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Sample records for bacterial genome-reductive evolution

  1. Attenuated Virulence and Genomic Reductive Evolution in the Entomopathogenic Bacterial Symbiont Species, Xenorhabdus poinarii

    PubMed Central

    Ogier, Jean-Claude; Pagès, Sylvie; Bisch, Gaëlle; Chiapello, Hélène; Médigue, Claudine; Rouy, Zoé; Teyssier, Corinne; Vincent, Stéphanie; Tailliez, Patrick; Givaudan, Alain; Gaudriault, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria of the genus Xenorhabdus are symbionts of soil entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Steinernema. This symbiotic association constitutes an insecticidal complex active against a wide range of insect pests. Unlike other Xenorhabdus species, Xenorhabdus poinarii is avirulent when injected into insects in the absence of its nematode host. We sequenced the genome of the X. poinarii strain G6 and the closely related but virulent X. doucetiae strain FRM16. G6 had a smaller genome (500–700 kb smaller) than virulent Xenorhabdus strains and lacked genes encoding potential virulence factors (hemolysins, type 5 secretion systems, enzymes involved in the synthesis of secondary metabolites, and toxin–antitoxin systems). The genomes of all the X. poinarii strains analyzed here had a similar small size. We did not observe the accumulation of pseudogenes, insertion sequences or decrease in coding density usually seen as a sign of genomic erosion driven by genetic drift in host-adapted bacteria. Instead, genome reduction of X. poinarii seems to have been mediated by the excision of genomic blocks from the flexible genome, as reported for the genomes of attenuated free pathogenic bacteria and some facultative mutualistic bacteria growing exclusively within hosts. This evolutionary pathway probably reflects the adaptation of X. poinarii to specific host. PMID:24904010

  2. Impact of genome reduction on bacterial metabolism and its regulation.

    PubMed

    Yus, Eva; Maier, Tobias; Michalodimitrakis, Konstantinos; van Noort, Vera; Yamada, Takuji; Chen, Wei-Hua; Wodke, Judith A H; Güell, Marc; Martínez, Sira; Bourgeois, Ronan; Kühner, Sebastian; Raineri, Emanuele; Letunic, Ivica; Kalinina, Olga V; Rode, Michaela; Herrmann, Richard; Gutiérrez-Gallego, Ricardo; Russell, Robert B; Gavin, Anne-Claude; Bork, Peer; Serrano, Luis

    2009-11-27

    To understand basic principles of bacterial metabolism organization and regulation, but also the impact of genome size, we systematically studied one of the smallest bacteria, Mycoplasma pneumoniae. A manually curated metabolic network of 189 reactions catalyzed by 129 enzymes allowed the design of a defined, minimal medium with 19 essential nutrients. More than 1300 growth curves were recorded in the presence of various nutrient concentrations. Measurements of biomass indicators, metabolites, and 13C-glucose experiments provided information on directionality, fluxes, and energetics; integration with transcription profiling enabled the global analysis of metabolic regulation. Compared with more complex bacteria, the M. pneumoniae metabolic network has a more linear topology and contains a higher fraction of multifunctional enzymes; general features such as metabolite concentrations, cellular energetics, adaptability, and global gene expression responses are similar, however.

  3. Examination of Prokaryotic Multipartite Genome Evolution through Experimental Genome Reduction

    PubMed Central

    diCenzo, George C.; MacLean, Allyson M.; Milunovic, Branislava; Golding, G. Brian; Finan, Turlough M.

    2014-01-01

    Many bacteria carry two or more chromosome-like replicons. This occurs in pathogens such as Vibrio cholerea and Brucella abortis as well as in many N2-fixing plant symbionts including all isolates of the alfalfa root-nodule bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti. Understanding the evolution and role of this multipartite genome organization will provide significant insight into these important organisms; yet this knowledge remains incomplete, in part, because technical challenges of large-scale genome manipulations have limited experimental analyses. The distinct evolutionary histories and characteristics of the three replicons that constitute the S. meliloti genome (the chromosome (3.65 Mb), pSymA megaplasmid (1.35 Mb), and pSymB chromid (1.68 Mb)) makes this a good model to examine this topic. We transferred essential genes from pSymB into the chromosome, and constructed strains that lack pSymB as well as both pSymA and pSymB. This is the largest reduction (45.4%, 3.04 megabases, 2866 genes) of a prokaryotic genome to date and the first removal of an essential chromid. Strikingly, strains lacking pSymA and pSymB (ΔpSymAB) lost the ability to utilize 55 of 74 carbon sources and various sources of nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur, yet the ΔpSymAB strain grew well in minimal salts media and in sterile soil. This suggests that the core chromosome is sufficient for growth in a bulk soil environment and that the pSymA and pSymB replicons carry genes with more specialized functions such as growth in the rhizosphere and interaction with the plant. These experimental data support a generalized evolutionary model, in which non-chromosomal replicons primarily carry genes with more specialized functions. These large secondary replicons increase the organism's niche range, which offsets their metabolic burden on the cell (e.g. pSymA). Subsequent co-evolution with the chromosome then leads to the formation of a chromid through the acquisition of functions core to all niches (e.g. p

  4. An Appraisal of the Potential for Illegitimate Recombination in Bacterial Genomes and Its Consequences: From Duplications to Genome Reduction

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Eduardo P.C.

    2003-01-01

    An exhaustive search for shortly spaced repeats in 74 bacterial chromosomes reveals that they are much more numerous than is usually acknowledged. These repeats were divided into five classes: close repeats (CRs), tandem repeats (TRs), simple sequence repeats (SSRs), spaced interspersed direct repeats, and “others.” CRs are widespread and constitute the most abundant class, particularly in coding sequences. The other classes are less frequent, but each individual element shows a higher potential for recombination, when the number of repeats and their distances are taken into account. SSRs and TRs are more frequent in pathogens, as expected given their role in contingency loci, but are also widespread in the other bacteria. The analysis of CRs shows that they have an important role in the evolution of genomes, namely by generating duplications and deletions. Several cases compatible with a significant role of small CRs in the formation of large repeats were detected. Also, gene deletion in Buchnera correlates with repeat density, suggesting that CRs may lead to sequence deletion in general and genome reductive evolution of obligatory intracellular bacteria in particular. The assembly of these results indicates that shortly spaced repeats are key players in the dynamics of genome evolution. PMID:12743022

  5. Postgenomic analysis of bacterial pathogens repertoire reveals genome reduction rather than virulence factors.

    PubMed

    Merhej, Vicky; Georgiades, Kalliopi; Raoult, Didier

    2013-07-01

    In the pregenomic era, the acquisition of pathogenicity islands via horizontal transfer was proposed as a major mechanism in pathogen evolution. Much effort has been expended to look for the contiguous blocks of virulence genes that are present in pathogenic bacteria, but absent in closely related species that are nonpathogenic. However, some of these virulence factors were found in nonpathogenic bacteria. Moreover, and contrary to expectation, pathogenic bacteria were found to lack genes (antivirulence genes) that are characteristic of nonpathogenic bacteria. The availability of complete genome sequences has led to a new era of pathogen research. Comparisons of genomes have shown that the most pathogenic bacteria have reduced genomes, with less ribosomal RNA and unorganized operons; they lack transcriptional regulators but have more genes that encode protein toxins, toxin-antitoxin (TA) modules, and proteins for DNA replication and repair, when compared with less pathogenic close relatives. These findings questioned the paradigm of virulence by gene acquisition and put forward the notion of genomic repertoire of virulence.

  6. Bacterial genomes: evolution of pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Dawn L; Jackson, Robert W

    2011-08-01

    Bacterial pathogens continue to pose a major threat to economically important plant resources. Disease outbreaks can occur through rapid evolution of a pathogen to overcome host defences. The advent of genome sequencing, especially next-generation technologies, has seen a revolution in the study of plant pathogen evolution over the past five years. This review highlights recent developments in understanding bacterial plant pathogen evolution, enabled by genomics and specifically focusing on type III protein effectors. The genotypic changes and mechanisms involved in pathogen evolution are now much better understood. However, there is still much to be learned about the drivers of pathogen evolution, both in terms of plant resistance and bacterial lifestyle.

  7. Evolution of Bacterial Suicide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchernookov, Martin; Nemenman, Ilya

    2013-03-01

    While active, controlled cellular suicide (autolysis) in bacteria is commonly observed, it has been hard to argue that autolysis can be beneficial to an individual who commits it. We propose a theoretical model that predicts that bacterial autolysis is evolutionarily advantageous to an individualand would fixate in physically structured environments for stationary phase colonies. We perform spatially resolved agent-based simulations of the model, which predict that lower mixing in the environment results in fixation of a higher autolysis rate from a single mutated cell, regardless of the colony's genetic diversity. We argue that quorum sensing will fixate as well, even if initially rare, if it is coupled to controlling the autolysis rate. The model does not predict a strong additional competitive advantage for cells where autolysis is controlled by quorum sensing systems that distinguish self from nonself. These predictions are broadly supported by recent experimental results in B. subtilisand S. pneumoniae. Research partially supported by the James S McDonnell Foundation grant No. 220020321 and by HFSP grant No. RGY0084/2011.

  8. Genomic reduction and evolution of novel genetic membranes and protein-targeting machinery in eukaryote-eukaryote chimaeras (meta-algae).

    PubMed Central

    Cavalier-Smith, T

    2003-01-01

    non-coding DNA, i.e. most DNA in the biosphere, and dramatic examples of genomic reduction. I briefly argue that chloroplast replacement in dinoflagellates, which happened at least twice, may have been evolutionarily easier than secondary symbiogenesis because parts of the chromalveolate protein-targeting machinery could have helped enslave the foreign plastids. PMID:12594921

  9. Evidence of ancient genome reduction in red algae (Rhodophyta).

    PubMed

    Qiu, Huan; Price, Dana C; Yang, Eun Chan; Yoon, Hwan Su; Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2015-08-01

    Red algae (Rhodophyta) comprise a monophyletic eukaryotic lineage of ~6,500 species with a fossil record that extends back 1.2 billion years. A surprising aspect of red algal evolution is that sequenced genomes encode a relatively limited gene inventory (~5-10 thousand genes) when compared with other free-living algae or to other eukaryotes. This suggests that the common ancestor of red algae may have undergone extensive genome reduction, which can result from lineage specialization to a symbiotic or parasitic lifestyle or adaptation to an extreme or oligotrophic environment. We gathered genome and transcriptome data from a total of 14 red algal genera that represent the major branches of this phylum to study genome evolution in Rhodophyta. Analysis of orthologous gene gains and losses identifies two putative major phases of genome reduction: (i) in the stem lineage leading to all red algae resulting in the loss of major functions such as flagellae and basal bodies, the glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis pathway, and the autophagy regulation pathway; and (ii) in the common ancestor of the extremophilic Cyanidiophytina. Red algal genomes are also characterized by the recruitment of hundreds of bacterial genes through horizontal gene transfer that have taken on multiple functions in shared pathways and have replaced eukaryotic gene homologs. Our results suggest that Rhodophyta may trace their origin to a gene depauperate ancestor. Unlike plants, it appears that a limited gene inventory is sufficient to support the diversification of a major eukaryote lineage that possesses sophisticated multicellular reproductive structures and an elaborate triphasic sexual cycle. PMID:26986787

  10. Snapshots of a shrinking partner: Genome reduction in Serratia symbiotica

    PubMed Central

    Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Latorre, Amparo

    2016-01-01

    Genome reduction is pervasive among maternally-inherited endosymbiotic organisms, from bacteriocyte- to gut-associated ones. This genome erosion is a step-wise process in which once free-living organisms evolve to become obligate associates, thereby losing non-essential or redundant genes/functions. Serratia symbiotica (Gammaproteobacteria), a secondary endosymbiont present in many aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), displays various characteristics that make it a good model organism for studying genome reduction. While some strains are of facultative nature, others have established co-obligate associations with their respective aphid host and its primary endosymbiont (Buchnera). Furthermore, the different strains hold genomes of contrasting sizes and features, and have strikingly disparate cell shapes, sizes, and tissue tropism. Finally, genomes from closely related free-living Serratia marcescens are also available. In this study, we describe in detail the genome reduction process (from free-living to reduced obligate endosymbiont) undergone by S. symbiotica, and relate it to the stages of integration to the symbiotic system the different strains find themselves in. We establish that the genome reduction patterns observed in S. symbiotica follow those from other dwindling genomes, thus proving to be a good model for the study of the genome reduction process within a single bacterial taxon evolving in a similar biological niche (aphid-Buchnera). PMID:27599759

  11. Snapshots of a shrinking partner: Genome reduction in Serratia symbiotica.

    PubMed

    Manzano-Marín, Alejandro; Latorre, Amparo

    2016-01-01

    Genome reduction is pervasive among maternally-inherited endosymbiotic organisms, from bacteriocyte- to gut-associated ones. This genome erosion is a step-wise process in which once free-living organisms evolve to become obligate associates, thereby losing non-essential or redundant genes/functions. Serratia symbiotica (Gammaproteobacteria), a secondary endosymbiont present in many aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae), displays various characteristics that make it a good model organism for studying genome reduction. While some strains are of facultative nature, others have established co-obligate associations with their respective aphid host and its primary endosymbiont (Buchnera). Furthermore, the different strains hold genomes of contrasting sizes and features, and have strikingly disparate cell shapes, sizes, and tissue tropism. Finally, genomes from closely related free-living Serratia marcescens are also available. In this study, we describe in detail the genome reduction process (from free-living to reduced obligate endosymbiont) undergone by S. symbiotica, and relate it to the stages of integration to the symbiotic system the different strains find themselves in. We establish that the genome reduction patterns observed in S. symbiotica follow those from other dwindling genomes, thus proving to be a good model for the study of the genome reduction process within a single bacterial taxon evolving in a similar biological niche (aphid-Buchnera). PMID:27599759

  12. New perspectives on bacterial ferredoxin evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, D. G.; Hunt, L. T.; Yeh, L.-S. L.; Barker, W. C.

    1985-01-01

    Ferredoxins are low-molecular-weight, nonheme, iron proteins which function as electron carriers in a wide variety of electron transport chains. Howard et al. (1983) have suggested that the amino end of Azotobacter vinelandii ferredoxin shows a greater similarity to the carboxyl end of ferredoxin from Chromatium vinosum and that their half-chain sequences are homologous when the half-chains of either species are considered in inverse order. Examination of this proposition has made it necessary to reevaluate previous conclusions concerning the evolution of bacterial ferredoxin. Attention is given to the properties of the bacterial ferredoxin sequences, and the evolution of the bacterial ferredoxins.

  13. Within-host evolution of bacterial pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Didelot, Xavier; Walker, A. Sarah; Peto, Tim E.; Crook, Derrick W.; Wilson, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Whole genome sequencing has opened the way to investigating the dynamics and genomic evolution of bacterial pathogens during colonization and infection of humans. The application of this technology to the longitudinal study of adaptation in the infected host — in particular, the evolution of drug resistance and host adaptation in patients chronically infected with opportunistic pathogens — has revealed remarkable patterns of convergent evolution, pointing to an inherent repeatability of evolution. In this Review, we describe how these studies have advanced our understanding of the mechanisms and principles of within-host genome evolution, and we consider the consequences of findings such as a potent adaptive potential for pathogenicity. Finally, we discuss the possibility that genomics may be used in the future to predict the clinical progression of bacterial infections, and to suggest the best treatment option. PMID:26806595

  14. On The Evolution of Bacterial Multicellularity

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, Nicholas A.; Kolter, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Multicellularity is one of the most prevalent evolutionary innovations and nowhere is this more apparent than in the bacterial world, which contains many examples of multicellular organisms in a surprising array of forms. Due to their experimental accessibility and the large and diverse genomic data available, bacteria enable us to probe fundamental aspects of the origins of multicellularity. Here we discuss examples of multicellular behaviors in bacteria, the selective pressures that may have led to their evolution, possible origins and intermediate stages, and whether the ubiquity of apparently convergent multicellular forms argues for its inevitability. PMID:25597443

  15. Measurement of Behavioral Evolution in Bacterial Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Robert

    2013-03-01

    A curious aspect of bacterial behavior under stress is the induction of filamentation: the anomalous growth of certain bacteria in which cells continue to elongate but do not divide into progeny. We show that E.coli under the influence of the genotoxic antibiotic ciprofloxacin have robust filamentous growth, which provides individual bacteria a mesoscopic niche for evolution until resistant progeny can bud off and propagate. Hence, filamentation is a form of genomic amplification where even a single, isolated bacteria can have access to multiple genomes. We propose a model that predicts that the first arrival time of the normal sized progeny should follow a Gompertz distribution with the mean first arrival time proportional to the elongation rate of filament. These predictions agree with our experimental measurements. Finally, we suggest bacterial filament growth and budding has many similarities to tumor growth and metastasis and can serve as a simpler model to study those complicated processes. Sponsored by the NCI/NIH Physical Sciences Oncology Centers

  16. Ecological and Temporal Constraints in the Evolution of Bacterial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Boto, Luis; Martínez, Jose Luis

    2011-01-01

    Studies on the experimental evolution of microorganisms, on their in vivo evolution (mainly in the case of bacteria producing chronic infections), as well as the availability of multiple full genomic sequences, are placing bacteria in the playground of evolutionary studies. In the present article we review the differential contribution to the evolution of bacterial genomes that processes such as gene modification, gene acquisition and gene loss may have when bacteria colonize different habitats that present characteristic ecological features. In particular, we review how the different processes contribute to evolution in microbial communities, in free-living bacteria or in bacteria living in isolation. In addition, we discuss the temporal constraints in the evolution of bacterial genomes, considering bacterial evolution from the perspective of processes of short-sighted evolution and punctual acquisition of evolutionary novelties followed by long stasis periods. PMID:24710293

  17. Functional convergence in reduced genomes of bacterial symbionts spanning 200 My of evolution.

    PubMed

    McCutcheon, John P; Moran, Nancy A

    2010-01-01

    The main genomic changes in the evolution of host-restricted microbial symbionts are ongoing inactivation and loss of genes combined with rapid sequence evolution and extreme structural stability; these changes reflect high levels of genetic drift due to small population sizes and strict clonality. This genomic erosion includes irreversible loss of genes in many functional categories and can include genes that underlie the nutritional contributions to hosts that are the basis of the symbiotic association. Candidatus Sulcia muelleri is an ancient symbiont of sap-feeding insects and is typically coresident with another bacterial symbiont that varies among host subclades. Previously sequenced Sulcia genomes retain pathways for the same eight essential amino acids, whereas coresident symbionts synthesize the remaining two. Here, we describe a dual symbiotic system consisting of Sulcia and a novel species of Betaproteobacteria, Candidatus Zinderia insecticola, both living in the spittlebug Clastoptera arizonana. This Sulcia has completely lost the pathway for the biosynthesis of tryptophan and, therefore, retains the ability to make only 7 of the 10 essential amino acids. Zinderia has a tiny genome (208 kb) and the most extreme nucleotide base composition (13.5% G + C) reported to date, yet retains the ability to make the remaining three essential amino acids, perfectly complementing capabilities of the coresident Sulcia. Combined with the results from related symbiotic systems with complete genomes, these data demonstrate the critical role that bacterial symbionts play in the host insect's biology and reveal one outcome following the loss of a critical metabolic activity through genome reduction. PMID:20829280

  18. Bacterial population genetics, evolution and epidemiology.

    PubMed Central

    Spratt, B G; Maiden, M C

    1999-01-01

    Asexual bacterial populations inevitably consist of an assemblage of distinct clonal lineages. However, bacterial populations are not entirely asexual since recombinational exchanges occur, mobilizing small genome segments among lineages and species. The relative contribution of recombination, as opposed to de novo mutation, in the generation of new bacterial genotypes varies among bacterial populations and, as this contribution increases, the clonality of a given population decreases. In consequence, a spectrum of possible population structures exists, with few bacterial species occupying the extremes of highly clonal and completely non-clonal, most containing both clonal and non-clonal elements. The analysis of collections of bacterial isolates, which accurately represent the natural population, by nucleotide sequence determination of multiple housekeeping loci provides data that can be used both to investigate the population structure of bacterial pathogens and for the molecular characterization of bacterial isolates. Understanding the population structure of a given pathogen is important since it impacts on the questions that can be addressed by, and the methods and samples required for, effective molecular epidemiological studies. PMID:10365396

  19. The continuity of bacterial and physicochemical evolution: theory and experiments.

    PubMed

    Spitzer, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The continuity of chemical and biological evolution, incorporating life's emergence, can be explored experimentally by energizing 'dead' bacterial biomacromolecules with nutrients under cycling physicochemical gradients. This approach arises from three evolutionary principles rooted in physical chemistry: (i) broken bacterial cells cannot spontaneously self-assemble into a living state without the supply of external energy - 2nd law of thermodynamics, (ii) the energy delivery must be cycling - the primary mechanism of chemical evolution at rotating planetary surfaces under solar irradiation, (iii) the cycling energy must act on chemical mixtures of high molecular diversity and crowding - provided by dead bacterial populations.

  20. Repeated, selection-driven genome reduction of accessory genes in experimental populations.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ming-Chun; Marx, Christopher J

    2012-01-01

    Genome reduction has been observed in many bacterial lineages that have adapted to specialized environments. The extreme genome degradation seen for obligate pathogens and symbionts appears to be dominated by genetic drift. In contrast, for free-living organisms with reduced genomes, the dominant force is proposed to be direct selection for smaller, streamlined genomes. Most variation in gene content for these free-living species is of "accessory" genes, which are commonly gained as large chromosomal islands that are adaptive for specialized traits such as pathogenicity. It is generally unclear, however, whether the process of accessory gene loss is largely driven by drift or selection. Here we demonstrate that selection for gene loss, and not a shortened genome, per se, drove massive, rapid reduction of accessory genes. In just 1,500 generations of experimental evolution, 80% of populations of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 experienced nearly parallel deletions removing up to 10% of the genome from a megaplasmid present in this strain. The absence of these deletion events in a mutation accumulation experiment suggested that selection, rather than drift, has dominated the process. Reconstructing these deletions confirmed that they were beneficial in their selective regimes, but led to decreased performance in alternative environments. These results indicate that selection can be crucial in eliminating unnecessary genes during the early stages of adaptation to a specialized environment.

  1. Chemical Evolution of a Bacterial Proteome.

    PubMed

    Hoesl, Michael Georg; Oehm, Stefan; Durkin, Patrick; Darmon, Elise; Peil, Lauri; Aerni, Hans-Rudolf; Rappsilber, Juri; Rinehart, Jesse; Leach, David; Söll, Dieter; Budisa, Nediljko

    2015-08-17

    We have changed the amino acid set of the genetic code of Escherichia coli by evolving cultures capable of growing on the synthetic noncanonical amino acid L-β-(thieno[3,2-b]pyrrolyl)alanine ([3,2]Tpa) as a sole surrogate for the canonical amino acid L-tryptophan (Trp). A long-term cultivation experiment in defined synthetic media resulted in the evolution of cells capable of surviving Trp→[3,2]Tpa substitutions in their proteomes in response to the 20,899 TGG codons of the E. coli W3110 genome. These evolved bacteria with new-to-nature amino acid composition showed robust growth in the complete absence of Trp. Our experimental results illustrate an approach for the evolution of synthetic cells with alternative biochemical building blocks.

  2. Clinical management of resistance evolution in a bacterial infection

    PubMed Central

    Woods, Robert J.; Read, Andrew F.

    2015-01-01

    We report the case of a patient with a chronic bacterial infection that could not be cured. Drug treatment became progressively less effective due to antibiotic resistance, and the patient died, in effect from overwhelming evolution. Even though the evolution of drug resistance was recognized as a major threat, and the fundamentals of drug resistance evolution are well understood, it was impossible to make evidence-based decisions about the evolutionary risks associated with the various treatment options. We present this case to illustrate the urgent need for translational research in the evolutionary medicine of antibiotic resistance. PMID:26454762

  3. Parallel bacterial evolution within multiple patients identifies candidate pathogenicity genes

    PubMed Central

    Lieberman, Tami D.; Michel, Jean-Baptiste; Aingaran, Mythili; Potter-Bynoe, Gail; Roux, Damien; Davis, Michael R.; Skurnik, David; Leiby, Nicholas; LiPuma, John J.; Goldberg, Joanna B.; McAdam, Alexander J.; Priebe, Gregory P.; Kishony, Roy

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens evolve during the infection of their human hosts1-8, but separating adaptive and neutral mutations remains challenging9-11. Here, we identify bacterial genes under adaptive evolution by tracking recurrent patterns of mutations in the same pathogenic strain during the infection of multiple patients. We conducted a retrospective study of a Burkholderia dolosa outbreak among people with cystic fibrosis, sequencing the genomes of 112 isolates collected from 14 individuals over 16 years. We find that 17 bacterial genes acquired non-synonymous mutations in multiple individuals, which indicates parallel adaptive evolution. Mutations in these genes illuminate the genetic basis of important pathogenic phenotypes, including antibiotic resistance and bacterial membrane composition, and implicate oxygen-dependent gene regulation as paramount in lung infections. Several genes have not been previously implicated in pathogenesis, suggesting new therapeutic targets. The identification of parallel molecular evolution suggests key selection forces acting on pathogens within humans and can help predict and prepare for their future evolutionary course. PMID:22081229

  4. Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens Within the Human Host.

    PubMed

    Bliven, Kimberly A; Maurelli, Anthony T

    2016-02-01

    Selective pressures within the human host, including interactions with innate and adaptive immune responses, exposure to medical interventions such as antibiotics, and competition with commensal microbiota all facilitate the evolution of bacterial pathogens. In this chapter, we present examples of pathogen strategies that emerged as a result of selective pressures within the human host niche and discuss the resulting coevolutionary "arms race" between these organisms. In bacterial pathogens, many of the genes responsible for these strategies are encoded on mobile pathogenicity islands or plasmids, underscoring the importance of horizontal gene transfer in the emergence of virulent microbial species.

  5. Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens within the Human Host

    PubMed Central

    Bliven, Kimberly A.; Maurelli, Anthony T.

    2015-01-01

    Selective pressures within the human host, including interactions with innate and adaptive immune responses, exposure to medical interventions such as antibiotics, and competition with commensal microbiota all facilitate the evolution of bacterial pathogens. In this chapter, we present examples of pathogen strategies which emerged as a result of selective pressures within the human host niche, and discuss the resulting co-evolutionary ‘arms race’ between these organisms. In bacterial pathogens, many of the genes responsible for these strategies are encoded on mobile pathogenicity islands (PAIs) or plasmids, underscoring the importance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in the emergence of virulent microbial species. PMID:26999399

  6. Importance of prophages to evolution and virulence of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Fortier, Louis-Charles; Sekulovic, Ognjen

    2013-07-01

    Bacteriophages, or simply phages, are viruses infecting bacteria. With an estimated 10 ( 31) particles in the biosphere, phages outnumber bacteria by a factor of at least 10 and not surprisingly, they influence the evolution of most bacterial species, sometimes in unexpected ways. "Temperate" phages have the ability to integrate into the chromosome of their host upon infection, where they can reside as "quiescent" prophages until conditions favor their reactivation. Lysogenic conversion resulting from the integration of prophages encoding powerful toxins is probably the most determinant contribution of prophages to the evolution of pathogenic bacteria. We currently grasp only a small fraction of the total phage diversity. Phage biologists keep unraveling novel mechanisms developed by phages to parasitize their host. The purpose of this review is to give an overview of some of the various ways by which prophages change the lifestyle and boost virulence of some of the most dangerous bacterial pathogens. PMID:23611873

  7. Genomic reduction assisted single nucleotide polymorphism discovery using 454-pyrosequencing.

    PubMed

    Maughan, Peter J; Udall, Joshua A; Jellen, Eric N

    2015-01-01

    We report the development of a simple genomic reduction protocol based on 454-pyrosequencing technology that discovers large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) from pooled DNA samples. The method is based on the conservation of restriction endonuclease sites across samples and biotin separation for genomic reduction and the addition of multiplex identifier (MID) barcodes to each of the pooled samples to allow for postsequencing deconvolution of the pooled DNA fragments and SNP discovery. PMID:25373757

  8. Genomic perspectives on the evolution and spread of bacterial pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Bentley, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    Since the first complete sequencing of a free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae, genomics has been used to probe both the biology of bacterial pathogens and their evolution. Single-genome approaches provided information on the repertoire of virulence determinants and host-interaction factors, and, along with comparative analyses, allowed the proposal of hypotheses to explain the evolution of many of these traits. These analyses suggested many bacterial pathogens to be of relatively recent origin and identified genome degradation as a key aspect of host adaptation. The advent of very-high-throughput sequencing has allowed for detailed phylogenetic analysis of many important pathogens, revealing patterns of global and local spread, and recent evolution in response to pressure from therapeutics and the human immune system. Such analyses have shown that bacteria can evolve and transmit very rapidly, with emerging clones showing adaptation and global spread over years or decades. The resolution achieved with whole-genome sequencing has shown considerable benefits in clinical microbiology, enabling accurate outbreak tracking within hospitals and across continents. Continued large-scale sequencing promises many further insights into genetic determinants of drug resistance, virulence and transmission in bacterial pathogens. PMID:26702036

  9. Genomic perspectives on the evolution and spread of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Bentley, Stephen D; Parkhill, Julian

    2015-12-22

    Since the first complete sequencing of a free-living organism, Haemophilus influenzae, genomics has been used to probe both the biology of bacterial pathogens and their evolution. Single-genome approaches provided information on the repertoire of virulence determinants and host-interaction factors, and, along with comparative analyses, allowed the proposal of hypotheses to explain the evolution of many of these traits. These analyses suggested many bacterial pathogens to be of relatively recent origin and identified genome degradation as a key aspect of host adaptation. The advent of very-high-throughput sequencing has allowed for detailed phylogenetic analysis of many important pathogens, revealing patterns of global and local spread, and recent evolution in response to pressure from therapeutics and the human immune system. Such analyses have shown that bacteria can evolve and transmit very rapidly, with emerging clones showing adaptation and global spread over years or decades. The resolution achieved with whole-genome sequencing has shown considerable benefits in clinical microbiology, enabling accurate outbreak tracking within hospitals and across continents. Continued large-scale sequencing promises many further insights into genetic determinants of drug resistance, virulence and transmission in bacterial pathogens.

  10. Phenotypic Heterogeneity and the Evolution of Bacterial Life Cycles

    PubMed Central

    van Gestel, Jordi; Nowak, Martin A.

    2016-01-01

    Most bacteria live in colonies, where they often express different cell types. The ecological significance of these cell types and their evolutionary origin are often unknown. Here, we study the evolution of cell differentiation in the context of surface colonization. We particularly focus on the evolution of a ‘sticky’ cell type that is required for surface attachment, but is costly to express. The sticky cells not only facilitate their own attachment, but also that of non-sticky cells. Using individual-based simulations, we show that surface colonization rapidly evolves and in most cases leads to phenotypic heterogeneity, in which sticky and non-sticky cells occur side by side on the surface. In the presence of regulation, cell differentiation leads to a remarkable set of bacterial life cycles, in which cells alternate between living in the liquid and living on the surface. The dominant life stage is formed by the surface-attached colony that shows many complex features: colonies reproduce via fission and by producing migratory propagules; cells inside the colony divide labour; and colonies can produce filaments to facilitate expansion. Overall, our model illustrates how the evolution of an adhesive cell type goes hand in hand with the evolution of complex bacterial life cycles. PMID:26894881

  11. Cooperative Bacterial Growth Dynamics Predict the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artemova, Tatiana; Gerardin, Ylaine; Hsin-Jung Li, Sophia; Gore, Jeff

    2011-03-01

    Since the discovery of penicillin, antibiotics have been our primary weapon against bacterial infections. Unfortunately, bacteria can gain resistance to penicillin by acquiring the gene that encodes beta-lactamase, which inactivates the antibiotic. However, mutations in this gene are necessary to degrade the modern antibiotic cefotaxime. Understanding the conditions that favor the spread of these mutations is a challenge. Here we show that bacterial growth in beta-lactam antibiotics is cooperative and that the nature of this growth determines the conditions in which resistance evolves. Quantitative analysis of the growth dynamics predicts a peak in selection at very low antibiotic concentrations; competition between strains confirms this prediction. We also find significant selection at higher antibiotic concentrations, close to the minimum inhibitory concentrations of the strains. Our results argue that an understanding of the evolutionary forces that lead to antibiotic resistance requires a quantitative understanding of the evolution of cooperation in bacteria.

  12. Genomic islands are dynamic, ancient integrative elements in bacterial evolution.

    PubMed

    Boyd, E Fidelma; Almagro-Moreno, Salvador; Parent, Michelle A

    2009-02-01

    Acquisition of genomic islands plays a central part in bacterial evolution as a mechanism of diversification and adaptation. Genomic islands are non-self-mobilizing integrative and excisive elements that encode diverse functional characteristics but all contain a recombination module comprised of an integrase, associated attachment sites and, in some cases, a recombination directionality factor. Here, we discuss how a group of related genomic islands are evolutionarily ancient elements unrelated to plasmids, phages, integrons and integrative conjugative elements. In addition, we explore the diversity of genomic islands and their insertion sites among Gram-negative bacteria and discuss why they integrate at a limited number of tRNA genes.

  13. Genomic islands are dynamic, ancient integrative elements in bacterial evolution.

    PubMed

    Boyd, E Fidelma; Almagro-Moreno, Salvador; Parent, Michelle A

    2009-02-01

    Acquisition of genomic islands plays a central part in bacterial evolution as a mechanism of diversification and adaptation. Genomic islands are non-self-mobilizing integrative and excisive elements that encode diverse functional characteristics but all contain a recombination module comprised of an integrase, associated attachment sites and, in some cases, a recombination directionality factor. Here, we discuss how a group of related genomic islands are evolutionarily ancient elements unrelated to plasmids, phages, integrons and integrative conjugative elements. In addition, we explore the diversity of genomic islands and their insertion sites among Gram-negative bacteria and discuss why they integrate at a limited number of tRNA genes. PMID:19162481

  14. Nondegenerative Evolution in Ancient Heritable Bacterial Endosymbionts of Fungi.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Stephen J; Salvioli, Alessandra; Bonfante, Paola; Morton, Joseph B; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are critical to the existence of many eukaryotes. Among them, vertically transmitted endobacteria are uniquely typified by reduced genomes and molecular evolution rate acceleration relative to free-living taxa. These patterns are attributable to genetic drift-dominated degenerative processes associated with reproductive dependence on the host. The degenerative evolution scenario is well supported in endobacteria with strict vertical transmission, such as essential mutualists of insects. In contrast, heritable endosymbionts that are nonessential to their hosts and engage occasionally in horizontal transmission are expected to display deviations from the degenerative evolution model. To explore evolution patterns in such nonessential endobacteria, we focused on Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum ancient heritable mutualists of fungi. Using a collection of genomes, we estimated in Glomeribacter mutation rate at 2.03 × 10(-9) substitutions per site per year and effective population size at 1.44 × 10(8) Both fall within the range of values observed in free-living bacteria. To assess the ability of Glomeribacter to purge slightly deleterious mutations, we examined genome-wide dN/dS values and distribution patterns. We found that these dN/dS profiles cluster Glomeribacter with free-living bacteria as well as with other nonessential endosymbionts, while distinguishing it from essential heritable mutualists of insects. Finally, our evolutionary simulations revealed that the molecular evolution rate acceleration in Glomeribacter is caused by limited recombination in a largely clonal population rather than by increased fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. Based on these patterns, we propose that genome evolution in Glomeribacter is nondegenerative and exemplifies a departure from the model of degenerative evolution in heritable endosymbionts. PMID:27189571

  15. Nondegenerative Evolution in Ancient Heritable Bacterial Endosymbionts of Fungi.

    PubMed

    Mondo, Stephen J; Salvioli, Alessandra; Bonfante, Paola; Morton, Joseph B; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are critical to the existence of many eukaryotes. Among them, vertically transmitted endobacteria are uniquely typified by reduced genomes and molecular evolution rate acceleration relative to free-living taxa. These patterns are attributable to genetic drift-dominated degenerative processes associated with reproductive dependence on the host. The degenerative evolution scenario is well supported in endobacteria with strict vertical transmission, such as essential mutualists of insects. In contrast, heritable endosymbionts that are nonessential to their hosts and engage occasionally in horizontal transmission are expected to display deviations from the degenerative evolution model. To explore evolution patterns in such nonessential endobacteria, we focused on Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum ancient heritable mutualists of fungi. Using a collection of genomes, we estimated in Glomeribacter mutation rate at 2.03 × 10(-9) substitutions per site per year and effective population size at 1.44 × 10(8) Both fall within the range of values observed in free-living bacteria. To assess the ability of Glomeribacter to purge slightly deleterious mutations, we examined genome-wide dN/dS values and distribution patterns. We found that these dN/dS profiles cluster Glomeribacter with free-living bacteria as well as with other nonessential endosymbionts, while distinguishing it from essential heritable mutualists of insects. Finally, our evolutionary simulations revealed that the molecular evolution rate acceleration in Glomeribacter is caused by limited recombination in a largely clonal population rather than by increased fixation of slightly deleterious mutations. Based on these patterns, we propose that genome evolution in Glomeribacter is nondegenerative and exemplifies a departure from the model of degenerative evolution in heritable endosymbionts.

  16. Genomic approaches to typing, taxonomy and evolution of bacterial isolates.

    PubMed

    Gürtler, V; Mayall, B C

    2001-01-01

    The current literature on bacterial taxonomy, typing and evolution will be critically examined from the perspective of whole-genome structure, function and organization. The following three categories of DNA band pattern studies will be reviewed: (i) random whole-genome analysis; (ii) specific gene variation and (iii) mobile genetic elements. (i) The use of RAPD, PFGE and AFLP to analyse the whole genome will provide a skeleton of polymorphic sites with exact genomic positions as whole-genome sequence data become available. (ii) Different genes provide different levels of evolutionary information for determining isolate relatedness depending on whether they are highly variable (prone to recombination events and horizontal transfer), housekeeping genes with only a small number of single nucleotide differences between isolates or part of the rrn multigene family that is prone to intragenomic recombination and concerted evolution. Comparative analyses of these different gene classes can provide enhanced information about isolate relatedness. (iii) Mobile genetic elements such as insertion sequences, transposons, plasmids and bacteriophages integrate into the bacterial genome at specific (e.g. tRNA genes) or non-specific sites to alter band patterns produced by PFGE, RAPD or AFLP. From the literature it is not clear what level of genetic element duplication constitutes non-relatedness of isolates. A model is presented that incorporates all of the above genomic characteristics for the determination of isolate relatedness in taxonomic, typing and evolutionary studies.

  17. Distinctive Genome Reduction Rates Revealed by Genomic Analyses of Two Coxiella-Like Endosymbionts in Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Gottlieb, Yuval; Lalzar, Itai; Klasson, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Genome reduction is a hallmark of symbiotic genomes, and the rate and patterns of gene loss associated with this process have been investigated in several different symbiotic systems. However, in long-term host-associated coevolving symbiont clades, the genome size differences between strains are normally quite small and hence patterns of large-scale genome reduction can only be inferred from distant relatives. Here we present the complete genome of a Coxiella-like symbiont from Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks (CRt), and compare it with other genomes from the genus Coxiella in order to investigate the process of genome reduction in a genus consisting of intracellular host-associated bacteria with variable genome sizes. The 1.7-Mb CRt genome is larger than the genomes of most obligate mutualists but has a very low protein-coding content (48.5%) and an extremely high number of identifiable pseudogenes, indicating that it is currently undergoing genome reduction. Analysis of encoded functions suggests that CRt is an obligate tick mutualist, as indicated by the possible provisioning of the tick with biotin (B7), riboflavin (B2) and other cofactors, and by the loss of most genes involved in host cell interactions, such as secretion systems. Comparative analyses between CRt and the 2.5 times smaller genome of Coxiella from the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum (CLEAA) show that many of the same gene functions are lost and suggest that the large size difference might be due to a higher rate of genome evolution in CLEAA generated by the loss of the mismatch repair genes mutSL. Finally, sequence polymorphisms in the CRt population sampled from field collected ticks reveal up to one distinct strain variant per tick, and analyses of mutational patterns within the population suggest that selection might be acting on synonymous sites. The CRt genome is an extreme example of a symbiont genome caught in the act of genome reduction, and the comparison between CLEAA and CRt

  18. Distinctive Genome Reduction Rates Revealed by Genomic Analyses of Two Coxiella-Like Endosymbionts in Ticks.

    PubMed

    Gottlieb, Yuval; Lalzar, Itai; Klasson, Lisa

    2015-06-01

    Genome reduction is a hallmark of symbiotic genomes, and the rate and patterns of gene loss associated with this process have been investigated in several different symbiotic systems. However, in long-term host-associated coevolving symbiont clades, the genome size differences between strains are normally quite small and hence patterns of large-scale genome reduction can only be inferred from distant relatives. Here we present the complete genome of a Coxiella-like symbiont from Rhipicephalus turanicus ticks (CRt), and compare it with other genomes from the genus Coxiella in order to investigate the process of genome reduction in a genus consisting of intracellular host-associated bacteria with variable genome sizes. The 1.7-Mb CRt genome is larger than the genomes of most obligate mutualists but has a very low protein-coding content (48.5%) and an extremely high number of identifiable pseudogenes, indicating that it is currently undergoing genome reduction. Analysis of encoded functions suggests that CRt is an obligate tick mutualist, as indicated by the possible provisioning of the tick with biotin (B7), riboflavin (B2) and other cofactors, and by the loss of most genes involved in host cell interactions, such as secretion systems. Comparative analyses between CRt and the 2.5 times smaller genome of Coxiella from the lone star tick Amblyomma americanum (CLEAA) show that many of the same gene functions are lost and suggest that the large size difference might be due to a higher rate of genome evolution in CLEAA generated by the loss of the mismatch repair genes mutSL. Finally, sequence polymorphisms in the CRt population sampled from field collected ticks reveal up to one distinct strain variant per tick, and analyses of mutational patterns within the population suggest that selection might be acting on synonymous sites. The CRt genome is an extreme example of a symbiont genome caught in the act of genome reduction, and the comparison between CLEAA and CRt

  19. Bacterial cheating limits the evolution of antibiotic resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chao, Hui Xiao; Datta, Manoshi; Yurtsev, Eugene; Gore, Jeff

    2011-03-01

    The widespread use of antibiotics has led to the evolution of resistance in bacteria. Bacteria can gain resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin by acquiring a plasmid carrying the gene beta-lactamase, which inactivates the antibiotic. This inactivation may represent a cooperative behavior, as the entire bacterial population benefits from removing the antibiotic. The cooperative nature of this growth suggests that a cheater strain--which does not contribute to breaking down the antibiotic--may be able to take advantage of cells cooperatively inactivating the antibiotic. Here we experimentally find that a ``sensitive'' bacterial strain lacking the plasmid conferring resistance can invade a population of resistant bacteria, even in antibiotic concentrations that should kill the sensitive strain. We observe stable coexistence between the two strains and find that a simple model successfully explains the behavior as a function of antibiotic concentration and cell density. We anticipate that our results will provide insight into the evolutionary origin of phenotypic diversity and cooperative behaviors found in nature.

  20. Investigation of evolution-related aspects of bacterial rhodopsins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    We have investigated evolution-related aspects of bacterial rhodopsins, the unique retinal-based energy transducing systems of halophilic archae. The approach was to describe both structural and functional aspects: the structure by sequencing genes to explore which regions are conserved, and the function by comparing proton and chloride transport in the closely related systems, bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin, respectively. In the latter, we have made a good start toward the ultimate goal of separating the attributes of the general principles of retinal-based ionic pumps from those of the specific ion specificities, by determining the thermodynamics of the internal steps of the protein-mediated active transport process, as well as some of the intraprotein ion-transfer steps. Our present emphasis is on continuing to acquire the tools for studying what distinguishes proton transport from chloride transport. We consider it important, therefore, that we have been able to provide firm mathematical grounds for the kinetics analyses which underlies these studies. Our molecular biological studies have received a great boost from the expression vector for the bop gene based on a halobacterial plasmid, that we recently developed.

  1. Bacterial Microcompartment Organelles: Protein Shell Structure and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Yeates, Todd O.; Crowley, Christopher S.; Tanaka, Shiho

    2012-01-01

    Some bacteria contain organelles or microcompartments consisting of a large virion-like protein shell encapsulating sequentially acting enzymes. These organized microcompartments serve to enhance or protect key metabolic pathways inside the cell. The variety of bacterial microcompartments provide diverse metabolic functions, ranging from CO2 fixation to the degradation of small organic molecules. Yet they share an evolutionarily related shell, which is defined by a conserved protein domain that is widely distributed across the bacterial kingdom. Structural studies on a number of these bacterial microcompartment shell proteins are illuminating the architecture of the shell and highlighting its critical role in controlling molecular transport into and out of microcompartments. Current structural, evolutionary, and mechanistic ideas are discussed, along with genomic studies for exploring the function and diversity of this family of bacterial organelles. PMID:20192762

  2. Function and evolution of ubiquitous bacterial signaling adapter phosphopeptide recognition domain FHA.

    PubMed

    Weiling, Hong; Xiaowen, Yu; Chunmei, Li; Jianping, Xie

    2013-03-01

    Forkhead-associated domain (FHA) is a phosphopeptide recognition domain embedded in some regulatory proteins. With similar fold type to important eukaryotic signaling molecules such as Smad2 and IRF3, the role of bacterial FHA domain is intensively pursued. Reported bacterial FHA domain roles include: regulation of glutamate and lipids production, regulation of cell shape, type III secretion, ethambutol resistance, sporulation, signal transduction, carbohydrate storage and transport, and pathogenic and symbiotic host-bacterium interactions. To provide basis for the studies of other bacterial FHA domain containing proteins, the status of bacterial FHA functionality and evolution were summarized.

  3. Pathogenicity islands and the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Lee, C A

    1996-01-01

    The term pathogenicity island has been used to refer to large chromosomal regions in pathogenic bacteria that encode virulence genes. This article reviews the recent history of this term and considers what characteristics define a pathogenicity island. It appears that pathogenicity islands can confer complex virulence phenotypes and were acquired by bacteria from unrelated organisms, leading to interesting hypotheses about how bacterial pathogens evolved. It is likely that mechanisms that generate pathogenicity islands continue to operate and may contribute to the emergence of bacterial pathogens with new virulence properties.

  4. Molecular evolution of bacterial indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase.

    PubMed

    Yuasa, Hajime J; Ushigoe, Akiko; Ball, Helen J

    2011-10-01

    Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) are tryptophan-degrading enzymes that catalyze the first step in L-Trp catabolism via the kynurenine pathway. In mammals, TDO is mainly expressed in the liver and primarily supplies nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). TDO is widely distributed from mammals to bacteria. Active IDO enzymes have been reported only in vertebrates and fungi. In mammals, IDO activity plays a significant role in the immune system while in fungal species, IDO is constitutively expressed and supplies NAD(+), like mammalian TDO. A search of genomic databases reveals that some bacterial species also have a putative IDO gene. A phylogenetic analysis clustered bacterial IDOs into two groups, group I or group II bacterial IDOs. The catalytic efficiencies of group I bacterial IDOs were very low and they are suspected not to contribute significantly to L-Trp metabolism. The bacterial species bearing the group I bacterial IDO are scattered across a few phyla and no phylogenetically close relationship is observed between them. This suggests that the group I bacterial IDOs might be acquired by horizontal gene transmission that occurred in each lineage independently. In contrast, group II bacterial IDOs showed rather high catalytic efficiency. Particularly, the enzymatic characteristics (K(m), V(max) and inhibitor selectivity) of the Gemmatimonas aurantiaca IDO are comparable to those of mammalian IDO1, although comparison of the IDO sequences does not suggest a close evolutionary relationship. In several bacteria, TDO and the kynureninase gene (kynU) are clustered on their chromosome suggesting that these genes could be transcribed in an operon. Interestingly, G. aurantiaca has no TDO, and the IDO is clustered with kynU on its chromosome. Although the G. aurantiaca also has NadA and NadB to synthesize a quinolinic acid (a precursor of NAD(+)) via the aspartate pathway, the high activity of the G. aurantiaca IDO flanking

  5. Evolution of antibiotic resistance by human and bacterial niche construction.

    PubMed

    Boni, Maciej F; Feldman, Marcus W

    2005-03-01

    Antibiotic treatment by humans generates strong viability selection for antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. The frequency of host antibiotic use often determines the strength of this selection, and changing patterns of antibiotic use can generate many types of behaviors in the population dynamics of resistant and sensitive bacterial populations. In this paper, we present a simple model of hosts dimorphic for their tendency to use/avoid antibiotics and bacterial pathogens dimorphic in their resistance/sensitivity to antibiotic treatment. When a constant fraction of hosts uses antibiotics, the two bacterial strain populations can coexist unless host use-frequency is above a critical value; this critical value is derived as the ratio of the fitness cost of resistance to the fitness cost of undergoing treatment. When strain frequencies can affect host behavior, the dynamics may be analyzed in the light of niche construction. We consider three models underlying changing host behavior: conformism, the avoidance of long infections, and adherence to the advice of public health officials. In the latter two, we find that the pathogen can have quite a strong effect on host behavior. In particular, if antibiotic use is discouraged when resistance levels are high, we observe a classic niche-construction phenomenon of maintaining strain polymorphism even in parameter regions where it would not be expected.

  6. Bacterial tyrosine kinases: evolution, biological function and structural insights

    PubMed Central

    Grangeasse, Christophe; Nessler, Sylvie; Mijakovic, Ivan

    2012-01-01

    Reversible protein phosphorylation is a major mechanism in the regulation of fundamental signalling events in all living organisms. Bacteria have been shown to possess a versatile repertoire of protein kinases, including histidine and aspartic acid kinases, serine/threonine kinases, and more recently tyrosine and arginine kinases. Tyrosine phosphorylation is today recognized as a key regulatory device of bacterial physiology, linked to exopolysaccharide production, virulence, stress response and DNA metabolism. However, bacteria have evolved tyrosine kinases that share no resemblance with their eukaryotic counterparts and are unique in exploiting the ATP/GTP-binding Walker motif to catalyse autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation on tyrosine. These enzymes, named BY-kinases (for Bacterial tYrosine kinases), have been identified in a majority of sequenced bacterial genomes, and to date no orthologues have been found in Eukarya. The aim of this review was to present the most recent knowledge about BY-kinases by focusing primarily on their evolutionary origin, structural and functional aspects, and emerging regulatory potential based on recent bacterial phosphoproteomic studies. PMID:22889913

  7. Host Imprints on Bacterial Genomes—Rapid, Divergent Evolution in Individual Patients

    PubMed Central

    Wullt, Björn; Liesegang, Heiko; Biran, Dvora; Voigt, Birgit; Grönberg-Hernandez, Jenny; Ragnarsdottir, Bryndis; Hecker, Michael; Ron, Eliora Z.; Daniel, Rolf; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Hacker, Jörg; Svanborg, Catharina; Dobrindt, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Bacteria lose or gain genetic material and through selection, new variants become fixed in the population. Here we provide the first, genome-wide example of a single bacterial strain's evolution in different deliberately colonized patients and the surprising insight that hosts appear to personalize their microflora. By first obtaining the complete genome sequence of the prototype asymptomatic bacteriuria strain E. coli 83972 and then resequencing its descendants after therapeutic bladder colonization of different patients, we identified 34 mutations, which affected metabolic and virulence-related genes. Further transcriptome and proteome analysis proved that these genome changes altered bacterial gene expression resulting in unique adaptation patterns in each patient. Our results provide evidence that, in addition to stochastic events, adaptive bacterial evolution is driven by individual host environments. Ongoing loss of gene function supports the hypothesis that evolution towards commensalism rather than virulence is favored during asymptomatic bladder colonization. PMID:20865122

  8. Bacterial Cheating Limits the Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yurtsev, Eugene; Xiao Chao, Hui; Datta, Manoshi; Artemova, Tatiana; Gore, Jeff

    2012-02-01

    The emergence of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a significant health concern. Bacteria can gain resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin by acquiring a plasmid carrying the gene beta-lactamase, which inactivates the antibiotic. This inactivation may represent a cooperative behavior, as the entire bacterial population benefits from removal of the antibiotic. The presence of a cooperative mechanism of resistance suggests that a cheater strain - which does not contribute to breaking down the antibiotic - may be able to take advantage of resistant cells. We find experimentally that a ``sensitive'' bacterial strain lacking the plasmid conferring resistance can invade a population of resistant bacteria, even in antibiotic concentrations that should kill the sensitive strain. We use a simple model in conjunction with difference equations to explain the observed population dynamics as a function of cell density and antibiotic concentration. Our experimental difference equations resemble the logistic map, raising the possibility of oscillations or even chaotic dynamics.

