Science.gov

Sample records for acid-soluble spore protein

  1. Small acid soluble proteins for rapid spore identification.

    SciTech Connect

    Branda, Steven S.; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Jokerst, Amanda S.

    2006-12-01

    This one year LDRD addressed the problem of rapid characterization of bacterial spores such as those from the genus Bacillus, the group that contains pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis. In this effort we addressed the feasibility of using a proteomics based approach to spore characterization using a subset of conserved spore proteins known as the small acid soluble proteins or SASPs. We proposed developing techniques that built on our previous expertise in microseparations to rapidly characterize or identify spores. An alternative SASP extraction method was developed that was amenable to both the subsequent fluorescent labeling required for laser-induced fluorescence detection and the low ionic strength requirements for isoelectric focusing. For the microseparations, both capillary isoelectric focusing and chip gel electrophoresis were employed. A variety of methods were evaluated to improve the molecular weight resolution for the SASPs, which are in a molecular weight range that is not well resolved by the current methods. Isoelectric focusing was optimized and employed to resolve the SASPs using UV absorbance detection. Proteomic signatures of native wild type Bacillus spores and clones genetically engineered to produce altered SASP patterns were assessed by slab gel electrophoresis, capillary isoelectric focusing with absorbance detection as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection.

  2. Roles of small, acid-soluble spore proteins and core water content in survival of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to environmental solar UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Setlow, Peter; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2009-08-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis contain a number of small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP) which comprise up to 20% of total spore core protein. The multiple alpha/beta-type SASP have been shown to confer resistance to UV radiation, heat, peroxides, and other sporicidal treatments. In this study, SASP-defective mutants of B. subtilis and spores deficient in dacB, a mutation leading to an increased core water content, were used to study the relative contributions of SASP and increased core water content to spore resistance to germicidal 254-nm and simulated environmental UV exposure (280 to 400 nm, 290 to 400 nm, and 320 to 400 nm). Spores of strains carrying mutations in sspA, sspB, and both sspA and sspB (lacking the major SASP-alpha and/or SASP-beta) were significantly more sensitive to 254-nm and all polychromatic UV exposures, whereas the UV resistance of spores of the sspE strain (lacking SASP-gamma) was essentially identical to that of the wild type. Spores of the dacB-defective strain were as resistant to 254-nm UV-C radiation as wild-type spores. However, spores of the dacB strain were significantly more sensitive than wild-type spores to environmental UV treatments of >280 nm. Air-dried spores of the dacB mutant strain had a significantly higher water content than air-dried wild-type spores. Our results indicate that alpha/beta-type SASP and decreased spore core water content play an essential role in spore resistance to environmentally relevant UV wavelengths whereas SASP-gamma does not.

  3. Roles of the major, small, acid-soluble spore proteins and spore-specific and universal DNA repair mechanisms in resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to ionizing radiation from X rays and high-energy charged-particle bombardment.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Setlow, Peter; Horneck, Gerda; Berger, Thomas; Reitz, Günther; Rettberg, Petra; Doherty, Aidan J; Okayasu, Ryuichi; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2008-02-01

    The role of DNA repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), homologous recombination, spore photoproduct lyase, and DNA polymerase I and genome protection via alpha/beta-type small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP) in Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to accelerated heavy ions (high-energy charged [HZE] particles) and X rays has been studied. Spores deficient in NHEJ and alpha/beta-type SASP were significantly more sensitive to HZE particle bombardment and X-ray irradiation than were the recA, polA, and splB mutant and wild-type spores, indicating that NHEJ provides an efficient DNA double-strand break repair pathway during spore germination and that the loss of the alpha/beta-type SASP leads to a significant radiosensitivity to ionizing radiation, suggesting the essential function of these spore proteins as protectants of spore DNA against ionizing radiation.

  4. Species specific identification of spore-producing microbes using the gene sequence of small acid-soluble spore coat proteins for amplification based diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    McKinney, Nancy

    2002-01-01

    PCR (polymerase chain reaction) primers for the detection of certain Bacillus species, such as Bacillus anthracis. The primers specifically amplify only DNA found in the target species and can distinguish closely related species. Species-specific PCR primers for Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus globigii and Clostridium perfringens are disclosed. The primers are directed to unique sequences within sasp (small acid soluble protein) genes.

  5. Structure and Mechanism of Action of the Protease That Degrades Small, Acid-Soluble Spore Proteins during Germination of Spores of Bacillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Nessi, Claudio; Jedrzejas, Mark J.; Setlow, Peter

    1998-01-01

    The germination protease (GPR) of Bacillus megaterium initiates the degradation of small, acid-soluble proteins during spore germination. Trypsin treatment of the 46-kDa GPR zymogen (termed P46) removes an ∼15-kDa C-terminal domain generating a 30-kDa species (P30) which is stable against further digestion. While P30 is not active, it does autoprocess to a smaller form by cleavage of the same bond cleaved in conversion of P46 to the active 41-kDa form of GPR (P41). Trypsin treatment of P41 cleaves the same bond in the C-terminal part of the protein as is cleaved in the P46→P30 conversion. While the ∼29-kDa species generated by trypsin treatment of P41 is active, it is rapidly degraded further by trypsin to small inactive fragments. These results, as well as a thermal melting temperature for P41 which is 13°C lower than that for P46 and the unfolding of P41 at significantly lower concentrations of guanidine hydrochloride than for P46, are further evidence for a difference in tertiary structure between P46 and P41, with P46 presumably having a more compact stable structure. However, circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed no significant difference in the secondary structure content of P46 and P41. The removal of ∼30% of P46 or P41 without significant loss in enzyme activity localized GPR’s catalytic residues to the N-terminal two-thirds of the molecule. This finding, as well as comparison of the amino acid sequences of GPR from three different species, analysis of several site-directed GPR mutants, determination of the metal ion content of purified GPR, and lack of inhibition of P41 by a number of protease inhibitors, suggests that GPR is not a member of a previously described class of protease. PMID:9748439

  6. The role of small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs) in protection of spores of Clostridium botulinum against nitrous acid.

    PubMed

    Meaney, Carolyn A; Cartman, Stephen T; McClure, Peter J; Minton, Nigel P

    2016-01-01

    Mutant strains of Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502 were generated using the ClosTron in four genes (CBO1789, CBO1790, CBO3048, CBO3145) identified as encoding α/β-type SASP homologues. The spores of mutant strains in which CBO1789 or CBO1790 was inactivated demonstrated a significant increase in sensitivity to the damaging agent nitrous acid (P<0.01), a phenotype that was partially restored to wild-type in complementation studies. In contrast to nitrous acid, the spores of the CBO1789 and CBO1790 mutants showed no change in their resistance to formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide (P>0.05), two other chemicals commonly used as components of disinfection regimes. These data indicate that the SASPs CBO1789 or CBO1790 play a significant role in resistance to nitrous acid, but not in resistance to formaldehyde or hydrogen peroxide.

  7. The role of small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs) in protection of spores of Clostridium botulinum against nitrous acid.

    PubMed

    Meaney, Carolyn A; Cartman, Stephen T; McClure, Peter J; Minton, Nigel P

    2016-01-01

    Mutant strains of Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502 were generated using the ClosTron in four genes (CBO1789, CBO1790, CBO3048, CBO3145) identified as encoding α/β-type SASP homologues. The spores of mutant strains in which CBO1789 or CBO1790 was inactivated demonstrated a significant increase in sensitivity to the damaging agent nitrous acid (P<0.01), a phenotype that was partially restored to wild-type in complementation studies. In contrast to nitrous acid, the spores of the CBO1789 and CBO1790 mutants showed no change in their resistance to formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide (P>0.05), two other chemicals commonly used as components of disinfection regimes. These data indicate that the SASPs CBO1789 or CBO1790 play a significant role in resistance to nitrous acid, but not in resistance to formaldehyde or hydrogen peroxide. PMID:26386202

  8. Cloning, nucleotide sequence, and regulation of the Bacillus subtilis gpr gene, which codes for the protease that initiates degradation of small, acid-soluble proteins during spore germination.

    PubMed Central

    Sussman, M D; Setlow, P

    1991-01-01

    The gpr gene, which codes for the protease that initiates degradation of small, acid-soluble proteins during spore germination, has been cloned from Bacillus megaterium and Bacillus subtilis, and its nucleotide sequence has been determined. Use of a translational gpr-lacZ fusion showed that the B. subtilis gpr gene was expressed primarily, if not exclusively, in the forespore compartment of the sporulating cell, with expression taking place approximately 1 h before expression of glucose dehydrogenase and ssp genes. gpr-lacZ expression was abolished in spoIIAC (sigF) and spoIIIE mutants but was reduced only approximately 50% in a spoIIIG (sigG) mutant. However, the kinetics of the initial approximately 50% of gpr-lacZ expression were unaltered in a spoIIIG mutant. The in vivo transcription start site of gpr has been identified and found to be identical to the in vitro start site on this gene with either E sigma F or E sigma G. Induction of sigma G synthesis in vivo turned on gpr-lacZ expression in parallel with synthesis of glucose dehydrogenase. These data are consistent with gpr transcription during sporulation first by E sigma F and then by E sigma G. Images PMID:1840582

  9. Small acid-soluble spore proteins of Clostridium acetobutylicum are able to protect DNA in vitro and are specifically cleaved by germination protease GPR and spore protease YyaC.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Daniela; Fischer, Ralf-Jörg

    2015-11-01

    Small acid-soluble proteins (SASPs) play an important role in protection of DNA in dormant bacterial endospores against damage by heat, UV radiation or enzymic degradation. In the genome of the strict anaerobe Clostridium acetobutylicum, five genes encoding SASPs have been annotated and here a further sixth candidate is suggested. The ssp genes are expressed in parallel dependent upon Spo0A, a master regulator of sporulation. Analysis of the transcription start points revealed a σG or a σF consensus promoter upstream of each ssp gene, confirming a forespore-specific gene expression. SASPs were termed SspA (Cac2365), SspB (Cac1522), SspD (Cac1620), SspF (Cac2372), SspH (Cac1663) and Tlp (Cac1487). Here it is shown that with the exception of Tlp, every purified recombinant SASP is able to bind DNA in vitro thereby protecting it against enzymic degradation by DNase I. Moreover, SspB and SspD were specifically cleaved by the two germination-specific proteases GPR (Cac1275) and YyaC (Cac2857), which were overexpressed in Escherichia coli and activated by an autocleavage reaction. Thus, for the first time to our knowledge, GPR-like activity and SASP specificity could be demonstrated for a YyaC-like protein. Collectively, the results assign SspA, SspB, SspD, SspF and SspH of C. acetobutylicum as members of α/β-type SASPs, whereas Tlp seems to be a non-DNA-binding spore protein of unknown function. In acetic acid-extracted proteins of dormant spores of C. acetobutylicum, SspA was identified almost exclusively, indicating its dominant biological role as a major α/β-type SASP in vivo. PMID:26362088

  10. Replica exchange molecular dynamics simulations of an α/β-type small acid soluble protein (SASP).

    PubMed

    Ojeda-May, P; Pu, Jingzhi

    2013-12-31

    Small acid soluble proteins (SASPs) of α/β-type play a major role in the resistance of spore DNAs to external assaults. It has been found that α/β-type SASP exhibits intrinsic disorder on isolation, but it acquires a defined native state upon binding to DNA. This disorder to order transition is not yet understood. Other questions related to the role of the thermodynamics and structure of the individual protein in the complex formation remain elusive. Characterization of the unbound state of α/β-type SASP in experiments could be a challenging problem because of the heterogeneous nature of the ensemble. Here, computer simulations can help gain more insights into the unbound state of α/β-type SASP. In the present work, by using replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD), we simulated an α/β-type SASP on isolation with an implicit solvent. We found that α/β-type SASP undergoes a continuous phase transition with a small free energy barrier, a common feature of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Additionally, we detected the presence of residual α-helical structures at local level and a high degree of plasticity in the chain which can contribute to the fast disorder to order transition by reducing the fly-casting mechanism.

  11. Influence of acid-soluble proteins from bivalve Siliqua radiata ligaments on calcium carbonate crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zeng-Qiong; Zhang, Gang-Sheng

    2016-08-01

    In vitro biomimetic synthesis of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in the presence of shell proteins is a heavily researched topic in biomineralization. However, little is known regarding the function of bivalve ligament proteins in the growth of CaCO3 crystals. In this study, using fibrous protein K58 from Siliqua radiata ligaments or coverslips as substrates, we report the results of our study of CaCO3 precipitation in the presence or absence of acid-soluble proteins (ASP) from inner ligament layers. ASP can disturb the controlling function of K58 or a coverslip on the crystalline phase, resulting in the formation of aragonite, calcite, and vaterite. In addition, we identified the following four primary components from ASP by mass spectroscopy: alkaline phosphatase (ALP), ABC transporter, keratin type II cytoskeletal 1 (KRT 1), and phosphate ABC transporter, phosphate-binding protein (PstS). Further analysis revealed that the first three proteins and especially ALP, which is important in bone mineralisation, could affect the polymorphism and morphology of CaCO3 crystals by trapping calcium ions in their domains. Our results indicate that ALP may play an important role in the formation of aragonite in S. radiata ligaments. This paper may facilitate our understanding of the biomineralization process.

  12. Restoration of Brain Acid Soluble Protein 1 Inhibits Proliferation and Migration of Thyroid Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Run-Sheng; Yu, Yue; Chen, Jun; Chen, Yue-Yu; Shen, Na; Qiu, Ming

    2016-01-01

    Background: Brain acid soluble protein 1 (BASP1) is identified as a novel potential tumor suppressor in several cancers. However, its role in thyroid cancer has not been investigated yet. In the present study, the antitumor activities of BASP1 against the growth and migration of thyroid cancer cells were evaluated. Methods: BASP1 expression in thyroid cancer tissues and normal tissues were examined by immunohistochemical staining and the association between its expression and prognosis was analyzed. pcDNA-BASP1 carrying full length of BASP1 cDNA was constructed to restore the expression of BASP1 in thyroid cancer cell lines (BHT-101 and KMH-2). The cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo was evaluated by WST-1 assay and xenograft tumor models, respectively. Cell cycle distribution after transfection was analyzed using flow cytometry. Cell apoptosis after transfection was examined by annexin V/propidium iodide assay. The migration was examined using transwell assay. Results: BASP1 expression was abundant in normal tissues while it is significantly decreased in cancer tissues (P = 0.000). pcDNA-BASP1 restored the expression of BASP1 and significantly inhibited the growth of BHT-101 and KMH-2 cells as well as xenograft tumors in nude mice (P = 0.000). pcDNA-BASP1 induced G1 arrest and apoptosis in BHT-101 and KMH-2 cells. In addition, pcDNA-BASP1 significantly inhibited the cell migration. Conclusions: Downregulation of BASP1 expression may play a role in the tumorigenesis of thyroid cancer. Restoration of BASP1 expression exerted extensive antitumor activities against growth and migration of thyroid cancer cells, which suggested that BASP1 gene might act as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of thyroid cancer. PMID:27270539

  13. Acid-Soluble Material of Adenovirus

    PubMed Central

    Boulanger, P. A.; Jaume, F.; Flamencourt, P.; Biserte, G.

    1970-01-01

    Two methods are described for adenovirus capsid disruption and extraction of acid-soluble proteins from the viral core. The acid-soluble material of adenovirus consisted of three major proteins, one of them being selectively extracted after mild disruption of the virus particle. Some chemical properties of these proteins are reported. Images PMID:4986288

  14. Clostridium difficile spore biology: sporulation, germination, and spore structural proteins

    PubMed Central

    Paredes-Sabja, Daniel; Shen, Aimee; Sorg, Joseph A.

    2014-01-01

    Clostridium difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming obligate anaerobe and a major nosocomial pathogen of world-wide concern. Due to its strict anaerobic requirements, the infectious and transmissible morphotype is the dormant spore. In susceptible patients, C. difficile spores germinate in the colon to form the vegetative cells that initiate Clostridium difficile infections (CDI). During CDI, C. difficile induces a sporulation pathway that produces more spores; these spores are responsible for the persistence of C. difficile in patients and horizontal transmission between hospitalized patients. While important to the C. difficile lifecycle, the C. difficile spore proteome is poorly conserved when compared to members of the Bacillus genus. Further, recent studies have revealed significant differences between C. difficile and B. subtilis at the level of sporulation, germination and spore coat and exosporium morphogenesis. In this review, the regulation of the sporulation and germination pathways and the morphogenesis of the spore coat and exosporium will be discussed. PMID:24814671

  15. Protective role of spore structural components in determining Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to simulated mars surface conditions.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Schuerger, Andrew C; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-12-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants.

  16. Protective Role of Spore Structural Components in Determining Bacillus subtilis Spore Resistance to Simulated Mars Surface Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2012-01-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants. PMID:23064347

  17. Protective role of spore structural components in determining Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to simulated mars surface conditions.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Schuerger, Andrew C; Reitz, Günther; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-12-01

    Spores of wild-type and mutant Bacillus subtilis strains lacking various structural components were exposed to simulated Martian atmospheric and UV irradiation conditions. Spore survival and mutagenesis were strongly dependent on the functionality of all of the structural components, with small acid-soluble spore proteins, coat layers, and dipicolinic acid as key protectants. PMID:23064347

  18. Species Differentiation of a Diverse Suite of Bacillus Spores by Mass Spectrometry-Based Protein Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Danielle N.; La Duc, Myron T.; Haskins, William E.; Gornushkin, Igor; Winefordner, James D.; Powell, David H.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2004-01-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the versatility of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) protein profiling for the species differentiation of a diverse suite of Bacillus spores. MALDI-TOFMS protein profiles of 11 different strains of Bacillus spores, encompassing nine different species, were evaluated. Bacillus species selected for MALDI-TOFMS analysis represented the spore-forming bacterial diversity of typical class 100K clean room spacecraft assembly facilities. A one-step sample treatment and MALDI-TOFMS preparation were used to minimize the sample preparation time. A library of MALDI-TOFMS spectra was created from these nine Bacillus species, the most diverse protein profiling study of the genus reported to date. Linear correlation analysis was used to successfully differentiate the MALDI-TOFMS protein profiles from all strains evaluated in this study. The MALDI-TOFMS protein profiles were compared with 16S rDNA sequences for their bacterial systematics and molecular phylogenetic affiliations. The MALDI-TOFMS profiles were found to be complementary to the 16S rDNA analysis. Proteomic studies of Bacillus subtilis 168 were pursued to identify proteins represented by the biomarker peaks in the MALDI-TOFMS spectrum. Four small, acid-soluble proteins (A, B, C, and D), one DNA binding protein, hypothetical protein ymf J, and four proteins associated with the spore coat and spore coat formation (coat JB, coat F, coat T, and spoIVA) were identified. The ability to visualize higher-molecular-mass coat proteins (10 to 25 kDa) as well as smaller proteins (<10 kDa) with MALDI-TOFMS profiling is critical for the complete and effective species differentiation of the Bacillus genus. PMID:14711677

  19. Constructing Fluorogenic Bacillus Spores (F-Spores) via Hydrophobic Decoration of Coat Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ferencko, Linda; Rotman, Boris

    2010-01-01

    Background Bacterial spores are protected by a coat consisting of about 60 different proteins assembled as a biochemically complex structure with intriguing morphological and mechanical properties. Historically, the coat has been considered a static structure providing rigidity and mainly acting as a sieve to exclude exogenous large toxic molecules, such as lytic enzymes. Over recent years, however, new information about the coat's architecture and function have emerged from experiments using innovative tools such as automated scanning microscopy, and high resolution atomic force microscopy. Principal Findings Using thin-section electron microscopy, we found that the coat of Bacillus spores has topologically specific proteins forming a layer that is identifiable because it spontaneously becomes decorated with hydrophobic fluorogenic probes from the milieu. Moreover, spores with decorated coat proteins (termed F-spores) have the unexpected attribute of responding to external germination signals by generating intense fluorescence. Fluorescence data from diverse experimental designs, including F-spores constructed from five different Bacilli species, indicated that the fluorogenic ability of F-spores is under control of a putative germination-dependent mechanism. Conclusions This work uncovers a novel attribute of spore-coat proteins that we exploited to decorate a specific layer imparting germination-dependent fluorogenicity to F-spores. We expect that F-spores will provide a model system to gain new insights into structure/function dynamics of spore-coat proteins. PMID:20174569

  20. Role of spore coat proteins in the resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to Caenorhabditis elegans predation.

    PubMed

    Laaberki, Maria-Halima; Dworkin, Jonathan

    2008-09-01

    Bacterial spores are resistant to a wide range of chemical and physical insults that are normally lethal for the vegetative form of the bacterium. While the integrity of the protein coat of the spore is crucial for spore survival in vitro, far less is known about how the coat provides protection in vivo against predation by ecologically relevant hosts. In particular, assays had characterized the in vitro resistance of spores to peptidoglycan-hydrolyzing enzymes like lysozyme that are also important effectors of innate immunity in a wide variety of hosts. Here, we use the bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a likely predator of Bacillus spores in the wild, to characterize the role of the spore coat in an ecologically relevant spore-host interaction. We found that ingested wild-type Bacillus subtilis spores were resistant to worm digestion, whereas vegetative forms of the bacterium were efficiently digested by the nematode. Using B. subtilis strains carrying mutations in spore coat genes, we observed a correlation between the degree of alteration of the spore coat assembly and the susceptibility to the worm degradation. Surprisingly, we found that the spores that were resistant to lysozyme in vitro can be sensitive to C. elegans digestion depending on the extent of the spore coat structure modifications.

  1. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanyu; Jenkins, Sarah A; Gu, Chunfang; Shree, Ankita; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A; Xu, Yi

    2016-06-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  2. Bacillus anthracis Spore Surface Protein BclA Mediates Complement Factor H Binding to Spores and Promotes Spore Persistence

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Chunfang; Martinez-Moczygemba, Margarita; Herold, Jennifer; Botto, Marina; Wetsel, Rick A.; Xu, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, are known to persist in the host lungs for prolonged periods of time, however the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrated that BclA, a major surface protein of B. anthracis spores, mediated direct binding of complement factor H (CFH) to spores. The surface bound CFH retained its regulatory cofactor activity resulting in C3 degradation and inhibition of downstream complement activation. By comparing results from wild type C57BL/6 mice and complement deficient mice, we further showed that BclA significantly contributed to spore persistence in the mouse lungs and dampened antibody responses to spores in a complement C3-dependent manner. In addition, prior exposure to BclA deletion spores (ΔbclA) provided significant protection against lethal challenges by B. anthracis, whereas the isogenic parent spores did not, indicating that BclA may also impair protective immunity. These results describe for the first time an immune inhibition mechanism of B. anthracis mediated by BclA and CFH that promotes spore persistence in vivo. The findings also suggested an important role of complement in persistent infections and thus have broad implications. PMID:27304426

  3. The Influence of Sporulation Conditions on the Spore Coat Protein Composition of Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Abhyankar, Wishwas R.; Kamphorst, Kiki; Swarge, Bhagyashree N.; van Veen, Henk; van der Wel, Nicole N.; Brul, Stanley; de Koster, Chris G.; de Koning, Leo J.

    2016-01-01

    Spores are of high interest to the food and health sectors because of their extreme resistance to harsh conditions, especially against heat. Earlier research has shown that spores prepared on solid agar plates have a higher heat resistance than those prepared under a liquid medium condition. It has also been shown that the more mature a spore is, the higher is its heat resistance most likely mediated, at least in part, by the progressive cross-linking of coat proteins. The current study for the first time assesses, at the proteomic level, the effect of two commonly used sporulation conditions on spore protein presence. 14N spores prepared on solid Schaeffer’s-glucose (SG) agar plates and 15N metabolically labeled spores prepared in shake flasks containing 3-(N-morpholino) propane sulfonic acid (MOPS) buffered defined liquid medium differ in their coat protein composition as revealed by LC-FT-MS/MS analyses. The former condition mimics the industrial settings while the latter conditions mimic the routine laboratory environment wherein spores are developed. As seen previously in many studies, the spores prepared on the solid agar plates show a higher thermal resistance than the spores prepared under liquid culture conditions. The 14N:15N isotopic ratio of the 1:1 mixture of the spore suspensions exposes that most of the identified inner coat and crust proteins are significantly more abundant while most of the outer coat proteins are significantly less abundant for the spores prepared on solid SG agar plates relative to the spores prepared in the liquid MOPS buffered defined medium. Sporulation condition-specific differences and variation in isotopic ratios between the tryptic peptides of expected cross-linked proteins suggest that the coat protein cross-linking may also be condition specific. Since the core dipicolinic acid content is found to be similar in both the spore populations, it appears that the difference in wet heat resistance is connected to the

  4. Spores

    MedlinePlus

    ... do not destroy their spores. A process called sterilization destroys spores and bacteria. It is done at ... and under high pressures. In health care settings, sterilization is usually done using a device called an ...

  5. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of Clostridium difficile spore proteins.

    PubMed

    Ghose, Chandrabali; Eugenis, Ioannis; Edwards, Adrianne N; Sun, Xingmin; McBride, Shonna M; Ho, David D

    2016-02-01

    Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming, anaerobic, Gram-positive organism that is the leading cause of antibiotic-associated infectious diarrhea, commonly known as C. difficile infection (CDI). C. difficile spores play an important role in the pathogenesis of CDI. Spore proteins, especially those that are surface-bound may play an essential role in the germination, colonization and persistence of C. difficile in the human gut. In our current study, we report the identification of two surface-bound spore proteins, CdeC and CdeM that may be utilized as immunization candidates against C. difficile. These spore proteins are immunogenic in mice and are able to protect mice against challenge with C. difficile UK1, a clinically-relevant 027/B1/NAP1 strain. These spore proteins are also able to afford high levels of protection against challenge with C. difficile 630Δerm in golden Syrian hamsters. This unprecedented study shows the vaccination potential of C. difficile spore exosporium proteins. PMID:26688279

  6. A versatile nano display platform from bacterial spore coat proteins

    PubMed Central

    Wu, I-Lin; Narayan, Kedar; Castaing, Jean-Philippe; Tian, Fang; Subramaniam, Sriram; Ramamurthi, Kumaran S.

    2015-01-01

    Dormant bacterial spores are encased in a thick protein shell, the ‘coat', which contains ∼70 different proteins. The coat protects the spore from environmental insults, and is among the most durable static structures in biology. Owing to extensive cross-linking among coat proteins, this structure has been recalcitrant to detailed biochemical analysis, so molecular details of how it assembles are largely unknown. Here, we reconstitute the basement layer of the coat atop spherical membranes supported by silica beads to create artificial spore-like particles. We report that these synthetic spore husk-encased lipid bilayers (SSHELs) assemble and polymerize into a static structure, mimicking in vivo basement layer assembly during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. In addition, we demonstrate that SSHELs may be easily covalently modified with small molecules and proteins. We propose that SSHELs may be versatile display platforms for drugs and vaccines in clinical settings, or for enzymes that neutralize pollutants for environmental remediation. PMID:25854653

  7. 14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus spores.

    PubMed

    Cappuccio, Jenny A; Falso, Miranda J Sarachine; Kashgarian, Michaele; Buchholz, Bruce A

    2014-07-01

    Investigators of bioagent incidents or interdicted materials need validated, independent analytical methods that will allow them to distinguish between recently made bioagent samples versus material drawn from the archives of a historical program. Heterotrophic bacteria convert the carbon in their food sources, growth substrate or culture media, into the biomolecules they need. The F(14)C (fraction modern radiocarbon) of a variety of media, Bacillus spores, and separated proteins from Bacillus spores was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS precisely measures F(14)C values of biological materials and has been used to date the synthesis of biomaterials over the bomb pulse era (1955 to present). The F(14)C of Bacillus spores reflects the radiocarbon content of the media in which they were grown. In a survey of commercial media we found that the F(14)C value indicated that carbon sources for the media were alive within about a year of the date of manufacture and generally of terrestrial origin. Hence, bacteria and their products can be dated using their (14)C signature. Bacillus spore samples were generated onsite with defined media and carbon free purification and also obtained from archived material. Using mechanical lysis and a variety of washes with carbon free acids and bases, contaminant carbon was removed from soluble proteins to enable accurate (14)C bomb-pulse dating. Since media is contemporary, (14)C bomb-pulse dating of isolated soluble proteins can be used to distinguish between historical archives of bioagents and those produced from recent media.

  8. 14C Analysis of Protein Extracts from Bacillus Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cappucio, Jenny A.; Sarachine Falso, Miranda J.; Kashgarian, Michaele; Buchholz, Bruce A.

    2014-01-01

    Investigators of bioagent incidents or interdicted materials need validated, independent analytical methods that will allow them to distinguish between recently made bioagent samples versus material drawn from the archives of a historical program. Heterotrophic bacteria convert the carbon in their food sources, growth substrate or culture media, into the biomolecules they need. The F14C (fraction modern radiocarbon) of a variety of media, Bacillus spores, and separated proteins from Bacillus spores was measured by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). AMS precisely measures F14C values of biological materials and has been used to date the synthesis of biomaterials over the bomb pulse era (1955 to present). The F14C of Bacillus spores reflects the radiocarbon content of the media in which they were grown. In a survey of commercial media we found that the F14C value indicated that carbon sources for the media were alive within about a year of the date of manufacture and generally of terrestrial origin. Hence, bacteria and their products can be dated using their 14C signature. Bacillus spore samples were generated onsite with defined media and carbon free purification and also obtained from archived material. Using mechanical lysis and a variety of washes with carbon free acids and bases, contaminant carbon was removed from soluble proteins to enable accurate 14C bomb-pulse dating. Since media is contemporary, 14C bomb-pulse dating of isolated soluble proteins can be used to distinguish between historical archives of bioagents and those produced from recent media. PMID:24814329

  9. Proteins involved in formation of the outermost layer of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Imamura, Daisuke; Kuwana, Ritsuko; Takamatsu, Hiromu; Watabe, Kazuhito

    2011-08-01

    To investigate the outermost structure of the Bacillus subtilis spore, we analyzed the accessibility of antibodies to proteins on spores of B. subtilis. Anti-green fluorescent protein (GFP) antibodies efficiently accessed GFP fused to CgeA or CotZ, which were previously assigned to the outermost layer termed the spore crust. However, anti-GFP antibodies did not bind to spores of strains expressing GFP fused to 14 outer coat, inner coat, or cortex proteins. Anti-CgeA antibodies bound to spores of wild-type and CgeA-GFP strains but not cgeA mutant spores. These results suggest that the spore crust covers the spore coat and is the externally exposed, outermost layer of the B. subtilis spore. We found that CotZ was essential for the spore crust to surround the spore but not for spore coat formation, indicating that CotZ plays a critical role in spore crust formation. In addition, we found that CotY-GFP was exposed on the surface of the spore, suggesting that CotY is an additional component of the spore crust. Moreover, the localization of CotY-GFP around the spore depended on CotZ, and CotY and CotZ depended on each other for spore assembly. Furthermore, a disruption of cotW affected the assembly of CotV-GFP, and a disruption of cotX affected the assembly of both CotV-GFP and CgeA-GFP. These results suggest that cgeA and genes in the cotVWXYZ cluster are involved in spore crust formation.

  10. Numbers of individual nutrient germinant receptors and other germination proteins in spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kerry-Ann V; Setlow, Peter

    2013-08-01

    Germination of dormant Bacillus subtilis spores with specific nutrient germinants is dependent on a number of inner membrane (IM) proteins, including (i) the GerA, GerB, and GerK germinant receptors (GRs) that respond to nutrient germinants; (ii) the GerD protein, essential for optimal GR function; and (iii) SpoVA proteins, essential for the release of the spore-specific molecule dipicolinic acid (DPA) during spore germination. Levels of GR A and C subunit proteins, GerD, and SpoVAD in wild-type spores were determined by Western blot analysis of spore fractions or total disrupted spores by comparison with known amounts of purified proteins. Surprisingly, after disruption of decoated B. subtilis spores with lysozyme and fractionation, ∼90% of IM fatty acids and GR subunits remained with the spores' insoluble integument fraction, indicating that yields of purified IM are low. The total lysate from disrupted wild-type spores contained ∼2,500 total GRs/spore: GerAA and GerAC subunits each at ∼1,100 molecules/spore and GerBC and GerKA subunits each at ∼700 molecules/spore. Levels of the GerBA subunit determined previously were also predicted to be ∼700 molecules/spore. These results indicate that the A/C subunit stoichiometry in GRs is most likely 1:1, with GerA being the most abundant GR. GerD and SpoVAD levels were ∼3,500 and ∼6,500 molecules/spore, respectively. These values will be helpful in formulating mathematic models of spore germination kinetics as well as setting lower limits on the size of the GR-GerD complex in the spores' IM, termed the germinosome.

  11. Levels of germination proteins in Bacillus subtilis dormant, superdormant, and germinating spores.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan; Ray, W Keith; Helm, Richard F; Melville, Stephen B; Popham, David L

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial endospores exhibit extreme resistance to most conditions that rapidly kill other life forms, remaining viable in this dormant state for centuries or longer. While the majority of Bacillus subtilis dormant spores germinate rapidly in response to nutrient germinants, a small subpopulation termed superdormant spores are resistant to germination, potentially evading antibiotic and/or decontamination strategies. In an effort to better understand the underlying mechanisms of superdormancy, membrane-associated proteins were isolated from populations of B. subtilis dormant, superdormant, and germinated spores, and the relative abundance of 11 germination-related proteins was determined using multiple-reaction-monitoring liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry assays. GerAC, GerKC, and GerD were significantly less abundant in the membrane fractions obtained from superdormant spores than those derived from dormant spores. The amounts of YpeB, GerD, PrkC, GerAC, and GerKC recovered in membrane fractions decreased significantly during germination. Lipoproteins, as a protein class, decreased during spore germination, while YpeB appeared to be specifically degraded. Some protein abundance differences between membrane fractions of dormant and superdormant spores resemble protein changes that take place during germination, suggesting that the superdormant spore isolation procedure may have resulted in early, non-committal germination-associated changes. In addition to low levels of germinant receptor proteins, a deficiency in the GerD lipoprotein may contribute to heterogeneity of spore germination rates. Understanding the reasons for superdormancy may allow for better spore decontamination procedures.

  12. Protein Composition of Infectious Spores Reveals Novel Sexual Development and Germination Factors in Cryptococcus.

    PubMed

    Huang, Mingwei; Hebert, Alexander S; Coon, Joshua J; Hull, Christina M

    2015-08-01

    Spores are an essential cell type required for long-term survival across diverse organisms in the tree of life and are a hallmark of fungal reproduction, persistence, and dispersal. Among human fungal pathogens, spores are presumed infectious particles, but relatively little is known about this robust cell type. Here we used the meningitis-causing fungus Cryptococcus neoformans to determine the roles of spore-resident proteins in spore biology. Using highly sensitive nanoscale liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, we compared the proteomes of spores and vegetative cells (yeast) and identified eighteen proteins specifically enriched in spores. The genes encoding these proteins were deleted, and the resulting strains were evaluated for discernable phenotypes. We hypothesized that spore-enriched proteins would be preferentially involved in spore-specific processes such as dormancy, stress resistance, and germination. Surprisingly, however, the majority of the mutants harbored defects in sexual development, the process by which spores are formed. One mutant in the cohort was defective in the spore-specific process of germination, showing a delay specifically in the initiation of vegetative growth. Thus, by using this in-depth proteomics approach as a screening tool for cell type-specific proteins and combining it with molecular genetics, we successfully identified the first germination factor in C. neoformans. We also identified numerous proteins with previously unknown functions in both sexual development and spore composition. Our findings provide the first insights into the basic protein components of infectious spores and reveal unexpected molecular connections between infectious particle production and spore composition in a pathogenic eukaryote.

  13. Protein Composition of Infectious Spores Reveals Novel Sexual Development and Germination Factors in Cryptococcus

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Mingwei; Hebert, Alexander S.; Coon, Joshua J.; Hull, Christina M.

    2015-01-01

    Spores are an essential cell type required for long-term survival across diverse organisms in the tree of life and are a hallmark of fungal reproduction, persistence, and dispersal. Among human fungal pathogens, spores are presumed infectious particles, but relatively little is known about this robust cell type. Here we used the meningitis-causing fungus Cryptococcus neoformans to determine the roles of spore-resident proteins in spore biology. Using highly sensitive nanoscale liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, we compared the proteomes of spores and vegetative cells (yeast) and identified eighteen proteins specifically enriched in spores. The genes encoding these proteins were deleted, and the resulting strains were evaluated for discernable phenotypes. We hypothesized that spore-enriched proteins would be preferentially involved in spore-specific processes such as dormancy, stress resistance, and germination. Surprisingly, however, the majority of the mutants harbored defects in sexual development, the process by which spores are formed. One mutant in the cohort was defective in the spore-specific process of germination, showing a delay specifically in the initiation of vegetative growth. Thus, by using this in-depth proteomics approach as a screening tool for cell type-specific proteins and combining it with molecular genetics, we successfully identified the first germination factor in C. neoformans. We also identified numerous proteins with previously unknown functions in both sexual development and spore composition. Our findings provide the first insights into the basic protein components of infectious spores and reveal unexpected molecular connections between infectious particle production and spore composition in a pathogenic eukaryote. PMID:26313153

  14. Function of the SpoVAEa and SpoVAF proteins of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Perez-Valdespino, Abigail; Li, Yunfeng; Setlow, Barbara; Ghosh, Sonali; Pan, David; Korza, George; Feeherry, Florence E; Doona, Christopher J; Li, Yong-Qing; Hao, Bing; Setlow, Peter

    2014-06-01

    The Bacillus subtilis spoVAEa and spoVAF genes are expressed in developing spores as members of the spoVA operon, which encodes proteins essential for the uptake and release of dipicolinic acid (DPA) during spore formation and germination. SpoVAF is likely an integral inner spore membrane protein and exhibits sequence identity to A subunits of the spore's nutrient germinant receptors (GRs), while SpoVAEa is a soluble protein with no obvious signals to allow its passage across a membrane. However, like SpoVAD, SpoVAEa is present on the outer surface of the spore's inner membrane, as SpoVAEa was accessible to an external biotinylation agent in spores and SpoVAEa disappeared in parallel with SpoVAD during proteinase K treatment of germinated spores. SpoVAEa and SpoVAD were also distributed similarly in fractions of disrupted dormant spores. Unlike spoVAD, spoVAEa is absent from the genomes of some spore-forming members of the Bacillales and Clostridiales orders, although SpoVAEa's amino acid sequence is conserved in species containing spoVAEa. B. subtilis strains lacking SpoVAF or SpoVAEa and SpoVAF sporulated normally, and the spores had normal DPA levels. Spores lacking SpoVAF or SpoVAEa and SpoVAF also germinated normally with non-GR-dependent germinants but more slowly than wild-type spores with GR-dependent germinants, and this germination defect was complemented by ectopic expression of the missing proteins.

  15. Immunogenicity of recombinant Bacillus subtilis spores expressing Clonorchis sinensis tegumental protein.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhenwen; Xia, Huimin; Hu, Xuchu; Huang, Yan; Ma, Changling; Chen, Xiaoxiang; Hu, Fengyu; Xu, Jin; Lu, Fangli; Wu, Zhongdao; Yu, Xinbing

    2008-01-01

    Clonorchis sinensis, which causes clonorchiasis, is of major socioeconomic importance in China. In this study, we report the use of CotC, a major component of the Bacillus subtilis spore coat, as a fusion partner for the expression of C. sinensis TP20.8 (Tegumental Protein 20.8 kDa) on the spore coat. Western blotting was used to identify TP20.8 surface expression on spores. Recombinant spores displaying the TP20.8 antigen were used for oral immunization and were shown to generate mucosal response in rats. TP20.8-specific secretory IgA in feces reached significant levels 2 weeks after oral dosing. This report shows that surface display of recombinant C. sinensis TP20.8 on B. subtilis spores was immunogenic and B. subtilis spores can be used as a mucosal immunization vehicle for parasite prevention and control.

  16. Acid soluble, pepsin resistant platelet aggregating material

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, M.D.

    1982-08-31

    Disclosed is an acid soluble, pepsin resistant, platelet aggregating material isolated from equine arterial tissue by extraction with dilute aqueous acid. The method of isolation and use to control bleeding are described. 4 figs.

  17. Anthrax surrogate spores are destroyed by PDT mediated by phenothiazinium dyes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demidova, Tatiana N.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2005-04-01

    Some Gram-positive bacteria (including the causative agent of anthrax - Bacillus anthracis) survive conditions of stress and starvation by producing dormant stage spores. The spore"s multilayered capsule consists of inner and outer membranes, cortex, proteinaceous spore coat, and in some species an exosporium. These outer layers enclose dehydrated and condensed DNA, saturated with small, acid-soluble proteins. These protective structures make spores highly resistant to damage by heat, radiation, and commonly employed anti-bacterial agents. Previously Bacillus spores have been shown to be resistant to photodynamic inactivation (PDI) using dyes and light that easily destroy the corresponding vegetative bacteria, but recently we have discovered that they are susceptible to PDI. Photoinactivation, however, is only possible if phenothiazinium dyes are used. Dimethylmethylene blue, methylene blue, new methylene blue and toluidine blue O are all effective photosensitizers. Alternative photosensitizers such as Rose Bengal, polylysine chlorin(e6) conjugate, a tricationic porphyrin and benzoporphyrin derivative are ineffective against spores even though they can easily kill vegetative cells. Spores of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis are most susceptible, B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus are also killed, while B. megaterium is resistant. Photoinactivation is most effective when excess dye is washed from the spores showing that the dye binds to the spores and that excess dye in solution can quench light delivery. The relatively mild conditions needed for spore killing could have applications for treating wounds contaminated by anthrax spores and for which conventional sporicides would have unacceptable tissue toxicity.

  18. ssp genes and spore osmotolerance in Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus.

    PubMed

    Cucchi, A; Sanchez de Rivas, C

    1995-10-01

    It was shown previously that spores and vegetative cells of Bacillus sphaericus (Bf) and Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) are very sensitive to osmotic variations. Since spore osmotolerance has been associated with their SASP (small acid soluble spore proteins) content coded by ssp genes, hybridization assays were performed with sspE and sspA genes from B. subtilis as probes and showed that Bti and Bf strains could lack an sspE-like gene. The B. subtilis sspE gene was then introduced into Bti 4Q2 strain; spores were obtained and showed a 65 to 650 times higher level of osmotolerance to NaCl, without affecting other important properties: hypoosmotic resistance in vegetative cells, spore UV resistance, and larvicidal activity against diptera larvae. PMID:7549769

  19. Involvement of Coat Proteins in Bacillus subtilis Spore Germination in High-Salinity Environments

    PubMed Central

    Nagler, Katja; Setlow, Peter; Reineke, Kai; Driks, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The germination of spore-forming bacteria in high-salinity environments is of applied interest for food microbiology and soil ecology. It has previously been shown that high salt concentrations detrimentally affect Bacillus subtilis spore germination, rendering this process slower and less efficient. The mechanistic details of these salt effects, however, remained obscure. Since initiation of nutrient germination first requires germinant passage through the spores' protective integuments, the aim of this study was to elucidate the role of the proteinaceous spore coat in germination in high-salinity environments. Spores lacking major layers of the coat due to chemical decoating or mutation germinated much worse in the presence of NaCl than untreated wild-type spores at comparable salinities. However, the absence of the crust, the absence of some individual nonmorphogenetic proteins, and the absence of either CwlJ or SleB had no or little effect on germination in high-salinity environments. Although the germination of spores lacking GerP (which is assumed to facilitate germinant flow through the coat) was generally less efficient than the germination of wild-type spores, the presence of up to 2.4 M NaCl enhanced the germination of these mutant spores. Interestingly, nutrient-independent germination by high pressure was also inhibited by NaCl. Taken together, these results suggest that (i) the coat has a protective function during germination in high-salinity environments; (ii) germination inhibition by NaCl is probably not exerted at the level of cortex hydrolysis, germinant accessibility, or germinant-receptor binding; and (iii) the most likely germination processes to be inhibited by NaCl are ion, Ca2+-dipicolinic acid, and water fluxes. PMID:26187959

  20. Involvement of Coat Proteins in Bacillus subtilis Spore Germination in High-Salinity Environments.

    PubMed

    Nagler, Katja; Setlow, Peter; Reineke, Kai; Driks, Adam; Moeller, Ralf

    2015-10-01

    The germination of spore-forming bacteria in high-salinity environments is of applied interest for food microbiology and soil ecology. It has previously been shown that high salt concentrations detrimentally affect Bacillus subtilis spore germination, rendering this process slower and less efficient. The mechanistic details of these salt effects, however, remained obscure. Since initiation of nutrient germination first requires germinant passage through the spores' protective integuments, the aim of this study was to elucidate the role of the proteinaceous spore coat in germination in high-salinity environments. Spores lacking major layers of the coat due to chemical decoating or mutation germinated much worse in the presence of NaCl than untreated wild-type spores at comparable salinities. However, the absence of the crust, the absence of some individual nonmorphogenetic proteins, and the absence of either CwlJ or SleB had no or little effect on germination in high-salinity environments. Although the germination of spores lacking GerP (which is assumed to facilitate germinant flow through the coat) was generally less efficient than the germination of wild-type spores, the presence of up to 2.4 M NaCl enhanced the germination of these mutant spores. Interestingly, nutrient-independent germination by high pressure was also inhibited by NaCl. Taken together, these results suggest that (i) the coat has a protective function during germination in high-salinity environments; (ii) germination inhibition by NaCl is probably not exerted at the level of cortex hydrolysis, germinant accessibility, or germinant-receptor binding; and (iii) the most likely germination processes to be inhibited by NaCl are ion, Ca(2+)-dipicolinic acid, and water fluxes. PMID:26187959

  1. Multifactorial Resistance of Bacillus subtilis Spores to High-Energy Proton Radiation: Role of Spore Structural Components and the Homologous Recombination and Non-Homologous End Joining DNA Repair Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Reitz, Günther; Li, Zuofeng; Klein, Stuart; Nicholson, Wayne L.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The space environment contains high-energy charged particles (e.g., protons, neutrons, electrons, α-particles, heavy ions) emitted by the Sun and galactic sources or trapped in the radiation belts. Protons constitute the majority (87%) of high-energy charged particles. Spores of Bacillus species are one of the model systems used for astro- and radiobiological studies. In this study, spores of different Bacillus subtilis strains were used to study the effects of high energetic proton irradiation on spore survival. Spores of the wild-type B. subtilis strain [mutants deficient in the homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathways and mutants deficient in various spore structural components such as dipicolinic acid (DPA), α/β-type small, acid-soluble spore protein (SASP) formation, spore coats, pigmentation, or spore core water content] were irradiated as air-dried multilayers on spacecraft-qualified aluminum coupons with 218 MeV protons [with a linear energy transfer (LET) of 0.4 keV/μm] to various final doses up to 2500 Gy. Spores deficient in NHEJ- and HR-mediated DNA repair were significantly more sensitive to proton radiation than wild-type spores, indicating that both HR and NHEJ DNA repair pathways are needed for spore survival. Spores lacking DPA, α/β-type SASP, or with increased core water content were also significantly more sensitive to proton radiation, whereas the resistance of spores lacking pigmentation or spore coats was essentially identical to that of the wild-type spores. Our results indicate that α/β-type SASP, core water content, and DPA play an important role in spore resistance to high-energy proton irradiation, suggesting their essential function as radioprotectants of the spore interior. Key Words: Bacillus—Spores—DNA repair—Protection—High-energy proton radiation. Astrobiology 12, 1069–1077. PMID:23088412

  2. Multifactorial resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to high-energy proton radiation: role of spore structural components and the homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining DNA repair pathways.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Reitz, Günther; Li, Zuofeng; Klein, Stuart; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-11-01

    The space environment contains high-energy charged particles (e.g., protons, neutrons, electrons, α-particles, heavy ions) emitted by the Sun and galactic sources or trapped in the radiation belts. Protons constitute the majority (87%) of high-energy charged particles. Spores of Bacillus species are one of the model systems used for astro- and radiobiological studies. In this study, spores of different Bacillus subtilis strains were used to study the effects of high energetic proton irradiation on spore survival. Spores of the wild-type B. subtilis strain [mutants deficient in the homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathways and mutants deficient in various spore structural components such as dipicolinic acid (DPA), α/β-type small, acid-soluble spore protein (SASP) formation, spore coats, pigmentation, or spore core water content] were irradiated as air-dried multilayers on spacecraft-qualified aluminum coupons with 218 MeV protons [with a linear energy transfer (LET) of 0.4 keV/μm] to various final doses up to 2500 Gy. Spores deficient in NHEJ- and HR-mediated DNA repair were significantly more sensitive to proton radiation than wild-type spores, indicating that both HR and NHEJ DNA repair pathways are needed for spore survival. Spores lacking DPA, α/β-type SASP, or with increased core water content were also significantly more sensitive to proton radiation, whereas the resistance of spores lacking pigmentation or spore coats was essentially identical to that of the wild-type spores. Our results indicate that α/β-type SASP, core water content, and DPA play an important role in spore resistance to high-energy proton irradiation, suggesting their essential function as radioprotectants of the spore interior. PMID:23088412

  3. Multifactorial resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to high-energy proton radiation: role of spore structural components and the homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining DNA repair pathways.

    PubMed

    Moeller, Ralf; Reitz, Günther; Li, Zuofeng; Klein, Stuart; Nicholson, Wayne L

    2012-11-01

    The space environment contains high-energy charged particles (e.g., protons, neutrons, electrons, α-particles, heavy ions) emitted by the Sun and galactic sources or trapped in the radiation belts. Protons constitute the majority (87%) of high-energy charged particles. Spores of Bacillus species are one of the model systems used for astro- and radiobiological studies. In this study, spores of different Bacillus subtilis strains were used to study the effects of high energetic proton irradiation on spore survival. Spores of the wild-type B. subtilis strain [mutants deficient in the homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathways and mutants deficient in various spore structural components such as dipicolinic acid (DPA), α/β-type small, acid-soluble spore protein (SASP) formation, spore coats, pigmentation, or spore core water content] were irradiated as air-dried multilayers on spacecraft-qualified aluminum coupons with 218 MeV protons [with a linear energy transfer (LET) of 0.4 keV/μm] to various final doses up to 2500 Gy. Spores deficient in NHEJ- and HR-mediated DNA repair were significantly more sensitive to proton radiation than wild-type spores, indicating that both HR and NHEJ DNA repair pathways are needed for spore survival. Spores lacking DPA, α/β-type SASP, or with increased core water content were also significantly more sensitive to proton radiation, whereas the resistance of spores lacking pigmentation or spore coats was essentially identical to that of the wild-type spores. Our results indicate that α/β-type SASP, core water content, and DPA play an important role in spore resistance to high-energy proton irradiation, suggesting their essential function as radioprotectants of the spore interior.

  4. Analysis of antibodies raised against soluble and membrane bound proteins of Nosema grylli (Microspora) spores.

    PubMed

    Sokolova, J Y; Dolgikh, V V; Weck-Heimann, A; Entzeroth, R

    2000-01-01

    Microsporidia (M), representatives of the phylum Microspora, make a world-wide distributed group of intracellular protists, parasitic in the vast number of hosts, from Protozoa to Primates. In their morpho-functional organization, both very primitive and extremely specialized features are seen definitely combined. Data available on RNA and DNA sequences suggest that M may be the most ancient eukaryotes. By the present, as many as 13 microsporidian species have been recognized as opportunistic pathogens in AIDS and transplant patients. Information about structural, transport and regulatory proteins of M, as well as on their enzymes is scarce, though it could serve as a basis for understanding pathogenicity of M and indicate some possible sites of relevant suppressive therapy. The present study persuaded two main goals: 1) to examine two ways of antigen preparation (from the infected organ and from the purified spores) and to evaluate their relation to the yield of the resulting antibodies; 2) to identify and localize new proteins with the help of the obtained antibodies by means of IFA, IEM and WB. Mice were immunized: 1) with dissolved proteins of heavily loaded with parasites fat bodies isolated from crickets Gryllus bimaculatus infected with Nosema grylli, and 2) with proteins of the purified spores of N. grylli. As a result two antisera were obtained. Antiserum 1 reacted predominantly with spore walls on IFA slides and ultrathin sections (IEM). It also reacted with a broad spectrum of parasite and host cell proteins on WB. Antiserum 2 recognized polar filaments and walls of discharged spores in IFA and IEM tests. It did not react with undischarged spores or fat bodies of uninfected crickets and gave a comparatively weak reaction with those of the infected hosts. Hybridization of spleen cells of immune mice with murine myeloma cells resulted in several hybridoma clones. They produced Mabs, 5 of which were tested by IFA, IEM and WB. Mab 1BF3 recognized 55 k

  5. Improved Proteomic Analysis Following Trichloroacetic Acid Extraction of Bacillus anthracis Spore Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Kaiser, Brooke LD; Wunschel, David S.; Sydor, Michael A.; Warner, Marvin G.; Wahl, Karen L.; Hutchison, Janine R.

    2015-08-07

    Proteomic analysis of bacterial samples provides valuable information about cellular responses and functions under different environmental pressures. Proteomic analysis is dependent upon efficient extraction of proteins from bacterial samples without introducing bias toward extraction of particular protein classes. While no single method can recover 100% of the bacterial proteins, selected protocols can improve overall protein isolation, peptide recovery, or enrich for certain classes of proteins. The method presented here is technically simple and does not require specialized equipment such as a mechanical disrupter. Our data reveal that for particularly challenging samples, such as B. anthracis Sterne spores, trichloroacetic acid extraction improved the number of proteins identified within a sample compared to bead beating (714 vs 660, respectively). Further, TCA extraction enriched for 103 known spore specific proteins whereas bead beating resulted in 49 unique proteins. Analysis of C. botulinum samples grown to 5 days, composed of vegetative biomass and spores, showed a similar trend with improved protein yields and identification using our method compared to bead beating. Interestingly, easily lysed samples, such as B. anthracis vegetative cells, were equally as effectively processed via TCA and bead beating, but TCA extraction remains the easiest and most cost effective option. As with all assays, supplemental methods such as implementation of an alternative preparation method may provide additional insight to the protein biology of the bacteria being studied.

  6. Alternaria brassicae produces a host-specific protein toxin from germinating spores on host leaves.

    PubMed

    Parada, R Y; Sakuno, E; Mori, N; Oka, K; Egusa, M; Kodama, M; Otani, H

    2008-04-01

    Spore suspensions of Alternaria brassicae, the causal agent of gray leaf spot in Brassica plants, were incubated on the leaves of cabbage (B. oleracea) and spore germination fluid (SGF) was collected after 48 h. A high molecular weight (HMW) fraction (>10 kDa) was separated from the SGF by ultrafiltration. In a detached leaf assay, the HMW fraction induced visible symptoms only on host leaves and the toxicity was lost by treatment with proteinase K or heat at 60 degrees C for 15 min, indicating the presence of host-specific protein toxin(s). A protein toxin in the HMW fraction was purified by several chromatography steps. The toxin induced water-soaked symptoms followed by chlorosis at concentrations of 0.5 to 1 microg/ml on host leaves, but not on nonhost leaves even at 50 microg/ml. The toxin also had infection-inducing activity when added to spore suspension of a nonpathogenic isolate of A. alternata, causing symptoms similar to the infection of A. brassicae only on host leaves. These results indicate that a new host-specific protein toxin named ABR-toxin is released from germinating spores of A. brassicae on host leaves. ABR-toxin migrated as a protein of 27.5 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The isoelectric point of ABR-toxin was estimated to be approximately 7.0 and 21 N-terminal amino acid residues were sequenced.

  7. Spore Resistance Properties.

    PubMed

    Setlow, Peter

    2014-10-01

    Spores of various Bacillus and Clostridium species are among the most resistant life forms known. Since the spores of some species are causative agents of much food spoilage, food poisoning, and human disease, and the spores of Bacillus anthracis are a major bioweapon, there is much interest in the mechanisms of spore resistance and how these spores can be killed. This article will discuss the factors involved in spore resistance to agents such as wet and dry heat, desiccation, UV and γ-radiation, enzymes that hydrolyze bacterial cell walls, and a variety of toxic chemicals, including genotoxic agents, oxidizing agents, aldehydes, acid, and alkali. These resistance factors include the outer layers of the spore, such as the thick proteinaceous coat that detoxifies reactive chemicals; the relatively impermeable inner spore membrane that restricts access of toxic chemicals to the spore core containing the spore's DNA and most enzymes; the low water content and high level of dipicolinic acid in the spore core that protect core macromolecules from the effects of heat and desiccation; the saturation of spore DNA with a novel group of proteins that protect the DNA against heat, genotoxic chemicals, and radiation; and the repair of radiation damage to DNA when spores germinate and return to life. Despite their extreme resistance, spores can be killed, including by damage to DNA, crucial spore proteins, the spore's inner membrane, and one or more components of the spore germination apparatus.

  8. Structure-function analysis of the Bacillus megaterium GerUD spore germinant receptor protein.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Srishti; Zhou, Ke Xu; Bailey, David M D; Christie, Graham

    2015-12-01

    Germination of Bacillus spores is triggered by the interaction of germinant molecules with specialized receptor proteins localized to the spore inner membrane. Germinant receptors (GRs) are comprised typically of three interacting protein subunits, each of which is essential for receptor function. At least some GRs appear to have a fourth component, referred to as a D-subunit protein. A number of D-subunit proteins were shown previously to be capable of modulating the activity of associated GRs. Here, we investigate the topology and structure-function relationships of the Bacillus megaterium QM B1551 GerUD protein, which is associated with the GerU GR. The presented data demonstrate that GerUD can be subjected to relatively extensive structural modifications while retaining function. Indeed, the presence of either of the two transmembrane spanning domains is sufficient to modulate an efficient GerU-mediated germinative response. The precise function of D-subunit proteins has yet to be established, although they may act as molecular chaperones within the spore inner-membrane environment.

  9. Diverse supramolecular structures formed by self-assembling proteins of the Bacillus subtilis spore coat.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Shuo; Wan, Qiang; Krajcikova, Daniela; Tang, Jilin; Tzokov, Svetomir B; Barak, Imrich; Bullough, Per A

    2015-07-01

    Bacterial spores (endospores), such as those of the pathogens Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis, are uniquely stable cell forms, highly resistant to harsh environmental insults. Bacillus subtilis is the best studied spore-former and we have used it to address the question of how the spore coat is assembled from multiple components to form a robust, protective superstructure. B. subtilis coat proteins (CotY, CotE, CotV and CotW) expressed in Escherichia coli can arrange intracellularly into highly stable macro-structures through processes of self-assembly. Using electron microscopy, we demonstrate the capacity of these proteins to generate ordered one-dimensional fibres, two-dimensional sheets and three-dimensional stacks. In one case (CotY), the high degree of order favours strong, cooperative intracellular disulfide cross-linking. Assemblies of this kind could form exquisitely adapted building blocks for higher-order assembly across all spore-formers. These physically robust arrayed units could also have novel applications in nano-biotechnology processes.

  10. The GerW protein is essential for L-alanine-stimulated germination of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Kuwana, Ritsuko; Takamatsu, Hiromu

    2013-11-01

    GerW (formerly called YtfJ) is a protein found in dormant spores of Bacillus subtilis. We have studied spore proteins in B. subtilis before, and here we report the characterization of GerW protein. Northern blot analysis revealed that gerW mRNA was transcribed by SigF-containing RNA polymerase beginning 1 h after the initiation of sporulation. Fluorescence was detected in forespores and dormant spores of B. subtilis recombinant strains expressing GerW-GFP. During germination in the presence of L-alanine or a mixture of L-asparagine, D-glucose, D-fructose and potassium ions (AGFK), normal spores of B. subtilis became darkened, stained positive with Hoechst 33342 and carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFDA-SE), and released dipicolinic acid (DPA). In the case of gerW-deficient spores, AGFK triggered germination in a manner similar to that seen in the wild-type spores, whereas spores stimulated by L-alanine remained refractive under the phase contrast microscope, failed to stain positive with Hoechst 33342 or CFDA-SE, and released almost no DPA. These results indicate that GerW is essential for the L-alanine-induced breakdown of spore dormancy followed by core rehydration and the resumption of enzymatic activity, and suggest that GerW is involved in the early stages of germination in the presence of l-alanine.

  11. Immobilization of Bioactive Protein A from Staphylococcus aureus (SpA) on the Surface of Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Ghaedmohammadi, Samira; Rigi, Garshasb; Zadmard, Reza; Ricca, Ezio; Ahmadian, Gholamreza

    2015-08-01

    Protein A from Staphylococcus aureus (SpA) is a 40-60 kDa cell-wall component, composed of five homologous immunoglobulin (Ig)-binding domains folded into a three-helix bundle. Each of these five domains is able to bind Igs from many different mammalian species. Recombinant SpA is widely used as a component of diagnostic kits for the detection and purification of IgGs from serum or other biological fluids. In this study, purified SpA was adsorbed and covalently linked to Bacillus subtilis spores. Spores are extremely stable cell forms and are considered as an attractive platform to display heterologous proteins. A sample containing about 36 μg of SpA was covalently immobilized on the surface of 4 × 10(10) spores. Spore-bound SpA retained its IgG-binding activity, even after seven consecutive binding and washing steps, suggesting that it can be recycled and utilized several times. FACS analysis revealed that spores with covalently attached SpA had significantly improved fluorescence intensities when compared to those of spores with adsorbed SpA, suggesting that the covalent approach is more efficient than sole adsorption regarding protein attachment to the spore surface.

  12. The Direct Interaction between Two Morphogenetic Proteins Is Essential for Spore Coat Formation in Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Isticato, Rachele; Sirec, Teja; Vecchione, Stefano; Crispino, Anna; Saggese, Anella; Baccigalupi, Loredana; Notomista, Eugenio; Driks, Adam; Ricca, Ezio

    2015-01-01

    In Bacillus subtilis the protective layers that surround the mature spore are formed by over seventy different proteins. Some of those proteins have a regulatory role on the assembly of other coat proteins and are referred to as morphogenetic factors. CotE is a major morphogenetic factor, known to form a ring around the forming spore and organize the deposition of the outer surface layers. CotH is a CotE-dependent protein known to control the assembly of at least nine other coat proteins. We report that CotH also controls the assembly of CotE and that this mutual dependency is due to a direct interaction between the two proteins. The C-terminal end of CotE is essential for this direct interaction and CotH cannot bind to mutant CotE deleted of six or nine C-terminal amino acids. However, addition of a negatively charged amino acid to those deleted versions of CotE rescues the interaction. PMID:26484546

  13. Effects of forespore-specific overexpression of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease Nfo on the DNA-damage resistance properties of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Barraza-Salas, Marcelo; Ibarra-Rodríguez, Juan R; Mellado, Silvia J; Salas-Pacheco, José M; Setlow, Peter; Pedraza-Reyes, Mario

    2010-01-01

    The effects of overexpression of the apurinic/apyrimidinic DNA endonuclease Nfo on wet and dry heat and UV-C (254 nm) resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores with or without alpha/beta-type small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP) were determined. Results revealed that overexpression of Nfo > or =50-fold in spores increased the wet heat resistance of exoA nfo B. subtilis spores (termed alpha(-)beta(-)) that lack most alpha/beta-type SASP, but had no effect on these spores' UV-C resistance. Nfo overexpression also increased these spores' dry heat resistance, and to levels slightly greater than that of wild-type spores. These results are consistent: (1) with wet and dry heat (but not UV-C) generating abasic sites in alpha(-)beta(-) spore DNA; (2) with dry heat generating some of these lesions in spores that retain alpha/beta-type SASP; and (3) indicate that Nfo can repair these abasic lesions following spore germination.

  14. Role of the Nfo and ExoA apurinic/apyrimidinic endonucleases in repair of DNA damage during outgrowth of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Ibarra, Juan R; Orozco, Alma D; Rojas, Juan A; López, Karina; Setlow, Peter; Yasbin, Ronald E; Pedraza-Reyes, Mario

    2008-03-01

    Germination and outgrowth are critical steps for returning Bacillus subtilis spores to life. However, oxidative stress due to full hydration of the spore core during germination and activation of metabolism in spore outgrowth may generate oxidative DNA damage that in many species is processed by apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases. B. subtilis spores possess two AP endonucleases, Nfo and ExoA; the outgrowth of spores lacking both of these enzymes was slowed, and the spores had an elevated mutation frequency, suggesting that these enzymes repair DNA lesions induced by oxidative stress during spore germination and outgrowth. Addition of H2O2 also slowed the outgrowth of nfo exoA spores and increased the mutation frequency, and nfo and exoA mutations slowed the outgrowth of spores deficient in either RecA, nucleotide excision repair (NER), or the DNA-protective alpha/beta-type small acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP). These results suggest that alpha/beta-type SASP protect DNA of germinating spores against damage that can be repaired by Nfo and ExoA, which is generated either spontaneously or promoted by addition of H2O2. The contribution of RecA and Nfo/ExoA was similar to but greater than that of NER in repair of DNA damage generated during spore germination and outgrowth. However, nfo and exoA mutations increased the spontaneous mutation frequencies of outgrown spores lacking uvrA or recA to about the same extent, suggesting that DNA lesions generated during spore germination and outgrowth are processed by Nfo/ExoA in combination with NER and/or RecA. These results suggest that Nfo/ExoA, RecA, the NER system, and alpha/beta-type SASP all contribute to the repair of and/or protection against oxidative damage of DNA in germinating and outgrowing spores.

  15. Expression and display of Clostridium difficile protein FliD on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Negri, Alessandro; Potocki, Wojciech; Iwanicki, Adam; Obuchowski, Michal; Hinc, Krzysztof

    2013-09-01

    The endospores of Bacillus subtilis can serve as a tool for surface presentation of heterologous proteins. The unique properties of the spore protective layers make them perfect vehicles for orally administered vaccines. In this study, we successfully displayed a fragment of Clostridium difficile FliD protein on the surface of B. subtilis spores using the CotB, CotC, CotG and CotZ spore coat proteins. The presence of the fusion proteins in the spore coat was verified by Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy. The amount of recombinant proteins was assessed by a dot-blot technique. C. difficile is one of the most common infectious agents in nosocomial infections and is especially associated with antibiotic therapies. FliD is a flagellar cap protein of C. difficile and is known to be one of the immunogenic surface antigens of this bacterium. Therefore, its use in vaccine formulations gives a good perspective for successful immunization with a FliD-based vaccine. The recombinant spores presented here may be good candidates for C. difficile oral vaccines.

