Science.gov

Sample records for intestinal microbial ecology

  1. Enteric defensins are essential regulators of intestinal microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Salzman, Nita H; Hung, Kuiechun; Haribhai, Dipica; Chu, Hiutung; Karlsson-Sjöberg, Jenny; Amir, Elad; Teggatz, Paul; Barman, Melissa; Hayward, Michael; Eastwood, Daniel; Stoel, Maaike; Zhou, Yanjiao; Sodergren, Erica; Weinstock, George M; Bevins, Charles L; Williams, Calvin B; Bos, Nicolaas A

    2010-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides are important effectors of innate immunity throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. In the mammalian small intestine, Paneth cell alpha-defensins are antimicrobial peptides that contribute to host defense against enteric pathogens. To determine if alpha-defensins also govern intestinal microbial ecology, we analyzed the intestinal microbiota of mice expressing a human alpha-defensin gene (DEFA5) and in mice lacking an enzyme required for the processing of mouse alpha-defensins. In these complementary models, we detected significant alpha-defensin-dependent changes in microbiota composition, but not in total bacterial numbers. Furthermore, DEFA5-expressing mice had striking losses of segmented filamentous bacteria and fewer interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing lamina propria T cells. Our data ascribe a new homeostatic role to alpha-defensins in regulating the makeup of the commensal microbiota. PMID:19855381

  2. Yeast culture supplement during nursing and transport affects immunity and intestinal microbial ecology of weanling pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Weaning and transport stress can have a negative impact on the piglet's immune system and intestinal microbiota. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of a yeast product on innate immunity and microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract following stress of weaning and trans...

  3. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  4. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  5. Sampling of intestinal microbiota and targeted amplification of bacterial 16S rRNA genes for microbial ecologic analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Maomeng; Jacobs, Jonathan P.; McHardy, Ian H.; Braun, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Dysbiosis of host-associated commensal microbiota is emerging as an important factor in risk and phenotype of immunologic, metabolic, and behavioral diseases. Appropriate collection and pre-processing of biospecimens from humans or mice is necessary for accurate analysis of microbial composition and functional state. Methods to sample intestinal luminal and mucosal microbiota from humans and mice, and to profile microbial phylogenetic composition using 16S rRNA sequencing are presented here. Data generated using this protocol can be used for downstream quantitative analysis of microbial ecology. PMID:25367129

  6. Effects of feed additives and mixed eimeria species infection on intestinal microbial ecology of broilers.

    PubMed

    Hume, M E; Clemente-Hernández, S; Oviedo-Rondón, E O

    2006-12-01

    Evaluation of digestive microbial ecology is necessary to understand effects of growth-promoting feed. In the current study, the dynamics of intestinal microbial communities (MC) were examined in broilers fed diets supplemented with a combination of antibiotic (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) and ionophore (Coban 60), and diets containing 1 of 2 essential oil (EO) blends, Crina Poultry (CP) and Crina Alternate (CA). Five treatments were analyzed: 1) unmedicated uninfected control; 2) unmedicated infected control; 3) feed additives monensin (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) + monensin (Coban 60; AI); 4) EO blend CP; and 5) EO blend CA. Additives were mixed into a basal feed mixture, and EO were adjusted to 100 ppm. Chicks were infected by oral gavage at 19 d of age with Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria tenella. Duodenal, ileal, and cecal samples were taken from 12 birds per treatment just before and 7 d after challenge; 2 samples each were pooled to give a final number of 6 samples total; and all pooled samples were frozen until used for DNA extraction. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to examine PCR-amplified fragments of the bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA variable region. Results are presented as percentages of similarity coefficients (SC). Dendrograms of PCR amplicon or band patterns indicated MC differences due to intestinal location, feed additives, and cocci challenge. Essential oil blends CP and CA affected MC in all gut sections. Each EO had different effects over MC, and they differed in most instances from the AI group. The cocci challenge caused drastic MC population shifts in duodenal, ileal, and cecal sections (36.7, 55.4, and 36.2% SC, respectively). Diets supplemented with CP supported higher SC between pre- and postchallenge MC (89.9, 83.3, and 76.4%) than AI (81.8., 57.4, and 60.0%). We concluded that mixed coccidia challenge caused drastic shifts in MC. These EO blends modulated MC better than AI, avoiding drastic

  7. Intestinal concentrations of free and encapsulated dietary medium-chain fatty acids and effects on gastric microbial ecology and bacterial metabolic products in the digestive tract of piglets.

    PubMed

    Zentek, Jürgen; Buchheit-Renko, Susanne; Männer, Klaus; Pieper, Robert; Vahjen, Wilfried

    2012-02-01

    The influence of low dietary levels of free and encapsulated medium-chain fatty acids on their concentrations in the digesta, the gastric microbial ecology and bacterial metabolic products in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) in weaned piglets was studied. Starting after weaning, 36 piglets were fed a diet without (Control) or with medium-chain fatty acids uncoated (MCFA) or coated with vegetable fat and lecithin (MCFAc). After 4 weeks, the animals were killed, and digesta from the stomach and different sections of the GIT were collected. The concentrations of caprylic (p < 0.001) and capric (p = 0.001) acids were higher in the stomachs of piglets fed diets MCFA and MCFAc compared to the Control group. The concentrations dropped rapidly along the GIT, regardless of encapsulation, and tended to be higher in groups MCFA and MCFAc compared to the Control. Compared to the Control group, ingestion of diet MCFAc led to an increase in the number of eubacteria (p = 0.001), enterobacteriaceae (p < 0.001), clostridial clusters I (p = 0.001) and IV (p = 0.019), Lactobacillus johnsonii (p < 0.001) and Lactobacillus amylovorus (p = 0.001) in gastric contents. A similar trend was seen with diet MCFA. Relative concentrations of short-chain fatty acids were characterised by lower propionic acid levels (p = 0.045), numerically (p < 0.1) higher acetic, lower n-butyric and i-valeric acid concentrations in the small intestine. Lactic acid concentrations were not significantly changed in the GIT, but ammonia concentrations increased (p < 0.001) in the distal small intestine in the MCFA and MCFAc groups. In conclusion, medium-chain fatty acids affected microbial ecology parameters in the gastric contents and bacterial metabolites in the small intestine. At low dietary levels, medium-chain fatty acids may be regarded as modulators of the gastric microbiota in weaned piglets. PMID:22397093

  8. Intestinal microbial ecology of broilers vaccinated and challenged with mixed Eimeria species, and supplemented with essential oil blends.

    PubMed

    Oviedo-Rondón, E O; Hume, M E; Hernández, C; Clemente-Hernández, S

    2006-05-01

    Intestinal microbiota is an important component in the development of defense mechanisms in the gut mucosa. This project determined the dynamics of intestinal microbial communities (MC) of broilers vaccinated at first day of age with live oocysts of Eimeria species and fed diets supplemented with 2 specific essential oil (EO) blends, Crina Poultry (CP) and Crina Alternate (CA). Five treatments were analyzed: 1) unmedicated-uninfected (UU) control; 2) unmedicated-infected (UI) control; 3) vaccinated with Advent cocci-vaccine and without feed additive (COV) supplements; 4) vaccinated with Advent and supplemented with CP; and 5) vaccinated with Advent and supplemented with CA. The EO blends were added at 100 ppm to the same basal diets. Chicks were gavage-infected at 19 d of age with Eimeria acervulina, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria tenella. Duodenal, ileal, and cecal samples were taken from 12 birds per treatment just before the infection and 7 d after the challenge, pooled in 6 samples, and frozen. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to examine PCR-amplified fragments of the bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA variable region. Results are presented as percentages of similarity coefficients (SC). Dendrograms of amplicon patterns indicated MC differences due to intestinal location, feed additives, and cocci infection. The EO blends CP and CA did affect MC in all gut sections. The cocci-infection caused drastic MC population shifts in duodenal, ileal, and cecal sections (36.7, 55.4, and 36.2% SC, respectively). The CP-supplemented birds had higher SC between pre- and postchallenge MC in duodenal and ileal (73.3, 81.8%) than COV (66.4, 66.5%). However, COV broilers had the smallest changes in cecal MC after infection (79.5% SC). We concluded that cocci-vaccination causes small changes in intestinal MC, but challenge causes drastic shifts. The EO blend supplementation modulates MC in cocci-vaccinated broilers, avoiding drastic shifts after a mixed coccidia infection

  9. Microelectrodes in microbial ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Boots, S.

    1989-03-15

    Understanding the microenvironment of bacteria has presented many challenges for the microbial ecologist. Simple intracellular capillary electrodes have been used in neurophysiology since the 1950s to measure action potentials in ion transport over biological membranes, and ion-selective electrodes were developed soon thereafter for the determination of H{sup +}, Na{sup +}, K{sup +}, and Ca{sup 2+}. However, these analytical techniques did not receive much attention until 1978, when Niels Peter Revsbech and Bo Barker Joergensen at the Institute of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Denmark, began using oxygen microelectrodes in their studies of the ecology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments and other microbial environments. Today, Revsbech and Joergensen use five types of microelectrodes, two types of oxygen microelectrodes, a combined microelectrode for nitrous oxide and oxygen, a sulfide microelectrode, and a pH microelectrode. The first three microelectrodes have diameters of about 10 {mu}m and the last two of about 50 {mu}m. Some of the electrodes actually contain two or three cathodes plus a reference electrode, all situated behind a polymer membrane. In situ experiments have been done for several years at a water depth of several meters, where the micromanipulator is operated by a diver. Recently measurements were obtained in the deep sea with the microelectrodes mounted on a free-falling vehicle or operated from a submersible vessel.

  10. Microbial ecology of watery kimchi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biochemistry and microbial ecology of 2 similar types of watery (mul) kimchi, containing sliced and unsliced radish and vegetables (nabak and dongchimi, respectively), were investigated. Samples from kimchi were fermented at 4, 10, and 20 °C were analyzed by plating on differential and selective...

  11. Genomics and marine microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Pedrós-Alió, Carlos

    2006-09-01

    Genomics has brought about a revolution in all fields of biology. Before the development of microbial ecology in the 1970s, microbes were not even considered in marine ecological studies. Today we know that half of the total primary production of the planet must be credited to microorganisms. This and other discoveries have changed dramatically the perspective and the focus of marine microbial ecology. The application of genomics-based approaches has provided new challenges and has allowed the discovery of novel functions, an appreciation of the great diversity of microorganisms, and the introduction of controversial ideas regarding the concepts of species, genome, and niche. Nevertheless, thorough knowledge of the traditional disciplines of biology is necessary to explore the possibilities arising from these new insights. This work reviews the different genomic techniques that can be applied to marine microbial ecology, including both sequencing of the complete genomes of microorganisms and metagenomics, which, in turn, can be complemented with the study of mRNAs (transcriptomics) and proteins (proteomics). The example of proteorhodopsin illustrates the type of information that can be gained from these approaches. A genomics perspective constitutes a map that will allow microbiologists to focus their research on potentially more productive aspects. PMID:17061209

  12. Microbial ecology of watery kimchi.

    PubMed

    Kyung, Kyu Hang; Medina Pradas, Eduardo; Kim, Song Gun; Lee, Yong Jae; Kim, Kyong Ho; Choi, Jin Joo; Cho, Joo Hyong; Chung, Chang Ho; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Breidt, Frederick

    2015-05-01

    The biochemistry and microbial ecology of 2 similar types of watery (mul) kimchi, containing sliced and unsliced radish and vegetables (nabak and dongchimi, respectively), were investigated. Samples from kimchi were fermented at 4, 10, and 20 °C were analyzed by plating on differential and selective media, high-performance liquid chromatography, and high-throughput DNA sequencing of 16S rDNA. Nabak kimchi showed similar trends as dongchimi, with increasing lactic and acetic acids and decreasing pH for each temperature, but differences in microbiota were apparent. Interestingly, bacteria from the Proteobacterium phylum, including Enterobacteriaceae, decreased more rapidly during fermentation at 4 °C in nabak cabbage fermentations compared with dongchimi. Although changes for Proteobacterium and Enterobacteriaceae populations were similar during fermentation at 10 and 20 °C, the homolactic stage of fermentation did not develop for the 4 and 10 °C samples of both nabak and dongchimi during the experiment. These data show the differences in biochemistry and microbial ecology that can result from preparation method and fermentation conditions of the kimchi, which may impact safety (Enterobacteriaceae populations may include pathogenic bacteria) and quality (homolactic fermentation can be undesirable, if too much acid is produced) of the product. In addition, the data also illustrate the need for improved methods for identifying and differentiating closely related lactic acid bacteria species using high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:25847522

  13. Manipulation of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C.; Palmer, R.J., Jr.; Zinn, M.; Smith, C.A.; Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Whitaker, K.W.; Kirkegaard, R.D.

    1998-08-15

    The biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms be generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desaturation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  14. Manipulatiaon of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Palmer, R.J.; Smith, C.A.; Whitaker, K.W.; White, D.C.; Zinn, M.; kirkegaard, R.

    1998-08-09

    The Biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms by generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desquamation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in the distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  15. Procedures For Microbial-Ecology Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huff, Timothy L.

    1993-01-01

    Microbial Ecology Laboratory Procedures Manual provides concise and well-defined instructions on routine technical procedures to be followed in microbiological laboratory to ensure safety, analytical control, and validity of results.

  16. Human intestinal microbial metabolism of naringin.

    PubMed

    Zou, Wei; Luo, Yulong; Liu, Menghua; Chen, Si; Wang, Sheng; Nie, Yichu; Cheng, Guohua; Su, Weiwei; Zhang, Kejian

    2015-09-01

    Naringin, a major flavonoid in citrus fruits, has been proved to be a promising antitussive candidate. It undertakes complicated metabolism. In this study, human intestinal microbial metabolism of naringin was studied in vitro. Six persons' fecal water, which have intestinal microbial enzyme, were used in the first experiment. Naringin was metabolized by fecal water into naringenin. Subsequently, 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propionic acid (4-HPPA) was produced with naringenin degradation by a person's fecal water. However, 4-HPPA was not detected after naringenin degradation by the other 5 subjects' fecal water and the reason might be that the degrading velocity of 4-HPPA exceeded the producing velocity. To confirm the difference in degrading 4-HPPA among human feces, 22 healthy persons' feces were used for incubation. In this second experiment, 15 persons' feces could degrade 4-HPPA, but the other 7 subjects' could not. Human feces showed different ability of degrading 4-HPPA, and there are no gender differences. These results may be helpful for explaining findings in pharmacological and toxicological studies and are groundwork for clinical studies. PMID:24935725

  17. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets. PMID:23483981

  18. Microbial Bebop: Creating Music from Complex Dynamics in Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets. PMID:23483981

  19. The information science of microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27183115

  20. Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora.

    PubMed

    Vaziri, Nosratola D; Wong, Jakk; Pahl, Madeleine; Piceno, Yvette M; Yuan, Jun; DeSantis, Todd Z; Ni, Zhenmin; Nguyen, Tien-Hung; Andersen, Gary L

    2013-02-01

    The population of microbes (microbiome) in the intestine is a symbiotic ecosystem conferring trophic and protective functions. Since the biochemical environment shapes the structure and function of the microbiome, we tested whether uremia and/or dietary and pharmacologic interventions in chronic kidney disease alters the microbiome. To identify different microbial populations, microbial DNA was isolated from the stools of 24 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and 12 healthy persons, and analyzed by phylogenetic microarray. There were marked differences in the abundance of 190 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) between the ESRD and control groups. OTUs from Brachybacterium, Catenibacterium, Enterobacteriaceae, Halomonadaceae, Moraxellaceae, Nesterenkonia, Polyangiaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Thiothrix families were markedly increased in patients with ESRD. To isolate the effect of uremia from inter-individual variations, comorbid conditions, and dietary and medicinal interventions, rats were studied 8 weeks post 5/6 nephrectomy or sham operation. This showed a significant difference in the abundance of 175 bacterial OTUs between the uremic and control animals, most notably as decreases in the Lactobacillaceae and Prevotellaceae families. Thus, uremia profoundly alters the composition of the gut microbiome. The biological impact of this phenomenon is unknown and awaits further investigation. PMID:22992469

  1. Transport phenomena of microbial flora in the small intestine with peristalsis.

    PubMed

    Ishikawa, T; Sato, T; Mohit, G; Imai, Y; Yamaguchi, T

    2011-06-21

    The gastrointestinal tract of humans is colonized by indigenous prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial cells that form a complex ecological system called microbial flora. Although the microbial flora has diverse functions, its homeostasis inside the gastrointestinal tract is still largely unknown. Therefore, creating a model for investigating microbial flora in the gastrointestinal tract is important. In this study, we developed a novel numerical model to explore the transport phenomena of microbial flora in the small intestine. By simultaneously solving the flow field generated by peristalsis, the concentrations of oxygen and nutrient, and the densities of moderate anaerobes and aerobes, the effects of fluid mechanics on the transport phenomena of microbial flora are discussed. The results clearly illustrated that fluid mechanics have considerable influence not only on the bacterial population, but also on the concentration distributions of oxygen and nutrient. Especially, the flow field enhances the radial variation of the concentration fields. We also show scaling arguments for bacterial growth and oxygen consumption, which capture the main features of the results. Additionally, we investigated the transport phenomena of microbial flora in a long tube with 40 constrictions. The results showed a high growth rate of aerobes in the upstream side and a high growth rate of anaerobes in the downstream side, which qualitatively agrees with experimental observations of human intestines. These new findings provide the fundamental basis for a better understanding of the transport phenomena of microbial flora in the intestine. PMID:21440560

  2. Microfluidics Expanding the Frontiers of Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rusconi, Roberto; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman

    2014-01-01

    The ability afforded by microfluidics to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled and confined microenvironments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities, has significantly contributed to expand the frontiers of microbial ecology over the last decade. Spatially and temporally varying distributions of organisms and chemical cues that mimic natural microbial habitats can now be established by exploiting physics at the micrometer scale and by incorporating structures with specific geometries and materials. Here we review applications of microfluidics that have resulted in highly insightful discoveries on fundamental aspects of microbial life, ranging from growth and sensing to cell-cell interactions and population dynamics. We anticipate that this flexible, multidisciplinary technology will continue to facilitate discoveries regarding the ecology of microorganisms and help uncover strategies to control phenomena such as biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. PMID:24773019

  3. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. PMID:21955796

  4. The outer mucus layer hosts a distinct intestinal microbial niche

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hai; Limenitakis, Julien P.; Fuhrer, Tobias; Geuking, Markus B.; Lawson, Melissa A.; Wyss, Madeleine; Brugiroux, Sandrine; Keller, Irene; Macpherson, Jamie A.; Rupp, Sandra; Stolp, Bettina; Stein, Jens V.; Stecher, Bärbel; Sauer, Uwe; McCoy, Kathy D.; Macpherson, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    The overall composition of the mammalian intestinal microbiota varies between individuals: within each individual there are differences along the length of the intestinal tract related to host nutrition, intestinal motility and secretions. Mucus is a highly regenerative protective lubricant glycoprotein sheet secreted by host intestinal goblet cells; the inner mucus layer is nearly sterile. Here we show that the outer mucus of the large intestine forms a unique microbial niche with distinct communities, including bacteria without specialized mucolytic capability. Bacterial species present in the mucus show differential proliferation and resource utilization compared with the same species in the intestinal lumen, with high recovery of bioavailable iron and consumption of epithelial-derived carbon sources according to their genome-encoded metabolic repertoire. Functional competition for existence in this intimate layer is likely to be a major determinant of microbiota composition and microbial molecular exchange with the host. PMID:26392213

  5. Microbial ecology of chlorinated solvent biodegradation.

    PubMed

    David, Maude M; Cecillon, Sebastien; Warne, Brett M; Prestat, Emmanuel; Jansson, Janet K; Vogel, Timothy M

    2015-12-01

    This study focused on the microbial ecology of tetrachloroethene (PCE) degradation to trichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride to evaluate the relationship between the microbial community and the potential accumulation or degradation of these toxic metabolites. Multiple soil microcosms supplied with different organic substrates were artificially contaminated with PCE. A thymidine analogue, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), was added to the microcosms and incorporated into the DNA of actively replicating cells. We compared the total and active bacterial communities during the 50-day incubations by using phylogenic microarrays and 454 pyrosequencing to identify microorganisms and functional genes associated with PCE degradation to ethene. By use of this integrative approach, both the key community members and the ecological functions concomitant with complete PCE degradation could be determined, including the presence and activity of microbial community members responsible for producing hydrogen and acetate, which are critical for Dehalococcoides-mediated PCE degradation. In addition, by correlation of chemical data and phylogenic microarray data, we identified several bacteria that could potentially oxidize hydrogen. These results demonstrate that PCE degradation is dependent on some microbial community members for production of appropriate metabolites, while other members of the community compete for hydrogen in soil at low redox potentials. PMID:24517489

  6. Microbial ecology of Antarctic aquatic systems.

    PubMed

    Cavicchioli, Ricardo

    2015-11-01

    The Earth's biosphere is dominated by cold environments, and the cold biosphere is dominated by microorganisms. Microorganisms in cold Southern Ocean waters are recognized for having crucial roles in global biogeochemical cycles, including carbon sequestration, whereas microorganisms in other Antarctic aquatic biomes are not as well understood. In this Review, I consider what has been learned about Antarctic aquatic microbial ecology from 'omic' studies. I assess the factors that shape the biogeography of Antarctic microorganisms, reflect on some of the unusual biogeochemical cycles that they are associated with and discuss the important roles that viruses have in controlling ecosystem function. PMID:26456925

  7. The microbial ecology of wine grape berries.

    PubMed

    Barata, A; Malfeito-Ferreira, M; Loureiro, V

    2012-02-15

    Grapes have a complex microbial ecology including filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria with different physiological characteristics and effects upon wine production. Some species are only found in grapes, such as parasitic fungi and environmental bacteria, while others have the ability to survive and grow in wines, constituting the wine microbial consortium. This consortium covers yeast species, lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria. The proportion of these microorganisms depends on the grape ripening stage and on the availability of nutrients. Grape berries are susceptible to fungal parasites until véraison after which the microbiota of truly intact berries is similar to that of plant leaves, which is dominated by basidiomycetous yeasts (e.g. Cryptococcus spp., Rhodotorula spp. Sporobolomyces spp.) and the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. The cuticle of visually intact berries may bear microfissures and softens with ripening, increasing nutrient availability and explaining the possible dominance by the oxidative or weakly fermentative ascomycetous populations (e.g. Candida spp., Hanseniaspora spp., Metschnikowia spp., Pichia spp.) approaching harvest time. When grape skin is clearly damaged, the availability of high sugar concentrations on the berry surface favours the increase of ascomycetes with higher fermentative activity like Pichia spp. and Zygoascus hellenicus, including dangerous wine spoilage yeasts (e.g. Zygosaccharomyces spp., Torulaspora spp.), and of acetic acid bacteria (e.g. Gluconobacter spp., Acetobacter spp.). The sugar fermenting species Saccharomyces cerevisiae is rarely found on unblemished berries, being favoured by grape damage. Lactic acid bacteria are minor partners of grape microbiota and while being the typical agent of malolactic fermentation, Oenococcus oeni has been seldom isolated from grapes in the vineyard. Environmental ubiquitous bacteria of the genus Enterobacter spp., Enterococcus spp., Bacillus spp

  8. A Microbial Feed Additive Abates Intestinal Inflammation in Atlantic Salmon

    PubMed Central

    Vasanth, Ghana; Kiron, Viswanath; Kulkarni, Amod; Dahle, Dalia; Lokesh, Jep; Kitani, Yoichiro

    2015-01-01

    The efficacy of a microbial feed additive (Bactocell®) in countering intestinal inflammation in Atlantic salmon was examined in this study. Fish were fed either the additive-coated feed (probiotic) or feed without it (control). After an initial 3-week feeding, an inflammatory condition was induced by anally intubating all the fish with oxazolone. The fish were offered the feeds for 3 more weeks. Distal intestine from the groups was obtained at 4 h, 24 h, and 3 weeks, after oxazolone treatment. Inflammatory responses were prominent in both groups at 24 h, documented by changes in intestinal micromorphology, expression of inflammation-related genes, and intestinal proteome. The control group was characterized by edema, widening of intestinal villi and lamina propria, infiltration of granulocytes and lymphocytes, and higher expression of genes related to inflammatory responses, mul1b, il1b, tnfa, ifng, compared to the probiotic group or other time points of the control group. Further, the protein expression in the probiotic group at 24 h after inducing inflammation revealed five differentially regulated proteins – Calr, Psma5, Trp1, Ctsb, and Naga. At 3 weeks after intubation, the inflammatory responses subsided in the probiotic group. The findings provide evidence that the microbial additive contributes to intestinal homeostasis in Atlantic salmon. PMID:26347738

  9. The use of microarrays in microbial ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Andersen, G.L.; He, Z.; DeSantis, T.Z.; Brodie, E.L.; Zhou, J.

    2009-09-15

    Microarrays have proven to be a useful and high-throughput method to provide targeted DNA sequence information for up to many thousands of specific genetic regions in a single test. A microarray consists of multiple DNA oligonucleotide probes that, under high stringency conditions, hybridize only to specific complementary nucleic acid sequences (targets). A fluorescent signal indicates the presence and, in many cases, the abundance of genetic regions of interest. In this chapter we will look at how microarrays are used in microbial ecology, especially with the recent increase in microbial community DNA sequence data. Of particular interest to microbial ecologists, phylogenetic microarrays are used for the analysis of phylotypes in a community and functional gene arrays are used for the analysis of functional genes, and, by inference, phylotypes in environmental samples. A phylogenetic microarray that has been developed by the Andersen laboratory, the PhyloChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that targets the known diversity within the 16S rRNA gene to determine microbial community composition. Using multiple, confirmatory probes to increase the confidence of detection and a mismatch probe for every perfect match probe to minimize the effect of cross-hybridization by non-target regions, the PhyloChip is able to simultaneously identify any of thousands of taxa present in an environmental sample. The PhyloChip is shown to reveal greater diversity within a community than rRNA gene sequencing due to the placement of the entire gene product on the microarray compared with the analysis of up to thousands of individual molecules by traditional sequencing methods. A functional gene array that has been developed by the Zhou laboratory, the GeoChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that dynamically identifies functional activities of multiple members within a community. The recent version of GeoChip contains more than 24,000 50mer

  10. Microbial imbalance and intestinal pathologies: connections and contributions

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ye; Jobin, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Microbiome analysis has identified a state of microbial imbalance (dysbiosis) in patients with chronic intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer. The bacterial phylum Proteobacteria is often overrepresented in these individuals, with Escherichia coli being the most prevalent species. It is clear that a complex interplay between the host, bacteria and bacterial genes is implicated in the development of these intestinal diseases. Understanding the basic elements of these interactions could have important implications for disease detection and management. Recent studies have revealed that E. coli utilizes a complex arsenal of virulence factors to colonize and persist in the intestine. Some of these virulence factors, such as the genotoxin colibactin, were found to promote colorectal cancer in experimental models. In this Review, we summarize key features of the dysbiotic states associated with chronic intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer, and discuss how the dysregulated interplay between host and bacteria could favor the emergence of E. coli with pathological traits implicated in these pathologies. PMID:25256712

  11. Microbial Ecology at an Arctic Geothermal Spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starke, V.; Fogel, M. L.; Steele, A.; Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (Amase)

    2011-12-01

    A critical question in microbial ecology concerns how variations in environmental conditions affect microbial community makeup. Arctic thermal springs provide an exceptional opportunity to study this question because they have very steep gradients in temperature, moisture, and mobility that place strong selective pressures on microorganisms. Troll Springs, located near 79°23'N, 13°26E in the Svalbard archipelago north of Norway, is one of the northernmost documented thermal springs on land. Precipitation of travertine (calcium carbonate) from Troll's carbonate-rich waters has built a complex terrace structure. Biological materials are present at all levels of the spring structure. To investigate this microbial community in detail, we analyzed DNA extracted from wet biofilms, granular samples and endoliths with 454 parallel-tagged pyrosequencing and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of how the community at Troll Springs changes over the gradients in environmental conditions present. The 454 and ARISA data were analyzed using multivariate methods, including non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS). Results show a gradual transition in the makeup of the microbial community as the environment changes from aquatic to lithologic. These observations suggest a mechanism by which the rocks are colonized by microorganisms: biofilm becomes entrapped during carbonate precipitation. Use of a range of parameters and techniques in the data processing and multidimensional scaling provides additional insight into how community makeup varies across the environments present at the spring. Some more adaptable species are found across most environments, but change markedly in abundance as the conditions change. Other less adaptable species are found in fewer environments, being wholly absent in most. Continued analysis will help reveal which species are the most adaptable, and how their adaptive capabilities

  12. Microbial Biofilms: from Ecology to Molecular Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Mary Ellen; O'toole, George A.

    2000-01-01

    Biofilms are complex communities of microorganisms attached to surfaces or associated with interfaces. Despite the focus of modern microbiology research on pure culture, planktonic (free-swimming) bacteria, it is now widely recognized that most bacteria found in natural, clinical, and industrial settings persist in association with surfaces. Furthermore, these microbial communities are often composed of multiple species that interact with each other and their environment. The determination of biofilm architecture, particularly the spatial arrangement of microcolonies (clusters of cells) relative to one another, has profound implications for the function of these complex communities. Numerous new experimental approaches and methodologies have been developed in order to explore metabolic interactions, phylogenetic groupings, and competition among members of the biofilm. To complement this broad view of biofilm ecology, individual organisms have been studied using molecular genetics in order to identify the genes required for biofilm development and to dissect the regulatory pathways that control the plankton-to-biofilm transition. These molecular genetic studies have led to the emergence of the concept of biofilm formation as a novel system for the study of bacterial development. The recent explosion in the field of biofilm research has led to exciting progress in the development of new technologies for studying these communities, advanced our understanding of the ecological significance of surface-attached bacteria, and provided new insights into the molecular genetic basis of biofilm development. PMID:11104821

  13. Molecular musings in microbial ecology and evolution

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    A few major discoveries have influenced how ecologists and evolutionists study microbes. Here, in the format of an interview, we answer questions that directly relate to how these discoveries are perceived in these two branches of microbiology, and how they have impacted on both scientific thinking and methodology. The first question is "What has been the influence of the 'Universal Tree of Life' based on molecular markers?" For evolutionists, the tree was a tool to understand the past of known (cultured) organisms, mapping the invention of various physiologies on the evolutionary history of microbes. For ecologists the tree was a guide to discover the current diversity of unknown (uncultured) organisms, without much knowledge of their physiology. The second question we ask is "What was the impact of discovering frequent lateral gene transfer among microbes?" In evolutionary microbiology, frequent lateral gene transfer (LGT) made a simple description of relationships between organisms impossible, and for microbial ecologists, functions could not be easily linked to specific genotypes. Both fields initially resisted LGT, but methods or topics of inquiry were eventually changed in one to incorporate LGT in its theoretical models (evolution) and in the other to achieve its goals despite that phenomenon (ecology). The third and last question we ask is "What are the implications of the unexpected extent of diversity?" The variation in the extent of diversity between organisms invalidated the universality of species definitions based on molecular criteria, a major obstacle to the adaptation of models developed for the study of macroscopic eukaryotes to evolutionary microbiology. This issue has not overtly affected microbial ecology, as it had already abandoned species in favor of the more flexible operational taxonomic units. This field is nonetheless moving away from traditional methods to measure diversity, as they do not provide enough resolution to uncover what lies

  14. Ecological Modeling from Time-Series Inference: Insight into Dynamics and Stability of Intestinal Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Toussaint, Nora C.; Buffie, Charlie G.; Rätsch, Gunnar; Pamer, Eric G.; Sander, Chris; Xavier, João B.

    2013-01-01

    The intestinal microbiota is a microbial ecosystem of crucial importance to human health. Understanding how the microbiota confers resistance against enteric pathogens and how antibiotics disrupt that resistance is key to the prevention and cure of intestinal infections. We present a novel method to infer microbial community ecology directly from time-resolved metagenomics. This method extends generalized Lotka–Volterra dynamics to account for external perturbations. Data from recent experiments on antibiotic-mediated Clostridium difficile infection is analyzed to quantify microbial interactions, commensal-pathogen interactions, and the effect of the antibiotic on the community. Stability analysis reveals that the microbiota is intrinsically stable, explaining how antibiotic perturbations and C. difficile inoculation can produce catastrophic shifts that persist even after removal of the perturbations. Importantly, the analysis suggests a subnetwork of bacterial groups implicated in protection against C. difficile. Due to its generality, our method can be applied to any high-resolution ecological time-series data to infer community structure and response to external stimuli. PMID:24348232

  15. Ecological modeling from time-series inference: insight into dynamics and stability of intestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Stein, Richard R; Bucci, Vanni; Toussaint, Nora C; Buffie, Charlie G; Rätsch, Gunnar; Pamer, Eric G; Sander, Chris; Xavier, João B

    2013-01-01

    The intestinal microbiota is a microbial ecosystem of crucial importance to human health. Understanding how the microbiota confers resistance against enteric pathogens and how antibiotics disrupt that resistance is key to the prevention and cure of intestinal infections. We present a novel method to infer microbial community ecology directly from time-resolved metagenomics. This method extends generalized Lotka-Volterra dynamics to account for external perturbations. Data from recent experiments on antibiotic-mediated Clostridium difficile infection is analyzed to quantify microbial interactions, commensal-pathogen interactions, and the effect of the antibiotic on the community. Stability analysis reveals that the microbiota is intrinsically stable, explaining how antibiotic perturbations and C. difficile inoculation can produce catastrophic shifts that persist even after removal of the perturbations. Importantly, the analysis suggests a subnetwork of bacterial groups implicated in protection against C. difficile. Due to its generality, our method can be applied to any high-resolution ecological time-series data to infer community structure and response to external stimuli. PMID:24348232

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Metagenomic approaches are now commonly used in microbial ecology to study microbial communities in more detail, including many strains that cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. Bioinformatic analyses make it possible to mine huge metagenomic datasets and discover general patterns that govern microbial ecosystems. However, the findings of typical metagenomic and bioinformatic analyses still do not completely describe the ecology and evolution of microbes in their environments. Most analyses still depend on straightforward sequence similarity searches against reference databases. We herein review the current state of metagenomics and bioinformatics in microbial ecology and discuss future directions for the field. New techniques will allow us to go beyond routine analyses and broaden our knowledge of microbial ecosystems. We need to enrich reference databases, promote platforms that enable meta- or comprehensive analyses of diverse metagenomic datasets, devise methods that utilize long-read sequence information, and develop more powerful bioinformatic methods to analyze data from diverse perspectives. PMID:27383682

  17. Microbial influences on the small intestinal response to radiation injury

    PubMed Central

    Packey, Christopher D.; Ciorba, Matthew A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Injury to the small bowel from ionizing radiation occurs commonly in patients undergoing cancer therapy and less commonly in instances of accidental radiation overexposure. Several lines of evidence now suggest that dynamic interactions between the host’s enteric microbiota and innate immune system are important in modulating the intestinal response to radiation. Here, we will review recent developments in the area of acute radiation enteropathy and examine the current state of knowledge regarding the impact of host–microbial interactions in the process. Recent findings There is promise in the development and testing of new clinical biomarkers including serum citrulline. Toll-like receptor agonists and innate immune system signaling pathways including nuclear factor-kappa B profoundly alter intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis and crypt survival after radiation exposure. Germ-free conditions, probiotics and antibiotics are each identified as modifiers of disease development and course. A human study suggested that luminal microbiota composition may influence the host’s intestinal response to radiation and may change in those developing postradiation diarrhea. Summary New knowledge implies that investigations aimed at deciphering the microbiome–host interactions before and after small bowl radiation injury may eventually allow prediction of disease course and offer opportunities for the development of novel therapeutic or prophylactic strategies. PMID:20040865

  18. Integrating ecological and engineering concepts of resilience in microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Hyun-Seob; Renslow, Ryan S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Lindemann, Stephen R.

