A Gram-positive polyphosphate-accumulating bacterium was isolated from phosphate-removal activated sludge using pyruvate-supplemented agar plates. The isolate was oval or coccobacilli (0.4–0.7×0.5–1.0μm) that occurred singly, in pairs or irregular clumps. Polyphosphate granules in the cells were observed by toluidine blue staining. The pure culture of the isolate rapidly took up phosphate (9.2 mg-P/g-dry weight) in the 3-h aerobic incubation without organic substrates, after anaerobic incubation with organic substrates containing casamino acids. When acetate was the sole carbon source in the anaerobic incubation, the isolate did not remove phosphate. These physiological features of the isolate were similar to those of Microlunatus phosphovorus. However, unlike M. phosphovorus the P-removal ability of the isolate was relatively low and was not accelerated by repeating the anaerobic/aerobic incubation cycles. Phylogenetic analysis and comparison of several characteristics showed that the isolate was identified as Tetrasphaera elongata which was recently proposed as a new polyphosphate-accumulating species isolated from activated sludge. As the isolate contained menaquinone (MK)-8(H4) as the predominant isoprenoid ubiquinone, it may be significantly responsible for phosphate removal, because MK-8(H4) has reportedly been found in fairly high proportions in many phosphate-removing activated sludges.
lacA coding for β-galactosidase (β-gal) was cloned from the genomic DNA of Aspergillus oryzae RIB40. There were 9 exons in lacA and the coding region of 3,015 bp encoded a protein of 1,005 aa with a deduced molecular mass of 109,898. A. oryzae lacA was highly homologous to fungal β-gals, with the highest aa identity of 70.7% to A. niger lacA, and also showed significant identity to acid β-gals belonging to family 35 glycosyl hydrolases. Approximately 10 copies of lacA under control of A. oryzae glaA promoter were integrated into the chromosome of A. oryzae M-2-3. The recombinant strain expressed more than 700-fold of the β-gal activity as compared to the wild type strain under induction by maltose.
Succinate was the major organic acid detected in the hindgut content of pigs suffering from antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea was induced by an oral dose of polymyxin B sulfate (3,000,000 units/day) or an intramuscular injection of enrofloxacin (0.6 g enrofloxacin/day). In the large intestine of enrofloxacin-treated pigs, Gram-negative facultative anaerobic rods phylogenetically related to Escherichia coli and Gram-positive facultative anaerobic non-spore-forming rods phylogenetically related to Lactobacilli were isolated as succinate producers. Succinate-producing Lactobacilli were only isolated as the succinate producer in polymyxin B sulfate-treated pigs. In contrast to antibiotic-associated diarrhea pigs, bacteria belonging to Bacteroidaceae, Fusobacteria, and Enterobacteriaceae were detected as succinate producers in a non-treated pig. In antibiotic-associated diarrhea conditions, antibiotic-resistant Enterobacteria, E. coli in particular, and Lactobacilli may contribute to an abnormal succinate accumulation and may affect water absorption in the hindgut that relates to an expression of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
The 16S rDNA sequences of 40 strains of 17 species in the genus Flexibacter, 5 strains of 4 species in the genus Microscilla, and 1 strain of Flexithrix dorotheae, including all type strains of approved and validated species in these genera, were determined to reveal their phylogenetic relationships. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis demonstrated the extreme heterogeneity of the genera Flexibacter and Microscilla. The strains examined diverged into 24 distinct lines of descent (1 group included both flexibacteria and flexithrix, and 1 group included both flexibacteria and microscilla) that were remote from each other at the genus level or higher. Flexibacter strains were scattered across the cytophaga-flavobacteria-bacteroides phylum and divided into 20 phylogenetic groups, and the genus Microscilla was separated into 5 groups. Flexibacter flexilis, the type species of the genus Flexibacter, and Microscilla marina, the type species of the genus Microscilla, were isolated from other organisms in their respective genera. This means that each genus should be restricted to only the type species. Flexithrix dorotheae, the type species of the genus Flexithrix, clustered with Flexibacter aggregans. The heterogeneity was found not only within genera but also within species. Flexibacter aggregans, Flexibacter aurantiacus, Flexibacter flexilis, Flexibacter roseolus, Flexibacter tractuosus, and “Microscilla sericea” each contained phylogenetically distant strains. The taxonomic concept of the genera Flexibacter, Flexithrix, and Microscilla should be reorganized in accordance with the natural relationships revealed in this study.