WorldWideScience

Sample records for synthetic microbial ecosystem

  1. Engineering Ecosystems and Synthetic Ecologies#

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    2012-01-01

    Microbial ecosystems play an important role in nature. Engineering these systems for industrial, medical, or biotechnological purposes are important pursuits for synthetic biologists and biological engineers moving forward. Here, we provide a review of recent progress in engineering natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems. We highlight important forward engineering design principles, theoretical and quantitative models, new experimental and manipulation tools, and possible applications of microbial ecosystem engineering. We argue that simply engineering individual microbes will lead to fragile homogenous populations that are difficult to sustain, especially in highly heterogeneous and unpredictable environments. Instead, engineered microbial ecosystems are likely to be more robust and able to achieve complex tasks at the spatial and temporal resolution needed for truly programmable biology. PMID:22722235

  2. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning.

  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. Computational modeling of synthetic microbial biofilms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudge, Timothy J; Steiner, Paul J; Phillips, Andrew; Haseloff, Jim

    2012-08-17

    Microbial biofilms are complex, self-organized communities of bacteria, which employ physiological cooperation and spatial organization to increase both their metabolic efficiency and their resistance to changes in their local environment. These properties make biofilms an attractive target for engineering, particularly for the production of chemicals such as pharmaceutical ingredients or biofuels, with the potential to significantly improve yields and lower maintenance costs. Biofilms are also a major cause of persistent infection, and a better understanding of their organization could lead to new strategies for their disruption. Despite this potential, the design of synthetic biofilms remains a major challenge, due to the complex interplay between transcriptional regulation, intercellular signaling, and cell biophysics. Computational modeling could help to address this challenge by predicting the behavior of synthetic biofilms prior to their construction; however, multiscale modeling has so far not been achieved for realistic cell numbers. This paper presents a computational method for modeling synthetic microbial biofilms, which combines three-dimensional biophysical models of individual cells with models of genetic regulation and intercellular signaling. The method is implemented as a software tool (CellModeller), which uses parallel Graphics Processing Unit architectures to scale to more than 30,000 cells, typical of a 100 μm diameter colony, in 30 min of computation time.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manucharova, Natalia; Chernov, Timofey; Kolcova, Ekaterina; Zelezova, Alena; Lukacheva, Euhenia; Zenova, Galina

    2014-05-01

    Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems Manucharova N.A., Chernov T.I., Kolcova E.M., Zelezova A.D., Lukacheva E.G. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia Vertical differentiation of terrestrial biogeocenoses is conditioned by the formation of vertical tiers that differ considerably in the composition and structure of microbial communities. All the three tiers, phylloplane, litter and soil, are united by a single flow of organic matter, and are spatially separated successional stages of decomposition of organic substances. Decomposition of organic matter is mainly due to the activity of microorganisms producing enzymes - hydrolase and lyase - which destroy complex organic compounds. Application of molecular biological techniques (FISH) in environmental studies provides a more complete information concerning the taxonomic diversity and potential hydrolytic activity of microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems that exist in a wide range of environmental factors (moisture, temperature, redox potential, organic matter). The combination of two molecular biological techniques (FISH and DGGE-analysis of fragments of gene 16S rRNA total amplificate) enables an informative assessment of the differences in the structure of dominant and minor components of hydrolytic complexes formed in different tiers of terrestrial ecosystems. The functional activity of hydrolytic microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems is determined by the activity of dominant and minor components, which also have a high gross enzymatic activity. Degradation of biopolymers in the phylloplane is mainly due to the representatives of the Proteobacteria phylogenetic group (classes alpha and beta). In mineral soil horizons, the role of hydrolytic representatives of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria increases. Among the key environmental parameters that determine the functional activity of the hydrolytic (chitinolytic) complex of soil layer (moisture, nutrient supply, successional

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Engineering multicellular traits in synthetic microbial populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, John S

    2012-08-01

    Without cell-to-cell communication, the organization and regulation of specialized cell types that underpin the development and physiology of multicellular organisms would be impossible. In nature, unicellular microbes have also been shown to display multicellular-like traits, such as intercellular communication, division of labor, and cooperative coordination of cellular activities. Likewise, the incorporation of artificial cell-to-cell communication into genetic circuit designs is enabling synthetic biologists to move from programming single cells towards the engineering of population-level behaviors and functions, such as diversification, spatial organization, synchronization, and coordinated information processing. The disciplined engineering goal of routinely building complex genetic circuits from well-characterized modules still poses challenges, owing to reusability and input-output matching problems resulting from information transfer being mediated through diffusible molecules. Optogenetic interfaces between circuits are considered as a possible solution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Ecological Indicators of Ecosystem Recovery : Microbial Communities as Ecological Indicators of Ecosystem Recovery Following Chemical Pollution

    OpenAIRE

    Pesce, Stéphane; Ghiglione, Jean-François; Martin-Laurent, Fabrice

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem recovery’ is a concept that emerged from the need to preserve our environment against increasing contamination from human activity. However, ecological indicators of ecosystem recovery remain scarce, and it is still difficult to assess recovery of ecological processes at relevant spatial and temporal scales. Microbial communities hold key relevance as indicators of ecosystem recovery as they are ubiquitous among diverse ecosystems, respond rapidly to environmental changes, and supp...

  16. Synthetic microbial consortia enable rapid assembly of pure translation machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Fernando; Contreras-Llano, Luis E; Chavez, Michael; Ding, Yunfeng; Fan, Jinzhen; Pan, Tingrui; Tan, Cheemeng

    2018-01-01

    Assembly of recombinant multiprotein systems requires multiple culturing and purification steps that scale linearly with the number of constituent proteins. This problem is particularly pronounced in the preparation of the 34 proteins involved in transcription and translation systems, which are fundamental biochemistry tools for reconstitution of cellular pathways ex vivo. Here, we engineer synthetic microbial consortia consisting of between 15 and 34 Escherichia coli strains to assemble the 34 proteins in a single culturing, lysis, and purification procedure. The expression of these proteins is controlled by synthetic genetic modules to produce the proteins at the correct ratios. We show that the pure multiprotein system is functional and reproducible, and has low protein contaminants. We also demonstrate its application in the screening of synthetic promoters and protease inhibitors. Our work establishes a novel strategy for producing pure translation machinery, which may be extended to the production of other multiprotein systems.

  17. Microbial extracellular enzymes in biogeochemical cycling of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Ling; Meng, Han; Gu, Ji-Dong

    2017-07-15

    Extracellular enzymes, primarily produced by microorganisms, affect ecosystem processes because of their essential roles in degradation, transformation and mineralization of organic matter. Extracellular enzymes involved in the cycling of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) have been widely investigated in many different ecosystems, and several enzymes have been recognized as key components in regulating C storage and nutrient cycling. In this review, it was the first time to summarize the specific extracellular enzymes related to C storage and nutrient cycling for better understanding the important role of microbial extracellular enzymes in biogeochemical cycling of ecosystems. Subsequently, ecoenzymatic stoichiometry - the relative ratio of extracellular enzyme, has been reviewed and further provided a new perspective for understanding biogeochemical cycling of ecosystems. Finally, the new insights of using microbial extracellular enzyme in indicating biogeochemical cycling and then protecting ecosystems have been suggested. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Tropical marine ecosystems: The microbial component

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, D.

    Microbes such as bacteria, fungi and unicellular algae assume greater importance in the tropical marine ecosystems because of their abundance, biomass and activity in a number of chemical and biological processes that provide the driving force...

  19. 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.

  20. Representation of Dormant and Active Microbial Dynamics for Ecosystem Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Gangsheng [ORNL; Mayes, Melanie [ORNL; Gu, Lianhong [ORNL; Schadt, Christopher Warren [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Dormancy is an essential strategy for microorganisms to cope with environmental stress. However, global ecosystem models typically ignore microbial dormancy, resulting in notable model uncertainties. To facilitate the consideration of dormancy in these large-scale models, we propose a new microbial physiology component that works for a wide range of substrate availabilities. This new model is based on microbial physiological states and the major parameters are the maximum specific growth and maintenance rates of active microbes and the ratio of dormant to active maintenance rates. A major improvement of our model over extant models is that it can explain the low active microbial fractions commonly observed in undisturbed soils. Our new model shows that the exponentially-increasing respiration from substrate-induced respiration experiments can only be used to determine the maximum specific growth rate and initial active microbial biomass, while the respiration data representing both exponentially-increasing and non-exponentially-increasing phases can robustly determine a range of key parameters including the initial total live biomass, initial active fraction, the maximum specific growth and maintenance rates, and the half-saturation constant. Our new model can be incorporated into existing ecosystem models to account for dormancy in microbially-driven processes and to provide improved estimates of microbial activities.

  1. 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...

  2. Studying microbial functionality within the gut ecosystem by systems biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hornung, Bastian; Martins dos Santos, Vitor A.P.; Smidt, Hauke; Schaap, Peter J.

    2018-01-01

    Humans are not autonomous entities. We are all living in a complex environment, interacting not only with our peers, but as true holobionts; we are also very much in interaction with our coexisting microbial ecosystems living on and especially within us, in the intestine. Intestinal microorganisms,

  3. Design and Development of Synthetic Microbial Platform Cells for Bioenergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Jun eLee

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The finite reservation of fossil fuels accelerates the necessity of development of renewable energy sources. Recent advances in synthetic biology encompassing systems biology and metabolic engineering enable us to engineer and/or create tailor made microorganisms to produce alternative biofuels for the future bio-era. For the efficient transformation of biomass to bioenergy, microbial cells need to be designed and engineered to maximize the performance of cellular metabolisms for the production of biofuels during energy flow. Toward this end, two different conceptual approaches have been applied for the development of platform cell factories: forward minimization and reverse engineering. From the context of naturally minimized genomes, non-essential energy-consuming pathways and/or related gene clusters could be progressively deleted to optimize cellular energy status for bioenergy production. Alternatively, incorporation of non-indigenous parts and/or modules including biomass degrading enzymes, carbon uptake transporters, photosynthesis, CO2 fixation, and etc. into chassis microorganisms allows the platform cells to gain novel metabolic functions for bioenergy. This review focuses on the current progress in synthetic biology-aided pathway engineering in microbial cells and discusses its impact on the production of sustainable bioenergy.

  4. Synthetic Microbial Ecology: Engineering Habitats for Modular Consortia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Ben Said

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available 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

  5. Population-reaction model and microbial experimental ecosystems for understanding hierarchical dynamics of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosoda, Kazufumi; Tsuda, Soichiro; Kadowaki, Kohmei; Nakamura, Yutaka; Nakano, Tadashi; Ishii, Kojiro

    2016-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem dynamics is crucial as contemporary human societies face ecosystem degradation. One of the challenges that needs to be recognized is the complex hierarchical dynamics. Conventional dynamic models in ecology often represent only the population level and have yet to include the dynamics of the sub-organism level, which makes an ecosystem a complex adaptive system that shows characteristic behaviors such as resilience and regime shifts. The neglect of the sub-organism level in the conventional dynamic models would be because integrating multiple hierarchical levels makes the models unnecessarily complex unless supporting experimental data are present. Now that large amounts of molecular and ecological data are increasingly accessible in microbial experimental ecosystems, it is worthwhile to tackle the questions of their complex hierarchical dynamics. Here, we propose an approach that combines microbial experimental ecosystems and a hierarchical dynamic model named population-reaction model. We present a simple microbial experimental ecosystem as an example and show how the system can be analyzed by a population-reaction model. We also show that population-reaction models can be applied to various ecological concepts, such as predator-prey interactions, climate change, evolution, and stability of diversity. Our approach will reveal a path to the general understanding of various ecosystems and organisms. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Microbial transformation of synthetic estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cajthaml, Tomas; Kresinova, Zdena; Svobodova, Katerina; Sigler, Karel; Rezanka, Tomas

    2009-01-01

    Natural estrogens such as estrone, 17β-estradiol, estriol, and the particularly recalcitrant synthetic estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol used as oral contraceptive, accumulate in the environment and may give rise to health problems. The processes participating in their removal from soil, wastewater, water-sediments, groundwater-aquifer material, and wastewater or sewage treatment plant effluents may involve the action of bacterial and microbial consortia, and in some cases fungi and algae. This review discusses the different efficiencies of bacterial degradation of 17α-ethinylestradiol under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, the role of sulfate-, nitrate-, and iron-reducing conditions in anaerobic degradation, and the role of sorption. The participation of autotrophic ammonia oxidizing bacteria and heterotrophic bacteria in cometabolic degradation of estrogens, the estrogen-degrading action of ligninolytic fungi and their extracellular enzymes (lignin peroxidase, manganese-dependent peroxidase, versatile peroxidase, laccase), and of algae are discussed in detail. - Current knowledge of 17α-ethinylestradiol microbial transformation is summarized.

  7. Review and perspective on mathematical modeling of microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Succurro, Antonella; Ebenhöh, Oliver

    2018-03-14

    Understanding microbial ecosystems means unlocking the path toward a deeper knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of life. Engineered microbial communities are also extremely relevant to tackling some of today's grand societal challenges. Advanced meta-omics experimental techniques provide crucial insights into microbial communities, but have been so far mostly used for descriptive, exploratory approaches to answer the initial 'who is there?' An ecosystem is a complex network of dynamic spatio-temporal interactions among organisms as well as between organisms and the environment. Mathematical models with their abstraction capability are essential to capture the underlying phenomena and connect the different scales at which these systems act. Differential equation models and constraint-based stoichiometric models are deterministic approaches that can successfully provide a macroscopic description of the outcome from microscopic behaviors. In this mini-review, we present classical and recent applications of these modeling methods and illustrate the potential of their integration. Indeed, approaches that can capture multiple scales are needed in order to understand emergent patterns in ecosystems and their dynamics regulated by different spatio-temporal phenomena. We finally discuss promising examples of methods proposing the integration of differential equations with constraint-based stoichiometric models and argue that more work is needed in this direction. © 2018 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amor, Daniel R; Montañez, Raúl; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Solé, Ricard

    2017-08-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Anthropogenic litter in urban freshwater ecosystems: distribution and microbial interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Hoellein

    Full Text Available Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1 quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2 compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3 characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP and community respiration (CR, and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond, but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles. In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Microcosm and Experimental Pond Evaluation of Microbial Community Response to Synthetic Oil Contamination in Freshwater Sediments

    OpenAIRE

    Sayler, G. S.; Perkins, R. E.; Sherrill, T. W.; Perkins, B. K.; Reid, M. C.; Shields, M. S.; Kong, H. L.; Davis, J. W.

    1983-01-01

    A multivariate approach was used to evaluate the significance of synthetic oil-induced perturbations in the functional activity of sediment microbial communities. Total viable cell densities, ATP-biomass, alkaline phosphatase and dehydrogenase activity, and mineralization rates of glucose, protein, oleic acid, starch, naphthalene, and phenanthrene were monitored on a periodic basis in microcosms and experimental ponds for 11 months, both before and after exposure to synthetic oil. All variabl...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Towards Predictive Modeling of Information Processing in Microbial Ecosystems With Quorum-Sensing Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusufaly, Tahir; Boedicker, James

    Bacteria communicate using external chemical signals in a process known as quorum sensing. However, the efficiency of this communication is reduced by both limitations on the rate of diffusion over long distances and potential interference from neighboring strains. Therefore, having a framework to quantitatively predict how spatial structure and biodiversity shape information processing in bacterial colonies is important, both for understanding the evolutionary dynamics of natural microbial ecosystems, and for the rational design of synthetic ecosystems with desired computational properties. As a first step towards these goals, we implement a reaction-diffusion model to study the dynamics of a LuxI/LuxR quorum sensing circuit in a growing bacterial population. The spatiotemporal concentration profile of acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) signaling molecules is analyzed, and used to define a measure of physical and functional signaling network connectivity. From this, we systematically investigate how different initial distributions of bacterial populations influence the subsequent efficiency of collective long-range signal propagation in the population. We compare our results with known experimental data, and discuss limitations and extensions to our modeling framework.-/abstract-

  19. 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.

  20. The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Design of Microbial Cell Factories for Biofuel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colin, Verónica Leticia; Rodríguez, Analía; Cristóbal, Héctor Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Insecurity in the supply of fossil fuels, volatile fuel prices, and major concerns regarding climate change have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Because of this, the use of biodiesel has grown dramatically during the last few years and is expected to increase even further in the future. Biodiesel production through the use of microbial systems has marked a turning point in the field of biofuels since it is emerging as an attractive alternative to conventional technology. Recent progress in synthetic biology has accelerated the ability to analyze, construct, and/or redesign microbial metabolic pathways with unprecedented precision, in order to permit biofuel production that is amenable to industrial applications. The review presented here focuses specifically on the role of synthetic biology in the design of microbial cell factories for efficient production of biodiesel. PMID:22028591

  1. The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Design of Microbial Cell Factories for Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verónica Leticia Colin

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Insecurity in the supply of fossil fuels, volatile fuel prices, and major concerns regarding climate change have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Because of this, the use of biodiesel has grown dramatically during the last few years and is expected to increase even further in the future. Biodiesel production through the use of microbial systems has marked a turning point in the field of biofuels since it is emerging as an attractive alternative to conventional technology. Recent progress in synthetic biology has accelerated the ability to analyze, construct, and/or redesign microbial metabolic pathways with unprecedented precision, in order to permit biofuel production that is amenable to industrial applications. The review presented here focuses specifically on the role of synthetic biology in the design of microbial cell factories for efficient production of biodiesel.

  2. 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.

  3. The impact of synthetic pyrethroid and organophosphate sheep dip formulations on microbial activity in soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boucard, Tatiana K.; McNeill, Charles [Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Bardgett, Richard D. [Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Paynter, Christopher D. [Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Semple, Kirk T. [Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom)], E-mail: k.semple@lancaster.ac.uk

    2008-05-15

    Sheep dip formulations containing organophosphates (OPs) or synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) have been widely used in UK, and their spreading onto land has been identified as the most practical disposal method. In this study, the impact of two sheep dip formulations on the microbial activity of a soil was investigated over a 35-d incubation. Microbial utilisation of [1-{sup 14}C] glucose, uptake of {sup 14}C-activity into the microbial biomass and microbial numbers (CFUs g{sup -1} soil) were investigated. In control soils and soils amended with 0.01% sheep dip, after 7 d a larger proportion of added glucose was allocated to microbial biomass rather than respired to CO{sub 2}. No clear temporal trends were found in soils amended with 0.1% and 1% sheep dips. Both sheep dip formulations at 0.1% and 1% concentrations resulted in a significant increase in CFUs g{sup -1} soil and [1-{sup 14}C] glucose mineralisation rates, as well as a decline in microbial uptake of [1-{sup 14}C] glucose, compared to control and 0.01% SP- or OP-amended soils. This study suggests that the growth, activity, physiological status and/or structure of soil microbial community may be affected by sheep dips. - The application of sheep dip formulations can have a profound impact upon microbial activity and substrate utilisation in soil.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A; Van Bodegom, Peter M; Lennon, Jay T; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L E

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  9. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha eKrause

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology.

  10. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Ana B.; Rasuk, Maria C.; Visscher, Pieter T.; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G.; Patterson, Molly M.; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27597845

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessment of the level of microbial combination in cotton and synthetic fibers destined for the use in nonwoven applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial burden measurements are crucial for certain converter uses of nonwoven materials. Currently, the microbial burden of natural fibers such as cotton have not been quantified and little consideration has been given to the potential contamination introduced by synthetic fibers during the proc...

  17. Assessment of the level of microbial contamination in cotton and synthetic fibers destined for the use in nonwoven applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial burden measurements are crucial for certain converter uses of nonwoven materials. Currently, the microbial burden of natural fibers such as cotton have not been quantified and little consideration has been given to the potential contamination introduced by synthetic fibers during the proc...

  18. Environmental metabarcoding reveals heterogeneous drivers of microbial eukaryote diversity in contrasting estuarine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lallias, Delphine; Hiddink, Jan G; Fonseca, Vera G; Gaspar, John M; Sung, Way; Neill, Simon P; Barnes, Natalie; Ferrero, Tim; Hall, Neil; Lambshead, P John D; Packer, Margaret; Thomas, W Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Assessing how natural environmental drivers affect biodiversity underpins our understanding of the relationships between complex biotic and ecological factors in natural ecosystems. Of all ecosystems, anthropogenically important estuaries represent a ‘melting pot' of environmental stressors, typified by extreme salinity variations and associated biological complexity. Although existing models attempt to predict macroorganismal diversity over estuarine salinity gradients, attempts to model microbial biodiversity are limited for eukaryotes. Although diatoms commonly feature as bioindicator species, additional microbial eukaryotes represent a huge resource for assessing ecosystem health. Of these, meiofaunal communities may represent the optimal compromise between functional diversity that can be assessed using morphology and phenotype–environment interactions as compared with smaller life fractions. Here, using 454 Roche sequencing of the 18S nSSU barcode we investigate which of the local natural drivers are most strongly associated with microbial metazoan and sampled protist diversity across the full salinity gradient of the estuarine ecosystem. In order to investigate potential variation at the ecosystem scale, we compare two geographically proximate estuaries (Thames and Mersey, UK) with contrasting histories of anthropogenic stress. The data show that although community turnover is likely to be predictable, taxa are likely to respond to different environmental drivers and, in particular, hydrodynamics, salinity range and granulometry, according to varied life-history characteristics. At the ecosystem level, communities exhibited patterns of estuary-specific similarity within different salinity range habitats, highlighting the environmental sequencing biomonitoring potential of meiofauna, dispersal effects or both. PMID:25423027

  19. 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

  20. Effects of Non-Indigenous Oysters on Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Dannielle S.; Boots, Bas; Crowe, Tasman P.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH4+ and total oxidised nitrogen), sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO2 and CH4) were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80%) of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO2 (13 fold greater) and CH4 (6 fold greater) emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH4+ were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance. PMID:23144762

  1. Effects of non-indigenous oysters on microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dannielle S Green

    Full Text Available Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH(4(+ and total oxidised nitrogen, sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO(2 and CH(4 were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80% of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO(2 (13 fold greater and CH(4 (6 fold greater emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH(4(+ were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Arctic microbial ecosystems and impacts of extreme warming during the International Polar Year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Warwick F.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Lovejoy, Connie; Greer, Charles W.; Laurion, Isabelle; Suttle, Curtis A.; Corbeil, Jacques; Mueller, Derek R.

    2009-11-01

    As a contribution to the International Polar Year program MERGE (Microbiological and Ecological Responses to Global Environmental change in polar regions), studies were conducted on the terrestrial and aquatic microbial ecosystems of northern Canada (details at: http://www.cen.ulaval.ca/merge/). The habitats included permafrost soils, saline coldwater springs, supraglacial lakes on ice shelves, epishelf lakes in fjords, deep meromictic lakes, and shallow lakes, ponds and streams. Microbiological samples from each habitat were analysed by HPLC pigment assays, light and fluorescence microscopy, and DNA sequencing. The results show a remarkably diverse microflora of viruses, Archaea (including ammonium oxidisers and methanotrophs), Bacteria (including filamentous sulfur-oxidisers in a saline spring and benthic mats of Cyanobacteria in many waterbodies), and protists (including microbial eukaryotes in snowbanks and ciliates in ice-dammed lakes). In summer 2008, we recorded extreme warming at Ward Hunt Island and vicinity, the northern limit of the Canadian high Arctic, with air temperatures up to 20.5 °C. This was accompanied by pronounced changes in microbial habitats: deepening of the permafrost active layer; loss of perennial lake ice and sea ice; loss of ice-dammed freshwater lakes; and 23% loss of total ice shelf area, including complete break-up and loss of the Markham Ice Shelf cryo-ecosystem. These observations underscore the vulnerability of Arctic microbial ecosystems to ongoing climate change.

  7. Subsurface ecosystem resilience: long-term attenuation of subsurface contaminants supports a dynamic microbial community

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yagi, J.M.; Neuhauser, E.F.; Ripp, J.A.; Mauro, D.M.; Madsen, E.L. [Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (United States). Dept. of Microbiology

    2010-01-15

    The propensity for groundwater ecosystems to recover from contamination by organic chemicals (in this case, coal-tar waste) is of vital concern for scientists and engineers who manage polluted sites. The microbially mediated cleanup processes are also of interest to ecologists because they are an important mechanism for the resilience of ecosystems. In this study we establish the long-term dynamic nature of a coal-tar waste-contaminated site and its microbial community. We present 16 years of chemical monitoring data, tracking responses of a groundwater ecosystem to organic contamination (naphthalene, xylenes, toluene, 2-methyl naphthalene and acenaphthylene) associated with coal-tar waste. In addition, we analyzed small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from two contaminated wells at multiple time points over a 2-year period. Principle component analysis of community rRNA fingerprints (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP)) showed that the composition of native microbial communities varied temporally, yet remained distinctive from well to well. After screening and analysis of 1178 cloned SSU rRNA genes from Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya, we discovered that the site supports a robust variety of eukaryotes (for example, alveolates (especially anaerobic and predatory ciliates), stramenopiles, fungi, even the small metazoan flatworm, Suomina) that are absent from an uncontaminated control well. This study links the dynamic microbial composition of a contaminated site with the long-term attenuation of its subsurface contaminants.