    2015-12-01

    Many definitions of resilience have been proffered for natural and engineered ecosystems, but a conceptual consensus on resilience in microbial communities is still lacking. We argue that the disconnect largely results from the wide variance in microbial community complexity, which range from simple synthetic consortia to complex natural communities, and divergence between the typical practical outcomes emphasized by ecologists and engineers. Viewing microbial communities as elasto-plastic systems, we argue that this gap between the engineering and ecological definitions of resilience stems from their respective emphases on elastic and plastic deformation, respectively. We propose that the two concepts may be fundamentally united around the resilience of function rather than state in microbial communities and the regularity in the relationship between environmental variation and a community’s functional response. Furthermore, we posit that functional resilience is an intrinsic property of microbial communities, suggesting that state changes in response to environmental variation may be a key mechanism driving resilience in microbial communities.

  19. [New experimental models in microbial ecology].

    PubMed

    Liz'ko, N N

    1989-06-01

    Peculiar features of dysbiosis development in persons under extreme conditions were studied. It was shown that a number of extreme factors participated in formation of dysbiotic disorders in intestinal microflora. Of paramount importance was the neuro-emotional stress. Lability of bifido- and lactoflora was considered as the starting mechanism in dysbacteriosis under the extreme conditions. In the experimental models with rats SPF and Primates during flights of biosatellites of the Kosmos series the role of indigenous++ microflora in maintaining the microecological homeostasis, as well as the need for development of artificial and controlled intestinal microflora promising in prophylaxis of dysbacteriosis under extreme conditions was shown. The theoretical and experimentally grounded necessity of maintaining constant intestine microbiocenosis was confirmed by the practice of using the system of measures for recovery, stabilization and optimization of microflora in persons under extreme conditions. PMID:2802876

  20. Intestinal Microbial Metabolism of Phosphatidylcholine and Cardiovascular Risk

    PubMed Central

    Tang, W.H. Wilson; Wang, Zeneng; Levison, Bruce S.; Koeth, Robert A.; Britt, Earl B.; Fu, Xiaoming; Wu, Yuping; Hazen, Stanley L.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Recent studies in animals have shown a mechanistic link between intestinal microbial metabolism of the choline moiety in dietary phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) and coronary artery disease through the production of a proatherosclerotic metabolite, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). We investigated the relationship among intestinal microbiota-dependent metabolism of dietary phosphatidylcholine, TMAO levels, and adverse cardiovascular events in humans. METHODS We quantified plasma and urinary levels of TMAO and plasma choline and betaine levels by means of liquid chromatography and online tandem mass spectrometry after a phosphatidylcholine challenge (ingestion of two hard-boiled eggs and deuterium [d9]-labeled phosphatidylcholine) in healthy participants before and after the suppression of intestinal microbiota with oral broad-spectrum antibiotics. We further examined the relationship between fasting plasma levels of TMAO and incident major adverse cardiovascular events (death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) during 3 years of follow-up in 4007 patients undergoing elective coronary angiography. RESULTS Time-dependent increases in levels of both TMAO and its d9 isotopologue, as well as other choline metabolites, were detected after the phosphatidylcholine challenge. Plasma levels of TMAO were markedly suppressed after the administration of antibiotics and then reappeared after withdrawal of antibiotics. Increased plasma levels of TMAO were associated with an increased risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event (hazard ratio for highest vs. lowest TMAO quartile, 2.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.96 to 3.28; P<0.001). An elevated TMAO level predicted an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events after adjustment for traditional risk factors (P<0.001), as well as in lower-risk subgroups. CONCLUSIONS The production of TMAO from dietary phosphatidylcholine is dependent on metabolism by the intestinal microbiota. Increased TMAO levels are associated

  1. Sparse and compositionally robust inference of microbial ecological networks.

    PubMed

    Kurtz, Zachary D; Müller, Christian L; Miraldi, Emily R; Littman, Dan R; Blaser, Martin J; Bonneau, Richard A

    2015-05-01

    16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene and other environmental sequencing techniques provide snapshots of microbial communities, revealing phylogeny and the abundances of microbial populations across diverse ecosystems. While changes in microbial community structure are demonstrably associated with certain environmental conditions (from metabolic and immunological health in mammals to ecological stability in soils and oceans), identification of underlying mechanisms requires new statistical tools, as these datasets present several technical challenges. First, the abundances of microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from amplicon-based datasets are compositional. Counts are normalized to the total number of counts in the sample. Thus, microbial abundances are not independent, and traditional statistical metrics (e.g., correlation) for the detection of OTU-OTU relationships can lead to spurious results. Secondly, microbial sequencing-based studies typically measure hundreds of OTUs on only tens to hundreds of samples; thus, inference of OTU-OTU association networks is severely under-powered, and additional information (or assumptions) are required for accurate inference. Here, we present SPIEC-EASI (SParse InversE Covariance Estimation for Ecological Association Inference), a statistical method for the inference of microbial ecological networks from amplicon sequencing datasets that addresses both of these issues. SPIEC-EASI combines data transformations developed for compositional data analysis with a graphical model inference framework that assumes the underlying ecological association network is sparse. To reconstruct the network, SPIEC-EASI relies on algorithms for sparse neighborhood and inverse covariance selection. To provide a synthetic benchmark in the absence of an experimentally validated gold-standard network, SPIEC-EASI is accompanied by a set of computational tools to generate OTU count data from a set of diverse underlying network topologies. SPIEC

  2. Sparse and Compositionally Robust Inference of Microbial Ecological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kurtz, Zachary D.; Müller, Christian L.; Miraldi, Emily R.; Littman, Dan R.; Blaser, Martin J.; Bonneau, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene and other environmental sequencing techniques provide snapshots of microbial communities, revealing phylogeny and the abundances of microbial populations across diverse ecosystems. While changes in microbial community structure are demonstrably associated with certain environmental conditions (from metabolic and immunological health in mammals to ecological stability in soils and oceans), identification of underlying mechanisms requires new statistical tools, as these datasets present several technical challenges. First, the abundances of microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from amplicon-based datasets are compositional. Counts are normalized to the total number of counts in the sample. Thus, microbial abundances are not independent, and traditional statistical metrics (e.g., correlation) for the detection of OTU-OTU relationships can lead to spurious results. Secondly, microbial sequencing-based studies typically measure hundreds of OTUs on only tens to hundreds of samples; thus, inference of OTU-OTU association networks is severely under-powered, and additional information (or assumptions) are required for accurate inference. Here, we present SPIEC-EASI (SParse InversE Covariance Estimation for Ecological Association Inference), a statistical method for the inference of microbial ecological networks from amplicon sequencing datasets that addresses both of these issues. SPIEC-EASI combines data transformations developed for compositional data analysis with a graphical model inference framework that assumes the underlying ecological association network is sparse. To reconstruct the network, SPIEC-EASI relies on algorithms for sparse neighborhood and inverse covariance selection. To provide a synthetic benchmark in the absence of an experimentally validated gold-standard network, SPIEC-EASI is accompanied by a set of computational tools to generate OTU count data from a set of diverse underlying network topologies. SPIEC

  3. Ecological perspectives on synthetic biology: insights from microbial population biology

    PubMed Central

    Escalante, Ana E.; Rebolleda-Gómez, María; Benítez, Mariana; Travisano, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic capabilities of microbes are the basis for many major biotechnological advances, exploiting microbial diversity by selection or engineering of single strains. However, there are limits to the advances that can be achieved with single strains, and attention has turned toward the metabolic potential of consortia and the field of synthetic ecology. The main challenge for the synthetic ecology is that consortia are frequently unstable, largely because evolution by constituent members affects their interactions, which are the basis of collective metabolic functionality. Current practices in modeling consortia largely consider interactions as fixed circuits of chemical reactions, which greatly increases their tractability. This simplification comes at the cost of essential biological realism, stripping out the ecological context in which the metabolic actions occur and the potential for evolutionary change. In other words, evolutionary stability is not engineered into the system. This realization highlights the necessity to better identify the key components that influence the stable coexistence of microorganisms. Inclusion of ecological and evolutionary principles, in addition to biophysical variables and stoichiometric modeling of metabolism, is critical for microbial consortia design. This review aims to bring ecological and evolutionary concepts to the discussion on the stability of microbial consortia. In particular, we focus on the combined effect of spatial structure (connectivity of molecules and cells within the system) and ecological interactions (reciprocal and non-reciprocal) on the persistence of microbial consortia. We discuss exemplary cases to illustrate these ideas from published studies in evolutionary biology and biotechnology. We conclude by making clear the relevance of incorporating evolutionary and ecological principles to the design of microbial consortia, as a way of achieving evolutionarily stable and sustainable systems. PMID

  4. Ecological perspectives on synthetic biology: insights from microbial population biology.

    PubMed

    Escalante, Ana E; Rebolleda-Gómez, María; Benítez, Mariana; Travisano, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The metabolic capabilities of microbes are the basis for many major biotechnological advances, exploiting microbial diversity by selection or engineering of single strains. However, there are limits to the advances that can be achieved with single strains, and attention has turned toward the metabolic potential of consortia and the field of synthetic ecology. The main challenge for the synthetic ecology is that consortia are frequently unstable, largely because evolution by constituent members affects their interactions, which are the basis of collective metabolic functionality. Current practices in modeling consortia largely consider interactions as fixed circuits of chemical reactions, which greatly increases their tractability. This simplification comes at the cost of essential biological realism, stripping out the ecological context in which the metabolic actions occur and the potential for evolutionary change. In other words, evolutionary stability is not engineered into the system. This realization highlights the necessity to better identify the key components that influence the stable coexistence of microorganisms. Inclusion of ecological and evolutionary principles, in addition to biophysical variables and stoichiometric modeling of metabolism, is critical for microbial consortia design. This review aims to bring ecological and evolutionary concepts to the discussion on the stability of microbial consortia. In particular, we focus on the combined effect of spatial structure (connectivity of molecules and cells within the system) and ecological interactions (reciprocal and non-reciprocal) on the persistence of microbial consortia. We discuss exemplary cases to illustrate these ideas from published studies in evolutionary biology and biotechnology. We conclude by making clear the relevance of incorporating evolutionary and ecological principles to the design of microbial consortia, as a way of achieving evolutionarily stable and sustainable systems. PMID

  5. Rooting Theories of Plant Community Ecology in Microbial Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bever, James D.; Dickie, Ian A.; Facelli, Evelina; Facelli, Jose M.; Klironomos, John; Moora, Mari; Rillig, Matthias C.; Stock, William D.; Tibbett, Mark; Zobel, Martin

    2010-01-01

    Predominant frameworks for understanding plant ecology have an aboveground bias that neglects soil micro-organisms. This is inconsistent with recent work illustrating the importance of soil microbes in terrestrial ecology. Microbial effects have been incorporated into plant community dynamics using ideas of niche modification and plant-soil community feedbacks. Here, we expand and integrate qualitative conceptual models of plant niche and feedback to explore implications of microbial interactions for understanding plant community ecology. At the same time we review the empirical evidence for these processes. We also consider common mycorrhizal networks, and suggest these are best interpreted within the feedback framework. Finally, we apply our integrated model of niche and feedback to understanding plant coexistence, monodominance, and invasion ecology. PMID:20557974

  6. Ordering microbial diversity into ecologically and genetically cohesive units

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, B. Jesse; Polz, Martin F.

    2014-01-01

    We propose that microbial diversity must be viewed in light of gene flow and selection, which define units of genetic similarity, and of phenotype and ecological function, respectively. Here, we discuss to what extent ecological and genetic units overlap to form cohesive populations in the wild, based on recent evolutionary modeling and on evidence from some of the first microbial populations studied with genomics. These show that if recombination is frequent and selection moderate, ecologically adaptive mutations or genes can spread within populations independently of their original genomic background (gene-specific sweeps). Alternatively, if the effect of recombination is smaller than selection, genome-wide selective sweeps should occur. In both cases, however, distinct units of overlapping ecological and genotypic similarity will form if microgeographic separation, likely involving ecological tradeoffs, induces barriers to gene flow. These predictions are supported by (meta)genomic data, which suggest that a ‘reverse ecology’ approach, in which genomic and gene flow information is used to make predictions about the nature of ecological units, is a powerful approach to ordering microbial diversity. PMID:24630527

  7. The pig gut microbial diversity: Understanding the pig gut microbial ecology through the next generation high throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyeun Bum; Isaacson, Richard E

    2015-06-12

    The importance of the gut microbiota of animals is widely acknowledged because of its pivotal roles in the health and well being of animals. The genetic diversity of the gut microbiota contributes to the overall development and metabolic needs of the animal, and provides the host with many beneficial functions including production of volatile fatty acids, re-cycling of bile salts, production of vitamin K, cellulose digestion, and development of immune system. Thus the intestinal microbiota of animals has been the subject of study for many decades. Although most of the older studies have used culture dependent methods, the recent advent of high throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes has facilitated in depth studies exploring microbial populations and their dynamics in the animal gut. These culture independent DNA based studies generate large amounts of data and as a result contribute to a more detailed understanding of the microbiota dynamics in the gut and the ecology of the microbial populations. Of equal importance, is being able to identify and quantify microbes that are difficult to grow or that have not been grown in the laboratory. Interpreting the data obtained from this type of study requires using basic principles of microbial diversity to understand importance of the composition of microbial populations. In this review, we summarize the literature on culture independent studies of the pig gut microbiota with an emphasis on its succession and alterations caused by diverse factors. PMID:25843944

  8. [Engineering issues of microbial ecology in space agriculture].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Ishikawa, Yoji; Oshima, Tairo

    2005-03-01

    Closure of the materials recycle loop for water-foods-oxygen is the primary purpose of space agriculture on Mars and Moon. A microbial ecological system takes a part of agriculture to process our metabolic excreta and inedible biomass and convert them to nutrients and soil substrate for cultivating plants. If we extend the purpose of space agriculture to the creation and control of a healthy and pleasant living environment, we should realize that our human body should not be sterilized but exposed to the appropriate microbial environment. We are proposing a use of hyper-thermophilic aerobic composting microbial ecology in space agriculture. Japan has a broad historical and cultural background on this subject. There had been agriculture that drove a closed loop of materials between consuming cities and farming villages in vicinity. Recent environmental problems regarding garbage collection and processing in towns have motivated home electronics companies to innovate "garbage composting" machines with bacterial technology. Based on those matured technology, together with new insights on microbiology and microbial ecology, we have been developing a conceptual design of space agriculture on Moon and Mars. There are several issues to be answered in order to prove effectiveness of the use of microbial systems in space. 1) Can the recycled nutrients, processed by the hyper-thermal aerobic composting microbial ecology, be formed in the physical and chemical state or configuration, with which plants can uptake those nutrients? A possibility of removing any major components of fertilizer from its recycle loop is another item to be evaluated. 2) What are the merits of forming soil microbial ecology around the root system of plants? This might be the most crucial question. Recent researches exhibit various mutually beneficial relationships among soil microbiota and plants, and symbiotic ecology in composting bacteria. It is essential to understand those features, and define

  9. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Ecology: Applications in Ruminant Health and Production Research

    PubMed Central

    Osterstock, Jason B.; Pinchak, William E.; Ishii, Shun’ichi; Nelson, Karen E.

    2009-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H2in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H2 plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H2 partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research. PMID:20024685

  10. Effects of aging on microbial ecology in swine manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Emissions and availability of nutrients from manure depends on activities of resident microorganisms; however, the effects of diet, animal genetics or treatments on the microbial ecology of pig manure is largely unknown. Stainless steel tanks with total manure capacity of 900 L were designed to all...

  11. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-04-01

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0–30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0–20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30–60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0–20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings.

  12. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-01-01

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0-30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0-20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30-60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0-20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings. PMID:27126064

  13. Ecological restoration alters microbial communities in mine tailings profiles

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Jia, Zhongjun; Sun, Qingye; Zhan, Jing; Yang, Yang; Wang, Dan

    2016-01-01

    Ecological restoration of mine tailings have impact on soil physiochemical properties and microbial communities. The surface soil has been a primary concern in the past decades, however it remains poorly understood about the adaptive response of microbial communities along the profile during ecological restoration of the tailings. In this study, microbial communities along a 60-cm profile were investigated in a mine tailing pond during ecological restoration of the bare waste tailings (BW) with two vegetated soils of Imperata cylindrica (IC) and Chrysopogon zizanioides (CZ) plants. Revegetation of both IC and CZ could retard soil degradation of mine tailing by stimulation of soil pH at 0–30 cm soils and altered the bacterial communities at 0–20 cm depths of the mine tailings. Significant differences existed in the relative abundance of the phyla Alphaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Firmicutes and Nitrospira. Slight difference of bacterial communities were found at 30–60 cm depths of mine tailings. Abundance and activity analysis of nifH genes also explained the elevated soil nitrogen contents at the surface 0–20 cm of the vegetated soils. These results suggest that microbial succession occurred primarily at surface tailings and vegetation of pioneering plants might have promoted ecological restoration of mine tailings. PMID:27126064

  14. An Inquiry-Based Laboratory Design for Microbial Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tessier, Jack T.; Penniman, Clayton A.

    2006-01-01

    There is a collective need to increase the use of inquiry-based instruction at the college level. This paper provides of an example of how inquiry was successfully used in the laboratory component of an undergraduate course in microbial ecology. Students were offered a collection of field and laboratory methods to choose from, and they developed a…

  15. Microbial ecology of the cryosphere: sea ice and glacial habitats.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Anesio, Alexandre M; Deming, Jody W; Mikucki, Jill A; Rapp, Josephine Z

    2015-11-01

    The Earth's cryosphere comprises those regions that are cold enough for water to turn into ice. Recent findings show that the icy realms of polar oceans, glaciers and ice sheets are inhabited by microorganisms of all three domains of life, and that temperatures below 0 °C are an integral force in the diversification of microbial life. Cold-adapted microorganisms maintain key ecological functions in icy habitats: where sunlight penetrates the ice, photoautotrophy is the basis for complex food webs, whereas in dark subglacial habitats, chemoautotrophy reigns. This Review summarizes current knowledge of the microbial ecology of frozen waters, including the diversity of niches, the composition of microbial communities at these sites and their biogeochemical activities. PMID:26344407

  16. Energy, ecology and the distribution of microbial life

    PubMed Central

    Macalady, Jennifer L.; Hamilton, Trinity L.; Grettenberger, Christen L.; Jones, Daniel S.; Tsao, Leah E.; Burgos, William D.

    2013-01-01

    Mechanisms that govern the coexistence of multiple biological species have been studied intensively by ecologists since the turn of the nineteenth century. Microbial ecologists in the meantime have faced many fundamental challenges, such as the lack of an ecologically coherent species definition, lack of adequate methods for evaluating population sizes and community composition in nature, and enormous taxonomic and functional diversity. The accessibility of powerful, culture-independent molecular microbiology methods offers an opportunity to close the gap between microbial science and the main stream of ecological theory, with the promise of new insights and tools needed to meet the grand challenges humans face as planetary engineers and galactic explorers. We focus specifically on resources related to energy metabolism because of their direct links to elemental cycling in the Earth's history, engineering applications and astrobiology. To what extent does the availability of energy resources structure microbial communities in nature? Our recent work on sulfur- and iron-oxidizing autotrophs suggests that apparently subtle variations in the concentration ratios of external electron donors and acceptors select for different microbial populations. We show that quantitative knowledge of microbial energy niches (population-specific patterns of energy resource use) can be used to predict variations in the abundance of specific taxa in microbial communities. Furthermore, we propose that resource ratio theory applied to micro-organisms will provide a useful framework for identifying how environmental communities are organized in space and time. PMID:23754819

  17. Implications of streamlining theory for microbial ecology

    PubMed Central

    Giovannoni, Stephen J; Cameron Thrash, J; Temperton, Ben

    2014-01-01

    Whether a small cell, a small genome or a minimal set of chemical reactions with self-replicating properties, simplicity is beguiling. As Leonardo da Vinci reportedly said, ‘simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'. Two diverging views of simplicity have emerged in accounts of symbiotic and commensal bacteria and cosmopolitan free-living bacteria with small genomes. The small genomes of obligate insect endosymbionts have been attributed to genetic drift caused by small effective population sizes (Ne). In contrast, streamlining theory attributes small cells and genomes to selection for efficient use of nutrients in populations where Ne is large and nutrients limit growth. Regardless of the cause of genome reduction, lost coding potential eventually dictates loss of function. Consequences of reductive evolution in streamlined organisms include atypical patterns of prototrophy and the absence of common regulatory systems, which have been linked to difficulty in culturing these cells. Recent evidence from metagenomics suggests that streamlining is commonplace, may broadly explain the phenomenon of the uncultured microbial majority, and might also explain the highly interdependent (connected) behavior of many microbial ecosystems. Streamlining theory is belied by the observation that many successful bacteria are large cells with complex genomes. To fully appreciate streamlining, we must look to the life histories and adaptive strategies of cells, which impose minimum requirements for complexity that vary with niche. PMID:24739623

  18. Analysis of Ancient DNA in Microbial Ecology.

    PubMed

    Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry

    2016-01-01

    The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota. PMID:26791510

  19. Microbial mats: an ecological niche for fungi

    PubMed Central

    Cantrell, Sharon A.; Duval-Pérez, Lisabeth

    2013-01-01

    Fungi were documented in tropical hypersaline microbial mats and their role in the degradation of complex carbohydrates (exopolymeric substance – EPS) was explored. Fungal diversity is higher during the wet season with Acremonium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium among the more common genera. Diversity is also higher in the oxic layer and in young and transient mats. Enrichments with xanthan (a model EPS) show that without antibiotics (full community) degradation is faster than enrichments with antibacterial (fungal community) and antifungal (bacterial community) agents, suggesting that degradation is performed by a consortium of organisms (bacteria and fungi). The combined evidence from all experiments indicates that bacteria carried out approximately two-third of the xanthan degradation. The pattern of degradation is similar between seasons and layers but degradation is faster in enrichments from the wet season. The research suggests that fungi thrive in these hypersaline consortia and may participate in the carbon cycle through the degradation of complex carbohydrates. PMID:23577004

  20. A Theoretical Reassessment of Microbial Maintenance and Implications for Microbial Ecology Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M

    2012-01-01

    We attempted to reconcile three microbial maintenance models (Herbert, Pirt, and Compromise) through a critical reassessment. We provided a rigorous proof that the true growth yield coefficient (YG) is the ratio of the specific maintenance rate (a in Herbert) to the maintenance coefficient (m in Pirt). Other findings from this study include: (1) the Compromise model is identical to the Herbert for computing microbial growth and substrate consumption, but it expresses the dependence of maintenance on both microbial biomass and substrate; (2) the maximum specific growth rate in the Herbert ( max,H) is higher than those in the other two models ( max,P and max,C), and the difference is the physiological maintenance factor (mq = a); and (3) the overall maintenance coefficient (mT) is more sensitive to mq than to the specific growth rate ( G) and YG. Our critical reassessment of microbial maintenance provides a new approach for quantifying some important components in soil microbial ecology models.

  1. Integrating ecological and engineering concepts of resilience in microbial communities

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Song, Hyun -Seob; Renslow, Ryan S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Lindemann, Stephen R.

    2015-12-01

    We note that many definitions of resilience have been proffered for natural and engineered ecosystems, but a conceptual consensus on resilience in microbial communities is still lacking. Here, we argue that the disconnect largely results from the wide variance in microbial community complexity, which range from simple synthetic consortia to complex natural communities, and divergence between the typical practical outcomes emphasized by ecologists and engineers. Viewing microbial communities as elasto-plastic systems, we argue that this gap between the engineering and ecological definitions of resilience stems from their respective emphases on elastic and plastic deformation, respectively. We propose that the twomore » concepts may be fundamentally united around the resilience of function rather than state in microbial communities and the regularity in the relationship between environmental variation and a community’s functional response. Furthermore, we posit that functional resilience is an intrinsic property of microbial communities, suggesting that state changes in response to environmental variation may be a key mechanism driving resilience in microbial communities.« less

  2. Microbial ecology and genomics: A crossroads of opportunity

    SciTech Connect

    Stahl, David A.; Tiedje, James M.

    2002-08-30

    Microbes have dominated life on Earth for most of its 4.5 billionyear history. They are the foundation of the biosphere, controlling the biogeochemical cycles and affecting geology, hydrology, and local and global climates. All life is completely dependent upon them. Humans cannot survive without the rich diversity of microbes, but most microbial species can survive without humans. Extraordinary advances in molecular technology have fostered an explosion of information in microbial biology. It is now known that microbial species in culture poorly represent their natural diversity—which dwarfs conventions established for the visible world. This was revealed over the last decade using newer molecular tools to explore environmental diversity and has sparked an explosive growth in microbial ecology and technologies that may profit from the bounty of natural biochemical diversity. Several colloquia and meetings have helped formulate policy recommendations to enable sustained research programs in these areas. One such colloquium organized by the American Academy of Microbiology (“The Microbial World: Foundation of the Biosphere,” 1997) made two key recommendations: (1) develop a more complete inventory of living organisms and the interagency cooperation needed to accomplish this goal, and (2) develop strategies to harvest this remarkable biological diversity for the benefit of science, technology, and society. Complete genome sequence information was identified as an essential part of strategy development, and the recommendation was made to sequence the genome of at least one species of each of the major divisions of microbial life.

  3. Integrating ecological and engineering concepts of resilience in microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Hyun -Seob; Renslow, Ryan S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Lindemann, Stephen R.

    2015-12-01

    We note that many definitions of resilience have been proffered for natural and engineered ecosystems, but a conceptual consensus on resilience in microbial communities is still lacking. Here, we argue that the disconnect largely results from the wide variance in microbial community complexity, which range from simple synthetic consortia to complex natural communities, and divergence between the typical practical outcomes emphasized by ecologists and engineers. Viewing microbial communities as elasto-plastic systems, we argue that this gap between the engineering and ecological definitions of resilience stems from their respective emphases on elastic and plastic deformation, respectively. We propose that the two concepts may be fundamentally united around the resilience of function rather than state in microbial communities and the regularity in the relationship between environmental variation and a community’s functional response. Furthermore, we posit that functional resilience is an intrinsic property of microbial communities, suggesting that state changes in response to environmental variation may be a key mechanism driving resilience in microbial communities.

  4. Integrating Ecological and Engineering Concepts of Resilience in Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Song, Hyun-Seob; Renslow, Ryan S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Lindemann, Stephen R.

    2015-01-01

    Many definitions of resilience have been proffered for natural and engineered ecosystems, but a conceptual consensus on resilience in microbial communities is still lacking. We argue that the disconnect largely results from the wide variance in microbial community complexity, which range from compositionally simple synthetic consortia to complex natural communities, and divergence between the typical practical outcomes emphasized by ecologists and engineers. Viewing microbial communities as elasto-plastic systems that undergo both recoverable and unrecoverable transitions, we argue that this gap between the engineering and ecological definitions of resilience stems from their respective emphases on elastic and plastic deformation, respectively. We propose that the two concepts may be fundamentally united around the resilience of function rather than state in microbial communities and the regularity in the relationship between environmental variation and a community's functional response. Furthermore, we posit that functional resilience is an intrinsic property of microbial communities and suggest that state changes in response to environmental variation may be a key mechanism driving functional resilience in microbial communities. PMID:26648912

  5. Microbial ecology laboratory procedures manual NASA/MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huff, Timothy L.

    1990-01-01

    An essential part of the efficient operation of any microbiology laboratory involved in sample analysis is a standard procedures manual. The purpose of this manual is to provide concise and well defined instructions on routine technical procedures involving sample analysis and methods for monitoring and maintaining quality control within the laboratory. Of equal importance is the safe operation of the laboratory. This manual outlines detailed procedures to be followed in the microbial ecology laboratory to assure safety, analytical control, and validity of results.

  6. Application of multivariate statistical techniques in microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Paliy, O; Shankar, V

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput methods of molecular analyses have led to an explosion of studies generating large-scale ecological data sets. In particular, noticeable effect has been attained in the field of microbial ecology, where new experimental approaches provided in-depth assessments of the composition, functions and dynamic changes of complex microbial communities. Because even a single high-throughput experiment produces large amount of data, powerful statistical techniques of multivariate analysis are well suited to analyse and interpret these data sets. Many different multivariate techniques are available, and often it is not clear which method should be applied to a particular data set. In this review, we describe and compare the most widely used multivariate statistical techniques including exploratory, interpretive and discriminatory procedures. We consider several important limitations and assumptions of these methods, and we present examples of how these approaches have been utilized in recent studies to provide insight into the ecology of the microbial world. Finally, we offer suggestions for the selection of appropriate methods based on the research question and data set structure. PMID:26786791

  7. The biofilm ecology of microbial biofouling, biocide resistance and corrosion

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C. |; Kirkegaard, R.D.; Palmer, R.J. Jr.; Flemming, C.A.; Chen, G.; Leung, K.T.; Phiefer, C.B.; Arrage, A.A. |

    1997-06-01

    In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. In biotechnological or bioremediation processes it is often the aim to promote biofilm formation, and maintain active, high density biomass. In other situations, biofouling can seriously restrict effective heat transport, membrane processes, and potentate macrofouling with loss of transportation efficiency. Heterogeneous distribution of microbes and/or their metabolic activity can promote microbially influenced corrosion (MIC) which is a multibillion dollar problem. Consequently, it is important that biofilm microbial ecology be understood so it can be manipulated rationally. It is usually simple to select organisms that form biofilms by flowing a considerably dilute media over a substratum, and propagating the organisms that attach. To examine the biofilm most expeditiously, the biomass accumulation, desquamation, and metabolic activities need to be monitored on-line and non-destructively. This on-line monitoring becomes even more valuable if the activities can be locally mapped in time and space within the biofilm. Herein the authors describe quantitative measures of microbial biofouling, the ecology of pathogens in drinking water distributions systems, and localization of microbial biofilms and activities with localized MIC.

  8. Sialic acid catabolism drives intestinal inflammation and microbial dysbiosis in mice

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yen-Lin; Chassard, Christophe; Hausmann, Martin; von Itzstein, Mark; Hennet, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Rapid shifts in microbial composition frequently occur during intestinal inflammation, but the mechanisms underlying such changes remain elusive. Here we demonstrate that an increased caecal sialidase activity is critical in conferring a growth advantage for some bacteria including Escherichia coli (E. coli) during intestinal inflammation in mice. This sialidase activity originates among others from Bacteroides vulgatus, whose intestinal levels expand after dextran sulphate sodium administration. Increased sialidase activity mediates the release of sialic acid from intestinal tissue, which promotes the outgrowth of E. coli during inflammation. The outburst of E. coli likely exacerbates the inflammatory response by stimulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by intestinal dendritic cells. Oral administration of a sialidase inhibitor and low levels of intestinal α2,3-linked sialic acid decrease E. coli outgrowth and the severity of colitis in mice. Regulation of sialic acid catabolism opens new perspectives for the treatment of intestinal inflammation as manifested by E. coli dysbiosis. PMID:26303108

  9. Our microbial selves: what ecology can teach us

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Antonio; Clemente, Jose C; Shade, Ashley; Metcalf, Jessica L; Song, Sejin; Prithiviraj, Bharath; Palmer, Brent E; Knight, Rob

    2011-01-01

    Advances in DNA sequencing have allowed us to characterize microbial communities—including those associated with the human body—at a broader range of spatial and temporal scales than ever before. We can now answer fundamental questions that were previously inaccessible and use well-tested ecological theories to gain insight into changes in the microbiome that are associated with normal development and human disease. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ecosystems associated with our body follow trends identified in communities at other sites and scales, and thus studies of the microbiome benefit from ecological insight. Here, we assess human microbiome research in the context of ecological principles and models, focusing on diversity, biological drivers of community structure, spatial patterning and temporal dynamics, and suggest key directions for future research that will bring us closer to the goal of building predictive models for personalized medicine. PMID:21720391

  10. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan E.

    2015-05-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.

  11. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    PubMed Central

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan E.

    2015-01-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recently developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth. PMID:25983725

  12. Estimating and mapping ecological processes influencing microbial community assembly

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Stegen, James C.; Lin, Xueju; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan E.

    2015-05-01

    Ecological community assembly is governed by a combination of (i) selection resulting from among-taxa differences in performance; (ii) dispersal resulting from organismal movement; and (iii) ecological drift resulting from stochastic changes in population sizes. The relative importance and nature of these processes can vary across environments. Selection can be homogeneous or variable, and while dispersal is a rate, we conceptualize extreme dispersal rates as two categories; dispersal limitation results from limited exchange of organisms among communities, and homogenizing dispersal results from high levels of organism exchange. To estimate the influence and spatial variation of each process we extend a recentlymore » developed statistical framework, use a simulation model to evaluate the accuracy of the extended framework, and use the framework to examine subsurface microbial communities over two geologic formations. For each subsurface community we estimate the degree to which it is influenced by homogeneous selection, variable selection, dispersal limitation, and homogenizing dispersal. Our analyses revealed that the relative influences of these ecological processes vary substantially across communities even within a geologic formation. We further identify environmental and spatial features associated with each ecological process, which allowed mapping of spatial variation in ecological-process-influences. The resulting maps provide a new lens through which ecological systems can be understood; in the subsurface system investigated here they revealed that the influence of variable selection was associated with the rate at which redox conditions change with subsurface depth.« less

  13. The composition of the zebrafish intestinal microbial community varies across development.

    PubMed

    Zac Stephens, W; Burns, Adam R; Stagaman, Keaton; Wong, Sandi; Rawls, John F; Guillemin, Karen; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2016-03-01

    The assembly of resident microbial communities is an important event in animal development; however, the extent to which this process mirrors the developmental programs of host tissues is unknown. Here we surveyed the intestinal bacteria at key developmental time points in a sibling group of 135 individuals of a model vertebrate, the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Our survey revealed stage-specific signatures in the intestinal microbiota and extensive interindividual variation, even within the same developmental stage. Microbial community shifts were apparent during periods of constant diet and environmental conditions, as well as in concert with dietary and environmental change. Interindividual variation in the intestinal microbiota increased with age, as did the difference between the intestinal microbiota and microbes in the surrounding environment. Our results indicate that zebrafish intestinal microbiota assemble into distinct communities throughout development, and that these communities are increasingly different from the surrounding environment and from one another. PMID:26339860

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Microbial interactions and the ecology and evolution of Hawaiian Drosophilidae

    PubMed Central

    O’Connor, Timothy K.; Humphrey, Parris T.; Lapoint, Richard T.; Whiteman, Noah K.; O’Grady, Patrick M.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive radiations are characterized by an increased rate of speciation and expanded range of habitats and ecological niches exploited by those species. The Hawaiian Drosophilidae is a classic adaptive radiation; a single ancestral species colonized Hawaii approximately 25 million years ago and gave rise to two monophyletic lineages, the Hawaiian Drosophila and the genus Scaptomyza. The Hawaiian Drosophila are largely saprophagous and rely on approximately 40 endemic plant families and their associated microbes to complete development. Scaptomyza are even more diverse in host breadth. While many species of Scaptomyza utilize decomposing plant substrates, some species have evolved to become herbivores, parasites on spider egg masses, and exploit microbes on living plant tissue. Understanding the origin of the ecological diversity encompassed by these nearly 700 described species has been a challenge. The central role of microbes in drosophilid ecology suggests bacterial and fungal associates may have played a role in the diversification of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae. Here we synthesize recent ecological and microbial community data from the Hawaiian Drosophilidae to examine the forces that may have led to this adaptive radiation. We propose that the evolutionary success of the Hawaiian Drosophilidae is due to a combination of factors, including adaptation to novel ecological niches facilitated by microbes. PMID:25566196

  16. Sampling microbial communities in the National Ecological Observatory Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, H. E.; Parnell, J.; Powell, H.

