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  1. Whiteley, Marvin (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Climate change is the most serious challenge facing humanity. Microbes produce and consume three major greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—and some microbes cause human, animal, and plant diseases that can be exacerbated by climate change. Hence, microbial research is needed to help ameliorate the warming trajectory and cascading effects resulting from heat, drought, and severe storms. We present a brief summary of what is known about microbial responses to climate change in three major ecosystems: terrestrial, ocean, and urban. We also offer suggestions for new research directions to reduce microbial greenhouse gases and mitigate the pathogenic impacts of microbes. These include performing more controlled studies on the climate impact on microbial processes, system interdependencies, and responses to human interventions, using microbes and their carbon and nitrogen transformations for useful stable products, improving microbial process data for climate models, and taking the One Health approach to study microbes and climate change. 
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  2. Abstract

    Candidate bacterial phylum Omnitrophota has not been isolated and is poorly understood. We analysed 72 newly sequenced and 349 existing Omnitrophota genomes representing 6 classes and 276 species, along with Earth Microbiome Project data to evaluate habitat, metabolic traits and lifestyles. We applied fluorescence-activated cell sorting and differential size filtration, and showed that most Omnitrophota are ultra-small (~0.2 μm) cells that are found in water, sediments and soils. Omnitrophota genomes in 6 classes are reduced, but maintain major biosynthetic and energy conservation pathways, including acetogenesis (with or without the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway) and diverse respirations. At least 64% of Omnitrophota genomes encode gene clusters typical of bacterial symbionts, suggesting host-associated lifestyles. We repurposed quantitative stable-isotope probing data from soils dominated by andesite, basalt or granite weathering and identified 3 families with high isotope uptake consistent with obligate bacterial predators. We propose that most Omnitrophota inhabit various ecosystems as predators or parasites.

     
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  3. Abstract With advances in DNA sequencing and miniaturized molecular biology workflows, rapid and affordable sequencing of single-cell genomes has become a reality. Compared to 16S rRNA gene surveys and shotgun metagenomics, large-scale application of single-cell genomics to whole microbial communities provides an integrated snapshot of community composition and function, directly links mobile elements to their hosts, and enables analysis of population heterogeneity of the dominant community members. To that end, we sequenced nearly 500 single-cell genomes from a low diversity hot spring sediment sample from Dewar Creek, British Columbia, and compared this approach to 16S rRNA gene amplicon and shotgun metagenomics applied to the same sample. We found that the broad taxonomic profiles were similar across the three sequencing approaches, though several lineages were missing from the 16S rRNA gene amplicon dataset, likely the result of primer mismatches. At the functional level, we detected a large array of mobile genetic elements present in the single-cell genomes but absent from the corresponding same species metagenome-assembled genomes. Moreover, we performed a single-cell population genomic analysis of the three most abundant community members, revealing differences in population structure based on mutation and recombination profiles. While the average pairwise nucleotide identities were similar across the dominant species-level lineages, we observed differences in the extent of recombination between these dominant populations. Most intriguingly, the creek’s Hydrogenobacter sp . population appeared to be so recombinogenic that it more closely resembled a sexual species than a clonally evolving microbe. Together, this work demonstrates that a randomized single-cell approach can be useful for the exploration of previously uncultivated microbes from community composition to population structure. 
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  4. Stajich, Jason E. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present 49 metagenome assemblies of the microbiome associated with Sphagnum (peat moss) collected from ambient, artificially warmed, and geothermally warmed conditions across Europe. These data will enable further research regarding the impact of climate change on plant-microbe symbiosis, ecology, and ecosystem functioning of northern peatland ecosystems. 
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  5. Abstract Temperate phages are viruses of bacteria that can establish two types of infection: a lysogenic infection in which the virus replicates with the host cell without producing virions, and a lytic infection where the host cell is eventually destroyed, and new virions are released. While both lytic and lysogenic infections are routinely observed in the environment, the ecological and evolutionary processes regulating these viral dynamics are still not well understood, especially for uncultivated virus-host pairs. Here, we characterized the long-term dynamics of uncultivated viruses infecting green sulfur bacteria (GSB) in a model freshwater lake (Trout Bog Lake, TBL). As no GSB virus has been formally described yet, we first used two complementary approaches to identify new GSB viruses from TBL; one in vitro based on flow cytometry cell sorting, the other in silico based on CRISPR spacer sequences. We then took advantage of existing TBL metagenomes covering the 2005–2018 period to examine the interactions between GSB and their viruses across years and seasons. From our data, GSB populations in TBL were constantly associated with at least 2-8 viruses each, including both lytic and temperate phages. The dominant GSB population in particular was consistently associated with two prophages with a nearly 100% infection rate for >10 years. We illustrate with a theoretical model that such an interaction can be stable given a low, but persistent, level of prophage induction in low-diversity host populations. Overall, our data suggest that lytic and lysogenic viruses can readily co-infect the same host population, and that host strain-level diversity might be an important factor controlling virus-host dynamics including lytic/lysogeny switch. 
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  6. Abstract

    Many Archaea produce membrane‐spanning lipids that enable life in extreme environments. These isoprenoid glycerol dibiphytanyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) may contain up to eight cyclopentyl and one cyclohexyl ring, where higher degrees of cyclization are associated with more acidic, hotter or energy‐limited conditions. Recently, the genes encoding GDGT ring synthases,grsAB, were identified in two Sulfolobaceae; however, the distribution and abundance ofgrshomologs across environments inhabited by these and related organisms remain a mystery. To address this, we examined the distribution ofgrshomologs in relation to environmental temperature and pH, from thermal springs across Earth, where sequences derive from metagenomes, metatranscriptomes, single‐cell and cultivar genomes. The abundance ofgrshomologs shows a strong negative correlation to pH, but a weak positive correlation to temperature. Archaeal genomes and metagenome‐assembled genomes (MAGs) that carry two or moregrscopies are more abundant in low pH springs. We also findgrsin 12 archaeal classes, with the most representatives in Thermoproteia, followed by MAGs of the uncultured Korarchaeia, Bathyarchaeia and Hadarchaeia, while several Nitrososphaeria encodes >3 copies. Our findings highlight the key role ofgrs‐catalysed lipid cyclization in archaeal diversification across hot and acidic environments.

     
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  7. Knowlton, Nancy (Ed.)
  8. Cameron Thrash, J. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Hydrologic changes modify microbial community structure and ecosystem functions, especially in wetland systems. Here, we present 24 metagenomes from a coastal freshwater wetland experiment in which we manipulated hydrologic conditions and plant presence. These wetland soil metagenomes will deepen our understanding of how hydrology and vegetation influence microbial functional diversity. 
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