Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 53

Search results for: microbiome

53 Liquid Biopsy Based Microbial Biomarker in Coronary Artery Disease Diagnosis

Authors: Eyup Ozkan, Ozkan U. Nalbantoglu, Aycan Gundogdu, Mehmet Hora, A. Emre Onuk


The human microbiome has been associated with cardiological conditions and this relationship is becoming to be defined beyond the gastrointestinal track. In this study, we investigate the alteration in circulatory microbiota in the context of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). We received circulatory blood samples from suspected CAD patients and maintain 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing to identify each patient’s microbiome. It was found that Corynebacterium and Methanobacteria genera show statistically significant differences between healthy and CAD patients. The overall biodiversities between the groups were observed to be different revealed by machine learning classification models. We also achieve and demonstrate the performance of a diagnostic method using circulatory blood microbiome-based estimation.

Keywords: coronary artery disease, blood microbiome, machine learning, angiography, next-generation sequencing

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52 The Comparison Study of Human Microbiome in Chronic Rhinosinusitis between Adults and Children

Authors: Il Ho Park, Joong Seob Lee, Sung Hun Kang, Jae-Min Shin, Il Seok Park, Seok Min Hong, Seok Jin Hong


Introduction: The human microbiota is the aggregate of microorganisms, and the bacterial microbiome of the human digestive tract contributes to both health and disease. In health, bacteria are key components in the development of mucosal barrier function and in innate and adaptive immune responses, and they also work to suppress the establishment of pathogens. In human upper airway, the sinonasal microbiota might play an important role in chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). The purpose of this study is to investigate the human upper airway microbiome in CRS patients and to compare the sinonasal microbiome of adults with children. Materials and methods: A total of 19 samples from 19 patients (Group1; 9 CRS in children, aged 5 to 14 years versus Group 2; 10 CRS in adults aged 21 to 59 years) were examined. Swabs were collected from the middle meatus and/or anterior ethmoid region under general anesthesia during endoscopic sinus surgery or tonsillectomy. After DNA extraction from swab samples, we analysed bacterial microbiome consortia using 16s rRNA gene sequencing approach (the Illumina MiSeq platform). Results: In this study, relatively abundance of the six bacterial phyla and tremendous genus and species found in substantial amounts in the individual sinus swab samples, include Corynebacterium, Hemophilus, Moraxella, and Streptococcus species. Anaerobes like Fusobacterium and Bacteroides were abundantly present in the children group, Bacteroides and Propionibacterium were present in adults group. In genus, Haemophilus was the most common CRS microbiome in children and Corynebacterium was the most common CRS microbiome in adults. Conclusions: Our results show the diversity of human upper airway microbiome, and the findings will suggest that CRS is a polymicrobial infection. The Corynebacterium and Hemophilus may live as commensals on mucosal surfaces of sinus in the upper respiratory tract. The further study will be needed for analysis of microbiome-human interactions in upper airway and CRS.

Keywords: microbiome, upper airway, chronic rhinosinusitis, adult and children

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51 Blood Microbiome in Different Metabolic Types of Obesity

Authors: Irina M. Kolesnikova, Andrey M. Gaponov, Sergey A. Roumiantsev, Tatiana V. Grigoryeva, Dilyara R. Khusnutdinova, Dilyara R. Kamaldinova, Alexander V. Shestopalov


Background. Obese patients have unequal risks of metabolic disorders. It is accepted to distinguish between metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) and metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUHO). MUHO patients have a high risk of metabolic disorders, insulin resistance, and diabetes mellitus. Among the other things, the gut microbiota also contributes to the development of metabolic disorders in obesity. Obesity is accompanied by significant changes in the gut microbial community. In turn, bacterial translocation from the intestine is the basis for the blood microbiome formation. The aim was to study the features of the blood microbiome in patients with various metabolic types of obesity. Patients, materials, methods. The study included 116 healthy donors and 101 obese patients. Depending on the metabolic type of obesity, the obese patients were divided into subgroups with MHO (n=36) and MUHO (n=53). Quantitative and qualitative assessment of the blood microbiome was based on metagenomic analysis. Blood samples were used to isolate DNA and perform sequencing of the variable v3-v4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Alpha diversity indices (Simpson index, Shannon index, Chao1 index, phylogenetic diversity, the number of observed operational taxonomic units) were calculated. Moreover, we compared taxa (phyla, classes, orders, and families) in terms of isolation frequency and the taxon share in the total bacterial DNA pool between different patient groups. Results. In patients with MHO, the characteristics of the alpha-diversity of the blood microbiome were like those of healthy donors. However, MUHO was associated with an increase in all diversity indices. The main phyla of the blood microbiome were Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria. Cyanobacteria, TM7, Thermi, Verrucomicrobia, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, Planctomycetes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Tenericutes were found to be less significant phyla of the blood microbiome. Phyla Acidobacteria, TM7, and Verrucomicrobia were more often isolated in blood samples of patients with MUHO compared with healthy donors. Obese patients had a decrease in some taxonomic ranks (Bacilli, Caulobacteraceae, Barnesiellaceae, Rikenellaceae, Williamsiaceae). These changes appear to be related to the increased diversity of the blood microbiome observed in obesity. An increase of Lachnospiraceae, Succinivibrionaceae, Prevotellaceae, and S24-7 was noted for MUHO patients, which, apparently, is explained by a magnification in intestinal permeability. Conclusion. Blood microbiome differs in obese patients and healthy donors at class, order, and family levels. Moreover, the nature of the changes is determined by the metabolic type of obesity. MUHO linked to increased diversity of the blood microbiome. This appears to be due to increased microbial translocation from the intestine and non-intestinal sources.

Keywords: blood microbiome, blood bacterial DNA, obesity, metabolically healthy obesity, metabolically unhealthy obesity

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50 Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing

Authors: Alisa Kazarina, Guntis Gerhards, Elina Petersone-Gordina, Ilva Pole, Viktorija Igumnova, Janis Kimsis, Valentina Capligina, Renate Ranka


Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene, ancient human microbiome, archaeology, bioinformatics, genomics, microbiome, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing

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49 Changes in the fecal Microbiome of Periparturient Dairy Cattle and Associations with the Onset of Salmonella Shedding

Authors: Lohendy Munoz-Vargas, Stephen O. Opiyo, Rose Digianantonio, Michele L. Williams, Asela Wijeratne, Gregory Habing


Non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic pathogen with critical importance in animal and public health. The persistence of Salmonella on farms affects animal productivity and health, and represents a risk for food safety. The intestinal microbiota plays a fundamental role in the colonization and invasion of this ubiquitous microorganism. To overcome the colonization resistance imparted by the gut microbiome, Salmonella uses invasion strategies and the host inflammatory response to survive, proliferate, and establish infections with diverse clinical manifestations. Cattle serve as reservoirs of Salmonella, and periparturient cows have high prevalence of Salmonella shedding; however, to author`s best knowledge, little is known about the association between the gut microbiome and the onset of Salmonella shedding during the periparturient period. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the association between changes in bacterial communities and the onset of Salmonella shedding in cattle approaching parturition. In a prospective cohort study, fecal samples from 98 dairy cows originating from four different farms were collected at four time points relative to calving (-3 wks, -1 wk, +1 wk, +3 wks). All 392 samples were cultured for Salmonella. Sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina platform was completed to evaluate the fecal microbiome in a selected sample subset. Analyses of microbial composition, diversity, and structure were performed according to time points, farm, and Salmonella onset status. Individual cow fecal microbiomes, predominated by Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Spirochaetes, and Proteobacteria phyla, significantly changed before and after parturition. Microbial communities from different farms were distinguishable based on multivariate analysis. Although there were significant differences in some bacterial taxa between Salmonella positive and negative samples, our results did not identify differences in the fecal microbial diversity or structure for cows with and without the onset of Salmonella shedding. These data suggest that determinants other than the significant changes in the fecal microbiome influence the periparturient onset of Salmonella shedding in dairy cattle.

