Microbes and Environments
Online ISSN : 1347-4405
Print ISSN : 1342-6311
ISSN-L : 1342-6311
Volume 27 , Issue 4
Showing 1-30 articles out of 30 articles from the selected issue
Minireviews
  • Kazuaki Miyamoto, Jihong Li, Bruce A. McClane
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 343-349
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 14, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Recent advances in understanding the genetics of enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens, including whole genome sequencing of a chromosomal cpe strain and sequencing of several cpe-carrying large plasmids, have led to the development of molecular approaches to more precisely investigate isolates involved in human gastrointestinal diseases and isolates present in the environment. Sequence-based PCR genotyping of the cpe locus (cpe genotyping PCR assays) has provided new information about cpe-positive type A C. perfringens including: 1) Foodborne C. perfringens outbreaks can be caused not only by chromosomal cpe type A strains with extremely heat-resistant spores, but also less commonly by less heat-resistant spore-forming plasmid cpe type A strains; 2) Both chromosomal cpe and plasmid cpe C. perfringens type A strains can be found in retail foods, healthy human feces and the environment, such as in sewage; 3) Most environmental cpe-positive C. perfringens type A strains carry their cpe gene on plasmids. Moreover, recent studies indicated that the cpe loci of type C, D, and E strains differ from the cpe loci of type A strains and from the cpe loci of each other, indicating that the cpe loci of C. perfringens have remarkable diversity. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) indicated that the chromosomal cpe strains responsible for most food poisoning cases have distinct genetic characteristics that provide unique biological properties, such as the formation of highly heat-resistant spores. These and future advances should help elucidate the epidemiology of enterotoxigenic C. perfringens and also contribute to the prevention of C. perfringens food poisoning outbreaks and other CPE-associated human diseases.
    Download PDF (536K)
  • Yukari Yoshida-Takashima, Mitsuhiro Yoshida, Hiroyuki Ogata, Keizo Nag ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 350-355
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Host-like genes are often found in viral genomes. To date, multiple host-like genes involved in photosynthesis and the pentose phosphate pathway have been found in phages of marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus. These gene products are predicted to redirect host metabolism to deoxynucleotide biosynthesis for phage replication while maintaining photosynthesis. A cyanophage, Ma-LMM01, infecting the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa, was isolated from a eutrophic freshwater lake and assigned as a member of a new lineage of the Myoviridae family. The genome encodes a host-like NblA. Cyanobacterial NblA is known to be involved in the degradation of the major light harvesting complex, the phycobilisomes. Ma-LMM01 nblA gene showed an early expression pattern and was highly transcribed during phage infection. We speculate that the co-option of nblA into Microcystis phages provides a significant fitness advantage to phages by preventing photoinhibition during infection and possibly represents an important part of the co-evolutionary interactions between cyanobacteria and their phages.
    Download PDF (538K)
  • Indun Dewi Puspita, Yoichi Kamagata, Michiko Tanaka, Kozo Asano, Cindy ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 356-366
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Many strategies have been used to increase the number of bacterial cells that can be grown from environmental samples but cultivation efficiency remains a challenge for microbial ecologists. The difficulty of cultivating a fraction of bacteria in environmental samples can be classified into two non-exclusive categories. Bacterial taxa with no cultivated representatives for which appropriate laboratory conditions necessary for growth are yet to be identified. The other class is cells in a non-dividing state (also known as dormant or viable but not culturable cells) that require the removal or addition of certain factors to re-initiate growth. A number of strategies, from simple to high throughput techniques, are reviewed that have been used to increase the cultivation efficiency of environmental samples. Some of the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the success of these cultivation strategies are described. Overall this review emphasizes the need of researchers to first understand the factors that are hindering cultivation to identify the best strategies to improve cultivation efficiency.
