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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Draft Genome Sequences of Ralstonia pickettii Strains SSH4 and CW2, Isolated from Space Equipment.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 09-04-2014
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Ralstonia pickettii SSH4 and CW2 were isolated from space equipment. Here, we report their draft genome sequences with the aim of gaining insight into their potential to adapt to these environments.
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Genome Sequences of Cupriavidus metallidurans Strains NA1, NA4, and NE12, Isolated from Space Equipment.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2014
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Cupriavidus metallidurans NA1, NA4, and NE12 were isolated from space and spacecraft-associated environments. Here, we report their draft genome sequences with the aim of gaining insight into their potential to adapt to these environments.
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The deletion of TonB-dependent receptor genes is part of the genome reduction process that occurs during adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the cystic fibrosis lung.
Pathog Dis
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2014
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Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections are the main cause of morbidity among patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) due to persistent lung inflammation caused by interaction between this bacterium and the immune system. Longitudinal studies of clonally related isolates of a dominant CF clone have indicated that genome reduction frequently occurs during adaptation of P. aeruginosa in the CF lung. In this study, we have evaluated the P. aeruginosa population structure of patients attending the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel) CF reference center using a combination of genotyping methods. Although the UZ Brussel P. aeruginosa CF population is characterized by the absence of a dominant CF clone, some potential interpatient transmissions could be detected. Interestingly, one of these clones showed deletion of the alternative type I ferripyoverdine receptor gene fpvB. Furthermore, we found that several other TonB-dependent receptors are deleted as well. The genome of one potentially transmissible CF clone was sequenced, revealing large deleted regions including all type III secretion system genes and several virulence genes. Remarkably, a large number of deleted genes are shared between the P. aeruginosa CF clone described in this study and isolates belonging to the dominant Copenhagen CF DK2 clone, suggesting parallel evolution.
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Genome Sequence of Serratia plymuthica RVH1, Isolated from a Raw Vegetable-Processing Line.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2014
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We announce the genome sequence of Serratia plymuthica strain RVH1, a psychroloterant strain that was isolated from a raw vegetable-processing line and that regulates the production of primary metabolites (acetoin and butanediol), antibiotics, and extracellular enzymes through quorum sensing.
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Snow surface microbiome on the High Antarctic Plateau (DOME C).
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The cryosphere is an integral part of the global climate system and one of the major habitable ecosystems of Earth's biosphere. These permanently frozen environments harbor diverse, viable and metabolically active microbial populations that represent almost all the major phylogenetic groups. In this study, we investigated the microbial diversity in the surface snow surrounding the Concordia Research Station on the High Antarctic Plateau through a polyphasic approach, including direct prokaryotic quantification by flow cytometry and catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in situ hybridization (CARD-FISH), and phylogenetic identification by 16S RNA gene clone library sequencing and 454 16S amplicon pyrosequencing. Although the microbial abundance was low (<10(3) cells/ml of snowmelt), concordant results were obtained with the different techniques. The microbial community was mainly composed of members of the Alpha-proteobacteria class (e.g. Kiloniellaceae and Rhodobacteraceae), which is one of the most well-represented bacterial groups in marine habitats, Bacteroidetes (e.g. Cryomorphaceae and Flavobacteriaceae) and Cyanobacteria. Based on our results, polar microorganisms could not only be considered as deposited airborne particles, but as an active component of the snowpack ecology of the High Antarctic Plateau.
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Genome Sequence of Cupriavidus metallidurans Strain H1130, Isolated from an Invasive Human Infection.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 12-17-2013
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Cupriavidus metallidurans H1130 was repeatedly isolated from different blood culture sets taken from a patient suffering from significant nosocomial septicemia. Here, we announce the H1130 genome sequence for use in comparative analyses and for exploring the adaptation and pathogenic potential of this bacterium.
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Modelled microgravity cultivation modulates N-acylhomoserine lactone production in Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H independently of cell density.
Microbiology (Reading, Engl.)
