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1.  Elucidation of Zymomonas mobilis physiology and stress responses by quantitative proteomics and transcriptomics 
Zymomonas mobilis is an excellent ethanologenic bacterium. Biomass pretreatment and saccharification provides access to simple sugars, but also produces inhibitors such as acetate and furfural. Our previous work has identified and confirmed the genetic change of a 1.5-kb deletion in the sodium acetate tolerant Z. mobilis mutant (AcR) leading to constitutively elevated expression of a sodium proton antiporter encoding gene nhaA, which contributes to the sodium acetate tolerance of AcR mutant. In this study, we further investigated the responses of AcR and wild-type ZM4 to sodium acetate stress in minimum media using both transcriptomics and a metabolic labeling approach for quantitative proteomics the first time. Proteomic measurements at two time points identified about eight hundreds proteins, or about half of the predicted proteome. Extracellular metabolite analysis indicated AcR overcame the acetate stress quicker than ZM4 with a concomitant earlier ethanol production in AcR mutant, although the final ethanol yields and cell densities were similar between two strains. Transcriptomic samples were analyzed for four time points and revealed that the response of Z. mobilis to sodium acetate stress is dynamic, complex, and involved about one-fifth of the total predicted genes from all different functional categories. The modest correlations between proteomic and transcriptomic data may suggest the involvement of posttranscriptional control. In addition, the transcriptomic data of forty-four microarrays from four experiments for ZM4 and AcR under different conditions were combined to identify strain-specific, media-responsive, growth phase-dependent, and treatment-responsive gene expression profiles. Together this study indicates that minimal medium has the most dramatic effect on gene expression compared to rich medium followed by growth phase, inhibitor, and strain background. Genes involved in protein biosynthesis, glycolysis and fermentation as well as ATP synthesis and stress response play key roles in Z. mobilis metabolism with consistently strong expression levels under different conditions.
PMCID: PMC4033097  PMID: 24904559
Zymomonas mobilis; microarray; proteomics and metabolomics; acetate; pretreatment inhibitor; stress responses; quantitative proteomics; systems biology
2.  Draft Genome Sequence for Ralstonia sp. Strain OR214, a Bacterium with Potential for Bioremediation 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00321-13.
Ralstonia sp. strain OR214 belongs to the class Betaproteobacteria and was isolated from subsurface sediments in Oak Ridge, TN. A member of this genus has been described as a potential bioremediation agent. Strain OR214 is tolerant to various heavy metals, such as uranium, nickel, cobalt, and cadmium. We present its draft genome sequence here.
PMCID: PMC3675513  PMID: 23792748
3.  Draft Genome Sequence for Caulobacter sp. Strain OR37, a Bacterium Tolerant to Heavy Metals 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00322-13.
Caulobacter sp. strain OR37 belongs to the class Alphaproteobacteria and was isolated from subsurface sediments in Oak Ridge, TN. Strain OR37 is noteworthy due to its tolerance to high concentrations of heavy metals, such as uranium, nickel, cobalt, and cadmium, and we present its draft genome sequence here.
PMCID: PMC3675514  PMID: 23792749
4.  Draft Genome Sequence of Rhodococcus rhodochrous Strain ATCC 21198 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(1):e00054-14.
Rhodococcus rhodochrous is a Gram-positive red-pigmented bacterium commonly found in the soil. The draft genome sequence for R. rhodochrous strain ATCC 21198 is presented here to provide genetic data for a better understanding of its lipid-accumulating capabilities.
PMCID: PMC3924371  PMID: 24526639
5.  Integrated Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics Analyses of Root-Associated Soil from Transgenic Switchgrass 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(4):e00777-14.
The benefits of using transgenic switchgrass with decreased levels of caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) as biomass feedstock have been clearly demonstrated. However, its effect on the soil microbial community has not been assessed. Here we report metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses of root-associated soil from COMT switchgrass compared with nontransgenic counterparts.