    Download PDF (494K)
Regular Papers
  • Consuelo Esteve, Elena Alcaide, María Dolores Blasco
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 367-373
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 03, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Eight Aeromonas hydrophila-like arabinose-negative isolates from diverse sources (i.e., river freshwater, cooling-system water pond, diseased wild European eels, and human stools) sampled in Valencia (Spain) during 2004–2005, were characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and extensive biochemical testing along with reference strains of most Aeromonas species. These isolates and all reference strains of A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis and A. aquariorum showed a 16S rRNA sequence similarity of 99.8–100%, and they all shared an identical phenotype. This matched exactly with that of A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis since all strains displayed positive responses to the Voges-Prokauer test and to the use of dl-lactate. This is the first report of A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis recovered from environmental samples, and further, from its original isolation in India during 1993–1994. This was accurately identified and segregated from other clinical aeromonads (A. hydrophila subsp. hydrophila, A. caviae, A. veronii biovars veronii and sobria, A. trota, A. schubertii and A. jandaei) by using biochemical key tests. The API 20 E profile for all strains included in A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis was 7047125. The prevalence of this species in Spanish sources was higher for water (9.4%) than for feces (6%) or eels (1.3%). Isolates recovered as pure cultures from diseased eels were moderately virulent (LD50 of 3.3×106 CFU fish−1) to challenged eels in experimental trials. They were all resistant to ticarcillin, amoxicillin-clavuranic acid, cefoxitin, and imipenem, regardless of its source. Our data point to A. hydrophila subsp. dhakensis as an emerging pathogen for humans and fish in temperate countries.
    Download PDF (490K)
  • R. Craig Everroad, Hiroyo Otaki, Katsumi Matsuura, Shin Haruta
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 374-381
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: May 17, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To better understand the biogeography and relationship between temperature and community structure within microbial mats, the bacterial diversity of mats at a slightly alkaline, sulfide-containing hot spring was explored. Microbial mats that developed at temperatures between 75–52°C were collected from an area of approximately 1 m2 in Nakabusa, Nagano, Japan. Bacterial 16S rRNA genes from these samples were examined by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and clone library analysis. T-RFLP profiles revealed 66 unique fragments (T-RFs). Based on total T-RFs observed in environmental profiles and clone libraries, a temperature effect on diversity was determined, with complexity in the community increasing as temperature decreased. The T-RF pattern indicated four distinct community assemblages related to temperature. Members of the Aquificales and particularly the sulfur-oxidizing bacterium Sulfurihydrogenibium were present at all temperatures and were the dominant component of mats taken at 75–67°C. Sulfide oxidation, which persisted throughout the temperature gradient, was the presumed dominant pathway of primary production above 67°C. As temperature decreased, successive additions of anoxygenic and oxygenic phototrophs increased primary productivity, allowing for diversification of the community.
    Download PDF (692K)
  • Takuro Nunoura, Yoshihiro Takaki, Hiromi Kazama, Miho Hirai, Juichiro ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 382-390
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 18, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Microbial community structures in methane seep sediments in the Nankai Trough were analyzed by tag-sequencing analysis for the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene using a newly developed primer set. The dominant members of Archaea were Deep-sea Hydrothermal Vent Euryarchaeotic Group 6 (DHVEG 6), Marine Group I (MGI) and Deep Sea Archaeal Group (DSAG), and those in Bacteria were Alpha-, Gamma-, Delta- and Epsilonproteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetes and Acidobacteria. Diversity and richness were examined by 8,709 and 7,690 tag-sequences from sediments at 5 and 25 cm below the seafloor (cmbsf), respectively. The estimated diversity and richness in the methane seep sediment are as high as those in soil and deep-sea hydrothermal environments, although the tag-sequences obtained in this study were not sufficient to show whole microbial diversity in this analysis. We also compared the diversity and richness of each taxon/division between the sediments from the two depths, and found that the diversity and richness of some taxa/divisions varied significantly along with the depth.
    Download PDF (1049K)
  • Li Lin, Zhengyi Li, Chunjin Hu, Xincheng Zhang, Siping Chang, Litao Ya ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 391-398
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 18, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The current nitrogen fertilization for sugarcane production in Guangxi, the major sugarcane-producing area in China, is very high. We aim to reduce nitrogen fertilization and improve sugarcane production in Guangxi with the help of indigenous sugarcane-associated nitrogen-fixing bacteria. We initially obtained 196 fast-growing bacterial isolates associated with the main sugarcane cultivar ROC22 plants in fields using a nitrogen-deficient minimal medium and screened out 43 nitrogen-fixing isolates. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that 42 of the 43 nitrogen-fixing isolates were affiliated with the genera Enterobacter and Klebsiella. Most of the nitrogen-fixing enterobacteria possessed two other plant growth-promoting activities of IAA production, siderophore production and phosphate solubilization. Two Enterobacter spp. strains of NN145S and NN143E isolated from rhizosphere soil and surface-sterilized roots, respectively, of the same ROC22 plant were used to inoculate micropropagated sugarcane plantlets. Both strains increased the biomass and nitrogen content of the sugarcane seedlings grown with nitrogen fertilization equivalent to 180 kg urea ha-1, the recommended nitrogen fertilization for ROC22 cane crops at the seedling stage. 15N isotope dilution assays demonstrated that biological nitrogen fixation contributed to plant growth promotion. These results suggested that indigenous nitrogen-fixing enterobacteria have the potential to fix N2 associated with sugarcane plants grown in fields in Guangxi and to improve sugarcane production.
