Accessing the soil metagenome for studies of microbial diversity.
ABSTRACT: Soil microbial communities contain the highest level of prokaryotic diversity of any environment, and metagenomic approaches involving the extraction of DNA from soil can improve our access to these communities. Most analyses of soil biodiversity and function assume that the DNA extracted represents the microbial community in the soil, but subsequent interpretations are limited by the DNA recovered from the soil. Unfortunately, extraction methods do not provide a uniform and unbiased subsample of metagenomic DNA, and as a consequence, accurate species distributions cannot be determined. Moreover, any bias will propagate errors in estimations of overall microbial diversity and may exclude some microbial classes from study and exploitation. To improve metagenomic approaches, investigate DNA extraction biases, and provide tools for assessing the relative abundances of different groups, we explored the biodiversity of the accessible community DNA by fractioning the metagenomic DNA as a function of (i) vertical soil sampling, (ii) density gradients (cell separation), (iii) cell lysis stringency, and (iv) DNA fragment size distribution. Each fraction had a unique genetic diversity, with different predominant and rare species (based on ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [RISA] fingerprinting and phylochips). All fractions contributed to the number of bacterial groups uncovered in the metagenome, thus increasing the DNA pool for further applications. Indeed, we were able to access a more genetically diverse proportion of the metagenome (a gain of more than 80% compared to the best single extraction method), limit the predominance of a few genomes, and increase the species richness per sequencing effort. This work stresses the difference between extracted DNA pools and the currently inaccessible complete soil metagenome.
Project description:Gauging the microbial community structures and functions become imperative to understand the ecological processes. To understand the impact of long-term oil contamination on microbial community structure soil samples were taken from oil fields located in different industrial regions across Kadi, near Ahmedabad, India. Soil collected was hence used for metagenomic DNA extraction to study the capabilities of intrinsic microbial community in tolerating the oil perturbation.Taxonomic profiling was carried out by two different complementary approaches i.e. 16S rDNA and lowest common ancestor. The community profiling revealed the enrichment of phylum "Proteobacteria" and genus "Chromobacterium," respectively for polluted soil sample. Our results indicated that soil microbial diversity (Shannon diversity index) decreased significantly with contamination. Further, assignment of obtained metagenome reads to Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) of protein and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) hits revealed metabolic potential of indigenous microbial community. Enzymes were mapped on fatty acid biosynthesis pathway to elucidate their roles in possible catalytic reactions.To the best of our knowledge this is first study for influence of edible oil on soil microbial communities via shotgun sequencing. The results indicated that long-term oil contamination significantly affects soil microbial community structure by acting as an environmental filter to decrease the regional differences distinguishing soil microbial communities.
Project description:Chitin is the second most produced biopolymer on Earth after cellulose. Chitin degrading enzymes are promising but untapped sources for developing novel industrial biocatalysts. Hidden amongst uncultivated micro-organisms, new bacterial enzymes can be discovered and exploited by metagenomic approaches through extensive cloning and screening. Enrichment is also a well-known strategy, as it allows selection of organisms adapted to feed on a specific compound. In this study, we investigated how the soil bacterial community responded to chitin enrichment in a microcosm experiment. An integrative metagenomic approach coupling phylochips and high throughput shotgun pyrosequencing was established in order to assess the taxonomical and functional changes in the soil bacterial community. Results indicate that chitin enrichment leads to an increase of Actinobacteria, ?-proteobacteria and ?-proteobacteria suggesting specific selection of chitin degrading bacteria belonging to these classes. Part of enriched bacterial genera were not yet reported to be involved in chitin degradation, like the members from the Micrococcineae sub-order (Actinobacteria). An increase of the observed bacterial diversity was noticed, with detection of specific genera only in chitin treated conditions. The relative proportion of metagenomic sequences related to chitin degradation was significantly increased, even if it represents only a tiny fraction of the sequence diversity found in a soil metagenome.
Project description:Background: The soil environment is responsible for sustaining most terrestrial plant life on earth, yet we know surprisingly little about the important functions carried out by diverse microbial communities in soil. Soil microbes that inhabit the channels of decaying root systems, the detritusphere, are likely to be essential for plant growth and health, as these channels are the preferred locations of new root growth. Understanding the microbial metagenome of the detritusphere and how it responds to agricultural management such as crop rotations and soil tillage will be vital for improving global food production. Methods: The rhizosphere soils of wheat and chickpea growing under + and - decaying root were collected for metagenomics sequencing. A gene catalogue was established by de novo assembling metagenomic sequencing. Genes abundance was compared between bulk soil and rhizosphere soils under different treatments. Conclusions: The study describes the diversity and functional capacity of a high-quality soil microbial metagenome. The results demonstrate the contribution of the microbiome from decaying root in determining the metagenome of developing root systems, which is fundamental to plant growth, since roots preferentially inhabit previous root channels. Modifications in root microbial function through soil management, can ultimately govern plant health, productivity and food security. Overall design: Totally 18 samples were analysed, including the rhizosphere soils of wheat and chickpea growing under + and - decaying root, soils attached on the decaying root, and bulk soil with three replicates.
