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Deficiency of RgpG Causes Major Defects in Cell Division and Biofilm Formation, and Deficiency of LytR-CpsA-Psr Family Proteins Leads to Accumulation of Cell Wall Antigens in Culture Medium by Streptococcus mutans.
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Deficiency of RgpG Causes Major Defects in Cell Division and Biofilm Formation, and Deficiency of LytR-CpsA-Psr Family Proteins Leads to Accumulation of Cell Wall Antigens in Culture Medium by Streptococcus mutans.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: De A, Liao S, Bitoun JP, Roth R, Beatty WL, Wu H, Wen ZT

Abstract
Streptococcus mutans is known to possess rhamnose-glucose polysaccharide (RGP), a major cell wall antigen. S. mutans strains deficient in rgpG, encoding the first enzyme of the RGP biosynthesis pathway, were constructed by allelic exchange. The rgpG deficiency had no effect on growth rate but caused major defects in cell division and altered cell morphology. Unlike the coccoid wild type, the rgpG mutant existed primarily in chains of swollen, "squarish" dividing cells. Deficiency of rgpG also causes significant reduction in biofilm formation (P < 0.01). Double and triple mutants with deficiency in brpA and/or psr, genes coding for the LytR-CpsA-Psr family proteins BrpA and Psr, which were previously shown to play important roles in cell envelope biogenesis, were constructed using the rgpG mutant. There were no major differences in growth rates between the wild-type strain and the rgpG brpA and rgpG psr double mutants, but the growth rate of the rgpG brpA psr triple mutant was reduced drastically (P < 0.001). Under transmission electron microscopy, both double mutants resembled the rgpG mutant, while the triple mutant existed as giant cells with multiple asymmetric septa. When analyzed by immunoblotting, the rgpG mutant displayed major reductions in cell wall antigens compared to the wild type, while little or no signal was detected with the double and triple mutants and the brpA and psr single mutants. These results suggest that RgpG in S. mutans plays a critical role in cell division and biofilm formation and that BrpA and Psr may be responsible for attachment of cell wall antigens to the cell envelope.IMPORTANCEStreptococcus mutans, a major etiological agent of human dental caries, produces rhamnose-glucose polysaccharide (RGP) as the major cell wall antigen. This study provides direct evidence that deficiency of RgpG, the first enzyme of the RGP biosynthesis pathway, caused major defects in cell division and morphology and reduced biofilm formation by S. mutans, indicative of a significant role of RGP in cell division and biofilm formation in S. mutans These results are novel not only in S. mutans, but also other streptococci that produce RGP. This study also shows that the LytR-CpsA-Psr family proteins BrpA and Psr in S. mutans are involved in attachment of RGP and probably other cell wall glycopolymers to the peptidoglycan. In addition, the results also suggest that BrpA and Psr may play a direct role in cell division and biofilm formation in S. mutans This study reveals new potential targets to develop anticaries therapeutics.

PMID: 28687645 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Reduced Mutation Rate and Increased Transformability of Transposon-Free Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1-ISx.
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Reduced Mutation Rate and Increased Transformability of Transposon-Free Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1-ISx.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Suárez GA, Renda BA, Dasgupta A, Barrick JE

Abstract
The genomes of most bacteria contain mobile DNA elements that can contribute to undesirable genetic instability in engineered cells. In particular, transposable insertion sequence (IS) elements can rapidly inactivate genes that are important for a designed function. We deleted all six copies of IS1236 from the genome of the naturally transformable bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1. The natural competence of ADP1 made it possible to rapidly repair deleterious point mutations that arose during strain construction. In the resulting ADP1-ISx strain, the rates of mutations inactivating a reporter gene were reduced by 7- to 21-fold. This reduction was higher than expected from the incidence of new IS1236 insertions found during a 300-day mutation accumulation experiment with wild-type ADP1 that was used to estimate spontaneous mutation rates in the strain. The extra improvement appears to be due in part to eliminating large deletions caused by IS1236 activity, as the point mutation rate was unchanged in ADP1-ISx. Deletion of an error-prone polymerase (dinP) and a DNA damage response regulator (umuDAb [the umuD gene of A. baylyi]) from the ADP1-ISx genome did not further reduce mutation rates. Surprisingly, ADP1-ISx exhibited increased transformability. This improvement may be due to less autolysis and aggregation of the engineered cells than of the wild type. Thus, deleting IS elements from the ADP1 genome led to a greater than expected increase in evolutionary reliability and unexpectedly enhanced other key strain properties, as has been observed for other clean-genome bacterial strains. ADP1-ISx is an improved chassis for metabolic engineering and other applications.IMPORTANCEAcinetobacter baylyi ADP1 has been proposed as a next-generation bacterial host for synthetic biology and genome engineering due to its ability to efficiently take up DNA from its environment during normal growth. We deleted transposable elements that are capable of copying themselves, inserting into other genes, and thereby inactivating them from the ADP1 genome. The resulting "clean-genome" ADP1-ISx strain exhibited larger reductions in the rates of inactivating mutations than expected from spontaneous mutation rates measured via whole-genome sequencing of lineages evolved under relaxed selection. Surprisingly, we also found that IS element activity reduces transformability and is a major cause of cell aggregation and death in wild-type ADP1 grown under normal laboratory conditions. More generally, our results demonstrate that domesticating a bacterial genome by removing mobile DNA elements that have accumulated during evolution in the wild can have unanticipated benefits.

PMID: 28667117 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




A Third Type of Resistance to Cydia pomonella Granulovirus in Codling Moths Shows a Mixed Z-Linked and Autosomal Inheritance Pattern.
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A Third Type of Resistance to Cydia pomonella Granulovirus in Codling Moths Shows a Mixed Z-Linked and Autosomal Inheritance Pattern.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Sauer AJ, Schulze-Bopp S, Fritsch E, Undorf-Spahn K, Jehle JA

