arundo donax) to study the characteristics of rhizosphere and sludge microbes. Metagenomic results showed that the microbial community composition and function differed between the two species, and the microbial communities of A. donax were more sensitive to seasonal effects. Combined with their greater biomass and abundance of metabolic genes, microbes associated with N. oleander showed a greater contribution to pollutant removal. Further, the biodegradation pathways of some micropollutants, e.g., atrazine, were estimated.

  12. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legay, N; Baxendale, C; Grigulis, K; Krainer, U; Kastl, E; Schloter, M; Bardgett, R D; Arnoldi, C; Bahn, M; Dumont, M; Poly, F; Pommier, T; Clément, J C; Lavorel, S

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Functional microarray analysis of nitrogen and carbon cycling genes across an Antarctic latitudinal transect.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yergeau, E.; Kang, S.; He, Z.; Zhou, J.; Kowalchuk, G.A.

    2007-01-01

    Soil-borne microbial communities were examined via a functional gene microarray approach across a southern polar latitudinal gradient to gain insight into the environmental factors steering soil N- and C-cycling in terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems. The abundance and diversity of functional gene

  14. Mapping genomic features to functional traits through microbial whole genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Zeng, Erliang; Liu, Dan; Jones, Stuart E; Emrich, Scott

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the utility of trait-based approaches for microbial communities has been identified. Increasing availability of whole genome sequences provide the opportunity to explore the genetic foundations of a variety of functional traits. We proposed a machine learning framework to quantitatively link the genomic features with functional traits. Genes from bacteria genomes belonging to different functional traits were grouped to Cluster of Orthologs (COGs), and were used as features. Then, TF-IDF technique from the text mining domain was applied to transform the data to accommodate the abundance and importance of each COG. After TF-IDF processing, COGs were ranked using feature selection methods to identify their relevance to the functional trait of interest. Extensive experimental results demonstrated that functional trait related genes can be detected using our method. Further, the method has the potential to provide novel biological insights.

  15. Final technical report. Can microbial functional traits predict the response and resilience of decomposition to global change?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allison, Steven D. [Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)

    2015-09-24

    The role of specific micro-organisms in the carbon cycle, and their responses to environmental change, are unknown in most ecosystems. This knowledge gap limits scientists’ ability to predict how important ecosystem processes, like soil carbon storage and loss, will change with climate and other environmental factors. The investigators addressed this knowledge gap by transplanting microbial communities from different environments into new environments and measuring the response of community composition and carbon cycling over time. Using state-of-the-art sequencing techniques, computational tools, and nanotechnology, the investigators showed that microbial communities on decomposing plant material shift dramatically with natural and experimentally-imposed drought. Microbial communities also shifted in response to added nitrogen, but the effects were smaller. These changes had implications for carbon cycling, with lower rates of carbon loss under drought conditions, and changes in the efficiency of decomposition with nitrogen addition. Even when transplanted into the same conditions, microbial communities from different environments remained distinct in composition and functioning for up to one year. Changes in functioning were related to differences in enzyme gene content across different microbial groups. Computational approaches developed for this project allowed the conclusions to be tested more broadly in other ecosystems, and new computer models will facilitate the prediction of microbial traits and functioning across environments. The data and models resulting from this project benefit the public by improving the ability to predict how microbial communities and carbon cycling functions respond to climate change, nutrient enrichment, and other large-scale environmental changes.

  16. Mechanistic links between gut microbial community dynamics, microbial functions and metabolic health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Connie WY; Lam, Yan Y; Holmes, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Gut microbes comprise a high density, biologically active community that lies at the interface of an animal with its nutritional environment. Consequently their activity profoundly influences many aspects of the physiology and metabolism of the host animal. A range of microbial structural components and metabolites directly interact with host intestinal cells and tissues to influence nutrient uptake and epithelial health. Endocrine, neuronal and lymphoid cells in the gut also integrate signals from these microbial factors to influence systemic responses. Dysregulation of these host-microbe interactions is now recognised as a major risk factor in the development of metabolic dysfunction. This is a two-way process and understanding the factors that tip host-microbiome homeostasis over to dysbiosis requires greater appreciation of the host feedbacks that contribute to regulation of microbial community composition. To date, numerous studies have employed taxonomic profiling approaches to explore the links between microbial composition and host outcomes (especially obesity and its comorbidities), but inconsistent host-microbe associations have been reported. Available data indicates multiple factors have contributed to discrepancies between studies. These include the high level of functional redundancy in host-microbiome interactions combined with individual variation in microbiome composition; differences in study design, diet composition and host system between studies; and inherent limitations to the resolution of rRNA-based community profiling. Accounting for these factors allows for recognition of the common microbial and host factors driving community composition and development of dysbiosis on high fat diets. New therapeutic intervention options are now emerging. PMID:25469018

  17. Elevated CO2 shifts the functional structure and metabolic potentials of soil microbial communities in a C4 agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Jinbo; He, Zhili; Shi, Shengjing; Kent, Angela; Deng, Ye; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong

    2015-03-20

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration is continuously increasing, and previous studies have shown that elevated CO2 (eCO2) significantly impacts C3 plants and their soil microbial communities. However, little is known about effects of eCO2 on the compositional and functional structure, and metabolic potential of soil microbial communities under C4 plants. Here we showed that a C4 maize agroecosystem exposed to eCO2 for eight years shifted the functional and phylogenetic structure of soil microbial communities at both soil depths (0-5 cm and 5-15 cm) using EcoPlate and functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0) analyses. The abundances of key genes involved in carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycling were significantly stimulated under eCO2 at both soil depths, although some differences in carbon utilization patterns were observed between the two soil depths. Consistently, CO2 was found to be the dominant factor explaining 11.9% of the structural variation of functional genes, while depth and the interaction of depth and CO2 explained 5.2% and 3.8%, respectively. This study implies that eCO2 has profound effects on the functional structure and metabolic potential/activity of soil microbial communities associated with C4 plants, possibly leading to changes in ecosystem functioning and feedbacks to global change in C4 agroecosystems.

  18. Gene function prediction based on Gene Ontology Hierarchy Preserving Hashing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yingwen; Fu, Guangyuan; Wang, Jun; Guo, Maozu; Yu, Guoxian

    2018-02-23

    Gene Ontology (GO) uses structured vocabularies (or terms) to describe the molecular functions, biological roles, and cellular locations of gene products in a hierarchical ontology. GO annotations associate genes with GO terms and indicate the given gene products carrying out the biological functions described by the relevant terms. However, predicting correct GO annotations for genes from a massive set of GO terms as defined by GO is a difficult challenge. To combat with this challenge, we introduce a Gene Ontology Hierarchy Preserving Hashing (HPHash) based semantic method for gene function prediction. HPHash firstly measures the taxonomic similarity between GO terms. It then uses a hierarchy preserving hashing technique to keep the hierarchical order between GO terms, and to optimize a series of hashing functions to encode massive GO terms via compact binary codes. After that, HPHash utilizes these hashing functions to project the gene-term association matrix into a low-dimensional one and performs semantic similarity based gene function prediction in the low-dimensional space. Experimental results on three model species (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus) for interspecies gene function prediction show that HPHash performs better than other related approaches and it is robust to the number of hash functions. In addition, we also take HPHash as a plugin for BLAST based gene function prediction. From the experimental results, HPHash again significantly improves the prediction performance. The codes of HPHash are available at: http://mlda.swu.edu.cn/codes.php?name=HPHash. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Genetic and functional diversity of soil microbial communities associated to grapevine plants and wine quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocali, Stefano; Fabiani, Arturo; Kuramae, Eiko; de Hollander, Mattias; Kowalchuk, George A.; Vignozzi, Nadia; Valboa, Giuseppe; Costantini, Edoardo

    2013-04-01

    Despite the economic importance of vineyards in Italy, the wine sector is facing severe challenges from increased global competition and climate changes. The quality of the grape at harvest has a strong direct impact on wine final quality and the strong relationship between wine composition, aroma, taste, and soil properties has been outlined in the "Terroir concept". However, information on the impact of soil microbial communities on soil functions, grapevine plants, and wine quality is generally lacking. In the current study, soils from two close sites in Central Tuscany (BRO11 and BRO12) cultivated with the same grapevine cultivar Sangiovese, but with contrasting wine quality, were examined. Although the BRO12 site provided a better wine quality than the BRO11, the two soils showed similar physical, chemical, and hydrological properties. Also soil humidity, as determined by FDR (Frequency Domain Reflectometry) sensors, indicated a similar water availability in the first 75 cm during a three years trial (2000-2010). Interestingly, the mean three years value of the ratio between the two stable carbon isotopes 13C/12C, measured in the alcohol of the wines, was significantly higher in BRO12 than in BRO11 (-28,3‰ and -24,4‰, respectively), indicating the presence of a relatively higher water stress in the BRO11 soil. Functional GeoChip microarray analyses revealed higher presence of Actinobacteria in the BRO12 than in the BRO11 soil, where the alfa-Proteobacteria were more abundant. Furthermore, a consistent difference in genes involved in S cycling, with a significant overrepresentation of sulphur-oxidation genes in BRO11 and increased levels of sulphate reduction genes BRO12 was detected. These results are consistent with the high content of sulphates and the abundance of Firmicutes such as Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans in the BRO11 soil. Therefore, the different microbiology of the two soils could be related to the different redox conditions of the two

  20. Comparative analyses identified species-specific functional roles in oral microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tsute; Gajare, Prasad; Olsen, Ingar; Dewhirst, Floyd E.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The advent of next generation sequencing is producing more genomic sequences for various strains of many human oral microbial species and allows for insightful functional comparisons at both intra- and inter-species levels. This study performed in-silico functional comparisons for currently available genomic sequences of major species associated with periodontitis including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (AA), Porphyromonas gingivalis (PG), Treponema denticola (TD), and Tannerella forsythia (TF), as well as several cariogenic and commensal streptococcal species. Complete or draft sequences were annotated with the RAST to infer structured functional subsystems for each genome. The subsystems profiles were clustered to groups of functions with similar patterns. Functional enrichment and depletion were evaluated based on hypergeometric distribution to identify subsystems that are unique or missing between two groups of genomes. Unique or missing metabolic pathways and biological functions were identified in different species. For example, components involved in flagellar motility were found only in the motile species TD, as expected, with few exceptions scattered in several streptococcal species, likely associated with chemotaxis. Transposable elements were only found in the two Bacteroidales species PG and TF, and half of the AA genomes. Genes involved in CRISPR were prevalent in most oral species. Furthermore, prophage related subsystems were also commonly found in most species except for PG and Streptococcus mutans, in which very few genomes contain prophage components. Comparisons between pathogenic (P) and nonpathogenic (NP) genomes also identified genes potentially important for virulence. Two such comparisons were performed between AA (P) and several A. aphrophilus (NP) strains, and between S. mutans + S. sobrinus (P) and other oral streptococcal species (NP). This comparative genomics approach can be readily used to identify functions unique to

  1. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Jansson, Janet K; Hopkins, David W; Aspray, Thomas J; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I; Cowan, Don A

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO 2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  2. Temporal dynamics of hot desert microbial communities reveal structural and functional responses to water input

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Armstrong, Alacia; Valverde, Angel; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Jansson, Janet K.; Hopkins, David W.; Aspray, Thomas J.; Seely, Mary; Trindade, Marla I.; Cowan, Don A.

    2016-09-29

    The temporal dynamics of desert soil microbial communities are poorly understood. Given the implications for ecosystem functioning under a global change scenario, a better understanding of desert microbial community stability is crucial. Here, we sampled soils in the central Namib Desert on sixteen different occasions over a one-year period. Using Illumina-based amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we found that α-diversity (richness) was more variable at a given sampling date (spatial variability) than over the course of one year (temporal variability). Community composition remained essentially unchanged across the first 10 months, indicating that spatial sampling might be more important than temporal sampling when assessing β-diversity patterns in desert soils. However, a major shift in microbial community composition was found following a single precipitation event. This shift in composition was associated with a rapid increase in CO2 respiration and productivity, supporting the view that desert soil microbial communities respond rapidly to re-wetting and that this response may be the result of both taxon-specific selection and changes in the availability or accessibility of organic substrates. Recovery to quasi pre-disturbance community composition was achieved within one month after rainfall.

  3. GeoChips for Analysis of Microbial Functional Communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong

    2008-09-30

    Functional gene arrays (FGA) are microarrays that contain probes for genes encoding proteins or enzymes involved in functions of interest and allow for the study of thousands of genes at one time. The most comprehensive FGA to date is the GeoChip, which contains ~;;24,000 probes for ~;;10,000 genes involved in the geochemical cycling of C, N, P, and S, as well as genes involved in metal resistance and reduction and contaminant degradation. This chapter details the methods necessary for GeoChip analysis. Methods covered include preparation of DNA (whole community genome amplification and labeling), array setup (prehybridization steps), hybridization (sample and hybridization buffers), and post hybridization steps (slide washing and array scanning).

  4. Functional characteristics and influence factors of microbial community in sewage sludge composting with inorganic bulking agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ke; Mao, Hailong; Li, Xiangkun

    2018-02-01

    The metabolic function of microbial community dominated organics and nutrients transformation in aerobic composting process. In this study, the metabolic characteristics of bacterial and fungal communities were evaluated in 60 days composting of sludge and pumice by using FUNGuild and PICRUSt, respectively. The results showed that microbial community structure and metabolic characteristics were distinctively different at four composting periods. Bacterial genes related to carbohydrate metabolisms decreased during the first 30 days, but bacterial sequences associated with oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acids synthesis were enhanced in curing phase. Most of fungal animal pathogen and plant pathogen disappeared after treatment, and the abundance of saprotroph fungi increased from 44.3% to 97.8%. Oxidation reduction potential (ORP) significantly increased from -28 to 175 mV through incubation. RDA analysis showed that ORP was a crucial factor on the succession of both bacterial and fungal communities in sludge composting system. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  5. Targeted quantification of functional enzyme dynamics in environmental samples for microbially mediated biogeochemical processes: Targeted quantification of functional enzyme dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Minjing [School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074 People' s Republic of China; Gao, Yuqian [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Qian, Wei-Jun [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Shi, Liang [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Liu, Yuanyuan [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Nelson, William C. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Nicora, Carrie D. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Resch, Charles T. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Thompson, Christopher [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Yan, Sen [School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074 People' s Republic of China; Fredrickson, James K. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Zachara, John M. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; Liu, Chongxuan [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99354 USA; School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055 People' s Republic of China

    2017-07-13

    Microbially mediated biogeochemical processes are catalyzed by enzymes that control the transformation of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements in environment. The dynamic linkage between enzymes and biogeochemical species transformation has, however, rarely been investigated because of the lack of analytical approaches to efficiently and reliably quantify enzymes and their dynamics in soils and sediments. Herein, we developed a signature peptide-based technique for sensitively quantifying dissimilatory and assimilatory enzymes using nitrate-reducing enzymes in a hyporheic zone sediment as an example. Moreover, the measured changes in enzyme concentration were found to correlate with the nitrate reduction rate in a way different from that inferred from biogeochemical models based on biomass or functional genes as surrogates for functional enzymes. This phenomenon has important implications for understanding and modeling the dynamics of microbial community functions and biogeochemical processes in environments. Our results also demonstrate the importance of enzyme quantification for the identification and interrogation of those biogeochemical processes with low metabolite concentrations as a result of faster enzyme-catalyzed consumption of metabolites than their production. The dynamic enzyme behaviors provide a basis for the development of enzyme-based models to describe the relationship between the microbial community and biogeochemical processes.

  6. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  7. Divergent taxonomic and functional responses of microbial communities to field simulation of aeolian soil erosion and deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xingyu; Zhao, Cancan; Gao, Ying; Liu, Bin; Wang, Tengxu; Yuan, Tong; Hale, Lauren; Nostrand, Joy D Van; Wan, Shiqiang; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2017-08-01

    Aeolian soil erosion and deposition have worldwide impacts on agriculture, air quality and public health. However, ecosystem responses to soil erosion and deposition remain largely unclear in regard to microorganisms, which are the crucial drivers of biogeochemical cycles. Using integrated metagenomics technologies, we analysed microbial communities subjected to simulated soil erosion and deposition in a semiarid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China. As expected, soil total organic carbon and plant coverage were decreased by soil erosion, and soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was increased by soil deposition, demonstrating that field simulation was reliable. Soil microbial communities were altered (p soil erosion and deposition, with dramatic increase in Cyanobacteria related to increased stability in soil aggregates. amyA genes encoding α-amylases were specifically increased (p = .01) by soil deposition and positively correlated (p = .02) to DOC, which likely explained changes in DOC. Surprisingly, most of microbial functional genes associated with carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycling were decreased or unaltered by both erosion and deposition, probably arising from acceleration of organic matter mineralization. These divergent responses support the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating ecological consequences. Furthermore, Mantel tests showed strong, significant correlations between soil nutrients and functional structure but not taxonomic structure, demonstrating close relevance of microbial function traits to nutrient cycling. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Microbial functional diversity plays an important role in the degradation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Samrat; Tribedi, Prosun

    2018-03-01

    Towards bioremediation of recalcitrant materials like synthetic polymer, soil has been recognized as a traditional site for disposal and subsequent degradation as some microorganisms in soil can degrade the polymer in a non-toxic, cost-effective, and environment friendly way. Microbial functional diversity is a constituent of biodiversity that includes wide range of metabolic activities that can influence numerous aspects of ecosystem functioning like ecosystem stability, nutrient availability, ecosystem dynamics, etc. Thus, in the current study, we assumed that microbial functional diversity could play an important role in polymer degradation in soil. To verify this hypothesis, we isolated soil from five different sites of landfill and examined several microbiological parameters wherein we observed a significant variation in heterotrophic microbial count as well as microbial activities among the soil microcosms tested. Multivariate analysis (principle component analysis) based on the carbon sources utilization pattern revealed that soil microcosms showed different metabolic patterns suggesting the variable distribution of microorganisms among the soil microcosms tested. Since microbial functional diversity depends on both microbial richness and evenness, Shannon diversity index was determined to measure microbial richness and Gini coefficient was determined to measure microbial evenness. The tested soil microcosms exhibited variation in both microbial richness and evenness suggesting the considerable difference in microbial functional diversity among the tested microcosms. We then measured polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) degradation in soil microcosms after desired period of incubation of PHB in soil wherein we found that soil microcosms having higher functional diversity showed enhanced PHB degradation and soil microcosms having lower functional diversity showed reduced PHB degradation. We also noticed that all the tested soil microcosms showed similar pattern in both

  9. Genes2FANs: connecting genes through functional association networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Protein-protein, cell signaling, metabolic, and transcriptional interaction networks are useful for identifying connections between lists of experimentally identified genes/proteins. However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated. By systematically incorporating knowledge on shared properties of genes from diverse sources to build functional association networks (FANs), researchers may be able to identify additional functional interactions between groups of genes that are not readily apparent. Results Genes2FANs is a web based tool and a database that utilizes 14 carefully constructed FANs and a large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to build subnetworks that connect lists of human and mouse genes. The FANs are created from mammalian gene set libraries where mouse genes are converted to their human orthologs. The tool takes as input a list of human or mouse Entrez gene symbols to produce a subnetwork and a ranked list of intermediate genes that are used to connect the query input list. In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF. This gene list is then used as input to generate a subnetwork from the user’s PubMed query. As a case study, we applied Genes2FANs to connect disease genes from 90 well-studied disorders. We find an inverse correlation between the counts of links connecting disease genes through PPI and links connecting diseases genes through FANs, separating diseases into two categories. Conclusions Genes2FANs is a useful tool for interpreting the relationships between gene/protein lists in the context of their various functions and networks. Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation. Our finding that disease genes in

  10. Taxonomic and functional diversity provides insight into microbial pathways and stress responses in the saline Qinghai Lake, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiuyuan Huang

    Full Text Available Microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycles contribute to the global climate system and have sensitive responses and feedbacks to environmental stress caused by climate change. Yet, little is known about the effects of microbial biodiversity (i.e., taxonmic and functional diversity on biogeochemical cycles in ecosytems that are highly sensitive to climate change. One such sensitive ecosystem is Qinghai Lake, a high-elevation (3196 m saline (1.4% lake located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. This study provides baseline information on the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity as well as the associated stress response genes. Illumina metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets were generated from lake water samples collected at two sites (B and E. Autotrophic Cyanobacteria dominated the DNA samples, while heterotrophic Proteobacteria dominated the RNA samples at both sites. Photoheterotrophic Loktanella was also present at both sites. Photosystem II was the most active pathway at site B; while, oxidative phosphorylation was most active at site E. Organisms that expressed photosystem II or oxidative phosphorylation also expressed genes involved in photoprotection and oxidative stress, respectively. Assimilatory pathways associated with the nitrogen cycle were dominant at both sites. Results also indicate a positive relationship between functional diversity and the number of stress response genes. This study provides insight into the stress resilience of microbial metabolic pathways supported by greater taxonomic diversity, which may affect the microbial community response to climate change.

  11. Response of Functional Structure of Soil Microbial Community to Multi-level Nitrogen Additions on the Central Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, G.; Yuan, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The use of fossil fuels and fertilizers has increased the amount of biologically reactive nitrogen in the atmosphere over the past century. Tibet is the one of the most threatened regions by nitrogen deposition, thus understanding how its microbial communities function maybe of high importance to predicting microbial responses to nitrogen deposition. Here we describe a short-time nitrogen addition conducted in an alpine steppe ecosystem to investigate the response of functional structure of soil microbial community to multi-level nitrogen addition. Using a GeoChip 4.0, we showed that functional diversities and richness of functional genes were unchanged at low level of nitrogen fertilizer inputs (=40 kg N ha-1 yr-1). Detrended correspondence analysis indicated that the functional structure of microbial communities was markedly different across the nitrogen gradients. Most C degradation genes whose abundances significantly increased under elevated N fertilizer were those involved in the degradation of relatively labile C (starch, hemicellulose, cellulose), whereas the abundance of certain genes involved in the degradation of recalcitrant C (i.e. lignin) was largely decreased (such as manganese peroxidase, mnp). The results suggest that the elevated N fertilization rates might significantly accelerate the labile C degradation, but might not spur recalcitrant C degradation. The combined effect of gdh and ureC genes involved in N cycling appeared to shift the balance between ammonia and organic N toward organic N ammonification and hence increased the N mineralization potential. Moreover, Urease directly involved in urea mineralization significantly increased. Lastly, Canonical correspondence analysis showed that soil (TOC+NH4++NO3-+NO2-+pH) and plant (Aboveground plant productivity + Shannon Diversity) variables could explain 38.9% of the variation of soil microbial community composition. On the basis of above observations, we predict that increasing of nitrogen

  12. Microbial biosensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Yu; Chen, Wilfred; Mulchandani, Ashok

    2006-01-01

    A microbial biosensor is an analytical device that couples microorganisms with a transducer to enable rapid, accurate and sensitive detection of target analytes in fields as diverse as medicine, environmental monitoring, defense, food processing and safety. The earlier microbial biosensors used the respiratory and metabolic functions of the microorganisms to detect a substance that is either a substrate or an inhibitor of these processes. Recently, genetically engineered microorganisms based on fusing of the lux, gfp or lacZ gene reporters to an inducible gene promoter have been widely applied to assay toxicity and bioavailability. This paper reviews the recent trends in the development and application of microbial biosensors. Current advances and prospective future direction in developing microbial biosensor have also been discussed

  13. Biochar affects soil organic matter cycling and microbial functions but does not alter microbial community structure in a paddy soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jing; Wang, Jingyuan; Dippold, Michaela; Gao, Yang; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-06-15

    The application of biochar (BC) in conjunction with mineral fertilizers is one of the most promising management practices recommended to improve soil quality. However, the interactive mechanisms of BC and mineral fertilizer addition affecting microbial communities and functions associated with soil organic matter (SOM) cycling are poorly understood. We investigated the SOM in physical and chemical fractions, microbial community structure (using phospholipid fatty acid analysis, PLFA) and functions (by analyzing enzymes involved in C and N cycling and Biolog) in a 6-year field experiment with BC and NPK amendment. BC application increased total soil C and particulate organic C for 47.4-50.4% and 63.7-74.6%, respectively. The effects of BC on the microbial community and C-cycling enzymes were dependent on fertilization. Addition of BC alone did not change the microbial community compared with the control, but altered the microbial community structure in conjunction with NPK fertilization. SOM fractions accounted for 55% of the variance in the PLFA-related microbial community structure. The particulate organic N explained the largest variation in the microbial community structure. Microbial metabolic activity strongly increased after BC addition, particularly the utilization of amino acids and amines due to an increase in the activity of proteolytic (l-leucine aminopeptidase) enzymes. These results indicate that microorganisms start to mine N from the SOM to compensate for high C:N ratios after BC application, which consequently accelerate cycling of stable N. Concluding, BC in combination with NPK fertilizer application strongly affected microbial community composition and functions, which consequently influenced SOM cycling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Microbial trophic interactions and mcrA gene expression in monitoring of anaerobic digesters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra eAlvarado

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Anaerobic digestion (AD is a biological process where different trophic groups of microorganisms break down biodegradable organic materials in the absence of oxygen. A wide range of anaerobic digestion technologies is being used to convert livestock manure, municipal and industrial wastewaters, and solid organic wastes into biogas. AD gains importance not only because of its relevance in waste treatment but also because of the recovery of carbon in the form of methane, which is a renewable energy and is used to generate electricity and heat. Despite the advances on the engineering and design of new bioreactors for anaerobic digestion, the microbiology component always poses challenges. Microbiology of AD processes is complicated as the efficiency of the process depends on the interactions of various trophic groups involved. Due to the complex interdependence of microbial activities for the functionality of the anaerobic bioreactors, the genetic expression of mcrA, which encodes a key enzyme in methane formation, is proposed as a parameter to monitor the process performance in real time. This review evaluates the current knowledge on microbial groups, their interactions and their relationship to the performance of anaerobic biodigesters with a focus on using mcrA gene expression as a tool to monitor the process.

  15. Microbial trophic interactions and mcrA gene expression in monitoring of anaerobic digesters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarado, Alejandra; Montañez-Hernández, Lilia E.; Palacio-Molina, Sandra L.; Oropeza-Navarro, Ricardo; Luévanos-Escareño, Miriam P.; Balagurusamy, Nagamani

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a biological process where different trophic groups of microorganisms break down biodegradable organic materials in the absence of oxygen. A wide range of AD technologies is being used to convert livestock manure, municipal and industrial wastewaters, and solid organic wastes into biogas. AD gains importance not only because of its relevance in waste treatment but also because of the recovery of carbon in the form of methane, which is a renewable energy and is used to generate electricity and heat. Despite the advances on the engineering and design of new bioreactors for AD, the microbiology component always poses challenges. Microbiology of AD processes is complicated as the efficiency of the process depends on the interactions of various trophic groups involved. Due to the complex interdependence of microbial activities for the functionality of the anaerobic bioreactors, the genetic expression of mcrA, which encodes a key enzyme in methane formation, is proposed as a parameter to monitor the process performance in real time. This review evaluates the current knowledge on microbial groups, their interactions, and their relationship to the performance of anaerobic biodigesters with a focus on using mcrA gene expression as a tool to monitor the process. PMID:25429286

  16. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. On the total number of genes and their length distribution in complete microbial genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, M; Jensen, L J; Brunak, S

    2001-01-01

    In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length distribut......In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length...... distribution of the annotated genes with the length distribution of those matching a known protein reveals that too many short genes are annotated in many genomes. Here we estimate the true number of protein-coding genes for sequenced genomes. Although it is often claimed that Escherichia coli has about 4300...... genes, we show that it probably has only approximately 3800 genes, and that a similar discrepancy exists for almost all published genomes....

  18. A vast collection of microbial genes that are toxic to bacteria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kimelman, Aya; Levy, Asaf; Sberro, Hila; Kidron, Shahar; Leavitt, Azita; Amitai, Gil; Yoder-Himes, Deborah; Wurtzel, Omri; Zhu, Yiwen; Rubin, Edward M; Sorek, Rotem

    2012-02-02

    In the process of clone-based genome sequencing, initial assemblies frequently contain cloning gaps that can be resolved using cloning-independent methods, but the reason for their occurrence is largely unknown. By analyzing 9,328,693 sequencing clones from 393 microbial genomes we systematically mapped more than 15,000 genes residing in cloning gaps and experimentally showed that their expression products are toxic to the Escherichia coli host. A subset of these toxic sequences was further evaluated through a series of functional assays exploring the mechanisms of their toxicity. Among these genes our assays revealed novel toxins and restriction enzymes, and new classes of small non-coding toxic RNAs that reproducibly inhibit E. coli growth. Further analyses also revealed abundant, short toxic DNA fragments that were predicted to suppress E. coli growth by interacting with the replication initiator dnaA. Our results show that cloning gaps, once considered the result of technical problems, actually serve as a rich source for the discovery of biotechnologically valuable functions, and suggest new modes of antimicrobial interventions.

  19. Linking microbial diversity and functionality of arctic glacial surface habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Stefanie; Anesio, Alexandre M; Edwards, Arwyn; Benning, Liane G

    2017-02-01

    Distinct microbial habitats on glacial surfaces are dominated by snow and ice algae, which are the critical players and the dominant primary colonisers and net producers during the melt season. Here for the first time we have evaluated the role of these algae in association with the full microbial community composition (i.e., algae, bacteria, archaea) in distinct surface habitats and on 12 glaciers and permanent snow fields in Svalbard and Arctic Sweden. We cross-correlated these data with the analyses of specific metabolites such as fatty acids and pigments, and a full suite of potential critical physico-chemical parameters including major and minor nutrients, and trace metals. It has been shown that correlations between single algal species, metabolites, and specific geochemical parameters can be used to unravel mixed metabolic signals in complex communities, further assign them to single species and infer their functionality. The data also clearly show that the production of metabolites in snow and ice algae is driven mainly by nitrogen and less so by phosphorus limitation. This is especially important for the synthesis of secondary carotenoids, which cause a darkening of glacial surfaces leading to a decrease in surface albedo and eventually higher melting rates. © 2016 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. On the total number of genes and their length distribution in complete microbial genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Marie; Jensen, L.J.; Brunak, Søren

    2001-01-01

    In sequenced microbial genomes, some of the annotated genes are actually not protein-coding genes, but rather open reading frames that occur by chance. Therefore, the number of annotated genes is higher than the actual number of genes for most of these microbes. Comparison of the length...... distribution of the annotated genes with the length distribution of those matching a known protein reveals that too many short genes are annotated in many genomes. Here we estimate the true number of protein-coding genes for sequenced genomes. Although it is often claimed that Escherichia coli has about 4300...... genes, we show that it probably has only similar to 3800 genes, and that a similar discrepancy exists for almost all published genomes....

  1. Structural and functional insights from the metagenome of an acidic hot spring microbial planktonic community in the Colombian Andes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Javier Jiménez

    Full Text Available A taxonomic and annotated functional description of microbial life was deduced from 53 Mb of metagenomic sequence retrieved from a planktonic fraction of the Neotropical high Andean (3,973 meters above sea level acidic hot spring El Coquito (EC. A classification of unassembled metagenomic reads using different databases showed a high proportion of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (in total read affiliation, and through taxonomic affiliation of 16S rRNA gene fragments we observed the presence of Proteobacteria, micro-algae chloroplast and Firmicutes. Reads mapped against the genomes Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5, Legionella pneumophila str. Corby and Acidithiobacillus caldus revealed the presence of transposase-like sequences, potentially involved in horizontal gene transfer. Functional annotation and hierarchical comparison with different datasets obtained by pyrosequencing in different ecosystems showed that the microbial community also contained extensive DNA repair systems, possibly to cope with ultraviolet radiation at such high altitudes. Analysis of genes involved in the nitrogen cycle indicated the presence of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to N2 (narGHI, nirS, norBCDQ and nosZ, associated with Proteobacteria-like sequences. Genes involved in the sulfur cycle (cysDN, cysNC and aprA indicated adenylsulfate and sulfite production that were affiliated to several bacterial species. In summary, metagenomic sequence data provided insight regarding the structure and possible functions of this hot spring microbial community, describing some groups potentially involved in the nitrogen and sulfur cycling in this environment.

  2. Structural and Functional Insights from the Metagenome of an Acidic Hot Spring Microbial Planktonic Community in the Colombian Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Andreote, Fernando Dini; Chaves, Diego; Montaña, José Salvador; Osorio-Forero, Cesar; Junca, Howard; Zambrano, María Mercedes; Baena, Sandra

    2012-01-01

    A taxonomic and annotated functional description of microbial life was deduced from 53 Mb of metagenomic sequence retrieved from a planktonic fraction of the Neotropical high Andean (3,973 meters above sea level) acidic hot spring El Coquito (EC). A classification of unassembled metagenomic reads using different databases showed a high proportion of Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria (in total read affiliation), and through taxonomic affiliation of 16S rRNA gene fragments we observed the presence of Proteobacteria, micro-algae chloroplast and Firmicutes. Reads mapped against the genomes Acidiphilium cryptum JF-5, Legionella pneumophila str. Corby and Acidithiobacillus caldus revealed the presence of transposase-like sequences, potentially involved in horizontal gene transfer. Functional annotation and hierarchical comparison with different datasets obtained by pyrosequencing in different ecosystems showed that the microbial community also contained extensive DNA repair systems, possibly to cope with ultraviolet radiation at such high altitudes. Analysis of genes involved in the nitrogen cycle indicated the presence of dissimilatory nitrate reduction to N2 (narGHI, nirS, norBCDQ and nosZ), associated with Proteobacteria-like sequences. Genes involved in the sulfur cycle (cysDN, cysNC and aprA) indicated adenylsulfate and sulfite production that were affiliated to several bacterial species. In summary, metagenomic sequence data provided insight regarding the structure and possible functions of this hot spring microbial community, describing some groups potentially involved in the nitrogen and sulfur cycling in this environment. PMID:23251687

  3. Shifts in microbial community structure and function in surface waters impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewater revealed by metagenomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahrenfeld, N.L.; Reyes, Hannah Delos; Eramo, Alessia; Akob, Denise M.; Mumford, Adam; Cozzarelli, Isabelle M.

    2017-01-01

    Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) production produces large quantities of wastewater with complex geochemistry and largely uncharacterized impacts on surface waters. In this study, we assessed shifts in microbial community structure and function in sediments and waters upstream and downstream from a UOG wastewater disposal facility. To do this, quantitative PCR for 16S rRNA and antibiotic resistance genes along with metagenomic sequencing were performed. Elevated conductivity and markers of UOG wastewater characterized sites sampled downstream from the disposal facility compared to background sites. Shifts in overall high level functions and microbial community structure were observed between background sites and downstream sediments. Increases in Deltaproteobacteria and Methanomicrobia and decreases in Thaumarchaeota were observed at downstream sites. Genes related to dormancy and sporulation and methanogenic respiration were 18–86 times higher at downstream, impacted sites. The potential for these sediments to serve as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance was investigated given frequent reports of the use of biocides to control the growth of nuisance bacteria in UOG operations. A shift in resistance profiles downstream of the UOG facility was observed including increases in acrB and mexB genes encoding for multidrug efflux pumps, but not overall abundance of resistance genes. The observed shifts in microbial community structure and potential function indicate changes in respiration, nutrient cycling, and markers of stress in a stream impacted by UOG waste disposal operations.

  4. Bovine Host Genetic Variation Influences Rumen Microbial Methane Production with Best Selection Criterion for Low Methane Emitting and Efficiently Feed Converting Hosts Based on Metagenomic Gene Abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rainer Roehe

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Methane produced by methanogenic archaea in ruminants contributes significantly to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The host genetic link controlling microbial methane production is unknown and appropriate genetic selection strategies are not developed. We used sire progeny group differences to estimate the host genetic influence on rumen microbial methane production in a factorial experiment consisting of crossbred breed types and diets. Rumen metagenomic profiling was undertaken to investigate links between microbial genes and methane emissions or feed conversion efficiency. Sire progeny groups differed significantly in their methane emissions measured in respiration chambers. Ranking of the sire progeny groups based on methane emissions or relative archaeal abundance was consistent overall and within diet, suggesting that archaeal abundance in ruminal digesta is under host genetic control and can be used to genetically select animals without measuring methane directly. In the metagenomic analysis of rumen contents, we identified 3970 microbial genes of which 20 and 49 genes were significantly associated with methane emissions and feed conversion efficiency respectively. These explained 81% and 86% of the respective variation and were clustered in distinct functional gene networks. Methanogenesis genes (e.g. mcrA and fmdB were associated with methane emissions, whilst host-microbiome cross talk genes (e.g. TSTA3 and FucI were associated with feed conversion efficiency. These results strengthen the idea that the host animal controls its own microbiota to a significant extent and open up the implementation of effective breeding strategies using rumen microbial gene abundance as a predictor for difficult-to-measure traits on a large number of hosts. Generally, the results provide a proof of principle to use the relative abundance of microbial genes in the gastrointestinal tract of different species to predict their influence on traits e

  5. Marine Microbial Gene Abundance and Community Composition in Response to Ocean Acidification and Elevated Temperature in Two Contrasting Coastal Marine Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashleigh R. Currie

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine ecosystems are exposed to a range of human-induced climate stressors, in particular changing carbonate chemistry and elevated sea surface temperatures as a consequence of climate change. More research effort is needed to reduce uncertainties about the effects of global-scale warming and acidification for benthic microbial communities, which drive sedimentary biogeochemical cycles. In this research, mesocosm experiments were set up using muddy and sandy coastal sediments to investigate the independent and interactive effects of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (750 ppm CO2 and elevated temperature (ambient +4°C on the abundance of taxonomic and functional microbial genes. Specific quantitative PCR primers were used to target archaeal, bacterial, and cyanobacterial/chloroplast 16S rRNA in both sediment types. Nitrogen cycling genes archaeal and bacterial ammonia monooxygenase (amoA and bacterial nitrite reductase (nirS were specifically targeted to identify changes in microbial gene abundance and potential impacts on nitrogen cycling. In muddy sediment, microbial gene abundance, including amoA and nirS genes, increased under elevated temperature and reduced under elevated CO2 after 28 days, accompanied by shifts in community composition. In contrast, the combined stressor treatment showed a non-additive effect with lower microbial gene abundance throughout the experiment. The response of microbial communities in the sandy sediment was less pronounced, with the most noticeable response seen in the archaeal gene abundances in response to environmental stressors over time. 16S rRNA genes (amoA and nirS were lower in abundance in the combined stressor treatments in sandy sediments. Our results indicated that marine benthic microorganisms, especially in muddy sediments, are susceptible to changes in ocean carbonate chemistry and seawater temperature, which ultimately may have an impact upon key benthic biogeochemical cycles.

  6. Functional Potential of Bacterial Communities using Gene Context Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anwesha Mohapatra

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Estimation of the functional potential of a bacterial genome can be determined by accurate annotation of its metabolic pathways. Existing homology based methods for pathway annotation fail to account for homologous genes that participate in multiple pathways, causing overestimation of gene copy number. Mere presence of constituent genes of a candidate pathway which are dispersed on a genome often results in incorrect annotation, thereby leading to erroneous gene abundance and pathway estimation. Clusters of evolutionarily conserved coregulated genes are characteristic features in bacterial genomes and their spatial arrangement in the genome is constrained by the pathway encoded by them. Thus, in order to improve the accuracy of pathway prediction, it is important to augment homology based annotation with gene organization information. In this communication, we present a methodology considering prioritization of gene context for improved pathway annotation. Extensive literature mining was performed to confirm conserved juxtaposed arrangement of gene components of various pathways. Our method was utilized to identify and analyse the functional potential of all available completely sequenced bacterial genomes. The accuracy of the predicted gene clusters and their importance in metabolic pathways will be demonstrated using a few case studies. One of such case study corresponds to butyrate production pathways in gut bacteria where it was observed that gut pathogens and commensals possess a distinct set of pathway components. In another example, we will demonstrate how our methodology improves the prediction accuracy of carbohydrate metabolic potential in human microbial communities. Applicability of our method for estimation of functional potential in bacterial communities present in diverse environments will also be illustrated.

  7. Sponge microbiota are a reservoir of functional antibiotic resistance genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis Versluis

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Wide application of antibiotics has contributed to the evolution of multi-drug resistant human pathogens, resulting in poorer treatment outcomes for infections. In the marine environment, seawater samples have been investigated as a resistance reservoir; however, no studies have methodically examined sponges as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance. Sponges could be important in this respect because they often contain diverse microbial communities that have the capacity to produce bioactive metabolites. Here, we applied functional metagenomics to study the presence and diversity of functional resistance genes in the sponges Aplysina aerophoba, Petrosia ficiformis and Corticium candelabrum. We obtained 37 insert sequences facilitating resistance to D-cycloserine (n=6, gentamicin (n=1, amikacin (n=7, trimethoprim (n=17, chloramphenicol (n=1, rifampicin (n=2 and ampicillin (n=3. Fifteen of 37 inserts harboured resistance genes that shared <90% amino acid identity with known gene products, whereas on 13 inserts no resistance gene could be identified with high confidence, in which case we predicted resistance to be mainly mediated by antibiotic efflux. One marine-specific ampicillin-resistance-conferring β-lactamase was identified in the genus Pseudovibrio with 41% global amino acid identity to the closest β-lactamase with demonstrated functionality, and subsequently classified into a new family termed PSV. Taken together, our results show that sponge microbiota host diverse and novel resistance genes that may be harnessed by phylogenetically distinct bacteria.

  8. Microbial co-habitation and lateral gene transfer: what transposases can tell us

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hooper, Sean D.; Mavromatis, Konstantinos; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2009-03-01

    Determining the habitat range for various microbes is not a simple, straightforward matter, as habitats interlace, microbes move between habitats, and microbial communities change over time. In this study, we explore an approach using the history of lateral gene transfer recorded in microbial genomes to begin to answer two key questions: where have you been and who have you been with? All currently sequenced microbial genomes were surveyed to identify pairs of taxa that share a transposase that is likely to have been acquired through lateral gene transfer. A microbial interaction network including almost 800 organisms was then derived from these connections. Although the majority of the connections are between closely related organisms with the same or overlapping habitat assignments, numerous examples were found of cross-habitat and cross-phylum connections. We present a large-scale study of the distributions of transposases across phylogeny and habitat, and find a significant correlation between habitat and transposase connections. We observed cases where phylogenetic boundaries are traversed, especially when organisms share habitats; this suggests that the potential exists for genetic material to move laterally between diverse groups via bridging connections. The results presented here also suggest that the complex dynamics of microbial ecology may be traceable in the microbial genomes.

  9. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ari J S Ferreira

    Full Text Available Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  10. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S

    2014-06-12

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world\\'s oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  11. Core microbial functional activities in ocean environments revealed by global metagenomic profiling analyses.

    KAUST Repository

    Ferreira, Ari J S; Siam, Rania; Setubal, Joã o C; Moustafa, Ahmed; Sayed, Ahmed; Chambergo, Felipe S; Dawe, Adam S; Ghazy, Mohamed A; Sharaf, Hazem; Ouf, Amged; Alam, Intikhab; Abdel-Haleem, Alyaa M; Lehvä slaiho, Heikki; Ramadan, Eman; Antunes, André ; Stingl, Ulrich; Archer, John A.C.; Jankovic, Boris R; Sogin, Mitchell; Bajic, Vladimir B.; El-Dorry, Hamza

    2014-01-01

    Metagenomics-based functional profiling analysis is an effective means of gaining deeper insight into the composition of marine microbial populations and developing a better understanding of the interplay between the functional genome content of microbial communities and abiotic factors. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of 24 datasets covering surface and depth-related environments at 11 sites around the world's oceans. The complete datasets comprises approximately 12 million sequences, totaling 5,358 Mb. Based on profiling patterns of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) of proteins, a core set of reference photic and aphotic depth-related COGs, and a collection of COGs that are associated with extreme oxygen limitation were defined. Their inferred functions were utilized as indicators to characterize the distribution of light- and oxygen-related biological activities in marine environments. The results reveal that, while light level in the water column is a major determinant of phenotypic adaptation in marine microorganisms, oxygen concentration in the aphotic zone has a significant impact only in extremely hypoxic waters. Phylogenetic profiling of the reference photic/aphotic gene sets revealed a greater variety of source organisms in the aphotic zone, although the majority of individual photic and aphotic depth-related COGs are assigned to the same taxa across the different sites. This increase in phylogenetic and functional diversity of the core aphotic related COGs most probably reflects selection for the utilization of a broad range of alternate energy sources in the absence of light.

  12. Shifts in microbial community composition and function in the acidification of a lead/zinc mine tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-Xing; Li, Jin-Tian; Chen, Ya-Ting; Huang, Li-Nan; Hua, Zheng-Shuang; Hu, Min; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2013-09-01

    In an attempt to link the microbial community composition and function in mine tailings to the generation of acid mine drainage, we simultaneously explored the geochemistry and microbiology of six tailings collected from a lead/zinc mine, i.e. primary tailings (T1), slightly acidic tailings (T2), extremely acidic tailings (T3, T4 and T5) and orange-coloured oxidized tailings (T6). Geochemical results showed that the six tailings (from T1 to T6) likely represented sequential stages of the acidification process of the mine tailings. 16S rRNA pyrosequencing revealed a contrasting microbial composition between the six tailings: Proteobacteria-related sequences dominated T1-T3 with relative abundance ranging from 56 to 93%, whereas Ferroplasma-related sequences dominated T4-T6 with relative abundance ranging from 28 to 58%. Furthermore, metagenomic analysis of the microbial communities of T2 and T6 indicated that the genes encoding key enzymes for microbial carbon fixation, nitrogen fixation and sulfur oxidation in T2 were largely from Thiobacillus and Acidithiobacillus, Methylococcus capsulatus, and Thiobacillus denitrificans respectively; while those in T6 were mostly identified in Acidithiobacillus and Leptospirillum, Acidithiobacillus and Leptospirillum, and Acidithiobacillus respectively. The microbial communities in T2 and T6 harboured more genes suggesting diverse metabolic capacities for sulfur oxidation/heavy metal detoxification and tolerating low pH respectively. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Structural and functional diversity of microbial communities from a lake sediment contaminated with trenbolone, an endocrine-disrupting chemical

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radl, Viviane [GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Soil Ecology, PO Box 1129, D-85764, Neuherberg (Germany)]. E-mail: barbosa@gsf.de; Pritsch, Karin [GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Soil Ecology, PO Box 1129, D-85764, Neuherberg (Germany); Munch, Jean Charles [GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Soil Ecology, PO Box 1129, D-85764, Neuherberg (Germany); Schloter, Michael [GSF National Research Center for Environment and Health, Institute of Soil Ecology, PO Box 1129, D-85764, Neuherberg (Germany)

    2005-09-15

    Effects of trenbolone (TBOH), a hormone used in cattle production, on the structure and function of microbial communities in a fresh water sediment from a lake in Southern Germany were studied in a microcosm experiment. The microbial community structure and the total gene pool of the sediment, assessed by 16S rRNA/rDNA and RAPD fingerprint analysis, respectively, were not significantly affected by TBOH. In contrast, the N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activity was almost 50% lower in TBOH treated samples (P<0.05). Also, the substrate utilization potential, measured using the BIOLOG[reg] system, was reduced after TBOH treatment. Interestingly, this potential did not recover at the end of the experiment, i.e. 19 days after the addition of the chemical. Repeated application of TBOH did not lead to an additional reduction in the substrate utilization potential. Overall results indicate that microbial community function was more sensitive to TBOH treatment than the community structure and the total gene pool. - The steroid hormone trenbolone affects microbial community function in a lake sediment.