PMCID: PMC4132618  PMID: 25125642
6.  Genome Sequences of Industrially Relevant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain M3707, Isolated from a Sample of Distillers Yeast and Four Haploid Derivatives 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00323-13.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain M3707 was isolated from a sample of commercial distillers yeast, and its genome sequence together with the genome sequences for the four derived haploid strains M3836, M3837, M3838, and M3839 has been determined. Yeasts have potential for consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) for biofuel production, and access to these genome sequences will facilitate their development.
PMCID: PMC3675515  PMID: 23792743
7.  Twenty-One Genome Sequences from Pseudomonas Species and 19 Genome Sequences from Diverse Bacteria Isolated from the Rhizosphere and Endosphere of Populus deltoides 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(21):5991-5993.
To aid in the investigation of the Populus deltoides microbiome, we generated draft genome sequences for 21 Pseudomonas strains and 19 other diverse bacteria isolated from Populus deltoides roots. Genome sequences for isolates similar to Acidovorax, Bradyrhizobium, Brevibacillus, Caulobacter, Chryseobacterium, Flavobacterium, Herbaspirillum, Novosphingobium, Pantoea, Phyllobacterium, Polaromonas, Rhizobium, Sphingobium, and Variovorax were generated.
PMCID: PMC3486089  PMID: 23045501
8.  Draft Genome Sequence of Rhizobium sp. Strain PDO1-076, a Bacterium Isolated from Populus deltoides 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(9):2383-2384.
Rhizobium sp. strain PDO1-076 is a plant-associated bacterium isolated from Populus deltoides, and its draft genome sequence is reported.
PMCID: PMC3347069  PMID: 22493196
9.  Draft Genome Sequence of Pseudoalteromonas sp. Strain ND6B, an Oil-Degrading Isolate from Eastern Mediterranean Sea Water Collected at a Depth of 1,210 Meters 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01212-14.
Here, we report the draft genome of Pseudoalteromonas sp. strain ND6B, which is able to grow with crude oil as a carbon source. Strain ND6B was isolated from eastern Mediterranean Sea deep water at a depth of 1,210 m. The genome of strain ND6B provides insight into the oil-degrading ability of the Pseudoalteromonas species.
PMCID: PMC4246160  PMID: 25428968
10.  Draft Genome Sequence of Thalassotalea sp. Strain ND16A Isolated from Eastern Mediterranean Sea Water Collected from a Depth of 1,055 Meters 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(6):e01231-14.
Thalassotalea sp. strain ND16A belongs to the family Colwelliaceae and was isolated from eastern Mediterranean Sea water at a depth of 1,055 m. Members of Colwelliaceae are ubiquitous marine heterotrophs. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Thalassotalea sp. strain ND16A, a member of the newly described genus Thalassotalea.
PMCID: PMC4246168  PMID: 25428976
11.  Insights into acetate toxicity in Zymomonas mobilis 8b using different substrates 
Biotechnology for Biofuels  2014;7(1):140.
Lignocellulosic biomass is a promising renewable feedstock for biofuel production. Acetate is one of the major inhibitors liberated from hemicelluloses during hydrolysis. An understanding of the toxic effects of acetate on the fermentation microorganism and the efficient utilization of mixed sugars of glucose and xylose in the presence of hydrolysate inhibitors is crucial for economic biofuel production.
A new microarray was designed including both coding sequences and intergenic regions to investigate the acetate stress responses of Zymomonas mobilis 8b when using single carbon sources of glucose or xylose, or mixed sugars of both glucose and xylose. With the supplementation of exogenous acetate, 8b can utilize all the glucose with a similar ethanol yield, although the growth, final biomass, and ethanol production rate were reduced. However, xylose utilization was inhibited in both media containing xylose or a mixed sugar of glucose and xylose, although the performance of 8b was better in mixed sugar than xylose-only media. The presence of acetate caused genes related to biosynthesis, the flagellar system, and glycolysis to be downregulated, and genes related to stress responses and energy metabolism to be upregulated. Unexpectedly, xylose seems to pose more stress on 8b, recruiting more genes for xylose utilization, than does acetate. Several gene candidates based on transcriptome results were selected for genetic manipulation, and a TonB-dependent receptor knockout mutant was confirmed to have a slight advantage regarding acetate tolerance.
