ResearchPad - microbial-genomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Broilers divergently selected for digestibility differ for their digestive microbial ecosystems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15757 Improving the digestive efficiency of broiler chickens (Gallus gallus) could reduce organic waste, increase the use of alternative feed not used for human consumption and reduce the impact of feed in production costs. By selecting chicken lines divergently for their digestive efficiency, we showed previously that digestive efficiency is under genetic control and that the two resulting divergent lines, D+ (high digestive efficiency or “digestibility +”) and D- (low digestive efficiency or “digestibility -”), also differ for the abundance of specific bacteria in their caeca. Here we perform a more extensive census of the bacteria present in the digestive microbiota of 60 chickens selected for their low apparent metabolizable energy corrected for nitrogen balance (AMEn-) or high (AMEn+) digestive efficiency in a [D+ x D-] F8 progeny of 200 individuals. We sequenced the 16S rRNA genes of the ileal, jejunal and caecal microbiotas, and compared the compositions and predicted functions of microbiotas from the different intestinal segments for 20 AMEn+ and 19 AMEn- birds. The intestinal segment of origin was the main factor structuring the samples. The caecal microbiota was the most impacted by the differences in digestive efficiency, with 41 bacterial species with abundances differing between highly and poorly efficient birds. Furthermore, we predicted that the caecal microbiota of efficient birds might be enriched in genes contributing to the degradation of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) from non-starch polysaccharides. These results confirm the impact of the genetic selection led on digestibility on the caecal microbiota taxonomic composition. They open the way toward the identification of specific, causal genes of the host controlling variations in the abundances of bacterial taxons.

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<![CDATA[Factors affecting the microbiome of <i>Ixodes scapularis</i> and <i>Amblyomma americanum</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14701 The microbial community composition of disease vectors can impact pathogen establishment and transmission as well as on vector behavior and fitness. While data on vector microbiota are accumulating quickly, determinants of the variation in disease vector microbial communities are incompletely understood. We explored the microbiome of two human-biting tick species abundant in eastern North America (Amblyomma americanum and Ixodes scapularis) to identify the relative contribution of tick species, tick life stage, tick sex, environmental context and vertical transmission to the richness, diversity, and species composition of the tick microbiome. We sampled 89 adult and nymphal Ixodes scapularis (N = 49) and Amblyomma americanum (N = 40) from two field sites and characterized the microbiome of each individual using the v3-v4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. We identified significant variation in microbial community composition due to tick species and life stage with lesser impact of sampling site. Compared to unfed nymphs and males, the microbiome of engorged adult female I. scapularis, as well as the egg masses they produced, were low in bacterial richness and diversity and were dominated by Rickettsia, suggesting strong vertical transmission of this genus. Likewise, microbiota of A. americanum nymphs and males were more diverse than those of adult females. Among bacteria of public health importance, we detected several different Rickettsia sequence types, several of which were distinct from known species. Borrelia was relatively common in I. scapularis but did not show the same level of sequence variation as Rickettsia. Several bacterial genera were significantly over-represented in Borrelia-infected I. scapularis, suggesting a potential interaction of facilitative relationship between these taxa; no OTUs were under-represented in Borrelia-infected ticks. The systematic sampling we conducted for this study allowed us to partition the variation in tick microbial composition as a function of tick- and environmentally-related factors. Upon more complete understanding of the forces that shape the tick microbiome it will be possible to design targeted experimental studies to test the impacts of individual taxa and suites of microbes on vector-borne pathogen transmission and on vector biology.

