FEMS Microbiology Letters (FEMS MICROBIOL LETT )

Publisher: Federation of European Microbiological Societies, Blackwell Publishing


FEMS Microbiology Letters publishes original articles and MiniReviews on all aspects of microbiology except virology (other than bacteriophages). The Editors give priority to concise papers that merit urgent publication by virtue of their originality, general interest and their contribution to new developments in microbiology. Areas of special interest include: molecular biology and genetics; genomics; microbial biochemistry and physiology; structure and development; pathogenicity; medical and veterinary microbiology; plant-microbial interactions; applied microbiology and microbial biotechnology; systematics, genomics and bioinformatics. Papers can deal with any sort of microorganisms: bacteria and bacteriophage, filamentous fungi and yeasts, or protozoa.

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    FEMS microbiology letters, Federation of European Microbiological Societies microbiology letters, Microbiology letters, FEMS microbiology ecology, FEMS microbiology reviews, FEMS microbiology index, FEMS microbiology immunology
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Blackwell Publishing

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    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A rapid, high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis protocol was developed to detect sequence variations associated with resistance to the QoIs, benzimidazoles and dicarboximides in Botrytis cinerea airborne inoculum. HRM analysis was applied directly in fungal DNA collected from air samplers with selective medium. Three and five different genotypes were detected and classified according to their melting profiles in BenA and bos1 genes associated with resistance to benzimidazoles and dicarboximides, respectively. The sensitivity of the methodology was evident in the case of the QoIs, where genotypes varying either by a single nucleotide polymorphism or an additional 1205 bp intron were separated accurately with a single pair of primers. The developed two-step protocol was completed in 82 minutes and showed reduced variation in the melting curves’ formation. HRM analysis rapidly detected the major mutations found in greenhouse strains providing accurate data for successfully controlling grey mould.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 09/2014; In press.
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    ABSTRACT: Osmoadaptation may be an important trait for the pathogenicity of Streptococcus mutans. However, how this organism adapts to changes in osmolality in the oral cavity remains unclear. In this study, we showed that S. mutans utilizes K+ for osmoadaptation, in which protease maturation lipoprotein (PrtM) plays an important role. Although growth of the wild‐type strain was impaired in a hyperosmotic medium [brain heart infusion (BHI) containing 0.3 M NaCl] compared with that in an unmodified BHI, the prtM mutant grew much more poorly in 0.3 M NaCl BHI. Comparison of growth behavior in the hyperosmotic medium supplemented with different osmoprotectants revealed that only the addition of K+ allowed the bacteria to overcome the impairment of growth caused by the high osmolality. These results suggest that K+ is an important compatible solute for S. mutans. Moreover, K+‐associated recovery of growth was not observed for the prtM mutant, indicating that PrtM plays a critical role in the utilization of K+. Quantitative reverse‐transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that prtM was induced by osmotic stress, implying that prtM is an osmoresponsive gene. These findings suggest that K+ is an important compatible solute for S. mutans, and that the osmoresponsive lipoprotein PrtM is involved in K+ utilization, contributing to osmoadaptation of S. mutans. A putative lipoprotein PrtM plays a critical role in osmoadaptation using K+ in Streptococcus mutans.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 07/2014; 356(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Bioinformatic and electron microscopy analyses indicate that the composition of the B. megaterium QM B1551 spore coat is likely to differ substantially from other Bacillus species. We report here on the identification and characterisation of novel B. megaterium proteins that appear to be abundant in the spore coat. All three proteins, encoded by loci BMQ_0737, BMQ_3035 and BMQ_4051, were identified by proteomic analysis of alkaline-detergent extracts from mature spores. Putative spore coat proteins were characterised by transcriptional, reporter-fusion and mutagenesis analyses supported by fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. These analyses revealed that BMQ_0737 is a novel morphogenetic protein that is required for the correct assembly of the B. megaterium outer spore coat and exosporium, both of which are structurally compromised or missing in BMQ_0737 null mutant spores. