Comparative metagenomics reveals host specific metavirulomes and horizontal gene transfer elements in the chicken cecum microbiome.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:The complex microbiome of the ceca of chickens plays an important role in nutrient utilization, growth and well-being of these animals. Since we have a very limited understanding of the capabilities of most species present in the cecum, we investigated the role of the microbiome by comparative analyses of both the microbial community structure and functional gene content using random sample pyrosequencing. The overall goal of this study was to characterize the chicken cecal microbiome using a pathogen-free chicken and one that had been challenged with Campylobacter jejuni. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Comparative metagenomic pyrosequencing was used to generate 55,364,266 bases of random sampled pyrosequence data from two chicken cecal samples. SSU rDNA gene tags and environmental gene tags (EGTs) were identified using SEED subsystems-based annotations. The distribution of phylotypes and EGTs detected within each cecal sample were primarily from the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, consistent with previous SSU rDNA libraries of the chicken cecum. Carbohydrate metabolism and virulence genes are major components of the EGT content of both of these microbiomes. A comparison of the twelve major pathways in the SEED Virulence Subsystem (metavirulome) represented in the chicken cecum, mouse cecum and human fecal microbiomes showed that the metavirulomes differed between these microbiomes and the metavirulomes clustered by host environment. The chicken cecum microbiomes had the broadest range of EGTs within the SEED Conjugative Transposon Subsystem, however the mouse cecum microbiomes showed a greater abundance of EGTs in this subsystem. Gene assemblies (32 contigs) from one microbiome sample were predominately from the Bacteroidetes, and seven of these showed sequence similarity to transposases, whereas the remaining sequences were most similar to those from catabolic gene families. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE:This analysis has demonstrated that mobile DNA elements are a major functional component of cecal microbiomes, thus contributing to horizontal gene transfer and functional microbiome evolution. Moreover, the metavirulomes of these microbiomes appear to associate by host environment. These data have implications for defining core and variable microbiome content in a host species. Furthermore, this suggests that the evolution of host specific metavirulomes is a contributing factor in disease resistance to zoonotic pathogens.
Project description:Recent work characterized the chicken reproductive tract (oviduct) microbiome composition and its similarity to the egg and chick microbiomes. However, the origin of the oviduct microbiome has not been addressed yet. Here, we characterized the microbiome composition along the oviduct (infundibulum, magnum, and shell gland) as well as in the gut (jejunum and cecum) of broiler breeders at 37 weeks of age of the Cobb industrial breed. We found that while the microbiome composition along the oviduct is similar, the three sites, jejunum, cecum, and oviduct hold distinct microbiomes. However, there was also a large overlap in the composition of the gut and oviduct microbiomes, with 55 and 53% of amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) representing 96 and 90% of the total abundance in the jejunum and cecum, respectively, shared with the magnum. Furthermore, we identified a strong correlation between the relative abundance of ASVs in the gut and their probability to be found in the oviduct. These results suggest that material from the gut travels the full length of the oviduct. This is possibly the result of chicken physiology which includes the cloaca, a cavity to which both the intestinal and reproductive tracts open into. As the cloaca is common to birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes, our finding may be relevant to many vertebrates. Importantly, these results indicate that mere presence in, and ascending of the oviduct are not virulence characteristics specific to pathogens, as commonly thought, but are the result of chicken physiology and characterize all gut bacteria. Furthermore, whereas a vertical transmission route from the hen to the chick has been suggested, our work starts laying a mechanistic foundation to this route, by describing the movement of gut bacteria to the oviduct, where they may be enclosed in the developing egg. Last, as our results show that gut material travels the full length of the oviduct, fertilization in poultry occurs in the presence of at least bacterial products if not live bacteria, and therefore food additives, probiotics, and diet possibly have a much more direct effect on reproduction and egg formation than previously considered.
