[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmids in lactic acid bacteria occasionally confer adaptive advantages improving the growth and behaviour of their host cells. They are often associated to starter cultures used in the food industry and could be a signature of their superiority. Oenococcus oeni is the main lactic acid bacteria species encountered in wine. It performs the malolactic fermentation that occurs in most wines after alcoholic fermentation and contributes to their quality and stability. Industrial O. oeni starters may be used to better control malolactic fermentation. Starters are selected empirically by virtue of their fermentation kinetics and capacity to survive in wine. This study was initiated with the aim to determine whether O. oeni contains plasmids of technological interest. Screening of 11 starters and 33 laboratory strains revealed two closely related plasmids, named pOENI-1 (18.3-kb) and pOENI-1v2 (21.9-kb). Sequence analyses indicate that they use the theta mode of replication, carry genes of maintenance and replication and two genes possibly involved in wine adaptation encoding a predicted sulphite exporter (tauE) and a NADH:flavin oxidoreductase of the old yellow enzyme family (oye). Interestingly, pOENI-1 and pOENI-1v2 were detected only in four strains, but this included three industrial starters. PCR screenings also revealed that tauE is present in six of the 11 starters, being probably inserted in the chromosome of some strains. Microvinification assays performed using strains with and without plasmids did not disclose significant differences of survival in wine or fermentation kinetics. However, analyses of 95 wines at different phases of winemaking showed that strains carrying the plasmids or the genes tauE and oye were predominant during spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Taken together, the results revealed a family of related plasmids associated with industrial starters and indigenous strains performing spontaneous malolactic fermentation that possibly contribute to the technological performance of strains in wine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: gammadelta T cells recognize stress-induced autoantigens and contribute to immunity against infections and cancer. Our previous study revealed that Vdelta2-negative ((neg)) gammadelta T lymphocytes isolated from transplant recipients infected by cytomegalovirus (CMV) killed both CMV-infected cells and HT29 colon cancer cells in vitro. To investigate the antitumor effects of Vdelta2(neg) clones in vivo, we generated hypodermal HT29 tumors in immunodeficient mice. Concomitant injections of Vdelta2(neg)clones, in contrast to Vdelta2(+) cells, prevented the development of HT29 tumors. Vdelta2(neg) clones expressed chemokine C-C motif receptor 3 (CCR3) and migrated in vitro in response to chemokines secreted by HT29 cells, among which were the CCR3 ligands macrophage inflammatory protein-1delta and monocyte chemoattractant protein-4. More importantly, a systemic i.p. treatment with Vdelta2(neg) clones delayed the growth of HT29 s.c. tumors. The effect of in vivo gammadelta T-cell passive immunotherapy on tumor growth could be reverted by addition of a blocking anti-CCR3 antibody. gammadelta T-cell passive immunotherapy was dependent on the cytotoxic activity of the gammadelta effectors toward their targets because Vdelta2(neg) clones were not able to inhibit the growth of A431 hypodermal tumors. Our findings suggest that CMV-specific Vdelta2(neg) cells could target in vivo cancer cells, making them an attractive candidate for antitumor immunotherapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oenococcus oeni strains are well-known for their considerable phenotypic variations in terms of tolerance to harsh wine conditions and malolactic activity. Genomic subtractive hybridization (SH) between two isolates with differing enological potentials was used to elucidate the genetic bases of this intraspecies diversity and identify novel genes involved in adaptation to wine. SH revealed 182 tester-specific fragments corresponding to 126 open reading frames (ORFs). A large proportion of the chromosome-related ORFs resembled genes involved in carbohydrate transport and metabolism, cell wall/membrane/envelope biogenesis, and replication, recombination, and repair. Six regions of genomic plasticity were identified, and their analysis suggested that both limited recombination and insertion/deletion events contributed to the vast genomic diversity observed in O. oeni. The association of selected sequences with adaptation to wine was further assessed by screening a large collection of strains using PCR. No sequences were found to be specific to highly performing (HP) strains alone. However, there was a statistically significant positive association between HP strains and the presence of eight gene sequences located on regions 2, 4, and 5. Gene expression patterns were significantly modified in HP strains, following exposure to one or more of the common stresses in wines. Regions 2 and 5 showed no traces of mobile elements and had normal GC content. In contrast, region 4 had the typical hallmarks of horizontal transfer, suggesting that the strategy of acquiring genes from other bacteria enhances the fitness of O. oeni strains.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oenococcus oeni is the acidophilic lactic acid bacterial species most frequently associated with malolactic fermentation of wine. Since the description of the species (formerly Leuconostoc oenos), characterization of indigenous strains and industrially produced cultures by diverse typing methods has led to divergent conclusions concerning the genetic diversity of strains. In the present study, a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) scheme based on the analysis of eight housekeeping genes was developed and tested on a collection of 43 strains of diverse origins. The eight targeted loci were successfully amplified and sequenced for all isolates. Only three to 11 different alleles were detected for these genes. The average nucleotide diversity also was rather limited (0.0011 to 0.0370). Despite this limited allelic diversity, the combination of alleles of each strain disclosed 34 different sequence types, which denoted a significant genotypic diversity. A phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated sequences showed that all strains form two well distinct groups of 28 and 15 strains. Interestingly, the same groups were defined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, although this method targets different genetic variations. A minimum spanning tree analysis disclosed very few and small clonal complexes. In agreement, statistical analyses of MLST data suggest that recombination events were important during O. oeni evolution and contributed to the wide dissemination of alleles among strains. Taken together, our results showed that MLST is more efficient than pulsed-field gel electrophoresis for typing O. oeni strains, and they provided a picture of the O. oeni population that explains some conflicting results previously obtained.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify novel actors responsible for the marked adaptation of the Oenococcus oeni species to its environment.
Genomic surveillance of the available genome sequences from O. oeni indicated the presence of a small ORF, encoding a protein named Dps(A). The cloned gene complemented the dps(-) mutant of Escherichia coli and conferred resistance to hydrogen peroxide, wine, and metals. The dps(A) gene was flanked by IS-related elements. The entire region was characterized by an anomalously high GC content compared to those reported for oenococcal genomes. The dps(A) gene was present in 15 of the 38 tested isolates. Positive strains originated from different geographical areas and sources. No change in tolerance to wine or to oxidative stress was observed between O. oeni strains harbouring dps(A) and those not harbouring this gene.
Some O. oeni have acquired a functional homologue to the dps gene from E. coli as part of a mobile element.
Dps(A) probably increases the bacterial fitness in response to environmental challenges. However, the physiological condition under which it adds a selective advantage to O. oeni during winemaking remains to be found.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Journal of Applied Microbiology