  14. Structural and functional diversity of microbial communities from a lake sediment contaminated with trenbolone, an endocrine-disrupting chemical

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radl, Viviane; Pritsch, Karin; Munch, Jean Charles; Schloter, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Effects of trenbolone (TBOH), a hormone used in cattle production, on the structure and function of microbial communities in a fresh water sediment from a lake in Southern Germany were studied in a microcosm experiment. The microbial community structure and the total gene pool of the sediment, assessed by 16S rRNA/rDNA and RAPD fingerprint analysis, respectively, were not significantly affected by TBOH. In contrast, the N-acetyl-glucosaminidase activity was almost 50% lower in TBOH treated samples (P<0.05). Also, the substrate utilization potential, measured using the BIOLOG[reg] system, was reduced after TBOH treatment. Interestingly, this potential did not recover at the end of the experiment, i.e. 19 days after the addition of the chemical. Repeated application of TBOH did not lead to an additional reduction in the substrate utilization potential. Overall results indicate that microbial community function was more sensitive to TBOH treatment than the community structure and the total gene pool. - The steroid hormone trenbolone affects microbial community function in a lake sediment

  15. Fermented Camel Milk (Chal: Chemical, Microbial and Functional Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maryam Salami

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine physicochemical, microbial properties and antioxidant activity of fermented camel milk (Chal and introduce it as a functional food. The protein content of the samples was determined using Kjeldahl method and total dry matter using oven drying method. The amount of fat content with Gerber method and pH was measured using a pH meter. Antioxidant activity was also determined using 2,2’-azino-bis-(3-ethylbensothiazoline-6- sulfonic acid (ABTS method. The mineral analysis was performed with atomic absorption spectroscopy and microbial count by pour plate method. Results revealed that fat, protein content and total solid determined 5.82±0.27%, 3.07±0.073%, and 12.24±0.16%, respectively. Acidity and pH determined 80±7 °D and 4.52±0.10, respectively. When a food has calcium by itself, this calcium is bonded with the protein of food, this calcium is more effective in our body than the calcium we add to food and they have not bonded any proteins. Adequate calcium consumption may support to decrease the risk of osteoporosis in life. Calcium ranged 103.29±3.87% and phosphorus 10.25±0.1% for Chal samples, respectively. The total counts were equal 6.54±0.19 log CFUmL -1; Coliform count was determined in the ranges of 2.34±0.23 logCFUmL -1 for Chal samples. The results showed that Chal was rich in antioxidant. The antioxidant inhibitory activity of Chal was obtained 45.38%. Diets rich in antioxidants, can inhibit LDL oxidation, influence the activities of immune-competent cells and inhibit the formation of cell-to-cell adhesion factors. Therefore, Chal is introduced as a traditional functional food.

  16. Succession of microbial functional communities in response to a pilot-scale ethanol-blended fuel release throughout the plume life cycle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma, Jie; Deng, Ye; Yuan, Tong; Zhou, Jizhong; Alvarez, Pedro J.J.

    2015-01-01

    GeoChip, a comprehensive gene microarray, was used to examine changes in microbial functional gene structure throughout the 4-year life cycle of a pilot-scale ethanol blend plume, including 2-year continuous released followed by plume disappearance after source removal. Canonical correlation analysis (CCA) and Mantel tests showed that dissolved O 2 (which was depleted within 5 days of initiating the release and rebounded 194 days after source removal) was the most influential environmental factor on community structure. Initially, the abundance of anaerobic BTEX degradation genes increased significantly while that of aerobic BTEX degradation genes decreased. Gene abundance for N fixation, nitrification, P utilization, sulfate reduction and S oxidation also increased, potentially changing associated biogeochemical cycle dynamics. After plume disappearance, most genes returned to pre-release abundance levels, but the final functional structure significantly differed from pre-release conditions. Overall, observed successions of functional structure reflected adaptive responses that were conducive to biodegradation of ethanol-blend releases. - Highlights: • GeoChip discerned microbial functional changes through an ethanol blend plume. • The release increased gene abundance for anaerobic BTEX degradation. • The release changed key biogeochemical (N, P, C, and S) cycling gene abundance. • The functional structure did not recover 4 months after the plume attenuated. • Dissolved O 2 was the most influential factor shaping community structure. - Geochip analysis discerned adaptive shifts in microbial functional structure and controlling environmental factors throughout a 4-year life cycle of a pilot-scale ethanol blend plume

  17. Detection of catabolic genes in indigenous microbial consortia isolated from a diesel-contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milcic-Terzic, J.; Saval, S.; Lopez-Vidal, Y.; Vrvic, M.M.

    2001-01-01

    Bioremediation is often used for in situ remediation of petroleum-contaminated sites. The primary focus of this study was on understanding the indigenous microbial community which can survive in contaminated environment and is responsible for the degradation. Diesel, toluene and naphthalene-degrading microbial consortia were isolated from diesel-contaminated soil by growing on selective hydrocarbon substrates. The presence and frequency of the catabolic genes responsible for aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation (xylE, ndoB) within the isolated consortia were screened using polymerase chain reaction PCR and DNA-DNA colony hybridization. The diesel DNA-extract possessed both the xylE catabolic gene for toluene, and the nah catabolic gene for polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon degradation. The toluene DNA-extract possessed only the xylE catabolic gene, while the naphthalene DNA-extract only the ndoB gene. Restriction enzyme analysis with HaeIII indicated similar restriction patterns for the xylE gene fragment between toluene DNA-extract and a type strain, Pseudomonas putida ATCC 23973. A substantial proportion (74%) of the colonies from the diesel-consortium possessed the xylE gene, and the ndoB gene (78%), while a minority (29%) of the toluene-consortium harbored the xylE gene. 59% of the colonies from the naphthalene-consortium had the ndoB gene, and did not have the xylE gene. These results indicate that the microbial population has been naturally enriched in organisms carrying genes for aromatic hydrocarbon degradation and that significant aromatic biodegradative potential exists at the site. Characterization of the population genotype constitutes a molecular diagnosis which permits the determination of the catabolic potential of the site to degrade the contaminant present. (author)

  18. Effect of bioaugmentation and biostimulation on sulfate-reducing column startup captured by functional gene profiling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereyra, Luciana P; Hiibel, Sage R; Perrault, Elizabeth M; Reardon, Kenneth F; Pruden, Amy

    2012-10-01

    Sulfate-reducing permeable reactive zones (SR-PRZs) depend upon a complex microbial community to utilize a lignocellulosic substrate and produce sulfides, which remediate mine drainage by binding heavy metals. To gain insight into the impact of the microbial community composition on the startup time and pseudo-steady-state performance, functional genes corresponding to cellulose-degrading (CD), fermentative, sulfate-reducing, and methanogenic microorganisms were characterized in columns simulating SR-PRZs using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Duplicate columns were bioaugmented with sulfate-reducing or CD bacteria or biostimulated with ethanol or carboxymethyl cellulose and compared with baseline dairy manure inoculum and uninoculated controls. Sulfate removal began after ~ 15 days for all columns and pseudo-steady state was achieved by Day 30. Despite similar performance, DGGE profiles of 16S rRNA gene and functional genes at pseudo-steady state were distinct among the column treatments, suggesting the potential to control ultimate microbial community composition via bioaugmentation and biostimulation. qPCR revealed enrichment of functional genes in all columns between the initial and pseudo-steady-state time points. This is the first functional gene-based study of CD, fermentative and sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogenic archaea in a lignocellulose-based environment and provides new qualitative and quantitative insight into startup of a complex microbial system. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Organic micropollutants in aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Changes in microbial communities and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Harb, Moustapha; Wei, Chunhai; Wang, Nan; Amy, Gary L.; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) are contaminants of emerging concern in wastewater treatment due to the risk of their proliferation into the environment, but their impact on the biological treatment process is not well understood. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the presence of OMPs on the core microbial populations of wastewater treatment. Two nanofiltration-coupled membrane bioreactors (aerobic and anaerobic) were subjected to the same operating conditions while treating synthetic municipal wastewater spiked with OMPs. Microbial community dynamics, gene expression levels, and antibiotic resistance genes were analyzed using molecular-based approaches. Results showed that presence of OMPs in the wastewater feed had a clear effect on keystone bacterial populations in both the aerobic and anaerobic sludge while also significantly impacting biodegradation-associated gene expression levels. Finally, multiple antibiotic-type OMPs were found to have higher removal rates in the anaerobic MBR, while associated antibiotic resistance genes were lower.

  20. Organic micropollutants in aerobic and anaerobic membrane bioreactors: Changes in microbial communities and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Harb, Moustapha

    2016-07-09

    Organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) are contaminants of emerging concern in wastewater treatment due to the risk of their proliferation into the environment, but their impact on the biological treatment process is not well understood. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of the presence of OMPs on the core microbial populations of wastewater treatment. Two nanofiltration-coupled membrane bioreactors (aerobic and anaerobic) were subjected to the same operating conditions while treating synthetic municipal wastewater spiked with OMPs. Microbial community dynamics, gene expression levels, and antibiotic resistance genes were analyzed using molecular-based approaches. Results showed that presence of OMPs in the wastewater feed had a clear effect on keystone bacterial populations in both the aerobic and anaerobic sludge while also significantly impacting biodegradation-associated gene expression levels. Finally, multiple antibiotic-type OMPs were found to have higher removal rates in the anaerobic MBR, while associated antibiotic resistance genes were lower.

  1. Virulence-associated and antibiotic resistance genes of microbial populations in cattle feces analyzed using a metagenomic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durso, Lisa M; Harhay, Gregory P; Bono, James L; Smith, Timothy P L

    2011-02-01

    The bovine fecal microbiota impacts human food safety as well as animal health. Although the bacteria of cattle feces have been well characterized using culture-based and culture-independent methods, techniques have been lacking to correlate total community composition with community function. We used high throughput sequencing of total DNA extracted from fecal material to characterize general community composition and examine the repertoire of microbial genes present in beef cattle feces, including genes associated with antibiotic resistance and bacterial virulence. Results suggest that traditional 16S sequencing using "universal" primers to generate full-length sequence may under represent Acitinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Over eight percent (8.4%) of the sequences from our beef cattle fecal pool sample could be categorized as virulence genes, including a suite of genes associated with resistance to antibiotic and toxic compounds (RATC). This is a higher proportion of virulence genes found in Sargasso sea, chicken cecum, and cow rumen samples, but comparable to the proportion found in Antarctic marine derived lake, human fecal, and farm soil samples. The quantitative nature of metagenomic data, combined with the large number of RATC classes represented in samples from widely different habitats indicates that metagenomic data can be used to track relative amounts of antibiotic resistance genes in individual animals over time. Consequently, these data can be used to generate sample-specific and temporal antibiotic resistance gene profiles to facilitate an understanding of the ecology of the microbial communities in each habitat as well as the epidemiology of antibiotic resistant gene transport between and among habitats. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. New Genes and Functional Innovation in Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luis Villanueva-Cañas, José; Ruiz-Orera, Jorge; Agea, M Isabel; Gallo, Maria; Andreu, David; Albà, M Mar

    2017-07-01

    The birth of genes that encode new protein sequences is a major source of evolutionary innovation. However, we still understand relatively little about how these genes come into being and which functions they are selected for. To address these questions, we have obtained a large collection of mammalian-specific gene families that lack homologues in other eukaryotic groups. We have combined gene annotations and de novo transcript assemblies from 30 different mammalian species, obtaining ∼6,000 gene families. In general, the proteins in mammalian-specific gene families tend to be short and depleted in aromatic and negatively charged residues. Proteins which arose early in mammalian evolution include milk and skin polypeptides, immune response components, and proteins involved in reproduction. In contrast, the functions of proteins which have a more recent origin remain largely unknown, despite the fact that these proteins also have extensive proteomics support. We identify several previously described cases of genes originated de novo from noncoding genomic regions, supporting the idea that this mechanism frequently underlies the evolution of new protein-coding genes in mammals. Finally, we show that most young mammalian genes are preferentially expressed in testis, suggesting that sexual selection plays an important role in the emergence of new functional genes. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  3. The functional landscape of mouse gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Wen

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large-scale quantitative analysis of transcriptional co-expression has been used to dissect regulatory networks and to predict the functions of new genes discovered by genome sequencing in model organisms such as yeast. Although the idea that tissue-specific expression is indicative of gene function in mammals is widely accepted, it has not been objectively tested nor compared with the related but distinct strategy of correlating gene co-expression as a means to predict gene function. Results We generated microarray expression data for nearly 40,000 known and predicted mRNAs in 55 mouse tissues, using custom-built oligonucleotide arrays. We show that quantitative transcriptional co-expression is a powerful predictor of gene function. Hundreds of functional categories, as defined by Gene Ontology 'Biological Processes', are associated with characteristic expression patterns across all tissues, including categories that bear no overt relationship to the tissue of origin. In contrast, simple tissue-specific restriction of expression is a poor predictor of which genes are in which functional categories. As an example, the highly conserved mouse gene PWP1 is widely expressed across different tissues but is co-expressed with many RNA-processing genes; we show that the uncharacterized yeast homolog of PWP1 is required for rRNA biogenesis. Conclusions We conclude that 'functional genomics' strategies based on quantitative transcriptional co-expression will be as fruitful in mammals as they have been in simpler organisms, and that transcriptional control of mammalian physiology is more modular than is generally appreciated. Our data and analyses provide a public resource for mammalian functional genomics.

  4. Sponge Microbiota are a Reservoir of Functional Antibiotic Resistance Genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versluis, Dennis; de Evgrafov, Mari Cristina Rodriguez; Sommer, Morten Otto Alexander

    2016-01-01

    examined sponges as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance. Sponges could be important in this respect because they often contain diverse microbial communities that have the capacity to produce bioactive metabolites. Here, we applied functional metagenomics to study the presence and diversity of functional...... resistance genes in the sponges Aplysina aerophoba, Petrosia ficiformis, and Corticium candelabrum. We obtained 37 insert sequences facilitating resistance to D-cycloserine (n = 6), gentamicin (n = 1), amikacin (n = 7), trimethoprim (n = 17), chloramphenicol (n = 1), rifampicin (n = 2) and ampicillin (n = 3......-resistance-conferring β-lactamase was identified in the genus Pseudovibrio with 41% global amino acid identity to the closest β-lactamase with demonstrated functionality, and subsequently classified into a new family termed PSV. Taken together, our results show that sponge microbiota host diverse and novel resistance...

  5. GeoChip-based analysis of functional microbial communities in a bioreduced uranium-contaminated aquifer during reoxidation by oxygen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Nostrand, J.D.; Wu, W.-M.; Wu, L.; Deng, Y.; Carley, J.; Carroll, S.; He, Z.; Gu, B.; Luo, J.; Criddle, C. S.; Watson, D. B.; Jardine, P. M.; Tiedje, J. M.; Hazen, T. C.; Zhou, J.

    2009-07-15

    A pilot-scale system was established for in situ biostimulation of U(VI) reduction by ethanol addition at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN). After achieving U(VI) reduction, stability of the bioreduced U(IV) was evaluated under conditions of (i) resting (no ethanol injection), (ii) reoxidation by introducing dissolved oxygen (DO), and (iii) reinjection of ethanol. GeoChip, a functional gene array with probes for N, S and C cycling, metal resistance and contaminant degradation genes, was used for monitoring groundwater microbial communities. High diversity of all major functional groups was observed during all experimental phases. The microbial community was extremely responsive to ethanol, showing a substantial change in community structure with increased gene number and diversity after ethanol injections resumed. While gene numbers showed considerable variations, the relative abundance (i.e. percentage of each gene category) of most gene groups changed little. During the reoxidation period, U(VI) increased, suggesting reoxidation of reduced U(IV). However, when introduction of DO was stopped, U(VI) reduction resumed and returned to pre-reoxidation levels. These findings suggest that the community in this system can be stimulated and that the ability to reduce U(VI) can be maintained by the addition of electron donors. This biostimulation approach may potentially offer an effective means for the bioremediation of U(VI)-contaminated sites.

  6. Microbial biosurfactants with their high-value functional properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial world is a rich source for finding valuable industrial chemicals and ingredients. Specifically, many microbial metabolites are surface-active compounds that can be developed into bio-based surfactants, detergents, and emulsifiers. Techno-economic analyses for the production of bio-based ...

  7. Planting increases the abundance and structure complexity of soil core functional genes relevant to carbon and nitrogen cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Liang, Yuting; Jiang, Yuji; Yang, Yunfeng; Xue, Kai; Xiong, Jinbo; Zhou, Jizhong; Sun, Bo

    2015-09-23

    Plants have an important impact on soil microbial communities and their functions. However, how plants determine the microbial composition and network interactions is still poorly understood. During a four-year field experiment, we investigated the functional gene composition of three types of soils (Phaeozem, Cambisols and Acrisol) under maize planting and bare fallow regimes located in cold temperate, warm temperate and subtropical regions, respectively. The core genes were identified using high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0), and functional molecular ecological networks (fMENs) were subsequently developed with the random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework. Our results demonstrated that planting significantly (P soils and 83.5% of microbial alpha-diversity can be explained by the plant factor. Moreover, planting had significant impacts on the microbial community structure and the network interactions of the microbial communities. The calculated network complexity was higher under maize planting than under bare fallow regimes. The increase of the functional genes led to an increase in both soil respiration and nitrification potential with maize planting, indicating that changes in the soil microbial communities and network interactions influenced ecological functioning.

  8. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  9. Gene2Function: An Integrated Online Resource for Gene Function Discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanhui Hu

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the most powerful ways to develop hypotheses regarding the biological functions of conserved genes in a given species, such as humans, is to first look at what is known about their function in another species. Model organism databases and other resources are rich with functional information but difficult to mine. Gene2Function addresses a broad need by integrating information about conserved genes in a single online resource.

  10. Microbial and functional diversity of a subterrestrial high pH groundwater associated to serpentinization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiago, Igor; Veríssimo, António

    2013-06-01

    Microbial and functional diversity were assessed, from a serpentinization-driven subterrestrial alkaline aquifer - Cabeço de Vide Aquifer (CVA) in Portugal. DGGE analyses revealed the presence of a stable microbial community. By 16S rRNA gene libraries and pyrosequencing analyses, a diverse bacterial composition was determined, contrasting with low archaeal diversity. Within Bacteria the majority of the populations were related to organisms or sequences affiliated to class Clostridia, but members of classes Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Deinococci, Gammaproteobacteria and of the phyla Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi and Nitrospira were also detected. Domain Archaea encompassed mainly sequences affiliated to Euryarchaeota. Only form I RuBisCO - cbbL was detected. Autotrophic carbon fixation via the rTCA, 3-HP and 3-HP/4H-B cycles could not be confirmed. The detected APS reductase alpha subunit - aprA sequences were phylogenetically related to sequences of sulfate-reducing bacteria belonging to Clostridia, and also to sequences of chemolithoautothrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria belonging to Betaproteobacteria. Sequences of methyl coenzyme M reductase - mcrA were phylogenetically affiliated to sequences belonging to Anaerobic Methanotroph group 1 (ANME-1). The populations found and the functional key markers detected in CVA suggest that metabolisms related to H2 , methane and/or sulfur may be the major driving forces in this environment. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Microbial Nitrogen-Cycle Gene Abundance in Soil of Cropland Abandoned for Different Periods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huhe

    Full Text Available In Inner Mongolia, steppe grasslands face desertification or degradation because of human overuse and abandonment after inappropriate agricultural management. The soils in these abandoned croplands exist in heterogeneous environments characterized by widely fluctuating microbial growth. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of microbial genes encoding proteins involved in the nitrogen cycle was used to study Azotobacter species, nitrifiers, and denitrifiers in the soils from steppe grasslands and croplands abandoned for 2, 6, and 26 years. Except for nitrifying archaea and nitrous oxide-reducing bacteria, the relative genotypic abundance of microbial communities involved in nitrogen metabolism differed by approximately 2- to 10-fold between abandoned cropland and steppe grassland soils. Although nitrogen-cycle gene abundances varied with abandonment time, the abundance patterns of nitrogen-cycle genes separated distinctly into abandoned cropland versus light-grazing steppe grassland, despite the lack of any cultivation for over a quarter-century. Plant biomass and plant diversity exerted a significant effect on the abundance of microbial communities that mediate the nitrogen cycle (P < 0.002 and P < 0.03, respectively. The present study elucidates the ecology of bacteria that mediate the nitrogen cycle in recently abandoned croplands.

  12. Microbial Nitrogen-Cycle Gene Abundance in Soil of Cropland Abandoned for Different Periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhe; Borjigin, Shinchilelt; Buhebaoyin; Wu, Yanpei; Li, Minquan; Cheng, Yunxiang

    2016-01-01

    In Inner Mongolia, steppe grasslands face desertification or degradation because of human overuse and abandonment after inappropriate agricultural management. The soils in these abandoned croplands exist in heterogeneous environments characterized by widely fluctuating microbial growth. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of microbial genes encoding proteins involved in the nitrogen cycle was used to study Azotobacter species, nitrifiers, and denitrifiers in the soils from steppe grasslands and croplands abandoned for 2, 6, and 26 years. Except for nitrifying archaea and nitrous oxide-reducing bacteria, the relative genotypic abundance of microbial communities involved in nitrogen metabolism differed by approximately 2- to 10-fold between abandoned cropland and steppe grassland soils. Although nitrogen-cycle gene abundances varied with abandonment time, the abundance patterns of nitrogen-cycle genes separated distinctly into abandoned cropland versus light-grazing steppe grassland, despite the lack of any cultivation for over a quarter-century. Plant biomass and plant diversity exerted a significant effect on the abundance of microbial communities that mediate the nitrogen cycle (P nitrogen cycle in recently abandoned croplands.

  13. PanCoreGen - Profiling, detecting, annotating protein-coding genes in microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Sandip; Bhardwaj, Archana; Bag, Sumit K; Sokurenko, Evgeni V; Chattopadhyay, Sujay

    2015-12-01

    A large amount of genomic data, especially from multiple isolates of a single species, has opened new vistas for microbial genomics analysis. Analyzing the pan-genome (i.e. the sum of genetic repertoire) of microbial species is crucial in understanding the dynamics of molecular evolution, where virulence evolution is of major interest. Here we present PanCoreGen - a standalone application for pan- and core-genomic profiling of microbial protein-coding genes. PanCoreGen overcomes key limitations of the existing pan-genomic analysis tools, and develops an integrated annotation-structure for a species-specific pan-genomic profile. It provides important new features for annotating draft genomes/contigs and detecting unidentified genes in annotated genomes. It also generates user-defined group-specific datasets within the pan-genome. Interestingly, analyzing an example-set of Salmonella genomes, we detect potential footprints of adaptive convergence of horizontally transferred genes in two human-restricted pathogenic serovars - Typhi and Paratyphi A. Overall, PanCoreGen represents a state-of-the-art tool for microbial phylogenomics and pathogenomics study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. PanCoreGen – profiling, detecting, annotating protein-coding genes in microbial genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhardwaj, Archana; Bag, Sumit K; Sokurenko, Evgeni V.

    2015-01-01

    A large amount of genomic data, especially from multiple isolates of a single species, has opened new vistas for microbial genomics analysis. Analyzing pan-genome (i.e. the sum of genetic repertoire) of microbial species is crucial in understanding the dynamics of molecular evolution, where virulence evolution is of major interest. Here we present PanCoreGen – a standalone application for pan- and core-genomic profiling of microbial protein-coding genes. PanCoreGen overcomes key limitations of the existing pan-genomic analysis tools, and develops an integrated annotation-structure for species-specific pan-genomic profile. It provides important new features for annotating draft genomes/contigs and detecting unidentified genes in annotated genomes. It also generates user-defined group-specific datasets within the pan-genome. Interestingly, analyzing an example-set of Salmonella genomes, we detect potential footprints of adaptive convergence of horizontally transferred genes in two human-restricted pathogenic serovars – Typhi and Paratyphi A. Overall, PanCoreGen represents a state-of-the-art tool for microbial phylogenomics and pathogenomics study. PMID:26456591

  15. Microbial Community and Functional Structure Significantly Varied among Distinct Types of Paddy Soils But Responded Differently along Gradients of Soil Depth Layers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ren Bai

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Paddy rice fields occupy broad agricultural area in China and cover diverse soil types. Microbial community in paddy soils is of great interest since many microorganisms are involved in soil functional processes. In the present study, Illumina Mi-Seq sequencing and functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2 techniques were combined to investigate soil microbial communities and functional gene patterns across the three soil types including an Inceptisol (Binhai, an Oxisol (Leizhou, and an Ultisol (Taoyuan along four profile depths (up to 70 cm in depth in mesocosm incubation columns. Detrended correspondence analysis revealed that distinctly differentiation in microbial community existed among soil types and profile depths, while the manifest variance in functional structure was only observed among soil types and two rice growth stages, but not across profile depths. Along the profile depth within each soil type, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Firmicutes increased whereas Cyanobacteria, β-proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia declined, suggesting their specific ecophysiological properties. Compared to bacterial community, the archaeal community showed a more contrasting pattern with the predominant groups within phyla Euryarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Crenarchaeota largely varying among soil types and depths. Phylogenetic molecular ecological network (pMEN analysis further indicated that the pattern of bacterial and archaeal communities interactions changed with soil depth and the highest modularity of microbial community occurred in top soils, implying a relatively higher system resistance to environmental change compared to communities in deeper soil layers. Meanwhile, microbial communities had higher connectivity in deeper soils in comparison with upper soils, suggesting less microbial interaction in surface soils. Structure equation models were developed and the models indicated that pH was the most representative characteristics of soil type and

  16. Microbial Community and Functional Structure Significantly Varied among Distinct Types of Paddy Soils But Responded Differently along Gradients of Soil Depth Layers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Ren; Wang, Jun-Tao; Deng, Ye; He, Ji-Zheng; Feng, Kai; Zhang, Li-Mei

    2017-01-01

    Paddy rice fields occupy broad agricultural area in China and cover diverse soil types. Microbial community in paddy soils is of great interest since many microorganisms are involved in soil functional processes. In the present study, Illumina Mi-Seq sequencing and functional gene array (GeoChip 4.2) techniques were combined to investigate soil microbial communities and functional gene patterns across the three soil types including an Inceptisol (Binhai), an Oxisol (Leizhou), and an Ultisol (Taoyuan) along four profile depths (up to 70 cm in depth) in mesocosm incubation columns. Detrended correspondence analysis revealed that distinctly differentiation in microbial community existed among soil types and profile depths, while the manifest variance in functional structure was only observed among soil types and two rice growth stages, but not across profile depths. Along the profile depth within each soil type, Acidobacteria , Chloroflexi , and Firmicutes increased whereas Cyanobacteria , β -proteobacteria , and Verrucomicrobia declined, suggesting their specific ecophysiological properties. Compared to bacterial community, the archaeal community showed a more contrasting pattern with the predominant groups within phyla Euryarchaeota , Thaumarchaeota , and Crenarchaeota largely varying among soil types and depths. Phylogenetic molecular ecological network (pMEN) analysis further indicated that the pattern of bacterial and archaeal communities interactions changed with soil depth and the highest modularity of microbial community occurred in top soils, implying a relatively higher system resistance to environmental change compared to communities in deeper soil layers. Meanwhile, microbial communities had higher connectivity in deeper soils in comparison with upper soils, suggesting less microbial interaction in surface soils. Structure equation models were developed and the models indicated that pH was the most representative characteristics of soil type and

  17. Gene, environment and cognitive function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Chunsheng; Sun, Jianping; Duan, Haiping

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: the genetic and environmental contributions to cognitive function in the old people have been well addressed for the Western populations using twin modelling showing moderate to high heritability. No similar study has been conducted in the world largest and rapidly ageing Chinese...... population living under distinct environmental condition as the Western populations. OBJECTIVE: this study aims to explore the genetic and environmental impact on normal cognitive ageing in the Chinese twins. DESIGN/SETTING: cognitive function was measured on 384 complete twin pairs with median age of 50...... years for seven cognitive measurements including visuospatial, linguistic skills, naming, memory, attention, abstraction and orientation abilities. Data were analysed by fitting univariate and bivariate twin models to estimate the genetic and environmental components in the variance and co...

  18. Vikodak--A Modular Framework for Inferring Functional Potential of Microbial Communities from 16S Metagenomic Datasets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Nagpal

    Full Text Available The overall metabolic/functional potential of any given environmental niche is a function of the sum total of genes/proteins/enzymes that are encoded and expressed by various interacting microbes residing in that niche. Consequently, prior (collated information pertaining to genes, enzymes encoded by the resident microbes can aid in indirectly (reconstructing/ inferring the metabolic/ functional potential of a given microbial community (given its taxonomic abundance profile. In this study, we present Vikodak--a multi-modular package that is based on the above assumption and automates inferring and/ or comparing the functional characteristics of an environment using taxonomic abundance generated from one or more environmental sample datasets. With the underlying assumptions of co-metabolism and independent contributions of different microbes in a community, a concerted effort has been made to accommodate microbial co-existence patterns in various modules incorporated in Vikodak.Validation experiments on over 1400 metagenomic samples have confirmed the utility of Vikodak in (a deciphering enzyme abundance profiles of any KEGG metabolic pathway, (b functional resolution of distinct metagenomic environments, (c inferring patterns of functional interaction between resident microbes, and (d automating statistical comparison of functional features of studied microbiomes. Novel features incorporated in Vikodak also facilitate automatic removal of false positives and spurious functional predictions.With novel provisions for comprehensive functional analysis, inclusion of microbial co-existence pattern based algorithms, automated inter-environment comparisons; in-depth analysis of individual metabolic pathways and greater flexibilities at the user end, Vikodak is expected to be an important value addition to the family of existing tools for 16S based function prediction.A web implementation of Vikodak can be publicly accessed at: http

  19. The structural and functional contributions of β-glucosidase-producing microbial communities to cellulose degradation in composting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zang, Xiangyun; Liu, Meiting; Fan, Yihong; Xu, Jie; Xu, Xiuhong; Li, Hongtao

    2018-01-01

    Compost habitats sustain a vast ensemble of microbes that engender the degradation of cellulose, which is an important part of global carbon cycle. β-Glucosidase is the rate-limiting enzyme of degradation of cellulose. Thus, analysis of regulation of β-glucosidase gene expression in composting is beneficial to a better understanding of cellulose degradation mechanism. Genetic diversity and expression of β-glucosidase-producing microbial communities, and relationships of cellulose degradation, metabolic products and the relative enzyme activity during natural composting and inoculated composting were evaluated. Compared with natural composting, adding inoculation agent effectively improved the degradation of cellulose, and maintained high level of the carboxymethyl cellulose (CMCase) and β-glucosidase activities in thermophilic phase. Gene expression analysis showed that glycoside hydrolase family 1 (GH1) family of β-glucosidase genes contributed more to β-glucosidase activity in the later thermophilic phase in inoculated compost. In the cooling phase of natural compost, glycoside hydrolase family 3 (GH3) family of β-glucosidase genes contributed more to β-glucosidase activity. Intracellular β-glucosidase activity played a crucial role in the regulation of β-glucosidase gene expression, and upregulation or downregulation was also determined by extracellular concentration of glucose. At sufficiently high glucose concentrations, the functional microbial community in compost was altered, which may contribute to maintaining β-glucosidase activity despite the high glucose content. This research provides an ecological functional map of microorganisms involved in carbon metabolism in cattle manure-rice straw composting. The performance of the functional microbial groups in the two composting treatments is different, which is related to the cellulase activity and cellulose degradation, respectively.

  20. Geomicrobiology of sublacustrine thermal vents in Yellowstone Lake: Geochemical controls on microbial community structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Yellowstone Lake (Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA is a large high-altitude (2200 m, fresh-water lake, which straddles an extensive caldera and is the center of significant geothermal activity. The primary goal of this interdisciplinary study was to evaluate the microbial populations inhabiting thermal vent communities in Yellowstone Lake (Yellowstone Lake using 16S rRNA gene and random metagenome sequencing, and to determine how geochemical attributes of vent waters influence the distribution of specific microorganisms and their metabolic potential. Thermal vent waters and associated microbial biomass were sampled during two field seasons (2007 - 2008 using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV. Sublacustrine thermal vent waters (circa 50 - 90 oC contained elevated concentrations of numerous constituents associated with geothermal activity including dissolved hydrogen, sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. Microorganisms associated with sulfur-rich filamentous ‘streamer’ communities of Inflated Plain and West Thumb (pH range 5 - 6 were dominated by bacteria from the Aquificales, but also contained thermophilic archaea from the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Novel groups of methanogens and members of the Korarchaeota were observed in vents from West Thumb and Elliot’s Crater (pH 5 - 6. Conversely, metagenome sequence from Mary Bay vent sediments did not yield large assemblies, and contained diverse thermophilic and nonthermophilic bacterial relatives. Analysis of functional genes associated with the major vent populations indicated a direct linkage to high concentrations of carbon dioxide, reduced sulfur (sulfide and/or elemental S, hydrogen and methane in the deep thermal ecosystems. Our observations show that sublacustrine thermal vents in Yellowstone Lake support novel thermophilic communities, which contain microorganisms with functional attributes not found to date in terrestrial geothermal systems of YNP.

  1. Microbial Communities and Their Predicted Metabolic Functions in Growth Laminae of a Unique Large Conical Mat from Lake Untersee, East Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyunmin Koo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we report the distribution of microbial taxa and their predicted metabolic functions observed in the top (U1, middle (U2, and inner (U3 decadal growth laminae of a unique large conical microbial mat from perennially ice-covered Lake Untersee of East Antarctica, using NextGen sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and bioinformatics tools. The results showed that the U1 lamina was dominated by cyanobacteria, specifically Phormidium sp., Leptolyngbya sp., and Pseudanabaena sp. The U2 and U3 laminae had high abundances of Actinobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Closely related taxa within each abundant bacterial taxon found in each lamina were further differentiated at the highest taxonomic resolution using the oligotyping method. PICRUSt analysis, which determines predicted KEGG functional categories from the gene contents and abundances among microbial communities, revealed a high number of sequences belonging to carbon fixation, energy metabolism, cyanophycin, chlorophyll, and photosynthesis proteins in the U1 lamina. The functional predictions of the microbial communities in U2 and U3 represented signal transduction, membrane transport, zinc transport and amino acid-, carbohydrate-, and arsenic- metabolisms. The Nearest Sequenced Taxon Index (NSTI values processed through PICRUSt were 0.10, 0.13, and 0.11 for U1, U2, and U3 laminae, respectively. These values indicated a close correspondence with the reference microbial genome database, implying high confidence in the predicted metabolic functions of the microbial communities in each lamina. The distribution of microbial taxa observed in each lamina and their predicted metabolic functions provides additional insight into the complex microbial ecosystem at Lake Untersee, and lays the foundation for studies that will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the formation of these unique mat structures and their evolutionary significance.

  2. Canopy structural alterations to nitrogen functions of the soil microbial community in a Quercus virginiana forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, L. D.; Van Stan, J. T., II; Rosier, C. L.; Gay, T. E.; Wu, T.

    2014-12-01

    Forest canopy structure controls the timing, amount and chemical character of precipitation supply to soils through interception and drainage along crown surfaces. Yet, few studies have examined forest canopy structural connections to soil microbial communities (SMCs), and none have measured how this affects SMC N functions. The maritime Quercus virginiana Mill. (southern live oak) forests of St Catherine's Island, GA, USA provide an ideal opportunity to examine canopy structural alterations to SMCs and their functioning, as their throughfall varies substantially across space due to dense Tillandsia usneoides L. (spanish moss) mats bestrewn throughout. To examine the impact of throughfall variability on SMC N functions, we examined points along the canopy coverage continuum: large canopy gaps (0%), bare canopy (50-60%), and canopy of heavy T. usneoides coverage (>=85%). Five sites beneath each of the canopy cover types were monitored for throughfall water/ions and soil leachates chemistry for one storm each month over the growing period (7 months, Mar-2014 to Sep-2014) to compare with soil chemistry and SMC communities sampled every two months throughout that same period (Mar, May, Jul, Sep). DGGE and QPCR analysis of the N functioning genes (NFGs) to characterize the ammonia oxidizing bacterial (AOB-amoA), archaea (AOA-amoA), and ammonification (chiA) communities were used to determine the nitrification and decomposition potential of these microbial communities. PRS™-probes (Western Ag Innovations Inc., Saskatoon, Canada) were then used to determine the availability of NO3-N and NH4+N in the soils over a 6-week period to evaluate whether the differing NFG abundance and community structures resulted in altered N cycling.

  3. Sugarcane genes related to mitochondrial function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fonseca Ghislaine V.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondria function as metabolic powerhouses by generating energy through oxidative phosphorylation and have become the focus of renewed interest due to progress in understanding the subtleties of their biogenesis and the discovery of the important roles which these organelles play in senescence, cell death and the assembly of iron-sulfur (Fe/S centers. Using proteins from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Homo sapiens and Arabidopsis thaliana we searched the sugarcane expressed sequence tag (SUCEST database for the presence of expressed sequence tags (ESTs with similarity to nuclear genes related to mitochondrial functions. Starting with 869 protein sequences, we searched for sugarcane EST counterparts to these proteins using the basic local alignment search tool TBLASTN similarity searching program run against 260,781 sugarcane ESTs contained in 81,223 clusters. We were able to recover 367 clusters likely to represent sugarcane orthologues of the corresponding genes from S. cerevisiae, H. sapiens and A. thaliana with E-value <= 10-10. Gene products belonging to all functional categories related to mitochondrial functions were found and this allowed us to produce an overview of the nuclear genes required for sugarcane mitochondrial biogenesis and function as well as providing a starting point for detailed analysis of sugarcane gene structure and physiology.

  4. Linking genes to microbial growth kinetics: an integrated biochemical systems engineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutinas, Michalis; Kiparissides, Alexandros; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Lam, Ming-Chi; Martins Dos Santos, Vitor A P; de Lorenzo, Victor; Pistikopoulos, Efstratios N; Mantalaris, Athanasios

    2011-07-01

    The majority of models describing the kinetic properties of a microorganism for a given substrate are unstructured and empirical. They are formulated in this manner so that the complex mechanism of cell growth is simplified. Herein, a novel approach for modelling microbial growth kinetics is proposed, linking biomass growth and substrate consumption rates to the gene regulatory programmes that control these processes. A dynamic model of the TOL (pWW0) plasmid of Pseudomonas putida mt-2 has been developed, describing the molecular interactions that lead to the transcription of the upper and meta operons, known to produce the enzymes for the oxidative catabolism of m-xylene. The genetic circuit model was combined with a growth kinetic model decoupling biomass growth and substrate consumption rates, which are expressed as independent functions of the rate-limiting enzymes produced by the operons. Estimation of model parameters and validation of the model's predictive capability were successfully performed in batch cultures of mt-2 fed with different concentrations of m-xylene, as confirmed by relative mRNA concentration measurements of the promoters encoded in TOL. The growth formation and substrate utilisation patterns could not be accurately described by traditional Monod-type models for a wide range of conditions, demonstrating the critical importance of gene regulation for the development of advanced models closely predicting complex bioprocesses. In contrast, the proposed strategy, which utilises quantitative information pertaining to upstream molecular events that control the production of rate-limiting enzymes, predicts the catabolism of a substrate and biomass formation and could be of central importance for the design of optimal bioprocesses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Studying Functions of All Yeast Genes Simultaneously

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolc, Viktor; Eason, Robert G.; Poumand, Nader; Herman, Zelek S.; Davis, Ronald W.; Anthony Kevin; Jejelowo, Olufisayo

    2006-01-01

    A method of studying the functions of all the genes of a given species of microorganism simultaneously has been developed in experiments on Saccharomyces cerevisiae (commonly known as baker's or brewer's yeast). It is already known that many yeast genes perform functions similar to those of corresponding human genes; therefore, by facilitating understanding of yeast genes, the method may ultimately also contribute to the knowledge needed to treat some diseases in humans. Because of the complexity of the method and the highly specialized nature of the underlying knowledge, it is possible to give only a brief and sketchy summary here. The method involves the use of unique synthetic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences that are denoted as DNA bar codes because of their utility as molecular labels. The method also involves the disruption of gene functions through deletion of genes. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a particularly powerful experimental system in that multiple deletion strains easily can be pooled for parallel growth assays. Individual deletion strains recently have been created for 5,918 open reading frames, representing nearly all of the estimated 6,000 genetic loci of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Tagging of each deletion strain with one or two unique 20-nucleotide sequences enables identification of genes affected by specific growth conditions, without prior knowledge of gene functions. Hybridization of bar-code DNA to oligonucleotide arrays can be used to measure the growth rate of each strain over several cell-division generations. The growth rate thus measured serves as an index of the fitness of the strain.

  6. Assessing gene function in the ruminant placenta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anthony, R V; Cantlon, J D; Gates, K C; Purcell, S H; Clay, C M

    2010-01-01

    The placenta provides the means for nutrient transfer from the mother to the fetus, waste transfer from the fetus to the mother, protection of the fetus from the maternal immune system, and is an active endocrine organ. While many placental functions have been defined and investigated, assessing the function of specific genes expressed by the placenta has been problematic, since classical ablation-replacement methods are not feasible with the placenta. The pregnant sheep has been a long-standing animal model for assessing in vivo physiology during pregnancy, since surgical placement of indwelling catheters into both maternal and fetal vasculature has allowed the assessment of placental nutrient transfer and utilization, as well as placental hormone secretion, under unanesthetized-unstressed steady state sampling conditions. However, in ruminants the lack of well-characterized trophoblast cell lines and the inefficiency of creating transgenic pregnancies in ruminants have inhibited our ability to assess specific gene function. Recently, sheep and cattle primary trophoblast cell lines have been reported, and may further our ability to investigate trophoblast function and transcriptional regulation of genes expressed by the placenta. Furthermore, viral infection of the trophoectoderm layer of hatched blastocysts, as a means for placenta-specific transgenesis, holds considerable potential to assess gene function in the ruminant placenta. This approach has been used successfully to "knockdown" gene expression in the developing sheep conceptus, and has the potential for gain-of-function experiments as well. While this technology is still being developed, it may provide an efficient approach to assess specific gene function in the ruminant placenta.

  7. GeoChip 3.0 as a high-thoughput tool for analyzing microbial community composition, structure, and functional activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    He, Z.; Deng, Y.; Van Nostrand, J.D.; Tu, Q.; Xu, M.; Hemme, C.L.; Li, X.; Wu, L.; Gentry, T.J.; Yin, Y.; Liebich, J.; Hazen, T.C.; Zhou, J.

    2010-04-01

    A new generation of functional gene arrays (FGAs; GeoChip 3.0) has been developed, with {approx}28,000 probes covering approximately 57,000 gene variants from 292 functional gene families involved in carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur cycles, energy metabolism, antibiotic resistance, metal resistance and organic contaminant degradation. GeoChip 3.0 also has several other distinct features, such as a common oligo reference standard (CORS) for data normalization and comparison, a software package for data management and future updating and the gyrB gene for phylogenetic analysis. Computational evaluation of probe specificity indicated that all designed probes would have a high specificity to their corresponding targets. Experimental analysis with synthesized oligonucleotides and genomic DNAs showed that only 0.0036-0.025% false-positive rates were observed, suggesting that the designed probes are highly specific under the experimental conditions examined. In addition, GeoChip 3.0 was applied to analyze soil microbial communities in a multifactor grassland ecosystem in Minnesota, USA, which showed that the structure, composition and potential activity of soil microbial communities significantly changed with the plant species diversity. As expected, GeoChip 3.0 is a high-throughput powerful tool for studying microbial community functional structure, and linking microbial communities to ecosystem processes and functioning.

  8. Functional Stability and Community Dynamics during Spring and Autumn Seasons Over 3 Years in Camargue Microbial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercedes Berlanga

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are complex biofilms in which the major element cycles are represented at a millimeter scale. In this study, community variability within microbial mats from the Camargue wetlands (Rhone Delta, southern France were analyzed over 3 years during two different seasons (spring and autumn and at different layers of the mat (0–2, 2–4, and 4–6 mm. To assess bacterial diversity in the mats, amplicons of the V1–V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene were sequenced. The community’s functionality was characterized using two approaches: (i inferred functionality through 16S rRNA amplicons genes according to PICRUSt, and (ii a shotgun metagenomic analysis. Based on the reads distinguished, microbial communities were dominated by Bacteria (∼94%, followed by Archaea (∼4% and Eukarya (∼1%. The major phyla of Bacteria were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, and Cyanobacteria, which together represented 70–80% of the total population detected. The phylum Euryarchaeota represented ∼80% of the Archaea identified. These results showed that the total bacterial diversity from the Camargue microbial mats was not significantly affected by seasonal changes at the studied location; however, there were differences among layers, especially between the 0–2 mm layer and the other two layers. PICRUSt and shotgun metagenomic analyses revealed similar general biological processes in all samples analyzed, by season and depth, indicating that different layers were functionally stable, although some taxa changed during the spring and autumn seasons over the 3 years. Several gene families and pathways were tracked with the oxic-anoxic gradient of the layers. Genes directly involved in photosynthesis (KO, KEGG Orthology were significantly more abundant in the top layer (0–2 mm than in the lower layers (2–4 and 4–6 mm. In the anoxic layers, the presence of ferredoxins likely reflected the variation of redox

  9. Taxonomic and functional characteristics of microbial communities and their correlation with physicochemical properties of four geothermal springs in Odisha, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badhai, Jhasketan; Ghosh, Tarini S; Das, Subrata K

    2015-01-01

    This study describes microbial diversity in four tropical hot springs representing moderately thermophilic environments (temperature range: 40-58°C; pH: 7.2-7.4) with discrete geochemistry. Metagenome sequence data showed a dominance of Bacteria over Archaea; the most abundant phyla were Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria, although other phyla were also present, such as Acetothermia, Nitrospirae, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, Thermotogae, Euryarchaeota, Verrucomicrobia, Ignavibacteriae, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Spirochaetes, Armatimonadetes, Crenarchaeota, and Aquificae. The distribution of major genera and their statistical correlation analyses with the physicochemical parameters predicted that the temperature, aqueous concentrations of ions (such as sodium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate), total hardness, dissolved solids and conductivity were the main environmental variables influencing microbial community composition and diversity. Despite the observed high taxonomic diversity, there were only little variations in the overall functional profiles of the microbial communities in the four springs. Genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and carbon fixation were the most abundant functional class of genes present in these hot springs. The distribution of genes involved in carbon fixation predicted the presence of all the six known autotrophic pathways in the metagenomes. A high prevalence of genes involved in membrane transport, signal transduction, stress response, bacterial chemotaxis, and flagellar assembly were observed along with genes involved in the pathways of xenobiotic degradation and metabolism. The analysis of the metagenomic sequences affiliated to the candidate phylum Acetothermia from spring TB-3 provided new insight into the metabolism and physiology of yet-unknown members of this lineage of bacteria.

  10. Taxonomic and functional characteristics of microbial communities and their correlation with physicochemical properties of four geothermal springs in Odisha, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subrata K Das

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This study describes microbial diversity in four tropical hot springs representing moderately thermophilic environments (temperature range: 40-58 °C; pH: 7.2-7.4 with discrete geochemistry. Metagenome sequence data showed a dominance of Bacteria over Archaea; the most abundant phyla were Chloroflexi and Proteobacteria, although other phyla were also present, such as Acetothermia, Nitrospirae, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes, Deinococcus-Thermus, Bacteroidetes, Thermotogae, Euryarchaeota, Verrucomicrobia, Ignavibacteriae, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Spirochaetes, Armatimonadetes, Crenarchaeota, and Aquificae. The distribution of major genera and their statistical correlation analyses with the physicochemical parameters predicted that the temperature, aqueous concentrations of ions (such as sodium, chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate, total hardness, dissolved solids and conductivity were the main environmental variables influencing microbial community composition and diversity. Despite the observed high taxonomic diversity, there were only little variations in the overall functional profiles of the microbial communities in the four springs. Genes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and carbon fixation were the most abundant functional class of genes present in these hot springs. The distribution of genes involved in carbon fixation predicted the presence of all the six known autotrophic pathways in the metagenomes. A high prevalence of genes involved in membrane transport, signal transduction, stress response, bacterial chemotaxis and flagellar assembly were observed along with genes involved in the pathways of xenobiotic degradation and metabolism. The analysis of the metagenomic sequences affiliated to the candidate phylum Acetothermia from spring TB-3 provided new insight into the metabolism and physiology of yet-unknown members of this lineage of bacteria.

  11. Functional diversity of microbial decomposers facilitates plant coexistence in a plant-microbe-soil feedback model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Takeshi; Ushio, Masayuki; Fukui, Shin; Kondoh, Michio

    2010-08-10

    Theory and empirical evidence suggest that plant-soil feedback (PSF) determines the structure of a plant community and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The plant community alters the nutrient pool size in soil by affecting litter decomposition processes, which in turn shapes the plant community, forming a PSF system. However, the role of microbial decomposers in PSF function is often overlooked, and it remains unclear whether decomposers reinforce or weaken litter-mediated plant control over nutrient cycling. Here, we present a theoretical model incorporating the functional diversity of both plants and microbial decomposers. Two fundamental microbial processes are included that control nutrient mineralization from plant litter: (i) assimilation of mineralized nutrient into the microbial biomass (microbial immobilization), and (ii) release of the microbial nutrients into the inorganic nutrient pool (net mineralization). With this model, we show that microbial diversity may act as a buffer that weakens plant control over the soil nutrient pool, reversing the sign of PSF from positive to negative and facilitating plant coexistence. This is explained by the decoupling of litter decomposability and nutrient pool size arising from a flexible change in the microbial community composition and decomposition processes in response to variations in plant litter decomposability. Our results suggest that the microbial community plays a central role in PSF function and the plant community structure. Furthermore, the results strongly imply that the plant-centered view of nutrient cycling should be changed to a plant-microbe-soil feedback system, by incorporating the community ecology of microbial decomposers and their functional diversity.