    Download PDF (401K)
  • Andi Kurniawan, Tatsuya Yamamoto, Yuki Tsuchiya, Hisao Morisaki
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 399-406
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: May 17, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The characteristics of biofilm polymers formed on stone surfaces in Lake Biwa and ion adsorption and desorption to and from these biofilms were investigated. The results indicated that both positively and negatively charged sites exist in the biofilm polymer. A physicochemical interaction between these sites and ions in the surrounding water seems to promote the adsorption of ions to the biofilm through an attractive electrostatic interaction and an ion-exchange mechanism. The results also indicated that, in comparison with ion-exchange resins, ions were more loosely bound to and desorbed more easily from the biofilm polymer. This suggests that microbes in the biofilm can readily use these ions as nutrient ions. Our present findings indicate that the biofilm may play an important role in supplying nutrient ions to microbes in the biofilm and in the development of a nutrient-rich environment within the biofilm through both ion adsorption and desorption. This study shows for the first time that the inside of a biofilm can be a sustainable environment for microbes.
    Download PDF (305K)
  • Keitaro Kondo, Katsuhiko Yoshimatsu, Taketomo Fujiwara
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 407-412
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 28, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) remove intracellular nitrite to prevent its toxicity by a nitrifier denitrification pathway involving two denitrifying enzymes, nitrite reductase and nitric oxide reductase. Here, a Cu-containing nitrite reductase from Nitrosococcus oceani strain NS58, a gammaproteobacterial marine AOB, was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Sequence homology analysis indicated that the nitrite reductase from N. oceani was phylogenetically closer to its counterparts from denitrifying bacteria than that of the betaproteobacterium Nitrosomonas europaea. The recombinant enzyme was a homotrimer of a 32 kDa subunit molecule. The enzyme was green in the oxidized state with absorption peaks at 455 nm and 575 nm. EPR spectroscopy indicated the presence of type 2 Cu. Molecular activities and the affinity constant for the nitrite were determined to be 1.6×103 s−1 and 52 mM, respectively.
    Download PDF (326K)
  • Martina Kyselková, Alica Chroňáková, Lucie V ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 413-422
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: May 17, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM) inhabit soil and water but certain strains represent a health risk for human and animals. Both clinical and soil RGM may be under selection pressure for resistance to tetracycline (TET) antibiotics, since tetracyclines are administrated to humans and farm animals, and TET residues enter soil through manuring; however, resistance to TET and the presence of TET-resistance genes have been assessed only in clinical isolates. We were therefore interested in comparing soil and clinical RGM in terms of TET resistance and the presence of TET-resistance genes. We used 44 RGM from grasslands with different exposure to animal manure, and 38 clinical RGM from Czech hospitals. There was no difference between the clinical and soil isolates in TET resistance, with >50% resistant isolates in both groups. otr(A), otr(B), tet(K), tet(L) or tet(M) were not detected in any soil or clinical isolate. In contrast, most isolates harbored tet(V) and tap, both encoding mycobacterial efflux pumps, including species where these genes have never been evidenced before. The phylogeny of tet(V) correlated with isolates’ BOX-PCR profiles, suggesting that this gene evolved along with mycobacterial genomes as a part of the intrinsic resistome. In certain cases, tet(V) and/or tap were found in TET-sensitive isolates, or inversely, were not found in resistant strains. Concluding, intrinsic efflux pumps may be more important for TET resistance than horizontally transferred genes in both soil and clinical RGM. Their simple presence, however, does not attest to resistance, and therefore their diversity, function and expression merit further research.
