Dual Transcriptomic Profiling of Host and Microbiota during Health and Disease in Pediatric Asthma.
ABSTRACT: High-throughput sequencing (HTS) analysis of microbial communities from the respiratory airways has heavily relied on the 16S rRNA gene. Given the intrinsic limitations of this approach, airway microbiome research has focused on assessing bacterial composition during health and disease, and its variation in relation to clinical and environmental factors, or other microbiomes. Consequently, very little effort has been dedicated to describing the functional characteristics of the airway microbiota and even less to explore the microbe-host interactions. Here we present a simultaneous assessment of microbiome and host functional diversity and host-microbe interactions from the same RNA-seq experiment, while accounting for variation in clinical metadata.Transcriptomic (host) and metatranscriptomic (microbiota) sequences from the nasal epithelium of 8 asthmatics and 6 healthy controls were separated in silico and mapped to available human and NCBI-NR protein reference databases. Human genes differentially expressed in asthmatics and controls were then used to infer upstream regulators involved in immune and inflammatory responses. Concomitantly, microbial genes were mapped to metabolic databases (COG, SEED, and KEGG) to infer microbial functions differentially expressed in asthmatics and controls. Finally, multivariate analysis was applied to find associations between microbiome characteristics and host upstream regulators while accounting for clinical variation.Our study showed significant differences in the metabolism of microbiomes from asthmatic and non-asthmatic children for up to 25% of the functional properties tested. Enrichment analysis of 499 differentially expressed host genes for inflammatory and immune responses revealed 43 upstream regulators differentially activated in asthma. Microbial adhesion (virulence) and Proteobacteria abundance were significantly associated with variation in the expression of the upstream regulator IL1A; suggesting that microbiome characteristics modulate host inflammatory and immune systems during asthma.
Project description:Plant-associated microorganisms have been shown to critically affect host physiology and performance, suggesting that evolution and ecology of plants and animals can only be understood in a holobiont (host and its associated organisms) context. Host-associated microbial community structures are affected by abiotic and host factors, and increased attention is given to the role of the microbiome in interactions such as pathogen inhibition. However, little is known about how these factors act on the microbial community, and especially what role microbe-microbe interaction dynamics play. We have begun to address this knowledge gap for phyllosphere microbiomes of plants by simultaneously studying three major groups of Arabidopsis thaliana symbionts (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes) using a systems biology approach. We evaluated multiple potential factors of microbial community control: we sampled various wild A. thaliana populations at different times, performed field plantings with different host genotypes, and implemented successive host colonization experiments under lab conditions where abiotic factors, host genotype, and pathogen colonization was manipulated. Our results indicate that both abiotic factors and host genotype interact to affect plant colonization by all three groups of microbes. Considering microbe-microbe interactions, however, uncovered a network of interkingdom interactions with significant contributions to community structure. As in other scale-free networks, a small number of taxa, which we call microbial "hubs," are strongly interconnected and have a severe effect on communities. By documenting these microbe-microbe interactions, we uncover an important mechanism explaining how abiotic factors and host genotypic signatures control microbial communities. In short, they act directly on "hub" microbes, which, via microbe-microbe interactions, transmit the effects to the microbial community. We analyzed two "hub" microbes (the obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogen Albugo and the basidiomycete yeast fungus Dioszegia) more closely. Albugo had strong effects on epiphytic and endophytic bacterial colonization. Specifically, alpha diversity decreased and beta diversity stabilized in the presence of Albugo infection, whereas they otherwise varied between plants. Dioszegia, on the other hand, provided evidence for direct hub interaction with phyllosphere bacteria. The identification of microbial "hubs" and their importance in phyllosphere microbiome structuring has crucial implications for plant-pathogen and microbe-microbe research and opens new entry points for ecosystem management and future targeted biocontrol. The revelation that effects can cascade through communities via "hub" microbes is important to understand community structure perturbations in parallel fields including human microbiomes and bioprocesses. In particular, parallels to human microbiome "keystone" pathogens and microbes open new avenues of interdisciplinary research that promise to better our understanding of functions of host-associated microbiomes.
