Microbiological Research

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The medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA(MCL)) synthase genes phaC1 and phaC2 of Pseudomonas mendocina NK-01 were cloned and inserted into expression plasmid pBBR1MCS-2 to form pBBR1MCS-C1 and pBBR1MCS-C2 which were expressed respectively in the PHA(MCL)-negative strain P. mendocina C7 whose PHA(MCL) synthesis operon was defined knock out. P. mendocina C7 derivatives P. mendocina C7C1 and C7C2 carrying pBBR1MCS-C1 and pBBR1MCS-C2 respectively were constructed. Fermentation and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) revealed that P. mendocina C7C1 had higher PHA(MCL) production rate but its PHA(MCL) had lower molecular weight than that of P. mendocina C7C2. Gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis revealed that the two PHA(MCL) had similarity in monomer composition with 3HD as the favorite monomer i.e. PhaC1 and PhaC2 had the same substrate specificity. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) also revealed that the two PHA(MCL) had the same physical properties. P. mendocina NK-01was the first reported strain whose PHA(MCL) synthases PhaC1 and PhaC2 had the same substrate specificity.
 
One strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to produce a bacteriocin-like substance in the culture filtrate. The substance was produced in a growth-associated manner, showed heat stability at neutral and acidic pH and exhibited antibacterial activity against various species of Lactobacillus including L. acidophilus itself. The molecular weight of the substance was in the range of 6.2-95 kDa. N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis suggests that the substance may belong to class IIb bacteriocin.
 
A batch culture of Geobacillus sp. NTU 03 was subjected to a rapid temperature shift for investigating the stress response. Several known heat-shock responses for protein, DNA, and cell membrane recurring were observed on two-dimensional (2D) gels. Heat caused protein and cell membrane disruption greatly affected the electron transport chain. Further, heat caused lower dissolved oxygen (DO) solubility resulting in insufficient oxygen to be electron acceptor, and the NADH could not be reoxidized. Hence, we observed seven dehydrogenase that used NADH as electron donor were downregulated on the 2D gels. In contrast, succinate dehydrogenase that used FADH(2) as electron donor was upregulated. However, this induction may simultaneously increase generation of superoxide; therefore the cellular redox state was imbalanced. We observed that superoxide dismutase (2D gel) and zinc ion ABC transporter (mRNA quantification) were upregulated, whereas ferric ion ABC transporter (2D gel and mRNA quantification) was downregulated. Increase in the reactive oxygen or nitrogen species scavenging activities were also observed. For responding the lower DO solubility, a transient activation of nitrate respiration was observed at transcriptional level. Our results support the view that both heat stress and heat-induced stress should be considered together when investigating the stress responses of thermophiles.
 
In this study, crude antimicrobial extract from the culture supernatant of Brevibacillus brevis FJAT-0809-GLX was extracted, and its antimicrobial activity was investigated with the agar diffusion method. The results showed that the antimicrobial activity of the culture supernatant of B. brevis FJAT-0809-GLX increased with the extension of the incubation time of B. brevis FJAT-0809-GLX. The antimicrobial spectrum assays showed that this crude antimicrobial extract from culture supernatant of B. brevis FJAT-0809-GLX could inhibit the growth of both bacteria and fungi. A heat stability test was performed, and different temperatures (30°C, 50°C and 70°C) did not affect the antibiotic activity of this crude antimicrobial extract. The crude antimicrobial extract was also tolerable to changes in pH levels. Its antibiotic activity against Escherichia coli was stable at pH 1 to pH 11, with zone sizes ranging from 18.46mm to 22.19mm. Almost all of the crude extracts extracted using different solvents showed variable degrees of inhibition zones against E. coli, with zone sizes ranging from 17.29mm to 19.62mm, except petroleum ether and butanol extracts, which were found to be completely inactive. Purification of the antimicrobial components was carried out using a column chromatographic technique with column chromatography grade silica gel and analyzed by an Agilent 7890A Network GC system. The separated compound was identified as ethylparaben, with a retention time of 21.980min and a relative amount of 95.50%. The antimicrobial activity of ethylparaben on different types of bacteria and fungi was investigated, and ethylparaben was shown to inhibit different types of microbes to different extents. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating that the bacterium B. brevis could produce ethylparaben. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
 
When Arthrobacter sp. BA-5-17 was grown on benzamide, the bacterium synthesized four different catechol 1,2-dioxygenase (CD, EC 1.13.11.1) isozymes (CD-I, II, III-1, and III-2). We purified each CD to homogeneity by a series of column chromatography. The molecular masses of the four CDs were between 68 and 72 kDa. The enzymes were made up of two identical subunits each with the molecular mass of 33 kDa. CD-I and II were indistinguishable in enzymatic properties tested. Most properties of CD-III-1 were similar to those of CD-III-2. However, CD-III-1 had a marked adsorption peak at 325 nm, which disappeared in CD-III-2 as well as in CD-I and II. CD-III-1 and III-2 were much more resistant to heating and inhibitors than CD-I and II.
 
Gentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (GDO, EC 1.13.11.4) is the first enzyme in gentisate pathway that catalyses the ring fission of gentisate to form maleylpyruvate. Phylogenetic tree of amino acid sequences from 11 GDOs demonstrates that the GDOs from different genus share identities between 12.1% and 64.8%. According to the alignment result, four highly conserved histidine residues in GDO from Klebsiella pneumoniae M5a1 and Ralstonia sp. strain U2 were chosen to be substituted with aspartate residues. Enzyme analysis indicated that substitution of any of these four histidine residues had resulted in the complete loss of its catalytic activity.
 
CTBT (7-chlorotetrazolo[5,1-c]benzo[1,2,4]triazine) is an antifungal and chemosensitizing agent that induces oxidative stress in yeast and filamentous fungi and enhances the cytotoxic activity of 5-fluorocytosine and azole antimycotics. This study reports the effect of CTBT on bacterial cells. CTBT inhibited the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species. The action of CTBT was bactericidal. In Escherichia coli, CTBT induced an increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as determined with a ROS specific probe 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate. In zone inhibition assays, bacterial cells were more sensitive to CTBT compared with paraquat, menadione and hydrogen peroxide. The deletion of oxidative stress related genes resulted in increased susceptibility of E. coli mutant strains to CTBT treatment. Exogenous antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, cysteine and glutathione exhibited a protective effect against the growth inhibition induced by CTBT. CTBT may be a useful tool in the studies of ROS generation, oxidant sensing and oxidative stress response in different bacterial species.
 
