Sogin Mitchell L.

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Mitchell L.

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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
    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
    Bacterial diversity and community composition from seasurface to subseafloor
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-10-02) Walsh, Emily A. ; Kirkpatrick, John B. ; Rutherford, Scott D. ; Smith, David C. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; D'Hondt, Steven
    We investigated compositional relationships between bacterial communities in the water column and those in deep-sea sediment at three environmentally distinct Pacific sites (two in the Equatorial Pacific and one in the North Pacific Gyre). Through pyrosequencing of the v4–v6 hypervariable regions of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, we characterized 450 104 pyrotags representing 29 814 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% similarity). Hierarchical clustering and non-metric multidimensional scaling partition the samples into four broad groups, regardless of geographic location: a photic-zone community, a subphotic community, a shallow sedimentary community and a subseafloor sedimentary community (greater than or equal to1.5 meters below seafloor). Abundance-weighted community compositions of water-column samples exhibit a similar trend with depth at all sites, with successive epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic and abyssopelagic communities. Taxonomic richness is generally highest in the water-column O2 minimum zone and lowest in the subseafloor sediment. OTUs represented by abundant tags in the subseafloor sediment are often present but represented by few tags in the water column, and represented by moderately abundant tags in the shallow sediment. In contrast, OTUs represented by abundant tags in the water are generally absent from the subseafloor sediment. These results are consistent with (i) dispersal of marine sedimentary bacteria via the ocean, and (ii) selection of the subseafloor sedimentary community from within the community present in shallow sediment.
  • 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
    Identification and removal of contaminant sequences from ribosomal gene databases : lessons from the Census of Deep Life
    (Frontiers Media, 2018-04-30) Sheik, Cody S. ; Kiel Reese, Brandi ; Twing, Katrina I. ; Sylvan, Jason B. ; Grim, Sharon L. ; Schrenk, Matthew O. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Colwell, Frederick S.
    Earth’s subsurface environment is one of the largest, yet least studied, biomes on Earth, and many questions remain regarding what microorganisms are indigenous to the subsurface. Through the activity of the Census of Deep Life (CoDL) and the Deep Carbon Observatory, an open access 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequence database from diverse subsurface environments has been compiled. However, due to low quantities of biomass in the deep subsurface, the potential for incorporation of contaminants from reagents used during sample collection, processing, and/or sequencing is high. Thus, to understand the ecology of subsurface microorganisms (i.e., the distribution, richness, or survival), it is necessary to minimize, identify, and remove contaminant sequences that will skew the relative abundances of all taxa in the sample. In this meta-analysis, we identify putative contaminants associated with the CoDL dataset, recommend best practices for removing contaminants from samples, and propose a series of best practices for subsurface microbiology sampling. The most abundant putative contaminant genera observed, independent of evenness across samples, were Propionibacterium, Aquabacterium, Ralstonia, and Acinetobacter. While the top five most frequently observed genera were Pseudomonas, Propionibacterium, Acinetobacter, Ralstonia, and Sphingomonas. The majority of the most frequently observed genera (high evenness) were associated with reagent or potential human contamination. Additionally, in DNA extraction blanks, we observed potential archaeal contaminants, including methanogens, which have not been discussed in previous contamination studies. Such contaminants would directly affect the interpretation of subsurface molecular studies, as methanogenesis is an important subsurface biogeochemical process. Utilizing previously identified contaminant genera, we found that ∼27% of the total dataset were identified as contaminant sequences that likely originate from DNA extraction and DNA cleanup methods. Thus, controls must be taken at every step of the collection and processing procedure when working with low biomass environments such as, but not limited to, portions of Earth’s deep subsurface. Taken together, we stress that the CoDL dataset is an incredible resource for the broader research community interested in subsurface life, and steps to remove contamination derived sequences must be taken prior to using this dataset.
