Metabolic diversity among main microorganisms inside an arsenic-rich ecosystem revealed by meta- and proteo-genomics.
ABSTRACT: By their metabolic activities, microorganisms have a crucial role in the biogeochemical cycles of elements. The complete understanding of these processes requires, however, the deciphering of both the structure and the function, including synecologic interactions, of microbial communities. Using a metagenomic approach, we demonstrated here that an acid mine drainage highly contaminated with arsenic is dominated by seven bacterial strains whose genomes were reconstructed. Five of them represent yet uncultivated bacteria and include two strains belonging to a novel bacterial phylum present in some similar ecosystems, and which was named 'Candidatus Fodinabacter communificans.' Metaproteomic data unravelled several microbial capabilities expressed in situ, such as iron, sulfur and arsenic oxidation that are key mechanisms in biomineralization, or organic nutrient, amino acid and vitamin metabolism involved in synthrophic associations. A statistical analysis of genomic and proteomic data and reverse transcriptase-PCR experiments allowed us to build an integrated model of the metabolic interactions that may be of prime importance in the natural attenuation of such anthropized ecosystems.
Project description:Magnetotactic bacteria represent a valuable model system for the study of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis. Here, we report two metagenome-assembled genome sequences of uncultivated magnetotactic bacteria belonging to the order Magnetococcales These genomes contain nearly complete magnetosome gene clusters responsible for magnetosome biomineralization.
Project description:Ocean metaproteomics is an emerging field enabling discoveries about marine microbial communities and their impact on global biogeochemical processes. Recent ocean metaproteomic studies have provided insight into microbial nutrient transport, colimitation of carbon fixation, the metabolism of microbial biofilms, and dynamics of carbon flux in marine ecosystems. Future methodological developments could provide new capabilities such as characterizing long-term ecosystem changes, biogeochemical reaction rates, and in situ stoichiometries. Yet challenges remain for ocean metaproteomics due to the great biological diversity that produces highly complex mass spectra, as well as the difficulty in obtaining and working with environmental samples. This review summarizes the progress and challenges facing ocean metaproteomic scientists and proposes best practices for data sharing of ocean metaproteomic data sets, including the data types and metadata needed to enable intercomparisons of protein distributions and annotations that could foster global ocean metaproteomic capabilities.
Project description:<label>BACKGROUND</label>Research involving microbial ecosystems has drawn increasing attention in recent years. Studying microbe-microbe, host-microbe, and environment-microbe interactions are essential for the understanding of microbial ecosystems. Currently, metaproteomics provide qualitative and quantitative information of proteins, providing insights into the functional changes of microbial communities. However, computational analysis of large-scale data generated in metaproteomic studies remains a challenge. Conventional proteomic software have difficulties dealing with the extreme complexity and species diversity present in microbiome samples leading to lower rates of peptide and protein identification. To address this issue, we previously developed the MetaPro-IQ approach for highly efficient microbial protein/peptide identification and quantification.<label>RESULT</label>Here, we developed an integrated software platform, named MetaLab, providing a complete and automated, user-friendly pipeline for fast microbial protein identification, quantification, as well as taxonomic profiling, directly from mass spectrometry raw data. Spectral clustering adopted in the pre-processing step dramatically improved the speed of peptide identification from database searches. Quantitative information of identified peptides was used for estimating the relative abundance of taxa at all phylogenetic ranks. Taxonomy result files exported by MetaLab are fully compatible with widely used metagenomics tools. Herein, the potential of MetaLab is evaluated by reanalyzing a metaproteomic dataset from mouse gut microbiome samples.<label>CONCLUSION</label>MetaLab is a fully automatic software platform enabling an integrated data-processing pipeline for metaproteomics. The function of sample-specific database generation can be very advantageous for searching peptides against huge protein databases. It provides a seamless connection between peptide determination and taxonomic profiling; therefore, the peptide abundance is readily used for measuring the microbial variations. MetaLab is designed as a versatile, efficient, and easy-to-use tool which can greatly simplify the procedure of metaproteomic data analysis for researchers in microbiome studies.
