Open AccessArticle
Pan-Cellulosomics of Mesophilic Clostridia: Variations on a Theme
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 74; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040074 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The bacterial cellulosome is an extracellular, multi-enzyme machinery, which efficiently depolymerizes plant biomass by degrading plant cell wall polysaccharides. Several cellulolytic bacteria have evolved various elaborate modular architectures of active cellulosomes. We present here a genome-wide analysis of a dozen mesophilic clostridia species,
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The bacterial cellulosome is an extracellular, multi-enzyme machinery, which efficiently depolymerizes plant biomass by degrading plant cell wall polysaccharides. Several cellulolytic bacteria have evolved various elaborate modular architectures of active cellulosomes. We present here a genome-wide analysis of a dozen mesophilic clostridia species, including both well-studied and yet-undescribed cellulosome-producing bacteria. We first report here, the presence of cellulosomal elements, thus expanding our knowledge regarding the prevalence of the cellulosomal paradigm in nature. We explored the genomic organization of key cellulosome components by comparing the cellulosomal gene clusters in each bacterial species, and the conserved sequence features of the specific cellulosomal modules (cohesins and dockerins), on the background of their phylogenetic relationship. Additionally, we performed comparative analyses of the species-specific repertoire of carbohydrate-degrading enzymes for each of the clostridial species, and classified each cellulosomal enzyme into a specific CAZy family, thus indicating their putative enzymatic activity (e.g., cellulases, hemicellulases, and pectinases). Our work provides, for this large group of bacteria, a broad overview of the blueprints of their multi-component cellulosomal complexes. The high similarity of their scaffoldin clusters and dockerin-based recognition residues suggests a common ancestor, and/or extensive horizontal gene transfer, and potential cross-species recognition. In addition, the sporadic spatial organization of the numerous dockerin-containing genes in several of the genomes, suggests the importance of the cellulosome paradigm in the given bacterial species. The information gained in this work may be utilized directly or developed further by genetically engineering and optimizing designer cellulosome systems for enhanced biotechnological biomass deconstruction and biofuel production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological Peculiarities of Lignin-Modifying Enzyme Production by the White-Rot Basidiomycete Coriolopsis gallica Strain BCC 142
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 73; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040073 -
Abstract
Sixteen white-rot Basidiomycota isolates were screened for production of lignin-modifying enzymes (LME) in glycerol- and mandarin peel-containing media. In the synthetic medium, Cerrena unicolor strains were the only high laccase (Lac) (3.2–9.4 U/mL) and manganese peroxidase (MnP) (0.56–1.64 U/mL) producers while one isolate
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Sixteen white-rot Basidiomycota isolates were screened for production of lignin-modifying enzymes (LME) in glycerol- and mandarin peel-containing media. In the synthetic medium, Cerrena unicolor strains were the only high laccase (Lac) (3.2–9.4 U/mL) and manganese peroxidase (MnP) (0.56–1.64 U/mL) producers while one isolate Coriolopsis gallica was the only lignin peroxidase (LiP) (0.07 U/mL) producer. Addition of mandarin peels to the synthetic medium promoted Lac production either due to an increase in fungal biomass (Funalia trogii, Trametes hirsuta, and T. versicolor) or enhancement of enzyme production (C. unicolor, Merulius tremellosus, Phlebia radiata, Trametes ochracea). Mandarin peels favored enhanced MnP and LiP secretion by the majority of the tested fungi. The ability of LiP activity production by C. gallica, C. unicolor, F. trogii, T. ochracea, and T. zonatus in the medium containing mandarin-peels was reported for the first time. Several factors, such as supplementation of the nutrient medium with a variety of lignocellulosic materials, nitrogen source or surfactant (Tween 80, Triton X-100) significantly influenced production of LME by a novel strain of C. gallica. Moreover, C. gallica was found to be a promising LME producer with a potential for an easy scale up cultivation in a bioreactor and high enzyme yields (Lac-9.4 U/mL, MnP-0.31 U/mL, LiP-0.45 U/mL). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Paralytic Shellfish Toxins and Cyanotoxins in the Mediterranean: New Data from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy)
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 72; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040072 -
