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Sample records for microbial natural products

  1. Bioactive natural products from novel microbial sources.

    PubMed

    Challinor, Victoria L; Bode, Helge B

    2015-09-01

    Despite the importance of microbial natural products for human health, only a few bacterial genera have been mined for the new natural products needed to overcome the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance. This is surprising, given that genome sequencing projects have revealed that the capability to produce natural products is not a rare feature among bacteria. Even the bacteria occurring in the human microbiome produce potent antibiotics, and thus potentially are an untapped resource for novel compounds, potentially with new activities. This review highlights examples of bacteria that should be considered new sources of natural products, including anaerobes, pathogens, and symbionts of humans, insects, and nematodes. Exploitation of these producer strains, combined with advances in modern natural product research methodology, has the potential to open the way for a new golden age of microbial therapeutics. PMID:26509922

  2. Natural products: Hunting microbial metabolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Eric W.

    2015-05-01

    Symbiotic bacteria synthesize many specialized small molecules; however, establishing the role these chemicals play in human health and disease has been difficult. Now, the chemical structure and mechanism of the Escherichia coli product colibactin provides insight into the link between this secondary metabolite and colorectal cancer.

  3. Engineering microbial hosts for production of bacterial natural products.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingzi M; Wang, Yajie; Ang, Ee Lui; Zhao, Huimin

    2016-08-27

    Covering up to end 2015Microbial fermentation provides an attractive alternative to chemical synthesis for the production of structurally complex natural products. In most cases, however, production titers are low and need to be improved for compound characterization and/or commercial production. Owing to advances in functional genomics and genetic engineering technologies, microbial hosts can be engineered to overproduce a desired natural product, greatly accelerating the traditionally time-consuming strain improvement process. This review covers recent developments and challenges in the engineering of native and heterologous microbial hosts for the production of bacterial natural products, focusing on the genetic tools and strategies for strain improvement. Special emphasis is placed on bioactive secondary metabolites from actinomycetes. The considerations for the choice of host systems will also be discussed in this review. PMID:27072804

  4. Microbial production of natural raspberry ketone.

    PubMed

    Beekwilder, Jules; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Sibbesen, Ole; Broekgaarden, Mans; Qvist, Ingmar; Mikkelsen, Joern D; Hall, Robert D

    2007-10-01

    Raspberry ketone is an important compound for the flavour industry. It is frequently used in products such as soft drinks, sweets, puddings and ice creams. The compound can be produced by organic synthesis. Demand for "natural" raspberry ketone is growing considerably. However, this product is extremely expensive. Consequently, there is a remaining desire to better understand how raspberry ketone is synthesized in vivo, and which genes and enzymes are involved. With this information we will then be in a better position to design alternative production strategies such as microbial fermentation. This article focuses on the identification and application of genes potentially linked to raspberry ketone synthesis. We have isolated candidate genes from both raspberry and other plants, and these have been introduced into bacterial and yeast expression systems. Conditions have been determined that result in significant levels of raspberry ketone, up to 5 mg/L. These results therefore lay a strong foundation for a potentially renewable source of "natural" flavour compounds making use of plant genes. PMID:17722151

  5. Mining the Metabiome: Identifying Novel Natural Products from Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Milshteyn, Aleksandr; Schneider, Jessica S.; Brady, Sean F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Microbial-derived natural products provide the foundation for most of the chemotherapeutic arsenal available to contemporary medicine. In the face of a dwindling pipeline of new lead structures identified by traditional culturing techniques and an increasing need for new therapeutics, surveys of microbial biosynthetic diversity across environmental metabiomes have revealed enormous reservoirs of as yet untapped natural products chemistry. In this review we touch on the historical context of microbial natural product discovery and discuss innovations and technological advances that are facilitating culture-dependent and culture-independent access to new chemistry from environmental microbiomes with the goal of re-invigorating the small molecule therapeutics discovery pipeline. We highlight the successful strategies that have emerged and some of the challenges that must be overcome to enable the development of high-throughput methods for natural product discovery from complex microbial communities. PMID:25237864

  6. Prevention of microbial communities: novel approaches based natural products.

    PubMed

    Mogosanu, George D; Grumezescu, Alexandru M; Huang, Keng-Shiang; Bejenaru, Ludovic E; Bejenaru, Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    Firmly attached to different living or non-living, solid or fluid surfaces rich in nutrients and moisture, microbial biofilm is a matter of great interest due to its major importance for the healthcare community. Depending on common strategies such as mutual protection and hibernation (quiescent bacteria), the resistance, survival and virulence of microbial communities have large implications for human pathology, clinical environment and biomedical devices. The microbial biofilm is continuously changing, stimulating inflammation, increasing vascular permeability and preventing the action of macrophages. About 80% of human infections affecting the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and respiratory systems, oral mucosa and teeth, eyes, middle ear and skin are caused by biofilm-associated microorganisms. Therefore, the search for modern strategies is even more important as microbial biofilms resistant to conventional antibiotics, antiseptics and disinfectants are involved in the frequent treatment failures of some chronic inflammatory diseases and wounds. Natural products containing secondary metabolites, such as aromatic compounds, sulphurated derivatives, terpenoids (essential oils) and alkaloids as quorum-sensing inhibitors and biofilm disruptors, are promising alternatives for the prophylaxis and treatment of chronic infections. Surface modification of medical devices with non-polar functionalized nanoparticles stabilizes the natural compounds antibiofilm activity and inhibits microbial adhesion and biofilm formation and growth for a longer period of time. In this regard, an interdisciplinary approach is needed due to the large number of natural derivatives alone or in combination with biocompatible and biodegradable micro-/ nano-engineered materials. PMID:25594287

  7. Recent advances in the heterologous expression of microbial natural product biosynthetic pathways.

    PubMed

    Ongley, Sarah E; Bian, Xiaoying; Neilan, Brett A; Müller, Rolf

    2013-08-01

    The heterologous expression of microbial natural product biosynthetic pathways coupled with advanced DNA engineering enables optimisation of product yields, functional elucidation of cryptic gene clusters, and generation of novel derivatives. This review summarises the recent advances in cloning and maintenance of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters for heterologous expression and the efforts fundamental for discovering novel natural products in the post-genomics era, with a focus on polyketide synthases (PKSs) and non-ribosomal polypeptide synthetases (NRPS). PMID:23832108

  8. Mapping Microbial Response Metabolomes for Induced Natural Product Discovery.

    PubMed

    Derewacz, Dagmara K; Covington, Brett C; McLean, John A; Bachmann, Brian O

    2015-09-18

    Intergeneric microbial interactions may originate a significant fraction of secondary metabolic gene regulation in nature. Herein, we expose a genomically characterized Nocardiopsis strain, with untapped polyketide biosynthetic potential, to intergeneric interactions via coculture with low inoculum exposure to Escherichia, Bacillus, Tsukamurella, and Rhodococcus. The challenge-induced responses of extracted metabolites were characterized via multivariate statistical and self-organizing map (SOM) analyses, revealing the magnitude and selectivity engendered by the limiting case of low inoculum exposure. The collected inventory of cocultures revealed substantial metabolomic expansion in comparison to monocultures with nearly 14% of metabolomic features in cocultures undetectable in monoculture conditions and many features unique to coculture genera. One set of SOM-identified responding features was isolated, structurally characterized by multidimensional NMR, and revealed to comprise previously unreported polyketides containing an unusual pyrrolidinol substructure and moderate and selective cytotoxicity. Designated ciromicin A and B, they are detected across mixed cultures with intergeneric preferences under coculture conditions. The structural novelty of ciromicin A is highlighted by its ability to undergo a diastereoselective photochemical 12-π electron rearrangement to ciromicin B at visible wavelengths. This study shows how organizing trends in metabolomic responses under coculture conditions can be harnessed to characterize multipartite cultures and identify previously silent secondary metabolism. PMID:26039241

  9. Discovery of New Compounds Active against Plasmodium falciparum by High Throughput Screening of Microbial Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Moreno, Guiomar; Cantizani, Juan; Sánchez-Carrasco, Paula; Ruiz-Pérez, Luis Miguel; Martín, Jesús; el Aouad, Noureddine; Pérez-Victoria, Ignacio; Tormo, José Rubén; González-Menendez, Víctor; González, Ignacio; de Pedro, Nuria; Reyes, Fernando; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca; González-Pacanowska, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Due to the low structural diversity within the set of antimalarial drugs currently available in the clinic and the increasing number of cases of resistance, there is an urgent need to find new compounds with novel modes of action to treat the disease. Microbial natural products are characterized by their large diversity provided in terms of the chemical complexity of the compounds and the novelty of structures. Microbial natural products extracts have been underexplored in the search for new antiparasitic drugs and even more so in the discovery of new antimalarials. Our objective was to find new druggable natural products with antimalarial properties from the MEDINA natural products collection, one of the largest natural product libraries harboring more than 130,000 microbial extracts. In this work, we describe the optimization process and the results of a phenotypic high throughput screen (HTS) based on measurements of Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase. A subset of more than 20,000 extracts from the MEDINA microbial products collection has been explored, leading to the discovery of 3 new compounds with antimalarial activity. In addition, we report on the novel antiplasmodial activity of 4 previously described natural products. PMID:26735308

  10. Discovery of New Compounds Active against Plasmodium falciparum by High Throughput Screening of Microbial Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Moreno, Guiomar; Cantizani, Juan; Sánchez-Carrasco, Paula; Ruiz-Pérez, Luis Miguel; Martín, Jesús; El Aouad, Noureddine; Pérez-Victoria, Ignacio; Tormo, José Rubén; González-Menendez, Víctor; González, Ignacio; de Pedro, Nuria; Reyes, Fernando; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca; González-Pacanowska, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Due to the low structural diversity within the set of antimalarial drugs currently available in the clinic and the increasing number of cases of resistance, there is an urgent need to find new compounds with novel modes of action to treat the disease. Microbial natural products are characterized by their large diversity provided in terms of the chemical complexity of the compounds and the novelty of structures. Microbial natural products extracts have been underexplored in the search for new antiparasitic drugs and even more so in the discovery of new antimalarials. Our objective was to find new druggable natural products with antimalarial properties from the MEDINA natural products collection, one of the largest natural product libraries harboring more than 130,000 microbial extracts. In this work, we describe the optimization process and the results of a phenotypic high throughput screen (HTS) based on measurements of Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase. A subset of more than 20,000 extracts from the MEDINA microbial products collection has been explored, leading to the discovery of 3 new compounds with antimalarial activity. In addition, we report on the novel antiplasmodial activity of 4 previously described natural products. PMID:26735308

  11. Microbial biotransformation as a tool for drug development based on natural products from mevalonic acid pathway: A review

    PubMed Central

    Hegazy, Mohamed-Elamir F.; Mohamed, Tarik A.; ElShamy, Abdelsamed I.; Mohamed, Abou-El-Hamd H.; Mahalel, Usama A.; Reda, Eman H.; Shaheen, Alaa M.; Tawfik, Wafaa A.; Shahat, Abdelaaty A.; Shams, Khalid A.; Abdel-Azim, Nahla S.; Hammouda, Fayza M.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products are structurally and biologically interesting metabolites, but they have been isolated in minute amounts. The syntheses of such natural products help in obtaining them in bulk amounts. The recognition of microbial biotransformation as important manufacturing tool has increased in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In recent years, microbial transformation is increasing significantly from limited interest into highly active area in green chemistry including preparation of pharmaceutical products. This is the first review published on the usage of microbial biocatalysts for some natural product classes and natural product drugs. PMID:25685541

  12. Microbial production of natural gas from coal and organic-rich shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orem, William

    2013-01-01

    Natural gas is an important component of the energy mix in the United States, producing greater energy yield per unit weight and less pollution compared to coal and oil. Most of the world’s natural gas resource is thermogenic, produced in the geologic environment over time by high temperature and pressure within deposits of oil, coal, and shale. About 20 percent of the natural gas resource, however, is produced by microorganisms (microbes). Microbes potentially could be used to generate economic quantities of natural gas from otherwise unexploitable coal and shale deposits, from coal and shale from which natural gas has already been recovered, and from waste material such as coal slurry. Little is known, however, about the microbial production of natural gas from coal and shale.

  13. Current challenges in the discovery of novel antibacterials from microbial natural products.

    PubMed

    Genilloud, Olga

    2012-12-01

    Microbial natural products have been for decades one of the most successful sources of drugs to treat infectious diseases. The high occurrence of resistances to all major classes of known antibiotics represents today a new challenge and new classes of antibacterial compounds are urgently needed to respond to this unmet clinical need. While natural products discovery programs have been gradually abandoned by big pharma, smaller biotechnology companies and other research organizations are taking the lead in the discovery of novel antibacterials. A survey of recent patents has shown that in spite of the efforts, few novel compounds are being developed that can overcome most of the emerging multi-resistant and pan-resistant pathogens. In order to respond to the current challenges of discovering novel antibiotics, new approaches are required to be developed to further exploit the microbial resources and their biosynthetic potential as an untapped source of novel metabolites. Strategies to mine microbial collections for orphan biosynthetic pathways and novel species thought to be uncultivable, are emerging as a need within antibacterial drug discovery programs, in combination with high throughput screening and chemical dereplication of novel compounds. Different innovative methods that are being developed to respond to the new challenges that are faced today by drug discovery programs will ensure the evolution of these strategies into a completely new framework that will address the renovated interest in the discovery of novel classes of antibiotics. PMID:22963258

  14. Ferrous iron and α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases in the biosynthesis of microbial natural products.

    PubMed

    Wu, Long-Fei; Meng, Song; Tang, Gong-Li

    2016-05-01

    Apart from its vital role as the terminal electron acceptor in oxidative phosphorylation in nature, dioxygen also serves as a universal agent which diversifies natural products by oxidative transformations. Ferrous iron and α-ketoglutarate (αKG)-dependent dioxygenases (αKGDs) are versatile enzymes that use dioxygen as an oxidant to catalyse various reactions via CH bond activation, including hydroxylation, dealkylation, desaturation, epoxidation, epimerisation, halogenation, cyclisation, peroxide formation, and ring expansion/contraction reactions. This review updates the reported αKGDs that catalyse reactions related to microbial natural product biosynthesis in the past 10 years. We hope that the versatility of αKGDs shown here can serve as an inspiration for future engineering and catalyst design, which could provide alternative methods to meet the on-going demand for fine chemicals and pharmaceutics. PMID:26845569

  15. Microbial genome mining for accelerated natural products discovery: is a renaissance in the making?

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Brian O; Van Lanen, Steven G; Baltz, Richard H

    2014-01-01

    Microbial genome mining is a rapidly developing approach to discover new and novel secondary metabolites for drug discovery. Many advances have been made in the past decade to facilitate genome mining, and these are reviewed in this Special Issue of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. In this Introductory Review, we discuss the concept of genome mining and why it is important for the revitalization of natural product discovery; what microbes show the most promise for focused genome mining; how microbial genomes can be mined; how genome mining can be leveraged with other technologies; how progress on genome mining can be accelerated; and who should fund future progress in this promising field. We direct interested readers to more focused reviews on the individual topics in this Special Issue for more detailed summaries on the current state-of-the-art. PMID:24342967

  16. n-butanol: challenges and solutions for shifting natural metabolic pathways into a viable microbial production.

    PubMed

    Branduardi, Paola; Porro, Danilo

    2016-04-01

    The economic upturn of the past 200 years would not have been conceivable without fossil resources such as coal and oil. However, the fossil-based economy increasingly reaches its limits and displays contradictions. Bioeconomy, strategically combining economy and ecology willing to make biobased and sustainable growth possible, is promising to make a significant contribution towards solving these issues. In this context, microbial bioconversions are promising to support partially the increasing need for materials and fuels starting from fresh, preferably waste, biomass. Butanol is a very attractive molecule finding applications both as a chemical platform and as a fuel. Today it principally derives from petroleum, but it also represents the final product of microbial catabolic pathways. Because of the need to maximize yield, titer and productivity to make the production competitive and viable, the challenge is to transform a robustly regulated metabolic network into the principal cellular activity. However, this goal can only be accomplished by a profound understanding of the cellular physiology, survival strategy and sensing/signalling cascades. Here, we shortly review on the natural cellular pathways and circumstances that lead to n-butanol accumulation, its physiological consequences that might not match industrial needs and on possible solutions for circumventing these natural constraints. PMID:27020412

  17. Recent Advances in the Discovery and Development of Marine Microbial Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Jian-Feng; Hao, Yu-You; Wang, Yong

    2013-01-01

    Marine microbial natural products (MMNPs) have attracted increasing attention from microbiologists, taxonomists, ecologists, agronomists, chemists and evolutionary biologists during the last few decades. Numerous studies have indicated that diverse marine microbes appear to have the capacity to produce an impressive array of MMNPs exhibiting a wide variety of biological activities such as antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-cardiovascular agents. Marine microorganisms represent an underexplored reservoir for the discovery of MMNPs with unique scaffolds and for exploitation in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. This review focuses on MMNPs discovery and development over the past decades, including innovative isolation and culture methods, strategies for discovering novel MMNPs via routine screenings, metagenomics, genomics, combinatorial biosynthesis, and synthetic biology. The potential problems and future directions for exploring MMNPs are also discussed. PMID:23528949

  18. Engineering and comparison of non-natural pathways for microbial phenol production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Brian; Machas, Michael; Nielsen, David R

    2016-08-01

    The non-renewable petrochemical phenol is used as a precursor to produce numerous fine and commodity chemicals, including various pharmaceuticals and phenolic resins. Microbial phenol biosynthesis has previously been established, stemming from endogenous tyrosine via tyrosine phenol lyase (TPL). TPL, however, suffers from feedback inhibition and equilibrium limitations, both of which contribute to reduced flux through the overall pathway. To address these limitations, two novel and non-natural phenol biosynthesis pathways, both stemming instead from chorismate, were constructed and comparatively evaluated. The first proceeds to phenol in one heterologous step via the intermediate p-hydroxybenzoic acid, while the second involves two heterologous steps and the associated intermediates isochorismate and salicylate. Maximum phenol titers achieved via these two alternative pathways reached as high as 377 ± 14 and 259 ± 31 mg/L in batch shake flask cultures, respectively. In contrast, under analogous conditions, phenol production via the established TPL-dependent route reached 377 ± 23 mg/L, which approaches the maximum achievable output reported to date under batch conditions. Additional strain development and optimization of relevant culture conditions with respect to each individual pathway is ultimately expected to result in further improved phenol production. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1745-1754. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26804162

  19. Microbial Flocculant for Nature Soda

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Peiyong; Zhang, Tong; Chen, Cuixian

    2004-03-31

    Microbial flocculant for nature soda has been studied. Lactobacillus TRJ21, which was able to produce an excellent biopolymer flocculant for nature soda, was obtained in our lab. The microbial flocculant was mainly produced when the bacteria laid in stationary growth phase. Fructose or glucose, as carbon sources, were more favorable for the bacterial growth and flocculant production. The bacteria was able to use ammonium sulfate or Urea as nitrogen to produce flocculant, but was not able to use peptone effectively. High C/N ratio was more favorable to Lactobacillus TRJ21 growth and flocculant production than low C/N ratio. The biopolymer flocculant was mainly composed of polysaccharide and protein with a molecular weight 1.38x106 by gel permeation chromatography. It was able to be easily purified from the culture medium by acetone. Protein in the flocculant was tested for the flocculating activity ingredient by heating the flocculant.

  20. A Tropical Marine Microbial Natural Products Geobibliography as an Example of Desktop Exploration of Current Research Using Web Visualisation Tools

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Joydeep; Llewellyn, Lyndon E; Evans-Illidge, Elizabeth A

    2008-01-01

    Microbial marine biodiscovery is a recent scientific endeavour developing at a time when information and other technologies are also undergoing great technical strides. Global visualisation of datasets is now becoming available to the world through powerful and readily available software such as Worldwind™, ArcGIS Explorer™ and Google Earth™. Overlaying custom information upon these tools is within the hands of every scientist and more and more scientific organisations are making data available that can also be integrated into these global visualisation tools. The integrated global view that these tools enable provides a powerful desktop exploration tool. Here we demonstrate the value of this approach to marine microbial biodiscovery by developing a geobibliography that incorporates citations on tropical and near-tropical marine microbial natural products research with Google Earth™ and additional ancillary global data sets. The tools and software used are all readily available and the reader is able to use and install the material described in this article. PMID:19172194

  1. Distributing a metabolic pathway among a microbial consortium enhances production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Kang; Qiao, Kangjian; Edgar, Steven; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic engineering of microorganisms such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce high-value natural metabolites is often done through functional reconstitution of long metabolic pathways. Problems arise when parts of pathways require specialized environments or compartments for optimal function. Here we solve this problem through co-culture of engineered organisms, each of which contains the part of the pathway that it is best suited to hosting. In one example, we divided the synthetic pathway for the acetylated diol paclitaxel precursor into two modules, expressed in either S. cerevisiae or E. coli, neither of which can produce the paclitaxel precursor on their own. Stable co-culture in the same bioreactor was achieved by designing a mutualistic relationship between the two species in which a metabolic intermediate produced by E. coli was used and functionalized by yeast. This synthetic consortium produced 33 mg/L oxygenated taxanes, including a monoacetylated dioxygenated taxane. The same method was also used to produce tanshinone precursors and functionalized sesquiterpenes. PMID:25558867

  2. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. PMID:26946281

  3. Microbial production of epoxides

    DOEpatents

    Clark, Thomas R.; Roberto, Francisco F.

    2003-06-10

    A method for microbial production of epoxides and other oxygenated products is disclosed. The method uses a biocatalyst of methanotrophic bacteria cultured in a biphasic medium containing a major amount of a non-aqueous polar solvent. Regeneration of reducing equivalents is carried out by using endogenous hydrogenase activity together with supplied hydrogen gas. This method is especially effective with gaseous substrates and cofactors that result in liquid products.

  4. A survey of phytotoxic microbial and plant metabolites as potential natural products for pest management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Phytotoxic microbial metabolites produced by certain phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria and a group of a phytotoxic plant metabolites including Amayllidaceae alkaloids and some derivatives of these compounds were evaluated for algicide, bactericide, insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide activities i...

  5. Microbial hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Weaver, P.F.; Maness, P.C.; Martin, S.

    1995-09-01

    Photosynthetic bacteria inhabit an anaerobic or microaerophilic world where H{sub 2} is produced and consumed as a shared intermediary metabolite. Within a given bacterial isolate there are as many as 4 to 6 distinct enzymes that function to evolve or consume H{sub 2}. Three of the H{sub 2}-evolving physiologies involving three different enzymes from photosynthetic bacteria have been examined in detail for commercial viability. Nitrogenase-mediated H{sub 2} production completely dissimilates many soluble organic compounds to H{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} at rates up to 131 {mu}mol H{sub 2}{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1} and can remain active for up to 20 days. This metabolism is very energy intensive, however, which limits solar conversion efficiencies. Fermentative hydrogenase can produce H{sub 2} at rates of 440 {mu}mol{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1} at low levels of irradiation over indefinite periods. The equilibrium for this activity is low (<0.15 atmospheres), thereby requiring gas sparging, vacuuming, or microbial scavenging to retain prolonged activity. Microbial H{sub 2} production from the CO component of synthesis or producer gases maximally reaches activities of 1.5 mmol{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1}. Mass transport of gaseous CO into an aqueous bacterial suspension is the rate-limiting step. Increased gas pressure strongly accelerates these rates. Immobilized bacteria on solid supports at ambient pressures also show enhanced shift activity when the bulk water is drained away. Scaled-up bioreactors with 100-200 cc bed volume have been constructed and tested. The near-term goal of this portion of the project is to engineer and economically evaluate a prototype system for the biological production of H{sub 2} from biomass. The CO shift enables a positive selection technique for O{sub 2}-resistant, H{sub 2}-evolving bacterial enzymes from nature.

  6. Microbial production of 1-octanol: A naturally excreted biofuel with diesel-like properties

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, M. Kalim; Dandapani, Hariharan; Thiel, Kati; Jones, Patrik R.

    2014-01-01

    The development of sustainable, bio-based technologies to convert solar energy and carbon dioxide into fuels is a grand challenge. A core part of this challenge is to produce a fuel that is compatible with the existing transportation infrastructure. This task is further compounded by the commercial desire to separate the fuel from the biotechnological host. Based on its fuel characteristics, 1-octanol was identified as an attractive metabolic target with diesel-like properties. We therefore engineered a synthetic pathway specifically for the biosynthesis of 1-octanol in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) by over-expression of three enzymes (thioesterase, carboxylic acid reductase and aldehyde reductase) and one maturation factor (phosphopantetheinyl transferase). Induction of this pathway in a shake flask resulted in 4.4 mg 1-octanol L−1 h−1 which exceeded the productivity of previously engineered strains. Furthermore, the majority (73%) of the fatty alcohol was localised within the media without the addition of detergent or solvent overlay. The deletion of acrA reduced the production and excretion of 1-octanol by 3-fold relative to the wild-type, suggesting that the AcrAB–TolC complex may be responsible for the majority of product efflux. This study presents 1-octanol as a potential fuel target that can be synthesised and naturally accumulated within the media using engineered microbes. PMID:27066394

  7. Pest management with natural products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 2012 Philadelphia ACS Symposium on Natural Products for Pest Management introduced recent discoveries and applications of natural products from insect, terrestrial plant, microbial, and synthetic sources for the management of insects, weeds, plant pathogenic microbes, and nematodes. The symposiu...

  8. Bioenergy production via microbial conversion of residual oil to natural gas.

    PubMed

    Gieg, Lisa M; Duncan, Kathleen E; Suflita, Joseph M

    2008-05-01

    World requirements for fossil energy are expected to grow by more than 50% within the next 25 years, despite advances in alternative technologies. Since conventional production methods retrieve only about one-third of the oil in place, either large new fields or innovative strategies for recovering energy resources from existing fields are needed to meet the burgeoning demand. The anaerobic biodegradation of n-alkanes to methane gas has now been documented in a few studies, and it was speculated that this process might be useful for recovering energy from existing petroleum reservoirs. We found that residual oil entrained in a marginal sandstone reservoir core could be converted to methane, a key component of natural gas, by an oil-degrading methanogenic consortium. Methane production required inoculation, and rates ranged from 0.15 to 0.40 micromol/day/g core (or 11 to 31 micromol/day/g oil), with yields of up to 3 mmol CH(4)/g residual oil. Concomitant alterations in the hydrocarbon profile of the oil-bearing core revealed that alkanes were preferentially metabolized. The consortium was found to produce comparable amounts of methane in the absence or presence of sulfate as an alternate electron acceptor. Cloning and sequencing exercises revealed that the inoculum comprised sulfate-reducing, syntrophic, and fermentative bacteria acting in concert with aceticlastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Collectively, the cells generated methane from a variety of petroliferous rocks. Such microbe-based methane production holds promise for producing a clean-burning and efficient form of energy from underutilized hydrocarbon-bearing resources. PMID:18378655

  9. BIOTIGER, A NATURAL MICROBIAL PRODUCT FOR ENHANCED HYDROCARBON RECOVERY FROM OIL SANDS.

    SciTech Connect

    Brigmon, R; Topher Berry, T; Whitney Jones, W; Charles Milliken, C

    2008-05-27

    BioTiger{trademark} is a unique microbial consortia that resulted from over 8 years of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from a century-old Polish waste lagoon. BioTiger{trademark} shows rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, produces novel surfactants, is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and shows good activity at temperature and pH extremes. Although originally developed and used by the U.S. Department of Energy for bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils, recent efforts have proven that BioTiger{trademark} can also be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery process utilizes BioTiger{trademark} to optimize bitumen separation. A floatation test protocol with oil sands from Ft. McMurray, Canada was used for the BioTiger{trademark} evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/floatation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger{trademark} demonstrated a 50% improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis in 4 h and a five-fold increase at 25 hr. Since BioTiger{trademark} performs well at high temperatures and process engineering can enhance and sustain metabolic activity, it can be applied to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands or other complex recalcitrant matrices.

  10. Microbial production of propanol.

    PubMed

    Walther, Thomas; François, Jean Marie

    2016-01-01

    Both, n-propanol and isopropanol are industrially attractive value-added molecules that can be produced by microbes from renewable resources. The development of cost-effective fermentation processes may allow using these alcohols as a biofuel component, or as a precursor for the chemical synthesis of propylene. This review reports and discusses the recent progress which has been made in the biochemical production of propanol. Several synthetic propanol-producing pathways were developed that vary with respect to stoichiometry and metabolic entry point. These pathways were expressed in different host organisms and enabled propanol production from various renewable feedstocks. Furthermore, it was shown that the optimization of fermentation conditions greatly improved process performance, in particular, when continuous product removal prevented accumulation of toxic propanol levels. Although these advanced metabolic engineering and fermentation strategies have facilitated significant progress in the biochemical production of propanol, the currently achieved propanol yields and productivities appear to be insufficient to compete with chemical propanol synthesis. The development of biosynthetic pathways with improved propanol yields, the breeding or identification of microorganisms with higher propanol tolerance, and the engineering of propanol producer strains that efficiently utilize low-cost feedstocks are the major challenges on the way to industrially relevant microbial propanol production processes. PMID:27262999

  11. Microbial production of fatty alcohols.

    PubMed

    Fillet, Sandy; Adrio, José L

    2016-09-01

    Fatty alcohols have numerous commercial applications, including their use as lubricants, surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, plasticizers, emollients, thickeners, and even fuels. Fatty alcohols are currently produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acids from plant oils or animal fats. Microbial production of fatty alcohols may be a more direct and environmentally-friendly strategy since production is carried out by heterologous enzymes, called fatty acyl-CoA reductases, able to reduce different acyl-CoA molecules to their corresponding primary alcohols. Successful examples of metabolic engineering have been reported in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli in which the production of fatty alcohols ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 g/L, respectively. Due to their metabolic advantages, oleaginous yeasts are considered the best hosts for production of fatty acid-derived chemicals. Some of these species can naturally produce, under specific growth conditions, lipids at high titers (>50 g/L) and therefore provide large amounts of fatty acyl-CoAs or fatty acids as precursors. Very recently, taking advantage of such features, over 8 g/L of C16-C18 fatty alcohols have been produced in Rhodosporidium toruloides. In this review we summarize the different metabolic engineering strategies, hosts and cultivation conditions used to date. We also point out some future trends and challenges for the microbial production of fatty alcohols. PMID:27465852

  12. Microbial Production of Isoprene

    SciTech Connect

    Ray Fall

    2007-07-29

    Isoprene is a volatile hydrocarbon of unknown function, produced by certain bacteria, plants and animals, sometimes in huge amounts—the Earth’s forests are estimated to emit >500 x 106 tons of isoprene per year. With funding from this program we explored the biochemistry and regulation of isoprene formation in the model bacterial system, Bacillus subtilis, with the goals of explaining the biological rationale for isoprene biogenesis and constructing an isoprene-overproducing microbial system. Although the role for isoprene formation in B. subtilis is still uncertain, our current model for regulation of this hydrocarbon’s synthesis is that isoprene production in B. subtilis is controlled by a combination of i) rapid regulation of isoprene synthase activity and ii) supply of the substrate for isoprene synthase, dimethyallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). This model parallels our current thinking about the control of isoprene formation in plant chloroplasts. In this reporting period we have been working to test part ii) of this model; this work has produced new results using genetic and analytical approaches. For examples, we have developed an analytical method to resolve DMAPP and its isomer, isopentenyl diphosphate, from each other in bacteria and plants. We have also shown that the IPP isomerase (type 2) of B. subtilis is not the source of “isoprene synthase” activity, and discovered that B. subtilis releases C5 isoprenoid alcohols to the medium, suggesting that isoprene plus other C5 isoprenoids may be common by-products of metabolism. In addition, we have continued to work on our discovery that wild type B. subtilis strains form prolific biofilms, are normal components of plant root microflora, and are testing the idea that B. subtilis growing in biofilms uses isoprene to induce plant root exudation.

  13. Microbial production of scent and flavor compounds.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Austin L; Desai, Shuchi H; Atsumi, Shota

    2016-02-01

    Scents and flavors like those of fresh oranges are no longer limited to just the natural product. Fruit, flower, and essential oil scents have found place in cosmetics, soaps, candles, and food amongst many common household products. With their increasing global demand and difficulty in extractation from the natural source, alternative methods of their production are being sought. One sustainable method is to employ microorganisms for the production of these high value compounds. With the tools of metabolic engineering, microorganisms can be modified to produce compounds such as esters, terpenoids, aldehydes, and methyl ketones. Approaches and challenges for the production of these compounds from microbial hosts are discussed in this review. PMID:26426958

  14. Microbial production of value-added nutraceuticals.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian; Guleria, Sanjay; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Yan, Yajun

    2016-02-01

    Nutraceuticals are important natural bioactive compounds that confer health-promoting and medical benefits to humans. Globally growing demands for value-added nutraceuticals for prevention and treatment of human diseases have rendered nutraceuticals a multi-billion dollar market. However, supply limitations and extraction difficulties from natural sources such as plants, animals or fungi, restrict the large-scale use of nutraceuticals. Metabolic engineering via microbial production platforms has been advanced as an eco-friendly alternative approach for production of value-added nutraceuticals from simple carbon sources. Microbial platforms like the most widely used Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been engineered as versatile cell factories for production of diverse and complex value-added chemicals such as phytochemicals, prebiotics, polysaccaharides and poly amino acids. This review highlights the recent progresses in biological production of value-added nutraceuticals via metabolic engineering approaches. PMID:26716360

  15. Microbial production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Eiteman, Mark A; Ramalingam, Subramanian

    2015-05-01

    Lactic acid is an important commodity chemical having a wide range of applications. Microbial production effectively competes with chemical synthesis methods because biochemical synthesis permits the generation of either one of the two enantiomers with high optical purity at high yield and titer, a result which is particularly beneficial for the production of poly(lactic acid) polymers having specific properties. The commercial viability of microbial lactic acid production relies on utilization of inexpensive carbon substrates derived from agricultural or waste resources. Therefore, optimal lactic acid formation requires an understanding and engineering of both the competing pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism, as well as pathways leading to potential by-products which both affect product yield. Recent research leverages those biochemical pathways, while researchers also continue to seek strains with improved tolerance and ability to perform under desirable industrial conditions, for example, of pH and temperature. PMID:25604523

  16. MICROBIAL RESISTANT GYPSUM PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gypsum building materials often become wet, resulting in mold growth that leads to health and productivity impacts. A major source of mold growth is gypsum wallboard since nearly 90% of the interior finished surfaces of buildings are covered with gypsum products. It has been est...

  17. NATURAL CO2 FLOW FROM THE LOIHI VENT: IMPACT ON MICROBIAL PRODUCTION AND FATE OF THE CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Richard B. Coffin; Thomas J. Boyd; David L. Knies; Kenneth S. Grabowski; John W. Pohlman; Clark S. Mitchell

    2004-02-27

    The program for International Collaboration on CO{sub 2} Ocean Sequestration was initiated December 1997. Preliminary steps involved surveying a suite of biogeochemical parameters off the coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The preliminary survey was conducted twice, in 1999 and 2000, to obtain a thorough data set including measurements of pH, current profiles, CO{sub 2} concentrations, microbial activities, and water and sediment chemistries. These data were collected in order to interpret a planned CO{sub 2} injection experiment. After these preliminary surveys were completed, local environment regulation forced moving the project to the coast north east of Bergen, Norway. The preliminary survey along the Norwegian Coast was conducted during 2002. However, Norwegian government revoked a permit, approved by the Norwegian State Pollution Control Authority, for policy reasons regarding the CO{sub 2} injection experiment. As a result the research team decided to monitor the natural CO{sub 2} flow off the southern coast of the Big Island. From December 3rd-13th 2002 scientists from four countries representing the Technical Committee of the International Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Experiment examined the hydrothermal venting at Loihi Seamount (Hawaiian Islands, USA). Work focused on tracing the venting gases, the impacts of the vent fluids on marine organisms, and CO{sub 2} influence on biogeochemical cycles. The cruise on the R/V Ka'imikai-O-Kanaloa (KOK) included 8 dives by the PISCES V submarine, 6 at Loihi and 2 at a nearby site in the lee of the Big Island. Data for this final report is from the last 2 dives on Loihi.

  18. Microbial production of primary metabolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demain, Arnold L.

    1980-12-01

    Microbial production of primary metabolites contributes significantly to the quality of life. Through fermentation, microorganisms growing on inexpensive carbon sources can produce valuable products such as amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids, and vitamins which can be added to food to enhance its flavor or increase its nutritive value. The contribution of microorganisms will go well beyond the food industry with the renewed interest in solvent fermentations. Microorganisms have the potential to provide many petroleum-derived products as well as the ethanol necessary for liquid fuel. The role of primary metabolites and the microbes which produce them will certainly increase in importance.

  19. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; O'Connor, Timothy K; Bryant, Jessica A; Charkoudian, Louise K; Docherty, Kathryn M; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W; Green, Jessica L; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  20. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Jessica A.; Charkoudian, Louise K.; Docherty, Kathryn M.; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W.; Green, Jessica L.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  1. Microbial utilisation of natural organic wastes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyin, V. K.; Smirnov, I. A.; Soldatov, P. E.; Korniushenkova, I. N.; Grinin, A. S.; Lykov, I. N.; Safronova, S. A.

    2004-03-01

    The waste management strategy for the future should meet the benefits of humanity safety, respect principals of planet ecology, and compatibility with other habitability systems. For these purpose the waste management technologies, relevant to application of the biodegradation properties of bacteria are of great value. The biological treatment method is based upon the biodegradation of organic substances by various microorganisms. The advantage of the biodegradation waste management in general: it allows to diminish the volume of organic wastes, the biological hazard of the wastes is controlled and this system may be compatible with the other systems. The objectives of our study were: to evaluate effectiveness of microbial biodegradation of non-pretreated substrate, to construct phneumoautomatic digester for organic wastes biodegradation and to study microbial characteristics of active sludge samples used as inoculi in biodegradation experiment. The technology of vegetable wastes treatment was elaborated in IBMP and BMSTU. For this purpose the special unit was created where the degradation process is activated by enforced reinvention of portions of elaborated biogas into digester. This technology allows to save energy normally used for electromechanical agitation and to create optimal environment for anaerobic bacteria growth. The investigations were performed on waste simulator, which imitates physical and chemical content of food wastes calculated basing on the data on food wastes of moderate Russian city. The volume of created experimental sample of digester is 40 l. The basic system elements of device are digesters, gas receiver, remover of drops and valve monitoring and thermal control system. In our testing we used natural food wastes to measure basic parameters and time of biodegradation process. The diminution rate of organic gained 76% from initial mass taking part within 9 days of fermentation. The biogas production achieved 46 l per 1 kg of substrate

  2. Microbial Degradation of Natural Rubber Vulcanizates

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchii, Akio; Suzuki, Tomoo; Takeda, Kiyoshi

    1985-01-01

    An actinomycete, Nocardia sp. strain 835A, grows well on unvulcanized natural rubber and synthetic isoprene rubber, but not on other types of synthetic rubber. Not only unvulcanized but also various kinds of vulcanized natural rubber products were more or less utilized by the organism as the sole source of carbon and energy. The thin film from a latex glove was rapidly degraded, and the weight loss reached 75% after a 2-week cultivation period. Oligomers with molecular weights from 104 to 103 were accumulated during microbial growth on the latex glove. The partially purified oligomers were examined by infrared and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the spectra were those expected of cis-1, 4-polyisoprene with the structure, OHC—CH2—[—CH2—C(—CH3)=CH —CH2—]n—CH2—C(=O)— CH3, with average values of n of about 114 and 19 for the two oligomers. PMID:16346923

  3. Microbial lipases: production and applications.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, P K; Saxena, R K; Gupta, R; Yadav, R P; Davidson, S

    1996-01-01

    Lipases occupy a prominent place among biocatalysts and have a wide spectrum of biotechnological applications. Lipases are unique as they hydrolyse fats into fatty acids and glycerol at the water-lipid interface and can reverse the reaction in non-aqueous media. The stability of these enzymes in organic solvents have pushed them into the frontier areas of organic synthesis leading to the designing of novel drugs, surfactants, bioactive compounds and oleochemicals. In addition, lipase-catalysed trans-esterification and inter-esterification reactions have been exploited in the fat industry. Looking into the wide scenario of lipase applications, commercialization of lipase production is a prime area of interest for microbiologists, process engineers and biochemists. Research carried out in this field has revealed that microbes, especially fungi and bacteria, are the tools of choice for commercial production. Recently, the structure determination of a few microbial lipases has widened our knowledge about the unique mechanism of catalysis of this enzyme. PMID:8828407

  4. Production Methods for Microbial Biocontrol Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A critical constraint to the commercial use of microbial biopesticides is the development of an economic production process. The production process must be cost-effective and yield a microbial propagule that is stable and efficacious under field conditions. Currently, the commercial production of ...

  5. Engineering microbial factories for synthesis of value-added products

    PubMed Central

    Du, Jing; Shao, Zengyi; Zhao, Huimin

    2011-01-01

    Microorganisms have become an increasingly important platform for the production of drugs, chemicals, and biofuels from renewable resources. Advances in protein engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology enable redesigning microbial cellular networks and fine-tuning physiological capabilities, thus generating industrially viable strains for the production of natural and unnatural value-added compounds. In this review, we describe the recent progress on engineering microbial factories for synthesis of valued-added products including alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, biofuels, and chemicals. Related topics on lignocellulose degradation, sugar utilization, and microbial tolerance improvement will also be discussed. PMID:21526386

  6. Natural Products as Aromatase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Balunas, Marcy J.; Su, Bin; Brueggemeier, Robert W.; Kinghorn, A. Douglas

    2010-01-01

    With the clinical success of several synthetic aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in the treatment of postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, researchers have also been investigating also the potential of natural products as AIs. Natural products from terrestrial and marine organisms provide a chemically diverse array of compounds not always available through current synthetic chemistry techniques. Natural products that have been used traditionally for nutritional or medicinal purposes (e.g., botanical dietary supplements) may also afford AIs with reduced side effects. A thorough review of the literature regarding natural product extracts and secondary metabolites of plant, microbial, and marine origin that have been shown to exhibit aromatase inhibitory activity is presented herein. PMID:18690828

  7. Method Analysis of Microbial Resistant Gypsum Products

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: Several commercially available gypsum products are marketed as microbial-resistant. During previous test method research on a microbial resistant gypsum wallboard study, a common theme from both stakeholders and product vendors was the need for a unified and accepted m...

  8. Enantioselective microbial synthesis of the indigenous natural product (-)-α-bisabolol by a sesquiterpene synthase from chamomile (Matricaria recutita).

    PubMed

    Son, Young-Jin; Kwon, Moonhyuk; Ro, Dae-Kyun; Kim, Soo-Un

    2014-10-15

    (-)-α-Bisabolol, a sesquiterpene alcohol, is a major ingredient in the essential oil of chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and is used in many health products. The current supply of (-)-α-bisabolol is mainly dependent on the Brazilian candeia tree (Eremanthus erythropappus) by distillation or by chemical synthesis. However, the distillation method using the candeia tree is not sustainable, and chemical synthesis suffers from impurities arising from undesirable α-bisabolol isomers. Therefore enzymatic synthesis of (-)-α-bisabolol is a viable alternative. In the present study, a cDNA encoding (-)-α-bisabolol synthase (MrBBS) was identified from chamomile and used for enantioselective (-)-α-bisabolol synthesis in yeast. Chamomile MrBBS was identified by Illumina and 454 sequencing, followed by activity screening in yeast. When MrBBS was expressed in yeast, 8 mg of α-bisabolol was synthesized de novo per litre of culture. The structure of purified α-bisabolol was elucidated as (S,S)-α-bisabolol [or (-)-α-bisabolol]. Although MrBBS possesses a putative chloroplast-targeting peptide, it was localized in the cytosol, and a deletion of its N-terminal 23 amino acids significantly reduced its stability and activity. Recombinant MrBBS showed kinetic properties comparable with those of other sesquiterpene synthases. These data provide compelling evidence that chamomile MrBBS synthesizes enantiopure (-)-α-bisabolol as a single sesquiterpene product, opening a biotechnological opportunity to produce (-)-α-bisabolol. PMID:25048207

  9. Microbial production of lactate-containing polyesters

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jung Eun; Choi, So Young; Shin, Jae Ho; Park, Si Jae; Lee, Sang Yup

    2013-01-01

    Due to our increasing concerns on environmental problems and limited fossil resources, biobased production of chemicals and materials through biorefinery has been attracting much attention. Optimization of the metabolic performance of microorganisms, the key biocatalysts for the efficient production of the desired target bioproducts, has been achieved by metabolic engineering. Metabolic engineering allowed more efficient production of polyhydroxyalkanoates, a family of microbial polyesters. More recently, non-natural polyesters containing lactate as a monomer have also been produced by one-step fermentation of engineered bacteria. Systems metabolic engineering integrating traditional metabolic engineering with systems biology, synthetic biology, protein/enzyme engineering through directed evolution and structural design, and evolutionary engineering, enabled microorganisms to efficiently produce natural and non-natural products. Here, we review the strategies for the metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the in vivo biosynthesis of lactate-containing polyesters and for the optimization of whole cell metabolism to efficiently produce lactate-containing polyesters. Also, major problems to be solved to further enhance the production of lactate-containing polyesters are discussed. PMID:23718266

  10. Microbial biomass production and evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Shoshan, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    A study of microbial biomass production was conducted to determine the amount that certain microorganisms can produce. The microorganisms, grown in their optimum conditions, were put into media containing 1% (w/v) corn starch. Those that yielded the greatest quantity of biomass were then utilized in corn meal fermentation. Their effect upon the protein nutritional value of the product was also determined. A comparative study was then carried out to determine the amylolytic activity, and biomass produced by single and mixed cultures of microorganisms including Bacillus sterothermophilus, Endomycopsis fibuligera, Saccharomyces diastaticus, and Candida utilis. In bacteria-yeast fermentation, the highest biomass (4.3 mg/ml) was obtained from C. utilis following B. sterothermophilus. In another fermentation process, yeast-yeast, the highest biomass (6.73 mg/ml) was obtained from a mixed culture of E. fibuligera and C. utilis. In both groups of microorganisms, the level of crude protein, crude fiber, percent relative nutritive value (%RNV) and total available amino acids of lysine, methionine and tryptophan increased. The increase made by the mixed cultures of yeast was superior and was the only treatment that showed a significant (P > 0.05) difference from the non-fermented control and from other treatments.

  11. Uranium Biomineralization By Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Taillefert, Martial

    2015-04-01

    This project investigated the geochemical and microbial processes associated with the biomineralization of radionuclides in subsurface soils. During this study, it was determined that microbial communities from the Oak Ridge Field Research subsurface are able to express phosphatase activities that hydrolyze exogenous organophosphate compounds and result in the non-reductive bioimmobilization of U(VI) phosphate minerals in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The changes of the microbial community structure associated with the biomineralization of U(VI) was determined to identify the main organisms involved in the biomineralization process, and the complete genome of two isolates was sequenced. In addition, it was determined that both phytate, the main source of natural organophosphate compounds in natural environments, and polyphosphate accumulated in cells could also be hydrolyzed by native microbial population to liberate enough orthophosphate and precipitate uranium phosphate minerals. Finally, the minerals produced during this process are stable in low pH conditions or environments where the production of dissolved inorganic carbon is moderate. These findings suggest that the biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate minerals is an attractive bioremediation strategy to uranium bioreduction in low pH uranium-contaminated environments. These efforts support the goals of the SBR long-term performance measure by providing key information on "biological processes influencing the form and mobility of DOE contaminants in the subsurface".

  12. Enabling technologies to advance microbial isoprenoid production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun; Zhou, Yongjin J; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Microbial production of isoprenoids provides an attractive alternative to biomass extraction and chemical synthesis. Although widespread research aims for isoprenoid biosynthesis, it is still in its infancy in terms of delivering commercial products. Large barriers remain in realizing a cost-competitive process, for example, developing an optimal microbial cell factory. Here, we summarize the many tools and methods that have been developed in the metabolic engineering of isoprenoid production, with the advent of systems biology and synthetic biology, and discuss how these technologies advance to accelerate the design-build-test engineering cycle to obtain optimum microbial systems. It is anticipated that innovative combinations of new and existing technologies will continue to emerge, which will enable further development of microbial cell factories for commercial isoprenoid production. PMID:25549781

  13. Review on production, characterization and applications of microbial levan.

    PubMed

    Srikanth, Rapala; Reddy, Chinta H S S Sundhar; Siddartha, Gudimalla; Ramaiah, M Janaki; Uppuluri, Kiran Babu

    2015-04-20

    Levan is a homopolymer of fructose naturally obtained from both plants and microorganisms. Microbial levans are more advantageous, economical and industrially feasible with numerous applications. Bacterial levans are much larger than those produced by plants with multiple branches and molecular weights ranging from 2 to 100 million Da. However levans from plants generally have molecular weights ranging from about 2000 to 33,000 Da. Microbial levans have wide range of applications in food, medicine, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and commercial industrial sectors. With excellent polymeric medicinal properties and ease of production, microbial levan appear as a valuable and versatile biopolymer of the future. The present article summarizes and discusses the most essential properties of bioactive microbial levan and recent developments in its production, characterization and the emerging applications in health and industry. PMID:25662693

  14. Community proteomics of a natural microbial biofilm.

    PubMed

    Ram, Rachna J; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Thelen, Michael P; Tyson, Gene W; Baker, Brett J; Blake, Robert C; Shah, Manesh; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2005-06-24

    Using genomic and mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation. PMID:15879173

  15. Community Proteomics of a Natural Microbial Biofilm

    SciTech Connect

    Ram, Rachna J.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Thelen, Michael P.; Tyson, Gene W.; Baker, Brett J.; Shah, Manesh B; BlakeII, Robert C.; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2005-06-01

    Using genomic and mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation.

  16. Microbial Cell Factories for Diol Production.

    PubMed

    Sabra, W; Groeger, C; Zeng, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Diols are compounds with two hydroxyl groups and have a wide range of appealing applications as chemicals and fuels. In particular, five low molecular diol compounds, namely 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO), 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PDO), 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO), 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BDO), and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BDO), can be biotechnologically produced by direct microbial bioconversion of renewable materials. In this review, we summarize recent developments in the microbial production of diols, especially regarding the engineering of typical microbial strains as cell factory and the development of corresponding bioconversion processes. PMID:26475465

  17. Effect of Gamma radiation on microbial population of natural casings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigo, M. J.; Fraqueza, M. J.

    1998-06-01

    The high microbial load of fresh and dry natural casings increases the risk of meat product contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, agents of foodborn diseases. The aim of this work is to evaluate the killing effect of gamma radiation of the resident microbial population of pork and beef casings, to improve their hygiene and safety. Portions of fresh pork (small intestines and colon) and dry beef casings were irradiated in a Cobalt 60 source with with absorbed doses of 1,2,5 and 10 kGy. The D 10 values of total aerobic microorganisms in the pork casings were 1.65 kGy for colon and 1.54 kGy for small intestine. The D 10 value found in beef dry casings (small intestine) was 10.17 kGy. Radurization with 5 kGy was able to reduce, at least, 6 logs the coliform bacteria in pork casings. The killing effect over faecal Streptococci was 4 logs for pork fresh casings and 2 logs for beef dry casings. Gamma radiation with 5 kGy proved to be a convenient method to reduce substantially the microbial population of pork fresh casings. Otherwise, the microbial population of beef dry casings still resisted to 10 kGy.

  18. Microbial Production of Isoprenoids Enabled by Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Immethun, Cheryl M.; Hoynes-O’Connor, Allison G.; Balassy, Andrea; Moon, Tae Seok

    2013-01-01

    Microorganisms transform inexpensive carbon sources into highly functionalized compounds without toxic by-product generation or significant energy consumption. By redesigning the natural biosynthetic pathways in an industrially suited host, microbial cell factories can produce complex compounds for a variety of industries. Isoprenoids include many medically important compounds such as antioxidants and anticancer and antimalarial drugs, all of which have been produced microbially. While a biosynthetic pathway could be simply transferred to the production host, the titers would become economically feasible when it is rationally designed, built, and optimized through synthetic biology tools. These tools have been implemented by a number of research groups, with new tools pledging further improvements in yields and expansion to new medically relevant compounds. This review focuses on the microbial production of isoprenoids for the health industry and the advancements though synthetic biology. PMID:23577007

  19. Microbial pathogen quality criteria of rendered products.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Pramod K; Biswas, Sagor; Kass, Philip

    2016-06-01

    The North American rendering industry processes approximately 24 million metric tons (Mt) of raw materials and produces more than 8 million Mt of rendered products. More than 85 % of rendered products produced annually in the USA are used for producing animal feed. Pathogen contamination in rendered products is an important and topical issue. Although elevated temperatures (115-140 °C) for 40-90 min during the standard rendering processes are mathematically sufficient to completely destroy commonly found pathogens, the presence of pathogens in rendered products has nevertheless been reported. Increased concern over the risk of microbial contamination in rendered products may require additional safeguards for producing pathogen-free rendered products. This study provides an overview of rendered products, existing microbial pathogen quality criteria of rendered products (MPQCR), limitations, and the scope of improving the MPQCR. PMID:27121572

  20. Hydrogen production from microbial strains

    DOEpatents

    Harwood, Caroline S; Rey, Federico E

    2012-09-18

    The present invention is directed to a method of screening microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. This method involves inoculating one or more microbes in a sample containing cell culture medium to form an inoculated culture medium. The inoculated culture medium is then incubated under hydrogen producing conditions. Once incubating causes the inoculated culture medium to produce hydrogen, microbes in the culture medium are identified as candidate microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. Methods of producing hydrogen using one or more of the microbial strains identified as well as the hydrogen producing strains themselves are also disclosed.

  1. Microbial production of scleroglucan and downstream processing

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Natalia A.; Valdez, Alejandra L.; Fariña, Julia I.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic petroleum-based polymers and natural plant polymers have the disadvantage of restricted sources, in addition to the non-biodegradability of the former ones. In contrast, eco-sustainable microbial polysaccharides, of low-cost and standardized production, represent an alternative to address this situation. With a strong global market, they attracted worldwide attention because of their novel and unique physico-chemical properties as well as varied industrial applications, and many of them are promptly becoming economically competitive. Scleroglucan, a β-1,3-β-1,6-glucan secreted by Sclerotium fungi, exhibits high potential for commercialization and may show different branching frequency, side-chain length, and/or molecular weight depending on the producing strain or culture conditions. Water-solubility, viscosifying ability and wide stability over temperature, pH and salinity make scleroglucan useful for different biotechnological (enhanced oil recovery, food additives, drug delivery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, biocompatible materials, etc.), and biomedical (immunoceutical, antitumor, etc.) applications. It can be copiously produced at bioreactor scale under standardized conditions, where a high exopolysaccharide concentration normally governs the process optimization. Operative and nutritional conditions, as well as the incidence of scleroglucan downstream processing will be discussed in this chapter. The relevance of using standardized inocula from selected strains and experiences concerning the intricate scleroglucan scaling-up will be also herein outlined. PMID:26528259

  2. Microbial production of scleroglucan and downstream processing.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Natalia A; Valdez, Alejandra L; Fariña, Julia I

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic petroleum-based polymers and natural plant polymers have the disadvantage of restricted sources, in addition to the non-biodegradability of the former ones. In contrast, eco-sustainable microbial polysaccharides, of low-cost and standardized production, represent an alternative to address this situation. With a strong global market, they attracted worldwide attention because of their novel and unique physico-chemical properties as well as varied industrial applications, and many of them are promptly becoming economically competitive. Scleroglucan, a β-1,3-β-1,6-glucan secreted by Sclerotium fungi, exhibits high potential for commercialization and may show different branching frequency, side-chain length, and/or molecular weight depending on the producing strain or culture conditions. Water-solubility, viscosifying ability and wide stability over temperature, pH and salinity make scleroglucan useful for different biotechnological (enhanced oil recovery, food additives, drug delivery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, biocompatible materials, etc.), and biomedical (immunoceutical, antitumor, etc.) applications. It can be copiously produced at bioreactor scale under standardized conditions, where a high exopolysaccharide concentration normally governs the process optimization. Operative and nutritional conditions, as well as the incidence of scleroglucan downstream processing will be discussed in this chapter. The relevance of using standardized inocula from selected strains and experiences concerning the intricate scleroglucan scaling-up will be also herein outlined. PMID:26528259

  3. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production

    PubMed Central

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  4. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production.

    PubMed

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  5. Bacterial Plasmids in Antarctic Natural Microbial Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Kobori, Hiromi; Sullivan, Cornelius W.; Shizuya, Hiroaki

    1984-01-01

    Samples of psychrophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria were collected from sea ice, seawater, sediments, and benthic or ice-associated animals in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. A total of 155 strains were isolated and tested for the presence of plasmids by DNA agarose gel electrophoresis. Thirty-one percent of the isolates carried at least one kind of plasmid. Bacterial isolates taken from sediments showed the highest plasmid incidence (42%), and isolates from seawater showed the lowest plasmid incidence (20%). Plasmids were significantly more frequent in the strains which had been first isolated from low-nutrient media (46%) than in the strains which had been isolated from high-nutrient media (25%). Multiple forms of plasmids were observed in two-thirds of the plasmid-carrying strains. A majority of the plasmids detected were estimated to have a mass of 10 megadaltons or less. Among 48 plasmid-carrying strains, 7 showed antibiotic resistance. It is concluded that bacterial plasmids are ubiquitous in natural microbial assemblages of the pristine marine ecosystem of Antarctica. Images PMID:16346621

  6. Production of novel microbial biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microorganisms are well known to produce a wide variety of biobased polymers. These biopolymers have found a wide range of commercial uses, including food, feed, and consumer and industrial products. The production and possible uses of several novel biopolymers from both bacteria and fungi will be d...

  7. Microbial bioinformatics for food safety and production

    PubMed Central

    Alkema, Wynand; Boekhorst, Jos; Wels, Michiel

    2016-01-01

    In the production of fermented foods, microbes play an important role. Optimization of fermentation processes or starter culture production traditionally was a trial-and-error approach inspired by expert knowledge of the fermentation process. Current developments in high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies allow developing more rational approaches to improve fermentation processes both from the food functionality as well as from the food safety perspective. Here, the authors thematically review typical bioinformatics techniques and approaches to improve various aspects of the microbial production of fermented food products and food safety. PMID:26082168

  8. Maximizing efficiency of rumen microbial protein production

    PubMed Central

    Hackmann, Timothy J.; Firkins, Jeffrey L.

    2015-01-01

    Rumen microbes produce cellular protein inefficiently partly because they do not direct all ATP toward growth. They direct some ATP toward maintenance functions, as long-recognized, but they also direct ATP toward reserve carbohydrate synthesis and energy spilling (futile cycles that dissipate heat). Rumen microbes expend ATP by vacillating between (1) accumulation of reserve carbohydrate after feeding (during carbohydrate excess) and (2) mobilization of that carbohydrate thereafter (during carbohydrate limitation). Protozoa account for most accumulation of reserve carbohydrate, and in competition experiments, protozoa accumulated nearly 35-fold more reserve carbohydrate than bacteria. Some pure cultures of bacteria spill energy, but only recently have mixed rumen communities been recognized as capable of the same. When these communities were dosed glucose in vitro, energy spilling could account for nearly 40% of heat production. We suspect that cycling of glycogen (a major reserve carbohydrate) is a major mechanism of spilling; such cycling has already been observed in single-species cultures of protozoa and bacteria. Interconversions of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) may also expend ATP and depress efficiency of microbial protein production. These interconversions may involve extensive cycling of intermediates, such as cycling of acetate during butyrate production in certain butyrivibrios. We speculate this cycling may expend ATP directly or indirectly. By further quantifying the impact of reserve carbohydrate accumulation, energy spilling, and SCFA interconversions on growth efficiency, we can improve prediction of microbial protein production and guide efforts to improve efficiency of microbial protein production in the rumen. PMID:26029197

  9. Microbial methanol formation: A major end product of pectin metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Schink, B.; Zeikus, J.G.

    1980-01-01

    Various pectinolytic strains of Clostridium, Erwinia, and Pseudomonas species produced methanol as a major end product during growth on pectin but not on glucose of polygalacturonic acid. Pectin metabolism of Clostridium butyricum strain 4PI correlated with a final product concentration of 16 mM at the end of growth, and a 1:1 stoichiometry for methanol production and percent initial substrate methoxylation. Growth on pectin was associated with high activity of pectin methylesterase and the absence of methanol consumption. The ecological significance of pectin metabolism and the establishment of microbial methylotrophic metabolism in nature is discussed.

