Morrison Hilary G.

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Hilary G.

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  • Article
    Analysis of lung microbiota in bronchoalveolar lavage, protected brush and sputum samples from subjects with mild-to-moderate cystic fibrosis Lung Disease
    (Public Library of Science, 2016-03-04) Hogan, Deborah A. ; Willger, Sven D. ; Dolben, Emily L. ; Hampton, Thomas H. ; Stanton, Bruce A. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Czum, Julianna ; Ashare, Alix
    Individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) often acquire chronic lung infections that lead to irreversible damage. We sought to examine regional variation in the microbial communities in the lungs of individuals with mild-to-moderate CF lung disease, to examine the relationship between the local microbiota and local damage, and to determine the relationships between microbiota in samples taken directly from the lung and the microbiota in spontaneously expectorated sputum. In this initial study, nine stable, adult CF patients with an FEV1>50% underwent regional sampling of different lobes of the right lung by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and protected brush (PB) sampling of mucus plugs. Sputum samples were obtained from six of the nine subjects immediately prior to the procedure. Microbial community analysis was performed on DNA extracted from these samples and the extent of damage in each lobe was quantified from a recent CT scan. The extent of damage observed in regions of the right lung did not correlate with specific microbial genera, levels of community diversity or composition, or bacterial genome copies per ml of BAL fluid. In all subjects, BAL fluid from different regions of the lung contained similar microbial communities. In eight out of nine subjects, PB samples from different regions of the lung were also similar in microbial community composition, and were similar to microbial communities in BAL fluid from the same lobe. Microbial communities in PB samples were more diverse than those in BAL samples, suggesting enrichment of some taxa in mucus plugs. To our knowledge, this study is the first to examine the microbiota in different regions of the CF lung in clinically stable individuals with mild-to-moderate CF-related lung disease.
  • Article
    Myelin tetraspan family proteins but no non-tetraspan family proteins are present in the ascidian (Ciona intestinalis) genome
    (Marine Biological Laboratory, 2005-08) Gould, Robert M. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Gilland, Edwin ; Campbell, Robert K.
    Several of the proteins used to form and maintain myelin sheaths in the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) are shared among different vertebrate classes. These proteins include one-to-several alternatively spliced myelin basic protein (MBP) isoforms in all sheaths, proteolipid protein (PLP) and DM20 (except in amphibians) in tetrapod CNS sheaths, and one or two protein zero (P0) isoforms in fish CNS and in all vertebrate PNS sheaths. Several other proteins, including 2', 3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP), myelin and lymphocyte protein (MAL), plasmolipin, and peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22; prominent in PNS myelin), are localized to myelin and myelin-associated membranes, though class distributions are less well studied. Databases with known and identified sequences of these proteins from cartilaginous and teleost fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals were prepared and used to search for potential homologs in the basal vertebrate, Ciona intestinalis. Homologs of lipophilin proteins, MAL/plasmolipin, and PMP22 were identified in the Ciona genome. In contrast, no MBP, P0, or CNP homologs were found. These studies provide a framework for understanding how myelin proteins were recruited during evolution and how structural adaptations enabled them to play key roles in myelination.
  • Article
    Shifts in the microbial community composition of Gulf Coast beaches following beach oiling
    (Public Library of Science, 2013-09-10) Newton, Ryan J. ; Huse, Susan M. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Peake, Colin S. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; McLellan, Sandra L.