PUBLISHED: 09-11-2013
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The photosynthetic alphaproteobacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H is part of the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) project that is aiming to develop a closed life support system for oxygen, water and food production to support human life in space in forthcoming long-term space exploration missions. In the present study, R. rubrum S1H was cultured in a rotating wall vessel (RWV), simulating partial microgravity conditions on Earth. The bacterium showed a significant response to cultivation in simulated microgravity at the transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic levels. In simulated microgravity conditions three N-acyl-l-homoserine lactones (C10-HSL, C12-HSL and 3-OH-C14-HSL) were detected in concentrations that were twice those detected under normal gravity, while no differences in cell density was detected. In addition, R. rubrum cultivated in modelled microgravity showed higher pigmentation than the normal gravity control, without change in culture oxygenation. When compared to randomized microgravity cultivation using a random positioning machine, significant overlap for the top differentially expressed genes and proteins was observed. Cultivation in this new artificial environment of simulated microgravity showed new properties of this well-known bacterium, including its first, to our knowledge, complete quorum-sensing-related N-acylhomoserine lactone profile.
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Antimicrobial silver: uses, toxicity and potential for resistance.
Biometals
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2013
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This review gives a comprehensive overview of the widespread use and toxicity of silver compounds in many biological applications. Moreover, the bacterial silver resistance mechanisms and their spread in the environment are discussed. This study shows that it is important to understand in detail how silver and silver nanoparticles exert their toxicity and to understand how bacteria acquire silver resistance. Silver ions have shown to possess strong antimicrobial properties but cause no immediate and serious risk for human health, which led to an extensive use of silver-based products in many applications. However, the risk of silver nanoparticles is not yet clarified and their widespread use could increase silver release in the environment, which can have negative impacts on ecosystems. Moreover, it is shown that silver resistance determinants are widely spread among environmental and clinically relevant bacteria. These resistance determinants are often located on mobile genetic elements, facilitating their spread. Therefore, detailed knowledge of the silver toxicity and resistance mechanisms can improve its applications and lead to a better understanding of the impact on human health and ecosystems.
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Characterization of culturable Paenibacillus spp. from the snow surface on the high Antarctic Plateau (DOME C) and their dissemination in the Concordia research station.
Extremophiles
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2013
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Culturable psychrotolerant bacteria were isolated from the top snow on the high Antarctic Plateau surrounding the research station Concordia. A total of 80 isolates were recovered, by enrichment cultures, from two different isolation sites (a distant pristine site [75° S 123° E] and a site near the secondary runway of Concordia). All isolates were classified to the genus Paenibacillus by 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis and belonged to two different species (based on threshold of 97 % similarity in 16S rRNA gene sequence). ERIC-PCR fingerprinting indicated that the isolates from the two different sites were not all clonal. All isolates grew well from 4 to 37 °C and were resistant to ampicillin and streptomycin. In addition, the isolates from the secondary runway were resistant to chromate and sensitive to chloramphenicol, contrary to those from the pristine site. The isolates were compared to 29 Paenibacillus isolates, which were previously recovered from inside the Concordia research station. One of these inside isolates showed ERIC- and REP-PCR fingerprinting profiles identical to those of the runway isolates and was the only inside isolate that was resistant to chromate and sensitive to chloramphenicol. The latter suggested that dissemination of culturable Paenibacillus strains between the harsh Antarctic environment and the inside of the Concordia research station occurred. In addition, inducible prophages, which are potentially involved in horizontal dissemination of genes, were detected in Paenibacillus isolates recovered from outside and inside the station. The highest lysogeny was observed in strains harvested from the hostile environment outside the station.