  10. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-01

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature. PMID:22842011

  11. Microbial production strategies and applications of lycopene and other terpenoids.

    PubMed

    Ma, Tian; Deng, Zixin; Liu, Tiangang

    2016-01-01

    Terpenoids are a large class of compounds that have far-reaching applications and economic value, particularly those most commonly found in plants; however, the extraction and synthesis of these compounds is often expensive and technically challenging. Recent advances in microbial metabolic engineering comprise a breakthrough that may enable the efficient, cost-effective production of these limited natural resources. Via the engineering of safe, industrial microorganisms that encode product-specific enzymes, and even entire metabolic pathways of interest, microbial-derived semisynthetic terpenoids may soon replace plant-derived terpenoids as the primary source of these valuable compounds. Indeed, the recent metabolic engineering of an Escherichia coli strain that produces the precursor to lycopene, a commercially and medically important compound, with higher yields than those in tomato plants serves as a successful example. Here, we review the recent developments in the metabolic engineering of microbes for the production of certain terpenoid compounds, particularly lycopene, which has been increasingly used in pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics. Furthermore, we summarize the metabolic engineering strategies used to achieve successful microbial production of some similar compounds. Based on this overview, there is a reason to believe that metabolic engineering comprises an optimal approach for increasing the production of lycopene and other terpenoids. PMID:26715120

  12. Natural Products for Antithrombosis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Cen; Zhang, Qian; Wang, Feng-Qin; Hu, Yuan-Jia; Xia, Zhi-Ning

    2015-01-01

    Thrombosis is considered to be closely related to several diseases such as atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease and stroke, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, hyperuricemia, and various inflammatory conditions. More and more studies have been focused on understanding the mechanism of molecular and cellular basis of thrombus formation as well as preventing thrombosis for the treatment of thrombotic diseases. In reality, there is considerable interest in the role of natural products and their bioactive components in the prevention and treatment of thrombosis related disorders. This paper briefly describes the mechanisms of thrombus formation on three aspects, including coagulation system, platelet activation, and aggregation, and change of blood flow conditions. Furthermore, the natural products for antithrombosis by anticoagulation, antiplatelet aggregation, and fibrinolysis were summarized, respectively. PMID:26075003

  13. Natural products as photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Saewan, Nisakorn; Jimtaisong, Ampa

    2015-03-01

    The rise in solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface has led to a depletion of stratospheric ozone over recent decades, thus accelerating the need to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation such as erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and skin cancer. There are many different ways to protect skin against UV radiation's harmful effects. The most popular way to reduce the amount of UV radiation penetrating the skin is topical application of sunscreen products that contain UV absorbing or reflecting active molecules. Based on their protection mechanism, the active molecules in sunscreens are broadly divided into inorganic and organic agents. Inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV and visible radiation, while organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and then re-emit energy as heat or light. These synthetic molecules have limited concentration according to regulation concern. Several natural compounds with UV absorption property have been used to substitute for or to reduce the quantity of synthetic sunscreen agents. In addition to UV absorption property, most natural compounds were found to act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents, which provide further protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation exposure. Compounds derived from natural sources have gained considerable attention for use in sunscreen products and have bolstered the market trend toward natural cosmetics. This adds to the importance of there being a wide selection of active molecules in sunscreen formulations. This paper summarizes a number of natural products derived from propolis, plants, algae, and lichens that have shown potential photoprotection properties against UV radiation exposure-induced skin damage. PMID:25582033

  14. MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETIC EXPLORATIONS OF NATURAL MICROBIAL COMMUNITY COMPOSITION AND DIVERSITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Comparative sequence analysis of ribosomal RNA molecules has let to a phylogenetic-based approach to characterize natural microbial communities. he approach has been applied to study natural communities of sulfate-reducing bacteria, hybridization probes were used to measure relat...

  15. NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR PEST MANAGEMENT

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The topic of natural products as pesticides is reviewed, with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a natural product-based strategy for pesticide discovery. Current and past natural product and natural product-based herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, molluscicides, rodent...

  16. Microbial biomass and productivity in seagrass beds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moriarty, D. J.; Boon, P. I.; Hansen, J. A.; Hunt, W. G.; Poiner, I. R.; Pollard, P. C.; Skyring, G. W.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Different methods for measuring the rates of processes mediated by bacteria in sediments and the rates of bacterial cell production have been compared. In addition, net production of the seagrass Zostera capricorni and bacterial production have been compared and some interrelationships with the nitrogen cycle discussed. Seagrass productivity was estimated by measuring the plastochrone interval using a leaf stapling technique. The average productivity over four seasons was 1.28 +/- 0.28 g C m-2 day-1 (mean +/- standard deviation, n = 4). Bacterial productivity was measured five times throughout a year using the rate of tritiated thymidine incorporated into DNA. Average values were 33 +/- 12 mg C m-2 day-1 for sediment and 23 +/- 4 for water column (n = 5). Spatial variability between samples was greater than seasonal variation for both seagrass productivity and bacterial productivity. On one occasion, bacterial productivity was measured using the rate of 32P incorporated into phospholipid. The values were comparable to those obtained with tritiated thymidine. The rate of sulfate reduction was 10 mmol SO4(-2) m-2 day-1. The rate of methanogenesis was low, being 5.6 mg CH4 produced m-2 day-1. A comparison of C flux measured using rates of sulfate reduction and DNA synthesis indicated that anaerobic processes were predominant in these sediments. An analysis of microbial biomass and community structure, using techniques of phospholipid analysis, showed that bacteria were predominant members of the microbial biomass and that of these, strictly anaerobic bacteria were the main components. Ammonia concentration in interstitial water varied from 23 to 71 micromoles. Estimates of the amount of ammonia required by seagrass showed that the ammonia would turn over about once per day. Rapid recycling of nitrogen by bacteria and bacterial grazers is probably important.

  17. Microbial production of short chain diols.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yudong; Liu, Wei; Zou, Huibin; Cheng, Tao; Tian, Ning; Xian, Mo

    2014-01-01

    Short chain diols (propanediols, butanediols, pentanediols) have been widely used in bulk and fine chemical industries as fuels, solvents, polymer monomers and pharmaceutical precursors. The chemical production of short chain diols from fossil resources has been developed and optimized for decades. Consideration of the exhausting fossil resources and the increasing environment issues, the bio-based process to produce short chain diols is attracting interests. Currently, a variety of biotechnologies have been developed for the microbial production of the short chain diols from renewable feed-stocks. In order to efficiently produce bio-diols, the techniques like metabolically engineering the production strains, optimization of the fermentation processes, and integration of a reasonable downstream recovery processes have been thoroughly investigated. In this review, we summarized the recent development in the whole process of bio-diols production including substrate, microorganism, metabolic pathway, fermentation process and downstream process. PMID:25491899

  18. Microbial production of building block chemicals and polymers.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeong Wook; Kim, Hyun Uk; Choi, Sol; Yi, Jongho; Lee, Sang Yup

    2011-12-01

    Owing to our increasing concerns on the environment, climate change, and limited natural resources, there has recently been considerable effort exerted to produce chemicals and materials from renewable biomass. Polymers we use everyday can also be produced either by direct fermentation or by polymerization of monomers that are produced by fermentation. Recent advances in metabolic engineering combined with systems biology and synthetic biology are allowing us to more systematically develop superior strains and bioprocesses for the efficient production of polymers and monomers. Here, we review recent trends in microbial production of building block chemicals that can be subsequently used for the synthesis of polymers. Also, recent successful cases of direct one-step production of polymers are reviewed. General strategies for the production of natural and unnatural platform chemicals are described together with representative examples. PMID:21420291

  19. Microbial ribonucleases (RNases): production and application potential.

    PubMed

    Hameş, E Esin; Demir, Tuğçe

    2015-12-01

    Ribonuclease (RNase) is hydrolytic enzyme that catalyzes the cleavage of phosphodiester bonds in RNA. RNases play an important role in the metabolism of cellular RNAs, such as mRNA and rRNA or tRNA maturation. Besides their cellular roles, RNases possess biological activity, cell stimulating properties, cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Cytotoxic effect of particular microbial RNases was comparable to that of animal derived counterparts. In this respect, microbial RNases have a therapeutic potential as anti-tumor drugs. The significant development of DNA vaccines and the progress of gene therapy trials increased the need for RNases in downstream processes. In addition, RNases are used in different fields, such as food industry for single cell protein preparations, and in some molecular biological studies for the synthesis of specific nucleotides, identifying RNA metabolism and the relationship between protein structure and function. In some cases, the use of bovine or other animal-derived RNases have increased the difficulties due to the safety and regulatory issues. Microbial RNases have promising potential mainly for pharmaceutical purposes as well as downstream processing. Therefore, an effort has been given to determination of optimum fermentation conditions to maximize RNase production from different bacterial and fungal producers. Also immobilization or strain development experiments have been carried out. PMID:26433394

  20. Comparison of microbial communities in Lake Tahoe surface sample with Tonga Trench water column samples using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography - Electrospray Ionization - Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC - ESI - MS) and Global Natural Products Social Molecular Network (GNPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Intact polar lipids (IPLs) are lipids composed of a head group, a glycerol, and a fatty acid chain that make up the lipid bilayer of cell membranes in living cells; and the varying head groups can be indicative of the type of microbes present in the environment (Van Mooy 2010). So by distinguishing and identifying the IPL distribution in an environment one can make inferences about the microbial communities in the said environment. In this study, we used High Pressure Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization- Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC-ESI-MS) and Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) to compare the IPL distributions of two oligotrophic environments: surface waters of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the water column of the Tonga Trench in the South Pacific. We hypothesized that the similar nutrient dynamics of the two oligotrophic environments would result in similar eukaryotic and prokaryotic communities, which would be reflected in the IPL composition of suspended particulate organic matter (POM). For simplicity we focused on the classes of IPLs most commonly observed in the marine environment: phosphotidylglycerol (PG), phosphotidylethanolamine (PE), diacylglyceryl-trimethyl-homoserine (DGTS), diacylglyceryl-hydroxymethyl-trimethylalanine (DGTA), sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG), monoglycosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and diglycosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG). Our results showed that all of the marine IPLs of interest were present in Lake Tahoe which confirms that there are many of the same microbial communities in the fresh waters of Lake Tahoe and the salt waters Tonga Trench.

  1. Utilization of wastewater originated from naturally fermented virgin coconut oil manufacturing process for bioextract production: physico-chemical and microbial evolution.

    PubMed

    Tripetchkul, Sudarut; Kusuwanwichid, Sasithorn; Koonsrisuk, Songpon; Akeprathumchai, Saengchai

    2010-08-01

    Production of virgin coconut oil via natural fermentation has led to large amount of wastes being generated, i.e., coconut pulp and wastewater containing coconut crème. Objective of this study is to gain more insight into the feasibility of utilization of such wastes as raw materials together with several types of wastes such as fish waste and/or pineapple peel for bioextract production. Chemical, physico-chemical and biological changes including phytotoxicity of the fermented mixture were closely monitored. Physical observation suggested that fermentation of bioextract obtained with fish waste appeared to be complete within the first month of fermentation while bioextract obtained using pineapple waste seemed to be complete after 8 months post-fermentation. Fermentation broth is of blackish color with alcoholic as well as acidic odour with no gas bubble and/or yeast film present on top of the surface. During the whole fermentation interval, several attributes of both bioextracts, e.g., pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and organic acids, were statistically different. Further, the total bacteria and lactic acid bacteria present in pineapple bioextract were statistically higher than those of the fish bioextract (p<0.01). The highest germination indices of 123 and 106 were obtained at 21 and 14 days post-fermentation for fish and pineapple bioextracts, respectively. In addition, qualities of both bioextracts conformed well with those specified by the Thai standard for liquid biofertilizer after 1 month fermentation. Results further showed that wastewater derived from virgin coconut oil manufacturing process could effectively be employed together with other types of wastes such as fish waste and pineapple peel for bioextract production. However, for the best bioextract quality, fermentation should be carefully planned since over fermentation led to bioextract of low qualities. PMID:20362440

  2. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2016-03-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2014 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 1116 citations (753 for the period January to December 2014) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1378 in 456 papers for 2014), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:26837534

  3. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2014-01-17

    This review covers the literature published in 2012 for marine natural products, with 1035 citations (673 for the period January to December 2012) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1241 for 2012), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:24389707

  4. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2015-02-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2013 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 982 citations (644 for the period January to December 2013) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1163 for 2013), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:25620233

  5. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2013-02-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2011 for marine natural products, with 870 citations (558 for the period January to December 2011) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1152 for 2011), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:23263727

  6. Problems with the microbial production of butanol.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yan-Ning; Li, Liang-Zhi; Xian, Mo; Ma, Yu-Jiu; Yang, Jian-Ming; Xu, Xin; He, Dong-Zhi

    2009-09-01

    With the incessant fluctuations in oil prices and increasing stress from environmental pollution, renewed attention is being paid to the microbial production of biofuels from renewable sources. As a gasoline substitute, butanol has advantages over traditional fuel ethanol in terms of energy density and hygroscopicity. A variety of cheap substrates have been successfully applied in the production of biobutanol, highlighting the commercial potential of biobutanol development. In this review, in order to better understand the process of acetone-butanol-ethanol production, traditional clostridia fermentation is discussed. Sporulation is probably induced by solvent formation, and the molecular mechanism leading to the initiation of sporulation and solventogenesis is also investigated. Different strategies are employed in the metabolic engineering of clostridia that aim to enhancing solvent production, improve selectivity for butanol production, and increase the tolerance of clostridia to solvents. However, it will be hard to make breakthroughs in the metabolic engineering of clostridia for butanol production without gaining a deeper understanding of the genetic background of clostridia and developing more efficient genetic tools for clostridia. Therefore, increasing attention has been paid to the metabolic engineering of E. coli for butanol production. The importation and expression of a non-clostridial butanol-producing pathway in E. coli is probably the most promising strategy for butanol biosynthesis. Due to the lower butanol titers in the fermentation broth, simultaneous fermentation and product removal techniques have been developed to reduce the cost of butanol recovery. Gas stripping is the best technique for butanol recovery found so far. PMID:19562394

  7. Old obstacles and new horizons for microbial chemical production.

    PubMed

    Porro, Danilo; Branduardi, Paola; Sauer, Michael; Mattanovich, Diethard

    2014-12-01

    Microorganisms appear as ideal catalysts for chemical conversions. Diverse metabolic routes seem to open doors to the whole range of chemistry. Indeed, a vast amount of scientific papers suggesting new microbial cell factories for old and new products is published every year. However, only very few of them reached industrial relevance. Chemical balances and some metabolic tricks allow natural microorganisms the efficient production of some chemicals, but not others. So first of all it is important to choose metabolically feasible products of value for synthetic chemistry. Here we see a clear task for the chemical and biotechnology industries to communicate for defining the right target molecules. Finally, despite our limited current knowledge, synthetic biology points to a future independent from natural strain backgrounds. PMID:25000188

  8. Microbial production of plant benzylisoquinoline alkaloids

    PubMed Central

    Minami, Hiromichi; Kim, Ju-Sung; Ikezawa, Nobuhiro; Takemura, Tomoya; Katayama, Takane; Kumagai, Hidehiko; Sato, Fumihiko

    2008-01-01

    Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, such as the analgesic compounds morphine and codeine, and the antibacterial agents berberine, palmatine, and magnoflorine, are synthesized from tyrosine in the Papaveraceae, Berberidaceae, Ranunculaceae, Magnoliaceae, and many other plant families. It is difficult to produce alkaloids on a large scale under the strict control of secondary metabolism in plants, and they are too complex for cost-effective chemical synthesis. By using a system that combines microbial and plant enzymes to produce desired benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, we synthesized (S)-reticuline, the key intermediate in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis, from dopamine by crude enzymes from transgenic Escherichia coli. The final yield of (S)-reticuline was 55 mg/liter within 1 h. Furthermore, we synthesized an aporphine alkaloid, magnoflorine, or a protoberberine alkaloid, scoulerine, from dopamine via reticuline by using different combination cultures of transgenic E. coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. The final yields of magnoflorine and scoulerine were 7.2 and 8.3 mg/liter culture medium. These results indicate that microbial systems that incorporate plant genes cannot only enable the mass production of scarce benzylisoquinoline alkaloids but may also open up pathways for the production of novel benzylisoquinoline alkaloids. PMID:18492807

  9. Computational approaches to natural product discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    From the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data, and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering long-standing questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions. PMID:26284671

  10. Stable isotope fractionation of selenium by natural microbial consortia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, A.S.; Johnson, T.M.; Herbel, M.J.; Bullen, T.D.

    2003-01-01

    The mobility and bioavailability of Se depend on its redox state, and reduction of Se oxyanions to less mobile, reduced species controls transport of this potentially toxic element in the environment. Stable isotope fractionation of Se is currently being developed as an indicator of Se immobilization through reduction. In this study, Se isotope fractionation resulting from reduction of Se(VI) and Se(IV) oxyanions by natural microbial consortia was measured in sediment slurry experiments under nearly natural conditions, with no substrate added. Experiments were conducted with a wide range of initial Se concentrations and with sediment and water from three locations with contrasting environmental settings. The products of Se(VI) and Se(IV) reduction were enriched in the lighter isotopes relative to the reactants. Shifts of -2.6??? to -3.1??? and -5.5??? to -5.7???, respectively, were observed in the 80Se/76Se ratio. These isotopic fractionations did not depend significantly on initial Se concentrations, which were varied from 22 ??g/l to 8 mg/l, or on geochemical differences among the sediments. These results provide estimates of Se isotope fractionation in organic-rich wetland environments but may not be appropriate for substrate-poor aquifers and marine sediments. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Microbial Production of Energy Colloquium- March 10-12, 2006

    SciTech Connect

    Merry Buckley; Judy Wall

    2006-10-01

    The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium March 10-12, 2006, in San Francisco, California, to discuss the production of energy fuels by microbial conversions. The status of research into various microbial energy technologies, the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches, research needs in the field, and education and training issues were examined, with the goal of identifying routes for producing biofuels that would both decrease the need for fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the choices for providing energy are limited. Policy makers and the research community must begin to pursue a broader array of potential energy technologies. A diverse energy portfolio that includes an assortment of microbial energy choices will allow communities and consumers to select the best energy solution for their own particular needs. Funding agencies and governments alike need to prepare for future energy needs by investing both in the microbial energy technologies that work today and in the untested technologies that will serve the world’s needs tomorrow. More mature bioprocesses, such as ethanol production from starchy materials and methane from waste digestors, will find applications in the short term. However, innovative techniques for liquid fuel or biohydrogen production are among the longer term possibilities that should also be vigorously explored, starting now. Microorganisms can help meet human energy needs in any of a number of ways. In their most obvious role in energy conversion, microorganisms can generate fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen, methane, lipids, and butanol, which can be burned to produce energy. Alternatively, bacteria can be put to use in microbial fuel cells, where they carry out the direct conversion of biomass into electricity. Microorganisms may also be used some day to make oil and natural gas technologies more efficient by sequestering carbon or by assisting in the recovery of oil and

  12. Carbonate Precipitation through Microbial Activities in Natural Environment, and Their Potential in Biotechnology: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Tingting; Dittrich, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Calcium carbonate represents a large portion of carbon reservoir and is used commercially for a variety of applications. Microbial carbonate precipitation, a by-product of microbial activities, plays an important metal coprecipitation and cementation role in natural systems. This natural process occurring in various geological settings can be mimicked and used for a number of biotechnologies, such as metal remediation, carbon sequestration, enhanced oil recovery, and construction restoration. In this study, different metabolic activities leading to calcium carbonate precipitation, their native environment, and potential applications and challenges are reviewed. PMID:26835451

  13. Carbonate Precipitation through Microbial Activities in Natural Environment, and Their Potential in Biotechnology: A Review.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Tingting; Dittrich, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Calcium carbonate represents a large portion of carbon reservoir and is used commercially for a variety of applications. Microbial carbonate precipitation, a by-product of microbial activities, plays an important metal coprecipitation and cementation role in natural systems. This natural process occurring in various geological settings can be mimicked and used for a number of biotechnologies, such as metal remediation, carbon sequestration, enhanced oil recovery, and construction restoration. In this study, different metabolic activities leading to calcium carbonate precipitation, their native environment, and potential applications and challenges are reviewed. PMID:26835451

  14. Biodegradation potential of a modified natural product

    SciTech Connect

    Sajjad, W.

    1996-12-31

    Biodegradation potential of a modified natural product for treating petroleum contaminated soils was investigated along with some commercially available microbial cultures in three different scales from a laboratory to pilot to case studies. The modified natural product is lignocellulosic in nature and proprietary product of a company in Iowa. The production process of this product involves mechanical size reduction, blending/coating, and aerobic digestion of hay, corn cob residue, straw or crop residue in presence of poultry manure. The degradation kinetics of the petroleum products in the contaminated soils were measured both directly and indirectly. Residual petroleum products in different soils (treated and untreated) at various time periods were quantified by gas chromatographic (GC) analysis on extracted samples. The indirect assessment of the kinetics of biological activity involved the measurement of CO{sub 2} evolved from flasks (250 ml capacity) containing contaminated soil (about 50 ml) with various treatments. The results indicated that the biodegradation kinetics of petroleum products in the contaminated soils were significantly improved by treatment with this modified natural product. In most cases tested, this product performed significantly better than the available commercial bacterial cultures for biological removal of petroleum products from contaminated soils. This study also demonstrated the significance of temperature and moisture content in biodegradation kinetics.

  15. Natural products: Emulation illuminates biosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercer, Jaron A. M.; Burns, Noah Z.

    2015-11-01

    A concise synthesis of the fungal natural product epicolactone suggests that this highly stereochemically complex yet racemic natural product may come from a cascade reaction between two polyhydroxylated arenes.

  16. Counteraction of antibiotic production and degradation stabilizes microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Kelsic, Eric D.; Zhao, Jeffrey; Vetsigian, Kalin; Kishony, Roy

    2015-01-01

    Summary A major challenge in theoretical ecology is understanding how natural microbial communities support species diversity1-8, and in particular how antibiotic producing, sensitive and resistant species coexist9-15. While cyclic “rock-paper-scissors” interactions can stabilize communities in spatial environments9-11, coexistence in unstructured environments remains an enigma12,16. Here, using simulations and analytical models, we show that the opposing actions of antibiotic production and degradation enable coexistence even in well-mixed environments. Coexistence depends on 3-way interactions where an antibiotic degrading species attenuates the inhibitory interactions between two other species. These 3-way interactions enable coexistence that is robust to substantial differences in inherent species growth rates and to invasion by “cheating” species that cease producing or degrading antibiotics. At least two antibiotics are required for stability, with greater numbers of antibiotics enabling more complex communities and diverse dynamical behaviors ranging from stable fixed-points to limit cycles and chaos. Together, these results show how multi-species antibiotic interactions can generate ecological stability in both spatial and mixed microbial communities, suggesting strategies for engineering synthetic ecosystems and highlighting the importance of toxin production and degradation for microbial biodiversity. PMID:25992546

  17. Microbial protein production: maximizing protein production efficiency in Space habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clauwaert, Peter; Alloul, Abbas; Muys, Maarten; Sui, Yixing; Boon, Nico; Luther, Amanda; Christiaens, Marlies E. R.; Ilgrande, Chiara; Lindeboom, Ralph E. F.; Rabaey, Korneel; Vlaeminck, Siegfried

    2016-07-01

    On top of the goal of a closed material cycle for Space habitats or deep Space missions with food production, extreme requirements apply to such Life Support Systems (LSS) in terms of mass, volume, crew time, energy consumption and controllability. Although relatively high water recovery efficiencies (~70-90%) can be achieved, all Space missions until now have relied on terrestrial food resupply and thus no nutrient recovery has been achieved so far. Researchers and Space agencies have typically been focussing on the cultivation of higher plants to produce food for crew members for future Space LSS. It can be assumed that the required surface area (50-500 m2 per crew member), plant evaporation rates (~200 kg per crew member per day), power consumption (~65 kW per crew member) and the degree of controllability of a higher plant compartment will have a great impact on the feasibility of realizing a future closed loop LSS in Space for the first time. As the food production density is so critical in a LSS, a combination of higher plant cultivation and microbial protein production might increase the chances of success of future Space LSS's since the production densities are significantly higher. Higher plants in Space LSS's would typically have an average specific protein production rate in the order of 0-4 kg protein m-3 year-1 (calculated from Do, Owens et al. (2016)), whereas bacterial biomass can be produced continuously at a rate up to ~1000 kg protein m-3 year-1. Several routes for microbial food production will be discussed in this presentation, ranging from aerobic heterotrophic production with for instance Candida ingens (Strayer, Finger et al. 1997), photoheterotrophic production with PNSB such as Rhodospirillum rubrum (Hendrickx, De Wever et al. 2006) and hydrogenotrophic production with HOB such as Cupriavidus necator (Matassa, Boon et al. 2015)) and photoautotrophic production of oxygen and microbial food (e.g. Arthrospira sp. (Hendrickx, De Wever et al

  18. Strategies to diagnose and control microbial souring in natural gas storage reservoirs and produced water systems

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, E.A.; Derr, R.M.; Pope, D.H.

    1995-12-31

    Hydrogen sulfide production (souring) in natural gas storage reservoirs and produced water systems is a safety and environmental problem that can lead to operational shutdown when local hydrogen sulfide standards are exceeded. Systems affected by microbial souring have historically been treated using biocides that target the general microbial community. However, requirements for more environmentally friendly solutions have led to treatment strategies in which sulfide production can be controlled with minimal impact to the system and environment. Some of these strategies are based on microbial and/or nutritional augmentation of the sour environment. Through research sponsored by the Gas Research Institute (GRI) in Chicago, Illinois, methods have been developed for early detection of microbial souring in natural gas storage reservoirs, and a variety of mitigation strategies have been evaluated. The effectiveness of traditional biocide treatment in gas storage reservoirs was shown to depend heavily on the methods by which the chemical is applied. An innovative strategy using nitrate was tested and proved ideal for produced water and wastewater systems. Another strategy using elemental iodine was effective for sulfide control in evaporation ponds and is currently being tested in microbially sour natural gas storage wells.

  19. Microbial products from sweet potato wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Nghiem, N.P.

    1982-01-01

    Microbial production of methane from alkaline sweet potato wastes was studied. Assessment of methane production potential was based on total COD of the wastes. A single-stage and a two-stage system were studied. In both systems, to ensure stable operation and high performance, methane fermenters had to be initially seeded with large quantities of methane formers. A 50% inoculum (based on total fermenter volume) was found to be most effective. Methane formers tended to aggregate to form spherical particles which had extremely high settling rates, this eliminated the requirement of cell recycle. In both single-stage and two-stage systems the rates of gas production was sufficiently fast to induce thorough mixing of the fermenter contents. At low residence times of two and four days the two-stage system achieved significantly higher conversions. Gas production started almost immediately after feeding the methane fermenter of the two-stage system. The conversions in the methane fermenter of a two-stage system could be predicted by a model based on Contois' kinetics. The composition of the gas produced in this fermenter could also be predicted from the distribution of the organic acids in the effluent from the acid fermenter. The acid formation stage was studied in a chemostat operated at a fixed residence time of 5.5 hours. The highest yield of 0.09 g protein/g glucose consumed was obtained at pH 5.5 and 37/sup 0/C.

  20. Microbial production of 1,3-propanediol.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Michael; Marx, Hans; Mattanovich, Diethard

    2008-01-01

    The introduction of economic production processes for 1,3-propanediol is a success story for the creation of a new market for a (bulk) chemical. The compound and its favorable properties have long been known; also the fermentation of glycerol to 1,3-propanediol had been described more than 120 years ago. Nevertheless, the product remained a specialty chemical until recently, when two new processes were introduced, providing 1,3-propanediol at a competitive price. Remarkably, one of the processes is in the field of white biotechnology and based on microbial fermentation, converting a renewable carbon source into a bulk chemical. This review covers the most important patents that led to the commercialization of bio-based 1,3-propanediol. Furthermore, some of the recent developments towards a sustainable industry are addressed. Similar questions arise for a variety of products if they are to be produced bio-based in large scale. However, special emphasis is given to 1,3-propanediol production. PMID:19075867

  1. Microbial granulation for lactic acid production.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong-Hoon; Lee, Mo-Kwon; Hwang, Yuhoon; Im, Wan-Taek; Yun, Yeo-Myeong; Park, Chul; Kim, Mi-Sun

    2016-01-01

    This work investigated the formation of microbial granules to boost the productivity of lactic acid (LA). The flocculated form of LA-producing microbial consortium, dominated by Lactobacillus sp. (91.5% of total sequence), was initially obtained in a continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR), which was fed with 2% glucose and operated at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 h and pH 5.0 ± 0.1 under a thermophilic condition (50°C). The mixed liquor in the CSTR was then transferred to an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB). The fermentation performance and granulation process were monitored with a gradual decrease of HRT from 8.0 to 0.17 h, corresponding to an increase in the substrate loading from 60 to 2,880 g glucose L(-1) d(-1) . As the operation continued, the accumulation of biomass in the UASB was clearly observed, which changed from flocculent to granular form with decrease in HRT. Up to the HRT decrease to 0.5 h, the LA concentration was maintained at 19-20 g L(-1) with over 90% of substrate removal efficiency. However, further decrease of HRT resulted in a decrease of LA concentration with increase in residual glucose. Nevertheless, the volumetric LA productivity continuously increased, reaching 67 g L-fermenter (-1) h(-1) at HRT 0.17 h. The size of LA-producing granules and hydrophobicity gradually increased with decrease in HRT, reaching 6.0 mm and 60%, respectively. These biogranules were also found to have high settling velocities and low porosities, ranging 2.69-4.73 cm s(-1) and 0.39-0.92, respectively. PMID:25925200

  2. Natural Products for Cancer Prevention

    PubMed Central

    Greenlee, Heather

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To review the clinical trial literature on the use and effects of natural products for cancer prevention. DATA SOURCES Clinical trials published in PubMed. CONCLUSION There is a growing body of literature on the use of natural products for cancer prevention. To date, few trials have demonstrated conclusive benefit. Current guidelines recommend against the use of natural products for cancer prevention. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE Clinicians should ask patients about their use of natural products and motivations for use. If patients are using natural products specifically for cancer prevention, they should be counseled on the current guidelines, as well as their options for other cancer prevention strategies. PMID:22281308

  3. Microbial diversity — exploration of natural ecosystems and microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are the pillars of life on Earth. Over billions of years, they have evolved into every conceivable niche on the planet. Microbes reshaped the oceans and atmosphere and gave rise to conditions conducive to multicellular organisms. Only in the past decade have we started to peer deeply into the microbial cosmos, and what we have found is amazing. Microbial ecosystems behave, in many ways, like large-scale ecosystems, although there are important exceptions. We review recent advances in our understanding of how microbial diversity is distributed across environments, how microbes influence the ecosystems in which they live, and how these nanomachines might be harnessed to advance our understanding of the natural world. PMID:26598941

  4. Microbial diversity--exploration of natural ecosystems and microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2015-12-01

    Microorganisms are the pillars of life on Earth. Over billions of years, they have evolved into every conceivable niche on the planet. Microbes reshaped the oceans and atmosphere and gave rise to conditions conducive to multicellular organisms. Only in the past decade have we started to peer deeply into the microbial cosmos, and what we have found is amazing. Microbial ecosystems behave, in many ways, like large-scale ecosystems, although there are important exceptions. We review recent advances in our understanding of how microbial diversity is distributed across environments, how microbes influence the ecosystems in which they live, and how these nano-machines might be harnessed to advance our understanding of the natural world. PMID:26598941

  5. Biohydrogen Production: Strategies to Improve Process Efficiency through Microbial Routes

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Kuppam; Lee, Yong-Jik; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The current fossil fuel-based generation of energy has led to large-scale industrial development. However, the reliance on fossil fuels leads to the significant depletion of natural resources of buried combustible geologic deposits and to negative effects on the global climate with emissions of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, enormous efforts are directed to transition from fossil fuels to nonpolluting and renewable energy sources. One potential alternative is biohydrogen (H2), a clean energy carrier with high-energy yields; upon the combustion of H2, H2O is the only major by-product. In recent decades, the attractive and renewable characteristics of H2 led us to develop a variety of biological routes for the production of H2. Based on the mode of H2 generation, the biological routes for H2 production are categorized into four groups: photobiological fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, enzymatic and microbial electrolysis, and a combination of these processes. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the evaluation of the biological routes for the production of H2. In particular, we assess the efficiency and feasibility of these bioprocesses with respect to the factors that affect operations, and we delineate the limitations. Additionally, alternative options such as bioaugmentation, multiple process integration, and microbial electrolysis to improve process efficiency are discussed to address industrial-level applications. PMID:25874756

  6. Biohydrogen production: strategies to improve process efficiency through microbial routes.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekhar, Kuppam; Lee, Yong-Jik; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The current fossil fuel-based generation of energy has led to large-scale industrial development. However, the reliance on fossil fuels leads to the significant depletion of natural resources of buried combustible geologic deposits and to negative effects on the global climate with emissions of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, enormous efforts are directed to transition from fossil fuels to nonpolluting and renewable energy sources. One potential alternative is biohydrogen (H2), a clean energy carrier with high-energy yields; upon the combustion of H2, H2O is the only major by-product. In recent decades, the attractive and renewable characteristics of H2 led us to develop a variety of biological routes for the production of H2. Based on the mode of H2 generation, the biological routes for H2 production are categorized into four groups: photobiological fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, enzymatic and microbial electrolysis, and a combination of these processes. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the evaluation of the biological routes for the production of H2. In particular, we assess the efficiency and feasibility of these bioprocesses with respect to the factors that affect operations, and we delineate the limitations. Additionally, alternative options such as bioaugmentation, multiple process integration, and microbial electrolysis to improve process efficiency are discussed to address industrial-level applications. PMID:25874756

  7. Natural product discovery: past, present, and future.

    PubMed

    Katz, Leonard; Baltz, Richard H

    2016-03-01

    Microorganisms have provided abundant sources of natural products which have been developed as commercial products for human medicine, animal health, and plant crop protection. In the early years of natural product discovery from microorganisms (The Golden Age), new antibiotics were found with relative ease from low-throughput fermentation and whole cell screening methods. Later, molecular genetic and medicinal chemistry approaches were applied to modify and improve the activities of important chemical scaffolds, and more sophisticated screening methods were directed at target disease states. In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical industry moved to high-throughput screening of synthetic chemical libraries against many potential therapeutic targets, including new targets identified from the human genome sequencing project, largely to the exclusion of natural products, and discovery rates dropped dramatically. Nonetheless, natural products continued to provide key scaffolds for drug development. In the current millennium, it was discovered from genome sequencing that microbes with large genomes have the capacity to produce about ten times as many secondary metabolites as was previously recognized. Indeed, the most gifted actinomycetes have the capacity to produce around 30-50 secondary metabolites. With the precipitous drop in cost for genome sequencing, it is now feasible to sequence thousands of actinomycete genomes to identify the "biosynthetic dark matter" as sources for the discovery of new and novel secondary metabolites. Advances in bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and gene expression are driving the new field of microbial genome mining for applications in natural product discovery and development. PMID:26739136

  8. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Ecology: Applications in Ruminant Health and Production Research

    PubMed Central

    Osterstock, Jason B.; Pinchak, William E.; Ishii, Shun’ichi; Nelson, Karen E.

    2009-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H2in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H2 plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H2 partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research. PMID:20024685

  9. Genomic Prospecting for Microbial Biodiesel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Lykidis, Athanasios; Lykidis, Athanasios; Ivanova, Natalia

    2008-03-20

    Biodiesel is defined as fatty acid mono-alkylesters and is produced from triacylglycerols. In the current article we provide an overview of the structure, diversity and regulation of the metabolic pathways leading to intracellular fatty acid and triacylglycerol accumulation in three types of organisms (bacteria, algae and fungi) of potential biotechnological interest and discuss possible intervention points to increase the cellular lipid content. The key steps that regulate carbon allocation and distribution in lipids include the formation of malonyl-CoA, the synthesis of fatty acids and their attachment onto the glycerol backbone, and the formation of triacylglycerols. The lipid biosynthetic genes and pathways are largely known for select model organisms. Comparative genomics allows the examination of these pathways in organisms of biotechnological interest and reveals the evolution of divergent and yet uncharacterized regulatory mechanisms. Utilization of microbial systems for triacylglycerol and fatty acid production is in its infancy; however, genomic information and technologies combined with synthetic biology concepts provide the opportunity to further exploit microbes for the competitive production of biodiesel.

  10. Microbial pigments as natural color sources: current trends and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Tuli, Hardeep S; Chaudhary, Prachi; Beniwal, Vikas; Sharma, Anil K

    2015-08-01

    Synthetic colors have been widely used in various industries including food, textile, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals. However toxicity problems caused by synthetic pigments have triggered intense research in natural colors and dyes. Among the natural Sources, pigment producing microorganisms hold a promising potential to meet present day challenges. Furthermore natural colors not only improve the marketability of the product but also add extra features like anti oxidant, anti cancer properties etc. In this review, we present various sources of microbial pigments and to explore their biological and clinical properties like antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer and anti inflammatory. The study also emphasizes upon key parameters to improve the bioactivity and production of microbial pigments for their commercial use in pharmacological and medical fields. PMID:26243889

  11. Engineering Microbial Cells for the Biosynthesis of Natural Compounds of Pharmaceutical Significance

    PubMed Central

    Jeandet, Philippe; Vasserot, Yann; Chastang, Thomas; Courot, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Microbes constitute important platforms for the biosynthesis of numerous molecules of pharmaceutical interest such as antitumor, anticancer, antiviral, antihypertensive, antiparasitic, antioxidant, immunological agents, and antibiotics as well as hormones, belonging to various chemical families, for instance, terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polyketides, amines, and proteins. Engineering microbial factories offers rich opportunities for the production of natural products that are too complex for cost-effective chemical synthesis and whose extraction from their originating plants needs the use of many solvents. Recent progresses that have been made since the millennium beginning with metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the biosynthesis of natural products of pharmaceutical significance will be reviewed. PMID:23710459

  12. Coastal Microbial Mat Diversity along a Natural Salinity Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Henk; Fillinger, Lucas; Stal, Lucas J.

    2013-01-01

    The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to the dunes resulting in gradients of environmental factors perpendicular to the beach. These gradients are due to the input of seawater at the low water mark and of freshwater from upwelling groundwater at the dunes and rainfall. The result is a natural and dynamic salinity gradient depending on the tide, rainfall and wind. We studied the microbial community composition in thirty three samples taken every ten meters along this natural salinity gradient by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of rRNA gene fragments. We looked at representatives from each Domain of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya) and with a particular emphasis on Cyanobacteria. Analysis of the DGGE fingerprints together with pigment composition revealed three distinct microbial mat communities, a marine community dominated by diatoms as primary producers, an intermediate brackish community dominated by Cyanobacteria as primary producers and a freshwater community with Cyanobacteria and freshwater green algae. PMID:23704895

  13. Supramolecular complexations of natural products.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Hans-Jörg; Agrawal, Pawan; Yatsimirsky, Anatoly K

    2013-08-21

    Complexations of natural products with synthetic receptors as well as the use of natural products as host compounds are reviewed, with an emphasis on possible practical uses or on biomedical significance. Applications such as separation, sensing, enzyme monitoring, and protection of natural drugs are first outlined. We then discuss examples of complexes with all important classes of natural compounds, such as amino acids, peptides, nucleosides/nucleotides, carbohydrates, catecholamines, flavonoids, terpenoids/steroids, alkaloids, antibiotics and toxins. PMID:23703643

  14. Increased biogas production using microbial stimulants.

    PubMed

    Singh, S; Kumar, S; Jain, M C; Kumar, D

    2001-07-01

    Laboratory studies were undertaken to evaluate the effect of microbial stimulants Aquasan and Teresan, on biogas yields from cattle dung and combined residues of cattle dung and kitchen waste, respectively. The addition of single dose of Aquasan at the rate of 10, 15 and 20 ppm to cattle dung on the first day of incubation resulted in increased gas yields ranging between 45.1 and 62.1 l/kg dry matter. Subsequent addition of Aquasan at 15 and 20 ppm dosage after a period of 15 days increased the gas yields by 15-16%. The gas production was found to be optimum at a dosage level of 15 ppm and was 39% and 55% higher with single and dual additions, respectively, than untreated cattle dung. In another bench scale study (1:1 dry matter) the addition of Teresan at 10 ppm concentration to the mixed residues of cattle dung and kitchen wastes at different solids concentration, produced 34.8% more gas (272.4 l/kg d.m.) than the uninoculated mixture at 15% TS concentration (202.4 l/kg d.m.). PMID:11341694

  15. Microbial Community Structure of Three Traditional Zambian Fermented Products: Mabisi, Chibwantu and Munkoyo

    PubMed Central

    Schoustra, Sijmen E.; Kasase, Chitundu; Toarta, Cristian; Kassen, Rees; Poulain, Alexandre J.

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, raw materials are converted into fermented food products through microbial and enzymatic activity. Products are typically produced using a process known as batch culture, where small volumes of an old culture are used to initiate a fresh culture. Repeated over many years, and provided samples are not shared among producers, batch culture techniques allow for the natural evolution of independent microbial ecosystems. While these products form an important part of the diets of many people because of their nutritional, organoleptic and food safety properties, for many traditional African fermented products the microbial communities responsible for fermentation are largely unknown. Here we describe the microbial composition of three traditional fermented non-alcoholic beverages that are widely consumed across Zambia: the milk based product Mabisi and the cereal based products Munkoyo and Chibwantu. Using culture and non-culture based techniques, we found that six to eight lactic acid bacteria predominate in all products. We then used this data to investigate in more detail the factors affecting community structure. We found that products made from similar raw materials do not harbor microbial communities that are more similar to each other than those made from different raw materials. We also found that samples from the same product taken at the same location were as different from each other in terms of microbial community structure and composition, as those from geographically very distant locations. These results suggest that microbial community structure in these products is neither a simple consequence of the raw materials used, nor the particular suite of microbes available in the environment but that anthropogenic variables (e.g., competition among sellers or organoleptic preferences by different tribes) are important in shaping the microbial community structures. PMID:23691123

  16. Natural products from microbes associated with insects.

    PubMed

    Beemelmanns, Christine; Guo, Huijuan; Rischer, Maja; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Here we review discoveries of secondary metabolites from microbes associated with insects. We mainly focus on natural products, where the ecological role has been at least partially elucidated, and/or the pharmaceutical properties evaluated, and on compounds with unique structural features. We demonstrate that the exploration of specific microbial-host interactions, in combination with multidisciplinary dereplication processes, has emerged as a successful strategy to identify novel chemical entities and to shed light on the ecology and evolution of defensive associations. PMID:26977191

  17. Complex marine natural products as potential epigenetic and production regulators of antibiotics from a marine Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Marine microbes are capable of producing secondary metabolites for defense and competition. Factors exerting an impact on secondary metabolite production of microbial communities included bioactive natural products and co-culturing. These external influences may have practical applications such as ...

  18. Recognition of Microbial Glycolipids by Natural Killer T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zajonc, Dirk M.; Girardi, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    T cells can recognize microbial antigens when presented by dedicated antigen-presenting molecules. While peptides are presented by classical members of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) family (MHC I and II), lipids, glycolipids, and lipopeptides can be presented by the non-classical MHC member, CD1. The best studied subset of lipid-reactive T cells are type I natural killer T (iNKT) cells that recognize a variety of different antigens when presented by the non-classical MHCI homolog CD1d. iNKT cells have been shown to be important for the protection against various microbial pathogens, including B. burgdorferi, the causative agents of Lyme disease, and S. pneumoniae, which causes pneumococcal meningitis and community-acquired pneumonia. Both pathogens carry microbial glycolipids that can trigger the T cell antigen receptor (TCR), leading to iNKT cell activation. iNKT cells have an evolutionary conserved TCR alpha chain, yet retain the ability to recognize structurally diverse glycolipids. They do so using a conserved recognition mode, in which the TCR enforces a conserved binding orientation on CD1d. TCR binding is accompanied by structural changes within the TCR binding site of CD1d, as well as the glycolipid antigen itself. In addition to direct recognition of microbial antigens, iNKT cells can also be activated by a combination of cytokines (IL-12/IL-18) and TCR stimulation. Many microbes carry TLR antigens, and microbial infections can lead to TLR activation. The subsequent cytokine response in turn lower the threshold of TCR-mediated iNKT cell activation, especially when weak microbial or even self-antigens are presented during the cause of the infection. In summary, iNKT cells can be directly activated through TCR triggering of strong antigens, while cytokines produced by the innate immune response may be necessary for TCR triggering and iNKT cell activation in the presence of weak antigens. Here, we will review the molecular basis of iNKT cell

  19. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Interactions in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems.

    PubMed

    Perez-Garcia, Octavio; Lear, Gavin; Singhal, Naresh

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches to characterize metabolic interactions within microbial communities using Stoichiometric Metabolic Network (SMN) models for applications in environmental and industrial biotechnology. SMN models are computational tools used to evaluate the metabolic engineering potential of various organisms. They have successfully been applied to design and optimize the microbial production of antibiotics, alcohols and amino acids by single strains. To date however, such models have been rarely applied to analyze and control the metabolism of more complex microbial communities. This is largely attributed to the diversity of microbial community functions, metabolisms, and interactions. Here, we firstly review different types of microbial interaction and describe their relevance for natural and engineered environmental processes. Next, we provide a general description of the essential methods of the SMN modeling workflow including the steps of network reconstruction, simulation through Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), experimental data gathering, and model calibration. Then we broadly describe and compare four approaches to model microbial interactions using metabolic networks, i.e., (i) lumped networks, (ii) compartment per guild networks, (iii) bi-level optimization simulations, and (iv) dynamic-SMN methods. These approaches can be used to integrate and analyze diverse microbial physiology, ecology and molecular community data. All of them (except the lumped approach) are suitable for incorporating species abundance data but so far they have been used only to model simple communities of two to eight different species. Interactions based on substrate exchange and competition can be directly modeled using the above approaches. However, interactions based on metabolic feedbacks, such as product inhibition and synthropy require extensions to current models, incorporating gene regulation and compounding accumulation mechanisms. SMN models of microbial interactions can

  20. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Interactions in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Garcia, Octavio; Lear, Gavin; Singhal, Naresh

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches to characterize metabolic interactions within microbial communities using Stoichiometric Metabolic Network (SMN) models for applications in environmental and industrial biotechnology. SMN models are computational tools used to evaluate the metabolic engineering potential of various organisms. They have successfully been applied to design and optimize the microbial production of antibiotics, alcohols and amino acids by single strains. To date however, such models have been rarely applied to analyze and control the metabolism of more complex microbial communities. This is largely attributed to the diversity of microbial community functions, metabolisms, and interactions. Here, we firstly review different types of microbial interaction and describe their relevance for natural and engineered environmental processes. Next, we provide a general description of the essential methods of the SMN modeling workflow including the steps of network reconstruction, simulation through Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), experimental data gathering, and model calibration. Then we broadly describe and compare four approaches to model microbial interactions using metabolic networks, i.e., (i) lumped networks, (ii) compartment per guild networks, (iii) bi-level optimization simulations, and (iv) dynamic-SMN methods. These approaches can be used to integrate and analyze diverse microbial physiology, ecology and molecular community data. All of them (except the lumped approach) are suitable for incorporating species abundance data but so far they have been used only to model simple communities of two to eight different species. Interactions based on substrate exchange and competition can be directly modeled using the above approaches. However, interactions based on metabolic feedbacks, such as product inhibition and synthropy require extensions to current models, incorporating gene regulation and compounding accumulation mechanisms. SMN models of microbial interactions can

  1. Natural products and caries prevention.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Lei; Li, Jiyao; He, Libang; Zhou, Xuedong

    2015-01-01

    Dental caries is considered as the most common polymicrobial oral disease in the world. With the aim of developing alternative approaches to reduce or prevent the decay, numerous papers showed the potential anticaries activity of a number of natural products. The natural products with anticaries effects are selected from e.g. food, beverages, flowers or traditional herbs. Most of the effective components are proven to be polyphenol compounds. Many of the natural products are studied as antibacterial agents, while some of them are found to be effective in shifting the de-/remineralization balance. However, the mechanisms of the anticaries effects are still unclear for most of the natural products. In the future, more efforts need to be made to seek novel effective natural products via in vitro experiment, animal study and in situ investigations, as well as to enhance their anticaries effects with the help of novel technology like nanotechnology. PMID:25871417

  2. Unconventional food regeneration in space - Opportunities for microbial food production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, Gene R.; Schubert, Wayne W.; Seshan, P. K.; Dunlop, Eric H.

    1987-01-01

    The possible role of microbial species in regenerating food is considered, and three areas where microbial systems can be used in controlled ecological life support systems are discussed. Microbial species can serve as the biological portion of hybrid chemical/biological schemes for primary food products, as a means more fully to utilize waste materials from agronomical food production, and as a source of nutritional supplements to conventional plant foods. Work accomplished in each of these areas is described. The role of microgravity fermenters in this technology is addressed.

  3. Proteogenomic Approaches for the Molecular Characterization of Natural Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Banfield, Jillian F.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Thelen, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS2) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of genetic

  4. Proteogenomic approaches for the molecular characterization of natural microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Jillian F; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Thelen, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS(2)) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of

  5. Natural Products as Molecular Messengers*

    PubMed Central

    Meinwald, Jerrold

    2011-01-01

    The chemistry of naturally-occurring compounds has long been pursued in the search for medicines, dyes, pesticides, flavors, and fragrances. In addition, the deeper aim of understanding life itself as a chemical phenomenon has motivated generations of scientists. One consequence of such studies has been the realization that natural products often serve central roles as biological signaling agents. We consider natural products from the viewpoint of the organisms that produce and/or respond to them, and suggest how a naturally-occurring compound may acquire its role in chemical communication. PMID:21190370

  6. Microbial production and applications of 5-aminolevulinic acid.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuli; Zhang, Guangming; Li, Xiangkun; Zhang, Jie

    2014-09-01

    5-Aminolevulinic acid (ALA), an important intermediate in tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in organisms, has been widely applied in many fields, such as medicine, agriculture, and the food industry, due to its biochemical characteristics. Research efforts supporting the microbial production of ALA have received increasing interest due to its dominant advantages over chemical synthesis, including higher yields, lesser pollutant emissions, and a lesser monetary cost. ALA synthesis using photosynthetic bacteria (PSB) is a promising approach in various microbial synthesis methods. In this review, recent advances on the microbial production of ALA with an emphasis on PSB are summarized, the key enzymes in the biosynthesis pathway (especially the relationship between key enzymes and key genes) are detailed, regulation strategies are described, and the significant influencing factors on the ALA biosynthesis and application of ALA are outlined. Furthermore, the eco-friendly perspective involving the combination of wastewater treatment and microbial production of ALA is conceived. PMID:25022665

  7. The Structural Biology of Enzymes Involved in Natural Product Glycosylation

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Shanteri; Phillips, George N.

    2012-01-01

    The glycosylation of microbial natural products often dramatically influences the biological and/or pharmacological activities of the parental metabolite. Over the past decade, crystal structures of several enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and attachment of novel sugars found appended to natural products have emerged. In many cases, these studies have paved the way to a better understanding of the corresponding enzyme mechanism of action and have served as a starting point for engineering variant enzymes to facilitate to production of differentially-glycosylated natural products. This review specifically summarizes the structural studies of bacterial enzymes involved in biosynthesis of novel sugar nucleotides. PMID:22688446

  8. Carboxylases in Natural and Synthetic Microbial Pathways▿†

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Tobias J.

    2011-01-01

    Carboxylases are among the most important enzymes in the biosphere, because they catalyze a key reaction in the global carbon cycle: the fixation of inorganic carbon (CO2). This minireview discusses the physiological roles of carboxylases in different microbial pathways that range from autotrophy, carbon assimilation, and anaplerosis to biosynthetic and redox-balancing functions. In addition, the current and possible future uses of carboxylation reactions in synthetic biology are discussed. Such uses include the possible transformation of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into value-added compounds and the production of novel antibiotics. PMID:22003013

  9. EVALUATION OF COMMERCIAL, MICROBIAL-BASED PRODUCTS TO TREAT PARAFFIN DEPOSITION IN TANK BOTTOMS AND OIL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Introduction:

    Paraffins are naturally-occurring components of crude oils, but often form solids within oil reservoirs and on oil production equipment when oil is harvested from hot subsurface temperatures to the cooler surface environments. Microbial t...

  10. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production

    PubMed Central

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-01-01

    High-throughput, ‘next-generation’ sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems. PMID:26773388

  11. Microbial Factories for the Production of Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids.

    PubMed

    Narcross, Lauren; Fossati, Elena; Bourgeois, Leanne; Dueber, John E; Martin, Vincent J J

    2016-03-01

    Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are a family of ∼2500 alkaloids with both potential and realized pharmaceutical value, including most notably the opiates such as codeine and morphine. Only a few BIAs accumulate readily in plants, which limits the pharmaceutical potential of the family. Shifting BIA production to microbial sources could provide a scalable and flexible source of these compounds in the future. This review details the current status of microbial BIA synthesis and derivatization, including rapid developments in the past 6 months culminating in the synthesis of opioids from glucose in a microbial host. PMID:26775900

  12. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production.

    PubMed

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-02-01

    High-throughput, 'next-generation' sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems. PMID:26773388

  13. A microbial biomanufacturing platform for natural and semisynthetic opioids.

    PubMed

    Thodey, Kate; Galanie, Stephanie; Smolke, Christina D

    2014-10-01

    Opiates and related molecules are medically essential, but their production via field cultivation of opium poppy Papaver somniferum leads to supply inefficiencies and insecurity. As an alternative production strategy, we developed baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a microbial host for the transformation of opiates. Yeast strains engineered to express heterologous genes from P. somniferum and bacterium Pseudomonas putida M10 convert thebaine to codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. We discovered a new biosynthetic branch to neopine and neomorphine, which diverted pathway flux from morphine and other target products. We optimized strain titer and specificity by titrating gene copy number, enhancing cosubstrate supply, applying a spatial engineering strategy and performing high-density fermentation, which resulted in total opioid titers up to 131 mg/l. This work is an important step toward total biosynthesis of valuable benzylisoquinoline alkaloid drug molecules and demonstrates the potential for developing a sustainable and secure yeast biomanufacturing platform for opioids. PMID:25151135

  14. Microbial response to single-cell protein production and brewery wastewater treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jackson Z; Logan, Andrew; Terry, Seth; Spear, John R

    2015-01-01

    As global fisheries decline, microbial single-cell protein (SCP) produced from brewery process water has been highlighted as a potential source of protein for sustainable animal feed. However, biotechnological investigation of SCP is difficult because of the natural variation and complexity of microbial ecology in wastewater bioreactors. In this study, we investigate microbial response across a full-scale brewery wastewater treatment plant and a parallel pilot bioreactor modified to produce an SCP product. A pyrosequencing survey of the brewery treatment plant showed that each unit process selected for a unique microbial community. Notably, flow equalization basins were dominated by Prevotella, methanogenesis effluent had the highest levels of diversity, and clarifier wet-well samples were sources of sequences for the candidate bacterial phyla of TM7 and BD1-5. Next, the microbial response of a pilot bioreactor producing SCP was tracked over 1 year, showing that two different production trials produced two different communities originating from the same starting influent. However, SCP production resulted generally in enrichment of several clades of rhizospheric diazotrophs of Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in the bioreactor and even more so in the final product. These diazotrophs are potentially useful as the basis of a SCP product for commercial feed production. PMID:24837420

  15. Microbial response to single-cell protein production and brewery wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jackson Z; Logan, Andrew; Terry, Seth; Spear, John R

    2015-01-01

    As global fisheries decline, microbial single-cell protein (SCP) produced from brewery process water has been highlighted as a potential source of protein for sustainable animal feed. However, biotechnological investigation of SCP is difficult because of the natural variation and complexity of microbial ecology in wastewater bioreactors. In this study, we investigate microbial response across a full-scale brewery wastewater treatment plant and a parallel pilot bioreactor modified to produce an SCP product. A pyrosequencing survey of the brewery treatment plant showed that each unit process selected for a unique microbial community. Notably, flow equalization basins were dominated by Prevotella, methanogenesis effluent had the highest levels of diversity, and clarifier wet-well samples were sources of sequences for the candidate bacterial phyla of TM7 and BD1-5. Next, the microbial response of a pilot bioreactor producing SCP was tracked over 1 year, showing that two different production trials produced two different communities originating from the same starting influent. However, SCP production resulted generally in enrichment of several clades of rhizospheric diazotrophs of Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in the bioreactor and even more so in the final product. These diazotrophs are potentially useful as the basis of a SCP product for commercial feed production. PMID:24837420

  16. Synergistic Microbial Consortium for Bioenergy Generation from Complex Natural Energy Sources

    PubMed Central

    Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong; Chua, Song-Lin; Zhang, Qichun; Cao, Bin; Chye, Joachim Loo Say

    2014-01-01

    Microbial species have evolved diverse mechanisms for utilization of complex carbon sources. Proper combination of targeted species can affect bioenergy production from natural waste products. Here, we established a stable microbial consortium with Escherichia coli and Shewanella oneidensis in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to produce bioenergy from an abundant natural energy source, in the form of the sarcocarp harvested from coconuts. This component is mostly discarded as waste. However, through its usage as a feedstock for MFCs to produce useful energy in this study, the sarcocarp can be utilized meaningfully. The monospecies S. oneidensis system was able to generate bioenergy in a short experimental time frame while the monospecies E. coli system generated significantly less bioenergy. A combination of E. coli and S. oneidensis in the ratio of 1 : 9 (v : v) significantly enhanced the experimental time frame and magnitude of bioenergy generation. The synergistic effect is suggested to arise from E. coli and S. oneidensis utilizing different nutrients as electron donors and effect of flavins secreted by S. oneidensis. Confocal images confirmed the presence of biofilms and point towards their importance in generating bioenergy in MFCs. PMID:25097866

  17. Natural Products as Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Erin E.

    2010-01-01

    Natural products have evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of chemical and functional diversity. It is this diversity, along with their structural complexity, that enables nature’s small molecules to target a nearly limitless number of biological macromolecules and to often do so in a highly selective fashion. Because of these characteristics, natural products have seen great success as therapeutic agents. However, this vast pool of compounds holds much promise beyond the development of future drugs. These features also make them ideal tools for the study of biological systems. Recent examples of the use of natural products and their derivatives as chemical probes to explore biological phenomena and assemble biochemical pathways are presented here. PMID:20509672

  18. Synthesis of Polycyclic Natural Products

    SciTech Connect

    Tuan Hoang Nguyen

    2003-05-31

    With the continuous advancements in molecular biology and modern medicine, organic synthesis has become vital to the support and extension of those discoveries. The isolations of new natural products allow for the understanding of their biological activities and therapeutic value. Organic synthesis is employed to aid in the determination of the relationship between structure and function of these natural products. The development of synthetic methodologies in the course of total syntheses is imperative for the expansion of this highly interdisciplinary field of science. In addition to the practical applications of total syntheses, the structural complexity of natural products represents a worthwhile challenge in itself. The pursuit of concise and efficient syntheses of complex molecules is both gratifying and enjoyable.

  19. Radiation resistance of the natural microbial population in buffer materials

    SciTech Connect

    Stroes-Gascoyne, S.; Lucht, L.M.; Borsa, J.; Delaney, T.L.; Haveman, S.A.; Hamon, C.J.

    1995-12-31

    The radiation sensitivity of naturally occurring microorganisms in buffer materials was investigated as well as the sensitivity of Bacillus subtillis spores and Acinetobacter radioresistens in a buffer matrix. The D{sub 10} values obtained in these radiation experiments varied from 0.34 to 1.68 kGy and it was calculated that the surface of a nuclear fuel waste container would be sterilized in 9 to 33 d after emplacement, depending on the type of container, and the initial bioburden. This suggests that formation of biofilms and microbially influenced corrosion would not be of concern of some time after emplacement. The results also indicated that sterilization throughout a 25 cm thick buffer layer is unlikely and that repopulation of the container surface after some time is a possibility, depending on the mobility of microbes in compacted buffer material.

