Foregut fermentation occurs in mammalian ruminants and in one bird, the South American folivorous hoatzin. This bird has an enlarged crop with a function analogous to the rumen, where foregut microbes degrade the otherwise indigestible plant matter, providing energy to the host from foregut fermentation, in addition to the fermentation that occurs in their hindguts (cecum/colon). As foregut fermentation represents an evolutionary convergence between hoatzins and ruminants, our aim was to compare the community structure of foregut and hindgut bacterial communities in the cow and hoatzin to evaluate the influences of host phylogeny and organ function in shaping the gut microbiome. The approach used was to hybridize amplified bacterial ribosomal RNA genes onto a high-density microarray (PhyloChip). The results show that the microbial communities cluster primarily by functional environment (foreguts cluster separately from hindguts) and then by host. Bacterial community diversity was higher in the cow than in the hoatzin. Overall, compared with hindguts, foreguts have higher proportions of Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes, and lower proportions of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The main host differences in gut bacterial composition include a higher representation of Spirochaetes, Synergistetes and Verrucomicrobia in the cow. Despite the significant differences in host phylogeny, body size, physiology and diet, the function seems to shape the microbial communities involved in fermentation. Regardless of the independent origin of foregut fermentation in birds and mammals, organ function has led to convergence of the microbial community structure in phylogenetically distant hosts.
microbiota; foregut; hindgut; hoatzin; cow; PhyloChip
Taxonomic classification of the thousands–millions of 16S rRNA gene sequences generated in microbiome studies is often achieved using a naïve Bayesian classifier (for example, the Ribosomal Database Project II (RDP) classifier), due to favorable trade-offs among automation, speed and accuracy. The resulting classification depends on the reference sequences and taxonomic hierarchy used to train the model; although the influence of primer sets and classification algorithms have been explored in detail, the influence of training set has not been characterized. We compared classification results obtained using three different publicly available databases as training sets, applied to five different bacterial 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing data sets generated (from human body, mouse gut, python gut, soil and anaerobic digester samples). We observed numerous advantages to using the largest, most diverse training set available, that we constructed from the Greengenes (GG) bacterial/archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequence database and the latest GG taxonomy. Phylogenetic clusters of previously unclassified experimental sequences were identified with notable improvements (for example, 50% reduction in reads unclassified at the phylum level in mouse gut, soil and anaerobic digester samples), especially for phylotypes belonging to specific phyla (Tenericutes, Chloroflexi, Synergistetes and Candidate phyla TM6, TM7). Trimming the reference sequences to the primer region resulted in systematic improvements in classification depth, and greatest gains at higher confidence thresholds. Phylotypes unclassified at the genus level represented a greater proportion of the total community variation than classified operational taxonomic units in mouse gut and anaerobic digester samples, underscoring the need for greater diversity in existing reference databases.
Greengenes; microbiome; naïve Bayesian classifier; pyrosequencing; taxonomy
The microbial mats of Guerrero Negro (GN), Baja California Sur, Mexico historically were considered a simple environment, dominated by cyanobacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria. Culture-independent rRNA community profiling instead revealed these microbial mats as among the most phylogenetically diverse environments known. A preliminary molecular survey of the GN mat based on only ∼1500 small subunit rRNA gene sequences discovered several new phylum-level groups in the bacterial phylogenetic domain and many previously undetected lower-level taxa. We determined an additional ∼119 000 nearly full-length sequences and 28 000 >200 nucleotide 454 reads from a 10-layer depth profile of the GN mat. With this unprecedented coverage of long sequences from one environment, we confirm the mat is phylogenetically stratified, presumably corresponding to light and geochemical gradients throughout the depth of the mat. Previous shotgun metagenomic data from the same depth profile show the same stratified pattern and suggest that metagenome properties may be predictable from rRNA gene sequences. We verify previously identified novel lineages and identify new phylogenetic diversity at lower taxonomic levels, for example, thousands of operational taxonomic units at the family-genus levels differ considerably from known sequences. The new sequences populate parts of the bacterial phylogenetic tree that previously were poorly described, but indicate that any comprehensive survey of GN diversity has only begun. Finally, we show that taxonomic conclusions are generally congruent between Sanger and 454 sequencing technologies, with the taxonomic resolution achieved dependent on the abundance of reference sequences in the relevant region of the rRNA tree of life.
