ResearchPad - shannon-index https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Effect of forest management on tree diversity in temperate ecosystem forests in northern Mexico]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15742 An important challenge for silvicultural practices is the conservation of tree diversity while fulfilling the traditional objectives of forest management, most notably timber harvesting. The purpose of this study was to compare the tree diversity before and after the application of silvicultural treatments in a temperate forest in northern Mexico. Fifteen experimental plots, each measuring 2500 m2, were established to evaluate the immediate effect of four silvicultural treatments. These treatments were identified by their levels of management: intensive (clearcut, removal 100%), semi-intensive (removal of 59–61% of basal area), conservative (removal of 29–31% of basal area), and a control group. New forest guidelines, in contrast to conventional approaches, were applied to the semi-intensive and conservative treatments based on health and diversity conditions. Basal area, canopy cover, tree and total volume were measured in each plot. The Importance Value Index, alpha diversity, and evenness were estimated before and after treatments. Eighteen species belonging to five genera and five families were found in the study area. The species with the highest ecological values were Pinus durangensis, P. teocote, Quercus sideroxyla, and Quercus convallata with IVI numbers between 13.6 and 24.5%. Alpha diversity was intermediate (Margalef: 2.9 to 3.8), while dominance and evenness were above average compared to other studies (Simpson: 0.69 to 0.77; Shannon-Wiener: 1.44 to 1.6; Pielou: 0.76 to 0.85). The species evenness index in the conservative treatment was high (Sorensen, Jaccard, quantitative Sorensen and Morisita-Horn; 88 to 99%), although abundance decreased. Overall, there were no significant differences in IVI values and diversity indicators before and after treatments, with the exception of the clearcut treatment. When associating the diversity indices with stand variables, only the Pielou’s evenness index showed a significant relationship between them. We concluded that both the conservative and semi-intensive treatments did not generate significant changes in tree diversity, but the former had slightly higher alpha diversity indices. These results can provide a better insight on silvicultural practices and their effects on species composition.

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<![CDATA[Sensitivity analysis of agent-based simulation utilizing massively parallel computation and interactive data visualization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e3d5eed0c484639255

An essential step in the analysis of agent-based simulation is sensitivity analysis, which namely examines the dependency of parameter values on simulation results. Although a number of approaches have been proposed for sensitivity analysis, they still have limitations in exhaustivity and interpretability. In this study, we propose a novel methodology for sensitivity analysis of agent-based simulation, MASSIVE (Massively parallel Agent-based Simulations and Subsequent Interactive Visualization-based Exploration). MASSIVE takes a unique paradigm, which is completely different from those of sensitivity analysis methods developed so far, By combining massively parallel computation and interactive data visualization, MASSIVE enables us to inspect a broad parameter space intuitively. We demonstrated the utility of MASSIVE by its application to cancer evolution simulation, which successfully identified conditions that generate heterogeneous tumors. We believe that our approach would be a de facto standard for sensitivity analysis of agent-based simulation in an era of evergrowing computational technology. All the results form our MASSIVE analysis are available at https://www.hgc.jp/~niiyan/massive.

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<![CDATA[Plants used by the rural community of Bananal, Mato Grosso, Brazil: Aspects of popular knowledge]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52e9d5eed0c4842bd256