  16. Diverse supramolecular structures formed by self‐assembling proteins of the B acillus subtilis spore coat

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Shuo; Wan, Qiang; Krajcikova, Daniela; Tang, Jilin; Tzokov, Svetomir B.; Barak, Imrich

    2015-01-01

    Summary Bacterial spores (endospores), such as those of the pathogens C lostridium difficile and B acillus anthracis, are uniquely stable cell forms, highly resistant to harsh environmental insults. B acillus subtilis is the best studied spore‐former and we have used it to address the question of how the spore coat is assembled from multiple components to form a robust, protective superstructure. B . subtilis coat proteins (CotY, CotE, CotV and CotW) expressed in E scherichia coli can arrange intracellularly into highly stable macro‐structures through processes of self‐assembly. Using electron microscopy, we demonstrate the capacity of these proteins to generate ordered one‐dimensional fibres, two‐dimensional sheets and three‐dimensional stacks. In one case (CotY), the high degree of order favours strong, cooperative intracellular disulfide cross‐linking. Assemblies of this kind could form exquisitely adapted building blocks for higher‐order assembly across all spore‐formers. These physically robust arrayed units could also have novel applications in nano‐biotechnology processes. PMID:25872412

  17. UV photochemistry of DNA in vitro and in Bacillus subtilis spores at earth-ambient and low atmospheric pressure: implications for spore survival on other planets or moons in the solar system.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Two major parameters influencing the survival of Bacillus subtilis spores in space and on bodies within the Solar System are UV radiation and vacuum, both of which induce inactivating damage to DNA. To date, however, spore survival and DNA photochemistry have been explored only at the extremes of Earth-normal atmospheric pressure (101.3 kPa) and at simulated space vacuum (10(-3)-10(-6) Pa). In this study, wild-type spores, mutant spores lacking alpha/beta-type small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP), naked DNA, and complexes between SASP SspC and DNA were exposed simultaneously to UV (254 nm) at intermediate pressure (1-2 Pa), and the UV photoproducts cis,syn-thymine-thymine cyclobutane dimer (c,sTT), trans,syn-thymine-thymine cyclobutane dimer (t,sTT), and "spore photoproduct" (SP) were quantified. At 101.3 kPa, UV-treated wild-type spores accumulated only SP, but spores treated with UV radiation at 1-2 Pa exhibited a spectrum of DNA damage similar to that of spores treated at 10(-6) Pa, with accumulation of SP, c,sTT, and t,sTT. The presence or absence of alpha/beta-type SASP in spores was partly responsible for the shift observed between levels of SP and c,sTT, but not t,sTT. The changes observed in spore DNA photochemistry at 1-2 Pa in vivo were not reproduced by irradiation of naked DNA or SspC:DNA complexes in vitro, suggesting that factors other than SASP are involved in spore DNA photochemistry at low pressure.

  18. Role of DNA Protection and Repair in Resistance of Bacillus subtilis Spores to Ultrahigh Shock Pressures Simulating Hypervelocity Impacts▿

    PubMed Central

    Moeller, Ralf; Horneck, Gerda; Rabbow, Elke; Reitz, Günther; Meyer, Cornelia; Hornemann, Ulrich; Stöffler, Dieter

    2008-01-01

    Impact-induced ejections of rocks from planetary surfaces are frequent events in the early history of the terrestrial planets and have been considered as a possible first step in the potential interplanetary transfer of microorganisms. Spores of Bacillus subtilis were used as a model system to study the effects of a simulated impact-caused ejection on rock-colonizing microorganisms using a high-explosive plane wave setup. Embedded in different types of rock material, spores were subjected to extremely high shock pressures (5 to 50 GPa) lasting for fractions of microseconds to seconds. Nearly exponential pressure response curves were obtained for spore survival and linear dependency for the induction of sporulation-defective mutants. Spores of strains defective in major small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP) (α/β-type SASP) that largely protect the spore DNA and spores of strains deficient in nonhomologous-end-joining DNA repair were significantly more sensitive to the applied shock pressure than were wild-type spores. These results indicate that DNA may be the sensitive target of spores exposed to ultrahigh shock pressures. To assess the nature of the critical physical parameter responsible for spore inactivation by ultrahigh shock pressures, the resulting peak temperature was varied by lowering the preshock temperature, changing the rock composition and porosity, or increasing the water content of the samples. Increased peak temperatures led to increased spore inactivation and reduced mutation rates. The data suggested that besides the potential mechanical stress exerted by the shock pressure, the accompanying high peak temperatures were a critical stress parameter that spores had to cope with. PMID:18791028

  19. A gene encoding a vicilin-like protein is specifically expressed in fern spores. Evolutionary pathway of seed storage globulins.

    PubMed

    Shutov, A D; Braun, H; Chesnokov, Y V; Bäumlein, H

    1998-02-15

    The isolation and characterisation of a cDNA coding for a vicilin-like protein of the fern Matteuccia struthiopteris is described. The corresponding gene is specifically expressed during late stages of spore development. Extensive sequence comparisons suggest that the fern protein can be considered as a molecular missing link between single-domain germin/spherulin-like proteins and two-domain seed storage globulins of gymnosperms and angiosperms. Further, evidence is provided for the existence of a superfamily of structurally related, functionally different proteins which includes storage globulins of the vicilin and legumin families, a membrane-associated sucrose-binding protein of soybean, a Forssman antigen-binding lectin of velvet bean, the precursor of the vacuolar membrane bound proteins MP27/MP32 of pumpkin, the embryogenesis-specific protein Gea8 of carrot, the fern-spore-specific protein described here as well as the functionally diverse family of germins/germin-like proteins and the spherulins of myxomycetes. We propose that seed storage globulins of spermatophytes evolved from desiccation-related single-domain proteins of prokaryotes via a duplicated two-domain ancestor that is best represented by the extant fern spore-specific vicilin-like protein.

  20. Dormant Bacillus spores protect their DNA in crystalline nucleoids against environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Dittmann, Christin; Han, Hong-Mei; Grabenbauer, Markus; Laue, Michael

    2015-08-01

    Bacterial spores of the genera Bacillus and Clostridium are extremely resistant against desiccation, heat and radiation and involved in the spread and pathogenicity of health relevant species such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) or Clostridium botulinum. While the resistance of spores is very well documented, underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study we show, by cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections and particular resin thin section electron microscopy, that dormant Bacillus spores possess highly ordered crystalline core structures, which contain the DNA, but only if small acid soluble proteins (SASPs) are present. We found those core structures in spores of all Bacillus species investigated, including spores of anthrax. Similar core structures were detected in Geobacillus and Clostridium species which suggest that highly ordered, at least partially crystalline core regions represent a general feature of bacterial endospores. The crystalline core structures disintegrate in a period during spore germination, when resistance against most stresses is lost. Our results suggest that the DNA is tightly packed into a crystalline nucleoid by binding SASPs, which stabilizes DNA fibrils and protects them against modification. Thus, the crystalline nucleoid seems to be the structural and functional correlate for the remarkable stability of the DNA in bacterial endospores. PMID:26094877

  1. Spore germination of Trichoderma atroviride is inhibited by its LysM protein TAL6.

    PubMed

    Seidl-Seiboth, Verena; Zach, Simone; Frischmann, Alexa; Spadiut, Oliver; Dietzsch, Christian; Herwig, Christoph; Ruth, Claudia; Rodler, Agnes; Jungbauer, Alois; Kubicek, Christian P

    2013-03-01

    LysM motifs are carbohydrate-binding modules found in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. They have general N-acetylglucosamine binding properties and therefore bind to chitin and related carbohydrates. In plants, plasma-membrane-bound proteins containing LysM motifs are involved in plant defence responses, but also in symbiotic interactions between plants and microorganisms. Filamentous fungi secrete LysM proteins that contain several LysM motifs but no enzymatic modules. In plant pathogenic fungi, for LysM proteins roles in dampening of plant defence responses and protection from plant chitinases were shown. In this study, the carbohydrate-binding specificities and biological function of the LysM protein TAL6 from the plant-beneficial fungus Trichoderma atroviride were investigated. TAL6 contains seven LysM motifs and the sequences of its LysM motifs are very different from other fungal LysM proteins investigated so far. The results showed that TAL6 bound to some forms of polymeric chitin, but not to chito-oligosaccharides. Further, no binding to fungal cell wall preparations was detected. Despite these rather weak carbohydrate-binding properties, a strong inhibitory effect of TAL6 on spore germination was found. TAL6 was shown to specifically inhibit germination of Trichoderma spp., but interestingly not of other fungi. Thus, this protein is involved in self-signalling processes during fungal growth rather than fungal-plant interactions. These data expand the functional repertoire of fungal LysM proteins beyond effectors in plant defence responses and show that fungal LysM proteins are also involved in the self-regulation of fungal growth and development.

  2. Gene activity during germination of spores of the fern, Onoclea sensibilis: RNA and protein synthesis and the role of stored mRNA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raghavan, V.

    1991-01-01

    Pattern of 3H-uridine incorporation into RNA of spores of Onoclea sensibilis imbibed in complete darkness (non-germinating conditions) and induced to germinate in red light was followed by oligo-dT cellulose chromatography, gel electrophoresis coupled with fluorography and autoradiography. In dark-imbibed spores, RNA synthesis was initiated about 24 h after sowing, with most of the label accumulating in the high mol. wt. poly(A) -RNA fraction. There was no incorporation of the label into poly(A) +RNA until 48 h after sowing. In contrast, photo-induced spores began to synthesize all fractions of RNA within 12 h after sowing and by 24 h, incorporation of 3H-uridine into RNA of irradiated spores was nearly 70-fold higher than that into dark-imbibed spores. Protein synthesis, as monitored by 3H-arginine incorporation into the acid-insoluble fraction and by autoradiography, was initiated in spores within 1-2 h after sowing under both conditions. Autoradiographic experiments also showed that onset of protein synthesis in the cytoplasm of the germinating spore is independent of the transport of newly synthesized nuclear RNA. One-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of 35S-methionine-labelled proteins revealed a good correspondence between proteins synthesized in a cell-free translation system directed by poly(A) +RNA of dormant spores and those synthesized in vivo by dark-imbibed and photo-induced spores. These results indicate that stored mRNAs of O. sensibilis spores are functionally competent and provide templates for the synthesis of proteins during dark-imbibition and germination.

  3. Photochemistry and Photobiology of the Spore Photoproduct: A 50-Year Journey.

    PubMed

    Setlow, Peter; Li, Lei

    2015-11-01

    Fifty years ago, a new thymine dimer was discovered as the dominant DNA photolesion in UV-irradiated bacterial spores [Donnellan, J. E. & Setlow R. B. (1965) Science, 149, 308-310], which was later named the spore photoproduct (SP). Formation of SP is due to the unique environment in the spore core that features low hydration levels favoring an A-DNA conformation, high levels of calcium dipicolinate that acts as a photosensitizer, and DNA saturation with small, acid-soluble proteins that alters DNA structure and reduces side reactions. In vitro studies reveal that any of these factors alone can promote SP formation; however, SP formation is usually accompanied by the production of other DNA photolesions. Therefore, the nearly exclusive SP formation in spores is due to the combined effects of these three factors. Spore photoproduct photoreaction is proved to occur via a unique H-atom transfer mechanism between the two involved thymine residues. Successful incorporation of SP into an oligonucleotide has been achieved via organic synthesis, which enables structural studies that reveal minor conformational changes in the SP-containing DNA. Here, we review the progress on SP photochemistry and photobiology in the past 50 years, which indicates a very rich SP photobiology that may exist beyond endospores.

  4. Role of a SpoVA protein in dipicolinic acid uptake into developing spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yunfeng; Davis, Andrew; Korza, George; Zhang, Pengfei; Li, Yong-qing; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter; Hao, Bing

    2012-04-01

    The proteins encoded by the spoVA operon, including SpoVAD, are essential for the uptake of the 1:1 chelate of pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA(2,6)) and Ca(2+) into developing spores of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The crystal structure of B. subtilis SpoVAD has been determined recently, and a structural homology search revealed that SpoVAD shares significant structural similarity but not sequence homology to a group of enzymes that bind to and/or act on small aromatic molecules. We find that molecular docking placed DPA(2,6) exclusively in a highly conserved potential substrate-binding pocket in SpoVAD that is similar to that in the structurally homologous enzymes. We further demonstrate that SpoVAD binds both DPA(2,6) and Ca(2+)-DPA(2,6) with a similar affinity, while exhibiting markedly weaker binding to other DPA isomers. Importantly, mutations of conserved amino acid residues in the putative DPA(2,6)-binding pocket in SpoVAD essentially abolish its DPA(2,6)-binding capacity. Moreover, replacement of the wild-type spoVAD gene in B. subtilis with any of these spoVAD gene variants effectively eliminated DPA(2,6) uptake into developing spores in sporulation, although the variant proteins were still located in the spore inner membrane. Our results provide direct evidence that SpoVA proteins, in particular SpoVAD, are directly involved in DPA(2,6) movement into developing B. subtilis spores.

  5. Characterization of the spore surface and exosporium proteins of Clostridium sporogenes; implications for Clostridium botulinum group I strains.

    PubMed

    Janganan, Thamarai K; Mullin, Nic; Tzokov, Svetomir B; Stringer, Sandra; Fagan, Robert P; Hobbs, Jamie K; Moir, Anne; Bullough, Per A

    2016-10-01

    Clostridium sporogenes is a non-pathogenic close relative and surrogate for Group I (proteolytic) neurotoxin-producing Clostridium botulinum strains. The exosporium, the sac-like outermost layer of spores of these species, is likely to contribute to adhesion, dissemination, and virulence. A paracrystalline array, hairy nap, and several appendages were detected in the exosporium of C. sporogenes strain NCIMB 701792 by EM and AFM. The protein composition of purified exosporium was explored by LC-MS/MS of tryptic peptides from major individual SDS-PAGE-separated protein bands, and from bulk exosporium. Two high molecular weight protein bands both contained the same protein with a collagen-like repeat domain, the probable constituent of the hairy nap, as well as cysteine-rich proteins CsxA and CsxB. A third cysteine-rich protein (CsxC) was also identified. These three proteins are also encoded in C. botulinum Prevot 594, and homologues (75-100% amino acid identity) are encoded in many other Group I strains. This work provides the first insight into the likely composition and organization of the exosporium of Group I C. botulinum spores. PMID:27375261

  6. The effects of heat activation on Bacillus spore germination, with nutrients or under high pressure, with or without various germination proteins.

    PubMed

    Luu, Stephanie; Cruz-Mora, Jose; Setlow, Barbara; Feeherry, Florence E; Doona, Christopher J; Setlow, Peter

    2015-04-01

    Nutrient germination of spores of Bacillus species occurs through germinant receptors (GRs) in spores' inner membrane (IM) in a process stimulated by sublethal heat activation. Bacillus subtilis spores maximum germination rates via different GRs required different 75 °C heat activation times: 15 min for l-valine germination via the GerA GR and 4 h for germination with the L-asparagine-glucose-fructose-K(+) mixture via the GerB and GerK GRs, with GerK requiring the most heat activation. In some cases, optimal heat activation decreased nutrient concentrations for half-maximal germination rates. Germination of spores via various GRs by high pressure (HP) of 150 MPa exhibited heat activation requirements similar to those of nutrient germination, and the loss of the GerD protein, required for optimal GR function, did not eliminate heat activation requirements for maximal germination rates. These results are consistent with heat activation acting primarily on GRs. However, (i) heat activation had no effects on GR or GerD protein conformation, as probed by biotinylation by an external reagent; (ii) spores prepared at low and high temperatures that affect spores' IM properties exhibited large differences in heat activation requirements for nutrient germination; and (iii) spore germination by 550 MPa of HP was also affected by heat activation, but the effects were relatively GR independent. The last results are consistent with heat activation affecting spores' IM and only indirectly affecting GRs. The 150- and 550-MPa HP germinations of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores, a potential surrogate for Clostridium botulinum spores in HP treatments of foods, were also stimulated by heat activation.

  7. The Effects of Heat Activation on Bacillus Spore Germination, with Nutrients or under High Pressure, with or without Various Germination Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Stephanie; Cruz-Mora, Jose; Setlow, Barbara; Feeherry, Florence E.; Doona, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    Nutrient germination of spores of Bacillus species occurs through germinant receptors (GRs) in spores' inner membrane (IM) in a process stimulated by sublethal heat activation. Bacillus subtilis spores maximum germination rates via different GRs required different 75°C heat activation times: 15 min for l-valine germination via the GerA GR and 4 h for germination with the l-asparagine–glucose–fructose–K+ mixture via the GerB and GerK GRs, with GerK requiring the most heat activation. In some cases, optimal heat activation decreased nutrient concentrations for half-maximal germination rates. Germination of spores via various GRs by high pressure (HP) of 150 MPa exhibited heat activation requirements similar to those of nutrient germination, and the loss of the GerD protein, required for optimal GR function, did not eliminate heat activation requirements for maximal germination rates. These results are consistent with heat activation acting primarily on GRs. However, (i) heat activation had no effects on GR or GerD protein conformation, as probed by biotinylation by an external reagent; (ii) spores prepared at low and high temperatures that affect spores' IM properties exhibited large differences in heat activation requirements for nutrient germination; and (iii) spore germination by 550 MPa of HP was also affected by heat activation, but the effects were relatively GR independent. The last results are consistent with heat activation affecting spores' IM and only indirectly affecting GRs. The 150- and 550-MPa HP germinations of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores, a potential surrogate for Clostridium botulinum spores in HP treatments of foods, were also stimulated by heat activation. PMID:25681191

  8. Bacterial spore survival after exposure to HZE particle bombardment -implication for the lithopanspermia hypothesis.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeller, Ralf; Berger, Thomas; Matthiä, Daniel; Okayasu, Ryuichi; Kitamura, H.; Reitz, Guenther

    transcriptional response during spore germination" (Moeller et al., 2008 [3]). To simulate the interplanetary journey of a meteorite, stacks of spore-samples on gabbro slides in different depths were exposed. Spore survival and the rate of the induced mutations (i.e., sporulation-deficiency (Spo-)) depended on the LET of the applied species of ions as well as on the location (and depth) of the irradiated spores in the artificial meteorite. The exposure to high LET iron ions led to a low level of spore survival and increased frequency of mutation to Spo-compared to low-energy charged particles compared to the low LET helium ions. In order to obtain insights on the role of DNA repair by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), homologous recombination (HR) and apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases in B. subtilis spore resistance to high-energy charged particles has been studied in parallel. Spores deficient in NHEJ and AP endonucleases were significantly more sensitive to HZE particle bombardment than were the HR-mutant and wild-type spores, indicating that NHEJ and AP endonucleases provide DNA break repair pathways during spore germination. ((References: [1] Arrhenius, S. 1903. Die Verbreitung des Lebens im Weltenraum. Umschau 7:481-485.; [2] Nicholson, W. L. 2009. Ancient micronauts: interplanetary transport of microbes by cosmic impacts. Trends Mi-crobiol. 17:243-250.; [3] Moeller, R., P. Setlow, G. Horneck, T. Berger, G. Reitz, P. Rettberg, A. J. Doherty, R. Okayasu, and W. L. Nicholson. 2008. Roles of the major, small, acid-soluble spore proteins and spore-specific and universal DNA repair mechanisms in resistance of Bacillus subtilis spores to ionizing radiation from X-rays and high-energy charged-particle bombardment. J. Bacteriol. 190:1134-1140.))

  9. Purification and partial characterization of a novel calcium-binding protein from Bacillus cereus T spores and inhibition of germination by calmodulin antagonists

    SciTech Connect

    Shyu, Y.

    1989-01-01

    A novel calcium-binding protein has been purified from the dormant spores of Bacillus cereus T. B. cereus T spores were extensively washed, broken, and heated at 90{degree}C for 2 min. Using calcium-dependent hydrophobic interaction chromatography plus DEAE-cellulose and hydroxylapatite columns, a single protein was obtained which possessed calcium-binding capacity and some characteristics of calmodulin. This heat-stable protein was retained by hydrophobic matrices or a calmodulin antagonist in a calcium-dependent manner. The crude spore extract displaced bovine brain calmodulin from its antibody in a radioimmunoassay and the immunoreactive specific activity of the partially purified fraction which eluted from phenyl-Sepharose was ca. 200-fold greater than the crude spore extract. Purity of this protein was verified by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyarcylamide gel electrophoresis and reversed-phase HPLC. Calcium-binding ability was verified with a competitive calcium binding assay using Chelex-100 resin and {sup 45}Ca autoradiography. SDS-PAGE and amino acid composition indicated the molecular weight of the protein was 24-kDa. The effects of two calmodulin antagonists, trifluoperazine (TFP) and N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalene sulfonamide (W-7) on L-alanine-induced germination of Bacillus cereus T spores were examined by measuring commitment to germination, loss of heat resistance, release of calcium, decrease in optical density at 660 nm and phase-contrast microscopy.

  10. Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat

    PubMed Central

    Driks, Adam

    1999-01-01

    In response to starvation, bacilli and clostridia undergo a specialized program of development that results in the production of a highly resistant dormant cell type known as the spore. A proteinacious shell, called the coat, encases the spore and plays a major role in spore survival. The coat is composed of over 25 polypeptide species, organized into several morphologically distinct layers. The mechanisms that guide coat assembly have been largely unknown until recently. We now know that proper formation of the coat relies on the genetic program that guides the synthesis of spore components during development as well as on morphogenetic proteins dedicated to coat assembly. Over 20 structural and morphogenetic genes have been cloned. In this review, we consider the contributions of the known coat and morphogenetic proteins to coat function and assembly. We present a model that describes how morphogenetic proteins direct coat assembly to the specific subcellular site of the nascent spore surface and how they establish the coat layers. We also discuss the importance of posttranslational processing of coat proteins in coat morphogenesis. Finally, we review some of the major outstanding questions in the field. PMID:10066829

  11. Clostridium difficile Spore-Macrophage Interactions: Spore Survival

    PubMed Central

    Paredes-Sabja, Daniel; Cofre-Araneda, Glenda; Brito-Silva, Christian; Pizarro-Guajardo, Marjorie; Sarker, Mahfuzur R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Clostridium difficile is the main cause of nosocomial infections including antibiotic associated diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis and toxic megacolon. During the course of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), C. difficile undergoes sporulation and releases spores to the colonic environment. The elevated relapse rates of CDI suggest that C. difficile spores has a mechanism(s) to efficiently persist in the host colonic environment. Methodology/Principal Findings In this work, we provide evidence that C. difficile spores are well suited to survive the host’s innate immune system. Electron microscopy results show that C. difficile spores are recognized by discrete patchy regions on the surface of macrophage Raw 264.7 cells, and phagocytosis was actin polymerization dependent. Fluorescence microscopy results show that >80% of Raw 264.7 cells had at least one C. difficile spore adhered, and that ∼60% of C. difficile spores were phagocytosed by Raw 264.7 cells. Strikingly, presence of complement decreased Raw 264.7 cells’ ability to phagocytose C. difficile spores. Due to the ability of C. difficile spores to remain dormant inside Raw 264.7 cells, they were able to survive up to 72 h of macrophage infection. Interestingly, transmission electron micrographs showed interactions between the surface proteins of C. difficile spores and the phagosome membrane of Raw 264.7 cells. In addition, infection of Raw 264.7 cells with C. difficile spores for 48 h produced significant Raw 264.7 cell death as demonstrated by trypan blue assay, and nuclei staining by ethidium homodimer-1. Conclusions/Significance These results demonstrate that despite efficient recognition and phagocytosis of C. difficile spores by Raw 264.7 cells, spores remain dormant and are able to survive and produce cytotoxic effects on Raw 264.7 cells. PMID:22952726

  12. Biochemical characterization of alanine racemase--a spore protein produced by Bacillus anthracis.

    PubMed

    Kanodia, Shivani; Agarwal, Shivangi; Singh, Priyanka; Agarwal, Shivani; Singh, Preeti; Bhatnagar, Rakesh

    2009-01-31

    Alanine racemase catalyzes the interconversion of L-alanine and D-alanine and plays a crucial role in spore germination and cell wall biosynthesis. In this study, alanine racemase produced by Bacillus anthracis was expressed and purified as a monomer in Escherichia coli and the importance of lysine 41 in the cofactor binding octapeptide and tyrosine 270 in catalysis was evaluated. The native enzyme exhibited an apparent K(m) of 3 mM for L-alanine, and a V(max) of 295 micromoles/min/mg, with the optimum activity occurring at 37 degrees C and a pH of 8-9. The activity observed in the absence of exogenous pyridoxal 5'-phosphate suggested that the cofactor is bound to the enzyme. Additionally, the UV-visible absorption spectra indicated that the activity was pH independece, of VV-visible absorption spectra suggests that the bound PLP exists as a protonated Schiff's base. Furthermore, the loss of activity observed in the apoenzyme suggested that bound PLP is required for catalysis. Finally, the enzyme followed non-competitive and mixed inhibition kinetics for hydroxylamine and propionate with a K(i) of 160 microM and 30 mM, respectively. [BMB reports 2009; 42(1): 47-52]. PMID:19192393

  13. Amino acid residues in the GerAB protein important in the function and assembly of the alanine spore germination receptor of Bacillus subtilis 168.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Gareth R; Moir, Anne

    2011-05-01

    The paradigm gerA operon is required for endospore germination in response to c-alanine as the sole germinant, and the three protein products, GerAA, GerAB, and GerAC are predicted to form a receptor complex in the spore inner membrane. GerAB shows homology to the amino acid-polyamine-organocation (APC) family of single-component transporters and is predicted to be an integral membrane protein with 10 membrane-spanning helices. Site-directed mutations were introduced into the gerAB gene at its natural location on the chromosome. Alterations to some charged or potential helix-breaking residues within membrane spans affected receptor function dramatically. In some cases, this is likely to reflect the complete loss of the GerA receptor complex, as judged by the absence of the germinant receptor protein GerAC, which suggests that the altered GerAB protein itself may be unstable or that the altered structure destabilizes the complex. Mutants that have a null phenotype for Instituto de Biotecnología de León, INBIOTEC, Parque Científico de León, Av. Real, 1, 24006 León, Spain-alanine germination but retain GerAC protein at near-normal levels are more likely to define amino acid residues of functional, rather than structural, importance. Single-amino-acid substitutions in each of the GerAB and GerAA proteins can prevent incorporation of GerAC protein into the spore; this provides strong evidence that the proteins within a specific receptor interact and that these interactions are required for receptor assembly. The lipoprotein nature of the GerAC receptor subunit is also important; an amino acid change in the prelipoprotein signal sequence in the gerAC1 mutant results in the absence of GerAC protein from the spore.

  14. Characterization of on-target generated tryptic peptides from Giberella zeae conidia spore proteins by means of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hongjuan; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina; Allmaier, Günter

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally characterization of microbial proteins is performed by a complex sequence of steps with the final step to be either Edman sequencing or mass spectrometry, which generally takes several weeks or months to be complete. In this work, we proposed a strategy for the characterization of tryptic peptides derived from Giberella zeae (anamorph: Fusarium graminearum) proteins in parallel to intact cell mass spectrometry (ICMS) in which no complicated and time-consuming steps were needed. Experimentally, after a simple washing treatment of the spores, the aliquots of the intact G. zeae macro conidia spores solution, were deposited two times onto one MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization) mass spectrometry (MS) target (two spots). One spot was used for ICMS and the second spot was subject to a brief on-target digestion with bead-immobilized or non-immobilized trypsin. Subsequently, one spot was analyzed immediately by MALDI MS in the linear mode (ICMS) whereas the second spot containing the digested material was investigated by MALDI MS in the reflectron mode ("peptide mass fingerprint") followed by protonated peptide selection for MS/MS (post source decay (PSD) fragment ion) analysis. Based on the formed fragment ions of selected tryptic peptides a complete or partial amino acid sequence was generated by manual de novo sequencing. These sequence data were used for homology search for protein identification. Finally four different peptides of varying abundances have been identified successfully allowing the verification that our desorbed/ionized surface compounds were indeed derived from proteins. The presence of three different proteins could be found unambiguously. Interestingly, one of these proteins is belonging to the ribosomal superfamily which indicates that not only surface-associated proteins were digested. This strategy minimized the amount of time and labor required for obtaining deeper information on spore preparations within the

  15. Identifying and Inactivating Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newcombe, David; Dekas, Anne; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2009-01-01

    Problems associated with, and new strategies for, inactivating resistant organisms like Bacillus canaveralius (found at Kennedy Space Center during a survey of three NASA cleanrooms) have been defined. Identifying the particular component of the spore that allows its heightened resistance can guide the development of sterilization procedures that are targeted to the specific molecules responsible for resistance, while avoiding using unduly harsh methods that jeopardize equipment. The key element of spore resistance is a multilayered protein shell that encases the spore called the spore coat. The coat of the best-studied spore-forming microbe, B. subtilis, consists of at least 45 proteins, most of which are poorly characterized. Several protective roles for the coat are well characterized including resistance to desiccation, large toxic molecules, ortho-phthalaldehyde, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. One important long-term specific goal is an improved sterilization procedure that will enable NASA to meet planetary protection requirements without a terminal heat sterilization step. This would support the implementation of planetary protection policies for life-detection missions. Typically, hospitals and government agencies use biological indicators to ensure the quality control of sterilization processes. The spores of B. canaveralius that are more resistant to osmotic stress would serve as a better biological indicator for potential survival than those in use currently.

  16. Structural similarity among Escherichia coli FtsW and RodA proteins and Bacillus subtilis SpoVE protein, which function in cell division, cell elongation, and spore formation, respectively.

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, M; Sato, T; Wachi, M; Jung, H K; Ishino, F; Kobayashi, Y; Matsuhashi, M

    1989-01-01

    The Escherichia coli cell division gene ftsW (2 min) was cloned and sequenced. It encodes a hydrophobic protein(s) with 414 and/or 384 amino acid residues. The deduced amino acid sequence and the hydropathy profile of the protein showed high homology with those of the E. coli RodA protein functioning in determination of the cell shape and the Bacillus subtilis SpoVE protein functioning in spore formation. Probably similar functional membrane proteins are involved in these three cell cycle process. PMID:2509435

  17. Distinction of broken cellular wall Ganoderma lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores using FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xianliang; Liu, Xingcun; Sheng, Daping; Huang, Dake; Li, Weizu; Wang, Xin

    2012-11-01

    In this paper, FTIR microspectroscopy was used to identify broken cellular wall Ganoderma lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. For IR spectra, broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores were mainly different in the regions of 3000-2800, 1660-1600, 1400-1200 and 1100-1000 cm-1. For curve fitting, the results showed the differences in the protein secondary structures and the polysaccharide structures/content between broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. Moreover, the value of A1078/A1741 might be a potentially useful factor to distinguish broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores from G. lucidum spores. Additionally, FTIR microspectroscopy could identify broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores accurately when it was combined with hierarchical cluster analysis. The result suggests FTIR microspectroscopy is very simple and efficient for distinction of broken cellular wall G. lucidum spores and G. lucidum spores. The result also indicates FTIR microspectroscopy may be useful for TCM identification.

  18. Spores Disperse, Too!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, Donna N.

    1981-01-01

    Suggests the use of spores and spore-producing structures to show adaptations facilitating spore dispersal and dispersal to favorable environments. Describes several activities using horsetails, ferns, and mosses. Lists five safety factors related to use of mold spores in the classroom. (DS)

  19. Cytological and Proteomic Analyses of Osmunda cinnamomea Germinating Spores Reveal Characteristics of Fern Spore Germination and Rhizoid Tip Growth*

    PubMed Central

    Suo, Jinwei; Zhao, Qi; Zhang, Zhengxiu; Chen, Sixue; Cao, Jian'guo; Liu, Guanjun; Wei, Xing; Wang, Tai; Yang, Chuanping; Dai, Shaojun

    2015-01-01

    Fern spore is a good single-cell model for studying the sophisticated molecular networks in asymmetric cell division, differentiation, and polar growth. Osmunda cinnamomea L. var. asiatica is one of the oldest fern species with typical separate-growing trophophyll and sporophyll. The chlorophyllous spores generated from sporophyll can germinate without dormancy. In this study, the spore ultrastructure, antioxidant enzyme activities, as well as protein and gene expression patterns were analyzed in the course of spore germination at five typical stages (i.e. mature spores, rehydrated spores, double-celled spores, germinated spores, and spores with protonemal cells). Proteomic analysis revealed 113 differentially expressed proteins, which were mainly involved in photosynthesis, reserve mobilization, energy supplying, protein synthesis and turnover, reactive oxygen species scavenging, signaling, and cell structure modulation. The presence of multiple proteoforms of 25 differentially expressed proteins implies that post-translational modification may play important roles in spore germination. The dynamic patterns of proteins and their encoding genes exhibited specific characteristics in the processes of cell division and rhizoid tip growth, which include heterotrophic and autotrophic metabolisms, de novo protein synthesis and active protein turnover, reactive oxygen species and hormone (brassinosteroid and ethylene) signaling, and vesicle trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamic. In addition, the function skew of proteins in fern spores highlights the unique and common mechanisms when compared with evolutionarily divergent spermatophyte pollen. These findings provide an improved understanding of the typical single-celled asymmetric division and polar growth during fern spore germination. PMID:26091698

  20. An ancient and conserved function for Armadillo-related proteins in the control of spore and seed germination by abscisic acid.

    PubMed

    Moody, Laura A; Saidi, Younousse; Gibbs, Daniel J; Choudhary, Anushree; Holloway, Daniel; Vesty, Eleanor F; Bansal, Kiran Kaur; Bradshaw, Susan J; Coates, Juliet C

    2016-08-01

    Armadillo-related proteins regulate development throughout eukaryotic kingdoms. In the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Armadillo-related ARABIDILLO proteins promote multicellular root branching. ARABIDILLO homologues exist throughout land plants, including early-diverging species lacking true roots, suggesting that early-evolving ARABIDILLOs had additional biological roles. Here we investigated, using molecular genetics, the conservation and diversification of ARABIDILLO protein function in plants separated by c. 450 million years of evolution. We demonstrate that ARABIDILLO homologues in the moss Physcomitrella patens regulate a previously undiscovered inhibitory effect of abscisic acid (ABA) on spore germination. Furthermore, we show that A. thaliana ARABIDILLOs function similarly during seed germination. Early-diverging ARABIDILLO homologues from both P. patens and the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii can substitute for ARABIDILLO function during A. thaliana root development and seed germination. We conclude that (1) ABA was co-opted early in plant evolution to regulate functionally analogous processes in spore- and seed-producing plants and (2) plant ARABIDILLO germination functions were co-opted early into both gametophyte and sporophyte, with a specific rooting function evolving later in the land plant lineage. PMID:27040616

  1. An ancient and conserved function for Armadillo-related proteins in the control of spore and seed germination by abscisic acid.

    PubMed

    Moody, Laura A; Saidi, Younousse; Gibbs, Daniel J; Choudhary, Anushree; Holloway, Daniel; Vesty, Eleanor F; Bansal, Kiran Kaur; Bradshaw, Susan J; Coates, Juliet C

    2016-08-01

    Armadillo-related proteins regulate development throughout eukaryotic kingdoms. In the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Armadillo-related ARABIDILLO proteins promote multicellular root branching. ARABIDILLO homologues exist throughout land plants, including early-diverging species lacking true roots, suggesting that early-evolving ARABIDILLOs had additional biological roles. Here we investigated, using molecular genetics, the conservation and diversification of ARABIDILLO protein function in plants separated by c. 450 million years of evolution. We demonstrate that ARABIDILLO homologues in the moss Physcomitrella patens regulate a previously undiscovered inhibitory effect of abscisic acid (ABA) on spore germination. Furthermore, we show that A. thaliana ARABIDILLOs function similarly during seed germination. Early-diverging ARABIDILLO homologues from both P. patens and the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii can substitute for ARABIDILLO function during A. thaliana root development and seed germination. We conclude that (1) ABA was co-opted early in plant evolution to regulate functionally analogous processes in spore- and seed-producing plants and (2) plant ARABIDILLO germination functions were co-opted early into both gametophyte and sporophyte, with a specific rooting function evolving later in the land plant lineage.

  2. Acid-soluble magnesia cement; New applications in completion and workover operations

    SciTech Connect

    Sweatman, R.E.; Scoggins, W.C. )

    1990-11-01

    Acid-soluble magnesia cement (MC) was used in production zones to plug perforations temporarily to reduce brine losses during completion and workover operations. This has resulted in substantial savings for operators. The cement has also been used to reduce potential formation damage. This paper describes some of the characteristics of the cement, field applications, and results.

  3. Site-Directed Mutagenesis and Structural Studies Suggest that the Germination Protease, GPR, in Spores of Bacillus Species Is an Atypical Aspartic Acid Protease

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Thomas M.; Setlow, Peter

    2005-01-01

    Germination protease (GPR) initiates the degradation of small, acid-soluble spore proteins (SASP) during germination of spores of Bacillus and Clostridium species. The GPR amino acid sequence is not homologous to members of the major protease families, and previous work has not identified residues involved in GPR catalysis. The current work has focused on identifying catalytically essential amino acids by mutagenesis of Bacillus megaterium gpr. A residue was selected for alteration if it (i) was conserved among spore-forming bacteria, (ii) was a potential nucleophile, and (iii) had not been ruled out as inessential for catalysis. GPR variants were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the active form (P41) was assayed for activity against SASP and the zymogen form (P46) was assayed for the ability to autoprocess to P41. Variants inactive against SASP and unable to autoprocess were analyzed by circular dichroism spectroscopy and multiangle laser light scattering to determine whether the variant's inactivity was due to loss of secondary or quaternary structure, respectively. Variation of D127 and D193, but no other residues, resulted in inactive P46 and P41, while variants of each form were well structured and tetrameric, suggesting that D127 and D193 are essential for activity and autoprocessing. Mapping these two aspartate residues and a highly conserved lysine onto the B. megaterium P46 crystal structure revealed a striking similarity to the catalytic residues and propeptide lysine of aspartic acid proteases. These data indicate that GPR is an atypical aspartic acid protease. PMID:16199582

  4. Analysis of Bacillus globigii spores by CE.

    PubMed

    Chichester, Kimberly D; Silcott, David B; Colyer, Christa L

    2008-02-01

    It is imperative in today's world that harmful airborne or solution-based microbes can be detected quickly and efficiently. Bacillus globigii (Bg) spores are used as a simulant for Bacillus anthracis (Ba) due to their similar shape, size, and cellular makeup. The utility of CE to separate and detect low levels of Bg spore concentrations will be evaluated. To differentiate spores from background particulates, several dyes, including fluorescamine, C-10, NN-127, Red-1c, and indocyanine green (ICG), were utilized as noncovalent labels for proteins on the Bg spore surface, as well as for HSA and homoserine standards. On-column labeling, with dye present in the running buffer, was utilized to obtain greater sensitivity and better separation. CE with LIF detection enables interactions between the dye and spore surface proteins to be observed, with enhanced fluorescence occurring upon binding of the dye to surface protein. Resulting electropherograms showed unique fingerprints for each dye with Bg spores. Migration times were under 10 min for all dye-spore complexes, with net mobilities ranging from 3.5x10(-4) to 6.9x10(-4) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and calibration curves yielded correlation coefficients of 0.98 or better for four of the dyes studied. PMID:18203249

  5. A Type III protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin system from Bacillus thuringiensis promotes plasmid retention during spore development.

    PubMed

    Short, Francesca L; Monson, Rita E; Salmond, George P C

    2015-01-01

    Members of the Bacillus cereus sensu lato group of bacteria often contain multiple large plasmids, including those encoding virulence factors in B. anthracis. Bacillus species can develop into spores in response to stress. During sporulation the genomic content of the cell is heavily compressed, which could result in counterselection of extrachromosomal genomic elements, unless they have robust stabilization and segregation systems. Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are near-ubiquitous in prokaryotes and have multiple biological roles, including plasmid stabilization during vegetative growth. Here, we have shown that a Type III TA system, based on an RNA antitoxin and endoribonuclease toxin, from plasmid pAW63 in Bacillus thuringiensis serovar kurstaki HD-73 can dramatically promote plasmid retention in populations undergoing sporulation and germination, and we provide evidence that this occurs through the post-segregational killing of plasmid-free forespores. Our findings show how an extremely common genetic module can be used to ensure plasmid maintenance during stress-induced developmental transitions, with implications for plasmid dynamics in B. cereus s.l. bacteria.

  6. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm; Paszczynski, Andrzej J

    2012-09-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present. PMID:22752169

  7. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm; Paszczynski, Andrzej J

    2012-09-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present.

  8. Protection of Bacillus pumilus Spores by Catalases

    PubMed Central

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032, isolated at spacecraft assembly facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is difficult to kill by the sterilization method of choice, which uses liquid or vapor hydrogen peroxide. We identified two manganese catalases, YjqC and BPUM_1305, in spore protein extracts of several B. pumilus strains by using PAGE and mass spectrometric analyses. While the BPUM_1305 catalase was present in six of the B. pumilus strains tested, YjqC was not detected in ATCC 7061 and BG-B79. Furthermore, both catalases were localized in the spore coat layer along with laccase and superoxide dismutase. Although the initial catalase activity in ATCC 7061 spores was higher, it was less stable over time than the SAFR-032 enzyme. We propose that synergistic activity of YjqC and BPUM_1305, along with other coat oxidoreductases, contributes to the enhanced resistance of B. pumilus spores to hydrogen peroxide. We observed that the product of the catalase reaction, gaseous oxygen, forms expanding vesicles on the spore surface, affecting the mechanical integrity of the coat layer, resulting in aggregation of the spores. The accumulation of oxygen gas and aggregations may play a crucial role in limiting further exposure of Bacilli spore surfaces to hydrogen peroxide or other toxic chemicals when water is present. PMID:22752169

  9. Cryopreservation of fern spores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spore banks for ferns are analogous to seed banks for angiosperms and provide a promising ex situ conservation tool because large quantities of germplasm with high genetic variation can be conserved in a small space with low economic and technical costs. Ferns produce two types of spores with very ...

  10. Rapid onsite assessment of spore viability.

    SciTech Connect

    Branda, Steven; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A.; Gaucher, Sara P.; Jokerst, Amanda S.

    2005-12-01

    This one year LDRD addresses problems of threat assessment and restoration of facilities following a bioterror incident like the incident that closed down mail facilities in late 2001. Facilities that are contaminated with pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis spores must be shut down while they are treated with a sporicidal agent and the effectiveness of the treatment is ascertained. This process involves measuring the viability of spore test strips, laid out in a grid throughout the facility; the CDC accepted methodologies require transporting the samples to a laboratory and carrying out a 48 hr outgrowth experiment. We proposed developing a technique that will ultimately lead to a fieldable microfluidic device that can rapidly assess (ideally less than 30 min) spore viability and effectiveness of sporicidal treatment, returning facilities to use in hours not days. The proposed method will determine viability of spores by detecting early protein synthesis after chemical germination. During this year, we established the feasibility of this approach and gathered preliminary results that should fuel a future more comprehensive effort. Such a proposal is currently under review with the NIH. Proteomic signatures of Bacillus spores and vegetative cells were assessed by both slab gel electrophoresis as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection. The conditions for germination using a number of chemical germinants were evaluated and optimized and the time course of protein synthesis was ascertained. Microseparations were carried out using both viable spores and spores inactivated by two different methods. A select number of the early synthesis proteins were digested into peptides for analysis by mass spectrometry.

  11. Crystal structure of an antifungal osmotin-like protein from Calotropis procera and its effects on Fusarium solani spores, as revealed by atomic force microscopy: Insights into the mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Marcio V; de Oliveira, Raquel S B; Pereira, Humberto M; Moreno, Frederico B M B; Lobo, Marina D P; Rebelo, Luciana M; Brandão-Neto, José; de Sousa, Jeanlex S; Monteiro-Moreira, Ana C O; Freitas, Cléverson D T; Grangeiro, Thalles Barbosa

    2015-11-01

    CpOsm is an antifungal osmotin/thaumatin-like protein purified from the latex of Calotropis procera. The protein is relatively thermostable and retains its antifungal activity over a wide pH range; therefore, it may be useful in the development of new antifungal drugs or transgenic crops with enhanced resistance to phytopathogenic fungi. To gain further insight into the mechanism of action of CpOsm, its three-dimensional structure was determined, and the effects of the protein on Fusarium solani spores were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The atomic structure of CpOsm was solved at a resolution of 1.61Å, and it contained 205 amino acid residues and 192 water molecules, with a final R-factor of 18.12% and an Rfree of 21.59%. The CpOsm structure belongs to the thaumatin superfamily fold and is characterized by three domains stabilized by eight disulfide bonds and a prominent charged cleft, which runs the length of the front side of the molecule. Similarly to other antifungal thaumatin-like proteins, the cleft of CpOsm is predominantly acidic. AFM images of F. solani spores treated with CpOsm resulted in striking morphological changes being induced by the protein. Spores treated with CpOsm were wrinkled, and the volume of these cells was reduced by approximately 80%. Treated cells were covered by a shell of CpOsm molecules, and the leakage of cytoplasmic content from these cells was also observed. Based on the structural features of CpOsm and the effects that the protein produces on F. solani spores, a possible mechanism of action is suggested and discussed.

  12. Crystal structure of an antifungal osmotin-like protein from Calotropis procera and its effects on Fusarium solani spores, as revealed by atomic force microscopy: Insights into the mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Marcio V; de Oliveira, Raquel S B; Pereira, Humberto M; Moreno, Frederico B M B; Lobo, Marina D P; Rebelo, Luciana M; Brandão-Neto, José; de Sousa, Jeanlex S; Monteiro-Moreira, Ana C O; Freitas, Cléverson D T; Grangeiro, Thalles Barbosa

    2015-11-01

    CpOsm is an antifungal osmotin/thaumatin-like protein purified from the latex of Calotropis procera. The protein is relatively thermostable and retains its antifungal activity over a wide pH range; therefore, it may be useful in the development of new antifungal drugs or transgenic crops with enhanced resistance to phytopathogenic fungi. To gain further insight into the mechanism of action of CpOsm, its three-dimensional structure was determined, and the effects of the protein on Fusarium solani spores were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The atomic structure of CpOsm was solved at a resolution of 1.61Å, and it contained 205 amino acid residues and 192 water molecules, with a final R-factor of 18.12% and an Rfree of 21.59%. The CpOsm structure belongs to the thaumatin superfamily fold and is characterized by three domains stabilized by eight disulfide bonds and a prominent charged cleft, which runs the length of the front side of the molecule. Similarly to other antifungal thaumatin-like proteins, the cleft of CpOsm is predominantly acidic. AFM images of F. solani spores treated with CpOsm resulted in striking morphological changes being induced by the protein. Spores treated with CpOsm were wrinkled, and the volume of these cells was reduced by approximately 80%. Treated cells were covered by a shell of CpOsm molecules, and the leakage of cytoplasmic content from these cells was also observed. Based on the structural features of CpOsm and the effects that the protein produces on F. solani spores, a possible mechanism of action is suggested and discussed. PMID:26456062

  13. Effects of alkaline pretreatments and acid extraction conditions on the acid-soluble collagen from grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) skin.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dasong; Wei, Guanmian; Li, Tiancheng; Hu, Jinhua; Lu, Naiyan; Regenstein, Joe M; Zhou, Peng

    2015-04-01

    This study investigated the effects of alkaline pretreatments and acid extraction conditions on the production of acid-soluble collagen (ASC) from grass carp skin. For alkaline pretreatment, 0.05 and 0.1M NaOH removed non-collagenous proteins without significant loss of ASC at 4, 10, 15 and 20 °C; while 0.2 and 0.5M NaOH caused significant loss of ASC, and 0.5M NaOH caused structural modification of ASC at 15 and 20 °C. For acid extraction at 4, 10, 15 and 20 °C, ASC was partly extracted by 0.1 and 0.2M acetic acid, while 0.5 and 1.0M acetic acid resulted in almost complete extraction. The processing conditions involving 0.05-0.1M NaOH for pretreatment, 0.5M acetic acid for extraction and 4-20 °C for both pretreatment and extraction, produced ASC with the structural integrity being well maintained and hence were recommended to prepare ASC from grass carp skin in practical application.

  14. A study of Ganoderma lucidum spores by FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin; Chen, Xianliang; Qi, Zeming; Liu, Xingcun; Li, Weizu; Wang, Shengyi

    2012-06-01

    In order to obtain unique information of Ganoderma lucidum spores, FTIR microspectroscopy was used to study G. lucidum spores from Anhui Province (A), Liaoning Province (B) and Shangdong Province (C) of China. IR micro-spectra were acquired with high-resolution and well-reproducibility. The IR spectra of G. lucidum spores from different areas were similar and mainly made up of the absorption bands of polysaccharide, sterols, proteins, fatty acids, etc. The results of curve fitting indicated the protein secondary structures were dissimilar among the above G. lucidum spores. To identify G. lucidum spores from different areas, the H1078/H1640 value might be a potentially useful factor, furthermore FTIR microspectroscopy could realize this identification efficiently with the help of hierarchical cluster analysis. The result indicates FTIR microspectroscopy is an efficient tool for identification of G. lucidum spores from different areas. The result also suggests FTIR microspectroscopy is a potentially useful tool for the study of TCM.

  15. Efficient binding of nickel ions to recombinant Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Hinc, Krzysztof; Ghandili, Soheila; Karbalaee, Gholamreza; Shali, Abbas; Noghabi, Kambiz Akbari; Ricca, Ezio; Ahmadian, Gholamreza

    2010-11-01

    We report the use of recombinant spores of Bacillus subtilis as a potential bioremediation tool for adsorption of nickel ions. The spore surface protein CotB, previously used for the display of heterologous antigens, was engineered to express eighteen histidine residues within the spore coat. Wild type and recombinant spores were then analyzed to assess their efficiency in adsorbing nickel ions, and the latter proved to be significantly more efficient than wild type spores in metal-binding. The quantities of spores used in the adsorption reaction significantly affected nickel binding, while other factors such as pH and temperature did not show relevant effects. In addition, simple washing procedures were used to partially release spore-bound nickel ions by wild type and recombinant spores. The efficiency of nickel binding, together with the simple purification procedure, the high robustness and safety of B. subtilis spores and the possibility of recovering bound nickel, makes the recombinant spore a new and potentially powerful tool for the treatment of contaminated ecosystems.

  16. The removal of kaolinite suspensions by acid-soluble and water-soluble chitosans.

    PubMed

    Chung, Ying-Chien; Wu, Li-Chun; Chen, Chih-Yu

    2013-01-01

    Chitosan is a potential substitute for traditional aluminium salts in water treatment systems. This research compared the coagulant performance of acid-soluble chitosan with water-soluble chitosan and with coagulant mixtures of chitosan and aluminium sulfate (alum). We also assessed the coagulant performance of chitosan and poly-aluminium chloride (PAC) to remove kaolinite from turbid water. In addition, we evaluated their respective coagulation efficiencies under different coagulant concentrations, degrees of turbidity (NTU) and pH levels. Furthermore, we determined the size and settling velocity of flocs formed by these coagulants in order to illustrate major factors affecting kaolinite coagulation. The optimal concentrations of acid- versus water- soluble chitosan required to remove kaolinite from a 300 NTU suspension were 4.0 and 10.0 mg/l, respectively-with individual efficiencies of 79.3 and 92.4%, in that order. Optimum concentrations ofwater-soluble chitosan demonstrated a broader range than that of acid-soluble chitosan. In addition, it is of note that chitosan/alum and chitosan/PAC water-soluble coagulant mixtures demonstrated much wider ranges of optimal concentrations for turbidity reduction than either alum or PAC alone. Moreover, our water-soluble chitosan coagulant mixtures produced denser floc with elevated settling velocities that favour cost savings relevant to both installation and operational expenses. Based on our observations of these noteworthy performances, we confidently propose that a coagulant mixture with a 1:1 mass ratio of chitosan and alum presents a remarkably more cost-effective alternative to the use of chitosan alone in water treatment systems. PMID:23530342

  17. Heat killing of bacterial spores analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry.

    PubMed Central

    Belliveau, B H; Beaman, T C; Pankratz, H S; Gerhardt, P

    1992-01-01

    Thermograms of the exosporium-lacking dormant spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 33729, obtained by differential scanning calorimetry, showed three major irreversible endothermic transitions with peaks at 56, 100, and 114 degrees C and a major irreversible exothermic transition with a peak at 119 degrees C. The 114 degrees C transition was identified with coat proteins, and the 56 degrees C transition was identified with heat inactivation. Thermograms of the germinated spores and vegetative cells were much alike, including an endothermic transition attributable to DNA. The ascending part of the main endothermic 100 degrees C transition in the dormant-spore thermograms corresponded to a first-order reaction and was correlated with spore death; i.e., greater than 99.9% of the spores were killed when the transition peak was reached. The maximum death rate of the dormant spores during calorimetry, calculated from separately measured D and z values, occurred at temperatures above the 73 degrees C onset of thermal denaturation and was equivalent to the maximum inactivation rate calculated for the critical target. Most of the spore killing occurred before the release of most of the dipicolinic acid and other intraprotoplast materials. The exothermic 119 degrees C transition was a consequence of the endothermic 100 degrees C transition and probably represented the aggregation of intraprotoplast spore components. Taken together with prior evidence, the results suggest that a crucial protein is the rate-limiting primary target in the heat killing of dormant bacterial spores. Images PMID:1624439

  18. The coagulation characteristics of humic acid by using acid-soluble chitosan, water-soluble chitosan, and chitosan coagulant mixtures.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chih-Yu; Wu, Chung-Yu; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2015-01-01

    Chitosan is a potential substitute for traditional aluminium salts in water treatment systems. This study compared the characteristics of humic acid (HA) removal by using acid-soluble chitosan, water-soluble chitosan, and coagulant mixtures of chitosan with aluminium sulphate (alum) or polyaluminium chloride (PACl). In addition, we evaluated their respective coagulation efficiencies at various coagulant concentrations, pH values, turbidities, and hardness levels. Furthermore, we determined the size and settling velocity of flocs formed by these coagulants to identify the major factors affecting HA coagulation. The coagulation efficiency of acid- and water-soluble chitosan for 15 mg/l of HA was 74.4% and 87.5%, respectively. The optimal coagulation range of water-soluble chitosan (9-20 mg/l) was broader than that of acid-soluble chitosan (4-8 mg/l). Notably, acid-soluble chitosan/PACl and water-soluble chitosan/alum coagulant mixtures exhibited a higher coagulation efficiency for HA than for PACl or alum alone. Furthermore, these coagulant mixtures yielded an acceptable floc settling velocity and savings in both installation and operational expenses. Based on these results, we confidently assert that coagulant mixtures with a 1:1 mass ratio of acid-soluble chitosan/PACl and water-soluble chitosan/alum provide a substantially more cost-effective alternative to using chitosan alone for removing HA from water. PMID:25362971

  19. Photocontrol of the Germination of Onoclea Spores

    PubMed Central

    Towill, Leslie R.; Ikuma, Hiroshi

    1975-01-01

    The changes in levels of metabolites during photoinduced germination of Onoclea sensibilis L. spores are described. Proteins and lipids, which constitute 25 and 20%, respectively, of the unimbibed spores on a dry weight basis, are hydrolyzed at the time of differentiation and elongation of the germling cells and may be utilized for these processes. Sucrose degradation, starch synthesis, and active respiration occur during dark imbibition, but these processes are accelerated by red or far red irradiation. Endogenous sucrose is the probable source of the carbon skeleton for starch synthesis. PMID:16659327

  20. Fifth international fungus spore conference

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

    This folio contains the proceedings of the Fifth International Fungal Spore Conference held August 17-21, 1991 at the Unicoi State Park at Helen, Georgia. The volume contains abstracts of each oral presentation as well as a collection of abstracts describing the poster sessions. Presentations were organized around the themes (1) Induction of Sporulation, (2) Nuclear Division, (3) Spore Formation, (4) Spore Release and Dispersal, and (4) Spore Germination.

  1. Acid-Soluble Nucleotides of Pinto Bean Leaves at Different Stages of Development 1

    PubMed Central

    Weinstein, L. H.; McCune, D. C.; Mancini, Jill F.; van Leuken, P.

    1969-01-01

    Acid-soluble nucleotides of unifoliate leaves of Pinto bean plants (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) were determined at young, mature, and senescent stages of development. At least 25 components could be distinguished on the basis of inorganic phosphorus determinations and 37 or more fractions on the basis of 32P labeling, with adenosine di- and triphosphates accounting for 60% of the total moles of nucleotide. The total nucleotide P and inorganic P, on a fresh weight basis, decreased about 44% between each stage of leaf development, but decrements in the levels of individual nucleotides varied from this over-all pattern. Minor changes in the relative abundance of the individual nucleotides accompanied aging although the percentage of purine-containing nucleotides decreased with age. Total 32P activity per leaf in the nucleotide pool increased about 3-fold between the young and mature leaves and decreased slightly as leaves became senescent. In general, the specific activities of the nucleotides increased with increased age and adenosine-, guanosine-, uridine-, and cytidine triphosphates and adenosine diphosphate accounted for approximately 90% of the total activity. The changes in the relative sizes and energy status of the nucleotide pools were not so obvious as the changes in other metabolites that have been reported to accompany aging in leaf tissue. PMID:16657232

  2. Anthrax Spores under a microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Anthrax spores are inactive forms of Bacillus anthracis. They can survive for decades inside a spore's tough protective coating; they become active when inhaled by humans. A result of NASA- and industry-sponsored research to develop small greenhouses for space research is the unique AiroCide TiO2 system that kills anthrax spores and other pathogens.

  3. Germination of Spores of Bacillus Species: What We Know and Do Not Know

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Spores of Bacillus species can remain in their dormant and resistant states for years, but exposure to agents such as specific nutrients can cause spores' return to life within minutes in the process of germination. This process requires a number of spore-specific proteins, most of which are in or associated with the inner spore membrane (IM). These proteins include the (i) germinant receptors (GRs) that respond to nutrient germinants, (ii) GerD protein, which is essential for GR-dependent germination, (iii) SpoVA proteins that form a channel in spores' IM through which the spore core's huge depot of dipicolinic acid is released during germination, and (iv) cortex-lytic enzymes (CLEs) that degrade the large peptidoglycan cortex layer, allowing the spore core to take up much water and swell, thus completing spore germination. While much has been learned about nutrient germination, major questions remain unanswered, including the following. (i) How do nutrient germinants penetrate through spores' outer layers to access GRs in the IM? (ii) What happens during the highly variable and often long lag period between the exposure of spores to nutrient germinants and the commitment of spores to germinate? (iii) What do GRs and GerD do, and how do these proteins interact? (iv) What is the structure of the SpoVA channel in spores' IM, and how is this channel gated? (v) What is the precise state of the spore IM, which has a number of novel properties even though its lipid composition is very similar to that of growing cells? (vi) How is CLE activity regulated such that these enzymes act only when germination has been initiated? (vii) And finally, how does the germination of spores of clostridia compare with that of spores of bacilli? PMID:24488313

  4. [Identification and characterization of the outermost layer of Bacillus subtilis spores].

    PubMed

    Imamura, Daisuke

    2012-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis forms spores when conditions are unsuitable for growth. The spores are encased in a multilayered shell that includes a cortex and a spore coat, and remain viable for long periods in the harsh environment. In the present article, recent progress in our understanding of the outer structure of B. subtilis spores is reviewed in the Japanese language. Although spore coat assembly involves the deposition of at least 70 distinct protein species, the positions of most of such proteins have not been experimentally determined. To this end, the diameters of the protein layers and spores were measured using fluorescence microscopy and then the positions of proteins in the spore coat of B. subtilis spores were estimated. The locations of 16 proteins were determined using this method. One protein was assigned to the cortex, nine to the inner coat, and four to the outer coat. Further, two proteins, CgeA and CotZ, were assigned to a previously unidentified outermost layer. McKenney et al. have also identified the outermost layer using a similar method; the layer was termed the "crust". Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the crust is indeed the most external layer of B. subtilis spores. Mutational analysis indicated that all genes in the cotVWXYZ cluster were involved in spore crust synthesis and that CotY and CotZ played critical roles in crust formation. PMID:22864350

  5. [Identification and characterization of the outermost layer of Bacillus subtilis spores].

    PubMed

    Imamura, Daisuke

    2012-01-01

    The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis forms spores when conditions are unsuitable for growth. The spores are encased in a multilayered shell that includes a cortex and a spore coat, and remain viable for long periods in the harsh environment. In the present article, recent progress in our understanding of the outer structure of B. subtilis spores is reviewed in the Japanese language. Although spore coat assembly involves the deposition of at least 70 distinct protein species, the positions of most of such proteins have not been experimentally determined. To this end, the diameters of the protein layers and spores were measured using fluorescence microscopy and then the positions of proteins in the spore coat of B. subtilis spores were estimated. The locations of 16 proteins were determined using this method. One protein was assigned to the cortex, nine to the inner coat, and four to the outer coat. Further, two proteins, CgeA and CotZ, were assigned to a previously unidentified outermost layer. McKenney et al. have also identified the outermost layer using a similar method; the layer was termed the "crust". Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the crust is indeed the most external layer of B. subtilis spores. Mutational analysis indicated that all genes in the cotVWXYZ cluster were involved in spore crust synthesis and that CotY and CotZ played critical roles in crust formation.

  6. The Bacillus subtilis spore coat provides "eat resistance" during phagocytic predation by the protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila.

    PubMed

    Klobutcher, Lawrence A; Ragkousi, Katerina; Setlow, Peter

    2006-01-01

    Bacillus spores are highly resistant to many environmental stresses, owing in part to the presence of multiple "extracellular" layers. Although the role of some of these extracellular layers in resistance to particular stresses is known, the function of one of the outermost layers, the spore coat, is not completely understood. This study sought to determine whether the spore coat plays a role in resistance to predation by the ciliated protozoan Tetrahymena, which uses phagocytosis to ingest and degrade other microorganisms. Wild-type dormant spores of Bacillus subtilis were efficiently ingested by the protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila but were neither digested nor killed. However, spores with various coat defects were killed and digested, leaving only an outer shell termed a rind, and supporting the growth of Tetrahymena. A similar rind was generated when coat-defective spores were treated with lysozyme alone. The sensitivity of spores with different coat defects to predation by T. thermophila paralleled the spores' sensitivities to lysozyme. Spore killing by T. thermophila was by means of lytic enzymes within the protozoal phagosome, not by initial spore germination followed by killing. These findings suggest that a major function of the coat of spores of Bacillus species is to protect spores against predation. We also found that indigestible rinds were generated even from spores in which cross-linking of coat proteins was greatly reduced, implying the existence of a coat structure that is highly resistant to degradative enzymes.

  7. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  8. Binding Affinity of Glycoconjugates to BACILLUS Spores and Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasol, Aveen; Eassa, Souzan; Tarasenko, Olga

    2010-04-01

    Early recognition of Bacillus cereus group species is important since they can cause food-borne illnesses and deadly diseases in humans. Glycoconjugates (GCs) are carbohydrates covalently linked to non-sugar moieties including lipids, proteins or other entities. GCs are involved in recognition and signaling processes intrinsic to biochemical functions in cells. They also stimulate cell-cell adhesion and subsequent recognition and activation of receptors. We have demonstrated that GCs are involved in Bacillus cereus spore recognition. In the present study, we have investigated whether GCs possess the ability to bind and recognize B. cereus spores and Bacillus anthracis recombinant single toxins (sTX) and complex toxins (cTX). The affinity of GCs to spores + sTX and spores + cTX toxins was studied in the binding essay. Our results demonstrated that GC9 and GC10 were able to selectively bind to B. cereus spores and B. anthracis toxins. Different binding affinities for GCs were found toward Bacillus cereus spores + sTX and spores + cTX. Dilution of GCs does not impede the recognition and binding. Developed method provides a tool for simultaneous recognition and targeting of spores, bacteria toxins, and/or other entities.

  9. Thermal Spore Exposure Vessels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaudet, Robert A.; Kempf, Michael; Kirschner, Larry

    2006-01-01

    Thermal spore exposure vessels (TSEVs) are laboratory containers designed for use in measuring rates of death or survival of microbial spores at elevated temperatures. A major consideration in the design of a TSEV is minimizing thermal mass in order to minimize heating and cooling times. This is necessary in order to minimize the number of microbes killed before and after exposure at the test temperature, so that the results of the test accurately reflect the effect of the test temperature. A typical prototype TSEV (see figure) includes a flat-bottomed stainless-steel cylinder 4 in. (10.16 cm) long, 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) in diameter, having a wall thickness of 0.010 plus or minus 0.002 in. (0.254 plus or minus 0.051 mm). Microbial spores are deposited in the bottom of the cylinder, then the top of the cylinder is closed with a sterile rubber stopper. Hypodermic needles are used to puncture the rubber stopper to evacuate the inside of the cylinder or to purge the inside of the cylinder with a gas. In a typical application, the inside of the cylinder is purged with dry nitrogen prior to a test. During a test, the lower portion of the cylinder is immersed in a silicone-oil bath that has been preheated to and maintained at the test temperature. Test temperatures up to 220 C have been used. Because the spores are in direct contact with the thin cylinder wall, they quickly become heated to the test temperature.

  10. New Rapid Spore Assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catharine

    2012-07-01

    The presentation will detail approved Planetary Protection specifications for the Rapid Spore Assay for spacecraft components and subsystems. Outlined will be the research and studies on which the specifications were based. The research, funded by ESA and NASA/JPL, was conducted over a period of two years and was followed by limited cleanroom studies to assess the feasibility of this assay during spacecraft assembly.

  11. New amino acid germinants for spores of the enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens type A isolates.

    PubMed

    Udompijitkul, Pathima; Alnoman, Maryam; Banawas, Saeed; Paredes-Sabja, Daniel; Sarker, Mahfuzur R

    2014-12-01

    Clostridium perfringens spore germination plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of C. perfringens-associated food poisoning (FP) and non-food-borne (NFB) gastrointestinal diseases. Germination is initiated when bacterial spores sense specific nutrient germinants (such as amino acids) through germinant receptors (GRs). In this study, we aimed to identify and characterize amino acid germinants for spores of enterotoxigenic C. perfringens type A. The polar, uncharged amino acids at pH 6.0 efficiently induced germination of C. perfringens spores; L-asparagine, L-cysteine, L-serine, and L-threonine triggered germination of spores of most FP and NFB isolates; whereas, L-glutamine was a unique germinant for FP spores. For cysteine- or glutamine-induced germination, gerKC spores (spores of a gerKC mutant derivative of FP strain SM101) germinated to a significantly lower extent and released less DPA than wild type spores; however, a less defective germination phenotype was observed in gerAA or gerKB spores. The germination defects in gerKC spores were partially restored by complementing the gerKC mutant with a recombinant plasmid carrying wild-type gerKA-KC, indicating that GerKC is an essential GR protein. The gerKA, gerKC, and gerKB spores germinated significantly slower with L-serine and L-threonine than their parental strain, suggesting the requirement for these GR proteins for normal germination of C. perfringens spores. In summary, these results indicate that the polar, uncharged amino acids at pH 6.0 are effective germinants for spores of C. perfringens type A and that GerKC is the main GR protein for germination of spores of FP strain SM101 with L-cysteine, L-glutamine, and L-asparagine.

  12. Spore collection and elimination apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Czajkowski, Carl; Warren, Barbara Panessa

    2007-04-03

    The present invention is for a spore collection apparatus and its method of use. The portable spore collection apparatus includes a suction source, a nebulizer, an ionization chamber and a filter canister. The suction source collects the spores from a surface. The spores are activated by heating whereby spore dormancy is broken. Moisture is then applied to the spores to begin germination. The spores are then exposed to alpha particles causing extinction.

