In this study, we demonstrate the one-step production of cadaverine (1,5-diaminopentane) from cellobiose using an Escherichia coli strain displaying β-glucosidase (BGL) on its cell surface. L-lysine decarboxylase (CadA) derived from E. coli and BGL from Thermobifida fusca YX (Tfu0937) fused to the anchor protein Blc from E. coli were co-expressed using E. coli as a host. The expression of CadA was confirmed by Western blotting and BGL activity on the cell surface was evaluated using pNPG as a substrate. Growth on cellobiose as the sole carbon source was also achieved. The OD600 value of the BGL and CadA co-expressing strain was 8.0 after 48 h cultivation, which is higher than that obtained by growth on glucose (5.4 after 48 h cultivation). The engineered strain produced cadaverine from cellobiose more effectively than from glucose: 6.1 mM after 48 h from 28 g/L of consumed cellobiose, vs. 3.3 mM from 20 g/L of consumed glucose.
Cadaverine; E. coli; Cell surface display; Cellobiose
Engineered biofilms comprising a single recombinant species have demonstrated remarkable activity as novel biocatalysts for a range of applications. In this work, we focused on the biotransformation of 5-haloindole into 5-halotryptophan, a pharmaceutical intermediate, using Escherichia coli expressing a recombinant tryptophan synthase enzyme encoded by plasmid pSTB7. To optimise the reaction we compared two E. coli K-12 strains (MC4100 and MG1655) and their ompR234 mutants, which overproduce the adhesin curli (PHL644 and PHL628). The ompR234 mutation increased the quantity of biofilm in both MG1655 and MC4100 backgrounds. In all cases, no conversion of 5-haloindoles was observed using cells without the pSTB7 plasmid. Engineered biofilms of strains PHL628 pSTB7 and PHL644 pSTB7 generated more 5-halotryptophan than their corresponding planktonic cells. Flow cytometry revealed that the vast majority of cells were alive after 24 hour biotransformation reactions, both in planktonic and biofilm forms, suggesting that cell viability was not a major factor in the greater performance of biofilm reactions. Monitoring 5-haloindole depletion, 5-halotryptophan synthesis and the percentage conversion of the biotransformation reaction suggested that there were inherent differences between strains MG1655 and MC4100, and between planktonic and biofilm cells, in terms of tryptophan and indole metabolism and transport. The study has reinforced the need to thoroughly investigate bacterial physiology and make informed strain selections when developing biotransformation reactions.
E. coli; Biofilm; Biotransformation; Haloindole; Halotryptophan
Pseudomonas species are capable to proliferate under diverse environmental conditions and thus have a significant bioremediation potential. To enhance our understanding of their metabolic versatility, this study explores the changes in the proteome and physiology of Pseudomonas putida F1 resulting from its growth on benzoate, a moderate toxic compound that can be catabolized, and citrate, a carbon source that is assimilated through central metabolic pathways. A series of repetitive batch cultivations were performed to ensure a complete adaptation of the bacteria to each of these contrasting carbon sources. After several growth cycles, cell growth stabilized at the maximum level and exhibited a reproducible growth profile. The specific growth rates measured for benzoate (1.01 ± 0.11 h-1) and citrate (1.11 ± 0.12 h-1) were similar, while a higher yield was observed for benzoate (0.6 and 0.3 g cell mass per g of benzoate and citrate, respectively), reflecting the different degrees of carbon reduction in the two substrates. Comparative proteomic analysis revealed an enrichment of several oxygenases/dehydrogenases in benzoate-grown cells, indicative of the higher carbon reduction of benzoate. Moreover, the upregulation of all 14 proteins implicated in benzoate degradation via the catechol ortho-cleavage pathway was observed, while several stress-response proteins were increased to aid cells to cope with benzoate toxicity. Unexpectedly, citrate posed more challenges than benzoate in the maintenance of pH homeostasis, as indicated by the enhancement of the Na+/H+ antiporter and carbonic anhydrase. The study provides important mechanistic insights into Pseudomonas adaptation to varying carbon sources that are of great relevance to bioremediation efforts.