The regulation of the gene encoding the extracellular exo-beta-1,3-glucanase (tag83) produced by the mycoparasite Trichoderma asperellum was studied. Enzyme activity was detected in all carbon sources, but the highest levels were found when starch and purified cell walls from Rhizoctonia solani were used. These results are supported by the appearance of one strong band with enzyme activity in non-denaturing PAGE. Experiments using RT-PCR showed that exo-beta-1,3-glucanase induction in T. asperellum occurred at the transcriptional level. We used RT-PCR and real-time PCR analysis to examine the expression of tag83 gene during in vivo assay of T. asperellum against R. solani. We showed that the expression of tag83 is significantly increased by the presence of R. solani.
 
Quinoxaline is a chemical compound that presents a structure that is similar to quinolone antibiotics. The present work reports the study of the antimicrobial activity of quinoxaline N,N-dioxide and some derivatives against bacterial and yeast strains. The compounds studied were quinoxaline-1,4-dioxide (QNX), 2-methylquinoxaline-1,4-dioxide (2MQNX), 2-methyl-3-benzoylquinoxaline-1,4-dioxide (2M3BenzoylQNX), 2-methyl-3-benzylquinoxaline-1,4-dioxide (2M3BQNX), 2-amino-3-cyanoquinoxaline-1,4-dioxide (2A3CQNX), 3-methyl-2-quinoxalinecarboxamide-1,4-dioxide (3M2QNXC), 2-hydroxyphenazine-N,N-dioxide (2HF) and 3-methyl-N-(2-methylphenyl)quinoxalinecarboxamide-1,4-dioxide (3MN(2MF)QNXC). The prokaryotic strains used were Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, S. aureus ATCC 6538P, S. aureus ATCC 29213, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, E. coli S3R9, E. coli S3R22, E. coli TEM-1 CTX-M9, E. coli TEM-1, E. coli AmpC Mox-2, E. coli CTX-M2 e E. coli CTX-M9. The Candida albicans ATCC 10231 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae PYCC 4072 were used as eukaryotic strains. For the compounds that presented activity using the disk diffusion method, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined. The alterations of cellular viability were evaluated in a time-course assay. Death curves for bacteria and growth curves for S. cerevisiae PYCC 4072 were also accessed. The results obtained suggest potential new drugs for antimicrobial activity chemotherapy since the MIC's determined present low values and cellular viability tests show the complete elimination of the bacterial strain. Also, the cellular viability tests for the eukaryotic model, S. cerevisiae, indicate low toxicity for the compounds tested.
 
It has been reported that Ensifer meliloti presents a high proportion of monounsaturated fatty acids and has a putative desaturase gene designated as PhFAD12 (National Centre for Biotechnology Information), encoding a putative Δ12 desaturase-like protein. In this work, we report the desaturation capacity and characterisation of this gene encoding the putative fatty acid desaturase of E. meliloti 1021. This gene was also isolated from the rhizobial strain and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Compared to a control, the expression of this gene in the transformed strain decreased the levels of palmitic and stearic acids, enhanced palmitoleic and cis-vaccenic levels, and allowed for the detection of oleic acid. E. coli overexpressing the putative desaturase gene was capable of desaturating palmitic and stearic acids to monounsaturated fatty acids, similarly to the rhizobial strain. Our studies show that AAK64726 encodes a Δ9 desaturase instead of a Δ12 desaturase as previously indicated. This work describes evidence for the presence of a desaturase-mediated mechanism in monounsaturated fatty acid synthesis in E. meliloti 1021, which is modified by high growth temperature. This mechanism supplements the anaerobic mechanism for unsaturated fatty acid synthesis.
 
Hemoglobins (Hbs) have been characterized from a wide variety of eubacteria, but not from nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. Our search for Hb-like sequences in the Sinorhizobium meliloti genome revealed that a gene coding for a flavohemoglobin (fHb) exists in S. meliloti (SmfHb). Computer analysis showed that SmfHb and Alcaligenes eutrophus fHb are highly similar and could fold into the same tertiary structure. A FNR-like box was detected upstream of the smfhb gene and mapping analysis revealed that the smfhb gene is flanked by nos and fix genes. These observations suggest that smjhb is regulated by the concentration of O2 and that SmfHb functions in some aspects of nitrogen metabolism.
 
A new bacteriocin produced by Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. entomocidus was identified. The antibacterial activity termed entomocin 110 was produced starting at mid-logarithmic growth phase, reaching its maximum at the early and during stationary phase. The bacteriocin obtained from culture supernatant was inhibitory to several Gram-positive bacteria including Listeria monocytogenes, Paenibacillus larvae and other Bacillus species. Entomocin 110 was shown to be heat stable and resistant to pH variation and to organic solvents. The inhibitory activity was totally lost after proteinase K treatment, thereby revealing its proteinaceous nature. The mode of action of entomocin 110 was bactericidal and bacteriolytic. Upon partial purification with ammonium sulphate precipitation followed by butanol extraction, an active peptide with an apparent molecular weight of 4.8 kDa was identified. Cross inhibition tests with bacteriocin producer strains and plasmid profiles indicated that entomocin 110 is a new bacteriocin, which genetic determinants are probably harbored by the chromosome.
 
The influence of different carbon and nitrogen sources on the production of AK-111-81 nonpolyenic macrolide antibiotic by Streptomyces hygroscopicus 111-81 was studied. Substitution of glucose with lactose or glycerol significantly affected maximal antibiotic AK-111-81 productivity as the growth rate was close to that of the basal fermentation medium. Addition of ammonium succinate to the fermentation medium markedly increased the antibiotic productivity as the growth rate was low. Divalent ions as Mn2+, Cu2+, Fe2+ stimulated AK-111-81 antibiotic biosynthesis. These results allow us to develop a new fermentation medium showing 6-fold increase of AK-111-81 antibiotic formation compared with the basal fermentation medium.
 