    Microorganisms associated with coastal sands serve as a natural biofilter, providing essential nutrient recycling in nearshore environments and acting to maintain coastal ecosystem health. Anthropogenic stressors often impact these ecosystems, but little is known about whether these disturbances can be identified through microbial community change. The blowout of the Macondo Prospect reservoir on April 20, 2010, which released oil hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico, presented an opportunity to examine whether microbial community composition might provide a sensitive measure of ecosystem disturbance. Samples were collected on four occasions, beginning in mid-June, during initial beach oiling, until mid-November from surface sand and surf zone waters at seven beaches stretching from Bay St. Louis, MS to St. George Island, FL USA. Oil hydrocarbon measurements and NOAA shoreline assessments indicated little to no impact on the two most eastern beaches (controls). Sequence comparisons of bacterial ribosomal RNA gene hypervariable regions isolated from beach sands located to the east and west of Mobile Bay in Alabama demonstrated that regional drivers account for markedly different bacterial communities. Individual beaches had unique community signatures that persisted over time and exhibited spatial relationships, where community similarity decreased as horizontal distance between samples increased from one to hundreds of meters. In contrast, sequence analyses detected larger temporal and less spatial variation among the water samples. Superimposed upon these beach community distance and time relationships, was increased variability in bacterial community composition from oil hydrocarbon contaminated sands. The increased variability was observed among the core, resident, and transient community members, indicating the occurrence of community-wide impacts rather than solely an overprinting of oil hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria onto otherwise relatively stable sand population structures. Among sequences classified to genus, Alcanivorax, Alteromonas, Marinobacter, Winogradskyella, and Zeaxanthinibacter exhibited the largest relative abundance increases in oiled sands.
  • Article
    Association of cesarean delivery and formula supplementation with the intestinal microbiome of 6-week-old infants
    (American Medical Association, 2016-01-11) Madan, Juliette C. ; Hoen, Anne G. ; Lundgren, Sara N. ; Farzan, Shohreh F. ; Cottingham, Kathryn L. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Li, Hongzhe ; Moore, Jason H. ; Karagas, Margaret R.
    The intestinal microbiome plays a critical role in infant development, and delivery mode and feeding method (breast milk vs formula) are determinants of its composition. However, the importance of delivery mode beyond the first days of life is unknown, and studies of associations between infant feeding and microbiome composition have been generally limited to comparisons between exclusively breastfed and formula-fed infants, with little consideration given to combination feeding of both breast milk and formula.
  • Article
    Patient-specific Bacteroides genome variants in pouchitis
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2016-11-15) Vineis, Joseph H. ; Ringus, Daina L. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Delmont, Tom O. ; Dalal, Sushila R. ; Raffals, Laura E. ; Antonopoulos, Dionysios A. ; Rubin, David T. ; Eren, A. Murat ; Chang, Eugene B. ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    A 2-year longitudinal microbiome study of 22 patients who underwent colectomy with an ileal pouch anal anastomosis detected significant increases in distinct populations of Bacteroides during 9 of 11 patient visits that coincided with inflammation (pouchitis). Oligotyping and metagenomic short-read annotation identified Bacteroides populations that occurred in early samples, bloomed during inflammation, and reappeared after antibiotic treatment. Targeted cultivation of Bacteroides isolates from the same individual at multiple time points and from several patients detected subtle genomic changes, including the identification of rapidly evolving genomic elements that differentiate isogenic strains of Bacteroides fragilis from the mucosa versus lumen. Each patient harbored Bacteroides spp. that are closely related to commonly occurring clinical isolates, including Bacteroides ovatus, B. thetaiotaomicron, B. vulgatus, and B. fragilis, which contained unique loci in different patients for synthesis of capsular polysaccharides. The presence of unique Bacteroides capsular polysaccharide loci within different hosts and between the lumen and mucosa may represent adaptations to stimulate, suppress, and evade host-specific immune responses at different microsites of the ileal pouch.
  • Article
    Genomic and metabolic diversity of Marine Group I Thaumarchaeota in the mesopelagic of two subtropical gyres
    (Public Library of Science, 2014-04-17) Swan, Brandon K. ; Chaffin, Mark D. ; Martinez-Garcia, Manuel ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Field, Erin K. ; Poulton, Nicole J. ; Masland, E. Dashiell P. ; Harris, Christopher C. ; Sczyrba, Alexander ; Chain, Patrick S. G. ; Koren, Sergey ; Woyke, Tanja ; Stepanauskas, Ramunas
    Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaeota are one of the most abundant and cosmopolitan chemoautotrophs within the global dark ocean. To date, no representatives of this archaeal group retrieved from the dark ocean have been successfully cultured. We used single cell genomics to investigate the genomic and metabolic diversity of thaumarchaea within the mesopelagic of the subtropical North Pacific and South Atlantic Ocean. Phylogenetic and metagenomic recruitment analysis revealed that MGI single amplified genomes (SAGs) are genetically and biogeographically distinct from existing thaumarchaea cultures obtained from surface waters. Confirming prior studies, we found genes encoding proteins for aerobic ammonia oxidation and the hydrolysis of urea, which may be used for energy production, as well as genes involved in 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate and oxidative tricarboxylic acid pathways. A large proportion of protein sequences identified in MGI SAGs were absent in the marine cultures Cenarchaeum symbiosum and Nitrosopumilus maritimus, thus expanding the predicted protein space for this archaeal group. Identifiable genes located on genomic islands with low metagenome recruitment capacity were enriched in cellular defense functions, likely in response to viral infections or grazing. We show that MGI Thaumarchaeota in the dark ocean may have more flexibility in potential energy sources and adaptations to biotic interactions than the existing, surface-ocean cultures.