    2012-12-01

    The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a national-scale research platform to enable the community to assess impacts of climate change, land-use change, and invasive species on ecosystem structure and function at regional and continental scales. The NEON Observatory will collect data on aquatic organisms over 30 years in 36 sites across the United States, including Alaska and Puerto Rico as well as terrestrial organisms at 60 sites including Hawaii. Included in the biological measurements are microbial measurements in terrestrial and aquatic environments, including small, wadeable streams and shallow lakes. Microbial sampling in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats is being planned to coincide with biogeochemical sampling due to similarity of time scale and influence of external drivers. Aquatic sampling is geared toward species diversity and function. Terrestrial sampling aims to collect data on diversity, function, and spatial distribution dynamics. We are in the process of prioritizing data products, so that the most dynamic processes such as enzymatic activity will be measured more frequently and more intensive measures such as metagenome sequence data will be measured on a periodic basis. Here we present our initial microbial sampling strategy and invite the community to provide comment on the design and learn about microbial data products from the Observatory.

  17. Aquatic fungi: targeting the forgotten in microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Grossart, Hans-Peter; Rojas-Jimenez, Keilor

    2016-06-01

    Fungi constitute important and conspicuous components of aquatic microbial communities, but their diversity and functional roles remain poorly characterized. New methods and conceptual frameworks are required to accurately describe their ecological roles, involvement in global cycling processes, and utility for human activities, considering both cultivation-independent techniques as well as experiments in laboratory and in natural ecosystems. Here we highlight recent developments and extant knowledge gaps in aquatic mycology, and provide a conceptual model to expose the importance of fungi in aquatic food webs and related biogeochemical processes. PMID:27078576

  18. Mess management in microbial ecology: Rhetorical processes of disciplinary integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCracken, Christopher W.

    As interdisciplinary work becomes more common in the sciences, research into the rhetorical processes mediating disciplinary integration becomes more vital. This dissertation, which takes as its subject the integration of microbiology and ecology, combines a postplural approach to rhetoric of science research with Victor Turner's "social drama" analysis and a third-generation activity theory methodological framework to identify conceptual and practical conflicts in interdisciplinary work and describe how, through visual and verbal communication, scientists negotiate these conflicts. First, to understand the conflicting disciplinary principles that might impede integration, the author conducts a Turnerian analysis of a disciplinary conflict that took place in the 1960s and 70s, during which American ecologists and biologists debated whether they should participate in the International Biological Program (IBP). Participation in the IBP ultimately contributed to the emergence of ecology as a discipline distinct from biology, and Turnerian social drama analysis of the debate surrounding participation lays bare the conflicting principles separating biology and ecology. Second, to answer the question of how these conflicting principles are negotiated in practice, the author reports on a yearlong qualitative study of scientists working in a microbial ecology laboratory. Focusing specifically on two case studies from this fieldwork that illustrate the key concept of textually mediated disciplinary integration, the author's analysis demonstrates how scientific objects emerge in differently situated practices, and how these objects manage to cohere despite their multiplicity through textually mediated rhetorical processes of calibration and alignment.

  19. The Environment and the Microbial Ecology of Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Mollie E.; Duncan, W. Christopher; Knox, J. M.

    1977-01-01

    Microbial flora of the skin of three human population groups representing different natural environments was examined quantitatively and qualitatively to determine whether environmental differences in temperature and humidity can influence the microbial flora of normal skin. Five anatomical skin sites - hands, back, axillae, groin, and feet - were sampled from 10 subjects working in a high-humidity, high-temperature environment, 10 subjects from a low-temperature, high-humidity environment, and 10 subjects working in a moderate-temperature and low-humidity environment. Bacterial populations were significantly larger from the back, axillae, and feet in individuals from the high-temperature and high-humidity environment as compared to the moderate-temperature, low-humidity environment. High humidity and low temperature had no significant effect on total populations, but this group showed a higher frequency of isolation of fungi, and gram-negative bacteria from the back and feet. Although there was an indication that increase in the environmental humidity could result in an increased frequency of isolation of gram-negative bacteria, there was no evidence that an increase in either temperature or humidity altered the relative proportions of gram-negative bacteria in the predominantly gram-positive microbial flora found on normal skin. It was concluded that, although climatic changes may cause fluctation in microbial populations from certain sites, they are not a major influence on the ecology of the microbial flora of normal skin in the natural environment. The variables introduced by studying individuals in their natural environment and the influence of these on the results are discussed. PMID:16345214

  20. Microbial activities and intestinal homeostasis: A delicate balance between health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Ohland, Christina L.; Jobin, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The concept that the intestinal microbiota modulates numerous physiological processes including immune development and function, nutrition and metabolism as well as pathogen exclusion is relatively well established in the scientific community. The molecular mechanisms driving these various effects and the events leading to the establishment of a “healthy” microbiome are slowly emerging. The objective of this review is to bring into focus important aspects of microbial/host interactions in the intestine and to discuss key molecular mechanisms controlling health and disease states. We will discuss recent evidence on how microbes interact with the host and one another and their impact on intestinal homeostasis. PMID:25729763

  1. Quaternary ammonium disinfectants: microbial adaptation, degradation and ecology.

    PubMed

    Tezel, Ulas; Pavlostathis, Spyros G

    2015-06-01

    Disinfectants play an important role in maintaining acceptable health standards by significantly reducing microbial loads as well as reducing, if not eliminating, pathogens. This review focuses on quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), a widely used class of organic disinfectants. Specifically, it reviews the occurrence, microbial adaptation, and degradation of QACs, focusing on recent reports on the ecology of QAC-degraders, the pathways and mechanisms of microbial adaptation which lead to resistance to QACs, as well as to antibiotics. With the help of culture-dependent and nonculture-dependent tools, as well as advanced analytical techniques, a better understanding of the fate and effect of QACs and their biotransformation products is emerging. Understanding the underlying mechanisms and conditions that result in QAC resistance and biodegradation will be instrumental in the prudent use of existing QAC formulations and foster the development of safer disinfectants. Development and implementation of (bio)technologies for the elimination of QACs from treated wastewater effluents will lessen adverse impacts to both humans and the environment. PMID:25864173

  2. The role of hyperparasitism in microbial pathogen ecology and evolution.

    PubMed

    Parratt, Steven R; Laine, Anna-Liisa

    2016-08-01

    Many micro-organisms employ a parasitic lifestyle and, through their antagonistic interactions with host populations, have major impacts on human, agricultural and natural ecosystems. Most pathogens are likely to host parasites of their own, that is, hyperparasites, but how nested chains of parasites impact on disease dynamics is grossly neglected in the ecological and evolutionary literature. In this minireview we argue that the diversity and dynamics of micro-hyperparasites are an important component of natural host-pathogen systems. We use the current literature from a handful of key systems to show that observed patterns of pathogen virulence and disease dynamics may well be influenced by hyperparasites. Exploring these factors will shed light on many aspects of microbial ecology and disease biology, including resistance-virulence evolution, apparent competition, epidemiology and ecosystem stability. Considering the importance of hyperparasites in natural populations will have applied consequences for the field of biological control and therapeutic science, where hyperparastism is employed as a control mechanism but not necessarily ecologically understood. PMID:26784356

  3. Ecological parameters influencing microbial diversity and stability of traditional sourdough.

    PubMed

    Minervini, Fabio; De Angelis, Maria; Di Cagno, Raffaella; Gobbetti, Marco

    2014-02-01

    The quality of some leavened, sourdough baked goods is not always consistent, unless a well propagated sourdough starter culture is used for the dough fermentation. Among the different types of sourdough used, the traditional sourdough has attracted the interest of researchers, mainly because of its large microbial diversity, especially with respect to lactic acid bacteria. Variation in this diversity and the factors that cause it will impact on quality and is the subject of this review. Sourdough microbial diversity is mainly caused by the following factors: (i) sourdough is obtained through spontaneous, multi-step fermentation; (ii) it is propagated using flour, whose nutrient content may vary according to the batch and to the crop, and which is naturally contaminated by microorganisms; and (iii) it is propagated under peculiar technological parameters, which vary depending on the historical and cultural background and type of baked good. In the population dynamics leading from flour to mature sourdough, lactic acid bacteria (several species of Lactobacillus sp., Leuconostoc sp., and Weissella sp.) and yeasts (mainly Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida sp.) outcompete other microbial groups contaminating flour, and interact with each other at different levels. Ecological parameters qualitatively and quantitatively affecting the dominant sourdough microbiota may be classified into specific technological parameters (e.g., percentage of sourdough used as inoculum, time and temperature of fermentation) and parameters that are not fully controlled by those who manage the propagation of sourdough (e.g., chemical, enzyme and microbial composition of flour). Although some sourdoughs have been reported to harbour a persistent dominant microbiota, the stability of sourdough ecosystem during time is debated. Indeed, several factors may interfere with the persistence of species and strains associations that are typical of a given sourdough: metabolic adaptability to the

  4. [Microbial metabolic characteristics and ecological controlling in petroleum reservoir--a review].

    PubMed

    Gao, Peike; Ma, Ting; Liu, Rulin

    2011-06-01

    Petroleum reservoir has a variety of microbes with diverse metabolic characteristics and great diversity. These microbes play an important role in geochemical cycle. Research on their metabolism and ecological relationships enables the understanding of Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR). Based on the present researches, we review the microbial metabolic characteristics and ecological relationships in oil reservoir. PMID:21866693

  5. Microbial production of volatile sulphur compounds in the large intestine of pigs fed two different diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only little is known about the microbial production of volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) in the 18 gastrointestinal tract, the dietary influence, and the magnitude of this production. To investigate intestinal VSC production in more detail, pigs were fed diets based on either wheat and barley (CONTRO...

  6. TLR sorting by Rab11 endosomes maintains intestinal epithelial-microbial homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Shiyan; Nie, Yingchao; Knowles, Byron; Sakamori, Ryotaro; Stypulkowski, Ewa; Patel, Chirag; Das, Soumyashree; Douard, Veronique; Ferraris, Ronaldo P; Bonder, Edward M; Goldenring, James R; Ip, Yicktung Tony; Gao, Nan

    2014-01-01

    Compartmentalization of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) regulates distinct immune responses to microbes; however, the specific cellular machinery that controls this mechanism has not been fully identified. Here we provide genetic evidences that the recycling endosomal compartment in enterocytes maintains a homeostatic TLR9 intracellular distribution, supporting mucosal tolerance to normal microbiota. Genetic ablation of a recycling endosome resident small GTPase, Rab11a, a gene adjacent to a Crohn's disease risk locus, in mouse IECs and in Drosophila midgut caused epithelial cell-intrinsic cytokine production, inflammatory bowel phenotype, and early mortality. Unlike wild-type controls, germ-free Rab11a-deficient mouse intestines failed to tolerate the intraluminal stimulation of microbial agonists. Thus, Rab11a endosome controls intestinal host-microbial homeostasis at least partially via sorting TLRs. PMID:25063677

  7. Recent applications of flow cytometry in aquatic microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Troussellier, M; Courties, C; Vaquer, A

    1993-01-01

    Microorganisms (unicellular algae, bacteria) constitute fundamental compartments of aquatic ecosystems because of their high concentrations and activities. The evaluation and understanding of their behavior and role raise different problems for which traditional methodologies are often inadequate, whether they refer to global or classical microscopic analyses. Flow cytometry (FCM) has been recently used to study microorganisms in aquatic environments. Although this technology is still applied on a limited scale in our field, a large number of works has been done showing that FCM seems to be a promising tool for aquatic microbial ecology. This paper summarizes, from the literature produced during the last decade and with original data obtained in our laboratory, the main questions related to the cell identification, the evaluation of cell viability, biomasses and productions and the measurements of bacterial and phytoplanktonic activities. The representatives of sampling and observation scales is also discussed within the framework of the FCM measurements. PMID:8220221

  8. MICROBIAL SUCCESSION AND INTESTINAL ENZYME ACTIVITIES IN THE DEVELOPING RAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The succession of gastrointestinal flora in the developing rat was studied, concomitant with studies of intestinal enzyme activity. Aerobes and anaerobes were identified as members of 4 major bacterial groups, i.e., Lactobacilli spp., Gram positive enterococci, Gram negative rods...

  9. Perspectives of the microbial carbon pump with special references to microbial respiration and ecological efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, H.; Jiao, N.

    2014-01-01

    Although respiration consumes fixed carbon and produce CO2, it provides energy for essential biological processes of an ecosystem, including the microbial carbon pump (MCP). In MCP-driving biotransformation of labile DOC to recalcitrant DOC (RDOC), microbial respiration provides the metabolic energy for environmental organic substrate sensing, cellular enzyme syntheses and catalytic processes such as uptake, secretion, modification, fixation and storage of carbon compounds. The MCP efficiency of a heterotrophic microorganism is thus related to its energy production efficiency and hence to its respiration efficiency. Anaerobically respiring microbes usually have lower energy production efficiency and lower energy-dependent carbon transformation efficiency, and consequently lower MCP efficiency at per cell level. This effect is masked by the phenomena that anoxic environments often store more organic matter. Here we point out that organic carbon preservation and RDOC production is different in mechanisms, and anaerobically respiring ecosystems could also have lower MCP ecological efficiency. Typical cases can be found in large river estuarine ecosystems. Due to strong terrigenous input of nutrients and organic matter, estuarine ecosystems usually experience intense heterotrophic respiration processes that rapidly consume dissolved oxygen, potentially producing hypoxic and anoxic zones in the water column. The lowered availability of dissolved oxygen and the excessive supply of nutrients such as nitrate from river input prompt enhanced anaerobic respiration processes. Thus, some nutrients may be consumed by anaerobically respiring heterotrophic microorganisms, instead of being utilized by phytoplankton for carbon fixation and primary production. In this situation, the ecological functioning of the estuarine ecosystem is altered and the ecological efficiency is lowered, as less carbon is fixed and less energy is produced. Ultimately this would have negatively impacts

  10. Host and Microbial Factors in Regulation of T Cells in the Intestine

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chang H.

    2013-01-01

    The intestine is divided into specialized tissue areas that provide distinct microenvironments for T cells. Regulation of T-cell responses in the gut has been a major focus of recent research activities in the field. T cells in the intestine are regulated by the interplay between host and microbial factors. In the small intestine, retinoic acid (RA) is a major tissue factor that plays important roles in regulation of immune responses. In the large intestine, the influence of RA diminishes, but that of commensal bacterial products increases. RA, gut microbiota, and inflammatory mediators co-regulate differentiation, distribution, and/or effector functions of T cells. Coordinated regulation of immune responses by these factors promotes well-balanced immunity and immune tolerance. Dysregulation of this process can increase infection and inflammatory diseases. PMID:23772228

  11. Comparison of microbial populations in the small intestine, large intestine and feces of healthy horses using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The composition of the microbiota of the equine intestinal tract is complex. Determining whether the microbial composition of fecal samples is representative of proximal compartments of the digestive tract could greatly simplify future studies. The objectives of this study were to compare the microbial populations of the duodenum, ileum, cecum, colon and rectum (feces) within and between healthy horses, and to determine whether rectal (fecal) samples are representative of proximal segments of the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal samples were collected from ten euthanized horses. 16S rRNA gene PCR-based TRFLP was used to investigate microbiota richness in various segments of the gastrointestinal tract, and dice similarity indices were calculated to compare the samples. Results Within horses large variations of microbial populations along the gastrointestinal tract were seen. The microbiota in rectal samples was only partially representative of other intestinal compartments. The highest similarity was obtained when feces were compared to the cecum. Large compartmental variations were also seen when microbial populations were compared between six horses with similar dietary and housing management. Conclusion Rectal samples were not entirely representative of intestinal compartments in the small or large intestine. This should be taken into account when designing studies using fecal sampling to assess other intestinal compartments. Similarity between horses with similar dietary and husbandry management was also limited, suggesting that parts of the intestinal microbiota were unique to each animal in this study. PMID:23497580

  12. PCR-DGGE analysis of intestinal bacteria and effect of Bacillus spp. on intestinal microbial diversity in kuruma shrimp ( Marsupenaeus japonicus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Huaide; Liu, Mei; Wang, Baojie; Jiang, Keyong; Jiang, Shan); Sun, Shujuan; Wang, Lei

    2010-07-01

    In this study, the intestinal microbiota of kuruma shrimp ( Marsupenaeus japonicus) was examined by molecular analysis of the 16S rDNA to identify the dominant intestinal bacteria and to investigate the effects of Bacillus spp. on intestinal microbial diversity. Samples of the intestines of kuruma shrimp fed normal feed and Bacillus spp. amended feed. PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analyses were then performed on DNA extracted directly from the guts. Population fingerprints of the predominant organisms were generated by DGGE analysis of the universal V3 16S rDNA amplicons, and distinct bands in the gels were sequenced. The results suggested that the gut of kuruma shrimp was dominated by Vibrio sp. and uncultured gamma proteobacterium. Overall, the results of this study suggest that PCR-DGGE is a possible method of studying the intestinal microbial diversity of shrimp.

  13. Oral Microbial Ecology and the Role of Salivary Immunoglobulin A

    PubMed Central

    Marcotte, Harold; Lavoie, Marc C.

    1998-01-01

    In the oral cavity, indigenous bacteria are often associated with two major oral diseases, caries and periodontal diseases. These diseases seem to appear following an inbalance in the oral resident microbiota, leading to the emergence of potentially pathogenic bacteria. To define the process involved in caries and periodontal diseases, it is necessary to understand the ecology of the oral cavity and to identify the factors responsible for the transition of the oral microbiota from a commensal to a pathogenic relationship with the host. The regulatory forces influencing the oral ecosystem can be divided into three major categories: host related, microbe related, and external factors. Among host factors, secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA) constitutes the main specific immune defense mechanism in saliva and may play an important role in the homeostasis of the oral microbiota. Naturally occurring SIgA antibodies that are reactive against a variety of indigenous bacteria are detectable in saliva. These antibodies may control the oral microbiota by reducing the adherence of bacteria to the oral mucosa and teeth. It is thought that protection against bacterial etiologic agents of caries and periodontal diseases could be conferred by the induction of SIgA antibodies via the stimulation of the mucosal immune system. However, elucidation of the role of the SIgA immune system in controlling the oral indigenous microbiota is a prerequisite for the development of effective vaccines against these diseases. The role of SIgA antibodies in the acquisition and the regulation of the indigenous microbiota is still controversial. Our review discusses the importance of SIgA among the multiple factors that control the oral microbiota. It describes the oral ecosystems, the principal factors that may control the oral microbiota, a basic knowledge of the secretory immune system, the biological functions of SIgA, and, finally, experiments related to the role of SIgA in oral microbial ecology

  14. Intestinal inflammation responds to microbial tissue load independent of pathogen/non-pathogen discrimination.

    PubMed

    Willer, Yvonne; Müller, Beatrice; Bumann, Dirk

    2012-01-01

    The intestinal immune system mounts inflammatory responses to pathogens but tolerates harmless commensal microbiota. Various mechanisms for pathogen/non-pathogen discrimination have been proposed but their general relevance for inflammation control is unclear. Here, we compared intestinal responses to pathogenic Salmonella and non-pathogenic E. coli. Both microbes entered intestinal Peyer's patches and, surprisingly, induced qualitatively and quantitatively similar initial inflammatory responses revealing a striking discrimination failure. Diverging inflammatory responses only occurred when Salmonella subsequently proliferated and induced escalating neutrophil infiltration, while harmless E. coli was rapidly cleared from the tissue and inflammation resolved. Transient intestinal inflammation induced by harmless E. coli tolerized against subsequent exposure thereby preventing chronic inflammation during repeated exposure. These data revealed a striking failure of the intestinal immune system to discriminate pathogens from harmless microbes based on distinct molecular signatures. Instead, appropriate intestinal responses to gut microbiota might be ensured by immediate inflammatory responses to any rise in microbial tissue loads, and desensitization after bacterial clearance. PMID:22586458

  15. Flagella, flexibility and flow: Physical processes in microbial ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumley, D. R.; Rusconi, R.; Son, K.; Stocker, R.

    2015-12-01

    How microorganisms interact with their environment and with their conspecifics depends strongly on their mechanical properties, on the hydrodynamic signatures they generate while swimming and on fluid flows in their environment. The rich fluid-structure interaction between flagella - the appendages microorganisms use for propulsion - and the surrounding flow, has broad reaching effects for both eukaryotic and prokaryotic microorganisms. Here, we discuss selected recent advances in our understanding of the physical ecology of microorganisms, which have hinged on the ability to directly interrogate the movement of individual cells and their swimming appendages, in precisely controlled fluid environments, and to image them at appropriately fast timescales. We review how a flagellar buckling instability can unexpectedly serve a fundamental function in the motility of bacteria, we elucidate the role of hydrodynamics and flexibility in the emergent properties of groups of eukaryotic flagella, and we show how fluid flows characteristic of microbial habitats can strongly bias the migration and spatial distribution of bacteria. The topics covered here are illustrative of the potential inherent in the adoption of experimental methods and conceptual frameworks from physics in understanding the lives of microorganisms.

  16. MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF THE SUBSURFACE AT AN ABANDONED CREOSOTE WASTE SITE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The microbial ecology of pristine, slightly contaminated, and heavily contaminated subsurface materials, and four subsurface materials on the periphery of the plume at an abandoned creosote waste site was investigated. xcept for the unsaturated zone of the heavily contaminated ma...

  17. MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF THE SUBSURFACE AT AN ABANDONED CREOSOTE WASTE SITE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The microbial ecology of pristine, slightly contaminated, and heavily contaminated subsurface materials, and four subsurface materials on the periphery of the plume at an abandoned creosote waste site was investigated. Except for the unsaturated zone of the heavily contaminated m...

  18. Decreased microbial diversity and Lactobacillus group in the intestine of geriatric giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

    PubMed

    Peng, Zhirong; Zeng, Dong; Wang, Qiang; Niu, Lili; Ni, Xueqin; Zou, Fuqin; Yang, Mingyue; Sun, Hao; Zhou, Yi; Liu, Qian; Yin, Zhongqiong; Pan, Kangcheng; Jing, Bo

    2016-05-01

    It has been established beyond doubt that giant panda genome lacks lignin-degrading related enzyme, gastrointestinal microbes may play a vital role in digestion of highly fibrous bamboo diet. However, there is not much information available about the intestinal bacteria composition in captive giant pandas with different ages. In this study, we compared the intestinal bacterial community of 12 captive giant pandas from three different age groups (subadults, adults, and geriatrics) through PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and real-time PCR analysis. Results indicated that microbial diversity in the intestine of adults was significantly higher than that of the geriatrics (p < 0.05), but not significant compared to the subadults (p > 0.05). The predominant bands in DGGE patterns shared by the twelve pandas were related to Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. Additionally, in comparison to healthy individuals, antibiotic-treated animals showed partial microbial dysbiosis. Real-time PCR analyses confirmed a significantly higher abundance of the Lactobacillus in the fecal microbiota of adults (p < 0.05), while other bacterial groups and species detected did not significantly differ among the three age groups (p > 0.05). This study revealed that captive giant pandas with different ages showed different intestinal bacteria composition. PMID:27038949

  19. [Effects of biochar on microbial ecology in agriculture soil: a review].

    PubMed

    Ding, Yan-Li; Liu, Jie; Wang, Ying-Ying

    2013-11-01

    Biochar, as a new type of soil amendment, has been obtained considerable attention in the research field of environmental sciences worldwide. The studies on the effects of biochar in improving soil physical and chemical properties started quite earlier, and already covered the field of soil microbial ecology. However, most of the studies considered the soil physical and chemical properties and the microbial ecology separately, with less consideration of their interactions. This paper summarized and analyzed the interrelationships between the changes of soil physical and chemical properties and of soil microbial community after the addition of biochar. Biochar can not only improve soil pH value, strengthen soil water-holding capacity, increase soil organic matter content, but also affect soil microbial community structure, and alter the abundance of soil bacteria and fungi. After the addition of biochar, the soil environment and soil microorganisms are interacted each other, and promote the improvement of soil microbial ecological system together. This review was to provide a novel perspective for the in-depth studies of the effects of biochar on soil microbial ecology, and to promote the researches on the beneficial effects of biochar to the environment from ecological aspect. The methods to improve the effectiveness of biochar application were discussed, and the potential applications of biochar in soil bioremediation were further analyzed. PMID:24564164

  20. Microbial Ecology and Evolution in the Acid Mine Drainage Model System.

    PubMed

    Huang, Li-Nan; Kuang, Jia-Liang; Shu, Wen-Sheng

    2016-07-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a unique ecological niche for acid- and toxic-metals-adapted microorganisms. These low-complexity systems offer a special opportunity for the ecological and evolutionary analyses of natural microbial assemblages. The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented interest in the study of AMD communities using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and community genomic and postgenomic methodologies, significantly advancing our understanding of microbial diversity, community function, and evolution in acidic environments. This review describes new data on AMD microbial ecology and evolution, especially dynamics of microbial diversity, community functions, and population genomes, and further identifies gaps in our current knowledge that future research, with integrated applications of meta-omics technologies, will fill. PMID:27050827

  1. Functional Ecological Gene Networks to Reveal the Changes Among Microbial Interactions Under Elevated Carbon Dioxide Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Luo, Feng; He, Zhili; Tu, Qichao; Zhi, Xiaoyang

    2010-05-17

    Biodiversity and its responses to environmental changes is a central issue in ecology, and for society. Almost all microbial biodiversity researches focus on species richness and abundance but ignore the interactions among different microbial species/populations. However, determining the interactions and their relationships to environmental changes in microbial communities is a grand challenge, primarily due to the lack of information on the network structure among different microbial species/populations. Here, a novel random matrix theory (RMT)-based conceptual framework for identifying functional ecological gene networks (fEGNs) is developed with the high throughput functional gene array hybridization data from the grassland microbial communities in a long-term FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) experiment. Both fEGNs under elevated CO2 (eCO2) and ambient CO2 (aCO2) possessed general characteristics of many complex systems such as scale-free, small-world, modular and hierarchical. However, the topological structure of the fEGNs is distinctly different between eCO2 and aCO2, suggesting that eCO2 dramatically altered the interactions among different microbial functional groups/populations. In addition, the changes in network structure were significantly correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, and plant productivity, indicating the potential importance of network interactions in ecosystem functioning. Elucidating network interactions in microbial communities and their responses to environmental changes are fundamentally important for research in microbial ecology, systems microbiology, and global change.

  2. Utilization and control of ecological interactions in polymicrobial infections and community-based microbial cell factories

    PubMed Central

    Wigneswaran, Vinoth; Amador, Cristina Isabel; Jelsbak, Lotte; Sternberg, Claus; Jelsbak, Lars

    2016-01-01

    Microbial activities are most often shaped by interactions between co-existing microbes within mixed-species communities. Dissection of the molecular mechanisms of species interactions within communities is a central issue in microbial ecology, and our ability to engineer and control microbial communities depends, to a large extent, on our knowledge of these interactions. This review highlights the recent advances regarding molecular characterization of microbe-microbe interactions that modulate community structure, activity, and stability, and aims to illustrate how these findings have helped us reach an engineering-level understanding of microbial communities in relation to both human health and industrial biotechnology. PMID:27092245

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for characterising microbial communities, including both planktonic and biofilm ways of life, are critically evaluated. The study of biofilms is considered particularly important as it plays a critical role in the processes and interactions occurring at the pipe wall and bulk water interface. The advantages, limitations and usefulness of methods that can be used to detect and assess microbial abundance, community composition and function are discussed in a DWDS context. This review will assist hydraulic engineers and microbial ecologists in choosing the most appropriate tools to assess drinking water microbiology and related aspects. PMID:25105587

  4. Diet and host-microbial crosstalk in postnatal intestinal immune homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Jain, Nitya; Walker, W Allan

    2015-01-01

    Neonates face unique challenges in the period following birth. The postnatal immune system is in the early stages of development and has a range of functional capabilities that are distinct from the mature adult immune system. Bidirectional immune-microbial interactions regulate the development of mucosal immunity and alter the composition of the microbiota, which contributes to overall host well-being. In the past few years, nutrition has been highlighted as a third element in this interaction that governs host health by modulating microbial composition and the function of the immune system. Dietary changes and imbalances can disturb the immune-microbiota homeostasis, which might alter susceptibility to several autoimmune and metabolic diseases. Major changes in cultural traditions, socioeconomic status and agriculture are affecting the nutritional status of humans worldwide, which is altering core intestinal microbial communities. This phenomenon is especially relevant to the neonatal and paediatric populations, in which the microbiota and immune system are extremely sensitive to dietary influences. In this Review, we discuss the current state of knowledge regarding early-life nutrition, its effects on the microbiota and the consequences of diet-induced perturbation of the structure of the microbial community on mucosal immunity and disease susceptibility. PMID:25201040

  5. Vitamin B12 as a modulator of gut microbial ecology

    PubMed Central

    Degnan, Patrick H.; Taga, Michiko E.; Goodman, Andrew L.

    2014-01-01

    The microbial mechanisms and key metabolites that shape the composition of the human gut microbiota are largely unknown, impeding efforts to manipulate dysbiotic microbial communities towards stability and health. Vitamins, which by definition are not synthesized in sufficient quantities by the host and can mediate fundamental biological processes in microbes, represent an attractive target for reshaping microbial communities. Here, we discuss how vitamin B12 (cobalamin) impacts diverse host-microbe symbioses. Although cobalamin is synthesized by some human gut microbes, it is a precious resource in the gut and is likely not provisioned to the host in significant quantities. However, this vitamin may make an unrecognized contribution in shaping the structure and function of human gut microbial communities. PMID:25440056

  6. Intestine.

    PubMed

    Smith, J M; Skeans, M A; Horslen, S P; Edwards, E B; Harper, A M; Snyder, J J; Israni, A K; Kasiske, B L

    2016-01-01

    Intestine and intestine-liver transplant plays an important role in the treatment of intestinal failure, despite decreased morbidity associated with parenteral nutrition. In 2014, 210 new patients were added to the intestine transplant waiting list. Among prevalent patients on the list at the end of 2014, 65% were waiting for an intestine transplant and 35% were waiting for an intestine-liver transplant. The pretransplant mortality rate decreased dramatically over time for all age groups. Pretransplant mortality was highest for adult candidates, at 22.1 per 100 waitlist years compared with less than 3 per 100 waitlist years for pediatric candidates, and notably higher for candidates for intestine-liver transplant than for candidates for intestine transplant without a liver. Numbers of intestine transplants without a liver increased from a low of 51 in 2013 to 67 in 2014. Intestine-liver transplants increased from a low of 44 in 2012 to 72 in 2014. Short-gut syndrome (congenital and other) was the main cause of disease leading to both intestine and intestine-liver transplant. Graft survival improved over the past decade. Patient survival was lowest for adult intestine-liver recipients and highest for pediatric intestine recipients. PMID:26755265

  7. Continuous-flow cultures as in vitro models of the ecology of large intestinal flora.

    PubMed Central

    Freter, R; Stauffer, E; Cleven, D; Holdeman, L V; Moore, W E

    1983-01-01

    An anaerobic continuous-flow (CF) culture method has been developed which reproduces a number of bacterial interactions that occur in the large intestine of mice. These were determined in the following ways. (i) Bacterial counts in smears stained with 37 specific fluorescent antisera showed that the numeric balance between 37 strict anaerobes isolated from conventional mice was maintained in CF culture of conventional mouse flora in the same manner as in conventional mice. (ii) Mixed populations of various complexity of bacteria isolated from conventional mice were able to suppress Escherichia coli populations to similar levels in gnotobiotic mice and in CF cultures. (iii) Contents of CF cultures when fed to germfree mice were found to redress the germfree abnormalities studied, namely, cecal size and size of the E. coli population. Furthermore, dense layers of bacterial growth formed on the wall of CF cultures of mouse cecal flora, in a manner analogous to the colonization of mouse large intestinal mucosa. In the absence of such bacterial layers, the culture no longer exhibited these interactions. Because of the complexity and diversity of the interactions studied it is highly probable that at least the major underlying ecological control mechanisms operating in the culture model resemble those of the mouse intestine. We speculate that the somewhat surprising similarity between the ecology of the mouse large intestine and that of a CF culture in a glass vessel is due to the fact that both are dominated by thick layers of complex bacterial flora, the composition of which is controlled by their metabolic activities and by their relative ability to adhere to each other. PMID:6339387

  8. Growth performance and intestinal microbial populations of growing pigs fed diets containing sucrose thermal oligosaccharide caramel.

