The heavy metal cadmium is very toxic to biological systems. Although its effect on the growth of microorganisms and plants has been investigated, the response of antioxidant enzymes of Aspergillus nidulans to cadmium is not well documented. We have studied the effect of cadmium (supplied as CdCl2) on catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione reductase (GR). 0.005 mM CdCl2 had a very slight stimulatory effect on the growth rate of A. nidulans, but at concentrations above 0.025 mM, growth was totally inhibited. The accumulation of Cd within the mycelium was directly correlated with the increase in the concentration of CdCl2 used in the treatments. Although a cadmium-stimulated increase in SOD activity was observed, there was no change in the relative proportions of the individual Mn-SOD isoenzymes. Higher concentrations of CdCl2 induced a small increase in total CAT activity, but there was a major increase in one isoenzymic form, that could be separated by gel electrophoresis. GR activity increased significantly following treatment with the highest concentration (0.05 mM) of CdCl2. The increases in SOD, CAT, and GR activities suggest that CdCl2 induces the formation of reactive oxygen species inside the mycelia of A. nidulans.
Aspects of archaeal diversity in peat soil samples from climatically and geographically distinct wetlands (subarctic: West Siberia Bog, Russia; temperate: Akaiyachi Mire, Japan; subtropical: Okefenokee Swamp, USA) were studied by molecular phylogenetic techniques. DNA was extracted directly from the soil samples and 16S rRNA genes were amplified by polymerase chain reaction. Partial sequences of the amplified 16S rDNAs (total 426 clones) were compared with known sequences from GenBank and the Ribosome Database Project (RDP). Peat-derived sequences were mostly related to Euryarchaeota, principally methanogens. Sets of sequences (operational taxonomic unit; OTU) were created for each wetland (21 OTUs for West Siberia; 22 OTUs for Akaiyachi; 33 OTUs for Okefenokee). The majority of the OTUs clustered in and showed low similarities to the Methanosarcinales family (West Siberia) or the Methanomicrobiales family (Akaiyachi and Okefenokee). In terms of the Shannon-Weaver diversity index, the archaeal community diversity in Okefenokee Swamp was greater than that of the other wetlands.
Mitochondrial (mt) nucleoids were isolated from yeast Kluyveromyces lactis with morphological intactness. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed more than 20 proteins that are associated with the mt-nucleoids. However, the protein profile of the mt-nucleoids of K. lactis was significantly different from that of the mt-nucleoid proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SDS-DNA PAGE, which detected an Abf2p, a major mitochondrial DNA-binding protein, among the mt-nucleoid proteins of S. cerevisiae on a gel, detected only a 17-kDa protein in the K. lactis mt-nucleoid proteins. The 17-kDa protein was purified as homogeneous from the mt-nucleoids by a combination of acid extraction, hydroxyapatite chromatography and DNA-cellulose chromatography. The 17-kDa protein introduced a negative supercoil into circular plasmid DNA in the presence of topoisomerase I, as does S. cerevisiae Abf2p, and it packed K. lactis mtDNA into nucleoid-like particles in vitro. These results, together with the determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence, suggested that the 17-kDa protein is an Abf2p homologue of K. lactis and plays structural roles in compacting mtDNA in cooperation with other nucleoid proteins.
Forty-seven salt-tolerant lactic acid bacteria, which had been isolated from different places and grown in 15% NaCl, were examined to assess their taxonomic heterogeneity. Among the isolates, 42 were isolated from shoyu mash during the acid fermentation phase, 2 were from miso and 3 were from anchovy pickles. All isolates were identified as Tetragenococcus halophilus on the basis of DNA relatedness values. We further examined 102 phenotypic characteristics of them. The isolates exhibited differences in only 16, supporting the conclusion obtained from the DNA relatedness analysis.
Real-time quantitative PCR (RTQ-PCR) was used to quantify the bacterial target DNA extracted by three commonly used DNA extraction protocols (bead mill homogenization, grinding in presence of liquid nitrogen and hot detergent SDS based enzymatic lysis). For the purpose of our study, pure culture of Bacillus cereus (model organism), sterilized soil seeded with a known amount of B. cereus (model soil system) and samples from woodland and grassland (environmental samples) were chosen to extract DNA by three different protocols. The extracted DNA was then quantified by RTQ-PCR using 16S rDNA specific universal bacterial primers. The standard curve used for the quantification by RTQ-PCR was linear and revealed a strong linear relationship (r2=0.9968) with a higher amplification efficiency, e=1.02. High resolution gel electrophoresis was also carried out to observe the effect of these extraction methods on diversity analysis. For the model soil system, the liquid nitrogen method showed the highest target DNA copy number (1.3×109 copies/μl). However, for both the environmental samples, the bead beating method was found to be suitable on the basis of the high target DNA copy numbers (5.38×109 and 4.01×108 copies/μl for woodland and grassland respectively), high yield (6.4 μg/g and 1.76 μg/g of soil for woodland and grassland respectively) and different band patterns on high resolution gel electrophoresis suggesting an overall high extraction efficiency. This difference in the extraction efficiency between the model soil system and environmental samples may be attributed to different affinity of seeded and native DNA to soil particles.
Lactobacillus sakei strains were characterized by the shift of the type of stereoisomers of lactic acid produced in the presence of 50 mM sodium acetate in a medium. Of 27 Lactobacillus sakei strains studied, 20 strains showed high levels of DNA-DNA similarity with L. sakei NRIC 1071T, and were confirmed as L. sakei. The three remaining strains were identified as Lactobacillus curvatus by DNA-DNA similarity, and three other strains were included in the cluster of Lactobacillus plantarum/Lactobacillus pentosus/Lactobacillus paraplantarum and one strain in the cluster of Lactobacillus paracasei on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Of the 20 L. sakei strains, 19 strains shifted the type of stereoisomers of lactic acid produced from the DL-type to the L-type in the presence of 50 mM sodium acetate. L. curvatus strains and strains included in the cluster of L. plantarum/L. pentosus/L. paraplantarum and in the cluster of L. paracasei did not shift the type of stereoisomers of lactic acid produced. The change of the type of stereoisomers of lactic acid from the DL-type to the L-type in the presence of sodium acetate was concluded to be species-specific for L. sakei and useful for identification of strains in this species.