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Sample records for synthetic microbial ecosystem

  1. Synthetic Electric Microbial Biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-10

    domains and DNA-binding domains into a single protein for deregulation of down stream genes of have been favored [10]. Initially experiments with... Germany DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited.   Talk title: “Synthetic biology based microbial biosensors for the...toolbox” in Heidelberg, Germany Poster title: “Anaerobic whole cell microbial biosensors” Link: http://phdsymposium.embl.org/#home   September, 2014

  2. Synthetic microbial ecology and the dynamic interplay between microbial genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolinšek, Jan; Goldschmidt, Felix; Johnson, David R

    2016-11-01

    Assemblages of microbial genotypes growing together can display surprisingly complex and unexpected dynamics and result in community-level functions and behaviors that are not readily expected from analyzing each genotype in isolation. This complexity has, at least in part, inspired a discipline of synthetic microbial ecology. Synthetic microbial ecology focuses on designing, building and analyzing the dynamic behavior of ‘ecological circuits’ (i.e. a set of interacting microbial genotypes) and understanding how community-level properties emerge as a consequence of those interactions. In this review, we discuss typical objectives of synthetic microbial ecology and the main advantages and rationales of using synthetic microbial assemblages. We then summarize recent findings of current synthetic microbial ecology investigations. In particular, we focus on the causes and consequences of the interplay between different microbial genotypes and illustrate how simple interactions can create complex dynamics and promote unexpected community-level properties. We finally propose that distinguishing between active and passive interactions and accounting for the pervasiveness of competition can improve existing frameworks for designing and predicting the dynamics of microbial assemblages.

  3. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  4. Towards understanding, managing and protecting microbial ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eBodelier

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalysing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper indentifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  5. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L E

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity-conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  6. Design and construction of synthetic microbial consortia in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Zhu Ding

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The rapid development of synthetic biology enables the design, construction and optimization of synthetic microbial consortia to achieve specific functions. In China, the “973” project-“Design and Construction of Microbial Consortia” was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China in January 2014. It was proposed to address the fundamental challenges in engineering natural microbial consortia and reconstructing microbial consortia to meet industrial demands. In this review, we will introduce this “973” project, including the significance of microbial consortia, the fundamental scientific issues, the recent research progresses, and some case studies about synthetic microbial consortia in the past two and a half years.

  7. Synthetic biology for microbial heavy metal biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Ju; Jeong, Haeyoung; Lee, Sang Jun

    2018-02-01

    Using recombinant DNA technology, various whole-cell biosensors have been developed for detection of environmental pollutants, including heavy metal ions. Whole-cell biosensors have several advantages: easy and inexpensive cultivation, multiple assays, and no requirement of any special techniques for analysis. In the era of synthetic biology, cutting-edge DNA sequencing and gene synthesis technologies have accelerated the development of cell-based biosensors. Here, we summarize current technological advances in whole-cell heavy metal biosensors, including the synthetic biological components (bioparts), sensing and reporter modules, genetic circuits, and chassis cells. We discuss several opportunities for improvement of synthetic cell-based biosensors. First, new functional modules must be discovered in genome databases, and this knowledge must be used to upgrade specific bioparts through molecular engineering. Second, modules must be assembled into functional biosystems in chassis cells. Third, heterogeneity of individual cells in the microbial population must be eliminated. In the perspectives, the development of whole-cell biosensors is also discussed in the aspects of cultivation methods and synthetic cells.

  8. [Synthetic biology and rearrangements of microbial genetic material].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Quan-Feng; Wang, Qian; Qi, Qing-Sheng

    2011-10-01

    As an emerging discipline, synthetic biology has shown great scientific values and application prospects. Although there have been many reviews of various aspects on synthetic biology over the last years, this article, for the first time, attempted to discuss the relationship and difference between microbial genetics and synthetic biology. We summarized the recent development of synthetic biology in rearranging microbial genetic materials, including synthesis, design and reduction of genetic materials, standardization of genetic parts and modularization of genetic circuits. The relationship between synthetic biology and microbial genetic engineering was also discussed in the paper.

  9. Microbial biodiversity of Sardinian oleic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santona, Mario; Sanna, Maria Lina; Multineddu, Chiara; Fancello, Francesco; de la Fuente, Sara Audije; Dettori, Sandro; Zara, Severino

    2018-04-01

    The olives are rich in microorganisms that, during the extraction process may persist in the oils and can influence their physicochemical and sensory characteristics. In this work, and for the first time, we isolated and identified microbial species, yeast and bacteria, present during the production process in four Sardinian (Italy) oleic ecosystems. Among these varieties, we found that Nera di Gonnos was associated to the highest microbial biodiversity, which was followed by Bosana, Nocellara del Belice and Semidana. Among the different microbial species isolated, some are specific of olive ecological niches, such as Cryptococcus spp and Serratia spp; and others to olive oils such as Candida spp and Saccharomyces. Some other species identified in this work were not found before in oleic ecosystems. The enzymatic analyses of yeast and bacteria showed that they have good β-glucosidase activity and yeast also showed good β-glucanase activity. The majority of bacteria presented lipolytic and catalase activities while in yeast were species-specific. Interestingly, yeast and bacteria isolates presented a high resistance to bile acid, and about 65% of the yeast were able to resist at pH 2.5 for 2 h. Finally, bacteria showed no biofilm activity compared to yeast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Microbial ecosystem constructed in water for successful organic hydroponics

    OpenAIRE

    Makoto Shinohara; Hiromi Ohmori; Yoichi Uehara

    2008-01-01

    Conventional hydroponics systems generally use only chemical fertilisers, not organic ones, since there are no microbial ecosystems present in such systems to mineralise organic compounds to inorganic nutrients. Addition of organic compounds to the hydroponic solution generally has phytotoxic effects and causes poor plant growth. We developed a novel hydroponic culture method using organic fertiliser. A microbial ecosystem was constructed in hydroponic solution by regulating the amounts of or...

  12. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    d' Espaux, L; Mendez-Perez, D; Li, R; Keasling, JD

    2015-10-23

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here in this paper we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. Lastly, we further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  14. Soil microbial community successional patterns during forest ecosystem restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Grigg, Andrew H; Grant, Carl D; Andersen, Gary L; Brodie, Eoin L; Murphy, D V

    2011-09-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables.

  15. Social interaction in synthetic and natural microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xavier, Joao B

    2011-04-12

    Social interaction among cells is essential for multicellular complexity. But how do molecular networks within individual cells confer the ability to interact? And how do those same networks evolve from the evolutionary conflict between individual- and population-level interests? Recent studies have dissected social interaction at the molecular level by analyzing both synthetic and natural microbial populations. These studies shed new light on the role of population structure for the evolution of cooperative interactions and revealed novel molecular mechanisms that stabilize cooperation among cells. New understanding of populations is changing our view of microbial processes, such as pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance, and suggests new ways to fight infection by exploiting social interaction. The study of social interaction is also challenging established paradigms in cancer evolution and immune system dynamics. Finding similar patterns in such diverse systems suggests that the same 'social interaction motifs' may be general to many cell populations.

  16. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, N. P.; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, A.

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...

  17. 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.

  18. Synthetic Microbial Ecology: Engineering Habitats for Modular Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Said, Sami; Or, Dani

    2017-01-01

    The metabolic diversity present in microbial communities enables cooperation toward accomplishing more complex tasks than possible by a single organism. Members of a consortium communicate by exchanging metabolites or signals that allow them to coordinate their activity through division of labor. In contrast with monocultures, evidence suggests that microbial consortia self-organize to form spatial patterns, such as observed in biofilms or in soil aggregates, that enable them to respond to gradient, to improve resource interception and to exchange metabolites more effectively. Current biotechnological applications of microorganisms remain rudimentary, often relying on genetically engineered monocultures (e.g., pharmaceuticals) or mixed-cultures of partially known composition (e.g., wastewater treatment), yet the vast potential of "microbial ecological power" observed in most natural environments, remains largely underused. In line with the Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI) which aims to "discover and advance tools to understand and harness the capabilities of Earth's microbial ecosystems," we propose in this concept paper to capitalize on ecological insights into the spatial and modular design of interlinked microbial consortia that would overcome limitations of natural systems and attempt to optimize the functionality of the members and the performance of the engineered consortium. The topology of the spatial connections linking the various members and the regulated fluxes of media between those modules, while representing a major engineering challenge, would allow the microbial species to interact. The modularity of such spatially linked microbial consortia (SLMC) could facilitate the design of scalable bioprocesses that can be incorporated as parts of a larger biochemical network. By reducing the need for a compatible growth environment for all species simultaneously, SLMC will dramatically expand the range of possible combinations of microorganisms and their

  19. Biogeography of serpentinite-hosted microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazelton, W.; Cardace, D.; Fruh-Green, G.; Lang, S. Q.; Lilley, M. D.; Morrill, P. L.; Szponar, N.; Twing, K. I.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2012-12-01

    Ultramafic rocks in the Earth's mantle represent a tremendous reservoir of carbon and reducing power. Upon tectonic uplift and exposure to fluid flow, serpentinization of these materials generates copious energy, sustains abiogenic synthesis of organic molecules, and releases hydrogen gas (H2). To date, however, the "serpentinite microbiome" is poorly constrained- almost nothing is known about the microbial diversity endemic to rocks actively undergoing serpentinization. Through the Census of Deep Life, we have obtained 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequences from fluids and rocks from serpentinizing ophiolites in California, Canada, and Italy. The samples include high pH serpentinite springs, presumably representative of deeper environments within the ophiolite complex, wells which directly access subsurface aquifers, and rocks obtained from drill cores into serpentinites. These data represent a unique opportunity to examine biogeographic patterns among a restricted set of microbial taxa that are adapted to similar environmental conditions and are inhabiting sites with related geological histories. In general, our results point to potentially H2-utilizing Betaproteobacteria thriving in shallow, oxic-anoxic transition zones and anaerobic Clostridia thriving in anoxic, deep subsurface habitats. These general taxonomic and biogeochemical trends were also observed in seafloor Lost City hydrothermal chimneys, indicating that we are beginning to identify a core serpentinite microbial community that spans marine and continental settings.

  20. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Niels Peter; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...... performing dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium have given new dimensions to the understanding of nitrogen cycling in nature, and the occurrence of these organisms and processes in stratified microbial communities will be described in detail.......Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about...... nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, and about the microorganisms performing the processes, has been produced by use of these techniques. During the last decade the discovery of anammmox bacteria and migrating, nitrate accumulating bacteria...

  1. Spatial dynamics of synthetic microbial mutualists and their parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel R Amor

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available A major force contributing to the emergence of novelty in nature is the presence of cooperative interactions, where two or more components of a system act in synergy, sometimes leading to higher-order, emergent phenomena. Within molecular evolution, the so called hypercycle defines the simplest model of an autocatalytic cycle, providing major theoretical insights on the evolution of cooperation in the early biosphere. These closed cooperative loops have also inspired our understanding of how catalytic loops appear in ecological systems. In both cases, hypercycle and ecological cooperative loops, the role played by space seems to be crucial for their stability and resilience against parasites. However, it is difficult to test these ideas in natural ecosystems, where time and spatial scales introduce considerable limitations. Here, we use engineered bacteria as a model system to a variety of environmental scenarios identifying trends that transcend the specific model system, such an enhanced genetic diversity in environments requiring mutualistic interactions. Interestingly, we show that improved environments can slow down mutualistic range expansions as a result of genetic drift effects preceding local resource depletion. Moreover, we show that a parasitic strain is excluded from the population during range expansions (which acknowledges a classical prediction. Nevertheless, environmental deterioration can reshape population interactions, this same strain becoming part of a three-species mutualistic web in scenarios in which the two-strain mutualism becomes non functional. The evolutionary and ecological implications for the design of synthetic ecosystems are outlined.

  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. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    OpenAIRE

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mini...

  5. Effect of peristalsis in balance of intestinal microbial ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirbagheri, Seyed Amir; Fu, Henry C.

    2017-11-01

    A balance of microbiota density in gastrointestinal tracts is necessary for health of the host. Although peristaltic flow made by intestinal muscles is constantly evacuating the lumen, bacterial density stay balanced. Some of bacteria colonize in the secreted mucus where there is no flow, but the rest resist the peristaltic flow in lumen and maintain their population. Using a coupled two-dimensional model of flow induced by large amplitude peristaltic waves, bacterial motility, reproduction, and diffusion, we address how bacterial growth and motility combined with peristaltic flow affect the balance of the intestinal microbial ecosystem.

  6. 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.

  7. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Sinsabaugh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts. We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm and bulk soils (0-10 cm were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities (EEA and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N.

  8. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO2 increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, F.

    2007-01-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  9. Reprint of Design of synthetic microbial communities for biotechnological production processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jagmann, Nina; Philipp, Bodo

    2014-12-20

    In their natural habitats microorganisms live in multi-species communities, in which the community members exhibit complex metabolic interactions. In contrast, biotechnological production processes catalyzed by microorganisms are usually carried out with single strains in pure cultures. A number of production processes, however, may be more efficiently catalyzed by the concerted action of microbial communities. This review will give an overview of organismic interactions between microbial cells and of biotechnological applications of microbial communities. It focuses on synthetic microbial communities that consist of microorganisms that have been genetically engineered. Design principles for such synthetic communities will be exemplified based on plausible scenarios for biotechnological production processes. These design principles comprise interspecific metabolic interactions via cross-feeding, regulation by interspecific signaling processes via metabolites and autoinducing signal molecules, and spatial structuring of synthetic microbial communities. In particular, the implementation of metabolic interdependencies, of positive feedback regulation and of inducible cell aggregation and biofilm formation will be outlined. Synthetic microbial communities constitute a viable extension of the biotechnological application of metabolically engineered single strains and enlarge the scope of microbial production processes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial transformation of synthetic estrogen 17 alpha-ethinylestradiol

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cajthaml, Tomáš; Křesinová, Zdena; Svobodová, Kateřina; Sigler, Karel; Řezanka, Tomáš

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 157, č. 12 (2009), s. 3325-3335 ISSN 0269-7491 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06066; GA AV ČR KJB600200613 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : 17 alpha-Ethinylestradiol * Microbial biodegradation * Ligninolytic fungi Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.426, year: 2009

  13. Insights into the Processing of Carbon by Early Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but

  14. An open source platform for multi-scale spatially distributed simulations of microbial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segre, Daniel [Boston Univ., MA (United States)

    2014-08-14

    The goal of this project was to develop a tool for facilitating simulation, validation and discovery of multiscale dynamical processes in microbial ecosystems. This led to the development of an open-source software platform for Computation Of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS). COMETS performs spatially distributed time-dependent flux balance based simulations of microbial metabolism. Our plan involved building the software platform itself, calibrating and testing it through comparison with experimental data, and integrating simulations and experiments to address important open questions on the evolution and dynamics of cross-feeding interactions between microbial species.

  15. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2008-07-29

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their metabolism, as in the majority of biogeochemical reactions, but a question then arises: Why should the combined by-product effects of the biota have a stabilizing, rather than destabilizing, influence on the environment? Under certain conditions, selection acting above the level of the individual can be an effective adaptive force. Here we present an evolutionary simulation model in which environmental regulation involving higher-level selection robustly emerges in a network of interconnected microbial ecosystems. Spatial structure creates conditions for a limited form of higher-level selection to act on the collective environment-altering properties of local communities. Local communities that improve their environmental conditions achieve larger populations and are better colonizers of available space, whereas local communities that degrade their environment shrink and become susceptible to invasion. The spread of environment-improving communities alters the global environment toward the optimal conditions for growth and tends to regulate against external perturbations. This work suggests a mechanism for environmental regulation that is consistent with evolutionary theory.

  16. Non-enzymatic palladium recovery on microbial and synthetic surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotaru, Amelia-Elena; Jiang, Wei; Finster, Kai; Skrydstrup, Troels; Meyer, Rikke Louise

    2012-08-01

    The use of microorganisms as support for reduction of dissolved Pd(II) to immobilized Pd(0) nanoparticles is an environmentally friendly approach for Pd recovery from waste. To better understand and engineer Pd(0) nanoparticle synthesis, one has to consider the mechanisms by which Pd(II) is reduced on microbial surfaces. Escherichia coli, Shewanella oneidensis, and Pseudomonas putida were used as model organisms in order to elucidate the role of microbial cells in Pd(II) reduction under acidic conditions. Pd(II) was reduced by formate under acidic conditions, and the process occurred substantially faster in the presence of cells as compared to cell-free controls. We found no difference between native (untreated) and autoclaved cells, and could demonstrate that even a non-enzymatic protein (bovine serum albumin) stimulated Pd(II) reduction as efficiently as bacterial cells. Amine groups readily interact with Pd(II), and to specifically test their role in surface-assisted Pd(II) reduction by formate, we replaced bacterial cells with polystyrene microparticles functionalized with amine or carboxyl groups. Amine-functionalized microparticles had the same effect on Pd(II) reduction as bacterial cells, and the effect could be hampered if the amine groups were blocked by acetylation. The interaction with amine groups was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy on whole cells and amine-functionalized microparticles. In conclusion, bio-supported Pd(II) reduction on microbial surfaces is possibly mediated by a non-enzymatic mechanism. We therefore suggest the use of amine-rich biomaterials rather than intact cells for Pd bio-recovery from waste. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Shifts of microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivation in a closed artificial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Youcai; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Jia, Nannan; Liu, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The microbial communities of plant ecosystems are in relation to plant growing environment, but the alteration in biodiversity of rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities in closed and controlled environments is unknown. The purpose of this study is to analyze the change regularity of microbial communities with wheat plants dependent-cultivated in a closed artificial ecosystem. The microbial community structures in closed-environment treatment plants were investigated by a culture-dependent approach, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), and Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the number of microbes decreased along with time, and the magnitude of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes were 10(7)-10(8), 10(5), and 10(3)-10(4) CFU/g (dry weight), respectively. The analysis of PCR-DGGE and Illumina Miseq revealed that the wheat leaf surface and near-root substrate had different microbial communities at different periods of wheat ecosystem development and showed that the relative highest diversity of microbial communities appeared at late and middle periods of the plant ecosystem, respectively. The results also indicated that the wheat leaf and substrate had different microbial community compositions, and the wheat substrate had higher richness of microbial community than the leaf. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter, Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Acremonium, and Alternaria were dominant in the wheat leaf samples, and Pedobacter, Flavobacterium, Halomonas, Marinobacter, Salinimicrobium, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Halobacillus, Xanthomonas, Acremonium, Monographella, and Penicillium were dominant populations in the wheat near-root substrate samples.

  18. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinyue Zhang

    Full Text Available More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G- to gram positive (G+ bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring.

  19. Allee effect: the story behind the stabilization or extinction of microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-03-01

    A population exhibiting Allee effect shows a positive correlation between population fitness and population size or density. Allee effect decides the extinction or conservation of a microbial population and thus appears to be an important criterion in population ecology. The underlying factor of Allee effect that decides the stabilization and extinction of a particular population density is the threshold or the critical density of their abundance. According to Allee, microbial populations exhibit a definite, critical or threshold density, beyond which the population fitness of a particular population increases with the rise in population density and below it, the population fitness goes down with the decrease in population density. In particular, microbial population displays advantageous traits such as biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes, spore formation and many more only at a high population density. It has also been observed that microorganisms exhibiting a lower population density undergo complete extinction from the residual microbial ecosystem. In reference to Allee effect, decrease in population density or size introduces deleterious mutations among the population density through genetic drift. Mutations are carried forward to successive generations resulting in its accumulation among the population density thus reducing its microbial fitness and thereby increasing the risk of extinction of a particular microbial population. However, when the microbial load is high, the chance of genetic drift is less, and through the process of biofilm formation, the cooperation existing among the microbial population increases that increases the microbial fitness. Thus, the high microbial population through the formation of microbial biofilm stabilizes the ecosystem by increasing fitness. Taken together, microbial fitness shows positive correlation with the ecosystem conservation and negative correlation with ecosystem extinction.

  20. Non-enzymatic palladium recovery on microbial and synthetic surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rotaru, Amelia-Elena; Jiang, Wei; Finster, Kai

    2012-01-01

    in the presence of cells as compared to cell-free controls. We found no difference between native (untreated) and autoclaved cells, and could demonstrate that even a non-enzymatic protein (bovine serum albumin) stimulated Pd(II) reduction as efficiently as bacterial cells. Amine groups readily interact with Pd......(II), and to specifically test their role in surface-assisted Pd(II) reduction by formate, we replaced bacterial cells with polystyrene microparticles functionalized with amine or carboxyl groups. Amine-functionalized microparticles had the same effect on Pd(II) reduction as bacterial cells, and the effect could...... be hampered if the amine groups were blocked by acetylation. The interaction with amine groups was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy on whole cells and amine-functionalized microparticles. In conclusion, bio-supported Pd(II) reduction on microbial surfaces is possibly mediated by a non-enzymatic mechanism...

  1. Microbial liquefaction of peat for the production of synthetic fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gunasekaran, M.

    1988-01-01

    Objectives of this study were: to evaluate the potential of using various microorganisms to hydrolyse and liquify peat; to determine the optimal conditions for peat hydrolysis and liquefaction; to study the co-metabolizable substances; to separate the compounds present in liquified peat by alumina and silica acid chromatography and capillary gas chromatography; and to identify the compounds in liquified peat by capillary GC-Mass spectrometry. Organisms used in the study include: Coprinus comatus, Coriolus hirsutus, Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinus edodes, Lenzites trabea, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pleurotus ostreatus, P. sapidus, Polyporus adjustus, Neurospora sitophila, Rhizophus arrhizus, Bacillus subtilis, Acinetobacter sp. and Alcaligenes sp. The fungi were maintained and cultivated in potato dextrose agar at 30 C. The bacteria were maintained in nutrient agar at 30 C. We have also initiated work on coal solubilization in addition to the studies on peat liquefaction. A relatively new substratum or semi-solid base for culture media called Pluronic F-127, or Polyol (BASF, New Jersey). Objectives of this study were: (1) to study the growth patterns of Candida ML 13 on pluronic as substratum; (2) to determine the rate of microbial coal solubilization on pluronic F-127 amended in different growth media; (3) to separate the mycelial mat of Candida ML 13 from unsolubilized coal particles and solubilized coal products from pluronic F-127; (4) to determine the effects of pH on microbial coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media; (5) the effect of concentration of pluronic F-127 in media on coal solubilization; and, (6) to study the role of extracellular factors secreted by Candida ML 13 on coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media. Results are discussed. 4 refs.

  2. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    OpenAIRE

    P. Stief

    2013-01-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal–microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal–microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) e...

  3. Synthetic and systems biology for microbial production of commodity chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chubukov, Victor; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Petzold, Christopher J; Keasling, Jay D; Martín, Héctor García

    2016-01-01

    The combination of synthetic and systems biology is a powerful framework to study fundamental questions in biology and produce chemicals of immediate practical application such as biofuels, polymers, or therapeutics. However, we cannot yet engineer biological systems as easily and precisely as we engineer physical systems. In this review, we describe the path from the choice of target molecule to scaling production up to commercial volumes. We present and explain some of the current challenges and gaps in our knowledge that must be overcome in order to bring our bioengineering capabilities to the level of other engineering disciplines. Challenges start at molecule selection, where a difficult balance between economic potential and biological feasibility must be struck. Pathway design and construction have recently been revolutionized by next-generation sequencing and exponentially improving DNA synthesis capabilities. Although pathway optimization can be significantly aided by enzyme expression characterization through proteomics, choosing optimal relative protein expression levels for maximum production is still the subject of heuristic, non-systematic approaches. Toxic metabolic intermediates and proteins can significantly affect production, and dynamic pathway regulation emerges as a powerful but yet immature tool to prevent it. Host engineering arises as a much needed complement to pathway engineering for high bioproduct yields; and systems biology approaches such as stoichiometric modeling or growth coupling strategies are required. A final, and often underestimated, challenge is the successful scale up of processes to commercial volumes. Sustained efforts in improving reproducibility and predictability are needed for further development of bioengineering.

  4. 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.

  5. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables. PMID:21724890

  6. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budinich, Marko; Bourdon, Jérémie; Larhlimi, Abdelhalim; Eveillard, Damien

    2017-01-01

    Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs) for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA) and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA). Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity) that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  7. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Budinich

    Full Text Available Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA. Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  8. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  9. Recent progress in synthetic biology for microbial production of C3-C10 alcohols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna N. Lamsen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The growing need to address current energy and environmental problems has sparked an interest in developing improved biological methods to produce liquid fuels from renewable sources. While microbial ethanol production is well established, higher chain alcohols possess chemical properties that are more similar to gasoline. Unfortunately, these alcohols (except 1-butanol are not produced efficiently in natural microorganisms, and thus economical production in industrial volumes remains a challenge. Synthetic biology, however, offers additional tools to engineer synthetic pathways in user-friendly hosts to help increase titers and productivity of these advanced biofuels. This review concentrates on recent developments in synthetic biology to produce higher-chain alcohols as viable renewable replacements for traditional fuel.

  10. 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.

  11. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea in bulk samples and, in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  12. 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.

  13. Spies and Bloggers: New Synthetic Biology Tools to Understand Microbial Processes in Soils and Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C. A.; Silberg, J. J.; Cheng, H. Y.; Del Valle, I.; Fulk, E. M.; Gao, X.; Bennett, G. N.

    2017-12-01

    Microbes can be programmed through synthetic biology to report on their behavior, informing researchers when their environment has triggered changes in their gene expression (e.g. in response to shifts in O2 or H2O), or when they have participated in a specific step of an elemental cycle (e.g. denitrification). This use of synthetic biology has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbes' roles in elemental and water cycling, because it allows reporting on the environment from the perspective of a microbe, matching the measurement scale exactly to the scale that a microbe experiences. However, synthetic microbes have not yet seen wide use in soil and sediment laboratory experiments because synthetic organisms typically report by fluorescing, making their signals difficult to detect outside the petri dish. We are developing a new suite of microbial programs that report instead by releasing easily-detected gases, allowing the real-time, noninvasive monitoring of behaviors in sediments and soils. Microbial biosensors can, in theory, be programmed to detect dynamic processes that contribute to a wide range of geobiological processes, including C cycling (biofilm production, methanogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular enzymes that degrade organic matter), N cycling (expression of enzymes that underlie different steps of the N cycle) and potentially S cycling. We will provide an overview of the potential uses of gas-reporting biosensors in soil and sediment lab experiments, and will report the development of the systematics of these sensors. Successful development of gas biosensors for laboratory use will require addressing issues including: engineering the intensity and selectivity of microbial gas production to maximize the signal to noise ratio; normalizing the gas reporter signal to cell population size, managing gas diffusion effects on signal shape; and developing multiple gases that can be used in parallel.

  14. Microbial ecology and nematode control in natural ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costa, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Kerry, B.R.

    2011-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes have traditionally been studied in agricultural systems, where they can be pests of importance on a wide range of crops. Nevertheless, nematode ecology in natural ecosystems is receiving increasing interest because of the role of nematodes in soil food webs, nutrient

  15. 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...

  16. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, John Andrew

    2014-01-01

    NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater treatment and electricity production (electrogenesis). Synthetic biology techniques and integrated hardware advances were investigated to increase system efficiency and robustness, with the intent of increasing power self-sufficiency and potential product formation from carbon dioxide. MFCs possess numerous advantages for space missions, including rapid processing, reduced biomass and effective removal of organics, nitrogen and phosphorus. Project efforts include developing space-based MFC concepts, integration analyses, increasing energy efficiency, and investigating novel bioelectrochemical system applications

  17. Cosmo Cassette: A Microfluidic Microgravity Microbial System For Synthetic Biology Unit Tests and Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berliner, Aaron J.

    2013-01-01

    Although methods in the design-build-test life cycle of the synthetic biology field have grown rapidly, the expansion has been non-uniform. The design and build stages in development have seen innovations in the form of biological CAD and more efficient means for building DNA, RNA, and other biological constructs. The testing phase of the cycle remains in need of innovation. Presented will be both a theoretical abstraction of biological measurement and a practical demonstration of a microfluidics-based platform for characterizing synthetic biological phenomena. Such a platform demonstrates a design of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for construction of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to be used in experiments carried out in space. First, the biocompatibility of the polypropylene chassis will be demonstrated. The novel MFCs will be cheaper, and faster to make and iterate through designs. The novel design will contain a manifold switchingdistribution system and an integrated in-chip set of reagent reservoirs fabricated via 3D printing. The automated nature of the 3D printing yields itself to higher resolution switching valves and leads to smaller sized payloads, lower cost, reduced power and a standardized platform for synthetic biology unit tests on Earth and in space. It will be demonstrated that the application of unit testing in synthetic biology will lead to the automatic construction and validation of desired constructs. Unit testing methodologies offer benefits of preemptive problem identification, change of facility, simplicity of integration, ease of documentation, and separation of interface from implementation, and automated design.

  18. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  19. Plant, microbial and ecosystem carbon use efficiencies interact to stabilize microbial growth as a fraction of gross primary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Moorhead, Daryl L; Xu, Xiaofeng; Litvak, Marcy E

    2017-06-01

    The carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE a ) and microorganisms (CUE h ) determines rates of biomass turnover and soil carbon sequestration. We evaluated the hypothesis that CUE a and CUE h counterbalance at a large scale, stabilizing microbial growth (μ) as a fraction of gross primary production (GPP). Collating data from published studies, we correlated annual CUE a , estimated from satellite imagery, with locally determined soil CUE h for 100 globally distributed sites. Ecosystem CUE e , the ratio of net ecosystem production (NEP) to GPP, was estimated for each site using published models. At the ecosystem scale, CUE a and CUE h were inversely related. At the global scale, the apparent temperature sensitivity of CUE h with respect to mean annual temperature (MAT) was similar for organic and mineral soils (0.029°C -1 ). CUE a and CUE e were inversely related to MAT, with apparent sensitivities of -0.009 and -0.032°C -1 , respectively. These trends constrain the ratio μ : GPP (= (CUE a  × CUE h )/(1 - CUE e )) with respect to MAT by counterbalancing the apparent temperature sensitivities of the component processes. At the ecosystem scale, the counterbalance is effected by modulating soil organic matter stocks. The results suggest that a μ : GPP value of c. 0.13 is a homeostatic steady state for ecosystem carbon fluxes at a large scale. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  20. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  1. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  2. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  3. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stief, P.

    2013-12-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal-microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal-microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) ecosystem engineering, (ii) grazing, and (iii) symbiosis. Their specific contributions to the turnover of fixed nitrogen (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna on benthic microbes apparently has small or neutral effects on nitrogen cycling. Animal-microbe symbioses provide abundant and distinct benthic compartments for a multitude of nitrogen-cycle pathways. Recent studies reveal that ecosystem engineering, grazing, and symbioses of benthic macrofauna significantly enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide that contributes to global warming. Overall, benthic macrofauna intensifies the coupling between benthos, pelagial, and atmosphere through enhanced turnover and

  4. Synthetic biology for manufacturing chemicals: constraints drive the use of non-conventional microbial platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czajka, Jeffrey; Wang, Qinhong; Wang, Yechun; Tang, Yinjie J

    2017-10-01

    Genetically modified microbes have had much industrial success producing protein-based products (such as antibodies and enzymes). However, engineering microbial workhorses for biomanufacturing of commodity compounds remains challenging. First, microbes cannot afford burdens with both overexpression of multiple enzymes and metabolite drainage for product synthesis. Second, synthetic circuits and introduced heterologous pathways are not yet as "robust and reliable" as native pathways due to hosts' innate regulations, especially under suboptimal fermentation conditions. Third, engineered enzymes may lack channeling capabilities for cascade-like transport of metabolites to overcome diffusion barriers or to avoid intermediate toxicity in the cytoplasmic environment. Fourth, moving engineered hosts from laboratory to industry is unreliable because genetic mutations and non-genetic cell-to-cell variations impair the large-scale fermentation outcomes. Therefore, synthetic biology strains often have unsatisfactory industrial performance (titer/yield/productivity). To overcome these problems, many different species are being explored for their metabolic strengths that can be leveraged to synthesize specific compounds. Here, we provide examples of non-conventional and genetically amenable species for industrial manufacturing, including the following: Corynebacterium glutamicum for its TCA cycle-derived biosynthesis, Yarrowia lipolytica for its biosynthesis of fatty acids and carotenoids, cyanobacteria for photosynthetic production from its sugar phosphate pathways, and Rhodococcus for its ability to biotransform recalcitrant feedstock. Finally, we discuss emerging technologies (e.g., genome-to-phenome mapping, single cell methods, and knowledge engineering) that may facilitate the development of novel cell factories.

  5. Maintenance of Geobacter-dominated biofilms in microbial fuel cells treating synthetic wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Commault, Audrey S; Lear, Gavin; Weld, Richard J

    2015-12-01

    Geobacter-dominated biofilms can be selected under stringent conditions that limit the growth of competing bacteria. However, in many practical applications, such stringent conditions cannot be maintained and the efficacy and stability of these artificial biofilms may be challenged. In this work, biofilms were selected on low-potential anodes (-0.36 V vs Ag/AgCl, i.e. -0.08 V vs SHE) in minimal acetate or ethanol media. Selection conditions were then relaxed by transferring the biofilms to synthetic wastewater supplemented with soil as a source of competing bacteria. We tracked community succession and functional changes in these biofilms. The Geobacter-dominated biofilms showed stability in their community composition and electrochemical properties, with Geobacter sp. being still electrically active after six weeks in synthetic wastewater with power densities of 100±19 mW·m(-2) (against 74±14 mW·m(-2) at week 0) for all treatments. After six weeks, the ethanol-selected biofilms, despite their high taxon richness and their efficiency at removing the chemical oxygen demand (0.8 g·L(-1) removed against the initial 1.3 g·L(-1) injected), were the least stable in terms of community structure. These findings have important implications for environmental microbial fuel cells based on Geobacter-dominated biofilms and suggest that they could be stable in challenging environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. A model for improving microbial biofuel production using a synthetic feedback loop

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunlop, Mary; Keasling, Jay; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2011-07-14

    Cells use feedback to implement a diverse range of regulatory functions. Building synthetic feedback control systems may yield insight into the roles that feedback can play in regulation since it can be introduced independently of native regulation, and alternative control architectures can be compared. We propose a model for microbial biofuel production where a synthetic control system is used to increase cell viability and biofuel yields. Although microbes can be engineered to produce biofuels, the fuels are often toxic to cell growth, creating a negative feedback loop that limits biofuel production. These toxic effects may be mitigated by expressing efflux pumps that export biofuel from the cell. We developed a model for cell growth and biofuel production and used it to compare several genetic control strategies for their ability to improve biofuel yields. We show that controlling efflux pump expression directly with a biofuel-responsive promoter is a straight forward way of improving biofuel production. In addition, a feed forward loop controller is shown to be versatile at dealing with uncertainty in biofuel production rates.

  7. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology.

  8. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley M. Tebo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Earth’s crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth’s surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth’s surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO, including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) of twelve ecosystems of Mt. Kilimanjaro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabst, Holger; Gerschlauer, Friederike; Kiese, Ralf; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the metabolic quotient qCO2 - as sensitive and important parameters for soil fertility and C turnover - are strongly affected by land-use changes all over the world. These effects are particularly distinct upon conversion of natural to agricultural ecosystems due to very fast carbon (C) and nutrient cycles and high vulnerability, especially in the tropics. In this study, we used an elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro to investigate the effects of land-use change and elevation on Corg, MBC and qCO2. Down to a soil depth of 18 cm we compared 4 natural (Helichrysum, Erica forest, Podocarpus forest, Ocotea forest), 5 seminatural (disturbed Podocarpus forest, disturbed Ocotea forest, lower montane forest, grassland, savannah), 1 sustainably used (homegarden) and 2 intensively used ecosystems (coffee plantation, maize field) on an elevation gradient from 950 to 3880 m a.s.l.. Using an incubation device, soil CO2-efflux of 18 cm deep soil cores was measured under field moist conditions and mean annual temperature. MBC to Corg ratios varied between 0.7 and 2.3%. qCO2 increased with magnitude of the disturbance, albeit this effect decreased with elevation. Following the annual precipitation of the ecosystems, both, Corg and MBC showed a hum-shaped distribution with elevation, whereas their maxima were between 2500 and 3000 m a.s.l.. Additionaly, Corg and MBC contents were significantly reduced in intensively used agricultural systems. We conclude that the soil microbial biomass and its activity in Mt. Kilimanjaro ecosystems are strongly altered by land-use. This effect is more distinct in lower than in higher elevated ecosystems and strongly dependent on the magnitude of disturbance.

  12. Microbial characterization of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia obtained from terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Y-J; Joo, Y-H; Hong, I-Y; Ryu, H-W; Cho, K-S

    2004-10-01

    The degradation characteristics of toluene coupled to nitrate reduction were investigated in enrichment culture and the microbial communities of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia were characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. Anaerobic nitrate-reducing bacteria were enriched from oil-contaminated soil samples collected from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems. Enriched consortia degraded toluene in the presence of nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor. The degradation rate of toluene was affected by the initial substrate concentration and co-existence of other hydrocarbons. The types of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia depended on the type of ecosystem. The clone RS-7 obtained from the enriched consortium of the rice field was most closely related to a toluene-degrading and denitrifying bacterium, Azoarcus denitrificians (A. tolulyticus sp. nov.). The clone TS-11 detected in the tidal flat enriched consortium was affiliated to Thauera sp. strain S2 (T. aminoaromatica sp. nov.) that was able to degrade toluene under denitrifying conditions. This indicates that environmental factors greatly influence microbial communities obtained from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems.

  13. Population cycles and species diversity in dynamic Kill-the-Winner model of microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslov, Sergei; Sneppen, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Determinants of species diversity in microbial ecosystems remain poorly understood. Bacteriophages are believed to increase the diversity by the virtue of Kill-the-Winner infection bias preventing the fastest growing organism from taking over the community. Phage-bacterial ecosystems are traditionally described in terms of the static equilibrium state of Lotka-Volterra equations in which bacterial growth is exactly balanced by losses due to phage predation. Here we consider a more dynamic scenario in which phage infections give rise to abrupt and severe collapses of bacterial populations whenever they become sufficiently large. As a consequence, each bacterial population in our model follows cyclic dynamics of exponential growth interrupted by sudden declines. The total population of all species fluctuates around the carrying capacity of the environment, making these cycles cryptic. While a subset of the slowest growing species in our model is always driven towards extinction, in general the overall ecosystem diversity remains high. The number of surviving species is inversely proportional to the variation in their growth rates but increases with the frequency and severity of phage-induced collapses. Thus counter-intuitively we predict that microbial communities exposed to more violent perturbations should have higher diversity. PMID:28051127

  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. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply-rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1 phototrophic mats, (2 ‘filamentous streamer’ communities, and (3 archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Microbial Community Dynamics in Soil Depth Profiles Over 120,000 Years of Ecosystem Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Turner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Along a long-term ecosystem development gradient, soil nutrient contents and mineralogical properties change, therefore probably altering soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about the dynamics of soil microbial communities during long-term ecosystem development including progressive and retrogressive stages is limited, especially in mineral soils. Therefore, microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community composition (pyrosequencing as well as their controlling soil properties were investigated in soil depth profiles along the 120,000 years old Franz Josef chronosequence (New Zealand. Additionally, in a microcosm incubation experiment the effects of particular soil properties, i.e., soil age, soil organic matter fraction (mineral-associated vs. particulate, O2 status, and carbon and phosphorus additions, on microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community patterns (T-RFLP were analyzed. The archaeal to bacterial abundance ratio not only increased with soil depth but also with soil age along the chronosequence, coinciding with mineralogical changes and increasing phosphorus limitation. Results of the incubation experiment indicated that archaeal abundances were less impacted by the tested soil parameters compared to Bacteria suggesting that Archaea may better cope with mineral-induced substrate restrictions in subsoils and older soils. Instead, archaeal communities showed a soil age-related compositional shift with the Bathyarchaeota, that were frequently detected in nutrient-poor, low-energy environments, being dominant at the oldest site. However, bacterial communities remained stable with ongoing soil development. In contrast to the abundances, the archaeal compositional shift was associated with the mineralogical gradient. Our study revealed, that archaeal and bacterial communities in whole soil profiles are differently affected by long-term soil development with archaeal communities probably being better adapted to

  20. A Synthetic Ecology Perspective: How Well Does Behavior of Model Organisms in the Laboratory Predict Microbial Activities in Natural Habitats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zheng; Krause, Sascha M B; Beck, David A C; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective article, we question how well model organisms, the ones that are easy to cultivate in the laboratory and that show robust growth and biomass accumulation, reflect the dynamics and interactions of microbial communities observed in nature. Today's -omics toolbox allows assessing the genomic potential of microbes in natural environments in a high-throughput fashion and at a strain-level resolution. However, understanding of the details of microbial activities and of the mechanistic bases of community function still requires experimental validation in simplified and fully controlled systems such as synthetic communities. We have studied methane utilization in Lake Washington sediment for a few decades and have identified a number of species genetically equipped for this activity. We have also identified co-occurring satellite species that appear to form functional communities together with the methanotrophs. Here, we compare experimental findings from manipulation of natural communities involved in metabolism of methane in this niche with findings from manipulation of synthetic communities assembled in the laboratory of species originating from the same study site, from very simple (two-species) to rather complex (50-species) synthetic communities. We observe some common trends in community dynamics between the two types of communities, toward representation of specific functional guilds. However, we also identify strong discrepancies between the dominant methane oxidizers in synthetic communities compared to natural communities, under similar incubation conditions. These findings highlight the challenges that exist in using the synthetic community approach to modeling dynamics and species interactions in natural communities.

