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See detailCommunity integrated omics links the dominance of a microbial generalist to fine-tuned resource usage
Muller, Emilie UL; Pinel, Nicolás; Laczny, Cedric Christian UL et al

Scientific Conference (2014)

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are influenced by stochastic-neutral processes but are mainly structured by resource availability and usage. High-resolution “meta-omics” offer ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are influenced by stochastic-neutral processes but are mainly structured by resource availability and usage. High-resolution “meta-omics” offer exciting prospects to investigate microbial populations in their native environment. In particular, integrated meta-omics, by allowing simultaneous resolution of fundamental niches (genomics) and realised niches (transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics), can resolve microbial lifestyles (generalist versus specialist lifestyle strategies) in situ. We have recently developed the necessary wet- and dry-lab methodologies to carry out systematic molecular measurements of microbial consortia over space and time, and to integrate and analyse the resulting data at the population-level. We applied these methods to oleaginous mixed microbial communities located on the surface of anoxic biological wastewater treatment tanks to investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist lifestyle strategies) relates to community-level phenotypes and ecological success (i.e. population size). Coupled metabolomics and 16S rRNA gene-based deep sequencing demonstrate that the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype is associated with the dominance of Candidatus Microthrix parvicella. By integrating population-level genomic reconstructions with transcriptomic and proteomic data, we found that the dominance of this microbial generalist population results from finely tuned resource usage and optimal foraging behaviour. Moreover, the fluctuating environmental conditions constrain the accumulation of variations, leading to a genetically homogeneous population likely due to fitness trade-offs. By integrating metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, metaproteomic and metabolomic information, we demonstrate that natural microbial population sizes and structures are intricately linked to resource usage and that differing microbial lifestyle strategies may explain the varying degrees of within-population genetic heterogeneity observed in metagenomic datasets. Elucidating the exact mechanism driving fitness trade-offs, e.g., antagonistic pleiotropy or others, will require additional integrated omic datasets to be generated from samples taken over space and time. Based on our observations, niche breadth and lifestyle strategies (generalists versus specialists) have to be considered as important factors for understanding the evolutionary processes governing microbial population sizes and structures in situ. [less ▲]

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See detailThe sequential isolation of metabolites, RNA, DNA, and proteins from a single, undivided mixed microbial community sample
Muller, Emilie UL; Buschart, Anna UL; Roume, Hugo UL et al

in Protocol Exchange (2014)

Integrated omics of microbial consortia, comprising systematized metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, metaproteomic and meta-metabolomic analyses, allows in-depth characterization of organismal and functional ... [more ▼]

Integrated omics of microbial consortia, comprising systematized metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, metaproteomic and meta-metabolomic analyses, allows in-depth characterization of organismal and functional diversity in situ. To allow meaningful meta-omic data integration, truly systematic measurements of the typically heterogeneous sample biomass is required. Therefore, there is a need for analyzing biomolecular fractions obtained from single, undivided samples. Here, we share a methodological workflow for the reproducible isolation of concomitant polar and non-polar metabolites, RNA, DNA and proteins from samples obtained from a biological wastewater treatment plant. The methodological framework is applicable to other biological samples [1,2], is compatible with different kits for biomacromolecular isolation [1,2] with minimal tailoring, and represents an important first step in standardization for the emerging field of Molecular Eco-Systems Biology. [less ▲]

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See detailSystematic Design of 18S rRNA Gene Primers for Determining Eukaryotic Diversity in Microbial Consortia
Hugerth, Luisa; Muller, Emilie UL; Hu, Yue et al

in PLoS ONE (2014)

High-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) amplicons has opened up the door to large-scale comparative studies of microbial community structures. The short reads currently produced by ... [more ▼]