Guerrero Negro; rRNA phylogeny; microbial mats; microbial ecology; QIIME
Niabella soli Weon et al. 2008 is a member of the Chitinophagaceae, a family within the class Sphingobacteriia that is poorly characterized at the genome level, thus far. N. soli strain JS13-8T is of interest for its ability to produce a variety of glycosyl hydrolases. The genome of N. soli strain JS13-8T is only the second genome sequence of a type strain from the family Chitinophagaceae to be published, and the first one from the genus Niabella. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 4,697,343 bp long chromosome with its 3,931 protein-coding and 49 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
aerobic; non-motile; Gram-negative; mesophilic; chemoorganotrophic; glycosyl hydrolases; soil; Chitinophagaceae; GEBA
Ocean viruses are ubiquitous and abundant and play important roles in global biogeochemical cycles by means of their mortality, horizontal gene transfer, and manipulation of host metabolism. However, the obstacles involved in linking viruses to their hosts in a high-throughput manner bottlenecks our ability to understand virus-host interactions in complex communities. We have developed a method called viral tagging (VT), which combines mixtures of host cells and fluorescent viruses with flow cytometry. We investigated multiple viruses which infect each of two model marine bacteria that represent the slow-growing, photoautotrophic genus Synechococcus (Cyanobacteria) and the fast-growing, heterotrophic genus Pseudoalteromonas (Gammaproteobacteria). Overall, viral tagging results for viral infection were consistent with plaque and liquid infection assays for cyanobacterial myo-, podo- and siphoviruses and some (myo- and podoviruses) but not all (four siphoviruses) heterotrophic bacterial viruses. Virus-tagged Pseudoalteromonas organisms were proportional to the added viruses under varied infection conditions (virus-bacterium ratios), while no more than 50% of the Synechococcus organisms were virus tagged even at viral abundances that exceeded (5 to 10×) that of their hosts. Further, we found that host growth phase minimally impacts the fraction of virus-tagged Synechococcus organisms while greatly affecting phage adsorption to Pseudoalteromonas. Together these findings suggest that at least two contrasting viral life strategies exist in the oceans and that they likely reflect adaptation to their host microbes. Looking forward to the point at which the virus-tagging signature is well understood (e.g., for Synechococcus), application to natural communities should begin to provide population genomic data at the proper scale for predictively modeling two of the most abundant biological entities on Earth.
Viral study suffers from an inability to link viruses to hosts en masse, and yet delineating “who infects whom” is fundamental to viral ecology and predictive modeling. This article describes viral tagging—a high-throughput method to investigate virus-host interactions by combining the fluorescent labeling of viruses for “tagging” host cells that can be analyzed and sorted using flow cytometry. Two cultivated hosts (the cyanobacterium Synechococcus and the gammaproteobacterium Pseudoalteromonas) and their viruses (podo-, myo-, and siphoviruses) were investigated to validate the method. These lab-based experiments indicate that for most virus-host pairings, VT (viral tagging) adsorption is equivalent to traditional infection by liquid and plaque assays, with the exceptions being confined to promiscuous adsorption by Pseudoalteromonas siphoviruses. These experiments also reveal variability in life strategies across these oceanic virus-host systems with respect to infection conditions and host growth status, which highlights the need for further model system characterization to break open this virus-host interaction “black box.”