Studies in rural communities are important to maintain popular knowledge between generations, as well as to identify new species for pharmaceutical production. Thus, the objectives of this study were to determine which plant species the rural community of Bananal, Mato Grosso, Brazil, uses by calculating the levels of fidelity and concordance regarding species uses among residents and to determine if there is a relationship between the number of known useful plants and levels of education, age, and residence time. Ethnobotanical data was collected from residents of the community through semi-structured interviews in January/December/2016. Species diversity was calculated using Shannon-Wiener, Level of Fidelity (LF), Correction Factor, and the Percentage of Agreement regarding the Main Uses (AMU). Statistical tests were performed using generalized linear models (GLM) in the R environment. The plant use indications were grouped according to the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10). We found 152 species belonging to 130 genera and 67 families. The most frequently used plant parts were leaves, and decoction was the most frequent preparation mode. Strychnos pseudoquina was the species with the highest amount of use indications. The diversity index was 4.5 nats/ind-1. The body system with the most citations was the code XVIII of ICD 10, corresponding to the species: alfavaca, mentraste, terramicina, angelim, fedegoso. Medicinal species with AMU values higher than 25% were: Strychnos pseudoquina, Plectranthus barbatus, Citrus sinensis cv. pera, Cymbopogon citratus. There was a relationship between the number of useful plants and the residence time of the participants. The Bananal community revealed high species richness and the relationship of knowledge showed that the older the residents and the longer their residence time in the community, the more knowledge they acquired.

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<![CDATA[Dynamic distribution of gallbladder microbiota in rabbit at different ages and health states]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8fed5eed0c48496f5f4

The internal environment of the gallbladder has been considered extremely unfavorable for bacterial growth, and the microbial profile of the gallbladder still unknown. By high-throughput sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, we studied the microbial profile of the gallbladder from healthy rabbits before and after weaning. Moreover, we investigated the difference of microbiota between the gallbladder and gut. Our results showed that the gallbladder was dominantly populated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria in the phylum throughout the developmental stages of rabbits. The adult rabbits showed higher species richness and exhibited higher bacterial diversity than rabbits before weaning based on the results of alpha diversity. Beta diversity analyses indicated differences in the bacterial community composition between different developmental stages. In the comparison of the gallbladder and feces, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were dominant in the phylum, as they were present in about 61% and 21% of the feces, respectively. Conversely, in the gallbladder, Firmicutes was the most dominant (about 41%), and Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were present in about 16% and 22% of the gallbladder, respectively. The Unweighted UniFrac Principal Coordinate Analysis results illustrated samples clustered into 2 categories: the gallbladder and feces. Our study might provide a foundation for knowledge on gallbladder microbiota for the first time and a basis for further studies on gallbladder and intestinal health.

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<![CDATA[Fecal microbiota changes associated with dehorning and castration stress primarily affects light-weight dairy calves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521839d5eed0c484797843

Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota and stress can impact animal health. Studies have shown that perturbations in the GIT microbiota can influence host health and productivity by affecting physiological homeostasis, metabolism, hematopoiesis and inflammation. The present study aimed to evaluate possible effects of dehorning and castration stress on the GIT microbiota of dairy calves. Dehorning and castration are routinely performed on over 90% of dairy farms, and analgesics like flunixin meglumine (FLU) are given at the time of these procedures to reduce pain. We analyzed fecal microbiota of 24 weaned male dairy calves at two different stages in their life (at 10 weeks for dehorning and 36 weeks age for castration) to determine any GIT microbiota changes due to these stressful procedures and the FLU treatment. Dehorning was performed using an electrocautery dehorner applied to the horn for 10 seconds, and surgical castration was used as the castration method. Our analysis showed that the Shannon diversity index was significantly higher in animals that were not dehorned compared to dehorned animals. Castration stress also resulted in a significant decrease in Shannon diversity index, which was more pronounced in lower weight calves. Body weight and stress had significant effects on the taxonomic profiles of the GIT microbiota. There was a significant difference in the GIT bacterial community structure between heavy- and light-weight calves at Day 3 after castration but not at Day 0 (prior to castration). Our results indicate that dehorning and castration stress reduced microbial diversity of the GIT microbiota, but only in light-weight calves. This work is important for elucidating biological effects of stress on dairy calves and identifying potential modulation points in the microbiota of these food-producing animals to improve animal health and production.