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Rapid detection of yeast contamination is important in the food industry. We have developed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assays to detect the emerging opportunistic pathogenic yeasts: Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, the Candida parapsilosis group, Trichosporon asahii and Trichosporon mucoides. These yeasts may cause deep-seated candidiasis or trichosporonosis. Four LAMP primer sets specific for Candida were designed to target the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region between the 5.8S and 26S rRNA genes, and two LAMP primer sets specific for Trichosporon were designed to target the intergenic spacer 1 (IGS1) region between the 26S and 5S rRNA genes. The LAMP assays could detect these yeasts in a range between 10(0) and 10(3) cells mL(-1) in a contaminated dairy product within 1 hour. We also developed multiplex LAMP assays to detect these Candida or Trichosporon species in a single reaction. Multiplex LAMP assays can detect contamination if at least one of the target species is present; they are more time- and cost-efficient than conventional methods, and could detect target yeasts with sensitivity close to that of the LAMP assays. Multiplex LAMP assays established in this study can be used as a primary screening method for yeast contamination in food products. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we show that integration host factor protein (IHF) is required for replication of pYGK plasmids in A. actinomycetemcomitans. YGK plasmids were not replicated in A. actinomycetemcomitans strains lacking either the α- or β- subunit of IHF. However, the deletion mutants were complemented and plasmid replication was restored when the promoter region and gene for either ihfA or ihfB was cloned into pYGK. We also identified two motifs that resemble the consensus IHF binding site in a 813-bp fragment containing the pYGK origin of replication. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, purified IHFα-IHFβ protein complex was shown to bind to probes containing either of these motifs. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing that plasmid replication is IHF-dependent in the family Pasteurellaceae. In addition, using site-direct mutagenesis, the XbaI and KpnI restriction sites in the suicide vector pJT1 were modified to generate plasmid pJT10. The introduction of these new unique sites in pJT10 facilitates the transfer of transcriptional or translational lacZ fusion constructs for the generation of single-copy chromosomal insertion of the reporter construct. Plasmid pJT10 and its derivatives will be useful for genetic studies in Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) and probably other genera of Pasteurellaceae, including Haemophilus, Pasteurella and Mannheimia. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 06/2014;
  • FEMS Microbiology Letters 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus HB27 is known for its highly efficient natural transformation system, which has become a model system to study the structure and function of DNA transporter in thermophilic bacteria. The DNA transporter is functionally linked to type IV pili (T4P), which are essential for twitching motility and adhesion to solid surfaces. However, the pilus structures themselves are dispensable for natural transformation. Here we report that the cellular mRNA level of the major structural subunit of the T4P, PilA4, is regulated by environmental factors. Growth of T. thermophilus in minimal medium or low temperature (55°C) leads to a significant increase in pilA4 transcripts. In contrast, the transcript levels of the minor pilin pilA1 as well as other T4P genes are nearly unaffected. The elevated pilA4 mRNA levels are accompanied by an increase in piliation of the cells but not by elevated natural transformation frequencies. Hyperpiliation leads to increased adhesion to plastic surfaces. The increased cell-surface interactions are suggested to represent an adaptive response to temperature stress and may be advantageous for survival of T. thermophilus. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial communication via the secretion of small diffusible compounds allows microbes to regulate gene expression in a coordinated manner. As many virulence traits are regulated in this fashion, disruption of chemical communication has been proposed as novel antimicrobial therapy. Quorum-quenching enzymes have been a promising discovery in this field as they interfere with the communication of Gram-negative bacteria. AHL-lactonases and AHL-acylases have been described in a variety of bacterial strains; however, usually only one of these two groups of enzymes has been described in a single species. We report here the presence of a member of each group of enzymes in the extremophile bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans. Co-occurrence of both enzymes in a single species increases the chance of inactivating foreign AHL signals under different conditions. We demonstrate that both enzymes are able to degrade the quorum-sensing molecules of various pathogens subsequently affecting virulence gene expression. These studies add the quorum-quenching enzymes of D. radiodurans to the list of potent quorum-quenchers and highlight the idea that quorum