Keywords: dairy cattle, microbiome, periparturient, Salmonella

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48 Effect of Radiotherapy/Chemotherapy Protocol on the Gut Microbiome in Pediatric Cancer Patients

Authors: Nourhan G. Sahly, Ahmed Moustafa, Mohamed S. Zaghloul, Tamer Z. Salem


The gut microbiome plays important roles in the human body that includes but not limited to digestion, immunity, homeostasis and response to some drugs such as chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Its role has also been linked to radiotherapy and associated gastrointestinal injuries, where the microbial dysbiosis could be the driving force for dose determination or the complete suspension of the treatment protocol. Linking the gut microbiota alterations to different cancer treatment protocols is not easy especially in humans. However, enormous effort was exerted to understand this complex relationship. In the current study, we described the gut microbiota dysbiosis in pediatric sarcoma patients, in the pelvic region, with regards to radiotherapy and antibiotics. Fecal samples were collected as a source of microbial DNA for which the gene encoding for V3-V5 regions of 16S rRNA was sequenced. Two of the three patients understudy had experienced an increase in alpha diversity post exposure to 50.4 Gy. Although phylum Firmicutes overall relative abundance has generally decreased, six of its taxa increased in all patients. Our results may indicate the possibility of radiosensitivity or enrichment of the antibiotic resistance of the elevated taxa. Further studies are needed to describe the extent of radiosensitivity with regards to antibiotic resistance.

Keywords: combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy, gut microbiome, pediatric cancer, radiosensitivity

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47 Analyzing Emerging Scientific Domains in Biomedical Discourse: Case Study Comparing Microbiome, Metabolome, and Metagenome Research in Scientific Articles

Authors: Kenneth D. Aiello, M. Simeone, Manfred Laubichler


It is increasingly difficult to analyze emerging scientific fields as contemporary scientific fields are more dynamic, their boundaries are more porous, and the relational possibilities have increased due to Big Data and new information sources. In biomedicine, where funding, medical categories, and medical jurisdiction are determined by distinct boundaries on biomedical research fields and definitions of concepts, ambiguity persists between the microbiome, metabolome, and metagenome research fields. This ambiguity continues despite efforts by institutions and organizations to establish parameters on the core concepts and research discourses. Further, the explosive growth of microbiome, metabolome, and metagenomic research has led to unknown variation and covariation making application of findings across subfields or coming to a consensus difficult. This study explores the evolution and variation of knowledge within the microbiome, metabolome, and metagenome research fields related to ambiguous scholarly language and commensurable theoretical frameworks via a semantic analysis of key concepts and narratives. A computational historical framework of cultural evolution and large-scale publication data highlight the boundaries and overlaps between the competing scientific discourses surrounding the three research areas. The results of this study highlight how discourse and language distribute power within scholarly and scientific networks, specifically the power to set and define norms, central questions, methods, and knowledge.

Keywords: biomedicine, conceptual change, history of science, philosophy of science, science of science, sociolinguistics, sociology of knowledge

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46 Predicting Potential Protein Therapeutic Candidates from the Gut Microbiome

Authors: Prasanna Ramachandran, Kareem Graham, Helena Kiefel, Sunit Jain, Todd DeSantis


Microbes that reside inside the mammalian GI tract, commonly referred to as the gut microbiome, have been shown to have therapeutic effects in animal models of disease. We hypothesize that specific proteins produced by these microbes are responsible for this activity and may be used directly as therapeutics. To speed up the discovery of these key proteins from the big-data metagenomics, we have applied machine learning techniques. Using amino acid sequences of known epitopes and their corresponding binding partners, protein interaction descriptors (PID) were calculated, making a positive interaction set. A negative interaction dataset was calculated using sequences of proteins known not to interact with these same binding partners. Using Random Forest and positive and negative PID, a machine learning model was trained and used to predict interacting versus non-interacting proteins. Furthermore, the continuous variable, cosine similarity in the interaction descriptors was used to rank bacterial therapeutic candidates. Laboratory binding assays were conducted to test the candidates for their potential as therapeutics. Results from binding assays reveal the accuracy of the machine learning prediction and are subsequently used to further improve the model.

Keywords: protein-interactions, machine-learning, metagenomics, microbiome

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45 Characterization of the Blood Microbiome in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Compared to Healthy Control Subjects Using V4 Region 16S rRNA Sequencing

Authors: D. Hammad, D. P. Tonge


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disabling and common autoimmune disease during which the body's immune system attacks healthy tissues. This results in complicated and long-lasting actions being carried out by the immune system, which typically only occurs when the immune system encounters a foreign object. In the case of RA, the disease affects millions of people and causes joint inflammation, ultimately leading to the destruction of cartilage and bone. Interestingly, the disease mechanism still remains unclear. It is likely that RA occurs as a result of a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors including an imbalance in the microorganism population inside our body. The human microbiome or microbiota is an extensive community of microorganisms in and on the bodies of animals, which comprises bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Recently, the development of molecular techniques to characterize entire bacterial communities has renewed interest in the involvement of the microbiome in the development and progression of RA. We believe that an imbalance in some of the specific bacterial species in the gut, mouth and other sites may lead to atopobiosis; the translocation of these organisms into the blood, and that this may lead to changes in immune system status. The aim of this study was, therefore, to characterize the microbiome of RA serum samples in comparison to healthy control subjects using 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequencing. Serum samples were obtained from healthy control volunteers and from patients with RA both prior to, and following treatment. The bacterial community present in each sample was identified utilizing V4 region 16S rRNA amplification and sequencing. Bacterial identification, to the lowest taxonomic rank, was performed using a range of bioinformatics tools. Significantly, the proportions of the Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Halmonadaceae families were significantly increased in the serum of RA patients compared with healthy control serum. Furthermore, the abundance of Bacteroides and Lachnospiraceae nk4a136_group, Lachnospiraceae_UGC-001, RuminococcaceaeUCG-014, Rumnococcus-1, and Shewanella was also raised in the serum of RA patients relative to healthy control serum. These data support the notion of a blood microbiome and reveal RA-associated changes that may have significant implications for biomarker development and may present much-needed opportunities for novel therapeutic development.

