April 21, 2020  |  

Biochemical characterization of a novel cold-adapted agarotetraose-producing a-agarase, AgaWS5, from Catenovulum sediminis WS1-A.

Although many ß-agarases that hydrolyze the ß-1,4 linkages of agarose have been biochemically characterized, only three a-agarases that hydrolyze the a-1,3 linkages are reported to date. In this study, a new a-agarase, AgaWS5, from Catenovulum sediminis WS1-A, a new agar-degrading marine bacterium, was biochemically characterized. AgaWS5 belongs to the glycoside hydrolase (GH) 96 family. AgaWS5 consists of 1295 amino acids (140 kDa) and has the 65% identity to an a-agarase, AgaA33, obtained from an agar-degrading bacterium Thalassomonas agarivorans JAMB-A33. AgaWS5 showed the maximum activity at a pH and temperature of 8 and 40 °C, respectively. AgaWS5 showed a cold-tolerance, and it retained more than 40% of its maximum enzymatic activity at 10 °C. AgaWS5 is predicted to have several calcium-binding sites. Thus, its activity was slightly enhanced in the presence of Ca2+, and was strongly inhibited by EDTA. The Km and Vmax of AgaWS5 for agarose were 10.6 mg/mL and 714.3 U/mg, respectively. Agarose-liquefication, thin layer chromatography, and mass and NMR spectroscopic analyses demonstrated that AgaWS5 is an endo-type a-agarase that degrades agarose and mainly produces agarotetraose. Thus, in this study, a novel cold-adapted GH96 agarotetraose-producing a-agarase was identified.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Caloramator sp. Strain E03, a Novel Ethanologenic, Thermophilic, Obligately Anaerobic Bacterium.

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Caloramator sp. strain E03, an anaerobic thermophile that was isolated from a hot spring within the Rabbit Creek area of Yellowstone National Park. The assembly contains a single 2,984,770-bp contig with a G+C content of 31.3% and is predicted to encode 2,678 proteins.Copyright © 2019 Hatmaker et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Plantibacter flavus, Curtobacterium herbarum, Paenibacillus taichungensis, and Rhizobium selenitireducens Endophytes Provide Host-Specific Growth Promotion of Arabidopsis thaliana, Basil, Lettuce, and Bok Choy Plants.

A collection of bacterial endophytes isolated from stem tissues of plants growing in soils highly contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons were screened for plant growth-promoting capabilities. Twenty-seven endophytic isolates significantly improved the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana plants in comparison to that of uninoculated control plants. The five most beneficial isolates, one strain each of Curtobacterium herbarum, Paenibacillus taichungensis, and Rhizobium selenitireducens and two strains of Plantibacter flavus were further examined for growth promotion in Arabidopsis, lettuce, basil, and bok choy plants. Host-specific plant growth promotion was observed when plants were inoculated with the five bacterial strains. P. flavus strain M251 increased the total biomass and total root length of Arabidopsis plants by 4.7 and 5.8 times, respectively, over that of control plants and improved lettuce and basil root growth, while P. flavus strain M259 promoted Arabidopsis shoot and root growth, lettuce and basil root growth, and bok choy shoot growth. A genome comparison between P. flavus strains M251 and M259 showed that both genomes contain up to 70 actinobacterial putative plant-associated genes and genes involved in known plant-beneficial pathways, such as those for auxin and cytokinin biosynthesis and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase production. This study provides evidence of direct plant growth promotion by Plantibacter flavusIMPORTANCE The discovery of new plant growth-promoting bacteria is necessary for the continued development of biofertilizers, which are environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternatives to conventional chemical fertilizers. Biofertilizer effects on plant growth can be inconsistent due to the complexity of plant-microbe interactions, as the same bacteria can be beneficial to the growth of some plant species and neutral or detrimental to others. We examined a set of bacterial endophytes isolated from plants growing in a unique petroleum-contaminated environment to discover plant growth-promoting bacteria. We show that strains of Plantibacter flavus exhibit strain-specific plant growth-promoting effects on four different plant species.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.


April 21, 2020  |  

Into the Thermus Mobilome: Presence, Diversity and Recent Activities of Insertion Sequences Across Thermus spp.