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Expression of a novel P22 ORFan gene reveals the phage carrier state in Salmonella typhimurium.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2013
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We discovered a novel interaction between phage P22 and its host Salmonella Typhimurium LT2 that is characterized by a phage mediated and targeted derepression of the host dgo operon. Upon further investigation, this interaction was found to be instigated by an ORFan gene (designated pid for phage P22 encoded instigator of dgo expression) located on a previously unannotated moron locus in the late region of the P22 genome, and encoding an 86 amino acid protein of 9.3 kDa. Surprisingly, the Pid/dgo interaction was not observed during strict lytic or lysogenic proliferation of P22, and expression of pid was instead found to arise in cells that upon infection stably maintained an unintegrated phage chromosome that segregated asymmetrically upon subsequent cell divisions. Interestingly, among the emerging siblings, the feature of pid expression remained tightly linked to the cell inheriting this phage carrier state and became quenched in the other. As such, this study is the first to reveal molecular and genetic markers authenticating pseudolysogenic development, thereby exposing a novel mechanism, timing, and populational distribution in the realm of phage-host interactions.
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Comparison of antibiotic resistance, biofilm formation and conjugative transfer of Staphylococcus and Enterococcus isolates from International Space Station and Antarctic Research Station Concordia.
Microb. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2013
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The International Space Station (ISS) and the Antarctic Research Station Concordia are confined and isolated habitats in extreme and hostile environments. The human and habitat microflora can alter due to the special environmental conditions resulting in microbial contamination and health risk for the crew. In this study, 29 isolates from the ISS and 55 from the Antarctic Research Station Concordia belonging to the genera Staphylococcus and Enterococcus were investigated. Resistance to one or more antibiotics was detected in 75.8 % of the ISS and in 43.6 % of the Concordia strains. The corresponding resistance genes were identified by polymerase chain reaction in 86 % of the resistant ISS strains and in 18.2 % of the resistant Concordia strains. Plasmids are present in 86.2 % of the ISS and in 78.2 % of the Concordia strains. Eight Enterococcus faecalis strains (ISS) harbor plasmids of about 130 kb. Relaxase and/or transfer genes encoded on plasmids from gram-positive bacteria like pIP501, pRE25, pSK41, pGO1 and pT181 were detected in 86.2 % of the ISS and in 52.7 % of the Concordia strains. Most pSK41-homologous transfer genes were detected in ISS isolates belonging to coagulase-negative staphylococci. We demonstrated through mating experiments that Staphylococcus haemolyticus F2 (ISS) and the Concordia strain Staphylococcus hominis subsp. hominis G2 can transfer resistance genes to E. faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. Biofilm formation was observed in 83 % of the ISS and in 92.7 % of the Concordia strains. In conclusion, the ISS isolates were shown to encode more resistance genes and possess a higher gene transfer capacity due to the presence of three vir signature genes, virB1, virB4 and virD4 than the Concordia isolates.
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A PKS/NRPS/FAS hybrid gene cluster from Serratia plymuthica RVH1 encoding the biosynthesis of three broad spectrum, zeamine-related antibiotics.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2013
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Serratia plymuthica strain RVH1, initially isolated from an industrial food processing environment, displays potent antimicrobial activity towards a broad spectrum of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. Isolation and subsequent structure determination of bioactive molecules led to the identification of two polyamino antibiotics with the same molecular structure as zeamine and zeamine II as well as a third, closely related analogue, designated zeamine I. The gene cluster encoding the biosynthesis of the zeamine antibiotics was cloned and sequenced and shown to encode FAS, PKS as well as NRPS related enzymes in addition to putative tailoring and export enzymes. Interestingly, several genes show strong homology to the pfa cluster of genes involved in the biosynthesis of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in marine bacteria. We postulate that a mixed FAS/PKS and a hybrid NRPS/PKS assembly line each synthesize parts of the backbone that are linked together post-assembly in the case of zeamine and zeamine I. This interaction reflects a unique interplay between secondary lipid and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Most likely, the zeamine antibiotics are produced as prodrugs that undergo activation in which a nonribosomal peptide sequence is cleaved off.
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Integrated regulation of acetoin fermentation by quorum sensing and pH in Serratia plymuthica RVH1.