Abstract
Different isolates of Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) are used worldwide to control codling moth larvae (Cydia pomonella) in pome fruit production. Two types of dominantly inherited field resistance of C. pomonella to CpGV have been recently identified: Z-chromosomal type I resistance and autosomal type II resistance. In the present study, a CpGV-resistant C. pomonella field population (termed SA-GO) from northeastern Germany was investigated. SA-GO individuals showed cross-resistance to CpGV isolates of genome group A (CpGV-M) and genome group E (CpGV-S), whereas genome group B (CpGV-E2) was still infective. Crossing experiments between individuals of SA-GO and the susceptible C. pomonella strain CpS indicated the presence of a dominant autosomal inheritance factor. By single-pair inbreeding of SA-GO individuals for two generations, the genetically more homogenous strain CpRGO was generated. Resistance testing of CpRGO neonates with different CpGV isolates revealed that isolate CpGV-E2 and isolates CpGV-I07 and -I12 were resistance breaking. When progeny of hybrid crosses and backcrosses between individuals of resistant strain CpRGO and susceptible strain CpS were infected with CpGV-M and CpGV-S, resistance to CpGV-S appeared to be autosomal and dominant for larval survivorship but recessive when success of pupation of the hybrids was considered. Inheritance of resistance to CpGV-M, however, is proposed to be both autosomal and Z linked, since Z linkage of resistance was needed for pupation. Hence, we propose a further type III resistance to CpGV in C. pomonella, which differs from type I and type II resistance in its mode of inheritance and response to CpGV isolates from different genome groups.IMPORTANCE The baculovirus Cydia pomonella granulovirus (CpGV) is registered and applied as a biocontrol agent in nearly all pome fruit-growing countries worldwide to control codling moth caterpillars in an environmentally friendly manner. It is therefore the most widely used commercial baculovirus biocontrol agent. Since 2005, field resistance of codling moth to CpGV products has been observed in more than 40 field plantations in Europe, threatening organic and integrated apple production. Knowledge of the inheritance and mechanism(s) of resistance is indispensable for the understanding of host response to baculovirus infection on the population level and the coevolutionary arms race between virus and host, as well as for the development of appropriate resistance management strategies. Here, we report a codling moth field population with a new type of resistance, which appears to follow a highly complex inheritance in regard to different CpGV isolates.

PMID: 28667116 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




CgMED3 Changes Membrane Sterol Composition To Help Candida glabrata Tolerate Low-pH Stress.
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CgMED3 Changes Membrane Sterol Composition To Help Candida glabrata Tolerate Low-pH Stress.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Lin X, Qi Y, Yan D, Liu H, Chen X, Liu L

Abstract
Candida glabrata is a promising microorganism for organic acid production. The present study aimed to investigate the role of C. glabrata Mediator complex subunit 3 (CgMed3p) in protecting C. glabrata under low-pH conditions. To this end, genes CgMED3A and CgMED3B were deleted, resulting in the double-deletion Cgmed3ABΔ strain. The final biomass and cell viability levels of Cgmed3ABΔ decreased by 64.5% and 35.8%, respectively, compared to the wild-type strain results at pH 2.0. In addition, lack of CgMed3ABp resulted in selective repression of a subset of genes in the lipid biosynthesis and metabolism pathways. Furthermore, C18:1, lanosterol, zymosterol, fecosterol, and ergosterol were 13.2%, 80.4%, 40.4%, 78.1%, and 70.4% less abundant, respectively, in the Cgmed3ABΔ strain. In contrast, the concentration of squalene increased by about 44.6-fold. As a result, membrane integrity, rigidity, and H+-ATPase activity in the Cgmed3ABΔ strain were reduced by 62.7%, 13.0%, and 50.3%, respectively. In contrast, overexpression of CgMED3AB increased the levels of C18:0, C18:1, and ergosterol by 113.2%, 5.9%, and 26.4%, respectively. Moreover, compared to the wild-type results, dry cell weight and pyruvate production increased, irrespective of pH buffering. These results suggest that CgMED3AB regulates membrane composition, which in turn enables cells to tolerate low-pH stress. We propose that regulation of CgMed3ABp may provide a novel strategy for enhancing low-pH tolerance and increasing organic acid production by C. glabrataIMPORTANCE The objective of this study was to investigate the role of Candida glabrata Mediator complex subunit 3 (CgMed3ABp) and its regulation of gene expression at low pH in C. glabrata We found that CgMed3ABp was critical for cellular survival and pyruvate production during low-pH stress. Measures of the levels of plasma membrane fatty acids and sterol composition indicated that CgMed3ABp could play an important role in regulating homeostasis in C. glabrata We propose that controlling membrane lipid composition may enhance the robustness of C. glabrata for the production of organic acids.

PMID: 28667115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Initial Gut Microbial Composition as a Key Factor Driving Host Response to Antibiotic Treatment, as Exemplified by the Presence or Absence of Commensal Escherichia coli.
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Initial Gut Microbial Composition as a Key Factor Driving Host Response to Antibiotic Treatment, as Exemplified by the Presence or Absence of Commensal Escherichia coli.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Ju T, Shoblak Y, Gao Y, Yang K, Fouhse J, Finlay BB, So YW, Stothard P, Willing BP

Abstract
Antibiotics are important for treating bacterial infection; however, efficacies and side effects of antibiotics vary in medicine and experimental models. A few studies have correlated microbiota composition variations with health outcomes in response to antibiotics; however, no study has demonstrated causality. We had noted variation in colonic expression of C-type lectins, regenerating islet-derived protein 3β (Reg3β) and Reg3γ, after metronidazole treatment in a mouse model. To investigate the effects of specific variations in the preexisting microbiome on host response to antibiotics, mice harboring a normal microbiota were allocated to 4 treatments in a 2-by-2 factorial arrangement with or without commensal Escherichia coli and with or without metronidazole in drinking water. E. coli colonized readily without causing a notable shift in the microbiota or host response. Metronidazole administration reduced microbiota biodiversity, indicated by decreased Chao1 and Shannon index values, and altered microbiota composition. However, the presence of E. coli strongly affected metronidazole-induced microbiota shifts. Remarkably, this single commensal bacterium in the context of a complex population led to variations in host responses to metronidazole treatment, including increased expression of antimicrobial peptides Reg3β and Reg3γ and intestinal inflammation indicated by tumor necrosis factor alpha levels. Similar results were obtained from 2-week antibiotic exposure and with additional E. coli isolates. The results of this proof-of-concept study indicate that even minor variations in initial commensal microbiota can drive shifts in microbial composition and host response after antibiotic administration. As well as providing an explanation for variability in animal models using antibiotics, the findings encourage the development of personalized medication in antibiotic therapies.IMPORTANCE This work provides an understanding of variability in studies where antibiotics are used to alter the gut microbiota to generate a host response. Furthermore, although providing evidence only for the one antibiotic, the study demonstrated that initial gut microbial composition is a key factor driving host response to antibiotic administration, creating a compelling argument for considering personalized medication based on individual variations in gut microbiota.