Project description:The tailings of the Shimen realgar mine have unique geochemical features. Arsenite oxidation is one of the major biogeochemical processes that occurs in the tailings. However, little is known about the functional and molecular aspects of the microbial community involved in arsenite oxidation. Here, we fully explored the functional and molecular features of the microbial communities from the tailings of the Shimen realgar mine. We collected six samples of tailings from sites A, B, C, D, E, and F. Microcosm assays indicated that all of the six sites contain both chemoautotrophic and heterotrophic arsenite-oxidizing microorganisms; their activities differed considerably from each other. The microbial arsenite-oxidizing activities show a positive correlation with soluble arsenic concentrations. The microbial communities of the six sites contain 40 phyla of bacteria and 2 phyla of archaea that show extremely high diversity. Soluble arsenic, sulfate, pH, and total organic carbon (TOC) are the key environmental factors that shape the microbial communities. We further identified 114 unique arsenite oxidase genes from the samples; all of them code for new or new-type arsenite oxidases. We also isolated 10 novel arsenite oxidizers from the samples, of which 4 are chemoautotrophic and 6 are heterotrophic. These data highlight the unique diversities of the arsenite-oxidizing microorganisms and their oxidase genes from the tailings of the Shimen realgar mine. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing the functional and molecular features of microbial communities from the tailings of a realgar mine.This study focused on the functional and molecular characterizations of microbial communities from the tailings of the Shimen realgar mine. We fully explored, for the first time, the arsenite-oxidizing activities and the functional gene diversities of microorganisms from the tailings, as well as the correlation of the microbial activities/diversities with environmental factors. The findings of this study help us to better understand the diversities of the arsenite-oxidizing bacteria and the geochemical cycle of arsenic in the tailings of the Shimen realgar mine and gain insights into the microbial mechanisms by which the secondary minerals of the tailings were formed. This work also offers a set of unique arsenite-oxidizing bacteria for basic research of the molecular regulation of arsenite oxidation in bacterial cells and for the environmentally friendly bioremediation of arsenic-contaminated groundwater.
Project description:We have developed a microfluidic device that allows the isolation and genome amplification of individual microbial cells, thereby enabling organism-level genomic analysis of complex microbial ecosystems without the need for culture. This device was used to perform a directed survey of the human subgingival crevice and to isolate bacteria having rod-like morphology. Several isolated microbes had a 16S rRNA sequence that placed them in candidate phylum TM7, which has no cultivated or sequenced members. Genome amplification from individual TM7 cells allowed us to sequence and assemble >1,000 genes, providing insight into the physiology of members of this phylum. This approach enables single-cell genetic analysis of any uncultivated minority member of a microbial community.
Project description:Soluble arsenic (As) in acidic feed solution may inhibit the copper (Cu) bioleaching process within mine heaps. To clarify the effect of soluble arsenic on the live biomass and bioxidative activity in heaps, toxicological assays were performed using a synthetic feed solution given by a mine company. The microorganisms had previously been isolated from two heap samples at up to 66 m depth, and cultured using specific media for chemolithotrophic acidophiles (pH 1-2) and moderate thermophiles (48°C), for arsenic tolerance assay. The four media with the highest biomass were selected to assay As-resistance; one culture (Q63h) was chosen to assay biooxidative activity, using a heap sample that contained chalcopyrite and covellite. We found that 0.5 g/L of As does not affect living biomass or biooxidative activity on Cu sulfides, but it dissolves Cu, while As precipitates as arsenic acid (H3AsO4·½H2O). The arsenic tolerant community, as identified by 16S rDNA gene sequence analysis, was composed of three main metabolic groups: chemolithotrophs (Leptospirillum, Sulfobacillus); chemolithoheterotrophs and organoheterotrophs as Acidovorax temperans, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, P. mendocina and Sphingomonas spp. Leptospirillum spp. and S. thermosulfidooxidans were the dominant taxa in the Q63-66 cultures from the deepest sample of the oldest, highest-temperature heap. The results indicated arsenic resistance in the microbial community, therefore specific primers were used to amplify ars (arsenic resistance system), aio (arsenite oxidase), or arr (arsenate respiratory reduction) genes from total sample DNA. Presence of arsB genes in S. thermosulfidooxidans in the Q63-66 cultures permits H3AsO4-As(V) detoxification and strengthens the community's response to As.
Project description:Mining operations produce large quantities of wastewater. At a mine site in Northern Finland, two natural peatlands are used for the treatment of mining-influenced waters with high concentrations of sulphate and potentially toxic arsenic (As). In the present study, As removal and the involved microbial processes in those treatment peatlands (TPs) were assessed. Arsenic-metabolizing microorganisms were abundant in peat soil from both TPs (up to 108 cells gdw -1 ), with arsenate respirers being about 100 times more abundant than arsenite oxidizers. In uninhibited microcosm incubations, supplemented arsenite was oxidized under oxic conditions and supplemented arsenate was reduced under anoxic conditions, while little to no oxidation/reduction was observed in NaN3 -inhibited microcosms, indicating high As-turnover potential of peat microbes. Formation of thioarsenates was observed in anoxic microcosms. Sequencing of the functional genemarkers aioA (arsenite oxidizers), arrA (arsenate respirers) and arsC (detoxifying arsenate reducers) demonstrated high diversity of the As-metabolizing microbial community. The microbial community composition differed between the two TPs, which may have affected As removal efficiencies. In the present situation, arsenate reduction is likely the dominant net process and contributes substantially to As removal. Changes in TP usage (e.g. mine closure) with lowered water tables and heightened oxygen availability in peat might lead to re-oxidation and re-mobilization of bound arsenite.