Keywords: blood microbiome, gut and oral bacteria, Rheumatoid arthritis, 16S rRNA gene sequencing

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44 Data Analysis for Taxonomy Prediction and Annotation of 16S rRNA Gene Sequences from Metagenome Data

Authors: Suchithra V., Shreedhanya, Kavya Menon, Vidya Niranjan


Skin metagenomics has a wide range of applications with direct relevance to the health of the organism. It gives us insight to the diverse community of microorganisms (the microbiome) harbored on the skin. In the recent years, it has become increasingly apparent that the interaction between skin microbiome and the human body plays a prominent role in immune system development, cancer development, disease pathology, and many other biological implications. Next Generation Sequencing has led to faster and better understanding of environmental organisms and their mutual interactions. This project is studying the human skin microbiome of different individuals having varied skin conditions. Bacterial 16S rRNA data of skin microbiome is downloaded from SRA toolkit provided by NCBI to perform metagenomics analysis. Twelve samples are selected with two controls, and 3 different categories, i.e., sex (male/female), skin type (moist/intermittently moist/sebaceous) and occlusion (occluded/intermittently occluded/exposed). Quality of the data is increased using Cutadapt, and its analysis is done using FastQC. USearch, a tool used to analyze an NGS data, provides a suitable platform to obtain taxonomy classification and abundance of bacteria from the metagenome data. The statistical tool used for analyzing the USearch result is METAGENassist. The results revealed that the top three abundant organisms found were: Prevotella, Corynebacterium, and Anaerococcus. Prevotella is known to be an infectious bacterium found on wound, tooth cavity, etc. Corynebacterium and Anaerococcus are opportunist bacteria responsible for skin odor. This result infers that Prevotella thrives easily in sebaceous skin conditions. Therefore it is better to undergo intermittently occluded treatment such as applying ointments, creams, etc. to treat wound for sebaceous skin type. Exposing the wound should be avoided as it leads to an increase in Prevotella abundance. Moist skin type individuals can opt for occluded or intermittently occluded treatment as they have shown to decrease the abundance of bacteria during treatment.

Keywords: bacterial 16S rRNA , next generation sequencing, skin metagenomics, skin microbiome, taxonomy

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43 Incidence of Breast Cancer and Enterococcus Infection: A Retrospective Analysis

Authors: Matthew Cardeiro, Amalia D. Ardeljan, Lexi Frankel, Dianela Prado Escobar, Catalina Molnar, Omar M. Rashid


Introduction: Enterococci comprise the natural flora of nearly all animals and are ubiquitous in food manufacturing and probiotics. However, its role in the microbiome remains controversial. The gut microbiome has shown to play an important role in immunology and cancer. Further, recent data has suggested a relationship between gut microbiota and breast cancer. These studies have shown that the gut microbiome of patients with breast cancer differs from that of healthy patients. Research regarding enterococcus infection and its sequala is limited, and further research is needed in order to understand the relationship between infection and cancer. Enterococcus may prevent the development of breast cancer (BC) through complex immunologic and microbiotic adaptations following an enterococcus infection. This study investigated the effect of enterococcus infection and the incidence of BC. Methods: A retrospective study (January 2010- December 2019) was provided by a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant national database and conducted using a Humans Health Insurance Database. International Classification of Disease (ICD) 9th and 10th codes, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and National Drug Codes were used to identify BC diagnosis and enterococcus infection. Patients were matched for age, sex, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), antibiotic treatment, and region of residence. Chi-squared, logistic regression, and odds ratio were implemented to assess the significance and estimate relative risk. Results: 671 out of 28,518 (2.35%) patients with a prior enterococcus infection and 1,459 out of 28,518 (5.12%) patients without enterococcus infection subsequently developed BC, and the difference was statistically significant (p<2.2x10⁻¹⁶). Logistic regression also indicated enterococcus infection was associated with a decreased incidence of BC (RR=0.60, 95% CI [0.57, 0.63]). Treatment for enterococcus infection was analyzed and controlled for in both enterococcus infected and noninfected populations. 398 out of 11,523 (3.34%) patients with a prior enterococcus infection and treated with antibiotics were compared to 624 out of 11,523 (5.41%) patients with no history of enterococcus infection (control) and received antibiotic treatment. Both populations subsequently developed BC. Results remained statistically significant (p<2.2x10-16) with a relative risk of 0.57 (95% CI [0.54, 0.60]). Conclusion & Discussion: This study shows a statistically significant correlation between enterococcus infection and a decrease incidence of breast cancer. Further exploration is needed to identify and understand not only the role of enterococcus in the microbiome but also the protective mechanism(s) and impact enterococcus infection may have on breast cancer development. Ultimately, further research is needed in order to understand the complex and intricate relationship between the microbiome, immunology, bacterial infections, and carcinogenesis.

Keywords: breast cancer, enterococcus, immunology, infection, microbiome

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42 Habitat-Specific Divergences in the Gene Repertoire among the Reference Prevotella Genomes of the Human Microbiome

Authors: Vinod Kumar Gupta, Narendrakumar M. Chaudhari, Suchismitha Iskepalli, Chitra Dutta


Background-The community composition of the human microbiome is known to vary at distinct anatomical niches. But little is known about the nature of variations if any, at the genome/sub-genome levels of a specific microbial community across different niches. The present report aims to explore, as a case study, the variations in gene repertoire of 28 Prevotella reference draft genomes derived from different body-sites of human, as reported earlier by the Human Microbiome Consortium. Results-The analysis reveals the exclusive presence of 11798, 3673, 3348 and 934 gene families and exclusive absence of 17, 221, 115 and 645 gene families in Prevotella genomes derived from the human oral cavity, gastro-intestinal tracts (GIT), urogenital tract (UGT) and skin, respectively. The pan-genome for Prevotella remains “open”. Distribution of various functional COG categories differs appreciably among the habitat-specific genes, within Prevotella pan-genome and between the GIT-derived Bacteroides and Prevotella. The skin and GIT isolates of Prevotella are enriched in singletons involved in Signal transduction mechanisms, while the UGT and oral isolates show higher representation of the Defense mechanisms category. No niche-specific variations could be observed in the distribution of KEGG pathways. Conclusion-Prevotella may have developed distinct genetic strategies for adaptation to different anatomical habitats through selective, niche-specific acquisition and elimination of suitable gene-families. In addition, individual microorganisms tend to develop their own distinctive adaptive stratagems through large repertoires of singletons. Such in situ, habitat-driven refurbishment of the genetic makeup can impart substantial intra-lineage genome diversity within the microbes without perturbing their general taxonomic heritage.

Keywords: body niche adaptation, human microbiome, pangenome, Prevotella

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41 Nutritional Genomics Profile Based Personalized Sport Nutrition

Authors: Eszter Repasi, Akos Koller


Our genetic information determines our look, physiology, sports performance and all our features. Maximizing the performances of athletes have adopted a science-based approach to the nutritional support. Nowadays genetics studies have blended with nutritional sciences, and a dynamically evolving, new research field have appeared. Nutritional genomics is needed to be used by nutritional experts. This is a recent field of nutritional science, which can provide a solution to reach the best sport performance using correlations between the athlete’s genome, nutritions, molecules, included human microbiome (links between food, microbiome and epigenetics), nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. Nutritional genomics has a tremendous potential to change the future of dietary guidelines and personal recommendations. Experts need to use new technology to get information about the athletes, like nutritional genomics profile (included the determination of the oral and gut microbiome and DNA coded reaction for food components), which can modify the preparation term and sports performance. The influence of nutrients on the genes expression is called Nutrigenomics. The heterogeneous response of gene variants to nutrients, dietary components is called Nutrigenetics. The human microbiome plays a critical role in the state of health and well-being, and there are more links between food or nutrition and the human microbiome composition, which can develop diseases and epigenetic changes as well. A nutritional genomics-based profile of athletes can be the best technic for a dietitian to make a unique sports nutrition diet plan. Using functional food and the right food components can be effected on health state, thus sports performance. Scientists need to determine the best response, due to the effect of nutrients on health, through altering genome promote metabolites and result changes in physiology. Nutritional biochemistry explains why polymorphisms in genes for the absorption, circulation, or metabolism of essential nutrients (such as n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or epigallocatechin-3-gallate), would affect the efficacy of that nutrient. Controlled nutritional deficiencies and failures, prevented the change of health state or a newly discovered food intolerance are observed by a proper medical team, can support better sports performance. It is important that the dietetics profession informed on gene-diet interactions, that may be leading to optimal health, reduced risk of injury or disease. A special medical application for documentation and monitoring of data of health state and risk factors can uphold and warn the medical team for an early action and help to be able to do a proper health service in time. This model can set up a personalized nutrition advice from the status control, through the recovery, to the monitoring. But more studies are needed to understand the mechanisms and to be able to change the composition of the microbiome, environmental and genetic risk factors in cases of athletes.

