Project description:The ever-increasing metagenomic data necessitate appropriate cataloguing in a way that facilitates the comparison and better contextualization of the underlying investigations. To this extent, information associated with the sequencing data as well as the original sample and the environment where it was obtained from is crucial. To date, there are not any publicly available repositories able to capture environmental metadata pertaining to hydrocarbon-rich environments. As such, contextualization and comparative analysis among sequencing datasets derived from these environments is to a certain degree hindered or cannot be fully evaluated. The metagenomics data management system for hydrocarbon resources (MetaHCRs) enables the capturing of marker gene and whole metagenome sequencing data as well as over 300 contextual attributes associated with samples, organisms, environments and geological properties, among others. Moreover, MetaHCR implements the Minimum Information about any Sequence-hydrocarbon resource specification from the Genomic Standards Consortium; it integrates a user-friendly web interface and relational database model, and it enables the generation of complex custom search. MetaHCR has been tested with 36 publicly available metagenomic studies, and its modular architecture can be easily customized for other types of environmental and metagenomics studies.
Project description:Current knowledge of the microbial diversity and metabolic pathways involved in hydrocarbon degradation in petroleum reservoirs is still limited, mostly due to the difficulty in recovering the complex community from such an extreme environment. Metagenomics is a valuable tool to investigate the genetic and functional diversity of previously uncultured microorganisms in natural environments. Using a function-driven metagenomic approach, we investigated the metabolic abilities of microbial communities in oil reservoirs. Here, we describe novel functional metabolic pathways involved in the biodegradation of aromatic compounds in a metagenomic library obtained from an oil reservoir. Although many of the deduced proteins shared homology with known enzymes of different well-described aerobic and anaerobic catabolic pathways, the metagenomic fragments did not contain the complete clusters known to be involved in hydrocarbon degradation. Instead, the metagenomic fragments comprised genes belonging to different pathways, showing novel gene arrangements. These results reinforce the potential of the metagenomic approach for the identification and elucidation of new genes and pathways in poorly studied environments and contribute to a broader perspective on the hydrocarbon degradation processes in petroleum reservoirs.
Project description:Over the last decade, metagenomic studies have revealed the impact of oil production on the microbial ecology of petroleum reservoirs. However, despite their fundamental roles in bioremediation of hydrocarbons, biocorrosion, biofouling and hydrogen sulfide production, oil field and oil production infrastructure microbiomes are poorly explored. Understanding of microbial activities within oil production facilities is therefore crucial for environmental risk mitigation, most notably during decommissioning. The analysis of the planktonic microbial community from the aqueous phase of a subsea oil-storage structure was conducted. This concrete structure was part of the production platform of the Brent oil field (North Sea), which is currently undergoing decommissioning. Quantification and sequencing of microbial 16S rRNA genes, metagenomic analysis and reconstruction of metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) revealed a unique microbiome, strongly dominated by organisms related to <i>Dethiosulfatibacter</i> and <i>Cloacimonadetes</i>. Consistent with the hydrocarbon content in the aqueous phase of the structure, a strong potential for degradation of low molecular weight aromatic hydrocarbons was apparent in the microbial community. These degradation pathways were associated with taxonomically diverse microorganisms, including the predominant <i>Dethiosulfatibacter</i> and <i>Cloacimonadetes</i> lineages, expanding the list of potential hydrocarbon degraders. Genes associated with direct and indirect interspecies exchanges (multiheme type-C cytochromes, hydrogenases and formate/acetate metabolism) were widespread in the community, suggesting potential syntrophic hydrocarbon degradation processes in the system. Our results illustrate the importance of genomic data for informing decommissioning strategies in marine environments and reveal that hydrocarbon-degrading community composition and metabolisms in man-made marine structures might differ markedly from natural hydrocarbon-rich marine environments.