  9. Transcriptional abundance is not the single force driving the evolution of bacterial proteins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite rapid progress in understanding the mechanisms that shape the evolution of proteins, the relative importance of various factors remain to be elucidated. In this study, we have assessed the effects of 16 different biological features on the evolutionary rates (ERs) of protein-coding sequences in bacterial genomes. Results Our analysis of 18 bacterial species revealed new correlations between ERs and constraining factors. Previous studies have suggested that transcriptional abundance overwhelmingly constrains the evolution of yeast protein sequences. This transcriptional abundance leads to selection against misfolding or misinteractions. In this study we found that there was no single factor in determining the evolution of bacterial proteins. Not only transcriptional abundance (codon adaptation index and expression level), but also protein-protein associations (PPAs), essentiality (ESS), subcellular localization of cytoplasmic membrane (SLM), transmembrane helices (TMH) and hydropathicity score (HS) independently and significantly affected the ERs of bacterial proteins. In some species, PPA and ESS demonstrate higher correlations with ER than transcriptional abundance. Conclusions Different forces drive the evolution of protein sequences in yeast and bacteria. In bacteria, the constraints are involved in avoiding a build-up of toxic molecules caused by misfolding/misinteraction (transcriptional abundance), while retaining important functions (ESS, PPA) and maintaining the cell membrane (SLM, TMH and HS). Each of these independently contributes to the variation in protein evolution. PMID:23914835

  10. Chance and necessity in the evolution of a bacterial pathogen.

    PubMed

    Lenski, Richard E

    2011-12-01

    The combination of genomic, epidemiological and evolutionary analyses provides a powerful toolbox for understanding how pathogens adapt to their human hosts. By sequencing 112 Burkholderia dolosa genomes from an outbreak among patients with cystic fibrosis, a new study documents evolution in action and identifies a set of genes that contributed to the pathogen's adaptation.

  11. Mimivirus shows dramatic genome reduction after intraamoebal culture.

    PubMed

    Boyer, Mickaël; Azza, Saïd; Barrassi, Lina; Klose, Thomas; Campocasso, Angélique; Pagnier, Isabelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Borg, Audrey; Robert, Catherine; Zhang, Xinzheng; Desnues, Christelle; Henrissat, Bernard; Rossmann, Michael G; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2011-06-21

    Most phagocytic protist viruses have large particles and genomes as well as many laterally acquired genes that may be associated with a sympatric intracellular life (a community-associated lifestyle with viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotes) and the presence of virophages. By subculturing Mimivirus 150 times in a germ-free amoebal host, we observed the emergence of a bald form of the virus that lacked surface fibers and replicated in a morphologically different type of viral factory. When studying a 0.40-μm filtered cloned particle, we found that its genome size shifted from 1.2 (M1) to 0.993 Mb (M4), mainly due to large deletions occurring at both ends of the genome. Some of the lost genes are encoding enzymes required for posttranslational modification of the structural viral proteins, such as glycosyltransferases and ankyrin repeat proteins. Proteomic analysis allowed identification of three proteins, probably required for the assembly of virus fibers. The genes for two of these were found to be deleted from the M4 virus genome. The proteins associated with fibers are highly antigenic and can be recognized by mouse and human antimimivirus antibodies. In addition, the bald strain (M4) was not able to propagate the sputnik virophage. Overall, the Mimivirus transition from a sympatric to an allopatric lifestyle was associated with a stepwise genome reduction and the production of a predominantly bald virophage resistant strain. The new axenic ecosystem allowed the allopatric Mimivirus to lose unnecessary genes that might be involved in the control of competitors. PMID:21646533

  12. Mimivirus shows dramatic genome reduction after intraamoebal culture

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Mickaël; Azza, Saïd; Barrassi, Lina; Klose, Thomas; Campocasso, Angélique; Pagnier, Isabelle; Fournous, Ghislain; Borg, Audrey; Robert, Catherine; Zhang, Xinzheng; Desnues, Christelle; Henrissat, Bernard; Rossmann, Michael G.; La Scola, Bernard; Raoult, Didier

    2011-01-01

    Most phagocytic protist viruses have large particles and genomes as well as many laterally acquired genes that may be associated with a sympatric intracellular life (a community-associated lifestyle with viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotes) and the presence of virophages. By subculturing Mimivirus 150 times in a germ-free amoebal host, we observed the emergence of a bald form of the virus that lacked surface fibers and replicated in a morphologically different type of viral factory. When studying a 0.40-μm filtered cloned particle, we found that its genome size shifted from 1.2 (M1) to 0.993 Mb (M4), mainly due to large deletions occurring at both ends of the genome. Some of the lost genes are encoding enzymes required for posttranslational modification of the structural viral proteins, such as glycosyltransferases and ankyrin repeat proteins. Proteomic analysis allowed identification of three proteins, probably required for the assembly of virus fibers. The genes for two of these were found to be deleted from the M4 virus genome. The proteins associated with fibers are highly antigenic and can be recognized by mouse and human antimimivirus antibodies. In addition, the bald strain (M4) was not able to propagate the sputnik virophage. Overall, the Mimivirus transition from a sympatric to an allopatric lifestyle was associated with a stepwise genome reduction and the production of a predominantly bald virophage resistant strain. The new axenic ecosystem allowed the allopatric Mimivirus to lose unnecessary genes that might be involved in the control of competitors. PMID:21646533

  13. Using experimental evolution to explore natural patterns between bacterial motility and resistance to bacteriophages.

    PubMed

    Koskella, Britt; Taylor, Tiffany B; Bates, Jennifer; Buckling, Angus

    2011-11-01

    Resistance of bacteria to phages may be gained by alteration of surface proteins to which phages bind, a mechanism that is likely to be costly as these molecules typically have critical functions such as movement or nutrient uptake. To address this potential trade-off, we combine a systematic study of natural bacteria and phage populations with an experimental evolution approach. We compare motility, growth rate and susceptibility to local phages for 80 bacteria isolated from horse chestnut leaves and, contrary to expectation, find no negative association between resistance to phages and bacterial motility or growth rate. However, because correlational patterns (and their absence) are open to numerous interpretations, we test for any causal association between resistance to phages and bacterial motility using experimental evolution of a subset of bacteria in both the presence and absence of naturally associated phages. Again, we find no clear link between the acquisition of resistance and bacterial motility, suggesting that for these natural bacterial populations, phage-mediated selection is unlikely to shape bacterial motility, a key fitness trait for many bacteria in the phyllosphere. The agreement between the observed natural pattern and the experimental evolution results presented here demonstrates the power of this combined approach for testing evolutionary trade-offs.

  14. Mechanical Evolution of Bacterial Films at Oil-Water Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allan, Daniel; Vaccari, Liana; Sheng, Jian; Leheny, Robert; Stebe, Kathleen

    2014-03-01

    Bacteria can assemble at the interface between oil and water to form films that strongly affect the mechanical properties of the interface. In comparison with biofilms on solid substrates, such biofilm formation at fluid-fluid interfaces has been the subject of relatively little study. The microstructure of the films, which can include not only packings of bacteria but macromolecular surfactants secreted by the bacteria and the remains of dead bacteria, resembles a quasi-two-dimensional colloidal suspension in a polymer solution. We have characterized the mechanical response of bacterial films at oil-aqueous interfaces during their formation via passive microrheology and pendant drop imaging. With increasing age, the films undergo a transition from a viscous to an elastic interfacial shear rheology and eventually acquire a bending rigidity. These findings will be discussed in terms of viscoelstic models and in the context of the active nature of the bacteria in the films and in the adjoining aqueous suspension.

  15. Niches, Population Structure and Genome Reduction in Ochrobactrum intermedium: Clues to Technology-Driven Emergence of Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Aujoulat, Fabien; Romano-Bertrand, Sara; Masnou, Agnès; Marchandin, Hélène; Jumas-Bilak, Estelle

    2014-01-01

    Ochrobactrum intermedium is considered as an emerging human environmental opportunistic pathogen with mild virulence. The distribution of isolates and sequences described in literature and databases showed frequent association with human beings and polluted environments. As population structures are related to bacterial lifestyles, we investigated by multi-locus approach the genetic structure of a population of 65 isolates representative of the known natural distribution of O. intermedium. The population was further surveyed for genome dynamics using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and genomics. The population displayed a clonal epidemic structure with events of recombination that occurred mainly in clonal complexes. Concerning biogeography, clones were shared by human and environments and were both cosmopolitan and local. The main cosmopolitan clone was genetically and genomically stable, and grouped isolates that all harbored an atypical insertion in the rrs. Ubiquitism and stability of this major clone suggested a clonal succes in a particular niche. Events of genomic reduction were detected in the population and the deleted genomic content was described for one isolate. O. intermedium displayed allopatric characters associated to a tendancy of genome reduction suggesting a specialization process. Considering its relatedness with Brucella, this specialization might be a commitment toward pathogenic life-style that could be driven by technological selective pressure related medical and industrial technologies. PMID:24465379

  16. Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Valastyan, Julie; Ke, Xiaobo; Pollak, Shaul; Bareia, Tasneem; Ben-Zion, Ishay; Bassler, Bonnie L.; Eldar, Avigdor

    2016-01-01

    Quorum sensing is a process of chemical communication that bacteria use to monitor cell density and coordinate cooperative behaviors. Quorum sensing relies on extracellular signal molecules and cognate receptor pairs. While a single quorum-sensing system is sufficient to probe cell density, bacteria frequently use multiple quorum-sensing systems to regulate the same cooperative behaviors. The potential benefits of these redundant network structures are not clear. Here, we combine modeling and experimental analyses of the Bacillus subtilis and Vibrio harveyi quorum-sensing networks to show that accumulation of multiple quorum-sensing systems may be driven by a facultative cheating mechanism. We demonstrate that a strain that has acquired an additional quorum-sensing system can exploit its ancestor that possesses one fewer system, but nonetheless, resume full cooperation with its kin when it is fixed in the population. We identify the molecular network design criteria required for this advantage. Our results suggest that increased complexity in bacterial social signaling circuits can evolve without providing an adaptive advantage in a clonal population. PMID:26927849

  17. Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing.

    PubMed

    Even-Tov, Eran; Bendori, Shira Omer; Valastyan, Julie; Ke, Xiaobo; Pollak, Shaul; Bareia, Tasneem; Ben-Zion, Ishay; Bassler, Bonnie L; Eldar, Avigdor

    2016-02-01

    Quorum sensing is a process of chemical communication that bacteria use to monitor cell density and coordinate cooperative behaviors. Quorum sensing relies on extracellular signal molecules and cognate receptor pairs. While a single quorum-sensing system is sufficient to probe cell density, bacteria frequently use multiple quorum-sensing systems to regulate the same cooperative behaviors. The potential benefits of these redundant network structures are not clear. Here, we combine modeling and experimental analyses of the Bacillus subtilis and Vibrio harveyi quorum-sensing networks to show that accumulation of multiple quorum-sensing systems may be driven by a facultative cheating mechanism. We demonstrate that a strain that has acquired an additional quorum-sensing system can exploit its ancestor that possesses one fewer system, but nonetheless, resume full cooperation with its kin when it is fixed in the population. We identify the molecular network design criteria required for this advantage. Our results suggest that increased complexity in bacterial social signaling circuits can evolve without providing an adaptive advantage in a clonal population.

  18. Social Evolution Selects for Redundancy in Bacterial Quorum Sensing.

    PubMed

    Even-Tov, Eran; Bendori, Shira Omer; Valastyan, Julie; Ke, Xiaobo; Pollak, Shaul; Bareia, Tasneem; Ben-Zion, Ishay; Bassler, Bonnie L; Eldar, Avigdor

    2016-02-01

    Quorum sensing is a process of chemical communication that bacteria use to monitor cell density and coordinate cooperative behaviors. Quorum sensing relies on extracellular signal molecules and cognate receptor pairs. While a single quorum-sensing system is sufficient to probe cell density, bacteria frequently use multiple quorum-sensing systems to regulate the same cooperative behaviors. The potential benefits of these redundant network structures are not clear. Here, we combine modeling and experimental analyses of the Bacillus subtilis and Vibrio harveyi quorum-sensing networks to show that accumulation of multiple quorum-sensing systems may be driven by a facultative cheating mechanism. We demonstrate that a strain that has acquired an additional quorum-sensing system can exploit its ancestor that possesses one fewer system, but nonetheless, resume full cooperation with its kin when it is fixed in the population. We identify the molecular network design criteria required for this advantage. Our results suggest that increased complexity in bacterial social signaling circuits can evolve without providing an adaptive advantage in a clonal population. PMID:26927849

  19. Differential Genome Evolution Between Companion Symbionts in an Insect-Bacterial Symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    McCutcheon, John P.; MacDonald, Bradon R.; Romanovicz, Dwight; Moran, Nancy A.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Obligate symbioses with bacteria allow insects to feed on otherwise unsuitable diets. Some symbionts have extremely reduced genomes and have lost many genes considered to be essential in other bacteria. To understand how symbiont genome degeneration proceeds, we compared the genomes of symbionts in two leafhopper species, Homalodisca vitripennis (glassy-winged sharpshooter [GWSS]) and Graphocephala atropunctata (blue-green sharpshooter [BGSS]) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Each host species is associated with the anciently acquired “Candidatus Sulcia muelleri” (Bacteroidetes) and the more recently acquired “Candidatus Baumannia cicadellinicola” (Gammaproteobacteria). BGSS “Ca. Baumannia” retains 89 genes that are absent from GWSS “Ca. Baumannia”; these underlie central cellular functions, including cell envelope biogenesis, cellular replication, and stress response. In contrast, “Ca. Sulcia” strains differ by only a few genes. Although GWSS “Ca. Baumannia” cells are spherical or pleomorphic (a convergent trait of obligate symbionts), electron microscopy reveals that BGSS “Ca. Baumannia” maintains a rod shape, possibly due to its retention of genes involved in cell envelope biogenesis and integrity. Phylogenomic results suggest that “Ca. Baumannia” is derived from the clade consisting of Sodalis and relatives, a group that has evolved symbiotic associations with numerous insect hosts. Finally, the rates of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions are higher in “Ca. Baumannia” than in “Ca. Sulcia,” which may be due to a lower mutation rate in the latter. Taken together, our results suggest that the two “Ca. Baumannia” genomes represent different stages of genome reduction in which many essential functions are being lost and likely compensated by hosts. “Ca. Sulcia” exhibits much greater genome stability and slower sequence evolution, although the mechanisms underlying these differences are poorly understood

  20. The consequences of genetic drift for bacterial genome complexity.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Chih-Horng; Moran, Nancy A; Ochman, Howard

    2009-08-01

    Genetic drift, which is particularly effective within small populations, can shape the size and complexity of genomes by affecting the fixation of deleterious mutations. In Bacteria, assessing the contribution of genetic drift to genome evolution is problematic because the usual methods, based on intraspecific polymorphisms, can be thwarted by difficulties in delineating species' boundaries. The increased availability of sequenced bacterial genomes allows application of an alternative estimator of drift, the genome-wide ratio of replacement to silent substitutions in protein-coding sequences. This ratio, which reflects the action of purifying selection across the entire genome, shows a strong inverse relationship with genome size, indicating that drift promotes genome reduction in bacteria.

  1. Quantifying Selective Pressures Driving Bacterial Evolution Using Lineage Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lambert, Guillaume; Kussell, Edo

    2015-01-01

    Organisms use a variety of strategies to adapt to their environments and maximize long-term growth potential, but quantitative characterization of the benefits conferred by the use of such strategies, as well as their impact on the whole population's rate of growth, remains challenging. Here, we use a path-integral framework that describes how selection acts on lineages—i.e., the life histories of individuals and their ancestors—to demonstrate that lineage-based measurements can be used to quantify the selective pressures acting on a population. We apply this analysis to Escherichia coli bacteria exposed to cyclical treatments of carbenicillin, an antibiotic that interferes with cell-wall synthesis and affects cells in an age-dependent manner. While the extensive characterization of the life history of thousands of cells is necessary to accurately extract the age-dependent selective pressures caused by carbenicillin, the same measurement can be recapitulated using lineage-based statistics of a single surviving cell. Population-wide evolutionary pressures can be extracted from the properties of the surviving lineages within a population, providing an alternative and efficient procedure to quantify the evolutionary forces acting on a population. Importantly, this approach is not limited to age-dependent selection, and the framework can be generalized to detect signatures of other trait-specific selection using lineage-based measurements. Our results establish a powerful way to study the evolutionary dynamics of life under selection and may be broadly useful in elucidating selective pressures driving the emergence of antibiotic resistance and the evolution of survival strategies in biological systems.

  2. Assessment of the bacterial diversity in soils: Evolution of approaches and methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovol'Skaya, T. G.; Golovchenko, A. V.; Pankratov, T. A.; Lysak, L. V.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.

    2009-10-01

    This review analyzes the publications of Russian and foreign microbiologists presenting new approaches and methods for assessing the bacterial diversity of soils in the last twenty years. Using the example of peat soils, it is shown how the concepts of the diversity of the bacterial communities changed in conformity with the evolution of the analytical methods—from the traditional cultural to the molecular-biological ones. The data on the new phylotypes, genera, and species of bacteria adapted to growth in the acid medium and low temperatures characteristic of bog ecosystems are presented. Presently, one of the principal problems of soil microbiology is the necessity of the transfer from the databases on the microbial diversity constructed on the basis of molecular-biological methods to the analysis of the ecological functions of soil microorganisms. The prospects of the ecological evaluation of the bacterial diversity in soils based on the integration of different methods are discussed.

  3. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution.

    PubMed

    Lambowitz, Alan M; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-02-01

    This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome's small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns.

  4. Mobile Bacterial Group II Introns at the Crux of Eukaryotic Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Lambowitz, Alan M.; Belfort, Marlene

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY This review focuses on recent developments in our understanding of group II intron function, the relationships of these introns to retrotransposons and spliceosomes, and how their common features have informed thinking about bacterial group II introns as key elements in eukaryotic evolution. Reverse transcriptase-mediated and host factor-aided intron retrohoming pathways are considered along with retrotransposition mechanisms to novel sites in bacteria, where group II introns are thought to have originated. DNA target recognition and movement by target-primed reverse transcription infer an evolutionary relationship among group II introns, non-LTR retrotransposons, such as LINE elements, and telomerase. Additionally, group II introns are almost certainly the progenitors of spliceosomal introns. Their profound similarities include splicing chemistry extending to RNA catalysis, reaction stereochemistry, and the position of two divalent metals that perform catalysis at the RNA active site. There are also sequence and structural similarities between group II introns and the spliceosome’s small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) and between a highly conserved core spliceosomal protein Prp8 and a group II intron-like reverse transcriptase. It has been proposed that group II introns entered eukaryotes during bacterial endosymbiosis or bacterial-archaeal fusion, proliferated within the nuclear genome, necessitating evolution of the nuclear envelope, and fragmented giving rise to spliceosomal introns. Thus, these bacterial self-splicing mobile elements have fundamentally impacted the composition of extant eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome, most of which is derived from close relatives of mobile group II introns. PMID:25878921

  5. Role of bacteriophage-encoded exotoxins in the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Casas, Veronica; Maloy, Stanley

    2011-12-01

    Recent advances in metagenomics research have generated a bounty of information that provides insight into the dynamic genetic exchange occurring between bacteriophage (phage) and their bacterial hosts. Metagenomic studies of the microbiomes from a variety of environments have shown that many of the genes sequenced are of phage origin. Among these genes are phage-encoded exotoxin genes. When phage that carry these genes infect an appropriate bacterial host, the bacterium undergoes lysogenic conversion, converting the bacterium from an avirulent strain to a pathogen that can cause human disease. Transfer of the exotoxin genes between bacteria has been shown to occur in marine environments, animal and human intestines and sewage treatment plants. Surprisingly, phage that encode exotoxin genes are commonly found in environments that lack the cognate bacteria commonly associated with the specific toxin-mediated disease and have been found to be associated with alternative environmental bacterial hosts. These findings suggest that the exotoxin genes may play a beneficial role for the bacterial host in nature, and that this environmental reservoir of exotoxin genes may play a role in the evolution of new bacterial pathogens. PMID:22122442

  6. Divergent evolution peaks under intermediate population bottlenecks during bacterial experimental evolution

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Robyn L.; Gifford, Danna R.; MacLean, R. Craig

    2016-01-01

    There is growing evidence that parallel molecular evolution is common, but its causes remain poorly understood. Demographic parameters such as population bottlenecks are predicted to be major determinants of parallelism. Here, we test the hypothesis that bottleneck intensity shapes parallel evolution by elucidating the genomic basis of adaptation to antibiotic-supplemented media in hundreds of populations of the bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1. As expected, bottlenecking decreased the rate of phenotypic and molecular adaptation. Surprisingly, bottlenecking had no impact on the likelihood of parallel adaptive molecular evolution at a genome-wide scale. However, bottlenecking had a profound impact on the genes involved in antibiotic resistance. Specifically, under either intense or weak bottlenecking, resistance predominantly evolved by strongly beneficial mutations which provide high levels of antibiotic resistance. In contrast with intermediate bottlenecking regimes, resistance evolved by a greater diversity of genetic mechanisms, significantly reducing the observed levels of parallel genetic evolution. Our results demonstrate that population bottlenecking can be a major predictor of parallel evolution, but precisely how may be more complex than many simple theoretical predictions. PMID:27466449

  7. Sequential evolution of bacterial morphology by co-option of a developmental regulator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Chao; Brown, Pamela J. B.; Ducret, Adrien; Brun, Yves V.

    2014-02-01

    What mechanisms underlie the transitions responsible for the diverse shapes observed in the living world? Although bacteria exhibit a myriad of morphologies, the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of bacterial cell shape are not understood. We investigated morphological diversity in a group of bacteria that synthesize an appendage-like extension of the cell envelope called the stalk. The location and number of stalks varies among species, as exemplified by three distinct subcellular positions of stalks within a rod-shaped cell body: polar in the genus Caulobacter and subpolar or bilateral in the genus Asticcacaulis. Here we show that a developmental regulator of Caulobacter crescentus, SpmX, is co-opted in the genus Asticcacaulis to specify stalk synthesis either at the subpolar or bilateral positions. We also show that stepwise evolution of a specific region of SpmX led to the gain of a new function and localization of this protein, which drove the sequential transition in stalk positioning. Our results indicate that changes in protein function, co-option and modularity are key elements in the evolution of bacterial morphology. Therefore, similar evolutionary principles of morphological transitions apply to both single-celled prokaryotes and multicellular eukaryotes.

  8. The evolution of bacterial mutation rates under simultaneous selection by interspecific and social parasitism.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Siobhán; Rodrigues, Antonio M M; Buckling, Angus

    2013-12-22

    Many bacterial populations harbour substantial numbers of hypermutable bacteria, in spite of hypermutation being associated with deleterious mutations. One reason for the persistence of hypermutators is the provision of novel mutations, enabling rapid adaptation to continually changing environments, for example coevolving virulent parasites. However, hypermutation also increases the rate at which intraspecific parasites (social cheats) are generated. Interspecific and intraspecific parasitism are therefore likely to impose conflicting selection pressure on mutation rate. Here, we combine theory and experiments to investigate how simultaneous selection from inter- and intraspecific parasitism affects the evolution of bacterial mutation rates in the plant-colonizing bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Both our theoretical and experimental results suggest that phage presence increases and selection for public goods cooperation (the production of iron-scavenging siderophores) decreases selection for mutator bacteria. Moreover, phages imposed a much greater growth cost than social cheating, and when both selection pressures were imposed simultaneously, selection for cooperation did not affect mutation rate evolution. Given the ubiquity of infectious phages in the natural environment and clinical infections, our results suggest that phages are likely to be more important than social interactions in determining mutation rate evolution.

  9. The evolution of bacterial mutation rates under simultaneous selection by interspecific and social parasitism.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Siobhán; Rodrigues, Antonio M M; Buckling, Angus

    2013-12-22

    Many bacterial populations harbour substantial numbers of hypermutable bacteria, in spite of hypermutation being associated with deleterious mutations. One reason for the persistence of hypermutators is the provision of novel mutations, enabling rapid adaptation to continually changing environments, for example coevolving virulent parasites. However, hypermutation also increases the rate at which intraspecific parasites (social cheats) are generated. Interspecific and intraspecific parasitism are therefore likely to impose conflicting selection pressure on mutation rate. Here, we combine theory and experiments to investigate how simultaneous selection from inter- and intraspecific parasitism affects the evolution of bacterial mutation rates in the plant-colonizing bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens. Both our theoretical and experimental results suggest that phage presence increases and selection for public goods cooperation (the production of iron-scavenging siderophores) decreases selection for mutator bacteria. Moreover, phages imposed a much greater growth cost than social cheating, and when both selection pressures were imposed simultaneously, selection for cooperation did not affect mutation rate evolution. Given the ubiquity of infectious phages in the natural environment and clinical infections, our results suggest that phages are likely to be more important than social interactions in determining mutation rate evolution. PMID:24197408

  10. Developing insights into the mechanisms of evolution of bacterial pathogens from whole-genome sequences

    PubMed Central

    Bentley, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

    Evolution of bacterial pathogen populations has been detected in a variety of ways including phenotypic tests, such as metabolic activity, reaction to antisera and drug resistance and genotypic tests that measure variation in chromosome structure, repetitive loci and individual gene sequences. While informative, these methods only capture a small subset of the total variation and, therefore, have limited resolution. Advances in sequencing technologies have made it feasible to capture whole-genome sequence variation for each sample under study, providing the potential to detect all changes at all positions in the genome from single nucleotide changes to large-scale insertions and deletions. In this review, we focus on recent work that has applied this powerful new approach and summarize some of the advances that this has brought in our understanding of the details of how bacterial pathogens evolve. PMID:23075447

  11. Nutritional immunity. Escape from bacterial iron piracy through rapid evolution of transferrin.

    PubMed

    Barber, Matthew F; Elde, Nels C

    2014-12-12

    Iron sequestration provides an innate defense, termed nutritional immunity, leading pathogens to scavenge iron from hosts. Although the molecular basis of this battle for iron is established, its potential as a force for evolution at host-pathogen interfaces is unknown. We show that the iron transport protein transferrin is engaged in ancient and ongoing evolutionary conflicts with TbpA, a transferrin surface receptor from bacteria. Single substitutions in transferrin at rapidly evolving sites reverse TbpA binding, providing a mechanism to counteract bacterial iron piracy among great apes. Furthermore, the C2 transferrin polymorphism in humans evades TbpA variants from Haemophilus influenzae, revealing a functional basis for standing genetic variation. These findings identify a central role for nutritional immunity in the persistent evolutionary conflicts between primates and bacterial pathogens. PMID:25504720

  12. Metabolic modeling of endosymbiont genome reduction on a temporal scale.

    PubMed

    Yizhak, Keren; Tuller, Tamir; Papp, Balázs; Ruppin, Eytan

    2011-03-29

    A fundamental challenge in Systems Biology is whether a cell-scale metabolic model can predict patterns of genome evolution by realistically accounting for associated biochemical constraints. Here, we study the order in which genes are lost in an in silico evolutionary process, leading from the metabolic network of Escherichia coli to that of the endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola. We examine how this order correlates with the order by which the genes were actually lost, as estimated from a phylogenetic reconstruction. By optimizing this correlation across the space of potential growth and biomass conditions, we compute an upper bound estimate on the model's prediction accuracy (R=0.54). The model's network-based predictive ability outperforms predictions obtained using genomic features of individual genes, reflecting the effect of selection imposed by metabolic stoichiometric constraints. Thus, while the timing of gene loss might be expected to be a completely stochastic evolutionary process, remarkably, we find that metabolic considerations, on their own, make a marked 40% contribution to determining when such losses occur. PMID:21451589

  13. Evolution of bacterial flora in burn wounds: key role of environmental disinfection in control of infection.

    PubMed

    Taneja, Neelam; Chari, Ps; Singh, Malkit; Singh, Gagandeep; Biswal, Manisha; Sharma, Meera

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial flora in burn patients undergoes change over period of time and is dependent upon many factors. Study of burn flora is not only helpful in locating entry of multidrug resistant bacterial strains into the unit's usual flora but also in determining current antibiotic susceptibilities. Since no studies are available from India that have studied sequential emergence of different microorganisms in burn wound, present study was carried out to study evolution of bacterial flora in burn wounds and its correlation with invasive wound infection. Environmental sampling was also carried out for possible sources of infection. Patients with 20-70% of total burn surface were enrolled and followed up for entire duration of stay. Clinical & treatment details were noted. Surface wound swabs were collected on first, third, seventh, tenth and fourteenth day post admission. Environmental sampling was done every three months. Of 215 wound swabs collected from 71 patients, 72 were sterile and 143 yielded 214 isolates. Colonization rates were 33% on first day, 94% on 7th day and 100% by 14th day. 42% swabs grew gram negative bacteria. Overall Staphylococcus aureus was the predominant isolate (45%) followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (13.9%), beta hemolytic Streptococci (9.4%). Maximum invasive infections were seen at the seventh day. A high level of environmental contamination was seen with S. aureus, a substantial portion being MRSA. Better control of environmental contamination and disinfection along with rigorous hand washing and barrier precautions are recommended to prevent infection of wounds. PMID:23638328

  14. Mini-review: Strategies for Variation and Evolution of Bacterial Antigens

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet

    2015-01-01

    Across the eubacteria, antigenic variation has emerged as a strategy to evade host immunity. However, phenotypic variation in some of these antigens also allows the bacteria to exploit variable host niches as well. The specific mechanisms are not shared-derived characters although there is considerable convergent evolution and numerous commonalities reflecting considerations of natural selection and biochemical restraints. Unlike in viruses, mechanisms of antigenic variation in most bacteria involve larger DNA movement such as gene conversion or DNA rearrangement, although some antigens vary due to point mutations or modified transcriptional regulation. The convergent evolution that promotes antigenic variation integrates various evolutionary forces: these include mutations underlying variant production; drift which could remove alleles especially early in infection or during life history phases in arthropod vectors (when the bacterial population size goes through a bottleneck); selection not only for any particular variant but also for the mechanism for the production of variants (i.e., selection for mutability); and overcoming negative selection against variant production. This review highlights the complexities of drivers of antigenic variation, in particular extending evaluation beyond the commonly cited theory of immune evasion. A deeper understanding of the diversity of purpose and mechanisms of antigenic variation in bacteria will contribute to greater insight into bacterial pathogenesis, ecology and coevolution with hosts. PMID:26288700

  15. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition.

    PubMed

    Voogdt, Carlos G P; Bouwman, Lieneke I; Kik, Marja J L; Wagenaar, Jaap A; van Putten, Jos P M

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions.

  16. Bacterial evolution by genomic island transfer occurs via DNA transformation in planta.

    PubMed

    Lovell, Helen C; Mansfield, John W; Godfrey, Scott A C; Jackson, Robert W; Hancock, John T; Arnold, Dawn L

    2009-09-29

    Our understanding of the evolution of microbial pathogens has been advanced by the discovery of "islands" of DNA that differ from core genomes and contain determinants of virulence. The acquisition of genomic islands (GIs) by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is thought to have played a major role in microbial evolution. There are, however, few practical demonstrations of the acquisition of genes that control virulence, and, significantly, all have been achieved outside the animal or plant host. Loss of a GI from the bean pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (Pph) is driven by exposure to the stress imposed by the plant's resistance response. Here, we show that the complete episomal island, which carries pathogenicity genes including the effector avrPphB, transfers between strains of Pph by transformation in planta and inserts at a specific att site in the genome of the recipient. Our results show that the evolution of bacterial pathogens by HGT may be achieved via transformation, the simplest mechanism of DNA exchange. This process is activated by exposure to plant defenses, when the pathogen is in greatest need of acquiring new genetic traits to alleviate the antimicrobial stress imposed by plant innate immunity.

  17. Reptile Toll-like receptor 5 unveils adaptive evolution of bacterial flagellin recognition

    PubMed Central

    Voogdt, Carlos G. P.; Bouwman, Lieneke I.; Kik, Marja J. L.; Wagenaar, Jaap A.; van Putten, Jos P. M.

    2016-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are ancient innate immune receptors crucial for immune homeostasis and protection against infection. TLRs are present in mammals, birds, amphibians and fish but have not been functionally characterized in reptiles despite the central position of this animal class in vertebrate evolution. Here we report the cloning, characterization, and function of TLR5 of the reptile Anolis carolinensis (Green Anole lizard). The receptor (acTLR5) displays the typical TLR protein architecture with 22 extracellular leucine rich repeats flanked by a N- and C-terminal leucine rich repeat domain, a membrane-spanning region, and an intracellular TIR domain. The receptor is phylogenetically most similar to TLR5 of birds and most distant to fish TLR5. Transcript analysis revealed acTLR5 expression in multiple lizard tissues. Stimulation of acTLR5 with TLR ligands demonstrated unique responsiveness towards bacterial flagellin in both reptile and human cells. Comparison of acTLR5 and human TLR5 using purified flagellins revealed differential sensitivity to Pseudomonas but not Salmonella flagellin, indicating development of species-specific flagellin recognition during the divergent evolution of mammals and reptiles. Our discovery of reptile TLR5 fills the evolutionary gap regarding TLR conservation across vertebrates and provides novel insights in functional evolution of host-microbe interactions. PMID:26738735

  18. Sequence context of indel mutations and their effect on protein evolution in a bacterial endosymbiont.

    PubMed

    Williams, Laura E; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2013-01-01

    Indel mutations play key roles in genome and protein evolution, yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of how indels impact evolutionary processes. Genome-wide analyses enabled by next-generation sequencing can clarify the context and effect of indels, thereby integrating a more detailed consideration of indels with our knowledge of nucleotide substitutions. To this end, we sequenced Blochmannia chromaiodes, an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of carpenter ants, and compared it with the close relative, B. pennsylvanicus. The genetic distance between these species is small enough for accurate whole genome alignment but large enough to provide a meaningful spectrum of indel mutations. We found that indels are subjected to purifying selection in coding regions and even intergenic regions, which show a reduced rate of indel base pairs per kilobase compared with nonfunctional pseudogenes. Indels occur almost exclusively in repeat regions composed of homopolymers and multimeric simple sequence repeats, demonstrating the importance of sequence context for indel mutations. Despite purifying selection, some indels occur in protein-coding genes. Most are multiples of three, indicating selective pressure to maintain the reading frame. The deleterious effect of frameshift-inducing indels is minimized by either compensation from a nearby indel to restore reading frame or the indel's location near the 3'-end of the gene. We observed amino acid divergence exceeding nucleotide divergence in regions affected by frameshift-inducing indels, suggesting that these indels may either drive adaptive protein evolution or initiate gene degradation. Our results shed light on how indel mutations impact processes of molecular evolution underlying endosymbiont genome evolution.

  19. Survival and Evolution of a Large Multidrug Resistance Plasmid in New Clinical Bacterial Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Porse, Andreas; Schønning, Kristian; Munck, Christian; Sommer, Morten O.A.

    2016-01-01

    Large conjugative plasmids are important drivers of bacterial evolution and contribute significantly to the dissemination of antibiotic resistance. Although plasmid borne multidrug resistance is recognized as one of the main challenges in modern medicine, the adaptive forces shaping the evolution of these plasmids within pathogenic hosts are poorly understood. Here we study plasmid–host adaptations following transfer of a 73 kb conjugative multidrug resistance plasmid to naïve clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli. We use experimental evolution, mathematical modelling and population sequencing to show that the long-term persistence and molecular integrity of the plasmid is highly influenced by multiple factors within a 25 kb plasmid region constituting a host-dependent burden. In the E. coli hosts investigated here, improved plasmid stability readily evolves via IS26 mediated deletions of costly regions from the plasmid backbone, effectively expanding the host-range of the plasmid. Although these adaptations were also beneficial to plasmid persistence in a naïve K. pneumoniae host, they were never observed in this species, indicating that differential evolvability can limit opportunities of plasmid adaptation. While insertion sequences are well known to supply plasmids with adaptive traits, our findings suggest that they also play an important role in plasmid evolution by maintaining the plasticity necessary to alleviate plasmid–host constrains. Further, the observed evolutionary strategy consistently followed by all evolved E. coli lineages exposes a trade-off between horizontal and vertical transmission that may ultimately limit the dissemination potential of clinical multidrug resistance plasmids in these hosts. PMID:27501945

  20. Sequence context of indel mutations and their effect on protein evolution in a bacterial endosymbiont.

    PubMed

    Williams, Laura E; Wernegreen, Jennifer J

    2013-01-01

    Indel mutations play key roles in genome and protein evolution, yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of how indels impact evolutionary processes. Genome-wide analyses enabled by next-generation sequencing can clarify the context and effect of indels, thereby integrating a more detailed consideration of indels with our knowledge of nucleotide substitutions. To this end, we sequenced Blochmannia chromaiodes, an obligate bacterial endosymbiont of carpenter ants, and compared it with the close relative, B. pennsylvanicus. The genetic distance between these species is small enough for accurate whole genome alignment but large enough to provide a meaningful spectrum of indel mutations. We found that indels are subjected to purifying selection in coding regions and even intergenic regions, which show a reduced rate of indel base pairs per kilobase compared with nonfunctional pseudogenes. Indels occur almost exclusively in repeat regions composed of homopolymers and multimeric simple sequence repeats, demonstrating the importance of sequence context for indel mutations. Despite purifying selection, some indels occur in protein-coding genes. Most are multiples of three, indicating selective pressure to maintain the reading frame. The deleterious effect of frameshift-inducing indels is minimized by either compensation from a nearby indel to restore reading frame or the indel's location near the 3'-end of the gene. We observed amino acid divergence exceeding nucleotide divergence in regions affected by frameshift-inducing indels, suggesting that these indels may either drive adaptive protein evolution or initiate gene degradation. Our results shed light on how indel mutations impact processes of molecular evolution underlying endosymbiont genome evolution. PMID:23475937

  1. Molecular mechanisms for the evolution of bacterial morphologies and growth modes

    PubMed Central

    Randich, Amelia M.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria exhibit a rich diversity of morphologies. Within this diversity, there is a uniformity of shape for each species that is replicated faithfully each generation, suggesting that bacterial shape is as selectable as any other biochemical adaptation. We describe the spatiotemporal mechanisms that target peptidoglycan synthesis to different subcellular zones to generate the rod-shape of model organisms Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. We then demonstrate, using the related genera Caulobacter and Asticcacaulis as examples, how the modularity of the core components of the peptidoglycan synthesis machinery permits repositioning of the machinery to achieve different growth modes and morphologies. Finally, we highlight cases in which the mechanisms that underlie morphological evolution are beginning to be understood, and how they depend upon the expansion and diversification of the core components of the peptidoglycan synthesis machinery. PMID:26106381

  2. Co-evolution of Bacterial Ribosomal Protein S15 with Diverse mRNA Regulatory Structures

    PubMed Central

    Slinger, Betty L.; Newman, Hunter; Lee, Younghan; Pei, Shermin; Meyer, Michelle M.

    2015-01-01

    RNA-protein interactions are critical in many biological processes, yet how such interactions affect the evolution of both partners is still unknown. RNA and protein structures are impacted very differently by mechanisms of genomic change. While most protein families are identifiable at the nucleotide level across large phylogenetic distances, RNA families display far less nucleotide similarity and are often only shared by closely related bacterial species. Ribosomal protein S15 has two RNA binding functions. First, it is a ribosomal protein responsible for organizing the rRNA during ribosome assembly. Second, in many bacterial species S15 also interacts with a structured portion of its own transcript to negatively regulate gene expression. While the first interaction is conserved in most bacteria, the second is not. Four distinct mRNA structures interact with S15 to enable regulation, each of which appears to be independently derived in different groups of bacteria. With the goal of understanding how protein-binding specificity may influence the evolution of such RNA regulatory structures, we examine whether examples of these mRNA structures are able to interact with, and regulate in response to, S15 homologs from organisms containing distinct mRNA structures. We find that despite their shared RNA binding function in the rRNA, S15 homologs have distinct RNA recognition profiles. We present a model to explain the specificity patterns observed, and support this model by with further mutagenesis. After analyzing the patterns of conservation for the S15 protein coding sequences, we also identified amino acid changes that alter the binding specificity of an S15 homolog. In this work we demonstrate that homologous RNA-binding proteins have different specificity profiles, and minor changes to amino acid sequences, or to RNA structural motifs, can have large impacts on RNA-protein recognition. PMID:26675164

  3. From Environment to Man: Genome Evolution and Adaptation of Human Opportunistic Bacterial Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Aujoulat, Fabien; Roger, Frédéric; Bourdier, Alice; Lotthé, Anne; Lamy, Brigitte; Marchandin, Hélène; Jumas-Bilak, Estelle

    2012-01-01

    Environment is recognized as a huge reservoir for bacterial species and a source of human pathogens. Some environmental bacteria have an extraordinary range of activities that include promotion of plant growth or disease, breakdown of pollutants, production of original biomolecules, but also multidrug resistance and human pathogenicity. The versatility of bacterial life-style involves adaptation to various niches. Adaptation to both open environment and human specific niches is a major challenge that involves intermediate organisms allowing pre-adaptation to humans. The aim of this review is to analyze genomic features of environmental bacteria in order to explain their adaptation to human beings. The genera Pseudomonas, Aeromonas and Ochrobactrum provide valuable examples of opportunistic behavior associated to particular genomic structure and evolution. Particularly, we performed original genomic comparisons among aeromonads and between the strictly intracellular pathogens Brucella spp. and the mild opportunistic pathogens Ochrobactrum spp. We conclude that the adaptation to human could coincide with a speciation in action revealed by modifications in both genomic and population structures. This adaptation-driven speciation could be a major mechanism for the emergence of true pathogens besides the acquisition of specialized virulence factors. PMID:24704914

  4. Recent evolution of bacterial pathogens: the gall-forming Pantoea agglomerans case.

    PubMed

    Barash, Isaac; Manulis-Sasson, Shulamit

    2009-01-01

    Pantoea agglomerans, a widespread epiphyte and commensal bacterium, has evolved into an Hrp-dependent and host-specific tumorigenic pathogen by acquiring a plasmid containing a pathogenicity island (PAI). The PAI was evolved on an iteron plasmid of the IncN family, which is distributed among genetically diverse populations of P. agglomerans. The structure of the PAI supports the premise of a recently evolved pathogen. This review offers insight into a unique model for emergence of new bacterial pathogens. It illustrates how horizontal gene transfer was the major driving force in the creation of the PAI, although a pathoadaptive mechanism might also be involved. It describes the crucial function of plant-produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and cytokinines (CK) in gall initiation as opposed to the significant but secondary role of pathogen-secreted phytohormones. It also unveils the role of type III effectors in determination of host specificity and evolution of the pathogen into pathovars. Finally, it describes how interactions between the quorum sensing system, hrp regulatory genes, and bacterially secreted IAA or CKs affect gall formation and epiphytic fitness.

  5. Exposure to host resistance mechanisms drives evolution of bacterial virulence in plants.

    PubMed

    Pitman, Andrew R; Jackson, Robert W; Mansfield, John W; Kaitell, Victor; Thwaites, Richard; Arnold, Dawn L

    2005-12-20

    Bacterial pathogenicity to plants and animals has evolved through an arms race of attack and defense. Key players are bacterial effector proteins, which are delivered through the type III secretion system and suppress basal defenses . In plants, varietal resistance to disease is based on recognition of effectors by the products of resistance (R) genes . When recognized, the effector or in this scenario, avirulence (Avr) protein triggers the hypersensitive resistance reaction (HR), which generates antimicrobial conditions . Unfortunately, such gene-for-gene-based resistance commonly fails because of the emergence of virulent strains of the pathogen that no longer trigger the HR . We have followed the emergence of a new virulent pathotype of the halo-blight pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola within leaves of a resistant variety of bean. Exposure to the HR led to the selection of strains lacking the avirulence (effector) gene avrPphB (or hopAR1), which triggers defense in varieties with the matching R3 resistance gene. Loss of avrPphB was through deletion of a 106 kb genomic island (PPHGI-1) that shares features with integrative and conjugative elements (ICElands) and also pathogenicity islands (PAIs) in diverse bacteria . We provide a molecular explanation of how exposure to resistance mechanisms in plants drives the evolution of new virulent forms of pathogens.

  6. Bacterial symbiont and salivary peptide evolution in the context of leech phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Min, Gi-Sik; Fontanella, Frank M; Phillips, Anna J; Watson, Sara C

    2011-11-01

    The evolutionary history of leeches is employed as a general framework for understanding more than merely the systematics of this charismatic group of annelid worms, and serves as a basis for understanding blood-feeding related correlates ranging from the specifics of gut-associated bacterial symbionts to salivary anticoagulant peptides. A variety of medicinal leech families were examined for intraluminal crop bacterial symbionts. Species of Aeromonas and Bacteroidetes were characterized with DNA gyrase B and 16S rDNA. Bacteroidetes isolates were found to be much more phylogenetically diverse and suggested stronger evidence of phylogenetic correlation than the gammaproteobacteria. Patterns that look like co-speciation with limited taxon sampling do not in the full context of phylogeny. Bioactive compounds that are expressed as gene products, like those in leech salivary glands, have 'passed the test' of evolutionary selection. We produced and bioinformatically mined salivary gland EST libraries across medicinal leech lineages to experimentally and statistically evaluate whether evolutionary selection on peptides can identify structure-function activities of known therapeutically relevant bioactive compounds like antithrombin, hirudin and antistasin. The combined information content of a well corroborated leech phylogeny and broad taxonomic coverage of expressed proteins leads to a rich understanding of evolution and function in leech history.

  7. The evolution of bacterial resistance against bacteriophages in the horse chestnut phyllosphere is general across both space and time.

    PubMed

    Koskella, Britt; Parr, Nicole

    2015-08-19

    Insight to the spatial and temporal scales of coevolution is key to predicting the outcome of host-parasite interactions and spread of disease. For bacteria infecting long-lived hosts, selection to overcome host defences is just one factor shaping the course of evolution; populations will also be competing with other microbial species and will themselves be facing infection by bacteriophage viruses. Here, we examine the temporal and spatial patterns of bacterial adaptation against natural phage populations from within leaves of horse chestnut trees. Using a time-shift experiment with both sympatric and allopatric phages from either contemporary or earlier points in the season, we demonstrate that bacterial resistance is higher against phages from the past, regardless of spatial sympatry or how much earlier in the season phages were collected. Similarly, we show that future bacterial hosts are more resistant to both sympatric and allopatric phages than contemporary bacterial hosts. Together, our results suggest the evolution of relatively general bacterial resistance against phages in nature and are contrasting to previously observed patterns of phage adaptation to bacteria from the same tree hosts over the same time frame, indicating a potential asymmetry in coevolutionary dynamics.

  8. The evolution of bacterial resistance against bacteriophages in the horse chestnut phyllosphere is general across both space and time

    PubMed Central

    Koskella, Britt; Parr, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Insight to the spatial and temporal scales of coevolution is key to predicting the outcome of host–parasite interactions and spread of disease. For bacteria infecting long-lived hosts, selection to overcome host defences is just one factor shaping the course of evolution; populations will also be competing with other microbial species and will themselves be facing infection by bacteriophage viruses. Here, we examine the temporal and spatial patterns of bacterial adaptation against natural phage populations from within leaves of horse chestnut trees. Using a time-shift experiment with both sympatric and allopatric phages from either contemporary or earlier points in the season, we demonstrate that bacterial resistance is higher against phages from the past, regardless of spatial sympatry or how much earlier in the season phages were collected. Similarly, we show that future bacterial hosts are more resistant to both sympatric and allopatric phages than contemporary bacterial hosts. Together, our results suggest the evolution of relatively general bacterial resistance against phages in nature and are contrasting to previously observed patterns of phage adaptation to bacteria from the same tree hosts over the same time frame, indicating a potential asymmetry in coevolutionary dynamics. PMID:26150663

  9. The evolution of bacterial resistance against bacteriophages in the horse chestnut phyllosphere is general across both space and time.

    PubMed

    Koskella, Britt; Parr, Nicole

    2015-08-19

    Insight to the spatial and temporal scales of coevolution is key to predicting the outcome of host-parasite interactions and spread of disease. For bacteria infecting long-lived hosts, selection to overcome host defences is just one factor shaping the course of evolution; populations will also be competing with other microbial species and will themselves be facing infection by bacteriophage viruses. Here, we examine the temporal and spatial patterns of bacterial adaptation against natural phage populations from within leaves of horse chestnut trees. Using a time-shift experiment with both sympatric and allopatric phages from either contemporary or earlier points in the season, we demonstrate that bacterial resistance is higher against phages from the past, regardless of spatial sympatry or how much earlier in the season phages were collected. Similarly, we show that future bacterial hosts are more resistant to both sympatric and allopatric phages than contemporary bacterial hosts. Together, our results suggest the evolution of relatively general bacterial resistance against phages in nature and are contrasting to previously observed patterns of phage adaptation to bacteria from the same tree hosts over the same time frame, indicating a potential asymmetry in coevolutionary dynamics. PMID:26150663

  10. Experimental evolution of resistance in Paramecium caudatum against the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata.

    PubMed

    Lohse, Konrad; Gutierrez, Arnaud; Kaltz, Oliver

    2006-06-01

    Host-parasite coevolution is often described as a process of reciprocal adaptation and counter adaptation, driven by frequency-dependent selection. This requires that different parasite genotypes perform differently on different host genotypes. Such genotype-by-genotype interactions arise if adaptation to one host (or parasite) genotype reduces performance on others. These direct costs of adaptation can maintain genetic polymorphism and generate geographic patterns of local host or parasite adaptation. Fixation of all-resistant (or all-infective) genotypes is further prevented if adaptation trades off with other host (or parasite) life-history traits. For the host, such indirect costs of resistance refer to reduced fitness of resistant genotypes in the absence of parasites. We studied (co)evolution in experimental microcosms of several clones of the freshwater protozoan Paramecium caudatum, infected with the bacterial parasite Holospora undulata. After two and a half years of culture, inoculation of evolved and naive (never exposed to the parasite) hosts with evolved and founder parasites revealed an increase in host resistance, but not in parasite infectivity. A cross-infection experiment showed significant host clone-by-parasite isolate interactions, and evolved hosts tended to be more resistant to their own (local) parasites than to parasites from other hosts. Compared to naive clones, evolved host clones had lower division rates in the absence of the parasite. Thus, our study indicates de novo evolution of host resistance, associated with both direct and indirect costs. This illustrates how interactions with parasites can lead to the genetic divergence of initially identical populations.

