The ISME Journal

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1751-7362 / 1751-7370
Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038)
Former Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038) , , Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038) , Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038) , Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038) Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038)
Total articles ≅ 3,102
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Zhengshuang Hua, Matthew Ouellette, Andrea M. Makkay, R. Thane Papke,
The ISME Journal pp 1-12; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00960-8

All environments including hypersaline ones harbor measurable concentrations of dissolved extracellular DNA (eDNA) that can be utilized by microbes as a nutrient. However, it remains poorly understood which eDNA components are used, and who in a community utilizes it. For this study, we incubated a saltern microbial community with combinations of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and DNA, and tracked the community response in each microcosm treatment via 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing. We show that microbial communities used DNA only as a phosphorus source, and provision of other sources of carbon and nitrogen was needed to exhibit a substantial growth. The taxonomic composition of eDNA in the water column changed with the availability of inorganic phosphorus or supplied DNA, hinting at preferential uptake of eDNA from specific organismal sources. Especially favored for growth was eDNA from the most abundant taxa, suggesting some haloarchaea prefer eDNA from closely related taxa. The preferential eDNA consumption and differential growth under various nutrient availability regimes were associated with substantial shifts in the taxonomic composition and diversity of microcosm communities. Therefore, we conjecture that in salterns the microbial community assembly is driven by the available resources, including eDNA.
Amanda K. Garcia, Colleen M. Cavanaugh,
The ISME Journal pp 1-12; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00971-5

The oldest and most wide-ranging signal of biological activity (biosignature) on our planet is the carbon isotope composition of organic materials preserved in rocks. These biosignatures preserve the long-term evolution of the microorganism-hosted metabolic machinery responsible for producing deviations in the isotopic compositions of inorganic and organic carbon. Despite billions of years of ecosystem turnover, evolutionary innovation, organismic complexification, and geological events, the organic carbon that is a residuum of the global marine biosphere in the rock record tells an essentially static story. The ~25‰ mean deviation between inorganic and organic 13C/12C values has remained remarkably unchanged over >3.5 billion years. The bulk of this record is conventionally attributed to early-evolved, RuBisCO-mediated CO2 fixation that, in extant oxygenic phototrophs, produces comparable isotopic effects and dominates modern primary production. However, billions of years of environmental transition, for example, in the progressive oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere, would be expected to have accompanied shifts in the predominant RuBisCO forms as well as enzyme-level adaptive responses in RuBisCO CO2-specificity. These factors would also be expected to result in preserved isotopic signatures deviating from those produced by extant RuBisCO in oxygenic phototrophs. Why does the bulk carbon isotope record not reflect these expected environmental transitions and evolutionary innovations? Here, we discuss this apparent discrepancy and highlight the need for greater quantitative understanding of carbon isotope fractionation behavior in extant metabolic pathways. We propose novel, laboratory-based approaches to reconstructing ancestral states of carbon metabolisms and associated enzymes that can constrain isotopic biosignature production in ancient biological systems. Together, these strategies are crucial for integrating the complementary toolsets of biological and geological sciences and for interpretation of the oldest record of life on Earth.
Jaime G. Lopez, ,
The ISME Journal pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00954-6

Plasmids are autonomous genetic elements that can be exchanged between microorganisms via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Despite the central role they play in antibiotic resistance and modern biotechnology, our understanding of plasmids’ natural ecology is limited. Recent experiments have shown that plasmids can spread even when they are a burden to the cell, suggesting that natural plasmids may exist as parasites. Here, we use mathematical modeling to explore the ecology of such parasitic plasmids. We first develop models of single plasmids and find that a plasmid’s population dynamics and optimal infection strategy are strongly determined by the plasmid’s HGT mechanism. We then analyze models of co-infecting plasmids and show that parasitic plasmids are prone to a “tragedy of the commons” in which runaway plasmid invasion severely reduces host fitness. We propose that this tragedy of the commons is averted by selection between competing populations and demonstrate this effect in a metapopulation model. We derive predicted distributions of unique plasmid types in genomes—comparison to the distribution of plasmids in a collection of 17,725 genomes supports a model of parasitic plasmids with positive plasmid–plasmid interactions that ameliorate plasmid fitness costs or promote the invasion of new plasmids.
Eric D. Becraft, , Oliver K. I. Bezuidt, Julia M. Brown, Jessica M. Labonté, Kotryna Kauneckaite-Griguole, Ruta Salkauskaite, Gediminas Alzbutas, Joshua D. Sackett, Brittany R. Kruger, et al.
The ISME Journal pp 1-13; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00965-3