  • Article
    Accuracy and quality of massively parallel DNA pyrosequencing
    (BioMed Central, 2007-07-20) Huse, Susan M. ; Huber, Julie A. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Mark Welch, David B.
    Massively parallel pyrosequencing systems have increased the efficiency of DNA sequencing, although the published per-base accuracy of a Roche GS20 is only 96%. In genome projects, highly redundant consensus assemblies can compensate for sequencing errors. In contrast, studies of microbial diversity that catalogue differences between PCR amplicons of ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) or other conserved gene families cannot take advantage of consensus assemblies to detect and minimize incorrect base calls. We performed an empirical study of the per-base error rate for the Roche GS20 system using sequences of the V6 hypervariable region from cloned microbial ribosomal DNA (tag sequencing). We calculated a 99.5% accuracy rate in unassembled sequences, and identified several factors that can be used to remove a small percentage of low-quality reads, improving the accuracy to 99.75% or better. By using objective criteria to eliminate low quality data, the quality of individual GS20 sequence reads in molecular ecological applications can surpass the accuracy of traditional capillary methods.
  • Article
    A single genus in the gut microbiome reflects host preference and specificity
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-06-17) Eren, A. Murat ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Vineis, Joseph H. ; Fisher, Jenny C. ; Newton, Ryan J. ; McLellan, Sandra L.
    Delineating differences in gut microbiomes of human and animal hosts contributes towards understanding human health and enables new strategies for detecting reservoirs of waterborne human pathogens. We focused upon Blautia, a single microbial genus that is important for nutrient assimilation as preliminary work suggested host-related patterns within members of this genus. In our dataset of 57 M sequence reads of the V6 region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene in samples collected from seven host species, we identified 200 high-resolution taxonomic units within Blautia using oligotyping. Our analysis revealed 13 host-specific oligotypes that occurred exclusively in fecal samples of humans (three oligotypes), swine (six oligotypes), cows (one oligotype), deer (one oligotype), or chickens (two oligotypes). We identified an additional 171 oligotypes that exhibited differential abundance patterns among all the host species. Blautia oligotypes in the human population obtained from sewage and fecal samples displayed remarkable continuity. Oligotypes from only 10 Brazilian human fecal samples collected from individuals in a rural village encompassed 97% of all Blautia oligotypes found in a Brazilian sewage sample from a city of three million people. Further, 75% of the oligotypes in Brazilian human fecal samples matched those in US sewage samples, implying that a universal set of Blautia strains may be shared among culturally and geographically distinct human populations. Such strains can serve as universal markers to assess human fecal contamination in environmental samples. Our results indicate that host-specificity and host-preference patterns of organisms within this genus are driven by host physiology more than dietary habits.
  • Preprint
    Characterisation of the subtelomeric regions of Giardia lamblia genome isolate WBC6
    ( 2006-12-04) Prabhu, Anjali ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Martinez, Charles R. ; Adam, Rodney D.
    Giardia trophozoites are polyploid and have five chromosomes. The chromosome homologues demonstrate considerable size heterogeneity due to variation in the subtelomeric regions. We used clones from the genome project with telomeric sequence at one end to identify six subtelomeric regions in addition to previously identified subtelomeric regions, to study the telomeric arrangement of the chromosomes. The subtelomeric regions included two retroposons, one retroposon pseudogene, and two vsp genes, in addition to the previously identified subtelomeric regions that include ribosomal DNA repeats. The presence of vsp genes in a subtelomeric region suggests that telomeric rearrangements may contribute to the generation of vsp diversity. These studies of the subtelomeric regions of Giardia may contribute to our understanding of the factors that maintain stability, while allowing diversity in chromosome structure.