  20. Uranium Biomineralization by Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Sobecky, Patricia A.

    2015-04-06

    In this project, inter-disciplinary research activities were conducted in collaboration among investigators at The University of Alabama (UA), Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light source (SSRL) to: (i) confirm that phosphatase activities of subsurface bacteria in Area 2 and 3 from the Oak Ridge Field Research Center result in solid U-phosphate precipitation in aerobic and anaerobic conditions; (ii) investigate the eventual competition between uranium biomineralization via U-phosphate precipitation and uranium bioreduction; (iii) determine subsurface microbial community structure changes of Area 2 soils following organophosphate amendments; (iv) obtain the complete genome sequences of the Rahnella sp. Y9-602 and the type-strain Rahnella aquatilis ATCC 33071 isolated from these soils; (v) determine if polyphosphate accumulation and phytate hydrolysis can be used to promote U(VI) biomineralization in subsurface sediments; (vi) characterize the effect of uranium on phytate hydrolysis by a new microorganism isolated from uranium-contaminated sediments; (vii) utilize positron-emission tomography to label and track metabolically-active bacteria in soil columns, and (viii) study the stability of the uranium phosphate mineral product. Microarray analyses and mineral precipitation characterizations were conducted in collaboration with DOE SBR-funded investigators at LBNL. Thus, microbial phosphorus metabolism has been shown to have a contributing role to uranium immobilization in the subsurface.

  1. Bioactive natural products from Papua New Guinea marine sponges.

    PubMed

    Noro, Jeffery C; Kalaitzis, John A; Neilan, Brett A

    2012-10-01

    The discovery of novel natural products for drug development relies heavily upon a rich biodiversity, of which the marine environment is an obvious example. Marine natural product research has spawned several drugs and many other candidates, some of which are the focus of current clinical trials. The sponge megadiversity of Papua New Guinea is a rich but underexplored source of bioactive natural products. Here, we review some of the many natural products derived from PNG sponges with an emphasis on those with interesting biological activity and, therefore, drug potential. Many bioactive natural products discussed here appear to be derived from non-ribosomal peptide and polyketide biosynthesis pathways, strongly suggesting a microbial origin of these compounds. With this in mind, we also explore the notion of sponge-symbiont biosynthesis of these bioactive compounds and present examples to support the working hypothesis. PMID:23081914

  2. Microbial control of hydrogen sulfide production

    SciTech Connect

    Montgomery, A.D.; Bhupathiraju, V.K.; Wofford, N.; McInerney, M.J.

    1995-12-31

    A sulfide-resistant strain of Thiobacillus denitrificans, strain F, prevented the accumulation of sulfide by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans when both organisms were grown in liquid medium. The wild-type strain of T. denitrificans did not prevent the accumulation of sulfide produced by D. desulfuricans. Strain F also prevented the accumulation of sulfide by a mixed population of sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from an oil field brine. Fermentation balances showed that strain F stoichiometrically oxidized the sulfide produced by D. desulfuricans and the oil field brine enrichment to sulfate. The ability of a strain F to control sulfide production in an experimental system of cores and formation water from the Redfield, Iowa, natural gas storage facility was also investigated. A stable, sulfide-producing biofilm was established in two separate core systems, one of which was inoculated with strain F while the other core system (control) was treated in an identical manner, but was not inoculated with strain F. When formation water with 10 mM acetate and 5 mM nitrate was injected into both core systems, the effluent sulfide concentrations in the control core system ranged from 200 to 460 {mu}M. In the test core system inoculated with strain F, the effluent sulfide concentrations were lower, ranging from 70 to 110 {mu}M. In order to determine whether strain F could control sulfide production under optimal conditions for sulfate-reducing bacteria, the electron donor was changed to lactate and inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphate sources) were added to the formation water. When nutrient-supplemented formation water with 3.1 mM lactate and 10 mM nitrate was used, the effluent sulfide concentrations of the control core system initially increased to about 3,800 {mu}M, and then decreased to about 1,100 {mu}M after 5 weeks. However, in the test core system inoculated with strain F, the effluent sulfide concentrations were much lower, 160 to 330 {mu}M.

  3. Natural product derived immune-regulatory agents.

    PubMed

    Talmadge, James E

    2016-08-01

    We can now declare that the clinical goal of immune intervention as a therapeutic strategy for neoplastic, infectious, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, has been achieved and in many instances obtained regulatory approval. Although, interest in and optimism for this approach has fluctuated, in the last 20years, immunotherapy has progressed from trials with crude microbial mixtures and extracts to the sophisticated use of pure cultured bacterial, synthetized active moieties identified from crude extracts, analogues therefrom and agonists and antagonists identified during screening resulting in reproducible pharmacologically active compounds with multiple mechanisms of action. Our current understanding of the mechanism of action for immunoregulatory agents contributes to the future discovery of improved strategies to use these and future immunotherapies. In this review we have identified and discussed, those drugs that have been approved and or are in clinical development as immunoregulatory agents, emphasizing those derived from or associated with natural product. PMID:26968760

  4. NATURAL PRODUCTS: A CONTINUING SOURCE OF NOVEL DRUG LEADS

    PubMed Central

    Cragg, Gordon M.; Newman, David J.

    2013-01-01

    1. Background Nature has been a source of medicinal products for millennia, with many useful drugs developed from plant sources. Following discovery of the penicillins, drug discovery from microbial sources occurred and diving techniques in the 1970s opened the seas. Combinatorial chemistry (late 1980s), shifted the focus of drug discovery efforts from Nature to the laboratory bench. 2. Scope of Review This review traces natural products drug discovery, outlining important drugs from natural sources that revolutionized treatment of serious diseases. It is clear Nature will continue to be a major source of new structural leads, and effective drug development depends on multidisciplinary collaborations. 3. Major Conclusions The explosion of genetic information led not only to novel screens, but the genetic techniques permitted the implementation of combinatorial biosynthetic technology and genome mining. The knowledge gained has allowed unknown molecules to be identified. These novel bioactive structures can be optimized by using combinatorial chemistry generating new drug candidates for many diseases. 4 General Significance: The advent of genetic techniques that permitted the isolation / expression of biosynthetic cassettes from microbes may well be the new frontier for natural products lead discovery. It is now apparent that biodiversity may be much greater in those organisms. The numbers of potential species involved in the microbial world are many orders of magnitude greater than those of plants and multi-celled animals. Coupling these numbers to the number of currently unexpressed biosynthetic clusters now identified (>10 per species) the potential of microbial diversity remains essentially untapped. PMID:23428572

  5. Natural and Heterologous Production of Bacteriocins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cintas, Luis M.; Herranz, Carmen; Hernández, Pablo E.

    Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria, and their use as natural and nontoxic food preservatives has been the source of considerable interest for the research community. In addition, bacteriocins have been investigated for their potential use in human and veterinary applications and in the animal production field. In the native bacterial strain, most bacteriocins are synthesized as biologically inactive precursors, with N-terminal extensions, that are cleaved concomitantly during export of the bacteriocin by dedicated ABC transporters, or the general secretory pathway (GSP) or Sec-dependent pathway. However, a few bacteriocins are synthesized without an N-terminal extension, and others are circularized through a head-to-tail peptide bond, complicating the elucidation of their processing and transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. The high cost of synthetic bacteriocin synthesis and their low yields from many natural producers recommends the exploration of recombinant microbial systems for the heterologous production of bacteriocins. Other advantages of such systems include production of bacteriocins in safer hosts, increased bacteriocin production, control of bacteriocin gene expression, production of food ingredients with antimicrobial activity, construction of multibacteriocinogenic strains with a wider antagonistic spectrum, a better adaptation of the selected hosts to food environments, and providing antagonistic properties to lactic acid bacteria (LAB) used as starter, protective, or probiotic cultures. The recombinant production of bacteriocins mostly relies on the use of expression vectors that replicate in Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and yeasts, whereas the production of bacteriocins in heterologous LAB hosts may be essentially based on the expression of native biosynthetic genes, by exchanging or replacing leader peptides and/or dedicated processing and secretion systems (ABC transporters

  6. Microbial quality survey of sunscreen products in Iranian market

    PubMed Central

    Haftbaradaran, Behnoosh; Abedi, Daryoush; Jalali, Mohammad; Bagherinejad, Mohammad Reza

    2014-01-01

    Background: Microbial contamination of cosmetic products is very crucial because of their daily use and direct contact with the skin. These products are at high risk for microbial contamination from various sources such as environment, consumer's hands, body sweat and during the time of manufacturing. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the microbial quality of sunscreens products, manufactured in or imported to or formulated in local pharmacies in Iran. Materials and Methods: The microbial quality were determined in three different levels; the intact product (at the time of purchase) and after three and after six months of opening it. Total Aerobic Viable Count (TAVC) and the presence of coliforms, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, molds, and yeasts were studied. Results: At the time of purchase, 40, 73.3 and 43.3 percentage of Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens were contaminated with at least one of the objectionable microorganisms, respectively. After three months of opening it, 36.6, 70 and 46.6 percentage of Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens were contaminated with at least one of the objectionable microorganisms, respectively. The percentages of contaminated samples were 36.6, 70 and 50 after six months of opening for Iranian made, imported and pharmacy formulated sunscreens, respectively. Conclusion: Microbial contamination of these sunscreens products is a potential health risk for consumers. It seems that it is necessary to inspect and monitor the products during the manufacturing and shelf life period. It is highly recommended to control and regulate cosmetic products by health organizations to ensure the quality and safety of this kind of products. PMID:25250294

  7. Enrichment and characterization of microbial consortia degrading soluble microbial products discharged from anaerobic methanogenic bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Na-Kyung; Oh, Seungdae; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2016-03-01

    Soluble microbial products (SMP) produced in bioprocesses have been known as a main cause to decrease treatment efficiency, lower effluent quality, and promote membrane fouling in water reclamation plants. In this study, biological degradation of SMP using selectively enriched microbial consortia in a down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) reactor was introduced to remove SMP discharged from anaerobic methanogenic reactors. On average, 68.9-87.5% SMP removal was achieved by the enriched microbial consortia in the DHS reactor for >800 days. The influent SMP fed to the DHS reactor exhibited a bimodal molecular weight (MW) distribution with 14-20 kDa and <4 kDa. Between these two types of SMP, the small MW SMP were biodegraded in the upper part of the reactor, together with most of the large MW SMP. Using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing technology, the microbial community composition and structure were characterized and correlated with operational factors, such as hydraulic retention time, organic loading rate, and removal of soluble chemical oxygen demand at different depths of the reactor, by performing network and redundancy analyses. The results revealed that Saprospiraceae was strongly correlated to the increasing SMP loading condition, indicating positive co-occurrences with neighboring bacterial populations. Different microbial diversity along with the depth of the reactor implies that stratified microbial communities could participate in the process of SMP degradation. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spatial and temporal variability of the enriched microbial community in the DHS reactor could effectively treat SMP with respect to changes in the operational factors. PMID:26771162

  8. EIA's Natural Gas Production Data

    EIA Publications

    2009-01-01

    This special report examines the stages of natural gas processing from the wellhead to the pipeline network through which the raw product becomes ready for transportation and eventual consumption, and how this sequence is reflected in the data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

  9. Automated genome mining of ribosomal peptide natural products

    SciTech Connect

    Mohimani, Hosein; Kersten, Roland; Liu, Wei; Wang, Mingxun; Purvine, Samuel O.; Wu, Si; Brewer, Heather M.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Bandeira, Nuno; Moore, Bradley S.; Pevzner, Pavel A.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.

    2014-07-31

    Ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs), especially from microbial sources, are a large group of bioactive natural products that are a promising source of new (bio)chemistry and bioactivity (1). In light of exponentially increasing microbial genome databases and improved mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomic platforms, there is a need for computational tools that connect natural product genotypes predicted from microbial genome sequences with their corresponding chemotypes from metabolomic datasets. Here, we introduce RiPPquest, a tandem mass spectrometry database search tool for identification of microbial RiPPs and apply it for lanthipeptide discovery. RiPPquest uses genomics to limit search space to the vicinity of RiPP biosynthetic genes and proteomics to analyze extensive peptide modifications and compute p-values of peptide-spectrum matches (PSMs). We highlight RiPPquest by connection of multiple RiPPs from extracts of Streptomyces to their gene clusters and by the discovery of a new class III lanthipeptide, informatipeptin, from Streptomyces viridochromogenes DSM 40736 as the first natural product to be identified in an automated fashion by genome mining. The presented tool is available at cy-clo.ucsd.edu.

  10. Natural Products from Mangrove Actinomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong-Bo; Ye, Wan-Wan; Han, Ying; Deng, Zi-Xin; Hong, Kui

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are woody plants located in tropical and subtropical intertidal coastal regions. The mangrove ecosystem is becoming a hot spot for natural product discovery and bioactivity survey. Diverse mangrove actinomycetes as promising and productive sources are worth being explored and uncovered. At the time of writing, we report 73 novel compounds and 49 known compounds isolated from mangrove actinomycetes including alkaloids, benzene derivatives, cyclopentenone derivatives, dilactones, macrolides, 2-pyranones and sesquiterpenes. Attractive structures such as salinosporamides, xiamycins and novel indolocarbazoles are highlighted. Many exciting compounds have been proven as potential new antibiotics, antitumor and antiviral agents, anti-fibrotic agents and antioxidants. Furthermore, some of their biosynthetic pathways have also been revealed. This review is an attempt to consolidate and summarize the past and the latest studies on mangrove actinomycetes natural product discovery and to draw attention to their immense potential as novel and bioactive compounds for marine drugs discovery. PMID:24798926

  11. Versatile microbial surface-display for environmental remediation and biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Cindy H.; Mulchandani, Ashok; Chen, wilfred

    2008-02-14

    Surface display is a powerful technique that utilizes natural microbial functional components to express proteins or peptides on the cell exterior. Since the reporting of the first surface-display system in the mid-1980s, a variety of new systems have been reported for yeast, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Non-conventional display methods are emerging, eliminating the generation of genetically modified microorganisms. Cells with surface display are used as biocatalysts, biosorbents and biostimulants. Microbial cell-surface display has proven to be extremely important for numerous applications ranging from combinatorial library screening and protein engineering to bioremediation and biofuels production.

  12. Low-potential respirators support electricity production in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Grüning, André; Beecroft, Nelli J; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we analyse how electric power production in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) depends on the composition of the anodic biofilm in terms of metabolic capabilities of identified sets of species. MFCs are a promising technology for organic waste treatment and sustainable bioelectricity production. Inoculated with natural communities, they present a complex microbial ecosystem with syntrophic interactions between microbes with different metabolic capabilities. Our results demonstrate that low-potential anaerobic respirators--that is those that are able to use terminal electron acceptors with a low redox potential--are important for good power production. Our results also confirm that community metabolism in MFCs with natural inoculum and fermentable feedstock is a two-stage system with fermentation followed by anode respiration. PMID:25388758

  13. Microbial Conversion Products of Leptomycin B

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnt, Michaela; Bitsch, Francis; Ponelle, Monique; Sanglier, Jean-Jacques; Wang, Ying; Wolff, Barbara

    1998-01-01

    Leptomycin B (LMB), a secondary metabolite produced by Streptomyces sp. strain ATS 1287, with known antifungal and antitumor effects, inhibits the nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 regulatory protein Rev and exhibits significant antiproliferative activity. Since LMB itself turned out to be distinctly cytotoxic, a bioconversion screening with a selected set of 29 bacterial and 72 fungal strains was performed in order to obtain metabolites of LMB with reduced antiproliferative effects. Several derivatives of LMB, more polar than the parent compound and produced in yields of >5%, were detected. Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis indicated the type of bioconversion. Fermentations (1-liter scale) of those strains with high rates of transformation were suitable for isolation and characterization of the most prominent metabolites. Thus, bioconversion of LMB with Aspergillus flavus ATCC 9170 and Emericella unguis ATCC 13431 served for isolation of the novel derivatives 26-hydroxy-LMB (30% was the concentration of the metabolite [with respect to LMB] used for bioconversion) and LMB-24-glutaminamide (90%), respectively. Streptomyces rimosus ATCC 28893 converted LMB into 4,11-dihydroxy-LMB (13%) and 2,3-dihydro-LMB (55%). Although the antiproliferative effects of the LMB metabolites could be reduced through microbial conversion, none of these metabolites inhibited the nuclear export of Rev better than LMB itself.  PMID:9464413

  14. Method Analysis of Microbial-Resistant Gypsum Products

    EPA Science Inventory

    Method Analysis of Microbial-Resistant Gypsum ProductsD.A. Betancourt1, T.R.Dean1, A. Evans2, and G.Byfield2 1. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory; RTP, NC 277112. RTI International, RTP, NCSeveral...

  15. Production of microbial glycolipid biosurfactants and their antimicrobial activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial glycolipids produced by bacteria or yeast as secondary metabolites, such as sophorolipids (SLs), rhamnolipids (RLs) and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are “green” biosurfactants desirable in a bioeconomy. High cost of production is a major hurdle toward widespread commercial use of bios...

  16. Frontiers in microbial 1-butanol and isobutanol production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chang-Ting; Liao, James C

    2016-03-01

    The heavy dependence on petroleum-derived fuel has raised concerns about energy sustainability and climate change, which have prompted researchers to explore fuel production from renewable sources. 1-Butanol and isobutanol are promising biofuels that have favorable properties and can also serve as solvents or chemical feedstocks. Microbial production of these alcohols provides great opportunities to access a wide spectrum of renewable resources. In recent years, research has improved the native 1-butanol production and has engineered isobutanol production in various organisms to explore metabolic diversity and a broad range of substrates. This review focuses on progress in metabolic engineering for the production of these two compounds using various resources. PMID:26832641

  17. Functional analysis of natural microbial consortia using community proteomics

    SciTech Connect

    Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Denef, Vincent; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2009-01-01

    It is widely accepted that microbial communities, not individual microorganisms, are the relevant ecological units, yet what we know about metabolic functioning of microbial communities could be written on a postage stamp. The recent developments in comprehensive molecular methods promise to gain a better understanding of how organisms within communities interact and how communities and their populations evolve. Here we highlight recent advances and insights gathered by the application of proteogenomics to microbial communities. We explore the history of how unrelated fields of microbial ecology, genomics, biological mass spectrometry and informatics converge to the development of a new field of metaproteomics.

  18. Recycling microbial lipid production wastes to cultivate oleaginous yeasts.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobing; Jin, Guojie; Gong, Zhiwei; Shen, Hongwei; Bai, Fengwu; Zhao, Zongbao Kent

    2015-01-01

    To reduce wastes and the costs of microbial lipid production, it is imperative to recycle resources, including spent cell mass, mineral nutrients and water. In the present study, lipid production by the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides was used as a model system to demonstrate resources recycling. It was found that the hydrolysates of spent cell mass were good media to support cell growth of various oleaginous yeasts. When serial repitching experiments were performed using 70g/L glucose and the hydrolysates alone as nutrients, it produced 16.6, 14.6 and 12.9g/L lipids, for three successive cycles, while lipid titre remained almost constant when spent water was also recycled. The cell mass hydrolysates could be used as equivalents to the mixture of yeast extract and peptone to support lipid production from corn stalk hydrolysates. Our results showed efficient recycling of lipid production wastes and should be helpful to advance microbial lipid technology. PMID:25459808

  19. MANAGING RHIZOSPHERE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES TO BENEFIT PRODUCTION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Oregon Tilth is an organization representing organic farming in Oregon. Organic farming embraces organic practices that avoid the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, and relies on natural processes to produce crops. Our research on beneficial microorganisms in soil is logically of interest...

  20. Combining microbial production with chemical upgrading.

    PubMed

    Goulas, Konstantinos A; Toste, F Dean

    2016-04-01

    This review presents developments in the chemical processing of fermentation-derived compounds, focusing on ethanol, lactic acid, 2,3-butanediol and the acetone-butanol-ethanol mixture. We examine pathways from these products to biologically-derived drop-in fuels, polymers, as well as commodity chemicals, highlighting the role of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts in the development of green processes for the production of fuels and high-value-added compounds from biomass. PMID:26773758

  1. Bacterial symbionts and natural products

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Jason M.; Clardy, Jon

    2011-01-01

    The study of bacterial symbionts of eukaryotic hosts has become a powerful discovery engine for chemistry. This highlight looks at four case studies that exemplify the range of chemistry and biology involved in these symbioses: a bacterial symbiont of a fungus and a marine invertebrate that produce compounds with significant anticancer activity, and bacterial symbionts of insects and nematodes that produce compounds that regulate multilateral symbioses. In the last ten years, a series of shocking revelations – the molecular equivalents of a reality TV show’s uncovering the true parents of a well known individual or a deeply hidden family secret – altered the study of genetically encoded small molecules, natural products for short. These revelations all involved natural products produced by bacterial symbionts, and while details differed, two main plot lines emerged: parentage, in which the real producers of well known natural products with medical potential were not the organisms from which they were originally discovered, and hidden relationships, in which bacterially produced small molecules turned out to be the unsuspected regulators of complex interactions. For chemists, these studies led to new molecules, new biosynthetic pathways, and an understanding of the biological functions these molecules fulfill. PMID:21594283

  2. Biochemistry of microbial itaconic acid production

    PubMed Central

    Steiger, Matthias G.; Blumhoff, Marzena L.; Mattanovich, Diethard; Sauer, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Itaconic acid is an unsaturated dicarbonic acid which has a high potential as a biochemical building block, because it can be used as a monomer for the production of a plethora of products including resins, plastics, paints, and synthetic fibers. Some Aspergillus species, like A. itaconicus and A. terreus, show the ability to synthesize this organic acid and A. terreus can secrete significant amounts to the media (>80 g/L). However, compared with the citric acid production process (titers >200 g/L) the achieved titers are still low and the overall process is expensive because purified substrates are required for optimal productivity. Itaconate is formed by the enzymatic activity of a cis-aconitate decarboxylase (CadA) encoded by the cadA gene in A. terreus. Cloning of the cadA gene into the citric acid producing fungus A. niger showed that it is possible to produce itaconic acid also in a different host organism. This review will describe the current status and recent advances in the understanding of the molecular processes leading to the biotechnological production of itaconic acid. PMID:23420787

  3. MICROBIAL TRANSFORMATION OF SELECTED ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN NATURAL AQUATIC SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A method for describing the microbial degradation of xenobiotics through the use of a second-order reaction equation was tested in several water bodies in the United States and Russia. he experiment was aimed at studying the microbial transformation of a herbicide widely used in ...

  4. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  5. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  6. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    PubMed

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  7. Degradation products of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene by a microbial consortia

    SciTech Connect

    Ortiz, O.; Parker, C.; Bender, J.

    1995-12-01

    Remediation of contaminated soils can be accomplished using microbial species. Of particular interest is the remediation of explosive contaminated soils. A microbial consortia has been developed which removes TNT by an unexplained mechanism. Our goal is to understand the degradation of TNT by this microbial mat. Constructed mats have been generated in our laboratory by enriching water with ensiled grass and adding specific microbial components for organic degradation. Microbial mats are natural mixed microbial communities dominated by cyanobacterias (blue-green algae). In this research, degradation products of TNT have been identified using GC/MS. Ninety-seven percent of TNT (1000 mg/L), was removed in < 1 day by floating mats placed over TNT-contaminated water in quiescent ponds. Metabolites of TNT, 2, 4-Dinitro-6 amminotoluene and 2-Nitro-4,6 diaminotoluene has been observed after 1 day of mat treatment. A mechanism is postulated for this degradation showing that two of the nitro groups of the TNT molecule are being reduced to amino groups systematically. Anoxic zones in the mat, containing sulfur-reducing bacteria, may account for the reduction of TNT. GC/MS shows significant decreases in metabolite concentrations in 4-7 days, indicating continued degradation of TNT. It has been found by toxicity assays that these metabolites appeared to be nontoxic and nonmutagenic. These results suggest that floating microbial mats may be useful for the decontamination of sites in the environment contaminated with TNT. Further studies using {sup 13}C TNT will focus on the fate of the carbon, to determine the intermediates products prior to transformations into hydrocarbons or utilization by the bacteria consortia.

  8. Soil Microbial Substrate Properties and Microbial Community Responses under Irrigated Organic and Reduced-Tillage Crop and Forage Production Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B.; Stahl, Peter D.; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  9. Antiplatelet properties of natural products.

    PubMed

    Vilahur, Gemma; Badimon, Lina

    2013-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and its main underlying cause, atherothrombosis, are the major culprits of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Apart from the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors and the use of antithrombotic agents there is considerable interest in the role of natural food products and their bioactive components in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders. The consumption of healthy diets rich in functional foods, such as the Mediterranean diet, has shown to exert profound cardioprotective effects in the primary and secondary prevention of CVD. Moreover, accumulating data have attributed these beneficial effects, at least in part, to the modulation of key players in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, including amelioration in the lipid profile and vascular function and a decrease in oxidative stress and inflammation. Although with a much less clear picture, natural dietary compounds have also demonstrated to exert antiplatelet activities, further contributing to reduce the thrombotic risk. This article provides a brief overview of the atherothrombotic process to further provide an up-to-date review of the antiplatelet properties exerted by natural products and/or food-derived bioactive constituents - including ω-3 PUFA, olive oil, garlic and onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, polyphenol-rich beverages, and flavonol-rich cocoa - as well as to describe the mechanisms underlying these antiplatelet activities. PMID:23994642

  10. Natural Product Biosynthesis in Escherichia coli: Mentha Monoterpenoids.

    PubMed

    Toogood, H S; Tait, S; Jervis, A; Ní Cheallaigh, A; Humphreys, L; Takano, E; Gardiner, J M; Scrutton, N S

    2016-01-01

    The era of synthetic biology heralds in a new, more "green" approach to fine chemical and pharmaceutical drug production. It takes the knowledge of natural metabolic pathways and builds new routes to chemicals, enables nonnatural chemical production, and/or allows the rapid production of chemicals in alternative, highly performing organisms. This route is particularly useful in the production of monoterpenoids in microorganisms, which are naturally sourced from plant essential oils. Successful pathways are constructed by taking into consideration factors such as gene selection, regulatory elements, host selection and optimization, and metabolic considerations of the host organism. Seamless pathway construction techniques enable a "plug-and-play" switching of genes and regulatory parts to optimize the metabolic functioning in vivo. Ultimately, synthetic biology approaches to microbial monoterpenoid production may revolutionize "natural" compound formation. PMID:27417932

  11. Biotechnological production of natural zero-calorie sweeteners.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Ryan N; De Mey, Marjan; Anderson, Jeff; Ajikumar, Parayil Kumaran

    2014-04-01

    The increasing public awareness of adverse health impacts from excessive sugar consumption has created increasing interest in plant-derived, natural low-calorie or zero-calorie sweeteners. Two plant species which contain natural sweeteners, Stevia rebaudiana and Siraitia grosvenorii, have been extensively profiled to identify molecules with high intensity sweetening properties. However, sweetening ability does not necessarily make a product viable for commercial applications. Some criteria for product success are proposed to identify which targets are likely to be accepted by consumers. Limitations of plant-based production are discussed, and a case is put forward for the necessity of biotechnological production methods such as plant cell culture or microbial fermentation to meet needs for commercial-scale production of natural sweeteners. PMID:24503452

  12. Natural products for cancer chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Demain, Arnold L.; Vaishnav, Preeti

    2011-01-01

    Summary For over 40 years, natural products have served us well in combating cancer. The main sources of these successful compounds are microbes and plants from the terrestrial and marine environments. The microbes serve as a major source of natural products with anti‐tumour activity. A number of these products were first discovered as antibiotics. Another major contribution comes from plant alkaloids, taxoids and podophyllotoxins. A vast array of biological metabolites can be obtained from the marine world, which can be used for effective cancer treatment. The search for novel drugs is still a priority goal for cancer therapy, due to the rapid development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, the high toxicity usually associated with some cancer chemotherapy drugs and their undesirable side‐effects increase the demand for novel anti‐tumour drugs active against untreatable tumours, with fewer side‐effects and/or with greater therapeutic efficiency. This review points out those technologies needed to produce the anti‐tumour compounds of the future. PMID:21375717

  13. Engineered Biosynthesis of Medicinally Important Plant Natural Products in Microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuwei; Wang, Siyuan; Zhan, Jixun

    2016-01-01

    Plants produce structurally and functionally diverse natural products. Some of these compounds possess promising health-benefiting properties, such as resveratrol (antioxidant) curcumin (anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and anticancer), paclitaxel (anticancer) and artemisinin (antimalarial). These compounds are produced through particular biosynthetic pathways in the plants. While supply of these medicinally important molecules relies on extraction from the producing species, recent years have seen significant advances in metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the production of plant natural products. Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are the two most widely used heterologous hosts for expression of enzymes and reconstitution of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. Total biosynthesis of many plant polyketide natural products such as curcumin and piceatannol in microorganisms has been achieved. While the late biosynthetic steps of more complex molecules such as paclitaxel and artemisinin remain to be understood, reconstitution of their partial biosynthetic pathways and microbial production of key intermediates have been successful. This review covers recent advances in understanding and engineering the biosynthesis of plant polyketides and terpenoids in microbial hosts. PMID:26456465

  14. [Microbial production of glucose/fructose syrups].

    PubMed

    Matur, A; Sağlam, N

    1982-04-01

    With the ever-increasing demand for sugar and the trend in rising price, rapid progress in research on new and/or alternative sweeteners has been inevitable during the past decade or so. Pure glucose, glucose/fructose, glucose/maltose syrups are often called "isosyrups". Isosyrups have been recognized as a good alternative sources of sugar. These are used today in the manufacture of soft drinks, jams and jellies, confectionary, baking fermentation, dietetic and infant food, ice-cream, pharmaceutical processes, etc. Isosyrups are produced by hydrolysis of starch and cellulocis raw materials have been utilized for the production of isosyrups. PMID:7144624

  15. Method for redesign of microbial production systems

    DOEpatents

    Maranas, Costas D.; Burgard, Anthony P.; Pharkya, Priti

    2012-01-31

    A computer-assisted method for identifying functionalities to add to an organism-specific metabolic network to enable a desired biotransformation in a host includes accessing reactions from a universal database to provide stoichiometric balance, identifying at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway at least partially based on the reactions and a substrate to minimize a number of non-native functionalities in the production host, and incorporating the at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway into the host to provide the desired biotransformation. A representation of the metabolic network as modified can be stored.

  16. Method for redesign of microbial production systems

    DOEpatents

    Maranas, Costas D.; Burgard, Anthony P.; Pharkya, Priti

    2010-11-02

    A computer-assisted method for identifying functionalities to add to an organism-specific metabolic network to enable a desired biotransformation in a host includes accessing reactions from a universal database to provide stoichiometric balance, identifying at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway at least partially based on the reactions and a substrate to minimize a number of non-native functionalities in the production host, and incorporating the at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway into the host to provide the desired biotransformation. A representation of the metabolic network as modified can be stored.

  17. Spatial and Temporal Control of Fungal Natural Product Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Fang Yun; Keller, Nancy P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite their oftentimes-elusive ecological role, fungal natural products have, for better or worse, impacted our daily lives tremendously owing to their diverse and potent bioactive properties. This Janus-faced nature of fungal natural products inevitably ushered in a field of research dedicated towards understanding the ecology, organisms, genes, enzymes, and biosynthetic pathways that give rise to this arsenal of diverse and complex chemistry. Ongoing research in fungal secondary metabolism has not only increased our appreciation for fungal natural products as an asset but also sheds light on the pivotal role that these once-regarded “metabolic wastes” play in fungal biology, defense, and stress response in addition to their potential contributions towards human mycoses. Full orchestration of secondary metabolism requires not only the seamless coordination between temporal and spatial control of SM-associated machineries (e.g. enzymes, cofactors, intermediates, and end-products) but also integration of these machineries into primary metabolic processes and established cellular mechanisms. An intriguing, but little known aspect of microbial natural product synthesis lies in the spatial organization of both pathway intermediates and enzymes responsible for the production of these compounds. In this highlight, we summarize some major breakthroughs in understanding the genes and regulation of fungal natural product synthesis and introduce the current state of knowledge on the spatial and temporal control of fungal natural product synthesis. PMID:25142354

  18. Chemical diversity of microbial volatiles and their potential for plant growth and productivity

    PubMed Central

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are produced by a wide array of microorganisms ranging from bacteria to fungi. A growing body of evidence indicates that MVOCs are ecofriendly and can be exploited as a cost-effective sustainable strategy for use in agricultural practice as agents that enhance plant growth, productivity, and disease resistance. As naturally occurring chemicals, MVOCs have potential as possible alternatives to harmful pesticides, fungicides, and bactericides as well as genetic modification. Recent studies performed under open field conditions demonstrate that efficiently adopting MVOCs may contribute to sustainable crop protection and production. We review here the chemical diversity of MVOCs by describing microbial–plants and microbial–microbial interactions. Furthermore, we discuss MVOCs role in inducing phenotypic plant responses and their potential physiological effects on crops. Finally, we analyze potential and actual limitations for MVOC use and deployment in field conditions as a sustainable strategy for improving productivity and reducing pesticide use. PMID:25821453

  19. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells for the production of bioelectricity and biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Minghua; Yang, Jie; Wang, Hongyu; Jin, Tao; Xu, Dake; Gu, Tingyue

    2013-01-01

    Today's global energy crisis requires a multifaceted solution. Bioenergy is an important part of the solution. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology stands out as an attractive potential technology in bioenergy. MFCs can convert energy stored in organic matter directly into bioelectricity. MFCs can also be operated in the electrolysis mode as microbial electrolysis cells to produce bioproducts such as hydrogen and ethanol. Various wastewaters containing low-grade organic carbons that are otherwise unutilized can be used as feed streams for MFCs. Despite major advances in the past decade, further improvements in MFC power output and cost reduction are needed for MFCs to be practical. This paper analysed MFC operating principles using bioenergetics and bioelectrochemistry. Several major issues were explored to improve the MFC performance. An emphasis was placed on the use of catalytic materials for MFC electrodes. Recent advances in the production of various biomaterials using MFCs were also investigated. PMID:24350445

  20. Microbial community structure accompanied with electricity production in a constructed wetland plant microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Xing, Defeng; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2015-11-01

    This study reveals the complex structure of bacterial and archaeal communities associated with a Canna indica plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) and its electricity production. The PMFC produced a maximum current of 105 mA/m(2) by utilizing rhizodeposits as the sole electron donor without any external nutrient or buffer supplements, which demonstrates the feasibility of PMFCs in practical oligotrophic conditions with low solution conductivity. The microbial diversity was significantly higher in the PMFC than non-plant controls or sediment-only controls, and pyrosequencing and clone library reveal that rhizodeposits conversion to current were carried out by syntrophic interactions between fermentative bacteria (e.g., Anaerolineaceae) and electrochemically active bacteria (e.g., Geobacter). Denitrifying bacteria and acetotrophic methanogens play a minor role in organics degradation, but abundant hydrogenotrophic methanogens and thermophilic archaea are likely main electron donor competitors. PMID:26066972

  1. Biotechnological Aspects and Perspective of Microbial Keratinase Production.

    PubMed

    Gopinath, Subash C B; Anbu, Periasamy; Lakshmipriya, Thangavel; Tang, Thean-Hock; Chen, Yeng; Hashim, Uda; Ruslinda, A Rahim; Arshad, M K Md

    2015-01-01

    Keratinases are proteolytic enzymes predominantly active when keratin substrates are available that attack disulfide bridges in the keratin to convert them from complex to simplified forms. Keratinases are essential in preparation of animal nutrients, protein supplements, leather manufacture, textile processing, detergent formulation, feather meal processing for feed and fertilizer, the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, and waste management. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop a method for continuous production of keratinase from reliable sources that can be easily managed. Microbial keratinase is less expensive than conventionally produced keratinase and can be obtained from fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. In this overview, the expansion of information about microbial keratinases and important considerations in keratinase production are discussed. PMID:26180780

  2. Biotechnological Aspects and Perspective of Microbial Keratinase Production

    PubMed Central

    Gopinath, Subash C. B.; Anbu, Periasamy; Lakshmipriya, Thangavel; Tang, Thean-Hock; Chen, Yeng; Hashim, Uda; Ruslinda, A. Rahim; Arshad, M. K. Md.

    2015-01-01

    Keratinases are proteolytic enzymes predominantly active when keratin substrates are available that attack disulfide bridges in the keratin to convert them from complex to simplified forms. Keratinases are essential in preparation of animal nutrients, protein supplements, leather manufacture, textile processing, detergent formulation, feather meal processing for feed and fertilizer, the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, and waste management. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop a method for continuous production of keratinase from reliable sources that can be easily managed. Microbial keratinase is less expensive than conventionally produced keratinase and can be obtained from fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. In this overview, the expansion of information about microbial keratinases and important considerations in keratinase production are discussed. PMID:26180780

  3. Microbial production of vitamin B12.

    PubMed

    Martens, J H; Barg, H; Warren, M J; Jahn, D

    2002-03-01

    One of the most alluring and fascinating molecules in the world of science and medicine is vitamin B12 (cobalamin), which was originally discovered as the anti pernicious anemia factor and whose enigmatic complex structure is matched only by the beguiling chemistry that it mediates. The biosynthesis of this essential nutrient is intricate, involved and, remarkably, confined to certain members of the prokaryotic world, seemingly never have to have made the eukaryotic transition. In humans, the vitamin is required in trace amounts (approximately 1 microg/day) to assist the actions of only two enzymes, methionine synthase and (R)-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase; yet commercially more than 10 t of B12 are produced each year from a number of bacterial species. The rich scientific history of vitamin B12 research, its biological functions and the pathways employed by bacteria for its de novo synthesis are described. Current strategies for the improvement of vitamin B12 production using modern biotechnological techniques are outlined. PMID:11935176

  4. Antimalarial natural products: a review

    PubMed Central

    Mojab, Faraz

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Malaria is an infectious disease commonplace in tropical countries. For many years, major antimalarial drugs consisted of natural products, but since 1930s these drugs have been largely replaced with a series of synthetic drugs. This article tries to briefly indicate that some plants which previously were used to treat malaria, as a result of deficiencies of synthetic drugs, have revived into useful products once more. It also attempts to describe some tests which can be used to evaluate plant extracts for antimalarial activity. Materials and Methods: By referring to some recent literatures, data were collected about plants used for the treatment of malaria, evaluation of plant extracts for antimalarial activity, modes of action of natural antimalarial agents, and recent research on antimalarial plants in Iran and other countries. Results and Conclusion: There is an urgent need for the development of new treatments for malaria. Many countries have a vast precedence in the use of medicinal plants and the required knowledge spans many centuries. Although malaria is controlled in Iran, some researchers tend to study malaria and related subjects. In vitro biological tests for the detection of antimalarial activities in plant extracts are currently available. It is vital that the efficacy and safety of traditional medicines be validated and their active constituents be identified in order to establish reliable quality control measures. PMID:25050231

  5. Microbial Products Trigger Amino Acid Exudation from Plant Roots1

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Donald A.; Fox, Tama C.; King, Maria D.; Bhuvaneswari, T.V.; Teuber, Larry R.

    2004-01-01

    Plants naturally cycle amino acids across root cell plasma membranes, and any net efflux is termed exudation. The dominant ecological view is that microorganisms and roots passively compete for amino acids in the soil solution, yet the innate capacity of roots to recover amino acids present in ecologically relevant concentrations is unknown. We find that, in the absence of culturable microorganisms, the influx rates of 16 amino acids (each supplied at 2.5 μm) exceed efflux rates by 5% to 545% in roots of alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Medicago truncatula, maize (Zea mays), and wheat (Triticum aestivum). Several microbial products, which are produced by common soil microorganisms such as Pseudomonas bacteria and Fusarium fungi, significantly enhanced the net efflux (i.e. exudation) of amino acids from roots of these four plant species. In alfalfa, treating roots with 200 μm phenazine, 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, or zearalenone increased total net efflux of 16 amino acids 200% to 2,600% in 3 h. Data from 15N tests suggest that 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol blocks amino acid uptake, whereas zearalenone enhances efflux. Thus, amino acid exudation under normal conditions is a phenomenon that probably reflects both active manipulation and passive uptake by microorganisms, as well as diffusion and adsorption to soil, all of which help overcome the innate capacity of plant roots to reabsorb amino acids. The importance of identifying potential enhancers of root exudation lies in understanding that such compounds may represent regulatory linkages between the larger soil food web and the internal carbon metabolism of the plant. PMID:15347793

  6. Final Technical Report: Microbial Production of Isoprene

    SciTech Connect

    Fall, Ray

    2003-09-12

    natural state (e.g. as biofilms on surfaces). (3) We successfully used on-line mass spectrometry methods to measure release of volatiles, including isoprene, from bioreactors during growth of B. subtilis. This methodology, still in its infancy, may provide a new means to assess physiological processes during industrial growth of Bacillus species, and use isoprene formation as a barometer of carbon flow in these bacteria. (4) We also addressed the question: is Bacillus isoprene formation analogous to chloroplast processes? This research was initiated because of the continuing interest in the puzzle of isoprene formation in leaf chloroplasts. In pursuit of linkages between bacterial and plant isoprene formation, we used our DMAPP assay to demonstrate that leaves of the isoprene-emitter (cottonwood) show a diurnal cycle, peaking at mid-day in parallel with isoprene release. Thus it appears that in two different biological systems isoprene formation is highly regulated, and linked to isoprenoid carbon availability. (5) We developed a new method to detect Bacillus species in plant root samples, and demonstrated that plant roots are a rich source of biofilm-forming B. subtilis. Furthermore, using cultured Arabidopsis roots as a test system, we were able to demonstrate the formation of stable, viable Bacillus biofilms on the roots. Such roots were protected from killing by a root pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae strain. We have now formulated a mechanism to explain how such biocontrol by B. subtilis occurs, and future work will explore the role of isoprene in signaling between different rhizobacteria and plant roots.

  7. Discovery of phosphonic acid natural products by mining the genomes of 10,000 actinomycetes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although natural products have been a particularly rich source of human medicines, the rate at which new molecules are being discovered is declining precipitously. Based on the large number of natural product biosynthetic genes in microbial genomes, many have suggested “genome mining” as an approach...

  8. Microbial Consumption of Natural Gases Released from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, S. D.; Valentine, D. L.; Farwell, C.

    2010-12-01

    The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster caused the release of natural gas, which dissolved in the water column to form gas plumes. Containing methane, ethane, and propane, these gas plumes fuel microbial respiration. This work targeted the water column to quantify the maximum rate of microbial respiration in the natural gas plume. A novel method using uniformly 13C-labeled substrates as tracers was applied to determine the rate of microbial consumption of these gases in water surrounding the impacted area. Consumption rate experiments were performed on board the R/V Cape Hatteras (July 12-20, 2010) and analyzed using an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS). The kinetic order and maximum consumption rate of the microbial community were determined by experimental controls using the 13C-labeled tracers in temperature, time, and concentration series. Ongoing sampling efforts allow changes in the response of the microbial community to be monitored over time.

  9. Potential contribution of microbial degradation to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradley, P.M.; Chapelle, F.H.; Landmeyer, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    The potential contribution of in situ biodegradation as a mechanism for natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water was studied. Surface water sediments from streams and lakes at 11 sites throughout the US. Microbial degradation of [U-14C] MTBE was observed in surface-water-sediment microcosms under anaerobic conditions, but the efficiency and products of anaerobic MTBE biodegradation were strongly dependent on the predominant terminal electron accepting conditions. In the presence of substantial methanogenic activity, MTBE biodegradation was nominal and involved reduction of MTBE to t-butanol (TBA). Under more oxidizing conditions, minimal accumulation of 14C-TBA and significant mineralization of [U-14C] MTBE to 14CO2 were observed. Microorganisms inhabiting the bed sediments of streams and lakes could degrade MTBE effectively under a range of anaerobic terminal electron accepting conditions. Thus, anaerobic bed sediment microbial processes also might contribute to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems throughout the US. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 222nd ACS National Meting (Chicago, IL 8/26-30/2001).

  10. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  11. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  12. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  13. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  14. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  15. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. 158.2160 Section 158.2160 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance...

  16. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. 158.2160 Section 158.2160 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance...

  17. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. 158.2160 Section 158.2160 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance...

  18. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. 158.2160 Section 158.2160 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance...

  19. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. 158.2160 Section 158.2160 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance...

  20. Microbial lipid production by oleaginous Rhodococci cultured in lignocellulosic autohydrolysates.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhen; Zeng, Guangming; Huang, Fang; Kosa, Matyas; Sun, Qining; Meng, Xianzhi; Huang, Danlian; Ragauskas, Arthur J

    2015-09-01

    Metabolic synthesis of single cell oils (SCOs) for biodiesel application by heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms is being hampered by the high cost of culture media. This study investigated the possibility of using loblolly pine and sweetgum autohydrolysates as economic feedstocks for microbial lipid production by oleaginous Rhodococcus opacus (R. opacus) PD630 and DSM 1069. Results revealed that when the substrates were detoxified by the removal of inhibitors (such as HMF-hydroxymethyl-furfural), the two strains exhibited viable growth patterns after a short adaptation/lag phase. R. opacus PD630 accumulated as much as 28.6 % of its cell dry weight (CDW) in lipids while growing on detoxified sweetgum autohydrolysate (DSAH) that translates to 0.25 g/l lipid yield. The accumulation of SCOs reached the level of oleagenicity in DSM 1069 cells (28.3 % of CDW) as well, while being cultured on detoxified pine autohydrolysate (DPAH), with the maximum lipid yield of 0.31 g/l. The composition of the obtained microbial oils varied depending on the substrates provided. These results indicate that lignocellulosic autohydrolysates can be used as low-cost fermentation substrates for microbial lipid production by wild-type R. opacus species. Consequently, the variety of applications for aqueous liquors from lignocellulosic pretreatment has been expanded, allowing for the further optimization of the integrated biorefinery. PMID:26142385

  1. Leveraging ecological theory to guide natural product discovery.

    PubMed

    Smanski, Michael J; Schlatter, Daniel C; Kinkel, Linda L

    2016-03-01

    Technological improvements have accelerated natural product (NP) discovery and engineering to the point that systematic genome mining for new molecules is on the horizon. NP biosynthetic potential is not equally distributed across organisms, environments, or microbial life histories, but instead is enriched in a number of prolific clades. Also, NPs are not equally abundant in nature; some are quite common and others markedly rare. Armed with this knowledge, random 'fishing expeditions' for new NPs are increasingly harder to justify. Understanding the ecological and evolutionary pressures that drive the non-uniform distribution of NP biosynthesis provides a rational framework for the targeted isolation of strains enriched in new NP potential. Additionally, ecological theory leads to testable hypotheses regarding the roles of NPs in shaping ecosystems. Here we review several recent strain prioritization practices and discuss the ecological and evolutionary underpinnings for each. Finally, we offer perspectives on leveraging microbial ecology and evolutionary biology for future NP discovery. PMID:26434742

  2. FINAL REPORT. MICROBIALLY PROMOTED SOLUBILIZATION OF STEEL CORROSION PRODUCTS AND FATE OF ASSOCIATED ACTINIDES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research project investigated processes related to the microbial reductive dissolution of mild and stainless steel corrosion products and the fate of associated radionuclide and metal contaminants. The general goals were to (1) develop an improved understanding of microbial ...

  3. Electro-stimulated microbial factory for value added product synthesis.

    PubMed

    Roy, Shantonu; Schievano, Andrea; Pant, Deepak

    2016-08-01

    Interplay of charge between bacteria and electrode has led to emergence of bioelectrochemical systems which leads to applications such as production of electricity, wastewater treatment, bioremediation and production of value added products. Many electroactive bacteria have been identified that have unique external electron transport systems. Coupling of electron transport with carbon metabolism has opened a new approach of carbon dioxide sequestration. The electron transport mechanism involves various cellular and sub cellular molecules. The outer membrane cytochromes, Mtr-complex and Ech-complex are few key molecules involved in electron transport in many electrogenic bacteria. Few cytochrome independent acetogenic electroactive bacteria were also discovered using Rnf complex to transport electrons. For improved productivity, an efficient bioreactor design is mandatory. It should encompass all certain critical issues such as microbial cell retention, charge dissipation, separators and simultaneous product recovery. PMID:27034155

  4. Microbial-processing of fruit and vegetable wastes for production of vital enzymes and organic acids: Biotechnology and scopes.

    PubMed

    Panda, Sandeep K; Mishra, Swati S; Kayitesi, Eugenie; Ray, Ramesh C

    2016-04-01

    Wastes generated from fruits and vegetables are organic in nature and contribute a major share in soil and water pollution. Also, green house gas emission caused by fruit and vegetable wastes (FVWs) is a matter of serious environmental concern. This review addresses the developments over the last one decade on microbial processing technologies for production of enzymes and organic acids from FVWs. The advances in genetic engineering for improvement of microbial strains in order to enhance the production of the value added bio-products as well as the concept of zero-waste economy have been briefly discussed. PMID:26761593

  5. Enantiomeric Natural Products: Occurrence and Biogenesis**

    PubMed Central

    Finefield, Jennifer M.; Sherman, David H.; Kreitman, Martin; Williams, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    In Nature, chiral natural products are usually produced in optically pure form; however, on occasion Nature is known to produce enantiomerically opposite metabolites. These enantiomeric natural products can arise in Nature from a single species, or from different genera and/or species. Extensive research has been carried out over the years in an attempt to understand the biogenesis of naturally occurring enantiomers, however, many fascinating puzzles and stereochemical anomalies still remain. PMID:22555867

  6. Natural products as sources for new pesticides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Natural products as pesticides have been reviewed from several perspectives in the past; however, no review has examined the impact of natural product and natural product-based pesticides, as a function of new active ingredient registrations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on the U.S...

  7. Characterization of soluble microbial products (SMP) under stressful conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhi-Ping; Zhang, Tong

    2010-10-01

    Soluble microbial products (SMP) in the wastewater treatment process not only cause fouling to the membrane, but also generate disinfection by-products (DBP) in the effluent, thus get increasing attention. In this study, SMP produced by activated sludge and isolates under different stressful conditions, i.e. starvation, salinity, heavy metals, low pH and high temperature, were characterized to investigate the effects of these conditions on the amount of SMP and their compositions. The analysis results using size exclusion chromatography (SEC), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and fluorescence excitation emission matrix (FEEM) showed that activated sludge and isolates suffered with the same stressful condition contained almost the same concentration and composition of SMP, indicating that the stressful condition instead of the microbial species played the crucial role in the production of SMP. Among of stressful conditions tested, high temperature had stimulated the production of polysaccharides and polycarboxylate-type humic acid with high hydrophilicity, which is in positive proportion to the foulants formation potential, thus should be avoided in membrane bioreactors. Low pH had promoted the generation of hydrophobic humic acid-like or protein-like organics, which had been proved as the main disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursor, thus should be avoided in the biological treatment. Starvation had less effect on SMP production as the seeding microbes had no substrates. PMID:20655085

  8. Recent advances in deep-sea natural products.

    PubMed

    Skropeta, Danielle; Wei, Liangqian

    2014-08-01

    Covering: 2009 to 2013. This review covers the 188 novel marine natural products described since 2008, from deep-water (50->5000 m) marine fauna including bryozoa, chordata, cnidaria, echinodermata, microorganisms, mollusca and porifera. The structures of the new compounds and details of the source organism, depth of collection and country of origin are presented, along with any relevant biological activities of the metabolites. Where reported, synthetic studies on the deep-sea natural products have also been included. Most strikingly, 75% of the compounds were reported to possess bioactivity, with almost half exhibiting low micromolar cytotoxicity towards a range of human cancer cell lines, along with a significant increase in the number of microbial deep-sea natural products reported. PMID:24871201

  9. Microbial production of the drugs violacein and deoxyviolacein: analytical development and strain comparison.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, André L; Göcke, Yvonne; Bolten, Christoph; Brock, Nelson L; Dickschat, Jeroen S; Wittmann, Christoph

    2012-04-01

    Violacein and deoxyviolacein display a broad range of interesting biological properties but their production is rarely distinguished due to the lack of suitable analytical methods. An HPLC method has been developed for the separation and quantification of violacein and deoxyviolacein and can determine the content of both molecules in microbial cultures. A comparison of different production microorganisms, including recombinant Escherichia coli and the natural producer Janthinobacterium lividum, revealed that the formation of violacein and deoxyviolacein is strain-specific but showed significant variation during growth although the ratio between the two compounds remained constant. PMID:22187076

  10. Microbial ecology of food contact surfaces and products of small-scale facilities producing traditional sausages.

    PubMed

    Gounadaki, Antonia S; Skandamis, Panagiotis N; Drosinos, Eleftherios H; Nychas, George-John E

    2008-04-01

    The microbial status in 7 small-scale facilities (SSFs) producing traditional fermented and/or dry sausages was investigated. It was shown that the hygienic status of the processing environment and equipment plays an essential role in the microbial stability and safety of the final products. The current study revealed that the majority of the sampling sites (control points) tested were highly (>4 log CFU/cm(2)) contaminated by spoilage flora (i.e. Pseudomonas, Enterobacteriaceae), with knives, tables and mincing machines being the most heavily contaminated surfaces. Moreover, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus were detected in 11.7%, 26.4%, and 11.7% of the food contact surfaces, respectively. The presence of these pathogens seemed to be associated with high numbers of one or more specific groups of the 'house-flora' on the sampling sites of the facilities; however, high numbers of 'house-flora' do not always suggest the presence of pathogens. With regard to product samples, batter samples were heavily contaminated with the 'house-flora' present on surfaces and equipment of the processing facilities while by the end of processing (final products) LAB constituted the predominant microbial flora of all products. The low initial levels of S. aureus and Salmonella found in batter samples as well as the combination of hurdles (mainly a(w)<0.92, average pH ca. <5.0 and competitive effect of natural flora) in the final products were able to inhibit and/or eliminate these pathogens; however, the detection of L. monocytogenes in 3 out of the 7 final products examined is indicative of cross-contamination. Our findings further indicate that inadequate hygiene practices within small-scale-processing facilities may result in loss of microbial control. Therefore, this study addresses the need for strict control measures within SSFs producing traditional fermented sausages. PMID:18206774

  11. Misassigned natural products and their revised structures.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Hye-Dong; Nam, Sang-Jip; Chin, Young-Won; Kim, Min-Sun

    2016-02-01

    Natural products are a major pipeline for drug development and are responsible for more than 50 % of drugs on the market. NMR is a fundamental and powerful tool for the structure determination of natural products. It is essential to provide unambiguous chemical structure information on natural products in drug development research, including the structure-activity relationship, derivatization and pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies. Advancement of NMR instruments has made it possible to deal with nanomole-scale natural products for structure elucidation, but misinterpretation of NMR spectra still occurs. We review 21 natural products with revised chemical structures and the methods used for those revisions. PMID:26310208

  12. Microbial production and oxidation of methane in deep subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotelnikova, Svetlana

    2002-10-01

    The goal of this review is to summarize present studies on microbial production and oxidation of methane in the deep subterranean environments. Methane is a long-living gas causing the "greenhouse" effect in the planet's atmosphere. Earlier, the deep "organic carbon poor" subsurface was not considered as a source of "biogenic" methane. Evidence of active methanogenesis and presence of viable methanogens including autotrophic organisms were obtained for some subsurface environments including water-flooded oil-fields, deep sandy aquifers, deep sea hydrothermal vents, the deep sediments and granitic groundwater at depths of 10 to 2000 m below sea level. As a rule, the deep subterranean microbial populations dwell at more or less oligotrophic conditions. Molecular hydrogen has been found in a variety of subsurface environments, where its concentrations were significantly higher than in the tested surface aquatic environments. Chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms from deep aquifers that could grow on hydrogen and carbon dioxide can act as primary producers of organic carbon, initiating heterotrophic food chains in the deep subterranean environments independent of photosynthesis. "Biogenic" methane has been found all over the world. On the basis of documented occurrences, gases in reservoirs and older sediments are similar and have the isotopic character of methane derived from CO 2 reduction. Groundwater representing the methanogenic end member are characterized by a relative depletion of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in combination with an enrichment in 13C in inorganic carbon, which is consistent with the preferential reduction of 12CO 2 by autotrophic methanogens or acetogens. The isotopic composition of methane formed via CO 2 reduction is controlled by the δ13C of the original CO 2 substrate. Literature data shows that CH 4 as heavy as -40‰ or -50‰ can be produced by the microbial reduction of isotopically heavy CO 2. Produced methane may be oxidized

  13. Trends in the relative contributions of microbial N2O production processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S.; Croteau, P. L.; Boering, K. A.; Etheridge, D. M.; Ferretti, D.; Fraser, P.; Kim, K.; Krummel, P. B.; Langenfelds, R.; Perez, T. J.; Steele, P.; Trudinger, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    The increase in the atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) burden is largely a result of increased use of nitrogen-based agricultural fertilizer which stimulates microbial soil nitrification and denitrification processes. The enzymatic microbial production processes favor 14N over 15N, whereby kinetic isotope fractionation results in the distinct isotope fingerprints of the N2O sources: natural versus anthropogenic sources and nitrification versus denitrification. Long-term decreasing trends in δ15N, δ15Nα, and δ15Nβ (i.e., the central "α" and terminal "β" nitrogen positions in NNO), and δ18O of N2O observed in Antarctic firn air and archived air samples from Cape Grim, Tasmania, from 1940 to 2005 [Park et al., 2008], confirm that the anthropogenic source must be substantially isotopically lighter in 15N than the natural (or pre-industrial) source, as previously inferred from N2O soil emissions isotope measurements in mature tropical rainforests and agricultural soils [Park et al., 2011] and from a box model results based on the isotope values [Perez et al., 2001]. We estimated the relative contributions of nitrification and denitrification to the production of N2O and how they may have changed over time, based on the long-term record of Site Preference (SP=δ15Nα-δ15Nβ), as a proxy to differentiate nitrification and denitrification. An optimized box model analysis suggested a flux-weighted average SP for natural N2O sources of 4.2±1.5% and for the anthropogenic sources of 13.1±9.4%. If laboratory measurements of SP, for a variety of nitrifying (SP≈33%) versus denitrifying (SP≈0%) bacteria [Sutka et al., 2006], are globally relevant, then combining these microbial SP values with our model results suggested that the relative contribution of nitrification to global microbial N2O production has increased from 13(±5)% in pre-industrial times to 23(±13)% in 2005. Note that denitrification has been a major production process as consistently shown in

  14. Natural products and anti-inflammatory activity.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Gaofeng; Wahlqvist, Mark L; He, Guoqing; Yang, Min; Li, Duo

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this review paper was to summarise some commonly available natural products and their anti-inflammatory activity. We have collected data from MEDLINE, Current Contents and scientific journals, which included 92 publications. There are numerous natural products detailed in this literature; however we have summarized a few of the most commonly available and potent ones. In this paper, the natural products with anti-inflammatory activity including curcumin, parthenolide, cucurbitacins, 1,8-cineole, pseudopterosins, lyprinol, bromelain, flavonoids, saponins, marine sponge natural products and Boswellia serrata gum resin were reviewed. Natural products play a significant role in human health in relation to the prevention and treatment of inflammatory conditions. Further studies are being conducted to investigate the mechanism of action, metabolism, safety and long term side effect of these natural products, as well as interactions between these natural products with food and drug components. PMID:16672197

  15. Microbial Activation of Wooden Vats Used for Traditional Cheese Production and Evolution of Neoformed Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Gaglio, Raimondo; Cruciata, Margherita; Di Gerlando, Rosalia; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Mancuso, Isabella; Sardina, Maria Teresa; Moschetti, Giancarlo; Portolano, Baldassare

    2015-01-01

    Three Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains were used to develop ad hoc biofilms on the surfaces of virgin wooden vats used for cheese production. Two vats (TZ) were tested under controlled conditions (pilot plant), and two vats (TA) were tested under uncontrolled conditions (industrial plant). In each plant, one vat (TA1 and TZ1) was used for the control, traditional production of PDO Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (Vastedda) cheese, and one (TA2 and TZ2) was used for experimental production performed after lactococcal biofilm activation and the daily addition of a natural whey starter culture (NWSC). Microbiological and scanning electron microscopy analyses showed differences in terms of microbial levels and composition of the neoformed biofilms. The levels of the microbial groups investigated during cheese production showed significant differences between the control trials and between the control and experimental trials, but the differences were not particularly marked between the TA2 and TZ2 productions, which showed the largest numbers of mesophilic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) cocci. LAB populations were characterized phenotypically and genotypically, and 44 dominant strains belonging to 10 species were identified. Direct comparison of the polymorphic profiles of the LAB collected during cheese making showed that the addition of the NWSC reduced their biodiversity. Sensory evaluation showed that the microbial activation of the wooden vats with the multistrain Lactococcus culture generated cheeses with sensory attributes comparable to those of commercial cheese. Thus, neoformed biofilms enable a reduction of microbial variability and stabilize the sensorial attributes of Vastedda cheese. PMID:26546430

  16. Natural product-based nanomedicine: recent advances and issues.

    PubMed

    Watkins, Rebekah; Wu, Ling; Zhang, Chenming; Davis, Richey M; Xu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Natural products have been used in medicine for many years. Many top-selling pharmaceuticals are natural compounds or their derivatives. These plant- or microorganism-derived compounds have shown potential as therapeutic agents against cancer, microbial infection, inflammation, and other disease conditions. However, their success in clinical trials has been less impressive, partly due to the compounds' low bioavailability. The incorporation of nanoparticles into a delivery system for natural products would be a major advance in the efforts to increase their therapeutic effects. Recently, advances have been made showing that nanoparticles can significantly increase the bioavailability of natural products both in vitro and in vivo. Nanotechnology has demonstrated its capability to manipulate particles in order to target specific areas of the body and control the release of drugs. Although there are many benefits to applying nanotechnology for better delivery of natural products, it is not without issues. Drug targeting remains a challenge and potential nanoparticle toxicity needs to be further investigated, especially if these systems are to be used to treat chronic human diseases. This review aims to summarize recent progress in several key areas relevant to natural products in nanoparticle delivery systems for biomedical applications. PMID:26451111

  17. Natural product-based nanomedicine: recent advances and issues

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Rebekah; Wu, Ling; Zhang, Chenming; Davis, Richey M; Xu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Natural products have been used in medicine for many years. Many top-selling pharmaceuticals are natural compounds or their derivatives. These plant- or microorganism-derived compounds have shown potential as therapeutic agents against cancer, microbial infection, inflammation, and other disease conditions. However, their success in clinical trials has been less impressive, partly due to the compounds’ low bioavailability. The incorporation of nanoparticles into a delivery system for natural products would be a major advance in the efforts to increase their therapeutic effects. Recently, advances have been made showing that nanoparticles can significantly increase the bioavailability of natural products both in vitro and in vivo. Nanotechnology has demonstrated its capability to manipulate particles in order to target specific areas of the body and control the release of drugs. Although there are many benefits to applying nanotechnology for better delivery of natural products, it is not without issues. Drug targeting remains a challenge and potential nanoparticle toxicity needs to be further investigated, especially if these systems are to be used to treat chronic human diseases. This review aims to summarize recent progress in several key areas relevant to natural products in nanoparticle delivery systems for biomedical applications. PMID:26451111

  18. An overview of conjugated linoleic acid: microbial production and application.

    PubMed

    Gholami, Zahra; Khosravi-Darani, Kianoush

    2014-01-01

    Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has attracted considerable attention in health due to its important physiological properties proved in several in vivo experiments. Many bacteria, especially some probiotics, are able to produce CLA from the linoleic acid (LA) present in milk. In this review, CLA production by microorganisms is described. Then factors on the influencing the microbial production and the initial CLA content in milk fat are introduced. After a glimpse on the content of CLA in dairy products and human body, health benefits of CLA including anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, antiathrosclerosis and anti-osteoporosis properties, as well as prevention of body fat increase and function as stimulator of the immunity system are explained. PMID:25138090

  19. Whey-derived valuable products obtained by microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Pescuma, Micaela; de Valdez, Graciela Font; Mozzi, Fernanda

    2015-08-01

    Whey, the main by-product of the cheese industry, is considered as an important pollutant due to its high chemical and biological oxygen demand. Whey, often considered as waste, has high nutritional value and can be used to obtain value-added products, although some of them need expensive enzymatic synthesis. An economical alternative to transform whey into valuable products is through bacterial or yeast fermentations and by accumulation during algae growth. Fermentative processes can be applied either to produce individual compounds or to formulate new foods and beverages. In the first case, a considerable amount of research has been directed to obtain biofuels able to replace those derived from petrol. In addition, the possibility of replacing petrol-derived plastics by biodegradable polymers synthesized during bacterial fermentation of whey has been sought. Further, the ability of different organisms to produce metabolites commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industries (i.e., lactic acid, lactobionic acid, polysaccharides, etc.) using whey as growth substrate has been studied. On the other hand, new low-cost functional whey-based foods and beverages leveraging the high nutritional quality of whey have been formulated, highlighting the health-promoting effects of fermented whey-derived products. This review aims to gather the multiple uses of whey as sustainable raw material for the production of individual compounds, foods, and beverages by microbial fermentation. This is the first work to give an overview on the microbial transformation of whey as raw material into a large repertoire of industrially relevant foods and products. PMID:26124070

  20. Natural Microbial Assemblages Reflect Distinct Organismal and Functional Partitioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilmes, P.; Andersson, A.; Kalnejais, L. H.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Lefsrud, M. G.; Wexler, M.; Singer, S. W.; Shah, M.; Bond, P. L.; Thelen, M. P.; Hettich, R. L.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to link microbial community structure to function has long been a primary focus of environmental microbiology. With the advent of community genomic and proteomic techniques, along with advances in microscopic imaging techniques, it is now possible to gain insights into the organismal and functional makeup of microbial communities. Biofilms growing within highly acidic solutions inside the Richmond Mine (Iron Mountain, Redding, California) exhibit distinct macro- and microscopic morphologies. They are composed of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, including archaea, bacteria and eukarya. The proportion of each organismal type depends on sampling location and developmental stage. For example, mature biofilms floating on top of acid mine drainage (AMD) pools exhibit layers consisting of a densely packed bottom layer of the chemoautolithotroph Leptospirillum group II, a less dense top layer composed mainly of archaea, and fungal filaments spanning across the entire biofilm. The expression of cytochrome 579 (the most highly abundant protein in the biofilm, believed to be central to iron oxidation and encoded by Leptospirillum group II) is localized at the interface of the biofilm with the AMD solution, highlighting that biofilm architecture is reflected at the functional gene expression level. Distinct functional partitioning is also apparent in a biological wastewater treatment system that selects for distinct polyphosphate accumulating organisms. Community genomic data from " Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" dominated activated sludge has enabled high mass-accuracy shotgun proteomics for identification of key metabolic pathways. Comprehensive genome-wide alignment of orthologous proteins suggests distinct partitioning of protein variants involved in both core-metabolism and specific metabolic pathways among the dominant population and closely related species. In addition, strain- resolved proteogenomic analysis of the AMD biofilms

  1. Microbial nitrogen cycling response to forest-based bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Minick, Kevan J; Strahm, Brian D; Fox, Thomas R; Sucre, Eric B; Leggett, Zakiya H

    2015-12-01

    Concern over rising atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel combustion has intensified research into carbon-neutral energy production. Approximately 15.8 million ha of pine plantations exist across the southeastern United States, representing a vast land area advantageous for bioenergy production without significant landuse change or diversion of agricultural resources from food production. Furthermore, intercropping of pine with bioenergy grasses could provide annually harvestable, lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks along with production of traditional wood products. Viability of such a system hinges in part on soil nitrogen (N) availability and effects of N competition between pines and grasses on ecosystem productivity. We investigated effects of intercropping loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on microbial N cycling processes in the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA. Soil samples were collected from bedded rows of pine and interbed space of two treatments, composed of either volunteer native woody and herbaceous vegetation (pine-native) or pure switchgrass (pine-switchgrass) in interbeds. An in vitro 15N pool-dilution technique was employed to quantify gross N transformations at two soil depths (0-5 and 5-15 cm) on four dates in 2012-2013. At the 0-5 cm depth in beds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was two to three times higher in November and February compared to the pine-native treatment, resulting in increased NH4(+) availability. Gross and net nitrification were also significantly higher in February in the same pine beds. In interbeds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was lower from April to November, but higher in February, potentially reflecting positive effects of switchgrass root-derived C inputs during dormancy on microbial activity. These findings indicate soil N cycling and availability has increased in pine beds of the pine

  2. Investigating microbial carbon cycling using natural abundance isotope analysis of PLFA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slater, G. G.; Brady, A.; Cowie, B.