  8. Rapid evolution buffers ecosystem impacts of viruses in a microbial food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennon, Jay T; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2008-11-01

    Predation and parasitism often regulate population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem functioning. The strength of these top-down pressures is variable, however, and may be influenced by both ecological and evolutionary processes. We conducted a chemostat experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of viruses on a marine microbial food web comprised of an autotrophic host (Synechococcus) and non-target heterotrophic bacteria. Viruses dramatically altered the host population dynamics, which in turn influenced phosphorus resource availability and the stoichiometric allocation of nutrients into microbial biomass. These virus effects diminished with time, but could not be attributed to changes in the abundance or composition of heterotrophic bacteria. Instead, attenuation of the virus effects coincided with the detection of resistant host phenotypes, suggesting that rapid evolution buffered the effect of viruses on nutrient cycling. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary processes are important for community dynamics and ecosystem processes on ecologically relevant time scales.

  9. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04634.001 PMID:25756611

  10. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony W.; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E.; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, P and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg−1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg−1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg−1 dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg−1 dry soil, respectively. These findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models. PMID:26612423

  11. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony W; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-11-27

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, P and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg(-1) dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg(-1) dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg(-1) dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg(-1) dry soil, respectively. These findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models.

  12. Microbial ecology of the watery ecosystems of Evros river in North Eastern Greece and its influence upon the cultivated soil ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavias, S; Alexopoulos, A; Plessas, S; Stefanis, C; Voidarou, C; Stavropoulou, E; Bezirtzoglou, E

    2011-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the microbial ecosystem of cultivated soils along the Evros river in NE Greece. Evros river together with its derivative rivers constitute the capital source of life and sustainable development of the area. Along this riverside watery ecosystem systematic agro-cultures were developed such as wheat, corn and vegetable cultures. The evaluation of the ecosystem microbial charge was conducted in both axes which are the watery ecosystem and the riverside cultivated soil area. Considerable discrimination of water quality was observed when considering chemical and microbiological parameters of the Evros river ecosystem. Ardas river possesses a better water quality than Evros and Erythropotamos, which is mainly due to the higher quantities that these two rivers accumulate from industrial, farming and urban residues leading to higher degree of pollution. An increased microbial pollution was recorded in two of the three rivers monitored and a direct relation in microbial and chemical charging between water and cultivated-soil ecosystems was observed. The protection of these ecosystems with appropriate cultivated practices and control of human and animal activities will define the homeostasis of the environmental area. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Microbial Potential for Ecosystem N Loss Is Increased by Experimental N Deposition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary B Freedman

    Full Text Available Fossil fuel combustion and fertilizer use has increased the amount of biologically available N entering terrestrial ecosystems. Nonetheless, our understanding of how anthropogenic N may alter the physiological mechanisms by which soil microorganisms cycle N in soil is still developing. Here, we applied shotgun metagenomics to a replicated long-term field experiment to determine how two decades of experimental N deposition, at a rate expected by mid-century, has affected the genetic potential of the soil microbial community to cycle N in soils. Experimental N deposition lead to a significant and persistent increase in functional assemblages mediating N cycle transformations associated with ecosystem N loss (i.e., denitrification and nitrification, whereas functional assemblages associated with N input and retention (i.e., N fixation and microbial N assimilation were less positively affected. Furthermore, the abundance and composition of microbial taxa, as well as functional assemblages involved in housekeeping functions (i.e., DNA replication were unaffected by experimental N deposition. Taken together, our results suggest that functional genes and gene pathways associated with ecosystem N loss have been favored by experimental N deposition, which may represent a genetic mechanism fostering increased N loss as anthropogenic N deposition increases in the future.

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

    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)

  16. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories.

  17. 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.

  18. New Synthetic Biology Tools to Track Microbial Dynamics in the Earth System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silberg, J. J.; Masiello, C. A.; Cheng, H. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Microbes drive processes in the Earth system far exceeding their physical scale, mediating significant fluxes in the global C and N cycles. The tools of synthetic biology have the potential to significantly improve our understanding of microbes' role in the Earth system; however, these tools have not yet seen wide laboratory use because synthetically "programmed" microbes typically report by fluorescing (expressing green fluorescent protein), making them challenging to deploy into many Earth materials, the majority of which are not transparent and are heterogeneous (soils, sediments, and biomass). We are developing a new suite of biosensors that report instead by releasing gases. We will provide an overview of the use of gas-reporting biosensors in biogeochemistry and will report the development of the systematics of these sensors. These sensors will make tractable the testing of gene expression hypotheses derived from metagenomics data. Examples of processes that could be tracked non-invasively with gas sensors include coordination of biofilm formation, nitrification, rhizobial infection of plant roots, and at least some forms of methanogenesis, all of which are managed by an easily-engineered cell-cell communication system. Another relatively simple process to track with gas sensors is horizontal gene transfer. Successful development of gas biosensors for Earth science applications will require addressing issues including: engineering the intensity and selectivity of microbial gas production to maximize the signal to noise using the tools of synthetic biology; normalizing the gas reporter signal to cell population size, since the number of cells and gene expression both contribute to gas production; managing gas diffusion effects on signal shape; and developing multiple gases that can be used in parallel to report on multiple biological processes in parallel. We will report on progress addressing each of these issues.

  19. 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.

  20. Microbial metabolism fuels ecosystem-scale organic matter transformations: an integrated biological and chemical perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrighton, K. C.; Narrowe, A. B.; Angle, J.; Stefanik, K. S.; Daly, R. A.; Johnston, M.; Miller, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater saturated sediments and soils represent vital ecosystems due to their nutrient cycling capacities and their prominent contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the diversity of microorganisms and metabolic pathways involved in carbon cycling, and the impacts of these processes on other biogeochemical cycles remain poorly understood. Major advances in DNA sequencing have helped forge linkages between the previously disconnected biological and chemical components of these systems. Here, we present data on the use of assembly-based metagenomics to generate hypotheses on microbial carbon degradation and biogeochemical cycling in waterlogged sediments and soils. DNA sequencing from a fresh water aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River in Rifle, CO yielded extensive genome recovery from multiple previously unknown bacterial lineages. Fermentative metabolisms encoded by these genomes drive nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur cycling in this subsurface system. We are also applying a similar approach to identify microbial processes in a freshwater wetland on Lake Erie, OH. Given the increased diversity (increased richness, decreased evenness, and strain variation) of wetland sediment microbial communities, we modified methods for specialized assembly of long taxonomic marker gene amplicons (EMIRGE) to create a biogeographical map of Fungi, Archaea, and Bacteria along depth and hydrological transects. This map reveals that the microbial community associated with the top two depths (>7 cm) is significantly different from bottom depths (7-40 cm). Dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular weight and the presence of oxidized terminal electron acceptors best predict differences in microbial community structure. Laboratory mesocosms amended with pore-water DOM, in situ soil communities, and variable oxygen conditions link DOM composition and redox to microbial metabolic networks, biogeochemical cycles, and green house gas emission. Organism identities from

  1. Modelling microbial exchanges between forms of soil nitrogen in contrasting ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pansu, M.; Machado, D.; Bottner, P.; Sarmiento, L.

    2014-02-01

    Although nitrogen (N) is often combined with carbon (C) in organic molecules, C passes from the air to the soil through plant photosynthesis, whereas N passes from the soil to plants through a chain of microbial conversions. However, dynamic models do not fully consider the microorganisms at the centre of exchange processes between organic and mineral forms of N. This study monitored the transfer of 14C and 15N between plant materials, microorganisms, humified compartments, and inorganic forms in six very different ecosystems along an altitudinal transect. The microbial conversions of the 15N forms appear to be strongly linked to the previously modelled C cycle, and the same equations and parameters can be used to model both C and N cycles. The only difference is in the modelling of the flows between microbial and inorganic forms. The processes of mineralization and immobilization of N appear to be regulated by a two-way microbial exchange depending on the C : N ratios of microorganisms and available substrates. The MOMOS (Modelling of Organic Matter of Soils) model has already been validated for the C cycle and also appears to be valid for the prediction of microbial transformations of N forms. This study shows that the hypothesis of microbial homeostasis can give robust predictions at global scale. However, the microbial populations did not appear to always be independent of the external constraints. At some altitudes their C : N ratio could be better modelled as decreasing during incubation and increasing with increasing C storage in cold conditions. The ratio of potentially mineralizable-15N/inorganic-15N and the 15N stock in the plant debris and the microorganisms was modelled as increasing with altitude, whereas the 15N storage in stable humus was modelled as decreasing with altitude. This predicts that there is a risk that mineralization of organic reserves in cold areas may increase global warming.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Soil microbial activity in hydromorphic-subaqueous ecosystems: processes and functional biodiveristy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruxandra Papp

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The hydromorphic and subaqueous soils have largely been overlooked on their pedogenic concepts or in soil C accounting studies considering their phisico-chemical properties. Conversely, little attention has been paid to the microbial activity playing a key role in regulating the biogeochemical cycle of elements. The aim of the study was to evaluate biological properties such as enzyme activities and the functional diversity of soil microbial population as bio- indicators, sensitive to processes affected by the water shallow. Eight soil profiles were opened along two transects: 1 a-a’ North and 2 b-b' South, in a dune ecosystem of the Adriatic coast, Ravenna (Italy. The soil chemical and biochemical properties were determined. In particular, soil enzyme activities and soil induced respiration were measured using the microplates technique in order to assess the microbial functional diversity. The soil biochemical properties such as the potential enzyme activities and microbial induced respiration, as well as microbial functional diversity were sensitive indicators to study hydromorphic and subaqueous soils. A general reduction of hydrolytic enzyme activities was observed in subaqueous soil with respect to hydromorphic one. Moreover, the endopedon of subaqueous soils showed a lower microbial functional diversity than hydromorphic one. In this study the ratio of enzyme activities involved in C to S cycles (SEIC/Aryl as well as the C:S ratio showed a marked reduction in the subaqueous with respect to hydromorphic soils. In conclusion, in a coastal area the C and S biogeochemical cycles, in the hydromorphic and subaqueous soils, may depend on freshwater and saltwater interface equilibrium.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  12. Nutrient addition effects on tropical dry forests: a mini-review from microbial to ecosystem scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer S. Powers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Humans have more than doubled inputs of reactive nitrogen globally and greatly accelerated the biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus and metals. However, the impacts of increased element mobility on tropical ecosystems remain poorly quantified, particularly for the vast tropical dry forest biome. Tropical dry forests are characterized by marked seasonality, relatively little precipitation, and high heterogeneity in plant functional diversity and soil chemistry. For these reasons, increased nutrient deposition may affect tropical dry forests differently than wet tropical or temperate forests. Here we review studies that investigated how nutrient availability affects ecosystem and community processes from the microsite to ecosystem scales in tropical dry forests. The effects of N and P addition on ecosystem carbon cycling and plant and microbial dynamics depend on forest successional stage, soil parent material and rainfall regime. Responses may depend on whether overall productivity is N- versus P-limited, although data to test this hypothesis are limited. These results highlight the many important gaps in our understanding of tropical dry forest responses to global change. Large-scale experiments are required to resolve these uncertainties.

  13. Nutrient addition effects on tropical dry forests: a mini-review from microbial to ecosystem scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Jennifer; Becklund, Kristen; Gei, Maria; Iyengar, Siddarth; Meyer, Rebecca; O'Connell, Christine; Schilling, Erik; Smith, Christina; Waring, Bonnie; Werden, Leland

    2015-06-01

    Humans have more than doubled inputs of reactive nitrogen globally and greatly accelerated the biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus and metals. However, the impacts of increased element mobility on tropical ecosystems remain poorly quantified, particularly for the vast tropical dry forest biome. Tropical dry forests are characterized by marked seasonality, relatively little precipitation, and high heterogeneity in plant functional diversity and soil chemistry. For these reasons, increased nutrient deposition may affect tropical dry forests differently than wet tropical or temperate forests. Here we review studies that investigated how nutrient availability affects ecosystem and community processes from the microsite to ecosystem scales in tropical dry forests. The effects of N and P addition on ecosystem carbon cycling and plant and microbial dynamics depend on forest successional stage, soil parent material and rainfall regime. Responses may depend on whether overall productivity is N- versus P-limited, although data to test this hypothesis are limited. These results highlight the many important gaps in our understanding of tropical dry forest responses to global change. Large-scale experiments are required to resolve these uncertainties.

  14. 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.

  15. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Rashmi Ranjan; Swain, Manas Ranjan; Dangar, Tushar Kanti; Thatoi, Hrudayanath

    2012-06-01

    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(5)cfu/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 mangrove soil.

  18. Extracellular DNA as a genetic recorder of microbial diversity in benthic deep-sea ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corinaldesi, C; Tangherlini, M; Manea, E; Dell'Anno, A

    2018-01-30

    Extracellular DNA in deep-sea sediments represents a major repository of genes, which previously belonged to living organisms. However, the extent to which these extracellular genes influence current estimates of prokaryotic biodiversity is unknown. We investigated the abundance and diversity of 16S rDNA sequences contained within extracellular DNA from continental margins of different biogeographic regions. We also compared the taxonomic composition of microbial assemblages through the analysis of extracellular DNA and DNA associated with living cells. 16S rDNA contained in the extracellular DNA pool contributed up to 50% of the total 16S rDNA copy number determined in the sediments. Ca. 4% of extracellular Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) were shared among the different biogeographic regions revealing the presence of a core of preserved OTUs. A higher fraction of OTUs was exclusive of each region potentially due to its geographic and thermohaline characteristics. Ca. one third of the OTUs identified in the extracellular DNA were absent from living prokaryotic assemblages, possibly representing the signatures of past assemblages. Our findings expand the knowledge of the contribution of extracellular microbial sequences to current estimates of prokaryotic diversity obtained through the analyses of "environmental DNA", and open new perspectives for understanding microbial successions in benthic ecosystems.

  19. Correlation between microbial diversity and toxicity of sludge treating synthetic wastewater containing 4-chlorophenol in sequencing batch reactors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jianguo; Chen, Xiurong; Bao, Linlin; Bao, Zheng; He, Yixuan; Zhang, Yuying; Li, Jiahui

    2016-06-01

    The relationship between microbial diversity and sludge toxicity in the biotreatment of refractory wastewater was investigated. Synthetic wastewater containing 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) was treated by an activated sludge using a sequencing batch bioreactor (SBR). At the end of a single SBR cycle, a stable operation stage was reached when the 4-CP was not detected both in aqueous and sludge phases and the effluent COD was maintained at approximately 70 mg L(-1) for the blank and control sludge groups. Then, the diversity of the microorganisms and the sludge toxicity were measured. The results showed that the Microtox acute toxicity of the control sludge was higher than those of the blank sludge. The difference analysis of the microbial diversity between the blank and control sludge indicated that the sludge toxicity was closely related to microbial diversity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. Soil CO2 emission of different ecosystems and soil microbial community respiration (European Russia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sushko, Sofia; Ananyeva, Nadezhda; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Vasenev, Vyacheslav

    2017-04-01

    Soil CO2 emission is mainly provided by soil microorganisms and plant roots respiration. Our study focuses on finding a relationship between soil CO2 emission of different ecosystems and soil microbial community functioning. Soil CO2 emission was monthly measured (LI-820) from May to October 2015 in the 5-th spatially distributed points of forest, meadow (steppe), arable (bare fallow), urban of subtaiga and forest-steppe vegetation subzones (Albeluvisol and Chernozems, Moscow and Kursk regions, respectively). Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic, substrate-induced respiration method), basal respiration (BR), organic carbon content (Corg), pHw and soil C/N ratio were measured in soil samples (0-10 cm, litter excluded, n = 240). Specific respiration of soil microbial biomass (qCO2) was calculated as BR / Cmic. Soil CO2 emission of different ecosystems was ranged 0.2-87.4 and 1.1-87.9 g CO2 m-2 d-1 for subtaiga and forest-steppe, respectively. It was reached on average 20.5, 33.5, 3.8, 28.4 and 15.0, 23.8, 3.7, 15.3 g CO2 m-2 d-1 for forest, meadow, arable, urban of subtaiga and forest-steppe, respectively. The high soil CO2 emission was found in grassland ecosystems, the low - in arable, however it was quite high in urban. Soil organic carbon content of different ecosystems was ranged 1.0-3.3% and 1.4-3.7%, pH was 4.7-7.6 and 6.1-8.2, C/N = 10.8-16.0 and 12.0-18.1 for subtaiga and forest-steppe, respectively. Soil Cmic of different ecosystems was ranged 60-1294 and 178-2531 μg C g-1 for subtaiga and forest-steppe, respectively. The Cmic of forest, meadow, arable, urban in subtaiga and forest-steppe was reached on average 331, 549, 110, 517 and 1525, 1430, 320, 482 μg C g-1, respectively. Soil BR of different ecosystems was ranged 0.14-2.23 and 0.15-2.80 μg C-CO2 g-1 h-1 for subtaiga and forest-steppe, respectively. Moreover, the BR of forest, meadow, arable, urban in subtaiga and forest-steppe was on average 0.87, 0.92, 0.42, 0.47 and 1.20, 1.42, 0.33, 0.64 μg C

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. A shotgun metagenomic method to characterise low abundant species and assign precisely taxonomy in complex microbial ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Abraham, Anne-Laure; Almeida, Mathieu; Pons, Nicolas; Pauvert, Charlie; Schbath, Sophie; Renault, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    A first step for a better understanding of complex microbial ecosystems, such as cheese or human gut microbiota, is the characterisation and quantification of their species composition. Once DNA is extracted from samples, two main techniques are usually used: the sequencing of evolutionary conserved genes, such as those coding for the 16S or 18S RNA or ITS, or whole genome shotgun sequencing. The first approach is widely used and provides a rapid view of the ecosystem, but often fails to prov...

  5. Biomarker insights into microbial activity in the serpentinite-hosted ecosystem of the Semail Ophiolite, Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, S. A.; Lincoln, S. A.; Shock, E.; Kelemen, P. B.; Summons, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is a process in which ultramafic and mafic rocks undergo exothermic reactions when exposed to water. The products of these reactions, including methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide, can sustain microbially dominated ecosystems [1,2,3]. Here, we report the lipid biomarker record of microbial activity in carbonate veins of the Semail Ophiolite, a site currently undergoing serpentinization [4]. The ophiolite, located in the Oman Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, was obducted onto the Arabian continental margin during the closure of the southern Tethys Ocean (~70 Ma) [5]. We detected bacterial and archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in Semail carbonates. In addition to archaeal isoprenoidal GDGTs with 0-3 cyclopentane moieties, we detected crenarchaeol, an iGDGT containing 4 cyclopentane and 1 cyclohexane moiety. Crenarchaeol biosynthesis is currently understood to be limited to thaumarchaea, representatives of which have been found to fix inorganic carbon in culture. We also analyzed isoprenoidal diether lipids, potentially derived from methanogenic euryarchaea, as well as non-isoprenoidal diether and monoether lipids that may be indicative of methane cycling bacteria. The stable carbon isotopic composition of these compounds is potentially useful in determining both their origin and the origin of methane detected in ophiolite fluids. We compare our results to those found at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, a similar microbially-dominated ecosystem fueled by serpentinization processes [3]. Modern serpentinite-hosted ecosystems such as this can serve as analogs for environments in which ultramafic and mafic rocks were prevalent (e.g. early Earth and other early terrestrial planets). Additionally, an analysis of modern serpentinite systems can help assess conditions promoting active carbon sequestration in ultramafic rocks [6]. References [1] Russell et al. (2010). Geobiology 8: 355-371. [2] Kelley et al. (2005). Science

  6. 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

    2018-04-13

    Spontaneous vegetable fermentations, with their rich flavors and postulated health benefits, are regaining popularity. However, their microbiology is still poorly understood, so that concerns about food safety are raised. 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 out-competed by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) between three and thirteen 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 or ASVs, respectively) mediated the fermentations in subsequent order. The analyses at 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 is also regained at household level. However, many of these artisanal food products remain understudied. Here, an extensive microbial analysis was performed of spontaneous fermented

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Najjar, A.A.; De Beer, D.; Jørgensen, B. B.

    2011-01-01

    Here we present, to the best of our knowledge, the first balanced light energy budget for a benthic microbial mat ecosystem, and show how the budget and the spatial distribution of the local photosynthetic efficiencies within the euphotic zone depend on the absorbed irradiance (J(abs)). Our...... approach uses microscale measurements of the rates of heat dissipation, gross photosynthesis and light absorption in the system, and a model describing light propagation and conversion in a scattering-absorbing medium. The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis......: in light-limiting conditions, 95.5% of the absorbed light energy dissipated as heat and 4.5% was channeled into photosynthesis. This energy disproportionation changed in favor of heat dissipation at increasing irradiance, with >99% of the absorbed light energy being dissipated as heat and 700 micromol...

  11. 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.

  12. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Najjar, A. A.; de Beer, Dirk; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2010-01-01

    : in light-limiting conditions, 95.5% of the absorbed light energy dissipated as heat and 4.5% was channeled into photosynthesis. This energy disproportionation changed in favor of heat dissipation at increasing irradiance, with >99% of the absorbed light energy being dissipated as heat and 700 micromol......Here we present, to the best of our knowledge, the first balanced light energy budget for a benthic microbial mat ecosystem, and show how the budget and the spatial distribution of the local photosynthetic efficiencies within the euphotic zone depend on the absorbed irradiance (J(abs)). Our...... approach uses microscale measurements of the rates of heat dissipation, gross photosynthesis and light absorption in the system, and a model describing light propagation and conversion in a scattering-absorbing medium. The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis...

  13. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Najjar, A.A.; De Beer, D.; Jørgensen, B. B.

    2011-01-01

    : in light-limiting conditions, 95.5% of the absorbed light energy dissipated as heat and 4.5% was channeled into photosynthesis. This energy disproportionation changed in favor of heat dissipation at increasing irradiance, with >99% of the absorbed light energy being dissipated as heat and 700 micromol......Here we present, to the best of our knowledge, the first balanced light energy budget for a benthic microbial mat ecosystem, and show how the budget and the spatial distribution of the local photosynthetic efficiencies within the euphotic zone depend on the absorbed irradiance (J(abs)). Our...... approach uses microscale measurements of the rates of heat dissipation, gross photosynthesis and light absorption in the system, and a model describing light propagation and conversion in a scattering-absorbing medium. The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Peng; Meng, Kun; Wang, Yaru; Luo, Huiying; Huang, Huoqing; Shi, Pengjun; Bai, Yingguo; Yang, Peilong; Yao, Bin

    2012-01-01

    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 (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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. A Novel Synthetic Pathway Enables Microbial Production of Polyphenols Independent from the Endogenous Aromatic Amino Acid Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallscheuer, Nicolai; Vogt, Michael; Marienhagen, Jan

    2017-03-17

    Numerous plant polyphenols have potential applications as pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals. Stilbenes and flavonoids as most abundant polyphenols are synthesized from phenylpropanoids, which are exclusively derived from aromatic amino acids in nature. Several microorganisms were engineered for the synthesis of biotechnologically interesting plant polyphenols; however, low activity of heterologous ammonia lyases, linking endogenous microbial aromatic amino acid biosynthesis to phenylpropanoid synthesis, turned out to be the limiting step during microbial synthesis. We here developed an alternative strategy for polyphenol production from cheap benzoic acids by reversal of a β-oxidative phenylpropanoid degradation pathway avoiding any ammonia lyase activity. The synthetic pathway running in the non-natural direction is feasible with respect to thermodynamics and involved reaction mechanisms. Instantly, product titers of 5 mg/L resveratrol could be achieved in recombinant Corynebacterium glutamicum strains indicating that phenylpropanoid synthesis from 4-hydroxybenzoic acid can in principle be implemented independently from aromatic amino acids and ammonia lyase activity.

  19. 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.

  20. Soil resources and climate jointly drive variations in microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen in China's forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Z. H.; Wang, C. K.

    2015-07-01

    Microbial metabolism plays a key role in regulating the biogeochemical cycle of forest ecosystems, but the mechanisms driving microbial growth are not well understood. Here, we synthesized 689 measurements on soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) and nitrogen (Nmic) and related parameters from 207 independent studies published during the past 15 years across China's forest ecosystems. Our objectives were to (1) examine patterns in Cmic, Nmic, and microbial quotient (i.e., Cmic / Csoil and Nmic / Nsoil rates) by climate zones and management regimes for these forests; and (2) identify the factors driving the variability in the Cmic, Nmic, and microbial quotient. There was a large variability in Cmic (390.2 mg kg-1), Nmic (60.1 mg kg-1), Cmic : Nmic ratio (8.25), Cmic / Csoil rate (1.92 %), and Nmic/ Nsoil rate (3.43 %) across China's forests, with coefficients of variation varying from 61.2 to 95.6 %. The natural forests had significantly greater Cmic and Nmic than the planted forests, but had less Cmic : Nmic ratio and Cmic / Csoil rate. Soil resources and climate together explained 24.4-40.7 % of these variations. The Cmic : Nmic ratio declined slightly with the Csoil : Nsoil ratio, and changed with latitude, mean annual temperature and precipitation, suggesting a plastic homeostasis of microbial carbon-nitrogen stoichiometry. The Cmic/ Csoil and Nmic / Nsoil rates were responsive to soil resources and climate differently, suggesting that soil microbial assimilation of carbon and nitrogen be regulated by different mechanisms. We conclude that soil resources and climate jointly drive microbial growth and metabolism, and also emphasize the necessity of appropriate procedures for data compilation and standardization in cross-study syntheses.

  1. SHIMMER (1.0): a novel mathematical model for microbial and biogeochemical dynamics in glacier forefield ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, J. A.; Anesio, A. M.; Singarayer, J. S.; Heath, M. R.; Arndt, S.

