After steam pretreatment of lignocellulosic substrates the fermentation of the biomass derived sugars to ethanol is typically problematic because of both the generally low sugar concentrations that can be supplied and the presence of naturally occurring and process derived inhibitors. As the majority of the inhibitory materials are usually associated with the hemicellulose rich, water soluble component, this fraction was supplemented with glucose to simulate high solids, un-detoxified substrate to see if a high gravity/high cell consistency approach might better cope with inhibition. Several yeast strains were assessed, with the Tembec T1, T2 and Lallemand LYCC 6469 strains showing the greatest ethanol productivity and yield. The addition of supplemental glucose enabled the faster and quantitatively higher removal of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). High cell density could provide effective fermentation at high sugar concentrations while enhancing inhibitor reduction. A 77% ethanol yield could be achieved using strain LYCC 6469 after 48 h at high cell density. It was apparent that a high cell density approach improved ethanol production by all of the evaluated yeast strains.
High gravity fermentation; High cell density; Fermentation inhibitors; Steam pretreatment; Softwood; Yeast
The aim of this research is to optimize the cultural conditions for the conversion of glycerol to ethanol by Enterobacter aerogenes S012. Taguchi method was used to screen the cultural conditions based on their signal to noise ratio (SN). Temperature (°C), agitation speed (rpm) and time (h) were found to have the highest influence on both glycerol utilization and ethanol production by the organism while pH had the lowest. Full factorial design, statistical analysis, and regression model equation were used to optimize the selected cultural parameters for maximum ethanol production. The result showed that fermentation at 38°C and 200 rpm for 48 h would be ideal for the bacteria to produce maximum amount of ethanol from glycerol. At these optimum conditions, ethanol production, yield and productivity were 25.4 g/l, 0.53 g/l/h, and 1.12 mol/mol-glycerol, repectively. Ethanol production increased to 26.5 g/l while yield and productivity decreased to 1.04 mol/mol-glycerol and 0.37 g/l/h, respectively, after 72 h. Analysis of the fermentation products was performed using HPLC, while anaerobic condition was created by purging the fermentation vessel with nitrogen gas.
Enterobacter aerogenes; Ethanol; Glycerol; Metabolic pathway; Fermentation
Silk-elastin-like polymers (SELPs) are protein-based polymers composed of repetitive amino acid sequence motifs found in silk fibroin (GAGAGS) and mammalian elastin (VPGVG). These polymers are of much interest, both from a fundamental and applied point of view, finding potential application in biomedicine, nanotechnology and as materials. The successful employment of such polymers in such diverse fields, however, requires the ready availability of a variety of different forms with novel enhanced properties and which can be simply prepared in large quantities on an industrial scale. In an attempt to create new polymer designs with improved properties and applicability, we have developed four novel SELPs wherein the elastomer forming sequence poly(VPGVG) is replaced with a plastic-like forming sequence, poly(VPAVG), and combined in varying proportions with the silk motif. Furthermore, we optimised a simplified production procedure for these, making use of an autoinduction medium to reduce process intervention and with the production level obtained being 6-fold higher than previously reported for other SELPs, with volumetric productivities above 150 mg/L. Finally, we took advantage of the known enhanced stability of these polymers in developing an abridged, non-chromatographic downstream processing and purification protocol. A simple acid treatment allowed for cell disruption and the obtention of relative pure SELP in one-step, with ammonium sulphate precipitation being subsequently used to enable improved purity. These simplified production and purification procedures improve process efficiency and reduce costs in the preparation of these novel polymers and enhances their potential for application.
Silk-elastin-like polymers; Recombinant protein expression; Auto induction; Acid-based cell lysis; Ammonium sulphate purification; Non-chromatographic purification
The extensive diversity of microalgae provides an opportunity to undertake bioprospecting for species possessing features suited to commercial scale cultivation. The outdoor cultivation of microalgae is subject to extreme temperature fluctuations; temperature tolerant microalgae would help mitigate this problem. The waters of the Roman Baths, which have a temperature range between 39°C and 46°C, were sampled for microalgae. A total of 3 green algae, 1 diatom and 4 cyanobacterial species were successfully isolated into ‘unialgal’ culture. Four isolates were filamentous, which could prove advantageous for low energy dewatering of cultures using filtration.