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2011
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During fermentation of sugars, a number of bacterial species are able to switch from mixed acid production to acetoin and 2,3-butanediol production in order to avoid lethal acidification of their environment, although the regulation of this switch is only poorly understood. In this study, we report the identification of the budAB structural operon, involved in acetoin production in Serratia plymuthica RVH1, and its activation by a LysR-type regulator encoded by budR, immediately upstream of this operon. In addition, the regulation of budR transcription was elucidated and found to be subject to negative control by BudR itself and to positive control by external stimuli such as N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (OHHL) quorum sensing signaling molecules and acetate. Interestingly, however, we observed that induction of budR transcription by OHHL or acetate did not require BudR, indicating the involvement of additional regulatory factors in relaying these environmental signals to the budR promoter.
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Heavy metal resistance in Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 is governed by an intricate transcriptional network.
Biometals
PUBLISHED: 02-02-2011
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The soil bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 contains a high number of heavy metal resistance genes making it an interesting model organism to study microbial responses to heavy metals. In this study the transcriptional response of strain CH34 was measured when challenged to sub-lethal concentrations of various essential or toxic metals. Based on the global transcriptional responses for each challenge and the overlap in upregulated genes between different metal responses, the sixteen metals were clustered in three groups. In addition, the transcriptional response of already known metal resistance genes was assessed, and new metal response gene clusters were identified. The majority of the studied metal response loci showed similar expression profiles when cells were exposed to different metals, suggesting complex interplay at transcriptional level between the different metal responses. The pronounced redundancy of these metal resistant regions-as illustrated by the large number of paralogous genes-combined with the phylogenetic distribution of these metal response regions within either evolutionary related or other metal resistant bacteria, provides important insights on the recent evolutionary forces shaping this naturally soil-dwelling bacterium into a highly metal-resistant strain well adapted to harsh and anthropogenic environments.
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Alveolar epithelium protects macrophages from quorum sensing-induced cytotoxicity in a three-dimensional co-culture model.
Cell. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-25-2010
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The quorum sensing signal N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C(12) HSL), produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, exerts cytotoxic effects in macrophages in vitro, which is believed to affect host innate immunity in vivo. However, the medical significance of this finding to pulmonary disease remains unclear since the multicellular complexity of the lung was not considered in the assessment of macrophage responses to 3-oxo-C(12) HSL. We developed a novel three-dimensional co-culture model of alveolar epithelium and macrophages using the rotating wall vessel (RWV) bioreactor, by adding undifferentiated monocytes to RWV-derived alveolar epithelium. Our three-dimensional model expressed important architectural/phenotypic hallmarks of the parental tissue, as evidenced by highly differentiated epithelium, spontaneous differentiation of monocytes to functional macrophage-like cells, localization of these cells on the alveolar surface and a macrophage-to-epithelial cell ratio relevant to the in vivo situation. Co-cultivation of macrophages with alveolar epithelium counteracted 3-oxo-C(12) HSL-induced cytotoxicity via removal of quorum sensing molecules by alveolar cells. Furthermore, 3-oxo-C(12) HSL induced the intercellular adhesion molecule ICAM-1 in both alveolar epithelium and macrophages. These data stress the importance of multicellular organotypic models to integrate the role of different cell types in overall lung homeostasis and disease development in response to external factors.
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Insertion sequence elements in Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34: distribution and role in adaptation.
Plasmid
PUBLISHED: 10-27-2010
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Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 is a ?-proteobacterium well equipped to cope with harsh environmental conditions such as heavy metal pollution. The strain carries two megaplasmids specialized in the response to heavy metals and a considerable number of genomic islands, transposons and insertion sequence (IS) elements. The latter were characterized in detail in this study, which revealed nine new IS elements totaling to 21 distinct IS elements from 10 different IS families and reaching a total of 57 intact IS copies in CH34. Analysis of all fully sequenced bacterial genomes revealed that relatives of these IS elements were mostly found in the Burkholderiaceae family (?-proteobacteria) to which C. metallidurans belongs. Three IS elements were 100% conserved in other bacteria suggesting recent interaction and horizontal transfer between these strains. In addition, a number of these IS elements were associated with genomic islands, gene inactivation or rearrangements that alter the autotrophic growth capacities of CH34. The latter rearrangements gave the first molecular evidence for the mutator phenotype that is characteristic for various C. metallidurans strains. Furthermore, differential expression of some IS elements (or adjacent genes in the same strand orientation) was found under heavy metal stress, an environmental stress to which C. metallidurans CH34 is well adapted. These observations indicate that these IS elements play an active role in C. metallidurans CH34 lifestyle, including its metabolic potential and adaptation under selective pressure.