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<![CDATA[Different host factors are associated with patterns in bacterial and fungal gut microbiota in Slovenian healthy cohort]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2544f7d5eed0c48442bc1b

Gut microbiota in a healthy population is shaped by various geographic, demographic and lifestyle factors. Although the majority of research remains focused on the bacterial community, recent efforts to include the remaining microbial members like viruses, archaea and especially fungi revealed various functions they perform in the gut. Using the amplicon sequencing approach we analysed bacterial and fungal gut communities in a Slovenian cohort of 186 healthy volunteers. In the bacterial microbiome we detected 253 different genera. A core microbiome analysis revealed high consistency with previous studies, most prominently showing that genera Faecalibacterium, Bacteroides and Roseburia regularly comprise the core community. We detected a total of 195 fungal genera, but the majority of these showed low prevalence and are likely transient foodborne contaminations. The fungal community showed a low diversity per sample and a large interindividual variability. The most abundant fungi were Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. These, along with representatives from genera Penicillium and Debaryomyces, cover 82% of obtained reads. We report three significant questionnaire-based host covariates associated with microbiota composition. Bacterial community was associated with age and gender. More specifically, bacterial diversity was increased with age and was higher in the female population compared to male. The analysis of fungal community showed that more time dedicated to physical activity resulted in a higher fungal diversity and lower abundance of S. cerevisiae. This is likely dependent on different diets, which were reported by participants according to the respective rates of physical activity.

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<![CDATA[Impact of Bactrocera oleae on the fungal microbiota of ripe olive drupes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c099458d5eed0c4842aeaa5

The olive fruit fly (OFF), Bactrocera oleae is the most devastating pest affecting olive fruit worldwide. Previous investigations have addressed the fungal microbiome associated with olive drupes or B. oleae, but the impact of the insect on fungal communities of olive fruit remains undescribed. In the present work, the fungal microbiome of olive drupes, infested and non-infested by the OFF, was investigated in four different localities and cultivars. Olive fruit fly infestations caused a general reduction of the fungal diversity, a higher quantity of the total DNA and an increase in taxa that remained unidentified or had unknown roles. The infestations led to imbalanced fungal communities with the growth of taxa that are usually outcompeted. While it was difficult to establish a cause-effect link between fly infestation and specific fungi, it is clear that the fly alters the natural microbial balance, especially the low abundant taxa. On the other hand, the most abundant ones, were not significantly influenced by the insect. In fact, despite the slight variation between the sampling locations, Aureobasidium, Cladosporium, and Alternaria, were the dominant genera, suggesting the existence of a typical olive fungal microbiome.

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<![CDATA[The genetic diversity and relationships of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) inbred lines assessed by using SSR markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf49d5eed0c4849142e5

Inbred lines are important germplasm in cauliflower breeding programs. To understand the genetic diversity and relationships of cauliflower inbred lines, the use of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers will be of great value for parental line selection and breeding strategy design. In this study, the genetic diversity and relationships of 165 cauliflower inbred lines primarily derived from southeast China were assessed using SSR markers. Forty-three SSR markers were polymorphic across these inbred lines and generated a total of 111 alleles. The mean values of the number of alleles (Na), effective number of alleles (Ne), Shannon’s Information index (I), and polymorphism information content (PIC) per locus were 2.581, 1.599, 0.517 and 0.316, respectively. Genetic distance values among all pairs of the inbred lines varied from 0 to 0.67 with an average of 0.30. On the basis of genetic distance data estimated with the SSR markers, the 165 cauliflower inbred lines were classified into four main clusters (from group Ⅰ to group Ⅳ) by cluster analysis and four subpopulations (from POP 1 to POP 4) by structure analysis. The classification patterns of most cauliflower inbred lines were not consistent with their curd maturity, curd solidity or geographic origins. These results based on estimates by the SSR markers, suggested the genetic diversity of the 165 cauliflower inbred lines was relatively narrow. Therefore, pyramiding the valuable genes among different types of the cauliflower inbred lines is important to increase the genetic diversity to obtain desirable hybridization combinations. The information generated in this report will be useful for assessing germplasm and breeding in cauliflower.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the upper and lower airway microbiota in children with chronic lung diseases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6da1ac463d7e4dccc5fae9

Rationale

The lower airway microbiota is important in normal immunological development and chronic lung diseases (CLDs). Young children cannot expectorate and because of the uncertainty whether upper airway samples reflect the lower airway microbiota, there have been few longitudinal paediatric studies to date.