  1. Impacts of radiation exposure on the experimental microbial ecosystem: a particle-based model simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.; Tanaka, N.; Fuma, S.; Kawabata, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Well-designed experimental model ecosystem could be a simple reference of the actual environment and complex ecological systems. For ecological toxicity test of radiation and other environmental toxicants, we investigated and aquatic microbial ecosystem (closed microcosm) in the test tube with initial substrates,autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena, G.), heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena T.) and saprotroph bacteria (E, coli). These species organizes by itself to construct the ecological system, that keeps the sustainable population dynamics for more than 2 years after inoculation only by adding light diurnally and controlling temperature at 25 degree Celsius. Objective of the study is to develop the particle-based computer simulation by reviewing interactions among microbes and environment, and analyze the ecological toxicities of radiation on the microcosm by replicating experimental results in the computer simulation. (Author) 14 refs

  2. 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

  3. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Rhizosphere soil microbial index of tree species in a coal mining ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinha, S.; Masto, R.E.; Ram, L.C.; Selvi, V.A.; Srivastava, N.K.; Tripathi, R.C.; George, J. [Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Dhanbad (India)

    2009-09-15

    Microbial characterization of the tree rhizosphere provides important information relating to the screening of tree species for re-vegetation of degraded land. Rhizosphere soil samples collected from a few predominant tree species growing in the coal mining ecosystem of Dhanbad, India, were analyzed for soil organic carbon (SOC), mineralizable N, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), active microbial biomass carbon (AMBC), basal soil respiration (BSR), and soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, urease, catalase, phenol oxidase, and peroxidase). Principal component analysis was employed to derive a rhizosphere soil microbial index (RSMI) and accordingly, dehydrogenase, BSR/MBC, MBC/SOC, EC, phenol oxidase and AMBC were found to be the most critical properties. The observed values for the above properties were converted into a unitless score (0-1.00) and the scores were integrated into RSMI. The tree species could be arranged in decreasing order of the RSMI as: A. marmelos (0.718), A. indica (0.715), Bauhinia bauhinia (0.693), B. monosperma (0.611), E. jambolana (0.601), Moringa oleifera (0.565), Dalbergia sissoo (0.498), T indica (0.488), Morus alba (0.415), F religiosa (0.291), Eucalyptus sp. (0.232) and T grandis (0.181). It was concluded that tree species in coal mining areas had diverse effects on their respective rhizosphere microbial processes, which could directly or indirectly determine the survival and performance of the planted tree species in degraded coal mining areas. Tree species with higher RSMI values could be recommended for re-vegetation of degraded coal mining area.

  5. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  6. A Synthesis of the Effects of Pesticides on Microbial Persistence in Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staley, Zachery R.; Harwood, Valerie J.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health. PMID:26565685

  7. Impact of Transgenic Brassica napus Harboring the Antifungal Synthetic Chitinase (NiC Gene on Rhizosphere Microbial Diversity and Enzyme Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad S. Khan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic Brassica napus harboring the synthetic chitinase (NiC gene exhibits broad-spectrum antifungal resistance. As the rhizosphere microorganisms play an important role in element cycling and nutrient transformation, therefore, biosafety assessment of NiC containing transgenic plants on soil ecosystem is a regulatory requirement. The current study is designed to evaluate the impact of NiC gene on the rhizosphere enzyme activities and microbial community structure. The transgenic lines with the synthetic chitinase gene (NiC showed resistance to Alternaria brassicicola, a common disease causing fungal pathogen. The rhizosphere enzyme analysis showed no significant difference in the activities of fivesoil enzymes: alkalyine phosphomonoestarase, arylsulphatase, β-glucosidase, urease and sucrase between the transgenic and non-transgenic lines of B. napus varieties, Durr-e-NIFA (DN and Abasyne-95 (AB-95. However, varietal differences were observed based on the analysis of molecular variance. Some individual enzymes were significantly different in the transgenic lines from those of non-transgenic but the results were not reproducible in the second trail and thus were considered as environmental effect. Genotypic diversity of soil microbes through 16S–23S rRNA intergenic spacer region amplification was conducted to evaluate the potential impact of the transgene. No significant diversity (4% for bacteria and 12% for fungal between soil microbes of NiC B. napus and the non-transgenic lines was found. However, significant varietal differences were observed between DN and AB-95 with 79% for bacterial and 54% for fungal diversity. We conclude that the NiC B. napus lines may not affect the microbial enzyme activities and community structure of the rhizosphere soil. Varietal differences might be responsible for minor changes in the tested parameters.

  8. Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Singh, Brajesh K; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-10-01

    The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting-drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  9. Determining the specific microbial populations and their spatial distribution within the stromatolite ecosystem of Shark Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Falicia; Allen, Michelle A; Leuko, Stefan; Kawaguchi, Tomohiro; Decho, Alan W; Burns, Brendan P; Neilan, Brett A

    2009-04-01

    The stromatolites at Shark Bay, Western Australia, are analogues of some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth. The aim of this study was to identify and spatially characterize the specific microbial communities associated with Shark Bay intertidal columnar stromatolites. Conventional culturing methods and construction of 16S rDNA clone libraries from community genomic DNA with both universal and specific PCR primers were employed. The estimated coverage, richness and diversity of stromatolite microbial populations were compared with earlier studies on these ecosystems. The estimated coverage for all clone libraries indicated that population coverage was comprehensive. Phylogenetic analyses of stromatolite and surrounding seawater sequences were performed in ARB with the Greengenes database of full-length non-chimaeric 16S rRNA genes. The communities identified exhibited extensive diversity. The most abundant sequences from the stromatolites were alpha- and gamma-proteobacteria (58%), whereas the cyanobacterial community was characterized by sequences related to the genera Euhalothece, Gloeocapsa, Gloeothece, Chroococcidiopsis, Dermocarpella, Acaryochloris, Geitlerinema and Schizothrix. All clones from the archaeal-specific clone libraries were related to the halophilic archaea; however, no archaeal sequence was identified from the surrounding seawater. Fluorescence in situ hybridization also revealed stromatolite surfaces to be dominated by unicellular cyanobacteria, in contrast to the sub-surface archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria. This study is the first to compare the microbial composition of morphologically similar stromatolites over time and examine the spatial distribution of specific microorganismic groups in these intertidal structures and the surrounding seawater at Shark Bay. The results provide a platform for identifying the key microbial physiology groups and their potential roles in modern stromatolite morphogenesis and ecology.

  10. Monitoring the fibrolytic potential of microbial ecosystems from domestic and wild ruminants browsing tanniferous forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nokwethemba Nqobile Philile Msimango

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although the rumen microbiome has been reported to synthesize a rich source of symbiotic enzymes (exocellulase, endocellulase, hemicellulase and cellobiase, the digestion of tropical C4 grasses and browses by ruminants is still limited. Therefore, this study aimed to unveil potential fibrolytic microbial ecosystems from giraffe, kudu, impala and consortia (A1 [giraffe + kudu], A2 [giraffe + impala], A3 [kudu + impala], and A4 [giraffe + kudu + impala] browsing tanniferous plants, which can be used to improve forage utilization in domesticated goat. Crude protein enzyme extracts (CPZ from fresh faecal samples were precipitated by 60% ammonium sulphate and assayed for exocellulase, endocellulase and hemicellulase by incubating with crystalline cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose and xylan at 38 °C with optimum pH of 5.5 to 6.5 for 1, 2, and 48 h, respectively. Enzyme specific activities were defined as μg of reducing sugar/mg CPZ. In vitro fermentation study was done by transferring 33 mL of fresh faecal inoculum into 67 mL of salivary buffer containing 1 g Acacia sieberiana and incubating for 72 h at 38 °C. Apparent degradability (APDeg, true degradability (TD, neutral detergent fibre degradability (NDFdeg, acid detergent fibre degradability (ADFdeg, microbial yield (MY, metabolizable energy (ME and total gas emitted (Gas were measured. Exocellulase activities were higher (P < 0.05 in all wild animals and consortia than those in goat except for A4. Minimal differences in hemicellulase activities (P < 0.05 were observed among goat and wild animals and consortia, while endocellulase activity was generally higher (P < 0.05 in goat than that in the rest of the systems. Apart from A3, TDeg, NDFdeg and ADFdeg were higher (P < 0.05 in all microbial ecosystems from wild animals and consortia than those in goat. Apparent degradability, MY and ME also varied (P < 0.05 among these systems. Giraffe, Kudu and A3 produced lower (P

  11. Synthetic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Maria Manferdini

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally materials have been associated with a series of physical properties that can be used as inputs to production and manufacturing. Recently we witnessed an interest in materials considered not only as ‘true matter’, but also as new breeds where geometry, texture, tooling and finish are able to provoke new sensations when they are applied to a substance. These artificial materials can be described as synthetic because they are the outcome of various qualities that are not necessarily true to the original matter, but they are the combination of two or more parts, whether by design or by natural processes. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential of architectural surfaces to produce effects through the invention of new breeds of artificial matter, using micro-scale details derived from Nature as an inspiration.

  12. 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

  13. Carrot Juice Fermentations as Man-Made Microbial Ecosystems Dominated by Lactic Acid Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuyts, Sander; Van Beeck, Wannes; Oerlemans, Eline F M; Wittouck, Stijn; Claes, Ingmar J J; De Boeck, Ilke; Weckx, Stefan; Lievens, Bart; De Vuyst, Luc; Lebeer, Sarah

    2018-06-15

    Spontaneous vegetable fermentations, with their rich flavors and postulated health benefits, are regaining popularity. However, their microbiology is still poorly understood, therefore raising concerns about food safety. In addition, such spontaneous fermentations form interesting cases of man-made microbial ecosystems. Here, samples from 38 carrot juice fermentations were collected through a citizen science initiative, in addition to three laboratory fermentations. Culturing showed that Enterobacteriaceae were outcompeted by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) between 3 and 13 days of fermentation. Metabolite-target analysis showed that lactic acid and mannitol were highly produced, as well as the biogenic amine cadaverine. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that mainly species of Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus (as identified by 8 and 20 amplicon sequence variants [ASVs], respectively) mediated the fermentations in subsequent order. The analyses at the DNA level still detected a high number of Enterobacteriaceae , but their relative abundance was low when RNA-based sequencing was performed to detect presumptive metabolically active bacterial cells. In addition, this method greatly reduced host read contamination. Phylogenetic placement indicated a high LAB diversity, with ASVs from nine different phylogenetic groups of the Lactobacillus genus complex. However, fermentation experiments with isolates showed that only strains belonging to the most prevalent phylogenetic groups preserved the fermentation dynamics. The carrot juice fermentation thus forms a robust man-made microbial ecosystem suitable for studies on LAB diversity and niche specificity. IMPORTANCE The usage of fermented food products by professional chefs is steadily growing worldwide. Meanwhile, this interest has also increased at the household level. However, many of these artisanal food products remain understudied. Here, an extensive microbial analysis was performed of spontaneous fermented

  14. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  15. Bayesian analysis of non-linear differential equation models with application to a gut microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Daniel J; Holtrop, Grietje; Flint, Harry

    2011-07-01

    Process models specified by non-linear dynamic differential equations contain many parameters, which often must be inferred from a limited amount of data. We discuss a hierarchical Bayesian approach combining data from multiple related experiments in a meaningful way, which permits more powerful inference than treating each experiment as independent. The approach is illustrated with a simulation study and example data from experiments replicating the aspects of the human gut microbial ecosystem. A predictive model is obtained that contains prediction uncertainty caused by uncertainty in the parameters, and we extend the model to capture situations of interest that cannot easily be studied experimentally. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternative for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guo, F.; Williams, B.A.; Kwakkel, R.P.; Li, H.S.; Li, X.P.; Luo, J.Y.; Li, W.K.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    2004-01-01

    An in vivo experiment was conducted to study the potential prebiotic effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharide extracts, Lentinus edodes extract (LenE), Tremella fuciformis extract, and Astragalus membranaceus Radix extract, on chicken growth and the cecal microbial ecosystem, as compared with the

  17. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  18. Stable isotope probing to study functional components of complex microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazard, Sophie; Schäfer, Hendrik

    2014-01-01

    This protocol presents a method of dissecting the DNA or RNA of key organisms involved in a specific biochemical process within a complex ecosystem. Stable isotope probing (SIP) allows the labelling and separation of nucleic acids from community members that are involved in important biochemical transformations, yet are often not the most numerically abundant members of a community. This pure culture-independent technique circumvents limitations of traditional microbial isolation techniques or data mining from large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies to tease out the identities and genomic repertoires of microorganisms participating in biological nutrient cycles. SIP experiments can be applied to virtually any ecosystem and biochemical pathway under investigation provided a suitable stable isotope substrate is available. This versatile methodology allows a wide range of analyses to be performed, from fatty-acid analyses, community structure and ecology studies, and targeted metagenomics involving nucleic acid sequencing. SIP experiments provide an effective alternative to large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies by specifically targeting the organisms or biochemical transformations of interest, thereby reducing the sequencing effort and time-consuming bioinformatics analyses of large datasets.

  19. Diversity of key players in the microbial ecosystems of the human body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán, Ferenc; Lauria, Mario; Scotti, Marco; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Praveen, Paurush; Morine, Melissa; Priami, Corrado

    2015-10-30

    Coexisting bacteria form various microbial communities in human body parts. In these ecosystems they interact in various ways and the properties of the interaction network can be related to the stability and functional diversity of the local bacterial community. In this study, we analyze the interaction network among bacterial OTUs in 11 locations of the human body. These belong to two major groups. One is the digestive system and the other is the female genital tract. In each local ecosystem we determine the key species, both the ones being in key positions in the interaction network and the ones that dominate by frequency. Beyond identifying the key players and discussing their biological relevance, we also quantify and compare the properties of the 11 networks. The interaction networks of the female genital system and the digestive system show totally different architecture. Both the topological properties and the identity of the key groups differ. Key groups represent four phyla of prokaryotes. Some groups appear in key positions in several locations, while others are assigned only to a single body part. The key groups of the digestive and the genital tracts are totally different.

  20. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Reconstructing the Genetic Potential of the Microbially-Mediated Nitrogen Cycle in a Salt Marsh Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Brossi, Maria Julia de L; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling in such systems. Here, we employed two complementary methodological approaches (i.e., shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR) to examine the distribution and abundance of selected microbial genes involved in N transformations. We used soil samples collected along a well-established pristine salt marsh soil chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development at the island of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. Across the examined soil successional stages, the structure of the populations of genes involved in N cycling processes was strongly related to (shifts in the) soil nitrogen levels (i.e., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 0.71). Quantification of the genes used as proxies for N fixation, nitrification and denitrification revealed clear successional signatures that corroborated the taxonomic assignments obtained by metagenomics. Notably, we found strong evidence for niche partitioning, as revealed by the abundance and distribution of marker genes for nitrification (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea) and denitrification (nitrite reductase nirK, nirS and nitrous oxide reductase nosZ clades I and II). This was supported by a distinct correlation between these genes and soil physico-chemical properties, such as soil physical structure, pH, salinity, organic matter, total N, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], across four seasonal samplings. Overall, this study sheds light on the successional trajectories of microbial N cycle genes along a naturally developing salt marsh ecosystem. The data obtained serve as a foundation to guide the formulation of

  2. Synthetic Biology and Microbial Fuel Cells: Towards Self-Sustaining Life Support Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA ARC and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) collaborated to investigate the development of advanced microbial fuels cells (MFCs) for biological wastewater...

  3. Effect of salinity on carbon and sulfur cycles in Umm Alhool sabkha microbial mat ecosystem in Qatar

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2012-10-19

    Microbial mats are only present under extreme conditions, where grazing by higher organisms is limited. Therefore, microbial mats may provide insight into extraterrestrial life, due to their adaptations to extreme temperatures, desiccation or salinity. They are faced with a diurnal cycle with variable length based on their location, which exposes them to extreme salinity conditions (i.e., water withdrawal and high evaporation). Cyanobacteria in the photic zone of a mat ecosystem supply the other microorganism with the required organic material to produce energy and grow. Subsequently, this will reproduce the nutrients needed by the phototrophs through elemental re-mineralization. In this work, we investigated the effect of water salinity that covers the microbial mat ecosystem of Umm Alhool sabkha, Qatar, regarding the most important processes within microbial mats: photosynthesis and sulfate reduction (SR). Our results showed that both photosynthetic and sulfate reduction rates decreased with increasing the salinity. The microbial community structure, assessed by 454 pyro-sequencing, revealed that the cyanobacterial community structure changed in response to the change in salinity. This was not the case for the sulfate reducer community structure, which stayed as it is in the mats incubated at different salinities. Therefore, we speculate that salinity affects the photosynthetic community structure, and consequently affects the photosynthetic activity of the whole ecosystem. However, sulfate reduction rates decreased due to less organic material supply from the upper layers and not due to change in microbial community structure of SR. Other factors such as the activity of the enzymes could also have an effect on SRR, but it was not investigated in this study.

  4. Deep Microbial Ecosystems in the U.S. Great Basin: A Second Home for Desulforudis audaxviator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Deep subsurface microbial ecosystems have attracted scientific and public interest in recent years. Of deep habitats so far investigated, continental hard rock environments may be the least understood. Our Census of Deep Life (CoDL) project targets deep microbial ecosystems of three little explored (for microbiology), North American geological provinces: the Basin and Range, Black Hills, and Canadian Shield. Here we focus on the Basin and Range, specifically radioactive fluids from nuclear device test cavities (U12N.10 tunnel and ER-EC-11) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and non-radioactive samples from a deep dolomite aquifer associated with Death Valley, CA (BLM-1 and Nevares Deep Well 2). Six pyrotag sequencing runs were attempted at the Marine Biology Lab (MBL) (bacterial v6v4 amplification for all sites and archaeal v6v4 amplification for BLM-1 and Nevares DW2). Of these, DNA extracts from five samples (all but Nevares DW2 Arch) successfully amplified. Bacterial libraries were generally dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Nitrospirae (ER-EC-11: Proteobacteria (45%), Deinococcus-Thermus (35%), Firmicutes (15%); U12N.10: Proteobacteria (37%), Firmicutes (32%), Nitrospirae (15%), Bacteroidetes (11%); BLM-1 (Bact): Firmicutes (93%); and Nevares DW2: Firmicutes (51%), Proteobacteria (16%), Nitrospirae (15%)). The BLM-1 (Arch) library contained >99% Euryarchaeota, with 98% of sequences represented by a single uncharacterized species of Methanothermobacter. Alpha diversity was calculated using the MBL VAMPS (Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures) system; showing the highest richness at both the phylum and genus levels in U12N.10 (Sp = 42; Sg = 341), and the lowest (Sp = 3; Sg = 11) in the BLM-1(Arch) library. Diversity was covered well at this depth of sequencing (~20,000 reads per sample) based on rarefaction analysis. One Firmicute lineage, candidatus D. audaxviator, has been shown to dominate microbial communities from

  5. Environmental and Microbial Features Affecting Denitrification and Anammox Hotspots in an Estuarine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisa, J.; Song, B.; Lefcheck, J. S.; Tobias, C. R.

    2016-02-01

    Biogeochemical hotspots are characterized as a few sites that exhibit extremely high reaction rates relative to surrounding area, and often account for a high percentage of the overall reaction rates in an ecosystem. Criteria for quantitatively identifying these sites have not been well established. Further, the underlying mechanisms of hotspots have been described in terms of environmental conditions, with little attention paid to the microbial community. The objectives of this study were to establish quantitative criteria to identify denitrification and anammox hotspots, and determine the underlying microbial and environmental factors responsible for elevated N2 production. We used 15N isotope pairing incubation experiments to measure denitrification and anammox rates in the New River Estuary, NC. Quantitative PCR assays of nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ Clades I and II) and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes were conducted to estimate denitrifier and anammox abundance. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to elucidate complex causal relationships between environmental and biological variables. Denitrification hotspots, quantitatively defined as statistical outliers, accounted for 35.6% total denitrification while comprising only 7.3% of the sites. Anammox hotspots,10.6% of the sites, accounted for 60.9% of total anammox. SEM revealed increased sediment organics at lower salinities supported higher functional gene abundance, which in turn resulted in higher N2 production. Surprisingly, denitrification rates were significantly and positively correlated with nosZ Clade II gene abundance, after accounting for the non-significant contributions of the naturally more abundant nosZ Clade I, and other environmental covariates. This is the first time that a quantitative definition of biogeochemical hotspots was put forth and used to determine the importance of anammox and denitrification hotspots in estuarine nitrogen removal capacity. Despite the low area

  6. Microbial Communities in the Vertical Atmosphere: Effects of Urbanization and the Natural Environment in Four North American Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docherty, K. M.; Lemmer, K. M.; Domingue, K. D.; Spring, A.; Kerber, T. V.; Mooney, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    Airborne transport of microbial communities is a key component of the global ecosystem because it serves as a mechanism for dispersing microbial life between all surface habitats on the planet. However, most of our understanding of airborne microbial distribution is derived from samples collected near the ground. Little is understood about how the vertical layers of the air may act as a habitat filter or how local terrestrial ecosystems contribute to a vast airborne microbial seedbank. Specifically, urbanization may fundamentally alter the terrestrial sources of airborne microbial biodiversity. To address this question, we conducted airborne sampling at minimally disturbed natural sites and paired urban sites in 4 different North American ecosystems: shortgrass steppe, desert scrub, eastern deciduous forest, and northern mesic forest. All natural area sites were co-located with NEON/Ameriflux tower sites collecting atmospheric data. We developed an airborne sampling platform that uses tethered helikites at 3 replicate locations within each ecosystem to launch remote-controlled sampler payloads. We designed sampler payloads to collect airborne bacteria and fungi from 150, 30 and 2 m above the ground. Payload requirements included: ability to be disinfected and remain contaminant-free during transport, remote open/close functionality, payload weight under 6 lbs and automated collection of weather data. After sampling for 6 hours at each location, we extracted DNA collected by the samplers. We also extracted DNA from soil and plant samples collected from each location, and characterized ground vegetation. We conducted bacterial 16S amplicon-based sequencing using Mi-Seq and sequence analysis using QIIME. We used ArcGIS to determine percent land use coverage. Our results demonstrate that terrestrial ecosystem type is the most important factor contributing to differences in airborne bacterial community composition, and that communities differed by ecosystem. The

  7. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  8. Impact of ecosystem management on microbial community level physiological profiles of postmining forest rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cookson, W R; O'Donnell, A J; Grant, C D; Grierson, P F; Murphy, D V

    2008-02-01

    acids also tended to increase with increasing soil total C and organic C contents but decreased with increasing nitrate content, whereas the opposite was true for carboxylic acids. Only 45% of the variance in CLPP was explained using a multivariate multiple regression model, but soil C and N pools and litter mass were significant predictors of CLPP. Differences in soil textural components between treatments were also correlated with CLPP; likely causes of these differences are discussed. Our results suggest that 1 year after treatment, CLPP from this mined forest ecosystem are resilient to a spring prescribed fire but not forest thinning. We conclude that differences in CLPP are likely to result from complex interactions among soil properties that mediate substrate availability, microbial nutrient demand, and microbial community composition.

  9. Microbial assessment of un-bottled synthetic juices sold in Peshawar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abid, H.; Ali, J.; Hussain, A.

    2010-01-01

    Un-bottled synthetic juices are sold by street vendors and hawkers raising the concern about their safety. To examine the quality of un-bottled synthetic beverages from different locations of Peshawar city using Standard techniques. A total of 56 samples of un-bottled synthetic juices were collected from 8 different locations of Peshawar City and analyzed for Total Plate Count, Total Coliform Bacteria, Total Fecal Coliform bacteria E. coli, Yeast and Mould. In all localities, the street vended un-bottled synthetic juices were found hygienically of poor quality as all had high total plate count which ranged from 2 x 102 to 5 x 107 and total coliform bacteria ranged from 110 MPN/ml. Total Fecal Coliform ranged from < 0.3 to 110M PN/ml. The presence of E coli, contamination was found in (25) 44 % Samples, while all the analyzed samples were contaminated with yeasts and moulds. All un-bottled synthetic juices sold on roadside were highly contaminated with disease causing microorganisms. Policy message: Periodic monitoring of street beverage should be carried out to make them safe for consumption. (author)

  10. The use of controlled microbial cenoses in producers' link to increase steady functioning of artificial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somova, Lydia; Mikheeva, Galina; Somova, Lydia

    The life support systems (LSS) for long-term missions are to use cycling-recycling systems, including biological recycling. Simple ecosystems include 3 links: producers (plants), consumers (man, animals) and reducers (microorganisms). Microorganisms are substantial component of every link of LSS. Higher plants are the traditional regenerator of air and producer of food. They should be used in many successive generations of their reproduction in LSS. Controlled microbiocenoses can increase productivity of producer's link and protect plants from infections. The goal of this work was development of methodological bases of formation of stable, controlled microbiocenoses, intended for increase of productivity of plants and for obtaining ecologically pure production of plants. Main results of our investigations: 1. Experimental microbiocenoses, has been produced in view of the developed methodology on the basis of natural association of microorganisms by long cultivation on specially developed medium. Dominating groups are bacteria of genera: Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Rhodopseudomonas and yeast of genera: Kluyveromyces, Saccharomyces, Torulopsis. 2. Optimal parameters of microbiocenosis cultivation (t, pH, light exposure, biogenic elements concentrations) were experimentally established. Conditions of cultivation on which domination of different groups of microbiocenosis have been found. 3. It was shown, that processing of seeds of wheat, oats, bulbs and plants Allium cepa L. (an onions) with microbial association raised energy of germination of seeds and bulbs and promoted the increase (on 20-30 %) of growth green biomass and root system of plants in comparison with the control. This work is supported by grant, Yenissey , 07-04-96806

  11. Abundance and genetic diversity of microbial polygalacturonase and pectate lyase in the sheep rumen ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Yuan

    Full Text Available Efficient degradation of pectin in the rumen is necessary for plant-based feed utilization. The objective of this study was to characterize the diversity, abundance, and functions of pectinases from microorganisms in the sheep rumen.A total of 103 unique fragments of polygalacturonase (PF00295 and pectate lyase (PF00544 and PF09492 genes were retrieved from microbial DNA in the rumen of a Small Tail Han sheep, and 66% of the sequences of these fragments had low identities (<65% with known sequences. Phylogenetic tree building separated the PF00295, PF00544, and PF09492 sequences into five, three, and three clades, respectively. Cellulolytic and noncellulolytic Butyrivibrio, Prevotella, and Fibrobacter species were the major sources of the pectinases. The two most abundant pectate lyase genes were cloned, and their protein products, expressed in Escherichia coli, were characterized. Both enzymes probably act extracellularly as their nucleotide sequences contained signal sequences, and they had optimal activities at the ruminal physiological temperature and complementary pH-dependent activity profiles.This study reveals the specificity, diversity, and abundance of pectinases in the rumen ecosystem and provides two additional ruminal pectinases for potential industrial use under physiological conditions.

  12. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  13. Microbial Extremophiles for Earth and Beyond: Pushing the Boundaries with Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    All organisms live in a multi-dimensional physical and chemical niche space. Discoveries in the 20th century enormously expanded the range of what was considered "habitable." However, the current diversity of life on Earth begs the question of what terrestrial life - or indeed, another life form - would be capable of. With the needs of both modern laboratory science and the burgeoning field of biotechnology, as well as our deeply held desire to answer the question "are we alone in the universe?, we are exploiting the tools of synthetic biology to probe the question of whether we can create "synthetic extremophiles" or, as our lab has dubbed them, "Hell Cells."

  14. The perils and promises of microbial abundance: novel natures and model ecosystems, from artisanal cheese to alien seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxson, Heather; Helmreich, Stefan

    2014-04-01

    Microbial life has been much in the news. From outbreaks of Escherichia coli to discussions of the benefits of raw and fermented foods to recent reports of life forms capable of living in extreme environments, the modest microbe has become a figure for thinking through the presents and possible futures of nature, writ large as well as small. Noting that dominant representations of microbial life have shifted from an idiom of peril to one of promise, we argue that microbes--especially when thriving as microbial communities--are being upheld as model ecosystems in a prescriptive sense, as tokens of how organisms and human ecological relations with them could, should, or might be. We do so in reference to two case studies: the regulatory politics of artisanal cheese and the speculative research of astrobiology. To think of and with microbial communities as model ecosystems offers a corrective to the scientific determinisms we detect in some recent calls to attend to the materiality of scientific objects.

  15. Geochemical and physical drivers of microbial community structure in hot spring ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havig, J. R.; Hamilton, T. L.; Boyd, E. S.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Shock, E.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial communities in natural systems are typically characterized using samples collected from a single time point, thereby neglecting the temporal dynamics that characterize natural systems. The composition of these communities obtained from single point samples is then related to the geochemistry and physical parameters of the environment. Since most microbial life is adapted to a relatively narrow ecological niche (multiplicity of physical and chemical parameters that characterize a local habitat), these assessments provide only modest insight into the controls on community composition. Temporal variation in temperature or geochemical composition would be expected to add another dimension to the complexity of niche space available to support microbial diversity, with systems that experience greater variation supporting a greater biodiversity until a point where the variability is too extreme. . Hot springs often exhibit significant temporal variation, both in physical as well as chemical characteristics. This is a result of subsurface processes including boiling, phase separation, and differential mixing of liquid and vapor phase constituents. These characteristics of geothermal systems, which vary significantly over short periods of time, provide ideal natural laboratories for investigating how i) the extent of microbial community biodiversity and ii) the composition of those communities are shaped by temporal fluctuations in geochemistry. Geochemical and molecular samples were collected from 17 temporally variable hot springs across Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Temperature measurements using data-logging thermocouples, allowing accurate determination of temperature maximums, minimums, and ranges for each collection site, were collected in parallel, along with multiple geochemical characterizations as conditions varied. There were significant variations in temperature maxima (54.5 to 90.5°C), minima (12.5 to 82.5°C), and range (3.5 to 77.5°C) for

  16. Long-term reactive nitrogen loading alters soil carbon and microbial community properties in a subalpine forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Claudia M.; Hall, Ed K.; Denef, Karolien; Baron, Jill S.

    2016-01-01

    Elevated nitrogen (N) deposition due to increased fossil fuel combustion and agricultural practices has altered global carbon (C) cycling. Additions of reactive N to N-limited environments are typically accompanied by increases in plant biomass. Soil C dynamics, however, have shown a range of different responses to the addition of reactive N that seem to be ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the effect of N amendments on biogeochemical characteristics and microbial responses of subalpine forest organic soils in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of how soils are affected by N amendments in subalpine ecosystems. We measured a suite of responses across three years (2011–2013) during two seasons (spring and fall). Following 17 years of N amendments, fertilized soils were more acidic (control mean 5.09, fertilized mean 4.68), and had lower %C (control mean 33.7% C, fertilized mean 29.8% C) and microbial biomass C by 22% relative to control plots. Shifts in biogeochemical properties in fertilized plots were associated with an altered microbial community driven by reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal (control mean 3.2 mol%, fertilized mean 2.5 mol%) and saprotrophic fungal groups (control mean 17.0 mol%, fertilized mean 15.2 mol%), as well as a decrease in N degrading microbial enzyme activity. Our results suggest that decreases in soil C in subalpine forests were in part driven by increased microbial degradation of soil organic matter and reduced inputs to soil organic matter in the form of microbial biomass.

  17. Assessing Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction on Microbial Communities in Headwater Stream Ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eTrexler

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale play. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity (MSA+. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity (MSA-. For example, OTUs within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  18. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  19. Microbial conversion of synthetic and food waste-derived volatile fatty acids to lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vajpeyi, Shashwat; Chandran, Kartik

    2015-01-01

    Lipid accumulation in the oleaginous yeast Cryptococcus albidus was evaluated using mixtures of volatile fatty acids (VFA) as substrates. In general, batch growth under nitrogen limitation led to higher lipid accumulation using synthetic VFA. During batch growth, an initial COD:N ratio of 25:1mg COD:mg N led to maximum intracellular lipid accumulation (28.3 ± 0.7% g/g dry cell weight), which is the maximum reported for C. albidus using VFA as the carbon source, without compromising growth kinetics. At this feed COD:N ratio, chemostat cultures fed with synthetic VFA yielded statistically similar intracellular lipid content as batch cultures (29.9 ± 1.9%, g/g). However, batch cultures fed with VFA produced from the fermentation of food waste, yielded a lower lipid content (14.9 ± 0.1%, g/g). The lipid composition obtained with synthetic and food-waste-derived VFA was similar to commercial biodiesel feedstock. We therefore demonstrate the feasibility of linking biochemical waste treatment and biofuel production using VFA as key intermediates. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Properties of alternative microbial hosts used in synthetic biology: towards the design of a modular chassis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Salvador, Manuel; Saunders, Elizabeth; González, Jaime; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The chassis is the cellular host used as a recipient of engineered biological systems in synthetic biology. They are required to propagate the genetic information and to express the genes encoded in it. Despite being an essential element for the appropriate function of genetic circuits, the chassis is rarely considered in their design phase. Consequently, the circuits are transferred to model organisms commonly used in the laboratory, such as Escherichia coli, that may be suboptimal for a required function. In this review, we discuss some of the properties desirable in a versatile chassis and summarize some examples of alternative hosts for synthetic biology amenable for engineering. These properties include a suitable life style, a robust cell wall, good knowledge of its regulatory network as well as of the interplay of the host components with the exogenous circuits, and the possibility of developing whole-cell models and tuneable metabolic fluxes that could allow a better distribution of cellular resources (metabolites, ATP, nucleotides, amino acids, transcriptional and translational machinery). We highlight Pseudomonas putida, widely used in many different biotechnological applications as a prominent organism for synthetic biology due to its metabolic diversity, robustness and ease of manipulation. PMID:27903818

  1. Synthetic alienation of microbial organisms by using genetic code engineering: Why and how?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubyshkin, Vladimir; Budisa, Nediljko

    2017-08-01

    The main goal of synthetic biology (SB) is the creation of biodiversity applicable for biotechnological needs, while xenobiology (XB) aims to expand the framework of natural chemistries with the non-natural building blocks in living cells to accomplish artificial biodiversity. Protein and proteome engineering, which overcome limitation of the canonical amino acid repertoire of 20 (+2) prescribed by the genetic code by using non-canonic amino acids (ncAAs), is one of the main focuses of XB research. Ideally, estranging the genetic code from its current form via systematic introduction of ncAAs should enable the development of bio-containment mechanisms in synthetic cells potentially endowing them with a "genetic firewall" i.e. orthogonality which prevents genetic information transfer to natural systems. Despite rapid progress over the past two decades, it is not yet possible to completely alienate an organism that would use and maintain different genetic code associations permanently. In order to engineer robust bio-contained life forms, the chemical logic behind the amino acid repertoire establishment should be considered. Starting from recent proposal of Hartman and Smith about the genetic code establishment in the RNA world, here the authors mapped possible biotechnological invasion points for engineering of bio-contained synthetic cells equipped with non-canonical functionalities. Copyright © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Cold adaptation and replicable microbial community development during long-term low-temperature anaerobic digestion treatment of synthetic sewage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, C; Hughes, D; Mahony, T; Cysneiros, D; Ijaz, U Z; Smith, C J; O'Flaherty, V

    2018-07-01

    The development and activity of a cold-adapting microbial community was monitored during low-temperature anaerobic digestion (LtAD) treatment of wastewater. Two replicate hybrid anaerobic sludge bed-fixed-film reactors treated a synthetic sewage wastewater at 12°C, at organic loading rates of 0.25-1.0 kg chemical oxygen demand (COD) m-3 d-1, over 889 days. The inoculum was obtained from a full-scale anaerobic digestion reactor, which was operated at 37°C. Both LtAD reactors readily degraded the influent with COD removal efficiencies regularly exceeding 78% for both the total and soluble COD fractions. The biomass from both reactors was sampled temporally and tested for activity against hydrolytic and methanogenic substrates at 12°C and 37°C. Data indicated that significantly enhanced low-temperature hydrolytic and methanogenic activity developed in both systems. For example, the hydrolysis rate constant (k) at 12°C had increased 20-30-fold by comparison to the inoculum by day 500. Substrate affinity also increased for hydrolytic substrates at low temperature. Next generation sequencing demonstrated that a shift in a community structure occurred over the trial, involving a 1-log-fold change in 25 SEQS (OTU-free approach) from the inoculum. Microbial community structure changes and process performance were replicable in the LtAD reactors.

  3. Differences in microbial communities and performance between suspended and attached growth anaerobic membrane bioreactors treating synthetic municipal wastewater

    KAUST Repository

    Harb, Moustapha

    2015-08-14

    Two lab-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs), one up-flow attached-growth (UA) and another continuously stirred (CSTR), were operated under mesophilic conditions (35 °C) while treating synthetic municipal wastewater (800 mg L−1 COD). Each reactor was attached to both polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polyethersulfone (PES) microfiltration (MF) membranes in an external cross-flow configuration. Both reactors were started up and run under the same operating conditions for multiple steady-state experiments. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rates were similar for both reactors (90–96%), but captured methane was found to be 11–18% higher for the CSTR than the UA reactor. Ion Torrent sequencing targeting 16S rRNA genes showed that several operational taxonomic units (OTUs) most closely related to fermentative bacteria (e.g., Microbacter margulisiae) were dominant in the suspended biomass of the CSTR, accounting for 30% of the microbial community. Conversely, methanogenic archaea (e.g., Methanosaeta) and syntrophic bacteria (e.g., Smithella propionica) were found in significantly higher relative abundances in the UA AnMBR as compared to the CSTR due to their affinity for surface attachment. Of the methanogens that were present in the CSTR sludge, hydrogenotrophic methanogens dominated (e.g., Methanobacterium). Measured EPS (both proteins and carbohydrates), which has been broadly linked to fouling, was determined to be consistently lower in the UA AnMBR membrane samples than in CSTR AnMBR membrane samples. Principal component analysis (PCA) based on HPLC profiles of soluble microbial products (SMPs) further demonstrated these differences between reactor types in replicate runs. The results of this study showed that reactor configuration can significantly impact the development of the microbial communities of AnMBRs that are responsible for both membrane and reactor performance.

  4. Diversity and seasonal fluctuation of predominant microbial communities in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rashmi Ranjan Mishra

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Different groups of microorganisms are present in mangrove areas, and they perform complex interactions for nutrient and ecological balances. Since little is known about microbial populations in mangroves, this study analyzed the microbial community structure and function in relation to soil physico-chemical properties in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India. Spatial and seasonal fluctuations of thirteen important groups of microorganisms were evaluated from the mangrove forest sediments during different seasons, along with soil physico-chemical parameters. The overall microbial load (x10(5cfu/g soil in soil declined in the order of heterotrophic, free living N2 fixing, Gram-negative nitrifying, sulphur oxidizing, Gram-positive, spore forming, denitrifying, anaerobic, phosphate solubilizing, cellulose degrading bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. Populations of the heterotrophic, phosphate solubilizing, sulphur oxidizing bacteria and fungi were more represented in the rainy season, while, Gram-negative, Gram-positive, nitrifying, denitrifying, cellulose decomposing bacteria and actinomycetes in the winter season. The pool size of most of other microbes either declined or maintained throughout the season. Soil nutrients such as N, P, K (Kg/ha and total C (% contents were higher in the rainy season and they did not follow any common trend of changes throughout the study period. Soil pH and salinity (mS/cm varied from 6-8 and 6.4-19.5, respectively, and they normally affected the microbial population dynamics. Determination of bacterial diversity in Bhitarkanika mangrove soil by culture method showed the predominance of bacterial genera such as Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Desulfotomaculum, Desulfovibrio, Desulfomonas, Methylococcus, Vibrio, Micrococcus, Klebsiella and Azotobacter. Principal component analysis (PCA revealed a correlation among local environmental variables with the sampling locations on the microbial community in the

  5. 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.

  6. The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besmer, Michael D.; Weissbrodt, David G.; Kratochvil, Bradley E.; Sigrist, Jürg A.; Weyland, Mathias S.; Hammes, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent staining coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) is often used for the monitoring, quantification and characterization of bacteria in engineered and environmental aquatic ecosystems including seawater, freshwater, drinking water, wastewater, and industrial bioreactors. However, infrequent grab sampling hampers accurate characterization and subsequent understanding of microbial dynamics in all of these ecosystems. A logic technological progression is high throughput and full automation of the sampling, staining, measurement, and data analysis steps. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of automated FCM by means of actual data sets produced with prototype instrumentation. As proof-of-concept we demonstrate examples of microbial dynamics in (i) flowing tap water from a municipal drinking water supply network and (ii) river water from a small creek subject to two rainfall events. In both cases, automated measurements were done at 15-min intervals during 12–14 consecutive days, yielding more than 1000 individual data points for each ecosystem. The extensive data sets derived from the automated measurements allowed for the establishment of baseline data for each ecosystem, as well as for the recognition of daily variations and specific events that would most likely be missed (or miss-characterized) by infrequent sampling. In addition, the online FCM data from the river water was combined and correlated with online measurements of abiotic parameters, showing considerable potential for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Although several challenges remain, the successful operation of an automated online FCM system and the basic interpretation of the resulting data sets represent a breakthrough toward the eventual establishment of fully automated online microbiological monitoring technologies. PMID:24917858

  7. Toward a synthetic economic systems modeling tool for sustainable exploitation of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Colin; Courvisanos, Jerry; Crawford, John W

    2011-02-01

    Environmental resources that underpin the basic human needs of water, energy, and food are predicted to become in such short supply by 2050 that global security and the well-being of millions will be under threat. These natural commodities have been allowed to reach crisis levels of supply because of a failure of economic systems to sustain them. This is largely because there have been no means of integrating their exploitation into any economic model that effectively addresses ecological systemic failures in a way that provides an integrated ecological-economic tool that can monitor and evaluate market and policy targets. We review the reasons for this and recent attempts to address the problem while identifying outstanding issues. The key elements of a policy-oriented economic model that integrates ecosystem processes are described and form the basis of a proposed new synthesis approach. The approach is illustrated by an indicative case study that develops a simple model for rainfed and irrigated food production in the Murray-Darling basin of southeastern Australia. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Primary productivity as a control over soil microbial diversity along environmental gradients in a polar desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Geyer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primary production is the fundamental source of energy to foodwebs and ecosystems, and is thus an important constraint on soil communities. This coupling is particularly evident in polar terrestrial ecosystems where biological diversity and activity is tightly constrained by edaphic gradients of productivity (e.g., soil moisture, organic carbon availability and geochemical severity (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, environmental gradients determine numerous properties of soil communities and yet relatively few estimates of gross or net primary productivity (GPP, NPP exist for this region. Here we describe a survey utilizing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM fluorometry to estimate rates of GPP across a broad environmental gradient along with belowground microbial diversity and decomposition. PAM estimates of GPP ranged from an average of 0.27 μmol O2/m2/s in the most arid soils to an average of 6.97 μmol O2/m2/s in the most productive soils, the latter equivalent to 217 g C/m2/y in annual NPP assuming a 60 day growing season. A diversity index of four carbon-acquiring enzyme activities also increased with soil productivity, suggesting that the diversity of organic substrates in mesic environments may be an additional driver of microbial diversity. Overall, soil productivity was a stronger predictor of microbial diversity and enzymatic activity than any estimate of geochemical severity. These results highlight the fundamental role of environmental gradients to control community diversity and the dynamics of ecosystem-scale carbon pools in arid systems.