Lipid content, profiles and growth rates of the isolates were examined at temperatures of 20, 30, 40°C, with and without nitrogen starvation and compared against the oil producing green algal species, Chlorella emersonii. Some isolates synthesized high levels of lipids, however, all were most productive at temperatures lower than those of the Roman Baths. The eukaryotic algae accumulated a range of saturated and polyunsaturated FAMEs and all isolates generally showed higher lipid accumulation under nitrogen deficient conditions (Klebsormidium sp. increasing from 1.9% to 16.0% and Hantzschia sp. from 31.9 to 40.5%). The cyanobacteria typically accumulated a narrower range of FAMEs that were mostly saturated, but were capable of accumulating a larger quantity of lipid as a proportion of dry weight (M. laminosus, 37.8% fully saturated FAMEs). The maximum productivity of all the isolates was not determined in the current work and will require further effort to optimise key variables such as light intensity and media composition.
Biodiesel; Microalgae; Cyanobacteria; Biofuel
2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid reductase (2,5-DKG reductase) catalyses the reduction of 2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid (2,5-DKG) to 2-keto-L-gulonic acid (2-KLG), a direct precursor (lactone) of L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This reaction is an essential step in the biocatalytic production of the food supplement vitamin C from D-glucose or D-gluconic acid. As 2,5-DKG reductase is usually produced recombinantly, it is of interest to establish an efficient process for 2,5-DKG reductase production that also satisfies food safety requirements. In the present study, three recently described food grade variants of the Lactobacillales based expression systems pSIP (Lactobacillus plantarum) and NICE (Lactococcus lactis) were evaluated with regard to their effictiveness to produce 2,5-DKG reductase from Corynebacterium glutamicum. Our results indicate that both systems are suitable for 2,5-DKG reductase expression. Maximum production yields were obtained with Lb. plantarum/pSIP609 by pH control at 6.5. With 262 U per litre of broth, this represents the highest heterologous expression level so far reported for 2,5-DKG reductase from C. glutamicum. Accordingly, Lb. plantarum/pSIP609 might be an interesting alternative to Escherichia coli expression systems for industrial 2,5-DKG reductase production.
Ascorbic acid; 2,5-diketo-D-gluconic acid reductase; 2-keto-L-gulonic acid; Corynebacterium glutamicum; Food–grade; Lactic acid bacteria; pSIP; NICE
The repressor protein PhaR, which is a component of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] granules, functions as a repressor of the gene expression of the phasin PhaP and of PhaR itself. We used a quartz crystal microbalance to investigate the binding behavior by which PhaR in Ralstonia eutropha H16 targets DNAs and amorphous poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] thin films. Binding rate constants, dissociation rate constants, and dissociation constants of the binding of PhaR to DNA and to amorphous poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] suggested that PhaR bind to both in a similar manner. On the basis of the binding rate constant values, we proposed that the phaP gene would be derepressed in harmony with the ratio of the concentration of the target DNA to the concentration of amorphous poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] at the start of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] synthesis in R. eutropha H16.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate; Autoregulator protein PhaR; Kinetic analysis; Ralstonia eutropha H16
Aromatic peroxygenase (APO) is an extracellular enzyme produced by the agaric basidiomycete Agrocybe aegerita that catalyzes diverse peroxide-dependent oxyfunctionalization reactions. Here we describe the oxygenation of the unactivated aromatic ring of benzene with hydrogen peroxide as co-substrate. The optimum pH of the reaction was around 7 and it proceeded via an initial epoxide intermediate that re-aromatized in aqueous solution to form phenol. Identity of the epoxide intermediate as benzene oxide was proved by a freshly prepared authentic standard using GC-MS and LC-MS analyses. Second and third [per]oxygenation was also observed and resulted in the formation of further hydroxylation and following [per]oxidation products: hydroquinone and p-benzoquinone, catechol and o-benzoquinone as well as 1,2,4-trihydroxybenzene and hydroxy-p-benzoquinone, respectively. Using H218O2 as co-substrate and ascorbic acid as radical scavenger, inhibiting the formation of peroxidation products (e.g., p-benzoquinone), the origin of the oxygen atom incorporated into benzene or phenol was proved to be the peroxide. Apparent enzyme kinetic constants (kcat, Km) for the peroxygenation of benzene were estimated to be around 8 s-1 and 3.6 mM. These results raise the possibility that peroxygenases may be useful for enzymatic syntheses of hydroxylated benzene derivatives under mild conditions.
