First insight into the faecal microbiota of the high Arctic muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus).
ABSTRACT: The faecal microbiota of muskoxen (n=3) pasturing on Ryøya (69° 33' N 18° 43' E), Norway, in late September was characterized using high-throughput sequencing of partial 16S rRNA gene regions. A total of 16 209 high-quality sequence reads from bacterial domains and 19 462 from archaea were generated. Preliminary taxonomic classifications of 806 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) resulted in 53.7-59.3 % of the total sequences being without designations beyond the family level. Firmicutes (70.7-81.1 % of the total sequences) and Bacteroidetes (16.8-25.3 %) constituted the two major bacterial phyla, with uncharacterized members within the family Ruminococcaceae (28.9-40.9 %) as the major phylotype. Multiple-library comparisons between muskoxen and other ruminants indicated a higher similarity for muskoxen faeces and reindeer caecum (P>0.05) and some samples from cattle faeces. The archaeal sequences clustered into 37 OTUs, with dominating phylotypes affiliated to the methane-producing genus Methanobrevibacter (80-92 % of the total sequences). UniFrac analysis demonstrated heterogeneity between muskoxen archaeal libraries and those from reindeer and roe deer (P=1.0e-02, Bonferroni corrected), but not with foregut fermenters. The high proportion of cellulose-degrading Ruminococcus-affiliated bacteria agrees with the ingestion of a highly fibrous diet. Further experiments are required to elucidate the role played by these novel bacteria in the digestion of this fibrous Artic diet eaten by muskoxen.
Project description:Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a major cause of viral hepatitis worldwide, is considered an emerging foodborne zoonosis in Europe. Pigs (<i>Sus scrofa domestica</i>) and wild boars (<i>S. scrofa</i>) are recognized as important HEV reservoirs. Additionally, HEV infection and exposure have been described in cervids. In Norway, HEV has been identified in pigs and humans; however, little is known regarding its presence in wild ungulates in the country. We used a species-independent double-antigen sandwich ELISA to detect antibodies against HEV in the sera of 715 wild ungulates from Norway, including 164 moose (<i>Alces alces</i>), 186 wild Eurasian tundra reindeer (<i>Rangifer tarandus tarandus</i>), 177 red deer (<i>Cervus elaphus</i>), 86 European roe deer (<i>Capreolus capreolus</i>), and 102 muskoxen (<i>Ovibos moschatus</i>). The overall seroprevalence was 12.3% (88/715). Wild reindeer had the highest seropositivity (23.1%, 43/186), followed by moose (19.5%, 32/164), muskoxen (5.9%, 6/102), and red deer (4%, 7/177). All roe deer were negative. According to our results, HEV is circulating in wild ungulates in Norway. The high seroprevalence observed in wild reindeer and moose indicates that these species may be potential reservoirs of HEV. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of HEV exposure in reindeer from Europe and in muskoxen worldwide.
Project description:The Norwegian muskox (Ovibos moschatus) population lives on the high mountain plateau of Dovre and originates from animals introduced from Greenland. In the late summers of 2006 and 2012, severe outbreaks of pneumonia with mortality rates of 25-30% occurred. During the 2012 epidemic high quality samples from culled sick animals were obtained for microbiological and pathological examinations. High throughput sequencing (pyrosequencing) of pneumonic lung tissue revealed high concentrations of Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae in all six animals examined by this method and Pasteurella multocida subsp. multocida in four animals, whereas no virus sequences could be identified. Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae and P. multocida multocida were also isolated by culture. Using real time PCR on lung swabs, M. ovipneumoniae was detected in all of the 19 pneumonic lungs examined. Gross pathological examination revealed heavy consolidations primarily in the cranial parts of the lungs and it also identified one case of otitis media. Histologically, lung lesions were characterized as acute to subacute mixed exudative and moderately proliferative bronchoalveolar pneumonia. Immunohistochemical (IHC) examination revealed high load of M. ovipneumoniae antigens within lung lesions, with particularly intensive staining in the neutrophils. Similar IHC finding were observed in archived lung tissue blocks from animals examined during the 2006 epidemic. An M. ovipneumoniae specific ELISA was applied on bio-banked muskox sera from stray muskoxen killed in the period 2004-2013 and sick muskoxen culled, as well as sera from wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) on Dovre and muskoxen from Greenland. Serology and mycoplasma culturing was also carried out on sheep that had been on pasture in the muskox area during the outbreak in 2012. Our findings indicated separate introductions of M. ovipneumoniae infection in 2006 and 2012 from infected co-grazing sheep. Salt licks shared by the two species were a possible route of transmitting infection.