  13. Bacillus subtilis spores as adjuvants for DNA vaccines.

    PubMed

    Aps, Luana R M M; Diniz, Mariana O; Porchia, Bruna F M M; Sales, Natiely S; Moreno, Ana Carolina R; Ferreira, Luís C S

    2015-05-11

    Recently, Bacillus subtilis spores were shown to be endowed with strong adjuvant capacity when co-administered with purified antigenic proteins. In the present study we assessed whether spores possess adjuvant properties when combined with DNA vaccines. We showed that B. subtilis spores promoted the activation of dendritic cells in vitro and induced migration of pro-inflammatory cells after parenteral administration to mice. Likewise, co-administration of spores with a DNA vaccine encoding the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7 protein enhanced the activation of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in vivo. Mice immunized with the DNA vaccine admixed with spores presented a protective immunity increase to previously implanted tumor cells, capable of expressing HPV-16 oncoproteins. Finally, we observed that the adjuvant effect can vary accordingly to the number of co-administered spores which may be ascribed with the ability to induce. Collectively, the present results demonstrate for the first time that B. subtilis spores can also confer adjuvant effects to DNA vaccines.

  14. Comparative analysis of Bacillus subtilis spores and monophosphoryl lipid A as adjuvants of protein-based mycobacterium tuberculosis-based vaccines: partial requirement for interleukin-17a for induction of protective immunity.

    PubMed

    Esparza-Gonzalez, Sandra C; Troy, Amber R; Izzo, Angelo A

    2014-04-01

    The development of adjuvants for vaccines has become an important area of research as the number of protein-based vaccines against infectious pathogens increases. Currently, there are a number of adjuvant-based Mycobacterium tuberculosis vaccines in clinical trials that have shown efficacy in animal models. Despite these novel adjuvants, there is still a need to design new and more versatile adjuvants that have minimal adverse side effects but produce robust long-lasting adaptive immune responses. To this end, we hypothesized that Bacillus subtilis spores may provide the appropriate innate signals that are required to generate such vaccine-mediated responses, which would be sufficient to reduce the mycobacterial burden after infection with M. tuberculosis. In addition, we compared the response generated by B. subtilis spores to that generated by monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), which has been used extensively to test tuberculosis vaccines. The well-characterized, 6-kDa early secretory antigenic target of M. tuberculosis (ESAT-6; Rv3875) was used as a test antigen to determine the T cell activation potential of each adjuvant. Inoculated into mice, B. subtilis spores induced a strong proinflammatory response and Th1 immunity, similar to MPL; however, unlike MPL formulated with dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) bromide, it failed to induce significant levels of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) and was unable to significantly reduce the mycobacterial burden after pulmonary infection with M. tuberculosis. Further analysis of the activity of MPL-DDA suggested that IL-17A was required for protective immunity. Taken together, the data emphasize the requirement for a network of cytokines that are essential for protective immunity.

  15. Comparative Analysis of Bacillus subtilis Spores and Monophosphoryl Lipid A as Adjuvants of Protein-Based Mycobacterium tuberculosis-Based Vaccines: Partial Requirement for Interleukin-17A for Induction of Protective Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Esparza-Gonzalez, Sandra C.; Troy, Amber R.

    2014-01-01

    The development of adjuvants for vaccines has become an important area of research as the number of protein-based vaccines against infectious pathogens increases. Currently, there are a number of adjuvant-based Mycobacterium tuberculosis vaccines in clinical trials that have shown efficacy in animal models. Despite these novel adjuvants, there is still a need to design new and more versatile adjuvants that have minimal adverse side effects but produce robust long-lasting adaptive immune responses. To this end, we hypothesized that Bacillus subtilis spores may provide the appropriate innate signals that are required to generate such vaccine-mediated responses, which would be sufficient to reduce the mycobacterial burden after infection with M. tuberculosis. In addition, we compared the response generated by B. subtilis spores to that generated by monophosphoryl lipid A (MPL), which has been used extensively to test tuberculosis vaccines. The well-characterized, 6-kDa early secretory antigenic target of M. tuberculosis (ESAT-6; Rv3875) was used as a test antigen to determine the T cell activation potential of each adjuvant. Inoculated into mice, B. subtilis spores induced a strong proinflammatory response and Th1 immunity, similar to MPL; however, unlike MPL formulated with dimethyldioctadecylammonium (DDA) bromide, it failed to induce significant levels of interleukin-17A (IL-17A) and was unable to significantly reduce the mycobacterial burden after pulmonary infection with M. tuberculosis. Further analysis of the activity of MPL-DDA suggested that IL-17A was required for protective immunity. Taken together, the data emphasize the requirement for a network of cytokines that are essential for protective immunity. PMID:24477855

  16. Enhanced Spore Biomarker Detection Following Laser Induced Lysis

    SciTech Connect

    Wunschel, David S.; Beck, Kenneth M.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2002-12-01

    Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) has grown in popularity as a means to rapidly analyze proteins directly from bacterial cells. This method provides identifying information by generating protein ?fingerprints? for each organism. However, generating rich protein fingerprints from spores, such as from the genus Bacillus, has proven difficult. We have examined the use of laser energy to induce spore lysis and increase the protein signature complexity. As a measure of lysis, the ions from calcium and dipicolinic acid (DPA) were monitored along with the higher m/z protein ions. DPA is a known marker of eubacterial spores usually as a complex with calcium. This is in contrast to the abundant geogenic calcium complexes with carbonate among other forms. A combination of general bacterial markers, DPA and calcium, and protein fingerprints can be used to provide complementary biomarkers from a single sample preparation.

  17. Cytological and proteomic analyses of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) spore germination.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qi; Gao, Jing; Suo, Jinwei; Chen, Sixue; Wang, Tai; Dai, Shaojun

    2015-01-01

    Spermatophyte pollen tubes and root hairs have been used as single-cell-type model systems to understand the molecular processes underlying polar growth of plant cells. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) is a perennial herb species in Equisetopsida, which creates separately growing spring and summer stems in its life cycle. The mature chlorophyllous spores produced from spring stems can germinate without dormancy. Here we report the cellular features and protein expression patterns in five stages of horsetail spore germination (mature spores, rehydrated spores, double-celled spores, germinated spores, and spores with protonemal cells). Using 2-DE combined with mass spectrometry, 80 proteins were found to be abundance changed upon spore germination. Among them, proteins involved in photosynthesis, protein turnover, and energy supply were over-represented. Thirteen proteins appeared as proteoforms on the gels, indicating the potential importance of post-translational modification. In addition, the dynamic changes of ascorbate peroxidase, peroxiredoxin, and dehydroascorbate reductase implied that reactive oxygen species homeostasis is critical in regulating cell division and tip-growth. The time course of germination and diverse expression patterns of proteins in photosynthesis, energy supply, lipid and amino acid metabolism indicated that heterotrophic and autotrophic metabolism were necessary in light-dependent germination of the spores. Twenty-six proteins were involved in protein synthesis, folding, and degradation, indicating that protein turnover is vital to spore germination and rhizoid tip-growth. Furthermore, the altered abundance of 14-3-3 protein, small G protein Ran, actin, and caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase revealed that signaling transduction, vesicle trafficking, cytoskeleton dynamics, and cell wall modulation were critical to cell division and polar growth. These findings lay a foundation toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying fern

  18. Cytological and proteomic analyses of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) spore germination

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Qi; Gao, Jing; Suo, Jinwei; Chen, Sixue; Wang, Tai; Dai, Shaojun

    2015-01-01

    Spermatophyte pollen tubes and root hairs have been used as single-cell-type model systems to understand the molecular processes underlying polar growth of plant cells. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) is a perennial herb species in Equisetopsida, which creates separately growing spring and summer stems in its life cycle. The mature chlorophyllous spores produced from spring stems can germinate without dormancy. Here we report the cellular features and protein expression patterns in five stages of horsetail spore germination (mature spores, rehydrated spores, double-celled spores, germinated spores, and spores with protonemal cells). Using 2-DE combined with mass spectrometry, 80 proteins were found to be abundance changed upon spore germination. Among them, proteins involved in photosynthesis, protein turnover, and energy supply were over-represented. Thirteen proteins appeared as proteoforms on the gels, indicating the potential importance of post-translational modification. In addition, the dynamic changes of ascorbate peroxidase, peroxiredoxin, and dehydroascorbate reductase implied that reactive oxygen species homeostasis is critical in regulating cell division and tip-growth. The time course of germination and diverse expression patterns of proteins in photosynthesis, energy supply, lipid and amino acid metabolism indicated that heterotrophic and autotrophic metabolism were necessary in light-dependent germination of the spores. Twenty-six proteins were involved in protein synthesis, folding, and degradation, indicating that protein turnover is vital to spore germination and rhizoid tip-growth. Furthermore, the altered abundance of 14-3-3 protein, small G protein Ran, actin, and caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase revealed that signaling transduction, vesicle trafficking, cytoskeleton dynamics, and cell wall modulation were critical to cell division and polar growth. These findings lay a foundation toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying fern

  19. Genome Diversity of Spore-Forming Firmicutes

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Formation of heat-resistant endospores is a specific property of the members of the phylum Firmicutes (low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria). It is found in representatives of four different classes of Firmicutes: Bacilli, Clostridia, Erysipelotrichia, and Negativicutes, which all encode similar sets of core sporulation proteins. Each of these classes also includes non-spore-forming organisms that sometimes belong to the same genus or even species as their spore-forming relatives. This chapter reviews the diversity of the members of phylum Firmicutes, its current taxonomy, and the status of genome sequencing projects for various subgroups within the phylum. It also discusses the evolution of the Firmicutes from their apparently spore-forming common ancestor and the independent loss of sporulation genes in several different lineages (staphylococci, streptococci, listeria, lactobacilli, ruminococci) in the course of their adaptation to the saprophytic lifestyle in nutrient-rich environment. It argues that systematics of Firmicutes is a rapidly developing area of research that benefits from the evolutionary approaches to the ever-increasing amount of genomic and phenotypic data and allows arranging these data into a common framework. Later the Bacillus filaments begin to prepare for spore formation. In their homogenous contents strongly refracting bodies appear. From each of these bodies develops an oblong or shortly cylindrical, strongly refracting, dark-rimmed spore. Ferdinand Cohn. 1876. Untersuchungen über Bacterien. IV. Beiträge zur Biologie der Bacillen. Beiträge zur Biologie der Pflanzen, vol. 2, pp. 249–276. (Studies on the biology of the bacilli. In: Milestones in Microbiology: 1546 to 1940. Translated and edited by Thomas D. Brock. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1961, pp. 49–56). PMID:26184964

  20. Gut adhesive Bacillus subtilis spores as a platform for mucosal delivery of antigens.

    PubMed

    Tavares Batista, Milene; Souza, Renata D; Paccez, Juliano D; Luiz, Wilson B; Ferreira, Ewerton L; Cavalcante, Rafael C M; Ferreira, Rita C C; Ferreira, Luís C S

    2014-04-01

    Bacillus subtilis spores have been used as safe and heat-resistant antigen delivery vectors. Nonetheless, the oral administration of spores typically induces weak immune responses to the passenger antigens, which may be attributed to the fast transit through the gastrointestinal tract. To overcome this limitation, we have developed B. subtilis spores capable of binding to the gut epithelium by means of expressing bacterial adhesins on the spore surface. The resulting spores bound to in vitro intestinal cells, showed a longer transit through the mouse intestinal tract, and interacted with Peyer's patch cells. The adhesive spores increased the systemic and secreted antibody responses to the Streptococcus mutans P1 protein, used as a model antigen, following oral, intranasal, and sublingual administration. Additionally, P1-specific antibodies efficiently inhibited the adhesion of the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans to abiotic surfaces. These results support the use of gut-colonizing B. subtilis spores as a new platform for the mucosal delivery of vaccine antigens.

  1. "Spore" and the Sociocultural Moment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, W. Max

    2012-01-01

    Analyses of the game "Spore" have centered on the important issues of accuracy of evolution content and engendering interest in science. This paper suggests that examination of the degree of scaffolding necessary to use the game in pedagogy is a missing part of the discussion, and then questions the longevity of the "Spore" discussion relative to…

  2. Proteomic and genomic characterization of highly infectious Clostridium difficile 630 spores.

    PubMed

    Lawley, Trevor D; Croucher, Nicholas J; Yu, Lu; Clare, Simon; Sebaihia, Mohammed; Goulding, David; Pickard, Derek J; Parkhill, Julian; Choudhary, Jyoti; Dougan, Gordon

    2009-09-01

    Clostridium difficile, a major cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, produces highly resistant spores that contaminate hospital environments and facilitate efficient disease transmission. We purified C. difficile spores using a novel method and show that they exhibit significant resistance to harsh physical or chemical treatments and are also highly infectious, with <7 environmental spores per cm(2) reproducibly establishing a persistent infection in exposed mice. Mass spectrometric analysis identified approximately 336 spore-associated polypeptides, with a significant proportion linked to translation, sporulation/germination, and protein stabilization/degradation. In addition, proteins from several distinct metabolic pathways associated with energy production were identified. Comparison of the C. difficile spore proteome to those of other clostridial species defined 88 proteins as the clostridial spore "core" and 29 proteins as C. difficile spore specific, including proteins that could contribute to spore-host interactions. Thus, our results provide the first molecular definition of C. difficile spores, opening up new opportunities for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. PMID:19542279

  3. Spore formation and toxin production in Clostridium difficile biofilms.

    PubMed

    Semenyuk, Ekaterina G; Laning, Michelle L; Foley, Jennifer; Johnston, Pehga F; Knight, Katherine L; Gerding, Dale N; Driks, Adam

    2014-01-01

    The ability to grow as a biofilm can facilitate survival of bacteria in the environment and promote infection. To better characterize biofilm formation in the pathogen Clostridium difficile, we established a colony biofilm culture method for this organism on a polycarbonate filter, and analyzed the matrix and the cells in biofilms from a variety of clinical isolates over several days of biofilm culture. We found that biofilms readily formed in all strains analyzed, and that spores were abundant within about 6 days. We also found that extracellular DNA (eDNA), polysaccharide and protein was readily detected in the matrix of all strains, including the major toxins A and/or B, in toxigenic strains. All the strains we analyzed formed spores. Apart from strains 630 and VPI10463, which sporulated in the biofilm at relatively low frequencies, the frequencies of biofilm sporulation varied between 46 and 65%, suggesting that variations in sporulation levels among strains is unlikely to be a major factor in variation in the severity of disease. Spores in biofilms also had reduced germination efficiency compared to spores obtained by a conventional sporulation protocol. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that in 3 day-old biofilms, the outermost structure of the spore is a lightly staining coat. However, after 6 days, material that resembles cell debris in the matrix surrounds the spore, and darkly staining granules are closely associated with the spores surface. In 14 day-old biofilms, relatively few spores are surrounded by the apparent cell debris, and the surface-associated granules are present at higher density at the coat surface. Finally, we showed that biofilm cells possess 100-fold greater resistance to the antibiotic metronidazole then do cells cultured in liquid media. Taken together, our data suggest that C. difficile cells and spores in biofilms have specialized properties that may facilitate infection.

  4. Architecture and High-Resolution Structure of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus Spore Coat Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T; Wheeler, K; Malkin, A

    2005-02-18

    We have utilized atomic force microscopy (AFM) to visualize the native surface topology and ultrastructure of Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus cereus spores in water and in air. AFM was able to resolve the nanostructure of the exosporium and three distinctive classes of appendages. Removal of the exosporium exposed either a hexagonal honeycomb layer (B. thuringiensis) or a rodlet outer spore coat layer (B. cereus). Removal of the rodlet structure from B. cereus spores revealed an underlying honeycomb layer similar to that observed with B. thuringiensis spores. The periodicity of the rodlet structure on the outer spore coat of B. cereus was {approx}8 nm, and the length of the rodlets was limited to the cross-patched domain structure of this layer to {approx}200 nm. The lattice constant of the honeycomb structures was {approx}9 nm for both B. cereus and B. thuringiensis spores. Both honeycomb structures were composed of multiple, disoriented domains with distinct boundaries. Our results demonstrate that variations in storage and preparation procedures result in architectural changes in individual spore surfaces, which establish AFM as a useful tool for evaluation of preparation and processing ''fingerprints'' of bacterial spores. These results establish that high-resolution AFM has the capacity to reveal species-specific assembly and nanometer scale structure of spore surfaces. These species-specific spore surface structural variations are correlated with sequence divergences in a spore core structural protein SspE.

  5. Heat-induced temperature sensitivity of outgrowing Bacillus cereus spores.

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, K M; Busta, F F

    1984-01-01

    Inactivation of Bacillus cereus spores during cooling (10 degrees C/h) from 90 degrees C occurred in two phases. One phase occurred during cooling from 90 to 80 degrees C; the second occurred during cooling from 46 to 38 degrees C. In contrast, no inactivation occurred when spores were cooled from a maximum temperature of 80 degrees C. Inactivation of spores at a constant temperature of 45 degrees C was induced by initial heat treatments from 80 to 90 degrees C. The higher temperatures accelerated the rate of inactivation. Germination of spores was required for 45 degrees C inactivation to occur; however, faster germination was not the cause of accelerated inactivation of spores receiving higher initial heat treatments. Repair of possible injury was not observed in Trypticase soy broth (BBL Microbiology Systems), peptone, beef extract, starch, or L-alanine at 30 or 35 degrees C. Microscopic evaluation of spores outgrowing at 45 degrees C revealed that when inactivation occurred, outgrowth halted at the swelling stage. Inhibition of protein synthesis by chloramphenicol at the optimum temperature also stopped outgrowth at swelling; thus protein synthesis may play a role in the 45 degree C inactivation mechanism. PMID:6426390

  6. Spore-displayed streptavidin: A live diagnostic tool in biotechnology

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, June-Hyung; Lee, Chang-Soo; Kim, Byung-Gee . E-mail: byungkim@snu.ac.kr

    2005-05-27

    Streptavidin, which is one of the most widely used proteins in biotechnological application field and is active only in tetrameric form, was surface expressed on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spore. Spore coat protein of B. subtilis, CotG, was used as an anchoring motif to display streptavidin. FACS using anti-streptavidin antibody was used for the verification of surface localization of expressed CotG-streptavidin fusion protein. FACS and dot-blot were used for the verification of biological activity of displayed streptavidin with FITC-labeled biotin.

  7. Vacuum-induced Mutations In Bacillus Subtilis Spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munakata, N.; Maeda, M.; Hieda, K.

    During irradiation experiments with vacuum-UV radiation using synchrotron sources, we made unexpected observation that Bacillus subtilis spores of several recombination-deficient strains lost colony-forming ability by the exposure to high vacuum alone. Since this suggested the possible injury in spore DNA, we looked for mutation induction using the spores of strains HA101 (wild-type repair capability) and TKJ6312 (excision and spore repair deficient) that did not lose survivability. It was found that the frequency of nalidixic-acid resistant mutation increased several times in both of these strains by the exposure to high vacuum (10e-4 Pa after 24 hours). The analysis of sequence changes in gyrA gene showed that the majority of mutations carried a unique allele (gyrA12) of tandem double-base substitutions from CA to TT. The observation has been extended to rifampicin resistant mutations, the majority of that carried substitutions from CA to TT or AT in rpoB gene. On the other hand, when the spores of strains PS578 and PS2319 (obtained from P. Setlow) that are defective in a group of small acidic proteins (alpha/beta-type SASP) were similarly treated, none of the mutants analyzed carried such changes. This suggests that the unique mutations might be induced by the interaction of small acidic proteins with spore DNA under forced dehydration. The results indicate that extreme vacuum causes severe damage in spore DNA, and provide additional constraint to the long-term survival of bacterial spores in the space environment.

  8. Influence of certain essential oils on carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes and acid-soluble sulfhydryls in mouse liver.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, S; Sharma, R; Kale, R K; Rao, A R

    1994-01-01

    The influence of essential oils from naturally occurring plant dietary items such as cardamom, celery seed, cumin seed, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, and zanthoxylum on the activities of hepatic carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes (cytochrome P450, aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, and glutathione S-transferase) and acid-soluble sulfhydryl level was investigated in Swiss albino mice. Each oil was fed by gavage at 10 microliters/day for 14 days, and then the animals were sacrificed and their hepatic enzyme activities and sulfhydryl levels were evaluated. Only nutmeg and zanthoxylum oils induced cytochrome P450 level significantly (p < 0.05), whereas cardamom oil caused a significant reduction in its activity (p < 0.05). Furthermore, aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity was significantly elevated only by treatment with ginger oil (p < 0.01), whereas nutmeg oil caused a significant reduction in its activity (p < 0.01). The remaining oils did not significantly alter the level of cytochrome P450 and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity. Glutathione S-transferase activity was significantly elevated in all experimental groups (p < 0.1-p < 0.001) compared with controls. The acid-soluble sulfhydryl was significantly elevated only by the essential oils of cardamom (p < 0.05), nutmeg (p < 0.05), and zanthoxylum (p < 0.01). Our observations suggest that intake of essential oils affects the host enzymes associated with activation and detoxication of xenobiotic compounds, including chemical carcinogens and mutagens. PMID:8072879

  9. Involvement of alanine racemase in germination of Bacillus cereus spores lacking an intact exosporium.

    PubMed

    Venir, Elena; Del Torre, Manuela; Cunsolo, Vincenzo; Saletti, Rosaria; Musetti, Rita; Stecchini, Mara Lucia

    2014-02-01

    The L-alanine mediated germination of food isolated Bacillus cereus DSA 1 spores, which lacked an intact exosporium, increased in the presence of D-cycloserine (DCS), which is an alanine racemase (Alr) inhibitor, reflecting the activity of the Alr enzyme, capable of converting L-alanine to the germination inhibitor D-alanine. Proteomic analysis of the alkaline extracts of the spore proteins, which include exosporium and coat proteins, confirmed that Alr was present in the B. cereus DSA 1 spores and matched to that encoded by B. cereus ATCC 14579, whose spore germination was strongly affected by the block of conversion of L- to D-alanine. Unlike ATCC 14579 spores, L-alanine germination of B. cereus DSA 1 spores was not affected by the preincubation with DCS, suggesting a lack of restriction in the reactant accessibility.

  10. Bacterial spores as particulate carriers for gene gun delivery of plasmid DNA.

    PubMed

    Aps, Luana R M M; Tavares, Milene B; Rozenfeld, Julio H K; Lamy, M Teresa; Ferreira, Luís C S; Diniz, Mariana O

    2016-06-20

    Bacillus subtilis spores represent a suitable platform for the adsorption of proteins, enzymes and viral particles at physiological conditions. In the present work, we demonstrate that purified spores can also adsorb DNA on their surface after treatment with cationic molecules. In addition, we demonstrate that DNA-coated B. subtilis spores can be used as particulate carriers and act as an alternative to gold microparticles for the biolistic (gene gun) administration of plasmid DNA in mice. Gene gun delivery of spores pre-treated with DODAB (dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide) allowed efficient plasmid DNA absorption and induced protein expression levels similar to those obtained with gold microparticles. More importantly, we demonstrated that a DNA vaccine adsorbed on spores can be loaded into biolistic cartridges and efficiently delivered into mice, which induced specific cellular and antibody responses. Altogether, these data indicate that B. subtilis spores represent a simple and low cost alternative for the in vivo delivery of DNA vaccines by the gene gun technology.

  11. Hydrazine vapor inactivates Bacillus spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, Wayne W.; Engler, Diane L.; Beaudet, Robert A.

    2016-05-01

    NASA policy restricts the total number of bacterial spores that can remain on a spacecraft traveling to any planetary body which might harbor life or have evidence of past life. Hydrazine, N2H4, is commonly used as a propellant on spacecraft. Hydrazine as a liquid is known to inactivate bacterial spores. We have now verified that hydrazine vapor also inactivates bacterial spores. After Bacillus atrophaeus ATCC 9372 spores deposited on stainless steel coupons were exposed to saturated hydrazine vapor in closed containers, the spores were recovered from the coupons, serially diluted, pour plated and the surviving bacterial colonies were counted. The exposure times required to reduce the spore population by a factor of ten, known as the D-value, were 4.70 ± 0.50 h at 25 °C and 2.85 ± 0.13 h at 35 °C. These inactivation rates are short enough to ensure that the bioburden of the surfaces and volumes would be negligible after prolonged exposure to hydrazine vapor. Thus, all the propellant tubing and internal tank surfaces exposed to hydrazine vapor do not contribute to the total spore count.

  12. Characterization of Clostridium difficile Spores Lacking Either SpoVAC or Dipicolinic Acid Synthetase

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, M. Lauren; Fimlaid, Kelly A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The spore-forming obligate anaerobe Clostridium difficile is a leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea around the world. In order for C. difficile to cause infection, its metabolically dormant spores must germinate in the gastrointestinal tract. During germination, spores degrade their protective cortex peptidoglycan layers, release dipicolinic acid (DPA), and hydrate their cores. In C. difficile, cortex hydrolysis is necessary for DPA release, whereas in Bacillus subtilis, DPA release is necessary for cortex hydrolysis. Given this difference, we tested whether DPA synthesis and/or release was required for C. difficile spore germination by constructing mutations in either spoVAC or dpaAB, which encode an ion channel predicted to transport DPA into the forespore and the enzyme complex predicted to synthesize DPA, respectively. C. difficile spoVAC and dpaAB mutant spores lacked DPA but could be stably purified and were more hydrated than wild-type spores; in contrast, B. subtilis spoVAC and dpaAB mutant spores were unstable. Although C. difficile spoVAC and dpaAB mutant spores exhibited wild-type germination responses, they were more readily killed by wet heat. Cortex hydrolysis was not affected by this treatment, indicating that wet heat inhibits a stage downstream of this event. Interestingly, C. difficile spoVAC mutant spores were significantly more sensitive to heat treatment than dpaAB mutant spores, indicating that SpoVAC plays additional roles in conferring heat resistance. Taken together, our results demonstrate that SpoVAC and DPA synthetase control C. difficile spore resistance and reveal differential requirements for these proteins among the Firmicutes. IMPORTANCE Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming obligate anaerobe that causes ∼500,000 infections per year in the United States. Although spore germination is essential for C. difficile to cause disease, the factors required for this process have been only partially characterized

  13. Gene activity during germination of spores of the fern, Onoclea sensibilis. Cell-free translation analysis of mRNA of spores and the effect of alpha-amanitin on spore germination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raghavan, V.

    1992-01-01

    Poly(A)-RNA fractions of dormant, dark-imbibed (non-germinating) and photoinduced (germinating) spores of Onoclea sensibilis were poor templates in the rabbit reticulocyte lysate protein synthesizing system, but the translational efficiency of poly(A)+RNA was considerably higher than that of unfractionated RNA. Poly(A)+RNA isolated from photoinduced spores had a consistently higher translational efficiency than poly(A)+RNA from dark-imbibed spores. Analysis of the translation products by one-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed no qualitative differences in the mRNA populations of dormant, dark-imbibed, and photoinduced spores. However, poly(A)+RNA from dark-imbibed spores appeared to encode in vitro fewer detectable polypeptides at a reduced intensity than photoinduced spores. A DNA clone encoding the large subunit of maize ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase hybridized at strong to moderate intensity to RNA isolated from dark-imbibed spores, indicating the absence of mRNA degradation. Although alpha-amanitin did not inhibit the germination of spores, the drug prevented the elongation of the rhizoid and protonemal initial with a concomitant effect on the synthesis of poly(A)+RNA. These results are consistent with the view that some form of translational control involving stored mRNA operates during dark-imbibition and photoinduced germination of spores.

  14. Spore Coat Architecture of Clostridium novyi-NT spores

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; McCafferey, J; Cheong, I; Huang, X; Bettegowda, C; Kinzler, K; Zhou, S; Vogelstein, B; Malkin, A

    2007-05-07

    Spores of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium novyi-NT are able to germinate in and destroy hypoxic regions of tumors in experimental animals. Future progress in this area will benefit from a better understanding of the germination and outgrowth processes that are essential for the tumorilytic properties of these spores. Towards this end, we have used both transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to determine the structure of dormant as well as germinating spores. We found that the spores are surrounded by an amorphous layer intertwined with honeycomb parasporal layers. Moreover, the spore coat layers had apparently self-assembled and this assembly was likely to be governed by crystal growth principles. During germination and outgrowth, the honeycomb layers as well as the underlying spore coat and undercoat layers sequentially dissolved until the vegetative cell was released. In addition to their implications for understanding the biology of C. novyi-NT, these studies document the presence of proteinaceous growth spirals in a biological organism.

  15. NASA Facts: SporeSat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Andres; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Tomko, David

    2013-01-01

    SporeSat is an autonomous, free-flying three-unit (3U) spacecraft that will be used to conduct scientific experiments to gain a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms of plant cell gravity sensing. SporeSat is being developed through a partnership between NASAs Ames Research Center and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Amani Salim and Jenna L. Rickus are the Purdue University Principal Investigators. The SporeSat mission will be flown using a 3U nanosatellite weighing approximately 12 pounds and measuring 14 inches long by 4 inches wide by 4 inches tall. SporeSat will utilize flight-proven spacecraft technologies demonstrated on prior Ames nanosatellite missions such as PharmaSat and OrganismOrganic Exposure to Orbital Stresses (OOREOS) as well as upgrades that increase the hardware integration capabilities with SporeSat science instrumentation. In addition, the SporeSat science payload will serve as a technology platform to evaluate new microsensor technologies for enabling future fundamental biology missions.

  16. Isolation and characterization of acid-soluble collagen from the scales of marine fishes from Japan and Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Minh Thuy, Le Thi; Okazaki, Emiko; Osako, Kazufumi

    2014-04-15

    Acid-soluble collagen (ASC) was successfully extracted from the scales of lizard fish (Saurida spp.) and horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus) from Japan and Vietnam and grey mullet (Mugil cephalis), flying fish (Cypselurus melanurus) and yellowback seabream (Dentex tumifrons) from Japan. ASC yields were about 0.43-1.5% (on a dry weight basis), depending on the species. The SDS-PAGE profile showed that the ASCs were type I collagens, and consisted of two different α chains, α1 and α2, as well as a β component. ASC of horse mackerel from Vietnam contained a higher imino acid level than that from Japan. ASC denaturation temperature (Td) ranged from 26 to 29 °C, depending on fish species and imino acid content (p<0.01). Maximal solubility of individual collagens was observed at pHs 1-3. Collagen solubility decreased sharply at NaCl concentrations >0.4M, regardless of fish type.

  17. Isolation and characterization of acid-soluble collagen from the scales of marine fishes from Japan and Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Minh Thuy, Le Thi; Okazaki, Emiko; Osako, Kazufumi

    2014-04-15

    Acid-soluble collagen (ASC) was successfully extracted from the scales of lizard fish (Saurida spp.) and horse mackerel (Trachurus japonicus) from Japan and Vietnam and grey mullet (Mugil cephalis), flying fish (Cypselurus melanurus) and yellowback seabream (Dentex tumifrons) from Japan. ASC yields were about 0.43-1.5% (on a dry weight basis), depending on the species. The SDS-PAGE profile showed that the ASCs were type I collagens, and consisted of two different α chains, α1 and α2, as well as a β component. ASC of horse mackerel from Vietnam contained a higher imino acid level than that from Japan. ASC denaturation temperature (Td) ranged from 26 to 29 °C, depending on fish species and imino acid content (p<0.01). Maximal solubility of individual collagens was observed at pHs 1-3. Collagen solubility decreased sharply at NaCl concentrations >0.4M, regardless of fish type. PMID:24295705

  18. Production of Clostridium bifermentans Spores as Inoculum for Bioremediation of Nitroaromatic Contaminants

    PubMed Central

    Sembries, S.; Crawford, R. L.

    1997-01-01

    Spores of Clostridium bifermentans KMR-1 were produced for use as a microbial inoculum for bioremediation and were preserved in both liquid and dry forms. All spore formulations showed good viability and ability to biodegrade the target compound, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), after 4 months of storage. For low-cost bulk spore production, several medium compositions, based on soy peptone, corn steep liquor, and meat peptone, were tested and yielded 10(sup7) spores per ml. A medium pH above 7.0, a low glucose concentration, and a sufficient concentration of protein favored the sporulation of C. bifermentans KMR-1. PMID:16535620

  19. The Role of Bacterial Spores in Metal Cycling and Their Potential Application in Metal Contaminant Bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Butterfield, Cristina N; Lee, Sung-Woo; Tebo, Bradley M

    2016-04-01

    Bacteria are one of the premier biological forces that, in combination with chemical and physical forces, drive metal availability in the environment. Bacterial spores, when found in the environment, are often considered to be dormant and metabolically inactive, in a resting state waiting for favorable conditions for them to germinate. However, this is a highly oversimplified view of spores in the environment. The surface of bacterial spores represents a potential site for chemical reactions to occur. Additionally, proteins in the outer layers (spore coats or exosporium) may also have more specific catalytic activity. As a consequence, bacterial spores can play a role in geochemical processes and may indeed find uses in various biotechnological applications. The aim of this review is to introduce the role of bacteria and bacterial spores in biogeochemical cycles and their potential use as toxic metal bioremediation agents.

  20. Spore populations among bulk tank raw milk and dairy powders are significantly different.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rachel A; Kent, David J; Watterson, Matthew J; Boor, Kathryn J; Martin, Nicole H; Wiedmann, Martin

    2015-12-01

    To accommodate stringent spore limits mandated for the export of dairy powders, a more thorough understanding of the spore species present will be necessary to develop prospective strategies to identify and reduce sources (i.e., raw materials or in-plant) of contamination. We characterized 1,523 spore isolates obtained from bulk tank raw milk (n=33 farms) and samples collected from 4 different dairy powder-processing plants producing acid whey, nonfat dry milk, sweet whey, or whey protein concentrate 80. The spores isolated comprised 12 genera, at least 44 species, and 216 rpoB allelic types. Bacillus and Geobacillus represented the most commonly isolated spore genera (approximately 68.9 and 12.1%, respectively, of all spore isolates). Whereas Bacillus licheniformis was isolated from samples collected from all plants and farms, Geobacillus spp. were isolated from samples from 3 out of 4 plants and just 1 out of 33 farms. We found significant differences between the spore population isolated from bulk tank raw milk and those isolated from dairy powder plant samples, except samples from the plant producing acid whey. A comparison of spore species isolated from raw materials and finished powders showed that although certain species, such as B. licheniformis, were found in both raw and finished product samples, other species, such as Geobacillus spp. and Anoxybacillus spp., were more frequently isolated from finished powders. Importantly, we found that 8 out of 12 genera were isolated from at least 2 different spore count methods, suggesting that some spore count methods may provide redundant information if used in parallel. Together, our results suggest that (1) Bacillus and Geobacillus are the predominant spore contaminants in a variety of dairy powders, implying that future research efforts targeted at elucidating approaches to reduce levels of spores in dairy powders should focus on controlling levels of spore isolates from these genera; and (2) the spore

  1. Spore populations among bulk tank raw milk and dairy powders are significantly different.

    PubMed

    Miller, Rachel A; Kent, David J; Watterson, Matthew J; Boor, Kathryn J; Martin, Nicole H; Wiedmann, Martin

    2015-12-01

    To accommodate stringent spore limits mandated for the export of dairy powders, a more thorough understanding of the spore species present will be necessary to develop prospective strategies to identify and reduce sources (i.e., raw materials or in-plant) of contamination. We characterized 1,523 spore isolates obtained from bulk tank raw milk (n=33 farms) and samples collected from 4 different dairy powder-processing plants producing acid whey, nonfat dry milk, sweet whey, or whey protein concentrate 80. The spores isolated comprised 12 genera, at least 44 species, and 216 rpoB allelic types. Bacillus and Geobacillus represented the most commonly isolated spore genera (approximately 68.9 and 12.1%, respectively, of all spore isolates). Whereas Bacillus licheniformis was isolated from samples collected from all plants and farms, Geobacillus spp. were isolated from samples from 3 out of 4 plants and just 1 out of 33 farms. We found significant differences between the spore population isolated from bulk tank raw milk and those isolated from dairy powder plant samples, except samples from the plant producing acid whey. A comparison of spore species isolated from raw materials and finished powders showed that although certain species, such as B. licheniformis, were found in both raw and finished product samples, other species, such as Geobacillus spp. and Anoxybacillus spp., were more frequently isolated from finished powders. Importantly, we found that 8 out of 12 genera were isolated from at least 2 different spore count methods, suggesting that some spore count methods may provide redundant information if used in parallel. Together, our results suggest that (1) Bacillus and Geobacillus are the predominant spore contaminants in a variety of dairy powders, implying that future research efforts targeted at elucidating approaches to reduce levels of spores in dairy powders should focus on controlling levels of spore isolates from these genera; and (2) the spore

  2. Effects of meteorological conditions on spore plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, M.; Levetin, E.

    2002-05-01

    Fungal spores are an ever-present component of the atmosphere, and have long been known to trigger asthma and hay fever symptoms in sensitive individuals. The atmosphere around Tulsa has been monitored for airborne spores and pollen with Burkard spore traps at several sampling stations. This study involved the examination of the hourly spore concentrations on days that had average daily concentrations near 50,000 spores/m3 or greater. Hourly concentrations of Cladosporium, Alternaria, Epicoccum, Curvularia, Pithomyces, Drechslera, smut spores, ascospores, basidiospores, other, and total spores were determined on 4 days at three sites and then correlated with hourly meteorological data including temperature, rainfall, wind speed, dew point, air pressure, and wind direction. On each of these days there was a spore plume, a phenomenon in which spore concentrations increased dramatically over a very short period of time. Spore plumes generally occurred near midday, and concentrations were seen to increase from lows around 20,000 total spores/m3 to highs over 170,000 total spores/m3 in 2 h. Multiple regression analysis of the data indicated that increases in temperature, dew point, and air pressure correlated with the increase in spore concentrations, but no single weather variable predicted the appearance of a spore plume. The proper combination of changes in these meteorological parameters that result in a spore plume may be due to the changing weather conditions associated with thunderstorms, as on 3 of the 4 days when spore plumes occurred there were thunderstorms later that evening. The occurrence of spore plumes may have clinical significance, because other studies have shown that sensitization to certain spore types can occur during exposure to high spore concentrations.

  3. Glycoprotein and protein markers for strain differentiation and growth environment or media attribution

    SciTech Connect

    Wunschel, David S.; Fox, Alvin; Wahl, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Recent experience with Bacillus spore characterization has demonstrated that protein markers can provide potentially vital identifying and bioforensic information. The masses of constitutively expressed proteins and their peptide fragments can be used to identify bacterial isolates. Protein marker mass variation information reflects the underlying amino acid sequence variation to provide complementary information to genetic sequence analysis. Protein markers (identified by mass or sequence) that are conserved or variable can be readily selected. In contrast, genetic primers, as used in PCR, target conserved genetic regions. Furthermore, protein markers are relatively stable compared to nucleic acids and may remain in samples for longer periods of time. This is important to consider when the source, age and condition of samples may vary in a forensic investigation. Examples of constitutively expressed proteins that have been extensively characterized include the exosporium BclA and BclB proteins and small acid soluble proteins (SASPs). Finally, gene expression (usually assessed at the mRNA level) can vary in response to different environmental conditions. As a result, the profile of protein markers of the organism also reflects the culture environment. Mass spectrometric tools can be used to access the same information on culture-related protein expression variation. However, unlike genetic methods, with proteomic methodology there is the potential to define exactly which medium was employed for organism growth. This potential could provide additional clues for forensic attribution

  4. Measuring Total and Germinable Spore Populations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noell, A.C.; Yung, P.T.; Yang, W.; Lee, C.; Ponce, A.

    2011-01-01

    It has been shown that bacterial endospores can be enumerated using a microscopy based assay that images the luminescent halos from terbium ions bound to dipicolinic acid, a spore specific chemical marker released upon spore germination. Further development of the instrument has simplified it towards automation while at the same time improving image quality. Enumeration of total spore populations has also been developed allowing measurement of the percentage of viable spores in any population by comparing the germinable/culturable spores to the total. Percentage viability will allow a more quantitative comparison of the ability of spores to survive across a wide range of extreme environments.

  5. Biochemical properties of Clostridium bifermentans spores.

    PubMed Central

    Hausenbauer, J M; Waites, W M; Setlow, P

    1977-01-01

    As previously found for spores of Bacillus species, dormant spores of Clostridium bifermentans contained essentially no adenosine triphosphate, a high level of adenosine monophosphate, a high level of 3-phosphoglyceric acid, and much transfer ribonucleic acid lacking a 3'-terminal adenosine monophosphate residue. As in spores of Bacillus species, germination of C. bifermentans spores was accompanied by utilization of the 3-phosphoglyceric acid, a large increase in the adenosine triphosphate level, and the disappearance of defective transfer ribonucleic acid. In contrast to spores of Bacillus species, dormant spores of C. bifermentans contained little free amino acid. PMID:402349

  6. Cellulases released during the germination of Dictyostelium discoideum spores.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, T H; de Renobales, M; Pon, N

    1979-01-01

    Dormant spores of Dictyostelium discoideum contained cellulase at a specific activity of 130 to 140 U/mg of protein; when heat activated, the spores germinated, progressively releasing the cellulase activity into the extracellular medium. The cellulase release was a selective process and resulted in recovery of the cellulase activity at a specific activity of 2,000 U/mg of protein; beta-glucosidase in the spores remained completely associated with the emerging amoebae. Release of the cellulase required heat activation of the spores and occurred during the swelling stage of germination; inhibition of the emergence stage with cycloheximide had no effect on the release of the cellulase. The cellulase activity released consisted of two enzymes whose molecular weights were 136,000 and 69,000. Studies of their pH optima, heat lability, and of their sensitivity to inhibition revealed no distinctive differences between these two proteins. Analysis on diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex columns showed that the higher-molecular-weight protein could be converted into the lower-molecular-weight component in vitro. PMID:33962

  7. Fungal spores: hazardous to health?

    PubMed Central

    Sorenson, W G

    1999-01-01

    Fungi have long been known to affect human well being in various ways, including disease of essential crop plants, decay of stored foods with possible concomitant production of mycotoxins, superficial and systemic infection of human tissues, and disease associated with immune stimulation such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis and toxic pneumonitis. The spores of a large number of important fungi are less than 5 microm aerodynamic diameter, and therefore are able to enter the lungs. They also may contain significant amounts of mycotoxins. Diseases associated with inhalation of fungal spores include toxic pneumonitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, tremors, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney failure, and cancer. PMID:10423389

  8. Comparative effects of gamma rays and electron beams on spores of Bacillus pumilus

    SciTech Connect

    Hayashi, Toru; Todoriki, Setsuko ); Takizawa, Hironobu; Suzuki, Tetsuya; Takama, Kozo )

    1994-02-01

    The effects of [gamma] rays and electron beams on the germination, outgrowth and the synthesis of protein and RNA of Bacillus pumilus spores were investigated to clarify the difference in the effects of the two types of radiations on bacterial spores. Gamma irradiation facilitated the germination to a slightly larger degree than electron irradiation. The outgrowth, growth and the synthesis of protein and RNA were inhibited by [gamma] irradiation to a greater extent than electron irradiation, when the spores were irradiated at the same dose. However, the effects of the two types of radiations were the same when the spores were irradiated with electron beams at a dose 30% higher than [gamma] rays. The results indicate that the effects of electron beams on bacterial spores and those of [gamma] rays are qualitatively the same but quantitatively different. 23 refs., 5 figs.

  9. Identification of Bacillus Spores by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization–Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Hathout, Yetrib; Demirev, Plamen A.; Ho, Yen-Peng; Bundy, Jonathan L.; Ryzhov, Victor; Sapp, Lisa; Stutler, James; Jackman, Joany; Fenselau, Catherine

    1999-01-01

    Unique patterns of biomarkers were reproducibly characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)–mass spectrometry and were used to distinguish Bacillus species members from one another. Discrimination at the strain level was demonstrated for Bacillus cereus spores. Lipophilic biomarkers were invariant in Bacillus globigii spores produced in three different media and in B. globigii spores stored for more than 30 years. The sensitivity was less than 5,000 cells deposited for analysis. Protein biomarkers were also characterized by MALDI analysis by using spores treated briefly with corona plasma discharge. Protein biomarkers were readily desorbed following this treatment. The effect of corona plasma discharge on the spores was examined. PMID:10508053

  10. Spore Photoproduct Lyase: The Known, the Controversial, and the Unknown*

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Linlin; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

    Spore photoproduct lyase (SPL) repairs 5-thyminyl-5,6-dihydrothymine, a thymine dimer that is also called the spore photoproduct (SP), in germinating endospores. SPL is a radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzyme, utilizing the 5′-deoxyadenosyl radical generated by SAM reductive cleavage reaction to revert SP to two thymine residues. Here we review the current progress in SPL mechanistic studies. Protein radicals are known to be involved in SPL catalysis; however, how these radicals are quenched to close the catalytic cycle is under debate. PMID:25477522

  11. Sporicidal Activities of Various Surfactant Components against Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Cho, Won-Il; Cheigh, Chan-Ick; Hwang, Hee-Jeong; Chung, Myong-Soo

    2015-06-01

    The sporicidal activities against Bacillus subtilis spores of surfactant components with hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties that can lead to the denaturation of various proteins comprising the spore structure were investigated. The reduction in spore numbers by each of the surfactant components bornyl acetate, geranyl acetate, pinene, p-cymene, camphene, citral, 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran, polylysine, and thiamine dilaurylsulfate at 1% was estimated at 1 to 2 log CFU/ml. The average hydrophilelipophile balance value of surfactants with sporicidal activity causing a reduction of 1 to 2 log CFU/ml was 9.3, with a range from 6.7 to 15.8, which is similar to the values of various chemical surfactants of 9.6 to 16.7. The results also showed that the surfactants that were hydrophobic were more effective than those that were hydrophilic in killing B. subtilis spores. Furthermore, the sporicidal effect of surfactants like geranyl acetate and γ-terpinene was significantly enhanced in the presence of a germinant, because L-alanine and synergistic cofactors (e.g., K(+) ions) trigger cortex hydrolysis in spores.

  12. Optical and structural properties of plasma-treated Cordyceps bassiana spores as studied by circular dichroism, absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Geon Joon; Sim, Geon Bo; Choi, Eun Ha; Kwon, Young-Wan; Kim, Jun Young; Jang, Siun; Kim, Seong Hwan

    2015-01-01

    To understand the killing mechanism of fungal spores by plasma treatment, the optical, structural, and biological properties of the insect pathogenic fungus Cordyceps bassiana spores were studied. A nonthermal atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) was used to treat the spores in aqueous solution. Optical emission spectra of the APPJ acquired in air indicated emission peaks corresponding to hydroxyl radicals and atomic oxygen. When the APPJ entered the aqueous solution, additional reactive species were derived from the interaction of plasma radicals with the aqueous solution. Fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy confirmed the generation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide in the plasma-activated water (PAW). Spore counting showed that plasma treatment significantly reduced spore viability. Absorption spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, and agarose gel electrophoresis of the DNA extracted from plasma-treated spores showed a reduction in spore DNA content. The magnitude of the dip in the CD spectrum was lower in the plasma-treated spores than in the control, indicating that plasma treatment causes structural modifications and/or damage to cellular components. Tryptophan fluorescence intensity was lower in the plasma-treated spores than in the control, suggesting that plasma treatment modified cell wall proteins. Changes in spore viability and DNA content were attributed to structural modification of the cell wall by reactive species coming from the APPJ and the PAW. Our results provided evidence that the plasma radicals and the derived reactive species play critical roles in fungal spore inactivation.

  13. Optical and structural properties of plasma-treated Cordyceps bassiana spores as studied by circular dichroism, absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Geon Joon Sim, Geon Bo; Choi, Eun Ha; Kim, Jun Young; Jang, Siun; Kim, Seong Hwan

    2015-01-14

    To understand the killing mechanism of fungal spores by plasma treatment, the optical, structural, and biological properties of the insect pathogenic fungus Cordyceps bassiana spores were studied. A nonthermal atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) was used to treat the spores in aqueous solution. Optical emission spectra of the APPJ acquired in air indicated emission peaks corresponding to hydroxyl radicals and atomic oxygen. When the APPJ entered the aqueous solution, additional reactive species were derived from the interaction of plasma radicals with the aqueous solution. Fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy confirmed the generation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide in the plasma-activated water (PAW). Spore counting showed that plasma treatment significantly reduced spore viability. Absorption spectroscopy, circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, and agarose gel electrophoresis of the DNA extracted from plasma-treated spores showed a reduction in spore DNA content. The magnitude of the dip in the CD spectrum was lower in the plasma-treated spores than in the control, indicating that plasma treatment causes structural modifications and/or damage to cellular components. Tryptophan fluorescence intensity was lower in the plasma-treated spores than in the control, suggesting that plasma treatment modified cell wall proteins. Changes in spore viability and DNA content were attributed to structural modification of the cell wall by reactive species coming from the APPJ and the PAW. Our results provided evidence that the plasma radicals and the derived reactive species play critical roles in fungal spore inactivation.

  14. The ice nucleation ability of one of the most abundant types of fungal spores found in the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iannone, R.; Chernoff, D. I.; Pringle, A.; Martin, S. T.; Bertram, A. K.

    2010-10-01

    Recent atmospheric measurements show that biological particles are important ice nuclei. Types of biological particles that may be good ice nuclei include bacteria, pollen and fungal spores. We studied the ice nucleation properties of water droplets containing fungal spores from the genus Cladosporium, one of the most abundant types of spores found in the atmosphere. For water droplets containing a Cladosporium spore surface area of ~217 μm2 (equivalent to ~5 spores with average diameters of 3.2 μm), 1% of the droplets froze by -28.5 °C and 10% froze by -30.1 °C. However, there was a strong dependence on freezing temperature with the spore surface area of Cladosporium within a given droplet. As such, freezing temperatures for droplets containing 1-5 spores are expected to be approximately -35.1±2.3 °C (1σ S.D.). Atmospheric ice nucleation on spores of Cladosporium sp., or other spores with similar surface properties, do not appear to explain recent atmospheric measurements showing that biological particles are important ice nuclei. The poor ice nucleation ability of Cladosporium sp. spores may be attributed to the surface which is coated with hydrophobins (a class of hydrophobic proteins that appear to be widespread in filamentous fungi). Given the ubiquity of hydrophobins on spore surfaces, the current study may be applicable to many fungal species of atmospheric importance.

  15. The Gonzo Scientist. Flunking Spore.

    PubMed

    Bohannon, John

    2008-10-24

    The blockbuster video game Spore is being marketed as a science-based adventure that brings evolution, cell biology, and even astrophysics to the masses. But after grading the game's science with a team of researchers, the Gonzo Scientist has some bad news. PMID:18948523

  16. Peptide Ligands That Bind Selectively to Spores of Bacillus subtilis and Closely Related Species

    PubMed Central

    Knurr, Jordan; Benedek, Orsolya; Heslop, Jennifer; Vinson, Robert B.; Boydston, Jeremy A.; McAndrew, Joanne; Kearney, John F.; Turnbough, Charles L.

    2003-01-01

    As part of an effort to develop detectors for selected species of bacterial spores, we screened phage display peptide libraries for 7- and 12-mer peptides that bind tightly to spores of Bacillus subtilis. All of the peptides isolated contained the sequence Asn-His-Phe-Leu at the amino terminus and exhibited clear preferences for other amino acids, especially Pro, at positions 5 to 7. We demonstrated that the sequence Asn-His-Phe-Leu-Pro (but not Asn-His-Phe-Leu) was sufficient for tight spore binding. We observed equal 7-mer peptide binding to spores of B. subtilis and its most closely related species, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, and slightly weaker binding to spores of the closely related species Bacillus globigii. These three species comprise one branch on the Bacillus phylogenetic tree. We did not detect peptide binding to spores of several Bacillus species located on adjacent and nearby branches of the phylogenetic tree nor to vegetative cells of B. subtilis. The sequence Asn-His-Phe-Leu-Pro was used to identify B. subtilis proteins that may employ this peptide for docking to the outer surface of the forespore during spore coat assembly and/or maturation. One such protein, SpsC, appears to be involved in the synthesis of polysaccharide on the spore coat. SpsC contains the Asn-His-Phe-Leu-Pro sequence at positions 6 to 10, and the first five residues of SpsC apparently must be removed to allow spore binding. Finally, we discuss the use of peptide ligands for bacterial detection and the use of short peptide sequences for targeting proteins during spore formation. PMID:14602648

  17. Optimizing Bacillus subtilis spore isolation and quantifying spore harvest purity.

    PubMed

    Harrold, Zoë R; Hertel, Mikaela R; Gorman-Lewis, Drew

    2011-12-01

    Investigating the biochemistry, resilience and environmental interactions of bacterial endospores often requires a pure endospore biomass free of vegetative cells. Numerous endospore isolation methods, however, neglect to quantify the purity of the final endospore biomass. To ensure low vegetative cell contamination we developed a quality control technique that enables rapid quantification of endospore harvest purity. This method quantifies spore purity using bright-field and fluorescence microscopy imaging in conjunction with automated cell counting software. We applied this method to Bacillus subtilis endospore harvests isolated using a two-phase separation method that utilizes mild chemicals. The average spore purity of twenty-two harvests was 88±11% (error is 1σ) with a median value of 93%. A spearman coefficient of 0.97 correlating automated and manual bacterial counts confirms the accuracy of software generated data. PMID:21989299

  18. Isolating and Purifying Clostridium difficile Spores.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Adrianne N; McBride, Shonna M

    2016-01-01

    The ability for the obligate anaerobe, Clostridium difficile to form a metabolically dormant spore is critical for the survival of this organism outside of the host. This spore form is resistant to a myriad of environmental stresses, including heat, desiccation, and exposure to disinfectants and antimicrobials. These intrinsic properties of spores allow C. difficile to survive long-term in an oxygenated environment, to be easily transmitted from host-to-host, and to persist within the host following antibiotic treatment. Because of the importance of the spore form to the C. difficile life cycle and treatment and prevention of C. difficile infection (CDI), the isolation and purification of spores are necessary to study the mechanisms of sporulation and germination, investigate spore properties and resistances, and for use in animal models of CDI. Here we provide basic protocols, in vitro growth conditions, and additional considerations for purifying C. difficile spores for a variety of downstream applications. PMID:27507337

  19. Characterization of UV-peroxide killing of bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Reidmiller, Jeffrey S; Baldeck, Jeremiah D; Rutherford, Glen C; Marquis, Robert E

    2003-07-01

    Advantage is taken in many sterilization processes, especially for food packaging materials, of the synergy between H2O2 and UV irradiation for spore killing. The nature of the synergy is currently not well defined in terms of targets and mechanisms. We found that under some experimental conditions, the synergistic killing of spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 19213 appeared to be mainly UV-enhanced peroxide killing, while under other conditions, it appeared to be mainly peroxide-enhanced UV killing. Lethal combinations of H2O2 and UV irradiation for spores resulted in only modest increases in auxotrophic mutations among survivors, indicative of little DNA damage, in contrast to higher mutation levels after dry-heat damage at 115 degrees C. However, the combination of UV light and peroxide did lead to major inactivation of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, an enzyme that was used to monitor the damage to bacterial protein. Synergistic UV-H2O2 killing was reduced by agents such as pyruvate, thiosulfate, and iron or copper cations, which appeared to act at least in part by reacting chemically with H2O2, and was only slightly affected by the use of UV light at a wavelength of 222 nn rather than 254 nm. Hydrogen peroxide treatment can precede UV irradiation for synergistic killing by some hours with an interim of drying for spores of Bacillus subtilis A, a spore type used commonly for the validation of aseptic processes. Synergistic killing of dried spores or those in suspensions was accelerated at higher temperatures (50 degrees C) rather than at lower temperatures (25 degrees C). PMID:12870758

  20. New detection targets for amyloid-reactive probes: spectroscopic recognition of bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Guilford, II; Landsman, Pavel

    2005-05-01

    We report characteristic changes in fluorescence of amyloid-binding dyes Thioflavin T (TfT), pinacyanol (PIN) and related dyes, caused by their interaction with suspended Bacillus spore cultures (B. subtilis, B thuringiensis). The gain in TfT emission in the presence of spores allowed their immediate detection in aqueous suspensions, with a sensitivity limit of < 105 spores per ml. The spectroscopic signatures are consistent with a large number of binding sites for the two dyes on spore coats. The possible structural relationship of these dye binding loci with characteristic motifs (β-stacks) of amyloid deposits and other misfolded protein formations suggests new designs for probing biocontamination and also for clinical studies of non-microbial human pathogens (e.g., amyloid-related protein aggregates in prion-related transmissible encephalopathies or in Alzheimer's disease). Also reported is a special screening technique that was designed and used herein for calibration of new detection probes and assays for spore detection. It employed spectroscopic interactions between the candidate amyloid stains and poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-coated colloid silica (Percoll) nanoparticles that also display remarkable parallelism with the corresponding dye-amyloid and dye-spore reactivities. Percoll may thus find new applications as a convenient non-biological structural model mimicking the putative probe-targeted motifs in both classes of bioanalytes. These findings are important in the design of new probes and assays for important human pathogens (i.e. bacterial spores and amyloidogenic protein aggregates).

  1. Directed evolution of CotA laccase for increased substrate specificity using Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Nirupama; Farinas, Edgardo T

    2010-08-01

    Directed evolution is an effective strategy to engineer and optimize protein properties, and microbial cell-surface display is a successful method to screen protein libraries. Protein surface display on Bacillus subtilis spores is demonstrated as a tool for screening protein libraries for the first time. Spore display offers advantages over more commonly utilized microbe cell-surface display systems, which include gram-negative bacteria, phage and yeast. For instance, protein-folding problems associated with the expressed recombinant polypeptide crossing membranes are avoided. Hence, a different region of protein space can be explored that previously was not accessible. In addition, spores tolerate many physical/chemical extremes; hence, the displayed proteins are "preimmobilized" on the inherently inert spore surface. Immobilized proteins have several advantages when used in industrial processes. The protein stability is increased and separations are simplified. Finally, immobilized proteins can be used in a wide array of simple device applications and configurations. The substrate specificity of the enzyme CotA is narrowed. CotA is a laccase and it occurs naturally on the outer coat of B. subtilis spores. A library of CotA genes were expressed in the spore coat, and it was screened for activity toward ABTS [diammonium 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate)] over SGZ (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy-benzaldehyde azine). A mutant CotA was found to be 120-fold more specific for ABTS. This research demonstrates that B. subtilis spores can be a useful platform for screen protein libraries.

  2. Bacillus subtilis spores as vaccine adjuvants: further insights into the mechanisms of action.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Renata Damásio; Batista, Milene Tavares; Luiz, Wilson Barros; Cavalcante, Rafael Ciro Marques; Amorim, Jaime Henrique; Bizerra, Raíza Sales Pereira; Martins, Eduardo Gimenes; Ferreira, Luís Carlos de Souza

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis spores have received growing attention regarding potential biotechnological applications, including the use as probiotics and in vaccine formulations. B. subtilis spores have also been shown to behave as particulate vaccine adjuvants, promoting the increase of antibody responses after co-administration with antigens either admixed or adsorbed on the spore surface. In this study, we further evaluated the immune modulatory properties of B. subtilis spores using a recombinant HIV gag p24 protein as a model antigen. The adjuvant effects of B. subtilis spores were not affected by the genetic background of the mouse lineage and did not induce significant inflammatory or deleterious effects after parenteral administration. Our results demonstrated that co-administration, but not adsorption to the spore surface, enhanced the immunogenicity of that target antigen after subcutaneous administration to BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Spores promoted activation of antigen presenting cells as demonstrated by the upregulation of MHC and CD40 molecules and enhanced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines by murine dendritic cells. In addition, in vivo studies indicated a direct role of the innate immunity on the immunomodulatory properties of B. subtilis spores, as demonstrated by the lack of adjuvant effects on MyD88 and TLR2 knockout mouse strains.

  3. Acid-Soluble Internal Capsules for Closed-Face Cassette Elemental Sampling and Analysis of Workplace Air

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Martin; Ashley, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    Airborne particles that are collected using closed-face filter cassettes (CFCs), which are used widely in the sampling of workplace aerosols, can deposit in places other than on the filter and thereby may not be included in the ensuing analysis. A technique for ensuring that internal non-filter deposits are included in the analysis is to collect airborne particles within an acid-soluble internal capsule that, following sampling, can be dissolved along with the filter for subsequent elemental analysis. An interlaboratory study (ILS) was carried out to evaluate the use of cellulosic CFC capsule inserts for their suitability in the determination of trace elements in airborne samples. The ILS was performed in accordance with an applicable ASTM International standard practice, ASTM E691, which describes statistical procedures for investigating interlaboratory precision. Performance evaluation materials consisted of prototype cellulose acetate capsules attached to mixed-cellulose ester filters. Batches of capsules were dosed with Pb-containing materials (standard aqueous solutions, and certified reference material soil and paint). Also, aerosol samples containing nine target analyte elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mn, and Ni) were generated using a multiport sampler; various concentrations and sampling times were employed to yield samples fortified at desired loading levels. Triplicates of spiked capsules at three different loadings were conveyed to each volunteer laboratory; loading levels were unknown to the participants. The laboratories were asked to prepare the samples by acid dissolution and to analyze aliquots of extracted samples by atomic spectrometry in accordance with applicable ASTM International Standards. Participants were asked to report their results in units of μg of each target element per sample. For the elements investigated, interlaboratory precision and recovery estimates from the participating laboratories demonstrated the utility of the

  4. Ultraviolet-Resistant Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Newcombe, David; LaDuc, Myron T.; Osman, Shariff R.

    2007-01-01

    A document summarizes a study in which it was found that spores of the SAFR-032 strain of Bacillus pumilus can survive doses of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, radiation, and hydrogen peroxide in proportions much greater than those of other bacteria. The study was part of a continuing effort to understand the survivability of bacteria under harsh conditions and develop means of sterilizing spacecraft to prevent biocontamination of Mars that could interfere with the search for life there.

  5. The ice nucleation ability of one of the most abundant types of fungal spores found in the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iannone, R.; Chernoff, D. I.; Pringle, A.; Martin, S. T.; Bertram, A. K.

    2011-02-01

    Recent atmospheric measurements show that biological particles are a potentially important class of ice nuclei. Types of biological particles that may be good ice nuclei include bacteria, pollen and fungal spores. We studied the ice nucleation properties of water droplets containing fungal spores from the genus Cladosporium, one of the most abundant types of spores found in the atmosphere. For water droplets containing a Cladosporium spore surface area of ~217 μm2 (equivalent to ~5 spores with average diameters of 3.2 μm ), 1% of the droplets froze by -28.5 °C and 10% froze by -30.1 °C. However, there was a strong dependence on freezing temperature with the spore surface area of Cladosporium within a given droplet. Mean freezing temperatures for droplets containing 1-5 spores are expected to be approximately -35.1 ± 2.3 °C (1σ S. D.). Atmospheric ice nucleation on spores of Cladosporium sp., or other spores with similar surface properties, thus do not appear to explain recent atmospheric measurements showing that biological particles participate as atmospheric ice nuclei. The poor ice nucleation ability of Cladosporium sp. may be attributed to the surface which is coated with hydrophobins (a class of hydrophobic proteins that appear to be widespread in filamentous fungi). Given the ubiquity of hydrophobins on spore surfaces, the current study may be applicable to many fungal species of atmospheric importance.

  6. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores.

    PubMed

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-11-01

    Equisetum plants (horsetails) reproduce by producing tiny spherical spores that are typically 50 µm in diameter. The spores have four elaters, which are flexible ribbon-like appendages that are initially wrapped around the main spore body and that deploy upon drying or fold back in humid air. If elaters are believed to help dispersal, the exact mechanism for spore motion remains unclear in the literature. In this manuscript, we present observations of the 'walks' and 'jumps' of Equisetum spores, which are novel types of spore locomotion mechanisms compared to the ones of other spores. Walks are driven by humidity cycles, each cycle inducing a small step in a random direction. The dispersal range from the walk is limited, but the walk provides key steps to either exit the sporangium or to reorient and refold. Jumps occur when the spores suddenly thrust themselves after being tightly folded. They result in a very efficient dispersal: even spores jumping from the ground can catch the wind again, whereas non-jumping spores stay on the ground. The understanding of these movements, which are solely driven by humidity variations, conveys biomimetic inspiration for a new class of self-propelled objects. PMID:24026816

  7. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores

    PubMed Central

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Equisetum plants (horsetails) reproduce by producing tiny spherical spores that are typically 50 µm in diameter. The spores have four elaters, which are flexible ribbon-like appendages that are initially wrapped around the main spore body and that deploy upon drying or fold back in humid air. If elaters are believed to help dispersal, the exact mechanism for spore motion remains unclear in the literature. In this manuscript, we present observations of the ‘walks’ and ‘jumps’ of Equisetum spores, which are novel types of spore locomotion mechanisms compared to the ones of other spores. Walks are driven by humidity cycles, each cycle inducing a small step in a random direction. The dispersal range from the walk is limited, but the walk provides key steps to either exit the sporangium or to reorient and refold. Jumps occur when the spores suddenly thrust themselves after being tightly folded. They result in a very efficient dispersal: even spores jumping from the ground can catch the wind again, whereas non-jumping spores stay on the ground. The understanding of these movements, which are solely driven by humidity variations, conveys biomimetic inspiration for a new class of self-propelled objects. PMID:24026816

  8. Fatty Acid Profiles for Differentiating Growth Medium Formulations Used to Culture Bacillus cereus T-strain Spores.

    PubMed

    Ehrhardt, Christopher J; Murphy, Devonie L; Robertson, James M; Bannan, Jason D

    2015-07-01

    Microbial biomarkers that indicate aspects of an organism's growth conditions are important targets of forensic research. In this study, we examined fatty acid composition as a signature for the types of complex nutrients in the culturing medium. Bacillus cereus T-strain spores were grown in medium formulations supplemented with one of the following: peptone (meat protein), tryptone (casein protein), soy protein, and brain-heart infusion. Cellular biomass was profiled with fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis. Results showed peptone cultures produced spores enriched in straight-chained lipids. Tryptone cultures produced spores enriched in branched-odd lipids when compared with peptone, soy, and brain-heart formulations. The observed FAME variation was used to construct a set of discriminant functions that could help identify the nutrients in a culturing recipe for an unknown spore sample. Blinded classification tests were most successful for spores grown on media containing peptone and tryptone, showing 88% and 100% correct identification, respectively.

