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Microorganisms, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2016)

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Open AccessArticle
Process Recovery after CaO Addition Due to Granule Formation in a CSTR Co-Digester—A Tool to Influence the Composition of the Microbial Community and Stabilize the Process?
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010017 - 17 Mar 2016
Viewed by 2228
Abstract
The composition, structure and function of granules formed during process recovery with calcium oxide in a laboratory-scale fermenter fed with sewage sludge and rapeseed oil were studied. In the course of over-acidification and successful process recovery, only minor changes were observed in the [...] Read more.
The composition, structure and function of granules formed during process recovery with calcium oxide in a laboratory-scale fermenter fed with sewage sludge and rapeseed oil were studied. In the course of over-acidification and successful process recovery, only minor changes were observed in the bacterial community of the digestate, while granules appeared during recovery. Fluorescence microscopic analysis of the granules showed a close spatial relationship between calcium and oil and/or long chain fatty acids. This finding further substantiated the hypothesis that calcium precipitated with carbon of organic origin and reduced the negative effects of overloading with oil. Furthermore, the enrichment of phosphate minerals in the granules was shown, and molecular biological analyses detected polyphosphate-accumulating organisms as well as methanogenic archaea in the core. Organisms related to Methanoculleus receptaculi were detected in the inner zones of a granule, whereas they were present in the digestate only after process recovery. This finding indicated more favorable microhabitats inside the granules that supported process recovery. Thus, the granule formation triggered by calcium oxide addition served as a tool to influence the composition of the microbial community and to stabilize the process after overloading with oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessReview
Extensive Intestinal Resection Triggers Behavioral Adaptation, Intestinal Remodeling and Microbiota Transition in Short Bowel Syndrome
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010016 - 08 Mar 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2869
Abstract
Extensive resection of small bowel often leads to short bowel syndrome (SBS). SBS patients develop clinical mal-absorption and dehydration relative to the reduction of absorptive area, acceleration of gastrointestinal transit time and modifications of the gastrointestinal intra-luminal environment. As a consequence of severe [...] Read more.
Extensive resection of small bowel often leads to short bowel syndrome (SBS). SBS patients develop clinical mal-absorption and dehydration relative to the reduction of absorptive area, acceleration of gastrointestinal transit time and modifications of the gastrointestinal intra-luminal environment. As a consequence of severe mal-absorption, patients require parenteral nutrition (PN). In adults, the overall adaptation following intestinal resection includes spontaneous and complex compensatory processes such as hyperphagia, mucosal remodeling of the remaining part of the intestine and major modifications of the microbiota. SBS patients, with colon in continuity, harbor a specific fecal microbiota that we called “lactobiota” because it is enriched in the Lactobacillus/Leuconostoc group and depleted in anaerobic micro-organisms (especially Clostridium and Bacteroides). In some patients, the lactobiota-driven fermentative activities lead to an accumulation of fecal d/l-lactates and an increased risk of d-encephalopathy. Better knowledge of clinical parameters and lactobiota characteristics has made it possible to stratify patients and define group at risk for d-encephalopathy crises. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Gut Microbiota Metabolic Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Metabolic Interaction of Helicobacter pylori Infection and Gut Microbiota
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010015 - 16 Feb 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3234
Abstract
As a barrier, gut commensal microbiota can protect against potential pathogenic microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. Crosstalk between gut microbes and immune cells promotes human intestinal homeostasis. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota has been implicated in the development of many human metabolic disorders like [...] Read more.
As a barrier, gut commensal microbiota can protect against potential pathogenic microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. Crosstalk between gut microbes and immune cells promotes human intestinal homeostasis. Dysbiosis of gut microbiota has been implicated in the development of many human metabolic disorders like obesity, hepatic steatohepatitis, and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Certain microbes, such as butyrate-producing bacteria, are lower in T2D patients. The transfer of intestinal microbiota from lean donors increases insulin sensitivity in individuals with metabolic syndrome, but the exact pathogenesis remains unclear. H. pylori in the human stomach cause chronic gastritis, peptic ulcers, and gastric cancers. H. pylori infection also induces insulin resistance and has been defined as a predisposing factor to T2D development. Gastric and fecal microbiota may have been changed in H. pylori-infected persons and mice to promote gastric inflammation and specific diseases. However, the interaction of H. pylori and gut microbiota in regulating host metabolism also remains unknown. Further studies aim to identify the H. pylori-microbiota-host metabolism axis and to test if H. pylori eradication or modification of gut microbiota can improve the control of human metabolic disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host-Gut Microbiota Metabolic Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Bacterial Multidrug Efflux Pumps: Much More Than Antibiotic Resistance Determinants
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010014 - 16 Feb 2016
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 6303
Abstract
Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps are antibiotic resistance determinants present in all microorganisms. With few exceptions, they are chromosomally encoded and present a conserved organization both at the genetic and at the protein levels. In addition, most, if not all, strains of a given [...] Read more.
Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps are antibiotic resistance determinants present in all microorganisms. With few exceptions, they are chromosomally encoded and present a conserved organization both at the genetic and at the protein levels. In addition, most, if not all, strains of a given bacterial species present the same chromosomally-encoded efflux pumps. Altogether this indicates that multidrug efflux pumps are ancient elements encoded in bacterial genomes long before the recent use of antibiotics for human and animal therapy. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that efflux pumps can extrude a wide range of substrates that include, besides antibiotics, heavy metals, organic pollutants, plant-produced compounds, quorum sensing signals or bacterial metabolites, among others. In the current review, we present information on the different functions that multidrug efflux pumps may have for the bacterial behaviour in different habitats as well as on their regulation by specific signals. Since, in addition to their function in non-clinical ecosystems, multidrug efflux pumps contribute to intrinsic, acquired, and phenotypic resistance of bacterial pathogens, the review also presents information on the search for inhibitors of multidrug efflux pumps, which are currently under development, in the aim of increasing the susceptibility of bacterial pathogens to antibiotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessReview
Carbapenem Resistance in Gram-Negative Bacteria: The Not-So-Little Problem in the Little Red Dot
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010013 - 16 Feb 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3373
Abstract
Singapore is an international travel and medical hub and faces a genuine threat for import and dissemination of bacteria with broad-spectrum resistance. In this review, we described the current landscape and management of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Singapore. Notably, the [...] Read more.
Singapore is an international travel and medical hub and faces a genuine threat for import and dissemination of bacteria with broad-spectrum resistance. In this review, we described the current landscape and management of carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Singapore. Notably, the number of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae has exponentially increased in the past two years. Resistance is largely mediated by a variety of mechanisms. Polymyxin resistance has also emerged. Interestingly, two Escherichia coli isolates with plasmid-mediated mcr-1 genes have been detected. Evidently, surveillance and infection control becomes critical in the local setting where resistance is commonly related to plasmid-mediated mechanisms, such as carbapenemases. Combination antibiotic therapy has been proposed as a last-resort strategy in the treatment of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) GNB infections, and is widely adopted in Singapore. The diversity of carbapenemases encountered, however, presents complexities in both carbapenemase detection and the selection of optimal antibiotic combinations. One unique strategy introduced in Singapore is a prospective in vitro combination testing service, which aids physicians in the selection of individualized combinations. The outcome of this treatment strategy has been promising. Unlike countries with a predominant carbapenemase type, Singapore has to adopt management strategies which accounts for diversity in resistance mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessReview
Staphylococcus aureus in Animals and Food: Methicillin Resistance, Prevalence and Population Structure. A Review in the African Continent
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010012 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3387
Abstract
The interest about Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in livestock, and domestic and wild animals has significantly increased. The spread of different clonal complexes related to livestock animals, mainly CC398, and the recent description of the [...] Read more.
The interest about Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in livestock, and domestic and wild animals has significantly increased. The spread of different clonal complexes related to livestock animals, mainly CC398, and the recent description of the new mecC gene, make it necessary to know more about the epidemiology and population structure of this microorganism all over the world. Nowadays, there are several descriptions about the presence of S. aureus and/or MRSA in different animal species (dogs, sheep, donkeys, bats, pigs, and monkeys), and in food of animal origin in African countries. In this continent, there is a high diversity of ethnicities, cultures or religions, as well as a high number of wild animal species and close contact between humans and animals, which can have a relevant impact in the epidemiology of this microorganism. This review shows that some clonal lineages associated with humans (CC1, CC15, CC72, CC80, CC101, and CC152) and animals (CC398, CC130 and CC133) are present in this continent in animal isolates, although the mecC gene has not been detected yet. However, available studies are limited to a few countries, very often with incomplete information, and many more studies are necessary to cover a larger number of African countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Aspergillus oryzaeSaccharomyces cerevisiae Consortium Allows Bio-Hybrid Fuel Cell to Run on Complex Carbohydrates
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010010 - 04 Feb 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2515
Abstract
Consortia of Aspergillus oryzae and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are examined for their abilities to turn complex carbohydrates into ethanol. To understand the interactions between microorganisms in consortia, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy is used to follow the concentrations of various metabolites such as sugars (e.g., glucose, [...] Read more.