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<![CDATA[Patients infected with <i>Mycobacterium africanum</i> versus <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> possess distinct intestinal microbiota]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13847 Mycobacterium africanum (MAF) is a hypovirulent mycobacterium species that is co-endemic with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in West Africa and is selectively responsible for up to half the tuberculosis cases in this region. Why some individuals become infected with MAF versus MTB is unclear but has been suggested to be determined by differential host immune competency. Since the microbiome has now been implicated in numerous studies to generally influence host resistance to disease, we investigated whether differences in the intestinal microbiota might associate with MAF as compared with MTB infection. This report presents the first analysis of the intestinal microbiome of MAF-infected subjects as well as a comparison with the microbiota of co-endemic MTB patients and reveals that the microbiota of individuals with MAF infection display both decreased diversity and distinct differences in microbial taxa when compared to both MTB-infected and healthy controls. Furthermore, our data reveal for the first time in TB patients a correlation between the abundance of certain taxa and host blood transcriptional changes related to immune function. Our study also establishes that antibiotic treatment induces parallel changes in the gut microbiota of MAF- and MTB-infected patients. Although not directly addressed in the present study, the findings presented here raise the possibility that the microbiota or other host physiologic or immune factors closely associated with it may be a factor underlying the differential susceptibility of West Africans to MAF infection. In addition, the data identify certain commensal taxa that could be tested in future studies as specific determinants of this association.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a novel archaea virus, detected in hydrocarbon polluted Hungarian and Canadian samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5489318a-3499-4862-9afc-2378cea7eecb

Metagenomics is a helpful tool for the analysis of unculturable organisms and viruses. Viruses that target bacteria and archaea play important roles in the microbial diversity of various ecosystems. Here we show that Methanosarcina virus MV (MetMV), the second Methanosarcina sp. virus with a completely determined genome, is characteristic of hydrocarbon pollution in environmental (soil and water) samples. It was highly abundant in Hungarian hydrocarbon polluted samples and its genome was also present in the NCBI SRA database containing reads from hydrocarbon polluted samples collected in Canada, indicating the stability of its niche and the marker feature of this virus. MetMV, as the only currently identified marker virus for pollution in environmental samples, could contribute to the understanding of the complicated network of prokaryotes and their viruses driving the decomposition of environmental pollutants.

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<![CDATA[Mapping the coevolution, leadership and financing of research on viral vectors, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas9 and other genomic editing technologies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5b989351-f842-4a35-9237-928ff4c9c806

Genomic editing technologies are developing rapidly, promising significant developments for biomedicine, agriculture and other fields. In the present investigation, we analyzed and compared the process of innovation for six genomic technologies: viral vectors, RNAi, TALENs, meganucleases, ZFNs and CRISPR/Cas including the profile of the main research institutions and their funders, to understand how innovation evolved and what institutions influenced research trajectories. A Web of Science search of papers on viral vectors RNAi, CRISPR/Cas, TALENs, ZFNs and meganucleases was used to build a citation network of 16,746 papers. An analysis of network clustering combined with text mining was performed. For viral vectors, a long-term process of incremental innovation was identified, which was largely publicly funded in the United States and the European Union. The trajectory of RNAi research included clusters related to the study of RNAi as a biological phenomenon and its use in functional genomics, biomedicine and pest control. A British philanthropic organization and a US pharmaceutical company played a key role in the development of basic RNAi research and clinical application respectively, in addition to government and academic institutions. In the case of CRISPR/Cas research, basic science discoveries led to the technical improvements, and these two in turn provided the information required for the development of biomedical, agricultural, livestock and industrial applications. The trajectory of CRISPR/Cas research exhibits a geopolitical division of the investigation efforts between the US, as the main producer and funder of basic research and technical improvements, and Chinese research institutions increasingly leading applied research. Our results reflect a change in the model for financing science, with reduced public financing for basic science and applied research on publicly funded technological developments in the US, and the emergence of China as a scientific superpower, with implications for the development of applications of genomic technologies.

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<![CDATA[Functional dynamics of bacterial species in the mouse gut microbiome revealed by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74c1e0c6-8f1d-4282-af8e-273065d64236

Background

Microbial communities of the mouse gut have been extensively studied; however, their functional roles and regulation are yet to be elucidated. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses may allow us a comprehensive profiling of bacterial composition and functions of the complex gut microbiota. The present study aimed to investigate the active functions of the microbial communities in the murine cecum by analyzing both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data on specific bacterial species within the microbial communities, in addition to the whole microbiome.