  11. Novel Approaches to Manipulating Bacterial Pathogen Biofilms: Whole-Systems Design Philosophy and Steering Microbial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Penn, Alexandra S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and manipulating bacterial biofilms is crucial in medicine, ecology and agriculture and has potential applications in bioproduction, bioremediation and bioenergy. Biofilms often resist standard therapies and the need to develop new means of intervention provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink our strategies. Conventional approaches to working with biological systems are, for the most part, "brute force", attempting to effect control in an input and effort intensive manner and are often insufficient when dealing with the inherent non-linearity and complexity of living systems. Biological systems, by their very nature, are dynamic, adaptive and resilient and require management tools that interact with dynamic processes rather than inert artefacts. I present an overview of a novel engineering philosophy which aims to exploit rather than fight those properties, and hence provide a more efficient and robust alternative. Based on a combination of evolutionary theory and whole-systems design, its essence is what I will call systems aikido; the basic principle of aikido being to interact with the momentum of an attacker and redirect it with minimal energy expenditure, using the opponent's energy rather than one's own. In more conventional terms, this translates to a philosophy of equilibrium engineering, manipulating systems' own self-organisation and evolution so that the evolutionarily or dynamically stable state corresponds to a function which we require. I illustrate these ideas with a description of a proposed manipulation of environmental conditions to alter the stability of co-operation in the context of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infection of the cystic fibrosis lung.

  12. Black holes, antivirulence genes, and gene inactivation in the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Maurelli, Anthony T

    2007-02-01

    The evolution of bacterial pathogens from nonpathogenic ancestors is marked principally by the acquisition of virulence gene clusters on plasmids and pathogenicity islands via horizontal gene transfer. The flip side of this evolutionary force is the equally important adaptation of the newly minted pathogen to its new host niche. Pathoadaptive mutations take the form of modification of gene expression such that the pathogen is better fit to survive within the new niche. This mini-review describes the concept of pathoadaptation by loss of gene function. In this process, genes that are no longer compatible with the novel lifestyle of the pathogen are selectively inactivated either by point mutation, insertion, or deletion. These genes are called 'antivirulence genes'. Selective pressure sometimes leads to the deletion of large regions of the genome that contain antivirulence genes generating 'black holes' in the pathogen genome. Inactivation of antivirulence genes leads to a pathogen that is highly adapted to its host niche. Identification of antivirulence genes for a particular pathogen can lead to a better understanding of how it became a pathogen and the types of genetic traits that need to be silenced in order for the pathogen to colonize its new host niche successfully.

  13. A Single Amino Acid Change Is Responsible for Evolution of Acyltransferase Specificity in Bacterial Methionine Biosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Zubieta, C.; Arkus, K.A.J.; Cahoon, R.E.; Jez, J.M.

    2009-05-28

    Bacteria and yeast rely on either homoserine transsuccinylase (HTS, metA) or homoserine transacetylase (HTA; met2) for the biosynthesis of methionine. Although HTS and HTA catalyze similar chemical reactions, these proteins are typically unrelated in both sequence and three-dimensional structure. Here we present the 2.0 {angstrom} resolution x-ray crystal structure of the Bacillus cereus metA protein in complex with homoserine, which provides the first view of a ligand bound to either HTA or HTS. Surprisingly, functional analysis of the B. cereus metA protein shows that it does not use succinyl-CoA as a substrate. Instead, the protein catalyzes the transacetylation of homoserine using acetyl-CoA. Therefore, the B. cereus metA protein functions as an HTA despite greater than 50% sequence identity with bona fide HTS proteins. This result emphasizes the need for functional confirmation of annotations of enzyme function based on either sequence or structural comparisons. Kinetic analysis of site-directed mutants reveals that the B. cereus metA protein and the E. coli HTS share a common catalytic mechanism. Structural and functional examination of the B. cereus metA protein reveals that a single amino acid in the active site determines acetyl-CoA (Glu-111) versus succinyl-CoA (Gly-111) specificity in the metA-like of acyltransferases. Switching of this residue provides a mechanism for evolving substrate specificity in bacterial methionine biosynthesis. Within this enzyme family, HTS and HTA activity likely arises from divergent evolution in a common structural scaffold with conserved catalytic machinery and homoserine binding sites.

  14. Novel Approaches to Manipulating Bacterial Pathogen Biofilms: Whole-Systems Design Philosophy and Steering Microbial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Penn, Alexandra S

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and manipulating bacterial biofilms is crucial in medicine, ecology and agriculture and has potential applications in bioproduction, bioremediation and bioenergy. Biofilms often resist standard therapies and the need to develop new means of intervention provides an opportunity to fundamentally rethink our strategies. Conventional approaches to working with biological systems are, for the most part, "brute force", attempting to effect control in an input and effort intensive manner and are often insufficient when dealing with the inherent non-linearity and complexity of living systems. Biological systems, by their very nature, are dynamic, adaptive and resilient and require management tools that interact with dynamic processes rather than inert artefacts. I present an overview of a novel engineering philosophy which aims to exploit rather than fight those properties, and hence provide a more efficient and robust alternative. Based on a combination of evolutionary theory and whole-systems design, its essence is what I will call systems aikido; the basic principle of aikido being to interact with the momentum of an attacker and redirect it with minimal energy expenditure, using the opponent's energy rather than one's own. In more conventional terms, this translates to a philosophy of equilibrium engineering, manipulating systems' own self-organisation and evolution so that the evolutionarily or dynamically stable state corresponds to a function which we require. I illustrate these ideas with a description of a proposed manipulation of environmental conditions to alter the stability of co-operation in the context of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm infection of the cystic fibrosis lung. PMID:27193553

  15. The Phylogeny of Rickettsia Using Different Evolutionary Signatures: How Tree-Like is Bacterial Evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Gemma G. R.; Weinert, Lucy A.; Rhule, Emma L.; Welch, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria whose hosts and transmission strategies are both impressively diverse, and this is reflected in a highly dynamic genome. Some previous studies have described the evolutionary history of Rickettsia as non-tree-like, due to incongruity between phylogenetic reconstructions using different portions of the genome. Here, we reconstruct the Rickettsia phylogeny using whole-genome data, including two new genomes from previously unsampled host groups. We find that a single topology, which is supported by multiple sources of phylogenetic signal, well describes the evolutionary history of the core genome. We do observe extensive incongruence between individual gene trees, but analyses of simulations over a single topology and interspersed partitions of sites show that this is more plausibly attributed to systematic error than to horizontal gene transfer. Some conflicting placements also result from phylogenetic analyses of accessory genome content (i.e., gene presence/absence), but we argue that these are also due to systematic error, stemming from convergent genome reduction, which cannot be accommodated by existing phylogenetic methods. Our results show that, even within a single genus, tests for gene exchange based on phylogenetic incongruence may be susceptible to false positives. PMID:26559010

  16. The population genetics of drug resistance evolution in natural populations of viral, bacterial and eukaryotic pathogens.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Benjamin A; Garud, Nandita R; Feder, Alison F; Assaf, Zoe J; Pennings, Pleuni S

    2016-01-01

    Drug resistance is a costly consequence of pathogen evolution and a major concern in public health. In this review, we show how population genetics can be used to study the evolution of drug resistance and also how drug resistance evolution is informative as an evolutionary model system. We highlight five examples from diverse organisms with particular focus on: (i) identifying drug resistance loci in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum using the genomic signatures of selective sweeps, (ii) determining the role of epistasis in drug resistance evolution in influenza, (iii) quantifying the role of standing genetic variation in the evolution of drug resistance in HIV, (iv) using drug resistance mutations to study clonal interference dynamics in tuberculosis and (v) analysing the population structure of the core and accessory genome of Staphylococcus aureus to understand the spread of methicillin resistance. Throughout this review, we discuss the uses of sequence data and population genetic theory in studying the evolution of drug resistance.

  17. Amoeba host-Legionella synchronization of amino acid auxotrophy and its role in bacterial adaptation and pathogenic evolution.

    PubMed

    Price, Christopher T D; Richards, Ashley M; Von Dwingelo, Juanita E; Samara, Hala A; Abu Kwaik, Yousef

    2014-02-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, invades and proliferates within a diverse range of free-living amoeba in the environment, but upon transmission to humans, the bacteria hijack alveolar macrophages. Intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila in two evolutionarily distant hosts is facilitated by bacterial exploitation of conserved host processes that are targeted by bacterial protein effectors injected into the host cell. A key aspect of microbe-host interaction is microbial extraction of nutrients from the host, but understanding of this is still limited. AnkB functions as a nutritional virulence factor and promotes host proteasomal degradation of polyubiquitinated proteins generating gratuitous levels of limiting host cellular amino acids. Legionella pneumophila is auxotrophic for several amino acids including cysteine, which is a metabolically preferred source of carbon and energy during intracellular proliferation, but is limiting in both amoebae and humans. We propose that synchronization of bacterial amino acids auxotrophy with the host is a driving force in pathogenic evolution and nutritional adaptation of L. pneumophila and other intracellular bacteria to life within the host cell. Understanding microbial strategies of nutrient generation and acquisition in the host will provide novel antimicrobial strategies to disrupt pathogen access to essential sources of carbon and energy.

  18. Genome expansion via lineage splitting and genome reduction in the cicada endosymbiont Hodgkinia

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Matthew A.; Van Leuven, James T.; Meister, Russell C.; Carey, Kaitlin M.; Simon, Chris; McCutcheon, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Comparative genomics from mitochondria, plastids, and mutualistic endosymbiotic bacteria has shown that the stable establishment of a bacterium in a host cell results in genome reduction. Although many highly reduced genomes from endosymbiotic bacteria are stable in gene content and genome structure, organelle genomes are sometimes characterized by dramatic structural diversity. Previous results from Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola, an endosymbiont of cicadas, revealed that some lineages of this bacterium had split into two new cytologically distinct yet genetically interdependent species. It was hypothesized that the long life cycle of cicadas in part enabled this unusual lineage-splitting event. Here we test this hypothesis by investigating the structure of the Ca. Hodgkinia genome in one of the longest-lived cicadas, Magicicada tredecim. We show that the Ca. Hodgkinia genome from M. tredecim has fragmented into multiple new chromosomes or genomes, with at least some remaining partitioned into discrete cells. We also show that this lineage-splitting process has resulted in a complex of Ca. Hodgkinia genomes that are 1.1-Mb pairs in length when considered together, an almost 10-fold increase in size from the hypothetical single-genome ancestor. These results parallel some examples of genome fragmentation and expansion in organelles, although the mechanisms that give rise to these extreme genome instabilities are likely different. PMID:26286984

  19. Genome expansion via lineage splitting and genome reduction in the cicada endosymbiont Hodgkinia.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Matthew A; Van Leuven, James T; Meister, Russell C; Carey, Kaitlin M; Simon, Chris; McCutcheon, John P

    2015-08-18

    Comparative genomics from mitochondria, plastids, and mutualistic endosymbiotic bacteria has shown that the stable establishment of a bacterium in a host cell results in genome reduction. Although many highly reduced genomes from endosymbiotic bacteria are stable in gene content and genome structure, organelle genomes are sometimes characterized by dramatic structural diversity. Previous results from Candidatus Hodgkinia cicadicola, an endosymbiont of cicadas, revealed that some lineages of this bacterium had split into two new cytologically distinct yet genetically interdependent species. It was hypothesized that the long life cycle of cicadas in part enabled this unusual lineage-splitting event. Here we test this hypothesis by investigating the structure of the Ca. Hodgkinia genome in one of the longest-lived cicadas, Magicicada tredecim. We show that the Ca. Hodgkinia genome from M. tredecim has fragmented into multiple new chromosomes or genomes, with at least some remaining partitioned into discrete cells. We also show that this lineage-splitting process has resulted in a complex of Ca. Hodgkinia genomes that are 1.1-Mb pairs in length when considered together, an almost 10-fold increase in size from the hypothetical single-genome ancestor. These results parallel some examples of genome fragmentation and expansion in organelles, although the mechanisms that give rise to these extreme genome instabilities are likely different.

  20. Modeling bacterial evolution with comparative-genome-based marker systems: application to Mycobacterium tuberculosis evolution and pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Alland, David; Whittam, Thomas S; Murray, Megan B; Cave, M Donald; Hazbon, Manzour H; Dix, Kim; Kokoris, Mark; Duesterhoeft, Andreas; Eisen, Jonathan A; Fraser, Claire M; Fleischmann, Robert D

    2003-06-01

    The comparative-genomic sequencing of two Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains enabled us to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for studies of evolution, pathogenesis, and epidemiology in clinical M. tuberculosis. Phylogenetic analysis using these "comparative-genome markers" (CGMs) produced a highly unusual phylogeny with a complete absence of secondary branches. To investigate CGM-based phylogenies, we devised computer models to simulate sequence evolution and calculate new phylogenies based on an SNP format. We found that CGMs represent a distinct class of phylogenetic markers that depend critically on the genetic distances between compared "reference strains." Properly distanced reference strains generate CGMs that accurately depict evolutionary relationships, distorted only by branch collapse. Improperly distanced reference strains generate CGMs that distort and reroot outgroups. Applying this understanding to the CGM-based phylogeny of M. tuberculosis, we found evidence to suggest that this species is highly clonal without detectable lateral gene exchange. We noted indications of evolutionary bottlenecks, including one at the level of the PHRI "C" strain previously associated with particular virulence characteristics. Our evidence also suggests that loss of IS6110 to fewer than seven elements per genome is uncommon. Finally, we present population-based evidence that KasA, an important component of mycolic acid biosynthesis, develops G312S polymorphisms under selective pressure. PMID:12754238

  1. Structural Bacterial Molecules as Potential Candidates for an Evolution of the Classical Concept of Probiotics12

    PubMed Central

    Caselli, Michele; Vaira, Giuseppina; Calo, Girolamo; Papini, Francesco; Holton, John; Vaira, Dino

    2011-01-01

    A large number of experimental and clinical studies published in recent years have demonstrated the beneficial role of probiotic bacteria in the health of the host. However, because the different receptors of the innate immune system can recognize only specific bacterial molecular patterns, knowledge of the role played by individual probiotic molecular patterns is essential to move from the current confused era of live probiotic bacteria to the era of the pharmacobiotic strategies. This article reviews the current knowledge on the probiotic activities of bacterial structural molecules (nucleic acids and surface molecules), which represent the fundamental basis to set up experimental and clinical studies in this emerging field with very promising and potentially invaluable future prospects. PMID:22332079

  2. Evolution of resistance to a last-resort antibiotic in Staphyloccocus aureus via bacterial competition

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Gudrun; Yepes, Ana; Förstner, Konrad U.; Wermser, Charlotte; Stengel, Stephanie T.; Modamio, Jennifer; Ohlsen, Knut; Foster, Kevin R.; Lopez, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Summary Antibiotic resistance is a key medical concern, with antibiotic use likely being an important cause. However, here we describe an alternative route to clinically-relevant antibiotic resistance that occurs solely due to competitive interactions between bacterial cells. We consistently observe that isolates of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus diversify spontaneously into two distinct, sequentially arising strains. The first evolved strain outgrows the parent strain via secretion of surfactants and a toxic bacteriocin. The second is resistant to the bacteriocin. Importantly, this second strain is also resistant to intermediate levels of vancomycin. This so-called VISA (vancomycin-intermediate S. aureus) phenotype is seen in many hard-to-treat clinical isolates. This strain diversification also occurs during in vivo infection in a mouse model, consistent with the fact that both coevolved phenotypes resemble strains commonly found in clinic. Our study shows how competition between coevolving bacterial strains can generate antibiotic resistance and recapitulate key clinical phenotypes. PMID:25171407

  3. GC-Content Evolution in Bacterial Genomes: The Biased Gene Conversion Hypothesis Expands

    PubMed Central

    Lassalle, Florent; Périan, Séverine; Bataillon, Thomas; Nesme, Xavier; Duret, Laurent; Daubin, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    The characterization of functional elements in genomes relies on the identification of the footprints of natural selection. In this quest, taking into account neutral evolutionary processes such as mutation and genetic drift is crucial because these forces can generate patterns that may obscure or mimic signatures of selection. In mammals, and probably in many eukaryotes, another such confounding factor called GC-Biased Gene Conversion (gBGC) has been documented. This mechanism generates patterns identical to what is expected under selection for higher GC-content, specifically in highly recombining genomic regions. Recent results have suggested that a mysterious selective force favouring higher GC-content exists in Bacteria but the possibility that it could be gBGC has been excluded. Here, we show that gBGC is probably at work in most if not all bacterial species. First we find a consistent positive relationship between the GC-content of a gene and evidence of intra-genic recombination throughout a broad spectrum of bacterial clades. Second, we show that the evolutionary force responsible for this pattern is acting independently from selection on codon usage, and could potentially interfere with selection in favor of optimal AU-ending codons. A comparison with data from human populations shows that the intensity of gBGC in Bacteria is comparable to what has been reported in mammals. We propose that gBGC is not restricted to sexual Eukaryotes but also widespread among Bacteria and could therefore be an ancestral feature of cellular organisms. We argue that if gBGC occurs in bacteria, it can account for previously unexplained observations, such as the apparent non-equilibrium of base substitution patterns and the heterogeneity of gene composition within bacterial genomes. Because gBGC produces patterns similar to positive selection, it is essential to take this process into account when studying the evolutionary forces at work in bacterial genomes. PMID:25659072

  4. Lon protease inactivation, or translocation of the lon gene, potentiate bacterial evolution to antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Nicoloff, Hervé; Andersson, Dan I

    2013-12-01

    Previous work demonstrated that selection for Escherichia coli mutants with low antibiotic resistance frequently resulted in co-selection of lon mutations and that lon(-) mutants evolved higher-level resistance faster than a lon(+) strain. Here we show that lon mutation causes a very low multidrug resistance by inducing the AcrAB-TolC pump via stabilization of the acrAB transcriptional activators MarA and SoxS, which are substrates of the Lon protease. Fast evolution of lon(-) mutants towards higher resistance involves selection of frequent next-step mutations consisting of large duplications including acrAB and the mutated lon gene. Resistance results from the combined effects of acrAB duplication and lon mutation increasing dosage of efflux pump. In contrast, when acrAB duplication occurs as the first step mutation, increased Lon activity caused by lon(+) co-duplication mitigates the effect of acrAB duplication on resistance, and faster evolution towards higher resistance is not observed. As predicted, when the functional lon gene is relocated far from acrAB to prevent their co-duplication, first-step acrAB duplication confers higher resistance, which then allows selection of frequent next-step mutations and results in faster evolution towards higher resistance. Our results demonstrate how order of appearance of mutations and gene location can influence the rate of resistance evolution.

  5. Bacterial evolution in PCD and CF patients follows the same mutational steps.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Lea M; Alanin, Mikkel Christian; Marvig, Rasmus L; Nielsen, Kim Gjerum; Høiby, Niels; von Buchwald, Christian; Molin, Søren; Johansen, Helle Krogh

    2016-01-01

    Infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa increase morbidity in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Both diseases are associated with a defect of the mucociliary clearance; in PCD caused by non-functional cilia, in CF by changed mucus. Whole genome sequencing of P. aeruginosa isolates from CF patients has shown that persistence of clonal lineages in the airways is facilitated by genetic adaptation. It is unknown whether this also applies to P. aeruginosa airway infections in PCD. We compared within-host evolution of P. aeruginosa in PCD and CF patients. P. aeruginosa isolates from 12 PCD patients were whole genome sequenced and phenotypically characterised. Ten out of 12 PCD patients were infected with persisting clone types. We identified convergent evolution in eight genes, which are also important for persistent infections in CF airways: genes related to antibiotic resistance, quorum sensing, motility, type III secretion and mucoidity. We document phenotypic and genotypic parallelism in the evolution of P. aeruginosa across infected patients with different genetic disorders. The parallel changes and convergent adaptation and evolution may be caused by similar selective forces such as the intensive antibiotic treatment and the inflammatory response, which drive the evolutionary processes. PMID:27349973

  6. Bacterial evolution in PCD and CF patients follows the same mutational steps

    PubMed Central

    Sommer, Lea M.; Alanin, Mikkel Christian; Marvig, Rasmus L.; Nielsen, Kim Gjerum; Høiby, Niels; von Buchwald, Christian; Molin, Søren; Johansen, Helle Krogh

    2016-01-01

    Infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa increase morbidity in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Both diseases are associated with a defect of the mucociliary clearance; in PCD caused by non-functional cilia, in CF by changed mucus. Whole genome sequencing of P. aeruginosa isolates from CF patients has shown that persistence of clonal lineages in the airways is facilitated by genetic adaptation. It is unknown whether this also applies to P. aeruginosa airway infections in PCD. We compared within-host evolution of P. aeruginosa in PCD and CF patients. P. aeruginosa isolates from 12 PCD patients were whole genome sequenced and phenotypically characterised. Ten out of 12 PCD patients were infected with persisting clone types. We identified convergent evolution in eight genes, which are also important for persistent infections in CF airways: genes related to antibiotic resistance, quorum sensing, motility, type III secretion and mucoidity. We document phenotypic and genotypic parallelism in the evolution of P. aeruginosa across infected patients with different genetic disorders. The parallel changes and convergent adaptation and evolution may be caused by similar selective forces such as the intensive antibiotic treatment and the inflammatory response, which drive the evolutionary processes. PMID:27349973

  7. Evolution of bacterial protein-tyrosine kinases and their relaxed specificity toward substrates.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lei; Ji, Boyang; Kolar-Znika, Lorena; Boskovic, Ana; Jadeau, Fanny; Combet, Christophe; Grangeasse, Christophe; Franjevic, Damjan; Talla, Emmanuel; Mijakovic, Ivan

    2014-04-01

    It has often been speculated that bacterial protein-tyrosine kinases (BY-kinases) evolve rapidly and maintain relaxed substrate specificity to quickly adopt new substrates when evolutionary pressure in that direction arises. Here, we report a phylogenomic and biochemical analysis of BY-kinases, and their relationship to substrates aimed to validate this hypothesis. Our results suggest that BY-kinases are ubiquitously distributed in bacterial phyla and underwent a complex evolutionary history, affected considerably by gene duplications and horizontal gene transfer events. This is consistent with the fact that the BY-kinase sequences represent a high level of substitution saturation and have a higher evolutionary rate compared with other bacterial genes. On the basis of similarity networks, we could classify BY kinases into three main groups with 14 subgroups. Extensive sequence conservation was observed only around the three canonical Walker motifs, whereas unique signatures proposed the functional speciation and diversification within some subgroups. The relationship between BY-kinases and their substrates was analyzed using a ubiquitous substrate (Ugd) and some Firmicute-specific substrates (YvyG and YjoA) from Bacillus subtilis. No evidence of coevolution between kinases and substrates at the sequence level was found. Seven BY-kinases, including well-characterized and previously uncharacterized ones, were used for experimental studies. Most of the tested kinases were able to phosphorylate substrates from B. subtilis (Ugd, YvyG, and YjoA), despite originating from very distant bacteria. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that BY-kinases have evolved relaxed substrate specificity and are probably maintained as rapidly evolving platforms for adopting new substrates.

  8. Are bacterial biofilms constrained to Darwin's concept of evolution through natural selection?

    PubMed

    Caldwell, D E; Costerton, J W

    1996-09-01

    Numerous antimicrobial agents have been developed which act at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. However, few have been developed which act at the community-level. This results largely from the failure of Darwinian selection theory to envision communities as units of proliferation and evolution. It is thus difficult to conceive of microbial communities as causative agents and to develop antimicrobials which are effective against them. Consequently, we find it necessary to consider a more comprehensive biological paradigm which envisions biofilm communities and other microbial associations (e.g. mixed infections, food spoilage, tooth decay) as units of existence, activity, ecology, proliferation, survival, and evolution. These communities exist in the same sense that organisms exist as units of ecological activity. This is a simpler, more comprehensive, and more unifying theory of ecology. It is simpler in that it no longer requires convoluted explanations of altruistic behavior in terms of individual selection. It is more comprehensive by not constraining evolution to the selection of any single level of biological organization (genes, races, lineages, or groups). It unifies in that it bridges the boundaries between microbial ecology, evolutionary ecology and ecosystem ecology. The basis for this theory lies in recognizing that life consists of various forms of information (order) which evolve not only through genetic recombination and mutation, but also through the recombination of organisms within communities (as well as other mechanisms, some of which are considered beyond the realm of biology). It also involves setting aside the concept of evolution through selection and competition, in favor of evolution through proliferation and association.

  9. Insights into thermoadaptation and the evolution of mesophily from the bacterial phylum Thermotogae.

    PubMed

    Pollo, Stephen M J; Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Nesbø, Camilla L

    2015-09-01

    Thermophiles are extremophiles that grow optimally at temperatures >45 °C. To survive and maintain function of their biological molecules, they have a suite of characteristics not found in organisms that grow at moderate temperature (mesophiles). At the cellular level, thermophiles have mechanisms for maintaining their membranes, nucleic acids, and other cellular structures. At the protein level, each of their proteins remains stable and retains activity at temperatures that would denature their mesophilic homologs. Conversely, cellular structures and proteins from thermophiles may not function optimally at moderate temperatures. These differences between thermophiles and mesophiles presumably present a barrier for evolutionary transitioning between the 2 lifestyles. Therefore, studying closely related thermophiles and mesophiles can help us determine how such lifestyle transitions may happen. The bacterial phylum Thermotogae contains hyperthermophiles, thermophiles, mesophiles, and organisms with temperature ranges wide enough to span both thermophilic and mesophilic temperatures. Genomic, proteomic, and physiological differences noted between other bacterial thermophiles and mesophiles are evident within the Thermotogae. We argue that the Thermotogae is an ideal group of organisms for understanding of the response to fluctuating temperature and of long-term evolutionary adaptation to a different growth temperature range.

  10. Associations between inverted repeats and the structural evolution of bacterial genomes.

    PubMed Central

    Achaz, Guillaume; Coissac, Eric; Netter, Pierre; Rocha, Eduardo P C

    2003-01-01

    The stability of the structure of bacterial genomes is challenged by recombination events. Since major rearrangements (i.e., inversions) are thought to frequently operate by homologous recombination between inverted repeats, we analyzed the presence and distribution of such repeats in bacterial genomes and their relation to the conservation of chromosomal structure. First, we show that there is a strong under-representation of inverted repeats, relative to direct repeats, in most chromosomes, especially among the ones regarded as most stable. Second, we show that the avoidance of repeats is frequently associated with the stability of the genomes. Closely related genomes reported to differ in terms of stability are also found to differ in the number of inverted repeats. Third, when using replication strand bias as a proxy for genome stability, we find a significant negative correlation between this strand bias and the abundance of inverted repeats. Fourth, when measuring the recombining potential of inverted repeats and their eventual impact on different features of the chromosomal structure, we observe a tendency of repeats to be located in the chromosome in such a way that rearrangements produce a smaller strand switch and smaller asymmetries than expected by chance. Finally, we discuss the limitations of our analysis and the influence of factors such as the nature of repeats, e.g., transposases, or the differences in the recombination machinery among bacteria. These results shed light on the challenges imposed on the genome structure by the presence of inverted repeats. PMID:12930739

  11. Structure, Function, and Evolution of Bacterial ATP-Binding Cassette Systems

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Amy L.; Dassa, Elie; Orelle, Cedric; Chen, Jue

    2008-01-01

    Summary: ATP-binding cassette (ABC) systems are universally distributed among living organisms and function in many different aspects of bacterial physiology. ABC transporters are best known for their role in the import of essential nutrients and the export of toxic molecules, but they can also mediate the transport of many other physiological substrates. In a classical transport reaction, two highly conserved ATP-binding domains or subunits couple the binding/hydrolysis of ATP to the translocation of particular substrates across the membrane, through interactions with membrane-spanning domains of the transporter. Variations on this basic theme involve soluble ABC ATP-binding proteins that couple ATP hydrolysis to nontransport processes, such as DNA repair and gene expression regulation. Insights into the structure, function, and mechanism of action of bacterial ABC proteins are reported, based on phylogenetic comparisons as well as classic biochemical and genetic approaches. The availability of an increasing number of high-resolution structures has provided a valuable framework for interpretation of recent studies, and realistic models have been proposed to explain how these fascinating molecular machines use complex dynamic processes to fulfill their numerous biological functions. These advances are also important for elucidating the mechanism of action of eukaryotic ABC proteins, because functional defects in many of them are responsible for severe human inherited diseases. PMID:18535149

  12. Evolution of bacterial life-history traits is sensitive to community structure.

    PubMed

    Ketola, Tarmo; Mikonranta, Lauri; Mappes, Johanna

    2016-06-01

    Very few studies have experimentally assessed the evolutionary effects of species interactions within the same trophic level. Here we show that when Serratia marcescens evolve in multispecies communities, their growth rate exceeds the growth rate of the bacteria that evolved alone, whereas the biomass yield gets lower. In addition to the community effects per se, we found that few species in the communities caused strong effects on S. marcescens evolution. The results indicate that evolutionary responses (of a focal species) are different in communities, compared to species evolving alone. Moreover, selection can lead to very different outcomes depending on the community structure. Such context dependencies cast doubt on our ability to predict the course of evolution in the wild, where species often inhabit very different kinds of communities.

  13. A shift from magnitude to sign epistasis during adaptive evolution of a bacterial social trait.

    PubMed

    Zee, Peter C; Mendes-Soares, Helena; Yu, Yuen-Tsu N; Kraemer, Susanne A; Keller, Heike; Ossowski, Stephan; Schneeberger, Korbinian; Velicer, Gregory J

    2014-09-01

    Although the importance of epistasis in evolution has long been recognized, remarkably little is known about the processes by which epistatic interactions evolve in real time in specific biological systems. Here, we have characterized how the epistatic fitness relationship between a social gene and an adapting genome changes radically over a short evolutionary time frame in the social bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. We show that a highly beneficial effect of this social gene in the ancestral genome is gradually reduced--and ultimately reversed into a deleterious effect--over the course of an experimental adaptive trajectory in which a primitive form of novel cooperation evolved. This reduction and reversal of a positive social allelic effect is driven solely by changes in the genetic context in which the gene is expressed as new mutations are sequentially fixed during adaptive evolution, and explicitly demonstrates a significant evolutionary change in the genetic architecture of an ecologically important social trait.

  14. Mammalian cell entry genes in Streptomyces may provide clues to the evolution of bacterial virulence

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Laura C.; Seipke, Ryan F.; Prieto, Pilar; Willemse, Joost; van Wezel, Gilles P.; Hutchings, Matthew I.; Hoskisson, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of virulence is key to appreciating the role specific loci play in pathogenicity. Streptomyces species are generally non-pathogenic soil saprophytes, yet within their genome we can find homologues of virulence loci. One example of this is the mammalian cell entry (mce) locus, which has been characterised in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. To investigate the role in Streptomyces we deleted the mce locus and studied its impact on cell survival, morphology and interaction with other soil organisms. Disruption of the mce cluster resulted in virulence towards amoebae (Acanthamoeba polyphaga) and reduced colonization of plant (Arabidopsis) models, indicating these genes may play an important role in Streptomyces survival in the environment. Our data suggest that loss of mce in Streptomyces spp. may have profound effects on survival in a competitive soil environment, and provides insight in to the evolution and selection of these genes as virulence factors in related pathogenic organisms. PMID:23346366

  15. Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Evolution of Bacterial and Archaeal Population Structure

    PubMed Central

    Alm, Eric J.; Hanage, William P.

    2013-01-01

    Many bacterial and archaeal lineages have a history of extensive and ongoing horizontal gene transfer and loss, as evidenced by the large differences in genome content even among otherwise closely related isolates. How ecologically cohesive populations might evolve and be maintained under such conditions of rapid gene turnover has remained controversial. Here we synthesize recent literature demonstrating the importance of habitat and niche in structuring horizontal gene transfer. This leads to a model of ecological speciation via gradual genetic isolation triggered by differential habitat association of nascent populations. Further, we hypothesize that subpopulations can evolve through local gene exchange networks by tapping into a gene pool that is adaptive towards local, continuously changing organismic interactions and is, to a large degree, responsible for the observed rapid gene turnover. Overall, these insights help explain how bacteria and archaea form populations that display both ecological cohesion and high genomic diversity. PMID:23332119

  16. From molecular evolution to biobricks and synthetic modules: a lesson by the bacterial flagellum.

    PubMed

    Altegoer, Florian; Schuhmacher, Jan; Pausch, Patrick; Bange, Gert

    2014-10-01

    The bacterial flagellum is a motility structure and represents one of the most sophisticated nanomachines in the biosphere. Here, we review the current knowledge on the flagellum, its architecture with respect to differences between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and other species-specific variations (e.g. the flagellar filament protein, Flagellin). We further focus on the mechanism by which the two nucleotide-binding proteins FlhF and FlhG ensure the correct reproduction of flagella place and number (the flagellation pattern). We will finish the review with an overview of current biotechnological applications, and a perspective of how understanding flagella can contribute to developing modules for synthetic approaches. PMID:25023462

  17. Evolution of the Lactic Acid Bacterial Community during Malt Whisky Fermentation: a Polyphasic Study

    PubMed Central

    van Beek, Sylvie; Priest, Fergus G.

    2002-01-01

    The development of the lactic acid bacterial community in a commercial malt whisky fermentation occurred in three broad phases. Initially, bacteria were inhibited by strong yeast growth. Fluorescence microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy revealed, in this early stage, both cocci and rods that were at least partly derived from the wort and yeast but also stemmed from the distillery plant. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of partial 16S rRNA genes and sequence analysis revealed cocci related to Streptococcus thermophilus or Saccharococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus fermentum. The middle phase began 35 to 40 h after yeast inoculation and was characterized by exponential growth of lactobacilli and residual yeast metabolism. Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus paracasei, L. fermentum, and Lactobacillus ferintoshensis were detected in samples of fermenting wort examined by DGGE during this stage. Bacterial growth was accompanied by the accumulation of acetic and lactic acids and the metabolism of residual maltooligosaccharides. By 70 h, two new PCR bands were detected on DGGE gels, and the associated bacteria were largely responsible for the final phase of the fermentation. The bacteria were phylogenetically related to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and strains similar to the former had previously been recovered from malt whisky fermentations in Japan. These were probably obligately homofermentative bacteria, required malt wort for growth, and could not be cultured on normal laboratory media, such as MRS. Their metabolism during the last 20 to 30 h of fermentation was associated with yeast death and autolysis and further accumulation of lactate but no additional acetate. PMID:11772639

  18. Evolution of the lactic acid bacterial community during malt whisky fermentation: a polyphasic study.

    PubMed

    van Beek, Sylvie; Priest, Fergus G

    2002-01-01

    The development of the lactic acid bacterial community in a commercial malt whisky fermentation occurred in three broad phases. Initially, bacteria were inhibited by strong yeast growth. Fluorescence microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy revealed, in this early stage, both cocci and rods that were at least partly derived from the wort and yeast but also stemmed from the distillery plant. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of partial 16S rRNA genes and sequence analysis revealed cocci related to Streptococcus thermophilus or Saccharococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus brevis, and Lactobacillus fermentum. The middle phase began 35 to 40 h after yeast inoculation and was characterized by exponential growth of lactobacilli and residual yeast metabolism. Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus paracasei, L. fermentum, and Lactobacillus ferintoshensis were detected in samples of fermenting wort examined by DGGE during this stage. Bacterial growth was accompanied by the accumulation of acetic and lactic acids and the metabolism of residual maltooligosaccharides. By 70 h, two new PCR bands were detected on DGGE gels, and the associated bacteria were largely responsible for the final phase of the fermentation. The bacteria were phylogenetically related to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and strains similar to the former had previously been recovered from malt whisky fermentations in Japan. These were probably obligately homofermentative bacteria, required malt wort for growth, and could not be cultured on normal laboratory media, such as MRS. Their metabolism during the last 20 to 30 h of fermentation was associated with yeast death and autolysis and further accumulation of lactate but no additional acetate.

  19. Comparative genomics of the bacterial genus Listeria: Genome evolution is characterized by limited gene acquisition and limited gene loss

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The bacterial genus Listeria contains pathogenic and non-pathogenic species, including the pathogens L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii, both of which carry homologous virulence gene clusters such as the prfA cluster and clusters of internalin genes. Initial evidence for multiple deletions of the prfA cluster during the evolution of Listeria indicates that this genus provides an interesting model for studying the evolution of virulence and also presents practical challenges with regard to definition of pathogenic strains. Results To better understand genome evolution and evolution of virulence characteristics in Listeria, we used a next generation sequencing approach to generate draft genomes for seven strains representing Listeria species or clades for which genome sequences were not available. Comparative analyses of these draft genomes and six publicly available genomes, which together represent the main Listeria species, showed evidence for (i) a pangenome with 2,032 core and 2,918 accessory genes identified to date, (ii) a critical role of gene loss events in transition of Listeria species from facultative pathogen to saprotroph, even though a consistent pattern of gene loss seemed to be absent, and a number of isolates representing non-pathogenic species still carried some virulence associated genes, and (iii) divergence of modern pathogenic and non-pathogenic Listeria species and strains, most likely circa 47 million years ago, from a pathogenic common ancestor that contained key virulence genes. Conclusions Genome evolution in Listeria involved limited gene loss and acquisition as supported by (i) a relatively high coverage of the predicted pan-genome by the observed pan-genome, (ii) conserved genome size (between 2.8 and 3.2 Mb), and (iii) a highly syntenic genome. Limited gene loss in Listeria did include loss of virulence associated genes, likely associated with multiple transitions to a saprotrophic lifestyle. The genus Listeria thus provides

  20. Steering Evolution with Sequential Therapy to Prevent the Emergence of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance.

    PubMed

    Nichol, Daniel; Jeavons, Peter; Fletcher, Alexander G; Bonomo, Robert A; Maini, Philip K; Paul, Jerome L; Gatenby, Robert A; Anderson, Alexander R A; Scott, Jacob G

    2015-09-01

    The increasing rate of antibiotic resistance and slowing discovery of novel antibiotic treatments presents a growing threat to public health. Here, we consider a simple model of evolution in asexually reproducing populations which considers adaptation as a biased random walk on a fitness landscape. This model associates the global properties of the fitness landscape with the algebraic properties of a Markov chain transition matrix and allows us to derive general results on the non-commutativity and irreversibility of natural selection as well as antibiotic cycling strategies. Using this formalism, we analyze 15 empirical fitness landscapes of E. coli under selection by different β-lactam antibiotics and demonstrate that the emergence of resistance to a given antibiotic can be either hindered or promoted by different sequences of drug application. Specifically, we demonstrate that the majority, approximately 70%, of sequential drug treatments with 2-4 drugs promote resistance to the final antibiotic. Further, we derive optimal drug application sequences with which we can probabilistically 'steer' the population through genotype space to avoid the emergence of resistance. This suggests a new strategy in the war against antibiotic-resistant organisms: drug sequencing to shepherd evolution through genotype space to states from which resistance cannot emerge and by which to maximize the chance of successful therapy.

  1. Steering Evolution with Sequential Therapy to Prevent the Emergence of Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Nichol, Daniel; Jeavons, Peter; Fletcher, Alexander G.; Bonomo, Robert A.; Maini, Philip K.; Paul, Jerome L.; Gatenby, Robert A.; Anderson, Alexander R.A.; Scott, Jacob G.

    2015-01-01

    The increasing rate of antibiotic resistance and slowing discovery of novel antibiotic treatments presents a growing threat to public health. Here, we consider a simple model of evolution in asexually reproducing populations which considers adaptation as a biased random walk on a fitness landscape. This model associates the global properties of the fitness landscape with the algebraic properties of a Markov chain transition matrix and allows us to derive general results on the non-commutativity and irreversibility of natural selection as well as antibiotic cycling strategies. Using this formalism, we analyze 15 empirical fitness landscapes of E. coli under selection by different β-lactam antibiotics and demonstrate that the emergence of resistance to a given antibiotic can be either hindered or promoted by different sequences of drug application. Specifically, we demonstrate that the majority, approximately 70%, of sequential drug treatments with 2–4 drugs promote resistance to the final antibiotic. Further, we derive optimal drug application sequences with which we can probabilistically ‘steer’ the population through genotype space to avoid the emergence of resistance. This suggests a new strategy in the war against antibiotic–resistant organisms: drug sequencing to shepherd evolution through genotype space to states from which resistance cannot emerge and by which to maximize the chance of successful therapy. PMID:26360300

  2. Molecular evolution of the bacterial pseudouridine-5'-phosphate glycosidase protein family.

    PubMed

    Thapa, Keshav; Oja, Terhi; Metsä-Ketelä, Mikko

    2014-10-01

    Pseudouridine is a noncanonical C-nucleoside commonly present in RNA, which is not metabolized in mammals, but can be recycled by the unique enzyme family of bacterial pseudouridine glycosidases such as YeiN from Escherichia coli. Here, we present rigorous bioinformatic and biochemical analyses of the protein family in order to find sequences that might code for nonpseudouridine glycosidase activities. To date, the only other function reported for the enzyme family occurs during the biosynthesis of the antibiotic alnumycin A in Streptomyces species, where AlnA functions as an unusual C-glycosynthase. Bioinformatics analysis of 755 protein sequences identified one group of sequences that were unlikely to harbour pseudouridine glycosidase activities. This observation was confirmed in vitro with one representative protein, IdgA from Streptomyces albus, which was unable to synthesize pseudouridine monophosphate, but was able to attach d-ribose-5-phosphate to juglone. Furthermore, our analyses provide evidence for horizontal gene transfer of pseudouridine glycosidases that may have occurred in Streptomyces and Doria species. Inspection of the genomic loci in the vicinity of pseudouridine glycosidases revealed that in 77% of the strains a kinase gene putatively involved in the phosphorylation of pseudouridine was found nearby, whereas the sequences encoding nonpseudouridine glycosidases coexisted with a phosphatase of the haloacid dehalogenase enzyme family. The investigation suggested that these unknown sequences might be involved in the biosynthesis of soluble blue pigments because of the presence of genes homologous to nonribosomal peptide synthetases.

  3. Evolution of variation in presence and absence of genes in bacterial pathways

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Bacterial genomes exhibit a remarkable degree of variation in the presence and absence of genes, which probably extends to the level of individual pathways. This variation may be a consequence of the significant evolutionary role played by horizontal gene transfer, but might also be explained by the loss of genes through mutation. A challenge is to understand why there would be variation in gene presence within pathways if they confer a benefit only when complete. Results Here, we develop a mathematical model to study how variation in pathway content is produced by horizontal transfer, gene loss and partial exposure of a population to a novel environment. Conclusions We discuss the possibility that variation in gene presence acts as cryptic genetic variation on which selection acts when the appropriate environment occurs. We find that a high level of variation in gene presence can be readily explained by decay of the pathway through mutation when there is no longer exposure to the selective environment, or when selection becomes too weak to maintain the genes. In the context of pathway variation the role of horizontal gene transfer is probably the initial introduction of a complete novel pathway rather than in building up the variation in a genome without the pathway. PMID:22520826

  4. A non-classical phase diagram for virus-bacterial co-evolution mediated by CRISPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Pu; Deem, Michael

    CRISPR is a newly discovered prokaryotic immune system. Bacteria and archaea with this system incorporate genetic material from invading viruses into their genomes, providing protection against future infection by similar viruses. Due to the cost of CRISPR, bacteria can lose the acquired immunity. We will show an intriguing phase diagram of the virus extinction probability, which when the rate of losing the acquired immunity is small, is more complex than that of the classic predator-prey model. As the CRISPR incorporates genetic material, viruses are under pressure to evolve to escape the recognition by CRISPR, and this co-evolution leads to a non-trivial phase structure that cannot be explained by the classical predator-prey model.

  5. Structure, function, evolution, and application of bacterial Pnu-type vitamin transporters.

    PubMed

    Jaehme, Michael; Slotboom, Dirk Jan

    2015-09-01

    Many bacteria can take up vitamins from the environment via specific transport machineries. Uptake is essential for organisms that lack complete vitamin biosynthesis pathways, but even in the presence of biosynthesis routes uptake is likely preferred, because it is energetically less costly. Pnu transporters represent a class of membrane transporters for a diverse set of B-type vitamins. They were identified 30 years ago and catalyze transport by the mechanism of facilitated diffusion, without direct coupling to ATP hydrolysis or transport of coupling ions. Instead, directionality is achieved by metabolic trapping, in which the vitamin substrate is converted into a derivative that cannot be transported, for instance by phosphorylation. The recent crystal structure of the nicotinamide riboside transporter PnuC has provided the first insights in substrate recognition and selectivity. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge about the function, structure, and evolution of Pnu transporters. Additionally, we will highlight their role for potential biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications. PMID:26352203

  6. What are mycoplasmas - The relationship of tempo and mode in bacterial evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.; Stackebrand, E.; Ludwig, W.

    1985-01-01

    In phenotype the mycoplasmas are very different from ordinary bacteria. However, genotypically (i.e., phylogenetically) they are not. On the basis of ribosomal RNA homologies the mycoplasmas belong with the clostridia, and indeed have specific clostridial relatives. Mycoplasmas are, however, unlike almost all other bacteria in the evolutionary characteristics of their ribosomal RNAs. These RNAs contain relatively few of the highly conserved oligonucleotide sequences characteristic of normal eubacterial ribosomal RNAs. This is interpreted to be a reflection of an elevated mutation rate in mycoplasma lines of descent. A general consequence of this would be that the variation associated with a mycoplasma population is augmented both in number and kind, which in turn would lead to an unusual evolutionary course, one unique in all respects. Mycoplasmas, then, are actually tachytelic bacteria. The unusual evolutionary characteristics of their ribosomal RNAs are the imprints of their rapid evolution.

  7. What are mycoplasmas: the relationship of tempo and mode in bacterial evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woese, C. R.; Stackebrandt, E.; Ludwig, W.

    1984-01-01

    In phenotype the mycoplasmas are very different from ordinary bacteria. However, genotypically (i.e., phylogenetically) they are not. On the basis of ribosomal RNA homologies the mycoplasmas belong with the clostridia, and indeed have specific clostridial relatives. Mycoplasmas are, however, unlike almost all other bacteria in the evolutionary characteristics of their ribosomal RNAs. These RNAs contain relatively few of the highly conserved oligonucleotide sequences characteristic of normal eubacterial ribosomal RNAs. This is interpreted to be a reflection of an elevated mutation rate in mycoplasma lines of descent. A general consequence of this would be that the variation associated with a mycoplasma population is augmented both in number and kind, which in turn would lead to an unusual evolutionary course, one unique in all respects. Mycoplasmas, then, are actually tachytelic bacteria. The unusual evolutionary characteristics of their ribosomal RNAs are the imprints of their rapid evolution.

  8. Bacterial Endosymbiosis in a Chordate Host: Long-Term Co-Evolution and Conservation of Secondary Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Kwan, Jason C.; Schmidt, Eric W.

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular symbiosis is known to be widespread in insects, but there are few described examples in other types of host. These symbionts carry out useful activities such as synthesizing nutrients and conferring resistance against adverse events such as parasitism. Such symbionts persist through host speciation events, being passed down through vertical transmission. Due to various evolutionary forces, symbionts go through a process of genome reduction, eventually resulting in tiny genomes where only those genes essential to immediate survival and those beneficial to the host remain. In the marine environment, invertebrates such as tunicates are known to harbor complex microbiomes implicated in the production of natural products that are toxic and probably serve a defensive function. Here, we show that the intracellular symbiont Candidatus Endolissoclinum faulkneri is a long-standing symbiont of the tunicate Lissoclinum patella, that has persisted through cryptic speciation of the host. In contrast to the known examples of insect symbionts, which tend to be either relatively recent or ancient relationships, the genome of Ca. E. faulkneri has a very low coding density but very few recognizable pseudogenes. The almost complete degradation of intergenic regions and stable gene inventory of extant strains of Ca. E. faulkneri show that further degradation and deletion is happening very slowly. This is a novel stage of genome reduction and provides insight into how tiny genomes are formed. The ptz pathway, which produces the defensive patellazoles, is shown to date to before the divergence of Ca. E. faulkneri strains, reinforcing its importance in this symbiotic relationship. Lastly, as in insects we show that stable symbionts can be lost, as we describe an L. patella animal where Ca. E. faulkneri is displaced by a likely intracellular pathogen. Our results suggest that intracellular symbionts may be an important source of ecologically significant natural products in

  9. Structure, function, and evolution of bacterial ATP-binding cassette systems

    SciTech Connect

    Davidson, A.L.; Dassa, E.; Orelle, C.; Chen, J.

    2010-07-27

    HisP, the proteins suspected to energize these transporters, shared as much as 32% identity in amino acid residues when their sequences were aligned (171). Later, it was found that several bacterial proteins involved in uptake of nutrients, export of toxins, cell division, bacterial nodulation of plants, and DNA repair displayed the same similarity in their sequences (127, 196). This led to the notion that the conserved protein, which had been shown to bind ATP (198, 201), would probably energize the systems mentioned above by coupling the energy of ATP hydrolysis to transport. The latter was demonstrated with the maltose and histidine transporters by use of isolated membrane vesicles (105, 379) and purified transporters reconstituted into proteoliposomes (30, 98). The determination of the sequence of the first eukaryotic protein strongly similar to these bacterial transporters (the P-glycoprotein, involved in resistance of cancer cells to multiple drugs) (169, 179) demonstrated that these proteins were not restricted to prokaryotes. Two names, 'traffic ATPases' (15) and the more accepted name 'ABC transporters' (193, 218), were proposed for members of this new superfamily. ABC systems can be divided into three main functional categories, as follows. Importers mediate the uptake of nutrients in prokaryotes. The nature of the substrates that are transported is very wide, including mono- and oligosaccharides, organic and inorganic ions, amino acids, peptides, ironsiderophores, metals, polyamine cations, opines, and vitamins. Exporters are involved in the secretion of various molecules, such as peptides, lipids, hydrophobic drugs, polysaccharides, and proteins, including toxins such as hemolysin. The third category of systems is apparently not involved in transport, with some members being involved in translation of mRNA and in DNA repair. Despite the large, diverse population of substrates handled and the difference in the polarity of transport, importers and exporters

  10. Bacterial Bolsheviks: PS II and the Evolution of the Oxygenic Revolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kopp, R. E.; Kirschvink, J. L.; Newman, D. K.; Nash, C. Z.; Hilburn, I. A.