Pseudomonas putida; Benzoate biodegradation; Batch culture; Quantitative proteomics; 2D-LC-MS/MS; Stress response
Relatively high concentrations of micropollutants in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents underscore the necessity to develop additional treatment steps prior to discharge of treated wastewater. Microorganisms that produce unspecific oxidative enzymes such as laccases are a potential means to improve biodegradation of these compounds. Four strains of the bacterial genus Streptomyces (S. cyaneus, S. ipomoea, S. griseus and S. psammoticus) and the white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor were studied for their ability to produce active extracellular laccase in biologically treated wastewater with different carbon sources. Among the Streptomyces strains evaluated, only S. cyaneus produced extracellular laccase with sufficient activity to envisage its potential use in WWTPs. Laccase activity produced by T. versicolor was more than 20 times greater, the highest activity being observed with ash branches as the sole carbon source. The laccase preparation of S. cyaneus (abbreviated LSc) and commercial laccase from T. versicolor (LTv) were further compared in terms of their activity at different pH and temperatures, their stability, their substrate range, and their micropollutant oxidation efficiency. LSc and LTv showed highest activities under acidic conditions (around pH 3 to 5), but LTv was active over wider pH and temperature ranges than LSc, especially at near-neutral pH and between 10 and 25°C (typical conditions found in WWTPs). LTv was also less affected by pH inactivation. Both laccase preparations oxidized the three micropollutants tested, bisphenol A, diclofenac and mefenamic acid, with faster degradation kinetics observed for LTv. Overall, T. versicolor appeared to be the better candidate to remove micropollutants from wastewater in a dedicated post-treatment step.
Laccase; Streptomyces spp; Trametes versicolor; Micropollutant; Wastewater; Oxidation
The target of the present study was to quantify the capacity of different commercially available yeast derivatives to bind E. coli F4 and Salmonella Typhimurium. In addition, a correlation analysis was performed for the obtained binding numbers and the mannan-, glucan- and protein contents of the products, respectively. In a subsequent experiment, different yeast strains were fermented and treated by autolysis or French press to obtain a concentrated yeast cell wall. The capacity of yeast cell wall products to bind E. coli F4 and Salmonella Typhimurium was assessed with a quantitative microbiological microplate-based assay by measuring the optical density (OD) as the growth parameter of adhering bacteria. Total mannan and glucan were determined by HPLC using an isocratic method and a Refractive Index (RI) Detector. Total protein was determined by Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN). Statistical analyses were performed with IBM SPSS V19 using Spearman correlation and Mann Whitney U Test.
Different yeast derivatives show different binding numbers, which indicate differences in product quality.
Interestingly, the binding numbers for Salmonella Typhimurium are consistently higher (between one and two orders of magnitude) than for E. coli F4.
We could demonstrate some statistical significant correlations between the mannan- and glucan content of different yeast derivatives and pathogen binding numbers; however, for the different yeast strains fermented under standardized laboratory conditions, no statistically significant correlations between the mannan- and glucan content and the binding numbers for E. coli and Salmonella Typhimurium were found.
Interestingly, we could demonstrate that the yeast autolysis had a statistically significant difference on E. coli binding in contrast to the French press treatment. Salmonella binding was independent of these two treatments.
As such, we could not give a clear statement about the binding factors involved. We propose that many more factors apart from mannan- and glucan content, such as cell wall structure, strain diversity, structural diversity, structural surroundings, and non-specific interactions play important roles in pathogen immobilization.
Yeast cell wall; E. coli F4; Salmonella Typhimurium; Microplate-based assay
Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans is a thermophilic anaerobic strain most widely known for its ability to produce hydrogen (H2) when grown on carbon monoxide (CO). Although relatively well studied, growth characterization on pyruvate has never been assessed. The present work fully characterizes growth of the bacterium on pyruvate as a sole carbon source. C. hydrogenoformans demonstrated a growth rate of 0.03 h-1, with pyruvate consumption ranging between 0.21 and 0.48 mol · g-1 volatile suspended solid · d-1. A lag phase was also observed when switching from pyruvate to CO. When grown simultaneously on pyruvate and CO, pyruvate consumption was initiated upon CO depletion. This was attributed to pyruvate oxidation inhibition by CO, and not to a diauxic phenomenom. The strain also showed homoacetogenic activity.
