Influence of molecular resolution on sequence-based discovery of ecological diversity among Synechococcus populations in an alkaline siliceous hot spring microbial mat.
ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that sequences of 16S rRNA genes and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer regions may not have enough genetic resolution to define all ecologically distinct Synechococcus populations (ecotypes) inhabiting alkaline, siliceous hot spring microbial mats. To achieve higher molecular resolution, we studied sequence variation in three protein-encoding loci sampled by PCR from 60°C and 65°C sites in the Mushroom Spring mat (Yellowstone National Park, WY). Sequences were analyzed using the ecotype simulation (ES) and AdaptML algorithms to identify putative ecotypes. Between 4 and 14 times more putative ecotypes were predicted from variation in protein-encoding locus sequences than from variation in 16S rRNA and 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer sequences. The number of putative ecotypes predicted depended on the number of sequences sampled and the molecular resolution of the locus. Chao estimates of diversity indicated that few rare ecotypes were missed. Many ecotypes hypothesized by sequence analyses were different in their habitat specificities, suggesting different adaptations to temperature or other parameters that vary along the flow channel.
Project description:Past analyses of sequence diversity in high-resolution protein-encoding genes have identified putative ecological species of unicellular cyanobacteria in the genus Synechococcus, which are specialized to 60°C but not 65°C in Mushroom Spring microbial mats. Because these studies were limited to only two habitats, we studied the distribution of Synechococcus sequence variants at 1°C intervals along the effluent flow channel and at 80-?m vertical-depth intervals throughout the upper photic layer of the microbial mat. Diversity at the psaA locus, which encodes a photosynthetic reaction center protein (PsaA), was sampled by PCR amplification, cloning, and sequencing methods at 60, 63, and 65°C sites. The evolutionary simulation programs Ecotype Simulation and AdaptML were used to identify putative ecologically distinct populations (ecotypes). Ecotype Simulation predicted a higher number of putative ecotypes in cases where habitat variation was limited, while AdaptML predicted a higher number of ecologically distinct phylogenetic clades in cases where habitat variation was high. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis was used to track the distribution of dominant sequence variants of ecotype populations relative to temperature variation and to O?, pH, and spectral irradiance variation, as measured using microsensors. Different distributions along effluent channel flow and vertical gradients, where temperature, light, and O? concentrations are known to vary, confirmed the ecological distinctness of putative ecotypes.
Project description:Mycoplasma arginini, M. fermentans, M. hyorhinis, M. orale, and Acholeplasma laidlawii are the members of the class Mollicutes most commonly found in contaminated cell cultures. Previous studies have shown that the published PCR primer pairs designed to detect mollicutes in cell cultures are not entirely specific. The 16S rRNA gene, the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region, and the 5' end of the 23S rRNA gene, as a whole, are promising targets for design of mollicute species-specific primer pairs. We analyzed the 16S rRNA genes, the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer regions, and the 5' end of the 23S rRNA genes of these mollicutes and developed PCR methods for species identification based on these regions. Using high melting temperatures, we developed a rapid-cycle PCR for detection and identification of contaminant mollicutes. Previously published, putative mollicute-specific primers amplified DNA from 73 contaminated cell lines, but the presence of mollicutes was confirmed by species-specific PCR in only 60. Sequences of the remaining 13 amplicons were identified as those of gram-positive bacterial species. Species-specific PCR primers are needed to confirm the presence of mollicutes in specimens and for identification, if required.
Project description:Seven strains with identical 16S rRNA genes affiliated with the Luna2 cluster (Actinobacteria) were isolated from six freshwater habitats located in temperate (Austria and Australia), subtropical (People's Republic of China), and tropical (Uganda) climatic zones. The isolates had sequence differences at zero to five positions in a 2,310-nucleotide fragment of the ribosomal operon, including part of the intergenic spacer upstream of the 16S rRNA gene, the complete 16S rRNA gene, the complete 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS1), and a short part of the 23S rRNA gene. Most of the few sequence differences found were located in the internal transcribed spacer sequences. Two isolates obtained from habitats in Asia and Europe, as well as two isolates obtained from different habitats in the People's Republic of China, had identical sequences for the entire fragment sequenced. In spite of minimal sequence differences in the part of the ribosomal operon investigated, the strains exhibited significant differences in their temperature response curves (with one exception), as well as pronounced differences in their temperature optima (25.0 to 35.6 degrees C). The observed differences in temperature adaptation were generally in accordance with the thermal conditions in the habitats where the strains were isolated. Strains obtained from temperate zone habitats had the lowest temperature optima, strains from subtropical habitats had intermediate temperature optima, and a strain from a tropical habitat had the highest temperature optimum. Based on the observed temperature responses, we concluded that the strains investigated are well adapted to the thermal conditions in their home habitats. Consequently, these closely related strains represent different ecotypes adapted to different thermal niches.