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms represent a severe issue worldwide. They affect ecosystem functions and related services and goods, with consequences on human health and socio-economic activities. This study reports new data on paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy), the largest Mediterranean
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Harmful algal blooms represent a severe issue worldwide. They affect ecosystem functions and related services and goods, with consequences on human health and socio-economic activities. This study reports new data on paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) from Sardinia and Sicily (Italy), the largest Mediterranean islands where toxic events, mainly caused by Alexandrium species (Dinophyceae), have been ascertained in mussel farms since the 2000s. The toxicity of the A. minutum, A. tamarense and A. pacificum strains, established from the isolation of vegetative cells and resting cysts, was determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The analyses indicated the highest toxicity for A. pacificum strains (total PSTs up to 17.811 fmol cell−1). The PSTs were also assessed in a strain of A. tamarense. The results encourage further investigation to increase the knowledge of toxic species still debated in the Mediterranean. This study also reports new data on microcystins (MCs) and β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) from a Sardinian artificial lake (Lake Bidighinzu). The presence of MCs and BMAA was assessed in natural samples and in cell cultures by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). BMAA positives were found in all the analysed samples with a maximum of 17.84 µg L−1. The obtained results added further information on cyanotoxins in Mediterranean reservoirs, particularly BMAA, which have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Beneficial Microorganisms for Food Manufacturing—Fermented and Biopreserved Foods and Beverages
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 71; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040071 -
Abstract
Food fermentation is an ancient technology, disseminated worldwide, which harness microorganisms and their enzymes to improve and diversify the human diet [...]
Full article
Open AccessReview
Transmission of Bacterial Endophytes
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 70; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040070 -
Abstract
Plants are hosts to complex communities of endophytic bacteria that colonize the interior of both below- and aboveground tissues. Bacteria living inside plant tissues as endophytes can be horizontally acquired from the environment with each new generation, or vertically transmitted from generation to
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Plants are hosts to complex communities of endophytic bacteria that colonize the interior of both below- and aboveground tissues. Bacteria living inside plant tissues as endophytes can be horizontally acquired from the environment with each new generation, or vertically transmitted from generation to generation via seed. A better understanding of bacterial endophyte transmission routes and modes will benefit studies of plant–endophyte interactions in both agricultural and natural ecosystems. In this review, we provide an overview of the transmission routes that bacteria can take to colonize plants, including vertically via seeds and pollen, and horizontally via soil, atmosphere, and insects. We discuss both well-documented and understudied transmission routes, and identify gaps in our knowledge on how bacteria reach the inside of plants. Where little knowledge is available on endophytes, we draw from studies on bacterial plant pathogens to discuss potential transmission routes. Colonization of roots from soil is the best studied transmission route, and probably the most important, although more studies of transmission to aerial parts and stomatal colonization are needed, as are studies that conclusively confirm vertical transfer. While vertical transfer of bacterial endophytes likely occurs, obligate and strictly vertically transferred symbioses with bacteria are probably unusual in plants. Instead, plants appear to benefit from the ability to respond to a changing environment by acquiring its endophytic microbiome anew with each generation, and over the lifetime of individuals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Unexpected High Diversity of Terrestrial Cyanobacteria from the Campus of the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 69; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040069 -
Abstract
Terrestrial cyanobacterial strains were isolated from the Nishihara campus of the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. The 13 sampling sites were distributed in a 200 m radius and appeared as dry, blackened stains. From these small areas, 143 cyanobacterial strains were established.
