Bacteria can inhabit a wide range of environmental conditions, including extremes in pH ranging from 1 to 11. The primary strategy employed by bacteria in acidic environments is to maintain a constant cytoplasmic pH value. However, many data demonstrate that bacteria can grow under conditions in which pH values are out of the range in which cytoplasmic pH is kept constant. Based on these observations, a novel notion was proposed that bacteria have strategies to survive even if the cytoplasm is acidified by low external pH. Under these conditions, bacteria are obliged to use acid-resistant systems, implying that multiple systems having the same physiological role are operating at different cytoplasmic pH values. If this is true, it is quite likely that bacteria have genes that are induced by environmental stimuli under different pH conditions. In fact, acid-inducible genes often respond to another factor(s) besides pH. Furthermore, distinct genes might be required for growth or survival at acid pH under different environmental conditions because functions of many systems are dependent on external conditions. Systems operating at acid pH have been described to date, but numerous genes remain to be identified that function to protect bacteria from an acid challenge. Identification and analysis of these genes is critical, not only to elucidate bacterial physiology, but also to increase the understanding of bacterial pathogenesis.
Techniques, named two-step enrichment and double-time replica-plating method (TEDR), are described that allow a mutated population of Candida tropicalis to be enriched efficiently for mutants deficient in the alkane degradation pathway (Alk−) and to be selected easily for mutants increasing in the DCA (dicarboxylic acids) excretion pathway. After C. tropicalis was mutated with ethyl methane sulphonate and ultraviolet, the Alk− mutants were enriched (the first step enrichment, up to eightfold in one round of enrichment) by treatment with nystatin in medium SEL1-1. The mutagen-treated cells were then cultured in medium YPD containing chlorpromazine for further enriching (the second-step enrichment, up to threefold in one round) the mutants with an increasing capacity of α- and ω-oxidation. On the other hand, the Alk− mutants were readily isolated by the SEL1 replica-plating method by using alkane or glucose as the sole carbon source. A total of 43 Alk− mutants were isolated from 2×108 mutagen-treated cells. In the following steps, by using SEL2 replica plating, the screening studies showed that of the 43 Alk− mutants, 11 strains could accumulate DCA greatly from alkane, and strains 1-12 and 1-3, especially, could produce nearly three times as much DCA as the wild-type organism could. The results showed that the strains had more cytochrome P450 activity and a higher converting capacity of alkane.
Two available strains of ‘Thermoactinomyces glaucus’ and ‘Thermoactinomyces monosporus,’ ‘T. glaucus’ IFO 12530 and ‘T. monosporus’ IFO 14050, were considered not to be members of the genus Thermoactinomyces and that they belonged to the genus Saccharomonospora on the basis of the colors of colonies and 16S rDNA sequences. Some chemotaxonomic characteristics also showed that the two strains belong to the genus Saccharomonospora. The two strains contained meso-diaminopimelic acid, galactose, and arabinose in the cell wall and MK-9(H4) as the predominant menaquinone. The genomic DNAs of the two strains had a G+C content of 69 mol%. The 16S rDNAs of ‘T. glaucus’ IFO 12530 and ‘T. monosporus’ IFO 14050 showed only 1 and 2 bp sequence differences, respectively, from that of the type strain of Saccharomonospora glauca. Furthermore, the two strains of ‘T. glaucus’ and ‘T. monosporus’ and the type strain of S. glauca shared identical 16S–23S rDNA ITS sequences. The levels of DNA-DNA relatedness confirm that the two strains of ‘T. glaucus’ and ‘T. monosporus’ are members of Saccharomonospora glauca. Therefore it is proposed that ‘T. glaucus’ IFO 12530 and ‘T. monosporus’ IFO 14050 should be considered as strains belonging to Saccharomonospora glauca.
Phylogenetic relationships of several species within the n-alkane assimilating Candida yeasts were investigated by using characters from the nucleotide sequence of the variable D1/D2 region at the 5′ end of a large-subunit (26S) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene. First the nucleotide sequences of D1/D2 domain of Candida sp. 1098 (formerly identified as C. tropicalis 1098) and its dicarboxylic acid-producing-mutant strain M1210 were investigated. These two nucleotide sequences were identical and lacked only one base pair compared with that of C. maltosa CBS 5611 (type strain), and they were identified as C. maltosa. We then showed that C. maltosa IFO 1978 (formerly identified as C. cloacae) and C. maltosa IFO 1975 (formerly identified as C. subtropicalis) had the same nucleotide sequence and had only one base pair substitution compared with C. maltosa CBS 5611 (type strain), which is consistent with conventional classification. We also found that another widely studied n-alkane assimilating Candida yeast, C. tropicalis pk233, to be C. viswanathii.