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Microbial informatics

Hirokazu Toju, Kabir G Peay, Masato Yamamichi, Kazuhiko Narisawa, Kei Hiruma, Ken Naito, Shinji Fukuda, Masayuki Ushio, Shinji Nakaoka, Yusuke Onoda, Kentaro Yoshida, Klaus Schlaeppi, Yang Bai, Ryo Sugiura, Yasunori Ichihashi, Kiwamu Minamisawa, E Toby Kiers
In an era of ecosystem degradation and climate change, maximizing microbial functions in agroecosystems has become a prerequisite for the future of global agriculture. However, managing species-rich communities of plant-associated microbiomes remains a major challenge. Here, we propose interdisciplinary research strategies to optimize microbiome functions in agroecosystems. Informatics now allows us to identify members and characteristics of 'core microbiomes', which may be deployed to organize otherwise uncontrollable dynamics of resident microbiomes...
May 2018: Nature Plants
Clemens Blank, Caleb Easterly, Bjoern Gruening, James Johnson, Carolin A Kolmeder, Praveen Kumar, Damon May, Subina Mehta, Bart Mesuere, Zachary Brown, Joshua E Elias, W Judson Hervey, Thomas McGowan, Thilo Muth, Brook Nunn, Joel Rudney, Alessandro Tanca, Timothy J Griffin, Pratik D Jagtap
The impact of microbial communities, also known as the microbiome, on human health and the environment is receiving increased attention. Studying translated gene products (proteins) and comparing metaproteomic profiles may elucidate how microbiomes respond to specific environmental stimuli, and interact with host organisms. Characterizing proteins expressed by a complex microbiome and interpreting their functional signature requires sophisticated informatics tools and workflows tailored to metaproteomics. Additionally, there is a need to disseminate these informatics resources to researchers undertaking metaproteomic studies, who could use them to make new and important discoveries in microbiome research...
January 31, 2018: Proteomes
Jun Kikuchi, Shunji Yamada
NMR offers tremendous advantages in the analyses of molecular complexity, such as crude bio-fluids, bio-extracts, and intact cells and tissues. Here we introduce recent applications of NMR approaches, as well as next generation sequencing (NGS), for the evaluation of human and environmental health (i.e., maintenance of a homeostatic state) based on metabolic and microbial profiling and data science. We describe useful databases and web tools that are used to support these studies by facilitating the characterization of metabolites from complex NMR spectra...
October 24, 2017: Analyst
Ignacio Belda, Iratxe Zarraonaindia, Matthew Perisin, Antonio Palacios, Alberto Acedo
Wine originally emerged as a serendipitous mix of chemistry and biology, where microorganisms played a decisive role. From these ancient fermentations to the current monitored industrial processes, winegrowers and winemakers have been continuously changing their practices according to scientific knowledge and advances. A new enology direction is emerging and aiming to blend the complexity of spontaneous fermentations with industrial safety of monitored fermentations. In this context, wines with distinctive autochthonous peculiarities have a great acceptance among consumers, causing important economic returns...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Michael A Skinnider, Nishanth J Merwin, Chad W Johnston, Nathan A Magarvey
Microbial natural products represent a rich resource of pharmaceutically and industrially important compounds. Genome sequencing has revealed that the majority of natural products remain undiscovered, and computational methods to connect biosynthetic gene clusters to their corresponding natural products therefore have the potential to revitalize natural product discovery. Previously, we described PRediction Informatics for Secondary Metabolomes (PRISM), a combinatorial approach to chemical structure prediction for genetically encoded nonribosomal peptides and type I and II polyketides...
July 3, 2017: Nucleic Acids Research
Sean P Jungbluth, Jan P Amend, Michael S Rappé
The global deep subsurface biosphere is one of the largest reservoirs for microbial life on our planet. This study takes advantage of new sampling technologies and couples them with improvements to DNA sequencing and associated informatics tools to reconstruct the genomes of uncultivated Bacteria and Archaea from fluids collected deep within the Juan de Fuca Ridge subseafloor. Here, we generated two metagenomes from borehole observatories located 311 meters apart and, using binning tools, retrieved 98 genomes from metagenomes (GFMs)...
