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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

Atmospheric N deposition increases bacterial laccase-like multicopper oxidases: implications for organic matter decay.

Anthropogenic release of biologically available nitrogen (N) has increased dramatically over the last 150 years, which can alter the processes controlling carbon (C) storage in terrestrial ecosystems. In a northern hardwood forest ecosystem located in Michigan in the United States, nearly 20 years of experimentally increased atmospheric N deposition has reduced forest floor decay and increased soil C storage. This change occurred concomitantly with compositional changes in Basidiomycete fungi and in Actinobacteria, as well as the downregulation of fungal lignocelluloytic genes. Recently, laccase-like multicopper oxidases (LMCOs) have been discovered among bacteria which can oxidize ß-O-4 linkages in phenolic compounds (e.g.,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Single-cell (meta-)genomics of a dimorphic Candidatus Thiomargarita nelsonii reveals genomic plasticity.

The genus Thiomargarita includes the world’s largest bacteria. But as uncultured organisms, their physiology, metabolism, and basis for their gigantism are not well understood. Thus, a genomics approach, applied to a single Candidatus Thiomargarita nelsonii cell was employed to explore the genetic potential of one of these enigmatic giant bacteria. The Thiomargarita cell was obtained from an assemblage of budding Ca. T. nelsonii attached to a provannid gastropod shell from Hydrate Ridge, a methane seep offshore of Oregon, USA. Here we present a manually curated genome of Bud S10 resulting from a hybrid assembly of long Pacific Biosciences and short…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Accurate determination of bacterial abundances in human metagenomes using full-length 16S sequencing reads

DNA sequencing of PCR-amplified marker genes, especially but not limited to the 16S rRNA gene, is perhaps the most common approach for profiling microbial communities. Due to technological constraints of commonly available DNA sequencing, these approaches usually take the form of short reads sequenced from a narrow, targeted variable region, with a corresponding loss of taxonomic resolution relative to the full length marker gene. We use Pacific Biosciences single-molecule, real-time circular consensus sequencing to sequence amplicons spanning the entire length of the 16S rRNA gene. However, this sequencing technology suffers from high sequencing error rate that needs to be addressed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Meeting report: 31st International Mammalian Genome Conference, Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: From Molecular Mechanisms to Translational Applications.

High on the Heidelberg hills, inside the Advanced Training Centre of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) campus with its unique double-helix staircase, scientists gathered for the EMBL conference “Mammalian Genetics and Genomics: From Molecular Mechanisms to Translational Applications,” organized in cooperation with the International Mammalian Genome Society (IMGS) and the Mouse Molecular Genetics (MMG) group. The conference attracted 205 participants from 30 countries, representing 6 of the 7 continents-all except Antarctica. It was a richly diverse group of geneticists, clinicians, and bioinformaticians, with presentations by established and junior investigators, including many trainees. From the 24th-27th of October 2017, they…

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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

Emergence, retention and selection: A trilogy of origination for functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs in primates.

While some human-specific protein-coding genes have been proposed to originate from ancestral lncRNAs, the transition process remains poorly understood. Here we identified 64 hominoid-specific de novo genes and report a mechanism for the origination of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs with precise splicing structures and specific tissue expression profiles. Whole-genome sequencing of dozens of rhesus macaque animals revealed that these lncRNAs are generally not more selectively constrained than other lncRNA loci. The existence of these newly-originated de novo proteins is also not beyond anticipation under neutral expectation, as they generally have longer theoretical lifespan than their current age,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Root endophytes and invasiveness: no difference between native and non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes Region

Microbial interactions could play an important role in plant invasions. If invasive plants associate with relatively more mutualists or fewer pathogens than their native counterparts, then microbial communities could foster plant invasiveness. Studies examining the effects of microbes on invasive plants commonly focus on a single microbial group (e.g., bacteria) or measure only plant response to microbes, not documenting the specific taxa associating with invaders. We surveyed root microbial communities associated with co-occurring native and non-native lineages of Phragmites australis, across Michigan, USA. Our aim was to determine whether (1) plant lineage was a stronger predictor of root microbial community…

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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

Soil microbial communities and elk foraging intensity: implications for soil biogeochemical cycling in the sagebrush steppe.

Foraging intensity of large herbivores may exert an indirect top-down ecological force on soil microbial communities via changes in plant litter inputs. We investigated the responses of the soil microbial community to elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range occupancy across a long-term foraging exclusion experiment in the sagebrush steppe of the North American Rocky Mountains, combining phylogenetic analysis of fungi and bacteria with shotgun metagenomics and extracellular enzyme assays. Winter foraging intensity was associated with reduced bacterial richness and increasingly distinct bacterial communities. Although fungal communities did not respond linearly to foraging intensity, a greater ß-diversity response to winter foraging exclusion…

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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

Complete genome sequences of two human oral microbiome commensals, Streptococcus salivarius ATCC 25975 and S. salivarius ATCC 27945.

Streptococcus salivarius strains are significant contributors to the human oral microbiome. Some possess unique fimbriae that give them the ability to coaggregate and colonize particular oral structures. We present here the complete genomes of Streptococcus salivarius Lancefield K(-)/K(+) strains ATCC 25975 and ATCC 27945, which can and cannot, respectively, produce fimbriae. Copyright © 2017 Butler et al.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Somatic second hit mutation of RASA1 in vascular endothelial cells in capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation.

Capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation (CM-AVM) is an autosomal dominant vascular disorder that is associated with inherited inactivating mutations of the RASA1 gene in the majority of cases. Characteristically, patients exhibit one or more focal cutaneous CM that may occur alone or together with AVM, arteriovenous fistulas or lymphatic vessel abnormalities. The focal nature and varying presentation of lesions has led to the hypothesis that somatic “second hit” inactivating mutations of RASA1 are necessary for disease development. In this study, we examined CM from four different CM-AVM patients for the presence of somatically acquired RASA1 mutations. All four patients were shown to…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Citrobacter freundii fitness during bloodstream infection.

Sepsis resulting from microbial colonization of the bloodstream is a serious health concern associated with high mortality rates. The objective of this study was to define the physiologic requirements of Citrobacter freundii in the bloodstream as a model for bacteremia caused by opportunistic Gram-negative pathogens. A genetic screen in a murine host identified 177 genes that contributed significantly to fitness, the majority of which were broadly classified as having metabolic or cellular maintenance functions. Among the pathways examined, the Tat protein secretion system conferred the single largest fitness contribution during competition infections and a putative Tat-secreted protein, SufI, was also…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of new genes involved in curli production by a uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain from the highly virulent O45:K1:H7 lineage.

Curli are bacterial surface-associated amyloid fibers that bind to the dye Congo red (CR) and facilitate uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) biofilm formation and protection against host innate defenses. Here we sequenced the genome of the curli-producing UPEC pyelonephritis strain MS7163 and showed it belongs to the highly virulent O45:K1:H7 neonatal meningitis-associated clone. MS7163 produced curli at human physiological temperature, and this correlated with biofilm growth, resistance of sessile cells to the human cationic peptide cathelicidin, and enhanced colonization of the mouse bladder. We devised a forward genetic screen using CR staining as a proxy for curli production and identified 41…

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