Thermoanaerobacter spp. have long been considered suitable Clostridium thermocellum coculture partners for improving lignocellulosic biofuel production through consolidated bioprocessing. However, studies using “omic”-based profiling to better understand carbon utilization and biofuel producing pathways have been limited to only a few strains thus far. To better characterize carbon and electron flux pathways in the recently isolated, xylanolytic strain, Thermoanaerobacter thermohydrosulfuricus WC1, label-free quantitative proteomic analyses were combined with metabolic profiling. SWATH-MS proteomic analysis quantified 832 proteins in each of six proteomes isolated from mid-exponential-phase cells grown on xylose, cellobiose, or a mixture of both. Despite encoding genes consistent with a carbon catabolite repression network observed in other Gram-positive organisms, simultaneous consumption of both substrates was observed. Lactate was the major end product of fermentation under all conditions despite the high expression of gene products involved with ethanol and/or acetate synthesis, suggesting that carbon flux in this strain may be controlled via metabolite-based (allosteric) regulation or is constrained by metabolic bottlenecks. Cross-species “omic” comparative analyses confirmed similar expression patterns for end-product-forming gene products across diverse Thermoanaerobacter spp. It also identified differences in cofactor metabolism, which potentially contribute to differences in end-product distribution patterns between the strains analyzed. The analyses presented here improve our understanding of T. thermohydrosulfuricus WC1 metabolism and identify important physiological limitations to be addressed in its development as a biotechnologically relevant strain in ethanologenic designer cocultures through consolidated bioprocessing.
Higher initial glycerol loadings (620 mM) have a negative effect on growth and 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO) synthesis in Clostridium butyricum DSM 10702 relative to lower initial glycerol concentrations (170 mM). To help understand metabolic shifts associated with elevated glycerol, protein expression levels were quantified by LC/MS/MS analyses. Thirty one (31) proteins involved in conversion of glycerol to 1,3-PDO and other by-products were analyzed by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). The analyses revealed that high glycerol concentrations reduced cell growth. The expression levels of most proteins in glycerol catabolism pathways were down-regulated, consistent with the slower growth rates observed. However, at high initial glycerol concentrations, some of the proteins involved in the butyrate synthesis pathways such as a putative ethanol dehydrogenase (CBY_3753) and a 3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (CBY_3045) were up-regulated in both exponential and stationary growth phases. Expression levels of proteins (CBY_0500, CBY_0501 and CBY_0502) involved in the reductive pathway of glycerol to 1,3-PDO were consistent with glycerol consumption and product concentrations observed during fermentation at both glycerol concentrations, and the molar yields of 1,3-PDO were similar in both cultures. This is the first report that correlates expression levels of glycerol catabolism enzymes with synthesis of 1,3-PDO in C. butyricum. The results revealed that significant differences in the expression of a small subset of proteins were observed between exponential and stationary growth phases at both low and high glycerol concentrations.
Clostridium butyricum; 1,3-propanediol synthesis; Glycerol catabolism; Proteomics; Multiple reaction monitoring
Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 is an anaerobic, gram positive, mesophilic, cellulolytic bacillus isolated from the gut of the wood-feeding termite, Nasutitermes lujae. It produces biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol from cellulose, cellobiose, xylan, xylose, glucose, and other sugars, and therefore could be used for biofuel production from biomass through consolidated bioprocessing. The first step in the production of biofuel from biomass by microorganisms is the hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates present in biomass. This is achieved through the presence of a repertoire of secreted or complexed carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), sometimes organized in an extracellular organelle called cellulosome. To assess the ability and understand the mechanism of polysaccharide hydrolysis in C. termitidis, the recently sequenced strain CT1112 of C. termitidis was analyzed for both CAZymes and cellulosomal components, and compared to other cellulolytic bacteria. A total of 355 CAZyme sequences were identified in C. termitidis, significantly higher than other Clostridial species. Of these, high numbers of glycoside hydrolases (199) and carbohydrate binding modules (95) were identified. The presence of a variety of CAZymes involved with polysaccharide utilization/degradation ability suggests hydrolysis potential for a wide range of polysaccharides. In addition, dockerin-bearing enzymes, cohesion domains and a cellulosomal gene cluster were identified, indicating the presence of potential cellulosome assembly.
