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See detailA multi-omic view of invasive genetic elements and their linked prokaryotic population dynamics within a mixed microbial community
Martinez Arbas, Susana UL; Narayanasamy, Shaman; Herold, Malte et al

Poster (2018, September 11)

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See detailIntegrated time-resolved multi-omics for understanding microbial niche ecology
Herold, Malte UL; Narayanasamy, Shaman UL; Martinez Arbas, Susana UL et al

Poster (2018, August)

Microbial communities are strongly shaped by the niche breadths of their constituent populations. However, a detailed understanding of microbial niche ecology is typically lacking. Integrated multi-omic ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are strongly shaped by the niche breadths of their constituent populations. However, a detailed understanding of microbial niche ecology is typically lacking. Integrated multi-omic analyses of host- or environment-derived samples offer the prospect of resolving fundamental and realised niches in situ. In turn, this is considered a prerequisite for niche engineering in order to drive an individual population or a community towards a specific phenotype, e.g., improvement of a biotechnological process. Here, we sampled floating islets on the surface of an activated sludge tank in a time-series spanning 51 time-points over 14 months. Multi-omics datasets (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, and (meta-)metabolomics) were generated for all time-points. Leveraging nucleotide sequencing data, we analyzed the community structure and reconstructed genomes for specific populations of interest. Moreover, based on their metabolic potential, three major groups emerged, serving as proxies for their respective fundamental niches . Time-resolved linkage of the proteomic and transcriptomic data to the reconstructed genomes revealed a fine-grained picture of niche realization. In particular, environmental factors (temperature, metabolites, oxygen) were significantly associated with gene expression of individual populations. Furthermore, we subjected the community to controlled oxygen conditions (stable or dynamic) in a bioreactor experiment and measured the transcriptomic response. Our results suggest short-term adaptations of populations of interest with respect to lipid metabolism, among other pathways. In conclusion, our work demonstrates how longitudinal multi-omic datasets can be integrated in order to further our understanding of microbial niche ecology within a biotechnological process with potential applications beyond waste water treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst draft genome sequence of a strain belonging to the Zoogloea genus and its gene expression in situ
Muller, Emilie UL; Narayanasamy, Shaman UL; Zeimes, Myriam et al

in Standards in Genomic Sciences (2017), 12(64),

The Gram-negative beta-proteobacterium Zoogloea sp. LCSB751 (LMG 29444) was newly isolated from foaming activated sludge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Here, we describe its draft genome ... [more ▼]

The Gram-negative beta-proteobacterium Zoogloea sp. LCSB751 (LMG 29444) was newly isolated from foaming activated sludge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Here, we describe its draft genome sequence and annotation together with a general physiological and genomic analysis, as the first sequenced representative of the Zoogloea genus. Moreover, Zoogloea sp. gene expression in its environment is described using metatranscriptomic data obtained from the same treatment plant. The presented genomic and transcriptomic information demonstrate a pronounced capacity of this genus to synthesize poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate within wastewater. [less ▲]

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See detailColonization and Succession within the Human Gut Microbiome by Archaea, Bacteria, and Microeukaryotes during the First Year of Life
Wampach, Linda UL; Heintz, Anna UL; Hogan, Angela et al

in Frontiers in Microbiology (2017)

Perturbations to the colonization process of the human gastrointestinal tract have been suggested to result in adverse health effects later in life. Although much research has been performed on bacterial ... [more ▼]

