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Life, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2015), Pages 1-1018

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Open AccessReview How Close We Are to Achieving Commercially Viable Large-Scale Photobiological Hydrogen Production by Cyanobacteria: A Review of the Biological Aspects
Life 2015, 5(1), 997-1018; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010997
Received: 5 January 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
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Abstract
Photobiological production of H2 by cyanobacteria is considered to be an ideal source of renewable energy because the inputs, water and sunlight, are abundant. The products of photobiological systems are H2 and O2; the H2 can be used
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Photobiological production of H2 by cyanobacteria is considered to be an ideal source of renewable energy because the inputs, water and sunlight, are abundant. The products of photobiological systems are H2 and O2; the H2 can be used as the energy source of fuel cells, etc., which generate electricity at high efficiencies and minimal pollution, as the waste product is H2O. Overall, production of commercially viable algal fuels in any form, including biomass and biodiesel, is challenging, and the very few systems that are operational have yet to be evaluated. In this paper we will: briefly review some of the necessary conditions for economical production, summarize the reports of photobiological H2 production by cyanobacteria, present our schemes for future production, and discuss the necessity for further progress in the research needed to achieve commercially viable large-scale H2 production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Physical Routes to Primitive Cells: An Experimental Model Based on the Spontaneous Entrapment of Enzymes inside Micrometer-Sized Liposomes
Life 2015, 5(1), 969-996; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010969
Received: 13 February 2015 / Revised: 8 March 2015 / Accepted: 10 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
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Abstract
How did primitive living cells originate? The formation of early cells, which were probably solute-filled vesicles capable of performing a rudimentary metabolism (and possibly self-reproduction), is still one of the big unsolved questions in origin of life. We have recently used lipid vesicles
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How did primitive living cells originate? The formation of early cells, which were probably solute-filled vesicles capable of performing a rudimentary metabolism (and possibly self-reproduction), is still one of the big unsolved questions in origin of life. We have recently used lipid vesicles (liposomes) as primitive cell models, aiming at the study of the physical mechanisms for macromolecules encapsulation. We have reported that proteins and ribosomes can be encapsulated very efficiently, against statistical expectations, inside a small number of liposomes. Moreover the transcription-translation mixture, which realistically mimics a sort of minimal metabolic network, can be functionally reconstituted in liposomes owing to a self-concentration mechanism. Here we firstly summarize the recent advancements in this research line, highlighting how these results open a new vista on the phenomena that could have been important for the formation of functional primitive cells. Then, we present new evidences on the non-random entrapment of macromolecules (proteins, dextrans) in phospholipid vesicle, and in particular we show how enzymatic reactions can be accelerated because of the enhancement of their concentration inside liposomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protocells - Designs for Life)
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Open AccessArticle Phylogeny and Taxonomy of Archaea: A Comparison of the Whole-Genome-Based CVTree Approach with 16S rRNA Sequence Analysis
Life 2015, 5(1), 949-968; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010949
Received: 9 December 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
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Abstract
A tripartite comparison of Archaea phylogeny and taxonomy at and above the rank order is reported: (1) the whole-genome-based and alignment-free CVTree using 179 genomes; (2) the 16S rRNA analysis exemplified by the All-Species Living Tree with 366 archaeal sequences; and (3) the
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A tripartite comparison of Archaea phylogeny and taxonomy at and above the rank order is reported: (1) the whole-genome-based and alignment-free CVTree using 179 genomes; (2) the 16S rRNA analysis exemplified by the All-Species Living Tree with 366 archaeal sequences; and (3) the Second Edition of Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology complemented by some current literature. A high degree of agreement is reached at these ranks. From the newly proposed archaeal phyla, Korarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, Nanoarchaeota and Aigarchaeota, to the recent suggestion to divide the class Halobacteria into three orders, all gain substantial support from CVTree. In addition, the CVTree helped to determine the taxonomic position of some newly sequenced genomes without proper lineage information. A few discrepancies between the CVTree and the 16S rRNA approaches call for further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Highly Iterated Palindromic Sequences (HIPs) and Their Relationship to DNA Methyltransferases
