Project description:Culture-independent characterization of microbial communities associated with popular plant model systems have increased our understanding of the plant microbiome. However, the integration of other model systems, such as duckweed, could facilitate our understanding of plant microbiota assembly and evolution. Duckweeds are floating aquatic plants with many characteristics, including small size and reduced plant architecture, that suggest their use as a facile model system for plant microbiome studies. Here, we investigated the structure and assembly of the duckweed bacterial microbiome. First, a culture-independent survey of the duckweed bacterial microbiome from different locations in New Jersey revealed similar phylogenetic profiles. These studies showed that Proteobacteria is a dominant phylum in the duckweed bacterial microbiome. To observe the assembly dynamics of the duckweed bacterial community, we inoculated quasi-gnotobiotic duckweed with wastewater effluent from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Our results revealed that duckweed strongly shapes its bacterial microbiome and forms distinct associations with bacterial community members from the initial inoculum. Additionally, these inoculation studies showed the bacterial communities of different duckweed species were similar in taxa composition and abundance. Analysis across the different duckweed bacterial communities collected in this study identified a set of "core" bacterial taxa consistently present on duckweed irrespective of the locale and context. Furthermore, comparison of the duckweed bacterial community to that of rice and Arabidopsis revealed a conserved taxonomic structure between the duckweed microbiome and the terrestrial leaf microbiome. Our results suggest that duckweeds utilize similar bacterial community assembly principles as those found in terrestrial plants and indicate a highly conserved structuring effect of leaf tissue on the plant microbiome.
Project description:It is increasingly recognized that microbiota affect host health and physiology. However, it is unclear what factors shape microbiome community assembly in nature, and how microbiome assembly can be manipulated to improve host health. All plant leaves host foliar endophytic fungi, which make up a diverse, environmentally acquired fungal microbiota. Here, we experimentally manipulated assembly of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) fungal microbiome in nature and tested the effect of assembly outcome on host health. Using next-generation sequencing, as well as culture-based methods coupled with Sanger sequencing, we found that manipulating leaf litter exposure and location within the forest canopy significantly altered microbiome composition in cacao. Exposing cacao seedlings to leaf litter from healthy conspecific adults enriched the seedling microbiome with Colletotrichum tropicale, a fungal endophyte known to enhance pathogen resistance of cacao seedlings by upregulating host defensive pathways. As a result, seedlings exposed to healthy conspecific litter experienced reduced pathogen damage. Our results link processes that affect the assembly and composition of microbiome communities to their functional consequences for host success, and have broad implications for understanding plant-microbe interactions. Deliberate manipulation of the plant-fungal microbiome also has potentially important applications for cacao production and other agricultural systems in general.
Project description:Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a marine foundation species essential for coastal ecosystem services around the northern hemisphere. Like all macroscopic organisms, it possesses a microbiome (here defined as an associated prokaryotic community) which may play critical roles in modulating the interaction of eelgrass with its environment. For example, its leaf surface microbiome could inhibit or attract eukaryotic epibionts which may overgrow the eelgrass leading to reduced primary productivity and subsequent eelgrass meadow decline. We used amplicon sequencing of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes of prokaryotes and eukaryotes to assess the leaf surface microbiome (prokaryotes) as well as eukaryotic epibionts in- and outside lagoons on the German Baltic Sea coast. Prokaryote microbiomes varied substantially both between sites inside lagoons and between open coastal and lagoon sites. Water depth, leaf area and biofilm chlorophyll a concentration explained a large amount of variation in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic community composition. The prokaryotic microbiome and eukaryotic epibiont communities were highly correlated, and network analysis revealed disproportionate co-occurrence between a limited number of eukaryotic taxa and several bacterial taxa. This suggests that eelgrass leaf surfaces are home to a mosaic of microbiomes of several epibiotic eukaryotes, in addition to the microbiome of the eelgrass itself. Our findings thereby underline that eukaryotic diversity should be taken into account in order to explain prokaryotic microbiome assembly and dynamics in aquatic environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The crop microbial communities are shaped by interactions between the host, microbes and the environment, however, their relative contribution is beginning to be understood. Here, we explore these interactions in the leaf bacterial community across 3024 rice accessions. FINDINGS:By using unmapped DNA sequencing reads as microbial reads, we characterized the structure of the rice bacterial microbiome. We identified central bacteria taxa that emerge as microbial "hubs" and may have an influence on the network of host-microbe interactions. We found regions in the rice genome that might control the assembly of these microbial hubs. To our knowledge this is one of the first studies that uses raw data from plant genome sequencing projects to characterize the leaf bacterial communities. CONCLUSION:We showed, that the structure of the rice leaf microbiome is modulated by multiple interactions among host, microbes, and environment. Our data provide insight into the factors influencing microbial assemblage in the rice leaf and also opens the door for future initiatives to modulate rice consortia for crop improvement efforts.