    2008-12-01

    Understanding microbial carbon sources and cycling is fundamental to our conceptualization of microbial ecosystems and their role in biogeochemical cycling in natural systems. Achieving this understanding requires application of a wide range of approaches. Natural abundance isotope analysis of individual compounds, particularly cellular components such as Phospholipids Fatty Acids (PLFA) can provide insights into the carbon sources and metabolic activities of the in situ microbial community from environmental samples. This is primarily because specific PLFA can be well resolved by gas chromatography even from complex matrices where confounding biological/organic compound abound. These PLFA can then be attributed to the viable microbial community, in some cases to specific components of this community and due to characteristic biosynthetic fractionations of stable isotope ratios, δ13C analysis of PLFA can: differentiate isotopically distinct primary carbon sources of heterotrophic communities; identify isotopic patterns characteristic of autotrophic versus heterotrophic processes; and elucidate microbial biosynthetic pathways. In cases where there δ13C cannot provide resolution of carbon sources, new approaches in Δ14C of PLFA can be applied. The vast range in Δ14C of ancient and modern carbon provides an easily traceable signal that can differentiate uptake and utilization of these carbon sources. This is particularly useful in cases such as contaminated sites where petroleum based contamination has occurred, or in natural systems where microbial communities may be utilizing geologic versus recently photosynthetically fixed carbon. This talk will present several examples demonstrating the utility of this approach.

  3. Methane Production by Microbial Mats Under Low Sulfate Concentrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Hoehler, Tori M.; Thamdrup, Bo; Albert, Dan; Carpenter, Steven P.; Hogan, Mary; Turk, Kendra; DesMarais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats collected in hypersaline salterns were incubated in a greenhouse under low sulfate concentrations ([SO4]) and examined for their primary productivity and emissions of methane and other major carbon species. Atmospheric greenhouse warming by gases such as carbon dioxide and methane must have been greater during the Archean than today in order to account for a record of moderate to warm paleoclemates, despite a less luminous early sun. It has been suggested that decreased levels of oxygen and sulfate in Archean oceans could have significantly stimulated microbial methanogenesis relative to present marine rates, with a resultant increase in the relative importance of methane in maintaining the early greenhouse. We maintained modern microbial mats, models of ancient coastal marine communities, in artificial brine mixtures containing both modern [SO4=] (ca. 70 mM) and "Archean" [SO4] (less than 0.2 mM). At low [SO4], primary production in the mats was essentially unaffected, while rates of sulfate reduction decreased by a factor of three, and methane fluxes increased by up to ten-fold. However, remineralization by methanogenesis still amounted to less than 0.4 % of the total carbon released by the mats. The relatively low efficiency of conversion of photosynthate to methane is suggested to reflect the particular geometry and chemical microenvironment of hypersaline cyanobacterial mats. Therefore, such mats w-ere probably relatively weak net sources of methane throughout their 3.5 Ga history, even during periods of low- environmental levels oxygen and sulfate.

  4. Uranium Biomineralization by Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, R.; Wu, C. H.; Beazley, M. J.; Andersen, G. L.; Hazen, T. C.; Taillefert, M.; Sobecky, P. A.

    2011-12-01

    Soils and groundwater contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides remain a legacy of Cold War nuclear weapons development. Due to the scale of environmental contamination, in situ sequestration of heavy metals and radionuclides remain the most cost-effective strategy for remediation. We are currently investigating a remediation approach that utilizes periplasmic and extracellular microbial phosphatase activity of soil bacteria capable promoting in situ uranium phosphate sequestration. Our studies focus on the contaminated soils from the DOE Field Research Center (ORFRC) in Oak Ridge, TN. We have previously demonstrated that ORFRC strains with phosphatase-positive phenotypes were capable of promoting the precpitation of >95% U(VI) as a low solubility phosphate mineral during growth on glycerol phosphate as a sole carbon and phosphorus source. Here we present culture-independent soil slurry studies aimed at understanding microbial community dynamics resulting from exogenous organophosphate additions. Soil slurries containing glycerol-2-phosphate (G2P) or glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) and nitrate as the sole C, P and N sources were incubated under oxic growth conditions at pH 5.5 or pH 6.8. Following treatments, total DNA was extracted and prokaryotic diversity was assessed using high-density 16S oligonucleotide microarray (PhyloChip) analysis. Treatments at pH 5.5 and pH 6.8 amended with G2P required 36 days to accumulate 4.8mM and 2.2 mM phosphate, respectively. In contrast, treatments at pH 5.5 and pH 6.8 amended with G3P accumulated 8.9 mM and 8.7 mM phosphate, respectively, after 20 days. A total of 2120 unique taxa representing 46 phyla, 66 classes, 110 orders, and 186 families were detected among all treatment conditions. The phyla that significantly (P<0.05) increased in abundance relative to incubations lacking organophosphate amendments included: Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. Members from the classes Bacteroidetes

  5. Capability of the natural microbial community in a river water ecosystem to degrade the drug naproxen.

    PubMed

    Grenni, Paola; Patrolecco, Luisa; Ademollo, Nicoletta; Di Lenola, Martina; Barra Caracciolo, Anna

    2014-12-01

    The present work aims at evaluating the ability of the River Tiber natural microbial community to degrade naproxen in water samples collected downstream from a wastewater treatment plant. For this purpose, different water microcosms were set up (microbiologically active vs sterile ones) and treated with naproxen (100 μg/L) alone or in the co-presence of gemfibrozil in order to evaluate if the co-presence of the latter had an influence on naproxen degradation. The experiment was performed in the autumn and was compared with the same experimental set performed in spring of the same year to highlight if seasonal differences in the river water influenced the naproxen degradation. Pharmaceutical concentrations and microbial analysis (total cell number, viability, and microbial community composition) were performed at different times in the degradation experiments. The overall results show that the natural microbial community in the river water had a key role in the naproxen degradation. In fact, although there was a transient negative effect on the natural microbial community in all the experiments (3 h after adding the pharmaceutical), the latter was able to degrade naproxen within about 40 days. On the contrary, no decrease in the pharmaceutical concentration was observed in the sterile river water. Moreover, the co-presence of the two drugs lengthened the naproxen lag phase. As regards the natural microbial community composition detected by Fluorescence in situ Hybridization, Alpha and Gamma-Proteobacteria increased when the pharmaceutical halved, suggesting their role in the degradation. This study shows that with the concentration studied, naproxen was degraded by the natural microbial populations collected from a river chronically contaminated by this pharmaceutical. PMID:25012207

  6. Improving Microbial Biogasoline Production in Escherichia coli Using Tolerance Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Foo, Jee Loon; Jensen, Heather M.; Dahl, Robert H.; George, Kevin; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon; Leong, Susanna

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Engineering microbial hosts for the production of fungible fuels requires mitigation of limitations posed on the production capacity. One such limitation arises from the inherent toxicity of solvent-like biofuel compounds to production strains, such as Escherichia coli. Here we show the importance of host engineering for the production of short-chain alcohols by studying the overexpression of genes upregulated in response to exogenous isopentenol. Using systems biology data, we selected 40 genes that were upregulated following isopentenol exposure and subsequently overexpressed them in E. coli. Overexpression of several of these candidates improved tolerance to exogenously added isopentenol. Genes conferring isopentenol tolerance phenotypes belonged to diverse functional groups, such as oxidative stress response (soxS, fpr, and nrdH), general stress response (metR, yqhD, and gidB), heat shock-related response (ibpA), and transport (mdlB). To determine if these genes could also improve isopentenol production, we coexpressed the tolerance-enhancing genes individually with an isopentenol production pathway. Our data show that expression of 6 of the 8 candidates improved the production of isopentenol in E. coli, with the methionine biosynthesis regulator MetR improving the titer for isopentenol production by 55%. Additionally, expression of MdlB, an ABC transporter, facilitated a 12% improvement in isopentenol production. To our knowledge, MdlB is the first example of a transporter that can be used to improve production of a short-chain alcohol and provides a valuable new avenue for host engineering in biogasoline production. PMID:25370492

  7. Improving microbial biogasoline production in Escherichia coli using tolerance engineering

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Foo, Jee Loon; Jensen, Heather M.; Dahl, Robert H.; George, Kevin; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon; Leong, Susanna; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2014-11-04

    Engineering microbial hosts for the production of fungible fuels requires mitigation of limitations posed on the production capacity. One such limitation arises from the inherent toxicity of solvent-like biofuel compounds to production strains, such as Escherichia coli. Here we show the importance of host engineering for the production of short-chain alcohols by studying the overexpression of genes upregulated in response to exogenous isopentenol. Using systems biology data, we selected 40 genes that were upregulated following isopentenol exposure and subsequently overexpressed them in E. coli. Overexpression of several of these candidates improved tolerance to exogenously added isopentenol. Genes conferring isopentenol tolerancemore » phenotypes belonged to diverse functional groups, such as oxidative stress response (soxS, fpr, and nrdH), general stress response (metR, yqhD, and gidB), heat shock-related response (ibpA), and transport (mdlB). To determine if these genes could also improve isopentenol production, we coexpressed the tolerance-enhancing genes individually with an isopentenol production pathway. Our data show that expression of 6 of the 8 candidates improved the production of isopentenol in E. coli, with the methionine biosynthesis regulator MetR improving the titer for isopentenol production by 55%. Additionally, expression of MdlB, an ABC transporter, facilitated a 12% improvement in isopentenol production. To our knowledge, MdlB is the first example of a transporter that can be used to improve production of a short-chain alcohol and provides a valuable new avenue for host engineering in biogasoline production.« less

  8. Culture-independent discovery of natural products from soil metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Katz, Micah; Hover, Bradley M; Brady, Sean F

    2016-03-01

    Bacterial natural products have proven to be invaluable starting points in the development of many currently used therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, traditional culture-based methods for natural product discovery have been deemphasized by pharmaceutical companies due in large part to high rediscovery rates. Culture-independent, or "metagenomic," methods, which rely on the heterologous expression of DNA extracted directly from environmental samples (eDNA), have the potential to provide access to metabolites encoded by a large fraction of the earth's microbial biosynthetic diversity. As soil is both ubiquitous and rich in bacterial diversity, it is an appealing starting point for culture-independent natural product discovery efforts. This review provides an overview of the history of soil metagenome-driven natural product discovery studies and elaborates on the recent development of new tools for sequence-based, high-throughput profiling of environmental samples used in discovering novel natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. We conclude with several examples of these new tools being employed to facilitate the recovery of novel secondary metabolite encoding gene clusters from soil metagenomes and the subsequent heterologous expression of these clusters to produce bioactive small molecules. PMID:26586404

  9. Long lasting effects of the conversion from natural forest to poplar plantation on soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Vitali, Francesco; Mastromei, Giorgio; Senatore, Giuliana; Caroppo, Cesarea; Casalone, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we evaluate the long-lasting effects on soil microbial communities of a change within a single land-use category, specifically the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation. To minimize the effects of impacts other than land-use (i.e., climatic and anthropogenic), we chose three sites within a Natural Park, with homogeneous orographic and soil texture characteristics. We compared microbial diversity in a total of 156 soil samples from two natural mixed forests and a similar forest converted to poplar plantation about thirty years ago. The diversity and structure of bacterial and fungal communities were investigated by terminal restriction fragments length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of the 16S-rRNA gene and the ITS-rDNA regions, respectively. Bacterial and fungal communities from the forest plantation, compared to those from natural forest soils, showed different community structure and lower α-diversity values, consistently with the significantly higher pH values and lower organic matter content of those soils. β-diversity values, the number of measured and estimated dominant OTUs, and their distribution among the three sites showed that microbial communities from the two natural forests were much more similar to each other than they were to communities from the poplar plantation, suggesting an effect of the forest conversion on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. α-diversity in cultivated forest soils had narrower temporal fluctuations than in natural forest soils, suggesting higher temporal stability of microbial communities. Overall, we demonstrated that the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation altered soil microbial communities, changing their structure, lowering their diversity, and causing a spatial and temporal homogenization. PMID:26686617

  10. Microbial and Natural Metabolites That Inhibit Splicing: A Powerful Alternative for Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Montiel, Nancy; Rosas-Murrieta, Nora Hilda; Martínez-Montiel, Mónica; Gaspariano-Cholula, Mayra Patricia; Martínez-Contreras, Rebeca D

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, genes are frequently interrupted with noncoding sequences named introns. Alternative splicing is a nuclear mechanism by which these introns are removed and flanking coding regions named exons are joined together to generate a message that will be translated in the cytoplasm. This mechanism is catalyzed by a complex machinery known as the spliceosome, which is conformed by more than 300 proteins and ribonucleoproteins that activate and regulate the precision of gene expression when assembled. It has been proposed that several genetic diseases are related to defects in the splicing process, including cancer. For this reason, natural products that show the ability to regulate splicing have attracted enormous attention due to its potential use for cancer treatment. Some microbial metabolites have shown the ability to inhibit gene splicing and the molecular mechanism responsible for this inhibition is being studied for future applications. Here, we summarize the main types of natural products that have been characterized as splicing inhibitors, the recent advances regarding molecular and cellular effects related to these molecules, and the applications reported so far in cancer therapeutics. PMID:27610372

  11. Microbial and Natural Metabolites That Inhibit Splicing: A Powerful Alternative for Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Rosas-Murrieta, Nora Hilda; Martínez-Montiel, Mónica; Gaspariano-Cholula, Mayra Patricia

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, genes are frequently interrupted with noncoding sequences named introns. Alternative splicing is a nuclear mechanism by which these introns are removed and flanking coding regions named exons are joined together to generate a message that will be translated in the cytoplasm. This mechanism is catalyzed by a complex machinery known as the spliceosome, which is conformed by more than 300 proteins and ribonucleoproteins that activate and regulate the precision of gene expression when assembled. It has been proposed that several genetic diseases are related to defects in the splicing process, including cancer. For this reason, natural products that show the ability to regulate splicing have attracted enormous attention due to its potential use for cancer treatment. Some microbial metabolites have shown the ability to inhibit gene splicing and the molecular mechanism responsible for this inhibition is being studied for future applications. Here, we summarize the main types of natural products that have been characterized as splicing inhibitors, the recent advances regarding molecular and cellular effects related to these molecules, and the applications reported so far in cancer therapeutics. PMID:27610372

  12. Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication.

    PubMed

    Masiello, Caroline A; Chen, Ye; Gao, Xiaodong; Liu, Shirley; Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Bennett, Matthew R; Rudgers, Jennifer A; Wagner, Daniel S; Zygourakis, Kyriacos; Silberg, Jonathan J

    2013-10-15

    Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700 °C (surface area of 301 m(2)/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300 °C (surface area of 3 m(2)/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops. PMID:24066613

  13. Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication

    PubMed Central

    Masiello, Caroline A.; Chen, Ye; Gao, Xiaodong; Liu, Shirley; Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Bennett, Matthew R.; Rudgers, Jennifer A.; Wagner, Daniel S.; Zygourakis, Kyriacos; Silberg, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700°C (surface area of 301 m2/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300°C (surface area of 3 m2/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops. PMID:24066613

  14. Recent Advances in Natural Product Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Cobb, Ryan E.; Zhao, Huimin

    2014-01-01

    Natural products have been and continue to be the source and inspiration for a substantial fraction of human therapeutics. Although the pharmaceutical industry has largely turned its back on natural product discovery efforts, such efforts continue to flourish in academia with promising results. Natural products have traditionally been identified from a top-down perspective, but more recently genomics- and bioinformatics-guided bottom-up approaches have provided powerful alternative strategies. Here we review recent advances in natural product discovery from both angles, including diverse sampling and innovative culturing and screening approaches, as well as genomics-driven discovery and genetic manipulation techniques for both native and heterologous expression. PMID:25260043

  15. Application of microbial enumeration technique to evaluate the occurrence of natural bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Kao, C M; Chen, S C; Liu, J K; Wang, Y S

    2001-06-01

    Natural bioremediation is believed to be the major processes that account for both containment of the petroleum-hydrocarbon plume and reduction of the contaminant concentrations. In this study, the feasibility of applying the microbial enumeration technique was assessed for natural biodegradation evaluation at three selected gasoline spill sites. At each site, two monitor wells were installed along the groundwater flow, and one multilevel sampler (MLS) was installed to delineate the vertical distribution of the contaminant plume. Two continuous soil cores were collected at each site to evaluate the horizontal distribution of the microbial activity. Soil samples were used for microbial enumeration, grain-size distribution analysis, and sediment extraction. In situ tracer study was performed using 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (1,2,4-TMB) as the tracer to study the efficiency of contaminant biodegradation. Investigation results demonstrate the agreement between microbial enumeration and other evaluation techniques for natural bioremediation (e.g., geochemical indicator analysis, tracer study). Results suggest that the microbial enumeration is useful in assessing the occurrence, efficiency, and status of the bioremediation. Because this technique provides insight into factors controlling contaminant biodegradation, it could be performed as the supplemental method for natural bioremediation evaluation at petroleum-hydrocarbon spill sites. PMID:11337841

  16. Mimicking a natural pathway for de novo biosynthesis: natural vanillin production from accessible carbon sources

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Jun; Tao, Fei; Du, Huaiqing; Xu, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites have been attracting people’s attention for centuries, due to their potentials; however, their production is still difficult and costly. The rich diversity of microbes and microbial genome sequence data provide unprecedented gene resources that enable to develop efficient artificial pathways in microorganisms. Here, by mimicking a natural pathway of plants using microbial genes, a new metabolic route was developed in E. coli for the synthesis of vanillin, the most widely used flavoring agent. A series of factors were systematically investigated for raising production, including efficiency and suitability of genes, gene dosage, and culture media. The metabolically engineered strain produced 97.2 mg/L vanillin from l-tyrosine, 19.3 mg/L from glucose, 13.3 mg/L from xylose and 24.7 mg/L from glycerol. These results show that the metabolic route enables production of natural vanillin from low-cost substrates, suggesting that it is a good strategy to mimick natural pathways for artificial pathway design. PMID:26329726

  17. Mimicking a natural pathway for de novo biosynthesis: natural vanillin production from accessible carbon sources.

    PubMed

    Ni, Jun; Tao, Fei; Du, Huaiqing; Xu, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites have been attracting people's attention for centuries, due to their potentials; however, their production is still difficult and costly. The rich diversity of microbes and microbial genome sequence data provide unprecedented gene resources that enable to develop efficient artificial pathways in microorganisms. Here, by mimicking a natural pathway of plants using microbial genes, a new metabolic route was developed in E. coli for the synthesis of vanillin, the most widely used flavoring agent. A series of factors were systematically investigated for raising production, including efficiency and suitability of genes, gene dosage, and culture media. The metabolically engineered strain produced 97.2 mg/L vanillin from l-tyrosine, 19.3 mg/L from glucose, 13.3 mg/L from xylose and 24.7 mg/L from glycerol. These results show that the metabolic route enables production of natural vanillin from low-cost substrates, suggesting that it is a good strategy to mimick natural pathways for artificial pathway design. PMID:26329726

  18. Super Natural II--a database of natural products.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Priyanka; Erehman, Jevgeni; Gohlke, Björn-Oliver; Wilhelm, Thomas; Preissner, Robert; Dunkel, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    Natural products play a significant role in drug discovery and development. Many topological pharmacophore patterns are common between natural products and commercial drugs. A better understanding of the specific physicochemical and structural features of natural products is important for corresponding drug development. Several encyclopedias of natural compounds have been composed, but the information remains scattered or not freely available. The first version of the Supernatural database containing ∼ 50,000 compounds was published in 2006 to face these challenges. Here we present a new, updated and expanded version of natural product database, Super Natural II (http://bioinformatics.charite.de/supernatural), comprising ∼ 326,000 molecules. It provides all corresponding 2D structures, the most important structural and physicochemical properties, the predicted toxicity class for ∼ 170,000 compounds and the vendor information for the vast majority of compounds. The new version allows a template-based search for similar compounds as well as a search for compound names, vendors, specific physical properties or any substructures. Super Natural II also provides information about the pathways associated with synthesis and degradation of the natural products, as well as their mechanism of action with respect to structurally similar drugs and their target proteins. PMID:25300487

  19. Counting on natural products for drug design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Tiago; Reker, Daniel; Schneider, Petra; Schneider, Gisbert

    2016-06-01

    Natural products and their molecular frameworks have a long tradition as valuable starting points for medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Recently, there has been a revitalization of interest in the inclusion of these chemotypes in compound collections for screening and achieving selective target modulation. Here we discuss natural-product-inspired drug discovery with a focus on recent advances in the design of synthetically tractable small molecules that mimic nature's chemistry. We highlight the potential of innovative computational tools in processing structurally complex natural products to predict their macromolecular targets and attempt to forecast the role that natural-product-derived fragments and fragment-like natural products will play in next-generation drug discovery.

  20. Microbial Metabolite Production for Accelerated Metal and Radionuclide Bioremediation (Microbial Metabolite Production Report)

    SciTech Connect

    TURICK, CHARLES

    2004-09-21

    Biogeochemical activity is an ongoing and dynamic process due to bacterial activity in the subsurface. Bacteria contribute significantly to biotransformation of metals and radionuclides. As basic science reveals more information about specific mechanisms of bacterial-metal reduction, an even greater contribution of bacteria to biogeochemical activities is realized. An understanding and application of the mechanisms of metal and radionuclide reduction offers tremendous potential for development into bioremedial processes and technologies. Most bacteria are capable of biogeochemical transformation as a result of meeting nutrient requirements. These assimilatory mechanisms for metals transformation include production of small molecules that serve as electron shuttles for metal reduction. This contribution to biogeochemistry is small however due to only trace requirements for minerals by bacteria. Dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria (DMRB) reduce oxidized metals and insoluble mineral oxides as a means for biological energy production during growth. These types of bacteria offer considerable potential for bioremediation of environments contaminated with toxic metals and radionuclides because of the relatively large amount of metal biotransformation they require for growth. One of the mechanisms employed by some DMRB for electron transfer to insoluble metal oxides is melanin production. The electrochemical properties of melanin provide this polymeric, humic-type compound with electron shuttling properties. Melanin, specifically, pyomelanin, increases the rate and degree of metal reduction in DMRB as a function of pyomelanin concentration. Due to its electron shuttling behavior, only low femtogram quantities per cell are required to significantly increase metal reduction capacity of DMRB. Melanin production is not limited to DMRB. In fact melanin is one of the most common pigments produced by biological systems. Numerous soil microorganisms produce melanin, contributing

  1. C1-carbon sources for chemical and fuel production by microbial gas fermentation.

    PubMed

    Dürre, Peter; Eikmanns, Bernhard J

    2015-12-01

    Fossil resources for production of fuels and chemicals are finite and fuel use contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Thus, sustainable fuel supply, security, and prices necessitate the implementation of alternative routes to the production of chemicals and fuels. Much attention has been focussed on use of cellulosic material, particularly through microbial-based processes. However, this is still costly and proving challenging, as are catalytic routes to biofuels from whole biomass. An alternative strategy is to directly capture carbon before incorporation into lignocellulosic biomass. Autotrophic acetogenic, carboxidotrophic, and methanotrophic bacteria are able to capture carbon as CO, CO2, or CH4, respectively, and reuse that carbon in products that displace their fossil-derived counterparts. Thus, gas fermentation represents a versatile industrial platform for the sustainable production of commodity chemicals and fuels from diverse gas resources derived from industrial processes, coal, biomass, municipal solid waste (MSW), and extracted natural gas. PMID:25841103

  2. Microbial Diversity in Engineered Haloalkaline Environments Shaped by Shared Geochemical Drivers Observed in Natural Analogues.

    PubMed

    Santini, Talitha C; Warren, Lesley A; Kendra, Kathryn E

    2015-08-01

    Microbial communities in engineered terrestrial haloalkaline environments have been poorly characterized relative to their natural counterparts and are geologically recent in formation, offering opportunities to explore microbial diversity and assembly in dynamic, geochemically comparable contexts. In this study, the microbial community structure and geochemical characteristics of three geographically dispersed bauxite residue environments along a remediation gradient were assessed and subsequently compared with other engineered and natural haloalkaline systems. In bauxite residues, bacterial communities were similar at the phylum level (dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes) to those found in soda lakes, oil sands tailings, and nuclear wastes; however, they differed at lower taxonomic levels, with only 23% of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared with other haloalkaline environments. Although being less diverse than natural analogues, bauxite residue harbored substantial novel bacterial taxa, with 90% of OTUs nonmatchable to cultured representative sequences. Fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, consistent with previous studies of hypersaline environments, and also harbored substantial novel (73% of OTUs) taxa. In bauxite residues, community structure was clearly linked to geochemical and physical environmental parameters, with 84% of variation in bacterial and 73% of variation in fungal community structures explained by environmental parameters. The major driver of bacterial community structure (salinity) was consistent across natural and engineered environments; however, drivers differed for fungal community structure between natural (pH) and engineered (total alkalinity) environments. This study demonstrates that both engineered and natural terrestrial haloalkaline environments host substantial repositories of microbial diversity, which are strongly shaped by geochemical drivers. PMID:25979895

  3. Microbial Diversity in Engineered Haloalkaline Environments Shaped by Shared Geochemical Drivers Observed in Natural Analogues

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Lesley A.; Kendra, Kathryn E.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities in engineered terrestrial haloalkaline environments have been poorly characterized relative to their natural counterparts and are geologically recent in formation, offering opportunities to explore microbial diversity and assembly in dynamic, geochemically comparable contexts. In this study, the microbial community structure and geochemical characteristics of three geographically dispersed bauxite residue environments along a remediation gradient were assessed and subsequently compared with other engineered and natural haloalkaline systems. In bauxite residues, bacterial communities were similar at the phylum level (dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes) to those found in soda lakes, oil sands tailings, and nuclear wastes; however, they differed at lower taxonomic levels, with only 23% of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared with other haloalkaline environments. Although being less diverse than natural analogues, bauxite residue harbored substantial novel bacterial taxa, with 90% of OTUs nonmatchable to cultured representative sequences. Fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, consistent with previous studies of hypersaline environments, and also harbored substantial novel (73% of OTUs) taxa. In bauxite residues, community structure was clearly linked to geochemical and physical environmental parameters, with 84% of variation in bacterial and 73% of variation in fungal community structures explained by environmental parameters. The major driver of bacterial community structure (salinity) was consistent across natural and engineered environments; however, drivers differed for fungal community structure between natural (pH) and engineered (total alkalinity) environments. This study demonstrates that both engineered and natural terrestrial haloalkaline environments host substantial repositories of microbial diversity, which are strongly shaped by geochemical drivers. PMID:25979895

  4. Precipitation of iron minerals by a natural microbial consortium

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, D.A.; Sherriff, B.L.; Sparling, R.; Sawicki, J.A.

    1999-08-01

    A microbial biofilm consortium enriched from Shield surface water is able to mediate geochemical cycling of iron within a biofilm. Iron can be leached from Fe(II) containing minerals such as magnetite, biotite and ilmenite to generate a colloidal Fe(III) suspension. The Fe(III) can then be reduced back to Fe(II) by iron-reducing bacteria that utilize it as an electron acceptor. On precipitation, different iron compounds are formed depending on the ratio of iron to carbon in the media and upon the local environment. Moessbauer and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy show these compounds to include ferrous hydroxide, vivianite, ferrihydrite and hematite. These minerals may then become incorporated into stratifer iron deposits such as Banded Iron Formations.

  5. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  6. Functional chromatographic technique for natural product isolation†

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Eric C.; Mason, Damian J.; Eichhorst, Nicole; Engelder, Pearce; Mesa, Celestina; Kithsiri Wijeratne, E. M.; Gunaherath, G. M. Kamal B.; Leslie Gunatilaka, A. A.

    2015-01-01

    Natural product discovery arises through a unique interplay between chromatographic purification and biological assays. Currently, most techniques used for natural product purification deliver leads without a defined biological action. We now describe a technique, referred to herein as functional chromatography, that deploys biological affinity as the matrix for compound isolation. PMID:25588099

  7. Antimicrobial activity of natural products against Helicobacter pylori: a review.

    PubMed

    Bonifácio, Bruna Vidal; dos Santos Ramos, Matheus Aparecido; da Silva, Patricia Bento; Bauab, Taís Maria

    2014-01-01

    Throughout the genetic and physiological evolution of microorganisms, the microbiological sciences have been expanding the introduction of new therapeutic trials against microbial diseases. Special attention has been paid to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which induces gastric infections capable of causing damage, ranging from acute and chronic gastritis to the development of gastric cancer and death. The use of compounds with natural origins has gained popularity in scientific research focused on drug innovation against H. pylori because of their broad flexibility and low toxicity. The aim of this study was to describe the use of natural products against H. pylori in order to clarify important parameters for related fields. The study demonstrated the vast therapeutic possibilities for compounds originating from natural sources and revealed the need for innovations from future investigations to expand the therapeutic arsenal in the fight against H. pylori infection. PMID:25406585

  8. Microbial lipid production: screening with yeasts grown on Brazilian molasses.

    PubMed

    Vieira, J P F; Ienczak, J L; Rossell, C E V; Pradella, J G C; Franco, T T

    2014-12-01

    Rhodotorula glutinis CCT 2182, Rhodosporidium toruloides CCT 0783, Rhodotorula minuta CCT 1751 and Lipomyces starkeyi DSM 70296 were evaluated for the conversion of sugars from Brazilian molasses into single-cell oil (SCO) feedstock for biodiesel. Pulsed fed-batch fermentations were performed in 1.65 l working volume bioreactors. The maximum specific growth rate (µmax), lipid productivity (Pr) and cellular lipid content were, respectively, 0.23 h(-1), 0.41 g l(-1) h(-1), and 41% for Rsp. toruloides; 0.20 h(-1), 0.27 g l(-1) h(-1), and 36% for Rta. glutinis; 0.115 h(-1), 0.135 g l(-1) h(-1), and 27 % for Rta. minuta; and 0.11 h(-1), 0.13 g l(-1) h(-1), and 32% for L. starkeyi. Based on their microbial lipid productivity, content, and profile, Rsp. toruloides and Rta. glutinis are promising candidates for biodiesel production from Brazilian molasses. All the oils from the yeasts were similar to the composition of plant oils (rapeseed and soybean) and could be used as raw material for biofuels, as well as in food and nutraceutical products. PMID:25129045

  9. Microbial production of fatty acid-derived fuels and chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Lennen, Rebecca M; Pfleger, Brian F

    2013-01-01

    Fatty acid metabolism is an attractive route to produce liquid transportation fuels and commodity oleochemicals from renewable feedstocks. Recently, genes and enzymes, which comprise metabolic pathways for producing fatty acid-derived compounds (e.g. esters, alkanes, olefins, ketones, alcohols, polyesters) have been elucidated and used in engineered microbial hosts. The resulting strains often generate products at low percentages of maximum theoretical yields, leaving significant room for metabolic engineering. Economically viable processes will require strains to approach theoretical yields, particularly for replacement of petroleum-derived fuels. This review will describe recent progress toward this goal, highlighting the scientific discoveries of each pathway, ongoing biochemical studies to understand each enzyme, and metabolic engineering strategies that are being used to improve strain performance. PMID:23541503

  10. Microbial Primary Productivity in Hydrothermal Vent Chimneys at Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olins, H. C.; Rogers, D.; Frank, K. L.; Girguis, P. R.; Vidoudez, C.

    2012-12-01

    Chemosynthetic primary productivity supports hydrothermal vent ecosystems, but the extent of that productivity has not been well measured. To examine the role that environmental temperature plays in controlling carbon fixation rates, and to assess the degree to which microbial community composition, in situ geochemistry, and mineralogy influence carbon fixation, we conducted a series of shipboard incubations across a range of temperatures (4, 25, 50 and 90°C) and at environmentally relevant geochemical conditions using material recovered from three hydrothermal vent chimneys in the Middle Valley hydrothermal vent field (Juan de Fuca Ridge). Net rates of carbon fixation (CFX) were greatest at lower temperatures, and were similar among structures. Rates did not correlate with the mineralogy or the geochemical composition of the high temperature fluids at each chimney. No obvious patterns of association were observed between carbon fixation rates and microbial community composition. Abundance of selected functional genes related to different carbon fixation pathway exhibited striking differences among the three study sites, but did not correlate with rates. Natural carbon isotope ratios implicate the Calvin Benson Bassham Cycle as the dominant mechanism of primary production in these systems, despite the abundance of genes related to other pathways (and presumably some degree of activity). Together these data reveal that primary productivity by endolithic communities does not exhibit much variation among these chimneys, and further reveal that microbial activity cannot easily be related to mineralogical and geochemical assessments that are made at a coarser scale. Indeed, the relationships between carbon fixation rates and community composition/functional gene abundance were also likely obfuscated by differences in scale at which these measurements were made. Regardless, these data reveal the degree to which endolithic, anaerobic carbon fixation contributes to

  11. Microbial food web dynamics during spring phytoplankton blooms in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area (Southern Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christaki, U.; Lefèvre, D.; Georges, C.; Colombet, J.; Catala, P.; Courties, C.; Sime-Ngando, T.; Blain, S.; Obernosterer, I.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial food web dynamics were determined during the onset of several spring phytoplankton blooms induced by natural iron fertilization off Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean (KEOPS2). The abundances of heterotrophic bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates, bacterial heterotrophic production, bacterial respiration, and bacterial growth efficiency, were consistently higher in surface waters of the iron-fertilized sites than at the reference site in HNLC (high nutrient low chlorophyll) waters. The abundance of virus-like particles remained unchanged, but viral production increased by a factor of 6 in iron-fertilized waters. Bacterial heterotrophic production was significantly related to heterotrophic nanoflagellate abundance and viral production across all sites, with bacterial production explaining about 70 and 85%, respectively, of the variance of each in the mixed layer (ML). Estimated rates of grazing and viral lysis, however, indicated that heterotrophic nanoflagellates accounted for a substantially higher loss of bacterial production (50%) than viruses (11%). Combining these results with rates of primary production and export determined for the study area, a budget for the flow of carbon through the microbial food web and higher trophic levels during the early (KEOPS2) and the late phase (KEOPS1) of the Kerguelen bloom is provided.

  12. Microbial food web dynamics during spring phytoplankton blooms in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area (Southern Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christaki, U.; Lefèvre, D.; Georges, C.; Colombet, J.; Catala, P.; Courties, C.; Sime-Ngando, T.; Blain, S.; Obernosterer, I.

    2014-05-01

    Microbial food web dynamics were determined during the onset of several spring phytoplankton blooms induced by natural iron fertilization off Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean (KEOPS2). The abundances of heterotrophic bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates, bacterial heterotrophic production, bacterial respiration, and bacterial growth efficiency, were consistently higher in surface waters of the iron-fertilized sites than at the reference site in HNLC (high nutrient low chlorophyll) waters. The abundance of viral like particles remained unchanged, but viral production increased by a factor of 6 in iron-fertilized waters. Bacterial heterotrophic production was significantly related to heterotrophic nanoflagellate abundance and viral production across all sites, with bacterial production explaining about 70 and 85%, respectively, of the variance of each in the mixed layer (ML). Estimated rates of grazing and viral lysis, however, indicated that heterotrophic nanoflagellates accounted for a substantially higher loss of bacterial production (50%) than viruses (11%). Combining these results with rates of primary production and export determined for the study area, a budget for the flow of carbon through the microbial food web and higher levels during the early (KEOPS2) and the late phase (KEOPS1) of the Kerguelen bloom is provided.

  13. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  14. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  15. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  16. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  17. Natural Products for Pest Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Most organisms synthesize secondary products with biological activity that is useful in their defense. Defense can be against vertebrates, arthropods, mollusks, plants (both algal and higher plants), and microbes. Many of these compounds have been used from ancient times to the present as pharmace...

  18. Effects of encapsulation of microorganisms on product formation during microbial fermentations.

    PubMed

    Westman, Johan O; Ylitervo, Päivi; Franzén, Carl Johan; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J

    2012-12-01

    This paper reviews the latest developments in microbial products by encapsulated microorganisms in a liquid core surrounded by natural or synthetic membranes. Cells can be encapsulated in one or several steps using liquid droplet formation, pregel dissolving, coacervation, and interfacial polymerization. The use of encapsulated yeast and bacteria for fermentative production of ethanol, lactic acid, biogas, L-phenylacetylcarbinol, 1,3-propanediol, and riboflavin has been investigated. Encapsulated cells have furthermore been used for the biocatalytic conversion of chemicals. Fermentation, using encapsulated cells, offers various advantages compared to traditional cultivations, e.g., higher cell density, faster fermentation, improved tolerance of the cells to toxic media and high temperatures, and selective exclusion of toxic hydrophobic substances. However, mass transfer through the capsule membrane as well as the robustness of the capsules still challenge the utilization of encapsulated cells. The history and the current state of applying microbial encapsulation for production processes, along with the benefits and drawbacks concerning productivity and general physiology of the encapsulated cells, are discussed. PMID:23104646

  19. Recent progress in synthetic biology for microbial production of C3–C10 alcohols

    PubMed Central

    Lamsen, Edna N.; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-01-01

    The growing need to address current energy and environmental problems has sparked an interest in developing improved biological methods to produce liquid fuels from renewable sources. While microbial ethanol production is well established, higher-chain alcohols possess chemical properties that are more similar to gasoline. Unfortunately, these alcohols (except 1-butanol) are not produced efficiently in natural microorganisms, and thus economical production in industrial volumes remains a challenge. Synthetic biology, however, offers additional tools to engineer synthetic pathways in user-friendly hosts to help increase titers and productivity of these advanced biofuels. This review concentrates on recent developments in synthetic biology to produce higher-chain alcohols as viable renewable replacements for traditional fuel. PMID:22701113

  20. Natural Products for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    PubMed

    Ríos, José Luis; Francini, Flavio; Schinella, Guillermo R

    2015-08-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia. High blood sugar can produce long-term complications such as cardiovascular and renal disorders, retinopathy, and poor blood flow. Its development can be prevented or delayed in people with impaired glucose tolerance by implementing lifestyle changes or the use of therapeutic agents. Some of these drugs have been obtained from plants or have a microbial origin, such as galegine isolated from Galega officinalis, which has a great similarity to the antidiabetic drug metformin. Picnogenol, acarbose, miglitol, and voglibose are other antidiabetic products of natural origin. This review compiles the principal articles on medicinal plants used for treating diabetes and its comorbidities, as well as mechanisms of natural products as antidiabetic agents. Inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, effects on glucose uptake and glucose transporters, modification of mechanisms mediated by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B activity, modification of gene expression, and activities of hormones involved in glucose homeostasis such as adiponectin, resistin, and incretin, and reduction of oxidative stress are some of the mechanisms in which natural products are involved. We also review the most relevant clinical trials performed with medicinal plants and natural products such as aloe, banaba, bitter melon, caper, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, fenugreek, garlic, guava, gymnema, nettle, sage, soybean, green and black tea, turmeric, walnut, and yerba mate. Compounds of high interest as potential antidiabetics are: fukugetin, palmatine, berberine, honokiol, amorfrutins, trigonelline, gymnemic acids, gurmarin, and phlorizin. PMID:26132858

  1. Genomes to natural products PRediction Informatics for Secondary Metabolomes (PRISM).

    PubMed

    Skinnider, Michael A; Dejong, Chris A; Rees, Philip N; Johnston, Chad W; Li, Haoxin; Webster, Andrew L H; Wyatt, Morgan A; Magarvey, Nathan A

    2015-11-16

    Microbial natural products are an invaluable source of evolved bioactive small molecules and pharmaceutical agents. Next-generation and metagenomic sequencing indicates untapped genomic potential, yet high rediscovery rates of known metabolites increasingly frustrate conventional natural product screening programs. New methods to connect biosynthetic gene clusters to novel chemical scaffolds are therefore critical to enable the targeted discovery of genetically encoded natural products. Here, we present PRISM, a computational resource for the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters, prediction of genetically encoded nonribosomal peptides and type I and II polyketides, and bio- and cheminformatic dereplication of known natural products. PRISM implements novel algorithms which render it uniquely capable of predicting type II polyketides, deoxygenated sugars, and starter units, making it a comprehensive genome-guided chemical structure prediction engine. A library of 57 tailoring reactions is leveraged for combinatorial scaffold library generation when multiple potential substrates are consistent with biosynthetic logic. We compare the accuracy of PRISM to existing genomic analysis platforms. PRISM is an open-source, user-friendly web application available at http://magarveylab.ca/prism/. PMID:26442528

  2. Genomes to natural products PRediction Informatics for Secondary Metabolomes (PRISM)

    PubMed Central

    Skinnider, Michael A.; Dejong, Chris A.; Rees, Philip N.; Johnston, Chad W.; Li, Haoxin; Webster, Andrew L. H.; Wyatt, Morgan A.; Magarvey, Nathan A.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial natural products are an invaluable source of evolved bioactive small molecules and pharmaceutical agents. Next-generation and metagenomic sequencing indicates untapped genomic potential, yet high rediscovery rates of known metabolites increasingly frustrate conventional natural product screening programs. New methods to connect biosynthetic gene clusters to novel chemical scaffolds are therefore critical to enable the targeted discovery of genetically encoded natural products. Here, we present PRISM, a computational resource for the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters, prediction of genetically encoded nonribosomal peptides and type I and II polyketides, and bio- and cheminformatic dereplication of known natural products. PRISM implements novel algorithms which render it uniquely capable of predicting type II polyketides, deoxygenated sugars, and starter units, making it a comprehensive genome-guided chemical structure prediction engine. A library of 57 tailoring reactions is leveraged for combinatorial scaffold library generation when multiple potential substrates are consistent with biosynthetic logic. We compare the accuracy of PRISM to existing genomic analysis platforms. PRISM is an open-source, user-friendly web application available at http://magarveylab.ca/prism/. PMID:26442528

  3. Targeting Nuclear Receptors with Marine Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chunyan; Li, Qianrong; Li, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are important pharmaceutical targets because they are key regulators of many metabolic and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, dyslipidemia, cirrhosis, and fibrosis. As ligands play a pivotal role in modulating nuclear receptor activity, the discovery of novel ligands for nuclear receptors represents an interesting and promising therapeutic approach. The search for novel NR agonists and antagonists with enhanced selectivities prompted the exploration of the extraordinary chemical diversity associated with natural products. Recent studies involving nuclear receptors have disclosed a number of natural products as nuclear receptor ligands, serving to re-emphasize the translational possibilities of natural products in drug discovery. In this review, the natural ligands of nuclear receptors will be described with an emphasis on their mechanisms of action and their therapeutic potentials, as well as on strategies to determine potential marine natural products as nuclear receptor modulators. PMID:24473166

  4. Autochthonous microbial community associated with pine needle forest litterfall influences its degradation under natural environmental conditions.

    PubMed

    Mahajan, Rishi; Nikitina, Anna; Litti, Yury; Nozhevnikova, Alla; Goel, Gunjan

    2016-07-01

    The slow natural degradation of chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) needle litterfall and its accumulation on forest floors have been attributed to its lignocellulosic complexities of the biomass. The present study offers a microbiological insight into the role of autochthonous microflora associated with pine needle litterfall in its natural degradation. The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting indicated actinomycetes (Saccharomonospora sp., Glycomyces sp., Agrococcus sp., Leifsonia sp., Blastocatella sp., and Microbacterium sp.) as a dominant microbial community associated with pine needle litterfall with the absence of fungal decomposers. On exclusion of associated autochthonous microflora from pine litterfall resulted in colonization by decomposer fungi identified as Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus sp., which otherwise failed to colonize the litterfall under natural conditions. The results, therefore, indicated that the autochthonous microbial community of pine needle litterfall (dominated by actinomycetes) obstructs the colonization of litter-degrading fungi and subsequently hinders the overall process of natural degradation of litterfall. PMID:27317052

  5. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  6. Microbial reverse electrodialysis cells for synergistically enhanced power production.

    PubMed

    Kim, Younggy; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-07-01

    A new type of bioelectrochemical system for producing electrical power, called a microbial reverse-electrodialysis cell (MRC), was developed to increase voltages and power densities compared to those generated individually by microbial fuel cells (MFCs) or reverse electrodialysis (RED) systems. In RED systems, electrode overpotentials create significant energy losses due to thermodynamically unfavorable electrode reactions, and therefore a large number of stacked cells must be used to have significant energy recovery. This results in high capital costs for the large number of membranes, and increases energy losses from pumping water through a large number of cells. In an MRC, high overpotentials are avoided through oxidation of organic matter by exoelectrogenic bacteria on the anode and oxygen reduction on the cathode. An MRC containing only five pairs of RED cells, fed solutions typical of seawater (600 mM NaCl) and river water (12 mM NaCl) at 0.85 mL/min, produced up to 3.6 W/m(2) (cathode surface area) and 1.2-1.3 V with acetate as a substrate. Pumping accounted for <2% of the produced power. A higher flow rate (1.55 mL/min) increased power densities up to 4.3 W/m(2). COD removal was 98% with a Coulombic efficiency of 64%. Power production by the individual components was substantially lower with 0.7 W/m(2) without salinity driven energy, and <0.015 W/m(2) with reduced exoelectrogenic activity due to substrate depletion. These results show that the combination of an MFC and a RED stack synergistically increases performance relative to the individual systems, producing a new type of system that can be used to more efficiently capture salinity driven energy from seawater and river water. PMID:21644573

  7. Microbial liquefaction of peat for the production of synthetic fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Gunasekaran, M.

    1988-01-01

    Objectives of this study were: to evaluate the potential of using various microorganisms to hydrolyse and liquify peat; to determine the optimal conditions for peat hydrolysis and liquefaction; to study the co-metabolizable substances; to separate the compounds present in liquified peat by alumina and silica acid chromatography and capillary gas chromatography; and to identify the compounds in liquified peat by capillary GC-Mass spectrometry. Organisms used in the study include: Coprinus comatus, Coriolus hirsutus, Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinus edodes, Lenzites trabea, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pleurotus ostreatus, P. sapidus, Polyporus adjustus, Neurospora sitophila, Rhizophus arrhizus, Bacillus subtilis, Acinetobacter sp. and Alcaligenes sp. The fungi were maintained and cultivated in potato dextrose agar at 30 C. The bacteria were maintained in nutrient agar at 30 C. We have also initiated work on coal solubilization in addition to the studies on peat liquefaction. A relatively new substratum or semi-solid base for culture media called Pluronic F-127, or Polyol (BASF, New Jersey). Objectives of this study were: (1) to study the growth patterns of Candida ML 13 on pluronic as substratum; (2) to determine the rate of microbial coal solubilization on pluronic F-127 amended in different growth media; (3) to separate the mycelial mat of Candida ML 13 from unsolubilized coal particles and solubilized coal products from pluronic F-127; (4) to determine the effects of pH on microbial coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media; (5) the effect of concentration of pluronic F-127 in media on coal solubilization; and, (6) to study the role of extracellular factors secreted by Candida ML 13 on coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media. Results are discussed. 4 refs.

  8. Changes in microbial communities in coastal sediments along natural CO2 gradients at a volcanic vent in Papua New Guinea.

    PubMed

    Raulf, Felix F; Fabricius, Katharina; Uthicke, Sven; de Beer, Dirk; Abed, Raeid M M; Ramette, Alban

    2015-10-01

    Natural CO2 venting systems can mimic conditions that resemble intermediate to high pCO2 levels as predicted for our future oceans. They represent ideal sites to investigate potential long-term effects of ocean acidification on marine life. To test whether microbes are affected by prolonged exposure to pCO2 levels, we examined the composition and diversity of microbial communities in oxic sandy sediments along a natural CO2 gradient. Increasing pCO2 was accompanied by higher bacterial richness and by a strong increase in rare members in both bacterial and archaeal communities. Microbial communities from sites with CO2 concentrations close to today's conditions had different structures than those of sites with elevated CO2 levels. We also observed increasing sequence abundance of several organic matter degrading types of Flavobacteriaceae and Rhodobacteraceae, which paralleled concurrent shifts in benthic cover and enhanced primary productivity. With increasing pCO2 , sequences related to bacterial nitrifying organisms such as Nitrosococcus and Nitrospirales decreased, and sequences affiliated to the archaeal ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota Nitrosopumilus maritimus increased. Our study suggests that microbial community structure and diversity, and likely key ecosystem functions, may be altered in coastal sediments by long-term CO2 exposure to levels predicted for the end of the century. PMID:25471738

  9. New Synthetic Methods for Hypericum Natural Products

    SciTech Connect

    Insik Jeon

    2006-12-12

    Organic chemistry has served as a solid foundation for interdisciplinary research areas, such as molecular biology and medicinal chemistry. An understanding of the biological activities and structural elucidations of natural products can lead to the development of clinically valuable therapeutic options. The advancements of modern synthetic methodologies allow for more elaborate and concise natural product syntheses. The theme of this study centers on the synthesis of natural products with particularly challenging structures and interesting biological activities. The synthetic expertise developed here will be applicable to analog syntheses and to other research problems.

  10. Effects of Environmental Toxicants on Metabolic Activity of Natural Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Barnhart, Carole L. H.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1983-01-01

    Two methods of measuring microbial activity were used to study the effects of toxicants on natural microbial communities. The methods were compared for suitability for toxicity testing, sensitivity, and adaptability to field applications. This study included measurements of the incorporation of 14C-labeled acetate into microbial lipids and microbial glucosidase activity. Activities were measured per unit biomass, determined as lipid phosphate. The effects of various organic and inorganic toxicants on various natural microbial communities were studied. Both methods were useful in detecting toxicity, and their comparative sensitivities varied with the system studied. In one system, the methods showed approximately the same sensitivities in testing the effects of metals, but the acetate incorporation method was more sensitive in detecting the toxicity of organic compounds. The incorporation method was used to study the effects of a point source of pollution on the microbiota of a receiving stream. Toxic doses were found to be two orders of magnitude higher in sediments than in water taken from the same site, indicating chelation or adsorption of the toxicant by the sediment. The microbiota taken from below a point source outfall was 2 to 100 times more resistant to the toxicants tested than was that taken from above the outfall. Downstream filtrates in most cases had an inhibitory effect on the natural microbiota taken from above the pollution source. The microbial methods were compared with commonly used bioassay methods, using higher organisms, and were found to be similar in ability to detect comparative toxicities of compounds, but were less sensitive than methods which use standard media because of the influences of environmental factors. PMID:16346432

  11. Natural antioxidants in meat and poultry products.

    PubMed

    Karre, Liz; Lopez, Keyla; Getty, Kelly J K

    2013-06-01

    In response to recent claims that synthetic antioxidants have the potential to cause toxicological effects and consumers' increased interest in purchasing natural products, the meat and poultry industry has been seeking sources of natural antioxidants. Due to their high phenolic compound content, fruits and other plant materials provide a good alternative to conventional antioxidants. Plum, grape seed extract, cranberry, pomegranate, bearberry, pine bark extract, rosemary, oregano, and other spices functions as antioxidants in meat and poultry products. Pomegranate, pine bark extract, cinnamon, and cloves have exhibited stronger antioxidant properties than some synthetic options. Plum products, grape seed extract, pine bark extract, rosemary, and some spices all have been shown to affect the color of finished meat or poultry products; however, in some products such as pork sausage or uncured meats, an increase in red color may be desired. When selecting a natural antioxidant, sensory and quality impact on the product should be considered to achieve desired traits. PMID:23501254

  12. Polyhydroxybutyrate production from lactate using a mixed microbial culture.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yang; Marang, Leonie; Kleerebezem, Robbert; Muyzer, Gerard; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M

    2011-09-01

    In this study we investigated the use of lactate and a lactate/acetate mixture for enrichment of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) producing mixed cultures. The mixed cultures were enriched in sequencing batch reactors (SBR) that established a feast-famine regime. The SBRs were operated under conditions that were previously shown to enable enrichment of a superior PHB producing strain on acetate (i.e., 12 h cycle length, 1 day SRT and 30°C). Two new mixed cultures were eventually enriched from activated sludge. The mixed culture enriched on lactate was dominated by a novel gammaproteobacterium. This enrichment can accumulate over 90 wt% PHB within 6 h, which is currently the best result reported for a bacterial culture in terms of the final PHB content and the biomass specific PHB production rate. The second mixed culture enriched on a mixture of acetate and lactate can produce up to 84 wt% PHB in just over 8 h. The predominant bacterial species in this culture were Plasticicumulans acidivorans and Thauera selenatis, which have both been reported to accumulate large amounts of PHB. The data suggest that P. acidivorans is a specialist on acetate conversion, whereas Thauera sp. is a specialist on lactate conversion. The main conclusion of this work is that the use of different substrates has a direct impact on microbial composition, but has no significant effect on the functionality of PHB production process. PMID:21455932

  13. Clostridium ljungdahlii represents a microbial production platform based on syngas

    PubMed Central

    Köpke, Michael; Held, Claudia; Hujer, Sandra; Liesegang, Heiko; Wiezer, Arnim; Wollherr, Antje; Ehrenreich, Armin; Liebl, Wolfgang; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Dürre, Peter

    2010-01-01

    Clostridium ljungdahlii is an anaerobic homoacetogen, able to ferment sugars, other organic compounds, or CO2/H2 and synthesis gas (CO/H2). The latter feature makes it an interesting microbe for the biotech industry, as important bulk chemicals and proteins can be produced at the expense of CO2, thus combining industrial needs with sustained reduction of CO and CO2 in the atmosphere. Sequencing the complete genome of C. ljungdahlii revealed that it comprises 4,630,065 bp and is one of the largest clostridial genomes known to date. Experimental data and in silico comparisons revealed a third mode of anaerobic homoacetogenic metabolism. Unlike other organisms such as Moorella thermoacetica or Acetobacterium woodii, neither cytochromes nor sodium ions are involved in energy generation. Instead, an Rnf system is present, by which proton translocation can be performed. An electroporation procedure has been developed to transform the organism with plasmids bearing heterologous genes for butanol production. Successful expression of these genes could be demonstrated, leading to formation of the biofuel. Thus, C. ljungdahlii can be used as a unique microbial production platform based on synthesis gas and carbon dioxide/hydrogen mixtures. PMID:20616070

  14. Clostridium ljungdahlii represents a microbial production platform based on syngas.

    PubMed

    Köpke, Michael; Held, Claudia; Hujer, Sandra; Liesegang, Heiko; Wiezer, Arnim; Wollherr, Antje; Ehrenreich, Armin; Liebl, Wolfgang; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Dürre, Peter

    2010-07-20

    Clostridium ljungdahlii is an anaerobic homoacetogen, able to ferment sugars, other organic compounds, or CO(2)/H(2) and synthesis gas (CO/H(2)). The latter feature makes it an interesting microbe for the biotech industry, as important bulk chemicals and proteins can be produced at the expense of CO(2), thus combining industrial needs with sustained reduction of CO and CO(2) in the atmosphere. Sequencing the complete genome of C. ljungdahlii revealed that it comprises 4,630,065 bp and is one of the largest clostridial genomes known to date. Experimental data and in silico comparisons revealed a third mode of anaerobic homoacetogenic metabolism. Unlike other organisms such as Moorella thermoacetica or Acetobacterium woodii, neither cytochromes nor sodium ions are involved in energy generation. Instead, an Rnf system is present, by which proton translocation can be performed. An electroporation procedure has been developed to transform the organism with plasmids bearing heterologous genes for butanol production. Successful expression of these genes could be demonstrated, leading to formation of the biofuel. Thus, C. ljungdahlii can be used as a unique microbial production platform based on synthesis gas and carbon dioxide/hydrogen mixtures. PMID:20616070

  15. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Maria R.; Blandón, Lina Marcela; Vandenberghe, Luciana P. S.; Rodrigues, Cristine; Castro, Guillermo R.; Thomaz-Soccol, Vanete; Soccol, Carlos R.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir’s exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir’s microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance. PMID:26579086

  16. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). The SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast fermentation

  17. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). Themore » SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast

  18. Microbial production of surfactants and their commercial potential.

    PubMed Central

    Desai, J D; Banat, I M

    1997-01-01

    Many microorganisms, especially bacteria, produce biosurfactants when grown on water-immiscible substrates. Biosurfactants are more effective, selective, environmentally friendly, and stable than many synthetic surfactants. Most common biosurfactants are glycolipids in which carbohydrates are attached to a long-chain aliphatic acid, while others, like lipopeptides, lipoproteins, and heteropolysaccharides, are more complex. Rapid and reliable methods for screening and selection of biosurfactant-producing microorganisms and evaluation of their activity have been developed. Genes involved in rhamnolipid synthesis (rhlAB) and regulation (rhlI and rhlR) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are characterized, and expression of rhlAB in heterologous hosts is discussed. Genes for surfactin production (sfp, srfA, and comA) in Bacillus spp. are also characterized. Fermentative production of biosurfactants depends primarily on the microbial strain, source of carbon and nitrogen, pH, temperature, and concentration of oxygen and metal ions. Addition of water-immiscible substrates to media and nitrogen and iron limitations in the media result in an overproduction of some biosurfactants. Other important advances are the use of water-soluble substrates and agroindustrial wastes for production, development of continuous recovery processes, and production through biotransformation. Commercialization of biosurfactants in the cosmetic, food, health care, pulp- and paper-processing, coal, ceramic, and metal industries has been proposed. However, the most promising applications are cleaning of oil-contaminated tankers, oil spill management, transportation of heavy crude oil, enhanced oil recovery, recovery of crude oil from sludge, and bioremediation of sites contaminated with hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other pollutants. Perspectives for future research and applications are also discussed. PMID:9106364

  19. Soluble microbial products in ABR treating low-strength wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Barker, D.J.; Salvi, S.M.L.; Langenhoff, A.A.M.; Stuckey, D.C.

