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Κυριακή, 16 Ιουνίου 2019

Microbial Ecology

Phenotyping Thermal Responses of Yeasts and Yeast-like Microorganisms at the Individual and Population Levels: Proof-of-Concept, Development and Application of an Experimental Framework to a Plant Pathogen

Abstract

Deciphering the responses of microbial populations to spatiotemporal changes in their thermal environment is instrumental in improving our understanding of their eco-evolutionary dynamics. Recent studies have shown that current phenotyping protocols do not adequately address all dimensions of phenotype expression. Therefore, these methods can give biased assessments of sensitivity to temperature, leading to misunderstandings concerning the ecological processes underlying thermal plasticity. We describe here a new robust and versatile experimental framework for the accurate investigation of thermal performance and phenotypic diversity in yeasts and yeast-like microorganisms, at the individual and population levels. In addition to proof-of-concept, the application of this framework to the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici resulted in detailed characterisations for this yeast-like microorganism of (i) the patterns of temperature-dependent changes in performance for four fitness traits; (ii) the consistency in thermal sensitivity rankings of strains between in plantaand in vitro growth assessments; (iii) significant interindividual variation in thermal responses, with four principal thermotypes detected in a sample of 66 strains; and (iv) the ecological consequences of this diversity for population-level processes through pairwise competition experiments highlighting temperature-dependent outcomes. These findings extend our knowledge and ability to quantify and categorise the phenotypic heterogeneity of thermal responses. As such, they lay the foundations for further studies elucidating local adaptation patterns and the effects of temperature variations on eco-evolutionary and epidemiological processes.



Prokaryotic Diversity and Distribution in Different Habitats of an Alpine Rock Glacier-Pond System

Abstract

Rock glaciers (RG) are assumed to influence the biogeochemistry of downstream ecosystems because of the high ratio of rock:water in those systems, but no studies have considered the effects of a RG inflow on the microbial ecology of sediments in a downstream pond. An alpine RG-pond system, located in the NW Italian Alps has been chosen as a model, and Bacteria and Archaea 16S rRNA genes abundance, distribution and diversity have been assessed by qPCR and Illumina sequencing, coupled with geochemical analyses on sediments collected along a distance gradient from the RG inflow. RG surface material and neighbouring soil have been included in the analysis to better elucidate relationships among different habitats.

Our results showed that different habitats harboured different, well-separated microbial assemblages. Across the pond, the main variations in community composition (e.g. Thaumarchaeota and Cyanobacteria relative abundance) and porewater geochemistry (pH, DOC, TDN and NH4+) were not directly linked to RG proximity, but to differences in water depth. Some microbial markers potentially linked to the presence of meltwater inputs from the RG have been recognised, although the RG seems to have a greater influence on the pond microbial communities due to its contribution in terms of sedimentary material.



Divergence in Diversity and Composition of Root-Associated Fungi Between Greenhouse and Field Studies in a Semiarid Grassland

Abstract

Investigations of plant-soil feedbacks (PSF) and plant-microbe interactions often rely exclusively on greenhouse experiments, yet we have little understanding of how, and when, results can be extrapolated to explain phenomena in nature. A systematic comparison of microbial communities using the same host species across study environments can inform the generalizability of such experiments. We used Illumina MiSeq sequencing to characterize the root-associated fungi of two foundation grasses from a greenhouse PSF experiment, a field PSF experiment, field monoculture stands, and naturally occurring resident plants in the field. A core community consisting < 10% of total fungal OTU richness but > 50% of total sequence abundance occurred in plants from all study types, demonstrating the ability of field and greenhouse experiments to capture the dominant component of natural communities. Fungal communities were plant species-specific across the study types, with the core community showing stronger host specificity than peripheral taxa. Roots from the greenhouse and field PSF experiments had lower among sample variability in community composition and higher diversity than those from naturally occurring, or planted monoculture plants from the field. Core and total fungal composition differed substantially across study types, and dissimilarity between fungal communities did not predict plant-soil feedbacks measured in experiments. These results suggest that rhizobiome assembly mechanisms in nature differ from the dynamics of short-term, inoculation studies. Our results validate the efficacy of common PSF experiment designs to test soil inoculum effects, and highlight the challenges of scaling the underlying microbial mechanisms of plant responses from whole-community inoculation experiments to natural ecosystems.