Consortia of Aspergillus oryzae and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are examined for their abilities to turn complex carbohydrates into ethanol. To understand the interactions between microorganisms in consortia, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy is used to follow the concentrations of various metabolites such as sugars (e.g., glucose, maltose), longer chain carbohydrates, and ethanol to optimize consortia conditions for the production of ethanol. It is shown that with proper design A. oryzae can digest food waste simulants into soluble sugars that S. cerevisiae can ferment into ethanol. Depending on the substrate and conditions used, concentrations of 13% ethanol were achieved in 10 days. It is further shown that a direct alcohol fuel cell (FC) can be coupled with these A. oryzae-enabled S. cerevisiae fermentations using a reverse osmosis membrane. This “bio-hybrid FC” continually extracted ethanol from an ongoing consortium, enhancing ethanol production and allowing the bio-hybrid FC to run for at least one week. Obtained bio-hybrid FC currents were comparable to those from pure ethanol—water mixtures, using the same FC. The A. oryzae–S. cerevisiae consortium, coupled to a bio-hybrid FC, converted food waste simulants into electricity without any pre- or post-processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessReview
The Opportunity for High-Performance Biomaterials from Methane
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010011 - 03 Feb 2016
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4032
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers are widely recognised as outstanding candidates to replace conventional petroleum-derived polymers. Their mechanical properties are good and can be tailored through copolymer composition, they are biodegradable, and unlike many alternatives, they do not rely on oil-based feedstocks. Further, they are [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers are widely recognised as outstanding candidates to replace conventional petroleum-derived polymers. Their mechanical properties are good and can be tailored through copolymer composition, they are biodegradable, and unlike many alternatives, they do not rely on oil-based feedstocks. Further, they are the only commodity polymer that can be synthesised intracellularly, ensuring stereoregularity and high molecular weight. However, despite offering enormous potential for many years, they are still not making a significant impact. This is broadly because commercial uptake has been limited by variable performance (inconsistent polymer properties) and high production costs of the raw polymer. Additionally, the main type of PHA produced naturally is poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), which has limited scope due to its brittle nature and low thermal stability, as well as its tendency to embrittle over time. Production cost is strongly impacted by the type of the feedstock used. In this article we consider: the production of PHAs from methanotrophs using methane as a cost-effective substrate; the use of mixed cultures, as opposed to pure strains; and strategies to generate a poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) copolymer (PHBV), which has more desirable qualities such as toughness and elasticity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Microorganisms in 2015
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010009 - 25 Jan 2016
Viewed by 2694
Abstract
The editors of Microorganisms would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Extremophiles in an Antarctic Marine Ecosystem
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010008 - 11 Jan 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3193
Abstract
Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. [...] Read more.
Recent attempts to explore marine microbial diversity and the global marine microbiome have indicated a large proportion of previously unknown diversity. However, sequencing alone does not tell the whole story, as it relies heavily upon information that is already contained within sequence databases. In addition, microorganisms have been shown to present small-to-large scale biogeographical patterns worldwide, potentially making regional combinations of selection pressures unique. Here, we focus on the extremophile community in the boundary region located between the Polar Front and the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, to explore the potential of metagenomic approaches as a tool for bioprospecting in the search for novel functional activity based on targeted sampling efforts. We assessed the microbial composition and diversity from a region north of the current limit for winter sea ice, north of the Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Front (SACCF) but south of the Polar Front. Although, most of the more frequently encountered sequences were derived from common marine microorganisms, within these dominant groups, we found a proportion of genes related to secondary metabolism of potential interest in bioprospecting. Extremophiles were rare by comparison but belonged to a range of genera. Hence, they represented interesting targets from which to identify rare or novel functions. Ultimately, future shifts in environmental conditions favoring more cosmopolitan groups could have an unpredictable effect on microbial diversity and function in the Southern Ocean, perhaps excluding the rarer extremophiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles)
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Open AccessOpinion
Low Substrate Loading Limits Methanogenesis and Leads to High Coulombic Efficiency in Bioelectrochemical Systems
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010007 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
A crucial aspect for the application of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) as a wastewater treatment technology is the efficient oxidation of complex substrates by the bioanode, which is reflected in high Coulombic efficiency (CE). To achieve high CE, it is essential to give a [...] Read more.