PMID: 28667114 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Aerobiology: Experimental Considerations, Observations, and Future Tools.
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Aerobiology: Experimental Considerations, Observations, and Future Tools.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Haddrell AE, Thomas RJ

Abstract
Understanding airborne survival and decay of microorganisms is important for a range of public health and biodefense applications, including epidemiological and risk analysis modeling. Techniques for experimental aerosol generation, retention in the aerosol phase, and sampling require careful consideration and understanding so that they are representative of the conditions the bioaerosol would experience in the environment. This review explores the current understanding of atmospheric transport in relation to advances and limitations of aerosol generation, maintenance in the aerosol phase, and sampling techniques. Potential tools for the future are examined at the interface between atmospheric chemistry, aerosol physics, and molecular microbiology where the heterogeneity and variability of aerosols can be explored at the single-droplet and single-microorganism levels within a bioaerosol. The review highlights the importance of method comparison and validation in bioaerosol research and the benefits that the application of novel techniques could bring to increasing the understanding of aerobiological phenomena in diverse research fields, particularly during the progression of atmospheric transport, where complex interdependent physicochemical and biological processes occur within bioaerosol particles.

PMID: 28667111 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Distribution, Community Composition, and Potential Metabolic Activity of Bacterioplankton in an Urbanized Mediterranean Sea Coastal Zone.
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Distribution, Community Composition, and Potential Metabolic Activity of Bacterioplankton in an Urbanized Mediterranean Sea Coastal Zone.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Richa K, Balestra C, Piredda R, Benes V, Borra M, Passarelli A, Margiotta F, Saggiomo M, Biffali E, Sanges R, Scanlan DJ, Casotti R

Abstract
Bacterioplankton are fundamental components of marine ecosystems and influence the entire biosphere by contributing to the global biogeochemical cycles of key elements. Yet, there is a significant gap in knowledge about their diversity and specific activities, as well as environmental factors that shape their community composition and function. Here, the distribution and diversity of surface bacterioplankton along the coastline of the Gulf of Naples (GON; Italy) were investigated using flow cytometry coupled with high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Heterotrophic bacteria numerically dominated the bacterioplankton and comprised mainly Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes Distinct communities occupied river-influenced, coastal, and offshore sites, as indicated by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, distance metric (UniFrac), linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe), and multivariate analyses. The heterogeneity in diversity and community composition was mainly due to salinity and changes in environmental conditions across sites, as defined by nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations. Bacterioplankton communities were composed of a few dominant taxa and a large proportion (92%) of rare taxa (here defined as operational taxonomic units [OTUs] accounting for <0.1% of the total sequence abundance), the majority of which were unique to each site. The relationship between 16S rRNA and the 16S rRNA gene, i.e., between potential metabolic activity and abundance, was positive for the whole community. However, analysis of individual OTUs revealed high rRNA-to-rRNA gene ratios for most (71.6% ± 16.7%) of the rare taxa, suggesting that these low-abundance organisms were potentially active and hence might be playing an important role in ecosystem diversity and functioning in the GON.IMPORTANCE The study of bacterioplankton in coastal zones is of critical importance, considering that these areas are highly productive and anthropogenically impacted. Their richness and evenness, as well as their potential activity, are very important to assess ecosystem health and functioning. Here, we investigated bacterial distribution, community composition, and potential metabolic activity in the GON, which is an ideal test site due to its heterogeneous environment characterized by a complex hydrodynamics and terrestrial inputs of varied quantities and quality. Our study demonstrates that bacterioplankton communities in this region are highly diverse and strongly regulated by a combination of different environmental factors leading to their heterogeneous distribution, with the rare taxa contributing to a major proportion of diversity and shifts in community composition and potentially holding a key role in ecosystem functioning.

PMID: 28667110 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Detection of Diazotrophy in the Acetylene-Fermenting Anaerobe Pelobacter sp. Strain SFB93.
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Detection of Diazotrophy in the Acetylene-Fermenting Anaerobe Pelobacter sp. Strain SFB93.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Akob DM, Baesman SM, Sutton JM, Fierst JL, Mumford AC, Shrestha Y, Poret-Peterson AT, Bennett S, Dunlap DS, Haase KB, Oremland RS

Abstract
Acetylene (C2H2) is a trace constituent of the present Earth's oxidizing atmosphere, reflecting a mixture of terrestrial and marine emissions from anthropogenic, biomass-burning, and unidentified biogenic sources. Fermentation of acetylene was serendipitously discovered during C2H2 block assays of N2O reductase, and Pelobacter acetylenicus was shown to grow on C2H2 via acetylene hydratase (AH). AH is a W-containing, catabolic, low-redox-potential enzyme that, unlike nitrogenase (N2ase), is specific for acetylene. Acetylene fermentation is a rare metabolic process that is well characterized only in P. acetylenicus DSM3246 and DSM3247 and Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93. To better understand the genetic controls for AH activity, we sequenced the genomes of the three acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter strains. Genome assembly and annotation produced three novel genomes containing gene sequences for AH, with two copies being present in SFB93. In addition, gene sequences for all five compulsory genes for iron-molybdenum N2ase were also present in the three genomes, indicating the cooccurrence of two acetylene transformation pathways. Nitrogen fixation growth assays showed that DSM3426 could ferment acetylene in the absence of ammonium, but no ethylene was produced. However, SFB93 degraded acetylene and, in the absence of ammonium, produced ethylene, indicating an active N2ase. Diazotrophic growth was observed under N2 but not in experimental controls incubated under argon. SFB93 exhibits acetylene fermentation and nitrogen fixation, the only known biochemical mechanisms for acetylene transformation. Our results indicate complex interactions between N2ase and AH and suggest novel evolutionary pathways for these relic enzymes from early Earth to modern days.IMPORTANCE Here we show that a single Pelobacter strain can grow via acetylene fermentation and carry out nitrogen fixation, using the only two enzymes known to transform acetylene. These findings provide new insights into acetylene transformations and adaptations for nutrient (C and N) and energy acquisition by microorganisms. Enhanced understanding of acetylene transformations (i.e., extent, occurrence, and rates) in modern environments is important for the use of acetylene as a potential biomarker for extraterrestrial life and for degradation of anthropogenic contaminants.