  • Article
    Hydrogen limitation and syntrophic growth among natural assemblages of thermophilic methanogens at deep-sea hydrothermal vents
    (Frontiers Media, 2016-08-05) Topcuoglu, Begum D. ; Stewart, Lucy C. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Butterfield, David A. ; Huber, Julie A. ; Holden, James F.
    Thermophilic methanogens are common autotrophs at hydrothermal vents, but their growth constraints and dependence on H2 syntrophy in situ are poorly understood. Between 2012 and 2015, methanogens and H2-producing heterotrophs were detected by growth at 80∘C and 55∘C at most diffuse (7–40∘C) hydrothermal vent sites at Axial Seamount. Microcosm incubations of diffuse hydrothermal fluids at 80∘C and 55∘C demonstrated that growth of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic methanogens is primarily limited by H2 availability. Amendment of microcosms with NH4+ generally had no effect on CH4 production. However, annual variations in abundance and CH4 production were observed in relation to the eruption cycle of the seamount. Microcosm incubations of hydrothermal fluids at 80∘C and 55∘C supplemented with tryptone and no added H2 showed CH4 production indicating the capacity in situ for methanogenic H2 syntrophy. 16S rRNA genes were found in 80∘C microcosms from H2-producing archaea and H2-consuming methanogens, but not for any bacteria. In 55∘C microcosms, sequences were found from H2-producing bacteria and H2-consuming methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria. A co-culture of representative organisms showed that Thermococcus paralvinellae supported the syntrophic growth of Methanocaldococcus bathoardescens at 82∘C and Methanothermococcus sp. strain BW11 at 60∘C. The results demonstrate that modeling of subseafloor methanogenesis should focus primarily on H2 availability and temperature, and that thermophilic H2 syntrophy can support methanogenesis within natural microbial assemblages and may be an important energy source for thermophilic autotrophs in marine geothermal environments.
  • Article
    Evidence for lateral transfer of genes encoding ferredoxins, nitroreductases, NADH oxidase, and alcohol dehydrogenase 3 from anaerobic prokaryotes to Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2002-04) Nixon, Julie E. J. ; Wang, Amy ; Field, Jessica ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; McArthur, Andrew G. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Loftus, Brendan J. ; Samuelson, John
    Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica are amitochondriate, microaerophilic protists which use fermentation enzymes like those of bacteria to survive anaerobic conditions within the intestinal lumen. Genes encoding fermentation enzymes and related electron transport peptides (e.g., ferredoxins) in giardia organisms and amebae are hypothesized to be derived from either an ancient anaerobic eukaryote (amitochondriate fossil hypothesis), a mitochondrial endosymbiont (hydrogen hypothesis), or anaerobic bacteria (lateral transfer hypothesis). The goals here were to complete the molecular characterization of giardial and amebic fermentation enzymes and to determine the origins of the genes encoding them, when possible. A putative giardia [2Fe-2S]ferredoxin which had a hypothetical organelle-targeting sequence at its N terminus showed similarity to mitochondrial ferredoxins and the hydrogenosomal ferredoxin of Trichomonas vaginalis (another luminal protist). However, phylogenetic trees were star shaped, with weak bootstrap support, so we were unable to confirm or rule out the endosymbiotic origin of the giardia [2Fe-2S]ferredoxin gene. Putative giardial and amebic 6-kDa ferredoxins, ferredoxin-nitroreductase fusion proteins, and oxygen-insensitive nitroreductases each tentatively supported the lateral transfer hypothesis. Although there were not enough sequences to perform meaningful phylogenetic analyses, the unique common occurrence of these peptides and enzymes in giardia organisms, amebae, and the few anaerobic prokaryotes suggests the possibility of lateral transfer. In contrast, there was more robust phylogenetic evidence for the lateral transfer of G. lamblia genes encoding an NADH oxidase from a gram-positive coccus and a microbial group 3 alcohol dehydrogenase from thermoanaerobic prokaryotes. In further support of lateral transfer, the G. lamblia NADH oxidase and adh3 genes appeared to have an evolutionary history distinct from those of E. histolytica.
