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1.  Bacterial Cytochrome P450 System Catabolizing the Fusarium Toxin Deoxynivalenol 
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a natural toxin of fungi that cause Fusarium head blight disease of wheat and other small-grain cereals. DON accumulates in infected grains and promotes the spread of the infection on wheat, posing serious problems to grain production. The elucidation of DON-catabolic genes and enzymes in DON-degrading microbes will provide new approaches to decrease DON contamination. Here, we report a cytochrome P450 system capable of catabolizing DON in Sphingomonas sp. strain KSM1, a DON-utilizing bacterium newly isolated from lake water. The P450 gene ddnA was cloned through an activity-based screening of a KSM1 genomic library. The genes of its redox partner candidates (flavin adenine dinucleotide [FAD]-dependent ferredoxin reductase and mitochondrial-type [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin) were not found adjacent to ddnA; the redox partner candidates were further cloned separately based on conserved motifs. The DON-catabolic activity was reconstituted in vitro in an electron transfer chain comprising the three enzymes and NADH, with a catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) of 6.4 mM−1 s−1. The reaction product was identified as 16-hydroxy-deoxynivalenol. A bioassay using wheat seedlings revealed that the hydroxylation dramatically reduced the toxicity of DON to wheat. The enzyme system showed similar catalytic efficiencies toward nivalenol and 3-acetyl deoxynivalenol, toxins that frequently cooccur with DON. These findings identify an enzyme system that catabolizes DON, leading to reduced phytotoxicity to wheat.
doi:10.1128/AEM.03227-12
PMCID: PMC3591976  PMID: 23275503
2.  Degradation of biodegradable plastic mulch films in soil environment by phylloplane fungi isolated from gramineous plants 
AMB Express  2012;2:40.
To improve the biodegradation of biodegradable plastic (BP) mulch films, 1227 fungal strains were isolated from plant surface (phylloplane) and evaluated for BP-degrading ability. Among them, B47-9 a strain isolated from the leaf surface of barley showed the strongest ability to degrade poly-(butylene succinate-co-butylene adipate) (PBSA) and poly-(butylene succinate) (PBS) films. The strain grew on the surface of soil-mounted BP films, produced breaks along the direction of hyphal growth indicated that it secreted a BP-degrading enzyme, and has directly contributing to accelerating the degradation of film. Treatment with the culture filtrate decomposed 91.2 wt%, 23.7 wt%, and 14.6 wt% of PBSA, PBS, and commercially available BP polymer blended mulch film, respectively, on unsterlized soil within 6 days. The PCR-DGGE analysis of the transition of soil microbial community during film degradation revealed that the process was accompanied with drastic changes in the population of soil fungi and Acantamoeba spp., as well as the growth of inoculated strain B47-9. It has a potential for application in the development of an effective method for accelerating degradation of used plastics under actual field conditions.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-2-40
PMCID: PMC3444367  PMID: 22856640
Biodegradable plastic; Leaf surface; Phylloplane fungi; Mulch film; PCR-DGGE
3.  Phyllosphere yeasts rapidly break down biodegradable plastics 
AMB Express  2011;1:44.
The use of biodegradable plastics can reduce the accumulation of environmentally persistent plastic wastes. The rate of degradation of biodegradable plastics depends on environmental conditions and is highly variable. Techniques for achieving more consistent degradation are needed. However, only a few microorganisms involved in the degradation process have been isolated so far from the environment. Here, we show that Pseudozyma spp. yeasts, which are common in the phyllosphere and are easily isolated from plant surfaces, displayed strong degradation activity on films made from poly-butylene succinate or poly-butylene succinate-co-adipate. Strains of P. antarctica isolated from leaves and husks of paddy rice displayed strong degradation activity on these films at 30°C. The type strain, P. antarctica JCM 10317, and Pseudozyma spp. strains from phyllosphere secreted a biodegradable plastic-degrading enzyme with a molecular mass of about 22 kDa. Reliable source of biodegradable plastic-degrading microorganisms are now in our hands.
doi:10.1186/2191-0855-1-44
PMCID: PMC3293741  PMID: 22126328
Pseudozyma; Biodegradable plastic; Phyllosphere; Yeast
4.  Nocardioides sp. strain WSN05-2, isolated from a wheat field, degrades deoxynivalenol, producing the novel intermediate 3-epi-deoxynivalenol 
The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) causes serious problems worldwide in the production of crops such as wheat and barley because of its toxicity toward humans and livestock. A bacterial culture capable of degrading DON was obtained from soil samples collected in wheat fields using an enrichment culture procedure. The isolated bacterium, designated strain WSN05-2, completely removed 1,000 μg/mL of DON from the culture medium after incubation for 10 days. On the basis of phylogenetic studies, WSN05-2 was classified as a bacterium belonging to the genus Nocardioides. WSN05-2 showed significant growth in culture medium with DON as the sole carbon source. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis indicated the presence of a major initial metabolite of DON in the culture supernatant. The metabolite was identified as 3-epi-deoxynivalenol (3-epi-DON) by mass spectrometry and 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. The amount of DON on wheat grain was reduced by about 90% at 7 days after inoculation with WSN05-2. This is the first report of a Nocardioides sp. strain able to degrade DON and of the yet unknown 3-epi-DON as an intermediate in the degradation of DON by a microorganism.
doi:10.1007/s00253-010-2857-z
PMCID: PMC3291841  PMID: 20857291
Fusarium graminearum; Trichothecenes; Deoxynivalenol; Mycotoxin degradation; Nocardioides

Results 1-4 (4)