Peroxidase; P450; Epoxide; Oxepin; Oxygen transfer
Auxotrophic mutants of Aspergillus can be isolated in the presence of counter-selective compounds, but the process is laborious. We developed a method to enable reversible impairment of the ku80 gene (Aaku80) in the imperfect fungus Aspergillus aculeatus. Aaku80 was replaced with a selection marker, orotidine 5’-phosphate decarboxylase (pyrG), followed by excision of pyrG between direct repeats (DR) to yield the Aaku80 deletion mutant (MR12). The gene-targeting efficiency at the ornithine carbamoyltransferase (argB) locus was drastically elevated from 3% to 96% in MR12. The frequency of marker recycling depended on DR length. One uridine auxotroph was obtained from 3.3 × 105, 1.4 × 105, and 9.2 × 103 conidia from strains harboring 20-, 98-, and 495-bp DRs, respectively. Because these strains maintained the short DRs after 5 d of cultivation, we investigated whether Aaku80 function was disrupted by pyrG insertion with the 20-bp DR and restored after excision of pyrG. The Aaku80 disruption mutant (coku80) was bred by inserting pyrG sandwiched between 20-bp DRs into the second intron of Aaku80, followed by excision of pyrG between the DRs to yield the coku80rec strain. Analyses of homologous recombination frequency and methyl methanesulfonate sensitivity demonstrated that Aaku80 function was disrupted in coku80 but restored in coku80rec. Furthermore, pyrG was maintained in coku80 at least for ten generations. These data indicated that reversible impairment of ku80 in A. aculeatus is useful for functional genomics in cases where genetic segregation is not feasible.
Aspergillus aculeatus; Homologous recombination; Ku gene; Counter selection; Marker recycling
pH control has been essential for butanol production with Clostridium acetobutylicum. However, it is not very clear at what pH level the acid crash will occur, at what pH level butanol production will be dominant, and at what pH level butyric acid production will be prevailing. Furthermore, contradictory results have been reported about required acidic conditions for initiation of solventogenesis. In this study, with the aim of further understanding the role of undissociated butyric acid in butanol production, we investigated the correlation between undissociated butyric acid concentration and specific butanol production rate in batch fermentation of Clostridium acetobutylicum by comparing three pH control approaches: NaOH neutralization (at 12, 24 or 36 h), CaCO3 supplementation (2, 5, or 8 g/l) and NaOAc buffering (pH 4.6, 5.0 or 5.6). By neutralizing the fermentation pH to ~5.0 at different time, we observed that neutralization should take place at the beginning of exponential phase (12 h), and otherwise resulting in lower concentrations of undissociated butyric acid, cell biomass and final butanol. CaCO3 supplementation extended cell growth to 36 h and resulted in higher butyrate yield under 8 g/L of CaCO3. In the NaOAc buffering, the highest specific butanol rate (0.58 h−1) was associated with the highest undissociated butyric acid (1.92 g/L). The linear correlation of the undissociated butyric acid with the specific butanol production rates suggested the undissociated butyric acid could be the major driving force for butanol production.
