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Schrenk M.O.,East Carolina University | Huber J.A.,Josephine Bay Paul Center | Edwards K.J.,University of Southern California
Annual Review of Marine Science | Year: 2010

The rocks and sediments of the oceanic subsurface represent a diverse mosaic of environments potentially inhabited by microorganisms. Understanding microbial ecosystems in subseafloor environments confounds standard ecological descriptions in part because we have difficulty elucidating and describing the scale of relevant processes. Habitat characteristics impact microbial activities and growth, which in turn affect microbial diversity, net production, and global biogeochemical cycles. Herein we provide descriptions of subseafloor microbial provinces, broadly defined as geologically and geographically coherent regions of the subseafloor that may serve as potential microbial habitats. The purpose of this review is to summarize and refine criteria for the definition and delineation of distinct subseafloor microbial habitats to aid in their exploration. This review and the criteria we outline aim to develop a unified framework to improve our understanding of subseafloor microbial ecology, enable quantification of geomicrobial processes, and facilitate their accurate assimilation into biogeochemical models. © 2010 by Annual Reviews.

The nucleolinus is a nuclear subcompartment long ago posited to play a role in cell division. In a recent study using surf clam oocytes, cytoplasmic foci containing a nucleolinar protein were shown to later recruit γ-tubulin, identifying them as centrosomal precursors. (1) We now demonstrate the presence of structural RNAs from the nucleolinus in these procentrosomes. They include the well-known but poorly understood rRNA-transcribed spacer regions. In situ hybridization revealed a specific and dynamic association of these structural RNAs with the cell division apparatus that extends through the early stages of meiosis. In addition to their bearing on the debate over the nature of centrosome- and spindle-associated RNAs, the observations also suggest that rRNA spacer regions are not simply waste products to be discarded immediately, but may be functional byproducts that play a role in formation of the cell division apparatus.

McLellan S.L.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Eren A.M.,Josephine Bay Paul Center
Trends in Microbiology | Year: 2014

Fecal pollution indicators are essential to identify and remediate contamination sources and protect public health. Historically, easily cultured facultative anaerobes such as fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, or enterococci have been used but these indicators generally provide no information as to their source. More recently, molecular methods have targeted fecal anaerobes, which are much more abundant in humans and other mammals, and some strains appear to be associated with particular host sources. Next-generation sequencing and microbiome studies have created an unprecedented inventory of microbial communities associated with fecal sources, allowing reexamination of which taxonomic groups are best suited as informative indicators. The use of new computational methods, such as oligotyping coupled with well-established machine learning approaches, is providing new insights into patterns of host association. In this review we examine the basis for host-specificity and the rationale for using 16S rRNA gene targets for alternative indicators and highlight two taxonomic groups, Bacteroidales and Lachnospiraceae, which are rich in host-specific bacterial organisms. Finally, we discuss considerations for using alternative indicators for water quality assessments with a particular focus on detecting human sewage sources of contamination. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Alliegro M.C.,Josephine Bay Paul Center
Chromosome Research | Year: 2011

The notion of nucleic acids in the spindle, and particularly, the centrosome has a long history of inquiry, doubt, and debate. However, the association of specific RNAs with these structures is now confirmed by several investigators. What their presence means for the assembly, function, and evolution of the cell division apparatus is not known; but with newly available information and probes, these are questions that can finally be addressed. The present article summarizes the history of this field, what we know about the molecules in question, and in light of these findings, emphasizes the need to view the cell division apparatus for what it is by definition, a ribonucleoprotein complex. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Crump B.C.,University of Cambridge | Amaral-Zettler L.A.,Josephine Bay Paul Center | Amaral-Zettler L.A.,Brown University | Kling G.W.,University of Michigan
ISME Journal | Year: 2012

Microbes are transported in hydrological networks through many environments, but the nature and dynamics of underlying microbial metacommunities and the impact of downslope inoculation on patterns of microbial diversity across landscapes are unknown. Pyrosequencing of small subunit ribosomal RNA gene hypervariable regions to characterize microbial communities along a hydrological continuum in arctic tundra showed a pattern of decreasing diversity downslope, with highest species richness in soil waters and headwater streams, and lowest richness in lake water. In a downstream lake, 58% and 43% of the bacterial and archaeal taxa, respectively, were also detected in diverse upslope communities, including most of the numerically dominant lake taxa. In contrast, only 18% of microbial eukaryotic taxa in the lake were detected upslope. We suggest that patterns of diversity in surface waters are structured by initial inoculation from microbial reservoirs in soils followed by a species-sorting process during downslope dispersal of both common and rare microbial taxa. Our results suggest that, unlike for metazoans, a substantial portion of bacterial and archaeal diversity in surface freshwaters may originate in complex soil environments. © 2012 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved.

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