    PubMed

    Orban, J I; Patterson, J A; Adeola, O; Sutton, A L; Richards, G N

    1997-01-01

    Four experiments were conducted to determine growth performance and changes in intestinal microbial populations of growing pigs fed diets containing sucrose thermal oligosaccharide caramel (STOC). Ninety-six barrows and 96 gilts were group-fed experimental nursery diets for 32 d after weaning in both Exp. 1 and 2. For each experiment, pigs were divided into four groups of 48 pigs and were fed either control, antibiotic (Apramycin sulfate, 34 mg/kg), 1% STOC, or 2% STOC diets for 32 d after weaning. Each diet was replicated six times with eight pigs per replication. Pigs were either orally gavaged (Exp 1) with water of STOC (2 g per pig) or pigs were creep-fed (Exp 2) either a control diet or a 2% STOC diet for 5 d before weaning (33 d). At the end of Exp 1 and 2, cecal material was collected for enumeration of total aerobes, total anaerobes, coliforms, lactobacilli, and bifidobacteria. Gilts (96 per experiment) used in Exp. 3 and 4 were weaned at 26 d and fed experimental nursery diets for 32 d. They were fed either a control or 1% STOC diet and were otherwise treated as previously described. There were no significant effects of STOC or antibiotic on ADG, ADFI, feed efficiency, or cecal microbial populations in pigs in this study. Feeding diets containing either antibiotic of STOC did not improve animal performance or change intestinal bacterial populations in the present study. PMID:9027562

  9. Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of continental Antarctic soils

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Don A.; Makhalanyane, Thulani P.; Dennis, Paul G.; Hopkins, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The Antarctica Dry Valleys are regarded as the coldest hyperarid desert system on Earth. While a wide variety of environmental stressors including very low minimum temperatures, frequent freeze-thaw cycles and low water availability impose severe limitations to life, suitable niches for abundant microbial colonization exist. Antarctic desert soils contain much higher levels of microbial diversity than previously thought. Edaphic niches, including cryptic and refuge habitats, microbial mats and permafrost soils all harbor microbial communities which drive key biogeochemical cycling processes. For example, lithobionts (hypoliths and endoliths) possess a genetic capacity for nitrogen and carbon cycling, polymer degradation, and other system processes. Nitrogen fixation rates of hypoliths, as assessed through acetylene reduction assays, suggest that these communities are a significant input source for nitrogen into these oligotrophic soils. Here we review aspects of microbial diversity in Antarctic soils with an emphasis on functionality and capacity. We assess current knowledge regarding adaptations to Antarctic soil environments and highlight the current threats to Antarctic desert soil communities. PMID:24782842

  10. Pharmacokinetics, intestinal absorption and microbial metabolism of single platycodin D in comparison to Platycodi radix extract

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Jinjun; Zou, Jiashuang; Xie, Tong; Kang, An; Zhou, Wei; Deng, Haishan; Mao, Yancao; Di, Liuqing; Wang, Shouchuan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Platycodi radix, the dried root of Platycodon grandiflorum A. DC, has been widely used as food and herb medicine for treating cough, cold and other respiratory ailments, and platycodin D (PD) is one of the most important compounds in Platycodi Radix. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the pharmacokinetic characteristics, intestinal absorption and microbial metabolism of PD in monomer with that in Platycodi radix extract (PRE). Materials and Methods: In the pharmacokinetic study, the concentrations of PD in rat plasma were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and the main pharmacokinetic parameters were calculated by data analysis software (DAS). Besides, in vitro Caco-2 cells and fecal lysate were performed to investigate the intestinal absorption and metabolism, respectively. Results: The results from pharmacokinetics showed that the area under the curve, the peak concentration the time to reach peak concentration and mean residence time of PD in PRE were enhanced significantly compared with that in single PD. Caco-2 cells transport study indicated that the absorption of PD both in monomer and in PRE were poor owning that the permeability of PD were <1/106 cm/s. The hydrolysis degree of PD in PRE was significantly lower than that in monomer PD in fecal lysate, which might be illustrated by the other ingredients in PRE influenced the hydrolysis of PD via gut microbiota. Conclusion: These findings indicated that the difference of microbial metabolism, not apparent absorption in intestine for PD between in monomer and in PRE contributed to their pharmacokinetic difference. PMID:26600720

  11. Intestinal Microbial Metabolites Are Linked to Severity of Myocardial Infarction in Rats.

    PubMed

    Lam, Vy; Su, Jidong; Hsu, Anna; Gross, Garrett J; Salzman, Nita H; Baker, John E

    2016-01-01

    Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats. We determined whether low molecular weight metabolites derived from intestinal microbiota and transported to the systemic circulation are linked to severity of myocardial infarction. Plasma from rats treated for seven days with the non-absorbed antibiotic vancomycin or a mixture of streptomycin, neomycin, polymyxin B and bacitracin was analyzed using mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling platforms. Antibiotic-induced changes in the abundance of individual groups of intestinal microbiota dramatically altered the host's metabolism. Hierarchical clustering of dissimilarities separated the levels of 284 identified metabolites from treated vs. untreated rats; 193 were altered by the antibiotic treatments with a tendency towards decreased metabolite levels. Catabolism of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine was the most affected pathway comprising 33 affected metabolites. Both antibiotic treatments decreased the severity of an induced myocardial infarction in vivo by 27% and 29%, respectively. We then determined whether microbial metabolites of the amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine were linked to decreased severity of myocardial infarction. Vancomycin-treated rats were administered amino acid metabolites prior to ischemia/reperfusion studies. Oral or intravenous pretreatment of rats with these amino acid metabolites abolished the decrease in infarct size conferred by vancomycin. Inhibition of JAK-2 (AG-490, 10 μM), Src kinase (PP1, 20 μM), Akt/PI3 kinase (Wortmannin, 100 nM), p44/42 MAPK (PD98059, 10 μM), p38 MAPK (SB203580, 10 μM), or KATP channels (glibenclamide, 3 μM) abolished cardioprotection by vancomycin, indicating microbial metabolites are interacting with cell surface receptors to transduce their signals through Src kinase, cell survival pathways and KATP channels. These inhibitors have no effect on myocardial infarct size in

  12. The ecology and evolution of microbial behavior in complex communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, Alvaro

    Microbes form complex ecological communities with multiple species coexisting and interacting with each other. Often, the ecological interactions among these species are mediated by molecules that the microbes actively secrete to the outside world. A large number of microbes are decomposers, and thus particularly relevant examples of these secreted molecules are the enzymes that microbes use to break down complex organic matter (e.g. dead tissue) and extract nutrients from it. In this talk, I will present an overview of the work that we have done to understand the ecology and evolution of the genes responsible for the expression of these enzymes. In particular, I will discuss how by regulating the amount of investment in the production of extracellular enzymes, microbes may modulate ecological interactions and change the number and stability of equilibria in ecosystems.

  13. Effects of Fruit Toxins on Intestinal and Microbial β-Glucosidase Activities of Seed-Predating and Seed-Dispersing Rodents (Acomys spp.).

    PubMed

    Kohl, Kevin D; Samuni-Blank, Michal; Lymberakis, Petros; Kurnath, Patrice; Izhaki, Ido; Arad, Zeev; Karasov, William H; Dearing, M Denise

    2016-01-01

    Plant secondary compounds (PSCs) have profound influence on the ecological interaction between plants and their consumers. Glycosides, a class of PSC, are inert in their intact form and become toxic on activation by either plant β-glucosidase enzymes or endogenous β-glucosidases produced by the intestine of the plant-predator or its microbiota. Many insect herbivores decrease activities of endogenous β-glucosidases to limit toxin exposure. However, such an adaptation has never been investigated in nonmodel mammals. We studied three species of spiny mice (Acomys spp.) that vary in their feeding behavior of the glycoside-rich fruit of Ochradenus baccatus. Two species, the common (Acomys cahirinus) and Crete (Acomys minous) spiny mice, behaviorally avoid activating glycosides, while the golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus) regularly consumes activated glycosides. We fed each species a nontoxic diet of inert glycosides or a toxic diet of activated fruit toxins and investigated the responses of intestinal and microbial β-glucosidase activities. We found that individuals feeding on activated toxins had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity and that the species that behaviorally avoid activating glycosides also had lower intestinal β-glucosidase activity regardless of treatment. The microbiota represented a larger source of toxin liberation, and the toxin-adapted species (golden spiny mouse) exhibited almost a fivefold increase in microbial β-glucosidase when fed activated toxins, while other species showed slight decreases. These results are contrary to those in insects, where glycoside-adapted species have lower β-glucosidase activity. The glycoside-adapted golden spiny mouse may have evolved tolerance mechanisms such as enhanced detoxification rather than avoidance mechanisms. PMID:27153129

  14. Marine microbial community dynamics and their ecological interpretation.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, Jed A; Cram, Jacob A; Needham, David M

    2015-03-01

    Recent advances in studying the dynamics of marine microbial communities have shown that the composition of these communities follows predictable patterns and involves complex network interactions, which shed light on the underlying processes regulating these globally important organisms. Such 'holistic' (or organism- and system-based) studies of these communities complement popular reductionist, often culture-based, approaches for understanding organism function one gene or protein at a time. In this Review, we summarize our current understanding of marine microbial community dynamics at various scales, from hours to decades. We also explain how the data illustrate community resilience and seasonality, and reveal interactions among microorganisms. PMID:25659323

  15. Evolutionary ecology of microbial wars: within-host competition and (incidental) virulence.

    PubMed

    Brown, Sam P; Fredrik Inglis, R; Taddei, François

    2009-02-01

    Invading an occupied niche is a formidable ecological challenge, and one of particular human importance in the context of food-borne microbial pathogens. We discuss distinct categories of invader-triggered environmental change that facilitate invasion by emptying their niche of competitors. Evidence is reviewed that gut bacteria use such strategies to manipulate their environment (via bacteriocins, temperate phage viruses or immuno-manipulation) at the expense of their competitors are reviewed. The possible virulence implications of microbial warfare among multiple co-infecting strains are diverse. Killing competitors can reduce virulence by reducing overall microbial densities, or increase virulence if for example the allelopathic mechanism involves immuno-manipulation. Finally, we place microbial anti-competitor strategies in a social evolution framework, highlighting how costly anti-competitor strategies can be understood as examples of microbial spite. We conclude by discussing other invasive species that have also developed such proactive strategies of invasion. PMID:25567845

  16. Evolutionary ecology of plant-microbe interactions: soil microbial structure alters selection on plant traits.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A; Lennon, Jay T

    2011-10-01

    • Below-ground microbial communities influence plant diversity, plant productivity, and plant community composition. Given these strong ecological effects, are interactions with below-ground microbes also important for understanding natural selection on plant traits? • Here, we manipulated below-ground microbial communities and the soil moisture environment on replicated populations of Brassica rapa to examine how microbial community structure influences selection on plant traits and mediates plant responses to abiotic environmental stress. • In soils with experimentally simplified microbial communities, plants were smaller, had reduced chlorophyll content, produced fewer flowers, and were less fecund when compared with plant populations grown in association with more complex soil microbial communities. Selection on plant growth and phenological traits also was stronger when plants were grown in simplified, less diverse soil microbial communities, and these effects typically were consistent across soil moisture treatments. • Our results suggest that microbial community structure affects patterns of natural selection on plant traits. Thus, the below-ground microbial community can influence evolutionary processes, just as recent studies have demonstrated that microbial diversity can influence plant community and ecosystem processes. PMID:21658184

  17. Microbial ecology and transformations associated with munitions contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, J.L.; Li, Z.; Kokjohn, T.A.; Shea, P.J.; Comfort, S.D.

    1994-12-31

    Many acres of soil at the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant (NOP) are contaminated with TNT and other munitions residues. In some areas, solid phase TNT is present and controls the concentration of the soil solution. Native microbial populations in uncontaminated soils similar to those at the NOP site were severely reduced when solid phase TNT was allowed to control the soil solution TNT concentration. However, examination of NOP soil revealed an active population of Pseudomonas sp. A single species that could utilize TNT as a sole C source was isolated from the contaminated soil and tentatively identified as Pseudomonas corrugata through the BIOLOG system. Subsequent growth and characterization experiments indicate that the Pseudomonad metabolizes TNT while in the exponential phase of growth in medium containing glucose as a sole N source. Low TNT mineralization rates (measured by CO{sub 2} evolution) in soil and media using the various isolates suggest reduced availability due to sorption and incorporation of transformation intermediates into the organic matrix and microbial biomass. Pretreatment of TNT by acid-metal catalyzed reduction resulted in an initially higher rate of mineralization following addition to TNT-contaminated soil. Observations indicate more rapid microbial utilization of the 2,4,6-triaminotoluene (TAT) reduction product and its spontaneous decay product, methylphloroglucinol (2,4,6-trihydroxytoluene), than TNT. Abiotic pretreatment may be useful in enhancing microbial transformation and detoxification of TNT in highly contaminated soils.

  18. Microbial Ecology of and Antimicrobial Resistance in Stored Swine Manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Antimicrobial compounds such as tylosin have been commonly used as feed additives for domestic animals to reduce infection and promote growth. Recent reports have suggested such feeding practices may result in increased microbial resistance to antibiotics, which can have an impact on human health. ...

  19. Microbial Ecology Assessment of Mixed Copper Oxide/Sulfide Dump Leach Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Bruhn, D F; Thompson, D N; Noah, K S

    1999-06-01

    Microbial consortia composed of complex mixtures of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria are responsible for the dissolution of metals from sulfide minerals. Thus, an efficient copper bioleaching operation depends on the microbial ecology of the system. A microbial ecology study of a mixed oxide/sulfide copper leaching operation was conducted using an "overlay" plating technique to differentiate and identify various bacterial consortium members of the genera Thiobacillus, Leptospirillum, Ferromicrobium, and Acidiphilium. Two temperatures (30C and 45C) were used to select for mesophilic and moderately thermophilic bacteria. Cell numbers varied from 0-106 cells/g dry ore, depending on the sample location and depth. After acid curing for oxide leaching, no viable bacteria were recovered, although inoculation of cells from raffinate re-established a microbial population after three months. Due to the low pH of the operation, very few non-iron-oxidizing acidophilic heterotrophs were recovered. Moderate thermophiles were isolated from the ore samples. Pregnant liquor solutions (PLS) and raffinate both contained a diversity of bacteria. In addition, an intermittently applied waste stream that contained high levels of arsenic and fluoride was tested for toxicity. Twenty vol% waste stream in PLS killed 100% of the cells in 48 hours, indicating substantial toxicity and/or growth inhibition. The data indicate that bacteria populations can recover after acid curing, and that application of the waste stream to the dump should be avoided. Monitoring the microbial ecology of the leaching operation provided significant information that improved copper recovery.

  20. INTERPRETING ECOLOGICAL DIVERSITY INDICES APPLIED TO T-RFLP DATA: INSIGHTS FROM SIMULATED MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecological diversity indices are frequently applied to molecular profiling methods, such as terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), in order to detect differences in diversity of the microbial communities sampled. We performed simulations to determine whether diversity indices c...

  1. An Open-Ended Investigative Microbial Ecology Laboratory for Introductory Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones-Held, Susan; Paoletti, Robert; Glick, David; Held, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    In this article we describe a multi-week investigative laboratory in microbial ecology/diversity and nitrogen cycling that we have used in our introductory biology course. This module encourages active student involvement in experimental design, using the scientific literature and quantitative analysis of large data sets. Students analyze soil…

  2. Effects of biological pit additives on microbial ecology of stored pig manure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of biological pit additives on microbial ecology in stored pig manure were investigated using a dynamic manure storage system, which allowed for continual addition of swine feces and urine. After 13 weeks of manure collection and storage, four treatments were added to tanks (900 L capaci...

  3. Transcriptome profiles of chicken intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes altered by the intake of a multi-strain direct-fed microbials

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of the direct-fed microbials (DFM) including three Bacillus subtilis strains on the modulation of transcriptional profile in chicken intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL). The multiple-strain DFM product modified 453 probes from 1,98...

  4. Microbial ecology summer research program, June 20-August 26, 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    The personnel, lecture topics, and summaries of research reports generated are presented. Research topics include: mutants of Escherichia coli affected in inducer exclusion; anaerobic chitin degradation; feeding relationships of harpacticoid copepods and microbial flora; degradation of ortho phenyl phenol by streptomycetes; biodegradation of dieldrin and aromatic compounds; the effect of neurotoxins on chemotaxis is Spirochaeta aurantia; chemotaxis and algal attachment of caulobacter; pigment formation in Lyngbya aestuari; diel movements of bacteria in a salt marsh; chemotaxis in S. Aurantia; isolation of marine toluate-oxidizing bacteria; growth inhibition of enteric bacteria by methyl-..cap alpha..-D-glucoside; studies of magnetic bacteria in brackish waters; and mechanisms of interaction between two microbial populations in activated sludge. (ACR)

  5. Long-Term Oil Contamination Alters the Molecular Ecological Networks of Soil Microbial Functional Genes.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yuting; Zhao, Huihui; Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Guanghe; Sun, Bo

    2016-01-01

    With knowledge on microbial composition and diversity, investigation of within-community interactions is a further step to elucidate microbial ecological functions, such as the biodegradation of hazardous contaminants. In this work, microbial functional molecular ecological networks were studied in both contaminated and uncontaminated soils to determine the possible influences of oil contamination on microbial interactions and potential functions. Soil samples were obtained from an oil-exploring site located in South China, and the microbial functional genes were analyzed with GeoChip, a high-throughput functional microarray. By building random networks based on null model, we demonstrated that overall network structures and properties were significantly different between contaminated and uncontaminated soils (P < 0.001). Network connectivity, module numbers, and modularity were all reduced with contamination. Moreover, the topological roles of the genes (module hub and connectors) were altered with oil contamination. Subnetworks of genes involved in alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation were also constructed. Negative co-occurrence patterns prevailed among functional genes, thereby indicating probable competition relationships. The potential "keystone" genes, defined as either "hubs" or genes with highest connectivities in the network, were further identified. The network constructed in this study predicted the potential effects of anthropogenic contamination on microbial community co-occurrence interactions. PMID:26870020

  6. Long-Term Oil Contamination Alters the Molecular Ecological Networks of Soil Microbial Functional Genes

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Yuting; Zhao, Huihui; Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Guanghe; Sun, Bo

    2016-01-01

    With knowledge on microbial composition and diversity, investigation of within-community interactions is a further step to elucidate microbial ecological functions, such as the biodegradation of hazardous contaminants. In this work, microbial functional molecular ecological networks were studied in both contaminated and uncontaminated soils to determine the possible influences of oil contamination on microbial interactions and potential functions. Soil samples were obtained from an oil-exploring site located in South China, and the microbial functional genes were analyzed with GeoChip, a high-throughput functional microarray. By building random networks based on null model, we demonstrated that overall network structures and properties were significantly different between contaminated and uncontaminated soils (P < 0.001). Network connectivity, module numbers, and modularity were all reduced with contamination. Moreover, the topological roles of the genes (module hub and connectors) were altered with oil contamination. Subnetworks of genes involved in alkane and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon degradation were also constructed. Negative co-occurrence patterns prevailed among functional genes, thereby indicating probable competition relationships. The potential “keystone” genes, defined as either “hubs” or genes with highest connectivities in the network, were further identified. The network constructed in this study predicted the potential effects of anthropogenic contamination on microbial community co-occurrence interactions. PMID:26870020

  7. Urban microbial ecology of a freshwater estuary of Lake Michigan

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Jenny C.; Newton, Ryan J.; Dila, Deborah K.

    2015-01-01

    Freshwater estuaries throughout the Great Lakes region receive stormwater runoff and riverine inputs from heavily urbanized population centers. While human and animal feces contained in this runoff are often the focus of source tracking investigations, non-fecal bacterial loads from soil, aerosols, urban infrastructure, and other sources are also transported to estuaries and lakes. We quantified and characterized this non-fecal urban microbial component using bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from sewage, stormwater, rivers, harbor/estuary, and the lake surrounding Milwaukee, WI, USA. Bacterial communities from each of these environments had a distinctive composition, but some community members were shared among environments. We used a statistical biomarker discovery tool to identify the components of the microbial community that were most strongly associated with stormwater and sewage to describe an “urban microbial signature,” and measured the presence and relative abundance of these organisms in the rivers, estuary, and lake. This urban signature increased in magnitude in the estuary and harbor with increasing rainfall levels, and was more apparent in lake samples with closest proximity to the Milwaukee estuary. The dominant bacterial taxa in the urban signature were Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, and Pseudomonas, which are organisms associated with pipe infrastructure and soil and not typically found in pelagic freshwater environments. These taxa were highly abundant in stormwater and sewage, but sewage also contained a high abundance of Arcobacter and Trichococcus that appeared in lower abundance in stormwater outfalls and in trace amounts in aquatic environments. Urban signature organisms comprised 1.7% of estuary and harbor communities under baseflow conditions, 3.5% after rain, and >10% after a combined sewer overflow. With predicted increases in urbanization across the Great Lakes, further alteration of freshwater communities is likely to occur with

  8. Antibiotic Treatment Affects Intestinal Permeability and Gut Microbial Composition in Wistar Rats Dependent on Antibiotic Class

    PubMed Central

    Tulstrup, Monica Vera-Lise; Christensen, Ellen Gerd; Carvalho, Vera; Linninge, Caroline; Ahrné, Siv; Højberg, Ole; Licht, Tine Rask; Bahl, Martin Iain

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotics are frequently administered orally to treat bacterial infections not necessarily related to the gastrointestinal system. This has adverse effects on the commensal gut microbial community, as it disrupts the intricate balance between specific bacterial groups within this ecosystem, potentially leading to dysbiosis. We hypothesized that modulation of community composition and function induced by antibiotics affects intestinal integrity depending on the antibiotic administered. To address this a total of 60 Wistar rats (housed in pairs with 6 cages per group) were dosed by oral gavage with either amoxicillin (AMX), cefotaxime (CTX), vancomycin (VAN), metronidazole (MTZ), or water (CON) daily for 10–11 days. Bacterial composition, alpha diversity and caecum short chain fatty acid levels were significantly affected by AMX, CTX and VAN, and varied among antibiotic treatments. A general decrease in diversity and an increase in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria was observed for all three antibiotics. Additionally, the relative abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae was increased in the CTX group and both Lactobacillaceae and Verrucomicrobiaceae were increased in the VAN group compared to the CON group. No changes in microbiota composition or function were observed following MTZ treatment. Intestinal permeability to 4 kDa FITC-dextran decreased after CTX and VAN treatment and increased following MTZ treatment. Plasma haptoglobin levels were increased by both AMX and CTX but no changes in expression of host tight junction genes were found in any treatment group. A strong correlation between the level of caecal succinate, the relative abundance of Clostridiaceae 1 family in the caecum, and the level of acute phase protein haptoglobin in blood plasma was observed. In conclusion, antibiotic-induced changes in microbiota may be linked to alterations in intestinal permeability, although the specific interactions remain to be elucidated as changes in permeability did

  9. The Inter-Valley Soil Comparative Survey: the ecology of Dry Valley edaphic microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Charles K; Barbier, Béatrice A; Bottos, Eric M; McDonald, Ian R; Cary, Stephen Craig

    2012-01-01

    Recent applications of molecular genetics to edaphic microbial communities of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and elsewhere have rejected a long-held belief that Antarctic soils contain extremely limited microbial diversity. The Inter-Valley Soil Comparative Survey aims to elucidate the factors shaping these unique microbial communities and their biogeography by integrating molecular genetic approaches with biogeochemical analyses. Although the microbial communities of Dry Valley soils may be complex, there is little doubt that the ecosystem's food web is relatively simple, and evidence suggests that physicochemical conditions may have the dominant role in shaping microbial communities. To examine this hypothesis, bacterial communities from representative soil samples collected in four geographically disparate Dry Valleys were analyzed using molecular genetic tools, including pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene PCR amplicons. Results show that the four communities are structurally and phylogenetically distinct, and possess significantly different levels of diversity. Strikingly, only 2 of 214 phylotypes were found in all four valleys, challenging a widespread assumption that the microbiota of the Dry Valleys is composed of a few cosmopolitan species. Analysis of soil geochemical properties indicated that salt content, alongside altitude and Cu2+, was significantly correlated with differences in microbial communities. Our results indicate that the microbial ecology of Dry Valley soils is highly localized and that physicochemical factors potentially have major roles in shaping the microbiology of ice-free areas of Antarctica. These findings hint at links between Dry Valley glacial geomorphology and microbial ecology, and raise previously unrecognized issues related to environmental management of this unique ecosystem. PMID:22170424

  10. A guide to statistical analysis in microbial ecology: a community-focused, living review of multivariate data analyses.

    PubMed

    Buttigieg, Pier Luigi; Ramette, Alban

    2014-12-01

    The application of multivariate statistical analyses has become a consistent feature in microbial ecology. However, many microbial ecologists are still in the process of developing a deep understanding of these methods and appreciating their limitations. As a consequence, staying abreast of progress and debate in this arena poses an additional challenge to many microbial ecologists. To address these issues, we present the GUide to STatistical Analysis in Microbial Ecology (GUSTA ME): a dynamic, web-based resource providing accessible descriptions of numerous multivariate techniques relevant to microbial ecologists. A combination of interactive elements allows users to discover and navigate between methods relevant to their needs and examine how they have been used by others in the field. We have designed GUSTA ME to become a community-led and -curated service, which we hope will provide a common reference and forum to discuss and disseminate analytical techniques relevant to the microbial ecology community. PMID:25314312

  11. Intestinal Microbial Metabolites Are Linked to Severity of Myocardial Infarction in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Vy; Su, Jidong; Hsu, Anna; Gross, Garrett J.; Salzman, Nita H.

    2016-01-01

    Intestinal microbiota determine severity of myocardial infarction in rats. We determined whether low molecular weight metabolites derived from intestinal microbiota and transported to the systemic circulation are linked to severity of myocardial infarction. Plasma from rats treated for seven days with the non-absorbed antibiotic vancomycin or a mixture of streptomycin, neomycin, polymyxin B and bacitracin was analyzed using mass spectrometry-based metabolite profiling platforms. Antibiotic-induced changes in the abundance of individual groups of intestinal microbiota dramatically altered the host’s metabolism. Hierarchical clustering of dissimilarities separated the levels of 284 identified metabolites from treated vs. untreated rats; 193 were altered by the antibiotic treatments with a tendency towards decreased metabolite levels. Catabolism of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine was the most affected pathway comprising 33 affected metabolites. Both antibiotic treatments decreased the severity of an induced myocardial infarction in vivo by 27% and 29%, respectively. We then determined whether microbial metabolites of the amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine were linked to decreased severity of myocardial infarction. Vancomycin-treated rats were administered amino acid metabolites prior to ischemia/reperfusion studies. Oral or intravenous pretreatment of rats with these amino acid metabolites abolished the decrease in infarct size conferred by vancomycin. Inhibition of JAK-2 (AG-490, 10 μM), Src kinase (PP1, 20 μM), Akt/PI3 kinase (Wortmannin, 100 nM), p44/42 MAPK (PD98059, 10 μM), p38 MAPK (SB203580, 10 μM), or KATP channels (glibenclamide, 3 μM) abolished cardioprotection by vancomycin, indicating microbial metabolites are interacting with cell surface receptors to transduce their signals through Src kinase, cell survival pathways and KATP channels. These inhibitors have no effect on myocardial infarct size in

  12. Biogeography and ecology of the rare and abundant microbial lineages in deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Rika E; Sogin, Mitchell L; Baross, John A

    2015-01-01

    Environmental gradients generate countless ecological niches in deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems, which foster diverse microbial communities. The majority of distinct microbial lineages in these communities occur in very low abundance. However, the ecological role and distribution of rare and abundant lineages, particularly in deep, hot subsurface environments, remain unclear. Here, we use 16S rRNA tag sequencing to describe biogeographic patterning and microbial community structure of both rare and abundant archaea and bacteria in hydrothermal vent systems. We show that while rare archaeal lineages and almost all bacterial lineages displayed geographically restricted community structuring patterns, the abundant lineages of archaeal communities displayed a much more cosmopolitan distribution. Finally, analysis of one high-volume, high-temperature fluid sample representative of the deep hot biosphere described a unique microbial community that differed from microbial populations in diffuse flow fluid or sulfide samples, yet the rare thermophilic archaeal groups showed similarities to those that occur in sulfides. These results suggest that while most archaeal and bacterial lineages in vents are rare and display a highly regional distribution, a small percentage of lineages, particularly within the archaeal domain, are successful at widespread dispersal and colonization. PMID:25764538

  13. Microbial ecology of interdigital infections of toe web spaces.

    PubMed

    Kates, S G; Nordstrom, K M; McGinley, K J; Leyden, J J

    1990-04-01

    The microbial flora of normal and macerated interdigital toe web spaces was qualitatively and quantitatively identified in 77 patients. Dermatophyte fungi were recovered from 11% of normal patients compared with a 31% recovery from patients with macerated interspaces. Macerated interspaces were characterized by a greater recovery of organisms with pathogenic potential, with Staphylococcus aureus recovered from 36% of patients, Micrococcus sedentarius in 37%, Brevibacterium epidermidis in 54%, Corynebacterium minutissimum in 69%, and Pseudomonas species in 26%. The bacterial flora of macerated interspaces showed a significantly higher incidence of resistance to multiple antibiotics, and the recovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria correlated with the recovery of dermatophytes that produce penicillin-like substances. The results of this study support the hypothesis that overgrowth of the resident bacterial population determines the severity of interdigital toe-web infections. PMID:2319017

  14. CKD impairs barrier function and alters microbial flora of the intestine: a major link to inflammation and uremic toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Vaziri, Nosratola D.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with oxidative stress and inflammation which contribute to progression of kidney disease and its numerous complications. Until recently, little attention had been paid to the role of the intestine and its microbial flora in the pathogenesis of CKD-associated inflammation. This article is intended to provide an over view of the impact of uremia on the structure and function of the gut and its microbial flora and their potential link to the associated systemic inflammation. Recent findings Recent studies conducted in the author’s laboratories have demonstrated marked disintegration of the colonic epithelial barrier structure and significant alteration of the colonic bacterial flora in humans and animals with advanced CKD. The observed disruption of the intestinal epithelial barrier complex can play an important part in the development of systemic inflammation by enabling influx of endotoxin and other noxious luminal contents into the systemic circulation. Similarly via disruption of the normal symbiotic relationship and production, absorption and retention of noxious products, alteration of the microbial flora can contribute to systemic inflammation and uremic toxicity. In fact recent studies have documented the role of colonic bacteria as the primary source of several well known pro-inflammatory/pro-oxidant uremic toxins as well as many as-yet unidentified retained compounds. Summary CKD results in disruption of the intestinal barrier structure and marked alteration of its microbial flora –events that play a major role in the pathogenesis of inflammation and uremic toxicity. PMID:23010760

  15. Influence of habitat modification on the intestinal helminth community ecology of cottontail rabbit populations.

    PubMed

    Boggs, J F; McMurry, S T; Leslie, D M; Engle, D M; Lochmiller, R L

    1990-04-01

    The influence of five brush management treatments using the herbicides tebuthiuron and triclopyr, with or without prescribed burning, on the intestinal helminth community of cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) was studied in 1987 on the Cross Timbers Experimental Range in Payne County, Oklahoma (USA). Six helminth species were found (Dermatoxys veligera, Trichostrongylus calcaratus, Passalurus nonanulatus, Wellcomia longejector, Taenia pisiformis cystercercus, and Mosgovoyia pectinata americana) in 102 rabbits (88 adult and 14 juveniles) collected over two seasons (winter and summer). Prevalence of M. pectinata americana in cottontail rabbits was significantly greater in untreated control pastures than herbicide treated pastures in winter, while prevalence of T. pisiformis was significantly greater in burned than unburned pastures. Abundances of helminth species in the intestinal tract of cottontail rabbits were unaffected by brush treatments. Mosgovoyia pectinata americana abundance demonstrated a highly significant increase from winter to summer; conversely, abundance of all oxyurid pinworms combined (D. veligera, P. nonanulatus, W. longejector) was significantly higher in winter than summer. Helminth community dynamics were significantly influenced by season, but were unaffected by brush treatments. Habitat modification could have influenced cestode transmission by altering the ecology of invertebrate and vertebrate hosts. PMID:2338720

  16. Tools and perspectives for a unified approach to understanding microbial ecology in the critical zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallery, R. E.; Aronson, E. L.; Fairbanks, D.; Murphy, M. A.; Rich, V. I.; Hart, S. C.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial communities that control nutrient transformation and storage in ecosystems are themselves influenced by landscape topography and vegetative cover. Globally, disturbances such as fires and insect outbreaks are increasing in frequency and severity with enormous impacts on global carbon cycling. The resiliency of soil microbial communities to these heterogeneous disturbances determines rates of nutrient transformations as well as ecosystem structure and recovery. Natural and anthropogenic disturbances are a common thread throughout Critical Zone Observatories and ecosystems in general. Using the 2013 Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez River Basin CZO as a case study, we examine the effect of a wildfire disturbance regime on successional changes in soil microbiota and ecosystem fluxes across a landscape with high topographic variation. We find that, layered over the topographic controls of hotspots of biogeochemical activity, fire alters organic substrate quality, microbial biomass, community structure, and activity. For example, fire increases soil pH, which is commonly found as an explanatory variable describing bacterial community structure. Soil microbes excrete exoenzymes to decompose polymers and acquire nutrients, and these activities can indicate changing microbial function or soil quality. In these mixed conifer forests, we find shifts from carbon to nitrogen-dominated exoenzyme activities in burned forests with alkaline soils, suggesting shifts of microbial taxa and function that correspond with recovering soil microbial biomass. More generally we ask - what combination of tools and perspectives is needed to fully understand soil microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of the critical zone? Results from an NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) CZO Network Biogeochemistry Workshop highlight the importance of incorporating a standard suite of microbial activity and community assays along with soil biogeochemical and flux measurements to enable

  17. The Ecology of Microbial Communities Associated with Macrocystis pyrifera

    PubMed Central

    Michelou, Vanessa K.; Caporaso, J. Gregory; Knight, Rob; Palumbi, Stephen R.

