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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  • Other titles
    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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    Periodical, Internet resource
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    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

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Blackwell Publishing

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

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SXT/R391 family ICEs have been founds to express an unusual function that enhances bacterial cell death post-UV irradiation. Previous analysis of ICE R391 found four core SXT/R391 ICE genes to be involved - orf96, orf90, orf91 and orf43. These genes functioned as part of a UV-inducible pathway, where upon exposure to UV, the levels of the Orf43 protein, a TraV homolog which we propose naming TraVR391, was up-regulated, resulting in increased cell sensitisation. Here we examined the effect of orf43 over-expression and found it led to host cell permeabilisation. The inducing agent for orf43, UV irradiation, is also known to increase the ICE R391 extra-chromosomal form and apparent conjugative transfer rate. We demonstrated, via conjugative transfer deficient mutants, that orf43 over-expression alone restored a small level of ICE R391 transfer to recipient cells via an unknown mechanism other than conjugation. TraV homologs have been reported to function in conjugative transfer. However TraVR391 is the first homolog to also cause UV-associated cell sensitisation. TraVR391, when over-expressed must contain a unique adaptation or function which results in cell lysis and decreased survival. A hypothesis for retaining such a detrimental effect may be in its role of enhancing ICE survival upon cell damage.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the draft genome sequence from Aeromonas salmonicida sp. strain CBA100, which was characterized as an antibiotic-resistant bacterium isolated from infected rainbow trout. The total size of the genome is 4,788,109 bp., with a G+C content of 60.55%. Comparison of its ORF shows that the closest homologue to one third of the genes of strain CBA100 are found in Aeromonas hydrophila. The strain contains several efflux pumps, and putative genes that confer resistance to multi-class antibiotics, including macrolide, β-lactamics, florfenicol and quinolones. The antibiogram profile suggests that efflux pumps are the main mechanism of resistance to non β-lactamic antibiotics. This is the first genome of a Chilean isolate of Aeromonas salmonicida, which should shed light on the design of strain-specific vaccines against this pathogen and reduce the use of antibiotics for preventive treatment in Chilean aquaculture.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We announce the genome sequence for Xanthomonas species strain Nyagatare, isolated from beans showing unusual disease symptoms in Rwanda. This strain represents the first sequenced genome belonging to an as-yet undescribed Xanthomonas species known as Species-Level Clade 1. It has at least 100 kb of genomic sequence that shows little or no sequence similarity to other xanthomonads, including a unique lipopolysaccharide synthesis gene cluster. At least one genomic region appears to have been acquired from relatives of Agrobacterium or Rhizobium species. The genome encodes homologues of only three known type-three secretion system effectors: AvrBs2, XopF1 and AvrXv4. Availability of the genome sequence will facilitate development of molecular tools for detection and diagnostics for this newly discovered pathogen of beans and facilitate epidemiological investigations of a potential causal link between this pathogen and the disease outbreak.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Piscirickettsia salmonis is an aggressive fish pathogen that causes Piscirickettsiosis, a systemic disease that threatens the sustainability of salmon production in Chile. To date, the infection strategies of this bacterium are poorly characterized, a Dot/Icm Type IV Secretion System-homologue for intracellular multiplication and survival in macrophages is suggested. Since an invading pathogen and its host develop a complex interaction in which the pathogen strives to survive and replicate, while the host tries to eliminate infected cells and the invading pathogen, we decided to evaluate how the bacterium enters macrophages, its preferred target in vivo, and to follow its fate while struggling with its host using actin cytoskeleton as a molecular marker. We were able to demonstrate that clathrin is required for internalization and that actin cytoskeleton plays a demonstrative role throughout the infective process. Indeed, unlike other fish pathogens, P. salmonis fully exploits the actin monomers both from the disorganized cytoskeleton and an apparently pathogen-induced de novo synthesis of actin, generating tridimensional vacuoles that are increasingly detected at later stages of infection. We expect our results to contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of this important fish pathogen.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 12/2014; 362(2014):1-8.
  • FEMS Microbiology Letters 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Among other factors, a distinct gene redundancy is discussed to facilitate high metabolic versatility of rhodococci. Rhodococcus opacus 1CP is a typical member in that respect and degrades a multitude of (chlorinated) aromatic compounds. In contrast to the central pathways of aromatic degradation in strain 1CP little is known about the degree of gene redundancy and to what extent this is reflected on protein level within the steps of peripheral degradation. By means of degenerated primers deduced from tryptic peptides of a purified phenol hydroxylase component and by using the amplified fragment as a labelled probe against genomic 1CP-DNA, three gene sets encoding three different two-component phenol hydroxylases pheA1/pheA2(1-3) could be identified. One of them was found to be located on the megaplasmid p1CP which confirms the role of these elements for metabolic versatility. Protein chromatography of phenol- and 4-chlorophenol-grown 1CP-biomass gave first evidences on a functional expression of these oxygenases, which could be initially characterised in respect of their substrate specificity.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 10/2014;
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    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;
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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;