  12. Nitrification inhibition by hexavalent chromium Cr(VI)--Microbial ecology, gene expression and off-gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Young Mo; Park, Hongkeun; Chandran, Kartik

    2016-04-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the responses in the physiology, microbial ecology and gene expression of nitrifying bacteria to imposition of and recovery from Cr(VI) loading in a lab-scale nitrification bioreactor. Exposure to Cr(VI) in the reactor strongly inhibited nitrification performance resulting in a parallel decrease in nitrate production and ammonia consumption. Cr(VI) exposure also led to an overall decrease in total bacterial concentrations in the reactor. However, the fraction of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) decreased to a greater extent than the fraction of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB). In terms of functional gene expression, a rapid decrease in the transcript concentrations of amoA gene coding for ammonia oxidation in AOB was observed in response to the Cr(VI) shock. In contrast, transcript concentrations of the nxrA gene coding for nitrite oxidation in NOB were relatively unchanged compared to Cr(VI) pre-exposure levels. Therefore, Cr(VI) exposure selectively and directly inhibited activity of AOB, which indirectly resulted in substrate (nitrite) limitation to NOB. Significantly, trends in amoA expression preceded performance trends both during imposition of and recovery from inhibition. During recovery from the Cr(VI) shock, the high ammonia concentrations in the bioreactor resulted in an irreversible shift towards AOB populations, which are expected to be more competitive in high ammonia environments. An inadvertent impact during recovery was increased emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO), consistent with recent findings linking AOB activity and the production of these gases. Therefore, Cr(VI) exposure elicited multiple responses on the microbial ecology, gene expression and both aqueous and gaseous nitrogenous conversion in a nitrification process. A complementary interrogation of these multiple responses facilitated an understanding of both direct and indirect inhibitory impacts on nitrification. Copyright

  13. Metagenomic analysis reveals that modern microbialites and polar microbial mats have similar taxonomic and functional potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Allen White III

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the subarctic climate of Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada, lies an abandoned and flooded open-pit asbestos mine that harbors rapidly growing microbialites. To understand their formation we completed a metagenomic community profile of the microbialites and their surrounding sediments. Assembled metagenomic data revealed that bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria numerically dominated this system, although the relative abundances of taxa within the phylum varied among environments. Bacteria belonging to Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were dominant in the microbialites and sediments, respectively. The microbialites were also home to many other groups associated with microbialite formation including filamentous cyanobacteria and dissimilatory sulfate-reducing Deltaproteobacteria, consistent with the idea of a shared global microbialite microbiome. Other members were present that are typically not associated with microbialites including Gemmatimonadetes and iron-oxidizing Betaproteobacteria, which participate in carbon metabolism and iron cycling. Compared to the sediments, the microbialite microbiome has significantly more genes associated with photosynthetic processes (e.g., photosystem II reaction centers, carotenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis and carbon fixation (e.g., CO dehydrogenase. The Clinton Creek microbialite communities had strikingly similar functional potentials to non-lithifying microbial mats from the Canadian High Arctic and Antarctica, but are functionally distinct, from non-lithifying mats or biofilms from Yellowstone. Clinton Creek microbialites also share metabolic genes (R2 0.900. These metagenomic profiles from an anthropogenic microbialite-forming ecosystem provide context to microbialite formation on a human-relevant timescale.

  14. Comparative genomics of Geobacter chemotaxis genes reveals diverse signaling function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antommattei Frances M

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Geobacter species are δ-Proteobacteria and are often the predominant species in a variety of sedimentary environments where Fe(III reduction is important. Their ability to remediate contaminated environments and produce electricity makes them attractive for further study. Cell motility, biofilm formation, and type IV pili all appear important for the growth of Geobacter in changing environments and for electricity production. Recent studies in other bacteria have demonstrated that signaling pathways homologous to the paradigm established for Escherichia coli chemotaxis can regulate type IV pili-dependent motility, the synthesis of flagella and type IV pili, the production of extracellular matrix material, and biofilm formation. The classification of these pathways by comparative genomics improves the ability to understand how Geobacter thrives in natural environments and better their use in microbial fuel cells. Results The genomes of G. sulfurreducens, G. metallireducens, and G. uraniireducens contain multiple (~70 homologs of chemotaxis genes arranged in several major clusters (six, seven, and seven, respectively. Unlike the single gene cluster of E. coli, the Geobacter clusters are not all located near the flagellar genes. The probable functions of some Geobacter clusters are assignable by homology to known pathways; others appear to be unique to the Geobacter sp. and contain genes of unknown function. We identified large numbers of methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP homologs that have diverse sensing domain architectures and generate a potential for sensing a great variety of environmental signals. We discuss mechanisms for class-specific segregation of the MCPs in the cell membrane, which serve to maintain pathway specificity and diminish crosstalk. Finally, the regulation of gene expression in Geobacter differs from E. coli. The sequences of predicted promoter elements suggest that the alternative sigma factors

  15. Microbial community assembly and metabolic function during mammalian corpse decomposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Metcalf, J. L.; Xu, Z. Z.; Weiss, S.; Lax, S.; Van Treuren, W.; Hyde, E. R.; Song, S. J.; Amir, A.; Larsen, P.; Sangwan, N.; Haarmann, D.; Humphrey, G. C.; Ackermann, G.; Thompson, L. R.; Lauber, C.; Bibat, A.; Nicholas, C.; Gebert, M. J.; Petrosino, J. F.; Reed, S. C.; Gilbert, J. A.; Lynne, A. M.; Bucheli, S. R.; Carter, D. O.; Knight, R.

    2015-12-10

    Vertebrate corpse decomposition provides an important stage in nutrient cycling in most terrestrial habitats, yet microbially mediated processes are poorly understood. Here we combine deep microbial community characterization, community-level metabolic reconstruction, and soil biogeochemical assessment to understand the principles governing microbial community assembly during decomposition of mouse and human corpses on different soil substrates. We find a suite of bacterial and fungal groups that contribute to nitrogen cycling and a reproducible network of decomposers that emerge on predictable time scales. Our results show that this decomposer community is derived primarily from bulk soil, but key decomposers are ubiquitous in low abundance. Soil type was not a dominant factor driving community development, and the process of decomposition is sufficiently reproducible to offer new opportunities for forensic investigations.

  16. Microbial community assembly and metabolic function during mammalian corpse decomposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalf, Jessica L; Xu, Zhenjiang Zech; Weiss, Sophie; Lax, Simon; Van Treuren, Will; Hyde, Embriette R.; Song, Se Jin; Amir, Amnon; Larsen, Peter; Sangwan, Naseer; Haarmann, Daniel; Humphrey, Greg C; Ackermann, Gail; Thompson, Luke R; Lauber, Christian; Bibat, Alexander; Nicholas, Catherine; Gebert, Matthew J; Petrosino, Joseph F; Reed, Sasha C.; Gilbert, Jack A; Lynne, Aaron M; Bucheli, Sibyl R; Carter, David O; Knight, Rob

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate corpse decomposition provides an important stage in nutrient cycling in most terrestrial habitats, yet microbially mediated processes are poorly understood. Here we combine deep microbial community characterization, community-level metabolic reconstruction, and soil biogeochemical assessment to understand the principles governing microbial community assembly during decomposition of mouse and human corpses on different soil substrates. We find a suite of bacterial and fungal groups that contribute to nitrogen cycling and a reproducible network of decomposers that emerge on predictable time scales. Our results show that this decomposer community is derived primarily from bulk soil, but key decomposers are ubiquitous in low abundance. Soil type was not a dominant factor driving community development, and the process of decomposition is sufficiently reproducible to offer new opportunities for forensic investigations.

  17. Defining functional distances over Gene Ontology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    del Pozo Angela

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A fundamental problem when trying to define the functional relationships between proteins is the difficulty in quantifying functional similarities, even when well-structured ontologies exist regarding the activity of proteins (i.e. 'gene ontology' -GO-. However, functional metrics can overcome the problems in the comparing and evaluating functional assignments and predictions. As a reference of proximity, previous approaches to compare GO terms considered linkage in terms of ontology weighted by a probability distribution that balances the non-uniform 'richness' of different parts of the Direct Acyclic Graph. Here, we have followed a different approach to quantify functional similarities between GO terms. Results We propose a new method to derive 'functional distances' between GO terms that is based on the simultaneous occurrence of terms in the same set of Interpro entries, instead of relying on the structure of the GO. The coincidence of GO terms reveals natural biological links between the GO functions and defines a distance model Df which fulfils the properties of a Metric Space. The distances obtained in this way can be represented as a hierarchical 'Functional Tree'. Conclusion The method proposed provides a new definition of distance that enables the similarity between GO terms to be quantified. Additionally, the 'Functional Tree' defines groups with biological meaning enhancing its utility for protein function comparison and prediction. Finally, this approach could be for function-based protein searches in databases, and for analysing the gene clusters produced by DNA array experiments.

  18. Microbial Community Structure and Function Indicate the Severity of Chromium Contamination of the Yellow River

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaxin Pei

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The Yellow River is the most important water resource in northern China. In the recent past, heavy metal contamination has become severe due to industrial processes and other anthropogenic activities. In this study, riparian soil samples with varying levels of chromium (Cr pollution severity were collected along the Gansu industrial reach of the Yellow River, including samples from uncontaminated sites (XC, XGU, slightly contaminated sites (LJX, XGD, and heavily contaminated sites (CG, XG. The Cr concentrations of these samples varied from 83.83 mg⋅kg-1 (XGU to 506.58 mg⋅kg-1 (XG. The chromate [Cr (VI] reducing ability in the soils collected in this study followed the sequence of the heavily contaminated > slightly contaminated > the un-contaminated. Common Cr remediation genes chrA and yieF were detected in the XG and CG samples. qRT-PCR results showed that the expression of chrA was up-regulated four and threefold in XG and CG samples, respectively, whereas the expression of yieF was up-regulated 66- and 7-fold in the same samples after 30 min treatment with Cr (VI. The copy numbers of chrA and yieF didn’t change after 35 days incubation with Cr (VI. The microbial communities in the Cr contaminated sampling sites were different from those in the uncontaminated samples. Especially, the relative abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were higher while Actinobacteria was lower in the contaminated group than uncontaminated group. Further, potential indicator species, related to Cr such as Cr-remediation genera (Geobacter, PSB-M-3, Flavobacterium, and Methanosarcina; the Cr-sensitive genera (Skermanella, Iamia, Arthrobacter, and Candidatus Nitrososphaera were also identified. These data revealed that Cr shifted microbial composition and function. Further, Cr (VI reducing ability could be related with the expression of Cr remediation genes.

  19. GeoChip-based analysis of the microbial community functional structures in simultaneous desulfurization and denitrification process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hao; Chen, Chuan; Ma, Jincai; Liu, Wenzong; Zhou, Jizhong; Lee, Duu-Jong; Ren, Nanqi; Wang, Aijie

    2014-07-01

    The elemental sulfur (S°) recovery was evaluated in the presence of nitrate in two development models of simultaneous desulfurization and denitrification (SDD) process. At the loading rates of 0.9 kg S/(m³·day) for sulfide and 0.4 kg N/(m³·day) for nitrate, S° conversion rate was 91.1% in denitrifying sulfide removal (DSR) model which was higher than in integrated simultaneous desulfurization and denitrification (ISDD) model (25.6%). A comprehensive analysis of functional diversity, structure and metabolic potential of microbial communities was examined in two models by using functional gene array (GeoChip 2.0). GeoChip data indicated that diversity indices, community structure, and abundance of functional genes were distinct between two models. Diversity indices (Simpson's diversity index (1/D) and Shannon-Weaver index (H')) of all detected genes showed that with elevated influent loading rate, the functional diversity decreased in ISDD model but increased in DSR model. In contrast to ISDD model, the overall abundance of dsr genes was lower in DSR model, while some functional genes targeting from nitrate-reducing sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (NR-SOB), such as Thiobacillus denitrificans, Sulfurimonas denitrificans, and Paracoccus pantotrophus were more abundant in DSR model which were highly associated with the change of S(0) conversion rate obtained in two models. The results obtained in this study provide additional insights into the microbial metabolic mechanisms involved in ISDD and DSR models, which in turn will improve the overall performance of SDD process. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Metagenomic survey of the taxonomic and functional microbial communities of seawater and sea ice from the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yergeau, Etienne; Michel, Christine; Tremblay, Julien; Niemi, Andrea; King, Thomas L; Wyglinski, Joanne; Lee, Kenneth; Greer, Charles W

    2017-02-08

    Climate change has resulted in an accelerated decline of Arctic sea ice since 2001 resulting in primary production increases and prolongation of the ice-free season within the Northwest Passage. The taxonomic and functional microbial community composition of the seawater and sea ice of the Canadian Arctic is not very well known. Bacterial communities from the bottom layer of sea ice cores and surface water from 23 locations around Cornwallis Island, NU, Canada, were extensively screened. The bacterial 16S rRNA gene was sequenced for all samples while shotgun metagenomics was performed on selected samples. Bacterial community composition showed large variation throughout the sampling area both for sea ice and seawater. Seawater and sea ice samples harbored significantly distinct microbial communities, both at different taxonomic levels and at the functional level. A key difference between the two sample types was the dominance of algae in sea ice samples, as visualized by the higher relative abundance of algae and photosynthesis-related genes in the metagenomic datasets and the higher chl a concentrations. The relative abundance of various OTUs and functional genes were significantly correlated with multiple environmental parameters, highlighting many potential environmental drivers and ecological strategies.

  1. Functional breadth and home-field advantage generate functional differences among soil microbial decomposers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanin, Nicolas; Fromin, Nathalie; Bertrand, Isabelle

    2016-04-01

    In addition to the effect of litter quality (LQ) on decomposition, increasing evidence is demonstrating that carbon mineralization can be influenced by the past resource history, mainly through following two processes: (1) decomposer communities from recalcitrant litter environments may have a wider functional ability to decompose a wide range of litter species than those originating from richer environments, i.e., the functional breadth (FB) hypothesis; and/or (2) decomposer communities may be specialized towards the litter they most frequently encounter, i.e., the home-field advantage (HFA) hypothesis. Nevertheless, the functional dissimilarities among contrasting microbial communities, which are generated by the FB and the HFA, have rarely been simultaneously quantified in the same experiment, and their relative contributions over time have never been assessed. To test these hypotheses, we conducted a reciprocal transplant decomposition experiment under controlled conditions using litter and soil originating from four ecosystems along a land-use gradient (forest, plantation, grassland, and cropland) and one additional treatment using 13C-labelled flax litter allowing us to assess the priming effect (PE) in each ecosystem. We found substantial effects of LQ on carbon mineralization (more than two-thirds of the explained variance), whereas the contribution of the soil type was fairly low (less than one-tenth), suggesting that the contrasting soil microbial communities play only a minor role in regulating decomposition rates. Although the results on PE showed that we overestimated litter-derived CO2 fluxes, litter-microbe interactions contributed significantly to the unexplained variance observed in carbon mineralization models. The magnitudes of FB and HFA were relatively similar, but the directions of these mechanisms were sometimes opposite depending on the litter and soil types. FB and HFA estimates calculated on parietal sugar mass loss were positively

  2. Functionally redundant but dissimilar microbial communities within biogas reactors treating maize silage in co-fermentation with sugar beet silage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, Susanne G; Ahmed, Sharif; Einfalt, Daniel; Bengelsdorf, Frank R; Kazda, Marian

    2015-01-01

    Numerous observations indicate a high flexibility of microbial communities in different biogas reactors during anaerobic digestion. Here, we describe the functional redundancy and structural changes of involved microbial communities in four lab-scale continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs, 39°C, 12 L volume) supplied with different mixtures of maize silage (MS) and sugar beet silage (SBS) over 80 days. Continuously stirred tank reactors were fed with mixtures of MS and SBS in volatile solid ratios of 1:0 (Continuous Fermenter (CF) 1), 6:1 (CF2), 3:1 (CF3), 1:3 (CF4) with equal organic loading rates (OLR 1.25 kgVS m−3 d−1) and showed similar biogas production rates in all reactors. The compositions of bacterial and archaeal communities were analysed by 454 amplicon sequencing approach based on 16S rRNA genes. Both bacterial and archaeal communities shifted with increasing amounts of SBS. Especially pronounced were changes in the archaeal composition towards Methanosarcina with increasing proportion of SBS, while Methanosaeta declined simultaneously. Compositional shifts within the microbial communities did not influence the respective biogas production rates indicating that these communities adapted to environmental conditions induced by different feedstock mixtures. The diverse microbial communities optimized their metabolism in a way that ensured efficient biogas production. PMID:26200922

  3. Organic matter quantity and source affects microbial community structure and function following volcanic eruption on Kasatochi Island, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeglin, Lydia H.; Wang, Bronwen; Waythomas, Christopher F.; Rainey, Frederick; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2016-01-01

    In August 2008, Kasatochi volcano erupted and buried a small island in pyroclastic deposits and fine ash; since then, microbes, plants and birds have begun to re-colonize the initially sterile surface. Five years post-eruption, bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) copy numbers and extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) potentials were one to two orders of magnitude greater in pyroclastic materials with organic matter (OM) inputs relative to those without, despite minimal accumulation of OM (eruptive surfaces with OM inputs had the highest β-glucosidase, phosphatase, NAGase and cellobiohydrolase activities, and had microbial population sizes approaching those in reference soils. In contrast, the strongest factor determining bacterial community composition was the dominance of plants versus birds as OM input vectors. Although soil pH ranged from 3.9 to 7.0, and %C ranged 100×, differentiation between plant- and bird-associated microbial communities suggested that cell dispersal or nutrient availability are more likely drivers of assembly than pH or OM content. This study exemplifies the complex relationship between microbial cell dispersal, soil geochemistry, and microbial structure and function; and illustrates the potential for soil microbiota to be resilient to disturbance.

  4. IMG-ABC: new features for bacterial secondary metabolism analysis and targeted biosynthetic gene cluster discovery in thousands of microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadjithomas, Michalis; Chen, I-Min A; Chu, Ken; Huang, Jinghua; Ratner, Anna; Palaniappan, Krishna; Andersen, Evan; Markowitz, Victor; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Ivanova, Natalia N

    2017-01-04

    Secondary metabolites produced by microbes have diverse biological functions, which makes them a great potential source of biotechnologically relevant compounds with antimicrobial, anti-cancer and other activities. The proteins needed to synthesize these natural products are often encoded by clusters of co-located genes called biosynthetic gene clusters (BCs). In order to advance the exploration of microbial secondary metabolism, we developed the largest publically available database of experimentally verified and predicted BCs, the Integrated Microbial Genomes Atlas of Biosynthetic gene Clusters (IMG-ABC) (https://img.jgi.doe.gov/abc/). Here, we describe an update of IMG-ABC, which includes ClusterScout, a tool for targeted identification of custom biosynthetic gene clusters across 40 000 isolate microbial genomes, and a new search capability to query more than 700 000 BCs from isolate genomes for clusters with similar Pfam composition. Additional features enable fast exploration and analysis of BCs through two new interactive visualization features, a BC function heatmap and a BC similarity network graph. These new tools and features add to the value of IMG-ABC's vast body of BC data, facilitating their in-depth analysis and accelerating secondary metabolite discovery. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  5. Influence of secondary water supply systems on microbial community structure and opportunistic pathogen gene markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Huan; Li, Shang; Tang, Wei; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Jianfu; Xia, Siqing; Zhang, Weixian; Wang, Hong

    2018-06-01

    Secondary water supply systems (SWSSs) refer to the in-building infrastructures (e.g., water storage tanks) used to supply water pressure beyond the main distribution systems. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of SWSSs on microbial community structure and the occurrence of opportunistic pathogens, the latter of which are an emerging public health concern. Higher numbers of bacterial 16S rRNA genes, Legionella and mycobacterial gene markers were found in public building taps served by SWSSs relative to the mains, regardless of the flushing practice (P water retention time, warm temperature and loss of disinfectant residuals promoted microbial growth and colonization of potential pathogens in SWSSs. Varied levels of microbial community shifts were found in different types of SWSSs during water transportation from the distribution main to taps, highlighting the critical role of SWSSs in shaping the drinking water microbiota. Overall, the results provided insight to factors that might aid in controlling pathogen proliferation in real-world water systems using SWSSs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Chronic exposure to triclosan sustains microbial community shifts and alters antibiotic resistance gene levels in anaerobic digesters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, Daniel E; Zitomer, Daniel H; Kappell, Anthony D; Choi, Melinda J; Hristova, Krassimira R; McNamara, Patrick J

    2016-08-10

    Triclosan, an antimicrobial chemical found in consumer personal care products, has been shown to stimulate antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria. Although many studies focus on antibiotic resistance pertinent to medical scenarios, resistance developed in natural and engineered environments is less studied and has become an emerging concern for human health. In this study, the impacts of chronic triclosan (TCS) exposure on antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and microbial community structure were assessed in lab-scale anaerobic digesters. TCS concentrations from below detection to 2500 mg kg(-1) dry solids were amended into anaerobic digesters over 110 days and acclimated for >3 solid retention time values. Four steady state TCS concentrations were chosen (30-2500 mg kg(-1)). Relative abundance of mexB, a gene coding for a component of a multidrug efflux pump, was significantly higher in all TCS-amended digesters (30 mg kg(-1) or higher) relative to the control. TCS selected for bacteria carrying tet(L) and against those carrying erm(F) at concentrations which inhibited digester function; the pH decrease associated with digester failure was suspected to cause this selection. Little to no impact of TCS was observed on intI1 relative abundance. Microbial communities were also surveyed by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Compared to the control digesters, significant shifts in community structure towards clades containing commensal and pathogenic bacteria were observed in digesters containing TCS. Based on these results, TCS should be included in studies and risk assessments that attempt to elucidate relationships between chemical stressors (e.g. antibiotics), antibiotic resistance genes, and public health.

  7. Methods for the Isolation of Genes Encoding Novel PHA Metabolism Enzymes from Complex Microbial Communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Jiujun; Nordeste, Ricardo; Trainer, Maria A; Charles, Trevor C

    2017-01-01

    Development of different PHAs as alternatives to petrochemically derived plastics can be facilitated by mining metagenomic libraries for diverse PHA cycle genes that might be useful for synthesis of bio-plastics. The specific phenotypes associated with mutations of the PHA synthesis pathway genes in Sinorhizobium meliloti and Pseudomonas putida, allows the use of powerful selection and screening tools to identify complementing novel PHA synthesis genes. Identification of novel genes through their function rather than sequence facilitates the functional proteins that may otherwise have been excluded through sequence-only screening methodology. We present here methods that we have developed for the isolation of clones expressing novel PHA metabolism genes from metagenomic libraries.

  8. Methods for the isolation of genes encoding novel PHB cycle enzymes from complex microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordeste, Ricardo F; Trainer, Maria A; Charles, Trevor C

    2010-01-01

    Development of different PHAs as alternatives to petrochemically derived plastics can be facilitated by mining metagenomic libraries for diverse PHA cycle genes that might be useful for synthesis of bioplastics. The specific phenotypes associated with mutations of the PHA synthesis pathway genes in Sinorhizobium meliloti allows for the use of powerful selection and screening tools to identify complementing novel PHA synthesis genes. Identification of novel genes through their function rather than sequence facilitates finding functional proteins that may otherwise have been excluded through sequence-only screening methodology. We present here methods that we have developed for the isolation of clones expressing novel PHA metabolism genes from metagenomic libraries.

  9. Microbial and Functional Diversity within the Phyllosphere of Espeletia Species in an Andean High-Mountain Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Restrepo, Silvia; Zambrano, María Mercedes

    2016-01-08

    Microbial populations residing in close contact with plants can be found in the rhizosphere, in the phyllosphere as epiphytes on the surface, or inside plants as endophytes. Here, we analyzed the microbiota associated with Espeletia plants, endemic to the Páramo environment of the Andes Mountains and a unique model for studying microbial populations and their adaptations to the adverse conditions of high-mountain neotropical ecosystems. Communities were analyzed using samples from the rhizosphere, necromass, and young and mature leaves, the last two analyzed separately as endophytes and epiphytes. The taxonomic composition determined by performing sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene indicated differences among populations of the leaf phyllosphere, the necromass, and the rhizosphere, with predominance of some phyla but only few shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Functional profiles predicted on the basis of taxonomic affiliations differed from those obtained by GeoChip microarray analysis, which separated community functional capacities based on plant microenvironment. The identified metabolic pathways provided insight regarding microbial strategies for colonization and survival in these ecosystems. This study of novel plant phyllosphere microbiomes and their putative functional ecology is also the first step for future bioprospecting studies in search of enzymes, compounds, or microorganisms relevant to industry or for remediation efforts. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Taxonomic and Functional Responses of Soil Microbial Communities to Annual Removal of Aboveground Plant Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xue; Zhou, Xishu; Hale, Lauren; Yuan, Mengting; Feng, Jiajie; Ning, Daliang; Shi, Zhou; Qin, Yujia; Liu, Feifei; Wu, Liyou; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Liu, Xueduan; Luo, Yiqi; Tiedje, James M.; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-01-01

    Clipping, removal of aboveground plant biomass, is an important issue in grassland ecology. However, few studies have focused on the effect of clipping on belowground microbial communities. Using integrated metagenomic technologies, we examined the taxonomic and functional responses of soil microbial communities to annual clipping (2010–2014) in a grassland ecosystem of the Great Plains of North America. Our results indicated that clipping significantly (P microbial respiration rates. Annual temporal variation within the microbial communities was much greater than the significant changes introduced by clipping, but cumulative effects of clipping were still observed in the long-term scale. The abundances of some bacterial and fungal lineages including Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were significantly (P microbial communities were significantly correlated with soil respiration and plant productivity. Intriguingly, clipping effects on microbial function may be highly regulated by precipitation at the interannual scale. Altogether, our results illustrated the potential of soil microbial communities for increased soil organic matter decomposition under clipping land-use practices. PMID:29904372

  11. Microbial functional diversity associated with plant litter decomposition along a climatic gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Chen; Steinberger, Yosef

    2012-08-01

    Predicted changes in climate associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions can cause increases in global mean temperature and changes in precipitation regimes. These changes may affect key soil processes, e.g., microbial CO(2) evolution and biomass, mineralization rates, primary productivity, biodiversity, and litter decomposition, which play an important role in carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Our study examined the changes in litter microbial communities and decomposition along a climatic gradient, ranging from arid desert to humid Mediterranean regions in Israel. Wheat straw litter bags were placed in arid, semi-arid, Mediterranean, and humid Mediterranean sites. Samples were collected seasonally over a 2-year period in order to evaluate mass loss, litter moisture, C/N ratio, bacterial colony-forming units (CFUs), microbial CO(2) evolution and biomass, microbial functional diversity, and catabolic profile. Decomposition rate was the highest during the first year of the study at the Mediterranean and arid sites. Community-level physiological profile and microbial biomass were the highest in summer, while bacterial CFUs were the highest in winter. Microbial functional diversity was found to be highest at the humid Mediterranean site, whereas substrate utilization increased at the arid site. Our results support the assumption that climatic factors control litter degradation and regulate microbial activity.

  12. Restoration using Azolla imbricata increases nitrogen functional bacterial groups and genes in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Xiao-Ming; Lu, Peng-Zhen; Yang, Ke

    2017-05-01

    Microbial groups are major factors that influence soil function. Currently, there is a lack of studies on microbial functional groups. Although soil microorganisms play an important role in the nitrogen cycle, systematic studies of the effects of environmental factors on microbial populations in relation to key metabolic processes in the nitrogen cycle are seldom reported. In this study, we conducted a systematic analysis of the changes in nitrogen functional groups in mandarin orange garden soil treated with Azolla imbricata. The structures of the major functional bacterial groups and the functional gene abundances involved in key processes of the soil nitrogen cycle were analyzed using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and quantitative real-time PCR, respectively. The results indicated that returning A. imbricata had an important influence on the composition of soil nitrogen functional bacterial communities. Treatment with A. imbricata increased the diversity of the nitrogen functional bacteria. The abundances of nitrogen functional genes were significantly higher in the treated soil compared with the control soil. Both the diversity of the major nitrogen functional bacteria (nifH bacteria, nirK bacteria, and narG bacteria) and the abundances of nitrogen functional genes in the soil showed significant positive correlations with the soil pH, the organic carbon content, available nitrogen, available phosphorus, and NH 4 + -N and NO 3 - -N contents. Treatment with 12.5 kg fresh A. imbricata per mandarin orange tree was effective to improve the quality of the mandarin orange garden soil. This study analyzed the mechanism of the changes in functional bacterial groups and genes involved in key metabolic processes of the nitrogen cycle in soil treated by A. imbricata.

  13. Challenges in microbial ecology: Building predictive understanding of community function and dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Widder, Stefanie; Allen, Rosalind J.; Pfeiffer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The importance of microbial communities (MCs) cannot be overstated. MCs underpin the biogeochemical cycles of the earth's soil, oceans and the atmosphere, and perform ecosystem functions that impact plants, animals and humans. Yet our ability to predict and manage the function of these highly...... complex, dynamically changing communities is limited. Building predictive models that link MC composition to function is a key emerging challenge in microbial ecology. Here, we argue that addressing this challenge requires close coordination of experimental data collection and method development...... is needed to achieve significant progress in our understanding of MC dynamics and function, and we make specific practical suggestions as to how this could be achieved....

  14. Hydration status and diurnal trophic interactions shape microbial community function in desert biocrusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Minsu; Or, Dani

    2017-12-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are self-organised thin assemblies of microbes, lichens, and mosses that are ubiquitous in arid regions and serve as important ecological and biogeochemical hotspots. Biocrust ecological function is intricately shaped by strong gradients of water, light, oxygen, and dynamics in the abundance and spatial organisation of the microbial community within a few millimetres of the soil surface. We report a mechanistic model that links the biophysical and chemical processes that shape the functioning of biocrust representative microbial communities that interact trophically and respond dynamically to cycles of hydration, light, and temperature. The model captures key features of carbon and nitrogen cycling within biocrusts, such as microbial activity and distribution (during early stages of biocrust establishment) under diurnal cycles and the associated dynamics of biogeochemical fluxes at different hydration conditions. The study offers new insights into the highly dynamic and localised processes performed by microbial communities within thin desert biocrusts.

  15. Hydration status and diurnal trophic interactions shape microbial community function in desert biocrusts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kim

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (biocrusts are self-organised thin assemblies of microbes, lichens, and mosses that are ubiquitous in arid regions and serve as important ecological and biogeochemical hotspots. Biocrust ecological function is intricately shaped by strong gradients of water, light, oxygen, and dynamics in the abundance and spatial organisation of the microbial community within a few millimetres of the soil surface. We report a mechanistic model that links the biophysical and chemical processes that shape the functioning of biocrust representative microbial communities that interact trophically and respond dynamically to cycles of hydration, light, and temperature. The model captures key features of carbon and nitrogen cycling within biocrusts, such as microbial activity and distribution (during early stages of biocrust establishment under diurnal cycles and the associated dynamics of biogeochemical fluxes at different hydration conditions. The study offers new insights into the highly dynamic and localised processes performed by microbial communities within thin desert biocrusts.

  16. The use of microbial gene abundance in the development of fuel remediation guidelines in polar soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Elizabeth L; King, Catherine K; Powell, Shane M

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial fuel spills in Antarctica commonly occur on ice-free land around research stations as the result of human activities. Successful spill clean-ups require appropriate targets that confirm contaminated sites are no longer likely to pose environmental risk following remediation. These targets are based on knowledge of the impacts of contaminants on the soil ecosystem and on the response of native biota to contamination. Our work examined the response of soil microbial communities to fuel contamination by measuring the abundance of genes involved in critical soil processes, and assessed the use of this approach as an indicator of soil health in the presence of weathered and fresh fuels. Uncontaminated and contaminated soils were collected from the site of remediation treatment of an aged diesel spill at Casey Station, East Antarctica in December 2012. Uncontaminated soil was spiked with fresh Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) diesel to determine the response of the genes to fresh fuel. Partly remediated soil containing weathered SAB diesel was diluted with uncontaminated soil to simulate a range of concentrations of weathered fuel and used to determine the response of the genes to aged fuel. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to measure the abundance of rpoB, alkB, cat23, and nosZ in soils containing SAB diesel. Differences were observed between the abundance of genes in control soils versus soils containing weathered and fresh fuels. Typical dose-response curves were generated for genes in response to the presence of fresh fuel. In contrast, the response of these genes to the range of weathered fuel appeared to be due to dilution, rather than to the effect of the fuel on the microbial community. Changes in microbial genes in response to fresh contamination have potential as a sensitive measure of soil health and for assessments of the effect of fuel spills in polar soils. This will contribute to the development of remediation guidelines to assist in management

  17. Effect of methyl-β-cyclodextrin on gene expression in microbial conversion of phytosterol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtratnikova, Victoria Y; Schelkunov, Mikhail I; Dovbnya, Dmitry V; Bragin, Eugeny Y; Donova, Marina V

    2017-06-01

    Modified β-cyclodextrins are widely used for the enhancement of microbial conversions of lipophilic compounds such as steroids. Multiple mechanisms of cyclodextrin-mediated enhancement of phytosterol bioconversion by mycobacteria had previously been shown to include steroid solubilization, alterations in the cell wall permeability for both steroids and nutrients, facilitation of protein leaking, and activity suppression of some steroid-transforming enzymes.In this work, we studied whether cyclodextrins might affect expression of the genes involved in the steroid catabolic pathway. Phytosterol bioconversion with 9α-hydroxy-androst-4-ene-3,17-dione accumulation by Mycobacterium sp. VKM Ac-1817D in the presence of methylated β-cyclodextrin (MCD) was investigated. RNA sequencing of the whole transcriptomes in different combinations of phytosterol and MCD showed a similar expression level of the steroid catabolism genes related to the KstR-regulon and was responsible for side chain and initial steps of steroid core oxidation; whereas, induction levels of the genes related to the KstR2-regulon were attenuated in the presence of MCD in this strain. The data were attenuated with quantitative real-time PCR.The results contribute to the understanding of cyclodextrin effects on microbial steroid conversion and provide a basis for the use of cyclodextrins as expression enhancers for studies of sterol catabolism in actinobacteria.

  18. Can Microbial Ecology and Mycorrhizal Functioning Inform Climate Change Models?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofmockel, Kirsten; Hobbie, Erik

    2017-07-31

    Our funded research focused on soil organic matter dynamics and plant-microbe interactions by examining the role of belowground processes and mechanisms across scales, including decomposition of organic molecules, microbial interactions, and plant-microbe interactions associated with a changing climate. Research foci included mycorrhizal mediated priming of soil carbon turnover, organic N use and depolymerization by free-living microbes and mycorrhizal fungi, and the use of isotopes as additional constraints for improved modeling of belowground processes. This work complemented the DOE’s mandate to understand both the consequences of atmospheric and climatic change for key ecosystems and the feedbacks on C cycling.

  19. Linking phylogenetic and functional diversity to nutrient spiraling in microbial mats from Lower Kane Cave (USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Annette Summers; Meisinger, Daniela B; Porter, Megan L; Payn, Robert A; Schmid, Michael; Stern, Libby A; Schleifer, K H; Lee, Natuschka M

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats in sulfidic cave streams offer unique opportunities to study redox-based biogeochemical nutrient cycles. Previous work from Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, USA, focused on the aerobic portion of microbial mats, dominated by putative chemolithoautotrophic, sulfur-oxidizing groups within the Epsilonproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. To evaluate nutrient cycling and turnover within the whole mat system, a multidisciplinary strategy was used to characterize the anaerobic portion of the mats, including application of the full-cycle rRNA approach, the most probable number method, and geochemical and isotopic analyses. Seventeen major taxonomic bacterial groups and one archaeal group were retrieved from the anaerobic portions of the mats, dominated by Deltaproteobacteria and uncultured members of the Chloroflexi phylum. A nutrient spiraling model was applied to evaluate upstream to downstream changes in microbial diversity based on carbon and sulfur nutrient concentrations. Variability in dissolved sulfide concentrations was attributed to changes in the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microbial groups and shifts in the occurrence and abundance of sulfate-reducing microbes. Gradients in carbon and sulfur isotopic composition indicated that released and recycled byproduct compounds from upstream microbial activities were incorporated by downstream communities. On the basis of the type of available chemical energy, the variability of nutrient species in a spiraling model may explain observed differences in microbial taxonomic affiliations and metabolic functions, thereby spatially linking microbial diversity to nutrient spiraling in the cave stream ecosystem.

  20. Relating Anaerobic Digestion Microbial Community and Process Function : Supplementary Issue: Water Microbiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaushik Venkiteshwaran

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Anaerobic digestion (AD involves a consortium of microorganisms that convert substrates into biogas containing methane for renewable energy. The technology has suffered from the perception of being periodically unstable due to limited understanding of the relationship between microbial community structure and function. The emphasis of this review is to describe microbial communities in digesters and quantitative and qualitative relationships between community structure and digester function. Progress has been made in the past few decades to identify key microorganisms influencing AD. Yet, more work is required to realize robust, quantitative relationships between microbial community structure and functions such as methane production rate and resilience after perturbations. Other promising areas of research for improved AD may include methods to increase/control (1 hydrolysis rate, (2 direct interspecies electron transfer to methanogens, (3 community structure–function relationships of methanogens, (4 methanogenesis via acetate oxidation, and (5 bioaugmentation to study community–activity relationships or improve engineered bioprocesses.

  1. Rhizome of life, catastrophes, sequence exchanges, gene creations and giant viruses: How microbial genomics challenges Darwin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vicky eMerhej

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Darwin’s theory about the evolution of species has been the object of considerable dispute. In this review, we have described seven key principles in Darwin’s book The Origin of Species and tried to present how genomics challenge each of these concepts and improve our knowledge about evolution. Darwin believed that species evolution consists on a positive directional selection ensuring the survival of the fittest. The most developed state of the species is characterized by increasing complexity. Darwin proposed the theory of descent with modification according to which all species evolve from a single common ancestor through a gradual process of small modification of their vertical inheritance. Finally, the process of evolution can be depicted in the form of a tree. However, microbial genomics showed that evolution is better described as the biological changes over time." The mode of change is not unidirectional and does not necessarily favors advantageous mutations to increase fitness it is rather subject to random selection as a result of catastrophic stochastic processes. Complexity is not necessarily the completion of development: several complex organisms have gone extinct and many microbes including bacteria with intracellular lifestyle have streamlined highly effective genomes. Genomes evolve through large events of gene deletions, duplications, insertions and genomes rearrangements rather than a gradual adaptative process. Genomes are dynamic and chimeric entities with gene repertoires that result from vertical and horizontal acquisitions as well as de novo gene creation. The chimeric character of microbial genomes excludes the possibility of finding a single common ancestor for all the genes recorded currently. Genomes are collections of genes with different evolutionary histories that cannot be represented by a single tree of life. A forest, a network or a rhizome of life may be more accurate to represent evolutionary relationships

  2. Gene identification and protein classification in microbial metagenomic sequence data via incremental clustering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Weizhong

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The identification and study of proteins from metagenomic datasets can shed light on the roles and interactions of the source organisms in their communities. However, metagenomic datasets are characterized by the presence of organisms with varying GC composition, codon usage biases etc., and consequently gene identification is challenging. The vast amount of sequence data also requires faster protein family classification tools. Results We present a computational improvement to a sequence clustering approach that we developed previously to identify and classify protein coding genes in large microbial metagenomic datasets. The clustering approach can be used to identify protein coding genes in prokaryotes, viruses, and intron-less eukaryotes. The computational improvement is based on an incremental clustering method that does not require the expensive all-against-all compute that was required by the original approach, while still preserving the remote homology detection capabilities. We present evaluations of the clustering approach in protein-coding gene identification and classification, and also present the results of updating the protein clusters from our previous work with recent genomic and metagenomic sequences. The clustering results are available via CAMERA, (http://camera.calit2.net. Conclusion The clustering paradigm is shown to be a very useful tool in the analysis of microbial metagenomic data. The incremental clustering method is shown to be much faster than the original approach in identifying genes, grouping sequences into existing protein families, and also identifying novel families that have multiple members in a metagenomic dataset. These clusters provide a basis for further studies of protein families.

  3. Community proteomics provides functional insight into polyhydroxyalkanoate production by a mixed microbial culture cultivated on fermented dairy manure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Andrea J; Guho, Nicholas M; Paszczynski, Andrzej J; Coats, Erik R

    2016-09-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bio-based, biodegradable polyesters that can be produced from organic-rich waste streams using mixed microbial cultures (MMCs). To maximize PHA production, MMCs are enriched for bacteria with a high polymer storage capacity through the application of aerobic dynamic feeding (ADF) in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), which consequently induces a feast-famine metabolic response. Though the feast-famine response is generally understood empirically at a macro-level, the molecular level is less refined. The objective of this study was to investigate the microbial community composition and proteome profile of an enriched MMC cultivated on fermented dairy manure. The enriched MMC exhibited a feast-famine response and was capable of producing up to 40 % (wt. basis) PHA in a fed-batch reactor. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed a microbial community dominated by Meganema, a known PHA-producing genus not often observed in high abundance in enrichment SBRs. The application of the proteomic methods two-dimensional electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS revealed PHA synthesis, energy generation, and protein synthesis prominently occurring during the feast phase, corroborating bulk solution variable observations and theoretical expectations. During the famine phase, nutrient transport, acyl-CoA metabolism, additional energy generation, and housekeeping functions were more pronounced, informing previously under-determined MMC functionality under famine conditions. During fed-batch PHA production, acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase and PHA granule-bound phasin proteins were in increased abundance relative to the SBR, supporting the higher PHA content observed. Collectively, the results provide unique microbial community structural and functional insight into feast-famine PHA production from waste feedstocks using MMCs.

  4. Succession of the functional microbial communities and the metabolic functions in maize straw composting process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Huawei; Wang, Liuhong; Hassan, Muhammad; Xie, Bing

    2018-05-01

    Illumina MiSeq sequencing and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) were applied to study the dynamic changes and effects of microbial community structures as well as the metabolic function of bacterial community in maize straw composting process. Results showed that humic acid contents in loosely combined humus (HA1) and stably combined humus (HA2) increased after composting and Staphylococcus, Cellulosimicrobium and Ochrobactrum possibly participated in the transformation of the process. The bacterial communities differed in different stages of the composting. Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria were reported the dominant phyla throughout the process and the relative abundance of the dominant phyla varied significantly (p composting. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Diversity and Function of Microbial Community in Chinese Strong-Flavor Baijiu Ecosystem: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Strong flavor baijiu (SFB, also called Luzhou-flavor liquor, is the most popular Chinese baijiu. It is manufactured via solid fermentation, with daqu as the starter. Microbial diversity of the SFB ecosystem and the synergistic effects of the enzymes and compounds produced by them are responsible for the special flavor and mouthfeel of SFB. The present review covers research studies focused on microbial community analysis of the SFB ecosystem, including the culturable microorganisms, their metabolic functions, microbial community diversity and their interactions. The review specifically emphasizes on the most recently conducted culture-independent analysis of SFB microbial community diversity. Furthermore, the possible application of systems biology approaches for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of SFB production were also reviewed and prospected.

  6. Microbial community composition and functions are resilient to metal pollution along two forest soil gradients.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azarbad, H.; Niklinska, M.; Laskowski, R.; van Straalen, N.M.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Zhou, J.; He, Z.; Wen, C.; Roling, W.F.M.

    2015-01-01

    Despite the global importance of forests, it is virtually unknown how their soil microbial communities adapt at the phylogenetic and functional level to long-term metal pollution. Studying 12 sites located along two distinct gradients of metal pollution in Southern Poland revealed that functional

  7. Bacillus subtilis-based direct-fed microbials augment macrophage function in broiler chickens

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the function of Bacillus subtilis-based direct-fed microbials (DFMs) on macrophage functions, i.e., nitric oxide (NO) production and phagocytosis in broiler chickens. DFMs used in this study were eight single strains designated as Bs2084, LSSAO1, 3AP4, Bs1...

  8. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  9. Dynamics in Microbial Composition and Functionality over a Season in Two Contrasting Estuarine Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Traving, Sachia; Bentzon-Tilia, Mikkel; Mantikci, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    In aquatic microbial ecology it remains unclear how bacterial community composition and dynamics are coupled to functionality, and whether this putative coupling varies over the season. In this study we address the questions if bacterial community composition can be linked to community function, ...

  10. Microbial Species and Functional Diversity in Rice Rhizosphere of High-yield Special Ecological Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PAN Li-yuan

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Taoyuan, Yunnan Province is a special eco-site which keeps the highest yield records of rice cultivation in small planting areas. Soil microbial species and functional diversity were evaluated using cultivation method and BIOLOG ecoplates. The results showed that the microbial community of the high yield region was more abundant, and the total microbial population was 2 times of the control, furthermore, the areas belonged to the healthy "bacteria" soil, which was showed as bacteria > actinomycetes > fungi. Bacteria were the dominant populations in the rhizosphere of high yielding rice field, and the yield formation of rice was not correlated with the depth of soil layers. In order to obtain more species diversity information, Shannon diversity index H, Shannon evenness index E and Simpson index D were analyzed, and the results showed that microbial community diversity and evenness were not the main differences between the high and general yield areas. Then, the functional diversity of soil microbial community was investigated through the average well color development(AWCD and diversity index analyses. The results of AWCD analysis indicated that the metabolic activity of soil microbial community in high yield paddy soils were stronger than the control. Moreover, the difference range from large to small showed as tillering stage > harvest period > seedling period > rotation period, the stronger the rice growth, the greater the difference between the high yield region and the control. At tillering stage and harvest stage, due to the vigorous plant growth, the root exudates were rich, and the microbial communities of high yield paddy soils showed a strong metabolic activity and strong ability to use carbon sources. The results of Shannon, Simpson and McIntosh indices analysis indicated that common microbial species was not a key factor affecting the yield of rice. Tillering stage was a key period for the growth of high yield rice, and many

  11. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  13. Characterization of microbial community and the alkylscccinate synthase genes in petroleum reservoir fluids of China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Lei; Mu, Bo-Zhong [University of Science and Technology (China)], email: bzmu@ecust.edu.cn; Gu, Ji-Dong [The University of Hong Kong (China)], email: jdgu@hkucc.hku.hk

    2011-07-01

    Petroleum reservoirs represent a special ecosystem consisting of specific temperature, pressure, salt concentration, oil, gas, water, microorganisms and, enzymes among others. This paper presents the characterization of microbial community and the alkyl succinate synthase genes in petroleum reservoir fluids in China. A few samples were analyzed and the physical and chemical characteristics are given in a tabular form. A flow chart shows the methods and procedures for microbial activities. Six petroleum reservoirs were studied using an archaeal 16S rRNA gene-based approach to establish the presence of archaea and the results are given. The correlation of archaeal and bacterial communities with reservoir conditions and diversity of the arachaeal community in water-flooding petroleum reservoirs at different temperatures is also shown. From the study, it can be summarized that, among methane producers, CO2-reducing methanogens are mostly found in oil reservoir ecosystems and as more assA sequences are revealed, more comprehensive molecular probes can be designed to track the activity of anaerobic alkane-degrading organisms in the environment.

  14. Comparative genome analysis of PHB gene family reveals deep evolutionary origins and diverse gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Chao; Xu, Wenying; Su, Zhen; Yuan, Joshua S

    2010-10-07

    PHB (Prohibitin) gene family is involved in a variety of functions important for different biological processes. PHB genes are ubiquitously present in divergent species from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Human PHB genes have been found to be associated with various diseases. Recent studies by our group and others have shown diverse function of PHB genes in plants for development, senescence, defence, and others. Despite the importance of the PHB gene family, no comprehensive gene family analysis has been carried to evaluate the relatedness of PHB genes across different species. In order to better guide the gene function analysis and understand the evolution of the PHB gene family, we therefore carried out the comparative genome analysis of the PHB genes across different kingdoms. The relatedness, motif distribution, and intron/exon distribution all indicated that PHB genes is a relatively conserved gene family. The PHB genes can be classified into 5 classes and each class have a very deep evolutionary origin. The PHB genes within the class maintained the same motif patterns during the evolution. With Arabidopsis as the model species, we found that PHB gene intron/exon structure and domains are also conserved during the evolution. Despite being a conserved gene family, various gene duplication events led to the expansion of the PHB genes. Both segmental and tandem gene duplication were involved in Arabidopsis PHB gene family expansion. However, segmental duplication is predominant in Arabidopsis. Moreover, most of the duplicated genes experienced neofunctionalization. The results highlighted that PHB genes might be involved in important functions so that the duplicated genes are under the evolutionary pressure to derive new function. PHB gene family is a conserved gene family and accounts for diverse but important biological functions based on the similar molecular mechanisms. The highly diverse biological function indicated that more research needs to be carried out

  15. Relating microbial community structure to functioning in forest soil organic carbon transformation and turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Yeming; Wang, Juan; Huang, Xueman; Tang, Zuoxin; Liu, Shirong; Sun, Osbert J

    2014-03-01

    Forest soils store vast amounts of terrestrial carbon, but we are still limited in mechanistic understanding on how soil organic carbon (SOC) stabilization or turnover is controlled by biotic and abiotic factors in forest ecosystems. We used phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) as biomarker to study soil microbial community structure and measured activities of five extracellular enzymes involved in the degradation of cellulose (i.e., β-1,4-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase), chitin (i.e., β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase), and lignin (i.e., phenol oxidase and peroxidase) as indicators of soil microbial functioning in carbon transformation or turnover across varying biotic and abiotic conditions in a typical temperate forest ecosystem in central China. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was performed to determine the interrelationship between individual PFLAs and biotic and abiotic site factors as well as the linkage between soil microbial structure and function. Path analysis was further conducted to examine the controls of site factors on soil microbial community structure and the regulatory pathway of changes in SOC relating to microbial community structure and function. We found that soil microbial community structure is strongly influenced by water, temperature, SOC, fine root mass, clay content, and C/N ratio in soils and that the relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria, saprophytic fungi, and actinomycetes explained most of the variations in the specific activities of soil enzymes involved in SOC transformation or turnover. The abundance of soil bacterial communities is strongly linked with the extracellular enzymes involved in carbon transformation, whereas the abundance of saprophytic fungi is associated with activities of extracellular enzymes driving carbon oxidation. Findings in this study demonstrate the complex interactions and linkage among plant traits, microenvironment, and soil physiochemical properties in affecting SOC via microbial regulations.