Butanol; Butyric acid; Fermentation; Undissociated butyric acid; Clostridium acetobutylicum
A bacterial strain producing two antimicrobial peptides was isolated from a rhizosphere soil sample and identified as Bacillus subtilis based on both phenotypic and 16S rRNA gene sequence phylogenetic analysis. It grew optimally up to 14% NaCl and produced antimicrobial peptide within 24 h of growth. The peptides were purified using a combination of chemical extraction and chromatographic techniques. The MALDI-TOF analysis of HPLC purified fractions revealed that the strain SK.DU.4 secreted a bacteriocin-like peptide with molecular mass of 5323.9 Da and a surface-active lipopeptide (m/z 1056 Da). The peptide mass fingerprinting of low-molecular-weight bacteriocin exhibited significant similarity with stretches of secreted lipoprotein of Methylomicrobium album BG8 and displayed 70% sequence coverage. MALDI MS/MS analysis elucidated the lipopeptide as a cyclic lipopeptide with a β-hydroxy fatty acid linked to Ser of a peptide with seven α-amino acids (Asp-Tyr-Asn-Gln-Pro-Asn-Ser) and assigned it to iturin-like group of antimicrobial biosurfactants. However, it differed in amino acid composition with other members of the iturin family. Both peptides were active against Gram-positive bacteria, suggesting that they had an additive effect.
Bacillus; Antimicrobial peptide; Lipopeptide; Chromatography; RP-HPLC; MALDI
Real-time PCR (qPCR) is a widely used technique in analysing environmental and clinical microbiological samples. However, its main limitation was its inability to discriminate between live and dead cells.
Recently, propidium monoazide (PMA) together with qPCR has been used to overcome this problem, with good results for different bacterial species in different types of samples.
Our objective was to implement this technique for analysing mortality in multi-species oral biofilms formed in vitro with five oral bacteria: Streptococcus oralis, Streptococcus gordonii, Veillonella parvula, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Prevotella intermedia. We also tested its effectiveness on biofilms treated with an antiseptic solution containing 0.07% w/w cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC).
Standardisation of the qPCR-PMA method was performed on pure, heat-killed planktonic cultures of each species, detecting mortality higher than 4 log in S. oralis, S. gordonii and F. nucleatum and higher than 2 for V. parvula and P. intermedia. We obtained similar results for all species when using CPC.
When we analysed biofilms with qPCR-PMA, we found that the mortality in the non-CPC treated multi-species biofilms was lower than 1 log for all species. After treatment with CPC, the viability reduction was higher than 4 log in S. oralis and S. gordonii, higher than 3 log in F. nucleatum and P. intermedia and approximately 2 in V. parvula.
In short, we standardised the conditions for using qPCR-PMA in 5 oral bacterial species and proved its usefulness for quantification of live and dead cells in multi-species oral biofilms formed in vitro, after use of an antiseptic.
Oral biofilm; Real-time PCR; Propidium monoazide (PMA); Antiseptic
Eight fungal species known to produce wood pigmentation were tested for reaction to various moisture contents in two hardwood species. Fungal pigmentation by Trametes versicolor and Xylaria polymorpha was stimulated at low water concentrations in both Acer saccharum (sugar maple) and Fagus grandifolia (American beech), while Inonotus hispidus and Polyporus squamosus were stimulated above 22-28% and 34-38% moisture content in beech and in sugar maple respectively. Fomes fomentarius and Polyporus brumalis produced maximum pigmentation in beech at 26 - 41% and in sugar maple at 59 - 96% moisture content. The pink staining Scytalidium cuboideum pigmented both wood species at above 35% moisture content. This research indicates that controlling the moisture content values of wood substrates can stimulate the intensity of pigmentation of specific fungi when spalting wood for decorative and commercial purpose.