March 28, 2017: Scientific Data
Yuki Iwasaki, Takashi Abe, Kennosuke Wada, Yoshiko Wada, Toshimichi Ikemura
Unsupervised data mining capable of extracting a wide range of knowledge from big data without prior knowledge or particular models is a timely application in the era of big sequence data accumulation in genome research. By handling oligonucleotide compositions as high-dimensional data, we have previously modified the conventional self-organizing map (SOM) for genome informatics and established BLSOM, which can analyze more than ten million sequences simultaneously. Here, we develop BLSOM specialized for tRNA genes (tDNAs) that can cluster (self-organize) more than one million microbial tDNAs according to their cognate amino acid solely depending on tetra- and pentanucleotide compositions...
September 12, 2017: Genes & Genetic Systems
Felicia M T Lewis, Kyle T Bernstein, Sevgi O Aral
The vaginal microbiota has great significance in maintaining vaginal health and protecting the host from disease. Recent advances in molecular techniques and informatics allow researchers to explore microbial composition in detail and to compare the structure of vaginal microbial communities with behavior and health outcomes, particularly acquisition and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and poor birth outcomes. Vaginal flora have been found to cluster into a limited number of communities, although community structure is dynamic...
April 2017: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Sophia Santos, Isabel Rocha
Given the great potential impact of the growing number of complete genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions of microorganisms, bioinformatics tools are needed to simplify and accelerate the course of knowledge in this field. One essential component of a genome-scale metabolic model is its biomass equation, whose maximization is one of the most common objective functions used in Flux Balance Analysis formulations. Some components of biomass, such as amino acids and nucleotides, can be estimated from genome information, providing reliable data without the need of performing lab experiments...
November 27, 2016: Journal of Integrative Bioinformatics
Massimiliano Orsini, Gianmauro Cuccuru, Paolo Uva, Giorgio Fotia
Bacterial genome sequencing is now an affordable choice for many laboratories for applications in research, diagnostic, and clinical microbiology. Nowadays, an overabundance of tools is available for genomic data analysis. However, tools differ for algorithms, languages, hardware requirements, and user interface, and combining them as it is necessary for sequence data interpretation often requires (bio)informatics skills which can be difficult to find in many laboratories. In addition, multiple data sources, as well as exceedingly large dataset sizes, and increasingly computational complexity further challenge the accessibility, reproducibility, and transparency of the entire process...
2016: Methods in Molecular Biology
Chad W Johnston, Michael A Skinnider, Chris A Dejong, Philip N Rees, Gregory M Chen, Chelsea G Walker, Shawn French, Eric D Brown, János Bérdy, Dennis Y Liu, Nathan A Magarvey
Antibiotics are essential for numerous medical procedures, including the treatment of bacterial infections, but their widespread use has led to the accumulation of resistance, prompting calls for the discovery of antibacterial agents with new targets. A majority of clinically approved antibacterial scaffolds are derived from microbial natural products, but these valuable molecules are not well annotated or organized, limiting the efficacy of modern informatic analyses. Here, we provide a comprehensive resource defining the targets, chemical origins and families of the natural antibacterial collective through a retrobiosynthetic algorithm...
April 2016: Nature Chemical Biology
Michael A Skinnider, Chris A Dejong, Philip N Rees, Chad W Johnston, Haoxin Li, Andrew L H Webster, Morgan A Wyatt, Nathan A Magarvey
Microbial natural products are an invaluable source of evolved bioactive small molecules and pharmaceutical agents. Next-generation and metagenomic sequencing indicates untapped genomic potential, yet high rediscovery rates of known metabolites increasingly frustrate conventional natural product screening programs. New methods to connect biosynthetic gene clusters to novel chemical scaffolds are therefore critical to enable the targeted discovery of genetically encoded natural products. Here, we present PRISM, a computational resource for the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters, prediction of genetically encoded nonribosomal peptides and type I and II polyketides, and bio- and cheminformatic dereplication of known natural products...
November 16, 2015: Nucleic Acids Research
Lian Yang, Ashraf Ibrahim, Chad W Johnston, Michael A Skinnider, Bin Ma, Nathan A Magarvey
Microbial natural products are some of the most important pharmaceutical agents and possess unparalleled chemical diversity. Here we present an untargeted metabolomics algorithm that builds on our validated iSNAP platform to rapidly identify families of peptide natural products. By utilizing known or in silico-dereplicated seed structures, this algorithm screens tandem mass spectrometry data to elaborate extensive molecular families within crude microbial culture extracts with high confidence and statistical significance...