  16. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  17. Influence of soil zinc concentrations on zinc sensitivity and functional diversity of microbial communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lock, K.; Janssen, C.R.

    2005-01-01

    Pollution induced community tolerance (PICT) is based on the phenomenon that toxic effects reduce survival of the most sensitive organisms, thus increasing community tolerance. Community tolerance for a contaminant is thus a strong indicator for the presence of that contaminant at the level of adverse concentrations. Here we assessed PICT in 11 soils contaminated with zinc runoff from galvanised electricity pylons and 11 reference soils sampled at 10 m distance from these pylons. Using PICT, the influence of background concentration and bioavailability of zinc on zinc sensitivity and functional diversity of microbial communities was assessed. Zinc sensitivity of microbial communities decreased significantly with increasing zinc concentrations in pore water and calcium chloride extracted fraction while no significant relationship was found with total zinc concentration in the soil. It was also found that functional diversity of microbial communities decreased with increasing zinc concentrations, indicating that increased tolerance is indeed an undesirable phenomenon when environmental quality is considered. The hypothesis that zinc sensitivity of microbial communities is related to background zinc concentration in pore water could not be confirmed. - Zinc sensitivity of microbial communities and functional diversity decrease with increasing zinc concentration in the pore water

  18. Structure and function of subsurface microbial communities affecting radionuclide transport and bioimmobilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostka, Joel E. [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States); Prakash, Om [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States); Green, Stefan J. [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States); Akob, Denise [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States); Jasrotia, Puja [Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States); Kerkhof, Lee [Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Chin, Kuk-Jeong [Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States); Sheth, Mili [Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA (United States); Keller, Martin [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Venkateswaran, Amudhan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Elkins, James G. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States); Stucki, Joseph W. [Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States)

    2012-05-01

    Our objectives were to: 1) isolate and characterize novel anaerobic prokaryotes from subsurface environments exposed to high levels of mixed contaminants (U(VI), nitrate, sulfate), 2) elucidate the diversity and distribution of metabolically active metal- and nitrate-reducing prokaryotes in subsurface sediments, and 3) determine the biotic and abiotic mechanisms linking electron transport processes (nitrate, Fe(III), and sulfate reduction) to radionuclide reduction and immobilization. Mechanisms of electron transport and U(VI) transformation were examined under near in situ conditions in sediment microcosms and in field investigations. Field sampling was conducted at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (ORFRC), in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The ORFRC subsurface is exposed to mixed contamination predominated by uranium and nitrate. In short, we effectively addressed all 3 stated objectives of the project. In particular, we isolated and characterized a large number of novel anaerobes with a high bioremediation potential that can be used as model organisms, and we are now able to quantify the function of subsurface sedimentary microbial communities in situ using state-of-the-art gene expression methods (molecular proxies).

  19. Nontarget effects of chemical pesticides and biological pesticide on rhizospheric microbial community structure and function in Vigna radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sunil; Gupta, Rashi; Kumari, Madhu; Sharma, Shilpi

    2015-08-01

    Intensive agriculture has resulted in an indiscriminate use of pesticides, which demands in-depth analysis of their impact on indigenous rhizospheric microbial community structure and function. Hence, the objective of the present work was to study the impact of two chemical pesticides (chlorpyrifos and cypermethrin) and one biological pesticide (azadirachtin) at two dosages on the microbial community structure using cultivation-dependent approach and on rhizospheric bacterial communities involved in nitrogen cycle in Vigna radiata rhizosphere through cultivation-independent technique of real-time PCR. Cultivation-dependent study highlighted the adverse effects of both chemical pesticide and biopesticide on rhizospheric bacterial and fungal communities at different plant growth stages. Also, an adverse effect on number of genes and transcripts of nifH (nitrogen fixation); amoA (nitrification); and narG, nirK, and nirS (denitrification) was observed. The results from the present study highlighted two points, firstly that nontarget effects of pesticides are significantly detrimental to soil microflora, and despite being of biological origin, azadirachtin exerted negative impact on rhizospheric microbial community of V. radiata behaving similar to chemical pesticides. Hence, such nontarget effects of chemical pesticide and biopesticide in plants' rhizosphere, which bring out the larger picture in terms of their ecotoxicological effect, demand a proper risk assessment before application of pesticides as agricultural amendments.

  20. [Fanconi anemia: genes and function(s) revisited].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadopoulo, Dora; Moustacchi, Ethel

    2005-01-01

    Fanconi anemia (FA), a rare inherited disorder, exhibits a complex phenotype including progressive bone marrow failure, congenital malformations and increased risk of cancers, mainly acute myeloid leukaemia. At the cellular level, FA is characterized by hypersensitivity to DNA cross-linking agents and by high frequencies of induced chromosomal aberrations, a property used for diagnosis. FA results from mutations in one of the eleven FANC (FANCA to FANCJ) genes. Nine of them have been identified. In addition, FANCD1 gene has been shown to be identical to BRCA2, one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes. Seven of the FANC proteins form a complex, which exists in four different forms depending of its subcellular localisation. Four FANC proteins (D1(BRCA2), D2, I and J) are not associated to the complex. The presence of the nuclear form of the FA core complex is necessary for the mono-ubiquitinylation of FANCD2 protein, a modification required for its re-localization to nuclear foci, likely to be sites of DNA repair. A clue towards understanding the molecular function of the FANC genes comes from the recently identified connection of FANC to the BRCA1, ATM, NBS1 and ATR genes. Two of the FANC proteins (A and D2) directly interact with BRCA1, which in turn interacts with the MRE11/RAD50/NBS1 complex, which is one of the key components in the mechanisms involved in the cellular response to DNA double strand breaks (DSB). Moreover, ATM, a protein kinase that plays a central role in the network of DSB signalling, phosphorylates in vitro and in vivo FANCD2 in response to ionising radiations. Moreover, the NBS1 protein and the monoubiquitinated form of FANCD2 seem to act together in response to DNA crosslinking agents. Taken together with the previously reported impaired DSB and DNA interstrand crosslinks repair in FA cells, the connection of FANC genes to the ATM, ATR, NBS1 and BRCA1 links the FANC genes function to the finely orchestrated network involved in the

  1. Response of Microbial Community Function to Fluctuating Geochemical Conditions within a Legacy Radioactive Waste Trench Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Campos, Xabier; Kinsela, Andrew S; Bligh, Mark W; Harrison, Jennifer J; Payne, Timothy E; Waite, T David

    2017-09-01

    During the 1960s, small quantities of radioactive materials were codisposed with chemical waste at the Little Forest Legacy Site (Sydney, Australia) in 3-meter-deep, unlined trenches. Chemical and microbial analyses, including functional and taxonomic information derived from shotgun metagenomics, were collected across a 6-week period immediately after a prolonged rainfall event to assess the impact of changing water levels upon the microbial ecology and contaminant mobility. Collectively, results demonstrated that oxygen-laden rainwater rapidly altered the redox balance in the trench water, strongly impacting microbial functioning as well as the radiochemistry. Two contaminants of concern, plutonium and americium, were shown to transition from solid-iron-associated species immediately after the initial rainwater pulse to progressively more soluble moieties as reducing conditions were enhanced. Functional metagenomics revealed the potentially important role that the taxonomically diverse microbial community played in this transition. In particular, aerobes dominated in the first day, followed by an increase of facultative anaerobes/denitrifiers at day 4. Toward the mid-end of the sampling period, the functional and taxonomic profiles depicted an anaerobic community distinguished by a higher representation of dissimilatory sulfate reduction and methanogenesis pathways. Our results have important implications to similar near-surface environmental systems in which redox cycling occurs. IMPORTANCE The role of chemical and microbiological factors in mediating the biogeochemistry of groundwaters from trenches used to dispose of radioactive materials during the 1960s is examined in this study. Specifically, chemical and microbial analyses, including functional and taxonomic information derived from shotgun metagenomics, were collected across a 6-week period immediately after a prolonged rainfall event to assess how changing water levels influence microbial ecology and

  2. Identification and characterization of rhizospheric microbial diversity by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Naveed

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, samples of rhizosphere and root nodules were collected from different areas of Pakistan to isolate plant growth promoting rhizobacteria. Identification of bacterial isolates was made by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis and taxonomical confirmation on EzTaxon Server. The identified bacterial strains were belonged to 5 genera i.e. Ensifer, Bacillus, Pseudomona, Leclercia and Rhizobium. Phylogenetic analysis inferred from 16S rRNA gene sequences showed the evolutionary relationship of bacterial strains with the respective genera. Based on phylogenetic analysis, some candidate novel species were also identified. The bacterial strains were also characterized for morphological, physiological, biochemical tests and glucose dehydrogenase (gdh gene that involved in the phosphate solublization using cofactor pyrroloquinolone quinone (PQQ. Seven rhizoshperic and 3 root nodulating stains are positive for gdh gene. Furthermore, this study confirms a novel association between microbes and their hosts like field grown crops, leguminous and non-leguminous plants. It was concluded that a diverse group of bacterial population exist in the rhizosphere and root nodules that might be useful in evaluating the mechanisms behind plant microbial interactions and strains QAU-63 and QAU-68 have sequence similarity of 97 and 95% which might be declared as novel after further taxonomic characterization.

  3. Shifts in Host Mucosal Innate Immune Function Are Associated with Ruminal Microbial Succession in Supplemental Feeding and Grazing Goats at Different Ages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinzhen Jiao

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Gastrointestinal microbiota may play an important role in regulating host mucosal innate immune function. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that age (non-rumination, transition and rumination and feeding type [Supplemental feeding (S vs. Grazing (G] could alter ruminal microbial diversity and maturation of host mucosal innate immune system in goat kids. MiSeq sequencing was applied to investigate ruminal microbial composition and diversity, and RT-PCR was used to test expression of immune-related genes in ruminal mucosa. Results showed that higher (P < 0.05 relative abundances of Prevotella, Butyrivibrio, Pseudobutyrivibrio, Methanobrevibacter.gottschalkii, Neocallimastix, Anoplodinium–Diplodinium, and Polyplastron, and lower relative abundance of Methanosphaera (P = 0.042 were detected in the rumen of S kids when compared to those in G kids. The expression of genes encoding TLRs, IL1α, IL1β and TICAM2 was down-regulated (P < 0.01, while expression of genes encoding tight junction proteins was up-regulated (P < 0.05 in the ruminal mucosa of S kids when compared to that in G kids. Moreover, irrespective of feeding type, relative abundances of ruminal Prevotella, Fibrobacter, Ruminococcus, Butyrivibrio, Methanobrevibacter, Neocallimastix, and Entodinium increased with age. The expression of most genes encoding TLRs and cytokines increased (P < 0.05 from day 0 to 7, while expression of genes encoding tight junction proteins declined with age (P < 0.05. This study revealed that the composition of each microbial domain changed as animals grew, and these changes might be associated with variations in host mucosal innate immune function. Moreover, supplementing goat kids with concentrate could modulate ruminal microbial composition, enhance barrier function and decrease local inflammation. The findings provide useful information in interpreting microbiota and host interactions, and developing nutritional strategies to improve the

  4. Effects of gene-augmentation on the formation, characteristics and microbial community of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid degrading aerobic microbial granules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quan, Xiang-chun; Ma, Jing-yun; Xiong, Wei-cong; Yang, Zhi-feng

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: ► The first study to cultivate aerobic granules capable of utilizing 2,4-D as the sole carbon source. ► Granules cultivated through gene-augmentation were first compared systematically with the control on granule formation, degradation kinetics, morphology, and microbial community. ► The first report on the fate of transconjugats in the granules during long term operation after bioaugmentation. ► The first study to isolate in dominant bacteria in 2,4-D degrading microbial granules. - Abstract: Development of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) degrading aerobic granular sludge was conducted in two sequencing batch reactors (SBR) with one bioaugmented with a plasmid pJP4 donor strain Pseudomonas putida SM1443 and the other as a control. Half-matured aerobic granules pre-grown on glucose were used as the starting seeds and a two-stage operation strategy was applied. Granules capable of utilizing 2,4-D (about 500 mg/L) as the sole carbon source was successfully cultivated in both reactors. Gene-augmentation resulted in the enhancement of 2,4-D degradation rates by the percentage of 65–135% for the granules on Day 18, and 6–24% for the granules on Day 105. Transconjugants receiving plasmid pJP4 were established in the granule microbial community after bioaugmentation and persisted till the end of operation. Compared with the control granules, the granules in the bioaugmented reactor demonstrated a better settling ability, larger size, more abundant microbial diversity and stronger tolerance to 2,4-D. The finally obtained granules in the bioaugmented and control reactor had a granule size of around 600 μm and 500 μm, a Shannon–Weaver diversity index (H) of 0.96 and 0.55, respectively. A shift in microbial community was found during the granulation process.

  5. Terrestrial exposure of oilfield flowline additives diminish soil structural stability and remediative microbial function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    George, S.J.; Sherbone, J.; Hinz, C.; Tibbett, M.

    2011-01-01

    Onshore oil production pipelines are major installations in the petroleum industry, stretching many thousands of kilometres worldwide which also contain flowline additives. The current study focuses on the effect of the flowline additives on soil physico-chemical and biological properties and quantified the impact using resilience and resistance indices. Our findings are the first to highlight deleterious effect of flowline additives by altering some fundamental soil properties, including a complete loss of structural integrity of the impacted soil and a reduced capacity to degrade hydrocarbons mainly due to: (i) phosphonate salts (in scale inhibitor) prevented accumulation of scale in pipelines but also disrupted soil physical structure; (ii) glutaraldehyde (in biocides) which repressed microbial activity in the pipeline and reduced hydrocarbon degradation in soil upon environmental exposure; (iii) the combinatory effects of these two chemicals synergistically caused severe soil structural collapse and disruption of microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons. - Highlights: → Effects of flowline additives on soil structure and microbial function highlighted. → Phosphonate salts (in scale inhibitor) were found to disrupt soil physical structure. → Glutaraldehyde (in biocides) caused significant reduction of hydrocarbon degradation in soil. → Flowline additive chemicals synergistically affects soil structure and remediative microbial function. - Scale inhibitor and biocide oilfield flowline additives interactively affect soil physical and microbial properties

  6. Employment of Near Full-Length Ribosome Gene TA-Cloning and Primer-Blast to Detect Multiple Species in a Natural Complex Microbial Community Using Species-Specific Primers Designed with Their Genome Sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Huimin; He, Hongkui; Yu, Xiujuan; Xu, Zhaohui; Zhang, Zhizhou

    2016-11-01

    It remains an unsolved problem to quantify a natural microbial community by rapidly and conveniently measuring multiple species with functional significance. Most widely used high throughput next-generation sequencing methods can only generate information mainly for genus-level taxonomic identification and quantification, and detection of multiple species in a complex microbial community is still heavily dependent on approaches based on near full-length ribosome RNA gene or genome sequence information. In this study, we used near full-length rRNA gene library sequencing plus Primer-Blast to design species-specific primers based on whole microbial genome sequences. The primers were intended to be specific at the species level within relevant microbial communities, i.e., a defined genomics background. The primers were tested with samples collected from the Daqu (also called fermentation starters) and pit mud of a traditional Chinese liquor production plant. Sixteen pairs of primers were found to be suitable for identification of individual species. Among them, seven pairs were chosen to measure the abundance of microbial species through quantitative PCR. The combination of near full-length ribosome RNA gene library sequencing and Primer-Blast may represent a broadly useful protocol to quantify multiple species in complex microbial population samples with species-specific primers.

  7. Analysis of gut microbial regulation of host gene expression along the length of the gut and regulation of gut microbial ecology through MyD88.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsson, Erik; Tremaroli, Valentina; Lee, Ying Shiuan; Koren, Omry; Nookaew, Intawat; Fricker, Ashwana; Nielsen, Jens; Ley, Ruth E; Bäckhed, Fredrik

    2012-08-01

    The gut microbiota has profound effects on host physiology but local host-microbial interactions in the gut are only poorly characterised and are likely to vary from the sparsely colonised duodenum to the densely colonised colon. Microorganisms are recognised by pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors, which signal through the adaptor molecule MyD88. To identify host responses induced by gut microbiota along the length of the gut and whether these required MyD88, transcriptional profiles of duodenum, jejunum, ileum and colon were compared from germ-free and conventionally raised wild-type and Myd88-/- mice. The gut microbial ecology was assessed by 454-based pyrosequencing and viruses were analysed by PCR. The gut microbiota modulated the expression of a large set of genes in the small intestine and fewer genes in the colon but surprisingly few microbiota-regulated genes required MyD88 signalling. However, MyD88 was essential for microbiota-induced colonic expression of the antimicrobial genes Reg3β and Reg3γ in the epithelium, and Myd88 deficiency was associated with both a shift in bacterial diversity and a greater proportion of segmented filamentous bacteria in the small intestine. In addition, conventionally raised Myd88-/- mice had increased expression of antiviral genes in the colon, which correlated with norovirus infection in the colonic epithelium. This study provides a detailed description of tissue-specific host transcriptional responses to the normal gut microbiota along the length of the gut and demonstrates that the absence of MyD88 alters gut microbial ecology.

  8. The veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline and Cu influence functional diversity of the soil microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kong, W -D [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Zhu, Y -G [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Fu, B -J [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China); Marschner, P [Soil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, DP 636, 5005 (Australia); He, J -Z [Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Soil Environment of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 18 Shuangqing Road, Beijing 100085 (China)

    2006-09-15

    There are increasing concerns over the effects of veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals in agricultural soils. The widely used veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC), Cu and their combination on soil microbial community function were assessed with the Biolog method. The microbial community was extracted from the soil and exposed to a 0.85% sodium chloride solution containing OTC (0, 1, 5, 11, 43, 109 and 217 {mu}M), or Cu (0, 10, 20, 100 and 300 {mu}M), or combination of the two pollutants (OTC 0, 5, 11 {mu}M and Cu 0, 20 {mu}M). Functional diversity, evenness, average well color development (AWCD) and substrate utilization decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of OTC or Cu (p < 0.005). The critical concentrations were 11 {mu}M for OTC and 20 {mu}M for Cu. The combination of OTC and Cu significantly decreased Shannon's diversity, evenness and utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids compared to individual one of the contaminants. The antibiotic OTC and Cu had significant negative effects on soil microbial community function, particularly when both pollutants were present. - Oxytetracycline reduces the functional diversity of soil microbial community, and the combination of Cu and oxytetracycline leads to a further reduction.

  9. The veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline and Cu influence functional diversity of the soil microbial community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kong, W.-D.; Zhu, Y.-G.; Fu, B.-J.; Marschner, P.; He, J.-Z.

    2006-01-01

    There are increasing concerns over the effects of veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals in agricultural soils. The widely used veterinary antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC), Cu and their combination on soil microbial community function were assessed with the Biolog method. The microbial community was extracted from the soil and exposed to a 0.85% sodium chloride solution containing OTC (0, 1, 5, 11, 43, 109 and 217 μM), or Cu (0, 10, 20, 100 and 300 μM), or combination of the two pollutants (OTC 0, 5, 11 μM and Cu 0, 20 μM). Functional diversity, evenness, average well color development (AWCD) and substrate utilization decreased significantly with increasing concentrations of OTC or Cu (p < 0.005). The critical concentrations were 11 μM for OTC and 20 μM for Cu. The combination of OTC and Cu significantly decreased Shannon's diversity, evenness and utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids compared to individual one of the contaminants. The antibiotic OTC and Cu had significant negative effects on soil microbial community function, particularly when both pollutants were present. - Oxytetracycline reduces the functional diversity of soil microbial community, and the combination of Cu and oxytetracycline leads to a further reduction

  10. Plants Rather than Mineral Fertilization Shape Microbial Community Structure and Functional Potential in Legacy Contaminated Soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rídl, Jakub; Kolář, Michal; Strejček, M.; Strnad, Hynek; Štursa, P.; Pačes, Jan; Macek, T.; Uhlík, O.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 7, JUN 24 (2016), č. článku 995. ISSN 1664-302X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-28283S Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : microbial community structure * plants * fertilization * contaminated soil * functional potential Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.076, year: 2016

  11. Analysis of the functional diversity of the microbial communities in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Biolog method was thus evaluated in a paper-mill water system. The influence of the production of various paper grades, biocide combinations and monthly maintenance shut-downs on the functional diversity of the microbial communities were determined using the Biolog technique. The communities in the planktonic ...

  12. Biochemical mechanisms determine the functional compatibility of heterologous genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Porse, Andreas; Schou, Thea S.; Munck, Christian

    2018-01-01

    -gene libraries have suggested that sequence composition is a strong barrier for the successful integration of heterologous genes. Here we sample 200 diverse genes, representing >80% of sequenced antibiotic resistance genes, to interrogate the factors governing genetic compatibility in new hosts. In contrast...... factors governing the functionality and fitness of antibiotic resistance genes. These findings emphasize the importance of biochemical mechanism for heterologous gene compatibility, and suggest physiological constraints as a pivotal feature orienting the evolution of antibiotic resistance....

  13. Culture-Independent Identification of Manganese-Oxidizing Genes from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Chemoautotrophic Ferromanganese Microbial Communities Using a Metagenomic Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, R.; Tebo, B. M.

    2013-12-01

    Microbial activity has long been recognized as being important to the fate of manganese (Mn) in hydrothermal systems, yet we know very little about the organisms that catalyze Mn oxidation, the mechanisms by which Mn is oxidized or the physiological function that Mn oxidation serves in these hydrothermal systems. Hydrothermal vents with thick ferromanganese microbial mats and Mn oxide-coated rocks observed throughout the Pacific Ring of Fire are ideal models to study the mechanisms of microbial Mn oxidation, as well as primary productivity in these metal-cycling ecosystems. We sampled ferromanganese microbial mats from Vai Lili Vent Field (Tmax=43°C) located on the Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Mn oxide-encrusted rhyolytic pumice (4°C) from Niua South Seamount on the Tonga Volcanic Arc. Metagenomic libraries were constructed and assembled from these samples and key genes known to be involved in Mn oxidation and carbon fixation pathways were identified in the reconstructed genomes. The Vai Lili metagenome assembled to form 121,157 contiguous sequences (contigs) greater than 1000bp in length, with an N50 of 8,261bp and a total metagenome size of 593 Mbp. Contigs were binned using an emergent self-organizing map of tetranucleotide frequencies. Putative homologs of the multicopper Mn-oxidase MnxG were found in the metagenome that were related to both the Pseudomonas-like and Bacillus-like forms of the enzyme. The bins containing the Pseudomonas-like mnxG genes are most closely related to uncultured Deltaproteobacteria and Chloroflexi. The Deltaproteobacteria bin appears to be an obligate anaerobe with possible chemoautotrophic metabolisms, while the Chloroflexi appears to be a heterotrophic organism. The metagenome from the Mn-stained pumice was assembled into 122,092 contigs greater than 1000bp in length with an N50 of 7635 and a metagenome size of 385 Mbp. Both forms of mnxG genes are present in this metagenome as well as the genes encoding the putative Mn

  14. Community Structure and Function of High-temperature Chlorophototrophic Microbial Mats Inhabiting Diverse Geothermal Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average~ 53 Mbp/site were subjected to multiple taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional analyses. All methods, including G+C content distribution, MEGAN analyses and oligonucleotide frequency-based clustering, provided strong support for the dominant community members present in each site. Cyanobacteria were only observed in non-sulfidic sites; de novo assemblies were obtained for Synechococcus-like populations at Chocolate Pots (CP_7 and Fischerella-like populations at White Creek (WC_6. Chloroflexi-like sequences (esp. Roseiflexus and/or Chloroflexus spp. were observed in all six samples and contained genes involved in bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis and the 3-hydroxypropionate carbon fixation pathway. Other major sequence assemblies were obtained for a Chlorobiales population from CP_7 (proposed family Thermochlorobacteriaceae, and an anoxygenic, sulfur-oxidizing Thermochromatium-like (Gamma-proteobacteria population from Bath Lake Vista Annex (BLVA_20. Additional sequence coverage is necessary to establish more complete assemblies of other novel bacteria in these sites (e.g., Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes; however, current assemblies suggested that several of these organisms play important roles in heterotrophic and fermentative metabolisms. Definitive linkages were established between several of the dominant phylotypes present in these habitats and important functional

  15. Optimized cryopreservation of mixed microbial communities for conserved functionality and diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederiek-Maarten Kerckhof

    Full Text Available The use of mixed microbial communities (microbiomes for biotechnological applications has steadily increased over the past decades. However, these microbiomes are not readily available from public culture collections, hampering their potential for widespread use. The main reason for this lack of availability is the lack of an effective cryopreservation protocol. Due to this critical need, we evaluated the functionality as well as the community structure of three different types of microbiomes before and after cryopreservation with two cryoprotective agents (CPA. Microbiomes were selected based upon relevance towards applications: (1 a methanotrophic co-culture (MOB, with potential for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, environmental pollutants removal and bioplastics production; (2 an oxygen limited autotrophic nitrification/denitrification (OLAND biofilm, with enhanced economic and ecological benefits for wastewater treatment, and (3 fecal material from a human donor, with potential applications for fecal transplants and pre/probiotics research. After three months of cryopreservation at -80 °C, we found that metabolic activity, in terms of the specific activity recovery of MOB, aerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria (AerAOB and anaerobic AOB (AnAOB, anammox in the OLAND mixed culture, resumes sooner when one of our selected CPA [dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO and DMSO plus trehalose and tryptic soy broth (DMSO+TT] was added. However, the activity of the fecal community was not influenced by the CPA addition, although the preservation of the community structure (as determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing was enhanced by addition of CPA. In summary, we have evaluated a cryopreservation protocol that succeeded in preserving both community structure and functionality of value-added microbiomes. This will allow individual laboratories and culture collections to boost the use of microbiomes in biotechnological applications.

  16. A massive incorporation of microbial genes into the genome of Tetranychus urticae, a polyphagous arthropod herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wybouw, N; Van Leeuwen, T; Dermauw, W

    2018-06-01

    A number of horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) have been identified in the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, a chelicerate herbivore. However, the genome of this mite species has at present not been thoroughly mined for the presence of HGT genes. Here, we performed a systematic screen for HGT genes in the T. urticae genome using the h-index metric. Our results not only validated previously identified HGT genes but also uncovered 25 novel HGT genes. In addition to HGT genes with a predicted biochemical function in carbohydrate, lipid and folate metabolism, we also identified the horizontal transfer of a ketopantoate hydroxymethyltransferase and a pantoate β-alanine ligase gene. In plants and bacteria, both genes are essential for vitamin B5 biosynthesis and their presence in the mite genome strongly suggests that spider mites, similar to Bemisia tabaci and nematodes, can synthesize their own vitamin B5. We further show that HGT genes were physically embedded within the mite genome and were expressed in different life stages. By screening chelicerate genomes and transcriptomes, we were able to estimate the evolutionary histories of these HGTs during chelicerate evolution. Our study suggests that HGT has made a significant and underestimated impact on the metabolic repertoire of plant-feeding spider mites. © 2018 The Royal Entomological Society.

  17. Microbial succession and the functional potential during the fermentation of Chinese soy sauce brine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulaiman, Joanita; Gan, Han Ming; Yin, Wai-Fong; Chan, Kok-Gan

    2014-01-01

    The quality of traditional Chinese soy sauce is determined by microbial communities and their inter-related metabolic roles in the fermentation tank. In this study, traditional Chinese soy sauce brine samples were obtained periodically to monitor the transitions of the microbial population and functional properties during the 6 months of fermentation process. Whole genome shotgun method revealed that the fermentation brine was dominated by the bacterial genus Weissella and later dominated by the fungal genus Candida. Metabolic reconstruction of the metagenome sequences demonstrated a characteristic profile of heterotrophic fermentation of proteins and carbohydrates. This was supported by the detection of ethanol with stable decrease of pH values. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that explores the temporal changes in microbial successions over a period of 6 months, through metagenome shotgun sequencing in traditional Chinese soy sauce fermentation and the biological processes therein.

  18. Microbial succession and the functional potential during the fermentation of Chinese soy sauce brine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanita eSulaiman

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The quality of traditional Chinese soy sauce is determined by microbial communities and their inter-related metabolic roles in the fermentation tank. In this study, traditional Chinese soy sauce brine samples were obtained periodically to monitor the transitions of the microbial population and functional properties during the six months of fermentation process. Whole genome shotgun (WGS method revealed that the fermentation brine was dominated by the bacterial genus Weissella and later dominated by the fungal genus Candida. Metabolic reconstruction of the metagenome sequences demonstrated a characteristic profile of heterotrophic fermentation of proteins and carbohydrates. This was supported by the detection of ethanol with stable decrease of pH values. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that explores the temporal changes in microbial successions over a period of six months, through metagenome shotgun sequencing in traditional Chinese soy sauce fermentation and the biological processes therein.

  19. Automatic assignment of prokaryotic genes to functional categories using literature profiling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul Torrieri

    Full Text Available In the last years, there was an exponential increase in the number of publicly available genomes. Once finished, most genome projects lack financial support to review annotations. A few of these gene annotations are based on a combination of bioinformatics evidence, however, in most cases, annotations are based solely on sequence similarity to a previously known gene, which was most probably annotated in the same way. As a result, a large number of predicted genes remain unassigned to any functional category despite the fact that there is enough evidence in the literature to predict their function. We developed a classifier trained with term-frequency vectors automatically disclosed from text corpora of an ensemble of genes representative of each functional category of the J. Craig Venter Institute Comprehensive Microbial Resource (JCVI-CMR ontology. The classifier achieved up to 84% precision with 68% recall (for confidence≥0.4, F-measure 0.76 (recall and precision equally weighted in an independent set of 2,220 genes, from 13 bacterial species, previously classified by JCVI-CMR into unambiguous categories of its ontology. Finally, the classifier assigned (confidence≥0.7 to functional categories a total of 5,235 out of the ∼24 thousand genes previously in categories "Unknown function" or "Unclassified" for which there is literature in MEDLINE. Two biologists reviewed the literature of 100 of these genes, randomly picket, and assigned them to the same functional categories predicted by the automatic classifier. Our results confirmed the hypothesis that it is possible to confidently assign genes of a real world repository to functional categories, based exclusively on the automatic profiling of its associated literature. The LitProf--Gene Classifier web server is accessible at: www.cebio.org/litprofGC.

  20. Successional patterns of key genes and processes involved in the microbial nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh chronosequence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, Joana Falcao; Cassia Pereira e Silva , de Michele; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Dias, Armando C. F.; Guillaumaud, Nadine; Poly, Franck; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    Here, we investigated the patterns of microbial nitrogen cycling communities along a chronosequence of soil development in a salt marsh. The focus was on the abundance and structure of genes involved in N fixation (nifH), bacterial and archaeal ammonium oxidation (amoA; AOB and AOA), and the

  1. Impact of wheat / faba bean mixed cropping or rotation systems on soil microbial functionalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanâa Wahbi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cropping systems based on carefully designed species mixtures reveal many potential advantages in terms of enhancing crop productivity, reducing pest and diseases and enhacing ecological serices. Associating cereals and legume production either through intercropping or rotations might be a relevant strategy of producing both type of culture, while benefiting from combined nitrogen fixed by the legume through its symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, and from a better use of P and water through mycorrhizal associations. These practices also participate to the diversification of agricultural productions, enabling to secure the regularity of income returns across the seasonal and climatic uncertainties. In this context, we designed a field experiment aiming to estimate the two years impact of these practices on wheat yield and on soil microbial activities as estimated through Substrate Induced Respiration (SIR method and mycorrhizal soil infectivity (MSI measurement. It is expected that understanding soil microbial functionalities in response to these agricultural practices might allows to target the best type of combination, in regard to crop productivity. We found that the tested cropping systems largely impacted soil microbial functionalities and mycorrhizal soil infectivity. Intercropping gave better results in terms of crop productivity than the rotation practice after 2 cropping seasons. Benefits resulting from intercrop should be highly linked with changes recorded on soil microbial functionalities.

  2. Detection of Metabolism Function of Microbial Community of Corpses by Biolog-Eco Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, X Y; Wang, J F; Zhu, G H; Ma, M Y; Lai, Y; Zhou, H

    2016-06-01

    To detect the changes of microbial community functional diversity of corpses with different postmortem interval (PMI) and to evaluate forensic application value for estimating PMI. The cultivation of microbial community from the anal swabs of a Sus scrofa and a human corpse placed in field environment from 0 to 240 h after death was performed using the Biolog-Eco Microplate and the variations of the absorbance values were also monitored. Combined with the technology of forensic pathology and flies succession, the metabolic characteristics and changes of microbial community on the decomposed corpse under natural environment were also observed. The diversity of microbial metabolism function was found to be negatively correlated with the number of maggots in the corpses. The freezing processing had the greatest impact on average well color development value at 0 h and the impact almost disappeared after 48 h. The diversity of microbial metabolism of the samples became relatively unstable after 192 h. The principal component analysis showed that 31 carbon sources could be consolidated for 5 principal components (accumulative contribution ratio >90%).The carbon source tsquare-analysis showed that N -acetyl- D -glucosamine and L -serine were the dominant carbon sources for estimating the PMI (0=240 h) of the Sus scrofa and human corpse. The Biolog-Eco method can be used to reveal the metabolic differences of the carbon resources utilization of the microbial community on the corpses during 0-240 h after death, which could provide a new basis for estimating the PMI. Copyright© by the Editorial Department of Journal of Forensic Medicine

  3. 16S rRNA gene-based association study identified microbial taxa associated with pork intramuscular fat content in feces and cecum lumen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Shaoming; Xiong, Xingwei; Su, Ying; Huang, Lusheng; Chen, Congying

    2017-07-19

    Intramuscular fat (IMF) that deposits among muscle fibers or within muscle cells is an important meat quality trait in pigs. Previous studies observed the effects of dietary nutrients and additives on improving the pork IMF. Gut microbiome plays an important role in host metabolism and energy harvest. Whether gut microbiota exerts effect on IMF remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the microbial community structure of 500 samples from porcine cecum and feces using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We found that phylogenetic composition and potential function capacity of microbiome varied between two types of samples. Bacteria wide association study identified 119 OTUs significantly associated with IMF in the two types of samples (FDR microbiome associated with IMF might be caused by the IMF-associated microbial taxa. This study firstly evaluated the contribution of gut microbiome to porcine IMF content. The results presented a potential capacity for improving IMF through modulating gut microbiota.

  4. The effect of resource history on the functioning of soil microbial communities is maintained across time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keiser, A. D.; Strickland, M. S.; Fierer, N.; Bradford, M. A.

    2011-06-01

    Historical resource conditions appear to influence microbial community function. With time, historical influences might diminish as populations respond to the contemporary environment. Alternatively, they may persist given factors such as contrasting genetic potentials for adaptation to a new environment. Using experimental microcosms, we test competing hypotheses that function of distinct soil microbial communities in common environments (H1a) converge or (H1b) remain dissimilar over time. Using a 6 × 2 (soil community inoculum × litter environment) full-factorial design, we compare decomposition rates in experimental microcosms containing grass or hardwood litter environments. After 100 days, communities that develop are inoculated into fresh litters and decomposition followed for another 100 days. We repeat this for a third, 100-day period. In each successive, 100-day period, we find higher decomposition rates (i.e. functioning) suggesting communities function better when they have an experimental history of the contemporary environment. Despite these functional gains, differences in decomposition rates among initially distinct communities persist, supporting the hypothesis that dissimilarity is maintained across time. In contrast to function, community composition is more similar following a common, experimental history. We also find that "specialization" on one experimental environment incurs a cost, with loss of function in the alternate environment. For example, experimental history of a grass-litter environment reduced decomposition when communities were inoculated into a hardwood-litter environment. Our work demonstrates experimentally that despite expectations of fast growth rates, physiological flexibility and rapid evolution, initial functional differences between microbial communities are maintained across time. These findings question whether microbial dynamics can be omitted from models of ecosystem processes if we are to predict reliably global

  5. Short-term parasite-infection alters already the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jun-Min; Jin, Ze-Xin; Hagedorn, Frank; Li, Mai-He

    2014-11-01

    Native parasitic plants may be used to infect and control invasive plants. We established microcosms with invasive Mikania micrantha and native Coix lacryma-jobi growing in mixture on native soils, with M. micrantha being infected by parasitic Cuscuta campestris at four intensity levels for seven weeks to estimate the top-down effects of plant parasitism on the biomass and functional diversity of soil microbial communities. Parasitism significantly decreased root biomass and altered soil microbial communities. Soil microbial biomass decreased, but soil respiration increased at the two higher infection levels, indicating a strong stimulation of soil microbial metabolic activity (+180%). Moreover, a Biolog assay showed that the infection resulted in a significant change in the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities. Pearson correlation analysis indicated that microbial biomass declined significantly with decreasing root biomass, particularly of the invasive M. micrantha. Also, the functional diversity indices of soil microbial communities were positively correlated with soil microbial biomass. Therefore, the negative effects on the biomass, activity and functional diversity of soil microbial community by the seven week long plant parasitism was very likely caused by decreased root biomass and root exudation of the invasive M. micrantha.

  6. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  7. Shifts in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity with agriculture: How fragile is the Brazilian Cerrado?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Renata Carolini; Mendes, Iêda Carvalho; Reis-Junior, Fábio Bueno; Carvalho, Fabíola Marques; Nogueira, Marco Antonio; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza Ribeiro; Vicente, Vânia Aparecida; Hungria, Mariangela

    2016-03-16

    The Cerrado--an edaphic type of savannah--comprises the second largest biome of the Brazilian territory and is the main area for grain production in the country, but information about the impact of land conversion to agriculture on microbial diversity is still scarce. We used a shotgun metagenomic approach to compare undisturbed (native) soil and soils cropped for 23 years with soybean/maize under conservation tillage--"no-till" (NT)--and conventional tillage (CT) systems in the Cerrado biome. Soil management and fertilizer inputs with the introduction of agriculture improved chemical properties, but decreased soil macroporosity and microbial biomass of carbon and nitrogen. Principal coordinates analyses confirmed different taxonomic and functional profiles for each treatment. There was predominance of the Bacteria domain, especially the phylum Proteobacteria, with higher numbers of sequences in the NT and CT treatments; Archaea and Viruses also had lower numbers of sequences in the undisturbed soil. Within the Alphaproteobacteria, there was dominance of Rhizobiales and of the genus Bradyrhizobium in the NT and CT systems, attributed to massive inoculation of soybean, and also of Burkholderiales. In contrast, Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas and Acidobacterium predominated in the native Cerrado. More Eukaryota, especially of the phylum Ascomycota were detected in the NT. The functional analysis revealed lower numbers of sequences in the five dominant categories for the CT system, whereas the undisturbed Cerrado presented higher abundance. High impact of agriculture in taxonomic and functional microbial diversity in the biome Cerrado was confirmed. Functional diversity was not necessarily associated with taxonomic diversity, as the less conservationist treatment (CT) presented increased taxonomic sequences and reduced functional profiles, indicating a strategy to try to maintain soil functioning by favoring taxa that are probably not the most

  8. Predicting Hydrologic Function With Aquatic Gene Fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, S. P.; URycki, D. R.; Crump, B. C.

    2018-03-01

    Recent advances in microbiology techniques, such as genetic sequencing, allow for rapid and cost-effective collection of large quantities of genetic information carried within water samples. Here we posit that the unique composition of aquatic DNA material within a water sample contains relevant information about hydrologic function at multiple temporal scales. In this study, machine learning was used to develop discharge prediction models trained on the relative abundance of bacterial taxa classified into operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on 16S rRNA gene sequences from six large arctic rivers. We term this approach "genohydrology," and show that OTU relative abundances can be used to predict river discharge at monthly and longer timescales. Based on a single DNA sample from each river, the average Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) for predicted mean monthly discharge values throughout the year was 0.84, while the NSE for predicted discharge values across different return intervals was 0.67. These are considerable improvements over predictions based only on the area-scaled mean specific discharge of five similar rivers, which had average NSE values of 0.64 and -0.32 for seasonal and recurrence interval discharge values, respectively. The genohydrology approach demonstrates that genetic diversity within the aquatic microbiome is a large and underutilized data resource with benefits for prediction of hydrologic function.

  9. [Effects of nitrogen application rate on faba bean fusarium wilt and rhizospheric microbial metabolic functional diversity].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Yan; Yang, Zhi-xian; Dong, Kun; Tang, Li; Zheng, Yi; Hu, Guo-bin

    2013-04-01

    A field plot experiment was conducted to study the effects of different nitrogen (N) application rates on the microbial functional diversity in faba bean rhizosphere and the relationships between the microbial functional diversity and the occurrence of faba bean fusarium wilt. Four nitrogen application rates were installed, i. e. , N0(0 kg hm-2 , N1 (56. 25 kg hm-2) , N2(112. 5 kg hm-2), and N3 (168.75 kg hm-2), and Biolog microbial analysis system was applied to study the damage of faba bean fusarium wilt and the rhizospheric microbial metabolic functional diversity. Applying N (N1 N2, and N3) decreased the disease index of faba bean fusarium wilt and the quantity of Fusarium oxysporum significantly, and increased the quantities of bacteria and actinomyces and the ratios of bacteria/fungi and actinomyces/fungi significantly, with the peak values of bacteria and actinomyces, bacteria/fungi, and actinomyces/fungi, and the lowest disease index and F. oxysporum density in N2. As compared with N0, applying N increased the AWCD value significantly, but the effects of different N application rates on the ability of rhizospheric microbes in utilizing six types of carbon sources had definite differences. Under the application of N, the utilization rates of carbohydrates, carboxylic acids, and amino acids by the rhizospheric microbes were higher. Principal component analysis demonstrated that applying N changed the rhizospheric microbial community composition obviously, and the carbohydrates, carboxylic acids, and amino acids were the sensitive carbon sources differentiating the changes of the microbial community induced by N application. Applying N inhibited the utilization of carbohydrates and carboxylic acids but improved the utilization of amino acids and phenolic acids by the rhizospheric microbes, which could be one of the main reasons of applying N being able to reduce the harm of faba bean fusarium wilt. It was suggested that rationally applying N could increase the

  10. Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendriksen, Niels Bohse; Winding, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Extracellular enzyme activity assay as indicator of soil microbial functional diversity and activity Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Anne Winding. Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark Soils provide numerous essential ecosystem services such as carbon cycling...... of soil microbial functions is still needed. In soil, enzymes originate from a variety of organisms, notably fungi and bacteria and especially hydrolytic extracellular enzymes are of pivotal importance for decomposition of organic substrates and biogeochemical cycling. Their activity will reflect...... the functional diversity and activity of the microorganisms involved in decomposition processes. Their activity has been measured by the use of fluorogenic model substrates e.g. methylumbelliferyl (MUF) substrates for a number of enzymes involved in the degradation of polysacharides as cellulose, hemicellulose...

  11. The duplicated genes database: identification and functional annotation of co-localised duplicated genes across genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marion Ouedraogo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There has been a surge in studies linking genome structure and gene expression, with special focus on duplicated genes. Although initially duplicated from the same sequence, duplicated genes can diverge strongly over evolution and take on different functions or regulated expression. However, information on the function and expression of duplicated genes remains sparse. Identifying groups of duplicated genes in different genomes and characterizing their expression and function would therefore be of great interest to the research community. The 'Duplicated Genes Database' (DGD was developed for this purpose. METHODOLOGY: Nine species were included in the DGD. For each species, BLAST analyses were conducted on peptide sequences corresponding to the genes mapped on a same chromosome. Groups of duplicated genes were defined based on these pairwise BLAST comparisons and the genomic location of the genes. For each group, Pearson correlations between gene expression data and semantic similarities between functional GO annotations were also computed when the relevant information was available. CONCLUSIONS: The Duplicated Gene Database provides a list of co-localised and duplicated genes for several species with the available gene co-expression level and semantic similarity value of functional annotation. Adding these data to the groups of duplicated genes provides biological information that can prove useful to gene expression analyses. The Duplicated Gene Database can be freely accessed through the DGD website at http://dgd.genouest.org.

  12. Non-functional genes repaired at the RNA level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Gertraud

    2016-01-01

    Genomes and genes continuously evolve. Gene sequences undergo substitutions, deletions or nucleotide insertions; mobile genetic elements invade genomes and interleave in genes; chromosomes break, even within genes, and pieces reseal in reshuffled order. To maintain functional gene products and assure an organism's survival, two principal strategies are used - either repair of the gene itself or of its product. I will introduce common types of gene aberrations and how gene function is restored secondarily, and then focus on systematically fragmented genes found in a poorly studied protist group, the diplonemids. Expression of their broken genes involves restitching of pieces at the RNA-level, and substantial RNA editing, to compensate for point mutations. I will conclude with thoughts on how such a grotesquely unorthodox system may have evolved, and why this group of organisms persists and thrives since tens of millions of years. Copyright © 2016 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional and Structural Succession of Soil Microbial Communities below Decomposing Human Cadavers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobaugh, Kelly L.; Schaeffer, Sean M.; DeBruyn, Jennifer M.

    2015-01-01

    The ecological succession of microbes during cadaver decomposition has garnered interest in both basic and applied research contexts (e.g. community assembly and dynamics; forensic indicator of time since death). Yet current understanding of microbial ecology during decomposition is almost entirely based on plant litter. We know very little about microbes recycling carcass-derived organic matter despite the unique decomposition processes. Our objective was to quantify the taxonomic and functional succession of microbial populations in soils below decomposing cadavers, testing the hypotheses that a) periods of increased activity during decomposition are associated with particular taxa; and b) human-associated taxa are introduced to soils, but do not persist outside their host. We collected soils from beneath four cadavers throughout decomposition, and analyzed soil chemistry, microbial activity and bacterial community structure. As expected, decomposition resulted in pulses of soil C and nutrients (particularly ammonia) and stimulated microbial activity. There was no change in total bacterial abundances, however we observed distinct changes in both function and community composition. During active decay (7 - 12 days postmortem), respiration and biomass production rates were high: the community was dominated by Proteobacteria (increased from 15.0 to 26.1% relative abundance) and Firmicutes (increased from 1.0 to 29.0%), with reduced Acidobacteria abundances (decreased from 30.4 to 9.8%). Once decay rates slowed (10 - 23 d postmortem), respiration was elevated, but biomass production rates dropped dramatically; this community with low growth efficiency was dominated by Firmicutes (increased to 50.9%) and other anaerobic taxa. Human-associated bacteria, including the obligately anaerobic Bacteroides, were detected at high concentrations in soil throughout decomposition, up to 198 d postmortem. Our results revealed the pattern of functional and compositional succession

  14. Metagenomic insights into effects of spent engine oil perturbation on the microbial community composition and function in a tropical agricultural soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salam, Lateef B; Obayori, Sunday O; Nwaokorie, Francisca O; Suleiman, Aisha; Mustapha, Raheemat

    2017-03-01

    Analyzing the microbial community structure and functions become imperative for ecological processes. To understand the impact of spent engine oil (SEO) contamination on microbial community structure of an agricultural soil, soil microcosms designated 1S (agricultural soil) and AB1 (agricultural soil polluted with SEO) were set up. Metagenomic DNA extracted from the soil microcosms and sequenced using Miseq Illumina sequencing were analyzed for their taxonomic and functional properties. Taxonomic profiling of the two microcosms by MG-RAST revealed the dominance of Actinobacteria (23.36%) and Proteobacteria (52.46%) phyla in 1S and AB1 with preponderance of Streptomyces (12.83%) and Gemmatimonas (10.20%) in 1S and Geodermatophilus (26.24%), Burkholderia (15.40%), and Pseudomonas (12.72%) in AB1, respectively. Our results showed that soil microbial diversity significantly decreased in AB1. Further assignment of the metagenomic reads to MG-RAST, Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) of proteins, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), GhostKOALA, and NCBI's CDD hits revealed diverse metabolic potentials of the autochthonous microbial community. It also revealed the adaptation of the community to various environmental stressors such as hydrocarbon hydrophobicity, heavy metal toxicity, oxidative stress, nutrient starvation, and C/N/P imbalance. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that investigates the effect of SEO perturbation on soil microbial communities through Illumina sequencing. The results indicated that SEO contamination significantly affects soil microbial community structure and functions leading to massive loss of nonhydrocarbon degrading indigenous microbiota and enrichment of hydrocarbonoclastic organisms such as members of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria.

