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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Active microorganisms in forest soils differ from the total community yet are shaped by the same environmental factors: the influence of pH and soil moisture.

Predicting the impact of environmental change on soil microbial functions requires an understanding of how environmental factors shape microbial composition. Here, we investigated the influence of environmental factors on bacterial and fungal communities across an expanse of northern hardwood forest in Michigan, USA, which spans a 500-km regional climate gradient. We quantified soil microbial community composition using high-throughput DNA sequencing on coextracted rDNA (i.e. total community) and rRNA (i.e. active community). Within both bacteria and fungi, total and active communities were compositionally distinct from one another across the regional gradient (bacteria P = 0.01; fungi P < 0.01). Taxonomically, the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ecological genomics of tropical trees: how local population size and allelic diversity of resistance genes relate to immune responses, cosusceptibility to pathogens, and negative density dependence

In tropical forests, rarer species show increased sensitivity to species-specific soil pathogens and more negative effects of conspecific density on seedling survival (NDD). These patterns suggest a connection between ecology and immunity, perhaps because small population size disproportionately reduces genetic diversity of hyperdiverse loci such as immunity genes. In an experiment examining seedling roots from six species in one tropical tree community, we found that smaller populations have reduced amino acid diversity in pathogen resistance (R) genes but not the transcriptome in general. Normalized R gene amino acid diversity varied with local abundance and prior measures of differences in sensitivity…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Caught in the middle with multiple displacement amplification: the myth of pooling for avoiding multiple displacement amplification bias in a metagenome.

Shotgun metagenomics has become an important tool for investigating the ecology of microorganisms. Underlying these investigations is the assumption that metagenome sequence data accurately estimates the census of microbial populations. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) of microbial community DNA is often used in cases where it is difficult to obtain enough DNA for sequencing; however, MDA can result in amplification biases that may impact subsequent estimates of population census from metagenome data. Some have posited that pooling replicate MDA reactions negates these biases and restores the accuracy of population analyses. This assumption has not been empirically tested.Using mock viral communities, we…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

PCR and omics based techniques to study the diversity, ecology and biology of anaerobic fungi: Insights, challenges andopportunities.

Anaerobic fungi (phylum Neocallimastigomycota) are common inhabitants of the digestive tract of mammalian herbivores, and in the rumen, can account for up to 20% of the microbial biomass. Anaerobic fungi play a primary role in the degradation of lignocellulosic plant material. They also have a syntrophic interaction with methanogenic archaea, which increases their fiber degradation activity. To date, nine anaerobic fungal genera have been described, with further novel taxonomic groupings known to exist based on culture-independent molecular surveys. However, the true extent of their diversity may be even more extensively underestimated as anaerobic fungi continue being discovered in yet unexplored…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Transcriptome-wide investigation of circular RNAs in rice.

Various stable circular RNAs (circRNAs) are newly identified to be the abundance of noncoding RNAs in Archaea, Caenorhabditis elegans, mice, and humans through high-throughput deep sequencing coupled with analysis of massive transcriptional data. CircRNAs play important roles in miRNA function and transcriptional controlling by acting as competing endogenous RNAs or positive regulators on their parent coding genes. However, little is known regarding circRNAs in plants. Here, we report 2354 rice circRNAs that were identified through deep sequencing and computational analysis of ssRNA-seq data. Among them, 1356 are exonic circRNAs. Some circRNAs exhibit tissue-specific expression. Rice circRNAs have a considerable number…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomics and host specialization of honey bee and bumble bee gut symbionts.

Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi are dominant members of the honey bee (Apis spp.) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) gut microbiota. We generated complete genomes of the type strains G. apicola wkB1(T) and S. alvi wkB2(T) (isolated from Apis), as well as draft genomes for four other strains from Bombus. G. apicola and S. alvi were found to occupy very different metabolic niches: The former is a saccharolytic fermenter, whereas the latter is an oxidizer of carboxylic acids. Together, they may form a syntrophic network for partitioning of metabolic resources. Both species possessed numerous genes [type 6 secretion systems, repeats…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Retention of seed trees fails to lifeboat ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity in harvested Scots pine forests.

Fennoscandian forestry has in the past decades changed from natural regeneration of forests towards replantation of clear-cuts, which negatively impacts ectomycorrhizal fungal (EMF) diversity. Retention of trees during harvesting enables EMF survival, and we therefore expected EMF communities to be more similar to those in old natural stands after forest regeneration using seed trees compared to full clear-cutting and replanting. We sequenced fungal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) amplicons to assess EMF communities in 10- to 60-year-old Scots pine stands regenerated either using seed trees or through replanting of clear-cuts with old natural stands as reference. We also investigated local…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Soil bacterial communities are shaped by temporal and environmental filtering: evidence from a long-term chronosequence.