    2003-12-01

    After the rise of life itself, the most radical transformation of Earth's biogeochemical cycles was the transition from an anoxic to an oxic world. Though various studies have suggested O2 made its first bulk appearance in the atmosphere some time between 3.8 and 2.1 Ga, virtually all analyses agree the production of large quantities of free O2 was triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. We suggest the oldest strong geological evidence for O2 is the 2.22 Ga Kalahari Mn member of the Hotazel BIF (1), as in the oceans only free O2 can oxidize soluble Mn(II) into insoluble Mn(IV). Some have argued, however, that oxygenic cyanobacteria had originated by 2.7 Ga. The ˜500 Myr "gap" has often been interpreted as the timescale for gradual evolutionary improvement of the O2-generating system. Biochemical and genomic analyses of photosynthetic bacteria indicate that photosystems I and II, which operate together in cyanobacteria, had a long history of parallel development. Green sulfur bacteria and heliobacteria use PS-II, while green non-sulfur and purple bacteria use PS-I; none can use H2O as an electron donor. Recent genetic analyses show lateral gene transfer was rampant among photosynthetic lineages (2). Moreover, extant cyanobacteria shut down PS-II in the presence of an alternative electron donor like H2S. This suggests PS-I and PS-II came together with their functions intact. Hence, most `debugging' of the two systems predates their merger in the ancestor of modern cyanobacteria. The time interval between the lateral transfer events and the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis could thus have been geologically short. We suggest the ˜500 Myr "gap" may result from misinterpretations. The presence of oxygenic photosynthesis is uncertain before the deposition of the Hotazel formation, in the aftermath of the Makganyene glaciation (1). A simple model of nutrient and reductant fluxes argues that, once triggered, the oxygenation of a reducing surface

  11. Phage-bacterial interactions in the evolution of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Faruque, Shah M; Mekalanos, John J

    2012-11-15

    Understanding the genetic and ecological factors which support the emergence of new clones of pathogenic bacteria is vital to develop preventive measures. Vibrio cholerae the causative agent of cholera epidemics represents a paradigm for this process in that this organism evolved from environmental non-pathogenic strains by acquisition of virulence genes. The major virulence factors of V. cholerae, cholera toxin (CT) and toxin coregulated pilus (TCP) are encoded by a lysogenic bacteriophage (CTXφ) and a pathogenicity island, respectively. Additional phages which cooperate with the CTXφ in horizontal transfer of genes in V. cholerae have been characterized, and the potential exists for discovering yet new phages or genetic elements which support the transfer of genes for environmental fitness and virulence leading to the emergence of new epidemic strains. Phages have also been shown to play a crucial role in modulating seasonal cholera epidemics. Thus, the complex array of natural phenomena driving the evolution of pathogenic V. cholerae includes, among other factors, phages that either participate in horizontal gene transfer or in a bactericidal selection process favoring the emergence of new clones of V. cholerae. PMID:23076327

  12. You cannot tell a book by looking at the cover: Cryptic complexity in bacterial evolution.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiucen; Bos, Julia; Tarnopolskiy, Grigory; Sturm, James C; Kim, Hyunsung; Pourmand, Nader; Austin, Robert H

    2014-09-01

    Do genetically closely related organisms under identical, but strong selection pressure converge to a common resistant genotype or will they diverge to different genomic solutions? This question gets at the heart of how rough is the fitness landscape in the local vicinity of two closely related strains under stress. We chose a Growth Advantage in Stationary Phase (GASP) E scherichia coli strain to address this question because the GASP strain has very similar fitness to the wild-type (WT) strain in the absence of metabolic stress but in the presence of metabolic stress continues to divide and does not enter into stationary phase. We find that under strong antibiotic selection pressure by the fluoroquinolone antibiotic ciprofloxacin in a complex ecology that the GASP strain rapidly evolves in under 20 h missense mutation in gyrA only 2 amino acids removed from the WT strain indicating a convergent solution, yet does not evolve the other 3 mutations of the WT strain. Further the GASP strain evolves a prophage e14 excision which completely inhibits biofilm formation in the mutant strain, revealing the hidden complexity of E. coli evolution to antibiotics as a function of selection pressure. We conclude that there is a cryptic roughness to fitness landscapes in the absence of stress. PMID:25332728

  13. Chimeric phage-bacterial enzymes: a clue to the modular evolution of genes.

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, E; López, R; García, J L

    1990-01-01

    Pneumococcal peptidoglycan amidase (N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase, EC 3.5.1.28) and phage CPL1 lysozyme degrade a common substrate (choline-containing pneumococcal cell walls); the former hydrolyzes the bond between muramic acid and alanine, whereas the latter breaks down the linkage between muramic acid and glucosamine. The amino acid sequences of their C-terminal domains are homologous. Chimeric genes were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis: a unique SnaBI restriction site in the cpl1 gene, coding for the phage lysozyme, was introduced at a location equivalent to the SnaBI site present in the lytA gene, which codes for the pneumococcal amidase. The resulting genes expressed lytic activities at levels similar to those of the parental genes. The gene products, which have been purified to electrophoretical homogeneity, exhibited unusual combined biochemical properties--e.g., by exchange of protein domains, we have switched the regulatory properties of these enzymes without altering their catalytic activities. Chimeric gene construction in Streptococcus pneumoniae and its bacteriophages is an excellent model to study the modular organization of genes and proteins and to help to establish evolutionary relationships between phage and bacteria. These constructions provide an experimental approach to the molecular processes involved in cassette recruitment during evolution and contribute support to the concept of bacteria as adaptable chimeras. Images PMID:1978320

  14. Combined Analysis of Variation in Core, Accessory and Regulatory Genome Regions Provides a Super-Resolution View into the Evolution of Bacterial Populations.

    PubMed

    McNally, Alan; Oren, Yaara; Kelly, Darren; Pascoe, Ben; Dunn, Steven; Sreecharan, Tristan; Vehkala, Minna; Välimäki, Niko; Prentice, Michael B; Ashour, Amgad; Avram, Oren; Pupko, Tal; Dobrindt, Ulrich; Literak, Ivan; Guenther, Sebastian; Schaufler, Katharina; Wieler, Lothar H; Zhiyong, Zong; Sheppard, Samuel K; McInerney, James O; Corander, Jukka

    2016-09-01

    The use of whole-genome phylogenetic analysis has revolutionized our understanding of the evolution and spread of many important bacterial pathogens due to the high resolution view it provides. However, the majority of such analyses do not consider the potential role of accessory genes when inferring evolutionary trajectories. Moreover, the recently discovered importance of the switching of gene regulatory elements suggests that an exhaustive analysis, combining information from core and accessory genes with regulatory elements could provide unparalleled detail of the evolution of a bacterial population. Here we demonstrate this principle by applying it to a worldwide multi-host sample of the important pathogenic E. coli lineage ST131. Our approach reveals the existence of multiple circulating subtypes of the major drug-resistant clade of ST131 and provides the first ever population level evidence of core genome substitutions in gene regulatory regions associated with the acquisition and maintenance of different accessory genome elements. PMID:27618184

  15. Combined Analysis of Variation in Core, Accessory and Regulatory Genome Regions Provides a Super-Resolution View into the Evolution of Bacterial Populations

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Alan; Oren, Yaara; Kelly, Darren; Sreecharan, Tristan; Vehkala, Minna; Välimäki, Niko; Prentice, Michael B.; Ashour, Amgad; Avram, Oren; Pupko, Tal; Literak, Ivan; Guenther, Sebastian; Schaufler, Katharina; Wieler, Lothar H.; Zhiyong, Zong; Sheppard, Samuel K.; Corander, Jukka

    2016-01-01

    The use of whole-genome phylogenetic analysis has revolutionized our understanding of the evolution and spread of many important bacterial pathogens due to the high resolution view it provides. However, the majority of such analyses do not consider the potential role of accessory genes when inferring evolutionary trajectories. Moreover, the recently discovered importance of the switching of gene regulatory elements suggests that an exhaustive analysis, combining information from core and accessory genes with regulatory elements could provide unparalleled detail of the evolution of a bacterial population. Here we demonstrate this principle by applying it to a worldwide multi-host sample of the important pathogenic E. coli lineage ST131. Our approach reveals the existence of multiple circulating subtypes of the major drug–resistant clade of ST131 and provides the first ever population level evidence of core genome substitutions in gene regulatory regions associated with the acquisition and maintenance of different accessory genome elements. PMID:27618184

  16. The Effects of Signal Erosion and Core Genome Reduction on the Identification of Diagnostic Markers

    PubMed Central

    Sahl, Jason W.; Vazquez, Adam J.; Hall, Carina M.; Busch, Joseph D.; Tuanyok, Apichai; Mayo, Mark; Schupp, James M.; Lummis, Madeline; Pearson, Talima; Shippy, Kenzie; Allender, Christopher J.; Theobald, Vanessa; Hutcheson, Alex; Korlach, Jonas; LiPuma, John J.; Ladner, Jason; Lovett, Sean; Koroleva, Galina; Palacios, Gustavo; Limmathurotsakul, Direk; Wuthiekanun, Vanaporn; Wongsuwan, Gumphol; Currie, Bart J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Whole-genome sequence (WGS) data are commonly used to design diagnostic targets for the identification of bacterial pathogens. To do this effectively, genomics databases must be comprehensive to identify the strict core genome that is specific to the target pathogen. As additional genomes are analyzed, the core genome size is reduced and there is erosion of the target-specific regions due to commonality with related species, potentially resulting in the identification of false positives and/or false negatives. PMID:27651357

  17. Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayr, Ernst

    1978-01-01

    Traces the history of evolution theory from Lamarck and Darwin to the present. Discusses natural selection in detail. Suggests that, besides biological evolution, there is also a cultural evolution which is more rapid than the former. (MA)

  18. Pre-adapting parasitic phages to a pathogen leads to increased pathogen clearance and lowered resistance evolution with Pseudomonas aeruginosa cystic fibrosis bacterial isolates.

    PubMed

    Friman, V-P; Soanes-Brown, D; Sierocinski, P; Molin, S; Johansen, H K; Merabishvili, M; Pirnay, J-P; De Vos, D; Buckling, A

    2016-01-01

    Recent years have seen renewed interest in phage therapy--the use of viruses to specifically kill disease-causing bacteria--because of the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance. However, a major limitation of phage therapy is the ease at with bacteria can evolve resistance to phages. Here, we determined whether in vitro experimental coevolution can increase the efficiency of phage therapy by limiting the resistance evolution of intermittent and chronic cystic fibrosis Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung isolates to four different phages. We first pre-adapted all phage strains against all bacterial strains and then compared the efficacy of pre-adapted and nonadapted phages against ancestral bacterial strains. We found that evolved phages were more efficient in reducing bacterial densities than ancestral phages. This was primarily because only 50% of bacterial strains were able to evolve resistance to evolved phages, whereas all bacteria were able to evolve some level of resistance to ancestral phages. Although the rate of resistance evolution did not differ between intermittent and chronic isolates, it incurred a relatively higher growth cost for chronic isolates when measured in the absence of phages. This is likely to explain why evolved phages were more effective in reducing the densities of chronic isolates. Our data show that pathogen genotypes respond differently to phage pre-adaptation, and as a result, phage therapies might need to be individually adjusted for different patients.

  19. In Vivo Evolution of Bacterial Resistance in Two Cases of Enterobacter aerogenes Infections during Treatment with Imipenem.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Nadège; Maigre, Laure; Santini, Sébastien; Pinet, Elizabeth; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Davin-Régli, Anne-Véronique; Pagès, Jean-Marie; Masi, Muriel

    2015-01-01

    Infections caused by multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria are a major concern worldwide. Changes in membrane permeability, including decreased influx and/or increased efflux of antibiotics, are known as key contributors of bacterial MDR. Therefore, it is of critical importance to understand molecular mechanisms that link membrane permeability to MDR in order to design new antimicrobial strategies. In this work, we describe genotype-phenotype correlations in Enterobacter aerogenes, a clinically problematic and antibiotic resistant bacterium. To do this, series of clinical isolates have been periodically collected from two patients during chemotherapy with imipenem. The isolates exhibited different levels of resistance towards multiple classes of antibiotics, consistently with the presence or the absence of porins and efflux pumps. Transport assays were used to characterize membrane permeability defects. Simultaneous genome-wide analysis allowed the identification of putative mutations responsible for MDR. The genome of the imipenem-susceptible isolate G7 was sequenced to closure and used as a reference for comparative genomics. This approach uncovered several loci that were specifically mutated in MDR isolates and whose products are known to control membrane permeability. These were omp35 and omp36, encoding the two major porins; rob, encoding a global AraC-type transcriptional activator; cpxA, phoQ and pmrB, encoding sensor kinases of the CpxRA, PhoPQ and PmrAB two-component regulatory systems, respectively. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of membrane alterations relative to mutational steps in the evolution of MDR of a recognized nosocomial pathogen.

  20. In Vivo Evolution of Bacterial Resistance in Two Cases of Enterobacter aerogenes Infections during Treatment with Imipenem

    PubMed Central

    Santini, Sébastien; Pinet, Elizabeth; Claverie, Jean-Michel; Davin-Régli, Anne-Véronique; Pagès, Jean-Marie; Masi, Muriel

    2015-01-01

    Infections caused by multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria are a major concern worldwide. Changes in membrane permeability, including decreased influx and/or increased efflux of antibiotics, are known as key contributors of bacterial MDR. Therefore, it is of critical importance to understand molecular mechanisms that link membrane permeability to MDR in order to design new antimicrobial strategies. In this work, we describe genotype-phenotype correlations in Enterobacter aerogenes, a clinically problematic and antibiotic resistant bacterium. To do this, series of clinical isolates have been periodically collected from two patients during chemotherapy with imipenem. The isolates exhibited different levels of resistance towards multiple classes of antibiotics, consistently with the presence or the absence of porins and efflux pumps. Transport assays were used to characterize membrane permeability defects. Simultaneous genome-wide analysis allowed the identification of putative mutations responsible for MDR. The genome of the imipenem-susceptible isolate G7 was sequenced to closure and used as a reference for comparative genomics. This approach uncovered several loci that were specifically mutated in MDR isolates and whose products are known to control membrane permeability. These were omp35 and omp36, encoding the two major porins; rob, encoding a global AraC-type transcriptional activator; cpxA, phoQ and pmrB, encoding sensor kinases of the CpxRA, PhoPQ and PmrAB two-component regulatory systems, respectively. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of membrane alterations relative to mutational steps in the evolution of MDR of a recognized nosocomial pathogen. PMID:26398358

  1. Single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in cutthroat trout subspecies using genome reduction, barcoding, and 454 pyro-sequencing

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Salmonids are popular sport fishes, and as such have been subjected to widespread stocking throughout western North America. Historically, stocking was done with little regard for genetic variation among populations and has resulted in genetic mixing among species and subspecies in many areas, thus putting the genetic integrity of native salmonid populations at risk and creating a need to assess the genetic constitution of native salmonid populations. Cutthroat trout is a salmonid species with pronounced geographic structure (there are 10 extant subspecies) and a recent history of hybridization with introduced rainbow trout in many populations. Genetic admixture has also occurred among cutthroat trout subspecies in areas where introductions have brought two or more subspecies into contact. Consequently, management agencies have increased their efforts to evaluate the genetic composition of cutthroat trout populations to identify populations that remain uncompromised and manage them accordingly, but additional genetic markers are needed to do so effectively. Here we used genome reduction, MID-barcoding, and 454-pyrosequencing to discover single nucleotide polymorphisms that differentiate cutthroat trout subspecies and can be used as a rapid, cost-effective method to characterize the genetic composition of cutthroat trout populations. Results Thirty cutthroat and six rainbow trout individuals were subjected to genome reduction and next-generation sequencing. A total of 1,499,670 reads averaging 379 base pairs in length were generated by 454-pyrosequencing, resulting in 569,060,077 total base pairs sequenced. A total of 43,558 putative SNPs were identified, and of those, 125 SNP primers were developed that successfully amplified 96 cutthroat trout and rainbow trout individuals. These SNP loci were able to differentiate most cutthroat trout subspecies using distance methods and Structure analyses. Conclusions Genomic and bioinformatic protocols were

  2. Biodegradability of Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate/Bacterial Cellulose Composites under Aerobic Conditions, Measured via Evolution of Carbon Dioxide and Spectroscopic and Diffraction Methods.

    PubMed

    Ruka, Dianne R; Sangwan, Parveen; Garvey, Christopher J; Simon, George P; Dean, Katherine M

    2015-08-18

    Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and bacterial cellulose (BC) are both natural polymeric materials that have the potential to replace traditional, nonrenewable polymers. In particular, the nanofibrillar form of bacterial cellulose makes it an effective reinforcement for PHB. Neat PHB, bacterial cellulose, and a composite of PHB/BC produced with 10 wt % cellulose were composted under accelerated aerobic test conditions, with biodegradability measured by the carbon dioxide evolution method, in conjunction with spectroscopic and diffraction methods to assess crystallinity changes during the biodegradation process. The PHB/BC composite biodegraded at a greater rate and extent than that of PHB alone, reaching 80% degradation after 30 days, whereas PHB did not reach this level of degradation until close to 50 days of composting. The relative crystallinity of PHB and PHB in the PHB/BC composite was found to increase in the initial weeks of degradation, with degradation occurring primarily in the amorphous region of the material and some recrystallization of the amorphous PHB. Small angle X-ray scattering indicates that the change in PHB crystallinity is accompanied by a change in morphology of semicrystalline lamellae. The increased rate of biodegradability suggests that these materials could be applicable to single-use applications and could rapidly biodegrade in compost on disposal.

  3. Examining marginal sequence similarities between bacterial type III secretion system components and Trypanosoma cruzi surface proteins: horizontal gene transfer or convergent evolution?

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Danielle C. F.; Silva, Richard C.; Ferreira, Renata C.; Briones, Marcelo R. S.

    2013-01-01

    The cell invasion mechanism of Trypanosoma cruzi has similarities with some intracellular bacterial taxa especially regarding calcium mobilization. This mechanism is not observed in other trypanosomatids, suggesting that the molecules involved in this type of cell invasion were a product of (1) acquisition by horizontal gene transfer (HGT); (2) secondary loss in the other trypanosomatid lineages of the mechanism inherited since the bifurcation Bacteria-Neomura (1.9 billion to 900 million years ago); or (3) de novo evolution from non-homologous proteins via convergent evolution. Similar to T. cruzi, several bacterial genera require increased host cell cytosolic calcium for intracellular invasion. Among intracellular bacteria, the mechanism of host cell invasion of genus Salmonella is the most similar to T. cruzi. The invasion of Salmonella occurs by contact with the host's cell surface and is mediated by the type III secretion system (T3SS) that promotes the contact-dependent translocation of effector proteins directly into host's cell cytoplasm. Here we provide evidence of distant sequence similarities and structurally conserved domains between T. cruzi and Salmonella spp T3SS proteins. Exhaustive database searches were directed to a wide range of intracellular bacteria and trypanosomatids, exploring sequence patterns for comparison of structural similarities and Bayesian phylogenies. Based on our data we hypothesize that T. cruzi acquired genes for calcium mobilization mediated invasion by ancient HGT from ancestral Salmonella lineages. PMID:23967008

  4. Recent genome reduction of Wolbachia in Drosophila recens targets phage WO and narrows candidates for reproductive parasitism

    PubMed Central

    Metcalf, Jason A.; Jo, Minhee; Bordenstein, Sarah R.; Jaenike, John

    2014-01-01

    Wolbachia are maternally transmitted endosymbionts that often alter their arthropod hosts’ biology to favor the success of infected females, and they may also serve as a speciation microbe driving reproductive isolation. Two of these host manipulations include killing males outright and reducing offspring survival when infected males mate with uninfected females, a phenomenon known as cytoplasmic incompatibility. Little is known about the mechanisms behind these phenotypes, but interestingly either effect can be caused by the same Wolbachia strain when infecting different hosts. For instance, wRec causes cytoplasmic incompatibility in its native host Drosophila recens and male killing in D. subquinaria. The discovery of prophage WO elements in most arthropod Wolbachia has generated the hypothesis that WO may encode genes involved in these reproductive manipulations. However, PCR screens for the WO minor capsid gene indicated that wRec lacks phage WO. Thus, wRec seemed to provide an example where phage WO is not needed for Wolbachia-induced reproductive manipulation. To enable investigation of the mechanism of phenotype switching in different host backgrounds, and to examine the unexpected absence of phage WO, we sequenced the genome of wRec. Analyses reveal that wRec diverged from wMel approximately 350,000 years ago, mainly by genome reduction in the phage regions. While it lost the minor capsid gene used in standard PCR screens for phage WO, it retained two regions encompassing 33 genes, several of which have previously been associated with reproductive parasitism. Thus, WO gene involvement in reproductive manipulation cannot be excluded and reliance on single gene PCR should not be used to rule out the presence of phage WO in Wolbachia. Additionally, the genome sequence for wRec will enable transcriptomic and proteomic studies that may help elucidate the Wolbachia mechanisms of altered reproductive manipulations associated with host switching, perhaps among

  5. Diversity and Evolution of Bacterial Twin Arginine Translocase Protein, TatC, Reveals a Protein Secretion System That Is Evolving to Fit Its Environmental Niche

    PubMed Central

    Simone, Domenico; Bay, Denice C.; Leach, Thorin; Turner, Raymond J.

    2013-01-01

    Background The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) protein export system enables the transport of fully folded proteins across a membrane. This system is composed of two integral membrane proteins belonging to TatA and TatC protein families and in some systems a third component, TatB, a homolog of TatA. TatC participates in substrate protein recognition through its interaction with a twin arginine leader peptide sequence. Methodology/Principal Findings The aim of this study was to explore TatC diversity, evolution and sequence conservation in bacteria to identify how TatC is evolving and diversifying in various bacterial phyla. Surveying bacterial genomes revealed that 77% of all species possess one or more tatC loci and half of these classes possessed only tatC and tatA genes. Phylogenetic analysis of diverse TatC homologues showed that they were primarily inherited but identified a small subset of taxonomically unrelated bacteria that exhibited evidence supporting lateral gene transfer within an ecological niche. Examination of bacilli tatCd/tatCy isoform operons identified a number of known and potentially new Tat substrate genes based on their frequent association to tatC loci. Evolutionary analysis of these Bacilli isoforms determined that TatCy was the progenitor of TatCd. A bacterial TatC consensus sequence was determined and highlighted conserved and variable regions within a three dimensional model of the Escherichia coli TatC protein. Comparative analysis between the TatC consensus sequence and Bacilli TatCd/y isoform consensus sequences revealed unique sites that may contribute to isoform substrate specificity or make TatA specific contacts. Synonymous to non-synonymous nucleotide substitution analyses of bacterial tatC homologues determined that tatC sequence variation differs dramatically between various classes and suggests TatC specialization in these species. Conclusions/Significance TatC proteins appear to be diversifying within particular bacterial

  6. Evolution of bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatases in photosynthetic eukaryotes features ancestral mitochondrial or archaeal origin and possible lateral gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Uhrig, R Glen; Kerk, David; Moorhead, Greg B

    2013-12-01

    Protein phosphorylation is a reversible regulatory process catalyzed by the opposing reactions of protein kinases and phosphatases, which are central to the proper functioning of the cell. Dysfunction of members in either the protein kinase or phosphatase family can have wide-ranging deleterious effects in both metazoans and plants alike. Previously, three bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatase classes were uncovered in eukaryotes and named according to the bacterial sequences with which they have the greatest similarity: Shewanella-like (SLP), Rhizobiales-like (RLPH), and ApaH-like (ALPH) phosphatases. Utilizing the wealth of data resulting from recently sequenced complete eukaryotic genomes, we conducted database searching by hidden Markov models, multiple sequence alignment, and phylogenetic tree inference with Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods to elucidate the pattern of evolution of eukaryotic bacterial-like phosphoprotein phosphatase sequences, which are predominantly distributed in photosynthetic eukaryotes. We uncovered a pattern of ancestral mitochondrial (SLP and RLPH) or archaeal (ALPH) gene entry into eukaryotes, supplemented by possible instances of lateral gene transfer between bacteria and eukaryotes. In addition to the previously known green algal and plant SLP1 and SLP2 protein forms, a more ancestral third form (SLP3) was found in green algae. Data from in silico subcellular localization predictions revealed class-specific differences in plants likely to result in distinct functions, and for SLP sequences, distinctive and possibly functionally significant differences between plants and nonphotosynthetic eukaryotes. Conserved carboxyl-terminal sequence motifs with class-specific patterns of residue substitutions, most prominent in photosynthetic organisms, raise the possibility of complex interactions with regulatory proteins.

  7. Temporal evolution of bacterial communities associated with the in situ wetland-based remediation of a marine shore porphyry copper tailings deposit.

    PubMed

    Diaby, N; Dold, B; Rohrbach, E; Holliger, C; Rossi, P

    2015-11-15

    Mine tailings are a serious threat to the environment and public health. Remediation of these residues can be carried out effectively by the activation of specific microbial processes. This article presents detailed information about temporal changes in bacterial community composition during the remediation of a section of porphyry copper tailings deposited on the Bahía de Ite shoreline (Peru). An experimental remediation cell was flooded and transformed into a wetland in order to prevent oxidation processes, immobilizing metals. Initially, the top oxidation zone of the tailings deposit displayed a low pH (3.1) and high concentrations of metals, sulfate, and chloride, in a sandy grain size geological matrix. This habitat was dominated by sulfur- and iron-oxidizing bacteria, such as Leptospirillum spp., Acidithiobacillus spp., and Sulfobacillus spp., in a microbial community which structure resembled acid mine drainage environments. After wetland implementation, the cell was water-saturated, the acidity was consumed and metals dropped to a fraction of their initial respective concentrations. Bacterial communities analyzed by massive sequencing showed time-dependent changes both in composition and cell numbers. The final remediation stage was characterized by the highest bacterial diversity and evenness. Aside from classical sulfate reducers from the phyla δ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, community structure comprised taxa derived from very diverse habitats. The community was also characterized by an elevated proportion of rare phyla and unaffiliated sequences. Numerical ecology analysis confirmed that the temporal population evolution was driven by pH, redox, and K. Results of this study demonstrated the usefulness of a detailed follow-up of the remediation process, not only for the elucidation of the communities gradually switching from autotrophic, oxidizing to heterotrophic and reducing living conditions, but also for the long term management of the remediation

  8. Temporal evolution of bacterial communities associated with the in situ wetland-based remediation of a marine shore porphyry copper tailings deposit.

    PubMed

    Diaby, N; Dold, B; Rohrbach, E; Holliger, C; Rossi, P

    2015-11-15

    Mine tailings are a serious threat to the environment and public health. Remediation of these residues can be carried out effectively by the activation of specific microbial processes. This article presents detailed information about temporal changes in bacterial community composition during the remediation of a section of porphyry copper tailings deposited on the Bahía de Ite shoreline (Peru). An experimental remediation cell was flooded and transformed into a wetland in order to prevent oxidation processes, immobilizing metals. Initially, the top oxidation zone of the tailings deposit displayed a low pH (3.1) and high concentrations of metals, sulfate, and chloride, in a sandy grain size geological matrix. This habitat was dominated by sulfur- and iron-oxidizing bacteria, such as Leptospirillum spp., Acidithiobacillus spp., and Sulfobacillus spp., in a microbial community which structure resembled acid mine drainage environments. After wetland implementation, the cell was water-saturated, the acidity was consumed and metals dropped to a fraction of their initial respective concentrations. Bacterial communities analyzed by massive sequencing showed time-dependent changes both in composition and cell numbers. The final remediation stage was characterized by the highest bacterial diversity and evenness. Aside from classical sulfate reducers from the phyla δ-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, community structure comprised taxa derived from very diverse habitats. The community was also characterized by an elevated proportion of rare phyla and unaffiliated sequences. Numerical ecology analysis confirmed that the temporal population evolution was driven by pH, redox, and K. Results of this study demonstrated the usefulness of a detailed follow-up of the remediation process, not only for the elucidation of the communities gradually switching from autotrophic, oxidizing to heterotrophic and reducing living conditions, but also for the long term management of the remediation

  9. Evolution of Bacterial Phosphoglycerate Mutases: Non-Homologous Isofunctional Enzymes Undergoing Gene Losses, Gains and Lateral Transfers

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Jeremy M.; Davis, Paul J.; Raverdy, Sylvine; Sibley, Marion H.; Raleigh, Elisabeth A.; Kumar, Sanjay; Carlow, Clotilde K. S.

    2010-01-01

    Background The glycolytic phosphoglycerate mutases exist as non-homologous isofunctional enzymes (NISE) having independent evolutionary origins and no similarity in primary sequence, 3D structure, or catalytic mechanism. Cofactor-dependent PGM (dPGM) requires 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate for activity; cofactor-independent PGM (iPGM) does not. The PGM profile of any given bacterium is unpredictable and some organisms such as Escherichia coli encode both forms. Methods/Principal Findings To examine the distribution of PGM NISE throughout the Bacteria, and gain insight into the evolutionary processes that shape their phyletic profiles, we searched bacterial genome sequences for the presence of dPGM and iPGM. Both forms exhibited patchy distributions throughout the bacterial domain. Species within the same genus, or even strains of the same species, frequently differ in their PGM repertoire. The distribution is further complicated by the common occurrence of dPGM paralogs, while iPGM paralogs are rare. Larger genomes are more likely to accommodate PGM paralogs or both NISE forms. Lateral gene transfers have shaped the PGM profiles with intradomain and interdomain transfers apparent. Archaeal-type iPGM was identified in many bacteria, often as the sole PGM. To address the function of PGM NISE in an organism encoding both forms, we analyzed recombinant enzymes from E. coli. Both NISE were active mutases, but the specific activity of dPGM greatly exceeded that of iPGM, which showed highest activity in the presence of manganese. We created PGM null mutants in E. coli and discovered the ΔdPGM mutant grew slowly due to a delay in exiting stationary phase. Overexpression of dPGM or iPGM overcame this defect. Conclusions/Significance Our biochemical and genetic analyses in E. coli firmly establish dPGM and iPGM as NISE. Metabolic redundancy is indicated since only larger genomes encode both forms. Non-orthologous gene displacement can fully account for the non-uniform PGM

  10. Evolution of the deaminase fold and multiple origins of eukaryotic editing and mutagenic nucleic acid deaminases from bacterial toxin systems

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.; Zhang, Dapeng; Rogozin, Igor B.; Aravind, L.

    2011-01-01

    The deaminase-like fold includes, in addition to nucleic acid/nucleotide deaminases, several catalytic domains such as the JAB domain, and others involved in nucleotide and ADP-ribose metabolism. Using sensitive sequence and structural comparison methods, we develop a comprehensive natural classification of the deaminase-like fold and show that its ancestral version was likely to operate on nucleotides or nucleic acids. Consequently, we present evidence that a specific group of JAB domains are likely to possess a DNA repair function, distinct from the previously known deubiquitinating peptidase activity. We also identified numerous previously unknown clades of nucleic acid deaminases. Using inference based on contextual information, we suggest that most of these clades are toxin domains of two distinct classes of bacterial toxin systems, namely polymorphic toxins implicated in bacterial interstrain competition and those that target distantly related cells. Genome context information suggests that these toxins might be delivered via diverse secretory systems, such as Type V, Type VI, PVC and a novel PrsW-like intramembrane peptidase-dependent mechanism. We propose that certain deaminase toxins might be deployed by diverse extracellular and intracellular pathogens as also endosymbionts as effectors targeting nucleic acids of host cells. Our analysis suggests that these toxin deaminases have been acquired by eukaryotes on several independent occasions and recruited as organellar or nucleo-cytoplasmic RNA modifiers, operating on tRNAs, mRNAs and short non-coding RNAs, and also as mutators of hyper-variable genes, viruses and selfish elements. This scenario potentially explains the origin of mutagenic AID/APOBEC-like deaminases, including novel versions from Caenorhabditis, Nematostella and diverse algae and a large class of fast-evolving fungal deaminases. These observations greatly expand the distribution of possible unidentified mutagenic processes catalyzed by

  11. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon

    PubMed Central

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  12. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    PubMed

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data.

  13. Inter-Protein Sequence Co-Evolution Predicts Known Physical Interactions in Bacterial Ribosomes and the Trp Operon.

    PubMed

    Feinauer, Christoph; Szurmant, Hendrik; Weigt, Martin; Pagnani, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Interaction between proteins is a fundamental mechanism that underlies virtually all biological processes. Many important interactions are conserved across a large variety of species. The need to maintain interaction leads to a high degree of co-evolution between residues in the interface between partner proteins. The inference of protein-protein interaction networks from the rapidly growing sequence databases is one of the most formidable tasks in systems biology today. We propose here a novel approach based on the Direct-Coupling Analysis of the co-evolution between inter-protein residue pairs. We use ribosomal and trp operon proteins as test cases: For the small resp. large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts protein-interaction partners at a true-positive rate of 70% resp. 90% within the first 10 predictions, with areas of 0.69 resp. 0.81 under the ROC curves for all predictions. In the trp operon, it assigns the two largest interaction scores to the only two interactions experimentally known. On the level of residue interactions we show that for both the small and the large ribosomal subunit our approach predicts interacting residues in the system with a true positive rate of 60% and 85% in the first 20 predictions. We use artificial data to show that the performance of our approach depends crucially on the size of the joint multiple sequence alignments and analyze how many sequences would be necessary for a perfect prediction if the sequences were sampled from the same model that we use for prediction. Given the performance of our approach on the test data we speculate that it can be used to detect new interactions, especially in the light of the rapid growth of available sequence data. PMID:26882169

  14. Comparative genomics and evolution of genes encoding bacterial (p)ppGpp synthetases/hydrolases (the Rel, RelA and SpoT proteins).

    PubMed

    Mittenhuber, G

    2001-10-01

    In the gram-negative model organism Escherichia coli, the effector molecule of the stringent response, (p)ppGpp, is synthesized by two different enzymes, RelA and SpoT, whereas in the gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis only one enzyme named Rel is responsible for this activity. Rel and SpoT also possess (p)ppGpp hydrolase activity. BLAST searches were used to identify orthologous genes in databases. The construction and bootstrapping of phylogenetic trees allowed classification of these orthologs. Four groups could be distinguished: With the exception of Neisseria and Bordetella (beta subdivision), the RelA and SpoT groups are exclusively found in the gamma subdivision of proteobacteria. Two Rel groups representing the actinobacterial and the Bacillus/Clostridium group were also identified. The SpoT proteins are related to the gram positive Rel proteins. RelA proteins carry substitutions in the HD domain (Aravind and Koonin, 1998, TIBS 23: 469-472) responsible for ppGpp degradation. A theory for the evolution of the specialized, paralogous relA and spoT genes is presented: After gene duplication of an ancestral rellike gene, the spoT and relA genes evolved from the duplicated genes. The distribution pattern of the paralogous RelA and SpoT proteins supports a new model of linear bacterial evolution (Gupta, 2000, FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 24: 367-402). This model postulates that the gamma subdivision of proteobacteria represents the most recently evolved bacterial lineage. However, two paralogous, closely related genes of Porphyromonas gingivalis (Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides phylum) encoding proteins with functions probably identical to the RelA and SpoT proteins do not fit in this model. Completely sequenced genomes of several obligately parasitic organisms (Treponema pallidum, Chlamydia species, Rickettsia prowazekii) and the obligate aphid symbiont Buchnera sp. APS as well as archaea do not contain rel-like genes but they are present in the

  15. Bacterial evolution through the selective loss of beneficial Genes. Trade-offs in expression involving two loci.

    PubMed Central

    Zinser, Erik R; Schneider, Dominique; Blot, Michel; Kolter, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    The loss of preexisting genes or gene activities during evolution is a major mechanism of ecological specialization. Evolutionary processes that can account for gene loss or inactivation have so far been restricted to one of two mechanisms: direct selection for the loss of gene activities that are disadvantageous under the conditions of selection (i.e., antagonistic pleiotropy) and selection-independent genetic drift of neutral (or nearly neutral) mutations (i.e., mutation accumulation). In this study we demonstrate with an evolved strain of Escherichia coli that a third, distinct mechanism exists by which gene activities can be lost. This selection-dependent mechanism involves the expropriation of one gene's upstream regulatory element by a second gene via a homologous recombination event. Resulting from this genetic exchange is the activation of the second gene and a concomitant inactivation of the first gene. This gene-for-gene expression tradeoff provides a net fitness gain, even if the forfeited activity of the first gene can play a positive role in fitness under the conditions of selection. PMID:12930738

  16. Evolution of amoxicillin/clavulanate in the treatment of adults with acute bacterial rhinosinusitis and community-acquired pneumonia in response to antimicrobial-resistance patterns.

    PubMed

    File, Thomas M; Benninger, Michael S; Jacobs, Michael R

    2004-06-01

    Current treatment guidelines for community-acquired respiratory tract infections no longer depend solely on the characteristics of the patient and the clinical syndrome, but on those of the offending pathogen, including presence and level of antimicrobial resistance. The most common respiratory tract pathogens known to cause acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS) and community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) include Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance, especially b-lactum and macrolide resistance, among S pneumoniae and H influenzae has increased dramatically during the past 2 decades, diminishing the activity of many older antimicrobials against resistant organisms. A pharmacokinetically enhanced formulation of amoxicillin/clavulanate has been developed to fulfill the need for an oral b-lactam antimicrobial that achieves a greater time that the serum drug concentration exceeds the minimum inhibitory concentration (T > MIC) of antimicrobials against pathogens than conventional formulations to improve activity against S pneumoniae with reduced susceptibility to penicillin. The b-lactamase inhibitor clavulanate allows for coverage of b-lactamase-producing pathogens, such as H influenzae and M catarrhalis. This article reviews the rationale for, and evolution of, oral amoxicillin clavulanate for ABRS and CAP

  17. "PP2C7s", Genes Most Highly Elaborated in Photosynthetic Organisms, Reveal the Bacterial Origin and Stepwise Evolution of PPM/PP2C Protein Phosphatases.

    PubMed

    Kerk, David; Silver, Dylan; Uhrig, R Glen; Moorhead, Greg B G

    2015-01-01

    Mg+2/Mn+2-dependent type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) are ubiquitous in eukaryotes, mediating diverse cellular signaling processes through metal ion catalyzed dephosphorylation of target proteins. We have identified a distinct PP2C sequence class ("PP2C7s") which is nearly universally distributed in Eukaryotes, and therefore apparently ancient. PP2C7s are by far most prominent and diverse in plants and green algae. Combining phylogenetic analysis, subcellular localization predictions, and a distillation of publically available gene expression data, we have traced the evolutionary trajectory of this gene family in photosynthetic eukaryotes, demonstrating two major sequence assemblages featuring a succession of increasingly derived sub-clades. These display predominant expression moving from an ancestral pattern in photosynthetic tissues toward non-photosynthetic, specialized and reproductive structures. Gene co-expression network composition strongly suggests a shifting pattern of PP2C7 gene functions, including possible regulation of starch metabolism for one homologue set in Arabidopsis and rice. Distinct plant PP2C7 sub-clades demonstrate novel amino terminal protein sequences upon motif analysis, consistent with a shifting pattern of regulation of protein function. More broadly, neither the major events in PP2C sequence evolution, nor the origin of the diversity of metal binding characteristics currently observed in different PP2C lineages, are clearly understood. Identification of the PP2C7 sequence clade has allowed us to provide a better understanding of both of these issues. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence comparisons using Hidden Markov Models strongly suggest that PP2Cs originated in Bacteria (Group II PP2C sequences), entered Eukaryotes through the ancestral mitochondrial endosymbiosis, elaborated in Eukaryotes, then re-entered Bacteria through an inter-domain gene transfer, ultimately producing bacterial Group I PP2C sequences. A key evolutionary

  18. "PP2C7s", Genes Most Highly Elaborated in Photosynthetic Organisms, Reveal the Bacterial Origin and Stepwise Evolution of PPM/PP2C Protein Phosphatases

    PubMed Central

    Kerk, David; Silver, Dylan; Uhrig, R. Glen; Moorhead, Greg B. G.

    2015-01-01

    Mg+2/Mn+2-dependent type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) are ubiquitous in eukaryotes, mediating diverse cellular signaling processes through metal ion catalyzed dephosphorylation of target proteins. We have identified a distinct PP2C sequence class (“PP2C7s”) which is nearly universally distributed in Eukaryotes, and therefore apparently ancient. PP2C7s are by far most prominent and diverse in plants and green algae. Combining phylogenetic analysis, subcellular localization predictions, and a distillation of publically available gene expression data, we have traced the evolutionary trajectory of this gene family in photosynthetic eukaryotes, demonstrating two major sequence assemblages featuring a succession of increasingly derived sub-clades. These display predominant expression moving from an ancestral pattern in photosynthetic tissues toward non-photosynthetic, specialized and reproductive structures. Gene co-expression network composition strongly suggests a shifting pattern of PP2C7 gene functions, including possible regulation of starch metabolism for one homologue set in Arabidopsis and rice. Distinct plant PP2C7 sub-clades demonstrate novel amino terminal protein sequences upon motif analysis, consistent with a shifting pattern of regulation of protein function. More broadly, neither the major events in PP2C sequence evolution, nor the origin of the diversity of metal binding characteristics currently observed in different PP2C lineages, are clearly understood. Identification of the PP2C7 sequence clade has allowed us to provide a better understanding of both of these issues. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence comparisons using Hidden Markov Models strongly suggest that PP2Cs originated in Bacteria (Group II PP2C sequences), entered Eukaryotes through the ancestral mitochondrial endosymbiosis, elaborated in Eukaryotes, then re-entered Bacteria through an inter-domain gene transfer, ultimately producing bacterial Group I PP2C sequences. A key

  19. Complete genome of Kangiella geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T), putative evidence for recent genome reduction in marine environments.

    PubMed

    Choe, Hanna; Kim, Seil; Oh, Jeongsu; Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Byung Kwon; Kim, Kyung Mo

    2015-12-01

    Kangiella geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T) is an aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium that was isolated from seawater off the southern coast of Korea. We here report the complete genome of K. geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T), which consists of 2,495,242 bp (G+C content of 43.78%) with 2,257 protein-coding genes, 41 tRNAs, 2 rRNA operons. The genome is smaller than the other closely related genomes, indicating that K. geojedonensis has recently experienced reductive evolution.

  20. Complete genome of Kangiella geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T), putative evidence for recent genome reduction in marine environments.

    PubMed

    Choe, Hanna; Kim, Seil; Oh, Jeongsu; Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Byung Kwon; Kim, Kyung Mo

    2015-12-01

    Kangiella geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T) is an aerobic, Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium that was isolated from seawater off the southern coast of Korea. We here report the complete genome of K. geojedonensis KCTC 23420(T), which consists of 2,495,242 bp (G+C content of 43.78%) with 2,257 protein-coding genes, 41 tRNAs, 2 rRNA operons. The genome is smaller than the other closely related genomes, indicating that K. geojedonensis has recently experienced reductive evolution. PMID:26044616

  1. Genome Evolution in the Obligate but Environmentally Active Luminous Symbionts of Flashlight Fish.

    PubMed

    Hendry, Tory A; de Wet, Jeffrey R; Dougan, Katherine E; Dunlap, Paul V

    2016-01-01

    The luminous bacterial symbionts of anomalopid flashlight fish are thought to be obligately dependent on their hosts for growth and share several aspects of genome evolution with unrelated obligate symbionts, including genome reduction. However, in contrast to most obligate bacteria, anomalopid symbionts have an active environmental phase that may be important for symbiont transmission. Here we investigated patterns of evolution between anomalopid symbionts compared with patterns in free-living relatives and unrelated obligate symbionts to determine if trends common to obligate symbionts are also found in anomalopid symbionts. Two symbionts, "Candidatus Photodesmus katoptron" and "Candidatus Photodesmus blepharus," have genomes that are highly similar in gene content and order, suggesting genome stasis similar to ancient obligate symbionts present in insect lineages. This genome stasis exists in spite of the symbiont's inferred ability to recombine, which is frequently lacking in obligate symbionts with stable genomes. Additionally, we used genome comparisons and tests of selection to infer which genes may be particularly important for the symbiont's ecology compared with relatives. In keeping with obligate dependence, substitution patterns suggest that most symbiont genes are experiencing relaxed purifying selection compared with relatives. However, genes involved in motility and carbon storage, which are likely to be used outside the host, appear to be under increased purifying selection. Two chemoreceptor chemotaxis genes are retained by both species and show high conservation with amino acid sensing genes, suggesting that the bacteria may actively seek out hosts using chemotaxis toward amino acids, which the symbionts are not able to synthesize. PMID:27389687

  2. Viral evolution

    PubMed Central

    Nasir, Arshan; Kim, Kyung Mo; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Explaining the origin of viruses remains an important challenge for evolutionary biology. Previous explanatory frameworks described viruses as founders of cellular life, as parasitic reductive products of ancient cellular organisms or as escapees of modern genomes. Each of these frameworks endow viruses with distinct molecular, cellular, dynamic and emergent properties that carry broad and important implications for many disciplines, including biology, ecology and epidemiology. In a recent genome-wide structural phylogenomic analysis, we have shown that large-to-medium-sized viruses coevolved with cellular ancestors and have chosen the evolutionary reductive route. Here we interpret these results and provide a parsimonious hypothesis for the origin of viruses that is supported by molecular data and objective evolutionary bioinformatic approaches. Results suggest two important phases in the evolution of viruses: (1) origin from primordial cells and coexistence with cellular ancestors, and (2) prolonged pressure of genome reduction and relatively late adaptation to the parasitic lifestyle once virions and diversified cellular life took over the planet. Under this evolutionary model, new viral lineages can evolve from existing cellular parasites and enhance the diversity of the world’s virosphere. PMID:23550145

  3. Directed Evolution of Bacterial Chemoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goulian, Mark

    2006-03-01

    The methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins are a family of receptors in bacteria that mediate chemotaxis to diverse signals. We have developed a simple method for selecting bacteria that swim towards target attractants, which makes it possible to isolate novel chemoreceptors. The procedure is based on establishing a diffusive gradient in semi-soft agar and does not require that the attractant be metabolized or degraded. We have applied this method to evolve the E. coli aspartate receptor, Tar, to mediate chemotaxis to new attractants. We found that Tar is quite plastic and can be readily mutated to respond to diverse compounds. The overall change in specificity depended on the target attractant. In some cases the mutated receptors still showed significant sensitivity to aspartate, indicating that the receptors had a broadened specificity relative to wild-type Tar. In other cases, however, the Tar variants showed a dramatic decrease in their response to aspartate. This occurred in the absence of any counter-selection steps. For many of the receptors, the maximal sensitivity that was obtained could not be attributed solely to substitutions within the ligand binding pocket. The receptors that we have isolated, together with additional variants that may be obtained with our technique, provide new tools for exploring the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction by chemoreceptors. Our selection method will also be useful for constructing new receptors for the development of biosensors and for engineering bacteria for applications in biotechnology.

  4. Mechanisms of Functional and Physical Genome Reduction in Photosynthetic and Nonphotosynthetic Parasitic Plants of the Broomrape Family[W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Wicke, Susann; Müller, Kai F.; de Pamphilis, Claude W.; Quandt, Dietmar; Wickett, Norman J.; Zhang, Yan; Renner, Susanne S.; Schneeweiss, Gerald M.

    2013-01-01

    Nonphotosynthetic plants possess strongly reconfigured plastomes attributable to convergent losses of photosynthesis and housekeeping genes, making them excellent systems for studying genome evolution under relaxed selective pressures. We report the complete plastomes of 10 photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic parasites plus their nonparasitic sister from the broomrape family (Orobanchaceae). By reconstructing the history of gene losses and genome reconfigurations, we find that the establishment of obligate parasitism triggers the relaxation of selective constraints. Partly because of independent losses of one inverted repeat region, Orobanchaceae plastomes vary 3.5-fold in size, with 45 kb in American squawroot (Conopholis americana) representing the smallest plastome reported from land plants. Of the 42 to 74 retained unique genes, only 16 protein genes, 15 tRNAs, and four rRNAs are commonly found. Several holoparasites retain ATP synthase genes with intact open reading frames, suggesting a prolonged function in these plants. The loss of photosynthesis alters the chromosomal architecture in that recombinogenic factors accumulate, fostering large-scale chromosomal rearrangements as functional reduction proceeds. The retention of DNA fragments is strongly influenced by both their proximity to genes under selection and the co-occurrence with those in operons, indicating complex constraints beyond gene function that determine the evolutionary survival time of plastid regions in nonphotosynthetic plants. PMID:24143802

  5. The evolution of size of the uropygial gland: mutualistic feather mites and uropygial secretion reduce bacterial loads of eggshells and hatching failures of European birds.

    PubMed

    Soler, J J; Peralta-Sánchez, J M; Martín-Platero, A M; Martín-Vivaldi, M; Martínez-Bueno, M; Møller, A P

    2012-09-01

    Potentially, pathogenic bacteria are one of the main infective agents against which a battery of chemical and physical barriers has evolved in animals. Among these are the secretions by the exocrine uropygial gland in birds. The antimicrobial properties of uropygial secretions may prevent colonization and growth of microorganisms on feathers, skin and eggshells. However, uropygial gland secretions also favour the proliferation of feather mites that feed on secretions and microorganisms living on feathers that would otherwise reach eggshells during incubation if not consumed by feather mites. Therefore, at the interspecific level, uropygial gland size (as an index of volume of uropygial secretion) should be positively related to eggshell bacterial load (i.e. the risk of egg infection), whereas eggshell bacterial loads may be negatively related to abundance of feather mites eating bacteria. Here, we explore these previously untested predictions in a comparative framework using information on eggshell bacterial loads, uropygial gland size, diversity and abundance of feather mites and hatching success of 22 species of birds. The size of the uropygial gland was positively related to eggshell bacterial loads (mesophilic bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae), and bird species with higher diversity and abundance of feather mites harboured lower bacterial density on their eggshells (Enterococcus and Staphylococcus), in accordance with the hypothesis. Importantly, eggshell bacterial loads of mesophilic bacteria, Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae were negatively associated with hatching success, allowing us to interpret these interspecific relationships in a functional scenario, where both uropygial glands and mutualistic feather mites independently reduce the negative effects of pathogenic bacteria on avian fitness.

  6. Mitochondrial Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    Viewed through the lens of the genome it contains, the mitochondrion is of unquestioned bacterial ancestry, originating from within the bacterial phylum α-Proteobacteria (Alphaproteobacteria). Accordingly, the endosymbiont hypothesis—the idea that the mitochondrion evolved from a bacterial progenitor via symbiosis within an essentially eukaryotic host cell—has assumed the status of a theory. Yet mitochondrial genome evolution has taken radically different pathways in diverse eukaryotic lineages, and the organelle itself is increasingly viewed as a genetic and functional mosaic, with the bulk of the mitochondrial proteome having an evolutionary origin outside Alphaproteobacteria. New data continue to reshape our views regarding mitochondrial evolution, particularly raising the question of whether the mitochondrion originated after the eukaryotic cell arose, as assumed in the classical endosymbiont hypothesis, or whether this organelle had its beginning at the same time as the cell containing it. PMID:22952398

  7. Bacterial Sialidase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Data shows that elevated sialidase in bacterial vaginosis patients correlates to premature births in women. Bacterial sialidase also plays a significant role in the unusual colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients. Crystals of Salmonella sialidase have been reproduced and are used for studying the inhibitor-enzyme complexes. These inhibitors may also be used to inhibit a trans-sialidase of Trypanosome cruzi, a very similar enzyme to bacterial sialidase, therefore preventing T. cruzi infection, the causitive agent of Chagas' disease. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography suggests that inhibitors of bacterial sialidases can be used as prophylactic drugs to prevent bacterial infections in these critical cases.

  8. Association of intron loss with high mutation rate in Arabidopsis: implications for genome size evolution.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yu-Fei; Zhu, Tao; Niu, Deng-Ke

    2013-01-01

    Despite the prevalence of intron losses during eukaryotic evolution, the selective forces acting on them have not been extensively explored. Arabidopsis thaliana lost half of its genome and experienced an elevated rate of intron loss after diverging from A. lyrata. The selective force for genome reduction was suggested to have driven the intron loss. However, the evolutionary mechanism of genome reduction is still a matter of debate. In this study, we found that intron-lost genes have high synonymous substitution rates. Assuming that differences in mutability among different introns are conserved among closely related species, we used the nucleotide substitution rate between orthologous introns in other species as the proxy of the mutation rate of Arabidopsis introns, either lost or extant. The lost introns were found to have higher mutation rates than extant introns. At the genome-wide level, A. thaliana has a higher mutation rate than A. lyrata, which correlates with the higher rate of intron loss and rapid genome reduction of A. thaliana. Our results indicate that selection to minimize mutational hazards might be the selective force for intron loss, and possibly also for genome reduction, in the evolution of A. thaliana. Small genome size and lower genome-wide intron density were widely reported to be correlated with phenotypic features, such as high metabolic rates and rapid growth. We argue that the mutational-hazard hypothesis is compatible with these correlations, by suggesting that selection for rapid growth might indirectly increase mutational hazards.