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Terrestrial cyanobacterial strains were isolated from the Nishihara campus of the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. The 13 sampling sites were distributed in a 200 m radius and appeared as dry, blackened stains. From these small areas, 143 cyanobacterial strains were established. The strains were divided into five morphotypes, including unicells, unicells with baeocytes, non-branching filaments, false-branching filaments, and heterocystous strains. From the strains, 105 partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained and could be classified into 30 generic types. Among them, 22 unique strains and over 1100 bps of data were selected for further phylogenetic analyses. These sequences were positioned into six main clades corresponding to cyanobacterial orders: Nostocales, Chroococidiopsidales, Chroococcales, Oscillatoriales, Pleurocapsales, and Synechococcales. Almost all sequences had no identical matching data in GenBank and many of them had no closely related data. These data suggest that the terrestrial cyanobacteria are very divese even within close sampling areas, such as within the campus of the University of the Ryukyus. The established strains are not only important for classification of terrestrial cyanobacteria but also for possible application studies in the future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Compositional and Functional Predictions to Decipher the Biogeochemical Significance in DFAA Turnover of Abundant Bacterioplankton Lineages in the North Sea
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 68; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040068 -
Abstract
Deciphering the ecological traits of abundant marine bacteria is a major challenge in marine microbial ecology. In the current study, we linked compositional and functional predictions to elucidate such traits for abundant bacterioplankton lineages in the North Sea. For this purpose, we investigated
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Deciphering the ecological traits of abundant marine bacteria is a major challenge in marine microbial ecology. In the current study, we linked compositional and functional predictions to elucidate such traits for abundant bacterioplankton lineages in the North Sea. For this purpose, we investigated entire and active bacterioplankton composition along a transect ranging from the German Bight to the northern North Sea by pyrotag sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes and transcripts. Functional profiles were inferred from 16S rRNA data using Tax4Fun. Bacterioplankton communities were dominated by well-known marine lineages including clusters/genera that are affiliated with the Roseobacter group and the Flavobacteria. Variations in community composition and function were significantly explained by measured environmental and microbial properties. Turnover of dissolved free amino acids (DFAA) showed the strongest correlation to community composition and function. We applied multinomial models, which enabled us to identify bacterial lineages involved in DFAA turnover. For instance, the genus Planktomarina was more abundant at higher DFAA turnover rates, suggesting its vital role in amino acid degradation. Functional predictions further indicated that Planktomarina is involved in leucine and isoleucine degradation. Overall, our results provide novel insights into the biogeochemical significance of abundant bacterioplankton lineages in the North Sea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Two-Step Bioconversion Process for Canolol Production from Rapeseed Meal Combining an Aspergillus niger Feruloyl Esterase and the Fungus Neolentinus lepideus
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 67; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040067 -
Abstract
Rapeseed meal is a cheap and abundant raw material, particularly rich in phenolic compounds of biotechnological interest. In this study, we developed a two-step bioconversion process of naturally occurring sinapic acid (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxycinnamic acid) from rapeseed meal into canolol by combining the complementary potentialities
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Rapeseed meal is a cheap and abundant raw material, particularly rich in phenolic compounds of biotechnological interest. In this study, we developed a two-step bioconversion process of naturally occurring sinapic acid (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxycinnamic acid) from rapeseed meal into canolol by combining the complementary potentialities of two filamentous fungi, the micromycete Aspergillus niger and the basidiomycete Neolentinus lepideus. Canolol could display numerous industrial applications because of its high antioxidant, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. In the first step of the process, the use of the enzyme feruloyl esterase type-A (named AnFaeA) produced with the recombinant strain A. niger BRFM451 made it possible to release