Project description:Insect herbivory is pervasive in plant communities, but its impact on microbial plant colonizers is not well-studied in natural systems. By calibrating sequencing-based bacterial detection to absolute bacterial load, we find that the within-host abundance of most leaf microbiome (phyllosphere) taxa colonizing a native forb is amplified within leaves affected by insect herbivory. Herbivore-associated bacterial amplification reflects community-wide compositional shifts towards lower ecological diversity, but the extent and direction of such compositional shifts can be interpreted only by quantifying absolute abundance. Experimentally eliciting anti-herbivore defences reshaped within-host fitness ranks among Pseudomonas spp. field isolates and amplified a subset of putatively phytopathogenic P. syringae in a manner causally consistent with observed field-scale patterns. Herbivore damage was inversely correlated with plant reproductive success and was highly clustered across plants, which predicts tight co-clustering with putative phytopathogens across hosts. Insect herbivory may thus drive the epidemiology of plant-infecting bacteria as well as the structure of a native plant microbiome by generating variation in within-host bacterial fitness at multiple phylogenetic and spatial scales. This study emphasizes that 'non-focal' biotic interactions between hosts and other organisms in their ecological settings can be crucial drivers of the population and community dynamics of host-associated microbiomes.
Project description:Arsenic poisons an estimated 200 million people worldwide through contaminated food and drinking water. Confusingly, the gut microbiome has been suggested to both mitigate and exacerbate arsenic toxicity. Here, we show that the microbiome protects mice from arsenic-induced mortality. Both antibiotic-treated and germ-free mice excrete less arsenic in stool and accumulate more arsenic in organs compared to control mice. Mice lacking the primary arsenic detoxification enzyme (As3mt) are hypersensitive to arsenic after antibiotic treatment or when derived germ-free, compared to wild-type and/or conventional counterparts. Human microbiome (stool) transplants protect germ-free As3mt-KO mice from arsenic-induced mortality, but protection depends on microbiome stability and the presence of specific bacteria, including Faecalibacterium. Our results demonstrate that both a functional As3mt and specific microbiome members are required for protection against acute arsenic toxicity in mouse models. We anticipate that the gut microbiome will become an important explanatory factor of disease (arsenicosis) penetrance in humans, and a novel target for prevention and treatment strategies.