Perturbations to the colonization process of the human gastrointestinal tract have been suggested to result in adverse health effects later in life. Although much research has been performed on bacterial colonization and succession, much less is known about the other two domains of life, archaea, and eukaryotes. Here we describe colonization and succession by bacteria, archaea and microeukaryotes during the first year of life (samples collected around days 1, 3, 5, 28, 150, and 365) within the gastrointestinal tract of infants delivered either vaginally or by cesarean section and using a combination of quantitative real-time PCR as well as 16S and 18S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Sequences from organisms belonging to all three domains of life were detectable in all of the collected meconium samples. The microeukaryotic community composition fluctuated strongly over time and early diversification was delayed in infants receiving formula milk. Cesarean section-delivered (CSD) infants experienced a delay in colonization and succession, which was observed for all three domains of life. Shifts in prokaryotic succession in CSD infants compared to vaginally delivered (VD) infants were apparent as early as days 3 and 5, which were characterized by increased relative abundances of the genera Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, and a decrease in relative abundance for the genera Bifidobacterium and Bacteroides. Generally, a depletion in Bacteroidetes was detected as early as day 5 postpartum in CSD infants, causing a significantly increased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio between days 5 and 150 when compared to VD infants. Although the delivery mode appeared to have the strongest influence on differences between the infants, other factors such as a younger gestational age or maternal antibiotics intake likely contributed to the observed patterns as well. Our findings complement previous observations of a delay in colonization and succession of CSD infants, which affects not only bacteria but also archaea and microeukaryotes. This further highlights the need for resolving bacterial, archaeal, and microeukaryotic dynamics in future longitudinal studies of microbial colonization and succession within the neonatal gastrointestinal tract. [less ▲]

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See detailIMP: a pipeline for reproducible referenceindependent integrated metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses
Narayanasamy, Shaman UL; Jarosz, Yohan UL; Muller, Emilie UL et al

in Genome Biology (2016), 17

Existing workflows for the analysis of multi-omic microbiome datasets are lab-specific and often result in sub-optimal data usage. Here we present IMP, a reproducible and modular pipeline for the ... [more ▼]

Existing workflows for the analysis of multi-omic microbiome datasets are lab-specific and often result in sub-optimal data usage. Here we present IMP, a reproducible and modular pipeline for the integrated and reference-independent analysis of coupled metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data. IMP incorporates robust read preprocessing, iterative co-assembly, analyses of microbial community structure and function, automated binning, as well as genomic signature-based visualizations. The IMP-based data integration strategy enhances data usage, output volume, and output quality as demonstrated using relevant use-cases. Finally, IMP is encapsulated within a user-friendly implementation using Python and Docker. IMP is available at http://r3lab.uni.lu/web/imp/ (MIT license). [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification, recovery, and refinement of hitherto undescribed population-level genomes from the human gastrointestinal tract
Laczny, Cedric Christian UL; Muller, Emilie UL; Heintz-Buschart, Anna UL et al

in Frontiers in Microbiology (2016), 7(884),

Linking taxonomic identity and functional potential at the population-level is important for the study of mixed microbial communities and is greatly facilitated by the availability of microbial reference ... [more ▼]

Linking taxonomic identity and functional potential at the population-level is important for the study of mixed microbial communities and is greatly facilitated by the availability of microbial reference genomes. While the culture-independent recovery of population-level genomes from environmental samples using the binning of metagenomic data has expanded available reference genome catalogs, several microbial lineages remain underrepresented. Here, we present two reference-independent approaches for the identification, recovery, and refinement of hitherto undescribed population-level genomes. The first approach is aimed at genome recovery of varied taxa and involves multi-sample automated binning using CANOPY CLUSTERING complemented by visualization and human-augmented binning using VIZBINpost hoc. The second approach is particularly well-suited for the study of specific taxa and employs VIZBINde novo. Using these approaches, we reconstructed a total of six population-level genomes of distinct and divergent representatives of the Alphaproteobacteria class, the Mollicutes class, the Clostridiales order, and the Melainabacteria class from human gastrointestinal tract-derived metagenomic data. Our results demonstrate that, while automated binning approaches provide great potential for large-scale studies of mixed microbial communities, these approaches should be complemented with informative visualizations because expert-driven inspection and refinements are critical for the recovery of high-quality population-level genomes. [less ▲]

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See detailVISUALISATION AND BINNING OF METAGENOMIC DATA
Laczny, Cedric Christian UL

Doctoral thesis (2015)

Metagenomic sequencing and assembly have become important approaches for the in situ characterisation of mixed microbial communities. Nevertheless, the data are typically fragmented and disconnected. The ... [more ▼]

