Abstract: Gram-positive methylotrophic bacteria have been known for a long period of time, some serving as model organisms for characterizing the specific details of methylotrophy pathways/enzymes within this group. However, genome-based knowledge of methylotrophy within this group has been so far limited to a single species, Bacillus methanolicus (Firmicutes). The paucity of whole-genome data for Gram-positive methylotrophs limits our global understanding of methylotrophy within this group, including their roles in specific biogeochemical cycles, as well as their biotechnological potential. Here, we describe the isolation of seven novel strains of Gram-positive methylotrophs that include two strains of Bacillus and five representatives of Actinobacteria classified within two genera, Arthrobacter and Mycobacterium. We report whole-genome sequences for these isolates and present comparative analysis of the methylotrophy functional modules within these genomes. The genomic sequences of these seven novel organisms, all capable of growth on methylated amines, present an important reference dataset for understanding the genomic basis of methylotrophy in Gram-positive methylotrophic bacteria. This study is a major contribution to the field of methylotrophy, aimed at closing the gap in the genomic knowledge of methylotrophy within this diverse group of bacteria.
Abstract: Bacteriocin-producing (Bac+) lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated from a variety of food products and animal sources. Samples were enriched in de Man, Rogosa, and Sharpe (MRS) Lactocilli broth and plated onto MRS agar plates using a “sandwich overlay” technique. Inhibitory activity was detected by the “deferred antagonism” indicator overlay method using Listeria monocytogenes as the primary indicator organism. Antimicrobial activity against L. monocytogenes was detected by 41 isolates obtained from 23 of 170 food samples (14%) and 11 of 110 samples from animal sources (10%) tested. Isolated Bac+ LAB included Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus curvatus, Carnobacterium maltaromaticum, Leuconostoc mesenteroides,and Pediococcus acidilactici, as well as Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus hirae,and Enterococcus thailandicus.In addition to these, two Gram-negative bacteria were isolated (Serratia plymuthica, and Serratia ficaria) that demonstrated inhibitory activity against L. monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis (S. ficaria additionally showed activity against Salmonella Typhimurium). These data continue to demonstrate that despite more than a decade of antimicrobial interventions on meats and produce, a wide variety of food products still contain Bac+ microbiota that are likely eaten by consumers and may have application as natural food preservatives.
Abstract: Methylamine plays an important role in the global carbon and nitrogen budget; microorganisms that grow on reduced single carbon compounds, methylotrophs, serve as a major biological sink for methylamine in aerobic environments. Two non-orthologous, functionally degenerate routes for methylamine oxidation have been studied in methylotrophic Proteobacteria: Methylamine dehydrogenase and the N-methylglutamate pathway. Recent work suggests the N-methylglutamate (NMG) pathway may be more common in nature than the well-studied methylamine dehydrogenase (MaDH, encoded by the mau gene cluster). However, the distribution of these pathways across methylotrophs has never been analyzed. Furthermore, even though horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is commonly invoked as a means to transfer these pathways between strains, the physiological barriers to doing so have not been investigated. We found that the NMG pathway is both more abundant and more universally distributed across methylotrophic Proteobacteria compared to MaDH, which displays a patchy distribution and has clearly been transmitted by HGT even amongst very closely related strains. This trend was especially prominent in well-characterized strains of the Methylobacterium extroquens species, which also display significant phenotypic variability during methylamine growth. Strains like Methylobacterium extorquens PA1 that only encode the NMG pathway grew on methylamine at least five-fold slower than strains like Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 that also possess the mau gene cluster. By mimicking a HGT event through the introduction of the M. extorquens AM1 mau gene cluster into the PA1 genome, the resulting strain instantaneously achieved a 4.5-fold increase in growth rate on methylamine and a 11-fold increase in fitness on methylamine, which even surpassed the fitness of M. extorquens AM1. In contrast, when three replicate populations of wild type M. extorquens PA1 were evolved on methylamine as the sole carbon and energy source for 150 generations neither fitness nor growth rate improved. These results suggest that the NMG pathway permits slow growth on methylamine and is widely distributed in methylotrophs; however, rapid growth on methylamine can be achieved quite readily through acquisition of the mau cluster by HGT.