Keywords: gene-diet interaction, multidisciplinary team, microbiome, diet plan

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40 Exploring the Correlation between Body Constitution of an Individual as Per Ayurveda and Gut Microbiome in Healthy, Multi Ethnic Urban Population in Bangalore, India

Authors: Shalini TV, Gangadharan GG, Sriranjini S Jaideep, ASN Seshasayee, Awadhesh Pandit


Introduction: Prakriti (body-mind constitution of an individual) is a conventional, customized and unique understanding of which is essential for the personalized medicine described in Ayurveda, Indian System of Medicine. Based on the Doshas( functional, bio humoral unit in the body), individuals are categorized into three major Prakriti- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The human gut microbiome hosts plenty of highly diverse and metabolically active microorganisms, mainly dominated by the bacteria, which are known to influence the physiology of an individual. Few researches have shown the correlation between the Prakriti and the biochemical parameters. In this study, an attempt was made to explore any correlation between the Prakriti (phenotype of an individual) with the Genetic makeup of the gut microbiome in healthy individuals. Materials and methods: 270 multi-ethnic, healthy volunteers of both sex with the age group between 18 to 40 years, with no history of antibiotics in the last 6 months were recruited into three groups of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Prakriti of the individual was determined using Ayusoft, a software designed by CDAC, Pune, India. The volunteers were subjected to initial screening for the assessment of their height, weight, Body Mass Index, Vital signs and Blood investigations to ensure they are healthy. The stool and saliva samples of the recruited volunteers were collected as per the standard operating procedure developed, and the bacterial DNA was isolated using Qiagen kits. The extracted DNA was subjected to 16s rRNA sequencing using the Illumina kits. The sequencing libraries are targeting the variable V3 and V4 regions of the 16s rRNA gene. Paired sequencing was done on the MiSeq system and data were analyzed using the CLC Genomics workbench 11. Results: The 16s rRNA sequencing of the V3 and V4 regions showed a diverse pattern in both the oral and stool microbial DNA. The study did not reveal any specific pattern of bacterial flora amongst the Prakriti. All the p-values were more than the effective alpha values for all OTUs in both the buccal cavity and stool samples. Therefore, there was no observed significant enrichment of an OTU in the patient samples from either the buccal cavity or stool samples. Conclusion: In healthy volunteers of multi-ethnicity, due to the influence of the various factors, the correlation between the Prakriti and the gut microbiome was not seen.

Keywords: gut microbiome, ayurveda Prakriti, sequencing, multi-ethnic urban population

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39 Characterizing and Developing the Clinical Grade Microbiome Assay with a Robust Bioinformatics Pipeline for Supporting Precision Medicine Driven Clinical Development

Authors: Danyi Wang, Andrew Schriefer, Dennis O'Rourke, Brajendra Kumar, Yang Liu, Fei Zhong, Juergen Scheuenpflug, Zheng Feng


Purpose: It has been recognized that the microbiome plays critical roles in disease pathogenesis, including cancer, autoimmune disease, and multiple sclerosis. To develop a clinical-grade assay for exploring microbiome-derived clinical biomarkers across disease areas, a two-phase approach is implemented. 1) Identification of the optimal sample preparation reagents using pre-mixed bacteria and healthy donor stool samples coupled with proprietary Sigma-Aldrich® bioinformatics solution. 2) Exploratory analysis of patient samples for enabling precision medicine. Study Procedure: In phase 1 study, we first compared the 16S sequencing results of two ATCC® microbiome standards (MSA 2002 and MSA 2003) across five different extraction kits (Kit A, B, C, D & E). Both microbiome standards samples were extracted in triplicate across all extraction kits. Following isolation, DNA quantity was determined by Qubit assay. DNA quality was assessed to determine purity and to confirm extracted DNA is of high molecular weight. Bacterial 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) amplicons were generated via amplification of the V3/V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA. Sequencing was performed using a 2x300 bp paired-end configuration on the Illumina MiSeq. Fastq files were analyzed using the Sigma-Aldrich® Microbiome Platform. The Microbiome Platform is a cloud-based service that offers best-in-class 16S-seq and WGS analysis pipelines and databases. The Platform and its methods have been extensively benchmarked using microbiome standards generated internally by MilliporeSigma and other external providers. Data Summary: The DNA yield using the extraction kit D and E is below the limit of detection (100 pg/µl) of Qubit assay as both extraction kits are intended for samples with low bacterial counts. The pre-mixed bacterial pellets at high concentrations with an input of 2 x106 cells for MSA-2002 and 1 x106 cells from MSA-2003 were not compatible with the kits. Among the remaining 3 extraction kits, kit A produced the greatest yield whereas kit B provided the least yield (Kit-A/MSA-2002: 174.25 ± 34.98; Kit-A/MSA-2003: 179.89 ± 30.18; Kit-B/MSA-2002: 27.86 ± 9.35; Kit-B/MSA-2003: 23.14 ± 6.39; Kit-C/MSA-2002: 55.19 ± 10.18; Kit-C/MSA-2003: 35.80 ± 11.41 (Mean ± SD)). Also, kit A produced the greatest yield, whereas kit B provided the least yield. The PCoA 3D visualization of the Weighted Unifrac beta diversity shows that kits A and C cluster closely together while kit B appears as an outlier. The kit A sequencing samples cluster more closely together than both the other kits. The taxonomic profiles of kit B have lower recall when compared to the known mixture profiles indicating that kit B was inefficient at detecting some of the bacteria. Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that the DNA extraction method impacts DNA concentration, purity, and microbial communities detected by next-generation sequencing analysis. Further microbiome analysis performance comparison of using healthy stool samples is underway; also, colorectal cancer patients' samples will be acquired for further explore the clinical utilities. Collectively, our comprehensive qualification approach, including the evaluation of optimal DNA extraction conditions, the inclusion of positive controls, and the implementation of a robust qualified bioinformatics pipeline, assures accurate characterization of the microbiota in a complex matrix for deciphering the deep biology and enabling precision medicine.

