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  1. Campbell, Barbara J. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Hadal snailfishes are the deepest-living fishes in the ocean, inhabiting trenches from depths of ∼6,000 to 8,000 m. While the microbial communities in trench environments have begun to be characterized, the microbes associated with hadal megafauna remain relatively unknown. Here, we describe the gut microbiomes of two hadal snailfishes, Pseudoliparis swirei (Mariana Trench) and Notoliparis kermadecensis (Kermadec Trench), using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We contextualize these microbiomes with comparisons to the abyssal macrourid Coryphaenoides yaquinae and the continental shelf-dwelling snailfish Careproctus melanurus . The microbial communities of the hadal snailfishes were distinct from their shallower counterparts and weremore »dominated by the same sequences related to the Mycoplasmataceae and Desulfovibrionaceae . These shared taxa indicate that symbiont lineages have remained similar to the ancestral symbiont since their geographic separation or that they are dispersed between geographically distant trenches and subsequently colonize specific hosts. The abyssal and hadal fishes contained sequences related to known, cultured piezophiles, microbes that grow optimally under high hydrostatic pressure, including Psychromonas , Moritella , and Shewanella . These taxa are adept at colonizing nutrient-rich environments present in the deep ocean, such as on particles and in the guts of hosts, and we hypothesize they could make a dietary contribution to deep-sea fishes by degrading chitin and producing fatty acids. We characterize the gut microbiota within some of the deepest fishes to provide new insight into the diversity and distribution of host-associated microbial taxa and the potential of these animals, and the microbes they harbor, for understanding adaptation to deep-sea habitats. IMPORTANCE Hadal trenches, characterized by high hydrostatic pressures and low temperatures, are one of the most extreme environments on our planet. By examining the microbiome of abyssal and hadal fishes, we provide insight into the diversity and distribution of host-associated life at great depth. Our findings show that there are similar microbial populations in fishes geographically separated by thousands of miles, reflecting strong selection for specific microbial lineages. Only a few psychropiezophilic taxa, which do not reflect the diversity of microbial life at great depth, have been successfully isolated in the laboratory. Our examination of deep-sea fish microbiomes shows that typical high-pressure culturing methodologies, which have largely remained unchanged since the pioneering work of Claude ZoBell in the 1950s, may simulate the chemical environment found in animal guts and helps explain why the same deep-sea genera are consistently isolated.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 27, 2023
  2. Campbell, Barbara J. (Ed.)
    Marine invertebrate microbiomes play important roles in diverse host and ecological processes. However, a mechanistic understanding of host-microbe interactions is currently available for a small number of model organisms. Here, an integrated taxonomic and functional analysis of the microbiome of the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, was performed using 16S rRNA gene-based amplicon profiling, shotgun metagenomics, and genome-scale metabolic reconstruction. Relatively high variability of the microbiome was observed across individual oysters and among different tissue types. Specifically, a significantly higher alpha diversity was observed in the inner shell than in the gut, gill, mantle, and pallial fluid samples, and a distinctmore »microbiome composition was revealed in the gut compared to other tissues examined in this study. Targeted metagenomic sequencing of the gut microbiota led to further characterization of a dominant bacterial taxon, the class Mollicutes, which was captured by the reconstruction of a metagenome-assembled genome (MAG). Genome-scale metabolic reconstruction of the oyster Mollicutes MAG revealed a reduced set of metabolic functions and a high reliance on the uptake of host-derived nutrients. A chitin degradation and an arginine deiminase pathway were unique to the MAG compared to closely related genomes of Mollicutes isolates, indicating distinct mechanisms of carbon and energy acquisition by the oyster-associated Mollicutes. A systematic reanalysis of public eastern oyster-derived microbiome data revealed a high prevalence of the Mollicutes among adult oyster guts and a significantly lower relative abundance of the Mollicutes in oyster larvae and adult oyster biodeposits.« less