Project description:The soil ecosystem is critical for human health, affecting aspects of the environment from key agricultural and edaphic parameters to critical influence on climate change. Soil has more unknown biodiversity than any other ecosystem. We have applied diverse DNA extraction methods coupled with high throughput pyrosequencing to explore 4.88 × 10(9)?bp of metagenomic sequence data from the longest continually studied soil environment (Park Grass experiment at Rothamsted Research in the UK). Results emphasize important DNA extraction biases and unexpectedly low seasonal and vertical soil metagenomic functional class variations. Clustering-based subsystems and carbohydrate metabolism had the largest quantity of annotated reads assigned although <50% of reads were assigned at an E value cutoff of 10(-5). In addition, with the more detailed subsystems, cAMP signaling in bacteria (3.24±0.27% of the annotated reads) and the Ton and Tol transport systems (1.69±0.11%) were relatively highly represented. The most highly represented genome from the database was that for a Bradyrhizobium species. The metagenomic variance created by integrating natural and methodological fluctuations represents a global picture of the Rothamsted soil metagenome that can be used for specific questions and future inter-environmental metagenomic comparisons. However, only 1% of annotated sequences correspond to already sequenced genomes at 96% similarity and E values of <10(-5), thus, considerable genomic reconstructions efforts still have to be performed.
Project description:The fate of the carbon stocked in permafrost soils following global warming and permafrost thaw is of major concern in view of the potential for increased CH4 and CO2 emissions from these soils. Complex carbon compound degradation and greenhouse gas emissions are due to soil microbial communities, but their composition and functional potential in permafrost soils are largely unknown. Here, a 2 m deep permafrost and its overlying active layer soil were subjected to metagenome sequencing, quantitative PCR, and microarray analyses. The active layer soil and 2 m permafrost soil microbial community structures were very similar, with Actinobacteria being the dominant phylum. The two soils also possessed a highly similar spectrum of functional genes, especially when compared to other already published metagenomes. Key genes related to methane generation, methane oxidation and organic matter degradation were highly diverse for both soils in the metagenomic libraries and some (e.g. pmoA) showed relatively high abundance in qPCR assays. Genes related to nitrogen fixation and ammonia oxidation, which could have important roles following climatic change in these nitrogen-limited environments, showed low diversity but high abundance. The 2 m permafrost soil showed lower abundance and diversity for all the assessed genes and taxa. Experimental biases were also evaluated and showed that the whole community genome amplification technique used caused large representational biases in the metagenomic libraries. This study described for the first time the detailed functional potential of permafrost-affected soils and detected several genes and microorganisms that could have crucial importance following permafrost thaw. Overall design: A 2m deep permafrost sample and it overlying active layer were sampled and their metagenome analysed. For microarray analyses, 8 other soil samples from the same region were used for comparison purposes.
Project description:The fate of the carbon stocked in permafrost soils following global warming and permafrost thaw is of major concern in view of the potential for increased CH4 and CO2 emissions from these soils. Complex carbon compound degradation and greenhouse gas emissions are due to soil microbial communities, but their composition and functional potential in permafrost soils are largely unknown. Here, a 2 m deep permafrost and its overlying active layer soil were subjected to metagenome sequencing, quantitative PCR, and microarray analyses. The active layer soil and 2 m permafrost soil microbial community structures were very similar, with Actinobacteria being the dominant phylum. The two soils also possessed a highly similar spectrum of functional genes, especially when compared to other already published metagenomes. Key genes related to methane generation, methane oxidation and organic matter degradation were highly diverse for both soils in the metagenomic libraries and some (e.g. pmoA) showed relatively high abundance in qPCR assays. Genes related to nitrogen fixation and ammonia oxidation, which could have important roles following climatic change in these nitrogen-limited environments, showed low diversity but high abundance. The 2 m permafrost soil showed lower abundance and diversity for all the assessed genes and taxa. Experimental biases were also evaluated and showed that the whole community genome amplification technique used caused large representational biases in the metagenomic libraries. This study described for the first time the detailed functional potential of permafrost-affected soils and detected several genes and microorganisms that could have crucial importance following permafrost thaw. A 2m deep permafrost sample and it overlying active layer were sampled and their metagenome analysed. For microarray analyses, 8 other soil samples from the same region were used for comparison purposes.
