Browsing by Subject "metabarcoding"

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  • Harrison, Jesse P.; Chronopoulou, Panagiota-Myrsini; Salonen, Iines S.; Jilbert, Tom; Koho, Karoliina A. (2021)
    Metabarcoding analyses of bacterial and eukaryotic communities have been proposed as efficient tools for environmental impact assessment. It has been unclear, however, to which extent these analyses can provide similar or differing information on the ecological status of the environment. Here, we used 16S and 18S rRNA gene metabarcoding to compare eutrophication-induced shifts in sediment bacterial and eukaryotic community structure in relation to a range of porewater, sediment and bottom-water geochemical variables, using data obtained from six stations near a former rainbow trout farm in the Archipelago Sea (Baltic Sea). Shifts in the structure of both community types were correlated with a shared set of variables, including porewater ammonium concentrations and the sediment depth-integrated oxygen consumption rate. Distance-based redundancy analyses showed that variables typically employed in impact assessments, such as bottom water nutrient concentrations, explained less of the variance in community structure than alternative variables (e.g., porewater NH4+ inventories and sediment depth-integrated O2 consumption rates) selected due to their low collinearity (up to 40 vs. 58% of the variance explained, respectively). In monitoring surveys where analyses of both bacterial and eukaryotic communities may be impossible, either 16S or 18S rRNA gene metabarcoding can serve as reliable indicators of wider ecological impacts of eutrophication.
  • Salonen, Iines S.; Chronopoulou, Panagiota-Myrsini; Nomaki, Hidetaka; Langlet, Dewi; Tsuchiya, Masashi; Koho, Karoliina A. (2021)
    Foraminifera are unicellular eukaryotes that are an integral part of benthic fauna in many marine ecosystems, including the deep sea, with direct impacts on benthic biogeochemical cycles. In these systems, different foraminiferal species are known to have a distinct vertical distribution, i.e., microhabitat preference, which is tightly linked to the physico-chemical zonation of the sediment. Hence, foraminifera are well-adapted to thrive in various conditions, even under anoxia. However, despite the ecological and biogeochemical significance of foraminifera, their ecology remains poorly understood. This is especially true in terms of the composition and diversity of their microbiome, although foraminifera are known to harbor diverse endobionts, which may have a significant meaning to each species' survival strategy. In this study, we used 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding to investigate the microbiomes of five different deep-sea benthic foraminiferal species representing differing microhabitat preferences. The microbiomes of these species were compared intra- and inter-specifically, as well as with the surrounding sediment bacterial community. Our analysis indicated that each species was characterized with a distinct, statistically different microbiome that also differed from the surrounding sediment community in terms of diversity and dominant bacterial groups. We were also able to distinguish specific bacterial groups that seemed to be strongly associated with particular foraminiferal species, such as the family Marinilabiliaceae for Chilostomella ovoidea and the family Hyphomicrobiaceae for Bulimina subornata and Bulimina striata. The presence of bacterial groups that are tightly associated to a certain foraminiferal species implies that there may exist unique, potentially symbiotic relationships between foraminifera and bacteria that have been previously overlooked. Furthermore, the foraminifera contained chloroplast reads originating from different sources, likely reflecting trophic preferences and ecological characteristics of the different species. This study demonstrates the potential of 16S rRNA gene metabarcoding in resolving the microbiome composition and diversity of eukaryotic unicellular organisms, providing unique in situ insights into enigmatic deep-sea ecosystems.
