Project description:Soil microbial communities contain the highest level of prokaryotic diversity of any environment, and metagenomic approaches involving the extraction of DNA from soil can improve our access to these communities. Most analyses of soil biodiversity and function assume that the DNA extracted represents the microbial community in the soil, but subsequent interpretations are limited by the DNA recovered from the soil. Unfortunately, extraction methods do not provide a uniform and unbiased subsample of metagenomic DNA, and as a consequence, accurate species distributions cannot be determined. Moreover, any bias will propagate errors in estimations of overall microbial diversity and may exclude some microbial classes from study and exploitation. To improve metagenomic approaches, investigate DNA extraction biases, and provide tools for assessing the relative abundances of different groups, we explored the biodiversity of the accessible community DNA by fractioning the metagenomic DNA as a function of (i) vertical soil sampling, (ii) density gradients (cell separation), (iii) cell lysis stringency, and (iv) DNA fragment size distribution. Each fraction had a unique genetic diversity, with different predominant and rare species (based on ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [RISA] fingerprinting and phylochips). All fractions contributed to the number of bacterial groups uncovered in the metagenome, thus increasing the DNA pool for further applications. Indeed, we were able to access a more genetically diverse proportion of the metagenome (a gain of more than 80% compared to the best single extraction method), limit the predominance of a few genomes, and increase the species richness per sequencing effort. This work stresses the difference between extracted DNA pools and the currently inaccessible complete soil metagenome.
Project description:The Arecibo Observatory (AO) located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is the most sensitive, powerful and active planetary radar system in the world . One of its principal components is the 305 m-diameter spherical reflector dish (AORD), which is exposed to high frequency electromagnetic waves. To unravel the microbial communities that inhabit this environment, soil samples from underneath the AORD were collected, DNA extracted, and sequenced using Illumina MiSeq. Taxonomic and functional profiles were generated using the MG-RAST server. The most abundant domain was Bacteria (91%), followed by Virus (8%), Archaea (0.9%) and Eukaryota (0.9%). The most abundant phylum was Proteobacteria (54%), followed by Actinobacteria (8%), Bacteroidetes (5%) and Firmicutes (4%). In terms of functions, the most abundant among the metagenome corresponded to phages, transposable elements and plasmids (16%), followed by clustering-based subsystems (11%), carbohydrates (10%), and amino acids and derivatives (9%). This is the first soil metagenomic dataset from dish antennas and radar systems, specifically, underneath the AORD. Data can be used to explore the effect of high frequency electromagnetic waves in soil microbial composition, as well as the possibility of finding bioprospects with potential biomedical and biotechnological applications.
Project description:The microbiome associated with an animal's gut and other organs is considered an integral part of its ecological functions and adaptive capacity. To better understand how microbial communities influence activities and capacities of the host, we need more information on the functions that are encoded in a microbiome. Until now, the information about soil invertebrate microbiomes is mostly based on taxonomic characterization, achieved through culturing and amplicon sequencing. Using shotgun sequencing and various bioinformatics approaches we explored functions in the bacterial metagenome associated with the soil invertebrate Folsomia candida, an established model organism in soil ecology with a fully sequenced, high-quality genome assembly. Our metagenome analysis revealed a remarkable diversity of genes associated with antimicrobial activity and carbohydrate metabolism. The microbiome also contains several homologs to F. candida genes that were previously identified as candidates for horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We suggest that the carbohydrate- and antimicrobial-related functions encoded by Folsomia's metagenome play a role in the digestion of recalcitrant soil-born polysaccharides and the defense against pathogens, thereby significantly contributing to the adaptation of these animals to life in the soil. Furthermore, the transfer of genes from the microbiome may constitute an important source of new functions for the springtail.
Project description:Gauging the microbial community structures and functions become imperative to understand the ecological processes. To understand the impact of long-term oil contamination on microbial community structure soil samples were taken from oil fields located in different industrial regions across Kadi, near Ahmedabad, India. Soil collected was hence used for metagenomic DNA extraction to study the capabilities of intrinsic microbial community in tolerating the oil perturbation.Taxonomic profiling was carried out by two different complementary approaches i.e. 16S rDNA and lowest common ancestor. The community profiling revealed the enrichment of phylum "Proteobacteria" and genus "Chromobacterium," respectively for polluted soil sample. Our results indicated that soil microbial diversity (Shannon diversity index) decreased significantly with contamination. Further, assignment of obtained metagenome reads to Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) of protein and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) hits revealed metabolic potential of indigenous microbial community. Enzymes were mapped on fatty acid biosynthesis pathway to elucidate their roles in possible catalytic reactions.To the best of our knowledge this is first study for influence of edible oil on soil microbial communities via shotgun sequencing. The results indicated that long-term oil contamination significantly affects soil microbial community structure by acting as an environmental filter to decrease the regional differences distinguishing soil microbial communities.