Project description:Adult mosquitoes inherit a bacterial community from larvae via transstadial transmission, an understudied process that may influence host-microbe interactions. Microbes contribute to important host life history traits, and analyzing transmitted microbial communities, the interrelationship between larval and adult-associated microbiota, and factors influencing host-microbe relationships provides targets for research. During its larval stage, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) hosts the trichomycete gut fungus Zancudomyces culisetae, and fungal colonization coincides with environmental perturbations in the digestive tract microecosystem. Natural populations are differentially exposed to fungi, thereby potentially harboring distinct microbiota and experiencing disparate host-microbe interactions. This study's objectives were to characterize larval and initial adult microbiomes, investigate variation in diversity and distribution of microbial communities across individuals, and assess whether larval fungal colonization impacted microbiomes at these developmental stages. Laboratory-based fungal infestation assays, sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, and bacterial load quantification protocols revealed that initial adult microbiomes varied in diversity and distribution. Larval fungal colonization had downstream effects on initial adult microbiomes, significantly reducing microbial community variation, shifting relative abundances of certain bacterial families, and influencing transstadial transmission outcomes of particular genera. Further, abundances of several families consistently decreased in adults relative to levels in larvae, possibly reflecting impacts of host development on specific bacterial taxa. These findings demonstrated that a prolific gut fungus impacted mosquito-associated microbiota at two developmental stages in an insect connected with global human health.IMPORTANCE Mosquitoes are widespread vectors of numerous human pathogens and harbor microbiota known to affect host phenotypic traits. However, little research has directly investigated how bacterial communities associated with larvae and adults are connected. We characterized whole-body bacterial communities in mosquito larvae preceding pupation and in newly emerged adults, and investigated whether a significant biotic factor, fungal colonization of the larval hindgut, impacted these microbiomes. Results showed that fungal colonization reduced microbial community variation across individuals and differentially impacted the outcomes of transstadial transmission for certain bacterial genera, revealing downstream effects of the fungus on initial adult microbiomes. The importance of our research is in providing a thorough comparative analysis of whole-body microbiota harbored in larvae and adults of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and in demonstrating the important role a widespread gut fungus played in a host-associated microbiome.
Project description:Variation among animals in their host-associated microbial communities is increasingly recognized as a key determinant of important life history traits including growth, metabolism, and resistance to disease. Quantitative estimates of the factors shaping the stability of host microbiomes over time at the individual level in non-model organisms are scarce. Addressing this gap in our knowledge is important, as variation among individuals in microbiome stability may represent temporal gain or loss of key microbial species and functions linked to host health and/or fitness. Here we use controlled experiments to investigate how both heterogeneity in microbial species richness of the environment and exposure to the emerging pathogen Ranavirus influence the structure and temporal dynamics of the skin microbiome in a vertebrate host, the European common frog (Rana temporaria). Our evidence suggests that altering the bacterial species richness of the environment drives divergent temporal microbiome dynamics of the amphibian skin. Exposure to ranavirus effects changes in skin microbiome structure irrespective of total microbial diversity, but individuals with higher pre-exposure skin microbiome diversity appeared to exhibit higher survival. Higher diversity skin microbiomes also appear less stable over time compared to lower diversity microbiomes, but stability of the 100 most abundant ("core") community members was similar irrespective of microbiome richness. Our study highlights the importance of extrinsic factors in determining the stability of host microbiomes over time, which may in turn have important consequences for the stability of host-microbe interactions and microbiome-fitness correlations.
Project description:Scleractinian corals' microbial symbionts influence host health, yet how coral microbiomes assembled over evolution is not well understood. We survey bacterial and archaeal communities in phylogenetically diverse Australian corals representing more than 425 million years of diversification. We show that coral microbiomes are anatomically compartmentalized in both modern microbial ecology and evolutionary assembly. Coral mucus, tissue, and skeleton microbiomes differ in microbial community composition, richness, and response to host vs. environmental drivers. We also find evidence of coral-microbe phylosymbiosis, in which coral microbiome composition and richness reflect coral phylogeny. Surprisingly, the coral skeleton represents the most biodiverse coral microbiome, and also shows the strongest evidence of phylosymbiosis. Interactions between bacterial and coral phylogeny significantly influence the abundance of four groups of bacteria-including Endozoicomonas-like bacteria, which divide into host-generalist and host-specific subclades. Together these results trace microbial symbiosis across anatomy during the evolution of a basal animal lineage.