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Response of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 to low shear modelled microgravity involves AlgU regulation.
Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2010
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As a ubiquitous environmental organism that is occasionally part of the human flora, Pseudomonas aeruginosa could pose a health hazard for the immunocompromised astronauts during long-term missions. Therefore, insights into the behaviour of P. aeruginosa under spaceflight conditions were gained using two spaceflight-analogue culture systems: the rotating wall vessel (RWV) and the random position machine (RPM). Microarray analysis of P. aeruginosa PAO1 grown in the low shear modelled microgravity (LSMMG) environment of the RWV, compared with the normal gravity control (NG), revealed an apparent regulatory role for the alternative sigma factor AlgU (RpoE-like). Accordingly, P. aeruginosa cultured in LSMMG exhibited increased alginate production and upregulation of AlgU-controlled transcripts, including those encoding stress-related proteins. The LSMMG increased heat and oxidative stress resistance and caused a decrease in the oxygen transfer rate of the culture. This study also showed the involvement of the RNA-binding protein Hfq in the LSMMG response, consistent with its previously identified role in the Salmonella LSMMG and spaceflight response. The global transcriptional response of P. aeruginosa grown in the RPM was highly similar to that in NG. Fluid mixing was assessed in both systems and is believed to be a pivotal factor contributing to transcriptional differences between RWV- and RPM-grown P. aeruginosa. This study represents the first step towards the identification of virulence mechanisms of P. aeruginosa activated in response to spaceflight-analogue conditions, and could direct future research regarding the risk assessment and prevention of Pseudomonas infections during spaceflight and in immunocompromised patients.
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The complete genome sequence of Cupriavidus metallidurans strain CH34, a master survivalist in harsh and anthropogenic environments.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2010
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Many bacteria in the environment have adapted to the presence of toxic heavy metals. Over the last 30 years, this heavy metal tolerance was the subject of extensive research. The bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans strain CH34, originally isolated by us in 1976 from a metal processing factory, is considered a major model organism in this field because it withstands milli-molar range concentrations of over 20 different heavy metal ions. This tolerance is mostly achieved by rapid ion efflux but also by metal-complexation and -reduction. We present here the full genome sequence of strain CH34 and the manual annotation of all its genes. The genome of C. metallidurans CH34 is composed of two large circular chromosomes CHR1 and CHR2 of, respectively, 3,928,089 bp and 2,580,084 bp, and two megaplasmids pMOL28 and pMOL30 of, respectively, 171,459 bp and 233,720 bp in size. At least 25 loci for heavy-metal resistance (HMR) are distributed over the four replicons. Approximately 67% of the 6,717 coding sequences (CDSs) present in the CH34 genome could be assigned a putative function, and 9.1% (611 genes) appear to be unique to this strain. One out of five proteins is associated with either transport or transcription while the relay of environmental stimuli is governed by more than 600 signal transduction systems. The CH34 genome is most similar to the genomes of other Cupriavidus strains by correspondence between the respective CHR1 replicons but also displays similarity to the genomes of more distantly related species as a result of gene transfer and through the presence of large genomic islands. The presence of at least 57 IS elements and 19 transposons and the ability to take in and express foreign genes indicates a very dynamic and complex genome shaped by evolutionary forces. The genome data show that C. metallidurans CH34 is particularly well equipped to live in extreme conditions and anthropogenic environments that are rich in metals.
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Bacillus thuringiensis conjugation in simulated microgravity.