    2013-01-01

    Kelp forests are characterized by high biodiversity and productivity, and the cycling of kelp-produced carbon is a vital process in this ecosystem. Although bacteria are assumed to play a major role in kelp forest carbon cycling, knowledge of the composition and diversity of these bacterial communities is lacking. Bacterial communities on the surface of Macrocystis pyrifera and adjacent seawater were sampled at the Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey Bay, CA, and further studied using 454-tag pyrosequencing of 16S RNA genes. Our results suggest that M. pyrifera-dominated kelp forests harbor distinct microbial communities that vary temporally. The distribution of sequence tags assigned to Gammaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes differed between the surface of the kelp and the surrounding water. Several abundant Rhodobacteraceae, uncultivated Gammaproteobacteria and Bacteriodetes-associated tags displayed considerable temporal variation, often with similar trends in the seawater and the surface of the kelp. Bacterial community structure and membership correlated with the kelp surface serving as host, and varied over time. Several kelp-specific taxa were highly similar to other bacteria known to either prevent the colonization of eukaryotic larvae or exhibit antibacterial activities. Some of these kelp-specific bacterial associations might play an important role for M. pyrifera. This study provides the first assessment of the diversity and phylogenetic profile of the bacterial communities associated with M. pyrifera. PMID:23840715

  18. Microbial Ecology of Anaerobic Digesters: The Key Players of Anaerobiosis

    PubMed Central

    Ali Shah, Fayyaz; Mahmood, Qaisar; Maroof Shah, Mohammad; Pervez, Arshid; Ahmad Asad, Saeed

    2014-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion is the method of wastes treatment aimed at a reduction of their hazardous effects on the biosphere. The mutualistic behavior of various anaerobic microorganisms results in the decomposition of complex organic substances into simple, chemically stabilized compounds, mainly methane and CO2. The conversions of complex organic compounds to CH4 and CO2 are possible due to the cooperation of four different groups of microorganisms, that is, fermentative, syntrophic, acetogenic, and methanogenic bacteria. Microbes adopt various pathways to evade from the unfavorable conditions in the anaerobic digester like competition between sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and methane forming bacteria for the same substrate. Methanosarcina are able to use both acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic pathways for methane production. This review highlights the cellulosic microorganisms, structure of cellulose, inoculum to substrate ratio, and source of inoculum and its effect on methanogenesis. The molecular techniques such as DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) utilized for dynamic changes in microbial communities and FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) that deal with taxonomy and interaction and distribution of tropic groups used are also discussed. PMID:24701142

  19. Board-invited review: Rumen microbiology: leading the way in microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Krause, D O; Nagaraja, T G; Wright, A D G; Callaway, T R

    2013-01-01

    Robert Hungate, considered the father of rumen microbiology, was the first to initiate a systematic exploration of the microbial ecosystem of the rumen, but he was not alone. The techniques he developed to isolate and identify cellulose-digesting bacteria from the rumen have had a major impact not only in delineating the complex ecosystem of the rumen but also in clinical microbiology and in the exploration of a number of other anaerobic ecosystems, including the human hindgut. Rumen microbiology has pioneered our understanding of much of microbial ecology and has broadened our knowledge of ecology in general, as well as improved the ability to feed ruminants more efficiently. The discovery of anaerobic fungi as a component of the ruminal flora disproved the central dogma in microbiology that all fungi are aerobic organisms. Further novel interactions between bacterial species such as nutrient cross feeding and interspecies H2 transfer were first described in ruminal microorganisms. The complexity and diversity present in the rumen make it an ideal testing ground for microbial theories (e.g., the effects of nutrient limitation and excess) and techniques (such as 16S rRNA), which have rewarded the investigators that have used this easily accessed ecosystem to understand larger truths. Our understanding of characteristics of the ruminal microbial population has opened new avenues of microbial ecology, such as the existence of hyperammonia-producing bacteria and how they can be used to improve N efficiency in ruminants. In this review, we examine some of the contributions to science that were first made in the rumen, which have not been recognized in a broader sense. PMID:23404990

  20. Microbial Ecology Assessment of Mixed Copper Oxide/Sulfide Dump Leach Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Bruhn, Debby Fox; Thompson, David Neal; Noah, Karl Scott

    1999-06-01

    Microbial consortia composed of complex mixtures of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria are responsible for the dissolution of metals from sulfide minerals. Thus, an efficient copper bioleaching operation depends on the microbial ecology of the system. A microbial ecology study of a mixed oxide/sulfide copper leaching operation was conducted using an "overlay" plating technique to differentiate and identify various bacterial consortium members of the genera Thiobacillus, “Leptospirillum”, “Ferromicrobium”, and Acidiphilium. Two temperatures (30°C and 45°C) were used to select for mesophilic and moderately thermophilic bacteria. Cell numbers varied from 0-106 cells/g dry ore, depending on the sample location and depth. After acid curing for oxide leaching, no viable bacteria were recovered, although inoculation of cells from raffinate re-established a microbial population after three months. Due to low the pH of the operation, very few non-iron-oxidizing acidophilic heterotrophs were recovered. Moderate thermophiles were isolated from the ore samples. Pregnant liquor solutions (PLS) and raffinate both contained a diversity of bacteria. In addition, an intermittently applied waste stream that contained high levels of arsenic and fluoride was tested for toxicity. Twenty vol% waste stream in PLS killed 100% of the cells in 48 hours, indicating substantial toxicity and/or growth inhibition. The data indicate that bacteria populations can recover after acid curing, and that application of the waste stream to the dump should be avoided. Monitoring the microbial ecology of the leaching operation provided significant information that improved copper recovery.

  1. Intestinal colonization resistance

    PubMed Central

    Lawley, Trevor D; Walker, Alan W

    2013-01-01

    Dense, complex microbial communities, collectively termed the microbiota, occupy a diverse array of niches along the length of the mammalian intestinal tract. During health and in the absence of antibiotic exposure the microbiota can effectively inhibit colonization and overgrowth by invading microbes such as pathogens. This phenomenon is called ‘colonization resistance’ and is associated with a stable and diverse microbiota in tandem with a controlled lack of inflammation, and involves specific interactions between the mucosal immune system and the microbiota. Here we overview the microbial ecology of the healthy mammalian intestinal tract and highlight the microbe–microbe and microbe–host interactions that promote colonization resistance. Emerging themes highlight immunological (T helper type 17/regulatory T-cell balance), microbiota (diverse and abundant) and metabolic (short-chain fatty acid) signatures of intestinal health and colonization resistance. Intestinal pathogens use specific virulence factors or exploit antibiotic use to subvert colonization resistance for their own benefit by triggering inflammation to disrupt the harmony of the intestinal ecosystem. A holistic view that incorporates immunological and microbiological facets of the intestinal ecosystem should facilitate the development of immunomodulatory and microbe-modulatory therapies that promote intestinal homeostasis and colonization resistance. PMID:23240815

  2. Microbial ecology and carbon cycling in Texas aquifers

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Chuanlun; Grossman, E.L. . Dept. of Geology); MacRae, M.; Ammerman, J.W. . Dept. of Oceanography)

    1992-01-01

    To evaluate the relationship between microbial activity and carbon cycling in the subsurface, the authors performed geochemical and microbiological analyses on ground-waters from 15 wells in three aquifers in Texas--the Edwards (Ed), the Wilcox-Carrizo (WC), and the Sparta-Queen City (SQC). Samples were collected from 128 to 976 m depth. Total bacteria enumerated by direct count methodology range from 1.6 [times] 10[sup 3] to 4.0 [times] 10[sup 4] cells/ml. In both the (SQC) and (WC) aquifers, total bacterial counts decrease with depth. Total counts in (SQC) waters decrease from 6 [times] 10[sup 3] cells/ml at 217 m to 2 [times] 10[sup 3] cells/ml at 616 m; total counts in (WC) waters decrease from 32 [times] 10[sup 3] cells/ml at 369 m to [approximately]5 [times] 10[sup 3] cells/ml at 907 m. Except for two wells, all of the waters contained trace to large amounts of methane. Carbon isotopic analyses of dissolved and head-gas methane range from [minus]80 to [minus]9[per thousand]. Light [delta] C-13 values for methane indicate methane production by bacteria without secondary alteration while heavy [delta] C-13 values for methane strongly suggest methane oxidation, probably by sulfate reduction. delta C-13 values of DIC for high bicarbonate waters indicate a source of CO[sub 2] associated with methanogenesis through fermentation reactions and CO[sub 2] reduction. No correlation is found between the response to the archaebacterial probe and methane content in water, probably due to the limited sensitivity of the archaebacterial probe. However, anaerobic laboratory incubations of water samples in nutrient media showed significant production of methane for all cultured samples except those showing isotopic evidence for methane oxidation. This suggests that methanogens may be present in all waters except those in which methane oxidation has occurred.

  3. Radiation: microbial evolution, ecology, and relevance to mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, L. J.; Cockell, C. S.

    1999-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been an important environmental parameter during the evolution of life on Earth, both in its role as a mutagen and as a selective agent. This was probably especially true during the time from 3.8 to 2.5 billion years ago, when atmospheric ozone levels were less than 1% of present levels. Early Mars may not have had an "ozone shield" either, and it never developed a significant one. Even though Mars is farther away from the Sun than the Earth, a substantial surficial UV flux is present on Mars today. But organisms respond to dose rate, and on Mars, like on Earth, organisms would be exposed to diurnal variations in UV flux. Here we present data on the effect of diurnal patterns of UV flux on microbial ecosystems in nature, with an emphasis on photosynthesis and DNA synthesis effects. These results indicate that diurnal patterns of metabolism occur in nature with a dip in photosynthesis and DNA synthesis in the afternoon, in part regulated by UV flux. Thus, diurnal patterns must be studied in order to understand the effect of UV radiation in nature. The results of this work are significant to the success of human missions to Mars for several reasons. For example, human missions must include photosynthetic organisms for food production and likely oxygen production. An evolutionary approach suggests which organisms might be best suited for high UV fluxes. The diurnal aspect of these studies is critical. Terraforming is a potential goal of Mars exploration, and it will require studies of the effect of Martian UV fluxes, including their diurnal changes, on terrestrial organisms. Such studies may suggest that diurnal changes in UV only require mitigation at some times of day or year.

  4. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant's microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Balcom, Ian N; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm. PMID:27610223

  5. Quantifying the metabolic activities of human-associated microbial communities across multiple ecological scales

    PubMed Central

    Maurice, Corinne Ferrier; Turnbaugh, Peter James

    2013-01-01

    Humans are home to complex microbial communities, whose aggregate genomes and their encoded metabolic activities are referred to as the human microbiome. Recently, researchers have begun to appreciate that different human body habitats and the activities of their resident microorganisms can be better understood in ecological terms, as a range of spatial scales encompassing single cells, guilds of microorganisms responsive to a similar substrate, microbial communities, body habitats, and host populations. However, the bulk of the work to date has focused on studies of culturable microorganisms in isolation or on DNA sequencing-based surveys of microbial diversity in small to moderately sized cohorts of individuals. Here, we discuss recent work that highlights the potential for assessing the human microbiome at a range of spatial scales, and for developing novel techniques that bridge multiple levels: for example, through the combination of single cell methods and metagenomic sequencing. These studies promise to not only provide a much-needed epidemiological and ecological context for mechanistic studies of culturable and genetically tractable microorganisms, but may also lead to the discovery of fundamental rules that govern the assembly and function of host-associated microbial communities. PMID:23550823

  6. Linking geochemistry to microbial ecology in hot springs: examples from southeastern Asia (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, H.; Jiang, H.; Hou, W.; Wang, S.; Huang, Q.; Briggs, B. R.; Huang, L.; Hust, W.; Hedlund, B. P.; Zhang, C.; Hartnett, H. E.; Dijkstra, P.; Hungate, B. A.

    2013-12-01

    Despite recent advances in our understanding of microbial ecology in high temperature environments, important questions remain as to how geochemical conditions shape microbial ecology in hot springs. In the past three years, we have surveyed a large number of hot springs in three regions of southeastern Asia: Tengchong of Yunnan Province, China; Tibet in China; and the Philippines. These springs possess large gradients in pH (2.5-9.4), temperature (22.1-93.6oC), and water and sediment geochemistry. Within each region, these geochemical conditions are important in shaping microbial community structure and diversity. For example, in the Rehai geothermal field of Tengchong, dominant taxa within the dominant bacterial phylum Aquificae and archaeal phylum Crenarchaeota depended on pH (2.5-9.4), temperature (55.1-93.6), Na-Cl-HCO3 water type and silicate rock lithology. In the Ruidian geothermal region, springs with circum-neutral pH (6.71-7.29), moderate temperature (50-82oC), Na-HCO3 water type, and carbonate-dominated lithology, Hydrogenobacter of Aquificae dominated spring water, but the microbial community in sediments was diverse with abundant novel groups. In Tibet springs with low-moderate temperature (22-75oC) and circum-neutral pH (7.2-8.1), temperature appeared to be the most important factor in determining diversity and community structure. In acidic hot springs of the Philippines (Temperature: 60-92°C, pH 3.72-6.58), microbial communities were predominated by those related to sulfur metabolism, which are different from those in acidic springs of Tengchong. When these three regions are considered together, environmental conditions play a major role in controlling microbial community structure, but geographical location appears to be an important factor as well.

  7. Coupled Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Microbial Community Ecology, Biogeochemistry, and Hydrologic Mixing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stegen, J.; Johnson, T. C.; Fredrickson, J.; Wilkins, M.; Konopka, A.; Nelson, W.; Arntzen, E.; Chrisler, W.; Chu, R. K.; Fansler, S.; Kennedy, D.; Resch, T.; Tfaily, M. M.

    2015-12-01

    The hyporheic zone (HZ) is a critical ecosystem component that links terrestrial, surface water, and groundwater ecosystems. A dominant feature of the HZ is groundwater-surface water mixing and the input of terrestrially—as well as aquatically—derived organic carbon. In many systems the HZ has a relatively small spatial extent, but in larger riverine systems groundwater-surface water mixing can occur 100s of meters beyond the surface water shoreline; we consider these more distal locations to be within the 'subsurface interaction zone' (SIZ) as they are beyond the traditional HZ. Microbial communities in the HZ and SIZ drive biogeochemical processes in these system components, yet relatively little is known about the ecological processes that drive HZ and SIZ microbial communities. Here, we applied ecological theory, aqueous biogeochemistry, DNA sequencing, and ultra-high resolution organic carbon profiling to field samples collected through space (400m spatial extent) and time (7 month temporal extent) within the Hanford Site 300 Area. These data streams were integrated to evaluate how the influence of groundwater-surface water mixing on microbial communities changes when moving from the HZ to the broader SIZ. Our results indicate that groundwater-surface water mixing (i) consistently stimulated heterotrophic respiration, but only above a threshold of surface water intrusion, (ii) did not stimulate denitrification, (iii) caused deterministic shifts in HZ microbial communities due to changes in organic carbon composition, and (iv) did not cause shifts in SIZ microbial communities. These results suggest that microbial communities and the biogeochemical processes they drive are impacted by groundwater-surface water mixing primarily in the HZ and to a lesser extent in the SIZ.

  8. Microbial Population Differentials between Mucosal and Submucosal Intestinal Tissues in Advanced Crohn's Disease of the Ileum

    PubMed Central

    Chiodini, Rodrick J.; Dowd, Scot E.; Chamberlin, William M.; Galandiuk, Susan; Davis, Brian; Glassing, Angela

    2015-01-01

    Since Crohn's disease is a transmural disease, we hypothesized that examination of deep submucosal tissues directly involved in the inflammatory disease process may provide unique insights into bacterial populations transgressing intestinal barriers and bacterial populations more representative of the causes and agents of the disease. We performed deep 16s microbiota sequencing on isolated ilea mucosal and submucosal tissues on 20 patients with Crohn's disease and 15 non-inflammatory bowel disease controls with a depth of coverage averaging 81,500 sequences in each of the 70 DNA samples yielding an overall resolution down to 0.0001% of the bacterial population. Of the 4,802,328 total sequences generated, 98.9% or 4,749,183 sequences aligned with the Kingdom Bacteria that clustered into 8545 unique sequences with <3% divergence or operational taxonomic units enabling the identification of 401 genera and 698 tentative bacterial species. There were significant differences in all taxonomic levels between the submucosal microbiota in Crohn's disease compared to controls, including organisms of the Order Desulfovibrionales that were present within the submucosal tissues of most Crohn's disease patients but absent in the control group. A variety of organisms of the Phylum Firmicutes were increased in the subjacent submucosa as compared to the parallel mucosal tissue including Ruminococcus spp., Oscillospira spp., Pseudobutyrivibrio spp., and Tumebacillus spp. In addition, Propionibacterium spp. and Cloacibacterium spp. were increased as well as large increases in Proteobacteria including Parasutterella spp. and Methylobacterium spp. This is the first study to examine the microbial populations within submucosal tissues of patients with Crohn's disease and to compare microbial communities found deep within the submucosal tissues with those present on mucosal surfaces. Our data demonstrate the existence of a distinct submucosal microbiome and ecosystem that is not well

  9. Effects of direct-fed microbial supplementation on broiler performance, intestinal nutrient transport and integrity under experimental conditions with increased microbial challenge.

    PubMed

    Murugesan, G R; Gabler, N K; Persia, M E

    2014-02-01

    1. The effects of Aspergillus oryzae- and Bacillus subtilis-based direct-fed microbials (DFM) were investigated on the performance, ileal nutrient transport and intestinal integrity of broiler chickens, raised under experimental conditions, with increased intestinal microbial challenge. 2. The first study was a 3 × 2 factorial experiment, with 3 dietary treatments (control (CON), CON + DFM and CON + antibiotic growth promoter) with and without challenge. Chicks were fed experimental diets from 1 to 28 d, while the challenge was provided by vaccinating with 10 times the normal dose of commercial coccidial vaccine on d 9. In a second experiment, two groups of 1 d-old broilers, housed on built-up litter (uncleaned from two previous flocks), were fed the same CON and CON + DFM diets from 1 to 21 d. 3. The challenge in the first experiment reduced performance, but no differences were observed among dietary treatments from 8 to 28 d. The challenge reduced the ileal epithelial flux for D-glucose, L-lysine, DL-methionine and phosphorus on d 21. Epithelial flux for D-glucose, L-lysine and DL-methionine were increased by DFM. Ileal trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TER) was increased in challenged broilers fed DFM, although this was not observed in unchallenged birds as indicated by a significant interaction. 4. Ileal mucin mRNA expression and colon TER were increased, and colon endotoxin permeability was reduced by DFM on d 21 in the second experiment. 5. It was concluded that the addition of DFM in the diet improved the intestinal integrity of broiler chickens raised under experimental conditions designed to provide increased intestinal microbial challenge. PMID:24219515

  10. Arabinoxylan‐oligosaccharides (AXOS) affect the protein/carbohydrate fermentation balance and microbial population dynamics of the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sanchez, J. I.; Marzorati, M.; Grootaert, C.; Baran, M.; Van Craeyveld, V.; Courtin, C. M.; Broekaert, W. F.; Delcour, J. A.; Verstraete, W.; Van de Wiele, T.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Arabinoxylan‐oligosaccharides (AXOS) are a recently newly discovered class of candidate prebiotics as – depending on their structure – they are fermented in different regions of gastrointestinal tract. This can have an impact on the protein/carbohydrate fermentation balance in the large intestine and, thus, affect the generation of potentially toxic metabolites in the colon originating from proteolytic activity. In this study, we screened different AXOS preparations for their impact on the in vitro intestinal fermentation activity and microbial community structure. Short‐term fermentation experiments with AXOS with an average degree of polymerization (avDP) of 29 allowed part of the oligosaccharides to reach the distal colon, and decreased the concentration of proteolytic markers, whereas AXOS with lower avDP were primarily fermented in the proximal colon. Additionally, prolonged supplementation of AXOS with avDP 29 to the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME) reactor decreased levels of the toxic proteolytic markers phenol and p‐cresol in the two distal colon compartments and increased concentrations of beneficial short‐chain fatty acids (SCFA) in all colon vessels (25–48%). Denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis indicated that AXOS supplementation only slightly modified the total microbial community, implying that the observed effects on fermentation markers are mainly caused by changes in fermentation activity. Finally, specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis showed that AXOS supplementation significantly increased the amount of health‐promoting lactobacilli as well as of Bacteroides–Prevotella and Clostridium coccoides–Eubacterium rectale groups. These data allow concluding that AXOS are promising candidates to modulate the microbial metabolism in the distal colon. PMID:21261885

  11. Microorganisms with a Taste for Vanilla: Microbial Ecology of Traditional Indonesian Vanilla Curing

    PubMed Central

    Röling, Wilfred F. M.; Kerler, Josef; Braster, Martin; Apriyantono, Anton; Stam, Hein; van Verseveld, Henk W.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial ecology of traditional postharvesting processing of vanilla beans (curing) was examined using a polyphasic approach consisting of conventional cultivation, substrate utilization-based and molecular identification of isolates, and cultivation-independent community profiling by 16S ribosomal DNA based PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. At two different locations, a batch of curing beans was monitored. In both batches a major shift in microbial communities occurred after short-term scalding of the beans in hot water. Fungi and yeast disappeared, although regrowth of fungi occurred in one batch during a period in which process conditions were temporarily not optimal. Conventional plating showed that microbial communities consisting of thermophilic and thermotolerant bacilli (mainly closely related to Bacillus subtilis, B. licheniformis,, and B. smithii) developed under the high temperatures (up to 65°C) that were maintained for over a week after scalding. Only small changes in the communities of culturable bacteria occurred after this period. Molecular analysis revealed that a proportion of the microbial communities could not be cultured on conventional agar medium, especially during the high-temperature period. Large differences between both batches were observed in the numbers of microorganisms, in species composition, and in the enzymatic abilities of isolated bacteria. These large differences indicate that the effects of microbial activities on the development of vanilla flavor could be different for each batch of cured vanilla beans. PMID:11319073

  12. Probiotics stimulate enterocyte migration and microbial diversity in the neonatal mouse intestine.

    PubMed

    Preidis, Geoffrey A; Saulnier, Delphine M; Blutt, Sarah E; Mistretta, Toni-Ann; Riehle, Kevin P; Major, Angela M; Venable, Susan F; Finegold, Milton J; Petrosino, Joseph F; Conner, Margaret E; Versalovic, James

    2012-05-01

    Beneficial microbes and probiotics show promise for the treatment of pediatric gastrointestinal diseases. However, basic mechanisms of probiosis are not well understood, and most investigations have been performed in germ-free or microbiome-depleted animals. We sought to functionally characterize probiotic-host interactions in the context of normal early development. Outbred CD1 neonatal mice were orally gavaged with one of two strains of human-derived Lactobacillus reuteri or an equal volume of vehicle. Transcriptome analysis was performed on enterocyte RNA isolated by laser-capture microdissection. Enterocyte migration and proliferation were assessed by labeling cells with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine, and fecal microbial community composition was determined by 16S metagenomic sequencing. Probiotic ingestion altered gene expression in multiple canonical pathways involving cell motility. L. reuteri strain DSM 17938 dramatically increased enterocyte migration (3-fold), proliferation (34%), and crypt height (29%) compared to vehicle-treated mice, whereas strain ATCC PTA 6475 increased cell migration (2-fold) without affecting crypt proliferative activity. In addition, both probiotic strains increased the phylogenetic diversity and evenness between taxa of the fecal microbiome 24 h after a single probiotic gavage. These experiments identify two targets of probiosis in early development, the intestinal epithelium and the gut microbiome, and suggest novel mechanisms for probiotic strain-specific effects. PMID:22267340

  13. Comparative molecular microbial ecology of the spring haptophyte bloom in a greenland arctic oligosaline lake.

    PubMed

    Theroux, Susanna; Huang, Yongsong; Amaral-Zettler, Linda

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is highly sensitive to increasing global temperatures and is projected to experience dramatic ecological shifts in the next few decades. Oligosaline lakes are common in arctic regions where evaporation surpasses precipitation, however these extreme microbial communities are poorly characterized. Many oligosaline lakes, in contrast to freshwater ones, experience annual blooms of haptophyte algae that generate valuable alkenone biomarker records that can be used for paleoclimate reconstruction. These haptophyte algae are globally important, and globally distributed, aquatic phototrophs yet their presence in microbial molecular surveys is scarce. To target haptophytes in a molecular survey, we compared microbial community structure during two haptophyte bloom events in an arctic oligosaline lake, Lake BrayaSø in southwestern Greenland, using high-throughput pyrotag sequencing. Our comparison of two annual bloom events yielded surprisingly low taxon overlap, only 13% for bacterial and 26% for eukaryotic communities, which indicates significant annual variation in the underlying microbial populations. Both the bacterial and eukaryotic communities strongly resembled high-altitude and high latitude freshwater environments. In spite of high alkenone concentrations in the water column, and corresponding high haptophyte rRNA gene copy numbers, haptophyte pyrotag sequences were not the most abundant eukaryotic tag, suggesting that sequencing biases obscured relative abundance data. With over 170 haptophyte tag sequences, we observed only one haptophyte algal Operational Taxonomic Unit, a prerequisite for accurate paleoclimate reconstruction from the lake sediments. Our study is the first to examine microbial diversity in a Greenland lake using next generation sequencing and the first to target an extreme haptophyte bloom event. Our results provide a context for future explorations of aquatic ecology in the warming arctic. PMID:23251134

  14. Planetary Biology and Microbial Ecology: Molecular Ecology and the Global Nitrogen cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nealson, Molly Stone (Editor); Nealson, Kenneth H. (Editor)

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the Planetary Biology and Molecular Ecology's summer 1991 program, which was held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The purpose of the interdisciplinary PBME program is to integrate, via lectures and laboratory work, the contributions of university and NASA scientists and student interns. The goals of the 1991 program were to examine several aspects of the biogeochemistry of the nitrogen cycle and to teach the application of modern methods of molecular genetics to field studies of organisms. Descriptions of the laboratory projects and protocols and abstracts and references of the lectures are presented.

  15. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R; Denef, Vincent; Kalnejals, Linda; Suttle, K Blake; Thomas, Brian; Wilmes, P; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R Blaine; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems.We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism s metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ

  16. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ryan S; Denef, Vincent J; Kalnejais, Linda H; Suttle, K Blake; Thomas, Brian C; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R Blaine; Shah, Manesh B; VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ. PMID:20531404

  17. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, Ryan S.; Denef, Vincent J.; Kalnejais, Linda H.; Suttle, K. Blake; Thomas, Brian C.; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Shah, Menesh B.; VerBekmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ.

  18. Ecological differentiation in planktonic and sediment-associated chemotrophic microbial populations in Yellowstone hot springs.

    PubMed

    Colman, Daniel R; Feyhl-Buska, Jayme; Robinson, Kirtland J; Fecteau, Kristopher M; Xu, Huifang; Shock, Everett L; Boyd, Eric S

    2016-09-01

    Chemosynthetic sediment and planktonic community composition and sizes, aqueous geochemistry and sediment mineralogy were determined in 15 non-photosynthetic hot springs in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). These data were used to evaluate the hypothesis that differences in the availability of dissolved or mineral substrates in the bulk fluids or sediments within springs coincides with ecologically differentiated microbial communities and their populations. Planktonic and sediment-associated communities exhibited differing ecological characteristics including community sizes, evenness and richness. pH and temperature influenced microbial community composition among springs, but within-spring partitioning of taxa into sediment or planktonic communities was widespread, statistically supported (P < 0.05) and could be best explained by the inferred metabolic strategies of the partitioned taxa. Microaerophilic genera of the Aquificales predominated in many of the planktonic communities. In contrast, taxa capable of mineral-based metabolism such as S(o) oxidation/reduction or Fe-oxide reduction predominated in sediment communities. These results indicate that ecological differentiation within thermal spring habitats is common across a range of spring geochemistry and is influenced by the availability of dissolved nutrients and minerals that can be used in metabolism. PMID:27306555

  19. The Influence of Ecological Isolation on the Structural and Functional Stability of Complex Microbial Communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Franklin, R. B.; Garland, J. L.; Mills, A. L.

    2005-01-01

    To help understand how the behavior of microorganisms and microbial communities in insular space habitats may differ from the behavior of these groups on Earth, long-term incubations (100+ days) were conducting using wastewater bioreactors (batch fed) designed to mimic "closed" and "open" ecological systems. The issue of immigration was considered, and the goal of the research was to determine whether the stability of microbial communities in space is reduced due to their prolonged isolation. Bioreactors were established by inoculating flasks of sterile synthetic wastewater with the microbial community obtained from a local treatment facility; each day, one-third of the medium in the flask was replaced with an equal volume of sterile artificial wastewater. Flasks were divided into two treatments: "closed" and "open" to recruitment of additional microorganisms. "Closed" flasks were maintained as described above, while the medium used to feed the "open" flasks was supplemented daily with a small amount of raw sewage (which provided a continuous source of new potential community members). Significant differences in microbial community structure and function developed in the two sets of communities, and the results suggest that the open community was more stable and better able to adjust to changing environmental conditions. Each community's resistance to environmental (temperature fluctuations) and biological stresses (starvation and invasion by an opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa) was monitored. Experiments were also conducted to determine whether the effect of isolation changes depending on the microbial communities' initial diversity or composition; communities with a low(er) initial diversity were less stable. Overall, the results indicate that isolation will be an important factor influencing the activity of microbial communities on board spacecraft. A possible way of mitigating these effects would be to include communities with high initial

  20. Calibration and analysis of genome-based models for microbial ecology

    PubMed Central

    Louca, Stilianos; Doebeli, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Microbial ecosystem modeling is complicated by the large number of unknown parameters and the lack of appropriate calibration tools. Here we present a novel computational framework for modeling microbial ecosystems, which combines genome-based model construction with statistical analysis and calibration to experimental data. Using this framework, we examined the dynamics of a community of Escherichia coli strains that emerged in laboratory evolution experiments, during which an ancestral strain diversified into two coexisting ecotypes. We constructed a microbial community model comprising the ancestral and the evolved strains, which we calibrated using separate monoculture experiments. Simulations reproduced the successional dynamics in the evolution experiments, and pathway activation patterns observed in microarray transcript profiles. Our approach yielded detailed insights into the metabolic processes that drove bacterial diversification, involving acetate cross-feeding and competition for organic carbon and oxygen. Our framework provides a missing link towards a data-driven mechanistic microbial ecology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.08208.001 PMID:26473972

  1. PhyloChip™ microarray comparison of sampling methods used for coral microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Kellogg, Christina A; Piceno, Yvette M; Tom, Lauren M; DeSantis, Todd Z; Zawada, David G; Andersen, Gary L

    2012-01-01

    Interest in coral microbial ecology has been increasing steadily over the last decade, yet standardized methods of sample collection still have not been defined. Two methods were compared for their ability to sample coral-associated microbial communities: tissue punches and foam swabs, the latter being less invasive and preferred by reef managers. Four colonies of star coral, Montastraea annularis, were sampled in the Dry Tortugas National Park (two healthy and two with white plague disease). The PhyloChip™ G3 microarray was used to assess microbial community structure of amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences. Samples clustered based on methodology rather than coral colony. Punch samples from healthy and diseased corals were distinct. All swab samples clustered closely together with the seawater control and did not group according to the health state of the corals. Although more microbial taxa were detected by the swab method, there is a much larger overlap between the water control and swab samples than punch samples, suggesting some of the additional diversity is due to contamination from water absorbed by the swab. While swabs are useful for noninvasive studies of the coral surface mucus layer, these results show that they are not optimal for studies of coral disease. PMID:22085912

  2. Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system

    PubMed Central

    Speth, Daan R.; in 't Zandt, Michiel H.; Guerrero-Cruz, Simon; Dutilh, Bas E.; Jetten, Mike S. M.

    2016-01-01

    Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is used to seed reactors in wastewater treatment plants around the world; however, the role of most of its microbial community in ammonium removal remains unknown. Our analysis yielded 23 near-complete draft genomes that together represent the majority of the microbial community. We assign these genomes to distinct anaerobic and aerobic microbial communities. In the aerobic community, nitrifying organisms and heterotrophs predominate. In the anaerobic community, widespread potential for partial denitrification suggests a nitrite loop increases treatment efficiency. Of our genomes, 19 have no previously cultivated or sequenced close relatives and six belong to bacterial phyla without any cultivated members, including the most complete Omnitrophica (formerly OP3) genome to date. PMID:27029554

  3. Formation of higher plant component microbial community in closed ecological system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirranen, L. S.

    2001-07-01

    Closed ecological systems (CES) place at the disposal of a researcher unique possibilities to study the role of microbial communities in individual components and of the entire system. The microbial community of the higher plant component has been found to form depending on specific conditions of the closed ecosystem: length of time the solution is reused, introduction of intrasystem waste water into the nutrient medium, effect of other component of the system, and system closure in terms of gas exchange. The higher plant component formed its own microbial complex different from that formed prior to closure. The microbial complex of vegetable polyculture is more diverse and stable than the monoculture of wheat. The composition of the components' microflora changed, species diversity decreased, individual species of bacteria and fungi whose numbers were not so great before the closure prevailed. Special attention should be paid to phytopathogenic and conditionally pathogenic species of microorganisms potentially hazardous to man or plants and the least controlled in CES. This situation can endanger creation of CES and make conjectural existence of preplanned components, man, specifically, and consequently, of CES as it is.

  4. PhyloChip™ microarray comparison of sampling methods used for coral microbial ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kellogg, Christina A.; Piceno, Yvette M.; Tom, Lauren M.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zawada, David G.; Andersen, Gary L.

    2012-01-01

    Interest in coral microbial ecology has been increasing steadily over the last decade, yet standardized methods of sample collection still have not been defined. Two methods were compared for their ability to sample coral-associated microbial communities: tissue punches and foam swabs, the latter being less invasive and preferred by reef managers. Four colonies of star coral, Montastraea annularis, were sampled in the Dry Tortugas National Park (two healthy and two with white plague disease). The PhyloChip™ G3 microarray was used to assess microbial community structure of amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences. Samples clustered based on methodology rather than coral colony. Punch samples from healthy and diseased corals were distinct. All swab samples clustered closely together with the seawater control and did not group according to the health state of the corals. Although more microbial taxa were detected by the swab method, there is a much larger overlap between the water control and swab samples than punch samples, suggesting some of the additional diversity is due to contamination from water absorbed by the swab. While swabs are useful for noninvasive studies of the coral surface mucus layer, these results show that they are not optimal for studies of coral disease.

  5. Genome-based microbial ecology of anammox granules in a full-scale wastewater treatment system.

    PubMed

    Speth, Daan R; In 't Zandt, Michiel H; Guerrero-Cruz, Simon; Dutilh, Bas E; Jetten, Mike S M

    2016-01-01

    Partial-nitritation anammox (PNA) is a novel wastewater treatment procedure for energy-efficient ammonium removal. Here we use genome-resolved metagenomics to build a genome-based ecological model of the microbial community in a full-scale PNA reactor. Sludge from the bioreactor examined here is used to seed reactors in wastewater treatment plants around the world; however, the role of most of its microbial community in ammonium removal remains unknown. Our analysis yielded 23 near-complete draft genomes that together represent the majority of the microbial community. We assign these genomes to distinct anaerobic and aerobic microbial communities. In the aerobic community, nitrifying organisms and heterotrophs predominate. In the anaerobic community, widespread potential for partial denitrification suggests a nitrite loop increases treatment efficiency. Of our genomes, 19 have no previously cultivated or sequenced close relatives and six belong to bacterial phyla without any cultivated members, including the most complete Omnitrophica (formerly OP3) genome to date. PMID:27029554

  6. Using Intact Iron Microbial Mats to Gain Insights Into Mat Ecology and Geochemical Niche at the Microbial Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glazer, B. T.; Chan, C. S. Y.; Mcallister, S.; Leavitt, A.; Emerson, D.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are formed by microorganisms working in coordinated symbiosis, often benefitting the community by controlling the local geochemical or physical environment. Thus, the ecology of the mat depends on the individual roles of microbes organized into niches within a larger architecture. Chemolithotrophic Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) form distinctive Fe oxyhydroxide biominerals which constitute the building blocks of the mat. However, the majority of our progress has been in understanding the overall community structure. Understanding the physical mat structure on the microbial scale is important to unraveling FeOB evolution, the biogeochemistry and ecology of Fe-rich habitats, and ultimately interpreting FeOB biosignatures in the rock record. Mats in freshwater and marine environments contain strikingly similar biomineral morphologies, yet they are formed by phylogenetically distinct microorganisms. This suggests that the overall architecture and underlying genetics of freshwater and marine mats has evolved to serve particular roles specific to Fe oxidation. Thus, we conducted a comparative study of Fe seep freshwater mats and marine hydrothermal mats. We have developed a new approach to sampling Fe mats in order to preserve the delicate structure for analysis by confocal and scanning electron microscopy. Our analyses of these intact mats show that freshwater and marine mats are similarly initiated by a single type of structure-former. These ecosystem engineers form either a hollow sheath or a twisted stalk biomineral during mat formation, with a highly directional structure. These microbes appear to be the vanguard organisms that anchor the community within oxygen/Fe(II) gradients, further allowing for community succession in the mat interior as evidenced by other mineralized morphologies. Patterns in biomineral thickness and directionality were indicative of redox gradients and temporal changes in the geochemical environment. These observations show that

  7. The Effect of Diet and Exercise on Intestinal Integrity and Microbial Diversity in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewski, Paul J.; Noji, Michael; McGuinness, Lora R.; Lightfoot, Stanley A.