  • Article
    New insights into microbial ecology through subtle nucleotide variation
    (Frontiers Media, 2016-08-24) Eren, A. Murat ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Maignien, Lois
    Characterizing the community structure of naturally occurring microbes through marker gene amplicons has gained widespread acceptance for profiling microbial populations. The 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene provides a suitable target for most studies since (1) it meets the criteria for robust markers of evolution, e.g., both conserved and rapidly evolving regions that do not undergo horizontal gene transfer, (2) microbial ecologists have identified widely adopted primers and protocols for generating amplicons for sequencing, (3) analyses of both cultivars and environmental DNA have generated well-curated databases for taxonomic profiling, and (4) bioinformaticians and computational biologists have published comprehensive software tools for interpreting the data and generating publication-ready figures. Since the initial descriptions of high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to survey microbial diversity, we have witnessed an explosion of association-based inferences of interactions between microbes and their environment.
  • Preprint
    Iron supplementation does not worsen respiratory health or alter the sputum microbiome in cystic fibrosis
    ( 2013-10) Gifford, Alex H. ; Alexandru, Diana M. ; Li, Zhigang ; Dorman, Dana B. ; Moulton, Lisa A. ; Price, Katherine E. ; Hampton, Thomas H. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Zuckerman, Jonathan B. ; Parker, H. Worth ; Stanton, Bruce A. ; O'Toole, George A.
    Iron supplementation for hypoferremic anemia could potentiate bacterial growth in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung, but clinical trials testing this hypothesis are lacking. Twenty-two adults with CF and hypoferremic anemia participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of ferrous sulfate 325 mg daily for 6 weeks. Iron-related hematologic parameters, anthropometric data, sputum iron, Akron Pulmonary Exacerbation Score (PES), and the sputum microbiome were serially assessed. Fixed-effect models were used to describe how ferrous sulfate affected these variables. Ferrous sulfate increased serum iron by 22.3% and transferrin saturation (TSAT) by 26.8% from baseline (p < 0.05) but did not affect hemoglobin, sputum iron, Akron PES, and the sputum microbiome. Low-dose ferrous sulfate improved hypoferremia without correcting anemia after 6 weeks. We did not observe significant effects on sputum iron, Akron PES, and the sputum microbiome. Although we did not identify untoward health effects of iron supplementation, a larger blinded randomized controlled trial would be needed to fully demonstrate safety.
  • Article
    Molecular characterization of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the Guaymas Basin
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2003-05) Dhillon, Ashita ; Teske, Andreas ; Dillon, Jesse ; Stahl, David A. ; Sogin, Mitchell L.
    The Guaymas Basin (Gulf of California) is a hydrothermal vent site where thermal alteration of deposited planktonic and terrestrial organic matter forms petroliferous material which supports diverse sulfate-reducing bacteria. We explored the phylogenetic and functional diversity of the sulfate-reducing bacteria by characterizing PCR-amplified dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrAB) and 16S rRNA genes from the upper 4 cm of the Guaymas sediment. The dsrAB sequences revealed that there was a major clade closely related to the acetate-oxidizing delta-proteobacterial genus Desulfobacter and a clade of novel, deeply branching dsr sequences related to environmental dsr sequences from marine sediments in Aarhus Bay and Kysing Fjord (Denmark). Other dsr clones were affiliated with gram-positive thermophilic sulfate reducers (genus Desulfotomaculum) and the delta-proteobacterial species Desulforhabdus amnigena and Thermodesulforhabdus norvegica. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNAs from the same environmental samples resulted in identification of four clones affiliated with Desulfobacterium niacini, a member of the acetate-oxidizing, nutritionally versatile genus Desulfobacterium, and one clone related to Desulfobacula toluolica and Desulfotignum balticum. Other bacterial 16S rRNA bacterial phylotypes were represented by non-sulfate reducers and uncultured lineages with unknown physiology, like OP9, OP8, as well as a group with no clear affiliation. In summary, analyses of both 16S rRNA and dsrAB clone libraries resulted in identification of members of the Desulfobacteriales in the Guaymas sediments. In addition, the dsrAB sequencing approach revealed a novel group of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes that could not be identified by 16S rRNA sequencing.