Life 2015, 5(1), 921-948; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010921
Received: 1 January 2015 / Revised: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 17 March 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The sequence GCGATCGC (Highly Iterated Palindrome, HIP1) is commonly found in high frequency in cyanobacterial genomes. An important clue to its function may be the presence of two orphan DNA methyltransferases that recognize internal sequences GATC and CGATCG. An examination of genomes from
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The sequence GCGATCGC (Highly Iterated Palindrome, HIP1) is commonly found in high frequency in cyanobacterial genomes. An important clue to its function may be the presence of two orphan DNA methyltransferases that recognize internal sequences GATC and CGATCG. An examination of genomes from 97 cyanobacteria, both free-living and obligate symbionts, showed that there are exceptional cases in which HIP1 is at a low frequency or nearly absent. In some of these cases, it appears to have been replaced by a different GC-rich palindromic sequence, alternate HIPs. When HIP1 is at a high frequency, GATC- and CGATCG-specific methyltransferases are generally present in the genome. When an alternate HIP is at high frequency, a methyltransferase specific for that sequence is present. The pattern of 1-nt deviations from HIP1 sequences is biased towards the first and last nucleotides, i.e., those distinguish CGATCG from HIP1. Taken together, the results point to a role of DNA methylation in the creation or functioning of HIP sites. A model is presented that postulates the existence of a GmeC-dependent mismatch repair system whose activity creates and maintains HIP sequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle The Expansion of Animal MicroRNA Families Revisited
Life 2015, 5(1), 905-920; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010905
Received: 28 November 2014 / Revised: 9 February 2015 / Accepted: 11 February 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
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Abstract
MicroRNAs are important regulatory small RNAs in many eukaryotes. Due to their small size and simple structure, they are readily innovated de novo. Throughout the evolution of animals, the emergence of novel microRNA families traces key morphological innovations. Here, we use a computational
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MicroRNAs are important regulatory small RNAs in many eukaryotes. Due to their small size and simple structure, they are readily innovated de novo. Throughout the evolution of animals, the emergence of novel microRNA families traces key morphological innovations. Here, we use a computational approach based on homology search and parsimony-based presence/absence analysis to draw a comprehensive picture of microRNA evolution in 159 animal species. We confirm previous observations regarding bursts of innovations accompanying the three rounds of genome duplications in vertebrate evolution and in the early evolution of placental mammals. With a much better resolution for the invertebrate lineage compared to large-scale studies, we observe additional bursts of innovation, e.g., in Rhabditoidea. More importantly, we see clear evidence that loss of microRNA families is not an uncommon phenomenon. The Enoplea may serve as a second dramatic example beyond the tunicates. The large-scale analysis presented here also highlights several generic technical issues in the analysis of very large gene families that will require further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chemistry)
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Open AccessArticle Nitrogen Starvation Acclimation in Synechococcus elongatus: Redox-Control and the Role of Nitrate Reduction as an Electron Sink
Life 2015, 5(1), 888-904; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010888
Received: 8 December 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (914 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nitrogen starvation acclimation in non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria is characterized by a process termed chlorosis, where the light harvesting pigments are degraded and the cells gradually tune down photosynthetic and metabolic activities. The chlorosis response is governed by a complex and poorly understood regulatory network,