    Download PDF (839K)
  • Miho Okude, Junji Matsuo, Shinji Nakamura, Kouhei Kawaguchi, Yasuhiro ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 423-429
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 26, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Symbiosis between living beings is an important driver of evolutionary novelty and ecological diversity; however, understanding the mechanisms underlying obligate mutualism remains a significant challenge. Regarding this, we have previously isolated two different Acanthamoeba strains harboring endosymbiotic bacteria, Protochlamydia (R18 symbiotic amoebae: R18WT) or Neochlamydia (S13 symbiotic amoebae; S13WT). In this study, we treated the symbiotic amoebae R18WT and S13WT with doxycycline (DOX) and rifampicin (RFP), respectively, to establish the aposymbiotic amoebae R18DOX and S13RFP, respectively. Subsequently, we compared the growth speed, motility, phagocytosis, pinocytosis, and morphology of the symbiotic and aposymbiotic amoebae. The growth speed of R18DOX was decreased, although that of S13RFP was increased. A marked change in motility was observed only for R18DOX amoebae. There was no difference in phagocytic and pinocytic activities between the symbiotic and aposymbiotic amoebae. Meanwhile, we observed a significant change in the phalloidin staining pattern and morphological changes in R18DOX (but not S13RFP) aposymbiotic amoebae, indicating a change in actin accumulation upon removal of the Protochlamydia. Infection of C3 (a reference strain) or S13RFP amoebae with Protochlamydia had a harmful effect on the host amoebae, but R18DOX amoebae re-infected with Protochlamydia showed recovery in both growth speed and motility. Taken together, we conclude that endosymbiont environmental chlamydiae alter the growth speed and/or motility of their host Acanthamoeba, possibly implying an close mutual relationship between amoebae and environmental chlamydiae.
    Download PDF (1835K)
  • Rui Zong, Nianzhi Jiao
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 430-442
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Roseobacter litoralis OCh149 is a type strain of aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in marine Roseobacter clade. Its full genome has been sequenced; however, proteomic research, which will give deeper insights into the environmental stimuli on gene expression networks, has yet to be performed. In the present study, a proteomic approach was employed to analyze the status of R. litoralis OCh149 in carbon starvation during the stationary phase and its responses to a dark/light regimen (12 h:12 h) in both exponential and stationary phases. LC-MS/MS-based analysis of highly abundant proteins under carbon starvation revealed that proteins involved in transport, the transcription/translation process and carbohydrate metabolism were the major functional categories, while poly-β-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA), previously accumulated in cells, was remobilized after stress. Glucose, as the sole carbon source in the defined medium, was broken down by Entner-Doudoroff and reductive pentose phosphate (PP) pathways. Carbohydrate catabolism-related proteins were down-regulated under light regardless of the growth phase, probably due to inhibition of respiration by light. In contrast, responses of amino acid metabolisms to light regimen varied among different proteins during growth phases depending on cellular requirements for proliferation, growth or survival. Fluorescence induction and relaxation measurements suggested that functional absorption cross-sections of the photosynthetic complexes decreased during the dark period and always recovered to about the previous level during the light period. Although the photosynthetic genes in R. litoralis OCh149 are located on the plasmid, these data indicate the regulatory mechanism of photoheterotroph metabolism by both carbon and light availability.
    Download PDF (4116K)
  • Minglu Zhang, Wenjun Liu, Xuebiao Nie, Cuiping Li, Junnong Gu, Can Zha ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 443-448
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Microbial community structures in biofilms of a clearwell in a drinking water supply system in Beijing, China were examined by clone library, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and 454 pyrosequencing of the amplified 16S rRNA gene. Six biofilm samples (designated R1-R6) collected from six locations (upper and lower sites of the inlet, middle and outlet) of the clearwell revealed similar bacterial patterns by T-RFLP analysis. With respect to the dominant groups, the phylotypes detected by clone library and T-RFLP generally matched each other. A total of 9,543 reads were obtained from samples located at the lower inlet and the lower outlet sites by pyrosequencing. The bacterial diversity of the two samples was compared at phylum and genus levels. Alphaproteobacteria dominated the communities in both samples and the genus of Sphingomonas constituted 75.1%–99.6% of this phylum. A high level of Sphingomonas sp. was first observed in the drinking water biofilms with 0.6–1.0 mg L-1 of chlorine residual. Disinfectant-resistant microorganisms deserve special attention in drinking water management.
    This study provides novel insights into the microbial populations in drinking water systems and highlights the important role of Sphingomonas species in biofilm formation.