  15. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufang Shen

    Full Text Available Mulching is widely used to increase crop yield in semiarid regions in northwestern China, but little is known about the effect of different mulching systems on the microbial properties of the soil, which play an important role in agroecosystemic functioning and nutrient cycling. Based on a 4-year spring maize (Zea mays L. field experiment at Changwu Agricultural and Ecological Experimental Station, Shaanxi, we evaluated the responses of soil microbial activity and crop to various management systems. The treatments were NMC (no mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, GMC (gravel mulching with inorganic N fertilizer, FMC (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and FMO (plastic-film mulching with inorganic N fertilizer and organic manure addition. The results showed that the FMO soil had the highest contents of microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, dehydrogenase activity, microbial activity and Shannon diversity index. The relative use of carbohydrates and amino acids by microbes was highest in the FMO soil, whereas the relative use of polymers, phenolic compounds and amines was highest in the soil in the NMC soil. Compared with the NMC, an increased but no significant trend of biomass production and nitrogen accumulation was observed under the GMC treatment. The FMC and FMO led a greater increase in biomass production than GMC and NMC. Compare with the NMC treatment, FMC increased grain yield, maize biomass and nitrogen accumulation by 62.2, 62.9 and 86.2%, but no significant difference was found between the FMO and FMC treatments. Some soil biological properties, i.e. microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, being sensitive to the mulching and organic fertilizer, were significant correlated with yield and nitrogen availability. Film mulching over gravel mulching can serve as an effective measure for crop production and nutrient cycling, and plus organic fertilization additions may thus have improvements in the biological

  16. Microbial communication leading to the activation of silent fungal secondary metabolite gene clusters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tina eNetzker

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms form diverse multispecies communities in various ecosystems. The high abundance of fungal and bacterial species in these consortia results in specific communication between the microorganisms. A key role in this communication is played by secondary metabolites (SMs, which are also called natural products. Recently, it was shown that interspecies ‘talk’ between microorganisms represents a physiological trigger to activate silent gene clusters leading to the formation of novel SMs by the involved species. This review focuses on mixed microbial cultivation, mainly between bacteria and fungi, with a special emphasis on the induced formation of fungal SMs in co-cultures. In addition, the role of chromatin remodeling in the induction is examined, and methodical perspectives for the analysis of natural products are presented. As an example for an intermicrobial interaction elucidated at the molecular level, we discuss the specific interaction between the filamentous fungi Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus fumigatus with the soil bacterium Streptomyces rapamycinicus, which provides an excellent model system to enlighten molecular concepts behind regulatory mechanisms and will pave the way to a novel avenue of drug discovery through targeted activation of silent SM gene clusters through co-cultivations of microorganisms.

  17. Linking N2O emissions from biochar-amended soil to the structure and function of the N-cycling microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harter, Johannes; Krause, Hans-Martin; Schuettler, Stefanie; Ruser, Reiner; Fromme, Markus; Scholten, Thomas; Kappler, Andreas; Behrens, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes 8% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural sources represent about 60% of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Most agricultural N2O emissions are due to increased fertilizer application. A considerable fraction of nitrogen fertilizers are converted to N2O by microbiological processes (that is, nitrification and denitrification). Soil amended with biochar (charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass) has been demonstrated to increase crop yield, improve soil quality and affect greenhouse gas emissions, for example, reduce N2O emissions. Despite several studies on variations in the general microbial community structure due to soil biochar amendment, hitherto the specific role of the nitrogen cycling microbial community in mitigating soil N2O emissions has not been subject of systematic investigation. We performed a microcosm study with a water-saturated soil amended with different amounts (0%, 2% and 10% (w/w)) of high-temperature biochar. By quantifying the abundance and activity of functional marker genes of microbial nitrogen fixation (nifH), nitrification (amoA) and denitrification (nirK, nirS and nosZ) using quantitative PCR we found that biochar addition enhanced microbial nitrous oxide reduction and increased the abundance of microorganisms capable of N2-fixation. Soil biochar amendment increased the relative gene and transcript copy numbers of the nosZ-encoded bacterial N2O reductase, suggesting a mechanistic link to the observed reduction in N2O emissions. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the impact of biochar on the nitrogen cycling microbial community and the consequences of soil biochar amendment for microbial nitrogen transformation processes and N2O emissions from soil. PMID:24067258

  18. Gene coexpression network analysis as a source of functional annotation for rice genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin L Childs

    Full Text Available With the existence of large publicly available plant gene expression data sets, many groups have undertaken data analyses to construct gene coexpression networks and functionally annotate genes. Often, a large compendium of unrelated or condition-independent expression data is used to construct gene networks. Condition-dependent expression experiments consisting of well-defined conditions/treatments have also been used to create coexpression networks to help examine particular biological processes. Gene networks derived from either condition-dependent or condition-independent data can be difficult to interpret if a large number of genes and connections are present. However, algorithms exist to identify modules of highly connected and biologically relevant genes within coexpression networks. In this study, we have used publicly available rice (Oryza sativa gene expression data to create gene coexpression networks using both condition-dependent and condition-independent data and have identified gene modules within these networks using the Weighted Gene Coexpression Network Analysis method. We compared the number of genes assigned to modules and the biological interpretability of gene coexpression modules to assess the utility of condition-dependent and condition-independent gene coexpression networks. For the purpose of providing functional annotation to rice genes, we found that gene modules identified by coexpression analysis of condition-dependent gene expression experiments to be more useful than gene modules identified by analysis of a condition-independent data set. We have incorporated our results into the MSU Rice Genome Annotation Project database as additional expression-based annotation for 13,537 genes, 2,980 of which lack a functional annotation description. These results provide two new types of functional annotation for our database. Genes in modules are now associated with groups of genes that constitute a collective functional

  19. Comparative analyses of microbial structures and gene copy numbers in the anaerobic digestion of various types of sewage sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidaka, Taira; Tsushima, Ikuo; Tsumori, Jun

    2018-04-01

    Anaerobic co-digestion of various sewage sludges is a promising approach for greater recovery of energy, but the process is more complicated than mono-digestion of sewage sludge. The applicability of microbial structure analyses and gene quantification to understand microbial conditions was evaluated. The results show that information from gene analyses is useful in managing anaerobic co-digestion and damaged microbes in addition to conventional parameters like total solids, pH and biogas production. Total bacterial 16S rRNA gene copy numbers are the most useful tools for evaluating unstable anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge, rather than mcrA and total archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers, and high-throughput sequencing. First order decay rates of gene copy numbers during pH failure were higher than typical decay rates of microbes in stable operation. The sequencing analyses, including multidimensional scaling, showed very different microbial structure shifts, but the results were not consistent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Microbial community structure of Arctic multiyear sea ice and surface seawater by 454 sequencing of the 16S RNA gene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowman, Jeff S.; Rasmussen, Simon; Blom, Nikolaj

    2011-01-01

    community in MYI at two sites near the geographic North Pole using parallel tag sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Although the composition of the MYI microbial community has been characterized by previous studies, microbial community structure has not been. Although richness was lower in MYI than....... In addition, several low-abundance clades not previously reported in sea ice were present, including the phylum TM7 and the classes Spartobacteria and Opitutae. Members of Coraliomargarita, a recently described genus of the class Opitutae, were present in sufficient numbers to suggest niche occupation within...

  1. Peracetic acid disinfection kinetics for combined sewer overflows: indicator organisms, antibiotic resistance genes, and microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eramo, Alessia; Medina, William Morales; Fahrenfeld, Nicole L

    2017-01-01

    Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) degrade water quality and end-of-pipe treatment is one potential solution for retrofitting this outdated infrastructure. The goal of this research was to evaluate peracetic acid (PAA) as a disinfectant for CSOs using viability based molecular methods for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), indicator organism marker gene BacHum, and 16S rRNA genes. Simulated CSO effluent was prepared using 23-40% wastewater, representing the higher end of the range of wastewater concentrations reported in CSO effluent. PAA residual following disinfection was greatest for samples with the lowest initial COD. Treatment of simulated CSO effluent (23% wastewater) with 100 mg∙min/L PAA (5 mg/L PAA, 20 min) was needed to reduce viable cell sul 1, tet (G), and BacHum (1.0±0.63-3.2±0.25-log) while 25 to 50 mg•min/L PAA (5 mg/L PAA, 5-10 min) was needed to reduce viable cell loads (0.62±0.56-1.6±0.08-log) in 40% wastewater from a different municipal treatment plant. Increasing contact time after the initial decrease in viable cell gene copies did not significantly improve treatment. A much greater applied Ct of 1200 mg∙min/L PAA (20 mg/L PAA, 60 min) was required for significant log reduction of 16S rRNA genes (3.29±0.13-log). No significant losses of mex B were observed during the study. Data were fitted to a Chick-Watson model and resulting inactivation constants for sul 1 and tet (G) > BacHum > 16S rRNA. Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene indicated the initial viable and total microbial communities were distinct and that treatment with PAA resulted in marked increases of the relative abundance of select phyla, particularly Clostridia which increased by 1-1.5 orders of magnitude. Results confirm that membrane disruption is a mechanism for PAA disinfection and further treatment is needed to reduce total ARGs in CSO effluent.

  2. The importance of virulence prediction and gene networks in microbial risk assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wassenaar, Gertrude Maria; Gamieldien, Junaid; Shatkin, JoAnne

    2007-01-01

    For microbial risk assessment, it is necessary to recognize and predict Virulence of bacterial pathogens, including their ability to contaminate foods. Hazard characterization requires data on strain variability regarding virulence and survival during food processing. Moreover, information...... and characterization of microbial hazards, including emerging pathogens, in the context of microbial risk assessment....

  3. Characteristics of functional enrichment and gene expression level of human putative transcriptional target genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osato, Naoki

    2018-01-19

    Transcriptional target genes show functional enrichment of genes. However, how many and how significantly transcriptional target genes include functional enrichments are still unclear. To address these issues, I predicted human transcriptional target genes using open chromatin regions, ChIP-seq data and DNA binding sequences of transcription factors in databases, and examined functional enrichment and gene expression level of putative transcriptional target genes. Gene Ontology annotations showed four times larger numbers of functional enrichments in putative transcriptional target genes than gene expression information alone, independent of transcriptional target genes. To compare the number of functional enrichments of putative transcriptional target genes between cells or search conditions, I normalized the number of functional enrichment by calculating its ratios in the total number of transcriptional target genes. With this analysis, native putative transcriptional target genes showed the largest normalized number of functional enrichments, compared with target genes including 5-60% of randomly selected genes. The normalized number of functional enrichments was changed according to the criteria of enhancer-promoter interactions such as distance from transcriptional start sites and orientation of CTCF-binding sites. Forward-reverse orientation of CTCF-binding sites showed significantly higher normalized number of functional enrichments than the other orientations. Journal papers showed that the top five frequent functional enrichments were related to the cellular functions in the three cell types. The median expression level of transcriptional target genes changed according to the criteria of enhancer-promoter assignments (i.e. interactions) and was correlated with the changes of the normalized number of functional enrichments of transcriptional target genes. Human putative transcriptional target genes showed significant functional enrichments. Functional

  4. Microbial community in persistent apical periodontitis: a 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakaria, M N; Takeshita, T; Shibata, Y; Maeda, H; Wada, N; Akamine, A; Yamashita, Y

    2015-08-01

    To characterize the microbial composition of persistent periapical lesions of root filled teeth using a molecular genetics approach. Apical lesion samples were collected from 12 patients (23-80 years old) who visited the Kyushu University Hospital for apicectomy with persistent periapical lesions associated with root filled teeth. DNA was directly extracted from each sample and the microbial composition was comprehensively analysed using clone library analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Enterococcus faecalis, Candida albicans and specific fimA genotypes of Porphyromonas gingivalis were confirmed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis with specific primers. Bacteria were detected in all samples, and the dominant findings were P. gingivalis (19.9%), Fusobacterium nucleatum (11.2%) and Propionibacterium acnes (9%). Bacterial diversity was greater in symptomatic lesions than in asymptomatic ones. In addition, the following bacteria or bacterial combinations were characteristic to symptomatic lesions: Prevotella spp., Treponema spp., Peptostreptococcaceae sp. HOT-113, Olsenella uli, Slackia exigua, Selemonas infelix, P. gingivalis with type IV fimA, and a combination of P. gingivalis, F. nucleatum, and Peptostreptococcaceae sp. HOT-113 and predominance of Streptococcus spp. On the other hand, neither Enterococcus faecalis nor C. albicans were detected in any of the samples. Whilst a diverse bacterial species were observed in the persistent apical lesions, some characteristic patterns of bacterial community were found in the symptomatic lesions. The diverse variation of community indicates that bacterial combinations as a community may cause persistent inflammation in periapical tissues rather than specific bacterial species. © 2014 International Endodontic Journal. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Functional tradeoffs underpin salinity-driven divergence in microbial community composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris L Dupont

    Full Text Available Bacterial community composition and functional potential change subtly across gradients in the surface ocean. In contrast, while there are significant phylogenetic divergences between communities from freshwater and marine habitats, the underlying mechanisms to this phylogenetic structuring yet remain unknown. We hypothesized that the functional potential of natural bacterial communities is linked to this striking divide between microbiomes. To test this hypothesis, metagenomic sequencing of microbial communities along a 1,800 km transect in the Baltic Sea area, encompassing a continuous natural salinity gradient from limnic to fully marine conditions, was explored. Multivariate statistical analyses showed that salinity is the main determinant of dramatic changes in microbial community composition, but also of large scale changes in core metabolic functions of bacteria. Strikingly, genetically and metabolically different pathways for key metabolic processes, such as respiration, biosynthesis of quinones and isoprenoids, glycolysis and osmolyte transport, were differentially abundant at high and low salinities. These shifts in functional capacities were observed at multiple taxonomic levels and within dominant bacterial phyla, while bacteria, such as SAR11, were able to adapt to the entire salinity gradient. We propose that the large differences in central metabolism required at high and low salinities dictate the striking divide between freshwater and marine microbiomes, and that the ability to inhabit different salinity regimes evolved early during bacterial phylogenetic differentiation. These findings significantly advance our understanding of microbial distributions and stress the need to incorporate salinity in future climate change models that predict increased levels of precipitation and a reduction in salinity.

  6. Effect of land use and soil organic matter quality on the structure and function of microbial communities in pastoral soils: Implications for disease suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dignam, Bryony E A; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Condron, Leo M; Kowalchuk, George A; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; Wakelin, Steven A

    2018-01-01

    Cropping soils vary in extent of natural suppression of soil-borne plant diseases. However, it is unknown whether similar variation occurs across pastoral agricultural systems. We examined soil microbial community properties known to be associated with disease suppression across 50 pastoral fields varying in management intensity. The composition and abundance of the disease-suppressive community were assessed from both taxonomic and functional perspectives. Pseudomonas bacteria were selected as a general taxonomic indicator of disease suppressive potential, while genes associated with the biosynthesis of a suite of secondary metabolites provided functional markers (GeoChip 5.0 microarray analysis). The composition of both the Pseudomonas communities and disease suppressive functional genes were responsive to land use. Underlying soil properties explained 37% of the variation in Pseudomonas community structure and up to 61% of the variation in the abundance of disease suppressive functional genes. Notably, measures of soil organic matter quality, C:P ratio, and aromaticity of the dissolved organic matter content (carbon recalcitrance), influenced both the taxonomic and functional disease suppressive potential of the pasture soils. Our results suggest that key components of the soil microbial community may be managed on-farm to enhance disease suppression and plant productivity.

  7. Application of a novel functional gene microarray to probe the functional ecology of ammonia oxidation in nitrifying activated sludge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D Short

    Full Text Available We report on the first study trialling a newly-developed, functional gene microarray (FGA for characterising bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidisers in activated sludge. Mixed liquor (ML and media biofilm samples from a full-scale integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS plant were analysed with the FGA to profile the diversity and relative abundance of ammonia-oxidising archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB respectively. FGA analyses of AOA and AOB communities revealed ubiquitous distribution of AOA across all samples - an important finding for these newly-discovered and poorly characterised organisms. Results also revealed striking differences in the functional ecology of attached versus suspended communities within the IFAS reactor. Quantitative assessment of AOB and AOA functional gene abundance revealed a dominance of AOB in the ML and approximately equal distribution of AOA and AOB in the media-attached biofilm. Subsequent correlations of functional gene abundance data with key water quality parameters suggested an important functional role for media-attached AOB in particular for IFAS reactor nitrification performance and indicate possible functional redundancy in some IFAS ammonia oxidiser communities. Results from this investigation demonstrate the capacity of the FGA to resolve subtle ecological shifts in key microbial communities in nitrifying activated sludge and indicate its value as a tool for better understanding the linkages between the ecology and performance of these engineered systems.

  8. Detection of single-copy functional genes in prokaryotic cells by two-pass TSA-FISH with polynucleotide probes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Shuji; Hasegawa, Takuya; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Harada, Hideki; Ohashi, Akiyoshi; Kubota, Kengo

    2012-02-01

    In situ detection of functional genes with single-cell resolution is currently of interest to microbiologists. Here, we developed a two-pass tyramide signal amplification (TSA)-fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) protocol with PCR-derived polynucleotide probes for the detection of single-copy genes in prokaryotic cells. The mcrA gene and the apsA gene in methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria, respectively, were targeted. The protocol showed bright fluorescence with a good signal-to-noise ratio and achieved a high efficiency of detection (>98%). The discrimination threshold was approximately 82-89% sequence identity. Microorganisms possessing the mcrA or apsA gene in anaerobic sludge samples were successfully detected by two-pass TSA-FISH with polynucleotide probes. The developed protocol is useful for identifying single microbial cells based on functional gene sequences. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Combinational effects of sulfomethoxazole and copper on soil microbial community and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Aiju; Cao, Huansheng; Yang, Yan; Ma, Xiaoxuan; Liu, Xiao

    2016-03-01

    Sulfonamides and Cu are largely used feed additives in poultry farm. Subsequently, they are spread onto agricultural soils together with contaminated manure used as fertilizer. Both sulfonamides and Cu affect the soil microbial community. However, an interactive effect of sulfonamides and Cu on soil microorganisms is not well understood. Therefore, a short-time microcosm experiment was conducted to investigate the interaction of veterinary antibiotic sulfomethoxazole (SMX) and Cu on soil microbial structure composition and functions. To this end, selected concentrations of SMX (0, 5, and 50 mg kg(-1)) and Cu (0, 300, and 500 mg kg(-1)) were combined, respectively. Clear dose-dependent effects of SMX on microbial biomass and basal respiration were determined, and these effects were amplified in the presence of additional Cu. For activities of soil enzymes including β-glucosidase, urease, and protease, clear reducing effects were determined in soil samples containing 5 or 50 mg kg(-1) of SMX, and the interaction of SMX and Cu was significant, particularly in soil samples containing 50 mg kg(-1) SMX or 500 mg kg(-1) Cu. SMX amendments, particularly in combination with Cu, significantly reduced amounts of the total, bacterial, and fungal phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) in soil. Moreover, the derived ratio of bacteria to fungi decreased significantly with incremental SMX and Cu, and principal component analysis of the PLFAs showed that soil microbial composition was significantly affected by SMX interacted with Cu at 500 mg kg(-1). All of these results indicated that the interaction of SMX and Cu was synergistic to amplify the negative effect of SMX on soil microbial biomass, structural composition, and even the enzymatic function.

  10. Historical precipitation predictably alters the shape and magnitude of microbial functional response to soil moisture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averill, Colin; Waring, Bonnie G; Hawkes, Christine V

    2016-05-01

    Soil moisture constrains the activity of decomposer soil microorganisms, and in turn the rate at which soil carbon returns to the atmosphere. While increases in soil moisture are generally associated with increased microbial activity, historical climate may constrain current microbial responses to moisture. However, it is not known if variation in the shape and magnitude of microbial functional responses to soil moisture can be predicted from historical climate at regional scales. To address this problem, we measured soil enzyme activity at 12 sites across a broad climate gradient spanning 442-887 mm mean annual precipitation. Measurements were made eight times over 21 months to maximize sampling during different moisture conditions. We then fit saturating functions of enzyme activity to soil moisture and extracted half saturation and maximum activity parameter values from model fits. We found that 50% of the variation in maximum activity parameters across sites could be predicted by 30-year mean annual precipitation, an indicator of historical climate, and that the effect is independent of variation in temperature, soil texture, or soil carbon concentration. Based on this finding, we suggest that variation in the shape and magnitude of soil microbial response to soil moisture due to historical climate may be remarkably predictable at regional scales, and this approach may extend to other systems. If historical contingencies on microbial activities prove to be persistent in the face of environmental change, this approach also provides a framework for incorporating historical climate effects into biogeochemical models simulating future global change scenarios. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Effect of phenylurea herbicides on soil microbial communities estimated by analysis of 16S rRNA gene fingerprints and community-level physiological profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    el Fantroussi, S; Verschuere, L; Verstraete, W; Top, E M

    1999-03-01

    The effect of three phenyl urea herbicides (diuron, linuron, and chlorotoluron) on soil microbial communities was studied by using soil samples with a 10-year history of treatment. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used for the analysis of 16S rRNA genes (16S rDNA). The degree of similarity between the 16S rDNA profiles of the communities was quantified by numerically analysing the DGGE band patterns. Similarity dendrograms showed that the microbial community structures of the herbicide-treated and nontreated soils were significantly different. Moreover, the bacterial diversity seemed to decrease in soils treated with urea herbicides, and sequence determination of several DGGE fragments showed that the most affected species in the soils treated with diuron and linuron belonged to an uncultivated bacterial group. As well as the 16S rDNA fingerprints, the substrate utilization patterns of the microbial communities were compared. Principal-component analysis performed on BIOLOG data showed that the functional abilities of the soil microbial communities were altered by the application of the herbicides. In addition, enrichment cultures of the different soils in medium with the urea herbicides as the sole carbon and nitrogen source showed that there was no difference between treated and nontreated soil in the rate of transformation of diuron and chlorotoluron but that there was a strong difference in the case of linuron. In the enrichment cultures with linuron-treated soil, linuron disappeared completely after 1 week whereas no significant transformation was observed in cultures inoculated with nontreated soil even after 4 weeks. In conclusion, this study showed that both the structure and metabolic potential of soil microbial communities were clearly affected by a long-term application of urea herbicides.

  12. Crosslinking of milk proteins by microbial transglutaminase: Utilization in functional yogurt products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gharibzahedi, Seyed Mohammad Taghi; Chronakis, Ioannis S.

    2018-01-01

    Key modifying roles of microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) in the development of innovative probiotic and non-probiotic yogurts with improved functional and quality characteristics have been comprehensively reviewed. MTGase crosslinking reactions with milk proteins stabilize the three-dimensional......Key modifying roles of microbial transglutaminase (MTGase) in the development of innovative probiotic and non-probiotic yogurts with improved functional and quality characteristics have been comprehensively reviewed. MTGase crosslinking reactions with milk proteins stabilize the three......-dimensional structure of yogurt. Yogurts treated with MTGase showed decreased syneresis, increased water-holding capacity and viscosity, homogeneous structure, desired texture, and physicochemical high stability during storage time. The utilization of MTGase does not affect negatively the sensory attributes of yogurt...

  13. Effects of microbial aerosol in poultry house on meat ducks’ immune function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guanliu YU

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of microbial aerosols on immune function of ducks and shed light on the establishment of microbial aerosol concentration standards for poultry. A total of 1800 1-d-old Cherry Valley ducks were randomly divided into 5 groups (A, B, C, D and E with 360 ducks in each. To obtain objective data, each group had three replications. Concentrations of airborne bacteria, fungi, endotoxin in different groups were created by controlling ventilation and bedding cleaning frequency. Group A was the control group and hygienic conditions deteriorated progressively from group B to E. A 6-stage Andersen impactor was used to detect the aerosol concentration of aerobes, gram-negative bacteria, fungi and AGI-30 microbial air sampler detect the endotoxin, and Composite Gas Detector detect the noxious gas. In order to assess the immune function of meat ducks, immune indicators including H5 AIV antibody titer, IgG, IL-2, T-lymphocyte transformation rate, lysozyme and immune organ indexes were evaluated. Correlation coefficients were also calculated to evaluate the relationships among airborne bacteria, fungi, endotoxin and immune indicators. The results showed that the concentration of airborne aerobe, gram-negative bacteria, fungi, endotoxin have a strong correlation to H5 AIV antibody titer, IgG, IL-2, T-lymphocyte transformation rate, lysozyme and immune organ indexes, respectively. In addition, when the concentration of microbial aerosol reach the level of group D, serum IgG (6 - 8 weeks, lysozyme (4 week were significantly higher than in group A (P < 0.05; serum IL-2 (7 and 8 weeks , T-lymphocyte transformation rate, lysozyme (7 and 8 weeks, spleen index (6 and 8 weeks and bursa index (8 week were significantly lower than in group A(P < 0.05 or P < 0.01. The results indicated that a high level of microbial aerosol adversely affected the immune level of meat ducks. The microbial aerosol values in group D provide a basis

  14. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreejata Bandopadhyay

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  15. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Martin-Closas, Lluis; Pelacho, Ana M; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films) and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  16. Soil Microbial Functional and Fungal Diversity as Influenced by Municipal Sewage Sludge Accumulation

    OpenAIRE

    Frąc, Magdalena; Oszust, Karolina; Lipiec, Jerzy; Jezierska-Tys, Stefania; Nwaichi, Eucharia Oluchi

    2014-01-01

    Safe disposal of municipal sewage sludge is a challenging global environmental concern. The aim of this study was to assess the response of soil microbial functional diversity to the accumulation of municipal sewage sludge during landfill storage. Soil samples of a municipal sewage sludge (SS) and from a sewage sludge landfill that was 3 m from a SS landfill (SS3) were analyzed relative to an undisturbed reference soil. Biolog EcoPlatesTM were inoculated with a soil suspension, and the Avera...

  17. Soil microbial community structure and function responses to successive planting of Eucalyptus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Falin; Zheng, Hua; Zhang, Kai; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Li, Huailin; Wu, Bing; Shi, Qian

    2013-10-01

    Many studies have shown soil degradation after the conversion of native forests to exotic Eucalyptus plantations. However, few studies have investigated the long-term impacts of short-rotation forestry practices on soil microorganisms. The impacts of Eucalyptus successive rotations on soil microbial communities were evaluated by comparing phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) abundances, compositions, and enzyme activities of native Pinus massoniana plantations and adjacent 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation Eucalyptus plantations. The conversion from P. massoniana to Eucalyptus plantations significantly decreased soil microbial community size and enzyme activities, and increased microbial physiological stress. However, the PLFA abundances formed "u" shaped quadratic functions with Eucalyptus plantation age. Alternatively, physiological stress biomarkers, the ratios of monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid and Gram+ to Gram- bacteria, formed "n"' shaped quadratic functions, and the ratio of cy17:0 to 16:1omega7c decreased with plantation age. The activities of phenol oxidase, peroxidase, and acid phosphatase increased with Eucalyptus plantation age, while the cellobiohydrolase activity formed "u" shaped quadratic functions. Soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, soil organic carbon, and understory cover largely explained the variation in PLFA profiles while soil N:P, alkaline hydrolytic nitrogen, and understory cover explained most of the variability in enzyme activity. In conclusion, soil microbial structure and function under Eucalyptus plantations were strongly impacted by plantation age. Most of the changes could be explained by altered soil resource availability and understory cover associated with successive planting of Eucalyptus. Our results highlight the importance of plantation age for assessing the impacts of plantation conversion as well as the importance of reducing disturbance for plantation management.

  18. HuMiChip: Development of a Functional Gene Array for the Study of Human Microbiomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tu, Q.; Deng, Ye; Lin, Lu; Hemme, Chris L.; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong

    2010-05-17

    Microbiomes play very important roles in terms of nutrition, health and disease by interacting with their hosts. Based on sequence data currently available in public domains, we have developed a functional gene array to monitor both organismal and functional gene profiles of normal microbiota in human and mouse hosts, and such an array is called human and mouse microbiota array, HMM-Chip. First, seed sequences were identified from KEGG databases, and used to construct a seed database (seedDB) containing 136 gene families in 19 metabolic pathways closely related to human and mouse microbiomes. Second, a mother database (motherDB) was constructed with 81 genomes of bacterial strains with 54 from gut and 27 from oral environments, and 16 metagenomes, and used for selection of genes and probe design. Gene prediction was performed by Glimmer3 for bacterial genomes, and by the Metagene program for metagenomes. In total, 228,240 and 801,599 genes were identified for bacterial genomes and metagenomes, respectively. Then the motherDB was searched against the seedDB using the HMMer program, and gene sequences in the motherDB that were highly homologous with seed sequences in the seedDB were used for probe design by the CommOligo software. Different degrees of specific probes, including gene-specific, inclusive and exclusive group-specific probes were selected. All candidate probes were checked against the motherDB and NCBI databases for specificity. Finally, 7,763 probes covering 91.2percent (12,601 out of 13,814) HMMer confirmed sequences from 75 bacterial genomes and 16 metagenomes were selected. This developed HMM-Chip is able to detect the diversity and abundance of functional genes, the gene expression of microbial communities, and potentially, the interactions of microorganisms and their hosts.

  19. Metatranscriptomic analysis of diverse microbial communities reveals core metabolic pathways and microbiome-specific functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yue; Xiong, Xuejian; Danska, Jayne; Parkinson, John

    2016-01-12

    Metatranscriptomics is emerging as a powerful technology for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities (microbiomes). Use of unbiased RNA-sequencing can reveal both the taxonomic composition and active biochemical functions of a complex microbial community. However, the lack of established reference genomes, computational tools and pipelines make analysis and interpretation of these datasets challenging. Systematic studies that compare data across microbiomes are needed to demonstrate the ability of such pipelines to deliver biologically meaningful insights on microbiome function. Here, we apply a standardized analytical pipeline to perform a comparative analysis of metatranscriptomic data from diverse microbial communities derived from mouse large intestine, cow rumen, kimchi culture, deep-sea thermal vent and permafrost. Sequence similarity searches allowed annotation of 19 to 76% of putative messenger RNA (mRNA) reads, with the highest frequency in the kimchi dataset due to its relatively low complexity and availability of closely related reference genomes. Metatranscriptomic datasets exhibited distinct taxonomic and functional signatures. From a metabolic perspective, we identified a common core of enzymes involved in amino acid, energy and nucleotide metabolism and also identified microbiome-specific pathways such as phosphonate metabolism (deep sea) and glycan degradation pathways (cow rumen). Integrating taxonomic and functional annotations within a novel visualization framework revealed the contribution of different taxa to metabolic pathways, allowing the identification of taxa that contribute unique functions. The application of a single, standard pipeline confirms that the rich taxonomic and functional diversity observed across microbiomes is not simply an artefact of different analysis pipelines but instead reflects distinct environmental influences. At the same time, our findings show how microbiome complexity and availability of

  20. Development of functional composts using spent coffee grounds, poultry manure and biochar through microbial bioaugmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmanuel, S Aalfin; Yoo, Jangyeon; Kim, Eok-Jo; Chang, Jae-Soo; Park, Young-In; Koh, Sung-Cheol

    2017-11-02

    Spent coffee grounds (SCG), poultry manure, and agricultural waste-derived biochar were used to manufacture functional composts through microbial bioaugmentation. The highest yield of tomato stalk-based biochar (40.7%) was obtained at 450°C with a surface area of 2.35 m 2 g -1 . Four pilot-scale composting reactors were established to perform composting for 45 days. The ratios of NH 4 + -N/NO 3 - -N, which served as an indicator of compost maturity, indicate rapid, and successful composting via microbial bioaugmentation and biochar amendment. Moreover, germination indices for radish also increased by 14-34% through augmentation and biochar amendment. Microbial diversity was also enhanced in the augmented and biochar-amended composts by 7.1-8.9%, where two species of Sphingobacteriaceae were dominant (29-43%). The scavenging activities of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) were enhanced by 14.1% and 8.6% in the fruits of pepper plants grown in the presence of the TR-2 (augmentation applied only) and TR-3 (both augmentation and biochar amendment applied) composts, respectively. Total phenolic content was also enhanced by 68% in the fruits of the crops grown in TR-3. Moreover, the other compost, TR-L (augmentation applied only), boosted DPPH scavenging activity by 111% in leeks compared with commercial organic fertilizer, while TR-3 increased the phenolic content by 44.8%. Composting facilitated by microbial augmentation and biochar amendment shortened the composting time and enhanced the quality of the functional compost. These results indicate that functional compost has great potential to compete with commercially available organic fertilizers and that the novel composting technology could significantly contribute to the eco-friendly recycling of organic wastes such as spent coffee grounds, poultry manure, and agricultural wastes.

  1. Metal-macrofauna interactions determine microbial community structure and function in copper contaminated sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Daniel J; Gray, Nia B; Elver-Evans, Joanna; Midwood, Andrew J; Thornton, Barry

    2013-01-01

    Copper is essential for healthy cellular functioning, but this heavy metal quickly becomes toxic when supply exceeds demand. Marine sediments receive widespread and increasing levels of copper contamination from antifouling paints owing to the 2008 global ban of organotin-based products. The toxicity of copper will increase in the coming years as seawater pH decreases and temperature increases. We used a factorial mesocosm experiment to investigate how increasing sediment copper concentrations and the presence of a cosmopolitan bioturbating amphipod, Corophium volutator, affected a range of ecosystem functions in a soft sediment microbial community. The effects of copper on benthic nutrient release, bacterial biomass, microbial community structure and the isotopic composition of individual microbial membrane [phospholipid] fatty acids (PLFAs) all differed in the presence of C. volutator. Our data consistently demonstrate that copper contamination of global waterways will have pervasive effects on the metabolic functioning of benthic communities that cannot be predicted from copper concentrations alone; impacts will depend upon the resident macrofauna and their capacity for bioturbation. This finding poses a major challenge for those attempting to manage the impacts of copper contamination on ecosystem services, e.g. carbon and nutrient cycling, across different habitats. Our work also highlights the paucity of information on the processes that result in isotopic fractionation in natural marine microbial communities. We conclude that the assimilative capacity of benthic microbes will become progressively impaired as copper concentrations increase. These effects will, to an extent, be mitigated by the presence of bioturbating animals and possibly other processes that increase the influx of oxygenated seawater into the sediments. Our findings support the move towards an ecosystem approach for environmental management.

  2. Metal-macrofauna interactions determine microbial community structure and function in copper contaminated sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Mayor

    Full Text Available Copper is essential for healthy cellular functioning, but this heavy metal quickly becomes toxic when supply exceeds demand. Marine sediments receive widespread and increasing levels of copper contamination from antifouling paints owing to the 2008 global ban of organotin-based products. The toxicity of copper will increase in the coming years as seawater pH decreases and temperature increases. We used a factorial mesocosm experiment to investigate how increasing sediment copper concentrations and the presence of a cosmopolitan bioturbating amphipod, Corophium volutator, affected a range of ecosystem functions in a soft sediment microbial community. The effects of copper on benthic nutrient release, bacterial biomass, microbial community structure and the isotopic composition of individual microbial membrane [phospholipid] fatty acids (PLFAs all differed in the presence of C. volutator. Our data consistently demonstrate that copper contamination of global waterways will have pervasive effects on the metabolic functioning of benthic communities that cannot be predicted from copper concentrations alone; impacts will depend upon the resident macrofauna and their capacity for bioturbation. This finding poses a major challenge for those attempting to manage the impacts of copper contamination on ecosystem services, e.g. carbon and nutrient cycling, across different habitats. Our work also highlights the paucity of information on the processes that result in isotopic fractionation in natural marine microbial communities. We conclude that the assimilative capacity of benthic microbes will become progressively impaired as copper concentrations increase. These effects will, to an extent, be mitigated by the presence of bioturbating animals and possibly other processes that increase the influx of oxygenated seawater into the sediments. Our findings support the move towards an ecosystem approach for environmental management.

  3. Comparative mapping reveals similar linkage of functional genes to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    genes between O. sativa and B. napus may have consistent function and control similar traits, which may be ..... acea chromosomes reveals islands of conserved organization. ... 1998 Conserved structure and function of the Arabidopsis flow-.

  4. Exploring spatial planning and functional program impact on microbial diversity and distribution in two South African hospital microbiomes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nice, Jaco A

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a theoretical and experimental research approach on the impact of spatial planning and functional program on the microbial load, distribution and organism diversity in hospital environments. The investigation aims to identify...

  5. Soil microbial community profiles and functional diversity in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Dzantor, E. Kudjo; Momen, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    Rock outcrop ecosystems, such as limestone cedar glades (LCGs), are known for their rare and endemic plant species adapted to high levels of abiotic stress. Soils in LCGs are thin (< 25 cm), soil-moisture conditions fluctuate seasonally between xeric and saturated, and summer soil temperatures commonly exceed 48 °C. The effects of these stressors on soil microbial communities (SMC) remain largely unstudied, despite the importance of SMC-plant interactions in regulating the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. SMC profiles and functional diversity were characterized in LCGs using community level physiological profiling (CLPP) and plate-dilution frequency assays (PDFA). Most-probable number (MPN) estimates and microbial substrate-utilization diversity (H) were positively related to soil thickness, soil organic matter (OM), soil water content, and vegetation density, and were diminished in alkaline soil relative to circumneutral soil. Soil nitrate showed no relationship to SMCs, suggesting lack of N-limitation. Canonical correlation analysis indicated strong correlations between microbial CLPP patterns and several physical and chemical properties of soil, primarily temperature at the ground surface and at 4-cm depth, and secondarily soil-water content, enabling differentiation by season. Thus, it was demonstrated that several well-described abiotic determinants of plant community structure in this ecosystem are also reflected in SMC profiles.

  6. Modeling microbial community structure and functional diversity across time and space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Peter E; Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2012-07-01

    Microbial communities exhibit exquisitely complex structure. Many aspects of this complexity, from the number of species to the total number of interactions, are currently very difficult to examine directly. However, extraordinary efforts are being made to make these systems accessible to scientific investigation. While recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies have improved accessibility to the taxonomic and functional diversity of complex communities, monitoring the dynamics of these systems over time and space - using appropriate experimental design - is still expensive. Fortunately, modeling can be used as a lens to focus low-resolution observations of community dynamics to enable mathematical abstractions of functional and taxonomic dynamics across space and time. Here, we review the approaches for modeling bacterial diversity at both the very large and the very small scales at which microbial systems interact with their environments. We show that modeling can help to connect biogeochemical processes to specific microbial metabolic pathways. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Inferring gene expression dynamics via functional regression analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leng Xiaoyan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Temporal gene expression profiles characterize the time-dynamics of expression of specific genes and are increasingly collected in current gene expression experiments. In the analysis of experiments where gene expression is obtained over the life cycle, it is of interest to relate temporal patterns of gene expression associated with different developmental stages to each other to study patterns of long-term developmental gene regulation. We use tools from functional data analysis to study dynamic changes by relating temporal gene expression profiles of different developmental stages to each other. Results We demonstrate that functional regression methodology can pinpoint relationships that exist between temporary gene expression profiles for different life cycle phases and incorporates dimension reduction as needed for these high-dimensional data. By applying these tools, gene expression profiles for pupa and adult phases are found to be strongly related to the profiles of the same genes obtained during the embryo phase. Moreover, one can distinguish between gene groups that exhibit relationships with positive and others with negative associations between later life and embryonal expression profiles. Specifically, we find a positive relationship in expression for muscle development related genes, and a negative relationship for strictly maternal genes for Drosophila, using temporal gene expression profiles. Conclusion Our findings point to specific reactivation patterns of gene expression during the Drosophila life cycle which differ in characteristic ways between various gene groups. Functional regression emerges as a useful tool for relating gene expression patterns from different developmental stages, and avoids the problems with large numbers of parameters and multiple testing that affect alternative approaches.

  8. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    , nitrate accumulation, respiratory growth response, community level physiological profile and decomposition). Neither was there a direct effect of biodiversity on the variability of the processes, nor on the stability of decomposition when the soils were perturbed by heat or copper. The biodiversity of......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  9. Assessment of soil microbial diversity with functional multi-endpoint methods

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Creamer, R. E.; Rutgers, M.

    on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development of MicroResp™ and Community Level Physiological Profile (CLPP) with Biolog™ plates, and soil enzymatic activity assayed by Extracellular Enzyme Activity (EEA) based on MUF......Soil microbial diversity provides the cornerstone for support of soil ecosystem services by key roles in soil organic matter turnover, carbon sequestration and water infiltration. However, standardized methods to quantify the multitude of microbial functions in soils are lacking. Methods based...... to the lack of principle methods, the data obtained from these substitute methods are currently not used in classification and assessment schemes, making quantification of natural capital and ecosystems services of the soil a difficult venture. In this contribution, we compare and contrast the three...

  10. Occurrence of the mcr-1 Colistin Resistance Gene and other Clinically Relevant Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Microbial Populations at Different Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norman Hembach

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs with different population equivalents and catchment areas were screened for the prevalence of the colistin resistance gene mcr-1 mediating resistance against last resort antibiotic polymyxin E. The abundance of the plasmid-associated mcr-1 gene in total microbial populations during water treatment processes was quantitatively analyzed by qPCR analyses. The presence of the colistin resistance gene was documented for all of the influent wastewater samples of the seven WWTPs. In some cases the mcr-1 resistance gene was also detected in effluent samples of the WWTPs after conventional treatment reaching the aquatic environment. In addition to the occurrence of mcr-1 gene, CTX-M-32, blaTEM, CTX-M, tetM, CMY-2, and ermB genes coding for clinically relevant antibiotic resistances were quantified in higher abundances in all WWTPs effluents. In parallel, the abundances of Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Escherichia coli were quantified via qPCR using specific taxonomic gene markers which were detected in all influent and effluent wastewaters in significant densities. Hence, opportunistic pathogens and clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes in wastewaters of the analyzed WWTPs bear a risk of dissemination to the aquatic environment. Since many of the antibiotic resistance gene are associated with mobile genetic elements horizontal gene transfer during wastewater treatment can't be excluded.

  11. Reveal genes functionally associated with ACADS by a network study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yulong; Su, Zhiguang

    2015-09-15

    Establishing a systematic network is aimed at finding essential human gene-gene/gene-disease pathway by means of network inter-connecting patterns and functional annotation analysis. In the present study, we have analyzed functional gene interactions of short-chain acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase gene (ACADS). ACADS plays a vital role in free fatty acid β-oxidation and regulates energy homeostasis. Modules of highly inter-connected genes in disease-specific ACADS network are derived by integrating gene function and protein interaction data. Among the 8 genes in ACADS web retrieved from both STRING and GeneMANIA, ACADS is effectively conjoined with 4 genes including HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1. The functional analysis is done via ontological briefing and candidate disease identification. We observed that the highly efficient-interlinked genes connected with ACADS are HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1. Interestingly, the ontological aspect of genes in the ACADS network reveals that ACADS, HAHDA and HADHB play equally vital roles in fatty acid metabolism. The gene ACAT1 together with ACADS indulges in ketone metabolism. Our computational gene web analysis also predicts potential candidate disease recognition, thus indicating the involvement of ACADS, HAHDA, HADHB, ECHS1 and ACAT1 not only with lipid metabolism but also with infant death syndrome, skeletal myopathy, acute hepatic encephalopathy, Reye-like syndrome, episodic ketosis, and metabolic acidosis. The current study presents a comprehensible layout of ACADS network, its functional strategies and candidate disease approach associated with ACADS network. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Mammalian engineers drive soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions across a disturbance gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, David J; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Woodhouse, Jason N; Neilan, Brett A

    2016-11-01

    The effects of mammalian ecosystem engineers on soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions in terrestrial ecosystems are poorly known. Disturbance from livestock has been widely reported to reduce soil function, but disturbance by animals that forage in the soil may partially offset these negative effects of livestock, directly and/or indirectly by shifting the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. Understanding the role of disturbance from livestock and ecosystem engineers in driving soil microbes and functions is essential for formulating sustainable ecosystem management and conservation policies. We compared soil bacterial community composition and enzyme concentrations within four microsites: foraging pits of two vertebrates, the indigenous short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the exotic European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and surface and subsurface soils along a gradient in grazing-induced disturbance in an arid woodland. Microbial community composition varied little across the disturbance gradient, but there were substantial differences among the four microsites. Echidna pits supported a lower relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Cyanobacteria, but a higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria than rabbit pits and surface microsites. Moreover, these microsite differences varied with disturbance. Rabbit pits had a similar profile to the subsoil or the surface soils under moderate and high, but not low disturbance. Overall, echidna foraging pits had the greatest positive effect on function, assessed as mean enzyme concentrations, but rabbits had the least. The positive effects of echidna foraging on function were indirectly driven via microbial community composition. In particular, increasing activity was positively associated with increasing relative abundance of Proteobacteria, but decreasing Acidobacteria. Our study suggests that soil disturbance by animals may offset, to some degree, the oft-reported negative

  13. A new measure for functional similarity of gene products based on Gene Ontology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lengauer Thomas

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene Ontology (GO is a standard vocabulary of functional terms and allows for coherent annotation of gene products. These annotations provide a basis for new methods that compare gene products regarding their molecular function and biological role. Results We present a new method for comparing sets of GO terms and for assessing the functional similarity of gene products. The method relies on two semantic similarity measures; simRel and funSim. One measure (simRel is applied in the comparison of the biological processes found in different groups of organisms. The other measure (funSim is used to find functionally related gene products within the same or between different genomes. Results indicate that the method, in addition to being in good agreement with established sequence similarity approaches, also provides a means for the identification of functionally related proteins independent of evolutionary relationships. The method is also applied to estimating functional similarity between all proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and to visualizing the molecular function space of yeast in a map of the functional space. A similar approach is used to visualize the functional relationships between protein families. Conclusion The approach enables the comparison of the underlying molecular biology of different taxonomic groups and provides a new comparative genomics tool identifying functionally related gene products independent of homology. The proposed map of the functional space provides a new global view on the functional relationships between gene products or protein families.