PMID: 28667109 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




The Two Cryptochrome/Photolyase Family Proteins Fulfill Distinct Roles in DNA Photorepair and Regulation of Conidiation in the Gray Mold Fungus Botrytis cinerea.
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The Two Cryptochrome/Photolyase Family Proteins Fulfill Distinct Roles in DNA Photorepair and Regulation of Conidiation in the Gray Mold Fungus Botrytis cinerea.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Cohrs KC, Schumacher J

Abstract
The plant-pathogenic leotiomycete Botrytis cinerea is known for the strict regulation of its asexual differentiation programs by environmental light conditions. Sclerotia are formed in constant darkness; black/near-UV (NUV) light induces conidiation; and blue light represses both differentiation programs. Sensing of black/NUV light is attributed to proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF). To elucidate the molecular basis of the photoinduction of conidiation, we functionally characterized the two CPF proteins encoded in the genome of B. cinerea as putative positive-acting components. B. cinerea CRY1 (BcCRY1), a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase, acts as the major enzyme of light-driven DNA repair (photoreactivation) and has no obvious role in signaling. In contrast, BcCRY2, belonging to the cry-DASH proteins, is dispensable for photorepair but performs regulatory functions by repressing conidiation in white and especially black/NUV light. The transcription of bccry1 and bccry2 is induced by light in a White Collar complex (WCC)-dependent manner, but neither light nor the WCC is essential for the repression of conidiation through BcCRY2 when bccry2 is constitutively expressed. Further, BcCRY2 affects the transcript levels of both WCC-induced and WCC-repressed genes, suggesting a signaling function downstream of the WCC. Since both CPF proteins are dispensable for photoinduction by black/NUV light, the origin of this effect remains elusive and may be connected to a yet unknown UV-light-responsive system.IMPORTANCEBotrytis cinerea is an economically important plant pathogen that causes gray mold diseases in a wide variety of plant species, including high-value crops and ornamental flowers. The spread of disease in the field relies on the formation of conidia, a process that is regulated by different light qualities. While this feature has been known for a long time, we are just starting to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. Conidiation in B. cinerea is induced by black/near-UV light, whose sensing is attributed to the action of cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) proteins. Here we report on the distinct functions of two CPF proteins in the photoresponse of B. cinerea While BcCRY1 acts as the major photolyase in photoprotection, BcCRY2 acts as a cryptochrome with a signaling function in regulating photomorphogenesis (repression of conidiation).

PMID: 28667107 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Discovery of Lysine Hydroxylases in the Clavaminic Acid Synthase-Like Superfamily for Efficient Hydroxylysine Bioproduction.
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Discovery of Lysine Hydroxylases in the Clavaminic Acid Synthase-Like Superfamily for Efficient Hydroxylysine Bioproduction.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Hara R, Yamagata K, Miyake R, Kawabata H, Uehara H, Kino K

Abstract
Hydroxylation via C-H bond activation in the absence of any harmful oxidizing reagents is technically difficult in modern chemistry. In this work, we attempted to generate pharmaceutically important hydroxylysine from readily available l-lysine with l-lysine hydroxylases from diverse microorganisms. Clavaminic acid synthase-like superfamily gene mining and phylogenetic analysis led to the discovery of six biocatalysts, namely two l-lysine 3S-hydroxylases and four l-lysine 4R-hydroxylases, the latter of which partially matched known hydroxylases. Subsequent characterization of these hydroxylases revealed their capacity for regio- and stereoselective hydroxylation into either C-3 or C-4 positions of l-lysine, yielding (2S,3S)-3-hydroxylysine and (2S,4R)-4-hydroxylysine, respectively. To determine if these factors had industrial application, we performed a preparative production of both hydroxylysines under optimized conditions. For this, recombinant l-lysine hydroxylase-expressing Escherichia coli cells were used as a biocatalyst for l-lysine bioconversion. In batch-scale reactions, 531 mM (86.1 g/liter) (2S,3S)-3-hydroxylysine was produced from 600 mM l-lysine with an 89% molar conversion after a 52-h reaction, and 265 mM (43.0 g/liter) (2S,4R)-4-hydroxylysine was produced from 300 mM l-lysine with a molar conversion of 88% after 24 h. This report demonstrates the highly efficient production of hydroxylysines using lysine hydroxylases, which may contribute to future industrial bioprocess technologies.IMPORTANCE The present study identified six l-lysine hydroxylases belonging to the 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily, although some of them overlapped with known hydroxylases. While the substrate specificity of l-lysine hydroxylases was relatively narrow, we found that (2S,3S)-3-hydroxylysine was hydroxylated by 4R-hydroxylase and (2S,5R)-5-hydroxylysine was hydroxylated by both 3S- and 4R-hydroxylases. Moreover, the l-arginine hydroxylase VioC also hydroxylated l-lysine, albeit to a lesser extent. Further, we also demonstrated the bioconversion of l-lysine into (2S,3S)-3-hydroxylysine and (2S,4R)-4-hydroxylysine on a gram scale under optimized conditions. These findings provide new insights into biocatalytic l-lysine hydroxylation and thus have a great potential for use in manufacturing bioprocesses.

PMID: 28667106 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Bacteriocins of Non-aureus Staphylococci Isolated from Bovine Milk.
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Bacteriocins of Non-aureus Staphylococci Isolated from Bovine Milk.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Carson DA, Barkema HW, Naushad S, De Buck J

Abstract
Non-aureus staphylococci (NAS), the bacteria most commonly isolated from the bovine udder, potentially protect the udder against infection by major mastitis pathogens due to bacteriocin production. In this study, we determined the inhibitory capability of 441 bovine NAS isolates (comprising 26 species) against bovine Staphylococcus aureus Furthermore, inhibiting isolates were tested against a human methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolate using a cross-streaking method. We determined the presence of bacteriocin clusters in NAS whole genomes using genome mining tools, BLAST, and comparison of genomes of closely related inhibiting and noninhibiting isolates and determined the genetic organization of any identified bacteriocin biosynthetic gene clusters. Forty isolates from 9 species (S. capitis, S. chromogenes, S. epidermidis, S. pasteuri, S. saprophyticus, S. sciuri, S. simulans, S. warneri, and S. xylosus) inhibited growth of S. aureus in vitro, 23 isolates of which, from S. capitis, S. chromogenes, S. epidermidis, S. pasteuri, S. simulans, and S. xylosus, also inhibited MRSA. One hundred five putative bacteriocin gene clusters encompassing 6 different classes (lanthipeptides, sactipeptides, lasso peptides, class IIa, class IIc, and class IId) in 95 whole genomes from 16 species were identified. A total of 25 novel bacteriocin precursors were described. In conclusion, NAS from bovine mammary glands are a source of potential bacteriocins, with >21% being possible producers, representing potential for future characterization and prospective clinical applications.IMPORTANCE Mastitis (particularly infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus) costs Canadian dairy producers $400 million/year and is the leading cause of antibiotic use on dairy farms. With increasing antibiotic resistance and regulations regarding use, there is impetus to explore bacteriocins (bacterially produced antimicrobial peptides) for treatment and prevention of bacterial infections. We examined the ability of 441 NAS bacteria from Canadian bovine milk samples to inhibit growth of S. aureus in the laboratory. Overall, 9% inhibited growth of S. aureus and 58% of those also inhibited MRSA. In NAS whole-genome sequences, we identified >21% of NAS as having bacteriocin genes. Our study represents a foundation to further explore NAS bacteriocins for clinical use.

