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Houston, TX, United States

Ma J.,China University of Petroleum - Beijing | Ma J.,Rice University | Nossa C.W.,Gene by Gene Ltd | Alvarez P.J.J.,Rice University
Water Research | Year: 2015

The capacity of groundwater ecosystem to recover from contamination by organic chemicals is a vital concern for environmental scientists. A pilot-scale aquifer system was used to investigate the long-term dynamics of contaminants, groundwater geochemistry, and microbial community structure (by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and quantitative real-time PCR) throughout the 5-year life cycle of a surrogate ethanol blend fuel plume (10% ethanol + 50 mg/L benzene + 50 mg/L toluene). Two-year continuous ethanol-blended release significantly changed the groundwater geochemistry (resulted in anaerobic, low pH, and organotrophic conditions) and increased bacterial and archaeal populations by 82- and 314-fold respectively. Various anaerobic heterotrophs (fermenters, acetogens, methanogens, and hydrocarbon degraders) were enriched. Two years after the release was shut off, all contaminants and their degradation byproducts disappeared and groundwater geochemistry completely restored to the pre-release states (aerobic, neutral pH, and oligotrophic). Bacterial and archaeal populations declined by 18- and 45-fold respectively (relative to the time of shut off). Microbial community structure reverted towards the pre-release states and alpha diversity indices rebounded, suggesting the resilience of microbial community to ethanol blend releases. We also found shifts from O2-sensitive methanogens (e.g., Methanobacterium) to methanogens that are not so sensitive to O2 (e.g., Methanosarcina and Methanocella), which is likely to contribute to the persistence of methanogens and methane generation following the source removal. Overall, the rapid disappearance of contaminants and their metabolites, rebound of geochemical footprints, and resilience of microbial community unequivocally document the natural capacity of groundwater ecosystem to attenuate and recover from a large volume of catastrophic spill of ethanol-based biofuel. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Hughes G.L.,Pennsylvania State University | Dodson B.L.,Pennsylvania State University | Johnson R.M.,Pennsylvania State University | Murdock C.C.,Pennsylvania State University | And 12 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Over evolutionary time, Wolbachia has been repeatedly transferred between host species contributing to the widespread distribution of the symbiont in arthropods. For novel infections to be maintained, Wolbachia must infect the female germ line after being acquired by horizontal transfer. Although mechanistic examples of horizontal transfer exist, there is a poor understanding of factors that lead to successful vertical maintenance of the acquired infection. Using Anopheles mosquitoes (which are naturally uninfected by Wolbachia) we demonstrate that the native mosquito microbiota is a major barrier to vertical transmission of a horizontally acquired Wolbachia infection. After injection into adult Anopheles gambiae, some strains of Wolbachia invade the germ line, but are poorly transmitted to the next generation. In Anopheles stephensi, Wolbachia infection elicited massive blood meal-induced mortality, preventing development of progeny. Manipulation of the mosquito microbiota by antibiotic treatment resulted in perfect maternal transmission at significantly elevated titers of the wAlbB Wolbachia strain in A. gambiae, and alleviated blood meal-induced mortality in A. stephensi enabling production of Wolbachia-infected offspring. Microbiome analysis using high-throughput sequencing identified that the bacterium Asaia was significantly reduced by antibiotic treatment in both mosquito species. Supplementation of an antibiotic-resistant mutant of Asaia to antibiotic-treated mosquitoes completely inhibited Wolbachia transmission and partly contributed to blood meal-induced mortality. These data suggest that the components of the native mosquito microbiota can impede Wolbachia transmission in Anopheles. Incompatibility between the microbiota and Wolbachia may in part explain why some hosts are uninfected by this endosymbiont in nature. Source


Yang L.,New York University | Poles M.A.,New York University | Fisch G.S.,New York University | Ma Y.,New York University | And 3 more authors.
AIDS | Year: 2016

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of HIV infection on colonization resistance in the proximal gut. Design: It was a case-control study. Methods: We contrasted microbiota composition between eight HIV-1-infected patients and eight HIV-negative controls to characterize community alteration and detect exogenous bacteria in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, as well as the mouth using a universal 16s ribosomal RNA gene survey and correlated the findings with HIV serostatus and peripheral blood T-cell counts. Results: HIV infection was associated with an enrichment of Proteobacteria (P=0.020) and depletion of Firmicutes (P = 0.005) in the proximal gut. In particular, environmental species Burkholderia fungorum and Bradyrhizobium pachyrhizi colonized the duodenum of HIV patients who had abnormal blood CD4 + T-cell counts but were absent in HIV-negative controls or HIV patients whose CD4 + cell counts were normal. The two species coexisted and exhibited a decreasing trend proximally toward the stomach and esophagus and were virtually absent in the mouth. B. fungorum always outnumbered B. pachyrhizi in a ratio of approximately 15 to 1 regardless of the body sites (P < 0.0001, r 2 = 0.965). Their abundance was inversely correlated with CD4 + cell counts (P = 0.004) but not viral load. Overgrowth of potential opportunistic pathogens for example, Prevotella, Fusobacterium, and Ralstonia and depletion of beneficial bacteria, for example, Lactobacillus was also observed in HIV patients. Conclusions: The colonization of the duodenum by environmental bacteria reflects loss of colonization resistance in HIV infection. Their correlation with CD4 + cell counts suggests that compromised immunity could be responsible for the observed invasion by exogenous microbes. © Copyright 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Source


Trademark
Gene by Gene Ltd. | Date: 2016-04-15

Genetic identity tests comprised of reagents for non-medical purposes.


Trademark
Gene by Gene Ltd. | Date: 2014-01-28

Genetic identity tests comprised of reagents. Computer software for scientific analysis of genetic sequences. Consulting services in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical research and development and genetic science; Genetic testing for scientific research purposes; Providing medical and scientific research information in the fields of pharmaceuticals and genetics. Genetic counseling; Genetic testing for medical purposes; Providing a web site featuring educational information regarding nutrition and genetics.

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