Carbon monoxide; Water-gas shift reaction; C. hydrogenoformans; Pyruvate
The aim of this study was the evaluation of the photoactivated antibacterial activity of titanium dioxide (TiO2)-coated surfaces. Bacterial inactivation was evaluated using TiO2-coated Petri dishes. The experimental conditions optimized with Petri dishes were used to test the antibacterial effect of TiO2-coated ceramic tiles. The best antibacterial effect with Petri dishes was observed at 180, 60, 30 and 20 min of exposure for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas putida and Listeria innocua, respectively. The ceramic tiles demonstrated a photoactivated bactericidal effect at the same exposure time. In general, no differences were observed between the antibacterial effect obtained with Petri dishes and tiles. However, the photochemical activity of Petri dishes was greater than the activity of the tiles.
Results obtained indicates that the TiO2-coated surfaces showed a photoactivated bactericidal effect with all bacteria tested highlighting that the titania could be used in the ceramic and building industry for the production of coated surfaces to be placed in microbiologically sensitive environments, such as the hospital and food industry.
Titanium dioxide; Antibacterial activity; Bacteria; Photocatalytic disinfection; Photocatalysis
Yarrowia lipolytica is an attractive host for sustainable bioprocesses due to its ability to utilize a variety of carbon substrates and convert them to a range of different product types (including lipids, organic acids and polyols) under specific conditions. Despite an increasing number of applications for this yeast, relatively few studies have focused on uptake and metabolism of carbon sources, and the metabolic basis for carbon flow to the different products. The focus of this work was quantification of the cellular performance of Y. lipolytica during growth on glycerol, glucose or a mixture of the two. Carbon substrate uptake rate, growth rate, oxygen utilisation (requirement and uptake rate) and polyol yields were estimated in batch cultivations at 1 litre scale. When glucose was used as the sole carbon and energy source, the growth rate was 0.24 h-1 and biomass and CO2 were the only products. Growth on glycerol proceeded at approximately 0.30 h-1, and the substrate uptake rate was 0.02 mol L-1 h-1 regardless of the starting glycerol concentration (10, 20 or 45 g L-1). Utilisation of glycerol was accompanied by higher oxygen uptake rates compared to glucose growth, indicating import of glycerol occurred initially via phosphorylation of glycerol into glycerol-3-phosphate. Based on these results it could be speculated that once oxygen limitation was reached, additional production of NADH created imbalance in the cofactor pools and the polyol formation observed could be a result of cofactor recycling to restore the balance in metabolism.
Y. lipolytica; Glycerol; Submerged cultivation; Oxygen limitation; Polyols
Microbial profiling of metagenome communities have been studied extensively using MG-RAST and other related metagenome annotation databases. Although, database based taxonomic profiling provides snapshots of the metagenome architecture, their reliability needs to be validated through more accurate methods. Here, we performed qPCR based absolute quantitation of selected rumen microbes in the liquid and solid fraction of the rumen fluid of river buffalo adapted to varying proportion of concentrate to green or dry roughages and compared with the MG-RAST based annotation of the metagenomes sequences of 16S r-DNA amplicons and high throughput shotgun sequencing. Animals were adapted to roughage-to-concentrate ratio in the proportion of 50:50, 75:25 and 100:00, respectively for six weeks. At the end of each treatment, rumen fluid was collected at 3 h post feeding. qPCR revealed that the relative abundance of Prevotella bryantii was higher, followed by the two cellulolytic bacteria Fibrobacter succinogens and Ruminococcus flavefaciens that accounted up to 1.33% and 0.78% of the total rumen bacteria, respectively. While, Selenomonas ruminantium and archaea Methanomicrobiales were lower in microbial population in the rumen of buffalo. There was no statistically significant difference between the enumerations shown by qPCR and analysis of the shotgun sequencing data by MG-RAST except for Prevotella. These results indicate the variations in abundance of different microbial species in buffalo rumen under varied feeding regimes as well as in different fractions of rumen liquor, i.e. solid and the liquid. The results also present the reliability of shotgun sequencing to describe metagenome and analysis/annotation by MG-RAST.
