Project description:BACKGROUND: With genome sequencing becoming more and more affordable, environmental shotgun sequencing of the microorganisms present in an environment generates a challenging amount of sequence data for the scientific community. These sequence data enable the diversity of the microbial world and the metabolic pathways within an environment to be investigated, a previously unthinkable achievement when using traditional approaches. DNA sequence data assembled from extracts of 0.8 microm filtered Sargasso seawater unveiled an unprecedented glimpse of marine prokaryotic diversity and gene content. Serendipitously, many sequences representing picoeukaryotes (cell size <2 microm) were also present within this dataset. We investigated the picoeukaryotic diversity of this database by searching sequences containing homologs of eight nuclear anchor genes that are well conserved throughout the eukaryotic lineage, as well as one chloroplastic and one mitochondrial gene. RESULTS: We found up to 41 distinct eukaryotic scaffolds, with a broad phylogenetic spread on the eukaryotic tree of life. The average eukaryotic scaffold size is 2,909 bp, with one gap every 1,253 bp. Strikingly, the AT frequency of the eukaryotic sequences (51.4%) is significantly lower than the average AT frequency of the metagenome (61.4%). This represents 4% to 18% of the estimated prokaryotic diversity, depending on the average prokaryotic versus eukaryotic genome size ratio. CONCLUSION: Despite similar cell size, eukaryotic sequences of the Sargasso Sea metagenome have higher GC content, suggesting that different environmental pressures affect the evolution of their base composition.
Project description:Nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses are doubled stranded DNA viruses capable of infecting eukaryotic cells. Since the discovery of Mimivirus and Pandoravirus, there has been no doubt about their extraordinary features compared to "classic" viruses. Recently, we reported the expansion of the proposed family Pithoviridae, with the description of Cedratvirus and Orpheovirus, two new viruses related to Pithoviruses. Studying the major capsid protein of Orpheovirus, we detected a homologous sequence in a mine drainage metagenome. The in-depth exploration of this metagenome, using the MG-Digger program, enabled us to retrieve up to 10 contigs with clear evidence of viral sequences. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses further extended our screening with the discovery in another marine metagenome of a second virus closely related to Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2. This virus is a misidentified virus confused with and annotated as a Rickettsiales bacterium. It presents a partial genome size of about 170 kbp.
Project description:Human milk contains a diverse population of bacteria that likely influences colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract. Recent studies, however, have been limited to characterization of this microbial community by 16S rRNA analysis. In the present study, a metagenomic approach using Illumina sequencing of a pooled milk sample (ten donors) was employed to determine the genera of bacteria and the types of bacterial open reading frames in human milk that may influence bacterial establishment and stability in this primal food matrix. The human milk metagenome was also compared to that of breast-fed and formula-fed infants' feces (n?=?5, each) and mothers' feces (n?=?3) at the phylum level and at a functional level using open reading frame abundance. Additionally, immune-modulatory bacterial-DNA motifs were also searched for within human milk.The bacterial community in human milk contained over 360 prokaryotic genera, with sequences aligning predominantly to the phyla of Proteobacteria (65%) and Firmicutes (34%), and the genera of Pseudomonas (61.1%), Staphylococcus (33.4%) and Streptococcus (0.5%). From assembled human milk-derived contigs, 30,128 open reading frames were annotated and assigned to functional categories. When compared to the metagenome of infants' and mothers' feces, the human milk metagenome was less diverse at the phylum level, and contained more open reading frames associated with nitrogen metabolism, membrane transport and stress response (P?<?0.05). The human milk metagenome also contained a similar occurrence of immune-modulatory DNA motifs to that of infants' and mothers' fecal metagenomes.Our results further expand the complexity of the human milk metagenome and enforce the benefits of human milk ingestion on the microbial colonization of the infant gut and immunity. Discovery of immune-modulatory motifs in the metagenome of human milk indicates more exhaustive analyses of the functionality of the human milk metagenome are warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite recent decreases in the cost of sequencing, shotgun metagenome sequencing remains more expensive compared with 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Methods have been developed to predict the functional profiles of microbial communities based on their taxonomic composition. In this study, we evaluated the performance of three commonly used metagenome prediction tools (PICRUSt, PICRUSt2, and Tax4Fun) by comparing the significance of the differential abundance of predicted functional gene profiles to those from shotgun metagenome sequencing across different environments. RESULTS:We selected 7 datasets of human, non-human animal, and environmental (soil) samples that have publicly available 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenome sequences. As we would expect based on previous literature, strong Spearman correlations were observed between predicted gene compositions and gene relative abundance measured with shotgun metagenome sequencing. However, these strong correlations were preserved even when the abundance of genes were permuted across samples. This suggests that simple correlation coefficient is a highly unreliable measure for the performance of metagenome prediction tools. As an alternative, we compared the performance of genes predicted with PICRUSt, PICRUSt2, and Tax4Fun to sequenced metagenome genes in inference models associated with metadata within each dataset. With this approach, we found reasonable performance for human datasets, with the metagenome prediction tools performing better for inference on genes related to "housekeeping" functions. However, their performance degraded sharply outside of human datasets when used for inference. CONCLUSION:We conclude that the utility of PICRUSt, PICRUSt2, and Tax4Fun for inference with the default database is likely limited outside of human samples and that development of tools for gene prediction specific to different non-human and environmental samples is warranted. Video abstract.