Our results indicate Z. mobilis utilized a different mechanism for xylose utilization, with an even more severe impact on Z. mobilis than that caused by acetate treatment. Our study also suggests redox imbalance caused by stressful conditions may trigger a metabolic reaction leading to the accumulation of toxic intermediates such as xylitol, but Z. mobilis manages its carbon and energy metabolism through the control of individual reactions to mitigate the stressful conditions. We have thus provided extensive transcriptomic datasets and gained insights into the molecular responses of Z. mobilis to the inhibitor acetate when grown in different sugar sources, which will facilitate future metabolic modeling studies and strain improvement efforts for better xylose utilization and acetate tolerance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-014-0140-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4189746  PMID: 25298783
12.  Complete Genome Sequence of Pelosinus sp. Strain UFO1 Assembled Using Single-Molecule Real-Time DNA Sequencing Technology 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(5):e00881-14.
Pelosinus species can reduce metals such as Fe(III), U(VI), and Cr(VI) and have been isolated from diverse geographical regions. Five draft genome sequences have been published. We report the complete genome sequence for Pelosinus sp. strain UFO1 using only PacBio DNA sequence data and without manual finishing.
PMCID: PMC4155594  PMID: 25189589
13.  Transcriptomic analysis of Clostridium thermocellum Populus hydrolysate-tolerant mutant strain shows increased cellular efficiency in response to Populus hydrolysate compared to the wild type strain 
BMC Microbiology  2014;14:215.
The thermophilic, anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium thermocellum is a model organism for consolidated processing due to its efficient fermentation of cellulose. Constituents of dilute acid pretreatment hydrolysate are known to inhibit C. thermocellum and other microorganisms. To evaluate the biological impact of this type of hydrolysate, a transcriptomic analysis of growth in hydrolysate-containing medium was conducted on 17.5% v/v Populus hydrolysate-tolerant mutant (PM) and wild type (WT) strains of C. thermocellum.
In two levels of Populus hydrolysate medium (0% and 10% v/v), the PM showed both gene specific increases and decreases of gene expression compared to the wild-type strain. The PM had increased expression of genes in energy production and conversion, and amino acid transport and metabolism in both standard and 10% v/v Populus hydrolysate media. In particular, expression of the histidine metabolism increased up to 100 fold. In contrast, the PM decreased gene expression in cell division and sporulation (standard medium only), cell defense mechanisms, cell envelope, cell motility, and cellulosome in both media. The PM downregulated inorganic ion transport and metabolism in standard medium but upregulated it in the hydrolysate media when compared to the WT. The WT differentially expressed 1072 genes in response to the hydrolysate medium which included increased transcription of cell defense mechanisms, cell motility, and cellulosome, and decreased expression in cell envelope, amino acid transport and metabolism, inorganic ion transport and metabolism, and lipid metabolism, while the PM only differentially expressed 92 genes. The PM tolerates up to 17.5% v/v Populus hydrolysate and growth in it elicited 489 genes with differential expression, which included increased expression in energy production and conversion, cellulosome production, and inorganic ion transport and metabolism and decreased expression in transcription and cell defense mechanisms.
These results suggest the mechanisms of tolerance for the Populus hydrolysate-tolerant mutant strain of C. thermocellum are based on increased cellular efficiency caused apparently by downregulation of non-critical genes and increasing the expression of genes in energy production and conversion rather than tolerance to specific hydrolysate components. The wild type, conversely, responds to hydrolysate media by down-regulating growth genes and up-regulating stress response genes.
PMCID: PMC4236516  PMID: 25128475
Clostridium thermocellum; Populus hydrolysate; Inhibitor tolerance; Gene expression; Transcriptomic; RNA-seq; Consolidated bioprocessing
14.  Improved Draft Genome Sequence of Clostridium pasteurianum Strain ATCC 6013 (DSM 525) Using a Hybrid Next-Generation Sequencing Approach 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(4):e00790-14.
We present an improved draft genome sequence for Clostridium pasteurianum strain ATCC 6013 (DSM 525), the type strain of the species and an important solventogenic bacterium with industrial potential. Availability of a near-complete genome sequence will enable strain engineering of this promising bacterium.