Real time PCR; MG-RAST; Bubalus bubalis; Fibrobacter succinogens; Ruminococcus flavefaciens; Prevotella bryantii; Selenomonas ruminantium; Methanomicrobiales
The Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 gene BIF_00092, assigned to encode a β-d-xylosidase (BXA43) of glycoside hydrolase family 43 (GH43), was cloned with a C-terminal His-tag and expressed in Escherichia coli. BXA43 was purified to homogeneity from the cell lysate and found to be a dual-specificity exo-hydrolase active on para-nitrophenyl-β-d-xylopyranoside (pNPX), para-nitrophenyl-α-L-arabinofuranoside (pNPA), β-(1 → 4)-xylopyranosyl oligomers (XOS) of degree of polymerisation (DP) 2–4, and birchwood xylan. A phylogenetic tree of the 92 characterised GH43 enzymes displayed five distinct groups (I − V) showing specificity differences. BXA43 belonged to group IV and had an activity ratio for pNPA:pNPX of 1:25. BXA43 was stable below 40°C and at pH 4.0–8.0 and showed maximum activity at pH 5.5 and 50°C. Km and kcat for pNPX were 15.6 ± 4.2 mM and 60.6 ± 10.8 s-1, respectively, and substrate inhibition became apparent above 18 mM pNPX. Similar kinetic parameters and catalytic efficiency values were reported for β-d-xylosidase (XynB3) from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T‒6 also belonging to group IV. The activity of BXA43 for xylooligosaccharides increased with the size and was 2.3 and 5.6 fold higher, respectively for xylobiose and xylotetraose compared to pNPX. BXA43 showed clearly metal inhibition for Zn2+ and Ag+, which is different to its close homologues. Multiple sequence alignment and homology modelling indicated that Arg505Tyr506 present in BXA43 are probably important for binding to xylotetraose at subsite +3 and occur only in GH43 from the Bifidobacterium genus.
Glycoside hydrolase family 43 (GH43); β-d-xylosidase; α-l-arabinofuranosidase; Xylooligosaccharides (XOS); Bifidobacteria; Probiotics
In the present study, two phyto-compounds phenyl aldehyde (cinnamaldehyde) and propanoid (eugenol) were selected to explore their modes of action against Candida albicans. Electron microscopy, flow cytometry and spectroscopic assays were employed to determine the targets of these compounds. Treatment of C. albicans (CA04) with sub-MICs of cinnamaldehyde (50 μg/mL) and eugenol (200 μg/mL) indicated multiple sites of action including damages to cell walls, cell membranes, cytoplasmic contents and other membranous structures as observed under electron microscopy. Concentration and time dependent increase in the release of cytoplasmic contents accompanied with change in extracellular K+ concentration was recorded. Exposure of Candida cells at 4 × MIC of cinnaamldehyde and eugenol resulted in 40.21% and 50.90% dead cells, respectively as revealed by flow cytometry analysis. Treatment of Candida cells by cinnamaldehyde and eugenol at 0.5 × MIC showed 67.41% and 76.23% reduction in ergosterol biosynthesis, respectively. The binding assays reflected the ability of compounds to bind with the ergosterol. Our findings have suggested that the membrane damaging effects of phenyl aldehyde and propanoids class of compounds is attributed to their ability to inhibit ergosterol biosynthesis and simultaneously binding with ergosterol. Indirect or secondary action of these compounds on cell wall is also expected as revealed by electron microscopic studies.
Candida albicans; Electron microscopy; Ergosterol; Flow cytometry
There is increasing recognition that the healthcare environment acts as an important reservoir for transmission of healthcare acquired infections (HCAI). One method of reducing environmental contamination would be use of antimicrobial materials. The antimicrobial activity of thin silica-copper films prepared by chemical vapour deposition was evaluated against standard strains of bacteria used for disinfectant testing and bacteria of current interest in HCAI. The structure of the coatings was determined using Scanning Electron Microscopy and their hardness and adhesion to the substrate determined. Antimicrobial activity was tested using a method based on BS ISO 22196:2007. The coatings had a pale green-brown colour and had a similar hardness to steel. SEM showed nano-structured aggregates of Cu within a silica matrix. A log10 reduction in viability of >5 could be obtained within 4 h for the disinfectant test strains and within 6 h for producing Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Activity against the other hospital isolates was slower but still gave log10 reduction factors of >5 for extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli and >3 for vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa within 24 h. The results demonstrate the importance of testing antimicrobial materials destined for healthcare use against isolates of current interest in hospitals as well as standard test strains. The coatings used here can also be applied to substrates such as metals and ceramics and have potential applications where reduction of microbial environmental contamination is desirable.