    2016-01-01

    Background The gut microbiota is now known to play an important role contributing to inflammatory-based chronic diseases. This study examined intestinal integrity/inflammation and the gut microbial communities in sedentary and exercising mice presented with a normal or high-fat diet. Methods Thirty-six, 6-week old C57BL/6NTac male mice were fed a normal or high-fat diet for 12-weeks and randomly assigned to exercise or sedentary groups. After 12 weeks animals were sacrificed and duodenum/ileum tissues were fixed for immunohistochemistry for occludin, E-cadherin, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). The bacterial communities were assayed in fecal samples using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis and pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Results Lean sedentary (LS) mice presented normal histologic villi while obese sedentary (OS) mice had similar villi height with more than twice the width of the LS animals. Both lean (LX) and obese exercise (OX) mice duodenum and ileum were histologically normal. COX-2 expression was the greatest in the OS group, followed by LS, LX and OX. The TRFLP and pyrosequencing indicated that members of the Clostridiales order were predominant in all diet groups. Specific phylotypes were observed with exercise, including Faecalibacterium prausnitzi, Clostridium spp., and Allobaculum spp. Conclusion These data suggest that exercise has a strong influence on gut integrity and host microbiome which points to the necessity for more mechanistic studies of the interactions between specific bacteria in the gut and its host. PMID:26954359

  8. Early Changes in Microbial Colonization Selectively Modulate Intestinal Enzymes, but Not Inducible Heat Shock Proteins in Young Adult Swine

    PubMed Central

    Arnal, Marie-Edith; Zhang, Jing; Messori, Stefano; Bosi, Paolo; Smidt, Hauke; Lallès, Jean-Paul

    2014-01-01

    Metabolic diseases and obesity are developing worldwide in a context of plethoric intake of high energy diets. The intestine may play a pivotal role due to diet-induced alterations in microbiota composition and increased permeability to bacterial lipopolysaccharide inducing metabolic inflammation. Early programming of metabolic disorders appearing in later life is also suspected, but data on the intestine are lacking. Therefore, we hypothesized that early disturbances in microbial colonization have short- and long-lasting consequences on selected intestinal components including key digestive enzymes and protective inducible heat shock proteins (HSP). The hypothesis was tested in swine offspring born to control mothers (n = 12) or mothers treated with the antibiotic amoxicillin around parturition (n = 11), and slaughtered serially at 14, 28 and 42 days of age to assess short-term effects. To evaluate long-term consequences, young adult offspring from the same litters were offered a normal or a fat-enriched diet for 4 weeks between 140 and 169 days of age and were then slaughtered. Amoxicillin treatment transiently modified both mother and offspring microbiota. This was associated with early but transient reduction in ileal alkaline phosphatase, HSP70 (but not HSP27) and crypt depth, suggesting a milder or delayed intestinal response to bacteria in offspring born to antibiotic-treated mothers. More importantly, we disclosed long-term consequences of this treatment on jejunal alkaline phosphatase (reduced) and jejunal and ileal dipeptidylpeptidase IV (increased and decreased, respectively) of offspring born to antibiotic-treated dams. Significant interactions between early antibiotic treatment and later diet were observed for jejunal alkaline phosphatase and sucrase. By contrast, inducible HSPs were not affected. In conclusion, our data suggest that early changes in bacterial colonization not only modulate intestinal architecture and function transiently, but

  9. Microbial ecology-based methods to characterize the bacterial communities of non-model insects.

    PubMed

    Prosdocimi, Erica M; Mapelli, Francesca; Gonella, Elena; Borin, Sara; Crotti, Elena

    2015-12-01

    Among the animals of the Kingdom Animalia, insects are unparalleled for their widespread diffusion, diversity and number of occupied ecological niches. In recent years they have raised researcher interest not only because of their importance as human and agricultural pests, disease vectors and as useful breeding species (e.g. honeybee and silkworm), but also because of their suitability as animal models. It is now fully recognized that microorganisms form symbiotic relationships with insects, influencing their survival, fitness, development, mating habits and the immune system and other aspects of the biology and ecology of the insect host. Thus, any research aimed at deepening the knowledge of any given insect species (perhaps species of applied interest or species emerging as novel pests or vectors) must consider the characterization of the associated microbiome. The present review critically examines the microbiology and molecular ecology techniques that can be applied to the taxonomical and functional analysis of the microbiome of non-model insects. Our goal is to provide an overview of current approaches and methods addressing the ecology and functions of microorganisms and microbiomes associated with insects. Our focus is on operational details, aiming to provide a concise guide to currently available advanced techniques, in an effort to extend insect microbiome research beyond simple descriptions of microbial communities. PMID:26476138

  10. Genome-resolved metagenomics reveals that sulfur metabolism dominates the microbial ecology of rising hydrothermal plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anantharaman, K.; Breier, J. A., Jr.; Jain, S.; Reed, D. C.; Dick, G.

    2015-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal plumes occur when hot fluids from hydrothermal vents replete with chemically reduced elements and compounds like sulfide, methane, hydrogen, ammonia, iron and manganese mix with cold, oxic seawater. Chemosynthetic microbes use these reduced chemicals to power primary production and are pervasive throughout the deep sea, even at sites far removed from hydrothermal vents. Although neutrally-buoyant hydrothermal plumes have been well-studied, rising hydrothermal plumes have received little attention even though they represent an important interface in the deep-sea where microbial metabolism and particle formation processes control the transformation of important elements and impact global biogeochemical cycles. In this study, we used genome-resolved metagenomic analyses and thermodynamic-bioenergetic modeling to study the microbial ecology of rising hydrothermal plumes at five different hydrothermal vents spanning a range of geochemical gradients at the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC) in the Western Pacific Ocean. Our analyses show that differences in the geochemistry of hydrothermal vents do not manifest in microbial diversity and community composition, both of which display only minor variance across ELSC hydrothermal plumes. Microbial metabolism is dominated by oxidation of reduced sulfur species and supports a diversity of bacteria, archaea and viruses that provide intriguing insights into metabolic plasticity and virus-mediated horizontal gene transfer in the microbial community. The manifestation of sulfur oxidation genes in hydrogen and methane oxidizing organisms hints at metabolic opportunism in deep-sea microbes that would enable them to respond to varying redox conditions in hydrothermal plumes. Finally, we infer that the abundance, diversity and metabolic versatility of microbes associated with sulfur oxidation impart functional redundancy that could allow it to persist in the dynamic settings of hydrothermal plumes.

  11. The Cytosolic Microbial Receptor Nod2 Regulates Small Intestinal Crypt Damage and Epithelial Regeneration following T Cell-Induced Enteropathy.

    PubMed

    Zanello, Galliano; Goethel, Ashleigh; Rouquier, Sandrine; Prescott, David; Robertson, Susan J; Maisonneuve, Charles; Streutker, Catherine; Philpott, Dana J; Croitoru, Kenneth

    2016-07-01

    Loss of function in the NOD2 gene is associated with a higher risk of developing Crohn's disease (CD). CD is characterized by activation of T cells and activated T cells are involved in mucosal inflammation and mucosal damage. We found that acute T cell activation with anti-CD3 mAb induced stronger small intestinal mucosal damage in NOD2(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. This enhanced mucosal damage was characterized by loss of crypt architecture, increased epithelial cell apoptosis, delayed epithelial regeneration and an accumulation of inflammatory cytokines and Th17 cells in the small intestine. Partial microbiota depletion with antibiotics did not decrease mucosal damage 1 d after anti-CD3 mAb injection, but it significantly reduced crypt damage and inflammatory cytokine secretion in NOD2(-/-) mice 3 d after anti-CD3 mAb injection, indicating that microbial sensing by Nod2 was important to control mucosal damage and epithelial regeneration after anti-CD3 mAb injection. To determine which cells play a key role in microbial sensing and regulation of mucosal damage, we engineered mice carrying a cell-specific deletion of Nod2 in villin and Lyz2-expressing cells. T cell activation did not worsen crypt damage in mice carrying either cell-specific deletion of Nod2 compared with wild-type mice. However, increased numbers of apoptotic epithelial cells and higher expression of TNF-α and IL-22 were observed in mice carrying a deletion of Nod2 in Lyz2-expressing cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate that microbial sensing by Nod2 is an important mechanism to regulate small intestinal mucosal damage following acute T cell activation. PMID:27206769

  12. Long-term ecological impacts of antibiotic administration on the human intestinal microbiota.

    PubMed

    Jernberg, Cecilia; Löfmark, Sonja; Edlund, Charlotta; Jansson, Janet K

    2007-05-01

    Antibiotic administration is known to cause short-term disturbances in the microbiota of the human gastrointestinal tract, but the potential long-term consequences have not been well studied. The aims of this study were to analyse the long-term impact of a 7-day clindamycin treatment on the faecal microbiota and to simultaneously monitor the ecological stability of the microbiota in a control group as a baseline for reference. Faecal samples from four clindamycin-exposed and four control subjects were collected at nine different time points over 2 years. Using a polyphasic approach, we observed highly significant disturbances in the bacterial community that persisted throughout the sampling period. In particular, a sharp decline in the clonal diversity of Bacteroides isolates, as assessed by repetitive sequence-based PCR (rep-PCR) and long-term persistence of highly resistant clones were found as a direct response to the antibiotic exposure. The Bacteroides community never returned to its original composition during the study period as assessed using the molecular fingerprinting technique, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP). Furthermore, using real-time PCR we found a dramatic and persistent increase in levels of specific resistance genes in DNA extracted from the faeces after clindamycin administration. The temporal variations in the microbiota of the control group were minor compared to the large and persistent shift seen in the exposed group. These results demonstrate that long after the selection pressure from a short antibiotic exposure has been removed, there are still persistent long term impacts on the human intestinal microbiota that remain for up to 2 years post-treatment. PMID:18043614

  13. Microbial mechanisms of using enhanced ecological floating beds for eutrophic water improvement.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qing; Hu, Yue; Li, Shuqun; Peng, Sen; Zhao, Huabing

    2016-07-01

    Enhanced ecological floating beds were implemented to reduce nutrient quantity and improve the water quality of a eutrophic lake. The results showed that average removal efficiencies of CODCr, total nitrogen, NH3-N and total phosphorus for Canna indica L. set-up were 23.1%, 15.3%, 18.1% and 19.4% higher, respectively, than that of the setup with only substrate, and 14.2%, 12.8%, 7.9% and 11.9% higher than Iris pseudacorus L. ecological floating bed. The microbial community structure had obvious differences between devices and low similarity; bacteria were mainly attached on the fiber filling. The microbial population was abundant at the start and end of the experiment. Shannon index of samples selected ranged from 0.85 to 1.05. The sequencing results showed that fiber filling collected most uncultured bacteria species and the majority of bacteria on the plant roots were β-Proteobacteria and α-Proteobacteria. The co-dominant species attaching to the filling and plant was Nitrosomonadaceae. PMID:27035477

  14. Culture-Dependent and -Independent Methods To Investigate the Microbial Ecology of Italian Fermented Sausages

    PubMed Central

    Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Urso, Rosalinda; Iacumin, Lucilla; Cantoni, Carlo; Cattaneo, Patrizia; Comi, Giuseppe; Cocolin, Luca

    2005-01-01

    In this study, the microbial ecology of three naturally fermented sausages produced in northeast Italy was studied by culture-dependent and -independent methods. By plating analysis, the predominance of lactic acid bacteria populations was pointed out, as well as the importance of coagulase-negative cocci. Also in the case of one fermentation, the fecal enterocci reached significant counts, highlighting their contribution to the particular transformation process. Yeast counts were higher than the detection limit (>100 CFU/g) in only one fermented sausage. Analysis of the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) patterns and sequencing of the bands allowed profiling of the microbial populations present in the sausages during fermentation. The bacterial ecology was mainly characterized by the stable presence of Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus sakei, but Lactobacillus paracasei was also repeatedly detected. An important piece of evidence was the presence of Lactococcus garvieae, which clearly contributed in two fermentations. Several species of Staphylococcus were also detected. Regarding other bacterial groups, Bacillus sp., Ruminococcus sp., and Macrococcus caseolyticus were also identified at the beginning of the transformations. In addition, yeast species belonging to Debaryomyces hansenii, several Candida species, and Willopsis saturnus were observed in the DGGE gels. Finally, cluster analysis of the bacterial and yeast DGGE profiles highlighted the uniqueness of the fermentation processes studied. PMID:15812029

  15. Culture-dependent and -independent methods to investigate the microbial ecology of Italian fermented sausages.

    PubMed

    Rantsiou, Kalliopi; Urso, Rosalinda; Iacumin, Lucilla; Cantoni, Carlo; Cattaneo, Patrizia; Comi, Giuseppe; Cocolin, Luca

    2005-04-01

    In this study, the microbial ecology of three naturally fermented sausages produced in northeast Italy was studied by culture-dependent and -independent methods. By plating analysis, the predominance of lactic acid bacteria populations was pointed out, as well as the importance of coagulase-negative cocci. Also in the case of one fermentation, the fecal enterocci reached significant counts, highlighting their contribution to the particular transformation process. Yeast counts were higher than the detection limit (> 100 CFU/g) in only one fermented sausage. Analysis of the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) patterns and sequencing of the bands allowed profiling of the microbial populations present in the sausages during fermentation. The bacterial ecology was mainly characterized by the stable presence of Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus sakei, but Lactobacillus paracasei was also repeatedly detected. An important piece of evidence was the presence of Lactococcus garvieae, which clearly contributed in two fermentations. Several species of Staphylococcus were also detected. Regarding other bacterial groups, Bacillus sp., Ruminococcus sp., and Macrococcus caseolyticus were also identified at the beginning of the transformations. In addition, yeast species belonging to Debaryomyces hansenii, several Candida species, and Willopsis saturnus were observed in the DGGE gels. Finally, cluster analysis of the bacterial and yeast DGGE profiles highlighted the uniqueness of the fermentation processes studied. PMID:15812029

  16. CO2 gradient affects on deep subsurface microbial ecology during carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulliver, D.; Gregory, K.

    2011-12-01

    Geological carbon sequestration is likely to be part of a comprehensive strategy to minimize the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Reservoir storage capacities and long-term security of these deposits will be dependent on the trapping mechanisms and mineral transformation in the deep subsurface. Therefore, a critical need exists to understand the evolution of microbial populations that may influence the biogeochemistry in the reservoirs. As the CO2 front moves through the storage aquifer, microbial communities may preside in residual brine left behind in cracks, dead flow zones, and upstream to the front; this brine will have a gradient of dissolved CO2 in which microbial interaction may behave differently, depending on the distance from the CO2 front. The evolution of microbial ecology along this CO2 gradient was investigated using fluid-slurry samples obtained from the prospective carbon sequestration site, the Arbuckle saline aquifer at the Wellington oil field, KS. The native species of these samples were investigated with a series of batch reactors under constant temperature of 40 °C, constant total pressure of 2,000 psi, and varying CO2 partial pressures of 0 psi, 20 psi, 200 psi, and 2,000 psi. After 1 day, 7 days, and 56 days of exposure in the batch reactors, fluid samples were centrifuged and the resulting pellet was biologically analyzed. Clone libraries and quantitative PCR determined that the bacterial diversity and population of the native microbial community was dependant on both the duration of exposure and the CO2 partial pressure. For example, the microbial community of 0 psi CO2 and 20 psi CO2 was predominantly related to the families halomonadaceae and marinilabiaceae while at 2,000 psi CO2 the community was predominantly in the family psychromonadaceae. The population size at 2,000 psi CO2 was also found to decrease by 3 orders of magnitude after only 7 days of CO2 exposure. Although these experiments were relatively short

  17. Investigation of the microbial ecology of Ciauscolo, a traditional Italian salami, by culture-dependent techniques and PCR-DGGE.

    PubMed

    Silvestri, Gloria; Santarelli, Sara; Aquilanti, Lucia; Beccaceci, Alessandra; Osimani, Andrea; Tonucci, Franco; Clementi, Francesca

    2007-11-01

    The microbial ecology of 22 samples of commercially available Ciauscolo salami were investigated using a polyphasic approach, based on culture-dependent and -independent techniques. The viable counts of pathogen and hygiene indicator microorganisms highlighted the adequate application of good manufacturing practices, while the viable counts of the lactic acid bacteria, coagulase negative cocci, and yeasts showed dominance of the first of these microbial groups. Bacterial and fungal DNA were extracted directly from the salami and amplified by PCR, using two primer sets targeting the 16S and 28S rRNA genes, respectively. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of selected bands were used to investigate the microbial ecology of these Ciauscolo salami. The most frequently found bacterial species were Lactobacillus sakei and Lb. curvatus, while Debaryomyces hansenii was the prevalent yeast species detected. Cluster analysis of the DGGE profiles and calculation of biodiversity indices allowed the degree of microbial similarity across these salami to be determined. PMID:22061795

  18. Influence of transitional states on the microbial ecology of anaerobic digesters treating solid wastes.

    PubMed

    Regueiro, Leticia; Veiga, Patricia; Figueroa, Mónica; Lema, Juan M; Carballa, Marta

    2014-03-01

    A better understanding of the microbial ecology of anaerobic processes during transitional states is important to achieve a long-term efficient reactor operation. Five wastes (pig manure, biodiesel residues, ethanol stillage, molasses residues, and fish canning waste) were treated in five anaerobic reactors under the same operational conditions. The influence of the type of substrate and the effect of modifying feeding composition on the microbial community structure was evaluated. The highest biomethanation efficiency was observed in reactors fed with fish canning waste, which also presented the highest active archaeal population and the most diverse microbial communities. Only two Bacteria populations could be directly related to a particular substrate: Ilyobacter with biodiesel residues and Trichococcus with molasses residues. Results showed that the time to achieve steady-state performance after these transitional states was not dependent on the substrate treated. But reactors needed more time to handle the stress conditions derived from the start-up compared to the adaptation to a new feeding. Cluster analyses showed that the type of substrate had a clear influence on the microbiology of the reactors, and that segregation was related to the reactors performance. Finally, we conclude that the previous inoculum history treating solid waste and higher values of active Archaea population are important factors to face a successful change in substrate not entailing stability failure. PMID:24292081

  19. A pyrosequencing-based analysis of microbial diversity governed by ecological conditions in the Winogradsky column.

    PubMed

    Abbasian, Firouz; Lockington, Robin; Mallavarapu, Megharaj; Naidu, Ravi

    2015-07-01

    The Winogradsky column is used as a microcosm to mimic both the microbial diversity and the ecological relationships between the organisms in lake sediments. In this study, a pyrosequencing approach was used to obtain a more complete list of the microbial organisms present in such columns and their ratios in different layers of this microcosm. Overall, 27 different phyla in these columns were detected in these columns, most (20 phyla) belonged to bacteria. Based on this study, Proteobacteria (mostly Sphingomonadales), Cyanobacteria (mostly Oscillatoriales) and Bacteroidetes (mostly Flavobacteriales) were the dominant microorganisms in the water, middle, and bottom layers of this column, respectively. Although the majority of organism in the water layer were photoautotrophic organisms, the ratio of the phototrophic organisms decreased in the lower layers, replaced by chemoheterotrophic bacteria. Furthermore, the proportion of aerobic chemoheterotrophic bacteria was greater in the higher layers of the column in comparison to the bottom. The green and purple sulfur phototrophic bacteria inhabited the bottom and middle of these columns, with none of them found in the water layer. Although the sulfur oxidizing bacteria were the dominant chemolithotrophic bacteria in the water layer, their ratio decreases in lower layers, being replaced with nitrogen oxidizing bacteria in the middle and bottom layers. Overall, the microbial population of these layers changes from a phototrophic and aerobic chemoheterotrophic organisms in the water layer to a mostly anaerobic chemoheterotrophic population of bacteria in the bottom layers. PMID:25947927

  20. A Novel Analysis Method for Paired-Sample Microbial Ecology Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Vora, Suhani; Techtmann, Stephen M.; Fortney, Julian L.; Bastidas-Oyanedel, Juan R.; Rodríguez, Jorge; Hazen, Terry C.; Alm, Eric J.

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial ecology experiments use sequencing data to measure a community’s response to an experimental treatment. In a common experimental design, two units, one control and one experimental, are sampled before and after the treatment is applied to the experimental unit. The four resulting samples contain information about the dynamics of organisms that respond to the treatment, but there are no analytical methods designed to extract exactly this type of information from this configuration of samples. Here we present an analytical method specifically designed to visualize and generate hypotheses about microbial community dynamics in experiments that have paired samples and few or no replicates. The method is based on the Poisson lognormal distribution, long studied in macroecology, which we found accurately models the abundance distribution of taxa counts from 16S rRNA surveys. To demonstrate the method’s validity and potential, we analyzed an experiment that measured the effect of crude oil on ocean microbial communities in microcosm. Our method identified known oil degraders as well as two clades, Maricurvus and Rhodobacteraceae, that responded to amendment with oil but do not include known oil degraders. Our approach is sensitive to organisms that increased in abundance only in the experimental unit but less sensitive to organisms that increased in both control and experimental units, thus mitigating the role of “bottle effects”. PMID:27152415

  1. A Novel Analysis Method for Paired-Sample Microbial Ecology Experiments.

    PubMed

    Olesen, Scott W; Vora, Suhani; Techtmann, Stephen M; Fortney, Julian L; Bastidas-Oyanedel, Juan R; Rodríguez, Jorge; Hazen, Terry C; Alm, Eric J

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial ecology experiments use sequencing data to measure a community's response to an experimental treatment. In a common experimental design, two units, one control and one experimental, are sampled before and after the treatment is applied to the experimental unit. The four resulting samples contain information about the dynamics of organisms that respond to the treatment, but there are no analytical methods designed to extract exactly this type of information from this configuration of samples. Here we present an analytical method specifically designed to visualize and generate hypotheses about microbial community dynamics in experiments that have paired samples and few or no replicates. The method is based on the Poisson lognormal distribution, long studied in macroecology, which we found accurately models the abundance distribution of taxa counts from 16S rRNA surveys. To demonstrate the method's validity and potential, we analyzed an experiment that measured the effect of crude oil on ocean microbial communities in microcosm. Our method identified known oil degraders as well as two clades, Maricurvus and Rhodobacteraceae, that responded to amendment with oil but do not include known oil degraders. Our approach is sensitive to organisms that increased in abundance only in the experimental unit but less sensitive to organisms that increased in both control and experimental units, thus mitigating the role of "bottle effects". PMID:27152415

  2. Ecological roles and biotechnological applications of marine and intertidal microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Sayani; Sana, Barindra; Mukherjee, Joydeep

    2014-01-01

    This review is a retrospective of ecological effects of bioactivities produced by biofilms of surface-dwelling marine/intertidal microbes as well as of the industrial and environmental biotechnologies developed exploiting the knowledge of biofilm formation. Some examples of significant interest pertaining to the ecological aspects of biofilm-forming species belonging to the Roseobacter clade include autochthonous bacteria from turbot larvae-rearing units with potential application as a probiotic as well as production of tropodithietic acid and indigoidine. Species of the Pseudoalteromonas genus are important examples of successful surface colonizers through elaboration of the AlpP protein and antimicrobial agents possessing broad-spectrum antagonistic activity against medical and environmental isolates. Further examples of significance comprise antiprotozoan activity of Pseudoalteromonas tunicata elicited by violacein, inhibition of fungal colonization, antifouling activities, inhibition of algal spore germination, and 2-n-pentyl-4-quinolinol production. Nitrous oxide, an important greenhouse gas, emanates from surface-attached microbial activity of marine animals. Marine and intertidal biofilms have been applied in the biotechnological production of violacein, phenylnannolones, and exopolysaccharides from marine and tropical intertidal environments. More examples of importance encompass production of protease, cellulase, and xylanase, melanin, and riboflavin. Antifouling activity of Bacillus sp. and application of anammox bacterial biofilms in bioremediation are described. Marine biofilms have been used as anodes and cathodes in microbial fuel cells. Some of the reaction vessels for biofilm cultivation reviewed are roller bottle, rotating disc bioreactor, polymethylmethacrylate conico-cylindrical flask, fixed bed reactor, artificial microbial mats, packed-bed bioreactors, and the Tanaka photobioreactor. PMID:24817086

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

    PubMed

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

    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 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. PMID:26393570

  4. The influence of ecological and conventional plant production systems on soil microbial quality under hops (Humulus lupulus).

    PubMed

    Oszust, Karolina; Frąc, Magdalena; Gryta, Agata; Bilińska, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge about microorganisms-activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions) significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential). Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a) ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b) conventional-with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA) gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application. PMID:24897025

  5. The Influence of Ecological and Conventional Plant Production Systems on Soil Microbial Quality under Hops (Humulus lupulus)

    PubMed Central

    Oszust, Karolina; Frąc, Magdalena; Gryta, Agata; Bilińska, Nina

    2014-01-01

    The knowledge about microorganisms—activity and diversity under hop production is still limited. We assumed that, different systems of hop production (within the same soil and climatic conditions) significantly influence on the composition of soil microbial populations and its functional activity (metabolic potential). Therefore, we compared a set of soil microbial properties in the field experiment of two hop production systems (a) ecological based on the use of probiotic preparations and organic fertilization (b) conventional—with the use of chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers. Soil analyses included following microbial properties: The total number microorganisms, a bunch of soil enzyme activities, the catabolic potential was also assessed following Biolog EcoPlates®. Moreover, the abundance of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) was characterized by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) of PCR ammonia monooxygenase α-subunit (amoA) gene products. Conventional and ecological systems of hop production were able to affect soil microbial state in different seasonal manner. Favorable effect on soil microbial activity met under ecological, was more probably due to livestock-based manure and fermented plant extracts application. No negative influence on conventional hopyard soil was revealed. Both type of production fulfilled fertilizing demands. Under ecological production it was due to livestock-based manure fertilizers and fermented plant extracts application. PMID:24897025

  6. Fc Gamma Receptor Signaling in Mast Cells Links Microbial Stimulation to Mucosal Immune Inflammation in the Intestine

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiao; Feng, Bai-Sui; Zheng, Peng-Yuan; Liao, Xue-Qing; Chong, Jasmine; Tang, Shang-Guo; Yang, Ping-Chang

    2008-01-01

    Microbes and microbial products are closely associated with the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, the mechanisms behind this connection remain unclear. It has been previously reported that flagellin-specific antibodies are increased in IBD patient sera. As mastocytosis is one of the pathological features of IBD, we hypothesized that flagellin-specific immune responses might activate mast cells that then contribute to the initiation and maintenance of intestinal inflammation. Thirty-two colonic biopsy samples were collected from IBD patients. A flagellin/flagellin-specific IgG/Fc gamma receptor I complex was identified on biopsied mast cells using both immunohistochemistry and co-immunoprecipitation experiments; this complex was shown to co-localize on the surfaces of mast cells in the colonic mucosa of patients with IBD. In addition, an ex vivo study showed flagellin-IgG was able to bind to human mast cells. These cells were found to be sensitized to flagellin-specific IgG; re-exposure to flagellin induced the mast cells to release inflammatory mediators. An animal model of IBD was then used to examine flagellin-specific immune responses in the intestine. Mice could be sensitized to flagellin, and repeated challenges with flagellin induced an IBD-like T helper 1 pattern of intestinal inflammation that could be inhibited by pretreatment with anti-Fc gamma receptor I antibodies. Therefore, flagellin-specific immune responses activate mast cells in the intestine and play important roles in the pathogenesis of intestinal immune inflammation. PMID:18974296

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Microbial diversity and biogeochemistry in glacier forefields: assessment of ecological stability in high alpine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meola, M.; Lazzaro, A.; Zeyer, J.

    2012-04-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting recently deglaciated, unvegetated, high alpine soils (e.g. glacier forefields) need to be adapted to fluctuating environmental conditions, such as strong daily and seasonal humidity and temperature variations. Soil-related characteristics (e.g. oligotrophy, pH, water holding capacity, nutrient concentration) may in addition determine the presence of locally adapted microbial communities. Currently little is known on the ecological stability (resistance and resilience) of such an environment. In this project, we aim at understanding ecological stability of microbial communities of alpine glacier forefields through a reciprocal soil transplantation experiment. The study consists in i) determining bacterial phylotypes that may respond to environmental changes and ii) relating biological, chemical and physical data to observed microbial responses. We selected two different glacier forefields located in the Swiss Alps (approximately at 2500 m.a.s.l.) The Griessen forefield (Canton Obwalden) is characterized by a calcareous bedrock, while the Tiefen forefield (Canton Uri) is of siliceous composition. The sites are well characterized in terms of their geography (e.g. exposure, slope) and climatic fluctuations (Lazzaro et al. 2009, Lazzaro et al. 2011). At each site, we incubated stainless steel pots with four different soil treatments (autochthonous untreated, autochthonous sterilized, allochthonous untreated and allochthonous sterilized). The setup was repeated in quadruplicate. Soil temperature and soil moisture at 10 cm depth were measured every hour by Decagon EM 50 sensors (Decagon Devices Inc.). In July (D0), August (D1) and September (D2) 2011, soil aliquots were sampled from the pots for analysis. We plan to further extend the sampling for at least three snow-free seasons (2011-2013). Chemical analysis of the soil encompassed soluble ions, pH and DOC. Bacterial community analysis included microbial biomass (DAPI cell counts), basal

  9. Modulatory Effects of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide on Intestinal Mucosal Immunity and Microbial Community of Weaned Piglets Challenged by an Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (K88)

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Chunlan; Wang, Youming; Sun, Rui; Qiao, Xiangjin; Shang, Xiaoya; Niu, Weining

    2014-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize microbial pathogens and trigger immune response, but their regulation by neuropeptide-vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in weaned piglets infected by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) K88 remains unexplored. Therefore, the study was conducted to investigate its role using a model of early weaned piglets infected by ETEC K88. Male Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets (n = 24) were randomly divided into control, ETEC K88, VIP, and ETEC K88+VIP groups. On the first three days, ETEC K88 and ETEC K88+VIP groups were orally administrated with ETEC K88, other two groups were given sterile medium. Then each piglet from VIP and ETEC K88+VIP group received 10 nmol VIP intraperitoneally (i.p.) once daily, on day four and six. On the seventh day, the piglets were sacrificed. The results indicated that administration of VIP improved the growth performance, reduced diarrhea incidence of ETEC K88 challenged pigs, and mitigated the histopathological changes of intestine. Serum levels of IL-2, IL-6, IL-12p40, IFN-γ and TNF-α in the ETEC K88+ VIP group were significantly reduced compared with those in the ETEC group. VIP significantly increased IL-4, IL-10, TGF-β and S-IgA production compared with the ETEC K88 group. Besides, VIP could inhibit the expression of TLR2, TLR4, MyD88, NF-κB p65 and the phosphorylation of IκB-α, p-ERK, p-JNK, and p-38 induced by ETEC K88. Moreover, VIP could upregulate the expression of occludin in the ileum mucosa compared with the ETEC K88 group. Colon and caecum content bacterial richness and diversity were lower for pigs in the ETEC group than the unchallenged groups. These results demonstrate that VIP is beneficial for the maturation of the intestinal mucosal immune system and elicited local immunomodulatory activities. The TLR2/4-MyD88 mediated NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathway may be critical to the mechanism underlying the modulatory effect of VIP on intestinal mucosal immune function and

  10. Altered intestinal microbial flora and impaired epithelial barrier structure and function in CKD: the nature, mechanisms, consequences and potential treatment.

    PubMed

    Vaziri, Nosratola D; Zhao, Ying-Yong; Pahl, Madeleine V

    2016-05-01

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) results in systemic inflammation and oxidative stress which play a central role in CKD progression and its adverse consequences. Although many of the causes and consequences of oxidative stress and inflammation in CKD have been extensively explored, little attention had been paid to the intestine and its microbial flora as a potential source of these problems. Our recent studies have revealed significant disruption of the colonic, ileal, jejunal and gastric epithelial tight junction in different models of CKD in rats. Moreover, the disruption of the epithelial barrier structure and function found in uremic animals was replicated in cultured human colonocytes exposed to uremic human plasma in vitro We have further found significant changes in the composition and function of colonic bacterial flora in humans and animals with advanced CKD. Together, uremia-induced impairment of the intestinal epithelial barrier structure and function and changes in composition of the gut microbiome contribute to the systemic inflammation and uremic toxicity by accommodating the translocation of endotoxin, microbial fragments and other noxious luminal products in the circulation. In addition, colonic bacteria are the main source of several well-known pro-inflammatory uremic toxins such as indoxyl sulfate, p-cresol sulfate, trimethylamine-N-oxide and many as-yet unidentified retained compounds in end-stage renal disease patients. This review is intended to provide an overview of the effects of CKD on the gut microbiome and intestinal epithelial barrier structure and their role in the pathogenesis of systemic inflammation and uremic toxicity. In addition, potential interventions aimed at mitigating these abnormalities are briefly discussed. PMID:25883197

  11. Mobilifilum chasei: morphology and ecology of a spirochete from an intertidal stratified microbial mat community

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Hinkle, G.; Stolz, J.; Craft, F.; Esteve, I.; Guerrero, R.

    1990-01-01

    Spirochetes were found in the lower anoxiphototrophic layer of a stratified microbial mat (North Pond, Laguna Figueroa, Baja California, Mexico). Ultra-structural analysis of thin sections of field samples revealed spirochetes approximately 0.25 micrometer in diameter with 10 or more periplasmic flagella, leading to the interpretation that these spirochetes bear 10 flagellar insertions on each end. Morphometric study showed these free-living spirochetes greatly resemble certain symbiotic ones, i.e., Borrelia and certain termite spirochetes, the transverse sections of which are presented here. The ultrastructure of this spirochete also resembles Hollandina and Diplocalyx (spirochetes symbiotic in arthropods) more than it does Spirochaeta, the well known genus of mud-dwelling spirochetes. The new spirochete was detected in mat material collected both in 1985 and in 1987. Unique morphology (i.e., conspicuous outer coat of inner membrane, large number of periplasmic flagella) and ecology prompt us to name a new free-living spirochete.

  12. Impact of Dietary Markers on Fecal Microbial Ecology, Fecal VFA, and Nutrient Digestibility Coefficients in Finishing Pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the experiment was to determine the impact of three commonly utilized markers (Cr, Fe, and Ti) in digestibility studies on fecal microbial ecology, fecal VFA, and nutrient digestibility coefficients. Forty eight gilts, initial BW 115.1 kg, were allotted to 4 dietary treatments based...

  13. Dietary marker effects on fecal microbial ecology, fecal VFA, nutrient digestibility coefficients, and growth performance in finishing pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Use of indigestible markers such as Cr2O3, Fe2O3, and TiO2 are commonly used in animal studies to evaluate rate of passage and nutrient digestibility. Yet nothing is known relative to their potential impact on fecal microbial ecology and subsequent VFA generation. Two experiments utilizing a total o...