Fusarium moniliforme NCIM 1276 produced pH dependent an extracellular polygalacturonase (PG) and pectate lyase (PL) at pH 5 and pH 8, respectively. In the extracellular medium about 20.3% PG and 54% of PL protein concentrations were present in the active state at pH 5 and pH 8, respectively, whereas in intracellularly, more than 86% of both protein contents remained in the active state at all pH tested. We found two possible reasons, end-product inhibition and effect of environmental pH on conformation of the proteins after their release into the medium. Additionally, in infected tomato and cauliflower plants, the fungus secreted similar proteins which were located near to the epidermal and vascular regions of the hypocotyls. In infected tissues, between 26.9% and to 41.5% of PG and only 0.84%-13.4% of PL protein concentrations were present in active state. Thus, the medium/cell sap pH and concentrations of substrate/end products seem to play an important role in fungal invasion during plant pathogenesis are discussed with current literature.
 
The effect of carbon source on the regulation of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic enzymes in the type strain of Pseudomonas fluorescens was investigated. The de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic enzyme activities were measured in P. fluorescens ATCC 13525 cells and in cells from an auxotroph deficient for orotate phosphoribosyltransferase activity where glucose or succinate served as the carbon source. Pyrimidine supplementation to the culture medium affected the biosynthetic enzyme activities in ATCC 13525 cells. Pyrimidine Limitation of the mutant strain indicated transcriptional regulation of the biosynthetic pathway by pyrimidines that was influenced by carbon source. Transcriptional regulation of pyrimidine synthesis in P. fluorescens appeared to be more highly regulated than was observed for the taxonomically related species Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Pseudomonas putida.
 
The effect of carbon source on the regulation of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic enzymes in Pseudomonas alcaligenes ATCC 14909 was investigated. The de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic enzymes were measured in extracts of P. alcaligenes ATCC 14909 cells and of cells from an auxotroph deficient for orotate phosphoribosyltransferase activity. Pyrimidine biosynthetic enzyme activities in ATCC 14909 were influenced by pyrimidine supplementation to the culture medium but not by the carbon source present. Pyrimidine limitation of the auxotroph elevated the de novo enzyme activities indicating that this pathway may be controlled at the transcriptional level by a pyrimidine-related compound. Its regulation seemed to be subject to less transcriptional control by a pyrimidine-related compound than what was observed in the closely related species Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes.
 
d-Aminoacylase catalyzes the conversion of N-acyl-d-amino acids to d-amino acids and fatty acids. The aim of this study was to identify the d-aminoacylase gene from Achromobacter xylosoxidans subsp. denitrificans ATCC 15173 and investigate the biochemical characterization of the enzyme. A previously uncharacterized d-aminoacylase gene (ADdan) from this organism was cloned and sequenced. The open reading frame (ORF) of ADdan was 1467bp in size encoding a 488-amino acid polypeptide. ADdan, with a high amino acid similarity to N-acyl-d-aspartate amidohydrolase from Alcaligenes A6, showed relatively low sequence similarities to other characterized d-aminoacylases. The recombinant ADdan protein was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) using pET-28a with a T7 promoter. The enzyme was purified in a single chromatographic step using nickel affinity gel column. The molecular mass of the expressed protein, calculated by SDS-PAGE, was about 52kDa. The purified ADdan showed optimal activity at pH 8.0 and 50°C, and was stable at pH 6.0-8.0 and up to 45°C. Its activity was inhibited by Cu(2+), Fe(2+), Ca(2+), Mn(2+), Ni(2+), Zn(2+) and Hg(2+), whereas Mg(2+) had no significant influence on this recombinant d-aminoacylase. This is the first report on the characterization of d-aminoacylase with activity towards both N-acyl derivatives of neutral d-amino acids and N-acyl-d-aspartate. The characteristics of ADdan could prove to be of interest in industrial production of d-amino acids.
 
A new insertion sequence element designated ISLdl1 has been isolated and characterized from Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis ATCC 15808. It is the first IS element of L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis described. ISLdl1 is a 1508 bp element flanked by 26 bp imperfect inverted repeats, and generates an 8 bp AT-rich target duplication upon insertion. It contains one ORF encoding a protein of 455 amino acids. This protein shows significant homology to the transposases of the ISL3 family and to other bacterial transposases and putative transposases, and no homology to other proteins. Based on these structural features, ISLdl1 belongs to the ISL3 family. ISLdl1 is present in about 10-12 copies in the genome of ATCC 15808 based on Southern hybridization analysis. Location sites of eight ISLdl1 copies have been determined in more detail by cloning and sequencing one or both of the flanking regions of each ISLdl1 copy. ISLdl1 or ISLdl1-like IS elements were found exclusively in Lactobacillus delbrueckii species and in all strains of subsp. lactis tested. The nucleotide sequence of ISLdl1 is deposited under the accession number AJ302652.
 
DNA-based stable isotope probing (SIP) is a novel technique for the identification of organisms actively assimilating isotopically labeled compounds. Herein, we define the limitations to using 15N-labeled substrates for SIP and propose modifications to compensate for these shortcomings. Changes in DNA buoyant density (BD) resulting from 15N incorporation were determined using cultures of disparate GC content (Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus). Incorporation of 15N into DNA increased BD by 0.015+/-0.002 g mL(-1) for E. coli and 0.013+/-0.002 g mL(-1) for M. luteus. The DNA BD shift was greatly increased (0.045 g mL(-1)) when dual isotope (13C plus 15N) labeling was employed. Despite the limited DNA BD shift following 15N enrichment, we found the use of gradient fractionation, followed by a comparison of T-RFLP profiles from fractions of labeled and control treatments, facilitated detection of enrichment in DNA samples from either cultures or soil.
 
Hydrogenase enzyme from the unicellular marine green alga Tetraselmis kochinensis NCIM 1605 was purified 467 fold to homogeneity. The molecular weight was estimated to be approximately 89kDa by SDS-PAGE. This enzyme consists of two subunits with molecular masses of approximately 70 and approximately 19kDa. The hydrogenase was found to contain 10g atoms of Fe and 1g of atom of Ni per mole of protein. The specific activity of hydrogen evolution was 50micromol H(2)/mg/h of enzyme using reduced methyl viologen as an electron donor. This hydrogenase enzyme has pI value approximately 9.6 representing its alkaline nature. The absorption spectrum of the hydrogenase enzyme showed an absorption peak at 425nm indicating that the enzyme had iron-sulfur clusters. The total of 16 cysteine residues were found per mole of enzyme under the denaturing condition and 20 cysteine residues in reduced denatured enzyme indicating that it has two disulfide bridges.
 