Growing interest in cellulolytic clostridia with potential for consolidated biofuels production is mitigated by low conversion of raw substrates to desired end products. Strategies to improve conversion are likely to benefit from emerging techniques to define molecular systems biology of these organisms. Clostridium stercorarium DSM8532T is an anaerobic thermophile with demonstrated high ethanol production on cellulose and hemicellulose. Although several lignocellulolytic enzymes in this organism have been well-characterized, details concerning carbohydrate transporters and central metabolism have not been described. Therefore, the goal of this study is to define an improved whole genome sequence (WGS) for this organism using in-depth molecular profiling by RNA-seq transcriptomics and tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomics.
A paired-end Roche/454 WGS assembly was closed through application of an in silico algorithm designed to resolve repetitive sequence regions, resulting in a circular replicon with one gap and a region of 2 kilobases with 10 ambiguous bases. RNA-seq transcriptomics resulted in nearly complete coverage of the genome, identifying errors in homopolymer length attributable to 454 sequencing. Peptide sequences resulting from high-throughput tandem mass spectrometry of trypsin-digested protein extracts were mapped to 1,755 annotated proteins (68% of all protein-coding regions). Proteogenomic analysis confirmed the quality of annotation and improvement pipelines, identifying a missing gene and an alternative reading frame. Peptide coverage of genes hypothetically involved in substrate hydrolysis, transport and utilization confirmed multiple pathways for glycolysis, pyruvate conversion and recycling of intermediates. No sequences homologous to transaldolase, a central enzyme in the pentose phosphate pathway, were observed by any method, despite demonstrated growth of this organism on xylose and xylan hemicellulose.
Complementary omics techniques confirm the quality of genome sequence assembly, annotation and error-reporting. Nearly complete genome coverage by RNA-seq likely indicates background DNA in RNA extracts, however these preps resulted in WGS enhancement and transcriptome profiling in a single Illumina run. No detection of transaldolase by any method despite xylose utilization by this organism indicates an alternative pathway for sedoheptulose-7-phosphate degradation. This report combines next-generation omics techniques to elucidate previously undefined features of substrate transport and central metabolism for this organism and its potential for consolidated biofuels production from lignocellulose.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-567) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Genome; Proteome; Transcriptome; RNA-seq; Tandem mass spectrometry; Proteogenomics; Glycolysis; Pentose phosphate pathway; Transaldolase
Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Clostridium intestinale strain URNW, which can convert biomass to useful products such as biofuels (hydrogen or ethanol) and other soluble end products.