  9. Fatty Acid Profiles for Differentiating Growth Medium Formulations Used to Culture Bacillus cereus T-strain Spores.

    PubMed

    Ehrhardt, Christopher J; Murphy, Devonie L; Robertson, James M; Bannan, Jason D

    2015-07-01

    Microbial biomarkers that indicate aspects of an organism's growth conditions are important targets of forensic research. In this study, we examined fatty acid composition as a signature for the types of complex nutrients in the culturing medium. Bacillus cereus T-strain spores were grown in medium formulations supplemented with one of the following: peptone (meat protein), tryptone (casein protein), soy protein, and brain-heart infusion. Cellular biomass was profiled with fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis. Results showed peptone cultures produced spores enriched in straight-chained lipids. Tryptone cultures produced spores enriched in branched-odd lipids when compared with peptone, soy, and brain-heart formulations. The observed FAME variation was used to construct a set of discriminant functions that could help identify the nutrients in a culturing recipe for an unknown spore sample. Blinded classification tests were most successful for spores grown on media containing peptone and tryptone, showing 88% and 100% correct identification, respectively. PMID:25854710

  10. Adsorption of β-galactosidase of Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius on wild type and mutants spores of Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The Bacillus subtilis spore has long been used as a surface display system with potential applications in a variety of fields ranging from mucosal vaccine delivery, bioremediation and biocatalyst development. More recently, a non-recombinant approach of spore display has been proposed and heterologous proteins adsorbed on the spore surface. We used the well-characterized β-galactosidase from the thermoacidophilic bacterium Alicyclobacillus acidocaldarius as a model to study enzyme adsorption, to analyze whether and how spore-adsorption affects the properties of the enzyme and to improve the efficiency of the process. Results We report that purified β-galactosidase molecules were adsorbed to purified spores of a wild type strain of B. subtilis retaining ca. 50% of their enzymatic activity. Optimal pH and temperature of the enzyme were not altered by the presence of the spore, that protected the adsorbed β-galactosidase from exposure to acidic pH conditions. A collection of mutant strains of B. subtilis lacking a single or several spore coat proteins was compared to the isogenic parental strain for the adsorption efficiency. Mutants with an altered outermost spore layer (crust) were able to adsorb 60-80% of the enzyme, while mutants with a severely altered or totally lacking outer coat adsorbed 100% of the β-galactosidase molecules present in the adsorption reaction. Conclusion Our results indicate that the spore surface structures, the crust and the outer coat layer, have an negative effect on the adhesion of the β-galactosidase. Electrostatic forces, previously suggested as main determinants of spore adsorption, do not seem to play an essential role in the spore-β-galactosidase interaction. The analysis of mutants with altered spore surface has shown that the process of spore adsorption can be improved and has suggested that such improvement has to be based on a better understanding of the spore surface structure. Although the molecular details of

  11. [Comparison of susceptibility of spores of Bacillus subtilis and Czech strains of Clostridium difficile to disinfectants].

    PubMed

    Votava, M; Slitrová, B

    2009-02-01

    An important factor in the prevention of nosocomial outbreaks caused by Clostridium difficile ribotype 027 is the disinfection of a patient environment by reliable sporicidal disinfectants. Sporicidal activity of particular agents is tested on spores of Bacillus subtilis. Questions are brought up if the disinfectant which works on B. subtilis spores will be equally effective on the spores of C. difficile. Therefore we have compared the effects of five disinfectants available on the Czech market on the spores of collection strains of both microbes and on the spores of ten C. difficile field strains isolated from feces of hospitalized patients. The effective substances were: disinfectant No. 1 chloramine B, No. 2 chlorine dioxide, No. 3 formaldehyde and ethan-2-dion, No. 4 peracetic and acetic acids and hydrogen peroxide, No. 5 ethanol and propan-2-ol. The testing was performed using the dilution neutralization method according to (SN EN 13704, the agent reducing the number of spores by more than 3 orders was considered sporicidal. In addition to the standard time 60 min a 15-minutes exposition was used and the effect was tested also under the protein burden. Disinfectant No. 1 showed better effect on the C. difficile than B. subtilis spores, even in lower (1%) concentration. Similarly, the sensitivity of the C. difficile spores to disinfectants No. 2 and 3 was somewhat higher. The sporicidity of the disinfectant No. 4 was so high that it reduced the number of spores of all strains within 15 minutes by more than 4 orders; possible difference in the susceptibility of spores was not observed. Whereas the disinfectant No. 5 was not reliably effective on the spores of B. subtilis, surprisingly it showed the sporicidal effect on the spores of field C. difficile strains. We conclude that spores of field C. difficile strains in particular turned out to be more sensitive to disinfectants than the spores of the collection strain ofB. subtilis. Therefore B. subtilis remains

  12. [Comparison of susceptibility of spores of Bacillus subtilis and Czech strains of Clostridium difficile to disinfectants].

    PubMed

    Votava, M; Slitrová, B

    2009-02-01

    An important factor in the prevention of nosocomial outbreaks caused by Clostridium difficile ribotype 027 is the disinfection of a patient environment by reliable sporicidal disinfectants. Sporicidal activity of particular agents is tested on spores of Bacillus subtilis. Questions are brought up if the disinfectant which works on B. subtilis spores will be equally effective on the spores of C. difficile. Therefore we have compared the effects of five disinfectants available on the Czech market on the spores of collection strains of both microbes and on the spores of ten C. difficile field strains isolated from feces of hospitalized patients. The effective substances were: disinfectant No. 1 chloramine B, No. 2 chlorine dioxide, No. 3 formaldehyde and ethan-2-dion, No. 4 peracetic and acetic acids and hydrogen peroxide, No. 5 ethanol and propan-2-ol. The testing was performed using the dilution neutralization method according to (SN EN 13704, the agent reducing the number of spores by more than 3 orders was considered sporicidal. In addition to the standard time 60 min a 15-minutes exposition was used and the effect was tested also under the protein burden. Disinfectant No. 1 showed better effect on the C. difficile than B. subtilis spores, even in lower (1%) concentration. Similarly, the sensitivity of the C. difficile spores to disinfectants No. 2 and 3 was somewhat higher. The sporicidity of the disinfectant No. 4 was so high that it reduced the number of spores of all strains within 15 minutes by more than 4 orders; possible difference in the susceptibility of spores was not observed. Whereas the disinfectant No. 5 was not reliably effective on the spores of B. subtilis, surprisingly it showed the sporicidal effect on the spores of field C. difficile strains. We conclude that spores of field C. difficile strains in particular turned out to be more sensitive to disinfectants than the spores of the collection strain ofB. subtilis. Therefore B. subtilis remains

  13. Sporulation Temperature Reveals a Requirement for CotE in the Assembly of both the Coat and Exosporium Layers of Bacillus cereus Spores

    PubMed Central

    Bressuire-Isoard, Christelle; Bornard, Isabelle; Henriques, Adriano O.; Carlin, Frédéric

    2015-01-01

    The Bacillus cereus spore surface layers consist of a coat surrounded by an exosporium. We investigated the interplay between the sporulation temperature and the CotE morphogenetic protein in the assembly of the surface layers of B. cereus ATCC 14579 spores and on the resulting spore properties. The cotE deletion affects the coat and exosporium composition of the spores formed both at the suboptimal temperature of 20°C and at the optimal growth temperature of 37°C. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that ΔcotE spores had a fragmented and detached exosporium when formed at 37°C. However, when produced at 20°C, ΔcotE spores showed defects in both coat and exosporium attachment and were susceptible to lysozyme and mutanolysin. Thus, CotE has a role in the assembly of both the coat and exosporium, which is more important during sporulation at 20°C. CotE was more represented in extracts from spores formed at 20°C than at 37°C, suggesting that increased synthesis of the protein is required to maintain proper assembly of spore surface layers at the former temperature. ΔcotE spores formed at either sporulation temperature were impaired in inosine-triggered germination and resistance to UV-C and H2O2 and were less hydrophobic than wild-type (WT) spores but had a higher resistance to wet heat. While underscoring the role of CotE in the assembly of B. cereus spore surface layers, our study also suggests a contribution of the protein to functional properties of additional spore structures. Moreover, it also suggests a complex relationship between the function of a spore morphogenetic protein and environmental factors such as the temperature during spore formation. PMID:26497467

  14. Sporulation Temperature Reveals a Requirement for CotE in the Assembly of both the Coat and Exosporium Layers of Bacillus cereus Spores.

    PubMed

    Bressuire-Isoard, Christelle; Bornard, Isabelle; Henriques, Adriano O; Carlin, Frédéric; Broussolle, Véronique

    2015-10-23

    The Bacillus cereus spore surface layers consist of a coat surrounded by an exosporium. We investigated the interplay between the sporulation temperature and the CotE morphogenetic protein in the assembly of the surface layers of B. cereus ATCC 14579 spores and on the resulting spore properties. The cotE deletion affects the coat and exosporium composition of the spores formed both at the suboptimal temperature of 20°C and at the optimal growth temperature of 37°C. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that ΔcotE spores had a fragmented and detached exosporium when formed at 37°C. However, when produced at 20°C, ΔcotE spores showed defects in both coat and exosporium attachment and were susceptible to lysozyme and mutanolysin. Thus, CotE has a role in the assembly of both the coat and exosporium, which is more important during sporulation at 20°C. CotE was more represented in extracts from spores formed at 20°C than at 37°C, suggesting that increased synthesis of the protein is required to maintain proper assembly of spore surface layers at the former temperature. ΔcotE spores formed at either sporulation temperature were impaired in inosine-triggered germination and resistance to UV-C and H2O2 and were less hydrophobic than wild-type (WT) spores but had a higher resistance to wet heat. While underscoring the role of CotE in the assembly of B. cereus spore surface layers, our study also suggests a contribution of the protein to functional properties of additional spore structures. Moreover, it also suggests a complex relationship between the function of a spore morphogenetic protein and environmental factors such as the temperature during spore formation.

  15. On the fate of ingested Bacillus spores.

    PubMed

    Spinosa, M R; Braccini, T; Ricca, E; De Felice, M; Morelli, L; Pozzi, G; Oggioni, M R

    2000-06-01

    Spores of various Bacillus species, including B. subtilis, B. cereus and B. clausii, are used as probiotics, although they are generally absent from the normal microflora of man. We used two nonpathogenic Bacillus species, B. subtilis and B. clausii, to follow the fate of spores inoculated intragastrically in mice. We did not find detectable amounts of vegetative cells in intestinal samples, probably because of high toxicity of the conjugated bile salt taurodeoxycholic acid against Bacillus species. Both spores and cells were detected in the lymph nodes and spleen of one mouse. Our results indicate that Bacillus is present in the intestinal tract solely as spores and that nonpathogenic Bacillus spores may germinate in lymphoid organs, a finding reminiscent of B. anthracis germination in macrophages. These results indicate that any claimed probiotic effect of B. subtilis should be due to spores or, alternatively, to vegetative growth outside the intestine. PMID:10919516

  16. Inducing and Quantifying Clostridium difficile Spore Formation.

    PubMed

    Shen, Aimee; Fimlaid, Kelly A; Pishdadian, Keyan

    2016-01-01

    The Gram-positive nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile induces sporulation during growth in the gastrointestinal tract. Sporulation is necessary for this obligate anaerobe to form metabolically dormant spores that can resist antibiotic treatment, survive exit from the mammalian host, and transmit C. difficile infections. In this chapter, we describe a method for inducing C. difficile sporulation in vitro. This method can be used to study sporulation and maximize spore purification yields for a number of C. difficile strain backgrounds. We also describe procedures for visualizing spore formation using phase-contrast microscopy and for quantifying the efficiency of sporulation using heat resistance as a measure of functional spore formation. PMID:27507338

  17. Forecasting spore concentrations: A time series approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephen, Elaine; Raffery, Adrian E.; Dowding, Paul

    1990-06-01

    Fungal basidiospores and Cladosporium spores are the two most numerous spore types in the air of Dublin and its surroundings. They are known to have allergenic components, and the aim of the study described here is to develop a predictive model for these spores. A very simple model, which combines an estimated diurnal rhythm with a simple, one-parameter time series model, provided golld short-term forecasts. The one-step prediction error variance was reduced by 88% for Cladosporium spores and by 98% for basidiospores.

  18. Synthesis and Assembly of a Novel Glycan Layer in Myxococcus xanthus Spores*

    PubMed Central

    Holkenbrink, Carina; Hoiczyk, Egbert; Kahnt, Jörg; Higgs, Penelope I.

    2014-01-01

    Myxococcus xanthus is a Gram-negative deltaproteobacterium that has evolved the ability to differentiate into metabolically quiescent spores that are resistant to heat and desiccation. An essential feature of the differentiation processes is the assembly of a rigid, cell wall-like spore coat on the surface of the outer membrane. In this study, we characterize the spore coat composition and describe the machinery necessary for secretion of spore coat material and its subsequent assembly into a stress-bearing matrix. Chemical analyses of isolated spore coat material indicate that the spore coat consists primarily of short 1–4- and 1–3-linked GalNAc polymers that lack significant glycosidic branching and may be connected by glycine peptides. We show that 1–4-linked glucose (Glc) is likely a minor component of the spore coat with the majority of the Glc arising from contamination with extracellular polysaccharides, O-antigen, or storage compounds. Neither of these structures is required for the formation of resistant spores. Our analyses indicate the GalNAc/Glc polymer and glycine are exported by the ExoA-I system, a Wzy-like polysaccharide synthesis and export machinery. Arrangement of the capsular-like polysaccharides into a rigid spore coat requires the NfsA–H proteins, members of which reside in either the cytoplasmic membrane (NfsD, -E, and -G) or outer membrane (NfsA, -B, and -C). The Nfs proteins function together to modulate the chain length of the surface polysaccharides, which is apparently necessary for their assembly into a stress-bearing matrix. PMID:25271164

  19. Expression of Helicobacter pylori urease B on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhenwen; Gong, Sitang; Li, Xiu-Min; Yang, Yiyu; Guan, Ruili; Zhou, Shuai; Yao, Shuwen; Xie, Yongqiang; Ou, Zhiying; Zhao, Junhong; Liu, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori infection is a major risk factor for chronic gastritis, digestive ulcers, gastric adenocarcinoma and lymphoma. Due to the decreasing efficacy of anti-H. pylori antibiotic therapy in clinical practice, there is renewed interest in the development of anti-H. pylori vaccines. Bacillus subtilis is non-pathogenic and can produce endospores, which can survive under extreme conditions. These features make the B. subtilis spore an ideal vehicle for delivery of heterologous antigens to extreme environments such as the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we displayed H. pylori urease B protein on the B. subtilis spore coat using the spore coat protein CotC as a fusion partner. Western blot analyses were used to verify urease B surface expression on spores. Recombinant spores displaying the urease B antigen were used for oral immunization and were shown to generate humoral response in mice. Urease B-specific secretory IgA in faeces and IgG in serum reached significant levels 2 weeks after oral dosing. In addition, oral immunization of recombinant urease B spores induced a significant reduction (84 %) in the stomach bacterial load (0.25±0.13×10(6) c.f.u.) compared to that in the non-recombinant spores treated group (1.56±0.3×10(6) c.f.u.; P<0.01). This report shows that urease B expressed on B. subtilis spores was immunogenic, and oral administration of urease B spores can provide protection against H. pylori infection.

  20. Electron Beam Irradiation Dose Dependently Damages the Bacillus Spore Coat and Spore Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Fiester, S. E.; Helfinstine, S. L.; Redfearn, J. C.; Uribe, R. M.; Woolverton, C. J.

    2012-01-01

    Effective control of spore-forming bacilli begs suitable physical or chemical methods. While many spore inactivation techniques have been proven effective, electron beam (EB) irradiation has been frequently chosen to eradicate Bacillus spores. Despite its widespread use, there are limited data evaluating the effects of EB irradiation on Bacillus spores. To study this, B. atrophaeus spores were purified, suspended in sterile, distilled water, and irradiated with EB (up to 20 kGy). Irradiated spores were found (1) to contain structural damage as observed by electron microscopy, (2) to have spilled cytoplasmic contents as measured by spectroscopy, (3) to have reduced membrane integrity as determined by fluorescence cytometry, and (4) to have fragmented genomic DNA as measured by gel electrophoresis, all in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, cytometry data reveal decreased spore size, increased surface alterations, and increased uptake of propidium iodide, with increasing EB dose, suggesting spore coat alterations with membrane damage, prior to loss of spore viability. The present study suggests that EB irradiation of spores in water results in substantial structural damage of the spore coat and inner membrane, and that, along with DNA fragmentation, results in dose-dependent spore inactivation. PMID:22319535

  1. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination.

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions.

  2. Anthrax Toxins in Context of Bacillus anthracis Spores and Spore Germination

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Christopher K.; Welkos, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

    The interaction of anthrax toxin or toxin components with B. anthracis spores has been demonstrated. Germinating spores can produce significant amounts of toxin components very soon after the initiation of germination. In this review, we will summarize the work performed that has led to our understanding of toxin and spore interactions and discuss the complexities associated with these interactions. PMID:26287244

  3. Crystal Structure of the GerBC Component of a Bacillus Subtilis Spore Germinant Receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Y.; Setlow, B; Setlow, P; Hao, B

    2010-01-01

    The nutrient germinant receptors (nGRs) of spores of Bacillus species are clusters of three proteins that play a critical role in triggering the germination of dormant spores in response to specific nutrient molecules. Here, we report the crystal structure of the C protein of the GerB germinant receptor, so-called GerBC, of Bacillus subtilis spores at 2.3 {angstrom} resolution. The GerBC protein adopts a previously uncharacterized type of protein fold consisting of three distinct domains, each of which is centered by a beta sheet surrounded by multiple alpha helices. Secondary-structure prediction and structure-based sequence alignment suggest that the GerBC structure represents the prototype for C subunits of nGRs from spores of all Bacillales and Clostridiales species and defines two highly conserved structural regions in this family of proteins. GerBC forms an interlocked dimer in the crystalline state but is predominantly monomeric in solution, pointing to the possibility that GerBC oligomerizes as a result of either high local protein concentrations or interaction with other nGR proteins in spores. Our findings provide the first structural view of the nGR subunits and a molecular framework for understanding the architecture, conservation, and function of nGRs.

  4. Molecular dissection of Neurospora Spore killer meiotic drive elements

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, Thomas M.; Rehard, David G.; Xiao, Hua; Shiu, Patrick K. T.

    2012-01-01

    Meiotic drive is a non-Mendelian inheritance phenomenon in which certain selfish genetic elements skew sexual transmission in their own favor. In some cases, progeny or gametes carrying a meiotic drive element can survive preferentially because it causes the death or malfunctioning of those that do not carry it. In Neurospora, meiotic drive can be observed in fungal spore killing. In a cross of Spore killer (Sk) × WT (Sk-sensitive), the ascospores containing the Spore killer allele survive, whereas the ones with the sensitive allele degenerate. Sk-2 and Sk-3 are the most studied meiotic drive elements in Neurospora, and they each theoretically contain two essential components: a killer element and a resistance gene. Here we report the identification and characterization of the Sk resistance gene, rsk (resistant to Spore killer). rsk seems to be a fungal-specific gene, and its deletion in a killer strain leads to self-killing. Sk-2, Sk-3, and naturally resistant isolates all use rsk for resistance. In each killer system, rsk sequences from an Sk strain and a resistant isolate are highly similar, suggesting that they share the same origin. Sk-2, Sk-3, and sensitive rsk alleles differ from each other by their unique indel patterns. Contrary to long-held belief, the killer targets not only late but also early ascospore development. The WT RSK protein is dispensable for ascospore production and is not a target of the spore-killing mechanism. Rather, a resistant version of RSK likely neutralizes the killer element and prevents it from interfering with ascospore development. PMID:22753473

  5. Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores by combining high-pressure thermal sterilization and ethanol.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhong; Jiang, Bin; Liao, Xiaojun; Yi, Jianyong; Hu, Xiaosong; Zhang, Yan

    2012-11-15

    High-pressure thermal sterilization (HPTS) is a new and promising sterilization technology of foods. Effects of combining HPTS and ethanol treatment on inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores were investigated. An interesting phenomenon was observed. The inactivation effect of HPTS treatment on the spores was enhanced significantly with the increase in ethanol concentration from 0 to 15%. However, the inactivation effect was decreased with further increase in ethanol concentration up to 70%. In addition, the release of DPA and leakages of OD(260) and OD(280) material from the spores increased continuously with the increase in ethanol concentration. Moreover, flow cytometry analysis suggested that although the inner membrane of the spores was damaged, PI could not bind with the spore DNA immediately after HPTS treatment. In conclusion, the mechanism of this special phenomenon could be attributed to the germination of spores under HPTS treatment and effects of ethanol on the protein or water activity. HPTS caused other lethal damages to the spores besides its damage to the inner membrane. Ethanol of low concentrations could significantly enhance the sterilization effects of HPTS, which was good for keeping the qualities of foods.

  6. Fruiting bodies of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum increase spore transport by Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Many microbial phenotypes are the product of cooperative interactions among cells, but their putative fitness benefits are often not well understood. In the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, unicellular amoebae aggregate when starved and form multicellular fruiting bodies in which stress-resistant spores are held aloft by dead stalk cells. Fruiting bodies are thought to be adaptations for dispersing spores to new feeding sites, but this has not been directly tested. Here we experimentally test whether fruiting bodies increase the rate at which spores are acquired by passing invertebrates. Results Drosophila melanogaster accumulate spores on their surfaces more quickly when exposed to intact fruiting bodies than when exposed to fruiting bodies physically disrupted to dislodge spore masses from stalks. Flies also ingest and excrete spores that still express a red fluorescent protein marker. Conclusions Multicellular fruiting bodies created by D. discoideum increase the likelihood that invertebrates acquire spores that can then be transported to new feeding sites. These results thus support the long-hypothesized dispersal benefits of altruism in a model system for microbial cooperation. PMID:24884856

  7. Sphagnum moss disperses spores with vortex rings.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Dwight L; Edwards, Joan

    2010-07-23

    Sphagnum spores, which have low terminal velocities, are carried by turbulent wind currents to establish colonies many kilometers away. However, spores that are easily kept aloft are also rapidly decelerated in still air; thus, dispersal range depends strongly on release height. Vascular plants grow tall to lift spores into sufficient wind currents for dispersal, but nonvascular plants such as Sphagnum cannot grow sufficiently high. High-speed videos show that exploding capsules of Sphagnum generate vortex rings to efficiently carry spores high enough to be dispersed by turbulent air currents. Spores launched ballistically at similar speeds through still air would travel a few millimeters and not easily reach turbulent air. Vortex rings are used by animals; here, we report vortex rings generated by plants.

  8. Mechanism and site of inhibition of Bacillus cereus spore outgrowth by nitrosothiols

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, S.L.

    1982-01-01

    Structure vs. activity studies demonstrate that nitrosothiols inhibit outgrowth of B. cereus spores by reversible covalent bond formation with sensitive spore components. Kinetic studies of the binding of nitrosothiols and iodoacetate, a known sulfhydryl reagent, show that they complete for the same spore sites. Since two other nitrite derivatives, the Perigo factor and the transferrin inhibitor, interfere with iodoacetate label uptake in a kinetically similar fashion, all of these compounds may inhibit spore outgrowth by interacting with the same spore thiol groups. Disruption of spores which have been inhibited by radioactive iodoacetate demonstrates that much of the label is incorporated into a membrane-rich fraction that sediments as a single peak on a sucrose density gradient. SDS gel electrophoresis and autofluorography allows the identification of four intensely labelled proteins with molecular weights of 13,000, 28,000, 29,000, and 30,000. If the iodoacetate labelling is carried out in the presence of nitrosothiol, incorporation is greatly reduced into all components. When germinating spores are labelled with succinate or the lactose analog, o-nitrophenylgalactopyranoside, a significant reduction in the amount of label bound is also observed suggesting that two iodoacetate-reactive sites may be the succinate and lactose permease systems. Severe decreases in the transport of succinate and lactose into iodoacetate and nitrosothiol inhibited spores further implicates a nitrosothiol (iodoacetate) permease interaction. Iodoacetate and nitrosothiols therefore may exert their inhibitory effects by interfering with critical membrane protein sulfhydryl groups, possibly by a a covalent modification mechanism. Some of these sensitive thiols may be involved in active transport processes.

  9. Nanomechanical analysis of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores.

    PubMed

    Andreeva, N; Bassi, D; Cappa, F; Cocconcelli, P S; Parmigiani, F; Ferrini, G

    2010-12-01

    In this work we report on the measurement of the Young modulus of the external surface of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores in air with an atomic force microscope. The Young modulus can be reliably measured despite the strong tip-spore adhesion forces and the need to immobilize the spores due to their slipping on most substrates. Moreover, we investigate the disturbing factors and consider some practical aspects that influence the measurements of elastic properties of biological objects with the atomic force microscopy indentation techniques.

  10. Micro-sonicator for spore lysis

    DOEpatents

    Miles, Robin R.; Belgrader, Phillip; Nasarabadi, Shanavaz L.

    2000-01-01

    A micro-sonicator for spore lysis. Using micromachining technology, the micro-sonicator uses ultrasonic excitation of spores to perform spore and cell lysis. The micro-sonicator comprises a container with a cavity therein for retaining the sample in an ultrasonic transmission medium, the cavity being closed by a silicon membrane to which an electrode and piezoelectric material are attached, with the electrode and piezoelectric material being electrically connected to an AC signal generator which causes the membrane to flex and vibrate at the frequency of the applied voltage.

  11. Quantification and Single-Spore Detection of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The microscopic identification and quantification of Phakopsora pachyrhizi spores from environmental samples, spore traps, and laboratory specimens can represent a challenge. Such reports, especially from passive spore traps, commonly describe the number of “rust-like” spores; for other forensic sa...

  12. Expression and display of UreA of Helicobacter acinonychis on the surface of Bacillus subtilis spores

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The bacterial endospore (spore) has recently been proposed as a new surface display system. Antigens and enzymes have been successfully exposed on the surface layers of the Bacillus subtilis spore, but only in a few cases the efficiency of expression and the effective surface display and have been determined. We used this heterologous expression system to produce the A subunit of the urease of the animal pathogen Helicobater acinonychis. Ureases are multi-subunit enzymes with a central role in the virulence of various bacterial pathogens and necessary for colonization of the gastric mucosa by the human pathogen H. pylori. The urease subunit UreA has been recognized as a major antigen, able to induce high levels of protection against challenge infections. Results We expressed UreA from H. acinonychis on the B. subtilis spore coat by using three different spore coat proteins as carriers and compared the efficiency of surface expression and surface display obtained with the three carriers. A combination of western-, dot-blot and immunofluorescence microscopy allowed us to conclude that, when fused to CotB, UreA is displayed on the spore surface (ca. 1 × 103 recombinant molecules per spore), whereas when fused to CotC, although most efficiently expressed (7-15 × 103 recombinant molecules per spore) and located in the coat layer, it is not displayed on the surface. Experiments with CotG gave results similar to those with CotC, but the CotG-UreA recombinant protein appeared to be partially processed. Conclusion UreA was efficiently expressed on the spore coat of B. subtilis when fused to CotB, CotC or CotG. Of these three coat proteins CotC allows the highest efficiency of expression, whereas CotB is the most appropriate for the display of heterologous proteins on the spore surface. PMID:20082702

  13. Bacterial spores survive electrospray charging and desolvation.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Sara N; Austin, Daniel E

    2014-05-01

    The survivability of Bacillus subtilis spores and vegetative Escherichia coli cells after electrospray from aqueous suspension was tested using mobility experiments at atmospheric pressure. E. coli did not survive electrospray charging and desolvation, but B. subtilis did. Experimental conditions ensured that any surviving bacteria were de-agglomerated, desolvated, and electrically charged. Based on mobility measurements, B. subtilis spores survived even with 2,000-20,000 positive charges. B. subtilis was also found to survive introduction into vacuum after either positive or negative electrospray. Attempts to measure the charge distribution of viable B. subtilis spores using electrostatic deflection in vacuum were inconclusive; however, viable spores with low charge states (less than 42 positive or less than 26 negative charges) were observed.

  14. Interaction of Bacillus subtilis spores with sodium hypochlorite, sodium dichloroisocyanurate and chloramine-T.

    PubMed

    Bloomfield, S F; Arthur, M

    1992-02-01

    Solutions of chlorine-releasing agents (CRAs) show varying activity against Bacillus subtilis spores; sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) shows higher activity than sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) which is more active than chloramine-T. Investigations with coat- and cortex-extracted spores indicate that resistance to CRAs depends not only on the spore coat but also the cortex. Whereas extraction of alkali-soluble coat protein increased sensitivity to NaOCl and NaDCC, degradation of coat and cortex material was required to achieve significant activity with chloramine-T. NaOCl (in the presence and absence of NaOH) and NaDCC (in the presence of NaOH only) produced degradation of spore coat and cortex material which may be related to their rapid sporicidal action at low concentrations under these conditions. By contrast, chloramine-T produced no degradation of cortex peptidoglycan and was only effective against normal and alkali-treated spores at high concentrations, requiring extraction of peptidoglycan with urea/dithiothreitol/sodium lauryl sulphate (UDS) or UDS/lysozyme to achieve significant activity at low concentrations. Results suggest that the sporicidal action of CRAs is associated with spore coat and cortex degradation causing rehydration of the protoplast allowing diffusion to the site of action on the underlying protoplast. PMID:1556040

  15. Survival of Bacillus pumilus spores for a prolonged period of time in real space conditions.

    PubMed

    Vaishampayan, Parag A; Rabbow, Elke; Horneck, Gerda; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J

    2012-05-01

    To prevent forward contamination and maintain the scientific integrity of future life-detection missions, it is important to characterize and attempt to eliminate terrestrial microorganisms associated with exploratory spacecraft and landing vehicles. Among the organisms isolated from spacecraft-associated surfaces, spores of Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 exhibited unusually high resistance to decontamination techniques such as UV radiation and peroxide treatment. Subsequently, B. pumilus SAFR-032 was flown to the International Space Station (ISS) and exposed to a variety of space conditions via the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF). After 18 months of exposure in the EXPOSE facility of the European Space Agency (ESA) on EuTEF under dark space conditions, SAFR-032 spores showed 10-40% survivability, whereas a survival rate of 85-100% was observed when these spores were kept aboard the ISS under dark simulated martian atmospheric conditions. In contrast, when UV (>110 nm) was applied on SAFR-032 spores for the same time period and under the same conditions used in EXPOSE, a ∼7-log reduction in viability was observed. A parallel experiment was conducted on Earth with identical samples under simulated space conditions. Spores exposed to ground simulations showed less of a reduction in viability when compared with the "real space" exposed spores (∼3-log reduction in viability for "UV-Mars," and ∼4-log reduction in viability for "UV-Space"). A comparative proteomics analysis indicated that proteins conferring resistant traits (superoxide dismutase) were present in higher concentration in space-exposed spores when compared to controls. Also, the first-generation cells and spores derived from space-exposed samples exhibited elevated UVC resistance when compared with their ground control counterparts. The data generated are important for calculating the probability and mechanisms of microbial survival in space conditions and assessing microbial contaminants

  16. The Role of Aquaporins in pH-Dependent Germination of Rhizopus delemar Spores

    PubMed Central

    Turgeman, Tidhar; Shatil-Cohen, Arava; Moshelion, Menachem; Teper-Bamnolker, Paula; Skory, Christopher D.; Lichter, Amnon; Eshel, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Rhizopus delemar and associated species attack a wide range of fruit and vegetables after harvest. Host nutrients and acidic pH are required for optimal germination of R. delemar, and we studied how this process is triggered. Glucose induced spore swelling in an acidic environment, expressed by an up to 3-fold increase in spore diameter, whereas spore diameter was smaller in a neutral environment. When suspended in an acidic environment, the spores started to float, indicating a change in their density. Treatment of the spores with HgCl2, an aquaporin blocker, prevented floating and inhibited spore swelling and germ-tube emergence, indicating the importance of water uptake at the early stages of germination. Two putative candidate aquaporin-encoding genes—RdAQP1 and RdAQP2—were identified in the R. delemar genome. Both presented the conserved NPA motif and six-transmembrane domain topology. Expressing RdAQP1 and RdAQP2 in Arabidopsis protoplasts increased the cells' osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) compared to controls, indicating their role as water channels. A decrease in R. delemar aquaporin activity with increasing external pH suggested pH regulation of these proteins. Substitution of two histidine (His) residues, positioned on two loops facing the outer side of the cell, with alanine eliminated the pH sensing resulting in similar Pf values under acidic and basic conditions. Since hydration is critical for spore switching from the resting to activate state, we suggest that pH regulation of the aquaporins can regulate the initial phase of R. delemar spore germination, followed by germ-tube elongation and host-tissue infection. PMID:26959825

  17. The Role of Aquaporins in pH-Dependent Germination of Rhizopus delemar Spores.

    PubMed

    Turgeman, Tidhar; Shatil-Cohen, Arava; Moshelion, Menachem; Teper-Bamnolker, Paula; Skory, Christopher D; Lichter, Amnon; Eshel, Dani

    2016-01-01

    Rhizopus delemar and associated species attack a wide range of fruit and vegetables after harvest. Host nutrients and acidic pH are required for optimal germination of R. delemar, and we studied how this process is triggered. Glucose induced spore swelling in an acidic environment, expressed by an up to 3-fold increase in spore diameter, whereas spore diameter was smaller in a neutral environment. When suspended in an acidic environment, the spores started to float, indicating a change in their density. Treatment of the spores with HgCl2, an aquaporin blocker, prevented floating and inhibited spore swelling and germ-tube emergence, indicating the importance of water uptake at the early stages of germination. Two putative candidate aquaporin-encoding genes-RdAQP1 and RdAQP2-were identified in the R. delemar genome. Both presented the conserved NPA motif and six-transmembrane domain topology. Expressing RdAQP1 and RdAQP2 in Arabidopsis protoplasts increased the cells' osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) compared to controls, indicating their role as water channels. A decrease in R. delemar aquaporin activity with increasing external pH suggested pH regulation of these proteins. Substitution of two histidine (His) residues, positioned on two loops facing the outer side of the cell, with alanine eliminated the pH sensing resulting in similar Pf values under acidic and basic conditions. Since hydration is critical for spore switching from the resting to activate state, we suggest that pH regulation of the aquaporins can regulate the initial phase of R. delemar spore germination, followed by germ-tube elongation and host-tissue infection. PMID:26959825

  18. Bacterial spores in silage and raw milk.

    PubMed

    te Giffel, M C; Wagendorp, A; Herrewegh, A; Driehuis, F

    2002-08-01

    Spore-forming bacteria can survive food-processing treatments. In the dairy industry, Bacillus and Clostridium species determine the shelf-life of a variety of heat-treated milk products, mainly if the level of post-process contamination is low. In order to minimize problems caused by bacterial spores in foods and food production processes a chain management approach, from raw materials, ingredients and environmental sources to final product storage conditions, is most effective. Silage is considered to be a significant source of contamination of raw milk with spores. PCR-RAPD fingerprinting and heat resistance studies of populations of aerobic spore-formers isolated from grass and maize silage and from raw milk confirmed this assumption. Prevention of outgrowth of aerobic spores in silage will contribute to reduction of the total spore load of raw milk. Therefore, it is important that the silage fermentation process is controlled. Application of cultures of lactic acid bacteria or chemical additives can aid silage fermentation and improve aerobic stability. PMID:12448758

  19. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Germination of Nosema bombycis Spores under Extremely Alkaline Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Han; Chen, Bosheng; Hu, Sirui; Liang, Xili; Lu, Xingmeng; Shao, Yongqi

    2016-01-01

    The microsporidian Nosema bombycis is an obligate intracellular pathogen of the silkworm Bombyx mori, causing the epidemic disease Pebrine and extensive economic losses in sericulture. Although N. bombycis forms spores with rigid spore walls that protect against various environmental pressures, ingested spores germinate immediately under the extremely alkaline host gut condition (Lepidoptera gut pH > 10.5), which is a key developmental turning point from dormant state to infected state. However, to date this process remains poorly understood due to the complexity of the animal digestive tract and the lack of genetic tools for microsporidia. Here we show, using an in vitro spore germination model, how the proteome of N. bombycis changes during germination, analyse specific metabolic pathways employed in detail, and validate key functional proteins in vivo in silkworms. By a label-free quantitative proteomics approach that is directly based on high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) data, a total of 1136 proteins were identified with high confidence, with 127 proteins being significantly changed in comparison to non-germinated spores. Among them, structural proteins including polar tube protein 1 and 3 and spore wall protein (SWP) 4 and 30 were found to be significantly down-regulated, but SWP9 significantly up-regulated. Some nucleases like polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase and flap endonucleases 1, together with a panel of hydrolases involved in protein degradation and RNA cleavage were overrepresented too upon germination, which implied that they might play important roles during spore germination. The differentially regulated trends of these genes were validated, respectively, by quantitative RT-PCR and 3 proteins of interest were confirmed by Western blotting analyses in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the pathway analysis showed that abundant up- and down-regulations appear involved in the glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, purine, and pyrimidine metabolism

  20. All green, but equal? Morphological traits and ecological implications on spores of three species of mosses in the Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S; da Silva, Flávia C L; Válio, Ivany F M

    2014-09-01

    Spores of the tropical mosses Pyrrhobryum spiniforme, Neckeropsis undulata and N. disticha were characterized regarding size, number per capsule and viability. Chemical substances were analyzed for P. spiniforme and N. undulata spores. Length of sporophyte seta (spore dispersal ability) was analyzed for P. spiniforme. Four to six colonies per species in each site (lowland and highland areas of an Atlantic Forest; Serra do Mar State Park, Brazil) were visited for the collection of capsules (2008 - 2009). Neckeropsis undulata in the highland area produced the largest spores (ca. 19 µm) with the highest viability. The smallest spores were found in N. disticha in the lowland (ca. 13 µm). Pyrrhobryum spiniforme produced more spores per capsule in the highland (ca. 150,000) than in lowland (ca. 40,000); longer sporophytic setae in the lowland (ca. 64 mm) than in the highland (ca. 43 mm); and similar sized spores in both areas (ca. 16 µm). Spores of N. undulata and P. spiniforme contained lipids and proteins in the cytoplasm, and acid/neutral lipids and pectins in the wall. Lipid bodies were larger in N. undulata than in P. spiniforme. No starch was recorded for spores. Pyrrhobryum spiniforme in the highland area, different from lowland, was characterized by low reproductive effort, but presented many spores per capsule.

  1. Intact spore MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis of Puccinia pathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Beinhauer, Jana; Raus, Martin; Hanzalová, Alena; Horčička, Pavel; Šebela, Marek

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this work was to develop a method for the identification of pathogens causing rust diseases of crops using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) of intact cells or spores (IC/IS). All optimizations were performed with Puccinia triticina, the causal agent of wheat leaf rust. Experiments included selection of washing solvents for spores, finding of an optimal concentration of spores in suspension and the most suitable matrix system as well as an evaluation of different sample preparation techniques. The best results were obtained when the spores were washed with acetonitrile/0.1% (v/v) trifluoroacetic acid, 7:3, v/v. A mixture of ferulic and sinapinic acids (5:15mgml(-1)) dissolved in acetonitrile/2.5% (v/v) trifluoroacetic acid, 7:3, v/v, was found optimal for the deposition of samples (50μg spores per μl) by two-layer volume technique. The optimized protocol was subsequently applied to other Puccinia species (Puccinia graminis, Puccinia striiformis and Puccinia coronata). Together with the use of the software BIOSPEAN, not only different species but also various pathotypes of the same species, which differ in their virulence, could be discriminated. There were 108 and 29 proteins identified from P. striiformis and P. graminis spores, respectively, after an acidic extraction in the matrix solvent mimicking the sample preparation for MALDI. Besides the presence of ribosomal proteins, histones, regulatory proteins and enzymes, also extracellular proteins participating in the pathogenesis were found. Finally, for both species, several proteins were assigned to signals in typical mass spectrometric profiles and suggested as diagnostic markers. PMID:27267623

  2. Alternative excision repair of ultraviolet B- and C-induced DNA damage in dormant and developing spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Guadiana, Fernando H; Barraza-Salas, Marcelo; Ramírez-Ramírez, Norma; Ortiz-Cortés, Mayte; Setlow, Peter; Pedraza-Reyes, Mario

    2012-11-01

    The nucleotide excision repair (NER) and spore photoproduct lyase DNA repair pathways are major determinants of Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to UV radiation. We report here that a putative ultraviolet (UV) damage endonuclease encoded by ywjD confers protection to developing and dormant spores of B. subtilis against UV DNA damage. In agreement with its predicted function, a His(6)-YwjD recombinant protein catalyzed the specific incision of UV-irradiated DNA in vitro. The maximum expression of a reporter gene fusion to the ywjD opening reading frame occurred late in sporulation, and this maximal expression was dependent on the forespore-specific RNA polymerase sigma factor, σ(G). Although the absence of YwjD and/or UvrA, an essential protein of the NER pathway, sensitized developing spores to UV-C, this effect was lower when these cells were treated with UV-B. In contrast, UV-B but not UV-C radiation dramatically decreased the survival of dormant spores deficient in both YwjD and UvrA. The distinct range of lesions generated by UV-C and UV-B and the different DNA photochemistry in developing and dormant spores may cause these differences. We postulate that in addition to the UvrABC repair system, developing and dormant spores of B. subtilis also rely on an alternative excision repair pathway involving YwjD to deal with the deleterious effects of various UV photoproducts.

  3. Sensitive, Rapid Detection of Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kern, Roger G.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Chen, Fei; Pickett, Molly; Matsuyama, Asahi

    2009-01-01

    A method of sensitive detection of bacterial spores within delays of no more than a few hours has been developed to provide an alternative to a prior three-day NASA standard culture-based assay. A capability for relatively rapid detection of bacterial spores would be beneficial for many endeavors, a few examples being agriculture, medicine, public health, defense against biowarfare, water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and the food-packaging and medical-equipment industries. The method involves the use of a commercial rapid microbial detection system (RMDS) that utilizes a combination of membrane filtration, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence chemistry, and analysis of luminescence images detected by a charge-coupled-device camera. This RMDS has been demonstrated to be highly sensitive in enumerating microbes (it can detect as little as one colony-forming unit per sample) and has been found to yield data in excellent correlation with those of culture-based methods. What makes the present method necessary is that the specific RMDS and the original protocols for its use are not designed for discriminating between bacterial spores and other microbes. In this method, a heat-shock procedure is added prior to an incubation procedure that is specified in the original RMDS protocols. In this heat-shock procedure (which was also described in a prior NASA Tech Briefs article on enumerating sporeforming bacteria), a sample is exposed to a temperature of 80 C for 15 minutes. Spores can survive the heat shock, but nonspore- forming bacteria and spore-forming bacteria that are not in spore form cannot survive. Therefore, any colonies that grow during incubation after the heat shock are deemed to have originated as spores.

  4. Proteomic profiling and identification of immunodominant spore antigens of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed

    Delvecchio, Vito G; Connolly, Joseph P; Alefantis, Timothy G; Walz, Alexander; Quan, Marian A; Patra, Guy; Ashton, John M; Whittington, Jessica T; Chafin, Ryan D; Liang, Xudong; Grewal, Paul; Khan, Akbar S; Mujer, Cesar V

    2006-09-01

    Differentially expressed and immunogenic spore proteins of the Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which includes Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus thuringiensis, were identified. Comparative proteomic profiling of their spore proteins distinguished the three species from each other as well as the virulent from the avirulent strains. A total of 458 proteins encoded by 232 open reading frames were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis for all the species. A number of highly expressed proteins, including elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu), elongation factor G, 60-kDa chaperonin, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, and others exist as charge variants on two-dimensional gels. These charge variants have similar masses but different isoelectric points. The majority of identified proteins have cellular roles associated with energy production, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, amino acid transport and metabolism, posttranslational modifications, and translation. Novel vaccine candidate proteins were identified using B. anthracis polyclonal antisera from humans postinfected with cutaneous anthrax. Fifteen immunoreactive proteins were identified in B. anthracis spores, whereas 7, 14, and 7 immunoreactive proteins were identified for B. cereus and in the virulent and avirulent strains of B. thuringiensis spores, respectively. Some of the immunodominant antigens include charge variants of EF-Tu, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase, Delta-1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, and a dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase. Alanine racemase and neutral protease were uniquely immunogenic to B. anthracis. Comparative analysis of the spore immunome will be of significance for further nucleic acid- and immuno-based detection systems as well as next-generation vaccine development.

  5. Isolation and Characterization of a Galactosamine Wall from Spores and Spherules of Physarum polycephalum

    PubMed Central

    McCormick, J. Justin; Blomquist, Judith C.; Rusch, Harold P.

    1970-01-01

    The myxomycete, Physarum polycephalum, can be induced under laboratory conditions to form two different hard-walled forms, spores and spherules. Characterization of both types of walls revealed only a single sugar, galactosamine. It was identified after acid hydrolysis of the isolated walls by chromatography in three solvent systems, by its positive reaction with ammoniacal silver nitrate, ninhydrin, Galactostat, and the Elson-Morgan test, and by ninhydrin degradation to lyxose. Galactosamine was present as a polymer with solubility characteristics the same as the β1-4–linked glucosamine polymer (chitosan). The walls were also found to contain about 2% protein. Spherule walls revealed a single glycoprotein on gel electrophoresis. Spore walls contained a similar protein component. The phosphate content of isolated spherule walls was 9.8%, and that of spore walls was 1.4%. Spore walls also contained about 15% melanin which was shown to be similar to fungal melanin. A novel method was used to measure the rate of mature spherule formation based on the loss of extractability of P. polycephalum natural pigment. The presence of a rare galactosamine polymer in P. polycephalum spore and spherule walls as the only carbohydrate suggests that the myxomycetes are not closely related to the fungi or the protozoa. PMID:16559084

  6. Identification and validation of specific markers of Bacillus anthracis spores by proteomics and genomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L; Becher, François

    2014-03-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  7. Identification and Validation of Specific Markers of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Proteomics and Genomics Approaches*

    PubMed Central

    Chenau, Jérôme; Fenaille, François; Caro, Valérie; Haustant, Michel; Diancourt, Laure; Klee, Silke R.; Junot, Christophe; Ezan, Eric; Goossens, Pierre L.; Becher, François

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative bacteria of anthrax, an acute and often fatal disease in humans. The infectious agent, the spore, represents a real bioterrorism threat and its specific identification is crucial. However, because of the high genomic relatedness within the Bacillus cereus group, it is still a real challenge to identify B. anthracis spores confidently. Mass spectrometry-based tools represent a powerful approach to the efficient discovery and identification of such protein markers. Here we undertook comparative proteomics analyses of Bacillus anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis spores to identify proteoforms unique to B. anthracis. The marker discovery pipeline developed combined peptide- and protein-centric approaches using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry experiments using a high resolution/high mass accuracy LTQ-Orbitrap instrument. By combining these data with those from complementary bioinformatics approaches, we were able to highlight a dozen novel proteins consistently observed across all the investigated B. anthracis spores while being absent in B. cereus/thuringiensis spores. To further demonstrate the relevance of these markers and their strict specificity to B. anthracis, the number of strains studied was extended to 55, by including closely related strains such as B. thuringiensis 9727, and above all the B. cereus biovar anthracis CI, CA strains that possess pXO1- and pXO2-like plasmids. Under these conditions, the combination of proteomics and genomics approaches confirms the pertinence of 11 markers. Genes encoding these 11 markers are located on the chromosome, which provides additional targets complementary to the commonly used plasmid-encoded markers. Last but not least, we also report the development of a targeted liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry method involving the selection reaction monitoring mode for the monitoring of the 4 most suitable protein markers. Within a proof

  8. Immunoassay for B. globigii spores as a model for detecting B. anthracis spores in finished water.

    PubMed

    Farrell, Svetlana; Halsall, H Brian; Heineman, William R

    2005-04-01

    The 2001 anthrax alarm in the US raised concerns about the Nation's preparedness to the threat of bioterrorism, and the demand for early warning systems that might be used in the case of a biological attack continues to grow. Here we develop an ultra-sensitive rapid detection method for B. globigii(BG) spores, the simulant of B. anthracis(BA) spores. BG spores were detected by a bead-based sandwich immunoassay with fluorescence detection. Paramagnetic Dynal beads were used as a solid support, primary antibody was attached to the beads by streptavidin-biotin coupling and the secondary antibody had an alkaline phosphatase (AP) enzyme label. Enzymatic conversion of fluorescein diphosphate (FDP) to fluorescein by AP was measured in real time with lambda(ex)= 490 nm and lambda(em)= 520 nm. The assay was linear from 2.6 x 10(3)-5.6 x 10(5) BG spores mL(-1), and the detection limit was 2.6 x 10(3) spores mL(-1) or 78 spores. All reagent concentrations and incubation times were optimized. The assay time from the moment the spores were introduced to the system was 30 min, and real-time fluorescence detection was done in less than 1 min. Formation of the BG spores-capture beads complex was confirmed by environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). BG spores were detected successfully when doped into Cincinnati tap water to demonstrate the applicability of the developed method to detect the spores in non-buffered media. PMID:15776158

  9. Method for collecting spores from a mold

    DOEpatents

    Au, Frederick H. F.; Beckert, Werner F.

    1977-01-01

    A technique and apparatus used therewith for determining the uptake of plutonium and other contaminants by soil microorganisms which, in turn, gives a measure of the plutonium and/or other contaminants available to the biosphere at that particular time. A measured quantity of uncontaminated spores of a selected mold is added to a moistened sample of the soil to be tested. The mixture is allowed to sit a predetermined number of days under specified temperature conditions. An agar layer is then applied to the top of the sample. After three or more days, when spores of the mold growing in the sample have formed, the spores are collected by a miniature vacuum collection apparatus operated under preselected vacuum conditions, which collect only the spores with essentially no contamination by mycelial fragments or culture medium. After collection, the fungal spores are dried and analyzed for the plutonium and/or other contaminants. The apparatus is also suitable for collection of pollen, small insects, dust and other small particles, material from thin-layer chromatography plates, etc.

  10. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Adams, Vicki; Li, Jihong; Wisniewski, Jessica A; Uzal, Francisco A; Moore, Robert J; McClane, Bruce A; Rood, Julian I

    2014-12-01

    Plasmid-encoded virulence factors are important in the pathogenesis of diseases caused by spore-forming bacteria. Unlike many other bacteria, the most common virulence factors encoded by plasmids in Clostridium and Bacillus species are protein toxins. Clostridium perfringens causes several histotoxic and enterotoxin diseases in both humans and animals and produces a broad range of toxins, including many pore-forming toxins such as C. perfringens enterotoxin, epsilon-toxin, beta-toxin, and NetB. Genetic studies have led to the determination of the role of these toxins in disease pathogenesis. The genes for these toxins are generally carried on large conjugative plasmids that have common core replication, maintenance, and conjugation regions. There is considerable functional information available about the unique tcp conjugation locus carried by these plasmids, but less is known about plasmid maintenance. The latter is intriguing because many C. perfringens isolates stably maintain up to four different, but closely related, toxin plasmids. Toxin genes may also be plasmid-encoded in the neurotoxic clostridia. The tetanus toxin gene is located on a plasmid in Clostridium tetani, but the botulinum toxin genes may be chromosomal, plasmid-determined, or located on bacteriophages in Clostridium botulinum. In Bacillus anthracis it is well established that virulence is plasmid determined, with anthrax toxin genes located on pXO1 and capsule genes on a separate plasmid, pXO2. Orthologs of these plasmids are also found in other members of the Bacillus cereus group such as B. cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. In B. thuringiensis these plasmids may carry genes encoding one or more insecticidal toxins.

  11. Flexibility of the programme of spore coat formation in Bacillus subtilis: bypass of CotE requirement by over-production of CotH.

    PubMed

    Isticato, Rachele; Sirec, Teja; Giglio, Rosa; Baccigalupi, Loredana; Rusciano, Giulia; Pesce, Giuseppe; Zito, Gianluigi; Sasso, Antonio; De Felice, Maurilio; Ricca, Ezio

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial spores are surrounded by the coat, a multilayered shell that contributes in protecting the genome during stress conditions. In Bacillus subtilis, the model organism for spore formers, the coat is composed by about seventy different proteins, organized into four layers by the action of several regulatory proteins. A major component of this regulatory network, CotE, is needed to assemble the outer coat and develop spores fully resistant to lysozyme and able to germinate efficiently. Another regulator, CotH, is controlled by CotE and is present in low amounts both during sporulation and in mature spores. In spite of this CotH controls the assembly of at least nine outer coat proteins and cooperates with CotE in producing fully resistant and efficiently germinating spores. In order to improve our understanding of CotH role in spore formation, we over-produced CotH by placing its coding region under the control of a promoter stronger than its own promoter but with a similar timing of activity during sporulation. Over-production of CotH in an otherwise wild type strain did not cause any major effect, whereas in a cotE null background a partial recovery of the phenotypes associated to the cotE null mutation was observed. Western blot, fluorescence microscopy and Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering spectroscopy data indicate that, in the absence of CotE, over-production of CotH allowed the formation of spores overall resembling wild type spores and carrying in their coat some CotE-/CotH-dependant proteins. Our results suggest that the B. subtilis spore differentiation programme is flexible, and that an increase in the amount of a regulatory protein can replace a missing partner and partially substitute its function in the assembly of the spore coat.

  12. Bacillus subtilis spores expressing the VP28 antigen: a potential oral treatment to protect Litopenaeus vannamei against white spot syndrome.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Anh T V; Pham, Cuong K; Pham, Huong T T; Pham, Hang L; Nguyen, Anh H; Dang, Lua T; Huynh, Hong A; Cutting, Simon M; Phan, Tuan-Nghia

    2014-09-01

    The envelope protein VP28 of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is considered a candidate antigen for use in a potential vaccine to this important shrimp pathogen (the cause of white spot syndrome, WSS). Here, we used spores of Bacillus subtilis to display VP28 on the spore surface. Trials were conducted to evaluate their ability to protect shrimps against WSSV infection. The gene cotB-vp28 was integrated into the chromosome of the laboratory strain B. subtilis PY79, and expression of CotB-VP28 was detected by Western blotting and immunofluorescence. Expression of CotB-VP28 was equivalent to 1000 molecules per spore. PY79 and CotB-VP28 spores were mixed with pellets for feeding of whiteleg shrimps (Litopenaeus vannamei), followed by WSSV challenge. Superoxidase dismutase (SOD), phenoloxidase activities and mortality rates of the two shrimp groups were evaluated. Groups fed with PY79 and CotB-VP28 spores at day 7 had increased SOD activities of 29% and increased phenoloxidase activities of 15% and 33%, respectively, compared to those of the control group. Fourteen days postchallenge, 35% of vaccinated shrimps had died compared to 49% of those fed naked spores (PY79) and 66% untreated, unchallenged animals. These data suggest that spores expressing VP28 have potential as a prophylactic treatment of WSS.

  13. Factors affecting spore germination in algae - review.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S C

    2009-01-01

    This review surveys whatever little is known on the influence of different environmental factors like light, temperature, nutrients, chemicals (such as plant hormones, vitamins, etc.), pH of the medium, biotic factors (such as algal extracellular substances, algal concentration, bacterial extracellular products, animal grazing and animal extracellular products), water movement, water stress, antibiotics, UV light, X-rays, gamma-rays, and pollution on the spore germination in algae. The work done on the dormancy of algal spores and on the role of vegetative cells in tolerating environmental stress is also incorporated. PMID:19826917

  14. Bacterial spores and chemical sporicidal agents.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, A D

    1990-01-01

    Bacterial spores are among the most resistant of all living cells to biocides, although the response depends on the stage of sporulation. The development of resistance to some agents such as chlorhexidine occurs much earlier in sporulation than does resistance to glutaraldehyde, which is a very late event. During germination or outgrowth or both, resistance is lost and the cells become as susceptible to biocides as nonsporulating bacteria. Mechanisms of spore resistance to, and the action of, biocides are discussed, and possible means of enhancing antispore activity are considered. The clinical and other uses of sporicidal and sporostatic chemical agents are described. Images PMID:2187595

  15. The SPORES experiment of the EXPOSE-R mission: Bacillus subtilis spores in artificial meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panitz, Corinna; Horneck, Gerda; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Moeller, Ralf; Cadet, Jean; Douki, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    The experiment SPORES `Spores in artificial meteorites' was part of European Space Agency's EXPOSE-R mission, which exposed chemical and biological samples for nearly 2 years (March 10, 2009 to February 21, 2011) to outer space, when attached to the outside of the Russian Zvezda module of the International Space Station. The overall objective of the SPORES experiment was to address the question whether the meteorite material offers enough protection against the harsh environment of space for spores to survive a long-term journey in space by experimentally mimicking the hypothetical scenario of Lithopanspermia, which assumes interplanetary transfer of life via impact-ejected rocks. For this purpose, spores of Bacillus subtilis 168 were exposed to selected parameters of outer space (solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation at λ>110 or >200 nm, space vacuum, galactic cosmic radiation and temperature fluctuations) either as a pure spore monolayer or mixed with different concentrations of artificial meteorite powder. Total fluence of solar UV radiation (100-400 nm) during the mission was 859 MJ m-2. After retrieval the viability of the samples was analysed. A Mission Ground Reference program was performed in parallel to the flight experiment. The results of SPORES demonstrate the high inactivating potential of extraterrestrial UV radiation as one of the most harmful factors of space, especially UV at λ>110 nm. The UV-induced inactivation is mainly caused by photodamaging of the DNA, as documented by the identification of the spore photoproduct 5,6-dihydro-5(α-thyminyl)thymine. The data disclose the limits of Lithopanspermia for spores located in the upper layers of impact-ejected rocks due to access of harmful extraterrestrial solar UV radiation.

  16. High-Resolution Spore Coat Architecture and Assembly of Bacillus Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Malkin, A J; Elhadj, S; Plomp, M

    2011-03-14

    Elucidating the molecular architecture of bacterial and cellular surfaces and its structural dynamics is essential to understanding mechanisms of pathogenesis, immune response, physicochemical interactions, environmental resistance, and provide the means for identifying spore formulation and processing attributes. I will discuss the application of in vitro atomic force microscopy (AFM) for studies of high-resolution coat architecture and assembly of several Bacillus spore species. We have demonstrated that bacterial spore coat structures are phylogenetically and growth medium determined. We have proposed that strikingly different species-dependent coat structures of bacterial spore species are a consequence of sporulation media-dependent nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the assembly of the outer spore coat. Spore coat layers were found to exhibit screw dislocations and two-dimensional nuclei typically observed on inorganic and macromolecular crystals. This presents the first case of non-mineral crystal growth patterns being revealed for a biological organism, which provides an unexpected example of nature exploiting fundamental materials science mechanisms for the morphogenetic control of biological ultrastructures. We have discovered and validated, distinctive formulation-specific high-resolution structural spore coat and dimensional signatures of B. anthracis spores (Sterne strain) grown in different formulation condition. We further demonstrated that measurement of the dimensional characteristics of B. anthracis spores provides formulation classification and sample matching with high sensitivity and specificity. I will present data on the development of an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures on the B. anthracis surfaces. These studies demonstrate that AFM can probe microbial surface architecture, environmental dynamics and the life cycle of bacterial and cellular systems at near

  17. Immunomodulatory effects of Bacillus subtilis (natto) B4 spores on murine macrophages.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xin; Huang, Qin; Mao, Yulong; Cui, Zhiwen; Li, Yali; Huang, Yi; Rajput, Imran Rashid; Yu, Dongyou; Li, Weifen

    2012-12-01

    To investigate the immunomodulatory effects of Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) (natto) B4 spores on murine macrophage, RAW 264.7 cells were cultured alone or with B subtilis (natto) B4 spores at 37°C for 12 hrs, then both cells and culture supernatants were collected for analyses. Exposure of RAW 264.7 cells to B. subtilis (natto) B4 spores had no significant effects on macrophage viability and amounts of extracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). However, it remarkably increased the activities of acid phosphatase (ACP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cells and the amounts of nitric oxide (NO) and cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interferon-gamma, interleukin [IL]-1 beta, IL-6, IL-12, IL-10 and macrophage inflammatory protein-2) in culture supernatants. These results demonstrate that B. subtilis (natto) B4 spores are harmless to murine macrophages and can stimulate their activation through up-regulation of ACP and LDH activities and enhance their immune function by increasing iNOS activity and stimulating NO and cytokine production. The above findings suggest that B. subtilis (natto) B4 spores have immunomodulatory effects on macrophages.

  18. Spores of most common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Grothe, H.

    2013-06-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to show ice nucleation (IN) activity. In this study the respective IN activity was tested in oil emulsion in the immersion freezing mode. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. For the first time, not only common moulds, but also edible mushrooms (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) were investigated, as they contribute massively to the total amount of fungal spores in the atmosphere. Only Fusarium avenaceum showed freezing events at low subzero-temperatures, while the other investigated fungal spores showed no significant IN activity. Furthermore, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during cultivation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  19. Recovery of Heat Treated Bacillus cereus Spores Is Affected by Matrix Composition and Factors with Putative Functions in Damage Repair

    PubMed Central

    Warda, Alicja K.; Tempelaars, Marcel H.; Abee, Tjakko; Nierop Groot, Masja N.

    2016-01-01

    The ability of spores to recover and grow out after food processing is affected by cellular factors and by the outgrowth conditions. In the current communication we studied the recovery and outgrowth of individually sorted spores in BHI and rice broth media and on agar plates using flow cytometry. We show that recovery of wet heat treated Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 spores is affected by matrix composition with highest recovery in BHI broth or on rice agar plates, compared to BHI agar plates and rice broth. Data show that not only media composition but also its liquid or solid state affect the recovery of heat treated spores. To determine the impact of factors with putative roles in recovery of heat treated spores, specific genes previously shown to be highly expressed in outgrowing heat-treated spores were selected for mutant construction. Spores of nine B. cereus ATCC 14579 deletion mutants were obtained and their recovery from wet heat treatment was evaluated using BHI and rice broth and agar plates. Deletion mutant spores showed different capacity to recover from heat treatment compared to wild type with the most pronounced effect for a mutant lacking BC5242, a gene encoding a membrane protein with C2C2 zinc finger which resulted in over 95% reduction in recovery compared to the wild type in BHI broth. Notably, similar relative performance of wild type and mutants was observed using the other recovery conditions. We obtained insights on the impact of matrix composition and state on recovery of individually sorted heat treated spores and identified cellular factors with putative roles in this process. These results may provide leads for future developments in design of more efficient combined preservation treatments. PMID:27486443

  20. Recovery of Heat Treated Bacillus cereus Spores Is Affected by Matrix Composition and Factors with Putative Functions in Damage Repair.

    PubMed

    Warda, Alicja K; Tempelaars, Marcel H; Abee, Tjakko; Nierop Groot, Masja N

    2016-01-01

    The ability of spores to recover and grow out after food processing is affected by cellular factors and by the outgrowth conditions. In the current communication we studied the recovery and outgrowth of individually sorted spores in BHI and rice broth media and on agar plates using flow cytometry. We show that recovery of wet heat treated Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 spores is affected by matrix composition with highest recovery in BHI broth or on rice agar plates, compared to BHI agar plates and rice broth. Data show that not only media composition but also its liquid or solid state affect the recovery of heat treated spores. To determine the impact of factors with putative roles in recovery of heat treated spores, specific genes previously shown to be highly expressed in outgrowing heat-treated spores were selected for mutant construction. Spores of nine B. cereus ATCC 14579 deletion mutants were obtained and their recovery from wet heat treatment was evaluated using BHI and rice broth and agar plates. Deletion mutant spores showed different capacity to recover from heat treatment compared to wild type with the most pronounced effect for a mutant lacking BC5242, a gene encoding a membrane protein with C2C2 zinc finger which resulted in over 95% reduction in recovery compared to the wild type in BHI broth. Notably, similar relative performance of wild type and mutants was observed using the other recovery conditions. We obtained insights on the impact of matrix composition and state on recovery of individually sorted heat treated spores and identified cellular factors with putative roles in this process. These results may provide leads for future developments in design of more efficient combined preservation treatments.

  1. Recovery of Heat Treated Bacillus cereus Spores Is Affected by Matrix Composition and Factors with Putative Functions in Damage Repair.

    PubMed

    Warda, Alicja K; Tempelaars, Marcel H; Abee, Tjakko; Nierop Groot, Masja N

    2016-01-01

    The ability of spores to recover and grow out after food processing is affected by cellular factors and by the outgrowth conditions. In the current communication we studied the recovery and outgrowth of individually sorted spores in BHI and rice broth media and on agar plates using flow cytometry. We show that recovery of wet heat treated Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 spores is affected by matrix composition with highest recovery in BHI broth or on rice agar plates, compared to BHI agar plates and rice broth. Data show that not only media composition but also its liquid or solid state affect the recovery of heat treated spores. To determine the impact of factors with putative roles in recovery of heat treated spores, specific genes previously shown to be highly expressed in outgrowing heat-treated spores were selected for mutant construction. Spores of nine B. cereus ATCC 14579 deletion mutants were obtained and their recovery from wet heat treatment was evaluated using BHI and rice broth and agar plates. Deletion mutant spores showed different capacity to recover from heat treatment compared to wild type with the most pronounced effect for a mutant lacking BC5242, a gene encoding a membrane protein with C2C2 zinc finger which resulted in over 95% reduction in recovery compared to the wild type in BHI broth. Notably, similar relative performance of wild type and mutants was observed using the other recovery conditions. We obtained insights on the impact of matrix composition and state on recovery of individually sorted heat treated spores and identified cellular factors with putative roles in this process. These results may provide leads for future developments in design of more efficient combined preservation treatments. PMID:27486443

  2. Nanomechanical Characterization of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Atomic Force Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Burggraf, Larry W.; Xing, Yun

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The study of structures and properties of bacterial spores is important to understanding spore formation and biological responses to environmental stresses. While significant progress has been made over the years in elucidating the multilayer architecture of spores, the mechanical properties of the spore interior are not known. Here, we present a thermal atomic force microscopy (AFM) study of the nanomechanical properties of internal structures of Bacillus anthracis spores. We developed a nanosurgical sectioning method in which a stiff diamond AFM tip was used to cut an individual spore, exposing its internal structure, and a soft AFM tip was used to image and characterize the spore interior on the nanometer scale. We observed that the elastic modulus and adhesion force, including their thermal responses at elevated temperatures, varied significantly in different regions of the spore section. Our AFM images indicated that the peptidoglycan (PG) cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores consisted of rod-like nanometer-sized structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. Our findings may shed light on the spore architecture and properties. IMPORTANCE A nanosurgical AFM method was developed that can be used to probe the structure and properties of the spore interior. The previously unknown ultrastructure of the PG cortex of Bacillus anthracis spores was observed to consist of nanometer-sized rod-like structures that are oriented in the direction perpendicular to the spore surface. The variations in the nanomechanical properties of the spore section were largely correlated with its chemical composition. Different components of the spore materials showed different thermal responses at elevated temperatures. PMID:26969703

  3. Fifth international fungus spore conference. [Abstracts]: Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

    This folio contains the proceedings of the Fifth International Fungal Spore Conference held August 17-21, 1991 at the Unicoi State Park at Helen, Georgia. The volume contains abstracts of each oral presentation as well as a collection of abstracts describing the poster sessions. Presentations were organized around the themes (1) Induction of Sporulation, (2) Nuclear Division, (3) Spore Formation, (4) Spore Release and Dispersal, and (4) Spore Germination.