    2015-08-01

    SHIMMER (Soil biogeocHemIcal Model for Microbial Ecosystem Response) is a new numerical modelling framework which is developed as part of an interdisciplinary, iterative, model-data based approach fully integrating fieldwork and laboratory experiments with model development, testing, and application. SHIMMER is designed to simulate the establishment of microbial biomass and associated biogeochemical cycling during the initial stages of ecosystem development in glacier forefield soils. However, it is also transferable to other extreme ecosystem types (such as desert soils or the surface of glaciers). The model mechanistically describes and predicts transformations in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus through aggregated components of the microbial community as a set of coupled ordinary differential equations. The rationale for development of the model arises from decades of empirical observation on the initial stages of soil development in glacier forefields. SHIMMER enables a quantitative and process focussed approach to synthesising the existing empirical data and advancing understanding of microbial and biogeochemical dynamics. Here, we provide a detailed description of SHIMMER. The performance of SHIMMER is then tested in two case studies using published data from the Damma Glacier forefield in Switzerland and the Athabasca Glacier in Canada. In addition, a sensitivity analysis helps identify the most sensitive and unconstrained model parameters. Results show that the accumulation of microbial biomass is highly dependent on variation in microbial growth and death rate constants, Q10 values, the active fraction of microbial biomass, and the reactivity of organic matter. The model correctly predicts the rapid accumulation of microbial biomass observed during the initial stages of succession in the forefields of both the case study systems. Simulation results indicate that primary production is responsible for the initial build-up of substrate that subsequently

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Investigating the long-term legacy of drought and warming on the soil microbial community across five European shrubland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousk, Johannes; Smith, Andrew R; Jones, Davey L

    2013-12-01

    We investigated how the legacy of warming and summer drought affected microbial communities in five different replicated long-term (>10 years) field experiments across Europe (EU-FP7 INCREASE infrastructure). To focus explicitly on legacy effects (i.e., indirect rather than direct effects of the environmental factors), we measured microbial variables under the same moisture and temperature in a brief screening, and following a pre-incubation at stable conditions. Specifically, we investigated the size and composition of the soil microbial community (PLFA) alongside measurements of bacterial (leucine incorporation) and fungal (acetate in ergosterol incorporation) growth rates, previously shown to be highly responsive to changes in environmental factors, and microbial respiration. We found no legacy effects on the microbial community size, composition, growth rates, or basal respiration rates at the effect sizes used in our experimental setup (0.6 °C, about 30% precipitation reduction). Our findings support previous reports from single short-term ecosystem studies thereby providing a clear evidence base to allow long-term, broad-scale generalizations to be made. The implication of our study is that warming and summer drought will not result in legacy effects on the microbial community and their processes within the effect sizes here studied. While legacy effects on microbial processes during perturbation cycles, such as drying-rewetting, and on tolerance to drought and warming remain to be studied, our results suggest that any effects on overall ecosystem processes will be rather limited. Thus, the legacies of warming and drought should not be prioritized factors to consider when modeling contemporary rates of biogeochemical processes in soil. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Natural and synthetic cathelicidin peptides with anti-microbial and anti-biofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Chronic, infected wounds typically contain multiple genera of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, many of which are strong biofilm formers. Bacterial biofilms are thought to be a direct impediment to wound healing. New therapies that focus on a biofilm approach may improve the recovery and healing rate for infected wounds. In this study, cathelicidins and related short, synthetic peptides were tested for their anti-microbial effectiveness as well as their ability to inhibit the ability of S. aureus to form biofilms. Results The helical human cathelicidin LL-37 was tested against S. aureus, and was found to exhibit effective anti-microbial, anti-attachment as well as anti-biofilm activity at concentrations in the low μg/ml range. The effect of peptide chirality and associated protease-resistance was explored through the use of an all-D amino acid peptide, D-LL-37, and in turn compared to scrambled LL-37. Helical cathelicidins have been identified in other animals such as the Chinese cobra, Naja atra (NA-CATH). We previously identified an 11-residue imperfectly repeated pattern (ATRA motif) within the sequence of NA-CATH. A series of short peptides (ATRA-1, -2, -1A), as well as a synthetic peptide, NA-CATH:ATRA1-ATRA1, were designed to explore the significance of the conserved residues within the ATRA motif for anti-microbial activity. The CD spectrum of NA-CATH and NA-CATH:ATRA1-ATRA1 revealed the structural properties of these peptides and suggested that helicity may factor into their anti-microbial and anti-biofilm activities. Conclusions The NA-CATH:ATRA1-ATRA1 peptide inhibits the production of biofilm by S. aureus in the presence of salt, exhibiting anti-biofilm activity at lower peptide concentrations than NA-CATH, LL-37 and D-LL-37; and demonstrates low cytoxicity against host cells but does not affect bacterial attachment. The peptides utilized in this anti-biofilm approach may provide templates for a new group of anti-microbials and

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

    Climatic warming leads to the expansion of deciduous shrubs and trees in the Arctic. This leads to higher leaf litter inputs, which together with warming may alter the rate of carbon and nutrient cycling in the arctic ecosystems. We assessed effects of factorial warming and additional litter...... on the soil ecosystem of a subarctic heath in a 7-year-long field experiment. Fine root biomass, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and total C concentration increased in response to warming, which probably was a result of the increased vegetation cover. Litter addition increased the concentration of inorganic P...... 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...

  12. 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."

  13. The Microbial Ecosystem Distinguishes Chronically Diseased Tissue from Adjacent Tissue in the Sigmoid Colon of Chronic, Recurrent Diverticulitis Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schieffer, Kathleen M; Sabey, Kate; Wright, Justin R; Toole, David R; Drucker, Rebecca; Tokarev, Vasily; Harris, Leonard R; Deiling, Sue; Eshelman, Melanie A; Hegarty, John P; Yochum, Gregory S; Koltun, Walter A; Lamendella, Regina; Stewart, David B

    2017-08-16

    Diverticular disease is commonly associated with the older population in the United States. As individual's age, diverticulae, or herniation of the mucosa through the colonic wall, develop. In 10-25% of individuals, the diverticulae become inflamed, resulting in diverticulitis. The gut ecosystem relies on the interaction of bacteria and fungi to maintain homeostasis. Although bacterial dysbiosis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diverticulitis, associations between the microbial ecosystem and diverticulitis remain largely unstudied. This study investigated how the cooperative network of bacteria and fungi differ between a diseased area of the sigmoid colon chronically affected by diverticulitis and adjacent non-affected tissue. To identify mucosa-associated microbes, bacterial 16S rRNA and fungal ITS sequencing were performed on chronically diseased sigmoid colon tissue (DT) and adjacent tissue (AT) from the same colonic segment. We found that Pseudomonas and Basidiomycota OTUs were associated with AT while Microbacteriaceae and Ascomycota were enriched in DT. Bipartite co-occurrence networks were constructed for each tissue type. The DT and AT networks were distinct for each tissue type, with no microbial relationships maintained after intersection merge of the groups. Our findings indicate that the microbial ecosystem distinguishes chronically diseased tissue from adjacent tissue.

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, K.; Wheatley, R.; Kuan, H.L.; Boag, B.; Christensen, S.; Ekelund, F.; Sorensen, S.J.; Muller, S.; Bloem, J.

    2001-01-01

    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

  16. Nitrogen fixation in microbial mats : complexity and dynamics of a small-scale ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.

    2010-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the potential of microbial mats to fix nitrogen and to identify individual functional groups of microorganisms that contribute to it. To that end, coastal microbial mats that occurred along a tidal gradient and therefore differed in morphology and microbial

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Conversion and conservation of light energy in a photosynthetic microbial mat ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Najjar, Mohammad A A; de Beer, Dirk; Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Kühl, Michael; Polerecky, Lubos

    2010-03-01

    Here we present, to the best of our knowledge, the first balanced light energy budget for a benthic microbial mat ecosystem, and show how the budget and the spatial distribution of the local photosynthetic efficiencies within the euphotic zone depend on the absorbed irradiance (J(abs)). Our approach uses microscale measurements of the rates of heat dissipation, gross photosynthesis and light absorption in the system, and a model describing light propagation and conversion in a scattering-absorbing medium. The energy budget was dominated by heat dissipation on the expense of photosynthesis: in light-limiting conditions, 95.5% of the absorbed light energy dissipated as heat and 4.5% was channeled into photosynthesis. This energy disproportionation changed in favor of heat dissipation at increasing irradiance, with >99% of the absorbed light energy being dissipated as heat and 700 micromol photon m(-2) s(-1) (>150 J m(-2) s(-1)). Maximum photosynthetic efficiencies varied with depth in the euphotic zone between 0.014-0.047 O(2) per photon. Owing to steep light gradients, photosynthetic efficiencies varied differently with increasing irradiances at different depths in the euphotic zone; for example, at J(abs)>700 micromol photon m(-2) s(-1), they reached around 10% of the maximum values at depths 0-0.3 mm and progressively increased toward 100% below 0.3 mm. This study provides the base for addressing, in much more detail, the photobiology of densely populated photosynthetic systems with intense absorption and scattering. Furthermore, our analysis has promising applications in other areas of photosynthesis research, such as plant biology and biotechnology.

  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. Microbial Community Structure and Function of Soil following Ecosystem Conversion from Native Forests to Teak Plantation Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidya De Gannes

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities can form links between forest trees and functioning of forest soils, yet the impacts of converting diverse native forests to monoculture plantations on soil microbial communities are unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that conversion from a diverse native to monoculture ecosystem would be paralleled by a reduction in the diversity of the soil microbial communities. Soils from Teak (Tectona grandis plantations and adjacent native forest were examined at two locations in Trinidad. Microbial community structure was determined via Illumina sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS regions, and by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA analysis. Functional characteristics of microbial communities were assessed by extracellular enzyme activity (EEA. Conversion to Teak plantation had no effect on species richness or evenness of bacterial or fungal communities, and no significant effect on EEA. However, multivariate analyses (nested and two-way crossed analysis of similarity revealed significant effects (p < 0.05 of forest type (Teak v. native upon the composition of the microbial communities as reflected in all three assays of community structure. Univariate anaylsis of variance identified two bacterial phyla that were significantly more abundant in the native forest soils than in Teak soils (Cyanobacteria , p = 0.0180; Nitrospirae, p = 0.0100 and two more abundant in Teak soils than in native forest (candidate phyla TM7, p = 0.0004; WS6, p = 0.044. Abundance of an unidentified class of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF was significantly greater in Teak soils, notable because Teak is colonized by AMF rather than by ectomycorrihzal fungi that are symbionts of the native forest tree species. In conclusion, microbial diversity characteristics were not affected in the conversion of native forest to teak plantation, but examination of specific bacterial taxa showed that there were significant

  2. Sustainable power production in a membrane-less and mediator-less synthetic wastewater microbial fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldrovandi, Aba; Marsili, Enrico; Stante, Loredana; Paganin, Patrizia; Tabacchioni, Silvia; Giordano, Andrea

    2009-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) fed with wastewater are currently considered a feasible strategy for production of renewable electricity. A membrane-less MFC with biological cathode was built from a compact wastewater treatment reactor and fed with synthetic wastewater. When operated with an external resistance of 250 Omega, the MFC produced a long-term power of about 70 mW/m(2) for 10 months. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the cathode biomass when the MFC was closed on a 2100 Omega external resistance showed that the sequenced bands were affiliated with Firmicutes, alpha-Proteobacteria,beta-Proteobacteria, gamma-Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes groups. When the external resistance was varied between 250 and 2100 Omega, minimum sustainable resistance decreased from 900 to 750 Omega, while maximum sustainable power output decreased from 32 to 28 mW/m(2). It is likely that these effects were caused by changes in the microbial ecology of anodic and cathodic biomass attached to the electrodes. Results suggest that cathodic biomass enrichment in "electroactive" bacteria may improve MFCs power output in a similar fashion to what has been already observed for anodic biomass.

  3. A Terrestrial Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell-based Biosensor for Biochemical Oxygen Demand of Synthetic Rice Washed Wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logroño, Washington; Guambo, Alex; Pérez, Mario; Kadier, Abudukeremu; Recalde, Celso

    2016-01-15

    Microbial fuel cells represent an innovative technology which allow simultaneous waste treatment, electricity production, and environmental monitoring. This study provides a preliminary investigation of the use of terrestrial Single chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SMFCs) as biosensors. Three cells were created using Andean soil, each one for monitoring a BOD concentration of synthetic washed rice wastewater (SRWW) of 10, 100, and 200 mg/L for SMFC1, SMFC2 and SMFC3, respectively. The results showed transient, exponential, and steady stages in the SMFCs. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) peaks were reached during the elapsed time of the transient stages, according to the tested BOD concentrations. A good linearity between OCV and time was observed in the increasing stage. The average OCV in this stage increased independently of the tested concentrations. SMFC1 required less time than SMFC2 to reach the steady stage, suggesting the BOD concentration is an influencing factor in SMFCs, and SMFC3 did not reach it. The OCV ratios were between 40.6-58.8 mV and 18.2-32.9 mV for SMFC1 and SMFC2. The reproducibility of the SMFCs was observed in four and three cycles for SMFC1 and SMFC2, respectively. The presented SMFCs had a good response and reproducibility as biosensor devices, and could be an alternative for environmental monitoring.

  4. A Terrestrial Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell-based Biosensor for Biochemical Oxygen Demand of Synthetic Rice Washed Wastewater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Washington Logroño

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cells represent an innovative technology which allow simultaneous waste treatment, electricity production, and environmental monitoring. This study provides a preliminary investigation of the use of terrestrial Single chamber Microbial Fuel Cells (SMFCs as biosensors. Three cells were created using Andean soil, each one for monitoring a BOD concentration of synthetic washed rice wastewater (SRWW of 10, 100, and 200 mg/L for SMFC1, SMFC2 and SMFC3, respectively. The results showed transient, exponential, and steady stages in the SMFCs. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV peaks were reached during the elapsed time of the transient stages, according to the tested BOD concentrations. A good linearity between OCV and time was observed in the increasing stage. The average OCV in this stage increased independently of the tested concentrations. SMFC1 required less time than SMFC2 to reach the steady stage, suggesting the BOD concentration is an influencing factor in SMFCs, and SMFC3 did not reach it. The OCV ratios were between 40.6–58.8 mV and 18.2–32.9 mV for SMFC1 and SMFC2. The reproducibility of the SMFCs was observed in four and three cycles for SMFC1 and SMFC2, respectively. The presented SMFCs had a good response and reproducibility as biosensor devices, and could be an alternative for environmental monitoring.

  5. 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.

  6. Microbial mediators of the sulfur-, nitrogen-, and iron-cycles in freshwater ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haaijer, S.C.M.

    2007-01-01

    Human activities and concominant sulfur and nitrogen pollution endanger freshwater ecosystem quality. Improved knowledge on wetland biogeochemistry is a necessity to protect these valuable and fragile ecosystems. Effects of increased nitrate concentrations (stimulation of sulfide mineral oxidation,

  7. Global deglaciation and the re-appearance of microbial matground-dominated ecosystems in the late Paleozoic of Gondwana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buatois, L A; Netto, R G; Gabriela Mángano, M; Carmona, N B

    2013-07-01

    The extensive matgrounds in Carboniferous-Permian open-marine deposits of western Argentina constitute an anachronistic facies, because with the onset of penetrative bioturbation during the early Paleozoic microbial mats essentially disappeared from these settings. Abundant microbially induced sedimentary structures in the Argentinean deposits are coincident with the disappearance of trace and body fossils in the succession and with a landward facies shift indicative of transgressive conditions. Deposits of the Late Carboniferous-Early Permian glacial event are well developed in adjacent basins in eastern Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Antarctica, but do not occur in the western Andean basins of Argentina. However, the deglaciation phase is indirectly recorded in the studied region by a rapid rise in sea level referred to as the Stephanian-Asselian transgression. We suggest that an unusual release of meltwater during the final deglaciation episode of the Gondwana Ice Age may have dramatically freshened peri-Gondwanan seas, impacting negatively on coastal and shallow-marine benthic faunas. Suppression of bioturbation was therefore conducive to a brief re-appearance of matground-dominated ecosystems, reminiscent of those in the precambrian. Bioturbation is essential for ecosystem performance and plays a major role in ocean and sediment geochemistry. Accordingly, the decimation of the mixed layer during deglaciation in the Gondwana basins may have altered ecosystem functioning and geochemical cycling. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Microbial biogeochemistry of Boiling Springs Lake: a physically dynamic, oligotrophic, low-pH geothermal ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siering, P L; Wolfe, G V; Wilson, M S; Yip, A N; Carey, C M; Wardman, C D; Shapiro, R S; Stedman, K M; Kyle, J; Yuan, T; Van Nostrand, J D; He, Z; Zhou, J

    2013-07-01

    Boiling Springs Lake (BSL) in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, is North America's largest hot spring, but little is known about the physical, chemical, and biological features of the system. Using a remotely operated vessel, we characterized the bathymetry and near-surface temperatures at sub-meter resolution. The majority of the 1.2 ha, pH 2.2 lake is 10 m deep and 50-52 °C, but temperatures reach 93 °C locally. We extracted DNA from water and sediments collected from warm (52 °C) and hot (73-83 °C) sites separated by 180 m. Gene clone libraries and functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0) were used to investigate the BSL community, and uptake of radiolabeled carbon sources was used to assess the relative importance of heterotrophic vs. autotrophic production. Microbial assemblages are similar in both sites despite the strong temperature differential, supporting observations of a dynamic, convectively mixed system. Bacteria in the Actinobacteria and Aquificales phyla are abundant in the water column, and Archaea distantly related to known taxa are abundant in sediments. The functional potential appears similar across a 5-year time span, indicating a stable community with little inter-annual variation, despite the documented seasonal temperature cycle. BSL water-derived DNA contains genes for complete C, N, and S cycles, and low hybridization to probes for N and S oxidation suggests that reductive processes dominate. Many of the detected genes for these processes were from uncultivated bacteria, suggesting novel organisms are responsible for key ecosystem services. Selection imposed by low nutrients, low pH, and high temperature appear to result in low diversity and evenness of genes for key functions involved in C, N, and S cycling. Conversely, organic degradation genes appear to be functionally redundant, and the rapid assimilation of radiolabeled organic carbon into BSL cells suggests the importance of allochthonous C fueling heterotrophic

  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. 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.

  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. Microbial mediators of the sulfur, nitrogen, and iron cycles in freshwater ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Haaijer, S.C.M.

    2007-01-01

    Human activities and concominant sulfur and nitrogen pollution endanger freshwater ecosystem quality. Improved knowledge on wetland biogeochemistry is a necessity to protect these valuable and fragile ecosystems. Effects of increased nitrate concentrations (stimulation of sulfide mineral oxidation, inhibition of sulfate reduction) and sulfate concentrations (internal eutrophication, sulfide toxicity, formation sulfide minerals) are known, but data on the associated microbiology are scarce. Th...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stief, P.

    2013-01-01

    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......-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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Fractal Hypothesis of the Pelagic Microbial Ecosystem-Can Simple Ecological Principles Lead to Self-Similar Complexity in the Pelagic Microbial Food Web?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Våge, Selina; Thingstad, T Frede

    2015-01-01

    Trophic interactions are highly complex and modern sequencing techniques reveal enormous biodiversity across multiple scales in marine microbial communities. Within the chemically and physically relatively homogeneous pelagic environment, this calls for an explanation beyond spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Based on observations of simple parasite-host and predator-prey interactions occurring at different trophic levels and levels of phylogenetic resolution, we present a theoretical perspective on this enormous biodiversity, discussing in particular self-similar aspects of pelagic microbial food web organization. Fractal methods have been used to describe a variety of natural phenomena, with studies of habitat structures being an application in ecology. In contrast to mathematical fractals where pattern generating rules are readily known, however, identifying mechanisms that lead to natural fractals is not straight-forward. Here we put forward the hypothesis that trophic interactions between pelagic microbes may be organized in a fractal-like manner, with the emergent network resembling the structure of the Sierpinski triangle. We discuss a mechanism that could be underlying the formation of repeated patterns at different trophic levels and discuss how this may help understand characteristic biomass size-spectra that hint at scale-invariant properties of the pelagic environment. If the idea of simple underlying principles leading to a fractal-like organization of the pelagic food web could be formalized, this would extend an ecologists mindset on how biological complexity could be accounted for. It may furthermore benefit ecosystem modeling by facilitating adequate model resolution across multiple scales.

  17. Fractal hypothesis of the pelagic microbial ecosystem - Can simple ecological principles lead to self-similar complexity in the pelagic microbial food web?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Selina eVåge

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Trophic interactions are highly complex and modern sequencing techniques reveal enormous biodiversity across multiple scales in marine microbial communities . Within the chemically and physically relatively homogeneous pelagic environment, this calls for an explanation beyond spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Based on observations of simple parasite-host and predator-prey interactions occurring at different trophic levels and levels of phylogenetic resolution, we present a theoretical perspective on this enormous biodiversity, discussing in particular self-similar aspects of pelagic microbial food web organization. Fractal methods have been used to describe a variety of natural phenomena, with studies of habitat structures being an application in ecology. In contrast to mathematical fractals where pattern generating rules are readily known, however, identifying mechanisms that lead to natural fractals is not straight-forward. Here we put forward the hypothesis that trophic interactions between pelagic microbes may be organized in a fractal-like manner, with the emergent network resembling the structure of the Sierpinski triangle. We discuss a mechanism that could be underlying the formation of repeated patterns at different trophic levels and discuss how this may help understand characteristic biomass size-spectra that hint at scale-invariant properties of the pelagic environment. If the idea of simple underlying principles leading to a fractal-like organization of the pelagic food web could be formalized, this would extend an ecologists mindset on how biological complexity could be accounted for. It may furthermore benefit ecosystem modeling by facilitating adequate model resolution across multiple scales.

  18. 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)

  19. Is DOM driver of the microbial carrying capacity in pristine porous groundwater ecosystems? - lab-scale experiments in 2D sediment flow-through microcosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Roland; Griebler, Christian

    2017-04-01

    Groundwater ecosystems are an essential resource for drinking water and at the same time constitute fascinating habitats subject to increasing (anthropogenic) disturbances. In our research, we look for ways to qualitatively and quantitatively access, and predict the resistance and resilience (potential) of groundwater ecosystems in consequence of selected disturbances. As a central goal we hope to identify and quantify the underlying biological and ecological key drivers of the microbial Carrying Capacity (mCC) - an ecological concept established in macro-ecology - we assume directly connected to the ecosystem's productivity and the resistance and resilience of aquifers. We further hypothesize, that the ecosystems' mCC is a result of available energy and constitutes a promising proxy for the potential of groundwater ecosystems to withstand impacts and recover from it. In a first approach we studied the dynamics of the microbial standing stock (biomass) and growth (productivity) productivity of a natural groundwater microbial community in parallel 2-D sediment flow-through systems. Selected zones of the model aquifers were disturbed by elevated DOM concentrations. Both the 'mobile' (free floating) and 'sessile' (sediment attached) microbial components were followed over time in terms of biomass, growth, and specific activities (ATP, carbon use efficiency) and taxonomic composition. Sediment regions supplied with elevated concentrations of natural DOM showed increased biomass, activities and taxonomic richness with the sediment community, while differences in the mobile microbial were marginal. Specifically, the carbon use efficiency was significantly increased in the DOM amended sediment zones. In contrast, the microbial community that received the mainly refractory natural background DOM was able to metabolize polymers more efficiently in substrate use tests (ECOLOG), seen as an adaptation to the energy-poor subsurface. Quasi-stationary conditions were reached in

  20. Integrating "Omics" Data Into A Biogeochemical Model: A New Model Scheme To Predict Climate Feedbacks From Microbial Function In Tropical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Y.; Yao, Q.; Wang, G.; Yang, X.; Pan, C.; Johnston, E.; Kim, M.; Konstantinidis, K.; Hazen, T.; Mayes, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Soil microorganisms and their activities, which play a significant role in regulating carbon (C) and nutrient biogeochemical cycles, are highly responsive to changes in climate. The diversity of microorganisms, however, complicates the explicit representation of microbial and enzymatic processes in biogeochemical or earth system models. Uncertainties in accounting for microbial diversity therefore limits our ability to incorporate microbial functions into models. However, `omics technology provides abundant information to identify the structure and function of the microbial community and strengthens our ability to understand microbially-mediated C and nutrient cycles and their climate feedbacks. We collected soils from control and phosphorus (P) fertilized plots at the Gigante Peninsula long-term fertilization experiment at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, an ecosystem where P limitation constrains primary productivity and microbial activities. We monitored effects P addition on soil carbon decomposition with respiration measurements and investigated the responsible microbial mechanisms with metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, and enzyme activity assays. We integrated the P dynamics into the C-N coupled Microbial Enzyme Decomposition (MEND) model. We integrated the `omics data with the new microbially-enabled C-N-P model to examine the mechanistic responses of soil microbial activity and heterotrophic respiration to P availability. Our finding indicates that increases in soil P availability can alter both the abundance and activity of enzymes related to soil carbon decomposition and P mineralization in the tropical soil, leading to increased CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Integrating the `omics data into the biogeochemical model enabled scaling of complex ecosystem functions from genes to functional groups to enable predictions of microbial controls on C, N and P cycles.