A crucial aspect for the application of bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) as a wastewater treatment technology is the efficient oxidation of complex substrates by the bioanode, which is reflected in high Coulombic efficiency (CE). To achieve high CE, it is essential to give a competitive advantage to electrogens over methanogens. Factors that affect CE in bioanodes are, amongst others, the type of wastewater, anode potential, substrate concentration and pH. In this paper, we focus on acetate as a substrate and analyze the competition between methanogens and electrogens from a thermodynamic and kinetic point of view. We reviewed experimental data from earlier studies and propose that low substrate loading in combination with a sufficiently high anode overpotential plays a key-role in achieving high CE. Low substrate loading is a proven strategy against methanogenic activity in large-scale reactors for sulfate reduction. The combination of low substrate loading with sufficiently high overpotential is essential because it results in favorable growth kinetics of electrogens compared to methanogens. To achieve high current density in combination with low substrate concentrations, it is essential to have a high specific anode surface area. New reactor designs with these features are essential for BESs to be successful in wastewater treatment in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Ecology of Hypersaline Microbial Mats: Current Insights and New Directions
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010006 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2674
Abstract
Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found [...] Read more.
Microbial mats are unique geobiological ecosystems that form as a result of complex communities of microorganisms interacting with each other and their physical environment. Both the microorganisms present and the network of metabolic interactions govern ecosystem function therein. These systems are often found in a range of extreme environments, and those found in elevated salinity have been particularly well studied. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe the molecular ecology of select model hypersaline mat systems (Guerrero Negro, Shark Bay, S’Avall, and Kiritimati Atoll), and any potentially modulating effects caused by salinity to community structure. In addition, we discuss several emerging issues in the field (linking function to newly discovered phyla and microbial dark matter), which illustrate the changing paradigm that is seen as technology has rapidly advanced in the study of these extreme and evolutionally significant ecosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extremophiles)
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Open AccessArticle
Metagenomic Analyses Reveal That Energy Transfer Gene Abundances Can Predict the Syntrophic Potential of Environmental Microbial Communities
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010005 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly [...] Read more.
Hydrocarbon compounds can be biodegraded by anaerobic microorganisms to form methane through an energetically interdependent metabolic process known as syntrophy. The microorganisms that perform this process as well as the energy transfer mechanisms involved are difficult to study and thus are still poorly understood, especially on an environmental scale. Here, metagenomic data was analyzed for specific clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) related to key energy transfer genes thus far identified in syntrophic bacteria, and principal component analysis was used in order to determine whether potentially syntrophic environments could be distinguished using these syntroph related COGs as opposed to universally present COGs. We found that COGs related to hydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase genes were able to distinguish known syntrophic consortia and environments with the potential for syntrophy from non-syntrophic environments, indicating that these COGs could be used as a tool to identify syntrophic hydrocarbon biodegrading environments using metagenomic data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Phage Inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes on San Daniele Dry-Cured Ham and Elimination of Biofilms from Equipment and Working Environments
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010004 - 05 Jan 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2421
Abstract
The anti-listerial activity of generally recognized as safe (GRAS) bacteriophage Listex P100 (phage P100) was demonstrated in broths and on the surface of slices of dry-cured ham against 5 strains or serotypes (i.e., Scott A, 1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b) of Listeria [...] Read more.