  • Preprint
    Salt marsh sediment diversity : a test of the variability of the rare biosphere among environmental replicates
    ( 2011-12-17) Bowen, Jennifer L. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Hobbie, John E. ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    Much of the phylogenetic diversity in microbial systems arises from rare taxa that comprise the long tail of taxon rank distribution curves. This vast diversity presents a challenge to testing hypotheses about the effects of perturbations on microbial community composition because within site variability of the rare taxa may be sufficiently large that it would require a prohibitive degree of sequencing to discern differences among samples. In this study we used pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA tags to examine the diversity and local scale variability of salt marsh sediment bacteria. Our goal was to determine whether pyrosequencing could produce similar patterns in community composition among replicate environmental samples from the same location. We hypothesized that repeated sampling from the same location would produce different snapshots of the rare community due to incomplete sequencing of the taxonomically rich rare biosphere. The concern was that variation resulting from incomplete sequencing could mask subtle community shifts caused by environmental perturbations. Our data indicate that salt marsh sediments contain a remarkably diverse array of bacterial taxa and, in contrast to our hypothesis, repeated sampling from within the same site produces reliably similar patterns in bacterial community composition, even among rare organisms. These results demonstrate that deep sequencing of 16s tags is well suited to distinguish site-specific similarities and differences among rare taxa and is a valuable tool for hypothesis testing in microbial ecology.
  • Article
    VAMPS : a website for visualization and analysis of microbial population structures
    (BioMed Central, 2014-02-05) Huse, Susan M. ; Mark Welch, David B. ; Voorhis, Andy ; Shipunova, Anna ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Eren, A. Murat ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    The advent of next-generation DNA sequencing platforms has revolutionized molecular microbial ecology by making the detailed analysis of complex communities over time and space a tractable research pursuit for small research groups. However, the ability to generate 105–108 reads with relative ease brings with it many downstream complications. Beyond the computational resources and skills needed to process and analyze data, it is difficult to compare datasets in an intuitive and interactive manner that leads to hypothesis generation and testing. We developed the free web service VAMPS (Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures, webcite) to address these challenges and to facilitate research by individuals or collaborating groups working on projects with large-scale sequencing data. Users can upload marker gene sequences and associated metadata; reads are quality filtered and assigned to both taxonomic structures and to taxonomy-independent clusters. A simple point-and-click interface allows users to select for analysis any combination of their own or their collaborators’ private data and data from public projects, filter these by their choice of taxonomic and/or abundance criteria, and then explore these data using a wide range of analytic methods and visualizations. Each result is extensively hyperlinked to other analysis and visualization options, promoting data exploration and leading to a greater understanding of data relationships. VAMPS allows researchers using marker gene sequence data to analyze the diversity of microbial communities and the relationships between communities, to explore these analyses in an intuitive visual context, and to download data, results, and images for publication. VAMPS obviates the need for individual research groups to make the considerable investment in computational infrastructure and bioinformatic support otherwise necessary to process, analyze, and interpret massive amounts of next-generation sequence data. Any web-capable device can be used to upload, process, explore, and extract data and results from VAMPS. VAMPS encourages researchers to share sequence and metadata, and fosters collaboration between researchers of disparate biomes who recognize common patterns in shared data.
  • Preprint
    Effect of PCR amplicon size on assessments of clone library microbial diversity and community structure
    ( 2008-07) Huber, Julie A. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Huse, Susan M. ; Neal, Phillip R. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Mark Welch, David B.