High-throughput sequencing of ribosomal RNA gene (rDNA) amplicons has opened up the door to large-scale comparative studies of microbial community structures. The short reads currently produced by massively parallel sequencing technologies make the choice of sequencing region crucial for accurate phylogenetic assignments. While for 16S rDNA, relevant regions have been well described, no truly systematic design of 18S rDNA primers aimed at resolving eukaryotic diversity has yet been reported. Here we used 31,862 18S rDNA sequences to design a set of broad-taxonomic range degenerate PCR primers. We simulated the phylogenetic information that each candidate primer pair would retrieve using paired- or single-end reads of various lengths, representing different sequencing technologies. Primer pairs targeting the V4 region performed best, allowing discrimination with paired-end reads as short as 150 bp (with 75% accuracy at genus level). The conditions for PCR amplification were optimised for one of these primer pairs and this was used to amplify 18S rDNA sequences from isolates as well as from a range of environmental samples which were then Illumina sequenced and analysed, revealing good concordance between expected and observed results. In summary, the reported primer sets will allow minimally biased assessment of eukaryotic diversity in different microbial ecosystems. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 181 (7 UL)
See detailCommunity integrated omics links the dominance of a microbial generalist to fine-tuned resource usage
Muller, Emilie UL; Pinel, Nicolás; Laczny, Cedric Christian UL et al

Poster (2014)

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are influenced by stochastic-neutral processes but are mainly structured by resource availability and usage. High-resolution “meta-omics” offer ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are influenced by stochastic-neutral processes but are mainly structured by resource availability and usage. High-resolution “meta-omics” offer exciting prospects to investigate microbial populations in their native environment. In particular, integrated meta-omics, by allowing simultaneous resolution of fundamental niches (genomics) and realised niches (transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics), can resolve microbial lifestyles strategies (generalist versus specialist) in situ. We have recently developed the necessary wet- and dry-lab methodologies to carry out systematic molecular measurements of microbial consortia over space and time, and to integrate and analyse the resulting data at the population-level. We applied these methods to oleaginous mixed microbial communities located on the surface of anoxic biological wastewater treatment tanks to investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist strategies) relates to community-level phenotypes and ecological success (i.e. population size). Coupled metabolomics and 16S rRNA gene-based deep sequencing demonstrate that the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype is associated with the dominance of Candidatus Microthrix parvicella. By integrating population-level genomic reconstructions with transcriptomic and proteomic data, we found that the dominance of this microbial generalist population results from finely tuned resource usage and optimal foraging behaviour. Moreover, the fluctuating environmental conditions constrain the accumulation of variations, leading to a genetically homogeneous population likely due to fitness trade-offs. By integrating metagenomic, metatranscriptomic, metaproteomic and metabolomic information, we demonstrate that natural microbial population sizes and structures are intricately linked to resource usage and that differing microbial lifestyle strategies may explain the varying degrees of within-population genetic heterogeneity observed in metagenomic datasets. Elucidating the exact mechanism driving fitness trade-offs, e.g., antagonistic pleiotropy or others, will require additional integrated omic datasets to be generated from samples taken over space and time. Based on our observations, niche breadth and lifestyle strategies (generalists versus specialists) have to be considered as important factors for understanding the evolutionary processes governing microbial population sizes and structures in situ. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 112 (12 UL)
See detailA model microbial community for Eco-Systems Biology
Muller, Emilie UL; Roume, Hugo UL; Buschart, Anna UL et al

Poster (2013)

Objective Microbial communities (MCs) play crucial roles in human health and disease. In-depth characterization of the vast organismal and functional diversity of MCs is now facilitated by high-resolution ... [more ▼]

Objective Microbial communities (MCs) play crucial roles in human health and disease. In-depth characterization of the vast organismal and functional diversity of MCs is now facilitated by high-resolution molecular approaches. Systematic measurements are key for meaningful data integration, analysis and modeling. Based on a model MC from a biological wastewater treatment plant, we have developed a new framework based on wet- and dry-lab methods for the integrated analyses of MCs at the population- as well as at the community-level. Methods The overall methodological framework first relies on a standardised wet-lab procedure for the isolation of concomitant biomolecules, i.e., DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, from single undivided samples. Purified biomolecular fractions then are subjected to high-resolution omic analyses including metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics and (meta-) metabolomics. The resulting data form the input for integrated bioinformatic analyses. Population-level integrated omic analyses rely on a newly developed binning and re-assembly method, which yields near-complete genome reconstructions for dominant populations. Community-level analyses involve the reconstruction of community-wide metabolic networks. Functional omic data is then mapped onto these reconstructions and contextualized. Results Application of the population-centric workflow has allowed us to reconstruct and identify 10 major populations within the model MC and has led to the identification of a key generalist population, Candidatus Microthrix spp., within the community. Analysis of the community-wide metabolic networks has allowed the identification of keystone genes involved in lipid and nitrogen metabolism within the MC. Conclusions Our new methodological framework offers exciting new prospects for elucidating the functional relevance of specific populations and genes within MCs. The established workflows are now being applied to samples of biomedical research interest such as human gastrointestinal tract-derived samples. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 104 (13 UL)
See detailSystematic molecular measurements reveal key microbial populations driving community-wide phenotype
Muller, Emilie UL; Pinel, Nicolás; May, Patrick UL et al