Seventy-five marine bacterial strains associated with four species of sponges (Echinodictyum sp., Spongia sp., Sigmadocia fibulatus and Mycale mannarensis) were isolated from the Tuticorin coast, Gulf of Mannar region. The agar-overlay method was used to screen for antibiotic production by these strains against four bacteria, viz., Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and Vibrio harveyi and one fungal pathogen, viz., Candida albicans. Twenty-one per cent of the bacterial strains were found to be antibiotic producers and their activities ranged from broad spectral to species specific. A strain coded SC3 was found to be highly potent and was mass cultured. The ethyl acetate extract of the culture broth was further fractionated by reverse phase HPLC and the active fraction identified. In addition, SC3 was subjected to morphological and physiological characterization. The results of the tests showed SC3 to be a Gram-positive rod, sporulating, motile, catalase and oxidase positive. Phylogenetic analysis based on comparative analysis of sequenced 16s rRNA of the active strains indicated a preponderance of bacteria belonging to Vibrio and Bacillus genera with 95-99% sequence similarities. To our knowledge this is the first report on phylogenetic identification of antibiotic producing bacteria associated with sponges from Indian waters.
 
Sponges harbor diverse prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes. However, the nature of sponge-fungal association and diversity of sponge-derived fungi have barely been addressed. In this study, the cultivation-dependent approach was applied to study fungal diversity in the Hawaiian sponges Gelliodes fibrosa, Haliclona caerulea, and Mycale armata. The cultivated fungal isolates were representatives of 8 taxonomic orders, belonging to at least 25 genera of Ascomycota and 1 of Basidiomycota. A portion of these isolates (n=15, 17%) were closely affiliated with fungal isolates isolated from other marine habitats; the rest of the isolates had affiliation with terrestrial fungal strains. Cultivated fungal isolates were classified into 3 groups: 'sponge-generalists'-found in all sponge species, 'sponge-associates'-found in more than one sponge species, and 'sponge-specialists'-found only in one sponge species. Individuals of G. fibrosa collected at two different locations shared the same group of 'sponge-specialists'. Also, representatives of 15 genera were identified for the first time in marine sponges. Large-scale phylogenetic analysis of sponge-derived fungi may provide critical information to distinguish between 'resident fungi' and 'transient fungi' in sponges as it has been done in other marine microbial groups. This is the first report of the host specificity analysis of culturable fungal communities in marine sponges.
 
The contamination of soil with aromatic compounds is of particular environmental concern as they exhibit carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. One of the methods of their removal from soil is bioaugmentation, defined as a technique for improvement of the degradative capacity of contaminated areas by introduction of specific competent strains or consortia of microorganisms. The efficiency of bioaugmentation is determined by many abiotic and biotic factors discussed in this paper. The first include chemical structure, concentration and availability of pollutants as well as physico-chemical properties of soil. In turn, among biotic factors the most important is the selection of proper microorganisms that can not only degrade contaminants but can also successfully compete with indigenous microflora. Several strategies are being developed to make augmentation a successful technology particularly in soils without degrading indigenous microorganisms. These approaches involve the use of genetically engineered microorganisms and gene bioaugmentation. The enhancement of bioaugmentation may be also achieved by delivering suitable microorganisms immobilized on various carriers or use of activated soil.
 
Streptococcus phocae, a bacterial pathogen of seals, could reliably be identified by PCR amplification using oligonucleotide primers designed according to species specific segments of the previously sequenced 16S rRNA gene and the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer region of this species. The PCR mediated assay allowed an identification of S. phocae isolated from harbor and gray seals and from Atlantic salmons. No cross-reaction could be observed with 13 different other streptococcal species and subspecies and with Lactococcus garvieae strains investigated for control purposes.
 
We analyzed 16S-23S internally transcribed spacer (ITS) and neighboring sequences among 37 strains belonging to the three major pathogenic Agrobacterium species, in order to know variation in each species and to develop a simple discrimination method. Number of ITS size variation was 9, 4, and 7 in Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Agrobacterium vitis, and Agrobacterium rhizogenes, respectively. The ITS sequence of most strains in each species was distinguishable from that of the other two species. The region surrounded by 16S rRNA gene and trn(Ala) contained information to distinguish between the ITS variants and was easy for sequencing. Intervening sequences (IVSs) in 23S rRNA gene were classified into short and long types in each species. Some long-type IVSs of A. vitis were very similar to that of A. tumefaciens, while the other long-type IVSs of A. vitis were very similar to that of A. rhizogenes. Two A. vitis strains simultaneously contained both types of IVS. Similarly, the two exceptional A. vitis strains possessed A. tumefaciens-type ITS in addition to A. vitis-type ITS. These results suggest horizontal transfer of rDNA and subsequent recombination. Among the three species, A. tumefaciens was most variable based on 16S rRNA gene, ITS and IVS sequences.
 
DGGE profiles of Acinetobacter-specific 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from soil DNA obtained from control and rhizosphere soils of wheat variety. (a) GW322 (Lane A: Control soil; Lane B: Rhizosphere soil at vegetative stage; Lane C: Rhizosphere soil at flowering stage; Lane D: Rhizosphere soil at maturation stage) and HI1535 (Lane E: Control soil; Lane F: Rhizosphere soil at vegetative stage; Lane G: Rhizosphere soil at flowering stage; Lane H: Rhizosphere soil at maturation stage); (b) Lokwan (Lane I: Control soil; Lane J: Rhizosphere soil at vegetative stage; Lane K: Rhizosphere soil at flowering stage; Lane M: Rhizosphere soil at maturation stage). Lanes L represent reference pattern (Band L1: Ac. radioresistens; Band L2: Ac. calcoaceticus; Band L3: Ac. veniatus RAG-1; Band L4: Ac. lwoffii; Band L5: Ac. haemolyticus; Band L6: Ac. baumannii; Band L7: Ac. junii). 
Acinetobacter species identified by BLAST analysis of sequences of bands eluted from DGGE gel.
Acinetobacter species obtained by culture-based approach along with its associated PGP traits.
Representative photographs depicting the effect of Acinetobacter strains on growth of wheat plants (a. Control; b. HIRFA32 and c. HIRFA37). 
Strains belonging to the genus Acinetobacter and their plant growth-promoting properties have been reported in the literature. However, there is a paucity of information on the diversity of Acinetobacter species associated with the wheat rhizosphere. In the present investigation, Acinetobacter species diversity was assessed in the rhizosphere of wheat from three agricultural fields where different varieties were cultivated. The Acinetobacter species diversity was assessed by DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) of 16S rRNA gene PCR products amplified from total soil DNA using genus-specific primers. Ac. calcoaceticus, Ac. baumannii, Ac. lwoffii, Ac. baylyi and Acinetobacter sp. were detected in the rhizosphere of wheat. Prevalence of Acinetobacter species in the rhizosphere of wheat was also investigated by a cultivation-dependent approach. Ac. calcoaceticus, Ac. baumannii, Ac. lwoffii and Acinetobacter sp. were isolated on selective media from the same samples. In vitro characterization of Acinetobacter isolates revealed that majority of these bacteria exhibited plant growth-promoting traits such as nitrogen fixation, siderophore production and mineral solubilization. These Acinetobacter strains may play a favorable role in plant growth promotion while residing in the rhizosphere of wheat.
 
