We analyzed the stress response in a spore clone from Shirakami kodama yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, with an exceptional high tolerance to oxidative stress. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in this clone were very low, whereas the genes for superoxide dismutase (SOD2) and catalase (CTT1) were highly expressed and those enzymes also had high activities even under non-stress conditions. Both genes are regulated by general stress-responsive transcription factors Msn2 and Msn4, and Yap1, a transcription factor required for oxidative stress tolerance, and the removal of Msn2 or Yap1 caused a significant decrease in CTT1-expression. Under non-stress conditions, Msn2 was ~3.6-fold more abundant in the nucleus of the spore clone compared with a laboratory strain, whereas the nuclear abundance of Yap1 remained unchanged. Thus, a high tolerance to oxidative stress in this spore clone results from a high expression of ROS-degrading enzymes by the abundant accumulation of Msn2 in the nucleus. We found that oxidative stress caused by the presence of furfural did not impair fermentation by this strain, which could make it attractive for ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass.
The rapa whelk Rapana venosa is a commercially important gastropod in China, but a major invader worldwide. There is little information on the bacterial community composition in the digestive system of this species, despite the microflora has important roles in digestion, nutrition, disease resistance, and immune response. The present study investigated the bacterial flora community in the esophagus and intestinal tract of wild R. venosa by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The esophagus and intestine had 1175 and 526 unique operational taxonomic units, respectively, with 616 common to both tissues. The 10 most highly represented microbial genera in the esophagus were Mycoplasma, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia, Shewanella, Vibrio, Lactobacillus, Octadecabacter, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, and Sphingomonas, which accounted for 41.35% of microbes. In the intestine, the most abundant genera were Mycoplasma, Bifidobacterium, Escherichia, Shewanella, Vibrio, Psychrilyobacter, Peptoniphilus, Sporobacterium, Octadecabacter, and Mobiluncusin (representing 62.74% of total microbes). A linear discriminant analysis, coupled with effect size, revealed that 31 taxa were differentially represented in esophagus and intestine bacterial communities. These results demonstrate the diversity of microbiota in the esophagus and intestinal tract of R. venosa and provide a basis for investigations into the physiological and immunological roles of these microorganisms in whelk.
Soil bacteria Streptomyces are the most important producers of secondary metabolites, including most known antibiotics. These bacteria and their close relatives are unique in possessing linear chromosomes, which typically harbor 20 to 30 biosynthetic gene clusters of tens to hundreds of kb in length. Many Streptomyces chromosomes are accompanied by linear plasmids with sizes ranging from several to several hundred kb. The large linear plasmids also often contain biosynthetic gene clusters. We have developed a targeted recombination procedure for arm exchanges between a linear plasmid and a linear chromosome. A chromosomal segment inserted in an artificially constructed plasmid allows homologous recombination between the two replicons at the homology. Depending on the design, the recombination may result in two recombinant replicons or a single recombinant chromosome with the loss of the recombinant plasmid that lacks a replication origin. The efficiency of such targeted recombination ranges from 9 to 83% depending on the locations of the homology (and thus the size of the chromosomal arm exchanged), essentially eliminating the necessity of selection. The targeted recombination is useful for the efficient engineering of the Streptomyces genome for large-scale deletion, addition, and shuffling.
Although Streptococcus anginosus constitutes a proportion of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal and genital tracts, and the oral cavity, it has been reported that S. anginosus infection could be closely associated with abscesses at various body sites, infective endocarditis, and upper gastrointestinal cancers. The colonization in an acidic environment due to the aciduricity of S. anginosus could be the etiology of the systemic infection of the bacteria. To elucidate the aciduricity and acid tolerance mechanisms of the microbe, we examined the viability and growth of S. anginosus under acidic conditions. The viabilities of S. anginosus NCTC 10713 and Streptococcus mutans ATCC 25175 at pH 4.0 showed as being markedly higher than those of Streptococcus sanguinis ATCC 10556, Streptococcus gordonii ATCC 10558, and Streptococcus mitis ATCC 49456; however, the viability was partially inhibited by dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, an H+-ATPase inhibitor, suggesting that H+-ATPase could play a role in the viability of S. anginosus under acidic conditions. In addition, S. anginosus NCTC 10713 could grow at pH 5.0 and showed a marked arginine deiminase (ADI) activity, unlike its ΔarcA mutant, deficient in the gene encoding ADI, and other streptococcal species, which indicated that ADI could also be associated with aciduricity. These results suggest that S. anginosus has significant aciduric properties, which can be attributed to these enzyme activities.