    2000-03-01

    The chemical composition, molecular weight (MW) distribution, and biodegradability (both aerobic and anaerobic) of soluble microbial products (SMPs) in an anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) treating low-strength wastewater were investigated. The effect of various process parameters on the production of SMPs was also examined. Results indicated that high MW (>300 kDa) compounds were produced in the middle compartments of the reactor and formed 22% of the effluent chemical oxygen demand (COD). This fraction was found to be 86% degradable under aerobic conditions but only 4% under anaerobic conditions. Low MW (<1 kDa) material represented the highest portion (36%) of the effluent COD and was mainly found in the first compartment of the ABR and in the effluent. This fraction was more easily degraded under anaerobic conditions (33%) than aerobic conditions (17%). Analysis of a hydrolyzed sample of the high MW fraction revealed the presence of several sugars and volatile fatty acids. Therefore, it was concluded that the high MW material contains heteropolysaccharides. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the low MW fraction revealed the possible presence of alcohol, carboxylate, and aromatic chemical groups. SMP production increased with increasing hydraulic retention time (HRT), probably due to enhanced biomass decay at high HRTs, and also increased with decreasing temperature, probably due to increased stress on the biomass and a reduced metabolism of the SMP at low temperatures. Finally, SMP production in an ABR containing higher levels of initial biomass concentration was greater than for an ABR operating at the same conditions but with lower levels of initial biomass.

  20. A comparative evaluation of different types of microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangli; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Haiping; Cheng, Xing; Zhang, Renduo; Teng, Wenkai

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate different microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production. The systems included microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC), microbial electrolysis desalination cell (MEDC) with bipolar membrane and anion exchange membrane (BP-A MEDC), MEDC with bipolar membrane and cation exchange membrane (BP-C MEDC), and modified microbial desalination cell (M-MDC). The microbial electrolysis desalination cells performed differently in terms of malic acid production and energy consumption. The MEDCC performed best with the highest malic acid production rate (18.4 ± 0.6 mmol/Lh) and the lowest energy consumption (0.35 ± 0.14 kWh/kg). The best performance of MEDCC was attributable to the neutral pH condition in the anode chamber, the lowest internal resistance, and the highest Geobacter percentage of the anode biofilm population among all the reactors. PMID:26367771

  1. Production of bioavailable and refractory dissolved organic matter by coastal heterotrophic microbial populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lønborg, Christian; Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé A.; Davidson, Keith; Miller, Axel E. J.

    2009-05-01

    Production of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by heterotrophic microbial communities isolated from Loch Creran (Scotland) was studied in time course incubations in which cells were re-suspended in artificial seawater amended with variable proportions of glucose, ammonium and phosphate. The incubation experiments demonstrated that microheterotrophs released part of the substrate as new DOM, with a production efficiency of 11 ± 1% for DOC, 18 ± 2% for DON and 17 ± 2% for DOP. Estimating the impact of this production in Loch Creran, showed that from 3 ± 1% (DOC) to 72 ± 16% (DOP) of DOM could originate from the heterotrophic microbial community. The produced DOM (PDOM) was both bioavailable (BDOM) and refractory (RDOM). Bioavailability as assessed by the difference between the maximum and the end DOM concentration, was generally higher than found in natural systems, with DOP (73 ± 15%, average ± SD) more bioavailable than DON (70 ± 15%), and DON than DOC (34 ± 13%). The stoichiometry of PDOM was linked to both nutrient uptake and BDOM ratios. Absorption and fluorescence of DOM increased significantly during the incubation time, indicating that microheterotrophs were also a source of coloured DOM (CDOM) and that they produce both bioavailable protein-like and refractory humic-like fluorophores.

  2. Microbial Diversity Associated with Odor Modification for Production of Fertilizers from Chicken Litter†

    PubMed Central

    Enticknap, Julie J.; Nonogaki, Hirofumi; Place, Allen R.; Hill, Russell T.

    2006-01-01

    Litter from the chicken industry can present several environmental challenges, including offensive odors and runoff into waterways leading to eutrophication. An economically viable solution to the disposal of waste from chicken houses is treatment to produce a natural, granulated fertilizer that can be commercially marketed for garden and commercial use. Odor of the final product is important in consumer acceptance, and an earthy odor is desirable. By understanding and manipulating the microbial processes occurring during this process, it may be possible to modify the odors produced. Geosmin and related volatiles produced by soil actinomycetes are responsible for earthy odors, and actinomycetes are likely to be present in the composting manure. Bacterial communities at each stage of the process were analyzed by culturing studies and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The processing steps changed the culturable bacterial community, but the total community was shown by DGGE to be stable throughout the process. A local agricultural soil was analyzed in parallel as a potential source of geosmin-producing actinomycetes. This agricultural soil had higher microbial diversity than the compost at both the culturable and the molecular levels. Actinomycete bacteria were isolated and analyzed by AromaTrax, a gas chromatography-olfactometry system. This system enables the odor production of individual isolates to be monitored, allowing for rational selection of strains for augmentation experiments to improve the odor of the final fertilizer product. PMID:16751521

  3. Microbial bioavailability of 2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) in natural sediments from major rivers of China.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Baotong; Xia, Xinghui; Wu, Shan; Lu, Xiaoxia; Yin, Xin'an

    2016-06-01

    Microbial degradation plays a crucial role in eliminating polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in environments. However, the microbial bioavailability of PBDEs in aquatic sediments is not well understood. In this work, the bioavailability of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), a typical PBDE congener, to PBDE-degrading microorganisms in natural sediments from six Chinese rivers under anaerobic conditions was investigated. The contents of black carbon (BC) and total organic carbon (TOC) in the six sediment samples were in the range of 0.025%-0.30% and 0.03%-3.38%, respectively. BDE-47 desorption from various sediments was fitted well with the first-order three-compartment desorption model. The desorbing fraction of sediment-associated BDE-47 at each desorption time interval exhibited a significant negative correlation with the BC content (p < 0.01). In the sediments, the anaerobic debromination of BDE-47 by microorganisms underwent a stepwise debromination pathway generating mainly three lower brominated congeners (BDE-28, -17 and -4). The microbial debromination ratio of BDE-47 ranged from 4.21% to 7.89% in various sediments after 120 d incubation anaerobically, and it negatively correlated with the content of sediment BC significantly (p < 0.01). However, the desorbing fraction and microbial debromination ratio of BDE-47 only showed weak correlations with the TOC content in sediments (p > 0.05). Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation of desorbing fraction of BDE-47 from sediments with its microbial debromination ratio (p < 0.01) as well as with the level of its three lower brominated products (p < 0.05) after the first 20 d incubation. This study suggests that the BDE-47 bioavailability to microorganisms in anaerobic river sediments is mainly influenced by the content of sediment BC which controls the desorbing fraction of sediment-associated BDE-47. PMID:27031801

  4. Cancer wars: Natural products strike back

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basmadjian, Christine; Zhao, Qian; Djehal, Amel; Bentouhami, Embarek; Nebigil, Canan; Johnson, Roger; Serova, Maria; De Gramont, Armand; Faivre, Sandrine; Raymond, Eric; Désaubry, Laurent

    2014-05-01

    Natural products have historically been a mainstay source of anticancer drugs, but in the 90’s they fell out of favor in pharmaceutical companies with the emergence of targeted therapies, which rely on antibodies or small synthetic molecules identified by high throughput screening. Although targeted therapies greatly improved the treatment of a few cancers, the benefit has remained disappointing for many sol¬¬id tumors, which revitalized the interest in natural products. With the approval of rapamycin in 2007, twelve novel natural product derivatives have been brought to market. The present review describes the discovery and development of these new anticancer drugs and highlights the peculiarities of natural product and new trends in this exciting field of drug discovery.

  5. Cancer wars: natural products strike back

    PubMed Central

    Basmadjian, Christine; Zhao, Qian; Bentouhami, Embarek; Djehal, Amel; Nebigil, Canan G.; Johnson, Roger A.; Serova, Maria; de Gramont, Armand; Faivre, Sandrine; Raymond, Eric; Désaubry, Laurent G.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products have historically been a mainstay source of anticancer drugs, but in the 90's they fell out of favor in pharmaceutical companies with the emergence of targeted therapies, which rely on antibodies or small synthetic molecules identified by high throughput screening. Although targeted therapies greatly improved the treatment of a few cancers, the benefit has remained disappointing for many solid tumors, which revitalized the interest in natural products. With the approval of rapamycin in 2007, 12 novel natural product derivatives have been brought to market. The present review describes the discovery and development of these new anticancer drugs and highlights the peculiarities of natural product and new trends in this exciting field of drug discovery. PMID:24822174

  6. Microbially-Enhanced Coal Bed Methane: Strategies for Increased Biogenic Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, K.; Barhart, E. P.; Schweitzer, H. D.; Cunningham, A. B.; Gerlach, R.; Hiebert, R.; Fields, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    Coal is the largest fossil fuel resource in the United States. Most of this coal is deep in the subsurface making it costly and potentially dangerous to extract. However, in many of these deep coal seams, methane, the main component of natural gas, has been discovered and successfully harvested. Coal bed methane (CBM) currently accounts for approximately 7.5% of the natural gas produced in the U.S. Combustion of natural gas produces substantially less CO2 and toxic emissions (e.g. heavy metals) than combustion of coal or oil thereby making it a cleaner energy source. In the large coal seams of the Powder River Basin (PRB) in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming, CBM is produced almost entirely by biogenic processes. The in situ conversion of coal to CBM by the native microbial community is of particular interest for present and future natural gas sources as it provides the potential to harvest energy from coal seams with lesser environmental impacts than mining and burning coal. Research at Montana State University has shown the potential for enhancing the subsurface microbial processes that produce CBM. Long-term batch enrichments have investigated the methane enhancement potential of yeast extract as well as algal and cyanobacterial biomass additions with increased methane production observed with all three additions when compared to no addition. Future work includes quantification of CBM enhancement and normalization of additions. This presentation addresses the options thus far investigated for increasing CBM production and the next steps for developing the enhanced in situ conversion of coal to CBM.

  7. A sea of biosynthesis: marine natural products meet the molecular age†

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Amy L.; Moore, Bradley S.

    2011-01-01

    The years 2000 through mid-2010 marked a transformational period in understanding of the biosynthesis of marine natural products. During this decade the field emerged from one largely dominated by chemical approaches to understanding biosynthetic pathways to one incorporating the full force of modern molecular biology and bioinformatics. Fusion of chemical and biological approaches yielded great advances in understanding the genetic and enzymatic basis for marine natural product biosynthesis. Progress was particularly pronounced for marine microbes, especially actinomycetes and cyanobacteria. During this single decade, both the first complete marine microbial natural product biosynthetic gene cluster sequence was released as well as the first entire genome sequence for a secondary metabolite-rich marine microbe. The decade also saw tremendous progress in recognizing the key role of marine microbial symbionts of invertebrates in natural product biosynthesis. Application of genetic and enzymatic knowledge led to genetic engineering of novel “unnatural” natural products during this time, as well as opportunities for discovery of novel natural products through genome mining. The current review highlights selected seminal studies from 2000 through to June 2010 that illustrate breakthroughs in understanding of marine natural product biosynthesis at the genetic, enzymatic, and small-molecule natural product levels. A total of 154 references are cited. PMID:21170424

  8. Microbial transformations of natural organic compounds and radionuclides in subsurface environments

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.

    1985-10-01

    A major national concern in the subsurface disposal of energy wastes is the contamination of ground and surface waters by waste leachates containing radionuclides, toxic metals, and organic compounds. Microorganisms play an important role in the transformation of organic compounds, radionuclides, and toxic metals present in the waste and affect their mobility in subsurface environments. Microbial processes involved in dissolution, mobilization, and immobilization of toxic metals under aerobic and anaerobic conditions are briefly reviewed. Metal complexing agents and several organic acids produced by microbial action affect mobilization of radionuclides and toxic metals in subsurface environments. Information on the persistence of and biodegradation rates of synthetic as well as microbiologically produced complexing agents is scarce but important in determining the mobility of metal organic complexes in subsoils. Several gaps in knowledge in the area of microbial transformation of naturally occurring organics, radionuclides, and toxic metals have been identified, and further basic research has been suggested. 31 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  9. Modeling microbial competition in food: application to the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes and lactic acid flora in pork meat products.

    PubMed

    Cornu, M; Billoir, E; Bergis, H; Beaufort, A; Zuliani, V

    2011-06-01

    Competition between background microflora and microbial pathogens raises questions about the application of predictive microbiology in situ, i.e., in non-sterile naturally contaminated foods. In this article, we present a review of the models developed in predictive microbiology to describe interactions between microflora in foods, with a special focus on two approaches: one based on the Jameson effect (simultaneous deceleration of all microbial populations) and one based on the Lotka-Volterra competition model. As an illustration of the potential of these models, we propose various modeling examples in estimation and in prediction of microbial growth curves, all related to the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes with lactic acid bacteria in three pork meat products (fresh pork meat and two types of diced bacon). PMID:21511123

  10. Efficacy of natural biocide on control of microbial induced corrosion in oil pipelines mediated by Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Desulfovibrio gigas.

    PubMed

    Lavania, Meeta; Sarma, Priyangshu M; Mandal, Ajoy K; Cheema, Simrita; Lal, Banwari

    2011-01-01

    We compared the efficacy of a natural biocide with four chemical tetrakishydroxymethyl phosphonium sulfonate, benzyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, and formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, to control microbial induced corrosion in oil pipelines. The efficacy of biocides were monitored against Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Desulfovibrio gigas in experimental pipes by measuring cell counts, H2S production, Fe(II) production, production of extracellular polymeric substances and structure of biofilm. The treatment with cow urine had minimum planktonic cell counts of 3 x 10(2) CFU/mL as well as biofilm cell counts of 9 x 10(1) CFU/mL as compared with tetrakishydroxyl methyl phosphonium sulfonate, benzyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde. Sulfide production was the lowest with cow urine (0.08 mmol/L), followed by tetrakishydroxymethyl phosphonium sulfonate 0.72 mmol/L. On day 90 of treatment, Fe(II) production was also found to be the lowest with cow urine. The scanning electron microscopic studies indicated that the biofilm bacteria were killed by cow urine. These results demonstrate the cow urine mediated control of microbially induced corrosion, and this is indicative of its potential as a viable substitute of toxic biocides. To the best of our knowledge, this seems to be the first report which screens possible biocidal activity by cow urine as compared to the most common biocides which oil industry is currently using. PMID:22128548

  11. Microbial Interactions with Natural Organic Matter Extracted from the Oak Ridge FRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, X.; Jagadamma, S.; Lancaster, A.; Adams, M. W. W.; Hazen, T.; Justice, N.; Chakraborty, R.

    2015-12-01

    Natural organic matter (NOM) is central to microbial food webs; however, little is known about the interplay between the physical and chemical characteristics of NOM and its turnover by microbial communities based upon biotic and abiotic parameters (e.g., biogenic precursors, redox state, bioavailability). Microbial activity changes the structures and properties that influence further bioavailability of NOM. To date, our understanding of these interactions is insufficient, and indigenous microbial activities that regulate NOM turnover are poorly resolved. It is critical to identify NOM characteristics to the structure and composition of microbial communities and to the metabolic potential of that community. Towards that end, sediment samples collected from the background area well FW305 (Oak Ridge Field Research Center, Oak Ridge, TN) were tested for NOM extraction methods that used three mild solvents, e.g., phosphate buffered saline (PBS), pyrophosphate, and MilliQ-water. MilliQ-water was finally chosen for extracting sediment samples via shaking and sonication. Groundwater from well FW301 was used as an inoculum to which the extracted NOM was added as carbon sources to feed native microbes. To identify the specific functional groups of extracted NOM that are bioavailable to indigenous microbes, several techniques, including FTIR, LC-MS, EEM, were applied to characterize the extracted NOM as well as the transformed NOM metabolites. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing was also performed to identify the specific microbial diversity that was enriched and microbial isolates that preferentially grew with these NOM was also cultivated in the lab for future detailed studies.

  12. An introduction to natural products isolation.

    PubMed

    Sarker, Satyajit D; Nahar, Lutfun

    2012-01-01

    Natural products, well known for unique chemical diversity and bioactivity, have continued to offer templates for the development of novel scaffolds of drugs. With the remarkable developments in the areas of separation science, spectroscopic techniques, microplate-based ultrasensitive in vitro assays and high-throughput screening (HTS) technologies, natural products research has gained momentum in recent years. The pre-isolation analyses of crude extracts or fraction from different natural matrices, isolation, online detection and dereplication of natural products, studies on chemotaxonomy and biosynthesis, chemical finger-printing, quality control of herbal products, and metabolomic studies have now become much easier than ever before because of the availability of a number of modern sophisticated hyphenated techniques, e.g., GC-MS, LC-PDA, LC-MS, LC-FTIR, LC-NMR, LC-NMR-MS, and CE-MS. This introductory chapter presents a general overview of the processes involved in natural products research, starting from extraction and isolation to elucidation of the structures of purified natural products and their bioactivity. PMID:22367891

  13. Marine microbial production of dimethylsulfide from dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate. Doctoral thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Ledyard, K.M.

    1993-02-01

    Dimethylsulfide (DMS) plays a central role in the transfer of sulfur from the ocean to the atmosphere, and ultimately to land. The most abundant volatile organosulfur compound in seawater, DMS is believed to account for the bulk of the sea-to-air biogenic sulfur flux. DMS has also been implicated as the major precursor of submicron-sized sulfate aerosol over the ocean. This aerosol acts as an effective site for cloud droplet condensation, suggesting a possibly important role for DMS in marine cloud formation. In the ocean, the precursor of DMS is presumed to be the zwitterionic sulfonium compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a common osmoticum in certain classes of marine algae. While some algae can cleave DMSP intracellularly to form DMS, correlation of DMS concentrations with indicators of algal productivity on a local scale is poor. This thesis focuses on an alternative pathway of DMS formation: microbial cleavage of dissolved (extracellular) DMSP. In laboratory studies, bacteria able to cleave DMSP to form DMS were isolated from seawater by a DMSP enrichment technique, and the kinetics of DMSP uptake and DMS production were examined closely in pure cultures of a bacterial isolate from the Sargasso Sea. The isolate could grow with both DMSP and acrylic acid, one of the products of DMSP cleavage, as the sole source of carbon and energy, and the enzyme catalyzing DMSP cleavage appeared to be induced by both of these compounds. Kinetic parameters were estimated for DMSP uptake and cleavage by whole cells. Comparison of the 16S rRNA sequence of this isolate with that of known eubacteria showed that it was most closely related to Erythrobacter longus, an aerobic, bacteriochlorophyll-containing member of the alpha proteobacteria.

  14. Fungal ABC transporters and microbial interactions in natural environments.

    PubMed

    Schoonbeek, Henk-jan; Raaijmakers, Jos M; De Waard, Maarten A

    2002-11-01

    In natural environments, microorganisms are exposed to a wide variety of antibiotic compounds produced by competing organisms. Target organisms have evolved various mechanisms of natural resistance to these metabolites. In this study, the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in interactions between the plant-pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea and antibiotic-producing Pseudomonas bacteria was investigated in detail. We discovered that 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), broad-spectrum antibiotics produced by Pseudomonas spp., induced expression of several ABC transporter genes in B. cinerea. Phenazines strongly induced expression of BcatrB, and deltaBcatrB mutants were significantly more sensitive to these antibiotics than their parental strain. Treatment of B. cinerea germlings with PCN strongly affected the accumulation of [14C]fludioxonil, a phenylpyrrole fungicide known to be transported by BcatrB, indicating that phenazines also are transported by BcatrB. Pseudomonas strains producing phenazines displayed a stronger antagonistic activity in vitro toward ABcatrB mutants than to the parental B. cinerea strain. On tomato leaves, phenazine-producing Pseudomonas strains were significantly more effective in reducing gray mold symptoms incited by a ABcatrB mutant than by the parental strain. We conclude that the ABC transporter BcatrB provides protection to B. cinerea in phenazine-mediated interactions with Pseudomonas spp. Collectively, these results indicate that fungal ABC transporters can play an important role in antibiotic-mediated interactions between bacteria and fungi in plant-associated environments. The implications of these findings for the implementation and sustainability of crop protection by antagonistic microorganisms are discussed. PMID:12423022

  15. Microbial colonization of biopolymeric thin films containing natural compounds and antibiotics fabricated by MAPLE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristescu, R.; Surdu, A. V.; Grumezescu, A. M.; Oprea, A. E.; Trusca, R.; Vasile, O.; Dorcioman, G.; Visan, A.; Socol, G.; Mihailescu, I. N.; Mihaiescu, D.; Enculescu, M.; Chifiriuc, M. C.; Boehm, R. D.; Narayan, R. J.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2015-05-01

    Although a great number of antibiotics are currently available, they are often rendered ineffective by the ability of microbial strains to develop genetic resistance and to grow in biofilms. Since many antimicrobial agents poorly penetrate biofilms, biofilm-associated infections often require high concentrations of antimicrobial agents for effective treatment. Among the various strategies that may be used to inhibit microbial biofilms, one strategy that has generated significant interest involves the use of bioactive surfaces that are resistant to microbial colonization. In this respect, we used matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) involving a pulsed KrF* excimer laser source (λ = 248 nm, τ = 25 ns, ν = 10 Hz) to obtain thin composite biopolymeric films containing natural (flavonoid) or synthetic (antibiotic) compounds as bioactive substances. Chemical composition and film structures were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Films morphology was studied by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The antimicrobial assay of the microbial biofilms formed on these films was assessed by the viable cell counts method. The flavonoid-containing thin films showed increased resistance to microbial colonization, highlighting their potential to be used for the design of anti-biofilm surfaces.

  16. Contrasting microbial biogeographical patterns between anthropogenic subalpine grasslands and natural alpine grasslands.

    PubMed

    Geremia, Roberto A; Pușcaș, Mihai; Zinger, Lucie; Bonneville, Jean-Marc; Choler, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    The effect of plant species composition on soil microbial communities was studied at the multiregional level. We compared the soil microbial communities of alpine natural grasslands dominated by Carex curvula and anthropogenic subalpine pastures dominated by Nardus stricta. We conducted paired sampling across the Carpathians and the Alps and used Illumina sequencing to reveal the molecular diversity of soil microbes. We found that bacterial and fungal communities exhibited contrasting regional distributions and that the distribution in each grassland is well discriminated. Beta diversity of microbial communities was much higher in C. curvula grasslands due to a marked regional effect. The composition of grassland-type core microbiomes suggest that C. curvula, and N. stricta to a lesser extent, tend to select a cohort of microbes related to antibiosis/exclusion, pathogenesis and endophytism. We discuss these findings in light of the postglacial history of the studied grasslands, the habitat connectivity and the disturbance regimes. Human-induced disturbance in the subalpine belt of European mountains has led to homogeneous soil microbial communities at large biogeographical scales. Our results confirm the overarching role of the dominant grassland plant species in the distribution of microbial communities and highlight the relevance of biogeographical history. PMID:26443332

  17. Membrane bioreactors fed with different COD/N ratio wastewater: impacts on microbial community, microbial products, and membrane fouling.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiaomeng; Wang, Zhiwei; Ma, Jinxing; Zhu, Chaowei; Li, Yaxin; Wu, Zhichao

    2015-08-01

    It is known that an increase of COD/N ratio can result in an enhanced removal of nutrients in membrane bioreactors (MBRs); however, impacts of doing so on membrane filtration performance remain unclear. In this work, comparison of membrane filtration performance, microbial community, and microbial products under low temperature was carried out in anoxic/oxic (A/O) MBRs with COD/N ratios of 9.9 and 5.5 g COD/g N in influent. There was no doubt that an improvement of nitrogen removal under high COD/N ratio was observed; however, severer membrane fouling was found compared to the MBR fed with low COD/N ratio wastewater. The increase of COD/N ratio resulted in an elevated production of humic acids in soluble microbial product (SMP) and carbohydrates, proteins, and humic acids in loosely bound extracellular polymeric substance (LB-EPS). Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) analysis showed that the adsorption capability of SMP and LB-EPS was higher in the MBR with higher COD/N ratio. Four hundred fifty four high-throughput pyrosequencing revealed that the higher COD/N ratio led to the enrichment of Bacteroidetes at phylum level and Azospira, Thauera, Zoogloea, etc. at genus level. Bacteroidetes are considered to potentially release EPS, and Azospira, Thauera, and Zoogloea, etc. have denitrification activity. The change in microbial communities is consistent with MBR performance. PMID:25813643

  18. Influence of packaging conditions on natural microbial population growth of endive.

    PubMed

    Charles, Florence; Rugani, Nathalie; Gontard, Nathalie

    2005-05-01

    The influence of three packaging conditions, i.e., unmodified atmosphere packaging (UAP), passive modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), and active MAP, on the natural microbial population growth of endive was investigated at 20 degrees C. For UAP, endive was placed in macroperforated oriented polypropylene pouches that maintained gas composition close to that of air (21 kPa O2 and 0 kPa CO2) but also limited superficial product dehydration. For MAP, endive was placed in low-density polyethylene pouches that induced a 3 kPa O2 and 5 kPa CO2 equilibrium atmosphere composition. Steady state was reached after 25 h of storage with an oxygen absorbing packet (active MAP) compared with 100 h without the packet (passive MAP) and was maintained for 200 h. After 312 h of storage, both active and passive MAP reduced total aerobic mesophile, yeast, and mold population growth compared with endive in UAP. Active MAP accelerated and improved the inhibition of Pseudomonas spp. and Enterobacteriaceae, respectively, probably because of the rapid O2 depletion during the transition period. A shift in the Enterobacteriaceae subpopulation from Rhanella aquatilis to Enterobacter agglomerans was observed for both passive and active MAP. PMID:15895736

  19. Effect of Ce(3+) on soluble microbial products production in anaerobic granular sludge digestion.

    PubMed

    Fu, Bo; Liang, Rui; Xia, Qing; Ding, Lili; Xu, Ke; Ren, Hongqiang

    2011-01-01

    Upflow anaerobic sludge bed reactors fed on glucose were used to investigate the effects of Ce(3+) on soluble microbial products (SMP) production, which is the majority of the residual chemical oxygen demand present in the effluent. It was found that Ce(3+) concentration of 0.05 mg/L had no significant effect on the amount of SMP production, whereas that of 1 mg/L led to the increase in SMP production. The molecular-weight distribution and carbohydrate analysis indicated that an increase in SMP production may be partly attributed to the release of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) into the bulk solution resulted from cerium toxicity, and the nucleic acids analysis suggested that increased cell lysis also contributed to SMP accumulation in the presence of Ce(3+). The increase in SMP production in the presence of Ce(3+) is possibly a consequence of the release of EPS and increased cell lysis due to cerium toxicity. PMID:22179643

  20. Acceleration of Fe-silicate mineral dissolution for CO2 sequestration via microbial siderophore production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, M. A.; Nealson, K. H.; West, A.

    2013-12-01

    While the dissolution of silicate minerals will ultimately neutralize anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the slow natural timescale of this process limits its ability to mitigate any of the societal impacts of high atmospheric pCO2. As a result, much research has been focused on developing ways to significantly accelerate silicate mineral dissolution rates. Harnessing the effects of microbial activity is one particularly attractive strategy because research has shown that microbes can appreciably accelerate mineral dissolution rates and they require little external energy input. At present, one major hurdle in the development of microbe-based CO2 sequestration techniques is the observation that bacteria only accelerate dissolution rates under particular culturing conditions. In this work, natural and genetic mutant strains of the bacterial genera Shewanella, Pseudomonas, and Marinobacter are used to identify the geochemical and genetic factors that underlie the 'accelerated-weathering phenotype' in order to support the development of microbe-based CO2 sequestration techniques using olivine as a model mineral. Preliminary results suggest that microbial siderophore production at circum-neutral pH results in significantly accelerated olivine dissolution rates.

  1. Microbial desalination cells for improved performance in wastewater treatment, electricity production, and desalination.

    PubMed

    Luo, Haiping; Xu, Pei; Roane, Timberley M; Jenkins, Peter E; Ren, Zhiyong

    2012-02-01

    The low conductivity and alkalinity in municipal wastewater significantly limit power production from microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study integrated desalination with wastewater treatment and electricity production in a microbial desalination cell (MDC) by utilizing the mutual benefits among the above functions. When using wastewater as the sole substrate, the power output from the MDC (8.01 W/m(3)) was four times higher than a control MFC without desalination function. In addition, the MDC removed 66% of the salts and improved COD removal by 52% and Coulombic efficiency by 131%. Desalination in MDCs improved wastewater characteristics by increasing the conductivity by 2.5 times and stabilizing anolyte pH, which therefore reduced system resistance and maintained microbial activity. Microbial community analysis revealed a more diverse anode microbial structure in the MDC than in the MFC. The results demonstrated that MDC can serve as a viable option for integrated wastewater treatment, energy production, and desalination. PMID:22178493

  2. How EIA Estimates Natural Gas Production

    EIA Publications

    2004-01-01

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes estimates monthly and annually of the production of natural gas in the United States. The estimates are based on data EIA collects from gas producing states and data collected by the U. S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) in the Department of Interior. The states and MMS collect this information from producers of natural gas for various reasons, most often for revenue purposes. Because the information is not sufficiently complete or timely for inclusion in EIA's Natural Gas Monthly (NGM), EIA has developed estimation methodologies to generate monthly production estimates that are described in this document.

  3. Natural Product Chemistry Meets Genetics: When is a Genotype a Chemotype?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The chemotype of a microbial or plant species has traditionally been defined as its profile of natural products, and the genotype as its genetic constitution or DNA sequence. The purpose of this perspective is to discuss applications of DNA genotyping, particularly by PCR-amplification methods, to ...

  4. Engineering Escherichia coli for Microbial Production of Butanone.

    PubMed

    Srirangan, Kajan; Liu, Xuejia; Akawi, Lamees; Bruder, Mark; Moo-Young, Murray; Chou, C Perry

    2016-05-01

    To expand the chemical and molecular diversity of biotransformation using whole-cell biocatalysts, we genetically engineered a pathway inEscherichia colifor heterologous production of butanone, an important commodity ketone. First, a 1-propanol-producingE. colihost strain with its sleeping beauty mutase (Sbm) operon being activated was used to increase the pool of propionyl-coenzyme A (propionyl-CoA). Subsequently, molecular heterofusion of propionyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA was conducted to yield 3-ketovaleryl-CoA via a CoA-dependent elongation pathway. Lastly, 3-ketovaleryl-CoA was channeled into the clostridial acetone formation pathway for thioester hydrolysis and subsequent decarboxylation to form butanone. Biochemical, genetic, and metabolic factors affecting relative levels of ketogenesis, acidogenesis, and alcohologenesis under selected fermentative culture conditions were investigated. Using the engineeredE. colistrain for batch cultivation with 30 g liter(-1)glycerol as the carbon source, we achieved coproduction of 1.3 g liter(-1)butanone and 2.9 g liter(-1)acetone. The results suggest that approximately 42% of spent glycerol was utilized for ketone biosynthesis, and thus they demonstrate potential industrial applicability of this microbial platform. PMID:26896132

  5. Identification of biofoulant of membrane bioreactors in soluble microbial products.

    PubMed

    Okamura, Daisuke; Mori, Yoshihiko; Hashimoto, Tomotaka; Hori, Katsutoshi

    2009-09-01

    To reveal primary biofoulant in soluble microbial products (SMP) and/or soluble extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), after removal of sludge particles, activated sludge samples were subjected to microfiltration tests in a submerged MBR. Filtration resistance directly correlates with the saccharide concentration. Saccharides in wastewater from several sources contained uronic acids, which increased the filtration resistance. When the microfiltration test liquids contained saccharides over 80mg l(-1), a gelatinous mass remained on the membrane surface after filtration and contained concentrations of saccharides and uronic acids 50 times higher than the original test liquid while only trace amounts of these substances were contained in the filtrate. The gelatinous mass contained high molecular weight substances of 10(6)-10(8)Da, suggesting the presence of polysaccharides. However, molecules of this size were calculated to be much smaller than the pore size of the membrane. Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid decreased filtration resistance, suggesting that polysaccharides containing uronic acid units could undergo intermolecular or intramolecular ionic cross-linking by polyvalent cations and form the gel, thus clogging the membrane pores as an actual biofoulant. PMID:19596130

  6. A Natural View of Microbial Biodiversity within Hot Spring Cyanobacterial Mat Communities

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David M.; Ferris, Michael J.; Nold, Stephen C.; Bateson, Mary M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats. PMID:9841675

  7. A natural view of microbial biodiversity within hot spring cyanobacterial mat communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, D. M.; Ferris, M. J.; Nold, S. C.; Bateson, M. M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats.

  8. Naturally occurring products in cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Rajesh, E.; Sankari, Leena S.; Malathi, L.; Krupaa, Jayasri R.

    2015-01-01

    Natural products have been used for the treatment of various diseases and are becoming an important research area for drug discovery. These products, especially phytochemicals have been extensively studies and have exhibited anti-carcinogenic activities by interfering with the initiation, development and progression of cancer through the modulation of various mechanisms including cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. This concept is gaining attention because it is a cost-effective alternative to cancer treatment. In this article, we have discussed some of the naturally occurring products used in cancer treatment. PMID:26015704

  9. Thoughts Toward a Theory of Natural Selection: The Importance of Microbial Experimental Evolution.

    PubMed

    Dykhuizen, Daniel

    2016-03-01

    Natural selection should no longer be thought of simply as a primitive (magical) concept that can be used to support all kinds of evolutionary theorizing. We need to develop causal theories of natural selection; how it arises. Because the factors contributing to the creation of natural selection are expected to be complex and intertwined, theories explaining the causes of natural selection can only be developed through the experimental method. Microbial experimental evolution provides many benefits that using other organisms does not. Microorganisms are small, so millions can be housed in a test tube; they have short generation times, so evolution over hundreds of generations can be easily studied; they can grow in chemically defined media, so the environment can be precisely defined; and they can be frozen, so the fitness of strains or populations can be directly compared across time. Microbial evolution experiments can be divided into two types. The first is to measure the selection coefficient of two known strains over the first 50 or so generations, before advantageous mutations rise to high frequency. This type of experiment can be used to directly test hypotheses. The second is to allow microbial cultures to evolve over many hundreds or thousands of generations and follow the genetic changes, to infer what phenotypes are selected. In the last section of this article, I propose that selection coefficients are not constant, but change as the population becomes fitter, introducing the idea of the selection space. PMID:26747663

  10. Microbial production of fatty-acid-derived fuels and chemicals from plant biomass.

    PubMed

    Steen, Eric J; Kang, Yisheng; Bokinsky, Gregory; Hu, Zhihao; Schirmer, Andreas; McClure, Amy; Del Cardayre, Stephen B; Keasling, Jay D

    2010-01-28

    Increasing energy costs and environmental concerns have emphasized the need to produce sustainable renewable fuels and chemicals. Major efforts to this end are focused on the microbial production of high-energy fuels by cost-effective 'consolidated bioprocesses'. Fatty acids are composed of long alkyl chains and represent nature's 'petroleum', being a primary metabolite used by cells for both chemical and energy storage functions. These energy-rich molecules are today isolated from plant and animal oils for a diverse set of products ranging from fuels to oleochemicals. A more scalable, controllable and economic route to this important class of chemicals would be through the microbial conversion of renewable feedstocks, such as biomass-derived carbohydrates. Here we demonstrate the engineering of Escherichia coli to produce structurally tailored fatty esters (biodiesel), fatty alcohols, and waxes directly from simple sugars. Furthermore, we show engineering of the biodiesel-producing cells to express hemicellulases, a step towards producing these compounds directly from hemicellulose, a major component of plant-derived biomass. PMID:20111002

  11. Modeling of Sustainable Base Production by Microbial Electrolysis Cell.

    PubMed

    Blatter, Maxime; Sugnaux, Marc; Comninellis, Christos; Nealson, Kenneth; Fischer, Fabian

    2016-07-01

    A predictive model for the microbial/electrochemical base formation from wastewater was established and compared to experimental conditions within a microbial electrolysis cell. A Na2 SO4 /K2 SO4 anolyte showed that model prediction matched experimental results. Using Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a strong base (pH≈13) was generated using applied voltages between 0.3 and 1.1 V. Due to the use of bicarbonate, the pH value in the anolyte remained unchanged, which is required to maintain microbial activity. PMID:27265318

  12. Using Genomics for Natural Product Structure Elucidation.

    PubMed

    Tietz, Jonathan I; Mitchell, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are the most historically bountiful source of chemical matter for drug development-especially for anti-infectives. With insights gleaned from genome mining, interest in natural product discovery has been reinvigorated. An essential stage in NP discovery is structural elucidation, which sheds light not only on the chemical composition of a molecule but also its novelty, properties, and derivatization potential. The history of structure elucidation is replete with techniquebased revolutions: combustion analysis, crystallography, UV, IR, MS, and NMR have each provided game-changing advances; the latest such advance is genomics. All natural products have a genetic basis, and the ability to obtain and interpret genomic information for structure elucidation is increasingly available at low cost to non-specialists. In this review, we describe the value of genomics as a structural elucidation technique, especially from the perspective of the natural product chemist approaching an unknown metabolite. Herein we first introduce the databases and programs of interest to the natural products chemist, with an emphasis on those currently most suited for general usability. We describe strategies for linking observed natural product-linked phenotypes to their corresponding gene clusters. We then discuss techniques for extracting structural information from genes, illustrated with numerous case examples. We also provide an analysis of the biases and limitations of the field with recommendations for future development. Our overview is not only aimed at biologically-oriented researchers already at ease with bioinformatic techniques, but also, in particular, at natural product, organic, and/or medicinal chemists not previously familiar with genomic techniques. PMID:26456468

  13. Using Stable Isotopes to Trace Microbial Hydrogen Production Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, J.; Hill, E.; Bartholomew, R.; Yang, H.; Shi, L.; Ostrom, N. E.; Gandhi, H.; Hegg, E.; Kreuzer, H.

    2010-12-01

    Biological H2 production by hydrogenase enzymes (H2ases) plays an important role in anaerobic microbial metabolism and community structure. Despite considerable progress in elucidating H2 metabolism, the regulation of and flux through key H2 production pathways remain largely undefined. Our goal is to improve understanding of biological H2 production by using H isotope ratios to dissect proton fluxes through different H2ase enzymes and from different substrates. We hypothesized that the isotope ratio of H2 produced by various hydrogenases (H2ase) would differ, and that the H isotope ratios would allow us to define the contribution of different enzymes when more than one is present in vivo. We chose Shewanella oneidensis (S.o.) MR-1, a facultative anaerobe capable of transferring electrons to a variety of terminal acceptors, including protons, as a model system for in vivo studies. S. o. encodes one [FeFe]- and one [NiFe]-H2ase. We purified three [FeFe]-H2ases (S.o., Clostridium pasteurianum, and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and two [NiFe]-H2ases (S. o. and Desulfovibrio fructosovorans) to test the isotope fractionation associated with activity by each enzyme in vitro. For in vivo analysis we used wild-type S.o. as well as electron transfer-deficient and H2ase-deficient strains. We employed batch cultures using lactate as an electron donor and O2 as an initial electron acceptor (with H2 production after O2 consumption). The five H2ases we tested all had a unique isotope fractionation. Measurements of H2 produced in vivo showed distinct periods of H2 production having isotope signatures consistent with in vitro results. Isotope data as well as studies of H2 production by mutants in the genes encoding either the [NiFe]-H2ase or the [FeFe]-H2ase, respectively, show that the [NiFe]- and [FeFe]- H2ases became active at different times. The [NiFe]-H2ase both produces and consumes H2 before the [FeFe]-H2ase becomes active. RNA analysis is consistent with up regulation of

  14. Mechanistic Advances in Plant Natural Product Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Usera, Aimee R.; O’Connor, Sarah E.

    2009-01-01

    Summary of Recent Advances The biosynthetic pathways of plant natural products offer an abundance of knowledge to scientists in many fields. Synthetic chemists can be inspired by the synthetic strategies that nature uses to construct these compounds. Chemical and biological engineers are working to reprogram these biosynthetic pathways to more efficiently produce valuable products. Finally, biochemists and enzymologists are interested in the detailed mechanisms of the complex transformations involved in construction of these natural products. Study of biosynthetic enzymes and pathways therefore has a wide-ranging impact. In recent years, many plant biosynthetic pathways have been characterized, particularly the pathways that are responsible for alkaloid biosynthesis. Here we highlight recently studied alkaloid biosynthetic enzymes that catalyze production of numerous complex medicinal compounds, as well as the specifier proteins in glucosinosolate biosynthesis, whose structure and mechanism of action are just beginning to be unraveled. PMID:19632140

  15. Applications of microbial fermentations for production of gluten-free products and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Zannini, Emanuele; Pontonio, Erica; Waters, Deborah M; Arendt, Elke K

    2012-01-01

    A gluten-free (GF) diet is recognised as being the only accepted treatment for celiac disease-a permanent autoimmune enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing cereals. The bakery products available in today's gluten-free market are characterised by lower palatability than their conventional counterparts and may lead to nutritional deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Thus, the production of high-quality gluten-free products has become a very important socioeconomical issue. Microbial fermentation by means of lactic acid bacteria and yeast is one of the most ecological/economical methods of producing and preserving food. In this review, the role of a fermentation process for improving the quality of GF products and for developing a new concept of GF products with nutraceutical and health-promoting characteristics will be examined. PMID:22094979

  16. Natural oil slicks fuel surface water microbial activities in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Ziervogel, Kai; D'souza, Nigel; Sweet, Julia; Yan, Beizhan; Passow, Uta

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a series of roller tank incubations with surface seawater from the Green Canyon oil reservoir, northern Gulf of Mexico, amended with either a natural oil slick (GCS-oil) or pristine oil. The goal was to test whether bacterial activities of natural surface water communities facilitate the formation of oil-rich marine snow (oil snow). Although oil snow did not form during any of our experiments, we found specific bacterial metabolic responses to the addition of GCS-oil that profoundly affected carbon cycling within our 4-days incubations. Peptidase and β-glucosidase activities indicative of bacterial enzymatic hydrolysis of peptides and carbohydrates, respectively, were suppressed upon the addition of GCS-oil relative to the non-oil treatment, suggesting that ascending oil and gas initially inhibits bacterial metabolism in surface water. Biodegradation of physically dispersed GCS-oil components, indicated by the degradation of lower molecular weight n-alkanes as well as the rapid transformation of particulate oil-carbon (C: N >40) into the DOC pool, led to the production of carbohydrate- and peptide-rich degradation byproducts and bacterial metabolites such as transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). TEP formation was highest at day 4 in the presence of GCS-oil; in contrast, TEP levels in the non-oil treatment already peaked at day 2. Cell-specific enzymatic activities closely followed TEP concentrations in the presence and absence of GCS-oil. These results demonstrate that the formation of oil slicks and activities of oil-degrading bacteria result in a temporal offset of microbial cycling of organic matter, affecting food web interactions and carbon cycling in surface waters over cold seeps. PMID:24847314

  17. Deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir: baseline characterization prior CO2 injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Daria; Shaheed, Mina; Vieth, Andrea; Krüger, Martin; Kock, Dagmar; Würdemann, Hilke

    2010-05-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of about 3500m, is characterised by high salinity fluid and temperatures up to 127° C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that

  18. Enhanced Microbial Pathways for Methane Production from Oil Shale

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Fallgren

    2009-02-15

    Methane from oil shale can potentially provide a significant contribution to natural gas industry, and it may be possible to increase and continue methane production by artificially enhancing methanogenic activity through the addition of various substrate and nutrient treatments. Western Research Institute in conjunction with Pick & Shovel Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy conducted microcosm and scaled-up reactor studies to investigate the feasibility and optimization of biogenic methane production from oil shale. The microcosm study involving crushed oil shale showed the highest yield of methane was produced from oil shale pretreated with a basic solution and treated with nutrients. Incubation at 30 C, which is the estimated temperature in the subsurface where the oil shale originated, caused and increase in methane production. The methane production eventually decreased when pH of the system was above 9.00. In the scaled-up reactor study, pretreatment of the oil shale with a basic solution, nutrient enhancements, incubation at 30 C, and maintaining pH at circumneutral levels yielded the highest rate of biogenic methane production. From this study, the annual biogenic methane production rate was determined to be as high as 6042 cu. ft/ton oil shale.

  19. Synthetic Biological Approaches to Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Jaclyn M; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Small molecules produced in Nature continue to be an inspiration for the development of new therapeutic agents. These natural products possess exquisite chemical diversity, which gives rise to their wide range of biological activities. In their host organism, natural products are assembled and modified by dedicated biosynthetic pathways that Nature has meticulously developed. Often times, the complex structures or chemical modifications instated by these pathways are difficult to replicate using traditional synthetic methods. An alternative approach for creating or enhancing the structural variation of natural products is through combinatorial biosynthesis. By rationally reprogramming and manipulating the biosynthetic machinery responsible for their production, unnatural metabolites that were otherwise inaccessible can be obtained. Additionally, new chemical structures can be synthesized or derivatized by developing the enzymes that carry out these complicated chemical reactions into biocatalysts. In this review, we will discuss a variety of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies, their technical challenges, and highlight some recent (since 2007) examples of rationally designed unnatural metabolites, as well as platforms that have been established for the production and modification of clinically important pharmaceutical compounds. PMID:22221832

  20. Differences in Intertidal Microbial Assemblages on Urban Structures and Natural Rocky Reef

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Elisa L.-Y.; Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Johnston, Emma L.; Dafforn, Katherine A.

    2015-01-01

    Global seascapes are increasingly modified to support high levels of human activity in the coastal zone. Modifications include the addition of defense structures and boating infrastructure, such as seawalls and marinas that replace natural habitats. Artificial structures support different macrofaunal communities to those found on natural rocky shores; however, little is known about differences in microbial community structure or function in urban seascapes. Understanding how artificial constructions in marine environments influence microbial communities is important as these assemblages contribute to many basic ecological processes. In this study, the bacterial communities of intertidal biofilms were compared between artificial structures (seawalls) and natural habitats (rocky shores) within Sydney Harbour. Plots were cleared on each type of habitat at eight locations. After 3 weeks the newly formed biofilm was sampled and the 16S rRNA gene sequenced using the Illumina Miseq platform. To account for differences in orientation and substrate material between seawalls and rocky shores that might have influenced our survey, we also deployed recruitment blocks next to the habitats at all locations for 3 weeks and then sampled and sequenced their microbial communities. Intertidal bacterial community structure sampled from plots differed between seawalls and rocky shores, but when substrate material, age and orientation were kept constant (with recruitment blocks) then bacterial communities were similar in composition and structure among habitats. This suggests that changes in bacterial communities on seawalls are not related to environmental differences between locations, but may be related to other intrinsic factors that differ between the habitats such as orientation, complexity, or predation. This is one of the first comparisons of intertidal microbial communities on natural and artificial surfaces and illustrates substantial ecological differences with potential

  1. Differences in Intertidal Microbial Assemblages on Urban Structures and Natural Rocky Reef.

    PubMed

    Tan, Elisa L-Y; Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Johnston, Emma L; Dafforn, Katherine A

    2015-01-01

    Global seascapes are increasingly modified to support high levels of human activity in the coastal zone. Modifications include the addition of defense structures and boating infrastructure, such as seawalls and marinas that replace natural habitats. Artificial structures support different macrofaunal communities to those found on natural rocky shores; however, little is known about differences in microbial community structure or function in urban seascapes. Understanding how artificial constructions in marine environments influence microbial communities is important as these assemblages contribute to many basic ecological processes. In this study, the bacterial communities of intertidal biofilms were compared between artificial structures (seawalls) and natural habitats (rocky shores) within Sydney Harbour. Plots were cleared on each type of habitat at eight locations. After 3 weeks the newly formed biofilm was sampled and the 16S rRNA gene sequenced using the Illumina Miseq platform. To account for differences in orientation and substrate material between seawalls and rocky shores that might have influenced our survey, we also deployed recruitment blocks next to the habitats at all locations for 3 weeks and then sampled and sequenced their microbial communities. Intertidal bacterial community structure sampled from plots differed between seawalls and rocky shores, but when substrate material, age and orientation were kept constant (with recruitment blocks) then bacterial communities were similar in composition and structure among habitats. This suggests that changes in bacterial communities on seawalls are not related to environmental differences between locations, but may be related to other intrinsic factors that differ between the habitats such as orientation, complexity, or predation. This is one of the first comparisons of intertidal microbial communities on natural and artificial surfaces and illustrates substantial ecological differences with potential

  2. Effects of phosphate limitation on soluble microbial products and microbial community structure in semi-continuous Synechocystis-based photobioreactors.

    PubMed

    Zevin, Alexander S; Nam, Taekgul; Rittmann, Bruce; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2015-09-01

    All bacteria release organic compounds called soluble microbial products (SMP) as a part of their normal metabolism. In photobioreactor (PBR) settings, SMP produced by cyanobacteria represent a major pool of carbon and electrons available to heterotrophic bacteria. Thus, SMP in PBRs are a major driver for the growth of heterotrophic bacteria, and understanding the distribution of SMP in PBRs is an important step toward proper management of PBR microbial communities. Here, we analyzed the SMP and microbial communities in two Synechocystis sp. PCC6803-based PBRs. The first PBR (PBRP0) became phosphate limited after several days of operation, while the second PBR (PBRP+) did not have phosphate limitation. Heterotrophic bacteria were detected in both PBRs, but PBRP0 had a much higher proportion of heterotrophic bacteria than PBRP+. Furthermore, PBRP+ had greater biomass production and lower SMP production per unit biomass than PBRP0. Carbohydrates that were most likely derived from hydrolysis of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) dominated the SMP in PBRP0, while products resulting from cell lysis or decay dominated the SMP in PBRP+. Together, our data support that maintaining phosphate availability in Synechocystis-based PBRs is important for managing SMP and, thus, the heterotrophic community. PMID:25851150

  3. Psychoactive natural products: overview of recent developments.

    PubMed

    Ujváry, István

    2014-01-01

    Natural psychoactive substances have fascinated the curious mind of shamans, artists, scholars and laymen since antiquity. During the twentieth century, the chemical composition of the most important psychoactive drugs, that is opium, cannabis, coca and "magic mushrooms", has been fully elucidated. The mode of action of the principal ingredients has also been deciphered at the molecular level. In the past two decades, the use of herbal drugs, such as kava, kratom and Salvia divinorum, began to spread beyond their traditional geographical and cultural boundaries. The aim of the present paper is to briefly summarize recent findings on the psychopharmacology of the most prominent psychoactive natural products. Current knowledge on a few lesser-known drugs, including bufotenine, glaucine, kava, betel, pituri, lettuce opium and kanna is also reviewed. In addition, selected cases of alleged natural (or semi-natural) products are also mentioned. PMID:24695249

  4. Biotransformation of furanic and phenolic compounds with hydrogen gas production in a microbial electrolysis cell

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zeng, Xiaofei; Borole, Abhijeet P.; Pavlostathis, Spyros G.

    2015-10-27

    In this study, furanic and phenolic compounds are problematic byproducts resulting from the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass during biofuel production. This study assessed the capacity of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to produce hydrogen gas (H2) using a mixture of two furanic (furfural, FF; 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, HMF) and three phenolic (syringic acid, SA; vanillic acid, VA; and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, HBA) compounds as the sole carbon and energy source in the bioanode. The rate and extent of biotransformation of the five compounds, efficiency of H2 production, as well as the anode microbial community structure were investigated. The five compounds were completelymore » transformed within 7-day batch runs and their biotransformation rate increased with increasing initial concentration. At an initial concentration of 1,200 mg/L (8.7 mM) of the mixture of the five compounds, their biotransformation rate ranged from 0.85 to 2.34 mM/d. The anode coulombic efficiency was 44-69%, which is comparable to wastewater-fed MECs. The H2 yield varied from 0.26 to 0.42 g H2-COD/g COD removed in the anode, and the bioanode volume-normalized H2 production rate was 0.07-0.1 L/L-d. The major identified fermentation products that did not transform further were catechol and phenol. Acetate was the direct substrate for exoelectrogenesis. Current and H2 production were inhibited at an initial substrate concentration of 1,200 mg/L, resulting in acetate accumulation at a much higher level than that measured in other batch runs conducted with a lower initial concentration of the five compounds. The anode microbial community consisted of exoelectrogens, putative degraders of the five compounds, and syntrophic partners of exoelectrogens. The H2 production route demonstrated in this study has proven to be an alternative to the currently used process of reforming natural gas to supply H2 needed to upgrade bio-oils to stable hydrocarbon fuels.« less

  5. Biotransformation of furanic and phenolic compounds with hydrogen gas production in a microbial electrolysis cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng, Xiaofei; Borole, Abhijeet P.; Pavlostathis, Spyros G.