  14. Relating belowground microbial composition to the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional trait distributions of trees in a tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barberán, Albert; McGuire, Krista L; Wolf, Jeffrey A; Jones, F Andrew; Wright, Stuart Joseph; Turner, Benjamin L; Essene, Adam; Hubbell, Stephen P; Faircloth, Brant C; Fierer, Noah

    2015-12-01

    The complexities of the relationships between plant and soil microbial communities remain unresolved. We determined the associations between plant aboveground and belowground (root) distributions and the communities of soil fungi and bacteria found across a diverse tropical forest plot. Soil microbial community composition was correlated with the taxonomic and phylogenetic structure of the aboveground plant assemblages even after controlling for differences in soil characteristics, but these relationships were stronger for fungi than for bacteria. In contrast to expectations, the species composition of roots in our soil core samples was a poor predictor of microbial community composition perhaps due to the patchy, ephemeral, and highly overlapping nature of fine root distributions. Our ability to predict soil microbial composition was not improved by incorporating information on plant functional traits suggesting that the most commonly measured plant traits are not particularly useful for predicting the plot-level variability in belowground microbial communities. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  15. Effects of copper particles on a model septic system's function and microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Alicia A; Walker, Sharon L

    2016-03-15

    There is concern surrounding the addition of nanoparticles into consumer products due to toxicity potential and the increased risk of human and environmental exposures to these particles. Copper nanoparticles are found in many common consumer goods; therefore, the disposal and subsequent interactions between potentially toxic Cu-based nanoparticles and microbial communities may have detrimental impacts on wastewater treatment processes. This study investigates the effects of three copper particles (micron- and nano-scale Cu particles, and a nano-scale Cu(OH)2-based fungicide) on the function and operation of a model septic tank. Septic system analyses included water quality evaluations and microbial community characterizations to detect changes in and relationships between the septic tank function and microbial community phenotype/genotype. As would be expected for optimal wastewater treatment, biological oxygen demand (BOD5) was reduced by at least 63% during nano-scale Cu exposure, indicating normal function. pH was reduced to below the optimum anaerobic fermentation range during the micro Cu exposure, suggesting incomplete degradation of organic waste may have occurred. The copper fungicide, Cu(OH)2, caused a 57% increase in total organic carbon (TOC), which is well above the typical range for septic systems and also corresponded to increased BOD5 during the majority of the Cu(OH)2 exposure. The changes in TOC and BOD5 demonstrate that the system was improperly treating waste. Overall, results imply individual exposures to the three Cu particles caused distinct disruptions in septic tank function. However, it was observed that the system was able to recover to typical operating conditions after three weeks post-exposure. These results imply that during periods of Cu introduction, there are likely pulses of improper removal of total organic carbon and significant changes in pH not in the optimal range for the system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  16. Methods for transient assay of gene function in floral tissues

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pathirana Nilangani N

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is considerable interest in rapid assays or screening systems for assigning gene function. However, analysis of gene function in the flowers of some species is restricted due to the difficulty of producing stably transformed transgenic plants. As a result, experimental approaches based on transient gene expression assays are frequently used. Biolistics has long been used for transient over-expression of genes of interest, but has not been exploited for gene silencing studies. Agrobacterium-infiltration has also been used, but the focus primarily has been on the transient transformation of leaf tissue. Results Two constructs, one expressing an inverted repeat of the Antirrhinum majus (Antirrhinum chalcone synthase gene (CHS and the other an inverted repeat of the Antirrhinum transcription factor gene Rosea1, were shown to effectively induce CHS and Rosea1 gene silencing, respectively, when introduced biolistically into petal tissue of Antirrhinum flowers developing in vitro. A high-throughput vector expressing the Antirrhinum CHS gene attached to an inverted repeat of the nos terminator was also shown to be effective. Silencing spread systemically to create large zones of petal tissue lacking pigmentation, with transmission of the silenced state spreading both laterally within the affected epidermal cell layer and into lower cell layers, including the epidermis of the other petal surface. Transient Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of petal tissue of tobacco and petunia flowers in situ or detached was also achieved, using expression of the reporter genes GUS and GFP to visualise transgene expression. Conclusion We demonstrate the feasibility of using biolistics-based transient RNAi, and transient transformation of petal tissue via Agrobacterium infiltration to study gene function in petals. We have also produced a vector for high throughput gene silencing studies, incorporating the option of using T-A cloning to

  17. When natural selection gives gene function the cold shoulder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutter, Asher D; Jovelin, Richard

    2015-11-01

    It is tempting to invoke organismal selection as perpetually optimizing the function of any given gene. However, natural selection can drive genic functional change without improvement of biochemical activity, even to the extinction of gene activity. Detrimental mutations can creep in owing to linkage with other selectively favored loci. Selection can promote functional degradation, irrespective of genetic drift, when adaptation occurs by loss of gene function. Even stabilizing selection on a trait can lead to divergence of the underlying molecular constituents. Selfish genetic elements can also proliferate independent of any functional benefits to the host genome. Here we review the logic and evidence for these diverse processes acting in genome evolution. This collection of distinct evolutionary phenomena - while operating through easily understandable mechanisms - all contribute to the seemingly counterintuitive notion that maintenance or improvement of a gene's biochemical function sometimes do not determine its evolutionary fate. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Large gene overlaps in prokaryotic genomes: result of functional constraints or mispredictions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harrington Eoghan D

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Across the fully sequenced microbial genomes there are thousands of examples of overlapping genes. Many of these are only a few nucleotides long and are thought to function by permitting the coordinated regulation of gene expression. However, there should also be selective pressure against long overlaps, as the existence of overlapping reading frames increases the risk of deleterious mutations. Here we examine the longest overlaps and assess whether they are the product of special functional constraints or of erroneous annotation. Results We analysed the genes that overlap by 60 bps or more among 338 fully-sequenced prokaryotic genomes. The likely functional significance of an overlap was determined by comparing each of the genes to its respective orthologs. If a gene showed a significantly different length from its orthologs it was considered unlikely to be functional and therefore the result of an error either in sequencing or gene prediction. Focusing on 715 co-directional overlaps longer than 60 bps, we classified the erroneous ones into five categories: i 5'-end extension of the downstream gene due to either a mispredicted start codon or a frameshift at 5'-end of the gene (409 overlaps, ii fragmentation of a gene caused by a frameshift (163, iii 3'-end extension of the upstream gene due to either a frameshift at 3'-end of a gene or point mutation at the stop codon (68, iv Redundant gene predictions (4, v 5' & 3'-end extension which is a combination of i and iii (71. We also studied 75 divergent overlaps that could be classified as misannotations of group i. Nevertheless we found some convergent long overlaps (54 that might be true overlaps, although an important part of convergent overlaps could be classified as group iii (124. Conclusion Among the 968 overlaps larger than 60 bps which we analysed, we did not find a single real one among the co-directional and divergent orientations and concluded that there had been an

  19. Human Intellectual Disability Genes Form Conserved Functional Modules in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oortveld, Merel A. W.; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Oti, Martin; Nijhof, Bonnie; Fernandes, Ana Clara; Kochinke, Korinna; Castells-Nobau, Anna; van Engelen, Eva; Ellenkamp, Thijs; Eshuis, Lilian; Galy, Anne; van Bokhoven, Hans; Habermann, Bianca; Brunner, Han G.; Zweier, Christiane; Verstreken, Patrik; Huynen, Martijn A.; Schenck, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Intellectual Disability (ID) disorders, defined by an IQ below 70, are genetically and phenotypically highly heterogeneous. Identification of common molecular pathways underlying these disorders is crucial for understanding the molecular basis of cognition and for the development of therapeutic intervention strategies. To systematically establish their functional connectivity, we used transgenic RNAi to target 270 ID gene orthologs in the Drosophila eye. Assessment of neuronal function in behavioral and electrophysiological assays and multiparametric morphological analysis identified phenotypes associated with knockdown of 180 ID gene orthologs. Most of these genotype-phenotype associations were novel. For example, we uncovered 16 genes that are required for basal neurotransmission and have not previously been implicated in this process in any system or organism. ID gene orthologs with morphological eye phenotypes, in contrast to genes without phenotypes, are relatively highly expressed in the human nervous system and are enriched for neuronal functions, suggesting that eye phenotyping can distinguish different classes of ID genes. Indeed, grouping genes by Drosophila phenotype uncovered 26 connected functional modules. Novel links between ID genes successfully predicted that MYCN, PIGV and UPF3B regulate synapse development. Drosophila phenotype groups show, in addition to ID, significant phenotypic similarity also in humans, indicating that functional modules are conserved. The combined data indicate that ID disorders, despite their extreme genetic diversity, are caused by disruption of a limited number of highly connected functional modules. PMID:24204314

  20. Microbial ecology, bacterial pathogens, and antibiotic resistant genes in swine manure wastewater as influenced by three swine management systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, John P; Adeli, Ardeshir; McLaughlin, Michael R

    2014-06-15

    The environmental influence of farm management in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) can yield vast changes to the microbial biota and ecological structure of both the pig and waste manure lagoon wastewater. While some of these changes may not be negative, it is possible that CAFOs can enrich antibiotic resistant bacteria or pathogens based on farm type, thereby influencing the impact imparted by the land application of its respective wastewater. The purpose of this study was to measure the microbial constituents of swine-sow, -nursery, and -finisher farm manure lagoon wastewater and determine the changes induced by farm management. A total of 37 farms were visited in the Mid-South USA and analyzed for the genes 16S rRNA, spaQ (Salmonella spp.), Camp-16S (Campylobacter spp.), tetA, tetB, ermF, ermA, mecA, and intI using quantitative PCR. Additionally, 16S rRNA sequence libraries were created. Overall, it appeared that finisher farms were significantly different from nursery and sow farms in nearly all genes measured and in 16S rRNA clone libraries. Nearly all antibiotic resistance genes were detected in all farms. Interestingly, the mecA resistance gene (e.g. methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was below detection limits on most farms, and decreased as the pigs aged. Finisher farms generally had fewer antibiotic resistance genes, which corroborated previous phenotypic data; additionally, finisher farms produced a less diverse 16S rRNA sequence library. Comparisons of Camp-16S and spaQ GU (genomic unit) values to previous culture data demonstrated ratios from 10 to 10,000:1 depending on farm type, indicating viable but not cultivatable bacteria were dominant. The current study indicated that swine farm management schemes positively and negatively affect microbial and antibiotic resistant populations in CAFO wastewater which has future "downstream" implications from both an environmental and public health perspective. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Functional validation of candidate genes detected by genomic feature models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Østergaard, Solveig; Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex traits requires knowledge of the genetic variants that contribute to phenotypic variability. Reliable statistical approaches are needed to obtain such knowledge. In genome-wide association studies, variants are tested for association with trait...... then functionally assessed whether the identified candidate genes affected locomotor activity by reducing gene expression using RNA interference. In five of the seven candidate genes tested, reduced gene expression altered the phenotype. The ranking of genes within the predictive GO term was highly correlated...

  2. Microbial Aggregate and Functional Community Distribution in a Sequencing Batch Reactor with Anammox Granules

    KAUST Repository

    Sun, Shan

    2013-05-01

    Anammox (anaerobic ammonium oxidation) process is a one-step conversion of ammonia into nitrogen gas with nitrite as an electron acceptor. It has been developed as a sustainable technology for ammonia removal from wastewater in the last decade. For wastewater treatment, anammox biomass was widely developed as microbial aggregate where the conditions for enrichment of anammox community must be delicately controlled and growth of other bacteria especially NOB should be suppressed to enhance nitrogen removal efficiency. Little is known about the distribution of microbial aggregates in anammox process. Thus the objective of our study was to assess whether segregation of biomass occurs in granular anammox system. In this study, a laboratory-scale sequential batch reactor (SBR) was successfully operated for a period of 80 days with granular anammox biomass. Temporal and spatial distribution of microbial aggregates was studied by particle characterization system and the distribution of functional microbial communities was studied with qPCR and 16s rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing. Our study revealed the spatial and temporal distribution of biomass aggregates based on their sizes and density. Granules (>200 μm) preferentially accumulated in the bottom of the reactor while floccules (30-200 μm) were relatively rich at the top layer. The average density of aggregate was higher at the bottom than the density of those at the top layer. Degranulation caused by lack of hydrodynamic shear force in the top layer was considered responsible for this phenomenon. NOB was relatively rich in the top layer while percentage of anammox population was higher at the bottom, and anammox bacteria population gradually increased over a period of time. NOB growth was supposed to be associated with the increase of floccules based on the concurrent occurrence. Thus, segregation of biomass can be utilized to develop an effective strategy to enrich anammox and wash out NOB by shortening the settling

  3. Combining many interaction networks to predict gene function and analyze gene lists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, Sara; Morris, Quaid

    2012-05-01

    In this article, we review how interaction networks can be used alone or in combination in an automated fashion to provide insight into gene and protein function. We describe the concept of a "gene-recommender system" that can be applied to any large collection of interaction networks to make predictions about gene or protein function based on a query list of proteins that share a function of interest. We discuss these systems in general and focus on one specific system, GeneMANIA, that has unique features and uses different algorithms from the majority of other systems. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Investigating Gene Function in Cereal Rust Fungi by Plant-Mediated Virus-Induced Gene Silencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panwar, Vinay; Bakkeren, Guus

    2017-01-01

    Cereal rust fungi are destructive pathogens, threatening grain production worldwide. Targeted breeding for resistance utilizing host resistance genes has been effective. However, breakdown of resistance occurs frequently and continued efforts are needed to understand how these fungi overcome resistance and to expand the range of available resistance genes. Whole genome sequencing, transcriptomic and proteomic studies followed by genome-wide computational and comparative analyses have identified large repertoire of genes in rust fungi among which are candidates predicted to code for pathogenicity and virulence factors. Some of these genes represent defence triggering avirulence effectors. However, functions of most genes still needs to be assessed to understand the biology of these obligate biotrophic pathogens. Since genetic manipulations such as gene deletion and genetic transformation are not yet feasible in rust fungi, performing functional gene studies is challenging. Recently, Host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) has emerged as a useful tool to characterize gene function in rust fungi while infecting and growing in host plants. We utilized Barley stripe mosaic virus-mediated virus induced gene silencing (BSMV-VIGS) to induce HIGS of candidate rust fungal genes in the wheat host to determine their role in plant-fungal interactions. Here, we describe the methods for using BSMV-VIGS in wheat for functional genomics study in cereal rust fungi.

  5. Composition and function of the microbial community related with the nitrogen cycling on the potato rhizosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Florez Zapata, Nathalia; Garcia, Juan Carlos; Del Portillo, Patricia; Restrepo, Silvia; Uribe Velez, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In the S. tuberosum group phureja crops, mineral fertilizer and organic amendments are applied to meet the plants nutritional demands, however the effect of such practices on the associated rizospheric microbial communities are still unknown. Nitrogen plays an important role in agricultural production, and a great diversity of microorganisms regulates its transformation in the soil, affecting its availability for the plant. The aim of this study was to assess the structure of microbial communities related with the N cycle of S. tuberosum group phureja rizospheric soil samples, with contrasting physical-chemical properties and fertilization strategy. Few significant differences between the community compositions at the phylum level were found, only Planctomycetes phylum was different between samples of different soil type and fertilization strategy. However, the analysis of nitrogen-associated functional groups made by ribotyping characterization, grouped soils in terms of such variables in a similar way to the physical-chemical properties. Major differences between soil samples were typified by higher percentages of the ribotypes from nitrite oxidation, nitrogen fixation and denitrification on organic amendment soils. Our results suggest that, the dominant rhizosphere microbial composition is very similar between soils, possibly as a result of population's selection mediated by the rhizosphere effect. However, agricultural management practices in addition to edaphic properties of sampled areas appear to affect some functional groups associated with the nitrogen cycling, due to differences found on soil's physicalchemical properties, like the concentration of ammonium that seems to have an effect regulating the distribution and activity of nitrogen related functional groups in the S. tuberosum rhizosphere.

  6. Simultaneous amplification of two bacterial genes: more reliable method of Helicobacter pylori detection in microbial rich dental plaque samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhry, Saima; Idrees, Muhammad; Izhar, Mateen; Butt, Arshad Kamal; Khan, Ayyaz Ali

    2011-01-01

    Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) assay is considered superior to other methods for detection of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in oral cavity; however, it also has limitations when sample under study is microbial rich dental plaque. The type of gene targeted and number of primers used for bacterial detection in dental plaque samples can have a significant effect on the results obtained as there are a number of closely related bacterial species residing in plaque biofilm. Also due to high recombination rate of H. pylori some of the genes might be down regulated or absent. The present study was conducted to determine the frequency of H. pylori colonization of dental plaque by simultaneously amplifying two genes of the bacterium. One hundred dental plaque specimens were collected from dyspeptic patients before their upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and presence of H. pylori was determined through PCR assay using primers targeting two different genes of the bacterium. Eighty-nine of the 100 samples were included in final analysis. With simultaneous amplification of two bacterial genes 51.6% of the dental plaque samples were positive for H. pylori while this prevalence increased to 73% when only one gene amplification was used for bacterial identification. Detection of H. pylori in dental plaque samples is more reliable when two genes of the bacterium are simultaneously amplified as compared to one gene amplification only.

  7. Methodology for the inference of gene function from phenotype data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascensao, Joao A; Dolan, Mary E; Hill, David P; Blake, Judith A

    2014-12-12

    Biomedical ontologies are increasingly instrumental in the advancement of biological research primarily through their use to efficiently consolidate large amounts of data into structured, accessible sets. However, ontology development and usage can be hampered by the segregation of knowledge by domain that occurs due to independent development and use of the ontologies. The ability to infer data associated with one ontology to data associated with another ontology would prove useful in expanding information content and scope. We here focus on relating two ontologies: the Gene Ontology (GO), which encodes canonical gene function, and the Mammalian Phenotype Ontology (MP), which describes non-canonical phenotypes, using statistical methods to suggest GO functional annotations from existing MP phenotype annotations. This work is in contrast to previous studies that have focused on inferring gene function from phenotype primarily through lexical or semantic similarity measures. We have designed and tested a set of algorithms that represents a novel methodology to define rules for predicting gene function by examining the emergent structure and relationships between the gene functions and phenotypes rather than inspecting the terms semantically. The algorithms inspect relationships among multiple phenotype terms to deduce if there are cases where they all arise from a single gene function. We apply this methodology to data about genes in the laboratory mouse that are formally represented in the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) resource. From the data, 7444 rule instances were generated from five generalized rules, resulting in 4818 unique GO functional predictions for 1796 genes. We show that our method is capable of inferring high-quality functional annotations from curated phenotype data. As well as creating inferred annotations, our method has the potential to allow for the elucidation of unforeseen, biologically significant associations between gene function and

  8. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  9. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overbeek, Leonard S.; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. PMID:26136581

  10. Functional implications of the microbial community structure of undefined mesophilic starter cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smid, Eddy J; Erkus, Oylum; Spus, Maciej; Wolkers-Rooijackers, Judith C M; Alexeeva, Svetlana; Kleerebezem, Michiel

    2014-08-29

    This review describes the recent advances made in the studies of the microbial community of complex and undefined cheese starter cultures. We report on work related to the composition of the cultures at the level of genetic lineages, on the presence and activity of bacteriophages and on the population dynamics during cheese making and during starter culture propagation. Furthermore, the link between starter composition and starter functionality will be discussed. Finally, recent advances in predictive metabolic modelling of the multi-strain cultures will be discussed in the context of microbe-microbe interactions.

  11. Too big or too narrow? Disturbance characteristics determine the functional resilience in virtual microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Firle, Anouk-Letizia; Koehnke, Merlin; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2017-04-01

    In general ecology, there is an ongoing debate about the influence of fragmentation on extinction thresholds. Whether this influence is positive or negative depends on the considered type of fragmentation: whereas habitat fragmentation often has a negative influence on population extinction thresholds, spatially fragmented disturbances are observed to have mostly positive effects on the extinction probability. Besides preventing population extinction, in soil systems ecology we are interested in analyzing how ecosystem functions are maintained despite disturbance events. Here, we analyzed the influence of disturbance size and fragmentation on the functional resilience of a microbial soil ecosystem. As soil is a highly heterogeneous environment exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations, the identification of critical disturbance characteristics for maintaining its functions is crucial. We used the numerical simulation model eColony considering bacterial growth, degradation and dispersal for analyzing the dynamic response of biodegradation examplary for an important microbial ecosystem service to disturbance events of different spatial configurations. We systematically varied the size and the degree of fragmentation of the affected area (disturbance pattern). We found that the influence of the disturbance size on functional recovery and biodegradation performance highly depends on the spatial fragmentation of the disturbance. Generally, biodegradation performance decreases with increasing clumpedness and increasing size of the affected area. After spatially correlated disturbance events, biodegradation performance decreases linear with increasing disturbance size. After spatially fragmented disturbance events, on the other hand, an increase in disturbance size has no influence on the biodegradation performance until a critical disturbance size is reached. Is the affected area bigger than this critical size, the functional performance decreases

  12. Host genes related to paneth cells and xenobiotic metabolism are associated with shifts in human ileum-associated microbial composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyi Zhang

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to integrate human clinical, genotype, mRNA microarray and 16 S rRNA sequence data collected on 84 subjects with ileal Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis or control patients without inflammatory bowel diseases in order to interrogate how host-microbial interactions are perturbed in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD. Ex-vivo ileal mucosal biopsies were collected from the disease unaffected proximal margin of the ileum resected from patients who were undergoing initial intestinal surgery. Both RNA and DNA were extracted from the mucosal biopsy samples. Patients were genotyped for the three major NOD2 variants (Leufs1007, R702W, and G908R and the ATG16L1T300A variant. Whole human genome mRNA expression profiles were generated using Agilent microarrays. Microbial composition profiles were determined by 454 pyrosequencing of the V3-V5 hypervariable region of the bacterial 16 S rRNA gene. The results of permutation based multivariate analysis of variance and covariance (MANCOVA support the hypothesis that host mucosal Paneth cell and xenobiotic metabolism genes play an important role in host microbial interactions.

  13. Functional patterns of microbial communities of rhizospheric soils across the development stages of a young mangrove in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luglia, Mathieu; Criquet, Stéven; Sarrazin, Max; Ziarelli, Fabio; Guiral, Daniel

    2014-02-01

    The functional patterns of microbial communities (microbial respiration, enzyme activities, functional diversity) and the relevant physico-chemical characteristics of rhizospheric soils were studied during the process of mudflat colonization by mangrove. The study site is a fringe mangrove stand located in Montabo Bay at Cayenne (French Guiana). It is characterized by different vegetation development stages dominated by an assemblage of Avicennia germinans and Laguncularia racemosa. Rhizospheric and surface soils were collected from three stations based on successional stages of mangrove colonization: pioneer (P), coppice (C), and young forest (F). The microbial functional patterns showed significant progressive shifts along the mangrove vegetation profile. The P stages, those most influenced by tide currents, were macroscopically characterized by hydro-sedimentary instability and micro-phytobenthic colonization of mudflat. This stage, characterized by low total organic carbon (TOC) content and quality, showed the lowest extracellular enzymatic activities and the highest functional metabolic diversities. TOC quality analyses by (13)C CPMAS NMR provided evidence of progressive TOC enrichment and an increasing imprint of aboveground vegetation on C quality as succession occurs. These differences in the origin, amount, and quality of soil organic matter (SOM) of older stages exerted both a quantitative and qualitative control over microbial functional responses. This indicated the enhancement of aboveground-belowground functional linkages, leading to the expression of high decomposition activities and a functional loss and specialization of rhizospheric microbial communities.

  14. Volatile Gas Production by Methyl Halide Transferase: An In Situ Reporter Of Microbial Gene Expression In Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Masiello, Caroline A; Bennett, George N; Silberg, Jonathan J

    2016-08-16

    Traditional visual reporters of gene expression have only very limited use in soils because their outputs are challenging to detect through the soil matrix. This severely restricts our ability to study time-dependent microbial gene expression in one of the Earth's largest, most complex habitats. Here we describe an approach to report on dynamic gene expression within a microbial population in a soil under natural water levels (at and below water holding capacity) via production of methyl halides using a methyl halide transferase. As a proof-of-concept application, we couple the expression of this gas reporter to the conjugative transfer of a bacterial plasmid in a soil matrix and show that gas released from the matrix displays a strong correlation with the number of transconjugant bacteria that formed. Gas reporting of gene expression will make possible dynamic studies of natural and engineered microbes within many hard-to-image environmental matrices (soils, sediments, sludge, and biomass) at sample scales exceeding those used for traditional visual reporting.

  15. High-Specificity Targeted Functional Profiling in Microbial Communities with ShortBRED.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Kaminski

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Profiling microbial community function from metagenomic sequencing data remains a computationally challenging problem. Mapping millions of DNA reads from such samples to reference protein databases requires long run-times, and short read lengths can result in spurious hits to unrelated proteins (loss of specificity. We developed ShortBRED (Short, Better Representative Extract Dataset to address these challenges, facilitating fast, accurate functional profiling of metagenomic samples. ShortBRED consists of two components: (i a method that reduces reference proteins of interest to short, highly representative amino acid sequences ("markers" and (ii a search step that maps reads to these markers to quantify the relative abundance of their associated proteins. After evaluating ShortBRED on synthetic data, we applied it to profile antibiotic resistance protein families in the gut microbiomes of individuals from the United States, China, Malawi, and Venezuela. Our results support antibiotic resistance as a core function in the human gut microbiome, with tetracycline-resistant ribosomal protection proteins and Class A beta-lactamases being the most widely distributed resistance mechanisms worldwide. ShortBRED markers are applicable to other homology-based search tasks, which we demonstrate here by identifying phylogenetic signatures of antibiotic resistance across more than 3,000 microbial isolate genomes. ShortBRED can be applied to profile a wide variety of protein families of interest; the software, source code, and documentation are available for download at http://huttenhower.sph.harvard.edu/shortbred.

  16. Gene-environment interactions involving functional variants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barrdahl, Myrto; Rudolph, Anja; Hopper, John L

    2017-01-01

    .36, 95% CI: 1.16-1.59, pint  = 1.9 × 10(-5) ) in relation to ER- disease risk. The remaining two gene-environment interactions were also identified in relation to ER- breast cancer risk and were found between 3p21-rs6796502 and age at menarche (ORint  = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.12-1.43, pint =1.8 × 10...... epidemiological breast cancer risk factors in relation to breast cancer. Analyses were conducted on up to 58,573 subjects (26,968 cases and 31,605 controls) from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium, in one of the largest studies of its kind. Analyses were carried out separately for estrogen receptor (ER......) positive (ER+) and ER negative (ER-) disease. The Bayesian False Discovery Probability (BFDP) was computed to assess the noteworthiness of the results. Four potential gene-environment interactions were identified as noteworthy (BFDP 

  17. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Gabriele; Smalla, Kornelia

    2009-04-01

    The rhizosphere is of central importance not only for plant nutrition, health and quality but also for microorganism-driven carbon sequestration, ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. A multitude of biotic and abiotic factors are assumed to influence the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. In this review, recent studies on the influence of the two factors, plant species and soil type, on rhizosphere-associated microbial communities are discussed. Root exudates and the response of microorganisms to the latter as well as to root morphology were shown to shape rhizosphere microbial communities. All studies revealed that soil is the main reservoir for rhizosphere microorganisms. Many secrets of microbial life in the rhizosphere were recently uncovered due to the enormous progress in molecular and microscopic tools. Physiological and molecular data on the factors that drive selection processes in the rhizosphere are presented here. Furthermore, implications for agriculture, nature conservation and biotechnology will also be discussed.

  18. Salt resistance genes revealed by functional metagenomics from brines and moderate-salinity rhizosphere within a hypersaline environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador eMirete

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Hypersaline environments are considered one of the most extreme habitats on earth and microorganisms have developed diverse molecular mechanisms of adaptation to withstand these conditions. The present study was aimed at identifying novel genes involved in salt resistance from the microbial communities of brines and the rhizosphere from the Es Trenc saltern (Mallorca, Spain. The microbial diversity assessed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed the presence of communities that are typical in such environments. Metagenomic libraries from brine and rhizosphere samples, were transferred to the osmosensitive strain Escherichia coli MKH13, and screened for salt resistance. As a result, eleven genes that conferred salt resistance were identified, some encoding for well known proteins previously related to osmoadaptation as a glycerol and a proton pump, whereas others encoded for proteins not previously related to this function in microorganisms as DNA/RNA helicases, an endonuclease III (Nth and hypothetical proteins of unknown function. Furthermore, four of the retrieved genes were cloned and expressed in Bacillus subtilis and they also exhibited salt resistance in this bacterium, broadening the spectrum of bacterial species where these genes can operate. This is the first report of salt resistance genes recovered from metagenomes of a hypersaline environment.

  19. A Resource of Quantitative Functional Annotation for Homo sapiens Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taşan, Murat; Drabkin, Harold J; Beaver, John E; Chua, Hon Nian; Dunham, Julie; Tian, Weidong; Blake, Judith A; Roth, Frederick P

    2012-02-01

    The body of human genomic and proteomic evidence continues to grow at ever-increasing rates, while annotation efforts struggle to keep pace. A surprisingly small fraction of human genes have clear, documented associations with specific functions, and new functions continue to be found for characterized genes. Here we assembled an integrated collection of diverse genomic and proteomic data for 21,341 human genes and make quantitative associations of each to 4333 Gene Ontology terms. We combined guilt-by-profiling and guilt-by-association approaches to exploit features unique to the data types. Performance was evaluated by cross-validation, prospective validation, and by manual evaluation with the biological literature. Functional-linkage networks were also constructed, and their utility was demonstrated by identifying candidate genes related to a glioma FLN using a seed network from genome-wide association studies. Our annotations are presented-alongside existing validated annotations-in a publicly accessible and searchable web interface.

  20. Compositional differences in simulated root exudates elicit a limited functional and compositional response in soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strickland, Michael S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Nelson, Jim A; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-01-01

    Inputs of low molecular weight carbon (LMW-C) to soil - primarily via root exudates- are expected to be a major driver of microbial activity and source of stable soil organic carbon. It is expected that variation in the type and composition of LMW-C entering soil will influence microbial community composition and function. If this is the case then short-term changes in LMW-C inputs may alter processes regulated by these communities. To determine if change in the composition of LMW-C inputs influences microbial community function and composition, we conducted a 90 day microcosm experiment whereby soils sourced from three different land covers (meadows, deciduous forests, and white pine stands) were amended, at low concentrations, with one of eight simulated root exudate treatments. Treatments included no addition of LMW-C, and the full factorial combination of glucose, glycine, and oxalic acid. After 90 days, we conducted a functional response assay and determined microbial composition via phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Whereas we noted a statistically significant effect of exudate treatments, this only accounted for ∼3% of the variation observed in function. In comparison, land cover and site explained ∼46 and ∼41% of the variation, respectively. This suggests that exudate composition has little influence on function compared to site/land cover specific factors. Supporting the finding that exudate effects were minor, we found that an absence of LMW-C elicited the greatest difference in function compared to those treatments receiving any LMW-C. Additionally, exudate treatments did not alter microbial community composition and observable differences were instead due to land cover. These results confirm the strong effects of land cover/site legacies on soil microbial communities. In contrast, short-term changes in exudate composition, at meaningful concentrations, may have little impact on microbial function and composition.

  1. Microbial Fingerprints of Community Structure Correlate with Changes in Ecosystem Function Induced by Perturbing the Redox Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, A. L.; Ford, R. M.; Vallino, J. J.; Herman, J. S.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2001-12-01

    Restoration of high-quality groundwater has been an elusive engineering goal. Consequently, natural microbially-mediated reactions are increasingly relied upon to degrade organic contaminants, including hydrocarbons and many synthetic compounds. Of concern is how the introduction of an organic chemical contaminant affects the indigenous microbial communities, the geochemistry of the aquifer, and the function of the ecosystem. The presence of functional redundancy in microbial communities suggests that recovery of the community after a disturbance such as a contamination event could easily result in a community that is similar in function to that which existed prior to the contamination, but which is compositionally quite different. To investigate the relationship between community structure and function we observed the response of a diverse microbial community obtained from raw sewage to a dynamic redox environment using an aerobic/anaerobic/aerobic cycle. To evaluate changes in community function CO2, pH, ammonium and nitrate levels were monitored. A phylogenetically-based DNA technique (tRFLP) was used to assess changes in microbial community structure. Principal component analysis of the tRFLP data revealed significant changes in the composition of the microbial community that correlated well with changes in community function. Results from our experiments will be discussed in the context of a metabolic model based the biogeochemistry of the system. The governing philosophy of this thermodynamically constrained metabolic model is that living systems synthesize and allocate cellular machinery in such a way as to "optimally" utilize available resources in the environment. The robustness of this optimization-based approach provides a powerful tool for studying relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function.

  2. Functionally enigmatic genes: a case study of the brain ignorome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashutosh K Pandey

    Full Text Available What proportion of genes with intense and selective expression in specific tissues, cells, or systems are still almost completely uncharacterized with respect to biological function? In what ways do these functionally enigmatic genes differ from well-studied genes? To address these two questions, we devised a computational approach that defines so-called ignoromes. As proof of principle, we extracted and analyzed a large subset of genes with intense and selective expression in brain. We find that publications associated with this set are highly skewed--the top 5% of genes absorb 70% of the relevant literature. In contrast, approximately 20% of genes have essentially no neuroscience literature. Analysis of the ignorome over the past decade demonstrates that it is stubbornly persistent, and the rapid expansion of the neuroscience literature has not had the expected effect on numbers of these genes. Surprisingly, ignorome genes do not differ from well-studied genes in terms of connectivity in coexpression networks. Nor do they differ with respect to numbers of orthologs, paralogs, or protein domains. The major distinguishing characteristic between these sets of genes is date of discovery, early discovery being associated with greater research momentum--a genomic bandwagon effect. Finally we ask to what extent massive genomic, imaging, and phenotype data sets can be used to provide high-throughput functional annotation for an entire ignorome. In a majority of cases we have been able to extract and add significant information for these neglected genes. In several cases--ELMOD1, TMEM88B, and DZANK1--we have exploited sequence polymorphisms, large phenome data sets, and reverse genetic methods to evaluate the function of ignorome genes.

  3. Functionally enigmatic genes: a case study of the brain ignorome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ashutosh K; Lu, Lu; Wang, Xusheng; Homayouni, Ramin; Williams, Robert W

    2014-01-01

    What proportion of genes with intense and selective expression in specific tissues, cells, or systems are still almost completely uncharacterized with respect to biological function? In what ways do these functionally enigmatic genes differ from well-studied genes? To address these two questions, we devised a computational approach that defines so-called ignoromes. As proof of principle, we extracted and analyzed a large subset of genes with intense and selective expression in brain. We find that publications associated with this set are highly skewed--the top 5% of genes absorb 70% of the relevant literature. In contrast, approximately 20% of genes have essentially no neuroscience literature. Analysis of the ignorome over the past decade demonstrates that it is stubbornly persistent, and the rapid expansion of the neuroscience literature has not had the expected effect on numbers of these genes. Surprisingly, ignorome genes do not differ from well-studied genes in terms of connectivity in coexpression networks. Nor do they differ with respect to numbers of orthologs, paralogs, or protein domains. The major distinguishing characteristic between these sets of genes is date of discovery, early discovery being associated with greater research momentum--a genomic bandwagon effect. Finally we ask to what extent massive genomic, imaging, and phenotype data sets can be used to provide high-throughput functional annotation for an entire ignorome. In a majority of cases we have been able to extract and add significant information for these neglected genes. In several cases--ELMOD1, TMEM88B, and DZANK1--we have exploited sequence polymorphisms, large phenome data sets, and reverse genetic methods to evaluate the function of ignorome genes.

  4. Functional validation of candidate genes detected by genomic feature models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rohde, Palle Duun; Østergaard, Solveig; Kristensen, Torsten Nygaard

    2018-01-01

    to investigate locomotor activity, and applied genomic feature prediction models to identify gene ontology (GO) cate- gories predictive of this phenotype. Next, we applied the covariance association test to partition the genomic variance of the predictive GO terms to the genes within these terms. We...... then functionally assessed whether the identified candidate genes affected locomotor activity by reducing gene expression using RNA interference. In five of the seven candidate genes tested, reduced gene expression altered the phenotype. The ranking of genes within the predictive GO term was highly correlated......Understanding the genetic underpinnings of complex traits requires knowledge of the genetic variants that contribute to phenotypic variability. Reliable statistical approaches are needed to obtain such knowledge. In genome-wide association studies, variants are tested for association with trait...

  5. Diversity and function of the microbial community on anodes of sediment microbial fuel cells fueled by root exudates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cabezas da Rosa, Angela

    2010-11-26

    Anode microbial communities are essential for current production in microbial fuel cells. Anode reducing bacteria are capable of using the anode as final electron acceptor in their respiratory chain. The electrons delivered to the anode travel through a circuit to the cathode where they reduce oxygen to water generating an electric current. A novel type of sediment microbial fuel cell (SMFC) harvest energy from photosynthetically derived compounds released through the roots. Nothing is known about anode microbial communities of this type of microbial fuel cell. This work consists of three parts. The first part focuses on the study of bacterial and archaeal community compositions on anodes of SMFCs fueled by rice root exudates. By using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), a profiling technique, and cloning / sequencing of 16S rRNA, we determined that the support type used for the plant (vermiculite, potting soil or rice field soil) is an important factor determining the composition of the microbial community. Finally, by comparing microbial communities of current producing anodes and non-current producing controls we determined that Desulfobulbus- and Geobacter-related populations were probably most important for current production in potting soil and rice field soil SMFCs, respectively. However, {delta}-proteobacterial Anaeromyxobacter spp., unclassified {delta}-proteobacteria and Anaerolineae were also part of the anode biofilm in rice field soil SMFCs and these populations might also play a role in current production. Moreover, distinct clusters of Geobacter and Anaeromyxobacter populations were stimulated by rice root exudates. Regarding Archaea, uncultured Euryarchaea were abundant on anodes of potting soil SMFCs indicating a potential role in current production. In both, rice field soil and potting soil SMFCs, a decrease of Methanosaeta, an acetotrophic methanogen, was detected on current producing anodes. In the second part we focused

  6. Gene Overexpression Resources in Cereals for Functional Genomics and Discovery of Useful Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiyomi Abe

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Identification and elucidation of functions of plant genes is valuable for both basic and applied research. In addition to natural variation in model plants, numerous loss-of-function resources have been produced by mutagenesis with chemicals, irradiation, or insertions of transposable elements or T-DNA. However, we may be unable to observe loss-of-function phenotypes for genes with functionally redundant homologs, and for those essential for growth and development. To offset such disadvantages, gain-of-function transgenic resources have been exploited. Activation-tagged lines have been generated using obligatory overexpression of endogenous genes by random insertion of an enhancer. Recent progress in DNA sequencing technology and bioinformatics has enabled the preparation of genomewide collections of full-length cDNAs (fl-cDNAs in some model species. Using the fl-cDNA clones, a novel gain-of-function strategy, Fl-cDNA OvereXpressor gene (FOX-hunting system, has been developed. A mutant phenotype in a FOX line can be directly attributed to the overexpressed fl-cDNA. Investigating a large population of FOX lines could reveal important genes conferring favorable phenotypes for crop breeding. Alternatively, a unique loss-of-function approach Chimeric REpressor gene Silencing Technology (CRES-T has been developed. In CRES-T, overexpression of a chimeric repressor, composed of the coding sequence of a transcription factor (TF and short peptide designated as the repression domain, could interfere with the action of endogenous TF in plants. Although plant TFs usually consist of gene families, CRES-T is effective, in principle, even for the TFs with functional redundancy. In this review, we focus on the current status of the gene-overexpression strategies and resources for identifying and elucidating novel functions of cereal genes. We discuss the potential of these research tools for identifying useful genes and phenotypes for application in crop

  7. Functional assays and metagenomic analyses reveals differences between the microbial communities inhabiting the soil horizons of a Norway spruce plantation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Uroz

    Full Text Available In temperate ecosystems, acidic forest soils are among the most nutrient-poor terrestrial environments. In this context, the long-term differentiation of the forest soils into horizons may impact the assembly and the functions of the soil microbial communities. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology and functional potentials of these microbial communities, a suite of analyses including comparative metagenomics was applied on independent soil samples from a spruce plantation (Breuil-Chenue, France. The objectives were to assess whether the decreasing nutrient bioavailability and pH variations that naturally occurs between the organic and mineral horizons affects the soil microbial functional biodiversity. The 14 Gbp of pyrosequencing and Illumina sequences generated in this study revealed complex microbial communities dominated by bacteria. Detailed analyses showed that the organic soil horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Bacteria, Chordata, Arthropoda and Ascomycota. On the contrary the mineral horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Archaea. Our analyses also highlighted that the microbial communities inhabiting the two soil horizons differed significantly in their functional potentials according to functional assays and MG-RAST analyses, suggesting a functional specialisation of these microbial communities. Consistent with this specialisation, our shotgun metagenomic approach revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of sequences related glycoside hydrolases in the organic horizon compared to the mineral horizon that was significantly enriched in glycoside transferases. This functional stratification according to the soil horizon was also confirmed by a significant correlation between the functional assays performed in this study and the functional metagenomic analyses. Together, our results suggest that the soil stratification and particularly the soil resource

  8. Functional requirements driving the gene duplication in 12 Drosophila species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yan; Jia, Yanxiao; Gao, Yang; Tian, Dacheng; Yang, Sihai; Zhang, Xiaohui

    2013-08-15

    Gene duplication supplies the raw materials for novel gene functions and many gene families arisen from duplication experience adaptive evolution. Most studies of young duplicates have focused on mammals, especially humans, whereas reports describing their genome-wide evolutionary patterns across the closely related Drosophila species are rare. The sequenced 12 Drosophila genomes provide the opportunity to address this issue. In our study, 3,647 young duplicate gene families were identified across the 12 Drosophila species and three types of expansions, species-specific, lineage-specific and complex expansions, were detected in these gene families. Our data showed that the species-specific young duplicate genes predominated (86.6%) over the other two types. Interestingly, many independent species-specific expansions in the same gene family have been observed in many species, even including 11 or 12 Drosophila species. Our data also showed that the functional bias observed in these young duplicate genes was mainly related to responses to environmental stimuli and biotic stresses. This study reveals the evolutionary patterns of young duplicates across 12 Drosophila species on a genomic scale. Our results suggest that convergent evolution acts on young duplicate genes after the species differentiation and adaptive evolution may play an important role in duplicate genes for adaption to ecological factors and environmental changes in Drosophila.

  9. An intronic microRNA silences genes that are functionally antagonistic to its host gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barik, Sailen

    2008-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that down-regulate gene expression by silencing specific target mRNAs. While many miRNAs are transcribed from their own genes, nearly half map within introns of 'host' genes, the significance of which remains unclear. We report that transcriptional activation of apoptosis-associated tyrosine kinase (AATK), essential for neuronal differentiation, also generates miR-338 from an AATK gene intron that silences a family of mRNAs whose protein products are negative regulators of neuronal differentiation. We conclude that an intronic miRNA, transcribed together with the host gene mRNA, may serve the interest of its host gene by silencing a cohort of genes that are functionally antagonistic to the host gene itself.

  10. Cumulative Epigenetic Abnormalities in Host Genes with Viral and Microbial Infection during Initiation and Progression of Malignant Lymphoma/Leukemia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oka, Takashi; Sato, Hiaki; Ouchida, Mamoru; Utsunomiya, Atae; Yoshino, Tadashi

    2011-01-01

    Although cancers have been thought to be predominantly driven by acquired genetic changes, it is becoming clear that microenvironment-mediated epigenetic alterations play important roles. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation is a prevalent phenomenon in human cancers as well as malignant lymphoma/leukemia. Tumor suppressor genes become frequent targets of aberrant hypermethylation in the course of gene-silencing due to the increased and deregulated DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). The purpose of this article is to review the current status of knowledge about the contribution of cumulative epigenetic abnormalities of the host genes after microbial and virus infection to the crisis and progression of malignant lymphoma/leukemia. In addition, the relevance of this knowledge to malignant lymphoma/leukemia assessment, prevention and early detection will be discussed

  11. Cumulative Epigenetic Abnormalities in Host Genes with Viral and Microbial Infection during Initiation and Progression of Malignant Lymphoma/Leukemia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oka, Takashi, E-mail: oka@md.okayama-u.ac.jp [Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Sato, Hiaki [Department of Medical Technology, Graduate School of Health Science, Okayama University Medical School, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Ouchida, Mamoru [Department of Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Utsunomiya, Atae [Department of Hematology, Imamura Bun-in Hospital, 11-23 Kamoike Shinnmachi, Kagoshima, 890-0064 (Japan); Yoshino, Tadashi [Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan)

    2011-02-04

    Although cancers have been thought to be predominantly driven by acquired genetic changes, it is becoming clear that microenvironment-mediated epigenetic alterations play important roles. Aberrant promoter hypermethylation is a prevalent phenomenon in human cancers as well as malignant lymphoma/leukemia. Tumor suppressor genes become frequent targets of aberrant hypermethylation in the course of gene-silencing due to the increased and deregulated DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs). The purpose of this article is to review the current status of knowledge about the contribution of cumulative epigenetic abnormalities of the host genes after microbial and virus infection to the crisis and progression of malignant lymphoma/leukemia. In addition, the relevance of this knowledge to malignant lymphoma/leukemia assessment, prevention and early detection will be discussed.

  12. Construction of functional linkage gene networks by data integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linghu, Bolan; Franzosa, Eric A; Xia, Yu

    2013-01-01

    Networks of functional associations between genes have recently been successfully used for gene function and disease-related research. A typical approach for constructing such functional linkage gene networks (FLNs) is based on the integration of diverse high-throughput functional genomics datasets. Data integration is a nontrivial task due to the heterogeneous nature of the different data sources and their variable accuracy and completeness. The presence of correlations between data sources also adds another layer of complexity to the integration process. In this chapter we discuss an approach for constructing a human FLN from data integration and a subsequent application of the FLN to novel disease gene discovery. Similar approaches can be applied to nonhuman species and other discovery tasks.

  13. The ALMT Gene Family Performs Multiple Functions in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Liu

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The aluminium activated malate transporter (ALMT gene family is named after the first member of the family identified in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.. The product of this gene controls resistance to aluminium (Al toxicity. ALMT genes encode transmembrane proteins that function as anion channels and perform multiple functions involving the transport of organic anions (e.g., carboxylates and inorganic anions in cells. They share a PF11744 domain and are classified in the Fusaric acid resistance protein-like superfamily, CL0307. The proteins typically have five to seven transmembrane regions in the N-terminal half and a long hydrophillic C-terminal tail but predictions of secondary structure vary. Although widely spread in plants, relatively little information is available on the roles performed by other members of this family. In this review, we summarized functions of ALMT gene families, including Al resistance, stomatal function, mineral nutrition, microbe interactions, fruit acidity, light response and seed development.

  14. Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Correlations with Microbial Community and Metal Resistance Genes in Full-Scale Biogas Reactors As Revealed by Metagenomic Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Gang; Li, Bing; Li, Li-Guan

    2017-01-01

    resistance genes (MRGs). The total abundance of ARGs in all the samples varied from 7 × 10-3 to 1.08 × 10-1 copy of ARG/copy of 16S-rRNA gene, and the samples obtained from thermophilic biogas reactors had a lower total abundance of ARGs, indicating the superiority of thermophilic anaerobic digestion......Digested residues from biogas plants are often used as biofertilizers for agricultural crops cultivation. The antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in digested residues pose a high risk to public health due to their potential spread to the disease-causing microorganisms and thus reduce...... the susceptibility of disease-causing microorganisms to antibiotics in medical treatment. A high-throughput sequencing (HTS)-based metagenomic approach was used in the present study to investigate the variations of ARGs in full-scale biogas reactors and the correlations of ARGs with microbial communities and metal...

  15. Complete genome sequence provides insights into the biodrying-related microbial function of Bacillus thermoamylovorans isolated from sewage sludge biodrying material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Lu; Zheng, Sheng-Wei; Shen, Yu-Jun; Zheng, Guo-Di; Liu, Hong-Tao; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2018-07-01

    To enable the development of microbial agents and identify suitable candidate used for biodrying, the existence and function of Bacillus thermoamylovorans during sewage sludge biodrying merits investigation. This study isolated a strain of B. thermoamylovorans during sludge biodrying, submitted it for complete genome sequencing and analyzed its potential microbial functions. After biodrying, the moisture content of the biodrying material decreased from 66.33% to 50.18%, and B. thermoamylovorans was the ecologically dominant Bacillus, with the primary annotations associated with amino acid transport and metabolism (9.53%) and carbohydrate transport and metabolism (8.14%). It contains 96 carbohydrate-active- enzyme-encoding gene counts, mainly distributed in glycoside hydrolases (33.3%) and glycosyl transferases (27.1%). The virulence factors are mainly associated with biosynthesis of capsule and polysaccharide capsule. This work indicates that among the biodrying microorganisms, B. thermoamylovorans has good potential for degrading recalcitrant and readily degradable components, thus being a potential microbial agent used to improve biodrying. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Insights into Feast-Famine polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-producer selection: Microbial community succession, relationships with system function and underlying driving forces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Long; Chen, Zhiqiang; Wen, Qinxue; Zhao, Lizhi; Lee, Duu-Jong; Yang, Lian; Wang, Yao

    2017-12-18

    The Feast-Famine (FF) process has been frequently used to select polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-accumulating mixed cultures (MCs), but there has been little insight into the ecophysiology of the microbial community during the selection process. In three FF systems with well-defined conditions, synchronized variations in higher-order properties of MCs and complicate microbial community succession mainly including enrichment and elimination of non-top competitors and unexpected turnover of top competitors, were observed. Quantification of PHA-accumulating function genes (phaC) revealed that the top competitors maintained the PHA synthesis by playing consecutive roles when the highly dynamic turnover occurred. Due to its specific physiological characteristics during the PHA-accumulating process, Thauera strain OTU 7 was found to be responsible for the fluctuating SVI, which threatened the robustness of the FF system. This trait was also responsible for its later competitive exclusion by the other PHA-producer, Paracoccus strain OTU 1. Deterministic processes dominated the entire FF system, resulting in the inevitable microbial community succession in the acclimation phase and maintenance of the stable PHA-accumulating function in the maturation phase. However, neutral processes, likely caused by predation from bacterial phages, also occurred, which led to the unpredictable temporal dynamics of the top competitors. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Microbial metaproteomics for characterizing the range of metabolic functions and activities of human gut microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Weili; Abraham, Paul E; Li, Zhou; Pan, Chongle; Hettich, Robert L

    2015-10-01

    The human gastrointestinal tract is a complex, dynamic ecosystem that consists of a carefully tuned balance of human host and microbiota membership. The microbiome is not merely a collection of opportunistic parasites, but rather provides important functions to the host that are absolutely critical to many aspects of health, including nutrient transformation and absorption, drug metabolism, pathogen defense, and immune system development. Microbial metaproteomics provides the ability to characterize the human gut microbiota functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, revealing information about microbiome development and stability as well as their interactions with their human host. Generally, microbial and human proteins can be extracted and then measured by high performance MS-based proteomics technology. Here, we review the field of human gut microbiome metaproteomics, with a focus on the experimental and informatics considerations involved in characterizing systems ranging from low-complexity model gut microbiota in gnotobiotic mice, to the emerging gut microbiome in the GI tract of newborn human infants, and finally to an established gut microbiota in human adults. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Effects of zinc pyrithione and copper pyrithione on microbial community function and structure in sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, DG; Dahllof, I.; Nielsen, LP

    2004-01-01

    The effects of the new antifouling biocides, zinc pyrithione (ZPT) and copper pyrithione (CPT), on microbial communities in estuarine sediments were studied in microcosms. As functional endpoints, fluxes of nutrients (NO3-, NH4+, HPO42-, Si(OH)(4)) and protein synthesis ([C-14] leucine incorporat......The effects of the new antifouling biocides, zinc pyrithione (ZPT) and copper pyrithione (CPT), on microbial communities in estuarine sediments were studied in microcosms. As functional endpoints, fluxes of nutrients (NO3-, NH4+, HPO42-, Si(OH)(4)) and protein synthesis ([C-14] leucine...... DNA content, whereas the LOEC for CPT was 0.1 nmol/g dry sediment for the nitrate flux and total DNA content. Nitrate fluxes increased significantly following additions of both ZPT and CPT, whereas ammonium fluxes decreased significantly after ZPT addition, suggesting changes in the nitrification...... and denitrification processes. The total DNA content decreased significantly following addition of both ZPT and CPT, but at the highest addition of ZPT (10 nmol ZPT/g dry sediment), an increase in total DNA content was found. Increased protein synthesis and bacterial diversity were also observed at this concentration...