Project description:Millions of people worldwide are at risk of arsenic poisoning from their drinking water. In Bangladesh the problem extends to rural drinking water wells, where non-biological solutions are not feasible. In serial enrichment cultures of water from various Bangladesh drinking water wells, we found transfer-persistent arsenite oxidation activity under four conditions (aerobic/anaerobic; heterotrophic/autotrophic). This suggests that biological decontamination may help ameliorate the problem. The enriched microbial communities were phylogenetically at least as diverse as the unenriched communities: they contained a bonanza of 16S rRNA gene sequences. These related to Hydrogenophaga, Acinetobacter, Dechloromonas, Comamonas, and Rhizobium/Agrobacterium species. In addition, the enriched microbiomes contained genes highly similar to the arsenite oxidase (aioA) gene of chemolithoautotrophic (e.g., Paracoccus sp. SY) and heterotrophic arsenite-oxidizing strains. The enriched cultures also contained aioA phylotypes not detected in the previous survey of uncultivated samples from the same wells. Anaerobic enrichments disclosed a wider diversity of arsenite oxidizing aioA phylotypes than did aerobic enrichments. The cultivatable chemolithoautotrophic and heterotrophic arsenite oxidizers are of great interest for future in or ex-situ arsenic bioremediation technologies for the detoxification of drinking water by oxidizing arsenite to arsenate that should then precipitates with iron oxides. The microbial activities required for such a technology seem present, amplifiable, diverse and hence robust.
Project description:Despite the importance of microbial activity in mobilizing arsenic in groundwater aquifers, the phylogenetic distribution of contributing microbial metabolisms is understudied. Groundwater samples from Ohio aquifers were analyzed using metagenomic sequencing to identify functional potential that could drive arsenic cycling, and revealed mechanisms for direct (i.e., Ars system) and indirect (i.e., iron reduction) arsenic mobilization in all samples, despite differing geochemical conditions. Analyses of 194 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) revealed widespread functionality related to arsenic mobilization throughout the bacterial tree of life. While arsB and arsC genes (components of an arsenic resistance system) were found in diverse lineages with no apparent phylogenetic bias, putative aioA genes (aerobic arsenite oxidase) were predominantly identified in Methylocystaceae MAGs. Both previously described and undescribed respiratory arsenate reduction potential via arrA was detected in Betaproteobacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Nitrospirae MAGs, whereas sulfate reduction potential was primarily limited to members of the Deltaproteobacteria and Nitrospirae. Lastly, iron reduction potential was detected in the Ignavibacteria, Deltaproteobacteria, and Nitrospirae. These results expand the phylogenetic distribution of taxa that may play roles in arsenic mobilization in subsurface systems. Specifically, the Nitrospirae are a much more functionally diverse group than previously assumed and may play key biogeochemical roles in arsenic-contaminated ecosystems.
Project description:Herbivores gain access to nutrients stored in plant biomass largely by harnessing the metabolic activities of microbes. Leaf-cutter ants of the genus Atta are a hallmark example; these dominant neotropical herbivores cultivate symbiotic fungus gardens on large quantities of fresh plant forage. As the external digestive system of the ants, fungus gardens facilitate the production and sustenance of millions of workers. Using metagenomic and metaproteomic techniques, we characterize the bacterial diversity and physiological potential of fungus gardens from two species of Atta. Our analysis of over 1.2?Gbp of community metagenomic sequence and three 16S pyrotag libraries reveals that in addition to harboring the dominant fungal crop, these ecosystems contain abundant populations of Enterobacteriaceae, including the genera Enterobacter, Pantoea, Klebsiella, Citrobacter and Escherichia. We show that these bacterial communities possess genes associated with lignocellulose degradation and diverse biosynthetic pathways, suggesting that they play a role in nutrient cycling by converting the nitrogen-poor forage of the ants into B-vitamins, amino acids and other cellular components. Our metaproteomic analysis confirms that bacterial glycosyl hydrolases and proteins with putative biosynthetic functions are produced in both field-collected and laboratory-reared colonies. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that fungus gardens are specialized fungus-bacteria communities that convert plant material into energy for their ant hosts. Together with recent investigations into the microbial symbionts of vertebrates, our work underscores the importance of microbial communities in the ecology and evolution of herbivorous metazoans.