  • Korpelainen, Helena; Pietiläinen, Maria (2017)
    In the present study, we conducted DNA metabarcoding (the nuclear ITS2 region) for indoor fungal samples originating from two nursery schools with a suspected mould problem (sampling before and after renovation), from two university buildings, and from an old farmhouse. Good-quality sequences were obtained, and the results showed that DNA metabarcoding provides high resolution in fungal identification. The pooled proportions of sequences representing filamentous ascomycetes, filamentous basidiomycetes, yeasts, and other fungi equalled 62.3%, 8.0%, 28.3%, and 1.4%, respectively, and the total number of fungal genera found during the study was 585. When comparing fungal diversities and taxonomic composition between different types of buildings, no obvious pattern was detected. The average pairwise values of Sorensen(Chao) indices that were used to compare similarities for taxon composition between samples among the samples from the two university buildings, two nurseries, and farmhouse equaled 0.693, 0.736, 0.852, 0.928, and 0.981, respectively, while the mean similarity index for all samples was 0.864. We discovered that making explicit conclusions on the relationship between the indoor air quality and mycoflora is complicated by the lack of appropriate indicators for air quality and by the occurrence of wide spatial and temporal changes in diversity and compositions among samples.
  • Marquina, Daniel; Esparza-Salas, Rodrigo; Roslin, Tomas; Ronquist, Fredrik (2019)
    DNA metabarcoding allows the analysis of insect communities faster and more efficiently than ever before. However, metabarcoding can be conducted through several approaches, and the consistency of results across methods has rarely been studied. We compare the results obtained by DNA metabarcoding of the same communities using two different markers - COI and 16S - and three different sampling methods: (a) homogenized Malaise trap samples (homogenate), (b) preservative ethanol from the same samples, and (c) soil samples. Our results indicate that COI and 16S offer partly complementary information on Malaise trap samples, with each marker detecting a significant number of species not detected by the other. Different sampling methods offer highly divergent estimates of community composition. The community recovered from preservative ethanol of Malaise trap samples is significantly different from that recovered from homogenate. Small and weakly sclerotized insects tend to be overrepresented in ethanol while strong and large taxa are overrepresented in homogenate. For soil samples, highly degenerate COI primers pick up large amounts of nontarget DNA and only 16S provides adequate analyses of insect diversity. However, even with 16S, very little overlap in molecular operational taxonomic unit (MOTU) content was found between the trap and the soil samples. Our results demonstrate that none of the tested sampling approaches is satisfactory on its own. For instance, DNA extraction from preservative ethanol is not a valid replacement for destructive bulk extraction but a complement. In future metabarcoding studies, both should ideally be used together to achieve comprehensive representation of the target community.
  • Koskinen, Janne; Roslin, Tomas; Nyman, Tommi; Abrego, Nerea; Michell, Craig; Vesterinen, Eero J. (2019)
    Fruiting bodies of fungi constitute an important resource for thousands of other taxa. The structure of these diverse assemblages has traditionally been studied with labour-intensive methods involving cultivation and morphology-based species identification, to which molecular information might offer convenient complements. To overcome challenges in DNA extraction and PCR associated with the complex chemical properties of fruiting bodies, we developed a pipeline applicable for extracting amplifiable total DNA from soft fungal samples of any size. Our protocol purifies DNA in two sequential steps: (a) initial salt-isopropanol extraction of all nucleic acids in the sample is followed by (b) an extra clean-up step using solid-phase reversible immobilization (SPRI) magnetic beads. The protocol proved highly efficient, with practically all of our samples-regardless of biomass or other properties-being successfully PCR-amplified using metabarcoding primers and subsequently sequenced. As a proof of concept, we apply our methods to address a topical ecological question: is host specificity a major characteristic of fungus-associated communities, that is, do different fungus species harbour different communities of associated organisms? Based on an analysis of 312 fungal fruiting bodies representing 10 species in five genera from three orders, we show that molecular methods are suitable for studying this rich natural microcosm. Comparing to previous knowledge based on rearing and morphology-based identifications, we find a species-rich assemblage characterized by a low degree of host specialization. Our method opens up new horizons for molecular analyses of fungus-associated interaction webs and communities.