free sinapic acid from the raw meal by hydrolysing the conjugated forms of sinapic acid in the meal (mainly sinapine and glucopyranosyl sinapate). An amount of 39 nkat AnFaeA per gram of raw meal, at 55 °C and pH 5, led to the recovery of 6.6 to 7.4 mg of free sinapic acid per gram raw meal, which corresponded to a global hydrolysis yield of 68 to 76% and a 100% hydrolysis of sinapine. Then, the XAD2 adsorbent (a styrene and divinylbenzene copolymer resin), used at pH 4, enabled the efficient recovery of the released sinapic acid, and its concentration after elution with ethanol. In the second step, 3-day-old submerged cultures of the strain N. lepideus BRFM15 were supplied with the recovered sinapic acid as the substrate of bioconversion into canolol by a non-oxidative decarboxylation pathway. Canolol production reached 1.3 g/L with a molar yield of bioconversion of 80% and a productivity of 100 mg/L day. The same XAD2 resin, when used at pH 7, allowed the recovery and purification of canolol from the culture broth of N. lepideus. The two-step process used mild conditions compatible with green chemistry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Gut Microbiome Feelings of the Brain: A Perspective for Non-Microbiologists
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 66; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040066 -
Abstract
Objectives: To comprehensively review the scientific knowledge on the gut–brain axis. Methods: Various publications on the gut–brain axis, until 31 July 2017, were screened using the Medline, Google, and Cochrane Library databases. The search was performed using the following keywords: “gut-brain axis”, “gut-microbiota-brain
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Objectives: To comprehensively review the scientific knowledge on the gut–brain axis. Methods: Various publications on the gut–brain axis, until 31 July 2017, were screened using the Medline, Google, and Cochrane Library databases. The search was performed using the following keywords: “gut-brain axis”, “gut-microbiota-brain axis”, “nutrition microbiome/microbiota”, “enteric nervous system”, “enteric glial cells/network”, “gut-brain pathways”, “microbiome immune system”, “microbiome neuroendocrine system” and “intestinal/gut/enteric neuropeptides”. Relevant articles were selected and reviewed. Results: Tremendous progress has been made in exploring the interactions between nutrients, the microbiome, and the intestinal, epithelium–enteric nervous, endocrine and immune systems and the brain. The basis of the gut–brain axis comprises of an array of multichannel sensing and trafficking pathways that are suggested to convey the enteric signals to the brain. These are mediated by neuroanatomy (represented by the vagal and spinal afferent neurons), the neuroendocrine–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis (represented by the gut hormones), immune routes (represented by multiple cytokines), microbially-derived neurotransmitters, and finally the gate keepers of the intestinal and brain barriers. Their mutual and harmonious but intricate interaction is essential for human life and brain performance. However, a failure in the interaction leads to a number of inflammatory-, autoimmune-, neurodegenerative-, metabolic-, mood-, behavioral-, cognitive-, autism-spectrum-, stress- and pain-related disorders. The limited availability of information on the mechanisms, pathways and cause-and-effect relationships hinders us from translating and implementing the knowledge from the bench to the clinic. Implications: Further understanding of this intricate field might potentially shed light on novel preventive and therapeutic strategies to combat these disorders. Nutritional approaches, microbiome manipulations, enteric and brain barrier reinforcement and sensing and trafficking modulation might improve physical and mental health outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Nutritional Requirements and Their Importance for Virulence of Pathogenic Cryptococcus Species
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 65; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040065 -
Abstract
Cryptococcus sp. are basidiomycete yeasts which can be found widely, free-living in the environment. Interactions with natural predators, such as amoebae in the soil, are thought to have promoted the development of adaptations enabling the organism to survive inside human macrophages. Infection with