Project description:The population genome of an uncultured bacterium assigned to the Campylobacterales (Epsilonproteobacteria) was reconstructed from a metagenome dataset obtained by whole-genome shotgun pyrosequencing. Genomic DNA was extracted from a sulfate-reducing, m-xylene-mineralizing enrichment culture isolated from groundwater of a benzene-contaminated sulfidic aquifer. The identical epsilonproteobacterial phylotype has previously been detected in toluene- or benzene-mineralizing, sulfate-reducing consortia enriched from the same site. Previous stable isotope probing (SIP) experiments with (13)C6-labeled benzene suggested that this phylotype assimilates benzene-derived carbon in a syntrophic benzene-mineralizing consortium that uses sulfate as terminal electron acceptor. However, the type of energy metabolism and the ecophysiological function of this epsilonproteobacterium within aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading consortia and in the sulfidic aquifer are poorly understood. Annotation of the epsilonproteobacterial population genome suggests that the bacterium plays a key role in sulfur cycling as indicated by the presence of an sqr gene encoding a sulfide quinone oxidoreductase and psr genes encoding a polysulfide reductase. It may gain energy by using sulfide or hydrogen/formate as electron donors. Polysulfide, fumarate, as well as oxygen are potential electron acceptors. Auto- or mixotrophic carbon metabolism seems plausible since a complete reductive citric acid cycle was detected. Thus the bacterium can thrive in pristine groundwater as well as in hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifers. In hydrocarbon-contaminated sulfidic habitats, the epsilonproteobacterium may generate energy by coupling the oxidation of hydrogen or formate and highly abundant sulfide with the reduction of fumarate and/or polysulfide, accompanied by efficient assimilation of acetate produced during fermentation or incomplete oxidation of hydrocarbons. The highly efficient assimilation of acetate was recently demonstrated by a pulsed (13)C2-acetate protein SIP experiment. The capability of nitrogen fixation as indicated by the presence of nif genes may provide a selective advantage in nitrogen-depleted habitats. Based on this metabolic reconstruction, we propose acetate capture and sulfur cycling as key functions of Epsilonproteobacteria within the intermediary ecosystem metabolism of hydrocarbon-rich sulfidic sediments.
Project description:Deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimneys contain a high diversity of microorganisms, yet the metabolic activity and the ecological functions of the microbial communities remain largely unexplored. In this study, a metagenomic approach was applied to characterize the metabolic potential in a Guaymas hydrothermal vent chimney and to conduct comparative genomic analysis among a variety of environments with sequenced metagenomes. Complete clustering of functional gene categories with a comparative metagenomic approach showed that this Guaymas chimney metagenome was clustered most closely with a chimney metagenome from Juan de Fuca. All chimney samples were enriched with genes involved in recombination and repair, chemotaxis and flagellar assembly, highlighting their roles in coping with the fluctuating extreme deep-sea environments. A high proportion of transposases was observed in all the metagenomes from deep-sea chimneys, supporting the previous hypothesis that horizontal gene transfer may be common in the deep-sea vent chimney biosphere. In the Guaymas chimney metagenome, thermophilic sulfate reducing microorganisms including bacteria and archaea were found predominant, and genes coding for the degradation of refractory organic compounds such as cellulose, lipid, pullullan, as well as a few hydrocarbons including toluene, ethylbenzene and o-xylene were identified. Therefore, this oil-immersed chimney supported a thermophilic microbial community capable of oxidizing a range of hydrocarbons that served as electron donors for sulphate reduction under anaerobic conditions.
Project description:Microbial species play important roles in different environments and the production of high-quality genomes from metagenome data sets represents a major obstacle to understanding their ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Metagenome-Assembled Genomes Orchestra (MAGO) is a computational framework that integrates and simplifies metagenome assembly, binning, bin improvement, bin quality (completeness and contamination), bin annotation, and evolutionary placement of bins via detailed maximum-likelihood phylogeny based on multiple marker genes using different amino acid substitution models, next to average nucleotide identity analysis of genomes for delineation of species boundaries and operational taxonomic units. MAGO offers streamlined execution of the entire metagenomics pipeline, error checking, computational resource distribution and compatibility of data formats, governed by user-tailored pipeline processing. MAGO is an open-source-software package released in three different ways, as a singularity image and a Docker container for HPC purposes as well as for running MAGO on a commodity hardware, and a virtual machine for gaining a full access to MAGO underlying structure and source code. MAGO is open to suggestions for extensions and is amenable for use in both research and teaching of genomics and molecular evolution of genomes assembled from small single-cell projects or large-scale and complex environmental metagenomes.