    PCR-based surveys of microbial communities commonly use regions of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene to determine taxonomic membership and estimate total diversity. Here we show that the length of the target amplicon has a significant effect on assessments of microbial richness and community membership. Using OTU- and taxonomy-based tools, we compared the V6 hypervariable region of the bacterial SSU rRNA gene of three amplicon libraries of ca. 100 base pair (bp), 400bp, and 1000bp from each of two hydrothermal vent fluid samples. We found that the smallest amplicon libraries contained more unique sequences, higher diversity estimates, and a different community structure than the other two libraries from each sample. We hypothesize that a combination of polymerase dissociation, cloning bias, and mis-priming due to secondary structure accounts for the differences. While this relationship is not linear, it is clear that the smallest amplicon libraries contained more different types of sequences, and accordingly, more diverse members of the community. Because divergent and lower abundant taxa can be more readily detected with smaller amplicons, they may provide better assessments of total community diversity and taxonomic membership than longer amplicons in molecular studies of microbial communities.
  • Preprint
    Microbial community composition in sediments resists perturbation by nutrient enrichment
    ( 2010-11) Bowen, Jennifer L. ; Ward, Bess B. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Hobbie, John E. ; Valiela, Ivan ; Deegan, Linda A. ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    Functional redundancy in bacterial communities is expected to allow microbial assemblages to survive perturbation by allowing continuity in function despite compositional changes in communities. Recent evidence suggests, however, that microbial communities change both composition and function as a result of disturbance. We present evidence for a third response: resistance. We examined microbial community response to perturbation caused by nutrient enrichment in salt marsh sediments using deep pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA and functional gene microarrays targeting the nirS gene. Composition of the microbial community, as demonstrated by both genes, was unaffected by significant variations in external nutrient supply, despite demonstrable and diverse nutrient–induced changes in many aspects of marsh ecology. The lack of response to external forcing demonstrates a remarkable uncoupling between microbial composition and ecosystem-level biogeochemical processes and suggests that sediment microbial communities are able to resist some forms of perturbation.
  • Article
    GiardiaDB and TrichDB : integrated genomic resources for the eukaryotic protist pathogens Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis
    (Oxford University Press, 2008-09-29) Aurrecoechea, Cristina ; Brestelli, John ; Brunk, Brian P. ; Carlton, Jane M. ; Dommer, Jennifer ; Fischer, Steve ; Gajria, Bindu ; Gao, Xin ; Gingle, Alan ; Grant, Greg ; Harb, Omar S. ; Heiges, Mark ; Innamorato, Frank ; Iodice, John ; Kissinger, Jessica C. ; Kraemer, Eileen ; Li, Wei ; Miller, John A. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Nayak, Vishal ; Pennington, Cary ; Pinney, Deborah F. ; Roos, David S. ; Ross, Chris ; Stoeckert, Christian J. ; Sullivan, Steven ; Treatman, Charles ; Wang, Haiming
    GiardiaDB ( and TrichDB ( house the genome databases for Giardia lamblia and Trichomonas vaginalis, respectively, and represent the latest additions to the EuPathDB ( family of functional genomic databases. GiardiaDB and TrichDB employ the same framework as other EuPathDB sites (CryptoDB, PlasmoDB and ToxoDB), supporting fully integrated and searchable databases. Genomic-scale data available via these resources may be queried based on BLAST searches, annotation keywords and gene ID searches, GO terms, sequence motifs and other protein characteristics. Functional queries may also be formulated, based on transcript and protein expression data from a variety of platforms. Phylogenetic relationships may also be interrogated. The ability to combine the results from independent queries, and to store queries and query results for future use facilitates complex, genome-wide mining of functional genomic data.
  • Article
    DRISEE overestimates errors in metagenomic sequencing data
    (Oxford University Press, 2013-05-22) Eren, A. Murat ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Huse, Susan M. ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    The extremely high error rates reported by Keegan et al. in ‘A platform-independent method for detecting errors in metagenomic sequencing data: DRISEE’ (PLoS Comput Biol 2012;8:e1002541) for many next-generation sequencing datasets prompted us to re-examine their results. Our analysis reveals that the presence of conserved artificial sequences, e.g. Illumina adapters, and other naturally occurring sequence motifs accounts for most of the reported errors. We conclude that DRISEE reports inflated levels of sequencing error, particularly for Illumina data. Tools offered for evaluating large datasets need scrupulous review before they are implemented.