  9. Coastal microbial mats: the physiology of a small-scale ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stal, L.J.

    2001-01-01

    Coastal inter-tidal sandy sediments, salt marshes and mangrove forests often support the development of microbial mats. Microbial mats are complex associations of one or several functional groups of microorganisms and their formation usually starts with the growth of a cyanobacterial population on a

  10. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weitz, Joshua S.; Stock, Charles A.; Wilhelm, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Viral lysis of microbial hosts releases organic matter that can then be assimilated by nontargeted microorganisms. Quantitative estimates of virus-mediated recycling of carbon in marine waters, first established in the late 1990s, were originally extrapolated from marine host and virus densities......, host carbon content and inferred viral lysis rates. Yet, these estimates did not explicitly incorporate the cascade of complex feedbacks associated with virus-mediated lysis. To evaluate the role of viruses in shaping community structure and ecosystem functioning, we extend dynamic multitrophic...

  11. Divergence of dominant factors in soil microbial communities and functions in forest ecosystems along a climatic gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhiwei; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Xinyu; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Wang, Shengzhong; Xu, Xiaofeng; Wang, Ruili; Zhao, Ning

    2018-03-01

    Soil microorganisms play an important role in regulating nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the studies conducted thus far have been confined to a single forest biome or have focused on one or two controlling factors, and few have dealt with the integrated effects of climate, vegetation, and soil substrate availability on soil microbial communities and functions among different forests. In this study, we used phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to investigate soil microbial community structure and extracellular enzymatic activities to evaluate the functional potential of soil microbes of different types of forests in three different climatic zones along the north-south transect in eastern China (NSTEC). Both climate and forest type had significant effects on soil enzyme activities and microbial communities with considerable interactive effects. Except for soil acid phosphatase (AP), the other three enzyme activities were much higher in the warm temperate zone than in the temperate and the subtropical climate zones. The soil total PLFAs and bacteria were much higher in the temperate zone than in the warm temperate and the subtropical zones. The soil β-glucosidase (BG) and N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) activities were highest in the coniferous forest. Except for the soil fungi and fungi-bacteria (F/B), the different groups of microbial PLFAs were much higher in the conifer broad-leaved mixed forests than in the coniferous forests and the broad-leaved forests. In general, soil enzyme activities and microbial PLFAs were higher in primary forests than in secondary forests in temperate and warm temperate regions. In the subtropical region, soil enzyme activities were lower in the primary forests than in the secondary forests and microbial PLFAs did not differ significantly between primary and secondary forests. Different compositions of the tree species may cause variations in soil microbial communities and enzyme activities. Our results

  12. Distinct responses of soil microbial communities to elevated CO2 and O3 in a soybean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Xiong, Jinbo; Kent, Angela D; Deng, Ye; Xue, Kai; Wang, Gejiao; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong

    2014-03-01

    The concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) have been rising due to human activities. However, little is known about how such increases influence soil microbial communities. We hypothesized that elevated CO2 (eCO2) and elevated O3 (eO3) would significantly affect the functional composition, structure and metabolic potential of soil microbial communities, and that various functional groups would respond to such atmospheric changes differentially. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed 96 soil samples from a soybean free-air CO2 enrichment (SoyFACE) experimental site using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0). The results showed the overall functional composition and structure of soil microbial communities shifted under eCO2, eO3 or eCO2+eO3. Key functional genes involved in carbon fixation and degradation, nitrogen fixation, denitrification and methane metabolism were stimulated under eCO2, whereas those involved in N fixation, denitrification and N mineralization were suppressed under eO3, resulting in the fact that the abundance of some eO3-supressed genes was promoted to ambient, or eCO2-induced levels by the interaction of eCO2+eO3. Such effects appeared distinct for each treatment and significantly correlated with soil properties and soybean yield. Overall, our analysis suggests possible mechanisms of microbial responses to global atmospheric change factors through the stimulation of C and N cycling by eCO2, the inhibition of N functional processes by eO3 and the interaction by eCO2 and eO3. This study provides new insights into our understanding of microbial functional processes in response to global atmospheric change in soybean agro-ecosystems.

  13. A global analysis of soil microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Xiaofeng [ORNL; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    Soil microbes play a pivotal role in regulating land-atmosphere interactions; the soil microbial biomass carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and C:N:P stoichiometry are important regulators for soil biogeochemical processes; however, the current knowledge on magnitude, stoichiometry, storage, and spatial distribution of global soil microbial biomass C, N, and P is limited. In this study, 3087 pairs of data points were retrieved from 281 published papers and further used to summarize the magnitudes and stoichiometries of C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass at global- and biome-levels. Finally, global stock and spatial distribution of microbial biomass C and N in 0-30 cm and 0-100 cm soil profiles were estimated. The results show that C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass vary substantially across biomes; the fractions of soil nutrient C, N, and P in soil microbial biomass are 1.6% in a 95% confidence interval of (1.5%-1.6%), 2.9% in a 95% confidence interval of (2.8%-3.0%), and 4.4% in a 95% confidence interval of (3.9%-5.0%), respectively. The best estimates of C:N:P stoichiometries for soil nutrients and soil microbial biomass are 153:11:1, and 47:6:1, respectively, at global scale, and they vary in a wide range among biomes. Vertical distribution of soil microbial biomass follows the distribution of roots up to 1 m depth. The global stock of soil microbial biomass C and N were estimated to be 15.2 Pg C and 2.3 Pg N in the 0-30 cm soil profiles, and 21.2 Pg C and 3.2 Pg N in the 0-100 cm soil profiles. We did not estimate P in soil microbial biomass due to data shortage and insignificant correlation with soil total P and climate variables. The spatial patterns of soil microbial biomass C and N were consistent with those of soil organic C and total N, i.e. high density in northern high latitude, and low density in low latitudes and southern hemisphere.

  14. Nutrient limitation of soil microbial activity during the earliest stages of ecosystem development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Sarah C; Sullivan, Benjamin W; Knelman, Joseph; Hood, Eran; Nemergut, Diana R; Schmidt, Steven K; Cleveland, Cory C

    2017-11-01

    A dominant paradigm in ecology is that plants are limited by nitrogen (N) during primary succession. Whether generalizable patterns of nutrient limitation are also applicable to metabolically and phylogenetically diverse soil microbial communities, however, is not well understood. We investigated if measures of N and phosphorus (P) pools inform our understanding of the nutrient(s) most limiting to soil microbial community activities during primary succession. We evaluated soil biogeochemical properties and microbial processes using two complementary methodological approaches-a nutrient addition microcosm experiment and extracellular enzyme assays-to assess microbial nutrient limitation across three actively retreating glacial chronosequences. Microbial respiratory responses in the microcosm experiment provided evidence for N, P and N/P co-limitation at Easton Glacier, Washington, USA, Puca Glacier, Peru, and Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA, respectively, and patterns of nutrient limitation generally reflected site-level differences in soil nutrient availability. The activities of three key extracellular enzymes known to vary with soil N and P availability developed in broadly similar ways among sites, increasing with succession and consistently correlating with changes in soil total N pools. Together, our findings demonstrate that during the earliest stages of soil development, microbial nutrient limitation and activity generally reflect soil nutrient supply, a result that is broadly consistent with biogeochemical theory.

  15. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO{sub 2} increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests; Effet de substitutions d'essence et de l'augmentation en CO{sub 2} de l'atmosphere sur les communautes microbiennes intervenant dans le fonctionnement d'un ecosysteme forestier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F

    2007-07-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  16. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stief, P.

    2013-01-01

    (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release...... enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide...... of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna...

  17. Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, J.W.; Niemann, H.; Leigh, M.B.; Leewis, M.C.; Becker, K.W.; Iliffe, T.M.; Alvarez, F.; Lehmann, M.F.; Phillips, B.

    2017-01-01

    Subterranean estuaries extend inland into density-stratified coastal carbonate aquifers containing a surprising diversity of endemic animals (mostly crustaceans) within a highly oligotrophic habitat. How complex ecosystems (termed anchialine) thrive in this globally distributed, cryptic environment

  18. Diffuse flow environments within basalt- and sediment-based hydrothermal vent ecosystems harbor specialized microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Barbara J; Polson, Shawn W; Zeigler Allen, Lisa; Williamson, Shannon J; Lee, Charles K; Wommack, K Eric; Cary, S Craig

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents differ both in surface input and subsurface geochemistry. The effects of these differences on their microbial communities are not clear. Here, we investigated both alpha and beta diversity of diffuse flow-associated microbial communities emanating from vents at a basalt-based hydrothermal system along the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and a sediment-based hydrothermal system, Guaymas Basin. Both Bacteria and Archaea were targeted using high throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analyses. A unique aspect of this study was the use of a universal set of 16S rRNA gene primers to characterize total and diffuse flow-specific microbial communities from varied deep-sea hydrothermal environments. Both surrounding seawater and diffuse flow water samples contained large numbers of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaea and Gammaproteobacteria taxa previously observed in deep-sea systems. However, these taxa were geographically distinct and segregated according to type of spreading center. Diffuse flow microbial community profiles were highly differentiated. In particular, EPR dominant diffuse flow taxa were most closely associated with chemolithoautotrophs, and off axis water was dominated by heterotrophic-related taxa, whereas the opposite was true for Guaymas Basin. The diversity and richness of diffuse flow-specific microbial communities were strongly correlated to the relative abundance of Epsilonproteobacteria, proximity to macrofauna, and hydrothermal system type. Archaeal diversity was higher than or equivalent to bacterial diversity in about one third of the samples. Most diffuse flow-specific communities were dominated by OTUs associated with Epsilonproteobacteria, but many of the Guaymas Basin diffuse flow samples were dominated by either OTUs within the Planctomycetes or hyperthermophilic Archaea. This study emphasizes the unique microbial communities associated with geochemically and geographically distinct hydrothermal diffuse flow environments.

  19. Microbial community production, respiration, and structure of the microbial food web of an ecosystem in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maixandeau, Anne; LefèVre, Dominique; Karayanni, Hera; Christaki, Urania; van Wambeke, France; Thyssen, Melilotus; Denis, Michel; FernáNdez, Camila I.; Uitz, Julia; Leblanc, Karine; QuéGuiner, Bernard

    2005-07-01

    Gross community production (GCP), dark community respiration (DCR), and the biomass of the different size classes of organisms in the microbial community were measured in the northeastern Atlantic basin as part of the Programme Océan Multidisciplinaire Méso Echelle (POMME) project. The field experiment was conducted during three seasons (winter, spring, and late summer-fall) in 2001. Samples were collected from four different mesoscale structures within the upper 100 m. GCP rates increased from winter (101 ± 24 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (153 ± 27 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (44 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). DCR rates increased from winter (-47 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (-97 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (50 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). The onset of stratification depended on latitude as well as on the presence of mesoscale structures (eddies), and this largely contributed to the variability of GCP. The trophic status of the POMME area was defined as net autotrophic, with a mean annual net community production rate of +38 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1, exhibiting a seasonal variation from +2 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 to +57 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1. This study highlights that small organisms (picoautotrophs, nanoautotrophs, and bacteria) are the main organisms contributing to biological fluxes throughout the year and that episodic blooms of microphytoplankton are related to mesoscale structures.

  20. Quantifying the Importance of the Rare Biosphere for Microbial Community Response to Organic Pollutants in a Freshwater Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanqi; Hatt, Janet K; Tsementzi, Despina; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Weigand, Michael R; Kizer, Heidi; Maresca, Gina; Krishnan, Raj; Poretsky, Rachel; Spain, Jim C; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2017-04-15

    value of this astonishing biodiversity for ecosystem functioning remains poorly understood, primarily due to the fact that microbial community analysis frequently focuses on abundant organisms. Using a combination of culture-dependent and culture-independent (metagenomics) techniques, we showed that rare taxa and genes commonly contribute to the microbial community response to organic pollutants. Our findings should have implications for future studies that aim to study the role of rare species in environmental processes, including environmental bioremediation efforts of oil spills or other contaminants. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  1. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  2. Microbial community assembly in an evolving ecosystem : Ecological succession and functional properties of soil microbes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini Andreote, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Thema’s omtrent “gemeenschapssamenstelling” en “ecologische successie in bodems” zijn traditionele concepten binnen de ecologie, doch minder gewaardeerd in bodemmicrobiologie. Dit proefschrift is gericht op integratie van deze thema’s in microbiële ecologie door gebruik te maken van een natuurlijk

  3. Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishat Tasnim

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Global comparisons reveal a decrease in gut microbiota diversity attributed to Western diets, lifestyle practices such as caesarian section, antibiotic use and formula-feeding of infants, and sanitation of the living environment. While gut microbial diversity is decreasing, the prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, allergies and asthma is on the rise in Westernized societies. Since the immune system development is influenced by microbial components, early microbial colonization may be a key factor in determining disease susceptibility patterns later in life. Evidence indicates that the gut microbiota is vertically transmitted from the mother and this affects offspring immunity. However, the role of the external environment in gut microbiome and immune development is poorly understood. Studies show that growing up in microbe-rich environments, such as traditional farms, can have protective health effects on children. These health-effects may be ablated due to changes in the human lifestyle, diet, living environment and environmental biodiversity as a result of urbanization. Importantly, if early-life exposure to environmental microbes increases gut microbiota diversity by influencing patterns of gut microbial assembly, then soil biodiversity loss due to land-use changes such as urbanization could be a public health threat. Here, we summarize key questions in environmental health research and discuss some of the challenges that have hindered progress toward a better understanding of the role of the environment on gut microbiome development.

  4. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of 33 PO 4 or 32 PO 4 . Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using 33 PO 4 and 32 PO 4 , in which the microbiota were labeled with 33 P until in isotopic equilibrium, then 32 P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio 32 P to 33 P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream

  5. Reconstructing the genetic potential of the microbially-mediated nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; de L. Brossi, Maria Julia; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling

  6. CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PESTICIDE TRANSFORMATION RATE AND MICROBIAL RESPIRATION ACTIVITY IN SOIL OF DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cecil sandy loam soils (ultisol) from forest (coniferous and deciduous), pasture, and arable ecosystems were sampled (0-10 cm) in the vicinity of Athens, GA, USA. Soil from each site was subdivided into three portions, consisting of untreated soil (control) as well as live and s...

  7. Microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wenxue; Wang, Lei; Liao, Yu; Huang, Bangqin

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in mesoscale processes, we investigated 18S rDNA diversity in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the southwestern South China Sea (SCS). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was carried out using multiple primer sets. Relative to a wide range of previous similar studies, we observed a significantly higher proportion of sequences of pigmented taxa. Among the photosynthetic groups, Haptophyta accounted for 27.7% of the sequenced clones, which belonged primarily to Prymnesiophyceae. Unexpectedly, five operational taxonomic units of Cryptophyta were closely related to freshwater species. The Chlorophyta mostly fell within the Prasinophyceae, which was comprised of six clades, including Clade III, which is detected in the SCS for the first time in this study. Among the photosynthetic stramenopiles, Chrysophyceae was the most diverse taxon, which included seven clades. The majority of 18S rDNA sequences affiliated with the Dictyochophyceae, Eustigmatophyceae, and Pelagophyceae were closely related to those of pure cultures. The results of redundancy analysis and the permutation Mantel test based on unweighted UniFrac distances, conducted for spatial analyses of the Haptophyta subclades suggested that the Mekong River plume and cyclonic eddy play important roles in regulating microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in the southwestern SCS. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Evolution of microbial activity in a mediterranean ecosystem submitted to chronic gamma irradiation. Investigation of nitrogen transfer with isotopic tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castet, R.

    1987-07-01

    A mediterranean ecosystem located on the site of Cadarache (France) has been experimentally by irradiated over the past fifteen years. The potential effects of ionizing radiations for different doses of its ecological system has been studied. The objective of the work was to demonstrate the level of soil microbial population and its activity. Chronic exposures reduced the biomass and the dehydrogenase activity by a factor of 50% and increased the amount of nitrate in the soil. To measure the direct impact of irradiations on soil microorganisms, we have irradiated soil sample in laboratory at 0.1; 0.5; 1 kGy, and observed its evolution during a period of six weeks thereafter. We have a reduction of the dehydrogenase activity and an increase of nitrate being proportionaly to the dose delivered. Using nitrogen labelled, we state that this high rate of nitrate production is due to an inhibition of the organization of this form of nitrogen. Conversely, the ammonification and the nitrification are not affected. Also, for anaerobic conditions created by glucose, the nitrate labelled (15N) permitted us to show that in untreated soil, 45% of nitrate was reduced to nitrogen gas by denitrification and 24% of nitrate was reduced to ammonium by dissimilation in the irradiated soil. These experiments show that gamma irradiations are of great interest for studying soil microorganisms. As of now, very little is known on the effects of this kind of stress for attention and need to be pursued on such ecosystems. Further investigations call [fr

  9. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: a critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Tana E.; Cavaleri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical forests play a major role in regulating global carbon (C) fluxes and stocks, and even small changes to C cycling in this productive biome could dramatically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Temperature is expected to increase over all land surfaces in the future, yet we have a surprisingly poor understanding of how tropical forests will respond to this significant climatic change. Here we present a contemporary synthesis of the existing data and what they suggest about how tropical forests will respond to increasing temperatures. Our goals were to: (i) determine whether there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that increased temperature will affect tropical forest C balance; (ii) if there is sufficient evidence, determine what direction this effect will take; and, (iii) establish what steps should to be taken to resolve the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures. We approach these questions from a mass-balance perspective and therefore focus primarily on the effects of temperature on inputs and outputs of C, spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale responses. We found that, while there is the strong potential for temperature to affect processes related to C cycling and storage in tropical forests, a notable lack of data combined with the physical, biological and chemical diversity of the forests themselves make it difficult to resolve this issue with certainty. We suggest a variety of experimental approaches that could help elucidate how tropical forests will respond to warming, including large-scale in situ manipulation experiments, longer term field experiments, the incorporation of a range of scales in the investigation of warming effects (both spatial and temporal), as well as the inclusion of a diversity of tropical forest sites. Finally, we highlight areas of tropical forest research where notably few data are available, including temperature effects on: nutrient cycling

  10. Formate as an energy source for microbial metabolism in chemosynthetic zones of hydrothermal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windman, Todd; Zolotova, Natalya; Schwandner, Florian; Shock, Everett L

    2007-12-01

    Formate, a simple organic acid known to support chemotrophic hyperthermophiles, is found in hot springs of varying temperature and pH. However, it is not yet known how metabolic strategies that use formate could contribute to primary productivity in hydrothermal ecosystems. In an effort to provide a quantitative framework for assessing the role of formate metabolism, concentration data for dissolved formate and many other solutes in samples from Yellowstone hot springs were used, together with data for coexisting gas compositions, to evaluate the overall Gibbs energy for many reactions involving formate oxidation or reduction. The result is the first rigorous thermodynamic assessment of reactions involving formate oxidation to bicarbonate and reduction to methane coupled with various forms of iron, nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen for hydrothermal ecosystems. We conclude that there are a limited number of reactions that can yield energy through formate reduction, in contrast to numerous formate oxidation reactions that can yield abundant energy for chemosynthetic microorganisms. Because the energy yields are so high, these results challenge the notion that hydrogen is the primary energy source of chemosynthetic microbes in hydrothermal ecosystems.

  11. Living microbial ecosystems within the active zone of catagenesis: Implications for feeding the deep biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsfield, B.; Schenk, H. J.; Zink, K.; Ondrak, R.; Dieckmann, V.; Kallmeyer, J.; Mangelsdorf, K.; di Primio, R.; Wilkes, H.; Parkes, R. J.; Fry, J.; Cragg, B.

    2006-06-01

    Earth's largest reactive carbon pool, marine sedimentary organic matter, becomes increasingly recalcitrant during burial, making it almost inaccessible as a substrate for microorganisms, and thereby limiting metabolic activity in the deep biosphere. Because elevated temperature acting over geological time leads to the massive thermal breakdown of the organic matter into volatiles, including petroleum, the question arises whether microorganisms can directly utilize these maturation products as a substrate. While migrated thermogenic fluids are known to sustain microbial consortia in shallow sediments, an in situ coupling of abiotic generation and microbial utilization has not been demonstrated. Here we show, using a combination of basin modelling, kinetic modelling, geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, that microorganisms inhabit the active generation zone in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan. Three sites from ODP Leg 190 have been evaluated, namely 1173, 1174 and 1177, drilled in nearly undeformed Quaternary and Tertiary sedimentary sequences seaward of the Nankai Trough itself. Paleotemperatures were reconstructed based on subsidence profiles, compaction modelling, present-day heat flow, downhole temperature measurements and organic maturity parameters. Today's heat flow distribution can be considered mainly conductive, and is extremely high in places, reaching 180 mW/m 2. The kinetic parameters describing total hydrocarbon generation, determined by laboratory pyrolysis experiments, were utilized by the model in order to predict the timing of generation in time and space. The model predicts that the onset of present day generation lies between 300 and 500 m below sea floor (5100-5300 m below mean sea level), depending on well location. In the case of Site 1174, 5-10% conversion has taken place by a present day temperature of ca. 85 °C. Predictions were largely validated by on-site hydrocarbon gas measurements. Viable organisms in the same depth range have been

  12. Microbial diversity in The Cedars, an ultrabasic, ultrareducing, and low salinity serpentinizing ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Shino; Ishii, Shun'ichi; Wu, Angela; Cheung, Andrea; Tenney, Aaron; Wanger, Greg; Kuenen, J Gijs; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2013-09-17

    The Cedars, in coastal northern California, is an active site of peridotite serpentinization. The spring waters that emerge from this system feature very high pH, low redox potential, and low ionic concentrations, making it an exceptionally challenging environment for life. We report a multiyear, culture-independent geomicrobiological study of three springs at The Cedars that differ with respect to the nature of the groundwater feeding them. Within each spring, both geochemical properties and microbial diversity in all three domains of life remained stable over a 3-y period, with multiple samples each year. Between the three springs, however, the microbial communities showed considerable differences that were strongly correlated with the source of the serpentinizing groundwater. In the spring fed solely by deep groundwater, phylum Chloroflexi, class Clostridia, and candidate division OD1 were the major taxa with one phylotype in Euryarchaeota. Less-abundant phylotypes include several minor members from other candidate divisions and one phylotype that was an outlier of candidate division OP3. In the springs fed by the mixture of deep and shallow groundwater, organisms close to the Hydrogenophaga within Betaproteobacteria dominated and coexisted with the deep groundwater community members. The shallow groundwater community thus appears to be similar to those described in other terrestrial serpentinizing sites, whereas the deep community is distinctly different from any other previously described terrestrial serpentinizing community. These unique communities have the potential to yield important insights into the development and survival of life in these early-earth analog environments.

  13. Bioreactor microbial ecosystems for thiocyanate and cyanide degradation unravelled with genome-resolved metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantor, Rose S; van Zyl, A Wynand; van Hille, Robert P; Thomas, Brian C; Harrison, Susan T L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-12-01

    Gold ore processing uses cyanide (CN(-) ), which often results in large volumes of thiocyanate- (SCN(-) ) contaminated wastewater requiring treatment. Microbial communities can degrade SCN(-) and CN(-) , but little is known about their membership and metabolic potential. Microbial-based remediation strategies will benefit from an ecological understanding of organisms involved in the breakdown of SCN(-) and CN(-) into sulfur, carbon and nitrogen compounds. We performed metagenomic analysis of samples from two laboratory-scale bioreactors used to study SCN(-) and CN(-) degradation. Community analysis revealed the dominance of Thiobacillus spp., whose genomes harbour a previously unreported operon for SCN(-) degradation. Genome-based metabolic predictions suggest that a large portion of each bioreactor community is autotrophic, relying not on molasses in reactor feed but using energy gained from oxidation of sulfur compounds produced during SCN(-) degradation. Heterotrophs, including a bacterium from a previously uncharacterized phylum, compose a smaller portion of the reactor community. Predation by phage and eukaryotes is predicted to affect community dynamics. Genes for ammonium oxidation and denitrification were detected, indicating the potential for nitrogen removal, as required for complete remediation of wastewater. These findings suggest optimization strategies for reactor design, such as improved aerobic/anaerobic partitioning and elimination of organic carbon from reactor feed. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Prokaryotic diversity, composition structure, and phylogenetic analysis of microbial communities in leachate sediment ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingjing; Wu, Weixiang; Chen, Chongjun; Sun, Faqian; Chen, Yingxu

    2011-09-01

    In order to obtain insight into the prokaryotic diversity and community in leachate sediment, a culture-independent DNA-based molecular phylogenetic approach was performed with archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from leachate sediment of an aged landfill. A total of 59 archaeal and 283 bacterial rDNA phylotypes were identified in 425 archaeal and 375 bacterial analyzed clones. All archaeal clones distributed within two archaeal phyla of the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, and well-defined methanogen lineages, especially Methanosaeta spp., are the most numerically dominant species of the archaeal community. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial library revealed a variety of pollutant-degrading and biotransforming microorganisms, including 18 distinct phyla. A substantial fraction of bacterial clones showed low levels of similarity with any previously documented sequences and thus might be taxonomically new. Chemical characteristics and phylogenetic inferences indicated that (1) ammonium-utilizing bacteria might form consortia to alleviate or avoid the negative influence of high ammonium concentration on other microorganisms, and (2) members of the Crenarchaeota found in the sediment might be involved in ammonium oxidation. This study is the first to report the composition of the microbial assemblages and phylogenetic characteristics of prokaryotic populations extant in leachate sediment. Additional work on microbial activity and contaminant biodegradation remains to be explored.

  15. Anthropogenic effects on interaction outcomes: examples from insect-microbial symbioses in forest and savanna ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Six, Diana L.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hansen, Allison K.

    2011-01-01

    The influence of humans on ecosystem dynamics has been, and continues to be, profound. Anthropogenic effects are expected to amplify as human populations continue to increase. Concern over these effects has given rise to a large number of studies focusing on impacts of human activities...... of mutualisms can be to an equally varied set of anthropogenic influences. We also show how alterations of mutualisms may ramify throughout affected systems. We stress that researchers must be cognizant that many observed changes in the behaviors, abundances, and distributions of organisms due to human...... activities are likely to be mediated by mutualists which may alter predictions and actual outcomes in significant ways....

  16. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. A metaproteomic approach to study human-microbial ecosystems at the mucosal luminal interface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoxiao Li

    Full Text Available Aberrant interactions between the host and the intestinal bacteria are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of many digestive diseases. However, studying the complex ecosystem at the human mucosal-luminal interface (MLI is challenging and requires an integrative systems biology approach. Therefore, we developed a novel method integrating lavage sampling of the human mucosal surface, high-throughput proteomics, and a unique suite of bioinformatic and statistical analyses. Shotgun proteomic analysis of secreted proteins recovered from the MLI confirmed the presence of both human and bacterial components. To profile the MLI metaproteome, we collected 205 mucosal lavage samples from 38 healthy subjects, and subjected them to high-throughput proteomics. The spectral data were subjected to a rigorous data processing pipeline to optimize suitability for quantitation and analysis, and then were evaluated using a set of biostatistical tools. Compared to the mucosal transcriptome, the MLI metaproteome was enriched for extracellular proteins involved in response to stimulus and immune system processes. Analysis of the metaproteome revealed significant individual-related as well as anatomic region-related (biogeographic features. Quantitative shotgun proteomics established the identity and confirmed the biogeographic association of 49 proteins (including 3 functional protein networks demarcating the proximal and distal colon. This robust and integrated proteomic approach is thus effective for identifying functional features of the human mucosal ecosystem, and a fresh understanding of the basic biology and disease processes at the MLI.

  18. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on the rumen microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kišidayová, Svetlana; Pristaš, Peter; Zimovčáková, Michaela; Blanár Wencelová, Monika; Homol'ová, Lucia; Mihaliková, Katarína; Čobanová, Klaudia; Grešáková, Ľubomíra; Váradyová, Zora

    2018-01-01

    Little is known about the effects of the high dose and types of manganese supplements on rumen environment at manganese intake level close above the limit of 150 mg/kg of dry feed matter. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on rumen microbial ecosystem after four months of treatment of 18 lambs divided into three treatment groups were studied. We examined the enzyme activities (α-amylase, xylanase, and carboxymethyl cellulase), total and differential microscopic counts of rumen ciliates, total microscopic counts of bacteria, and fingerprinting pattern of the eubacterial and ciliates population analyzed by PCR-DGGE. Lambs were fed a basal diet with a basal Mn content (34.3 mg/kg dry matter; control) and supplemented either with inorganic manganous sulfate or organic Mn-chelate hydrate (daily 182.7, 184 mg/kg dry matter of feed, respectively). Basal diet, offered twice daily, consisted of ground barley and hay (268 and 732 g/kg dry matter per animal and day). The rumens of the lambs harbored ciliates of the genera of Entodinium, Epidinium, Diplodinium, Eudiplodinium, Dasytricha, and Isotricha. No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in the total ciliate number, the number of ciliates at the genus level, as well as the total number of bacteria. Organic Mn did decrease the species richness and diversity of the eubacterial population examined by PCR-DGGE. No effects of type of Mn supplement on the enzyme activities were observed. In comparison to the control, α-amylase specific activities were decreased and carboxymethyl-cellulase specific activities were increased by the Mn supplements. Xylanase activities were not influenced. In conclusion, our results suggested that the intake of tested inorganic and organic manganese supplements in excess may affect the specific groups of eubacteria. More studies on intake of Mn supplements at a level close to the limit can reveal if the changes in microbial

  19. Short-term Effect of Nitrogen Addition on Microbial and Root Respiration in an Alpine Spruce Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Wang1

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil respiration plays an important role in the carbon (C flux of the global C cycle and is greatly affected by nitrogen (N additions in the form of deposition or fertilization. The aim of this study was to investigate the response of total soil respiration (Rs, microbial respiration (Rm, and root respiration (Rr to short-term N addition and the potential mechanisms of short-term N deposition influencing soil respiration in an alpine spruce ecosystem. Four N treatment levels (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1 year-1 were applied monthly in a Picea balfouriana (commonly known as "alpine spruce" plantation beginning in November 2013 and Rs, Rm, and Rr were measured from May to November 2014. The results show that simulated N depositions stimulate Rs, Rm, and Rr and the beneficial effects decreased along N gradients from hourly to seasonal scales. The seasonal temperature coefficients (Q10 of Rs, Rm, and Rr ranged from 2.50 to 3.8, 2.99 to 4.63, and 1.86 to 2.96, while the diurnal Q10 ranged from 1.71 to 2.04, 1.89 to 2.32, 1.42 to 1.75, and there was a similar trend with soil respiration along N gradients. In addition, Rr showed significant positive correlation with fine root biomass, and Rm was likely driven by soil enzyme related to the microbial C cycle in the growing season. Our results indicate that short-term N addition stimulated fine root biomass and soil enzymatic activity to bring about a potential increase in soil respiration rates under low-N addition, while the opposite occurred under high-N addition.

  20. Lessons from Suiyo Seamount studies, for understanding extreme (ancient?) microbial ecosystems in the deep-sea hydrothermal fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, A.; Higashi, Y.; Sunamura, M.; Urabe, T.

    2004-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems are driven with various geo-thermally modified, mainly reduced, compounds delivered from extremely hot subsurface environments. To date, several unique microbes including thermophilic archaeons have been isolated from/around vent chimneys. However, there is little information about microbes in over-vent and sub-vent fields. Here, we report several new findings on microbial diversity and ecology of the Suiyo Seamount that locates on the Izu-Bonin Arc in the northwest Pacific Ocean, as a result of the Japanese Archaean Park project, with special concern to the sub-vent biosphere. At first, we succeeded to reveal a very unique microbial ecosystem in hydrothermal plume reserved within the outer rim of the seamount crater, that is, it consisted of almost all metabolically active microbes belonged to only two Bacteria phylotypes, probably of sulfur oxidizers. In the center of the caldera seafloor (ca. 1,388-m deep) consisted mainly of whitish sands and pumices, we found many small chimneys (ca. 5-10 cm) and bivalve colonies distributed looking like gray to black patches. These geo/ecological features of the seafloor were supposed to be from a complex mixing of hydrothermal venting and strong water current near the seafloor. Through quantitative FISH analysis for various environmental samples, one of the two representative groups in the plume was assessed to be from some of the bivalve colonies. Using the Benthic Multi-coring System (BMS), total 10 points were drilled and 6 boreholes were maintained with stainless or titanium casing pipes. In the following submersible surveys, newly developed catheter- and column-type in situ growth chambers were deployed in and on the boreholes, respectively, for collecting indigenous sub-vent microbes. Finally, we succeeded to detect several new phylotypes of microbes in these chamber samples, e.g., within epsilon-Proteobacteria, a photosynthetic group of alpha-Proteobacteria, and hyperthermophile

  1. Differences in microbial communities and performance between suspended and attached growth anaerobic membrane bioreactors treating synthetic municipal wastewater

    KAUST Repository

    Harb, Moustapha; Xiong, Yanghui; Guest, Jeremy; Amy, Gary L.; Hong, Pei-Ying

    2015-01-01

    operational taxonomic units (OTUs) most closely related to fermentative bacteria (e.g., Microbacter margulisiae) were dominant in the suspended biomass of the CSTR, accounting for 30% of the microbial community. Conversely, methanogenic archaea (e

  2. Electrochemical evaluation of Ti/TiO{sub 2}-polyaniline anodes for microbial fuel cells using hypersaline microbial consortia for synthetic-wastewater treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benetton, X.D.; Navarro-Avila, S.G. [Univ. Autonoma de Yucatan, Yucatan (Mexico). Biotecnologia y Bioingenieria; Carrera-Figueiras, C. [Univ. Autonoma de Yucatan, Yucatan (Mexico). Quimica Fundamental y Aplicada

    2010-07-01

    This paper described the development of a titanium (Ti/TiO{sub 2}) polyaniline composite electrode. The electrode was designed for use with a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that generated electricity through the microbial biodegradation of organic compounds. A modified NBAF medium was used with a 20 mM acetate as an electron donor and 53 mM fumarate as an electron acceptor for a period of 96 hours at 37 degrees C. Strains were cultured under strict anaerobic conditions. Two microbial cultures were used: (1) pure cultures of Geobacter sulfur-reducens; and (2) an uncharacterized stable microbial consortia isolated from hypersaline swamp sediments. The anodes were made with an emeraldine form of PANI deposited over Ti/TiO{sub 2} electrodes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) monitoring was used to determine the open circuit potential of the MFC. Negative real impedances were obtained and reproduced in all systems studied with the Ti/TiO{sub 2}-PANI anodes. The highest power density was obtained using the Geobacter sulfur-reducens culture. Further research is needed to study the mechanisms that contribute to the occurrence of negative real impedances. 23 refs., 1 tab., 5 figs.

  3. Co-Flocculation of Yeast Species, a New Mechanism to Govern Population Dynamics in Microbial Ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debra Rossouw

    Full Text Available Flocculation has primarily been studied as an important technological property of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains in fermentation processes such as brewing and winemaking. These studies have led to the identification of a group of closely related genes, referred to as the FLO gene family, which controls the flocculation phenotype. All naturally occurring S. cerevisiae strains assessed thus far possess at least four independent copies of structurally similar FLO genes, namely FLO1, FLO5, FLO9 and FLO10. The genes appear to differ primarily by the degree of flocculation induced by their expression. However, the reason for the existence of a large family of very similar genes, all involved in the same phenotype, has remained unclear. In natural ecosystems, and in wine production, S. cerevisiae growth together and competes with a large number of other Saccharomyces and many more non-Saccharomyces yeast species. Our data show that many strains of such wine-related non-Saccharomyces species, some of which have recently attracted significant biotechnological interest as they contribute positively to fermentation and wine character, were able to flocculate efficiently. The data also show that both flocculent and non-flocculent S. cerevisiae strains formed mixed species flocs (a process hereafter referred to as co-flocculation with some of these non-Saccharomyces yeasts. This ability of yeast strains to impact flocculation behaviour of other species in mixed inocula has not been described previously. Further investigation into the genetic regulation of co-flocculation revealed that different FLO genes impact differently on such adhesion phenotypes, favouring adhesion with some species while excluding other species from such mixed flocs. The data therefore strongly suggest that FLO genes govern the selective association of S. cerevisiae with specific species of non-Saccharomyces yeasts, and may therefore be drivers of ecosystem organisational

  4. The role of the local microbial ecosystem in respiratory health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A A; Sanders, Elisabeth A M; Bogaert, Debby

    2015-08-19

    Respiratory tract infections are a major global health concern, accounting for high morbidity and mortality, especially in young children and elderly individuals. Traditionally, highly common bacterial respiratory tract infections, including otitis media and pneumonia, were thought to be caused by a limited number of pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. However, these pathogens are also frequently observed commensal residents of the upper respiratory tract (URT) and form-together with harmless commensal bacteria, viruses and fungi-intricate ecological networks, collectively known as the 'microbiome'. Analogous to the gut microbiome, the respiratory microbiome at equilibrium is thought to be beneficial to the host by priming the immune system and providing colonization resistance, while an imbalanced ecosystem might predispose to bacterial overgrowth and development of respiratory infections. We postulate that specific ecological perturbations of the bacterial communities in the URT can occur in response to various lifestyle or environmental effectors, leading to diminished colonization resistance, loss of containment of newly acquired or resident pathogens, preluding bacterial overgrowth, ultimately resulting in local or systemic bacterial infections. Here, we review the current body of literature regarding niche-specific upper respiratory microbiota profiles within human hosts and the changes occurring within these profiles that are associated with respiratory infections. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Long-term effects of irrigation with waste water on soil AM fungi diversity and microbial activities: the implications for agro-ecosystem resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria del Mar Alguacil

    Full Text Available The effects of irrigation with treated urban wastewater (WW on the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF diversity and soil microbial activities were assayed on a long-term basis in a semiarid orange-tree orchard. After 43 years, the soil irrigated with fresh water (FW had higher AMF diversity than soils irrigated with WW. Microbial activities were significantly higher in the soils irrigated with WW than in those irrigated with FW. Therefore, as no negative effects were observed on crop vitality and productivity, it seems that the ecosystem resilience gave rise to the selection of AMF species better able to thrive in soils with higher microbial activity and, thus, to higher soil fertility.

  6. Microbial Life in the Subseafloor at Mid-Ocean Ridges: A Key to Understanding Ancient Ecosystems on Earth and Elsewhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baross, J. A.; Delaney, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    indicates that they originated from a hot subseafloor habitat. Based on the 16S rRNA sequences and the RFLP patterns of the 500 base sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes (intergenic spacer region), these heterotrophic archaea represent new species, and a new genus, within the Thermococcales (Summit and Baross, 1998; 2001). These isolates grow over an unusually wide temperature range and in low levels of organic material. While Thermococcus and Methanococcus species are the most commonly isolated species of hyperthermophiles from subseafloor biotopes, preliminary phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA sequences of microbial communities in the diffuse flow fluids at new eruption sites show a high diversity of archaea that are not related to cultured organisms. Results to date support the hypothesis that subseafloor microbes associated with hydrothermal systems have nutritional, physiological and bioenergetic characteristics that reflect the physical and geochemical properties of their habitat. Moreover, we propose that deep-sea subsurface environments are analogs of ecosystems on other solar bodies. Thus, by examining the chemical and microbial ecology and energetics of the subsurface, and particularly the subsurface associated with hydrothermal systems, a framework for studying the prospects of extraterrestrial life can be developed. It is predicted that if there were life on other hydrothermally active solar bodies, the same energy sources would fuel microbial metabolism even though the molecular characteristics of these life forms may not resemble Earth organisms having identical metabolisms.