Antimicrobial; Chemical vapour deposition; Copper; Disinfection surface; Hospital pathogens
The bacterial merE gene derived from the Tn21 mer operon encodes a broad-spectrum mercury transporter that governs the transport of methylmercury and mercuric ions across bacterial cytoplasmic membranes, and this gene is a potential molecular tool for improving the efficiency of methylmercury phytoremediation. A transgenic Arabidopsis engineered to express MerE was constructed and the impact of expression of MerE on methylmercury accumulation was evaluated. The subcellular localization of transiently expressed GFP-tagged MerE was examined in Arabidopsis suspension-cultured cells. The GFP-MerE was found to localize to the plasma membrane and cytosol. The transgenic Arabidopsis expressing MerE accumulated significantly more methymercury and mercuric ions into plants than the wild-type Arabidopsis did. The transgenic plants expressing MerE was significantly more resistant to mercuric ions, but only showed more resistant to methylmercury compared with the wild type Arabidopsis. These results demonstrated that expression of the bacterial mercury transporter MerE promoted the transport and accumulation of methylmercury in transgenic Arabidopsis, which may be a useful method for improving plants to facilitate the phytoremediation of methylmercury pollution.
Bacterial broad-spectrum mercury transport; MerE; Methylmercury; Phytoremediation
Diketopiperazines (DKPs) are cyclic dipeptides, representing an abundant class of biologically active natural compounds. Despite their widespread occurrence in nature, little is known about their degradation. In this study, the enzymatical and microbial cleavage of DKPs was investigated. Peptidase catalyzed hydrolysis of certain DKPs was formerly reported, but could not be confirmed in this study. While testing additional peptidases and DKPs no degradation was detected, indicating peptidase stability of the peptide bond in cyclic dipeptides. Besides confirmation of the reported degradation of cyclo(l-Asp-l-Phe) by Paenibacillus chibensis (DSM 329) and Streptomyces flavovirens (DSM 40062), cleavage of cyclo(l-Asp-l-Asp) by DSM 329 was detected. Other DKPs were not hydrolyzed by both strains, demonstrating high substrate specificity. The degradation of cyclo(l-Asp-l-Phe) by DSM 40062 was shown to be inducible. Three strains, which are able to hydrolyze hydantoins and dihydropyrimidines, were identified for the degradation of DKPs: Leifsonia sp. K3 (DSM 27212) and Bacillus sp. A16 (DSM 25052) cleaved cyclo(dl-Ala-dl-Ala) and cyclo(l-Gly-l-Phe), and Rhizobium sp. NA04-01 (DSM 24917) degraded cyclo(l-Asp-l-Phe), cyclo(l-Gly-l-Phe) and cyclo(l-Asp-l-Asp). The first enantioselective cleavage of cyclo(dl-Ala-dl-Ala) was detected with the newly isolated strains Paenibacillus sp. 32A (DSM 27214) and Microbacterium sp. 40A (DSM 27211). Cyclo(l-Ala-d-Ala) and cyclo(l-Ala-l-Ala) were completely degraded, whereas the enantiomer cyclo(d-Ala-d-Ala) was not attacked. Altogether, five bacterial strains were newly identified for the cleavage of DKPs. These bacteria may be of value for industrial purposes, such as degradation of undesirable DKPs in food and drugs and production of (enantiopure) dipeptides and amino acids.
Diketopiperazines; Cyclic dipeptides; Peptide bond; Degradation; Hydrolysis; Biotransformation; Cyclic amidases; Peptidases
With no inhibition of β-oxidation, Pseudomonas putida KT2440 produces medium-chain-length poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate) (MCL-PHA) with approximately 65 mol% 3-hydroxynonanoate (HN) from nonanoic acid. Production of PHA with higher HN content and an adjustable monomeric composition was obtained using acrylic acid, a fatty acid β-oxidation inhibitor, together with nonanoic acid and glucose as co-substrates in fed-batch fermentations. Different monomeric compositions were obtained by varying the feeding conditions to impose different specific growth rates and inhibitor feed concentrations. At a nonanoic acid: glucose: acrylic acid feed mass ratio of 1.25: 1: 0.05 and a specific growth rate of 0.15 h-1, 71.4 g L-1 biomass was produced containing 75.5% PHA with 89 mol% HN at a cumulative PHA productivity of 1.8 g L-1 h-1.