  9. Bacterial Proteasomes

    PubMed Central

    Jastrab, Jordan B.; Darwin, K. Heran

    2015-01-01

    Interest in bacterial proteasomes was sparked by the discovery that proteasomal degradation is required for the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one of the world's deadliest pathogens. Although bacterial proteasomes are structurally similar to their eukaryotic and archaeal homologs, there are key differences in their mechanisms of assembly, activation, and substrate targeting for degradation. In this article, we compare and contrast bacterial proteasomes with their archaeal and eukaryotic counterparts, and we discuss recent advances in our understanding of how bacterial proteasomes function to influence microbial physiology. PMID:26488274

  10. Evolution of a family of metazoan active-site-serine enzymes from penicillin-binding proteins: a novel facet of the bacterial legacy

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Bacterial penicillin-binding proteins and β-lactamases (PBP-βLs) constitute a large family of serine proteases that perform essential functions in the synthesis and maintenance of peptidoglycan. Intriguingly, genes encoding PBP-βL homologs occur in many metazoan genomes including humans. The emerging role of LACTB, a mammalian mitochondrial PBP-βL homolog, in metabolic signaling prompted us to investigate the evolutionary history of metazoan PBP-βL proteins. Results Metazoan PBP-βL homologs including LACTB share unique structural features with bacterial class B low molecular weight penicillin-binding proteins. The amino acid residues necessary for enzymatic activity in bacterial PBP-βL proteins, including the catalytic serine residue, are conserved in all metazoan homologs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that metazoan PBP-βL homologs comprise four alloparalogus protein lineages that derive from α-proteobacteria. Conclusion While most components of the peptidoglycan synthesis machinery were dumped by early eukaryotes, a few PBP-βL proteins were conserved and are found in metazoans including humans. Metazoan PBP-βL homologs are active-site-serine enzymes that probably have distinct functions in the metabolic circuitry. We hypothesize that PBP-βL proteins in the early eukaryotic cell enabled the degradation of peptidoglycan from ingested bacteria, thereby maximizing the yield of nutrients and streamlining the cell for effective phagocytotic feeding. PMID:18226203

  11. Bacterial Keratitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... very quickly, and if left untreated, can cause blindness. The bacteria usually responsible for this type of ... to intense ultraviolet radiation exposure, e.g. snow blindness or welder's arc eye). Next Bacterial Keratitis Symptoms ...

  12. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein–RNA toxin–antitoxin system

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L.; Voss, Jarrod E.; Blower, Tim R.; Orme, Anastasia L.; Whittaker, Tom E.; Luisi, Ben F.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Genes encoding toxin–antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein–RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve. PMID:26350213

  13. Co-evolution of quaternary organization and novel RNA tertiary interactions revealed in the crystal structure of a bacterial protein-RNA toxin-antitoxin system.

    PubMed

    Rao, Feng; Short, Francesca L; Voss, Jarrod E; Blower, Tim R; Orme, Anastasia L; Whittaker, Tom E; Luisi, Ben F; Salmond, George P C

    2015-10-30

    Genes encoding toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are near ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and they play key roles in important aspects of bacterial physiology, including genomic stability, formation of persister cells under antibiotic stress, and resistance to phage infection. The CptIN locus from Eubacterium rectale is a member of the recently-discovered Type III class of TA systems, defined by a protein toxin suppressed by direct interaction with a structured RNA antitoxin. Here, we present the crystal structure of the CptIN protein-RNA complex to 2.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a new heterotetrameric quaternary organization for the Type III TA class, and the RNA antitoxin bears a novel structural feature of an extended A-twist motif within the pseudoknot fold. The retention of a conserved ribonuclease active site as well as traits normally associated with TA systems, such as plasmid maintenance, implicates a wider functional role for Type III TA systems. We present evidence for the co-variation of the Type III component pair, highlighting a distinctive evolutionary process in which an enzyme and its substrate co-evolve.

  14. Characterization and evolution of cell division and cell wall synthesis genes in the bacterial phyla Verrucomicrobia, Lentisphaerae, Chlamydiae, and Planctomycetes and phylogenetic comparison with rRNA genes.

    PubMed

    Pilhofer, Martin; Rappl, Kristina; Eckl, Christina; Bauer, Andreas Peter; Ludwig, Wolfgang; Schleifer, Karl-Heinz; Petroni, Giulio

    2008-05-01

    In the past, studies on the relationships of the bacterial phyla Planctomycetes, Chlamydiae, Lentisphaerae, and Verrucomicrobia using different phylogenetic markers have been controversial. Investigations based on 16S rRNA sequence analyses suggested a relationship of the four phyla, showing the branching order Planctomycetes, Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia/Lentisphaerae. Phylogenetic analyses of 23S rRNA genes in this study also support a monophyletic grouping and their branching order--this grouping is significant for understanding cell division, since the major bacterial cell division protein FtsZ is absent from members of two of the phyla Chlamydiae and Planctomycetes. In Verrucomicrobia, knowledge about cell division is mainly restricted to the recent report of ftsZ in the closely related genera Prosthecobacter and Verrucomicrobium. In this study, genes of the conserved division and cell wall (dcw) cluster (ddl, ftsQ, ftsA, and ftsZ) were characterized in all verrucomicrobial subdivisions (1 to 4) with cultivable representatives (1 to 4). Sequence analyses and transcriptional analyses in Verrucomicrobia and genome data analyses in Lentisphaerae suggested that cell division is based on FtsZ in all verrucomicrobial subdivisions and possibly also in the sister phylum Lentisphaerae. Comprehensive sequence analyses of available genome data for representatives of Verrucomicrobia, Lentisphaerae, Chlamydiae, and Planctomycetes strongly indicate that their last common ancestor possessed a conserved, ancestral type of dcw gene cluster and an FtsZ-based cell division mechanism. This implies that Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae may have shifted independently to a non-FtsZ-based cell division mechanism after their separate branchings from their last common ancestor with Verrucomicrobia.

  15. Bacterial rheotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Marcos; Fu, Henry C.; Powers, Thomas R.; Stocker, Roman

    2012-01-01

    The motility of organisms is often directed in response to environmental stimuli. Rheotaxis is the directed movement resulting from fluid velocity gradients, long studied in fish, aquatic invertebrates, and spermatozoa. Using carefully controlled microfluidic flows, we show that rheotaxis also occurs in bacteria. Excellent quantitative agreement between experiments with Bacillus subtilis and a mathematical model reveals that bacterial rheotaxis is a purely physical phenomenon, in contrast to fish rheotaxis but in the same way as sperm rheotaxis. This previously unrecognized bacterial taxis results from a subtle interplay between velocity gradients and the helical shape of flagella, which together generate a torque that alters a bacterium's swimming direction. Because this torque is independent of the presence of a nearby surface, bacterial rheotaxis is not limited to the immediate neighborhood of liquid–solid interfaces, but also takes place in the bulk fluid. We predict that rheotaxis occurs in a wide range of bacterial habitats, from the natural environment to the human body, and can interfere with chemotaxis, suggesting that the fitness benefit conferred by bacterial motility may be sharply reduced in some hydrodynamic conditions. PMID:22411815

  16. Multiple Genome Comparison within a Bacterial Species Reveals a Unit of Evolution Spanning Two Adjacent Genes in a Tandem Paralog Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Tsuru, Takeshi

    2008-01-01

    It has been assumed that an open reading frame (ORF) represents a unit of gene evolution as well as a unit of gene expression and function. In the present work, we report a case in which a unit comprising the 3′ region of an ORF linked to a downstream intergenic region that is in turn linked to the 5′ region of a downstream ORF has been conserved, and has served as the unit of gene evolution. The genes are tandem paralogous genes from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, for which more than ten entire genomes have been sequenced. We compared these multiple genome sequences at a locus for the lpl (lipoprotein-like) cluster (encoding lipoprotein homologs presumably related to their host interaction) in the genomic island termed νSaα. A highly conserved nucleotide sequence found within every lpl ORF is likely to provide a site for homologous recombination. Comparison of phylogenies of the 5′-variable region and the 3′-variable region within the same ORF revealed significant incongruence. In contrast, pairs of the 3′-variable region of an ORF and the 5′-variable region of the next downstream ORF gave more congruent phylogenies, with distinct groups of conserved pairs. The intergenic region seemed to have coevolved with the flanking variable regions. Multiple recombination events at the central conserved region appear to have caused various types of rearrangements among strains, shuffling the two variable regions in one ORF, but maintaining a conserved unit comprising the 3′-variable region, the intergenic region, and the 5′-variable region spanning adjacent ORFs. This result has strong impact on our understanding of gene evolution because most gene lineages underwent tandem duplication and then diversified. This work also illustrates the use of multiple genome sequences for high-resolution evolutionary analysis within the same species. PMID:18765438

  17. Genome Evolution in the Obligate but Environmentally Active Luminous Symbionts of Flashlight Fish

    PubMed Central

    Hendry, Tory A.; de Wet, Jeffrey R.; Dougan, Katherine E.; Dunlap, Paul V.

    2016-01-01

    The luminous bacterial symbionts of anomalopid flashlight fish are thought to be obligately dependent on their hosts for growth and share several aspects of genome evolution with unrelated obligate symbionts, including genome reduction. However, in contrast to most obligate bacteria, anomalopid symbionts have an active environmental phase that may be important for symbiont transmission. Here we investigated patterns of evolution between anomalopid symbionts compared with patterns in free-living relatives and unrelated obligate symbionts to determine if trends common to obligate symbionts are also found in anomalopid symbionts. Two symbionts, “Candidatus Photodesmus katoptron” and “Candidatus Photodesmus blepharus,” have genomes that are highly similar in gene content and order, suggesting genome stasis similar to ancient obligate symbionts present in insect lineages. This genome stasis exists in spite of the symbiont’s inferred ability to recombine, which is frequently lacking in obligate symbionts with stable genomes. Additionally, we used genome comparisons and tests of selection to infer which genes may be particularly important for the symbiont’s ecology compared with relatives. In keeping with obligate dependence, substitution patterns suggest that most symbiont genes are experiencing relaxed purifying selection compared with relatives. However, genes involved in motility and carbon storage, which are likely to be used outside the host, appear to be under increased purifying selection. Two chemoreceptor chemotaxis genes are retained by both species and show high conservation with amino acid sensing genes, suggesting that the bacteria may actively seek out hosts using chemotaxis toward amino acids, which the symbionts are not able to synthesize. PMID:27389687

  18. Bacterial Genome Instability

    PubMed Central

    Darmon, Elise

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacterial genomes are remarkably stable from one generation to the next but are plastic on an evolutionary time scale, substantially shaped by horizontal gene transfer, genome rearrangement, and the activities of mobile DNA elements. This implies the existence of a delicate balance between the maintenance of genome stability and the tolerance of genome instability. In this review, we describe the specialized genetic elements and the endogenous processes that contribute to genome instability. We then discuss the consequences of genome instability at the physiological level, where cells have harnessed instability to mediate phase and antigenic variation, and at the evolutionary level, where horizontal gene transfer has played an important role. Indeed, this ability to share DNA sequences has played a major part in the evolution of life on Earth. The evolutionary plasticity of bacterial genomes, coupled with the vast numbers of bacteria on the planet, substantially limits our ability to control disease. PMID:24600039

  19. Protein costs do not explain evolution of metabolic strategies and regulation of ribosomal content: does protein investment explain an anaerobic bacterial Crabtree effect?

    PubMed

    Goel, Anisha; Eckhardt, Thomas H; Puri, Pranav; de Jong, Anne; Branco Dos Santos, Filipe; Giera, Martin; Fusetti, Fabrizia; de Vos, Willem M; Kok, Jan; Poolman, Bert; Molenaar, Douwe; Kuipers, Oscar P; Teusink, Bas

    2015-07-01

    Protein investment costs are considered a major driver for the choice of alternative metabolic strategies. We tested this premise in Lactococcus lactis, a bacterium that exhibits a distinct, anaerobic version of the bacterial Crabtree/Warburg effect; with increasing growth rates it shifts from a high yield metabolic mode [mixed-acid fermentation; 3 adenosine triphosphate (ATP) per glucose] to a low yield metabolic mode (homolactic fermentation; 2 ATP per glucose). We studied growth rate-dependent relative transcription and protein ratios, enzyme activities, and fluxes of L. lactis in glucose-limited chemostats, providing a high-quality and comprehensive data set. A three- to fourfold higher growth rate rerouted metabolism from acetate to lactate as the main fermentation product. However, we observed hardly any changes in transcription, protein levels and enzyme activities. Even levels of ribosomal proteins, constituting a major investment in cellular machinery, changed only slightly. Thus, contrary to the original hypothesis, central metabolism in this organism appears to be hardly regulated at the level of gene expression, but rather at the metabolic level. We conclude that L. lactis is either poorly adapted to growth at low and constant glucose concentrations, or that protein costs play a less important role in fitness than hitherto assumed.

  20. Multilocus Sequence Analysis of the Marine Bacterial Genus Tenacibaculum Suggests Parallel Evolution of Fish Pathogenicity and Endemic Colonization of Aquaculture Systems

    PubMed Central

    Habib, Christophe; Houel, Armel; Lunazzi, Aurélie; Bernardet, Jean-François; Olsen, Anne Berit; Nilsen, Hanne; Toranzo, Alicia E.; Castro, Nuria; Nicolas, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    The genus Tenacibaculum, a member of the family Flavobacteriaceae, is an abundant component of marine bacterial ecosystems that also hosts several fish pathogens, some of which are of serious concern for marine aquaculture. Here, we applied multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) to 114 representatives of most known species in the genus and of the worldwide diversity of the major fish pathogen Tenacibaculum maritimum. Recombination hampers precise phylogenetic reconstruction, but the data indicate intertwined environmental and pathogenic lineages, which suggests that pathogenicity evolved independently in several species. At lower phylogenetic levels recombination is also important, and the species T. maritimum constitutes a cohesive group of isolates. Importantly, the data reveal no trace of long-distance dissemination that could be linked to international fish movements. Instead, the high number of distinct genotypes suggests an endemic distribution of strains. The MLSA scheme and the data described in this study will help in monitoring Tenacibaculum infections in marine aquaculture; we show, for instance, that isolates from tenacibaculosis outbreaks in Norwegian salmon farms are related to T. dicentrarchi, a recently described species. PMID:24973065

  1. Analysis of Genome Content Evolution in PVC Bacterial Super-Phylum: Assessment of Candidate Genes Associated with Cellular Organization and Lifestyle

    PubMed Central

    Kamneva, Olga K.; Knight, Stormy J.; Liberles, David A.; Ward, Naomi L.

    2012-01-01

    The Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae (PVC) super-phylum contains bacteria with either complex cellular organization or simple cell structure; it also includes organisms of different lifestyles (pathogens, mutualists, commensal, and free-living). Genome content evolution of this group has not been studied in a systematic fashion, which would reveal genes underlying the emergence of PVC-specific phenotypes. Here, we analyzed the evolutionary dynamics of 26 PVC genomes and several outgroup species. We inferred HGT, duplications, and losses by reconciliation of 27,123 gene trees with the species phylogeny. We showed that genome expansion and contraction have driven evolution within Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae, respectively, and balanced each other in Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae. We also found that for a large number of genes in PVC genomes the most similar sequences are present in Acidobacteria, suggesting past and/or current ecological interaction between organisms from these groups. We also found evidence of shared ancestry between carbohydrate degradation genes in the mucin-degrading human intestinal commensal Akkermansia muciniphila and sequences from Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes, suggesting that glycoside hydrolases are transferred laterally between gut microbes and that the process of carbohydrate degradation is crucial for microbial survival within the human digestive system. Further, we identified a highly conserved genetic module preferentially present in compartmentalized PVC species and possibly associated with the complex cell plan in these organisms. This conserved machinery is likely to be membrane targeted and involved in electron transport, although its exact function is unknown. These genes represent good candidates for future functional studies. PMID:23221607

  2. A robust phylogenetic framework for the bacterial genus Photorhabdus and its use in studying the evolution and maintenance of bioluminescence: a case for 16S, gyrB, and glnA.

    PubMed

    Peat, Scott M; Ffrench-Constant, Richard H; Waterfield, Nick R; Marokházi, Judit; Fodor, Andras; Adams, Byron J

    2010-11-01

    Photorhabdus spp., the only known bioluminescent terrestrial bacteria are well known for their symbiotic association with heterorhabditid nematodes. This association, along with their ability to kill insects, has aroused interest in the evolutionary relationships within this bacterial group. Currently, three species are recognized within the genus Photorhabdus; P. temperata and P. luminescens, which are endosymbionts of Heterorhabditis spp., and P. asymbiotica, which has been isolated from human wounds and has recently been shown to also have a heterorhabditid nematode vector. To examine phylogenetic relationships among these taxa, we utilize total evidence Bayesian, likelihood, and parsimony based analyses of three genetic loci (16S rRNA gene, gyrB, and glnA) to construct a robust evolutionary hypothesis for the genus Photorhabdus. Here we use this phylogeny to evaluate existing specific and sub-specific taxonomic statements within the genus, identify previously undescribed Photorhabdus strains, test the utility of 16S rRNA gene, gyrB, and glnA in resolving various levels of relationships within the genus, and, finally, to investigate the evolution of bioluminescence. The genes examined produced the most robust phylogenetic hypothesis to date for the genus Photorhabdus, as indicated by strong bootstrap and posterior probability values at previously unresolved or poorly resolved nodes. We show that glnA is particularly useful in resolving specific and intra-specific relationships poorly resolved in other studies. We conclude that P. asymbiotica is the sister group to P. luminescens and that the new strains HIT and JUN should be given a new group designation within P. asymbiotica. Furthermore, we reveal a pattern of decline in bioluminescent intensity through the evolution of Photorhabdus, suggesting that this may be a trait acquired and maintained under previous ecological (aquatic) selection pressures that is now gradually being lost in its terrestrial environment

  3. Bacterial Regulon Evolution: Distinct Responses and Roles for the Identical OmpR Proteins of Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli in the Acid Stress Response

    PubMed Central

    Quinn, Heather J.; Cameron, Andrew D. S.; Dorman, Charles J.

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of new gene networks is a primary source of genetic innovation that allows bacteria to explore and exploit new niches, including pathogenic interactions with host organisms. For example, the archetypal DNA binding protein, OmpR, is identical between Salmonella Typhimurium serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli, but regulatory specialization has resulted in different environmental triggers of OmpR expression and largely divergent OmpR regulons. Specifically, ompR mRNA and OmpR protein levels are elevated by acid pH in S. Typhimurium but not in E. coli. This differential expression pattern is due to differences in the promoter regions of the ompR genes and the E. coli ompR orthologue can be made acid-inducible by introduction of the appropriate sequences from S. Typhimurium. The OmpR regulon in S. Typhimurium overlaps that of E. coli at only 15 genes and includes many horizontally acquired genes (including virulence genes) that E. coli does not have. We found that OmpR binds to its genomic targets in higher abundance when the DNA is relaxed, something that occurs in S. Typhimurium as a result of acid stress and which is a requirement for optimal expression of its virulence genes. The genomic targets of OmpR do not share a strong nucleotide sequence consensus: we propose that the ability of OmpR to recruit additional genes to its regulon arises from its modest requirements for specificity in its DNA targets with its preference for relaxed DNA allowing it to cooperate with DNA-topology-based allostery to modulate transcription in response to acid stress. PMID:24603618

  4. [Bacterial vaginosis].

    PubMed

    Romero Herrero, Daniel; Andreu Domingo, Antonia

    2016-07-01

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the main cause of vaginal dysbacteriosis in the women during the reproductive age. It is an entity in which many studies have focused for years and which is still open for discussion topics. This is due to the diversity of microorganisms that cause it and therefore, its difficult treatment. Bacterial vaginosis is probably the result of vaginal colonization by complex bacterial communities, many of them non-cultivable and with interdependent metabolism where anaerobic populations most likely play an important role in its pathogenesis. The main symptoms are an increase of vaginal discharge and the unpleasant smell of it. It can lead to serious consequences for women, such as an increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections including human immunodeficiency virus and upper genital tract and pregnancy complications. Gram stain is the gold standard for microbiological diagnosis of BV, but can also be diagnosed using the Amsel clinical criteria. It should not be considered a sexually transmitted disease but it is highly related to sex. Recurrence is the main problem of medical treatment. Apart from BV, there are other dysbacteriosis less characterized like aerobic vaginitis of which further studies are coming slowly but are achieving more attention and consensus among specialists. PMID:27474242

  5. Structural and Molecular Basis for the Novel Catalytic Mechanism and Evolution of DddP, an Abundant Peptidase-Like Bacterial Dimethylsulfoniopropionate Lyase: A New Enzyme from an Old Fold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y. Z.; Wang, P.; Chen, X. L.; Li, C. Y.; Gao, X.; Zhu, D.; Xie, B. B.; Qin, Q. L.; Zhang, X. Y.; Su, H. N.; Zhou, B. C.; Xun, L.

    2015-12-01

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and is an important step in global sulfur and carbon cycles. DddP is a DMSP lyase in marine bacteria and the deduced dddP gene product is abundant in marine metagenomic data sets. However, DddP belongs to the M24 peptidase family according to sequence alignment. Peptidases hydrolyze C-N bonds but DddP is deduced to cleave C-S bonds. Mechanisms responsible for this striking functional shift are currently unknown. We determined the structures of DMSP lyase RlDddP (the DddP from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157) bound to inhibitory 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid or PO43- and of two mutants of RlDddP bound to acrylate. Based on structural, mutational and biochemical analyses, we characterized a new ion-shift catalytic mechanism of RlDddP for DMSP cleavage. Further, we suggested the structural mechanism leading to the loss of peptidase activity and the subsequent development of DMSP lyase activity in DddP. This study sheds light on the catalytic mechanism and the divergent evolution of DddP, leading to a better understanding of marine bacterial DMSP catabolism and global DMS production.

  6. Structural and molecular basis for the novel catalytic mechanism and evolution of DddP, an abundant peptidase-like bacterial Dimethylsulfoniopropionate lyase: a new enzyme from an old fold.

    PubMed

    Wang, Peng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Li, Chun-Yang; Gao, Xiang; Zhu, De-yu; Xie, Bin-Bin; Qin, Qi-Long; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Su, Hai-Nan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Xun, Lu-ying; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2015-10-01

    The microbial cleavage of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) generates volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS) and is an important step in global sulfur and carbon cycles. DddP is a DMSP lyase in marine bacteria, and the deduced dddP gene product is abundant in marine metagenomic data sets. However, DddP belongs to the M24 peptidase family according to sequence alignment. Peptidases hydrolyze C-N bonds, but DddP is deduced to cleave C-S bonds. Mechanisms responsible for this striking functional shift are currently unknown. We determined the structures of DMSP lyase RlDddP (the DddP from Ruegeria lacuscaerulensis ITI_1157) bound to inhibitory 2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid or PO4 (3-) and of two mutants of RlDddP bound to acrylate. Based on structural, mutational and biochemical analyses, we characterized a new ion-shift catalytic mechanism of RlDddP for DMSP cleavage. Furthermore, we suggested the structural mechanism leading to the loss of peptidase activity and the subsequent development of DMSP lyase activity in DddP. This study sheds light on the catalytic mechanism and the divergent evolution of DddP, leading to a better understanding of marine bacterial DMSP catabolism and global DMS production. PMID:26154071

  7. The Genome of Cardinium cBtQ1 Provides Insights into Genome Reduction, Symbiont Motility, and Its Settlement in Bemisia tabaci

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Garcia, Diego; Rollat-Farnier, Pierre-Antoine; Beitia, Francisco; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Vavre, Fabrice; Mouton, Laurence; Moya, Andrés; Latorre, Amparo; Silva, Francisco J.

    2014-01-01

    Many insects harbor inherited bacterial endosymbionts. Although some of them are not strictly essential and are considered facultative, they can be a key to host survival under specific environmental conditions, such as parasitoid attacks, climate changes, or insecticide pressures. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is at the top of the list of organisms inflicting agricultural damage and outbreaks, and changes in its distribution may be associated to global warming. In this work, we have sequenced and analyzed the genome of Cardinium cBtQ1, a facultative bacterial endosymbiont of B. tabaci and propose that it belongs to a new taxonomic family, which also includes Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus and Cardinium cEper1, endosymbionts of amoeba and wasps, respectively. Reconstruction of their last common ancestors’ gene contents revealed an initial massive gene loss from the free-living ancestor. This was followed in Cardinium by smaller losses, associated with settlement in arthropods. Some of these losses, affecting cofactor and amino acid biosynthetic encoding genes, took place in Cardinium cBtQ1 after its divergence from the Cardinium cEper1 lineage and were related to its settlement in the whitefly and its endosymbionts. Furthermore, the Cardinium cBtQ1 genome displays a large proportion of transposable elements, which have recently inactivated genes and produced chromosomal rearrangements. The genome also contains a chromosomal duplication and a multicopy plasmid, which harbors several genes putatively associated with gliding motility, as well as two other genes encoding proteins with potential insecticidal activity. As gene amplification is very rare in endosymbionts, an important function of these genes cannot be ruled out. PMID:24723729

  8. The genome of Cardinium cBtQ1 provides insights into genome reduction, symbiont motility, and its settlement in Bemisia tabaci.

    PubMed

    Santos-Garcia, Diego; Rollat-Farnier, Pierre-Antoine; Beitia, Francisco; Zchori-Fein, Einat; Vavre, Fabrice; Mouton, Laurence; Moya, Andrés; Latorre, Amparo; Silva, Francisco J

    2014-04-01

    Many insects harbor inherited bacterial endosymbionts. Although some of them are not strictly essential and are considered facultative, they can be a key to host survival under specific environmental conditions, such as parasitoid attacks, climate changes, or insecticide pressures. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is at the top of the list of organisms inflicting agricultural damage and outbreaks, and changes in its distribution may be associated to global warming. In this work, we have sequenced and analyzed the genome of Cardinium cBtQ1, a facultative bacterial endosymbiont of B. tabaci and propose that it belongs to a new taxonomic family, which also includes Candidatus Amoebophilus asiaticus and Cardinium cEper1, endosymbionts of amoeba and wasps, respectively. Reconstruction of their last common ancestors' gene contents revealed an initial massive gene loss from the free-living ancestor. This was followed in Cardinium by smaller losses, associated with settlement in arthropods. Some of these losses, affecting cofactor and amino acid biosynthetic encoding genes, took place in Cardinium cBtQ1 after its divergence from the Cardinium cEper1 lineage and were related to its settlement in the whitefly and its endosymbionts. Furthermore, the Cardinium cBtQ1 genome displays a large proportion of transposable elements, which have recently inactivated genes and produced chromosomal rearrangements. The genome also contains a chromosomal duplication and a multicopy plasmid, which harbors several genes putatively associated with gliding motility, as well as two other genes encoding proteins with potential insecticidal activity. As gene amplification is very rare in endosymbionts, an important function of these genes cannot be ruled out.

  9. Clinical applications of bacterial glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Fulton, Kelly M; Smith, Jeffrey C; Twine, Susan M

    2016-01-01

    There is an ongoing race between bacterial evolution and medical advances. Pathogens have the advantages of short generation times and horizontal gene transfer that enable rapid adaptation to new host environments and therapeutics that currently outpaces clinical research. Antibiotic resistance, the growing impact of nosocomial infections, cancer-causing bacteria, the risk of zoonosis, and the possibility of biowarfare all emphasize the increasingly urgent need for medical research focussed on bacterial pathogens. Bacterial glycoproteins are promising targets for alternative therapeutic intervention since they are often surface exposed, involved in host-pathogen interactions, required for virulence, and contain distinctive glycan structures. The potential exists to exploit these unique structures to improve clinical prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies. Translation of the potential in this field to actual clinical impact is an exciting prospect for fighting infectious diseases. PMID:26971465

  10. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity.

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with (13)C and (18)O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions.

  11. Phylogenetic organization of bacterial activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Phylogeny is an ecologically meaningful way to classify plants and animals, as closely related taxa frequently have similar ecological characteristics, functional traits and effects on ecosystem processes. For bacteria, however, phylogeny has been argued to be an unreliable indicator of an organism's ecology owing to evolutionary processes more common to microbes such as gene loss and lateral gene transfer, as well as convergent evolution. Here we use advanced stable isotope probing with 13C and 18O to show that evolutionary history has ecological significance for in situ bacterial activity. Phylogenetic organization in the activity of bacteria sets the stage for characterizing the functional attributes of bacterial taxonomic groups. Connecting identity with function in this way will allow scientists to begin building a mechanistic understanding of how bacterial community composition regulates critical ecosystem functions. PMID:26943624

  12. Bacterial Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Erwin

    2012-02-01

    Microbial laboratory communities have become model systems for studying the complex interplay between evolutionary selection forces, stochastic fluctuations, and spatial organization. Two fundamental questions that challenge our understanding of evolution and ecology are the origin of cooperation and biodiversity. Both are ubiquitous phenomena yet conspicuously difficult to explain since the fitness of an individual or the whole community depends in an intricate way on a plethora of factors, such as spatial distribution and mobility of individuals, secretion and detection of signaling molecules, toxin secretion leading to inter-strain competition and changes in environmental conditions. We discuss two possible solutions to these questions employing concepts from evolutionary game theory, nonlinear dynamics, and the theory of stochastic processes. Our work provides insights into some minimal requirements for the evolution of cooperation and biodiversity in simple microbial communities. It further makes predictions to be tested by new microbial experiments.

  13. Environmental sequence data from the Sargasso Sea reveal that the characteristics of genome reduction in Prochlorococcus are not a harbinger for an escalation in genetic drift.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jinghua; Blanchard, Jeffrey L

    2009-01-01

    The marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus MED4 has the smallest sequenced genome of any photosynthetic organism. Prochlorococcus MED4 shares many genomic characteristics with chloroplasts and bacterial endosymbionts, including a reduced coding capacity, missing DNA repair genes, a minimal transcriptional regulatory network, a marked AT% bias, and an accelerated rate of amino acid changes. In chloroplasts and endosymbionts, these molecular phenotypes appear to be symptomatic of a relative increase in genetic drift due to restrictions on effective population size in the host environment. As a free-living bacterium, Prochlorococcus MED4 is not known to be subject to similar ecological constraints. To test whether the high-light-adapted Prochlorococcus MED4 is experiencing a reduction in selection efficiency resulting from genetic drift, we examine two data sets, namely, the environmental genome shotgun sequencing data from the Sargasso Sea and a set of cyanobacterial genome sequences. After integrating these data sets, we compare the evolutionary profile of a high-light Prochlorococcus group to that of a group of Synechococcus (a closely related group of marine cyanobacteria) that does not exhibit a similar small-genome syndrome. The average pairwise dN/dS ratios in the high-light-adapted Prochlorococcus group are significantly lower than those in the Synechococcus group, leading us to reject the hypothesis that the Prochlorococcus group is currently experiencing higher levels of genetic drift.

  14. Bacterial Hydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauga, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria predate plants and animals by billions of years. Today, they are the world's smallest cells, yet they represent the bulk of the world's biomass and the main reservoir of nutrients for higher organisms. Most bacteria can move on their own, and the majority of motile bacteria are able to swim in viscous fluids using slender helical appendages called flagella. Low-Reynolds number hydrodynamics is at the heart of the ability of flagella to generate propulsion at the micrometer scale. In fact, fluid dynamic forces impact many aspects of bacteriology, ranging from the ability of cells to reorient and search their surroundings to their interactions within mechanically and chemically complex environments. Using hydrodynamics as an organizing framework, I review the biomechanics of bacterial motility and look ahead to future challenges.

  15. Bacterial arthritis.

    PubMed

    Ho, G

    2001-07-01

    The septic arthritis literature of 2000 revisited several topics previously examined in some detail. These include septic arthritis in rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic manifestations of bacterial endocarditis, and infectious complications of prosthetic joints. The trend in antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent late infections in total joint replacement is to narrow the targeted hosts to those most at risk, to define the procedures associated with the greatest risk of bacteremia, and to simplify the antibiotic regimen. The diagnoses of septic arthritis of the lumbar facet joint and septic arthritis caused by direct inoculation of bacteria by a foreign object penetrating the joint are facilitated by noninvasive imaging technologies. Septic arthritis caused by uncommon microorganisms and septic arthritis in immunocompromised hosts are other noteworthy topics in this year's literature. PMID:11555734

  16. Pathogenicity islands in bacterial pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Herbert; Hensel, Michael

    2004-01-01

    In this review, we focus on a group of mobile genetic elements designated pathogenicity islands (PAI). These elements play a pivotal role in the virulence of bacterial pathogens of humans and are also essential for virulence in pathogens of animals and plants. Characteristic molecular features of PAI of important human pathogens and their role in pathogenesis are described. The availability of a large number of genome sequences of pathogenic bacteria and their benign relatives currently offers a unique opportunity for the identification of novel pathogen-specific genomic islands. However, this knowledge has to be complemented by improved model systems for the analysis of virulence functions of bacterial pathogens. PAI apparently have been acquired during the speciation of pathogens from their nonpathogenic or environmental ancestors. The acquisition of PAI not only is an ancient evolutionary event that led to the appearance of bacterial pathogens on a timescale of millions of years but also may represent a mechanism that contributes to the appearance of new pathogens within a human life span. The acquisition of knowledge about PAI, their structure, their mobility, and the pathogenicity factors they encode not only is helpful in gaining a better understanding of bacterial evolution and interactions of pathogens with eukaryotic host cells but also may have important practical implications such as providing delivery systems for vaccination, tools for cell biology, and tools for the development of new strategies for therapy of bacterial infections.

  17. Pathogenicity Islands in Bacterial Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Herbert; Hensel, Michael

    2004-01-01

    In this review, we focus on a group of mobile genetic elements designated pathogenicity islands (PAI). These elements play a pivotal role in the virulence of bacterial pathogens of humans and are also essential for virulence in pathogens of animals and plants. Characteristic molecular features of PAI of important human pathogens and their role in pathogenesis are described. The availability of a large number of genome sequences of pathogenic bacteria and their benign relatives currently offers a unique opportunity for the identification of novel pathogen-specific genomic islands. However, this knowledge has to be complemented by improved model systems for the analysis of virulence functions of bacterial pathogens. PAI apparently have been acquired during the speciation of pathogens from their nonpathogenic or environmental ancestors. The acquisition of PAI not only is an ancient evolutionary event that led to the appearance of bacterial pathogens on a timescale of millions of years but also may represent a mechanism that contributes to the appearance of new pathogens within a human life span. The acquisition of knowledge about PAI, their structure, their mobility, and the pathogenicity factors they encode not only is helpful in gaining a better understanding of bacterial evolution and interactions of pathogens with eukaryotic host cells but also may have important practical implications such as providing delivery systems for vaccination, tools for cell biology, and tools for the development of new strategies for therapy of bacterial infections. PMID:14726454

  18. Spatiotemporal evolution of bacterial biofilm colonies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilking, James; Koehler, Stephan; Sinha, Naveen; Seminara, Agnese; Brenner, Michael; Weitz, David

    2014-03-01

    Many bacteria on earth live in surface-attached communities known as biofilms. Gene expression in a biofilm is typically varied, resulting in a variety of phenotypes within a single film. These phenotypes play a critical role in biofilm physiology and development. We use time-resolved, wide-field fluorescence microscopy to image triple-labeled fluorescent Bacillus Subtilis colonies grown on agar to determine in a non-invasive fashion the evolving phenotypes. We infer their transition rates from the resulting spatiotemporal maps of gene expression. Moreover, we correlate these transition rates with local measurements of nutrient concentration to determine the influence of extracellular signals on gene expression.

  19. Genome Reduction Uncovers a Large Dispensable Genome and Adaptive Role for Copy Number Variation in Asexually Propagated Solanum tuberosum[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hardigan, Michael A.; Crisovan, Emily; Hamilton, John P.; Laimbeer, Parker; Leisner, Courtney P.; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C.; Newton, Linsey; Pham, Gina M.; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Zeng, Zixian; Jiang, Jiming

    2016-01-01

    Clonally reproducing plants have the potential to bear a significantly greater mutational load than sexually reproducing species. To investigate this possibility, we examined the breadth of genome-wide structural variation in a panel of monoploid/doubled monoploid clones generated from native populations of diploid potato (Solanum tuberosum), a highly heterozygous asexually propagated plant. As rare instances of purely homozygous clones, they provided an ideal set for determining the degree of structural variation tolerated by this species and deriving its minimal gene complement. Extensive copy number variation (CNV) was uncovered, impacting 219.8 Mb (30.2%) of the potato genome with nearly 30% of genes subject to at least partial duplication or deletion, revealing the highly heterogeneous nature of the potato genome. Dispensable genes (>7000) were associated with limited transcription and/or a recent evolutionary history, with lower deletion frequency observed in genes conserved across angiosperms. Association of CNV with plant adaptation was highlighted by enrichment in gene clusters encoding functions for environmental stress response, with gene duplication playing a part in species-specific expansions of stress-related gene families. This study revealed unique impacts of CNV in a species with asexual reproductive habits and how CNV may drive adaption through evolution of key stress pathways. PMID:26772996

  20. Bacterial vaginosis.

    PubMed Central

    Spiegel, C A

    1991-01-01

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common of the vaginitides affecting women of reproductive age. It appears to be due to an alteration in the vaginal ecology by which Lactobacillus spp., the predominant organisms in the healthy vagina, are replaced by a mixed flora including Prevotella bivia, Prevotella disiens, Porphyromonas spp., Mobiluncus spp., and Peptostreptococcus spp. All of these organisms except Mobiluncus spp. are also members of the endogenous vaginal flora. While evidence from treatment trials does not support the notion that BV is sexually transmitted, recent studies have shown an increased risk associated with multiple sexual partners. It has also been suggested that the pathogenesis of BV may be similar to that of urinary tract infections, with the rectum serving as a reservoir for some BV-associated flora. The organisms associated with BV have also been recognized as agents of female upper genital tract infection, including pelvic inflammatory disease, and the syndrome BV has been associated with adverse outcome of pregnancy, including premature rupture of membranes, chorioamnionitis, and fetal loss; postpartum endometritis; cuff cellulitis; and urinary tract infections. The mechanisms by which the BV-associated flora causes the signs of BV are not well understood, but a role for H2O2-producing Lactobacillus spp. in protecting against colonization by catalase-negative anaerobic bacteria has been recognized. These and other aspects of BV are reviewed. PMID:1747864

  1. A Replisome's journey through the bacterial chromosome.

    PubMed

    Beattie, Thomas R; Reyes-Lamothe, Rodrigo

    2015-01-01

    Genome duplication requires the coordinated activity of a multi-component machine, the replisome. In contrast to the background of metabolic diversity across the bacterial domain, the composition and architecture of the bacterial replisome seem to have suffered few changes during evolution. This immutability underlines the replisome's efficiency in copying the genome. It also highlights the success of various strategies inherent to the replisome for responding to stress and avoiding problems during critical stages of DNA synthesis. Here we summarize current understanding of bacterial replisome architecture and highlight the known variations in different bacterial taxa. We then look at the mechanisms in place to ensure that the bacterial replisome is assembled appropriately on DNA, kept together during elongation, and disassembled upon termination. We put forward the idea that the architecture of the replisome may be more flexible that previously thought and speculate on elements of the replisome that maintain its stability to ensure a safe journey from origin to terminus. PMID:26097470

  2. Bacterial Influences on Animal Origins

    PubMed Central

    Alegado, Rosanna A.; King, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    Animals evolved in seas teeming with bacteria, yet the influences of bacteria on animal origins are poorly understood. Comparisons among modern animals and their closest living relatives, the choanoflagellates, suggest that the first animals used flagellated collar cells to capture bacterial prey. The cell biology of prey capture, such as cell adhesion between predator and prey, involves mechanisms that may have been co-opted to mediate intercellular interactions during the evolution of animal multicellularity. Moreover, a history of bacterivory may have influenced the evolution of animal genomes by driving the evolution of genetic pathways for immunity and facilitating lateral gene transfer. Understanding the interactions between bacteria and the progenitors of animals may help to explain the myriad ways in which bacteria shape the biology of modern animals, including ourselves. PMID:25280764

  3. Bacterial concrete

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramakrishnan, Venkataswamy; Ramesh, K. P.; Bang, S. S.

    2001-04-01

    Cracks in concrete are inevitable and are one of the inherent weaknesses of concrete. Water and other salts seep through these cracks, corrosion initiates, and thus reduces the life of concrete. So there was a need to develop an inherent biomaterial, a self-repairing material which can remediate the cracks and fissures in concrete. Bacterial concrete is a material, which can successfully remediate cracks in concrete. This technique is highly desirable because the mineral precipitation induced as a result of microbial activities is pollution free and natural. As the cell wall of bacteria is anionic, metal accumulation (calcite) on the surface of the wall is substantial, thus the entire cell becomes crystalline and they eventually plug the pores and cracks in concrete. This paper discusses the plugging of artificially cracked cement mortar using Bacillus Pasteurii and Sporosarcina bacteria combined with sand as a filling material in artificially made cuts in cement mortar which was cured in urea and CaCl2 medium. The effect on the compressive strength and stiffness of the cement mortar cubes due to the mixing of bacteria is also discussed in this paper. It was found that use of bacteria improves the stiffness and compressive strength of concrete. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used to document the role of bacteria in microbiologically induced mineral precipitation. Rod like impressions were found on the face of calcite crystals indicating the presence of bacteria in those places. Energy- dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectra of the microbial precipitation on the surface of the crack indicated the abundance of calcium and the precipitation was inferred to be calcite (CaCO3).

  4. Mitochondrial evolution.

    PubMed

    Gray, M W; Burger, G; Lang, B F

    1999-03-01

    The serial endosymbiosis theory is a favored model for explaining the origin of mitochondria, a defining event in the evolution of eukaryotic cells. As usually described, this theory posits that mitochondria are the direct descendants of a bacterial endosymbiont that became established at an early stage in a nucleus-containing (but amitochondriate) host cell. Gene sequence data strongly support a monophyletic origin of the mitochondrion from a eubacterial ancestor shared with a subgroup of the alpha-Proteobacteria. However, recent studies of unicellular eukaryotes (protists), some of them little known, have provided insights that challenge the traditional serial endosymbiosis-based view of how the eukaryotic cell and its mitochondrion came to be. These data indicate that the mitochondrion arose in a common ancestor of all extant eukaryotes and raise the possibility that this organelle originated at essentially the same time as the nuclear component of the eukaryotic cell rather than in a separate, subsequent event.

  5. Phylogenetic mapping of bacterial morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siefert, J. L.; Fox, G. E.

    1998-01-01

    The availability of a meaningful molecular phylogeny for bacteria provides a context for examining the historical significance of various developments in bacterial evolution. Herein, the classical morphological descriptions of selected members of the domain Bacteria are mapped upon the genealogical ancestry deduced from comparison of small-subunit rRNA sequences. For the species examined in this study, a distinct pattern emerges which indicates that the coccus shape has arisen and accumulated independently multiple times in separate lineages and typically survived as a persistent end-state morphology. At least two other morphologies persist but have evolved only once. This study demonstrates that although bacterial morphology is not useful in defining bacterial phylogeny, it is remarkably consistent with that phylogeny once it is known. An examination of the experimental evidence available for morphogenesis as well as microbial fossil evidence corroborates these findings. It is proposed that the accumulation of persistent morphologies is a result of the biophysical properties of peptidoglycan and their genetic control, and that an evolved body-plan strategy based on peptidoglycan may have been a fate-sealing step in the evolution of Bacteria. More generally, this study illustrates that significant evolutionary insights can be obtained by examining biological and biochemical data in the context of a reliable phylogenetic structure.

  6. Bacterial differentiation.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, L; Agabian-Keshishian, N; Bendis, I

    1971-09-01

    technique can be used to select for mutants blocked in the various stages of morphogenesis. 3) Temperature-sensitive mutants of Caulobacter that are restricted in macromolecular synthesis and development at elevated temperatures have been isolated. 4) Genetic exchange in the Calflobacter genus has been demonstrated and is now being defined. Two questions related to control processes can now readily be approached experimentally. (i) Is the temporal progression of events occurring during bacterial differentiation controlled by regulator gene products? (ii) Is the differentiation cycle like a biosynthetic pathway where one event must follow another? The availability of temperature-sensitive mutants blocked at various stages of development permits access to both questions. An interesting feature of the differentiation cycle is that the polar organelle may represent a special segregated unit which is operative in the control of the differentiation process. Perhaps the sequential morphogenic changes exhibited by Caulobacter are dependent on the initial synthesis of this organelle. Because the ultimate expression of cell changes are dependent on selective protein synthesis, specific messenger RNA production-either from DNA present in an organelle or from the chromosome-may prove to be a controlling factor in cell differentiation. We have begun studies with RNA polymerase purified from Caulobacter crescentus to determine whether cell factors or alterations in the enzyme structure serve to change the specificity of transcription during the cell cycle. Control of sequential cell changes at the level of transcription has long been postulated and has recently been substantiated in the case of Bacillus sporulation (6). The Caulobacter bacteria now present another system in which direct analysis of these control mechanisms is feasible. PMID:5572165

  7. Pathogenicity islands and phage conversion: evolutionary aspects of bacterial pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dobrindt, U; Reidl, J

    2000-10-01

    Horizontal gene transfer plays a key role in the generation of novel bacterial pathogens. Besides plasmids and bacteriophages, large genomic regions termed pathogenicity islands (PAIs) can be transferred horizontally. All three mechanisms for DNA exchange or transfer may be important for the evolution of bacterial pathogens.

  8. Bacterial streamers in curved microchannels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rusconi, Roberto; Lecuyer, Sigolene; Guglielmini, Laura; Stone, Howard

    2009-11-01

    Biofilms, generally identified as microbial communities embedded in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances, are involved in a wide variety of health-related problems ranging from implant-associated infections to disease transmissions and dental plaque. The usual picture of these bacterial films is that they grow and develop on surfaces. However, suspended biofilm structures, or streamers, have been found in natural environments (e.g., rivers, acid mines, hydrothermal hot springs) and are always suggested to stem from a turbulent flow. We report the formation of bacterial streamers in curved microfluidic channels. By using confocal laser microscopy we are able to directly image and characterize the spatial and temporal evolution of these filamentous structures. Such streamers, which always connect the inner corners of opposite sides of the channel, are always located in the middle plane. Numerical simulations of the flow provide evidences for an underlying hydrodynamic mechanism behind the formation of the streamers.

  9. Bacterial cheating limits antibiotic resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao Chao, Hui; Yurtsev, Eugene; Datta, Manoshi; Artemova, Tanya; Gore, Jeff

    2012-02-01

    The widespread use of antibiotics has led to the evolution of resistance in bacteria. Bacteria can gain resistance to the antibiotic ampicillin by acquiring a plasmid carrying the gene beta-lactamase, which inactivates the antibiotic. This inactivation may represent a cooperative behavior, as the entire bacterial population benefits from removing the antibiotic. The cooperative nature of this growth suggests that a cheater strain---which does not contribute to breaking down the antibiotic---may be able to take advantage of cells cooperatively inactivating the antibiotic. Here we find experimentally that a ``sensitive'' bacterial strain lacking the plasmid conferring resistance can invade a population of resistant bacteria, even in antibiotic concentrations that should kill the sensitive strain. We observe stable coexistence between the two strains and find that a simple model successfully explains the behavior as a function of antibiotic concentration and cell density. We anticipate that our results will provide insight into the evolutionary origin of phenotypic diversity and cooperative behaviors.

  10. Host Specificity of Bacterial Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Bäumler, Andreas; Fang, Ferric C.

    2013-01-01

    Most pathogens are able to infect multiple hosts but some are highly adapted to a single-host species. A detailed understanding of the basis of host specificity can provide important insights into molecular pathogenesis, the evolution of pathogenic microbes, and the potential for pathogens to cross the species barrier to infect new hosts. Comparative genomics and the development of humanized mouse models have provided important new tools with which to explore the basis of generalism and specialism. This review will examine host specificity of bacterial pathogens with a focus on generalist and specialist serovars of Salmonella enterica. PMID:24296346

  11. Genotyping, evolution and epidemiological findings of Rickettsia species.

    PubMed

    Merhej, Vicky; Angelakis, Emmanouil; Socolovschi, Cristina; Raoult, Didier

    2014-07-01

    Rickettsiae are obligate intracellular bacteria that can cause mild to life-threatening diseases, including epidemic typhus, one of the oldest pernicious diseases of mankind. Clinical awareness of rickettsial diseases and molecular diagnosis have shown that rickettsioses should be viewed as new emerging and reemerging diseases. Rickettsia has been shown to be a large genus with a worldwide distribution, a very diverse host range, including hosts that have no relationship with vertebrate. Genomic studies have demonstrated genome reduction due to gene loss associated with increased pathogenicity and horizontal DNA acquisition according to a sympatric mode of evolution in hosts that contain several organisms. This article presents a review of genotyping techniques and examines the principle of genotype determination in terms of taxonomic strategies and detection methods. This article summarizes the epidemiological and pathological features of Rickettsia and discusses the genomic findings that help the understanding of the evolution of pathogenicity including the deleterious mutations of repair systems and the toxin-antitoxin systems.

  12. Small bowel bacterial overgrowth

    MedlinePlus

    Overgrowth - intestinal bacteria; Bacterial overgrowth - intestine; Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth; SIBO ... Most of the time, the small intestine does not have a high number ... in the small intestine may use up the nutrients needed by the ...

  13. Impermanence of bacterial clones

    PubMed Central

    Bobay, Louis-Marie; Traverse, Charles C.; Ochman, Howard

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria reproduce asexually and pass on a single genome copied from the parent, a reproductive mode that assures the clonal descent of progeny; however, a truly clonal bacterial species is extremely rare. The signal of clonality can be interrupted by gene uptake and exchange, initiating homologous recombination that results in the unique sequence of one clone being incorporated into another. Because recombination occurs sporadically and on local scales, these events are often difficult to recognize, even when considering large samples of completely sequenced genomes. Moreover, several processes can produce the appearance of clonality in populations that undergo frequent recombination. The rates and consequences of recombination have been studied in Escherichia coli for over 40 y, and, during this time, there have been several shifting views of its clonal status, population structure, and rates of gene exchange. We reexamine the studies and retrace the evolution of the methods that have assessed the extent of DNA flux, largely focusing on its impact on the E. coli genome. PMID:26195749

  14. Twenty years of bacterial genome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Loman, Nicholas J; Pallen, Mark J

    2015-12-01

    Twenty years ago, the publication of the first bacterial genome sequence, from Haemophilus influenzae, shook the world of bacteriology. In this Timeline, we review the first two decades of bacterial genome sequencing, which have been marked by three revolutions: whole-genome shotgun sequencing, high-throughput sequencing and single-molecule long-read sequencing. We summarize the social history of sequencing and its impact on our understanding of the biology, diversity and evolution of bacteria, while also highlighting spin-offs and translational impact in the clinic. We look forward to a 'sequencing singularity', where sequencing becomes the method of choice for as-yet unthinkable applications in bacteriology and beyond.