Project description:Analyses of metagenome data (MG) and metatranscriptome data (MT) are often challenged by a paucity of complete reference genome sequences and the uneven/low sequencing depth of the constituent organisms in the microbial community, which respectively limit the power of reference-based alignment and de novo sequence assembly. These limitations make accurate protein family classification and abundance estimation challenging, which in turn hamper downstream analyses such as abundance profiling of metabolic pathways, identification of differentially encoded/expressed genes, and de novo reconstruction of complete gene and protein sequences from the protein family of interest. The profile hidden Markov model (HMM) framework enables the construction of very useful probabilistic models for protein families that allow for accurate modeling of position specific matches, insertions, and deletions. We present a novel homology detection algorithm that integrates banded Viterbi algorithm for profile HMM parsing with an iterative simultaneous alignment and assembly computational framework. The algorithm searches a given profile HMM of a protein family against a database of fragmentary MG/MT sequencing data and simultaneously assembles complete or near-complete gene and protein sequences of the protein family. The resulting program, HMM-GRASPx, demonstrates superior performance in aligning and assembling homologs when benchmarked on both simulated marine MG and real human saliva MG datasets. On real supragingival plaque and stool MG datasets that were generated from healthy individuals, HMM-GRASPx accurately estimates the abundances of the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene families and enables accurate characterization of the resistome profiles of these microbial communities. For real human oral microbiome MT datasets, using the HMM-GRASPx estimated transcript abundances significantly improves detection of differentially expressed (DE) genes. Finally, HMM-GRASPx was used to reconstruct comprehensive sets of complete or near-complete protein and nucleotide sequences for the query protein families. HMM-GRASPx is freely available online from http://sourceforge.net/projects/hmm-graspx.
Project description:Introduction:Whole-metagenome sequencing can be a rich source of information about the structure and function of entire metagenomic communities, but getting accurate and reliable results from these datasets can be challenging. Analysis of these datasets is founded on the mapping of sequencing reads onto known genomic regions from known organisms, but short reads will often map equally well to multiple regions, and to multiple reference organisms. Assembling metagenomic datasets prior to mapping can generate much longer and more precisely mappable sequences but the presence of closely related organisms and highly conserved regions makes metagenomic assembly challenging, and some regions of particular interest can assemble poorly. One solution to these problems is to use specialised tools, such as Kelpie, that can accurately extract and assemble full-length sequences for defined genomic regions from whole-metagenome datasets. Methods:Kelpie is a kMer-based tool that generates full-length amplicon-like sequences from whole-metagenome datasets. It takes a pair of primer sequences and a set of metagenomic reads, and uses a combination of kMer filtering, error correction and assembly techniques to construct sets of full-length inter-primer sequences. Results:The effectiveness of Kelpie is demonstrated here through the extraction and assembly of full-length ribosomal marker gene regions, as this allows comparisons with conventional amplicon sequencing and published metagenomic benchmarks. The results show that the Kelpie-generated sequences and community profiles closely match those produced by amplicon sequencing, down to low abundance levels, and running Kelpie on the synthetic CAMI metagenomic benchmarking datasets shows similar high levels of both precision and recall. Conclusions:Kelpie can be thought of as being somewhat like an in-silico PCR tool, taking a primer pair and producing the resulting 'amplicons' from a whole-metagenome dataset. Marker regions from the 16S rRNA gene were used here as an example because this allowed the overall accuracy of Kelpie to be evaluated through comparisons with other datasets, approaches and benchmarks. Kelpie is not limited to this application though, and can be used to extract and assemble any genomic region present in a whole metagenome dataset, as long as it is bound by a pairs of highly conserved primer sequences.