Results

Bacterial composition of the healthy mouse gut microbiome was profiled using the following three different approaches: 16S rRNA-based profiling based on amplicon and shotgun sequencing data, and genome-based profiling based on shotgun sequencing data. Consistently, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Deferribacteres emerged as the major phyla. Based on NCBI taxonomy, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae were the predominant families identified in each phylum. The genes for carbohydrate metabolism were upregulated in Muribaculaceae, while genes for cofactors and vitamin metabolism and amino acid metabolism were upregulated in Deferribacteraceae. The genes for translation were commonly enhanced in all three families. Notably, combined analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing data revealed that the functions of translation and metabolism were largely upregulated in all three families in the mouse gut environment. The ratio of the genes in the metagenome and their expression in the metatranscriptome indicated higher expression of carbohydrate metabolism in Muribaculum, Duncaniella, and Mucispirillum.

Conclusions

We demonstrated a fundamental methodology for linking genomic and transcriptomic datasets to examine functional activities of specific bacterial species in a complicated microbial environment. We investigated the normal flora of the mouse gut using three different approaches and identified Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae as the predominant families. The functional distribution of these families was reflected in the entire microbiome. By comparing the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, we found that the expression rates differed for different functional categories in the mouse gut environment. Application of these methods to track microbial transcription in individuals over time, or before and after administration of a specific stimulus will significantly facilitate future development of diagnostics and treatments.

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<![CDATA[Diversity of A(H5N1) clade 2.3.2.1c avian influenza viruses with evidence of reassortment in Cambodia, 2014-2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf51e501a-7d3b-493b-bbd9-bf4dbc27c932

In Cambodia, highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) subtype viruses circulate endemically causing poultry outbreaks and zoonotic human cases. To investigate the genomic diversity and development of endemicity of the predominantly circulating clade 2.3.2.1c A(H5N1) viruses, we characterised 68 AIVs detected in poultry, the environment and from a single human A(H5N1) case from January 2014 to December 2016. Full genomes were generated for 42 A(H5N1) viruses. Phylogenetic analysis shows that five clade 2.3.2.1c genotypes, designated KH1 to KH5, were circulating in Cambodia during this period. The genotypes arose through multiple reassortment events with the neuraminidase (NA) and internal genes belonging to H5N1 clade 2.3.2.1a, clade 2.3.2.1b or A(H9N2) lineages. Phylogenies suggest that the Cambodian AIVs were derived from viruses circulating between Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry. Molecular analyses show that these viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) gene substitutions D94N, S133A, S155N, T156A, T188I and K189R known to increase binding to the human-type α2,6-linked sialic acid receptors. Two A(H5N1) viruses displayed the M2 gene S31N or A30T substitutions indicative of adamantane resistance, however, susceptibility testing towards neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir, lananmivir and peramivir) of a subset of thirty clade 2.3.2.1c viruses showed susceptibility to all four drugs. This study shows that A(H5N1) viruses continue to reassort with other A(H5N1) and A(H9N2) viruses that are endemic in the region, highlighting the risk of introduction and emergence of novel A(H5N1) genotypes in Cambodia.

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<![CDATA[The evolution and genetic diversity of avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses in Cambodia, 2015 – 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncf402c92-86f9-4684-b431-03c7c64bd7da

Low pathogenic A(H9N2) subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) were originally detected in Cambodian poultry in 2013, and now circulate endemically. We sequenced and characterised 64 A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian poultry (chickens and ducks) from January 2015 to May 2016. All A(H9) viruses collected in 2015 and 2016 belonged to a new BJ/94-like h9-4.2.5 sub-lineage that emerged in the region during or after 2013, and was distinct to previously detected Cambodian viruses. Overall, there was a reduction of genetic diversity of H9N2 since 2013, however two genotypes were detected in circulation, P and V, with extensive reassortment between the viruses. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship between A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry, highlighting cross-border trade/movement of live, domestic poultry between the countries. Wild birds may also play a role in A(H9N2) transmission in the region. Some genes of the Cambodian isolates frequently clustered with zoonotic A(H7N9), A(H9N2) and A(H10N8) viruses, suggesting a common ecology. Molecular analysis showed 100% of viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) Q226L substitution, which favours mammalian receptor type binding. All viruses were susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals; however, 41% contained the matrix (M2) S31N substitution associated with resistance to adamantanes. Overall, Cambodian A(H9N2) viruses possessed factors known to increase zoonotic potential, and therefore their evolution should be continually monitored.