Fungal melanin; Pigment; Moisture content; Spalting
Spent Sulfite Liquor (SSL) from wood pulping facilities is a sugar rich effluent that can be used as feedstock for ethanol production. However, depending on the pulping process conditions, the release of monosaccharides also generates a range of compounds that negatively affect microbial fermentation. In the present study, we investigated whether endogenous yeasts in SSL-based ethanol plant could represent a source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with a naturally acquired tolerance towards this inhibitory environment. Two isolation processes were performed, before and after the re-inoculation of the plant with a commercial baker’s yeast strain. The isolates were clustered by DNA fingerprinting and a recurrent Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain, different from the inoculated commercial baker’s yeast strain, was isolated. The strain, named TMB3720, flocculated heavily and presented high furaldehyde reductase activity. During fermentation of undiluted SSL, TMB3720 displayed a 4-fold higher ethanol production rate and 1.8-fold higher ethanol yield as compared to the commercial baker’s yeast. Another non-Saccharomyces cerevisiae species, identified as the pentose utilizing Pichia galeiformis, was also recovered in the last tanks of the process where the hexose to pentose sugar ratio and the inhibitory pressure are expected to be the lowest.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Spent sulfite liquor fermentation; PCR-fingerprinting; Stress tolerance; Resident yeast
Intake of dietary fibres may reduce the prevalence of physiological risk factors of the metabolic syndrome, such as high plasma lipid levels and low-grade inflammatory state. Dietary fibres are usually of plant origin however microbial exopolysaccharides (EPSs) have analogue structures that could potentially exert similar physiological effects. Pediococcus parvulus 2.6 (Pd 2.6) excretes a ropy EPS and has previously shown probiotic potential. The aim of this work was to evaluate physiological effects of Pd 2.6 and its EPS in vivo. The live Pd 2.6 (both the ropy and non-ropy isogenic variant) and its purified EPS were fed to hypercholesterolemic LDL-receptor deficient mice for 6 weeks to investigate their effects on cholesterol levels and the inflammatory tone of the animals. Both variants of Pd 2.6 survived passage through the mouse gut fulfilling an important criterion of probiotics. The ability to produce EPS was conferring an advantage to survival (faecal recovery of 3.7 (1.9-8.7) vs. 0.21 (0.14-0.34) *108 CFU, P < 0.001, median and 25th and 75th percentiles). The ropy Pd 2.6 decreased the levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 compared to the EPS alone (591 ± 14 vs. 646 ± 13 ng/ml, P < 0.05). An increase in liver weight in mice fed the purified EPS was observed, but with no change in liver lipids. No changes in blood lipids were detected in any group. Further the EPS induced growth of the caecal tissue and increased the amount of caecal content showing bulking properties like that of a dietary fibre.
Pediococcus parvulus; Cholesterol; Exopolysaccharide; Lactic acid bacteria
Bacterial resistance against antibiotic treatment has become a major threat to public health. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have emerged as promising alternative agents for treatment of infectious diseases. This study characterizes novel synthetic peptides sequentially derived from the AMP centrocin 1, isolated from the green sea urchin, for their applicability as anti-infective agents.
The microbicidal effect of centrocin 1 heavy chain (CEN1 HC-Br), its debrominated analogue (CEN1 HC), the C-terminal truncated variants of both peptides, i.e. CEN1 HC-Br (1–20) and CEN1 HC (1–20), as well as the cysteine to serine substituted equivalent CEN1 HC (Ser) was evaluated using minimal microbicidal concentration assay. The anti-inflammatory properties were assessed by measuring the inhibition of secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. All the peptides tested exhibited marked microbicidal and anti-inflammatory properties. No difference in efficacy was seen comparing CEN1 HC-Br and CEN1 HC, while the brominated variant had higher cytotoxicity. C-terminal truncation of both peptides reduced salt-tolerability of the microbicidal effect as well as anti-inflammatory actions. Also, serine substitution of cysteine residue decreased the microbicidal effect. Thus, from the peptide variants tested, CEN1 HC showed the best efficacy and safety profile. Further, CEN1 HC significantly reduced bacterial counts in two different animal models of infected wounds, while Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) failed to develop resistance against this peptide under continued selection pressure. In summary, CEN1 HC appears a promising new antimicrobial agent, and clinical studies are warranted to evaluate the applicability of this AMP for local treatment of infections in man.
Antibacterial peptide; Wound infection; Antibiotic resistance; MRSA
Agro-industrial wastes are generated during the industrial processing of agricultural products. These wastes are generated in large amounts throughout the year, and are the most abundant renewable resources on earth. Due to the large availability and composition rich in compounds that could be used in other processes, there is a great interest on the reuse of these wastes, both from economical and environmental view points. The economic aspect is based on the fact that such wastes may be used as low-cost raw materials for the production of other value-added compounds, with the expectancy of reducing the production costs. The environmental concern is because most of the agro-industrial wastes contain phenolic compounds and/or other compounds of toxic potential; which may cause deterioration of the environment when the waste is discharged to the nature. Although the production of bioethanol offers many benefits, more research is needed in the aspects like feedstock preparation, fermentation technology modification, etc., to make bioethanol more economically viable.