Project description:Urine culture and microscopy techniques are used to profile the bacterial species present in urinary tract infections. To gain insight into the urinary flora, we analyzed clinical laboratory features and the microbial metagenome of 121 clean-catch urine samples. 16S rDNA gene signatures were successfully obtained for 116 participants, while metagenome sequencing data was successfully generated for samples from 49 participants. Although 16S rDNA sequencing was more sensitive, metagenome sequencing allowed for a more comprehensive and unbiased representation of the microbial flora, including eukarya and viral pathogens, and of bacterial virulence factors. Urine samples positive by metagenome sequencing contained a plethora of bacterial (median 41 genera/sample), eukarya (median 2 species/sample) and viral sequences (median 3 viruses/sample). Genomic analyses suggested cases of infection with potential pathogens that are often missed during routine urine culture due to species specific growth requirements. While conventional microbiological methods are inadequate to identify a large diversity of microbial species that are present in urine, genomic approaches appear to more comprehensively and quantitatively describe the urinary microbiome.
Project description:Peronospora effusa (previously known as P. farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, and here referred to as Pfs) is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew on spinach (Spinacia oleracea). To combat this destructive many disease resistant cultivars have been bred and used. However, new Pfs races rapidly break the employed resistance genes. To get insight into the gene repertoire of Pfs and identify infection-related genes, the genome of the first reference race, Pfs1, was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Due to the obligate biotrophic nature of this pathogen, material for DNA isolation can only be collected from infected spinach leaves that, however, also contain many other microorganisms. The obtained sequences can, therefore, be considered a metagenome. To filter and obtain Pfs sequences we utilized the CAT tool to taxonomically annotate ORFs residing on long sequences of a genome pre-assembly. This study is the first to show that CAT filtering performs well on eukaryotic contigs. Based on the taxonomy, determined on multiple ORFs, contaminating long sequences and corresponding reads were removed from the metagenome. Filtered reads were re-assembled to provide a clean and improved Pfs genome sequence of 32.4 Mbp consisting of 8,635 scaffolds. Transcript sequencing of a range of infection time points aided the prediction of a total of 13,277 gene models, including 99 RxLR(-like) effector, and 14 putative Crinkler genes. Comparative analysis identified common features in the predicted secretomes of different obligate biotrophic oomycetes, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. Their secretomes are generally smaller, compared to hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic oomycete species. We observe a reduction in proteins involved in cell wall degradation, in Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), proteins with PAN/apple domains, and host translocated effectors. The genome of Pfs1 will be instrumental in studying downy mildew virulence and for understanding the molecular adaptations by which new isolates break spinach resistance.
Project description:The oral cavity of humans is inhabited by hundreds of bacterial species and some of them have a key role in the development of oral diseases, mainly dental caries and periodontitis. We describe for the first time the metagenome of the human oral cavity under health and diseased conditions, with a focus on supragingival dental plaque and cavities. Direct pyrosequencing of eight samples with different oral-health status produced 1?Gbp of sequence without the biases imposed by PCR or cloning. These data show that cavities are not dominated by Streptococcus mutans (the species originally identified as the ethiological agent of dental caries) but are in fact a complex community formed by tens of bacterial species, in agreement with the view that caries is a polymicrobial disease. The analysis of the reads indicated that the oral cavity is functionally a different environment from the gut, with many functional categories enriched in one of the two environments and depleted in the other. Individuals who had never suffered from dental caries showed an over-representation of several functional categories, like genes for antimicrobial peptides and quorum sensing. In addition, they did not have mutans streptococci but displayed high recruitment of other species. Several isolates belonging to these dominant bacteria in healthy individuals were cultured and shown to inhibit the growth of cariogenic bacteria, suggesting the use of these commensal bacterial strains as probiotics to promote oral health and prevent dental caries.
Project description:Shotgun metagenomics sequencing is a powerful tool for the characterization of complex biological matrices, enabling analysis of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and viruses in a single experiment, with the possibility of reconstructing de novo the whole metagenome or a set of genes of interest. One of the main factors limiting the use of shotgun metagenomics on wide scale projects is the high cost associated with the approach. We set out to determine if it is possible to use shallow shotgun metagenomics to characterize complex biological matrices while reducing costs. We used a staggered mock community to estimate the optimal threshold for species detection. We measured the variation of several summary statistics simulating a decrease in sequencing depth by randomly subsampling a number of reads. The main statistics that were compared are diversity estimates, species abundance, and ability of reconstructing de novo the metagenome in terms of length and completeness. Our results show that diversity indices of complex prokaryotic, eukaryotic and viral communities can be accurately estimated with 500,000 reads or less, although particularly complex samples may require 1,000,000 reads. On the contrary, any task involving the reconstruction of the metagenome performed poorly, even with the largest simulated subsample (1,000,000 reads). The length of the reconstructed assembly was smaller than the length obtained with the full dataset, and the proportion of conserved genes that were identified in the meta-genome was drastically reduced compared to the full sample. Shallow shotgun metagenomics can be a useful tool to describe the structure of complex matrices, but it is not adequate to reconstruct-even partially-the metagenome.