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Cryptococcus sp. are basidiomycete yeasts which can be found widely, free-living in the environment. Interactions with natural predators, such as amoebae in the soil, are thought to have promoted the development of adaptations enabling the organism to survive inside human macrophages. Infection with Cryptococcus in humans occurs following inhalation of desiccated yeast cells or spore particles and may result in fatal meningoencephalitis. Human disease is caused almost exclusively by the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex, which predominantly infects immunocompromised patients, and the Cryptococcus gattii species complex, which is capable of infecting immunocompetent individuals. The nutritional requirements of Cryptococcus are critical for its virulence in animals. Cryptococcus has evolved a broad range of nutrient acquisition strategies, many if not most of which also appear to contribute to its virulence, enabling infection of animal hosts. In this review, we summarise the current understanding of nutritional requirements and acquisition in Cryptococcus and offer perspectives to its evolution as a significant pathogen of humans. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Markers of Microbial Translocation and Immune Activation Predict Cognitive Processing Speed in Heavy-Drinking Men Living with HIV
Microorganisms 2017, 5(4), 64; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5040064 -
Abstract
HIV infection and alcohol use disorder are associated with deficits in neurocognitive function. Emerging evidence points to pro-inflammatory perturbations of the gut-brain axis as potentially contributing to neurocognitive impairment in the context of HIV and chronic heavy alcohol use. This study examined whether
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HIV infection and alcohol use disorder are associated with deficits in neurocognitive function. Emerging evidence points to pro-inflammatory perturbations of the gut-brain axis as potentially contributing to neurocognitive impairment in the context of HIV and chronic heavy alcohol use. This study examined whether plasma markers of microbial translocation (LPS) from the gastrointestinal tract and related immune activation (sCD14, EndoCAb) were associated with neurocognition in 21 men living with HIV who were virally suppressed on antiretroviral therapy. All participants met federal criteria for heavy drinking and were enrolled in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a brief alcohol intervention. This secondary analysis utilized blood samples and cognitive scores (learning, memory, executive function, verbal fluency, and processing speed) obtained at baseline and three-month follow-up of the RCT. In generalized estimating equation models, LPS, sCD14, and EndoCAb individually were significant predictors of processing speed. In a model with all biomarkers, higher LPS and sCD14 both remained significant predictors of lower processing speed. These preliminary findings suggest that inflammation stemming from HIV and/or alcohol could have negative effects on the gut-brain axis, manifested as diminished processing speed. Associations of microbial translocation and immune activation with processing speed in heavy-drinking PLWH warrant further investigation in larger-scale studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Diagnostic Value of Endotracheal Aspirates Sonication on Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia Microbiologic Diagnosis
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 62; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030062 -
Abstract
Microorganisms are able to form biofilms within respiratory secretions. Methods to disaggregate such biofilms before utilizing standard, rapid, or high throughput diagnostic technologies may aid in pathogen detection during ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) diagnosis. Our aim was to determine if sonication of endotracheal
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Microorganisms are able to form biofilms within respiratory secretions. Methods to disaggregate such biofilms before utilizing standard, rapid, or high throughput diagnostic technologies may aid in pathogen detection during ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) diagnosis. Our aim was to determine if sonication of endotracheal aspirates (ETA) would increase the sensitivity of qualitative, semi-quantitative, and quantitative bacterial cultures in an animal model of pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa or by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Material and methods: P. aeruginosa or MRSA was instilled into the lungs or the oropharynx of pigs in order to induce severe VAP. Time point assessments for qualitative and quantitative bacterial cultures of ETA and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples were performed at 24, 48, and 72 h after bacterial instillation. In addition, at 72 h (autopsy), lung tissue was harvested to perform quantitative bacterial cultures. Each ETA sample was microbiologically processed with and without applying sonication for 5 min at 40 KHz before bacterial cultures. Sensitivity and specificity were determined using BAL as a gold-standard. Correlation with BAL and lung bacterial burden was also determined before and after sonication. Assessment of biofilm clusters and planktonic bacteria was performed through both optical microscopy utilizing Gram staining and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy utilizing the LIVE/DEAD®BacLight kit. Results: 33 pigs were included, 27 and 6 from P. aeruginosa and