PMID: 28667105 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Response of Microbial Community Function to Fluctuating Geochemical Conditions within a Legacy Radioactive Waste Trench Environment.
Related Articles Response of Microbial Community Function to Fluctuating Geochemical Conditions within a Legacy Radioactive Waste Trench Environment. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17): Authors: Vázquez-Campos X, Kinsela AS, Bligh MW, Harrison JJ, Payne TE, Waite TD Abstract During the 1960s, small quantities of radioactive materials were codisposed with chemical waste at the Little Forest Legacy Site (Sydney, Australia) in 3-meter-deep, unlined trenches. Chemical and microbial analyses, including functional and taxonomic information derived from shotgun metagenomics, were collected across a 6-week period immediately after a prolonged rainfall event to assess the impact of changing water levels upon the microbial ecology and contaminant mobility. Collectively, results demonstrated that oxygen-laden rainwater rapidly altered the redox balance in the trench water, strongly impacting microbial functioning as well as the radiochemistry. Two contaminants of concern, plutonium and americium, were shown to transition from solid-iron-associated species immediately after the initial rainwater pulse to progressively more soluble moieties as reducing conditions were enhanced. Functional metagenomics revealed the potentially important role that the taxonomically diverse microbial community played in this transition. In particular, aerobes dominated in the first day, followed by an increase of facultative anaerobes/denitrifiers at day 4. Toward the mid-end of the sampling period, the functional and taxonomic profiles depicted an anaerobic community distinguished by a higher representation of dissimilatory sulfate reduction and methanogenesis pathways. Our results have important implications to similar near-surface environmental systems in which redox cycling occurs.IMPORTANCE The role of chemical and microbiological factors in mediating the biogeochemistry of groundwaters from trenches used to dispose of radioactive materials during the 1960s is examined in this study. Specifically, chemical and microbial analyses, including functional and taxonomic information derived from shotgun metagenomics, were collected across a 6-week period immediately after a prolonged rainfall event to assess how changing water levels influence microbial ecology and contaminant mobility. Results demonstrate that oxygen-laden rainwater rapidly altered the redox balance in the trench water, strongly impacting microbial functioning as well as the radiochemistry. Two contaminants of concern, plutonium and americium, were shown to transition from solid-iron-associated species immediately after the initial rainwater pulse to progressively more soluble moieties as reducing conditions were enhanced. Functional metagenomics revealed the important role that the taxonomically diverse microbial community played in this transition. Our results have important implications to similar near-surface environmental systems in which redox cycling occurs. PMID: 28667104 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] [...]



Genome Analysis of Endomicrobium proavitum Suggests Loss and Gain of Relevant Functions during the Evolution of Intracellular Symbionts.
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Genome Analysis of Endomicrobium proavitum Suggests Loss and Gain of Relevant Functions during the Evolution of Intracellular Symbionts.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Zheng H, Dietrich C, Brune A

Abstract
Bacterial endosymbionts of eukaryotes show progressive genome erosion, but detailed investigations of the evolutionary processes involved in the transition to an intracellular lifestyle are generally hampered by the lack of extant free-living lineages. Here, we characterize the genome of the recently isolated, free-living Endomicrobium proavitum, the second member of the Elusimicrobia phylum brought into pure culture, and compare it to the closely related "Candidatus Endomicrobium trichonymphae" strain Rs-D17, a previously described but uncultured endosymbiont of termite gut flagellates. A reconstruction of the metabolic pathways of Endomicrobium proavitum matched the fermentation products formed in pure culture and underscored its restriction to glucose as the substrate. However, several pathways present in the free-living strain, e.g., for the uptake and activation of glucose and its subsequent fermentation, ammonium assimilation, and outer membrane biogenesis, were absent or disrupted in the endosymbiont, probably lost during the massive genome rearrangements that occurred during symbiogenesis. While the majority of the genes in strain Rs-D17 have orthologs in Endomicrobium proavitum, the endosymbiont also possesses a number of functions that are absent from the free-living strain and may represent adaptations to the intracellular lifestyle. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the genes encoding glucose 6-phosphate and amino acid transporters, acetaldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase, and the pathways of glucuronic acid catabolism and thiamine pyrophosphate biosynthesis were either acquired by horizontal gene transfer or may represent ancestral traits that were lost in the free-living strain. The polyphyletic origin of Endomicrobia in different flagellate hosts makes them excellent models for future studies of convergent and parallel evolution during symbiogenesis.IMPORTANCE The isolation of a free-living relative of intracellular symbionts provides the rare opportunity to identify the evolutionary processes that occur in the course of symbiogenesis. Our study documents that the genome of "Candidatus Endomicrobium trichonymphae," which represents a clade of endosymbionts that have coevolved with termite gut flagellates for more than 40 million years, is not simply a subset of the genes present in Endomicrobium proavitum, a member of the ancestral, free-living lineage. Rather, comparative genomics revealed that the endosymbionts possess several relevant functions that were either prerequisites for colonization of the intracellular habitat or might have served to compensate for genes losses that occurred during genome erosion. Some gene sets found only in the endosymbiont were apparently acquired by horizontal transfer from other gut bacteria, which suggests that the intracellular bacteria of flagellates are not entirely cut off from gene flow.