  • Miller, Kirsten E.; Aguilera, Guillermo; Bommarco, Riccardo; Roslin, Tomas (2021)
    Arthropod communities dwelling in adjacent habitats are able to impact one another via shared natural enemies. In agricultural landscapes, drastic differences in resource availability between crop and non-crop habitats cause variation in insect herbivore densities over short distances, potentially driving inter-habitat effects. Moreover, the composition of the landscape in which the habitats are embedded likely affects realised attack rates from natural enemies via impacts on local arthropod community structure. Here, we examine indirect effects between herbivore species within and between habitat types by calculating the potential for apparent competition between multiple populations. Firstly, we aim to determine how disparities in resource availability impact the strength of the potential for apparent competition occurring between habitats, secondly to examine the impact of landscape composition upon these effects, and finally to couch these observations in reality by investigating the link between the potential for apparent competition and realised attack rates. We used DNA metabarcoding to characterise host-parasitoid interactions within two habitat types (with divergent nutrient inputs) at 11 locations with variable landscape composition within an agroecosystem context. We then used these interaction networks to estimate the potential for apparent competition between each host pair and to compare expected versus realised attack rates across the system. Shared natural enemies were found to structure host herbivore communities within and across habitat boundaries. The size of this effect was related to the resource availability of habitats, such that the habitat with high nutrient input exerted a stronger effect. The overall potential for apparent competition declined with increasing land-use intensity in the surrounding landscape and exhibited a discernible impact on realised attack rates upon herbivore species. Thus, our results suggest that increasing the proportion of perennial habitat in agroecosystems could increase the prevalence of indirect effects such as apparent competition among insect herbivore communities, potentially leading to enhanced population regulation via increased attack rates from natural enemies like parasitoid wasps.
  • Chronopoulou, Myrsini; Salonen, Iines; Bird, Clare; Reichart, Gert-Jan; Koho, Karoliina (2019)
    Foraminifera are ubiquitous marine protists with an important role in the benthic carbon cycle. However, morphological observations often fail to resolve their exact taxonomic placement and there is a lack of field studies on their particular trophic preferences. Here, we propose the application of metabarcoding as a tool for the elucidation of the in situ feeding behavior of benthic foraminifera, while also allowing the correct taxonomic assignment of the feeder, using the V9 region of the 18S (small subunit; SSU) rRNA gene. Living foraminiferal specimens were collected from two intertidal mudflats of the Wadden Sea and DNA was extracted from foraminiferal individuals and from the surrounding sediments. Molecular analysis allowed us to confirm that our foraminiferal specimens belong to three genetic types: Ammonia sp. T6, Elphidium sp. S5 and Haynesina sp. S16. Foraminiferal intracellular eukaryote communities reflected to an extent those of the surrounding sediments but at different relative abundances. Unlike sediment eukaryote communities, which were largely determined by the sampling site, foraminiferal intracellular eukaryote communities were driven by foraminiferal species, followed by sediment depth. Our data suggests that Ammonia sp. T6 can predate on metazoan classes, whereas Elphidium sp. S5 and Haynesina sp. S16 are more likely to ingest diatoms. These observations, alongside the use of metabarcoding in similar ecological studies, significantly contribute to our overall understanding of the ecological roles of these protists in intertidal benthic environments and their position and function in the benthic food webs.
  • Salonen, I. S.; Chronopoulou, P.-M.; Leskinen, E.; Koho, K. A. (2019)
    Metabarcoding is a method that combines high-throughput DNA sequencing and DNA-based identification. Previously, this method has been successfully used to target spatial variation of eukaryote communities in marine sediments, however, the temporal changes in these communities remain understudied. Here, we follow the temporal changes of the eukaryote communities in Baltic Sea surface sediments collected from two coastal localities during three seasons of two consecutive years. Our study reveals that the structure of the sediment eukaryotic ecosystem was primarily driven by annual and seasonal changes in prevailing environmental conditions, whereas spatial variation was a less significant factor in explaining the variance in eukaryotic communities over time. Therefore, our data suggests that shifts in regional climate regime or large-scale changes in the environment are the overdriving factors in shaping the coastal eukaryotic sediment ecosystems rather than small-scale changes in local environmental conditions or heterogeneity in ecosystem structure. More studies targeting temporal changes are needed to further understand the long-term trends in ecosystem stability and response to climate change. Furthermore, this work contributes to the recent efforts in developing metabarcoding applications for environmental biomonitoring, proving a comprehensive option for traditional monitoring approaches.