Soil microbial communities are abundant, hyper-diverse and mediate global biogeochemical cycles, but we do not yet understand the processes mediating their assembly. Current hypothetical frameworks suggest temporal (e.g. dispersal limitation) and environmental (e.g. soil pH) filters shape microbial community composition; however, there is limited empirical evidence supporting this framework in the hyper-diverse soil environment, particularly at large spatial (i.e. regional to continental) and temporal (i.e. 100 to 1000 years) scales. Here, we present evidence from a long-term chronosequence (4000 years) that temporal and environmental filters do indeed shape soil bacterial community composition. Furthermore, nearly 20 years of environmental monitoring allowed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Atmospheric N deposition alters connectance, but not functional potential among saprotrophic bacterial communities.

The use of co-occurrence patterns to investigate interactions between micro-organisms has provided novel insight into organismal interactions within microbial communities. However, anthropogenic impacts on microbial co-occurrence patterns and ecosystem function remain an important gap in our ecological knowledge. In a northern hardwood forest ecosystem located in Michigan, USA, 20 years of experimentally increased atmospheric N deposition has reduced forest floor decay and increased soil C storage. This ecosystem-level response occurred concomitantly with compositional changes in saprophytic fungi and bacteria. Here, we investigated the influence of experimental N deposition on biotic interactions among forest floor bacterial assemblages by employing phylogenetic and molecular…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Santa Pola saltern as a model for studying the microbiota of hypersaline environments.

Multi-pond salterns constitute an excellent model for the study of the microbial diversity and ecology of hypersaline environments, showing a wide range of salt concentrations, from seawater to salt saturation. Accumulated studies on the Santa Pola (Alicante, Spain) multi-pond solar saltern during the last 35 years include culture-dependent and culture-independent molecular methods and metagenomics more recently. These approaches have permitted to determine in depth the microbial diversity of the ponds with intermediate salinities (from 10 % salts) up to salt saturation, with haloarchaea and bacteria as the two main dominant groups. In this review, we describe the main results obtained using the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Landscape of standing variation for tandem duplications in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans.

We have used whole genome paired-end Illumina sequence data to identify tandem duplications in 20 isofemale lines of Drosophila yakuba and 20 isofemale lines of D. simulans and performed genome wide validation with PacBio long molecule sequencing. We identify 1,415 tandem duplications that are segregating in D. yakuba as well as 975 duplications in D. simulans, indicating greater variation in D. yakuba. Additionally, we observe high rates of secondary deletions at duplicated sites, with 8% of duplicated sites in D. simulans and 17% of sites in D. yakuba modified with deletions. These secondary deletions are consistent with the action of…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Microsatellite marker discovery using single molecule real-time circular consensus sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences RS.

Microsatellite sequences are important markers for population genetics studies. In the past, the development of adequate microsatellite primers has been cumbersome. However with the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies, marker identification in genomes of non-model species has been greatly simplified. Here we describe microsatellite discovery on a Pacific Biosciences single molecule real-time sequencer. For the Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), we identified 316 microsatellite loci in a single genome shotgun sequencing experiment. We found that the capability of handling large insert sizes and high quality circular consensus sequences provides an advantage over short read technologies for primer design. Combined with…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Polymorphic microsatellite markers for a wind-dispersed tropical tree species, Triplaris cumingiana (Polygonaceae).

Novel microsatellite markers were characterized in the wind-dispersed and dioecious neotropical tree Triplaris cumingiana (Polygonaceae) for use in understanding the ecological processes and genetic impacts of pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow in tropical forests. •Sixty-two microsatellite primer pairs were screened, from which 12 markers showing five or more alleles per locus (range 5-17) were tested on 47 individuals. Observed and expected heterozygosities averaged 0.692 and 0.731, respectively. Polymorphism information content was between 0.417 and 0.874. Linkage disequilibrium was observed in one of the 66 pairwise comparisons between loci. Two loci showed deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. An additional 14 markers exhibiting…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Shared signatures of parasitism and phylogenomics unite Cryptomycota and microsporidia.

Fungi grow within their food, externally digesting it and absorbing nutrients across a semirigid chitinous cell wall. Members of the new phylum Cryptomycota were proposed to represent intermediate fungal forms, lacking a chitinous cell wall during feeding and known almost exclusively from ubiquitous environmental ribosomal RNA sequences that cluster at the base of the fungal tree [1, 2]. Here, we sequence the first Cryptomycotan genome (the water mold endoparasite Rozella allomycis) and unite the Cryptomycota with another group of endoparasites, the microsporidia, based on phylogenomics and shared genomic traits. We propose that Cryptomycota and microsporidia share a common endoparasitic ancestor,…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Chaos of rearrangements in the mating-type chromosomes of the anther-smut fungus Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae.

Sex chromosomes in plants and animals and fungal mating-type chromosomes often show exceptional genome features, with extensive suppression of homologous recombination and cytological differentiation between members of the diploid chromosome pair. Despite strong interest in the genetics of these chromosomes, their large regions of suppressed recombination often are enriched in transposable elements and therefore can be challenging to assemble. Here we show that the latest improvements of the PacBio sequencing yield assembly of the whole genome of the anther-smut fungus, Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae (the pathogenic fungus causing anther-smut disease of Silene latifolia), into finished chromosomes or chromosome arms, even for the…

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