  4. Airborne myxomycete spores: detection using molecular techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamono, Akiko; Kojima, Hisaya; Matsumoto, Jun; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukui, Manabu

    2009-01-01

    Myxomycetes are organisms characterized by a life cycle that includes a fruiting body stage. Myxomycete fruiting bodies contain spores, and wind dispersal of the spores is considered important for this organism to colonize new areas. In this study, the presence of airborne myxomycetes and the temporal changes in the myxomycete composition of atmospheric particles (aerosols) were investigated with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method for Didymiaceae and Physaraceae. Twenty-one aerosol samples were collected on the roof of a three-story building located in Sapporo, Hokkaido Island, northern Japan. PCR analysis of DNA extracts from the aerosol samples indicated the presence of airborne myxomycetes in all the samples, except for the one collected during the snowfall season. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the PCR products showed seasonally varying banding patterns. The detected DGGE bands were subjected to sequence analyses, and four out of nine obtained sequences were identical to those of fruiting body samples collected in Hokkaido Island. It appears that the difference in the fruiting period of each species was correlated with the seasonal changes in the myxomycete composition of the aerosols. Molecular evidence shows that newly formed spores are released and dispersed in the air, suggesting that wind-driven dispersal of spores is an important process in the life history of myxomycetes. This study is the first to detect airborne myxomycetes with the use of molecular ecological analyses and to characterize their seasonal distribution.

  5. Real time viability detection of bacterial spores

    DOEpatents

    Vanderberg, Laura A.; Herdendorf, Timothy J.; Obiso, Richard J.

    2003-07-29

    This invention relates to a process for detecting the presence of viable bacterial spores in a sample and to a spore detection system, the process including placing a sample in a germination medium for a period of time sufficient for commitment of any present viable bacterial spores to occur, mixing the sample with a solution of a lanthanide capable of forming a fluorescent complex with dipicolinic acid, and, measuring the sample for the presence of dipicolinic acid, and the system including a germination chamber having inlets from a sample chamber, a germinant chamber and a bleach chamber, the germination chamber further including an outlet through a filtering means, the outlet connected to a detection chamber, the detection chamber having an inlet from a fluorescence promoting metal chamber and the detection chamber including a spectral excitation source and a means of measuring emission spectra from a sample, the detection chamber further connected to a waste chamber. A germination reaction mixture useful for promoting commitment of any viable bacterial spores in a sample including a combination of L-alanine, L-asparagine and D-glucose is also described.

  6. Classification of Streptomyces Spore Surfaces into Five Groups

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, Alma; Mathews, John

    1971-01-01

    Streptomyces spores surfaces have been classified into five groups, smooth, warty, spiny, hairy, and rugose, by examination of carbon replicas of spores with the transmission electron microscope and by direct examination of spores with the scanning electron microscope. Images PMID:4928607

  7. Requirements for In Vitro Germination of Paenibacillus larvae Spores

    PubMed Central

    Alvarado, Israel; Phui, Andy; Elekonich, Michelle M.

    2013-01-01

    Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting honey bee larvae. First- and second-instar larvae become infected when they ingest food contaminated with P. larvae spores. The spores then germinate into vegetative cells that proliferate in the midgut of the honey bee. Although AFB affects honey bees only in the larval stage, P. larvae spores can be distributed throughout the hive. Because spore germination is critical for AFB establishment, we analyzed the requirements for P. larvae spore germination in vitro. We found that P. larvae spores germinated only in response to l-tyrosine plus uric acid under physiologic pH and temperature conditions. This suggests that the simultaneous presence of these signals is necessary for spore germination in vivo. Furthermore, the germination profiles of environmentally derived spores were identical to those of spores from a biochemically typed strain. Because l-tyrosine and uric acid are the only required germinants in vitro, we screened amino acid and purine analogs for their ability to act as antagonists of P. larvae spore germination. Indole and phenol, the side chains of tyrosine and tryptophan, strongly inhibited P. larvae spore germination. Methylation of the N-1 (but not the C-3) position of indole eliminated its ability to inhibit germination. Identification of the activators and inhibitors of P. larvae spore germination provides a basis for developing new tools to control AFB. PMID:23264573

  8. Imaging bacterial spores by soft-x-ray microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Stead, A.D.; Ford, T.W.; Judge, J.

    1997-04-01

    Bacterial spores are able to survive dehydration, but neither the physiological nor structural basis of this have been fully elucidated. Furthermore, once hydrated, spores often require activation before they will germinate. Several treatments can be used to activate spores, but in the case of Bacillus subtlis the most effective is heat treatment. The physiological mechanism associated with activation is also not understood, but some workers suggest that the loss of calcium from the spores may be critical. However, just prior to germination, the spores change from being phase bright to phase dark when viewed by light microscopy. Imaging spores by soft x-ray microscopy is possible without fixation. Thus, in contrast to electron microscopy, it is possible to compare the structure of dehydrated and hydrated spores in a manner not possible previously. A further advantage is that it is possible to monitor individual spores by phase contrast light microscopy immediately prior to imaging with soft x-rays; whereas, with both electron microscopy and biochemical studies, it is a population of spores being studied without knowledge of the phase characteristics of individual spores. This study has therefore tried to compare dehydrated and hydrated spores and to determine if there is a mass loss from individual spores as they pass the transition from being phase bright to phase dark.

  9. Mapping of Proteomic Composition on the Surfaces of Bacillus spores by Atomic Force Microscopy-based Immunolabeling

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; Malkin, A J

    2008-06-02

    Atomic force microscopy provides a unique capability to image high-resolution architecture and structural dynamics of pathogens (e.g. viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores) at near molecular resolution in native conditions. Further development of atomic force microscopy in order to enable the correlation of pathogen protein surface structures with specific gene products is essential to understand the mechanisms of the pathogen life cycle. We have applied an AFM-based immunolabeling technique for the proteomic mapping of macromolecular structures through the visualization of the binding of antibodies, conjugated with nanogold particles, to specific epitopes on Bacillus spore surfaces. This information is generated while simultaneously acquiring the surface morphology of the pathogen. The immunospecificity of this labeling method was established through the utilization of specific polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies that target spore coat and exosporium epitopes of Bacillus atrophaeus and Bacillus anthracis spores.

  10. Cadmium affects the mitochondrial viability and the acid soluble thiols concentration in liver, kidney, heart and gills of Ancistrus brevifilis (Eigenmann, 1920)

    PubMed Central

    Velasquez-Vottelerd, P.; Anton, Y.; Salazar-Lugo, R.

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater fish Ancistrus brevifilis, which is found in Venezuelan rivers, is considered a potential sentinel fish in ecotoxicological studies. The cadmium (Cd) effect on the mitochondrial viability (MV) and acid soluble thiols levels (AST) in A. brevifilis tissues (liver, kidney, heart, and gill) was evaluated. Forty-two fish with similar sizes and weights were randomly selected, of which 7 fish (with their respective replicate) were exposed for 7 and 30 days to a Cd sublethal concentration (0.1 mg.l-1). We determined the MV through a Janus Green B colorimetric assay and we obtained the concentration of AST by Ellman’s method. Mitochondrial viability decreased in fish exposed to Cd for 30 days with the liver being the most affected tissue. We also detected a significant decrease in AST levels was in fishes exposed to Cd for 7 days in liver and kidney tissues; these results suggests that AST levels are elevated in some tissues may act as cytoprotective and adaptive alternative mechanism related to the ROS detoxification, maintenance redox status and mitochondrial viability. Organ-specifics variations were observed in both assays. We conclude that the Cd exposure effect on AST levels and MV, vary across fish tissues and is related to the exposure duration, the molecule dynamics in different tissues, the organism and environmental conditions. PMID:26623384

  11. Cadmium affects the mitochondrial viability and the acid soluble thiols concentration in liver, kidney, heart and gills of Ancistrus brevifilis (Eigenmann, 1920).

    PubMed

    Velasquez-Vottelerd, P; Anton, Y; Salazar-Lugo, R

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater fish Ancistrus brevifilis, which is found in Venezuelan rivers, is considered a potential sentinel fish in ecotoxicological studies. The cadmium (Cd) effect on the mitochondrial viability (MV) and acid soluble thiols levels (AST) in A. brevifilis tissues (liver, kidney, heart, and gill) was evaluated. Forty-two fish with similar sizes and weights were randomly selected, of which 7 fish (with their respective replicate) were exposed for 7 and 30 days to a Cd sublethal concentration (0.1 mg.l(-1)). We determined the MV through a Janus Green B colorimetric assay and we obtained the concentration of AST by Ellman's method. Mitochondrial viability decreased in fish exposed to Cd for 30 days with the liver being the most affected tissue. We also detected a significant decrease in AST levels was in fishes exposed to Cd for 7 days in liver and kidney tissues; these results suggests that AST levels are elevated in some tissues may act as cytoprotective and adaptive alternative mechanism related to the ROS detoxification, maintenance redox status and mitochondrial viability. Organ-specifics variations were observed in both assays. We conclude that the Cd exposure effect on AST levels and MV, vary across fish tissues and is related to the exposure duration, the molecule dynamics in different tissues, the organism and environmental conditions. PMID:26623384

  12. Spore formation in Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Irene S.; Ramamurthi, Kumaran S.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Although prokaryotes ordinarily undergo binary fission to produce two identical daughter cells, some are able to undergo alternative developmental pathways that produce daughter cells of distinct cell morphology and fate. One such example is a developmental program called sporulation in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which occurs under conditions of environmental stress. Sporulation has long been used as a model system to help elucidate basic processes of developmental biology including transcription regulation, intercellular signaling, membrane remodeling, protein localization, and cell fate determination. This review highlights some of the recent work that has been done to further understand prokaryotic cell differentiation during sporulation and its potential applications. PMID:24983526

  13. Spore formation in Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Tan, Irene S; Ramamurthi, Kumaran S

    2014-06-01

    Although prokaryotes ordinarily undergo binary fission to produce two identical daughter cells, some are able to undergo alternative developmental pathways that produce daughter cells of distinct cell morphology and fate. One such example is a developmental programme called sporulation in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which occurs under conditions of environmental stress. Sporulation has long been used as a model system to help elucidate basic processes of developmental biology including transcription regulation, intercellular signalling, membrane remodelling, protein localization and cell fate determination. This review highlights some of the recent work that has been done to further understand prokaryotic cell differentiation during sporulation and its potential applications. PMID:24983526

  14. Apparatus and method for automated monitoring of airborne bacterial spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An apparatus and method for automated monitoring of airborne bacterial spores. The apparatus is provided with an air sampler, a surface for capturing airborne spores, a thermal lysis unit to release DPA from bacterial spores, a source of lanthanide ions, and a spectrometer for excitation and detection of the characteristic fluorescence of the aromatic molecules in bacterial spores complexed with lanthanide ions. In accordance with the method: computer-programmed steps allow for automation of the apparatus for the monitoring of airborne bacterial spores.

  15. Airborne mesophilic fungal spores in various residential environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasanen, A.-L.

    In the present work viable fungal spore counts and flora of indoor air were compared in various residences. Total viable spore counts were lowest in the urban/suburban residences and highest in the rural residences. Moisture problems in the urban environment did not increase total viable spore count, but affected composition of fungal flora. In the rural environment, spore counts were much higher in the old houses than in the new ones. Penicillium was the most prevalent fungus in the air of all the residences studied. Airborne Aspergillus, Cladosporium spores and yeast cells were more common in the damp residences and the old rural houses than in the other residences.

  16. Source strength of fungal spore aerosolization from moldy building material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Górny, Rafał L.; Reponen, Tiina; Grinshpun, Sergey A.; Willeke, Klaus

    The release of Aspergillus versicolor, Cladosporium cladosporioides, and Penicillium melinii spores from agar and ceiling tile surfaces was tested under different controlled environmental conditions using a newly designed and constructed aerosolization chamber. This study revealed that all the investigated parameters, such as fungal species, air velocity above the surface, texture of the surface, and vibration of contaminated material, affected the fungal spore release. It was found that typical indoor air currents can release up to 200 spores cm -2 from surfaces with fungal spores during 30-min experiments. The release of fungal spores from smooth agar surfaces was found to be inadequate for accurately predicting the emission from rough ceiling tile surfaces because the air turbulence increases the spore release from a rough surface. A vibration at a frequency of 1 Hz at a power level of 14 W resulted in a significant increase in the spore release rate. The release appears to depend on the morphology of the fungal colonies grown on ceiling tile surfaces including the thickness of conidiophores, the length of spore chains, and the shape of spores. The spores were found to be released continuously during each 30-min experiment. However, the release rate was usually highest during the first few minutes of exposure to air currents and mechanical vibration. About 71-88% of the spores released during a 30-min interval became airborne during the first 10 min.

  17. Revival of biocide-treated spores of Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed

    Williams, N D; Russell, A D

    1993-07-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis NCTC 8236 were treated with biocides and then subjected to various revival procedures. Sodium hydroxide (optimum concentration 25 mmol l-1) revived a small portion of glutaraldehyde-treated spores but not of spores exposed to formaldehyde, polyvinylpyrrolidone-iodine (PVP-I), Lugol's iodine, sodium hypochlorite or sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC). Post-treatment heat shock (at 70 degrees or 80 degrees C) increased the numbers of colony-forming units (cfu) of formaldehyde-injured spores. Coat-extraction procedures had the greatest effect on iodine-pretreated spores. The uptake of iodine and chlorine was more rapid and occurred to a greater extent with outgrowing, germinating and especially coat-deficient spores than with mature, resting spores. PMID:7690020

  18. Mushrooms use convectively created airflows to disperse their spores

    PubMed Central

    Dressaire, Emilie; Yamada, Lisa; Song, Boya; Roper, Marcus

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of basidiomycete fungal species rely on mushroom spores to spread across landscapes. It has long been thought that spores depend on favorable winds for dispersal—that active control of spore dispersal by the parent fungus is limited to an impulse delivered to the spores to carry them clear of the gill surface. Here we show that evaporative cooling of the air surrounding the pileus creates convective airflows capable of carrying spores at speeds of centimeters per second. Convective cells can transport spores from gaps that may be only 1 cm high and lift spores 10 cm or more into the air. This work reveals how mushrooms tolerate and even benefit from crowding and explains their high water needs. PMID:26929324

  19. In situ investigation of Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore germination and inactivation mechanisms under moderate high pressure.

    PubMed

    Georget, Erika; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Reineke, Kai; Song, Youye; Callanan, Michael; Ananta, Edwin; Heinz, Volker; Mathys, Alexander

    2014-08-01

    Bacterial spores are a major concern for food safety due to their high resistance to conventional preservation hurdles. Innovative hurdles can trigger bacterial spore germination or inactivate them. In this work, Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore high pressure (HP) germination and inactivation mechanisms were investigated by in situ infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and fluorometry. G. stearothermophilus spores' inner membrane (IM) was stained with Laurdan fluorescent dye. Time-dependent FT-IR and fluorescence spectra were recorded in situ under pressure at different temperatures. The Laurdan spectrum is affected by the lipid packing and level of hydration, and provided information on the IM state through the Laurdan generalized polarization. Changes in the -CH2 and -CH3 asymmetric stretching bands, characteristic of lipids, and in the amide I' band region, characteristic of proteins' secondary structure elements, enabled evaluation of the impact of HP on endospores lipid and protein structures. These studies were complemented by ex situ analyses (plate counts and microscopy). The methods applied showed high potential to identify germination mechanisms, particularly associated to the IM. Germination up to 3 log10 was achieved at 200 MPa and 55 °C. A molecular-level understanding of these mechanisms is important for the development and validation of multi-hurdle approaches to achieve commercial sterility.

  20. In situ investigation of Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore germination and inactivation mechanisms under moderate high pressure.

    PubMed

    Georget, Erika; Kapoor, Shobhna; Winter, Roland; Reineke, Kai; Song, Youye; Callanan, Michael; Ananta, Edwin; Heinz, Volker; Mathys, Alexander

    2014-08-01

    Bacterial spores are a major concern for food safety due to their high resistance to conventional preservation hurdles. Innovative hurdles can trigger bacterial spore germination or inactivate them. In this work, Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore high pressure (HP) germination and inactivation mechanisms were investigated by in situ infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and fluorometry. G. stearothermophilus spores' inner membrane (IM) was stained with Laurdan fluorescent dye. Time-dependent FT-IR and fluorescence spectra were recorded in situ under pressure at different temperatures. The Laurdan spectrum is affected by the lipid packing and level of hydration, and provided information on the IM state through the Laurdan generalized polarization. Changes in the -CH2 and -CH3 asymmetric stretching bands, characteristic of lipids, and in the amide I' band region, characteristic of proteins' secondary structure elements, enabled evaluation of the impact of HP on endospores lipid and protein structures. These studies were complemented by ex situ analyses (plate counts and microscopy). The methods applied showed high potential to identify germination mechanisms, particularly associated to the IM. Germination up to 3 log10 was achieved at 200 MPa and 55 °C. A molecular-level understanding of these mechanisms is important for the development and validation of multi-hurdle approaches to achieve commercial sterility. PMID:24750808

  1. Fern spore longevity in saline water: can sea bottom sediments maintain a viable spore bank?

    PubMed

    de Groot, G Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater and marine sediments often harbor reservoirs of plant diaspores, from which germination and establishment may occur whenever the sediment falls dry. Therewith, they form valuable records of historical inter- and intraspecific diversity, and are increasingly exploited to facilitate diversity establishment in new or restored nature areas. Yet, while ferns may constitute a considerable part of a vegetation's diversity and sediments are known to contain fern spores, little is known about their longevity, which may suffer from inundation and--in sea bottoms--salt stress. We tested the potential of ferns to establish from a sea or lake bottom, using experimental studies on spore survival and gametophyte formation, as well as a spore bank analysis on sediments from a former Dutch inland sea. Our experimental results revealed clear differences among species. For Asplenium scolopendrium and Gymnocarpium dryopteris, spore germination was not affected by inundated storage alone, but decreased with rising salt concentrations. In contrast, for Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens germination decreased following inundation, but not in response to salt. Germination rates decreased with time of storage in saline water. Smaller and less viable gametophytes were produced when saline storage lasted for a year. Effects on germination and gametophyte development clearly differed among genotypes of A. scolopendrium. Spore bank analyses detected no viable spores in marine sediment layers. Only two very small gametophytes (identified as Thelypteris palustris via DNA barcoding) emerged from freshwater sediments. Both died before maturation. We conclude that marine, and likely even freshwater sediments, will generally be of little value for long-term storage of fern diversity. The development of any fern vegetation on a former sea floor will depend heavily on the deposition of spores onto the drained land by natural or artificial means of dispersal.

  2. Fern Spore Longevity in Saline Water: Can Sea Bottom Sediments Maintain a Viable Spore Bank?

    PubMed Central

    de Groot, G. Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater and marine sediments often harbor reservoirs of plant diaspores, from which germination and establishment may occur whenever the sediment falls dry. Therewith, they form valuable records of historical inter- and intraspecific diversity, and are increasingly exploited to facilitate diversity establishment in new or restored nature areas. Yet, while ferns may constitute a considerable part of a vegetation’s diversity and sediments are known to contain fern spores, little is known about their longevity, which may suffer from inundation and - in sea bottoms - salt stress. We tested the potential of ferns to establish from a sea or lake bottom, using experimental studies on spore survival and gametophyte formation, as well as a spore bank analysis on sediments from a former Dutch inland sea. Our experimental results revealed clear differences among species. For Asplenium scolopendrium and Gymnocarpium dryopteris, spore germination was not affected by inundated storage alone, but decreased with rising salt concentrations. In contrast, for Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens germination decreased following inundation, but not in response to salt. Germination rates decreased with time of storage in saline water. Smaller and less viable gametophytes were produced when saline storage lasted for a year. Effects on germination and gametophyte development clearly differed among genotypes of A. scolopendrium. Spore bank analyses detected no viable spores in marine sediment layers. Only two very small gametophytes (identified as Thelypteris palustris via DNA barcoding) emerged from freshwater sediments. Both died before maturation. We conclude that marine, and likely even freshwater sediments, will generally be of little value for long-term storage of fern diversity. The development of any fern vegetation on a former sea floor will depend heavily on the deposition of spores onto the drained land by natural or artificial means of dispersal. PMID:24223951

  3. Enzymatic Manganese(II) Oxidation by Metabolically Dormant Spores of Diverse Bacillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Francis, Chris A.; Tebo, Bradley M.

    2002-01-01

    Bacterial spores are renowned for their longevity, ubiquity, and resistance to environmental insults, but virtually nothing is known regarding whether these metabolically dormant structures impact their surrounding chemical environments. In the present study, a number of spore-forming bacteria that produce dormant spores which enzymatically oxidize soluble Mn(II) to insoluble Mn(IV) oxides were isolated from coastal marine sediments. The highly charged and reactive surfaces of biogenic metal oxides dramatically influence the oxidation and sorption of both trace metals and organics in the environment. Prior to this study, the only known Mn(II)-oxidizing sporeformer was the marine Bacillus sp. strain SG-1, an extensively studied bacterium in which Mn(II) oxidation is believed to be catalyzed by a multicopper oxidase, MnxG. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA and mnxG sequences obtained from 15 different Mn(II)-oxidizing sporeformers (including SG-1) revealed extensive diversity within the genus Bacillus, with organisms falling into several distinct clusters and lineages. In addition, active Mn(II)-oxidizing proteins of various sizes, as observed in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide electrophoresis gels, were recovered from the outer layers of purified dormant spores of the isolates. These are the first active Mn(II)-oxidizing enzymes identified in spores or gram-positive bacteria. Although extremely resistant to denaturation, the activities of these enzymes were inhibited by azide and o-phenanthroline, consistent with the involvement of multicopper oxidases. Overall, these studies suggest that the commonly held view that bacterial spores are merely inactive structures in the environment should be revised. PMID:11823231

  4. CLOSTRIDIUM SPORE ATTACHMENT TO HUMAN CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    PANESSA-WARREN,B.; TORTORA,G.; WARREN,J.

    1997-08-10

    This paper uses high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with a LaB6 gun and the newest commercial field emission guns, to obtain high magnification images of intact clostridial spores throughout the activation/germination/outgrowth process. By high resolution SEM, the clostridial exosporial membrane can be seen to produce numerous delicate projections (following activation), that extend from the exosporial surface to a nutritive substrate (agar), or cell surface when anaerobically incubated in the presence of human cells (embryonic fibroblasts and colon carcinoma cells). Magnifications of 20,000 to 200,000Xs at accelerating voltages low enough to minimize or eliminate specimen damage (1--5 kV) have permitted the entire surface of C.sporogenes and C.difficile endospores to be examined during all stages of germination. The relationships between the spore and the agar or human cell surface were also clearly visible.

  5. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures. PMID:26502561

  6. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Mark; Kane, Staci R; Wollard, Jessica R

    2015-09-01

    Fumigation techniques such as chlorine dioxide, vaporous hydrogen peroxide, and paraformaldehyde previously used to decontaminate items, rooms, and buildings following contamination with Bacillus anthracis spores are often incompatible with materials (e.g., porous surfaces, organics, and metals), causing damage or residue. Alternative fumigation with methyl bromide is subject to U.S. and international restrictions due to its ozone-depleting properties. Methyl iodide, however, does not pose a risk to the ozone layer and has previously been demonstrated as a fumigant for fungi, insects, and nematodes. Until now, methyl iodide has not been evaluated against Bacillus anthracis. Sterne strain Bacillus anthracis spores were subjected to methyl iodide fumigation at room temperature and at 550C. Efficacy was measured on a log-scale with a 6-log reduction in CFUs being considered successful compared to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biocide standard. Such efficacies were obtained after just one hour at 55 °C and after 12 hours at room temperature. No detrimental effects were observed on glassware, PTFE O-rings, or stainless steel. This is the first reported efficacy of methyl iodide in the reduction of Bacillus anthracis spore contamination at ambient and elevated temperatures.

  7. Association of Fidaxomicin with C. difficile Spores: Effects of Persistence on Subsequent Spore Recovery, Outgrowth and Toxin Production

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Grace S.; Ashwin, Helen; Longshaw, Chris M.; Wilcox, Mark H.

    2016-01-01

    Background We have previously shown that fidaxomicin instillation prevents spore recovery in an in-vitro gut model, whereas vancomycin does not. The reasons for this are unclear. Here, we have investigated persistence of fidaxomicin and vancomycin on C. difficile spores, and examined post-antibiotic exposure spore recovery, outgrowth and toxin production. Methods Prevalent UK C. difficile ribotypes (n = 10) were incubated with 200mg/L fidaxomicin, vancomycin or a non-antimicrobial containing control for 1 h in faecal filtrate or Phosphate Buffered Saline. Spores were washed three times with faecal filtrate or phosphate buffered saline, and residual spore-associated antimicrobial activity was determined by bioassay. For three ribotypes (027, 078, 015), antimicrobial-exposed, faecal filtrate-washed spores and controls were inoculated into broth. Viable vegetative and spore counts were enumerated on CCEYL agar. Percentage phase bright spores, phase dark spores and vegetative cells were enumerated by phase contrast microscopy at 0, 3, 6, 24 and 48 h post-inoculation. Toxin levels (24 and 48h) were determined by cell cytotoxicity assay. Results Fidaxomicin, but not vancomycin persisted on spores of all ribotypes following washing in saline (mean = 10.1mg/L; range = 4.0-14mg/L) and faecal filtrate (mean = 17.4mg/L; 8.4–22.1mg/L). Outgrowth and proliferation rates of vancomycin-exposed spores were similar to controls, whereas fidaxomicin-exposed spores showed no vegetative cell growth after 24 and 48 h. At 48h, toxin levels averaged 3.7 and 3.3 relative units (RU) in control and vancomycin-exposed samples, respectively, but were undetectable in fidaxomicin-exposed samples. Conclusion Fidaxomicin persists on C. difficile spores, whereas vancomycin does not. This persistence prevents subsequent growth and toxin production in vitro. This may have implications on spore viability, thereby impacting CDI recurrence and transmission rates. PMID:27556739

  8. The Composition and Attributes of Colletotrichum truncatum Spores Are Altered by the Nutritional Environment

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Mark A.; Schisler, David A.

    1992-01-01

    Previous sporulation studies with Colletotrichum truncatum NRRL 13737, a fungal pathogen of the noxious weed Sesbania exaltata, showed that the carbon-to-nitrogen (CN) ratio of the conidiation medium influenced spore yield, morphology, and efficacy in inciting disease in S. exaltata. Spores produced in a medium with a CN ratio of 10:1 were more effective than were spores produced in a 30:1 or 80:1 ratio in causing disease in S. exaltata. With a basal salts medium supplemented with glucose and Casamino Acids, substrate utilization, spore production, biomass accumulation, and biomass and spore composition were compared in submerged cultures of C. truncatum grown in media with CN ratios of 80:1, 30:1, and 10:1. All cultures were sporulating by day 2, and spore concentrations in 5-day-old cultures were significantly different: 30:1 > 10:1 > 80:1. Amino acid and glucose utilization was balanced in cultures grown in media with a CN ratio of 10:1, whereas cultures grown in media with a CN ratio of 30:1 or 80:1 depleted amino acids prior to glucose. Conidia produced in media with a CN ratio of 10:1 contained significantly more protein (32% of dry weight) and less lipid (17% of dry weight) than conidia produced in media with a CN ratio of either 30:1 (15% protein, 33% lipid) or 80:1 (12% protein, 37% lipid). The higher lipid content of spores produced in media with a CN ratio of 30:1 or 80:1 was associated with the presence of increased numbers of lipid droplets. Optimization studies on conidia produced in media with CN ratios between 30:1 and 10:1 which compared yield, attributes, and efficacy in inciting disease in S. exaltata suggest that media with a CN ratio of 15:1 to 20:1 may be optimal for conidium production. Images PMID:16348737

  9. Thirty-four identifiable airborne fungal spores in Havana, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Almaguer, Michel; Aira, María-Jesús; Rodríguez-Rajo, F Javier; Fernandez-Gonzalez, Maria; Rojas-Flores, Teresa I

    2015-01-01

    The airborne fungal spore content in Havana, Cuba, collected by means a non-viable volumetric methodology, was studied from November 2010 - October 2011. The study, from a qualitative point of view, allowed the characterization of 29 genera and 5 fungal types, described following the Saccardo´s morphotypes, as well as their morphobiometrical characteristics. In the amerospores morphotype, the conidia of 7 genera (with ascospores, basidiospores and uredospores) and 5 fungal types were included. Among phragmospores morphotype, the ascospores and conidia of 12 different genera were identified. The dictyospores morphotype only included conidial forms from 6 genera. Finally, the less frequent morphotypes were staurospores, didymospores and distosepted spores. In general, the main worldwide spread mitosporic fungi also predominated in the Havana atmosphere, accompanied by some ascospores and basidiospores. Cladosporium cladosporioides type was the most abundant with a total of 148,717 spores, followed by Leptosphaeria, Coprinus and the Aspergillus-Penicillium type spores, all of them with total values ranging from 20,591 - 16,392 spores. The higher monthly concentrations were registered in January (31,663 spores) and the lowest in December (7,314 spores). Generally, the average quantity of spores recorded during the months of the dry season (20,599 spores) was higher compared with that observed during the rainy season (17,460 spores).

  10. Mucosal adjuvant activity of IL-2 presenting spores of bacillus subtilis in a murine model of Helicobacter pylori vaccination.

    PubMed

    Hinc, Krzysztof; Stasiłojć, Małgorzata; Piątek, Iwona; Peszyńska-Sularz, Grażyna; Isticato, Rachele; Ricca, Ezio; Obuchowski, Michał; Iwanicki, Adam

    2014-01-01

    The endospores of Bacillus subtilis are now widely used as a platform for presentation of heterologous proteins and due to their safety record and high resistance to harsh environmental conditions can be considered as potential vehicles for oral vaccination. In this research we show that recombinant B. subtilis spores presenting a fragment of the Helicobacter acinonychis UreB protein and expressing the ureB gene under vegetative promoter elicit a strong cellular immune response in orally immunized mice when co-administered with spores presenting IL-2. We show for the first time the successful application of two types of recombinant spores, one carrying an antigen and the other an adjuvant, in a single oral immunization.

  11. Spores of many common airborne fungi reveal no ice nucleation activity in oil immersion freezing experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pummer, B. G.; Atanasova, L.; Bauer, H.; Bernardi, J.; Druzhinina, I. S.; Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J.; Grothe, H.

    2013-12-01

    Fungal spores are ubiquitous biological aerosols, which are considered to act as ice nuclei. In this study the ice nucleation (IN) activity of spores harvested from 29 fungal strains belonging to 21 different species was tested in the immersion freezing mode by microscopic observation of water-in-oil emulsions. Spores of 8 of these strains were also investigated in a microdroplet freezing array instrument. The focus was laid on species of economical, ecological or sanitary significance. Besides common molds (Ascomycota), some representatives of the widespread group of mushrooms (Basidiomycota) were also investigated. Fusarium avenaceum was the only sample showing IN activity at relatively high temperatures (about 264 K), while the other investigated fungal spores showed no freezing above 248 K. Many of the samples indeed froze at homogeneous ice nucleation temperatures (about 237 K). In combination with other studies, this suggests that only a limited number of species may act as atmospheric ice nuclei. This would be analogous to what is already known for the bacterial ice nuclei. Apart from that, we selected a set of fungal strains from different sites and exposed them to occasional freezing stress during their cultivation. This was in order to test if the exposure to a cold environment encourages the expression of ice nuclei during growth as a way of adaptation. Although the total protein expression was altered by this treatment, it had no significant impact on the IN activity.

  12. Effects of Phosphorelay Perturbations on Architecture, Sporulation, and Spore Resistance in Biofilms of Bacillus subtilis‡

    PubMed Central

    Veening, Jan-Willem; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Brul, Stanley; Hellingwerf, Klaas J.; Kort, Remco

    2006-01-01

    The spore-forming bacterium Bacillus subtilis is able to form highly organized multicellular communities called biofilms. This coordinated bacterial behavior is often lost in domesticated or laboratory strains as a result of planktonic growth in rich media for many generations. However, we show here that the laboratory strain B. subtilis 168 is still capable of forming spatially organized multicellular communities on minimal medium agar plates, exemplified by colonies with vein-like structures formed by elevated bundles of cells. In line with the current model for biofilm formation, we demonstrate that overproduction of the phosphorelay components KinA and Spo0A stimulates bundle formation, while overproduction of the transition state regulators AbrB and SinR leads to repression of formation of elevated bundles. Time-lapse fluorescence microscopy studies of B. subtilis green fluorescent protein reporter strains show that bundles are preferential sites for spore formation and that flat structures surrounding the bundles contain vegetative cells. The elevated bundle structures are formed prior to sporulation, in agreement with a genetic developmental program in which these processes are sequentially activated. Perturbations of the phosphorelay by disruption and overexpression of genes that lead to an increased tendency to sporulate result in the segregation of sporulation mutations and decreased heat resistance of spores in biofilms. These results stress the importance of a balanced control of the phosphorelay for biofilm and spore development. PMID:16585769

  13. Effect of Lysozyme on Resting Spores of Bacillus Megaterium

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yahiko; Rode, L. J.

    1969-01-01

    Resting spores of Bacillus megaterium ATCC 9885 were found to be markedly affected by lysozyme. Exposure to as little as 1.5 μg of lysozyme per ml caused the spores to lose refractility, the darkened spores to shed their coat structures, and the spore central bodies to lyse. The spores of seven other strains of B. megaterium and seven other Bacillus species were not similarly affected by lysozyme. Proteolytic enzymes such as pronase, trypsin, pepsin, and subtilisin did not induce the change. The action of lysozyme differed in certain important respects from that of common “physiological” germinants. Its action was considered to be direct via its enzymatic attack on exposed sites directly accessible in the resting spores of B. megaterium ATCC 9885. Images PMID:4977688

  14. Assay for Spore Wall Integrity Using a Yeast Predator.

    PubMed

    Okada, Hiroki; Neiman, Aaron M; Ohya, Yoshikazu

    2016-01-01

    During the budding yeast life cycle, a starved diploid cell undergoes meiosis followed by production of four haploid spores, each surrounded by a spore wall. The wall allows the spores to survive in harsh environments until conditions improve. Spores are also more resistant than vegetative cells to treatments such as ether vapor, glucanases, heat shock, high salt concentrations, and exposure to high or low pH, but the relevance of these treatments to natural environmental stresses remains unclear. This protocol describes a method for assaying the yeast spore wall under natural environmental conditions by quantifying the survival of yeast spores that have passed through the digestive system of a yeast predator, the fruit fly. PMID:27480715

  15. Physiological responses of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores to high pressure.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Juhee; Balasubramaniam, V M

    2007-03-01

    Pressure inactivation behavior of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens spores was investigated in deionized water. The spores of B. amyloliquefaciens were subjected to 105 degrees C and 700 MPa. The magnitude of the decrease in viability after pressure treatment was similar to that after pressure treatment followed by heat shock. The increase of dipicolinic acid (DPA) release was correlated with the spore inactivation, and the hydrophobicity did not significantly change during the pressure-assisted thermal processing (PATP). Lag phase duration increased with increasing pressure process time. The mechanisms of spore germination and inactivation during the PATP were related to a complex physiological process.

  16. Application of gaseous ozone for inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Aydogan, Ahmet; Gurol, Mirat D

    2006-02-01

    The effectiveness of gaseous ozone (O3) as a disinfectant was tested on Bacillus subtilis spores, which share the same physiological characteristics as Bacillus anthracis spores that cause the anthrax disease. Spores dried on surfaces of different carrier material were exposed to O3 gas in the range of 500-5000 ppm and at relative humidity (RH) of 70-95%. Gaseous O3 was found to be very effective against the B. subtilis spores, and at O3 concentrations as low as 3 mg/L (1500 ppm), approximately 3-log inactivation was obtained within 4 hr of exposure. The inactivation curves consisted of a short lag phase followed by an exponential decrease in the number of surviving spores. Prehydration of the bacterial spores has eliminated the initial lag phase. The inactivation rate increased with increasing O3 concentration but not >3 mg/L. The inactivation rate also increased with increase in RH. Different survival curves were obtained for various surfaces used to carry spores. Inactivation rates of spores on glass, a vinyl floor tile, and office paper were nearly the same. Whereas cut pile carpet and hardwood flooring surfaces resulted in much lower inactivation rates, another type of carpet (loop pile) showed significant enhancement in the inactivation of the spores. PMID:16568801

  17. Applied usage of yeast spores as chitosan beads.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haini; Tachikawa, Hiroyuki; Gao, Xiao-Dong; Nakanishi, Hideki

    2014-08-01

    In this study, we present a nonhazardous biological method of producing chitosan beads using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast cells cultured under conditions of nutritional starvation cease vegetative growth and instead form spores. The spore wall has a multilaminar structure with the chitosan layer as the second outermost layer. Thus, removal of the outermost dityrosine layer by disruption of the DIT1 gene, which is required for dityrosine synthesis, leads to exposure of the chitosan layer at the spore surface. In this way, spores can be made to resemble chitosan beads. Chitosan has adsorptive features and can be used to remove heavy metals and negatively charged molecules from solution. Consistent with this practical application, we find that spores are capable of adsorbing heavy metals such as Cu(2+), Cr(3+), and Cd(2+), and removal of the dityrosine layer further improves the adsorption. Removal of the chitosan layer decreases the adsorption, indicating that chitosan works as an adsorbent in the spores. Besides heavy metals, spores can also adsorb a negatively charged cholesterol derivative, taurocholic acid. Furthermore, chitosan is amenable to chemical modifications, and, consistent with this property, dit1Δ spores can serve as a carrier for immobilization of enzymes. Given that yeast spores are a natural product, our results demonstrate that they, and especially dit1Δ mutants, can be used as chitosan beads and used for multiple purposes. PMID:24907339

  18. Bacterial Spores in Food: Survival, Emergence, and Outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Wells-Bennik, Marjon H J; Eijlander, Robyn T; den Besten, Heidy M W; Berendsen, Erwin M; Warda, Alicja K; Krawczyk, Antonina O; Nierop Groot, Masja N; Xiao, Yinghua; Zwietering, Marcel H; Kuipers, Oscar P; Abee, Tjakko

    2016-01-01

    Spore-forming bacteria are ubiquitous in nature. The resistance properties of bacterial spores lie at the heart of their widespread occurrence in food ingredients and foods. The efficacy of inactivation by food-processing conditions is largely determined by the characteristics of the different types of spores, whereas food composition and storage conditions determine the eventual germination and outgrowth of surviving spores. Here, we review the current knowledge on variation in spore resistance, in germination, and in the outgrowth capacity of spores relevant to foods. This includes novel findings on key parameters in spore survival and outgrowth obtained by gene-trait matching approaches using genome-sequenced Bacillus spp. food isolates, which represent notorious food spoilage and pathogenic species. Additionally, the impact of strain diversity on heat inactivation of spores and the variability therein is discussed. Knowledge and quantification of factors that influence variability can be applied to improve predictive models, ultimately supporting effective control of spore-forming bacteria in foods. PMID:26934174

  19. Development of a fungal spore aerosol generator: test with Cladosporium cladosporioides and Penicillium citrinum.

    PubMed

    Lee, Byung Uk; Kim, Young Joong; Lee, Chang Ho; Yun, Sun Hwa; Bae, Gwi-Nam; Ji, Jun-Ho

    2008-04-01

    As the first step to develop efficient means to control fungal spore bioaerosols, we designed, manufactured, and evaluated a fungal spore aerosol generator. We studied the physical and biological properties of the fungal spore bioaerosols on two common fungal species. The results demonstrated that the fungal spore bioaerosol generator effectively produces fungal spore bioaerosols.

  20. Spore-Forming Bacteria that Resist Sterilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaDuc, Myron; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2003-01-01

    A report presents a phenotypic and genotypic characterization of a bacterial species that has been found to be of the genus Bacillus and has been tentatively named B. odysseensis because it was isolated from surfaces of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft as part of continuing research on techniques for sterilizing spacecraft to prevent contamination of remote planets by terrestrial species. B. odysseensis is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium that forms round spores. The exosporium has been conjectured to play a role in the elevated resistance to sterilization. Research on the exosporium is proposed as a path toward improved means of sterilization, medical treatment, and prevention of biofouling.

  1. MALDI-based intact spore mass spectrometry of downy and powdery mildews.

    PubMed

    Chalupová, Jana; Sedlářová, Michaela; Helmel, Michaela; Rehulka, Pavel; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina; Allmaier, Günter; Sebela, Marek

    2012-08-01

    Fast and easy identification of fungal phytopathogens is of great importance in agriculture. In this context, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has emerged as a powerful tool for analyzing microorganisms. This study deals with a methodology for MALDI-TOF MS-based identification of downy and powdery mildews representing obligate biotrophic parasites of crop plants. Experimental approaches for the MS analyses were optimized using Bremia lactucae, cause of lettuce downy mildew, and Oidium neolycopersici, cause of tomato powdery mildew. This involved determining a suitable concentration of spores in the sample, selection of a proper MALDI matrix, looking for the optimal solvent composition, and evaluation of different sample preparation methods. Furthermore, using different MALDI target materials and surfaces (stainless steel vs polymer-based) and applying various conditions for sample exposure to the acidic MALDI matrix system were investigated. The dried droplet method involving solvent evaporation at room temperature was found to be the most suitable for the deposition of spores and MALDI matrix on the target and the subsequent crystallization. The concentration of spore suspension was optimal between 2 and 5 × 10(9) spores per ml. The best peptide/protein profiles (in terms of signal-to-noise ratio and number of peaks) were obtained by combining ferulic and sinapinic acids as a mixed MALDI matrix. A pretreatment of the spore cell wall with hydrolases was successfully introduced prior to MS measurements to obtain more pronounced signals. Finally, a novel procedure was developed for direct mass spectra acquisition from infected plant leaves. PMID:22899506

  2. Airborne fungal spores of Alternaria, meteorological parameters and predicting variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filali Ben Sidel, Farah; Bouziane, Hassan; del Mar Trigo, Maria; El Haskouri, Fatima; Bardei, Fadoua; Redouane, Abdelbari; Kadiri, Mohamed; Riadi, Hassane; Kazzaz, Mohamed

    2015-03-01

    Alternaria is frequently found as airborne fungal spores and is recognized as an important cause of respiratory allergies. The aerobiological monitoring of fungal spores was performed using a Burkard volumetric spore traps. To establish predicting variables for daily and weakly spore counts, a stepwise multiple regression between spore concentrations and independent variables (meteorological parameters and lagged values from the series of spore concentrations: previous day or week concentration (Alt t - 1) and mean concentration of the same day or week in other years ( C mean)) was made with data obtained during 2009-2011. Alternaria conidia are present throughout the year in the atmosphere of Tetouan, although they show important seasonal fluctuations. The highest levels of Alternaria spores were recorded during the spring and summer or autumn. Alternaria showed maximum daily values in April, May or October depending on year. When the spore variables of Alternaria, namely C mean and Alt t - 1, and meteorological parameters were included in the equation, the resulting R 2 satisfactorily predict future concentrations for 55.5 to 81.6 % during the main spore season and the pre-peak 2. In the predictive model using weekly values, the adjusted R 2 varied from 0.655 to 0.676. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the results from the expected values and the pre-peak spore data or weekly values for 2012, indicating that there were no significant differences between series compared. This test showed the C mean, Alt t - 1, frequency of the wind third quadrant, maximum wind speed and minimum relative humidity as the most efficient independent variables to forecast the overall trend of this spore in the air.

  3. Contamination of healthcare workers' hands with bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Sasahara, Teppei; Ae, Ryusuke; Watanabe, Michiyo; Kimura, Yumiko; Yonekawa, Chikara; Hayashi, Shunji; Morisawa, Yuji

    2016-08-01

    Clostridium species and Bacillus spp. are spore-forming bacteria that cause hospital infections. The spores from these bacteria are transmitted from patient to patient via healthcare workers' hands. Although alcohol-based hand rubbing is an important hand hygiene practice, it is ineffective against bacterial spores. Therefore, healthcare workers should wash their hands with soap when they are contaminated with spores. However, the extent of health care worker hand contamination remains unclear. The aim of this study is to determine the level of bacterial spore contamination on healthcare workers' hands. The hands of 71 healthcare workers were evaluated for bacterial spore contamination. Spores attached to subject's hands were quantitatively examined after 9 working hours. The relationship between bacterial spore contamination and hand hygiene behaviors was also analyzed. Bacterial spores were detected on the hands of 54 subjects (76.1%). The mean number of spores detected was 468.3 CFU/hand (maximum: 3300 CFU/hand). Thirty-seven (52.1%) and 36 (50.7%) subjects were contaminated with Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus, respectively. Nineteen subjects (26.8%) were contaminated with both Bacillus species. Clostridium difficile was detected on only one subject's hands. There was a significant negative correlation between the hand contamination level and the frequency of handwashing (r = -0.44, P < 0.01) and a significant positive correlation between the hand contamination level and the elapsed time since last handwashing (r = 0.34, P < 0.01). Healthcare workers' hands may be frequently contaminated with bacterial spores due to insufficient handwashing during daily patient care.

  4. Model simulations of fungal spore distribution over the Indian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Tabish U.; Valsan, Aswathy E.; Ojha, N.; Ravikrishna, R.; Narasimhan, Balaji; Gunthe, Sachin S.

    2015-12-01

    Fungal spores play important role in the health of humans, animals, and plants by constituting a class of the primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs). Additionally, these could mediate the hydrological cycle by acting as nuclei for ice and cloud formation (IN and CCN respectively). Various processes in the biosphere and the variations in the meteorological conditions control the releasing mechanism of spores through active wet and dry discharge. In the present paper, we simulate the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region during three distinct meteorological seasons by combining a numerical model (WRF-Chem) with the fungal spore emissions based on land-use type. Maiden high-resolution regional simulations revealed large spatial gradient and strong seasonal dependence in the concentration of fungal spores over the Indian region. The fungal spore concentrations are found to be the highest during winter (0-70 μg m-3 in December), moderately higher during summer (0-35 μg m-3 in May) and lowest during the monsoon (0-25 μg m-3 in July). The elevated concentrations during winter are attributed to the shallower boundary layer trapping the emitted fungal spores in smaller volume. In contrast, the deeper boundary layer mixing in May and stronger monsoonal-convection in July distribute the fungal spores throughout the lower troposphere (∼5 km). We suggest that the higher fungal spore concentrations during winter could have potential health impacts. While, stronger vertical mixing could enable fungal spores to influence the cloud formation during summer and monsoon. Our study provides the first information about the distribution and seasonal variation of fungal spores over the densely populated and observationally sparse Indian region.

  5. Airborne fungal spores of Alternaria, meteorological parameters and predicting variables.

    PubMed

    Filali Ben Sidel, Farah; Bouziane, Hassan; Del Mar Trigo, Maria; El Haskouri, Fatima; Bardei, Fadoua; Redouane, Abdelbari; Kadiri, Mohamed; Riadi, Hassane; Kazzaz, Mohamed

    2015-03-01

    Alternaria is frequently found as airborne fungal spores and is recognized as an important cause of respiratory allergies. The aerobiological monitoring of fungal spores was performed using a Burkard volumetric spore traps. To establish predicting variables for daily and weakly spore counts, a stepwise multiple regression between spore concentrations and independent variables (meteorological parameters and lagged values from the series of spore concentrations: previous day or week concentration (Alt t - 1) and mean concentration of the same day or week in other years (C mean)) was made with data obtained during 2009-2011. Alternaria conidia are present throughout the year in the atmosphere of Tetouan, although they show important seasonal fluctuations. The highest levels of Alternaria spores were recorded during the spring and summer or autumn. Alternaria showed maximum daily values in April, May or October depending on year. When the spore variables of Alternaria, namely C mean and Alt t - 1, and meteorological parameters were included in the equation, the resulting R (2) satisfactorily predict future concentrations for 55.5 to 81.6 % during the main spore season and the pre-peak 2. In the predictive model using weekly values, the adjusted R (2) varied from 0.655 to 0.676. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the results from the expected values and the pre-peak spore data or weekly values for 2012, indicating that there were no significant differences between series compared. This test showed the C mean, Alt t - 1, frequency of the wind third quadrant, maximum wind speed and minimum relative humidity as the most efficient independent variables to forecast the overall trend of this spore in the air.

  6. Contamination of healthcare workers' hands with bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Sasahara, Teppei; Ae, Ryusuke; Watanabe, Michiyo; Kimura, Yumiko; Yonekawa, Chikara; Hayashi, Shunji; Morisawa, Yuji

    2016-08-01

    Clostridium species and Bacillus spp. are spore-forming bacteria that cause hospital infections. The spores from these bacteria are transmitted from patient to patient via healthcare workers' hands. Although alcohol-based hand rubbing is an important hand hygiene practice, it is ineffective against bacterial spores. Therefore, healthcare workers should wash their hands with soap when they are contaminated with spores. However, the extent of health care worker hand contamination remains unclear. The aim of this study is to determine the level of bacterial spore contamination on healthcare workers' hands. The hands of 71 healthcare workers were evaluated for bacterial spore contamination. Spores attached to subject's hands were quantitatively examined after 9 working hours. The relationship between bacterial spore contamination and hand hygiene behaviors was also analyzed. Bacterial spores were detected on the hands of 54 subjects (76.1%). The mean number of spores detected was 468.3 CFU/hand (maximum: 3300 CFU/hand). Thirty-seven (52.1%) and 36 (50.7%) subjects were contaminated with Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus, respectively. Nineteen subjects (26.8%) were contaminated with both Bacillus species. Clostridium difficile was detected on only one subject's hands. There was a significant negative correlation between the hand contamination level and the frequency of handwashing (r = -0.44, P < 0.01) and a significant positive correlation between the hand contamination level and the elapsed time since last handwashing (r = 0.34, P < 0.01). Healthcare workers' hands may be frequently contaminated with bacterial spores due to insufficient handwashing during daily patient care. PMID:27236515

  7. Mammalian spore-like cells--a reservoir of spare parts for old-age?

    PubMed

    Shmilovici, Armin

    2007-01-01

    Random exogenous environmental effects--such as radiation and virus--break the biopolymers of the cell (e.g., proteins and DNA), deteriorate its biochemical processes, and eventually cause wear-out and death. Worn-out cells are replaced through the process of cell division. However, a limit to the number of times a cell divides has been noted in all fully differentiated human cell types, as well as in other organisms. While stem cells are an exception and may continue to regenerate cells for the entire lifespan of the organism, they are susceptible too to radiation, infection, and other forms of environmental damage. Spore-like cells are small dormant simple cell-like structures which have the ability to differentiate into mature cells of the tissue from which they are isolated or into the cell types of another tissue. They seem to be present in every tissue in the body. Spore-like cells tolerate conditions that kill differentiated or partially differentiated cells, such as complete oxygen deprivation, and exposure to temperatures which are either much higher or much lower than normal body temperature. When awaken, they can proliferate more rapidly and into more types of differentiated cells than do terminally differentiated cells or stem cells. Reliability theory is a general system theory about systems failure that predicts very well the age-related mortality rates in many species. Reliability theory predicts the late-life mortality deceleration as a consequence of the exhaustion of the redundancy at extreme old-age. The main hypothesis is that the purpose of the spore-like cells is to provide redundancy (i.e., spare parts) for the differentiated and partially differentiated cells in a tissue. Since their use may be required dozens of years after their creation, they need to stay in a dormant and robust state that protects them from deterioration due to detrimental environmental effects. This hypothesis can be validated by measuring the age-related concentration

  8. Transcriptomic responses of germinating Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to 1.5 years of space and simulated martian conditions on the EXPOSE-E experiment PROTECT.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, Wayne L; Moeller, Ralf; Horneck, Gerda

    2012-05-01

    Because of their ubiquity and resistance to spacecraft decontamination, bacterial spores are considered likely potential forward contaminants on robotic missions to Mars. Thus, it is important to understand their global responses to long-term exposure to space or martian environments. As part of the PROTECT experiment, spores of B. subtilis 168 were exposed to real space conditions and to simulated martian conditions for 559 days in low-Earth orbit mounted on the EXPOSE-E exposure platform outside the European Columbus module on the International Space Station. Upon return, spores were germinated, total RNA extracted, fluorescently labeled, and used to probe a custom Bacillus subtilis microarray to identify genes preferentially activated or repressed relative to ground control spores. Increased transcript levels were detected for a number of stress-related regulons responding to DNA damage (SOS response, SPβ prophage induction), protein damage (CtsR/Clp system), oxidative stress (PerR regulon), and cell envelope stress (SigV regulon). Spores exposed to space demonstrated a much broader and more severe stress response than spores exposed to simulated martian conditions. The results are discussed in the context of planetary protection for a hypothetical journey of potential forward contaminant spores from Earth to Mars and their subsequent residence on Mars.

  9. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Maribeth O; Fischer, Mark W F; Money, Nicholas P

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation. PMID:26509436

  10. Enumerating Spore-Forming Bacteria Airborne with Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying; Barengoltz, Jack

    2006-01-01

    A laboratory method has been conceived to enable the enumeration of (1) Cultivable bacteria and bacterial spores that are, variously, airborne by themselves or carried by, parts of, or otherwise associated with, other airborne particles; and (2) Spore-forming bacteria among all of the aforementioned cultivable microbes.

  11. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops.

    PubMed

    Hassett, Maribeth O; Fischer, Mark W F; Money, Nicholas P

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation.

  12. Mushrooms as Rainmakers: How Spores Act as Nuclei for Raindrops

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Millions of tons of fungal spores are dispersed in the atmosphere every year. These living cells, along with plant spores and pollen grains, may act as nuclei for condensation of water in clouds. Basidiospores released by mushrooms form a significant proportion of these aerosols, particularly above tropical forests. Mushroom spores are discharged from gills by the rapid displacement of a droplet of fluid on the cell surface. This droplet is formed by the condensation of water on the spore surface stimulated by the secretion of mannitol and other hygroscopic sugars. This fluid is carried with the spore during discharge, but evaporates once the spore is airborne. Using environmental electron microscopy, we have demonstrated that droplets reform on spores in humid air. The kinetics of this process suggest that basidiospores are especially effective as nuclei for the formation of large water drops in clouds. Through this mechanism, mushroom spores may promote rainfall in ecosystems that support large populations of ectomycorrhizal and saprotrophic basidiomycetes. Our research heightens interest in the global significance of the fungi and raises additional concerns about the sustainability of forests that depend on heavy precipitation. PMID:26509436

  13. PROCEDURE FOR CLEANING OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM SPORES1

    PubMed Central

    Grecz, N.; Anellis, A.; Schneider, M. D.

    1962-01-01

    Grecz, N. (Quartermaster Food and Container Institute, Chicago, Ill.), A. Anellis, and M. D. Schneider. Procedure for cleaning of Clostridium botulinum spores. J. Bacteriol. 84:552–558. 1962.—Liberation of clean spores from vegetative sporangia of Clostridium botulinum strains was accomplished by the use of lytic enzymes and sonic oscillation. Suspensions of crude spores in phosphate buffer (pH 7) were digested with lysozyme (200 μg/ml) and trypsin (100 μg/ml). Rapid lysis of sporangia was induced by ultrasonic oscillation of the reacting mixture at 10 kc for 5 min at 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 6 hr of incubation at 45 C. Intermittent washing of the reacting spore suspension with a solution of lysozyme and trypsin hastened purification of the spore crop. The cleaning procedure was completed by repeated washing of the spores with distilled water. The spores produced by this procedure were clean, as judged by their microscopic appearance, refractility to staining, loss of heat-sensitive toxin, and partition behavior in a two-phase system composed of polyethylene glycol and 3 m potassium phosphate buffer (pH 7.1). The cleaning procedure appeared not to affect the viability, resistance to heat and gamma radiation, or the toxic nature of C. botulinum spores. Images PMID:13950051

  14. The Role of the Electrostatic Force in Spore Adhesion

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Eunhyea; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Lee, Ida; Tsouris, Costas

    2010-01-01

    Electrostatic force is investigated as one of the components of the adhesion force between Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) spores and planar surfaces. The surface potentials of a Bt spore and a mica surface are experimentally obtained using a combined atomic force microscopy (AFM)-scanning surface potential microscopy technique. On the basis of experimental information, the surface charge density of the spores is estimated at 0.03 {micro}C/cm{sup 2} at 20% relative humidity and decreases with increasing humidity. The Coulombic force is introduced for the spore-mica system (both charged, nonconductive surfaces), and an electrostatic image force is introduced to the spore-gold system because gold is electrically conductive. The Coulombic force for spore-mica is repulsive because the components are similarly charged, while the image force for the spore-gold system is attractive. The magnitude of both forces decreases with increasing humidity. The electrostatic forces are added to other force components, e.g., van der Waals and capillary forces, to obtain the adhesion force for each system. The adhesion forces measured by AFM are compared to the estimated values. It is shown that the electrostatic (Coulombic and image) forces play a significant role in the adhesion force between spores and planar surfaces.

  15. Inhibition of Bacillus anthracis Spore Outgrowth by Nisin▿

    PubMed Central

    Gut, Ian M.; Prouty, Angela M.; Ballard, Jimmy D.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Blanke, Steven R.

    2008-01-01

    The lantibiotic nisin has previously been reported to inhibit the outgrowth of spores from several Bacillus species. However, the mode of action of nisin responsible for outgrowth inhibition is poorly understood. By using B. anthracis Sterne 7702 as a model, nisin acted against spores with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) and an IC90 of 0.57 μM and 0.90 μM, respectively. Viable B. anthracis organisms were not recoverable from cultures containing concentrations of nisin greater than the IC90. These studies demonstrated that spores lose heat resistance and become hydrated in the presence of nisin, thereby ruling out a possible mechanism of inhibition in which nisin acts to block germination initiation. Rather, germination initiation is requisite for the action of nisin. This study also revealed that nisin rapidly and irreversibly inhibits growth by preventing the establishment of oxidative metabolism and the membrane potential in germinating spores. On the other hand, nisin had no detectable effects on the typical changes associated with the dissolution of the outer spore structures (e.g., the spore coats, cortex, and exosporium). Thus, the action of nisin results in the uncoupling of two critical sequences of events necessary for the outgrowth of spores: the establishment of metabolism and the shedding of the external spore structures. PMID:18809941

  16. Comparison of hand hygiene procedures for removing Bacillus cereus spores.

    PubMed

    Sasahara, Teppei; Hayashi, Shunji; Hosoda, Kouichi; Morisawa, Yuji; Hirai, Yoshikazu

    2014-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is a spore-forming bacterium. B. cereus occasionally causes nosocomial infections, in which hand contamination with the spores plays an important role. Therefore, hand hygiene is the most important practice for controlling nosocomial B. cereus infections. This study aimed to determine the appropriate hand hygiene procedure for removing B. cereus spores. Thirty volunteers' hands were experimentally contaminated with B. cereus spores, after which they performed 6 different hand hygiene procedures. We compared the efficacy of the procedures in removing the spores from hands. The alcohol-based hand-rubbing procedures scarcely removed them. The soap washing procedures reduced the number of spores by more than 2 log10. Extending the washing time increased the spore-removing efficacy of the washing procedures. There was no significant difference in efficacy between the use of plain soap and antiseptic soap. Handwashing with soap is appropriate for removing B. cereus spores from hands. Alcohol-based hand-rubbing is not effective. PMID:25252644

  17. Elastic and inelastic light scattering from single bacterial spores in an optical trap allows the monitoring of spore germination dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peng, Lixin; Chen, De; Setlow, Peter; Li, Yong-qing

    2009-05-15

    Raman scattering spectroscopy and elastic light scattering intensity (ESLI) were used to simultaneously measure levels of Ca-dipicolinic acid (CaDPA) and changes in spore morphology and refractive index during germination of individual Bacillus subtilis spores with and without the two redundant enzymes (CLEs), CwlJ and SleB, that degrade spores' peptidoglycan cortexes. Conclusions from these measurements include (1) CaDPA release from individual wild-type germinating spores was biphasic; in a first heterogeneous slow phase, T(lag), CaDPA levels decreased approximately 15%, and in the second phase ending at T(release), remaining CaDPA was released rapidly; (2) in L-alanine germination of wild-type spores and spores lacking SleB (a) the ESLI rose approximately 2-fold shortly before T(lag) at T(1), (b) following T(lag), the ESLI again rose approximately 2-fold at T(2) when CaDPA levels had decreased approximately 50%, and (c) the ESLI reached its maximum value at approximately T(release) and then decreased; (3) in CaDPA germination of wild-type spores, (a) T(lag) increased and the first increase in ESLI occurred well before T(lag), consistent with different pathways for CaDPA and L-alanine germination, (b) at T(release), the ESLI again reached its maximum value; (4) in L-alanine germination of spores lacking both CLEs and unable to degrade their cortex, the time DeltaT(release) (T(release) - T(lag)) for excretion of > or = 75% of CaDPA was approximately 15-fold higher than that for wild-type or sleB spores; and (5) spores lacking only CwlJ exhibited a similar but not identical ESLI pattern during L-alanine germination to that seen with cwlJ sleB spores and the high value for DeltaT(release).

  18. Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes during Bacillus subtilis Spore Outgrowth in High-Salinity Environments Using RNA Sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Nagler, Katja; Krawczyk, Antonina O.; De Jong, Anne; Madela, Kazimierz; Hoffmann, Tamara; Laue, Michael; Kuipers, Oscar P.; Bremer, Erhard; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    In its natural habitat, the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis often has to cope with fluctuating osmolality and nutrient availability. Upon nutrient depletion it can form dormant spores, which can revive to form vegetative cells when nutrients become available again. While the effects of salt stress on spore germination have been analyzed previously, detailed knowledge on the salt stress response during the subsequent outgrowth phase is lacking. In this study, we investigated the changes in gene expression during B. subtilis outgrowth in the presence of 1.2 M NaCl using RNA sequencing. In total, 402 different genes were upregulated and 632 genes were downregulated during 90 min of outgrowth in the presence of salt. The salt stress response of outgrowing spores largely resembled the osmospecific response of vegetative cells exposed to sustained high salinity and included strong upregulation of genes involved in osmoprotectant uptake and compatible solute synthesis. The σB-dependent general stress response typically triggered by salt shocks was not induced, whereas the σW regulon appears to play an important role for osmoadaptation of outgrowing spores. Furthermore, high salinity induced many changes in the membrane protein and transporter transcriptome. Overall, salt stress seemed to slow down the complex molecular reorganization processes (“ripening”) of outgrowing spores by exerting detrimental effects on vegetative functions such as amino acid metabolism. PMID:27766092

  19. Rapid universal solublization and analysis of bacterial spores using a simple flow-through ultrahigh-temperature capillary device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Jay A.; Hukari, Kyle W.; Renzi, Ronald F.; Patel, Kamlesh

    2004-12-01

    Rapid identification of viral and bacterial species is dependent of the ability to manipulate biological agents into a form where they are directly analyzed. Many of these species of interest, such as bacterial spores, are inherently hearty and very difficult to lyse or solubilize. Standard protocols for spore inactivation include, chemical treatment, sonication, pressure and thermal lysis. While these protocols are effective for the inactivation of these agents they are less well suited for sample preparation for analysis using capillary electrophoresis techniques. In order to overcome this difficulty we fabricated a simple capillary device to perform thermal lysis of vegatative bacterial cells and bacterial spores. Using an ethylene glycol buffer to super heat bacterial spores we were able to perform rapid flow through lysis and solubilzation of these agents. This device was then coupled to a sample preparation station for on-line fluorescamine dye lableling and buffer exchange for direct analysis using a miniaturized capillary electrophoresis instrument. Using this integrated device were we enabled to perform sample lysis, labeling and protein fingerprint analysis of vegatative bacterial cells, bacterial spores and viruses in less than 10 minutes. The described device is simple, inexpensive and easily integratable with various microfluidic devices.

  20. Quantification of Spore-forming Bacteria Carried by Dust Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying; Cholakian, Tanya; Gao, Wenming; Osman, Shariff; Barengoltz, Jack

    2006-01-01

    In order to establish a biological contamination transport model for predicting the cross contamination risk during spacecraft assembly and upon landing on Mars, it is important to understand the relationship between spore-forming bacteria and their carrier particles. We conducted air and surface sampling in indoor, outdoor, and cleanroom environments to determine the ratio of spore forming bacteria to their dust particle carriers of different sizes. The number of spore forming bacteria was determined from various size groups of particles in a given environment. Our data also confirms the existence of multiple spores on a single particle and spore clumps. This study will help in developing a better bio-contamination transport model, which in turn will help in determining forward contamination risks for future missions.

  1. Removal of dissolved heavy metals and radionuclides by microbial spores

    SciTech Connect

    Revis, N.W.; Hadden, C.T.; Edenborn, H.

    1997-11-01

    Microbial systems have been shown to remove specific heavy metals from contaminated aqueous waste to levels acceptable to EPA for environmental release. However, systems capable of removing a variety of heavy metals from aqueous waste to environmentally acceptable levels remain to be reported. The present studies were performed to determine the specificity of spores of the bacterium Bacillus megaterium for the adsorption of dissolved metals and radionuclides from aqueous waste. The spores effectively adsorbed eight heavy metals from a prepared metal mix and from a plating rinse waste to EPA acceptable levels for waste water. These results suggest that spores have multiple binding sites for the adsorption of heavy metals. Spores were also effective in adsorbing the radionuclides {sup 85}strontium and {sup 197}cesium. The presence of multiple sites in spores for the adsorption of heavy metals and radionuclides makes this biosorbent a good candidate for the treatment of aqueous wastes associated with the plating and nuclear industries. 17 refs., 4 tabs.

  2. Bacillus atrophaeus Outer Spore Coat Assembly and Ultrastructure

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T J; Wheeler, K E; Pitesky, M E; Malkin, A J

    2005-11-21

    Our previous atomic force microscopy (AFM) studies successfully visualized native Bacillus atrophaeus spore coat ultrastructure and surface morphology. We have shown that the outer spore coat surface is formed by a crystalline array of {approx}11 nm thick rodlets, having a periodicity of {approx}8 nm. We present here further AFM ultrastructural investigations of air-dried and fully hydrated spore surface architecture. In the rodlet layer, planar and point defects, as well as domain boundaries, similar to those described for inorganic and macromolecular crystals, were identified. For several Bacillus species, rodlet structure assembly and architectural variation appear to be a consequence of species-specific nucleation and crystallization mechanisms that regulate the formation of the outer spore coat. We propose a unifying mechanism for nucleation and self-assembly of this crystalline layer on the outer spore coat surface.

  3. Seasonal Trends in Airborne Fungal Spores in Coastal California Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morfin, J.; Crandall, S. G.; Gilbert, G. S.

