Stach, T. L., Sieber, G., Shah, M., Simon, S. A., Soares, A., Bornemann, T. L. V., Plewka, J., Künkel, J., Becker, C., Meyer, F., Boenigk, J., & Probst, A. J. (2023). Temporal disturbance of a model stream ecosystem by high microbial diversity from treated wastewater. MicrobiologyOpen, 12(2). https://doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.1347
Temporal disturbance of a model stream ecosystem by high microbial diversity from treated wastewater
Microbial communities in freshwater streams play an essential role in ecosystem functioning via biogeochemical cycling. Yet, the impacts of treated wastewater influx into stream ecosystems on microbial strain diversity remain mostly unexplored. Here, we coupled full-length 16S ribosomal RNA gene Nanopore sequencing and strain-resolved metagenomics to investigate the impact of treated wastewater on a mesocosm system (AquaFlow) run with restored river water. Over 10 days, community Bray–Curtis dissimilarities between treated and control mesocosm decreased (0.57 ± 0.058 to 0.26 ± 0.046) based on ribosomal protein S3 gene clustering, finally converging to nearly identical communities. Similarly, strain-resolved metagenomics revealed a high diversity of bacteria and viruses after the introduction of treated wastewater; these microbes also decreased over time resulting in the same strain clusters in control and treatment at the end of the experiment. Specifically, 39.2% of viral strains detected in all samples were present after the introduction of treated wastewater only. Although bacteria present at low abundance in the treated wastewater introduced additional antibiotic resistance genes, signals of naturally occurring ARG-encoding organisms resembled the resistome at the endpoint. Our results suggest that the previously stressed freshwater stream and its microbial community are resilient to a substantial introduction of treated wastewater.
Vos, M., Hering, D., Gessner, M. O., Leese, F., Schäfer, R. B., Tollrian, R., Boenigk, J., Haase, P., Meckenstock, R., Baikova, D., Bayat, H., Beermann, A., Beißer, D., Beszteri, B., Birk, S., Boden, L., Brauer, V., Brauns, M., Buchner, D., . . . Sures, B. (2023). The Asymmetric Response Concept explains ecological consequences of multiple stressor exposure and release. Science of The Total Environment, 162196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162196
The Asymmetric Response Concept explains ecological consequences of multiple stressor exposure and release
Our capacity to predict trajectories of ecosystem degradation and recovery is limited, especially when impairments are caused by multiple stressors. Recovery may be fast or slow and either complete or partial, sometimes result in novel ecosystem states or even fail completely. Here, we introduce the Asymmetric Response Concept (ARC) that provides a basis for exploring and predicting the pace and magnitude of ecological responses to, and release from, multiple stressors. The ARC holds that three key mechanisms govern population, community and ecosystem trajectories. Stress tolerance is the main mechanism determining responses to increasing stressor intensity, whereas dispersal and biotic interactions predominantly govern responses to the release from stressors. The shifting importance of these mechanisms creates asymmetries between the ecological trajectories that follow increasing and decreasing stressor intensities. This recognition helps to understand multiple stressor impacts and to predict which measures will restore communities that are resistant to restoration.
Mack, L., de la Hoz, C. F., Penk, M., Piggott, J., Crowe, T., Hering, D., Kaijser, W., Aroviita, J., Baer, J., Borja, A., Clark, D. E., Fernandez-Torquemada, Y., Kotta, J., Matthaei, C. D., O'Beirn, F., Paerl, H. W., Sokolowski, A., Vilmi, A., & Birk, S. (2022). Perceived multiple stressor effects depend on sample size and stressor gradient length. Water Res, 226, 119260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2022.119260
Perceived multiple stressor effects depend on sample size and stressor gradient length
Multiple stressors are continuously deteriorating surface waters worldwide, posing many challenges for their conservation and restoration. Combined effect types of multiple stressors range from single-stressor dominance to complex interactions. Identifying prevalent combined effect types is critical for environmental management, as it helps to prioritise key stressors for mitigation. However, it remains unclear whether observed single and combined stressor effects reflect true ecological processes unbiased by sample size and length of stressor gradients. Therefore, we examined the role of sample size and stressor gradient lengths in 158 paired-stressor response cases with over 120,000 samples from rivers, lakes, transitional and marine ecosystems around the world. For each case, we split the overall stressor gradient into two partial gradients (lower and upper) and investigated associated changes in single and combined stressor effects. Sample size influenced the identified combined effect types, and stressor interactions were less likely for cases with fewer samples. After splitting gradients, 40 % of cases showed a change in combined effect type, 30 % no change, and 31 % showed a loss in stressor effects. These findings suggest that identified combined effect types may often be statistical artefacts rather than representing ecological processes. In 58 % of cases, we observed changes in stressor effect directions after the gradient split, suggesting unimodal stressor effects. In general, such non-linear responses were more pronounced for organisms at higher trophic levels. We conclude that observed multiple stressor effects are not solely determined by ecological processes, but also strongly depend on sampling design. Observed effects are likely to change when sample size and/or gradient length are modified. Our study highlights the need for improved monitoring programmes with sufficient sample size and stressor gradient coverage. Our findings emphasize the importance of adaptive management, as stress reduction measures or further ecosystem degradation may change multiple stressor-effect relationships, which will then require associated changes in management strategies.