  1. Appearance of Iron-based Microbial Ecosystems on and below the Seafloor: a Case Study of the Southern Mariana Trough

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, S.; Kentaro, K.; Toki, T.; Ishibashi, J.; Tsunogai, U.; Hirota, A.; Suzuki, K.; Moriya, O.; Yamagishi, A.

    2012-12-01

    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. To date, geochemical and microbiological studies have been conducted in deep-sea hydrothermal vents at three geographically different areas (Snail, Archaean and Pika sites) of the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT). A variety of geochemical data of hydrothermal fluids and an unparalleled microbiological data of various samples (i.e., sulfide structures of active vents, iron-rich microbial mats, borehole fluids and surrounding bottom seawater) are available for comparative analyses. In the present study, we summarize these geochemical and microbiological characteristics 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). In contrast, 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 consistent with the detection of species related to iron-oxidizing bacteria (Mariprofundus in the Zetaproteobacteria) in these low-temperature samples. These results provide novel insights into the presence and significance of iron-based microbial ecosystems in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alguacil, Maria del Mar; Torrecillas, Emma; Torres, Pilar; García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Roldán, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krause, S.; Le Roux, X.; Niklaus, P.A.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Lennon, J.T.; Bertilsson, S.A.; Grossart, H.P.; Philippot, L.; Bodelier, P.L.E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity

  9. Analysis of the unique geothermal microbial ecosystem of the Blue Lagoon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petursdottir, Solveig K; Bjornsdottir, Snaedis H; Hreggvidsson, Gudmundur O; Hjorleifsdottir, Sigridur; Kristjansson, Jakob K

    2009-12-01

    Cultivation and culture-independent techniques were used to describe the geothermal ecosystem of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. The lagoon contains both seawater and freshwater of geothermal origin and is extremely high in silica content. Water samples were collected repeatedly in summer and autumn in 2003 and 2005 and in winter 2006 were analyzed for species composition. The study revealed the typical traits of an extreme ecosystem characterized by dominating species and other species represented in low numbers. A total of 35 taxa were identified. The calculated biodiversity index of the samples was 2.1-2.5. The majority (83%) of analyzed taxa were closely related to bacteria of marine and geothermal origin reflecting a marine character of the ecosystem and the origin of the Blue Lagoon hydrothermal fluid. A high ratio (63%) of analyzed taxa represented putative novel bacterial species. The majority (71%) of analyzed clones were Alphaproteobacteria, of which 80% belonged to the Roseobacter lineage within the family of Rhodobacteraceae. Of seven cultivated species, the two most abundant ones belonged to this lineage. Silicibacter lacuscaerulensis was confirmed as a dominating species in the Blue Lagoon. One group of isolates represented a recently identified species within the genus of Nitratireductor within Rhizobiales. This study implies an annually stable and seasonally dynamic ecosystem in the Blue Lagoon.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Tasnim, Nishat; Abulizi, Nijiati; Pither, Jason; Hart, Miranda M.; Gibson, Deanna L.

    2017-01-01

    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 micr...

  11. Searching for signatures across microbial communities: Metagenomic analysis of soil samples from mangrove and other ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imchen, Madangchanok; Kumavath, Ranjith; Barh, Debmalya; Azevedo, Vasco; Ghosh, Preetam; Viana, Marcus; Wattam, Alice R

    2017-08-18

    In this study, we categorize the microbial community in mangrove sediment samples from four different locations within a vast mangrove system in Kerala, India. We compared this data to other samples taken from the other known mangrove data, a tropical rainforest, and ocean sediment. An examination of the microbial communities from a large mangrove forest that stretches across southwestern India showed strong similarities across the higher taxonomic levels. When ocean sediment and a single isolate from a tropical rain forest were included in the analysis, a strong pattern emerged with Bacteria from the phylum Proteobacteria being the prominent taxon among the forest samples. The ocean samples were predominantly Archaea, with Euryarchaeota as the dominant phylum. Principal component and functional analyses grouped the samples isolated from forests, including those from disparate mangrove forests and the tropical rain forest, from the ocean. Our findings show similar patterns in samples were isolated from forests, and these were distinct from the ocean sediment isolates. The taxonomic structure was maintained to the level of class, and functional analysis of the genes present also displayed these similarities. Our report for the first time shows the richness of microbial diversity in the Kerala coast and its differences with tropical rain forest and ocean microbiome.

  12. The exotic invasive plant, Amaranthus viridis, suppresses the growth of native acacia by altering soil microbial communities structure and functionalities in a sahelian ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanon, A.; Beguiristain, T.; Sylla, S.; Berthelin, J.; Duponnois, R.

    2009-01-01

    The functioning and stability of terrestrial ecosystems are mainly determined by plant specific richness and composition, which in turn, are closely interlinked with soil organisms development, in particular, soil microorganisms. One of the main success ways of invasive plants was these exogenous organisms-mediated modifications in soil microbial communities composition and diversity as well as their functioning, thus compromising native plant survival. (Author)

  13. Effects of glyphosate and two herbicide mixtures on microbial communities in prairie wetland ecosystems: a mesocosm approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sura, Srinivas; Waiser, Marley; Tumber, Vijay; Lawrence, John R; Cessna, Allan J; Glozier, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    A multitrophic outdoor mesocosm system was used to mimic a wetland ecosystem and to investigate the effects of glyphosate and two herbicide mixtures on wetland microbial communities. The glyphosate concentration used was 1000 times the environmentally relevant concentration (ERC). One herbicide mixture consisted of six auxin-type herbicides (2,4-D, MCPA, clopyralid, dicamba, dichlorprop, mecoprop), each at 1000 times the ERC. The second mixture was comprised of eight herbicides, including the six auxin-type herbicides as well as bromoxynil and glyphosate. For this mixture, a dose-response approach was used to treat mesocosms with the ERCs of each herbicide as the base concentration. Algal biomass and production and bacterial production and numbers for pelagic and attached communities were measured at different times over a 22-d period. The experimental results indicate that the eight-herbicide mixture, even at low concentrations, produced negative effects on microbial communities. Glyphosate on its own suppressed algal biomass and production for the duration of the study in pelagic and biofilm communities. Algal biomass and production, although initially depressed in the auxin-type herbicide treatment, were stimulated from Day 9 until experiment end. Due to their similar modes of action, the effects of this herbicide mixture appear to be a result of concentration addition. Such negative effects, however, were brief, and microbial communities recovered from herbicide exposure. Based on evidence presented in this study, it appears that glyphosate has a higher potential to inhibit primary production and chlorophyll content in pelagic and attached wetland algal communities than the auxin-type herbicide mixture. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  14. 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

  15. Synthetic Electric Microbial Biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-10

    inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy amongst others [2]. Due to the continued industrial activity...monovalent responsive proteins found responded to different metal ions with the same charge and chemistry, such as ZntR binding of zinc (Zn(II)), cadmium...Zn(II) or Hg (II) by reducing the induction coefficient for these metals by up to 95% [25]. A Fluorescent based biosensors in E. coli also reported

  16. 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

    2012-11-01

    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 (CO(2) ) 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Functional symbiosis and communication in microbial ecosystems. The case of wood-eating termites and cockroaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlanga, Mercedes

    2015-09-01

    Animal hosts typically have strong specificity for microbial symbionts and their functions. The symbiotic relationships have enhanced the limited metabolic networks of most eukaryotes by contributing several prokaryotic metabolic capabilities, such as methanogenesis, chemolithoautotrophy, nitrogen assimilation, etc. This review will examine the characteristics that determine bacterial "fidelity" to certain groups of animals (e.g., xylophagous insects, such as termites and cockroaches) over generations and throughout evolution. The hindgut bacteria of wood-feeding termites and cockroaches belong to several phyla, including Proteobacteria, especially Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinomycetes, Spirochetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Actinobacteria, as detected by 16S rRNA. Termites effectively feed on many types of lignocelluloses assisted by their gut microbial symbionts. Although the community structures differ between the hosts (termites and cockroaches), with changes in the relative abundances of particular bacterial taxa, the composition of the bacterial community could reflect at least in part the host evolution in that the microbiota may derive from the microbiota of a common ancestor. Therefore, factors other than host phylogeny, such as diet could have had strong influence in shaping the bacterial community structure. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  2. 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

    into a mutualism, the outcome and stability of the original partnership(s) is altered as are effects of the symbiosis on the community and ecosystem as a whole. In this paper, using examples from six microbe-insect mutualisms in forest and savanna settings, we showcase how varied and complex the responses...... 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...

  3. 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.

  4. Molybdenum limitation of microbial nitrogen assimilation in aquatic ecosystems and pure cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer B. Glass

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Molybdenum (Mo is an essential micronutrient for biological assimilation of nitrogen gas and nitrate because it is present in the cofactors of nitrogenase and nitrate reductase enzymes. Although Mo is the most abundant transition metal in seawater (107 nM, it is present in low concentrations in most freshwaters, typically <20 nM. In 1960, it was discovered that primary productivity was limited by Mo scarcity (2-4 nM in Castle Lake, a small, meso-oligotrophic lake in northern California. Follow up studies demonstrated that Mo also limited primary productivity in lakes in New Zealand, Alaska and the Sierra Nevada. Research in the 1970s and 1980s showed that Mo limited primary productivity and nitrate uptake in Castle Lake only during periods of the growing season when nitrate concentrations were relatively high because ammonium assimilation does not require Mo. In the years since, research has shifted to investigate whether Mo limitation also occurs in marine and soil environments. Here we review studies of Mo limitation of nitrogen assimilation in natural communities and pure microbial cultures. We also summarize new data showing that the simultaneous addition of Mo and nitrate causes increased activity of proteins involved in nitrogen assimilation in the hypolimnion of Castle Lake when ammonium is scarce. Furthermore, we suggest that meter-scale Mo and oxygen profiles from Castle Lake are consistent with the hypothesis that nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria in freshwater periphyton communities have higher Mo requirements than other microbial communities. Finally, we present topics for future research related to Mo bioavailability through time and with changing oxidation state.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO(2) on Rhizosphere Soil Microbial Communities in a Mojave Desert Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, L M; Buttner, M P; Cruz, P; Smith, S D; Robleto, E A

    2011-10-01

    The effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO(2)] on microbial communities in arid rhizosphere soils beneath Larrea tridentata were examined. Roots of Larrea were harvested from plots fumigated with elevated or ambient levels of [CO(2)] using Free-Air CO(2) Enrichment (FACE) technology. Twelve bacterial and fungal rRNA gene libraries were constructed, sequenced and categorized into operational taxonomical units (OTUs). There was a significant decrease in OTUs within the Firmicutes (bacteria) in elevated [CO(2)], and increase in Basiomycota (fungi) in rhizosphere soils of plots exposed to ambient [CO(2)]. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that OTUs belonged to a wide range of bacterial and fungal taxa. To further study changes in bacterial communities, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) was used to quantify populations of bacteria in rhizosphere soil. The concentration of total bacteria 16S rDNA was similar in conditions of enriched and ambient [CO(2)]. However, QPCR of Gram-positive microorganisms showed a 43% decrease in the population in elevated [CO(2)]. The decrease in representation of Gram positives and the similar values for total bacterial DNA suggest that the representation of other bacterial taxa was promoted by elevated [CO(2)]. These results indicate that elevated [CO(2)] changes structure and representation of microorganisms associated with roots of desert plants.

  8. Effects of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Rhizosphere Soil Microbial Communities in a Mojave Desert Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, L.M.; Buttner, M.P.; Cruz, P.; Smith, S.D.; Robleto, E.A.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide [CO2] on microbial communities in arid rhizosphere soils beneath Larrea tridentata were examined. Roots of Larrea were harvested from plots fumigated with elevated or ambient levels of [CO2] using Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) technology. Twelve bacterial and fungal rRNA gene libraries were constructed, sequenced and categorized into operational taxonomical units (OTUs). There was a significant decrease in OTUs within the Firmicutes (bacteria) in elevated [CO2], and increase in Basiomycota (fungi) in rhizosphere soils of plots exposed to ambient [CO2]. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that OTUs belonged to a wide range of bacterial and fungal taxa. To further study changes in bacterial communities, Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) was used to quantify populations of bacteria in rhizosphere soil. The concentration of total bacteria 16S rDNA was similar in conditions of enriched and ambient [CO2]. However, QPCR of Gram-positive microorganisms showed a 43% decrease in the population in elevated [CO2]. The decrease in representation of Gram positives and the similar values for total bacterial DNA suggest that the representation of other bacterial taxa was promoted by elevated [CO2]. These results indicate that elevated [CO2] changes structure and representation of microorganisms associated with roots of desert plants. PMID:21779135

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossouw, Debra; Bagheri, Bahareh; Setati, Mathabatha Evodia; Bauer, Florian Franz

    2015-01-01

    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 patterns. Our data

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Removal of pharmaceuticals from synthetic wastewater in an aerobic granular sludge membrane bioreactor and determination of the bioreactor microbial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiao-Chun; Shen, Ji-Min; Chen, Zhong-Lin; Zhao, Xia; Xu, Hao

    2016-09-01

    Five types of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) substances were selected as pollutants in this study. The effects of the removal of these pollutants and the microbial succession process in a granular sludge membrane bioreactor (GMBR) were investigated. Results showed that wastewater containing PPCPs influenced the performance of granular sludge. The removal of the five PPCPs from the GMBR had different effects. The removal rates of prednisolone, norfloxacin and naproxen reached 98.5, 87.8 and 84 %, respectively. The degradation effect in the GMBR system was relatively lower for sulphamethoxazole and ibuprofen, with removal efficiency rates of 79.8 and 63.3 %, respectively. Furthermore, the microbial community structure and diversity variation of the GMBR were analysed via high-throughput sequencing technology. The results indicated the structural and functional succession of the microbial community based on the GMBR process. The results indicate the key features of bacteria with an important role in drug degradation.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Comparison of synthetic medium and wastewater used as dilution medium to design scalable microbial anodes: Application to food waste treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchet, Elise; Desmond, Elie; Erable, Benjamin; Bridier, Arnaud; Bouchez, Théodore; Bergel, Alain

    2015-06-01

    The objective was to replace synthetic medium by wastewater as a strategy to design low-cost scalable bioanodes. The addition of activated sludge was necessary to form primary bioanodes that were then used as the inoculum to form the secondary bioanodes. Bioanodes formed in synthetic medium with acetate 10mM provided current densities of 21.9±2.1A/m(2), while bioanodes formed in wastewater gave 10.3±0.1A/m(2). The difference was explained in terms of biofilm structure, electrochemical kinetics and redox charge content of the biofilms. In both media, current densities were straightforwardly correlated with the biofilm enrichment in Geobacteraceae but, inside this family, Geobacter sulfurreducens and an uncultured Geobacter sp. were dominant in the synthetic medium, while growth of another Geobacter sp. was favoured in wastewater. Finally, the primary/secondary procedure succeeded in designing bioanodes to treat food wastes by using wastewater as dilution medium, with current densities of 7±1.1A/m(2). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Ecosystem response of pasture soil communities to fumigation-induced microbial diversity reductions: an examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, K.; Bardgett, R.D.; Cook, R.; Christensen, S.; Ekelund, F.; Sorensen, S.J.; Bccth, E.; Bloem, J.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Dolfing, J.; Nicolardot, B.

    2000-01-01

    A technique based on progressive fumigation was used to reduce soil microbial biodiversity, and the effects of such reductions upon the stability of key soil processes were measured. Mineral soil samples from a grassland were fumigated with chloroform for up to 24 h and then incubated for 5 months

  2. Increased associated effects of topography and litter and soil nutrients on soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass along vegetation successions in karst ecosystem, southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Fujing; Zhang, Wei; Liang, Yueming; Liu, Shujuan; Wang, Kelin

    2018-04-07

    Studying the influence of topography and litter and soil nutrients on soil enzymes and microbial biomass is important to the understanding of soil nutrient transformation and cycling, but these relationships in heterogeneous soils of karst ecosystem remains poorly understood. We determined environment factors influencing the urease (URS) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and microbial biomass C and N (MBC and MBN) with advancing vegetation succession. The results showed that ALP increased but URS decreased with the advancing vegetation succession. The MBC and MBN were highest in shrubland, but both were lowest in grassland. The URS was positively correlated with the surface cover of rock outcrops (SRO) but negatively correlated with litter N, and soil available N and pH. Conversely, ALP was positively correlated with litter N, soil organic carbon (SOC), and soil available N and pH, but negatively correlated with soil total N. The MBC was positively related to litter quantities and SOC but negatively related to soil pH; the MBN was positively related to slope gradient (SLG), SOC, and soil total P and available P. Additionally, the trends of the index URS/MBN were grassland > secondary forest > shrubland > primary forest, but the index ALP/MBN increased with advancing vegetation succession. It indicated that soil microorganism mainly exudate extracellular URS and ALP to soils. We also found the interactions of topography (SLG and SRO), litter (nutrients and quantity), and soil (nutrients and pH) explained 42.00, 87.00, and 66.00% of the variations in URS, ALP, and microbial biomass, respectively. Path analysis showed that the topography had a directly positive effect on litter nutrients and quantities, but not on soil nutrients; the litter nutrients and quantities had direct positive effect on soil nutrients, which had direct effect on soil enzymes and microbial biomass; the relationships (R 2 ) between the independent variable and enzymes activities and

  3. 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.

  4. Metabolic and Microbial Modulation of the Large Intestine Ecosystem by Non-Absorbed Diet Phenolic Compounds: A Review

    OpenAIRE

    Juana I. Mosele; Alba Macià; Maria-José Motilva

    2015-01-01

    Phenolic compounds represent a diverse group of phytochemicals whose intake is associated with a wide spectrum of health benefits. As consequence of their low bioavailability, most of them reach the large intestine where, mediated by the action of local microbiota, a series of related microbial metabolites are accumulated. In the present review, gut microbial transformations of non-absorbed phenolic compounds are summarized. Several studies have reached a general consensus that unbalanced die...

  5. 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

  6. Response of native soil microbial functions to the controlled mycorrhization of an exotic tree legume, Acacia holosericea in a Sahelian ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgo, Ablasse; Sangare, Sheikh K; Thioulouse, Jean; Prin, Yves; Hien, Victor; Galiana, Antoine; Baudoin, Ezekeil; Hafidi, Mohamed; Bâ, Amadou M; Duponnois, Robin

    2012-04-01

    Fifty years of overexploitation have disturbed most forests within Sahelian areas. Exotic fast growing trees (i.e., Australian Acacia species) have subsequently been introduced for soil improvement and fuelwood production purposes. Additionally, rhizobial or mycorrhizal symbioses have sometimes been favored by means of controlled inoculations to increase the performance of these exotic trees in such arid and semiarid zones. Large-scale anthropogenic introduction of exotic plants could also threaten the native biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. We carried out an experimental reforestation in Burkina Faso in order to study the effects of Acacia holosericea mycorrhizal inoculation on the soil nutrient content, microbial soil functionalities and mycorrhizal soil potential. Treatments consisted of uninoculated A. holosericea, preplanting fertilizer application and arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation with Glomus intraradices. Our results showed that (i) arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) inoculation and prefertilizer application significantly improved A. holosericea growth after 4 years of plantation and (ii) the introduction of A. holosericea trees significantly modified soil microbial functions. The results clearly showed that the use of exotic tree legume species should be directly responsible for important changes in soil microbiota with great disturbances in essential functions driven by microbial communities (e.g., catabolic diversity and C cycling, phosphatase activity and P availability). They also highlighted the importance of AM symbiosis in the functioning of soils and forest plantation performances. The AM effect on soil functions was significantly correlated with the enhanced mycorrhizal soil potential recorded in the AM inoculation treatment. © Springer-Verlag 2011

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meyer, A.; Focks, A.; Radl, V.; Keil, D.; Welzl, G.; Schoning, I.; Boch, S.

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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

    that viruses can have significant stimulatory effects across whole-ecosystem scales. We suggest that existing efforts to predict carbon and nutrient cycling without considering virus effects are likely to miss essential features of marine food webs that regulate global biogeochemical cycles.The ISME Journal...

  13. 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

  14. Metabolic and Microbial Modulation of the Large Intestine Ecosystem by Non-Absorbed Diet Phenolic Compounds: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juana I. Mosele

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Phenolic compounds represent a diverse group of phytochemicals whose intake is associated with a wide spectrum of health benefits. As consequence of their low bioavailability, most of them reach the large intestine where, mediated by the action of local microbiota, a series of related microbial metabolites are accumulated. In the present review, gut microbial transformations of non-absorbed phenolic compounds are summarized. Several studies have reached a general consensus that unbalanced diets are associated with undesirable changes in gut metabolism that could be detrimental to intestinal health. In terms of explaining the possible effects of non-absorbed phenolic compounds, we have also gathered information regarded their influence on the local metabolism. For this purpose, a number of issues are discussed. Firstly, we consider the possible implications of phenolic compounds in the metabolism of colonic products, such as short chain fatty acids (SCFA, sterols (cholesterol and bile acids, and microbial products of non-absorbed proteins. Due to their being recognized as affective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, the ability of phenolic compounds to counteract or suppress pro-oxidant and/or pro-inflammatory responses, triggered by bowel diseases, is also presented. The modulation of gut microbiota through dietetic maneuvers including phenolic compounds is also commented on. Although the available data seems to assume positive effects in terms of gut health protection, it is still insufficient for solid conclusions to be extracted, basically due to the lack of human trials to confirm the results obtained by the in vitro and animal studies. We consider that more emphasis should be focused on the study of phenolic compounds, particularly in their microbial metabolites, and their power to influence different aspects of gut health.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, A.; Focks, A.; Radl, V.; Keil, D.; Welzl, G.; Schoning, I.; Boch, S.

    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,...

  16. 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; 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,...

  17. Transfer of carbon and a polychlorinated biphenyl through the pelagic microbial food web in a coastal ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallberg, P.; Andersson, A.

    2000-04-01

    In order to estimate fluxes of carbon within the microbial community, seawater was collected in a coastal area off Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, during a rainy season (November 1994) and a dry season (September 1996). Diel experiments were conducted in a 24-L polycarbonate bottle and samples were retrieved every third hour over a period of 30 to 33 h. Abundance and production rates of bacteria, nonoflagellates, and microplankton were determined. To determine possible connections between the fluxes of carbon and the fate of 2,2{prime},4,4{prime},5,5{prime}-hexachlorobiphenyl International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) no. 153, a time-course experiment was conducted after the diel experiment. The initial PCB partitioning was similar in the two experiments, but the subsequent distribution among the organism groups was different. In the rainy season experiment, the PCB concentration in the largest size fraction was almost three times higher than during the dry season experiment. This was in line with results from the diel experiments where the carbon flux through the microbial food web was approximately three times higher during the rainy season than during the dry season experiment. These results suggest that the transfer rate of 2,2{prime},4,4{prime},5,5{prime}-hexachlorobiphenyl through the microbial food web is coupled to the carbon flux.

  18. 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

  19. Iron-based microbial ecosystem on and below the seafloor: a case study of hydrothermal fields of the Southern Mariana Trough

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shingo eKato

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism of microbial planktonic communities in an oligotrophic coastal marine ecosystem: seasonal dynamics and episodic events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonilla-Findji, O.; Gattuso, J.-P.; Pizay, M.-D.; Weinbauer, M. G.

    2010-11-01

    A 18 month study was performed in the Bay of Villefranche to assess the episodic and seasonal variation of autotrophic and heterotrophic ecosystem processes. A typical spring bloom was encountered, where maximum of gross primary production (GPP) was followed by maxima of bacterial respiration (BR) and production (BP). The trophic balance (heterotrophy vs. autotrophy) of the system did not exhibit any seasonal trend although a strong intra-annual variability was observed. On average, the community tended to be net heterotrophic with a GPP threshold for a balanced metabolism of 1.1 μmol O2 l-1 d-1. Extended forest fires in summer 2003 and a local episodic upwelling in July 2003 likely supplied orthophosphate and nitrate into the system. These events were associated with an enhanced bacterioplankton production (up to 2.4-fold), respiration (up to 4.5-fold) and growth efficiency (up to 2.9-fold) but had no effect on GPP. A Sahara dust wet deposition event in February 2004 stimulated bacterial abundance, production and growth efficiency but not GPP. Our study suggests that short-term disturbances such as wind-driven upwelling, forest fires and Sahara dust depositions can have a significant but previously not sufficiently considered influence on phytoplankton- and bacterioplankton-mediated ecosystem functions and can modify or even mask the seasonal dynamics. The study also indicates that atmospheric deposition of nutrients and particles not only impacts phytoplankton but also bacterioplankton and could, at times, also shift systems stronger towards net heterotrophy.

  5. 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

  6. Autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolism of microbial planktonic communities in an oligotrophic coastal marine ecosystem: seasonal dynamics and episodic events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Bonilla-Findji

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available A 18 month study was performed in the Bay of Villefranche to assess the episodic and seasonal variation of autotrophic and heterotrophic ecosystem processes. A typical spring bloom was encountered, where maximum of gross primary production (GPP was followed by maxima of bacterial respiration (BR and production (BP. The trophic balance (heterotrophy vs. autotrophy of the system did not exhibit any seasonal trend although a strong intra-annual variability was observed. On average, the community tended to be net heterotrophic with a GPP threshold for a balanced metabolism of 1.1 μmol O2 l−1 d−1. Extended forest fires in summer 2003 and a local episodic upwelling in July 2003 likely supplied orthophosphate and nitrate into the system. These events were associated with an enhanced bacterioplankton production (up to 2.4-fold, respiration (up to 4.5-fold and growth efficiency (up to 2.9-fold but had no effect on GPP. A Sahara dust wet deposition event in February 2004 stimulated bacterial abundance, production and growth efficiency but not GPP. Our study suggests that short-term disturbances such as wind-driven upwelling, forest fires and Sahara dust depositions can have a significant but previously not sufficiently considered influence on phytoplankton- and bacterioplankton-mediated ecosystem functions and can modify or even mask the seasonal dynamics. The study also indicates that atmospheric deposition of nutrients and particles not only impacts phytoplankton but also bacterioplankton and could, at times, also shift systems stronger towards net heterotrophy.