Gillisia limnaea Van Trappen et al. 2004 is the type species of the genus Gillisia, which is a member of the well characterized family Flavobacteriaceae. The genome of G. limnea R-8282T is the first sequenced genome (permanent draft) from a type strain of the genus Gillisia. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the permanent-draft genome sequence and annotation. The 3,966,857 bp long chromosome (two scaffolds) with its 3,569 protein-coding and 51 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea project.
aerobic; motile; rod-shaped; moderately halotolerant; psychrophilic; chemoheterotrophic; proteorhodopsin; microbial mat; yellow-pigmented; Flavobacteriaceae; GEBA
Owenweeksia hongkongensis Lau et al. 2005 is the sole member of the monospecific genus Owenweeksia in the family Cryomorphaceae, a poorly characterized family at the genome level thus far. This family comprises seven genera within the class Flavobacteria. Family members are known to be psychrotolerant, rod-shaped and orange pigmented (β-carotene), typical for Flavobacteria. For growth, seawater and complex organic nutrients are necessary. The genome of O. hongkongensis UST20020801T is only the second genome of a member of the family Cryomorphaceae whose sequence has been deciphered. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 4,000,057 bp long chromosome with its 3,518 protein-coding and 45 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
aerobic; motile; rod-shaped; mesophilic; non-fermentative; Gram-negative; orange-pigmented sea water; Bacteroidetes; Flavobacteria; Cryomorphaceae; GEBA
Sulfobacillus acidophilus Norris et al. 1996 is a member of the genus Sulfobacillus which comprises five species of the order Clostridiales. Sulfobacillus species are of interest for comparison to other sulfur and iron oxidizers and also have biomining applications. This is the first completed genome sequence of a type strain of the genus Sulfobacillus, and the second published genome of a member of the species S. acidophilus. The genome, which consists of one chromosome and one plasmid with a total size of 3,557,831 bp harbors 3,626 protein-coding and 69 RNA genes, and is a part of the Genomic
aerobic; motile; Gram-positive; acidophilic; moderately thermophilic; sulfide- and iron-oxidizing; biomining; autotrophic; mixotrophic; soil; insertis sedis; Clostridiales; GEBA
Runella slithyformis Larkin and Williams 1978 is the type species of the genus Runella, which belongs to the Cytophagaceae, a family that was only recently classified to the order Cytophagales in the class Cytophagia. The species is of interest because it is able to grow at temperatures as low as 4°C. This is the first completed genome sequence of a member of the genus Runella and the sixth sequence from the family Cytophagaceae. The 6,919,729 bp long genome consists of a 6.6 Mbp circular genome and five circular plasmids of 38.8 to 107.0 kbp length, harboring a total of 5,974 protein-coding and 51 RNA genes and is a part of the Genomic
strictly aerobic; non-motile; Gram-negative; psychrotolerant; chemoorganotrophic; Cytophagaceae; Cytophagia; GEBA
Thermodesulfatator indicus Moussard et al. 2004 is a member of the Thermodesulfobacteriaceae, a family in the phylum Thermodesulfobacteria that is currently poorly characterized at the genome level. Members of this phylum are of interest because they represent a distinct, deep-branching, Gram-negative lineage. T. indicus is an anaerobic, thermophilic, chemolithoautotrophic sulfate reducer isolated from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence, and annotation. The 2,322,224 bp long chromosome with its 2,233 protein-coding and 58 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
strictly anaerobic; motile; Gram-negative; thermophilic; sulfate-reducing; chemolithoautotrophic; black smoker; Thermodesulfobacteria; Thermodesulfobacteriaceae; GEBA
Thermovirga lienii Dahle and Birkeland 2006 is a member of the genus Thermovirga in the genomically moderately well characterized phylum 'Synergistetes'. Members of this relatively recently proposed phylum ‘Synergistetes’ are of interest because of their isolated phylogenetic position and their diverse habitats, e.g. from humans to oil wells. The genome of T. lienii Cas60314T is the fifth genome sequence (third completed) from this phylum to be published. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 1,999,646 bp long genome (including one plasmid) with its 1,914 protein-coding and 59 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
anaerobic; chemoorganotrophic; Gram-negative; motile; thermophilic; marine oil well; Synergistaceae; GEBA
Holophaga foetida Liesack et al. 1995 is a member of the phylum Acidobacteria and is of interest for its ability to anaerobically degrade aromatic compounds and for its production of volatile sulfur compounds through a unique pathway. The genome of H. foetida strain TMBS4T is the first to be sequenced for a representative of the class Holophagae. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence (improved high quality draft), and annotation. The 4,127,237 bp long chromosome with its 3,615 protein-coding and 57 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
anaerobic; motile; Gram-negative; mesophilic; chemoorganotrophic; sulfide-methylation; fresh water mud; Acidobacteria; Holophagaceae; GEBA