MRSA pneumonia models, respectively. Overall, we obtained 85 ETA, 69 (81.2%) from P. aeruginosa and 16 (18.8%) from MRSA challenged pigs. Qualitative cultures did not significantly change after sonication, whereas quantitative ETA cultures did significantly increase bacterial counting. Indeed, sonication consistently increased bacterial burden in ETAs at 24, 48, and 72 h after bacterial challenge. Sonication also improved sensitivity of ETA quantitative cultures and maintained specificity at levels previously reported and accepted for VAP diagnosis. Conclusion: The use of sonication in ETA respiratory samples needs to be clinically validated since sonication could potentially improve pathogen detection before standard, rapid, or high throughput diagnostic methods used in routine microbial diagnostics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microbial Community Structure and Functions in Ethanol-Fed Sulfate Removal Bioreactors for Treatment of Mine Water
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 61; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030061 -
Abstract
Sulfate-rich mine water must be treated before it is released into natural water bodies. We tested ethanol as substrate in bioreactors designed for biological sulfate removal from mine water containing up to 9 g L−1 sulfate, using granular sludge from an industrial
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Sulfate-rich mine water must be treated before it is released into natural water bodies. We tested ethanol as substrate in bioreactors designed for biological sulfate removal from mine water containing up to 9 g L−1 sulfate, using granular sludge from an industrial waste water treatment plant as inoculum. The pH, redox potential, and sulfate and sulfide concentrations were measured twice a week over a maximum of 171 days. The microbial communities in the bioreactors were characterized by qPCR and high throughput amplicon sequencing. The pH in the bioreactors fluctuated between 5.0 and 7.7 with the highest amount of up to 50% sulfate removed measured around pH 6. Dissimilatory sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) constituted only between 1% and 15% of the bacterial communities. Predicted bacterial metagenomes indicated a high prevalence of assimilatory sulfate reduction proceeding to formation of l-cystein and acetate, assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, denitrification, and oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde with further conversion to ethanolamine, but not to acetate. Despite efforts to maintain optimal conditions for biological sulfate reduction in the bioreactors, only a small part of the microorganisms were SRB. The microbial communities were highly diverse, containing bacteria, archaea, and fungi, all of which affected the overall microbial processes in the bioreactors. While it is important to monitor specific physicochemical parameters in bioreactors, molecular assessment of the microbial communities may serve as a tool to identify biological factors affecting bioreactor functions and to optimize physicochemical attributes for ideal bioreactor performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bioprospecting for Exopolysaccharides from Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent Bacteria: Relationship between Bacterial Diversity and Chemical Diversity
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 63; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030063 -
Abstract
Many bacteria biosynthesize structurally diverse exopolysaccharides (EPS) and excrete them into their surrounding environment. The EPS functional features have found many applications in industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceutics. In particular, some EPS produced by marine bacteria are composed of uronic acids, neutral
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Many bacteria biosynthesize structurally diverse exopolysaccharides (EPS) and excrete them into their surrounding environment. The EPS functional features have found many applications in industries such as cosmetics and pharmaceutics. In particular, some EPS produced by marine bacteria are composed of uronic acids, neutral sugars, and N-acetylhexosamines, and may also bear some functional sulfate groups. This suggests that they can share common structural features with glycosaminoglycans (GAG) like the two EPS (HE800 and GY785) originating from the deep sea. In an attempt to discover new EPS that may be promising candidates as GAG-mimetics, fifty-one marine bacterial strains originating from deep-sea hydrothermal vents were screened. The analysis of the EPS chemical structure in relation to bacterial species showed that Vibrio, Alteromonas, and Pseudoalteromonas strains were the main producers. Moreover, they produced EPS with distinct structural features, which might be useful for targeting marine bacteria that could possibly produce structurally GAG-mimetic EPS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Characterization of Armillaria mellea Reveals Oxidative Stress Response Mechanisms and Altered Secondary Metabolism Profiles