PMID: 28646115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Staphylococcus aureus Strain Newman Photoinactivation and Cellular Response to Sunlight Exposure.
Related Articles Staphylococcus aureus Strain Newman Photoinactivation and Cellular Response to Sunlight Exposure. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17): Authors: McClary JS, Sassoubre LM, Boehm AB Abstract Sunlight influences microbial water quality of surface waters. Previous studies have investigated photoinactivation mechanisms and cellular photostress responses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), including Escherichia coli and enterococci, but further work is needed to characterize photostress responses of bacterial pathogens. Here we investigate the photoinactivation of Staphylococcus aureus (strain Newman), a pigmented, waterborne pathogen of emerging concern. We measured photodecay using standard culture-based assays and cellular membrane integrity and investigated photostress response by measuring the relative number of mRNA transcripts of select oxidative stress, DNA repair, and metabolism genes. Photoinactivation experiments were performed in both oxic and anoxic systems to further investigate the role of oxygen-mediated and non-oxygen-mediated photoinactivation mechanisms. S. aureus lost culturability much faster in oxic systems than in anoxic systems, indicating an important role for oxygen in photodecay mechanisms. S. aureus cell membranes were damaged by sunlight exposure in anoxic systems but not in oxic systems, as measured by cell membrane permeability to propidium iodide. After sunlight exposure, S. aureus increased expression of a gene coding for methionine sulfoxide reductase after 12 h of sunlight exposure in the oxic system and after 6 h of sunlight exposure in the anoxic system, suggesting that methionine sulfoxide reductase is an important enzyme for defense against both oxygen-dependent and oxygen-independent photostresses. This research highlights the importance of oxygen in bacterial photoinactivation in environmentally relevant systems and the complexity of the bacterial photostress response with respect to cell structure and transcriptional regulation.IMPORTANCEStaphylococcus aureus is a pathogenic bacterium that causes gastrointestinal, respiratory, and skin infections. In severe cases, S. aureus infection can lead to life-threatening diseases, including pneumonia and sepsis. Cases of community-acquired S. aureus infection have been increasing in recent years, pointing to the importance of considering S. aureus transmission pathways outside the hospital environment. Associations have been observed between recreational water contact and staphylococcal skin infections, suggesting that recreational waters may be an important environmental transmission pathway for S. aureus However, prediction of human health risk in recreational waters is hindered by incomplete knowledge of pathogen sources, fate, and transport in this environment. This study is an in-depth investigation of the inactivation of a representative strain of S. aureus by sunlight exposure, one of the most important factors controlling the fate of microbial contaminants in clear waters, which will improve our ability to predict water quality changes and human health risk in recreational waters. PMID: 28646114 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] [...]



CRISPR-Cas12a-Assisted Recombineering in Bacteria.
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CRISPR-Cas12a-Assisted Recombineering in Bacteria.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Yan MY, Yan HQ, Ren GX, Zhao JP, Guo XP, Sun YC

Abstract
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-Cas12a (Cpf1) has emerged as an effective genome editing tool in many organisms. Here, we developed and optimized a CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering system to facilitate genetic manipulation in bacteria. Using this system, point mutations, deletions, insertions, and gene replacements can be easily generated on the chromosome or native plasmids in Escherichia coli, Yersinia pestis, and Mycobacterium smegmatis Because CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering does not require introduction of an antibiotic resistance gene into the chromosome to select for recombinants, it is an efficient approach for generating markerless and scarless mutations in bacteria.IMPORTANCE The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been widely used to facilitate genome editing in many bacteria. CRISPR-Cas12a (Cpf1), a new type of CRISPR-Cas system, allows efficient genome editing in bacteria when combined with recombineering. Cas12a and Cas9 recognize different target sites, which allows for more precise selection of the cleavage target and introduction of the desired mutation. In addition, CRISPR-Cas12a-assisted recombineering can be used for genetic manipulation of plasmids and plasmid curing. Finally, Cas12a-assisted recombineering in the generation of point mutations, deletions, insertions, and replacements in bacteria has been systematically analyzed. Taken together, our findings will guide efficient Cas12a-mediated genome editing in bacteria.

PMID: 28646112 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




A Bacillus paralicheniformis Iron-Containing Urease Reduces Urea Concentrations in Rice Wine.
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A Bacillus paralicheniformis Iron-Containing Urease Reduces Urea Concentrations in Rice Wine.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Liu Q, Chen Y, Yuan M, Du G, Chen J, Kang Z

Abstract
Urease, a nickel-containing metalloenzyme, was the first enzyme to be crystallized and has a prominent position in the history of biochemistry. In the present study, we identified a nickel urease gene cluster, ureABCEFGDH, in Bacillus paralicheniformis ATCC 9945a and characterized it in Escherichia coli Enzymatic assays demonstrate that this oxygen-stable urease is also an iron-containing acid urease. Heterologous expression assays of UreH suggest that this accessory protein is involved in the transmembrane transportation of nickel and iron ions. Moreover, this iron-containing acid urease has a potential application in the degradation of urea in rice wine. The present study not only enhances our understanding of the mechanism of activation of urease but also provides insight into the evolution of metalloenzymes.IMPORTANCE An iron-containing, oxygen-stable acid urease from B. paralicheniformis ATCC 9945a with good enzymatic properties was characterized. This acid urease shows activities toward both urea and ethyl carbamate. After digestion with 6 U/ml urease, approximately 92% of the urea in rice wine was removed, suggesting that this urease has great potential in the food industry.

PMID: 28646111 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Structures, Compositions, and Activities of Live Shewanella Biofilms Formed on Graphite Electrodes in Electrochemical Flow Cells.
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Structures, Compositions, and Activities of Live Shewanella Biofilms Formed on Graphite Electrodes in Electrochemical Flow Cells.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Kitayama M, Koga R, Kasai T, Kouzuma A, Watanabe K

Abstract
An electrochemical flow cell equipped with a graphite working electrode (WE) at the bottom was inoculated with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 expressing an anaerobic fluorescent protein, and biofilm formation on the WE was observed over time during current generation at WE potentials of +0.4 and 0 V (versus standard hydrogen electrodes), under electrolyte-flow conditions. Electrochemical analyses suggested the presence of unique electron-transfer mechanisms in the +0.4-V biofilm. Microscopic analyses revealed that, in contrast to aerobic biofilms, current-generating biofilm (at +0.4 V) was thin and flat (∼10 μm in thickness), and cells were evenly and densely distributed in the biofilm. In contrast, cells were unevenly distributed in biofilm formed at 0 V. In situ fluorescence staining and biofilm recovery experiments showed that the amounts of extracellular polysaccharides (EPSs) in the +0.4-V biofilm were much smaller than those in the aerobic and 0-V biofilms, suggesting that Shewanella cells suppress the production of EPSs at +0.4 V under flow conditions. We suggest that Shewanella cells perceive electrode potentials and modulate the structure and composition of biofilms to efficiently transfer electrons to electrodes.IMPORTANCE A promising application of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) is to save energy in wastewater treatment. Since current is generated in these MFCs by biofilm microbes under horizontal flows of wastewater, it is important to understand the mechanisms for biofilm formation and current generation under water-flow conditions. Although massive work has been done to analyze the molecular mechanisms for current generation by model exoelectrogenic bacteria, such as Shewanella oneidensis, limited information is available regarding the formation of current-generating biofilms over time under water-flow conditions. The present study developed electrochemical flow cells and used them to examine the electrochemical and structural features of current-generating biofilms under water-flow conditions. We show unique features of mature biofilms actively generating current, creating opportunities to search for as-yet-undiscovered current-generating mechanisms in Shewanella biofilms. Furthermore, information provided in the present study is useful for researchers attempting to develop anode architectures suitable for wastewater treatment MFCs.