Utilization of energy-rich crop residues by ruminants is restricted by the presence of lignin, which is recalcitrant to digestion. Application of lignin degrading enzymes on the lignocellulosic biomass exposes the cellulose for easy digestion by ruminants. Laccases have been found to be considerably effective in improving the digestibility by way of delignification. However, laccase yields from natural hosts are not sufficient for industrial scale applications, which restricts their use. A viable option would be to express the laccase gene in compatible hosts to achieve higher production yields. A codon-optimized synthetic variant of Schizophyllum commune laccase gene was cloned into a pPIC9K vector and expressed in P. pastoris GS115 (his4) under the control of an alcohol oxidase promoter. Colonies were screened for G418 resistance and the methanol utilization phenotype was established. The transformant yielded a laccase activity of 344 U·mL–1 after 5 days of growth at 30°C (0.019 g·mL–1 wet cell weight). The laccase protein produced by the recombinant Pichia clone was detected as two bands with apparent molecular weights of 55 kDa and 70 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Activity staining on native PAGE confirmed the presence of bioactive laccase. Treatment of five common crop residues with recombinant laccase recorded a lignin loss ranging between 1.64% in sorghum stover, to 4.83% in finger millet, with an enhancement in digestibility ranging between 8.71% in maize straw to 24.61% in finger millet straw. Treatment with recombinant laccase was effective in enhancing the digestibility of lignocellulosic biomass for ruminant feeding through delignification. To date, a number of hosts have been adventured to produce laccase in large quantities, but, to our knowledge, there are no reports of the expression of laccase protein from Schizophyllum commune in Pichia pastoris, and also on the treatment of crop residues using recombinant laccase for ruminant feeding.
Chitinase 1 (Chi1) is an acidic and thermostable hydrolytic enzyme capable of the breakdown of chitin, a resilient biopolymer that is the primary building block of fungi cell walls and marine exoskeletons. In this study, Chi1 was purified from the bacterium Streptomyces thermodiastaticus HF 3-3, and its properties were carefully characterized. The molecular mass of Chi1 was estimated to be approximately 46 kDa and, through sequencing, its N-terminal amino acid sequence was identified as ADSGKVKL. Although the optimal operating temperature and pH for Chi1 were determined to be 65°C and pH 5.5, respectively, the purified enzyme was stable over wide pH (1.5–9) and temperature ranges. Moreover, Chi1 retained 87% of its activity in the presence of 15% NaCl. While Chi1 activity was inhibited by Ag+ and Mn2+, other chemicals tested had no significant effect on its enzymatic activity. The Km and Vmax values of Chi1 for the substrate colloidal chitin were 1.23 ± 0.7 mg/mL and 6.33 ± 1.0 U/mg, respectively. Thin-layer chromatography analysis of the enzymatic reaction end products mainly detected diacetylchitobiose. We also cloned the Chi1 gene and purified the recombinant protein; the properties of the recombinant enzyme were nearly identical to those of the native enzyme. Therefore, Chi1 purified from S. thermodiastaticus HF 3-3 is unique, as it is highly stable under broad range of pH values, temperatures, and chemical exposures. Combined, these properties make this enzyme attractive for use in the industrial bioconversion of chitin.
A biosensor screening assay based on the synthesis of betaxanthin was applied to relatively high throughput screening of the L-tyrosine mutant library. In the assays, fluorescence output showed a linear relationship between extracellular L-tyrosine content and yellow pigment formation. In addition, the yellow pigment accumulation of the L-tyrosine high-yield strain can be easily distinguished with the naked eye compared with the wild-type strain. As a result, numerous mutants that exhibited significantly increased coloration, were screened out after random mutagenesis, and p-coumaric acid production in mutants NK-A3 and NK-B4, were remarkably improved by 4-fold more than that of the wild-type strain. In general, this study provides a novel strategy for screening mutant libraries in the search for highly L-tyrosine-producing strains.