  7. Vertical structure and pH as factors for chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial community of soils and terrestrial ecosystems of different climatic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacheva, Evgeniya; Natalia, Manucharova

    2016-04-01

    Chitin is a naturally occurring fibre-forming polymer that plays a protective role in many lower animals similar to that of cellulose in plants. Also it's a compound of cell walls of fungi. Chemically it is a long-chain unbranched polysaccharide made of N-acetylglucosamine residues; it is the second most abundant organic compound in nature, after cellulose. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. Roots of the plants and root crops contain pectin. Chitin and pectin are widely distributed throughout the natural world. Structural and functional features of the complex microbial degradation of biopolymers one of the most important direction in microbial ecology. But there is no a lot of data concerns degradation in vertical structure of terrestrial ecosystems and detailed studies concerning certain abiotic features as pH. Microbial complexes of natural areas were analyzed only as humus horizons (A1) of the soil profile. Only small part of microbial community could be studied with this approach. It is known that ecosystems have their own structure. It is possible to allocate some vertical tiers: phylloplane, litter (soil covering), soil. We investigated chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial communities dedicated to different layers of the ecosystems. Also it was described depending on pH dominated in certain ecosystem with certain conditions. Quantity of eukaryote and procaryote organisms increased in the test samples with chitin and pectin. Increasing of eukaryote in samples with pectin was more then in samples with chitin. Also should be noted the significant increasing of actinomycet's quantity in the samples with chitin in comparison with samples with pectin. The variety and abundance of bacteria in the litter samples increased an order of magnitude as compared to other probes. Further prokaryote community was investigated by method FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). FISH is a cytogenetic

  8. Modern Microbial Ecosystems are a Key to Understanding Our Biosphere's Early Evolution and its Contributions To The Atmosphere and Rock Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The survival of our early biosphere depended upon efficient coordination anion- diverse microbial populations. Microbial mats exhibit a 3.46-billion-year fossil record, thus they are the oldest known ecosystems. Photosynthetic microbial mats were key because, today, sunlight powers more than 99 percent of global primary productivity. Thus photosynthetic ecosystems have affected the atmosphere profoundly and have created the most pervasive, easily-detected fossils. Photosynthetic biospheres elsewhere will be most detectible via telescopes or spacecraft. As a part of the Astrobiology Institute, our Ames Microbial Ecosystems group examines the roles played by ecological processes in the early evolution of our biosphere, as recorded in geologic fossils and in the macromolecules of living cells: (1) We are defining the microbial mat microenvironment, which was an important milieu for early evolution. (2) We are comparing mats in contrasting environments to discern strategies of adaptation and diversification, traits that were key for long-term survival. (3) We have selected sites that mimic key environmental attributes of early Earth and thereby focus upon evolutionary adaptations to long-term changes in the global environment. (4) Our studies of gas exchange contribute to better estimates of biogenic gases in Earth's early atmosphere. This group therefore directly addresses the question: How have the Earth and its biosphere influenced each other over time Our studies strengthen the systematics for interpreting the microbial fossil record and thereby enhance astrobiological studies of martian samples. Our models of biogenic gas emissions will enhance models of atmospheres that might be detected on inhabited extrasolar planets. This work therefore also addresses the question: How can other biospheres be recogniZed" Our choice of field sites helps us explore Earth's evolving early environment. For example, modern mats that occupy thermal springs and certain freshwater

  9. Shifts in microbial community structure and diversity in a MBR combined with worm reactors treating synthetic wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jia; Zuo, Wei; Zhang, Jun; Li, Hui; Li, Lipin; Tian, Yu

    2017-04-01

    The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and NH 3 -N removal, membrane fouling, sludge characteristics and microbial community structure in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) coupled with worm reactors (SSBWR) were evaluated for 210days. The obtained results were compared to those from a conventional MBR (C-MBR) operated in parallel. The results indicated that the combined MBR (S-MBR) achieved higher COD and NH 3 -N removal efficiency, slower increase in membrane fouling, better sludge settleability and higher activities of the related enzymes in the activated sludge. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to analyze the microbial community structures in the C-MBR and the S-MBR. The microbial community structure in the S-MBR was more diverse than that in the C-MBR. Additionally, the slow-growing microbes such as Saprospiraceae, Actinomyces, Frankia, Clostridium, Comamonas, Pseudomonas, Dechloromonas and Flavobacterium were enriched in the S-MBR, further accounting for the sludge reduction, membrane fouling alleviation and wastewater treatment. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Adaptive long-term monitoring of soil health in metal phytostabilization: ecological attributes and ecosystem services based on soil microbial parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Alkorta, Itziar; Garbisu, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a promising option for the remediation of metal contaminated soils which requires the implementation of long-term monitoring programs. We here propose to incorporate the paradigm of "adaptive monitoring", which enables monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research questions change, to metal phytostabilization. Posing good questions that cover the chemical, toxicological and ecological concerns associated to metal contaminated soils is critical for an efficient long-term phytostabilization monitoring program. Regarding the ecological concerns, soil microbial parameters are most valuable indicators of the effectiveness of metal phytostabilization processes in terms of recovery of soil health. We suggest to group soil microbial parameters in higher-level categories such as "ecological attributes" (vigor, organization, stability) or "ecosystem services" in order to facilitate interpretation and, most importantly, to provide long-term phytostabilization monitoring programs with the required stability through time against changes in techniques, methods, interests, etc. that will inevitably occur during the monitoring program. Finally, a Phytostabilization Monitoring Card, based on both ecological attributes and ecosystem services, for soil microbial properties is provided.

  11. Synthetic Klebsiella pneumoniae-Shewanella oneidensis Consortium Enables Glycerol-Fed High-Performance Microbial Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Feng; Yin, Changji; Sun, Liming; Li, Yuanxiu; Guo, Xuewu; Song, Hao

    2018-05-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an eco-friendly bio-electrochemical sys-tem that uses microorganism as biocatalyst to convert biomass into electricity. Glycerol, as a waste in the biodiesel refinery processes, is an appealing substrate for MFC. Nevertheless, glycerol cannot be utilized as carbon source by well-known exoelectrogens such as Shewanella oneidensis. Herein, to generate electricity by rapidly harnessing glycerol, the authors rationally constructed a Klebsiella pneumoniae-Shewanella oneidensis microbial consortium to efficiently harvest electricity from glyc-erol, in which K. pneumoniae converted glycerol into lactate, fed to S. oneidensis as carbon source and electron donor. To improve electricity output, the authors systematically engineered the consortium in terms of carbon flux distribution and efficiency of extracellular electron transfer (EET). To direct more carbon flux to lactate biosynthesis in K. pneumoniae, the authors eliminated the ethanol pathway by knocking out the alcohol dehydrogenase gene (adhE), and enhanced lactate biosynthesis by heterologously expressing a lactate dehydrogen-ase gene (ldhD) from Lactobacillus bulgaricus and a lactate transporter gene (lldP) from Escherichia coli. To facilitate EET between S. oneidensis and anode surfaces, a biosynthetic flavins pathway from Bacillus subtilis is introduced into S. oneidensis. The author further optimized the glycerol concentration, thus S. oneidensis could be continuously fed with lactate synthesized from K. pneumoniae at a constant rate. Our glycerol-fed MFC generated a maximum power density of 19.9 mW/m 2 , significantly higher than that of the wild-type consor-tium. This work suggested that engineering microbial consortia is an effi-cient strategy to expand the spectrum of usable carbon sources and promote electricity power production in MFCs. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Contrasting genomic properties of free-living and particle-attached microbial assemblages within a coastal ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria W Smith

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Columbia River (CR is a powerful economic and environmental driver in the US Pacific Northwest. Microbial communities in the water column were analyzed from four diverse habitats: 1 an estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM; 2 a chlorophyll maximum of the river plume; 3 an upwelling-associated hypoxic zone; and 4 the deep ocean bottom. Three size fractions, 0.1-0.8, 0.8-3 and 3-200 μm were collected for each habitat in August 2007, and used for DNA isolation and 454 sequencing, resulting in 12 metagenomes of >5 million reads (>1.6 Gbp. To characterize the dominant microorganisms and metabolisms contributing to coastal biogeochemistry, we used predicted peptide and rRNA data. The 3- and 0.8-μm metagenomes, representing particulate fractions, were taxonomically diverse across habitats. The 3-μm size fractions contained a high abundance of eukaryota with diatoms dominating the hypoxic water and plume, while cryptophytes were more abundant in the ETM. The 0.1-μm metagenomes represented mainly free-living bacteria and archaea. The most abundant archaeal hits were observed in the deep ocean and hypoxic water (19% of prokaryotic peptides in the 0.1-μm metagenomes, and were homologous to Nitrosopumilus maritimus (ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota. Bacteria dominated metagenomes of all samples. In the euphotic zone (estuary, plume and hypoxic ocean, the most abundant bacterial taxa (≥40 % of prokaryotic peptides represented aerobic photoheterotrophs. In contrast, the low-oxygen, deep water metagenome was enriched with sequences for strict and facultative anaerobes. Interestingly, many of the same anaerobic bacterial families were enriched in the 3-μm size fraction of the ETM (2-10X more abundant relative to the 0.1-μm metagenome, indicating possible formation of anoxic microniches within particles. Results from this study provide a metagenome perspective on ecosystem-scale metabolism in an upwelling-influenced river-dominated coastal margin.

  13. Synthetic Constraint of Ecosystem C Models Using Radiocarbon and Net Primary Production (NPP) in New Zealand Grazing Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baisden, W. T.

    2011-12-01

    Time-series radiocarbon measurements have substantial ability to constrain the size and residence time of the soil C pools commonly represented in ecosystem models. Radiocarbon remains unique in the ability to constrain the large stabilized C pool with decadal residence times. Radiocarbon also contributes usefully to constraining the size and turnover rate of the passive pool, but typically struggles to constrain pools with residence times less than a few years. Overall, the number of pools and associated turnover rates that can be constrained depends upon the number of time-series samples available, the appropriateness of chemical or physical fractions to isolate unequivocal pools, and the utility of additional C flux data to provide additional constraints. In New Zealand pasture soils, we demonstrate the ability to constrain decadal turnover times with in a few years for the stabilized pool and reasonably constrain the passive fraction. Good constraint is obtained with two time-series samples spaced 10 or more years apart after 1970. Three or more time-series samples further improve the level of constraint. Work within this context shows that a two-pool model does explain soil radiocarbon data for the most detailed profiles available (11 time-series samples), and identifies clear and consistent differences in rates of C turnover and passive fraction in Andisols vs Non-Andisols. Furthermore, samples from multiple horizons can commonly be combined, yielding consistent residence times and passive fraction estimates that are stable with, or increase with, depth in different sites. Radiocarbon generally fails to quantify rapid C turnover, however. Given that the strength of radiocarbon is estimating the size and turnover of the stabilized (decadal) and passive (millennial) pools, the magnitude of fast cycling pool(s) can be estimated by subtracting the radiocarbon-based estimates of turnover within stabilized and passive pools from total estimates of NPP. In grazing

  14. Seasonal microbial and nutrient responses during a 5-year reduction in the daily temperature range of soil in a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Natasja C; Dhungana, Nirmala; Tissue, David T; Zak, John C

    2016-01-01

    High daily temperature range of soil (DTRsoil) negatively affects soil microbial biomass and activity, but its interaction with seasonal soil moisture in regulating ecosystem function remains unclear. For our 5-year field study in the Chihuahuan Desert, we suspended shade cloth 15 cm above the soil surface to reduce daytime temperature and increase nighttime soil temperature compared to unshaded plots, thereby reducing DTRsoil (by 5 ºC at 0.2 cm depth) without altering mean temperatures. Microbial biomass production was primarily regulated by seasonal precipitation with the magnitude of the response dependent on DTRsoil. Reduced DTRsoil more consistently increased microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN; +38%) than microbial biomass carbon (MBC) with treatment responses being similar in spring and summer. Soil respiration depended primarily on soil moisture with responses to reduced DTRsoil evident only in wetter summer soils (+53%) and not in dry spring soils. Reduced DTRsoil had no effect on concentrations of dissolved organic C, soil organic matter (SOM), nor soil inorganic N (extractable NO3 (-)-N + NH4 (+)-N). Higher MBN without changes in soil inorganic N suggests faster N cycling rates or alternate sources of N. If N cycling rates increased without a change to external N inputs (atmospheric N deposition or N fixation), then productivity in this desert system, which is N-poor and low in SOM, could be negatively impacted with continued decreases in daily temperature range. Thus, the future N balance in arid ecosystems, under conditions of lower DTR, seems linked to future precipitation regimes through N deposition and regulation of soil heat load dynamics.

  15. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Teach General Principles in Microbial Ecology, and Scientific Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beboutl, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2004-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on earth, and may also be useful models for the search for life elsewhere. They are centrally important to Astrobiology. In this lecture, we will present an introduction to microbial mats, as well as an introduction to our web-based educational module on the subject of microbial ecology, featuring living mats maintained in a mini "Web Lab" complete with remotely-operable instrumentation. We have partnered with a number of outreach specialists in order to produce an informative and educational web-based presentation, aspects of which will be exported to museum exhibits reaching a wide audience. On our web site, we will conduct regularly scheduled experimental manipulations, linking the experiments to our research activities, and demonstrating fundamental principles of scientific research.

  16. The startup performance and microbial distribution of an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) treating medium-strength synthetic industrial wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Hao; Nie, Hong; Ding, Jiangtao; Stinner, Walter; Sun, Kaixuan; Zhou, Hongjun

    2018-01-02

    In this study, an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) with seven chambers was applied to treat medium-strength synthetic industrial wastewater (MSIW). The performance of startup and shock test on treating MSIW was investigated. During the acclimation process, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of MSIW gradually increased from 0 to 2,000 mg L -1 , and the COD removal finally reached 90%. At shock test, the feeding COD concentration increased by one-fifth and the reactor adapted very well with a COD removal of 82%. In a stable state, Comamonas, Smithella, Syntrophomonas and Pseudomonas were the main populations of bacteria, while the predominant methanogen was Methanobacterium. The results of chemical and microbiological analysis indicated the significant advantages of ABR, including buffering shocks, separating stages with matching microorganisms and promoting syntrophism. Meanwhile, the strategies for acclimation and operation were of great importance. Further work can test reactor performance in the treatment of actual industrial wastewater.

  17. Synthetic Scenarios from CMIP5 Model Simulations for Climate Change Impact Assessments in Managed Ecosystems and Water Resources: Case Study in South Asian Countries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anandhi, A.; Omani, N.; Chaubey, I.; Horton, R.; Bader, D.; Nanjundiah, R. S.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing population, urbanization, and associated demand for food production compounded by climate change and variability have important implications for the managed ecosystems and water resources of a region. This is particularly true for south Asia, which supports one quarter of the global population, half of whom live below the poverty line. This region is largely dependent on monsoon precipitation for water. Given the limited resources of the developing countries in this region, the objective of our study was to empirically explore climate change in south Asia up to the year 2099 using monthly simulations from 35 global climate models (GCMs) participating in the fifth phase of the Climate Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) for two future emission scenarios (representative concentration pathways RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) and provide a wide range of potential climate change outcomes. This was carried out using a three-step procedure: calculating the mean annual, monsoon, and non-monsoon precipitation and temperatures; estimating the percent change from historical conditions; and developing scenario funnels and synthetic scenarios. This methodology was applied for the entire south Asia region; however, the percent change information generated at 1.5deg grid scale can be used to generate scenarios at finer spatial scales. Our results showed a high variability in the future change in precipitation (-23% to 52%, maximum in the non-monsoon season) and temperature (0.8% to 2.1%) in the region. Temperatures in the region consistently increased, especially in the Himalayan region, which could have impacts including a faster retreat of glaciers and increased floods. It could also change rivers from perennial to seasonal, leading to significant challenges in water management. Increasing temperatures could further stress groundwater reservoirs, leading to withdrawal rates that become even more unsustainable. The high precipitation variability (with higher propensity for

  18. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  19. Characterization of soluble microbial products (SMPs) in a membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating synthetic wastewater containing pharmaceutical compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Dongqing; Trzcinski, Antoine Prandota; Kunacheva, Chinagarn; Stuckey, David C; Liu, Yu; Tan, Soon Keat; Ng, Wun Jern

    2016-10-01

    This study investigated the behaviour and characteristics of soluble microbial products (SMP) in two anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactors (MBRs): MBRcontrol and MBRpharma, for treating municipal wastewater. Both protein and polysaccharides measured exhibited higher concentrations in the MBRpharma than the MBRcontrol. Molecular weight (MW) distribution analysis revealed that the presence of pharmaceuticals enhanced the accumulation of SMPs with macro- (13,091 kDa and 1587 kDa) and intermediate-MW (189 kDa) compounds in the anoxic MBRpharma, while a substantial decrease was observed in both MBR effluents. Excitation emission matrix (EEM) fluorescence contours indicated that the exposure to pharmaceuticals seemed to stimulate the production of aromatic proteins containing tyrosine (10.1-32.6%) and tryptophan (14.7-43.1%), compared to MBRcontrol (9.9-29.1% for tyrosine; 11.8-42.5% for tryptophan). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis revealed aromatics, long-chain alkanes and esters were the predominant SMPs in the MBRs. More peaks were present in the aerobic MBRpharma (196) than anoxic MBRpharma (133). The SMPs identified exhibited both biodegradability and recalcitrance in the MBR treatment processes. Only 8 compounds in the MBRpharma were the same as in the MBRcontrol. Alkanes were the most dominant SMPs (51%) in the MBRcontrol, while aromatics were dominant (40%) in the MBRpharma. A significant decrease in aromatics (from 16 to 7) in the MBRpharma permeate was observed, compared to the aerobic MBRpharma. Approximately 21% of compounds in the aerobic MBRcontrol were rejected by membrane filtration, while this increased to 28% in the MBRpharma. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Engineering a Synthetic Microbial Consortium for Comprehensive Conversion of Algae Biomass into Terpenes for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Weihua [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Wu, Benjamin Chiau-Pin [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Davis, Ryan Wesley [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Recent strategies for algae-based biofuels have primarily focused on biodiesel production by exploiting high algal lipid yields under nutrient stress conditions. However, under conditions supporting robust algal biomass accumulation, carbohydrate and proteins typically comprise up to ~80% of the ash-free dry weight of algae biomass. Therefore, comprehensive utilization of algal biomass for production of multipurpose intermediate- to high-value bio-based products will promote scale-up of algae production and processing to commodity volumes. Terpenes are hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon-like (C:O>10:1) compounds with high energy density, and are therefore potentially promising candidates for the next generation of value added bio-based chemicals and “drop-in” replacements for petroleum-based fuels. In this study, we demonstrated the feasibility of bioconversion of proteins into sesquiterpene compounds as well as comprehensive bioconversion of algal carbohydrates and proteins into biofuels. To achieve this, the mevalonate pathway was reconstructed into an E. coli chassis with six different terpene synthases (TSs). Strains containing the various TSs produced a spectrum of sesquiterpene compounds in minimal medium containing amino acids as the sole carbon source. The sesquiterpene production was optimized through three different regulation strategies using chamigrene synthase as an example. The highest total terpene titer reached 166 mg/L, and was achieved by applying a strategy to minimize mevalonate accumulation in vivo. The highest yields of total terpene were produced under reduced IPTG induction levels (0.25 mM), reduced induction temperature (25°C), and elevated substrate concentration (20 g/L amino acid mixture). A synthetic bioconversion consortium consisting of two engineering E. coli strains (DH1-TS and YH40-TS) with reconstructed terpene biosynthetic pathways was designed for comprehensive single-pot conversion of algal carbohydrates and proteins to

  1. Microbial metabolisms in a 2.5-km-deep ecosystem created by hydraulic fracturing in shales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daly, Rebecca A.; Borton, Mikayla A.; Wilkins, Michael J.; Hoyt, David W.; Kountz, Duncan J.; Wolfe, Richard A.; Welch, Susan A.; Marcus, Daniel N.; Trexler, Ryan V.; MacRae, Jean D.; Krzycki, Joseph A.; Cole, David R.; Mouser, Paula J.; Wrighton, Kelly C.

    2016-09-05

    Hydraulic fracturing is the industry standard for extracting hydrocarbons from shale formations. Attention has been paid to the economic benefits and environmental impacts of this process, yet the biogeochemical changes induced in the deep subsurface are poorly understood. Recent single-gene investigations revealed that halotolerant microbial communities were enriched after hydraulic fracturing. Here the reconstruction of 31 unique genomes coupled to metabolite data from the Marcellus and Utica shales revealed that methylamine cycling supports methanogenesis in the deep biosphere. Fermentation of injected chemical additives also sustains long-term microbial persistence, while sulfide generation from thiosulfate represents a poorly recognized corrosion mechanism in shales. Extensive links between viruses and microbial hosts demonstrate active viral predation, which may contribute to the release of labile cellular constituents into the extracellular environment. Our analyses show that hydraulic fracturing provides the organismal and chemical inputs for colonization and persistence in the deep terrestrial subsurface.

  2. Effects of litter addition and warming on soil carbon, nutrient pools and microbial communities in a subarctic heath ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2008-01-01

    in the uppermost 5 cm soil, while decreasing the pool of total P per unit area of the organic profile and having no significant effects on N concentrations or pools. Microbial biomass C and N were unaffected by the treatments, while the microbial biomass P increased significantly with litter addition. Soil...... proportion of biomarkers for Gram-positive bacteria. The combined warming plus litter addition treatment decreased the soil water content in the uppermost 5 cm soil, which was a likely reason for many interactions between the effects of warming and litter addition. The soil organic matter quality...... of the combined treatment was also clearly different from the control based on a near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopic analysis, implying that the treatment altered the composition of soil organic matter. However, it appears that the biological processes and the microbial community composition responded...

  3. Subtle shifts in microbial communities occur alongside the release of carbon induced by drought and rewetting in contrasting peatland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Caitlin; Freeman, Chris; Golyshin, Peter N; Ackermann, Gail; Fenner, Nathalie; McDonald, James E; Ehbair, Abdassalam; Jones, Timothy G; Murphy, Loretta M; Creer, Simon

    2017-09-12

    Peat represents a globally significant pool of sequestered carbon. However, peatland carbon stocks are highly threatened by anthropogenic climate change, including drought, which leads to a large release of carbon dioxide. Although the enzymatic mechanisms underlying drought-driven carbon release are well documented, the effect of drought on peatland microbial communities has been little studied. Here, we carried out a replicated and controlled drought manipulation using intact peat 'mesocosm cores' taken from bog and fen habitats, and used a combination of community fingerprinting and sequencing of marker genes to identify community changes associated with drought. Community composition varied with habitat and depth. Moreover, community differences between mesocosm cores were stronger than the effect of the drought treatment, emphasising the importance of replication in microbial marker gene studies. While the effect of drought on the overall composition of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities was weak, a subset of the microbial community did change in relative abundance, especially in the fen habitat at 5 cm depth. 'Drought-responsive' OTUs were disproportionately drawn from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Collectively, the data provide insights into the microbial community changes occurring alongside drought-driven carbon release from peatlands, and suggest a number of novel avenues for future research.

  4. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Coupling of the spatial dynamic of picoplankton and nanoflagellate grazing pressure and carbon flow of the microbial food web in the subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, K.-P.; Tsai, A.-Y.; Tsai, P.-J.; Gong, G.-C.; Tsai, S.-F.

    2013-01-01

    In order to investigate the mechanism of spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments in five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water which, according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation bettween bacteria growth rate and temperature, indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. We suggest that the microbial food web of an oligotrophic ecosystem may be changed from top-down control to resource supply (bottom-up control) when a physical force brings nutrient into the oligotrophic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to euphotic zone and promotes bacteria growth, increasing the picoplankton biomass which increased the consumption rate of nanoflagellate. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundances of bacteria (105-106 cells mL-1 and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells mL-1) within a narrow range, forming a predator-prey eddy. Meanwhile, 62% of bacteria production and 55% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the increasing number of sizes we found in the size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation

  6. Combining Microbial Enzyme Kinetics Models with Light Use Efficiency Models to Predict CO2 and CH4 Ecosystem Exchange from Flooded and Drained Peatland Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, P. Y.; Jenerette, D.; Knox, S. H.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    Under California's Cap-and-Trade program, companies are looking to invest in land-use practices that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a drained cultivated peatland system and a large source of CO2. To slow soil subsidence and reduce CO2 emissions, there is growing interest in converting drained peatlands to wetlands. However, wetlands are large sources of CH4 that could offset CO2-based GHG reductions. The goal of our research is to provide accurate measurements and model predictions of the changes in GHG budgets that occur when drained peatlands are restored to wetland conditions. We have installed a network of eddy covariance towers across multiple land use types in the Delta and have been measuring CO2 and CH4 ecosystem exchange for multiple years. In order to upscale these measurements through space and time we are using these data to parameterize and validate a process-based biogeochemical model. To predict gross primary productivity (GPP), we are using a simple light use efficiency (LUE) model which requires estimates of light, leaf area index and air temperature and can explain 90% of the observed variation in GPP in a mature wetland. To predict ecosystem respiration we have adapted the Dual Arrhenius Michaelis-Menten (DAMM) model. The LUE-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of half-hourly net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a mature wetland (r2=0.85). We are working to expand the model to pasture, rice and alfalfa systems in the Delta. To predict methanogenesis, we again apply a modified DAMM model, using simple enzyme kinetics. However CH4 exchange is complex and we have thus expanded the model to predict not only microbial CH4 production, but also CH4 oxidation, CH4 storage and the physical processes regulating the release of CH4 to the atmosphere. The CH4-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of daily CH4 ecosystem exchange in a mature wetland (r2=0.55) and robust estimates of annual CH4 budgets. The LUE

  7. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bastida, F.; Torres, I.F.; Moreno, J.L.; Baldrian, Petr; Ondono, S.; Ruiz-Navarro, A.; Hernández, T.; Richnow, H. H.; Starke, R.; Garcia, C.; Jehmlich, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 18 (2016), s. 4660-4673 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015055 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : bacteria * community ecology * ecosystem services Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  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. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  10. Iron-based microbial ecosystem on and below the seafloor: a case study of hydrothermal fields of the southern mariana trough.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Shingo; Nakamura, Kentaro; Toki, Tomohiro; Ishibashi, Jun-Ichiro; Tsunogai, Urumu; Hirota, Akinori; Ohkuma, Moriya; Yamagishi, Akihiko

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structures in deep-sea hydrothermal vents fields are constrained by available energy yields provided by inorganic redox reactions, which are in turn controlled by chemical composition of hydrothermal fluids. In the past two decades, geochemical and microbiological studies have been conducted in deep-sea hydrothermal vents at three geographically different areas of the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT). A variety of geochemical data of hydrothermal fluids and an unparalleled microbiological dataset of various samples (i.e., sulfide structures of active vents, iron-rich mats, borehole fluids, and ambient seawater) are available for comparative analyses. Here, we summarize the geochemical and microbiological characteristics in the SMT and assess the relationship between the microbial community structures and the fluid geochemistry in the SMT by thermodynamic modeling. In the high temperature vent fluids, aerobic sulfide-oxidation has the potential to yield large amounts of bioavailable energy in the vent fluids, which is consistent with the detection of species related to sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (such as Thiomicrospira in the Gammaproteobacteria and Sulfurimonas in the Epsilonproteobacteria). Conversely, the bioavailable energy yield from aerobic iron-oxidation reactions in the low-temperature fluids collected from man-made boreholes and several natural vents were comparable to or higher than those from sulfide-oxidation. This is also consistent with the detection of species related to iron-oxidizing bacteria (Mariprofundus in the Zetaproteobacteria) in such low-temperature samples. The results of combination of microbiological, geochemical, and thermodynamic analyses in the SMT provide novel insights into the presence and significance of iron-based microbial ecosystems in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.

  11. TNT Degradation by Natural Microbial Assemblages at Frontal Boundaries Between Water Masses in Coastal Ecosystems (ER-2124)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-20

    receptor protein) and reduce substrate mineralization depending on how long it would take to disassociate the humic from the substrate upon dilution...geochemical samples . Anal. Chem. 72:3116-3121. Han, L., Sun, K., Jin, J., and B. Xing. 2016. Some concepts of soil organic carbon characteristics and...capacity for energetics released into hydrodynamically similar, UXO-impacted ecosystems where access to site samples may be limited. During samplings in

  12. Nitrogen, organic carbon and sulphur cycling in terrestrial ecosystems: linking nitrogen saturation to carbon limitation of soil microbial processes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kopáček, Jiří; Cosby, B. J.; Evans, C. D.; Hruška, J.; Moldan, F.; Oulehle, F.; Šantrůčková, H.; Tahovská, K.; Wright, R. F.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 115, 1-3 (2013), s. 33-51 ISSN 0168-2563. [BIOGEOMON : international symposium on ecosystem behavior /7./. Northport, 15.07.2012-20.07.2012] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/1218 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : nitrogen * carbon * sulphur * acidification * forest soil * modelling Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2013

  13. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  14. Effects of Microbial and Heavy Metal Contaminants on Environmental/Ecological Health and Revitalization of Coastal Ecosystems in Delaware Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulnihal Ozbay

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of heavy metals, excess nutrients, and microbial contaminants in aquatic systems of coastal Delaware has become a public concern as human population increases and land development continues. Delaware's coastal lagoons have been subjected to problems commonly shared by other coastal Mid-Atlantic states: turbidity, sedimentation, eutrophication, periodic hypoxic/anoxic conditions, toxic substances, and high bacterial levels. The cumulative impact of pollutants from run-off and point sources has degraded water quality, reduced the diversity and abundance of various fish species, invertebrates, and submerged aquatic vegetation. The effects are especially pronounced within the manmade dead end canal systems. In this article, we present selected case studies conducted in the Delaware Inland Bays. Due to the ecological services provided by bivalves, our studies in Delaware Inland Bays are geared toward oysters with special focus on the microbial loads followed by the water quality assessments of the bay. The relationships between oysters (Crassostrea virginica, microbial loads and nutrient levels in the water were investigated. The heavy metal levels monitored further away from the waste water treatment plant in the inland bays are marginally higher than the recommended EPA limits. Also, our studies confirmed that aerobic bacteria and Vibrionaceae levels are salinity dependent. Total bacteria in oysters increased when nitrate and total suspended solids increased in the waters. Studies such as these are important because every year millions of Americans consume raw oysters. Data collected over the last 10 years from our studies may be used to build a predictive index of conditions that are favorable for the proliferation of human pathogenic bacteria. Results from this study will benefit the local community by helping them understand the importance of oyster aquaculture and safe consumption of oysters while making them appreciate their

  15. Efficient Low-pH Iron Removal by a Microbial Iron Oxide Mound Ecosystem at Scalp Level Run.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Christen L; Pearce, Alexandra R; Bibby, Kyle J; Jones, Daniel S; Burgos, William D; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2017-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major environmental problem affecting tens of thousands of kilometers of waterways worldwide. Passive bioremediation of AMD relies on microbial communities to oxidize and remove iron from the system; however, iron oxidation rates in AMD environments are highly variable among sites. At Scalp Level Run (Cambria County, PA), first-order iron oxidation rates are 10 times greater than at other coal-associated iron mounds in the Appalachians. We examined the bacterial community at Scalp Level Run to determine whether a unique community is responsible for the rapid iron oxidation rate. Despite strong geochemical gradients, including a >10-fold change in the concentration of ferrous iron from 57.3 mg/liter at the emergence to 2.5 mg/liter at the base of the coal tailings pile, the bacterial community composition was nearly constant with distance from the spring outflow. Scalp Level Run contains many of the same taxa present in other AMD sites, but the community is dominated by two strains of Ferrovum myxofaciens , a species that is associated with high rates of Fe(II) oxidation in laboratory studies. IMPORTANCE Acid mine drainage pollutes more than 19,300 km of rivers and streams and 72,000 ha of lakes worldwide. Remediation is frequently ineffective and costly, upwards of $100 billion globally and nearly $5 billion in Pennsylvania alone. Microbial Fe(II) oxidation is more efficient than abiotic Fe(II) oxidation at low pH (P. C. Singer and W. Stumm, Science 167:1121-1123, 1970, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.167.3921.1121). Therefore, AMD bioremediation could harness microbial Fe(II) oxidation to fuel more-cost-effective treatments. Advances will require a deeper understanding of the ecology of Fe(II)-oxidizing microbial communities and the factors that control their distribution and rates of Fe(II) oxidation. We investigated bacterial communities that inhabit an AMD site with rapid Fe(II) oxidation and found that they were dominated by two

  16. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  17. Ecological impacts of environmental toxicants and radiation on the microbial ecosystem: a model simulation of computational microbiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Fuma, Shoichi; Takeda, Hiroshi; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Yanagisawa, K.; Nakamura, Yuji; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2000-01-01

    This study explores a microorganic closed-ecosystem by computer simulation to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm that consists of heterotroph protozoa, Tetrahymena thermophila B as a consumer, autotroph algae, Euglena gracilis Z as a primary producer and saprotroph Bacteria, Escherichia coli DH5 as decomposer. The simulation program is written as a procedure of StarLogoT1.5.1, which is developed by Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Tufts University. The virtual microcosm is structured and operated by the following rules; 1) Environment is defined as a lattice model, which consists of 10,201 square patches, 300 micron Wide, 300 micron Length and 100 micron Hight. 2) Each patch has its own attributes, Nutrient, Detritus and absolute coordinates, 3) Components of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli are defined as sub-system, and each sub-system has its own attributes as location, heading direction, cell-age, structured biomass, reserves energy and demographic parameters (assimilation rate, breeding threshold, growth rate, etc.). 4) Each component of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli, lives by foraging (Tetrahymena eats E-coli), excreting its metabolic products to the environment (as a substrate of E-coli), breeding and dying according vital condition. 5) Euglena utilizes sunlight energy by photosynthesis process and produces organic compounds. E-coli breaks down the organic compounds of dead protoplasm or metabolic wastes (Detritus) and releases inorganic substances to construct down stream of food cycle. Virtual ecosystem in this study is named SIM-COSM, a parallel computing model for self-sustaining system of complexity. It found that SIM-COSM is a valuable to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm, where a feedback mechanism acts in response to disturbances and interactions among species and environment. In the simulation, microbes increased demographic and environmental

  18. Influence of liming substances and temperature on microbial activity and leaching of soil organic matter in coniferous forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersson, Stefan

    1999-01-01

    Liming has been proposed as a means to counteract the anthropogenic acidification of forest soils in Sweden. The increased pH caused by liming may affect the production and leaching of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the mor humus layer. The aim of this thesis was to assess changes in leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) and microbial activity in relation to liming. Leaching experiments were carried out in the laboratory with incubated field-limed soils and by monitoring of dissolved components in lysimeter water collected in a field liming experiment in southern Sweden from 1992-1997. Liming increased the leaching of DOC and DON from the mor humus layer but in the B horizon there were indications of different adsorption properties of DON compared to DOC, which affected the leaching of DOC and DON from the B horizon. DOC leaching was mainly regulated by temperature in mor humus from a site in southern Sweden, while pH had a greater effect in mor humus from a site in northern Sweden. This may have been due to relatively higher bacterial growth in the limed mor humus from southern Sweden. The experiments indicated that bacteria had a decisive role in the microbial production of DOM and bacterial activity was stimulated more by the increase in pH than by the change in the chemical composition of DOM after liming. Field data indicated that increasedCO 2 respiration in the limed treatment decreased carbon storage in the mor humus layer. There may have been an increase in carbon and nitrogen storage in the B horizon due to an increased adsorption caused by the higher leaching of DOM from the mor humus layer. The changes in storage could not be confirmed statistically, but there was a significant decline in the C/N ratio in the mor humus layer in the limed treatment. The adsorption patterns of DOC and DON indicated in the field were confirmed in a laboratory experiment

  19. Response of the Eastern Mediterranean microbial ecosystem to dust and dust affected by acid processing in the atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael David Krom

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Acid processes in the atmosphere, particularly those caused by anthropogenic acid gases, increase the amount of bioavailable P in dust and hence are predicted to increase microbial biomass and primary productivity when supplied to oceanic surface waters. This is likely to be particularly important in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS, which is P limited during the winter bloom and N&P co-limited for phytoplankton in summer. However, it is not clear how the acid processes acting on Saharan dust will affect the microbial biomass and primary productivity in the EMS. Here, we carried out bioassay manipulations on EMS surface water on which Saharan dust was added as dust (Z, acid treated dust (ZA, dust plus excess N (ZN and acid treated dust with excess N (ZNA during springtime (May 2012 and measured bacterioplankton biomass, metabolic and other relevant chemical and biological parameters. We show that acid treatment of Saharan dust increased the amount of bioavailable P supplied by a factor of ~40 compared to non-acidified dust (18.4 nmoles P mg-1 dust vs. 0.45 nmoles P mg-1 dust, respectively. The increase in chlorophyll, primary and bacterial productivity for treatments Z and ZA were controlled by the amount of N added with the dust while those for treatments ZN and ZNA (in which excessive N was added were controlled by the amount of P added. These results confirm that the surface waters were N&P co-limited for phytoplankton during springtime. However, total chlorophyll and primary productivity in the acid treated dust additions (ZA and ZNA were less than predicted from that calculated from the amount of the potentially limiting nutrient added. This biological inhibition was interpreted as being due to labile trace metals being added with the acidified dust. A probable cause for this biological inhibition was the addition of dissolved Al, which forms potentially toxic Al nanoparticles when added to seawater. Thus, the effect of anthropogenic acid

  20. The influence of nanoflagellates on the spatial variety of picoplankton and the carbon flow of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Kuo-Ping; Tsai, An-Yi; Tsai, Pei-Jung; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Huang, Bang-Qin; Tsai, Sheng-Fang

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the mechanism of the spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and to estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of the subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments during five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water, which according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation between bacteria growth rate and temperature, and another negative correlation between nitrate and temperature indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from a deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to the euphotic zone and promotes bacterial growth, resulting in increased picoplankton biomass, which increases the consumption rate of nanoflagellates. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundance of bacteria (105-106 cells ml-1) and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells ml-1) within a narrow range. Meanwhile, 61% of bacteria production and 54% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to a higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the successive size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation values were underestimated and that the diet of nanoflagellates is composed of 64% bacteria and 36% Synechococcus spp.

  1. The database on transgenic luminescent microorganisms as an instrument of studying a microbial component of closed ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyandin, A. N.; Lankin, Y. P.; Kargatova, T. V.; Popova, L. Y.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    Luminescent transgenic microorganisms are widely used for study of microbial communities' functioning including closed ones. Bioluminescence is of high sensitive to effects of different environmental factors. Integration of lux-genes into different metabolic ways allows studying many aspects of microorganisms' life permitting to carry out measurements in situ. There is much information about applications of bioluminescent bacteria in different researches. But for effective using these data their summarizing and accumulation in common source is required. Therefore an information system on characteristics of transgenic microorganisms with cloned lux-genes was created. The database and client software related were developed. A database structure includes information on common characteristics of cloned lux-genes, their sources and properties, on regulation of gene expression in bacterial cells, on dependence of bioluminescence manifestation on biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic environmental factors. The database also can store description of changes in bacterial populations depending on environmental changes. The database created allows storing and using bibliographic information and also links to web sites of world collections of microorganisms. Internet publishing software permitting to open access to the database through the Internet is developed.

  2. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  3. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  4. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  5. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Woycheese, Kristin M; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ(13)C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (-25 to -28‰) relative to the carbonates (-11 to -20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ(15)N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions.

  6. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Arcy Renee Meyer-Dombard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Gas seeps emanating from ophiolites at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite. Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ13C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (−25 to −28 ‰ relative to the carbonates (−11 to −20‰. We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ15N ratios ~ 3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and

  7. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N) of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, M. L.; Wooller, M. J.; Cheeseman, J.; Smallwood, B. J.; Roberts, Q.; Romero, I.; Meyers, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to -22‰) were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6-9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from -12‰ to -2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰). Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=-19‰) and in rainwater (δ15N=-10‰) were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  8. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Romero

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to −22‰ were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6–9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from −12‰ to −2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰. Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=−19‰ and in rainwater (δ15N=−10‰ were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  9. Proliferation of MISS-related microbial mats following the end-Permian mass extinction in terrestrial ecosystems: Evidence from the Lower Triassic of the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Chenyi; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Retallack, Gregory J.; Huang, Yuangeng; Fang, Yuheng

    2016-03-01

    Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISSs) are commonly present in siliciclastic shallow marine settings following the end-Permian mass extinction, but have been rarely reported in the post-extinction terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present six types of well-preserved MISSs from the upper Sunjiagou Formation and lower Liujiagou Formation of Induan (Early Triassic) age in the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China. These MISSs include: polygonal sand cracks, worm-like structures, wrinkle structures, sponge pore fabrics, gas domes, and leveled ripple marks. Microanalysis shows that these MISSs are characterized by thin clayey laminae and filamentous mica grains arranged parallel to bedding plane as well as oriented matrix supported quartz grains, which are indicative of biogenic origin. Facies analysis suggests that the MISS-hosting sediments were deposited in a fluvial sedimentary system during the Early Triassic, including lake delta, riverbeds/point bars, and flood plain paleoenvironments. Abundant MISSs from Yiyang indicate that microbes also proliferated in terrestrial ecosystems in the aftermath of the Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) biocrisis, like they behaved in marine ecosystems. Microbial blooms, together with dramatic loss of metazoans, may reflect environmental stress and degradation of terrestrial ecosystems or arid climate immediately after the severe Permian-Triassic ecologic crisis.

  10. The effect of dosages of microbial consortia formulation and synthetic fertilizer on the growth and yield of field-grown chili

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istifadah, N.; Sapta, D.; Krestini, H.; Natalie, B.; Suryatmana, P.; Nurbaity, A.; Hidersah, R.

    2018-03-01

    Chili (Capsicum annuum, L) is one of important horticultural crop in Indonesia. Formulation of microbial consortia containing Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas sp., Azotobacter chroococcum and Trichoderma harzianum has been developed. This study evaluated the effects of dosage of the microbial formulation combined with NPK fertilizer on growth and yield of chili plants in the field experiment. The experiment was arranged in completely randomized design of factorial, in which the first factor was dosage of formulation (0, 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10 g per plant) and the second factor was NPK fertilizer dosage (0, 25, 50 and 75% of the standard dosage). The treatments were replicated three times. For application, the formulation was mixed with chicken manure 1:10 (w/v). The results showed that application of microbial formulation solely improved the chili growth. There was interaction between dosages of the microbial formulation and NPK fertilizer in improving plant height, nitrogen availability and the chili yield, while there was no interaction between those dosages in improving the root length. Combination between microbial formulation at the dosage of 5.0-7.5 g per plant combined with NPK fertilizer with the dosage 50 or 75% of the standard dosage support relatively better growth and the chili yield.

  11. Microbial Population Dynamics and Ecosystem Functions of Anoxic/Aerobic Granular Sludge in Sequencing Batch Reactors Operated at Different Organic Loading Rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enikö Szabó

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The granular sludge process is an effective, low-footprint alternative to conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment. The architecture of the microbial granules allows the co-existence of different functional groups, e.g., nitrifying and denitrifying communities, which permits compact reactor design. However, little is known about the factors influencing community assembly in granular sludge, such as the effects of reactor operation strategies and influent wastewater composition. Here, we analyze the development of the microbiomes in parallel laboratory-scale anoxic/aerobic granular sludge reactors operated at low (0.9 kg m-3d-1, moderate (1.9 kg m-3d-1 and high (3.7 kg m-3d-1 organic loading rates (OLRs and the same ammonium loading rate (0.2 kg NH4-N m-3d-1 for 84 days. Complete removal of organic carbon and ammonium was achieved in all three reactors after start-up, while the nitrogen removal (denitrification efficiency increased with the OLR: 0% at low, 38% at moderate, and 66% at high loading rate. The bacterial communities at different loading rates diverged rapidly after start-up and showed less than 50% similarity after 6 days, and below 40% similarity after 84 days. The three reactor microbiomes were dominated by different genera (mainly Meganema, Thauera, Paracoccus, and Zoogloea, but these genera have similar ecosystem functions of EPS production, denitrification and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA storage. Many less abundant but persistent taxa were also detected within these functional groups. The bacterial communities were functionally redundant irrespective of the loading rate applied. At steady-state reactor operation, the identity of the core community members was rather stable, but their relative abundances changed considerably over time. Furthermore, nitrifying bacteria were low in relative abundance and diversity in all reactors, despite their large contribution to nitrogen turnover. The results suggest that the OLR has

  12. Development of synthetic chromosomes and improved microbial strains to utilize cellulosic feedstocks and express valuable coproducts for sustainable production of biofuels from corn

    Science.gov (United States)

    A sustainable biorefinery must convert a broad range of renewable feedstocks into a variety of product streams, including fuels, power, and value-added bioproducts. To accomplish this, microbial-based technologies that enable new commercially viable coproducts from corn-to-ethanol biofuel fermentati...