PMID: 28625998 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Different Amplicon Targets for Sequencing-Based Studies of Fungal Diversity.
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Different Amplicon Targets for Sequencing-Based Studies of Fungal Diversity.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: De Filippis F, Laiola M, Blaiotta G, Ercolini D

Abstract
Target-gene amplicon sequencing is the most exploited high-throughput sequencing application in microbial ecology. The targets are taxonomically relevant genes, with 16S rRNA being the gold standard for bacteria. As for fungi, the most commonly used target is the internal transcribed spacer (ITS). However, the uneven ITS length among species may promote preferential amplification and sequencing and incorrect estimation of their abundance. Therefore, the use of different targets is desirable. We evaluated the use of three different target amplicons for the characterization of fungal diversity. After an in silico primer evaluation, we compared three amplicons (the ITS1-ITS2 region [ITS1-2], 18S ribosomal small subunit RNA, and the D1/D2 domain of the 26S ribosomal large subunit RNA), using biological samples and a mock community of common fungal species. All three targets allowed for accurate identification of the species present. Nevertheless, high heterogeneity in ITS1-2 length was found, and this caused an overestimation of the abundance of species with a shorter ITS, while both 18S and 26S amplicons allowed for more reliable quantification. We demonstrated that ITS1-2 amplicon sequencing, although widely used, may lead to an incorrect evaluation of fungal communities, and efforts should be made to promote the use of different targets in sequencing-based microbial ecology studies.IMPORTANCE Amplicon-sequencing approaches for fungi may rely on different targets affecting the diversity and abundance of the fungal species. An increasing number of studies will address fungal diversity by high-throughput amplicon sequencing. The description of the communities must be accurate and reliable in order to draw useful insights and to address both ecological and biological questions. By analyzing a mock community and several biological samples, we demonstrate that using different amplicon targets may change the results of fungal microbiota analysis, and we highlight how a careful choice of the target is fundamental for a thorough description of the fungal communities.

PMID: 28625991 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Bioavailability of Carbohydrate Content in Natural and Transgenic Switchgrasses for the Extreme Thermophile Caldicellulosiruptor bescii.
Related Articles Bioavailability of Carbohydrate Content in Natural and Transgenic Switchgrasses for the Extreme Thermophile Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17): Authors: Zurawski JV, Khatibi PA, Akinosho HO, Straub CT, Compton SH, Conway JM, Lee LL, Ragauskas AJ, Davison BH, Adams MWW, Kelly RM Abstract Improving access to the carbohydrate content of lignocellulose is key to reducing recalcitrance for microbial deconstruction and conversion to fuels and chemicals. Caldicellulosiruptor bescii completely solubilizes naked microcrystalline cellulose, yet this transformation is impeded within the context of the plant cell wall by a network of lignin and hemicellulose. Here, the bioavailability of carbohydrates to C. bescii at 70°C was examined for reduced lignin transgenic switchgrass lines COMT3(+) and MYB Trans, their corresponding parental lines (cultivar Alamo) COMT3(-) and MYB wild type (WT), and the natural variant cultivar Cave-in-Rock (CR). Transgenic modification improved carbohydrate solubilization by C. bescii to 15% (2.3-fold) for MYB and to 36% (1.5-fold) for COMT, comparable to the levels achieved for the natural variant, CR (36%). Carbohydrate solubilization was nearly doubled after two consecutive microbial fermentations compared to one microbial step, but it never exceeded 50% overall. Hydrothermal treatment (180°C) prior to microbial steps improved solubilization 3.7-fold for the most recalcitrant line (MYB WT) and increased carbohydrate recovery to nearly 50% for the least recalcitrant lines [COMT3(+) and CR]. Alternating microbial and hydrothermal steps (T→M→T→M) further increased bioavailability, achieving carbohydrate solubilization ranging from 50% for MYB WT to above 70% for COMT3(+) and CR. Incomplete carbohydrate solubilization suggests that cellulose in the highly lignified residue was inaccessible; indeed, residue from the T→M→T→M treatment was primarily glucan and inert materials (lignin and ash). While C. bescii could significantly solubilize the transgenic switchgrass lines and natural variant tested here, additional or alternative strategies (physical, chemical, enzymatic, and/or genetic) are needed to eliminate recalcitrance.IMPORTANCE Key to a microbial process for solubilization of plant biomass is the organism's access to the carbohydrate content of lignocellulose. Economically viable routes will characteristically minimize physical, chemical, and biological pretreatment such that microbial steps contribute to the greatest extent possible. Recently, transgenic versions of plants and trees have been developed with the intention of lowering the barrier to lignocellulose conversion, with particular focus on lignin content and composition. Here, the extremely thermophilic bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor bescii was used to solubilize natural and genetically modified switchgrass lines, with and without the aid of hydrothermal treatment. For lignocellulose conversion, it is clear that the microorganism, plant biomass substrate, and processing steps must all be considered simultaneously to achieve optimal results. Whether switchgrass lines engineered for low lignin or natural variants with desirable properties are used, conversion will depend on microbial access to crystalline cellulose in the plant cell wall. PMID: 28625990 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] [...]