A high level of transposon-mediated genome rearrangement is a common trait among microorganisms isolated from thermal environments, probably contributing to the extraordinary genomic plasticity and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) observed in these habitats. In this work, active and inactive insertion sequences (ISs) spanning the sequenced members of the genus Thermus were characterized, with special emphasis on three T. thermophilus strains: HB27, HB8, and NAR1. A large number of full ISs and fragments derived from different IS families were found, concentrating within megaplasmids present in most isolates. Potentially active ISs were identified through analysis of transposase integrity, and domestication-related transposition events of ISTth7 were identified in laboratory-adapted HB27 derivatives. Many partial copies of ISs appeared throughout the genome, which may serve as specific targets for homologous recombination contributing to genome rearrangement. Moreover, recruitment of IS1000 32 bp segments as spacers for CRISPR sequence was identified, pointing to the adaptability of these elements in the biology of these thermophiles. Further knowledge about the activity and functional diversity of ISs in this genus may contribute to the generation of engineered transposons as new genetic tools, and enrich our understanding of the outstanding plasticity shown by these thermophiles.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Actinosynnema pretiosum X47, An Industrial Strain that Produces the Antibiotic Ansamitocin AP-3.

Ansamitocins are extraordinarily potent antitumor agents. Ansamitocin P-3 (AP-3), which is produced by Actinosynnema pretiosum, has been developed as a cytotoxic drug for breast cancer. Despite its importance, AP-3 is of limited applicability because of the low production yield. A. pretiosum strain X47 was developed from A. pretiosum ATCC 31565 by mutation breeding and shows a relatively high AP-3 yield. Here, we analyzed the A. pretiosum X47 genome, which is ~8.13 Mb in length with 6693 coding sequences, 58 tRNA genes, and 15 rRNA genes. The DNA sequence of the ansamitocin biosynthetic gene cluster is highly similar to that of the corresponding cluster in A. pretiosum ATCC 31565, with 99.9% identity. However, RT-qPCR analysis showed that the expression levels of ansamitocin biosynthetic genes were significantly increased in X47 compared with the levels in the wild-type strain, consistent with the higher yield of AP-3 in X47. The annotated complete genome sequence of this strain will facilitate understanding the molecular mechanisms of ansamitocin biosynthesis and regulation in A. pretiosum and help further genetic engineering studies to enhance the production of AP-3.


April 21, 2020  |  

Characterization of the genome of a Nocardia strain isolated from soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau that specifically degrades crude oil and of this biodegradation.

A strain of Nocardia isolated from crude oil-contaminated soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau degrades nearly all components of crude oil. This strain was identified as Nocardia soli Y48, and its growth conditions were determined. Complete genome sequencing showed that N. soli Y48 has a 7.3?Mb genome and many genes responsible for hydrocarbon degradation, biosurfactant synthesis, emulsification and other hydrocarbon degradation-related metabolisms. Analysis of the clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) and genomic islands (GIs) revealed that Y48 has undergone significant gene transfer events to adapt to changing environmental conditions (crude oil contamination). The structural features of the genome might provide a competitive edge for the survival of N. soli Y48 in oil-polluted environments and reflect the adaptation of coexisting bacteria to distinct nutritional niches.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.


April 21, 2020  |  

Determining stoichiometry and kinetics of two thermophilic nitrifying communities as a crucial step in the development of thermophilic nitrogen removal.

Nitrification and denitrification, the key biological processes for thermophilic nitrogen removal, have separately been established in bioreactors at 50?°C. A well-characterized set of kinetic parameters is essential to integrate these processes while safeguarding the autotrophs performing nitrification. Knowledge on thermophilic nitrifying kinetics is restricted to isolated or highly enriched batch cultures, which do not represent bioreactor conditions. This study characterized the stoichiometry and kinetics of two thermophilic (50?°C) nitrifying communities. The most abundant ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) were related to the Nitrososphaera genus, clustering relatively far from known species Nitrososphaera gargensis (95.5% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity). The most abundant nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) were related to Nitrospira calida (97% 16S rRNA gene sequence identity). The nitrification biomass yield was 0.20-0.24?g VSS g-1 N, resulting mainly from a high AOA yield (0.16-0.20?g VSS g-1 N), which was reflected in a high AOA abundance in the community (57-76%) compared to NOB (5-11%). Batch-wise determination of decay rates (AOA: 0.23-0.29 d-1; NOB: 0.32-0.43 d-1) rendered an overestimation compared to in situ estimations of overall decay rate (0.026-0.078 d-1). Possibly, the inactivation rate rather than the actual decay rate was determined in batch experiments. Maximum growth rates of AOA and NOB were 0.12-0.15 d-1 and 0.13-0.33 d-1 respectively. NOB were susceptible to nitrite, opening up opportunities for shortcut nitrogen removal. However, NOB had a similar growth rate and oxygen affinity (0.15-0.55?mg O2 L-1) as AOA and were resilient towards free ammonia (IC50?>?16?mg NH3-N L-1). This might complicate NOB outselection using common practices to establish shortcut nitrogen removal (SRT control; aeration control; free ammonia shocks). Overall, the obtained insights can assist in integrating thermophilic conversions and facilitate single-sludge nitrification/denitrification. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Marinitoga lauensis sp. nov., a novel deep-sea hydrothermal vent thermophilic anaerobic heterotroph with a prophage.