A novel strain of Pseudomonas putida LS46 was isolated from wastewater on the basis of its ability to synthesize medium chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHAs). P.putida LS46 was differentiated from other P.putida strains on the basis of cpn60 (UT). The complete genome of P.putida LS46 was sequenced and annotated. Its chromosome is 5,86,2556 bp in size with GC ratio of 61.69. It is encoding 5316 genes, including 7 rRNA genes and 76 tRNA genes. Nucleotide sequence data of the complete P. putida LS46 genome was compared with nine other P. putida strains (KT2440, F1, BIRD-1, S16, ND6, DOT-T1E, UW4, W619 and GB-1) identified either as biocontrol agents or as bioremediation agents and isolated from different geographical region and different environment. BLASTn analysis of whole genome sequences of the ten P. putida strains revealed nucleotide sequence identities of 86.54 to 97.52%. P.putida genome arrangement was LS46 highly similar to P.putida BIRD1 and P.putida ND6 but was markedly different than P.putida DOT-T1E, P.putida UW4 and P.putida W619. Fatty acid biosynthesis (fab), fatty acid degradation (fad) and PHA synthesis genes were highly conserved among biocontrol and bioremediation P.putida strains. Six genes in pha operon of P. putida LS46 showed >98% homology at gene and proteins level. It appears that polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthesis is an intrinsic property of P. putida and was not affected by its geographic origin. However, all strains, including P. putida LS46, were different from one another on the basis of house keeping genes, and presence of plasmid, prophages, insertion sequence elements and genomic islands. While P. putida LS46 was not selected for plant growth promotion or bioremediation capacity, its genome also encoded genes for root colonization, pyoverdine synthesis, oxidative stress (present in other soil isolates), degradation of aromatic compounds, heavy metal resistance and nicotinic acid degradation, manganese (Mn II) oxidation. Genes for toluene or naphthalene degradation found in the genomes of P. putida F1, DOT-T1E, and ND6 were absent in the P. putida LS46 genome. Heavy metal resistant genes encoded by the P. putida W619 genome were also not present in the P. putida LS46 genome. Despite the overall similarity among genome of P.putida strains isolated for different applications and from different geographical location a number of differences were observed in genome arrangement, occurrence of transposon, genomic islands and prophage. It appears that P.putida strains had a common ancestor and by acquiring some specific genes by horizontal gene transfer it differed from other related strains.
Pseudomonas putida; Comparative bioinformatics analysis; Comparative genome analysis; Polyhydroxyalkanoates; Pan-Genome; Insertion sequences; Metabolic diversity
Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 (DSM 5398), a mesophilic, cellulolytic bacterium that can utilize a variety of sugars, as well as pure cellulose, as a sole carbon source; it also synthesizes fermentation end products with potential industrial applications.
We describe the draft genome sequence of Pseudomonas putida strain LS46, a novel isolate that synthesizes medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoates. The draft genome of P. putida LS46 consists of approximately 5.86 million bp, with a G+C content of 61.69%. A total of 5,316 annotated genes and 5,219 coding sequences (CDS) were identified.
The microbial production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is a multi-component process that involves biomass hydrolysis, carbohydrate transport and utilization, and finally, the production of ethanol. Strains of the genus Thermoanaerobacter have been studied for decades due to their innate abilities to produce comparatively high ethanol yields from hemicellulose constituent sugars. However, their inability to hydrolyze cellulose, limits their usefulness in lignocellulosic biofuel production. As such, co-culturing Thermoanaerobacter spp. with cellulolytic organisms is a plausible approach to improving lignocellulose conversion efficiencies and yields of biofuels. To evaluate native lignocellulosic ethanol production capacities relative to competing fermentative end-products, comparative genomic analysis of 11 sequenced Thermoanaerobacter strains, including a de novo genome, Thermoanaerobacter thermohydrosulfuricus WC1, was conducted. Analysis was specifically focused on the genomic potential for each strain to address all aspects of ethanol production mentioned through a consolidated bioprocessing approach. Whole genome functional annotation analysis identified three distinct clades within the genus. The genomes of Clade 1 strains encode the fewest extracellular carbohydrate active enzymes and also show the least diversity in terms of lignocellulose relevant carbohydrate utilization pathways. However, these same strains reportedly are capable of directing a higher proportion of their total carbon flux towards ethanol, rather than non-biofuel end-products, than other Thermoanaerobacter strains. Strains in Clade 2 show the greatest diversity in terms of lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but proportionately produce more non-ethanol end-products than Clade 1 strains. Strains in Clade 3, in which T. thermohydrosulfuricus WC1 is included, show mid-range potential for lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but also exhibit extensive divergence from both Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains in terms of cellular energetics. The potential implications regarding strain selection and suitability for industrial ethanol production through a consolidated bioprocessing co-culturing approach are examined throughout the manuscript.