  7. Quorum Sensing Communication Modules for Microbial Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Spencer R; Hasty, Jeff

    2016-09-16

    The power of a single engineered organism is limited by its capacity for genetic modification. To circumvent the constraints of any singular microbe, a new frontier in synthetic biology is emerging: synthetic ecology, or the engineering of microbial consortia. Here we develop communication systems for such consortia in an effort to allow for complex social behavior across different members of a community. We posit that such communities will outpace monocultures in their ability to perform complicated tasks if communication among and between members of the community is well regulated. Quorum sensing was identified as the most promising candidate for precise control of engineered microbial ecosystems, due to its large diversity and established utility in synthetic biology. Through promoter and protein modification, we engineered two quorum sensing systems (rpa and tra) to add to the extensively used lux and las systems. By testing the cross-talk between all systems, we thoroughly characterized many new inducible systems for versatile control of engineered communities. Furthermore, we've identified several system pairs that exhibit useful types of orthogonality. Most notably, the tra and rpa systems were shown to have neither signal crosstalk nor promoter crosstalk for each other, making them completely orthogonal in operation. Overall, by characterizing the interactions between all four systems and their components, these circuits should lend themselves to higher-level genetic circuitry for use in microbial consortia.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Community-level response of coastal microbial biofilms to ocean acidification in a natural carbon dioxide vent ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidbury, Ian; Johnson, Vivienne; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Munn, Colin B; Cunliffe, Michael

    2012-05-01

    The impacts of ocean acidification on coastal biofilms are poorly understood. Carbon dioxide vent areas provide an opportunity to make predictions about the impacts of ocean acidification. We compared biofilms that colonised glass slides in areas exposed to ambient and elevated levels of pCO(2) along a coastal pH gradient, with biofilms grown at ambient and reduced light levels. Biofilm production was highest under ambient light levels, but under both light regimes biofilm production was enhanced in seawater with high pCO(2). Uronic acids are a component of biofilms and increased significantly with high pCO(2). Bacteria and Eukarya denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profile analysis showed clear differences in the structures of ambient and reduced light biofilm communities, and biofilms grown at high pCO(2) compared with ambient conditions. This study characterises biofilm response to natural seabed CO(2) seeps and provides a baseline understanding of how coastal ecosystems may respond to increased pCO(2) levels. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Plant-facilitated effects of exotic earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus on the soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics and soil microbial community in a subtropical field ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jianping; Zhang, Weixin; Shao, Yuanhu; Fu, Shenglei

    2017-11-01

    Earthworms and plants greatly affect belowground properties; however, their combined effects are more attractive based on the ecosystem scale in the field condition. To address this point, we manipulated earthworms (exotic endogeic species Pontoscolex corethrurus ) and plants (living plants [native tree species Evodia lepta ] and artificial plants) to investigate their combined effects on soil microorganisms, soil nutrients, and soil respiration in a subtropical forest. The manipulation of artificial plants aimed to simulate the physical effects of plants (e.g., shading and interception of water) such that the biological effects of plants could be evaluated separately. We found that relative to the controls, living plants but not artificial plants significantly increased the ratio of fungal to bacterial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and fungal PLFAs. Furthermore, earthworms plus living plants significantly increased the soil respiration and decreased the soil NH 4 + -N, which indicates that the earthworm effects on the associated carbon, and nitrogen processes were greatly affected by living plants. The permutational multivariate analysis of variance results also indicated that living plants but not earthworms or artificial plants significantly changed the soil microbial community. Our results suggest that the effects of plants on soil microbes and associated soil properties in this study were largely explained by their biological rather than their physical effects.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, Enikö; Liébana, Raquel; Hermansson, Malte; Modin, Oskar; Persson, Frank; Wilén, Britt-Marie

    2017-01-01

    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 -3 d -1 ), moderate (1.9 kg m -3 d -1 ) and high (3.7 kg m -3 d -1 ) organic loading rates (OLRs) and the same ammonium loading rate (0.2 kg NH 4 -N m -3 d -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

  19. Forum on Microbial Threats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    communities adapt and respond to environmental stimuli; and potential applications for improving human, animal, plant, and ecosystem health... homeostasis ”, barrier integrity, and colonization re- sistance to pathogens. Research on these interactions will help to characterize microbial contributions

  20. Fermentation by gut microbiota cultured in a simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem is improved by probiotic Enterococcus faecium CRL 183

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizeu A. Rossi

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Enterococci are used in a large number of dairy products, such as starter cultures in food supplements and in foods considered functional. In vitro gut fermentation models present an unmatched opportunity of performing studies frequently allenged in humans and animals owing to ethical concerns. A dynamic model of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (SHIME was designed to better simulate conditions intestinal microbiota.Methods: The SHIME model was used to study the effect of Enterococuus faecium CRL 183 on the fermentation pattern of the colon microbiota. Initially, an inoculum prepared from human feces was introduced into the reactor vessels and stabilized over 2 wk using a culture medium. This stabilization period was followed by a 2-wk control period during which the microbiota were monitored. The microbiota were then subjected to a 4-wk treatment period by adding 108 CFU/mL of the Enterococcus faecium CRL 183 to vessel one (the stomach compartment.Results: The addition resulted into an overall increase of bacterial marker populations (Enterobacteriaceae, Lactobacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp. and Clostridium spp., with a significant increase of the Lactobacillus sp. and Bifidobacterium sp populations. The short-chain fatty acid (SCFA concentration increased during the supplementation period; this was due mainly to a significant increase in the levels of acetic, butyric and propionic acids. Ammonium concentrations increased during the supplementation period.Conclusions: Results showed that the major effect of E. faecium CRL 183 was found in the ascendant and transverse colonFunctional Foods in Health and Disease 2011; 10:389-402

  1. 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...

  2. Phototrophic Microbial Mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    Microbial mats are structured, small-scale microbial ecosystems, andsimilar as biofilms cover a substratum like a tissue. A general characteristic of amicrobial mat is the steep physicochemical gradients that are the result of the metabolicactivities of the mat microorganisms. Virtually every

  3. When synthetic chemicals degrade in the environment: What are the absolute fate, effects, and potential risks to humans and the ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boxall, Alistair; Sinclair, C.; Fenner, Kathrin; Kolpin, Dana W.; Maund, S.

    2004-01-01

    Various processes degrade synthetic chemicals—pesticides, pharmaceuticals, biocides, and industrials—in the environment (1, 2). Consequently, the environment may be exposed to a mixture of the parent compounds and any resulting degradation products (degradates). Recent advances in analytical methodology and greater access to analytical standards have advanced degradates research (3, 4). Specifically, research on pesticides has found degradates in surface water (5–10), groundwater (11–13), precipitation (14–16), air (17, 18), and sediment (19, 20). Pharmaceuticals and detergent degradates also exist in the environment (21–23). Figure 1 shows that degradates were detected as often as or more frequently than the parent compound.

  4. Effect of vegetation type on treatment performance and bioelectric production of constructed wetland modules combined with microbial fuel cell (CW-MFC) treating synthetic wastewater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saz, Çağdaş; Türe, Cengiz; Türker, Onur Can; Yakar, Anıl

    2018-03-01

    An operation of microcosm-constructed wetland modules combined with microbial fuel cell device (CW-MFC) was assessed for wastewater treatment and bioelectric generation. One of the crucial aims of the present experiment is also to determine effect of vegetation on wastewater treatment process and bioelectric production in wetland matrix with microbial fuel cell. Accordingly, CW-MFC modules with vegetation had higher treatment efficiency compared to unplanted wetland module, and average COD, NH 4 + , and TP removal efficiency in vegetated wetland modules were ranged from 85 to 88%, 95 to 97%, and 95 to 97%, respectively. However, the highest NO 3 - removal (63%) was achieved by unplanted control module during the experiment period. The maximum average output voltage, power density, and Coulombic efficiency were obtained in wetland module vegetated with Typha angustifolia for 1.01 ± 0.14 V, 7.47 ± 13.7 mWatt/m 2 , and 8.28 ± 10.4%, respectively. The results suggest that the presence of Typha angustifolia vegetation in the CW-MFC matrix provides the benefits for treatment efficiency and bioelectric production; thus, it increases microbial activities which are responsible for biodegradation of organic compounds and catalyzed to electron flow from anode to cathode. Consequently, we suggest that engineers can use vegetated wetland matrix with Typha angustifolia in CW-MFC module in order to maximize treatment efficiency and bioelectric production.

  5. [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.

  6. Changes in microbial diversity along a geochemical gradient in the Edwards Aquifer, Texas: Possible implications for aquifer modification and ecosystem processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, C.; Engel, A. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Edwards Aquifer is one of the most prolific karst aquifers in the United States, consisting of distinct fresh and saline ground water. The microbial diversity of the system had been unexplored, leaving many questions about possible microbial roles in ecological and geological processes. Along the eastern edge of the aquifer, the geochemical juxtaposition of the fresh and saline waters within the transition zone can provide a range of energy sources for microbial metabolism, but faulting has created discontinuous hydrostratigraphic units that could have limited physical dispersion of microbial groups and genetic exchange. Freshwater springs and a 1 km long transect of six wells (150-250 m depth) in Edwards Group limestone across the transition zone (ranging in conductivity from 2440 μS/cm to 460-600 μS/cm) in New Braunfels, Texas, were sampled. The most saline water had the highest concentration of dissolved sulfide (1.2-1.6 mmol/L), and other saline wells had 0.1 mmol/L sulfide. All saline water had undetectable dissolved oxygen. Freshwater wells had no dissolved sulfide and 0.06 mmol/L dissolved oxygen. Cloning 16S rRNA bacterial genes from each of the wells retrieved several clades within the Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and members of Bacteroidetes, but low diversity overall. Some alphaproteobacterial groups were retrieved from all wells, although other groups were found in only one well. The most widely dispersed group had not been previously identified from karst settings, but was related to chemoorganotrophs previously retrieved from sandy sediment in a glacial study. Because differences in the microbial communities will affect the types of metabolic byproducts that could contribute to aquifer geochemistry and hydrology, future experimentation using in situ microcosms will test microbial mediation in dissolution and precipitation reactions. Overall, these results broaden our understanding of carbonate aquifer microbial

  7. Pesticide Pollution in Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    İlter, Hüseyin; Kurt, Burak; Ötegen, Volkan Recai; Akbaba, Muhsin

    2018-01-01

    Pesticidepollution affects both aquatic and soil ecosystems. Factors that promotepesticide pollution include drainage patterns, properties of the pesticide,rainfall, microbial activity, treatment surface and rate of application.Pesticides are able to move from one ecosystem to another through processessuch as transfer (mobility) and transformation (degradation). Transfer mayoccur through surface runoff, vapourization to atmosphere, sorption (adsorp‐tion/desorp-tion), plant uptakeor soil water...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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,...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Synthetic oils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatton, R. E.

    1973-01-01

    Synthetic lubricants are discussed by chemical class and their general strengths and weaknesses in terms of lubrication properties are analyzed. Comparative ratings are given for 14 chemical classes and are used as a guide for lubricant selection. The effects of chemical structure on the properties of the lubricant are described with special emphasis on thermal stability. The diversity of synthetic lubricants which is provided by the wide range of properties permits many applications, some of which are reported.

  15. 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.

  16. Bioremediation in marine ecosystems: a computational study combining ecological modeling and flux balance analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffi, Marianna; Paoletti, Nicola; Angione, Claudio; Pucciarelli, Sandra; Marini, Mauro; Liò, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Extracellular hydrolytic enzyme activities of the heterotrophic microbial communities of the Rouge River: an approach to evaluate ecosystem response to urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiquia, S M

    2011-10-01

    The potential effects of urbanization on the bioavailability of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were tested by determining the extracellular enzyme activities of the heterotrophic microbial communities of the Rouge River. The activities of 19 enzymes were monitored across two water samples (river water and groundwater) at different spatial and temporal scales. High phosphatase, esterase, and aminopeptidase activities was observed in site 9 (site most exposed to anthropogenic sources) showed higher concentrations of DOC compared to sites 1 and 8 (sites exposed to less anthropogenic sources), where moderate activities of diverse range of enzymes were observed. High relative contributions of phosphatase, esterase, and aminopeptidase activities to the overall enzyme activity as observed in site 9 stressed the increased importance of peptides as C source for heterotrophic communities and high in-stream carbon processing, which account for high nonspecific extracellular enzyme activities. In contrast, high contribution of glycosyl hydrolases occurred consistently across all sites, which highlights the significance of microbial detrital and plant biomass as carbon sources. Majority of the enzymes showed evidence of activity at various extents during spring and summer. However, higher activities of leucine aminopeptidase, valine aminopeptidase, β-glucosidase, and α-mannosidase were observed in the summer; and alkaline phosphatase and α-glucosidase in the spring. The results presented here suggest a shift in organic carbon bioavailability across all sites of contrasting urbanization, despite similarities in DOC concentrations. Hence, API ZYM technique can be used as an effective indicator of river water and groundwater system health across an urban gradient.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Viruses in aquatic ecosystems: important advancements of the last 20 years and prospects for the future in the field of microbial oceanography and limnology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphan Jacquet

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Over the last two decades, viruses in aquatic systems have been observed to modify, influence and control aquatic systems. Since the determination decades ago that viruses were abundant in aquatic ecosystems, researchers have demonstrated that viruses are pervasive and dynamic across the expanse and depth of all aquatic systems as well as at the water-sediment interface. There have been a wide range of methodological advancements during this time. To date, aquatic viruses have been suggested to play vital roles in global and small-scale biogeochemical cycling, community structure, algal bloom termination, gene transfer, and evolution of aquatic organisms. Even in harsh and difficult to study environments, aquatic and benthic viruses have been demonstrated to be major players in carbon cycling and recycling of nutrients from organic material. Taxonomic and metagenomic research has shown us that there are major globally-distributed groups, but that their genomes are filled with sequence information that has no similarity to sequences in existing bioinformatic databases. And while the field of viral ecology has expanded exponentially since the late 1980s, there is much that we do not yet understand about virusmediated processes in aquatic systems. Important near-term steps include the combination of advanced metagenomic techniques with studies of function and population control, standardization of methodological approaches to facilitate global data acquisition without concern over methods-based artefacts, understanding of viral life strategies and their triggers, and the role of viruses in the transformation of organic matter. The purpose of this manuscript is to bring the reader a review of the recent advances in aquatic viral ecology in light of new areas of research, applications of viral ecology to real-world problems, and refinement of models of viral interactions on a range of scales.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. From genes to ecosystems in microbiology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kreft, Jan Ulrich; Plugge, Caroline M.; Prats, Clara; Leveau, Johan H.J.; Zhang, Weiwen; Hellweger, Ferdi L.

    2017-01-01

    Models are important tools in microbial ecology. They can be used to advance understanding by helping to interpret observations and test hypotheses, and to predict the effects of ecosystem management actions or a different climate. Over the past decades, biological knowledge and ecosystem

  15. 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.

  16. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Michael R.; Atsumi, Shota

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20827393

  17. 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.

  18. Recurrent corneal ulceration in presence of synthetic microfibrils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barsam A

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A Barsam1, N Patel1, H Laganowski2, HD Perry31Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup, Kent, UK; 3Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, Nassau University, Long Island, NY, USAAbstract: Recurrence of microbial keratitis in the presence of protozoal infection is very rare and infrequently reported unless predisposing factors are present. The association of recurrent microbial keratitis and synthetic microfibrils has never previously been reported to our knowledge. This single interventional case study describes the clinical course and treatment of a contact lens wearer who was treated for Acanthamoeba keratitis with superinfection from bacterial organisms in the presence of synthetic microfibrils. The presence of synthetic fibrils on a corneal ulcer base may act as a nidus for pathological organisms and interfere with normal corneal healing. This may result in infection recurrence and the growth of resistant opportunistic organisms.Keywords: Acanthamoeba, microbial keratitis, cornea ulcer, contact lens infection, synthetic microfibrils

  19. Synthetic biology in probiotic lactic acid bacteria: At the frontier of living therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mays, Zachary Js; Nair, Nikhil U

    2018-03-15

    The trillions of microbes hosted by humans can dictate health or illness depending on a multitude of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that help define the human ecosystem. As the human microbiota is characterized, so can the interconnectivity of microbe-host-disease be realized and manipulated. Designing microbes as therapeutic agents can not only enable targeted drug delivery but also restore homeostasis within a perturbed microbial community. Used for centuries in fermentation and preservation of food, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have a long history of safe, and occasionally health promoting, interactions with the human gut, making them ideal candidates for engineered functionality. This review outlines available genetic tools, recent developments in biomedical applications, as well as potential future applications of synthetic biology to program LAB-based therapeutic systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS,

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aquatic ecosystems are a vital part of the urban water cycle (and of urban areas more broadly), and, if healthy, provide a range of goods and services valued by humans (Meyer 1997). For example, aquatic ecosystems (e.g., rivers, lakes, wetlands) provide potable water, food resou...

  1. 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).

  2. Evaluation of microbial diversity of the microbial mat from the extremely acidic Lake Robule (Bor, Serbia)

    OpenAIRE

    Stanković Srđan; Vasiljević Branka; Jeremić Sanja; Cvetković Vladica; Morić Ivana

    2017-01-01

    Extremely acidic environments are frequently formed in areas impacted by mining activities, and Lake Robule is such an ecosystem. Although an extreme environment, Lake Robule is inhabited by acidophilic microorganisms. We investigated biodiversity of the macroscopic structure known as a microbial mat formed on the lake bottom in shallow waters. Microbial mats are common in acidic environments, but their composition can differ significantly from site to site. Microbial diversity of the mat fro...

  3. Biodiversity and species competition regulate the resilience of microbial biofilm community

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Feng, Kai; Zhang, Zhaojing; Cai, Weiwei

    2017-01-01

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability is poorly understood in microbial communities. Biofilm communities in small bioreactors called microbial electrolysis cells (MEC) contain moderate species numbers and easy tractable functional traits, thus providing an ideal platform f...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Microbial pesticides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael L. McManus

    1991-01-01

    Interest in the use of microbial pesticides has intensified because of public concern about the safety of chemical pesticides and their impact in the environment. Characteristics of the five groups of entomopathogens that have potential as microbial pesticides are briefly discussed and an update is provided on research and development activities underway to enhance the...

  7. Universality of human microbial dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashan, Amir; Gibson, Travis E.; Friedman, Jonathan; Carey, Vincent J.; Weiss, Scott T.; Hohmann, Elizabeth L.; Liu, Yang-Yu

    2016-06-01

    Human-associated microbial communities have a crucial role in determining our health and well-being, and this has led to the continuing development of microbiome-based therapies such as faecal microbiota transplantation. These microbial communities are very complex, dynamic and highly personalized ecosystems, exhibiting a high degree of inter-individual variability in both species assemblages and abundance profiles. It is not known whether the underlying ecological dynamics of these communities, which can be parameterized by growth rates, and intra- and inter-species interactions in population dynamics models, are largely host-independent (that is, universal) or host-specific. If the inter-individual variability reflects host-specific dynamics due to differences in host lifestyle, physiology or genetics, then generic microbiome manipulations may have unintended consequences, rendering them ineffective or even detrimental. Alternatively, microbial ecosystems of different subjects may exhibit universal dynamics, with the inter-individual variability mainly originating from differences in the sets of colonizing species. Here we develop a new computational method to characterize human microbial dynamics. By applying this method to cross-sectional data from two large-scale metagenomic studies—the Human Microbiome Project and the Student Microbiome Project—we show that gut and mouth microbiomes display pronounced universal dynamics, whereas communities associated with certain skin sites are probably shaped by differences in the host environment. Notably, the universality of gut microbial dynamics is not observed in subjects with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection but is observed in the same set of subjects after faecal microbiota transplantation. These results fundamentally improve our understanding of the processes that shape human microbial ecosystems, and pave the way to designing general microbiome-based therapies.

  8. Rationally engineered synthetic coculture for improved biomass and product formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suvi Santala

    Full Text Available In microbial ecosystems, bacteria are dependent on dynamic interspecific interactions related to carbon and energy flow. Substrates and end-metabolites are rapidly converted to other compounds, which protects the community from high concentrations of inhibitory molecules. In biotechnological applications, pure cultures are preferred because of the more straight-forward metabolic engineering and bioprocess control. However, the accumulation of unwanted side products can limit the cell growth and process efficiency. In this study, a rationally engineered coculture with a carbon channeling system was constructed using two well-characterized model strains Escherichia coli K12 and Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1. The directed carbon flow resulted in efficient acetate removal, and the coculture showed symbiotic nature in terms of substrate utilization and growth. Recombinant protein production was used as a proof-of-principle example to demonstrate the coculture utility and the effects on product formation. As a result, the biomass and recombinant protein titers of E. coli were enhanced in both minimal and rich medium simple batch cocultures. Finally, harnessing both the strains to the production resulted in enhanced recombinant protein titers. The study demonstrates the potential of rationally engineered cocultures for synthetic biology applications.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Srinivasan Narasimhan; Shanmugam Maheshwaran; Imad A. Abu-Yousef; Amin F. Majdalawieh; Janarthanam Rethavathi; Prince Edwin Das; Palmiro Poltronieri

    2017-01-01

    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 paren...

  10. Programming microbial population dynamics by engineered cell-cell communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Hao; Payne, Stephen; Tan, Cheemeng; You, Lingchong

    2011-07-01

    A major aim of synthetic biology is to program novel cellular behavior using engineered gene circuits. Early endeavors focused on building simple circuits that fulfill simple functions, such as logic gates, bistable toggle switches, and oscillators. These gene circuits have primarily focused on single-cell behaviors since they operate intracellularly. Thus, they are often susceptible to cell-cell variations due to stochastic gene expression. Cell-cell communication offers an efficient strategy to coordinate cellular behavior at the population level. To this end, we review recent advances in engineering cell-cell communication to achieve reliable population dynamics, spanning from communication within single species to multispecies, from one-way sender-receiver communication to two-way communication in synthetic microbial ecosystems. These engineered systems serve as well-defined model systems to better understand design principles of their naturally occurring counterparts and to facilitate novel biotechnology applications. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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

  14. Synthetic antifreeze peptide

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

    A synthetic antifreeze peptide and a synthetic gene coding for the antifreeze peptide have been produced. The antifreeze peptide has a greater number of repeating amino acid sequences than is present in the native antifreeze peptides from winter flounder upon which the synthetic antifreeze peptide was modeled. Each repeating amino acid sequence has two polar amino acid residues which are spaced a controlled distance apart so that the antifreeze peptide may inhibit ice formation. The synthetic...

  15. [SYNTHETIC PEPTIDE VACCINES].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeyev, O V; Barinsky, I F

    2016-01-01

    An update on the development and trials of synthetic peptide vaccines is reviewed. The review considers the successful examples of specific protection as a result of immunization with synthetic peptides using various protocols. The importance of conformation for the immunogenicity of the peptide is pointed out. An alternative strategy of the protection of the organism against the infection using synthetic peptides is suggested.

  16. Anthropogenic perturbations in marine microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogales, Balbina; Lanfranconi, Mariana P; Piña-Villalonga, Juana M; Bosch, Rafael

    2011-03-01

    Human activities impact marine ecosystems at a global scale and all levels of complexity of life. Despite their importance as key players in ecosystem processes, the stress caused to microorganisms has been greatly neglected. This fact is aggravated by difficulties in the analysis of microbial communities and their high diversity, making the definition of patterns difficult. In this review, we discuss the effects of nutrient increase, pollution by organic chemicals and heavy metals and the introduction of antibiotics and pathogens into the environment. Microbial communities respond positively to nutrients and chemical pollution by increasing cell numbers. There are also significant changes in community composition, increases in diversity and high temporal variability. These changes, which evidence the modification of the environmental conditions due to anthropogenic stress, usually alter community functionality, although this aspect has not been explored in depth. Altered microbial communities in human-impacted marine environments can in turn have detrimental effects on human health (i.e. spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance). New threats to marine ecosystems, i.e. related to climate change, could also have an impact on microbial communities. Therefore, an effort dedicated to analyse the microbial compartment in detail should be made when studying the impact of anthropogenic activities on marine ecosystems. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  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. Mangrove microbial diversity and the impact of trophic contamination

    OpenAIRE

    Bouchez, A.; Pascault, N.; Chardon, C.; Bouvy, Marc; Cecchi, Philippe; Lambs, L.; Herteman, M.; Fromard, F.; Got, Patrice; Leboulanger, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    International audience; Mangroves are threatened ecosystems that provide numerous ecosystem services, especially through their wide biodiversity, and their bioremediation capacity is a challenging question in tropical areas. In a mangrove in Mayotte, we studied the potential role of microbial biofilm communities in removing nutrient loads from pre-treated wastewater. Microbial community samples were collected from tree roots, sediments, water, and from a colonization device, and their structu...