  19. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego N. Chavarría

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L., vetch (Vicia sativa L. and radish (Raphanus sativus L. which were sown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1 and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2, with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield.

  20. Soil microbial functionality in response to the inclusion of cover crop mixtures in agricultural systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chavarría, D.N.; Verdenelli, R.A.; Muñoz, M.J.; Conforto, C.; Restovich, S.B.; Andriulo, A.E.; Meriles, J.M.; Vargas-Gil, S.

    2016-11-01

    Agricultural systems where monoculture prevails are characterized by fertility losses and reduced contribution to ecosystem services. Including cover crops (CC) as part of an agricultural system is a promising choice in sustainable intensification of those demanding systems. We evaluated soil microbial functionality in cash crops in response to the inclusion of CC by analyzing soil microbial functions at two different periods of the agricultural year (cash crop harvest and CC desiccation) during 2013 and 2014. Three plant species were used as CC: oat (Avena sativa L.), vetch (Vicia sativa L.) and radish (Raphanus sativus L.) which weresown in two different mixtures of species: oat and radish mix (CC1) and oat, radish and vetch mix (CC2), with soybean monoculture and soybean/corn being the cash crops. The study of community level physiological profiles showed statistical differences in respiration of specific C sources indicating an improvement of catabolic diversity in CC treatments. Soil enzyme activities were also increased with the inclusion of CC mixtures, with values of dehydrogenase activity and fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis up to 38.1% and 35.3% higher than those of the control treatment, respectively. This research evidenced that CC inclusion promotes soil biological quality through a contribution of soil organic carbon, improving the sustainability of agrosystems. The use of a CC mixture of three plant species including the legume vetch increased soil biological processes and catabolic diversity, with no adverse effects on cash crop grain yield. (Author)

  1. Geochip-based analysis of microbial communities in alpine meadow soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Lu, Zhenmei; Liu, Shanshan; Yang, Yunfeng; He, Zhili; Ren, Zuohua; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2013-03-29

    GeoChip 3.0, a microbial functional gene array, containing ~28,000 oligonucleotide probes and targeting ~57,000 sequences from 292 functional gene families, provided a powerful tool for researching microbial community structure in natural environments. The alpine meadow is a dominant plant community in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, hence it is important to profile the unique geographical flora and assess the response of the microbial communities to environmental variables. In this study, Geochip 3.0 was employed to understand the microbial functional gene diversity and structure, and metabolic potential and the major environmental factors in shaping microbial communities structure of alpine meadow soil in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. A total of 6143 microbial functional genes involved in carbon degradation, carbon fixation, methane oxidation and production, nitrogen cycling, phosphorus utilization, sulphur cycling, organic remediation, metal resistance, energy process and other category were detected in six soil samples and high diversity was observed. Interestingly, most of the detected genes associated with carbon degradation were derived from cultivated organisms. To identify major environmental factors in shaping microbial communities, Mantel test and CCA Statistical analyses were performed. The results indicated that altitude, C/N, pH and soil organic carbon were significantly (P the microbial functional structure and a total of 80.97% of the variation was significantly explained by altitude, C/N and pH. The C/N contributed 38.2% to microbial functional gene variation, which is in accordance with the hierarchical clustering of overall microbial functional genes. High overall functional genes and phylogenetic diversity of the alpine meadow soil microbial communities existed in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Most of the genes involved in carbon degradation were derived from characterized microbial groups. Microbial composition and structures variation were

  2. Metatranscriptome Sequencing Reveals Insights into the Gene Expression and Functional Potential of Rumen Wall Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyne Mann

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbiota of the rumen wall constitute an important niche of rumen microbial ecology and their composition has been elucidated in different ruminants during the last years. However, the knowledge about the function of rumen wall microbes is still limited. Rumen wall biopsies were taken from three fistulated dairy cows under a standard forage-based diet and after 4 weeks of high concentrate feeding inducing a subacute rumen acidosis (SARA. Extracted RNA was used for metatranscriptome sequencing using Illumina HiSeq sequencing technology. The gene expression of the rumen wall microbial community was analyzed by mapping 35 million sequences against the Kyoto Encyclopedia for Genes and Genomes (KEGG database and determining differentially expressed genes. A total of 1,607 functional features were assigned with high expression of genes involved in central metabolism, galactose, starch and sucrose metabolism. The glycogen phosphorylase (EC:2.4.1.1 which degrades (1->4-alpha-D-glucans was among the highest expressed genes being transcribed by 115 bacterial genera. Energy metabolism genes were also highly expressed, including the pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (EC:2.7.9.1 involved in pyruvate metabolism, which was covered by 177 genera. Nitrogen metabolism genes, in particular glutamate dehydrogenase (EC:1.4.1.4, glutamine synthetase (EC:6.3.1.2 and glutamate synthase (EC:1.4.1.13, EC:1.4.1.14 were also found to be highly expressed and prove rumen wall microbiota to be actively involved in providing host-relevant metabolites for exchange across the rumen wall. In addition, we found all four urease subunits (EC:3.5.1.5 transcribed by members of the genera Flavobacterium, Corynebacterium, Helicobacter, Clostridium, and Bacillus, and the dissimilatory sulfate reductase (EC 1.8.99.5 dsrABC, which is responsible for the reduction of sulfite to sulfide. We also provide in situ evidence for cellulose and cellobiose degradation, a key step in fiber-rich feed

  3. Microbial community variation and functions to excess sludge reduction in a novel gravel contact oxidation reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin Shanshan; Jin, Y.; Fu, L. [School of Urban and Environmental Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun (China); Quan, C. [Jilin University, College of medicine, Changchun (China); Yang, Y.S., E-mail: yangy6@cf.ac.uk [Cardiff University, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff CF10 3YE (United Kingdom)

    2009-06-15

    Excess biomass produced within the degradation processes of organic pollutants is creating environmental challenges. The gravel contact oxidation reactor (GCOR) filled with crushed stone globular aggregates as carriers, has been demonstrated capable of reducing the excess sludge effectively in some pilot and small-scale engineering studies. In order to evaluate the variation and structure of the microbial community and their functions to excess sludge reduction in GCOR, a conventional activated sludge reactor (ASR) was studied as a comparison. The 16S rDNA library of the universal bacteria was constructed, Shannon's diversity index (H) and Species evenness (E) were calculated with distance-based operational taxonomic unit and richness (DOTUR) for microbial diversity. Real-time quantity PCR and optical microscope were used for absolute bacterial DNA concentration and eukarya identification, respectively. Meanwhile, the suspended solid index in GCOR and ASR was detected for assessing the excess sludge production. The results indicated that the most abundant bacteria in GCOR were those related to the {beta}-Proteobacteria group, then {gamma}-Proteobacteria and to Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteriode (CFB). In the ASR samples major bacteria were in the closest match with {gamma}-Proteobacteria, then {beta}-Proteobacteria and CFB. Shannon's index (H) was higher (3.41) for diversity of bacteria extracted from the carrier samples in GCOR than that (2.71) from the sludge sample in ASR. Species evenness (E) for the isolates from GCOR and ASR samples was 0.97 and 0.96, respectively. Comparison of the universal bacteria population in GCOR and ASR shows that the total bacterial DNA concentration on the GCOR carriers were 8.98 x 10{sup 5} {mu}g/{mu}l, twice that in ASR of 4.67 x 10{sup 5} {mu}g/{mu}l under normal operation of two reactors. But the MLSS in GCOR was only 4.5 mg/L, 25 times less than that in ASR of 115.4 mg/L. The most representative eukarya were protozoa

  4. Microbial community variation and functions to excess sludge reduction in a novel gravel contact oxidation reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Shanshan; Jin, Y.; Fu, L.; Quan, C.; Yang, Y.S.

    2009-01-01

    Excess biomass produced within the degradation processes of organic pollutants is creating environmental challenges. The gravel contact oxidation reactor (GCOR) filled with crushed stone globular aggregates as carriers, has been demonstrated capable of reducing the excess sludge effectively in some pilot and small-scale engineering studies. In order to evaluate the variation and structure of the microbial community and their functions to excess sludge reduction in GCOR, a conventional activated sludge reactor (ASR) was studied as a comparison. The 16S rDNA library of the universal bacteria was constructed, Shannon's diversity index (H) and Species evenness (E) were calculated with distance-based operational taxonomic unit and richness (DOTUR) for microbial diversity. Real-time quantity PCR and optical microscope were used for absolute bacterial DNA concentration and eukarya identification, respectively. Meanwhile, the suspended solid index in GCOR and ASR was detected for assessing the excess sludge production. The results indicated that the most abundant bacteria in GCOR were those related to the β-Proteobacteria group, then γ-Proteobacteria and to Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteriode (CFB). In the ASR samples major bacteria were in the closest match with γ-Proteobacteria, then β-Proteobacteria and CFB. Shannon's index (H) was higher (3.41) for diversity of bacteria extracted from the carrier samples in GCOR than that (2.71) from the sludge sample in ASR. Species evenness (E) for the isolates from GCOR and ASR samples was 0.97 and 0.96, respectively. Comparison of the universal bacteria population in GCOR and ASR shows that the total bacterial DNA concentration on the GCOR carriers were 8.98 x 10 5 μg/μl, twice that in ASR of 4.67 x 10 5 μg/μl under normal operation of two reactors. But the MLSS in GCOR was only 4.5 mg/L, 25 times less than that in ASR of 115.4 mg/L. The most representative eukarya were protozoa both in GCOR (15 no. per 20 ml) and in ASR (15

  5. Elucidating and Regulating the Acetoin Production Role of Microbial Functional Groups in Multispecies Acetic Acid Fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Zhen-Ming; Liu, Na; Wang, Li-Juan; Wu, Lin-Huan; Gong, Jin-Song; Yu, Yong-Jian; Li, Guo-Quan; Shi, Jin-Song; Xu, Zheng-Hong

    2016-10-01

    Acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone) formation in vinegar microbiota is crucial for the flavor quality of Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar, a traditional vinegar produced from cereals. However, the specific microorganisms responsible for acetoin formation in this centuries-long repeated batch fermentation have not yet been clearly identified. Here, the microbial distribution discrepancy in the diacetyl/acetoin metabolic pathway of vinegar microbiota was revealed at the species level by a combination of metagenomic sequencing and clone library analysis. The results showed that Acetobacter pasteurianus and 4 Lactobacillus species (Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Lactobacillus brevis) might be functional producers of acetoin from 2-acetolactate in vinegar microbiota. Furthermore, A. pasteurianus G3-2, L. brevis 4-22, L. fermentum M10-3, and L. buchneri F2-5 were isolated from vinegar microbiota by a culture-dependent method. The acetoin concentrations in two cocultures (L. brevis 4-22 plus A. pasteurianus G3-2 and L. fermentum M10-3 plus A. pasteurianus G3-2) were obviously higher than those in monocultures of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), while L. buchneri F2-5 did not produce more acetoin when coinoculated with A. pasteurianus G3-2. Last, the acetoin-producing function of vinegar microbiota was regulated in situ via augmentation with functional species in vinegar Pei After 72 h of fermentation, augmentation with A. pasteurianus G3-2 plus L. brevis 4-22, L. fermentum M10-3, or L. buchneri F2-5 significantly increased the acetoin content in vinegar Pei compared with the control group. This study provides a perspective on elucidating and manipulating different metabolic roles of microbes during flavor formation in vinegar microbiota. Acetoin (3-hydroxy-2-butanone) formation in vinegar microbiota is crucial for the flavor quality of Zhenjiang aromatic vinegar, a traditional vinegar produced from cereals. Thus, it is of interest to

  6. Assaying gene function by growth competition experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merritt, Joshua; Edwards, Jeremy S

    2004-07-01

    High-throughput screening and analysis is one of the emerging paradigms in biotechnology. In particular, high-throughput methods are essential in the field of functional genomics because of the vast amount of data generated in recent and ongoing genome sequencing efforts. In this report we discuss integrated functional analysis methodologies which incorporate both a growth competition component and a highly parallel assay used to quantify results of the growth competition. Several applications of the two most widely used technologies in the field, i.e., transposon mutagenesis and deletion strain library growth competition, and individual applications of several developing or less widely reported technologies are presented.

  7. Functional responses and adaptation of mesophilic microbial communities to psychrophilic anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunnigle, Eoin; Nielsen, Jeppe L; Fuszard, Matthew; Botting, Catherine H; Sheahan, Jerome; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Abram, Florence

    2015-12-01

    Psychrophilic (functions. Methanomicrobiales abundance increased at low temperature, which correlated with an increased contribution of CH4 production from hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis at 15°C. Methanosarcinales utilized acetate and H2/CO2 as CH4 precursors at both temperatures and a partial shift from acetoclastic to hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis was observed for this archaeal population at 15°C. An upregulation of protein expression was reported at low temperature as well as the detection of chaperones indicating that mesophilic communities experienced stress during long-term exposure to 15°C. Overall, changes in microbial community structure and function were found to underpin the adaptation of mesophilic sludge to psychrophilic AD. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Retrieval of a million high-quality, full-length microbial 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences without primer bias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karst, Søren Michael; Dueholm, Morten Simonsen; McIlroy, Simon Jon

    2018-01-01

    Small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes, 16S in bacteria and 18S in eukaryotes, have been the standard phylogenetic markers used to characterize microbial diversity and evolution for decades. However, the reference databases of full-length SSU rRNA gene sequences are skewed to well-studied e...

  9. Search for the algorithm of genes distribution during the process of microbial evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.

    2015-09-01

    Previous two and three dimensional graph analysis of eco-physiological data of Archaea demonstrated specific geometry for distribution of major Prokaryotic groups in a hyperboloid function. The function of a two-sheet hyperboloid covered all known biological groups, and therefore, could be applied for the entire evolution of life on Earth. The vector of evolution was indicated from the point of hyper temperature, extreme acidity and low salinity to the point of low temperature and increased alkalinity and salinity. According to this vector, the following groups were chosen for the gene screening analysis. In the vector "High-Temperature → Low-Temperature" within extreme acidic pH (0-3), it is: 1) the hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeota - order Sulfolobales, 2) moderately thermophilic Euryarchaeota - Class Thermoplasmata, and 3) mesophilic acidophiles- genus Thiobacillus and others. In the vector "Low pH → High pH" the following groups were selected in three temperature ranges: a) Hyperthermophilic Archaea and Eubacteria, b) moderately thermophilic - representatives of the genera Anaerobacter and Anoxybacillus, and c) mesophilic haloalkaliphiles (Eubacteria and Archaea). The genes associated with acidophily (H+ pump), chemolitho-autotrophy (proteins of biochemichal cycles), polymerases, and histones were proposed for the first vector, and for the second vector the genes associated with halo-alkaliphily (Na+ pumps), enzymes of organotrophic metabolisms (sugar- and proteolytics), and others were indicated for the screening. Here, an introduction to the phylogenetic constant (ρη) is presented and discussed. This universal characteristic is calculated for two principally different life forms -Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes; Existence of the second type of living forms is impossible without the first one. The number of chromosomes in Prokaryotic organisms is limited to one (with very rare exceptions, to two), while in Eukaryotic organisms this number is larger. Currently

  10. FUNCTIONAL SPECIALIZATION OF DUPLICATED FLAVONOID BIOSYNTHESIS GENES IN WHEAT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khlestkina E.

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Gene duplication followed by subfunctionalization and neofunctionalization is of a great evolutionary importance. In plant genomes, duplicated genes may result from either polyploidization (homoeologous genes or segmental chromosome duplications (paralogous genes. In allohexaploid wheat Triticum aestivum L. (2n=6x=42, genome BBAADD, both homoeologous and paralogous copies were found for the regulatory gene Myc encoding MYC-like transcriptional factor in the biosynthesis of flavonoid pigments, anthocyanins, and for the structural gene F3h encoding one of the key enzymes of flavonoid biosynthesis, flavanone 3-hydroxylase. From the 5 copies (3 homoeologous and 2 paralogous of the Myc gene found in T. aestivum, only one plays a regulatory role in anthocyanin biosynthesis, interacting complementary with another transcriptional factor (MYB-like to confer purple pigmentation of grain pericarp in wheat. The role and functionality of the other 4 copies of the Myc gene remain unknown. From the 4 functional copies of the F3h gene in T. aestivum, three homoeologues have similar function. They are expressed in wheat organs colored with anthocyanins or in the endosperm, participating there in biosynthesis of uncolored flavonoid substances. The fourth copy (the B-genomic paralogue is transcribed neither in wheat organs colored with anthocyanins nor in seeds, however, it’s expression has been noticed in roots of aluminium-stressed plants, where the three homoeologous copies are not active. Functional diversification of the duplicated flavonoid biosynthesis genes in wheat may be a reason for maintenance of the duplicated copies and preventing them from pseudogenization.The study was supported by RFBR (11-04-92707. We also thank Ms. Galina Generalova for technical assistance.

  11. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad; Ramette, Alban; Kü hl, Michael; Hamza, Waleed; Klatt, Judith M.; Polerecky, Lubos

    2014-01-01

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. © 2014 Al-Najjar, Ramette, Kühl, Hamza, Klatt and Polerecky.

  12. Biochemical and microbial soil functioning after application of the insecticide imidacloprid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cycoń, Mariusz; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid is one of the most commonly used insecticides in agricultural practice, and its application poses a potential risk for soil microorganisms. The objective of this study was to assess whether changes in the structure of the soil microbial community after imidacloprid application at the field rate (FR, 1mg/kg soil) and 10 times the FR (10× FR, 10mg/kg soil) may also have an impact on biochemical and microbial soil functioning. The obtained data showed a negative effect by imidacloprid applied at the FR dosage for substrate-induced respiration (SIR), the number of total bacteria, dehydrogenase (DHA), both phosphatases (PHOS-H and PHOS-OH), and urease (URE) at the beginning of the experiment. In 10× FR treated soil, decreased activity of SIR, DHA, PHOS-OH and PHOS-H was observed over the experimental period. Nitrifying and N2-fixing bacteria were the most sensitive to imidacloprid. The concentration of NO3(-) decreased in both imidacloprid-treated soils, whereas the concentration of NH4(+) in soil with 10× FR was higher than in the control. Analysis of the bacterial growth strategy revealed that imidacloprid affected the r- or K-type bacterial classes as indicated also by the decreased eco-physiological (EP) index. Imidacloprid affected the physiological state of culturable bacteria and caused a reduction in the rate of colony formation as well as a prolonged time for growth. Principal component analysis showed that imidacloprid application significantly shifted the measured parameters, and the application of imidacloprid may pose a potential risk to the biochemical and microbial activity of soils. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Spatial patterns and links between microbial community composition and function in cyanobacterial mats

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2014-08-06

    We imaged reflectance and variable fluorescence in 25 cyanobacterial mats from four distant sites around the globe to assess, at different scales of resolution, spatial variabilities in the physiological parameters characterizing their photosynthetic capacity, including the absorptivity by chlorophyll a (Achl), maximum quantum yield of photosynthesis (Ymax), and light acclimation irradiance (Ik). Generally, these parameters significantly varied within individual mats on a sub-millimeter scale, with about 2-fold higher variability in the vertical than in the horizontal direction. The average vertical profiles of Ymax and Ik decreased with depth in the mat, while Achl exhibited a sub-surface maximum. The within-mat variability was comparable to, but often larger than, the between-sites variability, whereas the within-site variabilities (i.e., between samples from the same site) were generally lowest. When compared based on averaged values of their photosynthetic parameters, mats clustered according to their site of origin. Similar clustering was found when the community composition of the mats\\' cyanobacterial layers were compared by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA), indicating a significant link between the microbial community composition and function. Although this link is likely the result of community adaptation to the prevailing site-specific environmental conditions, our present data is insufficient to identify the main factors determining these patterns. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that the spatial variability in the photosynthetic capacity and light acclimation of benthic phototrophic microbial communities is at least as large on a sub-millimeter scale as it is on a global scale, and suggests that this pattern of variability scaling is similar for the microbial community composition. © 2014 Al-Najjar, Ramette, Kühl, Hamza, Klatt and Polerecky.

  14. Homogeneous versus heterogeneous probes for microbial ecological microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jin-Woo; Park, Yong-Ha

    2006-07-01

    Microbial ecological microarrays have been developed for investigating the composition and functions of microorganism communities in environmental niches. These arrays include microbial identification microarrays, which use oligonucleotides, gene fragments or microbial genomes as probes. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of probe are reviewed. Oligonucleotide probes are currently useful for probing uncultivated bacteria that are not amenable to gene fragment probing, whereas the functional gene fragments amplified randomly from microbial genomes require phylogenetic and hierarchical categorization before use as microbial identification probes, despite their high resolution for both specificity and sensitivity. Until more bacteria are sequenced and gene fragment probes are thoroughly validated, heterogeneous bacterial genome probes will provide a simple, sensitive and quantitative tool for exploring the ecosystem structure.

  15. Specific microbial gene abundances and soil parameters contribute to C, N, and greenhouse gas process rates after land use change in Southern Amazonian Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Renato Lammel

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecological processes regulating soil carbon (C and nitrogen (N cycles are still poorly understood, especially in the world’s largest agricultural frontier in Southern Amazonia. We analyzed soil parameters in samples from pristine rainforest and after land use change to pasture and crop fields, and correlated them with abundance of functional and phylogenetic marker genes (amoA, nirK, nirS, norB, nosZ, nifH, mcrA, pmoA, and 16S/18S rRNA. Additionally, we integrated these parameters using path analysis and multiple regressions. Following forest removal, concentrations of soil C and N declined, and pH and nutrient levels increased, which influenced microbial abundances and biogeochemical processes. A seasonal trend was observed, suggesting that abundances of microbial groups were restored to near native levels after the dry winter fallow. Integration of the marker gene abundances with soil parameters using path analysis and multiple regressions provided good predictions of biogeochemical processes, such as the fluxes of NO3, N2O, CO2, and CH4. In the wet season, agricultural soil showed the highest abundance of nitrifiers (amoA and Archaea, however forest soils showed the highest abundances of denitrifiers (nirK, nosZ and high N, which correlated with increased N2O emissions. Methanogens (mcrA and methanotrophs (pmoA were more abundant in forest soil, but methane flux was highest in pasture sites, which was related to soil compaction. Rather than analyzing direct correlations, the data integration using multivariate tools provided a better overview of biogeochemical processes. Overall, in the wet season, land use change from forest to agriculture reduced the abundance of different functional microbial groups related to the soil C and N cycles; integrating the gene abundance data and soil parameters provided a comprehensive overview of these interactions. Path analysis and multiple regressions addressed the need for more comprehensive approaches

  16. Functional Analysis of an ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter Gene in Botrytis cinerea by Gene Disruption

    OpenAIRE

    Masami, NAKAJIMA; Junko, SUZUKI; Takehiko, HOSAKA; Tadaaki, HIBI; Katsumi, AKUTSU; School of Agriculture, Ibaraki University; School of Agriculture, Ibaraki University; School of Agriculture, Ibaraki University; Department of Agriculture and Environmental Biology, The University of Tokyo; School of Agriculture, Ibaraki University

    2001-01-01

    The BMR1 gene encoding an ABC transporter was cloned from Botrytis cinerea. To examine the function of BMR1 in B.cinerea, we isolated BMR1-deficient mutants after gene disruption. Disruption vector pBcDF4 was constructed by replacing the BMR1-coding region with a hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene(hph)cassette. The BMR1 disruptants had an increased sensitivity to polyoxin and iprobenfos. Polyoxin and iprobenfos, structurally unrelated compounds, may therefore be substrates of BMR1.

  17. Functional Screening of Antibiotic Resistance Genes from a Representative Metagenomic Library of Food Fermenting Microbiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Devirgiliis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Lactic acid bacteria (LAB represent the predominant microbiota in fermented foods. Foodborne LAB have received increasing attention as potential reservoir of antibiotic resistance (AR determinants, which may be horizontally transferred to opportunistic pathogens. We have previously reported isolation of AR LAB from the raw ingredients of a fermented cheese, while AR genes could be detected in the final, marketed product only by PCR amplification, thus pointing at the need for more sensitive microbial isolation techniques. We turned therefore to construction of a metagenomic library containing microbial DNA extracted directly from the food matrix. To maximize yield and purity and to ensure that genomic complexity of the library was representative of the original bacterial population, we defined a suitable protocol for total DNA extraction from cheese which can also be applied to other lipid-rich foods. Functional library screening on different antibiotics allowed recovery of ampicillin and kanamycin resistant clones originating from Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus and Lactobacillus helveticus genomes. We report molecular characterization of the cloned inserts, which were fully sequenced and shown to confer AR phenotype to recipient bacteria. We also show that metagenomics can be applied to food microbiota to identify underrepresented species carrying specific genes of interest.

  18. Response of microbial community and catabolic genes to simulated petroleum hydrocarbon spills in soils/sediments from different geographic locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Q; Tang, J; Liu, X; Song, B; Zhen, M; Ashbolt, N J

    2017-10-01

    Study the response of microbial communities and selected petroleum hydrocarbon (PH)-degrading genes on simulated PH spills in soils/sediments from different geographic locations. A microcosm experiment was conducted by spiking mixtures of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs) to soils/sediments collected from four different regions of China, including the Dagang Oilfield (DG), Sand of Bohai Sea (SS), Northeast China (NE) and Xiamen (XM). Changes in bacterial community and the abundance of PH-degrading genes (alkB, nah and phe) were analysed by denaturing gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) and qPCR, respectively. Degradation of alkanes and PAHs in SS and NE materials were greater (P < 0·05) than those in DG and XM. Clay content was negatively correlated with the degradation of total alkanes by 112 days and PAHs by 56 days, while total organic carbon content was negatively correlated with initial degradation of total alkanes as well as PAHs. Abundances of alkB, nah and phe genes increased 10- to 100-fold and varied by soil type over the incubation period. DGGE fingerprints identified the dominance of α-, β- and γ-Proteobacteria (Gram -ve) and Actinobacteria (Gram +ve) bacteria associated with degradation of PHs in the materials studied. The geographic divergence resulting from the heterogeneity of physicochemical properties of soils/sediments appeared to influence the abundance of metabolic genes and community structure of microbes capable of degrading PHs. When developing practical in-situ bioremediation approaches for PHs contamination of soils/sediment, appropriate microbial community structures and the abundance of PH-degrading genes appear to be influenced by geographic location. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and Drought Affect Soil Microbial Community and Functional Diversity Associated with Glycine max

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junfeng Wang

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Under the background of climate change, the increase of atmospheric CO2 and drought frequency have been considered as significant influencers on the soil microbial communities and the yield and quality of crop. In this study, impacts of increased ambient CO2 and drought on soil microbial structure and functional diversity of a Stagnic Anthrosol were investigated in phytotron growth chambers, by testing two representative CO2 levels, three soil moisture levels, and two soil cover types (with or without Glycine max. The 16S rDNA and 18S rDNA fragments were amplified to analyze the functional diversity of fungi and bacteria. Results showed that rhizosphere microbial biomass and community structure were significantly affected by drought, but effects differed between fungi and bacteria. Drought adaptation of fungi was found to be easier than that of bacteria. The diversity of fungi was less affected by drought than that of bacteria, evidenced by their higher diversity. Severe drought reduced soil microbial functional diversity and restrained the metabolic activity. Elevated CO2 alone, in the absence of crops (bare soil, did not enhance the metabolic activity of soil microorganisms. Generally, due to the co-functioning of plant and soil microorganisms in water and nutrient use, plants have major impacts on the soil microbial community, leading to atmospheric CO2 enrichment, but cannot significantly reduce the impacts of drought on soil microorganisms.

  20. Distribution of microbial arsenic reduction, oxidation and extrusion genes along a wide range of environmental arsenic concentrations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorena V Escudero

    Full Text Available The presence of the arsenic oxidation, reduction, and extrusion genes arsC, arrA, aioA, and acr3 was explored in a range of natural environments in northern Chile, with arsenic concentrations spanning six orders of magnitude. A combination of primers from the literature and newly designed primers were used to explore the presence of the arsC gene, coding for the reduction of As (V to As (III in one of the most common detoxification mechanisms. Enterobacterial related arsC genes appeared only in the environments with the lowest As concentration, while Firmicutes-like genes were present throughout the range of As concentrations. The arrA gene, involved in anaerobic respiration using As (V as electron acceptor, was found in all the systems studied. The As (III oxidation gene aioA and the As (III transport gene acr3 were tracked with two primer sets each and they were also found to be spread through the As concentration gradient. Sediment samples had a higher number of arsenic related genes than water samples. Considering the results of the bacterial community composition available for these samples, the higher microbial phylogenetic diversity of microbes inhabiting the sediments may explain the increased number of genetic resources found to cope with arsenic. Overall, the environmental distribution of arsenic related genes suggests that the occurrence of different ArsC families provides different degrees of protection against arsenic as previously described in laboratory strains, and that the glutaredoxin (Grx-linked arsenate reductases related to Enterobacteria do not confer enough arsenic resistance to live above certain levels of As concentrations.

  1. Key Microbiota Identification Using Functional Gene Analysis during Pepper (Piper nigrum L.) Peeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiachao; Hu, Qisong; Xu, Chuanbiao; Liu, Sixin; Li, Congfa

    2016-01-01

    Pepper pericarp microbiota plays an important role in the pepper peeling process for the production of white pepper. We collected pepper samples at different peeling time points from Hainan Province, China, and used a metagenomic approach to identify changes in the pericarp microbiota based on functional gene analysis. UniFrac distance-based principal coordinates analysis revealed significant changes in the pericarp microbiota structure during peeling, which were attributed to increases in bacteria from the genera Selenomonas and Prevotella. We identified 28 core operational taxonomic units at each time point, mainly belonging to Selenomonas, Prevotella, Megasphaera, Anaerovibrio, and Clostridium genera. The results were confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. At the functional level, we observed significant increases in microbial features related to acetyl xylan esterase and pectinesterase for pericarp degradation during peeling. These findings offer a new insight into biodegradation for pepper peeling and will promote the development of the white pepper industry.

  2. Studying Microbial Mat Functioning Amidst "Unexpected Diversity": Methodological Approaches and Initial Results from Metatranscriptomes of Mats Over Diel cycles, iTags from Long Term Manipulations, and Biogeochemical Cycling in Simplified Microbial Mats Constructed from Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, B.; Bebout, L. E.; Detweiler, A. M.; Everroad, R. C.; Lee, J.; Pett-Ridge, J.; Weber, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial mats are famously amongst the most diverse microbial ecosystems on Earth, inhabiting some of the most inclement environments known, including hypersaline, dry, hot, cold, nutrient poor, and high UV environments. The high microbial diversity of microbial mats makes studies of microbial ecology notably difficult. To address this challenge, we have been using a combination of metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, iTags and culture-based simplified microbial mats to study biogeochemical cycling (H2 production, N2 fixation, and fermentation) in microbial mats collected from Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay, California. Metatranscriptomes of microbial mats incubated over a diel cycle have revealed that a number of gene systems activate only during the day in Cyanobacteria, while the remaining appear to be constitutive. The dominant cyanobacterium in the mat (Microcoleus chthonoplastes) expresses several pathways for nitrogen scavenging undocumented in cultured strains, as well as the expression of two starch storage and utilization cycles. Community composition shifts in response to long term manipulations of mats were assessed using iTags. Changes in community diversity were observed as hydrogen fluxes increased in response to a lowering of sulfate concentrations. To produce simplified microbial mats, we have isolated members of 13 of the 15 top taxa from our iTag libraries into culture. Simplified microbial mats and simple co-cultures and consortia constructed from these isolates reproduce many of the natural patterns of biogeochemical cycling in the parent natural microbial mats, but against a background of far lower overall diversity, simplifying studies of changes in gene expression (over the short term), interactions between community members, and community composition changes (over the longer term), in response to environmental forcing.

  3. Gene function in early mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Campbell Pearl A

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the genes that drive embryonic stem cell differentiation. However, such knowledge is necessary if we are to exploit the therapeutic potential of stem cells. To uncover the genetic determinants of mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC differentiation, we have generated and analyzed 11-point time-series of DNA microarray data for three biologically equivalent but genetically distinct mESC lines (R1, J1, and V6.5 undergoing undirected differentiation into embryoid bodies (EBs over a period of two weeks. Results We identified the initial 12 hour period as reflecting the early stages of mESC differentiation and studied probe sets showing consistent changes of gene expression in that period. Gene function analysis indicated significant up-regulation of genes related to regulation of transcription and mRNA splicing, and down-regulation of genes related to intracellular signaling. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the genes showing the largest expression changes were more likely to have originated in metazoans. The probe sets with the most consistent gene changes in the three cell lines represented 24 down-regulated and 12 up-regulated genes, all with closely related human homologues. Whereas some of these genes are known to be involved in embryonic developmental processes (e.g. Klf4, Otx2, Smn1, Socs3, Tagln, Tdgf1, our analysis points to others (such as transcription factor Phf21a, extracellular matrix related Lama1 and Cyr61, or endoplasmic reticulum related Sc4mol and Scd2 that have not been previously related to mESC function. The majority of identified functions were related to transcriptional regulation, intracellular signaling, and cytoskeleton. Genes involved in other cellular functions important in ESC differentiation such as chromatin remodeling and transmembrane receptors were not observed in this set. Conclusion Our analysis profiles for the first time gene expression at a very early stage of m

  4. Impact of simulated acid rain on soil microbial community function in Masson pine seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Wang

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: The results obtained indicated that the higher acid load decreased the soil microbial activity and no effects on soil microbial diversity assessed by Biolog of potted Masson pine seedlings. Simulated acid rain also changed the metabolic capability of the soil microbial community.

  5. Taxonomic and Functional Microbial Signatures of the Endemic Marine Sponge Arenosclera brasiliensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trindade-Silva, Amaro E.; Rua, Cintia; Silva, Genivaldo G. Z.; Dutilh, Bas E.; Moreira, Ana Paula B.; Edwards, Robert A.; Hajdu, Eduardo; Lobo-Hajdu, Gisele; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza; Berlinck, Roberto G. S.; Thompson, Fabiano L.

    2012-01-01

    The endemic marine sponge Arenosclera brasiliensis (Porifera, Demospongiae, Haplosclerida) is a known source of secondary metabolites such as arenosclerins A-C. In the present study, we established the composition of the A. brasiliensis microbiome and the metabolic pathways associated with this community. We used 454 shotgun pyrosequencing to generate approximately 640,000 high-quality sponge-derived sequences (∼150 Mb). Clustering analysis including sponge, seawater and twenty-three other metagenomes derived from marine animal microbiomes shows that A. brasiliensis contains a specific microbiome. Fourteen bacterial phyla (including Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Cloroflexi) were consistently found in the A. brasiliensis metagenomes. The A. brasiliensis microbiome is enriched for Betaproteobacteria (e.g., Burkholderia) and Gammaproteobacteria (e.g., Pseudomonas and Alteromonas) compared with the surrounding planktonic microbial communities. Functional analysis based on Rapid Annotation using Subsystem Technology (RAST) indicated that the A. brasiliensis microbiome is enriched for sequences associated with membrane transport and one-carbon metabolism. In addition, there was an overrepresentation of sequences associated with aerobic and anaerobic metabolism as well as the synthesis and degradation of secondary metabolites. This study represents the first analysis of sponge-associated microbial communities via shotgun pyrosequencing, a strategy commonly applied in similar analyses in other marine invertebrate hosts, such as corals and algae. We demonstrate that A. brasiliensis has a unique microbiome that is distinct from that of the surrounding planktonic microbes and from other marine organisms, indicating a species-specific microbiome. PMID:22768320

  6. Automated discovery of functional generality of human gene expression programs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg K Gerber

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available An important research problem in computational biology is the identification of expression programs, sets of co-expressed genes orchestrating normal or pathological processes, and the characterization of the functional breadth of these programs. The use of human expression data compendia for discovery of such programs presents several challenges including cellular inhomogeneity within samples, genetic and environmental variation across samples, uncertainty in the numbers of programs and sample populations, and temporal behavior. We developed GeneProgram, a new unsupervised computational framework based on Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes that addresses each of the above challenges. GeneProgram uses expression data to simultaneously organize tissues into groups and genes into overlapping programs with consistent temporal behavior, to produce maps of expression programs, which are sorted by generality scores that exploit the automatically learned groupings. Using synthetic and real gene expression data, we showed that GeneProgram outperformed several popular expression analysis methods. We applied GeneProgram to a compendium of 62 short time-series gene expression datasets exploring the responses of human cells to infectious agents and immune-modulating molecules. GeneProgram produced a map of 104 expression programs, a substantial number of which were significantly enriched for genes involved in key signaling pathways and/or bound by NF-kappaB transcription factors in genome-wide experiments. Further, GeneProgram discovered expression programs that appear to implicate surprising signaling pathways or receptor types in the response to infection, including Wnt signaling and neurotransmitter receptors. We believe the discovered map of expression programs involved in the response to infection will be useful for guiding future biological experiments; genes from programs with low generality scores might serve as new drug targets that exhibit minimal

  7. Bioinformatic prediction and functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Cui

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Our previous study demonstrated that human KIAA0100 gene was a novel acute monocytic leukemia-associated antigen (MLAA gene. But the functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene has remained unknown to date. Here, firstly, bioinformatic prediction of human KIAA0100 gene was carried out using online softwares; Secondly, Human KIAA0100 gene expression was downregulated by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/CRISPR-associated (Cas 9 system in U937 cells. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were next evaluated in KIAA0100-knockdown U937 cells. The bioinformatic prediction showed that human KIAA0100 gene was located on 17q11.2, and human KIAA0100 protein was located in the secretory pathway. Besides, human KIAA0100 protein contained a signalpeptide, a transmembrane region, three types of secondary structures (alpha helix, extended strand, and random coil , and four domains from mitochondrial protein 27 (FMP27. The observation on functional characterization of human KIAA0100 gene revealed that its downregulation inhibited cell proliferation, and promoted cell apoptosis in U937 cells. To summarize, these results suggest human KIAA0100 gene possibly comes within mitochondrial genome; moreover, it is a novel anti-apoptotic factor related to carcinogenesis or progression in acute monocytic leukemia, and may be a potential target for immunotherapy against acute monocytic leukemia.

  8. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Broccoli EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Long-Fang O.; Lin, Chun-Hung; Lai, Ying-Mi; Huang, Jia-Yuan; Sung, Zinmay Renee

    2012-01-01

    Polycomb group (PcG) proteins regulate major developmental processes in Arabidopsis. EMBRYONIC FLOWER 2 (EMF2), the VEFS domain-containing PcG gene, regulates diverse genetic pathways and is required for vegetative development and plant survival. Despite widespread EMF2-like sequences in plants, little is known about their function other than in Arabidopsis and rice. To study the role of EMF2 in broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica cv. Elegance) development, we identified two broccoli EMF2 (BoEMF2) genes with sequence homology to and a similar gene expression pattern to that in Arabidopsis (AtEMF2). Reducing their expression in broccoli resulted in aberrant phenotypes and gene expression patterns. BoEMF2 regulates genes involved in diverse developmental and stress programs similar to AtEMF2 in Arabidopsis. However, BoEMF2 differs from AtEMF2 in the regulation of flower organ identity, cell proliferation and elongation, and death-related genes, which may explain the distinct phenotypes. The expression of BoEMF2.1 in the Arabidopsis emf2 mutant (Rescued emf2) partially rescued the mutant phenotype and restored the gene expression pattern to that of the wild type. Many EMF2-mediated molecular and developmental functions are conserved in broccoli and Arabidopsis. Furthermore, the restored gene expression pattern in Rescued emf2 provides insights into the molecular basis of PcG-mediated growth and development. PMID:22537758

  9. Gene analogue finder: a GRID solution for finding functionally analogous gene products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Licciulli Flavio

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To date more than 2,1 million gene products from more than 100000 different species have been described specifying their function, the processes they are involved in and their cellular localization using a very well defined and structured vocabulary, the gene ontology (GO. Such vast, well defined knowledge opens the possibility of compare gene products at the level of functionality, finding gene products which have a similar function or are involved in similar biological processes without relying on the conventional sequence similarity approach. Comparisons within such a large space of knowledge are highly data and computing intensive. For this reason this project was based upon the use of the computational GRID, a technology offering large computing and storage resources. Results We have developed a tool, GENe AnaloGue FINdEr (ENGINE that parallelizes the search process and distributes the calculation and data over the computational GRID, splitting the process into many sub-processes and joining the calculation and the data on the same machine and therefore completing the whole search in about 3 days instead of occupying one single machine for more than 5 CPU years. The results of the functional comparison contain potential functional analogues for more than 79000 gene products from the most important species. 46% of the analyzed gene products are well enough described for such an analysis to individuate functional analogues, such as well-known members of the same gene family, or gene products with similar functions which would never have been associated by standard methods. Conclusion ENGINE has produced a list of potential functionally analogous relations between gene products within and between species using, in place of the sequence, the gene description of the GO, thus demonstrating the potential of the GO. However, the current limiting factor is the quality of the associations of many gene products from non

  10. COMPOSITION AND FUNCTION OF THE MICROBIAL COMMUNITY RELATED WITH THE NITROGEN CYCLING ON THE POTATO RHIZOSPHERE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalia Maria Vanesa Florez Zapata

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In the S. tuberosum group phureja crops, mineral fertilizer and organic amendments are applied to meet the plants’ nutritional demands, however the effect of such practices on the associated rizospheric microbial communities are still unknown. Nitrogen plays an important role in agricultural production, and a great diversity of microorganisms regulates its transformation in the soil, affecting its availability for the plant. The aim of this study was to assess the structure of microbal[trm1]  communities related with the N cycle of S. tuberosum group phureja  rizospheric soil samples, with contrasting physical-chemical properties and fertilization strategy.  Few significant differences between the community composition at the phylum level were found, only Planctomycetes phylum was different between samples of different soil type and fertilization strategy. However, the analysis of nitrogen-associated functional groups made by ribotyping characterization, grouped soils in terms of such variables in a similar way to the physical-chemical properties. Major differences between soil samples were typified by higher percentages of the ribotypes from nitrite oxidation, nitrogen fixation and denitrification on organic amendment soils. Our results suggest that, the dominant rhizosphere microbial composition is very similar between soils, possibly as a result of population’s selection mediated by the rhizosphere effect. However, agricultural management practices in addition to edaphic properties of sampled areas, appear to affect some functional groups associated with the nitrogen cycling, due to differences found on soil’s physical-chemical properties, like the concentration of ammonium that seems to have an effect regulating the distribution and activity of nitrogen related functional groups in the S. tuberosum rhizosphere.

  11. Partitioning of functional and taxonomic diversity in surface-associated microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth-Schulze, Alexandra J; Zozaya-Valdés, Enrique; Steinberg, Peter D; Thomas, Torsten

    2016-12-01

    Surfaces, including those submerged in the marine environment, are subjected to constant interactions and colonisation by surrounding microorganisms. The principles that determine the assembly of those epibiotic communities are however poorly understood. In this study, we employed a hierarchical design to assess the functionality and diversity of microbial communities on different types of host surfaces (e.g. macroalgae, seagrasses). We found that taxonomic diversity was unique to each type of host, but that the majority of functions (> 95%) could be found in any given surface community, suggesting a high degree of functional redundancy. However, some community functions were enriched on certain surfaces and were related to host-specific properties (e.g. the degradation of specific polysaccharides). Together these observations support a model, whereby communities on surfaces are assembled from guilds of microorganisms with a functionality that is partitioned into general properties for a surface-associated life-style, but also specific features that mediate host-specificity. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Circadian Disruption Changes Gut Microbiome Taxa and Functional Gene Composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deaver, Jessica A; Eum, Sung Y; Toborek, Michal

    2018-01-01

    Disrupted circadian rhythms and alterations of the gut microbiome composition were proposed to affect host health. Therefore, the aim of this research was to identify whether these events are connected and if circadian rhythm disruption by abnormal light-dark (LD) cycles affects microbial community gene expression and host vulnerability to intestinal dysfunction. Mice were subjected to either a 4-week period of constant 24-h light or of normal 12-h LD cycles. Stool samples were collected at the beginning and after the circadian rhythm disruption. A metatranscriptomic analysis revealed an increase in Ruminococcus torques , a bacterial species known to decrease gut barrier integrity, and a decrease in Lactobacillus johnsonii , a bacterium that helps maintain the intestinal epithelial cell layer, after circadian rhythm disruption. In addition, genes involved in pathways promoting host beneficial immune responses were downregulated, while genes involved in the synthesis and transportation of the endotoxin lipopolysaccharide were upregulated in mice with disrupted circadian cycles. Importantly, these mice were also more prone to dysfunction of the intestinal barrier. These results further elucidate the impact of light-cycle disruption on the gut microbiome and its connection with increased incidence of disease in response to circadian rhythm disturbances.

  13. Polyploidization altered gene functions in cotton (Gossypium spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhanyou; Yu, John Z; Cho, Jaemin; Yu, Jing; Kohel, Russell J; Percy, Richard G

    2010-12-16

    Cotton (Gossypium spp.) is an important crop plant that is widely grown to produce both natural textile fibers and cottonseed oil. Cotton fibers, the economically more important product of the cotton plant, are seed trichomes derived from individual cells of the epidermal layer of the seed coat. It has been known for a long time that large numbers of genes determine the development of cotton fiber, and more recently it has been determined that these genes are distributed across At and Dt subgenomes of tetraploid AD cottons. In the present study, the organization and evolution of the fiber development genes were investigated through the construction of an integrated genetic and physical map of fiber development genes whose functions have been verified and confirmed. A total of 535 cotton fiber development genes, including 103 fiber transcription factors, 259 fiber development genes, and 173 SSR-contained fiber ESTs, were analyzed at the subgenome level. A total of 499 fiber related contigs were selected and assembled. Together these contigs covered about 151 Mb in physical length, or about 6.7% of the tetraploid cotton genome. Among the 499 contigs, 397 were anchored onto individual chromosomes. Results from our studies on the distribution patterns of the fiber development genes and transcription factors between the At and Dt subgenomes showed that more transcription factors were from Dt subgenome than At, whereas more fiber development genes were from At subgenome than Dt. Combining our mapping results with previous reports that more fiber QTLs were mapped in Dt subgenome than At subgenome, the results suggested a new functional hypothesis for tetraploid cotton. After the merging of the two diploid Gossypium genomes, the At subgenome has provided most of the genes for fiber development, because it continues to function similar to its fiber producing diploid A genome ancestor. On the other hand, the Dt subgenome, with its non-fiber producing D genome ancestor

  14. Decreases in soil microbial function and functional diversity in response to depleted uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, M.C.; Paschke, M.W.; McLendon, T.