  13. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  14. [Progress in synthetic biology of "973 Funding Program" in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guoqiang; Wang, Ying

    2015-06-01

    This paper reviews progresses made in China from 2011 in areas of "Synthetic Biology" supported by State Basic Research 973 Program. Till the end of 2014, 9 "synthetic biology" projects have been initiated with emphasis on "microbial manufactures" with the 973 Funding Program. Combined with the very recent launch of one project on "mammalian cell synthetic biology" and another on "plant synthetic biology", Chinese "synthetic biology" research reflects its focus on "manufactures" while not giving up efforts on "synthetic biology" of complex systems.

  15. Ecosystem and physiological scales of microbial responses to nutrients in a detritus-based stream: results of a 5-year continuous enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller Suberkropp; Vladislav Gulis; Amy D. Rosemond; Jonathan Benstead

    2010-01-01

    Our study examined the response of leaf detritus–associated microorganisms (both bacteria and fungi) to a 5-yr continuous nutrient enrichment of a forested headwater stream. Leaf litter dominates detritus inputs to such streams and, on a system wide scale, serves as the key substrate for microbial colonization. We determined physiological responses as microbial biomass...

  16. Dry matter yield and forage quality traits of oat (Avena sativa L. under integrative use of microbial and synthetic source of nitrogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Bilal

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The natural microbes are potential contributor to build up soil nitrogen through transformation of molecular nitrogen to plant available forms. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the contribution of biofertilizer to reduce the synthetic nitrogen application without deteriorating the yield and forage quality. The supplementary nitrogen rates included 0, 40, 80 and 120 kg ha−1 and the seed inoculation was carried out with the mixture of Azospirillum + Azotobacter spp. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block design with factorial arrangement. The results indicated that organic matter contents and ether extractable fat were negatively associated with both nitrogen and inoculation factors. The inoculation produced 6.58%, 9.58%, 2.51%, 16.94%, 10.26%, 17.59%, 14.02%, 33.81% and 66.18% more No. tillers, plant height, leaf to stem ratio, dry matter yield, mineral matter contents, crude fibre, crude protein, crude protein yield and total digestible crude protein yield, respectively over uninoculation. The interactive effects indicated that inoculation alone without nitrogen application produced 19.16% and 6.87% more dry matter yield and crude protein (%, respectively. The beneficiary effects of biofertilizers on growth and dry matter of oat were more pronounced at intermediate level of inorganic nitrogen which was gradually decreased at higher nitrogen levels. The CP, CPY and DCPY achieved with inoculation alone were statistically equivalent to plots fertilized with 0 and 40 kg N ha−1. It is clear that plots sown with inoculated seeds must be fertilized with 80 kg N to produce higher dry matter and economic returns. However, the highest protein contents in dry matter were recorded with highest fertilization level along with inoculation. By giving due attention to stimulatory effects of bacterial species in the present study, it is therefore, recommended to integrate the use of biofertilizers with supplemental

  17. Synthetic Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslihan Okan Ibiloglu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic cannabinoids which is a subgroup of cannabinoids are commonly used for recreational drug use throughout the whole world. Although both marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids stimulate the same receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1 and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2, studies have shown that synthetic cannabinoids are much more potent than marijuana. The longer use of synthetic cannabinoids can cause severe physical and psychological symptoms that might even result in death, similar to many known illicit drugs. Main treatment options mostly involve symptom management and supportive care. The aim of this article is to discuss clinical and pharmacological properties of the increasingly used synthetic cannabinoids. [Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar - Current Approaches in Psychiatry 2017; 9(3.000: 317-328

  18. Determination of microbial versus root-produced CO2 in an agricultural ecosystem by means of δ13CO2 measurements in soil air

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schüßler, Wolfram; Neubert, Rolf; Levin, Ingeborg; Fischer, Natalie; Sonntag, Christian

    2000-01-01

    The amounts of microbial and root-respired CO2 in a maize/winter wheat agricultural system in south western Germany were investigated by measurements of the CO2 mixing ratio and the 13C/12C ratio in soil air. CO2 fluxes at the soil surface for the period of investigation (1993–1995) were also

  19. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: ‘La Salada de Chiprana’ (NE Spain)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonkers, Henk M.; Ludwig, Rebecca; De Wit, Rutger

    2003-01-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, ‘La Salada de Chiprana’, northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium...

  20. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  1. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  2. 2012 Molecular Basis of Microbial One-Carbon Metabolism Gordon Research Conferences and Gordon Research Seminar, August 4-10,2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanson, Thomas

    2012-08-10

    The 2012 Gordon Conference will present and discuss cutting-edge research in the field of microbial metabolism of C1 compounds. The conference will feature the roles and application of C1 metabolism in natural and synthetic systems at scales from molecules to ecosystems. The conference will stress molecular aspects of the unique metabolism exhibited by autotrophic bacteria, methanogens, methylotrophs, aerobic and anaerobic methanotrophs, and acetogens.

  3. Soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation in rice paddies under long-term agro-ecosystem experiments in southern China - VI. Changes in microbial community structure and respiratory activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Liu, X.; Liu, Y.; Li, L.; Pan, G.; Crowley, D.; Tippkötter, R.

    2011-02-01

    Biological stabilization within accumulated soil organic carbon (SOC) has not been well understood, while its role in physical and chemical protection as well as of chemical recalcitrance had been addressed in Chinese rice paddies. In this study, topsoil samples were collected and respiratory activity measured in situ following rice harvest under different fertilization treatments of three long-term experimental sites across southern China in 2009. The SOC contents, microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and nitrogen (SMBN) were analysed using chemical digestion and microbial community structure assessment via clony dilute plate counting methods. While SOC contents were consistently higher under compound chemical fertilization (Comp-Fert) or combined organic and inorganic fertilization (Comb-Fert) compared to N fertilization only (N-Fert), there was significantly higher fungal-bacterial ratio under Comb-Fert than under N-Fert and Comp-Fert. When subtracting the background effect under no fertilization treatment (Non-Fert), the increase both in SMBC and SMBN under fertilization treatment was found very significantly correlated to the increase in SOC over controls across the sites. Also, the ratio of culturable fungal to bacterial population numbers (F/B ratio) was well correlated with soil organic carbon contents in all samples across the sites studied. SOC accumulation favoured a build-up the microbial community with increasing fungal dominance in the rice paddies under fertilization treatments. While soil respiration rates were high under Comb-Fert as a result of enhanced microbial community build-up, the specific soil respiratory activity based on microbial biomass carbon was found in a significantly negatively correlation with the SOC contents for overall samples. Thus, a fungal-dominated microbial community seemed to slow SOC turnover, thereby favouring SOC accumulation under Comp-Fert or under Comb-Fert in the rice paddies. Therefore, the biological stabilization

  4. Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonkers, HM; van Bergeijk, SA; van Gemerden, H

    The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than

  5. Approaches to chemical synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Stano, Pasquale; Anella, Fabrizio; Carrara, Paolo; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2012-07-16

    Synthetic biology is first represented in terms of two complementary aspects, the bio-engineering one, based on the genetic manipulation of extant microbial forms in order to obtain forms of life which do not exist in nature; and the chemical synthetic biology, an approach mostly based on chemical manipulation for the laboratory synthesis of biological structures that do not exist in nature. The paper is mostly devoted to shortly review chemical synthetic biology projects currently carried out in our laboratory. In particular, we describe: the minimal cell project, then the "Never Born Proteins" and lastly the Never Born RNAs. We describe and critically analyze the main results, emphasizing the possible relevance of chemical synthetic biology for the progress in basic science and biotechnology. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Synthetic environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukes, George E.; Cain, Joel M.

    1996-02-01

    The Advanced Distributed Simulation (ADS) Synthetic Environments Program seeks to create robust virtual worlds from operational terrain and environmental data sources of sufficient fidelity and currency to interact with the real world. While some applications can be met by direct exploitation of standard digital terrain data, more demanding applications -- particularly those support operations 'close to the ground' -- are well-served by emerging capabilities for 'value-adding' by the user working with controlled imagery. For users to rigorously refine and exploit controlled imagery within functionally different workstations they must have a shared framework to allow interoperability within and between these environments in terms of passing image and object coordinates and other information using a variety of validated sensor models. The Synthetic Environments Program is now being expanded to address rapid construction of virtual worlds with research initiatives in digital mapping, softcopy workstations, and cartographic image understanding. The Synthetic Environments Program is also participating in a joint initiative for a sensor model applications programer's interface (API) to ensure that a common controlled imagery exploitation framework is available to all researchers, developers and users. This presentation provides an introduction to ADS and the associated requirements for synthetic environments to support synthetic theaters of war. It provides a technical rationale for exploring applications of image understanding technology to automated cartography in support of ADS and related programs benefitting from automated analysis of mapping, earth resources and reconnaissance imagery. And it provides an overview and status of the joint initiative for a sensor model API.

  7. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modelling and flux balance analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna eTaffi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The pressure to search effective bioremediation methodologies for contaminated ecosystems has led to the large-scale identification of microbial species and metabolic degradation pathways. However, minor attention has been paid to the study of bioremediation in marine food webs and to the definition of integrated strategies for reducing bioaccumulation in species. We propose a novel computational framework for analysing the multiscale effects of bioremediation at the ecosystem level, based on coupling food web bioaccumulation models and metabolic models of degrading bacteria. The combination of techniques from synthetic biology and ecological network analysis allows the specification of arbitrary scenarios of contaminant removal and the evaluation of strategies based on natural or synthetic microbial strains.In this study, we derive a bioaccumulation model of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs in the Adriatic food web, and we extend a metabolic reconstruction of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 (iJN746 with the aerobic pathway of PCBs degradation. We assess the effectiveness of different bioremediation scenarios in reducing PCBs concentration in species and we study indices of species centrality to measure their importance in the contaminant diffusion via feeding links.The analysis of the Adriatic sea case study suggests that our framework could represent a practical tool in the design of effective remediation strategies, providing at the same time insights into the ecological role of microbial communities within food webs.

  8. Silica ecosystem for synergistic biotransformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutlu, Baris R.; Sakkos, Jonathan K.; Yeom, Sujin; Wackett, Lawrence P.; Aksan, Alptekin

    2016-06-01

    Synergistical bacterial species can perform more varied and complex transformations of chemical substances than either species alone, but this is rarely used commercially because of technical difficulties in maintaining mixed cultures. Typical problems with mixed cultures on scale are unrestrained growth of one bacterium, which leads to suboptimal population ratios, and lack of control over bacterial spatial distribution, which leads to inefficient substrate transport. To address these issues, we designed and produced a synthetic ecosystem by co-encapsulation in a silica gel matrix, which enabled precise control of the microbial populations and their microenvironment. As a case study, two greatly different microorganisms: Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 were encapsulated. NCIB 9816 can aerobically biotransform over 100 aromatic hydrocarbons, a feat useful for synthesis of higher value commodity chemicals or environmental remediation. In our system, NCIB 9816 was used for biotransformation of naphthalene (a model substrate) into CO2 and the cyanobacterium PCC 7942 was used to provide the necessary oxygen for the biotransformation reactions via photosynthesis. A mathematical model was constructed to determine the critical cell density parameter to maximize oxygen production, and was then used to maximize the biotransformation rate of the system.

  9. Diazotrophic microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Stal, L.J.; Seckbach, J.; Oren, A.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats have been the focus of scientific research for a few decades. These small-scale ecosystems are examples of versatile benthic communities of microorganisms, usually dominated by phototrophic bacteria (e.g., Krumbein et al., 1977; Jørgensen et al., 1983). They develop as vertically

  10. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: 'La Salada de Chiprana' (NE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkers, Henk M; Ludwig, Rebecca; Wit, Rutger; Pringault, Olivier; Muyzer, Gerard; Niemann, Helge; Finke, Niko; Beer, Dirk

    2003-05-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, 'La Salada de Chiprana', northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium and sulfate, which were respectively 0.35 and 0.5 M at the time of sampling while the total salinity was 78 g l(-1). Community composition was analyzed by microscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pigment analyses and by studying culturable bacteria from different functional groups. Therefore, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was applied on most probable number (MPN) dilution cultures. Microscopy revealed that a thin layer of Chloroflexus-like bacteria overlaid various cyanobacteria-dominated layers each characterized by different morphotypes. DGGE analysis of MPN dilution cultures from distinct mat layers showed that various phylotypes of anoxygenic phototrophic, aerobic heterotrophic, colorless sulfur-, and sulfate-reducing bacteria were present. The mats were furthermore functionally studied and attention was focussed on the relationship between oxygenic primary production and the flow of carbon through the microbial community. Microsensor techniques, porewater and sediment photopigment analysis were applied in order to estimate oxygenic photosynthetic rates, daily dynamics of (in)organic carbon porewater concentration and migration behavior of phototrophs. Chiprana microbial mats produced dissolved organic carbon (DOC) both during the day and night. It was estimated that 14% of the mats gross photosynthetic production and 49% of the mats net photosynthetic production diffused out of the mat in the form of low molecular mass fatty acids, although these compounds made up only 2% of the total DOC pool. The high flux of dissolved fatty acids from the microbial mat to the water column may explain why in this system Chloroflexus-like bacteria

  11. Synthetic Rutile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burastero, J.

    1975-01-01

    This work is about the laboratory scale investigation of the conditions in the rutile synthetic production from one me nita in Aguas Dulces reservoir. The iron mineral is chlorinated and volatilized selectively leaving a residue enriched in titanium dioxide which can be used as a substitute of rutile mineral

  12. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  13. Chemical changes to leaf litter from trees grown under elevated CO2 and the implications for microbial utilization in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rier, S. T.; Tuchman, N. C.; Wetzel, R. G.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of elevated carbon dioxide on the chemistry and subsequent response of stream microorganisms growing on leaf litter of three riparian tree species (quaking aspen, white willow and sugar maple) were studied. Results showed that the effects were species-specific, i.e. aspen leaves contained high concentrations of lignin, maple leafs contained higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds and willow leaves contained higher concentrations of carbohydrate-bound condensed tannins. Initially, the higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds in maple leaves were rapidly leached in stream water, but overall, the impact of altered leaf chemistry on riparian trees grown under elevated carbon dioxide was clearly variable; no strongly suppressed microbial activity during stream incubation was observed. Any evidence of suppression observed, was species-specific. 49 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs

  14. TOXICITY COMPARISON OF BIOSURFACTANTS AND SYNTHETIC SURFACTANTS USED IN OIL SPILL REMEDIATION TO TWO ESTUARINE SPECIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    The relative environmental toxicities of synthetic and biogenic surfactants used in oil spill remediation efforts are not well understood. Acute and chronic toxicities of three synthetic surfactants and three microbially produced surfactants were determined and compared in this s...

  15. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  16. Microbial immobilization and recycling of 137Cs in the organic layers of forest ecosystems: Relationship to environmental conditions, humification and invertebrate activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brueckmann, Axel; Wolters, Volkmar

    1994-01-01

    The 137 Cs content of the microbial biomass in the organic layers of 10 German forest sites was quantified with a modified fumigation/extraction method. A K Cs factor was calculated for biomass 137 Cs from the difference between unfumigated and fumigated samples by means of laboratory cultures. The size of the estimated K Cs factors varied between 1.54 and 2.90 (mean, 2.17; S.D., 0.48). The microflora at the different forest sites contained between 1 and 56% of the total amount of 137 Cs found in the organic layers (mean, 13%). Litterbag experiments showed that 137 Cs was actively transported into the L layer by the microflora and that this effect was enhanced by the mesofauna. It is concluded that the immobilization and recycling of 137 Cs by the microflora in the organic layer of forest soils is determined by three major factors: 137 Cs availability, growth conditions of the microflora and biotic interactions

  17. Integrated site-specific quantification of faecal bacteria and detection of DNA markers in faecal contamination source tracking as a microbial risk tracking tool in urban Lake ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donde, Oscar Omondi; Tian, Cuicui; Xiao, Bangding

    2017-11-01

    The presence of feacal-derived pathogens in water is responsible for several infectious diseases and deaths worldwide. As a solution, sources of fecal pollution in waters must be accurately assessed, properly determined and strictly controlled. However, the exercise has remained challenging due to the existing overlapping characteristics by different members of faecal coliform bacteria and the inadequacy of information pertaining to the contribution of seasonality and weather condition on tracking the possible sources of pollution. There are continued efforts to improve the Faecal Contamination Source Tracking (FCST) techniques such as Microbial Source Tracking (MST). This study aimed to make contribution to MST by evaluating the efficacy of combining site specific quantification of faecal contamination indicator bacteria and detection of DNA markers while accounting for seasonality and weather conditions' effects in tracking the major sources of faecal contamination in a freshwater system (Donghu Lake, China). The results showed that the use of cyd gene in addition to lacZ and uidA genes differentiates E. coli from other closely related faecal bacteria. The use of selective media increases the pollution source tracking accuracy. BSA addition boosts PCR detection and increases FCST efficiency. Seasonality and weather variability also influence the detection limit for DNA markers.

  18. Natural - synthetic - artificial!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Peter E

    2010-01-01

    The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life.......The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life....

  19. Synthetic Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Brooke; Yepes, Andres; Nugent, Kenneth

    2015-07-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs), also known under the brand names of "Spice," "K2," "herbal incense," "Cloud 9," "Mojo" and many others, are becoming a large public health concern due not only to their increasing use but also to their unpredictable toxicity and abuse potential. There are many types of SCBs, each having a unique binding affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Although both Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and SCBs stimulate the same receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), studies have shown that SCBs are associated with higher rates of toxicity and hospital admissions than is natural cannabis. This is likely due to SCBs being direct agonists of the cannabinoid receptors, whereas THC is a partial agonist. Furthermore, the different chemical structures of SCBs found in Spice or K2 may interact in unpredictable ways to elicit previously unknown, and the commercial products may have unknown contaminants. The largest group of users is men in their 20s who participate in polydrug use. The most common reported toxicities with SCB use based on studies using Texas Poison Control records are tachycardia, agitation and irritability, drowsiness, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension, nausea, confusion, dizziness, vertigo and chest pain. Acute kidney injury has also been strongly associated with SCB use. Treatment mostly involves symptom management and supportive care. More research is needed to identify which contaminants are typically found in synthetic marijuana and to understand the interactions between different SBCs to better predict adverse health outcomes.

  20. Synthetic Brainbows

    KAUST Repository

    Wan, Y.

    2013-06-01

    Brainbow is a genetic engineering technique that randomly colorizes cells. Biological samples processed with this technique and imaged with confocal microscopy have distinctive colors for individual cells. Complex cellular structures can then be easily visualized. However, the complexity of the Brainbow technique limits its applications. In practice, most confocal microscopy scans use different florescence staining with typically at most three distinct cellular structures. These structures are often packed and obscure each other in rendered images making analysis difficult. In this paper, we leverage a process known as GPU framebuffer feedback loops to synthesize Brainbow-like images. In addition, we incorporate ID shuffing and Monte-Carlo sampling into our technique, so that it can be applied to single-channel confocal microscopy data. The synthesized Brainbow images are presented to domain experts with positive feedback. A user survey demonstrates that our synthetic Brainbow technique improves visualizations of volume data with complex structures for biologists.

  1. Synthetic Botany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm, Christian R; Pollak, Bernardo; Purswani, Nuri; Patron, Nicola; Haseloff, Jim

    2017-07-05

    Plants are attractive platforms for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. Plants' modular and plastic body plans, capacity for photosynthesis, extensive secondary metabolism, and agronomic systems for large-scale production make them ideal targets for genetic reprogramming. However, efforts in this area have been constrained by slow growth, long life cycles, the requirement for specialized facilities, a paucity of efficient tools for genetic manipulation, and the complexity of multicellularity. There is a need for better experimental and theoretical frameworks to understand the way genetic networks, cellular populations, and tissue-wide physical processes interact at different scales. We highlight new approaches to the DNA-based manipulation of plants and the use of advanced quantitative imaging techniques in simple plant models such as Marchantia polymorpha. These offer the prospects of improved understanding of plant dynamics and new approaches to rational engineering of plant traits. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  2. [Advances in microbial genome reduction and modification].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianli; Wang, Xiaoyuan

    2013-08-01

    Microbial genome reduction and modification are important strategies for constructing cellular chassis used for synthetic biology. This article summarized the essential genes and the methods to identify them in microorganisms, compared various strategies for microbial genome reduction, and analyzed the characteristics of some microorganisms with the minimized genome. This review shows the important role of genome reduction in constructing cellular chassis.

  3. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    OpenAIRE

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems.

  4. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems. PMID:25744872

  5. Simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation of synthetic melanoidin

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Being an antioxidant, melanoidin removal through purely biodegradation has been inadequate. Consequently, in the current study, simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation (SAB) was employed in a stirred tank system to remove melanoidin from synthetic wastewater. Mixed microbial consortium was immobilized onto ...

  6. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  7. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  8. Synthetic Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  9. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges.

  10. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together...... with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed...... synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead....

  11. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  12. Microbial ecology-based engineering of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christin; Korth, Benjamin; Harnisch, Falk

    2018-01-01

    Microbial ecology is devoted to the understanding of dynamics, activity and interaction of microorganisms in natural and technical ecosystems. Bioelectrochemical systems represent important technical ecosystems, where microbial ecology is of highest importance for their function. However, whereas aspects of, for example, materials and reactor engineering are commonly perceived as highly relevant, the study and engineering of microbial ecology are significantly underrepresented in bioelectrochemical systems. This shortfall may be assigned to a deficit on knowledge and power of these methods as well as the prerequisites for their thorough application. This article discusses not only the importance of microbial ecology for microbial electrochemical technologies but also shows which information can be derived for a knowledge-driven engineering. Instead of providing a comprehensive list of techniques from which it is hard to judge the applicability and value of information for a respective one, this review illustrates the suitability of selected techniques on a case study. Thereby, best practice for different research questions is provided and a set of key questions for experimental design, data acquisition and analysis is suggested. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Tropical marine ecosystems: The microbial component

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, D.

    for vital biogeochemical cycles. Although the bacteriology of fish has been extensively studied in connection with spoilage, comparatively little work has been done on the role of intestinal flora in fish nutrition. A number of plant and animal diseases have...

  14. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology is a novel biological discipline at the interface between traditional biology, chemistry, and engineering sciences. Synthetic biology aims at the rational design of complex synthetic biological devices and systems with desired properties by combining compatible, modular biological parts in a systematic manner. While the first engineered systems were mainly proof-of-principle studies to demonstrate the power of the modular engineering approach of synthetic biology, subsequent systems focus on applications in the health, environmental, and energy sectors. This review describes recent approaches for biomedical applications that were developed along the synthetic biology design hierarchy, at the level of individual parts, of devices, and of complex multicellular systems. It describes how synthetic biological parts can be used for the synthesis of drug-delivery tools, how synthetic biological devices can facilitate the discovery of novel drugs, and how multicellular synthetic ecosystems can give insight into population dynamics of parasites and hosts. These examples demonstrate how this new discipline could contribute to novel solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

  15. Synthetic Biology of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, De-Chuan; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a family of biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters which have been extensively studied using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering methods for improving production and for widening its diversity. Synthetic biology has allowed PHA to become composition controllable random copolymers, homopolymers, and block copolymers. Recent developments showed that it is possible to establish a microbial platform for producing not only random copolymers with controllable monomers and their ratios but also structurally defined homopolymers and block copolymers. This was achieved by engineering the genome of Pseudomonas putida or Pseudomonas entomophiles to weaken the β-oxidation and in situ fatty acid synthesis pathways, so that a fatty acid fed to the bacteria maintains its original chain length and structures when incorporated into the PHA chains. The engineered bacterium allows functional groups in a fatty acid to be introduced into PHA, forming functional PHA, which, upon grafting, generates endless PHA variety. Recombinant Escherichia coli also succeeded in producing efficiently poly(3-hydroxypropionate) or P3HP, the strongest member of PHA. Synthesis pathways of P3HP and its copolymer P3HB3HP of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxypropionate were assembled respectively to allow their synthesis from glucose. CRISPRi was also successfully used to manipulate simultaneously multiple genes and control metabolic flux in E. coli to obtain a series of copolymer P3HB4HB of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB). The bacterial shapes were successfully engineered for enhanced PHA accumulation.

  16. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  17. WISB: Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, John

    2016-06-15

    Synthetic biology promises to create high-impact solutions to challenges in the areas of biotechnology, human/animal health, the environment, energy, materials and food security. Equally, synthetic biologists create tools and strategies that have the potential to help us answer important fundamental questions in biology. Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology (WISB) pursues both of these mutually complementary 'build to apply' and 'build to understand' approaches. This is reflected in our research structure, in which a core theme on predictive biosystems engineering develops underpinning understanding as well as next-generation experimental/theoretical tools, and these are then incorporated into three applied themes in which we engineer biosynthetic pathways, microbial communities and microbial effector systems in plants. WISB takes a comprehensive approach to training, education and outreach. For example, WISB is a partner in the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded U.K. Doctoral Training Centre in synthetic biology, we have developed a new undergraduate module in the subject, and we have established five WISB Research Career Development Fellowships to support young group leaders. Research in Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA) of synthetic biology is embedded in our centre activities. WISB has been highly proactive in building an international research and training network that includes partners in Barcelona, Boston, Copenhagen, Madrid, Marburg, São Paulo, Tartu and Valencia. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Synthetic biology of microbes synthesizing polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Qiang Chen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA have been produced as bioplastics for various purposes. Under the support of China National Basic Research 973 Project, we developed synthetic biology methods to diversify the PHA structures into homo-, random, block polymers with improved properties to better meet various application requirements. At the same time, various pathways were assembled to produce various PHA from glucose as a simple carbon source. At the end, Halomonas bacteria were reconstructed to produce PHA in changing morphology for low cost production under unsterile and continuous conditions. The synthetic biology will advance the PHA into a bio- and material industry.

  19. Aerobic Granular Sludge: Effect of Salt and Insights into Microbial Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Zhongwei

    2017-01-01

    Like other artificial microbial ecosystems (e.g. CAS plant and anaerobic digester), a firm understanding of the microbial ecology of AGS system is essential for process design and optimization. The second part

  20. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  1. Emergent biosynthetic capacity in simple microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsuan-Chao Chiu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Microbes have an astonishing capacity to transform their environments. Yet, the metabolic capacity of a single species is limited and the vast majority of microorganisms form complex communities and join forces to exhibit capabilities far exceeding those achieved by any single species. Such enhanced metabolic capacities represent a promising route to many medical, environmental, and industrial applications and call for the development of a predictive, systems-level understanding of synergistic microbial capacity. Here we present a comprehensive computational framework, integrating high-quality metabolic models of multiple species, temporal dynamics, and flux variability analysis, to study the metabolic capacity and dynamics of simple two-species microbial ecosystems. We specifically focus on detecting emergent biosynthetic capacity--instances in which a community growing on some medium produces and secretes metabolites that are not secreted by any member species when growing in isolation on that same medium. Using this framework to model a large collection of two-species communities on multiple media, we demonstrate that emergent biosynthetic capacity is highly prevalent. We identify commonly observed emergent metabolites and metabolic reprogramming patterns, characterizing typical mechanisms of emergent capacity. We further find that emergent secretion tends to occur in two waves, the first as soon as the two organisms are introduced, and the second when the medium is depleted and nutrients become limited. Finally, aiming to identify global community determinants of emergent capacity, we find a marked association between the level of emergent biosynthetic capacity and the functional/phylogenetic distance between community members. Specifically, we demonstrate a "Goldilocks" principle, where high levels of emergent capacity are observed when the species comprising the community are functionally neither too close, nor too distant. Taken together

  2. Synthetic biology, inspired by synthetic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinova, V; Nallani, M; Meier, W P; Sinner, E K

    2012-07-16

    The topic synthetic biology appears still as an 'empty basket to be filled'. However, there is already plenty of claims and visions, as well as convincing research strategies about the theme of synthetic biology. First of all, synthetic biology seems to be about the engineering of biology - about bottom-up and top-down approaches, compromising complexity versus stability of artificial architectures, relevant in biology. Synthetic biology accounts for heterogeneous approaches towards minimal and even artificial life, the engineering of biochemical pathways on the organismic level, the modelling of molecular processes and finally, the combination of synthetic with nature-derived materials and architectural concepts, such as a cellular membrane. Still, synthetic biology is a discipline, which embraces interdisciplinary attempts in order to have a profound, scientific base to enable the re-design of nature and to compose architectures and processes with man-made matter. We like to give an overview about the developments in the field of synthetic biology, regarding polymer-based analogs of cellular membranes and what questions can be answered by applying synthetic polymer science towards the smallest unit in life, namely a cell. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  4. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-04-25

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC.

  5. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-05-01

    Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology toward the design and production of new devices. This emerging field should play an important role in future agriculture for traditional crop improvement, but also in enabling novel bioproduction in plants. In this review we discuss the design cycles of synthetic biology as well as key engineering principles, genetic parts, and computational tools that can be utilized in plant synthetic biology. Some pioneering examples are offered as a demonstration of how synthetic biology can be used to modify plants for specific purposes. These include synthetic sensors, synthetic metabolic pathways, and synthetic genomes. We also speculate about the future of synthetic biology of plants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Fentanyl Hallucinogens Inhalants Heroin Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Over-the-Counter Medicines Prescription Medicines Steroids (Anabolic) Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice) Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts) Tobacco/ ...

  8. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  9. Fibers as carriers of microbial particles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafał L. Górny

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: The aim of the study was to assess the ability of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers to transport microbial particles. Material and Methods: The simultaneously settled dust and aerosol sampling was carried out in 3 industrial facilities processing natural (cotton, silk, flax, hemp, synthetic (polyamide, polyester, polyacrylonitrile, polypropylene and semi-synthetic (viscose fibrous materials; 2 stables where horses and sheep were bred; 4 homes where dogs or cats were kept and 1 zoo lion pavilion. All samples were laboratory analyzed for their microbiological purity. The isolated strains were qualitatively identified. To identify the structure and arrangement of fibers that may support transport of microbial particles, a scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed. Results: Both settled and airborne fibers transported analogous microorganisms. All synthetic, semi-synthetic and silk fibers, present as separated threads with smooth surface, were free from microbial contamination. Natural fibers with loose packing and rough surface (e.g., wool, horse hair, sheaf packing and septated surface (e.g., flax, hemp or present as twisted ribbons with corrugated surface (cotton were able to carry up to 9×105 cfu/g aerobic bacteria, 3.4×104 cfu/g anaerobic bacteria and 6.3×104 cfu/g of fungi, including pathogenic strains classified by Directive 2000/54/EC in hazard group 2. Conclusions: As plant and animal fibers are contaminated with a significant number of microorganisms, including pathogens, all of them should be mechanically eliminated from the environment. In factories, if the manufacturing process allows, they should be replaced by synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers. To avoid unwanted exposure to harmful microbial agents on fibers, the containment measures that efficiently limit their presence and dissemination in both occupational and non-occupational environments should be introduced. Med Pr 2015;66(4:511–523

  10. [Fibers as carriers of microbial particles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górny, Rafał L; Ławniczek-Wałczyk, Anna; Stobnicka, Agata; Gołofit-Szymczak, Małgorzata; Cyprowski, Marcin

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the ability of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers to transport microbial particles. The simultaneously settled dust and aerosol sampling was carried out in 3 industrial facilities processing natural (cotton, silk, flax, hemp), synthetic (polyamide, polyester, polyacrylonitrile, polypropylene) and semi-synthetic (viscose) fibrous materials; 2 stables where horses and sheep were bred; 4 homes where dogs or cats were kept and 1 zoo lion pavilion. All samples were laboratory analyzed for their microbiological purity. The isolated strains were qualitatively identified. To identify the structure and arrangement of fibers that may support transport of microbial particles, a scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed. Both settled and airborne fibers transported analogous microorganisms. All synthetic, semi-synthetic and silk fibers, present as separated threads with smooth surface, were free from microbial contamination. Natural fibers with loose packing and rough surface (e.g., wool, horse hair), sheaf packing and septated surface (e.g., flax, hemp) or present as twisted ribbons with corrugated surface (cotton) were able to carry up to 9×10(5) cfu/g aerobic bacteria, 3.4×10(4) cfu/g anaerobic bacteria and 6.3×10(4) cfu/g of fungi, including pathogenic strains classified by Directive 2000/54/EC in hazard group 2. As plant and animal fibers are contaminated with a significant number of microorganisms, including pathogens, all of them should be mechanically eliminated from the environment. In factories, if the manufacturing process allows, they should be replaced by synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers. To avoid unwanted exposure to harmful microbial agents on fibers, the containment measures that efficiently limit their presence and dissemination in both occupational and non-occupational environments should be introduced. This work is available in Open Access model and licensed under a CC BY-NC 3.0 PL license.

  11. Potential of Thermophilic microorganisms for the degradation of synthetic polymers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dominguez, A.; Deive, F. J.; Sanroman, M. A.; Longo, M. A.

    2009-07-01

    Nowadays, synthetic polymers are used in all areas of human activity, mainly due to their high stability against environmental conditions and microbial attack. However, these properties are also a problem from an environmental point of view, and thus it is necessary to find biodegradable synthetic polymers that can be easily removed in nature after disposal, and decomposed into biomass, CO{sub 2} and water. (Author)

  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. Glycoside Hydrolases across Environmental Microbial Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud Berlemont

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Across many environments microbial glycoside hydrolases support the enzymatic processing of carbohydrates, a critical function in many ecosystems. Little is known about how the microbial composition of a community and the potential for carbohydrate processing relate to each other. Here, using 1,934 metagenomic datasets, we linked changes in community composition to variation of potential for carbohydrate processing across environments. We were able to show that each ecosystem-type displays a specific potential for carbohydrate utilization. Most of this potential was associated with just 77 bacterial genera. The GH content in bacterial genera is best described by their taxonomic affiliation. Across metagenomes, fluctuations of the microbial community structure and GH potential for carbohydrate utilization were correlated. Our analysis reveals that both deterministic and stochastic processes contribute to the assembly of complex microbial communities.

  14. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  15. Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins

    KAUST Repository

    Merlino, Giuseppe; Barozzi, Alan; Michoud, Gregoire; Ngugi, David; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-01-01

    of mixing and by extreme conditions of salinity, anoxia, and relatively high hydrostatic pressure and temperatures. Due to these combined selection factors, unique microbial assemblages thrive in these polyextreme ecosystems. The topological localization

  16. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E

    2017-09-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2 . However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14). © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  18. Strong linkage between active microbial communities and microbial carbon usage in a deglaciated terrain of the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M.; Gyeong, H. R.; Lee, Y. K.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms play pivotal roles in ecosystem development and carbon cycling in newly exposed glacier forelands. However, little is known about carbon utilization pattern by metabolically active microbes over the course of ecosystem succession in these nutrient-poor environments. We investigated RNA-based microbial community dynamics and its relation to microbial carbon usage along the chronosequence of a High Arctic glacier foreland. Among microbial taxa surveyed (bacteria, archaea and fungi), bacteria are among the most metabolically active taxa with a dominance of Cyanobacteria and Actinobacteria. There was a strong association between microbial carbon usage and active Actinobacterial communities, suggesting that member of Actinobacteria are actively involved in organic carbon degradation in glacier forelands. Both bacterial community and microbial carbon usage are converged towards later stage of succession, indicating that the composition of soil organic carbon plays important roles in structuring bacterial decomposer communities during ecosystem development.

  19. The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J M; Curtis, Tom P; Ellis, Richard J; Firestone, Mary K; Freckleton, Rob P; Green, Jessica L; Green, Laura E; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J; Osborn, A Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J Peter W

    2007-05-01

    Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

  20. Genome-driven evolutionary game theory helps understand the rise of metabolic interdependencies in microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomorrodi, Ali R; Segrè, Daniel

    2017-11-16

    Metabolite exchanges in microbial communities give rise to ecological interactions that govern ecosystem diversity and stability. It is unclear, however, how the rise of these interactions varies across metabolites and organisms. Here we address this question by integrating genome-scale models of metabolism with evolutionary game theory. Specifically, we use microbial fitness values estimated by metabolic models to infer evolutionarily stable interactions in multi-species microbial "games". We first validate our approach using a well-characterized yeast cheater-cooperator system. We next perform over 80,000 in silico experiments to infer how metabolic interdependencies mediated by amino acid leakage in Escherichia coli vary across 189 amino acid pairs. While most pairs display shared patterns of inter-species interactions, multiple deviations are caused by pleiotropy and epistasis in metabolism. Furthermore, simulated invasion experiments reveal possible paths to obligate cross-feeding. Our study provides genomically driven insight into the rise of ecological interactions, with implications for microbiome research and synthetic ecology.

  1. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster

    OpenAIRE

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E.

    2017-01-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2. However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14).

  2. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  3. [From synthetic biology to synthetic humankind].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouvel, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an historical survey of the expression "synthetic biology" in order to identify its main philosophical components. The result of the analysis is then used to investigate the meaning of the notion of "synthetic man". It is shown that both notions share a common philosophical background that can be summed up by the short but meaningful assertion: "biology is technology". The analysis allows us to distinguish two notions that are often confused in transhumanist literature: the notion of synthetic man and the notion of renewed man. The consequences of this crucial distinction are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. The contribution of microbial biotechnology to mitigating coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damjanovic, Katarina; Blackall, Linda L; Webster, Nicole S; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2017-09-01

    The decline of coral reefs due to anthropogenic disturbances is having devastating impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Here we highlight the potential and challenges of microbial manipulation strategies to enhance coral tolerance to stress and contribute to coral reef restoration and protection. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  5. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ty N.F. Roach

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify

  6. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  7. Microbial glycoproteomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halim, Adnan; Anonsen, Jan Haug

    2017-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-based "-omics" technologies are important tools for global and detailed mapping of post-translational modifications. Protein glycosylation is an abundant and important post translational modification widespread throughout all domains of life. Characterization of glycoproteins...... and research in this area is rapidly accelerating. Here, we review recent developments in glycoproteomic technologies with a special focus on microbial protein glycosylation....

  8. Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Salinity on the Microbial Diversity in Lithifying Microbial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R. Ahrendt

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 are rising at an accelerated rate resulting in changes in the pH and carbonate chemistry of the world’s oceans. However, there is uncertainty regarding the impact these changing environmental conditions have on carbonate-depositing microbial communities. Here, we examine the effects of elevated CO2, three times that of current atmospheric levels, on the microbial diversity associated with lithifying microbial mats. Lithifying microbial mats are complex ecosystems that facilitate the trapping and binding of sediments, and/or the precipitation of calcium carbonate into organosedimentary structures known as microbialites. To examine the impact of rising CO2 and resulting shifts in pH on lithifying microbial mats, we constructed growth chambers that could continually manipulate and monitor the mat environment. The microbial diversity of the various treatments was compared using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The results indicated that elevated CO2 levels during the six month exposure did not profoundly alter the microbial diversity, community structure, or carbonate precipitation in the microbial mats; however some key taxa, such as the sulfate-reducing bacteria Deltasulfobacterales, were enriched. These results suggest that some carbonate depositing ecosystems, such as the microbialites, may be more resilient to anthropogenic-induced environmental change than previously thought.

  9. Pathogen self defense: mechanisms to counteract microbial antagonism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duffy, B.K.; Schouten, A.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2003-01-01

    Natural and agricultural ecosystems harbor a wide variety of microorganisms that play an integral role in plant health, crop productivity, and preservation of multiple ecosystem functions. Interactions within and among microbial communities are numerous and range from synergistic and mutualistic to

  10. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-01-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  11. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-07-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  12. Synthetic Defects for Vibrothermography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renshaw, Jeremy; Holland, Stephen D.; Thompson, R. Bruce; Eisenmann, David J.

    2010-02-01

    Synthetic defects are an important tool used for characterizing the performance of nondestructive evaluation techniques. Viscous material-filled synthetic defects were developed for use in vibrothermography (also known as sonic IR) as a tool to improve inspection accuracy and reliability. This paper describes how the heat-generation response of these VMF synthetic defects is similar to the response of real defects. It also shows how VMF defects can be applied to improve inspection accuracy for complex industrial parts and presents a study of their application in an aircraft engine stator vane.

  13. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M

    2013-01-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics. (review article)

  14. Microbial xanthophylls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhosale, Prakash; Bernstein, Paul S

    2005-09-01

    Xanthophylls are oxygenated carotenoids abundant in the human food supply. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are major xanthophyll carotenoids in human plasma. The consumption of these xanthophylls is directly associated with reduction in the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract formation. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin also have considerable importance in aquaculture for salmonid and crustacean pigmentation, and are of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical synthesis is a major source for the heavy demand of xanthophylls in the consumer market; however, microbial producers also have potential as commercial sources. In this review, we discuss the biosynthesis, commercial utility, and major microbial sources of xanthophylls. We also present a critical review of current research and technologies involved in promoting microbes as potential commercial sources for mass production.