Two degenerate 16S rDNA primers have been designed for broad-range identification of eubacteria by PCR and automated sequencing. Using a simple method, the primers have proven useful in identification of proteobacteria (Campylobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Helicobacter, Klebsiella), gram-positive bacteria (Mycobacterium, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus) and spirochetes (Borrelia) derived from clinical samples. In several cases, the samples could be identified at the species level.
 
In order to study microbial diversity in a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-impacted soil, 14 bacterial strains were analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. Bacterial strains isolated from two different hydrocarbon-polluted sites were identified to the species level by 16S rRNA full-gene sequencing using MicroSeq 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Their genome was subsequently analyzed by high-resolution genotyping with AFLP analysis, in order to monitor species variability and to differentiate closely related strains. Cluster analysis based on AFLP fingerprinting showed intra-specific polymorphism, even among strains with 100% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity. The results show that AFLP is a powerful, highly reproducible and discriminatory tool for revealing genetic relationships in bacterial populations. The ability to differentiate and track related closely microbes is fundamental for studying structure and dynamics of microbial communities in contaminated ecosystems.
 
Tarag is a characteristic fermented dairy product with rich microflora (especially lactic acid bacteria), developed by the people of Mongolian nationality in Inner Mongolia of China and Mongolia throughout history. One hundred and ninety-eight samples of Tarag were collected from scattered households in Eastern Inner Mongolia, and total of 790 isolates of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were isolated by traditional pure culture method. To identify these isolates and analyze their biodiversity, 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis and PCR-DGGE were performed respectively. The results showed that 790 isolates could be classified as 31 species and subspecies. Among these isolates, Lactobacillus helveticus (153 strains, about 19.4%), Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis (132 strains, about 16.7%) and Lactobacillus casei (106 strains, about 11.0%) were considered as the predominated species in the traditional fermented dairy products (Tarag) in Eastern Inner Mongolia. It was shown that the biodiversity of LAB in Tarag in Inner Mongolia was very abundant, and this traditional fermented dairy product could be considered as valuable resources for LAB isolation and probiotic selection.
 
A marine actinomycete, designated strain BM-17, was isolated from a sediment sample collected in the Arctic Ocean. The strain was identified as Nocardia dassonvillei based on morphological, cultural, physiological, biochemical characteristics, along with the cell wall analysis and 16S rDNA gene sequence analysis. A new secondary metabolite (1), N-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-2-phenazinamine (NHP), and six known antibiotics (2-7) have been isolated from the saline culture broth of the stain by sequentially purification over macroporous resin D101, silica gel, Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography and preparative HPLC after the stain was incubated in soy bean media at 28°C for 7days. The chemical structures of the compounds were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic analysis, including two-dimensional (2D) NMR and HR-ESI-MS data. The new compound showed significant antifungal activity against Candida albicans, with a MIC of 64μg/ml and high cancer cell cytotoxicity against HepG2, A549, HCT-116 and COC1 cells.
 
SDS–PAGE analysis on partially purified bacterial peptides (PPBPs). Twenty microliters of thuricin 17 (T17) and bacthuricin F4 (BF4) were loaded into wells. Lane M, low molecular weight marker; lane A, thuricin 17; lane B, bacthuricin F4. 
Non-denaturing polyacrylamide gels (12.5%) for defense-related enzymes in soybean leaves after treatment with bacteriocins. (A) Coomassie blue R-250 staining, (B) ascorbate-peroxidase (APX), (C) superoxide dismutase (SOD), and (D) polypenol oxidase (PPO) active staining. (1) Control (0 h), (2) Control (72 h), (3) thuricin 17 (72 h), and (4) bacthuricin F4 (72 h). M: molecular weights and R m : relative elec- trophoretic mobility. 
We have recently discovered a new class of bacteriocin (class IId) which stimulates plant growth in a way similar to Nod factors. Nod factors have been shown to provoke aspects of plant disease resistance. We investigated the effects of bacteriocins [thuricin 17 (T17) and bacthuricin F4 (BF4)] on the activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), guaiacol peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO). Bacteriocin solutions were fed into the cut stems of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr. cv. OAC Bayfield) seedlings at the first trifoliate stage. PAL activity in T17 treated leaves was the highest at 72h after treatment and was 75.5% greater than the control at that time. At 72h after treatment POD activities in T17 and BF4 treated leaves increased by 72.7 and 91.3%, respectively, as compared with the control treatment. APX activity was 52.3 and 49.6% respectively, greater than the control in T17 and BF4 treated leaves at 72h after treatment. SOD activity in T17 treated leaves was the highest at 72h after treatment and was 26.0% greater than the control at that time. SOD activity was 70.5 and 60.2% greater, respectively, than the control in T17 and BF4 treated leaves, at 72h. Using PAGE we found that one APX isozyme (28kDa isoform) showed the strongest induction in all bacteriocin treated leaves at 72h. Activity of the seven SOD isozymes was increased by both bacteriocins, relative to the control treatment. The 33kDa PPO isozyme was induced strongly by both bacteriocins, relative to the control treatment. These results indicate that class IId bacteriocins can act as an inducer of plant disease defense-related enzymes and may be acting through mechanisms similar to Nod factors.
 