    2014-12-01

    Airborne fungal spores cause disease in plants and animals and may trigger respiratory illnesses in humans. In terrestrial systems, fungal sporulation, germination, and persistence are strongly regulated by local meteorological conditions. However, few studies investigate how microclimate affects the spatio-temporal dynamics of airborne spores. We measured fungal aerospora abundance and microclimate at varying spatial and time scales in coastal California in three habitat-types: coast redwood forest, mixed-evergreen forest, and maritime chaparral. We asked: 1) is there a difference in total airborne spore concentration between habitats, 2) when do we see peak spore counts, and 3) do spore densities correlate with microclimate conditions? Fungal spores were caught from the air with a volumetric vacuum air spore trap during the wet season (January - March) in 2013 and 2014, as well as monthly in 2014. Initial results suggest that mixed-evergreen forests exhibit the highest amounts of spore abundance in both years compared to the other habitats. This may be due to either a higher diversity of host plants in mixed-evergreen forests or a rich leaf litter layer that may harbor a greater abundance of saprotrophic fungi. Based on pilot data, we predict that temperature and to a lesser degree, relative humidity, will be important microclimate predictors for high spore densities. These data are important for understanding when and under what weather conditions we can expect to see high levels of fungal spores in the air; this can be useful information for managers who are interested in treating diseased plants with fungicides.

  4. Characterizing Aeroallergens by Infrared Spectroscopy of Fungal Spores and Pollen

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Boris; Tkalčec, Zdenko; Mešić, Armin; Kohler, Achim

    2015-01-01

    Background Fungal spores and plant pollen cause respiratory diseases in susceptible individuals, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Aeroallergen monitoring networks are an important part of treatment strategies, but unfortunately traditional analysis is time consuming and expensive. We have explored the use of infrared spectroscopy of pollen and spores for an inexpensive and rapid characterization of aeroallergens. Methodology The study is based on measurement of spore and pollen samples by single reflectance attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (SR-ATR FTIR). The experimental set includes 71 spore (Basidiomycota) and 121 pollen (Pinales, Fagales and Poales) samples. Along with fresh basidiospores, the study has been conducted on the archived samples collected within the last 50 years. Results The spectroscopic-based methodology enables clear spectral differentiation between pollen and spores, as well as the separation of confamiliar and congeneric species. In addition, the analysis of the scattering signals inherent in the infrared spectra indicates that the FTIR methodology offers indirect estimation of morphology of pollen and spores. The analysis of fresh and archived spores shows that chemical composition of spores is well preserved even after decades of storage, including the characteristic taxonomy-related signals. Therefore, biochemical analysis of fungal spores by FTIR could provide economical, reliable and timely methodologies for improving fungal taxonomy, as well as for fungal identification and monitoring. This proof of principle study shows the potential for using FTIR as a rapid tool in aeroallergen studies. In addition, the presented method is ready to be immediately implemented in biological and ecological studies for direct measurement of pollen and spores from flowers and sporocarps. PMID:25867755

  5. Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

    Five parameters were evaluated with surrogates of Bacillus anthracis spores to determine effective decontamination options for use in a contaminated drinking water supply. The parameters were: (1) type of Bacillus spore surrogate (B. thuringiensis or B. atrophaeus); (2) spore concentration in suspension (10{sup 2} to 10{sup 6} spores/ml); (3) chemical characteristics of decontaminant [sodium dicholor-s-triazinetrione dihydrate (Dichlor), hydrogen peroxide, potassium peroxymonosulfate (Oxone), sodium hypochlorite, and VirkonS{reg_sign}]; (4) decontaminant concentration (0.01% to 5%); and (5) decontaminant exposure time (10 min to 24 hr). Results from 162 suspension tests with appropriate controls are reported. Hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 5%, and Dichlor and sodium hypochlorite at a concentration of 2%, were effective at spore inactivation regardless of spore type tested, spore exposure time, or spore concentration evaluated. This is the first reported study of Dichlor as an effective decontaminant for B. anthracis spore surrogates. Dichlor's desirable characteristics of high oxidation potential, high level of free chlorine, and more neutral pH than that of other oxidizers evaluated appear to make it an excellent alternative. All three oxidizers were effective against B. atrophaeus spores in meeting EPA's biocide standard of greater than a 6 log kill after a 10-minute exposure time and at lower concentrations than typically reported for biocide use. Solutions of 5% VirkonS{reg_sign} and Oxone were less effective decontaminants than other options evaluated in this study and did not meet the EPA's efficacy standard for biocides. Differences in methods and procedures reported by other investigators make quantitative comparisons among studies difficult.

  6. Survival of Spores of Trichoderma longibrachiatum in Space: data from the Space Experiment SPORES on EXPOSE-R

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neuberger, Katja; Lux-Endrich, Astrid; Panitz, Corinna

    2015-01-01

    In the space experiment `Spores in artificial meteorites' (SPORES), spores of the fungus Trichoderma longibrachiatum were exposed to low-Earth orbit for nearly 2 years on board the EXPOSE-R facility outside of the International Space Station. The environmental conditions tested in space were: space vacuum at 10-7-10-4 Pa or argon atmosphere at 105 Pa as inert gas atmosphere, solar extraterrestrial ultraviolet (UV) radiation at λ > 110 nm or λ > 200 nm with fluences up to 5.8 × 108 J m-2, cosmic radiation of a total dose range from 225 to 320 mGy, and temperature fluctuations from -25 to +50°C, applied isolated or in combination. Comparable control experiments were performed on ground. After retrieval, viability of spores was analysed by two methods: (i) ethidium bromide staining and (ii) test of germination capability. About 30% of the spores in vacuum survived the space travel, if shielded against insolation. However, in most cases no significant decrease was observed for spores exposed in addition to the full spectrum of solar UV irradiation. As the spores were exposed in clusters, the outer layers of spores may have shielded the inner part. The results give some information about the likelihood of lithopanspermia, the natural transfer of micro-organisms between planets. In addition to the parameters of outer space, sojourn time in space seems to be one of the limiting parameters.

  7. Methods for neutralizing anthrax or anthrax spores

    DOEpatents

    Sloan, Mark A; Vivekandanda, Jeevalatha; Holwitt, Eric A; Kiel, Johnathan L

    2013-02-26

    The present invention concerns methods, compositions and apparatus for neutralizing bioagents, wherein bioagents comprise biowarfare agents, biohazardous agents, biological agents and/or infectious agents. The methods comprise exposing the bioagent to an organic semiconductor and exposing the bioagent and organic semiconductor to a source of energy. Although any source of energy is contemplated, in some embodiments the energy comprises visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radiofrequency, microwave, laser radiation, pulsed corona discharge or electron beam radiation. Exemplary organic semiconductors include DAT and DALM. In certain embodiments, the organic semiconductor may be attached to one or more binding moieties, such as an antibody, antibody fragment, or nucleic acid ligand. Preferably, the binding moiety has a binding affinity for one or more bioagents to be neutralized. Other embodiments concern an apparatus comprising an organic semiconductor and an energy source. In preferred embodiments, the methods, compositions and apparatus are used for neutralizing anthrax spores.

  8. Development of a heat-stable and orally delivered recombinant M2e-expressing B. subtilis spore-based influenza vaccine.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guangyu; Miao, Yu; Guo, Yan; Qiu, Hongjie; Sun, Shihui; Kou, Zhihua; Yu, Hong; Li, Junfeng; Chen, Yue; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying; Zhou, Yusen

    2014-01-01

    Highly conserved ectodomain of influenza virus M2 protein (M2e) is an important target for the development of universal influenza vaccines. Today, the use of chemical or genetic fusion constructs have been undertaken to overcome the low immunogenicity of M2e in vaccine formulation. However, current M2e vaccines are neither orally delivered nor heat-stable. In this study, we evaluated the immune efficacy of an orally delivered recombinant M2e vaccine containing 3 molcules of M2e consensus sequence of influenza A viruses, termed RSM2e3. To accomplish this, CotB, a spore coat of Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis), was used as a fusion partner, and heat-stable nonpathogenic B. subtilis spores were used as the carrier. Our results showed that CotB-M2e3 fusion had no effect on spore structure or function in the resultant recombinant RSM2e3 strain and that heterologous influenza virus M2e protein was successfully displayed on the surface of the recombinant RSM2e3 spore. Importantly, recombinant RSM2e3 spores elicited strong and long-term M2e-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses, completely protecting immunized mice from lethal challenge of A/PR/8/34(H1N1) influenza virus. Taken together, our study forms a solid basis for the development of a novel orally delivered and heat-stable influenza vaccine based on B. subtilis spore surface display.

  9. Novel Secretion Apparatus Maintains Spore Integrity and Developmental Gene Expression in Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Meisner, Jeffrey; Serrano, Monica; Henriques, Adriano O.; Moran, Charles P.; Rudner, David Z.

    2009-01-01

    Sporulation in Bacillus subtilis involves two cells that follow separate but coordinately regulated developmental programs. Late in sporulation, the developing spore (the forespore) resides within a mother cell. The regulation of the forespore transcription factor σG that acts at this stage has remained enigmatic. σG activity requires eight mother-cell proteins encoded in the spoIIIA operon and the forespore protein SpoIIQ. Several of the SpoIIIA proteins share similarity with components of specialized secretion systems. One of them resembles a secretion ATPase and we demonstrate that the ATPase motifs are required for σG activity. We further show that the SpoIIIA proteins and SpoIIQ reside in a multimeric complex that spans the two membranes surrounding the forespore. Finally, we have discovered that these proteins are all required to maintain forespore integrity. In their absence, the forespore develops large invaginations and collapses. Importantly, maintenance of forespore integrity does not require σG. These results support a model in which the SpoIIIA-SpoIIQ proteins form a novel secretion apparatus that allows the mother cell to nurture the forespore, thereby maintaining forespore physiology and σG activity during spore maturation. PMID:19609349

  10. Dynamic phase microscopy, a new method to detect viable and killed spores and to estimate the heterogeneity of spore populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tychinsky, Vladimir P.; Mulyukin, Andrey L.; Lisovskii, Vitalii V.; Nikolaev, Yury A.; Kretushev, Aleksander V.; Vyshenskaya, Tatyana V.; Suzina, Nataliya E.; Duda, Vitalii I.; El-Registan, Galina I.

    One of the challenging tasks in monitoring studies is to estimate heterogeneity of microbial populations by the physiological state and potential viability of individual cells, especially with regard of their ability to withstand various environmental assaults. Previously, we described some approaches based on electron microscopy methods to discriminate vegetative, dormant, and dead cells in both aged microbial cultures and environmental samples, including permafrost. We propose to extend the arsenal of microscopy methods for monitoring studies by a new non-invasive and informative method - dynamic phase microscopy (DPM). The substantial advantage of DPM is that it gives quantitative (digitized) data of undestroyed (living) microscopic objects, exemplified in our work by Bacillus licheniformis spores. Using DPM made it possible to record interference images of objects (spores) and to produce picture of their "phase thickness" (PT) that is the optical path difference in nm. Thus, it was demonstrated the remarkable difference in the PT of spores at different physiological states: dormant, germinating, and heat-killed spores had PT values of 80, 40-50, and 20 nm, respectively. The other found criterion to distinguish between spores was the PT fluctuations. In contrast to dormant and killed spores, the PT of germinating spores oscillated with amplitude of up to 7 nm, with typical frequencies of 1.3 and 3.4 Hz. A combination of the recorded PT values and PT fluctuations gave a key to detect viable and dead cells. Under the conditions that did not support germination (the lack of nutrients), we were able to follow the response of a single dormant spore and a spore population to heating from 25 °C to 70 °C. Thus, a very small temperature change (from 40 °C to 42 °C) under conditions non-favorable for germination, caused a drastic decrease in the spores' PT; the second drop in the PT values was observed during heating from 60 °C to 70 °C. These changes were

  11. Water Behavior in Bacterial Spores by Deuterium NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Dormant bacterial spores are able to survive long periods of time without nutrients, withstand harsh environmental conditions, and germinate into metabolically active bacteria when conditions are favorable. Numerous factors influence this hardiness, including the spore structure and the presence of compounds to protect DNA from damage. It is known that the water content of the spore core plays a role in resistance to degradation, but the exact state of water inside the core is a subject of discussion. Two main theories present themselves: either the water in the spore core is mostly immobile and the core and its components are in a glassy state, or the core is a gel with mobile water around components which themselves have limited mobility. Using deuterium solid-state NMR experiments, we examine the nature of the water in the spore core. Our data show the presence of unbound water, bound water, and deuterated biomolecules that also contain labile deuterons. Deuterium–hydrogen exchange experiments show that most of these deuterons are inaccessible by external water. We believe that these unreachable deuterons are in a chemical bonding state that prevents exchange. Variable-temperature NMR results suggest that the spore core is more rigid than would be expected for a gel-like state. However, our rigid core interpretation may only apply to dried spores whereas a gel core may exist in aqueous suspension. Nonetheless, the gel core, if present, is inaccessible to external water. PMID:24950158

  12. [Should the microsporidian spores be treated as dormant stages?].

    PubMed

    Issi, I V; Dolgikh, V V; Tokarev, Iu S

    2011-01-01

    Spores of bacteria, fungi, microsporidia and other protists are traditionally treated as dormant stages, intended to the long-term survival in the environment and to activation of parasitic forms during the infestation of a new host. However, in the process of examination of insect microsporidia at the molecular cellular levels and also at the level of organisms and populations, we came to a conclusion that spores are very active developmental stages with the entire potential directed to the rapid and successful infestation of new hosts during contact with the later. The work summarizes the original data demonstrating (1) the necessity of the rapid activation of microsporidian spores during host contact, (2) hopelessness of the long retaining of viability by spores of many microsporidia in the environment after leaving host organism; and (3) specific accumulation of metabolic ferments in "dormant" spores, but not in actively proliferating prespore developmental stages. On the basis of these data we conclude that microsporidian spores tend to shorten the period when they stay outside host organism to the maximal degree. The probability of host infestation within the limited time period increases due to diverse modes of transmission of pathogens, accumulation of maximally possible volume of infective spores, and the rapid mobilization of the extrusion apparatus.

  13. Activity of essential oils against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Hayley A; Palombo, Enzo A

    2009-12-01

    Alternative methods for controlling bacterial endospore contamination are desired in a range of industries and applications. Attention has recently turned to natural products, such as essential oils, which have sporicidal activity. In this study, a selection of essential oils was investigated to identify those with activity against Bacillus subtilis spores. Spores were exposed to thirteen essential oils, and surviving spores were enumerated. Cardamom, tea tree, and juniper leaf oils were the most effective, reducing the number of viable spores by 3 logs at concentrations above 1%. Sporicidal activity was enhanced at high temperatures (60 degrees C) or longer exposure times (up to one week). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis identified the components of the active essential oils. However, none of the major oil components exhibited equivalent activity to the whole oils. The fact that oil components, either alone or in combination, did not show the same level of sporicidal activity as the complete oils suggested that minor components may be involved, or that these act synergistically with major components. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine spores after exposure to essential oils and suggested that leakage of spore contents was the likely mode of sporicidal action. Our data have shown that essential oils exert sporicidal activity and may be useful in applications where bacterial spore reduction is desired.

  14. Water behavior in bacterial spores by deuterium NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Friedline, Anthony W; Zachariah, Malcolm M; Johnson, Karen; Thomas, Kieth J; Middaugh, Amy N; Garimella, Ravindranath; Powell, Douglas R; Vaishampayan, Parag A; Rice, Charles V

    2014-07-31

    Dormant bacterial spores are able to survive long periods of time without nutrients, withstand harsh environmental conditions, and germinate into metabolically active bacteria when conditions are favorable. Numerous factors influence this hardiness, including the spore structure and the presence of compounds to protect DNA from damage. It is known that the water content of the spore core plays a role in resistance to degradation, but the exact state of water inside the core is a subject of discussion. Two main theories present themselves: either the water in the spore core is mostly immobile and the core and its components are in a glassy state, or the core is a gel with mobile water around components which themselves have limited mobility. Using deuterium solid-state NMR experiments, we examine the nature of the water in the spore core. Our data show the presence of unbound water, bound water, and deuterated biomolecules that also contain labile deuterons. Deuterium-hydrogen exchange experiments show that most of these deuterons are inaccessible by external water. We believe that these unreachable deuterons are in a chemical bonding state that prevents exchange. Variable-temperature NMR results suggest that the spore core is more rigid than would be expected for a gel-like state. However, our rigid core interpretation may only apply to dried spores whereas a gel core may exist in aqueous suspension. Nonetheless, the gel core, if present, is inaccessible to external water.

  15. Infrared signatures to discriminate viability of autoclaved Bacillus spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Matthew D. W.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Johnson, Timothy J.

    2011-11-01

    Optical methods can offer good sensitivity for detecting small amounts of chemicals and biologicals, and as these methods mature, are some of the few techniques that can offer true standoff detection. For detection of biological species, determining the viability is clearly important: Certain species of gram-positive bacteria are capable of forming endospores, specialized structures that arise when living conditions become unfavorable or little growth medium is available. Spores are also resistant to many chemicals as well as changes in heat or pH; such spores can remain dormant from months to years until more favorable conditions arise, resulting in germination back to the vegetative state. This persistence characteristic of bacterial spores allows for contamination of a surface (e.g. food or medical equipment) even after the surface has been nominally cleaned. Bacterial spores have also been used as biological weapons, as in the case of B. anthracis. Thus, having rapid analytical methods to determine a spore's viability after attempts to clean a given environment is crucial. The increasing availability of portable spectrometers may provide a key to such rapid onsite analysis. The present study was designed to determine whether infrared spectroscopy may be used to differentiate between viable vs. dead B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus spores. Preliminary results show that the reproducible differences in the IR signatures can be used to identify the viable vs. the autoclaved (dead) spores.

  16. Pilot-scale crossflow-microfiltration and pasteurization to remove spores of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) from milk.

    PubMed

    Tomasula, P M; Mukhopadhyay, S; Datta, N; Porto-Fett, A; Call, J E; Luchansky, J B; Renye, J; Tunick, M

    2011-09-01

    High-temperature, short-time pasteurization of milk is ineffective against spore-forming bacteria such as Bacillus anthracis (BA), but is lethal to its vegetative cells. Crossflow microfiltration (MF) using ceramic membranes with a pore size of 1.4 μm has been shown to reject most microorganisms from skim milk; and, in combination with pasteurization, has been shown to extend its shelf life. The objectives of this study were to evaluate MF for its efficiency in removing spores of the attenuated Sterne strain of BA from milk; to evaluate the combined efficiency of MF using a 0.8-μm ceramic membrane, followed by pasteurization (72°C, 18.6s); and to monitor any residual BA in the permeates when stored at temperatures of 4, 10, and 25°C for up to 28 d. In each trial, 95 L of raw skim milk was inoculated with about 6.5 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk. It was then microfiltered in total recycle mode at 50°C using ceramic membranes with pore sizes of either 0.8 μm or 1.4 μm, at crossflow velocity of 6.2 m/s and transmembrane pressure of 127.6 kPa, conditions selected to exploit the selectivity of the membrane. Microfiltration using the 0.8-μm membrane removed 5.91±0.05 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk and the 1.4-μm membrane removed 4.50±0.35 log(10) BA spores/mL of milk. The 0.8-μm membrane showed efficient removal of the native microflora and both membranes showed near complete transmission of the casein proteins. Spore germination was evident in the permeates obtained at 10, 30, and 120 min of MF time (0.8-μm membrane) but when stored at 4 or 10°C, spore levels were decreased to below detection levels (≤0.3 log(10) spores/mL) by d 7 or 3 of storage, respectively. Permeates stored at 25°C showed coagulation and were not evaluated further. Pasteurization of the permeate samples immediately after MF resulted in additional spore germination that was related to the length of MF time. Pasteurized permeates obtained at 10 min of MF and stored at 4 or 10°C showed no

  17. Bacteriocins: Novel Solutions to Age Old Spore-Related Problems?

    PubMed

    Egan, Kevin; Field, Des; Rea, Mary C; Ross, R Paul; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria, which have the ability to kill or inhibit other bacteria. Many bacteriocins are produced by food grade lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Indeed, the prototypic bacteriocin, nisin, is produced by Lactococcus lactis, and is licensed in over 50 countries. With consumers becoming more concerned about the levels of chemical preservatives present in food, bacteriocins offer an alternative, more natural approach, while ensuring both food safety and product shelf life. Bacteriocins also show additive/synergistic effects when used in combination with other treatments, such as heating, high pressure, organic compounds, and as part of food packaging. These features are particularly attractive from the perspective of controlling sporeforming bacteria. Bacterial spores are common contaminants of food products, and their outgrowth may cause food spoilage or food-borne illness. They are of particular concern to the food industry due to their thermal and chemical resistance in their dormant state. However, when spores germinate they lose the majority of their resistance traits, making them susceptible to a variety of food processing treatments. Bacteriocins represent one potential treatment as they may inhibit spores in the post-germination/outgrowth phase of the spore cycle. Spore eradication and control in food is critical, as they are able to spoil and in certain cases compromise the safety of food by producing dangerous toxins. Thus, understanding the mechanisms by which bacteriocins exert their sporostatic/sporicidal activity against bacterial spores will ultimately facilitate their optimal use in food. This review will focus on the use of bacteriocins alone, or in combination with other innovative processing methods to control spores in food, the current knowledge and gaps therein with regard to bacteriocin-spore interactions and discuss future research approaches to enable spores to be more

  18. The ecology of anthrax spores: tough but not invincible.

    PubMed Central

    Dragon, D C; Rennie, R P

    1995-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax, a serious and often fatal disease of wild and domestic animals. Central to the persistence of anthrax in an area is the ability of B. anthracis to form long-lasting, highly resistant spores. Understanding the ecology of anthrax spores is essential if one hopes to control epidemics. Studies on the ecology of anthrax have found a correlation between the disease and specific soil factors, such as alkaline pH, high moisture, and high organic content. Researchers initially suggested that these factors influenced vegetative anthrax bacilli. However, subsequent research has shown that vegetative cells of B. anthracis have very specific nutrient and physiological requirements and are unlikely to survive outside a host. Review of the properties of spores of B. anthracis and other Bacillus species suggests that the specific soil factors linked to epidemic areas reflect important environmental conditions that aid the anthrax spores in causing epidemics. Specifically, high levels of calcium in the soil may help to maintain spore vitality for prolonged periods, thereby increasing the chance of spores encountering and infecting a new host. Cycles of runoff and evaporation may collect spores dispersed from previous epidemics into storage areas, thereby concentrating them. Uptake of large doses of viable spores from storage areas by susceptible animals, via altered feeding or breeding behavior, may then allow the bacterium to establish infection and cause a new epidemic. Literature search for this review was done by scanning the Life Sciences Collection 1982-1994 using the keywords "anthrax" and "calcium and spore." Images Figure 1. PMID:7773917

  19. Mapping Interactions between Germinants and Clostridium difficile Spores

    PubMed Central

    Howerton, Amber; Ramirez, Norma; Abel-Santos, Ernesto

    2011-01-01

    Germination of Clostridium difficile spores is the first required step in establishing C. difficile-associated disease (CDAD). Taurocholate (a bile salt) and glycine (an amino acid) have been shown to be important germinants of C. difficile spores. In the present study, we tested a series of glycine and taurocholate analogs for the ability to induce or inhibit C. difficile spore germination. Testing of glycine analogs revealed that both the carboxy and amino groups are important epitopes for recognition and that the glycine binding site can accommodate compounds with more widely separated termini. The C. difficile germination machinery also recognizes other hydrophobic amino acids. In general, linear alkyl side chains are better activators of spore germination than their branched analogs. However, l-phenylalanine and l-arginine are also good germinants and are probably recognized by distinct binding sites. Testing of taurocholate analogs revealed that the 12-hydroxyl group of taurocholate is necessary, but not sufficient, to activate spore germination. In contrast, the 6- and 7-hydroxyl groups are required for inhibition of C. difficile spore germination. Similarly, C. difficile spores are able to detect taurocholate analogs with shorter, but not longer, alkyl amino sulfonic acid side chains. Furthermore, the sulfonic acid group can be partially substituted with other acidic groups. Finally, a taurocholate analog with an m-aminobenzenesulfonic acid side chain is a strong inhibitor of C. difficile spore germination. In conclusion, C. difficile spores recognize both amino acids and taurocholate through multiple interactions that are required to bind the germinants and/or activate the germination machinery. PMID:20971909

  20. Bacteriocins: Novel Solutions to Age Old Spore-Related Problems?

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Kevin; Field, Des; Rea, Mary C.; Ross, R. Paul; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D.

    2016-01-01

    Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria, which have the ability to kill or inhibit other bacteria. Many bacteriocins are produced by food grade lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Indeed, the prototypic bacteriocin, nisin, is produced by Lactococcus lactis, and is licensed in over 50 countries. With consumers becoming more concerned about the levels of chemical preservatives present in food, bacteriocins offer an alternative, more natural approach, while ensuring both food safety and product shelf life. Bacteriocins also show additive/synergistic effects when used in combination with other treatments, such as heating, high pressure, organic compounds, and as part of food packaging. These features are particularly attractive from the perspective of controlling sporeforming bacteria. Bacterial spores are common contaminants of food products, and their outgrowth may cause food spoilage or food-borne illness. They are of particular concern to the food industry due to their thermal and chemical resistance in their dormant state. However, when spores germinate they lose the majority of their resistance traits, making them susceptible to a variety of food processing treatments. Bacteriocins represent one potential treatment as they may inhibit spores in the post-germination/outgrowth phase of the spore cycle. Spore eradication and control in food is critical, as they are able to spoil and in certain cases compromise the safety of food by producing dangerous toxins. Thus, understanding the mechanisms by which bacteriocins exert their sporostatic/sporicidal activity against bacterial spores will ultimately facilitate their optimal use in food. This review will focus on the use of bacteriocins alone, or in combination with other innovative processing methods to control spores in food, the current knowledge and gaps therein with regard to bacteriocin-spore interactions and discuss future research approaches to enable spores to be more

  1. Immunomagnetic capture of Bacillus anthracis spores from food.

    PubMed

    Shields, Michael J; Hahn, Kristen R; Janzen, Timothy W; Goji, Noriko; Thomas, Matthew C; Kingombe, Cesar Bin I; Paquet, Chantal; Kell, Arnold J; Amoako, Kingsley K

    2012-07-01

    Food is a vulnerable target for potential bioterrorist attacks; therefore, a critical mitigation strategy is needed for the rapid concentration and detection of biothreat agents from food matrices. Magnetic beads offer a unique advantage in that they have a large surface area for efficient capture of bacteria. We have demonstrated the efficient capture and concentration of Bacillus anthracis (Sterne) spores using immunomagnetic beads for a potential food application. Magnetic beads from three different sources, with varying sizes and surface chemistries, were functionalized with monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies from commercial sources and used to capture and concentrate anthrax spores from spiked food matrices, including milk, apple juice, bagged salad, processed meat, and bottled water. The results indicated that the Pathatrix beads were more effective in the binding and capture of anthrax spores than the other two bead types investigated. Furthermore, it was observed that the use of polyclonal antibodies resulted in a more efficient recovery of anthrax spores than the use of monoclonal antibodies. Three different magnetic capture methods, inversion, the Pathatrix Auto system, and the new i CropTheBug system, were investigated. The i CropTheBug system yielded a much higher recovery of spores than the Pathatrix Auto system. Spore recoveries ranged from 80 to 100% for the i CropTheBug system when using pure spore preparations, whereas the Pathatrix Auto system had recoveries from 20 to 30%. Spore capture from food samples inoculated at a level of 1 CFU/ml resulted in 80 to 100% capture for milk, bottled water, and juice samples and 60 to 80% for processed meat and bagged salad when using the i CropTheBug system. This efficient capture of anthrax spores at very low concentrations without enrichment has the potential to enhance the sensitivity of downstream detection technologies and will be a useful method in a foodborne bioterrorism response. PMID

  2. Sterilization Resistance of Bacterial Spores Explained with Water Chemistry.

    PubMed

    Friedline, Anthony W; Zachariah, Malcolm M; Middaugh, Amy N; Garimella, Ravindranath; Vaishampayan, Parag A; Rice, Charles V

    2015-11-01

    Bacterial spores can survive for long periods without nutrients and in harsh environmental conditions. This survival is influenced by the structure of the spore, the presence of protective compounds, and water retention. These compounds, and the physical state of water in particular, allow some species of bacterial spores to survive sterilization schemes with hydrogen peroxide and UV light. The chemical nature of the spore core and its water has been a subject of some contention and the chemical environment of the water impacts resistance paradigms. Either the spore has a glassy core, where water is immobilized along with other core components, or the core is gel-like with mobile water diffusion. These properties affect the movement of peroxide and radical species, and hence resistance. Deuterium solid-state NMR experiments are useful for examining the nature of the water inside the spore. Previous work in our lab with spores of Bacillus subtilis indicate that, for spores, the core water is in a more immobilized state than expected for the gel-like core theory, suggesting a glassy core environment. Here, we report deuterium solid-state NMR observations of the water within UV- and peroxide-resistant spores from Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032. Variable-temperature NMR experiments indicate no change in the line shape after heating to 50 °C, but an overall decrease in signal after heating to 100 °C. These results show glass-like core dynamics within B. pumilus SAFR-032 that may be the potential source of its known UV-resistance properties. The observed NMR traits can be attributed to the presence of an exosporium containing additional labile deuterons that can aid in the deactivation of sterilizing agents.

  3. [Sporogenesis, sporoderm and mature spore ornamentation in Lycopodiaceae].

    PubMed

    Rincon Baron, Edgar Javier; Rolleri, Cristina Hilda; Passarelli, Lilian M; Espinosa Matías, Silvia; Torres, Alba Marina

    2014-09-01

    Studies on reproductive aspects, spore morphology and ultrastructure of Lycopodiaceae are not very common in the scientific literature, and constitute essential information to support taxonomic and systematic relationships among the group. In order to complete existing information, adding new and broader contributions on these topics, a comparative analysis of the sporogenesis ultrastructure, with emphasis on cytological aspects of the sporocyte coat development, tapetum, monoplastidic and polyplastidic meiosis, sporoderm ontogeny and ornamentation of the mature spores, was carried out in 43 taxa of eight genera of the Lycopodiaceae: Austrolycopodium, Diphasium, Diphasiastrum, Huperzia (including Phlegmariurus), Lycopodium, Lycopodiella, Palhinhaea and Pseudolycopodiella growing in the Andes of Colombia and the Neotropics. For this study, the transmission elec- tron microscopy (TEM) samples were collected in Cauca and Valle del Cauca Departments, while most of the spores for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis were obtained from herbarium samples. We followed standard preparation procedures for spore observation by TEM and SEM. Results showed that the sporocyte coat is largely composed by primary wall components; the sporocyte develop much of their metabolic activity in the production of their coat, which is retained until the spores release; protective functions for the diploid cells undergoing meiosis is postulated here for this layer. The abundance of dictyosomes in the sporocyte cytoplasm was related to the formation and development of the sporocyte coat. Besides microtubule activity, the membrane of sporocyte folds, associated with electrodense material, and would early determine the final patterns of spore ornamentation. Monoplastidic condition is common in Lycopodium s.l., whereas polyplastidic condition was observed in species of Huperzia and Lycopodiella s. l. In monoplastidic species, the tapetum presents abun- dant multivesicular bodies, while in

  4. New pressure and temperature effects on bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathys, A.; Heinz, V.; Knorr, D.

    2008-07-01

    The mechanism of inactivation of bacterial spores by heat and pressure is still a matter of discussion. Obviously, the change of the dissociation equilibrium under pressure and temperature plays a dominant role in inactivation of microorganisms. Heat and pressure inactivation of Geobacillus. stearothermophilus spores at different initial pH-values in ACES and phosphate buffer confirmed this view. Thermal inactivation in ACES buffer at 122°C resulted in higher logarithmic reductions. Contrary, after pressure treatment at 900 MPa with 80°C phosphate buffer showed higher inactivation. These results indicated the different dissociation equilibrium shifts in buffer systems by heat and pressure. Due to preparation, storage and handling of highly concentrated spore suspensions the clumping and the formation of aggregates can hardly be avoided. Consequently, the impact of the agglomeration size distribution on the quantitative assessment of G. stearothermophilus spore inactivation was determined by using a three-fold dynamic optical backreflexion measurement. Two limiting cases have been discriminated in mathematical modelling: three dimensional, spherical packing for maximum spore count and two dimensional, circular packing for minimum spore count of a particular agglomerate. Thermal inactivation studies have been carried out in thin glass capillaries, where by using numerical simulations the non isothermal conditions were modelled and taken into account. It is shown that the shoulder formation often found in thermal spore inactivation can sufficiently be described by first-order inactivation kinetics when the agglomeration size is considered. In case of high pressure inactivation agglomerations could be strongly changed by high forces at compression and especially decompression phase. The physiological response of Bacillus licheniformis spores to high pressure was investigated using multiparameter flow cytometry. Spores were treated by high pressure at 150 MPa with 37

  5. Micromotors to capture and destroy anthrax simulant spores.

    PubMed

    Orozco, Jahir; Pan, Guoqing; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Galarnyk, Michael; Wang, Joseph

    2015-03-01

    Towards addressing the need for detecting and eliminating biothreats, we describe a micromotor-based approach for screening, capturing, isolating and destroying anthrax simulant spores in a simple and rapid manner with minimal sample processing. The B. globilli antibody-functionalized micromotors can recognize, capture and transport B. globigii spores in environmental matrices, while showing non-interactions with excess of non-target bacteria. Efficient destruction of the anthrax simulant spores is demonstrated via the micromotor-induced mixing of a mild oxidizing solution. The new micromotor-based approach paves a way to dynamic multifunctional systems that rapidly recognize, isolate, capture and destroy biological threats.

  6. Role of SP65 in assembly of the Dictyostelium discoideum spore coat.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Talibah; van der Wel, Hanke; Escalante, Ricardo; Sastre, Leandro; West, Christopher M

    2007-07-01

    Like the cyst walls of other protists, the spore coat of Dictyostelium discoideum is formed de novo to protect the enclosed dormant cell from stress. Spore coat assembly is initiated by exocytosis of protein and polysaccharide precursors at the cell surface, followed by the infusion of nascent cellulose fibrils, resulting in an asymmetrical trilaminar sandwich with cellulose filling the middle layer. A molecular complex consisting of cellulose and two proteins, SP85 and SP65, is associated with the inner and middle layers and is required for proper organization of distinct proteins in the outer layer. Here we show that, unlike SP85 and other protein precursors, which are stored in prespore vesicles, SP65 is, like cellulose, synthesized just in time. By tagging the SP65 locus with green fluorescent protein, we find that SP65 is delivered to the cell surface via largely distinct vesicles, suggesting that separate delivery of components of the cellulose-SP85-SP65 complex regulates its formation at the cell surface. In support of previous in vivo studies, recombinant SP65 and SP85 are shown to interact directly. In addition, truncation of SP65 causes a defect of the outer layer permeability barrier as seen previously for SP85 mutants. These observations suggest that assembly of the cellulose-SP85-SP65 triad at the cell surface is biosynthetically regulated both temporally and spatially and that the complex contributes an essential function to outer layer architecture and function.

  7. Recombinant Bacillus subtilis Spores Elicit Th1/Th17-Polarized Immune Response in a Murine Model of Helicobacter pylori Vaccination.

    PubMed

    Stasiłojć, Małgorzata; Hinc, Krzysztof; Peszyńska-Sularz, Grażyna; Obuchowski, Michał; Iwanicki, Adam

    2015-08-01

    Current progress in research on vaccines against Helicobacter pylori emphasizes the significance of eliciting the Th1/Th17-polarized immune response. Such polarization can be achieved by selection of appropriate antigen and adjuvant. In this study, we wanted to check the polarization of the immune response elicited by UreB protein of Helicobacter acinonychis delivered by recombinant Bacillus subtilis spores upon oral immunization. B. subtilis spores presenting fragment of UreB protein and able to express entire UreB in vegetative cells after germination were orally administered to mice along with aluminum hydroxide or recombinant spores presenting IL-2 as an adjuvant. The pattern of cytokines secreted by sensitized splenocytes assessed by the cytometric bead array clearly indicated polarization of the immune response toward both Th1 and Th17 in mice immunized with the use of above-mentioned adjuvants. Obtained result is promising regarding the usage of recombinant spores in formulations of vaccines against H. pylori and line up with the current state of research emphasizing the key role of appropriate adjuvants.

  8. Investigating synergism during sequential inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores with several disinfectants.

    PubMed

    Cho, Min; Kim, Jae-Hong; Yoon, Jeyong

    2006-08-01

    The sequential application of ozone, chlorine dioxide, or UV followed by free chlorine was performed to investigate the synergistic inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores. The greatest synergism was observed when chlorine dioxide was used as a primary disinfectant followed by secondary disinfection with free chlorine. A lesser synergistic effect was observed when ozone was used as the primary disinfectant, but no synergism was observed when UV was used as the primary disinfectant. When free chlorine was used as the primary disinfectant (i.e., sequential application in the reverse order), the synergistic effect was shown only when chlorine dioxide was applied as the secondary disinfectant. The synergistic effect observed could be related to damage to the spore coat during primary disinfection, suggested by the loss of proteins from spores during disinfectant treatment. The greatest synergism observed by the chlorine dioxide/free chlorine pair suggested that common reaction sites might exist for these disinfectants. The concept of percent synergistic effect was introduced to quantitatively compare the extent of synergistic effects in the sequential disinfection processes.

  9. Does proximity to neighbours affect germination of spores of non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum?

    PubMed

    Webb, Martin D; Stringer, Sandra C; Le Marc, Yvan; Baranyi, József; Peck, Michael W

    2012-10-01

    It is recognised that inoculum size affects the rate and extent of bacterial spore germination. It has been proposed that this is due to spores interacting: molecules released from germinated spores trigger germination of dormant neighbours. This study investigated whether changes to the total number of spores in a system or proximity to other spores (local spore density) had a more significant effect on interaction between spores of non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum strain Eklund 17B attached to defined areas of microscope slides. Both the number of spores attached to the slides and local spore density (number of spores per mm(2)) were varied by a factor of nine. Germination was observed microscopically at 15 °C for 8 h and the probability of, and time to, germination calculated from image analysis measurements. Statistical analysis revealed that the effect of total spore number on the probability of germination within 8 h was more significant than that of proximity to neighbours (local spore density); its influence on germination probability was approximately four-times greater. Total spore number had an even more significant affect on time to germination; it had a nine-fold greater influence than proximity to neighbours. The applied models provide a means to characterise, quantitatively, the effect of the total spore number on spore germination relative to the effect of proximity to neighbouring spores.

  10. Effects of temperature and desiccation on ex situ conservation of nongreen fern spores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation of the genetic diversity of ferns is limited by the paucity of ex situ spore banks. Conflicting reports of fern spore response to low temperature and moisture impedes establishment of fern spore banks. There is little information available to evaluate longevity of fern spores under dif...

  11. In-depth proteomic analysis of a mollusc shell: acid-soluble and acid-insoluble matrix of the limpet Lottia gigantea

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Invertebrate biominerals are characterized by their extraordinary functionality and physical properties, such as strength, stiffness and toughness that by far exceed those of the pure mineral component of such composites. This is attributed to the organic matrix, secreted by specialized cells, which pervades and envelops the mineral crystals. Despite the obvious importance of the protein fraction of the organic matrix, only few in-depth proteomic studies have been performed due to the lack of comprehensive protein sequence databases. The recent public release of the gastropod Lottia gigantea genome sequence and the associated protein sequence database provides for the first time the opportunity to do a state-of-the-art proteomic in-depth analysis of the organic matrix of a mollusc shell. Results Using three different sodium hypochlorite washing protocols before shell demineralization, a total of 569 proteins were identified in Lottia gigantea shell matrix. Of these, 311 were assembled in a consensus proteome comprising identifications contained in all proteomes irrespective of shell cleaning procedure. Some of these proteins were similar in amino acid sequence, amino acid composition, or domain structure to proteins identified previously in different bivalve or gastropod shells, such as BMSP, dermatopontin, nacrein, perlustrin, perlucin, or Pif. In addition there were dozens of previously uncharacterized proteins, many containing repeated short linear motifs or homorepeats. Such proteins may play a role in shell matrix construction or control of mineralization processes. Conclusions The organic matrix of Lottia gigantea shells is a complex mixture of proteins comprising possible homologs of some previously characterized mollusc shell proteins, but also many novel proteins with a possible function in biomineralization as framework building blocks or as regulatory components. We hope that this data set, the most comprehensive available at present, will

  12. Late Silurian trilete spores from northern Jiangsu, China.

    PubMed

    Wang; Li

    2000-08-01

    The Late Silurian is generally considered to a particular significant key period in the study of early land vascular plants. A trilete spore assemblage of the Upper Silurian is described from northern Jiangsu, China. This assemblage comprises 11 genera and 20 species of trilete spores (including laevigate, apiculate, perinotrilite, patinate, rarely distally murornate and equatorially crassitate, and three indeterminate trilete miospores forms). It has similarities to those described from coeval assemblages from around the world (e.g., England and South Wales; Tripolitania, Libya; Cornwallis Island, Canadian Arctic; Northwest Spain). The rare cryptospore, only one specimen (Tetrahedraletes sp.) had been found to be associated with the Chinese trilete spore assemblage. The discovery of the trilete spores from Late Silurian rocks indicates the existence of early land plants, some possibly vascular, at that time in northern Jiangsu, China.

  13. Environmental Stresses on Spore Populations of Bacillus stearothermophilus1

    PubMed Central

    Fields, M. L.

    1964-01-01

    Heat-shocking spores at 110 C in 20% sucrose solutions decreased the percentage of the rough variant in a mixed population (rough and smooth variants) of strain M. Heat-shocking spores of the rough variant of strain NCA 1518 in 20% sucrose produced a decline in the number which germinated, whereas the smooth variant of strain NCA 1518 increased in the number which germinated. By the use of phase microscopy and plate counts, from the same incubated spore suspension in distilled water, heat-induced dormancy was demonstrated at 52 C. Dormancy also occurred in 20% sucrose solutions when held at room temperatures. Heat-shocking spores of strain M in 20% sucrose solutions and plating immediately after 24- and 48-hr holding periods at 25 C produced a decline in the total population with the percentage of rough variant increasing with time. A second heat shock produced only an increase in the rough variant. PMID:14215969

  14. Oxidation mechanism of Penicillium digitatum spores through neutral oxygen radicals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashizume, Hiroshi; Ohta, Takayuki; Takeda, Keigo; Ishikawa, Kenji; Hori, Masaru; Ito, Masafumi

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the inactivation process of Penicillium digitatum spores through neutral oxygen species, the spores were treated with an atmospheric-pressure oxygen radical source and observed in-situ using a fluorescent confocal-laser microscope. The treated spores were stained with two fluorescent dyes, 1,1‧-dioctadecyl-3,3,Y,3‧-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) and diphenyl-1-pyrenylphosphine (DPPP). The intracellular organelles as well as the cell membranes in the spores treated with the oxygen radical source were stained with DiI without a major morphological change of the membranes. DPPP staining revealed that the organelles were oxidized by the oxygen radical treatment. These results suggest that neutral oxygen species, especially atomic oxygen, induce a minor structural change or functional inhibition of cell membranes, which leads to the oxidation of the intracellular organelles through the penetration of reactive oxygen species into the cell.

  15. Interplanetary Migration of Eucaryotic Cell, Spore of Schizosaccharomyces Pombe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, N.; Nosaka, J.; Ando, R.; Hashimoto, H.; Yokobori, S.; Narumi, I.; Nakagawa, K.; Yamagishi, A.; Tohda, H.

    2013-11-01

    The Tanpopo mission to examine possible interplanetary migration of microbes is progressing. Spore of Schizosaccharomyces pombe are considered as the exposed samples. In this paper, results of preliminary experiments for the exposure are shown.

  16. Surface Bacterial-Spore Assay Using Tb3+/DPA Luminescence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian

    2007-01-01

    Equipment and a method for rapidly assaying solid surfaces for contamination by bacterial spores are undergoing development. The method would yield a total (nonviable plus viable) spore count of a surface within minutes and a viable-spore count in about one hour. In this method, spores would be collected from a surface by use of a transparent polymeric tape coated on one side with a polymeric adhesive that would be permeated with one or more reagent(s) for detection of spores by use of visible luminescence. The sticky side of the tape would be pressed against a surface to be assayed, then the tape with captured spores would be placed in a reader that illuminates the sample with ultraviolet light and counts the green luminescence spots under a microscope to quantify the number of bacterial spores per unit area. The visible luminescence spots seen through the microscope would be counted to determine the concentration of spores on the surface. This method is based on the chemical and physical principles of methods described in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, including Live/Dead Spore Assay Using DPA-Triggered Tb Luminescence (NPO-30444), Vol. 27, No. 3 (March 2003), page 7a. To recapitulate: The basic idea is to exploit the observations that (1) dipicolinic acid (DPA) is present naturally only in bacterial spores; and (2) when bound to Tb3+ ions, DPA triggers intense green luminescence of the ions under ultraviolet excitation; (3) DPA can be released from the viable spores by using L-alanine to make them germinate; and (4) by autoclaving, microwaving, or sonicating the sample, one can cause all the spores (non-viable as well as viable) to release their DPA. One candidate material for use as the adhesive in the present method is polydimethysiloxane (PDMS). In one variant of the method for obtaining counts of all (viable and nonviable) spores the PDMS would be doped with TbCl3. After collection of a sample, the spores immobilized on the sticky tape surface

  17. Disinfection of Bacillus spores with acidified nitrite.

    PubMed

    Szabo, Jeffrey G; Adcock, Noreen J; Rice, Eugene W

    2014-10-01

    Disinfecting water generated from a bioterrorism contamination event will require large amounts of disinfectant since the volume of water flushed from a drinking water distribution system or wash water collected from a contaminated outdoor area can accumulate quickly. Commonly used disinfectants may be unavailable in the necessary amounts, so evaluation of alternative disinfectants is needed. This study focuses on disinfection of Bacillus spores in water using acidified nitrite. The effect of varying pH (2 or 3), temperature (5°C or 24°C), nitrite concentration (0.01 or 0.1M), buffer (Butterfields or Phosphate Buffered Saline, PBS) and Bacillus species (B. globigii and B. anthracis Sterne) was evaluated. B. globigii was more resistant to disinfection under all water quality conditions. Disinfection was more effective for B. globigii and B. anthracis Sterne at 0.1M nitrite, pH 2, and 24°C. Disinfection of B. anthracis Sterne was enhanced in low ionic strength Butterfields buffer compared to PBS.

  18. Fate of ingested Clostridium difficile spores in mice.

    PubMed

    Howerton, Amber; Patra, Manomita; Abel-Santos, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a major nosocomial complication. The infective form of C. difficile is the spore, a dormant and resistant structure that forms under stress. Although spore germination is the first committed step in CDI onset, the temporal and spatial distribution of ingested C. difficile spores is not clearly understood. We recently reported that CamSA, a synthetic bile salt analog, inhibits C. difficile spore germination in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we took advantage of the anti-germination activity of bile salts to determine the fate of ingested C. difficile spores. We tested four different bile salts for efficacy in preventing CDI. Since CamSA was the only anti-germinant tested able to prevent signs of CDI, we characterized CamSa's in vitro stability, distribution, and cytotoxicity. We report that CamSA is stable to simulated gastrointestinal (GI) environments, but will be degraded by members of the natural microbiota found in a healthy gut. Our data suggest that CamSA will not be systemically available, but instead will be localized to the GI tract. Since in vitro pharmacological parameters were acceptable, CamSA was used to probe the mouse model of CDI. By varying the timing of CamSA dosage, we estimated that C. difficile spores germinated and established infection less than 10 hours after ingestion. We also showed that ingested C. difficile spores rapidly transited through the GI tract and accumulated in the colon and cecum of CamSA-treated mice. From there, C. difficile spores were slowly shed over a 96-hour period. To our knowledge, this is the first report of using molecular probes to obtain disease progression information for C. difficile infection. PMID:24023628

  19. Wet and dry bacterial spore densities determined by buoyant sedimentation.

    PubMed Central

    Tisa, L S; Koshikawa, T; Gerhardt, P

    1982-01-01

    The wet densities of various types of dormant bacterial spores and reference particles were determined by centrifugal buoyant sedimentation in density gradient solutions of three commercial media of high chemical density. With Metrizamide or Renografin, the wet density values for the spores and permeable Sephadex beads were higher than those obtained by a reference direct mass method, and some spore populations were separated into several density bands. With Percoll, all of the wet density values were about the same as those obtained by the direct mass method, and only single density bands resulted. The differences were due to the partial permeation of Metrizamide and Renografin, but not Percoll, into the spores and the permeable Sephadex beads. Consequently, the wet density of the entire spore was accurately represented only by the values obtained with the Percoll gradient and the direct mass method. The dry densities of the spores and particles were determined by gravity buoyant sedimentation in a gradient of two organic solvents, one of high and the other of low chemical density. All of the dry density values obtained by this method were about the same as those obtained by the direct mass method. PMID:6285824

  20. Air sampling of mold spores by slit impactors: yield comparison.

    PubMed

    Pityn, Peter J; Anderson, James

    2013-01-01

    The performance of simple slit impactors for air sampling of mold contamination was compared under field conditions. Samples were collected side-by-side, outdoors in quadruplicates with Burkhard (ambient sampler) and Allergenco MK3 spore traps and with two identical Allergenco slit cassettes operated at diverse flow rates of 5 and 15 L/min, respectively. The number and types of mold spores in each sample were quantified by microscopy. Results showed all four single-stage slit impactors produced similar spore yields. Moreover, paired slit cassettes produced similar outcomes despite a three-fold difference in their sampling rate. No measurable difference in the amount or mix of mold spores per m(3)of air was detected. The implications for assessment of human exposures and interpretation of indoor/outdoor fungal burden are discussed. These findings demonstrate that slit cassettes capture most small spores, effectively and without bias, when operated at a range of flow rates including the lower flow rates used for personal sampling. Our findings indicate sampling data for mold spores correlate for different single stage impactor collection methodologies and that data quality is not deteriorated by operating conditions deviating from manufacturers' norms allowing such sampling results to be used for scientific, legal, investigative, or property insurance purposes. The same conclusion may not be applied to other particle sampling instruments and mulit-stage impactors used for ambient particulate sampling, which represent an entirely different scenario. This knowledge may help facilitate comparison between scientific studies where methodological differences exist.

  1. Quantification of Nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum Spore Loads in Food Materials

    PubMed Central

    Barker, Gary C.; Malakar, Pradeep K.; Plowman, June

    2016-01-01

    We have produced data and developed analysis to build representations for the concentration of spores of nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum in materials that are used during the manufacture of minimally processed chilled foods in the United Kingdom. Food materials are categorized into homogenous groups which include meat, fish, shellfish, cereals, fresh plant material, dairy liquid, dairy nonliquid, mushroom and fungi, and dried herbs and spices. Models are constructed in a Bayesian framework and represent a combination of information from a literature survey of spore loads from positive-control experiments that establish a detection limit and from dedicated microbiological tests for real food materials. The detection of nonproteolytic C. botulinum employed an optimized protocol that combines selective enrichment culture with multiplex PCR, and the majority of tests on food materials were negative. Posterior beliefs about spore loads center on a concentration range of 1 to 10 spores kg−1. Posterior beliefs for larger spore loads were most significant for dried herbs and spices and were most sensitive to the detailed results from control experiments. Probability distributions for spore loads are represented in a convenient form that can be used for numerical analysis and risk assessments. PMID:26729721

  2. Infrared Signatures to Discriminate Viability of Autoclaved Bacillus Spores

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Matthew D.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Johnson, Timothy J.

    2011-10-06

    Optical methods can offer good sensitivity for detecting small amounts of chemicals and biologicals, and as these methods mature, are some of the few techniques that can offer true standoff detection. For detection of biological species, determining the viability is clearly important: Certain species of gram-positive bacteria are capable of forming endospores, specialized structures that arise when living conditions become unfavorable or little growth medium is available, being resistant to many chemicals as well as changes in heat or pH. Such spores can remain dormant from months to years until more favorable conditions arise, resulting in germination back to the vegetative state. This persistence characteristic of bacterial spores allows for contamination of a surface (e.g. food or medical equipment) even after the surface has been nominally cleaned. Bacterial spores have also been used as biological weapons, as in the case with B. anthracis. Thus, rapid analysis to determine a spore's viability in a given environment or after attempts to sterilize a given environment is crucial. The increasing availability of portable spectrometers may provide a key to such rapid onsite analysis. The present study was designed to determine whether infrared spectroscopy may be used to differentiate between viable vs. dead B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus spores. Preliminary results show that the reproducible differences in the IR signatures can be used to identify viable vs. autoclaved (dead) B. subtilis and B. atrophaeus bacterial spores.

  3. Determination of the carbon content of airborne fungal spores.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Heidi; Kasper-Giebl, Anne; Zibuschka, Franziska; Hitzenberger, Regina; Kraus, Gunther F; Puxbaum, Hans

    2002-01-01

    Airborne fungal spores contribute potentially to the organic carbon of the atmospheric aerosol, mainly in the "coarse aerosol" size range 2.5-10 microm aerodynamic equivalent diameter (aed). Here, we report about a procedure to determine the organic carbon content of fungal spores frequently observed in the atmosphere. Furthermore, we apply a new (carbon/individual) factor to quantify the amount of fungal-spores-derived organic carbon in aerosol collected at a mountain site in Austria. Spores of representatives of Cladosporium sp., Aspergillus sp., Penicillium sp., and Alternaria sp., the four predominant airborne genera, were analyzed for their carbon content using two different analytical procedures. The result was an average carbon content of 13 pg C/spore (RSD, 46%), or expressed as a carbon-per-volume ratio, 0.38 pg C/microm3 (RSD, 30%). These values are comparable to conversion factors for bacteria and some representatives of the zooplankton. Because biopolymers are suspected of interfering with elemental carbon determination by thermal methods, the amount of "fungal carbon" that might be erroneously mistaken for soot carbon was determined using the "two-step combustion" method of Cachier et al. and termed as "apparent elemental carbon" (AEC). This fraction amounted to up to 46% of the initial fungal carbon content. Although the aerosol samples were collected in March under wintry conditions, the organic carbon from fungal spores amounted to 2.9-5.4% of organic carbon in the "coarse mode" size fraction.

  4. Dispersal of spores following a persistent random walk.

    PubMed

    Bicout, D J; Sache, I

    2003-03-01

    A model of a persistent random walk is used to describe the transport and deposition of the spore dispersal process. In this model, the spore particle flies along straight line trajectories, with constant speed v, which are interrupted by scattering, originating from interaction of spores with the field and wind variations, which randomly change its direction. To characterize the spore dispersal gradients, we have derived analytical expressions of the deposition probability epsilon (r|v) of airborne spores as a function of the distance r from the spore source in an infinite free space and in a disk of radius R with an absorbing edge that mimics an agricultural field surrounded with fields of nonhost plants and bare land. It is found in the free space that epsilon (r|v) approximately e(-alphar/l), with alpha a function of l(d)/l, where l and l(d) are the scattering and deposition mean free paths, respectively. In the disk, however, epsilon (r|v) is an infinite series of Bessel functions and, exhibits three regimes: absorbing (Rl(d)).

  5. Lipids stimulate spore germination in the entomopathogenic ascomycete Ascosphaera aggregata.

    PubMed

    James, R R; Buckner, J S

    2004-10-01

    The alfalfa leafcutting bee (Megachile rotundata) is solitary and managed on a large scale for pollination of alfalfa seed crops. The bees nest in holes drilled in wood or polystyrene blocks, and their larvae are highly prone to a fungal disease called chalkbrood. The most prevalent form of chalkbrood is caused by Ascosphaera aggregata, but this ascomycete is difficult to culture. Hyphae will grow on standard fungal media, but spore germination is difficult to achieve and highly variable. We found that germination can be enhanced with oils. Lipids derived from plants and bee larvae increased germination from 50% (without oil) to 75-85% (with oil). Percent germination was significantly greater in the presence of lipids but germination was not significantly different when different oils, including mineral oil, were used. A. aggregata spores oriented along the oil-aqueous interface in the broth in a polar fashion, with swelling and germ tube formation always occurring into the aqueous portion of the broth. The other half of the spore tended to attach to a lipid droplet, where it remained, without swelling, during germ tube formation. The physical attachment of spores to the oil-aqueous interface is what most probably stimulates spore germination, as opposed to some nutritional stimulation. However, further research is needed to determine if and where the spores encounter such an interface when germinating in the host gut, where germination normally occurs. PMID:15645171

  6. Tip-enhanced Raman scattering of bacillus subtilis spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rusciano, G.; Zito, G.; Pesce, G.; Sasso, A.; Isticato, R.; Ricca, E.

    2015-07-01

    Understanding of the complex interactions of molecules at biological interfaces is a fundamental issue in biochemistry, biotechnology as well as biomedicine. A plethora of biological processes are ruled by the molecular texture of cellular membrane: cellular communications, drug transportations and cellular recognition are just a few examples of such chemically-mediated processes. Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) is a novel, Raman-based technique which is ideally suited for this purpose. TERS relies on the combination of scanning probe microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The basic idea is the use of a metalled tip as a sort of optical nano-antenna, which gives place to SERS effect close to the tip end. Herein, we present the application of TERS to analyze the surface of Bacillus subtilis spores. The choice of this biological systems is related to the fact that a number of reasons support the use of spores as a mucosal delivery system. The remarkable and well-documented resistance of spores to various environmental and toxic effects make them clear potentials as a novel, surface-display system. Our experimental outcomes demonstrate that TERS is able to provide a nano-scale chemical imaging of spore surface. Moreover, we demonstrate that TERS allows differentiation between wilde-type spore and genetically modified strains. These results hold promise for the characterization and optimization of spore surface for drug-delivery applications.

  7. Availability of websites offering to sell psilocybin spores and psilocybin.

    PubMed

    Lott, Jason P; Marlowe, Douglas B; Forman, Robert F

    2009-09-01

    This study assesses the availability of websites offering to sell psilocybin spores and psilocybin, a powerful hallucinogen contained in Psilocybe mushrooms. Over a 25-month period beginning in March 2003, eight searches were conducted in Google using the term "psilocybin spores." In each search the first 100 nonsponsored links obtained were scored by two independent raters according to standardized criteria to determine whether they offered to sell psilocybin or psilocybin spores. No attempts were made to procure the products offered for sale in order to ascertain whether the marketed psilocybin was in fact "genuine" or "counterfeit." Of the 800 links examined, 58% led to websites offering to sell psilocybin spores. Additionally, evidence that whole Psilocybe mushrooms are offered for sale online was obtained. Psilocybin and psilocybin spores were found to be widely available for sale over the Internet. Online purchase of psilocybin may facilitate illicit use of this potent psychoactive substance. Additional studies are needed to assess whether websites offering to sell psilocybin and psilocybin spores actually deliver their products as advertised.

  8. Atmospheric mold spore counts in relation to meteorological parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katial, R. K.; Zhang, Yiming; Jones, Richard H.; Dyer, Philip D.

    Fungal spore counts of Cladosporium, Alternaria, and Epicoccum were studied during 8 years in Denver, Colorado. Fungal spore counts were obtained daily during the pollinating season by a Rotorod sampler. Weather data were obtained from the National Climatic Data Center. Daily averages of temperature, relative humidity, daily precipitation, barometric pressure, and wind speed were studied. A time series analysis was performed on the data to mathematically model the spore counts in relation to weather parameters. Using SAS PROC ARIMA software, a regression analysis was performed, regressing the spore counts on the weather variables assuming an autoregressive moving average (ARMA) error structure. Cladosporium was found to be positively correlated (P<0.02) with average daily temperature, relative humidity, and negatively correlated with precipitation. Alternaria and Epicoccum did not show increased predictability with weather variables. A mathematical model was derived for Cladosporium spore counts using the annual seasonal cycle and significant weather variables. The model for Alternaria and Epicoccum incorporated the annual seasonal cycle. Fungal spore counts can be modeled by time series analysis and related to meteorological parameters controlling for seasonallity; this modeling can provide estimates of exposure to fungal aeroallergens.

  9. IMMUNOCYTOCHEMICAL LOCALIZATION OF STACHYLYSIN IN STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM SPORES AND SPORE-IMPACTED MOUSE AND RAT LUNG TISSUES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stachylysin is a proteinaceous hemolytic agent that is producted by S. chartarum. Stachylysin was found, using immunohistochemistical and immunocytochemical methods, to be localized in S. chartarum spores/mycelia primarily in the inner wall suggesting that it is constitutively ...

  10. UV-Photobiology of bacterial spores in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horneck, Gerda; Douki, Thierry; Cadet, Jean; Panitz, Corinna; Rabbow, Elke; Moeller, Ralf; Rettberg, Petra

    The vast, cold and radiation filled regimes of outer space present on one hand an environmental challenge for any form of terrestrial life; on the other hand they constitute a unique platform for astrobiology research. Major environmental parameters of space that are of interest to astrobiology are (i) space vacuum, (ii) solar electromagnetic radiation, above all the high energy UV radiation, (iii) galactic cosmic radiation, (iv) extreme temperature fluctuations, and (v) microgravity. Exposure facilities on board of Earth orbiting satellites and the International Space Station (ISS) have provided unique opportunities to study biological and chemical processes in response to those parameters directly in space. Endospores of Bacillus spp., especially B. subtilis, characterized by an extreme resistance to environmental insults and an incredible longevity have served as experimental models in studies on (i) the role of the ozone layer in protecting our biosphere; (ii) the likelihood of the interplanetary transfer of life via meteorites, i.e. the hypothesis of lithopanspermia; (iii) the habitability of Mars; (iv) the need for planetary protection measures; and (v) the molecular mechanisms underlying the extreme lethality of solar extraterrestrial UV-radiation. Role of the ozone layer in protecting our biosphere: Using solar extraterrestrial UV radiation and a set of optical filters, the terrestrial UV radiation climate at different ozone concentration was simulated and the biologically effective irradiance was measured with B. subtilis spores immobilized in a biofilm. With decreasing (simulated) ozone concentrations the biologically effective solar irradiance strongly increased by nearly 1000-fold for early Earth conditions before the ozone layer was built up. Likelihood of lithopanspermia: In an impact-driven scenario of lithopanspermia, rock-dwelling microorganisms - after being ejected from a planet - may wander through space for extended periods of time before being

  11. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2.

    PubMed

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores. PMID:27656175

  12. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores.

  13. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores. PMID:27656175

  14. Analysis of the Loss in Heat and Acid Resistance during Germination of Spores of Bacillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    A major event in the nutrient germination of spores of Bacillus species is release of the spores' large depot of dipicolinic acid (DPA). This event is preceded by both commitment, in which spores continue through germination even if germinants are removed, and loss of spore heat resistance. The latter event is puzzling, since spore heat resistance is due largely to core water content, which does not change until DPA is released during germination. We now find that for spores of two Bacillus species, the early loss in heat resistance during germination is most likely due to release of committed spores' DPA at temperatures not lethal for dormant spores. Loss in spore acid resistance during germination also paralleled commitment and was also associated with the release of DPA from committed spores at acid concentrations not lethal for dormant spores. These observations plus previous findings that DPA release during germination is preceded by a significant release of spore core cations suggest that there is a significant change in spore inner membrane permeability at commitment. Presumably, this altered membrane cannot retain DPA during heat or acid treatments innocuous for dormant spores, resulting in DPA-less spores that are rapidly killed. PMID:24563034

  15. Improvement of Biological Indicators by Uniformly Distributing Bacillus subtilis Spores in Monolayers To Evaluate Enhanced Spore Decontamination Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Stapelmann, Katharina; Madela, Kazimierz; Laue, Michael; Lackmann, Jan-Wilm; Thwaite, Joanne E.; Setlow, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Novel decontamination technologies, including cold low-pressure plasma and blue light (400 nm), are promising alternatives to conventional surface decontamination methods. However, the standardization of the assessment of such sterilization processes remains to be accomplished. Bacterial endospores of the genera Bacillus and Geobacillus are frequently used as biological indicators (BIs) of sterility. Ensuring standardized and reproducible BIs for reliable testing procedures is a significant problem in industrial settings. In this study, an electrically driven spray deposition device was developed, allowing fast, reproducible, and homogeneous preparation of Bacillus subtilis 168 spore monolayers on glass surfaces. A detailed description of the structural design as well as the operating principle of the spraying device is given. The reproducible formation of spore monolayers of up to 5 × 107 spores per sample was verified by scanning electron microscopy. Surface inactivation studies revealed that monolayered spores were inactivated by UV-C (254 nm), low-pressure argon plasma (500 W, 10 Pa, 100 standard cubic cm per min), and blue light (400 nm) significantly faster than multilayered spores were. We have thus succeeded in the uniform preparation of reproducible, highly concentrated spore monolayers with the potential to generate BIs for a variety of nonpenetrating surface decontamination techniques. PMID:26801572

  16. Improvement of Biological Indicators by Uniformly Distributing Bacillus subtilis Spores in Monolayers To Evaluate Enhanced Spore Decontamination Technologies.

    PubMed

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Stapelmann, Katharina; Madela, Kazimierz; Laue, Michael; Lackmann, Jan-Wilm; Thwaite, Joanne E; Setlow, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    Novel decontamination technologies, including cold low-pressure plasma and blue light (400 nm), are promising alternatives to conventional surface decontamination methods. However, the standardization of the assessment of such sterilization processes remains to be accomplished. Bacterial endospores of the genera Bacillus and Geobacillus are frequently used as biological indicators (BIs) of sterility. Ensuring standardized and reproducible BIs for reliable testing procedures is a significant problem in industrial settings. In this study, an electrically driven spray deposition device was developed, allowing fast, reproducible, and homogeneous preparation of Bacillus subtilis 168 spore monolayers on glass surfaces. A detailed description of the structural design as well as the operating principle of the spraying device is given. The reproducible formation of spore monolayers of up to 5 × 10(7) spores per sample was verified by scanning electron microscopy. Surface inactivation studies revealed that monolayered spores were inactivated by UV-C (254 nm), low-pressure argon plasma (500 W, 10 Pa, 100 standard cubic cm per min), and blue light (400 nm) significantly faster than multilayered spores were. We have thus succeeded in the uniform preparation of reproducible, highly concentrated spore monolayers with the potential to generate BIs for a variety of nonpenetrating surface decontamination techniques. PMID:26801572

  17. Fungal Spores Viability on the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomoiu, I.; Chatzitheodoridis, E.; Vadrucci, S.; Walther, I.; Cojoc, R.

    2016-11-01

    In this study we investigated the security of a spaceflight experiment from two points of view: spreading of dried fungal spores placed on the different wafers and their viability during short and long term missions on the International Space Station (ISS). Microscopic characteristics of spores from dried spores samples were investigated, as well as the morphology of the colonies obtained from spores that survived during mission. The selected fungal species were: Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium herbarum, Ulocladium chartarum, and Basipetospora halophila. They have been chosen mainly based on their involvement in the biodeterioration of different substrate in the ISS as well as their presence as possible contaminants of the ISS. From biological point of view, three of the selected species are black fungi, with high melanin content and therefore highly resistant to space radiation. The visual inspection and analysis of the images taken before and after the short and the long term experiments have shown that all biocontainers were returned to Earth without damages. Microscope images of the lids of the culture plates revealed that the spores of all species were actually not detached from the surface of the wafers and did not contaminate the lids. From the adhesion point of view all types of wafers can be used in space experiments, with a special comment on the viability in the particular case of iron wafers when used for spores that belong to B. halophila (halophilic strain). This is encouraging in performing experiments with fungi without risking contamination. The spore viability was lower in the experiment for long time to ISS conditions than that of the short experiment. From the observations, it is suggested that the environment of the enclosed biocontainer, as well as the species'specific behaviour have an important effect, reducing the viability in time. Even the spores were not detached from the surface of the wafers, it was observed that spores used in the

  18. Fungal Spores Viability on the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomoiu, I.; Chatzitheodoridis, E.; Vadrucci, S.; Walther, I.; Cojoc, R.