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Nitrogen starvation acclimation in non-diazotrophic cyanobacteria is characterized by a process termed chlorosis, where the light harvesting pigments are degraded and the cells gradually tune down photosynthetic and metabolic activities. The chlorosis response is governed by a complex and poorly understood regulatory network, which converges at the expression of the nblA gene, the triggering factor for phycobiliprotein degradation. This study established a method that allows uncoupling metabolic and redox-signals involved in nitrogen-starvation acclimation. Inhibition of glutamine synthetase (GS) by a precise dosage of l-methionine-sulfoximine (MSX) mimics the metabolic situation of nitrogen starvation. Addition of nitrate to such MSX-inhibited cells eliminates the associated redox-stress by enabling electron flow towards nitrate/nitrite reduction and thereby, prevents the induction of nblA expression and the associated chlorosis response. This study demonstrates that nitrogen starvation is perceived not only through metabolic signals, but requires a redox signal indicating over-reduction of PSI-reduced electron acceptors. It further establishes a cryptic role of nitrate/nitrite reductases as electron sinks to balance conditions of over-reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Coupled Phases and Combinatorial Selection in Fluctuating Hydrothermal Pools: A Scenario to Guide Experimental Approaches to the Origin of Cellular Life
Life 2015, 5(1), 872-887; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010872
Received: 12 October 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 6 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
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Abstract
Hydrothermal fields on the prebiotic Earth are candidate environments for biogenesis. We propose a model in which molecular systems driven by cycles of hydration and dehydration in such sites undergo chemical evolution in dehydrated films on mineral surfaces followed by encapsulation and combinatorial
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Hydrothermal fields on the prebiotic Earth are candidate environments for biogenesis. We propose a model in which molecular systems driven by cycles of hydration and dehydration in such sites undergo chemical evolution in dehydrated films on mineral surfaces followed by encapsulation and combinatorial selection in a hydrated bulk phase. The dehydrated phase can consist of concentrated eutectic mixtures or multilamellar liquid crystalline matrices. Both conditions organize and concentrate potential monomers and thereby promote polymerization reactions that are driven by reduced water activity in the dehydrated phase. In the case of multilamellar lipid matrices, polymers that have been synthesized are captured in lipid vesicles upon rehydration to produce a variety of molecular systems. Each vesicle represents a protocell, an “experiment” in a natural version of combinatorial chemistry. Two kinds of selective processes can then occur. The first is a physical process in which relatively stable molecular systems will be preferentially selected. The second is a chemical process in which rare combinations of encapsulated polymers form systems capable of capturing energy and nutrients to undergo growth by catalyzed polymerization. Given continued cycling over extended time spans, such combinatorial processes will give rise to molecular systems having the fundamental properties of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protocells - Designs for Life)
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Open AccessCommunication The Role of Active Site Residues in ATP Binding and Catalysis in the Methanosarcina thermophila Acetate Kinase
Life 2015, 5(1), 861-871; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010861
Received: 8 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 12 March 2015
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Abstract
Acetate kinase (ACK), which catalyzes the reversible phosphorylation of acetate by ATP, is a member of the acetate and sugar kinase/heat shock cognate/actin (ASKHA) superfamily. ASKHA family members share a common core fold that includes an ATPase domain with five structural motifs. The
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Acetate kinase (ACK), which catalyzes the reversible phosphorylation of acetate by ATP, is a member of the acetate and sugar kinase/heat shock cognate/actin (ASKHA) superfamily. ASKHA family members share a common core fold that includes an ATPase domain with five structural motifs. The PHOSPHATE1 motif has previously been shown to be important for catalysis. We have investigated the role of two of these motifs in the Methanosarcina thermophila ACK (MtACK) and have shown that residues projecting into the ACK active site from the PHOSPHATE2 and ADENOSINE loops and a third highly conserved loop designated here as LOOP3 play key roles in nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) selection and utilization. Alteration of Asn211 of PHOSPHATE2, Gly239 of LOOP3, and Gly331 of ADENOSINE greatly reduced catalysis. In particular, Gly331, which is highly conserved throughout the ASKHA superfamily, has the greatest effect on substrate selection. Alteration at this site strongly skewed MtACK toward utilization of purines over pyrimidines, unlike the wild type enzyme that shows broad NTP utilization. Further investigation into differences between the ATPase domain in MtACK and other acetate kinases that show different substrate preferences will provide us with a better understanding of the diversity of phosphoryl donor selection in this enzyme family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of Iron Uptake Rates and Mechanisms amongst Marine and Fresh Water Cyanobacteria: Prevalence of Reductive Iron Uptake
