Harvesting Microbial Diversity
 From Raw Sample to Free Taxonomic Analysis. MRDNA is and end-to-end DNA Sequencing Service

Gigascience. 2016 Aug 2;5(1):34. doi: 10.1186/s13742-016-0140-7.

INC-Seq: accurate single molecule reads using nanopore sequencing.

Li C1,2, Chng KR1, Boey EJ1, Ng AH1, Wilm A1, Nagarajan N3,4.

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Nanopore sequencing provides a rapid, cheap and portable real-time sequencing platform with the potential to revolutionize genomics. However, several applications are limited by relatively high single-read error rates (>10 %), including RNA-seq, haplotype sequencing and 16S sequencing.


We developed the Intramolecular-ligated Nanopore Consensus Sequencing (INC-Seq) as a strategy for obtaining long and accurate nanopore reads, starting with low input DNA. Applying INC-Seq for 16S rRNA-based bacterial profiling generated full-length amplicon sequences with a median accuracy >97 %.


INC-Seq reads enabled accurate species-level classification, identification of species at 0.1 % abundance and robust quantification of relative abundances, providing a cheap and effective approach for pathogen detection and microbiome profiling on the MinION system.


Barcode sequencing; Consensus algorithms; Nanopore sequencing; Rolling circle amplification

PMID: 27485345 PMCID: PMC4970289 DOI: 10.1186/s13742-016-0140-7

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ISME J. 2016 Aug 2. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2016.108. [Epub ahead of print]

Functional traits dominate the diversity-related selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere.

Yan Y1,2, Kuramae EE1, de Hollander M1, Klinkhamer PG2, van Veen JA1,2.

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We studied the impact of community diversity on the selection of bacterial communities in the rhizosphere by comparing the composition and the functional traits of these communities in soil and rhizosphere. Differences in diversity were established by inoculating into sterilized soils diluted suspensions of the same soil. We used 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing to determine the taxonomical structure of the bacterial communities and a shotgun metagenomics approach to investigate the potential functional diversity of the communities. By comparing the bacterial communities in soil and rhizosphere, the selective power of the plant was observed both at the taxonomic and functional level, although the diversity indices of soil and rhizosphere samples showed a highly variable, irregular pattern. Lesser variation, that is, more homogenization, was found for both the taxonomic structure and the functional profile of the rhizosphere communities as compared to the communities of the bulk soil. Network analysis revealed stronger interactions among bacterial operational taxonomic units in the rhizosphere than in the soil. The enrichment processes in the rhizosphere selected microbes with particular functional genes related to transporters, the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway and hydrogen metabolism. This selection was not random across bacteria with these functional traits, but it was species specific. Overall, this suggests that functional traits are a key to the assembly of bacterial rhizosphere communities.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 2 August 2016; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.108.

PMID: 27482928 DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2016.108

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ISME J. 2016 Aug 2. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2016.98. [Epub ahead of print]

Metal stressors consistently modulate bacterial conjugal plasmid uptake potential in a phylogenetically conserved manner.

Klümper U1, Dechesne A1, Riber L2, Brandt KK3, Gülay A1, Sørensen SJ2, Smets BF1.

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The environmental stimulants and inhibitors of conjugal plasmid transfer in microbial communities are poorly understood. Specifically, it is not known whether exposure to stressors may cause a community to alter its plasmid uptake ability. We assessed whether metals (Cu, Cd, Ni, Zn) and one metalloid (As), at concentrations causing partial growth inhibition, modulate community permissiveness (that is, uptake ability) against a broad-host-range IncP-type plasmid (pKJK5). Cells were extracted from an agricultural soil as recipient community and a cultivation-minimal filter mating assay was conducted with an exogenous E. coli donor strain. The donor hosted a gfp-tagged pKJK5 derivative from which conjugation events could be microscopically quantified and transconjugants isolated and phylogenetically described at high resolution via FACS and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. Metal stress consistently decreased plasmid transfer frequencies to the community, while the transconjugal pool richness remained unaffected with OTUs belonging to 12 bacterial phyla. The taxonomic composition of the transconjugal pools was distinct from their respective recipient communities and clustered dependent on the stress type and dose. However, for certain OTUs, stress increased or decreased permissiveness by more than 1000-fold and this response was typically correlated across different metals and doses. The response to some stresses was, in addition, phylogenetically conserved. This is the first demonstration that community permissiveness is sensitive to metal(loid) stress in a manner that is both partially consistent across stressors and phylogenetically conserved.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 2 August 2016; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.98.

PMID: 27482924 DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2016.98

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Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Sep 6;50(17):9279-88. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02007. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Biofilm Thickness Influences Biodiversity in Nitrifying MBBRs-Implications on Micropollutant Removal.

Torresi E1,2, Fowler SJ1, Polesel F1, Bester K3, Andersen HR1, Smets BF1, Plósz BG1, Christensson M2.

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In biofilm systems for wastewater treatment (e.g., moving bed biofilms reactors-MBBRs) biofilm thickness is typically not under direct control. Nevertheless, biofilm thickness is likely to have a profound effect on the microbial diversity and activity, as a result of diffusion limitation and thus substrate penetration in the biofilm. In this study, we investigated the impact of biofilm thickness on nitrification and on the removal of more than 20 organic micropollutants in laboratory-scale nitrifying MBBRs. We used novel carriers (Z-carriers, AnoxKaldnes) that allowed controlling biofilm thickness at 50, 200, 300, 400, and 500 μm. The impact of biofilm thickness on microbial community was assessed via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) abundance quantification through quantitative PCR (qPCR). Results from batch experiments and microbial analysis showed that (i) the thickest biofilm (500 μm) presented the highest specific biotransformation rate constants (kbio, L g(-1) d(-1)) for 14 out of 22 micropollutants; (ii) biofilm thickness positively associated with biodiversity, which was suggested as the main factor for the observed enhancement of kbio; (iii) the thinnest biofilm (50 μm) exhibited the highest nitrification rate (gN d(-1) g(-1)), amoA gene abundance and kbio values for some of the most recalcitrant micropollutants (i.e., diclofenac and targeted sulfonamides). Although thin biofilms favored nitrification activity and the removal of some micropollutants, treatment systems based on thicker biofilms should be considered to enhance the elimination of a broad spectrum of micropollutants.

PMID: 27477857 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02007

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A Closer Look At The BeesWax of 16s rRNA Sequencing