  20. Distinct soil microbial diversity under long-term organic and conventional farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Martin; Frey, Beat; Mayer, Jochen; Mäder, Paul; Widmer, Franco

    2015-01-01

    Low-input agricultural systems aim at reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in order to improve sustainable production and ecosystem health. Despite the integral role of the soil microbiome in agricultural production, we still have a limited understanding of the complex response of microbial diversity to organic and conventional farming. Here we report on the structural response of the soil microbiome to more than two decades of different agricultural management in a long-term field experiment using a high-throughput pyrosequencing approach of bacterial and fungal ribosomal markers. Organic farming increased richness, decreased evenness, reduced dispersion and shifted the structure of the soil microbiota when compared with conventionally managed soils under exclusively mineral fertilization. This effect was largely attributed to the use and quality of organic fertilizers, as differences became smaller when conventionally managed soils under an integrated fertilization scheme were examined. The impact of the plant protection regime, characterized by moderate and targeted application of pesticides, was of subordinate importance. Systems not receiving manure harboured a dispersed and functionally versatile community characterized by presumably oligotrophic organisms adapted to nutrient-limited environments. Systems receiving organic fertilizer were characterized by specific microbial guilds known to be involved in degradation of complex organic compounds such as manure and compost. The throughput and resolution of the sequencing approach permitted to detect specific structural shifts at the level of individual microbial taxa that harbours a novel potential for managing the soil environment by means of promoting beneficial and suppressing detrimental organisms. PMID:25350160

  1. Distinct soil microbial diversity under long-term organic and conventional farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Martin; Frey, Beat; Mayer, Jochen; Mäder, Paul; Widmer, Franco

    2015-05-01

    Low-input agricultural systems aim at reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in order to improve sustainable production and ecosystem health. Despite the integral role of the soil microbiome in agricultural production, we still have a limited understanding of the complex response of microbial diversity to organic and conventional farming. Here we report on the structural response of the soil microbiome to more than two decades of different agricultural management in a long-term field experiment using a high-throughput pyrosequencing approach of bacterial and fungal ribosomal markers. Organic farming increased richness, decreased evenness, reduced dispersion and shifted the structure of the soil microbiota when compared with conventionally managed soils under exclusively mineral fertilization. This effect was largely attributed to the use and quality of organic fertilizers, as differences became smaller when conventionally managed soils under an integrated fertilization scheme were examined. The impact of the plant protection regime, characterized by moderate and targeted application of pesticides, was of subordinate importance. Systems not receiving manure harboured a dispersed and functionally versatile community characterized by presumably oligotrophic organisms adapted to nutrient-limited environments. Systems receiving organic fertilizer were characterized by specific microbial guilds known to be involved in degradation of complex organic compounds such as manure and compost. The throughput and resolution of the sequencing approach permitted to detect specific structural shifts at the level of individual microbial taxa that harbours a novel potential for managing the soil environment by means of promoting beneficial and suppressing detrimental organisms.

  2. Potential role of the gut microbiota in synthetic torpor and therapeutic hypothermia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisa, Claudia; Turroni, Silvia; Amici, Roberto; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco; Cerri, Matteo

    2017-01-01

    Therapeutic hypothermia is today used in several clinical settings, among them the gut related diseases that are influenced by ischemia/reperfusion injury. This perspective paved the way to the study of hibernation physiology, in natural hibernators, highlighting an unexpected importance of the gut microbial ecosystem in hibernation and torpor. In natural hibernators, intestinal microbes adaptively reorganize their structural configuration during torpor, and maintain a mutualistic configuration regardless of long periods of fasting and cold temperatures. This allows the gut microbiome to provide the host with metabolites, which are essential to keep the host immunological and metabolic homeostasis during hibernation. The emerging role of the gut microbiota in the hibernation process suggests the importance of maintaining a mutualistic gut microbiota configuration in the application of therapeutic hypothermia as well as in the development of new strategy such as the use of synthetic torpor in humans. The possible utilization of tailored probiotics to mold the gut ecosystem during therapeutic hypothermia can also be taken into consideration as new therapeutic strategy. PMID:28210076

  3. Potential role of the gut microbiota in synthetic torpor and therapeutic hypothermia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sisa, Claudia; Turroni, Silvia; Amici, Roberto; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco; Cerri, Matteo

    2017-01-21

    Therapeutic hypothermia is today used in several clinical settings, among them the gut related diseases that are influenced by ischemia/reperfusion injury. This perspective paved the way to the study of hibernation physiology, in natural hibernators, highlighting an unexpected importance of the gut microbial ecosystem in hibernation and torpor. In natural hibernators, intestinal microbes adaptively reorganize their structural configuration during torpor, and maintain a mutualistic configuration regardless of long periods of fasting and cold temperatures. This allows the gut microbiome to provide the host with metabolites, which are essential to keep the host immunological and metabolic homeostasis during hibernation. The emerging role of the gut microbiota in the hibernation process suggests the importance of maintaining a mutualistic gut microbiota configuration in the application of therapeutic hypothermia as well as in the development of new strategy such as the use of synthetic torpor in humans. The possible utilization of tailored probiotics to mold the gut ecosystem during therapeutic hypothermia can also be taken into consideration as new therapeutic strategy.

  4. [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.

  5. Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... cathinones? Behavioral therapy can be used to treat addiction to synthetic cathinones. Examples include: cognitive-behavioral therapy contingency management, or motivational incentives—providing rewards to ...

  6. ASF Data Used to Monitor Wetland Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the advantages of using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data to map ecosystems and monitor fundamental ecosystem processes are elucidated, natural resource managers are beginning to rely on SAR data as a viable alternative to optical data – which has been more commonly available and better underst...

  7. 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

  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. [Microbial sources of pigments].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañizares-Villanueva, R O; Ríos-Leal, E; Olvera Ramírez, R; Ponce Noyola, T; Márquez Rocha, F

    1998-01-01

    Pigments from natural sources has been obtained since long time ago, and their interest has increased due to the toxicity problems caused by those of synthetic origin. In this way the pigments from microbial sources are a good alternative. Some of more important natural pigments, are the carotenoids, flavonoids (anthocyanins) and some tetrapirroles (chloropyls, phycobilliproteins). Another group less important are the betalains and quinones. The carotenoids are molecules formed by isoprenoids units and the most important used as colorant are the alpha and beta carotene which are precursors of vitamin A, and some xantophylls as astaxanthin. The pigment more used in the industry is the beta-carotene which is obtained from some microalgae and cyanobacteria. The astaxanthin another important carotenoid is a red pigment of great commercial value, and it is used in the pharmaceutical feed and acuaculture industries. This pigments is mainly obtained from Phaffia rhodozyma and Haematococcus pluvialis and other organisms. The phycobilliproteins obtained from cyanobacteria and some group of algae, have recently been increased on the food industries. In the last years it has been used as fluorescent marker in biochemical assays. Our research group have carried out studies about the factors that improve the production of these pigments obtained from different microbial species as well as the methods for their extraction and application.

  10. Microbial bioconversion of pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golovleva, L.A.; Aliyeva, R.M.; Naumova, R.P.; Gvozdyak, P.I. (Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, USSR Academy of Sciences, Moscow (USSR))

    1992-01-01

    Microorganisms totally detoxicate xenobiotics of various chemical structures, which are serious and, in some cases, very hazardous pollutants. At present, the efforts of a number of researchers promoted the establishment in this country of a collection of microorganisms able to degrade volatile toxic pollutants--toluene, isomeric xylenes, styrene, alpha-methylstyrene, crotonaldehyde; widely distributed xenobiotics chlorobenzoic acids; isomeric aryldicarboxylic acids; and ecologically hazardous pollutants such as aromatic nitrocompounds. The active strains-destructors are mainly representatives of the genera Pseudomonas and Rhodococcus. Research into their physiological characteristics, key enzymes, pathways of xenobiotics degradation, genetic mechanisms determining the degradation of these foreign compounds, and behaviour of the strains in a real environment made it possible to develop the theoretical principles of using these microbial cultures to purify real industrial wastes and remediate polluted areas of soil and water. Improvement of the methods of immobilizing the active xenobiotics-degrading strains on cheap and efficient carriers made it possible to significantly intensify the cleanup process of industrial wastes and eliminate a number of problems during the development of the biotechnologies for industrial waste cleanup. Successfully operated at present are the biotechnologies of the local cleanup of waste waters of terephthalate production, microbial purification of industrial waste waters in nylon-66 production from hexamethylenediamine, purification of coke production wastes from phenols, waste waters of polyisocyanate production from aromatic amines, local purification of waste waters in synthetic rubber production from alpha-methylstyrene, acetaldehyde production wastes from crotonaldehyde and mercury. 97 references.

  11. Quantum synthetic aperture radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanzagorta, Marco; Jitrik, Oliverio; Uhlmann, Jeffrey; Venegas-Andraca, Salvador E.

    2017-05-01

    Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) uses sensor motion to generate finer spatial resolution of a given target area. In this paper we explore the theoretical potential of quantum synthetic aperture quantum radar (QSAR). We provide theoretical analysis and simulation results which suggest that QSAR can provide improved detection performance over classical SAR in the high-noise low-brightness regime.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    , 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. Harnessing microbial resources for increased agricultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mo

    Fifty percent of the living biomass on the planet is said to be microbial and microorganisms provide a major source of genetic information to solve many ... breadth of genetic and metabolic diversity on the planet, far greater than that of the ... in all ecosystems, and are responsible for much of the recycling of the elements in.

  17. Alterations in microbial community composition with increasing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crawfurd, K.J.; Alvarez-Fernandez, S.; Mojica, K.D.A.; Riebesell, U.; Brussaard, C.P.D.

    2017-01-01

    Ocean acidification resulting from the uptake ofanthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) by the ocean is considereda major threat to marine ecosystems. Here we examinedthe effects of ocean acidification on microbial communitydynamics in the eastern Baltic Sea during the summerof 2012 when inorganic

  18. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renda, Brian A.; Hammerling, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales. PMID:24556867

  19. Fundamentals of microbial community resistance and resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley eShade

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the heart of all ecosystems, and yet microbial community behavior in disturbed environments remains difficult to measure and predict. Understanding the drivers of microbial community stability, including resistance (insensitivity to disturbance and resilience (the rate of recovery after disturbance is important for predicting community response to disturbance. Here, we provide an overview of the concepts of stability that are relevant for microbial communities. First, we highlight insights from ecology that are useful for defining and measuring stability. To determine whether general disturbance responses exist for microbial communities, we next examine representative studies from the literature that investigated community responses to press (long-term and pulse (short-term disturbances in a variety of habitats. Then we discuss the biological features of individual microorganisms, of microbial populations, and of microbial communities that may govern overall community stability. We conclude with thoughts about the unique insights that systems perspectives - informed by meta-omics data- may provide about microbial community stability.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. Synthetic Base Fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M.; Fotheringham, J. D.; Hoyes, T. J.; Mortier, R. M.; Orszulik, S. T.; Randles, S. J.; Stroud, P. M.

    The chemical nature and technology of the main synthetic lubricant base fluids is described, covering polyalphaolefins, alkylated aromatics, gas-to-liquid (GTL) base fluids, polybutenes, aliphatic diesters, polyolesters, polyalkylene glycols or PAGs and phosphate esters.Other synthetic lubricant base oils such as the silicones, borate esters, perfluoroethers and polyphenylene ethers are considered to have restricted applications due to either high cost or performance limitations and are not considered here.Each of the main synthetic base fluids is described for their chemical and physical properties, manufacture and production, their chemistry, key properties, applications and their implications when used in the environment.

  4. Synthetic Biological Membrane (SBM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The ultimate goal of the Synthetic Biological Membrane project is to develop a new type of membrane that will enable the wastewater treatment system required on...

  5. Evaluation of microbial diversity of the microbial mat from the extremely acidic Lake Robule (Bor, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Srđan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Extremely acidic environments are frequently formed in areas impacted by mining activities, and Lake Robule is such an ecosystem. Although an extreme environment, Lake Robule is inhabited by acidophilic microorganisms. We investigated biodiversity of the macroscopic structure known as a microbial mat formed on the lake bottom in shallow waters. Microbial mats are common in acidic environments, but their composition can differ significantly from site to site. Microbial diversity of the mat from Lake Robule was investigated using both cultivation-dependent and metagenomic approaches. The results showed the mat to be mostly inhabited by heterotrophic acidophilic bacteria. When compared to the microbial community of Lake Robule’s surface water, the microbial mat proved to be a more complex community. A biogeochemical model of the mat of Lake Robule is proposed on the basis of our results and available published data.

  6. 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.

  7. Hybridization with synthetic oligonucleotides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szostak, J.W.; Stiles, J.I.; Tye, B.K.; Sherman, F.; Wu, R.

    1978-01-01

    Procedures are described for the use of synthetic oligonucleotides for Southern blot experiments and gene bank screening, and the effect of various mismatches on the efficiency of hybridization is demonstrated. The following topics are discussed: sensitivity vs. specificity, hybridization of a 12-mer to the lambda endolysin gene; hybridization of oligonucleotide probes to the E. coli lac operator; hybridization of synthetic probes to the CYC1 gene of yeast; and cloning eucaryotic genes. (HLW)

  8. Mammalian Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Martella, Andrea; Pollard, Steven M; Dai, Junbiao; Cai, Yizhi

    2016-01-01

    The enabling technologies of synthetic biology are opening up new opportunities for engineering and enhancement of mammalian cells. This will stimulate diverse applications in many life science sectors such as regenerative medicine, development of biosensing cell lines, therapeutic protein production, and generation of new synthetic genetic regulatory circuits. Harnessing the full potential of these new engineering-based approaches requires the design and assembly of large DNA constructs-pote...

  9. 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

  10. Hypersaline Microbial Mat Lipid Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsegereda; Turk, Kendra A.; Summons, Roger E.

    2002-01-01

    Lipid biomarkers and compound specific isotopic abundances are powerful tools for studies of contemporary microbial ecosystems. Knowledge of the relationship of biomarkers to microbial physiology and community structure creates important links for understanding the nature of early organisms and paleoenvironments. Our recent work has focused on the hypersaline microbial mats in evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, sulfur oxidizing 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. The delta C-13 of cyanobacterial biomarkers such as the monomethylalkanes and hopanoids are consistent with the delta C-13 measured for bulk mat (-10%o), while a GNS biomarker, wax esters (WXE), suggests a more depleted delta C-13 for GNS biomass (-16%o). This isotopic relationship is different than that observed in mats at Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park (YSNP) where GNS appear to grow photoheterotrophic ally. WXE abundance, while relatively low, is most pronounced in an anaerobic zone just below the cyanobacterial layer. The WXE isotope composition at GN suggests that these bacteria utilize photoautotrophy incorporating dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) via the 3-hydroxypropionate pathway using H2S or H2.

  11. The microbial contribution to macroecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barberán, Albert; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    There has been a recent explosion of research within the field of microbial ecology that has been fueled, in part, by methodological improvements that make it feasible to characterize microbial communities to an extent that was inconceivable only a few years ago. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition within the field of ecology that microorganisms play a critical role in the health of organisms and ecosystems. Despite these developments, an important gap still persists between the theoretical framework of macroecology and microbial ecology. We highlight two idiosyncrasies of microorganisms that are fundamental to understanding macroecological patterns and their mechanistic drivers. First, high dispersal rates provide novel opportunities to test the relative importance of niche, stochastic, and historical processes in structuring biological communities. Second, high speciation rates potentially lead to the convergence of ecological and evolutionary time scales. After reviewing these unique aspects, we discuss strategies for improving the conceptual integration of microbes into macroecology. As examples, we discuss the use of phylogenetic ecology as an integrative approach to explore patterns across the tree of life. Then we demonstrate how two general theories of biodiversity (i.e., the recently developed theory of stochastic geometry and the neutral theory) can be adapted to microorganisms. We demonstrate how conceptual models that integrate evolutionary and ecological mechanisms can contribute to the unification of microbial ecology and macroecology. PMID:24829564

  12. Metabolic models to investigate energy limited anaerobic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, J; Premier, G C; Guwy, A J; Dinsdale, R; Kleerebezem, R

    2009-01-01

    Anaerobic wastewater treatment is shifting from a philosophy of solely pollutants removal to a philosophy of combined resource recovery and waste treatment. Simultaneous wastewater treatment with energy recovery in the form of energy rich products, brings renewed interest to non-methanogenic anaerobic bioprocesses such as the anaerobic production of hydrogen, ethanol, solvents, VFAs, bioplastics and even electricity from microbial fuel cells. The existing kinetic-based modelling approaches, widely used in aerobic and methanogenic wastewater treatment processes, do not seem adequate in investigating such energy limited microbial ecosystems. The great diversity of similar microbial species, which share many of the fermentative reaction pathways, makes quantify microbial groups very difficult and causes identifiability problems. A modelling approach based on the consideration of metabolic reaction networks instead of on separated microbial groups is suggested as an alternative to describe anaerobic microbial ecosystems and in particular for the prediction of product formation as a function of environmental conditions imposed. The limited number of existing relevant fermentative pathways in conjunction with the fact that anaerobic reactions proceed very close to thermodynamic equilibrium reduces the complexity of such approach and the degrees of freedom in terms of product formation fluxes. In addition, energy limitation in these anaerobic microbial ecosystems makes plausible that selective forces associated with energy further define the system activity by favouring those conversions/microorganisms which provide the most energy for growth under the conditions imposed.

  13. 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.

  14. Cell-free synthetic biology forin vitroprototype 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).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Synthetic and Natural Lipase Inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Białecka-Florjańczyk, Ewa; Fabiszewska, Agata Urszula; Krzyczkowska, Jolanta; Kuryłowicz, Alina

    2016-06-30

    Lipases are enzymes that catalyse the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides ranging among biocatalysts of considerable physiological significance and industrial potential. Better understanding of the catalytic functions and achieving the possibility to control the biocatalysis process, in particular exploring some activators and inhibitors of lipases, seems to be crucial in the context of novel applications. The lipase activity is a function of interfacial composition: the enzyme can be there activated as well as denaturated or deactivated and the interface is an appropriate site for modulating lipolysis. Lipase inhibitor, interacts directly with the enzyme and inhibits lipase action. Alternatively, some compounds can postpone the lipolytic reaction via adsorption to the interphase or to the substrate molecules. The aim of this review is to summarise the current knowledge concerning human, animal and microbial lipase inhibitors, which were grouped into two categories: synthetic lipase inhibitors (including phosphonates, boronic acids and fats analogues) and natural compounds (including β-lactones and some botanical foodstuffs - plant extracts and plant metabolites, mainly polyphenols and saponins as well as peptides and some dietary fibers). The topics discussed include also inhibition issues from the viewpoint of obesity treatment. Among natural compounds able to inhibit lipase activity are β-lactones including orlistat. Orlistat is the only registered drug for obesity treatment in many countries, especially pancreatic lipase which is responsible for the hydrolysis of over 80% of total dietary fats. Its effectiveness in obesity treatment was also described.

  18. Engineering microbial consortia to enhance biomining and bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brune, Karl D; Bayer, Travis S

    2012-01-01

    In natural environments microorganisms commonly exist as communities of multiple species that are capable of performing more varied and complicated tasks than clonal populations. Synthetic biologists have engineered clonal populations with characteristics such as differentiation, memory, and pattern formation, which are usually associated with more complex multicellular organisms. The prospect of designing microbial communities has alluring possibilities for environmental, biomedical, and energy applications, and is likely to reveal insight into how natural microbial consortia function. Cell signaling and communication pathways between different species are likely to be key processes for designing novel functions in synthetic and natural consortia. Recent efforts to engineer synthetic microbial interactions will be reviewed here, with particular emphasis given to research with significance for industrial applications in the field of biomining and bioremediation of acid mine drainage.

  19. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aimee T. Classen; Steven T. Overby; Stephen C. Hart; George W. Koch; Thomas G. Whitham

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality of an ecosystem or indirectly by shifting the composition of microbial communities that mediate nutrient processes. We examined the effects of tree susceptibility and resistance to herbivory on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Microbial ecological associations in the surface sediments of Bohai strait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Liu, Hongmei; Tang, Haitian; Hu, Xiaoke

    2017-09-01

    Microbial communities play key roles in the marine ecosystem. Despite a few studies on marine microbial communities in deep straits, ecological associations among microbial communities in the sediments of shallow straits have not been fully investigated. The Bohai Strait in northern China (average depth less than 20 m) separates the Bohai Sea from the Yellow Sea and has organic-rich sediments. In this study, in the summer of 2014, six stations across the strait were selected to explore the taxonomic composition of microbial communities and their ecological associations. The four most abundant classes were Gammaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Bacilli and Flavobacteriia. Temperature, total carbon, depth, nitrate, fishery breeding and cold water masses influenced the microbial communities, as suggested by representational difference and composition analyses. Network analysis of microbial associations revealed that key families included Flavobacteriaceae, Pirellulaceae and Piscirickettsiaceae. Our findings suggest that the families with high phylogenetic diversity are key populations in the microbial association network that ensure the stability of microbial ecosystems. Our study contributes to a better understanding of microbial ecology in complex hydrological environments.

  4. Scaling microbial physiology in global models (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, W. R.; Bonan, G. B.; Hinckley, E. S.; Allison, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    A growing chorus from the biogeochemistry, soil science, and ecosystem modeling communities calls for model structures that provide direct microbial control over soil C dynamics. Thus, we describe a new model that explicitly represents microbial physiology in its representation of soil C cycling on the global scale. Presently, the model is parameterized based on measurements of microbial enzyme kinetics, but we must make assumptions about other aspects of microbial physiology (e.g., microbial growth efficiency and microbial turnover rates). We demonstrate that, compared to traditional soil biogeochemistry modeling approaches, the microbial explicit model can simulate global soil C pools that more closely match contemporary observations (based on the Harmonized World Soils Database), but generate wildly divergent results in response to environmental perturbations. The discrepancy between projections in non-steady state simulations highlight the modeling processes, parameters, and structures that deserve greater attention from both empirical and modeling communities and provide avenues to begin exploring soil biogeochemical theory across spatial and temporal scales.

  5. 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.

  6. Metabolic theory predicts whole-ecosystem properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schramski, John R; Dell, Anthony I; Grady, John M; Sibly, Richard M; Brown, James H

    2015-02-24

    Understanding the effects of individual organisms on material cycles and energy fluxes within ecosystems is central to predicting the impacts of human-caused changes on climate, land use, and biodiversity. Here we present a theory that integrates metabolic (organism-based bottom-up) and systems (ecosystem-based top-down) approaches to characterize how the metabolism of individuals affects the flows and stores of materials and energy in ecosystems. The theory predicts how the average residence time of carbon molecules, total system throughflow (TST), and amount of recycling vary with the body size and temperature of the organisms and with trophic organization. We evaluate the theory by comparing theoretical predictions with outputs of numerical models designed to simulate diverse ecosystem types and with empirical data for real ecosystems. Although residence times within different ecosystems vary by orders of magnitude-from weeks in warm pelagic oceans with minute phytoplankton producers to centuries in cold forests with large tree producers-as predicted, all ecosystems fall along a single line: residence time increases linearly with slope = 1.0 with the ratio of whole-ecosystem biomass to primary productivity (B/P). TST was affected predominantly by primary productivity and recycling by the transfer of energy from microbial decomposers to animal consumers. The theory provides a robust basis for estimating the flux and storage of energy, carbon, and other materials in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems and for quantifying the roles of different kinds of organisms and environments at scales from local ecosystems to the biosphere.

  7. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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...

  9. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-08-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams.

  10. Recent food applications of microbial surfactants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitschke, Marcia; Silva, Sumária Sousa E

    2016-07-20

    Owing to their natural origin and environmental compatibility, interest in microbial surfactants or biosurfactants has gained attention during last few years. These characteristics fulfill the demand of regulatory agencies and society to use more sustained and green chemicals. Microbial-derived surfactants can replace synthetic surfactants in a great variety of industrial applications as detergents, foaming, emulsifiers, solubilizers, and wetting agents. Change in the trend of consumers toward natural from synthetic additives and the increasing health and environmental concerns have created demand for new "green" additives in foods. Apart from their inherent surface-active properties, biosurfactants have shown antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities against food pathogens; therefore, biosurfactants can be versatile additives or ingredients of food processing. These interesting applications will be discussed in this review.

  11. Synthetic guide star generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payne, Stephen A [Castro Valley, CA; Page, Ralph H [Castro Valley, CA; Ebbers, Christopher A [Livermore, CA; Beach, Raymond J [Livermore, CA

    2008-06-10

    A system for assisting in observing a celestial object and providing synthetic guide star generation. A lasing system provides radiation at a frequency at or near 938 nm and radiation at a frequency at or near 1583 nm. The lasing system includes a fiber laser operating between 880 nm and 960 nm and a fiber laser operating between 1524 nm and 1650 nm. A frequency-conversion system mixes the radiation and generates light at a frequency at or near 589 nm. A system directs the light at a frequency at or near 589 nm toward the celestial object and provides synthetic guide star generation.

  12. 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 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...

  13. Controlling fluxes for microbial metabolic engineering

    OpenAIRE

    Sachdeva, Gairik

    2014-01-01

    This thesis presents novel synthetic biology tools and design principles usable for microbial metabolic engineering. Controlling metabolic fluxes is essential for biological manufacturing of fuels, materials, and high value chemicals. Insulating the flow of metabolites is a successful natural strategy for metabolic flux regulation. Recently, approaches using scaffolds, both in vitro and in vivo, to spatially co-localize enzymes have reported significant gains in product yields. RNA is suitabl...