Life 2015, 5(1), 841-860; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010841
Received: 27 November 2014 / Revised: 26 January 2015 / Accepted: 28 February 2015 / Published: 11 March 2015
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Abstract
In this contribution, we address the question of iron bioavailability to cyanobacteria by measuring Fe uptake rates and probing for a reductive uptake pathway in diverse cyanobacterial species. We examined three Fe-substrates: dissolved inorganic iron (Fe') and the Fe-siderophores Ferrioxamine B (FOB) and
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In this contribution, we address the question of iron bioavailability to cyanobacteria by measuring Fe uptake rates and probing for a reductive uptake pathway in diverse cyanobacterial species. We examined three Fe-substrates: dissolved inorganic iron (Fe') and the Fe-siderophores Ferrioxamine B (FOB) and FeAerobactin (FeAB). In order to compare across substrates and strains, we extracted uptake rate constants (kin = uptake rate/[Fe-substrate]). Fe' was the most bioavailable Fe form to cyanobacteria, with kin values higher than those of other substrates. When accounting for surface area (SA), all strains acquired Fe' at similar rates, as their kin/SA were similar. We also observed homogeneity in the uptake of FOB among strains, but with 10,000 times lower kin/SA values than Fe'. Uniformity in kin/SA suggests similarity in the mechanism of uptake and indeed, all strains were found to employ a reductive step in the uptake of Fe' and FOB. In contrast, different uptake pathways were found for FeAB along with variations in kin/SA. Our data supports the existence of a common reductive Fe uptake pathway amongst cyanobacteria, functioning alone or in addition to siderophore-mediated uptake. Cyanobacteria combining both uptake strategies benefit from increased flexibility in accessing different Fe-substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessArticle Archaeal Clusters of Orthologous Genes (arCOGs): An Update and Application for Analysis of Shared Features between Thermococcales, Methanococcales, and Methanobacteriales
Life 2015, 5(1), 818-840; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010818
Received: 12 January 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2015 / Accepted: 28 February 2015 / Published: 10 March 2015
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
With the continuously accelerating genome sequencing from diverse groups of archaea and bacteria, accurate identification of gene orthology and availability of readily expandable clusters of orthologous genes are essential for the functional annotation of new genomes. We report an update of the collection
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With the continuously accelerating genome sequencing from diverse groups of archaea and bacteria, accurate identification of gene orthology and availability of readily expandable clusters of orthologous genes are essential for the functional annotation of new genomes. We report an update of the collection of archaeal Clusters of Orthologous Genes (arCOGs) to cover, on average, 91% of the protein-coding genes in 168 archaeal genomes. The new arCOGs were constructed using refined algorithms for orthology identification combined with extensive manual curation, including incorporation of the results of several completed and ongoing research projects in archaeal genomics. A new level of classification is introduced, superclusters that untie two or more arCOGs and more completely reflect gene family evolution than individual, disconnected arCOGs. Assessment of the current archaeal genome annotation in public databases indicates that consistent use of arCOGs can significantly improve the annotation quality. In addition to their utility for genome annotation, arCOGs also are a platform for phylogenomic analysis. We explore this aspect of arCOGs by performing a phylogenomic study of the Thermococci that are traditionally viewed as the basal branch of the Euryarchaeota. The results of phylogenomic analysis that involved both comparison of multiple phylogenetic trees and a search for putative derived shared characters by using phyletic patterns extracted from the arCOGs reveal a likely evolutionary relationship between the Thermococci, Methanococci, and Methanobacteria. The arCOGs are expected to be instrumental for a comprehensive phylogenomic study of the archaea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessReview CRISPR-Cas Adaptive Immune Systems of the Sulfolobales: Unravelling Their Complexity and Diversity
Life 2015, 5(1), 783-817; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010783