Project description:Adding biochar, the solid coproduct of biofuel production, to peat can enhance strawberry growth, and disease resistance against the airborne fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Additionally, biochar can induce shifts in the strawberry rhizosphere microbiome. However, the moment that this biochar-mediated shift occurs in the rhizosphere is not known. Further, the effect of an above-ground infection on the strawberry rhizosphere microbiome is unknown. In the present study we established two experiments in which strawberry transplants (cv. Elsanta) were planted either in peat or in peat amended with 3% biochar. First, we established a time course experiment to measure the effect of biochar on the rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities over time. In a second experiment, we inoculated the strawberry leaves with B. cinerea, and studied the impact of the infection on the rhizosphere bacterial community. The fungal rhizosphere community was stabilized after 1 week, except for the upcoming Auriculariales, whereas the bacterial community shifted till 6 weeks. An effect of the addition of biochar to the peat on the rhizosphere microbiome was solely measured for the bacterial community from week 6 of plant growth onwards. When scoring the plant development, biochar addition was associated with enhanced root formation, fruit production, and postharvest resistance of the fruits against B. cinerea. We hypothesize that the bacterial rhizosphere microbiome, but also biochar-mediated changes in chemical substrate composition could be involved in these events. Infection of the strawberry leaves with B. cinerea induced shifts in the bacterial rhizosphere community, with an increased bacterial richness. This disease-induced effect was not observed in the rhizospheres of the B. cinerea-infected plants grown in the biochar-amended peat. The results show that an above-ground infection has its effect on the strawberry rhizosphere microbiome, changing the bacterial interactions in the root-substrate interface. This infection effect on the bacterial rhizosphere microbiome seems to be comparable to, but less pronounced than the effect of biochar-addition to the peat. The biological meaning of these observations needs further research, but this study indicates that biochar and an above-ground pathogen attack help the plant to recruit rhizosphere microbes that may aid them in their plant growth and health.
Project description:Healthy food promotes beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. A few prebiotics act as food supplements to increase fermentation by beneficial bacteria, which enhance the host immune system and health. Allium hookeri is a healthy food with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. A. hookeri is used as a feed supplement for broiler chickens to improve growth performance. Although the underlying mechanism is unknown, A. hookeri may alter the gut microbiome. In the current study, 16S rRNA sequencing has been carried out using samples obtained from the cecum of broiler chickens exposed to diets comprising different tissue types (leaf and root) and varying amounts (0.3% and 0.5%) of A. hookeri to investigate their impact on gut microbiome. The microbiome composition in the groups supplemented with A. hookeri leaf varied from that of the control group. Especially, exposure to 0.5% amounts of leaf resulted in differences in the abundance of genera compared with diets comprising 0.3% leaf. Exposure to a diet containing 0.5% A. hookeri leaf decreased the abundance of the following bacteria: Eubacterium nodatum, Marvinbryantia, Oscillospira, and Gelria. The modulation of gut microbiome by leaf supplement correlated with growth traits including body weight, bone strength, and infectious bursal disease antibody. The results demonstrate that A. hookeri may improve the health benefits of broiler chickens by altering the gut microbiome.
Project description:Exposure to dogs in early infancy has been shown to reduce the risk of childhood allergic disease development and dog-ownership is associated with a distinct house dust microbial exposure. Here we demonstrate, using murine models, that exposure of mice to dog-associated house dust protects against ovalbumin or cockroach allergen mediated airway pathology. Protected animals exhibited significant reductions in the total number of airway T cells, down-regulation of Th2-related airway responses as well as mucin secretion. Following house dust exposure, the cecal microbiome of protected animals was extensively restructured with significant enrichment of, amongst others, Lactobacillus johnsonii. Supplementation of wild type animals with L. johnsonii protected them against both airway allergen challenge or infection with respiratory syncytial virus. L. johnsonii mediated protection was associated with significant reductions in the total number and proportion of activated CD11c+/CD11b+ and CD11c+/CD8+ cells, as well as significantly reduced airway Th2 cytokine expression. Our results reveal that exposure to dog-associated household dust results in protection against airway allergen challenge and a distinct GI microbiome composition. Moreover the study identifies L. johnsonii as a pivotal species within the gastrointestinal tract capable of influencing adaptive immunity at remote mucosal surfaces in a manner that is protective against a variety of respiratory insults. The G2 PhyloChip microarray platform (commercially available from Second Genome, Inc.) was used to profile cecal gut bacteria from 29 mice: 7 controls, 5 gavaged with dust from homes with pets, 5 gavaged with dust from homes with no pets, 4 CRA-challenged, 4 gavaged with L. johnsonii, and 4 gavaged with L. johnsonii prior to CRA challenge. The PhyloChip was also used to profile 1 house dust sample collected from a home with dogs