  • Article
    MIxS-BE : a MIxS extension defining a minimum information standard for sequence data from the built environment
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2013-10-24) Glass, Elizabeth M. ; Dribinsky, Yekaterina ; Yilmaz, Pelin ; Levin, Hal ; Van Pelt, Robert ; Wendel, Doug ; Wilke, Andreas ; Eisen, Jonathan A. ; Huse, Susan M. ; Shipanova, Anna ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Stajich, Jason ; Knight, Rob ; Meyer, Folker ; Schriml, Lynn M.
    The need for metadata standards for microbe sampling in the built environment.
  • Article
    Molecular characterization of Giardia intestinalis haplotypes in marine animals : variation and zoonotic potential
    (Inter-Research, 2008-08-19) Lasek-Nesselquist, Erica ; Bogomolni, Andrea L. ; Gast, Rebecca J. ; Mark Welch, David B. ; Ellis, Julie C. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Moore, Michael J.
    Giardia intestinalis is a microbial eukaryotic parasite that causes diarrheal disease in humans and other vertebrates worldwide. The negative effect on quality of life and economics caused by G. intestinalis may be increased by its potential status as a zoonosis, or a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. The zoonotic potential of G. intestinalis has been implied for over 2 decades, with human-infecting genotypes (belonging to the 2 major subgroups, Assemblages A and B) occurring in wildlife and domesticated animals. There are recent reports of G. intestinalis in shellfish, seals, sea lions and whales, suggesting that marine animals are also potential reservoirs of human disease. However, the prevalence, genetic diversity and effect of G. intestinalis in marine environments and the role that marine animals play in transmission of this parasite to humans are relatively unexplored. Here, we provide the first thorough molecular characterization of G. intestinalis in marine vertebrates. Using a multi-locus sequencing approach, we identify human-infecting G. intestinalis haplotypes of both Assemblages A and B in the fecal material of dolphins, porpoises, seals, herring gulls Larus argentatus, common eiders Somateria mollissima and a thresher shark Alopias vulpinus. Our results indicate that G. intestinalis is prevalent in marine ecosystems, and a wide range of marine hosts capable of harboring zoonotic forms of this parasite exist. The presence of G. intestinalis in marine ecosystems raises concerns about how this disease might be transmitted among different host species.
  • Preprint
    Archaea and bacteria with surprising microdiversity show shifts in dominance over 1,000-year time scales in hydrothermal chimneys
    ( 2009-12-06) Brazelton, William J. ; Ludwig, Kristin A. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Andreishcheva, Ekaterina N. ; Kelley, Deborah S. ; Shen, Chuan-Chou ; Edwards, R. Lawrence ; Baross, John A.
    The Lost City Hydrothermal Field, an ultramafic-hosted system located 15 km west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has experienced at least 30,000 years of hydrothermal activity. Previous studies have shown that its carbonate chimneys form by mixing of ~90ºC, pH 9-11 hydrothermal fluids and cold seawater. Flow of methane and hydrogen-rich hydrothermal fluids in the porous interior chimney walls supports archaeal biofilm communities dominated by a single phylotype of Methanosarcinales. In this study, we have extensively sampled the carbonate-hosted archaeal and bacterial communities by obtaining sequences of >200,000 amplicons of the 16S rRNA V6 region and correlated the results with isotopic (230Th) ages of the chimneys over a 1200 year period. Rare sequences in young chimneys were often more abundant in older chimneys, indicating that members of the rare biosphere can become dominant members of the ecosystem when environmental conditions change. These results suggest that a long history of selection over many cycles of chimney growth has resulted in numerous closely related species at Lost City, each of which is pre-adapted to a particular set of re-occurring environmental conditions. Due to the unique characteristics of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, these data offer an unprecedented opportunity to study the dynamics of a microbial ecosystem's rare biosphere over a thousand-year time scale.
  • Article
    The pervasive effects of an antibiotic on the human gut microbiota, as revealed by deep 16S rRNA sequencing
    (Public Library of Science, 2008-11-18) Dethlefsen, Les ; Huse, Susan M. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Relman, David A.
