[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Publicly available sequence databases of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene, also known as 16S rRNA in bacteria and archaea, are growing rapidly, and the number of entries currently exceeds 4 million. However, a unified classification and nomenclature framework for all bacteria and archaea does not yet exist. In this Analysis article, we propose rational taxonomic boundaries for high taxa of bacteria and archaea on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence identities and suggest a rationale for the circumscription of uncultured taxa that is compatible with the taxonomy of cultured bacteria and archaea. Our analyses show that only nearly complete 16S rRNA sequences give accurate measures of taxonomic diversity. In addition, our analyses suggest that most of the 16S rRNA sequences of the high taxa will be discovered in environmental surveys by the end of the current decade.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbes hold the key to life. They hold the secrets to our past (as the descendants of the earliest forms of life) and the prospects for our future (as we mine their genes for solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing problems, from global warming to antibiotic resistance). However, the piecemeal approach that has defined efforts to study microbial genetic diversity for over 20 years and in over 30,000 genome projects risks squandering that promise. These efforts have covered less than 20% of the diversity of the cultured archaeal and bacterial species, which represent just 15% of the overall known prokaryotic diversity. Here we call for the
funding of a systematic effort to produce a comprehensive genomic catalog of all cultured Bacteria and
Archaea by sequencing, where available, the type strain of each species with a validly published name (currently,11,000). This effort will provide an unprecedented level of coverage of our planet’s genetic diversity, allow for the large-scale discovery of novel genes and functions, and lead to an improved understanding of microbial evolution and function in the environment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The microbiota of multi-pond solar salterns around the world has been analyzed using a variety of culture-dependent and molecular techniques. However, studies addressing the dynamic nature of these systems are very scarce. Here we have characterized the temporal variation during 1 year of the microbiota of five ponds with increasing salinity (from 18% to >40%), by means of CARD-FISH and DGGE. Microbial community structure was statistically correlated with several environmental parameters, including ionic composition and meteorological factors, indicating that the microbial community was dynamic as specific phylotypes appeared only at certain times of the year. In addition to total salinity, microbial composition was strongly influenced by temperature and specific ionic composition. Remarkably, DGGE analyses unveiled the presence of most phylotypes previously detected in hypersaline systems using metagenomics and other molecular techniques, such as the very abundant Haloquadratum and Salinibacter representatives or the recently described low GC Actinobacteria and Nanohaloarchaeota. In addition, an uncultured group of Bacteroidetes was present along the whole range of salinity. Database searches indicated a previously unrecognized widespread distribution of this phylotype. Single-cell genome analysis of five members of this group suggested a set of metabolic characteristics that could provide competitive advantages in hypersaline environments, such as polymer degradation capabilities, the presence of retinal-binding light-activated proton pumps and arsenate reduction potential. In addition, the fairly high metagenomic fragment recruitment obtained for these single cells in both the intermediate and hypersaline ponds further confirm the DGGE data and point to the generalist lifestyle of this new Bacteroidetes group.
Edited by Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina, 06/2014; Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina e.V. Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften (German National Academy of Sciences)., ISBN: 978-3-8047-3291-9
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salinibacter ruber is an extremely halophilic bacterium of the Bacteroidetes phylum that thrives in hypersaline environments. This bacterium shares the environment, as well as many phenotypic traits, with extremely halphilic Archaea. The study of the wide collection of strains of S. ruber isolated from around the world has shown that the species is very homogeneous from a phylogenetic point of view although it shows a very wide genomic microdiversity. In this chapter, we provide stat-of-the art data on abundance, distribution, metabolomic and genomic microdiversity of S. ruber and discuss the contribution of recombination and lateral gene transfer to the shaping of this species.