Project description:Most empirical studies tend to focus on microbiome dynamics within hosts or microbiome compositional differences between hosts over short periods. However, there is still a dearth of formal models that allow us to investigate the observed short-term dynamics of microbiomes under a unified ecological and evolutionary framework. In our previous study, we developed a computational agent-based neutral framework that simulates microbiome dynamics spanning many host generations with the added dimension of a genealogy of hosts. Although this long-term framework revealed interesting microbial diversity patterns under a simple but plausible evolutionary process and provided a platform for future elaboration of more complex systems, it does not allow us to explore microbiome dynamics within a single host generation.In this paper, we developed a computational, agent-based, forward-time framework of microbiome dynamics within a single host generation. As we have done under our neutral long-term models, we incorporate neutral processes of environmental microbiome assembly and microbe acquisition from parents and environment. We also incorporate a Moran genealogical model of hosts, so that the dynamics of microbiome evolution can be studied within a single host generation. Furthermore, we allow host subpopulation structure and host migration to affect microbiome recruitment.We show that microbiome diversity within hosts increases monotonically with increases in environmental contribution, while microbiome diversity between hosts increases with increasing parental inheritance. Host population division and dispersal limitation under high host contribution further shaped the patterns by elevating microbiome differences between hosts and depressing microbial diversity within hosts. Microbiome diversity within the whole population showed strong temporal stability regardless of the modes of microbiome acquisition and subpopulation structures.We present a computational framework that integrates various processes including host genealogy, microbe recruitment, and host dispersal limitation acting on the short-term dynamics of microbiomes. Our framework demonstrates that the neutral dynamics of microbiomes within a population of hosts is strongly influenced by transmission mode and shared environment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The human gut microbiome performs important functions in human health and disease. A classic example for host-gut microbial co-metabolism is host biosynthesis of primary bile acids and their subsequent deconjugation and transformation by the gut microbiome. To understand these system-level host-microbe interactions, a mechanistic, multi-scale computational systems biology approach that integrates the different types of omic data is needed. Here, we use a systematic workflow to computationally model bile acid metabolism in gut microbes and microbial communities. RESULTS:Therefore, we first performed a comparative genomic analysis of bile acid deconjugation and biotransformation pathways in 693 human gut microbial genomes and expanded 232 curated genome-scale microbial metabolic reconstructions with the corresponding reactions (available at https://vmh.life ). We then predicted the bile acid biotransformation potential of each microbe and in combination with other microbes. We found that each microbe could produce maximally six of the 13 secondary bile acids in silico, while microbial pairs could produce up to 12 bile acids, suggesting bile acid biotransformation being a microbial community task. To investigate the metabolic potential of a given microbiome, publicly available metagenomics data from healthy Western individuals, as well as inflammatory bowel disease patients and healthy controls, were mapped onto the genomes of the reconstructed strains. We constructed for each individual a large-scale personalized microbial community model that takes into account strain-level abundances. Using flux balance analysis, we found considerable variation in the potential to deconjugate and transform primary bile acids between the gut microbiomes of healthy individuals. Moreover, the microbiomes of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease patients were significantly depleted in their bile acid production potential compared with that of controls. The contributions of each strain to overall bile acid production potential across individuals were found to be distinct between inflammatory bowel disease patients and controls. Finally, bottlenecks limiting secondary bile acid production potential were identified in each microbiome model. CONCLUSIONS:This large-scale modeling approach provides a novel way of analyzing metagenomics data to accelerate our understanding of the metabolic interactions between the host and gut microbiomes in health and diseases states. Our models and tools are freely available to the scientific community.