  15. Microbial diversity arising from thermodynamic constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Großkopf, Tobias; Soyer, Orkun S

    2016-01-01

    The microbial world displays an immense taxonomic diversity. This diversity is manifested also in a multitude of metabolic pathways that can utilise different substrates and produce different products. Here, we propose that these observations directly link to thermodynamic constraints that inherently arise from the metabolic basis of microbial growth. We show that thermodynamic constraints can enable coexistence of microbes that utilise the same substrate but produce different end products. We find that this thermodynamics-driven emergence of diversity is most relevant for metabolic conversions with low free energy as seen for example under anaerobic conditions, where population dynamics is governed by thermodynamic effects rather than kinetic factors such as substrate uptake rates. These findings provide a general understanding of the microbial diversity based on the first principles of thermodynamics. As such they provide a thermodynamics-based framework for explaining the observed microbial diversity in different natural and synthetic environments. PMID:27035705

  16. Microbial diversity arising from thermodynamic constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Großkopf, Tobias; Soyer, Orkun S

    2016-11-01

    The microbial world displays an immense taxonomic diversity. This diversity is manifested also in a multitude of metabolic pathways that can utilise different substrates and produce different products. Here, we propose that these observations directly link to thermodynamic constraints that inherently arise from the metabolic basis of microbial growth. We show that thermodynamic constraints can enable coexistence of microbes that utilise the same substrate but produce different end products. We find that this thermodynamics-driven emergence of diversity is most relevant for metabolic conversions with low free energy as seen for example under anaerobic conditions, where population dynamics is governed by thermodynamic effects rather than kinetic factors such as substrate uptake rates. These findings provide a general understanding of the microbial diversity based on the first principles of thermodynamics. As such they provide a thermodynamics-based framework for explaining the observed microbial diversity in different natural and synthetic environments.

  17. Models for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-11-06

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal.

  18. Technical Assessment: Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Pfizer, Bausch & Lomb, Coca - Cola , and other Fortune 500 companies 8 Data estimated by the... financial prize for ideas to drive forward the production of a sensor relying on synthetic organisms that can detect exposure to 500 specific chemicals

  19. Microbial ecology of deep-water mid-Atlantic canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    The research described in this fact sheet will be conducted from 2012 to 2014 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) Program. This integrated, multidisciplinary effort will be investigating a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level. One goal is to improve understanding, at the microbiological scale, of the benthic communities (including corals) that reside in and around mid-Atlantic canyon habitats and their associated environments. Specific objectives include identifying and characterizing the microbial associates of deep-sea corals, characterizing the microbial biofilms on hard substrates to better determine their role in engineering the ecosystem, and adding a microbial dimension to benthic community structure and function assessments by characterizing micro-eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea in deep-sea sediments.

  20. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  1. Metagenomics and Bioinformatics in Microbial Ecology: Current Status and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraoka, Satoshi; Yang, Ching-Chia; Iwasaki, Wataru

    2016-09-29

    Metagenomic approaches are now commonly used in microbial ecology to study microbial communities in more detail, including many strains that cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. Bioinformatic analyses make it possible to mine huge metagenomic datasets and discover general patterns that govern microbial ecosystems. However, the findings of typical metagenomic and bioinformatic analyses still do not completely describe the ecology and evolution of microbes in their environments. Most analyses still depend on straightforward sequence similarity searches against reference databases. We herein review the current state of metagenomics and bioinformatics in microbial ecology and discuss future directions for the field. New techniques will allow us to go beyond routine analyses and broaden our knowledge of microbial ecosystems. We need to enrich reference databases, promote platforms that enable meta- or comprehensive analyses of diverse metagenomic datasets, devise methods that utilize long-read sequence information, and develop more powerful bioinformatic methods to analyze data from diverse perspectives.

  2. Comparison of the active and resident community of a coastal microbial mat

    OpenAIRE

    Cardoso, Daniela Clara; Sandionigi, Anna; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Casiraghi, Maurizio; Stal, Lucas; Bolhuis, Henk

    2017-01-01

    Coastal microbial mats form a nearly closed micro-scale ecosystem harboring a complex microbial community. Previous DNA based analysis did not necessarily provide information about the active fraction of the microbial community because it includes dormant, inactive cells as well as a potential stable pool of extracellular DNA. Here we focused on the active microbial community by comparing 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the ribosomal RNA pool with gene sequences obtained from the DNA fractio...

  3. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Simon J; MacDonald, James T; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-06-15

    Cell-free transcription-translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Synthetic biology approaches: Towards sustainable exploitation of marine bioactive molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seghal Kiran, G; Ramasamy, Pasiyappazham; Sekar, Sivasankari; Ramu, Meenatchi; Hassan, Saqib; Ninawe, A S; Selvin, Joseph

    2018-06-01

    The discovery of genes responsible for the production of bioactive metabolites via metabolic pathways combined with the advances in synthetic biology tools, has allowed the establishment of numerous microbial cell factories, for instance the yeast cell factories, for the manufacture of highly useful metabolites from renewable biomass. Genome mining and metagenomics are two platforms provide base-line data for reconstruction of genomes and metabolomes which is based in the development of synthetic/semi-synthetic genomes for marine natural products discovery. Engineered biofilms are being innovated on synthetic biology platform using genetic circuits and cell signalling systems as represillators controlling biofilm formation. Recombineering is a process of homologous recombination mediated genetic engineering, includes insertion, deletion or modification of any sequence specifically. Although this discipline considered new to the scientific domain, this field has now developed as promising endeavor on the accomplishment of sustainable exploitation of marine natural products. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Synthetic control of a fitness tradeoff in yeast nitrogen metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Jack J

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial communities are involved in many processes relevant to industrial and medical biotechnology, such as the formation of biofilms, lignocellulosic degradation, and hydrogen production. The manipulation of synthetic and natural microbial communities and their underlying ecological parameters, such as fitness, evolvability, and variation, is an increasingly important area of research for synthetic biology. Results Here, we explored how synthetic control of an endogenous circuit can be used to regulate a tradeoff between fitness in resource abundant and resource limited environments in a population of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that noise in the expression of a key enzyme in ammonia assimilation, Gdh1p, mediated a tradeoff between growth in low nitrogen environments and stress resistance in high ammonia environments. We implemented synthetic control of an endogenous Gdh1p regulatory network to construct an engineered strain in which the fitness of the population was tunable in response to an exogenously-added small molecule across a range of ammonia environments. Conclusion The ability to tune fitness and biological tradeoffs will be important components of future efforts to engineer microbial communities.

  6. Diversity of total and functional microbiome of anammox reactors fed with complex and synthetic nitrogen-rich wastewaters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gülay, Arda; Pellicer i Nàcher, Carles; Mutlu, Ayten Gizem

    diversity than the bioreactors treating synthetic wastewaters inferred from observed OTUs0.03, Chao1, Shannon index and Phylogenetic distance calculations. Differences in total microbial diversity agreed with the ecological theory concerning the positive correlation between substrate complexity...

  7. Molecular analysis of the biomass of a fluidized bed reactor treating synthetic vinasse at anaerobic and micro-aerobic conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodriguez, E.; Lopes, A.; Fdz-Polanco, M.; Stams, A.J.M.; Garcia Encina, P.A.

    2012-01-01

    The microbial communities (Bacteria and Archaea) established in an anaerobic fluidized bed reactor used to treat synthetic vinasse (betaine, glucose, acetate, propionate, and butyrate) were characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and phylogenetic analysis. This study was

  8. Microbial effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, V.J.

    1985-10-01

    The long term safety and integrity of radioactive waste disposal sites proposed for use by Ontario Hydro may be affected by the release of radioactive gases. Microbes mediate the primary pathways of waste degradation and hence an assessment of their potential to produce gaseous end products from the breakdown of low level waste was performed. Due to a number of unknown variables, assumptions were made regarding environmental and waste conditions that controlled microbial activity; however, it was concluded that 14 C and 3 H would be produced, albeit over a long time scale of about 1500 years for 14 C in the worst case situation

  9. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  10. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  11. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools......, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex...... regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal...

  13. New Frontiers in Synthetic Biology for Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galazka, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    Exploration of the solar system is constrained by the cost of moving mass off Earth. Producing materials in situ will reduce the mass that must be delivered from earth. CO2 is abundant on Mars and manned spacecraft. On the ISS, NASA reacts excess CO2 with H2 to generate CH4 and H2O using the Sabatier System. The resulting water is recovered into the ISS, but the methane is vented to space. Thus, there is a capability need for systems that convert methane into valuable materials. Methanotrophic bacteria consume methane but these are poor synthetic biology platforms. Thus, there is a knowledge gap in utilizing methane in a robust and flexible synthetic biology platform. The yeast Pichia pastoris is a refined microbial factory that is used widely by industry because it efficiently secretes products. Pichia could produce a variety of useful products in space. Pichia does not consume methane but robustly consumes methanol, which is one enzymatic step removed from methane. Our goal is to engineer Pichia to consume methane thereby creating a powerful methane-consuming microbial factory.

  14. Resistance and Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities Exposed to Petroleum-Derived Compounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Modrzynski, Jakub Jan

    Functioning of soil microbial communities is generally considered resilient to disturbance, including chemical stress. Activities of soil microbial communities are often sustained in polluted environments due to exceptional plasticity of microbial communities and functional redundancy. Pollution......-induced community tolerance (PICT) often develops following chemical stress. Nonetheless, environmental pollution may severely disturb functioning of soil microbial communities, thereby threatening provision of important ecosystem services provided by microorganisms. Pollution with petroleum and petroleum......-derived compounds (PDCs) is a significant environmental problem on a global scale. Research addressing interactions between microorganisms and PDC pollution is dominated by studies of biodegradation, with less emphasis on microbial ecotoxicology. Soil microbial communities are generally considered highly resilient...

  15. Microbial synthesis of alka(enes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weihua eWang

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Alka(enes are the predominant constituents of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels. They can be produced naturally by a wide range of microorganisms. Bio- alka(enes can be used as drop-in biofuels. To date, five microbial pathways that convert free fatty acids or fatty acid derivatives into alka(enes have been identified or reconstituted. The discoveries open a door to achieve microbial production of alka(enes with high efficiency. The modules derived from these alka(ene biosynthetic pathways can be assembled as biological parts and synthetic biology strategies can be employed to optimize the metabolic pathways and improve alka(ene production.

  16. Bentonite. Geotechnical barrier and source for microbial life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matschiavelli, Nicole; Kluge, Sindy; Cherkouk, Andrea [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany). HZDR Young Investigator Group; Steglich, Jennifer

    2017-06-01

    Due to their properties, namely a high swelling capacity and a low hydraulic conductivity, Bentonites fulfil as geotechnical barrier a sealing and buffering function in the nuclear waste repository. Depending on the mineral composition Bentonites contain many suitable electron-donors and -acceptors, enabling potential microbial life. For the potential repository of highly radioactive waste the microbial mediated transformation of Bentonite could influence its properties as a barrier material. Microcosms were set up containing Bentonite and anaerobic synthetic Opalinus-clay-pore water solution under an N{sub 2}/CO{sub 2}-atmosphere to elucidate the microbial potential within selected Bentonites. Substrates like acetate and lactate were supplemented to stimulate potential microbial activity. First results show that bentonites represent a source for microbial life, demonstrated by the consumption of lactate and the formation of pyruvate. Furthermore, microbial iron-reduction was determined, which plays a crucial role in Betonite-transformation.

  17. Bentonite. Geotechnical barrier and source for microbial life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matschiavelli, Nicole; Kluge, Sindy; Cherkouk, Andrea; Steglich, Jennifer

    2017-01-01

    Due to their properties, namely a high swelling capacity and a low hydraulic conductivity, Bentonites fulfil as geotechnical barrier a sealing and buffering function in the nuclear waste repository. Depending on the mineral composition Bentonites contain many suitable electron-donors and -acceptors, enabling potential microbial life. For the potential repository of highly radioactive waste the microbial mediated transformation of Bentonite could influence its properties as a barrier material. Microcosms were set up containing Bentonite and anaerobic synthetic Opalinus-clay-pore water solution under an N_2/CO_2-atmosphere to elucidate the microbial potential within selected Bentonites. Substrates like acetate and lactate were supplemented to stimulate potential microbial activity. First results show that bentonites represent a source for microbial life, demonstrated by the consumption of lactate and the formation of pyruvate. Furthermore, microbial iron-reduction was determined, which plays a crucial role in Betonite-transformation.

  18. Theoretical microbial ecology without species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhonov, Mikhail

    2017-09-01

    Ecosystems are commonly conceptualized as networks of interacting species. However, partitioning natural diversity of organisms into discrete units is notoriously problematic and mounting experimental evidence raises the intriguing question whether this perspective is appropriate for the microbial world. Here an alternative formalism is proposed that does not require postulating the existence of species as fundamental ecological variables and provides a naturally hierarchical description of community dynamics. This formalism allows approaching the species problem from the opposite direction. While the classical models treat a world of imperfectly clustered organism types as a perturbation around well-clustered species, the presented approach allows gradually adding structure to a fully disordered background. The relevance of this theoretical construct for describing highly diverse natural ecosystems is discussed.

  19. From bacteria to elephants: Effects of land-use legacies on biodiversity and ecosystem structure in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem: Chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verchot, Louis V.; Ward, Naomi L.; Belnap, Jayne; Bossio, Deborah; Coughenour, Michael; Gibson, John; Hanotte, Olivier; Muchiru, Andrew N.; Phillips, Susan L.; Steven, Blaire; Wall, Diana H.; Reid, Robin S.

    2015-01-01

    Generally, ecological research has considered the aboveground and belowground components of ecosystems separately. Consequently, frameworks for integrating the two components are not well developed. Integrating the microbial components into ecosystem ecology requires different approaches from those offered by plant ecology, partly because of the scales at which microbial processes operate and partly because of measurement constraints. Studies have begun to relate microbial community structure to ecosystem function. results suggest that excluding people and livestock from the MMNR, or preventing heavier livestock from grazing around settlements, may not change the general structure of the ecosystem (soils, plant structure), but can change the numbers and diversity of wildlife, nematodes and microbes in this ecosystem in subtle ways.

  20. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Microbially derived biosensors for diagnosis, monitoring and epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hung-Ju; Voyvodic, Peter L; Zúñiga, Ana; Bonnet, Jérôme

    2017-09-01

    Living cells have evolved to detect and process various signals and can self-replicate, presenting an attractive platform for engineering scalable and affordable biosensing devices. Microbes are perfect candidates: they are inexpensive and easy to manipulate and store. Recent advances in synthetic biology promise to streamline the engineering of microbial biosensors with unprecedented capabilities. Here we review the applications of microbially-derived biosensors with a focus on environmental monitoring and healthcare applications. We also identify critical challenges that need to be addressed in order to translate the potential of synthetic microbial biosensors into large-scale, real-world applications. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  2. Streamlining genomes: toward the generation of simplified and stabilized microbial systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leprince, A.; Passel, van M.W.J.; Martins Dos Santos, V.A.P.

    2012-01-01

    At the junction between systems and synthetic biology, genome streamlining provides a solid foundation both for increased understanding of cellular circuitry, and for the tailoring of microbial chassis towards innovative biotechnological applications. Iterative genomic deletions (targeted and

  3. What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... years, synthetic cannabinoid mixtures have been easy to buy in drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, gas stations, and over ... abuse, authorities have made it illegal to sell, buy, or possess some of ... use is that standard drug tests cannot easily detect many of the chemicals ...

  4. Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kortbek, Jacob; Jensen, Jørgen Arendt; Gammelmark, Kim Løkke

    2008-01-01

    A synthetic aperture focusing (SAF) technique denoted Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming (SASB) suitable for 2D and 3D imaging is presented. The technique differ from prior art of SAF in the sense that SAF is performed on pre-beamformed data contrary to channel data. The objective is to im......A synthetic aperture focusing (SAF) technique denoted Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming (SASB) suitable for 2D and 3D imaging is presented. The technique differ from prior art of SAF in the sense that SAF is performed on pre-beamformed data contrary to channel data. The objective...... is to improve and obtain a more range independent lateral resolution compared to conventional dynamic receive focusing (DRF) without compromising frame rate. SASB is a two-stage procedure using two separate beamformers. First a set of Bmode image lines using a single focal point in both transmit and receive...... is stored. The second stage applies the focused image lines from the first stage as input data. The SASB method has been investigated using simulations in Field II and by off-line processing of data acquired with a commercial scanner. The performance of SASB with a static image object is compared with DRF...

  5. Building synthetic cellular organization

    OpenAIRE

    Polka, Jessica K.; Silver, Pamela A.

    2013-01-01

    The elaborate spatial organization of cells enhances, restricts, and regulates protein–protein interactions. However, the biological significance of this organization has been difficult to study without ways of directly perturbing it. We highlight synthetic biology tools for engineering novel cellular organization, describing how they have been, and can be, used to advance cell biology.

  6. Towards a synthetic chloroplast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina M Agapakis

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of eukaryotic cells is widely agreed to have proceeded through a series of endosymbiotic events between larger cells and proteobacteria or cyanobacteria, leading to the formation of mitochondria or chloroplasts, respectively. Engineered endosymbiotic relationships between different species of cells are a valuable tool for synthetic biology, where engineered pathways based on two species could take advantage of the unique abilities of each mutualistic partner.We explored the possibility of using the photosynthetic bacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 as a platform for studying evolutionary dynamics and for designing two-species synthetic biological systems. We observed that the cyanobacteria were relatively harmless to eukaryotic host cells compared to Escherichia coli when injected into the embryos of zebrafish, Danio rerio, or taken up by mammalian macrophages. In addition, when engineered with invasin from Yersinia pestis and listeriolysin O from Listeria monocytogenes, S. elongatus was able to invade cultured mammalian cells and divide inside macrophages.Our results show that it is possible to engineer photosynthetic bacteria to invade the cytoplasm of mammalian cells for further engineering and applications in synthetic biology. Engineered invasive but non-pathogenic or immunogenic photosynthetic bacteria have great potential as synthetic biological devices.

  7. Synthetic Metabolic Pathways

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible laboratory protocols, and tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. Authoritative and practical, Synthetic Metabolic Pathways: Methods and Protocols aims to ensure successful results in the further study...

  8. Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2006-06-01

    Microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology are inherently tied to each other. The concepts and tools of microbial ecology are the basis for managing processes in environmental biotechnology; and these processes provide interesting ecosystems to advance the concepts and tools of microbial ecology. Revolutionary advancements in molecular tools to understand the structure and function of microbial communities are bolstering the power of microbial ecology. A push from advances in modern materials along with a pull from a societal need to become more sustainable is enabling environmental biotechnology to create novel processes. How do these two fields work together? Five principles illuminate the way: (i) aim for big benefits; (ii) develop and apply more powerful tools to understand microbial communities; (iii) follow the electrons; (iv) retain slow-growing biomass; and (v) integrate, integrate, integrate.

  9. Microbial fuel cell: A green technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jong Bor Chyan; Liew Pauline Woan Ying; Muhamad Lebai Juri; Ahmad Zainuri Mohd Dzomir; Leo Kwee Wah; Mat Rasol Awang

    2010-01-01

    Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) was developed which was able to generate bio energy continuously while consuming wastewater containing organic matters. Even though the bio energy generated is not as high as hydrogen fuel cell, the MFC demonstrated great potential in bio-treating wastewater while using it as fuel source. Thus far, the dual-ability of the MFC to generate bio energy and bio-treating organic wastewater has been examined successfully using synthetic acetate and POME wastewaters. (author)

  10. Data-directed modelling of Daphnia dynamics in a long-term micro-ecosystem experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grasman, J.; Nes, van E.H.; Kersting, K.

    2009-01-01

    The micro-ecosystem under consideration consists of three compartments forming a closed chain in which water circulates. Three trophic levels are represented in different compartments: autotrophs (algae, mainly Chlorella vulgaris), herbivores (Daphnia magna) and microbial decomposers. From a 20

  11. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  12. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  13. Stay connected: Electrical conductivity of microbial aggregates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Cheng; Lesnik, Keaton Larson; Liu, Hong

    2017-11-01

    The discovery of direct extracellular electron transfer offers an alternative to the traditional understanding of diffusional electron exchange via small molecules. The establishment of electronic connections between electron donors and acceptors in microbial communities is critical to electron transfer via electrical currents. These connections are facilitated through conductivity associated with various microbial aggregates. However, examination of conductivity in microbial samples is still in its relative infancy and conceptual models in terms of conductive mechanisms are still being developed and debated. The present review summarizes the fundamental understanding of electrical conductivity in microbial aggregates (e.g. biofilms, granules, consortia, and multicellular filaments) highlighting recent findings and key discoveries. A greater understanding of electrical conductivity in microbial aggregates could facilitate the survey for additional microbial communities that rely on direct extracellular electron transfer for survival, inform rational design towards the aggregates-based production of bioenergy/bioproducts, and inspire the construction of new synthetic conductive polymers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Nutrient controls on biocomplexity of mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangrove forests are important coastal ecosystems that provide a variety of ecological and societal services. These intertidal, tree-dominated communities along tropical coastlines are often described as “simple systems,” compared to other tropical forests with larger numbers of plant species and multiple understory strata; however, mangrove ecosystems have complex trophic structures, and organisms exhibit unique physiological, morphological, and behavioral adaptations to environmental conditions characteristic of the land-sea interface. Biogeochemical functioning of mangrove forests is also controlled by interactions among the microbial, plant, and animal communities and feedback linkages mediated by hydrology and other forcing functions. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to understand more fully the impact of nutrient variability on these delicate and important ecosystems.

  15. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem...

  16. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  17. Deciphering the microbial ecology in bio- gas reactors for optimizing the anaerobic digestion process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Xinyu

    of the basic microbial metabolism and ecology, methanogenic microbial communities were enriched in a lab-scale continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) fed with synthetic feedstocks. In the experiment, the substrates used were stepwise simplified (i.e. polysaccharide, monosaccharide, short chain fatty acids...

  18. Microbial-Catalyzed Biotransformation of Multifunctional Triterpenoids Derived from Phytonutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Syed Adnan Ali; Tan, Huey Ling; Sultan, Sadia; Mohd Faridz, Muhammad Afifi Bin; Mohd Shah, Mohamad Azlan Bin; Nurfazilah, Sharifah; Hussain, Munawar

    2014-01-01

    Microbial-catalyzed biotransformations have considerable potential for the generation of an enormous variety of structurally diversified organic compounds, especially natural products with complex structures like triterpenoids. They offer efficient and economical ways to produce semi-synthetic analogues and novel lead molecules. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi could catalyze chemo-, regio- and stereospecific hydroxylations of diverse triterpenoid substrates that are extremely difficult to produce by chemical routes. During recent years, considerable research has been performed on the microbial transformation of bioactive triterpenoids, in order to obtain biologically active molecules with diverse structures features. This article reviews the microbial modifications of tetranortriterpenoids, tetracyclic triterpenoids and pentacyclic triterpenoids. PMID:25003642

  19. BSocial: Deciphering Social Behaviors within Mixed Microbial Populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Purswani

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystem functionality depends on interactions among populations, of the same or different taxa, and these are not just the sum of pairwise interactions. Thus, know-how of the social interactions occurring in mixed-populations are of high interest, however they are commonly unknown due to the limitations posed in tagging each population. The limitations include costs/time in tediously fluorescent tagging, and the number of different fluorescent tags. Tag-free strategies exist, such as high-throughput sequencing, but ultimately both strategies require the use of expensive machinery. Our work appoints social behaviors on individual strains in mixed-populations, offering a web-tool (BSocialhttp://m4m.ugr.es/BSocial.html for analyzing the community framework. Our quick and cheap approach includes the periodic monitoring of optical density (OD from a full combinatorial testing of individual strains, where number of generations and growth rate are determined. The BSocial analyses then enable us to determine how the addition/absence of a particular species affects the net productivity of a microbial community and use this to select productive combinations, i.e., designate their social effect on a general community. Positive, neutral, or negative assignations are applied to describe the social behavior within the community by comparing fitness effects of the community against the individual strain. The usefulness of this tool for selection of optimal inoculum in biofilm-based methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE bioremediation was demonstrated. The studied model uses seven bacterial strains with diverse MTBE degradation/growth capacities. Full combinatorial testing of seven individual strains (triplicate tests of 127 combinations were implemented, along with MTBE degradation as the desired function. Sole observation of highest species fitness did not render the best functional outcome, and only when strains with positive and neutral social assignations were

  20. Yeast synthetic biology for high-value metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhubo; Liu, Yi; Guo, Juan; Huang, Luqi; Zhang, Xueli

    2015-02-01

    Traditionally, high-value metabolites have been produced through direct extraction from natural biological sources which are inefficient, given the low abundance of these compounds. On the other hand, these high-value metabolites are usually difficult to be synthesized chemically, due to their complex structures. In the last few years, the discovery of genes involved in the synthetic pathways of these metabolites, combined with advances in synthetic biology tools, has allowed the construction of increasing numbers of yeast cell factories for production of these metabolites from renewable biomass. This review summarizes recent advances in synthetic biology in terms of the use of yeasts as microbial hosts for the identification of the pathways involved in the synthesis, as well as for the production of high-value metabolites. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  1. Proceedings of the 8. International Symposium on Microbial Ecology : microbial biosystems : new frontiers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, C.R.; Brylinsky, M.; Johnson-Green, P.

    2000-01-01

    A wide range of disciplines were presented at this conference which reflected the importance of microbial ecology and provided an understanding of the factors that determine the growth and activities of microorganisms. The conference attracted 1444 delegates from 54 countries. The research emerging from the rapidly expanding frontier of microbial ecosystems was presented in 62 oral presentation and 817 poster presentations. The two volumes of these proceedings presented a total of 27 areas in microbial ecology, some of which included terrestrial biosystems, aquatic, estuarine, surface and subsurface microbial ecology. Other topics included bioremediation, microbial ecology in industry and microbial ecology of oil fields. Some of the papers highlighted the research that is underway to determine the feasibility of using microorganisms for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Research has shown that microbial EOR can increase production at lower costs than conventional oil recovery. The use of bacteria has also proven to be a feasible treatment method in the biodegradation of hydrocarbons associated with oil spills. refs., tabs., figs

  2. 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.

  3. The information science of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Microbial micropatches within microbial hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Renee J.; Tobe, Shanan S.; Paterson, James S.; Seymour, Justin R.; Oliver, Rod L.; Mitchell, James G.

    2018-01-01

    The spatial distributions of organism abundance and diversity are often heterogeneous. This includes the sub-centimetre distributions of microbes, which have ‘hotspots’ of high abundance, and ‘coldspots’ of low abundance. Previously we showed that 300 μl abundance hotspots, coldspots and background regions were distinct at all taxonomic levels. Here we build on these results by showing taxonomic micropatches within these 300 μl microscale hotspots, coldspots and background regions at the 1 μl scale. This heterogeneity among 1 μl subsamples was driven by heightened abundance of specific genera. The micropatches were most pronounced within hotspots. Micropatches were dominated by Pseudomonas, Bacteroides, Parasporobacterium and Lachnospiraceae incertae sedis, with Pseudomonas and Bacteroides being responsible for a shift in the most dominant genera in individual hotspot subsamples, representing up to 80.6% and 47.3% average abundance, respectively. The presence of these micropatches implies the ability these groups have to create, establish themselves in, or exploit heterogeneous microenvironments. These genera are often particle-associated, from which we infer that these micropatches are evidence for sub-millimetre aggregates and the aquatic polymer matrix. These findings support the emerging paradigm that the microscale distributions of planktonic microbes are numerically and taxonomically heterogeneous at scales of millimetres and less. We show that microscale microbial hotspots have internal structure within which specific local nutrient exchanges and cellular interactions might occur. PMID:29787564

  6. Opportunities in plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Charis; Martin, Lisa; Bastow, Ruth

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging field uniting scientists from all disciplines with the aim of designing or re-designing biological processes. Initially, synthetic biology breakthroughs came from microbiology, chemistry, physics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. A transition to multicellular systems is the next logical step for synthetic biologists and plants will provide an ideal platform for this new phase of research. This meeting report highlights some of the exciting plant synthetic biology projects, and tools and resources, presented and discussed at the 2013 GARNet workshop on plant synthetic biology.

  7. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial

  8. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  9. Microbial dynamics in petroleum oilfields and their relationship with physiological properties of petroleum oil reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varjani, Sunita J; Gnansounou, Edgard

    2017-12-01

    Petroleum is produced by thermal decay of buried organic material over millions of years. Petroleum oilfield ecosystems represent resource of reduced carbon which favours microbial growth. Therefore, it is obvious that many microorganisms have adapted to harsh environmental conditions of these ecosystems specifically temperature, oxygen availability and pressure. Knowledge of microorganisms present in ecosystems of petroleum oil reservoirs; their physiological and biological properties help in successful exploration of petroleum. Understanding microbiology of petroleum oilfield(s) can be used to enhance oil recovery, as microorganisms in oil reservoirs produce various metabolites viz. gases, acids, solvents, biopolymers and biosurfactants. The aim of this review is to discuss characteristics of petroleum oil reservoirs. This review also provides an updated literature on microbial ecology of these extreme ecosystems including microbial origin as well as various types of microorganisms such as methanogens; iron, nitrate and sulphate reducing bacteria, and fermentative microbes present in petroleum oilfield ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Towards evolution-guided microbial engineering - tools development and applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Genee, Hans Jasper

    is thedevelopment of highly robust biosensor-based synthetic selection systemsthat enable high-throughput functional interrogation of complexphenotypic libraries. Using the model organism Escherichia coli as a host, Ideploy these systems to i) perform metagenome wide sequenceindependentidentification of novel...... for microbial engineering anddemonstrates direct applications to gene discovery, protein engineering andcell factory development....

  11. Synthetic staggered architecture composites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutta, Abhishek; Tekalur, Srinivasan Arjun

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Composite design inspired by nature. ► Tuning microstructure via changing ceramic content and aspect ratio. ► Experimental display of structure–property correlationship in synthetic composites. - Abstract: Structural biocomposites (for example, nacre in seashells, bone, etc.) are designed according to the functional role they are delegated for. For instance, bone is primarily designed for withstanding time-dependent loading (for example, withstanding stresses while running, jumping, accidental fall) and hence the microstructure is designed primarily from enhanced toughness and moderate stiffness point of view. On the contrary, seashells (which lie in the abyss of oceans) apart from providing defense to the organism (it is hosting) against predatory attacks, are subjected to static loading (for example, enormous hydrostatic pressure). Hence, emphasis on the shell structure evolution is directed primarily towards providing enhanced stiffness. In order to conform between stiffness and toughness, nature precisely employs a staggered arrangement of inorganic bricks in a biopolymer matrix (at its most elementary level of architecture). Aspect ratio and content of ceramic bricks are meticulously used by nature to synthesize composites having varying degrees of stiffness, strength and toughness. Such an amazing capability of structure–property correlationship has rarely been demonstrated in synthetic composites. Therefore, in order to better understand the mechanical behavior of synthetic staggered composites, the problem becomes two-pronged: (a) synthesize composites with varying brick size and contents and (b) experimental investigation of the material response. In this article, an attempt has been made to synthesize and characterize staggered ceramic–polymer composites having varying aspect ratio and ceramic content using freeze-casting technique. This will in-turn help us in custom-design manufacture of hybrid bio-inspired composite materials

  12. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  13. Synthetic Aperture Ultrasound Imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jørgen Arendt; Nikolov, Svetoslav; Gammelmark, Kim Løkke

    2006-01-01

    The paper describes the use of synthetic aperture (SA) imaging in medical ultrasound. SA imaging is a radical break with today's commercial systems, where the image is acquired sequentially one image line at a time. This puts a strict limit on the frame rate and the possibility of acquiring...... a sufficient amount of data for high precision flow estimation. These constrictions can be lifted by employing SA imaging. Here data is acquired simultaneously from all directions over a number of emissions, and the full image can be reconstructed from this data. The talk will demonstrate the many benefits...

  14. Transition in synthetic jets

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tesař, Václav; Kordík, Jozef

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 187, NOV 2012 (2012), s. 105-117 ISSN 0924-4247 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR(CZ) TA02020795; GA ČR(CZ) GPP101/12/P556; GA ČR(CZ) GCP101/11/J019 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z20760514 Keywords : turbulence * synthetic jet * transition * velocity spectra Subject RIV: BK - Fluid Dynamics Impact factor: 1.841, year: 2012 http://www. science direct.com/ science /article/pii/S0924424712005031

  15. Ecosystem classification, Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.J. Robin-Abbott; L.H. Pardo

    2011-01-01

    The ecosystem classification in this report is based on the ecoregions developed through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for North America (CEC 1997). Only ecosystems that occur in the United States are included. CEC ecoregions are described, with slight modifications, below (CEC 1997) and shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. We chose this ecosystem...

  16. On Man and Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookfield, Harold

    1982-01-01

    Distinctions between natural ecosystems and human ecosystems are misleading. Natural and social sciences can be integrated through the concept of a "human-use ecosystem," in which social scientists analyze the community, household, and individual, and natural scientists analyze the land. Includes a case study of St. Kitts. (KC)

  17. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

    The Global ecosystem restoration index (GERI) is a composite index that integrates structural and functional aspects of the ecosystem restoration process. These elements are evaluated through a window that looks into a baseline for degraded ecosystems with the objective to assess restoration...

  18. Towards ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duku, C.; Rathjens, H.; Zwart, S.J.; Hein, L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is an emerging field that aims to provide a consistent approach to analysing environment-economy interactions. One of the specific features of ecosystem accounting is the distinction between the capacity and the flow of ecosystem services. Ecohydrological modelling to support

  19. Rights to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidson, M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Many of these services are provided outside the borders of the land where they are produced; this article investigates who is entitled to these non-excludable ecosystem services from two libertarian perspectives. Taking a

  20. Multitrophic microbial interactions for eco- and agro-biotechnological processes: theory and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Muhammad; Moe, Luke A

    2014-10-01

    Multitrophic level microbial loop interactions mediated by protist predators, bacteria, and viruses drive eco- and agro-biotechnological processes such as bioremediation, wastewater treatment, plant growth promotion, and ecosystem functioning. To what extent these microbial interactions are context-dependent in performing biotechnological and ecosystem processes remains largely unstudied. Theory-driven research may advance the understanding of eco-evolutionary processes underlying the patterns and functioning of microbial interactions for successful development of microbe-based biotechnologies for real world applications. This could also be a great avenue to test the validity or limitations of ecology theory for managing diverse microbial resources in an era of altering microbial niches, multitrophic interactions, and microbial diversity loss caused by climate and land use changes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. Lipid Biomarkers for a Hypersaline Microbial Mat Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsege; Turk, Kendra A.

    2003-01-01

    The use of lipid biomarkers and their carbon isotopic compositions are valuable tools for establishing links to ancient microbial ecosystems. As witnessed by the stromatolite record, benthic microbial mats grew in shallow water lagoonal environments where microorganisms had virtually no competition apart from the harsh conditions of hypersalinity, desiccation and intense light. Today, the modern counterparts of these microbial ecosystems find appropriate niches in only a few places where extremes eliminate eukaryotic grazers. Answers to many outstanding questions about the evolution of microorganisms and their environments on early Earth are best answered through study of these extant analogs. Lipids associated with various groups of bacteria can be valuable biomarkers for identification of specific groups of microorganisms both in ancient organic-rich sedimentary rocks (geolipids) and contemporary microbial communities (membrane lipids). Use of compound specific isotope analysis adds additional refinement to the identification of biomarker source, so that it is possible to take advantage of the 3C-depletions associated with various functional groups of organisms (i.e. autotrophs, heterotrophs, methanotrophs, methanogens) responsible for the cycling of carbon within a microbial community. Our recent work has focused on a set of hypersaline evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico which support the abundant growth of Microcoleus-dominated microbial mats. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, and methanotrophic bacteria have been identified. Analyses of the ester-bound fatty acids indicate a highly diverse microbial community, dominated by photosynthetic organisms at the surface.

  3. Inclusion of caraway in the ryegrass-red clover mixture modifies soil microbial community composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cong, Wenfeng; Jing, Jingying; Søegaard, Karen

    -containing grass-clover mixtures may potentially affect soil microbial community structure, biomass and associated ecosystem functions, but it is yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that inclusion of plantain in the grass-clover mixture would enhance soil microbial biomas and functions through its high biomass...

  4. Linking diagnostic features to soil microbial biomass and respiration in agricultural grassland soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richter, A.; Huallacháin, D.O.; Doyle, E.; Clipson, N.; Leeuwen, Van J.P.; Heuvelink, G.B.; Creamer, R.E.

    2018-01-01

    The functional potential of soil ecosystems can be predicted from the activity and abundance of the microbial community in relation to key soil properties. When describing microbial community dynamics, soil physicochemical properties have traditionally been used. The extent of correlations between

  5. Microbial activity and community structure in two drained fen soils in the Ljubljana Marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraigher, Barbara; Stres, Blaz; Hacin, Janez; Ausec, Luka; Mahne, Ivan; van Elsas, Jan D.; Mandic-Mulec, Ines

    Fen peatlands are specific wetland ecosystems containing high soil organic carbon (SOC). There is a general lack of knowledge about the microbial communities that abound in these systems. We examined the microbial activity and community structure in two fen soils differing in SOC content sampled

  6. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  7. Microbial response of an acid forest soil to experimental soil warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.S. Arnold; I.J. Fernandez; L.E. Rustad; L.M. Zibilske

    1999-01-01

    Effects of increased soil temperature on soil microbial biomass and dehydrogenase activity were examined on organic (O) horizon material in a low-elevation spruce-fir ecosystem. Soil temperature was maintained at 5 °C above ambient during the growing season in the experimental plots, and soil temperature, moisture, microbial biomass, and dehydrogenase activity were...

  8. Changes in microbial community characteristics and soil organic matter with nitrogen additions in two tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniela F. Cusack; Whendee L. Silver; Margaret S. Torn; Sarah D. Burton; Mary K. Firestone

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities and their associated enzyme activities affect the amount and chemical quality of carbon (C) in soils. Increasing nitrogen (N) deposition, particularly in N-rich tropical forests, is likely to change the composition and behavior of microbial communities and feed back on ecosystem structure and function. This study presents a novel assessment of...

  9. Forest soil microbial communities: Using metagenomic approaches to survey permanent plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy L. Ross-Davis; Jane E. Stewart; John W. Hanna; John D. Shaw; Andrew T. Hudak; Theresa B. Jain; Robert J. Denner; Russell T. Graham; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Joanne M. Tirocke; Mee-Sook Kim; Ned B. Klopfenstein

    2014-01-01

    Forest soil ecosystems include some of the most complex microbial communities on Earth (Fierer et al. 2012). These assemblages of archaea, bacteria, fungi, and protists play essential roles in biogeochemical cycles (van der Heijden et al. 2008) and account for considerable terrestrial biomass (Nielsen et al. 2011). Yet, determining the microbial composition of forest...

  10. A model ecosystem experiment and its computational simulation studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.

    2002-01-01

    Simplified microbial model ecosystem and its computer simulation model are introduced as eco-toxicity test for the assessment of environmental responses from the effects of environmental impacts. To take the effects on the interactions between species and environment into account, one option is to select the keystone species on the basis of ecological knowledge, and to put it in the single-species toxicity test. Another option proposed is to put the eco-toxicity tests as experimental micro ecosystem study and a theoretical model ecosystem analysis. With these tests, the stressors which are more harmful to the ecosystems should be replace with less harmful ones on the basis of unified measures. Management of radioactive materials, chemicals, hyper-eutrophic, and other artificial disturbances of ecosystem should be discussed consistently from the unified view point of environmental protection. (N.C.)

  11. Freedom and Responsibility in Synthetic Genomics: The Synthetic Yeast Project

    OpenAIRE

    Sliva, Anna; Yang, Huanming; Boeke, Jef D.; Mathews, Debra J. H.

    2015-01-01

    First introduced in 2011, the Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc2.0) Project is a large international synthetic genomics project that will culminate in the first eukaryotic cell (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with a fully synthetic genome. With collaborators from across the globe and from a range of institutions spanning from do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) to commercial enterprises, it is important that all scientists working on this project are cognizant of the ethical and policy issues associated with...

  12. Analog synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarpeshkar, R

    2014-03-28

    We analyse the pros and cons of analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is significantly more efficient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell. Based on this analysis, we conclude that synthetic biology must use analog, collective analog, probabilistic and hybrid analog-digital computational approaches; otherwise, even relatively simple synthetic computations in cells such as addition will exceed energy and molecular-count budgets. We present schematics for efficiently representing analog DNA-protein computation in cells. Analog electronic flow in subthreshold transistors and analog molecular flux in chemical reactions obey Boltzmann exponential laws of thermodynamics and are described by astoundingly similar logarithmic electrochemical potentials. Therefore, cytomorphic circuits can help to map circuit designs between electronic and biochemical domains. We review recent work that uses positive-feedback linearization circuits to architect wide-dynamic-range logarithmic analog computation in Escherichia coli using three transcription factors, nearly two orders of magnitude more efficient in parts than prior digital implementations.

  13. Synthetic lubricating oils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rodriguez Jurado, J

    1953-01-01

    A yellow solid petroleum paraffin d/sup 60/ 0.808, I number 3.5, average molecular weight 350, chlorinated and condensed with benzene, xylene, or naphthalene by the Friedel and Crafts reaction, in the presence of anhydrous AlCl/sub 3/ or activated Al, gave synthetic lubricating oils. Xylene was the preferred aromatic compound, naphthalene required the use of less completely chlorinated paraffin, benzene produced resins difficult to remove and gave darker oils with excessive green fluorescence. Activated Al rather than anhydrous AlCl/sub 3/ gave darker oils with higher viscosity and Conradson C values. Tar from the low-temperature distillation of lignite, used as a source of a paraffin fraction melting 40/sup 0/ to 48/sup 0/ (chlorinated to 26.5 percent Cl) and an aromatic fraction, 45 percent aromatic compounds by volume (mainly polysubstituted benzenes), I number 10, was converted to a similar synthetic lubricant with the following properties: Kinematic viscosity at 210/sup 0/ F., 50.4 centistokes; viscosity index, 92; Conradson C, 1.5 percent; solidification point, 9/sup 0/; S, 0.41 percent.

  14. Coloring of synthetic fluorite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birsoy, R.

    1980-01-01

    A synthetic fluorite of the Harshaw Chemical Company is analyzed for rare earth elements, yttrium, and sodium. Samples of this fluorite are irradiated with X-rays, γ-rays, neutrons, electrons, protons, and α-particles at different energies, and their absorption spectra are analyzed. Analyzing the thermal bleaching of these radiation-coloured fluorites shows that both, impurities and radiation play a part in the coloration of synthetic fluorite. However, the main contribution comes from the radiation induced lattice defects. In the visible region spectra, the colour centre of the 5800 to 5900 A absorption band is probably mainly related with large aggregates of F-centres. The 5450 and the 5300 A absorption bands are mainly related to monovalent and divalent ion impurities and their association with lattice defects. The 3800 A absorption band seems to be related with F-centre aggregates. However, the contribution from the rare earth elements related complex color centres also plays some part for the production of this absorption band. These results indicate that the color centres of different origin can absorb light at the same wavelength. (author)

  15. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  16. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems

    OpenAIRE

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B.; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E.; Biggs, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for chara...