Fermentative bacteria offer the potential to convert lignocellulosic waste-streams into biofuels such as hydrogen (H2) and ethanol. Current fermentative H2 and ethanol yields, however, are below theoretical maxima, vary greatly among organisms, and depend on the extent of metabolic pathways utilized. For fermentative H2 and/or ethanol production to become practical, biofuel yields must be increased. We performed a comparative meta-analysis of (i) reported end-product yields, and (ii) genes encoding pyruvate metabolism and end-product synthesis pathways to identify suitable biomarkers for screening a microorganism’s potential of H2 and/or ethanol production, and to identify targets for metabolic engineering to improve biofuel yields. Our interest in H2 and/or ethanol optimization restricted our meta-analysis to organisms with sequenced genomes and limited branched end-product pathways. These included members of the Firmicutes, Euryarchaeota, and Thermotogae.
Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the absence of genes encoding acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and bifunctional acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase (AdhE) in Caldicellulosiruptor, Thermococcus, Pyrococcus, and Thermotoga species coincide with high H2 yields and low ethanol production. Organisms containing genes (or activities) for both ethanol and H2 synthesis pathways (i.e. Caldanaerobacter subterraneus subsp. tengcongensis, Ethanoligenens harbinense, and Clostridium species) had relatively uniform mixed product patterns. The absence of hydrogenases in Geobacillus and Bacillus species did not confer high ethanol production, but rather high lactate production. Only Thermoanaerobacter pseudethanolicus produced relatively high ethanol and low H2 yields. This may be attributed to the presence of genes encoding proteins that promote NADH production. Lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate:formate lyase are not conducive for ethanol and/or H2 production. While the type(s) of encoded hydrogenases appear to have little impact on H2 production in organisms that do not encode ethanol producing pathways, they do influence reduced end-product yields in those that do.
Here we show that composition of genes encoding pathways involved in pyruvate catabolism and end-product synthesis pathways can be used to approximate potential end-product distribution patterns. We have identified a number of genetic biomarkers for streamlining ethanol and H2 producing capabilities. By linking genome content, reaction thermodynamics, and end-product yields, we offer potential targets for optimization of either ethanol or H2 yields through metabolic engineering.
Clostridium thermocellum produces H2 and ethanol, as well as CO2, acetate, formate, and lactate, directly from cellulosic biomass. It is therefore an attractive model for biofuel production via consolidated bioprocessing. Optimization of end-product yields and titres is crucial for making biofuel production economically feasible. Relative protein expression profiles may provide targets for metabolic engineering, while understanding changes in protein expression and metabolism in response to carbon limitation, pH, and growth phase may aid in reactor optimization. We performed shotgun 2D-HPLC-MS/MS on closed-batch cellobiose-grown exponential phase C. thermocellum cell-free extracts to determine relative protein expression profiles of core metabolic proteins involved carbohydrate utilization, energy conservation, and end-product synthesis. iTRAQ (isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation) based protein quantitation was used to determine changes in core metabolic proteins in response to growth phase.
Relative abundance profiles revealed differential levels of putative enzymes capable of catalyzing parallel pathways. The majority of proteins involved in pyruvate catabolism and end-product synthesis were detected with high abundance, with the exception of aldehyde dehydrogenase, ferredoxin-dependent Ech-type [NiFe]-hydrogenase, and RNF-type NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase. Using 4-plex 2D-HPLC-MS/MS, 24% of the 144 core metabolism proteins detected demonstrated moderate changes in expression during transition from exponential to stationary phase. Notably, proteins involved in pyruvate synthesis decreased in stationary phase, whereas proteins involved in glycogen metabolism, pyruvate catabolism, and end-product synthesis increased in stationary phase. Several proteins that may directly dictate end-product synthesis patterns, including pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductases, alcohol dehydrogenases, and a putative bifurcating hydrogenase, demonstrated differential expression during transition from exponential to stationary phase.