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 60; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030060 -
Abstract
Armillaria mellea is a major plant pathogen. Yet, the strategies the organism uses to infect susceptible species, degrade lignocellulose and other plant material and protect itself against plant defences and its own glycodegradative arsenal are largely unknown. Here, we use a combination of
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Armillaria mellea is a major plant pathogen. Yet, the strategies the organism uses to infect susceptible species, degrade lignocellulose and other plant material and protect itself against plant defences and its own glycodegradative arsenal are largely unknown. Here, we use a combination of gel and MS-based proteomics to profile A. mellea under conditions of oxidative stress and changes in growth matrix. 2-DE and LC-MS/MS were used to investigate the response of A. mellea to H2O2 and menadione/FeCl3 exposure, respectively. Several proteins were detected with altered abundance in response to H2O2, but not menadione/FeCl3 (i.e., valosin-containing protein), indicating distinct responses to these different forms of oxidative stress. One protein, cobalamin-independent methionine synthase, demonstrated a common response in both conditions, which may be a marker for a more general stress response mechanism. Further changes to the A. mellea proteome were investigated using MS-based proteomics, which identified changes to putative secondary metabolism (SM) enzymes upon growth in agar compared to liquid cultures. Metabolomic analyses revealed distinct profiles, highlighting the effect of growth matrix on SM production. This establishes robust methods by which to utilize comparative proteomics to characterize this important phytopathogen. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Environmental Factors on Intra-Specific Inhibitory Activity of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 59; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030059 -
Abstract
Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is frequently associated with foods having extended shelf-life due to its inhibitory activity to other bacteria. The quantification of such inhibition interactions affected by various environmental factors is limited. This study investigated the effect of environmental factors relevant to vacuum-packaged beef
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Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is frequently associated with foods having extended shelf-life due to its inhibitory activity to other bacteria. The quantification of such inhibition interactions affected by various environmental factors is limited. This study investigated the effect of environmental factors relevant to vacuum-packaged beef on inhibition between two model isolates of C. maltaromaticum, D0h and D8c, specifically D8c sensitivity to D0h inhibition and D0h inhibitor production. The effects of temperature (−1, 7, 15, 25 °C), atmosphere (aerobic and anaerobic), pH (5.5, 6, 6.5), lactic acid (0, 25, 50 mM) and glucose (0, 0.56, 5.55 mM) on D8c sensitivity (diameter of an inhibition zone) were measured. The effects of pH, glucose, lactic acid and atmosphere on D0h inhibitor production were measured at 25 °C. Sensitivity of D8c was the highest at 15 °C, under aerobic atmosphere, at higher concentrations of undissociated lactic acid and glucose, and at pH 5.5 (p < 0.001). pH significantly affected D0h inhibitor production (p < 0.001), which was the highest at pH 6.5. The effect of lactic acid depended upon pH level; at relatively low pH (5.5), lactic acid decreased the production rate (arbitrary inhibition unit (AU)/mL/h). This study provides a quantitative description of intra-species interactions, studied in in vitro environments that are relevant to vacuum-packaged beef. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Skin Bacterium Propionibacterium acnes Employs Two Variants of Hyaluronate Lyase with Distinct Properties
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 57; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030057 -
Abstract
Hyaluronic acid (HA) and other glycosaminoglycans are extracellular matrix components in the human epidermis and dermis. One of the most prevalent skin microorganisms, Propionibacterium acnes, possesses HA-degrading activity, possibly conferred by the enzyme hyaluronate lyase (HYL). In this study, we identified the