Objectives

To assess whether throat swabs (TS) and cough swabs (CS) are representative of the lower airway microbiota.

Methods

TS, CS, bronchoalveolar lavage and bronchial brushings were prospectively collected from 49 children undergoing fibreoptic bronchoscopy for CLDs. Bacterial DNA was extracted and the 16S rRNA gene V4 region sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq.

Results

5.97 million high quality reads were obtained from 168 samples (47 TS, 37 CS, 42 BALF and 42 bronchial brushings). CS sequenced poorly. At a community level, no difference in alpha diversity (richness, evenness or Shannon Diversity Index) was seen between lower airway samples and TS (P > 0.05). Less than 6.31% of beta diversity variation related to sampling method for TS (P = 0.001). Variation between pathologies and individual patients was greater (20%, 54% respectively P ≤ 0.001) than between TS and lower airway samples. There was strong correlation in the relative abundance of genera between samples (r = 0.78, P < 0.001). Similarity between upper and lower airway samples was observed to be less for individuals where one sample type was dominated by a single organism.

Conclusions

At the community structure level, TS correlate with lower airway samples and distinguish between different CLDs. TS may be a useful sample for the study of the differences in longitudinal changes in the respiratory microbiota between different CLDs. Differences are too great however for TS to be used for clinical decision making.

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<![CDATA[Reduced microbiome alpha diversity in young patients with ADHD]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5ff793463d7e28ade495c6

ADHD is a psychiatric disorder which is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity and attention problems. Due to recent findings of microbial involvement in other psychiatric disorders like autism and depression, a role of the gut microbiota in ADHD pathogenesis is assumed but has not yet been investigated. In this study, the gut microbiota of 14 male ADHD patients (mean age: 11.9 yrs.) and 17 male controls (mean age: 13.1 yrs.) was examined via next generation sequencing of 16S rDNA and analyzed for diversity and biomarkers. We found that the microbial diversity (alpha diversity) was significantly decreased in ADHD patients compared to controls (pShannon = 0.036) and that the composition (beta diversity) differed significantly between patients and controls (pANOSIM = 0.033, pADONIS = 0.006, pbetadisper = 0.002). In detail, the bacterial family Prevotellacae was associated with controls, while patients with ADHD showed elevated levels of Bacteroidaceae, and both Neisseriaceae and Neisseria spec. were found as possible biomarkers for juvenile ADHD. Our results point to a possible link of certain microbiota with ADHD, with Neisseria spec. being a very promising ADHD-associated candidate. This finding provides the basis for a systematic, longitudinal assessment of the role of the gut microbiome in ADHD, yielding promising potential for both prevention and therapeutic intervention.

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<![CDATA[The surrounding landscape influences the diversity of leaf-litter ants in riparian cloud forest remnants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbc44