  17. 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.

  18. 11 Soil Microbial Biomass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    186–198. Insam H. (1990). Are the soil microbial biomass and basal respiration governed by the climatic regime? Soil. Biol. Biochem. 22: 525–532. Insam H. D. and Domsch K. H. (1989). Influence of microclimate on soil microbial biomass. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21: 211–21. Jenkinson D. S. (1988). Determination of microbial.

  19. Microbial Rechargeable Battery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molenaar, Sam D.; Mol, Annemerel R.; Sleutels, Tom H.J.A.; Heijne, Ter Annemiek; Buisman, Cees J.N.

    2016-01-01

    Bioelectrochemical systems hold potential for both conversion of electricity into chemicals through microbial electrosynthesis (MES) and the provision of electrical power by oxidation of organics using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study provides a proof of concept for a microbial

  20. Childhood microbial keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah G Al Otaibi

    2012-01-01

    Conclusion: Children with suspected microbial keratitis require comprehensive evaluation and management. Early recognition, identifying the predisposing factors and etiological microbial organisms, and instituting appropriate treatment measures have a crucial role in outcome. Ocular trauma was the leading cause of childhood microbial keratitis in our study.

  1. Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Activity of Xanthones Obtained via Semi-Synthetic Modification of α-Mangostin from Garcinia mangostana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srinivasan Narasimhan

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The microbial contamination in food packaging has been a major concern that has paved the way to search for novel, natural anti-microbial agents, such as modified α-mangostin. In the present study, twelve synthetic analogs were obtained through semi-synthetic modification of α-mangostin by Ritter reaction, reduction by palladium-carbon (Pd-C, alkylation, and acetylation. The evaluation of the anti-microbial potential of the synthetic analogs showed higher bactericidal activity than the parent molecule. The anti-microbial studies proved that I E showed high anti-bacterial activity whereas I I showed the highest anti-fungal activity. Due to their microbicidal potential, modified α-mangostin derivatives could be utilized as active anti-microbial agents in materials for the biomedical and food industry.

  2. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Microbial Mechanisms Enhancing Soil C Storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2015-09-24

    Human activity has globally increased the amount of nitrogen (N) entering ecosystems, which could foster higher rates of C sequestration in the N-limited forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Presently, these ecosystems are a large global sink for atmospheric CO2, the magnitude of which could be influenced by the input of human-derived N from the atmosphere. Nevertheless, empirical studies and simulation models suggest that anthropogenic N deposition could have either an important or inconsequential effect on C storage in forests of the Northern Hemisphere, a set of observations that continues to fuel scientific discourse. Although a relatively simple set of physiological processes control the C balance of terrestrial ecosystems, we still fail to understand how these processes directly and indirectly respond to greater N availability in the environment. The uptake of anthropogenic N by N-limited forest trees and a subsequent enhancement of net primary productivity have been the primary mechanisms thought to increase ecosystem C storage in Northern Hemisphere forests. However, there are reasons to expect that anthropogenic N deposition could slow microbial activity in soil, decrease litter decay, and increase soil C storage. Fungi dominate the decay of plant detritus in forests and, under laboratory conditions, high inorganic N concentrations can repress the transcription of genes coding for enzymes which depolymerize lignin in plant detritus; this observation presents the possibility that anthropogenic N deposition could elicit a similar effect under field conditions. In our 18-yr-long field experiment, we have been able to document that simulated N deposition, at a rate expected in the near future, resulted in a significant decline in cellulolytic and lignolytic microbial activity, slowed plant litter decay, and increased soil C storage (+10%); this response is not portrayed in any biogeochemical model simulating the effect of atmospheric N deposition on ecosystem C

  4. Unravelling core microbial metabolisms in the hypersaline microbial mats of Shark Bay using high-throughput metagenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruvindy, Rendy; White III, Richard Allen; Neilan, Brett Anthony; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2015-05-29

    Modern microbial mats are potential analogues of some of Earth’s earliest ecosystems. Excellent examples can be found in Shark Bay, Australia, with mats of various morphologies. To further our understanding of the functional genetic potential of these complex microbial ecosystems, we conducted for the first time shotgun metagenomic analyses. We assembled metagenomic nextgeneration sequencing data to classify the taxonomic and metabolic potential across diverse morphologies of marine mats in Shark Bay. The microbial community across taxonomic classifications using protein-coding and small subunit rRNA genes directly extracted from the metagenomes suggests that three phyla Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominate all marine mats. However, the microbial community structure between Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay (Bahamas) marine systems appears to be distinct from each other. The metabolic potential (based on SEED subsystem classifications) of the Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay microbial communities were also distinct. Shark Bay metagenomes have a metabolic pathway profile consisting of both heterotrophic and photosynthetic pathways, whereas Highbourne Cay appears to be dominated almost exclusively by photosynthetic pathways. Alternative non-rubisco-based carbon metabolism including reductive TCA cycle and 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathways is highly represented in Shark Bay metagenomes while not represented in Highbourne Cay microbial mats or any other mat forming ecosystems investigated to date. Potentially novel aspects of nitrogen cycling were also observed, as well as putative heavy metal cycling (arsenic, mercury, copper and cadmium). Finally, archaea are highly represented in Shark Bay and may have critical roles in overall ecosystem function in these modern microbial mats.

  5. Rational synthetic pathway refactoring of natural products biosynthesis in actinobacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Gao-Yi; Liu, Tiangang

    2017-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) and their derivatives are widely used as frontline treatments for many diseases. Actinobacteria spp. are used to produce most of NP antibiotics and have also been intensively investigated for NP production, derivatization, and discovery. However, due to the complicated transcriptional and metabolic regulation of NP biosynthesis in Actinobacteria, especially in the cases of genome mining and heterologous expression, it is often difficult to rationally and systematically engineer synthetic pathways to maximize biosynthetic efficiency. With the emergence of new tools and methods in metabolic engineering, the synthetic pathways of many chemicals, such as fatty acids and biofuels, in model organisms (e.g. Escherichia coli ), have been refactored to realize precise and flexible control of production. These studies also offer a promising approach for synthetic pathway refactoring in Actinobacteria. In this review, the great potential of Actinobacteria as a microbial cell factory for biosynthesis of NPs is discussed. To this end, recent progress in metabolic engineering of NP synthetic pathways in Actinobacteria are summarized and strategies and perspectives to rationally and systematically refactor synthetic pathways in Actinobacteria are highlighted. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  7. Space Synthetic Biology Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, David; Roman, Monsi; Mansell, James (Matt)

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an effort to make genetic engineering more useful by standardizing sections of genetic code. By standardizing genetic components, biological engineering will become much more similar to traditional fields of engineering, in which well-defined components and subsystems are readily available in markets. Specifications of the behavior of those components and subsystems can be used to model a system which incorporates them. Then, the behavior of the novel system can be simulated and optimized. Finally, the components and subsystems can be purchased and assembled to create the optimized system, which most often will exhibit behavior similar to that indicated by the model. The Space Synthetic Biology project began in 2012 as a multi-Center effort. The purpose of this project was to harness Synthetic Biology principals to enable NASA's missions. A central target for application was to Environmental Control & Life Support (ECLS). Engineers from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC's) ECLS Systems Development Branch (ES62) were brought into the project to contribute expertise in operational ECLS systems. Project lead scientists chose to pursue the development of bioelectrochemical technologies to spacecraft life support. Therefore, the ECLS element of the project became essentially an effort to develop a bioelectrochemical ECLS subsystem. Bioelectrochemical systems exploit the ability of many microorganisms to drive their metabolisms by direct or indirect utilization of electrical potential gradients. Whereas many microorganisms are capable of deriving the energy required for the processes of interest (such as carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation) from sunlight, it is believed that subsystems utilizing electrotrophs will exhibit smaller mass, volume, and power requirements than those that derive their energy from sunlight. In the first 2 years of the project, MSFC personnel conducted modeling, simulation, and conceptual design efforts to assist the

  8. Stream microbial diversity responds to environmental changes: Review and synthesis of existing research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia eZeglin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The importance of microbial activity to ecosystem function in aquatic ecosystems is well established, but microbial diversity has been less frequently addressed. This review and synthesis of the hundreds of published studies on stream microbial diversity shows that factors known to drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient availability, hydrology, metal contamination, contrasting land-use and temperature, also cause heterogeneity in bacterial diversity. Temporal heterogeneity in stream bacterial diversity was frequently observed, reflecting the dynamic nature of both stream ecosystems and microbial community composition. However, within-stream spatial differences in stream bacterial diversity were more commonly observed, driven specifically by different organic matter compartments. Bacterial phyla showed similar patterns in relative abundance with regard to compartment type across different streams. For example, surface water contained the highest relative abundance of Actinobacteria, while epilithon contained the highest relative abundance of Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. This suggests that contrasting physical and/or nutritional habitats characterized by different stream organic matter compartment types may select for certain bacterial lineages. When comparing the prevalence of physicochemical effects on stream bacterial diversity, effects of changing metal concentrations were most, while effects of differences in nutrient concentrations were least frequently observed. This may indicate that although changing nutrient concentrations do tend to affect microbial diversity, other environmental factors are more likely to alter stream microbial diversity and function. The common observation of connections between ecosystem process drivers and microbial diversity suggests that microbial taxonomic turnover could mediate ecosystem-scale responses to changing environmental conditions, including both microbial habitat distribution and

  9. Synthetic Fuels Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gehrs, C.W.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on aquatic transport studies with regard to photolysis of polycyclic compounds in water; volatilization of PAH from water; bioaccumulation of anthracene by fathead minnows; bioaccumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by aquatic invertebrates; bioaccumulation of arylamines by zooplankton; availability of sediment-bound trace metals to bluegill; microbial transformation; transport and transformation of anthracene in natural waters; and microcosm studies. Progress is also reported on acute and chronic aquatic effects; acute and chronic terrestrial effects; leaching and chemical and physical characterization of solid wastes; toxicology of solid wastes; and field site task studies with regard to aquatic transport behavior of trace contaminants in wastewater discharges and airborne contaminants at coking plant field site

  10. RESPONSE OF SOIL MICROBIAL BIOMASS AND COMMUNITY COMPOSITION TO CHRONIC NITROGEN ADDITIONS AT HARVARD FOREST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil microbial communities may respond to anthropogenic increases in ecosystem nitrogen (N) availability, and their response may ultimately feedback on ecosystem carbon and N dynamics. We examined the long-term effects of chronic N additions on soil microbes by measuring soil mi...

  11. Current status of synthetic epikeratoplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, K P; Hanna, K; Waring, G O; Gipson, I; Liu, Y; Gailitis, R P; Johnson-Wint, B; Green, K

    1991-01-01

    Many of the deficiencies with human tissue epikeratoplasty might be improved by the use of a suitable synthetic lenticule. Potential biomaterials for epikeratoplasty include collagen (types I, III, or IV), collagen-hydrogel copolymers, bioactive synthetics, and coated hydrogels. The biomaterial must be engineered to achieve strict specifications of optical clarity, support of epithelial migration and adhesion, permeability to solutes, and stability to corneal proteases. Attaching synthetic lenticules to the cornea without cutting Bowman's layer by adhesives, laser welding, or direct adhesion may also improve the efficacy of synthetic epikeratoplasty.

  12. Synthetic biology and occupational risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, John; Murashov, Vladimir; Schulte, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of biotechnology that involves applying the principles of engineering and chemical design to biological systems. Biosafety professionals have done an excellent job in addressing research laboratory safety as synthetic biology and gene editing have emerged from the larger field of biotechnology. Despite these efforts, risks posed by synthetic biology are of increasing concern as research procedures scale up to industrial processes in the larger bioeconomy. A greater number and variety of workers will be exposed to commercial synthetic biology risks in the future, including risks to a variety of workers from the use of lentiviral vectors as gene transfer devices. There is a need to review and enhance current protection measures in the field of synthetic biology, whether in experimental laboratories where new advances are being researched, in health care settings where treatments using viral vectors as gene delivery systems are increasingly being used, or in the industrial bioeconomy. Enhanced worker protection measures should include increased injury and illness surveillance of the synthetic biology workforce; proactive risk assessment and management of synthetic biology products; research on the relative effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic biocontainment methods; specific safety guidance for synthetic biology industrial processes; determination of appropriate medical mitigation measures for lentiviral vector exposure incidents; and greater awareness and involvement in synthetic biology safety by the general occupational safety and health community as well as by government occupational safety and health research and regulatory agencies.

  13. Finding Hope in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takala, Tuija

    2017-04-01

    For some, synthetic biology represents great hope in offering possible solutions to many of the world's biggest problems, from hunger to sustainable development. Others remain fearful of the harmful uses, such as bioweapons, that synthetic biology can lend itself to, and most hold that issues of biosafety are of utmost importance. In this article, I will evaluate these points of view and conclude that although the biggest promises of synthetic biology are unlikely to become reality, and the probability of accidents is fairly substantial, synthetic biology could still be seen to benefit humanity by enhancing our ethical understanding and by offering a boost to world economy.

  14. Tissue Harmonic Synthetic Aperture Imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Joachim

    The main purpose of this PhD project is to develop an ultrasonic method for tissue harmonic synthetic aperture imaging. The motivation is to advance the field of synthetic aperture imaging in ultrasound, which has shown great potentials in the clinic. Suggestions for synthetic aperture tissue...... system complexity compared to conventional synthetic aperture techniques. In this project, SASB is sought combined with a pulse inversion technique for 2nd harmonic tissue harmonic imaging. The advantages in tissue harmonic imaging (THI) are expected to further improve the image quality of SASB...

  15. Life after the synthetic cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Steen

    2010-01-01

    Nature asked eight synthetic-biology experts about the implications for science and society of the “synthetic cell” made by the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). The institute's team assembled, modified and implanted a synthesized genome into a DNA-free bacterial shell to make a self-replicating ......Nature asked eight synthetic-biology experts about the implications for science and society of the “synthetic cell” made by the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). The institute's team assembled, modified and implanted a synthesized genome into a DNA-free bacterial shell to make a self...

  16. Computational synthetic geometry

    CERN Document Server

    Bokowski, Jürgen

    1989-01-01

    Computational synthetic geometry deals with methods for realizing abstract geometric objects in concrete vector spaces. This research monograph considers a large class of problems from convexity and discrete geometry including constructing convex polytopes from simplicial complexes, vector geometries from incidence structures and hyperplane arrangements from oriented matroids. It turns out that algorithms for these constructions exist if and only if arbitrary polynomial equations are decidable with respect to the underlying field. Besides such complexity theorems a variety of symbolic algorithms are discussed, and the methods are applied to obtain new mathematical results on convex polytopes, projective configurations and the combinatorics of Grassmann varieties. Finally algebraic varieties characterizing matroids and oriented matroids are introduced providing a new basis for applying computer algebra methods in this field. The necessary background knowledge is reviewed briefly. The text is accessible to stud...

  17. Synthetic Aperture Compound Imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jens Munk

    and the limiting factor is the amount of memory IO resources available. An equally high demand for memory throughput is found in the computer gaming industry, where a large part of the processing takes place on the graphics processing unit (GPU). Using the GPU, a framework for synthetic aperture imaging......Medical ultrasound imaging is used for many purposes, e.g. for localizing and classifying cysts, lesions, and other processes. Almost any mass is first observed using B-mode imaging and later classified using e.g. color flow, strain, or attenuation imaging. It is therefore important that the B......-mode images have high contrast. Like all imaging modalities, ultrasound is subject to a number of inherent artifacts that compromise image quality. The most prominent artifact is the degradation by coherent wave interference, known as “speckle”, which gives a granular appearance to an otherwise homogeneous...

  18. Transionospheric synthetic aperture imaging

    CERN Document Server

    Gilman, Mikhail; Tsynkov, Semyon

    2017-01-01

    This landmark monograph presents the most recent mathematical developments in the analysis of ionospheric distortions of SAR images and offers innovative new strategies for their mitigation. As a prerequisite to addressing these topics, the book also discusses the radar ambiguity theory as it applies to synthetic aperture imaging and the propagation of radio waves through the ionospheric plasma, including the anisotropic and turbulent cases. In addition, it covers a host of related subjects, such as the mathematical modeling of extended radar targets (as opposed to point-wise targets) and the scattering of radio waves off those targets, as well as the theoretical analysis of the start-stop approximation, which is used routinely in SAR signal processing but often without proper justification. The mathematics in this volume is clean and rigorous – no assumptions are hidden or ambiguously stated. The resulting work is truly interdisciplinary, providing both a comprehensive and thorough exposition of the field,...

  19. Radioimmunoassay of synthetic steroids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raynaud, J -P; Bucourt, R; Salmon, J

    1975-12-01

    The sensitivity of a radioimmunoassay depends on the intrinsic association constant of the interaction between ligand and antibody. Its specificity depends on the position of the chain which forms the link with the antigen. Thus, an antibody specific of estradiol has been obtained by coupling estradiol to albumin via a chain at position 7. For synthetic steroids the structure of which is sufficiency different from that of natural hormones, the requirements for a sensitive assay method not involving chromatography are simply maximum affinity and positioning of the couple at a site which does not undergo metabolic attack. These criteria were used to develop assays for R 2858 and R 2453 which obviate the need to administer radioactive product in clinical pharmacology. Cross-reaction with structural analogs may be used to assay competitors. Thus, R 2323 antibody, highly specific for endogenous steroids, may be used to assay other trienes such as R 1697 (trenbolone) and R 2010 (norgestrienone).

  20. Synthetic fuels and fusion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fillo, J A; Powell, J; Steinberg, M [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (USA)

    1981-03-01

    The decreasing availability of fossil fuels emphasizes the need to develop systems which will produce synthetic fuel to substitute for and supplement the natural supply. An important first step in the synthesis of liquid and gaseous fuels is the production of hydrogen. Thermonuclear fusion offers an inexhaustible source of energy for the production of hydrogen from water. Depending on design, electric generation efficiencies of approx. equal to 40-60% and hydrogen production efficiencies by high temperature electrolysis of approx. equal to 50-70% are projected for fusion reactors using high temperature blankets. Fusion/coal symbiotic systems appear economically promising for the first generation of commercial fusion synfuels plants. Coal production requirements and the environmental effects of large-scale coal usage would be greatly reduced by a fusion/coal system. In the long-term, there could be a gradual transition to an inexhaustible energy system based solely on fusion.

  1. Nutrients and temperature additively increase stream microbial respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. P. Manning; Amy D. Rosemond; Vladislav Gulis; Jonathan P. Benstead; John S. Kominoski

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures and nutrient enrichment are co‐occurring global‐change drivers that stimulate microbial respiration of detrital carbon, but nutrient effects on the temperature dependence of respiration in aquatic ecosystems remain uncertain. We measured respiration rates associated with leaf litter, wood, and fine benthic organic matter (FBOM) across...

  2. Evaluation of soil microbial communities as influenced by crude oil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impact of petroleum pollution in a vulnerable Niger Delta ecosystem was investigated to assess interactions in a first-generation phytoremediation site of a crude oil freshly-spilled agricultural soil. Community-level approach for assessing patterns of sole carbon-source utilization by mixed microbial samples was employed to ...

  3. Impacts of chemical gradients on microbial community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Jianwei; Hanke, Anna; Tegetmeyer, Halina E

    2017-01-01

    Succession of redox processes is sometimes assumed to define a basic microbial community structure for ecosystems with oxygen gradients. In this paradigm, aerobic respiration, denitrification, fermentation and sulfate reduction proceed in a thermodynamically determined order, known as the 'redox ...... Journal advance online publication, 17 January 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.175....

  4. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-01-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  5. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-07-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  6. METABOLIC MODELLING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CELL FACTORIES BY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Jouhten

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Cell factories are commonly microbial organisms utilized for bioconversion of renewable resources to bulk or high value chemicals. Introduction of novel production pathways in chassis strains is the core of the development of cell factories by synthetic biology. Synthetic biology aims to create novel biological functions and systems not found in nature by combining biology with engineering. The workflow of the development of novel cell factories with synthetic biology is ideally linear which will be attainable with the quantitative engineering approach, high-quality predictive models, and libraries of well-characterized parts. Different types of metabolic models, mathematical representations of metabolism and its components, enzymes and metabolites, are useful in particular phases of the synthetic biology workflow. In this minireview, the role of metabolic modelling in synthetic biology will be discussed with a review of current status of compatible methods and models for the in silico design and quantitative evaluation of a cell factory.

  7. Dormancy contributes to the maintenance of microbial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stuart E; Lennon, Jay T

    2010-03-30

    Dormancy is a bet-hedging strategy used by a variety of organisms to overcome unfavorable environmental conditions. By entering a reversible state of low metabolic activity, dormant individuals become members of a seed bank, which can determine community dynamics in future generations. Although microbiologists have documented dormancy in both clinical and natural settings, the importance of seed banks for the diversity and functioning of microbial communities remains untested. Here, we develop a theoretical model demonstrating that microbial communities are structured by environmental cues that trigger dormancy. A molecular survey of lake ecosystems revealed that dormancy plays a more important role in shaping bacterial communities than eukaryotic microbial communities. The proportion of dormant bacteria was relatively low in productive ecosystems but accounted for up to 40% of taxon richness in nutrient-poor systems. Our simulations and empirical data suggest that regional environmental cues and dormancy synchronize the composition of active communities across the landscape while decoupling active microbes from the total community at local scales. Furthermore, we observed that rare bacterial taxa were disproportionately active relative to common bacterial taxa, suggesting that microbial rank-abundance curves are more dynamic than previously considered. We propose that repeated transitions to and from the seed bank may help maintain the high levels of microbial biodiversity that are observed in nearly all ecosystems.

  8. 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

  9. Shallow freshwater ecosystems of the circumpolar Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rautio, Milla; Dufresne, France; Laurion, Isabelle

    2011-01-01

    to large annual temperature fluctuations, a short growing season, and freeze-up and desiccation stress in winter, these ecosystems are strongly regulated by the supply of organic matter and its optical and biogeochemical properties. Dissolved organic carbon affects bacterial diversity and production......This review provides a synthesis of limnological data and conclusions from studies on ponds and small lakes at our research sites in Subarctic and Arctic Canada, Alaska, northern Scandinavia, and Greenland. Many of these water bodies contain large standing stocks of benthic microbial mats that grow...... in relatively nutrient-rich conditions, while the overlying water column is nutrient-poor and supports only low concentrations of phytoplankton. Zooplankton biomass can, however, be substantial and is supported by grazing on the microbial mats as well as detrital inputs, algae, and other plankton. In addition...

  10. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystems store vast quantities of wealth, but difficulties measuring wealth held in ecosystems prevent its inclusion in accounting systems. Ecosystem-based management endeavors to manage ecosystems holistically. However, ecosystem-based management lacks headline indicators to evaluate performance. We unify the inclusive wealth and ecosystem-based management paradigms, allowing apples-to-apples comparisons between the wealth of the ecosystem and other forms of wealth, while providing a headl...

  11. Synthetic circuit designs for earth terraformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Ricard V; Montañez, Raúl; Duran-Nebreda, Salva

    2015-07-18

    Mounting evidence indicates that our planet might experience runaway effects associated to rising temperatures and ecosystem overexploitation, leading to catastrophic shifts on short time scales. Remediation scenarios capable of counterbalancing these effects involve geoengineering, sustainable practices and carbon sequestration, among others. None of these scenarios seems powerful enough to achieve the desired restoration of safe boundaries. We hypothesize that synthetic organisms with the appropriate engineering design could be used to safely prevent declines in some stressed ecosystems and help improving carbon sequestration. Such schemes would include engineering mutualistic dependencies preventing undesired evolutionary processes. We hypothesize that some particular design principles introduce unescapable constraints to the engineered organisms that act as effective firewalls. Testing this designed organisms can be achieved by using controlled bioreactor models, with single and heterogeneous populations, and accurate computational models including different scales (from genetic constructs and metabolic pathways to population dynamics). Our hypothesis heads towards a future anthropogenic action that should effectively act as Terraforming processes. It also implies a major challenge in the existing biosafety policies, since we suggest release of modified organisms as potentially necessary strategy for success.

  12. BIOMASS AND MICROBIAL ACTIVITY UNDER DIFFERENT FOREST COVERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Malfitano Braga

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the soil fertility, biomass and microbial activity of the soil under forest cover of Eucalyptus grandis, Eucalyptus pilularis, Eucalyptus cloeziana and Corymbia maculata; Pinus Caribbean var. hondurensis, 40 years old, and a fragment of Semideciduous Forest, located on the campus of the Federal University of Lavras. In soil samples collected in the 0-5 cm layer were determined fertility parameters, basal respiration and microbial biomass carbon. The results showed that for the species E. grandis and E. cloeziana the carbon of biomass microbial content was higher than for any other ecosystem evaluated, and equal to those observed under native forest. In contrast, the ground under Pinus had the lowest microbiological indexes. Under C. maculata and E. pilularis the contents were intermediate for this parameter. The basal respiration of all ecosystems was equal. The fertility level was very low in all types of evaluated vegetation.

  13. Imaging with Synthetic Aperture Radar

    CERN Document Server

    Massonnet, Didier

    2008-01-01

    Describing a field that has been transformed by the recent availability of data from a new generation of space and airborne systems, the authors offer a synthetic geometrical approach to the description of synthetic aperture radar, one that addresses physicists, radar specialists, as well as experts in image processing.  

  14. Synthetic peptides for antibody production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zegers, N.D.

    1995-01-01

    Synthetic peptides are useful tools for the generation of antibodies. The use of antibodies as specific reagents in inununochemical assays is widely applied. In this chapter, the application of synthetic peptides for the generation of antibodies is described. The different steps that lead to the

  15. Synthetic peptides for antibody production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N.D. Zegers (Netty)

    1995-01-01

    textabstractSynthetic peptides are useful tools for the generation of antibodies. The use of antibodies as specific reagents in inununochemical assays is widely applied. In this chapter, the application of synthetic peptides for the generation of antibodies is described. The different steps

  16. The Ethics of Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    The dissertation analyses and discusses a number of ethical issues that have been raised in connection with the development of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a set of new techniques for DNA-level design and construction of living beings with useful properties. The dissertation especially...

  17. Synthetic biology of polyketide synthases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuzawa, Satoshi; Backman, Tyler W.H.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2018-01-01

    ). The modules are composed of enzymatic domains that share sequence and functional similarity across all known PKSs. We have used the nomenclature of synthetic biology to classify the enzymatic domains and modules as parts and devices, respectively, and have generated detailed lists of both. In addition, we...... realize the potential that synthetic biology approaches bring to this class of molecules....

  18. Modeling adaptation of carbon use efficiency in microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D Allison

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In new microbial-biogeochemical models, microbial carbon use efficiency (CUE is often assumed to decline with increasing temperature. Under this assumption, soil carbon losses under warming are small because microbial biomass declines. Yet there is also empirical evidence that CUE may adapt (i.e. become less sensitive to warming, thereby mitigating negative effects on microbial biomass. To analyze potential mechanisms of CUE adaptation, I used two theoretical models to implement a tradeoff between microbial uptake rate and CUE. This rate-yield tradeoff is based on thermodynamic principles and suggests that microbes with greater investment in resource acquisition should have lower CUE. Microbial communities or individuals could adapt to warming by reducing investment in enzymes and uptake machinery. Consistent with this idea, a simple analytical model predicted that adaptation can offset 50% of the warming-induced decline in CUE. To assess the ecosystem implications of the rate-yield tradeoff, I quantified CUE adaptation in a spatially-structured simulation model with 100 microbial taxa and 12 soil carbon substrates. This model predicted much lower CUE adaptation, likely due to additional physiological and ecological constraints on microbes. In particular, specific resource acquisition traits are needed to maintain stoichiometric balance, and taxa with high CUE and low enzyme investment rely on low-yield, high-enzyme neighbors to catalyze substrate degradation. In contrast to published microbial models, simulations with greater CUE adaptation also showed greater carbon storage under warming. This pattern occurred because microbial communities with stronger CUE adaptation produced fewer degradative enzymes, despite increases in biomass. Thus the rate-yield tradeoff prevents CUE adaptation from driving ecosystem carbon loss under climate warming.

  19. Host genetics affect microbial ecosystems via host immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Kafsi, Hela; Gorochov, Guy; Larsen, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Genetic evolution of multicellular organisms has occurred in response to environmental challenges, including competition for nutrients, climate change, physical and chemical stressors, and pathogens. However, fitness of an organism is dependent not only on defense efficacy, but also on the ability to take advantage of symbiotic organisms. Indeed, microbes not only encompass pathogenicity, but also enable efficient nutrient uptake from diets nondegradable by the host itself. Moreover, microbes play important roles in the development of host immunity. Here we review associations between specific host genes and variance in microbiota composition and compare with interactions between microbes and host immunity. Recent genome-wide association studies reveal that symbiosis between host and microbiota is the exquisite result of genetic coevolution. Moreover, a subset of microbes from human and mouse microbiota have been identified to interact with humoral and cellular immunity. Interestingly, microbes associated with both host genetics and host immunity are taxonomically related. Most involved are Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Akkermansia, which are dually associated with both host immunity and host genetics. We conclude that future therapeutics targeting microbiota in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases need to consider both immune and genetic host features associated with microbiota homeostasis.

  20. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Hywel T. P.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2008-01-01

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their ...

  1. Microbial ecosystems of Antarctica. By W.F. Vincent

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LokaBharathi, P.A.

    stream_size 1 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Indian_J_Mar_Sci_19_p.230.pdf.txt stream_source_info Indian_J_Mar_Sci_19_p.230.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  2. Nutrient cycling Microbial Ecosystems: Assembly, Function and Targeted Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-05

    Replicate microcosms created from freshwater pond sediment and water , supplemented by cellulose and sulfate.  Figure 2. Analytical predictions of a ‘2...used as food by other populations [14,15]. On the experimental side, we have used laboratory microcosms, made from pond sediment and water ...different chemical transformations, converting potentially harmful chemicals via a series of intermediates, to harmless waste products. This shuttling of

  3. Microbial diversity and metabolic networks in acid mine drainage habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia eMendez-Garcia

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD emplacements are low-complexity natural systems. Low-pH conditions appear to be the main factor underlying the limited diversity of the microbial populations thriving in these environments, although temperature, ionic composition, total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen are also considered to significantly influence their microbial life. This natural reduction in diversity driven by extreme conditions was reflected in several studies on the microbial populations inhabiting the various micro-environments present in such ecosystems. Early studies based on the physiology of the autochthonous microbiota and the growing success of omics technologies have enabled a better understanding of microbial ecology and function in low-pH mine outflows; however, complementary omics-derived data should be included to completely describe their microbial ecology. Furthermore, recent updates on the distribution of eukaryotes and ultra-micro-archaea demand their inclusion in the microbial characterisation of AMD systems. In this review, we present a complete overview of the bacterial, archaeal (including ultra-micro-archaeal and eukaryotic diversity in these ecosystems and include a thorough depiction of the metabolism and element cycling in AMD habitats. We also review different metabolic network structures at the organismal level, which is necessary to disentangle the role of each member of the AMD communities described thus far.

  4. Effects of Conservation Agriculture and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Diversity and Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Habig

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities perform critical functions in ecosystem processes. These functions can be used to assess the impact of agricultural practices on sustainable crop production. In this five-year study, the effect of various agricultural practices on soil microbial diversity and activity was investigated in a summer rainfall area under South African dryland conditions. Microbial diversity and activity were measured in the 0–15 cm layer of a field trial consisting of two fertilizer levels, three cropping systems, and two tillage systems. Using the Shannon–Weaver and Evenness diversity indices, soil microbial species richness and abundance were measured. Microbial enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, phosphatase and urease, were used to evaluate ecosystem functioning. Cluster analysis revealed a shift in soil microbial community diversity and activity over time. Microbial diversity and activity were higher under no-till than conventional tillage. Fertilizer levels seemed to play a minor role in determining microbial diversity and activity, whereas the cropping systems played a more important role in determining the activity of soil microbial communities. Conservation agriculture yielded the highest soil microbial diversity and activity in diversified cropping systems under no-till.

  5. Microbial Communities Are Well Adapted to Disturbances in Energy Input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Gonzalez, Nuria; Huber, Julie A; Vallino, Joseph J

    2016-01-01

    Although microbial systems are well suited for studying concepts in ecological theory, little is known about how microbial communities respond to long-term periodic perturbations beyond diel oscillations. Taking advantage of an ongoing microcosm experiment, we studied how methanotrophic microbial communities adapted to disturbances in energy input over a 20-day cycle period. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes together with quantification of microbial abundance and ecosystem function were used to explore the long-term dynamics (510 days) of methanotrophic communities under continuous versus cyclic chemical energy supply. We observed that microbial communities appeared inherently well adapted to disturbances in energy input and that changes in community structure in both treatments were more dependent on internal dynamics than on external forcing. The results also showed that the rare biosphere was critical to seeding the internal community dynamics, perhaps due to cross-feeding or other strategies. We conclude that in our experimental system, internal feedbacks were more important than external drivers in shaping the community dynamics over time, suggesting that ecosystems can maintain their function despite inherently unstable community dynamics. IMPORTANCE Within the broader ecological context, biological communities are often viewed as stable and as only experiencing succession or replacement when subject to external perturbations, such as changes in food availability or the introduction of exotic species. Our findings indicate that microbial communities can exhibit strong internal dynamics that may be more important in shaping community succession than external drivers. Dynamic "unstable" communities may be important for ecosystem functional stability, with rare organisms playing an important role in community restructuring. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for internal community dynamics will certainly be required for understanding and manipulating

  6. Coupling Spatiotemporal Community Assembly Processes to Changes in Microbial Metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, Emily B.; Crump, Alex R.; Resch, Charles T.; Fansler, Sarah; Arntzen, Evan; Kennedy, David W.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Stegen, James C.

    2016-12-16

    Community assembly processes govern shifts in species abundances in response to environmental change, yet our understanding of assembly remains largely decoupled from ecosystem function. Here, we test hypotheses regarding assembly and function across space and time using hyporheic microbial communities as a model system. We pair sampling of two habitat types through hydrologic fluctuation with null modeling and multivariate statistics. We demonstrate that dual selective pressures assimilate to generate compositional changes at distinct timescales among habitat types, resulting in contrasting associations of Betaproteobacteria and Thaumarchaeota with selection and with seasonal changes in aerobic metabolism. Our results culminate in a conceptual model in which selection from contrasting environments regulates taxon abundance and ecosystem function through time, with increases in function when oscillating selection opposes stable selective pressures. Our model is applicable within both macrobial and microbial ecology and presents an avenue for assimilating community assembly processes into predictions of ecosystem function.

  7. Computing with synthetic protocells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courbet, Alexis; Molina, Franck; Amar, Patrick

    2015-09-01

    In this article we present a new kind of computing device that uses biochemical reactions networks as building blocks to implement logic gates. The architecture of a computing machine relies on these generic and composable building blocks, computation units, that can be used in multiple instances to perform complex boolean functions. Standard logical operations are implemented by biochemical networks, encapsulated and insulated within synthetic vesicles called protocells. These protocells are capable of exchanging energy and information with each other through transmembrane electron transfer. In the paradigm of computation we propose, protoputing, a machine can solve only one problem and therefore has to be built specifically. Thus, the programming phase in the standard computing paradigm is represented in our approach by the set of assembly instructions (specific attachments) that directs the wiring of the protocells that constitute the machine itself. To demonstrate the computing power of protocellular machines, we apply it to solve a NP-complete problem, known to be very demanding in computing power, the 3-SAT problem. We show how to program the assembly of a machine that can verify the satisfiability of a given boolean formula. Then we show how to use the massive parallelism of these machines to verify in less than 20 min all the valuations of the input variables and output a fluorescent signal when the formula is satisfiable or no signal at all otherwise.

  8. BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS VS BUSINESS DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinela Lazarica

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available E-business is often described as the small organisations’ gateway to global business and markets. The adoption of Internet-based technologies for e-business is a continuous process, with sequential steps of evolution. The latter step in the adoption of Internet-based technologies for business, where the business services and the software components are supported by a pervasive software environment, which shows an evolutionary and self-organising behaviour are named digital business ecosystems. The digital business ecosystems are characterized by intelligent software components and services, knowledge transfer, interactive training frameworks and integration of business processes and e-government models.

  9. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

  10. Improving Marine Ecosystem Models with Biochemical Tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pethybridge, Heidi R.; Choy, C. Anela; Polovina, Jeffrey J.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.

    2018-01-01

    Empirical data on food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions underpin ecosystem models, which are increasingly used to support strategic management of marine resources. These data have traditionally derived from stomach content analysis, but new and complementary forms of ecological data are increasingly available from biochemical tracer techniques. Extensive opportunities exist to improve the empirical robustness of ecosystem models through the incorporation of biochemical tracer data and derived indices, an area that is rapidly expanding because of advances in analytical developments and sophisticated statistical techniques. Here, we explore the trophic information required by ecosystem model frameworks (species, individual, and size based) and match them to the most commonly used biochemical tracers (bulk tissue and compound-specific stable isotopes, fatty acids, and trace elements). Key quantitative parameters derived from biochemical tracers include estimates of diet composition, niche width, and trophic position. Biochemical tracers also provide powerful insight into the spatial and temporal variability of food web structure and the characterization of dominant basal and microbial food web groups. A major challenge in incorporating biochemical tracer data into ecosystem models is scale and data type mismatches, which can be overcome with greater knowledge exchange and numerical approaches that transform, integrate, and visualize data.

  11. Differential sensitivity of total and active soil microbial communities to drought and forest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, Felipe; Torres, Irene F; Andrés-Abellán, Manuela; Baldrian, Petr; López-Mondéjar, Rubén; Větrovský, Tomáš; Richnow, Hans H; Starke, Robert; Ondoño, Sara; García, Carlos; López-Serrano, Francisco R; Jehmlich, Nico

    2017-10-01

    Climate change will affect semiarid ecosystems through severe droughts that increase the competition for resources in plant and microbial communities. In these habitats, adaptations to climate change may consist of thinning-that reduces competition for resources through a decrease in tree density and the promotion of plant survival. We deciphered the functional and phylogenetic responses of the microbial community to 6 years of drought induced by rainfall exclusion and how forest management affects its resistance to drought, in a semiarid forest ecosystem dominated by Pinus halepensis Mill. A multiOMIC approach was applied to reveal novel, community-based strategies in the face of climate change. The diversity and the composition of the total and active soil microbiome were evaluated by 16S rRNA gene (bacteria) and ITS (fungal) sequencing, and by metaproteomics. The microbial biomass was analyzed by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), and the microbially mediated ecosystem multifunctionality was studied by the integration of soil enzyme activities related to the cycles of C, N, and P. The microbial biomass and ecosystem multifunctionality decreased in drought-plots, as a consequence of the lower soil moisture and poorer plant development, but this decrease was more notable in unthinned plots. The structure and diversity of the total bacterial community was unaffected by drought at phylum and order level, but did so at genus level, and was influenced by seasonality. However, the total fungal community and the active microbial community were more sensitive to drought and were related to ecosystem multifunctionality. Thinning in plots without drought increased the active diversity while the total diversity was not affected. Thinning promoted the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to drought through changes in the active microbial community. The integration of total and active microbiome analyses avoids misinterpretations of the links between the soil microbial

  12. Microbial electrosynthetic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Harold D.; Marshall, Christopher W.; Labelle, Edward V.

    2018-01-30

    Methods are provided for microbial electrosynthesis of H.sub.2 and organic compounds such as methane and acetate. Method of producing mature electrosynthetic microbial populations by continuous culture is also provided. Microbial populations produced in accordance with the embodiments as shown to efficiently synthesize H.sub.2, methane and acetate in the presence of CO.sub.2 and a voltage potential. The production of biodegradable and renewable plastics from electricity and carbon dioxide is also disclosed.

  13. Ecosystem microbiology of coral reefs: linking genomic, metabolomic, and biogeochemical dynamics from animal symbioses to reefscape processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegley Kelly, L.; Haas, A.F.; Nelson, C.E.

    2018-01-01

    Over the past 2 decades, molecular techniques have established the critical role of both free-living and host-associated microbial partnerships in the environment. Advancing research to link microbial community dynamics simultaneously to host physiology and ecosystem biogeochemistry is required to

  14. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  15. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Kai M.A; Anderson, Emily K.; Chapman, Mollie

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  16. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Peine; B.L. Jacobs; K.E. Franzreb; M.R. Stevens

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) promotes an integrated approach to environmental issues; its central goal is the protection of entire ecosystems. By focusing on an interdisciplinary solution to environmental challenges, EM can help to synthesize societal, economic scientific, and governmental goals. Furthermore, as EM becomes part of the foundation of environmental...

  17. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  18. Synthetic Biology and Personalized Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task. PMID:22907209

  19. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J.

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  20. Ecological effects of ionizing radiation on population and ecosystem: a computational model ecosystem study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Fuma, Shoichi; Ishii, Nobuyuki; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Takeda, Hiroshi; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2003-01-01

    Ecosystem is a self-sustaining system of complexity, and their responses to the impacts are synergistic and subjected to the demographic stochasticity of the species, environmental stochasticity and randomness. Environmental fate and effects of radiation has ranged from observable DNA damage of the cell to the fare on tissues, individual, population, community and ecosystems. The quantitative, systematic individual-based model, SIM-COSM was developed to simulate impacts of radiation exposure and other toxicants on an aquatic microbial ecosystem (microcosm). The microcosm consists of heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena thermophila B) as a consumer, autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena gracilis Z) as a producer and saprotroph bacteria (Escherichia coli DH5) as a decomposer. The symbiosis among microbes is self-organized by realizing material cycle and sustained for more than 2 years after inoculation. The system can not afford to lose any one of the microbes to maintain its sustainability. Experimental ecotoxicological tests for (a) gamma radiation, (b) Manganese ions and (c) Gadolinium are summarized. Population dynamics of microbes in Microcosm and its computer simulations by SIM-COSM are shown together in a figure. Population dynamics in Microcosm and SIM-COSM exposed to 500 Gy of gamma-radiation at 50 days after inoculation are shown also in a figure. To take the effects on the interactions between species and environment into account, one option is to put the ecotoxicity tests as experimental micro ecosystem study and theoretical model ecosystem analysis. (M. Suetake)

  1. Synthetic Biology: Advancing Biological Frontiers by Building Synthetic Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Yvonne Yu-Hsuan; Galloway, Kate E; Smolke, Christina D

    2012-01-01

    Advances in synthetic biology are contributing to diverse research areas, from basic biology to biomanufacturing and disease therapy. We discuss the theoretical foundation, applications, and potential of this emerging field.