  14. Dietary Nisin Modulates the Gastrointestinal Microbial Ecology and Enhances Growth Performance of the Broiler Chickens

    PubMed Central

    Józefiak, Damian; Kierończyk, Bartosz; Juśkiewicz, Jerzy; Zduńczyk, Zenon; Rawski, Mateusz; Długosz, Jakub; Sip, Anna; Højberg, Ole

    2013-01-01

    Due to antimicrobial properties, nisin is one of the most commonly used and investigated bacteriocins for food preservation. Surprisingly, nisin has had limited use in animal feed as well as there are only few reports on its influence on microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The present study therefore aimed at investigating effects of dietary nisin on broiler chicken GIT microbial ecology and performance in comparison to salinomycin, the widely used ionophore coccidiostat. In total, 720 one-day-old male Ross 308 chicks were randomly distributed to six experimental groups. The positive control (PC) diet was supplemented with salinomycin (60 mg/kg). The nisin (NI) diets were supplemented with increasing levels (100, 300, 900 and 2700 IU nisin/g, respectively) of the bacteriocin. The negative control (NC) diet contained no additives. At slaughter (35 days of age), activity of specific bacterial enzymes (α- and β-glucosidases, α-galactosidases and β-glucuronidase) in crop, ileum and caeca were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the NC group, and nisin supplementation decreased the enzyme activities to levels observed for the PC group. A similar inhibitory influence on bacterial activity was reflected in the levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and putrefactive SCFA (PSCFA) in digesta from crop and ileum; no effect was observed in caeca. Counts of Bacteroides and Enterobacteriacae in ileum digesta were significantly (P<0.001) decreased by nisin and salinomycin, but no effects were observed on the counts of Clostridium perfringens, Lactobacillus/Enterococcus and total bacteria. Like salinomycin, nisin supplementation improved broiler growth performance in a dose-dependent manner; compared to the NC group, the body weight gain of the NI900 and NI2700 groups was improved by 4.7 and 8.7%, respectively. Our findings suggest that dietary nisin exerts a mode of action similar to salinomycin and could be considered as a dietary supplement for broiler

  15. Dietary nisin modulates the gastrointestinal microbial ecology and enhances growth performance of the broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Józefiak, Damian; Kierończyk, Bartosz; Juśkiewicz, Jerzy; Zduńczyk, Zenon; Rawski, Mateusz; Długosz, Jakub; Sip, Anna; Højberg, Ole

    2013-01-01

    Due to antimicrobial properties, nisin is one of the most commonly used and investigated bacteriocins for food preservation. Surprisingly, nisin has had limited use in animal feed as well as there are only few reports on its influence on microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The present study therefore aimed at investigating effects of dietary nisin on broiler chicken GIT microbial ecology and performance in comparison to salinomycin, the widely used ionophore coccidiostat. In total, 720 one-day-old male Ross 308 chicks were randomly distributed to six experimental groups. The positive control (PC) diet was supplemented with salinomycin (60 mg/kg). The nisin (NI) diets were supplemented with increasing levels (100, 300, 900 and 2700 IU nisin/g, respectively) of the bacteriocin. The negative control (NC) diet contained no additives. At slaughter (35 days of age), activity of specific bacterial enzymes (α- and β-glucosidases, α-galactosidases and β-glucuronidase) in crop, ileum and caeca were significantly higher (P<0.05) in the NC group, and nisin supplementation decreased the enzyme activities to levels observed for the PC group. A similar inhibitory influence on bacterial activity was reflected in the levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and putrefactive SCFA (PSCFA) in digesta from crop and ileum; no effect was observed in caeca. Counts of Bacteroides and Enterobacteriacae in ileum digesta were significantly (P<0.001) decreased by nisin and salinomycin, but no effects were observed on the counts of Clostridium perfringens, Lactobacillus/Enterococcus and total bacteria. Like salinomycin, nisin supplementation improved broiler growth performance in a dose-dependent manner; compared to the NC group, the body weight gain of the NI₉₀₀ and NI₂₇₀₀ groups was improved by 4.7 and 8.7%, respectively. Our findings suggest that dietary nisin exerts a mode of action similar to salinomycin and could be considered as a dietary supplement

  16. From Structure to Function: the Ecology of Host-Associated Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Courtney J.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.; Young, Vincent B.

    2010-01-01

    Summary: In the past several years, we have witnessed an increased interest in understanding the structure and function of the indigenous microbiota that inhabits the human body. It is hoped that this will yield novel insight into the role of these complex microbial communities in human health and disease. What is less appreciated is that this recent activity owes a great deal to the pioneering efforts of microbial ecologists who have been studying communities in non-host-associated environments. Interactions between environmental microbiologists and human microbiota researchers have already contributed to advances in our understanding of the human microbiome. We review the work that has led to these recent advances and illustrate some of the possible future directions for continued collaboration between these groups of researchers. We discuss how the application of ecological theory to the human-associated microbiota can lead us past descriptions of community structure and toward an understanding of the functions of the human microbiota. Such an approach may lead to a shift in the prevention and treatment of human diseases that involves conservation or restoration of the normal community structure and function of the host-associated microbiota. PMID:20805407

  17. Refinement of biodegradation tests methodologies and the proposed utility of new microbial ecology techniques.

    PubMed

    Kowalczyk, Agnieszka; Martin, Timothy James; Price, Oliver Richard; Snape, Jason Richard; van Egmond, Roger Albert; Finnegan, Christopher James; Schäfer, Hendrik; Davenport, Russell James; Bending, Gary Douglas

    2015-01-01

    Society's reliance upon chemicals over the last few decades has led to their increased production, application and release into the environment. Determination of chemical persistence is crucial for risk assessment and management of chemicals. Current established OECD biodegradation guidelines enable testing of chemicals under laboratory conditions but with an incomplete consideration of factors that can impact on chemical persistence in the environment. The suite of OECD biodegradation tests do not characterise microbial inoculum and often provide little insight into pathways of degradation. The present review considers limitations with the current OECD biodegradation tests and highlights novel scientific approaches to chemical fate studies. We demonstrate how the incorporation of molecular microbial ecology methods (i.e., 'omics') may improve the underlying mechanistic understanding of biodegradation processes, and enable better extrapolation of data from laboratory based test systems to the relevant environment, which would potentially improve chemical risk assessment and decision making. We outline future challenges for relevant stakeholders to modernise OECD biodegradation tests and put the 'bio' back into biodegradation. PMID:25450910

  18. Microbial ecology of a novel sulphur cycling consortia from AMD: implications for acid generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loiselle, L. M.; Norlund, K. L.; Hitchcock, A. P.; Warren, L. A.

    2009-05-01

    Recent work1 identified a novel microbial consortia consisting of two bacterial strains common to acid mine drainage (AMD) environments (autotrophic sulphur oxidizer Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and heterotrophic Acidiphilium spp.) in an environmental enrichment from a mine tailings lake. The two strains showed a specific spatial arrangement within an EPS macrostructure or "pod" allowing linked metabolic redox cycling of sulphur. Sulphur species characterisation of the pods using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) indicated that autotrophic tetrathionate disproportionation by A. ferrooxidans producing colloidal elemental sulphur (S0) is coupled to heterotrophic S0 reduction by Acidiphilium spp. Geochemical modelling of the microbial sulphur reactions indicated that if they are widespread in AMD environments, then global AMD-driven CO2 liberation from mineral weathering have been overestimated by 40-90%1. Given the common co-occurrence of these two bacteria in AMD settings, the purpose of this study was to evaluate if these pods could be induced in the laboratory by pure strains and if so, whether their combined sulphur geochemistry mimicked the previous findings. Laboratory batch experiments assessed the development of pods with pure strain type cultures (A. ferrooxidans ATCC 19859 with mixotroph Acidiphilium acidophilum ATCC 738 or strict heterotroph Acp. cryptum ATCC 2158) using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) imaging. The microbial sulphur geochemistry was characterized under autotrophic conditions identical to those used with the environmental AMD enrichment in which the pods were discovered. Results showed that the combined pure strain A. ferrooxidans and Acp. acidophilum form pods identical in structure to the AMD enrichment. To test the hypothesis that these pods form for mutual metabolic benefit, experiments were performed amending pure strain and AMD enrichment bacterial treatments with organic carbon and/or additional sulphur to

  19. Improving rumen ecology and microbial population by dried rumen digesta in beef cattle.

    PubMed

    Cherdthong, Anusorn; Wanapat, Metha; Saenkamsorn, Anuthida; Supapong, Chanadol; Anantasook, Nirawan; Gunun, Pongsatorn

    2015-06-01

    Four Thai native beef cattle with initial body weight (BW) of 91.8 ± 4.75 kg were randomly assigned according to a 4 × 4 Latin square design to receive four concentrates replacement levels of soybean meal (SBM) by dried rumen digesta (DRD) at 0, 33, 67, and 100 % on dry matter (DM) basis. All cattle were fed rice straw ad libitum while additional concentrate was fed at 0.5 % BW daily. The experiment was conducted for four periods of 21 days. Rumen fluid was analyzed for predominant cellulolytic bacterial population by using real-time PCR technique. Increasing levels of DRD did not alter total feed intake, ruminal pH and temperature, and plasma urea nitrogen (P > 0.05). Protozoa and fungal population were not differed by DRD supplementation while population of bacteria at 4 h post feeding was increased when SBM was replaced with DRD at 66 and 100 % DM. Population of total bacteria and R. flavefaciens at 4 h post feeding were significantly highest with inclusion of 100 % of DRD in the ration. The experimental diets has no effect on excretion and absorption of purine derivatives (P > 0.05), while microbial crude protein and efficiency of microbial N synthesis were significantly increased with DRD inclusion in the diet and highest with 100 % DRD replacement (P > 0.05). Replacement of SBM by DRD at 100 % DM improved the rumen ecology and microbial population in beef cattle fed on rice straw. PMID:25851930

  20. Bacteria–phage coevolution as a driver of ecological and evolutionary processes in microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Koskella, Britt; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria–phage coevolution, the reciprocal evolution between bacterial hosts and the phages that infect them, is an important driver of ecological and evolutionary processes in microbial communities. There is growing evidence from both laboratory and natural populations that coevolution can maintain phenotypic and genetic diversity, increase the rate of bacterial and phage evolution and divergence, affect community structure, and shape the evolution of ecologically relevant bacterial traits. Although the study of bacteria–phage coevolution is still in its infancy, with open questions regarding the specificity of the interaction, the gene networks of coevolving partners, and the relative importance of the coevolving interaction in complex communities and environments, there have recently been major advancements in the field. In this review, we sum up our current understanding of bacteria–phage coevolution both in the laboratory and in nature, discuss recent findings on both the coevolutionary process itself and the impact of coevolution on bacterial phenotype, diversity and interactions with other species (particularly their eukaryotic hosts), and outline future directions for the field. PMID:24617569

  1. Fecal transplant: a safe and sustainable clinical therapy for restoring intestinal microbial balance in human disease?

    PubMed

    Vrieze, A; de Groot, P F; Kootte, R S; Knaapen, M; van Nood, E; Nieuwdorp, M

    2013-02-01

    Recent studies have suggested an association between intestinal microbiota composition and human disease, however causality remains to be proven. With hindsight, the application of fecal transplantation (FMT) does indeed suggest a causal relation between interfering with gut microbiota composition and a resultant cure of several disease states. In this review, we aim to show the available evidence regarding the involvement of intestinal microbiota and human (autoimmune) disease. Moreover, we refer to (mostly case report) studies showing beneficial or adverse effects of fecal transplantation on clinical outcomes in some of these disease states. If these findings can be substantiated in larger randomized controlled double blind trials also implementing gut microbiota composition before and after intervention, fecal transplantation might provide us with novel insights into causally related intestinal microbiota, that might be serve as future diagnostic and treatment targets in human disease. PMID:23768558

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  3. Controlling Salmonella infection in weanling pigs through water delivery of direct-fed microbials or organic acids: Part II. Effects on intestinal histology and active nutrient transport

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of water-delivered direct-fed microbials (DFM) or organic acids on intestinal morphology and active nutrient absorption in weanling pigs following deliberate Salmonella infection. Pigs (n = 88) were weaned at 19 ± 2 d of age and assigned to one...

  4. EXAMINATION OF THE MICROBIAL ECOLOGY OF THE AVIAN INTESTINE IN VIVO USING BROMODEOXYURIDINE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), a thymidine analog that can be incorporated into the DNA of actively dividing cells, has been used in vivo to identify bacteria that are metabolically active during an acute period of feed withdrawal in three-week old turkey poults. The microbiota in the ceca were determine...

  5. Intestinal microbial affects of yeast products on weaned and transport stressed pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Study objectives were to determine effects of a commercially available yeast product (XPC, Diamond-V Mills) and stress of transportation on total Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, coliforms, and Lactobacilli populations in the intestine of weaning pigs. In a RCB design with a 2 x 2 factorial ar...

  6. Campylobacter Colonization of the Turkey Intestine in the Context of Microbial Community Development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Relationships between development of the turkey intestinal microbiota and colonization by the food borne pathogen Campylobacter were examined. Every week of the 18 week production cycle, cecal bacterial communities and Campylobacter isolates were examined from five birds for each of two flocks. Mole...

  7. Urolithins, Intestinal Microbial Metabolites of Pomegranate Ellagitannins, Exhibit Potent Antioxidant Activity in Cell-Based Assay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many health benefits of pomegranate products have been attributed to the potent antioxidant action of their tannin components, mainly punicalagins and ellagic acid. While moving through the intestines, ellagitannins are metabolized by gut bacteria into urolithins that readily enter systemic circulat...

  8. Significance of Microbial Communities and Interactions in Safeguarding Reactive Mine Tailings by Ecological Engineering▿†

    PubMed Central

    N̆ancucheo, Ivan; Johnson, D. Barrie

    2011-01-01

    Pyritic mine tailings (mineral waste generated by metal mining) pose significant risk to the environment as point sources of acidic, metal-rich effluents (acid mine drainage [AMD]). While the accelerated oxidative dissolution of pyrite and other sulfide minerals in tailings by acidophilic chemolithotrophic prokaryotes has been widely reported, other acidophiles (heterotrophic bacteria that catalyze the dissimilatory reduction of iron and sulfur) can reverse the reactions involved in AMD genesis, and these have been implicated in the “natural attenuation” of mine waters. We have investigated whether by manipulating microbial communities in tailings (inoculating with iron- and sulfur-reducing acidophilic bacteria and phototrophic acidophilic microalgae) it is possible to mitigate the impact of the acid-generating and metal-mobilizing chemolithotrophic prokaryotes that are indigenous to tailing deposits. Sixty tailings mesocosms were set up, using five different microbial inoculation variants, and analyzed at regular intervals for changes in physicochemical and microbiological parameters for up to 1 year. Differences between treatment protocols were most apparent between tailings that had been inoculated with acidophilic algae in addition to aerobic and anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria and those that had been inoculated with only pyrite-oxidizing chemolithotrophs; these differences included higher pH values, lower redox potentials, and smaller concentrations of soluble copper and zinc. The results suggest that empirical ecological engineering of tailing lagoons to promote the growth and activities of iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria could minimize their risk of AMD production and that the heterotrophic populations could be sustained by facilitating the growth of microalgae to provide continuous inputs of organic carbon. PMID:21965397

  9. Microbial ecology of Vietnamese Tra fish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) fillets during processing.

    PubMed

    Tong Thi, Anh Ngoc; Noseda, Bert; Samapundo, Simbarashe; Nguyen, Binh Ly; Broekaert, Katrien; Rasschaert, Geertrui; Heyndrickx, Marc; Devlieghere, Frank

    2013-10-15

    There are numerous factors that can have an impact on the microbial ecology and quality of frozen Pangasius hypophthalmus fillets during processing in Vietnam. The presence of spoilage bacteria along the processing line can shorten the shelf-life of thawed frozen fish products. Therefore, the spoilage microbiota throughout the processing chain of two companies (BC: large scale factory, chlorine-based process, BW: large scale factory, water-based process and SC: small scale factory, chlorine-based process) was identified by culture-dependent techniques and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The microbiological counts were observed to be insignificantly different (p>0.05) between BC and BW. Surprisingly, chlorine treated fillets from the SC line were revealed to have significantly higher microbial counts than potable water treated fillets at BW line. This was determined to be a result of temperature abuse during processing at SC, with temperatures even greater than 10 °C being recorded from skinning onwards. On the contrary, the microbiota related to spoilage for BC and BW lines was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing to be more diverse than that on the SC line. A total of 174 isolates, 20 genera and 38 species were identified along the processing chains. The genera Aeromonas, Acinetobacter, Lactococcus and Enterococcus were prevalent at various processing steps on all the processing lines evaluated. A diverse range of isolates belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae such as Providencia, Shigella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Wautersiella were isolated from fillets sampled on the SC line whereas Serratia was only observed on fillets sampled on the BC and BW lines. The results can be used to improve Good Manufacturing Practices for processed Pangasius fillets and to select effective measures to prolong the shelf-life of thawed Vietnamese Pangasius fillets products. PMID:24140808

  10. Absence of MHC class II on cDCs results in microbial-dependent intestinal inflammation.

    PubMed

    Loschko, Jakob; Schreiber, Heidi A; Rieke, Gereon J; Esterházy, Daria; Meredith, Matthew M; Pedicord, Virginia A; Yao, Kai-Hui; Caballero, Silvia; Pamer, Eric G; Mucida, Daniel; Nussenzweig, Michel C

    2016-04-01

    Conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) play an essential role in host immunity by initiating adaptive T cell responses and by serving as innate immune sensors. Although both innate and adaptive functions of cDCs are well documented, their relative importance in maintaining immune homeostasis is poorly understood. To examine the significance of cDC-initiated adaptive immunity in maintaining homeostasis, independent of their innate activities, we generated a cDC-specific Cre mouse and crossed it to a floxed MHC class II (MHCII) mouse. Absence of MHCII on cDCs resulted in chronic intestinal inflammation that was alleviated by antibiotic treatment and entirely averted under germ-free conditions. Uncoupling innate and adaptive functions of cDCs revealed that innate immune functions of cDCs are insufficient to maintain homeostasis and antigen presentation by cDCs is essential for a mutualistic relationship between the host and intestinal bacteria. PMID:27001748

  11. Comparative analysis of fecal microbiota and intestinal microbial metabolic activity in captive polar bears.

    PubMed

    Schwab, Clarissa; Gänzle, Michael

    2011-03-01

    The composition of the intestinal microbiota depends on gut physiology and diet. Ursidae possess a simple gastrointestinal system composed of a stomach, small intestine, and indistinct hindgut. This study determined the composition and stability of fecal microbiota of 3 captive polar bears by group-specific quantitative PCR and PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) using the 16S rRNA gene as target. Intestinal metabolic activity was determined by analysis of short-chain fatty acids in feces. For comparison, other Carnivora and mammals were included in this study. Total bacterial abundance was approximately log 8.5 DNA gene copies·(g feces)-1 in all 3 polar bears. Fecal polar bear microbiota was dominated by the facultative anaerobes Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci, and the Clostridium cluster I. The detection of the Clostridium perfringens α-toxin gene verified the presence of C. perfringens. Composition of the fecal bacterial population was stable on a genus level; according to results obtained by PCR-DGGE, dominant bacterial species fluctuated. The total short-chain fatty acid content of Carnivora and other mammals analysed was comparable; lactate was detected in feces of all carnivora but present only in trace amounts in other mammals. In comparison, the fecal microbiota and metabolic activity of captive polar bears mostly resembled the closely related grizzly and black bears. PMID:21358758

  12. The microbial metabolite butyrate regulates intestinal macrophage function via histone deacetylase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Chang, Pamela V; Hao, Liming; Offermanns, Stefan; Medzhitov, Ruslan

    2014-02-11

    Given the trillions of microbes that inhabit the mammalian intestines, the host immune system must constantly maintain a balance between tolerance to commensals and immunity against pathogens to avoid unnecessary immune responses against otherwise harmless bacteria. Misregulated responses can lead to inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. The mechanisms by which the immune system maintains this critical balance remain largely undefined. Here, we demonstrate that the short-chain fatty acid n-butyrate, which is secreted in high amounts by commensal bacteria, can modulate the function of intestinal macrophages, the most abundant immune cell type in the lamina propria. Treatment of macrophages with n-butyrate led to the down-regulation of lipopolysaccharide-induced proinflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide, IL-6, and IL-12, but did not affect levels of TNF-α or MCP-1. These effects were independent of toll-like receptor signaling and activation of G-protein-coupled receptors, two pathways that could be affected by short-chain fatty acids. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that suggest that these effects are due to the inhibition of histone deacetylases by n-butyrate. These findings elucidate a pathway in which the host may maintain tolerance to intestinal microbiota by rendering lamina propria macrophages hyporesponsive to commensal bacteria through the down-regulation of proinflammatory effectors. PMID:24390544

  13. Exploring the impacts of antibiotics on the microbial communities in the swine intestinal tract

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of antibiotics on gastrointestinal microbial ecosystems have not been well studied. Previous research in our lab indicates that in-feed antibiotics may have unintended effects on the gut microbiota, such as an increase of Escherichia coli in feces. The goal of this study was to evaluate ...

  14. Direct-Fed Microbials and Their Impact on the Intestinal Microflora and Immune System of Chickens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Direct-fed microbials (DFMs) are live microorganisms which confer a health benefit to the host. The mode of action of DFMs involves multiple mechanisms, including direct inhibition of enteric pathogens and indirectly through competitive exclusion of pathogens by the normal gut microbiota. Addition...

  15. Supplementation of piglets with nutrient-dense complex milk replacer improves intestinal development and microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    de Greeff, A; Resink, J W; van Hees, H M J; Ruuls, L; Klaassen, G J; Rouwers, S M G; Stockhofe-Zurwieden, N

    2016-03-01

    Weaning of piglets causes stress due to environmental, behavioral, and nutritional stressors and can lead to postweaning diarrhea and impaired gut development. The diet changes experienced during weaning require extensive adaptation of the digestive system. A well-developed piglet that had creep-feed experience before weaning performs better after weaning. In the current study, the effect of providing sow-fed piglets with a supplemental nutrient-dense complex milk replacer (NDM) on gut development and growth performance was studied. Litters of sows with similar parities (3.6 ± 0.8) and similar numbers of live born piglets (13.5 ± 0.3) were assigned to 1 of 2 groups: 1 group of piglets had ad libitum access to NDM from Day 2 through 21 after birth, whereas the other group was used as controls. Nutrient-dense complex milk replacer-fed piglets were shown to be significantly heavier after 21 d of supplementation compared with the control piglets. At Day 21, 3 piglets from each litter were euthanized for morphological and functional analyses of the intestinal tract. The small intestines of NDM-fed piglets had significantly higher weights (g) as well as significantly higher relative weight:length ratios (g//cm) compared with the small intestines of control piglets ( < 0.05). Morphometric analysis demonstrated that villi length and numbers of goblet cells did not differ between groups. However, NDM-fed piglets had deeper crypts ( < 0.001) and an increased expression of the cell-proliferation marker proliferating cell nuclear antigen in crypts ( < 0.05), suggesting higher cell-proliferation rates. The gene encoding IGF-1 showed a tendency to higher gene expression in the jejunum from NDM-fed piglets ( = 0.07) compared with the jejunum from control piglets, suggesting that IGF-1 might be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and intestinal growth. Finally, as a result of dietary fiber in NDM, piglets showed significantly increased concentrations of metabolic

  16. Immunogenetic control of the intestinal microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Marietta, Eric; Rishi, Abdul; Taneja, Veena

    2015-01-01

    All vertebrates contain a diverse collection of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, on their various body surfaces, and the ecological community of these microorganisms is referred to as the microbiota. Mucosal sites, such as the intestine, harbour the majority of microorganisms, and the human intestine contains the largest community of commensal and symbiotic bacteria. This intestinal community of bacteria is diverse, and there is a significant variability among individuals with respect to the composition of the intestinal microbiome. Both genetic and environmental factors can influence the diversity and composition of the intestinal bacteria with the predominant environmental factor being diet. So far, studies have shown that diet-dependent differences in the composition of intestinal bacteria can be classified into three groups, called enterotypes. Other environmental factors that can influence the composition include antibiotics, probiotics, smoking and drugs. Studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins have proven that genetics plays a role. Recently, MHC II genes have been associated with specific microbial compositions in human infants and transgenic mice that express different HLA alleles. There is a growing list of genes/molecules that are involved with the sensing and monitoring of the intestinal lumen by the intestinal immune system that, when genetically altered, will significantly alter the composition of the intestinal microflora. The focus of this review will be on the genetic factors that influence the composition of the intestinal microflora. PMID:25913295

  17. Precision-guided antimicrobial peptide as a targeted modulator of human microbial ecology

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Lihong; McLean, Jeffrey S.; Yang, Youngik; Eckert, Randal; Kaplan, Christopher W.; Kyme, Pierre; Sheikh, Omid; Varnum, Brian; Lux, Renate; Shi, Wenyuan; He, Xuesong

    2015-01-01

    One major challenge to studying human microbiome and its associated diseases is the lack of effective tools to achieve targeted modulation of individual species and study its ecological function within multispecies communities. Here, we show that C16G2, a specifically targeted antimicrobial peptide, was able to selectively kill cariogenic pathogen Streptococcus mutans with high efficacy within a human saliva-derived in vitro oral multispecies community. Importantly, a significant shift in the overall microbial structure of the C16G2-treated community was revealed after a 24-h recovery period: several bacterial species with metabolic dependency or physical interactions with S. mutans suffered drastic reduction in their abundance, whereas S. mutans’ natural competitors, including health-associated Streptococci, became dominant. This study demonstrates the use of targeted antimicrobials to modulate the microbiome structure allowing insights into the key community role of specific bacterial species and also indicates the therapeutic potential of C16G2 to achieve a healthy oral microbiome. PMID:26034276

  18. Dynamic autoinoculation and the microbial ecology of a deep water hydrocarbon irruption.

    PubMed

    Valentine, David L; Mezić, Igor; Maćešić, Senka; Črnjarić-Žic, Nelida; Ivić, Stefan; Hogan, Patrick J; Fonoberov, Vladimir A; Loire, Sophie

    2012-12-11

    The irruption of gas and oil into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon event fed a deep sea bacterial bloom that consumed hydrocarbons in the affected waters, formed a regional oxygen anomaly, and altered the microbiology of the region. In this work, we develop a coupled physical-metabolic model to assess the impact of mixing processes on these deep ocean bacterial communities and their capacity for hydrocarbon and oxygen use. We find that observed biodegradation patterns are well-described by exponential growth of bacteria from seed populations present at low abundance and that current oscillation and mixing processes played a critical role in distributing hydrocarbons and associated bacterial blooms within the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Mixing processes also accelerated hydrocarbon degradation through an autoinoculation effect, where water masses, in which the hydrocarbon irruption had caused blooms, later returned to the spill site with hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria persisting at elevated abundance. Interestingly, although the initial irruption of hydrocarbons fed successive blooms of different bacterial types, subsequent irruptions promoted consistency in the structure of the bacterial community. These results highlight an impact of mixing and circulation processes on biodegradation activity of bacteria during the Deepwater Horizon event and suggest an important role for mixing processes in the microbial ecology of deep ocean environments. PMID:22233808

  19. Role of bacterial adhesion in the microbial ecology of biofilms in cooling tower systems

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Sileika, Tadas; Warta, Richard; Cianciotto, Nicholas P.; Packman, Aaron

    2009-01-01

    The fate of the three heterotrophic biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. in pilot scale cooling towers was evaluated both by observing the persistence of each species in the recirculating water and the formation of biofilms on steel coupons placed in each cooling tower water reservoir. Two different cooling tower experiments were performed: a short-term study (6 days) to observe the initial bacterial colonization of the cooling tower, and a long-term study (3 months) to observe the ecological dynamics with repeated introduction of the test strains. An additional set of batch experiments (6 days) was carried out to evaluate the adhesion of each strain to steel surfaces under similar conditions to those found in the cooling tower experiments. Substantial differences were observed in the microbial communities that developed in the batch systems and cooling towers. P. aeruginosa showed a low degree of adherence to steel surfaces both in batch and in the cooling towers, but grew much faster than K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium in mixed-species biofilms and ultimately became the dominant organism in the closed batch systems. However, the low degree of adherence caused P. aeruginosa to be rapidly washed out of the open cooling tower systems, and Flavobacterium became the dominant microorganism in the cooling towers in both the short-term and long-term experiments. These results indicate that adhesion, retention and growth on solid surfaces play important roles in the bacterial community that develops in cooling tower systems. PMID:19177226

  20. Role of bacterial adhesion in the microbial ecology of biofilms in cooling tower systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yang; Zhang, Wei; Sileika, Tadas; Warta, Richard; Cianciotto, Nicholas P; Packman, Aaron

    2009-01-01

    The fate of the three heterotrophic biofilm forming bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Flavobacterium sp. in pilot scale cooling towers was evaluated both by observing the persistence of each species in the recirculating water and the formation of biofilms on steel coupons placed in each cooling tower water reservoir. Two different cooling tower experiments were performed: a short-term study (6 days) to observe the initial bacterial colonization of the cooling tower, and a long-term study (3 months) to observe the ecological dynamics with repeated introduction of the test strains. An additional set of batch experiments (6 days) was carried out to evaluate the adhesion of each strain to steel surfaces under similar conditions to those found in the cooling tower experiments. Substantial differences were observed in the microbial communities that developed in the batch systems and cooling towers. P. aeruginosa showed a low degree of adherence to steel surfaces both in batch and in the cooling towers, but grew much faster than K. pneumoniae and Flavobacterium in mixed-species biofilms and ultimately became the dominant organism in the closed batch systems. However, the low degree of adherence caused P. aeruginosa to be rapidly washed out of the open cooling tower systems, and Flavobacterium became the dominant microorganism in the cooling towers in both the short-term and long-term experiments. These results indicate that adhesion, retention and growth on solid surfaces play important roles in the bacterial community that develops in cooling tower systems. PMID:19177226

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bebout, B. M.; Bucaria, R.

    2004-12-01

    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 small (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 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 even be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, provided as a supplement to our research funding, we are developing curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. A web site with useful background information and links is now on-line. The curriculum, now in the pilot phase, is an integrated module having Science, Math and Language Art threads. A "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium, and complete with remotely-operable instrumentation not commonly available in classrooms, will be available to classrooms over the Internet. Using that system, the responses of the mat community to changes in environmental parameters, (e.g., light, pH, flow, and temperature) can be monitored using microsensors. Students will be able to develop hypotheses and propose experiments in the Web Lab to test them. Data from these experiments will be posted in real time and students will be able to collect the data, analyze it, and post results and conclusions back to the web page in a true implementation of the scientific inquiry process. The web site

  2. Metagenomic analysis of an ecological wastewater treatment plant’s microbial communities and their potential to metabolize pharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Balcom, Ian N.; Driscoll, Heather; Vincent, James; Leduc, Meagan

    2016-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals and other micropollutants have been detected in drinking water, groundwater, surface water, and soil around the world. Even in locations where wastewater treatment is required, they can be found in drinking water wells, municipal water supplies, and agricultural soils. It is clear conventional wastewater treatment technologies are not meeting the challenge of the mounting pressures on global freshwater supplies. Cost-effective ecological wastewater treatment technologies have been developed in response. To determine whether the removal of micropollutants in ecological wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is promoted by the plant-microbe interactions, as has been reported for other recalcitrant xenobiotics, biofilm microbial communities growing on the surfaces of plant roots were profiled by whole metagenome sequencing and compared to the microbial communities residing in the wastewater. In this study, the concentrations of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) were quantified in each treatment tank of the ecological WWTP treating human wastewater at a highway rest stop and visitor center in Vermont. The concentrations of detected PPCPs were substantially greater than values reported for conventional WWTPs likely due to onsite recirculation of wastewater. The greatest reductions in PPCPs concentrations were observed in the anoxic treatment tank where Bacilli dominated the biofilm community. Benzoate degradation was the most abundant xenobiotic metabolic category identified throughout the system. Collectively, the microbial communities residing in the wastewater were taxonomically and metabolically more diverse than the immersed plant root biofilm. However, greater heterogeneity and higher relative abundances of xenobiotic metabolism genes was observed for the root biofilm. PMID:27610223

  3. Microbial ecology in a future climate: effects of temperature and moisture on microbial communities of two boreal fens.

    PubMed

    Peltoniemi, Krista; Laiho, Raija; Juottonen, Heli; Kiikkilä, Oili; Mäkiranta, Päivi; Minkkinen, Kari; Pennanen, Taina; Penttilä, Timo; Sarjala, Tytti; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina; Tuomivirta, Tero; Fritze, Hannu

    2015-07-01

    Impacts of warming with open-top chambers on microbial communities in wet conditions and in conditions resulting from moderate water-level drawdown (WLD) were studied across 0-50 cm depth in northern and southern boreal sedge fens. Warming alone decreased microbial biomass especially in the northern fen. Impact of warming on microbial PLFA and fungal ITS composition was more obvious in the northern fen and linked to moisture regime and sample depth. Fungal-specific PLFA increased in the surface peat in the drier regime and decreased in layers below 10 cm in the wet regime after warming. OTUs representing Tomentella and Lactarius were observed in drier regime and Mortierella in wet regime after warming in the northern fen. The ectomycorrhizal fungi responded only to WLD. Interestingly, warming together with WLD decreased archaeal 16S rRNA copy numbers in general, and fungal ITS copy numbers in the northern fen. Expectedly, many results indicated that microbial response on warming may be linked to the moisture regime. Results indicated that microbial community in the northern fen representing Arctic soils would be more sensitive to environmental changes. The response to future climate change clearly may vary even within a habitat type, exemplified here by boreal sedge fen. PMID:26066028

  4. Ecology and metabolism of the beneficial intestinal commensal bacterium Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.

    PubMed

    Miquel, Sylvie; Martín, Rebeca; Bridonneau, Chantal; Robert, Véronique; Sokol, Harry; Bermúdez-Humarán, Luis G; Thomas, Muriel; Langella, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a major commensal bacterium, and its prevalence is often decreased in conditions of intestinal dysbiosis. The phylogenic identity of this bacterium was described only recently. It is still poorly characterized, and its specific growth requirements in the human gastrointestinal tract are not known. In this review, we consider F. prausnitzii metabolism, its ecophysiology in both humans and animals, and the effects of drugs and nutrition on its population. We list important questions about this beneficial and ubiquitous commensal bacterium that it would be valuable to answer. PMID:24637606

  5. [Intestinal microbial biocenosis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus treated with prednisolone].