Halophiles: Genetics and Genomes, Edited by R. Thane Papke and Aharon Oren, 05/2014: chapter Salinibacter ruber: The Never Ending Microdiversity?; Caister Academic Press., ISBN: 978-1-908230-65-2
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The microbial abundance and diversity at source, after bottling, and through six months of storage of a commercial still natural mineral water were assessed by culture-dependent and -independent methods. The results revealed clear shifts of the dominant communities present in the three different stages. The borehole waters displayed low cell densities that increased 1.5 fold upon bottling and storage, reaching a maximum (6.2x10(8) cells.l(-1) ) within 15 days after bottling, but experienced a significant decrease in diversity. In all cases communities were largely dominated by Bacteria. The culturable heterotrophic community was characterized by recovering 3,626 isolates, which were primarily affiliated with the Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria. This study indicates that bottling and storage induce quantitative and qualitative changes in the microbial assemblages that seem to be similar as revealed by the two sample batches collected on two consecutive years. To our knowledge, this is the first study combining culture-independent with culture-dependent methods, and repeated tests, to reveal the microbial dynamics occurring from source to stored bottled water.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) techniques to assess bacterial diversity in the rumen of sheep. Sheep were fed two diets with 70% of either alfalfa hay or grass hay, and the solid (SOL) and liquid (LIQ) phases of the rumen were sampled immediately before feeding (0 h) and at 4 and 8 h post-feeding. Both techniques detected similar differences between forages, with alfalfa hay promoting greater (P < 0.05) bacterial diversity than grass hay. In contrast, whereas ARISA analysis showed a decrease (P < 0.05) of bacterial diversity in SOL at 4 h post-feeding compared with 0 and 8 h samplings, no variations (P > 0.05) over the post-feeding period were detected by DGGE. The ARISA technique showed lower (P < 0.05) bacterial diversity in SOL than in LIQ samples at 4 h post-feeding, but no differences (P > 0.05) in bacterial diversity between both rumen phases were detected by DGGE. Under the conditions of this study, the DGGE was not sensitive enough to detect some changes in ruminal bacterial communities, and therefore ARISA was considered more accurate for assessing bacterial diversity of ruminal samples. The results highlight the influence of the fingerprinting technique used to draw conclusions on factors affecting ruminal bacterial diversity.
Journal of Animal Science 02/2014; · 1.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The novel ciliate Platynematum salinarum (Scuticociliatia) was isolated only recently from a thalassohaline solar saltern pond (12%) in Portugal. Scanning electron microscopy showed numerous bacterial-shaped cells covering the complete surface of the ciliate. The rod-shaped epibionts were identified and characterized following the “Full-Cycle rRNA Approach”. The almost full-length 16S rRNA gene sequence was obtained using archaeal-specific primers and two species-specific probes were designed for fluorescence in situ hybridization. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the epibiotic cells showed 87% sequence identity with the type strain sequence of the closest characterized species Halolamina pelagica. Phylogenetic reconstructions affiliated the novel organism to the genus Halolamina (Halobacteria, Archaea). Attempts to isolate the epibionts failed and, therefore, growth experiments incorporating the antibiotic anisomycin were conducted in order to investigate the potential symbiotic relationship between P. salinarum and the epibionts. The results suggested an obligate symbiosis between the two organisms and revealed the first symbiotic representative of the Halobacteria. Based on the phylogenetic analyses and growth experiments we propose the classification of this novel organism in a new genus, with the taxon name “Candidatus Haloectosymbiotes riaformosensis”.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 01/2014; · 3.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strain BCT-7112, previously identified as Bacillus cereus var. toyoi, is the type strain of the species Bacillus toyonensis, a novel species of the B. cereus group. The complete genome of this strain, which is the active ingredient of the feed additive preparation Toyocerin, has been sequenced and annotated to reveal the genetic properties of this probiotic organism with a long history of safe use in animal nutrition.