Project description:The 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer regions of 14 strains representing the 14 serovars of Ureaplasma urealyticum were amplified by PCR and sequenced for genetic differentiation between the two biovars Parvo and T960. Although the spacer region of the Parvo and T960 biovars comprised 302 nucleotides and lacked spacer tRNA genes, 15 nucleotides were different between the two biovars. The four nucleotide sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region of serovars 1, 3, 6, and 14 in the Parvo biovar were found to be identical. Similarly, the 10 nucleotide sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region of serovars 2, 4, 5, and 7 to 13 in the T960 biovar were found to be identical. The nucleotide sequence of the T960 biovar contains multiple restriction sites for restriction endonuclease SspI, which allows differentiation of the T960 biovar from the Parvo biovar.
Project description:The current genetic strategies used to identify Tropheryma whippelii, the putative agent of Whipple's disease, are based on PCR-mediated amplification of a part of its 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA). Because there is very little intraspecies variation in these molecules, they are not suitable as targets for epidemiologic investigations. However, the intergenic spacer region between the 16S and 23S rDNAs is usually much more variable and has repeatedly been used for epidemiologic purposes. We have therefore amplified the spacer region of T. whippelii directly from clinical specimens from nine independent Swiss patients with Whipple's disease by PCR with primers complementary to the 3' and 5' ends of the 16S and 23S rDNAs, respectively. The amplicons were directly sequenced and the sequences were compared to the T. whippelii reference sequence in GenBank/EMBL (accession no. X99636). Complete sequence homogeneity was found between the samples from our nine patients; the spacer sequence was also identical to the reference sequence. However, the sequences corresponding to the 3' and 5' ends of the 16S and the 23S rDNAs of T. whippelii, respectively, differed from the respective sequences in GenBank/EMBL. The same sequence found in our patients was then found in a sample from the German patient from which the published sequence had been derived. We conclude that the 16S-23S rDNA spacer region seems to be very conserved in T. whippelii and that the respective reference entry in public databases should be revised.
Project description:We examined the population of unicellular cyanobacteria (Synechococcus) in the upper 3-mm vertical interval of a 68 degrees C region of a microbial mat in a hot spring effluent channel (Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming). Fluorescence microscopy and microsensor measurements of O(2) and oxygenic photosynthesis demonstrated the existence of physiologically distinct Synechococcus populations at different depths along a light gradient quantified by scalar irradiance microprobes. Molecular methods were used to evaluate whether physiologically distinct populations could be correlated with genetically distinct populations over the vertical interval. We were unable to identify patterns in genetic variation in Synechococcus 16S rRNA sequences that correlate with different vertically distributed populations. However, patterns of variation at the internal transcribed spacer locus separating 16S and 23S rRNA genes suggested the existence of closely related but genetically distinct populations corresponding to different functional populations occurring at different depths.
Project description:Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene is the predominant method to quantify microbial compositions and to discover novel lineages. However, traditional short amplicons often do not contain enough information to confidently resolve their phylogeny. Here we present a cost-effective protocol that amplifies a large part of the rRNA operon and sequences the amplicons with PacBio technology. We tested our method on a mock community and developed a read-curation pipeline that reduces the overall read error rate to 0.18%. Applying our method on four environmental samples, we captured near full-length rRNA operon amplicons from a large diversity of prokaryotes. The method operated at moderately high-throughput (22286-37,850 raw ccs reads) and generated a large amount of putative novel archaeal 23S rRNA gene sequences compared to the archaeal SILVA database. These long amplicons allowed for higher resolution during taxonomic classification by means of long (?1000 bp) 16S rRNA gene fragments and for substantially more confident phylogenies by means of combined near full-length 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences, compared to shorter traditional amplicons (250 bp of the 16S rRNA gene). We recommend our method to those who wish to cost-effectively and confidently estimate the phylogenetic diversity of prokaryotes in environmental samples at high throughput.