Abstract: We have expressed the l-malate dehydrogenase (MDH) genes from aerobic methanotrophs Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20Z and Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b as his-tagged proteins in Escherichia coli. The substrate specificities, enzymatic kinetics and oligomeric states of the MDHs have been characterized. Both MDHs were NAD+-specific and thermostable enzymes not affected by metal ions or various organic metabolites. The MDH from M. alcaliphilum 20Z was a homodimeric (2 × 35 kDa) enzyme displaying nearly equal reductive (malate formation) and oxidative (oxaloacetate formation) activities and higher affinity to malate (Km = 0.11 mM) than to oxaloacetate (Km = 0.34 mM). The MDH from M. trichosporium OB3b was homotetrameric (4 × 35 kDa), two-fold more active in the reaction of oxaloacetate reduction compared to malate oxidation and exhibiting higher affinity to oxaloacetate (Km = 0.059 mM) than to malate (Km = 1.28 mM). The kcat/Kmratios indicated that the enzyme from M. alcaliphilum 20Z had a remarkably high catalytic efficiency for malate oxidation, while the MDH of M. trichosporium OB3b was preferable for oxaloacetate reduction. The metabolic roles of the enzymes in the specific metabolism of the two methanotrophs are discussed.
Abstract: Sanitizing effectiveness of slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW) and fumaric acid (FA) at different dipping temperatures (25–60 °C), times (1–5 min), and concentrations (5–30 ppm for SAEW and 0.125%–0.5% for FA) on pure cultures of two Gram positive pathogens Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and Listeria monocytogenes (LM) and two Gram negative pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EC) and Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) was evaluated. FA (0.25%) showed the strongest sanitizing effect, demonstrating complete inactivation of EC, ST, andLM, while SA was reduced by 3.95–5.76 log CFU/mL at 25–60 °C, respectively, after 1 min of treatment. For SAEW, the complete inactivation was obtained when available chlorine concentration was increased to 20 ppm at 40 °C for 3 and 5 min. Moreover, Gram positive pathogens have been shown to resist to all treatment trends more than Gram negative pathogens throughout this experiment. Regardless of the different dipping temperatures, concentrations, and times, FA treatment was more effective than treatment with SAEW for reduction of foodborne pathogens. This study demonstrated that application of FA in food systems may be useful as a method for inactivation of foodborne pathogens.
Abstract: Microorganisms in the deep biosphere are believed to conduct little metabolic activity due to low nutrient availability in these environments. However, destructive penetration to long-isolated bedrock environments during construction of underground waste repositories can lead to increased nutrient availability and potentially affect the long-term stability of the repository systems, Here, we studied how microorganisms present in fracture fluid from a depth of 500 m in Outokumpu, Finland, respond to simple carbon compounds (C-1 compounds) in the presence or absence of sulphate as an electron acceptor. C-1 compounds such as methane and methanol are important intermediates in the deep subsurface carbon cycle, and electron acceptors such as sulphate are critical components of oxidation processes. Fracture fluid samples were incubated in vitro with either methane or methanol in the presence or absence of sulphate as an electron acceptor. Metabolic response was measured by staining the microbial cells with fluorescent dyes that indicate metabolic activity and transcriptional response with RT-qPCR. Our results show that deep subsurface microbes exist in dormant states but rapidly reactivate their transcription and respiration systems in the presence of C-1 substrates, particularly methane. Microbial activity was further enhanced by the addition of sulphate as an electron acceptor. Sulphate- and nitrate-reducing microbes were particularly responsive to the addition of C-1 compounds and sulphate. These taxa are common in deep biosphere environments and may be affected by conditions disturbed by bedrock intrusion, as from drilling and excavation for long-term storage of hazardous waste.