    The intestinal microbiota is essential to human health, with effects on nutrition, metabolism, pathogen resistance, and other processes. Antibiotics may disrupt these interactions and cause acute disease, as well as contribute to chronic health problems, although technical challenges have hampered research on this front. Several recent studies have characterized uncultured and complex microbial communities by applying a new, massively parallel technology to obtain hundreds of thousands of sequences of a specific variable region within the small subunit rRNA gene. These shorter sequences provide an indication of diversity. We used this technique to track changes in the intestinal microbiota of three healthy humans before and after treatment with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, with high sensitivity and resolution, and without sacrificing breadth of coverage. Consistent with previous results, we found that the microbiota of these individuals was similar at the genus level, but interindividual differences were evident at finer scales. Ciprofloxacin reduced the diversity of the intestinal microbiota, with significant effects on about one-third of the bacterial taxa. Despite this pervasive disturbance, the membership of the communities had largely returned to the pretreatment state within 4 weeks.
  • Preprint
    Multiple scales of diversification within natural populations of archaea in hydrothermal chimney biofilms
    ( 2009-06-17) Brazelton, William J. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Baross, John A.
    Corroborative data collected from 16S rRNA clone libraries, intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region clone libraries, and 16S rRNA hypervariable region tag pyrosequencing demonstrate microdiversity within single-species archaeal biofilms of the Lost City Hydrothermal Field. Both 16S rRNA clone libraries and pyrosequencing of the V6 hypervariable region show that Lost City Methanosarcinales (LCMS) biofilms are dominated by a single sequence, but the pyrosequencing dataset also reveals the presence of an additional 1654 rare sequences. Clone libraries constructed with DNA spanning the V6 hypervariable region and ITS show that multiple ITS sequences are associated with the same dominant V6 sequence. Furthermore, ITS variability differed among three chimney samples, and the sample with the highest ITS diversity also contained the highest V6 diversity as measured by clone libraries as well as tag pyrosequencing. These results indicate that the extensive microdiversity detected in V6 tag sequences is an underestimate of genetic diversity within the archaeal biofilms.
  • Article
    Seasonal succession and spatial patterns of Synechococcus microdiversity in a salt marsh estuary revealed through 16S rRNA gene oligotyping
    (Frontiers Media, 2017-08-09) Mackey, Katherine R. M. ; Hunter-Cevera, Kristen R. ; Britten, Gregory L. ; Murphy, Leslie G. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Huber, Julie A.
    Synechococcus are ubiquitous and cosmopolitan cyanobacteria that play important roles in global productivity and biogeochemical cycles. This study investigated the fine scale microdiversity, seasonal patterns, and spatial distributions of Synechococcus in estuarine waters of Little Sippewissett salt marsh (LSM) on Cape Cod, MA. The proportion of Synechococcus reads was higher in the summer than winter, and higher in coastal waters than within the estuary. Variations in the V4–V6 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene revealed 12 unique Synechococcus oligotypes. Two distinct communities emerged in early and late summer, each comprising a different set of statistically co-occurring Synechococcus oligotypes from different clades. The early summer community included clades I and IV, which correlated with lower temperature and higher dissolved oxygen levels. The late summer community included clades CB5, I, IV, and VI, which correlated with higher temperatures and higher salinity levels. Four rare oligotypes occurred in the late summer community, and their relative abundances more strongly correlated with high salinity than did other co-occurring oligotypes. The analysis revealed that multiple, closely related oligotypes comprised certain abundant clades (e.g., clade 1 in the early summer and clade CB5 in the late summer), but the correlations between these oligotypes varied from pair to pair, suggesting they had slightly different niches despite being closely related at the clade level. Lack of tidal water exchange between sampling stations gave rise to a unique oligotype not abundant at other locations in the estuary, suggesting physical isolation plays a role in generating additional microdiversity within the community. Together, these results contribute to our understanding of the environmental and ecological factors that influence patterns of Synechococcus microbial community composition over space and time in salt marsh estuarine waters.
  • Preprint
    Chemical dispersants can suppress the activity of natural oil-degrading microorganisms
    ( 2015-09) Kleindienst, Sara ; Seidel, Michael ; Ziervogel, Kai ; Grim, Sharon L. ; Loftis, Kathy ; Harrison, Sarah ; Malkin, Sairah Y. ; Perkins, Matthew J. ; Field, Jennifer ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Dittmar, Thorsten ; Passow, Uta ; Medeiros, Patricia M. ; Joye, Samantha B.
