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Validation of two ribosomal RNA removal methods for microbial metatranscriptomics

Description: The predominance of rRNAs in the transcriptome is a major technical challenge in sequence-based analysis of cDNAs from microbial isolates and communities. Several approaches have been applied to deplete rRNAs from (meta)transcriptomes, but no systematic investigation of potential biases introduced by any of these approaches has been reported. Here we validated the effectiveness and fidelity of the two most commonly used approaches, subtractive hybridization and exonuclease digestion, as well as combinations of these treatments, on two synthetic five-microorganism metatranscriptomes using massively parallel sequencing. We found that the effectiveness of rRNA removal was a function of community composition and RNA integrity for these treatments. Subtractive hybridization alone introduced the least bias in relative transcript abundance, whereas exonuclease and in particular combined treatments greatly compromised mRNA abundance fidelity. Illumina sequencing itself also can compromise quantitative data analysis by introducing a G+C bias between runs.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: He, Shaomei; Wurtzel, Omri; Singh, Kanwar; Froula, Jeff L; Yilmaz, Suzan; Tringe, Susannah G et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiple Syntrophic Interactions in a Terephthalate-Degrading Methanogenic Consortium

Description: 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 tinside a hyper-mesophilic (i.e., 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 ?-oxidation to H{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} and acetate. These intermediates are converted to CH{sub 4}/CO{sub 2} 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 COsub 2}/H{sub 2} and acetate. These observations suggest that the TA-degrading consortium consists of additional syntrophic interactions beyond the standard H{sub 2}-producing syntroph ? methanogen partnership that may serve to improve community stability.
Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Lykidis, Athanasios; Chen, Chia-Lung; Tringe, Susannah G.; McHardy, Alice C.; Copeland, Alex 5; Kyrpides, Nikos C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metagenome of a Versatile Chemolithoautotroph from Expanding Oceanic Dead Zones

Description: Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), also known as oceanic"dead zones", are widespread oceanographic features currently expanding due to global warming and coastal eutrophication. Although inhospitable to metazoan life, OMZs support a thriving but cryptic microbiota whose combined metabolic activity is intimately connected to nutrient and trace gas cycling within the global ocean. Here we report time-resolved metagenomic analyses of a ubiquitous and abundant but uncultivated OMZ microbe (SUP05) closely related to chemoautotrophic gill symbionts of deep-sea clams and mussels. The SUP05 metagenome harbors a versatile repertoire of genes mediating autotrophic carbon assimilation, sulfur-oxidation and nitrate respiration responsive to a wide range of water column redox states. Thus, SUP05 plays integral roles in shaping nutrient and energy flow within oxygen-deficient oceanic waters via carbon sequestration, sulfide detoxification and biological nitrogen loss with important implications for marine productivity and atmospheric greenhouse control.
Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: Walsh, David A.; Zaikova, Elena; Howes, Charles L.; Song, Young; Wright, Jody; Tringe, Susannah G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Insect Herbivore Microbiome with High Plant Biomass-Degrading Capacity

Description: Herbivores can gain indirect access to recalcitrant carbon present in plant cell walls through symbiotic associations with lignocellulolytic microbes. A paradigmatic example is the leaf-cutter ant (Tribe: Attini), which uses fresh leaves to cultivate a fungus for food in specialized gardens. Using a combination of sugar composition analyses, metagenomics, and whole-genome sequencing, we reveal that the fungus garden microbiome of leaf-cutter ants is composed of a diverse community of bacteria with high plant biomass-degrading capacity. Comparison of this microbiome?s predicted carbohydrate-degrading enzyme profile with other metagenomes shows closest similarity to the bovine rumen, indicating evolutionary convergence of plant biomass degrading potential between two important herbivorous animals. Genomic and physiological characterization of two dominant bacteria in the fungus garden microbiome provides evidence of their capacity to degrade cellulose. Given the recent interest in cellulosic biofuels, understanding how large-scale and rapid plant biomass degradation occurs in a highly evolved insect herbivore is of particular relevance for bioenergy.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Suen, Garret; Barry, Kerrie; Goodwin, Lynne; Scott, Jarrod; Aylward, Frank; Adams, Sandra et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metagenomic Insights into Evolution of a Heavy Metal-Contaminated Groundwater Microbial Community