PMCID: PMC4125779  PMID: 25103768
15.  New Model for Electron Flow for Sulfate Reduction in Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20 
To understand the energy conversion activities of the anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria, it is necessary to identify the components involved in electron flow. The importance of the abundant type I tetraheme cytochrome c3 (TpIc3) as an electron carrier during sulfate respiration was questioned by the previous isolation of a null mutation in the gene encoding TpIc3, cycA, in Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20. Whereas respiratory growth of the CycA mutant with lactate and sulfate was little affected, growth with pyruvate and sulfate was significantly impaired. We have explored the phenotype of the CycA mutant through physiological tests and transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. Data reported here show that electrons from pyruvate oxidation do not reach adenylyl sulfate reductase, the enzyme catalyzing the first redox reaction during sulfate reduction, in the absence of either CycA or the type I cytochrome c3:menaquinone oxidoreductase transmembrane complex, QrcABCD. In contrast to the wild type, the CycA and QrcA mutants did not grow with H2 or formate and sulfate as the electron acceptor. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the CycA mutant showed that transcripts and enzymes for the pathway from pyruvate to succinate were strongly decreased in the CycA mutant regardless of the growth mode. Neither the CycA nor the QrcA mutant grew on fumarate alone, consistent with the omics results and a redox regulation of gene expression. We conclude that TpIc3 and the Qrc complex are D. alaskensis components essential for the transfer of electrons released in the periplasm to reach the cytoplasmic adenylyl sulfate reductase and present a model that may explain the CycA phenotype through confurcation of electrons.
PMCID: PMC3911205  PMID: 24242254
16.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Lignin-Degrading Burkholderia sp. Strain LIG30, Isolated from Wet Tropical Forest Soil 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(3):e00637-14.
Burkholderia species are common soil Betaproteobacteria capable of degrading recalcitrant aromatic compounds and xenobiotics. Burkholderia sp. strain LIG30 was isolated from wet tropical forest soil and is capable of utilizing lignin as a sole carbon source. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Burkholderia sp. strain LIG30.
PMCID: PMC4064042  PMID: 24948777
17.  Evaluation and validation of de novo and hybrid assembly techniques to derive high-quality genome sequences 
Bioinformatics  2014;30(19):2709-2716.
Motivation: To assess the potential of different types of sequence data combined with de novo and hybrid assembly approaches to improve existing draft genome sequences.
Results: Illumina, 454 and PacBio sequencing technologies were used to generate de novo and hybrid genome assemblies for four different bacteria, which were assessed for quality using summary statistics (e.g. number of contigs, N50) and in silico evaluation tools. Differences in predictions of multiple copies of rDNA operons for each respective bacterium were evaluated by PCR and Sanger sequencing, and then the validated results were applied as an additional criterion to rank assemblies. In general, assemblies using longer PacBio reads were better able to resolve repetitive regions. In this study, the combination of Illumina and PacBio sequence data assembled through the ALLPATHS-LG algorithm gave the best summary statistics and most accurate rDNA operon number predictions. This study will aid others looking to improve existing draft genome assemblies.
Availability and implementation: All assembly tools except CLC Genomics Workbench are freely available under GNU General Public License.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
PMCID: PMC4173024  PMID: 24930142
18.  Comparison of single-molecule sequencing and hybrid approaches for finishing the genome of Clostridium autoethanogenum and analysis of CRISPR systems in industrial relevant Clostridia 
Clostridium autoethanogenum strain JA1-1 (DSM 10061) is an acetogen capable of fermenting CO, CO2 and H2 (e.g. from syngas or waste gases) into biofuel ethanol and commodity chemicals such as 2,3-butanediol. A draft genome sequence consisting of 100 contigs has been published.