Metagenomic sequencing and assembly have become important approaches for the in situ characterisation of mixed microbial communities. Nevertheless, the data are typically fragmented and disconnected. The binning of individual sequence fragments into population-level genomic complements promotes the population-resolved synchronous study of community composition and functional potential. However, current binning approaches require a priori knowledge, scale poorly to larger datasets, or exclude human input. In this work, a reference-independent approach for the visualisation and subsequent human-augmented binning of metagenomic sequence fragments, represented by their high-dimensional, oligonucleotide frequency-based signatures, is introduced. Due to the efficient and faithful representation of high-dimensional cluster structures in low-dimensional space, the described methodology facilitates the exploration and analysis of large datasets by a human user. Subsequently, a stand-alone software implementation, VizBin, is developed and described. This graphical user interface-based tool is designed to allow a user-friendly application of the herein introduced approach without the requirement of a bioinformatical background, special training, or exceptional computing resources. Following the software development, VizBin was applied for the analysis of human gastrointestinal tract-derived metagenomic sequencing data. This allowed the recovery of six virtually complete or partial genomes of hitherto uncharacterised and deeply branching microbial populations from four taxa including a potential butyrate-producing taxon. In summary, this work illustrates how improved recovery of population-level microbial genomes is achieved by reference-independent binning of assembled metagenomic sequencing data using human input. The broad applicability and robustness of the herein introduced approach is furthermore demonstrated by using VizBin for the visualisation of state-of-the-art long read-sequencing data. Despite the increased sequence error rate of this emerging type of sequencing data, pertinent cluster structures are revealed thus motivating the development of future read-level binning approaches. Targeted wet-lab validation of in silico recovered population-level genomes and comprehensive population-resolved analysis of microbial consortia in situ are key to advancing our knowledge and understanding of microbiota in different environments. [less ▲]

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See detailVizBin - an application for reference-independent visualization and human-augmented binning of metagenomic data
Laczny, Cedric Christian UL; Sternal, Tomasz; Plugaru, Valentin UL et al

in Microbiome (2015)

Background Metagenomics is limited in its ability to link distinct microbial populations to genetic potential due to a current lack of representative isolate genome sequences. Reference-independent ... [more ▼]

Background Metagenomics is limited in its ability to link distinct microbial populations to genetic potential due to a current lack of representative isolate genome sequences. Reference-independent approaches, which exploit for example inherent genomic signatures for the clustering of metagenomic fragments (binning), offer the prospect to resolve and reconstruct population-level genomic complements without the need for prior knowledge. Results We present VizBin, a Java™-based application which offers efficient and intuitive reference-independent visualization of metagenomic datasets from single samples for subsequent human-in-the-loop inspection and binning. The method is based on nonlinear dimension reduction of genomic signatures and exploits the superior pattern recognition capabilities of the human eye-brain system for cluster identification and delineation. We demonstrate the general applicability of VizBin for the analysis of metagenomic sequence data by presenting results from two cellulolytic microbial communities and one human-borne microbial consortium. The superior performance of our application compared to other analogous metagenomic visualization and binning methods is also presented. Conclusions VizBin can be applied de novo for the visualization and subsequent binning of metagenomic datasets from single samples, and it can be used for the post hoc inspection and refinement of automatically generated bins. Due to its computational efficiency, it can be run on common desktop machines and enables the analysis of complex metagenomic datasets in a matter of minutes. The software implementation is available at https://claczny.github.io/VizBin under the BSD License (four-clause) and runs under Microsoft Windows™, Apple Mac OS X™ (10.7 to 10.10), and Linux. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative integrated omics: identification of key functionalities in microbial community-wide metabolic networks
Roume, Hugo UL; Buschart, Anna UL; Muller, Emilie UL et al