Riparian vegetation is a distinctive and ecologically important element of landscapes worldwide. However, the relative influence of the surrounding landscape on the conservation of the biodiversity of riparian remnants in human-modified tropical landscapes is poorly understood. We studied the surrounding landscape to evaluate its influence on leaf-litter-ant alpha and beta diversity in riparian remnants in the tropical montane cloud forest region of central Veracruz, Mexico. Sampling was carried out in 12 sites with riparian vegetation during both rainy (2011) and dry (2012) seasons. Ten leaf-litter samples were collected along a 100-m transect per site and processed with Berlese-Tullgren funnels and Winkler sacks. Using remotely-sensed and ground-collected data, we characterized the landscape around each site according to nine land cover types and computed metrics of landscape composition and configuration. We collected a total of 8,684 ant individuals belonging to 53 species, 22 genera, 11 tribes, and 7 subfamilies. Species richness and the diversity of Shannon and Simpson increased significantly in remnants immersed in landscapes with a high percentage of riparian land cover and a low percentage of land covers with areas reforested with Pinus, cattle pastures, and human settlements and infrastructure. The composition of ant assemblages was a function of the percentage of riparian land cover in the landscape. This study found evidence that leaf-litter ants, a highly specialized guild of arthropods, are mainly impacted by landscape composition and the configuration of the focal remnant. Maintaining or improving the surrounding landscape quality of riparian vegetation remnants can stimulate the movement of biodiversity among forest and riparian remnants and foster the provision of ecosystem services by these ecosystems. Effective outcomes may be achieved by considering scientific knowledge during the early stages of riparian policy formulation, in addition to integrating riparian management strategies with broader environmental planning instruments.

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<![CDATA[Changes in soil bacterial community structure as a result of incorporation of Brassica plants compared with continuous planting eggplant and chemical disinfection in greenhouses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca3d

Greenhouse eggplant monocropping in China has contributed to the aggravation of soil-borne diseases, reductions in crop quality and yield, and the degradation of physical and chemical soil properties. Crop rotation is one effective way of alleviating the problems of continuous cropping worldwide; however, few studies have reported changes in soil bacterial community structures and physical and chemical soil properties after Brassica vegetables had been rotated with eggplant in greenhouses. In this experiment, mustard-eggplant (BFN) and oilseed rape-eggplant (BFC) rotations were studied to identify changes in the physicochemical properties and bacterial community structure in soil that was previously subject to monocropping. Samples were taken after two types of Brassica plants incorporated into soil for 15 days to compare with continually planted eggplant (control, CN) and chemical disinfection of soil (CF) in greenhouses. MiSeq pyrosequencing was used to analyze soil bacterial diversity and structure in the four different treatments. A total of 55,129 reads were identified, and rarefaction analysis showed that the soil treatments were equally sampled. The bacterial richness of the BFC treatment and the diversity of the BFN treatment were significantly higher than those of the other treatments. Further comparison showed that the bacterial community structures of BFC and BFN treatments were also different from CN and CF treatments. The relative abundance of several dominant bacterial genera in the BFC and BFN treatments (such as Flavobacteria, Stenotrophomonas, Massilia and Cellvibrio, which played different roles in improving soil fertility and advancing plant growth) was distinctly higher than the CN or CF treatments. Additionally, the total organic matter and Olsen-P content of the BFC and BFN treatments were significantly greater than the CN treatment. We conclude that Brassica vegetables-eggplant crop rotations could provide a more effective means of solving the problems of greenhouse eggplant monocultures.

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<![CDATA[Influence of Benthic Macrofauna as a Spatial Structuring Agent for Juvenile Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) on the Eastern Scotian Shelf, Atlantic Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66769

We examined the habitat of juvenile haddock on the eastern Scotian Shelf (off Nova Scotia, Canada) in relation to grab-sampled benthic macrofaunal invertebrate species assemblages in order to determine whether there were significant differences in benthic macrofauna between areas of historically persistent high and low juvenile haddock abundance. Our analyses were conducted over two spatial scales in each of two years: among banks (Emerald, Western and Sable Island), approximately 60 km distant from each other, and between areas of high and low juvenile haddock abundance at distances of 10 to 30 km–all in an area that had not experienced groundfishing in the decade prior to sampling. We also examined fine-scale (10s of metres) within-site variability in the macrofauna and used surficial sediment characteristics, along with hydrographic variables, to identify environmental correlates. PERMANOVA identified statistically significant differences in biomass, density and composition of the benthos associated with juvenile haddock abundance; however it was difficult to determine whether the results had biological relevance. Post hoc tests showed that these differences occurred only on Sable Island Bank where both fish and benthos may have been independently responding to sediment type which was most different there (100% sand in the area of low haddock abundance vs. 22% gravel in the area of high haddock abundance). In total, 383 benthic taxa representing 13 phyla were identified. Annelida was the most specious phylum (36.29% of taxa, representing 33 families), followed by Arthropoda (with Crustaceans, mostly Amphipoda, accounting for 25.07% of the total number of taxa). The strongest pattern in the macrofauna was expressed at the largest scale, between banks, accounting for approximately 25% of the variation in the data. Emerald Bank, deeper, warmer and saltier than the Western and Sable Island Banks, had a distinctive fauna.