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<![CDATA[Split green fluorescent protein as a tool to study infection with a plant pathogen, Cauliflower mosaic virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897773d5eed0c4847d2d2c

The split GFP technique is based on the auto-assembly of GFP when two polypeptides–GFP1-10 (residues 1–214; the detector) and GFP11 (residues 215–230; the tag)–both non-fluorescing on their own, associate spontaneously to form a fluorescent molecule. We evaluated this technique for its efficacy in contributing to the characterization of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) infection. A recombinant CaMV with GFP11 fused to the viral protein P6 (a key player in CaMV infection and major constituent of viral factory inclusions that arise during infection) was constructed and used to inoculate transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing GFP1-10. The mutant virus (CaMV11P6) was infectious, aphid-transmissible and the insertion was stable over many passages. Symptoms on infected plants were delayed and milder. Viral protein accumulation, especially of recombinant 11P6, was greatly decreased, impeding its detection early in infection. Nonetheless, spread of infection from the inoculated leaf to other leaves was followed by whole plant imaging. Infected cells displayed in real time confocal laser scanning microscopy fluorescence in wild type-looking virus factories. Thus, it allowed for the first time to track a CaMV protein in vivo in the context of an authentic infection. 11P6 was immunoprecipitated with anti-GFP nanobodies, presenting a new application for the split GFP system in protein-protein interaction assays and proteomics. Taken together, split GFP can be an attractive alternative to using the entire GFP for protein tagging.

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<![CDATA[Contact with adult hen affects development of caecal microbiota in newly hatched chicks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977aad5eed0c4847d32a0

Chickens in commercial production are hatched in a clean hatchery environment in the absence of any contact with adult hens. However, Gallus gallus evolved to be hatched in a nest in contact with an adult hen which may act as a donor of gut microbiota. In this study, we therefore addressed the issue of microbiota development in newly hatched chickens with or without contact with an adult hen. We found that a mere 24-hour-long contact between a hen and newly hatched chickens was long enough for transfer of hen gut microbiota to chickens. Hens were efficient donors of Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria. However, except for genus Faecalibacterium and bacterial species belonging to class Negativicutes, hens did not act as an important source of Gram-positive Firmicutes. Though common to the chicken intestinal tract, Lactobacilli and isolates from families Erysipelotrichaceae, Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae therefore originated from environmental sources instead of from the hens. These observation may have considerable consequences for the evidence-based design of the new generation of probiotics for poultry.

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<![CDATA[The Bos taurus maternal microbiome: Role in determining the progeny early-life upper respiratory tract microbiome and health]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89770cd5eed0c4847d233e

Natural transference of maternal microbes to the neonate, especially at birth via the vaginal canal, has recently been recognized in humans and cows; however, its microbial influence on calf health has not yet been documented. We compared the bacterial communities in vaginal and fecal samples from 81 pregnant dairy cows versus those in nasopharyngeal and fecal samples collected at 3, 14 and 35 days of life from their respective progeny. The microbiota of the calf upper respiratory tract (URT), regardless of calf age, was found to be highly similar to the maternal vaginal microbiota. Calf fecal microbiota clustered closely to the maternal fecal microbiota, progressing toward an adult-like state over the first 35 days when relative abundances of taxa were considered. Sixty-four, 65 and 87% of the detected OTUs were shared between cow and calf fecal microbiota at days 3, 14 and 35 respectively, whereas 73, 76 and 87% were shared between maternal vaginal microbiome and calf URT microbiota at days 3, 14 and 35, respectively. Bacteroidetes, Ruminococcus, Clostridium, and Blautia were the top four genera identified in maternal and calf fecal samples. Mannheimia, Moraxella, Bacteroides, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas were the top five genera identified in maternal vaginal and calf URT samples. Mannheimia was relatively more abundant in the vaginal microbiota of cows whose progeny were diagnosed with respiratory and middle ear disease. Our results indicate that maternal vaginal microbiota potentially influences the initial bacterial colonization of the calf URT, and that might have an important impact on the health of the calf respiratory tract and middle ear.

