Project description:The goal of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is to generate a comprehensive catalog of human-associated microorganisms including reference genomes representing the most common species. Toward this goal, the HMP has characterized the microbial communities at 18 body habitats in a cohort of over 200 healthy volunteers using 16S rRNA gene (16S) sequencing and has generated nearly 1,000 reference genomes from human-associated microorganisms. To determine how well current reference genome collections capture the diversity observed among the healthy microbiome and to guide isolation and future sequencing of microbiome members, we compared the HMP's 16S data sets to several reference 16S collections to create a 'most wanted' list of taxa for sequencing. Our analysis revealed that the diversity of commonly occurring taxa within the HMP cohort microbiome is relatively modest, few novel taxa are represented by these OTUs and many common taxa among HMP volunteers recur across different populations of healthy humans. Taken together, these results suggest that it should be possible to perform whole-genome sequencing on a large fraction of the human microbiome, including the 'most wanted', and that these sequences should serve to support microbiome studies across multiple cohorts. Also, in stark contrast to other taxa, the 'most wanted' organisms are poorly represented among culture collections suggesting that novel culture- and single-cell-based methods will be required to isolate these organisms for sequencing.
Project description:The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) aims to characterize the microbial communities of 18 body sites from healthy individuals. To accomplish this, the HMP generated two types of shotgun data: reference shotgun sequences isolated from different anatomical sites on the human body and shotgun metagenomic sequences from the microbial communities of each site. The alignment strategy for characterizing these metagenomic communities using available reference sequence is important to the success of HMP data analysis. Six next-generation aligners were used to align a community of known composition against a database comprising reference organisms known to be present in that community. All aligners report nearly complete genome coverage (>97%) for strains with over 6X depth of coverage, however they differ in speed, memory requirement and ease of use issues such as database size limitations and supported mapping strategies. The selected aligner was tested across a range of parameters to maximize sensitivity while maintaining a low false positive rate. We found that constraining alignment length had more impact on sensitivity than does constraining similarity in all cases tested. However, when reference species were replaced with phylogenetic neighbors, similarity begins to play a larger role in detection. We also show that choosing the top hit randomly when multiple, equally strong mappings are available increases overall sensitivity at the expense of taxonomic resolution. The results of this study identified a strategy that was used to map over 3 tera-bases of microbial sequence against a database of more than 5,000 reference genomes in just over a month.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus nitrosative stress resistance is due in part to flavohemoprotein (Hmp). Although hmp is present in all sequenced S.?aureus genomes, 37% of analyzed strains also contain nor, encoding a predicted quinol-type nitric oxide (NO) reductase (saNOR). DAF-FM staining of NO-challenged wild-type, nor, hmp and nor hmp mutant biofilms suggested that Hmp may have a greater contribution to intracellular NO detoxification relative to saNOR. However, saNOR still had a significant impact on intracellular NO levels and complemented NO detoxification in a nor hmp mutant. When grown as NO-challenged static (low-oxygen) cultures, hmp and nor hmp mutants both experienced a delay in growth initiation, whereas the nor mutant's ability to initiate growth was comparable with the wild-type strain. However, saNOR contributed to cell respiration in this assay once growth had resumed, as determined by membrane potential and respiratory activity assays. Expression of nor was upregulated during low-oxygen growth and dependent on SrrAB, a two-component system that regulates expression of respiration and nitrosative stress resistance genes. High-level nor promoter activity was also detectable in a cell subpopulation near the biofilm substratum. These results suggest that saNOR contributes to NO-dependent respiration during nitrosative stress, possibly conferring an advantage to nor+ strains in vivo.