    2016-04-01

    In this study we investigated the security of a spaceflight experiment from two points of view: spreading of dried fungal spores placed on the different wafers and their viability during short and long term missions on the International Space Station (ISS). Microscopic characteristics of spores from dried spores samples were investigated, as well as the morphology of the colonies obtained from spores that survived during mission. The selected fungal species were: Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium herbarum, Ulocladium chartarum, and Basipetospora halophila. They have been chosen mainly based on their involvement in the biodeterioration of different substrate in the ISS as well as their presence as possible contaminants of the ISS. From biological point of view, three of the selected species are black fungi, with high melanin content and therefore highly resistant to space radiation. The visual inspection and analysis of the images taken before and after the short and the long term experiments have shown that all biocontainers were returned to Earth without damages. Microscope images of the lids of the culture plates revealed that the spores of all species were actually not detached from the surface of the wafers and did not contaminate the lids. From the adhesion point of view all types of wafers can be used in space experiments, with a special comment on the viability in the particular case of iron wafers when used for spores that belong to B. halophila (halophilic strain). This is encouraging in performing experiments with fungi without risking contamination. The spore viability was lower in the experiment for long time to ISS conditions than that of the short experiment. From the observations, it is suggested that the environment of the enclosed biocontainer, as well as the species'specific behaviour have an important effect, reducing the viability in time. Even the spores were not detached from the surface of the wafers, it was observed that spores used in the

  19. Mechanism by which contact with plant cuticle triggers cutinase gene expression in the spores of Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi

    SciTech Connect

    Woloshuk, C.P.; Kolattukudy, P.E.

    1986-03-01

    Spores of the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi were shown to produce the extracellular enzyme, cutinase, only when cutin or cutin hydrolysate was added to the spore suspension. Dihydroxy-C/sub 16/ acid and trihydroxy-C/sub 18/ acid, which are unique cutin monomers, showed the greatest cutinase-inducing activity. Experiments with several compounds structurally related to these fatty acids suggested that both a omega-hydroxyl and a midchain hydroxyl are required for cutinase-inducing activity. Cutinase appeared in the medium 30-45 min after the addition of the inducers to the spore suspension, and the activity level increased for 6 hr. Addition of cycloheximide (5 ..mu..g/ml) completely inhibited cutinase production, suggesting that protein synthesis was involved in the increase of cutinase activity. Immunoblot analysis with rabbit antibodies prepared against cutinase showed that cutinase protein increased in parallel with the increase in enzyme activity. Measurement of cutinase-specific RNA levels by dot-blot hybridization with /sup 32/P-labeled cutinase cDNA showed that the cutinase gene transcripts could be detected within 15 min after addition of the inducers. Addition of exogenous cutinase greatly enhanced the level of cutinase gene transcripts induced by cutin. These results strongly suggest that the fungal spore senses that it is in contact with the plant by the production of small amounts of cutin monomers catalyzed by the low level of cutinase carried by the spore and that these monomers induce the synthesis of cutinase needed for penetration of the fungus into the plant.

  20. Immunolocalization of an alternative respiratory chain in Antonospora (Paranosema) locustae spores: mitosomes retain their role in microsporidial energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Dolgikh, Viacheslav V; Senderskiy, Igor V; Pavlova, Olga A; Naumov, Anton M; Beznoussenko, Galina V

    2011-04-01

    Microsporidia are a group of fungus-related intracellular parasites with severely reduced metabolic machinery. They lack canonical mitochondria, a Krebs cycle, and a respiratory chain but possess genes encoding glycolysis enzymes, a glycerol phosphate shuttle, and ATP/ADP carriers to import host ATP. The recent finding of alternative oxidase genes in two clades suggests that microsporidial mitosomes may retain an alternative respiratory pathway. We expressed the fragments of mitochondrial chaperone Hsp70 (mitHsp70), mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mitG3PDH), and alternative oxidase (AOX) from the microsporidium Antonospora (Paranosema) locustae in Escherichia coli. Immunoblotting with antibodies against recombinant polypeptides demonstrated specific accumulation of both metabolic enzymes in A. locustae spores. At the same time comparable amounts of mitochondrial Hsp70 were found in spores and in stages of intracellular development as well. Immunoelectron microscopy of ultrathin cryosections of spores confirmed mitosomal localization of the studied proteins. Small amounts of enzymes of an alternative respiratory chain in merogonial and early sporogonial stages, alongside their accumulation in mature spores, suggest conspicuous changes in components and functions of mitosomes during the life cycle of microsporidia and the important role of these organelles in parasite energy metabolism, at least at the final stages of sporogenesis.

  1. Involvement of a caleosin in lipid storage, spore dispersal, and virulence in the entomopathogenic filamentous fungus, Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yanhua; Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Garrett, Timothy; Pei, Yan; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2015-11-01

    Eukaryotic cells store lipids in membrane-encased droplets. The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, initiates infection via attachment of its spores to the epicuticle or waxy layer of target insects, degrading and assimilating host surface hydrocarbons, carbohydrates and proteins. Caleosins are components of the proteinaceous coat of lipid droplets and a single B. bassiana caleosin homologue, Bbcal1, was identified and characterized. The BbCal1 sequence contained an EF-hand Ca(2+) binding domain and potential hydrophobic stretches similar to those found in plant caleosins, along with a proline knot motif defined by only two proline residues. Targeted gene inactivation of Bbcal1 did not appear to affect spore germination, growth on lipid substrates or stress response, but changes in lipid, vacuole and endoplasmic reticulum/multilamellar vesicle-like structures, and altered cellular lipid profiles were seen in conidia grown on a variety of substrates including potato dextrose agar, olive oil, glyceride trioleate, oleic acid and the alkane, C16 . The ΔBbcal1 mutant produced more compact assemblages of conidia, displayed a reduced and delayed spore dispersal phenotype, and showed decreased virulence in insect bioassays using the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Our data indicate novel functions for caleosins in fungal virulence, spore development and the trafficking and/or turnover of lipid-related structures. PMID:26235819

  2. In situ ATR-IR spectroscopic and electron microscopic analyses of settlement secretions of Undaria pinnatifida kelp spores

    PubMed Central

    Petrone, L.; Easingwood, R.; Barker, M. F.; McQuillan, A. J.

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge about the settlement of marine organisms on substrates is important for the development of environmentally benign new methods for control of marine biofouling. The adhesion to substrates by spores of Undaria pinnatifida, a kelp species that is invasive to several countries, was studied by scanning electron and transmission electron microscopies (SEM/TEM) as well as by in situ attenuated total reflection infrared (ATR-IR) spectroscopy. The IR spectra showed that adhesive secretion began approximately 15 min after initial settlement and that the adhesive bulk material contained protein and anionic polysaccharides. Energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis of the adhesive identified sulphur and phosphorus as well as calcium and magnesium ions, which facilitate the gelation of the anionic polysaccharides in the sea water. The adhesive may be secreted from Golgi bodies in the spore, which were imaged by TEM of spore thin sections. Additionally, an in situ settlement study on TiO2 particle film by ATR-IR spectroscopy revealed the presence of phosphorylated moieties directly binding the substrate. The presence of anionic groups dominating the adhesive suggests that inhibition of spore adhesion will be favoured by negatively charged surfaces. PMID:20685693

  3. Viable spore counts in biological controls pre-sterilization.

    PubMed

    Brusca, María I; Bernat, María I; Turcot, Liliana; Nastri, Natalia; Nastri, Maria; Rosa, Alcira

    2005-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the total count of viable spores in standardized inoculated carriers pre-sterilization. Samples of "Bacterial Spore Sterilization Strip" (R Biological Laboratories) (well before their expiry date) were divided into Group A (B. subtilis) and Group B (B. stearothermophylus). Twenty-four strips were tested per group. The strips were minced in groups of three, placed in chilled sterile water and vortexed for 5 minutes to obtain a homogenous suspension. Ten ml of the homogenous suspension were transferred to two sterile jars, i.e. one jar per group. The samples were then heated in a water bath at 95 degrees C (Group A) or 80 degrees C (Group B) for 15 minutes and cooled rapidly in an ice bath at 0- 4 degrees C during 15 minutes. Successive dilutions were performed until a final aliquot of 30 to 300 colony-forming units (CFU) was obtained. The inoculums were placed in Petri dishes with culture medium (soy extract, casein agar adapted for spores, melted and cooled to 45-50 degrees C) and incubated at 55 degrees C or 37 degrees C. Statistical analysis of the data was performed. A larger number of spores were found at 48 hours than at 24 hours. However, this finding did not hold true for all the groups. The present results show that monitoring viable spores pre-sterilization would guarantee the accuracy of the data. Total spore counts must be within 50 and 300% of the number of spores indicated in the biological control. The procedure is essential to guarantee the efficacy of the biological control. PMID:16673791

  4. Thermal inactivation and injury of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores.

    PubMed Central

    Feeherry, F E; Munsey, D T; Rowley, D B

    1987-01-01

    Aqueous spore suspensions of Bacillus stearothermophilus ATCC 12980 were heated at different temperatures for various time intervals in a resistometer, spread plated on antibiotic assay medium supplemented with 0.1% soluble starch without (AAMS) or with (AAMS-S) 0.9% NaCl, and incubated at 55 degrees C unless otherwise indicated. Uninjured spores formed colonies on AAMS and AAMS-S; injured spores formed colonies only on AAMS. Values of D, the decimal reduction time (time required at a given temperature for destruction of 90% of the cells), when survivors were recovered on AAMS were 62.04, 18.00, 8.00, 3.33, and 1.05 min at 112.8, 115.6, 118.3, 121.1, and 123.9 degrees C, respectively. Recovery on AAMS-S resulted in reduced decimal reduction time. The computed z value (the temperature change which will alter the D value by a factor of 10) for spores recovered on AAMS was 8.3 degrees C; for spores recovered on AAMS-S, it was 7.6 degrees C. The rates of inactivation and injury were similar. Injury (judged by salt sensitivity) was a linear function of the heating temperature. At a heating temperature of less than or equal to 118.3 degrees C, spore injury was indicated by the curvilinear portion of the survival curve (judged by salt sensitivity), showing that injury occurred early in the thermal treatment as well as during logarithmic inactivation (reduced decimal reduction time). Heat-injured spores showed an increased sensitivity not only to 0.9% NaCl but also to other postprocessing environmental factors such as incubation temperatures, a pH of 6.6 for the medium, and anaerobiosis during incubation. PMID:3566270

  5. Expression of Meiotic Drive Elements Spore Killer-2 and Spore Killer-3 in Asci of Neurospora Tetrasperma

    PubMed Central

    Raju, N. B.; Perkins, D. D.

    1991-01-01

    It was shown previously that when a chromosomal Spore killer factor is heterozygous in Neurospora species with eight-spored asci, the four sensitive ascospores in each ascus die and the four survivors are all killers. Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) are nonrecombining haplotypes that segregate with the centromere of linkage group III. No killing occurs when either one of these killers is homozygous, but each is sensitive to killing by the other in crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K). In the present study, Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) were transferred by recurrent backcrosses from the eight-spored species Neurospora crassa into Neurospora tetrasperma, a pseudohomothallic species which normally makes asci with four large spores, each heterokaryotic for mating type and for any other centromere-linked genes that are heterozygous in the cross. The action of Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) in N. tetrasperma is that predicted from their behavior in eight-spored species. A sensitive nucleus is protected from killing if it is enclosed in the same ascospore with a killer nucleus. Crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-2(S), Sk-3(K) X Sk-3(S), and Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K) all produce four-spored asci that are wild type in appearance, with the ascospores heterokaryotic and viable. The Eight-spore gene E, which shows variable penetrance, was used to obtain N. tetrasperma asci in which two to eight spores are small and homokaryotic. When killer and sensitive alleles are segregating in the presence of E, only those ascospores that contain a killer allele survive. Half of the small ascospores are killed. In crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K) (with E heterozygous), effectively all small ascospores are killed. The ability of N. tetrasperma to carry killer elements in cryptic condition suggests a possible role for Spore killers in the origin of pseudohomothallism, with adoption of the four-spored mode restoring ascospore viability of crosses in which killing would otherwise occur. PMID:1834522

  6. Dna stability and survival of bacillus subtilis spores in extreme dryness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dose, Klaus; Gill, Markus

    1995-06-01

    The inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores during long-term exposure (up to several months) to extreme dryness (especially vacuum) is strain-dependent, through only to a small degree. During a first phase (lasting about four days) monolayers of spores lose about 20% of their viability, regardless of the strain studied. During this phase loss in viability can be equally attributed both to damages of hydrophobic structures (membranes and proteins) and DNA. During a second phase lasting for the remaining time of experimental observation (weeks, months and years) the loss in viability is slowed. A viability of 55% to 75% (depending on the strain) is attained after a total exposure of 36 days. The loss in viability during the second phase can be correlated with the occurrence of DNA double strand breaks. Also covalent DNA-protein cross-links are formed by vacuum exposure. If the protein moiety of these cross-links is degraded by proteinase K-treatment in vitro additional DNA double strand breaks result. The data are also discussed with respect to survival on Mars and in near Earth orbits.

  7. Surface display of Clonorchis sinensis enolase on Bacillus subtilis spores potentializes an oral vaccine candidate.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoyun; Chen, Wenjun; Tian, Yanli; Mao, Qiang; Lv, Xiaoli; Shang, Mei; Li, Xuerong; Yu, Xinbing; Huang, Yan

    2014-03-10

    Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) infections remain the common public health problem in freshwater fish consumption areas. New effective prevention strategies are still the urgent challenges to control this kind of foodborne infectious disease. The biochemical importance and biological relevance render C. sinensis enolase (Csenolase) as a potential vaccine candidate. In the present study, we constructed Escherichia coli/Bacillus subtilis shuttle genetic engineering system and investigated the potential of Csenolase as an oral vaccine candidate for C. sinensis prevention in different immunization routes. Our results showed that, compared with control groups, both recombinant Csenolase protein and nucleic acid could induce a mixed IgG1/IgG2a immune response when administrated subcutaneously (P<0.001), intraperitoneally (P<0.01) and intramuscularly (P<0.001) with worm reduction rate of 56.29%, 15.38% and 37.42%, respectively. More importantly, Csenolase could be successfully expressed as a fusion protein (55kDa) on B. subtilis spore indicated by immunoblot and immunofluorescence assays. Killed spores triggered reactive Th1/Th2 immune response and exhibited protective efficacy against C. sinensis infection. Csenolase derived oral vaccine conferred worm reduction rate and egg reduction rate at 60.07% (P<0.001) and 80.67% (P<0.001), respectively. The shuttle genetic engineering system facilitated the development of oral vaccine with B. subtilis stably overexpressing target protein. Comparably vaccinal trails with Csenolase in different immunization routes potentialize Csenolase an oral vaccine candidate in C. sinensis prevention.

  8. A Polysaccharide Deacetylase Gene (pdaA) Is Required for Germination and for Production of Muramic δ-Lactam Residues in the Spore Cortex of Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Fukushima, Tatsuya; Yamamoto, Hiroki; Atrih, Abdelmadjid; Foster, Simon J.; Sekiguchi, Junichi

    2002-01-01

    The predicted amino acid sequence of Bacillus subtilis yfjS (renamed pdaA) exhibits high similarity to those of several polysaccharide deacetylases. β-Galactosidase fusion experiments and results of Northern hybridization with sporulation sigma mutants indicated that the pdaA gene is transcribed by EσG RNA polymerase. pdaA-deficient spores were bright by phase-contrast microscopy, and the spores were induced to germination on the addition of l-alanine. Germination-associated spore darkening, a slow and partial decrease in absorbance, and slightly lower dipicolinic acid release compared with that by the wild-type strain were observed. In particular, the release of hexosamine-containing materials was lacking in the pdaA mutant. Muropeptide analysis indicated that the pdaA-deficient spores completely lacked muramic δ-lactam. A pdaA-gfp fusion protein constructed in strain 168 and pdaA-deficient strains indicated that the protein is localized in B. subtilis spores. The biosynthetic pathway of muramic δ-lactam is discussed. PMID:12374835

  9. Blue and red light-induced germination of resting spores in the red-tide diatom Leptocylindrus danicus.

    PubMed

    Shikata, Tomoyuki; Iseki, Mineo; Matsunaga, Shigeru; Higashi, Sho-ichi; Kamei, Yasuhiro; Watanabe, Masakatsu

    2011-01-01

    Photophysiological and pharmacological approaches were used to examine light-induced germination of resting spores in the red-tide diatom Leptocylindrus danicus. The equal-quantum action spectrum for photogermination had peaks at about 440 nm (blue light) and 680 nm (red light), which matched the absorption spectrum of the resting spore chloroplast, as well as photosynthetic action spectra reported for other diatoms. DCMU, an inhibitor of photosynthetic electron flow near photosystem II, completely blocked photogermination. These results suggest that the photosynthetic system is involved in the photoreception process of light-induced germination. Results of pharmacological studies of the downstream signal transduction pathway suggested that Ca(2+) influx is the closest downstream neighbor, followed by steps involving calmodulin, nitric oxide synthase, guanylyl cyclase, protein-tyrosine-phosphatase, protein kinase C and actin polymerization and translation.

  10. Chemical States of Bacterial Spores: Heat Resistance and Its Kinetics at Intermediate Water Activity

    PubMed Central

    Alderton, Gordon; Snell, Neva

    1970-01-01

    Bacterial spore heat resistance at intermediate water activity, like aqueous and strictly dry heat resistance, is a property manipulatable by chemical pretreatments of the dormant mature spore. Heat resistances differ widely, and survival is prominently nonlogarithmic for both chemical forms of the spore. Log survival varies approximately as the cube of time for the resistant state of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores and as the square of time for the sensitive state. A method for measuring heat resistance at intermediate humidity was designed to provide direct and unequivocal control of water vapor concentration with quick equilibration, maintenance of known spore state, and dispersion of spores singly for valid survivor counting. Temperature characteristics such as z, Ea, and Q10 cannot be determined in the usual sense (as a spore property) for spores encapsulated with a constant weight of water. Effect on spore survival of temperature induced changes of water activity in such systems is discussed. PMID:5418938

  11. Inactivation of chemical and heat-resistant spores of Bacillus and Geobacillus by nitrogen cold atmospheric plasma evokes distinct changes in morphology and integrity of spores.

    PubMed

    van Bokhorst-van de Veen, Hermien; Xie, Houyu; Esveld, Erik; Abee, Tjakko; Mastwijk, Hennie; Nierop Groot, Masja

    2015-02-01

    Bacterial spores are resistant to severe conditions and form a challenge to eradicate from food or food packaging material. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) treatment is receiving more attention as potential sterilization method at relatively mild conditions but the exact mechanism of inactivation is still not fully understood. In this study, the biocidal effect by nitrogen CAP was determined for chemical (hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide), physical (UV) and heat-resistant spores. The three different sporeformers used are Bacillus cereus a food-borne pathogen, and Bacillus atrophaeus and Geobacillus stearothermophilus that are used as biological indicators for validation of chemical sterilization and thermal processes, respectively. The different spores showed variation in their degree of inactivation by applied heat, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and UV treatments, whereas similar inactivation results were obtained with the different spores treated with nitrogen CAP. G. stearothermophilus spores displayed high resistance to heat, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, while for UV treatment B. atrophaeus spores are most tolerant. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed distinct morphological changes for nitrogen CAP-treated B. cereus spores including etching effects and the appearance of rough spore surfaces, whereas morphology of spores treated with heat or disinfectants showed no such changes. Moreover, microscopy analysis revealed CAP-exposed B. cereus spores to turn phase grey conceivably because of water influx indicating damage of the spores, a phenomenon that was not observed for non-treated spores. In addition, data are supplied that exclude UV radiation as determinant of antimicrobial activity of nitrogen CAP. Overall, this study shows that nitrogen CAP treatment has a biocidal effect on selected Bacillus and Geobacillus spores associated with alterations in spore surface morphology and loss of spore integrity. PMID:25481059

  12. At-line determining spore germination of Penicillium chrysogenum bioprocesses in complex media.

    PubMed

    Ehgartner, Daniela; Fricke, Jens; Schröder, Andreas; Herwig, Christoph

    2016-10-01

    Spore inoculum quality in filamentous bioprocesses is a critical parameter associated with viable spore concentration (1) and spore germination (2). It influences pellet morphology and, consequently, process performance. The state-of-the-art method to measure viable spore concentration is tedious, associated with significant inherent bias, and not applicable in real-time. Therefore, it is not usable as process analytical technology (PAT). Spore germination has so far been monitored using image analysis, which is hampered by complex medium background often observed in filamentous bioprocesses. The method presented here is based on the combination of viability staining and large-particle flow cytometry which enables measurements in real-time and hence aims to be applicable as a PAT tool. It is compatible with the complex media background and allows the quantification of metabolically active spores and the monitoring of spore germination. A distinction of germinated spores and not germinated spores was based on logistic regression, using multiparameteric data from flow cytometry. In a first step, a significant correlation between colony-forming unit (CFU) counts and viable spore concentration (1) in an industrially relevant model bioprocess was found. Spore germination (2) was followed over the initial process phase with close temporal resolution. The validation of the method showed an error below 5 %. Differences in spore germination for various spore inocula ages and spore inoculum concentrations were monitored. The real-time applicability of the method suggests the implementation as a PAT tool in filamentous bioprocesses. PMID:27557717

  13. At-line determining spore germination of Penicillium chrysogenum bioprocesses in complex media.

    PubMed

    Ehgartner, Daniela; Fricke, Jens; Schröder, Andreas; Herwig, Christoph

    2016-10-01

    Spore inoculum quality in filamentous bioprocesses is a critical parameter associated with viable spore concentration (1) and spore germination (2). It influences pellet morphology and, consequently, process performance. The state-of-the-art method to measure viable spore concentration is tedious, associated with significant inherent bias, and not applicable in real-time. Therefore, it is not usable as process analytical technology (PAT). Spore germination has so far been monitored using image analysis, which is hampered by complex medium background often observed in filamentous bioprocesses. The method presented here is based on the combination of viability staining and large-particle flow cytometry which enables measurements in real-time and hence aims to be applicable as a PAT tool. It is compatible with the complex media background and allows the quantification of metabolically active spores and the monitoring of spore germination. A distinction of germinated spores and not germinated spores was based on logistic regression, using multiparameteric data from flow cytometry. In a first step, a significant correlation between colony-forming unit (CFU) counts and viable spore concentration (1) in an industrially relevant model bioprocess was found. Spore germination (2) was followed over the initial process phase with close temporal resolution. The validation of the method showed an error below 5 %. Differences in spore germination for various spore inocula ages and spore inoculum concentrations were monitored. The real-time applicability of the method suggests the implementation as a PAT tool in filamentous bioprocesses.

  14. The Exosporium Layer of Bacterial Spores: a Connection to the Environment and the Infected Host.

    PubMed

    Stewart, George C

    2015-12-01

    Much of what we know regarding bacterial spore structure and function has been learned from studies of the genetically well-characterized bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Molecular aspects of spore structure, assembly, and function are well defined. However, certain bacteria produce spores with an outer spore layer, the exosporium, which is not present on B. subtilis spores. Our understanding of the composition and biological functions of the exosporium layer is much more limited than that of other aspects of the spore. Because the bacterial spore surface is important for the spore's interactions with the environment, as well as being the site of interaction of the spore with the host's innate immune system in the case of spore-forming bacterial pathogens, the exosporium is worthy of continued investigation. Recent exosporium studies have focused largely on members of the Bacillus cereus family, principally Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus. Our understanding of the composition of the exosporium, the pathway of its assembly, and its role in spore biology is now coming into sharper focus. This review expands on a 2007 review of spore surface layers which provided an excellent conceptual framework of exosporium structure and function (A. O. Henriques and C. P. Moran, Jr., Annu Rev Microbiol 61:555-588, 2007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.micro.61.080706.093224). That review began a process of considering outer spore layers as an integrated, multilayered structure rather than simply regarding the outer spore components as independent parts.

  15. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    SciTech Connect

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-08-12

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. Here, we present the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical

  16. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military.

    PubMed

    Doona, Christopher J; Feeherry, Florence E; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-01-01

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC's novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of Bacillus

  17. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    DOE PAGES

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-08-12

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as amore » dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. Here, we present the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of

  18. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    PubMed Central

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-01-01

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of Bacillus

  19. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  20. STREPTOMYCES SPECIES COMPRISING THE BLUE-SPORE SERIES

    PubMed Central

    Trejo, W. H.; Bennett, R. E.

    1963-01-01

    Trejo, W. H. (Squibb Institute for Medical Research, New Brunswick, N.J.) and R. E. Bennett. Streptomyces species comprising the blue-spore series. J. Bacteriol. 85:676–690. 1963.—The objective of this study was to define and delimit the streptomycetes of the blue-spored (Viridochromogenes) series. The series, as defined in this study, includes 11 blue and blue-green species. The green-spored species were excluded on the basis of morphology as well as color. It was proposed that NRRL B-1511 be designated as the neotype strain of Streptomyces viridochromogenes (Krainsky) Waksman and Henrici, and that IMRU 3761 be designated as the neotype for Streptomyces cyaneus (Krassilnikov) Waksman. Evidence was presented to show that physiological criteria cannot be used to differentiate these organisms below the series level. The major characteristics of the Viridochromogenes series are blue to blue-green spores borne in spirals, and chromogenicity (melanin-positive). Reverse color and spore morphology provide a basis for separation below the series level. Images PMID:14042949

  1. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Joseph P.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Kelly, Thomas J.; Choi, Young W.; Rogers, James V.; Riggs, Karen B.; Willenberg, Zachary J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  2. Detection of Bacterial Spores with Lanthanide-Macrocycle Binary Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Cable, Morgan L.; Kirby, James P.; Levine, Dana J.; Manary, Micah J.; Gray, Harry B.; Ponce, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    The detection of bacterial spores via dipicolinate-triggered lanthanide luminescence has been improved in terms of detection limit, stability, and susceptibility to interferents by use of lanthanide-macrocycle binary complexes. Specifically, we compared the effectiveness of Sm, Eu, Tb and Dy complexes with the macrocycle 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,7-diacetate (DO2A) to the corresponding lanthanide aquo ions. The Ln(DO2A)+ binary complexes bind dipicolinic acid (DPA), a major constituent of bacterial spores, with greater affinity and demonstrate significant improvement in bacterial spore detection. Of the four luminescent lanthanides studied, the terbium complex exhibits the greatest dipicolinate binding affinity (100-fold greater than Tb3+ alone, and 10-fold greater than other Ln(DO2A)+ complexes) and highest quantum yield. Moreover, the inclusion of DO2A extends the pH range over which Tb-DPA coordination is stable, reduces the interference of calcium ions nearly 5-fold, and mitigates phosphate interference 1000-fold compared to free terbium alone. In addition, detection of Bacillus atrophaeus bacterial spores was improved by the use of Tb(DO2A)+, yielding a 3-fold increase in the signal-to-noise ratio over Tb3+. Out of the eight cases investigated, the Tb(DO2A)+ binary complex is best for the detection of bacterial spores. PMID:19537757

  3. Scanning Surface Potential Microscopy of Spore Adhesion on Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ida; Chung, Eunhyea; Kweon, Hyojin; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Tsouris, Costas

    2012-01-01

    The adhesion of spores of Bacillus anthracis - the cause of anthrax and a likely biological threat - to solid surfaces is an important consideration in cleanup after an accidental or deliberate release. However, because of safety concerns, directly studying B. anthracis spores with advanced instrumentation is problematic. As a first step, we are examining the electrostatic potential of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a closely related species that is often used as a simulant to study B. anthracis. Scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM), also known as Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), was used to investigate the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the surface electrostatic potential of Bt that had adhered to silica, mica, or gold substrates. AFM/SSPM side-by-side images were obtained separately in air, at various values of RH, after an aqueous droplet with spores was applied on each surface and allowed to dry before measurements. In the SSPM images, a negative potential on the surface of the spores was observed compared with that of the substrates. The surface potential decreased as the humidity increased. Spores were unable to adhere to a surface with an extremely negative potential, such as mica.

  4. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially.

  5. GAS2 and GAS4, a Pair of Developmentally Regulated Genes Required for Spore Wall Assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae▿

    PubMed Central

    Ragni, Enrico; Coluccio, Alison; Rolli, Eleonora; Rodriguez-Peña, José Manuel; Colasante, Gaia; Arroyo, Javier; Neiman, Aaron M.; Popolo, Laura

    2007-01-01

    The GAS multigene family of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is composed of five paralogs (GAS1 to GAS5). GAS1 is the only one of these genes that has been characterized to date. It encodes a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein functioning as a β(1,3)-glucan elongase and required for proper cell wall assembly during vegetative growth. In this study, we characterize the roles of the GAS2 and GAS4 genes. These genes are expressed exclusively during sporulation. Their mRNA levels showed a peak at 7 h from induction of sporulation and then decreased. Gas2 and Gas4 proteins were detected and reached maximum levels between 8 and 10 h from induction of sporulation, a time roughly coincident with spore wall assembly. The double null gas2 gas4 diploid mutant showed a severe reduction in the efficiency of sporulation, an increased permeability of the spores to exogenous substances, and production of inviable spores, whereas the single gas2 and gas4 null diploids were similar to the parental strain. An analysis of spore ultrastructure indicated that the loss of Gas2 and Gas4 proteins affected the proper attachment of the glucan to the chitosan layer, probably as a consequence of the lack of coherence of the glucan layer. The ectopic expression of GAS2 and GAS4 genes in a gas1 null mutant revealed that these proteins are redundant versions of Gas1p specialized to function in a compartment at a pH value close to neutral. PMID:17189486

  6. HtrC is involved in proteolysis of YpeB during germination of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Bernhards, Casey B; Chen, Yan; Toutkoushian, Hannah; Popham, David L

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial endospores can remain dormant for decades yet can respond to nutrients, germinate, and resume growth within minutes. An essential step in the germination process is degradation of the spore cortex peptidoglycan wall, and the SleB protein in Bacillus species plays a key role in this process. Stable incorporation of SleB into the spore requires the YpeB protein, and some evidence suggests that the two proteins interact within the dormant spore. Early during germination, YpeB is proteolytically processed to a stable fragment. In this work, the primary sites of YpeB cleavage were identified in Bacillus anthracis, and it was shown that the stable products are comprised of the C-terminal domain of YpeB. Modification of the predominant YpeB cleavage sites reduced proteolysis, but cleavage at other sites still resulted in loss of full-length YpeB. A B. anthracis strain lacking the HtrC protease did not generate the same stable YpeB products. In B. anthracis and Bacillus subtilis htrC mutants, YpeB was partially stabilized during germination but was still degraded at a reduced rate by other, unidentified proteases. Purified HtrC cleaved YpeB to a fragment similar to that observed in vivo, and this cleavage was stimulated by Mn(2+) or Ca(2+) ions. A lack of HtrC did not stabilize YpeB or SleB during spore formation in the absence of the partner protein, indicating other proteases are involved in their degradation during sporulation.

  7. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry compatible inactivation method for highly pathogenic microbial cells and spores.

    PubMed

    Lasch, Peter; Nattermann, Herbert; Erhard, Marcel; Stämmler, Maren; Grunow, Roland; Bannert, Norbert; Appel, Bernd; Naumann, Dieter

    2008-03-15

    Identification of microorganisms, specifically of vegetative cells and spores, by intact cell mass spectrometry (ICMS) is an emerging new technology. The technique provides specific biomarker profiles which can be employed for bacterial identification at the genus, species, or even at the subspecies level holding the potential to serve as a rapid and sensitive identification technique in clinical or food microbiology and also for sensitive detection of biosafety level (BSL) 3 microorganisms. However, the development of ICMS as an identification technique for BSL-3 level microorganisms is hampered by the fact that no MALDI-TOF (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight) compatible inactivation procedure for microorganisms, and particularly for bacterial endospores, has been evaluated so far. In this report we describe a new methodology for effective inactivation of microorganisms which is compatible with the analysis of microbial protein patterns by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The main challenge of this work was to define the conditions that ensure microbial inactivation and permit at the same time comprehensive analysis of microbial protein patterns. Among several physical, chemical, and mechanical inactivation procedures, inactivation by trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) proved to be the best method in terms of bactericidal capacity and information content of the mass spectra. Treatment of vegetative cells by 80% TFA alone for 30 min assured complete inactivation of microbial cells under all conditions tested. For spore inactivation, the "TFA inactivation protocol" was developed which is a combination of TFA treatment with basic laboratory routines such as centrifugation and filtering. This MALDI-TOF/ICMS compatible sample preparation protocol is simple and rapid (30 min) and assures reliable inactivation of vegetative cells and spores of highly pathogenic (BSL-3) microorganisms.

  8. Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Influence the Allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus fungal spore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang-Yona, N.; Levin, Y.; Dannemoller, K. C.; Yarden, O.; Peccia, J.; Rudich, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Increased allergic susceptibility has been documented without a comprehensive understanding for its causes. Therefore understanding trends and mechanisms of allergy inducing agents is essential. In this study we investigated whether elevated atmospheric CO2 levels can affect the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergenic fungal species. Both direct exposure to changing CO2 levels during fungal growth, and indirect exposure through changes in the C:N ratios in the growth media were inspected. We determined the allergenicity of the spores through two types of immunoassays, accompanied with genes expression analysis, and proteins relative quantification. We show that fungi grown under present day CO2 levels (392 ppm) exhibit 8.5 and 3.5 fold higher allergenicity compared to fungi grown at preindustrial (280 ppm) and double (560 ppm) CO2 levels, respectively. A corresponding trend is observed in the expression of genes encoding for known allergenic proteins and in the major allergen Asp f1 concentrations, possibly due to physiological changes such as respiration rates and the nitrogen content of the fungus, influenced by the CO2 concentrations. Increased carbon and nitrogen levels in the growth medium also lead to a significant increase in the allergenicity, for which we propose two different biological mechanisms. We suggest that climatic changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and changes in the fungal growth medium may impact the ability of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus to induce allergies. The effect of changing CO2 concentrations on the total allergenicity per 10^7 spores of A. fumigatus (A), the major allergen Asp f1 concentration in ng per 10^7 spores (B), and the gene expression by RT-PCR (C). The error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

  9. Understanding of the importance of the spore coat structure and pigmentation in the Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to low-pressure plasma sterilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Denis, Benjamin; Stapelmann, Katharina; Eichenberger, Patrick; Driks, Adam; Eaton, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    Low-pressure plasmas have been evaluated for their potential in biomedical and defense purposes. The sterilizing effect of plasma can be attributed to several active agents, including (V)UV radiation, charged particles, radical species, neutral and excited atoms and molecules, and the electric field. Spores of Bacillus subtilis were used as a bioindicator and a genetic model system to study the sporicidal effects of low-pressure plasma decontamination. Wild-type spores, spores lacking the major protective coat layers (inner, outer, and crust), pigmentation-deficient spores or spore impaired in encasement (a late step in coat assembly) were systematically tested for their resistance to low-pressure argon, hydrogen, and oxygen plasmas with and without admixtures. We demonstrate that low-pressure plasma discharges of argon and oxygen discharges cause significant physical damage to spore surface structures as visualized by atomic force microscopy. Spore resistance to low-pressure plasma was primarily dependent on the presence of the inner, and outer spore coat layers as well as spore encasement, with minor or less importance of the crust and spore pigmentation, whereas spore inactivation itself was strongly influenced by the gas composition and operational settings.

  10. Daily variations of Alternaria spores in the city of Murcia (semi-arid southeastern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munuera Giner, M.; Carrión García, J. S.

    1995-12-01

    Annual variations in the abundance of Alternaria spores were related to the length of the spore period for data from Murcia (southeastern Spain). To understand the relationship between the number of spores and climatic factors, Alternaria spore counts for March 1993 to February 1994 were examined by means of correlation and regression analyses with fourteen different weather parameters. The results indicated that there was a tendency for Alternaria spore concentrations to increase with increases in temperature, wind speed and hours of sunshine. Negative correlations were observed with air pressure, wind direction and humidity. Theoretical curves for Alternaria spore counts are given in relation to temperatures during the period studied.

  11. Differentiating bacterial spores from hoax materials by Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Smith, Wayne W.

    2004-03-01

    The bioterrorism of October 2001 caused by the distribution of anthrax through the U.S. postal system was compounded by the significant delay associated with positive identification of the Bacillus anthracis spores and the unknown extent of their distribution along the eastern seaboard. In the ensuing two years, literally thousands of hoaxes, letters containing harmless powders, have been mailed creating additional anxiety. Thus, there is a need for instruments and/or methods that can not only identify anthrax-causing spores to save lives, but also identify hoax materials to eliminate costly shutdowns. Here we present Raman spectra of Bacillus cereus spores, an anthrax surrogate, as well as of 30 common substances that might be used as hoax materials. We also examine the choice of laser excitation, 785 nm or 1064 nm, and its impact on the ability to measure visible particles in 5 minutes or less, and to provide a complete answer to the question of suspicious material identity.

  12. Adenosine Monophosphate-Based Detection of Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kern, Roger G.; Chen, Fei; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Hattori, Nori; Suzuki, Shigeya

    2009-01-01

    A method of rapid detection of bacterial spores is based on the discovery that a heat shock consisting of exposure to a temperature of 100 C for 10 minutes causes the complete release of adenosine monophosphate (AMP) from the spores. This method could be an alternative to the method described in the immediately preceding article. Unlike that method and related prior methods, the present method does not involve germination and cultivation; this feature is an important advantage because in cases in which the spores are those of pathogens, delays involved in germination and cultivation could increase risks of infection. Also, in comparison with other prior methods that do not involve germination, the present method affords greater sensitivity. At present, the method is embodied in a laboratory procedure, though it would be desirable to implement the method by means of a miniaturized apparatus in order to make it convenient and economical enough to encourage widespread use.

  13. Efficacy of ozone against Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spores in apple juice.

    PubMed

    Torlak, Emrah

    2014-02-17

    Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris survives during the typical pasteurization process and can cause the spoilage of fruit juices thanks to its spore forming and thermo-acidophilic nature. In recent years, A. acidoterrestris has become a major concern to the fruit juices industry worldwide. This study was undertaken to evaluate ozone for the reducing number of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice. Apple juice inoculated with A. acidoterrestris spores was bubbled with continuous stream of two different constant concentrations (2.8 and 5.3mg/L) of ozone at 4 and 22 °C up to 40 min. Level of A. acidoterrestris spores in juice decreased by 2.2 and 2.8 log after 40 min of ozonation at 4 °C with concentrations of 2.8 and 5.3mg/L, respectively. Treatments at 22 °C for 40 min with 2.8 and 5.3 mg/L ozone resulted in 1.8 and 2.4 log reductions of spore viability, respectively. At the ozone concentration of 5.3 mg/L, significant (P<0.05) reductions were observed in total phenolic content of juice at both temperature levels. However, treatments performed at 2.8 mg/L were observed to have no significant (P>0.05) effect on total phenolic content. The results presented in this study indicate that over the 2 log reduction in the count of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice can be achieved by bubbling ozonation at 4 °C without causing a significant decrease in total phenolic content of product. Therefore, it can be suggested that bubbling ozonation is a promising method for the control of A. acidoterrestris in fruit juices.

  14. Influence of transition metals added during sporulation on heat resistance of Clostridium botulinum 113B spores.

    PubMed Central

    Kihm, D J; Hutton, M T; Hanlin, J H; Johnson, E A

    1990-01-01

    Sporulation of Clostridium botulinum 113B in a complex medium supplemented with certain transition metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, or Zn) at 0.01 to 1.0 mM gave spores that were increased two to sevenfold in their contents of the added metals. The contents of calcium, magnesium, and other metals in the purified spores were relatively unchanged. Inclusion of sodium citrate (3 g/liter) in the medium enhanced metal accumulation and gave consistency in the transition metal contents of independent spore crops. In citrate-supplemented media, C. botulinum formed spores with very high contents of Zn (approximately 1% of the dry weight). Spores containing an increased content of Fe (0.1 to 0.2%) were more susceptible to thermal killing than were native spores or spores containing increased Zn or Mn. The spores formed with added Fe or Cu also appeared less able to repair heat-induced injuries than the spores with added Mn or Zn. Fe-increased spores appeared to germinate and outgrow at a higher frequency than did native and Mn-increased spores. This study shows that C. botulinum spores can be sensitized to increased thermal destruction by incorporation of Fe in the spores. PMID:2180370

  15. Phagocytosis, germination and killing of Bacillus subtilis spores presenting heterologous antigens in human macrophages.

    PubMed

    Ceragioli, Mara; Cangiano, Giuseppina; Esin, Semih; Ghelardi, Emilia; Ricca, Ezio; Senesi, Sonia

    2009-02-01

    Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive spore-bearing bacterium long used as a probiotic product and more recently regarded as an attractive vehicle for delivering heterologous antigens to be used for mucosal vaccination. This report describes the in vitro interaction between human macrophages and B. subtilis spores displaying the tetanus toxin fragment C or the B subunit of the heat-labile toxin of Escherichia coli on their surface in comparison to spores of the parental strain. Recombinant and parental B. subtilis spores were similarly internalized by human macrophages, at a frequency lower than 2.5%. Inside macrophages, nearly all spores germinated and were killed within 6 h. Using germination-defective spores and inhibiting spore germination inside macrophages, evidence was produced that only germinated spores were killed by human macrophages and that intracellular spore germination was mediated by an alanine-dependent pathway. The germinated spores were killed by macrophages before any round of cell duplication, as estimated by fluorescence microscopy analysis of macrophages infected with spores carrying the gfp gene fused to abrB, a B. subtilis gene shown here to be expressed at the transition between outgrowth and vegetative growth. Monitoring of macrophage infection never revealed cytotoxic effects being exerted by B. subtilis spores. These in vitro data support the hypothesis that B. subtilis spores may potentially be used as a suitable and safe vehicle for administering heterologous antigens to humans.

  16. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinn, E.A.; Griffin, Dale W.; Seba, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

  17. The Fungal Spores Survival Under the Low-Temperature Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soušková, Hana; Scholtz, V.; Julák, J.; Savická, D.

    This paper presents an experimental apparatus for the decontamination and sterilization of water suspension of fungal spores. The fungicidal effect of stabilized positive and negative corona discharges on four fungal species Aspergillus oryzae, Clacosporium sphaerospermum, Penicillium crustosum and Alternaria sp. was studied. Simultaneously, the slower growing of exposed fungal spores was observed. The obtained results are substantially different in comparison with those of the analogous experiments performed with bacteria. It may be concluded that fungi are more resistant to the low-temperature plasma.

  18. Effect of synthetic detergents on germination of fern spores

    SciTech Connect

    Devi, Y.; Devi, S.

    1986-12-01

    Synthetic detergents constitute one of the most important water pollutants by contaminating the lakes and rivers through domestic and industrial use. Considerable information is now available for the adverse effects of detergents an aquatic fauna including fish, algae, and higher aquatic plants. Marked inhibition of germination in orchids and brinjals and of seedlings growth in raddish suggest that rapidly growing systems could be sensitive to detergent polluted water. The present study of the effect of linear alkyl benzene sulphonate on germination of the spores of a fern, Diplazium esculentum aims at the understanding of the effects of water pollution on pteridophytes and the development of spore germination assay for phytoxicity evaluation.

  19. Discrimination of Spore-Forming Bacilli Using spoIVA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; LaDuc, Myron; Stuecker, Tara

    2009-01-01

    A method of discriminating between spore-forming and non-spore-forming bacteria is based on a combination of simultaneous sporulation-specific and non-sporulation-specific quantitative polymerase chain reactions (Q-PCRs). The method was invented partly in response to the observation that for the purposes of preventing or reducing biological contamination affecting many human endeavors, ultimately, only the spore-forming portions of bacterial populations are the ones that are problematic (or, at least, more problematic than are the non-spore-forming portions). In some environments, spore-forming bacteria constitute small fractions of the total bacterial populations. The use of sporulation-specific primers in Q-PCR affords the ability to assess the spore-forming fraction of a bacterial population present in an environment of interest. This assessment can provide a more thorough and accurate understanding of the bacterial contamination in the environment, thereby making it possible to focus contamination- testing, contamination-prevention, sterilization, and decontamination resources more economically and efficiently. The method includes the use of sporulation-specific primers in the form of designed, optimized deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) oligonucleotides specific for the bacterial spoIVA gene (see table). [In "spoIVA," "IV" signifies Roman numeral four and the entire quoted name refers to gene A for the fourth stage of sporulation.] These primers are mixed into a PCR cocktail with a given sample of bacterial cells. A control PCR cocktail into which are mixed universal 16S rRNA primers is also prepared. ["16S rRNA" denotes a ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequence that is common to all organisms.] Following several cycles of heating and cooling according to the PCR protocol to amplify amounts of DNA molecules, the amplification products can be analyzed to determine the types of bacterial cells present within the samples. If the amplification product is strong

  20. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust.

    PubMed

    Shinn, Eugene A; Griffin, Dale W; Seba, Douglas B

    2003-08-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

  1. Systematic Assessment of Nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum Spores for Heat Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Stringer, Sandra C.; Barker, Gary C.; Peck, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Heat treatment is an important controlling factor that, in combination with other hurdles (e.g., pH, aw), is used to reduce numbers and prevent the growth of and associated neurotoxin formation by nonproteolytic C. botulinum in chilled foods. It is generally agreed that a heating process that reduces the spore concentration by a factor of 106 is an acceptable barrier in relation to this hazard. The purposes of the present study were to review the available data relating to heat resistance properties of nonproteolytic C. botulinum spores and to obtain an appropriate representation of parameter values suitable for use in quantitative microbial risk assessment. In total, 753 D values and 436 z values were extracted from the literature and reveal significant differences in spore heat resistance properties, particularly those corresponding to recovery in the presence or absence of lysozyme. A total of 503 D and 338 z values collected for heating temperatures at or below 83°C were used to obtain a probability distribution representing variability in spore heat resistance for strains recovered in media that did not contain lysozyme. IMPORTANCE In total, 753 D values and 436 z values extracted from literature sources reveal significant differences in spore heat resistance properties. On the basis of collected data, two z values have been identified, z = 7°C and z = 9°C, for spores recovered without and with lysozyme, respectively. The findings support the use of heat treatment at 90°C for 10 min to reduce the spore concentration by a factor of 106, providing that lysozyme is not present during recovery. This study indicates that greater heat treatment is required for food products containing lysozyme, and this might require consideration of alternative recommendation/guidance. In addition, the data set has been used to test hypotheses regarding the dependence of spore heat resistance on the toxin type and strain, on the heating technique used, and on the

  2. Decontamination of Anthrax spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets.

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Raymond M.; Crown, Kevin K.; Tucker, Mark David; Hankins, Matthew Granholm

    2010-05-01

    Decontamination of anthrax spores in critical infrastructure (e.g., subway systems, major airports) and critical assets (e.g., the interior of aircraft) can be challenging because effective decontaminants can damage materials. Current decontamination methods require the use of highly toxic and/or highly corrosive chemical solutions because bacterial spores are very difficult to kill. Bacterial spores such as Bacillus anthracis, the infectious agent of anthrax, are one of the most resistant forms of life and are several orders of magnitude more difficult to kill than their associated vegetative cells. Remediation of facilities and other spaces (e.g., subways, airports, and the interior of aircraft) contaminated with anthrax spores currently requires highly toxic and corrosive chemicals such as chlorine dioxide gas, vapor- phase hydrogen peroxide, or high-strength bleach, typically requiring complex deployment methods. We have developed a non-toxic, non-corrosive decontamination method to kill highly resistant bacterial spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets. A chemical solution that triggers the germination process in bacterial spores and causes those spores to rapidly and completely change to much less-resistant vegetative cells that can be easily killed. Vegetative cells are then exposed to mild chemicals (e.g., low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds, alcohols, aldehydes, etc.) or natural elements (e.g., heat, humidity, ultraviolet light, etc.) for complete and rapid kill. Our process employs a novel germination solution consisting of low-cost, non-toxic and non-corrosive chemicals. We are testing both direct surface application and aerosol delivery of the solutions. A key Homeland Security need is to develop the capability to rapidly recover from an attack utilizing biological warfare agents. This project will provide the capability to rapidly and safely decontaminate critical facilities and assets to return them to

  3. Bacteria and Spores - Skylab Student Experiment ED-31

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    This chart describes the Skylab student experiment Bacteria and Spores, proposed by Robert L. Staehle of Rochester, New York. This experiment was intended to determine the effect of the Skylab environment (particularly weightlessness) on the survival, growth rates, and mutations of certain bacteria and spores. In March 1972, NASA and the National Science Teachers Association selected 25 experiment proposals for flight on Skylab. Science advisors from the Marshall Space Flight Center aided and assisted the students in developing the proposals for flight on Skylab.

  4. Protection of mice against challenge with Bacillus anthracis STI spores after DNA vaccination.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Ulrike K; Alex, Michaela; Czerny, Claus-Peter; Böhm, Reinhard; Beyer, Wolfgang

    2004-07-01

    Immune responses against the protective antigen (PA) of Bacillus anthracis are known to confer immunity against anthrax. We evaluated the efficacy of genetic vaccination with plasmid vectors encoding PA, in protecting mice from a lethal challenge with B. anthracis STI spores. BALB/c and A/J mice were immunized via gene gun inoculation, using eukaryotic expression vectors with different cellular targeting signals for the encoded antigen. The vector pSecTag PA83, encoding the full-length PA protein, has a signal sequence for secretion of the expressed protein. The plasmids pCMV/ER PA83 and pCMV/ER PA63, encoding the full-length and the physiologically active form of PA, respectively, target and retain the expressed antigen in the endoplasmic reticulum of transfected cells. All three plasmids induced PA-specific humoral immune responses, predominantly IgG1 antibodies, in mice. Spleen cells collected from plasmid-vaccinated BALB/c mice produced PA-specific interleukin-4, interleukin-5, and interferon-gamma in vitro. Vaccination with either pSecTag PA83 or pCMV/ER PA83 showed significant protection of A/J mice against infection with B. anthracis STI spores. PMID:15293452

  5. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  6. Minimizing the level of Bacillus cereus spores in farm tank milk.

    PubMed

    Vissers, M M M; Te Giffel, M C; Driehuis, F; De Jong, P; Lankveld, J M G

    2007-07-01

    In a year-long survey on 24 Dutch farms, Bacillus cereus spore concentrations were measured in farm tank milk (FTM), feces, bedding material, mixed grass and corn silage, and soil from the pasture. The aim of this study was to determine, in practice, factors affecting the concentration of B. cereus spores in FTM throughout the year. In addition, the results of the survey were used in combination with a previously published modeling study to determine requirements for a strategy to control B. cereus spore concentrations in FTM below the MSL of 3 log10 spores/L. The B. cereus spore concentration in FTM was 1.2 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/L and in none of samples was the concentration above the MSL. The spore concentration in soil (4.9 +/- 0.04 log10 spores/g) was more than 100-fold higher than the concentration in feces (2.2 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g), bedding material (2.8 +/- 0.07 log10 spores/g), and mixed silage (2.4 +/- 0.07 log10 spores/g). The spore concentration in FTM increased between July and September compared with the rest of the year (0.5 +/- 0.02 log10 spores/L difference). In this period, comparable increases of the concentrations in feces (0.4 +/- 0.03 log10 spores/g), bedding material (0.5 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g), and mixed silage (0.4 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g) were found. The increased B. cereus spore concentration in FTM was not related to the grazing of cows. Significant correlations were found between the spore concentrations in FTM and feces (r = 0.51) and in feces and mixed silage (r = 0.43) when the cows grazed. The increased concentrations during summer could be explained by an increased growth of B. cereus due to the higher temperatures. We concluded that year-round B. cereus spores were predominantly transmitted from feeds, via feces, to FTM. Farmers should take measures that minimize the transmission of spores via this route by ensuring low initial contamination levels in the feeds (<3 log10 spores/g) and by preventing growth of B. cereus in the

  7. Superdormant spores of Bacillus species have elevated wet-heat resistance and temperature requirements for heat activation.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sonali; Zhang, Pengfei; Li, Yong-qing; Setlow, Peter

    2009-09-01

    Purified superdormant spores of Bacillus cereus, B. megaterium, and B. subtilis isolated after optimal heat activation of dormant spores and subsequent germination with inosine, d-glucose, or l-valine, respectively, germinate very poorly with the original germinants used to remove dormant spores from spore populations, thus allowing isolation of the superdormant spores, and even with alternate germinants. However, these superdormant spores exhibited significant germination with the original or alternate germinants if the spores were heat activated at temperatures 8 to 15 degrees C higher than the optimal temperatures for the original dormant spores, although the levels of superdormant spore germination were not as great as those of dormant spores. Use of mixtures of original and alternate germinants lowered the heat activation temperature optima for both dormant and superdormant spores. The superdormant spores had higher wet-heat resistance and lower core water content than the original dormant spore populations, and the environment of dipicolinic acid in the core of superdormant spores as determined by Raman spectroscopy of individual spores differed from that in dormant spores. These results provide new information about the germination, heat activation optima, and wet-heat resistance of superdormant spores and the heterogeneity in these properties between individual members of dormant spore populations.

  8. Water and Small-Molecule Permeation of Dormant Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cermak, Nathan; Feijó Delgado, Francisco; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We use a suspended microchannel resonator to characterize the water and small-molecule permeability of Bacillus subtilis spores based on spores' buoyant mass in different solutions. Consistent with previous results, we found that the spore coat is not a significant barrier to small molecules, and the extent to which small molecules may enter the spore is size dependent. We have developed a method to directly observe the exchange kinetics of intraspore water with deuterium oxide, and we applied this method to wild-type spores and a panel of congenic mutants with deficiencies in the assembly or structure of the coat. Compared to wild-type spores, which exchange in approximately 1 s, several coat mutant spores were found to have relatively high water permeability with exchange times below the ∼200-ms temporal resolution of our assay. In addition, we found that the water permeability of the spore correlates with the ability of spores to germinate with dodecylamine and with the ability of TbCl3 to inhibit germination with l-valine. These results suggest that the structure of the coat may be necessary for maintaining low water permeability. IMPORTANCE Spores of Bacillus species cause food spoilage and disease and are extremely resistant to standard decontamination methods. This hardiness is partly due to spores' extremely low permeability to chemicals, including water. We present a method to directly monitor the uptake of molecules into B. subtilis spores by weighing spores in fluid. The results demonstrate the exchange of core water with subsecond resolution and show a correlation between water permeability and the rate at which small molecules can initiate or inhibit germination in coat-damaged spores. The ability to directly measure the uptake of molecules in the context of spores with known structural or genetic deficiencies is expected to provide insight into the determinants of spores' extreme resistance. PMID:26483518

  9. Characterization of fungal spores in ambient particulate matter: A study from the Himalayan region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Ajay; Attri, Arun K.

    2016-10-01

    Fungal spores as a constituent of ambient particulate matter (PM) is of concern; they not only display the physical traits of a particle, but are also potential allergens and health risk. An investigation over fourteen month was undertaken at a rural site located in the Western Himalayan region, to evaluate the PM associated fungal spores' concentration and diversity. The season-wise change in the fungal spores concentration in the Coarse Particulate Matter (CPM) fraction (aerodynamic diameter > 10 μm) varied from 500 to 3899 spores m-3. Their average concentration over 14 months was 1517 spores m-3. Significant diversity of fungal spores in the CPM samples was observed; 27 individual genera of fungal spores were identified, of which many were known allergens. Presence of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota fungal spores was dominant in the samples; ∼20% of the spores were un-characterized. The season-wise variability in fungal spores showed a statistically significant high correlation with CPM load. Maximum number concentration of the spores in CPM was recorded in the summer, while minimum in the winter. The high diversity of spores occurred during monsoon and post monsoon months. The meteorological factors played an important role in the fungal spores' distribution profile. The temporal profile of the spores showed significant correlation with the ambient temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS) and planetary boundary layer (PBL) height. Strong correlation of WS with fungal spores and CPM, and wind back trajectories suggest that re-suspension and wind assisted transport of PM contributes to ambient CPM associated fungal spores.

  10. Conserved factors Ryp2 and Ryp3 control cell morphology and infectious spore formation in the fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum.

    PubMed

    Webster, Rachael Hanby; Sil, Anita

    2008-09-23

    The human fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum grows in a sporulating filamentous form in the soil and, after inhalation of infectious spores, converts to a pathogenic yeast form inside host macrophages in response to temperature. Here we report the identification of two genes (RYP2 and RYP3) required for yeast-phase growth. Ryp2 and Ryp3 are homologous to each other and to the Velvet A family of regulatory proteins in Aspergillus species and other filamentous fungi. Wild-type H. capsulatum grows as filaments at room temperature and as yeast cells at 37 degrees C, but ryp2 and ryp3 mutants constitutively grow as filaments independent of temperature. RYP2 and RYP3 transcripts accumulate to higher levels at 37 degrees C than at room temperature. This differential expression is similar to the previously identified RYP1 transcript, which encodes a transcriptional regulator required for the yeast-phase expression program. Ryp1 associates with the upstream region of RYP2, and each of the three RYP genes is required for the differential expression of the others at 37 degrees C. In addition to responding to the elevated temperature of the mammalian host, RYP2 and RYP3 are essential for viable spore production and regulation of sporulation at room temperature. This regulatory function is strikingly similar to the role of the Aspergillus Velvet A protein family in spore development in response to light, with the notable distinction that the H. capsulatum circuit responds to temperature. PMID:18791067

  11. Multinucleate spores contribute to evolutionary longevity of asexual glomeromycota.

    PubMed

    Jany, Jean-Luc; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota) are the dominant symbionts of land plants and one of the oldest multicellular lineages that exist without evidence of sexual reproduction. The mechanisms that protect these organisms from extinction due to accumulation of deleterious mutations in the absence of sexual recombination are unclear. Glomeromycota reproduce by spores containing hundreds of nuclei, which represents a departure from the typical eukaryotic developmental pattern, where a multicellular organism is re-created from a uninucleate propagule. To understand whether the multinucleate spore makeup may have contributed to the evolutionary success of Glomeromycota, we examined the dynamics of spore nuclei in Glomus etunicatum using live three-dimensional imaging and mathematical models. We show that the spores are populated by an influx of a stream of nuclei from the surrounding mycelium rather than by divisions of a single founder nucleus. We present evidence that mechanisms of selection are likely to operate at the level of individual nuclei. On the basis of mathematical analyses of the effects that these nuclear dynamics have on the population mutation load, we postulate that the developmental patterns of sporogenesis have adaptive significance for moderating the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may have contributed to the evolutionary longevity of Glomeromycota. PMID:20170364

  12. Taphonomic bias in pollen and spore record: a review

    SciTech Connect

    Fisk, L.H.

    1986-05-01

    The high dispersibility and ease of pollen and spore transport have led researchers to conclude erroneously that fossil pollen and spore floras are relatively complete and record unbiased representations of the regional vegetation extant at the time of sediment deposition. That such conclusions are unjustified is obvious when the authors remember that polynomorphs are merely organic sedimentary particles and undergo hydraulic sorting not unlike clastic sedimentary particles. Prior to deposition in the fossil record, pollen and spores can be hydraulically sorted by size, shape, and weight, subtly biasing relative frequencies in fossil assemblages. Sorting during transport results in palynofloras whose composition is environmentally dependent. Therefore, depositional environment is an important consideration to make correct inferences on the source vegetation. Sediment particle size of original rock samples may contain important information on the probability of a taphonomically biased pollen and spore assemblage. In addition, a reasonable test of hydraulic sorting is the distribution of pollen grain sizes and shapes in each assemblage. Any assemblage containing a wide spectrum of grain sizes and shapes has obviously not undergone significant sorting. If unrecognized, taphonomic bias can lead to paleoecologic, paleoclimatic, and even biostratigraphic misinterpretations.

  13. Mutagenic and tumourigenic properties of the spores of Aspergillus clavatus.

    PubMed Central

    Blyth, W.; Hardy, J. C.

    1982-01-01

    Spore walls of a sputum-derived isolate of Aspergillus clavatus yielded mutagen(s) when their extracts were fractionally precipitated with ethanol following alkaline hydrolysis. After spores were given by nasal inoculation to 6-8-week-old CF-1 mice, light and electron microscopy of lung sections showed that they had been readily phagocytozed by the polymorphonuclear leucocytes and alveolar macrophages mobilized during early allergic alveolitis in immunized mice. The formation of phagosomes was followed in thioglycollate-stimulated peritoneal macrophages grown in vitro. Unimmunised mice showed a comparable lung reaction, attributed to pulmonary mycotoxicosis, and revealed a rising incidence of lung tumours, from 25% at 2 months from inoculation, to 27.3% at 6 and to 55.5% at 8. Mean numbers of tumours per lung rose from 1.0 to 2.2. Total tumours, including lymphomas, reached a final incidence of 77.7% at 8 months, when control animals were tumour-free. Tumour development correlated with the retention of apparently intact spores within giant cells probably derived from aggregates of alveolar macrophages. The implications of these findings in the light of the known history of human exposure to such spores is discussed. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Figs 6 and 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 PMID:7059453

  14. Sporicidal characteristics of heated dolomite powder against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Yasue, Syogo; Sawai, Jun; Kikuchi, Mikio; Nakakuki, Takahito; Sano, Kazuo; Kikuchi, Takahide

    2014-01-01

    Dolomite is a double salt composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The heat treatment of CaCO3 and MgCO3 respectively generates calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO), which have antimicrobial activity. In this study, heated dolomite powder (HDP) slurry was investigated for its sporicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 spores. The B. subtilis spores used in this study were not affected by acidic (pH 1) or alkaline (pH 13) conditions, indicating that they were highly resistant. However, dolomite powder heated to 1000℃ for 1 h could kill B. subtilis spores, even at pH 12.7. Sporicidal activity was only apparent when the dolomite powder was heated to 800℃ or higher, and sporicidal activity increased with increases in the heating temperature. This temperature corresponded to that of the generation of CaO. We determined that MgO did not contribute to the sporicidal activity of HDP. To elucidate the sporicidal mechanism of the HDP against B. subtilis spores, the generation of active oxygen from HDP slurry was examined by chemiluminescence analysis. The generation of active oxygen increased when the HDP slurry concentration rose. The results suggested that, in addition to its alkalinity, the active oxygen species generated from HDP were associated with sporicidal activity. PMID:25252642

  15. Adhesion of Spores of Bacillus thuringiensis on a Planar Surface

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Eunhyea; Kweon, Hyojin; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Lee, Ida; Joy, David Charles; Palumbo, Anthony Vito; Tsouris, Costas

    2010-01-01

    Adhesion of spores of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and spherical silica particles on surfaces was experimentally and theoretically investigated in this study. Topography analysis via atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electron microscopy indicates that Bt spores are rod shaped, {approx}1.3 {mu}m in length and {approx}0.8 {mu}m in diameter. The adhesion force of Bt spores and silica particles on gold-coated glass was measured at various relative humidity (RH) levels by AFM. It was expected that the adhesion force would vary with RH because the individual force components contributing to the adhesion force depend on RH. The adhesion force between a particle and a planar surface in atmospheric environments was modeled as the contribution of three major force components: capillary, van der Waals, and electrostatic interaction forces. Adhesion force measurements for Bt spore (silica particle) and the gold surface system were comparable with calculations. Modeling results show that there is a critical RH value, which depends on the hydrophobicity of the materials involved, below which the water meniscus does not form and the contribution of the capillary force is zero. As RH increases, the van der Waals force decreases while the capillary force increases to a maximum value.

  16. Isolation of the Paenibacillus phoenicis, a Spore-Forming Bacterium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benardini, James N.; Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.; Osman, Shariff; Satomi, Masataka

    2010-01-01

    A microorganism was isolated from the surfaces of the cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. The isolated bacterial strain was subjected to a comprehensive polyphasic analysis to characterize its taxonomic position. Both phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses clearly indicate that this isolate belongs to the genus Paenibacillus and represents a novel species. Bacillus spores have been utilized to assess the degree and level of microbiological contamination on spacecraft and their associated spacecraft assembly facilities. Spores of Bacillus species are of particular concern to planetary protection due to the extreme resistance of some members of the genus to space environmental conditions such as UV and gamma radiation, vacuum, oxidation, and temperature fluctuation. These resistive spore phenotypes have enhanced potential for transfer, and subsequent proliferation, of terrestrial microbes on another solar body. Due to decreased nutrient conditions within spacecraft assembly facility clean rooms, the vegetative cells of Bacillus species and other spore-forming Paenibacillus species are induced to sporulate, thereby enhancing their survivability of bioreduction

  17. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis.

  18. Multinucleate spores contribute to evolutionary longevity of asexual glomeromycota.

    PubMed

    Jany, Jean-Luc; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota) are the dominant symbionts of land plants and one of the oldest multicellular lineages that exist without evidence of sexual reproduction. The mechanisms that protect these organisms from extinction due to accumulation of deleterious mutations in the absence of sexual recombination are unclear. Glomeromycota reproduce by spores containing hundreds of nuclei, which represents a departure from the typical eukaryotic developmental pattern, where a multicellular organism is re-created from a uninucleate propagule. To understand whether the multinucleate spore makeup may have contributed to the evolutionary success of Glomeromycota, we examined the dynamics of spore nuclei in Glomus etunicatum using live three-dimensional imaging and mathematical models. We show that the spores are populated by an influx of a stream of nuclei from the surrounding mycelium rather than by divisions of a single founder nucleus. We present evidence that mechanisms of selection are likely to operate at the level of individual nuclei. On the basis of mathematical analyses of the effects that these nuclear dynamics have on the population mutation load, we postulate that the developmental patterns of sporogenesis have adaptive significance for moderating the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may have contributed to the evolutionary longevity of Glomeromycota.

  19. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  20. Allergenic airborne pollen and spores in Anchorage, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.H.

    1985-05-01

    Major aeroallergens in Anchorage are birch, alder, poplar, spruce, grass pollen, Cladosporium, and unspecified fungus spores. Lesser pollens are sorrel, willow, pine, juniper, sedge, lamb's-quarters, wormwood, plantain, and others. The aero-flora is discussed in terms of the frequency of allergenically significant events and within-season and year-to-year dynamics.

  1. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  2. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  3. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  4. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  5. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  6. Fatty Acid Oxidation by Spores of Penicillium roqueforti

    PubMed Central

    Gehrig, R. F.; Knight, S. G.

