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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Molecular characterization of eukaryotic algal communities in the tropical phyllosphere based on real-time sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene.

Foliicolous algae are a common occurrence in tropical forests. They are referable to a few simple morphotypes (unicellular, sarcinoid-like or filamentous), which makes their morphology of limited usefulness for taxonomic studies and species diversity assessments. The relationship between algal community and their host phyllosphere was not clear. In order to obtain a more accurate assessment, we used single molecule real-time sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene to characterize the eukaryotic algal community in an area of South-western China.We annotated 2922 OTUs belonging to five classes, Ulvophyceae, Trebouxiophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Dinophyceae and Eustigmatophyceae. Novel clades formed by large numbers sequences of green…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A comprehensive fungi-specific 18S rRNA gene sequence primer toolkit suited for diverse research issues and sequencing platforms.

Several fungi-specific primers target the 18S rRNA gene sequence, one of the prominent markers for fungal classification. The design of most primers goes back to the last decades. Since then, the number of sequences in public databases increased leading to the discovery of new fungal groups and changes in fungal taxonomy. However, no reevaluation of primers was carried out and relevant information on most primers is missing. With this study, we aimed to develop an 18S rRNA gene sequence primer toolkit allowing an easy selection of the best primer pair appropriate for different sequencing platforms, research aims (biodiversity assessment versus…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Anthropogenic N deposition alters the composition of expressed class II fungal peroxidases.

Here, we present evidence that ca. 20 years of experimental N deposition altered the composition of lignin-decaying class II peroxidases expressed by forest floor fungi, a response which has occurred concurrently with reductions in plant litter decomposition and a rapid accumulation of soil organic matter. This finding suggests that anthropogenic N deposition has induced changes in the biological mediation of lignin decay, the rate limiting step in plant litter decomposition. Thus, an altered composition of transcripts for a critical gene that is associated with terrestrial C cycling may explain the increased soil C storage under long-term increases in anthropogenic N…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Effects of low crude oil chronic exposure on the northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica)

Chronic oil pollution related to gas and oil drilling activities is increasing in the sea due to the rising offshore petroleum industry activity. Among marine organisms, zooplankton play a crucial role in the marine ecosystem and therefore understanding the effects of crude oil chronic exposure on zooplankton is needed to determine the impact of oil in marine environments. The present study reports on the effect of crude oil on adult northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, collected during three seasons. Their sensitivity to oil was examined with oil concentration of 0.01 versus 0.1 mg oil L- 1 and photo-modified oil in flowing…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

High-resolution characterization of the human microbiome.

The human microbiome plays an important and increasingly recognized role in human health. Studies of the microbiome typically use targeted sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, or other meta-omic technologies to characterize the microbiome’s composition, activity, and dynamics. Processing, analyzing, and interpreting these data involve numerous computational tools that aim to filter, cluster, annotate, and quantify the obtained data and ultimately provide an accurate and interpretable profile of the microbiome’s taxonomy, functional capacity, and behavior. These tools, however, are often limited in resolution and accuracy and may fail to capture many biologically and clinically relevant microbiome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A quantitative SMRT cell sequencing method for ribosomal amplicons.

Advances in sequencing technologies continue to provide unprecedented opportunities to characterize microbial communities. For example, the Pacific Biosciences Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) platform has emerged as a unique approach harnessing DNA polymerase activity to sequence template molecules, enabling long reads at low costs. With the aim to simultaneously classify and enumerate in situ microbial populations, we developed a quantitative SMRT (qSMRT) approach that involves the addition of exogenous standards to quantify ribosomal amplicons derived from environmental samples. The V7-9 regions of 18S SSU rDNA were targeted and quantified from protistan community samples collected in the Ross Sea during the Austral…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Evaluation of long-term performance of sediment microbial fuel cells and the role of natural resources

Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are expected to be used as a renewable power source for remote environmental monitoring; therefore, evaluation of their long-term power performance is critical for their usability. In this paper, we present novel data needed to understand the long-term performance of SMFCs. We used 3-D Microemulsion (3DMe)™ doped anodes, which slowly release lactate and its fermented products. During our tests, anode-limited SMFCs with and without 3DMe-doped anodes were operated for more than 18 months with a load simulating a sensor operation. We found that doping an anode with an electron donor reduced startup time and increased…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Enigmatic Diphyllatea eukaryotes: culturing and targeted PacBio RS amplicon sequencing reveals a higher order taxonomic diversity and global distribution.

The class Diphyllatea belongs to a group of enigmatic unicellular eukaryotes that play a key role in reconstructing the morphological innovation and diversification of early eukaryotic evolution. Despite its evolutionary significance, very little is known about the phylogeny and species diversity of Diphyllatea. Only three species have described morphology, being taxonomically divided by flagella number, two or four, and cell size. Currently, one 18S rRNA Diphyllatea sequence is available, with environmental sequencing surveys reporting only a single partial sequence from a Diphyllatea-like organism. Accordingly, geographical distribution of Diphyllatea based on molecular data is limited, despite morphological data suggesting the class…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Order of removal of conventional and nonconventional introns from nuclear transcripts of Euglena gracilis.

