April 21, 2020  |  

A First Study of the Virulence Potential of a Bacillus subtilis Isolate From Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent.

Bacillus subtilis is the best studied Gram-positive bacterium, primarily as a model of cell differentiation and industrial exploitation. To date, little is known about the virulence of B. subtilis. In this study, we examined the virulence potential of a B. subtilis strain (G7) isolated from the Iheya North hydrothermal field of Okinawa Trough. G7 is aerobic, motile, endospore-forming, and requires NaCl for growth. The genome of G7 is composed of one circular chromosome of 4,216,133 base pairs with an average GC content of 43.72%. G7 contains 4,416 coding genes, 27.5% of which could not be annotated, and the remaining 72.5% were annotated with known or predicted functions in 25 different COG categories. Ten sets of 23S, 5S, and 16S ribosomal RNA operons, 86 tRNA and 14 sRNA genes, 50 tandem repeats, 41 mini-satellites, one microsatellite, and 42 transposons were identified in G7. Comparing to the genome of the B. subtilis wild type strain NCIB 3610T, G7 genome contains many genomic translocations, inversions, and insertions, and twice the amount of genomic Islands (GIs), with 42.5% of GI genes encoding hypothetical proteins. G7 possesses abundant putative virulence genes associated with adhesion, invasion, dissemination, anti-phagocytosis, and intracellular survival. Experimental studies showed that G7 was able to cause mortality in fish and mice following intramuscular/intraperitoneal injection, resist the killing effect of serum complement, and replicate in mouse macrophages and fish peripheral blood leukocytes. Taken together, our study indicates that G7 is a B. subtilis isolate with unique genetic features and can be lethal to vertebrate animals once being introduced into the animals by artificial means. These results provide the first insight into the potential harmfulness of deep-sea B. subtilis.


April 21, 2020  |  

Development of a metabolic pathway transfer and genomic integration system for the syngas-fermenting bacterium Clostridium ljungdahlii.

Clostridium spp. can synthesize valuable chemicals and fuels by utilizing diverse waste-stream substrates, including starchy biomass, lignocellulose, and industrial waste gases. However, metabolic engineering in Clostridium spp. is challenging due to the low efficiency of gene transfer and genomic integration of entire biosynthetic pathways.We have developed a reliable gene transfer and genomic integration system for the syngas-fermenting bacterium Clostridium ljungdahlii based on the conjugal transfer of donor plasmids containing large transgene cassettes (>?5 kb) followed by the inducible activation of Himar1 transposase to promote integration. We established a conjugation protocol for the efficient generation of transconjugants using the Gram-positive origins of replication repL and repH. We also investigated the impact of DNA methylation on conjugation efficiency by testing donor constructs with all possible combinations of Dam and Dcm methylation patterns, and used bisulfite conversion and PacBio sequencing to determine the DNA methylation profile of the C. ljungdahlii genome, resulting in the detection of four sequence motifs with N6-methyladenosine. As proof of concept, we demonstrated the transfer and genomic integration of a heterologous acetone biosynthesis pathway using a Himar1 transposase system regulated by a xylose-inducible promoter. The functionality of the integrated pathway was confirmed by detecting enzyme proteotypic peptides and the formation of acetone and isopropanol by C. ljungdahlii cultures utilizing syngas as a carbon and energy source.The developed multi-gene delivery system offers a versatile tool to integrate and stably express large biosynthetic pathways in the industrial promising syngas-fermenting microorganism C. ljungdahlii. The simple transfer and stable integration of large gene clusters (like entire biosynthetic pathways) is expanding the range of possible fermentation products of heterologously expressing recombinant strains. We also believe that the developed gene delivery system can be adapted to other clostridial strains as well.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of N2-fixing model strain Klebsiella sp. nov. M5al, which produces plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and siderophores.

The bacterial strain M5al is a model strain for studying the molecular genetics of N2-fixation and molecular engineering of microbial production of platform chemicals 1,3-propanediol and 2,3-butanediol. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of the strain M5al, which belongs to a novel species closely related toKlebsiella michiganensis. M5al secretes plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and colonizes rice roots but does not cause soft rot disease. M5al also produces siderophores and contains the gene clusters for synthesis and transport of yersiniabactin which is a critical virulence factor forKlebsiellapathogens in causing human disease. We propose that the model strain M5al can be genetically modified to study bacterial N2-fixation in association with non-legume plants and production of 1,3-propanediol and 2,3-butanediol through degradation of plant cell wall biomass.


September 22, 2019  |  

Isolation and characterization of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, a novel Bacillus strain with antimicrobial activities, from Whitespotted bamboo shark intestine.