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Hyaluronic acid (HA) and other glycosaminoglycans are extracellular matrix components in the human epidermis and dermis. One of the most prevalent skin microorganisms, Propionibacterium acnes, possesses HA-degrading activity, possibly conferred by the enzyme hyaluronate lyase (HYL). In this study, we identified the HYL of P. acnes and investigated the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Investigations include the generation of a P. acneshyl knockout mutant and HYL activity assays to determine the substrate range and formed products. We found that P. acnes employs two distinct variants of HYL. One variant, HYL-IB/II, is highly active, resulting in complete HA degradation; it is present in strains of the phylotypes IB and II. The other variant, HYL-IA, has low activity, resulting in incomplete HA degradation; it is present in type IA strains. Our findings could explain some of the observed differences between P. acnes phylotype IA and IB/II strains. Whereas type IA strains are primarily found on the skin surface and associated with acne vulgaris, type IB/II strains are more often associated with soft and deep tissue infections, which would require elaborate tissue invasion strategies, possibly accomplished by a highly active HYL-IB/II. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid and Highly Sensitive Non-Competitive Immunoassay for Specific Detection of Nodularin
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 58; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030058 -
Abstract
Nodularin (NOD) is a cyclic penta-peptide hepatotoxin mainly produced by Nodularia spumigena, reported from the brackish water bodies of various parts of the world. It can accumulate in the food chain and, for safety reasons, levels of NOD not only in water
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Nodularin (NOD) is a cyclic penta-peptide hepatotoxin mainly produced by Nodularia spumigena, reported from the brackish water bodies of various parts of the world. It can accumulate in the food chain and, for safety reasons, levels of NOD not only in water bodies but also in food matrices are of interest. Here, we report on a non-competitive immunoassay for the specific detection of NOD. A phage display technique was utilized to interrogate a synthetic antibody phage library for binders recognizing NOD bound to an anti-ADDA (3-Amino-9-methoxy-2,6,8-trimethyl-10-phenyldeca-4(E),6(E)-dienoic acid) monoclonal antibody (Mab). One of the obtained immunocomplex binders, designated SA32C11, showed very high specificity towards nodularin-R (NOD-R) over to the tested 10 different microcystins (microcystin-LR, -dmLR, -RR, -dmRR, -YR, -LY, -LF, -LW, -LA, -WR). It was expressed in Escherichia coli as a single chain antibody fragment (scFv) fusion protein and used to establish a time-resolved fluorometry-based assay in combination with the anti-ADDA Mab. The detection limit (blank + 3SD) of the immunoassay, with a total assay time of 1 h 10 min, is 0.03 µg/L of NOD-R. This represents the most sensitive immunoassay method for the specific detection of NOD reported so far. The assay was tested for its performance to detect NOD using spiked (0.1 to 3 µg/L of NOD-R) water samples including brackish sea and coastal water and the recovery ranged from 79 to 127%. Furthermore, a panel of environmental samples, including water from different sources, fish and other marine tissue specimens, were analyzed for NOD using the assay. The assay has potential as a rapid screening tool for the analysis of a large number of water samples for the presence of NOD. It can also find applications in the analysis of the bioaccumulation of NOD in marine organisms and in the food chain. Full article
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Open AccessComment
Comments to Article by Willetts A. et al., Microorganisms 2016, 4, 38
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 54; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030054 -
Abstract
We would like to comment on recent work published in your journal in October 2016 by Willetts A. et al. [1].[...] Full article
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Lactobacillus sakei: A Starter for Sausage Fermentation, a Protective Culture for Meat Products
Microorganisms 2017, 5(3), 56; doi:10.3390/microorganisms5030056 -
Abstract
Among lactic acid bacteria of meat products, Lactobacillus sakei is certainly the most studied species due to its role in the fermentation of sausage and its prevalence during cold storage of raw meat products. Consequently, the physiology of this bacterium regarding functions involved
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Among lactic acid bacteria of meat products, Lactobacillus sakei is certainly the most studied species due to its role in the fermentation of sausage and its prevalence during cold storage of raw meat products. Consequently, the physiology of this bacterium regarding functions involved in growth, survival, and metabolism during meat storage and processing are well known. This species exhibits a wide genomic diversity that can be observed when studying different strains and on which probably rely its multiple facets in meat products: starter, spoiler, or protective culture. The emerging exploration of the microbial ecology of meat products also revealed the multiplicity of bacterial interactions L. sakei has to face and their various consequences on microbial quality and safety at the end of storage. Full article
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