Astrobiology
PUBLISHED: 10-23-2009
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Spaceflight experiments have suggested a possible effect of microgravity on the plasmid transfer among strains of the Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis, as opposed to no effect recorded for Gram-negative conjugation. To investigate these potential effects in a more affordable experimental setup, three ground-based microgravity simulators were tested: the Rotating Wall Vessel (RWV), the Random Positioning Machine (RPM), and a superconducting magnet. The bacterial conjugative system consisted in biparental matings between two B. thuringiensis strains, where the transfer frequencies of the conjugative plasmid pAW63 and its ability to mobilize the nonconjugative plasmid pUB110 were assessed. Specifically, potential plasmid transfers in a 0 g position (simulated microgravity) were compared to those obtained under 1 g (normal gravity) condition in each device. Statistical analyses revealed no significant difference in the conjugative and mobilizable transfer frequencies between the three different simulated microgravitational conditions and our standard laboratory condition. These important ground-based observations emphasize the fact that, though no stimulation of plasmid transfer was observed, no inhibition was observed either. In the case of Gram-positive bacteria, this ability to exchange plasmids in weightlessness, as occurs under Earths conditions, should be seen as particularly relevant in the scope of spread of antibiotic resistances and bacterial virulence.
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Experimental design and environmental parameters affect Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H response to space flight.
ISME J
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2009
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In view of long-haul space exploration missions, the European Space Agency initiated the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) project targeting the total recycling of organic waste produced by the astronauts into oxygen, water and food using a loop of bacterial and higher plant bioreactors. In that purpose, the alpha-proteobacterium, Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H, was sent twice to the International Space Station and was analyzed post-flight using a newly developed R. rubrum whole genome oligonucleotide microarray and high throughput gel-free proteomics with Isotope-Coded Protein Label technology. Moreover, in an effort to identify a specific response of R. rubrum S1H to space flight, simulation of microgravity and space-ionizing radiation were performed on Earth under identical culture set-up and growth conditions as encountered during the actual space journeys. Transcriptomic and proteomic data were integrated and permitted to put forward the importance of medium composition and culture set-up on the response of the bacterium to space flight-related environmental conditions. In addition, we showed for the first time that a low dose of ionizing radiation (2 mGy) can induce a significant response at the transcriptomic level, although no change in cell viability and only a few significant differentially expressed proteins were observed. From the MELiSSA perspective, we could argue the effect of microgravity to be minimized, whereas R. rubrum S1H could be more sensitive to ionizing radiation during long-term space exploration mission.
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Evaluation of the airborne bacterial population in the periodically confined Antarctic base Concordia.
Microb. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2009
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The environmental airborne bacterial population in relation to human confinement was investigated over a period of 1 year in the Concordia Research Station, which is located on the Eastern Antarctic plateau. The unique location of the station makes it suitable for different research domains such as glaciology, atmospheric sciences, astronomy, etc. Furthermore, it is used as a test bed for long-duration spaceflights to study the physiologic and psychological adaptation to isolated environments. A total of 96 samples were collected at eight different locations in the station at regular intervals. The airborne bacterial contamination was for 90% of the samples lower than 10.0 x 10(2) colony-forming units per cubic meter of air (CFU/m(3)) and the total bacterial contamination increased over time during confinement but diminished after re-opening of the base. Viable airborne bacteria with different morphology were identified by biochemical analyses. The predominant microflora was identified as Staphylococcus sp. (24.9% of total) and Bacillus sp. (11.6% of total) and was associated with human activity, but also environmental species such as Sphingomonas paucimobilis (belonging to the alpha-Proteobacteria) could establish themselves in the airborne population. A few opportunistic pathogens (6%) were also identified.
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From industrial sites to environmental applications with Cupriavidus metallidurans.