A novel moderately thermophilic, heterotrophic anaerobe, designated strain LG1T, was isolated from the Mariner deep-sea hydrothermal vent field along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center and Valu Fa Ridge. Cells of strain LG1T were motile rods, occurring singly or in pairs, 0.6µm in width and 1.2µm in length. The strain LG1T grew between 40 and 70°C (optimum 50-55°C), at a pH between 5 and 8 (optimum pH 6.5) and with 7.5-50gL-1 NaCl (optimum 30gL-1). Sulfur, cystine and thiosulfate were reduced to sulfide, and cell yield was improved in the presence of cystine. Strain LG1T was an organotroph able to use a variety of organic compounds. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence comparisons indicated that strain LG1T was affiliated to the genus Marinitoga within the order Petrotogales. It shared 95.34-96.31% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with strains of other Marinitoga species, and is most closely related to Marinitoga okinawensis. Genome analysis revealed the presence of a prophage sharing high sequence homology with the viruses MPV1, MCV1 and MCV2 hosted by Marinitoga strains. Based on the data from the phylogenetic analyses and the physiological properties of the novel isolate, we propose that strain LG1T is a representative of a novel species, for which the name Marinitoga lauensis sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is LG1T (=DSM 106824=JCM 32613).Copyright © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Thermosynechococcus as a thermophilic photosynthetic microbial cell factory for CO2 utilisation.

Thermophilic unicellular cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus PKUAC-SCTE542, has been developed as a thermophilic photosynthetic microbial cell factory for CO2 utilisation. The strain exhibits its highest growth rate around 55?°C, can withstand up to 15% CO2, and up to 0.5?M concentration of sodium bicarbonate. The strain is also capable of resisting a 200?ppm concentration of NO and SO2 in simulated flue gasses, and these compounds have a positive effect on its growth. Whole genome sequencing of the strain revealed the presence of numerous forms of active transport of nutrients and additional chaperones acting as the predominant mechanism of strain adaptation to high temperatures. Based on the sequenced genome, two neutral gene insertion sites have been identified and engineered using modular vectors. Site-specific knock-ins and knock-outs have been performed using the spectinomycin resistance gene and proved functional, enabling future application of the strain to produce biofuels and biochemicals from waste CO2. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Deciphering bacterial epigenomes using modern sequencing technologies.

Prokaryotic DNA contains three types of methylation: N6-methyladenine, N4-methylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine. The lack of tools to analyse the frequency and distribution of methylated residues in bacterial genomes has prevented a full understanding of their functions. Now, advances in DNA sequencing technology, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing and nanopore-based sequencing, have provided new opportunities for systematic detection of all three forms of methylated DNA at a genome-wide scale and offer unprecedented opportunities for achieving a more complete understanding of bacterial epigenomes. Indeed, as the number of mapped bacterial methylomes approaches 2,000, increasing evidence supports roles for methylation in regulation of gene expression, virulence and pathogen-host interactions.


April 21, 2020  |  

Global-level population genomics reveals differential effects of geography and phylogeny on horizontal gene transfer in soil bacteria.

Although microorganisms are known to dominate Earth’s biospheres and drive biogeochemical cycling, little is known about the geographic distributions of microbial populations or the environmental factors that pattern those distributions. We used a global-level hierarchical sampling scheme to comprehensively characterize the evolutionary relationships and distributional limitations of the nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts of the crop chickpea, generating 1,027 draft whole-genome sequences at the level of bacterial populations, including 14 high-quality PacBio genomes from a phylogenetically representative subset. We find that diverse Mesorhizobium taxa perform symbiosis with chickpea and have largely overlapping global distributions. However, sampled locations cluster based on the phylogenetic diversity of Mesorhizobium populations, and diversity clusters correspond to edaphic and environmental factors, primarily soil type and latitude. Despite long-standing evolutionary divergence and geographic isolation, the diverse taxa observed to nodulate chickpea share a set of integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) that encode the major functions of the symbiosis. This symbiosis ICE takes 2 forms in the bacterial chromosome-tripartite and monopartite-with tripartite ICEs confined to a broadly distributed superspecies clade. The pairwise evolutionary relatedness of these elements is controlled as much by geographic distance as by the evolutionary relatedness of the background genome. In contrast, diversity in the broader gene content of Mesorhizobium genomes follows a tight linear relationship with core genome phylogenetic distance, with little detectable effect of geography. These results illustrate how geography and demography can operate differentially on the evolution of bacterial genomes and offer useful insights for the development of improved technologies for sustainable agriculture.


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