Four decades of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivation in South Africa has resulted in the establishment of populations of bradyrhizobia against which the recently introduced inoculant strain CB 1809 must compete. Serological and DNA fingerprinting methods were used to study the diversity of nodule isolates from soils at Bergville, Koedoeskop and Morgenzon. Dominant serogroups included Bradyrhizobium elkanii serotype 76 at Bergville (67%), Bradyrhizobium japonicum serotype 123 at Morgenzon (81%) and B. japonicum serotype 135 at Koedoeskop (100%). Their origin is unknown as they do not correspond in serotype to strains used in previous inoculants. A small percentage of isolates from Bergville (13%) and Morgenzon (16%) were serologically homologous to strain WB 1 (serotype 31/76), applied for two decades before CB 1809 (serotype 122). Nitrogen-fixing effectiveness of CB 1809 was superior to 60% of the isolates tested from Bergville and Morgenzon, but similar to 73% of the Koedoeskop isolates. Seed and liquid-in-furrow application methods increased CB 1809 nodule occupancy at least three-fold above background levels at Bergville (pH 5.16) and Morgenzon (pH 6.33). Inoculation did not, however, increase CB 1809 nodule occupancy at Koedoeskop (pH 7.76), possibly because alkaline soil conditions favoured the serotype 135 population predominant at this site.
 
The complete genomic DNA sequence was determined for one of the gene for the elongation factor 1 alpha (TEF), isolated from the zygomycete Absidia glauca. Sequence comparison with TEF genes from other fungi show the highest similarity to TEF-genes of the closely related zygomycete Mucor racemosus (Sundstrom et al. 1987). Southern-blot analysis of genomic DNA from A. glauca with the TEF gene reveals six chromosomal copies in the genome. In transformation experiments of A. glauca, vector constructions were used which allow targeting of one of the TEF loci. Several transformants of A. glauca were analyzed at the DNA level. In most cases, rearranged forms of autonomously replicated plasmids could be found in these isolates. However, some transformants show a different restriction pattern of the TEF loci if compared with the parental strains. From Southern-blot data it could be concluded that in one case the rearrangement lies downstream of one TEF locus. In a second case genetic parts following the 3'-end of the TEF gene are moved towards the 5'-end of the gene.
 
The aim of this study was to explore if 2,2'-dithienyl diselenide (DTDS) pro-oxidant activity is related to its antibacterial and antifungal actions. The antimicrobial activity of DTDS against bacterial and fungal was investigated in the broth microdilution assay (3.02-387μg/ml). Additionally, the survival curve of microorganisms in the presence of DTDS (12.09-193.5μg/ml) was performed. The involvement of pro-oxidant activity in the DTDS antimicrobial action was investigated by supplementing the growth medium with 10mM glutathione or ascorbic acid in the disk diffusion technique (0.64-640μgDTDS/discs). The levels of reactive species (RS) induced by 25mM DTDS were also determined. The results demonstrated that DTDS was effective in preventing the Gram-positive bacteria and Candida albicans growth. The minimum inhibitory concentration, twice and half concentrations of DTDS confirmed that the activity of compound was bactericidal for some microorganisms (Enterococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus), bacteriostatic for Bacillus cereus and fungistatic for C. albicans. Antibacterial and antifungal actions of DTDS are related to the increase of reactive species levels. The presence of antioxidants in the growth medium avoided the DTDS antimicrobial action. In conclusion, DTDS showed promising antibacterial and antifungal actions, possibly related to its pro-oxidant activity.
 
Several mixed cultures able to grow on different aromatic hydrocarbons were obtained from different depths (between 3500 and 3660 m under the sea surface) of water/brine interfaces (1 to 5 m over the estimated brine surface) of three deep hypersaline anoxic basins (Urania, Discovery and Atalante) in the eastern Mediterranean sea. Eight strains which completely removed toluene from the medium in six to 10 days were isolated from one of the mixed cultures obtained from the Urania basin. The strains grew on toluene and yeast extract in the presence of NaCl concentrations of up to 50 and 100 g l(-1), respectively, indicating that they are halotolerant rather than halophilic. Even though DNA fingerprinting methods showed that the strains were strictly related, two groups could be found on the basis of the plasmid profile. Metabolic profiling and partial sequencing (350 bp) of the 16S rDNA showed that the strains were related to Pseudomonas mendocina. A 320 bp fragment of the catechol 2,3-dioxygenase gene from all the strains was aimplified by PCR. The sequence of the fragment showed 100% identity with xylE from pWW53 of Pseudomonas putida MT53 isolated from soil. Southern hybridisation experiments showed that catechol 2,3-dioxygenase is plasmid encoded.
 
The effect of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) application rate on microbial community structure and on the diversity of dominant 2,4-D degrading bacteria in an agricultural soil was examined using cultivation-independent molecular techniques coupled with traditional isolation and enumeration methods. Fingerprints of microbial communities established under increasing concentrations of 2,4-D (0-500 mg kg-1) in batch soil microcosms were obtained using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene segments. While a 2,4-D concentration of at least 100 mg kg-1 was required to obtain an apparent change in the community structure as visualized by DGGE, the greatest impact of 2,4-D concentration occurred in the 500 mg kg-1 treatment, resulting in significantly reduced diversity of the dominant populations and enrichment by Burkholderia-like populations. The greatest diversity of 2,4-D degrading isolates was cultivated from the 10 mg kg-1 treatment, indicating that under these conditions, cultivation was more sensitive than DGGE for detecting changes in community structure. Most of these isolates harbored homologs of Ralstonia eutrophus JMP134 and Burkholderia cepacia tfdA catabolic genes. Results from this study revealed that agriculturally relevant application rates of 2,4-D may provide a temporary selective advantage for organisms capable of utilizing 2,4-D as a carbon and energy source.
 
A gram-negative prototrophic bacterial species, strain MC1, was isolated from the vicinity of herbicide-contaminated building rubble and identified by 16S rDNA sequence analysis, its physiological properties, GC content, and fatty acid composition as Comamonas acidovorans. This strain displays activity for the productive degradation of the two enantiomers of dichlorprop [(RS)-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy-)propionate; (RS)-2,4-DP] and mecoprop [(RS)-2-(4-chloro-2-methyl-) phenoxypropionate; (RS)-MCPP] in addition phenoxyacetate herbicides, i.e. 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetate (2,4-D) and 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetate (MCPA), and various chlorophenols were utilized. Rates amounted to 1.2 mmoles/h g dry mass (2,4-D) and 2.7 mmoles/h g dry mass [(RS)-2,4-DP]. Degradation of (RS)-2,4-DP was not inhibited up to concentrations of 500 mg/l, nor of 2,4-D up to 200 mg/l. The optimum pH value of (RS)-2,4-DP degradation was around 8. The application of respective primers for PCR amplification revealed the presence of tfdB and tfdC genes.
 