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<![CDATA[The effects of run-of-river hydroelectric power schemes on invertebrate community composition in temperate streams and rivers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb953

Run-of-river (ROR) hydroelectric power (HEP) schemes are often presumed to be less ecologically damaging than large-scale storage HEP schemes. However, there is currently limited scientific evidence on their ecological impact. The aim of this article is to investigate the effects of ROR HEP schemes on communities of invertebrates in temperate streams and rivers, using a multi-site Before-After, Control-Impact (BACI) study design. The study makes use of routine environmental surveillance data collected as part of long-term national and international monitoring programmes at 22 systematically-selected ROR HEP schemes and 22 systematically-selected paired control sites. Five widely-used family-level invertebrate metrics (richness, evenness, LIFE, E-PSI, WHPT) were analysed using a linear mixed effects model. The analyses showed that there was a statistically significant effect (p<0.05) of ROR HEP construction and operation on the evenness of the invertebrate community. However, no statistically significant effects were detected on the four other metrics of community composition. The implications of these findings are discussed in this article and recommendations are made for best-practice study design for future invertebrate community impact studies.

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<![CDATA[Development of the cutaneous microbiome in the preterm infant: A prospective longitudinal study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf24e

Background

Neonatal sepsis in preterm infants is often due to organisms that colonize the skin including Staphylococcus spp. and Candida spp. Development and maturation of the skin microbiome in the neonatal period, especially in preterm infants, may be critical in preventing colonization with pathogens and subsequent progression to neonatal sepsis. Development of the skin microbiome in preterm infants or its determinants in the first 4 weeks of life has not been evaluated.

Methods

We evaluated the skin microbiome from three body sites, antecubital fossa, forehead and gluteal region, in a prospective cohort of 15 preterm (birth weight < 1500 g and < 32 weeks of gestation) and 15 term neonates. The microbiome community membership and relative abundance were evaluated by amplification and sequencing the bacterial V3-V5 region of the16S rRNA gene on the 454 GS FLX platform. We used linear mixed effects models to analyze longitudinal data.

Results

The structure and composition of the skin microbiome did not differ between the three sampling sites for term and preterm infants in the neonatal period. However, skin bacterial richness was positively associated with gestational age in the first four weeks of life. Intravenous antibiotics negatively impacted the bacterial diversity of the skin but we did not see differences with respect to feeding or mode of delivery.

Conclusions

Gestational age, which influences the maturity of skin structure and function, is associated with the development of the preterm cutaneous microbiome. Understanding the maturation of a healthy skin microbiome, prevention of pathogen colonization and its role in the development of immunity will be pivotal in the development of novel interventions to prevent infections in critically ill preterm infants.

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<![CDATA[Looking for Rhizobacterial Ecological Indicators in Agricultural Soils Using 16S rRNA metagenomic Amplicon Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba351

Introduction

Biological communities present in soil are essential to sustainable and productive agricultural practices; however, an accurate determination of the ecological status of agricultural soils remains to date an elusive task. An ideal indicator should be pervasive, play a relevant role in the ecosystem, show a rapid and proportional answer to external perturbations and be easily and economically measurable. Rhizobacteria play a major role in determining soil properties, becoming an attractive candidate for the detection of ecological indicators. The application of massive sequencing technologies to metagenomic analysis is providing an increasingly more precise view of the structure and composition of soil communities. In this work, we analyse soil rhizobacterial composition under various stress levels to search for potential ecological indicators.