Adaptation to Fasting in Crucian Carp ( Carassius auratus ): Gut Microbiota and Its Correlative Relationship with Immune Function

Abstract

Fasting influences the overall physiology of fish, and the knowledge how the gut microbiota, growth performances, and immune function in response to intermittent and long-term fasting is still insufficient. Here, we characterized the effects of fasting on the host-gut microbiota in crucian carp, which would enhance our insight into physiological adaptation to fasting. To achieve this, we investigated the gut microbial communities of crucian carp with different fasting stress, and corresponding immune and growth parameters. The gut microbial communities were structured into four clusters according to different fasting stress, namely one control group (feed regularly), two intermittent fasting groups (fasting period and re-feeding period, respectively), and one long-term fasting group. Intermittent fasting significantly improved the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lysozyme (LZM) (ANOVA, p < 0.05) and significantly increased alpha diversity and ecosystem stability of gut microbiota (ANOVA, p < 0.05). Gut length (GL) and condition factor (CF) showed no significant difference between the control group (CG) and intermittent fasting group under re-feeding period (RIF) (ANOVA, p = 0.11), but relative gut length (RGL) in group RIF was higher than that in the CG (ANOVA, p = 0.00). The bacterial genera BacteroidesAkkermansia, and Erysipelotrichaceae were enriched in fishes under intermittent fasting. Two Bacteroides OTUs (OTU50 and OTU1292) correlated positively with immune (SOD, complement, and LZM) and growth (GL and RGL) parameters. These results highlight the possible interplay between growth performances, immune function, and gut microbiota in response to fasting.



The Influence of Habitat and Phylogeny on the Skin Microbiome of Amphibians in Guatemala and Mexico

Abstract

Microbial symbionts are increasingly recognized as playing a critical role in organismal health across a wide range of hosts. Amphibians are unique hosts in that their skin helps to regulate the exchange of water, ions, and gases, and it plays an active role in defense against pathogens through the synthesis of anti-microbial peptides. The microbiome of amphibian skin includes a diverse community of bacteria known to defend against pathogens, including the global pandemic lineage of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis associated with mass amphibian die-offs. The relative influence of host phylogeny and environment in determining the composition of the amphibian skin microbiome remains poorly understood. We collected skin swabs from montane amphibians in Mexico and Guatemala, focusing on two genera of plethodontid salamanders and one genus of frogs. We used high throughput sequencing to characterize the skin bacterial microbiome and tested the impact of phylogeny and habitat on bacterial diversity. Our results show that phylogenetic history strongly influences the diversity and community structure of the total bacterial microbiome at higher taxonomic levels (between orders), but on lower scales (within genera and species), the effect of habitat predominates. These results add to a growing consensus that habitat exerts a strong effect on microbiome structure and composition, particularly at shallow phylogenetic scales.



Comamonadaceae OTU as a Remnant of an Ancient Microbial Community in Sulfidic Waters

Abstract

Intraterrestrial waters harbor microbial communities being extensively studied to understand microbial processes underlying subsurface ecosystem functioning. This paper provides the results of an investigation on the microbiomes of unique, subsurface sulfidic waters associated with Upper Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Miocene sediments. We used high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing to reveal the structure of bacterial and archaeal communities in water samples differing in sulfide content (20–960 mg/dm3), salinity (1.3–3.2%), and depth of extraction (60–660 m below ground level). Composition of the bacterial communities strongly varied across the samples; however, the bacteria participating in the sulfur cycle were common in all sulfidic waters. The shallowest borehole water (60 m bgl) was dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria(SulfurimonasSulfurovum). In the waters collected from greater depths (148–300 m bgl), the prevalence of Betaproteobacteria (Comamonadaceae) and sulfate/sulfur-reducing Deltaproteobacteria (DesulfopilaDesulfomicrobiumMSBL7) was observed. Sulfate reducers (members of ClostridiaCandidatus Desulforudis) were the most abundant bacteria in the deepest borehole water (660 m bgl). Out of 850 bacterial OTUs, only one, affiliated with the Comamonadaceae family, was found abundant (> 1% of total bacterial sequences) in all samples. Contribution of Archaea to the whole microbial communities was lower than 0.5%. Archaeal communities did not differ across the samples and they consisted of Halobacteriaceae. Out of 372 archaeal OTUs, five, belonging to the four genera NatronomonasHalorubrumHalobellus, and Halorhabdus, were the most numerous.



Fungal, Bacterial, and Archaeal Diversity in Soils Beneath Native and Introduced Plants in Fiji, South Pacific

Abstract

The Fiji Islands is an archipelago of more than 330 islands located in the tropics of the South Pacific Ocean. Microbial diversity and biogeography in this region is still not understood. Here, we present the first molecular characterization of fungal, bacterial, and archaeal communities in soils from different habitats within the largest Fijian island, Viti Levu. Soil samples were collected from under native vegetation in maritime-, forest-, stream-, grassland-, and casuarina-dominated habitats, as well as from under the introduced agricultural crops sugarcane, cassava, pine, and mahogany. Soil microbial diversity was analyzed through MiSeq amplicon sequencing of 16S (for prokaryotes), ITS, LSU ribosomal DNA (for fungi). Prokaryotic communities were dominated by Proteobacteria (~ 25%), Acidobacteria (~ 19%), and Actinobacteria (~ 17%), and there were no indicator species associated with particular habitats. ITS and LSU were congruent in β-diversity patterns of fungi, and fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota (~ 57–64%), followed by Basidiomycota (~ 20–23%) and Mucoromycota (~ 10%) according to ITS, or Chytridiomycota (~ 9%) according to LSU. Indicator species analysis of fungi found statistical associations of CenococcumWilcoxina, and Rhizopogon to Pinus caribaea. We hypothesize these obligate biotrophic fungi were co-introduced with their host plant. Entoloma was statistically associated with grassland soils, and Fusarium and Lecythophora with soils under cassava. Observed richness varied from 65 (casuarina) to 404 OTUs (cassava) for fungi according to ITS region, and from 1268 (pine) to 2931 OTUs (cassava) for bacteria and archaea. A major finding of this research is that nearly 25% of the fungal OTUs are poorly classified, indicative of novel biodiversity in this region. This preliminary survey provides important baseline data on fungal, bacterial, and archaeal diversity and biogeography in the Fiji Islands.