in Biofilms and Microbiomes (2015), 1(15007),

BACKGROUND: Mixed microbial communities underpin important biotechnological processes such as biological wastewater treatment (BWWT). A detailed knowledge of community structure and function relationships ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Mixed microbial communities underpin important biotechnological processes such as biological wastewater treatment (BWWT). A detailed knowledge of community structure and function relationships is essential for ultimately driving these systems towards desired outcomes, e.g., the enrichment in organisms capable of accumulating valuable resources during BWWT. METHODS: A comparative integrated omic analysis including metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics was carried out to elucidate functional differences between seasonally distinct oleaginous mixed microbial communities (OMMCs) sampled from an anoxic BWWT tank. A computational framework for the reconstruction of community-wide metabolic networks from multi-omic data was developed. These provide an overview of the functional capabilities by incorporating gene copy, transcript and protein abundances. To identify functional genes, which have a disproportionately important role in community function, we define a high relative gene expression and a high betweenness centrality relative to node degree as gene-centric and network topological features, respectively. RESULTS: Genes exhibiting high expression relative to gene copy abundance include genes involved in glycerolipid metabolism, particularly triacylglycerol lipase, encoded by known lipid accumulating populations, e.g., Candidatus Microthrix parvicella. Genes with a high relative gene expression and topologically important positions in the network include genes involved in nitrogen metabolism and fatty acid biosynthesis, encoded by Nitrosomonas spp. and Rhodococcus spp. Such genes may be regarded as ‘keystone genes’ as they are likely to be encoded by keystone species. CONCLUSION: The linking of key functionalities to community members through integrated omics opens up exciting possibilities for devising prediction and control strategies for microbial communities in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailPhenotypic differentiation of gastrointestinal microbes is reflected in their encoded metabolic repertoires
Bauer, Eugen UL; Laczny, Cedric Christian UL; Magnusdottir, Stefania UL et al

in Microbiome (2015), 3(55), 1-13

Background: The human gastrointestinal tract harbors a diverse microbial community, in which metabolic phenotypes play important roles for the human host. Recent developments in meta-omics attempt to ... [more ▼]

Background: The human gastrointestinal tract harbors a diverse microbial community, in which metabolic phenotypes play important roles for the human host. Recent developments in meta-omics attempt to unravel metabolic roles of microbes by linking genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. This connection, however, still remains poorly understood with respect to its evolutionary and ecological context. Results: We generated automatically refined draft genome-scale metabolic models of 301 representative intestinal microbes in silico. We applied a combination of unsupervised machine-learning and systems biology techniques to study individual and global differences in genomic content and inferred metabolic capabilities. Based on the global metabolic differences, we found that energy metabolism and membrane synthesis play important roles in delineating different taxonomic groups. Furthermore, we found an exponential relationship between phylogeny and the reaction composition, meaning that closely related microbes of the same genus can exhibit pronounced differences with respect to their metabolic capabilities while at the family level only marginal metabolic differences can be observed. This finding was further substantiated by the metabolic divergence within different genera. In particular, we could distinguish three sub-type clusters based on membrane and energy metabolism within the Lactobacilli as well as two clusters within the Bifidobacteria and Bacteroides. Conclusions: We demonstrate that phenotypic differentiation within closely related species could be explained by their metabolic repertoire rather than their phylogenetic relationships. These results have important implications in our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary complexity of the human gastrointestinal microbiome. [less ▲]

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See detailAlignment-free Visualization of Metagenomic Data by Nonlinear Dimension Reduction
Laczny, Cedric Christian UL; Pinel, Nicolás; Vlassis, Nikos UL et al

in Scientific Reports (2014)

The visualization of metagenomic data, especially without prior taxonomic identification of reconstructed genomic fragments, is a challenging problem in computational biology. An ideal visualization ... [more ▼]

The visualization of metagenomic data, especially without prior taxonomic identification of reconstructed genomic fragments, is a challenging problem in computational biology. An ideal visualization method should, among others, enable clear distinction of congruent groups of sequences of closely related taxa, be applicable to fragments of lengths typically achievable following assembly, and allow the efficient analysis of the growing amounts of community genomic sequence data. Here, we report a scalable approach for the visualization of metagenomic data that is based on nonlinear dimension reduction via Barnes-Hut Stochastic Neighbor Embedding of centered log-ratio transformed oligonucleotide signatures extracted from assembled genomic sequence fragments. The approach allows for alignment-free assessment of the data-inherent taxonomic structure, and it can potentially facilitate the downstream binning of genomic fragments into uniform clusters reflecting organismal origin. We demonstrate the performance of our approach by visualizing community genomic sequence data from simulated as well as groundwater, human-derived and marine microbial communities. [less ▲]

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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

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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 138 (9 UL)