General Biodiversity Indicators

Our results suggest that the Shannon index requires observation of a relatively large number of individuals to be representative of the true population diversity, and that the Simpson index may underestimate rare taxa in rhizobacterial environments.

Taxonomical Classification Methods

Detection of indicator taxa requires comparison of taxonomical classification of sequences. We have compared RDP classifier, RTAX and similarity-based taxonomical classification and selected the latter for taxonomical assignment because it provides larger detail.

Taxonomy-Based Ecological Indicators

The study of significant variations in common, clearly identified, taxa, using paired datasets allows minimization of non-treatment effects and avoidance of false positives. We have identified taxa associated to specific perturbations as well as taxa generally affected in treated soils. Changes in these taxa, or combinations of them, may be used as ecological indicators of soil health. The overall number and magnitude of changes detected in taxonomic groups does also increase with stress. These changes constitute an alternative indicator to measuring specific taxa, although their determination requires large sample sizes, better obtained by massive sequencing.

Summary

The main ecological indicators available are the Shannon index, OTU counts and estimators, overall detection of the number and proportion of changes, and changes of specific indicator taxa. Massive sequencing remains the most accurate tool to measure rhizobacterial ecological indicators. When massive sequencing is not an option, various cultivable taxonomic groups, such as specific groups in the Actinobacteria tree, are attractive as potential indicators of large disruptions to the rhizobiome.

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<![CDATA[DNA extraction replicates improve diversity and compositional dissimilarity in metabarcoding of eukaryotes in marine sediments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be1113

Human impact on marine benthic communities has traditionally been assessed using visible morphological traits and has focused on the macrobenthos, whereas the ecologically important organisms of the meio- and microbenthos have received less attention. DNA metabarcoding offers an alternative to this approach and enables a larger fraction of the biodiversity in marine sediments to be monitored in a cost-efficient manner. Although this methodology remains poorly standardised and challenged by biases inherent to rRNA copy number variation, DNA extraction, PCR, and limitations related to taxonomic identification, it has been shown to be semi-quantitative and useful for comparing taxon abundances between samples. Here, we evaluate the effect of replicating genomic DNA extraction in order to counteract small scale spatial heterogeneity and improve diversity and community structure estimates in metabarcoding-based monitoring. For this purpose, we used ten technical replicates from three different marine sediment samples. The effect of sequence depth was also assessed, and in silico pooling of DNA extraction replicates carried out in order to maintain the number of reads constant. Our analyses demonstrated that both sequencing depth and DNA extraction replicates could improve diversity estimates as well as the ability to separate samples with different characteristics. We could not identify a “sufficient” replicate number or sequence depth, where further improvements had a less significant effect. Based on these results, we consider replication an attractive alternative to directly increasing the amount of sample used for DNA extraction and strongly recommend it for future metabarcoding studies and routine assessments of sediment biodiversity.

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<![CDATA[Are Epiphytic Microbial Communities in the Carposphere of Ripening Grape Clusters (Vitis vinifera L.) Different between Conventional, Organic, and Biodynamic Grapes?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1aab0ee8fa60b7ca4b