Keywords: 16S rRNA sequencing, analytical validation, bioinformatics pipeline, metagenomics

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38 Rhizosphere Microbiome Involvement in the Natural Suppression of Soybean Cyst Nematode in Disease Suppressive Soil

Authors: M. Imran Hamid, Muzammil Hussain, Yunpeng Wu, Meichun Xiang, Xingzhong Liu


The rhizosphere microbiome elucidate multiple functioning in the soil suppressiveness against plant pathogens. Soybean rhizosphere microbial communities may involve in the natural suppression of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) populations in disease suppressive soils. To explore these ecological mechanisms of microbes, a long term monoculture suppressive soil were taken into account for further investigation to test the disease suppressive ability by using different treatments. The designed treatments are as, i) suppressive soil (S), ii) conducive soil (C), iii) conducive soil mixed with 10% (w/w) suppressive soil (CS), iv) suppressive soil treated at 80°C for 1 hr (S80), and v) suppressive soil treated with formalin (SF). By using an ultra-high-throughput sequencing approach, we identified the key bacterial and fungal taxa involved in SCN suppression. The Phylum-level investigation of bacteria revealed that Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria in the rhizosphere soil of soybean seedlings were more abundant in the suppressive soil than in the conducive soil. The phylum-level analysis of fungi in rhizosphere soil indicated that relative abundance of Ascomycota was higher in suppressive soil than in the conducive soil, where Basidiomycota was more abundant. Transferring suppressive soil to conducive soil increased the population of Ascomycota in the conducive soil by lowering the populations of Basidiomycota. The genera, such as, Pochonia, Purpureocillium, Fusarium, Stachybotrys that have been well documented as bio-control agents of plant nematodes were far more in the disease suppressive soils. Our results suggested that the plants engage a subset of functional microbial groups in the rhizosphere for initial defense upon nematode attack and protect the plant roots later on by nematodes to response for suppression of SCN in disease-suppressive soils.

Keywords: disease suppressive soil, high-throughput sequencing, rhizosphere microbiome, soybean cyst nematode

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37 TAXAPRO, A Streamlined Pipeline to Analyze Shotgun Metagenomes

Authors: Sofia Sehli, Zainab El Ouafi, Casey Eddington, Soumaya Jbara, Kasambula Arthur Shem, Islam El Jaddaoui, Ayorinde Afolayan, Olaitan I. Awe, Allissa Dillman, Hassan Ghazal


The ability to promptly sequence whole genomes at a relatively low cost has revolutionized the way we study the microbiome. Microbiologists are no longer limited to studying what can be grown in a laboratory and instead are given the opportunity to rapidly identify the makeup of microbial communities in a wide variety of environments. Analyzing whole genome sequencing (WGS) data is a complex process that involves multiple moving parts and might be rather unintuitive for scientists that don’t typically work with this type of data. Thus, to help lower the barrier for less-computationally inclined individuals, TAXAPRO was developed at the first Omics Codeathon held virtually by the African Society for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (ASBCB) in June 2021. TAXAPRO is an advanced metagenomics pipeline that accurately assembles organelle genomes from whole-genome sequencing data. TAXAPRO seamlessly combines WGS analysis tools to create a pipeline that automatically processes raw WGS data and presents organism abundance information in both a tabular and graphical format. TAXAPRO was evaluated using COVID-19 patient gut microbiome data. Analysis performed by TAXAPRO demonstrated a high abundance of Clostridia and Bacteroidia genera and a low abundance of Proteobacteria genera relative to others in the gut microbiome of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, consistent with the original findings derived using a different analysis methodology. This provides crucial evidence that the TAXAPRO workflow dispenses reliable organism abundance information overnight without the hassle of performing the analysis manually.

Keywords: metagenomics, shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis, COVID-19, pipeline, bioinformatics

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36 Analysis of Taxonomic Compositions, Metabolic Pathways and Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Fish Gut Microbiome by Shotgun Metagenomics

Authors: Anuj Tyagi, Balwinder Singh, Naveen Kumar B. T., Niraj K. Singh


Characterization of diverse microbial communities in specific environment plays a crucial role in the better understanding of their functional relationship with the ecosystem. It is now well established that gut microbiome of fish is not the simple replication of microbiota of surrounding local habitat, and extensive species, dietary, physiological and metabolic variations in fishes may have a significant impact on its composition. Moreover, overuse of antibiotics in human, veterinary and aquaculture medicine has led to rapid emergence and propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the aquatic environment. Microbial communities harboring specific ARGs not only get a preferential edge during selective antibiotic exposure but also possess the significant risk of ARGs transfer to other non-resistance bacteria within the confined environments. This phenomenon may lead to the emergence of habitat-specific microbial resistomes and subsequent emergence of virulent antibiotic-resistant pathogens with severe fish and consumer health consequences. In this study, gut microbiota of freshwater carp (Labeo rohita) was investigated by shotgun metagenomics to understand its taxonomic composition and functional capabilities. Metagenomic DNA, extracted from the fish gut, was subjected to sequencing on Illumina NextSeq to generate paired-end (PE) 2 x 150 bp sequencing reads. After the QC of raw sequencing data by Trimmomatic, taxonomic analysis by Kraken2 taxonomic sequence classification system revealed the presence of 36 phyla, 326 families and 985 genera in the fish gut microbiome. At phylum level, Proteobacteria accounted for more than three-fourths of total bacterial populations followed by Actinobacteria (14%) and Cyanobacteria (3%). Commonly used probiotic bacteria (Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Lactococcus) were found to be very less prevalent in fish gut. After sequencing data assembly by MEGAHIT v1.1.2 assembler and PROKKA automated analysis pipeline, pathway analysis revealed the presence of 1,608 Metacyc pathways in the fish gut microbiome. Biosynthesis pathways were found to be the most dominant (51%) followed by degradation (39%), energy-metabolism (4%) and fermentation (2%). Almost one-third (33%) of biosynthesis pathways were involved in the synthesis of secondary metabolites. Metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of 35 antibiotic types were also present, and these accounted for 5% of overall metabolic pathways in the fish gut microbiome. Fifty-one different types of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) belonging to 15 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) gene families and conferring resistance against 24 antibiotic types were detected in fish gut. More than 90% ARGs in fish gut microbiome were against beta-lactams (penicillins, cephalosporins, penems, and monobactams). Resistance against tetracycline, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, and phenicols ranged from 0.7% to 1.3%. Some of the ARGs for multi-drug resistance were also found to be located on sequences of plasmid origin. The presence of pathogenic bacteria and ARGs on plasmid sequences suggested the potential risk due to horizontal gene transfer in the confined gut environment.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance, fish gut, metabolic pathways, microbial diversity

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35 Dynamic of an Invasive Insect Gut Microbiome When Facing to Abiotic Stress

Authors: Judith Mogouong, Philippe Constant, Robert Lavallee, Claude Guertin


The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic wood borer insect native from China, which is associated with important environmental and economic damages in North America. Beetles are known to be vectors of microbial communities related to their adaptive capacities. It is now established that environmental stress factors may induce physiological events on the host trees, such as phytochemical changes. Consequently, that may affect the establishment comportment of herbivorous insect. Considering the number of insects collected on ash trees (insects’ density) as an abiotic factor related to stress damage, the aim of our study was to explore the dynamic of EAB gut microbial community genome (microbiome) when facing that factor and to monitor its diversity. Insects were trapped using specific green Lindgren© traps. A gradient of the captured insect population along the St. Lawrence River was used to create three levels of insects’ density (low, intermediate, and high). After dissection, total DNA extracted from insect guts of each level has been sent for amplicon sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene and fungal ITS2 region. The composition of microbial communities among sample appeared largely diversified with the Simpson index significantly different across the three levels of density for bacteria. Add to that; bacteria were represented by seven phyla and twelve classes, whereas fungi were represented by two phyla and seven known classes. Using principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) based on Bray Curtis distances of 16S rRNA sequences, we observed a significant variation between the structure of the bacterial communities depending on insects’ density. Moreover, the analysis showed significant correlations between some bacterial taxa and the three classes of insects’ density. This study is the first to present a complete overview of the bacterial and fungal communities associated with the gut of EAB base on culture-independent methods, and to correlate those communities with a potential stress factor of the host trees.