    2015-10-27

    In this study, furanic and phenolic compounds are problematic byproducts resulting from the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass during biofuel production. This study assessed the capacity of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to produce hydrogen gas (H2) using a mixture of two furanic (furfural, FF; 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, HMF) and three phenolic (syringic acid, SA; vanillic acid, VA; and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, HBA) compounds as the sole carbon and energy source in the bioanode. The rate and extent of biotransformation of the five compounds, efficiency of H2 production, as well as the anode microbial community structure were investigated. The five compounds were completely transformed within 7-day batch runs and their biotransformation rate increased with increasing initial concentration. At an initial concentration of 1,200 mg/L (8.7 mM) of the mixture of the five compounds, their biotransformation rate ranged from 0.85 to 2.34 mM/d. The anode coulombic efficiency was 44-69%, which is comparable to wastewater-fed MECs. The H2 yield varied from 0.26 to 0.42 g H2-COD/g COD removed in the anode, and the bioanode volume-normalized H2 production rate was 0.07-0.1 L/L-d. The major identified fermentation products that did not transform further were catechol and phenol. Acetate was the direct substrate for exoelectrogenesis. Current and H2 production were inhibited at an initial substrate concentration of 1,200 mg/L, resulting in acetate accumulation at a much higher level than that measured in other batch runs conducted with a lower initial concentration of the five compounds. The anode microbial community consisted of exoelectrogens, putative degraders of the five compounds, and syntrophic partners of exoelectrogens. The H2 production route demonstrated in this study has proven to be an alternative to the currently used process of reforming natural gas to supply H2 needed to

  6. Biotransformation of Furanic and Phenolic Compounds with Hydrogen Gas Production in a Microbial Electrolysis Cell.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiaofei; Borole, Abhijeet P; Pavlostathis, Spyros G

    2015-11-17

    Furanic and phenolic compounds are problematic byproducts resulting from the breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass during biofuel production. The capacity of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to produce hydrogen gas (H2) using a mixture of two furanic (furfural, FF; 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, HMF) and three phenolic (syringic acid, SA; vanillic acid, VA; and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, HBA) compounds as the substrate in the bioanode was assessed. The rate and extent of biotransformation of the five compounds and efficiency of H2 production, as well as the structure of the anode microbial community, were investigated. The five compounds were completely transformed within 7-day batch runs and their biotransformation rate increased with increasing initial concentration. At an initial concentration of 1200 mg/L (8.7 mM) of the mixture of the five compounds, their biotransformation rate ranged from 0.85 to 2.34 mM/d. The anode Coulombic efficiency was 44-69%, which is comparable to that of wastewater-fed MECs. The H2 yield varied from 0.26 to 0.42 g H2-COD/g COD removed in the anode, and the bioanode volume-normalized H2 production rate was 0.07-0.1 L/L-d. The biotransformation of the five compounds took place via fermentation followed by exoelectrogenesis. The major identified fermentation products that did not transform further were catechol and phenol. Acetate was the direct substrate for exoelectrogenesis. Current and H2 production were inhibited at an initial substrate concentration of 1200 mg/L, resulting in acetate accumulation at a much higher level than that measured in other batch runs conducted with a lower initial concentration of the five compounds. The anode microbial community consisted of exoelectrogens, putative degraders of the five compounds, and syntrophic partners of exoelectrogens. The MEC H2 production demonstrated in this study is an alternative to the currently used process of reforming natural gas to supply H2 needed to upgrade bio-oils to stable

  7. Early state research on antifungal natural products.

    PubMed

    Negri, Melyssa; Salci, Tânia P; Shinobu-Mesquita, Cristiane S; Capoci, Isis R G; Svidzinski, Terezinha I E; Kioshima, Erika Seki

    2014-01-01

    Nosocomial infections caused by fungi have increased greatly in recent years, mainly due to the rising number of immunocompromised patients. However, the available antifungal therapeutic arsenal is limited, and the development of new drugs has been slow. Therefore, the search for alternative drugs with low resistance rates and fewer side effects remains a major challenge. Plants produce a variety of medicinal components that can inhibit pathogen growth. Studies of plant species have been conducted to evaluate the characteristics of natural drug products, including their sustainability, affordability, and antimicrobial activity. A considerable number of studies of medicinal plants and alternative compounds, such as secondary metabolites, phenolic compounds, essential oils and extracts, have been performed. Thus, this review discusses the history of the antifungal arsenal, surveys natural products with potential antifungal activity, discusses strategies to develop derivatives of natural products, and presents perspectives on the development of novel antifungal drug candidates. PMID:24609016

  8. Countercurrent Separation of Natural Products: An Update

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This work assesses the current instrumentation, method development, and applications in countercurrent chromatography (CCC) and centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC), collectively referred to as countercurrent separation (CCS). The article provides a critical review of the CCS literature from 2007 since our last review (J. Nat. Prod.2008, 71, 1489–1508), with a special emphasis on the applications of CCS in natural products research. The current state of CCS is reviewed in regard to three continuing topics (instrumentation, solvent system development, theory) and three new topics (optimization of parameters, workflow, bioactivity applications). The goals of this review are to deliver the necessary background with references for an up-to-date perspective of CCS, to point out its potential for the natural product scientist, and thereby to induce new applications in natural product chemistry, metabolome, and drug discovery research involving organisms from terrestrial and marine sources. PMID:26177360

  9. Supercritical fluid extraction in natural products analyses.

    PubMed

    Nahar, Lutfun; Sarker, Satyajit D

    2012-01-01

    Supercritical fluids (SCFs) are increasingly replacing the organic solvents, e.g., n-hexane, chloroform, dichloromethane, or methanol, that are conventionally used in industrial extraction, purification, and recrystallization operations because of regulatory and environmental pressures on hydrocarbon and ozone-depleting emissions. In natural products extraction and isolation, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), especially employing supercritical CO(2), has become a popular choice. Sophisticated modern technologies allow precise regulation of changes in temperature and pressure, and thus manipulation of solvating property of the SCF, which helps the extraction of natural products of a wide range of polarities. This chapter deals mainly with the application of the SFE technology in the natural products extraction and isolation, and outlines various methodologies with specific examples. PMID:22367893

  10. Current natural products with antihypertensive activity.

    PubMed

    Bai, Ren-Ren; Wu, Xiao-Ming; Xu, Jin-Yi

    2015-10-01

    Natural products have been an important source of new drugs, which also played a dominant role in the discovery and research of new drugs for the treatment of hypertension. This review article reviews the recent progress in the research and development of natural lead compounds with antihypertensive activity, including alkaloids, diterpenes, coumarins, flavonoids, and peptides. We summarized their structures, sources, as well as the antihypertensive mechanisms. These information provides instructive reference for the following structural modifications and optimization. PMID:26481372

  11. Microbial production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by bacteria isolated from oil wastes.

    PubMed

    Wong, A L; Chua, H; Yu, P H

    2000-01-01

    A Gram-positive coccus-shaped bacterium capable of synthesizing higher relative molecular weight (M(r)) poly-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) was isolated from sesame oil and identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis (by Microbial ID, Inc., Newark, NJ). The experiment was conducted by shake flask fermentation culture using media containing fructose. Cell growth up to a dry mass of 2.5 g/L and PHB accumulation up to 15.02% of cell dry wt was observed. Apart from using single carbohydrate as a sole carbon source, various industrial food wastes including sesame oil, ice cream, malt, and soya wastes were investigated as nutrients for S. epidermidis to reduce the cost of the carbon source. As a result, we found that by using malt wastes as nutrient for cell growth, PHB accumulation of S. epidermidis was much better than using other wastes as nutrient source. The final dried cell mass and PHB production using malt wastes were 1.76 g/L and 6.93% polymer/cells (grams/gram), and 3.5 g/L and 3.31% polymer/cells (grams/gram) in shake flask culture and in fermentor culture, respectively. The bacterial polymer was characterized by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), 13C-NMR, Fourier transform infrared, and differential scanning calorimetry. The results show that with different industrial food wastes as carbon and energy sources, the same biopolymer (PHB) was obtained. However, the use of sesame oil as the carbon source resulted in the accumulation of PHB with a higher melting point than that produced from other food wastes as carbon sources by this organism under similar experimental conditions. PMID:10849842

  12. RESEARCH PLAN FOR MICROBIAL PATHOGENS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS IN DRINKING WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research plan was developed to describe research needed to support EPA's development of drinking water regulations concerning disinfectants, disinfection by-products (DBPs) and microbial pathogens, focusing on key scientific and technical information needed. The research pl...

  13. RESEARCH PLAN FOR MICROBIAL PATHOGENS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS IN DRINKING WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research plan was developed to describe research needed to support EPAs development of drinking water regulations concerning disinfectants, disinfection by-products (DBPs) and microbial pathogens, focusing on key scientific and technical information needed. The research plan...

  14. ORD RESEARCH PLAN FOR MICROBIAL PATHOGENS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS IN DRINKING WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research plan was developed to describe research needed to support EPAs development of drinking water regulations concerning disinfectants, disinfection by-products (DBPs) and microbial pathogens, focusing on key scientific and technical information needed. ...

  15. Biorefinery of corn cob for microbial lipid and bio-ethanol production: An environmental friendly process.

    PubMed

    Cai, Di; Dong, Zhongshi; Wang, Yong; Chen, Changjing; Li, Ping; Qin, Peiyong; Wang, Zheng; Tan, Tianwei

    2016-07-01

    Microbial lipid and bio-ethanol were co-generated by an integrated process using corn cob bagasse as raw material. After pretreatment, the acid hydrolysate was used as substrate for microbial lipid fermentation, while the solid residue was further enzymatic hydrolysis for bio-ethanol production. The effect of acid loading and pretreatment time on microbial lipid and ethanol production were evaluated. Under the optimized condition for ethanol production, ∼131.3g of ethanol and ∼11.5g of microbial lipid were co-generated from 1kg raw material. On this condition, ∼71.6% of the overall fermentable sugars in corn cob bagasse could be converted into valuable products. At the same time, at least 33% of the initial COD in the acid hydrolysate was depredated. PMID:27060242

  16. Electricity production from municipal solid waste using microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Chiu, H Y; Pai, T Y; Liu, M H; Chang, C A; Lo, F C; Chang, T C; Lo, H M; Chiang, C F; Chao, K P; Lo, W Y; Lo, S W; Chu, Y L

    2016-07-01

    The organic content of municipal solid waste has long been an attractive source of renewable energy, mainly as a solid fuel in waste-to-energy plants. This study focuses on the potential to use microbial fuel cells to convert municipal solid waste organics into energy using various operational conditions. The results showed that two-chamber microbial fuel cells with carbon felt and carbon felt allocation had a higher maximal power density (20.12 and 30.47 mW m(-2) for 1.5 and 4 L, respectively) than those of other electrode plate allocations. Most two-chamber microbial fuel cells (1.5 and 4 L) had a higher maximal power density than single-chamber ones with corresponding electrode plate allocations. Municipal solid waste with alkali hydrolysis pre-treatment and K3Fe(CN)6 as an electron acceptor improved the maximal power density to 1817.88 mW m(-2) (~0.49% coulomb efficiency, from 0.05-0.49%). The maximal power density from experiments using individual 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, and serial and parallel connections of 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, was found to be in the order of individual 4 L (30.47 mW m(-2)) > serial connection of 1.5 and 4 L (27.75) > individual 1.5 L (20.12) > parallel connection of 1.5 and 4 L (17.04) two-chamber microbial fuel cells . The power density using municipal solid waste microbial fuel cells was compared with information in the literature and discussed. PMID:27231132

  17. Natural Product Sugar Biosynthesis and Enzymatic Glycodiversification**

    PubMed Central

    Thibodeaux, Christopher J.; Melançon, Charles E.; Liu, Hung-wen

    2009-01-01

    Many biologically active small molecule natural products produced by microorganisms derive their activities from sugar substituents. Changing the structures of these sugars can have a profound impact on the biological properties of the parent compounds. This realization has inspired attempts to derivatize the sugar moieties of these natural products through exploitation of the sugar biosynthetic machinery. This approach requires an understanding of the biosynthetic pathway of each target sugar and detailed mechanistic knowledge of the key enzymes. Scientists have begun to unravel the biosynthetic logic behind the assembly of many glycosylated natural products, and have found that a core set of enzyme activities is mixed and matched to synthesize the diverse sugar structures observed in nature. Remarkably, many of these sugar biosynthetic enzymes and glycosyltransferases also exhibit relaxed substrate specificity. The promiscuity of these enzymes has prompted efforts to modify the sugar structures and/or alter the glycosylation patterns of natural products via metabolic pathway engineering and/or enzymatic glycodiversification. In applied biomedical research, these studies will enable the development of new glycosylation tools and generate novel glycoforms of secondary metabolites with useful biological activity. PMID:19058170

  18. Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicines

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Liang-Tzung; Hsu, Wen-Chan; Lin, Chun-Ching

    2014-01-01

    Viral infections play an important role in human diseases, and recent outbreaks in the advent of globalization and ease of travel have underscored their prevention as a critical issue in safeguarding public health. Despite the progress made in immunization and drug development, many viruses lack preventive vaccines and efficient antiviral therapies, which are often beset by the generation of viral escape mutants. Thus, identifying novel antiviral drugs is of critical importance and natural products are an excellent source for such discoveries. In this mini-review, we summarize the antiviral effects reported for several natural products and herbal medicines. PMID:24872930

  19. Growth and element flux at fine taxonomic resolution in natural microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hungate, Bruce; Mau, Rebecca; Schwartz, Egbert; Caporaso, J. Gregory; Dijkstra, Paul; van Gestel, Natasja; Koch, Benjamin J.; Liu, Cindy M.; McHugh, Theresa; Marks, Jane C.; Morrissey, Ember; Price, Lance B.

    2015-04-01

    Microorganisms are the engines of global biogeochemical cycles, driving half of all photosynthesis and nearly all decomposition. Yet, quantifying the rates at which uncultured microbial taxa grow and transform elements in intact and highly diverse natural communities in the environment remains among the most pressing challenges in microbial ecology today. Here, we show how shifts in the density of DNA caused by stable isotope incorporation can be used to estimate the growth rates of individual bacterial taxa in intact soil communities. We found that the distribution of growth rates followed the familiar lognormal distribution observed for the abundances, biomasses, and traits of many organisms. Growth rates of most bacterial taxa increased in response to glucose amendment, though the increase in growth observed for many taxa was larger than could be explained by direct utilization of the added glucose for growth, illustrating that glucose addition indirectly stimulated the utilization of other substrates. Variation in growth rates and phylogenetic distances were quantitatively related, connecting evolutionary history and biogeochemical function in intact soil microbial communities. Our approach has the potential to identify biogeochemically significant taxa in the microbial community and quantify their contributions to element transformations and ecosystem processes.

  20. Historical and Recent Achievements in the Field of Microbial Degradation of Natural and Synthetic Rubber

    PubMed Central

    Yikmis, Meral

    2012-01-01

    This review intends to provide an overview of historical and recent achievements in studies of microbial degradation of natural and synthetic rubber. The main scientific focus is on the key enzymes latex-clearing protein (Lcp) from the Gram-positive Streptomyces sp. strain K30 and rubber oxygenase A (RoxA) from the Gram-negative Xanthomonas sp. strain 35Y, which has been hitherto the only known rubber-degrading bacterium that does not belong to the actinomycetes. We also emphasize the importance of knowledge of biodegradation in industrial and environmental biotechnology for waste natural rubber disposal. PMID:22504822

  1. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-23

    In this study, accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux is critically important for investigating and predicting the biogeochemistry-climate feedback. Better simulating CH4 flux requires explicit representations of microbial processes on CH4 dynamics because all processes for CH4 production and consumption are actually carried out by microbes. A microbial functional group based module was developed and tested against an incubation experiment. The module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. These four processes were carried out by four microbial functional groups: acetoclastic methanogens, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was then linked with the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model, and was further used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model could capture the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and a temperature gradient of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting the behavior of the climate system.

  2. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-23

    In this study, accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux is critically important for investigating and predicting the biogeochemistry-climate feedback. Better simulating CH4 flux requires explicit representations of microbial processes on CH4 dynamics because all processes for CH4 production and consumption are actually carried out by microbes. A microbial functional group based module was developed and tested against an incubation experiment. The module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. These four processes were carried out by four microbial functional groups: acetoclastic methanogens,more » hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was then linked with the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model, and was further used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model could capture the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and a temperature gradient of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting the behavior of the climate system.« less

  3. Metabolic Engineering for the Production of Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Pickens, Lauren B.; Tang, Yi; Chooi, Yit-Heng

    2014-01-01

    Natural products and natural product derived compounds play an important role in modern healthcare as frontline treatments for many diseases and as inspiration for chemically synthesized therapeutics. With advances in sequencing and recombinant DNA technology, many of the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the production of these chemically complex and pharmaceutically valuable compounds have been elucidated. With an ever expanding toolkit of biosynthetic components, metabolic engineering is an increasingly powerful method to improve natural product titers and generate novel compounds. Heterologous production platforms have enabled access to pathways from difficult to culture strains; systems biology and metabolic modeling tools have resulted in increasing predictive and analytic capabilities; advances in expression systems and regulation have enabled the fine-tuning of pathways for increased efficiency, and characterization of individual pathway components has facilitated the construction of hybrid pathways for the production of new compounds. These advances in the many aspects of metabolic engineering have not only yielded fascinating scientific discoveries but also make it an increasingly viable approach for the optimization of natural product biosynthesis. PMID:22432617

  4. Environmental proteomics of microbial plankton in a highly productive coastal upwelling system

    SciTech Connect

    Sowell, Sarah; Abraham, Paul E; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Smith, Daniel; Barofsky, Douglas; Giovannoni, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Metaproteomics is one of a suite of new approaches providing insights into the activities of microorganisms in natural environments. Proteins, the final products of gene expression, indicate cellular priorities, taking into account both transcriptional and posttranscriptional control mechanisms that control adaptive responses. Here, we report the proteomic composition of the o 1.2 lm fraction of a microbial community from Oregon coast summer surface waters, detected with two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Spectra corresponding to proteins involved in protein folding and biosynthesis, transport, and viral capsid structure were the most frequently detected. A total of 36% of all the detected proteins were best matches to the SAR11 clade, and other abundant coastal microbial clades were also well represented, including the Roseobacter clade (17%), oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria group (6%), OM43 clade (1%). Viral origins were attributed to 2.5% of proteins. In contrast to oligotrophic waters, phosphate transporters were not highly detected in this nutrient-rich system. However, transporters for amino acids, taurine, polyamines and glutamine synthetase were among the most highly detected proteins, supporting predictions that carbon and nitrogen are more limiting than phosphate in this environment. Intriguingly, one of the highly detected proteins was methanol dehydrogenase originating from the OM43 clade, providing further support for recent reports that the metabolism of one-carbon compounds by these streamlined methylotrophs might be an important feature of coastal ocean biogeochemistry.

  5. Natural Product Research in the Australian Marine Invertebrate Dicathais orbita

    PubMed Central

    Benkendorff, Kirsten

    2013-01-01

    The predatory marine gastropod Dicathais orbita has been the subject of a significant amount of biological and chemical research over the past five decades. Natural products research on D. orbita includes the isolation and identification of brominated indoles and choline esters as precursors of Tyrian purple, as well as the synthesis of structural analogues, bioactivity testing, biodistributional and biosynthetic studies. Here I also report on how well these compounds conform to Lipinski’s rule of five for druglikeness and their predicted receptor binding and enzyme inhibitor activity. The composition of mycosporine-like amino acids, fatty acids and sterols has also been described in the egg masses of D. orbita. The combination of bioactive compounds produced by D. orbita is of interest for further studies in chemical ecology, as well as for future nutraceutical development. Biological insights into the life history of this species, as well as ongoing research on the gene expression, microbial symbionts and biosynthetic capabilities, should facilitate sustainable production of the bioactive compounds. Knowledge of the phylogeny of D. orbita provides an excellent platform for novel research into the evolution of brominated secondary metabolites in marine molluscs. The range of polarities in the brominated indoles produced by D. orbita has also provided an effective model system used to develop a new method for biodistributional studies. The well characterized suite of chemical reactions that generate Tyrian purple, coupled with an in depth knowledge of the ecology, anatomy and genetics of D. orbita provide a good foundation for ongoing natural products research. PMID:23612370

  6. An automated Genomes-to-Natural Products platform (GNP) for the discovery of modular natural products

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Chad W.; Skinnider, Michael A.; Wyatt, Morgan A.; Li, Xiang; Ranieri, Michael R. M.; Yang, Lian; Zechel, David L.; Ma, Bin; Magarvey, Nathan A.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial natural products are a diverse and valuable group of small molecules, and genome sequencing indicates that the vast majority remain undiscovered. The prediction of natural product structures from biosynthetic assembly lines can facilitate their discovery, but highly automated, accurate, and integrated systems are required to mine the broad spectrum of sequenced bacterial genomes. Here we present a genome-guided natural products discovery tool to automatically predict, combinatorialize and identify polyketides and nonribosomal peptides from biosynthetic assembly lines using LC–MS/MS data of crude extracts in a high-throughput manner. We detail the directed identification and isolation of six genetically predicted polyketides and nonribosomal peptides using our Genome-to-Natural Products platform. This highly automated, user-friendly programme provides a means of realizing the potential of genetically encoded natural products. PMID:26412281

  7. Microbial biodegradation of proteinaceous tannery solid waste and production of a novel value added product - Metalloprotease.

    PubMed

    Ravindran, Balasubramani; Wong, Jonathan W C; Selvam, Ammaiyappan; Thirunavukarasu, Kathirvel; Sekaran, Ganesan

    2016-10-01

    In this study, animal fleshing (ANFL) was utilized as a substrate for the production of extracellular protease by Clostridium limosum through central composite rotatable design (CCRD) and response surface methodology (RSM). Optimum protease production of 433U/ml was achieved and the purified enzyme was identified as acidic metalloprotease, a monomeric protein. The molecular weight of the enzyme was 71kDa, whose activity was enhanced by bivalent metals such as Zn(2+) and Mg(2+). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination also revealed the hydrolysis/microbial degradation of ANFL through protease activity in the anaerobic fermentation process. Simultaneous hydrolysis of ANFL and production of an enzyme with the potential for different industrial applications provide an attractive methodology for the disposal of tannery solid waste. PMID:27005792

  8. Coal or natural gas for ecofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Geertsema, A.

    1998-07-01

    The paper reviews the technology of the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis used in the Sasal plant in South Africa. It discusses environmental aspects and economics of new FT facilities for the production of diesel fuels. Several projects are briefly described which use this technology for natural gas conversion.

  9. New Methodology for Natural Gas Production Estimates

    EIA Publications

    2010-01-01

    A new methodology is implemented with the monthly natural gas production estimates from the EIA-914 survey this month. The estimates, to be released April 29, 2010, include revisions for all of 2009. The fundamental changes in the new process include the timeliness of the historical data used for estimation and the frequency of sample updates, both of which are improved.

  10. Chocolate: A Marvelous Natural Product of Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tannenbaum, Ginger

    2004-01-01

    The study of chocolate, a natural product, can be beneficial for the chemistry students as they ask frequently about the relevancy of their chemistry classes. The history of chocolate, its chemical and physical changes during processing, its composition, different crystalline forms, tempering and its viscosity are discussed.

  11. Marine Natural Products as Prototype Agrochemical Agents

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Jiangnan; Shen, Xiaoyu; El Sayed, Khalid A.; Dunbar, D. C Harles; Perry, Tony L.; Wilkins, Scott P.; Hamann, Mark T.; Bobzin, Steve; Huesing, Joseph; Camp, Robin; Prinsen, Mike; Krupa, Dan; Wideman, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    In the interest of identifying new leads that could serve as prototype agrochemical agents, 18 structurally diverse marine-derived compounds were examined for insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal activities. Several new classes of compounds have been shown to be insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal, which suggests that marine natural products represent an intriguing source for the discovery of new agrochemical agents. PMID:12670165

  12. A quantitative analysis of microbially-induced calcite precipitation employing artificial and naturally-occurring sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lokier, Stephen; Krieg Dosier, Ginger

    2013-04-01

    Microbially-induced calcite precipitation is a strong candidate for the production of sustainable construction materials. The process employs the microbe Sporosarcina pasteurii as an agent to microbially mediate the precipitation of calcium carbonate to bind unconsolidated sediment. As this process can be achieved under ambient temperature conditions and can utilise a wide variety of easily-available sediments, potentially including waste materials, it is envisioned that this procedure could significantly reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the construction industry. This study describes and quantifies the precipitation of calcite cement in a range of naturally-occurring sediments compared with a control matrix. The study establishes the optimum treatment time for effective cement precipitation in order to produce a material that meets the standards required for construction whilst keeping economic and environmental outlays at a minimum. The 'control sediment' employed industrial-grade glass beads with a grain size range of 595-1180 microns (16-30 US mesh). Sporosarcina pasteurii were mixed in a solution of urea and calcium chloride and then inoculated into the control sediment. The microbes attach to the surface of the sediment grains and employ urea as a source of energy to produce ammonia and carbon dioxide. By so doing, they increase the pH of the solution allowing calcium carbonate to precipitate at the cell walls to act as nucleation points facilitating the precipitation of cements as a grain-coating and biocementing the unconsolidated sediment. The solution treatment was repeated at eight hour intervals with samples removed for detailed analysis after each every five consecutive treatments (i.e. 40 hours). The process was repeated to produce 20 samples with treatment times between 40 and 800 hours. Cemented samples were impregnated with blue epoxy and examined petrographically to monitor cement development. Modal analysis was undertaken on each cemented

  13. Microbial interactions with naturally occurring hydrophobic sediments: Influence on sediment and associated contaminant mobility.

    PubMed

    Droppo, I G; Krishnappan, B G; Lawrence, J R

    2016-04-01

    The erosion, transport and fate of sediments and associated contaminants are known to be influenced by both particle characteristics and the flow dynamics imparted onto the sediment. The influential role of bitumen containing hydrophobic sediments and the microbial community on sediment dynamics are however less understood. This study links an experimental evaluation of sediment erosion with measured sediment-associated contaminant concentrations and microbial community analysis to provide an estimate of the potential for sediment to control the erosion, transport and fate of contaminants. Specifically the paper addresses the unique behaviour of hydrophobic sediments and the role that the microbial community associated with hydrophobic sediment may play in the transport of contaminated sediment. Results demonstrate that the hydrophobic cohesive sediment demonstrates unique transport and particle characteristics (poor settling and small floc size). Biofilms were observed to increase with consolidation/biostabilization times and generated a unique microbial consortium relative to the eroded flocs. Natural oil associated with the flocs appeared to be preferentially associated with microbial derived extracellular polymeric substances. While PAHs and naphthenic acid increased with increasing shear (indicative of increasing loads), they tended to decrease with consolidation/biostabilization (CB) time at similar shears suggesting a chemical and/or biological degradation. PAH and napthenic acid degrading microbes decreased with time as well, which may suggest that there was a reduced pool of PAHs and naphthenic acids available resulting in their die off. This study emphasizes the importance that any management strategies and operational assessments for the protection of human and aquatic health incorporate the sediment (suspended and bed sediment) and biological (biofilm) compartments and the energy dynamics within the system in order to better predict contaminant

  14. Natural Products for Chemoprevention of Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Eun-Yi; Moon, Aree

    2015-01-01

    Breast cancer is the primary cause of cancer death in women. Although current therapies have shown some promise against breast cancer, there is still no effective cure for the majority of patients in the advanced stages of breast cancer. Development of effective agents to slow, reduce, or reverse the incidence of breast cancer in high-risk women is necessary. Chemoprevention of breast cancer by natural products is advantageous, as these compounds have few side effects and low toxicity compared to synthetic compounds. In the present review, we summarize natural products which exert chemopreventive activities against breast cancer, such as curcumin, sauchinone, lycopene, denbinobin, genipin, capsaicin, and ursolic acid. This review examines the current knowledge about natural compounds and their mechanisms that underlie breast cancer chemopreventive activity both in vitro and in vivo. The present review may provide information on the use of these compounds for the prevention of breast cancer. PMID:26734584

  15. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil's capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as 'biomarker' indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and soil

  16. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C.; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil’s capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as ‘biomarker’ indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and

  17. Microbial Production in the Hyporheic Zone of a Coastal Floodplain River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clinton, S. M.; Edwards, R. T.

    2001-12-01

    Microbes living on saturated sediments influence stream ecosystem processes by altering the amount and chemical composition of materials delivered from the watershed to the river. Although many factors control rates of microbial processes, available dissolved organic matter (DOM) is often limiting. This limitation is of key interest in the hyporheic (subsurface) zone where microorganisms are dependent upon allochthonous sources of DOM for respiration and production. In floodplain rivers, long hyporheic flowpaths (hundreds of meters) occur beneath productive riparian terraces. At this scale, advecting DOM is rapidly utilized at the head of the flowpath leaving a large proportion of the hyporheic microbial community potentially DOM limited. An alternative source of labile DOM however, is the infiltration of DOM from overlying riparian soils. I investigated how variation in DOM and microbial activity was related to differences among the successional stages of overlying vegetation and positions along flowpaths in the hyporheic zone of a floodplain terrace on the Queets River, WA. Samples for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microbial production were collected seasonally from 30 wells during 2000-2001. Dissolved organic carbon ranged from 0.5-2.0 mg/L over the year and was higher in wells overlain by mixed old-growth conifer than young alder. There was insufficient DOC in advecting surface water to support hyporheic respiration in the terrace, suggesting that riparian soils were a potential DOM source for microbial metabolism. Microbial growth experiments demonstrated that hyporheic microorganisms were capable of metabolizing riparian soil leachates. Microbial production was higher at the head of the flowpaths than the end of the flowpaths; however it did not decrease in a fashion predicted from other studies. Although microbial production was higher in wells overlain by older trees, production was not statistically related to the overlying patch structure. The

  18. Natural products in modern life science

    PubMed Central

    Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-01-01

    With a realistic threat against biodiversity in rain forests and in the sea, a sustainable use of natural products is becoming more and more important. Basic research directed against different organisms in Nature could reveal unexpected insights into fundamental biological mechanisms but also new pharmaceutical or biotechnological possibilities of more immediate use. Many different strategies have been used prospecting the biodiversity of Earth in the search for novel structure–activity relationships, which has resulted in important discoveries in drug development. However, we believe that the development of multidisciplinary incentives will be necessary for a future successful exploration of Nature. With this aim, one way would be a modernization and renewal of a venerable proven interdisciplinary science, Pharmacognosy, which represents an integrated way of studying biological systems. This has been demonstrated based on an explanatory model where the different parts of the model are explained by our ongoing research. Anti-inflammatory natural products have been discovered based on ethnopharmacological observations, marine sponges in cold water have resulted in substances with ecological impact, combinatory strategy of ecology and chemistry has revealed new insights into the biodiversity of fungi, in depth studies of cyclic peptides (cyclotides) has created new possibilities for engineering of bioactive peptides, development of new strategies using phylogeny and chemography has resulted in new possibilities for navigating chemical and biological space, and using bioinformatic tools for understanding of lateral gene transfer could provide potential drug targets. A multidisciplinary subject like Pharmacognosy, one of several scientific disciplines bridging biology and chemistry with medicine, has a strategic position for studies of complex scientific questions based on observations in Nature. Furthermore, natural product research based on intriguing scientific

  19. Natural products in modern life science.

    PubMed

    Bohlin, Lars; Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-06-01

    With a realistic threat against biodiversity in rain forests and in the sea, a sustainable use of natural products is becoming more and more important. Basic research directed against different organisms in Nature could reveal unexpected insights into fundamental biological mechanisms but also new pharmaceutical or biotechnological possibilities of more immediate use. Many different strategies have been used prospecting the biodiversity of Earth in the search for novel structure-activity relationships, which has resulted in important discoveries in drug development. However, we believe that the development of multidisciplinary incentives will be necessary for a future successful exploration of Nature. With this aim, one way would be a modernization and renewal of a venerable proven interdisciplinary science, Pharmacognosy, which represents an integrated way of studying biological systems. This has been demonstrated based on an explanatory model where the different parts of the model are explained by our ongoing research. Anti-inflammatory natural products have been discovered based on ethnopharmacological observations, marine sponges in cold water have resulted in substances with ecological impact, combinatory strategy of ecology and chemistry has revealed new insights into the biodiversity of fungi, in depth studies of cyclic peptides (cyclotides) has created new possibilities for engineering of bioactive peptides, development of new strategies using phylogeny and chemography has resulted in new possibilities for navigating chemical and biological space, and using bioinformatic tools for understanding of lateral gene transfer could provide potential drug targets. A multidisciplinary subject like Pharmacognosy, one of several scientific disciplines bridging biology and chemistry with medicine, has a strategic position for studies of complex scientific questions based on observations in Nature. Furthermore, natural product research based on intriguing scientific

  20. Microbial production of a biofuel (acetone-butanol-ethanol) in a continuous bioreactor: impact of bleed and simultaneous product removal

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) was produced in an integrated continuous fermentation and product recovery system using a microbial strain Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 for ABE production and fermentation gases (CO2 and H2) for product removal by gas stripping. This represents a continuation of our ...

  1. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-01

    Accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux in terrestrial ecosystems is critically important for investigating and predicting biogeochemistry-climate feedbacks. Improved simulations of CH4 flux require explicit representations of the microbial processes that account for CH4 dynamics. A microbial functional group-based module was developed, building on the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model 4.5. This module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or from single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. Four microbial functional groups perform these processes: acetoclastic methanogens, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model captures the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils, and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and three temperature conditions of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C (R2 > 0.67 P < 0.001). The biases for modeled results are less than 30% across the soil samples and moisture and temperature conditions. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting trace gas dynamics and the behavior of the climate system.

  2. Microbial production of volatile sulphur compounds in the large intestine of pigs fed two different diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only little is known about the microbial production of volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) in the 18 gastrointestinal tract, the dietary influence, and the magnitude of this production. To investigate intestinal VSC production in more detail, pigs were fed diets based on either wheat and barley (CONTRO...

  3. Glucose-based microbial production of the hormone melatonin in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Germann, Susanne M; Baallal Jacobsen, Simo A; Schneider, Konstantin; Harrison, Scott J; Jensen, Niels B; Chen, Xiao; Stahlhut, Steen G; Borodina, Irina; Luo, Hao; Zhu, Jiangfeng; Maury, Jérôme; Forster, Jochen

    2016-05-01

    Melatonin is a natural mammalian hormone that plays an important role in regulating the circadian cycle in humans. It is a clinically effective drug exhibiting positive effects as a sleep aid and a powerful antioxidant used as a dietary supplement. Commercial melatonin production is predominantly performed by complex chemical synthesis. In this study, we demonstrate microbial production of melatonin and related compounds, such as serotonin and N-acetylserotonin. We generated Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that comprise heterologous genes encoding one or more variants of an L-tryptophan hydroxylase, a 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan decarboxylase, a serotonin acetyltransferase, an acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase, and means for providing the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin via heterologous biosynthesis and recycling pathways. We thereby achieved de novo melatonin biosynthesis from glucose. We furthermore accomplished increased product titers by altering expression levels of selected pathway enzymes and boosting co-factor supply. The final yeast strain produced melatonin at a titer of 14.50 ± 0.57 mg L(-1) in a 76h fermentation using simulated fed-batch medium with glucose as sole carbon source. Our study lays the basis for further developing a yeast cell factory for biological production of melatonin. PMID:26710256

  4. Renewable microbial lipid production from Oleaginous Yeast: some surfactants greatly improved lipid production of Rhodosporidium toruloides.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jingyang; Du, Wei; Zhao, Xuebing; Liu, Dehua

    2016-07-01

    Microbial oil is drawing increasing interest worldwide as an alternative non-food oil feedstock for biodiesel industry. Nowadays researchers have been increasingly focused on the improvement of microbial oil production process. Oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides (R. toruloides) is considered an important candidate due to its excellent capabilities of lipid accumulation, broad adaptabilities to various carbon substrates, and the potential of co-production of some pigments. In present work, the individual effects of non-ionic, cationic, and anionic surfactant on cell growth and lipid accumulation of R. toruloides were investigated for the first time. Interesting results were noticed when some anionic surfactants were supplemented. The most significant effect was observed with addition of 0.2 % (w/v) sodium lignosulfonate, that biomass concentration, lipid concentration, and lipid yield was increased by 25.1, 44.9, and 15.7 %, respectively. The fatty acid compositions of R. toruloides lipids remained unchanged, which is similar to that of vegetable oils, and is considered potential feedstock for biodiesel preparation. PMID:27263002

  5. Integrated hydrogen production process from cellulose by combining dark fermentation, microbial fuel cells, and a microbial electrolysis cell.

    PubMed

    Wang, Aijie; Sun, Dan; Cao, Guangli; Wang, Haoyu; Ren, Nanqi; Wu, Wei-Min; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-03-01

    Hydrogen gas production from cellulose was investigated using an integrated hydrogen production process consisting of a dark fermentation reactor and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as power sources for a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Two MFCs (each 25 mL) connected in series to an MEC (72 mL) produced a maximum of 0.43 V using fermentation effluent as a feed, achieving a hydrogen production rate from the MEC of 0.48 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d (based on the MEC volume), and a yield of 33.2 mmol H(2)/g COD removed in the MEC. The overall hydrogen production for the integrated system (fermentation, MFC and MEC) was increased by 41% compared with fermentation alone to 14.3 mmol H(2)/g cellulose, with a total hydrogen production rate of 0.24 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d and an overall energy recovery efficiency of 23% (based on cellulose removed) without the need for any external electrical energy input. PMID:21216594

  6. Taxonomy, Physiology, and Natural Products of Actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Barka, Essaid Ait; Vatsa, Parul; Sanchez, Lisa; Gaveau-Vaillant, Nathalie; Jacquard, Cedric; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Clément, Christophe; Ouhdouch, Yder; van Wezel, Gilles P

    2016-03-01

    Actinobacteria are Gram-positive bacteria with high G+C DNA content that constitute one of the largest bacterial phyla, and they are ubiquitously distributed in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many Actinobacteria have a mycelial lifestyle and undergo complex morphological differentiation. They also have an extensive secondary metabolism and produce about two-thirds of all naturally derived antibiotics in current clinical use, as well as many anticancer, anthelmintic, and antifungal compounds. Consequently, these bacteria are of major importance for biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture. Actinobacteria play diverse roles in their associations with various higher organisms, since their members have adopted different lifestyles, and the phylum includes pathogens (notably, species of Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Propionibacterium, and Tropheryma), soil inhabitants (e.g., Micromonospora and Streptomyces species), plant commensals (e.g., Frankia spp.), and gastrointestinal commensals (Bifidobacterium spp.). Actinobacteria also play an important role as symbionts and as pathogens in plant-associated microbial communities. This review presents an update on the biology of this important bacterial phylum. PMID:26609051

  7. Bioprospecting for Microbial Endophytes and Their Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Strobel, Gary; Daisy, Bryn

    2003-01-01

    Endophytic microorganisms are to be found in virtually every plant on earth. These organisms reside in the living tissues of the host plant and do so in a variety of relationships, ranging from symbiotic to slightly pathogenic. Because of what appears to be their contribution to the host plant, the endophytes may produce a plethora of substances of potential use to modern medicine, agriculture, and industry. Novel antibiotics, antimycotics, immunosuppressants, and anticancer compounds are only a few examples of what has been found after the isolation, culture, purification, and characterization of some choice endophytes in the recent past. The potential prospects of finding new drugs that may be effective candidates for treating newly developing diseases in humans, plants, and animals are great. PMID:14665674

  8. The Rhizosphere Zone: A Hot Spot of Microbial Activity and Methylmercury Production in Saltmarsh Sediments of San Francisco Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Windham-Myers, L.; Marvin-Dipasquale, M.; Voytek, M.; Kirshtein, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Agee, J. L.; Cox, M.; Kakouros, E.; Collins, J. N.; Yee, D.

    2008-12-01

    Tidal marshes of varying hydrology and salinity have been shown to have high rates of microbial methylmercury (MeHg) production, especially the periodically flooded, higher elevations which are densely vegetated with shallowly rooted plants. The specific influence of emergent wetland plants and their active rhizosphere (root zone) on mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry, however, is poorly understood. Seasonal and spatial patterns of Hg biogeochemistry were examined in 2005 and 2006 at three marshes along a salinity gradient of the Petaluma River, in Northern San Francisco Bay, California. In addition, to directly examine the influence of rhizosphere activity on MeHg production, a suite of devegetation experiments was conducted in 2006 within each marsh using paired vegetated and devegetated plots in two marsh subhabitats: poorly- drained interior sites and well-drained "edge" sites near slough channels. Surface sediment (0-2cm) was sampled in both April and August from these plots, as well as from 1st and 3rd order slough channels that were naturally free of vegetation. Vegetated marsh sites produced 3- to19-fold more MeHg than did slough sites, and MeHg production rates were greater in marsh interior sites compared to more oxic marsh "edge" sites. Microbial biomass (ng DNA gdrysed) was greater in vegetated marsh settings, compared to slough channels, and increased significantly between April and August at all marsh sites. Despite this seasonal increase in microbial biomass, MeHg concentrations and production rates decreased from April to August in vegetated surface sediments. Microbial indicators of methylation also decreased from April to August, including rates of microbial sulfate reduction and the abundance of iron- and sulfate- reducing bacterial DNA. Results from the devegetated plots suggest that root exudation of fermentative labile carbon to surface soils is responsible for the higher microbial biomass, and the higher relative abundance of iron- and sulfate

  9. Afforestation impacts microbial biomass and its natural (13)C and (15)N abundance in soil aggregates in central China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Junjun; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Fan; Lei, Yao; Zhang, Quanfa; Cheng, Xiaoli

    2016-10-15

    We investigated soil microbial biomass and its natural abundance of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in aggregates (>2000μm, 250-2000μm, 53-250μm and <53μm) of afforested (implementing woodland and shrubland plantations) soils, adjacent croplands and open area (i.e., control) in the Danjiangkou Reservoir area of central China. The afforested soils averaged higher microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) levels in all aggregates than in open area and cropland, with higher microbial biomass in micro-aggregates (<250μm) than in macro-aggregates (>2000μm). The δ(13)C of soil microbial biomass was more enriched in woodland soils than in other land use types, while δ(15)N of soil microbial biomass was more enriched compared with that of organic soil in all land use types. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N of microbial biomass were positively correlated with the δ(13)C and δ(15)N of organic soil across aggregates and land use types, whereas the (13)C and (15)N enrichment of microbial biomass exhibited linear decreases with the corresponding C:N ratio of organic soil. Our results suggest that shifts in the natural (13)C and (15)N abundance of microbial biomass reflect changes in the stabilization and turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) and thereby imply that afforestation can greatly impact SOM accumulation over the long-term. PMID:27285796

  10. Hydrogen production from switchgrass via a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Alex J.; Ren, Shoujie; Ye, Philip; Kim, Pyoungchung; Labbe, Niki; Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2015-06-30

    A new approach to hydrogen production using a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process is described. The aqueous stream generated during pyrolysis of switchgrass was used as a substrate for hydrogen production in a microbial electrolysis cell, achieving a maximum hydrogen production rate of 4.3 L H2/L-day at a loading of 10 g COD/L-anode-day. Hydrogen yields ranged from 50 3.2% to76 0.5% while anode coulombic efficiency ranged from 54 6.5% to 96 0.21%, respectively. Significant conversion of furfural, organic acids and phenolic molecules was observed under both batch and continuous conditions. The electrical and overall energy efficiency ranged from 149-175% and 48-63%, respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process as a sustainable and efficient route for production of renewable hydrogen with significant implications for hydrocarbon production from biomass.

  11. Changes in microbial community during biohydrogen production using gamma irradiated sludge as inoculum.

    PubMed

    Yin, Yanan; Wang, Jianlong

    2016-01-01

    The changes in microbial community structures during fermentative hydrogen production process were investigated by analyzing 16S rDNA gene sequences using gamma irradiated sludge as inoculum. The experimental results showed that the microbial community structure of untreated sludge was very rich in diversity. After gamma irradiation, lots of species were inhibited, and species with high survival rates under radiation conditions became dominant. After fermentation, Clostridium butyrium and a sequence closely related to Clostridium perfringens ATCC 13124(T) (CP000246) became predominant, which were all common hydrogen producers. Microbial distribution analysis indicated that gamma irradiation was a good pretreatment method for enriching hydrogen-producing strains from digested sludge. PMID:26492174

  12. Inefficient microbial production of refractory dissolved organic matter in the ocean.

    PubMed

    Osterholz, Helena; Niggemann, Jutta; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Simon, Meinhard; Dittmar, Thorsten

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the oceans constitutes a major carbon pool involved in global biogeochemical cycles. More than 96% of the marine DOM resists microbial degradation for thousands of years. The composition of this refractory DOM (RDOM) exhibits a molecular signature ubiquitously detected in the deep oceans. Surprisingly efficient microbial transformation of labile into stable forms of DOM has been shown previously, implying that microorganisms apparently produce far more RDOM than needed to sustain the global pool. Here we show, by assessing the microbial formation and transformation of DOM in unprecedented molecular detail for 3 years, that most of the microbial DOM is different from RDOM in the ocean. Only <0.4% of the net community production is channelled into a form of DOM that is undistinguishable from oceanic RDOM. Our study provides a molecular background for global models on the production, turnover and accumulation of marine DOM. PMID:26084883

  13. The Response of CD1d-Restricted Invariant NKT Cells to Microbial Pathogens and Their Products

    PubMed Central

    Van Kaer, Luc; Parekh, Vrajesh V.; Wu, Lan

    2015-01-01

    Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells become activated during a wide variety of infections. This includes organisms lacking cognate CD1d-binding glycolipid antigens recognized by the semi-invariant T cell receptor of iNKT cells. Additional studies have shown that iNKT cells also become activated in vivo in response to microbial products such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide, a potent inducer of cytokine production in antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Other studies have shown that iNKT cells are highly responsive to stimulation by cytokines such as interleukin-12. These findings have led to the concept that microbial pathogens can activate iNKT cells either directly via glycolipids or indirectly by inducing cytokine production in APCs. iNKT cells activated in this manner produce multiple cytokines that can influence the outcome of infection, usually in favor of the host, although potent iNKT cell activation may contribute to an uncontrolled cytokine storm and sepsis. One aspect of the response of iNKT cells to microbial pathogens is that it is short-lived and followed by an extended time period of unresponsiveness to reactivation. This refractory period may represent a means to avoid chronic activation and cytokine production by iNKT cells, thus protecting the host against some of the negative effects of iNKT cell activation, but potentially putting the host at risk for secondary infections. These effects of microbial pathogens and their products on iNKT cells are not only important for understanding the role of these cells in immune responses against infections but also for the development of iNKT cell-based therapies. PMID:26029211

  14. Volatile organic compound production and consumption by microbial plankton communities on the NOAA WACS cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovannoni, S. J.; Halsey, K.; Thrash, J. C.; De Gouw, J. A.; Graus, M.

    2013-12-01

    Information about biological sources and sinks of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ocean surface could result in a better understanding of the underlying causes of variation in air/sea VOC fluxes, and potentially could alter predictions about the impact of climate change on ocean surface ecology and air/sea interactions. The goal of this work was to measure rates of biological production, oxidation and assimilation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by microbial plankton communities along the WACS cruise transect from Boston to Bermuda in August 2013. Tangential flow filtration was used to concentrate microbial plankton communities for incubation in environmentally controlled dynamic stripping chambers under simulated ocean surface layer conditions. Gas streams exiting the chambers were monitored in real time with proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). In separate experiments aliquots of plankton suspensions were incubated with 14C-methanol, 14C-TMAO, and 14C-pyruvate, and the assimilation of 14C into biomass and the production of 14C-CO2 were measured. Results showed that the highly productive George's Bank plankton community has a high capacity for methanol and trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) oxidation. Biomass was estimated by counting cells. The rate of incorporation of methanol-carbon into biomass was only 21% of the rate of methanol oxidation to CO2. Similar results were observed for TMAO. These experiments also allowed estimates of kinetic constants for both compounds. The half-saturation constants (Ks) for methanol oxidation were similar in natural populations collected at George's Bank and the Sargasso Sea (12.8 and 9.9 μM, respectively). Interestingly, the Ks values for TMAO oxidation were an order of magnitude lower than for methanol in plankton communities sampled from both sites (0.5 and 0.3 μM, respectively). These results provide additional evidence that microbial plankton have a high capacity for oxidation of these low

  15. Characterizing Microbial Diversity and Function in Natural Subsurface CO2 Reservoir Systems for Applied Use in Geologic Carbon Sequestration Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freedman, A. J.; Thompson, J. R.

    2012-12-01

    The injection of CO2 into geological formations at quantities necessary to significantly reduce CO2 emissions will represent an environmental perturbation on a continental scale. The extent to which biological processes may play a role in the fate and transport of CO2 injected into geological formations has remained an open question due to the fact that at temperatures and pressures associated with reservoirs targeted for sequestration CO2 exists as a supercritical fluid (scCO2), which has generally been regarded as a sterilizing agent. Natural subsurface accumulations of CO2 serve as an excellent analogue for studying the long-term effects, implications and benefits of CO2 capture and storage (CCS). While several geologic formations bearing significant volumes of nearly pure scCO2 phases have been identified in the western United States, no study has attempted to characterize the microbial community present in these systems. Because the CO2 in the region is thought to have first accumulated millions of years ago, it is reasonable to assume that native microbial populations have undergone extensive and unique physiological and behavioral adaptations to adjust to the exceedingly high scCO2 content. Our study focuses on the microbial communities associated with the dolomite limestone McElmo Dome scCO2 Field in the Colorado Plateau region, approximately 1,000 m below the surface. Fluid samples were collected from 10 wells at an industrial CO2 production facility outside Cortez, CO. Subsamples preserved on site in 3.7% formaldehyde were treated in the lab with Syto 9 green-fluorescent nucleic acid stain, revealing 3.2E6 to 1.4E8 microbial cells per liter of produced fluid and 8.0E9 cells per liter of local pond water used in well drilling fluids. Extracted DNAs from sterivex 0.22 um filters containing 20 L of sample biomass were used as templates for PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene. 16S rRNA amplicons from these samples were cloned, sequenced and subjected to microbial

  16. Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Staphylococcus aureus in natural and processed cheese in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heeyoung; Kim, Kyunga; Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Yoon, Yohan

    2015-09-01

    This study quantitatively assessed the microbial risk of Staphylococcus aureus in cheese in Korea. The quantitative microbial risk assessment was carried out for natural and processed cheese from factory to consumption. Hazards for S. aureus in cheese were identified through the literature. For exposure assessment, the levels of S. aureus contamination in cheeses were evaluated, and the growth of S. aureus was predicted by predictive models at the surveyed temperatures, and at the time of cheese processing and distribution. For hazard characterization, a dose-response model for S. aureus was found, and the model was used to estimate the risk of illness. With these data, simulation models were prepared with @RISK (Palisade Corp., Ithaca, NY) to estimate the risk of illness per person per day in risk characterization. Staphylococcus aureus cell counts on cheese samples from factories and markets were below detection limits (0.30-0.45 log cfu/g), and pert distribution showed that the mean temperature at markets was 6.63°C. Exponential model [P=1 - exp(7.64×10(-8) × N), where N=dose] for dose-response was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Mean temperature of home storage was 4.02°C (log-logistic distribution). The results of risk characterization for S. aureus in natural and processed cheese showed that the mean values for the probability of illness per person per day were higher in processed cheese (mean: 2.24×10(-9); maximum: 7.97×10(-6)) than in natural cheese (mean: 7.84×10(-10); maximum: 2.32×10(-6)). These results indicate that the risk of S. aureus-related foodborne illness due to cheese consumption can be considered low under the present conditions in Korea. In addition, the developed stochastic risk assessment model in this study can be useful in establishing microbial criteria for S. aureus in cheese. PMID:26162789

  17. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, Ryan S.; Denef, Vincent J.; Kalnejais, Linda H.; Suttle, K. Blake; Thomas, Brian C.; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Shah, Menesh B.; VerBekmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ.

  18. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Ryan S; Denef, Vincent J; Kalnejais, Linda H; Suttle, K Blake; Thomas, Brian C; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R Blaine; Shah, Manesh B; VerBerkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ. PMID:20531404

  19. Characterization of humins from different natural sources and the effect on microbial reductive dechlorination of pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chunfang; Zhang, Dongdong; Xiao, Zhixing; Li, Zhiling; Suzuki, Daisuke; Katayama, Arata

    2015-07-01

    Humins have been reported to function as an electron mediator for microbial reducing reactions. However, the physicochemical properties and the functional moieties of humins from different natural sources have been poorly characterized. In this study, humins extracted from seven types of soil and from a river sediment were examined on the effect on microbial reductive dechlorination of pentachlorophenol (PCP) and characterized polyphasically. All humins facilitated microbial reductive dechlorination of PCP as electron mediators using formate as carbon source, with different dechlorination rates ranging from 0.99 to 7.63 (μmol Cl-) L(-1) d(-1). The highest rates were observed in humins with high carbon contents, extracted from Andisols containing allophone as major clay. Yields of the humins and the elemental compositions varied among sources. Fourier transform infrared analysis showed that all the humins exhibited similar spectra with different absorbance intensity; these data are indicative of their similar structures and identical classes of functional groups. The electron spin resonance spectra of humins prepared at different pH showed typical changes for the semiquinone-type radicals, suggestive of quinone moieties for the redox activity of the humins. Cyclic voltammetry analysis confirmed the presence of redox-active moieties in all the humins, with the estimated redox potentials in the range of -0.30 to -0.13 V (versus a standard hydrogen electrode), falling into the range of standard redox potential between the oxidation of formate as electron donor and the initial dechlorination of PCP as electron acceptor. PMID:25819981

  20. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R; Denef, Vincent; Kalnejals, Linda; Suttle, K Blake; Thomas, Brian; Wilmes, P; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R Blaine; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems.We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism s metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ

  1. Microbial diversity and dynamics of a groundwater and a still bottled natural mineral water.

    PubMed

    França, Luís; Lopéz-Lopéz, Arantxa; Rosselló-Móra, Ramon; da Costa, Milton S

    2015-03-01

    The microbial abundance and diversity at source, after bottling and through 6 months of storage of a commercial still natural mineral water were assessed by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The results revealed clear shifts of the dominant communities present in the three different stages. The borehole waters displayed low cell densities that increased 1.5-fold upon bottling and storage, reaching a maximum (6.2 × 10(8)  cells l(-1) ) within 15 days after bottling, but experienced a significant decrease in diversity. In all cases, communities were largely dominated by Bacteria. The culturable heterotrophic community was characterized by recovering 3626 isolates, which were primarily affiliated with the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. This study indicates that bottling and storage induce quantitative and qualitative changes in the microbial assemblages that seem to be similar as revealed by the two sample batches collected on 2 consecutive years. To our knowledge, this is the first study combining culture-independent with culture-dependent methods, and repeated tests to reveal the microbial dynamics occurring from source to stored bottled water. PMID:24612305

  2. European Directive fragrances in natural products.

    PubMed

    Scheman, Andrew; Scheman, Nicole; Rakowski, Ella-Marie

    2014-01-01

    Information on the presence of European Directive fragrance (EUF) allergens in plants and foods is important for numerous reasons. If an individual is allergic to an EUF and is avoiding fragrance, it is possible that they may still be exposed to the allergen in a natural product. In addition, because many of these allergens are also found in foods, it is possible that ingestion of a food containing the allergen may induce systemic contact allergy. Finally, individuals with lip dermatitis may react to contact with foods that contain the allergen. In this article, we have used the data available to identify which plants and foods contain EUF. When available, concentrations of EUF in natural products are provided. The goal of this article is to narrow down the list of botanicals to avoid for specific EUF allergies. PMID:24603515

  3. Advanced biomaterials development from "natural products".

    PubMed

    Baier, R E

    1988-04-01

    Natural substances and structures can serve increasingly well as biomedical products, given recent advances in understanding of requirements for biocompatibility and of methods for their preservation and surface tailoring. A successful example is the derivation of limb salvaging vessels, used in arterial reconstructive surgery, from human umbilical cords. There are numerous opportunities for additional product development from the umbilical cords' main ingredient, Wharton's gel, ranging from biolubricants to wound-healing aids. Major problems yet to be overcome with natural starting materials are their propensity for calcification and eventual biodeterioration. Surface modification of biomaterials to exhibit desired degrees of interaction with contacting viable tissues promises the greatest beneficial results. General principles of bioadhesion have broad applicability, predicting material behavior in environments as diverse as blood, saliva, and seawater. PMID:3058928

  4. Genome Mining for Ribosomally Synthesized Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Velásquez, Juan E.; van der Donk, Wilfred

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, the number of known peptide natural products that are synthesized via the ribosomal pathway has rapidly grown. Taking advantage of sequence homology among genes encoding precursor peptides or biosynthetic proteins, in silico mining of genomes combined with molecular biology approaches has guided the discovery of a large number of new ribosomal natural products, including lantipeptides, cyanobactins, linear thiazole/oxazole-containing peptides, microviridins, lasso peptides, amatoxins, cyclotides, and conopeptides. In this review, we describe the strategies used for the identification of these ribosomally-synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) and the structures of newly identified compounds. The increasing number of chemical entities and their remarkable structural and functional diversity may lead to novel pharmaceutical applications. PMID:21095156

  5. Microbial Diversity in Natural Asphalts of the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits▿

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jong-Shik; Crowley, David E.

    2007-01-01

    Bacteria commonly inhabit subsurface oil reservoirs, but almost nothing is known yet about microorganisms that live in naturally occurring terrestrial oil seeps and natural asphalts that are comprised of highly recalcitrant petroleum hydrocarbons. Here we report the first survey of microbial diversity in ca. 28,000-year-old samples of natural asphalts from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA. Microbiological studies included analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences and DNA encoding aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases from two tar pits differing in chemical composition. Our results revealed a wide range of phylogenetic groups within the Archaea and Bacteria domains, in which individual taxonomic clusters were comprised of sets of closely related species within novel genera and families. Fluorescent staining of asphalt-soil particles using phylogenetic probes for Archaea, Bacteria, and Pseudomonas showed coexistence of mixed microbial communities at high cell densities. Genes encoding dioxygenases included three novel clusters of enzymes. The discovery of life in the tar pits provides an avenue for further studies of the evolution of enzymes and catabolic pathways for bacteria that have been exposed to complex hydrocarbons for millennia. These bacteria also should have application for industrial microbiology and bioremediation. PMID:17416692

  6. Accelerated solvent extraction for natural products isolation.

    PubMed

    Mottaleb, Mohammad A; Sarker, Satyajit D

    2012-01-01

    Accelerated solvent extraction (ASE(®)), first introduced in 1995, is an automated rapid extraction technique that utilizes common solvents at elevated temperature and pressure, and thereby increases the efficiency of extraction of organic compounds from solid and semisolid matrices. ASE(®) allows extractions for sample sizes 1-100 g in minutes, reduces solvent uses dramatically, and can be applied to a wide range of matrices, including natural products. PMID:22367894

  7. Standardization for natural product synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huimin; Medema, Marnix H

    2016-08-27

    Standardization is one of the foundational features of modern-day engineering, and the use of standardized parts and processes is a key element that distinguishes bona fide synthetic biology from traditional genetic engineering. Here, we discuss the role of standardization in natural product synthetic biology, focusing on standardization of data on biosynthetic pathways and gene clusters, as well as the role of standardization in the process of biosynthetic gene cluster engineering. PMID:27313083

  8. Mass spectrometry in natural product chemistry.

    PubMed

    Clayton, E; Hill, H C; Reed, R I

    1966-01-01

    Some mass spectrometric techniques are described which seem applicable to investigating problems in natural product chemistry. One example is of a sample of 5 mcg of a compound being identified by comparison with an authentic sample of prostaglandin derivative. Compared were mass, ion content, and structure. In the prostaglandin/unknown substance comparison, high-resolution mass spectrometry resolved a quandary: apparent additional ions present in the unknown substance were shown to be an impurity. PMID:12262324

  9. Microbially-Enhanced Redox Solution Reoxidation for Sour Natural Gas Sweetening

    SciTech Connect

    Kenneth Brezinsky

    2008-01-15

    The specific objective of this project are to advance the technology and improve the economics of the commercial iron-based chelate processes such as LO-CAT II and SulFerox process utilizing biologically enhanced reoxidation of the redox solutions used in these processes. The project is based on the use of chelated ferric iron as the catalyst for the production of elemental sulfur, and then oxidizing bacteria, such as Thiobacillus Ferrooxidans (ATCC 23270) as an oxidizer. The regeneration of Fe{sup 3+} - chelate is accomplished by the use of these same microbes under mild conditions at 25-30 C and at atmospheric pressure to minimize the chelate degradation process. The pH of the redox solution was observed to be a key process parameter. Other parameters such as temperature, total iron concentration, gas to liquid ratio and bacterial cell densities also influence the overall process. The second part of this project includes experimental data and a kinetic model of microbial H{sub 2}S removal from sour natural gas using thiobacillus species. In the experimental part, a series of experiments were conducted with a commercial chelated iron catalyst at pH ranges from 8.7 to 9.2 using a total iron concentration range from 925 ppm to 1050 ppm in the solution. Regeneration of the solution was carried out by passing air through the solution. Iron oxidizing bacteria were used at cell densities of 2.3 x 10{sup 7}cells/ml for optimum effective performance. In the modeling part, oxidation of Fe{sup 2+} ions by the iron oxidizing bacteria - Thiobacillus Ferrooxidans was studied for application to a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The factors that can directly affect the oxidation rate such as dilution rate, temperature, and pH were analyzed. The growth of the microorganism was assumed to follow Monod type of growth kinetics. Dilution rate had influence on the rate of oxidation of ferrous iron. Higher dilution rates caused washout of the biomass. The oxidation rate was

  10. Microbial Reverse-Electrodialysis Electrolysis and Chemical-Production Cell for H2 Production and CO2 Sequestration.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiuping; Hatzell, Marta C; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-04-01

    Natural mineral carbonation can be accelerated using acid and alkali solutions to enhance atmospheric CO2 sequestration, but the production of these solutions needs to be carbon-neutral. A microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis and chemical-production cell (MRECC) was developed to produce these solutions and H2 gas using only renewable energy sources (organic matter and salinity gradient). Using acetate (0.82 g/L) as a fuel for microorganisms to generate electricity in the anode chamber (liquid volume of 28 mL), 0.45 mmol of acid and 1.09 mmol of alkali were produced at production efficiencies of 35% and 86%, respectively, along with 10 mL of H2 gas. Serpentine dissolution was enhanced 17-87-fold using the acid solution, with approximately 9 mL of CO2 absorbed and 4 mg of CO2 fixed as magnesium or calcium carbonates. The operational costs, based on mineral digging and grinding, and water pumping, were estimated to be only $25/metric ton of CO2 fixed as insoluble carbonates. Considering the additional economic benefits of H2 generation and possible wastewater treatment, this method may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for CO2 sequestration. PMID:24741666

  11. Microbial Reverse-Electrodialysis Electrolysis and Chemical-Production Cell for H2 Production and CO2 Sequestration

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Natural mineral carbonation can be accelerated using acid and alkali solutions to enhance atmospheric CO2 sequestration, but the production of these solutions needs to be carbon-neutral. A microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis and chemical-production cell (MRECC) was developed to produce these solutions and H2 gas using only renewable energy sources (organic matter and salinity gradient). Using acetate (0.82 g/L) as a fuel for microorganisms to generate electricity in the anode chamber (liquid volume of 28 mL), 0.45 mmol of acid and 1.09 mmol of alkali were produced at production efficiencies of 35% and 86%, respectively, along with 10 mL of H2 gas. Serpentine dissolution was enhanced 17–87-fold using the acid solution, with approximately 9 mL of CO2 absorbed and 4 mg of CO2 fixed as magnesium or calcium carbonates. The operational costs, based on mineral digging and grinding, and water pumping, were estimated to be only $25/metric ton of CO2 fixed as insoluble carbonates. Considering the additional economic benefits of H2 generation and possible wastewater treatment, this method may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for CO2 sequestration. PMID:24741666

  12. Microbial Scout Hypothesis, Stochastic Exit from Dormancy, and the Nature of Slow Growers

    PubMed Central

    Buerger, S.; Spoering, A.; Gavrish, E.; Leslin, C.; Ling, L.