  2. Mapping cultural ecosystem services:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Zulian, Grazia; Kopperoinen, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Research on ecosystem services mapping and valuing has increased significantly in recent years. However, compared to provisioning and regulating services, cultural ecosystem services have not yet been fully integrated into operational frameworks. One reason for this is that transdisciplinarity...... surveys are a main source of information. Among cultural ecosystem services, assessment of outdoor recreation can be based on a large pool of literature developed mostly in social and medical science, and landscape and ecology studies. This paper presents a methodology to include recreation...... in the conceptual framework for EU wide ecosystem assessments (Maes et al., 2013), which couples existing approaches for recreation management at country level with behavioural data derived from surveys, and population distribution data. The proposed framework is based on three components: the ecosystem function...

  3. Effects of fire on major forest ecosystem processes: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhong

    2006-09-01

    Fire and fire ecology are among the best-studied topics in contemporary ecosystem ecology. The large body of existing literature on fire and fire ecology indicates an urgent need to synthesize the information on the pattern of fire effects on ecosystem composition, structure, and functions for application in fire and ecosystem management. Understanding fire effects and underlying principles are critical to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfires and for proper use of fire as an effective management tool toward management goals. This overview is a synthesis of current knowledge on major effects of fire on fire-prone ecosystems, particularly those in the boreal and temperate regions of the North America. Four closely related ecosystem processes in vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, soil and belowground process and water relations were discussed with emphases on fire as the driving force. Clearly, fire can shape ecosystem composition, structure and functions by selecting fire adapted species and removing other susceptible species, releasing nutrients from the biomass and improving nutrient cycling, affecting soil properties through changing soil microbial activities and water relations, and creating heterogeneous mosaics, which in turn, can further influence fire behavior and ecological processes. Fire as a destructive force can rapidly consume large amount of biomass and cause negative impacts such as post-fire soil erosion and water runoff, and air pollution; however, as a constructive force fire is also responsible for maintaining the health and perpetuity of certain fire-dependent ecosystems. Considering the unique ecological roles of fire in mediating and regulating ecosystems, fire should be incorporated as an integral component of ecosystems and management. However, the effects of fire on an ecosystem depend on the fire regime, vegetation type, climate, physical environments, and the scale of time and space of assessment. More ecosystem

  4. Microbial nitrogen cycling in Arctic snowpacks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larose, Catherine; Vogel, Timothy M; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2013-01-01

    Arctic snowpacks are often considered as chemical reactors for a variety of chemicals deposited through wet and dry events, but are overlooked as potential sites for microbial metabolism of reactive nitrogen species. The fate of deposited species is critical since warming leads to the transfer of contaminants to snowmelt-fed ecosystems. Here, we examined the role of microorganisms and the potential pathways involved in nitrogen cycling in the snow. Next generation sequencing data were used to follow functional gene abundances and a 16S rRNA (ribosomal ribonucleic acid) gene microarray was used to follow shifts in microbial community structure during a two-month spring-time field study at a high Arctic site, Svalbard, Norway (79° N). We showed that despite the low temperatures and limited water supply, microbial communities inhabiting the snow cover demonstrated dynamic shifts in their functional potential to follow several different pathways of the nitrogen cycle. In addition, microbial specific phylogenetic probes tracked different nitrogen species over time. For example, probes for Roseomonas tracked nitrate concentrations closely and probes for Caulobacter tracked ammonium concentrations after a delay of one week. Nitrogen cycling was also shown to be a dominant process at the base of the snowpack. (letter)

  5. Exometabolomics Assisted Design and Validation of Synthetic Obligate Mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosina, Suzanne M; Danielewicz, Megan A; Mohammed, Mujahid; Ray, Jayashree; Suh, Yumi; Yilmaz, Suzan; Singh, Anup K; Arkin, Adam P; Deutschbauer, Adam M; Northen, Trent R

    2016-07-15

    Synthetic microbial ecology has the potential to enhance the productivity and resiliency of biotechnology processes compared to approaches using single isolates. Engineering microbial consortia is challenging; however, one approach that has attracted significant attention is the creation of synthetic obligate mutualism using auxotrophic mutants that depend on each other for exchange or cross-feeding of metabolites. Here, we describe the integration of mutant library fitness profiling with mass spectrometry based exometabolomics as a method for constructing synthetic mutualism based on cross-feeding. Two industrially important species lacking known ecological interactions, Zymomonas mobilis and Escherichia coli, were selected as the test species. Amino acid exometabolites identified in the spent medium of Z. mobilis were used to select three corresponding E. coli auxotrophs (proA, pheA and IlvA), as potential E. coli counterparts for the coculture. A pooled mutant fitness assay with a Z. mobilis transposon mutant library was used to identify mutants with improved growth in the presence of E. coli. An auxotroph mutant in a gene (ZMO0748) with sequence similarity to cysteine synthase A (cysK), was selected as the Z. mobilis counterpart for the coculture. Exometabolomic analysis of spent E. coli medium identified glutathione related metabolites as potentially available for rescue of the Z. mobilis cysteine synthase mutant. Three sets of cocultures between the Z. mobilis auxotroph and each of the three E. coli auxotrophs were monitored by optical density for growth and analyzed by flow cytometry to confirm high cell counts for each species. Taken together, our methods provide a technological framework for creating synthetic mutualisms combining existing screening based methods and exometabolomics for both the selection of obligate mutualism partners and elucidation of metabolites involved in auxotroph rescue.

  6. Methods in gut microbial ecology for ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makkar, H.P.S.; McSweeney, C.S.

    2005-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive up-to-date account of the methodologies and protocols for conventional and modern molecular techniques that are currently in use for studying the gut microbial ecology of ruminants. Each chapter has been contributed by experts in the field and methods have been presented in a recipe-like format designed for direct practical use in the laboratory and also to provide insight into the most appropriate techniques, their applications and the type of information that could be expected. The techniques and procedures described are also relevant and adaptable to other gastrointestinal ecosystems and the microbiology of anaerobic environments in general. This manual will 'demystify' the methods in molecular microbial ecology for readers who are novice in the field but are excited by the prospects of this technology. It would also be invaluable for the experienced workers striving for giving new dimension to their research - expanding the work in other fields and initiating cross-cutting activities

  7. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  8. Modes of Action of Microbially-Produced Phytotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Stephen O.; Dayan, Franck E.

    2011-01-01

    Some of the most potent phytotoxins are synthesized by microbes. A few of these share molecular target sites with some synthetic herbicides, but many microbial toxins have unique target sites with potential for exploitation by the herbicide industry. Compounds from both non-pathogenic and pathogenic microbes are discussed. Microbial phytotoxins with modes of action the same as those of commercial herbicides and those with novel modes of action of action are covered. Examples of the compounds discussed are tentoxin, AAL-toxin, auscaulitoxin aglycone, hydantocidin, thaxtomin, and tabtoxin. PMID:22069756

  9. Synthetic Biology for Specialty Chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Kelly A; Alper, Hal S

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances in the field of synthetic biology and describe how those tools have been applied to produce a wide variety of chemicals in microorganisms. Here we classify the expansion of the synthetic biology toolbox into three different categories based on their primary function in strain engineering-for design, for construction, and for optimization. Next, focusing on recent years, we look at how chemicals have been produced using these new synthetic biology tools. Advances in producing fuels are briefly described, followed by a more thorough treatment of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Throughout this review, an emphasis is placed on how synthetic biology tools are applied to strain engineering. Finally, we discuss organism and host strain diversity and provide a future outlook in the field.

  10. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  11. Adaptive Synthetic Forces: Situation Awareness

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hill, Randall

    2001-01-01

    ...: perception, comprehension, and prediction. Building on these ideas, we developed techniques for improving the situation awareness in synthetic helicopter pilots for the ModSAF military simulation by giving them more human-like perception...

  12. Programming languages for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umesh, P; Naveen, F; Rao, Chanchala Uma Maheswara; Nair, Achuthsankar S

    2010-12-01

    In the backdrop of accelerated efforts for creating synthetic organisms, the nature and scope of an ideal programming language for scripting synthetic organism in-silico has been receiving increasing attention. A few programming languages for synthetic biology capable of defining, constructing, networking, editing and delivering genome scale models of cellular processes have been recently attempted. All these represent important points in a spectrum of possibilities. This paper introduces Kera, a state of the art programming language for synthetic biology which is arguably ahead of similar languages or tools such as GEC, Antimony and GenoCAD. Kera is a full-fledged object oriented programming language which is tempered by biopart rule library named Samhita which captures the knowledge regarding the interaction of genome components and catalytic molecules. Prominent feature of the language are demonstrated through a toy example and the road map for the future development of Kera is also presented.

  13. Using community trait-distributions to assign microbial responses to pH changes and Cd in forest soils treated with wood ash

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cruz Paredes, Carla; Wallander, Håkan; Kjøller, Rasmus

    2017-01-01

    is the current land-use. In forestry, wood ash has been proposed as a liming agent and a fertilizer, but has been questioned due to the risk associated with its Cd content. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of wood ash on the structure and function of decomposer microbial communities in forest......The identification of causal links between microbial community structure and ecosystem functions are required for a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to environmental change. One of the most influential factors affecting plants and microbial communities in soil in managed ecosystems...... soils and to assign them to causal mechanisms. To do this, we assessed the responses to wood ash application of (i) the microbial community size and structure, (ii) microbial community trait-distributions, including bacterial pH relationships and Cd-tolerance, to assign the microbial responses to p...

  14. DOC removal paradigms in highly humic aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farjalla, Vinicius F; Amado, André M; Suhett, Albert L; Meirelles-Pereira, Frederico

    2009-07-01

    Dissolved humic substances (HS) usually comprise 50-80% of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in aquatic ecosystems. From a trophic and biogeochemical perspective, HS has been considered to be highly refractory and is supposed to accumulate in the water. The upsurge of the microbial loop paradigm and the studies on HS photo-degradation into labile DOC gave rise to the belief that microbial processing of DOC should sustain aquatic food webs in humic waters. However, this has not been extensively supported by the literature, since most HS and their photo-products are often oxidized by microbes through respiration in most nutrient-poor humic waters. Here, we review basic concepts, classical studies, and recent data on bacterial and photo-degradation of DOC, comparing the rates of these processes in highly humic ecosystems and other aquatic ecosystems. We based our review on classical and recent findings from the fields of biogeochemistry and microbial ecology, highlighting some odd results from highly humic Brazilian tropical lagoons, which can reach up to 160 mg C L(-1). Highly humic tropical lagoons showed proportionally lower bacterial production rates and higher bacterial respiration rates (i.e., lower bacterial growth efficiency) than other lakes. Zooplankton showed similar delta(13)C to microalgae but not to humic DOC in these highly humic lagoons. Thus, the data reviewed here do not support the microbial loop as an efficient matter transfer pathway in highly humic ecosystems, where it is supposed to play its major role. In addition, we found that some tropical humic ecosystems presented the highest potential DOC photo-chemical mineralization (PM) rates reported in the literature, exceeding up to threefold the rates reported for temperate humic ecosystems. We propose that these atypically high PM rates are the result of a joint effect of the seasonal dynamics of allochthonous humic DOC input to these ecosystems and the high sunlight incidence throughout the year

  15. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  16. A meta-analysis of soil microbial biomass responses to forest disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Robin Holden

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate warming is likely to increase the frequency and severity of forest disturbances, with uncertain consequences for soil microbial communities and their contribution to ecosystem C dynamics. To address this uncertainty, we conducted a meta-analysis of 139 published soil microbial responses to forest disturbances. These disturbances included abiotic (fire, harvesting, storm and biotic (insect, pathogen disturbances. We hypothesized that soil microbial biomass would decline following forest disturbances, but that abiotic disturbances would elicit greater reductions in microbial biomass than biotic disturbances. In support of this hypothesis, across all published studies, disturbances reduced soil microbial biomass by an average of 29.4%. However, microbial responses differed between abiotic and biotic disturbances. Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7%, 19.1%, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively. In contrast, changes in soil microbial biomass following insect infestation and pathogen-induced tree mortality were non-significant, although biotic disturbances were poorly represented in the literature. When measured separately, fungal and bacterial responses to disturbances mirrored the response of the microbial community as a whole. Changes in microbial abundance following disturbance were significantly positively correlated with changes in microbial respiration. We propose that the differential effect of abiotic and biotic disturbances on microbial biomass may be attributable to differences in soil disruption and organic C removal from forests among disturbance types. Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration. Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

  17. Microbial accumulation of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wei; Dong Faqin; Dai Qunwei

    2005-01-01

    The mechanism of microbial accumulation of uranium and the effects of some factors (including pH, initial uranium concentration, pretreatment of bacteria, and so on) on microbial accumulation of uranium are discussed briefly. The research direction and application prospect are presented. (authors)

  18. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    A novel microbial fuel cell construction for the generation of electrical energy. The microbial fuel cell comprises: (i) an anode electrode, (ii) a cathode chamber, said cathode chamber comprising an in let through which an influent enters the cathode chamber, an outlet through which an effluent...

  19. Microbial control of pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, J C; Gadd, G M; Herbert, R A; Jones, C W; Watson-Craik, I A [eds.

    1992-01-01

    12 papers are presented on the microbial control of pollution. Topics covered include: bioremediation of oil spills; microbial control of heavy metal pollution; pollution control using microorganisms and magnetic separation; degradation of cyanide and nitriles; nitrogen removal from water and waste; and land reclamation and restoration.

  20. Microbial diversity in Brazilian mangrove sediments – a mini review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghizelini, Angela Michelato; Mendonça-Hagler, Leda Cristina Santana; Macrae, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    The importance and protection of mangrove ecosystems has been recognized in Brazilian Federal law since 1965. Being protected in law, however, has not always guaranteed their protection in practice. Mangroves are found in coastal and estuarine locations, which are prime real estate for the growth of cities, ports and other economic activities important for Brazilian development. In this mini-review we introduce what mangroves are and why they are so important. We give a brief overview of the microbial diversity found in mangrove sediments and then focus on diversity studies from Brazilian mangroves. We highlight the breadth and depth of knowledge about mangrove microbial communities gained from studying Brazilian mangroves. We report on the exciting findings of molecular microbial ecology methods that have been very successfully applied to study bacterial communities. We note that there have been fewer studies that focus on fungal communities and that fungal diversity studies deserve more attention. The review ends with a look at how a combination of new molecular biology methods and isolation studies are being developed to monitor and conserve mangrove ecosystems and their associated microbial communities. These recent studies are having a global impact and we hope they will help to protect and re-establish mangrove ecosystems. PMID:24031949

  1. Simulated Carbon Cycling in a Model Microbial Mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, K. L.; Potter, C. S.

    2006-12-01

    We present here the novel addition of detailed organic carbon cycling to our model of a hypersaline microbial mat ecosystem. This ecosystem model, MBGC (Microbial BioGeoChemistry), simulates carbon fixation through oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis, and the release of C and electrons for microbial heterotrophs via cyanobacterial exudates and also via a pool of dead cells. Previously in MBGC, the organic portion of the carbon cycle was simplified into a black-box rate of accumulation of simple and complex organic compounds based on photosynthesis and mortality rates. We will discuss the novel inclusion of fermentation as a source of carbon and electrons for use in methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, and the influence of photorespiration on labile carbon exudation rates in cyanobacteria. We will also discuss the modeling of decomposition of dead cells and the ultimate release of inorganic carbon. The detailed modeling of organic carbon cycling is important to the accurate representation of inorganic carbon flux through the mat, as well as to accurate representation of growth models of the heterotrophs under different environmental conditions. Because the model ecosystem is an analog of ancient microbial mats that had huge impacts on the atmosphere of early earth, this MBGC can be useful as a biological component to either early earth models or models of other planets that potentially harbor life.

  2. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort ac...

  3. Compartmentalized metabolic network reconstruction of microbial communities to determine the effect of agricultural intervention on soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Yela, Astrid Catalina; Gómez-Cano, Fabio; Zambrano, María Mercedes; Husserl, Johana; Danies, Giovanna; Restrepo, Silvia; González-Barrios, Andrés Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are responsible for a wide range of ecological processes and have an important economic impact in agriculture. Determining the metabolic processes performed by microbial communities is crucial for understanding and managing ecosystem properties. Metagenomic approaches allow the elucidation of the main metabolic processes that determine the performance of microbial communities under different environmental conditions and perturbations. Here we present the first compartmentalized metabolic reconstruction at a metagenomics scale of a microbial ecosystem. This systematic approach conceives a meta-organism without boundaries between individual organisms and allows the in silico evaluation of the effect of agricultural intervention on soils at a metagenomics level. To characterize the microbial ecosystems, topological properties, taxonomic and metabolic profiles, as well as a Flux Balance Analysis (FBA) were considered. Furthermore, topological and optimization algorithms were implemented to carry out the curation of the models, to ensure the continuity of the fluxes between the metabolic pathways, and to confirm the metabolite exchange between subcellular compartments. The proposed models provide specific information about ecosystems that are generally overlooked in non-compartmentalized or non-curated networks, like the influence of transport reactions in the metabolic processes, especially the important effect on mitochondrial processes, as well as provide more accurate results of the fluxes used to optimize the metabolic processes within the microbial community. PMID:28767679

  4. Compartmentalized metabolic network reconstruction of microbial communities to determine the effect of agricultural intervention on soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Camila Alvarez-Silva

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities are responsible for a wide range of ecological processes and have an important economic impact in agriculture. Determining the metabolic processes performed by microbial communities is crucial for understanding and managing ecosystem properties. Metagenomic approaches allow the elucidation of the main metabolic processes that determine the performance of microbial communities under different environmental conditions and perturbations. Here we present the first compartmentalized metabolic reconstruction at a metagenomics scale of a microbial ecosystem. This systematic approach conceives a meta-organism without boundaries between individual organisms and allows the in silico evaluation of the effect of agricultural intervention on soils at a metagenomics level. To characterize the microbial ecosystems, topological properties, taxonomic and metabolic profiles, as well as a Flux Balance Analysis (FBA were considered. Furthermore, topological and optimization algorithms were implemented to carry out the curation of the models, to ensure the continuity of the fluxes between the metabolic pathways, and to confirm the metabolite exchange between subcellular compartments. The proposed models provide specific information about ecosystems that are generally overlooked in non-compartmentalized or non-curated networks, like the influence of transport reactions in the metabolic processes, especially the important effect on mitochondrial processes, as well as provide more accurate results of the fluxes used to optimize the metabolic processes within the microbial community.

  5. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  6. Freedom and Responsibility in Synthetic Genomics: The Synthetic Yeast Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sliva, Anna; Yang, Huanming; Boeke, Jef D; Mathews, Debra J H

    2015-08-01

    First introduced in 2011, the Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc2.0) PROJECT is a large international synthetic genomics project that will culminate in the first eukaryotic cell (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with a fully synthetic genome. With collaborators from across the globe and from a range of institutions spanning from do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) to commercial enterprises, it is important that all scientists working on this project are cognizant of the ethical and policy issues associated with this field of research and operate under a common set of principles. In this commentary, we survey the current ethics and regulatory landscape of synthetic biology and present the Sc2.0 Statement of Ethics and Governance to which all members of the project adhere. This statement focuses on four aspects of the Sc2.0 PROJECT: societal benefit, intellectual property, safety, and self-governance. We propose that such project-level agreements are an important, valuable, and flexible model of self-regulation for similar global, large-scale synthetic biology projects in order to maximize the benefits and minimize potential harms. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  7. Microbial mutualism at a distance: The role of geometry in diffusive exchanges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peaudecerf, François J.; Bunbury, Freddy; Bhardwaj, Vaibhav; Bees, Martin A.; Smith, Alison G.; Goldstein, Raymond E.; Croze, Ottavio A.

    2018-02-01

    The exchange of diffusive metabolites is known to control the spatial patterns formed by microbial populations, as revealed by recent studies in the laboratory. However, the matrices used, such as agarose pads, lack the structured geometry of many natural microbial habitats, including in the soil or on the surfaces of plants or animals. Here we address the important question of how such geometry may control diffusive exchanges and microbial interaction. We model mathematically mutualistic interactions within a minimal unit of structure: two growing reservoirs linked by a diffusive channel through which metabolites are exchanged. The model is applied to study a synthetic mutualism, experimentally parametrized on a model algal-bacterial co-culture. Analytical and numerical solutions of the model predict conditions for the successful establishment of remote mutualisms, and how this depends, often counterintuitively, on diffusion geometry. We connect our findings to understanding complex behavior in synthetic and naturally occurring microbial communities.

  8. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woods, John S.; Damiani, Mattia; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus...... viewpoint and recommendations for future developments in LCIA related to the ecosystem quality area of protection (AoP). Through our recommendations, we aim to encourage LCIA developments that improve the usefulness and global acceptability of LCIA results. Methods: We analyze current ecosystem quality...... metrics and provide recommendations to the LCIA research community for achieving further developments towards comparable and more ecologically relevant metrics addressing ecosystem quality. Results and discussion: We recommend that LCIA development for ecosystem quality should tend towards species...

  9. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species™, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. “We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels,” stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. “The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.”

  10. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonas, Julia M.; Sörhammar, David; Satzger, Gerhard

    – i.e. the “birth phase” (Moore, 2009) of a service ecosystem. This paper, therefore, aims to explore how the somewhat “magic” processes of service ecosystem formation that are being taken for granted actually occur. Methodology/Approach: Building on a review of core elements in the definitions...... for Harvard students) or value proposition (share messages, photos, videos, etc. with friends). Processes of configuring actors, resources, and value propositions are influenced by the structural embeddedness of the service ecosystem (e.g., regional infrastructure, existing networks of actors, or resource...... availability) as well as guided by the actors’ own and shared institutions (e.g., rules, norms,and beliefs).We contextualize each starting point with illustrative cases and analyze the service ecosystem configuration process: “Axoon/Trumpf” (initiated by resources), “JOSEPHS – the service manufactory...

  11. Revisiting software ecosystems research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    ‘Software ecosystems’ is argued to first appear as a concept more than 10 years ago and software ecosystem research started to take off in 2010. We conduct a systematic literature study, based on the most extensive literature review in the field up to date, with two primarily aims: (a) to provide...... an updated overview of the field and (b) to document evolution in the field. In total, we analyze 231 papers from 2007 until 2014 and provide an overview of the research in software ecosystems. Our analysis reveals a field that is rapidly growing both in volume and empirical focus while becoming more mature...... from evolving. We propose means for future research and the community to address them. Finally, our analysis shapes the view of the field having evolved outside the existing definitions of software ecosystems and thus propose the update of the definition of software ecosystems....

  12. Ecosystem Analysis Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, R.L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following research programs: analysis and modeling of ecosystems; EDFB/IBP data center; biome analysis studies; land/water interaction studies; and computer programs for development of models

  13. Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sveinsdottir, Thordis; Wessels, Bridgette; Smallwood, Rod; Linde, Peter; Kalla, Vasso; Tsoukala, Victoria; Sondervan, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    This report is the deliverable for Work Package 1 (WP1), Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems, of the EU FP7 funded project RECODE (Grant Agreement No: 321463), which focuses on developing Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe. WP1 focuses on understanding stakeholder values and ecosystems in Open Access, dissemination and preservation in the area of scientific and scholarly data (thus not government data). The objectives of this WP are as follows: • Identify and map ...

  14. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  15. Privacy driven internet ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Tuan Anh; Gyarmati, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    The dominant business model of today's Internet is built upon advertisements; users can access Internet services while the providers show ads to them. Although significant efforts have been made to model and analyze the economic aspects of this ecosystem, the heart of the current status quo, namely privacy, has not received the attention of the research community yet. Accordingly, we propose an economic model of the privacy driven Internet ecosystem where privacy is handled as an asset that c...

  16. Non-microbial sources of microbial volatile organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Hyunok; Schmidbauer, Norbert; Bornehag, Carl-Gustaf

    2016-07-01

    , ventilation rate, and mold index (P-value =0.001). Homes deemed severely mold damaged (i.e., mold index =1) were associated with 1.7-times (95% CI, 0.8-3.6), greater likelihood of having a highest quartile of Σ 28 VOCs, even though such likelihood was not significant (P-value =0.164). In addition, absolute humidity appeared to positively interact with mold index to significantly elevate the prevalence of the highest quartile category of Σ 28 VOCs. The indoor concentration of Σ 28 VOCs, which are widely accepted as MVOCs, are significantly associated with the markers of synthetic (i.e. Σ17 PGEs and TMPD-MIB), and to less extent, microbial (i.e., mold index) sources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Characterizing microbial communities and processes in a modern stromatolite (Shark Bay) using lipid biomarkers and two-dimensional distributions of porewater solutes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagès, Anais; Grice, Kliti; Vacher, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two-dimensional distrib......Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two...

  18. Biocontainment of genetically modified organisms by synthetic protein design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandell, Daniel J.; Lajoie, Marc J.; Mee, Michael T.; Takeuchi, Ryo; Kuznetsov, Gleb; Norville, Julie E.; Gregg, Christopher J.; Stoddard, Barry L.; Church, George M.

    2015-02-01

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are increasingly deployed at large scales and in open environments. Genetic biocontainment strategies are needed to prevent unintended proliferation of GMOs in natural ecosystems. Existing biocontainment methods are insufficient because they impose evolutionary pressure on the organism to eject the safeguard by spontaneous mutagenesis or horizontal gene transfer, or because they can be circumvented by environmentally available compounds. Here we computationally redesign essential enzymes in the first organism possessing an altered genetic code (Escherichia coli strain C321.ΔA) to confer metabolic dependence on non-standard amino acids for survival. The resulting GMOs cannot metabolically bypass their biocontainment mechanisms using known environmental compounds, and they exhibit unprecedented resistance to evolutionary escape through mutagenesis and horizontal gene transfer. This work provides a foundation for safer GMOs that are isolated from natural ecosystems by a reliance on synthetic metabolites.

  19. Environmental microbiology as a mosaic of explored ecosystems and issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Denis; Bonin, Patricia; Duran, Robert

    2015-09-01

    Microbes are phylogenetically (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya, and viruses) and functionally diverse. They colonize highly varied environments and rapidly respond to and evolve as a response to local and global environmental changes, including those induced by pollutants resulting from human activities. This review exemplifies the Microbial Ecology EC2CO consortium's efforts to explore the biology, ecology, diversity, and roles of microbes in aquatic and continental ecosystems.

  20. Invasion in microbial communities: Role of community composition and assembly processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta

    of microbial community assembly. Biotic factors include interactions between different microbial groups as well as the community response to alien species – invaders. Microbial invasions can have significant effects on the composition and functioning of resident communities. There is, however, lack......Microbes contribute to all biogeochemical cycles on earth and are responsible for key biological processes that support the survival of plants and animals. There is increased interest in controlling and managing microbial communities in different ecosystems in order to make targeted microbiological...... processes more effective. In order to manage microbial communities, it is essential to understand the factors that shape and influence microbial community composition. In addition to abiotic factors, such as environmental conditions and resource availability, biotic factors also shape the dynamics...

  1. A highly diverse, desert-like microbial biocenosis on solar panels in a Mediterranean city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Vilanova, Cristina; Peretó, Juli; Codoñer, Francisco M; Ramón, Daniel; Porcar, Manuel

    2016-07-05

    Microorganisms colonize a wide range of natural and artificial environments although there are hardly any data on the microbial ecology of one the most widespread man-made extreme structures: solar panels. Here we show that solar panels in a Mediterranean city (Valencia, Spain) harbor a highly diverse microbial community with more than 500 different species per panel, most of which belong to drought-, heat- and radiation-adapted bacterial genera, and sun-irradiation adapted epiphytic fungi. The taxonomic and functional profiles of this microbial community and the characterization of selected culturable bacteria reveal the existence of a diverse mesophilic microbial community on the panels' surface. This biocenosis proved to be more similar to the ones inhabiting deserts than to any human or urban microbial ecosystem. This unique microbial community shows different day/night proteomic profiles; it is dominated by reddish pigment- and sphingolipid-producers, and is adapted to withstand circadian cycles of high temperatures, desiccation and solar radiation.

  2. Metabolic engineering for the microbial production of isoprenoids: Carotenoids and isoprenoid-based biofuels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Xing Niu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Isoprenoids are the most abundant and highly diverse group of natural products. Many isoprenoids have been used for pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, flavors, cosmetics, food additives and biofuels. Carotenoids and isoprenoid-based biofuels are two classes of important isoprenoids. These isoprenoids have been produced microbially through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts. Herein, we briefly review the engineered biosynthetic pathways in well-characterized microbial systems for the production of carotenoids and several isoprenoid-based biofuels.

  3. Scaling Soil Microbe-Water Interactions from Pores to Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, S.; Katul, G. G.

    2014-12-01

    The spatial scales relevant to soil microbial activity are much finer than scales relevant to whole-ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycling. On the one hand, how to link such different scales and develop scale-aware biogeochemical and ecohydrological models remains a major challenge. On the other hand, resolving these linkages is becoming necessary for testing ecological hypotheses and resolving data-theory inconsistencies. Here, the relation between microbial respiration and soil moisture expressed in water potential is explored. Such relation mediates the water availability effects on ecosystem-level heterotrophic respiration and is of paramount importance for understanding CO2 emissions under increasingly variable rainfall regimes. Respiration has been shown to decline as the soil dries in a remarkably consistent way across climates and soil types (open triangles in Figure). Empirical models based on these respiration-moisture relations are routinely used in Earth System Models to predict moisture effects on ecosystem respiration. It has been hypothesized that this consistency in microbial respiration decline is due to breakage of water film continuity causing in turn solute diffusion limitations in dry conditions. However, this hypothesis appears to be at odds with what is known about soil hydraulic properties. Water film continuity estimated from soil water retention (SWR) measurements at the 'Darcy' scale breaks at far less negative water potential (micro-level relevant to microbial activity. Such downscaling resolves the inconsistency between respiration thresholds and hydrological thresholds. This result, together with observations of residual microbial activity well below -15 MPa (dashed back curve in Figure), lends support to the hypothesis that soil microbes are substrate-limited in dry conditions.

  4. Meeting Report: Synthetic Biology Jamboree for Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A. Malcolm

    2005-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology (the name is derived from an analogy to synthetic chemistry) has recognized itself as a "field" only since about 2002. Synthetic biology has gotten some high-profile attention recently, but most people are not aware the field even exists. Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to genomic circuits to…

  5. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.

  6. Sediment microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment: challenges and opportunities

    OpenAIRE

    Xu, Bojun; Ge, Zheng; He, Zhen

    2015-01-01

    Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) have been intensively investigated for the harvest of energy from natural sediment, but studies of their application for wastewater treatment mainly occurred in the past 2-3 years. SMFCs with simple structures can generate electrical energy while decontaminating wastewater. Most SMFCs used for wastewater treatment contain plants to mimic constructed wetlands. Both synthetic and real wastewaters have been used as substrates in SMFCs that achieved satisfact...

  7. Microbial transformation of sesquitepenoid ketone, (+) Nootkatone by Macrophomia phaseolina

    OpenAIRE

    Vajira P. Bulugahapitiya; Syed Ghulam Musharaff

    2009-01-01

    Microbial transformation is an effective tool for the structural modification of bioactive natural and synthetic compounds leading to synthesis of more potent derivatives. Its application in asymmetric synthesis is increasing due to its versatility and ease. This article presents biotransformation of sesquiterpenoid ketone, (+)-Nootkatone (1) by M. phaseolina, a plant pathogenic fungus. The transformation afforded four main compounds. They were determined to be 1:6 stereoisomeric mixture of 1...

  8. Synthetic biology, metaphors and responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Carmen; Nerlich, Brigitte

    2017-08-29

    Metaphors are not just decorative rhetorical devices that make speech pretty. They are fundamental tools for thinking about the world and acting on the world. The language we use to make a better world matters; words matter; metaphors matter. Words have consequences - ethical, social and legal ones, as well as political and economic ones. They need to be used 'responsibly'. They also need to be studied carefully - this is what we want to do through this editorial and the related thematic collection. In the context of synthetic biology, natural and social scientists have become increasingly interested in metaphors, a wave of interest that we want to exploit and amplify. We want to build on emerging articles and books on synthetic biology, metaphors of life and the ethical and moral implications of such metaphors. This editorial provides a brief introduction to synthetic biology and responsible innovation, as well as a comprehensive review of literature on the social, cultural and ethical impacts of metaphor use in genomics and synthetic biology. Our aim is to stimulate an interdisciplinary and international discussion on the impact that metaphors can have on science, policy and publics in the context of synthetic biology.

  9. Content metamorphosis in synthetic holography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Desbiens, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    A synthetic hologram is an optical system made of hundreds of images amalgamated in a structure of holographic cells. Each of these images represents a point of view on a three-dimensional space which makes us consider synthetic holography as a multiple points of view perspective system. In the composition of a computer graphics scene for a synthetic hologram, the field of view of the holographic image can be divided into several viewing zones. We can attribute these divisions to any object or image feature independently and operate different transformations on image content. In computer generated holography, we tend to consider content variations as a continuous animation much like a short movie. However, by composing sequential variations of image features in relation with spatial divisions, we can build new narrative forms distinct from linear cinematographic narration. When observers move freely and change their viewing positions, they travel from one field of view division to another. In synthetic holography, metamorphoses of image content are within the observer's path. In all imaging Medias, the transformation of image features in synchronisation with the observer's position is a rare occurrence. However, this is a predominant characteristic of synthetic holography. This paper describes some of my experimental works in the development of metamorphic holographic images.

  10. Control theory meets synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Dy, Aaron J; Qian, Yili

    2016-07-01

    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology. © 2016 The Author(s).

  11. Linking genes to ecosystem trace gas fluxes in a large-scale model system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, L. K.; Cueva, A.; Volkmann, T. H. M.; Sengupta, A.; Troch, P. A.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms mediate biogeochemical cycles through biosphere-atmosphere gas exchange with significant impact on atmospheric trace gas composition. Improving process-based understanding of these microbial populations and linking their genomic potential to the ecosystem-scale is a challenge, particularly in soil systems, which are heterogeneous in biodiversity, chemistry, and structure. In oligotrophic systems, such as the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) at Biosphere 2, atmospheric trace gas scavenging may supply critical metabolic needs to microbial communities, thereby promoting tight linkages between microbial genomics and trace gas utilization. This large-scale model system of three initially homogenous and highly instrumented hillslopes facilitates high temporal resolution characterization of subsurface trace gas fluxes at hundreds of sampling points, making LEO an ideal location to study microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes from the gene to ecosystem scales. Specifically, we focus on the metabolism of ubiquitous atmospheric reduced trace gases hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methane (CH4), which may have wide-reaching impacts on microbial community establishment, survival, and function. Additionally, microbial activity on LEO may facilitate weathering of the basalt matrix, which can be studied with trace gas measurements of carbonyl sulfide (COS/OCS) and carbon dioxide (O-isotopes in CO2), and presents an additional opportunity for gene to ecosystem study. This work will present initial measurements of this suite of trace gases to characterize soil microbial metabolic activity, as well as links between spatial and temporal variability of microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes in LEO and their relation to genomic-based characterization of microbial community structure (phylogenetic amplicons) and genetic potential (metagenomics). Results from the LEO model system will help build understanding of the importance of atmospheric inputs to

  12. Tropical terrestrial model ecosystems for evaluation of soil fauna and leaf litter quality effects on litter consumption, soil microbial biomass and plant growth Efeitos de fauna de solo e qualidade de liteira sobre o consumo, biomassa microbiana e crescimento de plantas em modelo de ecossistemas terrestres tropicais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Förster

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to evaluate whether terrestrial model ecosystems (TMEs are a useful tool for the study of the effects of litter quality, soil invertebrates and mineral fertilizer on litter decomposition and plant growth under controlled conditions in the tropics. Forty-eight intact soil cores (17.5-cm diameter, 30-cm length were taken out from an abandoned rubber plantation on Ferralsol soil (Latossolo Amarelo in Central Amazonia, Brazil, and kept at 28ºC in the laboratory during four months. Leaf litter of either Hevea pauciflora (rubber tree, Flemingia macrophylla (a shrubby legume or Brachiaria decumbens (a pasture grass was put on top of each TME. Five specimens of either Pontoscolex corethrurus or Eisenia fetida (earthworms, Porcellionides pruinosus or Circoniscus ornatus (woodlice, and Trigoniulus corallinus (millipedes were then added to the TMEs. Leaf litter type significantly affected litter consumption, soil microbial biomass and nitrate concentration in the leachate of all TMEs, but had no measurable effect on the shoot biomass of rice seedlings planted in top soil taken from the TMEs. Feeding rates measured with bait lamina were significantly higher in TMEs with the earthworm P. corethrurus and the woodlouse C. ornatus. TMEs are an appropriate tool to assess trophic interactions in tropical soil ecossistems under controlled laboratory conditions.O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar o modelo de ecossistema terrestre (TME como ferramenta para o estudo dos efeitos da qualidade da liteira, de invertebrados do solo e da fertilização mineral na decomposição da liteira e no crescimento das plantas em condições controladas. Foram coletados quarenta e oito cilindros de solo intacto (Latossolo Amarelo de 17,5 cm de diâmetro e 30 cm de comprimento em um seringal abandonado na Amazônia Central brasileira e mantidos a 28ºC em laboratório, por quatro meses. Folhas da liteira de Hevea pauciflora (seringueira, ou de Flemingia

  13. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Edens, Bram; Schröter, Matthias; Hein, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We

  14. Engineering microbial consortia for controllable outputs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindemann, Stephen R.; Bernstein, Hans C.; Song, Hyun-Seob; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Fields, Matthew W.; Shou, Wenying; Johnson, David R.; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2016-03-11

    Much research has been invested into engineering microorganisms to perform desired biotransformations; nonetheless, these efforts frequently fall short of expected results due to the unforeseen effects of biofeedback regulation and functional incompatibility. In nature, metabolic function is compartmentalized into diverse organisms assembled into resilient consortia, in which the division of labor is thought to lead to increased community efficiency and productivity. Here, we consider whether and how consortia can be designed to perform bioprocesses of interest beyond the metabolic flexibility limitations of a single organism. Advances in post-genomic analysis of microbial consortia and application of high-resolution global measurements now offer the promise of systems-level understanding of how microbial consortia adapt to changes in environmental variables and inputs of carbon and energy. We argue that when combined with appropriate modeling framework that predictive knowledge generates testable hypotheses and orthogonal synthetic biology tools, such understanding can dramatically improve our ability to control the fate and functioning of consortia. In this article, we articulate our collective perspective on the current and future state of microbial community engineering and control while placing specific emphasis on ecological principles that promote control over community function and emergent properties.

  15. Microfluidic Technologies for Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Kuk Lee

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Microfluidic technologies have shown powerful abilities for reducing cost, time, and labor, and at the same time, for increasing accuracy, throughput, and performance in the analysis of biological and biochemical samples compared with the conventional, macroscale instruments. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology and has drawn much attraction due to its potential to create novel, functional biological parts and systems for special purposes. Since it is believed that the development of synthetic biology can be accelerated through the use of microfluidic technology, in this review work we focus our discussion on the latest microfluidic technologies that can provide unprecedented means in synthetic biology for dynamic profiling of gene expression/regulation with high resolution, highly sensitive on-chip and off-chip detection of metabolites, and whole-cell analysis.

  16. Synthetic neurosteroids on brain protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Rey

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurosteroids, like allopregnanolone and pregnanolone, are endogenous regulators of neuronal excitability. Inside the brain, they are highly selective and potent modulators of GABA A receptor activity. Their anticonvulsant, anesthetics and anxiolytic properties are useful for the treatments of several neurological and psychiatric disorders via reducing the risks of side effects obtained with the commercial drugs. The principal disadvantages of endogenous neurosteroids administration are their rapid metabolism and their low oral bioavailability. Synthetic steroids analogues with major stability or endogenous neurosteroids stimulation synthesis might constitute promising novel strategies for the treatment of several disorders. Numerous studies indicate that the 3α-hydroxyl configuration is the key for binding and activity, but modifications in the steroid nucleus may emphasize different pharmacophores. So far, several synthetic steroids have been developed with successful neurosteroid-like effects. In this work, we summarize the properties of various synthetic steroids probed in trials throughout the analysis of several neurosteroids-like actions.

  17. Synthetic biology as red herring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Beth

    2013-12-01

    It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice-agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative--additional investments will expand markets--but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized.

  19. Synthetic Phage for Tissue Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So Young Yoo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Controlling structural organization and signaling motif display is of great importance to design the functional tissue regenerating materials. Synthetic phage, genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage has been recently introduced as novel tissue regeneration materials to display a high density of cell-signaling peptides on their major coat proteins for tissue regeneration purposes. Structural advantages of their long-rod shape and monodispersity can be taken together to construct nanofibrous scaffolds which support cell proliferation and differentiation as well as direct orientation of their growth in two or three dimensions. This review demonstrated how functional synthetic phage is designed and subsequently utilized for tissue regeneration that offers potential cell therapy.

  20. Synthetic biology and its promises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel De Cózar Escalante

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is a new science and emerging technology, or rather a technoscience, which converges with others such as nanotechnology, information technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. All have common features that could have highly concerning social and environmental impacts. With its ambitious goals of controlling complexity, redesigning and creating new living entities, synthetic biology perfectly exemplifies the new bioeconomic reality. This requires expanding the focus of the discussion beyond the limited comparative analysis of risks and benefits, to address uncertainties, reassign responsibilities and initiate a thorough social assessment of what is at stake.