Transgenic Pseudomonas fluorescens 5-2/4 with reinforced 2,4-diacetyl phloroglucinol (phl) production had shown increased biocontrol ability towards Pythium ultimum (Pu), but inferior root colonization ability compared to its wild type 5.014. Therefore, enhanced root colonization ability of the transgenic strain by repeated inoculation and reisolation on tomato plants was suggested. As a preparation for repeated inoculation and reisolation cycles, the construction of a negative control of the transgenic strain 5-2/4 by marking with lacZY and screening for a mutant possessing qualities comparable to 5-2/4 was performed. Morphologically, colonies of all of the 11 selected mutants were similar on MLXgal medium. The root colonization ability of two of the lacZY-marked strains (mutants 1 and 10) was comparable to the parental strain. These were also able to compete with the resident microflora of tomato seedlings to the same extent as the parental strain. Five mutants were excluded due to lower growth rates on Yeast Malt, King's B Medium (KB) and 0.1 Tryptic Soy Agar (mutant 4, 5 and 8), excessive growth and higher siderophore production on KB (mutant 10) and increased protease production (mutant 2). With respect to in vitro-antagonism of Pu, no differences could be found between the target strain and mutants 1, 3, 6, 7 and 9. Examination of sole carbon source utilization of these five lacZY-marked strains revealed a significantly higher utilization of alpha-D-lactose and lactulose compared to 5-2/4. However, significant differences could be found for 51% of the utilized carbon sources. Cluster analysis showed a high degree of similarity between 5-2/4 and mutant 1 both when analyzed with and without alpha-D-lactose. As mutant 1 also represented the colonization pattern most similar to the parental strain 5-2/4, it presents a presumptive subject for a negative control in the following inoculation and reisolation studies on tomato.
 
We have cloned a laccase gene fragment isolated from a Trametes versicolor strain in Korea. It showed high similarity in nucleotide sequences when compared with other fungal laccases. TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene), a widely used explosive, was transformed rapidly by T. versicolor. When TNT and its catabolic intermediates were added to the fungal culture, they were transformed during the first few hours and the expression level of the laccase gene was increased during the early stage of cultivation.
 
This study investigated infection levels with Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum in malt barley and wheat in eastern Croatia. The contamination was surveyed over three consecutive crop years (2001-2003) on five locations for barley and three wheat cultivating locations. F. graminearum loads reached levels of potentially serious threat for the commercial production of malting raw materials in both cereals (up to 29.1%). On the other hand, the mean percentage of kernels infected with F. culmorum was low to medium (up to 6.1%). The fungal invasions for years and locations were affected by meteorologic and other environmental factors and the pattern seemed to be consistent with species-specific optimal conditions reported by other authors.
 
We have studied the effect of medium components on spirosin production in Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 20016 to get some insight into the function of spirosome in Lactobacillus. Among those investigated, only potassium phosphate was found to influence the production of spirosin. Though it was not effective at concentrations lower than 0.6%, it promoted the spirosin production and its accumulation into culture medium in particular, at higher concentrations. The accumulation has been demonstrated to originate inthe release of spirosin due to the bacterial autolysis induced by the higher concentrations of potassium phosphate, The autolytic effect of potassium phosphate was assumed to be a concerted action by phosphate and potassium ions at the concentrations higher than 0.1 and 0.4 M, respectively. A possible role of spirosin as a sensor protein of bacterial two-component regulatory system was discussed.
 
An extracellular protease was produced under stress conditions of high temperature and high salinity by a newly isolated moderate halophile, Salinivibrio sp. strain AF-2004 in a basal medium containing peptone, beef extract, glucose and NaCl. A modification of Kunitz method was used for protease assay. The isolate was capable of producing protease in the presence of sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, potassium chloride, sodium acetate and sodium citrate. The maximum protease was secreted in the presence of 7.5 to 10% (w/v) sodium sulfate or 3% (w/v) sodium acetate (4.6 U ml(-1)). Various carbon sources including glucose, lactose, casein and peptone were capable of inducing enzyme production. The optimum pH, temperature and aeration for enzyme production were 9.0, 32 degrees C and 220 rpm, respectively. The enzyme production corresponded with growth and reached a maximum level during the mid-stationary phase. Maximum protease activity was exhibited in the medium containing 1% (w/v) NaCl at 60 degrees C, with 18% and 41% activity reductions at temperature 50 and 70 degrees C, respectively. The optimum pH for enzyme activity was 8.5, with 86% and 75% residual activities at pH 10 and 6, respectively. The activity of enzyme was inhibited by EDTA. These results suggest that the protease secreted by Salinivibrio sp. strain AF-2004 is industrially important from the perspectives of its activity at a broad pH ranges (5.0-10.0), its moderate thermoactivity in addition to its high tolerance to a wide range of salt concentration (0-10% NaCl).
 
Streptomyces strain C-2012 is a salt tolerant biocontrol PGPR that has been isolated from Iranian soil. The main aim of current study was finding strain C-2012 taxonomic position and to find the genes which are potentially involved in salt tolerance phenotype. Strain C-2012 chemotaxonomic, morphological and molecular characteristics indicate that this strain is a member of the genus Streptomyces. Phylogenetic analyses based on an almost complete 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that this strain is closely related to Streptomyces rimosus JCM 4667(T). Also, DNA-DNA hybridization test estimated 74% relatedness between two strains and confirmed that C-2012 is a strain of S. rimosus. In order to find novel genes that are differentially expressed in response to the salt treatment, cDNA-AFLP was carried out. One of the selected expressed sequence tags (TDF-1) was found to be homologous to lon gene which produces a bacterial ATP-dependent proteases (proteases LA). Lon gene expression was induced following 450mM salt (NaCl) treatment and its expression level was further (5.2-fold) increased in response to salt when ectoine was added to the medium. These results suggest that two protein protection systems including ectoine and ATP-dependent proteases synergistically are related. NaCl stress also caused an enhancement in the activity of extracellular protease.
 
A new actinomycete strain designated as BT-408 producing polyketide antibiotic SBR-22 and showing antibacterial activity against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus has been characterized and found to be a novel strain of Streptomyces psammoticus. Nutritional and cultural conditions for the production of antibiotic by this organism under shake-flask conditions have been optimized. Glucose and ammonium nitrate were found to be best carbon and nitrogen sources respectively for growth and antibiotic production. Similarly initial medium pH of 7.2, incubation temperature of 30 degrees C and incubation time of 96 h were found to be optimal. Optimization of medium and cultural conditions resulted in 1.82-fold increase in antibiotic yield.
 