Hedlund, B. P., Chuvochina, M., Hugenholtz, P., Konstantinidis, K. T., Murray, A. E., Palmer, M., Parks, D. H., Probst, A. J., Reysenbach, A.-L., Rodriguez-R, L. M., Rossello-Mora, R., Sutcliffe, I. C., Venter, S. N., & Whitman, W. B. (2022). SeqCode: a nomenclatural code for prokaryotes described from sequence data. Nature Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-022-01214-9
SeqCode: a nomenclatural code for prokaryotes described from sequence data
Most prokaryotes are not available as pure cultures and therefore ineligible for naming under the rules and recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP). Here we summarize the development of the SeqCode, a code of nomenclature under which genome sequences serve as nomenclatural types. This code enables valid publication of names of prokaryotes based upon isolate genome, metagenome-assembled genome or single-amplified genome sequences. Otherwise, it is similar to the ICNP with regard to the formation of names and rules of priority. It operates through the SeqCode Registry (https://seqco.de/), a registration portal through which names and nomenclatural types are registered, validated and linked to metadata. We describe the two paths currently available within SeqCode to register and validate names, including Candidatus names, and provide examples for both. Recommendations on minimal standards for DNA sequences are provided. Thus, the SeqCode provides a reproducible and objective framework for the nomenclature of all prokaryotes regardless of cultivability and facilitates communication across microbiological disciplines.
Schneider, R., Prati, S., Grabner, D., & Sures, B. (2022). First report of microsporidians in the non-native shrimp Neocaridina davidi from a temperate European stream. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 150, 125–130. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03681
First report of microsporidians in the non-native shrimp Neocaridina davidi from a temperate European stream
The release of ornamental pets outside their native range can directly or indirectly impact the recipient community, e.g. via the co-introduction of associated pathogens. However, studies on parasites associated with non-native species, in particular freshwater decapods, have focused mainly on a limited set of pathogens. Here we provide data for the first time on microsporidian parasites of the non-native ornamental shrimp Neocaridina davidi, collected in a stream in Germany. Furthermore, we confirm an ongoing range expansion of the warm-adapted N. davidi from thermally polluted colder water. In the investigated shrimps, the microsporidian parasite Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei and an unknown microsporidian isolate were detected, raising concerns about their transmission potential and pathogenicity on native crustacean species.
Whitman, W. B., Chuvochina, M., Hedlund, B. P., Hugenholtz, P., Konstantinidis, K. T., Murray, A., Palmer, M., Parks, D. H., Probst, A. J., Reysenbach, A.-L., Rodriguez-R, L. M., Rossello-Mora, R., Sutcliffe, I., & Venter, S. N. (2022). Development of the SeqCode: a proposed nomenclatural code for uncultivated prokaryotes with DNA sequences as type. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, 126305. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SYAPM.2022.126305
Development of the SeqCode: a proposed nomenclatural code for uncultivated prokaryotes with DNA sequences as type
Over the last fifteen years, genomics has become fully integrated into prokaryotic systematics. The genomes of most type strains have been sequenced, genome sequence similarity is widely used for delineation of species, and phylogenomic methods are commonly used for classification of higher taxonomic ranks. Additionally, environmental genomics has revealed a vast diversity of as-yetuncultivated taxa. In response to these developments, a new code of nomenclature, the Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes Described from Sequence Data (SeqCode), has been developed over the last two years to allow naming of Archaea and Bacteria using DNA sequences as the nomenclatural types. The SeqCode also allows naming of cultured organisms, including fastidious prokaryotes that cannot be deposited into culture collections. Several simplifications relative to the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes (ICNP) are implemented to make nomenclature more accessible, easier to apply and more readily communicated. By simplifying nomenclature with the goal of a unified classification, inclusive of both cultured and uncultured taxa, the SeqCode will facilitate the naming of taxa in every biome on Earth, encourage the isolation and characterization of as-yet-uncultivated taxa, and promote synergies between the ecological, environmental, physiological, biochemical, and molecular biological disciplines to more fully describe prokaryotes.
Prati, S., Grabner, D., Pfeifer, S., Lorenz, A., Sures, B. (2022). Generalist parasites persist in degraded environments: A lesson learned from microsporidian diversity in amphipods. Parasitology, 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182022000452
Generalist parasites persist in degraded environments: a lesson learned from microsporidian diversity in amphipod
The present study provides new insight into suitable microsporidian-host associations. It relates regional and continental-wide host specialization in microsporidians infecting amphipods to degraded and recovering habitats across 2 German river catchments. It provides a unique opportunity to infer the persistence of parasites following anthropogenic disturbance and their establishment in restored rivers. Amphipods were collected in 31 sampling sites with differing degradation and restoration gradients. Specimens were morphologically (hosts) and molecularly identified (host and parasites). Amphipod diversity and abundance, microsporidian diversity, host phylogenetic specificity and continental-wide beta-specificity were investigated and related to each other and/or environmental variables. Fourteen microsporidian molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs), mainly generalist parasites, infecting 6 amphipod MOTUs were detected, expanding the current knowledge on the host range by 17 interactions. There was no difference in microsporidian diversity and host specificity among restored and near-natural streams (Boye) or between those located in urban and rural areas (Kinzig). Similarly, microsporidian diversity was generally not influenced by water parameters. In the Boye catchment, host densities did not influence microsporidian MOTU richness across restored and near-natural sites. High host turnover across the geographical range suggests that neither environmental conditions nor host diversity plays a significant role in the establishment into restored areas. Host diversity and environmental parameters do not indicate the persistence and dispersal of phylogenetic host generalist microsporidians in environments that experienced anthropogenic disturbance. Instead, these might depend on more complex mechanisms such as the production of resistant spores, host switching and host dispersal acting individually or conjointly.