  • Kahlert, Maria; Bailet, Bonnie; Chonova, Teofana; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Schneider, Susanne C.; Tapolczai, Kálmán (Elsevier, 2021)
    Ecological Indicators 130 (2021), 108088
    We developed and compared the performance of freshwater benthic diatom indices calculated from (i) traditional morphological species identification, (ii) Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs) obtained via DNA metabarcoding, and (iii) morphological traits to indicate eutrophication in rivers and lakes in Fennoscandia. Based on the results, we provided recommendations for the future routine use of diatom bioassessment tools in environmental monitoring and assessment. Our results show that ASVs are the most promising candidates to be used in environmental assessment. Indices based on ASVs correlated better with TotP concentrations than morphological taxa data, whereas the trait indices correlated least. We could see by studying the taxonomic assignments of the ASVs that traditional morphotaxa were divided up into several ASVs with different ecological profiles, which explained part of the better index performance and also encourages further studies on diatom diversity and ecological preferences. In general, ASV- and morphotaxon-specific optima differed slightly between streams and lakes, but were significantly correlated with each other. This means that it should be possible to develop a common index that is applicable in both streams and lakes, but boundary values with respect to TotP might need to be set separately for them. More knowledge on diatom traits is required to enable their use for environmental assessment.
  • Vesterinen, Eero Juhani; Puisto, Anna; Blomberg, Anna; Lilley, Thomas Mikael (2018)
    Differences in diet can explain resource partitioning in apparently similar, sympatric species. Here, we analyzed 1,252 fecal droppings from five species (Eptesicus nilssonii, Myotis brandtii, M. daubentonii, M. mystacinus, and Plecotus auritus) to reveal their dietary niches using fecal DNA metabarcoding. We identified nearly 550 prey species in 13 arthropod orders. Two main orders (Diptera and Lepidoptera) formed the majority of the diet for all species, constituting roughly 80%–90% of the diet. All five species had different dietary assemblages. We also found significant differences in the size of prey species between the bat species. Our results on diet composition remain mostly unchanged when using either read counts as a proxy for quantitative diet or presence–absence data, indicating a strong biological pattern. We conclude that although bats share major components in their ecology (nocturnal life style, insectivory, and echolocation), species differ in feeding behavior, suggesting bats may have distinctive evolutionary strategies. Diet analysis helps illuminate life history traits of various species, adding to sparse ecological knowledge, which can be utilized in conservation planning.
  • Grant, Danielle M.; Brodnicke, Ole Bjørn; Evankow, Ann M.; Ferreira, André O.; Fontes, João T.; Hansen, Aslak Kappel; Jensen, Mads Reinholdt; Kalaycı, Tuğba Ergül; Leeper, Alexandra; Patil, Shalaka Kiran; Prati, Sebastian; Reunamo, Anna; Roberts, Aradhana J.; Shigdel, Rajesh; Tyukosova, Valentina; Bendiksby, Mika; Blaalid, Rakel; Costa, Filipe O.; Hollingsworth, Peter M.; Stur, Elisabeth; Ekrem, Torbjørn (MDPI, 2021)
    Diversity 2021, 13(7), 313
    Over the last two decades, the use of DNA barcodes has transformed our ability to identify and assess life on our planet. Both strengths and weaknesses of the method have been exemplified through thousands of peer-reviewed scientific articles. Given the novel sequencing approaches, currently capable of generating millions of reads at low cost, we reflect on the questions: What will the future bring for DNA barcoding? Will identification of species using short, standardized fragments of DNA stand the test of time? We present reflected opinions of early career biodiversity researchers in the form of a SWOT analysis and discuss answers to these questions.