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<![CDATA[PML nuclear body-residing proteins sequentially associate with HPV genome after infectious nuclear delivery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95e9d5eed0c484734f7e

Subnuclear promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies (NBs) are targeted by many DNA viruses after nuclear delivery. PML protein is essential for formation of PML NBs. Sp100 and Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier (SUMO) are also permanently residing within PML NBs. Often, large DNA viruses disassemble and reorganize PML NBs to counteract their intrinsic antiviral activity and support establishment of infection. However, human papillomavirus (HPV) requires PML protein to retain incoming viral DNA in the nucleus for subsequent efficient transcription. In contrast, Sp100 was identified as a restriction factor for HPV. These findings suggested that PML NBs are important regulators of early stages of the HPV life cycle. Nuclear delivery of incoming HPV DNA requires mitosis. Viral particles are retained within membrane-bound transport vesicles throughout mitosis. The viral genome is released from transport vesicles by an unknown mechanism several hours after nuclear envelope reformation. The minor capsid protein L2 mediates intracellular transport by becoming transmembranous in the endocytic compartment. Herein, we tested our hypothesis that PML protein is recruited to incoming viral genome prior to egress from transport vesicles. High-resolution microscopy revealed that PML protein, SUMO-1, and Sp100 are recruited to incoming viral genomes, rather than viral genomes being targeted to preformed PML NBs. Differential immunofluorescent staining suggested that PML protein and SUMO-1 associated with transport vesicles containing viral particles prior to egress, implying that recruitment is likely mediated by L2 protein. In contrast, Sp100 recruitment to HPV-harboring PML NBs occurred after release of viral genomes from transport vesicles. The delayed recruitment of Sp100 is specific for HPV-associated PML NBs. These data suggest that the virus continuously resides within a protective environment until the transport vesicle breaks down in late G1 phase and imply that HPV might modulate PML NB assembly to achieve establishment of infection and the shift to viral maintenance.

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<![CDATA[Nitrogen- and phosphorus-starved Triticum aestivum show distinct belowground microbiome profiles]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe27d5eed0c484e5b5dd

Many plants have natural partnerships with microbes that can boost their nitrogen (N) and/or phosphorus (P) acquisition. To assess whether wheat may have undiscovered associations of these types, we tested if N/P-starved Triticum aestivum show microbiome profiles that are simultaneously different from those of N/P-amended plants and those of their own bulk soils. The bacterial and fungal communities of root, rhizosphere, and bulk soil samples from the Historical Dryland Plots (Lethbridge, Canada), which hold T. aestivum that is grown both under N/P fertilization and in conditions of extreme N/P-starvation, were taxonomically described and compared (bacterial 16S rRNA genes and fungal Internal Transcribed Spacers—ITS). As the list may include novel N- and/or P-providing wheat partners, we then identified all the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that were proportionally enriched in one or more of the nutrient starvation- and plant-specific communities. These analyses revealed: a) distinct N-starvation root and rhizosphere bacterial communities that were proportionally enriched, among others, in OTUs belonging to families Enterobacteriaceae, Chitinophagaceae, Comamonadaceae, Caulobacteraceae, Cytophagaceae, Streptomycetaceae, b) distinct N-starvation root fungal communities that were proportionally enriched in OTUs belonging to taxa Lulworthia, Sordariomycetes, Apodus, Conocybe, Ascomycota, Crocicreas, c) a distinct P-starvation rhizosphere bacterial community that was proportionally enriched in an OTU belonging to genus Agrobacterium, and d) a distinct P-starvation root fungal community that was proportionally enriched in OTUs belonging to genera Parastagonospora and Phaeosphaeriopsis. Our study might have exposed wheat-microbe connections that can form the basis of novel complementary yield-boosting tools.