    Download PDF (331K)
  • Juliana Alves Resende, Vânia L. Silva, Cláudia Oliveira F ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 449-455
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: September 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The use of antimicrobials and toxic metals should be considered carefully in aquaculture and surrounding environments. We aimed to evaluate medically relevant bacteria in an aquaculture system and their susceptibility to antimicrobials and toxic metals. Selective cultures for enterobacteria (ENT), non-fermenting Gram-negative rods (NFR) and Gram-positive cocci (GPC) were obtained from water samples collected in two different year seasons. The isolated bacteria were biochemically identified and antimicrobial and toxic metal susceptibility patterns were determined. Overall, 407 representative strains were recovered. In general, bacteria isolated from fish ponds showed higher multiple antibiotic resistance indices when compared to those isolated from a water-fed canal. Resistance to penicillin and azithromycin was observed more frequently in the GPC group, whereas resistance to ampicillin and ampicillin/sulbactam or gentamicin was observed more frequently in the ENT and NFR groups, respectively. All the isolated bacteria were tolerant to nickel, zinc, chromium and copper at high levels (≥1,024 μg mL−1), whereas tolerance to cadmium and mercury varied among the isolated bacteria (2–1,024 μg mL−1). Multidrug-resistant bacteria were more frequent and diverse in fish ponds than in the water-fed canal. A positive correlation was observed between antimicrobial resistance and metal tolerance. The data point out the need for water treatment associated with the aquaculture system.
    Download PDF (199K)
  • Megumi Yoshida, Satoshi Ishii, Daichi Fujii, Shigeto Otsuka, Keishi Se ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 456-461
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: September 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Denitrification occurs markedly in rice paddy fields; however, few microbes that are actively involved in denitrification in these environments have been identified. In this study, we used a laboratory soil microcosm system in which denitrification activity was enhanced. DNA and RNA were extracted from soil at six time points after enhancing denitrification activity, and quantitative PCR and clone library analyses were performed targeting the 16S rRNA gene and denitrification functional genes (nirS, nirK and nosZ) to clarify which microbes are actively involved in denitrification in rice paddy soil. Based on the quantitative PCR results, transcription levels of the functional genes agreed with the denitrification activity, although gene abundance did not change at the DNA level. Diverse denitrifiers were detected in clone library analysis, but comparative analysis suggested that only some of the putative denitrifiers, especially those belonging to the orders Neisseriales, Rhodocyclales and Burkholderiales, were actively involved in denitrification in rice paddy soil.
    Download PDF (495K)
  • Shota Oku, Ayaka Komatsu, Takahisa Tajima, Yutaka Nakashimada, Junichi ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 462-469
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: September 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1 showed positive chemotactic responses toward 20 commonly-occurring l-amino acids. Genomic analysis revealed that P. fluorescens Pf0-1 possesses three genes (Pfl01_0124, Pfl01_0354, and Pfl01_4431) homologous to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 pctA gene, which has been identified as a chemotaxis sensory protein for amino acids. When Pf01_4431, Pfl01_0124, and Pfl01_0354 were introduced into the pctA pctB pctC triple mutant of P. aeruginosa PAO1, a mutant defective in chemotaxis to amino acids, its transformants showed chemotactic responses to 18, 16, and one amino acid, respectively. This result suggests that Pf01_4431, Pfl01_0124, and Pfl01_0354 are chemotaxis sensory proteins for amino acids and their genes were designated ctaA, ctaB, and ctaC, respectively. The ctaA ctaB ctaC triple mutant of P. fluorescens Pf0-1 showed only weak responses to Cys and Pro but no responses to the other 18 amino acids, indicating that CtaA, CtaB, and CtaC are major chemotaxis sensory proteins in P. fluorescens Pf0-1. Tomato root colonization by P. fluorescens strains was analyzed by gnotobiotic competitive root colonization assay. It was found that ctaA ctaB ctaC mutant was less competitive than the wild-type strain, suggesting that chemotaxis to amino acids, major components of root exudate, has an important role in root colonization by P. fluorescens Pf0-1. The ctaA ctaB ctaC triple mutant was more competitive than the cheA mutant of P. fluorescens Pf0-1, which is non-chemotactic, but motile. This result suggests that chemoattractants other than amino acids are also involved in root colonization by P. fluorescens Pf0-1.