Detecting Associations Between Ciliated Protists and Prokaryotes with Culture-Independent Single-Cell Microbiomics: a Proof-of-Concept Study

Abstract

Symbioses between prokaryotes and microbial eukaryotes, particularly ciliated protists, have been studied for a long time. Nevertheless, researchers have focused only on a few host genera and species, mainly due to difficulties in cultivating the hosts, and usually have considered a single symbiont at a time. Here, we present a pilot study using a single-cell microbiomic approach to circumvent these issues. Unicellular ciliate isolation followed by simultaneous amplification of eukaryotic and prokaryotic markers was used. Our preliminary test gave reliable and satisfactory results both on samples collected from different habitats (marine and freshwater) and on ciliates belonging to different taxonomic groups. Results suggest that, as already assessed for many macro-organisms like plants and metazoans, ciliated protists harbor distinct microbiomes. The applied approach detected new potential symbionts as well as new hosts for previously described ones, with relatively low time and cost effort and without culturing. When further developed, single-cell microbiomics for ciliates could be applied to a large number of studies aiming to unravel the evolutionary and ecological meaning of these symbiotic systems.



Variations in Gut Microbiota of Siberian Flying Squirrels Correspond to Seasonal Phenological Changes in Their Hokkaido Subarctic Forest Ecosystem

Abstract

Gut microbial communities of animals are influenced by diet and seasonal weather changes. Since foraging strategies of wild animals are affected by phenological changes, gut microbial communities would differ among seasons. However, interactions of plant-animal-microbiota with seasonal changes have not been well characterized. Here, we surveyed gut microbial diversity of Siberian flying squirrels (Pteromys volans orii) from a natural forest in Hokkaido during spring and summer of 2013 and 2014. Additionally, we compared microbial diversity to temperature changes and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Changes in both seasonal temperature and phenology were significantly associated with alterations in gut microbiota. There were two clusters of OTUs, below and above 20 °C that were significantly correlated with low and high temperatures, respectively. Low-temperature cluster OTUs belonged to various phyla, whereas the high-temperature cluster was only constituted by Firmicutes. In conclusion, gut microbiota of Siberian flying squirrels varied with environmental changes on an ecological scale.



Mangrove Sediment Microbiome: Adaptive Microbial Assemblages and Their Routed Biogeochemical Processes in Yunxiao Mangrove National Nature Reserve, China

Abstract

Microorganisms play important roles in mangrove ecosystems. However, we know little about the ecological implications of mangrove microbiomes for high productivity and the efficient circulation of elements in mangrove ecosystems. Here, we focused on mangrove sediments located at the Yunxiao National Mangrove Reserve in southeast China, uncovering the mangrove microbiome using the 16S rRNA gene and shotgun metagenome sequencing approaches. Physicochemical assays characterized the Yunxiao mangrove sediments as carbon (C)-rich, sulfur (S)-rich, and nitrogen (N)-limited environment. Then phylogenetic analysis profiling a distinctive microbiome with an unexpected high frequency of Chloroflexi and Nitrospirae appeared to be an adaptive characteristic of microbial structure in S-rich habitat. Metagenome sequencing analysis revealed that the metabolic pathways of N and S cycling at the community-level were routed through ammonification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium for N conservation in this N-limited habitat, and dissimilatory sulfate reduction along with polysulfide formation for generating bioavailable S resource avoiding the biotoxicity of sulfide in mangrove sediments. In addition, methane metabolism acted as a bridge to connect C cycling to N and S cycling. Further identification of possible biogeochemical linkers suggested SyntrophobacterSulfurovumNitrospira, and Anaerolinea potentially drive the coupling of C, N, and S cycling. These results highlighting the adaptive routed metabolism flow, a previously undescribed property of mangrove sediment microbiome, appears to be a defining characteristic of this habitat and may significantly contribute to the high productivity of mangrove ecosystems, which could be used as indicators for the health and biodiversity of mangrove ecosystems.



Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos
Crete.Greece.72100
2841026182
6948891480

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