A closed, high-quality genome sequence for C. autoethanogenum DSM10061 was generated using only the latest single-molecule DNA sequencing technology and without the need for manual finishing. It is assigned to the most complex genome classification based upon genome features such as repeats, prophage, nine copies of the rRNA gene operons. It has a low G + C content of 31.1%. Illumina, 454, Illumina/454 hybrid assemblies were generated and then compared to the draft and PacBio assemblies using summary statistics, CGAL, QUAST and REAPR bioinformatics tools and comparative genomic approaches. Assemblies based upon shorter read DNA technologies were confounded by the large number repeats and their size, which in the case of the rRNA gene operons were ~5 kb. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Paloindromic Repeats) systems among biotechnologically relevant Clostridia were classified and related to plasmid content and prophages. Potential associations between plasmid content and CRISPR systems may have implications for historical industrial scale Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation failures and future large scale bacterial fermentations. While C. autoethanogenum contains an active CRISPR system, no such system is present in the closely related Clostridium ljungdahlii DSM 13528. A common prophage inserted into the Arg-tRNA shared between the strains suggests a common ancestor. However, C. ljungdahlii contains several additional putative prophages and it has more than double the amount of prophage DNA compared to C. autoethanogenum. Other differences include important metabolic genes for central metabolism (as an additional hydrogenase and the absence of a phophoenolpyruvate synthase) and substrate utilization pathway (mannose and aromatics utilization) that might explain phenotypic differences between C. autoethanogenum and C. ljungdahlii.
Single molecule sequencing will be increasingly used to produce finished microbial genomes. The complete genome will facilitate comparative genomics and functional genomics and support future comparisons between Clostridia and studies that examine the evolution of plasmids, bacteriophage and CRISPR systems.
PMCID: PMC4022347  PMID: 24655715
19.  “Moving Forward”: Success from a Physiotherapist's Point of View 
Physiotherapy Canada  2008;60(1):19-29.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to capture the meaning of professional success to experienced physiotherapists practising in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Methods: Using a qualitative, phenomenological approach, 10 physiotherapists from the GTA each participated in a 60-minute, semistructured, face-to-face interview. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the vanKaam method, modified by Moustakas.
Results: Participants described success as “moving forward,” a dynamic and evolving experience that extends throughout an entire career. Study participants identified three markers of professional success: positive patient outcome, career advancement, and advancement of the physiotherapy profession. The experience of moving forward toward success applied to all of these markers and was driven by making choices. Choices made throughout a career were influenced by mentorship and self-reflection.
Conclusions: The physiotherapists in this study described different indicators of success than have been described by other health care or corporate professionals in the literature. Success in the physiotherapy profession is experienced as a circular rather than linear process. Physiotherapists, professional organizations, and employers have a role in fostering professional success. We suggest the introduction of mentorship and self-reflection programmes early in one's career, focusing on the three markers of success: patient outcomes, career advancement, and advancement of the profession.
PMCID: PMC2787542  PMID: 20145739
assessment; career mobility; job satisfaction; mentors; patient outcomes; professional practice; qualitative research; vocational rehabilitation; évaluation; mentors; mobilité professionnelle; réadaptation professionnelle; recherche qualitative; résultats pour le patient; pratique professionnelle; satisfaction professionnelle
20.  Hexavalent Chromium Reduction under Fermentative Conditions with Lactate Stimulated Native Microbial Communities 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83909.
Microbial reduction of toxic hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in-situ is a plausible bioremediation strategy in electron-acceptor limited environments. However, higher [Cr(VI)] may impose stress on syntrophic communities and impact community structure and function. The study objectives were to understand the impacts of Cr(VI) concentrations on community structure and on the Cr(VI)-reduction potential of groundwater communities at Hanford, WA. Steady state continuous flow bioreactors were used to grow native communities enriched with lactate (30 mM) and continuously amended with Cr(VI) at 0.0 (No-Cr), 0.1 (Low-Cr) and 3.0 (High-Cr) mg/L. Microbial growth, metabolites, Cr(VI), 16S rRNA gene sequences and GeoChip based functional gene composition were monitored for 15 weeks. Temporal trends and differences in growth, metabolite profiles, and community composition were observed, largely between Low-Cr and High-Cr bioreactors. In both High-Cr and Low-Cr bioreactors, Cr(VI) levels were below detection from week 1 until week 15. With lactate enrichment, native bacterial diversity substantially decreased as Pelosinus spp., and Sporotalea spp., became the dominant groups, but did not significantly differ between Cr concentrations. The Archaea diversity also substantially decreased after lactate enrichment from Methanosaeta (35%), Methanosarcina (17%) and others, to mostly Methanosarcina spp. (95%). Methane production was lower in High-Cr reactors suggesting some inhibition of methanogens. Several key functional genes were distinct in Low-Cr bioreactors compared to High-Cr. Among the Cr resistant microbes, Burkholderia vietnamiensis, Comamonas testosterone and Ralstonia pickettii proliferated in Cr amended bioreactors. In-situ fermentative conditions facilitated Cr(VI) reduction, and as a result 3.0 mg/L Cr(VI) did not impact the overall bacterial community structure.