Project description:We studied the relationship between fiber digestion and the composition of the bacterial community in the rumen of muskoxen at the start and the end of the annual window of plant growth from spring to fall. Eight ruminally cannulated castrated males were fed brome hay or triticale straw (69.6% vs. 84.6% neutral detergent fiber, respectively) that were similar in fiber content to the sedges consumed by wild muskoxen (64.5 to 71.7% neutral detergent fiber). Muskoxen digested fiber from both forages faster and to a greater extent when straw rather than hay was consumed. Fiber digestion was therefore inducible by diet 4 in each season. We used 16S rRNA sequences from ruminal contents to study how season and diet affected the bacterial community and how the latter related to fiber digestion. We found that Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes accounted for 90% of the sequences at the level of Phylum, which is typical for the mammal gut microbiome. Using partial least square regressions, it was found that between 48% and 72% of the variation in fiber digestion was associated with 36?43 genera of bacteria. The main fibrolytic bacteria typical of domestic ruminants were generally not among the most important bacteria associated with fiber digestion in muskoxen. This reveals that muskoxen rely upon on a large suite of bacterial genera that are largely distinct from those used by other ruminants to digest the cell walls of plants that vary widely in both abundance and nutritional quality through the year.
Project description:Information about lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition of muskoxen (Ovibos moschatos) edible tissues is very limited in comparison to other meat sources. Thus, this work aims to present the first in-depth characterization of the FA profile of meat, subcutaneous adipose tissue and liver of muskoxen living in West Greenland. Furthermore, we aim to evaluate the effect of sex in the FA composition of these edible tissues. Samples from muscle (Longissimus dorsi), subcutaneous adipose tissue and liver were collected from female and male muskoxen, which were delivered at the butchery in Kangerlussuaq (West Greenland) during the winter hunting season. The lipid content of muscle, adipose tissue and liver averaged 284, 846 and 173 mg/g of dry tissue, respectively. This large lipid contents confirms that in late winter, when forage availability is scarce, muskoxen from West Greenland still have high fat reserves, demonstrating that they are well adapted to seasonal feed restriction. A detailed characterization of FA and dimethylacetal composition of muskoxen muscle, subcutaneous adipose tissue and liver showed that there are little differences on FA composition between sexes. Nevertheless, the 18:1cis-9 was the most abundant FA in muscle and adipose tissue, reaching 43% of total FA in muscle. The high content of 18:1cis-9 suggests that it can be selectively stored in muskoxen tissues. Regarding the nutritional composition of muskoxen edible tissues, they are not a good source of polyunsaturated FA; however, they may contribute to a higher fat intake. Information about the FA composition of muskoxen meat and liver is scarce, so this work can contribute to the characterization of the nutritional fat properties of muskoxen edible tissues and can be also useful to update food composition databases.