  15. Characterization and origin of bacterial arginine kinases.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Tomohiko; Soga, Shuhei; Inoue, Masahiro; Uda, Kouji

    2013-06-01

    Arginine kinase (AK) plays a key role in ATP buffering systems of tissues and nerves that display high and variable rates of ATP turnover and is widely distributed in invertebrate animals. The enzyme is also found in unicellular organisms, protists and bacteria, but its occurrence is intermittent among species. The AK sequence is structurally divided into two domains, N- and C-terminal domains. The purpose of this study is to clarify the origin of bacterial AK. A search of over 1700 bacterial genomic sequences revealed eight species from Deinococcus-Thermus (Oceanithermus profundus) and Proteobacteria (Ahrensia sp., Nitratifractor salsuginis, Desulfobacterium autotrophicum, Desulfotalea psychrophila, Myxococcus xanthus, Moritella sp. and Sulfurovum sp.) possessing a complete AK sequence homologue. In addition, we searched another key protein that is homologous with that of the C-terminal domain of AK (mcsB). The mcsB is more widely distributed in about 150 species across at least nine bacterial genera. In agreement with the report by other authors, a phylogenetic tree of AK homologues shows that the eight species are separated into two clusters: cluster-A with AKs from ciliates Tetrahymena and Sterkiella and a porifera and the larger cluster-B, including most of the invertebrate AKs. We cloned and expressed the AK from Sulfurovum lithotrophicum in cluster-A and determined its enzymatic properties. Bacterial AKs were characterized as having the highest catalytic efficiency among known AKs, although there was a marked difference in kcat values for cluster-A and -B bacterial AKs. These observations suggest that bacterial AKs in cluster-B may be the prototype of invertebrate AKs. On the other hand, it appears that bacterial AKs in cluster-A diverged at an early stage of bacterial evolution after the appearance of AK, or introduced by horizontal gene transfer.

  16. Demonstrating Bacterial Flagella.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Porter, John R.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Describes an effective laboratory method for demonstrating bacterial flagella that utilizes the Proteus mirabilis organism and a special harvesting technique. Includes safety considerations for the laboratory exercise. (MDH)

  17. Bacterial Networks in Cells and Communities.

    PubMed

    Sourjik, Victor; Vorholt, Julia A

    2015-11-20

    Research on the bacterial regulatory networks is currently experiencing a true revival, driven by advances in methodology and by emergence of novel concepts. The biannual conference Bacterial Networks (BacNet15) held in May 2015, in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain, covered progress in the studies of regulatory networks that control bacterial physiology, cell biology, stress responses, metabolism, collective behavior and evolution. It demonstrated how interdisciplinary approaches that combine molecular biology and biochemistry with the latest microscopy developments, whole cell (-omics) approaches and mathematical modeling can help understand design principles relevant in microbiology. It further showed how current biotechnology and medical microbiology could profit from our knowledge of and ability to engineer regulatory networks of bacteria.

  18. Multiple genetic switches spontaneously modulating bacterial mutability

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background All life forms need both high genetic stability to survive as species and a degree of mutability to evolve for adaptation, but little is known about how the organisms balance the two seemingly conflicting aspects of life: genetic stability and mutability. The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system is essential for maintaining genetic stability and defects in MMR lead to high mutability. Evolution is driven by genetic novelty, such as point mutation and lateral gene transfer, both of which require genetic mutability. However, normally a functional MMR system would strongly inhibit such genomic changes. Our previous work indicated that MMR gene allele conversion between functional and non-functional states through copy number changes of small tandem repeats could occur spontaneously via slipped-strand mis-pairing during DNA replication and therefore may play a role of genetic switches to modulate the bacterial mutability at the population level. The open question was: when the conversion from functional to defective MMR is prohibited, will bacteria still be able to evolve by accepting laterally transferred DNA or accumulating mutations? Results To prohibit allele conversion, we "locked" the MMR genes through nucleotide replacements. We then scored changes in bacterial mutability and found that Salmonella strains with MMR locked at the functional state had significantly decreased mutability. To determine the generalizability of this kind of mutability 'switching' among a wider range of bacteria, we examined the distribution of tandem repeats within MMR genes in over 100 bacterial species and found that multiple genetic switches might exist in these bacteria and may spontaneously modulate bacterial mutability during evolution. Conclusions MMR allele conversion through repeats-mediated slipped-strand mis-pairing may function as a spontaneous mechanism to switch between high genetic stability and mutability during bacterial evolution. PMID:20836863

  19. Bacterial Transformation and Competition Under Antibiotic Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pederson, Jonas; Bergman, Andrew; Cleveland, Chris; Cagatay, Tolga; Austin, Robert; Balaszi, Gabor

    2012-02-01

    Transformation, the process by which bacteria uptake DNA directly from their environment and incorporate it as their own genetic material, is a form of Horizontal Gene Transfer that occurs throughout nature as an important mechanism for spurring on bacterial evolution. We examine the capacity of bacteria to undergo transformation and will discuss work that has been done by the Austin group using Micro-Habitat Patches (MHPs) to examine the emergence of phenotypes due to horizontal gene transfer.

  20. Genome evolution in an ancient bacteria-ant symbiosis: parallel gene loss among Blochmannia spanning the origin of the ant tribe Camponotini

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Laura E.

    2015-01-01

    other than Wolbachia. Although gene order is strictly conserved in four Blochmannia of Camponotus sensu stricto, comparisons with deeply divergent lineages revealed inversions in eight genomic regions, indicating ongoing recombination despite ancestral loss of recA. In sum, the addition of two Blochmannia genomes of divergent host lineages enables reconstruction of early events in evolution of this symbiosis and suggests that Blochmannia lineages may experience distinct, host-associated selective pressures. Understanding how evolutionary forces shape genome reduction in this system may help to clarify forces driving gene loss in other bacteria, including intracellular pathogens. PMID:25861561

  1. Vimentin in Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Tim N.; Brüggemann, Holger

    2016-01-01

    Despite well-studied bacterial strategies to target actin to subvert the host cell cytoskeleton, thus promoting bacterial survival, replication, and dissemination, relatively little is known about the bacterial interaction with other components of the host cell cytoskeleton, including intermediate filaments (IFs). IFs have not only roles in maintaining the structural integrity of the cell, but they are also involved in many cellular processes including cell adhesion, immune signaling, and autophagy, processes that are important in the context of bacterial infections. Here, we summarize the knowledge about the role of IFs in bacterial infections, focusing on the type III IF protein vimentin. Recent studies have revealed the involvement of vimentin in host cell defenses, acting as ligand for several pattern recognition receptors of the innate immune system. Two main aspects of bacteria-vimentin interactions are presented in this review: the role of vimentin in pathogen-binding on the cell surface and subsequent bacterial invasion and the interaction of cytosolic vimentin and intracellular pathogens with regards to innate immune signaling. Mechanistic insight is presented involving distinct bacterial virulence factors that target vimentin to subvert its function in order to change the host cell fate in the course of a bacterial infection. PMID:27096872

  2. Pathogenicity islands: a molecular toolbox for bacterial virulence.

    PubMed

    Gal-Mor, Ohad; Finlay, B Brett

    2006-11-01

    Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) are distinct genetic elements on the chromosomes of a large number of bacterial pathogens. PAIs encode various virulence factors and are normally absent from non-pathogenic strains of the same or closely related species. PAIs are considered to be a subclass of genomic islands that are acquired by horizontal gene transfer via transduction, conjugation and transformation, and provide 'quantum leaps' in microbial evolution. Data based on numerous sequenced bacterial genomes demonstrate that PAIs are present in a wide range of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial pathogens of humans, animals and plants. Recent research focused on PAIs has not only led to the identification of many novel virulence factors used by these species during infection of their respective hosts, but also dramatically changed our way of thinking about the evolution of bacterial virulence.

  3. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  4. Global Patterns in Bacterial Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lozupone, C.; Knight, R.

    2007-12-01

    Microbes are difficult to culture. Consequently, the primary source of information about a fundamental evolutionary topic, life's diversity, is the environmental distribution of gene sequences. We report the most comprehensive analysis of the environmental distribution of bacteria to date, based on 21,752 16S rRNA sequences compiled from 111 studies of diverse physical environments. We clustered the samples based on similarities in the phylogenetic lineages that they contain and found that, surprisingly, the major environmental determinant of microbial community composition is salinity rather than extremes of temperature, pH, or other physical and chemical factors represented in our samples. We find that sediments are more phylogenetically diverse than any other environment type. Surprisingly, soil, which has high species-level diversity, has below-average phylogenetic diversity. This work provides a framework for understanding the impact of environmental factors on bacterial evolution and for the direction of future sequencing efforts to discover new lineages.

  5. Organization of the bacterial chromosome.

    PubMed Central

    Krawiec, S; Riley, M

    1990-01-01

    Recent progress in studies on the bacterial chromosome is summarized. Although the greatest amount of information comes from studies on Escherichia coli, reports on studies of many other bacteria are also included. A compilation of the sizes of chromosomal DNAs as determined by pulsed-field electrophoresis is given, as well as a discussion of factors that affect gene dosage, including redundancy of chromosomes on the one hand and inactivation of chromosomes on the other hand. The distinction between a large plasmid and a second chromosome is discussed. Recent information on repeated sequences and chromosomal rearrangements is presented. The growing understanding of limitations on the rearrangements that can be tolerated by bacteria and those that cannot is summarized, and the sensitive region flanking the terminator loci is described. Sources and types of genetic variation in bacteria are listed, from simple single nucleotide mutations to intragenic and intergenic recombinations. A model depicting the dynamics of the evolution and genetic activity of the bacterial chromosome is described which entails acquisition by recombination of clonal segments within the chromosome. The model is consistent with the existence of only a few genetic types of E. coli worldwide. Finally, there is a summary of recent reports on lateral genetic exchange across great taxonomic distances, yet another source of genetic variation and innovation. PMID:2087223

  6. Antibiotics promote aggregation within aquatic bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    Corno, Gianluca; Coci, Manuela; Giardina, Marco; Plechuk, Sonia; Campanile, Floriana; Stefani, Stefania

    2014-01-01

    The release of antibiotics (AB) into the environment poses several threats for human health due to potential development of AB-resistant natural bacteria. Even though the use of low-dose antibiotics has been promoted in health care and farming, significant amounts of AB are observed in aquatic environments. Knowledge on the impact of AB on natural bacterial communities is missing both in terms of spread and evolution of resistance mechanisms, and of modifications of community composition and productivity. New approaches are required to study the response of microbial communities rather than individual resistance genes. In this study a chemostat-based experiment with 4 coexisting bacterial strains has been performed to mimicking the response of a freshwater bacterial community to the presence of antibiotics in low and high doses. Bacterial abundance rapidly decreased by 75% in the presence of AB, independently of their concentration, and remained constant until the end of the experiment. The bacterial community was mainly dominated by Aeromonas hydrophila and Brevundimonas intermedia while the other two strains, Micrococcus luteus and Rhodococcus sp. never exceed 10%. Interestingly, the bacterial strains, which were isolated at the end of the experiment, were not AB-resistant, while reassembled communities composed of the 4 strains, isolated from treatments under AB stress, significantly raised their performance (growth rate, abundance) in the presence of AB compared to the communities reassembled with strains isolated from the treatment without AB. By investigating the phenotypic adaptations of the communities subjected to the different treatments, we found that the presence of AB significantly increased co-aggregation by 5–6 fold. These results represent the first observation of co-aggregation as a successful strategy of AB resistance based on phenotype in aquatic bacterial communities, and can represent a fundamental step in the understanding of the effects of

  7. ABC transporters: bacterial exporters.

    PubMed Central

    Fath, M J; Kolter, R

    1993-01-01

    The ABC transporters (also called traffic ATPases) make up a large superfamily of proteins which share a common function and a common ATP-binding domain. ABC transporters are classified into three major groups: bacterial importers (the periplasmic permeases), eukaryotic transporters, and bacterial exporters. We present a comprehensive review of the bacterial ABC exporter group, which currently includes over 40 systems. The bacterial ABC exporter systems are functionally subdivided on the basis of the type of substrate that each translocates. We describe three main groups: protein exporters, peptide exporters, and systems that transport nonprotein substrates. Prototype exporters from each group are described in detail to illustrate our current understanding of this protein family. The prototype systems include the alpha-hemolysin, colicin V, and capsular polysaccharide exporters from Escherichia coli, the protease exporter from Erwinia chrysanthemi, and the glucan exporters from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhizobium meliloti. Phylogenetic analysis of the ATP-binding domains from 29 bacterial ABC exporters indicates that the bacterial ABC exporters can be divided into two primary branches. One branch contains the transport systems where the ATP-binding domain and the membrane-spanning domain are present on the same polypeptide, and the other branch contains the systems where these domains are found on separate polypeptides. Differences in substrate specificity do not correlate with evolutionary relatedness. A complete survey of the known and putative bacterial ABC exporters is included at the end of the review. PMID:8302219

  8. Plasmids spread very fast in heterogeneous bacterial communities.

    PubMed Central

    Dionisio, Francisco; Matic, Ivan; Radman, Miroslav; Rodrigues, Olivia R; Taddei, François

    2002-01-01

    Conjugative plasmids can mediate gene transfer between bacterial taxa in diverse environments. The ability to donate the F-type conjugative plasmid R1 greatly varies among enteric bacteria due to the interaction of the system that represses sex-pili formations (products of finOP) of plasmids already harbored by a bacterial strain with those of the R1 plasmid. The presence of efficient donors in heterogeneous bacterial populations can accelerate plasmid transfer and can spread by several orders of magnitude. Such donors allow millions of other bacteria to acquire the plasmid in a matter of days whereas, in the absence of such strains, plasmid dissemination would take years. This "amplification effect" could have an impact on the evolution of bacterial pathogens that exist in heterogeneous bacterial communities because conjugative plasmids can carry virulence or antibiotic-resistance genes. PMID:12524329

  9. Prevention and Management of Bacterial Infections in Cirrhosis

    PubMed Central

    Taneja, Sunil K.; Dhiman, Radha K.

    2011-01-01

    Patients with cirrhosis of liver are at risk of developing serious bacterial infections due to altered immune defenses. Despite the widespread use of broad spectrum antibiotics, bacterial infection is responsible for up to a quarter of the deaths of patients with liver disease. Cirrhotic patients with gastrointestinal bleed have a considerably higher incidence of bacterial infections particularly spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. High index of suspicion is required to identify infections at an early stage in the absence of classical signs and symptoms. Energetic use of antibacterial treatment and supportive care has decreased the morbidity and mortality over the years; however, use of antibiotics has to be judicious, as their indiscriminate use can lead to antibiotic resistance with potentially disastrous consequences. Preventive strategies are still in evolution and involve use of antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding and spontaneous bacterial infections and selective decontamination of the gut and oropharynx. PMID:22229097

  10. Mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, J; Schurr, M; LeBlanc, C; Ramamurthy, R; Buchanan, K; Nickerson, C

    2002-01-01

    Pathogenic bacteria utilise a number of mechanisms to cause disease in human hosts. Bacterial pathogens express a wide range of molecules that bind host cell targets to facilitate a variety of different host responses. The molecular strategies used by bacteria to interact with the host can be unique to specific pathogens or conserved across several different species. A key to fighting bacterial disease is the identification and characterisation of all these different strategies. The availability of complete genome sequences for several bacterial pathogens coupled with bioinformatics will lead to significant advances toward this goal. PMID:11930024

  11. Bacterial challenges in food

    PubMed Central

    Collee, J. G.

    1974-01-01

    Qualitative and quantitative aspects of bacterial challenges that might be encountered in food are discussed with reference to recognized and relatively unrecognized hazards. Mechanisms of pathogenicity are reviewed and the populations at risk are noted. The bacterial content of food as it is served at table merits more study. The challenge of prevention by education is discussed. Indirect bacterial challenges in our food are considered. The real challenge of diagnosis depends upon an awareness of a complex range of conditions; the importance of effective communication with efficient laboratory and epidemiological services is stressed. There is an increasing need for care in the preparation and distribution of food. PMID:4467860

  12. LATERAL GENE TRANSFER AND THE HISTORY OF BACTERIAL GENOMES

    SciTech Connect

    Howard Ochman

    2006-02-22

    The aims of this research were to elucidate the role and extent of lateral transfer in the differentiation of bacterial strains and species, and to assess the impact of gene transfer on the evolution of bacterial genomes. The ultimate goal of the project is to examine the dynamics of a core set of protein-coding genes (i.e., those that are distributed universally among Bacteria) by developing conserved primers that would allow their amplification and sequencing in any bacterial taxa. In addition, we adopted a bioinformatic approach to elucidate the extent of lateral gene transfer in sequenced genome.

  13. [Homologous recombination among bacterial genomes: the measurement and identification].

    PubMed

    Xianwei, Yang; Ruifu, Yang; Yujun, Cui

    2016-02-01

    Homologous recombination is one of important sources in shaping the bacterial population diversity, which disrupts the clonal relationship among different lineages through horizontal transferring of DNA-segments. As consequence of blurring the vertical inheritance signals, the homologous recombination raises difficulties in phylogenetic analysis and reconstruction of population structure. Here we discuss the impacts of homologous recombination in inferring phylogenetic relationship among bacterial isolates, and summarize the tools and models separately used in recombination measurement and identification. We also highlight the merits and drawbacks of various approaches, aiming to assist in the practical application for the analysis of homologous recombination in bacterial evolution research. PMID:26907777

  14. The role of temperate bacteriophages in bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Davies, Emily V; Winstanley, Craig; Fothergill, Joanne L; James, Chloe E

    2016-03-01

    Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. There are an estimated 10(31) phage on the planet, making them the most abundant form of life. We are rapidly approaching the centenary of their identification, and yet still have only a limited understanding of their role in the ecology and evolution of bacterial populations. Temperate prophage carriage is often associated with increased bacterial virulence. The rise in use of technologies, such as genome sequencing and transcriptomics, has highlighted more subtle ways in which prophages contribute to pathogenicity. This review discusses the current knowledge of the multifaceted effects that phage can exert on their hosts and how this may contribute to bacterial adaptation during infection.

  15. Bacterial Wound Culture

    MedlinePlus

    ... Home Visit Global Sites Search Help? Bacterial Wound Culture Share this page: Was this page helpful? Also known as: Aerobic Wound Culture; Anaerobic Wound Culture Formal name: Culture, wound Related ...

  16. Bacterial surface adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Utada, Andrew

    2014-03-01

    Biofilms are structured multi-cellular communities that are fundamental to the biology and ecology of bacteria. Parasitic bacterial biofilms can cause lethal infections and biofouling, but commensal bacterial biofilms, such as those found in the gut, can break down otherwise indigestible plant polysaccharides and allow us to enjoy vegetables. The first step in biofilm formation, adaptation to life on a surface, requires a working knowledge of low Reynolds number fluid physics, and the coordination of biochemical signaling, polysaccharide production, and molecular motility motors. These crucial early stages of biofilm formation are at present poorly understood. By adapting methods from soft matter physics, we dissect bacterial social behavior at the single cell level for several prototypical bacterial species, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae.

  17. Bacterial Nail Infection (Paronychia)

    MedlinePlus

    ... in people who work in the health care industry. Chronic paronychia is most common in adult women and those who work in places where their hands are kept moist, such as food handlers. Signs and Symptoms Bacterial nail infection most ...

  18. Bistability and Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Malka, Roy; Shochat, Eliezer; Rom-Kedar, Vered

    2010-01-01

    Bacterial infections occur when the natural host defenses are overwhelmed by invading bacteria. The main component of the host defense is impaired when neutrophil count or function is too low, putting the host at great risk of developing an acute infection. In people with intact immune systems, neutrophil count increases during bacterial infection. However, there are two important clinical cases in which they remain constant: a) in patients with neutropenic-associated conditions, such as those undergoing chemotherapy at the nadir (the minimum clinically observable neutrophil level); b) in ex vivo examination of the patient's neutrophil bactericidal activity. Here we study bacterial population dynamics under fixed neutrophil levels by mathematical modelling. We show that under reasonable biological assumptions, there are only two possible scenarios: 1) Bacterial behavior is monostable: it always converges to a stable equilibrium of bacterial concentration which only depends, in a gradual manner, on the neutrophil level (and not on the initial bacterial level). We call such a behavior type I dynamics. 2) The bacterial dynamics is bistable for some range of neutrophil levels. We call such a behavior type II dynamics. In the bistable case (type II), one equilibrium corresponds to a healthy state whereas the other corresponds to a fulminant bacterial infection. We demonstrate that published data of in vitro Staphylococcus epidermidis bactericidal experiments are inconsistent with both the type I dynamics and the commonly used linear model and are consistent with type II dynamics. We argue that type II dynamics is a plausible mechanism for the development of a fulminant infection. PMID:20463954

  19. Bacterial identification and subtyping using DNA microarray and DNA sequencing.

    PubMed

    Al-Khaldi, Sufian F; Mossoba, Magdi M; Allard, Marc M; Lienau, E Kurt; Brown, Eric D

    2012-01-01

    The era of fast and accurate discovery of biological sequence motifs in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is here. The co-evolution of direct genome sequencing and DNA microarray strategies not only will identify, isotype, and serotype pathogenic bacteria, but also it will aid in the discovery of new gene functions by detecting gene expressions in different diseases and environmental conditions. Microarray bacterial identification has made great advances in working with pure and mixed bacterial samples. The technological advances have moved beyond bacterial gene expression to include bacterial identification and isotyping. Application of new tools such as mid-infrared chemical imaging improves detection of hybridization in DNA microarrays. The research in this field is promising and future work will reveal the potential of infrared technology in bacterial identification. On the other hand, DNA sequencing by using 454 pyrosequencing is so cost effective that the promise of $1,000 per bacterial genome sequence is becoming a reality. Pyrosequencing technology is a simple to use technique that can produce accurate and quantitative analysis of DNA sequences with a great speed. The deposition of massive amounts of bacterial genomic information in databanks is creating fingerprint phylogenetic analysis that will ultimately replace several technologies such as Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis. In this chapter, we will review (1) the use of DNA microarray using fluorescence and infrared imaging detection for identification of pathogenic bacteria, and (2) use of pyrosequencing in DNA cluster analysis to fingerprint bacterial phylogenetic trees.

  20. Do Bacterial Symbionts Govern Aphid's Dropping Behavior?

    PubMed

    Lavy, Omer; Sher, Noa; Malik, Assaf; Chiel, Elad

    2015-06-01

    Defensive symbiosis is amongst nature's most important interactions shaping the ecology and evolution of all partners involved. The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Hemiptera: Aphididae), harbors one obligatory bacterial symbiont and up to seven different facultative symbionts, some of which are known to protect the aphid from pathogens, natural enemies, and other mortality factors. Pea aphids typically drop off the plant when a mammalian herbivore approaches it to avoid incidental predation. Here, we examined whether bacterial symbionts govern the pea aphid dropping behavior by comparing the bacterial fauna in dropping and nondropping aphids of two A. pisum populations, using two molecular techniques: high-throughput profiling of community structure using 16 S reads sequenced on the Illumina platform, and diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We found that in addition to the obligatory symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, the tested colonies of A. pisum harbored the facultative symbionts Serratia symbiotica, Regiella insecticola and Rickettsia, with no significant differences in infection proportions between dropping and nondropping aphids. While S. symbiotica was detected by both techniques, R. insecticola and Rickettsia could be detected only by diagnostic PCR. We therefore conclude that A. pisum's dropping behavior is not affected by its bacterial symbionts and is possibly affected by other factors. PMID:26313964

  1. Do Bacterial Symbionts Govern Aphid's Dropping Behavior?

    PubMed

    Lavy, Omer; Sher, Noa; Malik, Assaf; Chiel, Elad

    2015-06-01

    Defensive symbiosis is amongst nature's most important interactions shaping the ecology and evolution of all partners involved. The pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris (Hemiptera: Aphididae), harbors one obligatory bacterial symbiont and up to seven different facultative symbionts, some of which are known to protect the aphid from pathogens, natural enemies, and other mortality factors. Pea aphids typically drop off the plant when a mammalian herbivore approaches it to avoid incidental predation. Here, we examined whether bacterial symbionts govern the pea aphid dropping behavior by comparing the bacterial fauna in dropping and nondropping aphids of two A. pisum populations, using two molecular techniques: high-throughput profiling of community structure using 16 S reads sequenced on the Illumina platform, and diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We found that in addition to the obligatory symbiont, Buchnera aphidicola, the tested colonies of A. pisum harbored the facultative symbionts Serratia symbiotica, Regiella insecticola and Rickettsia, with no significant differences in infection proportions between dropping and nondropping aphids. While S. symbiotica was detected by both techniques, R. insecticola and Rickettsia could be detected only by diagnostic PCR. We therefore conclude that A. pisum's dropping behavior is not affected by its bacterial symbionts and is possibly affected by other factors.

  2. The bacterial lipocalins.

    PubMed

    Bishop, R E

    2000-10-18

    The lipocalins were once regarded as a eukaryotic protein family, but new members have been recently discovered in bacteria. The first bacterial lipocalin (Blc) was identified in Escherichia coli as an outer membrane lipoprotein expressed under conditions of environmental stress. Blc is distinguished from most lipocalins by the absence of intramolecular disulfide bonds, but the presence of a membrane anchor is shared with two of its closest homologues, apolipoprotein D and lazarillo. Several common features of the membrane-anchored lipocalins suggest that each may play an important role in membrane biogenesis and repair. Additionally, Blc proteins are implicated in the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes and in the activation of immunity. Recent genome sequencing efforts reveal the existence of at least 20 bacterial lipocalins. The lipocalins appear to have originated in Gram-negative bacteria and were probably transferred horizontally to eukaryotes from the endosymbiotic alpha-proteobacterial ancestor of the mitochondrion. The genome sequences also reveal that some bacterial lipocalins exhibit disulfide bonds and alternative modes of subcellular localization, which include targeting to the periplasmic space, the cytoplasmic membrane, and the cytosol. The relationships between bacterial lipocalin structure and function further illuminate the common biochemistry of bacterial and eukaryotic cells.

  3. Siliceous algal and bacterial stromatolites in hot spring and geyser effluents of yellowstone national park.

    PubMed

    Walter, M R; Bauld, J; Brock, T D

    1972-10-27

    Growing algal and bacterial stromatolites composed of nearly amorphous silica occur around hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Some Precambrian stromatolites may be bacterial rather than algal, which has important implications in atmospheric evolution, since bacterial photo-synthesis does not release oxygen. Conophyton stromatolites were thought to have become extinct at the end of the Precambrian, but are still growing in hot spring effluents.

  4. Siliceous algal and bacterial stromatolites in hot spring and geyser effluents of yellowstone national park.

    PubMed

    Walter, M R; Bauld, J; Brock, T D

    1972-10-27

    Growing algal and bacterial stromatolites composed of nearly amorphous silica occur around hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Some Precambrian stromatolites may be bacterial rather than algal, which has important implications in atmospheric evolution, since bacterial photo-synthesis does not release oxygen. Conophyton stromatolites were thought to have become extinct at the end of the Precambrian, but are still growing in hot spring effluents. PMID:17815363

  5. Evolution, phylogeny, and molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia.

    PubMed

    Nunes, Alexandra; Gomes, João P

    2014-04-01

    The Chlamydiaceae are a family of obligate intracellular bacteria characterized by a unique biphasic developmental cycle. It encompasses the single genus Chlamydia, which involves nine species that affect a wide range of vertebral hosts, causing infections with serious impact on human health (mainly due to Chlamydia trachomatis infections) and on farming and veterinary industries. It is believed that Chlamydiales originated ∼700mya, whereas C. trachomatis likely split from the other Chlamydiaceae during the last 6mya. This corresponds to the emergence of modern human lineages, with the first descriptions of chlamydial infections as ancient as four millennia. Chlamydiaceae have undergone a massive genome reduction, on behalf of the deletional bias "use it or lose it", stabilizing at 1-1.2Mb and keeping a striking genome synteny. Their phylogeny reveals species segregation according to biological properties, with huge differences in terms of host range, tissue tropism, and disease outcomes. Genome differences rely on the occurrence of mutations in the >700 orthologous genes, as well as on events of recombination, gene loss, inversion, and paralogous expansion, affecting both a hypervariable region named the plasticity zone, and genes essentially encoding polymorphic and transmembrane head membrane proteins, type III secretion effectors and some metabolic pathways. Procedures for molecular typing are still not consensual but have allowed the knowledge of molecular epidemiology patterns for some species as well as the identification of outbreaks and emergence of successful clones for C. trachomatis. This manuscript intends to provide a comprehensive review on the evolution, phylogeny, and molecular epidemiology of Chlamydia.

  6. Enzymatic removal and disinfection of bacterial biofilms.

    PubMed Central

    Johansen, C; Falholt, P; Gram, L

    1997-01-01

    Model biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were made on steel and polypropylene substrata. Plaque-resembling biofilms of Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces viscosus, and Fusobacterium nucleatum were made on saliva-coated hydroxyapatite. The activity of enzymes against bacterial cells in biofilm was measured by fluorescence microscopy and an indirect conductance test in which evolution of carbon dioxide was measured. Glucose oxidase combined with lactoperoxidase was bactericidal against biofilm bacteria but did not remove the biofilm from the substrata. A complex mixture of polysaccharide-hydrolyzing enzymes was able to remove bacterial biofilm from steel and polypropylene substrata but did not have a significant bactericidal activity. Combining oxidoreductases with polysaccharide-hydrolyzing enzymes resulted in bactericidal activity as well as removal of the biofilm. PMID:9293025

  7. Experimental Bacterial Endocarditis

    PubMed Central

    Durack, D. T.; Beeson, P. B.; Petersdorf, R. G.

    1973-01-01

    A simple and reliable model for endocarditis in rabbits has been studied and standardized. Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis was produced on either side of the heart by the presence of a polyethylene catheter. One day later, this was converted into bacterial endocarditis by single intravenous injections of streptococci, staphylococci, Proteus and Candida. No infection resulted from injection of L-forms or virus. Reduction of inoculum size or withdrawal of the catheter reduced the incidence of bacterial endocarditis, but the presence of a catheter in the heart for only a few minutes predisposed to infection. Left-sided Streptococcus viridans infection was uniformly fatal, with average survival of about two weeks. Right-sided infection was not always fatal; approximately 25% of infected vegetations healed spontaneously. The advantages of a standardized model for endocarditis which allows exact timing of infection are discussed. ImagesFigs. 1-2 PMID:4700697

  8. A Bayesian Approach to the Evolution of Metabolic Networks on a Phylogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mithani, Aziz; Preston, Gail M.; Hein, Jotun

    2010-01-01

    The availability of genomes of many closely related bacteria with diverse metabolic capabilities offers the possibility of tracing metabolic evolution on a phylogeny relating the genomes to understand the evolutionary processes and constraints that affect the evolution of metabolic networks. Using simple (independent loss/gain of reactions) or complex (incorporating dependencies among reactions) stochastic models of metabolic evolution, it is possible to study how metabolic networks evolve over time. Here, we describe a model that takes the reaction neighborhood into account when modeling metabolic evolution. The model also allows estimation of the strength of the neighborhood effect during the course of evolution. We present Gibbs samplers for sampling networks at the internal node of a phylogeny and for estimating the parameters of evolution over a phylogeny without exploring the whole search space by iteratively sampling from the conditional distributions of the internal networks and parameters. The samplers are used to estimate the parameters of evolution of metabolic networks of bacteria in the genus Pseudomonas and to infer the metabolic networks of the ancestral pseudomonads. The results suggest that pathway maps that are conserved across the Pseudomonas phylogeny have a stronger neighborhood structure than those which have a variable distribution of reactions across the phylogeny, and that some Pseudomonas lineages are going through genome reduction resulting in the loss of a number of reactions from their metabolic networks. PMID:20700467

  9. [Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis].

    PubMed

    Djukić, Slobodanka; Ćirković, Ivana; Arsić, Biljana; Garalejić, Eliana

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial vaginosis is a common, complex clinical syndrome characterized by alterations in the normal vaginal flora. When symptomatic, it is associated with a malodorous vaginal discharge and on occasion vaginal burning or itching. Under normal conditions, lactobacilli constitute 95% of the bacteria in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is associated with severe reduction or absence of the normal H2O2-producing lactobacilli and overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria and Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, Mycoplasma hominis and Mobiluncus species. Most types of infectious disease are diagnosed by culture, by isolating an antigen or RNA/DNA from the microbe, or by serodiagnosis to determine the presence of antibodies to the microbe. Therefore, demonstration of the presence of an infectious agent is often a necessary criterion for the diagnosis of the disease. This is not the case for bacterial vaginosis, since the ultimate cause of the disease is not yet known. There are a variety of methods for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis but no method can at present be regarded as the best. Diagnosing bacterial vaginosis has long been based on the clinical criteria of Amsel, whereby three of four defined criteria must be satisfied. Nugent's scoring system has been further developed and includes validation of the categories of observable bacteria structures. Up-to-date molecular tests are introduced, and better understanding of vaginal microbiome, a clear definition for bacterial vaginosis, and short-term and long-term fluctuations in vaginal microflora will help to better define molecular tests within the broader clinical context. PMID:24073569

  10. Bacterial glycosyltransferase toxins.

    PubMed

    Jank, Thomas; Belyi, Yury; Aktories, Klaus

    2015-12-01

    Mono-glycosylation of host proteins is a common mechanism by which bacterial protein toxins manipulate cellular functions of eukaryotic target host cells. Prototypic for this group of glycosyltransferase toxins are Clostridium difficile toxins A and B, which modify guanine nucleotide-binding proteins of the Rho family. However, toxin-induced glycosylation is not restricted to the Clostridia. Various types of bacterial pathogens including Escherichia coli, Yersinia, Photorhabdus and Legionella species produce glycosyltransferase toxins. Recent studies discovered novel unexpected variations in host protein targets and amino acid acceptors of toxin-catalysed glycosylation. These findings open new perspectives in toxin as well as in carbohydrate research.

  11. Bacterial transfer RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Shepherd, Jennifer; Ibba, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Transfer RNA is an essential adapter molecule that is found across all three domains of life. The primary role of transfer RNA resides in its critical involvement in the accurate translation of messenger RNA codons during protein synthesis and, therefore, ultimately in the determination of cellular gene expression. This review aims to bring together the results of intensive investigations into the synthesis, maturation, modification, aminoacylation, editing and recycling of bacterial transfer RNAs. Codon recognition at the ribosome as well as the ever-increasing number of alternative roles for transfer RNA outside of translation will be discussed in the specific context of bacterial cells. PMID:25796611

  12. Bacterial ecologies in limonite.

    PubMed

    Vishniac, W

    1965-01-01

    Limonite (Fe2O3 . nH2O) may be a constituent of the Martian surface. We have prepared culture media with ferric hydroxide as an electron acceptor. One medium contained ethanol, another gaseous hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Bacterial growth without light and oxygen suggests that ferric iron serves as a terminal respiratory electron acceptor. The oxidation of ferrous hydroxide may be carried out by photosynthetic bacteria. A ferrous-ferric couple may thus support bacterial respiration and photosynthesis in the absence of oxygen. This cycle may account for the dark markings of Mars.

  13. Evolution of prokaryote and eukaryote lines inferred from sequence evidence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunt, L. T.; George, D. G.; Yeh, L.-S.; Dayhoff, M. O.

    1984-01-01

    This paper describes the evolution of prokaryotes and early eukaryotes, including their symbiotic relationships, as inferred from phylogenetic trees of bacterial ferredoxin, 5S ribosomal RNA, ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase large chain, and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase polypeptide II.

  14. Evolution of parasitism along convergent lines: from ecology to genomics.

    PubMed

    Poulin, Robert; Randhawa, Haseeb S

    2015-02-01

    SUMMARY From hundreds of independent transitions from a free-living existence to a parasitic mode of life, separate parasite lineages have converged over evolutionary time to share traits and exploit their hosts in similar ways. Here, we first summarize the evidence that, at a phenotypic level, eukaryotic parasite lineages have all converged toward only six general parasitic strategies: parasitoid, parasitic castrator, directly transmitted parasite, trophically transmitted parasite, vector-transmitted parasite or micropredator. We argue that these strategies represent adaptive peaks, with the similarities among unrelated taxa within any strategy extending to all basic aspects of host exploitation and transmission among hosts and transcending phylogenetic boundaries. Then, we extend our examination of convergent patterns by looking at the evolution of parasite genomes. Despite the limited taxonomic coverage of sequenced parasite genomes currently available, we find some evidence of parallel evolution among unrelated parasite taxa with respect to genome reduction or compaction, and gene losses or gains. Matching such changes in parasite genomes with the broad phenotypic traits that define the convergence of parasites toward only six strategies of host exploitation is not possible at present. Nevertheless, as more parasite genomes become available, we may be able to detect clear trends in the evolution of parasitic genome architectures representing true convergent adaptive peaks, the genomic equivalents of the phenotypic strategies used by all parasites. PMID:24229807

  15. Revenge of the phages: defeating bacterial defences.

    PubMed

    Samson, Julie E; Magadán, Alfonso H; Sabri, Mourad; Moineau, Sylvain

    2013-10-01

    Bacteria and their viral predators (bacteriophages) are locked in a constant battle. In order to proliferate in phage-rich environments, bacteria have an impressive arsenal of defence mechanisms, and in response, phages have evolved counter-strategies to evade these antiviral systems. In this Review, we describe the various tactics that are used by phages to overcome bacterial resistance mechanisms, including adsorption inhibition, restriction-modification, CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated proteins) systems and abortive infection. Furthermore, we consider how these observations have enhanced our knowledge of phage biology, evolution and phage-host interactions. PMID:23979432

  16. The bacterial cytoskeleton: more than twisted filaments.

    PubMed

    Pilhofer, Martin; Jensen, Grant J

    2013-02-01

    Far from being simple 'bags' of enzymes, bacteria are richly endowed with ultrastructures that challenge and expand standard definitions of the cytoskeleton. Here we review rods, rings, twisted pairs, tubes, sheets, spirals, moving patches, meshes and composites, and suggest defining the term 'bacterial cytoskeleton' as all cytoplasmic protein filaments and their superstructures that move or scaffold (stabilize/position/recruit) other cellular materials. The evolution of each superstructure has been driven by specific functional requirements. As a result, while homologous proteins with different functions have evolved to form surprisingly divergent superstructures, those of unrelated proteins with similar functions have converged.

  17. Morphomechanics of bacterial biofilms undergoing anisotropic differential growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Cheng; Li, Bo; Huang, Xiao; Ni, Yong; Feng, Xi-Qiao

    2016-10-01

    Growing bacterial biofilms exhibit a number of surface morphologies, e.g., concentric wrinkles, radial ridges, and labyrinthine networks, depending on their physiological status and nutrient access. We explore the mechanisms underlying the emergence of these greatly different morphologies. Ginzburg-Landau kinetic method and Fourier spectral method are integrated to simulate the morphological evolution of bacterial biofilms. It is shown that the morphological instability of biofilms is triggered by the stresses induced by anisotropic and heterogeneous bacterial expansion, and involves the competition between membrane energy and bending energy. Local interfacial delamination further enriches the morphologies of biofilms. Phase diagrams are established to reveal how the anisotropy and spatial heterogeneity of growth modulate the surface patterns. The mechanics of three-dimensional microbial morphogenesis may also underpin self-organization in other development systems and provide a potential strategy for engineering microscopic structures from bacterial aggregates.

  18. BACTERIAL WATERBORNE PATHOGENS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bacterial pathogens are examples of classical etiological agents of waterborne disease. While these agents no longer serve as major threats to U.S. water supplies, they are still important pathogens in areas with substandard sanitation and poor water treatment facilities. In th...

  19. Bacterial extracellular lignin peroxidase

    DOEpatents

    Crawford, Donald L.; Ramachandra, Muralidhara

    1993-01-01

    A newly discovered lignin peroxidase enzyme is provided. The enzyme is obtained from a bacterial source and is capable of degrading the lignin portion of lignocellulose in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme is extracellular, oxidative, inducible by lignin, larch wood xylan, or related substrates and capable of attacking certain lignin substructure chemical bonds that are not degradable by fungal lignin peroxidases.

  20. The Bacterial Growth Curve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paulton, Richard J. L.

    1991-01-01

    A procedure that allows students to view an entire bacterial growth curve during a two- to three-hour student laboratory period is described. Observations of the lag phase, logarithmic phase, maximum stationary phase, and phase of decline are possible. A nonpathogenic, marine bacterium is used in the investigation. (KR)

  1. Staining bacterial flagella easily.

    PubMed Central

    Heimbrook, M E; Wang, W L; Campbell, G

    1989-01-01

    A wet-mount technique for staining bacterial flagella is highly successful when a stable stain and regular slides and cover slips are used. Although not producing a permanent mount, the technique is simple for routine use when the number and arrangement of flagella are critical in identifying species of motile bacteria. Images PMID:2478573

  2. Modeling intraocular bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Astley, Roger A; Coburn, Phillip S; Parkunan, Salai Madhumathi; Callegan, Michelle C

    2016-09-01

    Bacterial endophthalmitis is an infection and inflammation of the posterior segment of the eye which can result in significant loss of visual acuity. Even with prompt antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and surgical intervention, vision and even the eye itself may be lost. For the past century, experimental animal models have been used to examine various aspects of the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of bacterial endophthalmitis, to further the development of anti-inflammatory treatment strategies, and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and efficacies of antibiotics. Experimental models allow independent control of many parameters of infection and facilitate systematic examination of infection outcomes. While no single animal model perfectly reproduces the human pathology of bacterial endophthalmitis, investigators have successfully used these models to understand the infectious process and the host response, and have provided new information regarding therapeutic options for the treatment of bacterial endophthalmitis. This review highlights experimental animal models of endophthalmitis and correlates this information with the clinical setting. The goal is to identify knowledge gaps that may be addressed in future experimental and clinical studies focused on improvements in the therapeutic preservation of vision during and after this disease. PMID:27154427

  3. Bacterial leaf spot

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacterial leaf spot has been reported in Australia (Queensland), Egypt, El Salvador, India, Japan, Nicaragua, Sudan, and the United States (Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, and Wisconsin). It occasionally causes locally severe defoliation and post-emergence damping-off and stunting. The disease is...

  4. Manuscript evolution.

    PubMed

    Howe, C J; Barbrook, A C; Spencer, M; Robinson, P; Bordalejo, B; Mooney, L R

    2001-03-01

    Frequently, letters, words and sentences are used in undergraduate textbooks and the popular press as an analogy for the coding, transfer and corruption of information in DNA. We discuss here how the converse can be exploited, by using programs designed for biological analysis of sequence evolution to uncover the relationships between different manuscript versions of a text. We point out similarities between the evolution of DNA and the evolution of texts.

  5. Manuscript evolution.

    PubMed

    Howe, C J; Barbrook, A C; Spencer, M; Robinson, P; Bordalejo, B; Mooney, L R

    2001-09-01

    Frequently, letters, words and sentences are used in undergraduate textbooks and the popular press as an analogy for the coding, transfer and corruption of information in DNA. We discuss here how the converse can be exploited, by using programs designed for biological analysis of sequence evolution to uncover the relationships between different manuscript versions of a text. We point out similarities between the evolution of DNA and the evolution of texts.

  6. Ribonucleotide reductases: essential enzymes for bacterial life

    PubMed Central

    Torrents, Eduard

    2014-01-01

    Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme that mediates the synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides, the DNA precursors, for DNA synthesis in every living cell. This enzyme converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks for DNA replication, and repair. Clearly, RNR enzymes have contributed to the appearance of genetic material that exists today, being essential for the evolution of all organisms on Earth. The strict control of RNR activity and dNTP pool sizes is important, as pool imbalances increase mutation rates, replication anomalies, and genome instability. Thus, RNR activity should be finely regulated allosterically and at the transcriptional level. In this review we examine the distribution, the evolution, and the genetic regulation of bacterial RNRs. Moreover, this enzyme can be considered an ideal target for anti-proliferative compounds designed to inhibit cell replication in eukaryotic cells (cancer cells), parasites, viruses, and bacteria. PMID:24809024

  7. Ribonucleotide reductases: essential enzymes for bacterial life.

    PubMed

    Torrents, Eduard

    2014-01-01

    Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme that mediates the synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides, the DNA precursors, for DNA synthesis in every living cell. This enzyme converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks for DNA replication, and repair. Clearly, RNR enzymes have contributed to the appearance of genetic material that exists today, being essential for the evolution of all organisms on Earth. The strict control of RNR activity and dNTP pool sizes is important, as pool imbalances increase mutation rates, replication anomalies, and genome instability. Thus, RNR activity should be finely regulated allosterically and at the transcriptional level. In this review we examine the distribution, the evolution, and the genetic regulation of bacterial RNRs. Moreover, this enzyme can be considered an ideal target for anti-proliferative compounds designed to inhibit cell replication in eukaryotic cells (cancer cells), parasites, viruses, and bacteria. PMID:24809024

  8. Ribonucleotide reductases: essential enzymes for bacterial life.

    PubMed

    Torrents, Eduard

    2014-01-01

    Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme that mediates the synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides, the DNA precursors, for DNA synthesis in every living cell. This enzyme converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks for DNA replication, and repair. Clearly, RNR enzymes have contributed to the appearance of genetic material that exists today, being essential for the evolution of all organisms on Earth. The strict control of RNR activity and dNTP pool sizes is important, as pool imbalances increase mutation rates, replication anomalies, and genome instability. Thus, RNR activity should be finely regulated allosterically and at the transcriptional level. In this review we examine the distribution, the evolution, and the genetic regulation of bacterial RNRs. Moreover, this enzyme can be considered an ideal target for anti-proliferative compounds designed to inhibit cell replication in eukaryotic cells (cancer cells), parasites, viruses, and bacteria.

  9. Raw cow milk bacterial population shifts attributable to refrigeration.

    PubMed

    Lafarge, Véronique; Ogier, Jean-Claude; Girard, Victoria; Maladen, Véronique; Leveau, Jean-Yves; Gruss, Alexandra; Delacroix-Buchet, Agnès

    2004-09-01

    We monitored the dynamic changes in the bacterial population in milk associated with refrigeration. Direct analyses of DNA by using temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (TTGE) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) allowed us to make accurate species assignments for bacteria with low-GC-content (low-GC%) (<55%) and medium- or high-GC% (>55%) genomes, respectively. We examined raw milk samples before and after 24-h conservation at 4 degrees C. Bacterial identification was facilitated by comparison with an extensive bacterial reference database ( approximately 150 species) that we established with DNA fragments of pure bacterial strains. Cloning and sequencing of fragments missing from the database were used to achieve complete species identification. Considerable evolution of bacterial populations occurred during conservation at 4 degrees C. TTGE and DGGE are shown to be a powerful tool for identifying the main bacterial species of the raw milk samples and for monitoring changes in bacterial populations during conservation at 4 degrees C. The emergence of psychrotrophic bacteria such as Listeria spp. or Aeromonas hydrophila is demonstrated.

  10. Teaching Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bryner, Jeanna

    2005-01-01

    Eighty years after the famous 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," which tested a teacher's right to discuss the theory of evolution in the classroom, evolution--and its most recent counterview, called "intelligent design"--are in the headlines again, and just about everyone seems to have an opinion. This past July, President Bush weighed in, telling…

  11. FTS evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Provost, David E.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on flight telerobotic servicer evolution are presented. Topics covered include: paths for FTS evolution; frequently performed actions; primary task states; EPS radiator panel installation; generic task definitions; path planning; non-contact alignment; contact planning and control; and human operator interface.

  12. Bacterial ratchet motors

    PubMed Central

    Di Leonardo, R.; Angelani, L.; Dell’Arciprete, D.; Ruocco, G.; Iebba, V.; Schippa, S.; Conte, M. P.; Mecarini, F.; De Angelis, F.; Di Fabrizio, E.

    2010-01-01

    Self-propelling bacteria are a nanotechnology dream. These unicellular organisms are not just capable of living and reproducing, but they can swim very efficiently, sense the environment, and look for food, all packaged in a body measuring a few microns. Before such perfect machines can be artificially assembled, researchers are beginning to explore new ways to harness bacteria as propelling units for microdevices. Proposed strategies require the careful task of aligning and binding bacterial cells on synthetic surfaces in order to have them work cooperatively. Here we show that asymmetric environments can produce a spontaneous and unidirectional rotation of nanofabricated objects immersed in an active bacterial bath. The propulsion mechanism is provided by the self-assembly of motile Escherichia coli cells along the rotor boundaries. Our results highlight the technological implications of active matter’s ability to overcome the restrictions imposed by the second law of thermodynamics on equilibrium passive fluids. PMID:20457936

  13. Flagella and bacterial pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Duan, Qiangde; Zhou, Mingxu; Zhu, Liqian; Zhu, Guoqiang

    2013-01-01

    As locomotive organelles, flagella allow bacteria to move toward favorable environments. A flagellum consists of three parts: the basal structure (rotary motor), the hook (universal joint), and the filament (helical propeller). For ages, flagella have been generally regarded as important virulence factors, mainly because of their motility property. However, flagella are getting recognized to play multiple roles with more functions besides motility and chemotaxis. Recent evidence has pinpointed that the bacterial flagella participate in many additional processes including adhesion, biofilm formation, virulence factor secretion, and modulation of the immune system of eukaryotic cells. This mini-review summarizes data from recent studies that elucidated how flagella, as a virulence factor, contribute to bacterial pathogenicity.

  14. Bacterial Cell Wall Components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginsberg, Cynthia; Brown, Stephanie; Walker, Suzanne

    Bacterial cell-surface polysaccharides cells are surrounded by a variety of cell-surface structures that allow them to thrive in extreme environments. Components of the cell envelope and extracellular matrix are responsible for providing the cells with structural support, mediating intercellular communication, allowing the cells to move or to adhere to surfaces, protecting the cells from attack by antibiotics or the immune system, and facilitating the uptake of nutrients. Some of the most important cell wall components are polysaccharide structures. This review discusses the occurrence, structure, function, and biosynthesis of the most prevalent bacterial cell surface polysaccharides: peptidoglycan, lipopolysaccharide, arabinogalactan, and lipoarabinomannan, and capsular and extracellular polysaccharides. The roles of these polysaccharides in medicine, both as drug targets and as therapeutic agents, are also described.

  15. Flagella and bacterial pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Duan, Qiangde; Zhou, Mingxu; Zhu, Liqian; Zhu, Guoqiang

    2013-01-01

    As locomotive organelles, flagella allow bacteria to move toward favorable environments. A flagellum consists of three parts: the basal structure (rotary motor), the hook (universal joint), and the filament (helical propeller). For ages, flagella have been generally regarded as important virulence factors, mainly because of their motility property. However, flagella are getting recognized to play multiple roles with more functions besides motility and chemotaxis. Recent evidence has pinpointed that the bacterial flagella participate in many additional processes including adhesion, biofilm formation, virulence factor secretion, and modulation of the immune system of eukaryotic cells. This mini-review summarizes data from recent studies that elucidated how flagella, as a virulence factor, contribute to bacterial pathogenicity. PMID:22359233

  16. Bacterial chemoreceptors and chemoeffectors.

    PubMed

    Bi, Shuangyu; Lai, Luhua

    2015-02-01

    Bacteria use chemotaxis signaling pathways to sense environmental changes. Escherichia coli chemotaxis system represents an ideal model that illustrates fundamental principles of biological signaling processes. Chemoreceptors are crucial signaling proteins that mediate taxis toward a wide range of chemoeffectors. Recently, in deep study of the biochemical and structural features of chemoreceptors, the organization of higher-order clusters in native cells, and the signal transduction mechanisms related to the on-off signal output provides us with general insights to understand how chemotaxis performs high sensitivity, precise adaptation, signal amplification, and wide dynamic range. Along with the increasing knowledge, bacterial chemoreceptors can be engineered to sense novel chemoeffectors, which has extensive applications in therapeutics and industry. Here we mainly review recent advances in the E. coli chemotaxis system involving structure and organization of chemoreceptors, discovery, design, and characterization of chemoeffectors, and signal recognition and transduction mechanisms. Possible strategies for changing the specificity of bacterial chemoreceptors to sense novel chemoeffectors are also discussed.