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
PUBLISHED: 03-03-2009
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Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 and related strains are adapted to metal contaminated environments. A strong resistance to environmental stressors and adaptation make it ideal strains for survival in decreasing biodiversity conditions and for bioaugmentation purposes in environmental applications. The soil bacterium C. metallidurans is able to grow chemolithoautotrophically on hydrogen and carbon dioxide allowing a strong resilience under conditions lacking organic matter. The biofilm growth on soil particles allows coping with starvation or bad conditions of pH, temperature and pollutants. Its genomic capacity of two megaplasmids encoding several heavy metal resistance operons allowed growth in heavy metal contaminated habitats. In addition its specific siderophores seem to play a role in heavy metal sequestration besides their role in the management of bioavailable iron. Efflux ATPases and RND systems pump the metal cations to the membrane surface where polysaccharides serve as heavy metal binding and nucleation sites for crystallisation of metal carbonates. These polysaccharides contribute also to flotation under specific conditions in a soil-heavy metals-bacteria suspension mixture. An inoculated moving bed sand filter was constructed to treat heavy metal contaminated water and to remove the metals in the form of biomass mixed with metal carbonates. A membrane based contactor allowed to use the bacteria as well in a versatile wastewater treatment system and to grow homogeneously formed heavy metal carbonates. Its behaviour toward heavy metal binding and flotation was combined in a biometal sludge reactor to extract and separate heavy metals from metal contaminated soils. Finally its metal-induced heavy metal resistance allowed constructing whole cell heavy metal biosensors which, after contact with contaminated soil, waste, solids, minerals and ashes, were induced in function of the bioavailable concentration (Cd, Zn, Cu, Cr, Co, Ni, Tl, Pb and Hg) in the solids and allowed to investigate the speciation of immobilization of those metals.
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Shotgun proteome analysis of Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H: integrating data from gel-free and gel-based peptides fractionation methods.
J. Proteome Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2009
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Beside bioreactor modeling studies, the molecular characterization of life-support organisms appeared to be essential to complete their global behavior picture, in particular, culture conditions. Using a combination of LC-MS/MS approaches with gel-free and gel-based peptides fractionation steps, we identified 932 proteins from the alpha-proteobacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum S1H. In addition, abundance data were retrieved using the recently developed emPAI approach which takes into account the number of sequenced peptides per protein. This work has also allowed identification of new and specific proteins for the Rhodospirillaceae family.
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Plasmids captured in C. metallidurans CH34: defining the PromA family of broad-host-range plasmids.
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2009
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The self-transmissible, broad-host-range (BHR) plasmid pMOL98 was previously isolated from polluted soil using a triparental plasmid capture approach and shown to possess a replicon similar to that of the BHR plasmids pSB102 and pIPO2. Here, complete sequence analysis and comparative genomics reveal that the 55.5 kb nucleotide sequence of pMOL98 shows extensive sequence similarity and synteny with the BHR plasmid family that now includes pIPO2, pSB102, pTER331, and pMRAD02. They share a plasmid backbone comprising replication, partitioning and conjugative transfer functions. Comparison of the variable accessory regions of these plasmids shows that the majority of natural transposons, as well as the mini-transposon used to mark the plasmids, are inserted in the parA locus. The transposon unique to pMOL98 appears to have inserted from the chromosome of the recipient strain used in the plasmid capture procedure. This demonstrates the necessity for careful screening of plasmids and host chromosomes to avoid mis-interpretation of plasmid genome content. The presence of very similar BHR plasmids with different accessory genes in geographically distinct locations suggests an important role in horizontal gene exchange and bacterial adaptation for this recently defined plasmid group, which we propose to name "PromA".
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Quorum sensing and butanediol fermentation affect colonization and spoilage of carrot slices by Serratia plymuthica.
Int. J. Food Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2009
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In this work we investigated the role of quorum sensing and specific quorum-sensing dependent properties in the colonization and spoilage of carrot slices by Serratia plymuthica RVH1, a strain isolated previously from a vegetable washing and cutting machine in an industrial kitchen. Disinfected carrot slices were inoculated by immersion in a bacterial suspension and then placed in a Petri dish with a shallow layer of the same bacterial suspension. Subsequently, visible spoilage of the air-exposed upper side of the slices and the evolution of bacterial numbers and pH of the surrounding suspension were recorded during 19 days. A knockout mutant in the N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) synthase splI was clearly compromised in its ability to colonize the surface of the carrot and cause browning, and the addition of synthetic AHL could restore this phenotype. To examine in more detail which properties contribute to this phenomenon, we isolated mutants deficient in the production of extracellular proteases and in butanediol fermentation, both of which are regulated by quorum sensing in S. plymuthica RVH1. The protease-deficient mutant (lipB) was not affected in the carrot slice spoilage assay. Since RVH1 does not produce pectinolytic enzymes, this suggests that hydrolytic enzymes do not play a major role in produce spoilage by this organism. On the other hand, a budB mutant with inactive butanediol fermentation pathway showed strongly enhanced growth on the carrot slices, in spite of a reduced survival in the surrounding medium. To explain these results, we hypothesize that a response is induced in the carrot slices that suppresses bacterial colonization and outgrowth, similar to the defense response induced by volatile butanediol pathway products in intact plants.