September 17, 2015: Chemistry & Biology
Chad W Johnston, Alex D Connaty, Michael A Skinnider, Yong Li, Alyssa Grunwald, Morgan A Wyatt, Russell G Kerr, Nathan A Magarvey
Natural products are a crucial source of antimicrobial agents, but reliance on low-resolution bioactivity-guided approaches has led to diminishing interest in discovery programmes. Here, we demonstrate that two in-house automated informatic platforms can be used to target classes of biologically active natural products, specifically, peptaibols. We demonstrate that mass spectrometry-based informatic approaches can be used to detect natural products with high sensitivity, identifying desired agents present in complex microbial extracts...
March 2016: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology
Ingrid Glurich, Amit Acharya, Murray H Brilliant, Sanjay K Shukla
BACKGROUND: Precision medicine (PM), representing clinically applicable personalized medicine, proactively integrates and interprets multidimensional personal health data, including clinical, 'omics', and environmental profiles, into clinical practice. Realization of PM remains in progress. OBJECTIVE: The focus of this review is to provide a descriptive narrative overview of: 1) the current status of oral personalized medicine; and 2) recent advances in genomics and related 'omic' and emerging research domains contributing to advancing oral-systemic PM, with special emphasis on current understanding of oral microbiomes...
2015: Journal of Oral Microbiology
Yuzhen Ye, Haixu Tang
MOTIVATION: Metagenomics research has accelerated the studies of microbial organisms, providing insights into the composition and potential functionality of various microbial communities. Metatranscriptomics (studies of the transcripts from a mixture of microbial species) and other meta-omics approaches hold even greater promise for providing additional insights into functional and regulatory characteristics of the microbial communities. Current metatranscriptomics projects are often carried out without matched metagenomic datasets (of the same microbial communities)...
April 1, 2016: Bioinformatics
Andrew G McArthur, Gerard D Wright
Antimicrobial resistance is a global health challenge and has an evolutionary trajectory ranging from proto-resistance in the environment to untreatable clinical pathogens. Resistance is not static, as pathogenic strains can move among patient populations and individual resistance genes can move among pathogens. Effective treatment of resistant infections, antimicrobial stewardship, and new drug discovery increasingly rely upon genotype information, powered by decreasing costs of DNA sequencing. These new approaches will require advances in microbial informatics, particularly in development of reference databases of molecular determinants such as our Comprehensive Antibiotic Resistance Database and clinical metadata, new algorithms for prediction of resistome and resistance phenotype from genotype, and new protocols for global collection and sharing of high-throughput molecular epidemiology data...
October 2015: Current Opinion in Microbiology
Weili Xiong, Paul E Abraham, Zhou Li, Chongle Pan, Robert L Hettich
The human gastrointestinal tract is a complex, dynamic ecosystem that consists of a carefully tuned balance of human host and microbiota membership. The microbiome is not merely a collection of opportunistic parasites, but rather provides important functions to the host that are absolutely critical to many aspects of health, including nutrient transformation and absorption, drug metabolism, pathogen defense, and immune system development. Microbial metaproteomics provides the ability to characterize the human gut microbiota functions and metabolic activities at a remarkably deep level, revealing information about microbiome development and stability as well as their interactions with their human host...
October 2015: Proteomics
Neha Garg, Clifford Kapono, Yan Wei Lim, Nobuhiro Koyama, Mark J A Vermeij, Douglas Conrad, Forest Rohwer, Pieter C Dorrestein
While in nucleotide sequencing, the analysis of DNA from complex mixtures of organisms is common, this is not yet true for mass spectrometric data analysis of complex mixtures. The comparative analyses of mass spectrometry data of microbial communities at the molecular level is difficult to perform, especially in the context of a host. The challenge does not lie in generating the mass spectrometry data, rather much of the difficulty falls in the realm of how to derive relevant information from this data. The informatics based techniques to visualize and organize datasets are well established for metagenome sequencing; however, due to the scarcity of informatics strategies in mass spectrometry, it is currently difficult to cross correlate two very different mass spectrometry data sets from microbial communities and their hosts...
February 1, 2015: International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Ryan J Newton, Sandra L McLellan, Deborah K Dila, Joseph H Vineis, Hilary G Morrison, A Murat Eren, Mitchell L Sogin
UNLABELLED: Molecular characterizations of the gut microbiome from individual human stool samples have identified community patterns that correlate with age, disease, diet, and other human characteristics, but resources for marker gene studies that consider microbiome trends among human populations scale with the number of individuals sampled from each population. As an alternative strategy for sampling populations, we examined whether sewage accurately reflects the microbial community of a mixture of stool samples...
2015: MBio
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