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<![CDATA[Composition of gut microbiota in patients with toxigenic Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile: Comparison between subgroups according to clinical criteria and toxin gene load]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe10d5eed0c484e5b3f2

Data concerning the human microbiota composition during Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection (CDI) using next-generation sequencing are still limited. We aimed to confirm key features indicating tcdB positive patients and compare the microbiota composition between subgroups based on toxin gene load (tcdB gene) and presence of significant diarrhea. Ninety-nine fecal samples from 79 tcdB positive patients and 20 controls were analyzed using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Chao1 index for alpha diversity were calculated and principal coordinate analysis was performed for beta diversity using Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) pipeline. The mean relative abundance in each group was compared at phylum, family, and genus levels. There were significant alterations in alpha and beta diversity in tcdB positive patients (both colonizer and CDI) compared with those in the control. The mean Chao1 index of tcdB positive patients was significantly lower than the control group (P<0.001), whereas there was no significant difference between tcdB groups and between colonizer and CDI. There were significant differences in microbiota compositions between tcdB positive patients and the control at phylum, family, and genus levels. Several genera such as Phascolarctobacterium, Lachnospira, Butyricimonas, Catenibacterium, Paraprevotella, Odoribacter, and Anaerostipes were not detected in most CDI cases. We identified several changes in the microbiota of CDI that could be further evaluated as predictive markers. Microbiota differences between clinical subgroups of CDI need to be further studied in larger controlled studies.

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<![CDATA[Experimental evolution reveals microbial traits for association with the host gut]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8f7d5eed0c48496f520

Understanding how microbes adapt to their host is an enduring problem in microbiome ecology, and understanding the microbial traits that allow colonization of the host and increase adaptation to the host environment is of particular interest. In this study, Robinson and colleagues use experimental evolution to demonstrate adaptation of a commensal bacterium to its zebrafish host and describe the changes in phenotype that emerge during this evolutionary process. These results provide insight into the evolutionary problem of host adaptation and demonstrate the utility of simple models for understanding host–microbiome dynamics.

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<![CDATA[A unified framework for unconstrained and constrained ordination of microbiome read count data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9a3d5eed0c484529f4e

Explorative visualization techniques provide a first summary of microbiome read count datasets through dimension reduction. A plethora of dimension reduction methods exists, but many of them focus primarily on sample ordination, failing to elucidate the role of the bacterial species. Moreover, implicit but often unrealistic assumptions underlying these methods fail to account for overdispersion and differences in sequencing depth, which are two typical characteristics of sequencing data. We combine log-linear models with a dispersion estimation algorithm and flexible response function modelling into a framework for unconstrained and constrained ordination. The method is able to cope with differences in dispersion between taxa and varying sequencing depths, to yield meaningful biological patterns. Moreover, it can correct for observed technical confounders, whereas other methods are adversely affected by these artefacts. Unlike distance-based ordination methods, the assumptions underlying our method are stated explicitly and can be verified using simple diagnostics. The combination of unconstrained and constrained ordination in the same framework is unique in the field and facilitates microbiome data exploration. We illustrate the advantages of our method on simulated and real datasets, while pointing out flaws in existing methods. The algorithms for fitting and plotting are available in the R-package RCM.

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<![CDATA[Unlocking a high bacterial diversity in the coralloid root microbiome from the cycad genus Dioon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ccfd5eed0c484c81835

Cycads are among the few plants that have developed specialized roots to host nitrogen-fixing bacteria. We describe the bacterial diversity of the coralloid roots from seven Dioon species and their surrounding rhizosphere and soil. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, we found that all coralloid roots are inhabited by a broad diversity of bacterial groups, including cyanobacteria and Rhizobiales among the most abundant groups. The diversity and composition of the endophytes are similar in the six Mexican species of Dioon that we evaluated, suggesting a recent divergence of Dioon populations and/or similar plant-driven restrictions in maintaining the coralloid root microbiome. Botanical garden samples and natural populations have a similar taxonomic composition, although the beta diversity differed between these populations. The rhizosphere surrounding the coralloid root serves as a reservoir and source of mostly diazotroph and plant growth-promoting groups that colonize the coralloid endosphere. In the case of cyanobacteria, the endosphere is enriched with Nostoc spp and Calothrix spp that are closely related to previously reported symbiont genera in cycads and other early divergent plants. The data reported here provide an in-depth taxonomic characterization of the bacterial community associated with coralloid root microbiome. The functional aspects of the endophytes, their biological interactions, and their evolutionary history are the next research step in this recently discovered diversity within the cycad coralloid root microbiome.