The 23S ribosomal DNAs were amplified from 11 strains of Leptospira interrogans sensu lato by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequenced. The PCR products of about 290-bp DNA fragments indicated more than 97% sequence similarity to each other. The phylogenetic tree based on the 23S ribosomal DNAs obtained in this study revealed that 11 strains of L. interrogans examined composed a cluster distinct to that of L. weilii and L. borgpetersenii, confirming that these strains were similar to strain Moulton of L. interrogans serovar canicola in 23S rDNA sequence.
 
We characterized a novel organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) activity expressed by Nocardiodes simplex NRRL B-24074, a member of a coumaphos-degrading microbial consortium from cattle dip waste. Like the previously characterized OPH from Nocardia sp. strain B- (NRRL B- 16944), OPH activity in N. simplex is located in the cytoplasm and is expressed constitutively. The purified enzyme is monomeric, has a native molecular size of 45,000 Da and has a specific activity toward ethyl parathion of 33 micromole/min x mg protein. Km constants for the enzyme with the structurally related organophosphate pesticides ethyl parathion and EPN were 100 microM and 345 microM, respectively. Although OPH activity in extracts did not require the addition of divalent cations, the purified enzyme lost activity during dialysis against phosphate buffer and this activity could be restored after incubation in buffer containing either CoSO4 or CuSO4. Our results suggest that OPH activity in N. simplex is distinct from other known OPHs and that the responsible gene is unrelated to known genes.
 
Effect of environmental factors on production of lichenin, a bacteriocin-like compound produced by Bacillus licheniformis 26L-10/3RA isolated from buffalo rumen was studied. Lichenin represents the first anaerobiosis-specific expression of broad-spectrum antibacterial compound effective only under anaerobic conditions. Production of lichenin by B. licheniformis 26L-10/3RA was found to be very high at 39 degrees C in L-10 medium supplemented with 0.5% glucose and 20% (w/v) inert thermocol beads. Lichenin production was highest at pH 6.8 after 72-96h of incubation. Our study also indicated that Lichenin is not a plasmid-linked characteristic and is encoded by chromosomal DNA. Results obtained can be used in large-scale production of Lichenin for potential application in manipulating rumen function intended for improving productivity of the ruminants.
 
Tylosin is a macrolide antibiotic used as veterinary drug and growth promoter. Attempts were made for hyper production of tylosin by a strain of Streptomyces fradiae NRRL-2702 through irradiation mutagenesis. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of wild-type strain caused development of six morphologically altered colony types on agar plates. After screening using Bacillus subtilis bioassay only morphological mutants indicated the production of tylosin. An increase of 2.7+/-0.22-fold in tylosin production (1500mg/l) in case of mutant UV-2 in complex medium was achieved as compared to wild-type strain (550mg/l). Gamma irradiation of mutant UV-2 using (60)Co gave one morphologically altered colony type gamma-1, which gave 2500mg/l tylosin yield in complex medium. Chemically defined media promoted tylosin production upto 3800mg/l. Maximum value of q(p) (3.34mg/gh) was observed by mutant gamma-1 as compared to wild strain (0.81mg/gh). Moreover, UV irradiation associated changes were unstable with loss of tylosin activity whereas mutant gamma-1 displayed high stability on subsequent culturing.
 
The use of pediocins as food additives or drugs requires a simple and rapid method by which large quantities of homogeneous pediocin are produced at industrial level. Two centrifugation steps required during initial stages of purification i.e. separation of cells from fermentation broth and collection of precipitates after ammonium sulphate precipitation are the major bottlenecks for their large scale purification. In the present work, pediocin production by a new a dairy strain, Pediococcus pentosaceous NCDC 273 (identical to pediocin PA-1 at nucleotide sequence level), was found to be optimum at initial pH of 6.0 and 7.0 of basal MRS supplemented with 20g/l of glucose or lactose at 20 and 24h, respectively. Immobilization of cells through entrapment in alginate-xanthan gum gel beads with chitosan coating resulted in negligible cell release during fermentation. Thus, the cell free extract was directly collected through decantation, avoiding the need of centrifugation step at this stage. Subsequent ammonium sulphate precipitation at isoelectric point of pediocin PA-1 (8.85), using magnetic stirrer at high speed (approx. 1200rpm), resulted in forceful deposition of precipitates on the wall of precipitation beaker allowing their collection using a spatula, avoiding centrifugation step at this stage also. Further purification using cation-exchange chromatography resulted in yield of 134.4% with more than 320 fold purification with the specific activity of 19×10(5)AU/mg. The collection of single peak of pediocin at 41.9min in RP-HPLC, overlapping with standard pediocin PA-1, resulted in yield of 1.15μg from 20μl of sample applied. The overlapping of RP-HPLC peak and SDS-PAGE band corresponding to 4.6kDa, confirmed the purity and identity of pediocin 273 as pediocin PA-1.
 
An important criterion for the selection of a probiotic bacterial strain is its ability to adhere to the mucosal surface. Adhesion is usually mediated by proteins or other components located on the outer cell surface of the bacterium. In the present study we characterized the adhesive properties of two classical intracellular enzymes glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and enolase (ENO) isolated from the outer cell surface of the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum 299v. None of the genes encoded signal peptides or cell surface anchoring motifs that could explain their extracellular location on the bacterial surface. The presence of the glycolytic enzymes on the outer surface was verified by western blotting using polyclonal antibodies raised against the specific enzymes. GAPDH and ENO showed a highly specific binding to plasminogen and fibronectin whereas GAPDH but not ENO showed weak binding to mucin. Furthermore, a pH dependent and specific binding of GAPDH and ENO to intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells at pH 5 but not at pH 7 was demonstrated. The results showed that these glycolytic enzymes could play a role in the adhesion of the probiotic bacterium L. plantarum 299v to the gastrointestinal tract of the host. Finally, a number of probiotic as well non-probiotic Lactobacillus strains were analyzed for the presence of GAPDH and ENO on the outer surface, but no correlation between the extracellular location of these enzymes and the probiotic status of the applied strains was demonstrated.
 
Top-cited authors
Iqbal Ahmad
  • Aligarh Muslim University
Farah Ahmad
  • Aligarh Muslim University
Rinku Dey
  • Directorate of Groundnut Research
Zabta Khan Shinwari
  • Quaid-i-Azam University
Anita Pandey
  • GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development