Project description:Despite recent advances in metagenomic and single-cell genomic sequencing to investigate uncultivated microbial diversity and metabolic potential, fundamental questions related to population structure, interactions, and biogeochemical roles of candidate divisions remain. Numerous molecular surveys suggest that stratified ecosystems manifesting anoxic, sulfidic, and/or methane-rich conditions are enriched in these enigmatic microbes. Here we describe diversity, abundance, and cooccurrence patterns of uncultivated microbial communities inhabiting the permanently stratified waters of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia, Canada, using 454 sequencing of the small-subunit rRNA gene with three-domain resolution. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were affiliated with 64 phyla, including more than 25 candidate divisions. Pronounced trends in community structure were observed for all three domains with eukaryotic sequences vanishing almost completely below the mixolimnion, followed by a rapid and sustained increase in methanogen-affiliated (?10%) and unassigned (?60%) archaeal sequences as well as bacterial OTUs affiliated with Chloroflexi (?22%) and candidate divisions (?28%). Network analysis revealed highly correlated, depth-dependent cooccurrence patterns between Chloroflexi, candidate divisions WWE1, OP9/JS1, OP8, and OD1, methanogens, and unassigned archaeal OTUs indicating niche partitioning and putative syntrophic growth modes. Indeed, pathway reconstruction using recently published Sakinaw Lake single-cell genomes affiliated with OP9/JS1 and OP8 revealed complete coverage of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway with potential to drive syntrophic acetate oxidation to hydrogen and carbon dioxide under methanogenic conditions. Taken together, these observations point to previously unrecognized syntrophic networks in meromictic lake ecosystems with the potential to inform design and operation of anaerobic methanogenic bioreactors.
Project description:This study examined the bacterial and archaeal diversity from a worldwide range of wetlands soils and sediments using a meta-analysis approach. All available 16S rRNA gene sequences recovered from wetlands in public databases were retrieved. In November 2012, a total of 12677 bacterial and 1747 archaeal sequences were collected in GenBank. All the bacterial sequences were assigned into 6383 operational taxonomic units (OTUs 0.03), representing 31 known bacterial phyla, predominant with Proteobacteria (2791 OTUs), Bacteroidetes (868 OTUs), Acidobacteria (731 OTUs), Firmicutes (540 OTUs), and Actinobacteria (418 OTUs). The genus Flavobacterium (11.6% of bacterial sequences) was the dominate bacteria in wetlands, followed by Gp1, Nitrosospira, and Nitrosomonas. Archaeal sequences were assigned to 521 OTUs from phyla Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota. The dominating archaeal genera were Fervidicoccus and Methanosaeta. Rarefaction analysis indicated that approximately 40% of bacterial and 83% of archaeal diversity in wetland soils and sediments have been presented. Our results should be significant for well-understanding the microbial diversity involved in worldwide wetlands.
Project description:We assessed the occurrence of endoparasite eggs, cysts, oocysts and larvae in the muskox population of Dovrefjell, Norway, during June and August 2012. This population originates from 13 calves translocated from Eastern Greenland during the 1950s. A total of 167 faecal samples were collected, of which 49% came from identified individuals: 165 were examined by the Baermann and 95 by McMaster techniques and 167 by immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). Lungworm larvae recovered in the Baermanns were identified as Protostrongylidae (82%) and Dictyocaulus sp. (76%) based on morphology. Further molecular analyses of the ITS-2 region of two protostrongylid larvae from two muskoxen as Muellerius capillaris. Larval prevalence and intensity differed significantly between samples collected from the different age groups in June and August, with increasing prevalence and intensity in calves during the course of their first summer, whereas intensity decreased in adults from June to August. McMaster test and IFAT were used to determine the occurrence of infections with intestinal strongyles (84%), Moniezia spp. (24%), Nematodirus sp. (2%), Eimeria spp. (98%), Cryptosporidium sp. (14%) and Giardia duodenalis (7%). Molecular analyses of three isolates of Cryptosporidium and Giardia were identified as Cryptosporidium xiaoi and G. duodenalis assemblage A. Although infection intensity of all these intestinal parasites tended to be low, the high level of polyparasitism, together with the other challenges faced by this population living at the edge of their climatic range, means that these infections should not be ignored. The potential that M. capillaris, Cryptosporidium and Giardia infections derive from other sympatric host species (sheep and reindeer) is discussed.
