Publications

Publications in peer reviewed journals

4 Publications found
  • Global biogeography of chemosynthetic symbionts reveals both localized and globally distributed symbiont groups.

    Osvatic JT, Wilkins LGE, Leibrecht L, Leray M, Zauner S, Polzin J, Camacho Y, Gros O, van Gils JA, Eisen JA, Petersen JM, Yuen B
    2021 - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 29: in press

    Abstract: 

    In the ocean, most hosts acquire their symbionts from the environment. Due to the immense spatial scales involved, our understanding of the biogeography of hosts and symbionts in marine systems is patchy, although this knowledge is essential for understanding fundamental aspects of symbiosis such as host-symbiont specificity and evolution. Lucinidae is the most species-rich and widely distributed family of marine bivalves hosting autotrophic bacterial endosymbionts. Previous molecular surveys identified location-specific symbiont types that "promiscuously" form associations with multiple divergent cooccurring host species. This flexibility of host-microbe pairings is thought to underpin their global success, as it allows hosts to form associations with locally adapted symbionts. We used metagenomics to investigate the biodiversity, functional variability, and genetic exchange among the endosymbionts of 12 lucinid host species from across the globe. We report a cosmopolitan symbiont species, Thiodiazotropha taylori, associated with multiple lucinid host species. T. taylori has achieved more success at dispersal and establishing symbioses with lucinids than any other symbiont described thus far. This discovery challenges our understanding of symbiont dispersal and location-specific colonization and suggests both symbiont and host flexibility underpin the ecological and evolutionary success of the lucinid symbiosis.

  • Multiplexed detection of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections in high throughput by SARSeq.

    Yelagandula R, Bykov A, Vogt A, Heinen R, Özkan E, Strobl MM, Baar JC, Uzunova K, Hajdusits B, Kordic D, Suljic E, Kurtovic-Kozaric A, Izetbegovic S, Schaeffer J, Hufnagl P, Zoufaly A, Seitz T, Födinger M, Allerberger F, Stark A, Cochella L, Elling U
    2021 - Nat Commun, 1: 3132

    Abstract: 

    The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for massively-parallel, cost-effective tests monitoring viral spread. Here we present SARSeq, saliva analysis by RNA sequencing, a method to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses on tens of thousands of samples in parallel. SARSeq relies on next generation sequencing of multiple amplicons generated in a multiplexed RT-PCR reaction. Two-dimensional, unique dual indexing, using four indices per sample, enables unambiguous and scalable assignment of reads to individual samples. We calibrate SARSeq on SARS-CoV-2 synthetic RNA, virions, and hundreds of human samples of various types. Robustness and sensitivity were virtually identical to quantitative RT-PCR. Double-blinded benchmarking to gold standard quantitative-RT-PCR performed by human diagnostics laboratories confirms this high sensitivity. SARSeq can be used to detect Influenza A and B viruses and human rhinovirus in parallel, and can be expanded for detection of other pathogens. Thus, SARSeq is ideally suited for differential diagnostic of infections during a pandemic.

  • Sulfoquinovose is a select nutrient of prominent bacteria and a source of hydrogen sulfide in the human gut.

    Hanson BT, Dimitri Kits K, Löffler J, Burrichter AG, Fiedler A, Denger K, Frommeyer B, Herbold CW, Rattei T, Karcher N, Segata N, Schleheck D, Loy A
    2021 - ISME J, In press

    Abstract: 

    Responses of the microbiota to diet are highly personalized but mechanistically not well understood because many metabolic capabilities and interactions of human gut microorganisms are unknown. Here we show that sulfoquinovose (SQ), a sulfonated monosaccharide omnipresent in green vegetables, is a selective yet relevant substrate for few but ubiquitous bacteria in the human gut. In human feces and in defined co-culture, Eubacterium rectale and Bilophila wadsworthia used recently identified pathways to cooperatively catabolize SQ with 2,3-dihydroxypropane-1-sulfonate as a transient intermediate to hydrogen sulfide (HS), a key intestinal metabolite with disparate effects on host health. SQ-degradation capability is encoded in almost half of E. rectale genomes but otherwise sparsely distributed among microbial species in the human intestine. However, re-analysis of fecal metatranscriptome datasets of four human cohorts showed that SQ degradation (mostly from E. rectale and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) and HS production (mostly from B. wadsworthia) pathways were expressed abundantly across various health states, demonstrating that these microbial functions are core attributes of the human gut. The discovery of green-diet-derived SQ as an exclusive microbial nutrient and an additional source of HS in the human gut highlights the role of individual dietary compounds and organosulfur metabolism on microbial activity and has implications for precision editing of the gut microbiota by dietary and prebiotic interventions.

  • Anaerobic bacterial degradation of protein and lipid macromolecules in subarctic marine sediment.

    Pelikan C, Wasmund K, Glombitza C, Hausmann B, Herbold CW, Flieder M, Loy A
    2021 - ISME J, 3: 833-847

    Abstract: 

    Microorganisms in marine sediments play major roles in marine biogeochemical cycles by mineralizing substantial quantities of organic matter from decaying cells. Proteins and lipids are abundant components of necromass, yet the taxonomic identities of microorganisms that actively degrade them remain poorly resolved. Here, we revealed identities, trophic interactions, and genomic features of bacteria that degraded C-labeled proteins and lipids in cold anoxic microcosms containing sulfidic subarctic marine sediment. Supplemented proteins and lipids were rapidly fermented to various volatile fatty acids within 5 days. DNA-stable isotope probing (SIP) suggested Psychrilyobacter atlanticus was an important primary degrader of proteins, and Psychromonas members were important primary degraders of both proteins and lipids. Closely related Psychromonas populations, as represented by distinct 16S rRNA gene variants, differentially utilized either proteins or lipids. DNA-SIP also showed C-labeling of various Deltaproteobacteria within 10 days, indicating trophic transfer of carbon to putative sulfate-reducers. Metagenome-assembled genomes revealed the primary hydrolyzers encoded secreted peptidases or lipases, and enzymes for catabolism of protein or lipid degradation products. Psychromonas species are prevalent in diverse marine sediments, suggesting they are important players in organic carbon processing in situ. Together, this study provides new insights into the identities, functions, and genomes of bacteria that actively degrade abundant necromass macromolecules in the seafloor.

Book chapters and other publications

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