In order to facilitate the discovery of novel bioactive compounds from microorganisms, various techniques for isolation of new actinomycete strains have been attempted. Studies of the vertical distribution of actinomycetes in soil, isolation of actinomycetes from desert soils or fallen leaves, selective isolation of Kitasatospora strains using novobiocin or Actinoplanes strains using the chemotactic method, and the use of gellan gum as a solidifying agent were carried out. We discovered 9 novel bioactive compounds from actinomycete strains isolated under unusual conditions, and proposed two new genera, five new species and one new subspecies.
As of February 2003, bacteria that form nitrogen-fixing symbiotic associations with legumes have been confirmed in 44 species of 12 genera. Phylogenies of these taxa containing legume symbionts based on the comparative analysis of 16S rDNA sequences show that they are not clustered in one lineage but are distributed in the classes Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria, and dispersed over the following nine monophyletic groups, being intermingled with other taxa that do not contain legume symbionts (shown in parentheses below): Group 1, which comprises Rhizobium and Allorhizobium species containing legume symbionts (intermingled with Agrobacterium and Blastobacter species, which are nonsymbionts); Group 2, Sinorhizobium and Ensifer species (with unclassified nonsymbionts); Group 3, Mesorhizobium species (with nonsymbiotic Aminobacter and Pseudaminobacter species); Group 4, Bradyrhizobium species and Blastobacter denitrificans (with nonsymbiotic Agromonas, Nitrobacter, Afipia, and Rhodopseudomonas species); Group 5, “Methylobacterium nodulans” (with nonsymbiotic Methylobacterium species); Group 6, Azorhizobium species (with nonsymbiotic Xanthobacter and Aquabacter species); Group 7, “Devosia neptuniae” (with nonsymbiotic Devosia species and unclassified nonsymbionts); Group 8, symbiotic Burkholderia strains (with nonsymbiotic Burkholderia species); and Group 9, Ralstonia taiwanensis (with nonsymbiotic Ralstonia species). For Groups 5, 8, and 9, the present classification, in which “each monophyletic group comprises one genus wherein legume symbionts and nonsymbionts are intermingled with each other, ” is considered to be retained as is because they are clearly separated from other genera at high bootstrap values and have already been sufficiently characterized based on polyphasic taxonomy. As for the remaining six monophyletic groups, on the other hand, there are currently three options for emending their current classification (definitions and circumscriptions) at the generic level: A) the current classification shall be retained as is; B) all the genera within each monophyletic group shall be amalgamated into one single genus in conformity with the results of phylogenetic analysis; or C) each subordinate lineage in each monophyletic group shall be proposed as a genus. It is considered that research and discussions will be continuously conducted for emending the classification of these monophyletic groups based chiefly on Options B and C as preferable candidates.
The taxonomic position of three actinomycete strains isolated from Malaysian soil was established by using a polyphasic approach. The isolates formed chains composed of four spores on the tip of sporophores branching from the aerial mycelium, and their chemotaxonomic properties were common to those of members of the family Streptosporangiaceae. These phenotypic properties as well as a phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that they should be classified in the genus Microtetraspora. The three isolates showed a unique pattern of cultural, physiological and biochemical properties that distinguished them from previously described species of the genus Microtetraspora. The isolates showed more than 72% DNA relatedness to each other, but only 58% or less relatedness to any previously described species. On the basis of the data presented, a new species of the genus Microtetraspora, Microtetraspora malaysiensis, is proposed. The type strain of the new species is strain H47-7T (=JCM 11278T=DSM 44579T).
Phylogenetic analysis of cyanobacteria was carried out using the small subunit rRNA (16S rRNA), DNA gyrase subunit B (gyrB), DNA-dependent RNA polymerase γ subunit (rpoC1) and a principal sigma factor of E. coli σ70 type for DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (rpoD1) gene sequences of 24 strains which contained 5 subgroups of cyanobacteria—3 strains of the Chroococcales, 5 strains of the Pluerocapsales, 7 strains of the Oscillatoriales, 7 strains of the Nostocales and 2 strains of the Stigonematales. Degenerated PCR primers of gyrB, rpoC1 and rpoD1 genes were designed using consensus amino acid sequences registered in GenBank. The phylogenetic positions of cyanobacteria were resolved through phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rDNA, gyrB, rpoC1 and rpoD1 gene sequences. Phylogenies of gyrB, rpoC1 and rpoD1 support 16S rRNA-based classification of cyanobacteria. Interestingly, phylogenies from amino acid sequences deduced from gyrB and combined amino acid sequences deduced from rpoC1 and rpoD1 genes strongly support that of 16S rRNA, but the branching pattens of the trees based on 16S rDNA, GyrB, rpoC1, rpoD1 and combined amino acid sequences deduced from rpoC1 and rpoD1 were not congruent. In this study, we showed the correlation among phylogenetic relationships of 16S rDNA, gyrB, rpoC1 and rpoD1 genes. The phylogenetic trees based on the sequences of 16S rDNA, GyrB, rpoC1, rpoD1 and the combined amino acid sequences deduced from rpoC1 and rpoD1 showed that the lateral gene transfer of rRNA might be suspected for Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.
The aim of this research was to produce concentrated biomasses of thermophilic lactic starters using immobilized cell technology (ICT). Fermentations were carried out in milk using pH control with cells microentrapped in alginate beads. In the ICT fermentations, beads represented 17% of the weight. Some assays were carried out with free cells without pH control, in order to compare the ICT populations with those of classical starters. With Streptococcus thermophilus, overall populations in the fermentor were similar, but maximum bead population for (8.2×109 cfu/g beads) was 13 times higher than that obtained in a traditional starter (4.9×108 cfu/ml). For both Lactobacillus helveticus strains studied, immobilized-cell populations were about 3×109 cfu/g beads. Production of immobilized Lb. bulgaricus 210R strain was not possible, since no increases in viable counts occurred in beads. Therefore, production of concentrated cell suspension in alginate beads was more effective for S. thermophilus. Photomicrographs of cells in alginate beads demonstrated that, while the morphology of S. thermophilus remained unchanged during the ICT fermentation, immobilized cells of Lb. helveticus appeared wider. In addition, cells of Lb. bulgaricus were curved and elongated. These morphological changes would also impair the growth of immobilized lactobacilli.