quenching could have evolved in some bacteria as a strategy to gain a competitive advantage by altering gene expression in other species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The polymerization of free nucleotides into new genetic elements by DNA polymerases in the absence of DNA, called ab initio DNA synthesis, is a little known phenomenon. DNA polymerases from prokaryotes can effectively synthesize long stretches of linear double‐stranded DNA in the complete absence of added primer and template DNAs. Ab initio DNA synthesis is extremely enhanced if a restriction endonuclease or nicking endonuclease is added to the reaction with DNA polymerase. The synthesized ab initio DNA have various tandem repeats. Sequences similar to those of ab initio DNA products are found in many natural genes. The significance of ab initio DNA synthesis is that genetic information can be created directly by protein. The ab initio DNA synthesis is considered a non‐specific synthesis in various DNA amplification techniques. In this review, we present the main studies devoted to this phenomenon and introduce possible mechanisms of this synthesis from our current knowledge. Ab initio DNA synthesis is a highly efficient DNA synthesis taking place in the absence of any added DNA. Incontrovertible evidence was obtained in the last decade.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2014; 351(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the probiotic effects of Lactobacillus strains against Vibrio parahaemolyticus causing gastroenteritis. Six‐week‐old ICR mice were pretreated with four Lactobacillus strains at three dosages, and then challenged with V. parahaemolyticus TGqx01 (serotype O3:K6). The results showed that V. parahaemolyticus TGqx01 caused severe intestinal fluid accumulation (FA) and villi damage in control mice which were pretreated with phosphate‐buffered saline. In contrast, significant alleviation of FA was seen in mice pretreated by with a high dose of Lactobacillus strains (P 0.05, n = 6) but not in mice that received low‐dose pretreatments. Among middle‐dose treatments, two highly adhesive strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus H15 and Lactobacillus brevis Y29‐4, significantly decreased intestinal FA and villi damage in treated mice (P 0.05). Two low‐adhesive strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus Y14‐3 and Lactobacillus fermentum F16‐6, had no significant alleviating effects. At the same dosing levels, no significant differences in FA were observed in mice pretreated with strains with similar adhesive abilities but different antagonistic activities. Our findings suggest that Lactobacillus strains can alleviate V. parahaemolyticus‐induced intestinal FA in mice, and the doses required for in vivo efficacy depend more on adhesive ability than on the antibacterial activity of strains.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2013; 339(1).
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    ABSTRACT: The Stenotrophomonas maltophilia k279a (Stm) Hex gene encodes a polypeptide of 785 amino acid residues, with an N‐terminal signal peptide. StmHex was cloned without signal peptide and expressed as an 83.6 kDa soluble protein in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). Purified StmHex was optimally active at pH 5.0 and 40 °C. The V max, K m and k cat/K m for StmHex towards chitin hexamer were 10.55 nkat (mg protein)−1, 271 μM and 0.246 s−1 mM−1, while the kinetic values with chitobiose were 30.65 nkat (mg protein)−1, 2365 μM and 0.082 s−1 mM−1, respectively. Hydrolytic activity on chitooligosaccharides indicated that StmHex was an exo‐acting enzyme and yielded N‐acetyl‐d‐glucosamine (GlcNAc) as the final product. StmHex hydrolysed chitooligosaccharides (up to hexamer) into GlcNAc within 60 min, suggesting that this enzyme has potential for use in large‐scale production of GlcNAc from chitooligosaccharides.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2013; 348(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Epichloë species and their anamorphic relatives in genus Neotyphodium are fungal symbionts of grasses ubiquitously existing in temperate regions all over the world. To date, 13 Epichloë species and 22 Neotyphodium species have been formally described, based on morphological characters and phylogenetic analyses. Leymus chinensis (Poaceae) is a dominant grass native to the Inner Mongolia steppe of China. Previously, it was reported to harbor endophytes, but little was known about these endophytes. To investigate their diversity and taxonomy, 96 fungal isolates were obtained from three field populations of L. chinensis. The isolates were classified into three morphotypes based on morphological characters and phylogenetic analyses of sequences of genes for β‐tubulin (tubB), translation elongation factor 1‐α (tefA), and actin (actG). The dominant morphotype, morphotype I, was identified as a choke disease endophyte, Epichloë bromicola. This broadened the host range and phylogenetic definition of E. bromicola.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2013; 340(2).

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