  17. Physics of Bacterial Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Sean X.; Jiang, Hongyuan

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacterial cells utilize three-dimensional (3D) protein assemblies to perform important cellular functions such as growth, division, chemoreception, and motility. These assemblies are composed of mechanoproteins that can mechanically deform and exert force. Sometimes, small-nucleotide hydrolysis is coupled to mechanical deformations. In this review, we describe the general principle for an understanding of the coupling of mechanics with chemistry in mechanochemical systems. We apply this principle to understand bacterial cell shape and morphogenesis and how mechanical forces can influence peptidoglycan cell wall growth. We review a model that can potentially reconcile the growth dynamics of the cell wall with the role of cytoskeletal proteins such as MreB and crescentin. We also review the application of mechanochemical principles to understand the assembly and constriction of the FtsZ ring. A number of potential mechanisms are proposed, and important questions are discussed. PMID:22126993

  18. Formation of bacterial nanocells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vainshtein, Mikhail; Kudryashova, Ekaterina; Suzina, Natalia; Ariskina, Elena; Voronkov, Vadim

    1998-07-01

    Existence of nanobacteria received increasing attention both in environmental microbiology/geomicro-biology and in medical microbiology. In order to study a production of nanoforms by typical bacterial cells. Effects of different physical factors were investigated. Treatment of bacterial cultures with microwave radiation, or culturing in field of electric current resulted in formation a few types of nanocells. The number and type of nanoforms were determined with type and dose of the treatment. The produced nanoforms were: i) globules, ii) clusters of the globules--probably produced by liaison, iii) nanocells coated with membrane. The viability of the globules is an object opened for doubts. The nanocells discovered multiplication and growth on solidified nutrient media. The authors suggest that formation of nanocells is a common response of bacteria to stress-actions produced by different agents.

  19. Impact of spontaneous prophage induction on the fitness of bacterial populations and host-microbe interactions.

    PubMed

    Nanda, Arun M; Thormann, Kai; Frunzke, Julia

    2015-02-01

    Bacteriophages and genetic elements, such as prophage-like elements, pathogenicity islands, and phage morons, make up a considerable amount of bacterial genomes. Their transfer and subsequent activity within the host's genetic circuitry have had a significant impact on bacterial evolution. In this review, we consider what underlying mechanisms might cause the spontaneous activity of lysogenic phages in single bacterial cells and how the spontaneous induction of prophages can lead to competitive advantages for and influence the lifestyle of bacterial populations or the virulence of pathogenic strains. PMID:25404701

  20. Impact of Spontaneous Prophage Induction on the Fitness of Bacterial Populations and Host-Microbe Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nanda, Arun M.; Thormann, Kai

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages and genetic elements, such as prophage-like elements, pathogenicity islands, and phage morons, make up a considerable amount of bacterial genomes. Their transfer and subsequent activity within the host's genetic circuitry have had a significant impact on bacterial evolution. In this review, we consider what underlying mechanisms might cause the spontaneous activity of lysogenic phages in single bacterial cells and how the spontaneous induction of prophages can lead to competitive advantages for and influence the lifestyle of bacterial populations or the virulence of pathogenic strains. PMID:25404701

  1. Bacterial transformation of terpenoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grishko, V. V.; Nogovitsina, Y. M.; Ivshina, I. B.

    2014-04-01

    Data on the bacterial transformation of terpenoids published in the literature in the past decade are analyzed. Possible pathways for chemo-, regio- and stereoselective modifications of terpenoids are discussed. Considerable attention is given to new technological approaches to the synthesis of terpenoid derivatives suitable for the use in the perfume and food industry and promising as drugs and chiral intermediates for fine organic synthesis. The bibliography includes 246 references.

  2. Neglected bacterial zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Chikeka, I; Dumler, J S

    2015-05-01

    Bacterial zoonoses comprise a group of diseases in humans or animals acquired by direct contact with or by oral consumption of contaminated animal materials, or via arthropod vectors. Among neglected infections, bacterial zoonoses are among the most neglected given emerging data on incidence and prevalence as causes of acute febrile illness, even in areas where recognized neglected tropical diseases occur frequently. Although many other bacterial infections could also be considered in this neglected category, five distinct infections stand out because they are globally distributed, are acute febrile diseases, have high rates of morbidity and case fatality, and are reported as commonly as malaria, typhoid or dengue virus infections in carefully designed studies in which broad-spectrum diagnoses are actively sought. This review will focus attention on leptospirosis, relapsing fever borreliosis and rickettsioses, including scrub typhus, murine typhus and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. Of greatest interest is the lack of distinguishing clinical features among these infections when in humans, which confounds diagnosis where laboratory confirmation is lacking, and in regions where clinical diagnosis is often attributed to one of several perceived more common threats. As diseases such as malaria come under improved control, the real impact of these common and under-recognized infections will become evident, as will the requirement for the strategies and allocation of resources for their control. PMID:25964152

  3. Acute Bacterial Cholangitis

    PubMed Central

    Zimmer, Vincent; Lammert, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Background Acute bacterial cholangitis for the most part owing to common bile duct stones is common in gastroenterology practice and represents a potentially life-threatening condition often characterized by fever, abdominal pain, and jaundice (Charcot's triad) as well as confusion and septic shock (Reynolds' pentad). Methods This review is based on a systematic literature review in PubMed with the search items ‘cholangitis’, ‘choledocholithiasis’, ‘gallstone disease’, ‘biliary infection’, and ‘biliary sepsis’. Results Although most patients respond to empiric broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment, timely endoscopic biliary drainage depending on the severity of the disease is required to eliminate the underlying obstruction. Specific recommendations have been derived from the Tokyo guideline working group consensus 2006 and its update in 2013, albeit poorly evidence-based, providing a comprehensive overview of diagnosis, classification, risk stratification, and treatment algorithms in acute bacterial cholangitis. Conclusion Prompt clinical recognition and accurate diagnostic workup including adequate laboratory assessment and (aetiology-oriented) imaging are critical steps in the management of cholangitis. Treatment is directed at the two major interrelated pathophysiologic components, i.e. bacterial infection (immediate antimicrobial therapy) and bile duct obstruction (biliary drainage). As for the latter, transpapillary endoscopic drainage by stent or nasobiliary drain and/or same-session bile duct clearance, depending on individual disease severity, represent first-line treatment approaches. PMID:26468310

  4. Neglected bacterial zoonoses.

    PubMed

    Chikeka, I; Dumler, J S

    2015-05-01

    Bacterial zoonoses comprise a group of diseases in humans or animals acquired by direct contact with or by oral consumption of contaminated animal materials, or via arthropod vectors. Among neglected infections, bacterial zoonoses are among the most neglected given emerging data on incidence and prevalence as causes of acute febrile illness, even in areas where recognized neglected tropical diseases occur frequently. Although many other bacterial infections could also be considered in this neglected category, five distinct infections stand out because they are globally distributed, are acute febrile diseases, have high rates of morbidity and case fatality, and are reported as commonly as malaria, typhoid or dengue virus infections in carefully designed studies in which broad-spectrum diagnoses are actively sought. This review will focus attention on leptospirosis, relapsing fever borreliosis and rickettsioses, including scrub typhus, murine typhus and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. Of greatest interest is the lack of distinguishing clinical features among these infections when in humans, which confounds diagnosis where laboratory confirmation is lacking, and in regions where clinical diagnosis is often attributed to one of several perceived more common threats. As diseases such as malaria come under improved control, the real impact of these common and under-recognized infections will become evident, as will the requirement for the strategies and allocation of resources for their control.

  5. Neglected Bacterial Zoonoses

    PubMed Central

    Chikeka, Ijeuru; Dumler, J. Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial zoonoses comprise a group of diseases in humans or animals acquired by direct contact with or by oral consumption of contaminated animal materials, or via arthropod vectors. Among neglected infections, bacterial zoonoses are among the most neglected given emerging data on incidence and prevalence as causes of acute febrile illness, even in areas where recognized neglected tropical diseases occur frequently. While many other bacterial infections could also be considered in this neglected category, five distinct infections stand out because they are globally distributed, are acute febrile diseases, have high rates of morbidity and case fatality, and are reported as commonly as malaria, typhoid or dengue virus infections in carefully designed studies in which a broad spectrum diagnoses are actively sought. Thus, this review will focus attention on leptospirosis, relapsing fever borreliosis, and rickettsioses, including scrub typhus, murine typhus and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. Of greatest interest is the lack of distinguishing clinical features among these infections when in humans, which confounds diagnosis where laboratory confirmation is lacking, and in regions where clinical diagnosis is often attributed to one of several perceived more common threats. As diseases such as malaria come under improved control, the real impact of these common and under-recognized infections will become evident, as will the requirement for the strategies and allocation of resources for their control. PMID:25964152

  6. Bacterial-like PPP protein phosphatases

    PubMed Central

    Kerk, David; Uhrig, R Glen; Moorhead, Greg B

    2013-01-01

    Reversible phosphorylation is a widespread modification affecting the great majority of eukaryotic cellular proteins, and whose effects influence nearly every cellular function. Protein phosphatases are increasingly recognized as exquisitely regulated contributors to these changes. The PPP (phosphoprotein phosphatase) family comprises enzymes, which catalyze dephosphorylation at serine and threonine residues. Nearly a decade ago, “bacterial-like” enzymes were recognized with similarity to proteins from various bacterial sources: SLPs (Shewanella-like phosphatases), RLPHs (Rhizobiales-like phosphatases), and ALPHs (ApaH-like phosphatases). A recent article from our laboratory appearing in Plant Physiology characterizes their extensive organismal distribution, abundance in plant species, predicted subcellular localization, motif organization, and sequence evolution. One salient observation is the distinct evolutionary trajectory followed by SLP genes and proteins in photosynthetic eukaryotes vs. animal and plant pathogens derived from photosynthetic ancestors. We present here a closer look at sequence data that emphasizes the distinctiveness of pathogen SLP proteins and that suggests that they might represent novel drug targets. A second observation in our original report was the high degree of similarity between the bacterial-like PPPs of eukaryotes and closely related proteins of the “eukaryotic-like” phyla Myxococcales and Planctomycetes. We here reflect on the possible implications of these observations and their importance for future research. PMID:24675170

  7. Bacterial Adaptation during Chronic Respiratory Infections

    PubMed Central

    Cullen, Louise; McClean, Siobhán

    2015-01-01

    Chronic lung infections are associated with increased morbidity and mortality for individuals with underlying respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The process of chronic colonisation allows pathogens to adapt over time to cope with changing selection pressures, co-infecting species and antimicrobial therapies. These adaptations can occur due to environmental pressures in the lung such as inflammatory responses, hypoxia, nutrient deficiency, osmolarity, low pH and antibiotic therapies. Phenotypic adaptations in bacterial pathogens from acute to chronic infection include, but are not limited to, antibiotic resistance, exopolysaccharide production (mucoidy), loss in motility, formation of small colony variants, increased mutation rate, quorum sensing and altered production of virulence factors associated with chronic infection. The evolution of Pseudomonas aeruginosa during chronic lung infection has been widely studied. More recently, the adaptations that other chronically colonising respiratory pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Burkholderia cepacia complex and Haemophilus influenzae undergo during chronic infection have also been investigated. This review aims to examine the adaptations utilised by different bacterial pathogens to aid in their evolution from acute to chronic pathogens of the immunocompromised lung including CF and COPD. PMID:25738646

  8. Pathogenicity islands and virulence evolution in Listeria.

    PubMed

    Vázquez-Boland, J A; Domínguez-Bernal, G; González-Zorn, B; Kreft, J; Goebel, W

    2001-06-01

    As in other bacterial pathogens, the virulence determinants of Listeria species are clustered in genomic islands scattered along the chromosome. This review summarizes current knowledge about the structure, distribution and role in pathogenesis of Listeria virulence loci. Hypotheses about the mode of acquisition and evolution of these loci in this group of Gram-positive bacteria are presented and discussed.

  9. Stellar evolution.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chiu, H.-Y. (Editor); Muriel, A.

    1972-01-01

    Aspects of normal stellar evolution are discussed together with evolution near the main sequence, stellar evolution from main sequence to white dwarf or carbon ignition, the structure of massive main-sequence stars, and problems of stellar stability and stellar pulsation. Other subjects considered include variable stars, white dwarfs, close binaries, novae, early supernova luminosity, neutron stars, the photometry of field horizontal-branch stars, and stellar opacity. Transport mechanisms in stars are examined together with thermonuclear reactions and nucleosynthesis, the instability problem in nuclear burning shells, stellar coalescence, and intense magnetic fields in astrophysics. Individual items are announced in this issue.

  10. Restriction-Modification Systems as Mobile Genetic Elements in the Evolution of an Intracellular Symbiont

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Hao; Dietrich, Carsten; Hongoh, Yuichi; Brune, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Long-term vertical transmission of intracellular bacteria causes massive genomic erosion and results in extremely small genomes, particularly in ancient symbionts. Genome reduction is typically preceded by the accumulation of pseudogenes and proliferation of mobile genetic elements, which are responsible for chromosome rearrangements during the initial stage of endosymbiosis. We compared the genomes of an endosymbiont of termite gut flagellates, “Candidatus Endomicrobium trichonymphae,” and its free-living relative Endomicrobium proavitum and discovered many remnants of restriction-modification (R-M) systems that are consistently associated with genome rearrangements in the endosymbiont genome. The rearrangements include apparent insertions, transpositions, and the duplication of a genomic region; there was no evidence of transposon structures or other mobile elements. Our study reveals a so far unrecognized mechanism for genome rearrangements in intracellular symbionts and sheds new light on the general role of R-M systems in genome evolution. PMID:26568615

  11. Winding paths to simplicity: genome evolution in facultative insect symbionts

    PubMed Central

    Lo, Wen-Sui; Huang, Ya-Yi; Kuo, Chih-Horng

    2016-01-01

    Symbiosis between organisms is an important driving force in evolution. Among the diverse relationships described, extensive progress has been made in insect–bacteria symbiosis, which improved our understanding of the genome evolution in host-associated bacteria. Particularly, investigations on several obligate mutualists have pushed the limits of what we know about the minimal genomes for sustaining cellular life. To bridge the gap between those obligate symbionts with extremely reduced genomes and their non-host-restricted ancestors, this review focuses on the recent progress in genome characterization of facultative insect symbionts. Notable cases representing various types and stages of host associations, including those from multiple genera in the family Enterobacteriaceae (class Gammaproteobacteria), Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria) and Spiroplasma (Mollicutes), are discussed. Although several general patterns of genome reduction associated with the adoption of symbiotic relationships could be identified, extensive variation was found among these facultative symbionts. These findings are incorporated into the established conceptual frameworks to develop a more detailed evolutionary model for the discussion of possible trajectories. In summary, transitions from facultative to obligate symbiosis do not appear to be a universal one-way street; switches between hosts and lifestyles (e.g. commensalism, parasitism or mutualism) occur frequently and could be facilitated by horizontal gene transfer. PMID:27519426

  12. Metamorphosis of a Butterfly-Associated Bacterial Community

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Tobin J.; McMillan, W. Owen; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain uncharacterized, and it is unknown how the larval (caterpillar) and adult microbiota compare. To address these knowledge gaps, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from internal bacterial communities associated with multiple life stages of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato. We found that the leaf-chewing larvae and nectar- and pollen-feeding adults of H. erato contain markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern presumably rooted in their distinct diets. Larvae and adult butterflies host relatively small and similar numbers of bacterial phylotypes, but few are common to both stages. The larval microbiota clearly simplifies and reorganizes during metamorphosis; thus, structural changes in a butterfly's bacterial community parallel those in its own morphology. We furthermore identify specific bacterial taxa that may mediate larval and adult feeding biology in Heliconius and other butterflies. Although male and female Heliconius adults differ in reproductive physiology and degree of pollen feeding, bacterial communities associated with H. erato are not sexually dimorphic. Lastly, we show that captive and wild individuals host different microbiota, a finding that may have important implications for the relevance of experimental studies using captive butterflies. PMID:24466308

  13. Metamorphosis of a butterfly-associated bacterial community.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Tobin J; McMillan, W Owen; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain uncharacterized, and it is unknown how the larval (caterpillar) and adult microbiota compare. To address these knowledge gaps, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from internal bacterial communities associated with multiple life stages of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato. We found that the leaf-chewing larvae and nectar- and pollen-feeding adults of H. erato contain markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern presumably rooted in their distinct diets. Larvae and adult butterflies host relatively small and similar numbers of bacterial phylotypes, but few are common to both stages. The larval microbiota clearly simplifies and reorganizes during metamorphosis; thus, structural changes in a butterfly's bacterial community parallel those in its own morphology. We furthermore identify specific bacterial taxa that may mediate larval and adult feeding biology in Heliconius and other butterflies. Although male and female Heliconius adults differ in reproductive physiology and degree of pollen feeding, bacterial communities associated with H. erato are not sexually dimorphic. Lastly, we show that captive and wild individuals host different microbiota, a finding that may have important implications for the relevance of experimental studies using captive butterflies.

  14. Simulating Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stebbins, Robert C.; Allen, Brockenbrough

    1975-01-01

    Described are simulations that can be used to illustrate evolution by natural selection. Suggestions for simulating phenomena such as adaptive radiation, color match to background and vision of predators are offered. (BR)

  15. Bacterial infections in cirrhosis.

    PubMed

    Botwin, Gregory J; Morgan, Timothy R

    2014-09-01

    Bacterial infections occur in 25-35 % of cirrhotics admitted to hospital. Health-care associated and hospital acquired (nosocomial) infections are the most common epidemiology, with community acquired infections less common (15-30 %). Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and urinary infections are the most common sites, with spontaneous bacteremia, pneumonia, cellulitis and other sites being less common. The risk of infection is increased among subjects with more severe liver disease and an infection in the past 6 months. Bacteria are isolated from approximately half of patients with a clinical diagnosis of infection. Gram-negative enterobacteriaceae are the most common organisms among community acquired infections; Gram-positive cocci are the most common organisms isolated among subjects with nosocomial infections. Up to 30 % of hospital associated infections are with multidrug resistant bacteria. Consequently, empiric antibiotic therapy that is recommended for community acquired infections is often inadequate for nosocomial infections. Infections worsen liver function. In-hospital and 1-year mortality of cirrhotics with infections is significantly higher than among cirrhotics without infection. In-hospital complications of infections, such as severe sepsis and septic shock, and mortality, are increased among subjects with multidrug-resistant infections as compared with cirrhotics with susceptible bacteria. Short-term antibiotic prophylaxis of cirrhotics with upper gastrointestinal bleeding and long-term antibiotic prophylaxis of selected cirrhotics with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis reduces infections and improves survival. Albumin administration to cirrhotics with SBP and evidence of advanced liver disease improves survival. The benefit of albumin administration to cirrhotics with infections other than SBP is under investigation. PMID:26201326

  16. Diverse Bacterial Microcompartment Organelles

    PubMed Central

    Chowdhury, Chiranjit; Sinha, Sharmistha; Chun, Sunny; Yeates, Todd O.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacterial microcompartments (MCPs) are sophisticated protein-based organelles used to optimize metabolic pathways. They consist of metabolic enzymes encapsulated within a protein shell, which creates an ideal environment for catalysis and facilitates the channeling of toxic/volatile intermediates to downstream enzymes. The metabolic processes that require MCPs are diverse and widely distributed and play important roles in global carbon fixation and bacterial pathogenesis. The protein shells of MCPs are thought to selectively control the movement of enzyme cofactors, substrates, and products (including toxic or volatile intermediates) between the MCP interior and the cytoplasm of the cell using both passive electrostatic/steric and dynamic gated mechanisms. Evidence suggests that specialized shell proteins conduct electrons between the cytoplasm and the lumen of the MCP and/or help rebuild damaged iron-sulfur centers in the encapsulated enzymes. The MCP shell is elaborated through a family of small proteins whose structural core is known as a bacterial microcompartment (BMC) domain. BMC domain proteins oligomerize into flat, hexagonally shaped tiles, which assemble into extended protein sheets that form the facets of the shell. Shape complementarity along the edges allows different types of BMC domain proteins to form mixed sheets, while sequence variation provides functional diversification. Recent studies have also revealed targeting sequences that mediate protein encapsulation within MCPs, scaffolding proteins that organize lumen enzymes and the use of private cofactor pools (NAD/H and coenzyme A [HS-CoA]) to facilitate cofactor homeostasis. Although much remains to be learned, our growing understanding of MCPs is providing a basis for bioengineering of protein-based containers for the production of chemicals/pharmaceuticals and for use as molecular delivery vehicles. PMID:25184561

  17. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

    PubMed

    Johnston, K L

    1999-03-01

    It is clear that the exact definition of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) needs to be reappraised in veterinary medicine. Antibiotic responsive enteropathies due to SIBO must be distinguished from those that are not associated with SIBO, such as those caused by a lack of immune tolerance. Once appropriate definitions and criteria for diagnosis are in place, the wide variety of diagnostic procedures that may facilitate the diagnosis can be evaluated with respect to their sensitivity and specificity, and statements about the prevalence and significance of this disorder can be made.

  18. Bacterial Skin Infections.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Fadi; Khan, Tariq; Pujalte, George G A

    2015-12-01

    Skin and soft tissue infections account for 0.5% of outpatient visits to primary care. Skin and soft tissue infections can usually be managed in an outpatient setting. However, there are certain circumstances as discussed in this article that require more urgent care or inpatient management. Primary care providers should be able to diagnose, manage, and provide appropriate follow-up care for these frequently seen skin infections. This article provides family physicians with a comprehensive review of the assessment and management of common bacterial skin infections. PMID:26612370

  19. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Dukowicz, Andrew C.; Levine, Gary M.

    2007-01-01

    Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine, remains a poorly understood disease. Initially thought to occur in only a small number of patients, it is now apparent that this disorder is more prevalent than previously thought. Patients with SIBO vary in presentation, from being only mildly symptomatic to suffering from chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and malabsorption. A number of diagnostic tests are currently available, although the optimal treatment regimen remains elusive. Recently there has been renewed interest in SIBO and its putative association with irritable bowel syndrome. In this comprehensive review, we will discuss the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of SIBO. PMID:21960820

  20. Bacterial Skin Infections.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Fadi; Khan, Tariq; Pujalte, George G A

    2015-12-01

    Skin and soft tissue infections account for 0.5% of outpatient visits to primary care. Skin and soft tissue infections can usually be managed in an outpatient setting. However, there are certain circumstances as discussed in this article that require more urgent care or inpatient management. Primary care providers should be able to diagnose, manage, and provide appropriate follow-up care for these frequently seen skin infections. This article provides family physicians with a comprehensive review of the assessment and management of common bacterial skin infections.

  1. Bacterial terpene cyclases.

    PubMed

    Dickschat, Jeroen S

    2016-01-01

    Covering: up to 2015. This review summarises the accumulated knowledge about characterised bacterial terpene cyclases. The structures of identified products and of crystallised enzymes are included, and the obtained insights into enzyme mechanisms are discussed. After a summary of mono-, sesqui- and diterpene cyclases the special cases of the geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol synthases that are both particularly widespread in bacteria will be presented. A total number of 63 enzymes that have been characterised so far is presented, with 132 cited references. PMID:26563452

  2. Evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Behr, Marcel A

    2013-01-01

    Genomic studies have provided a refined understanding of the genetic diversity within the Mycobacterium genus, and more specifically within Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These results have informed a new perspective on the macro- and micro-evolution of the tubercle bacillus. In the first step, a M. kansasii-like opportunistic pathogen acquired new genes, through horizontal gene transfer, that enabled it to better exploit an intracellular niche and ultimately evolve into a professional pathogen. In the second step, different subspecies and strains of the M. tuberculosis complex emerged through mutation and deletion of unnecessary DNA. Understanding the differences between M. tuberculosis and related less pathogenic mycobacteria is expected to reveal key bacterial virulence mechanisms and provide opportunities to understand host resistance to mycobacterial infection. Understanding differences within the M. tuberculosis complex and the evolutionary forces shaping these differences is important for investigating the basis of its success as both a symbiont and a pathogen.

  3. Bacterial Genes in the Aphid Genome: Absence of Functional Gene Transfer from Buchnera to Its Host

    PubMed Central

    Nikoh, Naruo; McCutcheon, John P.; Kudo, Toshiaki; Miyagishima, Shin-ya; Moran, Nancy A.; Nakabachi, Atsushi

    2010-01-01

    Genome reduction is typical of obligate symbionts. In cellular organelles, this reduction partly reflects transfer of ancestral bacterial genes to the host genome, but little is known about gene transfer in other obligate symbioses. Aphids harbor anciently acquired obligate mutualists, Buchnera aphidicola (Gammaproteobacteria), which have highly reduced genomes (420–650 kb), raising the possibility of gene transfer from ancestral Buchnera to the aphid genome. In addition, aphids often harbor other bacteria that also are potential sources of transferred genes. Previous limited sampling of genes expressed in bacteriocytes, the specialized cells that harbor Buchnera, revealed that aphids acquired at least two genes from bacteria. The newly sequenced genome of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, presents the first opportunity for a complete inventory of genes transferred from bacteria to the host genome in the context of an ancient obligate symbiosis. Computational screening of the entire A. pisum genome, followed by phylogenetic and experimental analyses, provided strong support for the transfer of 12 genes or gene fragments from bacteria to the aphid genome: three LD–carboxypeptidases (LdcA1, LdcA2,ψLdcA), five rare lipoprotein As (RlpA1-5), N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase (AmiD), 1,4-beta-N-acetylmuramidase (bLys), DNA polymerase III alpha chain (ψDnaE), and ATP synthase delta chain (ψAtpH). Buchnera was the apparent source of two highly truncated pseudogenes (ψDnaE and ψAtpH). Most other transferred genes were closely related to genes from relatives of Wolbachia (Alphaproteobacteria). At least eight of the transferred genes (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5, bLys) appear to be functional, and expression of seven (LdcA1, AmiD, RlpA1-5) are highly upregulated in bacteriocytes. The LdcAs and RlpAs appear to have been duplicated after transfer. Our results excluded the hypothesis that genome reduction in Buchnera has been accompanied by gene transfer to the host

  4. Thioredoxin and evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buchanan, B. B.

    1991-01-01

    Comparisons of primary structure have revealed significant homology between the m type thioredoxins of chloroplasts and the thioredoxins from a variety of bacteria. Chloroplast thioredoxin f, by comparison, remains an enigma: certain residues are invariant with those of the other thioredoxins, but a phylogenetic relationship to bacterial or m thioredoxins seems distant. Knowledge of the evolutionary history of thioredoxin f is, nevertheless, of interest because of its role in photosynthesis. Therefore, we have attempted to gain information on the evolutionary history of chloroplast thioredoxin f, as well as m. Our goal was first to establish the utility of thioredoxin as a phylogenetic marker, and, if found suitable, to deduce the evolutionary histories of the chloroplast thioredoxins. To this end, we have constructed phylogenetic (minimal replacement) trees using computer analysis. The results show that the thioredoxins of bacteria and animals fall into distinct phylogenetic groups - the bacterial group resembling that derived from earlier 16s RNA analysis and the animal group showing a cluster consistent with known relationships. The chloroplast thioredoxins show a novel type of phylogenetic arrangement: one m type aligns with its counterpart of eukaryotic algae, cyanobacteria and other bacteria, whereas the second type (f type) tracks with animal thioredoxin. The results give new insight into the evolution of photosynthesis.

  5. Directed evolution of a bacterial sensor and its applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derr, Paige

    The methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins are a family of receptors in bacteria that mediate chemotaxis to diverse signals. To explore the plasticity of these proteins, we have developed a simple method for selecting cells that swim towards or away from target compounds. The procedure is based on establishing a diffusive gradient in semi-soft agar plates and does not require that the attractant be metabolized or degraded. We have applied this method to select for variants of the Escherichia coli aspartate receptor, Tar, that have a new or improved response to various chemicals such as amino acids and environmental toxins. We found that Tar can be readily mutated to respond to new chemical signals. We also present potential applications of this selection such as the development of biosensors or novel enzyme activity. The new tar alleles and the techniques described here provide a new approach for exploring the relationship between ligand binding and signal transduction by chemoreceptors and for engineering new receptors for applications in biotechnology.

  6. Evolution of bacterial trp operons and their regulation.

    PubMed

    Merino, Enrique; Jensen, Roy A; Yanofsky, Charles

    2008-04-01

    Survival and replication of most bacteria require the ability to synthesize the amino acid L-tryptophan whenever it is not available from the environment. In this article we describe the genes, operons, proteins, and reactions involved in tryptophan biosynthesis in bacteria, and the mechanisms they use in regulating tryptophan formation. We show that although the reactions of tryptophan biosynthesis are essentially identical, gene organization varies among species--from whole-pathway operons to completely dispersed genes. We also show that the regulatory mechanisms used for these genes vary greatly. We address the question--what are some potential advantages of the gene organization and regulation variation associated with this conserved, important pathway? PMID:18374625

  7. Evolution: Bacterial Territoriality as a Byproduct of Kin Discriminatory Warfare.

    PubMed

    Velicer, Gregory J; Plucain, Jessica

    2016-05-01

    Recent work suggests that the inability of genetically distinct colonies of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis to freely merge is often a byproduct of microbial warfare mediated by divergent suites of chemical weaponry. Any effects of such kin-discriminatory antagonisms on levels of within-group cooperation at other traits remain unclear.

  8. Evolution: Bacterial Territoriality as a Byproduct of Kin Discriminatory Warfare.

    PubMed

    Velicer, Gregory J; Plucain, Jessica

    2016-05-01

    Recent work suggests that the inability of genetically distinct colonies of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis to freely merge is often a byproduct of microbial warfare mediated by divergent suites of chemical weaponry. Any effects of such kin-discriminatory antagonisms on levels of within-group cooperation at other traits remain unclear. PMID:27166695

  9. Bacterial body plans

    PubMed Central

    Rieger, Tomáš; Neubauer, Zdeněk; Blahůšková, Anna; Cvrčková, Fatima

    2008-01-01

    The bacterium Serratia marcescens produces a plethora of multicellular shapes of different colorations on solid substrates, allowing immediate visual detection of varieties. Such a plasticity allows studies on multicellular community scale spanning two extremes, from well-elaborated individual colonies to undifferentiated cell mass. For a single strain and medium, we obtained a range of different multicellular bodies, depending on the layout of initial plating. Four principal factors affecting the morphogenetic pathways of such bodies can be distinguished: (1) amount, density and distribution pattern of founder cells; (2) the configuration of surrounding free medium; (3) the presence and character of other bacterial bodies sharing the same niche; and (4) self-perception, resulting in delimitation towards other bodies. The last feature results in an ability of well-formed multicellular individuals to maintain their identity upon a close mutual contact, as well as in spontaneous separation of cell masses in experimental chimeras. We propose an “embryo-like” colony model where multicellular bacterial bodies develop along genuine ontogenetic pathways inherent to the given species (clone), while external shaping forces (like nutrient gradients, pH, etc.,) exert not formative, but only regulative roles in the process. PMID:19513204

  10. The bacterial gliding machinery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shrivastava, Abhishek

    Cells of Flavobacterium johnsoniae, a rod-shaped bacterium, glide over surfaces with speeds reaching up to 2 micrometer's. Gliding is powered by a protonmotive force. The adhesin SprB forms filaments about 160 nm long that move on the cell-surface along a looped track. Interaction of SprB filaments with a surface produces gliding. We tethered F. johnsoniae cells to glass by adding anti-SprB antibody. Tethered cells spun about fixed points, rotating at speeds of about 1 Hz. The torques required to sustain such speeds were large, comparable to those generated by the flagellar rotary motor. Using a flow cell apparatus, we changed load on the gliding motor by adding the viscous agent Ficoll to tethered cells. We found that a gliding motor runs at constant speed rather than constant torque. We attached gold nanoparticles to the SprB filament and tracked its motion. We fluorescently tagged a bacterial Type IX secretion system (T9SS) protein and imaged its dynamics. Fluorescently tagged T9SS protein localized near the point of tether, indicating that T9SS localizes with the gliding motor. Based on our results, we propose a model to explain bacterial gliding.

  11. Antimicrobials for bacterial bioterrorism agents.

    PubMed

    Sarkar-Tyson, Mitali; Atkins, Helen S

    2011-06-01

    The limitations of current antimicrobials for highly virulent pathogens considered as potential bioterrorism agents drives the requirement for new antimicrobials that are suitable for use in populations in the event of a deliberate release. Strategies targeting bacterial virulence offer the potential for new countermeasures to combat bacterial bioterrorism agents, including those active against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Although early in the development of antivirulence approaches, inhibitors of bacterial type III secretion systems and cell division mechanisms show promise for the future.

  12. Spatiotemporal microbial evolution on antibiotic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Baym, Michael; Lieberman, Tami D; Kelsic, Eric D; Chait, Remy; Gross, Rotem; Yelin, Idan; Kishony, Roy

    2016-09-01

    A key aspect of bacterial survival is the ability to evolve while migrating across spatially varying environmental challenges. Laboratory experiments, however, often study evolution in well-mixed systems. Here, we introduce an experimental device, the microbial evolution and growth arena (MEGA)-plate, in which bacteria spread and evolved on a large antibiotic landscape (120 × 60 centimeters) that allowed visual observation of mutation and selection in a migrating bacterial front. While resistance increased consistently, multiple coexisting lineages diversified both phenotypically and genotypically. Analyzing mutants at and behind the propagating front, we found that evolution is not always led by the most resistant mutants; highly resistant mutants may be trapped behind more sensitive lineages. The MEGA-plate provides a versatile platform for studying microbial adaption and directly visualizing evolutionary dynamics. PMID:27609891

  13. Nanoparticle approaches against bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Gao, Weiwei; Thamphiwatana, Soracha; Angsantikul, Pavimol; Zhang, Liangfang

    2014-01-01

    Despite the wide success of antibiotics, the treatment of bacterial infections still faces significant challenges, particularly the emergence of antibiotic resistance. As a result, nanoparticle drug delivery platforms including liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, and various inorganic nanoparticles have been increasingly exploited to enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of existing antibiotics. This review focuses on areas where nanoparticle approaches hold significant potential to advance the treatment of bacterial infections. These areas include targeted antibiotic delivery, environmentally responsive antibiotic delivery, combinatorial antibiotic delivery, nanoparticle-enabled antibacterial vaccination, and nanoparticle-based bacterial detection. In each area we highlight the innovative antimicrobial nanoparticle platforms and review their progress made against bacterial infections.

  14. Nanoparticle Approaches against Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Weiwei; Thamphiwatana, Soracha; Angsantikul, Pavimol; Zhang, Liangfang

    2014-01-01

    Despite the wide success of antibiotics, the treatment of bacterial infection still faces significant challenges, particularly the emergence of antibiotic resistance. As a result, nanoparticle drug delivery platforms including liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, dendrimers, and various inorganic nanoparticles have been increasingly exploited to enhance the therapeutic effectiveness of existing antibiotics. This review focuses on areas where nanoparticle approaches hold significant potential to advance the treatment of bacterial infection. These areas include targeted antibiotic delivery, environmentally responsive antibiotic delivery, combinatorial antibiotic delivery, nanoparticle-enabled antibacterial vaccination, and nanoparticle-based bacterial detection. In each area we highlight the innovative antimicrobial nanoparticle platforms and review their progress made against bacterial infections. PMID:25044325

  15. Animals in a bacterial world: opportunities for chemical ecology

    PubMed Central

    Cantley, Alexandra M.

    2016-01-01

    This Viewpoint article provides a brief and selective summary of research on the chemical ecology underlying symbioses between bacteria and animals. Animals engage in multiple highly specialized interactions with bacteria that reflect their long coevolutionary history. The article focuses on a few illustrative but hardly exhaustive examples in which bacterially produced small molecules initiate a developmental step with important implications for the evolution of animals, provide signals for the maturation of mammalian immune systems, and furnish chemical defenses against microbial pathogens. PMID:25656944

  16. Animals in a bacterial world: opportunities for chemical ecology.

    PubMed

    Cantley, Alexandra M; Clardy, Jon

    2015-07-01

    This Viewpoint article provides a brief and selective summary of research on the chemical ecology underlying symbioses between bacteria and animals. Animals engage in multiple highly specialized interactions with bacteria that reflect their long coevolutionary history. The article focuses on a few illustrative but hardly exhaustive examples in which bacterially produced small molecules initiate a developmental step with important implications for the evolution of animals, provide signals for the maturation of mammalian immune systems, and furnish chemical defenses against microbial pathogens.

  17. Bacterial computing: a form of natural computing and its applications

    PubMed Central

    Lahoz-Beltra, Rafael; Navarro, Jorge; Marijuán, Pedro C.

    2014-01-01

    The capability to establish adaptive relationships with the environment is an essential characteristic of living cells. Both bacterial computing and bacterial intelligence are two general traits manifested along adaptive behaviors that respond to surrounding environmental conditions. These two traits have generated a variety of theoretical and applied approaches. Since the different systems of bacterial signaling and the different ways of genetic change are better known and more carefully explored, the whole adaptive possibilities of bacteria may be studied under new angles. For instance, there appear instances of molecular “learning” along the mechanisms of evolution. More in concrete, and looking specifically at the time dimension, the bacterial mechanisms of learning and evolution appear as two different and related mechanisms for adaptation to the environment; in somatic time the former and in evolutionary time the latter. In the present chapter it will be reviewed the possible application of both kinds of mechanisms to prokaryotic molecular computing schemes as well as to the solution of real world problems. PMID:24723912

  18. Phage selection for bacterial cheats leads to population decline.

    PubMed

    Vasse, Marie; Torres-Barceló, Clara; Hochberg, Michael E

    2015-11-01

    While predators and parasites are known for their effects on bacterial population biology, their impact on the dynamics of bacterial social evolution remains largely unclear. Siderophores are iron-chelating molecules that are key to the survival of certain bacterial species in iron-limited environments, but their production can be subject to cheating by non-producing genotypes. In a selection experiment conducted over approximately 20 bacterial generations and involving 140 populations of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, we assessed the impact of a lytic phage on competition between siderophore producers and non-producers. We show that the presence of lytic phages favours the non-producing genotype in competition, regardless of whether iron use relies on siderophores. Interestingly, phage pressure resulted in higher siderophore production, which constitutes a cost to the producers and may explain why they were outcompeted by non-producers. By the end of the experiment, however, cheating load reduced the fitness of mixed populations relative to producer monocultures, and only monocultures of producers managed to grow in the presence of phage in situations where siderophores were necessary to access iron. These results suggest that public goods production may be modulated in the presence of natural enemies with consequences for the evolution of social strategies. PMID:26538598

  19. Ribonucleotides in Bacterial DNA

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Jeremy W.; Randall, Justin R.; Matthews, Lindsay A.; Simmons, Lyle A.

    2014-01-01

    In all living cells, DNA is the storage medium for genetic information. Being quite stable, DNA is well-suited for its role in storage and propagation of information, but RNA is also covalently included in DNA through various mechanisms. Recent studies also demonstrate useful aspects of including ribonucleotides in the genome during repair. Therefore, our understanding of the consequences of RNA inclusion into bacterial genomic DNA is just beginning, but with its high frequency of occurrence the consequences and potential benefits are likely to be numerous and diverse. In this review, we discuss the processes that cause ribonucleotide inclusion in genomic DNA, the pathways important for ribonucleotide removal and the consequences that arise should ribonucleotides remain nested in genomic DNA. PMID:25387798

  20. Exploring bacterial lignin degradation.

    PubMed

    Brown, Margaret E; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2014-04-01

    Plant biomass represents a renewable carbon feedstock that could potentially be used to replace a significant level of petroleum-derived chemicals. One major challenge in its utilization is that the majority of this carbon is trapped in the recalcitrant structural polymers of the plant cell wall. Deconstruction of lignin is a key step in the processing of biomass to useful monomers but remains challenging. Microbial systems can provide molecular information on lignin depolymerization as they have evolved to break lignin down using metalloenzyme-dependent radical pathways. Both fungi and bacteria have been observed to metabolize lignin; however, their differential reactivity with this substrate indicates that they may utilize different chemical strategies for its breakdown. This review will discuss recent advances in studying bacterial lignin degradation as an approach to exploring greater diversity in the environment. PMID:24780273

  1. Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates: Still fabulous?

    PubMed

    Możejko-Ciesielska, Justyna; Kiewisz, Robert

    2016-11-01

    Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters accumulated as carbon and energy storage materials under limited growth conditions in the presence of excess carbon sources. They have been developed as biomaterials with unique properties for the past many years being considered as a potential substitute for conventional non-degradable plastics. Due to the increasing concern towards global climate change, depleting petroleum resource and problems with an utilization of a growing number of synthetic plastics, PHAs have gained much more attention from industry and research. These environmentally friendly microbial polymers have great potential in biomedical, agricultural, and industrial applications. However, their production on a large scale is still limited. This paper describes the backgrounds of PHAs and discussed the current state of knowledge on the polyhydroxyalkanoates. Ability of bacteria to convert different carbon sources to PHAs, the opportunities and challenges of their introduction to global market as valuable renewable products have been also discussed.

  2. Epigenetics and Bacterial Infections

    PubMed Central

    Bierne, Hélène; Hamon, Mélanie; Cossart, Pascale

    2012-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms regulate expression of the genome to generate various cell types during development or orchestrate cellular responses to external stimuli. Recent studies highlight that bacteria can affect the chromatin structure and transcriptional program of host cells by influencing diverse epigenetic factors (i.e., histone modifications, DNA methylation, chromatin-associated complexes, noncoding RNAs, and RNA splicing factors). In this article, we first review the molecular bases of the epigenetic language and then describe the current state of research regarding how bacteria can alter epigenetic marks and machineries. Bacterial-induced epigenetic deregulations may affect host cell function either to promote host defense or to allow pathogen persistence. Thus, pathogenic bacteria can be considered as potential epimutagens able to reshape the epigenome. Their effects might generate specific, long-lasting imprints on host cells, leading to a memory of infection that influences immunity and might be at the origin of unexplained diseases. PMID:23209181

  3. Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates: Still fabulous?

    PubMed

    Możejko-Ciesielska, Justyna; Kiewisz, Robert

    2016-11-01

    Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters accumulated as carbon and energy storage materials under limited growth conditions in the presence of excess carbon sources. They have been developed as biomaterials with unique properties for the past many years being considered as a potential substitute for conventional non-degradable plastics. Due to the increasing concern towards global climate change, depleting petroleum resource and problems with an utilization of a growing number of synthetic plastics, PHAs have gained much more attention from industry and research. These environmentally friendly microbial polymers have great potential in biomedical, agricultural, and industrial applications. However, their production on a large scale is still limited. This paper describes the backgrounds of PHAs and discussed the current state of knowledge on the polyhydroxyalkanoates. Ability of bacteria to convert different carbon sources to PHAs, the opportunities and challenges of their introduction to global market as valuable renewable products have been also discussed. PMID:27664746

  4. The bacterial proteogenomic pipeline

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Proteogenomics combines the cutting-edge methods from genomics and proteomics. While it has become cheap to sequence whole genomes, the correct annotation of protein coding regions in the genome is still tedious and error prone. Mass spectrometry on the other hand relies on good characterizations of proteins derived from the genome, but can also be used to help improving the annotation of genomes or find species specific peptides. Additionally, proteomics is widely used to find evidence for differential expression of proteins under different conditions, e.g. growth conditions for bacteria. The concept of proteogenomics is not altogether new, in-house scripts are used by different labs and some special tools for eukaryotic and human analyses are available. Results The Bacterial Proteogenomic Pipeline, which is completely written in Java, alleviates the conducting of proteogenomic analyses of bacteria. From a given genome sequence, a naïve six frame translation is performed and, if desired, a decoy database generated. This database is used to identify MS/MS spectra by common peptide identification algorithms. After combination of the search results and optional flagging for different experimental conditions, the results can be browsed and further inspected. In particular, for each peptide the number of identifications for each condition and the positions in the corresponding protein sequences are shown. Intermediate and final results can be exported into GFF3 format for visualization in common genome browsers. Conclusions To facilitate proteogenomics analyses the Bacterial Proteogenomic Pipeline is a set of comprehensive tools running on common desktop computers, written in Java and thus platform independent. The pipeline allows integrating peptide identifications from various algorithms and emphasizes the visualization of spectral counts from different experimental conditions. PMID:25521444

  5. Experimental evolution in biofilm populations

    PubMed Central

    Steenackers, Hans P.; Parijs, Ilse; Foster, Kevin R.; Vanderleyden, Jozef

    2016-01-01

    Biofilms are a major form of microbial life in which cells form dense surface associated communities that can persist for many generations. The long-life of biofilm communities means that they can be strongly shaped by evolutionary processes. Here, we review the experimental study of evolution in biofilm communities. We first provide an overview of the different experimental models used to study biofilm evolution and their associated advantages and disadvantages. We then illustrate the vast amount of diversification observed during biofilm evolution, and we discuss (i) potential ecological and evolutionary processes behind the observed diversification, (ii) recent insights into the genetics of adaptive diversification, (iii) the striking degree of parallelism between evolution experiments and real-life biofilms and (iv) potential consequences of diversification. In the second part, we discuss the insights provided by evolution experiments in how biofilm growth and structure can promote cooperative phenotypes. Overall, our analysis points to an important role of biofilm diversification and cooperation in bacterial survival and productivity. Deeper understanding of both processes is of key importance to design improved antimicrobial strategies and diagnostic techniques. PMID:26895713

  6. Experimental evolution in biofilm populations.

    PubMed

    Steenackers, Hans P; Parijs, Ilse; Foster, Kevin R; Vanderleyden, Jozef

    2016-05-01

    Biofilms are a major form of microbial life in which cells form dense surface associated communities that can persist for many generations. The long-life of biofilm communities means that they can be strongly shaped by evolutionary processes. Here, we review the experimental study of evolution in biofilm communities. We first provide an overview of the different experimental models used to study biofilm evolution and their associated advantages and disadvantages. We then illustrate the vast amount of diversification observed during biofilm evolution, and we discuss (i) potential ecological and evolutionary processes behind the observed diversification, (ii) recent insights into the genetics of adaptive diversification, (iii) the striking degree of parallelism between evolution experiments and real-life biofilms and (iv) potential consequences of diversification. In the second part, we discuss the insights provided by evolution experiments in how biofilm growth and structure can promote cooperative phenotypes. Overall, our analysis points to an important role of biofilm diversification and cooperation in bacterial survival and productivity. Deeper understanding of both processes is of key importance to design improved antimicrobial strategies and diagnostic techniques. PMID:26895713

  7. Experimental evolution in biofilm populations.

    PubMed

    Steenackers, Hans P; Parijs, Ilse; Foster, Kevin R; Vanderleyden, Jozef

    2016-05-01

    Biofilms are a major form of microbial life in which cells form dense surface associated communities that can persist for many generations. The long-life of biofilm communities means that they can be strongly shaped by evolutionary processes. Here, we review the experimental study of evolution in biofilm communities. We first provide an overview of the different experimental models used to study biofilm evolution and their associated advantages and disadvantages. We then illustrate the vast amount of diversification observed during biofilm evolution, and we discuss (i) potential ecological and evolutionary processes behind the observed diversification, (ii) recent insights into the genetics of adaptive diversification, (iii) the striking degree of parallelism between evolution experiments and real-life biofilms and (iv) potential consequences of diversification. In the second part, we discuss the insights provided by evolution experiments in how biofilm growth and structure can promote cooperative phenotypes. Overall, our analysis points to an important role of biofilm diversification and cooperation in bacterial survival and productivity. Deeper understanding of both processes is of key importance to design improved antimicrobial strategies and diagnostic techniques.

  8. Uncovering common bacterial skin infections.

    PubMed

    Napierkowski, Daria

    2013-03-10

    The four most common bacterial skin infections are impetigo, erysipelas, cellulitis, and folliculitis. This article summarizes current information about the etiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and implications for primary care practice needed to effectively diagnose and treat common bacterial skin infections. PMID:23361375

  9. Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis.

    PubMed Central

    Gray, L D; Fedorko, D P

    1992-01-01

    Bacterial meningitis is relatively common, can progress rapidly, and can result in death or permanent debilitation. This infection justifiably elicits strong emotional reactions and, hopefully, immediate medical intervention. This review is a brief presentation of the pathogenesis of bacterial meningitis and a review of current knowledge, literature, and recommendations on the subject of laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. Those who work in clinical microbiology laboratories should be familiar with the tests used in detecting bacteria and bacterial antigens in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and should always have the utmost appreciation for the fact that results of such tests must always be reported immediately. Academic and practical aspects of the laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis presented in this review include the following: anatomy of the meninges; pathogenesis; changes in the composition of CSF; etiological agents; processing CSF; microscopic examination of CSF; culturing CSF; methods of detecting bacterial antigens and bacterial components in CSF (counter-immunoelectrophoresis, coagglutination, latex agglutination, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Limulus amebocyte lysate assay, and gas-liquid chromatography); use of the polymerase chain reaction; and practical considerations for testing CSF for bacterial antigens. PMID:1576585

  10. Security Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Patta, Joe

    2003-01-01

    Examines how to evaluate school security, begin making schools safe, secure schools without turning them into fortresses, and secure schools easily and affordably; the evolution of security systems into information technology systems; using schools' high-speed network lines; how one specific security system was developed; pros and cons of the…

  11. Art & Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Terry, Mark

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a two-week evolution unit for his biology class. He uses Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) as an example of an Enlightenment mind at work--in this case a woman recognized as one of the great artists and natural scientists of her time. Her representations of butterflies, caterpillars and their pupae, and the…

  12. Dynamics of genome rearrangement in bacterial populations.

    PubMed

    Darling, Aaron E; Miklós, István; Ragan, Mark A

    2008-01-01

    characterization of genome arrangement evolution in a bacterial population evolving outside laboratory conditions. Insight into the process of genomic rearrangement may further the understanding of pathogen population dynamics and selection on the architecture of circular bacterial chromosomes. PMID:18650965

  13. Dynamics of Genome Rearrangement in Bacterial Populations

    PubMed Central

    Darling, Aaron E.; Miklós, István; Ragan, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    first characterization of genome arrangement evolution in a bacterial population evolving outside laboratory conditions. Insight into the process of genomic rearrangement may further the understanding of pathogen population dynamics and selection on the architecture of circular bacterial chromosomes. PMID:18650965

  14. Contribution of phage-derived genomic islands to the virulence of facultative bacterial pathogens.

    PubMed

    Busby, Ben; Kristensen, David M; Koonin, Eugene V

    2013-02-01

    Facultative pathogens have extremely dynamic pan-genomes, to a large extent derived from bacteriophages and other mobile elements. We developed a simple approach to identify phage-derived genomic islands and apply it to show that pathogens from diverse bacterial genera are significantly enriched in clustered phage-derived genes compared with related benign strains. These findings show that genome expansion by integration of prophages containing virulence factors is a major route of evolution of facultative bacterial pathogens.