The abuse of antibiotics and following rapidly increasing of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is the serious threat to our society. Natural products from microorganism are regarded as the important substitution antimicrobial agents of antibiotics. We isolated a new strain, Bacillus sp. GFP-2, from the Chiloscyllium plagiosum (Whitespotted bamboo shark) intestine, which showed great inhibitory effects on the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Additionally, the growth of salmon was effectively promoted when fed with inactivated strain GFP-2 as the inhibition agent of pathogenic bacteria. The genes encoding antimicrobial peptides like LCI, YFGAP and hGAPDH and gene clusters for secondary metabolites and bacteriocins, such as difficidin, bacillibactin, bacilysin, surfactin, butirosin, macrolactin, bacillaene, fengycin, lanthipeptides and LCI, were predicted in the genome of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, which might be expressed and contribute to the antimicrobial activities of this strain. The gene encoding ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase was successfully cloned from the genome and this protein was detected in the culture supernatant of Bacillus sp. GFP-2 by the antibody produced in rabbit immunized with the recombinant ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, indicating that this strain could express ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, which might partially contribute to its antimicrobial activities. This study can enhance a better understanding of the mechanism of antimicrobial activities in genus Bacillus and provide a useful material for the biotechnology study in antimicrobial agent development.


September 22, 2019  |  

Phenotypic and genomic properties of Brachybacterium vulturis sp. nov. and Brachybacterium avium sp. nov.

Two strains, VM2412T and VR2415T, were isolated from the feces of an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) living in Seoul Grand Park, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. Cells of both strains were observed to be Gram-stain positive, non-motile, aerobic, catalase positive and oxidase negative. Growth was found to occur at 10-30°C, showing optimum growth at 30°C. The strains could tolerate up to 15% (w/v) NaCl concentration and grow at pH 6-9. The strains shared 99.3% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to each other but were identified as two distinct species based on 89.0-89.2% ANIb, 90.3% ANIm, 89.7% OrthoANI and 38.0% dDDH values calculated using whole genome sequences. Among species with validly published names, Brachybacterium ginsengisoli DCY80T shared high 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities with strains VM2412T (98.7%) and VR2415T (98.4%) and close genetic relatedness with strains VM2412T (83.3-83.5% ANIb, 87.0% ANIm, 84.3% OrthoANI and 27.8% dDDH) and VR2415T (82.8-83.2% ANIb, 86.7% ANIm, 83.9% OrthoANI and 27.2% dDDH). The major fatty acid of the two strains was identified as anteiso-C15:0 and the polar lipids consisted of phosphatidylglycerol, diphosphatidylglycerol, presumptively phosphatidylethanolamine and three unidentified glycolipids. Strain VR2415T also produced an unidentified phospholipid. The cell walls of the two strains contained meso-diaminopimelic acid as diagnostic diamino acid and the whole cell sugars were ribose, glucose, and galactose. The strains contained MK-7 as their predominant menaquinone. The genomes of strains VM2412T, VR2415T, and B. ginsengisoli DCY80T were sequenced in this study. The genomic G+C contents of strains VM2412T and VR2415T were determined to be 70.8 and 70.4 mol%, respectively. A genome-based phylogenetic tree constructed using an up-to-date bacterial core gene set (UBCG) showed that the strains formed a clade with members of the genus Brachybacterium, supporting their taxonomic classification into the genus Brachybacterium. Based on phenotypic and genotypic analyses in this study, strains VM2412T and VR2415T are considered to represent two novel species of the genus Brachybacterium and the names Brachybacterium vulturis sp. nov. and Brachybacterium avium sp. nov. are proposed for strains VM2412T (=KCTC 39996T = JCM 32142T) and VR2415T (=KCTC 39997T = JCM 32143T), respectively.


September 22, 2019  |  

Paenibacillus seodonensis sp. nov., isolated from a plant of the genus Campanula.

Strain DCT-19T, representing a Gram-stain-positive, rodshaped, aerobic bacterium, was isolated from a native plant belonging to the genus Campanula on Dokdo, the Republic of Korea. Comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence showed that this strain was closely related to Paenibacillus amylolyticus NRRL NRS-290T (98.6%, 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), Paenibacillus tundrae A10bT (98.1%), and Paenibacillus xylanexedens NRRL B-51090T (97.6%). DNADNA hybridization indicated that this strain had relatively low levels of DNA-DNA relatedness with P. amylolyticus NRRL NRS-290T (30.0%), P. xylanexedens NRRL B-51090T (29.0%), and P. tundrae A10bT (24.5%). Additionally, the genomic DNA G + C content of DCT-19T was 44.8%. The isolated strain grew at pH 6.0-8.0 (optimum, pH 7.0), 0-4% (w/v) NaCl (optimum, 0%), and a temperature of 15-45°C (optimum 25-30°C). The sole respiratory quinone in the strain was menaquinone-7, and the predominant fatty acids were C15:0 anteiso, C16:0 iso, and C16:0. In addition, the major polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylethanolamine. Based on its phenotypic properties, genotypic distinctiveness, and chemotaxonomic features, strain DCT-19T is proposed as a novel species in the genus Paenibacillus, for which the name Paenibacillus seodonensis sp. nov. is proposed (=KCTC 43009T =LMG 30888T). The type strain of Paenibacillus seodonensis is DCT-19T.


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