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<![CDATA[Learning the sequence of influenza A genome assembly during viral replication using point process models and fluorescence in situ hybridization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d65ed5eed0c484031d18

Within influenza virus infected cells, viral genomic RNA are selectively packed into progeny virions, which predominantly contain a single copy of 8 viral RNA segments. Intersegmental RNA-RNA interactions are thought to mediate selective packaging of each viral ribonucleoprotein complex (vRNP). Clear evidence of a specific interaction network culminating in the full genomic set has yet to be identified. Using multi-color fluorescence in situ hybridization to visualize four vRNP segments within a single cell, we developed image-based models of vRNP-vRNP spatial dependence. These models were used to construct likely sequences of vRNP associations resulting in the full genomic set. Our results support the notion that selective packaging occurs during cytoplasmic transport and identifies the formation of multiple distinct vRNP sub-complexes that likely form as intermediate steps toward full genomic inclusion into a progeny virion. The methods employed demonstrate a statistically driven, model based approach applicable to other interaction and assembly problems.

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<![CDATA[A single alcohol binge impacts on neutrophil function without changes in gut barrier function and gut microbiome composition in healthy volunteers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df322d5eed0c484580d6e

Alcohol binge drinking is a dangerous drinking habit, associated with neurological problems and inflammation. The impact of a single alcohol binge on innate immunity, gut barrier and gut microbiome was studied. In this cohort study 15 healthy volunteers received 2 ml vodka 40% v/v ethanol/kg body weight. Neutrophil function was studied by flow cytometry; markers of gut permeability and inflammation (lactulose/mannitol/sucrose test, zonulin, calprotectin, diamino-oxidase) were studied with NMR spectroscopy and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in urine, stool and serum respectively. Bacterial products in serum were quantified using different reporter cell lines. Gut microbiome composition was studied by 16S rDNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. After a single alcohol binge, neutrophils were transiently primed and the response to E.coli stimulation with reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was transiently increased, on the other hand the percentage of neutrophils that did not perform phagocytosis increased. No changes in gut permeability, inflammatory biomarker, bacterial translocation and microbiome composition could be detected up to 4 hours after a single alcohol binge or on the next day. A single alcohol binge in young, healthy volunteers transiently impacts on neutrophil function. Although the exact biological consequence of this finding is not clear yet, we believe that this strengthens the importance to avoid any alcohol binge drinking, even in young, otherwise healthy persons.

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<![CDATA[Utilizing longitudinal microbiome taxonomic profiles to predict food allergy via Long Short-Term Memory networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8e9d5eed0c48496f3af

Food allergy is usually difficult to diagnose in early life, and the inability to diagnose patients with atopic diseases at an early age may lead to severe complications. Numerous studies have suggested an association between the infant gut microbiome and development of allergy. In this work, we investigated the capacity of Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks to predict food allergies in early life (0-3 years) from subjects’ longitudinal gut microbiome profiles. Using the DIABIMMUNE dataset, we show an increase in predictive power using our model compared to Hidden Markov Model, Multi-Layer Perceptron Neural Network, Support Vector Machine, Random Forest, and LASSO regression. We further evaluated whether the training of LSTM networks benefits from reduced representations of microbial features. We considered sparse autoencoder for extraction of potential latent representations in addition to standard feature selection procedures based on Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance (mRMR) and variance prior to the training of LSTM networks. The comprehensive evaluation reveals that LSTM networks with the mRMR selected features achieve significantly better performance compared to the other tested machine learning models.

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