Muricauda ruestringensis Bruns et al. 2001 is the type species of the genus Muricauda, which belongs to the family Flavobacteriaceae in the phylum Bacteroidetes. The species is of interest because of its isolated position in the genomically unexplored genus Muricauda, which is located in a part of the tree of life containing not many organisms with sequenced genomes. The genome, which consists of a circular chromosome of 3,842,422 bp length with a total of 3,478 protein-coding and 47 RNA genes, is a part of the Genomic
facultatively anaerobic; non-motile; Gram-negative; mesophilic; marine; chemoheterotrophic; Flavobacteriaceae; GEBA
Saprospira grandis Gross 1911 is a member of the Saprospiraceae, a family in the class ‘Sphingobacteria’ that remains poorly characterized at the genomic level. The species is known for preying on other marine bacteria via ‘ixotrophy’. S. grandis strain Sa g1 was isolated from decaying crab carapace in France and was selected for genome sequencing because of its isolated location in the tree of life. Only one type strain genome has been published so far from the Saprospiraceae, while the sequence of strain Sa g1 represents the second genome to be published from a non-type strain of S. grandis. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 4,495,250 bp long Improved-High-Quality draft of the genome with its 3,536 protein-coding and 62 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
strictly aerobic; gliding; Gram-negative; mesophilic; chemoorganotrophic; marine; ixotrophy; Saprospiraceae; GEBA
Spirochaeta coccoides Dröge et al. 2006 is a member of the genus Spirochaeta Ehrenberg 1835, one of the oldest named genera within the Bacteria. S. coccoides is an obligately anaerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, spherical bacterium that was isolated from the hindgut contents of the termite Neotermes castaneus. The species is of interest because it may play an important role in the digestion of breakdown products from cellulose and hemicellulose in the termite gut. Here we provide a taxonomic re-evaluation for strain SPN1T, and based on physiological and genomic characteristics, we propose its reclassification as a novel species in the genus Sphaerochaeta, a recently published sister group of the Spirochaeta. The 2,227,296 bp long genome of strain SPN1T with its 1,866 protein-coding and 58 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
obligately anaerobic; non-motile; termite hindgut; Gram-negative; di- and oligosaccharide-degrading; mesophilic; chemoorganotrophic; Spirochaetaceae; Sphaerochaeta; GEBA
Deinococcus proteolyticus (ex Kobatake et al. 1973) Brook and Murray 1981 is one of currently 47 species in the genus Deinococcus within the family Deinococcaceae. Strain MRPT was isolated from feces of Lama glama and possesses extreme radiation resistance, a trait is shares with various other species of the genus Deinococcus, with D. proteolyticus being resistant up to 1.5 Mrad of gamma radiation. Strain MRPT is of further interest for its carotenoid pigment. The genome presented here is only the fifth completed genome sequence of a member of the genus Deinococcus (and the forth type strain) to be published, and will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of how members of this genus adapted to high gamma- or UV ionizing-radiation. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 2,886,836 bp long genome with its four large plasmids of lengths 97 kbp, 132 kbp, 196 kbp and 315 kbp harbors 2,741 protein-coding and 58 RNA genes and is a part of the Genomic
strictly aerobic; non-motile; chemoorganotrophic; proteolytic; radioresistant; mesophile; carotenoid pigments; tetrad-forming cocci; Gram-positive; Deinococcaceae; GEBA
Barcoded amplicon sequencing is rapidly becoming a standard method for profiling microbial communities, including the human respiratory microbiome. While this approach has less bias than standard cultivation, several steps can introduce variation including the type of DNA extraction method used. Here we assessed five different extraction methods on pediatric bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples and a mock community comprised of nine bacterial genera to determine method reproducibility and detection limits for these typically low complexity communities. Additionally, using the mock community, we were able to evaluate contamination and select a relative abundance cut-off threshold based on the geometric distribution that optimizes the trade off between detecting bona fide operational taxonomic units and filtering out spurious ones. Using this threshold, the majority of genera in the mock community were predictably detected by all extraction methods including the hard-to-lyse Gram-positive genus Staphylococcus. Differences between extraction methods were significantly greater than between technical replicates for both the mock community and BAL samples emphasizing the importance of using a standardized methodology for microbiome studies. However, regardless of method used, individual patients retained unique diagnostic profiles. Furthermore, despite being stored as raw frozen samples for over five years, community profiles from BAL samples were consistent with historical culturing results. The culture-independent profiling of these samples also identified a number of anaerobic genera that are gaining acceptance as being part of the respiratory microbiome. This study should help guide researchers to formulate sampling, extraction and analysis strategies for respiratory and other human microbiome samples.