Received: 13 January 2015 / Revised: 24 February 2015 / Accepted: 27 February 2015 / Published: 10 March 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1491 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Sulfolobales have provided good model organisms for studying CRISPR-Cas systems of the crenarchaeal kingdom of the archaea. These organisms are infected by a wide range of exceptional archaea-specific viruses and conjugative plasmids, and their CRISPR-Cas systems generally exhibit extensive structural and functional
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The Sulfolobales have provided good model organisms for studying CRISPR-Cas systems of the crenarchaeal kingdom of the archaea. These organisms are infected by a wide range of exceptional archaea-specific viruses and conjugative plasmids, and their CRISPR-Cas systems generally exhibit extensive structural and functional diversity. They carry large and multiple CRISPR loci and often multiple copies of diverse Type I and Type III interference modules as well as more homogeneous adaptation modules. These acidothermophilic organisms have recently provided seminal insights into both the adaptation process, the diverse modes of interference, and their modes of regulation. The functions of the adaptation and interference modules tend to be loosely coupled and the stringency of the crRNA-DNA sequence matching during DNA interference is relatively low, in contrast to some more streamlined CRISPR-Cas systems of bacteria. Despite this, there is evidence for a complex and differential regulation of expression of the diverse functional modules in response to viral infection. Recent work also supports critical roles for non-core Cas proteins, especially during Type III-directed interference, and this is consistent with these proteins tending to coevolve with core Cas proteins. Various novel aspects of CRISPR-Cas systems of the Sulfolobales are considered including an alternative spacer acquisition mechanism, reversible spacer acquisition, the formation and significance of antisense CRISPR RNAs, and a novel mechanism for avoidance of CRISPR-Cas defense. Finally, questions regarding the basis for the complexity, diversity, and apparent redundancy, of the intracellular CRISPR-Cas systems are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessCommunication Haloferax volcanii, as a Novel Tool for Producing Mammalian Olfactory Receptors Embedded in Archaeal Lipid Bilayer
Life 2015, 5(1), 770-782; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010770
Received: 14 January 2015 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the possibility of using an archaeal microorganism as a host system for expressing mammalian olfactory receptors (ORs). We have selected the archaeon Haloferax volcanii as a cell host system and one of the most extensively
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The aim of this study was to explore the possibility of using an archaeal microorganism as a host system for expressing mammalian olfactory receptors (ORs). We have selected the archaeon Haloferax volcanii as a cell host system and one of the most extensively investigated OR, namely I7-OR, whose preferred ligands are short-chain aldehydes, such as octanal, heptanal, nonanal. A novel plasmid has been constructed to express the rat I7-OR, fused with a hexahistidine-tag for protein immunodetection. The presence of the recombinant receptor at a membrane level was demonstrated by immunoblot of the membranes isolated from the transgenic archaeal strain. In addition, the lipid composition of archaeonanosomes containing ORs has been characterized in detail by High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) in combination with Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization—Time-Of-Flight/Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS) analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaea: Evolution, Physiology, and Molecular Biology)
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Open AccessArticle CaCO3 Precipitation in Multilayered Cyanobacterial Mats: Clues to Explain the Alternation of Micrite and Sparite Layers in Calcareous Stromatolites
Life 2015, 5(1), 744-769; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010744
Received: 17 December 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2015 / Accepted: 25 February 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
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Abstract
Marine cyanobacterial mats were cultured on coastal sediments (Nivå Bay, Øresund, Denmark) for over three years in a closed system. Carbonate particles formed in two different modes in the mat: (i) through precipitation of submicrometer-sized grains of Mg calcite within the mucilage near