  • Article
    Exploring the relationship between sequence similarity and accurate phylogenetic trees
    (Oxford University Press, 2006-08-04) Cantarel, Brandi L. ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Pearson, William
    We have characterized the relationship between accurate phylogenetic reconstruction and sequence similarity, testing whether high levels of sequence similarity can consistently produce accurate evolutionary trees. We generated protein families with known phylogenies using a modified version of the PAML/EVOLVER program that produces insertions and deletions as well as substitutions. Protein families were evolved over a range of 100–400 point accepted mutations; at these distances 63% of the families shared significant sequence similarity. Protein families were evolved using balanced and unbalanced trees, with ancient or recent radiations. In families sharing statistically significant similarity, about 60% of multiple sequence alignments were 95% identical to true alignments. To compare recovered topologies with true topologies, we used a score that reflects the fraction of clades that were correctly clustered. As expected, the accuracy of the phylogenies was greatest in the least divergent families. About 88% of phylogenies clustered over 80% of clades in families that shared significant sequence similarity, using Bayesian, parsimony, distance, and maximum likelihood methods. However, for protein families with short ancient branches (ancient radiation), only 30% of the most divergent (but statistically significant) families produced accurate phylogenies, and only about 70% of the second most highly conserved families, with median expectation values better than 10–60, produced accurate trees. These values represent upper bounds on expected tree accuracy for sequences with a simple divergence history; proteins from 700 Giardia families, with a similar range of sequence similarities but considerably more gaps, produced much less accurate trees. For our simulated insertions and deletions, correct multiple sequence alignments did not perform much better than those produced by T-COFFEE, and including sequences with expressed sequence tag–like sequencing errors did not significantly decrease phylogenetic accuracy. In general, although less-divergent sequence families produce more accurate trees, the likelihood of estimating an accurate tree is most dependent on whether radiation in the family was ancient or recent. Accuracy can be improved by combining genes from the same organism when creating species trees or by selecting protein families with the best bootstrap values in comprehensive studies.
  • Preprint
    The transcriptional response to encystation stimuli in Giardia lamblia is restricted to a small set of genes
    ( 2010-07) Morf, Laura ; Spycher, Cornelia ; Rehrauer, Hubert ; Fournier, Catharine Aquino ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Hehl, Adrian B.
    The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia undergoes stage-differentiation in the small intestine of the host to an environmentally resistant and infectious cyst. Encystation involves secretion of an extracellular matrix comprised of cyst wall proteins (CWPs) and a β(1-3)-GalNAc homopolymer. Upon induction of encystation, genes coding for CWPs are switched on, and mRNAs coding for a transcription factor Myb and enzymes involved in cyst wall glycan synthesis are upregulated. Encystation in vitro is triggered by several protocols, which call for changes in bile concentrations or availability of lipids, and elevated pH. However, the conditions for induction are not standardized and we predicted significant protocol-specific side effects. This makes reliable identification of encystation factors difficult. Here, we exploited the possibility to induce encystation with two different protocols, which we show to be equally effective, for a comparative mRNA profile analysis. The standard encystation protocol induced a bipartite transcriptional response with surprisingly minor involvement of stress genes. A comparative analysis revealed a core set of only 18 encystation genes and showed that a majority of genes was indeed upregulated as a side effect of inducing conditions. We also established a Myb binding sequence as a signature motif in encystation promoters, suggesting coordinated regulation of these factors.
  • Article
    Rapid, low-input, low-bias construction of shotgun fragment libraries by high-density in vitro transposition
    (BioMed Central Ltd, 2010-12-08) Adey, Andrew ; Morrison, Hilary G. ; Asan ; Xun, Xu ; Kitzman, Jacob O. ; Turner, Emily H. ; Stackhouse, Bethany ; MacKenzie, Alexandra P. ; Caruccio, Nicholas C. ; Zhang, Xiuqing ; Shendure, Jay
    We characterize and extend a highly efficient method for constructing shotgun fragment libraries in which transposase catalyzes in vitro DNA fragmentation and adaptor incorporation simultaneously. We apply this method to sequencing a human genome and find that coverage biases are comparable to those of conventional protocols. We also extend its capabilities by developing protocols for sub-nanogram library construction, exome capture from 50 ng of input DNA, PCR-free and colony PCR library construction, and 96-plex sample indexing.