PMCID: PMC3871698  PMID: 24376771
21.  Draft Genome Sequence of Serratia sp. Strain ATCC 39006, a Model Bacterium for Analysis of the Biosynthesis and Regulation of Prodigiosin, a Carbapenem, and Gas Vesicles 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(6):e01039-13.
Serratia sp. strain ATCC 39006 is a Gram-negative bacterium and a member of the Enterobacteriaceae that produces various bioactive secondary metabolites, including the tripyrrole red pigment prodigiosin and the β-lactam antibiotic 1-carbapenen-2-em-3-carboxylic acid (a carbapenem). This strain is the only member of the Enterobacteriaceae known to naturally produce gas vesicles, as flotation organelles. Here we present the genome sequence of this strain, which has served as a model for analysis of the biosynthesis and regulation of antibiotic production.
PMCID: PMC3861430  PMID: 24336377
22.  Global transcriptome analysis of Clostridium thermocellum ATCC 27405 during growth on dilute acid pretreated Populus and switchgrass 
The thermophilic anaerobe Clostridium thermocellum is a candidate consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) biocatalyst for cellulosic ethanol production. The aim of this study was to investigate C. thermocellum genes required to ferment biomass substrates and to conduct a robust comparison of DNA microarray and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analytical platforms.
C. thermocellum ATCC 27405 fermentations were conducted with a 5 g/L solid substrate loading of either pretreated switchgrass or Populus. Quantitative saccharification and inductively coupled plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-ES) for elemental analysis revealed composition differences between biomass substrates, which may have influenced growth and transcriptomic profiles. High quality RNA was prepared for C. thermocellum grown on solid substrates and transcriptome profiles were obtained for two time points during active growth (12 hours and 37 hours postinoculation). A comparison of two transcriptomic analytical techniques, microarray and RNA-seq, was performed and the data analyzed for statistical significance. Large expression differences for cellulosomal genes were not observed. We updated gene predictions for the strain and a small novel gene, Cthe_3383, with a putative AgrD peptide quorum sensing function was among the most highly expressed genes. RNA-seq data also supported different small regulatory RNA predictions over others. The DNA microarray gave a greater number (2,351) of significant genes relative to RNA-seq (280 genes when normalized by the kernel density mean of M component (KDMM) method) in an analysis of variance (ANOVA) testing method with a 5% false discovery rate (FDR). When a 2-fold difference in expression threshold was applied, 73 genes were significantly differentially expressed in common between the two techniques. Sulfate and phosphate uptake/utilization genes, along with genes for a putative efflux pump system were some of the most differentially regulated transcripts when profiles for C. thermocellum grown on either pretreated switchgrass or Populus were compared.
Our results suggest that a high degree of agreement in differential gene expression measurements between transcriptomic platforms is possible, but choosing an appropriate normalization regime is essential.
PMCID: PMC3880215  PMID: 24295562
Genome; Reannotation; Biomass; Elemental composition; RNA-seq; Microarray; Phosphate; Normalization; Transcriptomics
23.  Clostridium thermocellum transcriptomic profiles after exposure to furfural or heat stress 
The thermophilic anaerobe Clostridium thermocellum is a candidate consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) biocatalyst for cellulosic ethanol production. It is capable of both cellulose solubilization and its fermentation to produce lignocellulosic ethanol. Intolerance to stresses routinely encountered during industrial fermentations may hinder the commercial development of this organism. A previous C. thermocellum ethanol stress study showed that the largest transcriptomic response was in genes and proteins related to nitrogen uptake and metabolism.