    1963-01-01

    When 1 μm sodium octanoate was the substrate for spores, most of the molecule was recovered as CO2 and no ketone was produced. However, when larger concentrations (20 μm) were used as substrate, part of the molecule was converted to methyl ketone and part was completely oxidized. Optimal conditions for the production of 2-heptanone were determined because of the importance of this compound in giving aroma and flavor to mold-ripened cheeses. Optimal ketone formation was not dependent upon the temperature and length of time at which the spores were stored. The spore suspensions were stored for over 36 months at 4 C without losing their ability to convert octanoic acid to 2-heptanone. The oxidation of octanoic acid was inhibited by cyanide, carbon monoxide, mercury, 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanol, and α, α-dipyridyl. No ketone was produced under anaerobic conditions. Although no intermediates of fatty acid oxidation were isolated, since an active cell-free preparation could not be obtained, this investigation has yielded some evidence for the beta oxidation of the fatty acids by spores of Penicillium roqueforti. PMID:13947000

  7. Allergenic airborne pollen and spores in Anchorage, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J H

    1985-05-01

    Major aeroallergens in Anchorage are birch, alder, poplar, spruce, grass pollen, Cladosporium, and unspecified fungus spores. Lesser pollens are sorrel, willow, pine, juniper, sedge, lamb's-quarters, wormwood, plantain, and others. The aero-flora is discussed in terms of the frequency of allergenically significant events and within-season and year-to-year dynamics.

  8. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis. PMID:26528669

  9. Sporicidal characteristics of heated dolomite powder against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Yasue, Syogo; Sawai, Jun; Kikuchi, Mikio; Nakakuki, Takahito; Sano, Kazuo; Kikuchi, Takahide

    2014-01-01

    Dolomite is a double salt composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The heat treatment of CaCO3 and MgCO3 respectively generates calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO), which have antimicrobial activity. In this study, heated dolomite powder (HDP) slurry was investigated for its sporicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 spores. The B. subtilis spores used in this study were not affected by acidic (pH 1) or alkaline (pH 13) conditions, indicating that they were highly resistant. However, dolomite powder heated to 1000℃ for 1 h could kill B. subtilis spores, even at pH 12.7. Sporicidal activity was only apparent when the dolomite powder was heated to 800℃ or higher, and sporicidal activity increased with increases in the heating temperature. This temperature corresponded to that of the generation of CaO. We determined that MgO did not contribute to the sporicidal activity of HDP. To elucidate the sporicidal mechanism of the HDP against B. subtilis spores, the generation of active oxygen from HDP slurry was examined by chemiluminescence analysis. The generation of active oxygen increased when the HDP slurry concentration rose. The results suggested that, in addition to its alkalinity, the active oxygen species generated from HDP were associated with sporicidal activity.

  10. Early silurian spore tetrads from new york: earliest new world evidence for vascular plants?

    PubMed

    Gray, J; Boucot, A J

    1971-09-01

    Several taxa of abundant cutinized trilete spores from earliest Silurian shale in New York predate by almost an entire period vascular land plant megafossils. Paleoecological evidence suggests that these spores may represent vascular land or semiaquatic plants but a bryophytic origin cannot be precluded on the basis of spore characters. An algal origin is considered unlikely.

  11. Transmission of fungal spores in space and their conditions for survival: a review.

    PubMed

    Volz, P A

    1997-01-01

    The transfer of fungal spores to suitable hosts or nutrient substrates frequently depends on spore discharge and aerial transport to transmit the species. Factors affecting spore translocation and travel have been evaluated mycologically and mathematically and are reviewed. Global disease spread and transmission monitoring are discussed.

  12. FACTORS RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM SPORES FROM CONTAMINATED SOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper describes preliminary results of a research project to determine the factors that control the release of S. chartarum spores from a contaminated source and test ways to reduce spore release and thus exposure. As anticipated, S. chartarum spore emissions from gypsum boar...

  13. Effect of temperature on green spore longevity for the ferns Equisetum ramosissimum and Osmunda regalis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some fern species produce chlorophyllic or green spores. Green spores lose viability quickly compared to nongreen spores, and so need specialized treatment for long term conservation in germplasm banks. Dry storage at different temperatures (25 ºC, 4 ºC, -25 ºC, -80 ºC and -196 ºC) was studied in ...

  14. The Ice Nucleation Ability of Selected Atmospherically Abundant Fungal Spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iannone, R.; Chernoff, D. I.; Bertram, A. K.

    2010-12-01

    Ice clouds are widely recognized for their roles in the earth’s radiation budget and climate systems. However, their formation mechanisms are poorly understood thus constituting an uncertainty in the evaluation of the global radiation budget. An important mechanism of ice cloud formation is heterogeneous nucleation on aerosol particles. The surface properties of these particles, called ice nuclei (IN), directly affect the temperature at which ice nucleation occurs. There is a growing emphasis on the study of bioaerosols (e.g., bacteria, fungi, pollen) as IN since they are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. The focus of the current study is to determine the ice nucleation properties of spores obtained from a variety of fungi. Aerosolized spores were impacted onto a hydrophobic glass substrate and immersed in ultrapure water. A technique involving an optical light microscope coupled to a flow cell was used to precisely control temperature and humidity within the cell. A digital camera captured high-resolution video of the particles undergoing ice nucleation, allowing for the analyses of freezing events and particle sizes. The first experimental results using spores obtained from the fungal genera Cladosporium and Penicillium reveal an average temperature increase of ~1-5 K in the ice nucleation temperature compared to homogeneous nucleation (i.e., freezing of pure liquid water). Furthermore, there appears to be a relationship between the amount of spores present per droplet and the freezing temperature of water. These results are presented and discussed, and the potential contribution of these data to further the understanding of heterogeneous nucleation in the atmosphere is provided. Box plot summarizing freezing data for homogeneous nucleation experiments (leftmost box) and binned data from heterogeneous nucleation experiments involving spores of Cladosporium. Freezing data are distributed into 200 µm2 bins that represent the total area of all observable inclusions

  15. Size matters for violent discharge height and settling speed of Sphagnum spores: important attributes for dispersal potential

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Sebastian

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Initial release height and settling speed of diaspores are biologically controlled components which are key to modelling wind dispersal. Most Sphagnum (peat moss) species have explosive spore liberation. In this study, how capsule and spore sizes affect the height to which spores are propelled were measured, and how spore size and spore number of discharged particles relate to settling speed in the aspherical Sphagnum spores. Methods Spore discharge and spore cloud development were filmed in a closed chamber (nine species). Measurements were taken from snapshots at three stages of cloud development. Settling speed of spores (14 species) and clusters were timed in a glass tube. Key Results The maximum discharge speed measured was 3·6 m s−1. Spores reached a maximum height of 20 cm (average: 15 cm) above the capsule. The cloud dimensions at all stages were related positively to capsule size (R2 = 0·58–0·65). Thus species with large shoots (because they have large capsules) have a dispersal advantage. Half of the spores were released as singles and the rest as clusters (usually two to four spores). Single spores settled at 0·84–1·86 cm s−1, about 52 % slower than expected for spherical spores with the same diameters. Settling speed displayed a positive curvilinear relationship with spore size, close to predictions by Stokes' law for spherical spores with 68 % of the actual diameters. Light-coloured spores settled slower than dark spores. Settling speed of spore clusters agrees with earlier studies. Effective spore discharge and small, slowly settling spores appear particularly important for species in forested habitats. Conclusions The spore discharge heights in Sphagnum are among the greatest for small, wind-dispersed propagules. The discharge heights and the slow settling of spores affect dispersal distances positively and may help to explain the wide distribution of most boreal Sphagnum species. PMID:20123930

  16. NanoSIMS analysis of Bacillus spores for forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Davisson, M L; Velsko, S P

    2010-02-23

    The threat associated with the potential use of radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological materials in terrorist acts has resulted in new fields of forensic science requiring the application of state-of-the-science analytical techniques. Since the anthrax letter attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001, there has been increased interest in physical and chemical characterization of bacterial spores. While molecular methods are powerful tools for identifying genetic differences, other methods may be able to differentiate genetically identical samples based on physical and chemical properties, as well as provide complimentary information, such as methods of production and approximate date of production. Microanalysis has the potential to contribute significantly to microbial forensics. Bacillus spores are highly structured, consisting of a core, cortex, coat, and in some species, an exosporium. This structure provides a template for constraining elemental abundance differences at the nanometer scale. The primary controls on the distribution of major elements in spores are likely structural and physiological. For example, P and Ca are known to be abundant in the spore core because that is where P-rich nucleic acids and Cadipicolinic acid are located, respectively. Trace elements are known to bind to the spore coat but the controls on these elements are less well understood. Elemental distributions and abundances may be directly related to spore production, purification and stabilization methodologies, which are of particular interest for forensic investigation. To this end, we are developing a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry method using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50 to study the distribution and abundance of trace elements in bacterial spores. In this presentation we will review and compare methods for preparing and analyzing samples, as well as review results on the distribution and abundance of elements in bacterial spores. We use NanoSIMS to

  17. Holographic sensors for the detection of bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Bhatta, D; Christie, G; Madrigal-González, B; Blyth, J; Lowe, C R

    2007-11-30

    Holographic sensors for the detection of Bacillus species spore germination and vegetative growth are described. Reflection holograms were fabricated using a diffusion method for the distribution of ultra-fine silver bromide grains into pre-formed polymer films, followed by holographic recording using a frequency doubled Nd:YAG (532 nm) laser. Changes in holographic replay wavelength or diffraction intensity were used to characterise the swelling behaviour or structural integrity of a range of holographic matrices in response to various extracellular products of bacterial spore germination and vegetative metabolism. Divalent metal ion-sensitive holograms containing a methacrylated analogue of nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) as the chelating monomer were successfully used to monitor Ca2+ ions released during B. subtilis spore germination in real-time, which was within minutes of sample addition; the holographic response manifested as a 16 nm blue-shift in diffraction wavelength over the progress of germination. Similarly, pH-sensitive holograms comprising methacrylic acid (MAA) as the ionisable monomer were responsive to changes in pH associated with early vegetative metabolism following germination of B. megaterium spores; a visually perceptible blue-shift in holographic replay wavelength of 75 nm was observed. Casein and starch-based holographic matrices, prepared by co-polymerisation of the appropriate substrate with acrylamide, were used to detect exo-enzymes released during later stages of B. megaterium and B. subtilis vegetative cell growth; holographic responses of both matrices were visible as a reduction in diffraction intensity due to progressive fringe disruption caused by enzymatic cleavage. The combined monitoring of various germination and growth events using the range of aforementioned holographic sensors provides a novel, comprehensive means for the detection of viable bacterial spores.

  18. Intact Cell/Spore Mass Spectrometry of Fusarium Macro Conidia for Fast Isolate and Species Differentiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Hongjuan; Marchetti-Deschmann, Martina; Winkler, Wolfgang; Lohninger, Hans; Allmaier, Guenter

    The focus of this paper is the development of an approach called intact cell mass spectrometry (ICMS) or intact spore mass spectrometry (ISMS) based on the technique matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) for the rapid differentiation and identification of Fusarium species. Several parameters, which are known to affect the quality of IC mass spectra, have been investigated in detail by varying the MALDI matrix as well as the solvent system, in which the matrix has been dissolved, the solvent system for sample purification and the type of sample/MALDI matrix deposition technique. In the end characteristic as well as highly reproducible IC or IS mass spectra or peptide/protein fingerprints of three Fusarium species (F. cerealis, F. graminearum and F. poae) including 16 Fusarium isolates derived from different hosts and geographical locations have been obtained. Unscaled hierarchical cluster analysis based on ICMS data of eight selected Fusarium isolates of two species F. graminearum and F. poae revealed significant difference among the peptide/protein pattern of them. The results of the applied cluster analysis proved that, ICMS is a powerful approach for the rapid differentiation of Fusarium species. In addition, an on-target tryptic digestion was applied to Fusarium macro conidia spores to identify proteins using MALDI post source decay (PSD) fragment ion analysis. Two kinds of trypsin, namely bead-immobilized - to favor cleavage of surface-associated proteins - and non-immobilized trypsin were applied and compared. The results showed that the latter is more suitable for generating sequence tags by PSD fragment ion analysis.

  19. Bacillus cereus spores during housing of dairy cows: factors affecting contamination of raw milk.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, M; Christiansson, A; Svensson, B

    2007-06-01

    The contamination of raw milk with Bacillus cereus spores was studied during the indoor confinement of dairy cattle. The occurrence of spores in fresh and used bedding material, air samples, feed, feces, and the rinse water from milking equipment was compared with the spore level in bulk tank milk on 2 farms, one of which had 2 different housing systems. A less extensive study was carried out on an additional 5 farms. High spore concentrations of >100 spores/L in the raw milk were found on 4 of the farms. The number of spores found in the feed, feces, and air was too small to be of importance for milk contamination. Elevated spore contents in the rinse water from the milking equipment (up to 322 spores/L) were observed and large numbers of spores were found in the used bedding material, especially in free stalls with >5 cm deep sawdust beds. At most, 87,000 spores/g were found in used sawdust bedding. A positive correlation was found between the spore content in used bedding material and milk (r = 0.72). Comparison of the genetic fingerprints obtained by the random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR of isolates of B. cereus from the different sources indicated that used bedding material was the major source of contamination. A separate feeding experiment in which cows were experimentally fed B. cereus spores showed a positive relationship between the number of spores in the feed and feces and in the feces and milk (r = 0.78). The results showed that contaminated feed could be a significant source of spore contamination of raw milk if the number of spores excreted in the feces exceeded 100,000/g.

  20. Influence of Spore Moisture Content on the Dry-Heat Resistance of Bacillus subtilis var. niger

    PubMed Central

    Angelotti, Robert; Maryanski, James H.; Butler, Thomas F.; Peeler, James T.; Campbell, Jeptha E.

    1968-01-01

    The dry-heat resistance of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores located in or on various materials was determined as D and z values in the range of 105 through 160 C. The systems tested included spores located on steel and paper strips, spores located between stainless-steel washers mated together under 150 inch-lb and 12 inch-lb of torque, and spores encapsulated in methylmethacrylate and epoxy plastics. D values for a given temperature varied with the test system. High D values were observed for the systems in which spores were encapsulated or under heavy torque, whereas lower D values were observed for the steel and paper strip systems and the lightly torqued system. Similar z values were obtained for the plastic and steel strip systems (zD = 21 C), but an unusually low z for spores on paper (zD = 12.9 C) and an unusually high z for spores on steel washers mated at 150 inch-lb of torque (zD = 32 C) were observed. The effect of spore moisture content on the D value of spores encapsulated in water-impermeable plastic was determined, and maximal resistance was observed for spores with a water activity (aw) of 0.2 to 0.4. Significantly decreased D values were observed for spores with moisture contents below aw 0.2 or above aw 0.4. The data indicate that the important factors to be considered when measuring the dry heat resistance of spores are (i) the initial moisture content of the spore, (ii) the rate of spore desiccation during heating, (iii) the water retention capacity of the material in or on which spores are located, and (iv) the relative humidity of the system at the test temperature. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 7 PMID:4968962

  1. Response of Bacillus subtilis spores to dehydration and UV irradiation at extremely low temperatures.

    PubMed

    Dose, K; Klein, A

    1996-02-01

    Spores of Bacillus subtilis have been exposed to the conditions of extreme dehydration (argon/silica gel; simulated space vacuum) for up to 12 weeks at 298 K and 80 K in the dark. The inactivation has been correlated with the production of DNA-double strand-breaks. The temperature-dependence of the rate constants for inactivation or production of DNA-double strand-breaks is surprisingly low. Controls kept in the frozen state at 250 K for the same period of time showed no sign of deterioration. In another series of experiments the spores have been UV irradiated (253.7 nm) at 298 K, 200 K and 80 K after exposure to dehydrating conditions for 3 days. Fluence-effect relationships for inactivation, production of DNA-double strand-breaks and DNA-protein cross-links are presented. The corresponding F37-values for inactivation and production of DNA lesions are significantly increased only at 80 K (factor of 4 to 5). The data indicate that the low temperatures that prevail in the outer parts of the Solar System or at the nightside of Mars or the Moon are not sufficiently low to crucially inhibit inactivation by dehydration. Our data place further constraints on the panspermia hypothesis.

  2. Mixed Production of Filamentous Fungal Spores for Preventing Soil-Transmitted Helminth Zoonoses: A Preliminary Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Arias, M. S.; Cazapal-Monteiro, C. F.; Suárez, J.; Miguélez, S.; Francisco, I.; Arroyo, F. L.; Suárez, J. L.; Paz-Silva, A.; Sánchez-Andrade, R.; Mendoza de Gives, P.

    2013-01-01

    Helminth zoonoses are parasitic infections shared by humans and animals, being the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) mainly caused by roundworms (ascarids) and hookworms. This study was aimed to assess the individual and/or mixed production of two helminth-antagonistic fungi, one ovicide (Mucor circinelloides) and other predator (Duddingtonia flagrans). Fungi were grown both in Petri plates and in a submerged culture (composed by water, NaCl, Na2HPO4· 12 H2O, and wheat (Triticum aestivum)). A Fasciola hepatica recombinant protein (FhrAPS) was incorporated to the cultures to improve fungal production. All the cultured plates showed fungal growth, without difference in the development of the fungi when grown alone or mixed. High counts of Mucor spores were produced in liquid media cultures, and no significant differences were achieved regarding single or mixed cultures, or the incorporation of the FhrAPS. A significantly higher production of Duddingtonia spores after the incorporation of the FhrAPS was observed. When analyzing the parasiticide efficacy of the fungal mixture, viability of T. canis eggs reduced to 51%, and the numbers of third stage cyathostomin larvae reduced to 4%. It is concluded, the capability of a fungal mixture containing an ovicide (Mucor) and a predator species (Duddingtonia) for growing together in a submerged medium containing the FhrAPS offers a very interesting tool for preventing STHs. PMID:23710451

  3. Investigation of ice-assisted sonication on the microstructure and chemical quality of Ganoderma lucidum spores.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ding; Chang, Ming-Wei; Li, Jing-Song; Suen, William; Huang, Jie

    2014-11-01

    Ganoderma lucidum spores (GLS) are well known for disease treatment and vitality enhancement, and have been shown to contain a variety of bioactive components, such as polysaccharides and triterpenes. However, the resilient bilayer sporoderm structure of GLS restricts the release of bioactive components and limits its complete pharmacological effects. The current study was aimed to improve the quality of GLS by means of a customized sonication technique, particularly, the effect of sonication processing parameters on GLS-breaking efficiencies was investigated. Significant morphological changes, such as cracked, fractured, and disintegrated GLS were observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after sonication treatment. The performance for breaking GLS sporoderm was obtained at ultrasonic power density of 23.7 W/cm(2) , duty cycle 100%, and 90-min processing time. Through the combination of sonication in an ice bath, sporoderm breaking efficiency can be further increased from 45% to almost 75%. FTIR analysis revealed an increase in bioactive components of polysaccharide, protein, and fatty acid from the sonication processed GLS when compared to ground spores available commercially. The current results indicated that the ice bath combined sonication method is more effective in delivering GLS ingredients and could be an economic technique for the production of high-quality broken sporoderm GLS.

  4. Dual Beam FIB for Imaging, Nano-Sectioning and Sample Preparation of Spores: Initial Results.

    SciTech Connect

    Wall, M A; Fluss, M J; Schaldach, C

    2004-04-26

    Results from the first use of Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technology to section Bacillus spores at LLNL in a dual-beam (electron and ion) instrument is presented and discussed. With the use of a dual-beam instrument, high resolution imaging of single spores using low voltage scanning electron microscopy followed by FIB sectioning, SEM imaging of internal structure of the same spore is demonstrated to be possible. Additionally, FIB is shown to be able to precisely micro-machine spores thus potentially facilitating micro-scale experiments on single spores.

  5. Activity of bleach, ethanol and two commercial disinfectants against spores of Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Carly N; Dicristina, Jennifer A; Lindsay, David S

    2006-03-31

    Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a small protist parasite in the phylum Microspora. Hosts are infected by ingestion or inhalation of spores passed in the urine or feces. Infection with E. cuniculi is usually asymptomatic, except in young or immunocompromised hosts. This study examined the effects of various disinfectants on in vitro infectivity of E. cuniculi spores. Spores of E. cuniculi were exposed to several dilutions of commercial bleach, 70% ethanol and dilutions of commercial disinfectants HiTor and Roccal for 10 min and then loaded onto human fibroblast cells (Hs68 cells). Ten minutes of exposure to these disinfectants was lethal to E. cuniculi spores. Additional exposure time studies were done using dilutions of bleach at 0.1, 1 and 10%, and 70% ethanol. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 1 or 10% bleach for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Growth of E. cuniculi was observed in Hs68 cells inoculated with spores treated with 0.1% bleach for 30s or 1, 3 and 5 min, but not with spores treated for 7 min or longer. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 70% ethanol for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Spores of E. cuniculi are more sensitive to disinfectants than are coccidial oocysts and other parasite cysts. The relatively short contact time needed to kill spores indicates that disinfection of animal housing may be a viable means to reduce exposure of animals to E. cuniculi spores. PMID:16368193

  6. Arabitol and mannitol as tracers for the quantification of airborne fungal spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Heidi; Claeys, Magda; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Schueller, Elisabeth; Weinke, Gert; Berger, Anna; Puxbaum, Hans

    Fungal spores constitute a sizeable fraction of coarse organic carbon (OC) in the atmospheric aerosol. In order to avoid tedious spore count methods, tracers for quantifying the spore-OC in atmospheric aerosol are sought. Arabitol and mannitol have been proposed as such tracers, since no other emission sources for these compounds have been reported. By parallel investigations of spore counts and tracer determinations from PM 10 filter samples we could derive quantitative relationships between the amounts of tracer compounds and the numbers of spores in the atmosphere for different sites in the area of Vienna. We obtained over all average relationships of 1.2 pg arabitol spore -1, with a range of 0.8-1.8, and 1.7 pg mannitol spore -1, with a range of 1.2-2.4, with a clear site dependence. Thus, using these conversion factors from spore counts to spore-OC and spore-mass, along with analytical data for arabitol or mannitol in filter samples, the contribution of fungal spores to the OC and to the mass balance of atmospheric aerosol particles can be estimated.

  7. Activity of bleach, ethanol and two commercial disinfectants against spores of Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Carly N; Dicristina, Jennifer A; Lindsay, David S

    2006-03-31

    Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a small protist parasite in the phylum Microspora. Hosts are infected by ingestion or inhalation of spores passed in the urine or feces. Infection with E. cuniculi is usually asymptomatic, except in young or immunocompromised hosts. This study examined the effects of various disinfectants on in vitro infectivity of E. cuniculi spores. Spores of E. cuniculi were exposed to several dilutions of commercial bleach, 70% ethanol and dilutions of commercial disinfectants HiTor and Roccal for 10 min and then loaded onto human fibroblast cells (Hs68 cells). Ten minutes of exposure to these disinfectants was lethal to E. cuniculi spores. Additional exposure time studies were done using dilutions of bleach at 0.1, 1 and 10%, and 70% ethanol. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 1 or 10% bleach for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Growth of E. cuniculi was observed in Hs68 cells inoculated with spores treated with 0.1% bleach for 30s or 1, 3 and 5 min, but not with spores treated for 7 min or longer. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 70% ethanol for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Spores of E. cuniculi are more sensitive to disinfectants than are coccidial oocysts and other parasite cysts. The relatively short contact time needed to kill spores indicates that disinfection of animal housing may be a viable means to reduce exposure of animals to E. cuniculi spores.

  8. Spore ornamentation of Haplosporidium pickfordi Barrow, 1961 (Haplosporidia), a parasite of freshwater snails in Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Burreson, E M

    2001-01-01

    Spore ornamentation is increasingly recognized as a key character for species differentiation and genus assignment in the phylum Haplosporidia. Unfortunately, spore ornamentation is known for only a small number of described species so it is difficult to assign most species to genera with any confidence. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the presence and morphology of spore ornamentation of Haplosporidium pickfordi collected from the digestive gland of the snail Physella parkeri in Douglas Lake, Michigan. Spores possess filaments that are derived from the spore wall and originate from two separate areas at the posterior end of the spore. When spores are first isolated from host tissue, filaments are fused into a sheet that wraps around the spore, passing under the opercular lid. These filaments gradually unravel when spores are held in water and after about 14 d most filaments project freely from the posterior end of the spore. The number of filaments could not be determined with certainty, but appears to be approximately nine. Filaments are 100 nm in diam. and up to 50 microm in length. The presence of spore wall-derived filaments confirms the placement of the parasite in the genus Haplosporidium.

  9. Explosively launched spores of ascomycete fungi have drag-minimizing shapes.

    PubMed

    Roper, Marcus; Pepper, Rachel E; Brenner, Michael P; Pringle, Anne

    2008-12-30

    The forcibly launched spores of ascomycete fungi must eject through several millimeters of nearly still air surrounding fruiting bodies to reach dispersive air flows. Because of their microscopic size, spores experience great fluid drag, and although this drag can aid transport by slowing sedimentation out of dispersive air flows, it also causes spores to decelerate rapidly after launch. We hypothesize that spores are shaped to maximize their range in the nearly still air surrounding fruiting bodies. To test this hypothesis we numerically calculate optimal spore shapes-shapes of minimum drag for prescribed volumes-and compare these shapes with real spore shapes taken from a phylogeny of >100 species. Our analysis shows that spores are constrained to remain within 1% of the minimum possible drag for their size. From the spore shapes we predict the speed of spore launch, and confirm this prediction through high-speed imaging of ejection in Neurospora tetrasperma. By reconstructing the evolutionary history of spore shapes within a single ascomycete family we measure the relative contributions of drag minimization and other shape determinants to spore shape evolution. Our study uses biomechanical optimization as an organizing principle for explaining shape in a mega-diverse group of species and provides a framework for future measurements of the forces of selection toward physical optima.

  10. Genetic Factors and Host Traits Predict Spore Morphology for a Butterfly Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Sander, Sarah E.; Altizer, Sonia; de Roode, Jacobus C.; Davis, Andrew K.

    2013-01-01

    Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) throughout the world are commonly infected by the specialist pathogen Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). This protozoan is transmitted when larvae ingest infectious stages (spores) scattered onto host plant leaves by infected adults. Parasites replicate internally during larval and pupal stages, and adult monarchs emerge covered with millions of dormant spores on the outsides of their bodies. Across multiple monarch populations, OE varies in prevalence and virulence. Here, we examined geographic and genetic variation in OE spore morphology using clonal parasite lineages derived from each of four host populations (eastern and western North America, South Florida and Hawaii). Spores were harvested from experimentally inoculated, captive-reared adult monarchs. Using light microscopy and digital image analysis, we measured the size, shape and color of 30 replicate spores per host. Analyses examined predictors of spore morphology, including parasite source population and clone, parasite load, and the following host traits: family line, sex, wing area, and wing color (orange and black pigmentation). Results showed significant differences in spore size and shape among parasite clones, suggesting genetic determinants of morphological variation. Spore size also increased with monarch wing size, and monarchs with larger and darker orange wings tended to have darker colored spores, consistent with the idea that parasite development depends on variation in host quality and resources. We found no evidence for effects of source population on variation in spore morphology. Collectively, these results provide support for heritable variation in spore morphology and a role for host traits in affecting parasite development. PMID:26462429

  11. Spores of Ascosphaera apis contained in wax foundation can infect honeybee brood.

    PubMed

    Flores, J M; Spivak, M; Gutiérrez, I

    2005-06-15

    Chalkbrood disease in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is caused by an infection with Ascosphaera apis. Disease expression requires the consumption of fungal spores and a predisposing condition in the susceptible brood. A. apis spores within sheets of wax foundation could be a source of inoculum leading to chalkbrood, but it is also possible that these spores remain confined in the wax and do not contribute to disease. We have resolved this topic by chilling susceptible brood within wax combs built on contaminated foundation (using treatments of spores from 1 mummy and spores from 10 mummies) versus uncontaminated foundation. We found significantly higher levels of chalkbrood in brood exposed to the higher dosage. Our results demonstrate that foundation wax contaminated with spores of A. apis spores may be a source of chalkbrood in honeybee colonies.

  12. In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores

    SciTech Connect

    Plomp, M; Leighton, T; Wheeler, K; Malkin, A

    2006-11-14

    Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. AFM analysis of the nascent surface of the emerging germ cell revealed a porous network of peptidoglycan fibers. The results are consistent with a honeycomb model structure for synthetic peptidoglycan oligomers determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. AFM is a promising experimental tool for investigating the morphogenesis of spore germination and cell wall peptidoglycan structure.

  13. In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores

    SciTech Connect

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    2006-12-11

    Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. AFM analysis of the nascent surface of the emerging germ cell revealed a porous network of peptidoglycan fibers. The results are consistent with a honeycomb model structure for synthetic peptidoglycan oligomers determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. AFM is a promising experimental tool for investigating the morphogenesis of spore germination and cell wall peptidoglycan structure.

  14. Analysis of Yeast Sporulation Efficiency, Spore Viability, and Meiotic Recombination on Solid Medium.

    PubMed

    Börner, G Valentin; Cha, Rita S

    2015-11-01

    Under conditions of nutrient deprivation, yeast cells initiate a differentiation program in which meiosis is induced and spores are formed. During meiosis, one round of genome duplication is followed by two rounds of chromosome segregation (meiosis I and meiosis II) to generate four haploid nuclei. Meiotic recombination occurs during prophase I. During sporogenesis, each nucleus becomes surrounded by an individual spore wall, and all four haploid spores become contained as a tetrad within an ascus. Important insights into the meiotic function(s) of a gene of interest can be gained by observing the effects of gene mutations on spore viability and viability patterns among tetrads. Moreover, recombination frequencies among viable spores can reveal potential involvement of the gene during meiotic exchange between homologous chromosomes. Here, we describe methods for inducing spore formation on solid medium, determining spore viability, and measuring, via tetrad analysis, frequencies of crossing over and gene conversion as indicators of meiotic chromosome exchange. PMID:26527763

  15. Susceptibilities of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis spores to liquid biocides.

    PubMed

    Hilgren, J; Swanson, K M J; Diez-Gonzalez, F; Cords, B

    2009-02-01

    The susceptibility of spores of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis to treatment with hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, a peroxy-fatty acid mixture, sodium hypochlorite, and acidified sodium chlorite was investigated. Results indicated that B. cereus spores may be reasonable predictors of B. anthracis spore inactivation by peroxyacetic acid-based biocides. However, B. cereus was not a reliable predictor of B. anthracis inactivation by the other biocides. In studies comparing B. cereus and B. subtilis, B. cereus spores were more resistant (by 1.5 to 2.5 log CFU) than B. subtilis spores to peroxyacetic acid, the peroxy-fatty acid mixture, and acidified sodium chlorite. Conversely, B. subtilis spores were more resistant than B. cereus spores to hydrogen peroxide. These findings indicated the relevance of side-by-side testing of target organisms and potential surrogates against categories of biocides to determine whether both have similar properties and to validate the use of the surrogate microorganisms.

  16. BzpF is a CREB-like transcription factor that regulates spore maturation and stability in Dictyostelium

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eryong; Talukder, Shaheynoor; Hughes, Timothy R.; Curk, Tomaz; Zupan, Blaz; Shaulsky, Gad; Katoh-Kurasawa, Mariko

    2011-01-01

    The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is a highly conserved transcription factor that integrates signaling through the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) in many eukaryotes. PKA plays a critical role in Dictyostelium development but no CREB homologue has been identified in this system. Here we show that Dictyostelium utilizes a CREB-like protein, BzpF, to integrate PKA signaling during late development. bzpF– mutants produce compromised spores, which are extremely unstable and germination defective. Previously, we have found that BzpF binds the canonical CRE motif in vitro. In this paper, we determined the DNA binding specificity of BzpF using protein binding microarray (PBM) and showed that the motif with the highest specificity is a CRE-like sequence. BzpF is necessary to activate the transcription of at least 15 PKA-regulated, late-developmental target genes whose promoters contain BzpF binding motifs. BzpF is sufficient to activate two of these genes. The comparison of RNA sequencing data between wild type and bzpF– mutant revealed that the mutant fails to express 205 genes, many of which encode cellulose-binding and sugar-binding proteins. We propose that BzpF is a CREB-like transcription factor that regulates spore maturation and stability in a PKA-related manner. PMID:21810415

  17. Schizosaccharomyces pombe Sst4p, a Conserved Vps27/Hrs Homolog, Functions Downstream of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Pik3p To Mediate Proper Spore Formation▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Onishi, Masayuki; Iida, Michihiro; Koga, Takako; Yamada, Sadayuki; Hirata, Aiko; Iwaki, Tomoko; Takegawa, Kaoru; Fukui, Yasuhisa; Tachikawa, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    Sporulation of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a developmental process that generates gametes and that includes the formation of spore envelope precursors called the forespore membranes. Assembly and development of forespore membranes require vesicular trafficking from other intracellular membrane compartments. We have shown that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns 3-kinase) is required for efficient and proper development of forespore membranes. The role of a FYVE domain protein, Sst4p, a homolog of Vps27p/Hrs, as a downstream factor for PtdIns 3-kinase in sporulation was investigated. sst4Δ asci formed spores with oval-shaped morphology and with reduced viability compared to that of the wild-type spores. The extension of forespore membranes was inefficient, and bubble-like structures emerged from the leading edges of the forespore membranes. Sst4p localization was examined using fluorescent protein fusions and was found to be adjacent to the forespore membranes during sporulation. The localization and function of Sst4p were dependent on its FYVE domain and on PtdIns 3-kinase. Sst4p colocalized and interacted with Hse1p, a homolog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hse1p and of mammalian STAM. Mutations in all three UIM domains of the Sst4p/Hse1p complex resulted in formation of spores with abnormal morphology. These results suggest that Sst4p is a downstream factor of PtdIns 3-kinase and functions in forespore membrane formation. PMID:17951524

  18. Fed-batch production of gluconic acid by terpene-treated Aspergillus niger spores.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Sumitra; Fontanille, Pierre; Pandey, Ashok; Larroche, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Aspergillus niger spores were used as catalyst in the bioconversion of glucose to gluconic acid. Spores produced by solid-state fermentation were treated with 15 different terpenes including monoterpenes and monoterpenoids to permeabilize and inhibit spore germination. It was found that spore membrane permeability is significantly increased by treatment with terpenoids when compared to monoterpenes. Best results were obtained with citral and isonovalal. Studies were carried out to optimize spores concentration (10(7)-10(10) spores/mL), terpene concentrations in the bioconversion medium and time of exposure (1-18 h) needed for permeabilization of spores. Fed-batch production of gluconate was done in a bioreactor with the best conditions [10(9) spores/mL of freeze-thawed spores treated with citral (3% v/v) for 5 h] followed by sequential additions of glucose powder and pH-regulated with a solution containing 2 mol/L of either NaOH or KOH. Bioconversion performance of the spore enzyme was compared with the commercial glucose oxidase at 50, 60, and 70 degrees C. Results showed that the spore enzyme was comparatively stable at 60 degrees C. It was also found that the spores could be reutilized for more than 14 cycles with almost similar reaction rate. Similar biocatalytic activity was rendered by spores even after its storage of 1 year at -20 degrees C. This study provided an experimental evidence of the significant catalytic role played by A. niger spore in bioconversion of glucose to gluconic acid with high yield and stability, giving protection to glucose oxidase.

  19. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating. PMID:24375142

  20. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating.

  1. Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 with high temperature.

    PubMed

    Rao, Lei; Xu, Zhenzhen; Wang, Yongtao; Zhao, Feng; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2015-07-16

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation of the Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 combined with high temperature (HPCD+HT) and to analyze the clumping effect of the spores on their HPCD+HT resistance. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa and HPCD at 6.5-25 MPa, and 82 °C, 86 °C, and 91 °C for 0-120 min. The spores were effectively inactivated by HPCD+HT, but a protective effect on the spores was also found, which was closely correlated to the pressure, temperature and time. The spores treated by HPCD+HT at 6.5 and 10 MPa exhibited a two-stage inactivation curve of shoulder and log-linear regions whereas the spores at 15-25 MPa exhibited a three-stage inactivation curve of shoulder, log-linear and tailing regions, and these curves were well fitted to the Geeraerd model. Approximately 90% of pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA) was released after HPCD+HT and the 90% DPA release time depend on the pressure and temperature. Moreover, the spore clumping in suspensions was examined by dynamic light scattering. The particle size of the spore suspensions increased with the increase of pressure, temperature and time, indicating the spore clumping. 0.1% Tween 80 as a surfactant inhibited the spore clumping and increased the inactivation ratio of the spores by HPCD+HT. These results indicated that the spore clumping enhanced the spores' resistance to HPCD+HT and induced a protective effect.

  2. Transcriptome analysis of Bacillus thuringiensis spore life, germination and cell outgrowth in a vegetable-based food model.

    PubMed

    Bassi, Daniela; Colla, Francesca; Gazzola, Simona; Puglisi, Edoardo; Delledonne, Massimo; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro

    2016-05-01

    Toxigenic species belonging to Bacillus cereus sensu lato, including Bacillus thuringiensis, cause foodborne outbreaks thanks to their capacity to survive as spores and to grow in food matrixes. The goal of this work was to assess by means of a genome-wide transcriptional assay, in the food isolate B. thuringiensis UC10070, the gene expression behind the process of spore germination and consequent outgrowth in a vegetable-based food model. Scanning electron microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray microanalysis were applied to select the key steps of B. thuringiensis UC10070 cell cycle to be analyzed with DNA-microarrays. At only 40 min from heat activation, germination started rapidly and in less than two hours spores transformed in active growing cells. A total of 1646 genes were found to be differentially expressed and modulated during the entire B. cereus life cycle in the food model, with most of the significant genes belonging to transport, transcriptional regulation and protein synthesis, cell wall and motility and DNA repair groups. Gene expression studies revealed that toxin-coding genes nheC, cytK and hblC were found to be expressed in vegetative cells growing in the food model.

  3. Self-inhibition of spore germination via reactive oxygen in the fungus Cladosporium cucumerinum, causal agent of cucurbit scab

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cladosporium cucumerinum spore germination in vitro depended on spore suspension density. Different fungal isolates displayed maximum germination at different spore concentrations. For one isolate, maximum spore density was observed at both 18 and 25 °C, although germination percentage increased sli...

  4. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity), phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling. PMID:21092338

  5. Distribution of sterols in the fungi. I - Fungal spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weete, J. D.; Laseter, J. L.

    1974-01-01

    Mass spectrometry was used to examine freely extractable sterols from spores of several species of fungi. Ergosterol was the most common sterol produced by any individual species, but it was completely absent from two species belonging to apparently distantly related groups of fungi: the aquatic Phycomycetes and the rust fungi. This fact could have taxonomic or phylogenetic implications. The use of glass capillary columns in the resolution of the sterols is shown to eliminate some of the difficulty inherent in this process.

  6. Visualizing Bacillus subtilis During Vegetative Growth and Spore Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xindan; Montero Llopis, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis is the most commonly used Gram-positive bacterium to study cellular processes because of its genetic tractability. In addition, during nutrient limitation, B. subtilis undergoes the development process of spore formation, which is among the simplest examples of cellular differentiation. Many aspects of these processes have benefited from fluorescence microscopy. Here, we describe basic wide-field fluorescence microscopy techniques to visualize B. subtilis during vegetative growth, and the developmental process of sporulation. PMID:27283315

  7. Remediating office environments of spore-forming bacteria.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Luke; Smith, Myron L; Begin, Melissa; Fraser, Bruce; Miller, J David

    2010-10-01

    This study examines decontamination processes that were developed on an emergency basis to eliminate Bacillus anthracis spores from deliberately contaminated buildings. The recommended steps include a survey with sampling, the removal of sensitive items, and HEPA vacuuming of all readily available surfaces, followed by biocide treatment and subsequent analyses for viable cells. There are several analytical challenges posed by this approach. These include the ability to discriminate the added strain from naturally occurring resident microbes, determining detection limits for anthrax spores in settled dusts, and detecting viable but nonculturable spores. There are also logistical issues relating to the various skill sets required from investigation to reconstruction. In the present study, a model office was constructed, and a strain of Bacillus pumilus was isolated from the carpet and reintroduced to the office in excess. The abundance of the B. pumilus strain was monitored in settled dust using a strain-specific, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR)-based detection method following repeated HEPA vacuum cleanings. The QPCR method had a limit of detection corresponding to < or = 10(2) colony forming units per gram of settled dust. QPCR results were compared with measures of dust recoveries and fungal glucan and endotoxin levels in the dust samples. The largest fraction (ca. 81%) of added spores was recovered during the first HEPA cleaning. Subsequent cleanings resulted in incrementally lower recoveries, with removal of 93% of the initial inoculum by the third HEPA vacuuming. HEPA vacuuming prior to removal of items such as office contents and furnishings would result in much less resuspension of dust and limiting the extent of contamination. This approach also ensures that residual contaminants are as low as can be reasonably achieved.

  8. Modelling the heat stress and the recovery of bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Mafart, P; Leguérinel, I

    1997-07-22

    After heat treatment, the temperature incubation and the medium composition, (pH and sodium chloride content) influence the capacity of injured spores to repair heat damage. The concept of heat resistance D- (decimal reduction time) and z-values (temperature increase which results in a ten fold reduction of the D value) is not sufficient and the ratio of spore recovery after incubation should be considered in calculations used in thermal processing of food. This paper aims to derive a model describing the recovery of injured spores as a function of both the heat treatment intensity and the environmental conditions. According to data from numerous investigators, when spores are incubated in unfavorable conditions, the ratio of cell recovery and the apparent D-value are reduced. Moreover the ratio of the apparent D-value and the estimated in optimal incubation D-value is constant and independent of the heat treatment conditions. Beyond these observations it is shown that the ratio of cell recovery with respect to the heat treatment F-value (exposure time, in minutes, at 121.1 degrees C which results in the same destruction ratio that the considered heat treatment does) is linear and can be quantified by using two factors independent of the heat treatment: the gamma-factor reflects the degree of precariousness due to the heat stress while the epsilon-factor reflects more intrinsically the incubation conditions without previous heat treatment. The gamma-factor varies as a function of the incubation temperature according to an Arrhenius law.

  9. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores. PMID:22352747

  10. Bacteria and Spores - Skylab Student Experiment ED-31

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Pictures 1 and 2 show samples of Bacillus Subtillus grown during the first performance of Robert Staehle's experiment (ED-31) aboard Skylab. Pictures 3 and 4 show colonies of the same bacteria that developed during the second performance of the experiment. The experiment ED-31 was proposed by Robert L. Staehle of Rochester, New York to determine the effect of the Skylab environment (particularly weightlessness) on the survival, growth rates, and mutations of certain bacteria and spores.

  11. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores.

  12. Water absorption in a refractive index model for bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegrist, K. M.; Thrush, E.; Airola, M.; Carr, A. K.; Limsui, D. M.; Boggs, N. T.; Thomas, M. E.; Carter, C. C.

    2009-05-01

    The complexity of biological agents can make it difficult to identify the important factors impacting scattering characteristics among variables such as size, shape, internal structure and biochemical composition, particle aggregation, and sample additives. This difficulty is exacerbated by the environmentally interactive nature of biological organisms. In particular, bacterial spores equilibrate with environmental humidity by absorption/desorption of water which can affect both the complex refractive index and the size/shape distributions of particles - two factors upon which scattering characteristics depend critically. Therefore accurate analysis of experimental data for determination of refractive index must take account of particle water content. First, spectral transmission measurements to determine visible refractive index done on suspensions of bacterial spores must account for water (or other solvent) uptake. Second, realistic calculations of aerosol scattering cross sections should consider effects of atmospheric humidity on particle water content, size and shape. In this work we demonstrate a method for determining refractive index of bacterial spores bacillus atropheus (BG), bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAs) which accounts for these effects. Visible index is found from transmission measurements on aqueous and DMSO suspensions of particles, using an anomalous diffraction approximation. A simplified version of the anomalous diffraction theory is used to eliminate the need for knowledge of particle size. Results using this approach indicate the technique can be useful in determining the visible refractive index of particles when size and shape distributions are not well known but fall within the region of validity of anomalous dispersion theory.

  13. Quantum dot incorporated Bacillus spore as nanosensor for viral infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinya; Zhou, Qian; Shen, Zhongfeng; Li, Zheng; Fei, Ruihua; Ji, Eoon Hye; Hu, Shen; Hu, Yonggang

    2015-12-15

    In this paper, we report a high-throughput biological method to prepare spore-based monodisperse microparticles (SMMs) and then form the nanocomposites of CdTe quantum dot (QD)-loaded SMMs by utilizing the endogenous functional groups from Bacillus spores. The SMMs and QD-incorporated spore microspheres (QDSMs) were characterized by using transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, zeta potential analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, potentiometric titrations, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy. The thermodynamics of QD/SMM interaction and antigen/QDSM interaction was also investigated by isothermal titration microcalorimetry (ITC). Fluorescent QDSMs coded either with a single luminescence color or with multiple colors of controlled emission intensity ratios were obtained. Green QDSMs were used as a model system to detect porcine parvovirus antibody in swine sera via flow cytometry, and the results demonstrated a great potential of QDSMs in high-throughput immunoassays. Due to the advantages such as simplicity, low cost, high throughput and eco-friendliness, our developed platform may find wide applications in disease detection, food safety evaluation and environmental assessment.

  14. Limited period of graviresponsiveness in germinating spores of Ceratopteris richardii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, E. S.; Roux, S. J.

    1994-01-01

    Rhizoids of the fern Ceratopteris richardii Brogn. usually emerge 40 h after germination is initiated by light, and more than 90% of them emerge growing in a downward direction. However, when the spores are germinated on a clinostat, the emerging rhizoids show no preferential orientation. This indicates that under normal 1 g conditions the initial growth direction of rhizoids can be oriented by gravity. If the orientation of the spores is changed 3 h or less after the start of germination, the growth direction of most emerging rhizoids becomes downward relative to the new orientation. However, if the orientation of the spores is changed by 180 degrees 8 h or more after germination is initiated by light, most rhizoids emerge growing upward; i.e., the same direction as if there had been no orientation change. Emerged rhizoids also do not change their direction of growth if their orientation is changed. These results indicate that the growth direction of emerging rhizoids is set by gravity prior to actual emergence, and that the time of full orientation responsiveness is limited to a period ranging from the initiation of germination to about 3-4 h after the start of germination. There is a gravity-oriented nuclear movement beginning at about 13 h after germination, and this movement appears to predict the initial growth direction of rhizoids.

  15. Kinetics of Death of Bacterial Spores at Elevated Temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Daniel I-C.; Scharer, Jeno; Humphrey, Arthur E.

    1964-01-01

    The kinetics of death of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores (FS 7954) suspended in phosphate buffer (pH 7) were studied over a temperature range of 127.2 to 143.8 C and exposure times of 0.203 to 4.150 sec. These short exposure were achieved by use of a tubular flow reactor in which a suspension of spores was injected into a hot flowing stream at the entrance of the reactor. Thermal equilibria of the suspension with the hot stream was achieved within 0.0006 sec. After flow through a fixed length of reactor, the stream containing the spores was cooled by flash vaporization and then assayed for viable count. The death rate data were fitted by a logarithmic expression. However, logarithmic death rate was only approximated in the tail or high-kill regions of exposure. Death rate constants obtained from this portion of the data were found to correlate by Arrhenius as well as Absolute Reaction Rate Theory relationships. Thermal-death time curves were found to correlate the data rather poorly. The activation energy and frequency constant for an Arrhenius relationship fit of the data were found to be 83.6 kcal/gmole and 1047.2 min-1, respectively. The standard enthalpy and entropy changes for an Absolute Reaction Rate Theory relationship fit of the data were found to be 84.4 kcal/gmole and 157 cal/gmole-K, respectively. PMID:14215978

  16. Mutagenesis of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to simulated space environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munakata, N.; Natsume, T.; Takahashi, K.; Hieda, K.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.

    Bacterial spores can endure in a variety of extreme earthly environments. However, some conditions encountered during the space flight could be detrimental to DNA in the spore, delimiting the possibility of transpermia. We investigate the genetic consequences of the exposure to space environments in a series of preflight simulation project of EXPOSE. Using Bacillus subtilis spores of repair-proficient HA101 and repair-deficient TKJ6312 strains, the mutations conferring resistance to rifampicin were detected, isolated and sequenced. Most of the mutations were located in a N-terminal region of the rpoB gene encoding RNA polymerase beta-subunit. Among several potentially mutagenic factors, high vacuum, UV radiation, heat, and accelerated heavy ions induced mutations with varying efficiencies. A majority of mutations induced by vacuum exposure carried a tandem double-base change (CA to TT) at a unique sequence context of TCAGC. Results indicate that the vacuum and high temperature may act synergistically for the induction of mutations.

  17. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

  18. Arrhenius reconsidered: astrophysical jets and the spread of spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Malkah I.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2015-09-01

    In 1871, Lord Kelvin suggested that the fossil record could be an account of bacterial arrivals on comets. In 1903, Svante Arrhenius suggested that spores could be transported on stellar winds without comets. In 1984, Sir Fred Hoyle claimed to see the infrared signature of vast clouds of dried bacteria and diatoms. In 2012, the Polonnaruwa carbonaceous chondrite revealed fossilized diatoms apparently living on a comet. However, Arrhenius' spores were thought to perish in the long transit between stars. Those calculations, however, assume that maximum velocities are limited by solar winds to ~5 km/s. Herbig-Haro objects and T-Tauri stars, however, are young stars with jets of several 100 km/s that might provide the necessary propulsion. The central engine of bipolar astrophysical jets is not presently understood, but we argue it is a kinetic plasma instability of a charged central magnetic body. We show how to make a bipolar jet in a belljar. The instability is non-linear, and thus very robust to scaling laws that map from microquasars to active galactic nuclei. We scale up to stellar sizes and recalculate the viability/transit-time for spores carried by supersonic jets, to show the viability of the Arrhenius mechanism.

  19. Response of Bacillus Spores to Combinations of Germinative Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, Harold F.; Foster, J. W.

    1966-01-01

    Foerster, Harold F. (University of Texas, Austin), and J. W. Foster. Response of Bacillus spores to combinations of germinative compounds. J. Bacteriol. 91:1168–1177. 1966.—Spores of 21 strains of Bacillus megaterium and 25 other strains representing 13 species of Bacillus were produced under standardized conditions. The germination of a washed spore suspension of each strain was measured as a response to various combinations of 30 different germinative compounds. The strains were first typed with respect to their response to “primary” germination compounds, i.e., glucose, l-alanine, inosine, and l-alanine-inosine mixture, and also Na+ and K+. The second stage was the determination of the response to various organic and inorganic anions and cations, each strain being supplied with the “primary” compounds best for it. Marked differences in germination patterns were observed among species and strains of the same species. No relation to established taxonomic lines was evident. A nonspecific requirement for ions was found for all strains, but not all ions were effective. A striking degree of interchangeability of germinative chemicals was found. “Fractional germination” was very common. A mixture of l-alanine and inosine and various ions was the best germinative solution for most strains. Some anomalous germination patterns were encountered. Those studied included a strain whose cells lysed spontaneously upon germination and other strains for which l-leucine had striking germinative powers. PMID:4956331

  20. Long-term survival of bacterial spores in space.

    PubMed

    Horneck, G; Bucker, H; Reitz, G

    1994-10-01

    On board of the NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), spores of Bacillus subtilis in monolayers (10(6)/sample) or multilayers (10(8)/sample) were exposed to the space environment for nearly six years and their survival was analyzed after retrieval. The response to space parameters, such as vacuum (10(-6) Pa), solar electromagnetic radiation up to the highly energetic vacuum-ultraviolet range (10(9) J/m2) and/or cosmic radiation (4.8 Gy), was studied and compared to the results of a simultaneously running ground control experiment. If shielded against solar ultraviolet (UV)-radiation, up to 80 % of spores in multilayers survive in space. Solar UV-radiation, being the most deleterious parameter of space, reduces survival by 4 orders of magnitude or more. However, up to 10(4) viable spores were still recovered, even in completely unprotected samples. Substances, such as glucose or buffer salts serve as chemical protectants. With this 6 year study in space, experimental data are provided to the discussion on the likelihood of "Panspermia".

  1. Raman spectroscopic study of Lactarius spores (Russulales, Fungi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Gussem, Kris; Vandenabeele, Peter; Verbeken, Annemieke; Moens, Luc

    2005-10-01

    Fungi are important organisms in ecosystems, in industrial and pharmaceutical production and are valuable food sources as well. Classical identification is often time-consuming and specialistic. In this study, Raman spectroscopy is applied to the analysis of fungal spores of Lactarius, an economically and ecologically important genus of Basidiomycota. Raman spectra of spores of Lactarius controversus Pers.: Fr., Lactarius lacunarum (Romagn.) ex Hora, Lactarius quieticolor Romagn. and Lactarius quietus (Fr.: Fr.) Fr. are reported for the first time. The spectra of these species show large similarity. These spectra are studied and compared with the Raman spectra of reference substances known to occur in macrofungi, including saccharides, lipids and some minor compounds that may serve as specific biomarkers (adenine, ergosterol and glycine). Most Raman bands could be attributed to specific components. In agreement with the biological role of fungal spores, high amounts of lipids were observed, the main fatty acid being oleate. In addition to different types of lipids and phospholipids, the polysaccharides chitin and amylopectin could be detected as well. The presence of trehalose is not equivocally shown, due to overlapping bands. Raman band positions are reported for the observed bands of the different species and reference products.

  2. Nisin Resistance in Clostridium botulinum Spores and Vegetative Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mazzotta, A. S.; Crandall, A. D.; Montville, T. J.

    1997-01-01

    The frequencies at which vegetative cells and spores of Clostridium botulinum strains 56A, 62A, 17409A, 25763A, 213B, B-aphis, and 169B formed colonies on agar media containing 0, 10(sup2), 10(sup3), and 10(sup4) IU of nisin per ml at 30(deg)C were determined. Strain 56A had the highest frequencies of nisin resistance, while strains 62A, 169B, and B-aphis had the lowest. For most strains, spores were more resistant than vegetative cells. One exposure to nisin was sufficient to generate stable nisin-resistant isolates in some strains. Stepwise exposure to increasing concentrations of nisin generated stable resistant isolates from all strains. Spores produced from nisin-resistant isolates maintained their nisin resistance. The frequency of spontaneous nisin resistance was reduced considerably by lowering the pH of the media and adding 3% NaCl. Nisin-resistant isolates of strains 56A and 169B also had increased resistance to pediocin PA1, bavaricin MN, plantaricin BN, and leuconocin S. PMID:16535641

  3. Quantum dot incorporated Bacillus spore as nanosensor for viral infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinya; Zhou, Qian; Shen, Zhongfeng; Li, Zheng; Fei, Ruihua; Ji, Eoon Hye; Hu, Shen; Hu, Yonggang

    2015-12-15

    In this paper, we report a high-throughput biological method to prepare spore-based monodisperse microparticles (SMMs) and then form the nanocomposites of CdTe quantum dot (QD)-loaded SMMs by utilizing the endogenous functional groups from Bacillus spores. The SMMs and QD-incorporated spore microspheres (QDSMs) were characterized by using transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, zeta potential analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, potentiometric titrations, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy. The thermodynamics of QD/SMM interaction and antigen/QDSM interaction was also investigated by isothermal titration microcalorimetry (ITC). Fluorescent QDSMs coded either with a single luminescence color or with multiple colors of controlled emission intensity ratios were obtained. Green QDSMs were used as a model system to detect porcine parvovirus antibody in swine sera via flow cytometry, and the results demonstrated a great potential of QDSMs in high-throughput immunoassays. Due to the advantages such as simplicity, low cost, high throughput and eco-friendliness, our developed platform may find wide applications in disease detection, food safety evaluation and environmental assessment. PMID:26190468

  4. Fungal spores overwhelm biogenic organic aerosols in a midlatitudinal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunmao; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukuda, Yasuro; Mochida, Michihiro; Iwamoto, Yoko

    2016-06-01

    Both primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) and oxidation products of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) contribute significantly to organic aerosols (OAs) in forested regions. However, little is known about their relative importance in diurnal timescales. Here, we report biomarkers of PBAP and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) for their diurnal variability in a temperate coniferous forest in Wakayama, Japan. Tracers of fungal spores, trehalose, arabitol and mannitol, showed significantly higher levels in nighttime than daytime (p < 0.05), resulting from the nocturnal sporulation under near-saturated relative humidity. On the contrary, BVOC oxidation products showed higher levels in daytime than nighttime, indicating substantial photochemical SOA formation. Using tracer-based methods, we estimated that fungal spores account for 45 % of organic carbon (OC) in nighttime and 22 % in daytime, whereas BVOC oxidation products account for 15 and 19 %, respectively. To our knowledge, we present for the first time highly time-resolved results that fungal spores overwhelmed BVOC oxidation products in contributing to OA especially in nighttime. This study emphasizes the importance of both PBAPs and SOAs in forming forest organic aerosols.

  5. Airborne pollen and spores of León (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-González, Delia; Suarez-Cervera, María; Díaz-González, Tomás; Valencia-Barrera, Rosa María

    1993-06-01

    A qualitative and quantitative analysis of airborne pollen and spores was carried out over 2 years (from September 1987 to August 1989) in the city of León. Slides were prepared daily using a volumetric pollen trap, which was placed on the Faculty of Veterinary Science building (University of León) 12m above ground-level. Fifty-one pollen types were observed; the most important of these were: Cupressaceae during the winter, Pinus and Quercus in spring, and Poaceae, Leguminosae and Chenopodiaceae in the summer. The results also showed the existence of a rich mould spore assemblage in the atmosphere. The group of Amerospores ( Penicillium, Aspergillus and Cladosporium) as well as Dictyospores ( Alternaria) were the most abundant; Puccinia was common in the air in August. Fluctuations in the total pollen and spores m3 of air were compared with meteorological parameters (temperature, relative humidity and rainfall). From the daily sampling of the atmosphere of León, considering the maximum and minimum temperature and duration of rainfall, the start of the pollen grain season was observed generally to coincide with a rise in temperature in the absence of rain.

  6. Fast and Sensitive Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    Volland, Hervé; Dano, Julie; Lamourette, Patricia; Sylvestre, Patricia; Mock, Michèle; Créminon, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is one of the most dangerous potential biological weapons, and it is essential to develop a rapid and simple method to detect B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The immunoassay is a rapid and easy-to-use method for the detection of B. anthracis by means of antibodies directed against surface spore antigens. With this objective in view, we have produced a panel of monoclonal antibodies against B. anthracis and developed colorimetric and electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunoassays. Using Meso Scale Discovery ECL technology, which is based on electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection utilizing a sulfo-Tag label that emits light upon electrochemical stimulation (using a dedicated ECL plate reader, an electrical current is placed across the microplate with electrodes integrated into the bottom of the plate, resulting in a series of electrically induced reactions leading to a luminescent signal), a detection limit ranging between 0.3 × 103 and 103 CFU/ml (i.e., 30 to 100 spores per test), depending on the B. anthracis strain assayed, was achieved. In complex matrices (5 mg/ml of soil or simulated powder), the detection level (without any sample purification or concentration) was never altered more than 3-fold compared with the results obtained in phosphate-buffered saline. PMID:22773632

  7. LITERATURE REVIEW OF BORIC ACID SOLUBILITY DATA

    SciTech Connect

    Crapse, K.; Kyser, E.

    2011-09-22

    A new solvent system is being evaluated for use in the Modular Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU) and in the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF). The new system replaces the current dilute nitric acid strip solution with 0.01 M boric acid. This literature study is performed to determine if there is a potential for boric acid to crystallize in the lines with emphasis on the transfer lines to the Defense Waste Processing Facility. This report focuses on the aqueous phase chemistry of boric acid under conditions relevant to MCU and SWPF. Operating and transfer conditions examined for the purpose of this review include temperatures between 13 C (McLeskey, 2008) and 45 C (Fondeur, 2007) and concentrations from 0 to 3M in nitric acid as well as exposure of small amounts of entrained boric acid in the organic phase to the sodium hydroxide caustic wash stream. Experiments were also conducted to observe any chemical reactions and off-gas generation that could occur when 0.01 M boric acid solution mixes with 3 M nitric acid solution and vice versa. Based on the low concentration (0.01M) of boric acid in the MCU/SWPF strip acid and the moderate operating temperatures (13 C to 45 C), it is unlikely that crystallization of boric acid will occur in the acid strip solution under process or transfer conditions. Mixing experiments of boric and nitric acid show no measurable gas generation (< 1 cc of gas per liter of solution) under similar process conditions.

  8. Spore production of Penicillium roqueforti by solid state fermentation: Stoichiometry, growth and sporulation behavior.

    PubMed

    Desfarges, C; Larroche, C; Gros, J B

    1987-06-01

    The development of Penicillium roqueforti on buckwheat seeds proceeds roughly into four steps, involving a lag phase and three growth phases. First, it appears as a spore germination and external colonization of the grains by the mycelium. Then, mainly external sporulation and internal colonization of the seeds occur and finally internal sporulation takes place. The Stoichiometry of the growth and the sporulation is established. Kinetic experiments performed in a fixed bed reactor show that the growth of the microorganism (biomass production) may be estimated by the protein content of the medium. This growth occurs with a very low mu(max) value close to 0.030 h(-1). The chitin content of the medium is an indicator of the sporulation, just as the metabolic liquor (mainly water) produced during the course of a cultivation. The values of the observed respiratory quotient are close to those predicted by stoichiometry.

  9. The protein composition of reconstituted 30S ribosomal subunits: the effects of single protein omission.

    PubMed

    Buck, M A; Olah, T V; Perrault, A R; Cooperman, B S

    1991-06-01

    Using reverse phase HPLC, we have been able to quantify the protein compositions of reconstituted 30S ribosomal subunits, formed either with the full complement of 30S proteins in the reconstitution mix or with a single protein omitted. We denote particles formed in the latter case as SPORE (single protein omission reconstitution) particles. An important goal in 30S reconstitution studies is the formation of reconstituted subunits having uniform protein composition, preferably corresponding to one copy of each protein per reconstituted particle. Here we describe procedures involving variation of the protein:rRNA ratio that approach this goal. In SPORE particles the omission of one protein often results in the partial loss in uptake of other proteins. We also describe procedures to increase the uptake of such proteins into SPORE particles, thus enhancing the utility of the SPORE approach in defining the role of specific proteins in 30S structure and function. The losses of proteins other than the omitted protein provide a measure of protein:protein interaction within the 30S subunit. Most of these losses are predictable on the basis of other such measures. However, we do find evidence for several long-range protein:protein interactions (S6:S3, S6:S12, S10:S16, and S6:S4) that have not been described previously.

  10. Genetic Diversity and Association Characters of Bacteria Isolated from Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Spore Walls.

    PubMed

    Selvakumar, Gopal; Krishnamoorthy, Ramasamy; Kim, Kiyoon; Sa, Tong-Min

    2016-01-01

    Association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and bacteria has long been studied. However, the factors influencing their association in the natural environment is still unknown. This study aimed to isolate bacteria associated with spore walls of AMF and identify their potential characters for association. Spores collected from coastal reclamation land were differentiated based on their morphology and identified by 18S rDNA sequencing as Funneliformis caledonium, Racocetra alborosea and Funneliformis mosseae. Bacteria associated with AMF spore walls were isolated after treating them with disinfection solution at different time intervals. After 0, 10 and 20 min of spore disinfection, 86, 24 and 10 spore associated bacteria (SAB) were isolated, respectively. BOX-PCR fingerprinting analysis showed that diverse bacterial communities were associated to AMF spores. Bacteria belonging to the same genera could associate with different AMF spores. Gram positive bacteria were more closely associated with AMF spores. Isolated SAB were characterized and tested for spore association characters such as chitinase, protease, cellulase enzymes and exopolysaccharide production (EPS). Among the 120 SAB, 113 SAB were able to show one or more characters for association and seven SAB did not show any association characters. The 16S rDNA sequence of SAB revealed that bacteria belonging to the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bactereiodes were associated with AMF spore walls. PMID:27479250

  11. A natural O-ring optimizes the dispersal of fungal spores.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Joerg A; Seminara, Agnese; Roper, Marcus; Pringle, Anne; Brenner, Michael P

    2013-08-01

    The forcibly ejected spores of ascomycete fungi must penetrate several millimetres of nearly still air surrounding sporocarps to reach dispersive airflows, and escape is facilitated when a spore is launched with large velocity. To launch, the spores of thousands of species are ejected through an apical ring, a small elastic pore. The startling diversity of apical ring and spore shapes and dimensions make them favoured characters for both species descriptions and the subsequent inference of relationships among species. However, the physical constraints shaping this diversity and the adaptive benefits of specific morphologies are not understood. Here, we develop an elastohydrodynamic theory of the spore's ejection through the apical ring and demonstrate that to avoid enormous energy losses during spore ejection, the four principal morphological dimensions of spore and apical ring must cluster within a nonlinear one-dimensional subspace. We test this prediction using morphological data for 45 fungal species from two different classes and 18 families. Our sampling encompasses multiple loss and gain events and potentially independent origins of this spore ejection mechanism. Although the individual dimensions of the spore and apical ring are only weakly correlated with each other, they collapse into the predicted subspace with high accuracy. The launch velocity appears to be within 2 per cent of the optimum for over 90 per cent of all forcibly ejected species. Although the morphological diversity of apical rings and spores appears startlingly diverse, a simple principle can be used to organize it. PMID:23782534

  12. Genetic Diversity and Association Characters of Bacteria Isolated from Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Spore Walls

    PubMed Central

    Selvakumar, Gopal; Krishnamoorthy, Ramasamy; Kim, Kiyoon; Sa, Tong-Min

    2016-01-01

    Association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and bacteria has long been studied. However, the factors influencing their association in the natural environment is still unknown. This study aimed to isolate bacteria associated with spore walls of AMF and identify their potential characters for association. Spores collected from coastal reclamation land were differentiated based on their morphology and identified by 18S rDNA sequencing as Funneliformis caledonium, Racocetra alborosea and Funneliformis mosseae. Bacteria associated with AMF spore walls were isolated after treating them with disinfection solution at different time intervals. After 0, 10 and 20 min of spore disinfection, 86, 24 and 10 spore associated bacteria (SAB) were isolated, respectively. BOX-PCR fingerprinting analysis showed that diverse bacterial communities were associated to AMF spores. Bacteria belonging to the same genera could associate with different AMF spores. Gram positive bacteria were more closely associated with AMF spores. Isolated SAB were characterized and tested for spore association characters such as chitinase, protease, cellulase enzymes and exopolysaccharide production (EPS). Among the 120 SAB, 113 SAB were able to show one or more characters for association and seven SAB did not show any association characters. The 16S rDNA sequence of SAB revealed that bacteria belonging to the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bactereiodes were associated with AMF spore walls. PMID:27479250

  13. Development of an Aerosol Surface Inoculation Method for Bacillus Spores

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang Don; Ryan, Shawn P.; Snyder, Emily Gibb

    2011-01-01

    A method was developed to deposit Bacillus subtilis spores via aerosolization onto various surface materials for biological agent decontamination and detection studies. This new method uses an apparatus coupled with a metered dose inhaler to reproducibly deposit spores onto various surfaces. A metered dose inhaler was loaded with Bacillus subtilis spores, a surrogate for Baci