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strain BCT-7112(T) was isolated in 1966 in Japan from a survey designed to obtain naturally occurring microorganisms as pure cultures in the laboratory for use as probiotics in animal nutrition. This strain, which was primarily identified as Bacillus cereus var toyoi, has been in use for more than 30 years as the active ingredient of the preparation TOYOCERIN(®), an additive for use in animal nutrition (e.g. swine, poultry, cattle, rabbits and aquaculture). Despite the fact that the strain was initially classified as B. cereus, it showed significant genomic differences from the type strains of the B. cereus group that were large enough (ANI values below 92%) to allow it to be considered as a different species within the group. The polyphasic taxonomic study presented here provides sufficient discriminative parameters to classify BCT-7112(T) as a new species for which the name Bacillus toyonensis sp. nov. is proposed, with BCT-7112(T) (=CECT 876(T); =NCIMB 14858(T)) being designated as the type strain. In addition, a pairwise comparison between the available genomes of the whole B. cereus group by means of average nucleotide identity (ANI) calculations indicated that besides the eight classified species (including B. toyonensis), additional genomospecies could be detected, and most of them also had ANI values below 94%. ANI values were on the borderline of a species definition only in the cases of representatives of B. cereus versus B. thuringiensis, and B. mycoides and B. weihenstephanensis.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 06/2013; · 3.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salinibacter ruber is an extremely halophilic member of the Bacteroidetes that thrives in crystallizer ponds worldwide. Here, we have analyzed two sets of 22 and 35 co-occurring S. ruber strains, newly isolated respectively, from 100 microliters water samples from crystalizer ponds in Santa Pola and Mallorca, located in coastal and inland Mediterranean Spain and 350 km apart from each other. A set of old strains isolated from the same setting were included in the analysis. Genomic and taxonomy relatedness of the strains were analyzed by means of PFGE and MALDI-TOF, respectively, while their metabolomic potential was explored with high resolution ion cyclotron resonance Fourier transform mass spectrometry (ICR-FT/MS). Overall our results show a phylogenetically very homogeneous species expressing a very diverse metabolomic pool. The combination of MALDI-TOF and PFGE provides, for the newly isolated strains, the same scenario presented by the previous studies of intra-specific diversity of S. ruber using a more restricted number of strains: the species seems to be very homogeneous at the ribosomal level while the genomic diversity encountered was rather high since no identical genome patterns could be retrieved from each of the samples. The high analytical mass resolution of ICR-FT/MS enabled the description of thousands of putative metabolites from which to date only few can be annotated in databases. Some metabolomic differences, mainly related to lipid metabolism and antibiotic-related compounds, provided enough specificity to delineate different clusters within the co-occurring strains. In addition, metabolomic differences were found between old and new strains isolated from the same ponds that could be related to extended exposure to laboratory conditions.
PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e64701. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential of hydrocarbon biodegradation in marine sediments was determined through the detection of a functional biomarker, the bssA gene coding for benzylsuccinate synthase, the key enzyme of anaerobic toluene degradation. Eight bssA clone libraries (409 sequences) were constructed from polluted sediments affected by the Prestige's oil spill in the Atlantic Islands' National Park, and hydrocarbon amended sediment microcosms in Mallorca. The amplified products and database-derived bssA-like sequences grouped into four major clusters as determined by phylogenetic reconstruction, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and a subfamily prediction tool. In addition to the classical bssA sequences that were targeted, we were able to detect sequences homologous to naphthylmethylsuccinate synthase gene (nmsA) and alkylsuccinate synthase gene (assA), the bssA homologues for anaerobic 2-methylnaphthalene and alkane degradation, respectively. The detection of bssA-like variants was determined by the persistence and level of pollution in the marine samples. The observed gene diversity was lower in the Mallorca sediments, which were dominated by assA-like sequences. In contrast, the Atlantic Islands samples, which were highly contaminated with a methylnaphthalene-rich crude oil showed a high proportion of nmsA-like sequences. Some of the detected genes were phylogenetically related to Deltaproteobacteria communities, previously described as the predominant hydrocarbon degraders at these sites. Differences between all detected bssA-like genes described to date indicate separation between marine and terrestrial sequences, and further subgrouping according to taxonomic affiliation. Global analysis suggested that bssA-homologues appeared to cluster according to substrate-specificity. We observed undetected divergent gene lineages of bssA homologues, which evidence the existence of new degrader groups in these environments.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 04/2013; · 3.