In this study, C. thermocellum was grown to mid-exponential phase and treated with furfural or heat to a final concentration of 3 g.L-1 or 68°C respectively to investigate general and specific physiological and regulatory stress responses. Samples were taken at 10, 30, 60 and 120 min post-shock, and from untreated control fermentations, for transcriptomic analyses and fermentation product determinations and compared to a published dataset from an ethanol stress study. Urea uptake genes were induced following furfural stress, but not to the same extent as ethanol stress and transcription from these genes was largely unaffected by heat stress. The largest transcriptomic response to furfural stress was genes for sulfate transporter subunits and enzymes in the sulfate assimilatory pathway, although these genes were also affected late in the heat and ethanol stress responses. Lactate production was higher in furfural treated culture, although the lactate dehydrogenase gene was not differentially expressed under this condition. Other redox related genes such as a copy of the rex gene, a bifunctional acetaldehyde-CoA/alcohol dehydrogenase and adjacent genes did show lower expression after furfural stress compared to the control, heat and ethanol fermentation profiles. Heat stress induced expression from chaperone related genes and overlap was observed with the responses to the other stresses. This study suggests the involvement of C. thermocellum genes with functions in oxidative stress protection, electron transfer, detoxification, sulfur and nitrogen acquisition, and DNA repair mechanisms in its stress responses and the use of different regulatory networks to coordinate and control adaptation.
This study has identified C. thermocellum gene regulatory motifs and aspects of physiology and gene regulation for further study. The nexus between future systems biology studies and recently developed genetic tools for C. thermocellum offers the potential for more rapid strain development and for broader insights into this organism’s physiology and regulation.
PMCID: PMC3848806  PMID: 24028713
Biomass; Recalcitrance; Inhibitor; Stress; DNA microarray; Regulation; Regulatory motif
24.  Draft Genome Sequences for Three Mercury-Methylating, Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(4):e00618-13.
The genetic basis for bacterial mercury methylation has been described recently. For insights into the physiology of mercury-methylating bacteria, we present genome sequences for Desulfococcus multivorans strain DSM 2059, Desulfovibrio alkalitolerans strain DSM 16529, and Desulfovibrio species strain X2.
PMCID: PMC3744682  PMID: 23950126
25.  Systems Biology Analysis of Zymomonas mobilis ZM4 Ethanol Stress Responses 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68886.
Zymomonas mobilis ZM4 is a capable ethanologenic bacterium with high ethanol productivity and ethanol tolerance. Previous studies indicated that several stress-related proteins and changes in the ZM4 membrane lipid composition may contribute to ethanol tolerance. However, the molecular mechanisms of its ethanol stress response have not been elucidated fully.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study, ethanol stress responses were investigated using systems biology approaches. Medium supplementation with an initial 47 g/L (6% v/v) ethanol reduced Z. mobilis ZM4 glucose consumption, growth rate and ethanol productivity compared to that of untreated controls. A proteomic analysis of early exponential growth identified about one thousand proteins, or approximately 55% of the predicted ZM4 proteome. Proteins related to metabolism and stress response such as chaperones and key regulators were more abundant in the early ethanol stress condition. Transcriptomic studies indicated that the response of ZM4 to ethanol is dynamic, complex and involves many genes from all the different functional categories. Most down-regulated genes were related to translation and ribosome biogenesis, while the ethanol-upregulated genes were mostly related to cellular processes and metabolism. Transcriptomic data were used to update Z. mobilis ZM4 operon models. Furthermore, correlations among the transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic data were examined. Among significantly expressed genes or proteins, we observe higher correlation coefficients when fold-change values are higher.
Our study has provided insights into the responses of Z. mobilis to ethanol stress through an integrated “omics” approach for the first time. This systems biology study elucidated key Z. mobilis ZM4 metabolites, genes and proteins that form the foundation of its distinctive physiology and its multifaceted response to ethanol stress.
PMCID: PMC3712917  PMID: 23874800

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