Poster (2013)

Natural microbial communities are heterogeneous and dynamic. Therefore, a major consideration for multiple omic data studies is the sample-to-sample heterogeneity, which can lead to inconsistent results ... [more ▼]

Natural microbial communities are heterogeneous and dynamic. Therefore, a major consideration for multiple omic data studies is the sample-to-sample heterogeneity, which can lead to inconsistent results if the different biomolecular fractions are obtained from distinct sub-samples. Conversely, systematic omic measurements, i.e. the standardised, reproducible and simultaneous measurement of multiple features from a single undivided sample, result in fully integrable datasets. Objective In order to prove the feasibility and benefits of such systematic measurements in the study of the respective contributions of different populations to the community-wide phenotype, we purified and analysed all biomolecular fractions, i.e. DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites, obtained from a unique undivided sample of lipid accumulating microbial community (LAMC) from wastewater treatment plant and integrate the resulting datasets. Methods One time point of particular interest was first selected out of 4 LAMC samples for its high diversity and strong lipid accumulation phenotype. Then, the systematic measurement strategy was applied to the selected undivided LAMC sample and the purified biomolecules were analysed by high-throughput techniques. DNA and RNA sequencing reads were assembled at the population-level using different binning strategies. A database, containing predicted proteins, was constructed to identify the detected peptides. Finally, all biomolecular information was mapped onto the assembled composite genomes to identify the precise roles of the different populations in the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype. Results Metabolomics and 16S diversity analyses were used to select the sample of highest interest for detailed analysis. The systematic measurements of the selected sample followed by data integration have allowed us to probe the functional relevance of the population-level composite genomes, leading to the identification of the LAMC key players. Conclusion As community phenotype is not the sum of the different partner phenotypes, understanding a microbial community system requires more than the study of isolated organisms. Even if both approaches are complementary, top-down systematic approached only provides a holistic perspective of micro-ecological processes. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 90 (5 UL)
See detailEco-Systems Biology of Natural Lipid-Accumulating Microbial Communities
Muller, Emilie UL; Roume, Hugo; Lebrun, Laura UL et al

Poster (2011, September 27)

Biological wastewater treatment represents arguably the most widely used biotechnological process on Earth. Due to its high organic load, wastewater represents a potentially interesting energy commodity ... [more ▼]

Biological wastewater treatment represents arguably the most widely used biotechnological process on Earth. Due to its high organic load, wastewater represents a potentially interesting energy commodity that is currently not exploited comprehensively. Molecules of particular interest for sustainable bioenergy production are lipids which represent up to 45 % of the organic fraction of wastewater. Within biological wastewater treatment plants, specific lipid accumulating organism (LAO) communities exhibit specialized phenotypes that might be harnessed for the concomitant treatment of wastewater and the production of biodiesel (long chain fatty acid (LCFA) methyl esters). Furthermore, due to the unusual high-density enrichments in the LAO communities, these represent ideal models for the development of relevant high-resolution ecosystems biology methodologies. The main aims are: determining the exact genetic inventories required for excess lipid uptake, storage and processing within lipid accumulating bacterial populations ; determining the metabolic fate of organic molecules (lipids) within LAO communities ; and determining the functional organisation in relation to genetic heterogeneity of lipid accumulating bacterial populations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 62 (7 UL)