We introduce Grinder (http://sourceforge.net/projects/biogrinder/), an open-source bioinformatic tool to simulate amplicon and shotgun (genomic, metagenomic, transcriptomic and metatranscriptomic) datasets from reference sequences. This is the first tool to simulate amplicon datasets (e.g. 16S rRNA) widely used by microbial ecologists. Grinder can create sequence libraries with a specific community structure, α and β diversities and experimental biases (e.g. chimeras, gene copy number variation) for commonly used sequencing platforms. This versatility allows the creation of simple to complex read datasets necessary for hypothesis testing when developing bioinformatic software, benchmarking existing tools or designing sequence-based experiments. Grinder is particularly useful for simulating clinical or environmental microbial communities and complements the use of in vitro mock communities.
Sulfuricurvum kujiense Kodama and Watanabe 2004 is the type species of the monotypic genus Sulfuricurvum, which belongs to the family Helicobacteraceae in the class Epsilonproteobacteria. The species is of interest because it is frequently found in crude oil and oil sands where it utilizes various reduced sulfur compounds such as elemental sulfur, sulfide and thiosulfate as electron donors. Members of the species do not utilize sugars, organic acids or hydrocarbons as carbon and energy sources. This genome sequence represents the type strain of the only species in the genus Sulfuricurvum. The genome, which consists of a circular chromosome of 2,574,824 bp length and four plasmids of 118,585 bp, 71,513 bp, 51,014 bp, and 3,421 bp length, respectively, harboring a total of 2,879 protein-coding and 61 RNA genes and is a part of the Genomic
facultatively anaerobic; microaerobic; motile; Gram-negative; sulfur-oxidizing; mesophilic; chemolithoautotrophic; Helicobacteracea; GEBA
Marinithermus hydrothermalis Sako et al. 2003 is the type species of the monotypic genus Marinithermus. M. hydrothermalis T1T was the first isolate within the phylum “Thermus-Deinococcus” to exhibit optimal growth under a salinity equivalent to that of sea water and to have an absolute requirement for NaCl for growth. M. hydrothermalis T1T is of interest because it may provide a new insight into the ecological significance of the aerobic, thermophilic decomposers in the circulation of organic compounds in deep-sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems. This is the first completed genome sequence of a member of the genus Marinithermus and the seventh sequence from the family Thermaceae. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the complete genome sequence and annotation. The 2,269,167 bp long genome with its 2,251 protein-coding and 59 RNA genes is a part of the Genomic
strictly aerobic; non-motile; thermophilic; neutrophilic heterotroph; Gram-negative; hydrothermal vent; Thermaceae; GEBA
Reference phylogenies are crucial for providing a taxonomic framework for interpretation of marker gene and metagenomic surveys, which continue to reveal novel species at a remarkable rate. Greengenes is a dedicated full-length 16S rRNA gene database that provides users with a curated taxonomy based on de novo tree inference. We developed a ‘taxonomy to tree' approach for transferring group names from an existing taxonomy to a tree topology, and used it to apply the Greengenes, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and cyanoDB (Cyanobacteria only) taxonomies to a de novo tree comprising 408 315 sequences. We also incorporated explicit rank information provided by the NCBI taxonomy to group names (by prefixing rank designations) for better user orientation and classification consistency. The resulting merged taxonomy improved the classification of 75% of the sequences by one or more ranks relative to the original NCBI taxonomy with the most pronounced improvements occurring in under-classified environmental sequences. We also assessed candidate phyla (divisions) currently defined by NCBI and present recommendations for consolidation of 34 redundantly named groups. All intermediate results from the pipeline, which includes tree inference, jackknifing and transfer of a donor taxonomy to a recipient tree (tax2tree) are available for download. The improved Greengenes taxonomy should provide important infrastructure for a wide range of megasequencing projects studying ecosystems on scales ranging from our own bodies (the Human Microbiome Project) to the entire planet (the Earth Microbiome Project). The implementation of the software can be obtained from http://sourceforge.net/projects/tax2tree/.
