Project description:Coral disease is one of the major causes of reef degradation and therefore of concern to management and conservation efforts. Dark Spot Syndrome (DSS) was described in the early 1990’s as brown or purple amorphous areas of tissue on a coral and has since become one of the most prevalent diseases reported on Caribbean reefs. It has been identified in a number of coral species, but there is debate as to whether it is in fact the same disease in different corals. Further, it is questioned whether these macroscopic signs are in fact diagnostic of an infectious disease, since they can also be caused by physical injury in some species. The most commonly affected species in the Caribbean is the massive starlet coral Siderastrea siderea. We sampled this species in two geographic locations, Dry Tortugas National Park and Virgin Islands National Park. Tissue biopsies were collected from both healthy colonies with normal pigmentation and those with dark spot lesions. Microbial-community DNA was extracted from coral samples (mucus, tissue, and skeleton), amplified using bacterial-specific primers, and applied to PhyloChip™ G3 microarrays to examine the bacterial diversity associated with this coral. Samples were also screened for the presence of a fungal ribotype that has recently been implicated as a causative agent of DSS in another coral species, however the amplicon pools were overwhelmed by coral 18S rRNA genes from S. siderea. Unlike a similar study on a white-plague-like disease, S. siderea samples did not cluster consistently based on health state (i.e., normal versus dark spot). Various bacteria, including Cyanobacteria and Vibrios, were observed to have increased relative abundance in the discolored tissue, but the patterns were not consistent across all DSS samples. Overall, our findings do not support the hypothesis that DSS in S. siderea is linked to a bacterial pathogen or pathogens. This dataset provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the bacterial community associated with the healthy scleractinian coral S. siderea. 17 samples, coral tissue punches from healthy and also from dark-spot-affected Siderastrea Siderea coral in the Virgin Islands and the Dry Tortugas National Parks was collected for comparison of associated bacterial communities
Project description:The increased urban pressures are often associated with specialization of microbial communities. Microbial communities being a critical player in the geochemical processes, makes it important to identify key environmental parameters that influence the community structure and its function.In this proect we study the influence of land use type and environmental parameters on the structure and function of microbial communities. The present study was conducted in an urban catchment, where the metal and pollutants levels are under allowable limits. The overall goal of this study is to understand the role of engineered physicochemical environment on the structure and function of microbial communities in urban storm-water canals. Microbial community structure was determined using PhyoChio (G3) Water and sediment samples were collected after a rain event from Sungei Ulu Pandan watershed of >25km2, which has two major land use types: Residential and industrial. Samples were analyzed for physicochemical variables and microbial community structure and composition. Microbial community structure was determined using PhyoChio (G3)
Project description:Several aspects common to a Western lifestyle, including obesity and decreased physical activity, are known risks for gastrointestinal cancers. There is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that diet profoundly affects the composition of the intestinal microbiota. Moreover, there is now unequivocal evidence linking a dysbiotic gut to cancer development. Yet, the mechanisms through which high-fat diet (HFD)-mediated changes in the microbial community impact the severity of tumorigenesis in the gut, remain to be determined. Here we demonstrate that HFD promotes tumor progression in the small intestine of genetically susceptible K-rasG12Dint mice independent of obesity. HFD consumption in conjunction with K-Ras mutation mediates a shift in the composition of gut microbiota, which is associated with a decrease in Paneth cell antimicrobial host defense that compromises dendritic cell (DC) recruitment and MHC-II presentation in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALTs). DC recruitment in GALTs can be normalized, and tumor progression attenuated completely, when K-rasG12Dint mice are supplemented with the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, a bacterial fermentation endproduct. Importantly, Myd88-deficiency completely blocks tumor progression in K-rasG12Dint mice. Transfer of fecal samples from diseased donors into healthy adult K-rasG12Dint mice is sufficient to transmit disease in the absence of HFD. Furthermore, treatment with antibiotics completely blocks HFD-induced tumor progression, suggesting a pivotal role for distinct microbial shifts in aggravating disease in the small intestine. Collectively, these data underscore the importance of the reciprocal interaction between host and environmental factors in selecting intestinal microbiota that favor carcinogenesis, and suggest tumorigenesis may be transmissible among genetically predisposed individuals. 3 mice each for each treatment.
Project description:To understand microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and the effects of environmental factors on their structure, 12 activated sludge samples were collected from four WWTPs in Beijing. GeoChip 4.2 was used to determine the microbial functional genes involved in a variety of biogeochemical processes. The results showed that, for each gene category, such as egl, amyA, nir, ppx, dsrA sox and benAB, there were a number of microorganisms shared by all 12 samples, suggestive of the presence of a core microbial community in the activated sludge of four WWTPs. Variance partitioning analyses (VPA) showed that a total of 53% of microbial community variation can be explained by wastewater characteristics (25%) and operational parameters (23%), respectively. This study provided an overall picture of microbial community functional structures of activated sludge in WWTPs and discerned the linkages between microbial communities and environmental variables in WWTPs. Four full-scale wastewater treatment systems located in Beijing were investigated. Triplicate samples were collected in each site.
Project description:Microbial symbiotic partners, such as those associated with reef-building corals, mediate biochemical transformations that influence host performance and survival. While evidence suggests microbial community composition partly accounts for differences in coral physiology, how these symbionts affect metabolic pathways remains underexplored. We aimed to assess functional variation between coral-associated microbial partners in hospite. To this end, we characterized and compared microbial community composition and metabolomic profiles from 9 coral species. These data support and expand on previous research by demonstrating microbial communities and metabolite profiles are species-specific and are correlated to one another. Using Porites spp. as a case study, we present evidence that the relative abundance of different sub-clades of Symbiodinium and bacterial/archaeal families influence the composition of functionally important metabolites. Our data suggests that while some microbial partners benefit the union, others are more opportunistic and possibly parasitize the host. Consequently, coral partner choice likely influences cellular metabolic activities and, therefore, holobiont nutrition.