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Microorganisms, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2015) – 7 articles , Pages 1-112

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Article
Genomics of Methylotrophy in Gram-Positive Methylamine-Utilizing Bacteria
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 94-112; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010094 - 20 Mar 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4313
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial C1 Metabolism)
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Article
Isolation and Taxonomic Identity of Bacteriocin-Producing Lactic Acid Bacteria from Retail Foods and Animal Sources
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 80-93; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010080 - 19 Mar 2015
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6345
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Activity in Food)
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Article
Experimental Horizontal Gene Transfer of Methylamine Dehydrogenase Mimics Prevalent Exchange in Nature and Overcomes the Methylamine Growth Constraints Posed by the Sub-Optimal N-Methylglutamate Pathway
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 60-79; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010060 - 10 Mar 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3371
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial C1 Metabolism)
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Article
Role of NAD+-Dependent Malate Dehydrogenase in the Metabolism of Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20Z and Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 47-59; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010047 - 27 Feb 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3975
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 [...] Read more.
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/Km ratios 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial C1 Metabolism)
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Article
Fumaric Acid and Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water Inactivate Gram Positive and Gram Negative Foodborne Pathogens
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 34-46; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010034 - 12 Feb 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3588
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 [...] Read more.
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, and LM, 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Activity in Food)
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Article
Rapid Reactivation of Deep Subsurface Microbes in the Presence of C-1 Compounds
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 17-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010017 - 05 Feb 2015
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4312
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial C1 Metabolism)
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Article
Identification of Multiple Bacteriocins in Enterococcus spp. Using an Enterococcus-Specific Bacteriocin PCR Array
Microorganisms 2015, 3(1), 1-16; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms3010001 - 04 Feb 2015
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 6770
Abstract
Twenty-two bacteriocin-producing Enterococcus isolates obtained from food and animal sources, and demonstrating activity against Listeria monocytogenes, were screened for bacteriocin-related genes using a bacteriocin PCR array based on known enterococcal bacteriocin gene sequences in the NCBI GenBank database. The 22 bacteriocin-positive (Bac+) [...] Read more.
Twenty-two bacteriocin-producing Enterococcus isolates obtained from food and animal sources, and demonstrating activity against Listeria monocytogenes, were screened for bacteriocin-related genes using a bacteriocin PCR array based on known enterococcal bacteriocin gene sequences in the NCBI GenBank database. The 22 bacteriocin-positive (Bac+) enterococci included En. durans (1), En. faecalis (4), En. faecium (12), En. hirae (3), and En. thailandicus (2). Enterocin A (entA), enterocins mr10A and mr10B (mr10AB), and bacteriocin T8 (bacA) were the most commonly found structural genes in order of decreasing prevalence. Forty-five bacteriocin genes were identified within the 22 Bac+ isolates, each containing at least one of the screened structural genes. Of the 22 Bac+ isolates, 15 possessed two bacteriocin genes, seven isolates contained three different bacteriocins, and three isolates contained as many as four different bacteriocin genes. These results may explain the high degree of bactericidal activity observed with various Bac+ Enterococcus spp. Antimicrobial activity against wild-type L. monocytogenes and a bacteriocin-resistant variant demonstrated bacteriocins having different modes-of-action. Mixtures of bacteriocins, especially those with different modes-of-action and having activity against foodborne pathogens, such as L. monocytogenes, may play a promising role in the preservation of food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Activity in Food)
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