Bioethanol; Lignocellulosic waste; Immobilization; Mutagenesis; SSF
The G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily, which includes somatostatin receptors (SSTRs), is one of the most important drug targets in the pharmaceutical industry. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an attractive host for the ligand screening of human GPCRs. Here, we demonstrate the utility of the technology that was developed for displaying peptide ligands on yeast plasma membrane, termed “PepDisplay”, which triggers signal transduction upon GPCR activation. A yeast strain that heterologously produced human somatostatin receptor subtype-2 (SSTR2) and chimeric Gα protein was constructed along with membrane-displayed somatostatin; somatostatin was displayed on the yeast plasma membrane by linking it to the anchoring domain of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchored plasma membrane protein Yps1p. We demonstrate that the somatostatin displayed on the plasma membrane successfully activated human SSTR2 in S. cerevisiae. The methodology presented here provides a new platform for identifying novel peptide ligands for both liganded and orphan mammalian GPCRs.
Membrane-displayed ligand; PepDisplay; Yeast GPCR assay; Cyclic peptide; Somatostatin receptor subtype-2; Chimeric Gα protein
In this study manganese peroxidase (MnP) enzymes from selected white-rot fungi were isolated and compared for potential future recombinant production. White-rot fungi were cultivated in small-scale in liquid media and a simplified process was established for the purification of extracellular enzymes.
Five lignin degrading organisms were selected (Bjerkandera sp., Phanerochaete (P.) chrysosporium, Physisporinus (P.) rivulosus, Phlebia (P.) radiata and Phlebia sp. Nf b19) and studied for MnP production in small-scale. Extracellular MnP activity was followed and cultivations were harvested at proximity of the peak activity. The production of MnPs varied in different organisms but was clearly regulated by inducing liquid media components (Mn2+, veratryl alcohol and malonate). In total 8 different MnP isoforms were purified.
Results of this study reinforce the conception that MnPs from distinct organisms differ substantially in their properties. Production of the extracellular enzyme in general did not reach a substantial level. This further suggests that these native producers are not suitable for industrial scale production of the enzyme. The highest specific activities were observed with MnPs from P. chrysosporium (200 U mg-1), Phlebia sp. Nf b19 (55 U mg-1) and P. rivulosus (89 U mg-1) and these MnPs are considered as the most potential candidates for further studies. The molecular weight of the purified MnPs was estimated to be between 45–50 kDa.
White-rot fungi; Manganese peroxidase; Lignin degradation; Lignocellulose; Enzyme purification
The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility of bacterial cellulose (BC) scaffold to support osteoblast growth and bone formation. BC was produced by culturing Acetobacter xylinum supplemented with hydroxyapatite (HA) to form BC membranes (without HA) and BC/HA membranes. Membranes were subjected to X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis to determine surface element composition. The membranes were further used to evaluate osteoblast growth, alkaline phosphatase activity and bone nodule formation. BC was free of calcium and phosphate. However, XPS analysis revealed the presence of both calcium (10%) and phosphate (10%) at the surface of the BC/HA membrane. Osteoblast culture showed that BC alone was non-toxic and could sustain osteoblast adhesion. Furthermore, osteoblast adhesion and growth were significantly (p ≤0.05) increased on BC/HA membranes as compared to BC alone. Both BC and BC/HA membranes improved osteoconductivity, as confirmed by the level of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity that increased from 2.5 mM with BC alone to 5.3 mM with BC/HA. BC/HA membranes also showed greater nodule formation and mineralization than the BC membrane alone. This was confirmed by Alizarin red staining (ARS) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX). This work demonstrates that both BC and BC/HA may be useful in bone tissue engineering.
