Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Integrated multi-omic analyses of mobile genetic elements within a mixed microbial community
Martinez Arbas, Susana


Full Text
Author preprint (66.93 MB)

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.

Send to


Abstract :
[en] Microbial communities are ubiquitous, complex and dynamic systems that constantly adapt to changing environmental conditions, while playing important roles in natural environments, human health and biotechnological processes. Invasive mobile genetic elements (iMGE) are considered as important biotic components of microbial communities, in particular (bacterio)-phages and plasmids are some of the most abundant and diverse biological entities, which may influence community structure and dynamics. Microbial populations within naturally occurring communities are constantly interacting with each other. Ecological interactions between those populations can be generally classified as competitive and cooperative relationships. To date, extensive studies on biotic interactions, i.e. relationships between microbial hosts with iMGEs and between microbial populations, have been somewhat limited, thus restricting our understanding of microbial community dynamics. Fortunately, high-throughput multi-omics derived from microbiomes, i.e. metagenomics and metatranscriptomics, enables access to both functional -potential and -expression information of those biotic components. Combining longitudinal multi-omics data with mathematical frameworks allows us to model microbial community interactions and dynamics, unlike ever before. Here, I present a longitudinal integrated multi-omics analysis of biotic components within foaming activated sludge, spanning ~1.5 years to unravel i) iMGE-host dynamics and ii) ecological interactome. In the first part of this work, empirical host-iMGE CRISPR-based links in combination with mathematical modelling highlighted the importance of plasmids, relative to phages, in shaping community structure, while also showing that plasmids vastly outnumbered, and were more targeted via CRISPR-Cas systems, compared to their phage counterparts. In the second part of this work, mathematical modelling is used to provide ecological contexts for the relationships between microbial community members. In general, we observed a dynamic interactome, with higher cooperative interactions, despite these populations encoding highly similar functional potential. In summary, this work demonstrates the potential of longitudinal multi-omics in expanding our understanding of microbial community dynamics, which could be expanded to other microbial ecosystems and potentially lead to applications in human health and biotechnological processes.
Disciplines :
Life sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Martinez Arbas, Susana ;  University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) > Systems Ecology
Language :
Title :
Integrated multi-omic analyses of mobile genetic elements within a mixed microbial community
Defense date :
09 July 2021
Institution :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Esh-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Degree :
Docteur en Biologie
Promotor :
President :
Secretary :
Jury member :
Probst, Alexander
Hug, Laura
Available on ORBilu :
since 27 July 2021


Number of views
287 (104 by Unilu)
Number of downloads
213 (27 by Unilu)


Similar publications

Contact ORBilu