Modification of a Pollen Trap Design To Capture Airborne Conidia of Entomophaga maimaiga and Detection of Conidia by Quantitative PCR.
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Modification of a Pollen Trap Design To Capture Airborne Conidia of Entomophaga maimaiga and Detection of Conidia by Quantitative PCR.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Bittner TD, Hajek AE, Liebhold AM, Thistle H

Abstract
The goal of this study was to develop effective and practical field sampling methods for quantification of aerial deposition of airborne conidia of Entomophaga maimaiga over space and time. This important fungal pathogen is a major cause of larval death in invasive gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) populations in the United States. Airborne conidia of this pathogen are relatively large (similar in size to pollen), with unusual characteristics, and require specialized methods for collection and quantification. Initially, dry sampling (settling of spores from the air onto a dry surface) was used to confirm the detectability of E. maimaiga at field sites with L. dispar deaths caused by E. maimaiga, using quantitative PCR (qPCR) methods. We then measured the signal degradation of conidial DNA on dry surfaces under field conditions, ultimately rejecting dry sampling as a reliable method due to rapid DNA degradation. We modified a chamber-style trap commonly used in palynology to capture settling spores in buffer. We tested this wet-trapping method in a large-scale (137-km) spore-trapping survey across gypsy moth outbreak regions in Pennsylvania undergoing epizootics, in the summer of 2016. Using 4-day collection periods during the period of late instar and pupal development, we detected variable amounts of target DNA settling from the air. The amounts declined over the season and with distance from the nearest defoliated area, indicating airborne spore dispersal from outbreak areas.IMPORTANCE We report on a method for trapping and quantifying airborne spores of Entomophaga maimaiga, an important fungal pathogen affecting gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) populations. This method can be used to track dispersal of E. maimaiga from epizootic areas and ultimately to provide critical understanding of the spatial dynamics of gypsy moth-pathogen interactions.

PMID: 28625988 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Metabolic Engineering of Actinobacillus succinogenes Provides Insights into Succinic Acid Biosynthesis.
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Metabolic Engineering of Actinobacillus succinogenes Provides Insights into Succinic Acid Biosynthesis.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17):

Authors: Guarnieri MT, Chou YC, Salvachúa D, Mohagheghi A, St John PC, Peterson DJ, Bomble YJ, Beckham GT

Abstract
Actinobacillus succinogenes, a Gram-negative facultative anaerobe, exhibits the native capacity to convert pentose and hexose sugars to succinic acid (SA) with high yield as a tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediate. In addition, A. succinogenes is capnophilic, incorporating CO2 into SA, making this organism an ideal candidate host for conversion of lignocellulosic sugars and CO2 to an emerging commodity bioproduct sourced from renewable feedstocks. In this work, we report the development of facile metabolic engineering capabilities in A. succinogenes, enabling examination of SA flux determinants via knockout of the primary competing pathways-namely, acetate and formate production-and overexpression of the key enzymes in the reductive branch of the TCA cycle leading to SA. Batch fermentation experiments with the wild-type and engineered strains using pentose-rich sugar streams demonstrate that the overexpression of the SA biosynthetic machinery (in particular, the enzyme malate dehydrogenase) enhances flux to SA. Additionally, removal of competitive carbon pathways leads to higher-purity SA but also triggers the generation of by-products not previously described from this organism (e.g., lactic acid). The resultant engineered strains also lend insight into energetic and redox balance and elucidate mechanisms governing organic acid biosynthesis in this important natural SA-producing microbe.IMPORTANCE Succinic acid production from lignocellulosic residues is a potential route for enhancing the economic feasibility of modern biorefineries. Here, we employ facile genetic tools to systematically manipulate competing acid production pathways and overexpress the succinic acid-producing machinery in Actinobacillus succinogenes Furthermore, the resulting strains are evaluated via fermentation on relevant pentose-rich sugar streams representative of those from corn stover. Overall, this work demonstrates genetic modifications that can lead to succinic acid production improvements and identifies key flux determinants and new bottlenecks and energetic needs when removing by-product pathways in A. succinogenes metabolism.

PMID: 28625987 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




Indole-Induced Reversion of Intrinsic Multiantibiotic Resistance in Lysobacter enzymogenes.
Related Articles Indole-Induced Reversion of Intrinsic Multiantibiotic Resistance in Lysobacter enzymogenes. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2017 Sep 01;83(17): Authors: Han Y, Wang Y, Yu Y, Chen H, Shen Y, Du L Abstract Lysobacter species are a group of environmental bacteria that are emerging as a new source of antibiotics. One characteristic of Lysobacter is intrinsic resistance to multiple antibiotics, which had not been studied. To understand the resistance mechanism, we tested the effect of blocking two-component regulatory systems (TCSs) on the antibiotic resistance of Lysobacter enzymogenes, a prolific producer of antibiotics. Upon treatment with LED209, an inhibitor of the widespread TCS QseC/QseB, L. enzymogenes produced a large amount of an unknown metabolite that was barely detectable in the untreated culture. Subsequent structural elucidation by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) unexpectedly revealed that the metabolite was indole. Indole production was also markedly induced by adrenaline, a known modulator of QseC/QseB. Next, we identified two TCS genes, L. enzymogenesqseC (Le-qseC) and Le-qseB, in L. enzymogenes and found that mutations of Le-qseC and Le-qseB also led to a dramatic increase in indole production. We then chemically synthesized a fluorescent indole probe that could label the cells. While the Le-qseB (cytoplasmic response regulator) mutant was clearly labeled by the probe, the Le-qseC (membrane sensor) mutant was not labeled. It was reported previously that indole can enhance antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Therefore, we tested if the dramatic increase in the level of indole production in L. enzymogenes upon blocking of Le-qseC and Le-qseB would lead to enhanced antibiotic resistance. Surprisingly, we found that indole caused the intrinsically multiantibiotic-resistant bacterium L. enzymogenes to become susceptible. Point mutations at conserved amino acids in Le-QseC also led to antibiotic susceptibility. Because indole is known as an interspecies signal, these findings may have implications.IMPORTANCE The environmental bacterium Lysobacter is a new source of antibiotic compounds and exhibits intrinsic antibiotic resistance. Here, we found that the inactivation of a two-component regulatory system (TCS) by an inhibitor or by gene deletion led to a remarkable increase in the level of production of a metabolite in L. enzymogenes, and this metabolite was identified to be indole. We chemically synthesized a fluorescent indole probe and found that it could label the wild type and a mutant of the TCS cytoplasmic response regulator but not a mutant of the TCS membrane sensor. Indole treatment caused the intrinsically multidrug-resistant bacterium L. enzymogenes to be susceptible to antibiotics. Mutations of the TCS sensor also led to antibiotic susceptibility. Because indole is known as an interspecies signal between gut microbiota and mammalian hosts, the observation that indole could render intrinsically resistant L. enzymogenes susceptible to common antibiotics may have implications. PMID: 28625984 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] [...]