Acetobacter xylinum; Hydroxyapatite; Osteoblasts; Tissue regeneration; Cellulose
The analysis of microbial assemblages in industrial, marine, and medical systems can inform decisions regarding quality control or mitigation. Modern molecular approaches to detect, characterize, and quantify microorganisms provide rapid and thorough measures unbiased by the need for cultivation. The requirement of timely extraction of high quality nucleic acids for molecular analysis is faced with specific challenges when used to study the influence of microorganisms on oil production. Production facilities are often ill equipped for nucleic acid extraction techniques, making the preservation and transportation of samples off-site a priority. As a potential solution, the possibility of extracting nucleic acids on-site using automated platforms was tested. The performance of two such platforms, the Fujifilm QuickGene-Mini80™ and Promega Maxwell®16 was compared to a widely used manual extraction kit, MOBIO PowerBiofilm™ DNA Isolation Kit, in terms of ease of operation, DNA quality, and microbial community composition. Three pipeline biofilm samples were chosen for these comparisons; two contained crude oil and corrosion products and the third transported seawater. Overall, the two more automated extraction platforms produced higher DNA yields than the manual approach. DNA quality was evaluated for amplification by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and end-point PCR to generate 454 pyrosequencing libraries for 16S rRNA microbial community analysis. Microbial community structure, as assessed by DGGE analysis and pyrosequencing, was comparable among the three extraction methods. Therefore, the use of automated extraction platforms should enhance the feasibility of rapidly evaluating microbial biofouling at remote locations or those with limited resources.
16S rRNA gene; Automated nucleic acid extraction platforms; Microbial biofouling; Bacterial community; Oilfield microbiology
Isolation of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from bacterial cell matter is a critical step in order to achieve a profitable production of the polymer. Therefore, an extraction method must lead to a high recovery of a pure product at low costs. This study presents a simplified method for large scale poly(3-hydroxybutyrate), poly(3HB), extraction using sodium hypochlorite. Poly(3HB) was extracted from cells of Ralstonia eutropha H16 at almost 96% purity. At different extraction volumes, a maximum recovery rate of 91.32% was obtained. At the largest extraction volume of 50 L, poly(3HB) with an average purity of 93.32% ± 4.62% was extracted with a maximum recovery of 87.03% of the initial poly(3HB) content. This process is easy to handle and requires less efforts than previously described processes.
Poly (3-hydroxybutyrate); Polyhydroxyalkanoates; Ralstonia eutropha; PHA recovery; Sodium hypochlorite; Downstream process
The AcrAB-TolC efflux pump is involved in maintaining intrinsic organic solvent tolerance in Escherichia coli. Mutations in regulatory genes such as marR, soxR, and acrR are known to increase the expression level of the AcrAB-TolC pump. To identify these mutations in organic solvent tolerant E. coli, eight cyclohexane-tolerant E. coli JA300 mutants were isolated and examined by DNA sequencing for mutations in marR, soxR, and acrR. Every mutant carried a mutation in either marR or acrR. Among all mutants, strain CH7 carrying a nonsense mutation in marR (named marR109) and an insertion of IS5 in acrR, exhibited the highest organic solvent-tolerance levels. To clarify the involvement of these mutations in improving organic solvent tolerance, they were introduced into the E. coli JA300 chromosome by site-directed mutagenesis using λ red-mediated homologous recombination. Consequently, JA300 mutants carrying acrR::IS5, marR109, or both were constructed and named JA300 acrRIS, JA300 marR, or JA300 acrRIS marR, respectively. The organic solvent tolerance levels of these mutants were increased in the following order: JA300 < JA300 acrRIS < JA300 marR < JA300 acrRIS marR. JA300 acrRIS marR formed colonies on an agar plate overlaid with cyclohexane and p-xylene (6:4 vol/vol mixture). The organic solvent-tolerance level and AcrAB-TolC efflux pump-expression level in JA300 acrRIS marR were similar to those in CH7. Thus, it was shown that the synergistic effects of mutations in only two regulatory genes, acrR and marR, can significantly increase organic solvent tolerance in E. coli.
