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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 detailThe RNA Complement of Outer Membrane Vesicles From Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Under Distinct Culture Conditions
Malabirade, Antoine UL; Habier, Janine UL; Heintz-Buschart, Anna et al

in Frontiers in Microbiology (2018), 9

Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), as well as OMV-associated small RNAs, have been demonstrated to play a role in host–pathogen interactions. The presence of larger RNA transcripts in OMVs has been ... [more ▼]

Bacterial outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), as well as OMV-associated small RNAs, have been demonstrated to play a role in host–pathogen interactions. The presence of larger RNA transcripts in OMVs has been less studied and their potential role in host–pathogen interactions remains largely unknown. Here we analyze RNA from OMVs secreted by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) cultured under different conditions, which mimic host–pathogen interactions. S. Typhimurium was grown to exponential and stationary growth phases in minimal growth control medium (phosphate-carbon-nitrogen, PCN), as well as in acidic and phosphate-depleted PCN, comparable to the macrophage environment and inducing therefore the expression of Salmonella pathogenicity island 2 (SPI-2) genes. Moreover, Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1), which is required for virulence during the intestinal phase of infection, was induced by culturing S. Typhimurium to the stationary phase in Lysogeny Broth (LB). For each condition, we identified OMV-associated RNAs that are enriched in the extracellular environment relative to the intracellular space. All RNA classes could be observed, but a vast majority of rRNA was exported in all conditions in variable proportions with a notable decrease in LB SPI-1 inducing media. Several mRNAs and ncRNAs were specifically enriched in/on OMVs dependent on the growth conditions. Important to note is that some RNAs showed identical read coverage profiles intracellularly and extracellularly, whereas distinct coverage patterns were observed for other transcripts, suggesting a specific processing or degradation. Moreover, PCR experiments confirmed that distinct RNAs were present in or on OMVs as full-length transcripts (IsrB-1/2; IsrA; ffs; SsrS; CsrC; pSLT035; 10Sa; rnpB; STM0277; sseB; STM0972; STM2606), whereas others seemed to be rather present in a processed or degraded form. Finally, we show by a digestion protection assay that OMVs are able to prevent enzymatic degradation of given full-length transcripts (SsrS, CsrC, 10Sa, and rnpB). In summary, we show that OMV-associated RNA is clearly different in distinct culture conditions and that at least a fraction of the extracellular RNA is associated as a full-length transcripts with OMVs, indicating that some RNAs are protected by OMVs and thereby leaving open the possibility that those might be functionally active. [less ▲]

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See detailThe human microbiome: a systems ecology perspective
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, June)

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See detailSmall RNA profiling of low biomass samples: identification and removal of contaminants
Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Yusuf, Dilmurat; Kaysen, Anne UL et al

in BMC Biology (2018), 16(52),

Background: Sequencing-based analyses of low-biomass samples are known to be prone to misinterpretation due to the potential presence of contaminating molecules derived from laboratory reagents and ... [more ▼]

Background: Sequencing-based analyses of low-biomass samples are known to be prone to misinterpretation due to the potential presence of contaminating molecules derived from laboratory reagents and environments. DNA contamination has been previously reported, however contamination with RNA is usually considered to be unlikely due to its inherent instability. Small RNAs (sRNAs) identified in tissues and bodily fluids such as blood plasma, have implications for physiology and pathology, and therefore the potential to act as disease biomarkers. Thus, the possibility for RNA contaminants demands a careful evaluation. Results: Here we report the presence of small RNA contaminants in widely used microRNA extraction kits and propose an approach for their depletion. We sequenced sRNAs extracted from human plasma samples and detected important levels of non-human (exogenous) sequences whose source could be traced to the microRNA extraction columns through a careful qPCR-based analysis of several laboratory reagents. Furthermore, we also detected the presence of artefactual sequences related to these contaminants in a range of published datasets, arguing for a re-evaluation of reports suggesting the presence of exogenous RNAs of microbial and dietary origins in blood plasma. To avoid artefacts in future experiments, we also devise several protocols of contaminant RNAs, define minimal amounts of starting material for artefact-free analyses, and confirm the reduction of contaminant levels for identification of bona fide sequences using ‘ultra-clean’ extraction kits. Conclusion: This is the first report of the presence of RNA molecules as contaminants in RNA extraction kits. The described protocols should be applied in the future to avoid confounding sRNA studies. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrobiomes in One Health
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, May)

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See detailSystems ecology of microbiomes
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, May)

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See detailSystems Ecology of microbiomes: function is key
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, April)

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See detailSystems ecology of microbiome-human interactions: identifying which functions are key
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, April)

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See detailMicrobial Systems Ecology for unravelling key functions in situ
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, April)

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See detailLe microbiote et son rôle pour la santé de l’Homme
Wilmes, Paul UL

Presentation (2018, April)

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See detailMulti-omics approach for microbial communities
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018, March)

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See detailExtraction and Analysis of RNA Isolated from Pure Bacteria-Derived Outer Membrane Vesicles
Habier, Janine UL; May, Patrick UL; Heintz-Buschart, Anna et al

in Arluison, Véronique; Valverde, Claudio Valverde (Eds.) Bacterial Regulatory RNA (2018)

Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are released by commensal as well as pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. These vesicles contain numerous bacterial components, such as proteins, peptidoglycans ... [more ▼]

Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) are released by commensal as well as pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. These vesicles contain numerous bacterial components, such as proteins, peptidoglycans, lipopolysaccharides, DNA, and RNA. To examine if OMV-associated RNA molecules are bacterial degradation products and/or are functionally active, it is necessary to extract RNA from pure OMVs for subsequent analysis. Therefore, we describe here an isolation method of ultrapure OMVs and the subsequent extraction of RNA and basic steps of RNA-Seq analysis. Bacterial culture, extracellular supernatant concentration, OMV purification, and the subsequent RNA extraction out of OMVs are described. Specific pitfalls within the protocol and RNA contamination sources are highlighted. [less ▲]

