Développement et applications d'outils d'analyse métagénomique des communautés microbiennes associées aux insectes

Abstract : The aim of this PhD thesis is to develop innovative approaches to characterize host-microbiota relationships, and to apply them to finely explore the pea aphid microbiota using metagenomic data. Symbiotic relationships play a major role in the life and evolution of all organisms, but are imperfectly described, essentially because of the difficult characterization of the genomic diversity of the microbial partners. The rise of high throughput metagenomic sequencing is a game changer for the study of those systems, but also raises methodological issues to analyze large metagenomic datasets. Metagenomic is here applied to the pea aphid holobiont, a model system for the study of symbiotic relationships, sheltering a moderately complex microbial community. This level of complexity seems to be ideal to develop new approaches for the strain-resolved characterization of host-microbiota relationships. This thesis aims at a better description of this symbiotic community by distinguishing several scales of metagenomic diversity. In a first part, we present a framework for the metagenomic analysis of holobionts, relying first on the taxonomic assignation of reads by alignment to reference or newly assembled genomes, and then on the detection of genomic variants. Whole genome variant profiles make possible to track the evolutionary history of host-microbiota associations with a high resolution. In the case of the pea aphid, we highlight different scales and structures for the metagenomic diversity of the different symbionts, accounting for different transmission modes or evolutionary histories specific to each microbial partner. This framework is based on the availability of a suitable reference genome, that may be hard to obtain in a metagenomic context. In a second part, we therefore present a novel method for reference guided genome assembly from metagenomic data. This method is based on two steps. First, the recruitment and assembly of reads by mapping metagenomic reads on a distant reference genome, and second, the de novo assembly of the missing regions, allowed by the development of an improved version of the software MindTheGap. Compared to a standard metagenomic assembler, this methods makes possible to assemble a single genome in a reasonable time, and allows to detect eventual structural variations within the targeted genome. When applied to the pea aphid holobiont, MindTheGap yielded single contig assemblie of the obligatory symbiont Buchnera aphidicola, and helped to identify different structural variants of the bacteriophage APSE. This works paves the way to a finer characterization of host-microbiota interactions, and to the application of the presented approaches to more complex systems.
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Cervin Guyomar. Développement et applications d'outils d'analyse métagénomique des communautés microbiennes associées aux insectes. Sciences agricoles. Université Rennes 1, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018REN1B049⟩. ⟨tel-01955222v2⟩

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