Escherichia coli; Organic solvent tolerance; MarR; AcrR; AcrAB-TolC; Efflux pump
S-adenosyl-L-methionine is an important bioactive molecule participating in a number of biochemical reactions including the transmethylation and transsulphuration reactions of proteins and the biosynthesis of aliphatic polyamines. Strategies of metabolic engineering were used to alter the metabolic flux for enhancing the production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) in Pichia pastoris GS115. These strategies include the over-expression of Sam2 by knock-in technique and the disruption of Cbs by knock-out technique. Three strains, ZJGSU1 with knock- in of Sam2, ZJGSU2 with knock-out of Cbs and ZJGSU3 with both knock-in of Sam2 and knock -out of Cbs, were constructed for the effective production of SAM. Yields of SAM in strains ZJGSU1 and ZJGSU2 were 32- and 5-fold higher than in the original strain P. pastoris GS115, respectively. The strain ZJGSU3 had a dramatic increase in the SAM yield, and it was 46-fold higher compared to the original strain. These results indicate that there is a strong synergistic effect on the production of SAM by combining knock-in with knock-out techniques. The yield of SAM in ZJGSU3 strain was 4.37 g/L in a 3 L fermentor. This study provides deep insight into the effective industrial production of SAM in future.
S-adenosyl-L-methionine; Pichia pastoris GS115; Metabolic engineering; Fermentation
To permit direct cellulose degradation and ethanol fermentation, Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4741 (Δsed1) codisplaying 3 cellulases (Trichoderma reesei endoglucanase II [EG], T. reesei cellobiohydrolase II [CBH], and Aspergillus aculeatus β-glucosidase I [BG]) was constructed by yeast cell-surface engineering. The EG used in this study consists of a family 1 carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) and a catalytic module. A comparison with family 1 CBMs revealed conserved amino acid residues and flexible amino acid residues. The flexible amino acid residues were at positions 18, 23, 26, and 27, through which the degrading activity for various cellulose structures in each biomass may have been optimized. To select the optimal combination of CBMs of EGs, a yeast mixture with comprehensively mutated CBM was constructed. The mixture consisted of yeasts codisplaying EG with mutated CBMs, in which 4 flexible residues were comprehensively mutated, CBH, and BG. The yeast mixture was inoculated in selection medium with newspaper as the sole carbon source. The surviving yeast consisted of RTSH yeast (the mutant sequence of CBM: N18R, S23T, S26S, and T27H) and wild-type yeast (CBM was the original) in a ratio of 1:46. The mixture (1 RTSH yeast and 46 wild-type yeasts) had a fermentation activity that was 1.5-fold higher than that of wild-type yeast alone in the early phase of saccharification and fermentation, which indicates that the yeast mixture with comprehensively mutated CBM could be used to select the optimal combination of CBMs suitable for the cellulose of each biomass.
Biorefinery; Carbohydrate-binding module (CBM); Cellulase; Yeast cell-surface engineering
Like any other enteric pathogen, Salmonella also encounters acidic stress in the stomach as well as within the host macrophage milieu. However, the pathogen is reported to combat this stress through acid tolerance response (ATR), expressing a number of genes and eventually the proteins. Recently, an acid induced outer membrane phenotype encoded by fliC gene in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi has been identified. In the present study, fliC gene was cloned to study its biological implications. The recombinant FliC (rFliC) protein was observed to stimulate the production of antibodies. These antibodies could also recognize the FliC protein (antigen) in the clinical samples i.e. blood samples from typhoid patents as well as healthy blood samples spiked with serovar Typhi. Moreover, the rFliC also reacted with the sera from patients suffering with typhoid fever indicating its in-vivo immunogenicity. Ex-vivo study revealed that rFliC has the potential to stimulate the macrophages to generate higher levels of inflammatory mediators such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and nitrite. The inflammatory potential of FliC was also confirmed in-vivo, by the paw oedema test as well as by flicking response of the inflamed paw indicating hyperalgesia occurring during inflammatory response. The findings of the present study indicate that acid induced FliC might be one of the factors enhancing the virulence of serovar Typhi under the host acidic conditions and may prove to be helpful in designing the prophylactic measures.
Outer membrane proteins (OMPs); Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi; Flagellin (FliC); Immunogenicity; Inflammation; Thermal hyperalgesia