Project description:The gut microbiome of animals is emerging as an important factor influencing ecological and evolutionary processes. A major bottleneck in obtaining microbiome data from large numbers of samples is the time-consuming laboratory procedures required, specifically the isolation of DNA and generation of amplicon libraries. Recently, direct PCR kits have been developed that circumvent conventional DNA extraction steps, thereby streamlining the laboratory process by reducing preparation time and costs. However, the reliability and efficacy of direct PCR for measuring host microbiomes have not yet been investigated other than in humans with 454 sequencing. Here, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the microbial communities obtained with direct PCR and the widely used Mo Bio PowerSoil DNA extraction kit in five distinct gut sample types (ileum, cecum, colon, feces, and cloaca) from 20 juvenile ostriches, using 16S rRNA Illumina MiSeq sequencing. We found that direct PCR was highly comparable over a range of measures to the DNA extraction method in cecal, colon, and fecal samples. However, the two methods significantly differed in samples with comparably low bacterial biomass: cloacal and especially ileal samples. We also sequenced 100 replicate sample pairs to evaluate repeatability during both extraction and PCR stages and found that both methods were highly consistent for cecal, colon, and fecal samples (rs > 0.7) but had low repeatability for cloacal (rs = 0.39) and ileal (rs = -0.24) samples. This study indicates that direct PCR provides a fast, cheap, and reliable alternative to conventional DNA extraction methods for retrieving 16S rRNA data, which can aid future gut microbiome studies. IMPORTANCE The microbial communities of animals can have large impacts on their hosts, and the number of studies using high-throughput sequencing to measure gut microbiomes is rapidly increasing. However, the library preparation procedure in microbiome research is both costly and time-consuming, especially for large numbers of samples. We investigated a cheaper and faster direct PCR method designed to bypass the DNA isolation steps during 16S rRNA library preparation and compared it with a standard DNA extraction method. We used both techniques on five different gut sample types collected from 20 juvenile ostriches and sequenced samples with Illumina MiSeq. The methods were highly comparable and highly repeatable in three sample types with high microbial biomass (cecum, colon, and feces), but larger differences and low repeatability were found in the microbiomes obtained from the ileum and cloaca. These results will help microbiome researchers assess library preparation procedures and plan their studies accordingly.
Project description:Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are chronic, inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The combined influence of lifestyle factors, genetics, and the gut microbiome contribute to IBD pathogenesis. Studies of the gut microbiome have shown significant differences in its composition between healthy individuals and those with IBD. Due to the high inter-individual microbiome variation seen in humans, mouse models of IBD are often used to investigate potential IBD mechanisms and their interplay between host, microbial, and environmental factors. While fecal samples are the predominant material used for microbial community analysis, they may not be the ideal sample to use for analysis of the microbiome of mice with experimental colitis, such as that induced by 2, 4, 6 trinitrobenzesulfonic acid (TNBS). As TNBS is administered intrarectally to induce colitis and inflammation is confined to the colon in this model, we hypothesized that the microbiome of the colonic mucus would most closely correlate with TNBS colitis severity. Based on our previous research, we also hypothesized that sex would be associated with both disease severity and microbial differences in mice with chronic TNBS colitis. We examined and compared the fecal, cecal content, and colonic mucus microbiota of 8-week old male and female C57BL/6J wild-type mice prior to and after the induction of TNBS colitis via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We found that the colonic mucus microbiome was more closely correlated with disease severity than were alterations in the fecal and cecal microbiomes. We also found that the microbiomes of the feces, cecum, and mucus were distinct, but found no significant differences that were associated with sex in either compartment. Our findings highlight the importance of sampling colonic mucus in TNBS-induced colitis. Moreover, consideration of the differential impact of sex on the microbiome across mouse strains may be critical for the appropriate application of TNBS colitis models and robust comparisons across studies in the future.
Project description:The cecal microbiota plays a critical role in energy harvest and nutrient digestion, influencing intestinal health and the performance of chickens. Feed efficiency (FE) is essential for improving economic efficiency and saving social resources in chicken production and may be affected by the cecal microbiota. Therefore, to investigate the composition and functional capacity of cecum microbes related to FE in Xiayan chicken, an indigenous breed in Guangxi province, metagenome sequencing was performed on chicken cecal contents. 173 male and 167 female chickens were divided into high and low FE groups according to the residual feed intake. The cecal microbial genome was extracted and sequenced. The results showed that the genera Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Alistipes were the 3 most abundant in each cecal microbiome. The linear discriminant analysis effect size revealed 6 potential biomarkers in male and 14 in female chickens. Notably, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus in the high FE group was higher than that of the low FE group both in the male and female chickens, and the species Limosilactobacillus oris has a higher score in the high FE group of male chickens. In contrast, some potentially pathogenic microorganisms such as Campylobacter avium in females and Helicobacter pullorum in males were enriched in the low FE group. Predictive functional analysis showed that the high FE group in male chickens had a greater ability of xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism and signaling molecules and interaction. In addition, the host sex was found to exert effects on the cecal microbial composition and function associated with FE. These results increased our understanding of the cecal microbial composition and identified many potential biomarkers related to FE, which may be used to improve the FE of the chickens.