Description: Understanding adaptation of biological communities to environmental change is a central issue in ecology and evolution. Metagenomic analysis of a stressed groundwater microbial community reveals that prolonged exposure to high concentrations of heavy metals, nitric acid and organic solvents (~;;50 years) have resulted in a massive decrease in species and allelic diversity as well as a significant loss of metabolic diversity. Although the surviving microbial community possesses all metabolic pathways necessary for survival and growth in such an extreme environment, its structure is very simple, primarily composed of clonal denitrifying ?- and ?-proteobacterial populations. The resulting community is over-abundant in key genes conferring resistance to specific stresses including nitrate, heavy metals and acetone. Evolutionary analysis indicates that lateral gene transfer could be a key mechanism in rapidly responding and adapting to environmental contamination. The results presented in this study have important implications in understanding, assessing and predicting the impacts of human-induced activities on microbial communities ranging from human health to agriculture to environmental management, and their responses to environmental changes.
Date: February 15, 2010
Creator: Hemme, Christopher L.; Deng, Ye; Gentry, Terry J.; Fields, Matthew W.; Wu, Liyou; Barua, Soumitra et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-resolution metagenomics targets major functional types in complex microbial communities

Description: Most microbes in the biosphere remain uncultured and unknown. Whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequencing of environmental DNA (metagenomics) allows glimpses into genetic and metabolic potentials of natural microbial communities. However, in communities of high complexity metagenomics fail to link specific microbes to specific ecological functions. To overcome this limitation, we selectively targeted populations involved in oxidizing single-carbon (C{sub 1}) compounds in Lake Washington (Seattle, USA) by labeling their DNA via stable isotope probing (SIP), followed by WGS sequencing. Metagenome analysis demonstrated specific sequence enrichments in response to different C{sub 1} substrates, highlighting ecological roles of individual phylotypes. We further demonstrated the utility of our approach by extracting a nearly complete genome of a novel methylotroph Methylotenera mobilis, reconstructing its metabolism and conducting genome-wide analyses. This approach allowing high-resolution genomic analysis of ecologically relevant species has the potential to be applied to a wide variety of ecosystems.
Date: August 1, 2009
Creator: Kalyuzhnaya, Marina G.; Lapidus, Alla; Ivanova, Natalia; Copeland, Alex C.; McHardy, Alice C.; Szeto, Ernest et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metagenomic and functional analysis of hindgut microbiota of a wood-feeding higher termite

Description: From the standpoints of both basic research and biotechnology, there is considerable interest in reaching a clearer understanding of the diversity of biological mechanisms employed during lignocellulose degradation. Globally, termites are an extremely successful group of wood-degrading organisms and are therefore important both for their roles in carbon turnover in the environment and as potential sources of biochemical catalysts for efforts aimed at converting wood into biofuels. Only recently have data supported any direct role for the symbiotic bacteria in the gut of the termite in cellulose and xylan hydrolysis. Here we use a metagenomic analysis of the bacterial community resident in the hindgut paunch of a wood-feeding Nasutitermes species to show the presence of a large, diverse set of bacterial genes for cellulose and xylan hydrolysis. Many of these genes were expressed in vivo or had cellulase activity in vitro, and further analyses implicate spirochete and fibrobacter species in gut lignocellulose degradation. New insights into other important symbiotic functions including H{sub 2} metabolism, CO{sub 2}-reductive acetogenesis and N{sub 2} fixation are also provided by this first system-wide gene analysis of a microbial community specialized towards plant lignocellulose degradation. Our results underscore how complex even a 1-{micro}l environment can be.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Warnecke, Falk; Warnecke, Falk; Luginbuhl, Peter; Ivanova, Natalia; Ghassemian, Majid; Richardson, Toby H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department