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Marine cyanobacterial mats were cultured on coastal sediments (Nivå Bay, Øresund, Denmark) for over three years in a closed system. Carbonate particles formed in two different modes in the mat: (i) through precipitation of submicrometer-sized grains of Mg calcite within the mucilage near the base of living cyanobacterial layers, and (ii) through precipitation of a variety of mixed Mg calcite/aragonite morphs in layers of degraded cyanobacteria dominated by purple sulfur bacteria. The d13C values were about 2‰ heavier in carbonates from the living cyanobacterial zones as compared to those generated in the purple bacterial zones. Saturation indices calculated with respect to calcite, aragonite, and dolomite inside the mats showed extremely high values across the mat profile. Such high values were caused by high pH and high carbonate alkalinity generated within the mats in conjunction with increased concentrations of calcium and magnesium that were presumably stored in sheaths and extracellular polymer substances (EPS) of the living cyanobacteria and liberated during their post-mortem degradation. The generated CaCO3 morphs were highly similar to morphs reported from heterotrophic bacterial cultures, and from bacterially decomposed cyanobacterial biomass emplaced in Ca-rich media. They are also similar to CaCO3 morphs precipitated from purely inorganic solutions. No metabolically (enzymatically) controlled formation of particular CaCO3 morphs by heterotrophic bacteria was observed in the studied mats. The apparent alternation of in vivo and post-mortem generated calcareous layers in the studied cyanobacterial mats may explain the alternation of fine-grained (micritic) and coarse-grained (sparitic) laminae observed in modern and fossil calcareous cyanobacterial microbialites as the result of a probably similar multilayered mat organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessReview Cyanobacterial Oxygenic Photosynthesis is Protected by Flavodiiron Proteins
Life 2015, 5(1), 716-743; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010716
Received: 19 December 2014 / Revised: 4 February 2015 / Accepted: 25 February 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
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Abstract
Flavodiiron proteins (FDPs, also called flavoproteins, Flvs) are modular enzymes widely present in Bacteria and Archaea. The evolution of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis occurred in concert with the modulation of typical bacterial FDPs. Present cyanobacterial FDPs are composed of three domains, the β-lactamase-like,
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Flavodiiron proteins (FDPs, also called flavoproteins, Flvs) are modular enzymes widely present in Bacteria and Archaea. The evolution of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis occurred in concert with the modulation of typical bacterial FDPs. Present cyanobacterial FDPs are composed of three domains, the β-lactamase-like, flavodoxin-like and flavin-reductase like domains. Cyanobacterial FDPs function as hetero- and homodimers and are involved in the regulation of photosynthetic electron transport. Whilst Flv2 and Flv4 proteins are limited to specific cyanobacterial species (β-cyanobacteria) and function in photoprotection of Photosystem II, Flv1 and Flv3 proteins, functioning in the “Mehler-like” reaction and safeguarding Photosystem I under fluctuating light conditions, occur in nearly all cyanobacteria and additionally in green algae, mosses and lycophytes. Filamentous cyanobacteria have additional FDPs in heterocyst cells, ensuring a microaerobic environment for the function of the nitrogenase enzyme under the light. Here, the evolution, occurrence and functional mechanisms of various FDPs in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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Open AccessReview Appendages of the Cyanobacterial Cell
Life 2015, 5(1), 700-715; https://doi.org/10.3390/life5010700
Received: 10 January 2015 / Revised: 12 February 2015 / Accepted: 25 February 2015 / Published: 4 March 2015
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Abstract
Extracellular non-flagellar appendages, called pili or fimbriae, are widespread in gram-negative bacteria. They are involved in many different functions, including motility, adhesion, biofilm formation, and uptake of DNA. Sequencing data for a large number of cyanobacterial genomes revealed that most of them contain
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Extracellular non-flagellar appendages, called pili or fimbriae, are widespread in gram-negative bacteria. They are involved in many different functions, including motility, adhesion, biofilm formation, and uptake of DNA. Sequencing data for a large number of cyanobacterial genomes revealed that most of them contain genes for pili synthesis. However, only for a very few cyanobacteria structure and function of these appendages have been analyzed. Here, we review the structure and function of type IV pili in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and analyze the distribution of type IV pili associated genes in other cyanobacteria. Further, we discuss the role of the RNA-chaperone Hfq in pilus function and the presence of genes for the chaperone-usher pathway of pilus assembly in cyanobacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacteria: Ecology, Physiology and Genetics)
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