Sulfate-reducing bacteria Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator (CDA) were originally discovered in deep fracture fluids accessed via South African gold mines and have since been found in geographically widespread deep subsurface locations. In order to constrain models for subsurface microbial evolution, we compared CDA genomes from Africa, North America and Eurasia using single cell genomics. Unexpectedly, 126 partial single amplified genomes from the three continents, a complete genome from of an isolate from Eurasia, and metagenome-assembled genomes from Africa and Eurasia shared >99.2% average nucleotide identity, low frequency of SNP’s, and near-perfectly conserved prophages and CRISPRs. Our analyses reject sample cross-contamination, recent natural dispersal, and unusually strong purifying selection as likely explanations for these unexpected results. We therefore conclude that the analyzed CDA populations underwent only minimal evolution since their physical separation, potentially as far back as the breakup of Pangea between 165 and 55 Ma ago. High-fidelity DNA replication and repair mechanisms are the most plausible explanation for the highly conserved genome of CDA. CDA presents a stark contrast to the current model organisms in microbial evolutionary studies, which often develop adaptive traits over far shorter periods of time.
The ISME Journal pp 1-1; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00972-4

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Maria Chuvochina, Aharon Oren, ,
The ISME Journal pp 1-14; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00941-x

The classification of life forms into a hierarchical system (taxonomy) and the application of names to this hierarchy (nomenclature) is at a turning point in microbiology. The unprecedented availability of genome sequences means that a taxonomy can be built upon a comprehensive evolutionary framework, a longstanding goal of taxonomists. However, there is resistance to adopting a single framework to preserve taxonomic freedom, and ever increasing numbers of genomes derived from uncultured prokaryotes threaten to overwhelm current nomenclatural practices, which are based on characterised isolates. The challenge ahead then is to reach a consensus on the taxonomic framework and to adapt and scale the existing nomenclatural code, or create a new code, to systematically incorporate uncultured taxa into the chosen framework.
Yu Deng, Yue Huang, You Che, Yu Yang, Xiaole Yin, , Lei Dai, , Martin Polz,
The ISME Journal pp 1-13; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00969-z

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Melina Kerou, Rafael I. Ponce-Toledo, Rui Zhao, , Miho Hirai, Hidetaka Nomaki, Yoshihiro Takaki, , ,
The ISME Journal pp 1-17; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00962-6

Marine sediments represent a vast habitat for complex microbiomes. Among these, ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the phylum Thaumarchaeota are one of the most common, yet little explored, inhabitants, which seem extraordinarily well adapted to the harsh conditions of the subsurface biosphere. We present 11 metagenome-assembled genomes of the most abundant AOA clades from sediment cores obtained from the Atlantic Mid-Ocean ridge flanks and Pacific abyssal plains. Their phylogenomic placement reveals three independently evolved clades within the order Nitrosopumilales, of which no cultured representative is known yet. In addition to the gene sets for ammonia oxidation and carbon fixation known from other AOA, all genomes encode an extended capacity for the conversion of fermentation products that can be channeled into the central carbon metabolism, as well as uptake of amino acids probably for protein maintenance or as an ammonia source. Two lineages encode an additional (V-type) ATPase and a large repertoire of DNA repair systems that may allow to overcome the challenges of high hydrostatic pressure. We suggest that the adaptive radiation of AOA into marine sediments occurred more than once in evolution and resulted in three distinct lineages with particular adaptations to this extremely energy-limiting and high-pressure environment.
Buck T. Hanson, K. Dimitri Kits, Jessica Löffler, Anna G. Burrichter, Alexander Fiedler, Karin Denger, Benjamin Frommeyer, Craig W. Herbold, , Nicolai Karcher, et al.
The ISME Journal pp 1-13; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00968-0

Responses of the microbiota to diet are highly personalized but mechanistically not well understood because many metabolic capabilities and interactions of human gut microorganisms are unknown. Here we show that sulfoquinovose (SQ), a sulfonated monosaccharide omnipresent in green vegetables, is a selective yet relevant substrate for few but ubiquitous bacteria in the human gut. In human feces and in defined co-culture, Eubacterium rectale and Bilophila wadsworthia used recently identified pathways to cooperatively catabolize SQ with 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate as a transient intermediate to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a key intestinal metabolite with disparate effects on host health. SQ-degradation capability is encoded in almost half of E. rectale genomes but otherwise sparsely distributed among microbial species in the human intestine. However, re-analysis of fecal metatranscriptome datasets of four human cohorts showed that SQ degradation (mostly from E. rectale and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) and H2S production (mostly from B. wadsworthia) pathways were expressed abundantly across various health states, demonstrating that these microbial functions are core attributes of the human gut. The discovery of green-diet-derived SQ as an exclusive microbial nutrient and an additional source of H2S in the human gut highlights the role of individual dietary compounds and organosulfur metabolism on microbial activity and has implications for precision editing of the gut microbiota by dietary and prebiotic interventions.
, Lyra P. Beltran, C. Alex Buerkle, Daniel Cook, Dale R. Gardner, Thomas L. Parchman, Simon R. Poulson, Matthew L. Forister
The ISME Journal pp 1-16; doi:10.1038/s41396-021-00964-4

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
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