    During the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, the application of 7 million liters of chemical dispersants aimed to stimulate microbial crude oil degradation by increasing the bioavailability of oil compounds. However, the effects of dispersants on oil biodegradation rates are debated. In laboratory experiments, we simulated environmental conditions comparable in the hydrocarbon-rich, 1100m deep, plume that formed during the Deepwater Horizon discharge. The presence of dispersant significantly altered the microbial community composition through selection for potential dispersant-degrading Colwellia, which also bloomed in situ in Gulf deep-waters during the discharge. In contrast, oil addition lacking dispersant stimulated growth of natural hydrocarbon-degrading Marinobacter. Dispersants did not enhance heterotrophic microbial activity or hydrocarbon oxidation rates. Extrapolating this comprehensive data set to real world scenarios questions whether dispersants stimulate microbial oil degradation in deep ocean waters and instead highlights that dispersants can exert a negative effect on microbial hydrocarbon degradation rates.
  • Article
    Relationship of bacterial richness to organic degradation rate and sediment age in subseafloor sediment
    (American Society for Microbiology, 2016-06-10) Walsh, Emily A. ; Kirkpatrick, John B. ; Pockalny, Robert ; Sauvage, Justine ; Spivack, Arthur J. ; Murray, Richard W. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; D'Hondt, Steven
    Subseafloor sediment hosts a large, taxonomically rich and metabolically diverse microbial ecosystem. However, the factors that control microbial diversity in subseafloor sediment have rarely been explored. Here we show that bacterial richness varies with organic degradation rate and sediment age. At three open-ocean sites (in the Bering Sea and equatorial Pacific) and one continental margin site (Indian Ocean), richness decreases exponentially with increasing sediment depth. The rate of decrease in richness with depth varies from site to site. The vertical succession of predominant terminal electron acceptors correlates to abundance-weighted community composition, but does not drive the vertical decrease in richness. Vertical patterns of richness at the open-ocean sites closely match organic degradation rates; both properties are highest near the seafloor and decline together as sediment depth increases. This relationship suggests that (i) total catabolic activity and/or electron donor diversity exerts a primary influence on bacterial richness in marine sediment, and (ii) many bacterial taxa that are poorly adapted for subseafloor sedimentary conditions are degraded in the geologically young sediment where respiration rates are high. Richness consistently takes a few hundred thousand years to decline from near-seafloor values to much lower values in deep anoxic subseafloor sediment, regardless of sedimentation rate, predominant terminal electron acceptor, or oceanographic context.
  • Preprint
    Global distribution and diversity of marine Verrucomicrobia
    ( 2011-12-08) Freitas, Sara ; Hatosy, Stephen ; Fuhrman, Jed A. ; Huse, Susan M. ; Mark Welch, David B. ; Sogin, Mitchell L. ; Martiny, Adam C.
    Verrucomicrobia is a bacterial phylum that is commonly detected in soil but little is known about the distribution and diversity of this phylum in the marine environment. To address this, we analyzed the marine microbial community composition in 506 samples from the International Census of Marine Microbes as well as eleven coastal samples taken from the California Current. These samples from both the water column and sediments covered a wide range of environmental conditions. Verrucomicrobia were present in 98% of the analyzed samples and thus appeared nearly ubiquitous in the ocean. Based on the occurrence of amplified 16S rRNA sequences, Verrucomicrobia constituted on average 2% of the water column and 1.4% of the sediment bacterial communities. The diversity of Verrucomicrobia displayed a biogeography at multiple taxonomic levels and thus, specific lineages appeared to have clear habitat preference. We found that Subdivision 1 and 4 generally dominated marine bacterial communities, whereas Subdivision 2 was confined to low salinity waters. Within the subdivisions, Verrucomicrobia community composition were significantly different in the water column compared to sediment as well as within the water column along gradients of salinity, temperature, nitrate, depth, and overall water column depth. Although we still know little about the ecophysiology of Verrucomicrobia lineages, the ubiquity of this phylum suggests that it may be important for the biogeochemical cycle of carbon in the ocean.
  • 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.