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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Unraveling microbial communities associated with methylmercury production in paddy soils.

Rice consumption is now recognized as an important pathway of human exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg), particularly in countries where rice is a staple food. Although the discovery of a two-gene cluster hgcAB has linked Hg methylation to several phylogenetically diverse groups of anaerobic microorganisms converting inorganic mercury (Hg) to MeHg, the prevalence and diversity of Hg methylators in microbial communities of rice paddy soils remain unclear. We characterized the abundance and distribution of hgcAB genes using third-generation PacBio long-read sequencing and Illumina short-read metagenomic sequencing, in combination with quantitative PCR analyses in several mine-impacted paddy soils from southwest…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genotype to phenotype: Diet-by-mitochondrial DNA haplotype interactions drive metabolic flexibility and organismal fitness.

Diet may be modified seasonally or by biogeographic, demographic or cultural shifts. It can differentially influence mitochondrial bioenergetics, retrograde signalling to the nuclear genome, and anterograde signalling to mitochondria. All these interactions have the potential to alter the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes (mitotypes) in nature and may impact human health. In a model laboratory system, we fed four diets varying in Protein: Carbohydrate (P:C) ratio (1:2, 1:4, 1:8 and 1:16 P:C) to four homoplasmic Drosophila melanogaster mitotypes (nuclear genome standardised) and assayed their frequency in population cages. When fed a high protein 1:2 P:C diet, the frequency of flies harbouring…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The phylogenomic diversity of herbivore- associated Fibrobacter spp. is correlated to lignocellulose-degrading potential.

Members of the genus Fibrobacter are cellulose-degrading bacteria and common constituents of the gastrointestinal microbiota of herbivores. Although considerable phylogenetic diversity is observed among members of this group, few functional differences explaining the distinct ecological distributions of specific phylotypes have been described. In this study, we sequenced and performed a comparative analysis of whole genomes from 38 novel Fibrobacter strains against the type strains for the two formally described Fibrobacter species F. succinogenes strain S85 and F. intestinalis strain NR9. Significant differences in the number of genes encoding carbohydrate-active enzyme families involved in plant cell wall polysaccharide degradation were observed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Description of Schaedlerella arabinophila gen. nov., sp. nov., a D-arabinose utilizing bacterium isolated from feces of C57BL/6J mice and a close relative of Clostridium sp. ASF 502

The use of gnotobiotics has gained large interest in recent years due to technological advances that have revealed the importance of host-associated microbiomes for host physiology and health. One of the oldest and most important gnotobiotics mouse model, the Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF) has been used for several decades. ASF comprises eight different bacterial species, which have been characterized to different extent, but only few are available through public strain collections. Here, the isolation of a close relative to one of the less studied ASF strains, Clostridium sp. ASF 502, is reported. Isolate TLL-A1, which shares 99.6% 16S rRNA gene…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

From the inside out: An epibiotic Bdellovibrio predator with an expanded genomic complement

Bdellovibrio and like organisms are abundant environmental predators of prokaryotes that show a diversity of predation strategies, ranging from intra-periplasmic to epibiotic predation. The novel epibiotic predator Bdellovibrio qaytius was isolated from a eutrophic freshwater pond in British Columbia, where it was a continual part of the microbial community. Bdellovibrio qaytius was found to preferentially prey on the beta-proteobacterium Paraburkholderia fungorum. Despite its epibiotic replication strategy, B. qaytius encodes a complex genomic complement more similar to periplasmic predators as well as several biosynthesis pathways not previously found in epibiotic predators. Bdellovibrio qaytius is representative of a widely distributed basal cluster…

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