Relative expression profiles demonstrate which proteins are likely utilized in carbohydrate utilization and end-product synthesis and suggest that H2 synthesis occurs via bifurcating hydrogenases while ethanol synthesis is predominantly catalyzed by a bifunctional aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase. Differences in expression profiles of core metabolic proteins in response to growth phase may dictate carbon and electron flux towards energy storage compounds and end-products. Combined knowledge of relative protein expression levels and their changes in response to physiological conditions may aid in targeted metabolic engineering strategies and optimization of fermentation conditions for improvement of biofuels production.
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder predominantly caused by mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2. A primary feature of the syndrome is the impaired maturation and maintenance of excitatory synapses in the central nervous system (CNS). Different RTT mouse models have shown that particular Mecp2 mutations have highly variable effects on neuronal architecture. Distinguishing MeCP2 mutant cellular phenotypes therefore demands analysis of specific mutations in well-defined neuronal subpopulations. We examined a transgenically labeled subset of cortical neurons in YFP-H mice crossed with the Mecp2tm1.1Jae mutant line. YFP+ Layer 5 pyramidal neurons in the motor cortex of wildtype and hemizygous mutant male mice were examined for differences in dendrite morphology and spine density. Total basal dendritic length was decreased by 18.6% due to both shorter dendrites and reduced branching proximal to the soma. Tangential dendrite lengths in the apical tuft were reduced by up to 26.6%. Spine density was reduced by 47.4% in the apical tuft and 54.5% in secondary apical dendrites, but remained unaffected in primary apical and proximal basal dendrites. We also found that MeCP2 mutation reduced the number of YFP+ cells in YFP-H mice by up to 72% in various cortical regions without affecting the intensity of YFP expression in individual cells. Our results support the view that the effects of MeCP2 mutation are highly context-dependent and cannot be generalized across mutation types and cell populations.
Clostridium thermocellum is a gram-positive, acetogenic, thermophilic, anaerobic bacterium that degrades cellulose and carries out mixed product fermentation, catabolising cellulose to acetate, lactate, and ethanol under various growth conditions, with the concomitant release of H2 and CO2. Very little is known about the factors that determine metabolic fluxes influencing H2 synthesis in anaerobic, cellulolytic bacteria like C. thermocellum. We have begun to investigate the relationships between genome content, gene expression, and end-product synthesis in C. thermocellum cultured under different conditions. Using bioinformatics tools and the complete C. thermocellum 27405 genome sequence, we identified genes encoding key enzymes in pyruvate catabolism and H2-synthesis pathways, and have confirmed transcription of these genes throughout growth on α-cellulose by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Bioinformatic analyses revealed two putative lactate dehydrogenases, one pyruvate formate lyase, four pyruvate:formate lyase activating enzymes, and at least three putative pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (POR) or POR-like enzymes. Our data suggests that hydrogen may be generated through the action of either a Ferredoxin (Fd)-dependent NiFe hydrogenase, often referred to as “Energy-converting Hydrogenases”, or via NAD(P)Hdependent Fe-only hydrogenases which would permit H2 production from NADH generated during the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase reaction. Furthermore, our findings show the presence of a gene cluster putatively encoding a membrane integral NADH:Fd oxidoreductase, suggesting a possible mechanism in which electrons could be transferred between NADH and ferredoxin. The elucidation of pyruvate catabolism pathways and mechanisms of H2 synthesis is the first step in developing strategies to increase hydrogen yields from biomass. Our studies have outlined the likely pathways leading to hydrogen synthesis in C. thermocellum strain 27405, but the actual functional roles of these gene products during pyruvate catabolism and in H 2 synthesis remain to be elucidated, and will need to be confirmed using both expression analysis and protein characterization.