Project description:Background:Many members of Streptococcus and Enterococcus genera are clinically relevant opportunistic pathogens warranting accurate and rapid identification for targeted therapy. Currently, the developed method based on next generation sequencing (NGS) of the 16S-23S rRNA region proved to be a rapid, reliable and precise approach for species identification directly from polymicrobial and challenging clinical samples. The introduction of this new method to routine diagnostics is hindered by a lack of the reference sequences for the 16S-23S rRNA region for many bacterial species. The aim of this study was to develop a careful assignment for streptococcal and enterococcal species based on NGS of the 16S-23S rRNA region. Methods:Thirty two strains recovered from clinical samples and 19 reference strains representing 42 streptococcal species and nine enterococcal species were subjected to bacterial identification by four Sanger-based sequencing methods targeting the genes encoding (i) 16S rRNA, (ii) sodA, (iii) tuf and (iv) rpoB; and NGS of the 16S-23S rRNA region. Results:This study allowed obtainment and deposition of reference sequences of the 16S-23S rRNA region for 15 streptococcal and 3 enterococcal species followed by enrichment for 27 and 6 species, respectively, for which reference sequences were available in the databases. For Streptococcus, NGS of the 16S-23S rRNA region was as discriminative as Sanger sequencing of the tuf and rpoB genes allowing for an unambiguous identification of 93% of analyzed species. For Enterococcus, sodA, tuf and rpoB genes sequencing allowed for identification of all species, while the NGS-based method did not allow for identification of only one enterococcal species. For both genera, the sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene was endowed with a low identification potential and was inferior to that of other tested identification methods. Moreover, in case of phylogenetically related species the sequence analysis of only the intergenic spacer region was not sufficient enough to precisely identify Streptococcus strains at the species level. Conclusions:Based on the developed reference dataset, clinically relevant streptococcal and enterococcal species can now be reliably identified by 16S-23S rRNA sequences in samples. This study will be useful for introduction of a novel diagnostic tool, NGS of the 16S-23S rRNA region, which undoubtedly is an improvement for reliable culture-independent species identification directly from polymicrobially constituted clinical samples.
Project description:Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The causative agent is the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. The copy number and organization of the genes encoding the rRNAs of this organism were determined. There is a single gene for 16S rRNA and two copies each of the 23S rRNA and 5S rRNA genes. All of the genes are located within a chromosomal fragment of approximately 9.5 to 10.0 kb. The 23S and 5S rRNA genes are tandemly duplicated in the order 23S-5S-23S-5S and are apparently not linked to the 16S rRNA gene, which is situated over 2 kb upstream from the 23S-5S duplication. The individual copies of the 23S-5S duplication are separated by a 182-bp spacer. Within each 23S-5S unit, an identical 22-bp spacer separates the 23S and 5S rRNA sequences from each other. The genome organization of the 23S-5S gene cluster in a number of different B. burgdorferi isolates obtained at a number of different geographical locations, as well as in several other species of Borrelia, was investigated. All isolates of B. burgdorferi tested displayed the tandem duplication, whereas the closely related species B. hermsii, B. anserina, and B. turicatae all contained a single copy of each of the genes. In addition, different geographical isolates of B. burgdorferi can be differentiated on the basis of a restriction fragment length polymorphism associated with the 23S-5S gene cluster. This polymorphism can be a useful tool for the determination of genetic relatedness between different isolates of B. burgdorferi.
Project description:Previous molecular analysis of the Octopus Spring cyanobacterial mat revealed numerous genetically distinct 16S rRNA sequences from predominant Synechococcus populations distantly related to the readily cultivated unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus lividus. Patterns in genotype distribution relative to temperature and light conditions suggested that the organisms contributing these 16S rRNA sequences may fill distinct ecological niches. To test this hypothesis, Synechococcus isolates were cultivated using a dilution and filtration approach and then shown to be genetically relevant to natural mat populations by comparisons of similarities of 16S rRNA genes and 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. Most isolates were identical or nearly identical at both loci to predominant mat genotypes; others showed 1- to 2-nucleotide differences at the 16S rRNA locus and even greater difference in ITS sequences. Isolates with predominant mat genotypes had distinct temperature ranges and optima for growth that were consistent with their distributions in the mat. Isolates with genotypes not previously detected or known to be predominant in the mat exhibited temperature ranges and optima that were not representative of predominant mat populations and also grew more slowly. Temperature effects on photosynthesis did not reflect temperature relations for growth. However, the isolate with the highest temperature optimum and upper limit was capable of performing photosynthesis at a higher temperature than other isolates. Growth rate and photosynthetic responses provided evidence for light acclimation but evidence of, at best, only subtle light adaptation.