Project description:Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are ruminants adapted to a high-fibre diet. There is increasing interest in the role that gut microbes play in the digestion and utilization of these specialized diets but only limited data available on the gut microbiome of high-Arctic animals. In this study, we metabarcoded the 16S rRNA region of faecal samples from muskoxen of Northeast Greenland, Northwest Greenland and Norway, and quantified the effects of physiological and temporal factors on bacterial composition. We found significant effects of body mass, year of sampling and location on the gut bacterial communities of North East Greenland muskoxen. These effects were however dwarfed by the effects of location, emphasizing the importance of the local ecology on the gut bacterial community. Habitat alterations and rising temperatures may therefore have a considerable impact on muskoxen health and reproductive success. Moreover, muskoxen are hunted and consumed in Greenland, Canada and Alaska; therefore, this study also screened for potential zoonoses of food safety interest. A total of 13 potentially zoonotic genera were identified, including the genera Erysipelothrix and Yersinia implicated in recent mass die-offs of the muskoxen themselves.
Project description:Scanning electron microscopy revealed great morphological diversity in biofilms from several largely unexplored subterranean thermal Alpine springs, which contain radium 226 and radon 222. A culture-independent molecular analysis of microbial communities on rocks and in the water of one spring, the "Franz-Josef-Quelle" in Bad Gastein, Austria, was performed. Four hundred fifteen clones were analyzed. One hundred thirty-two sequences were affiliated with 14 bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and 283 with four archaeal OTUs. Rarefaction analysis indicated a high diversity of bacterial sequences, while archaeal sequences were less diverse. The majority of the cloned archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences belonged to the soil-freshwater-subsurface (1.1b) crenarchaeotic group; other representatives belonged to the freshwater-wastewater-soil (1.3b) group, except one clone, which was related to a group of uncultivated Euryarchaeota. These findings support recent reports that Crenarchaeota are not restricted to high-temperature environments. Most of the bacterial sequences were related to the Proteobacteria (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetes. One OTU was allied with Nitrospina sp. (delta-Proteobacteria) and three others grouped with Nitrospira. Statistical analyses suggested high diversity based on 16S rRNA gene analyses; the rarefaction plot of archaeal clones showed a plateau. Since Crenarchaeota have been implicated recently in the nitrogen cycle, the spring environment was probed for the presence of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene. Sequences were obtained which were related to crenarchaeotic amoA genes from marine and soil habitats. The data suggested that nitrification processes are occurring in the subterranean environment and that ammonia may possibly be an energy source for the resident communities.
Project description:Intraterrestrial waters harbor microbial communities being extensively studied to understand microbial processes underlying subsurface ecosystem functioning. This paper provides the results of an investigation on the microbiomes of unique, subsurface sulfidic waters associated with Upper Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Miocene sediments. We used high-throughput 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing to reveal the structure of bacterial and archaeal communities in water samples differing in sulfide content (20-960 mg/dm3), salinity (1.3-3.2%), and depth of extraction (60-660 m below ground level). Composition of the bacterial communities strongly varied across the samples; however, the bacteria participating in the sulfur cycle were common in all sulfidic waters. The shallowest borehole water (60 m bgl) was dominated by sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria (Sulfurimonas, Sulfurovum). In the waters collected from greater depths (148-300 m bgl), the prevalence of Betaproteobacteria (Comamonadaceae) and sulfate/sulfur-reducing Deltaproteobacteria (Desulfopila, Desulfomicrobium, MSBL7) was observed. Sulfate reducers (members of Clostridia: Candidatus Desulforudis) were the most abundant bacteria in the deepest borehole water (660 m bgl). Out of 850 bacterial OTUs, only one, affiliated with the Comamonadaceae family, was found abundant (> 1% of total bacterial sequences) in all samples. Contribution of Archaea to the whole microbial communities was lower than 0.5%. Archaeal communities did not differ across the samples and they consisted of Halobacteriaceae. Out of 372 archaeal OTUs, five, belonging to the four genera Natronomonas, Halorubrum, Halobellus, and Halorhabdus, were the most numerous.