Project description:The dichotomy between high microbial abundance (HMA) and low microbial abundance (LMA) sponges has been observed in sponge-microbe symbiosis, although the extent of this pattern remains poorly unknown. We characterized the differences between the microbiomes of HMA (n = 19) and LMA (n = 17) sponges (575 specimens) present in the Sponge Microbiome Project. HMA sponges were associated with richer and more diverse microbiomes than LMA sponges, as indicated by the comparison of alpha diversity metrics. Microbial community structures differed between HMA and LMA sponges considering Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU) abundances and across microbial taxonomic levels, from phylum to species. The largest proportion of microbiome variation was explained by the host identity. Several phyla, classes, and OTUs were found differentially abundant in either group, which were considered "HMA indicators" and "LMA indicators." Machine learning algorithms (classifiers) were trained to predict the HMA-LMA status of sponges. Among nine different classifiers, higher performances were achieved by Random Forest trained with phylum and class abundances. Random Forest with optimized parameters predicted the HMA-LMA status of additional 135 sponge species (1,232 specimens) without a priori knowledge. These sponges were grouped in four clusters, from which the largest two were composed of species consistently predicted as HMA (n = 44) and LMA (n = 74). In summary, our analyses shown distinct features of the microbial communities associated with HMA and LMA sponges. The prediction of the HMA-LMA status based on the microbiome profiles of sponges demonstrates the application of machine learning to explore patterns of host-associated microbial communities.
Project description:Multiple factors modulate microbial community assembly in the vertebrate gut, though studies disagree as to their relative contribution. One cause may be a reliance on captive animals, which can have very different gut microbiomes compared to their wild counterparts. To resolve this disagreement, we analyze a new, large, and highly diverse animal distal gut 16 S rRNA microbiome dataset, which comprises 80% wild animals and includes members of Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Amphibia, and Actinopterygii. We decouple the effects of host evolutionary history and diet on gut microbiome diversity and show that each factor modulates different aspects of diversity. Moreover, we resolve particular microbial taxa associated with host phylogeny or diet and show that Mammalia have a stronger signal of cophylogeny. Finally, we find that environmental filtering and microbe-microbe interactions differ among host clades. These findings provide a robust assessment of the processes driving microbial community assembly in the vertebrate intestine.
Project description:Animals host multi-species microbial communities (microbiomes) whose properties may result from inter-species interactions; however, current understanding of host-microbiome interactions derives mostly from studies in which elucidation of microbe-microbe interactions is difficult. In exploring how Drosophila melanogaster acquires its microbiome, we found that a microbial community influences Drosophila olfactory and egg-laying behaviors differently than individual members. Drosophila prefers a Saccharomyces-Acetobacter co-culture to the same microorganisms grown individually and then mixed, a response mainly due to the conserved olfactory receptor, Or42b. Acetobacter metabolism of Saccharomyces-derived ethanol was necessary, and acetate and its metabolic derivatives were sufficient, for co-culture preference. Preference correlated with three emergent co-culture properties: ethanol catabolism, a distinct volatile profile, and yeast population decline. Egg-laying preference provided a context-dependent fitness benefit to larvae. We describe a molecular mechanism by which a microbial community affects animal behavior. Our results support a model whereby emergent metabolites signal a beneficial multispecies microbiome.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Starvation not only affects the nutritional and health status of the animals, but also the microbial composition in the host's intestine. Next-generation sequencing provides a unique opportunity to explore gut microbial communities and their interactions with hosts. However, studies on gut microbiomes have been conducted predominantly in humans and land animals. Not much is known on gut microbiomes of aquatic animals and their changes under changing environmental conditions. To address this shortcoming, we determined the microbial gene catalogue, and investigated changes in the microbial composition and host-microbe interactions in the intestine of Asian seabass in response to starvation. RESULTS: We found 33 phyla, 66 classes, 130 orders and 278 families in the intestinal microbiome. Proteobacteria (48.8%), Firmicutes (15.3%) and Bacteroidetes (8.2%) were the three most abundant bacteria taxa. Comparative analyses of the microbiome revealed shifts in bacteria communities, with dramatic enrichment of Bacteroidetes, but significant depletion of Betaproteobacteria in starved intestines. In addition, significant differences in clusters of orthologous groups (COG) functional categories and orthologous groups were observed. Genes related to antibiotic activity in the microbiome were significantly enriched in response to starvation, and host genes related to the immune response were generally up-regulated. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first insights into the fish intestinal microbiome and its changes under starvation. Further detailed study on interactions between intestinal microbiomes and hosts under dynamic conditions will shed new light on how the hosts and microbes respond to the changing environment.