    1998-01-01

    A soil microcosm experiment was used to analyze effects of depleted uranium (DU) on soil function, and the concomitant changes in bacterial functional diversity. Uranium treatment levels were 0, 50, 500, 5000, 10,000 and 25,000 mg DU kg -1 soil. Three measures of soil function were made. Overall soil biological activity was assessed via measurement of soil respiration. Decomposition was assessed by measurement of mass loss of four different plant litter types: wood sticks, cellulose paper, high-N grass, and low-N grass. Mineral N availability in the microcosms was estimated using ion-exchange resin bags. Functional diversity of the microcosms was analyzed through the use of the Biolog-system of sole-C-utilization patterns. Soil respiration was the most sensitive measure of functional changes, with significant decreases observed starting at the 500 mg kg -1 treatment. No differences in N availability were observed across the U treatments. Litter decomposition was significantly decreased at the 25,000 mg kg -1 level relative to the control for all litter types except the high-N grass. Wood decomposition was reduced by 84% at the 25,000 mg kg - treatment, cellulose paper by 68%, and low-N grass by 15%. Decreases in the functional diversity of the bacterial community were related to the observed decrease in soil respiration, and to the greater effect on decomposition of the lower-quality litter types

  15. Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on microbial community structure and PAH ring hydroxylating dioxygenase gene abundance in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawulski, Przemyslaw; Clipson, Nicholas; Doyle, Evelyn

    2014-11-01

    Development of successful bioremediation strategies for environments contaminated with recalcitrant pollutants requires in-depth knowledge of the microorganisms and microbial processes involved in degradation. The response of soil microbial communities to three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phenanthrene (3-ring), fluoranthene (4-ring) and benzo(a)pyrene (5-ring), was examined. Profiles of bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities were generated using molecular fingerprinting techniques (TRFLP, ARISA) and multivariate statistical tools were employed to interpret the effect of PAHs on community dynamics and composition. The extent and rate of PAH removal was directly related to the chemical structure, with the 5-ring PAH benzo(a)pyrene degraded more slowly than phenathrene or fluoranthene. Bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities were all significantly affected by PAH amendment, time and their interaction. Based on analysis of clone libraries, Actinobacteria appeared to dominate in fluoranthene amended soil, although they also represented a significant portion of the diversity in phenanthrene amended and unamended soils. In addition there appeared to be more γ-Proteobacteria and less Bacteroidetes in soil amended with either PAH compared to the control. The soil bacterial community clearly possessed the potential to degrade PAHs as evidenced by the abundance of PAH ring hydroxylating (PAH-RHDα) genes from both gram negative (GN) and gram positive (GP) bacteria in PAH-amended and control soils. Although the dioxygenase gene from GP bacteria was less abundant in soil than the gene associated with GN bacteria, significant (p PAH-RHDα gene were observed during phenanthrene and fluoranthene degradation, whereas there was no significant difference in the abundance of the GN PAH-RHDα gene during the course of the experiment. Few studies to-date have examined the effect of pollutants on more than one microbial community in soil. The current study provides

  16. Tropical Land Use Conversion Effects on Soil Microbial Community Structure and Function: Emerging Patterns and Knowledge Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeley, M.; Marin-Spiotta, E.

    2016-12-01

    Modifications in vegetation due to land use conversions (LUC) between primary forests, pasture, cropping systems, tree plantations, and secondary forests drive shifts in soil microbial communities. These microbial community alterations affect carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, aboveground biomass, and numerous other soil processes. Despite their importance, little is known about soil microbial organisms' response to LUC, especially in tropical regions where LUC rates are greatest. This project identifies current trends and uncertainties in tropical soil microbiology by comparing 56 published studies on LUC in tropical regions. This review indicates that microbial biomass and functional groups shifted in response to LUC, supporting demonstrated trends in changing soil carbon stocks due to LUC. Microbial biomass was greatest in primary forests when compared to secondary forests and in all forests when compared to both cropping systems and tree plantations. No trend existed when comparing pasture systems and forests, likely due to variations in pasture fertilizer use. Cropping system soils had greater gram positive and less gram negative bacteria than forest soils, potentially resulting in greater respiration of older carbon stocks in agricultural soils. Bacteria dominated primary forests while fungal populations were greatest in secondary forests. To characterize changes in microbial communities resulting from land use change, research must reflect the biophysical variation across the tropics. A chi-squared test revealed that the literature sites represented mean annual temperature variation across the tropics (p-value=0.66).

  17. Linking genes to microbial growth kinetics: an integrated biochemical systems engineering approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koutinas, M.; Kiparissides, A.; Silva-Rocha, R.; Lam, M.C.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.; Lorenzo, de V.; Pistikopoulos, E.N.; Mantalaris, A.

    2011-01-01

    The majority of models describing the kinetic properties of a microorganism for a given substrate are unstructured and empirical. They are formulated in this manner so that the complex mechanism of cell growth is simplified. Herein, a novel approach for modelling microbial growth kinetics is

  18. The antiSMASH database, a comprehensive database of microbial secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Blin, Kai; Medema, Marnix H.; Kottmann, Renzo

    2017-01-01

    Secondary metabolites produced by microorganisms are the main source of bioactive compounds that are in use as antimicrobial and anticancer drugs, fungicides, herbicides and pesticides. In the last decade, the increasing availability of microbial genomes has established genome mining as a very...

  19. Drosha regulates gene expression independently of RNA cleavage function

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gromak, Natalia; Dienstbier, Martin; Macias, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Drosha is the main RNase III-like enzyme involved in the process of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis in the nucleus. Using whole-genome ChIP-on-chip analysis, we demonstrate that, in addition to miRNA sequences, Drosha specifically binds promoter-proximal regions of many human genes in a transcription......-dependent manner. This binding is not associated with miRNA production or RNA cleavage. Drosha knockdown in HeLa cells downregulated nascent gene transcription, resulting in a reduction of polyadenylated mRNA produced from these gene regions. Furthermore, we show that this function of Drosha is dependent on its N......-terminal protein-interaction domain, which associates with the RNA-binding protein CBP80 and RNA Polymerase II. Consequently, we uncover a previously unsuspected RNA cleavage-independent function of Drosha in the regulation of human gene expression....

  20. Characterization of microbial community and antibiotic resistance genes in activated sludge under tetracycline and sulfamethoxazole selection pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yingying; Geng, Jinju, E-mail: jjgeng@nju.edu.cn; Ma, Haijun; Ren, Hongqiang; Xu, Ke; Ding, Lili

    2016-11-15

    To investigate the microbial community characteristics, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), and bioreactor effluent quality change under tetracycline (TC) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) selection pressure, sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were used with environmentally relevant concentration and high-level of TC and SMX concentrations (0, 5 ppb, 50 ppb and 10 ppm). Chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia nitrogen (NH{sub 4}{sup +}−N) removals appeared unchanged (p > 0.05) with 5 and 50 ppb, but decreased significantly with 10 ppm (p < 0.05). Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) concentrations increased significantly with increasing TC or SMX concentrations (p < 0.05). High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing results suggested that Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the three most abundant phyla in sludge samples. The Actinobacteria percentages increased with increasing TC or SMX concentration, while Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased. The microbial diversity achieved its maximum at 5 ppb and decreased with higher concentrations. The total ARGs abundances in sludge increased with addition of TC or SMX, and the higher relative abundances were in the order of sul1 > tetG > sul2 > tetA > intI1 > tetS > tetC. Pearson correlation analysis showed most ARGs (tetA, tetC, tetG, tetK, tetM, sul1) were significantly correlated with intI1 (p < 0.01). - Highlights: • COD and NH{sub 4}{sup +}−N removals significantly decrease under 10 ppm TC or SMX. • Activated sludge EPS concentrations increase with increasing TC or SMX concentrations. • TC and SMX affect the microbial community diversity of activated sludge. • Actinobacteria abundances increase with increase of TC or SMX concentration. • ARGs abundance increases with addition of TC or SMX.

  1. Effect Of Spaceflight On Microbial Gene Expression And Virulence: Preliminary Results From Microbe Payload Flown On-Board STS-115

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J. W.; HonerzuBentrup, K,; Schurr, M. J.; Buchanan, K.; Morici, L.; Hammond, T.; Allen, P.; Baker, C.; Ott, C. M.; Nelman-Gonzalez M.; hide

    2007-01-01

    Human presence in space, whether permanent or temporary, is accompanied by the presence of microbes. However, the extent of microbial changes in response to spaceflight conditions and the corresponding changes to infectious disease risk is unclear. Previous studies have indicated that spaceflight weakens the immune system in humans and animals. In addition, preflight and in-flight monitoring of the International Space Station (ISS) and other spacecraft indicates the presence of opportunistic pathogens and the potential of obligate pathogens. Altered antibiotic resistance of microbes in flight has also been shown. As astronauts and cosmonauts live for longer periods in a closed environment, especially one using recycled water and air, there is an increased risk to crewmembers of infectious disease events occurring in-flight. Therefore, understanding how the space environment affects microorganisms and their disease potential is critically important for spaceflight missions and requires further study. The goal of this flight experiment, operationally called MICROBE, is to utilize three model microbial pathogens, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans to examine the global effects of spaceflight on microbial gene expression and virulence attributes. Specifically, the aims are (1) to perform microarray-mediated gene expression profiling of S. typhimurium, P. aeruginosa, and C. albicans, in response to spaceflight in comparison to ground controls and (2) to determine the effect of spaceflight on the virulence potential of these microorganisms immediately following their return from spaceflight using murine models. The model microorganisms were selected as they have been isolated from preflight or in-flight monitoring, represent different degrees of pathogenic behavior, are well characterized, and have sequenced genomes with available microarrays. In particular, extensive studies of S. typhimurium by the Principal Investigator, Dr. Nickerson

  2. Nested PCR Biases in Interpreting Microbial Community Structure in 16S rRNA Gene Sequence Datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Guoqin; Fadrosh, Doug; Goedert, James J; Ravel, Jacques; Goldstein, Alisa M

    2015-01-01

    Sequencing of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene has become a common approach to microbial community investigations in the fields of human health and environmental sciences. This approach, however, is difficult when the amount of DNA is too low to be amplified by standard PCR. Nested PCR can be employed as it can amplify samples with DNA concentration several-fold lower than standard PCR. However, potential biases with nested PCRs that could affect measurement of community structure have received little attention. In this study, we used 17 DNAs extracted from vaginal swabs and 12 DNAs extracted from stool samples to study the influence of nested PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene on the estimation of microbial community structure using Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Nested and standard PCR methods were compared on alpha- and beta-diversity metrics and relative abundances of bacterial genera. The effects of number of cycles in the first round of PCR (10 vs. 20) and microbial diversity (relatively low in vagina vs. high in stool) were also investigated. Vaginal swab samples showed no significant difference in alpha diversity or community structure between nested PCR and standard PCR (one round of 40 cycles). Stool samples showed significant differences in alpha diversity (except Shannon's index) and relative abundance of 13 genera between nested PCR with 20 cycles in the first round and standard PCR (Pnested PCR with 10 cycles in the first round and standard PCR. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that had low relative abundance (sum of relative abundance 27% of total OTUs in stool). Nested PCR introduced bias in estimated diversity and community structure. The bias was more significant for communities with relatively higher diversity and when more cycles were applied in the first round of PCR. We conclude that nested PCR could be used when standard PCR does not work. However, rare taxa detected by nested PCR should be validated by other technologies.

  3. Effects of chlortetracycline and copper on tetracyclines and copper resistance genes and microbial community during swine manure anaerobic digestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rui; Chen, Meixue; Feng, Feng; Zhang, Junya; Sui, Qianwen; Tong, Juan; Wei, Yuansong; Wei, Dongbin

    2017-08-01

    As antibiotic and heavy metals are over used in the livestock industry, animal manure is a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Anaerobic digestion has been reported to have the potential to reduce ARGs. However, few studies investigated whether reduction of ARGs would be affected by different external pressures including antibiotics and heavy metals during anaerobic digestion. The purpose of this study was thus to investigate effects of both chlortetracycline (CTC) and Cu on reduction of ARGs, heavy metal resistance genes (HMRGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) during the swine manure anaerobic digestion. The results showed that the predominant ARGs (tetO, tetW, tetX, tetL) could be effectively reduced (approximately 1.00 log copies/g TS) through mesophilic anaerobic digestion. Microbial community evolution was the main driver. It was interesting that Treponema might indicate the termination of anaerobic digestion and compete with ARGs host bacteria. Addition of CTC, Cu and CTC+Cu affected microbial community change and hindered removal of ARGs, especially, CTC+Cu seriously affected Treponema and ARGs during anaerobic digestion. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Rhea: a transparent and modular R pipeline for microbial profiling based on 16S rRNA gene amplicons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagkouvardos, Ilias; Fischer, Sandra; Kumar, Neeraj; Clavel, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    The importance of 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiles for understanding the influence of microbes in a variety of environments coupled with the steep reduction in sequencing costs led to a surge of microbial sequencing projects. The expanding crowd of scientists and clinicians wanting to make use of sequencing datasets can choose among a range of multipurpose software platforms, the use of which can be intimidating for non-expert users. Among available pipeline options for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene analysis, the R programming language and software environment for statistical computing stands out for its power and increased flexibility, and the possibility to adhere to most recent best practices and to adjust to individual project needs. Here we present the Rhea pipeline, a set of R scripts that encode a series of well-documented choices for the downstream analysis of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) tables, including normalization steps, alpha - and beta -diversity analysis, taxonomic composition, statistical comparisons, and calculation of correlations. Rhea is primarily a straightforward starting point for beginners, but can also be a framework for advanced users who can modify and expand the tool. As the community standards evolve, Rhea will adapt to always represent the current state-of-the-art in microbial profiles analysis in the clear and comprehensive way allowed by the R language. Rhea scripts and documentation are freely available at https://lagkouvardos.github.io/Rhea.

  5. Rhea: a transparent and modular R pipeline for microbial profiling based on 16S rRNA gene amplicons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilias Lagkouvardos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The importance of 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiles for understanding the influence of microbes in a variety of environments coupled with the steep reduction in sequencing costs led to a surge of microbial sequencing projects. The expanding crowd of scientists and clinicians wanting to make use of sequencing datasets can choose among a range of multipurpose software platforms, the use of which can be intimidating for non-expert users. Among available pipeline options for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene analysis, the R programming language and software environment for statistical computing stands out for its power and increased flexibility, and the possibility to adhere to most recent best practices and to adjust to individual project needs. Here we present the Rhea pipeline, a set of R scripts that encode a series of well-documented choices for the downstream analysis of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs tables, including normalization steps, alpha- and beta-diversity analysis, taxonomic composition, statistical comparisons, and calculation of correlations. Rhea is primarily a straightforward starting point for beginners, but can also be a framework for advanced users who can modify and expand the tool. As the community standards evolve, Rhea will adapt to always represent the current state-of-the-art in microbial profiles analysis in the clear and comprehensive way allowed by the R language. Rhea scripts and documentation are freely available at https://lagkouvardos.github.io/Rhea.

  6. The Hidden World within Plants: Ecological and Evolutionary Considerations for Defining Functioning of Microbial Endophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardoim, Pablo R; van Overbeek, Leonard S; Berg, Gabriele; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Compant, Stéphane; Campisano, Andrea; Döring, Matthias; Sessitsch, Angela

    2015-09-01

    All plants are inhabited internally by diverse microbial communities comprising bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and protistic taxa. These microorganisms showing endophytic lifestyles play crucial roles in plant development, growth, fitness, and diversification. The increasing awareness of and information on endophytes provide insight into the complexity of the plant microbiome. The nature of plant-endophyte interactions ranges from mutualism to pathogenicity. This depends on a set of abiotic and biotic factors, including the genotypes of plants and microbes, environmental conditions, and the dynamic network of interactions within the plant biome. In this review, we address the concept of endophytism, considering the latest insights into evolution, plant ecosystem functioning, and multipartite interactions. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  7. High-resolution metagenomics targets major functional types in complex microbial communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G.; Lapidus, Alla; Ivanova, Natalia; Copeland, Alex C.; McHardy, Alice C.; Szeto, Ernest; Salamov, Asaf; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Suciu, Dominic; Levine, Samuel R.; Markowitz, Victor M.; Rigoutsos, Isidore; Tringe, Susannah G.; Bruce, David C.; Richardson, Paul M.; Lidstrom, Mary E.; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2009-08-01

    Most microbes in the biosphere remain uncultured and unknown. Whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing of environmental DNA (metagenomics) allows glimpses into genetic and metabolic potentials of natural microbial communities. However, in communities of high complexity metagenomics fail to link specific microbes to specific ecological functions. To overcome this limitation, we selectively targeted populations involved in oxidizing single-carbon (C{sub 1}) compounds in Lake Washington (Seattle, USA) by labeling their DNA via stable isotope probing (SIP), followed by WGS sequencing. Metagenome analysis demonstrated specific sequence enrichments in response to different C{sub 1} substrates, highlighting ecological roles of individual phylotypes. We further demonstrated the utility of our approach by extracting a nearly complete genome of a novel methylotroph Methylotenera mobilis, reconstructing its metabolism and conducting genome-wide analyses. This approach allowing high-resolution genomic analysis of ecologically relevant species has the potential to be applied to a wide variety of ecosystems.

  8. Linking Microbial Community Structure and Function During the Acidified Anaerobic Digestion of Grass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aoife Joyce

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Harvesting valuable bioproducts from various renewable feedstocks is necessary for the critical development of a sustainable bioeconomy. Anaerobic digestion is a well-established technology for the conversion of wastewater and solid feedstocks to energy with the additional potential for production of process intermediates of high market values (e.g., carboxylates. In recent years, first-generation biofuels typically derived from food crops have been widely utilized as a renewable source of energy. The environmental and socioeconomic limitations of such strategy, however, have led to the development of second-generation biofuels utilizing, amongst other feedstocks, lignocellulosic biomass. In this context, the anaerobic digestion of perennial grass holds great promise for the conversion of sustainable renewable feedstock to energy and other process intermediates. The advancement of this technology however, and its implementation for industrial applications, relies on a greater understanding of the microbiome underpinning the process. To this end, microbial communities recovered from replicated anaerobic bioreactors digesting grass were analyzed. The bioreactors leachates were not buffered and acidic pH (between 5.5 and 6.3 prevailed at the time of sampling as a result of microbial activities. Community composition and transcriptionally active taxa were examined using 16S rRNA sequencing and microbial functions were investigated using metaproteomics. Bioreactor fraction, i.e., grass or leachate, was found to be the main discriminator of community analysis across the three molecular level of investigation (DNA, RNA, and proteins. Six taxa, namely Bacteroidia, Betaproteobacteria, Clostridia, Gammaproteobacteria, Methanomicrobia, and Negativicutes accounted for the large majority of the three datasets. The initial stages of grass hydrolysis were carried out by Bacteroidia, Gammaproteobacteria, and Negativicutes in the grass biofilms, in addition to

  9. Linking Microbial Community Structure and Function During the Acidified Anaerobic Digestion of Grass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Aoife; Ijaz, Umer Z; Nzeteu, Corine; Vaughan, Aoife; Shirran, Sally L; Botting, Catherine H; Quince, Christopher; O'Flaherty, Vincent; Abram, Florence

    2018-01-01

    Harvesting valuable bioproducts from various renewable feedstocks is necessary for the critical development of a sustainable bioeconomy. Anaerobic digestion is a well-established technology for the conversion of wastewater and solid feedstocks to energy with the additional potential for production of process intermediates of high market values (e.g., carboxylates). In recent years, first-generation biofuels typically derived from food crops have been widely utilized as a renewable source of energy. The environmental and socioeconomic limitations of such strategy, however, have led to the development of second-generation biofuels utilizing, amongst other feedstocks, lignocellulosic biomass. In this context, the anaerobic digestion of perennial grass holds great promise for the conversion of sustainable renewable feedstock to energy and other process intermediates. The advancement of this technology however, and its implementation for industrial applications, relies on a greater understanding of the microbiome underpinning the process. To this end, microbial communities recovered from replicated anaerobic bioreactors digesting grass were analyzed. The bioreactors leachates were not buffered and acidic pH (between 5.5 and 6.3) prevailed at the time of sampling as a result of microbial activities. Community composition and transcriptionally active taxa were examined using 16S rRNA sequencing and microbial functions were investigated using metaproteomics. Bioreactor fraction, i.e., grass or leachate, was found to be the main discriminator of community analysis across the three molecular level of investigation (DNA, RNA, and proteins). Six taxa, namely Bacteroidia, Betaproteobacteria, Clostridia, Gammaproteobacteria, Methanomicrobia, and Negativicutes accounted for the large majority of the three datasets. The initial stages of grass hydrolysis were carried out by Bacteroidia, Gammaproteobacteria, and Negativicutes in the grass biofilms, in addition to Clostridia in the

  10. Stably Expressed Genes Involved in Basic Cellular Functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kejian Wang

    Full Text Available Stably Expressed Genes (SEGs whose expression varies within a narrow range may be involved in core cellular processes necessary for basic functions. To identify such genes, we re-analyzed existing RNA-Seq gene expression profiles across 11 organs at 4 developmental stages (from immature to old age in both sexes of F344 rats (n = 4/group; 320 samples. Expression changes (calculated as the maximum expression / minimum expression for each gene of >19000 genes across organs, ages, and sexes ranged from 2.35 to >109-fold, with a median of 165-fold. The expression of 278 SEGs was found to vary ≤4-fold and these genes were significantly involved in protein catabolism (proteasome and ubiquitination, RNA transport, protein processing, and the spliceosome. Such stability of expression was further validated in human samples where the expression variability of the homologous human SEGs was significantly lower than that of other genes in the human genome. It was also found that the homologous human SEGs were generally less subject to non-synonymous mutation than other genes, as would be expected of stably expressed genes. We also found that knockout of SEG homologs in mouse models was more likely to cause complete preweaning lethality than non-SEG homologs, corroborating the fundamental roles played by SEGs in biological development. Such stably expressed genes and pathways across life-stages suggest that tight control of these processes is important in basic cellular functions and that perturbation by endogenous (e.g., genetics or exogenous agents (e.g., drugs, environmental factors may cause serious adverse effects.

  11. Microbial functional diversity and enzymatic activity of soil degraded by sulphur mining reclaimed with various waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joniec, Jolanta; Frąc, Magdalena

    2017-10-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate microbial functional diversity based on community level physiological profiling and β-glucosidase activity changes in soil degraded by sulphur mining and subjected to reclamation with various waste. The experiment was set up in the area of the former `Jeziórko' Sulphur Mine (Poland), on a soilless substrate with a particle size distribution of slightly loamy sand. The experimental variants included the application of post-flotation lime, sewage sludge and mineral wool. The analyses of soil samples included the assessment of the following microbiological indices: β-glucosidase activity and functional diversity average well color development and richness). The results indicate that sewage sludge did not exert a significant impact on the functional diversity of microorganisms present in the reclaimed soil. In turn, the application of other types of waste contributed to a significant increase in the parameters of total metabolic activity and functional diversity of the reclaimed soil. However, the temporal analysis of the metabolic profile of soil microorganisms demonstrated that a single application of waste did not yield a durable, stable metabolic profile in the reclaimed soil. Still, there was an increase in β-glucosidase activity, especially in objects treated with sewage sludge.

  12. Environmental drivers of soil microbial community structure and function at the Avon River Critical Zone Observatory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleeson, Deirdre; Mathes, Falko; Farrell, Mark; Leopold, Matthias

    2016-11-15

    The Critical Zone is defined as the thin, permeable layer from the tops of the trees to the bottom of the bedrock that sustains terrestrial life on Earth. The geometry and shape of the various weathering zones are known as the critical zone architecture. At the centre of the Critical Zone are soils and the microorganisms that inhabit them. In Western Australia, the million-year-old stable weathering history and more recent lateral erosion during the past hundreds of thousands of years have created a geomorphic setting where deep weathering zones are now exposed on the surface along the flanks of many lateritic hills. These old weathering zones provide diverse physical and chemical properties that influence near surface pedologic conditions and thus likely shape current surface microbiology. Here, we present data derived from a small lateritic hill on the UWA Farm Ridgefield. Spatial soil sampling revealed the contrasting distribution patterns of simple soil parameters such as pH (CaCl2) and electric conductivity. These are clearly linked with underlying changes of the critical zone architecture and show a strong contrast with low values of pH3.3 at the top of the hill to pH5.3 at the bottom. These parameters were identified as major drivers of microbial spatial variability in terms of bacterial and archaeal community composition but not abundance. In addition, we used sensitive (14)C labelling to assess turnover of three model organic nitrogen compounds - an important biogeochemical functional trait relating to nutrient availability. Though generally rapid and in the order of rates reported elsewhere (t½10h). In conclusion, we have shown that the weathering and erosion history of ancient Western Australia affects the surface pedology and has consequences for microbial community structure and function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. DAVID Knowledgebase: a gene-centered database integrating heterogeneous gene annotation resources to facilitate high-throughput gene functional analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baseler Michael W

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to the complex and distributed nature of biological research, our current biological knowledge is spread over many redundant annotation databases maintained by many independent groups. Analysts usually need to visit many of these bioinformatics databases in order to integrate comprehensive annotation information for their genes, which becomes one of the bottlenecks, particularly for the analytic task associated with a large gene list. Thus, a highly centralized and ready-to-use gene-annotation knowledgebase is in demand for high throughput gene functional analysis. Description The DAVID Knowledgebase is built around the DAVID Gene Concept, a single-linkage method to agglomerate tens of millions of gene/protein identifiers from a variety of public genomic resources into DAVID gene clusters. The grouping of such identifiers improves the cross-reference capability, particularly across NCBI and UniProt systems, enabling more than 40 publicly available functional annotation sources to be comprehensively integrated and centralized by the DAVID gene clusters. The simple, pair-wise, text format files which make up the DAVID Knowledgebase are freely downloadable for various data analysis uses. In addition, a well organized web interface allows users to query different types of heterogeneous annotations in a high-throughput manner. Conclusion The DAVID Knowledgebase is designed to facilitate high throughput gene functional analysis. For a given gene list, it not only provides the quick accessibility to a wide range of heterogeneous annotation data in a centralized location, but also enriches the level of biological information for an individual gene. Moreover, the entire DAVID Knowledgebase is freely downloadable or searchable at http://david.abcc.ncifcrf.gov/knowledgebase/.

  14. The Drosophila melanogaster methuselah gene: a novel gene with ancient functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rita Araújo

    Full Text Available The Drosophila melanogaster G protein-coupled receptor gene, methuselah (mth, has been described as a novel gene that is less than 10 million years old. Nevertheless, it shows a highly specific expression pattern in embryos, larvae, and adults, and has been implicated in larval development, stress resistance, and in the setting of adult lifespan, among others. Although mth belongs to a gene subfamily with 16 members in D. melanogaster, there is no evidence for functional redundancy in this subfamily. Therefore, it is surprising that a novel gene influences so many traits. Here, we explore the alternative hypothesis that mth is an old gene. Under this hypothesis, in species distantly related to D. melanogaster, there should be a gene with features similar to those of mth. By performing detailed phylogenetic, synteny, protein structure, and gene expression analyses we show that the D. virilis GJ12490 gene is the orthologous of mth in species distantly related to D. melanogaster. We also show that, in D. americana (a species of the virilis group of Drosophila, a common amino acid polymorphism at the GJ12490 orthologous gene is significantly associated with developmental time, size, and lifespan differences. Our results imply that GJ12490 orthologous genes are candidates for developmental time and lifespan differences in Drosophila in general.

  15. Compositional differences in simulated root exudates elicit a limited functional and compositional response in soil microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael S Strickland

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Inputs of low molecular weight carbon (LMW-C to soil −primarily via root exudates− are expected to be a major driver of microbial activity and source of stable soil organic carbon. It is expected that variation in the type and composition of LMW-C entering soil will influence microbial community composition and function. If this is the case then short-term changes in LMW-C inputs may alter processes regulated by these communities. To determine if change in the composition of LMW-C inputs influences microbial community function and composition, we conducted a 90 day microcosm experiment whereby soils sourced from three different land covers (meadows, deciduous forests, and white pine stands were amended, at low concentrations, with one of eight simulated root exudate treatments. Treatments included no addition of LMW-C, and the full factorial combination of glucose, glycine, and oxalic acid. After 90 days, we conducted a functional response assay and determined microbial composition via phospholipid fatty acid analysis. Whereas we noted a statistically significant effect of exudate treatments, this only accounted for ~3% of the variation observed in function. In comparison, land cover and site explained ~46 and ~41% of the variation, respectively. This suggests that exudate composition has little influence on function

  16. Metagenome-scale analysis yields insights into the structure and function of microbial communities in a copper bioleaching heap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xian; Niu, Jiaojiao; Liang, Yili; Liu, Xueduan; Yin, Huaqun

    2016-01-19

    Metagenomics allows us to acquire the potential resources from both cultivatable and uncultivable microorganisms in the environment. Here, shotgun metagenome sequencing was used to investigate microbial communities from the surface layer of low grade copper tailings that were industrially bioleached at the Dexing Copper Mine, China. A bioinformatics analysis was further performed to elucidate structural and functional properties of the microbial communities in a copper bioleaching heap. Taxonomic analysis revealed unexpectedly high microbial biodiversity of this extremely acidic environment, as most sequences were phylogenetically assigned to Proteobacteria, while Euryarchaeota-related sequences occupied little proportion in this system, assuming that Archaea probably played little role in the bioleaching systems. At the genus level, the microbial community in mineral surface-layer was dominated by the sulfur- and iron-oxidizing acidophiles such as Acidithiobacillus-like populations, most of which were A. ferrivorans-like and A. ferrooxidans-like groups. In addition, Caudovirales were the dominant viral type observed in this extremely environment. Functional analysis illustrated that the principal participants related to the key metabolic pathways (carbon fixation, nitrogen metabolism, Fe(II) oxidation and sulfur metabolism) were mainly identified to be Acidithiobacillus-like, Thiobacillus-like and Leptospirillum-like microorganisms, indicating their vital roles. Also, microbial community harbored certain adaptive mechanisms (heavy metal resistance, low pH adaption, organic solvents tolerance and detoxification of hydroxyl radicals) as they performed their functions in the bioleaching system. Our study provides several valuable datasets for understanding the microbial community composition and function in the surface-layer of copper bioleaching heap.

  17. Assessment of the horizontal transfer of functional genes as a suitable approach for evaluation of the bioremediation potential of petroleum-contaminated sites: a mini-review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahi, Aiyoub; Ince, Bahar; Aydin, Sevcan; Ince, Orhan

    2017-06-01

    Petroleum sludge contains recalcitrant residuals. These compounds because of being toxic to humans and other organism are of the major concerns. Therefore, petroleum sludge should be safely disposed. Physicochemical methods which are used by this sector are mostly expensive and need complex devices. Bioremediation methods because of being eco-friendly and cost-effective overcome most of the limitations of physicochemical treatments. Microbial strains capable to degrade petroleum hydrocarbons are practically present in all soils and sediments and their population density increases in contact with contaminants. Bacterial strains cannot degrade alone all kinds of petroleum hydrocarbons, rather microbial consortium should collaborate with each other for degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures. Horizontal transfer of functional genes between bacteria plays an important role in increasing the metabolic potential of the microbial community. Therefore, selecting a suitable degrading gene and tracking its horizontal transfer would be a useful approach to evaluate the bioremediation process and to assess the bioremediation potential of contaminated sites.

  18. Functional response of a near-surface soil microbial community to a simulated underground CO2 storage leak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Sergio E; Holben, William E

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the impacts of leaks from geologic carbon sequestration, also known as carbon capture and storage, is key to developing effective strategies for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions management and mitigation of potential negative effects. Here, we provide the first report on the potential effects of leaks from carbon capture and storage sites on microbial functional groups in surface and near-surface soils. Using a simulated subsurface CO2 storage leak scenario, we demonstrate how CO2 flow upward through the soil column altered both the abundance (DNA) and activity (mRNA) of microbial functional groups mediating carbon and nitrogen transformations. These microbial responses were found to be seasonally dependent and correlated to shifts in atmospheric conditions. While both DNA and mRNA levels were affected by elevated CO2, they did not react equally, suggesting two separate mechanisms for soil microbial community response to high CO2 levels. The results did not always agree with previous studies on elevated atmospheric (rather than subsurface) CO2 using FACE (Free-Air CO2 Enrichment) systems, suggesting that microbial community response to CO2 seepage from the subsurface might differ from its response to atmospheric CO2 increases.

  19. Cross-organism learning method to discover new gene functionalities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domeniconi, Giacomo; Masseroli, Marco; Moro, Gianluca; Pinoli, Pietro

    2016-04-01

    Knowledge of gene and protein functions is paramount for the understanding of physiological and pathological biological processes, as well as in the development of new drugs and therapies. Analyses for biomedical knowledge discovery greatly benefit from the availability of gene and protein functional feature descriptions expressed through controlled terminologies and ontologies, i.e., of gene and protein biomedical controlled annotations. In the last years, several databases of such annotations have become available; yet, these valuable annotations are incomplete, include errors and only some of them represent highly reliable human curated information. Computational techniques able to reliably predict new gene or protein annotations with an associated likelihood value are thus paramount. Here, we propose a novel cross-organisms learning approach to reliably predict new functionalities for the genes of an organism based on the known controlled annotations of the genes of another, evolutionarily related and better studied, organism. We leverage a new representation of the annotation discovery problem and a random perturbation of the available controlled annotations to allow the application of supervised algorithms to predict with good accuracy unknown gene annotations. Taking advantage of the numerous gene annotations available for a well-studied organism, our cross-organisms learning method creates and trains better prediction models, which can then be applied to predict new gene annotations of a target organism. We tested and compared our method with the equivalent single organism approach on different gene annotation datasets of five evolutionarily related organisms (Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Bos taurus, Gallus gallus and Dictyostelium discoideum). Results show both the usefulness of the perturbation method of available annotations for better prediction model training and a great improvement of the cross-organism models with respect to the single-organism ones

  20. Global analysis of gene expression dynamics within the marine microbial community during the VAHINE mesocosm experiment in the southwest Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfreundt, Ulrike; Spungin, Dina; Bonnet, Sophie; Berman-Frank, Ilana; Hess, Wolfgang R.

    2016-07-01

    Microbial gene expression was followed for 23 days within a mesocosm (M1) isolating 50 m3 of seawater and in the surrounding waters in the Nouméa lagoon, New Caledonia, in the southwest Pacific as part of the VAriability of vertical and tropHIc transfer of diazotroph derived N in the south wEst Pacific (VAHINE) experiment. The aim of VAHINE was to examine the fate of diazotroph-derived nitrogen (DDN) in a low-nutrient, low-chlorophyll ecosystem. On day 4 of the experiment, the mesocosm was fertilized with phosphate. In the lagoon, gene expression was dominated by the cyanobacterium Synechococcus, closely followed by Alphaproteobacteria. In contrast, drastic changes in the microbial community composition and transcriptional activity were triggered within the mesocosm within the first 4 days, with transcription bursts from different heterotrophic bacteria in rapid succession. The microbial composition and activity of the surrounding lagoon ecosystem appeared more stable, although following similar temporal trends as in M1. We detected significant gene expression from Chromerida in M1, as well as the Nouméa lagoon, suggesting these photoautotrophic alveolates were present in substantial numbers in the open water. Other groups contributing substantially to the metatranscriptome were affiliated with marine Euryarchaeota Candidatus Thalassoarchaea (inside and outside) and Myoviridae bacteriophages likely infecting Synechococcus, specifically inside M1. High transcript abundances for ammonium transporters and glutamine synthetase in many different taxa (e.g., Pelagibacteraceae, Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, and Rhodobacteraceae) was consistent with the known preference of most bacteria for this nitrogen source. In contrast, Alteromonadaceae highly expressed urease genes; Rhodobacteraceae and Prochlorococcus showed some urease expression, too. Nitrate reductase transcripts were detected on day 10 very prominently in Synechococcus and in Halomonadaceae. Alkaline

  1. Metabolic and demographic feedbacks shape the emergent spatial structure and function of microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Estrela

    Full Text Available Microbes are predominantly found in surface-attached and spatially structured polymicrobial communities. Within these communities, microbial cells excrete a wide range of metabolites, setting the stage for interspecific metabolic interactions. The links, however, between metabolic and ecological interactions (functional relationships, and species spatial organization (structural relationships are still poorly understood. Here, we use an individual-based modelling framework to simulate the growth of a two-species surface-attached community where food (resource is traded for detoxification (service and investigate how metabolic constraints of individual species shape the emergent structural and functional relationships of the community. We show that strong metabolic interdependence drives the emergence of mutualism, robust interspecific mixing, and increased community productivity. Specifically, we observed a striking and highly stable emergent lineage branching pattern, generating a persistent lineage mixing that was absent when the metabolic exchange was removed. These emergent community properties are driven by demographic feedbacks, such that aid from neighbouring cells directly enhances focal cell growth, which in turn feeds back to neighbour fecundity. In contrast, weak metabolic interdependence drives conflict (exploitation or competition, and in turn greater interspecific segregation. Together, these results support the idea that species structural and functional relationships represent the net balance of metabolic interdependencies.

  2. Structural and Functional Insights from the Metagenome of an Acidic Hot Spring Microbial Planktonic Community in the Colombian Andes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jiménez Avella, Diego; Dini Andreote, Fernando; Chaves, Diego; Montaña, José Salvador; Osorio-Forero, Cesar; Junca, Howard; Zambrano, María Mercedes; Baena, Sandra

    2012-01-01

    A taxonomic and annotated functional description of microbial life was deduced from 53 Mb of metagenomic sequence retrieved from a planktonic fraction of the Neotropical high Andean (3,973 meters above sea level) acidic hot spring El Coquito (EC). A classification of unassembled metagenomic reads

  3. Microbial Functioning and Community Structure Variability in the Mesopelagic and Epipelagic Waters of the Subtropical Northeast Atlantic Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baltar, F.; Aristegui, J.; Gasol, J.M.; Herndl, G.J.

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed the regional distribution of bulk heterotrophic prokaryotic activity (leucine incorporation) and selected single-cell parameters (cell viability and nucleic acid content) as parameters for microbial functioning, as well as bacterial and archaeal community structure in the epipelagic (0

  4. Microbial biomass and bacterial functional diversity in forest soils: effects of organic matter removal, compaction, and vegetation control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qingchao Li; H. Lee Allen; Arthur G. Wollum

    2004-01-01

    The effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on soil microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen, C-to-N ratio, and functional diversity were examined in a 6-year loblolly pine plantation on a Coastal Plain site in eastern North Carolina, USA. This experimental plantation was established as part of the US Forest Service's Long Term Soil...

  5. Differential Retention of Gene Functions in a Secondary Metabolite Cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Hannah T; Slot, Jason C; Divon, Hege H; Lysøe, Erik; Proctor, Robert H; Brown, Daren W

    2017-08-01

    In fungi, distribution of secondary metabolite (SM) gene clusters is often associated with host- or environment-specific benefits provided by SMs. In the plant pathogen Alternaria brassicicola (Dothideomycetes), the DEP cluster confers an ability to synthesize the SM depudecin, a histone deacetylase inhibitor that contributes weakly to virulence. The DEP cluster includes genes encoding enzymes, a transporter, and a transcription regulator. We investigated the distribution and evolution of the DEP cluster in 585 fungal genomes and found a wide but sporadic distribution among Dothideomycetes, Sordariomycetes, and Eurotiomycetes. We confirmed DEP gene expression and depudecin production in one fungus, Fusarium langsethiae. Phylogenetic analyses suggested 6-10 horizontal gene transfers (HGTs) of the cluster, including a transfer that led to the presence of closely related cluster homologs in Alternaria and Fusarium. The analyses also indicated that HGTs were frequently followed by loss/pseudogenization of one or more DEP genes. Independent cluster inactivation was inferred in at least four fungal classes. Analyses of transitions among functional, pseudogenized, and absent states of DEP genes among Fusarium species suggest enzyme-encoding genes are lost at higher rates than the transporter (DEP3) and regulatory (DEP6) genes. The phenotype of an experimentally-induced DEP3 mutant of Fusarium did not support the hypothesis that selective retention of DEP3 and DEP6 protects fungi from exogenous depudecin. Together, the results suggest that HGT and gene loss have contributed significantly to DEP cluster distribution, and that some DEP genes provide a greater fitness benefit possibly due to a differential tendency to form network connections. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  6. The function and evolution of Wnt genes in arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murat, Sophie; Hopfen, Corinna; McGregor, Alistair P

    2010-11-01

    Wnt signalling is required for a wide range of developmental processes, from cleavage to patterning and cell migration. There are 13 subfamilies of Wnt ligand genes and this diverse repertoire appeared very early in metazoan evolution. In this review, we first summarise the known Wnt gene repertoire in various arthropods. Insects appear to have lost several Wnt subfamilies, either generally, such as Wnt3, or in lineage specific patterns, for example, the loss of Wnt7 in Anopheles. In Drosophila and Acyrthosiphon, only seven and six Wnt subfamilies are represented, respectively; however, the finding of nine Wnt genes in Tribolium suggests that arthropods had a larger repertoire ancestrally. We then discuss what is currently known about the expression and developmental function of Wnt ligands in Drosophila and other insects in comparison to other arthropods, such as the spiders Achaearanea and Cupiennius. We conclude that studies of Wnt genes have given us much insight into the developmental roles of some of these ligands. However, given the frequent loss of Wnt genes in insects and the derived development of Drosophila, further studies of these important genes are required in a broader range of arthropods to fully understand their developmental function and evolution. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Transient transformation meets gene function discovery: the strawberry fruit case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michela eGuidarelli

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Beside the well known nutritional and health benefits, strawberry (Fragaria X ananassa crop draws increasing attention as plant model system for the Rosaceae family, due to the short generation time, the rapid in vitro regeneration, and to the availability of the genome sequence of F. X ananassa and of the closely related F. vesca species. In the last years, the use of high-throughput sequence technologies provided large amounts of molecular information on the genes possibly related to several biological processes of this crop. Nevertheless, the function of most genes or gene products is still poorly understood and needs investigation. Transient transformation technology provides a powerful tool to study gene function in vivo, avoiding difficult drawbacks that typically affect the stable transformation protocols, such as transformation efficiency, transformants selection and regeneration. In this review we provide an overview of the use of transient expression in the investigation of the function of genes important for strawberry fruit development, defence and nutritional properties. The technical aspects related to an efficient use of this technique are described, and the possible impact and application in strawberry crop improvement are discussed.

  8. Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME): A web app for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dynamic Assessment of Microbial Ecology (DAME) is a shiny-based web application for interactive analysis and visualization of microbial sequencing data. DAME provides researchers not familiar with R programming the ability to access the most current R functions utilized for ecology and gene sequenci...

  9. Using riboswitches to regulate gene expression and define gene function in mycobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vlack, Erik R; Seeliger, Jessica C

    2015-01-01

    Mycobacteria include both environmental species and many pathogenic species such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an intracellular pathogen that is the causative agent of tuberculosis in humans. Inducible gene expression is a powerful tool for examining gene function and essentiality, both in in vitro culture and in host cell infections. The theophylline-inducible artificial riboswitch has recently emerged as an alternative to protein repressor-based systems. The riboswitch is translationally regulated and is combined with a mycobacterial promoter that provides transcriptional control. We here provide methods used by our laboratory to characterize the riboswitch response to theophylline in reporter strains, recombinant organisms containing riboswitch-regulated endogenous genes, and in host cell infections. These protocols should facilitate the application of both existing and novel artificial riboswitches to the exploration of gene function in mycobacteria. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The function and evolution of Msx genes: pointers and paradoxes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, D

    1995-10-01

    The Msx genes of vertebrates comprise a small family of chromosomally unlinked homeobox-containing genes related to the Drosophila gene muscle-segment homeobox (msh). Despite their ancient pedigree, the Msx genes are expressed in a range of vertebrate-specific tissues, including neural crest, cranial sensory placodes, bone and teeth. They are active in numerous systems, which have been used as models to study pattern formation and tissue interaction, and are, therefore, attracting a growing interest among developmental biologists. But beyond their presumed role as transcription factors, we do not know what their functions are in the cell or the embryo. Here, I review recent evidence that is beginning to address this problem and might eventually increase our understanding of how the vertebrate embryo has evolved.

  11. Functional validation of GWAS gene candidates for abnormal liver function during zebrafish liver development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leah Y. Liu

    2013-09-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS have revealed numerous associations between many phenotypes and gene candidates. Frequently, however, further elucidation of gene function has not been achieved. A recent GWAS identified 69 candidate genes associated with elevated liver enzyme concentrations, which are clinical markers of liver disease. To investigate the role of these genes in liver homeostasis, we narrowed down this list to 12 genes based on zebrafish orthology, zebrafish liver expression and disease correlation. To assess the function of gene candidates during liver development, we assayed hepatic progenitors at 48 hours post fertilization (hpf and hepatocytes at 72 hpf using in situ hybridization following morpholino knockdown in zebrafish embryos. Knockdown of three genes (pnpla3, pklr and mapk10 decreased expression of hepatic progenitor cells, whereas knockdown of eight genes (pnpla3, cpn1, trib1, fads2, slc2a2, pklr, mapk10 and samm50 decreased cell-specific hepatocyte expression. We then induced liver injury in zebrafish embryos using acetaminophen exposure and observed changes in liver toxicity incidence in morphants. Prioritization of GWAS candidates and morpholino knockdown expedites the study of newly identified genes impacting liver development and represents a feasible method for initial assessment of candidate genes to instruct further mechanistic analyses. Our analysis can be extended to GWAS for additional disease-associated phenotypes.

  12. Genome-Enabled Modeling of Biogeochemical Processes Predicts Metabolic Dependencies that Connect the Relative Fitness of Microbial Functional Guilds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, E.; King, E.; Molins, S.; Karaoz, U.; Steefel, C. I.; Banfield, J. F.; Beller, H. R.; Anantharaman, K.; Ligocki, T. J.; Trebotich, D.

    2015-12-01

    Pore-scale processes mediated by microorganisms underlie a range of critical ecosystem services, regulating carbon stability, nutrient flux, and the purification of water. Advances in cultivation-independent approaches now provide us with the ability to reconstruct thousands of genomes from microbial populations from which functional roles may be assigned. With this capability to reveal microbial metabolic potential, the next step is to put these microbes back where they belong to interact with their natural environment, i.e. the pore scale. At this scale, microorganisms communicate, cooperate and compete across their fitness landscapes with communities emerging that feedback on the physical and chemical properties of their environment, ultimately altering the fitness landscape and selecting for new microbial communities with new properties and so on. We have developed a trait-based model of microbial activity that simulates coupled functional guilds that are parameterized with unique combinations of traits that govern fitness under dynamic conditions. Using a reactive transport framework, we simulate the thermodynamics of coupled electron donor-acceptor reactions to predict energy available for cellular maintenance, respiration, biomass development, and enzyme production. From metagenomics, we directly estimate some trait values related to growth and identify the linkage of key traits associated with respiration and fermentation, macromolecule depolymerizing enzymes, and other key functions such as nitrogen fixation. Our simulations were carried out to explore abiotic controls on community emergence such as seasonally fluctuating water table regimes across floodplain organic matter hotspots. Simulations and metagenomic/metatranscriptomic observations highlighted the many dependencies connecting the relative fitness of functional guilds and the importance of chemolithoautotrophic lifestyles. Using an X-Ray microCT-derived soil microaggregate physical model combined

  13. Gene Discovery and Functional Analyses in the Model Plant Arabidopsis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Cai-ping; Mundy, J.

    2006-01-01

    The present mini-review describes newer methods and strategies, including transposon and T-DNA insertions, TILLING, Deleteagene, and RNA interference, to functionally analyze genes of interest in the model plant Arabidopsis. The relative advantages and disadvantages of the systems are also discus...

  14. Expression and functional analysis of apoptosis-related gene ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Administrator

    2011-10-19

    Oct 19, 2011 ... conducted a molecular cloning and functional analysis to study a specific silkworm gene BmICAD related to apoptosis. .... blocking with 5% non-fat milk for 1 h at room temperature, the .... requirements for all next experiments.

  15. Prediction of human protein function according to Gene Ontology categories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lars Juhl; Gupta, Ramneek; Stærfeldt, Hans Henrik

    2003-01-01

    developed a method for prediction of protein function for a subset of classes from the Gene Ontology classification scheme. This subset includes several pharmaceutically interesting categories-transcription factors, receptors, ion channels, stress and immune response proteins, hormones and growth factors...

  16. Bone marrow transplantations to study gene function in hematopoietic cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Winther, Menno P. J.; Heeringa, Peter

    2011-01-01

    Immune cells are derived from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow. Experimental replacement of bone marrow offers the unique possibility to replace immune cells, to study gene function in mouse models of disease. Over the past decades, this technique has been used extensively to study, for

  17. Use of Modern Chemical Protein Synthesis and Advanced Fluorescent Assay Techniques to Experimentally Validate the Functional Annotation of Microbial Genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kent, Stephen [University of Chicago

    2012-07-20

    The objective of this research program was to prototype methods for the chemical synthesis of predicted protein molecules in annotated microbial genomes. High throughput chemical methods were to be used to make large numbers of predicted proteins and protein domains, based on microbial genome sequences. Microscale chemical synthesis methods for the parallel preparation of peptide-thioester building blocks were developed; these peptide segments are used for the parallel chemical synthesis of proteins and protein domains. Ultimately, it is envisaged that these synthetic molecules would be ‘printed’ in spatially addressable arrays. The unique ability of total synthesis to precision labe