Nuclear genes of euglenids and marine diplonemids harbor atypical, nonconventional introns which are not observed in the genomes of other eukaryotes. Nonconventional introns do not have the conserved borders characteristic for spliceosomal introns or the sequence complementary to U1 snRNA at the 5′ end. They form a stable secondary structure bringing together both exon/intron junctions, nevertheless, this conformation does not resemble the form of self-splicing or tRNA introns. In the genes studied so far, frequent nonconventional introns insertions at new positions have been observed, whereas conventional introns have been either found at the conserved positions, or simply lost. In this…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Capturing single cell genomes of active polysaccharide degraders: an unexpected contribution of Verrucomicrobia.

Microbial hydrolysis of polysaccharides is critical to ecosystem functioning and is of great interest in diverse biotechnological applications, such as biofuel production and bioremediation. Here we demonstrate the use of a new, efficient approach to recover genomes of active polysaccharide degraders from natural, complex microbial assemblages, using a combination of fluorescently labeled substrates, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and single cell genomics. We employed this approach to analyze freshwater and coastal bacterioplankton for degraders of laminarin and xylan, two of the most abundant storage and structural polysaccharides in nature. Our results suggest that a few phylotypes of Verrucomicrobia make a considerable contribution…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The microbiota of freshwater fish and freshwater niches contain omega-3 producing Shewanella species.

Approximately 30 years ago, it was discovered that free-living bacteria isolated from cold ocean depths could produce polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (20:5n-3) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (22:6n-3), two PUFA essential for human health. Numerous laboratories have also discovered that EPA- and/or DHA-producing bacteria, many of them members of the Shewanella genus, could be isolated from the intestinal tracts of omega-3 fatty acid-rich marine fish. If bacteria contribute omega-3 fatty acids to the host fish in general or if they assist some bacterial species in adaptation to cold, then cold freshwater fish or habitats should also…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Long-read DNA metabarcoding of ribosomal RNA in the analysis of fungi from aquatic environments.

DNA metabarcoding is widely used to study prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial diversity. Technological constraints limit most studies to marker lengths below 600 base pairs (bp). Longer sequencing reads of several thousand bp are now possible with third-generation sequencing. Increased marker lengths provide greater taxonomic resolution and allow for phylogenetic methods of classification, but longer reads may be subject to higher rates of sequencing error and chimera formation. In addition, most bioinformatics tools for DNA metabarcoding were designed for short reads and are therefore unsuitable. Here, we used Pacific Biosciences circular consensus sequencing (CCS) to DNA-metabarcode environmental samples using a ca. 4,500 bp…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Divergent brain gene expression profiles between alternative behavioural helper types in a cooperative breeder.

Juveniles of the cooperatively breeding cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher either consistently provide help in form of alloparental egg care (“cleaners”) or consistently abstain from helping (“noncleaners”). These phenotypes are not based on heritable genetic differences. Instead, they arise during ontogeny, which should lead to differences in brain structure or physiology, a currently untested prediction. We compared brain gene expression profiles of cleaners and noncleaners in two experimental conditions, a helping opportunity and a control condition. We aimed to identify (a) expression differences between cleaners and noncleaners in the control, (b) changes in gene expression induced by the opportunity and (c)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mesoscale variability of the summer bloom over the northern Ross Sea shelf: A tale of two banks

Multi-year satellite records indicate an asymmetric spatial pattern in the summer bloom in the Northern Ross Sea, with the largest blooms over the shallows of Pennell Bank compared to Mawson Bank. In 2010–2011, high-resolution spatiotemporal in situ sampling focused on these two banks to better understand factors contributing to this pattern. Dissolved and particulate Fe profiles suggested similar surface water depletion of dissolved Fe on both banks. The surface sediments and velocity observations indicate a more energetic water column over Mawson Bank. Consequently, the surface mixed layer over Pennell Bank was more homogeneous and shallower. Over Mawson Bank we observed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Towards long-read metagenomics: complete assembly of three novel genomes from bacteria dependent on a diazotrophic cyanobacterium in a freshwater lake co-culture.

Here we report three complete bacterial genome assemblies from a PacBio shotgun metagenome of a co-culture from Upper Klamath Lake, OR. Genome annotations and culture conditions indicate these bacteria are dependent on carbon and nitrogen fixation from the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, whose genome was assembled to draft-quality. Due to their taxonomic novelty relative to previously sequenced bacteria, we have temporarily designated these bacteria as incertae sedis Hyphomonadaceae strain UKL13-1 (3,501,508 bp and 56.12% GC), incertae sedis Betaproteobacterium strain UKL13-2 (3,387,087 bp and 54.98% GC), and incertae sedis Bacteroidetes strain UKL13-3 (3,236,529 bp and 37.33% GC). Each genome consists of a single circular chromosome…

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