    2012-01-01

    We recently proposed a scout model of the microbial life cycle (S. S. Epstein, Nature 457:1083, 2009), the central element of which is the hypothesis that dormant microbial cells wake up into active (so-called scout) cells stochastically, independently of environmental cues. Here, we check the principal prediction of this hypothesis: under growth-permissive conditions, dormant cells initiate growth at random time intervals and exhibit no species-specific lag phase. We show that a range of microorganisms, including environmental species, Escherichia coli, and Mycobacterium smegmatis, indeed wake up in a seemingly stochastic manner and independently of environmental conditions, even in the longest incubations conducted (months to years long). As is implicit in the model, most of the cultures we obtained after long incubations were not inherently slow growers. Of the environmental isolates that required ≥7 months to form visible growth, only 5% needed an equally long incubation upon subculturing, with the majority exhibiting regrowth within 24 to 48 h. This apparent change was not a result of adaptive mutation; rather, most microbial species that appear to be slow growers were in fact fast growers with a delayed initiation of division. Genuine slow growth thus appears to be less significant than previously believed. Random, low-frequency exit from the nongrowing state may be a key element of a general microbial survival strategy, and the phylogenetic breadth of the organisms exhibiting such exit indicates that it represents a general phenomenon. The stochasticity of awakening can also provide a parsimonious explanation to several microbiological observations, including the apparent randomness of latent infections and the existence of viable-but-nonculturable cells (VBNC). PMID:22367083

  13. Electrodic voltages in the presence of dissolved sulfide: Implications for monitoring natural microbial activity

    SciTech Connect

    Slater, L.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Yee, N.; O'Brien, M.; Zhang, C.; Williams, K. H.

    2008-10-01

    There is growing interest in the development of new monitoring strategies for obtaining spatially extensive data diagnostic of microbial processes occurring in the earth. Open-circuit potentials arising from variable redox conditions in the fluid local-to-electrode surfaces (electrodic potentials) were recorded for a pair of silver-silver chloride electrodes in a column experiment, whereby a natural wetland soil containing a known community of sulfate reducers was continuously fed with a sulfate-rich nutrient medium. Measurements were made between five electrodes equally spaced along the column and a reference electrode placed on the column inflow. The presence of a sulfate reducing microbial population, coupled with observations of decreasing sulfate levels, formation of black precipitate (likely iron sulfide),elevated solid phase sulfide, and a characteristic sulfurous smell, suggest microbial-driven sulfate reduction (sulfide generation) in our column. Based on the known sensitivity of a silver electrode to dissolved sulfide concentration, we interpret the electrodic potentials approaching 700 mV recorded in this experiment as an indicator of the bisulfide (HS-) concentration gradients in the column. The measurement of the spatial and temporal variation in these electrodic potentials provides a simple and rapid method for monitoring patterns of relative HS- concentration that are indicative of the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Our measurements have implications both for the autonomous monitoring of anaerobic microbial processes in the subsurface and the performance of self-potential electrodes, where it is critical to isolate, and perhaps quantify, electrochemical interfaces contributing to observed potentials.

  14. Unconventional microbial systems for the cost-efficient production of high-quality protein therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Corchero, José Luis; Gasser, Brigitte; Resina, David; Smith, Wesley; Parrilli, Ermenegilda; Vázquez, Felícitas; Abasolo, Ibane; Giuliani, Maria; Jäntti, Jussi; Ferrer, Pau; Saloheimo, Markku; Mattanovich, Diethard; Schwartz, Simó; Tutino, Maria Luisa; Villaverde, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Both conventional and innovative biomedical approaches require cost-effective protein drugs with high therapeutic potency, improved bioavailability, biocompatibility, stability and pharmacokinetics. The growing longevity of the human population, the increasing incidence and prevalence of age-related diseases and the better comprehension of genetic-linked disorders prompt to develop natural and engineered drugs addressed to fulfill emerging therapeutic demands. Conventional microbial systems have been for long time exploited to produce biotherapeutics, competing with animal cells due to easier operation and lower process costs. However, both biological platforms exhibit important drawbacks (mainly associated to intracellular retention of the product, lack of post-translational modifications and conformational stresses), that cannot be overcome through further strain optimization merely due to physiological constraints. The metabolic diversity among microorganisms offers a spectrum of unconventional hosts, that, being able to bypass some of these weaknesses, are under progressive incorporation into production pipelines. In this review we describe the main biological traits and potentials of emerging bacterial, yeast, fungal and microalgae systems, by comparing selected leading species with well established conventional organisms with a long run in protein drug production. PMID:22985698

  15. Microbial production of specialty organic acids from renewable and waste materials.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Saúl; Rendueles, Manuel; Díaz, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Microbial production of organic acids has become a fast-moving field due to the increasing role of these compounds as platform chemicals. In recent years, the portfolio of specialty fermentation-derived carboxylic acids has increased considerably, including the production of glyceric, glucaric, succinic, butyric, xylonic, fumaric, malic, itaconic, lactobionic, propionic and adipic acid through innovative fermentation strategies. This review summarizes recent trends in the use of novel microbial platforms as well as renewable and waste materials for efficient and cost-effective bio-based production of emerging high-value organic acids. Advances in the development of robust and efficient microbial bioprocesses for producing carboxylic acids from low-cost feedstocks are also discussed. The industrial market scenario is also reviewed, including the latest information on the stage of development for producing these emerging bio-products via large-scale fermentation. PMID:24754448

  16. Identification and microbial production of a terpene-based advanced biofuel.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Ouellet, Mario; Chan, Rossana; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Keasling, Jay D; Lee, Taek Soon

    2011-01-01

    Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Here we identify a novel biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel, bisabolane, and engineer microbial platforms for the production of its immediate precursor, bisabolene. First, we identify bisabolane as an alternative to D2 diesel by measuring the fuel properties of chemically hydrogenated commercial bisabolene. Then, via a combination of enzyme screening and metabolic engineering, we obtain a more than tenfold increase in bisabolene titers in Escherichia coli to >900 mg l(-1). We produce bisabolene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (>900 mg l(-1)), a widely used platform for the production of ethanol. Finally, we chemically hydrogenate biosynthetic bisabolene into bisabolane. This work presents a framework for the identification of novel terpene-based advanced biofuels and the rapid engineering of microbial farnesyl diphosphate-overproducing platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:21952217

  17. Identification and microbial production of a terpene-based advanced biofuel

    PubMed Central

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P.; Ouellet, Mario; Chan, Rossana; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon

    2011-01-01

    Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Here we identify a novel biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel, bisabolane, and engineer microbial platforms for the production of its immediate precursor, bisabolene. First, we identify bisabolane as an alternative to D2 diesel by measuring the fuel properties of chemically hydrogenated commercial bisabolene. Then, via a combination of enzyme screening and metabolic engineering, we obtain a more than tenfold increase in bisabolene titers in Escherichia coli to >900 mg l−1. We produce bisabolene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (>900 mg l−1), a widely used platform for the production of ethanol. Finally, we chemically hydrogenate biosynthetic bisabolene into bisabolane. This work presents a framework for the identification of novel terpene-based advanced biofuels and the rapid engineering of microbial farnesyl diphosphate-overproducing platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:21952217

  18. The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Design of Microbial Cell Factories for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Colin, Verónica Leticia; Rodríguez, Analía; Cristóbal, Héctor Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Insecurity in the supply of fossil fuels, volatile fuel prices, and major concerns regarding climate change have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Because of this, the use of biodiesel has grown dramatically during the last few years and is expected to increase even further in the future. Biodiesel production through the use of microbial systems has marked a turning point in the field of biofuels since it is emerging as an attractive alternative to conventional technology. Recent progress in synthetic biology has accelerated the ability to analyze, construct, and/or redesign microbial metabolic pathways with unprecedented precision, in order to permit biofuel production that is amenable to industrial applications. The review presented here focuses specifically on the role of synthetic biology in the design of microbial cell factories for efficient production of biodiesel. PMID:22028591

  19. Characterization of the deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, D.; Alawi, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Kock, D.; Krüger, M.; Wuerdemann, H.; Shaheed, M.

    2010-12-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of approximately 3500 m, is characterised by high salinity (420 g/l) and temperatures up to 127°C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery), the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism), DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and 16S rRNA cloning. First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other deep environments. The sequence analyses revealed the presence of several H2-oxidising bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp

  20. Informatic search strategies to discover analogues and variants of natural product archetypes.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Chad W; Connaty, Alex D; Skinnider, Michael A; Li, Yong; Grunwald, Alyssa; Wyatt, Morgan A; Kerr, Russell G; Magarvey, Nathan A

    2016-03-01

    Natural products are a crucial source of antimicrobial agents, but reliance on low-resolution bioactivity-guided approaches has led to diminishing interest in discovery programmes. Here, we demonstrate that two in-house automated informatic platforms can be used to target classes of biologically active natural products, specifically, peptaibols. We demonstrate that mass spectrometry-based informatic approaches can be used to detect natural products with high sensitivity, identifying desired agents present in complex microbial extracts. Using our specialised software packages, we could elaborate specific branches of chemical space, uncovering new variants of trichopolyn and demonstrating a way forward in mining natural products as a valuable source of potential pharmaceutical agents. PMID:26350080

  1. Towards efficient bioethanol production from agricultural and forestry residues: Exploration of unique natural microorganisms in combination with advanced strain engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Xiong, Liang; Zhang, Mingming; Bai, Fengwu

    2016-09-01

    Production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural and forestry residues is receiving increasing attention due to the unsustainable supply of fossil fuels. Three key challenges include high cellulase production cost, toxicity of the cellulosic hydrolysate to microbial strains, and poor ability of fermenting microorganisms to utilize certain fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate. In this article, studies on searching of natural microbial strains for production of unique cellulase for biorefinery of agricultural and forestry wastes, as well as development of strains for improved cellulase production were reviewed. In addition, progress in the construction of yeast strains with improved stress tolerance and the capability to fully utilize xylose and glucose in the cellulosic hydrolysate was also summarized. With the superior microbial strains for high titer cellulase production and efficient utilization of all fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate, economic biofuels production from agricultural residues and forestry wastes can be realized. PMID:27067672

  2. Microbial screening and analytical methods for the production of polyol oils from soybean oil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study is to develop a new useful method including microbial screening and product identification for a bioprocess to produce polyol oils from soybean oil. Methods for separating of product polyol oils from soybean oil substrate and free fatty acid byproducts using HPLC and TLC...

  3. Microbial Diversity-Based Novel Crop Protection Products

    SciTech Connect

    Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.; DuPont Experimental Station; Yalpani, Ronald Flannagan, Rafael Herrmann, James Presnail, Tamas Torok, and Nasser; Herrmann, Rafael; Presnail, James; Torok, Tamas; Yalpani, Nasser

    2007-05-10

    Extremophilic microorganisms are adapted to survive in ecological niches with high temperatures, extremes of pH, high salt concentrations, high pressure, radiation, etc. Extremophiles produce unique biocatalysts and natural products that function under extreme conditions comparab le to those prevailing in various industrial processes. Therefore, there is burgeoning interest in bioprospecting for extremophiles with potential immediate use in agriculture, the food, chemical, and pharm aceutical industries, and environmental biotechnology. Over the years, several thousand extremophilic bacteria, archaea, and filamentous fungi were collected at extreme environmental sites in the USA, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone surrounding the faeild nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in and around Lake Baikal in Siberia, and at geothermal sites on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. These organisms were cultured under proprietary conditions, and the cell- free supernatants were screened for biological activities against plant pathogenic fungi and major crop damaging insects. Promising peptide lead molecules were isolated, characterized, and sequenced. Relatively high hit rates characterized the tested fermentation broths. Of the 26,000 samples screened, over thousand contained biological activity of interest. A fair number of microorganisms expressed broad- spectrum antifungal or insecticidal activity. Two- dozen broadly antifungal peptides (AFPs) are alr eady patent protected, and many more tens are under further investigation. Tapping the gene pool of extremophilic microorganisms to provide novel ways of crop protection proved a successful strategy.

  4. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    PubMed

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing. PMID:26479184

  5. Neurotrophic Natural Products: Chemistry and Biology

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jing; Lacoske, Michelle H.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injury affect approximately 50 million people worldwide, bringing the total healthcare cost to over 600 billion dollars per year. Nervous system growth factors, that is, neurotrophins, are a potential solution to these disorders, since they could promote nerve regeneration. An average of 500 publications per year attests to the significance of neurotrophins in biomedical sciences and underlines their potential for therapeutic applications. Nonetheless, the poor pharmacokinetic profile of neurotrophins severely restricts their clinical use. On the other hand, small molecules that modulate neurotrophic activity offer a promising therapeutic approach against neurological disorders. Nature has provided an impressive array of natural products that have potent neurotrophic activities. This Review highlights the current synthetic strategies toward these compounds and summarizes their ability to induce neuronal growth and rehabilitation. It is anticipated that neurotrophic natural products could be used not only as starting points in drug design but also as tools to study the next frontier in biomedical sciences: the brain activity map project. PMID:24353244

  6. Natural Products from Plant-associated Microorganisms: Distribution, Structural Diversity, Bioactivity, and Implications of Their Occurrence⊥

    PubMed Central

    Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie

    2012-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that plant-associated microorganisms, especially endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria and fungi, represent a huge and largely untapped resource of natural products with chemical structures that have been optimized by evolution for biological and ecological relevance. A diverse array of bioactive small molecule natural products has been encountered in these microorganisms. The structures of over 230 metabolites isolated and characterized from over 70 plant-associated microbial strains during the past four years are presented with information on their hosts, culture conditions, and biological activities. Some significant biological and ecological implications of their occurrence are also reviewed. PMID:16562864

  7. Quantitation of microbial products and their effectiveness in enhanced oil recovery. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X.; Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.

    1995-02-01

    A three-dimensional, three-phase, multiple-component numerical simulator was developed to investigate transport and growth of microorganisms in porous media and the impacts of microbial activities on oil recovery. The microbial activities modeled in this study included: (1) growth, retention, chemotaxis, and end product inhibition of growth, (2) the formation of metabolic products, and (3) the consumption of nutrients. Major mechanisms for microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) processes were modeled as follows: (1) improvement in sweep efficiency of a displacement process due to in situ plugging of highly-permeable production zones by cell mass or due to improved mobility control achieved by increasing the viscosity of the displacing fluid with a biopolymer, and (2) solubilization and mobilization of residual oil in porous media due to the reduction of the interfacial tension between oleic and aqueous phases by the production of a biosurfactant. The numerical solutions for mathematical models involved two steps. The distributions of pressure and phase saturations were solved from continuity equations and Darcy flow velocities for the aqueous phase were computed. This was followed by the solution of convection-dispersion equations for individual components. Numerical solutions from the proposed model were compared to results obtained from analytical equations, commercial simulators, and laboratory experiments. The comparison indicated that the model accurately quantified microbial transport and metabolism in porous media, and predicted additional crude oil recovery due to microbial processes. 50 refs., 41 figs., 26 tabs.

  8. What heat is telling us about microbial conversions in nature and technology: from chip- to megacalorimetry.

    PubMed

    Maskow, Thomas; Kemp, Richard; Buchholz, Friederike; Schubert, Torsten; Kiesel, Baerbel; Harms, Hauke

    2010-05-01

    The exploitation of microorganisms in natural or technological systems calls for monitoring tools that reflect their metabolic activity in real time and, if necessary, are flexible enough for field application. The Gibbs energy dissipation of assimilated substrates or photons often in the form of heat is a general feature of life processes and thus, in principle, available to monitor and control microbial dynamics. Furthermore, the combination of measured heat fluxes with material fluxes allows the application of Hess' law to either prove expected growth stoichiometries and kinetics or identify and estimate unexpected side reactions. The combination of calorimetry with respirometry is theoretically suited for the quantification of the degree of coupling between catabolic and anabolic reactions. New calorimeter developments overcome the weaknesses of conventional devices, which hitherto limited the full exploitation of this powerful analytical tool. Calorimetric systems can be integrated easily into natural and technological systems of interest. They are potentially suited for high-throughput measurements and are robust enough for field deployment. This review explains what information calorimetric analyses provide; it introduces newly emerging calorimetric techniques and it exemplifies the application of calorimetry in different fields of microbial research. PMID:21255327

  9. Investigation of Microbial Respirometry for Monitoring Natural Sulfide Abatement in Geothermal Cooling Tower Basins

    SciTech Connect

    Peter A. Pryfogle

    2005-09-01

    Geothermal plant operators are interested in investigating the ability of micro-organisms found in the cooling tower basin to metabolize and cycle sulfide to less toxic sulfur compounds. If the growth or activity of the organisms participating in sulfur-oxidation could be selectively enhanced, then hydrogen sulfide could be naturally abated in the cooling basin, substantially reducing the costs associated with the chemicals used for abatement. The use of respirometry has been proposed as a technique for monitoring the response of the microbial populations found in geothermal cooling towers to various conditions, including the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Respiro-metry is a manometric measurement of dissolved gases that are in equilibrium in a con-fined sample volume. Since microbes expire varying amounts of carbon dioxide or oxygen as they metabolize nutrients, this technique can be used to evaluate their activities in process streams. This report describes a series of experiments designed to determine the suitability of respirometry for tracking microbial activity for evaluating and enhancing natural abatement processes in geothermal cooling basins.

  10. Natural Killer-like B Cells Prime Innate Lymphocytes against Microbial Infection.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuo; Xia, Pengyan; Chen, Yi; Huang, Guanling; Xiong, Zhen; Liu, Jing; Li, Chong; Ye, Buqing; Du, Ying; Fan, Zusen

    2016-07-19

    Natural killer (NK) cells and non-cytotoxic interferon-γ (IFN-γ)-producing group I innate lymphoid cells (ILC1s) produce large amounts of IFN-γ and cause activation of innate and adaptive immunity. However, how NKs and ILC1s are primed during infection remains elusive. Here we have shown that a lymphocyte subpopulation natural killer-like B (NKB) cells existed in spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs). NKBs had unique features that differed from T and B cells, and produced interleukin-18 (IL-18) and IL-12 at an early phase of infection. NKB cells played a critical role in eradication of microbial infection via secretion of IL-18 and IL-12. Moreover, IL-18 deficiency abrogated the antibacterial effect of NKBs. Upon bacterial challenge, NKB precursors (NKBPs) rapidly differentiated to NKBs that activated NKs and ILC1s against microbial infection. Our findings suggest that NKBs might be exploited to develop effective therapies for treatment of infectious diseases. PMID:27421702

  11. What heat is telling us about microbial conversions in nature and technology: from chip‐ to megacalorimetry

    PubMed Central

    Maskow, Thomas; Kemp, Richard; Buchholz, Friederike; Schubert, Torsten; Kiesel, Baerbel; Harms, Hauke

    2010-01-01

    Summary The exploitation of microorganisms in natural or technological systems calls for monitoring tools that reflect their metabolic activity in real time and, if necessary, are flexible enough for field application. The Gibbs energy dissipation of assimilated substrates or photons often in the form of heat is a general feature of life processes and thus, in principle, available to monitor and control microbial dynamics. Furthermore, the combination of measured heat fluxes with material fluxes allows the application of Hess' law to either prove expected growth stoichiometries and kinetics or identify and estimate unexpected side reactions. The combination of calorimetry with respirometry is theoretically suited for the quantification of the degree of coupling between catabolic and anabolic reactions. New calorimeter developments overcome the weaknesses of conventional devices, which hitherto limited the full exploitation of this powerful analytical tool. Calorimetric systems can be integrated easily into natural and technological systems of interest. They are potentially suited for high‐throughput measurements and are robust enough for field deployment. This review explains what information calorimetric analyses provide; it introduces newly emerging calorimetric techniques and it exemplifies the application of calorimetry in different fields of microbial research. PMID:21255327

  12. Parasites pitched against nature: Pitch Lake water protects guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from microbial and gyrodactylid infections.

    PubMed

    Schelkle, Bettina; Mohammed, Ryan S; Coogan, Michael P; McMullan, Mark; Gillingham, Emma L; VAN Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2012-11-01

    SUMMARY The enemy release hypothesis proposes that in parasite depleted habitats, populations will experience relaxed selection and become more susceptible (or less tolerant) to pathogenic infections. Here, we focus on a population of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) that are found in an extreme environment (the Pitch Lake, Trinidad) and examine whether this habitat represents a refuge from parasites. We investigated the efficacy of pitch in preventing microbial infections in Pitch Lake guppies, by exposing them to dechlorinated water, and reducing gyrodactylid infections on non-Pitch Lake guppies by transferring them to Pitch Lake water. We show that (i) natural prevalence of ectoparasites in the Pitch Lake is low compared to reference populations, (ii) Pitch Lake guppies transferred into aquarium water develop microbial infections, and (iii) experimentally infected guppies are cured of their gyrodactylid infections both by natural Pitch Lake water and by dechlorinated water containing solid pitch. These results indicate a role for Pitch Lake water in the defence of guppies from their parasites and suggest that Pitch Lake guppies might have undergone enemy release in this extreme environment. The Pitch Lake provides an ideal ecosystem for studies on immune gene evolution in the absence of parasites and long-term evolutionary implications of hydrocarbon pollution for vertebrates. PMID:22831751

  13. Microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell for CO2 sequestration.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiuping; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-05-01

    Mineral carbonation can be used for CO2 sequestration, but the reaction rate is slow. In order to accelerate mineral carbonation, acid generated in a microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC) was examined to dissolve natural minerals rich in magnesium/calcium silicates (serpentine), and the alkali generated by the same process was used to absorb CO2 and precipitate magnesium/calcium carbonates. The concentrations of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) dissolved from serpentine increased 20 and 145 times by using the acid solution. Under optimal conditions, 24 mg of CO2 was absorbed into the alkaline solution and 13 mg of CO2 was precipitated as magnesium/calcium carbonates over a fed-batch cycle (24h). Additionally, the MEDCC removed 94% of the COD (initially 822 mg/L) and achieved 22% desalination (initially 35 g/L NaCl). These results demonstrate the viability of this process for effective CO2 sequestration using renewable organic matter and natural minerals. PMID:24632437

  14. Production of natural products through metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-12-01

    Many high-value metabolites are produced in nature by organisms that are not ideal for large-scale production. Therefore, interest exists in expressing the biosynthetic pathways of these compounds in organisms that are more suitable for industrial production. Recent years have seen developments in both the discovery of various biosynthetic pathways, as well as development of metabolic engineering tools that allow reconstruction of complex pathways in microorganisms. In the present review we discuss recent advances in reconstruction of the biosynthetic pathways of various high-value products in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a commonly used industrial microorganism. Key achievements in the production of different isoprenoids, aromatics and polyketides are presented and the metabolic engineering strategies underlying these accomplishments are discussed. PMID:25544013

  15. Enzymatic approach in microbial-influenced corrosion: a review based on stainless steels in natural waters.

    PubMed

    Landoulsi, J; El Kirat, K; Richard, C; Féron, D; Pulvin, S

    2008-04-01

    The electrochemical behavior of stainless steels (SS) in natural waters is characterized by the ennoblement of their free corrosion potential (E(corr)). This phenomenon depends strongly on the settlement of biofilms on SS surfaces. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the biofilm action, in particular the enzymatic catalysis plays an important role by shifting the cathodic and/or anodic processes. However, there are still only few studies relating the use of purified enzymes. In contrast with bacteria-associated corrosion, the direct influence of enzymes is still poorly documented. The aim of this review is to show the benefits of the enzymatic approach in the study of biocorrosion. Indeed, enzymatic systems may constitute convenient models to mimic microbial influenced corrosion and to evaluate the behavior of metallic materials in natural waters. PMID:18504948

  16. Targeting Mycobacterial Enzymes with Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Sieniawska, Elwira

    2015-10-22

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a recurring threat to contemporary civilization. It affects not only those within developing countries, but has also appeared again in places where it was once considered eradicated. TB co-infection in patients infected by HIV is, at the time of writing, the most common cause of death. In the field of searching for new antimycobacterial drug leads, compounds of natural origin still remain a promising source. The review is intended to gather information about natural products (metabolites of plants, fungi, bacteria, and marine sponges) that show activity against mycobacterial enzymes. Here, natural metabolites are presented as being inhibitors/activators of the mycobacterial enzymes involved in mycobacterial growth in vitro (ClpC1, ClpP, MurE ligase, mycothiol S-conjugate amidase, β-ketoacyl-ACP synthase, InhA) and in vivo, as regards the host cell (PtpB). Each enzyme is briefly described so as to generate an understanding of its role in mycobacterial growth and engender a perception of the mechanism of action of the studied natural compounds. Furthermore, after the introduction of the enzyme, its inhibitors are listed and exactly characterized. PMID:26441042

  17. Phylogenetic Approaches to Natural Product Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function. PMID:23084938

  18. Identification of natural inhibitors of Entamoeba histolytica cysteine synthase from microbial secondary metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Mori, Mihoko; Jeelani, Ghulam; Masuda, Yui; Sakai, Kazunari; Tsukui, Kumiko; Waluyo, Danang; Tarwadi; Watanabe, Yoshio; Nonaka, Kenichi; Matsumoto, Atsuko; Ōmura, Satoshi; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi; Shiomi, Kazuro

    2015-01-01

    Amebiasis is a common worldwide diarrheal disease, caused by the protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica. Metronidazole has been a drug of choice against amebiasis for decades despite its known side effects and low efficacy against asymptomatic cyst carriers. E. histolytica is also capable of surviving sub-therapeutic levels of metronidazole in vitro. Novel drugs with different mode of action are therefore urgently needed. The sulfur assimilatory de novo L-cysteine biosynthetic pathway is essential for various cellular activities, including the proliferation and anti-oxidative defense of E. histolytica. Since the pathway, consisting of two reactions catalyzed by serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and cysteine synthase (CS, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase), does not exist in humans, it is a rational drug target against amebiasis. To discover inhibitors against the CS of E. histolytica (EhCS), the compounds of Kitasato Natural Products Library were screened against two recombinant CS isozymes: EhCS1 and EhCS3. Nine compounds inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3 with IC50 values of 0.31–490 μM. Of those, seven compounds share a naphthoquinone moiety, indicating the structural importance of the moiety for binding to the active site of EhCS1 and EhCS3. We further screened >9,000 microbial broths for CS inhibition and purified two compounds, xanthofulvin and exophillic acid from fungal broths. Xanthofulvin inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3. Exophillic acid showed high selectivity against EhCS1, but exhibited no inhibition against EhCS3. In vitro anti-amebic activity of the 11 EhCS inhibitors was also examined. Deacetylkinamycin C and nanaomycin A showed more potent amebicidal activity with IC50 values of 18 and 0.8 μM, respectively, in the cysteine deprived conditions. The differential sensitivity of trophozoites against deacetylkinamycin C in the presence or absence of L-cysteine in the medium and the IC50 values against EhCS suggest the amebicidal effect of deacetylkinamycin C is due to

  19. Interaction of natural products with cell survival and signaling pathways in the biochemical elucidation of drug targets in cancer.

    PubMed

    Qurishi, Yasrib; Hamid, Abid; Majeed, Rabiya; Hussain, Aashiq; Qazi, Asif K; Ahmed, Mudassier; Zargar, Mohmmad Afzal; Singh, Shashank Kumar; Saxena, Ajit Kumar

    2011-08-01

    The use of natural products with therapeutic properties is as ancient as human civilization and for a long time mineral, plant and animal products were the main sources of drugs. Worldwide sales of medicinal plants, crude extracts and finished products amounted to US$15 billion in 1999 and it increased to $23 billion in 2002. More interestingly, the influence of natural products upon anticancer drug discovery and design cannot be underestimated. Approximately 60% of all drugs in clinical trials are either a natural product, compounds derived from natural products or contain pharmacophores derived from active natural products. Thus, even today, in the presence of massive numbers of agents from combinatorial libraries, compounds from natural sources are still in the forefront of cancer chemotherapeutics as sources of active drug types, as well as being involved in drug discovery in diseases such as microbial and parasitic infections and the control of cholesterol/lipids, among other functions. PMID:21823895

  20. Microbial and chemical factors influencing methane production in laboratory incubations of low-rank subsurface coals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Stephen H.; Smith, Richard L.; Barker, Charles E.

    2008-01-01

    Lignite and subbituminous coals were investigated for their ability to support microbial methane production in laboratory incubations. Results show that naturally-occurring microorganisms associated with the coals produced substantial quantities of methane, although the factors influencing this process were variable among different samples tested. Methanogenic microbes in two coals from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, produced 140.5-374.6 mL CH4/kg ((4.5-12.0 standard cubic feet (scf)/ton) in response to an amendment of H2/CO2. The addition of high concentrations (5-10 mM) of acetate did not support substantive methane production under the laboratory conditions. However, acetate accumulated in control incubations where methanogenesis was inhibited, indicating that acetate was produced and consumed during the course of methane production. Acetogenesis from H2/CO2 was evident in these incubations and may serve as a competing metabolic mode influencing the cumulative amount of methane produced in coal. Two low-rank (lignite A) coals from Fort Yukon, Alaska, USA, demonstrated a comparable level of methane production (131.1-284.0 mL CH4/kg (4.2-9.1 scf/ton)) in the presence of an inorganic nutrient amendment, indicating that the source of energy and organic carbon was derived from the coal. The concentration of chloroform-extractable organic matter varied by almost three orders of magnitude among all the coals tested, and appeared to be related to methane production potential. These results indicate that substrate availability within the coal matrix and competition between different groups of microorganisms are two factors that may exert a profound influence on methanogenesis in subsurface coal beds.

  1. Dithiolopyrrolone Natural Products: Isolation, Synthesis and Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Zhiwei; Huang, Sheng; Yu, Yi; Deng, Hai

    2013-01-01

    Dithiolopyrrolones are a class of antibiotics that possess the unique pyrrolinonodithiole (4H-[1,2] dithiolo [4,3-b] pyrrol-5-one) skeleton linked to two variable acyl groups. To date, there are approximately 30 naturally occurring dithiolopyrrolone compounds, including holomycin, thiolutin, and aureothricin, and more recently thiomarinols, a unique class of hybrid marine bacterial natural products containing a dithiolopyrrolone framework linked by an amide bridge with an 8-hydroxyoctanoyl chain linked to a monic acid. Generally, dithiolopyrrolone antibiotics have broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against various microorganisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and even parasites. Holomycin appeared to be active against rifamycin-resistant bacteria and also inhibit the growth of the clinical pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus N315. Its mode of action is believed to inhibit RNA synthesis although the exact mechanism has yet to be established in vitro. A recent work demonstrated that the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri employs an RNA methyltransferase for self-resistance during the holomycin production. Moreover, some dithiolopyrrolone derivatives have demonstrated promising antitumor activities. The biosynthetic gene clusters of holomycin have recently been identified in S. clavuligerus and characterized biochemically and genetically. The biosynthetic gene cluster of thiomarinol was also identified from the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. SANK 73390, which was uniquely encoded by two independent pathways for pseudomonic acid and pyrrothine in a novel plasmid. The aim of this review is to give an overview about the isolations, characterizations, synthesis, biosynthesis, bioactivities and mode of action of this unique family of dithiolopyrrolone natural products, focusing on the period from 1940s until now. PMID:24141227

  2. Characterization of soluble microbial products as precursors of disinfection byproducts in drinking water supply.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin-Lin; Li, Xiao-Yan; Xie, Yue-Feng; Tang, Hao

    2014-02-15

    Water pollution by wastewater discharge can cause the problem of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water supply. In this study, DBP formation characteristics of soluble microbial products (SMPs) as the main products of wastewater organic biodegradation were investigated. The results show that SMPs can act as DBP precursors in simulated wastewater biodegradation process. Under the experimental conditions, stabilized SMPs had DBPFP (DBP formation potential) yield of around 5.6 μmol mmol(-1)-DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and DBP speciation profile different from that of the conventional precursor, natural organic matter (NOM). SMPs contained polysaccharides, proteins, and humic-like substances, and the latter two groups can act as reactive DBP precursors. SMP fraction with molecular weight of <1 kDa accounted for 85% of the organic carbon and 65% of the DBP formation. As small SMP molecules are more difficult to remove by conventional water treatment processes, more efforts are needed to control wastewater-derived DBP problem in water resource management. PMID:24342087

  3. Natural products from microbes associated with insects

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Huijuan; Rischer, Maja; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Summary Here we review discoveries of secondary metabolites from microbes associated with insects. We mainly focus on natural products, where the ecological role has been at least partially elucidated, and/or the pharmaceutical properties evaluated, and on compounds with unique structural features. We demonstrate that the exploration of specific microbial–host interactions, in combination with multidisciplinary dereplication processes, has emerged as a successful strategy to identify novel chemical entities and to shed light on the ecology and evolution of defensive associations. PMID:26977191

  4. The chemistry of isoindole natural products

    PubMed Central

    Speck, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Summary This review highlights the chemical and biological aspects of natural products containing an oxidized or reduced isoindole skeleton. This motif is found in its intact or modified form in indolocarbazoles, macrocyclic polyketides (cytochalasan alkaloids), the aporhoeadane alkaloids, meroterpenoids from Stachybotrys species and anthraquinone-type alkaloids. Concerning their biological activity, molecular structure and synthesis, we have limited this review to the most inspiring examples. Within different congeners, we have selected a few members and discussed the synthetic routes in more detail. The putative biosynthetic pathways of the presented isoindole alkaloids are described as well. PMID:24204418

  5. Multimodular biocatalysts for natural product assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarzer, Dirk; Marahiel, Mohamed A.

    2001-03-01

    Nonribosomal peptides and polyketides represent a large class of natural products that show an extreme structural diversity and broad pharmacological relevance. They are synthesized from simple building blocks such as amino or carboxy acids and malonate derivatives on multimodular enzymes called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs), respectively. Although utilizing different substrates, NRPSs and PKSs show striking similarities in the modular architecture of their catalytic domains and product assembly-line mechanism. Among these compounds are well known antibiotics (penicillin, vancomycin and erythromycin) as well as potent immunosuppressive agents (cyclosporin, rapamycin and FK 506). This review focuses on the modular organization of NRPSs, PKSs and mixed NRPS/PKS systems and how modules and domains that build up the biosynthetic templates can be exploited for the rational design of recombinant enzymes capable of synthesizing novel compounds.

  6. Synthetic biology of fungal natural products

    PubMed Central

    Mattern, Derek J.; Valiante, Vito; Unkles, Shiela E.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an ever-expanding field in science, also encompassing the research area of fungal natural product (NP) discovery and production. Until now, different aspects of synthetic biology have been covered in fungal NP studies from the manipulation of different regulatory elements and heterologous expression of biosynthetic pathways to the engineering of different multidomain biosynthetic enzymes such as polyketide synthases or non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. The following review will cover some of the exemplary studies of synthetic biology in filamentous fungi showing the capacity of these eukaryotes to be used as model organisms in the field. From the vast array of different NPs produced to the ease for genetic manipulation, filamentous fungi have proven to be an invaluable source for the further development of synthetic biology tools. PMID:26284053

  7. Fungal natural products in research and development.

    PubMed

    Schueffler, Anja; Anke, Timm

    2014-10-01

    To date approximately 100 000 fungal species are known although far more than one million are expected. The variety of species and the diversity of their habitats, some of them less exploited, allow the conclusion that fungi continue to be a rich source of new metabolites. Besides the conventional fungal isolates, an increasing interest in endophytic and in marine-derived fungi has been noticed. In addition new screening strategies based on innovative chemical, biological, and genetic approaches have led to novel fungal metabolites in recent years. The present review focuses on new fungal natural products published from 2009 to 2013 highlighting the originality of the structures and their biological potential. Furthermore synthetic products based on fungal metabolites as well as new developments in the uses or the biological activity of known compounds or new derivatives are discussed. PMID:25122538

  8. Microbial abundance and community composition influence production performance in a low-temperature petroleum reservoir.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoqiang; Gao, Peike; Wu, Yunqiang; Tian, Huimei; Dai, Xuecheng; Wang, Yansen; Cui, Qingfeng; Zhang, Hongzuo; Pan, Xiaoxuan; Dong, Hanping; Ma, Ting

    2014-05-01

    Enhanced oil recovery using indigenous microorganisms has been successfully applied in the petroleum industry, but the role of microorganisms remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the relationship between microbial population dynamics and oil production performance during a water flooding process coupled with nutrient injection in a low-temperature petroleum reservoir. Samples were collected monthly over a two-year period. The microbial composition of samples was determined using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses. Our results indicated that the microbial community structure in each production well microhabitat was dramatically altered during flooding with eutrophic water. As well as an increase in the density of microorganisms, biosurfactant producers, such as Pseudomonas, Alcaligenes, Rhodococcus, and Rhizobium, were detected in abundance. Furthermore, the density of these microorganisms was closely related to the incremental oil production. Oil emulsification and changes in the fluid-production profile were also observed. In addition, we found that microbial community structure was strongly correlated with environmental factors, such as water content and total nitrogen. These results suggest that injected nutrients increase the abundance of microorganisms, particularly biosurfactant producers. These bacteria and their metabolic products subsequently emulsify oil and alter fluid-production profiles to enhance oil recovery. PMID:24730445

  9. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158] PMID:26698871

  10. Multivariate analysis comparing microbial air content of an air-conditioned building and a naturally ventilated building over one year

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parat, Sylvie; Perdrix, Alain; Fricker-Hidalgo, Hélène; Saude, Isabelle; Grillot, Renee; Baconnier, Pierre

    Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) may be responsible for the production and spread of airborne microorganisms in office buildings. In order to compare airborne microbiological flora in an air-conditioned building with that in a naturally ventilated building, eight sets of measurements were made over a 1-year period. Concurrently with other environmental measurements, air samples were collected in each building, from three offices and from the outdoor air, using the Andersen single-stage sampler. Three different media were used to culture fungi, staphylococci and mesophilic bacteria. Multivariate analysis revealed a group of offices more contaminated than others, and a marked seasonal variation in fungal concentrations. A comparison of mean levels of microorganisms measured in the two buildings showed that the air microbial content was significantly higher and more variable in the naturally ventilated building than in the air-conditioned building. Moreover, in the naturally ventilated building, the interior fungal content was strongly dependent on the outdoor content, while in the air-conditioned building fungal concentrations remained constant despite significant variations measured outside. This was confirmed by a statistical comparison of the correlation coefficients between indoor and outdoor concentrations. No difference was observed regarding gaseous pollutants and temperature, but relative humidity was significantly higher in the air-conditioned building. The effect of HVAC was to prevent the intake of outdoor particles and to dilute the indoor concentrations. These results are consistent with the presence of high-efficiency filters and a steam humidifier in the HVAC system under study.

  11. Modulation of Toll-like receptor signaling in innate immunity by natural products.

    PubMed

    Chen, Luxi; Yu, Jianhua

    2016-08-01

    For centuries, natural products and their derivatives have provided a rich source of compounds for the development of new immunotherapies in the treatment of human disease. Many of these compounds are currently undergoing clinical trials, particularly as anti-oxidative, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer agents. However, the function and mechanism of natural products in how they interact with our immune system has yet to be extensively explored. Natural immune modulators may provide the key to control and ultimately defeat disorders affecting the immune system. They can either up- or down-regulate the immune response with few undesired adverse effects. In this review, we summarize the recent advancements made in utilizing natural products for immunomodulation and their important molecular targets, members of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family, in the innate immune system. PMID:26899347

  12. Natural Products: Insights into Leishmaniasis Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Igor A.; Mazotto, Ana Maria; Cardoso, Verônica; Alves, Renan L.; Amaral, Ana Claudia F.; Silva, Jefferson Rocha de Andrade; Pinheiro, Anderson S.; Vermelho, Alane B.

    2015-01-01

    Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease that affects several populations worldwide, against which there are no vaccines available and the chemotherapy is highly toxic. Depending on the species causing the infection, the disease is characterized by commitment of tissues, including the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs. Despite the relevance of host inflammatory mediators on parasite burden control, Leishmania and host immune cells interaction may generate an exacerbated proinflammatory response that plays an important role in the development of leishmaniasis clinical manifestations. Plant-derived natural products have been recognized as bioactive agents with several properties, including anti-protozoal and anti-inflammatory activities. The present review focuses on the antileishmanial activity of plant-derived natural products that are able to modulate the inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo. The capability of crude extracts and some isolated substances in promoting an anti-inflammatory response during Leishmania infection may be used as part of an effective strategy to fight the disease. PMID:26538837

  13. Amorfrutins are potent antidiabetic dietary natural products.

    PubMed

    Weidner, Christopher; de Groot, Jens C; Prasad, Aman; Freiwald, Anja; Quedenau, Claudia; Kliem, Magdalena; Witzke, Annabell; Kodelja, Vitam; Han, Chung-Ting; Giegold, Sascha; Baumann, Matthias; Klebl, Bert; Siems, Karsten; Müller-Kuhrt, Lutz; Schürmann, Annette; Schüler, Rita; Pfeiffer, Andreas F H; Schroeder, Frank C; Büssow, Konrad; Sauer, Sascha

    2012-05-01

    Given worldwide increases in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, new strategies for preventing and treating metabolic diseases are needed. The nuclear receptor PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma) plays a central role in lipid and glucose metabolism; however, current PPARγ-targeting drugs are characterized by undesirable side effects. Natural products from edible biomaterial provide a structurally diverse resource to alleviate complex disorders via tailored nutritional intervention. We identified a family of natural products, the amorfrutins, from edible parts of two legumes, Glycyrrhiza foetida and Amorpha fruticosa, as structurally new and powerful antidiabetics with unprecedented effects for a dietary molecule. Amorfrutins bind to and activate PPARγ, which results in selective gene expression and physiological profiles markedly different from activation by current synthetic PPARγ drugs. In diet-induced obese and db/db mice, amorfrutin treatment strongly improves insulin resistance and other metabolic and inflammatory parameters without concomitant increase of fat storage or other unwanted side effects such as hepatoxicity. These results show that selective PPARγ-activation by diet-derived ligands may constitute a promising approach to combat metabolic disease. PMID:22509006

  14. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide turnover in natural and engineered microbial communities: biological pathways, chemical reactions, and novel technologies

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Frank; Wunderlin, Pascal; Udert, Kai M.; Wells, George F.

    2012-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an environmentally important atmospheric trace gas because it is an effective greenhouse gas and it leads to ozone depletion through photo-chemical nitric oxide (NO) production in the stratosphere. Mitigating its steady increase in atmospheric concentration requires an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to its formation in natural and engineered microbial communities. N2O is formed biologically from the oxidation of hydroxylamine (NH2OH) or the reduction of nitrite (NO−2) to NO and further to N2O. Our review of the biological pathways for N2O production shows that apparently all organisms and pathways known to be involved in the catabolic branch of microbial N-cycle have the potential to catalyze the reduction of NO−2 to NO and the further reduction of NO to N2O, while N2O formation from NH2OH is only performed by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In addition to biological pathways, we review important chemical reactions that can lead to NO and N2O formation due to the reactivity of NO−2, NH2OH, and nitroxyl (HNO). Moreover, biological N2O formation is highly dynamic in response to N-imbalance imposed on a system. Thus, understanding NO formation and capturing the dynamics of NO and N2O build-up are key to understand mechanisms of N2O release. Here, we discuss novel technologies that allow experiments on NO and N2O formation at high temporal resolution, namely NO and N2O microelectrodes and the dynamic analysis of the isotopic signature of N2O with quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS). In addition, we introduce other techniques that use the isotopic composition of N2O to distinguish production pathways and findings that were made with emerging molecular techniques in complex environments. Finally, we discuss how a combination of the presented tools might help to address important open questions on pathways and controls of nitrogen flow through complex microbial communities that eventually lead to N2O build

  15. Tracing the long-term microbial production of recalcitrant fluorescent dissolved organic matter in seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jørgensen, Linda; Stedmon, Colin A.; Granskog, Mats A.; Middelboe, Mathias

    2014-04-01

    The majority of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean is resistant to microbial degradation, yet its formation remains poorly understood. The fluorescent fraction of DOM can be used to trace the formation of recalcitrant DOM (RDOM). A long-term (> 1 year) experiment revealed 27-52% removal of dissolved organic carbon and a nonlinear increase in RDOM fluorescence associated with microbial turnover of semilabile DOM. This fluorescence was also produced using glucose as the only initial carbon source, suggesting that degradation of prokaryote remnants contributes to RDOM. Our results indicate that the formation of a fluorescent RDOM component depends on the bioavailability of the substrate: the less labile, the larger the production of fluorescent RDOM relative to organic carbon remineralized. The anticipated increase in microbial carbon demand due to ocean warming can potentially force microbes to degrade less labile substrates, thereby increasing RDOM production and stimulating ocean carbon storage.

  16. Natural product synthesis at the interface of chemistry and biology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Nature has evolved to produce unique and diverse natural products that possess high target affinity and specificity. Natural products have been the richest sources for novel modulators of biomolecular function. Since the chemical synthesis of urea by Wöhler, organic chemists have been intrigued by natural products, leading to the evolution of the field of natural product synthesis over the past two centuries. Natural product synthesis has enabled natural products to play an essential role in drug discovery and chemical biology. With the introduction of novel, innovative concepts and strategies for synthetic efficiency, natural product synthesis in the 21st century is well poised to address the challenges and complexities faced by natural product chemistry and will remain essential to progress in biomedical sciences. PMID:25043880

  17. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Clostridium perfringens in Natural and Processed Cheeses.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heeyoung; Lee, Soomin; Kim, Sejeong; Lee, Jeeyeon; Ha, Jimyeong; Yoon, Yohan

    2016-08-01

    This study evaluated the risk of Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) foodborne illness from natural and processed cheeses. Microbial risk assessment in this study was conducted according to four steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. The hazard identification of C. perfringens on cheese was identified through literature, and dose response models were utilized for hazard characterization of the pathogen. For exposure assessment, the prevalence of C. perfringens, storage temperatures, storage time, and annual amounts of cheese consumption were surveyed. Eventually, a simulation model was developed using the collected data and the simulation result was used to estimate the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption with @RISK. C. perfringens was determined to be low risk on cheese based on hazard identification, and the exponential model (r = 1.82×10(-11)) was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Annual amounts of natural and processed cheese consumption were 12.40±19.43 g and 19.46±14.39 g, respectively. Since the contamination levels of C. perfringens on natural (0.30 Log CFU/g) and processed cheeses (0.45 Log CFU/g) were below the detection limit, the initial contamination levels of natural and processed cheeses were estimated by beta distribution (α 1 = 1, α 2 = 91; α 1 = 1, α 2 = 309)×uniform distribution (a = 0, b = 2; a = 0, b = 2.8) to be -2.35 and -2.73 Log CFU/g, respectively. Moreover, no growth of C. perfringens was observed for exposure assessment to simulated conditions of distribution and storage. These data were used for risk characterization by a simulation model, and the mean values of the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption per person per day for natural and processed cheeses were 9.57×10(-14) and 3.58×10(-14), respectively. These results indicate that probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness

  18. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Clostridium perfringens in Natural and Processed Cheeses

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Heeyoung; Lee, Soomin; Kim, Sejeong; Lee, Jeeyeon; Ha, Jimyeong; Yoon, Yohan

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the risk of Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) foodborne illness from natural and processed cheeses. Microbial risk assessment in this study was conducted according to four steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. The hazard identification of C. perfringens on cheese was identified through literature, and dose response models were utilized for hazard characterization of the pathogen. For exposure assessment, the prevalence of C. perfringens, storage temperatures, storage time, and annual amounts of cheese consumption were surveyed. Eventually, a simulation model was developed using the collected data and the simulation result was used to estimate the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption with @RISK. C. perfringens was determined to be low risk on cheese based on hazard identification, and the exponential model (r = 1.82×10−11) was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Annual amounts of natural and processed cheese consumption were 12.40±19.43 g and 19.46±14.39 g, respectively. Since the contamination levels of C. perfringens on natural (0.30 Log CFU/g) and processed cheeses (0.45 Log CFU/g) were below the detection limit, the initial contamination levels of natural and processed cheeses were estimated by beta distribution (α1 = 1, α2 = 91; α1 = 1, α2 = 309)×uniform distribution (a = 0, b = 2; a = 0, b = 2.8) to be −2.35 and −2.73 Log CFU/g, respectively. Moreover, no growth of C. perfringens was observed for exposure assessment to simulated conditions of distribution and storage. These data were used for risk characterization by a simulation model, and the mean values of the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption per person per day for natural and processed cheeses were 9.57×10−14 and 3.58×10−14, respectively. These results indicate that probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness

  19. Recent advances in lactic acid production by microbial fermentation processes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed Ali; Tashiro, Yukihiro; Sonomoto, Kenji

    2013-11-01

    Fermentative production of optically pure lactic acid has roused interest among researchers in recent years due to its high potential for applications in a wide range of fields. More specifically, the sharp increase in manufacturing of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) materials, green alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics, has significantly increased the global interest in lactic acid production. However, higher production costs have hindered the large-scale application of PLA because of the high price of lactic acid. Therefore, reduction of lactic acid production cost through utilization of inexpensive substrates and improvement of lactic acid production and productivity has become an important goal. Various methods have been employed for enhanced lactic acid production, including several bioprocess techniques facilitated by wild-type and/or engineered microbes. In this review, we will discuss lactic acid producers with relation to their fermentation characteristics and metabolism. Inexpensive fermentative substrates, such as dairy products, food and agro-industrial wastes, glycerol, and algal biomass alternatives to costly pure sugars and food crops are introduced. The operational modes and fermentation methods that have been recently reported to improve lactic acid production in terms of concentrations, yields, and productivities are summarized and compared. High cell density fermentation through immobilization and cell-recycling techniques are also addressed. Finally, advances in recovery processes and concluding remarks on the future outlook of lactic acid production are presented. PMID:23624242

  20. Use of natural compounds to improve the microbial stability of Amaranth-based homemade fresh pasta.

    PubMed

    Del Nobile, M A; Di Benedetto, N; Suriano, N; Conte, A; Lamacchia, C; Corbo, M R; Sinigaglia, M

    2009-04-01

    A study on the use of natural antimicrobial compounds to improve the microbiological stability of refrigerated amaranth-based homemade fresh pasta is presented in this work. In particular, the antimicrobial activity of thymol, lemon extract, chitosan and grapefruit seed extract (GFSE) has been tested against mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacteria, total coliforms, Staphylococcus spp., yeasts and moulds. A sensory analysis on both fresh and cooked pasta was also run. Results suggest that chitosan and GFSE strongly increase the microbial acceptability limit of the investigated spoilage microorganisms, being the former the most effective. Thymol efficiently reduces the growth of mesophilic bacteria, psychrotrophic bacteria and Staphylococcus spp., whereas it does not affect, substantially, the growth cycle of total coliforms. Lemon extract is the less effective in preventing microbial growth. In fact, it is able to delay only total mesophilic and psychrotrophic bacterial evolution. From a sensorial point of view no significant differences were recorded between the control samples and all the types of loaded amaranth-based pasta. PMID:19171256

  1. Cell immobilization for microbial production of 1,3-propanediol.

    PubMed

    Gungormusler-Yilmaz, Mine; Cicek, Nazim; Levin, David B; Azbar, Nuri

    2016-06-01

    Cell and enzyme immobilization are often used for industrial production of high-value products. In recent years, immobilization techniques have been applied to the production of value-added chemicals such as 1,3-Propanediol (1,3-PDO). Biotechnological fermentation is an attractive alternative to current 1,3-PDO production methods, which are primarily thermochemical processes, as it generates high volumetric yields of 1,3-PDO, is a much less energy intensive process, and generates lower amounts of environmental organic pollutants. Although several approaches including: batch, fed-batch, continuous-feed and two-step continuous-feed were tested in suspended systems, it has been well demonstrated that cell immobilization techniques can significantly enhance 1,3-PDO production and allow robust continuous production in smaller bioreactors. This review covers various immobilization methods and their application for 1,3-PDO production. PMID:25600463

  2. Enhanced methane production via repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of enriched microbial consortia.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiman; Guo, Rongbo; Xu, Xiaohui; Wang, Lin; Dai, Meng

    2016-09-01

    Using batch and repeated batch cultivations, this study investigated the effects of bioaugmentation with enriched microbial consortia (named as EMC) on methane production from effluents of hydrogen-producing stage of potato slurry, as well as on the indigenous bacterial community. The results demonstrated that the improved methane production and shift of the indigenous bacterial community structure were dependent on the EMC/sludge ratio and bioaugmentation patterns. The methane yield and production rate in repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC were, respectively, average 15% and 10% higher than in one-time bioaugmentation pattern of EMC. DNA-sequencing approach showed that the enhanced methane production in the repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC mainly resulted from the enriched iron-reducing bacteria and the persistence of the introduced Syntrophomonas, which led to a rapid degradation of individual VFAs to methane. The findings contributed to understanding the correlation between the bioaugmentation of microbial consortia, community shift, and methane production. PMID:27262722

  3. Anoxic Biodegradation of Isosaccharinic Acids at Alkaline pH by Natural Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Rout, Simon P.; Charles, Christopher J.; Doulgeris, Charalampos; McCarthy, Alan J.; Rooks, Dave J.; Loughnane, J. Paul; Laws, Andrew P.; Humphreys, Paul N.

    2015-01-01

    One design concept for the long-term management of the UK’s intermediate level radioactive wastes (ILW) is disposal to a cementitious geological disposal facility (GDF). Under the alkaline (10.013.0) anoxic conditions expected within a GDF, cellulosic wastes will undergo chemical hydrolysis. The resulting cellulose degradation products (CDP) are dominated by α- and β-isosaccharinic acids (ISA), which present an organic carbon source that may enable subsequent microbial colonisation of a GDF. Microcosms established from neutral, near-surface sediments demonstrated complete ISA degradation under methanogenic conditions up to pH 10.0. Degradation decreased as pH increased, with β-ISA fermentation more heavily influenced than α-ISA. This reduction in degradation rate was accompanied by a shift in microbial population away from organisms related to Clostridium sporosphaeroides to a more diverse Clostridial community. The increase in pH to 10.0 saw an increase in detection of Alcaligenes aquatilis and a dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens within the Archaeal population. Methane was generated up to pH 10.0 with acetate accumulation at higher pH values reflecting a reduced detection of acetoclastic methanogens. An increase in pH to 11.0 resulted in the accumulation of ISA, the absence of methanogenesis and the loss of biomass from the system. This study is the first to demonstrate methanogenesis from ISA by near surface microbial communities not previously exposed to these compounds up to and including pH 10.0. PMID:26367005

  4. Anoxic Biodegradation of Isosaccharinic Acids at Alkaline pH by Natural Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Rout, Simon P; Charles, Christopher J; Doulgeris, Charalampos; McCarthy, Alan J; Rooks, Dave J; Loughnane, J Paul; Laws, Andrew P; Humphreys, Paul N

    2015-01-01

    One design concept for the long-term management of the UK's intermediate level radioactive wastes (ILW) is disposal to a cementitious geological disposal facility (GDF). Under the alkaline (10.013.0) anoxic conditions expected within a GDF, cellulosic wastes will undergo chemical hydrolysis. The resulting cellulose degradation products (CDP) are dominated by α- and β-isosaccharinic acids (ISA), which present an organic carbon source that may enable subsequent microbial colonisation of a GDF. Microcosms established from neutral, near-surface sediments demonstrated complete ISA degradation under methanogenic conditions up to pH 10.0. Degradation decreased as pH increased, with β-ISA fermentation more heavily influenced than α-ISA. This reduction in degradation rate was accompanied by a shift in microbial population away from organisms related to Clostridium sporosphaeroides to a more diverse Clostridial community. The increase in pH to 10.0 saw an increase in detection of Alcaligenes aquatilis and a dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens within the Archaeal population. Methane was generated up to pH 10.0 with acetate accumulation at higher pH values reflecting a reduced detection of acetoclastic methanogens. An increase in pH to 11.0 resulted in the accumulation of ISA, the absence of methanogenesis and the loss of biomass from the system. This study is the first to demonstrate methanogenesis from ISA by near surface microbial communities not previously exposed to these compounds up to and including pH 10.0. PMID:26367005

  5. Characterization of microbial content of organic and conventional produce in Maryland relative to production practices and inputs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction: Production inputs/practices such as soil amendments, water quality, animal intrusion, and human activity can influence microbial quality of fresh produce. Limited data on production practices relative to microbial/pathogen content of fresh produce are currently available for either org...

  6. Submersible microbial fuel cell for electricity production from sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifeng; Olias, Lola Gonzalez; Kongjan, Prawit; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was utilized to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously generate electricity. Stable power generation (145 +/- 5 mW/m2, 470 omega) was produced continuously from raw sewage sludge for 5.5 days. The maximum power density reached 190 +/- 5 mW/m2. The corresponding total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal efficiency was 78.1 +/- 0.2% with initial TCOD of 49.7 g/L. The power generation of SMFC was depended on the sludge concentration, while dilution of the raw sludge resulted in higher power density. The maximum power density was saturated at sludge concentration of 17 g-TCOD/L, where 290 mw/m2 was achieved. When effluents from an anaerobic digester that was fed with raw sludge were used as substrate in the SMFC, a maximum power density of 318 mW/m2, and a final TCOD removal of 71.9 +/- 0.2% were achieved. These results have practical implications for development of an effective system to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously recover energy. PMID:22053457

  7. Impacts of Strobilurin Fungicides on Yield and Soil Microbial Processes for Minnesota Strawberry Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article will describe the preliminary results of the ongoing research into the impacts of strobilurin fungicides both on yield as well as soil microbial processes for strawberry production in Minnesota. The research is being conducted with an on-farm collaborator. This article will present the ...

  8. Biohydrogen Production from Cheese Processing Wastewater by Anaerobic Fermentation Using Mixed Microbial Communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrogen (H2) production from simulated cheese processing wastewater via anaerobic fermentation was conducted using mixed microbial communities under mesophilic conditions. In batch H2 fermentation experiments H2 yields of 8 and 10 mM/g-COD fed were achieved at food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios of ...

  9. Historical variation of structural novelty in a natural product library.

    PubMed

    Kong, De-Xin; Guo, Ming-Yue; Xiao, Zhi-Hong; Chen, Ling-Ling; Zhang, Hong-Yu

    2011-11-01

    To evaluate the potential of natural products as novel structure suppliers, a historical analysis was performed on the structural novelty of a natural product library, viz., the Chapman & Hall/CRC Dictionary of Natural Products. The results show that although the unexplored natural product universe is still ample, it is more and more difficult to find novel agents from nature, with the discovery probability of novel structures and scaffolds being lower than 50% in the near future, which mainly results from the intrinsic redundancy of natural products and, thus, is unlikely to be reversed merely through technical progresses. PMID:22083910

  10. Natural products: a safest approach for obesity.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Neeru; Yadav, Neerja; Sharma, Surendra Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is recognized as a social problem, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. Numerous trials have been conducted to find and develop new anti-obesity drugs through herbal sources to minimize adverse reactions associated with the present anti-obesity drugs. The use of natural products as medicine has been documented for hundreds of years in various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. This review focuses on the medicinal plants such as Achyranthus aspera, Camellia sinensis, Emblica officinalis, Garcinia cambogia, Terminalia arjuna, etc., being used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Chinese, etc., systems of medicine. The review also highlights recent reported phytochemicals such as escins, perennisosides, dioscin, gracillin, etc., and the various extracts of the plants like Nelumbo nucifera, Panax japonicas, Cichorium intybus, Cyperus rotundus, Paeonia suffruticosa, etc., which have been successfully identified for the treatment of obesity. PMID:22821661

  11. Spectroscopic Characterization of a Natural Product: Anethole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, Victoria P.; Newby, Josh J.

    2013-06-01

    Anethole [(E)-1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene] is a natural product molecule that is commonly recognized as the flavor component of anise, fennel, and licorice. Early jet-cooled spectroscopy of anethole showed the existence of two possible conformations, but did not address details of the vibronic structure. Here, we report the jet-cooled, laser-induced fluorescence and single vibronic level fluorescence spectra of anethole. Analysis of the spectra confirms the existence of two rotamers in the expansion that differ by the relative orientation of the methoxy and propenyl groups. The observed vibronic activity is similar to that of styrene and indicates planar symmetry of both rotamers. Vibrational assignments of anethole are assisted by density functional theory calculations and the results are compared with the analogous motions in styrene. V. H. Grassian, E. R. Bernstein, H. V. Secor and J. I. Seeman J. Phys. Chem. {93, 3470 (1989).

  12. Novel Chemical Space Exploration via Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Rosén, Josefin; Gottfries, Johan; Muresan, Sorel; Backlund, Anders; Oprea, Tudor I.