    Download PDF (573K)
  • Shoko Inaba, Fumio Ikenishi, Manabu Itakura, Masakazu Kikuchi, Shima E ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 470-476
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    A model system developed to produce N2O emissions from degrading soybean nodules in the laboratory was used to clarify the mechanism of N2O emission from soybean fields. Soybean plants inoculated with nosZ-defective strains of Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110 (ΔnosZ, lacking N2O reductase) were grown in aseptic jars. After 30 days, shoot decapitation (D, to promote nodule degradation), soil addition (S, to supply soil microbes), or both (DS) were applied. N2O was emitted only with DS treatment. Thus, both soil microbes and nodule degradation are required for the emission of N2O from the soybean rhizosphere. The N2O flux peaked 15 days after DS treatment. Nitrate addition markedly enhanced N2O emission. A 15N tracer experiment indicated that N2O was derived from N fixed in the nodules. To evaluate the contribution of bradyrhizobia, N2O emission was compared between a nirK mutant (ΔnirKΔnosZ, lacking nitrite reductase) and ΔnosZ. The N2O flux from the ΔnirKΔnosZ rhizosphere was significantly lower than that from ΔnosZ, but was still 40% to 60% of that of ΔnosZ, suggesting that N2O emission is due to both B. japonicum and other soil microorganisms. Only nosZ-competent B. japonicum (nosZ+ strain) could take up N2O. Therefore, during nodule degradation, both B. japonicum and other soil microorganisms release N2O from nodule N via their denitrification processes (N2O source), whereas nosZ-competent B. japonicum exclusively takes up N2O (N2O sink). Net N2O flux from soybean rhizosphere is likely determined by the balance of N2O source and sink.
    Download PDF (957K)
  • Pankaj Kumar Srivastava, Belle Damodara Shenoy, Manjul Gupta, Aradhana ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 477-482
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Fifteen fungi were obtained from arsenic-contaminated agricultural fields in West Bengal, India and examined for their arsenic tolerance and removal ability in our previous study. Of these, the four best arsenic-remediating isolates were tested for plant growth promotion effects on rice and pea in the present study. A greenhouse-based pot experiment was conducted using soil inocula of individual fungi. The results indicated a significant (P<0.05) increase in plant growth and improvement of soil properties in inoculated soils compared to the control. A significant increase in plant growth was recorded in treated soils and varied from 16–293%. Soil chemical and enzymatic properties varied from 20–222% and 34–760%, respectively, in inoculated soil. Plants inoculated with inocula of Westerdykella and Trichoderma showed better stimulatory effects on plant growth and soil nutrient availability than Rhizopus and Lasiodiplodia. These fungi improved soil nutrient content and enhanced plant growth. These fungi may be used as bioinoculants for plant growth promotion and improved soil properties in arsenic-contaminated agricultural soils.
    Download PDF (479K)
  • Kei Wada, Kei Kimura, Akifumi Hasegawa, Keiichi Fukuyama, Keizo Nagasa ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 483-489
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    HcRNAV is a small icosahedral virus that infects the shellfish-killing marine dinoflagellate Heterocapsa circularisquama, which harbors a dicistronic linear single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) genome ca. 4.4 kb in length. Its major capsid protein (MCP) gene sequence is not expressed by various strains of Escherichia coli, possibly because of a codon usage problem. To solve this problem, a chemically modified (i.e., de novo synthesized) gene was designed and cloned into the pCold-GST expression vector, and transformed into E. coli strain C41 (DE3), in which codon usage was universally optimized to efficiently express the polypeptide having the viral MCP amino acid sequence. The bacterially expressed protein, which was purified after a procedure involving denaturation and refolding, successfully formed virus-like particles that significantly resembled native HcRNAV particles. The purified, denatured protein was used as an antigen to immunize rabbits, and the resulting antiserum was shown to be strongly reactive to not only the bacterially expressed recombinant protein, but also to native HcRNAV MCP by Western blotting and dot immunoassays, respectively. These results indicate that an antiserum recognizing native HcRNAV MCP was successfully obtained using bacterially expressed HcRNAV MCP as the antigen.