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High quality 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences from the type strains of all species with validly published names, as defined by the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria, are a prerequisite for their accurate affiliations within the global genealogical classification and for the recognition of potential new taxa. During the last few years, the Living Tree Project (LTP) has taken care to create a high quality, aligned 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequence database of all type strains. However, the manual curation of the sequence dataset and type strain information revealed that a total of 552 "orphan" species (about 5.7% of the currently classified species) had to be excluded from the reference trees. Among them, 322 type strains were not represented by an SSU entry in the public sequence repositories. The remaining 230 type strains had to be discarded due to bad sequence quality. Since 2010, the LTP team has coordinated a network of researchers and culture collections in order to improve the situation by (re)-sequencing the type strains of these "orphan" species. As a result, we can now report 351 16S rRNA gene sequences of type strains. Nevertheless, 201 species could not be sequenced because cultivable type strains were not available (121), the cultures had either been lost or were never deposited in the first place (66), or it was not possible due to other constraints (14). The International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria provides a number of mechanisms to deal with the problem of missing type strains and we recommend that due consideration be given to the appropriate mechanisms in order to help solve some of these issues.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 02/2013; 36(1):69-73. · 3.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A metagenomic approach was carried out in order to study the genetic pool of a hypersaline microbial mat, paying more attention to the archaeal community and, specifically, to the putatively methanogenic members. The main aim of the work was to expand the knowledge of a likely ecologically important archaeal lineage, candidate division MSBL1, which is probably involved in methanogenesis at very high salinities. The results obtained in this study were in accordance with our previous report on the bacterial diversity encountered by using a number of molecular techniques, but remarkable differences were found in the archaeal diversity retrieval by each of the procedures used (metagenomics and 16S rRNA-based methods). The lack of synteny for most of the metagenomic fragments with known genomes, together with the low degree of similarity of the annotated open reading frames (ORFs) with the sequences in the databases, reflected the high degree of novelty in the mat community studied. Linking the sequenced clones with representatives of division MSBL1 was not possible because of the lack of additional information concerning this archaeal group in the public gene repositories. However, given the high abundance of representatives of this division in the 16S rRNA clone libraries and the low identity of the archaeal clones with known genomes, it was hypothesized that some of them could arise from MSBL1 genomes. In addition, other prokaryotic groups known to be relevant in organic matter mineralization at high salinities were detected.
Systematic and Applied Microbiology 01/2013; · 3.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial taxonomy seems to be an expanding discipline especially in Asian countries. By contrast, the number of taxonomists in Western countries are in decline, and the reasons for this could either be economic or due to interest. Losing taxonomy expertise could have consequences for Western countries.
Trends in Microbiology 09/2012; 20(11):514-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial metabolism in aromatic-contaminated environments has important ecological implications, and obtaining a complete understanding of this process remains a relevant goal. To understand the roles of biodiversity and aromatic-mediated genetic and metabolic rearrangements, we conducted 'OMIC' investigations in an anthropogenically influenced and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-contaminated soil with (Nbs) or without (N) bio-stimulation with calcium ammonia nitrate, NH(4)NO(3) and KH(2)PO(4) and the commercial surfactant Iveysol, plus two naphthalene-enriched communities derived from both soils (CN2 and CN1, respectively). Using a metagenomic approach, a total of 52, 53, 14 and 12 distinct species (according to operational phylogenetic units (OPU) in our work equivalent to taxonomic species) were identified in the N, Nbs, CN1 and CN2 communities, respectively. Approximately 10 out of 95 distinct species and 238 out of 3293 clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) protein families identified were clearly stimulated under the assayed conditions, whereas only two species and 1465 COGs conformed to the common set in all of the mesocosms. Results indicated distinct biodegradation capabilities for the utilisation of potential growth-supporting aromatics, which results in bio-stimulated communities being extremely fit to naphthalene utilisation and non-stimulated communities exhibiting a greater metabolic window than previously predicted. On the basis of comparing protein expression profiles and metagenome data sets, inter-alia interactions among members were hypothesised. The utilisation of curated databases is discussed and used for first time to reconstruct 'presumptive' degradation networks for complex microbial communities.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 26 July 2012; doi:10.1038/ismej.2012.82.