Project description:The two-step model for plant root microbiomes considers soil as the primary microbial source. Active selection of the plant's bacterial inhabitants results in a biodiversity decrease toward roots. We collected sixteen samples of in situ ruderal plant roots and their soils and used these soils as the main microbial input for single genotype tomatoes grown in a greenhouse. Our main goal was to test the soil influence in the structuring of rhizosphere microbiomes, minimizing environmental variability, while testing multiple plant species. We massively sequenced the 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomes of the soils, in situ plants, and tomato roots. We identified a total of 271,940 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the soils, rhizosphere and endospheric microbiomes. We annotated by homology a total of 411,432 (13.07%) of the metagenome predicted proteins. Tomato roots did follow the two-step model with lower ?-diversity than soil, while ruderal plants did not. Surprisingly, ruderal plants are probably working as a microenvironmental oasis providing moisture and plant-derived nutrients, supporting larger ?-diversity. Ruderal plants and their soils are closer according to their microbiome community composition than tomato and its soil, based on OTUs and protein comparisons. We expected that tomato ?-diversity clustered together with their soil, if it is the main rhizosphere microbiome structuring factor. However, tomato microbiome ?-diversity was associated with plant genotype in most samples (81.2%), also supported by a larger set of enriched proteins in tomato rhizosphere than soil or ruderals. The most abundant bacteria found in soils was the Actinobacteria Solirubrobacter soli, ruderals were dominated by the Proteobacteria Sphingomonas sp. URGHD0057, and tomato mainly by the Bacteroidetes Ohtaekwangia koreensis, Flavobacterium terrae, Niastella vici, and Chryseolinea serpens. We calculated a metagenomic tomato root core of 51 bacterial genera and 2,762 proteins, which could be the basis for microbiome-oriented plant breeding programs. We attributed a larger diversity in ruderal plants roots exudates as an effect of the moisture and nutrient acting as a microbial harbor. The tomato and ruderal metagenomic differences are probably due to plant domestication trade-offs, impacting plant-bacteria interactions.
Project description:The relationship between microbial biodiversity and soil function is an important issue in ecology, yet most studies have been performed in pristine ecosystems. Here, we assess the role of microbial diversity in ecological function and remediation strategies in diesel-contaminated soils. Soil microbial diversity was manipulated using a removal by dilution approach and microbial functions were determined using both metagenomic analyses and enzymatic assays. A shift from Proteobacteria- to Actinobacteria-dominant communities was observed when species diversity was reduced. Metagenomic analysis showed that a large proportion of functional gene categories were significantly altered by the reduction in biodiversity. The abundance of genes related to the nitrogen cycle was significantly reduced in the low-diversity community, impairing denitrification. In contrast, the efficiency of diesel biodegradation was increased in the low-diversity community and was further enhanced by addition of red clay as a stimulating agent. Our results suggest that the relationship between microbial diversity and ecological function involves trade-offs among ecological processes, and should not be generalized as a positive, neutral, or negative relationship.
Project description:Viruses are known to be the most numerous biological entities in soil; however, little is known about their diversity in this environment. In order to explore the genetic diversity of soil viruses, we isolated viruses by centrifugation and sequential filtration before performing a metagenomic investigation. We adopted multiple-displacement amplification (MDA), an isothermal whole-genome amplification method with phi29 polymerase and random hexamers, to amplify viral DNA and construct clone libraries for metagenome sequencing. By the MDA method, the diversity of both single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses and double-stranded DNA viruses could be investigated at the same time. On the contrary, by eliminating the denaturing step in the MDA reaction, only ssDNA viral diversity could be explored selectively. Irrespective of the denaturing step, more than 60% of the soil metagenome sequences did not show significant hits (E-value criterion, 0.001) with previously reported viral sequences. Those hits that were considered to be significant were also distantly related to known ssDNA viruses (average amino acid similarity, approximately 34%). Phylogenetic analysis showed that replication-related proteins (which were the most frequently detected proteins) related to those of ssDNA viruses obtained from the metagenomic sequences were diverse and novel. Putative circular genome components of ssDNA viruses that are unrelated to known viruses were assembled from the metagenomic sequences. In conclusion, ssDNA viral diversity in soil is more complex than previously thought. Soil is therefore a rich pool of previously unknown ssDNA viruses.
Project description:Cyclopia spp., commonly referred to as honeybush due to the honey scented flowers, are indigenous legumes mainly growing in the Cape Floristic Region of the Western Cape, South Africa. Dozens of species, including Cyclopia intermedia, C. subternata, C. plicata, C. genistoides are used to make the well-known, popular and widely enjoyed beverage called 'honeybush tea'. In the past, most rhizosphere microbial studies associated with Cyclopia spp. focused mainly on the taxonomy and diversity of the root nodule associated symbiotic nitrogen fixing rhizobia. The work presented here is the first report on the microbial and functional diversity of rhizosphere microbiome associated with Cyclopia intermedia. Metagenomic shotgun sequencing was performed on the rhizosphere soil sample collected from this Cyclopia sp. using illumina Hiseq 2500 platform which resulted in an ?- diversity of 312 species. Analysis of the metagenome sequence using the Metagenomic analysis server (MG-RAST) indicated that bacteria constitute the dominant domain followed by Eukaryota, Archaea and other sequences derived from fungi and viruses. Functional diversity of the metagenome based on analysis using the Cluster Orthologous Group (COG) method showed metabolism as the most important function in the community. The raw sequence data is uploaded in FASTQ format on MG-RAST server with ID mgm4855911.3 which can be accessed at http://www.mg-rast.org/linkin.cgi?project=mgp90368. The data on the microbial and functional diversity of the rhizosphere community of Cyclopia intermedia generates a baseline information about the microbial ecology of this indigenous legume. The microbial profile data can also be used as indicators of soil health characteristic of the rhizosphere of this important legume.