    Download PDF (648K)
  • Masahito Hashimoto, Youhei Tanishita, Yasuo Suda, Ei-ichi Murakami, Ma ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 490-496
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Mesorhizobium loti is a member of the rhizobia and forms nitrogen-fixing symbioses with several Lotus species. Recently, it was reported that M. loti bacterial cells and their lipopolysaccharide (LPS) preparations transiently induced nitric oxide (NO) production in the roots of L. japonicus. We subsequently found that polysaccharides and the lipid A moiety were responsible for this NO induction. In this study, we elucidated the chemical structure of M. loti lipid A and characterized its NO-inducing activity in response to structural modifications. M. loti LPS were partially hydrolyzed with hydrazine or aqueous hydrofluoric acid to obtain O-deacylated or dephosphorylated LPS, respectively. The untreated and treated LPS fractions were subjected to weak acid hydrolysis to obtain lipid A fractions. The chemical structure of M. loti lipid A was elucidated by chemical composition analysis, MALDI-TOF-MS, and NMR spectra to be P-4-β-GlcNN(1-6)α-GlcNN(1-1)α-GalA, in which positions 2 and 3 of β-GlcNN are substituted for 3-acyloxy-fatty amides, and positions 2 and 3 of α-GlcNN are substituted for 3OH-fatty amides. The partial hydrolysis of lipid A appeared to reduce its NO-inducing activity. These results suggest that L. japonicus root cells recognize the lipid A structure as a means of controlling NO production.
    Download PDF (829K)
  • Xihan Liu, Jun Gong
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 497-503
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 26, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Peritrichs are a diverse, ecologically important ciliate group usually with a complex life cycle. To date, the community of the peritrichs has been investigated by using morphology-based methods such as living observation and silver staining. Here we show a molecular approach for characterizing the diversity and quantity of free-living peritrichs in environmental samples. We newly designed four peritrich-specific primers targeting 18S rRNA genes that allow clone library construction, screening and analysis. A quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay was developed to quantify peritrichs in environmental samples by using rDNA copy number as an indicator. DNA extracted from four water samples of contrasting environmental gradients was analysed. The results showed that the peritrich community was differentiated among these samples, and that the diversity decreased with the increase of water salinity. The qPCR results are consistent with the library sequence analysis in terms of quantity variations from sample to sample. The development of peritrich-specific primers, for the first time, for conventional PCR and qPCR assays, provides useful molecular tools for revealing the diversity and quantity of peritrich ciliates in environmental samples. Also, our study illustrates the potential of these molecular tools to ecological studies of other ciliate groups in diverse environments.
    Download PDF (430K)
Short Communications
  • Ioanna Akoumianaki, Hidetaka Nomaki, Maria Pachiadaki, Konstantinos Ar ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 504-508
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 14, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Studies in the center and margin of the Medee Basin, a Mediterranean deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basin, and at a reference site during Penelope cruise (2007), revealed the existence of a 7 m-thick halocline, with high salinity (328 psu), and high sedimentary organic carbon and biopolymer concentrations. The 194 16S rRNA sequences retrieved were grouped into 118 unique phylotypes. Pseudomonas gessardii, dominated in the center, while 33 phylotypes were detected at the margin and 73 at the reference site. The study suggested conditions hostile to bacteria in the sediments of the Medee Basin and preservation of sedimentary labile organic matter.
    Download PDF (280K)
  • Joana Barros, Margarida Andrade, Hajer Radhouani, Maria López, ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 509-511
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 28, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium and E. durans isolates with the genotype vanA were detected in 7 of 118 faecal samples (5.9%) of natural gilthead seabream recovered off the coast of Portugal, and one vancomycin-resistant isolate/sample was further characterized. The genes erm(B), tet(L), tet(M), aac(6′)-aph(2"), aph(3′)-IIIa and/or ant(6)-Ia were identified in most of the 7 vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Sequence types ST273, ST313 and ST76 were detected in three E. faecium isolates and ST6 in two E. faecalis isolates. VanA-containing enterococci are suggested to be disseminated in fish in marine ecosystems close to areas of human activity.
    Download PDF (161K)
  • Yuki Morono, Katsuhiro Yamamoto, Fumio Inagaki
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 512-514
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: April 18, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In this study, we tested a radical gas-based decontamination technique to prevent possible DNA contamination by the air and/or equipment used in molecular experiments. We prepared 104 molecules of model DNA contaminant and placed the dried DNA into test tubes, which were then exposed to radical gas. Quantitative PCR analysis showed that, even after a short exposure time of 30 minutes, 99.54% of the model DNA contaminant was effectively decomposed to undetectable levels. Our results demonstrate that the radical gas-based treatment is a useful method for eliminating potential DNA contaminant in ultra-sensitive molecular experiments.