The anti-listerial activity of generally recognized as safe (GRAS) bacteriophage Listex P100 (phage P100) was demonstrated in broths and on the surface of slices of dry-cured ham against 5 strains or serotypes (i.e., Scott A, 1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b) of Listeria monocytogenes. In a broth model system, phage P100 at a concentration equal to or greater than 7 log PFU/mL completely inhibited 2 log CFU/cm2 or 3 log CFU/cm2 of L. monocytogenes growth at 30 °C. The temperature (4, 10, 20 °C) seemed to influence P100 activity; the best results were obtained at 4 °C. On dry-cured ham slices, a P100 concentration ranging from 5 to 8 log PFU/cm2 was required to obtain a significant reduction in L. monocytogenes. At 4, 10, and 20 °C, an inoculum of 8 log PFU/cm2 was required to completely eliminate 2 log L. monocytogenes/cm2 and to reach the absence in 25 g product according to USA food law. Conversely, it was impossible to completely eradicate L. monocytogenes with an inoculum of approximately of 3.0 and 4.0 log CFU/cm2 and with a P100 inoculum ranging from 1 to 7 log PFU/cm2. P100 remained stable on dry-cured ham slices over a 14-day storage period, with only a marginal loss of 0.2 log PFU/cm2 from an initial phage treatment of approximately 8 log PFU/cm2. Moreover, phage P100 eliminated free L. monocytogenes cells and biofilms on the machinery surfaces used for dry-cured ham production. These findings demonstrate that the GRAS bacteriophage Listex P100 at level of 8 log PFU/cm2 is listericidal and useful for reducing the L. monocytogenes concentration or eradicating the bacteria from dry-cured ham. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Activity in Food)
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Open AccessArticle
In Silico Analysis of a Novel Plasmid from the Coral Pathogen Vibrio coralliilyticus Reveals Two Potential “Ecological Islands”
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010003 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
As virulence often correlates with the presence of plasmid replicons in several Vibrio spp., this study investigated whether non-chromosomal DNA could be found in the coral pathogen, Vibrio coralliilyticus BAA-450. A circular plasmid, 26,631 bp in size, was identified. DNA sequence analysis indicated [...] Read more.
As virulence often correlates with the presence of plasmid replicons in several Vibrio spp., this study investigated whether non-chromosomal DNA could be found in the coral pathogen, Vibrio coralliilyticus BAA-450. A circular plasmid, 26,631 bp in size, was identified. DNA sequence analysis indicated that the plasmid contained 30 open reading frames, six tRNA genes, 12 inverted repeats, three direct repeats and presented no continuous sequence identity to other replicons within the database. Consequently, these findings indicate that this is a novel, previously unidentified, plasmid. Two putative “ecological islands” were also identified and are predicted to encode for various factors that would facilitate growth and survival under different ecological conditions. In addition, two open reading frames may encode proteins that contribute to the pathogenicity of the organism. Functional cooperativity is also indicated between several plasmid- and chromosomally-encoded proteins, which, in a single instance, would allow a fully functioning nutrient uptake system to be established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diversity and Dynamics of Marine Microbial Communities)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of pH Regulation Mode in Glucose Fermentation on Product Selection and Process Stability
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010002 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
Mixed culture anaerobic fermentation generates a wide range of products from simple sugars, and is potentially an effective process for producing renewable commodity chemicals. However it is difficult to predict product spectrum, and to control the process. One of the key control handles [...] Read more.
Mixed culture anaerobic fermentation generates a wide range of products from simple sugars, and is potentially an effective process for producing renewable commodity chemicals. However it is difficult to predict product spectrum, and to control the process. One of the key control handles is pH, but the response is commonly dependent on culture history. In this work, we assess the impact of pH regulation mode on the product spectrum. Two regulation modes were applied: in the first, pH was adjusted from 4.5 to 8.5 in progressive steps of 0.5 and in the second, covered the same pH range, but the pH was reset to 5.5 before each change. Acetate, butyrate, and ethanol were produced throughout all pH ranges, but there was a shift from butyrate at pH < 6.5 to ethanol at pH > 6.5, as well as a strong and consistent shift from hydrogen to formate as pH increased. Microbial analysis indicated that progressive pH resulted in dominance by Klebsiella, while reset pH resulted in a bias towards Clostridium spp., particularly at low pH, with higher variance in community between different pH levels. Reset pH was more responsive to changes in pH, and analysis of Gibbs free energy indicated that the reset pH experiments operated closer to thermodynamic equilibrium, particularly with respect to the formate/hydrogen balance. This may indicate that periodically resetting pH conforms better to thermodynamic expectations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals
Microorganisms 2016, 4(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms4010001 - 04 Jan 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2478
Abstract
Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as [...] Read more.
Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Resource Management)
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