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Special Issue "Molecular and Ecological Genetics of Microbial Metal Resistance"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alessio Mengoni
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Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Florence, Italy
Interests: nitrogen-fixing symbiosis; serpentine soils, microbiome of metal hyperaccumulating plants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Camilla Fagorzi
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microbes (bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotic microorganisms) develop metal resistance in a variety of environments, both natural and anthropogenic. Metal resistance microbial strains are routinely isolated from natural metal ion rich environments on the planet, as well as metal polluted sites from mining/refining/manufacturing operations. Studies on metal resistant microbes have constituted models for understanding the processes of the adaptation and evolution of microbial populations and communities. Moreover, metals constitute the basis of various antimicrobial agents, as well as one of the most important polluting agents in urbanized areas and in some agricultural areas. The molecular aspects of metal ion resistance span from single gene to integrated genome-wide (cellular) response, which give rise to possibly unique physiologies and multimetal resistance. Biotechnological applications of the findings derived from ecological and molecular investigations are also relevant, especially in the field of bioremediation.

This Special Issue is aimed at promoting research showing novel findings, and addressing the challenges along the interface between the molecular and ecological aspects of metal resistance in microorganisms.

Prof. Dr. Alessio Mengoni
Dr. Camilla Fagorzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bacteria
  • archaea
  • microorganisms
  • heavy metals
  • metalloids
  • metal resistance genes
  • metal resistance determinants
  • adaptation
  • evolution
  • microbiome
  • microbiota

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Zinc in Gliotoxin Biosynthesis of Aspergillus fumigatus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(24), 6192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20246192 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Zinc performs diverse physiological functions, and virtually all living organisms require zinc as an essential trace element. To identify the detailed function of zinc in fungal pathogenicity, we carried out cDNA microarray analysis using the model system of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungal [...] Read more.
Zinc performs diverse physiological functions, and virtually all living organisms require zinc as an essential trace element. To identify the detailed function of zinc in fungal pathogenicity, we carried out cDNA microarray analysis using the model system of Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungal pathogen. From microarray analysis, we found that the genes involved in gliotoxin biosynthesis were upregulated when zinc was depleted, and the microarray data were confirmed by northern blot analysis. In particular, zinc deficiency upregulated the expression of GliZ, which encodes a Zn2-Cys6 binuclear transcription factor that regulates the expression of the genes required for gliotoxin biosynthesis. The production of gliotoxin was decreased in a manner inversely proportional to the zinc concentration, and the same result was investigated in the absence of ZafA, which is a zinc-dependent transcription activator. Interestingly, we found two conserved ZafA-binding motifs, 5′-CAAGGT-3′, in the upstream region of GliZ on the genome and discovered that deletion of the ZafA-binding motifs resulted in loss of ZafA-binding activity; gliotoxin production was decreased dramatically, as demonstrated with a GliZ deletion mutant. Furthermore, mutation of the ZafA-binding motifs resulted in an increase in the conidial killing activity of human macrophage and neutrophil cells, and virulence was decreased in a murine model. Finally, transcriptomic analysis revealed that the expression of ZafA and GliZ was upregulated during phagocytosis by macrophages. Taken together, these results suggest that zinc plays an important role in the pathogenicity of A. fumigatus by regulating gliotoxin production during the phagocytosis pathway to overcome the host defense system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Ecological Genetics of Microbial Metal Resistance)
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