    Download PDF (638K)
  • Hitomi Kajiwara, Munetoyo Toda, Toshiki Mine, Hiroshi Nakada, Takeshi ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 515-518
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 26, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Fucose-containing oligosaccharides on the cell surface of some pathogenic bacteria are thought to be important for host-microbe interactions and to play a major role in the pathogenicity of bacterial pathogens. Here, we screened marine bacteria for glycosyltransferases using two methods: a one-pot glycosyltransferase assay method and a lectin-staining method. Using this approach, we isolated marine bacteria with fucosyltransferase activity. There have been no previous reports of marine bacteria producing fucosyltransferase. This paper thus represents the first report of fucosyltransferase-producing marine bacteria.
    Download PDF (412K)
  • Nozomi Yamamoto, Ryu Oishi, Yoshihisa Suyama, Chika Tada, Yutaka Nakai
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 519-524
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: September 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The distribution of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB) in cattle, swine, and chicken manure compost was analyzed. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed that a Candidatus Nitrososphaera gargensis-like sequence dominated in cattle manure compost, while few AOA were detected in other composts. In the case of AOB, Nitrosomonas-like sequences were detected with higher diversity in cattle and swine manure composts. The relative abundance of ammonia oxidizers by real-time PCR revealed that more AOB was present in compost except in one swine manure compost. Our results indicated that AOB rather than AOA are widely distributed in animal manure compost.
    Download PDF (325K)
  • Masateru Hasegawa, Akito Nishizawa, Kiyomi Tsuji, Shigenobu Kimura, Ke ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 525-528
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 2-methyl-1-butanol, 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-phenylethanol, were detected together with β-cyclocitral from the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa NIES-843. These alcohols were optimally produced after 35 d of culture, during which nitrate nitrogen in the cultured broth became exhausted. Additionally, these alcohols were definitely produced using the 2-keto-acid decarboxylase (MaKDC) in Microcystis strains. These results suggested that these VOCs from Microcystis are significant for their lifecycle, because these compounds are not produced by any other genus of cyanobacteria. This is the first report of 2-keto-acid decarboxylase producing 3-methyl-1-butanol and 2-phenylethanol by an oxygenic photosynthetic microorganism.
    Download PDF (557K)
  • Francesc Codony, Mariana Fittipaldi, Esther López, Jordi Morat& ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 529-532
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 05, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Waddlia chondrophila is an emerging pathogen considered as a potential agent of abortion in humans and bovines, and is related with human respiratory disease. Despite these findings, the infection source and transmission pathways have not been identified. The evidence of growth into amoeba suggests water as a possible environmental source. The presence of Waddlia chondrophila was determined in drinking and well water samples (n=70) by quantitative PCR (Q-PCR). Positive results were observed in 10 (25%) of the 40 well samples analyzed; therefore, well water could be a potential reservoir and possible infection source of Waddlia chondrophila in animals and humans.
    Download PDF (159K)
  • Naouel Klibi, Naouel Ben Slimen, Imen Fhoula, Maria López, Kari ...
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 533-537
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 31, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    This study aimed to identify and to characterize rhizospheric-derived enterococci. The results showed the prevalence of Enterococcus faecium species (97%) vs. Enterococcus durans (3%). Susceptibility testing for antibiotics showed a low percentage of resistance to erythromycin (3.2%) and tetracycline (11.2%), and intermediate resistance to vancomycin (6.5%). Nevertheless, a high proportion of bacteriocin production was recorded. Furthermore, PCR detection of antibiotic resistance and bacteriocin production-encoding genes was investigated. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing (PFGE) showed a great variability of enterococci in the rhizosphere. Moreover, mutilocus-sequence-typing analysis (MLST) revealed the identification of three new sequence types (STs), which were registered as ST613, ST614 and ST615.
    Download PDF (328K)
  • Hidehisa Yoshimura, Masahiko Ikeuchi, Masayuki Ohomori
    2012 Volume 27 Issue 4 Pages 538-543
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 07, 2012
    [Advance publication] Released: October 10, 2012
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The cell surface senses environmental changes first and transfers signals into the cell. To understand the response to environmental changes, it is necessary to analyze cell surface components, particularly cell surface-associated proteins. We therefore investigated cell surface-associated proteins from the filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The cell surface-associated proteins extracted by an acidic buffer were resolved by SDS-PAGE. Eighteen proteins were identified from resolved bands by amino-terminal sequencing. Analysis of cell surface-associated proteins indicated that several proteins among them were involved in nucleic acid binding, protein synthesis, proteolytic activity and electron transfer, and other proteins were involved in the stress response.
    Download PDF (362K)
feedback
Top