Keywords: gut microbiome, DNA, 16S rRNA sequences, emerald ash borer

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34 Functional Beverage to Boosting Immune System in Elderly

Authors: Adineh Tajmousavilangerudi, Ali Zein Alabiden Tlais, Raffaella Di Cagno


The SARS-Cov-2 pandemic has exposed our vulnerability to new illnesses and novel viruses that attack our immune systems, particularly in the elderly. The vaccine is being gradually introduced over the world, but new strains of the virus and COVID-19 will emerge and continue to cause illness. Aging is associated with significant changes in intestinal physiology, which increases the production of inflammatory products, alters the gut microbiota, and consequently establish inadequate immune response to minimize symptoms and disease development. In this context, older people who followed a Mediterranean-style diet, rich in polyphenols and dietary fiber, performed better physically and mentally (1,2). This demonstrates the importance of the human gut microbiome in transforming complex dietary macromolecules into the most biologically available and active nutrients, which in turn help to regulate metabolism and both intestinal and systemic immune function (3,4). The role of lactic acid fermentation is prominent also as a powerful tool for improving the nutritional quality of the human diet by releasing nutrients and boosting the complex bioactive compounds and vitamin content. the PhD project aims to design fermented and functional foods/beverages capable of modulating human immune function via the gut microbiome.

Keywords: functional bevarage, fermented beverage, gut microbiota functionality, immun system

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33 PhenoScreen: Development of a Systems Biology Tool for Decision Making in Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Authors: Jonathan Josephs-Spaulding, Hannah Rettig, Simon Graspeunter, Jan Rupp, Christoph Kaleta


Background: Recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTIs) are a global cause of emergency room visits and represent a significant burden for public health systems. Therefore, metatranscriptomic approaches to investigate metabolic exchange and crosstalk between uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), which is responsible for 90% of UTIs, and collaborating pathogens of the urogenital microbiome is necessary to better understand the pathogenetic processes underlying rUTIs. Objectives: This study aims to determine the level in which uropathogens optimize the host urinary metabolic environment to succeed during invasion. By developing patient-specific metabolic models of infection, these observations can be taken advantage of for the precision treatment of human disease. Methods: To date, we have set up an rUTI patient cohort and observed various urine-associated pathogens. From this cohort, we developed patient-specific metabolic models to predict bladder microbiome metabolism during rUTIs. This was done by creating an in silico metabolomic urine environment, which is representative of human urine. Metabolic models of uptake and cross-feeding of rUTI pathogens were created from genomes in relation to the artificial urine environment. Finally, microbial interactions were constrained by metatranscriptomics to indicate patient-specific metabolic requirements of pathogenic communities. Results: Metabolite uptake and cross-feeding are essential for strain growth; therefore, we plan to design patient-specific treatments by adjusting urinary metabolites through nutritional regimens to counteract uropathogens by depleting essential growth metabolites. These methods will provide mechanistic insights into the metabolic components of rUTI pathogenesis to provide an evidence-based tool for infection treatment.

Keywords: recurrent urinary tract infections, human microbiome, uropathogenic Escherichia coli, UPEC, microbial ecology

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32 Evaluation of Methods for Simultaneous Extraction and Purification of Fungal and Bacterial DNA from Vaginal Swabs

Authors: Vanessa De Carvalho, Chad MacPherson, Julien Tremblay, Julie Champagne, Stephanie-Anne Girard


Background: The interactions between bacteria and fungi in the human vaginal microbiome are fundamental to the concept of health and disease. The means by which the microbiota and mycobiota interact is still poorly understood and further studies are necessary to properly characterize this complex ecosystem. The aim of this study was to select a DNA extraction method capable of recovering high qualities of fungal and bacterial DNA from a single vaginal swab. Methods: 11 female volunteers ( ≥ 20 to < 55 years old) self-collected vaginal swabs in triplicates. Three commercial extraction kits: Masterpure Yeast Purification kit (Epicenter), PureLink™ Microbiome DNA Purification kit (Invitrogen), and Quick-DNA™ Fecal/Soil Microbe Miniprep kit (Zymo) were evaluated on the ability to recover fungal and bacterial DNA simultaneously. The extraction kits were compared on the basis of recovery, yield, purity, and the community richness of bacterial (16S rRNA - V3-V4 region) and fungal (ITS1) microbiota composition by Illumina MiSeq amplicon sequencing. Results: Recovery of bacterial DNA was achieved with all three kits while fungal DNA was only consistently recovered with Masterpure Yeast Purification kit (yield and purity). Overall, all kits displayed similar microbiota profiles for the top 20 OTUs; however, Quick-DNA™ Fecal/Soil Microbe Miniprep kit (Zymo) showed more species richness than the other two kits. Conclusion: In the present study, Masterpure Yeast purification kit proved to be a good candidate for purification of high quality fungal and bacterial DNA simultaneously. These findings have potential benefits that could be applied in future vaginal microbiome research. Whilst the use of a single extraction method would lessen the burden of multiple swab sampling, decrease laboratory workload and off-set costs associated with multiple DNA extractions, thoughtful consideration must be taken when selecting an extraction kit depending on the desired downstream application.

Keywords: bacterial vaginosis, DNA extraction, microbiota, mycobiota, vagina, vulvovaginal candidiasis, women’s health

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31 Changes in Skin Microbiome Diversity According to the Age of Xian Women

Authors: Hanbyul Kim, Hye-Jin Kin, Taehun Park, Woo Jun Sul, Susun An


Skin is the largest organ of the human body and can provide the diverse habitat for various microorganisms. The ecology of the skin surface selects distinctive sets of microorganisms and is influenced by both endogenous intrinsic factors and exogenous environmental factors. The diversity of the bacterial community in the skin also depends on multiple host factors: gender, age, health status, location. Among them, age-related changes in skin structure and function are attributable to combinations of endogenous intrinsic factors and exogenous environmental factors. Skin aging is characterized by a decrease in sweat, sebum and the immune functions thus resulting in significant alterations in skin surface physiology including pH, lipid composition, and sebum secretion. The present study gives a comprehensive clue on the variation of skin microbiota and the correlations between ages by analyzing and comparing the metagenome of skin microbiome using Next Generation Sequencing method. Skin bacterial diversity and composition were characterized and compared between two different age groups: younger (20 – 30y) and older (60 - 70y) Xian, Chinese women. A total of 73 healthy women meet two conditions: (I) living in Xian, China; (II) maintaining healthy skin status during the period of this study. Based on Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) database, skin samples of 73 participants were enclosed with ten most abundant genera: Chryseobacterium, Propionibacterium, Enhydrobacter, Staphylococcus and so on. Although these genera are the most predominant genus overall, each genus showed different proportion in each group. The most dominant genus, Chryseobacterium was more present relatively in Young group than in an old group. Similarly, Propionibacterium and Enhydrobacter occupied a higher proportion of skin bacterial composition of the young group. Staphylococcus, in contrast, inhabited more in the old group. The beta diversity that represents the ratio between regional and local species diversity showed significantly different between two age groups. Likewise, The Principal Coordinate Analysis (PCoA) values representing each phylogenetic distance in the two-dimensional framework using the OTU (Operational taxonomic unit) values of the samples also showed differences between the two groups. Thus, our data suggested that the composition and diversification of skin microbiomes in adult women were largely affected by chronological and physiological skin aging.