Using barcoded pyrosequencing fungal and bacterial communities associated with grape berry clusters (Vitis vinifera L.) obtained from conventional, organic and biodynamic vineyard plots were investigated in two subsequent years at different stages during berry ripening. The four most abundant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on fungal ITS data were Botrytis cinerea, Cladosporium spp., Aureobasidium pullulans and Alternaria alternata which represented 57% and 47% of the total reads in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Members of the genera Sphingomonas, Gluconobacter, Pseudomonas, Erwinia, and Massilia constituted 67% of the total number of bacterial 16S DNA reads in 2010 samples and 78% in 2011 samples. Viticultural management system had no significant effect on abundance of fungi or bacteria in both years and at all three sampling dates. Exceptions were A. alternata and Pseudomonas spp. which were more abundant in the carposphere of conventional compared to biodynamic berries, as well as Sphingomonas spp. which was significantly less abundant on conventional compared to organic berries at an early ripening stage in 2011. In general, there were no significant differences in fungal and bacterial diversity indices or richness evident between management systems. No distinct fungal or bacterial communities were associated with the different maturation stages or management systems, respectively. An exception was the last stage of berry maturation in 2011, where the Simpson diversity index was significantly higher for fungal communities on biodynamic compared to conventional grapes. Our study highlights the existence of complex and dynamic microbial communities in the grape cluster carposphere including both phytopathogenic and potentially antagonistic microorganisms that can have a significant impact on grape production. Such knowledge is particularly relevant for development, selection and application of effective control measures against economically important pathogens present in the grape carposphere.

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<![CDATA[The Switch from Low-Pressure Sodium to Light Emitting Diodes Does Not Affect Bat Activity at Street Lights]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da12ab0ee8fa60b79d9c

We used a before-after-control-impact paired design to examine the effects of a switch from low-pressure sodium (LPS) to light emitting diode (LED) street lights on bat activity at twelve sites across southern England. LED lights produce broad spectrum ‘white’ light compared to LPS street lights that emit narrow spectrum, orange light. These spectral differences could influence the abundance of insects at street lights and thereby the activity of the bats that prey on them. Most of the bats flying around the LPS lights were aerial-hawking species, and the species composition of bats remained the same after the switch-over to LED. We found that the switch-over from LPS to LED street lights did not affect the activity (number of bat passes), or the proportion of passes containing feeding buzzes, of those bat species typically found in close proximity to street lights in suburban environments in Britain. This is encouraging from a conservation perspective as many existing street lights are being, or have been, switched to LED before the ecological consequences have been assessed. However, lighting of all spectra studied to date generally has a negative impact on several slow-flying bat species, and LED lights are rarely frequented by these ‘light-intolerant’ bat species.

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<![CDATA[Tuber indicum shapes the microbial communities of ectomycorhizosphere soil and ectomycorrhizae of an indigenous tree (Pinus armandii)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdccaf

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an ectomycorrhizal fungus (Tuber indicum) on the diversity of microbial communities associated with an indigenous tree, Pinus armandii, and the microbial communities in the surrounding ectomycorhizosphere soil. High-throughput sequencing was used to analyze the richness of microbial communities in the roots or rhizosphere of treatments with or without ectomycorrhizae. The results indicated that the bacterial diversity of ectomycorhizosphere soil was significantly lower compared with the control soil. Presumably, the dominance of truffle mycelia in ectomycorhizosphere soil (80.91%) and ectomycorrhizae (97.64%) was the main factor that resulted in lower diversity and abundance of endophytic pathogenic fungi, including Fusarium, Monographella, Ustilago and Rhizopus and other competitive mycorrhizal fungi, such as Amanita, Lactarius and Boletus. Bacterial genera Reyranena, Rhizomicrobium, Nordella, Pseudomonas and fungal genera, Cuphophyllus, Leucangium, Histoplasma were significantly more abundant in ectomycorrhizosphere soil and ectomycorrhizae. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the similarities between rhizosphere and ectomycorrhizosphere soil based on the soil properties differed significantly, indicating the mycorrhizal synthesis may have a feedback effect on soil properties. Meanwhile, some soil properties were significantly correlated with bacterial and fungal diversity in the rhizosphere or root tips. Overall, this work illustrates the interactive network that exists among ectomycorrhizal fungi, soil properties and microbial communities associated with the host plant and furthers our understanding of the ecology and cultivation of T. indicum.

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