  14. Biodiversity, community structure and function of biofilms in stream ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besemer, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Multi-species, surface-attached biofilms often dominate microbial life in streams and rivers, where they contribute substantially to biogeochemical processes. The microbial diversity of natural biofilms is huge, and may have important implications for the functioning of aquatic environments and the ecosystem services they provide. Yet the causes and consequences of biofilm biodiversity remain insufficiently understood. This review aims to give an overview of current knowledge on the distribution of stream biofilm biodiversity, the mechanisms generating biodiversity patterns and the relationship between biofilm biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  15. 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.

  16. What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... market and are intended to produce the same effects as illegal drugs. Some of these substances may have been around for years but have reentered the market in altered chemical forms, or due to renewed popularity. False Advertising Synthetic cannabinoid products are often labeled "not for ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Synthetic growth reference charts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermanussen, Michael; Stec, Karol; Aßmann, Christian; Meigen, Christof; Van Buuren, Stef

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To reanalyze the between-population variance in height, weight, and body mass index (BMI), and to provide a globally applicable technique for generating synthetic growth reference charts. Methods: Using a baseline set of 196 female and 197 male growth studies published since 1831, common

  20. A formidable synthetic challenge

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Isolation and characterization of maoecrystal V, a C19 terpenoid, having potent and selective cytotoxicity towards HeLa cells was recently reported. Unusually complex pentacyclic molecular structure, presence of spirofused rings and several stereogenic centres posed a great synthetic challenge. In this short review, efforts ...

  1. Synthetic antiferromagnetic spintronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duine, R. A.; Lee, Kyung-Jin; Parkin, Stuart S. P.; Stiles, M. D.

    2018-03-01

    Spintronic and nanomagnetic devices often derive their functionality from layers of different materials and the interfaces between them. We discuss the opportunities that arise from synthetic antiferromagnets consisting of two or more ferromagnetic layers that are separated by metallic spacers or tunnel barriers and have antiparallel magnetizations.

  2. 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

  3. Synthetic Plant Defense Elicitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasemin eBektas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available To defend themselves against invading pathogens plants utilize a complex regulatory network that coordinates extensive transcriptional and metabolic reprogramming. Although many of the key players of this immunity-associated network are known, the details of its topology and dynamics are still poorly understood. As an alternative to forward and reverse genetic studies, chemical genetics-related approaches based on bioactive small molecules have gained substantial popularity in the analysis of biological pathways and networks. Use of such molecular probes can allow researchers to access biological space that was previously inaccessible to genetic analyses due to gene redundancy or lethality of mutations. Synthetic elicitors are small drug like molecules that induce plant defense responses, but are distinct from known natural elicitors of plant immunity. While the discovery of the some synthetic elicitors had already been reported in the 1970s, recent breakthroughs in combinatorial chemical synthesis now allow for inexpensive high-throughput screens for bioactive plant defense-inducing compounds. Along with powerful reverse genetics tools and resources available for model plants and crop systems, comprehensive collections of new synthetic elicitors will likely allow plant scientists to study the intricacies of plant defense signaling pathways and networks in an unparalleled fashion. As synthetic elicitors can protect crops from diseases, without the need to be directly toxic for pathogenic organisms, they may also serve as promising alternatives to conventional biocidal pesticides, which often are harmful for the environment, farmers and consumers. Here we are discussing various types of synthetic elicitors that have been used for studies on the plant immune system, their modes-of-action as well as their application in crop protection.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required...... 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...

  5. Synthetic antifreeze peptide and synthetic gene coding for its production

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

    A synthetic antifreeze peptide and a synthetic gene coding for the antifreeze peptide have been produced. The antifreeze peptide has a greater number of repeating amino acid sequences than is present in the native antifreeze peptides from winter flounder upon which the synthetic antifreeze peptide was modeled. Each repeating amino acid sequence has two polar amino acid residues which are spaced a controlled distance apart so that the antifreeze peptide may inhibit ice formation. The synthetic...

  6. Recent advances in synthetic lipopeptides as anti-microbial agents: designs and synthetic approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Jun-Jie; Lin, Shuimu; Beuerman, Roger W; Liu, Shouping

    2017-10-01

    Infectious diseases impose serious public health burdens and continue to be a global public health crisis. The treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens is challenging because only a few viable therapeutic options are clinically available. The emergence and risk of drug-resistant superbugs and the dearth of new classes of antibiotics have drawn increasing awareness that we may return to the pre-antibiotic era. To date, lipopeptides have been received considerable attention because of the following properties: They exhibit potent antimicrobial activities against a broad spectrum of pathogens, rapid bactericidal activity and have a different antimicrobial action compared with most of the conventional antibiotics used today and very slow development of drug resistance tendency. In general, lipopeptides can be structurally classified into two parts: a hydrophilic peptide moiety and a hydrophobic fatty acyl chain. To date, a significant amount of design and synthesis of lipopeptides have been done to improve the therapeutic potential of lipopeptides. This review will present the current knowledge and the recent research in design and synthesis of new lipopeptides and their derivatives in the last 5 years.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syed Adnan Ali Shah

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. 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

  9. BSocial: Deciphering Social Behaviors within Mixed Microbial Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purswani, Jessica; Romero-Zaliz, Rocío C; Martín-Platero, Antonio M; Guisado, Isabel M; González-López, Jesús; Pozo, Clementina

    2017-01-01

    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 ( BSocial http://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 mixed

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. 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...... 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......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...

  13. Standardization in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Kristian M; Arndt, Katja M

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is founded on the idea that complex biological systems are built most effectively when the task is divided in abstracted layers and all required components are readily available and well-described. This requires interdisciplinary collaboration at several levels and a common understanding of the functioning of each component. Standardization of the physical composition and the description of each part is required as well as a controlled vocabulary to aid design and ensure interoperability. Here, we describe standardization initiatives from several disciplines, which can contribute to Synthetic Biology. We provide examples of the concerted standardization efforts of the BioBricks Foundation comprising the request for comments (RFC) and the Registry of Standardized Biological parts as well as the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

  14. Microbial communities inhabiting hypersaline microbial mats from the Abu Dhabi sabkha

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Luiza; Dutton, Kirsten; Paul, Andreas; van der Land, Cees; Sherry, Angela; Lokier, Stephen; Head, Ian

    2017-04-01

    Microbial mats are organo-sedimentary structures that are typically found in areas with extreme environmental conditions. Since these ecosystems are considered to be representative of the oldest forms of life on Earth, the study of microbial mats can inform our understanding of the development of life early in the history of our planet. In this study, we used hypersaline microbial mats from the Abu Dhabi sabkha (coastal salt flats). Cores of microbial mats (ca. 90 mm depth) were collected within an intertidal region. The cores were sliced into layers 2-3 mm thick and genomic DNA was extracted from each layer. A fragment of the 16S rRNA encoding gene was amplified in all DNA extracts, using barcoded primers, and the amplicons sequenced with the Ion Torrent platform to investigate the composition of the microbial communities down the depth of the cores. Preliminary results revealed a high proportion of Archaea (15.5-40.8% abundance) in all layers, with Halobacteria appearing to be more significant in the first 40 mm (0.4-10.3% of the total microbial community). Members of the Deltaproteobacteria were dominant in almost all layers of the microbial mat (≤ 48.6% relative abundance); however this dominance was not reflected in the first 8 mm, where the abundance was less than 2%. Chloroflexi and Anaerolinea, representing 93% of bacterial abundance, dominated the first 8 mm depth and decreased at greater depth (≤ 3% relative abundance). Cyanobacteria were found only in the top 10 mm, with unexpected low abundance (≤ 3% of the total number of reads). These results show a vertical zonation of microbial communities and processes in the microbial mats. Further analyses are underway to investigate if these patterns are repeated at other sites along a transect of the sabkha, and to relate the microbial composition to the physical-chemical conditions of the sites.

  15. 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

  16. Microbial Observatory (ISS-MO): Microbial diversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The environmental microbiome study was designed to decipher microbial diversity of the International Space Station surfaces in terms of spatial and temporal...

  17. Optical synthetic aperture radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilovitsh, Asaf; Zach, Shlomo; Zalevsky, Zeev

    2013-06-01

    A method is proposed for increasing the resolution of an object and overcoming the diffraction limit of an optical system installed on top of a moving imaging system, such as an airborne platform or satellite. The resolution improvement is obtained via a two-step process. First, three low resolution differently defocused images are captured and the optical phase is retrieved using an improved iterative Gershberg-Saxton based algorithm. The phase retrieval allows numerical back propagation of the field to the aperture plane. Second, the imaging system is shifted and the first step is repeated. The obtained optical fields at the aperture plane are combined and a synthetically increased lens aperture is generated along the direction of movement, yielding higher imaging resolution. The method resembles a well-known approach from the microwave regime called the synthetic aperture radar in which the antenna size is synthetically increased along the platform propagation direction. The proposed method is demonstrated via Matlab simulation as well as through laboratory experiment.

  18. A macroecological theory of microbial biodiversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, William R; Locey, Kenneth J; Lennon, Jay T

    2017-04-03

    Microorganisms are the most abundant, diverse and functionally important organisms on Earth. Over the past decade, microbial ecologists have produced the largest ever community datasets. However, these data are rarely used to uncover law-like patterns of commonness and rarity, test theories of biodiversity, or explore unifying explanations for the structure of microbial communities. Using a global scale compilation of >20,000 samples from environmental, engineered and host-related ecosystems, we test the power of competing theories to predict distributions of microbial abundance and diversity-abundance scaling laws. We show that these patterns are best explained by the synergistic interaction of stochastic processes that are captured by lognormal dynamics. We demonstrate that lognormal dynamics have predictive power across scales of abundance, a criterion that is essential to biodiversity theory. By understanding the multiplicative and stochastic nature of ecological processes, scientists can better understand the structure and dynamics of Earth's largest and most diverse ecological systems.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Opportunities for synthetic biology in antibiotics: expanding glycopeptide chemical diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaker, Maulik N; Wright, Gerard D

    2015-03-20

    Synthetic biology offers a new path for the exploitation and improvement of natural products to address the growing crisis in antibiotic resistance. All antibiotics in clinical use are facing eventual obsolesce as a result of the evolution and dissemination of resistance mechanisms, yet there are few new drug leads forthcoming from the pharmaceutical sector. Natural products of microbial origin have proven over the past 70 years to be the wellspring of antimicrobial drugs. Harnessing synthetic biology thinking and strategies can provide new molecules and expand chemical diversity of known antibiotic scaffolds to provide much needed new drug leads. The glycopeptide antibiotics offer paradigmatic scaffolds suitable for such an approach. We review these strategies here using the glycopeptides as an example and demonstrate how synthetic biology can expand antibiotic chemical diversity to help address the growing resistance crisis.

  3. Stromatolites, Metals, Statistics and Microbial Mats: A Complex Interplay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spear, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Initially thought to be relatively 'simple' ecosystems for study, microbial mats have long been considered ideal for any number of research questions. Microbial mats can be found in any number of environments, both natural and manmade, and are typically dependent upon the physiochemical environment for their structure, maintenance and longevity. Ultimately, these and other parameters govern community whereby a microbial mat provides overall ecosystem services to their environment. On the edge of a hotspring in Yellowstone National Park we have found an active microbial mat community that can form a laminated, lithified, accretionary structure that is likely the best example of a living and growing stromatolite. In the outfall channel of the sulfidic Stinking Spring, Utah, we have found examples of both naturally occurring laminated and floating mats where the carbon flux is controlled by abiotic degassing of CO2 rather than metabolism. δ13C-bicarbonate uptake experiments reveal an autotrophic growth rate of 0 - 0.16%/day while δ13C-acetate reveals a higher heterotrophic growth rate of 0.03 - 0.65%/day, which highlights the role of heterotrophs in these mats. Similar growth experiments on Little Hot Creek, California laminated microbial mats reveal a trend for top-down microbial growth with similar microbial taxonomy and diversity to other mat-types. Of a curious note is that incubation experiments with Little Hot Creek mats reveals the importance of particular metals in mat structure and function. Statistically, alpha- and beta-diversity metrics are often used to characterize microbial communities in such systems, but from an analysis of a wastewater treatment system, Hill diversities can better interpret the effective number of species to produce an ecologically intuitive quantity to better understand a microbial mat ecosystem.

  4. 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...

  5. Synthetic cannabis and respiratory depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinwala, Felecia N; Gupta, Mayank

    2012-12-01

    In recent years, synthetic cannabis use has been increasing in appeal among adolescents, and its use is now at a 30 year peak among high school seniors. The constituents of synthetic cannabis are difficult to monitor, given the drug's easy accessibility. Currently, 40 U.S. states have banned the distribution and use of some known synthetic cannabinoids, and have included these drugs in the Schedule I category. The depressive respiratory effect in humans caused by synthetic cannabis inhalation has not been thoroughly investigated in the medical literature. We are the first to report, to our knowledge, two cases of self-reported synthetic cannabis use leading to respiratory depression and necessary intubation.

  6. 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.

  7. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-01-01

    High-throughput, ‘next-generation’ sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems. PMID:26773388

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. SERDP Ecosystem Management Project (SEMP): 2005 Annual Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    nutrient recycling. Soil compaction has many negative impacts on ecosystem processes including: reduced seed germination and root growth, retarded...reduced seed germination and root growth, retarded aera- tion and water infiltration, increased runoff and erosion, decreased microbial activity and...Fort Benning, Georgia, contains active infantry training grounds and more than 65,000 ha of soils capable of supporting longleaf pine ( Pinus

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Synthetic cannabinoids revealing adrenoleukodystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellner, Avi; Benninger, Felix; Djaldetti, Ruth

    2016-02-01

    We report a 41-year-old man who presented with a first generalized tonic-clonic seizure after recent consumption of a synthetic cannabinoid. MRI showed extensive bilateral, mainly frontal, white matter lesions. Blood analysis for very long chain fatty acids was compatible with adrenoleukodystrophy, and a missense mutation in the ABCD1 gene confirmed the diagnosis. We hypothesize that cannabinoid use might have contributed to metabolic decompensation with subacute worsening of the underlying condition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. CASH vs. SYNTHETIC CDOs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silviu Eduard Dinca

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available During the past few years, in the recent post-crisis aftermath, global asset managers are constantly searching new ways to optimize their investment portfolios while financial and banking institutions around the world are exploring new alternatives to better secure their financing and refinancing demands altogether with the enhancement of their risk management capabilities. We will exhibit herewith a comparison between the true-sale and synthetic CDO securitizations as financial markets-based funding, investment and risks mitigation techniques, highlighting certain key structuring and implementation specifics on each of them.

  1. Microfluidics and microbial engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kou, Songzi; Cheng, Danhui; Sun, Fei; Hsing, I-Ming

    2016-02-07

    The combination of microbial engineering and microfluidics is synergistic in nature. For example, microfluidics is benefiting from the outcome of microbial engineering and many reported point-of-care microfluidic devices employ engineered microbes as functional parts for the microsystems. In addition, microbial engineering is facilitated by various microfluidic techniques, due to their inherent strength in high-throughput screening and miniaturization. In this review article, we firstly examine the applications of engineered microbes for toxicity detection, biosensing, and motion generation in microfluidic platforms. Secondly, we look into how microfluidic technologies facilitate the upstream and downstream processes of microbial engineering, including DNA recombination, transformation, target microbe selection, mutant characterization, and microbial function analysis. Thirdly, we highlight an emerging concept in microbial engineering, namely, microbial consortium engineering, where the behavior of a multicultural microbial community rather than that of a single cell/species is delineated. Integrating the disciplines of microfluidics and microbial engineering opens up many new opportunities, for example in diagnostics, engineering of microbial motors, development of portable devices for genetics, high throughput characterization of genetic mutants, isolation and identification of rare/unculturable microbial species, single-cell analysis with high spatio-temporal resolution, and exploration of natural microbial communities.

  2. 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.)

  3. 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....

  4. Microbial mats, stromatolites and the rise of oxygen in the Precambrian atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D J

    1991-01-01

    Microbial mats are stratified communities that develop within the environmental microgradients established at the interfaces of water and solid substrates (Cohen, 1989). Stromatolites, the lithified remains of layered accumulations of microbial mats, occur in rocks as old as 3.5 Ga (Lowe, 1980; Walter et al., 1980). These lithified microbial communities represent the most ancient, widespread ecosystems known, and it is useful to explore their role in the accumulation of free oxygen in the ancient atmosphere.

  5. Soil Microbial Community Structure Evolution along Halophyte Succession in Bohai Bay Wetland

    OpenAIRE

    Cong, Mingyang; Cao, Di; Sun, Jingkuan; Shi, Fuchen

    2014-01-01

    It is urgent to recover Bohai Bay costal wetland ecosystem because of covering a large area of severe saline-alkali soil. To explore the relationship between halophyte herbaceous succession and microbial community structure, we chose four local communities which played an important role in improving soil microenvironment. We performed phospholipid fatty acid analysis, measured soil parameters, and evaluated shifts of microbial community structure. Results showed that microbial community struc...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Synthetic collective intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Ricard; Amor, Daniel R; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Conde-Pueyo, Núria; Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Montañez, Raúl

    2016-10-01

    Intelligent systems have emerged in our biosphere in different contexts and achieving different levels of complexity. The requirement of communication in a social context has been in all cases a determinant. The human brain, probably co-evolving with language, is an exceedingly successful example. Similarly, social insects complex collective decisions emerge from information exchanges between many agents. The difference is that such processing is obtained out of a limited individual cognitive power. Computational models and embodied versions using non-living systems, particularly involving robot swarms, have been used to explore the potentiality of collective intelligence. Here we suggest a novel approach to the problem grounded in the genetic engineering of unicellular systems, which can be modified in order to interact, store memories or adapt to external stimuli in collective ways. What we label as Synthetic Swarm Intelligence defines a parallel approach to the evolution of computation and swarm intelligence and allows to explore potential embodied scenarios for decision making at the microscale. Here, we consider several relevant examples of collective intelligence and their synthetic organism counterparts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling in arid ecosystems experiencing multiple environmental changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavao-Zuckerman, M. A.; Cable, J. M.; Huxman, T. E.; Scott, R. L.; Williams, D. G.

    2005-12-01

    Despite the importance of soil carbon cycling to the response of water-limited ecosystems to global change, our understanding of this ecosystem component is still in its infancy. Adding to the complexity in knowledge building, ecosystems are exposed to simultaneous multiple shifts within global change scenarios. For example, semiarid grasslands in southern Arizona are currently undergoing encroachment by woody plants at the same time that climate change models predict increases in frequency and magnitude of precipitation inputs over the next 50 years. We are investigating how heterogeneity of plant cover mediates the response of soil community structure and ecosystem C cycling to seasonal monsoon rain inputs. Field plots were established in a mesquite shrubland in the San Pedro River Basin, AZ that are dominated by either: Sporobulus wrightii, medium sized Prosopis velutina, or large Prosopis velutina, additional plots were located in intercanopy areas. Both increased quantity and quality of litter inputs to the soil component, and physical influences of the shrubs on ecosystem water and energy budgets affects plots influenced by the development of Prosopis. Plant species influenced the response of soil microbial biomass to precipitation pulses. Plant cover also influenced the dynamics of soil nematodes. Magnitude of precipitation inputs and plant cover interact to affect the abundance of trophic group abundances and food web structure. These results will be discussed vis-à-vis the importance of soil organisms for driving ecosystem dynamics, and the appropriateness of dominant paradigms in arid land ecology (notably the pulse-reserve paradigm) for understanding soil components of arid ecosystems. Shifts in soil flora and fauna have important implications for ecosystem C-cycling via alterations of trophic dynamics, and the contribution of heterotrophic respiration to C efflux from ecosystems.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Exploring the potential of metallic nanoparticles within synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmundson, Matthew C; Capeness, Michael; Horsfall, Louise

    2014-12-25

    The fields of metallic nanoparticle study and synthetic biology have a great deal to offer one another. Metallic nanoparticles as a class of material have many useful properties. Their small size allows for more points of contact than would be the case with a similar bulk compound, making nanoparticles excellent candidates for catalysts or for when increased levels of binding are required. Some nanoparticles have unique optical qualities, making them well suited as sensors, while others display para-magnetism, useful in medical imaging, especially by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Many of these metallic nanoparticles could be used in creating tools for synthetic biology, and conversely the use of synthetic biology could itself be utilised to create nanoparticle tools. Examples given here include the potential use of quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles as sensing mechanisms in synthetic biology, and the use of synthetic biology to create nanoparticle-sensing devices based on current methods of detecting metals and metalloids such as arsenate. There are a number of organisms which are able to produce a range of metallic nanoparticles naturally, such as species of the fungus Phoma which produces anti-microbial silver nanoparticles. The biological synthesis of nanoparticles may have many advantages over their more traditional industrial synthesis. If the proteins involved in biological nanoparticle synthesis can be put into a suitable bacterial chassis then they might be manipulated and the pathways engineered in order to produce more valuable nanoparticles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Seasonality of fibrolytic enzyme activity in herbivore microbial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fibre (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature and is hydrolysed by gut micro-organisms of herbivores because they can produce a set of extracellular enzymes. This study examined seasonal changes in the fibrolytic enzyme activity of microbial ecosystems of five herbivores ...

  17. 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)

  18. Impacts of chemical gradients on microbial community structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, J.; Hanke, A.; Tegetmeyer, H.E.; Kattelmann, I.; Sharma, R.; Hamann, E.; Hargesheimer, T.; Kraft, B.; Lenk, S.; Geelhoed, J.S.; Hettich, R.L.; Strous, M.

    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

  19. 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 ...

  20. Principal methods for isolation and identification of soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanis, Christos; Alexopoulos, Athanasios; Voidarou, Chrissa; Vavias, Stavros; Bezirtzoglou, Eugenia

    2013-01-01

    Soil microbial populations play crucial role in soil properties and influence below-ground ecosystem processes. Microbial composition and functioning changes the soil quality through decomposition of organic matter, recycling of nutrients, and biological control of parasites of plants. Moreover, the discovery that soil microbes may translate into benefits for biotechnology, management of agricultural, forest, and natural ecosystems, biodegradation of pollutants, and waste treatment systems maximized the need of scientists for the isolation and their characterization. Operations such as the production of antibiotics and enzymic activities from microorganisms of soil constitute objectives of industry in her effort to cope with the increase of population of earth and disturbance of environment and may ameliorate the effects of global climate change. In the past decades, new biochemical and molecular techniques have been developed in our effort to identify and classify soil bacteria. The goal of measuring the soil microbial diversity is difficult because of the limited knowledge about bacteria species and classification through families and orders. Molecular techniques extend our knowledge about microbial diversity and help the taxonomy of species. Measuring and monitoring soil microbial communities can lead us to better understanding of their composition and function in many ecosystem processes.

  1. Coupling spatiotemporal community assembly processes to changes in microbial metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Community assembly processes generate shifts in species abundances that influence ecosystem cycling of carbon and nutrients, yet our understanding of assembly remains largely separate from ecosystem-level functioning. Here, we investigate relationships between assembly and changes in microbial metabolism across space and time in hyporheic microbial communities. We pair sampling of two habitat types (i.e., attached and planktonic through seasonal and sub-hourly hydrologic fluctuation with null modeling and temporally-explicit multivariate statistics. We demonstrate that multiple selective pressures—imposed by sediment and porewater physicochemistry—integrate to generate changes in microbial community composition at distinct timescales among habitat types. These changes in composition are reflective of contrasting associations of Betaproteobacteria and Thaumarchaeota with ecological selection and with seasonal changes in microbial metabolism. We present a conceptual model based on our results in which metabolism increases when oscillating selective pressures oppose temporally-stable selective pressures. Our conceptual model is pertinent to both macrobial and microbial systems experiencing multiple selective pressures and presents an avenue for assimilating community assembly processes into predictions of ecosystem-level functioning.

  2. Dormancy contributes to the maintenance of microbial diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stuart E.; Lennon, Jay T.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20231463

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Synthetic Aperture Compound Imaging

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jens Munk

    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......, it is demonstrated through theoretical considerations that the compound effect achieved is close to a theoretical maximum for the amount of compounding attainable and using a -pitch convex array transducer, the first in-vivo images are created. The computational demands for an implementation are massive...... 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...

  8. 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,...

  9. Synthetic antibiofilm peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente-Núñez, César; Cardoso, Marlon Henrique; de Souza Cândido, Elizabete; Franco, Octavio Luiz; Hancock, Robert E W

    2016-05-01

    Bacteria predominantly exist as multicellular aggregates known as biofilms that are associated with at least two thirds of all infections and exhibit increased adaptive resistance to conventional antibiotic therapies. Therefore, biofilms are major contributors to the global health problem of antibiotic resistance, and novel approaches to counter them are urgently needed. Small molecules of the innate immune system called host defense peptides (HDPs) have emerged as promising templates for the design of potent, broad-spectrum antibiofilm agents. Here, we review recent developments in the new field of synthetic antibiofilm peptides, including mechanistic insights, synergistic interactions with available antibiotics, and their potential as novel antimicrobials against persistent infections caused by biofilms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antimicrobial peptides edited by Karl Lohner and Kai Hilpert. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Seasonal dynamics of microbial community composition and function in oak canopy and open grassland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldrop, M.P.; Firestone, M.K.