Keywords: next generation sequencing, age, Xian, skin microbiome

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30 Soil and the Gut Microbiome: Supporting the 'Hygiene Hypothesis'

Authors: Chris George, Adam Hamlin, Lily Pereg, Richard Charlesworth, Gal Winter


Background: According to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ the current rise in allergies and autoimmune diseases stems mainly from reduced microbial exposure due, amongst other factors, to urbanisation and distance from soil. However, this hypothesis is based on epidemiological and not biological data. Useful insights into the underlying mechanisms of this hypothesis can be gained by studying our interaction with soil. Soil microbiota may be directly ingested or inhaled by humans, enter the body through skin-soil contact or using plants as vectors. This study aims to examine the ability of soil microbiota to colonise the gut, study the interaction of soil microbes with the immune system and their potential protective activity. Method: The nutrition of the rats was supplemented daily with fresh or autoclaved soil for 21 days followed by 14 days of no supplementations. Faecal samples were collected throughout and analysed using 16S sequencing. At the end of the experiment rats were sacrificed and tissues and digesta were collected. Results/Conclusion: Results showed significantly higher richness and diversity following soil supplementation even after recovery. Specific soil microbial groups identified as able to colonise the gut. Of particular interest was the mucosal layer which emerged as a receptive host for soil microorganisms. Histological examination revealed innate and adaptive immune activation. Findings of this study reinforce the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ by demonstrating the ability of soil microbes to colonise the gut and activate the immune system. This paves the way for further studies aimed to examine the interaction of soil microorganisms with the immune system.

Keywords: gut microbiota, hygiene hypothesis, microbiome, soil

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29 Salicylic Acid Signalling in Relation to Root Colonization in Rice

Authors: Seema Garcha, Sheetal Chopra, Navraj Sarao


Plant hormones play a role in internal colonization by beneficial microbes and also systemic acquired resistance. They define qualitative and quantitative nature of root microbiome and also influence dynamics of root rhizospheric soil. The present study is an attempt to relate salicylic acid (signal molecule) content and qualitative nature of root endophytes at various stages in the growth of rice varieties of commercial value- Parmal 121 and Basmati 1121. Root seedlings of these varieties were raised using tissue culture techniques and then they were transplanted in the fields. Cultivation was done using conventional methods in agriculture. Field soil contained 0.39% N, 75.12 Kg/hectare of phosphorus and 163.0 Kg/hectare of potassium. Microfloral profiling of the root tissue was done using the selective microbiological medium. The salicylic acid content was estimated using HPLC-Agilent 1100 HPLC Series. Salicylic acid level of Basmati 1121 remained relatively low at the time of transplant and 90 days after transplant. It increased marginally at 60 days. A similar trend was observed with Parmal 121 as well. However, Parmal variety recorded 0.935 ug/g of salicylic acid at 60 days after transplant. Salicylic acid content decreased after 90 days as both the rice varieties remained disease free. The endophytic root microflora was established by 60 days after transplant in both the varieties after which their population became constant. Rhizobium spp dominated over Azotobacter spp. Genetic profiling of endophytes for nitrogen-fixing ability is underway.

Keywords: plant-microbe interaction, rice, root microbiome, salicylic acid

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28 Xylanase Impact beyond Performance: A Prebiotic Approach in Laying Hens

Authors: Veerle Van Hoeck, Ingrid Somers, Dany Morisset


Anti-nutritional factors such as non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) are present in viscous cereals used to feed poultry. Therefore, exogenous carbohydrases are commonly added to monogastric feed to degrade these NSP. Our hypothesis is that xylanase not only improves laying hen performance and digestibility but also induces a significant shift in microbial composition within the intestinal tract and, thereby, can cause a prebiotic effect. In this context, a better understanding of whether and how the chicken gut flora can be modulated by xylanase is needed. To do so, in the herein laying hen study, the effects of dietary supplementation of xylanase on performance, digestibility, and cecal microbiome were evaluated. A total of 96 HiSex laying hens was used in this experiment (3 diets and 16 replicates of 2 hens). Xylanase was added to the diets at concentrations of 0, 45,000 (15 g/t XygestTM HT) and 90,000 U/kg (30 g/t Xygest HT). The diets were based on wheat (~55 %), soybean, and sunflower meal. The lowest dosage, 45,000 U/kg, significantly increased average egg weight and improved feed efficiency compared to the control treatment (p < 0.05). Egg quality parameters were significantly improved in the experiment in response to the xylanase addition. For example, during the last 28 days of the trial, the 45,000 U/kg and the 90,000 U/kg treatments exhibited an increase in Haugh units and albumin heights (p < 0.05). Compared with the control, organic matter digestibility and N retention were drastically improved in the 45,000 U/kg treatment group, which implies better nutrient digestibility at this lowest recommended dosage compared to the control (p < 0.05). Furthermore, gross energy and crude fat digestibility were improved significantly for birds fed 90,000 U/kg group compared to the control. Importantly, 16S rRNA gene analysis revealed that xylanase at 45,000 U/kg dosages can exert a prebiotic effect. This conclusion was drawn based on studying the sequence variation in the 16S rRNA gene in order to characterize diverse microbial communities of the cecal content. A significant increase in beneficial bacteria (Lactobacilli spp and Enterococcus casseliflavus) was documented when adding 45,000 U/kg xylanase to the diet of laying hens. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of xylanase, even at the lowest dose of (45,000 U/kg), significantly improved laying hen performance and digestibility. Furthermore, it is generally accepted that a proper bacterial balance between the number of beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria in the intestine is vital for the host. It seems that the xylanase enzyme is able to modulate the laying hen microbiome beneficially and thus exerts a prebiotic effect. This microbiome plasticity in response to the xylanase provides an attractive target for stimulating intestinal health.

Keywords: laying hen, prebiotic, XygestTM HT, xylanase

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27 Sulfur-Containing Diet Shift Hydrogen Metabolism and Reduce Methane Emission and Modulated Gut Microbiome in Goats

Authors: Tsegay Teklebrhan Gebremariam, Zhiliang, Arjan Jonker


The study investigated that using corn gluten (CG) instead of cornmeal (CM) increased dietary sulfur shifted H₂ metabolism from methanogenesis to alternative sink and modulated microbiome in the rumen as well as hindgut segments of goats. Ruminal fermentation, CH₄ emissions and microbial abundance in goats (n = 24). The experiment was performed using a randomized block design with two dietary treatments (CM and CG with 400 g/kg DM each). Goats in CG increased sulfur, NDF and CP intake and decreased starch intake as compared with those in CM. Goats that received CG diet had decreased dissolved hydrogen (dH₂) (P = 0.01) and dissolved methane yield and emission (dCH₄) (P = 0.001), while increased dH₂S both in the rumen and hindgut segments than those fed CM. Goats fed CG had higher (p < 0.01) gene copies of microbiota and cellulolytic bacteria, whereas starch utilizing bacterial species were less in the rumen and hindgut than those fed CM. Higher (P < 0.05) methanogenic diversity and abundances of Methanimicrococcus and Methanomicrobium were observed in goats that consumed CG, whilst containing lower Methanobrevibacter populations than those receiving CM. The study suggested that goats fed corn gluten improved the gene copies of microbiota and fibrolytic bacterial species while reducing starch utilizing species in the rumen and hindgut segments as compared with that fed cornmeal. Goats consuming corn gluten had a more enriched methanogenic diversity and reduced Methanobrevibacter, a contributor to CH₄ emissions, as compared with goats fed CM. Corn gluten could be used as an alternative feed to decrease the enteric CH₄ emission in ruminant production.