  3. Campbell, Barbara J. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Host-associated microbiomes can be critical for the health and proper development of animals and plants. The answers to many fundamental questions regarding the modes of acquisition and microevolution of microbiome communities remain to be established. Deciphering strain-level dynamics is essential to fully understand how microbial communities evolve, but the forces shaping the strain-level dynamics of microbial communities remain largely unexplored, mostly because of methodological issues and cost. Here, we used targeted strain-level deep sequencing to uncover the strain dynamics within a host-associated microbial community using the honey bee gut microbiome as a model system. Our results revealed that ampliconmore »sequencing of conserved protein-coding gene regions using species-specific primers is a cost-effective and accurate method for exploring strain-level diversity. In fact, using this method we were able to confirm strain-level results that have been obtained from whole-genome shotgun sequencing of the honey bee gut microbiome but with a much higher resolution. Importantly, our deep sequencing approach allowed us to explore the impact of low-frequency strains (i.e., cryptic strains) on microbiome dynamics. Results show that cryptic strain diversity is not responsible for the observed variations in microbiome composition across bees. Altogether, the findings revealed new fundamental insights regarding strain dynamics of host-associated microbiomes. IMPORTANCE The factors driving fine-scale composition and dynamics of gut microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used metagenomic amplicon deep sequencing to decipher the strain dynamics of two key members of the honey bee gut microbiome. Using this high-throughput and cost-effective approach, we were able to confirm results from previous large-scale whole-genome shotgun (WGS) metagenomic sequencing studies while also gaining additional insights into the community dynamics of two core members of the honey bee gut microbiome. Moreover, we were able to show that cryptic strains are not responsible for the observed variations in microbiome composition across bees.« less
  4. Campbell, Barbara J. (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT In nutrient-limited conditions, plants rely on rhizosphere microbial members to facilitate nutrient acquisition, and in return, plants provide carbon resources to these root-associated microorganisms. However, atmospheric nutrient deposition can affect plant-microbe relationships by changing soil bacterial composition and by reducing cooperation between microbial taxa and plants. To examine how long-term nutrient addition shapes rhizosphere community composition, we compared traits associated with bacterial (fast-growing copiotrophs, slow-growing oligotrophs) and plant (C 3 forb, C 4 grass) communities residing in a nutrient-poor wetland ecosystem. Results revealed that oligotrophic taxa dominated soil bacterial communities and that fertilization increased the presence of oligotrophs inmore »bulk and rhizosphere communities. Additionally, bacterial species diversity was greatest in fertilized soils, particularly in bulk soils. Nutrient enrichment (fertilized versus unfertilized) and plant association (bulk versus rhizosphere) determined bacterial community composition; bacterial community structure associated with plant functional group (grass versus forb) was similar within treatments but differed between fertilization treatments. The core forb microbiome consisted of 602 unique taxa, and the core grass microbiome consisted of 372 unique taxa. Forb rhizospheres were enriched in potentially disease-suppressive bacterial taxa, and grass rhizospheres were enriched in bacterial taxa associated with complex carbon decomposition. Results from this study demonstrate that fertilization serves as a strong environmental filter on the soil microbiome, which leads to distinct rhizosphere communities and can shift plant effects on the rhizosphere microbiome. These taxonomic shifts within plant rhizospheres could have implications for plant health and ecosystem functions associated with carbon and nitrogen cycling. IMPORTANCE Over the last century, humans have substantially altered nitrogen and phosphorus cycling. Use of synthetic fertilizer and burning of fossil fuels and biomass have increased nitrogen and phosphorus deposition, which results in unintended fertilization of historically low-nutrient ecosystems. With increased nutrient availability, plant biodiversity is expected to decline, and the abundance of copiotrophic taxa is anticipated to increase in bacterial communities. Here, we address how bacterial communities associated with different plant functional types (forb, grass) shift due to long-term nutrient enrichment. Unlike other studies, results revealed an increase in bacterial diversity, particularly of oligotrophic bacteria in fertilized plots. We observed that nutrient addition strongly determines forb and grass rhizosphere composition, which could indicate different metabolic preferences in the bacterial communities. This study highlights how long-term fertilization of oligotroph-dominated wetlands could alter diversity and metabolism of rhizosphere bacterial communities in unexpected ways.« less