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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 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 detailCommunity-integrated omics links dominance of a microbial generalist to fine-tuned resource usage
Muller, Emilie UL; Pinel, Nicolas; Laczny, Cédric UL et al

in Nature Communications (2014)

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are primarily structured according to their members’ ecological niches. To investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist lifestyle ... [more ▼]

Microbial communities are complex and dynamic systems that are primarily structured according to their members’ ecological niches. To investigate how niche breadth (generalist versus specialist lifestyle strategies) relates to ecological success, we develop and apply an integrative workflow for the multi-omic analysis of oleaginous mixed microbial communities from a biological wastewater treatment plant. Time- and space-resolved coupled metabolomic and taxonomic analyses demonstrate that the community-wide lipid accumulation phenotype is associated with the dominance of the generalist bacterium Candidatus Microthrix spp. By integrating population-level genomic reconstructions (reflecting fundamental niches) with transcriptomic and proteomic data (realised niches), we identify finely tuned gene expression governing resource usage by Candidatus Microthrix parvicella over time. Moreover, our results indicate that the fluctuating environmental conditions constrain the accumulation of genetic variation in Candidatus Microthrix parvicella likely due to fitness trade-offs. Based on our observations, niche breadth has to be considered as an important factor 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, Cédric 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, Cédric 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 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 ▲]

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