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See detailSystems ecology of the human microbiome
Wilmes, Paul UL

Scientific Conference (2018)

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See detailHuman Gut Microbiome: Function Matters.
Heintz-Buschart, Anna; Wilmes, Paul UL

in Trends in microbiology (2018), 26(7), 563-574

The human gut microbiome represents a complex ecosystem contributing essential functions to its host. Recent large-scale metagenomic studies have provided insights into its structure and functional ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiome represents a complex ecosystem contributing essential functions to its host. Recent large-scale metagenomic studies have provided insights into its structure and functional potential. However, the functional repertoire which is actually contributed to human physiology remains largely unexplored. Here, by leveraging recent omics datasets, we challenge current assumptions regarding key attributes of the functional gut microbiome, in particular with respect to its variability. We further argue that the closing of existing gaps in functional knowledge should be addressed by a most-wanted gene list, the development and application of molecular and cellular high-throughput measurements, the development and sensible use of experimental models, as well as the direct study of observable molecular effects in the human host. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gut Microbiota and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Challenges and Potentials.
Noor, Fozia UL; Kaysen, Anne UL; Wilmes, Paul UL et al

in Journal of innate immunity (2018)

The human gut microbiota gained tremendous importance in the last decade as next-generation technologies of sequencing and multiomics analyses linked the role of the microbial communities to host ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiota gained tremendous importance in the last decade as next-generation technologies of sequencing and multiomics analyses linked the role of the microbial communities to host physiology and pathophysiology. A growing number of human pathologies and diseases are linked to the gut microbiota. One of the main mechanisms by which the microbiota influences the host is through its interactions with the host immune system. These interactions with both innate and adaptive host intestinal and extraintestinal immunity, although usually commensalistic even mutualistic with the host, in some cases lead to serious health effects. In the case of allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), the disruption of the intestinal microbiota diversity is associated with acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Causing inflammation of the liver, skin, lungs, and the intestine, GvHD occurs in 40-50% of patients undergoing allo-HSCT and results in significant posttransplantation mortality. In this review, we highlight the impact of the gut microbiota on the host immunity in GvHD and the potential of microbiota in alleviation or even prevention of GvHD. [less ▲]

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See detailSequential Isolation of DNA, RNA, Protein, and Metabolite Fractions from Murine Organs and Intestinal Contents for Integrated Omics of Host-Microbiota Interactions.
Shah, Pranjul UL; Muller, Emilie UL; Lebrun, Laura UL et al

in Microbial Proteomics (2018)

The gastrointestinal microbiome plays a central role in health and disease. Imbalances in the microbiome, also referred to as dysbiosis, have recently been associated with a number of human idiopathic ... [more ▼]

The gastrointestinal microbiome plays a central role in health and disease. Imbalances in the microbiome, also referred to as dysbiosis, have recently been associated with a number of human idiopathic diseases ranging from metabolic to neurodegenerative. However, to causally link specific microorganisms or dysbiotic communities with tissue-specific and/or systemic disease-associated phenotypes, systematic in vivo studies are fundamental. Gnotobiotic mouse models have proven to be particularly useful for the elucidation of microbiota-associated characteristics as they provide a means to conduct targeted perturbations followed by analyses of induced localized and systemic effects. Here, we describe a methodology in the framework of systems biology which allows the comprehensive isolation of high quality biomolecular fractions (DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites) from limited and/or heterogeneous sample material derived from murine brain, liver, and colon tissues, as well as from intestinal contents (fecal pellets and fecal masses). The obtained biomolecular fractions are compatible with current high-throughput genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses. The resulting data fulfills the premise of systematic measurements and allows the detailed study of tissue-specific and/or systemic effects of host-microbiota interactions in relation to health and disease. [less ▲]

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See detailMeasuring soil sustainability via soil resilience.
Ludwig, Marie; Wilmes, Paul UL; Schrader, Stefan

in The Science of the total environment (2018), 626

Soils are the nexus of water, energy and food, which illustrates the need for a holistic approach in sustainable soil management. The present study therefore aimed at identifying a bioindicator for the ... [more ▼]

Soils are the nexus of water, energy and food, which illustrates the need for a holistic approach in sustainable soil management. The present study therefore aimed at identifying a bioindicator for the evaluation of soil management sustainability in a cross-disciplinary approach between soil science and multi-omics research. For this purpose we first discuss the remaining problems and challenges of evaluating sustainability and consequently suggest one measurable bioindicator for soil management sustainability. In this concept, we define soil sustainability as the maintenance of soil functional integrity. The potential to recover functional and structural integrity after a disturbance is generally defined as resilience. This potential is a product of the past and the present soil management, and at the same time prospect of possible soil responses to future disturbances. Additionally, it is correlated with the multiple soil functions and hence reflecting the multifunctionality of the soil system. Consequently, resilience can serve as a bioindicator for soil sustainability. The measurable part of soil resilience is the response diversity, calculated from the systematic contrasting of multi-omic markers for genetic potential and functional activity, and referred to as potential Maximum Ecological Performance (MEPpot) in this study. Calculating MEPpot will allow to determine the thresholds of resistance and resilience and potential tipping points for a regime shift towards irreversible or permanent unfavorable soil states for each individual soil considered. The calculation of such ecosystem thresholds is to our opinion the current global cross-disciplinary challenge. [less ▲]

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