evolution; phylogenetics; taxonomy
Industrial-scale biofuel production requires robust enzymatic cocktails to produce fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass. Thermophilic bacterial consortia are a potential source of cellulases and hemicellulases adapted to harsher reaction conditions than commercial fungal enzymes. Compost-derived microbial consortia were adapted to switchgrass at 60°C to develop thermophilic biomass-degrading consortia for detailed studies. Microbial community analysis using small-subunit rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing and short-read metagenomic sequencing demonstrated that thermophilic adaptation to switchgrass resulted in low-diversity bacterial consortia with a high abundance of bacteria related to thermophilic paenibacilli, Rhodothermus marinus, and Thermus thermophilus. At lower abundance, thermophilic Chloroflexi and an uncultivated lineage of the Gemmatimonadetes phylum were observed. Supernatants isolated from these consortia had high levels of xylanase and endoglucanase activities. Compared to commercial enzyme preparations, the endoglucanase enzymes had a higher thermotolerance and were more stable in the presence of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([C2mim][OAc]), an ionic liquid used for biomass pretreatment. The supernatants were used to saccharify [C2mim][OAc]-pretreated switchgrass at elevated temperatures (up to 80°C), demonstrating that these consortia are an excellent source of enzymes for the development of enzymatic cocktails tailored to more extreme reaction conditions.
We analyzed the metaproteome of the bacterial community resident in the hindgut paunch of the wood-feeding ‘higher' termite (Nasutitermes) and identified 886 proteins, 197 of which have known enzymatic function. Using these enzymes, we reconstructed complete metabolic pathways revealing carbohydrate transport and metabolism, nitrogen fixation and assimilation, energy production, amino-acid synthesis and significant pyruvate ferredoxin/flavodoxin oxidoreductase protein redundancy. Our results suggest that the activity associated with these enzymes may have more of a role in the symbiotic relationship between the hindgut microbial community and its termite host than activities related to cellulose degradation.
Nasutitermes; mass spectrometry; microbial communities
Terephthalate (TA) is one of the top 50 chemicals produced worldwide. Its production results in a TA-containing wastewater that is treated by anaerobic processes through a poorly understood methanogenic syntrophy. Using metagenomics, we characterized the methanogenic consortium inside a hyper-mesophilic (that is, between mesophilic and thermophilic), TA-degrading bioreactor. We identified genes belonging to dominant Pelotomaculum species presumably involved in TA degradation through decarboxylation, dearomatization, and modified β-oxidation to H2/CO2 and acetate. These intermediates are converted to CH4/CO2 by three novel hyper-mesophilic methanogens. Additional secondary syntrophic interactions were predicted in Thermotogae, Syntrophus and candidate phyla OP5 and WWE1 populations. The OP5 encodes genes capable of anaerobic autotrophic butyrate production and Thermotogae, Syntrophus and WWE1 have the genetic potential to oxidize butyrate to CO2/H2 and acetate. These observations suggest that the TA-degrading consortium consists of additional syntrophic interactions beyond the standard H2-producing syntroph–methanogen partnership that may serve to improve community stability.
metagenomics; methanogenesis; syntroph; microbial diversity; carbon cycling