    2006-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are closely associated with aboveground plant communities, with multiple potential drivers of this relationship. Plants can affect available soil carbon, temperature, and water content, which each have the potential to affect microbial community composition and function. These same variables change seasonally, and thus plant control on microbial community composition may be modulated or overshadowed by annual climatic patterns. We examined microbial community composition, C cycling processes, and environmental data in California annual grassland soils from beneath oak canopies and in open grassland areas to distinguish factors controlling microbial community composition and function seasonally and in association with the two plant overstory communities. Every 3 months for up to 2 years, we monitored microbial community composition using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis, microbial biomass, respiration rates, microbial enzyme activities, and the activity of microbial groups using isotope labeling of PLFA biomarkers (13C-PLFA) . Distinct microbial communities were associated with oak canopy soils and open grassland soils and microbial communities displayed seasonal patterns from year to year. The effects of plant species and seasonal climate on microbial community composition were similar in magnitude. In this Mediterranean ecosystem, plant control of microbial community composition was primarily due to effects on soil water content, whereas the changes in microbial community composition seasonally appeared to be due, in large part, to soil temperature. Available soil carbon was not a significant control on microbial community composition. Microbial community composition (PLFA) and 13C-PLFA ordination values were strongly related to intra-annual variability in soil enzyme activities and soil respiration, but microbial biomass was not. In this Mediterranean climate, soil microclimate appeared to be the master variable controlling

  11. 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.

  12. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woods, John S.; Damiani, Mattia; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    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......—should be framed to facilitate their final expression in a single, aggregated metric. This would also improve comparability with other LCIA damage-level indicators. Furthermore, to allow for a broader inclusion of ecosystem quality perspectives, the development of an additional indicator related to ecosystem...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

    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 mechanistic links between microbial responses to N deposition and shifts in soil organic matter (SOM) quality and quantity. We used phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and microbial enzyme assays in soils to assess microbial community responses to long-term N additions in two distinct tropical rain forests. We used soil density fractionation and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to measure related changes in SOM pool sizes and chemical quality. Microbial biomass increased in response to N fertilization in both tropical forests and corresponded to declines in pools of low-density SOM. The chemical quality of this soil C pool reflected ecosystem-specific changes in microbial community composition. In the lower-elevation forest, there was an increase in gram-negative bacteria PLFA biomass, and there were significant losses of labile C chemical groups (O-alkyls). In contrast, the upper-elevation tropical forest had an increase in fungal PLFAs with N additions and declines in C groups associated with increased soil C storage (alkyls). The dynamics of microbial enzymatic activities with N addition provided a functional link between changes in microbial community structure and SOM chemistry. Ecosystem-specific changes in microbial community composition are likely to have far-reaching effects on soil carbon storage and cycling. This study indicates that microbial communities in N-rich tropical forests can be sensitive to added N, but we can expect significant variability in how ecosystem structure and function respond to N deposition among tropical forest types.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Michael K; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-02-01

    The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required 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. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  18. Dynamic belowground ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, W. F.; Santantonio, D.; McGinty, D.

    1979-01-01

    Roots comprise the primary interface between plant and soil for uptake of water and nutrients. Much is known about the biochemistry, cell physiology and membrane physics associated with these important processes. In this paper we discuss the role of the belowground ecosystem, especially the autotrophic root component, in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Beyond recognizing roles of anchoring terrestrial plants and uptake of water and nutrients, this component of the forest has been largely neglected in an ecosystem context. In order to focus discussion on the properties of the belowground ecosystem, we use the term rhizosphere to include roots, mycorrhizae, microbes, and rhizophagus invertebrates.

  19. Microbial community controls on decomposition and soil carbon storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, S. D.

    2016-12-01

    Soil is one of the most diverse habitats on Earth and one of the least characterized in terms of the identification and ecological roles of soil organisms. Soils also contain the largest repository of organic C in the terrestrial biosphere and the activities of heterotrophic soil organisms are responsible for one of the largest annual fluxes of CO2 to the atmosphere. A fundamental controversy in ecosystem ecology is the degree to which identification of microbial taxa informs our ability to understand and model ecosystem-scale processes, such as soil carbon storage and fluxes. We have evidence that microbial identity does matter, particularly in a global change context where soil microorganisms experience selective pressures to adapt to changing environments. In particular, our work at the Harvard Forest Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site demonstrates that the microbial community is fundamentally altered by global change stressors (climate warming, nitrogen deposition, biotic invasion) and that microbial taxa exposed to long-term environmental change exhibit an altered capacity to decompose organic matter. This talk will discuss the relative importance of changes in microbial community structure versus microbial physiology for soil organic matter degradation and stabilization.

  20. Microbial diversity and metabolic networks in acid mine drainage habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-García, Celia; Peláez, Ana I; Mesa, Victoria; Sánchez, Jesús; Golyshina, Olga V; Ferrer, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    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-based methodologies 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 archaea recovered through sterile filtering (herein referred to as filterable fraction) in these environments demand their inclusion in the microbial characterization of AMD systems. In this review, we present a complete overview of the bacterial, archaeal (including filterable fraction), 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.

  1. An integrative study of a meromictic lake ecosystem in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauro, Federico M; DeMaere, Matthew Z; Yau, Sheree; Brown, Mark V; Ng, Charmaine; Wilkins, David; Raftery, Mark J; Gibson, John A E; Andrews-Pfannkoch, Cynthia; Lewis, Matthew; Hoffman, Jeffrey M; Thomas, Torsten; Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2011-05-01

    In nature, the complexity and structure of microbial communities varies widely, ranging from a few species to thousands of species, and from highly structured to highly unstructured communities. Here, we describe the identity and functional capacity of microbial populations within distinct layers of a pristine, marine-derived, meromictic (stratified) lake (Ace Lake) in Antarctica. Nine million open reading frames were analyzed, representing microbial samples taken from six depths of the lake size fractionated on sequential 3.0, 0.8 and 0.1 μm filters, and including metaproteome data from matching 0.1 μm filters. We determine how the interactions of members of this highly structured and moderately complex community define the biogeochemical fluxes throughout the entire lake. Our view is that the health of this delicate ecosystem is dictated by the effects of the polar light cycle on the dominant role of green sulfur bacteria in primary production and nutrient cycling, and the influence of viruses/phage and phage resistance on the cooperation between members of the microbial community right throughout the lake. To test our assertions, and develop a framework applicable to other microbially driven ecosystems, we developed a mathematical model that describes how cooperation within a microbial system is impacted by periodic fluctuations in environmental parameters on key populations of microorganisms. Our study reveals a mutualistic structure within the microbial community throughout the lake that has arisen as the result of mechanistic interactions between the physico-chemical parameters and the selection of individual members of the community. By exhaustively describing and modelling interactions in Ace Lake, we have developed an approach that may be applicable to learning how environmental perturbations affect the microbial dynamics in more complex aquatic systems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. Synthetic cannabinoids: new matrix addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antsyborov A.V.

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available the majority of synthetic cannabinoids (SC, belongs to the group of so-called designer drugs distributed through illegal online shopping. The first reports of this group of psychoactive substances appeared in the 70s of the last century. Today, according to various estimates, there are over 160 varieties of synthetic cannabinoids, and this figure is increasing annually due to the synthesis of new substances in the group. This group of substances is designed to «copy» the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Initially, these substances were created solely for research purposes, to study the endocannabinoid system of the person. Natural THC is a partial agonist of cannabinoid receptors. Synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists CB1R and CB2R types of cannabinoid receptors. Most countries in the world, including Russia, at the legislative level have taken restrictive measures for preventing the spread of this group of substances. In order to circumvent the legislative measures, the producers of synthetic cannabinoids regularly changing the chemical formula. Each year, an increasing number of emergency hospital admissions associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids in the peer-reviewed literature describes the deaths directly attributable to medical complications after taking synthetic cannabinoids. Numerous studies have proven the possibility of developing psychological dependence due to the use of synthetic cannabinoids. The proposed review of the literature is presented for the purpose of organizing data in the field of synthetic cannabinoids.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.  

  9. 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....

  10. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Synthetic biology: lessons from the history of synthetic organic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Brian J; Lim, Wendell A

    2007-09-01

    The mid-nineteenth century saw the development of a radical new direction in chemistry: instead of simply analyzing existing molecules, chemists began to synthesize them--including molecules that did not exist in nature. The combination of this new synthetic approach with more traditional analytical approaches revolutionized chemistry, leading to a deep understanding of the fundamental principles of chemical structure and reactivity and to the emergence of the modern pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The history of synthetic chemistry offers a possible roadmap for the development and impact of synthetic biology, a nascent field in which the goal is to build novel biological systems.

  17. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J. (Inst. of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar (Tanzania, United Republic of))

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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)

  2. 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

    implementations treating complex nitrogen-rich wastewaters and 14 were lab-scale implementations treating synthetic wastewaters. We found that nitritation/anammox bioreactors treating complex nitrogen-rich wastewaters were more diverse in terms of total microbial diversity but less diverse at anammox functional...... 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...... weighted UniFrac algorithm explained 29% of the variance where the bioreactor samples of complex nitrogen-rich wastewater feeding was clearly separated from the bioreactor samples of synthetic feeding. Here we examined and compared for the first time microbial diversity of nitritation-anammox reactors...

  3. Metagenomic Insights of Microbial Feedbacks to Elevated CO2 (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, J.; Tu, Q.; Wu, L.; He, Z.; Deng, Y.; Van Nostrand, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the responses of biological communities to elevated CO2 (eCO2) is a central issue in ecology and global change biology, but its impacts on the diversity, composition, structure, function, interactions and dynamics of soil microbial communities remain elusive. In this study, we first examined microbial responses to eCO2 among six FACE sites/ecosystems using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip), and then focused on details of metagenome sequencing analysis in one particular site. GeoChip is a comprehensive functional gene array for examining the relationships between microbial community structure and ecosystem functioning and is a very powerful technology for biogeochemical, ecological and environmental studies. The current version of GeoChip (GeoChip 5.0) contains approximately 162,000 probes from 378,000 genes involved in C, N, S and P cycling, organic contaminant degradation, metal resistance, antibiotic resistance, stress responses, metal homeostasis, virulence, pigment production, bacterial phage-mediated lysis, soil beneficial microorganisms, and specific probes for viruses, protists, and fungi. Our experimental results revealed that both ecosystem and CO2 significantly (p changes in the soil microbial community structure were closely correlated with geographic distance, soil NO3-N, NH4-N and C/N ratio. Further metagenome sequencing analysis of soil microbial communities in one particular site showed eCO2 altered the overall structure of soil microbial communities with ambient CO2 samples retaining a higher functional gene diversity than eCO2 samples. Also the taxonomic diversity of functional genes decreased at eCO2. Random matrix theory (RMT)-based network analysis showed that the identified networks under ambient and elevated CO2 were substantially different in terms of overall network topology, network composition, node overlap, module preservation, module-based higher order organization (meta-modules), topological roles of

  4. 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...

  5. Linking bacterial identities and ecosystem processes: can 'omic' analyses be more than the sum of their parts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Sergio E; Holben, William E

    2011-01-01

    A major goal in microbial ecology is to link specific microbial populations to environmental processes (e.g. biogeochemical transformations). The cultivation and characterization of isolates using genetic, biochemical and physiological tests provided direct links between organisms and their activities, but did not provide an understanding of the process networks in situ. Cultivation-independent molecular techniques have extended capabilities in this regard, and yet, for two decades, the focus has been on monitoring microbial community diversity and population dynamics by means of rRNA gene abundances or rRNA molecules. However, these approaches are not always well suited for establishing metabolic activity or microbial roles in ecosystem function. The current approaches, microbial community metagenomic and metatranscriptomic techniques, have been developed as other ways to study microbial assemblages, giving rise to exponentially increasing collections of information from numerous environments. This review considers some advantages and limitations of nucleic acid-based 'omic' approaches and discusses the potential for the integration of multiple molecular or computational techniques for a more effective assessment of links between specific microbial populations and ecosystem processes in situ. Establishing such connections will enhance the predictive power regarding ecosystem response to parameters or perturbations, and will bring us closer to integrating microbial data into ecosystem- and global-scale process measurements and models. © 2010 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. Spicing things up: synthetic cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaderna, Max; Addy, Peter H; D'Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2013-08-01

    Recently, products containing synthetic cannabinoids, collectively referred to as Spice, are increasingly being used recreationally. The availability, acute subjective effects-including self-reports posted on Erowid-laboratory detection, addictive potential, and regulatory challenges of the Spice phenomenon are reviewed. Spice is sold under the guise of potpourri or incense. Unlike delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the synthetic cannabinoids present in Spice are high-potency, high-efficacy, cannabinoid receptor full agonists. Since standard urine toxicology does not test for the synthetic cannabinoids in Spice, it is often used by those who want to avoid detection of drug use. These compounds have not yet been subjected to rigorous testing in humans. Acute psychoactive effects include changes in mood, anxiety, perception, thinking, memory, and attention. Adverse effects include anxiety, agitation, panic, dysphoria, psychosis, and bizarre behavior. Psychosis outcomes associated with Spice provide additional data linking cannabinoids and psychosis. Adverse events necessitating intervention by Poison Control Centers, law enforcement, emergency responders, and hospitals are increasing. Despite statutes prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Spice products, manufacturers are replacing banned compounds with newer synthetic cannabinoids that are not banned. There is an urgent need for better research on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids to help clinicians manage adverse events and to better understand cannabinoid pharmacology in humans. The reported psychosis outcomes associated with synthetic cannabinoids contribute to the ongoing debate on the association between cannabinoids and psychosis. Finally, drug detection tests for synthetic cannabinoids need to become clinically available.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Bistatic synthetic aperture radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Gillian

    Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) allows all-weather, day and night, surface surveillance and has the ability to detect, classify and geolocate objects at long stand-off ranges. Bistatic SAR, where the transmitter and the receiver are on separate platforms, is seen as a potential means of countering the vulnerability of conventional monostatic SAR to electronic countermeasures, particularly directional jamming, and avoiding physical attack of the imaging platform. As the receiving platform can be totally passive, it does not advertise its position by RF emissions. The transmitter is not susceptible to jamming and can, for example, operate at long stand-off ranges to reduce its vulnerability to physical attack. This thesis examines some of the complications involved in producing high-resolution bistatic SAR imagery. The effect of bistatic operation on resolution is examined from a theoretical viewpoint and analytical expressions for resolution are developed. These expressions are verified by simulation work using a simple 'point by point' processor. This work is extended to look at using modern practical processing engines for bistatic geometries. Adaptations of the polar format algorithm and range migration algorithm are considered. The principal achievement of this work is a fully airborne demonstration of bistatic SAR. The route taken in reaching this is given, along with some results. The bistatic SAR imagery is analysed and compared to the monostatic imagery collected at the same time. Demonstrating high-resolution bistatic SAR imagery using two airborne platforms represents what I believe to be a European first and is likely to be the first time that this has been achieved outside the US (the UK has very little insight into US work on this topic). Bistatic target characteristics are examined through the use of simulations. This also compares bistatic imagery with monostatic and gives further insight into the utility of bistatic SAR.

  12. Synthetic biology for therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abil, Zhanar; Xiong, Xiong; Zhao, Huimin

    2015-02-02

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new field with the key aim of designing and constructing biological systems with novel functionalities. Today, synthetic biology devices are making their first steps in contributing new solutions to a number of biomedical challenges, such as emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer therapy. This review discusses some synthetic biology approaches and applications that were recently used in disease mechanism investigation and disease modeling, drug discovery and production, as well as vaccine development and treatment of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders.

  13. 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......) popular responsesto them succeed, and whether the objections are ultimately persuasive.2. Given that synthetic biology is a new technology, there is a certain degree of uncertainty about its ultimate effects, and many perceive the technology as risky. I discuss two common approaches in risk regulation...

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Do antibiotics have environmental side-effects? Impact of synthetic antibiotics on biogeochemical processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roose-Amsaleg, Céline; Laverman, Anniet M

    2016-03-01

    Antibiotic use in the early 1900 vastly improved human health but at the same time started an arms race of antibiotic resistance. The widespread use of antibiotics has resulted in ubiquitous trace concentrations of many antibiotics in most environments. Little is known about the impact of these antibiotics on microbial processes or "non-target" organisms. This mini-review summarizes our knowledge of the effect of synthetically produced antibiotics on microorganisms involved in biogeochemical cycling. We found only 31 articles that dealt with the effects of antibiotics on such processes in soil, sediment, or freshwater. We compare the processes, antibiotics, concentration range, source, environment, and experimental approach of these studies. Examining the effects of antibiotics on biogeochemical processes should involve environmentally relevant concentrations (instead of therapeutic), chronic exposure (versus acute), and monitoring of the administered antibiotics. Furthermore, the lack of standardized tests hinders generalizations regarding the effects of antibiotics on biogeochemical processes. We investigated the effects of antibiotics on biogeochemical N cycling, specifically nitrification, denitrification, and anammox. We found that environmentally relevant concentrations of fluoroquinolones and sulfonamides could partially inhibit denitrification. So far, the only documented effects of antibiotic inhibitions were at therapeutic doses on anammox activities. The most studied and inhibited was nitrification (25-100 %) mainly at therapeutic doses and rarely environmentally relevant. We recommend that firm conclusions regarding inhibition of antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations remain difficult due to the lack of studies testing low concentrations at chronic exposure. There is thus a need to test the effects of these environmental concentrations on biogeochemical processes to further establish the possible effects on ecosystem functioning.

  19. Microbial nitrogen metabolism: response to warming and resource supply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckeridge, K. M.; Min, K.; Lehmeier, C.; Ballantyne, F.; Billings, S. A.

    2013-12-01

    Ecosystem nitrogen (N) dynamics are dependent on microbial metabolic responses to a changing climate. Most studies that investigate soil microbial N dynamics in response to temperature employ measurements reflective of many interacting and confounding phenomena, as altering soil temperature can simultaneously alter moisture regime, substrate availability, and competitive dynamics between microbial populations. As a result, it is difficult to discern how temperature alone can alter patterns of microbial N metabolism using whole soils. Without that knowledge, it is impossible to parse temperature effects on soil N fluxes from other drivers. We address this issue by exploring the sensitivity of microbial partitioning of N between assimilation (growing biomass) and dissimilation (releasing N to the environment) in response to changes in temperature and quality (C:N ratio) of substrate, using a chemostat approach in which a microbial population is maintained at steady state. We perform our experiments using a Gram-negative bacterium (Pseudomonas fluorescens), ubiquitous in soils and dependent on organic compounds to satisfy its resource demand. Individual chemostat runs, all conducted at similar microbial growth rates, generate data describing microbial biomass N, solution N pools and microbial biomass and solution d15N. With these data we can calculate d15N enrichment (d15N microbial biomass - d15N nutrient solution) a proxy for microbial N partitioning. From a recently published model of microbial biomass d15N drivers, fractionation of N occurs with both uptake and excretion of NH3+ so that microbes with a net dissimilation become 15N enriched relative to their source. Because a related study has demonstrated increased microbial C demand with temperature, we predict that in a warming environment microorganisms will become relatively C limited. Accordingly, we hypothesize that warming will enhance microbial dissimilation, and that this N release will be exacerbated as

  20. 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....... The first part of the scientific contribution investigates an implementation of pulse inversion for THI on the experimental ultrasound system SARUS. The technique is initially implemented for linear array transducers and then expanded for convex array transducers. The technique is evaluated based on spatial...

  1. 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...

  2. Designing synthetic networks in silico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, Robert W.; Sluijs, van Bob; Fleck, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Background: Evolution has led to the development of biological networks that are shaped by environmental signals. Elucidating, understanding and then reconstructing important network motifs is one of the principal aims of Systems & Synthetic Biology. Consequently, previous research has focused

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of plant diversity, functional group composition, and fertilization on soil microbial properties in experimental grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strecker, Tanja; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Weigelt, Alexandra; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Loss of biodiversity and increased nutrient inputs are two of the most crucial anthropogenic factors driving ecosystem change. Although both received considerable attention in previous studies, information on their interactive effects on ecosystem functioning is scarce. In particular, little is known on how soil biota and their functions are affected by combined changes in plant diversity and fertilization. We investigated the effects of plant diversity, functional community composition, and fertilization on the biomass and respiration of soil microbial communities in a long-term biodiversity experiment in semi-natural grassland (Jena Experiment). Plant species richness enhanced microbial basal respiration and microbial biomass, but did not significantly affect microbial specific respiration. In contrast, the presence of legumes and fertilization significantly decreased microbial specific respiration, without altering microbial biomass. The effect of legumes was superimposed by fertilization as indicated by a significant interaction between the presence of legumes and fertilization. Further, changes in microbial stoichiometry (C-to-N ratio) and specific respiration suggest the presence of legumes to reduce N limitation of soil microorganisms and to modify microbial C use efficiency. Our study highlights the role of plant species and functional group diversity as well as interactions between plant community composition and fertilizer application for soil microbial functions. Our results suggest soil microbial stoichiometry to be a powerful indicator of microbial functioning under N limited conditions. Although our results support the notion that plant diversity and fertilizer application independently affect microbial functioning, legume effects on microbial N limitation were superimposed by fertilization, indicating significant interactions between the functional composition of plant communities and nutrient inputs for soil processes.

  7. ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SYNTHETIC-BASED DRILLING FLUIDS ON BENTHIC ORGANISMS IN TEMPERATE WATERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Efforts to enhance the efficiency of oil/gas drilling operations and to minimize hazards to marine ecosystems have resulted in the increased use of synthetic-based fluids (SBF). SBFs have performance characteristics closely related to oil-based fluids (OBF) however their lower PA...

  8. Integrating polarimetric synthetic aperture radar and imaging spectrometry for wildland fuel mapping in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.E. Dennison; D.A. Roberts; J. Regelbrugge; S.L. Ustin

    2000-01-01

    Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and imaging spectrometry exemplify advanced technologies for mapping wildland fuels in chaparral ecosystems. In this study, we explore the potential of integrating polarimetric SAR and imaging spectrometry for mapping wildland fuels. P-band SAR and ratios containing P-band polarizations are sensitive to variations in stand...

  9. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios provide useful insight into the complex factors that drive ecosystem change, estimating the magnitude of regional...

  10. Compartmentalized metabolic network reconstruction of microbial communities to determine the effect of agricultural intervention on soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Silva, María Camila; 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Generating realistic synthetic meteoroid orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vida, Denis; Brown, Peter G.; Campbell-Brown, Margaret

    2017-11-01

    Context. Generating a synthetic dataset of meteoroid orbits is a crucial step in analysing the probabilities of random grouping of meteoroid orbits in automated meteor shower surveys. Recent works have shown the importance of choosing a low similarity threshold value of meteoroid orbits, some pointing out that the recent meteor shower surveys produced false positives due to similarity thresholds which were too high. On the other hand, the methods of synthetic meteoroid orbit generation introduce additional biases into the data, thus making the final decision on an appropriate threshold value uncertain. Aims. As a part of the ongoing effort to determine the nature of meteor showers and improve automated methods, it was decided to tackle the problem of synthetic meteoroid orbit generation, the main goal being to reproduce the underlying structure and the statistics of the observed data in the synthetic orbits. Methods. A new method of generating synthetic meteoroid orbits using the Kernel Density Estimation method is presented. Several types of approaches are recommended, depending on whether one strives to preserve the data structure, the data statistics or to have a compromise between the two. Results. The improvements over the existing methods of synthetic orbit generation are demonstrated. The comparison between the previous and newly developed methods are given, as well as the visualization tools one can use to estimate the influence of different input parameters on the final data.

  13. Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities

    OpenAIRE

    Wepking, C.; Avera, B.; Badgley, B.; Barrett, J. E.; Franklin, J.; Knowlton, K. F.; Ray, Partha P.; Smitherman, C.; Strickland, M. S.

    2017-01-01

    Intensifying livestock production to meet the demands of a growing global population coincides with increases in both the administration of veterinary antibiotics and manure inputs to soils. These trends have the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities. The effect of maintaining increased antibiotic resistance on soil microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate is unknown. We compare soil microbial communities from paired reference and dai...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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....

  19. Microbial communities in marine sediments modify success of an invasive macrophyte.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribben, Paul E; Nielsen, Shaun; Seymour, Justin R; Bradley, Daniel J; West, Matthew N; Thomas, Torsten

    2017-08-29

    Invasive plants have extensive impacts on ecosystem function and biodiversity globally. Our inability to manage invasive species stems in part from a lack of understanding of the processes that control their successful establishment and spread. To date, studies have largely considered how above-ground processes control native/invasive plant interactions. Emerging research from terrestrial and wetland ecosystems demonstrates that below-ground processes under microbial control can determine the outcome of interactions between native and invasive plants. Whether sediment microbes modify the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems is untested, despite marine sediment microbes controlling many ecological processes (e.g. nutrient cycling) comparable to those in terrestrial ecosystems. We first show that sediment bacterial communities differ between the native seagrass Zostera capricorni and the invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia and that those differences relate to functional changes in sulfur cycling between the macrophytes. Second, by experimentally manipulating the microbial communities we show that intact microbial communities in Z. capricorni sediments provide biotic resistance by reducing C. taxifolia fragment growth 119% compared to when they are inactive, and intact microbial communities in C. taxifolia sediments have positive feedbacks by increasing fragment growth 200%. Thus, similar to terrestrial ecosystems, microorganisms appear to indirectly control the success of invasive macrophytes in marine ecosystems.

  20. 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.