Predominance of Gram-positive bacteria in house dust in the low-allergy risk Russian Karelia.
ABSTRACT Simple living conditions and farming environment have been associated with reduced risk for allergic diseases such as atopy and asthma but the factors responsible for this effect remain unresolved. We examined the bacterial composition of house dusts obtained from Finnish and Russian Karelia, two adjacent areas with high and low occurrence of atopic diseases respectively. Two dust mixes, both composed of 10 randomly selected dust samples from 349 Finnish and 417 Russian Karelian households were studied for bacterial biomarkers (DNA, Limulus-active endotoxin, 3-OH fatty acids, muramic acid) and for 16S rRNA gene sequences. Overall, the DNA cloning revealed more taxons (94 different genera) of dustborne bacteria than seen in any previous study on residential environments. Majority (67%) of the bacterial DNA clones in house dust from the low-allergy Russian Kareliarepresented Gram-positive bacteria (Firmicutes and Actinobacteria), predominantly Staphylococcaceae and Corynebacteriaceae. Russian Karelian dust showed up to 20-fold higher contents of muramic acid (marker of Gram-positive bacteria) and a sevenfold higher number of clones of animal-associated species, whereas in Finnish Karelian dust Gram-negatives (mainly Proteobacteria) predominated. Clones of plant-associated bacterial species and of chloroplast, indicating plant biomass, were more numerous in Finnish than in Russian Karelian dust. In conclusion, this study revealed major disparities between Finnish and Russian house dusts. The higher bacterial content and the predominance of Gram-positive bacteria in Russian dust may have implications for occurrence of atopy.
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ABSTRACT: Ecologically meaningful classification of bacterial populations is essential for understanding the structure and function of bacterial communities. As in soils, the ecological strategy of the majority of root-colonizing bacteria is mostly unknown. Among those are Massilia (Oxalobacteraceae), a major group of rhizosphere and root colonizing bacteria of many plant species. The ecology of Massilia was explored in cucumber root and seed, and compared to that of Agrobacterium population, using culture-independent tools, including DNA-based pyrosequencing, fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR. Seed- and root-colonizing Massilia were primarily affiliated with other members of the genus described in soil and rhizosphere. Massilia colonized and proliferated on the seed coat, radicle, roots, and also on hyphae of phytopathogenic Pythium aphanidermatum infecting seeds. High variation in Massilia abundance was found in relation to plant developmental stage, along with sensitivity to plant growth medium modification (amendment with organic matter) and potential competitors. Massilia absolute abundance and relative abundance (dominance) were positively related, and peaked (up to 85%) at early stages of succession of the root microbiome. In comparison, variation in abundance of Agrobacterium was moderate and their dominance increased at later stages of succession. In accordance with contemporary models for microbial ecology classification, copiotrophic and competition-sensitive root colonization by Massilia is suggested. These bacteria exploit, in a transient way, a window of opportunity within the succession of communities within this niche.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e40117. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cigarette smokers have an increased risk of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract. Some effects of smoking on specific respiratory tract bacteria have been described, but the consequences for global airway microbial community composition have not been determined. Here, we used culture-independent high-density sequencing to analyze the microbiota from the right and left nasopharynx and oropharynx of 29 smoking and 33 nonsmoking healthy asymptomatic adults to assess microbial composition and effects of cigarette smoking. Bacterial communities were profiled using 454 pyrosequencing of 16S sequence tags (803,391 total reads), aligned to 16S rRNA databases, and communities compared using the UniFrac distance metric. A Random Forest machine-learning algorithm was used to predict smoking status and identify taxa that best distinguished between smokers and nonsmokers. Community composition was primarily determined by airway site, with individuals exhibiting minimal side-of-body or temporal variation. Within airway habitats, microbiota from smokers were significantly more diverse than nonsmokers and clustered separately. The distributions of several genera were systematically altered by smoking in both the oro- and nasopharynx, and there was an enrichment of anaerobic lineages associated with periodontal disease in the oropharynx. These results indicate that distinct regions of the human upper respiratory tract contain characteristic microbial communities that exhibit disordered patterns in cigarette smokers, both in individual components and global structure, which may contribute to the prevalence of respiratory tract complications in this population.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(12):e15216. · 4.09 Impact Factor