Keywords: dissolved gasses, methanogenesis, microbial community, metagenomics

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26 In vitro Skin Model for Enhanced Testing of Antimicrobial Textiles

Authors: Steven Arcidiacono, Robert Stote, Erin Anderson, Molly Richards


There are numerous standard test methods for antimicrobial textiles that measure activity against specific microorganisms. However, many times these results do not translate to the performance of treated textiles when worn by individuals. Standard test methods apply a single target organism grown under optimal conditions to a textile, then recover the organism to quantitate and determine activity; this does not reflect the actual performance environment that consists of polymicrobial communities in less than optimal conditions or interaction of the textile with the skin substrate. Here we propose the development of in vitro skin model method to bridge the gap between lab testing and wear studies. The model will consist of a defined polymicrobial community of 5-7 commensal microbes simulating the skin microbiome, seeded onto a solid tissue platform to represent the skin. The protocol would entail adding a non-commensal test organism of interest to the defined community and applying a textile sample to the solid substrate. Following incubation, the textile would be removed and the organisms recovered, which would then be quantitated to determine antimicrobial activity. Important parameters to consider include identification and assembly of the defined polymicrobial community, growth conditions to allow the establishment of a stable community, and choice of skin surrogate. This model could answer the following questions: 1) is the treated textile effective against the target organism? 2) How is the defined community affected? And 3) does the textile cause unwanted effects toward the skin simulant? The proposed model would determine activity under conditions comparable to the intended application and provide expanded knowledge relative to current test methods.

Keywords: antimicrobial textiles, defined polymicrobial community, in vitro skin model, skin microbiome

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25 The Gut Microbiome in Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Characterization of Disease-Related Microbial Signature and the Possible Impact of Life Style and Nutrition

Authors: Lena Lapidot, Amir Amnon, Rita Nosenko, Veitsman Ella, Cohen-Ezra Oranit, Davidov Yana, Segev Shlomo, Koren Omry, Safran Michal, Ben-Ari Ziv


Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related mortality worldwide. Liver Cirrhosis is the main predisposing risk factor for the development of HCC. The factor(s) influencing disease progression from Cirrhosis to HCC remain unknown. Gut microbiota has recently emerged as a major player in different liver diseases, however its association with HCC is still a mystery. Moreover, there might be an important association between the gut microbiota, nutrition, life style and the progression of Cirrhosis and HCC. The aim of our study was to characterize the gut microbial signature in association with life style and nutrition of patients with Cirrhosis, HCC-Cirrhosis and healthy controls. Design: Stool samples were collected from 95 individuals (30 patients with HCC, 38 patients with Cirrhosis and 27 age, gender and BMI-matched healthy volunteers). All participants answered lifestyle and Food Frequency Questionnaires. 16S rRNA sequencing of fecal DNA was performed (MiSeq Illumina). Results: There was a significant decrease in alpha diversity in patients with Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.033) and in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.032) compared to healthy controls. The microbiota of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to patients with Cirrhosis, was characterized by a significant overrepresentation of Clostridium (pvalue=0.024) and CF231 (pvalue=0.010) and lower expression of Alphaproteobacteria (pvalue=0.039) and Verrucomicrobia (pvalue=0.036) in several taxonomic levels: Verrucomicrobiae, Verrucomicrobiales, Verrucomicrobiaceae and the genus Akkermansia (pvalue=0.039). Furthermore, we performed an analysis of predicted metabolic pathways (Kegg level 2) that resulted in a significant decrease in the diversity of metabolic pathways in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis (qvalue=0.015) compared to controls, one of which was amino acid metabolism. Furthermore, investigating the life style and nutrition habits of patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, we found significant correlations between intake of artificial sweeteners and Verrucomicrobia (qvalue=0.12), High sugar intake and Synergistetes (qvalue=0.021) and High BMI and the pathogen Campylobacter (qvalue=0.066). Furthermore, overweight in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis modified bacterial diversity (qvalue=0.023) and composition (qvalue=0.033). Conclusions: To the best of the our knowledge, we present the first report of the gut microbial composition in patients with HCC-Cirrhosis, compared with Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. We have demonstrated in our study that there are significant differences in the gut microbiome of patients with HCC-cirrhosis compared to Cirrhotic patients and healthy controls. Our findings are even more pronounced because the significantly increased bacteria Clostridium and CF231 in HCC-Cirrhosis weren't influenced by diet and lifestyle, implying this change is due to the development of HCC. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and assess causality.

Keywords: Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular carcinoma, life style, liver disease, microbiome, nutrition

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24 Plant Microbiota of Coastal Halophyte Salicornia Ramossisima

Authors: Isabel N. Sierra-Garcia, Maria J. Ferreira, Sandro Figuereido, Newton Gomes, Helena Silva, Angela Cunha


Plant-associated microbial communities are considered crucial in the adaptation of halophytes to coastal environments. The plant microbiota can be horizontally acquired from the environment or vertically transmitted from generation to generation via seeds. Recruiting of the microbial communities by the plant is affected by geographical location, soil source, host genotype, and cultivation practice. There is limited knowledge reported on the microbial communities in halophytes the influence of biotic and abiotic factors. In this work, the microbiota associated with the halophyte Salicornia ramosissima was investigated to determine whether the structure of bacterial communities is influenced by host genotype or soil source. For this purpose, two contrasting sites where S. ramosissima is established in the estuarine system of the Ria de Aveiro were investigated. One site corresponds to a natural salt marsh where S. ramosissima plants are present (wild plants), and the other site is a former salt pan that nowadays are subjected to intensive crop production of S. ramosissima (crop plants). Bacterial communities from the rhizosphere, seeds and root endosphere of S. ramossisima from both sites were investigated by sequencing bacterial 16S rRNA gene using the Illumina MiSeq platform. The analysis of the sequences showed that the three plant-associated compartments, rhizosphere, root endosphere, and seed endosphere, harbor distinct microbiomes. However, bacterial richness and diversity were higher in seeds of wild plants, followed by rhizosphere in both sites, while seeds in the crop site had the lowest diversity. Beta diversity measures indicated that bacterial communities in root endosphere and seeds were more similar in both wild and crop plants in contrast to rhizospheres that differed by local, indicating that the recruitment of the similar bacterial communities by the plant genotype is active in regard to the site. Moreover, bacterial communities from the root endosphere and rhizosphere were phylogenetically more similar in both sites, but the phylogenetic composition of seeds in wild and crop sites was distinct. These results indicate that cultivation practices affect the seed microbiome. However, minimal vertical transmission of bacteria from seeds to adult plants is expected. Seeds from the crop site showed higher abundances of Kushneria and Zunongwangia genera. Bacterial members of the classes Alphaprotebacteria and Bacteroidia were the most ubiquitous across sites and compartments and might encompass members of the core microbiome. These findings indicate that bacterial communities associated with S. ramosissima are more influenced by host genotype rather than local abiotic factors or cultivation practices. This study provides a better understanding of the composition of the plant microbiota in S. ramosissima , which is essential to predict the interactions between plant and associated microbial communities and their effects on plant health. This knowledge is useful to the manipulations of these microbial communities to enhance the health and productivity of this commercially important plant.

Keywords: halophytes, plant microbiome, Salicornia ramosissima, agriculture

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