Clostridium thermocellum; Fermentation; Cellulose; Hydrogen; Pyruvate catabolism
Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is a system in which cellulase production, substrate hydrolysis, and fermentation are accomplished in a single process step by cellulolytic microorganisms. CBP offers the potential for lower biofuel production costs due to simpler feedstock processing, lower energy inputs, and higher conversion efficiencies than separate hydrolysis and fermentation processes, and is an economically attractive near-term goal for “third generation” biofuel production. In this review article, production of third generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks will be addressed in respect to the metabolism of cellulolytic bacteria and the development of strategies to increase biofuel yields through metabolic engineering.
biofuels; ethanol; hydrogen; cellulose; fermentation
Various molecular methods are used to detect pathogenic microorganisms and viruses within their hosts, but these methods are rarely validated by direct comparison. Southern hybridization, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and a novel DNA extraction/PCR assay were used to detect Orgyia pseudotsugata multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (OpMNPV) in Douglas-fir tussock moth larvae. PCR was more sensitive than Southern hybridization and ELISA at detecting semipurified virus. ELISA, however, was the most accurate method for detecting virus within larvae, given that Southern hybridization and PCR produced false-negative results (31% and 2.5%, respectively). ELISA may be preferable in some applications because virus infections can be quantified (r2 = 0.995). These results may be applicable to both applied and academic research that seeks to accurately identify the incidence of viruses and microorganisms that regulate insect populations.
Of 30 baculovirus genomes that have been sequenced to date, the only nonlepidopteran baculoviruses include the dipteran Culex nigripalpus nucleopolyhedrovirus and two hymenopteran nucleopolyhedroviruses that infect the sawflies Neodiprion lecontei (NeleNPV) and Neodiprion sertifer (NeseNPV). This study provides a complete sequence and genome analysis of the nucleopolyhedrovirus that infects the balsam fir sawfly Neodiprion abietis (Hymenoptera, Symphyta, Diprionidae). The N. abietis nucleopolyhedrovirus (NeabNPV) is 84,264 bp in size, with a G+C content of 33.5%, and contains 93 predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Eleven predicted ORFs are unique to this baculovirus, 10 ORFs have a putative sequence homologue in the NeleNPV genome but not the NeseNPV genome, and 1 ORF (neab53) has a putative sequence homologue in the NeseNPV genome but not the NeleNPV genome. Specific repeat sequences are coincident with major genome rearrangements that distinguish NeabNPV and NeleNPV. Genes associated with these repeat regions encode a common amino acid motif, suggesting that they are a family of repeated contiguous gene clusters. Lepidopteran baculoviruses, similarly, have a family of repeated genes called the bro gene family. However, there is no significant sequence similarity between the NeabNPV and bro genes. Homologues of early-expressed genes such as ie-1 and lef-3 were absent in NeabNPV, as they are in the previously sequenced hymenopteran baculoviruses. Analyses of ORF upstream sequences identified potential temporally distinct genes on the basis of putative promoter elements.
Aerial applications of Foray 48B, which contains Bacillus thuringiensis strain HD1, were carried out on 9 to 10 May, 19 to 21 May, and 8 to 9 June 1999 to control European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) populations in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. A major assessment of the health impact of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki was conducted by the Office of the Medical Health Officer of the Capital Health Region during this period. Environmental (air and water) and human (nasal swab) samples, collected before and after aerial applications of Foray 48B, both in the spray zone and outside of the spray zone, were analyzed for the presence of strain HD1-like bacteria. Random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis, cry gene-specific PCR, and dot blot DNA hybridization techniques were used to screen over 11,000 isolates of bacteria. We identified bacteria with genetic patterns consistent with those of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD1 in 9,102 of 10,659 (85.4%) isolates obtained from the air samples, 13 of 440 (2.9%) isolates obtained from the water samples, and 131 of 171 (76.6%) isolates from the nasal swab samples. These analyses suggest that B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD1-like bacteria were present both in the environment and in the human population of Victoria prior to aerial applications of Foray 48B. The presence of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki HD1-like bacteria in human nasal passages increased significantly after the application of Foray 48B, both inside and outside the spray zone.