Project description:Chickens are major source of food and protein worldwide. Feed conversion and the health of chickens relies on the largely unexplored complex microbial community that inhabits the chicken gut, including the ceca. We have carried out deep microbial community profiling of the microbiota in twenty cecal samples via 16S rRNA gene sequences and an in-depth metagenomics analysis of a single cecal microbiota. We recovered 699 phylotypes, over half of which appear to represent previously unknown species. We obtained 648,251 environmental gene tags (EGTs), the majority of which represent new species. These were binned into over two-dozen draft genomes, which included Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pullorum. We found numerous polysaccharide- and oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes encoding within the metagenome, some of which appeared to be part of polysaccharide utilization systems with genetic evidence for the co-ordination of polysaccharide degradation with sugar transport and utilization. The cecal metagenome encodes several fermentation pathways leading to the production of short-chain fatty acids, including some with novel features. We found a dozen uptake hydrogenases encoded in the metagenome and speculate that these provide major hydrogen sinks within this microbial community and might explain the high abundance of several genera within this microbiome, including Campylobacter, Helicobacter and Megamonas.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the composition and function of gut microbiota. Here, we compared the bacterial compositions and fermentation metabolites of human and chicken gut microbiotas. Results generated by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3 region showed the compositions of human and chicken microbiotas to be markedly different, with chicken cecal microbiotas displaying more diversity than human fecal microbiotas. The nutrient requirements of each microbiota growing under batch and chemostat conditions were analyzed. The results showed that chicken cecal microbiotas required simple sugars and peptides to maintain balanced growth in vitro but that human fecal microbiotas preferred polysaccharides and proteins. Chicken microbiotas also produced higher concentrations of volatile fatty acids than did human microbiotas. Our data suggest that the availability of different fermentable substrates in the chicken cecum, which exist due to the unique anatomical structure of the cecum, may provide an environment favorable to the nourishment of microbiotas suited to the production of the higher-energy metabolites required by the bird. Therefore, gut structure, nutrition, immunity, and life-style all contribute to the selection of an exclusive bacterial community that produces types of metabolites beneficial to the host.
Project description:The cecum is a unique region in the mammalian intestinal tract in which the microbiome is localized to two compartments, the lumen and the crypts. The microbiome within crypts is particularly important as it is in direct contact with lining epithelial cells including stem cells. Here, we analyzed the microbiome in cecum of mice using multiple techniques including metagenomics. The lumen microbiome comprised Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes whereas the crypts were dominated by Proteobacteria and Deferribacteres, and the mucus comprised a mixture of these 4 phyla. The lumen microbial functional potential comprised mainly carbon metabolism, while the crypt microbiome was enriched for genes encoding stress resistance. In order to determine how this structure, assembly, and function are altered under provocative conditions, we exposed mice to overnight starvation (S), antibiotics (A), and a major surgical injury (partial hepatectomy [H]), as occurs with major surgery in humans. We have previously demonstrated that the combined effect of this "SAH" treatment leads to a major disturbance of the cecal microbiota at the bottom of crypts in a manner that disrupts crypt cell homeostasis. Here, we applied the SAH conditions and observed a loss of compartmentalization in both composition and function of the cecal microbiome associated with major shifts in local physicochemical cues including decrease of hypoxia, increase of pH, and loss of butyrate production. Taken together, these studies demonstrated a defined order, structure, and function of the cecal microbiome that can be disrupted under provocative conditions such as major surgery and its attendant exposures.IMPORTANCE The proximal colon and cecum are two intestinal regions in which the microbiome localizes to two spatially distinct compartments, the lumen and crypts. The differences in composition and function of luminal and crypt microbiome in the cecum and the effect of physiological stress on their compartmentalization remain poorly characterized. Here, we characterized the composition and function of the lumen-, mucus-, and crypt-associated microbiome in the cecum of mice. We observed a highly ordered microbial architecture within the cecum whose assembly and function become markedly disrupted when provoked by physiological stress such as surgery and its attendant preoperative treatments (i.e., overnight fasting and antibiotics). Major shifts in local physicochemical cues including a decrease in hypoxia levels, an increase in pH, and a loss of butyrate production were associated with the loss of compositional and functional compartmentalization of the cecal microbiome.