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New mobile genetic elements in Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34, their possible roles and occurrence in other bacteria.
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2009
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Cupriavidus metallidurans strain CH34 is a beta-Proteobacterium that thrives in low concentrations of heavy metals. The genetic determinants of resistance to heavy metals are located on its two chromosomes, and are particularly abundant in the two megaplasmids, pMOL28 and pMOL30. We explored the involvement of mobile genetic elements in acquiring these and others traits that might be advantageous in this strain using genome comparison of Cupriavidus/Ralstonia strains and related beta-Proteobacteria. At least eleven genomic islands were identified on the main replicon, three on pMOL28 and two on pMOL30. Multiple islands contained genes for heavy metal resistance or other genetic determinants putatively responding to harsh environmental conditions. However, cryptic elements also were noted. New mobile genetic elements (or variations of known ones) were identified through synteny analysis, allowing the detection of mobile genetic elements outside the bias of a selectable marker. Tn4371-like conjugative transposons involved in chemolithotrophy and degradation of aromatic compounds were identified in strain CH34, while similar elements involved in heavy metal resistance were found in Delftia acidovorans SPH-1 and Bordetella petrii DSM12804. We defined new transposons, viz., Tn6048 putatively involved in the response to heavy metals and Tn6050 carrying accessory genes not classically associated with transposons. Syntenic analysis also revealed new transposons carrying metal response genes in Burkholderia xenovorans LB400, and other bacteria. Finally, other putative mobile elements, which were previously unnoticed but apparently common in several bacteria, were also revealed. This was the case for triads of tyrosine-based site-specific recombinases and for an int gene paired with a putative repressor and associated with chromate resistance.
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Differential proteomics and physiology of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 under filament-inducing conditions.
BMC Microbiol.
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Pseudomonas putida exerts a filamentous phenotype in response to environmental stress conditions that are encountered during its natural life cycle. This study assessed whether P. putida filamentation could confer survival advantages. Filamentation of P. putida was induced through culturing at low shaking speed and was compared to culturing in high shaking speed conditions, after which whole proteomic analysis and stress exposure assays were performed.
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Towards a more accurate annotation of tyrosine-based site-specific recombinases in bacterial genomes.
Mob DNA
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Tyrosine-based site-specific recombinases (TBSSRs) are DNA breaking-rejoining enzymes. In bacterial genomes, they play a major role in the comings and goings of mobile genetic elements (MGEs), such as temperate phage genomes, integrated conjugative elements (ICEs) or integron cassettes. TBSSRs are also involved in the segregation of plasmids and chromosomes, the resolution of plasmid dimers and of co-integrates resulting from the replicative transposition of transposons. With the aim of improving the annotation of TBSSR genes in genomic sequences and databases, which so far is far from robust, we built a set of over 1,300 TBSSR protein sequences tagged with their genome of origin. We organized them in families to investigate: i) whether TBSSRs tend to be more conserved within than between classes of MGE types and ii) whether the (sub)families may help in understanding more about the function of TBSSRs associated in tandem or trios on plasmids and chromosomes.
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Variation in genomic islands contribute to genome plasticity in Cupriavidus metallidurans.
BMC Genomics
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Different Cupriavidus metallidurans strains isolated from metal-contaminated and other anthropogenic environments were genotypically and phenotypically compared with C. metallidurans type strain CH34. The latter is well-studied for its resistance to a wide range of metals, which is carried for a substantial part by its two megaplasmids pMOL28 and pMOL30.
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