    2009-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are a rich source of novel compound classes and new drugs. In the present study we have used the chemical space navigation tool ChemGPS-NP to evaluate the chemical space occupancy by NPs and bioactive medicinal chemistry compounds from the database WOMBAT. The two sets differ notable in coverage of chemical space, and tangible lead-like NPs were found to cover regions of chemical space that lack representation in WOMBAT. Property based similarity calculations were performed to identify NP neighbours of approved drugs. Several of the NPs revealed by this method, were confirmed to exhibit the same activity as their drug neighbours. The identification of leads from a NP starting point may prove a useful strategy for drug discovery, in the search for novel leads with unique properties. PMID:19265440

  13. CO Methanation for Synthetic Natural Gas Production.

    PubMed

    Kambolis, Anastasios; Schildhauer, Tilman J; Kröcher, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Energy from woody biomass could supplement renewable energy production towards the replacement of fossil fuels. A multi-stage process involving gasification of wood and then catalytic transformation of the producer gas to synthetic natural gas (SNG) represents progress in this direction. SNG can be transported and distributed through the existing pipeline grid, which is advantageous from an economical point of view. Therefore, CO methanation is attracting a great deal of attention and much research effort is focusing on the understanding of the process steps and its further development. This short review summarizes recent efforts at Paul Scherrer Institute on the understanding of the reaction mechanism, the catalyst deactivation, and the development of catalytic materials with benign properties for CO methanation. PMID:26598405

  14. Isolation by ion-exchange methods. In Sarker S.D. (ed) Natural Products Isolation, 3rd edition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary goal of many natural products chemists is to extract, isolate, and characterize specific analytes from complex plant, animal, microbial, and food matrices. To achieve this goal, they rely considerably on highly sophisticated and highly hyphenated modern instrumentation. Yet, the vast maj...

  15. Microscale characterization of dissolved organic matter production and uptake in marine microbial mat communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paerl, H. W.; Bebout, B. M.; Joye, S. B.; Des Marais, D. J.

    1993-01-01

    Intertidal marine microbial mats exhibited biologically mediated uptake of low molecular weight dissolved organic matter (DOM), including D-glucose, acetate, and an L-amino acid mixture at trace concentrations. Uptake of all compounds occurred in darkness, but was frequently enhanced under natural illumination. The photosystem 2 inhibitor, 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethyl urea (DCMU) generally failed to inhibit light-stimulated DOM uptake. Occasionally, light plus DCMU-amended treatments led to uptake rates higher than light-incubated samples, possibly due to phototrophic bacteria present in subsurface anoxic layers. Uptake was similar with either 3H- or 14C-labeled substrates, indicating that recycling of labeled CO2 via photosynthetic fixation was not interfering with measurements of light-stimulated DOM uptake. Microautoradiographs showed a variety of pigmented and nonpigmented bacteria and, to a lesser extent, cyanobacteria and eucaryotic microalgae involved in light-mediated DOM uptake. Light-stimulated DOM uptake was often observed in bacteria associated with sheaths and mucilage surrounding filamentous cyanobacteria, revealing a close association of organisms taking up DOM with photoautotrophic members of the mat community. The capacity for dark- and light-mediated heterotrophy, coupled to efficient retention of fixed carbon in the mat community, may help optimize net production and accretion of mats, even in oligotrophic waters.

  16. Fractionation of Mercury Stable Isotopes during Microbial Methylmercury Production by Iron- and Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Sarah E; Schaefer, Jeffra K; Barkay, Tamar; Reinfelder, John R

    2016-08-01

    The biological production of monomethylmercury (MeHg) in soils and sediments is an important factor controlling mercury (Hg) accumulation in aquatic and terrestrial food webs. In this study we examined the fractionation of Hg stable isotopes during Hg methylation in nongrowing cultures of the anaerobic bacteria Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132. Both organisms showed mass-dependent, but no mass-independent fractionation of Hg stable isotopes during Hg methylation. Despite differences in methylation rates, the two bacteria had similar Hg fractionation factors (αr/p = 1.0009 and 1.0011, respectively). Unexpectedly, δ(202)Hg values of MeHg for both organisms were 0.4‰ higher than the value of initial inorganic Hg after about 35% of inorganic Hg had been methylated. These results indicate that a (202)Hg-enriched pool of inorganic Hg was preferentially utilized as a substrate for methylation by these organisms, but that multiple intra- and/or extracellular pools supplied inorganic Hg for biological methylation. Understanding the controls of the Hg stable isotopic composition of microbially produced MeHg is important to identifying bioavailable Hg in natural systems and the interpretation of Hg stable isotopes in aquatic food webs. PMID:27392249

  17. Natural Products as a Foundation for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Beutler, John A.

    2009-01-01

    Natural products have contributed to the development of many drugs for diverse indications. While most U.S. pharmaceutical companies have reduced or eliminated their in-house natural product groups, new paradigms and new enterprises have evolved to carry on a role for natural products in the pharmaceutical industry. Many of the reasons for the decline in popularity of natural products are being addressed by the development of new techniques for screening and production. This overview aims to inform pharmacologists of current strategies and techniques that make natural products a viable strategic choice for inclusion in drug discovery programs. PMID:20161632

  18. Assessment of microbial natural attenuation in groundwater polluted with gasworks residues.

    PubMed

    Schulze, S; Tiehm, A

    2004-01-01

    Intrinsic biodegradation, representing the key process in Natural Attenuation, was examined at a tar-oil polluted disposal site. Methods to assess microbial natural attenuation of BTEX and PAH included analysis of groundwater hydrochemistry, pollutant profiles, composition of the microflora, and microcosm studies. In the polluted groundwater downgradient the disposal site, oxygen and nitrate were only available adjacent to the groundwater table and at the plume fringes. In the anaerobic core of the plume, a sequence of predominating redox zones (methanogenic, sulphate-reducing, Fe(III)-reducing) was observed. Changing pollutant profiles in the plume indicated active biodegradation processes, e.g. biodegradation of toluene and naphthalene in the anaerobic zones. High numbers of microorganisms capable of growing under anaerobic conditions and of aerobic pollutant degrading organisms confirmed the impact of biodegradation at this site. In microcosm studies, the autochthonous microflora utilised toluene, ethylbenzene, and naphthalene under sulfate- and Fe(III)-reducing conditions. Additionally, benzene and phenanthrene were degraded in the presence of Fe(III). Under aerobic conditions, all BTEX and PAH were rapidly degraded. The microcosm studies in particular were suitable to examine the role of specific electron acceptors, and represented an important component of the multiple line of evidence concept to assess natural attenuation. PMID:15497868

  19. Electricity production from twelve monosaccharides using microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catal, Tunc; Li, Kaichang; Bermek, Hakan; Liu, Hong

    Direct generation of electricity from monosaccharides of lignocellulosic biomass was examined using air cathode microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Electricity was generated from all carbon sources tested, including six hexoses (D-glucose, D-galactose, D(-)-levulose (fructose), L-fucose, L-rhamnose, and D-mannose), three pentoses (D-xylose, D(-)-arabinose, and D(-)-ribose), two uronic acids (D-galacturonic acid and D-glucuronic acid) and one aldonic acid (D-gluconic acid). The mixed bacterial culture, which was enriched using acetate as a carbon source, adapted well to all carbon sources tested, although the adaptation times varied from 1 to 70 h. The maximum power density obtained from these carbon sources ranged from 1240 ± 10 to 2770 ± 30 mW m -2 at current density range of 0.76-1.18 mA cm -2. D-Mannose resulted in the lowest maximum power density, whereas D-glucuronic acid generated the highest one. Coulombic efficiency ranged from 21 to 37%. For all carbon sources tested, the relationship between the maximum voltage output and the substrate concentration appeared to follow saturation kinetics at 120 Ω external resistance. The estimated maximum voltage output ranged between 0.26 and 0.44 V and half-saturation kinetic constants ranged from 111 to 725 mg L -1. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal was over 80% for all carbon sources tested. Results from this study indicated that lignocellulosic biomass-derived monosaccharides might be a suitable resource for electricity generation using MFC technology.

  20. Electrobiocommodities: powering microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals from carbon dioxide with electricity.

    PubMed

    Lovley, Derek R; Nevin, Kelly P

    2013-06-01

    Electricity can be an energy source for microbially catalyzed production of fuels and other organic commodities from carbon dioxide. These electrobiocommodities (E-BCs) can be produced directly via electrode-to-microbe electron transfer or indirectly with electrochemically generated electron donors such as H2 or formate. Producing E-BCs may be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable strategy for converting solar energy to biocommodities than approaches that rely on biological photosynthesis. A diversity of microbial physiologies could potentially be adapted for E-BC production, but to date acetogenic microorganisms are the only organisms shown to covert electrically generated low potential electrons and carbon dioxide into multi-carbon organic products with high recovery of electrons in product. Substantial research and development will be required for E-BC commercialization. PMID:23465755

  1. Fractionation, characterization and C-, N-disinfection byproduct formation of soluble microbial products in MBR processes.

    PubMed

    Ma, Defang; Meng, Yingjie; Xia, Chufan; Gao, Baoyu; Wang, Yan

    2015-12-01

    Soluble microbial products are heterogeneous organic materials generated during microbial growth and decay, which are the major soluble organic matters in MBR effluents and are the primary precursors forming disinfection by-products (DBPs). In this study, biomass associated products (BAP) and utilization associated products (UAP) were separately produced to investigate their physical chemical characteristics and disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation during chlorination in the presence of ammonia. BAP had higher formation reactivity of halogenated carbonaceous and nitrogenous DBPs including trihalomethanes, haloketones, haloacetonitriles and trichloronitromethane due to their higher percentage of large molecular weight (MW) materials and humic substances compared with UAP. However, the nonhalogenated species N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) yield of UAP was twice higher than that of BAP because UAP contained more nitrogenous organic matters with MW<500Da including aromatic polypeptide/amino acid-like materials and secondary amines, which have been proved to have high NDMA formation potential. PMID:26409108

  2. Microbial production of isoquinoline alkaloids as plant secondary metabolites based on metabolic engineering research

    PubMed Central

    SATO, Fumihiko; KUMAGAI, Hidehiko

    2013-01-01

    Plants produce a variety of secondary metabolites that possess strong physiological activities. Unfortunately, however, their production can suffer from a variety of serious problems, including low levels of productivity and heterogeneous quality, as well as difficulty in raw material supply. In contrast, microorganisms can be used to produce their primary and some of their secondary metabolites in a controlled environment, thus assuring high levels of efficiency and uniform quality. In an attempt to overcome the problems associated with secondary metabolite production in plants, we developed a microbial platform for the production of plant isoquinoline alkaloids involving the unification of the microbial and plant metabolic pathways into a single system. The potential applications of this system have also been discussed. PMID:23666088

  3. Electrobiocommodities: powering microbial production of fuels and commodity chemicals from carbon dioxide with electricity

    SciTech Connect

    Lovley, DR; Nevin, KP

    2013-06-01

    Electricity can be an energy source for microbially catalyzed production of fuels and other organic commodities from carbon dioxide. These electrobiocommodities (E-BCs) can be produced directly via electrode-to-microbe electron transfer or indirectly with electrochemically generated electron donors such as H-2 or formate. Producing E-BCs may be a more efficient and environmentally sustainable strategy for converting solar energy to biocommodities than approaches that rely on biological photosynthesis. A diversity of microbial physiologies could potentially be adapted for E-BC production, but to date acetogenic microorganisms are the only organisms shown to covert electrically generated low potential electrons and carbon dioxide into multi-carbon organic products with high recovery of electrons in product. Substantial research and development will be required for E-BC commercialization.

  4. Microbial diversity in sugarcane ethanol production in a Brazilian distillery using a culture-independent method.

    PubMed

    Costa, Ohana Yonara Assis; Souto, Betulia Morais; Tupinambá, Daiva Domenech; Bergmann, Jessica Carvalho; Kyaw, Cynthia Maria; Kruger, Ricardo Henrique; Barreto, Cristine Chaves; Quirino, Betania Ferraz

    2015-01-01

    Sugarcane ethanol production occurs in non-sterile conditions, and microbial contamination can decrease productivity. In this study, we assessed the microbial diversity of contaminants of ethanol production in an industrial facility in Brazil. Samples obtained at different stages were analyzed by pyrosequencing-based profiling of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes and the fungal internal transcribed spacer region. A total of 355 bacterial groups, 22 archaeal groups, and 203 fungal groups were identified, and community changes were related to temperature changes at certain stages. After fermentation, Lactobacillus and unclassified Lactobacillaceae accounted for nearly 100 % of the bacterial sequences. Predominant Fungi groups were "unclassified Fungi," Meyerozyma, and Candida. The predominant Archaea group was unclassified Thaumarchaeota. This is the first work to assess the diversity of Bacteria, and Archaea and Fungi associated with the industrial process of sugarcane-ethanol production using culture-independent techniques. PMID:25404204

  5. Chocolate: A Marvelous Natural Product of Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Ginger

    2004-08-01

    Chocolate is a natural product as ubiquitous as television. Of course, it is eaten, but it is also found in air fresheners, marking pens, flavoring in a multitude of products including soda pop, and as an aroma in "chocolate-dyed" T-shirts. However, most of us are completely unaware of the complex chemical reactions that take place to produce chocolate and the necessary technology that has evolved to produce chocolate and all its byproducts. Processing results in a mixture of many components, an interesting contrast to most of the simple, one-step reactions introduced at the high school level. This article is a survey of chocolate from tree to table. After a brief introduction to the history of chocolate and how and where it is grown, the manufacturing process is examined, and the chemistry is explored. A bit of the jargon used in the industry is mentioned. Cocoa butter is a significant ingredient in chocolate, and an investigation of it introduces triglycerides, fatty acids, polymorphic behavior, and molecular packing of the fats in chocolate and how they affect the tempering process. There is a brief discussion of chocolate's non-Newtonian behavior and the resulting challenges presented in the manufacturing process. See Featured Molecules Featured on the Cover

  6. Use of natural health products in children

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Andrea; Etchegary, Holly; Godwin, Marshall; McCrate, Farah; Crellin, John; Mathews, Maria; Law, Rebecca; Newhook, Leigh Anne; Kinden, Jody

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Objective To gain a more thorough understanding of why parents choose to give their children natural health products (NHPs), parents’ sources of information about NHPs, and the extent of disclosure and conversation with family doctors about the use of NHPs. Design Qualitative study. Setting Newfoundland and Labrador. Participants Parents of children who were using NHPs (N = 20). Methods Individual, semistructured interviews were carried out with parents to obtain a better understanding of the reasoning behind the use of NHPs. Key themes emerging from the qualitative data were identified according to a number of criteria, including relevance to the research objectives, frequency with which a theme was mentioned, relative importance of the themes based on the amount of text taken up to address an issue, and emphasis (eg, emphatic or emotional speech). Main findings The types of NHPs used by parents participating in this study varied, except for the use of multivitamins. In addition, use of the products themselves was variable and inconsistent. Parents reported few concerns about the use of NHPs. The most commonly reported source of information about NHPs was family and friends. Most participants had not spoken to their family doctors about the use of NHPs. Conclusion Participants considered NHPs to be “natural” and seemed to equate this assessment with safety. This might explain why these parents sought advice and information from family and friends rather than from their family doctors and often failed to disclose the use of NHPs to their children’s family doctors. PMID:23946044

  7. Non-lethal Inhibition of Gut Microbial Trimethylamine Production for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zeneng; Roberts, Adam B; Buffa, Jennifer A; Levison, Bruce S; Zhu, Weifei; Org, Elin; Gu, Xiaodong; Huang, Ying; Zamanian-Daryoush, Maryam; Culley, Miranda K; DiDonato, Anthony J; Fu, Xiaoming; Hazen, Jennie E; Krajcik, Daniel; DiDonato, Joseph A; Lusis, Aldons J; Hazen, Stanley L

    2015-12-17

    Trimethylamine (TMA) N-oxide (TMAO), a gut-microbiota-dependent metabolite, both enhances atherosclerosis in animal models and is associated with cardiovascular risks in clinical studies. Here, we investigate the impact of targeted inhibition of the first step in TMAO generation, commensal microbial TMA production, on diet-induced atherosclerosis. A structural analog of choline, 3,3-dimethyl-1-butanol (DMB), is shown to non-lethally inhibit TMA formation from cultured microbes, to inhibit distinct microbial TMA lyases, and to both inhibit TMA production from physiologic polymicrobial cultures (e.g., intestinal contents, human feces) and reduce TMAO levels in mice fed a high-choline or L-carnitine diet. DMB inhibited choline diet-enhanced endogenous macrophage foam cell formation and atherosclerotic lesion development in apolipoprotein e(-/-) mice without alterations in circulating cholesterol levels. The present studies suggest that targeting gut microbial production of TMA specifically and non-lethal microbial inhibitors in general may serve as a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of cardiometabolic diseases. PMID:26687352

  8. Tracing iron-fueled microbial carbon production within the hydrothermal plume at the Loihi seamount

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Sarah A.; Hansman, Roberta L.; Sessions, Alex L.; Nakamura, Ko-ichi.; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2011-10-01

    The Loihi hydrothermal plume provides an opportunity to investigate iron (Fe) oxidation and microbial processes in a system that is truly Fe dominated and distinct from mid-ocean ridge spreading centers. The lack of hydrogen sulfide within the Loihi hydrothermal fluids and the presence of an oxygen minimum zone at this submarine volcano's summit, results in a prolonged presence of reduced Fe within the dispersing non-buoyant plume. In this study, we have investigated the potential for microbial carbon fixation within the Loihi plume. We sampled for both particulate and dissolved organic carbon in hydrothermal fluids, microbial mats growing around vents, and the dispersing plume, and carried out stable carbon isotope analysis on the particulate fraction. The δ13C values of the microbial mats ranged from -23‰ to -28‰, and are distinct from those of deep-ocean particulate organic carbon (POC). The mats and hydrothermal fluids were also elevated in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) compared to background seawater. Within the hydrothermal plume, DOC and POC concentrations were elevated and the isotopic composition of POC within the plume suggests mixing between background seawater POC and a 13C-depleted hydrothermal component. The combination of both DOC and POC increasing in the dispersing plume that cannot solely be the result of entrainment and DOC adsorption, provides strong evidence for in-situ microbial productivity by chemolithoautotrophs, including a likelihood for iron-oxidizing microorganisms.

  9. Progress in the microbial production of S-adenosyl-L-methionine.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hailong; Wang, Zhilai; Cai, Haibo; Zhou, Changlin

    2016-09-01

    S-Adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM), which exists in all living organisms, serves as an activated group donor in a range of metabolic reactions, including trans-methylation, trans-sulfuration and trans-propylamine. Compared with its chemical synthesis and enzyme catalysis production, the microbial production of SAM is feasible for industrial applications. The current clinical demand for SAM is constantly increasing. Therefore, vast interest exists in engineering the SAM metabolism in cells for increasing product titers. Here, we provided an overview of updates on SAM microbial productivity improvements with an emphasis on various strategies that have been used to enhance SAM production based on increasing the precursor and co-factor availabilities in microbes. These strategies included the sections of SAM-producing microbes and their mutant screening, optimization of the fermentation process, and the metabolic engineering. The SAM-producing strains that were used extensively were Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pichia pastoris, Candida utilis, Scheffersomyces stipitis, Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Corynebacterium glutamicum, and Escherichia coli, in addition to others. The optimization of the fermentation process mainly focused on the enhancement of the methionine, ATP, and other co-factor levels through pulsed feeding as well as the optimization of nitrogen and carbon sources. Various metabolic engineering strategies using precise control of gene expression in engineered strains were also highlighted in the present review. In addition, some prospects on SAM microbial production were discussed. PMID:27465853

  10. Changes in microbial activity of soils during the natural restoration of abandoned lands in central Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovsepyan, Lilit; Mostovaya, Anna; Lopes de Gerenyu, Valentin; Kurganova, Irina

    2015-04-01

    Most changes in land use affect significantly the amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) and alter the nutrition status of soil microbial community. The arable lands withdrawal induced usually the carbon sequestration in soil, the significant shifts in quality of soil organic matter and structure of microbial community. This study was aimed to determine the microbial activity of the abandoned lands in Central Russia due to the process of natural self-restoration. For the study, two representative chronosequences were selected in Central Russia: (1) deciduous forest area, DFA (Moscow region, 54o49N'; 37o34'E; Haplic Luvisols) and (2) forest steppe area, FSA (Belgorod region 50o36'N, 36o01'E Luvic Phaeozems). Each chronosequence included current arable, abandoned lands of different age, and forest plots. The total soil organic carbon (Corg, automatic CHNS analyzer), carbon immobilized in microbial biomass (Cmic, SIR method), and respiratory activity (RA) were determined in the topsoil (0-5, 5-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm layers) for each plots. Relationships between Corg, Cmic, and RA were determined by liner regression method. Our results showed that the conversion of croplands to the permanent forest induced the progressive accumulation Corg, Cmic and acceleration of RA in the top 10-cm layer for both chronosequences. Carbon stock increased from 24.1 Mg C ha-1 in arable to 45.3 Mg C ha-1 in forest soil (Luvic Phaeozems, Belgorod region). In Haplic Luvisols (Moscow region), SOC build up was 2 time less: from 13.5 Mg C ha-1 in arable to 27.9 Mg C ha-1 in secondary forest. During post-agrogenic evolution, Cmic also increased significantly: from 0.34 to 1.43 g C kg-1 soil in Belgorod region and from 0.34 to 0.64 g C kg-1 soil in Moscow region. RA values varied widely in soils studied: from 0.54-0.63 mg C kg-1h-1 in arable plots to 2.02-3.4 mg C kg-1h-1 in forest ones. The close correlations between Cmic, RA and Corg in the top 0-5cm layer (R2 = 0.81-0.90; P<0.01-0.05) were

  11. Structural Mass Spectrometry: Rapid Methods for Separation and Analysis of Peptide Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, Cody R.; Fenn, Larissa S.; Derewacz, Dagmara K.; Bachmann, Brian O.; McLean, John A.

    2012-01-01

    A significant challenge in natural product discovery is the initial discrimination of discrete secondary metabolites alongside functionally similar primary metabolic cellular components within complex biological samples. A property that has yet to be fully exploited for natural product identification and characterization is the gas phase collision cross section, or, more generally, the mobility-mass correlation. Peptide natural products possess many of the properties that distinguish natural products as they are frequently characterized by a high degree of intramolecular bonding, and possess extended and compact conformations among other structural modifications. This report describes a rapid structural mass spectrometry technique based on ion mobility-mass spectrometry for the comparison of peptide natural products to their primary metabolic congeners using mobility-mass correlation. This property is empirically determined using ion mobility-mass spectrometry, applied to the analysis of linear versus modified peptides, and used to discriminate peptide natural products in a crude microbial extract. Complementary computational approaches are utilized to understand the structural basis for the separation of primary metabolism derived linear peptides from secondary metabolite cyclic and modified cyclic species. These findings provide a platform for enhancing the identification of secondary metabolic peptides with distinct mobility-mass ratios within complex biological samples. PMID:22216918

  12. High Acetic Acid Production Rate Obtained by Microbial Electrosynthesis from Carbon Dioxide.

    PubMed

    Jourdin, Ludovic; Grieger, Timothy; Monetti, Juliette; Flexer, Victoria; Freguia, Stefano; Lu, Yang; Chen, Jun; Romano, Mark; Wallace, Gordon G; Keller, Jurg

    2015-11-17

    High product specificity and production rate are regarded as key success parameters for large-scale applicability of a (bio)chemical reaction technology. Here, we report a significant performance enhancement in acetate formation from CO2, reaching comparable productivity levels as in industrial fermentation processes (volumetric production rate and product yield). A biocathode current density of -102 ± 1 A m(-2) and an acetic acid production rate of 685 ± 30 (g m(-2) day(-1)) have been achieved in this study. High recoveries of 94 ± 2% of the CO2 supplied as the sole carbon source and 100 ± 4% of electrons into the final product (acetic acid) were achieved after development of a mature biofilm, reaching an elevated product titer of up to 11 g L(-1). This high product specificity is remarkable for mixed microbial cultures, which would make the product downstream processing easier and the technology more attractive. This performance enhancement was enabled through the combination of a well-acclimatized and enriched microbial culture (very fast start-up after culture transfer), coupled with the use of a newly synthesized electrode material, EPD-3D. The throwing power of the electrophoretic deposition technique, a method suitable for large-scale production, was harnessed to form multiwalled carbon nanotube coatings onto reticulated vitreous carbon to generate a hierarchical porous structure. PMID:26484732

  13. Engineered microbes and methods for microbial oil production

    DOEpatents

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory; Tai, Mitchell; Chakraborty, Sagar

    2015-02-10

    Some aspects of this invention provide engineered microbes for oil production. Methods for microbe engineering and for use of engineered microbes are also provided herein. In some embodiments, microbes are provided that are engineered to modulate a combination of rate-controlling steps of lipid synthesis, for example, a combination of a step generating metabolites, acetyl-CoA, ATP or NADPH for lipid synthesis (a push step), and a step sequestering a product or an intermediate of a lipid synthesis pathway that mediates feedback inhibition of lipid synthesis (a pull step). Such push-and-pull engineered microbes exhibit greatly enhanced conversion yields and TAG synthesis and storage properties.

  14. Iron and sulfide oxidation within the basaltic ocean crust: implications for chemolithoautotrophic microbial biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bach, Wolfgang; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2003-10-01

    Microbial processes within the ocean crust are of potential importance in controlling rates of chemical reactions and thereby affecting chemical exchange between the oceans and lithosphere. We here assess the oxidation state of altered ocean crust and estimate the magnitude of microbial biomass production that might be supported by oxidative and nonoxidative alteration. Compilations of Fe 2O 3, FeO, and S concentrations from DSDP/ODP drill core samples representing upper basaltic ocean crust suggest that Fe 3+/ΣFe increases from 0.15 ± 0.05 to 0.45 ± 0.15 within the first 10-20 Myr of crustal evolution. Within the same time frame 70 ± 25% of primary sulfides in basalt are oxidized. With an annual production of 4.0 ± 1.8 × 10 15 g of upper (500 ± 200 m) crust and average initial concentrations of 8.0 ± 1.3 wt% Fe and 0.125 ± 0.020 wt% S, we estimate annual oxidation rates of 1.7 ± 1.2 × 10 12 mol Fe and 1.1 ± 0.7 × 10 11 mol S. We estimate that 50% of Fe oxidation may be attributed to hydrolysis, producing 4.5 ± 3.0 × 10 11 mol H 2/yr. Thermodynamic and bioenergetic calculations were used to estimate the potential chemolithoautotrophic microbial biomass production within ridge flanks. Combined, aerobic and anaerobic Fe and S oxidation may support production of up to 48 ± 21 × 10 10 g cellular carbon (C). Hydrogen-consuming reactions may support production of a similar or larger microbial biomass if iron reduction, nitrate reduction, or hydrogen oxidation by O 2(aq) are the prevailing metabolic reactions. If autotrophic sulfate reduction or methanogenesis prevail, the potential biomass production is 9 ± 7 × 10 10 g C/yr and 3 ± 2 × 10 10 g C/yr, respectively. Combined primary biomass production of up to ˜1 × 10 12 g C/yr may be similar to that fueled by anaerobic oxidation of organic matter in deep-seated heterotrophic systems. These estimates suggest that water-rock reactions may support significant microbial life within ridge flank

  15. Characterizing Microbial Diversity and Function in Natural Subsurface CO2 Reservoir Systems for Applied Use in Geologic Carbon Sequestration Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freedman, A.; Thompson, J. R.

    2013-12-01

    The injection of CO2 into geological formations at quantities necessary to significantly reduce CO2 emissions will represent an environmental perturbation on a continental scale. The extent to which biological processes may play a role in the fate and transport of CO2 injected into geological formations has remained an open question due to the fact that at temperatures and pressures associated with reservoirs targeted for sequestration CO2 exists as a supercritical fluid (scCO2), which has generally been regarded as a sterilizing agent. Natural subsurface accumulations of CO2 serve as an excellent analogue for studying the long-term effects, implications and benefits of CO2 capture and storage (CCS). While several geologic formations bearing significant volumes of nearly pure scCO2 phases have been identified in the western United States, no study has attempted to characterize the microbial community present in these systems. Because the CO2 in the region is thought to have first accumulated millions of years ago, it is reasonable to assume that native microbial populations have undergone extensive and unique physiological and behavioral adaptations to adjust to the exceedingly high scCO2 content. Our study focuses on the microbial communities associated with the dolomite limestone McElmo Dome scCO2 Field in the Colorado Plateau region, approximately 1,000 m below the surface. Fluid samples were collected from 10 wells at an industrial CO2 production facility outside Cortez, CO. Subsamples preserved on site in 3.7% formaldehyde were treated in the lab with Syto 9 green-fluorescent nucleic acid stain, revealing 3.2E6 to 1.4E8 microbial cells per liter of produced fluid and 8.0E9 cells per liter of local pond water used in well drilling fluids. Extracted DNAs from sterivex 0.22 um filters containing 20 L of sample biomass were used as templates for PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene. 16S rRNA amplicons from these samples were cloned, sequenced and subjected to microbial

  16. Nature and extent of electrogenic microbial communities recovered from Juan de Fuca hydrothermal sulfides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girguis, P. R.; Nielsen, M. E.

    2011-12-01

    Microbes have evolved a variety of metabolic strategies to survive in anaerobic environments, including extracellular electron transfer (EET). Here we present laboratory and in situ experiments revealing that hydrothermal vent microbes employ and depend upon EET to access spatially remote oxidants via semi-conductive pyrite. To simulate the physical and electrochemical conditions in vent sulfides, we constructed a two-chamber flow-through bioelectrochemical reactor in which a pyrite electrode was enclosed in one chamber and subject to simulated hydrothermal conditions. Electroactive biofilms formed solely on pyrite in electrical continuity with oxygenated water. Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses revealed a diversity of autotrophic and heterotrophic archaea and bacteria, markedly different in composition from the control (pyrite without electrical continuity). To further characterize this phenomenon, we deployed a bioelectrochemical experiment in situ at the hydrothermal vent sulfide "Roane" (2200 m water depth, at the Mothra hydrothermal field, Juan de Fuca ridge). A graphite anode was inserted into a borehole drilled into the base of a hydrothermal sulfide, and connected through a potentiostat to a carbon-fiber cathode on the outside of the vent structure. The in situ experiment produced sustained current and enriched for a distinct microbial community likely associated with EET. The data presented herein reveal the nature and extent of microbial communities that use conductive minerals such as pyrite, though fully reduced, to facilitate the reduction of spatially remote oxidants while maintaining chemical discontinuity. Thus EET, by enabling sustained access to terminal electron acceptors while maintaining the functioning of strictly anaerobic metabolisms, may alleviate the limitations commonly associated with anaerobic environs, namely the depletion of oxidants.

  17. Two Strategies for Microbial Production of an Industrial Enzyme-Alpha-Amylase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bernhardsdotter, Eva C. M. J.; Garriott, Owen; Pusey, Marc L.; Ng, Joseph D.

    2003-01-01

    Extremophiles are microorganisms that thrive in, from an anthropocentric view, extreme environments including hot springs, soda lakes and arctic water. This ability of survival at extreme conditions has rendered extremophiles to be of interest in astrobiology, evolutionary biology as well as in industrial applications. Of particular interest to the biotechnology industry are the biological catalysts of the extremophiles, the extremozymes, whose unique stabilities at extreme conditions make them potential sources of novel enzymes in industrial applications. There are two major approaches to microbial enzyme production. This entails enzyme isolation directly from the natural host or creating a recombinant expression system whereby the targeted enzyme can be overexpressed in a mesophilic host. We are employing both methods in the effort to produce alpha-amylases from a hyperthermophilic archaeon (Thermococcus) isolated from a hydrothermal vent in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as from alkaliphilic bacteria (Bacillus) isolated from a soda lake in Tanzania. Alpha-amylases catalyze the hydrolysis of internal alpha-1,4-glycosidic linkages in starch to produce smaller sugars. Thermostable alpha-amylases are used in the liquefaction of starch for production of fructose and glucose syrups, whereas alpha-amylases stable at high pH have potential as detergent additives. The alpha-amylase encoding gene from Thermococcus was PCR amplified using carefully designed primers and analyzed using bioinformatics tools such as BLAST and Multiple Sequence Alignment for cloning and expression in E.coli. Four strains of Bacillus were grown in alkaline starch-enriched medium of which the culture supernatant was used as enzyme source. Amylolytic activity was detected using the starch-iodine method.

  18. Evaluation and identification of poly-microbial biofilms on natural green Gordal table olives.

    PubMed

    Benítez-Cabello, Antonio; Romero-Gil, Verónica; Rodríguez-Gómez, Francisco; Garrido-Fernández, Antonio; Jiménez-Díaz, Rufino; Arroyo-López, Francisco Noé

    2015-09-01

    This work examines the formation of poly-microbial communities adhered to the epidermis of natural green Gordal olives and the application of different methodologies for recovery and counting of the microorganisms embedded in olive biofilms. The fermentation process was physicochemical and microbiologically monitored for 90 days, at which, formation of true biofilms on the skin of fermented fruits was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Then, samples of olives were taken and treated with sonication, enzymes, mechanical homogenization with stomacher and ultrasonic bath for biofilm disaggregation. The use of the stomacher for 1 min was the most effective treatment to release the lactic acid bacteria (6.6 log10 cfu g(-1)), whereas sonication for 5 min was the most efficient method for quantification of yeasts (up to 3.5 log10 cfu g(-1)). Molecular identification of isolates obtained from natural Gordal olive biofilms revealed that Lactobacillus pentosus was the only species found among lactic acid bacteria, while Pichia membranifaciens was the dominant yeast species, with higher counts obtained for the bacteria. PMID:26115883

  19. A Historical Overview of Natural Products in Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Daniel A.; Urban, Sylvia; Roessner, Ute

    2012-01-01

    Historically, natural products have been used since ancient times and in folklore for the treatment of many diseases and illnesses. Classical natural product chemistry methodologies enabled a vast array of bioactive secondary metabolites from terrestrial and marine sources to be discovered. Many of these natural products have gone on to become current drug candidates. This brief review aims to highlight historically significant bioactive marine and terrestrial natural products, their use in folklore and dereplication techniques to rapidly facilitate their discovery. Furthermore a discussion of how natural product chemistry has resulted in the identification of many drug candidates; the application of advanced hyphenated spectroscopic techniques to aid in their discovery, the future of natural product chemistry and finally adopting metabolomic profiling and dereplication approaches for the comprehensive study of natural product extracts will be discussed. PMID:24957513

  20. Screening of industrial wastewaters as feedstock for the microbial production of oils for biodiesel production and high-quality pigments

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Teresa; Graeff-Honninger, Simone; French, William Todd; Hernandez, Rafael; Claupein, Wilhelm; Holmes, William E.; Merkt, Nikolaus

    2012-01-01

    The production of biodiesel has notably increased over the past decade. Currently, plant oil is the main feedstock for biodiesel production, but, due to concerns related to the competition with food production, alternative oil feedstocks have to be found. Oleaginous yeasts are known to produce high amounts of lipids, but no integrated process from microbial fermentation to final biodiesel production has reached commercial realization yet due to economic constraints. Therefore, growth and lipid production of red yeast Rhodotorula glutinis was tested on low-cost substrates, namely, wastewaters from potato, fruit juice, and lettuce processing. Additionally, the production of carotenoids as high-value by-products was examined. All evaluated wastewaters met the general criteria for microbial lipid production. However, no significant increase in lipid content was observed, probably due to lack of available carbon in wastewaters from fruit juice and lettuce processing, and excess of available nitrogen in potato processing wastewater, respectively. During growth on wastewaters from fruit juice and lettuce processing the carotenoid content increased significantly in the first 48 hours. The relations between carbon content, nitrogen content, and carotenoid production need to be further assessed. For economic viability, lipid and carotenoid production needs to be increased significantly. Lastly, the screening of feedstocks should be extended to other wastewaters.

  1. Screening of industrial wastewaters as feedstock for the microbial production of oils for biodiesel production and high-quality pigments

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Schneider, Teresa; Graeff-Honninger, Simone; French, William Todd; Hernandez, Rafael; Claupein, Wilhelm; Holmes, William E.; Merkt, Nikolaus

    2012-01-01

    The production of biodiesel has notably increased over the past decade. Currently, plant oil is the main feedstock for biodiesel production, but, due to concerns related to the competition with food production, alternative oil feedstocks have to be found. Oleaginous yeasts are known to produce high amounts of lipids, but no integrated process from microbial fermentation to final biodiesel production has reached commercial realization yet due to economic constraints. Therefore, growth and lipid production of red yeast Rhodotorula glutinis was tested on low-cost substrates, namely, wastewaters from potato, fruit juice, and lettuce processing. Additionally, the production of carotenoids as high-valuemore » by-products was examined. All evaluated wastewaters met the general criteria for microbial lipid production. However, no significant increase in lipid content was observed, probably due to lack of available carbon in wastewaters from fruit juice and lettuce processing, and excess of available nitrogen in potato processing wastewater, respectively. During growth on wastewaters from fruit juice and lettuce processing the carotenoid content increased significantly in the first 48 hours. The relations between carbon content, nitrogen content, and carotenoid production need to be further assessed. For economic viability, lipid and carotenoid production needs to be increased significantly. Lastly, the screening of feedstocks should be extended to other wastewaters.« less

  2. Biodiesel biorefinery: opportunities and challenges for microbial production of fuels and chemicals from glycerol waste.

    PubMed

    Almeida, João R M; Fávaro, Léia C L; Quirino, Betania F

    2012-01-01

    The considerable increase in biodiesel production worldwide in the last 5 years resulted in a stoichiometric increased coproduction of crude glycerol. As an excess of crude glycerol has been produced, its value on market was reduced and it is becoming a "waste-stream" instead of a valuable "coproduct". The development of biorefineries, i.e. production of chemicals and power integrated with conversion processes of biomass into biofuels, has been singled out as a way to achieve economically viable production chains, valorize residues and coproducts, and reduce industrial waste disposal. In this sense, several alternatives aimed at the use of crude glycerol to produce fuels and chemicals by microbial fermentation have been evaluated. This review summarizes different strategies employed to produce biofuels and chemicals (1,3-propanediol, 2,3-butanediol, ethanol, n-butanol, organic acids, polyols and others) by microbial fermentation of glycerol. Initially, the industrial use of each chemical is briefly presented; then we systematically summarize and discuss the different strategies to produce each chemical, including selection and genetic engineering of producers, and optimization of process conditions to improve yield and productivity. Finally, the impact of the developments obtained until now are placed in perspective and opportunities and challenges for using crude glycerol to the development of biodiesel-based biorefineries are considered. In conclusion, the microbial fermentation of glycerol represents a remarkable alternative to add value to the biodiesel production chain helping the development of biorefineries, which will allow this biofuel to be more competitive. PMID:22809320

  3. Microbial and sponge loops modify fish production in phase-shifting coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Silveira, Cynthia B; Silva-Lima, Arthur W; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B; Marques, Jomar S M; Almeida, Marcelo G; Thompson, Cristiane C; Rezende, Carlos E; Paranhos, Rodolfo; Moura, Rodrigo L; Salomon, Paulo S; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2015-10-01

    Shifts from coral to algae dominance of corals reefs have been correlated to fish biomass loss and increased microbial metabolism. Here we investigated reef benthic and planktonic primary production, benthic dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release and bacterial growth efficiency in the Abrolhos Bank, South Atlantic. Benthic DOC release rates are higher while water column bacterial growth efficiency is lower at impacted reefs. A trophic model based on the benthic and planktonic primary production was able to predict the observed relative fish biomass in healthy reefs. In contrast, in impacted reefs, the observed omnivorous fish biomass is higher, while that of the herbivorous/coralivorous fish is lower than predicted by the primary production-based model. Incorporating recycling of benthic-derived carbon in the model through microbial and sponge loops explains the difference and predicts the relative fish biomass in both reef types. Increased benthic carbon release rates and bacterial carbon metabolism, but decreased bacterial growth efficiency could lead to carbon losses through respiration and account for the uncoupling of benthic and fish production in phase-shifting reefs. Carbon recycling by microbial and sponge loops seems to promote an increase of small-bodied fish productivity in phase-shifting coral reefs. PMID:25817914

  4. Hydrogen production from switchgrass via an integrated pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process.

    PubMed

    Lewis, A J; Ren, S; Ye, X; Kim, P; Labbe, N; Borole, A P

    2015-11-01

    A new approach to hydrogen production using an integrated pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process is described. The aqueous stream generated during pyrolysis of switchgrass was used as a substrate for hydrogen production in a microbial electrolysis cell, achieving a maximum hydrogen production rate of 4.3 L H2/L anode-day at a loading of 10 g COD/L-anode-day. Hydrogen yields ranged from 50±3.2% to 76±0.5% while anode Coulombic efficiency ranged from 54±6.5% to 96±0.21%, respectively. Significant conversion of furfural, organic acids and phenolic molecules was observed under both batch and continuous conditions. The electrical and overall energy efficiency ranged from 149-175% and 48-63%, respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process as a sustainable and efficient route for production of renewable hydrogen with significant implications for hydrocarbon production from biomass. PMID:26210530

  5. Hydrogen production from switchgrass via a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Lewis, Alex J.; Ren, Shoujie; Ye, Philip; Kim, Pyoungchung; Labbe, Niki; Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2015-06-30

    A new approach to hydrogen production using a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process is described. The aqueous stream generated during pyrolysis of switchgrass was used as a substrate for hydrogen production in a microbial electrolysis cell, achieving a maximum hydrogen production rate of 4.3 L H2/L-day at a loading of 10 g COD/L-anode-day. Hydrogen yields ranged from 50 3.2% to76 0.5% while anode coulombic efficiency ranged from 54 6.5% to 96 0.21%, respectively. Significant conversion of furfural, organic acids and phenolic molecules was observed under both batch and continuous conditions. The electrical and overall energy efficiency ranged from 149-175% and 48-63%,more » respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process as a sustainable and efficient route for production of renewable hydrogen with significant implications for hydrocarbon production from biomass.« less

  6. Temporal stability of the microbial community in sewage-polluted seawater exposed to natural sunlight cycles and marine microbiota.

    PubMed

    Sassoubre, Lauren M; Yamahara, Kevan M; Boehm, Alexandria B

    2015-03-01

    Billions of gallons of untreated wastewater enter the coastal ocean each year. Once sewage microorganisms are in the marine environment, they are exposed to environmental stressors, such as sunlight and predation. Previous research has investigated the fate of individual sewage microorganisms in seawater but not the entire sewage microbial community. The present study used next-generation sequencing (NGS) to examine how the microbial community in sewage-impacted seawater changes over 48 h when exposed to natural sunlight cycles and marine microbiota. We compared the results from microcosms composed of unfiltered seawater (containing naturally occurring marine microbiota) and filtered seawater (containing no marine microbiota) to investigate the effect of marine microbiota. We also compared the results from microcosms that were exposed to natural sunlight cycles with those from microcosms kept in the dark to investigate the effect of sunlight. The microbial community composition and the relative abundance of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) changed over 48 h in all microcosms. Exposure to sunlight had a significant effect on both community composition and OTU abundance. The effect of marine microbiota, however, was minimal. The proportion of sewage-derived microorganisms present in the microcosms decreased rapidly within 48 h, and the decrease was the most pronounced in the presence of both sunlight and marine microbiota, where the proportion decreased from 85% to 3% of the total microbial community. The results from this study demonstrate the strong effect that sunlight has on microbial community composition, as measured by NGS, and the importance of considering temporal effects in future applications of NGS to identify microbial pollution sources. PMID:25576619

  7. Temporal Stability of the Microbial Community in Sewage-Polluted Seawater Exposed to Natural Sunlight Cycles and Marine Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Sassoubre, Lauren M.; Yamahara, Kevan M.

    2015-01-01

    Billions of gallons of untreated wastewater enter the coastal ocean each year. Once sewage microorganisms are in the marine environment, they are exposed to environmental stressors, such as sunlight and predation. Previous research has investigated the fate of individual sewage microorganisms in seawater but not the entire sewage microbial community. The present study used next-generation sequencing (NGS) to examine how the microbial community in sewage-impacted seawater changes over 48 h when exposed to natural sunlight cycles and marine microbiota. We compared the results from microcosms composed of unfiltered seawater (containing naturally occurring marine microbiota) and filtered seawater (containing no marine microbiota) to investigate the effect of marine microbiota. We also compared the results from microcosms that were exposed to natural sunlight cycles with those from microcosms kept in the dark to investigate the effect of sunlight. The microbial community composition and the relative abundance of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) changed over 48 h in all microcosms. Exposure to sunlight had a significant effect on both community composition and OTU abundance. The effect of marine microbiota, however, was minimal. The proportion of sewage-derived microorganisms present in the microcosms decreased rapidly within 48 h, and the decrease was the most pronounced in the presence of both sunlight and marine microbiota, where the proportion decreased from 85% to 3% of the total microbial community. The results from this study demonstrate the strong effect that sunlight has on microbial community composition, as measured by NGS, and the importance of considering temporal effects in future applications of NGS to identify microbial pollution sources. PMID:25576619

  8. Evaluation of different pretreatments on microbial transformation of saponins in Dioscorea zingiberensis for diosgenin production

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Tianxiang; Yu, Lidan; Zhu, Yuling; Zhao, Bin

    2014-01-01

    In order to evaluate the effects of different pretreatments on microbial transformation of saponins in Dioscorea zingiberensis (DZW), various methods have been systematically studied on a large scale. Five pretreatments, including physical separation, catalytic solvent extraction, ultrasonic fermentation, complex enzymatic hydrolyzation and enzymatic saccharification, were performed on DZW. Compared with other methods, complex enzymatic hydrolyzation significantly improved the efficiency of microbial transformation. Due to the pretreatment, a diosgenin yield of 92.6%, and diosgenin accumulation of 27.3 mg/g DZW were achieved. The high efficiency of this method was attributed to the separation of 84.3% starch and 76.5% fibre from DZW in the form of a sugar. Analysis of saponins in this microbial transformation process showed that the residual rates of the intermediate products were much lower than those obtained from other pretreatments. The results demonstrate that complex enzymatic hydrolyzation is a practical and effective pretreatment method for production of diosgenin from DZW in a microbial transformation way. PMID:26019558

  9. Automated DNA extraction platforms offer solutions to challenges of assessing microbial biofouling in oil production facilities.

    PubMed

    Oldham, Athenia L; Drilling, Heather S; Stamps, Blake W; Stevenson, Bradley S; Duncan, Kathleen E

    2012-01-01

    The analysis of microbial assemblages in industrial, marine, and medical systems can inform decisions regarding quality control or mitigation. Modern molecular approaches to detect, characterize, and quantify microorganisms provide rapid and thorough measures unbiased by the need for cultivation. The requirement of timely extraction of high quality nucleic acids for molecular analysis is faced with specific challenges when used to study the influence of microorganisms on oil production. Production facilities are often ill equipped for nucleic acid extraction techniques, making the preservation and transportation of samples off-site a priority. As a potential solution, the possibility of extracting nucleic acids on-site using automated platforms was tested. The performance of two such platforms, the Fujifilm QuickGene-Mini80™ and Promega Maxwell®16 was compared to a widely used manual extraction kit, MOBIO PowerBiofilm™ DNA Isolation Kit, in terms of ease of operation, DNA quality, and microbial community composition. Three pipeline biofilm samples were chosen for these comparisons; two contained crude oil and corrosion products and the third transported seawater. Overall, the two more automated extraction platforms produced higher DNA yields than the manual approach. DNA quality was evaluated for amplification by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and end-point PCR to generate 454 pyrosequencing libraries for 16S rRNA microbial community analysis. Microbial community structure, as assessed by DGGE analysis and pyrosequencing, was comparable among the three extraction methods. Therefore, the use of automated extraction platforms should enhance the feasibility of rapidly evaluating microbial biofouling at remote locations or those with limited resources. PMID:23168231

  10. Automated DNA extraction platforms offer solutions to challenges of assessing microbial biofouling in oil production facilities

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The analysis of microbial assemblages in industrial, marine, and medical systems can inform decisions regarding quality control or mitigation. Modern molecular approaches to detect, characterize, and quantify microorganisms provide rapid and thorough measures unbiased by the need for cultivation. The requirement of timely extraction of high quality nucleic acids for molecular analysis is faced with specific challenges when used to study the influence of microorganisms on oil production. Production facilities are often ill equipped for nucleic acid extraction techniques, making the preservation and transportation of samples off-site a priority. As a potential solution, the possibility of extracting nucleic acids on-site using automated platforms was tested. The performance of two such platforms, the Fujifilm QuickGene-Mini80™ and Promega Maxwell®16 was compared to a widely used manual extraction kit, MOBIO PowerBiofilm™ DNA Isolation Kit, in terms of ease of operation, DNA quality, and microbial community composition. Three pipeline biofilm samples were chosen for these comparisons; two contained crude oil and corrosion products and the third transported seawater. Overall, the two more automated extraction platforms produced higher DNA yields than the manual approach. DNA quality was evaluated for amplification by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and end-point PCR to generate 454 pyrosequencing libraries for 16S rRNA microbial community analysis. Microbial community structure, as assessed by DGGE analysis and pyrosequencing, was comparable among the three extraction methods. Therefore, the use of automated extraction platforms should enhance the feasibility of rapidly evaluating microbial biofouling at remote locations or those with limited resources. PMID:23168231

  11. Structure and Function of Macroalgal Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Young, Ryan M; Schoenrock, Kathryn M; von Salm, Jacqueline L; Amsler, Charles D; Baker, Bill J

    2015-01-01

    Since the initial discovery of marine phyco-derived secondary metabolites in the 1950s there has been a rapid increase in the description of new algal natural products. These metabolites have multiple ecological roles as well as commercial value as potential drugs or lead compounds. With the emergence of resistance to our current arsenal of drugs as well as the development of new chemotherapies for currently untreatable diseases, new compounds must be sourced. As outlined in this chapter algae produce a diverse range of chemicals many of which have potential for the treatment of human afflictions.In this chapter we outline the classes of metabolites produced by this chemically rich group of organisms as well as their respective ecological roles in the environment. Algae are found in nearly every environment on earth, with many of these organisms possessing the ability to shape the ecosystem they inhabit. With current challenges to climate stability, understanding how these important organisms interact with their environment as well as one another might afford better insight into how they respond to a changing climate. PMID:26108497

  12. Marine Natural Products as Novel Antioxidant Prototypes

    PubMed Central

    Takamatsu, Satoshi; Hodges, Tyler W.; Rajbhandari, Ira; Gerwick, William H.; Hamann, Mark T.; Nagle, Dale G.

    2016-01-01

    Pure natural products isolated from marine sponges, algae, and cyanobacteria were examined for antioxidant activity using a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) solution-based chemical assay and a 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) cellular-based assay. The DCFH system detects only antioxidants that penetrate cellular membranes. Potent antioxidants were identified and the results from each system compared. The algal metabolites cymopol (1), avrainvilleol (3), and fragilamide (4), and the invertebrate constituent puupehenone (5) showed strong antioxidant activity in both systems. Several compounds were active in the DPPH assay but significantly less active in the DCFH system. The green algal metabolite 7-hydroxycymopol (2) was isolated from Cymopolia barbata and its structure determined. Compound 2 was significantly less active in the DCFH system than cymopol (1). The sponge metabolites (1S)-(+)-curcuphenol (6), aaptamine (7), isoaaptamine (8), and curcudiol (9) and the cyanobacterial pigment scytonemin (10) showed strong antioxidant activity in the DPPH assay, but were relatively inactive in the DCFH system. Thus, cellular uptake dramatically affects the potential significance of antioxidants discovered using only the DPPH assay. The apparent “proantioxidants” hormothamnione A diacetate (11) and Laurencia monomer diacetate (12) require metabolic activation for antioxidant activity. Significant advantages are achieved using both a solution- and cellular-based assay to discover new antioxidants. PMID:12762791

  13. Natural Products That Target Cancer Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Moselhy, Jim; Srinivasan, Sowmyalakshmi; Ankem, Murali K; Damodaran, Chendil

    2015-11-01

    The cancer stem cell model suggests that tumor initiation is governed by a small subset of distinct cells with stem-like character termed cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs possess properties of self-renewal and intrinsic survival mechanisms that contribute to resistance of tumors to most chemotherapeutic drugs. The failure to eradicate CSCs during the course of therapy is postulated to be the driving force for tumor recurrence and metastasis. Recent studies have focused on understanding the unique phenotypic properties of CSCs from various tumor types, as well as the signaling pathways that underlie self-renewal and drug resistance. Natural products (NPs) such as those derived from botanicals and food sources may modulate vital signaling pathways involved in the maintenance of CSC phenotype. The Wingless/Integrated (WNT), Hedgehog, Notch and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways have all been associated with quiescence and self-renewal of CSCs, as well as execution of CSC function including differentiation, multidrug resistance and metastasis. Recent studies evaluating NPs against CSC support the epidemiological evidence linking plant-based diets with reduced malignancy rates. This review covers the key aspects of NPs as modulators of CSC fate. PMID:26503998

  14. Natural products and the aging process.

    PubMed

    Ergin, Volkan; Bali, Elif Burcu; Hariry, Reza Ebrahimi; Karasu, Cimen

    2013-12-01

    Abstract Literature surveys show that the most of the research that have been conducted on the effect of herbal remedies on many tissue pathologies, including metabolic disturbances, cardiovascular decline, neurodegeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and skin inflammation, all lead to an accelerated aging process. The increased carbonylation of proteins (carbonyl stress) disturbing their function has been indicated as an underlying mechanism of cellular senescence and age-related diseases. Because it is also linked to the carbonyl stress, aging chronic disease and inflammation plays an important role in understanding the clinical implications of cellular stress response and relevant markers. Greater knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in several pathologies associated with aging would provide a better understanding to help us to develop suitable strategies, use specific targets to mitigate the effect of human aging, prevent particularly chronic degenerative diseases and improve quality of life. However, research is lacking on the herbal compounds affecting cellular aging signaling as well as studies regarding the action mechanism(s) of natural products in prevention of the age-related disease. This review provides leads for identifying new medicinal agents or potential phytochemical drugs from plant sources for the prevention or delaying cellular aging processes and the treatment of some disorders related with accelerated body aging. PMID:25436747

  15. What's on the menu? Assessing microbial carbon sources and cycling in soils using natural abundance radiocarbon analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoudi, N.; Burns, L.; Mancini, S.; Fulthorpe, R.; Slater, G. F.

    2011-12-01

    Organic matter in soils is composed of diverse materials in various stages of decomposition. Soil organic matter is not in a single pool but rather in multiple carbon pools with different intrinsic turnover times that can be on annual to decadal and even millennial timescales. Microorganisms can influence the total amount of carbon stored in soils and the turnover rates of these different pools. However, the links between microbes and their ability to utilize these various carbon pools are not well understood. Moreover, microbes have been shown to co-utilize a number of available carbon sources rather than a single carbon source under soil conditions which creates difficulties in identifying microbial carbon sources in the natural environment. Compound-specific radiocarbon analysis of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) has become a useful tool in elucidating microbial carbon sources in complex environments with multiple carbon sources. We investigated microbial carbon cycling at an industrial site in Ontario which included a variety of carbon sources including vegetation, PAHs and natural organic matter (NOM). Using this approach, the 14C content of microbial membrane lipids (which reflects their carbon source) can be compared to surrounding carbon sources in order to assess which carbon source they are metabolizing and incorporating into their lipids. In addition, we assessed microbial community structure and diversity by analyzing amplified bacterial, eukaryotic and archaeal rDNA fragments with denaturing gel gradient electrophoresis (DGGE). The Δ14C value for PLFAs ranged from +54 to -697% which indicates that microbial carbon sources across soils differ. The Δ14CPLFA for some soils is consistent with modern carbon sources while Δ14CPLFA for other soils is consistent with natural organic matter including older pools of carbon. The microbial communities at this site are not metabolizing PAHs but rather they are utilizing various pools of natural organic

  16. Operational, design and microbial aspects related to power production with microbial fuel cells implemented in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Corbella, Clara; Guivernau, Miriam; Viñas, Marc; Puigagut, Jaume

    2015-11-01

    This work aimed at determining the amount of energy that can be harvested by implementing microbial fuel cells (MFC) in horizontal subsurface constructed wetlands (HSSF CWs) during the treatment of real domestic wastewater. To this aim, MFC were implemented in a pilot plant based on two HSSF CW, one fed with primary settled wastewater (Settler line) and the other fed with the effluent of a hydrolytic up-flow sludge blanket reactor (HUSB line). The eubacterial and archaeal community was profiled on wetland gravel, MFC electrodes and primary treated wastewater by means of 16S rRNA gene-based 454-pyrosequencing and qPCR of 16S rRNA and mcrA genes. Maximum current (219 mA/m(2)) and power (36 mW/m(2)) densities were obtained for the HUSB line. Power production pattern correlated well with water level fluctuations within the wetlands, whereas the type of primary treatment implemented had a significant impact on the diversity and relative abundance of eubacteria communities colonizing MFC. It is worth noticing the high predominance (13-16% of relative abundance) of one OTU belonging to Geobacter on active MFC of the HUSB line that was absent for the settler line MFC. Hence, MFC show promise for power production in constructed wetlands receiving the effluent of a HUSB reactor. PMID:26253894

  17. Volatile Gas Production by Methyl Halide Transferase: An In Situ Reporter Of Microbial Gene Expression In Soil.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Masiello, Caroline A; Bennett, George N; Silberg, Jonathan J

    2016-08-16

    Traditional visual reporters of gene expression have only very limited use in soils because their outputs are challenging to detect through the soil matrix. This severely restricts our ability to study time-dependent microbial gene expression in one of the Earth's largest, most complex habitats. Here we describe an approach to report on dynamic gene expression within a microbial population in a soil under natural water levels (at and below water holding capacity) via production of methyl halides using a methyl halide transferase. As a proof-of-concept application, we couple the expression of this gas reporter to the conjugative transfer of a bacterial plasmid in a soil matrix and show that gas released from the matrix displays a strong correlation with the number of transconjugant bacteria that formed. Gas reporting of gene expression will make possible dynamic studies of natural and engineered microbes within many hard-to-image environmental matrices (soils, sediments, sludge, and biomass) at sample scales exceeding those used for traditional visual reporting. PMID:27415416

  18. Initial association of fresh microbial products to soil particles: a joint density fractionation and NanoSIMS study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hatton, Pierre-Joseph; Remusat, Laurent; Brewer, Elizabeth; Derrien, Delphine

    2014-05-01

    While soil microorganisms are increasingly seen as shaping stable soil organic matter (OM) formation, the mechanisms controlling the attachment of microbial metabolites to soil particles are not fully understood yet. We investigate the spatial distribution of freshly produced microbial products among density-isolated fractions of soil using stable C and N isotopes and Nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS). A surface forest soil was amended with uniformly 13C/15N labeled glycine and incubated for 8 hours in gamma-irradiated and non-sterile soils. Sequential density fractionation was then performed to isolate various classes of aggregates and of single mineral particles. Eight hours after the labeled glycine addition, 7 % of the 13C and 15N was tightly bound to soil assemblages. Comparison of sterile and non-sterile treatments revealed that microbial activity was almost completely responsible for this rapid association (>85 %). The distributions of glycine-derived 13C and 15N, considered as markers of new microbial products, were mapped on particles of the non-sterile treatment using NanoSIMS. New microbial products were heterogeneously distributed and spatially decoupled at the surface of on soil particles. 13C microbial products were scarce and presumably within or in the vicinity of microbial cells. In contrast, 15N microbial products seemed evenly spread at the surface of soil particles, likely as soluble exoenzymes diffusing away from their parent cell. Macroscopic measurements among density fractions suggested that the diffusion of such 15N microbial products was spatially limited yet, because of pore space architecture. NanoSIMS images further allowed gaining insight into the attachment of the new microbial products on particle surfaces already covered by OM, in a multilayer fashion. Using an internal calibration method to determine C/N ratios of NanoSIMS images, we showed the preferential attachment of soluble microbial N-metabolites to N

  19. Deep-sea hydrothermal vents: potential hot spots for natural products discovery?

    PubMed

    Thornburg, Christopher C; Zabriskie, T Mark; McPhail, Kerry L

    2010-03-26

    Deep-sea hydrothermal vents are among the most extreme and dynamic environments on Earth. However, islands of highly dense and biologically diverse communities exist in the immediate vicinity of hydrothermal vent flows, in stark contrast to the surrounding bare seafloor. These communities comprise organisms with distinct metabolisms based on chemosynthesis and growth rates comparable to those from shallow water tropical environments, which have been rich sources of biologically active natural products. The geological setting and geochemical nature of deep-sea vents that impact the biogeography of vent organisms, chemosynthesis, and the known biological and metabolic diversity of Eukarya, Bacteria, and Archaea, including the handful of natural products isolated to date from deep-sea vent organisms, are considered here in an assessment of deep-sea hydrothermal vents as potential hot spots for natural products investigations. Of critical importance too are the logistics of collecting deep vent organisms, opportunities for re-collection considering the stability and longevity of vent sites, and the ability to culture natural product-producing deep vent organisms in the laboratory. New cost-effective technologies in deep-sea research and more advanced molecular techniques aimed at screening a more inclusive genetic assembly are poised to accelerate natural product discoveries from these microbial diversity hot spots. PMID:20099811