Project description:The poultry industry has traditionally relied on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) to improve production efficiency and minimize infection. With the recent drive to eliminate the use of AGPs, novel alternatives are urgently required. Recently attention has turned to the use of synthetic communities that may be used to 'seed' the developing microbiome. The current challenge is identifying keystone taxa whose influences in the gut can be leveraged for probiotic development. To help define such taxa we present a meta-analysis of 16S rRNA surveys of 1572 cecal microbiomes generated from 19 studies. Accounting for experimental biases, consistent with previous studies, we find that AGP exposure can result in reduced microbiome diversity. Network community analysis defines groups of taxa that form stable clusters and further reveals Lactobacillus to elicit a polarizing effect on the cecal microbiome, exhibiting relatively equal numbers of positive and negative interactions with other taxa. Our identification of stable taxonomic associations provides a valuable framework for developing effective microbial consortia as alternatives to AGPs.
Project description:To better understand the ecology of the poultry gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome and its interactions with the host, we compared GI bacterial communities by sample type (fecal or cecal), time (1, 3, and 6?weeks posthatch), and experimental pen (1, 2, 3, or 4), and measured cecal mRNA transcription of the cytokines IL18, IL1?, and IL6, IL10, and TGF-?4. The microbiome was characterized by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, and cytokine gene expression was measured by a panel of quantitative-PCR assays targeting mRNAs. Significant differences were observed in the microbiome by GI location (fecal versus cecal) and bird age as determined by permutational MANOVA and UniFrac phylogenetic hypothesis tests. At 1-week posthatch, bacterial genera significantly over-represented in fecal versus cecal samples included Gallibacterium and Lactobacillus, while the genus Bacteroides was significantly more abundant in the cecum. By 6-week posthatch, Clostridium and Caloramator (also a Clostridiales) sequence types had increased significantly in the cecum and Lactobacillus remained over-represented in fecal samples. In the ceca, the relative abundance of sequences classified as Clostridium increased by ca. 10-fold each sampling period from 0.1% at 1?week to 1% at 3?week and 18% at 6?week. Increasing community complexity through time were observed in increased taxonomic richness and diversity. IL18 and IL1? significantly (p?<?0.05, pairwise t-tests) increased to maximum mean expression levels 1.5 fold greater at week 3 than 1, while IL6 significantly decreased to 0.8- and 0.5-fold expression at 3- and 6-week posthatch, respectively relative to week 1. Transcription of pro-inflammatory cytokines was generally negatively correlated with the relative abundance of various members of the phylum Firmicutes and positively correlated with Proteobacteria. Correlations of the microbiome with specific cytokine mRNA transcription highlight the importance of the GI microbiome for bird health and productivity and may be a successful high-throughput strategy to identify bacterial taxa with specific immune-modulatory properties.
Project description:The study was designed to explore the effect of a commercial yeast cell wall product (YP) on chicken intestinal IgA response and cecum microbiome after oral vaccination. Chickens were fed with YP during the experiments and orally immunized with live Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccine at 2 wk of age. Then, the animals were sacrificed, and samples were collected to measure the indicators of hemagglutination inhibition (HI), IgA response, IgA + cells, and cecum microbiome populations. The results showed that supplement of YP significantly enhanced serum NDV HI titer, intestinal NDV-specific secretory IgA, and intestinal IgA + cells. The sequencing results revealed that obviously increased relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae and decreased population of Bacteroidaceae in cecum were found in YP group. In summary, YP supplementation in diet enhanced intestinal IgA response to NDV vaccination by oral route and modulated the cecum microbiota to the advantage of the host in chickens.