PHA; Fed-batch; Acrylic acid; Pseudomonas putida; β-oxidation inhibition
Laccases are diphenol oxidases that have numerous applications to biotechnological processes. In this study, the laccase was produced from the thermophilic actinomycetes, Thermobifida fusca BCRC 19214. After 36 h of fermentation in a 5-liter fermentor, the culture broth accumulated 4.96 U/ml laccase activity. The laccase was purified 4.64-fold as measured by specific activity from crude culture filtrate by ultrafiltration concentration, Q-Sepharose FF and Sephacryl™ S-200 column chromatography. The overall yield of the purified enzyme was 7.49%. The molecular mass of purified enzyme as estimated by SDS-PAGE and by gel filtration on Sephacryl™ S-200 was found to be 73.3 kDa and 24.7 kDa, respectively, indicating that the laccase from T. fusca BCRC 19214 is a trimer. The internal amino acid sequences of the purified laccase, as determined by LC-MS/MS, had high homology with a superoxide dismutase from T. fusca YX. Approximately 95% of the original activity remained after treatment at 50°C for 3 h. and approximately 75% of the original activity remained after treatment at pH 10.0 for 24 h. This laccase could oxidize dye intermediates, especially 2,6-dimethylphenylalanine and p-aminophenol, to produce coloring. This is the first report on laccase properties from thermophilic actinomycetes. These properties suggest that this newly isolated laccase has potential for specific industrial applications.
Laccase; Dye intermediate; Thermophilic; Thermobifida fusca; LC-MS/MS
Abundant Jatropha waste is a promising renewable feedstock for the production of sugars and 2,3-butanediol fermentation. To obtain high yield of water-soluble products and high concentration of reducing-sugars, ionic liquid (IL) pretreatment and dilute acid hydrolysis at 150°C were combined in this work. The destruction of crystalline structure and increase surface area of biomasses after IL-pretreatment, made their hydrolysis more efficient. Compared with original cellulose, after IL-pretreatment, both the yield and concentration of reducing-sugars increased by 139%, and the water-soluble products yield increased by 128% after hydrolysis. Compared with water-washed Jatropha hulls, after IL-pretreatment, the yield and concentration of reducing-sugars increased by 80% and 76%, respectively, and the water-soluble products yield increased by 70% after hydrolysis. IL-pretreatment benefited the fermentation of Jatropha hull hydrolysate with 66.58% diol yield and its productivity increased from 0.35 to 0.40 g/(L · h).
Ionic liquid; Hydrolysis; 2,3-Butanediol; Fermentation; Klebsiella oxytoca; Jatropha hulls
Elucidation of fungal biomass degradation is important for understanding the turnover of biological materials in nature and has important implications for industrial biomass conversion. In recent years there has been an increasing interest in elucidating the biological role of thermophilic fungi and in characterization of their industrially useful enzymes. In the present study we investigated the cellulolytic potential of 16 thermophilic fungi from the three ascomycete orders Sordariales, Eurotiales and Onygenales and from the zygomycete order Mucorales thus covering all fungal orders that include thermophiles. Thermophilic fungi are the only described eukaryotes that can grow at temperatures above 45°C. All 16 fungi were able to grow on crystalline cellulose but their secreted enzymes showed widely different cellulolytic activities, pH optima and thermostabilities. Interestingly, in contrast to previous reports, we found that some fungi such as Melanocarpus albomyces readily grew on crystalline cellulose and produced cellulases. These results indicate that there are large differences in the cellulolytic potential of different isolates of the same species. Furthermore, all the selected species were able to degrade cellulose but the differences in cellulolytic potential and thermostability of the secretome did not correlate to the taxonomic position. PCR amplification and sequencing of 22 cellulase genes from the fungi showed that the level of thermostability of the cellulose-degrading activity could not be inferred from the phylogenetic relationship of the cellulases.