    PubMed

    Gul'neva, M Iu; Shilkina, N P

    2009-01-01

    This study of intestinal microflora included 60 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (LE) and 30 ones with cardiologic problems (controls). LE was diagnosed using criteria of American Rheumatologic Association (1982). Activity of the disease was estimated based on the ECLAM index. Nineteen patients with grade II LE were given with prednisolone (15 mg/day) and 15 ones did not receive this treatment. The qualitative and quantitative composition of intestinal microflora was evaluated by bacteriological methods. Results of the study were analysed with the use of STATISTICA 6.0 software system (StatSoft). Prednisolone was shown to alter the qualitative composition of microflora and the structure of symbiotic interactions between different organisms. Specifically, colonic flora contained more enterococci and organisms possessed of hemolytic activity whereas quantitative composition remained practically unchanged. Enterococci and colibacilli with modified enzymatic activity became predominant forms. It is concluded that prednisolone therapy affects colonic microbiocenosis in patients with LE favouring the development of enterococci, atypical colibacilli, and organisms with hemolytic activity. PMID:19670716

  6. Microbial modulation of energy availability in the colon regulates intestinal transit.

    PubMed

    Wichmann, Anita; Allahyar, Ava; Greiner, Thomas U; Plovier, Hubert; Lundén, Gunnel Östergren; Larsson, Thomas; Drucker, Daniel J; Delzenne, Nathalie M; Cani, Patrice D; Bäckhed, Fredrik

    2013-11-13

    Gut microbiota contribute to host metabolic efficiency by increasing energy availability through the fermentation of dietary fiber and production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the colon. SCFAs are proposed to stimulate secretion of the proglucagon (Gcg)-derived incretin hormone GLP-1, which stimulates insulin secretion (incretin response) and inhibits gastric emptying. We find that germ-free (GF) and antibiotic-treated mice, which have severely reduced SCFA levels, have increased basal GLP-1 levels in the plasma and increased Gcg expression in the colon. Increasing energy supply, either through colonization with polysaccharide-fermenting bacteria or through diet, suppressed colonic Gcg expression in GF mice. Increased GLP-1 levels in GF mice did not improve the incretin response but instead slowed intestinal transit. Thus, microbiota regulate the basal levels of GLP-1, and increasing these levels may be an adaptive response to insufficient energy availability in the colon that slows intestinal transit and allows for greater nutrient absorption. PMID:24237703

  7. Ecological effects of combined pollution associated with e-waste recycling on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jun; He, Xiao-Xin; Lin, Xue-Rui; Chen, Wen-Ce; Zhou, Qi-Xing; Shu, Wen-Sheng; Huang, Li-Nan

    2015-06-01

    The crude processing of electronic waste (e-waste) has led to serious contamination in soils. While microorganisms may play a key role in remediation of the contaminated soils, the ecological effects of combined pollution (heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers) on the composition and diversity of microbial communities remain unknown. In this study, a suite of e-waste contaminated soils were collected from Guiyu, China, and the indigenous microbial assemblages were profiled by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and clone library analysis. Our data revealed significant differences in microbial taxonomic composition between the contaminated and the reference soils, with Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes dominating the e-waste-affected communities. Genera previously identified as organic pollutants-degrading bacteria, such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Alcanivorax, were frequently detected. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that approximately 70% of the observed variation in microbial assemblages in the contaminated soils was explained by eight environmental variables (including soil physiochemical parameters and organic pollutants) together, among which moisture content, decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209), and copper were the major factors. These results provide the first detailed phylogenetic look at the microbial communities in e-waste contaminated soils, demonstrating that the complex combined pollution resulting from improper e-waste recycling may significantly alter soil microbiota. PMID:25919421

  8. Biochemistry and Ecology of Novel Cytochromes Catalyzing Fe(II) Oxidation by an Acidophilic Microbial Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, S. W.; Jeans, C. J.; Thelen, M. P.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Hettich, R. C.; Chan, C. S.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    An acidophilic microbial community found in the Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, CA forms abundant biofilms in extremely acidic (pH<1) and toxic metal conditions. In this ecosystem, biological Fe(II) oxidation is critical to the metabolic functioning of the community, and in turn this process generates acid mine drainage, causing an environmental catastrophe. Two conspicuous novel proteins isolated from these biofilms were identified as gene products of Leptospirillum group II and were characterized as cytochromes with unique properties. Sulfuric acid extraction of biofilm samples liberated one of these proteins, a 16 kDa cytochrome with an unusual alpha-band absorption at 579 (Cyt579). Genomic sequencing of multiple biofilms indicated that several variants of Cyt579 were present in Leptospirillum strains. Intact protein MS analysis identified the dominant variants in each biofilm and documented multiple N-terminal cleavage sites for Cyt579. By combining biochemical, geochemical and microbiological data, we established that the sequence variation and N-terminal processing of Cyt579 are selected by ecological conditions. In addition to the soluble Cyt579, the second cytochrome appears as a much larger protein complex of ~210 kDa predominant in the biofilm membrane fraction, and has an alpha-band absorption at 572 nm. The 60 kDa cytochrome subunit, Cyt572, resides in the outer membrane of LeptoII, and readily oxidizes Fe(II) at low pH (0.95 - 3.0). Several genes encoding Cyt572 were localized within a recombination hotspot between two strains of LeptoII, causing a large range of variation in the sequences. Genomic sequencing and MS proteomic studies established that the variants were also selected by ecological conditions. A general mechanistic model for Fe(II) oxidation has been developed from these studies. Initial Fe(II) oxidation by Cyt572 occurs at the outer membrane. Cyt572 then transfers electrons to Cyt579, perhaps representing an initial step in energy flow

  9. Fumonisins affect the intestinal microbial homeostasis in broiler chickens, predisposing to necrotic enteritis.

    PubMed

    Antonissen, Gunther; Croubels, Siska; Pasmans, Frank; Ducatelle, Richard; Eeckhaut, Venessa; Devreese, Mathias; Verlinden, Marc; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Eeckhout, Mia; De Saeger, Sarah; Antlinger, Birgit; Novak, Barbara; Martel, An; Van Immerseel, Filip

    2015-01-01

    Fumonisins (FBs) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi. This study aimed to investigate the effect of these feed contaminants on the intestinal morphology and microbiota composition, and to evaluate whether FBs predispose broilers to necrotic enteritis. One-day-old broiler chicks were divided into a group fed a control diet, and a group fed a FBs contaminated diet (18.6 mg FB1+FB2/kg feed). A significant increase in the plasma sphinganine/sphingosine ratio in the FBs-treated group (0.21 ± 0.016) compared to the control (0.14 ± 0.014) indicated disturbance of the sphingolipid biosynthesis. Furthermore, villus height and crypt depth of the ileum was significantly reduced by FBs. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis showed a shift in the microbiota composition in the ileum in the FBs group compared to the control. A reduced presence of low-GC containing operational taxonomic units in ileal digesta of birds exposed to FBs was demonstrated, and identified as a reduced abundance of Candidatus Savagella and Lactobaccilus spp. Quantification of total Clostridium perfringens in these ileal samples, previous to experimental infection, using cpa gene (alpha toxin) quantification by qPCR showed an increase in C. perfringens in chickens fed a FBs contaminated diet compared to control (7.5 ± 0.30 versus 6.3 ± 0.24 log10 copies/g intestinal content). After C. perfringens challenge, a higher percentage of birds developed subclinical necrotic enteritis in the group fed a FBs contaminated diet as compared to the control (44.9 ± 2.22% versus 29.8 ± 5.46%). PMID:26394675

  10. Impact of organic and conventional management on the phyllosphere microbial ecology of an apple crop.

    PubMed

    Ottesen, Andrea R; White, James Robert; Skaltsas, Demetra N; Newell, Michael J; Walsh, Christopher S

    2009-11-01

    Bacterial communities associated with the phyllosphere of apple trees (Malus domestica cv. Enterprise) grown under organic and conventional management were assessed to determine if increased biological food safety risks might be linked with the bacterial communities associated with either treatment. Libraries of 16S rRNA genes were generated from phyllosphere DNA extracted from a wash made from the surfaces of leaves and apples from replicated organic and conventional treatments. 16S rRNA gene libraries were analyzed with software designed to identify statistically significant differences between bacterial communities as well as shared and unique phylotypes. The identified diversity spanned eight bacterial phyla and 14 classes in the pooled organic and conventional libraries. Significant differences between organic and conventional communities were observed at four of six time points (P < 0.05). Despite the identification of significantly diverse microfloras associated with organic and conventional treatments, no detectable differences in the presence of potential enteric pathogens could be associated with either organic or conventional management. Neither of the bacterial genera most commonly associated with produce-related illness outbreaks (Salmonella and Escherichia) was observed in any of the libraries. The impressive bacterial diversity that was documented in this study provides a valuable contribution to our developing understanding of the total microbial ecology associated with the preharvest phyllospheres of food crops. The fact that organic and conventional phyllosphere bacterial communities were significantly different at numerous time points suggests that crop management methods may influence the bacterial consortia associated with the surfaces of fruits and vegetables. PMID:19903395

  11. Dietary marker effects on fecal microbial ecology, fecal VFA, nutrient digestibility coefficients, and growth performance in finishing pigs.

    PubMed

    Kerr, B J; Weber, T E; Ziemer, C J

    2015-05-01

    Use of indigestible markers such as Cr2O3, Fe2O3, and TiO2 are commonly used in animal studies to evaluate digesta rate of passage and nutrient digestibility. Yet, the potential impact of indigestible markers on fecal microbial ecology and subsequent VFA generation is not known. Two experiments utilizing a total of 72 individually fed finishing pigs were conducted to describe the impact of dietary markers on fecal microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, nutrient digestibility, and pig performance. All pigs were fed a common diet with no marker or with 0.5% Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2. In Exp. 1, after 33 d of feeding, fresh fecal samples were collected for evaluation of microbial ecology, fecal ammonia and VFA concentrations, and nutrient digestibility, along with measures of animal performance. No differences were noted in total microbes or bacterial counts in pig feces obtained from pigs fed the different dietary markers while Archaea counts were decreased (P = 0.07) in feces obtained from pigs fed the diet containing Fe2O 3compared to pigs fed the control diet. Feeding Cr2O3, Fe2O3, or TiO2 increased fecal bacterial richness (P = 0.03, 0.01, and 0.10; respectively) when compared to pigs fed diets containing no marker, but no dietary marker effects were noted on fecal microbial evenness or the Shannon-Wiener index. Analysis of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis gels did not reveal band pattern alterations due to inclusion of dietary markers in pig diets. There was no effect of dietary marker on fecal DM, ammonia, or VFA concentrations. Pigs fed diets containing Cr2O3 had greater Ca, Cu, Fe, and P (P ≤ 0.02), but lower Ti ( P= 0.08) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing Fe2O3 had greater Ca (P = 0.08) but lower Ti (P = 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the control diet. Pigs fed diets containing TiO2 had greater Fe and Zn (P ≤ 0.09), but lower Ti ( P= 0.01) digestibility compared to pigs fed the

  12. Effect of sulfate and lactate loading rates on the respiration process and microbial population changes measured by ecological indices.

    PubMed

    García-Saucedo, C; Fernández, F J; Cuervo-López, F M; Gómez, J

    2015-01-01

    In a sulfate reducing process, increasing loading rates and sulfide accumulation may induce population changes resulting in decreasing effectiveness of the process. Thus, the relationship between microbial metabolism changes and population dynamics was studied. An upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor was operated at different sulfate loading rates (SLR), from 290 to 981 mg SO4-S/L d at a constant carbon/sulfur ratio of 0.75. When the SLR was increased, the total organic carbon and sulfate consumption efficiencies decreased to nearly 30% and 25%, respectively. The acetate and propionate yields increased with increasing SLR and 385±7 mg sulfide-S/L d was reached. The ecological indices, determined by random amplified polymorphic DNA and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis techniques, diversity and evenness were found to be constant, and similarity coefficient values remained higher than 76%. The results suggest that the microbial population changes were negligible compared with metabolic changes when SLR was increased. The sulfide accumulation did not modify the microbial diversity. The sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed strains related to sulfate reducing, fermentation, and methanogenesis processes. The results indicated that the decreasing of effectiveness, under the experimental conditions tested, was dependent more on operational parameters than microbial changes. PMID:25607675

  13. Kinetics and microbial ecology of batch sulfidogenic bioreactors for co-treatment of municipal wastewater and acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Deng, Dongyang; Weidhaas, Jennifer L; Lin, Lian-Shin

    2016-03-15

    The kinetics and microbial ecology in sulfidogenic bioreactors used in a novel two-stage process for co-treatment of acid mine drainage (AMD) and municipal wastewater (MWW) were investigated. Michaelis-Menten modeling of COD oxidation by sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) (Vmax=0.33mgL(-1)min(-1), Km=4.3mgL(-1)) suggested that the Vmax can be reasonably achieved given the typical COD values in MWW and anticipated mixing with AMD. Non-competitive inhibition modeling (Ki=6.55mgL(-1)) indicated that excessive iron level should be avoided to limit its effects on SRB. The COD oxidation rate was positively correlated to COD/sulfate ratio and SRB population, as evidenced by dsrA gene copies. Phylogenetic analysis revealed diverse microbial communities dominated by sulfate reducing delta-proteobacteria. Microbial community and relative quantities of SRB showed significant differences under different COD/sulfate ratios (0.2, 1 and 2), and the highest dsrA gene concentration and most complex microbial diversity were observed under COD/sulfate ratio 2. Major species were associated with Desulfovirga, Desulfobulbus, Desulfovibrio, and Syntrophus sp. The reported COD kinetics, SRB abundances and the phylogenetic profile provide insights into the co-treatment process and help identify the parameters of concerns for such technology development. PMID:26686479

  14. The Starting Lineup: Key Microbial Players in Intestinal Immunity and Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Reading, Nicola C.; Kasper, Dennis L.

    2011-01-01

    The complexity of microbiota inhabiting the intestine is increasingly apparent. Delicate balance of numerous bacterial species can affect development of the immune system, how susceptible a host is to pathogenic organisms, and the auto-inflammatory state of the host. In the last decade, with the increased use of germ-free mice, gnotobiotic mice, and animal models in which a germ-free animal has been colonized with a foreign microbiota such as humanized mice, it has been possible to delineate relationships that specific bacteria have with the host immune system and to show what role they may play in overall host health. These models have not only allowed us to tease out the roles of individual species, but have also allowed the discovery and characterization of functionally unknown organisms. For example, segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) have been shown to play a vital role in expansion of IL-17 producing cells. Prior to linking their key role in immune system development, little was known about these organisms. Bacteroides fragilis can rescue some of the immune defects of gnotobiotic mice after mono-colonization and have anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate colitis and experimental allergic encephalitis in murine models. Additionally, Clostridium species have most recently been shown to expand regulatory T-cell populations leading to anti-inflammatory conditions. This review will highlight and summarize some of the major findings within the last decade concerning the role of select groups of bacteria including SFB, Clostridium, Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus, and their impact on host mucosal immune systems. PMID:21779278

  15. Prebiotic effect of fructooligosaccharide in the simulator of the human intestinal microbial ecosystem (SHIME® model).

    PubMed

    Sivieri, Katia; Morales, Martha L Villarreal; Saad, Susana M I; Adorno, Maria A Tallarico; Sakamoto, Isabel Kimiko; Rossi, Elizeu A

    2014-08-01

    Maintaining "gut health" is a goal for scientists throughout the world. Therefore, microbiota management models for testing probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics have been developed. The SHIME(®) model was used to study the effect of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) 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 weeks using a culture medium. This stabilization period was followed by a 2-week control period during which the microbiota was monitored. The microbiota was then subjected to a 4-week treatment period by adding 5 g/day-1 FOS to vessel one (the "stomach" compartment). Plate counts, Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), and ammonium analyses were used to observe the influence of FOS treatment in simulated colon compartments. A significant increase (P<.01) in the Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. populations was observed during the treatment period. The DGGE obtained showed the overall microbial community was changed in the ascending colon compartment of the SHIME reactor. FOS induced increase of the SCFA concentration (P<.05) during the treatment period, mainly due to significant increased levels of acetic and butyric acids. However, ammonium concentrations increased during the same period (P<.01). This study indicates the usefulness of in vitro methods that simulate the colon region as part of research towards the improvement of human health. PMID:24654949

  16. Application of Sequence-based Methods in Human MicrobialEcology

    SciTech Connect

    Weng, Li; Rubin, Edward M.; Bristow, James

    2005-08-29

    Ecologists studying microbial life in the environment have recognized the enormous complexity of microbial diversity for many years, and the development of a variety of culture-independent methods, many of them coupled with high-throughput DNA sequencing, has allowed this diversity to be explored in ever greater detail. Despite the widespread application of these new techniques to the characterization of uncultivated microbes and microbial communities in the environment, their application to human health and disease has lagged behind. Because DNA based-techniques for defining uncultured microbes allow not only cataloging of microbial diversity, but also insight into microbial functions, investigators are beginning to apply these tools to the microbial communities that abound on and within us, in what has aptly been called the second Human Genome Project. In this review we discuss the sequence-based methods for microbial analysis that are currently available and their application to identify novel human pathogens, improve diagnosis of known infectious diseases, and to advance understanding of our relationship with microbial communities that normally reside in and on the human body.

  17. Baseline survey of the anatomical microbial ecology of an important food plant: Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Research to understand and control microbiological risks associated with the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has examined many environments in the farm to fork continuum. An important data gap however, that remains poorly studied is the baseline description of microflora that may be associated with plant anatomy either endemically or in response to environmental pressures. Specific anatomical niches of plants may contribute to persistence of human pathogens in agricultural environments in ways we have yet to describe. Tomatoes have been implicated in outbreaks of Salmonella at least 17 times during the years spanning 1990 to 2010. Our research seeks to provide a baseline description of the tomato microbiome and possibly identify whether or not there is something distinctive about tomatoes or their growing ecology that contributes to persistence of Salmonella in this important food crop. Results DNA was recovered from washes of epiphytic surfaces of tomato anatomical organs; leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruits of Solanum lycopersicum (BHN602), grown at a site in close proximity to commercial farms previously implicated in tomato-Salmonella outbreaks. DNA was amplified for targeted 16S and 18S rRNA genes and sheared for shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Amplicons and metagenomes were used to describe “native” bacterial microflora for diverse anatomical parts of Virginia-grown tomatoes. Conclusions Distinct groupings of microbial communities were associated with different tomato plant organs and a gradient of compositional similarity could be correlated to the distance of a given plant part from the soil. Unique bacterial phylotypes (at 95% identity) were associated with fruits and flowers of tomato plants. These include Microvirga, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas, Brachybacterium, Rhizobiales, Paracocccus, Chryseomonas and Microbacterium. The most frequently observed bacterial taxa across aerial plant regions were Pseudomonas and Xanthomonas

  18. Ecological Effect of Ceftaroline-Avibactam on the Normal Human Intestinal Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Rashid, Mamun-Ur; Rosenborg, Staffan; Panagiotidis, Georgios; Söderberg-Löfdal, Karin; Weintraub, Andrej

    2015-01-01

    Ceftaroline-avibactam is a new combination of the antibiotic ceftaroline with a novel non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor, avibactam. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of ceftaroline-avibactam on the human intestinal microbiota. Fourteen healthy volunteers received ceftaroline-avibactam (600 mg ceftaroline fosamil and 600 mg avibactam) intravenously over 2 h every 8 h on days 1 to 6 and as a single dose on day 7. Fecal samples were collected on day −1 (within 24 h of the first infusion on day 1) and on days 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 21. Escherichia coli numbers decreased during the study and normalized on day 21. An increased number of Klebsiella bacteria appeared on day 14 and normalized on day 21. The number of other enterobacteria decreased during the study, and the number of enterococci decreased from days 2 to 7 and normalized on day 9. Candida numbers increased from days 5 to 9 and normalized after day 14. The number of lactobacilli decreased during the study and recovered on day 14. The number of bifidobacteria decreased on day 2 and normalized on day 21. The number of Bacteroides bacteria was unchanged. Clostridium difficile numbers decreased on days 7 and 9 and increased on days 14 and 21. A toxigenic C. difficile strain was detected in one volunteer on day 21 with no reported adverse events. Plasma samples were collected on days −1, 2, 5, and 7. Ceftaroline and avibactam concentrations were 0 to 34.5 mg/liter and 0 to 61.6 mg/liter, respectively, in plasma and 0 to 35.4 mg/kg and 0 to 98.5 mg/kg, respectively, in feces. (This study is registered in the European Clinical Trials Database [https://eudract.ema.europa.eu/] under number EudraCT 2012 004921-25.) PMID:25987638

  19. Ecological Effect of Ceftaroline-Avibactam on the Normal Human Intestinal Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Mamun-Ur; Rosenborg, Staffan; Panagiotidis, Georgios; Söderberg-Löfdal, Karin; Weintraub, Andrej; Nord, Carl Erik

    2015-08-01

    Ceftaroline-avibactam is a new combination of the antibiotic ceftaroline with a novel non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor, avibactam. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of ceftaroline-avibactam on the human intestinal microbiota. Fourteen healthy volunteers received ceftaroline-avibactam (600 mg ceftaroline fosamil and 600 mg avibactam) intravenously over 2 h every 8 h on days 1 to 6 and as a single dose on day 7. Fecal samples were collected on day -1 (within 24 h of the first infusion on day 1) and on days 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 21. Escherichia coli numbers decreased during the study and normalized on day 21. An increased number of Klebsiella bacteria appeared on day 14 and normalized on day 21. The number of other enterobacteria decreased during the study, and the number of enterococci decreased from days 2 to 7 and normalized on day 9. Candida numbers increased from days 5 to 9 and normalized after day 14. The number of lactobacilli decreased during the study and recovered on day 14. The number of bifidobacteria decreased on day 2 and normalized on day 21. The number of Bacteroides bacteria was unchanged. Clostridium difficile numbers decreased on days 7 and 9 and increased on days 14 and 21. A toxigenic C. difficile strain was detected in one volunteer on day 21 with no reported adverse events. Plasma samples were collected on days -1, 2, 5, and 7. Ceftaroline and avibactam concentrations were 0 to 34.5 mg/liter and 0 to 61.6 mg/liter, respectively, in plasma and 0 to 35.4 mg/kg and 0 to 98.5 mg/kg, respectively, in feces. (This study is registered in the European Clinical Trials Database [https://eudract.ema.europa.eu/] under number EudraCT 2012 004921-25.). PMID:25987638

  20. Interplay of nutrients and microbial metabolites in intestinal immune homeostasis: distinct and common mechanisms of immune regulation in the small bowel and colon.

    PubMed

    Perrigoue, Jacqueline; Das, Anuk; Mora, J Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal mucosa is the largest body surface exposed to the environment. While there are common features when comparing immune responses along the intestinal mucosa, the small bowel and colon exhibit striking differences in their mechanisms driving immune regulation. The vitamin A (VA) metabolite all-trans retinoic acid (RA) signaling via RA nuclear receptors plays a key role in immune homeostasis in the small bowel, and recent work indicates that RA is required for establishing immune tolerance to dietary antigens in the upper intestinal tract by inducing α4β7(+)CCR9(+) gut-tropic TREG. In contrast, microbiota-specific TREG in the colon do not appear to require RA, but can be regulated by short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), microbial metabolites that signal through the G protein-coupled receptor GPR43. Moreover, TREG do not need CCR9 to home to the colon, but utilize another G protein-coupled receptor, GPR15, which is upregulated by SCFA. Thus, the mechanisms governing intestinal tolerance to dietary antigens in the upper digestive tract differ from those controlling tolerance to the microbiota in the colon, with RA and SCFA playing key complementary roles in their respective compartments. In addition to VA and SCFA, recent studies have highlighted the roles of other dietary and microbial metabolites that influence immune cell homeostasis across the small and large bowel including dietary ligands for aryl hydrocarbon receptor and microbiota-modified bile acids. Understanding the complex and dynamic interplay between dietary metabolites and commensal microbiota within the intestinal microenvironment could therefore inform novel strategies for the treatment of food allergies and inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID:25227295

  1. Ecological Effect of Solithromycin on Normal Human Oropharyngeal and Intestinal Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Rashid, Mamun-Ur; Rosenborg, Staffan; Panagiotidis, Georgios; Holm, Johan; Söderberg Löfdal, Karin; Weintraub, Andrej; Nord, Carl Erik

    2016-07-01

    Solithromycin is a new fluoroketolide. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of orally administered solithromycin on the human oropharyngeal and intestinal microbiota. Thirteen healthy volunteers (median age, 27.3 years) received oral solithromycin at 800 mg on day 1 followed by 400 mg daily on days 2 to 7. Fecal and saliva samples were collected at baseline and on days 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 21 for pharmacokinetic and microbiological analyses. Plasma samples were collected predose on days 2, 5, and 7 as proof of exposure, and solithromycin concentration ranges were 21.9 to 258 ng/ml, 18.0 to 386 ng/ml, and 16.9 to 417 ng/ml, respectively. The solithromycin concentrations in feces were 15.8 to 65.4 mg/kg, 24.5 to 82.7 mg/kg, 21.4 to 82.7 mg/kg, 12.1 to 72.4 mg/kg, 0.2 to 25.6 mg/kg, and 0 to 0.5 mg/kg on days 2, 5, 7, 9, 14, and 21, respectively. The numbers of enterobacteria and enterococci decreased and were normalized on day 14. The numbers of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria decreased from day 2 to day 14 and were normalized on day 21. The clostridia decreased on days 2, 7, and 14 and were normalized on day 21. No Clostridium difficile strains or toxins were detected during the study period. The number of Bacteroides strains was not significantly changed. The solithromycin concentrations in saliva were 0 to 1.2 mg/liter, 0 to 0.5 mg/liter, 0 to 0.5 mg/liter, and 0 to 0.1 mg/liter on days 2, 5, 7, and 9, respectively. The numbers of streptococci decreased on day 2 and were normalized on day 5. The numbers of lactobacilli, prevotellae, fusobacteria, and leptotrichiae decreased from day 2 and were normalized on day 21. PMID:27139483

  2. The role of microbial diversity in the dynamics and stability of global methane consumption: microbial methane oxidation as a model-system for microbial ecology (ESF EuroDiversity METHECO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frenzel, P.; Metheco-Team

    2009-04-01

    Ecosystems collectively determine biogeochemical processes that regulate the Earth System. Loss of biodiversity is detrimental to ecosystems and therefore has been a central issue for environmental scientists. Although microorganisms form a major part of the Earth's biomass and biodiversity, and have a critical role in biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning, they do not feature highly in ongoing debates about global biodiversity loss, global change and conservations issues. The neglect of microbial diversity in conservation issues is because microbial communities are regarded as being highly redundant, omnipresent, and therefore inextinguishable. This, however, is a misconception. Recently, the application of advanced molecular techniques has indicated that microbial communities display habitat preferences and are not universally distributed. Even the highly diverse microbial communities in soils can be affected by agricultural use, indicating that genetic erosion may potentially affect these communities as well. Moreover, many important environmental functions are catalyzed by specific groups of microbes with a very narrow ecological range. Recovery of these functional microbial communities after disturbance may take decades. Even if the species making up the community do not become extinct and eventually re-colonize an environment, the function and service to the biosphere is lost long enough to exert permanent, irreversible damage to the environment. Considering the global importance of microbes, combined with our ignorance of how the composition and functioning of these communities is affected, necessitates the assessment of the vulnerability and the resilience of microbial diversity. The latter is a pressing concern in biodiversity research and conservation policy, urgently needing attention in order to be able to anticipate environmental challenges we are facing. Our general hypothesis is: microbial diversity is linked to important ecosystem services and

  3. LIPID ANALYSIS TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF A SOURCE REMEDIAL TECHNOLOGY IN MICROBIAL ECOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial community structures and related changes in the subsurface environment were investigated following in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) treatment at Launch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida. The site has dense non-aqueous phase (DNAPL) concentrations of TCE ...

  4. Plate-Dilution Frequency Technique for Assay of Microbial Ecology1

    PubMed Central

    Harris, R. F.; Sommers, L. E.

    1968-01-01

    The plate-dilution frequency technique described facilitates simultaneous enumeration of a wide range of physiologically different microorganisms in complex systems with a precision comparable to dilution tube (most probable number) methods. Replicate microsamples are inoculated from each member of a dilution series onto areas delineated on plates of prepoured solid media; the plates are incubated, and the occurrence of growth or specific biochemical transformation is recorded for each inoculated area. Microbial enumeration is accomplished by reference to appropriate tables. Details of the experimental procedures are described, and tables are presented from which microbial numbers with 95% confidence limits can be obtained and compared for significant difference directly for 10-fold and 4-fold dilution series. Results of experiments in which microbial populations were estimated simultaneously by the plate-dilution frequency and conventional plate count methods are compared. The potential of the technique for broad-spectrum microbial assay is also discussed. Images Fig. 1 PMID:4868864

  5. Microbial Ecology of Four Coral Atolls in the Northern Line Islands

    PubMed Central

    Smriga, Steven; Edwards, Robert A.; Angly, Florent; Wegley, Linda; Hatay, Mark; Hall, Dana; Brown, Elysa; Haynes, Matthew; Krause, Lutz; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A.; Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Willis, Bette L.; Azam, Farooq; Knowlton, Nancy; Rohwer, Forest

    2008-01-01

    Microbes are key players in both healthy and degraded coral reefs. A combination of metagenomics, microscopy, culturing, and water chemistry were used to characterize microbial communities on four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands, central Pacific. Kingman, a small uninhabited atoll which lies most northerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of an open ocean ecosystem. On this atoll the microbial community was equally divided between autotrophs (mostly Prochlorococcus spp.) and heterotrophs. In contrast, Kiritimati, a large and populated (∼5500 people) atoll, which is most southerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of a near-shore environment. On Kiritimati, there were 10 times more microbial cells and virus-like particles in the water column and these microbes were dominated by heterotrophs, including a large percentage of potential pathogens. Culturable Vibrios were common only on Kiritimati. The benthic community on Kiritimati had the highest prevalence of coral disease and lowest coral cover. The middle atolls, Palmyra and Tabuaeran, had intermediate densities of microbes and viruses and higher percentages of autotrophic microbes than either Kingman or Kiritimati. The differences in microbial communities across atolls could reflect variation in 1) oceaonographic and/or hydrographic conditions or 2) human impacts associated with land-use and fishing. The fact that historically Kingman and Kiritimati did not differ strongly in their fish or benthic communities (both had large numbers of sharks and high coral cover) suggest an anthropogenic component in the differences in the microbial communities. Kingman is one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, and this dataset should serve as a baseline for future studies of coral reef microbes. Obtaining the microbial data set, from atolls is particularly important given the association of microbes in the ongoing degradation of coral reef ecosystems

  6. Use of Metabolic Inhibitors to Characterize Ecological Interactions in an Estuarine Microbial Food Web.

    PubMed

    DeLorenzo, M.E.; Lewitus, A.J.; Scott, G.I.; Ross, P.E.

    2001-10-01

    Understanding microbial food web dynamics is complicated by the multitude of competitive or interdependent trophic interactions involved in material and energy flow. Metabolic inhibitors can be used to gain information on the relative importance of trophic pathways by uncoupling selected microbial components and examining the net effect on ecosystem structure and function. A eukaryotic growth inhibitor (cycloheximide), a prokaryotic growth inhibitor (antibiotic mixture), and an inhibitor of photosynthesis (DCMU) were used to examine the trophodynamics of microbial communities from the tidal creek in North Inlet, a salt marsh estuary near Georgetown, South Carolina. Natural microbial communities were collected in the spring, summer, and fall after colonization onto polyurethane foam substrates deployed in the tidal creek. Bacterial abundance and productivity, heterotrophic ciliate and flagellate abundance, and phototrophic productivity, biomass, and biovolume were measured at five time points after inhibitor additions. The trophic responses of the estuarine microbial food web to metabolic inhibitors varied with season. In the summer, a close interdependency among phototrophs, bacteria, and protozoa was indicated, and the important influence of microzooplanktonic nutrient recycling was evident (i.e., a positive feedback loop). In the fall, phototroph and bacteria interactions were competitive rather than interdependent, and grazer nutrient regeneration did not appear to be an important regulatory factor for bacterial or phototrophic activities. The results indicate a seasonal shift in microbial food web structure and function in North Inlet, from a summer community characterized by microbial loop dynamics to a more linear trophic system in the fall. This study stresses the important role of microbial loops in driving primary and secondary production in estuaries such as North Inlet that are tidally dominated by fluctuations in nutrient supply and a summer

  7. Microbial ecology of four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands.

    PubMed

    Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Pantos, Olga; Smriga, Steven; Edwards, Robert A; Angly, Florent; Wegley, Linda; Hatay, Mark; Hall, Dana; Brown, Elysa; Haynes, Matthew; Krause, Lutz; Sala, Enric; Sandin, Stuart A; Thurber, Rebecca Vega; Willis, Bette L; Azam, Farooq; Knowlton, Nancy; Rohwer, Forest

    2008-01-01

    Microbes are key players in both healthy and degraded coral reefs. A combination of metagenomics, microscopy, culturing, and water chemistry were used to characterize microbial communities on four coral atolls in the Northern Line Islands, central Pacific. Kingman, a small uninhabited atoll which lies most northerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of an open ocean ecosystem. On this atoll the microbial community was equally divided between autotrophs (mostly Prochlorococcus spp.) and heterotrophs. In contrast, Kiritimati, a large and populated ( approximately 5500 people) atoll, which is most southerly in the chain, had microbial and water chemistry characteristic of a near-shore environment. On Kiritimati, there were 10 times more microbial cells and virus-like particles in the water column and these microbes were dominated by heterotrophs, including a large percentage of potential pathogens. Culturable Vibrios were common only on Kiritimati. The benthic community on Kiritimati had the highest prevalence of coral disease and lowest coral cover. The middle atolls, Palmyra and Tabuaeran, had intermediate densities of microbes and viruses and higher percentages of autotrophic microbes than either Kingman or Kiritimati. The differences in microbial communities across atolls could reflect variation in 1) oceaonographic and/or hydrographic conditions or 2) human impacts associated with land-use and fishing. The fact that historically Kingman and Kiritimati did not differ strongly in their fish or benthic communities (both had large numbers of sharks and high coral cover) suggest an anthropogenic component in the differences in the microbial communities. Kingman is one of the world's most pristine coral reefs, and this dataset should serve as a baseline for future studies of coral reef microbes. Obtaining the microbial data set, from atolls is particularly important given the association of microbes in the ongoing degradation of coral reef

  8. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities

    SciTech Connect

    Reeve, Jennifer; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Kang, S.; Zhou, Jizhong; Reganold, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes.

  9. Effects of soil type and farm management on soil ecological functional genes and microbial activities.

    PubMed

    Reeve, Jennifer R; Schadt, Christopher W; Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne; Kang, Sanghoon; Zhou, Jizhong; Reganold, John P

    2010-09-01

    Relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil function are the subject of much debate. Process-level analyses have shown that microbial function varies with soil type and responds to soil management. However, such measurements cannot determine the role of community structure and diversity in soil function. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of gene frequency and diversity, measured by microarray analysis, on soil processes. The study was conducted in an agro-ecosystem characterized by contrasting management practices and soil types. Eight pairs of adjacent commercial organic and conventional strawberry fields were matched for soil type, strawberry variety, and all other environmental conditions. Soil physical, chemical and biological analyses were conducted including functional gene microarrays (FGA). Soil physical and chemical characteristics were primarily determined by soil textural type (coarse vs fine-textured), but biological and FGA measures were more influenced by management (organic vs conventional). Organically managed soils consistently showed greater functional activity as well as FGA signal intensity (SI) and diversity. Overall FGA SI and diversity were correlated to total soil microbial biomass. Functional gene group SI and/or diversity were correlated to related soil chemical and biological measures such as microbial biomass, cellulose, dehydrogenase, ammonium and sulfur. Management was the dominant determinant of soil biology as measured by microbial gene frequency and diversity, which paralleled measured microbial processes. PMID:20376100

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26648929