Thermophilic fungi; Endoglucanase; Cellobiohydrolase; Cellulolytic potential
Soil bacterial composition, as influenced by biological soil disinfestation (BSD) associated with biomass incorporation was investigated to observe the effects of the treatment on the changes and recovery of the microbial community in a commercial greenhouse setting. Chloropicrin (CP) was also used for soil disinfestation to compare with the effects of BSD. The fusarium wilt disease incidence of spinach cultivated in the BSD- and CP-treated plots was reduced as compared with that in the untreated control plots, showing effectiveness of both methods to suppress the disease. The clone library analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that members of the Firmicutes became dominant in the soil bacterial community after the BSD-treatment. Clone groups related to the species in the class Clostridia, such as Clostridium saccharobutylicum, Clostridium tetanomorphum, Clostridium cylindrosporum, Oxobacter pfennigii, etc., as well as Bacillus niacini in the class Bacilli were recognized as the most dominant members in the community. For the CP-treated soil, clones affiliated with the Bacilli related to acid-tolerant or thermophilic bacteria such as Tuberibacillus calidus, Sporolactobacillus laevolacticus, Pullulanibacillus naganoensis, Alicyclobacillus pomorum, etc. were detected as the major groups. The clone library analysis for the soil samples collected after spinach cultivation revealed that most of bacterial groups present in the original soil belonging to the phyla Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, TM7, etc. were recovered in the BSD-treated soil. For the CP-treated soil, the recovery of the bacterial groups belonging to the above phyla was also noted, but some major clone groups recognized in the original soil did not recover fully.
Anaerobic bacteria; Biological soil disinfestation (BSD); Clone library; Chloropicrin; Clostridial group; Wilt disease of spinach
Antibacterial factor 2 (ABF-2) is a 67-residue antimicrobial peptide derived from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Although it has been reported that ABF-2 exerts in vitro microbicidal activity against a range of bacteria and fungi, the structure of ABF-2 has not yet been solved. To enable structural studies of ABF-2 by NMR spectroscopy, a large amount of isotopically labeled ABF-2 is essential. However, the direct expression of ABF-2 in Escherichia coli is difficult to achieve due to its instability. Therefore, we applied a coexpression method to the production of ABF-2 in order to enhance the inclusion body formation of ABF-2. The inclusion body formation of ABF-2 was vastly enhanced by coexpression of aggregation-prone proteins (partner proteins). By using this method, we succeeded in obtaining milligram quantities of active, correctly folded ABF-2. In addition, 15 N-labeled ABF-2 and a well-dispersed heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) spectrum were also obtained successfully. Moreover, the effect of the charge of the partner protein on the inclusion body formation of ABF-2 in this method was investigated by using four structurally homologous proteins. We concluded that a partner protein of opposite charge enhanced the formation of an inclusion body of the target peptide efficiently.
Antimicrobial peptide; Coexpression; Inclusion bodies; Refolding; NMR; HSQC
The anti-corrosion effect and the antimicrobial activity of lemongrass essential oil (LEO) against the planktonic and sessile growth of a sulfate reducing bacterium (SRB) were evaluated. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of LEO and its major component, the citral, was 0.17 mg ml-1. In addition, both LEO and citral showed an immediate killing effect against SRB in liquid medium, suggesting that citral is responsible for the antimicrobial activity of LEO against SRB. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the MIC of LEO caused discernible cell membrane alterations and formed electron-dense inclusions. Neither biofilm formation nor corrosion was observed on carbon steel coupons after LEO treatment. LEO was effective for the control of the planktonic and sessile SRB growth and for the protection of carbon steel coupons against biocorrosion. The application of LEO as a potential biocide for SRB growth control in petroleum reservoirs and, consequently, for souring prevention, and/or as a coating protection against biocorrosion is of great interest for the petroleum industries.
Lemon grass essential oil; Citral; Antimicrobial activity; Anti-corrosion; Souring prevention; Sulfate reducing bacteria
Proteins with putative erythrose reductase activity have been identified in the filamentous fungi Trichoderma reesei, Aspergillus niger, and Fusarium graminearum by in silico analysis. The proteins found in T. reesei and A. niger had earlier been characterized as glycerol dehydrogenase and aldehyde reductase, respectively. Corresponding genes from all three fungi were cloned, heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified. Subsequently, they were used to establish optimal enzyme assay conditions. All three enzymes strictly require NADPH as cofactor, whereas with NADH no activity could be observed. The enzymatic characterization of the three enzymes using ten substrates revealed high substrate specificity and activity with D-erythrose and D-threose. The enzymes from T. reesei and A. niger herein showed comparable activities, whereas the one from F. graminearum reached only about a tenth of it for all tested substrates. In order to proof in vivo the proposed enzyme function, we overexpressed the erythrose reductase-encoding gene in T. reesei. An increased production of erythritol by the recombinant strain compared to the parental strain could be detected.
Trichoderma reesei; Aspergillus niger; Fusarium graminearum; Erythrose reductase; Erythritol
Sugarcane bagasse is a potential feedstock for cellulosic ethanol production, rich in both glucan and xylan. This stresses the importance of utilizing both C6 and C5 sugars for conversion into ethanol in order to improve the process economics. During processing of the hydrolysate degradation products such as acetate, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and furfural are formed, which are known to inhibit microbial growth at higher concentrations. In the current study, conversion of both glucose and xylose sugars into ethanol in wet exploded bagasse hydrolysates was investigated without detoxification using Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis CBS6054, a native xylose utilizing yeast strain. The sugar utilization ratio and ethanol yield (Yp/s) ranged from 88-100% and 0.33-0.41 ± 0.02 g/g, respectively, in all the hydrolysates tested. Hydrolysate after wet explosion at 185°C and 6 bar O2, composed of mixed sugars (glucose and xylose) and inhibitors such as acetate, HMF and furfural at concentrations of 3.2 ± 0.1, 0.4 and 0.5 g/l, respectively, exhibited highest cell growth rate of 0.079 g/l/h and an ethanol yield of 0.39 ± 0.02 g/g sugar converted. Scheffersomyces stipitis exhibited prolonged fermentation time on bagasse hydrolysate after wet explosion at 200°C and 6 bar O2 where the inhibitors concentration was further increased. Nonetheless, ethanol was produced up to 18.7 ± 1.1 g/l resulting in a yield of 0.38 ± 0.02 g/g after 82 h of fermentation.
Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis; Cellulosic ethanol; Sugarcane bagasse; Wet explosion pretreatment; Inhibitors; Xylose fermentation
We report the complete nucleotide sequence of plasmid pMR68, isolated from Pseudomonas strain K-62, two plasmids contribute to broad-spectrum mercury resistance and that the mer operon from one of them (pMR26) has been previously characterized. The plasmid was 71,020 bp in length and contained 75 coding regions. Three mer gene clusters were identified. The first comprised merR-orf4-orf5-merT1-merP1-merF-merA-merB1, which confers bacterial resistance to mercuric ions and organomercury. The second and third clusters comprised merT2-merP2, which encodes a mercury transport system, and merB2, which encodes an organomercurial lyase, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences for the proteins encoded by each of the mer genes identified in pMR68 bore greater similarity to sequences from Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 than to those from pMR26, a second mercury-resistance plasmid from Pseudomonas strain K-62. Escherichia coli cells carrying pMKY12 (containing merR-orf4-orf5-merT1-merP1-merF-merA-merB1 cloned from pMR68) and cells carrying pMRA114 (containing merR-merT-merP-merA-merG-merB1 cloned from plasmid pMR26) were more resistant to, and volatilized more, mercury from mercuric ions and phenylmercury than the control cells. The present results, together with our earlier findings, indicate that the high phenylmercury resistance noted for Pseudomonas strain K-62 seems to be achieved by multiple genes, particularly by the multiple merB encoding organomercurial lyase and one merG encoding cellular permeability to phenylmercury. The novel mer gene identified in pMR68 may help us to design new strategies aimed at the bioremediation of mercurials.
Mercury resistance; mer operon; Plasmid pMR68; Pseudomonas strain K-62
A genetically engineered strain of Pichia pastoris expressing S-adenosylmethionine synthetase gene from Saccharomyces cerevisiae under the control of AOX 1 promoter was developed. Induction of recombinant strain with 1% methanol resulted in the expression of SAM2 protein of ~ 42 kDa, whereas control GS115 showed no such band. Further, the recombinant strain showed 17-fold higher enzyme activity over control. Shake flask cultivation of engineered P. pastoris in BMGY medium supplemented with 1% L-methionine yielded 28 g/L wet cell weight and 0.6 g/L S-adenosylmethionine, whereas control (transformants with vector alone) with similar wet cell weight under identical conditions accumulated 0.018 g/L. The clone cultured in the bioreactor containing enriched methionine medium showed increased WCW (117 g/L) as compared to shake flask cultures and yielded 2.4 g/L S-adenosylmethionine. In spite of expression of SAM 2 gene up to 90 h, S-adenosylmethionine accumulation tended to plateau after 72 h, presumably because of the limited ATP available in the cells at stationery phase. The recombinant P pastoris seems promising as potential source for industrial production of S-adenosylmethionine.
S-adenosylmethionine synthetase; Pichia pastoris; Heterologous host; Bioreactor