  15. Bacterial genomic epidemiology, from local outbreak characterization to species-history reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Gaiarsa, Stefano; De Marco, Leone; Comandatore, Francesco; Marone, Piero; Bandi, Claudio; Sassera, Davide

    2015-01-01

    Bacteriology has embraced the next-generation sequencing revolution, swiftly moving from the time of single genome sequencing to the age of genomic epidemiology. Hundreds and now even thousands of genomes are being sequenced for single bacterial species, allowing unprecedented levels of resolution and insight in the evolution and epidemic diffusion of the main bacterial pathogens. Here, we present a review of some of the most recent and groundbreaking studies in this field. PMID:26878934

  16. Branching instability in expanding bacterial colonies

    PubMed Central

    Giverso, Chiara; Verani, Marco; Ciarletta, Pasquale

    2015-01-01

    Self-organization in developing living organisms relies on the capability of cells to duplicate and perform a collective motion inside the surrounding environment. Chemical and mechanical interactions coordinate such a cooperative behaviour, driving the dynamical evolution of the macroscopic system. In this work, we perform an analytical and computational analysis to study pattern formation during the spreading of an initially circular bacterial colony on a Petri dish. The continuous mathematical model addresses the growth and the chemotactic migration of the living monolayer, together with the diffusion and consumption of nutrients in the agar. The governing equations contain four dimensionless parameters, accounting for the interplay among the chemotactic response, the bacteria–substrate interaction and the experimental geometry. The spreading colony is found to be always linearly unstable to perturbations of the interface, whereas branching instability arises in finite-element numerical simulations. The typical length scales of such fingers, which align in the radial direction and later undergo further branching, are controlled by the size parameters of the problem, whereas the emergence of branching is favoured if the diffusion is dominant on the chemotaxis. The model is able to predict the experimental morphologies, confirming that compact (resp. branched) patterns arise for fast (resp. slow) expanding colonies. Such results, while providing new insights into pattern selection in bacterial colonies, may finally have important applications for designing controlled patterns. PMID:25652464

  17. Laboratory Diagnosis of Bacterial Gastroenteritis

    PubMed Central

    Humphries, Romney M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Bacterial gastroenteritis is a disease that is pervasive in both the developing and developed worlds. While for the most part bacterial gastroenteritis is self-limiting, identification of an etiological agent by bacterial stool culture is required for the management of patients with severe or prolonged diarrhea, symptoms consistent with invasive disease, or a history that may predict a complicated course of disease. Importantly, characterization of bacterial enteropathogens from stool cultures in clinical laboratories is one of the primary means by which public health officials identify and track outbreaks of bacterial gastroenteritis. This article provides guidance for clinical microbiology laboratories that perform stool cultures. The general characteristics, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of key bacterial enteropathogens are summarized. Information regarding optimal specimen collection, transport, and processing and current diagnostic tests and testing algorithms is provided. This article is an update of Cumitech 12A (P. H. Gilligan, J. M. Janda, M. A. Karmali, and J. M. Miller, Cumitech 12A, Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial diarrhea, 1992). PMID:25567220

  18. Bacterial Secretion Systems: An Overview.

    PubMed

    Green, Erin R; Mecsas, Joan

    2016-02-01

    Bacterial pathogens utilize a multitude of methods to invade mammalian hosts, damage tissue sites, and thwart the immune system from responding. One essential component of these strategies for many bacterial pathogens is the secretion of proteins across phospholipid membranes. Secreted proteins can play many roles in promoting bacterial virulence, from enhancing attachment to eukaryotic cells, to scavenging resources in an environmental niche, to directly intoxicating target cells and disrupting their functions. Many pathogens use dedicated protein secretion systems to secrete virulence factors from the cytosol of the bacteria into host cells or the host environment. In general, bacterial protein secretion apparatuses can be divided into classes, based on their structures, functions, and specificity. Some systems are conserved in all classes of bacteria and secrete a broad array of substrates, while others are only found in a small number of bacterial species and/or are specific to only one or a few proteins. In this chapter, we review the canonical features of several common bacterial protein secretion systems, as well as their roles in promoting the virulence of bacterial pathogens. Additionally, we address recent findings that indicate that the innate immune system of the host can detect and respond to the presence of protein secretion systems during mammalian infection.

  19. Bacterial phospholipases C.

    PubMed Central

    Titball, R W

    1993-01-01

    A variety of pathogenic bacteria produce phospholipases C, and since the discovery in 1944 that a bacterial toxin (Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin) possessed an enzymatic activity, there has been considerable interest in this class of proteins. Initial speculation that all phospholipases C would have lethal properties has not been substantiated. Most of the characterized enzymes fall into one of four groups of structurally related proteins: the zinc-metallophospholipases C, the sphingomyelinases, the phosphatidylinositol-hydrolyzing enzymes, and the pseudomonad phospholipases C. The zinc-metallophospholipases C have been most intensively studied, and lethal toxins within this group possess an additional domain. The toxic phospholipases C can interact with eukaryotic cell membranes and hydrolyze phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, leading to cell lysis. However, measurement of the cytolytic potential or lethality of phospholipases C may not accurately indicate their roles in the pathogenesis of disease. Subcytolytic concentrations of phospholipase C can perturb host cells by activating the arachidonic acid cascade or protein kinase C. Nonlethal phospholipases C, such as the Listeria monocytogenes PLC-A, appear to enhance the release of the organism from the host cell phagosome. Since some phospholipases C play important roles in the pathogenesis of disease, they could form components of vaccines. A greater understanding of the modes of action and structure-function relationships of phospholipases C will facilitate the interpretation of studies in which these enzymes are used as membrane probes and will enhance the use of these proteins as models for eukaryotic phospholipases C. PMID:8336671

  20. Bacterial genotoxicity bioreporters

    PubMed Central

    Biran, Alva; Yagur‐Kroll, Sharon; Pedahzur, Rami; Buchinger, Sebastian; Reifferscheid, Georg; Ben‐Yoav, Hadar; Shacham‐Diamand, Yosi; Belkin, Shimshon

    2010-01-01

    Summary Ever since the introduction of the Salmonella typhimurium mammalian microsome mutagenicity assay (the ‘Ames test’) over three decades ago, there has been a constant development of additional genotoxicity assays based upon the use of genetically engineered microorganisms. Such assays rely either on reversion principles similar to those of the Ames test, or on promoter–reporter fusions that generate a quantifiable dose‐dependent signal in the presence of potential DNA damaging compounds and the induction of repair mechanisms; the latter group is the subject of the present review. Some of these assays were only briefly described in the scientific literature, whereas others have been developed all the way to commercial products. Out of these, only one, the umu‐test, has been fully validated and ISO‐ and OECD standardized. Here we review the main directions undertaken in the construction and testing of bacterial‐based genotoxicity bioassays, including the attempts to incorporate at least a partial metabolic activation capacity into the molecular design. We list the genetic modifications introduced into the tester strains, compare the performance of the different assays, and briefly describe the first attempts to incorporate such bacterial reporters into actual genotoxicity testing devices. PMID:21255340

  1. The rare bacterial biosphere.

    PubMed

    Pedrós-Alió, Carlos

    2012-01-01

    All communities are dominated by a few species that account for most of the biomass and carbon cycling. On the other hand, a large number of species are represented by only a few individuals. In the case of bacteria, these rare species were until recently invisible. Owing to their low numbers, conventional molecular techniques could not retrieve them. Isolation in pure culture was the only way to identify some of them, but current culturing techniques are unable to isolate most of the bacteria in nature. The recent development of fast and cheap high-throughput sequencing has begun to allow access to the rare species. In the case of bacteria, the exploration of this rare biosphere has several points of interest. First, it will eventually produce a reasonable estimate of the total number of bacterial taxa in the oceans; right now, we do not even know the right order of magnitude. Second, it will answer the question of whether "everything is everywhere." Third, it will require hypothesizing and testing the ecological mechanisms that allow subsistence of many species in low numbers. And fourth, it will open an avenue of research into the immense reserve of genes with potential applications hidden in the rare biosphere.

  2. Positioning of bacterial chemoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Jones, Christopher W; Armitage, Judith P

    2015-05-01

    For optimum growth, bacteria must adapt to their environment, and one way that many species do this is by moving towards favourable conditions. To do so requires mechanisms to both physically drive movement and provide directionality to this movement. The pathways that control this directionality comprise chemoreceptors, which, along with an adaptor protein (CheW) and kinase (CheA), form large hexagonal arrays. These arrays can be formed around transmembrane receptors, resulting in arrays embedded in the inner membrane, or they can comprise soluble receptors, forming arrays in the cytoplasm. Across bacterial species, chemoreceptor arrays (both transmembrane and soluble) are localised to a variety of positions within the cell; some species with multiple arrays demonstrate this variety within individual cells. In many cases, the positioning pattern of the arrays is linked to the need for segregation of arrays between daughter cells on division, ensuring the production of chemotactically competent progeny. Multiple mechanisms have evolved to drive this segregation, including stochastic self-assembly, cellular landmarks, and the utilisation of ParA homologues. The variety of mechanisms highlights the importance of chemotaxis to motile species.

  3. Electromagnetism of Bacterial Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainiwaer, Ailiyasi

    2011-10-01

    There has been increasing concern from the public about personal health due to the significant rise in the daily use of electrical devices such as cell phones, radios, computers, GPS, video games and television. All of these devices create electromagnetic (EM) fields, which are simply magnetic and electric fields surrounding the appliances that simultaneously affect the human bio-system. Although these can affect the human system, obstacles can easily shield or weaken the electrical fields; however, magnetic fields cannot be weakened and can pass through walls, human bodies and most other objects. The present study was conducted to examine the possible effects of bacteria when exposed to magnetic fields. The results indicate that a strong causal relationship is not clear, since different magnetic fields affect the bacteria differently, with some causing an increase in bacterial cells, and others causing a decrease in the same cells. This phenomenon has yet to be explained, but the current study attempts to offer a mathematical explanation for this occurrence. The researchers added cultures to the magnetic fields to examine any effects to ion transportation. Researchers discovered ions such as potassium and sodium are affected by the magnetic field. A formula is presented in the analysis section to explain this effect.

  4. SimBac: simulation of whole bacterial genomes with homologous recombination

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Thomas; Didelot, Xavier; Wilson, Daniel J.; De Maio, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria can exchange genetic material, or acquire genes found in the environment. This process, generally known as bacterial recombination, can have a strong impact on the evolution and phenotype of bacteria, for example causing the spread of antibiotic resistance across clades and species, but can also disrupt phylogenetic and transmission inferences. With the increasing affordability of whole genome sequencing, the need has emerged for an efficient simulator of bacterial evolution to test and compare methods for phylogenetic and population genetic inference, and for simulation-based estimation. We present SimBac, a whole-genome bacterial evolution simulator that is roughly two orders of magnitude faster than previous software and includes a more general model of bacterial evolution, allowing both within- and between-species homologous recombination. Since methods modelling bacterial recombination generally focus on only one of these two modes of recombination, the possibility to simulate both allows for a general and fair benchmarking. SimBac is available from https://github.com/tbrown91/SimBac and is distributed as open source under the terms of the GNU General Public Licence.

  5. In situ evolutionary rate measurements show ecological success of recently emerged bacterial hybrids.

    PubMed

    Denef, Vincent J; Banfield, Jillian F

    2012-04-27

    Few data are available on how quickly free-living microorganisms evolve. We analyzed biofilms collected from a well-defined acid mine drainage system over 9 years to investigate the processes and determine rates of bacterial evolution directly in the environment. Population metagenomic analyses of the dominant primary producer yielded the nucleotide substitution rate, which we used to show that proliferation of a series of recombinant bacterial strains occurred over the past few decades. The ecological success of hybrid bacterial types highlights the role of evolutionary processes in rapid adaptation within natural microbial communities. PMID:22539719

  6. In situ evolutionary rate measurements show ecological success of recently emerged bacterial hybrids.

    PubMed

    Denef, Vincent J; Banfield, Jillian F

    2012-04-27

    Few data are available on how quickly free-living microorganisms evolve. We analyzed biofilms collected from a well-defined acid mine drainage system over 9 years to investigate the processes and determine rates of bacterial evolution directly in the environment. Population metagenomic analyses of the dominant primary producer yielded the nucleotide substitution rate, which we used to show that proliferation of a series of recombinant bacterial strains occurred over the past few decades. The ecological success of hybrid bacterial types highlights the role of evolutionary processes in rapid adaptation within natural microbial communities.

  7. Conjugation is necessary for a bacterial plasmid to survive under protozoan predation.

    PubMed

    Cairns, Johannes; Jalasvuori, Matti; Ojala, Ville; Brockhurst, Michael; Hiltunen, Teppo

    2016-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfer by conjugative plasmids plays a critical role in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. Interactions between bacteria and other organisms can affect the persistence and spread of conjugative plasmids. Here we show that protozoan predation increased the persistence and spread of the antibiotic resistance plasmid RP4 in populations of the opportunist bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens. A conjugation-defective mutant plasmid was unable to survive under predation, suggesting that conjugative transfer is required for plasmid persistence under the realistic condition of predation. These results indicate that multi-trophic interactions can affect the maintenance of conjugative plasmids with implications for bacterial evolution and the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

  8. High temperature and bacteriophages can indirectly select for bacterial pathogenicity in environmental reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Friman, Ville-Petri; Hiltunen, Teppo; Jalasvuori, Matti; Lindstedt, Carita; Laanto, Elina; Örmälä, Anni-Maria; Laakso, Jouni; Mappes, Johanna; Bamford, Jaana K H

    2011-03-15

    The coincidental evolution hypothesis predicts that traits connected to bacterial pathogenicity could be indirectly selected outside the host as a correlated response to abiotic environmental conditions or different biotic species interactions. To investigate this, an opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Serratia marcescens, was cultured in the absence and presence of the lytic bacteriophage PPV (Podoviridae) at 25°C and 37°C for four weeks (N = 5). At the end, we measured changes in bacterial phage-resistance and potential virulence traits, and determined the pathogenicity of all bacterial selection lines in the Parasemia plantaginis insect model in vivo. Selection at 37°C increased bacterial motility and pathogenicity but only in the absence of phages. Exposure to phages increased the phage-resistance of bacteria, and this was costly in terms of decreased maximum population size in the absence of phages. However, this small-magnitude growth cost was not greater with bacteria that had evolved in high temperature regime, and no trade-off was found between phage-resistance and growth rate. As a result, phages constrained the evolution of a temperature-mediated increase in bacterial pathogenicity presumably by preferably infecting the highly motile and virulent bacteria. In more general perspective, our results suggest that the traits connected to bacterial pathogenicity could be indirectly selected as a correlated response by abiotic and biotic factors in environmental reservoirs.

  9. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale.

    PubMed

    Stubbendieck, Reed M; Vargas-Bautista, Carol; Straight, Paul D

    2016-01-01

    In the environment, bacteria live in complex multispecies communities. These communities span in scale from small, multicellular aggregates to billions or trillions of cells within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The dynamics of bacterial communities are determined by pairwise interactions that occur between different species in the community. Though interactions occur between a few cells at a time, the outcomes of these interchanges have ramifications that ripple through many orders of magnitude, and ultimately affect the macroscopic world including the health of host organisms. In this review we cover how bacterial competition influences the structures of bacterial communities. We also emphasize methods and insights garnered from culture-dependent pairwise interaction studies, metagenomic analyses, and modeling experiments. Finally, we argue that the integration of multiple approaches will be instrumental to future understanding of the underlying dynamics of bacterial communities. PMID:27551280

  10. Bacterial Communities: Interactions to Scale

    PubMed Central

    Stubbendieck, Reed M.; Vargas-Bautista, Carol; Straight, Paul D.

    2016-01-01

    In the environment, bacteria live in complex multispecies communities. These communities span in scale from small, multicellular aggregates to billions or trillions of cells within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The dynamics of bacterial communities are determined by pairwise interactions that occur between different species in the community. Though interactions occur between a few cells at a time, the outcomes of these interchanges have ramifications that ripple through many orders of magnitude, and ultimately affect the macroscopic world including the health of host organisms. In this review we cover how bacterial competition influences the structures of bacterial communities. We also emphasize methods and insights garnered from culture-dependent pairwise interaction studies, metagenomic analyses, and modeling experiments. Finally, we argue that the integration of multiple approaches will be instrumental to future understanding of the underlying dynamics of bacterial communities. PMID:27551280

  11. Bacterial computing with engineered populations.

    PubMed

    Amos, Martyn; Axmann, Ilka Maria; Blüthgen, Nils; de la Cruz, Fernando; Jaramillo, Alfonso; Rodriguez-Paton, Alfonso; Simmel, Friedrich

    2015-07-28

    We describe strategies for the construction of bacterial computing platforms by describing a number of results from the recently completed bacterial computing with engineered populations project. In general, the implementation of such systems requires a framework containing various components such as intracellular circuits, single cell input/output and cell-cell interfacing, as well as extensive analysis. In this overview paper, we describe our approach to each of these, and suggest possible areas for future research. PMID:26078340

  12. Bacterial computing with engineered populations.

    PubMed

    Amos, Martyn; Axmann, Ilka Maria; Blüthgen, Nils; de la Cruz, Fernando; Jaramillo, Alfonso; Rodriguez-Paton, Alfonso; Simmel, Friedrich

    2015-07-28

    We describe strategies for the construction of bacterial computing platforms by describing a number of results from the recently completed bacterial computing with engineered populations project. In general, the implementation of such systems requires a framework containing various components such as intracellular circuits, single cell input/output and cell-cell interfacing, as well as extensive analysis. In this overview paper, we describe our approach to each of these, and suggest possible areas for future research.

  13. Evolution of mammals and their gut microbes

    PubMed Central

    Ley, Ruth E.; Hamady, Micah; Lozupone, Catherine; Turnbaugh, Peter; Ramey, Rob Roy; Bircher, J. Stephen; Schlegel, Michael. L.; Tucker, Tammy A.; Schrenzel, Mark D.; Knight, Rob; Gordon, Jeffrey I.

    2009-01-01

    Mammals are metagenomic in that they are composed not only of their own gene complements but also those of all of their associated microbes. To understand the co-evolution of the mammals and their indigenous microbial communities, we conducted a network-based analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences from the fecal microbiota of humans and 59 other mammalian species living in two zoos and the wild. The results indicate that host diet and phylogeny both influence bacterial diversity, which increases from carnivory to omnivory to herbivory, that bacterial communities co-diversified with their hosts, and that the gut microbiota of humans living a modern lifestyle is typical of omnivorous primates. PMID:18497261

  14. Isolated cell behavior drives the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Artemova, Tatiana; Gerardin, Ylaine; Dudley, Carmel; Vega, Nicole M; Gore, Jeff

    2015-07-29

    Bacterial antibiotic resistance is typically quantified by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), which is defined as the minimal concentration of antibiotic that inhibits bacterial growth starting from a standard cell density. However, when antibiotic resistance is mediated by degradation, the collective inactivation of antibiotic by the bacterial population can cause the measured MIC to depend strongly on the initial cell density. In cases where this inoculum effect is strong, the relationship between MIC and bacterial fitness in the antibiotic is not well defined. Here, we demonstrate that the resistance of a single, isolated cell-which we call the single-cell MIC (scMIC)-provides a superior metric for quantifying antibiotic resistance. Unlike the MIC, we find that the scMIC predicts the direction of selection and also specifies the antibiotic concentration at which selection begins to favor new mutants. Understanding the cooperative nature of bacterial growth in antibiotics is therefore essential in predicting the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

  15. 7 CFR 58.135 - Bacterial estimate.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Bacterial estimate. 58.135 Section 58.135 Agriculture... Milk § 58.135 Bacterial estimate. (a) Methods of Testing. Milk shall be tested for bacterial estimate... of Testing. A laboratory examination to determine the bacterial estimate shall be made on...

  16. Bacterial gene transfer by natural genetic transformation in the environment.

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, M G; Wackernagel, W

    1994-01-01

    Natural genetic transformation is the active uptake of free DNA by bacterial cells and the heritable incorporation of its genetic information. Since the famous discovery of transformation in Streptococcus pneumoniae by Griffith in 1928 and the demonstration of DNA as the transforming principle by Avery and coworkers in 1944, cellular processes involved in transformation have been studied extensively by in vitro experimentation with a few transformable species. Only more recently has it been considered that transformation may be a powerful mechanism of horizontal gene transfer in natural bacterial populations. In this review the current understanding of the biology of transformation is summarized to provide the platform on which aspects of bacterial transformation in water, soil, and sediments and the habitat of pathogens are discussed. Direct and indirect evidence for gene transfer routes by transformation within species and between different species will be presented, along with data suggesting that plasmids as well as chromosomal DNA are subject to genetic exchange via transformation. Experiments exploring the prerequisites for transformation in the environment, including the production and persistence of free DNA and factors important for the uptake of DNA by cells, will be compiled, as well as possible natural barriers to transformation. The efficiency of gene transfer by transformation in bacterial habitats is possibly genetically adjusted to submaximal levels. The fact that natural transformation has been detected among bacteria from all trophic and taxonomic groups including archaebacteria suggests that transformability evolved early in phylogeny. Probable functions of DNA uptake other than gene acquisition will be discussed. The body of information presently available suggests that transformation has a great impact on bacterial population dynamics as well as on bacterial evolution and speciation. PMID:7968924

  17. Responses of Baltic Sea ice and open-water natural bacterial communities to salinity change.

    PubMed

    Kaartokallio, Hermanni; Laamanen, Maria; Sivonen, Kaarina

    2005-08-01

    To investigate the responses of Baltic Sea wintertime bacterial communities to changing salinity (5 to 26 practical salinity units), an experimental study was conducted. Bacterial communities of Baltic seawater and sea ice from a coastal site in southwest Finland were used in two batch culture experiments run for 17 or 18 days at 0 degrees C. Bacterial abundance, cell volume, and leucine and thymidine incorporation were measured during the experiments. The bacterial community structure was assessed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified partial 16S rRNA genes with sequencing of DGGE bands from initial communities and communities of day 10 or 13 of the experiment. The sea ice-derived bacterial community was metabolically more active than the open-water community at the start of the experiment. Ice-derived bacterial communities were able to adapt to salinity change with smaller effects on physiology and community structure, whereas in the open-water bacterial communities, the bacterial cell volume evolution, bacterial abundance, and community structure responses indicated the presence of salinity stress. The closest relatives for all eight partial 16S rRNA gene sequences obtained were either organisms found in polar sea ice and other cold habitats or those found in summertime Baltic seawater. All sequences except one were associated with the alpha- and gamma-proteobacteria or the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium-Bacteroides group. The overall physiological and community structure responses were parallel in ice-derived and open-water bacterial assemblages, which points to a linkage between community structure and physiology. These results support previous assumptions of the role of salinity fluctuation as a major selective factor shaping the sea ice bacterial community structure.

  18. Taxonomy of bacterial fish pathogens

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial taxonomy has progressed from reliance on highly artificial culture-dependent techniques involving the study of phenotype (including morphological, biochemical and physiological data) to the modern applications of molecular biology, most recently 16S rRNA gene sequencing, which gives an insight into evolutionary pathways (= phylogenetics). The latter is applicable to culture-independent approaches, and has led directly to the recognition of new uncultured bacterial groups, i.e. "Candidatus", which have been associated as the cause of some fish diseases, including rainbow trout summer enteritic syndrome. One immediate benefit is that 16S rRNA gene sequencing has led to increased confidence in the accuracy of names allocated to bacterial pathogens. This is in marked contrast to the previous dominance of phenotyping, and identifications, which have been subsequently challenged in the light of 16S rRNA gene sequencing. To date, there has been some fluidity over the names of bacterial fish pathogens, with some, for example Vibrio anguillarum, being divided into two separate entities (V. anguillarum and V. ordalii). Others have been combined, for example V. carchariae, V. harveyi and V. trachuri as V. harveyi. Confusion may result with some organisms recognized by more than one name; V. anguillarum was reclassified as Beneckea and Listonella, with Vibrio and Listonella persisting in the scientific literature. Notwithstanding, modern methods have permitted real progress in the understanding of the taxonomic relationships of many bacterial fish pathogens. PMID:21314902

  19. Bacterially mediated mineralization of vaterite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodriguez-Navarro, Carlos; Jimenez-Lopez, Concepcion; Rodriguez-Navarro, Alejandro; Gonzalez-Muñoz, Maria Teresa; Rodriguez-Gallego, Manuel

    2007-03-01

    Myxococcus xanthus, a common soil bacterium, plays an active role in the formation of spheroidal vaterite. Bacterial production of CO 2 and NH 3 and the transformation of the NH 3 to NH4+ and OH -, thus increasing solution pH and carbonate alkalinity, set the physicochemical conditions (high supersaturation) leading to vaterite precipitation in the microenvironment around cells, and directly onto the surface of bacterial cells. In the latter case, fossilization of bacteria occurs. Vaterite crystals formed by aggregation of oriented nanocrystals with c-axis normal to the bacterial cell-wall, or to the core of the spherulite when bacteria were not encapsulated. While preferred orientation of vaterite c-axis appears to be determined by electrostatic affinity (ionotropic effect) between vaterite crystal (0001) planes and the negatively charged functional groups of organic molecules on the bacterium cell-wall or on extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), analysis of the changes in the culture medium chemistry as well as high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) observations point to polymorph selection by physicochemical (kinetic) factors (high supersaturation) and stabilization by organics, both connected with bacterial activity. The latter is in agreement with inorganic precipitation of vaterite induced by NH 3 and CO 2 addition in the protein-rich sterile culture medium. Our results as well as recent studies on vaterite precipitation in the presence of different types of bacteria suggest that bacterially mediated vaterite precipitation is not strain-specific, and could be more common than previously thought.

  20. Interfering with Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Reuter, Kerstin; Steinbach, Anke; Helms, Volkhard

    2016-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS) describes the exchange of chemical signals in bacterial populations to adjust the bacterial phenotypes according to the density of bacterial cells. This serves to express phenotypes that are advantageous for the group and ensure bacterial survival. To do so, bacterial cells synthesize autoinducer (AI) molecules, release them to the environment, and take them up. Thereby, the AI concentration reflects the cell density. When the AI concentration exceeds a critical threshold in the cells, the AI may activate the expression of virulence-associated genes or of luminescent proteins. It has been argued that targeting the QS system puts less selective pressure on these pathogens and should avoid the development of resistant bacteria. Therefore, the molecular components of QS systems have been suggested as promising targets for developing new anti-infective compounds. Here, we review the QS systems of selected gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, namely, Vibrio fischeri, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus, and discuss various antivirulence strategies based on blocking different components of the QS machinery. PMID:26819549

  1. Taxonomy of bacterial fish pathogens.

    PubMed

    Austin, Brian

    2011-02-02

    Bacterial taxonomy has progressed from reliance on highly artificial culture-dependent techniques involving the study of phenotype (including morphological, biochemical and physiological data) to the modern applications of molecular biology, most recently 16S rRNA gene sequencing, which gives an insight into evolutionary pathways (= phylogenetics). The latter is applicable to culture-independent approaches, and has led directly to the recognition of new uncultured bacterial groups, i.e. "Candidatus", which have been associated as the cause of some fish diseases, including rainbow trout summer enteritic syndrome. One immediate benefit is that 16S rRNA gene sequencing has led to increased confidence in the accuracy of names allocated to bacterial pathogens. This is in marked contrast to the previous dominance of phenotyping, and identifications, which have been subsequently challenged in the light of 16S rRNA gene sequencing. To date, there has been some fluidity over the names of bacterial fish pathogens, with some, for example Vibrio anguillarum, being divided into two separate entities (V. anguillarum and V. ordalii). Others have been combined, for example V. carchariae, V. harveyi and V. trachuri as V. harveyi. Confusion may result with some organisms recognized by more than one name; V. anguillarum was reclassified as Beneckea and Listonella, with Vibrio and Listonella persisting in the scientific literature. Notwithstanding, modern methods have permitted real progress in the understanding of the taxonomic relationships of many bacterial fish pathogens.

  2. Messing with Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    PubMed Central

    González, Juan E.; Keshavan, Neela D.

    2006-01-01

    Quorum sensing is widely recognized as an efficient mechanism to regulate expression of specific genes responsible for communal behavior in bacteria. Several bacterial phenotypes essential for the successful establishment of symbiotic, pathogenic, or commensal relationships with eukaryotic hosts, including motility, exopolysaccharide production, biofilm formation, and toxin production, are often regulated by quorum sensing. Interestingly, eukaryotes produce quorum-sensing-interfering (QSI) compounds that have a positive or negative influence on the bacterial signaling network. This eukaryotic interference could result in further fine-tuning of bacterial quorum sensing. Furthermore, recent work involving the synthesis of structural homologs to the various quorum-sensing signal molecules has resulted in the development of additional QSI compounds that could be used to control pathogenic bacteria. The creation of transgenic plants that express bacterial quorum-sensing genes is yet another strategy to interfere with bacterial behavior. Further investigation on the manipulation of quorum-sensing systems could provide us with powerful tools against harmful bacteria. PMID:17158701

  3. Selection for Unequal Densities of Sigma70 Promoter-like Signalsin Different Regions of Large Bacterial Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Huerta, Araceli M.; Francino, M. Pilar; Morett, Enrique; Collado-Vides, Julio

    2006-03-01

    The evolutionary processes operating in the DNA regions that participate in the regulation of gene expression are poorly understood. In Escherichia coli, we have established a sequence pattern that distinguishes regulatory from nonregulatory regions. The density of promoter-like sequences, that are recognizable by RNA polymerase and may function as potential promoters, is high within regulatory regions, in contrast to coding regions and regions located between convergently-transcribed genes. Moreover, functional promoter sites identified experimentally are often found in the subregions of highest density of promoter-like signals, even when individual sites with higher binding affinity for RNA polymerase exist elsewhere within the regulatory region. In order to investigate the generality of this pattern, we have used position weight matrices describing the -35 and -10 promoter boxes of E. coli to search for these motifs in 43 additional genomes belonging to most established bacterial phyla, after specific calibration of the matrices according to the base composition of the noncoding regions of each genome. We have found that all bacterial species analyzed contain similar promoter-like motifs, and that, in most cases, these motifs follow the same genomic distribution observed in E. coli. Differential densities between regulatory and nonregulatory regions are detectable in most bacterial genomes, with the exception of those that have experienced evolutionary extreme genome reduction. Thus, the phylogenetic distribution of this pattern mirrors that of genes and other genomic features that require weak selection to be effective in order to persist. On this basis, we suggest that the loss of differential densities in the reduced genomes of host-restricted pathogens and symbionts is the outcome of a process of genome degradation resulting from the decreased efficiency of purifying selection in highly structured small populations. This implies that the differential

  4. Experimental "evolutional machines": mathematical and experimental modeling of biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brilkov, A. V.; Loginov, I. A.; Morozova, E. V.; Shuvaev, A. N.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    Experimentalists possess model systems of two major types for study of evolution continuous cultivation in the chemostat and long-term development in closed laboratory microecosystems with several trophic structure If evolutionary changes or transfer from one steady state to another in the result of changing qualitative properties of the system take place in such systems the main characteristics of these evolution steps can be measured By now this has not been realized from the point of view of methodology though a lot of data on the work of both types of evolutionary machines has been collected In our experiments with long-term continuous cultivation we used the bacterial strains containing in plasmids the cloned genes of bioluminescence and green fluorescent protein which expression level can be easily changed and controlled In spite of the apparent kinetic diversity of evolutionary transfers in two types of systems the general mechanisms characterizing the increase of used energy flow by populations of primer producent can be revealed at their study According to the energy approach at spontaneous transfer from one steady state to another e g in the process of microevolution competition or selection heat dissipation characterizing the rate of entropy growth should increase rather then decrease or maintain steady as usually believed The results of our observations of experimental evolution require further development of thermodynamic theory of open and closed biological systems and further study of general mechanisms of biological

  5. Identifying pathogenicity islands in bacterial pathogenomics using computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Che, Dongsheng; Hasan, Mohammad Shabbir; Chen, Bernard

    2014-01-13

    High-throughput sequencing technologies have made it possible to study bacteria through analyzing their genome sequences. For instance, comparative genome sequence analyses can reveal the phenomenon such as gene loss, gene gain, or gene exchange in a genome. By analyzing pathogenic bacterial genomes, we can discover that pathogenic genomic regions in many pathogenic bacteria are horizontally transferred from other bacteria, and these regions are also known as pathogenicity islands (PAIs). PAIs have some detectable properties, such as having different genomic signatures than the rest of the host genomes, and containing mobility genes so that they can be integrated into the host genome. In this review, we will discuss various pathogenicity island-associated features and current computational approaches for the identification of PAIs. Existing pathogenicity island databases and related computational resources will also be discussed, so that researchers may find it to be useful for the studies of bacterial evolution and pathogenicity mechanisms.

  6. Identifying Pathogenicity Islands in Bacterial Pathogenomics Using Computational Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Che, Dongsheng; Hasan, Mohammad Shabbir; Chen, Bernard

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput sequencing technologies have made it possible to study bacteria through analyzing their genome sequences. For instance, comparative genome sequence analyses can reveal the phenomenon such as gene loss, gene gain, or gene exchange in a genome. By analyzing pathogenic bacterial genomes, we can discover that pathogenic genomic regions in many pathogenic bacteria are horizontally transferred from other bacteria, and these regions are also known as pathogenicity islands (PAIs). PAIs have some detectable properties, such as having different genomic signatures than the rest of the host genomes, and containing mobility genes so that they can be integrated into the host genome. In this review, we will discuss various pathogenicity island-associated features and current computational approaches for the identification of PAIs. Existing pathogenicity island databases and related computational resources will also be discussed, so that researchers may find it to be useful for the studies of bacterial evolution and pathogenicity mechanisms. PMID:25437607

  7. Catalytic promiscuity of a bacterial α-N-methyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qi; van der Donk, Wilfred A.

    2012-01-01

    The posttranslational methylation of N-terminal α-amino groups (α-N-methylation) is a ubiquitous reaction found in all domains of life. Although this modification usually occurs on protein substrates, recent studies have shown that it also takes place on ribosomally synthesized natural products. Here we report an investigation of the bacterial α-N-methyltransferase CypM involved in the biosynthesis of the peptide antibiotic cypemycin. We demonstrate that CypM has low substrate selectivity and methylates a variety of oligopeptides, cyclic peptides such as nisin and haloduracin, and the ε-amino group of lysine. Hence it may have potential for enzyme engineering and combinatorial biosynthesis. Bayesian phylogenetic inference of bacterial α-N-methyltransferases suggests that they have not evolved as a specific group based on the chemical transformations they catalyze, but that they have been acquired from various other methyltransferase classes during evolution. PMID:22841713

  8. Bacterial Exotoxins and the Inflammasome

    PubMed Central

    Greaney, Allison J.; Leppla, Stephen H.; Moayeri, Mahtab

    2015-01-01

    The inflammasomes are intracellular protein complexes that play an important role in innate immune sensing. Activation of inflammasomes leads to activation of caspase-1 and maturation and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. In certain myeloid cells, this activation can also lead to an inflammatory cell death (pyroptosis). Inflammasome sensor proteins have evolved to detect a range of microbial ligands and bacterial exotoxins either through direct interaction or by detection of host cell changes elicited by these effectors. Bacterial exotoxins activate the inflammasomes through diverse processes, including direct sensor cleavage, modulation of ion fluxes through plasma membrane pore formation, and perturbation of various host cell functions. In this review, we summarize the findings on some of the bacterial exotoxins that activate the inflammasomes. PMID:26617605

  9. Physical stress and bacterial colonization

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial surface colonizers are subject to a variety of physical stresses. During the colonization of human epithelia such as on the skin or the intestinal mucosa, bacteria mainly have to withstand the mechanical stress of being removed by fluid flow, scraping, or epithelial turnover. To that end, they express a series of molecules to establish firm attachment to the epithelial surface, such as fibrillar protrusions (pili) and surface-anchored proteins that bind to human matrix proteins. In addition, some bacteria – in particular gut and urinary tract pathogens – use internalization by epithelial cells and other methods such as directed inhibition of epithelial turnover to ascertain continued association with the epithelial layer. Furthermore, many bacteria produce multi-layered agglomerations called biofilms with a sticky extracellular matrix, providing additional protection from removal. This review will give an overview over the mechanisms human bacterial colonizers have to withstand physical stresses with a focus on bacterial adhesion. PMID:25212723

  10. Abdominal radiation causes bacterial translocation

    SciTech Connect

    Guzman-Stein, G.; Bonsack, M.; Liberty, J.; Delaney, J.P.

    1989-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if a single dose of radiation to the rat abdomen leads to bacterial translocation into the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN). A second issue addressed was whether translocation correlates with anatomic damage to the mucosa. The radiated group (1100 cGy) which received anesthesia also was compared with a control group and a third group which received anesthesia alone but no abdominal radiation. Abdominal radiation lead to 100% positive cultures of MLN between 12 hr and 4 days postradiation. Bacterial translocation was almost nonexistent in the control and anesthesia group. Signs of inflammation and ulceration of the intestinal mucosa were not seen until Day 3 postradiation. Mucosal damage was maximal by Day 4. Bacterial translocation onto the MLN after a single dose of abdominal radiation was not apparently dependent on anatomical, histologic damage of the mucosa.

  11. Physical stress and bacterial colonization.

    PubMed

    Otto, Michael

    2014-11-01

    Bacterial surface colonizers are subject to a variety of physical stresses. During the colonization of human epithelia such as on the skin or the intestinal mucosa, bacteria mainly have to withstand the mechanical stress of being removed by fluid flow, scraping, or epithelial turnover. To that end, they express a series of molecules to establish firm attachment to the epithelial surface, such as fibrillar protrusions (pili) and surface-anchored proteins that bind to human matrix proteins. In addition, some bacteria--in particular gut and urinary tract pathogens--use internalization by epithelial cells and other methods such as directed inhibition of epithelial turnover to ascertain continued association with the epithelial layer. Furthermore, many bacteria produce multilayered agglomerations called biofilms with a sticky extracellular matrix, providing additional protection from removal. This review will give an overview over the mechanisms human bacterial colonizers have to withstand physical stresses with a focus on bacterial adhesion.

  12. Phydbac (phylogenomic display of bacterial genes): An interactive resource for the annotation of bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Enault, François; Suhre, Karsten; Poirot, Olivier; Abergel, Chantal; Claverie, Jean-Michel

    2003-07-01

    Phydbac is a web interactive resource based on phylogenomic profiling, designed to help microbiologists to annotate bacterial proteins. Phylogenomic annotation is based on the assumption that functionally linked protein-coding genes must evolve in a coordinated manner. The detection of subsets of co-evolving genes within a given genome involves the computation of protein sequence conservation profiles across a spectrum of microbial species, followed by the identification of significant pairwise correlations between them. Many ongoing studies are devoted to the problem of computing the most biologically significant phylogenomic profiles and how best identifying clusters of 'functionally interacting' genes. Here we introduce a web tool, Phydbac, allowing the dynamic construction of phylogenomic profiles of protein sequences of interest and their interactive display. In addition, Phydbac can identify Escherichia coli proteins exhibiting the evolution pattern most similar to arbitrary query protein sequences, hence providing functional hints for open reading frames (ORFs) of hypothetical or unknown function. The phylogenomic profiles of all E.coli K-12 protein-coding genes are pre-computed, allowing queries about E.coli genes to be answered instantaneously. The profiles and phylogenomic neighborhoods are computed using an original method shown to perform better than previous ones. An extension of Phydbac, including precomputed profiles for all available bacterial genomes (including major pathogens) will soon be available. Phydbac can be accessed at: http://igs-server.cnrs-mrs.fr/phydbac/.

  13. Green herring syndrome: bacterial infection in patients with mucormycosis cavitary lung disease.

    PubMed

    Peixoto, Driele; Hammond, Sarah P; Issa, Nicolas C; Madan, Rachna; Gill, Ritu R; Milner, Danny A; Colson, Yolonda L; Koo, Sophia; Baden, Lindsey R; Marty, Francisco M

    2014-03-01

    Mucormycosis is a life-threatening fungal disease in patients with hematological malignancies. The diagnosis of pulmonary mucormycosis is particularly challenging. We describe 3 mucormycosis cases with an uncommon presentation in patients whose cavitary lung disease was attributed to well documented bacterial infection, although evolution and reassessment established mucormycosis as the underlying disease. PMID:25734087

  14. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    How Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful” have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating “evolutionary thinking” into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. PMID:25664446

  15. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era.

  16. Curved microchannels and bacterial streamers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rusconi, Roberto; Lecuyer, Sigolene; Guglielmini, Laura; Stone, Howard

    2010-03-01

    Bacterial biofilms are commonly identified as microbial communities attached to a surface and encased in a self-secreted extracellular matrix. Due to their increased resistance to antimicrobial agents, biofilms have an enormous impact on health and medicine (e.g., wound healing, implant-associated infections, disease transmission). On the other hand, they constitute a major component of the stream ecosystem by increasing transport of nutrients and retention of suspended particles. In this talk, we present an experimental study of bacterial biofilm development in a microfluidic device. In particular, we show the formation of filamentous structures, or streamers, in curved channels and how these suspended biofilms are linked to the underlying hydrodynamics.

  17. Ecology and evolution of antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    Baquero, F; Alvarez-Ortega, C; Martinez, J L

    2009-12-01

    The evolution of bacterial pathogens towards antibiotic resistance is not just a relevant problem for human health, but a fascinating example of evolution that can be studied in real time as well. Although most antibiotics are natural compounds produced by environmental microbiota, exposure of bacterial populations to high concentrations of these compounds as the consequence of their introduction for human therapy (and later on for farming) a few decades ago is a very recent situation in evolutionary terms. Resistance genes are originated in environmental bacteria, where they have evolved for millions of years to play different functions that include detoxification, signal trafficking or metabolic functions among others. However, as the consequence of the strong selective pressure exerted by antimicrobials at clinical settings, farms and antibiotic-contaminated natural ecosystems, the selective forces driving the evolution of these potential resistance determinants have changed in the last few decades. Natural ecosystems contain a large number of potential resistance genes; nevertheless, just a few of them are currently present in gene-transfer units and disseminated among pathogens. Along the review, the processes implied in this situation and the consequences for the future evolution of resistance and the environmental microbiota are discussed.

  18. Review: phage therapy: a modern tool to control bacterial infections.

    PubMed

    Qadir, Muhammad Imran

    2015-01-01

    The evolution of antibiotic-resistant in bacteria has aggravated curiosity in development of alternative therapy to conventional drugs. One of the emerging drugs that can be used alternative to antibiotics is bacteriophage therapy. The use of living phages in the cure of lethal infectious life threatening diseases caused by Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria has been reported. Another development in the field of bacteriophage therapy is the use of genetically modified and non replicating phages in the treatment of bacterial infection. Genetically engineered bacteriophages can be used as adjuvant along with antibiotic therapy. Phages encoded with lysosomal enzymes are also effectual in the treatment of infectious diseases.

  19. Bacterial gene import and mesophilic adaptation in archaea.

    PubMed

    López-García, Purificación; Zivanovic, Yvan; Deschamps, Philippe; Moreira, David

    2015-07-01

    It is widely believed that the archaeal ancestor was hyperthermophilic, but during archaeal evolution, several lineages - including haloarchaea and their sister methanogens, the Thaumarchaeota, and the uncultured Marine Group II and Marine Group III Euryarchaeota (MGII/III) - independently adapted to lower temperatures. Recent phylogenomic studies suggest that the ancestors of these lineages were recipients of massive horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. Many of the acquired genes, which are often involved in metabolism and cell envelope biogenesis, were convergently acquired by distant mesophilic archaea. In this Opinion article, we explore the intriguing hypothesis that the import of these bacterial genes was crucial for the adaptation of archaea to mesophilic lifestyles.

  20. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology. PMID:26439349

  1. Insect evolution.

    PubMed

    Engel, Michael S

    2015-10-01

    It goes without saying that insects epitomize diversity, and with over a million documented species they stand out as one of the most remarkable lineages in the 3.5-billion-year history of life on earth (Figure 1). This reality is passé to even the layperson and is taken for granted in the same way none of us think much of our breathing as we go about our day, and yet insects are just as vital to our existence. Insects are simultaneously familiar and foreign to us, and while a small fraction are beloved or reviled, most are simply ignored. These inexorable evolutionary overachievers outnumber us all, their segmented body plan is remarkably labile, they combine a capacity for high rates of speciation with low levels of natural extinction, and their history of successes eclipses those of the more familiar ages of dinosaurs and mammals alike. It is their evolution - persisting over vast expanses of geological time and inextricably implicated in the diversification of other lineages - that stands as one of the most expansive subjects in biology.

  2. A window of opportunity to control the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa combining antibiotics and phages.

    PubMed

    Torres-Barceló, Clara; Arias-Sánchez, Flor I; Vasse, Marie; Ramsayer, Johan; Kaltz, Oliver; Hochberg, Michael E

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a global concern and the use of bacteriophages alone or in combined therapies is attracting increasing attention as an alternative. Evolutionary theory predicts that the probability of bacterial resistance to both phages and antibiotics will be lower than to either separately, due for example to fitness costs or to trade-offs between phage resistance mechanisms and bacterial growth. In this study, we assess the population impacts of either individual or combined treatments of a bacteriophage and streptomycin on the nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that combining phage and antibiotics substantially increases bacterial control compared to either separately, and that there is a specific time delay in antibiotic introduction independent of antibiotic dose, that minimizes both bacterial density and resistance to either antibiotics or phage. These results have implications for optimal combined therapeutic approaches.

  3. Bacterial endosymbiont infections in 'living fossils': a case study of North American vaejovid scorpions.

    PubMed

    Bryson, Robert W

    2014-07-01

    Bacterial endosymbionts are common among arthropods, and maternally inherited forms can affect the reproductive and behavioural traits of their arthropod hosts. The prevalence of bacterial endosymbionts and their role in scorpion evolution have rarely been investigated. In this study, 61 samples from 40 species of scorpion in the family Vaejovidae were screened for the presence of the bacterial endosymbionts Cardinium, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma and Wolbachia. No samples were infected by these bacteria. However, one primer pair specifically designed to amplify Rickettsia amplified nontarget genes of other taxa. Similar off-target amplification using another endosymbiont-specific primer was also found during preliminary screenings. Results caution against the overreliance on previously published screening primers to detect bacterial endosymbionts in host taxa and suggest that primer specificity may be higher in primers targeting nuclear rather than mitochondrial genes.

  4. Compiling Multicopy Single-Stranded DNA Sequences from Bacterial Genome Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Wonseok; Lim, Dongbin

    2016-01-01

    A retron is a bacterial retroelement that encodes an RNA gene and a reverse transcriptase (RT). The former, once transcribed, works as a template primer for reverse transcription by the latter. The resulting DNA is covalently linked to the upstream part of the RNA; this chimera is called multicopy single-stranded DNA (msDNA), which is extrachromosomal DNA found in many bacterial species. Based on the conserved features in the eight known msDNA sequences, we developed a detection method and applied it to scan National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) RefSeq bacterial genome sequences. Among 16,844 bacterial sequences possessing a retron-type RT domain, we identified 48 unique types of msDNA. Currently, the biological role of msDNA is not well understood. Our work will be a useful tool in studying the distribution, evolution, and physiological role of msDNA. PMID:27103888

  5. A Window of Opportunity to Control the Bacterial Pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa Combining Antibiotics and Phages

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Barceló, Clara; Arias-Sánchez, Flor I.; Vasse, Marie; Ramsayer, Johan

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a global concern and the use of bacteriophages alone or in combined therapies is attracting increasing attention as an alternative. Evolutionary theory predicts that the probability of bacterial resistance to both phages and antibiotics will be lower than to either separately, due for example to fitness costs or to trade-offs between phage resistance mechanisms and bacterial growth. In this study, we assess the population impacts of either individual or combined treatments of a bacteriophage and streptomycin on the nosocomial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that combining phage and antibiotics substantially increases bacterial control compared to either separately, and that there is a specific time delay in antibiotic introduction independent of antibiotic dose, that minimizes both bacterial density and resistance to either antibiotics or phage. These results have implications for optimal combined therapeutic approaches. PMID:25259735

  6. Bacterial and archaeal resistance to ionizing radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Confalonieri, F.; Sommer, S.

    2011-01-01

    Organisms living in extreme environments must cope with large fluctuations of temperature, high levels of radiation and/or desiccation, conditions that can induce DNA damage ranging from base modifications to DNA double-strand breaks. The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is known for its resistance to extremely high doses of ionizing radiation and for its ability to reconstruct a functional genome from hundreds of radiation-induced chromosomal fragments. Recently, extreme ionizing radiation resistance was also generated by directed evolution of an apparently radiation-sensitive bacterial species, Escherichia coli. Radioresistant organisms are not only found among the Eubacteria but also among the Archaea that represent the third kingdom of life. They present a set of particular features that differentiate them from the Eubacteria and eukaryotes. Moreover, Archaea are often isolated from extreme environments where they live under severe conditions of temperature, pressure, pH, salts or toxic compounds that are lethal for the large majority of living organisms. Thus, Archaea offer the opportunity to understand how cells are able to cope with such harsh conditions. Among them, the halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp and several Pyrococcus or Thermococcus species, such as Thermococcus gammatolerans, were also shown to display high level of radiation resistance. The dispersion, in the phylogenetic tree, of radioresistant prokaryotes suggests that they have independently acquired radioresistance. Different strategies were selected during evolution including several mechanisms of radiation byproduct detoxification and subtle cellular metabolism modifications to help cells recover from radiation-induced injuries, protection of proteins against oxidation, an efficient DNA repair tool box, an original pathway of DNA double-strand break repair, a condensed nucleoid that may prevent the dispersion of the DNA fragments and specific radiation-induced proteins involved in

  7. Bacterial discrimination: Dictyostelium's discerning taste.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Michelle L D

    2013-05-20

    New research indicates that the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum recognizes distinctions between Gram(-) and Gram(+) bacterial prey and responds discriminately to these two groups of bacteria. These findings may lend insight to the origins of microbial pattern recognition in innate immunity.

  8. Disease notes - Bacterial root rot

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bacterial root rot initiated by lactic acid bacteria, particularly Leuconostoc, occurs every year in Idaho sugarbeet fields. Hot fall weather seems to make the problem worse. Although Leuconostoc initiates the rot, other bacteria and yeast frequently invade the tissue as well. The acetic acid bac...

  9. Bacterial infection after liver transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Sang Il

    2014-01-01

    Infectious complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation, despite recent advances in the transplant field. Bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites can cause infection before and after transplantation. Among them, bacterial infections are predominant during the first two months post-transplantation and affect patient and graft survival. They might cause surgical site infections, including deep intra-abdominal infections, bacteremia, pneumonia, catheter-related infections and urinary tract infections. The risk factors for bacterial infections differ between the periods after transplant, and between centers. Recently, the emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria is great concern in liver transplant (LT) patients. The instructive data about effects of infections with extended-spectrum beta lactamase producing bacteria, carbapenem-resistant gram-negative bacteria, and glycopeptide-resistant gram-positive bacteria were reported on a center-by-center basis. To prevent post-transplant bacterial infections, proper strategies need to be established based upon center-specific data and evidence from well-controlled studies. This article reviewed the recent epidemiological data, risk factors for each type of infections and important clinical issues in bacterial infection after LT. PMID:24876741

  10. Proteomics of foodborne bacterial pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter focuses on recent research on foodborne bacterial pathogens that use mass spectrometry-based proteomic techniques as well as protein microarrays. Mass spectrometry ionization techniques (e.g. electrospray ionization and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization), analyzers (e.g. ion ...

  11. Tyrosine phosphorylation and bacterial virulence

    PubMed Central

    Whitmore, Sarah E; Lamont, Richard J

    2012-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation on tyrosine has emerged as a key device in the control of numerous cellular functions in bacteria. In this article, we review the structure and function of bacterial tyrosine kinases and phosphatases. Phosphorylation is catalyzed by autophosphorylating adenosine triphosphate-dependent enzymes (bacterial tyrosine (BY) kinases) that are characterized by the presence of Walker motifs. The reverse reaction is catalyzed by three classes of enzymes: the eukaryotic-like phosphatases (PTPs) and dual-specific phosphatases; the low molecular weight protein-tyrosine phosphatases (LMW-PTPs); and the polymerase–histidinol phosphatases (PHP). Many BY kinases and tyrosine phosphatases can utilize host cell proteins as substrates, thereby contributing to bacterial pathogenicity. Bacterial tyrosine phosphorylation/dephosphorylation is also involved in biofilm formation and community development. The Porphyromonas gingivalis tyrosine phosphatase Ltp1 is involved in a restraint pathway that regulates heterotypic community development with Streptococcus gordonii. Ltp1 is upregulated by contact with S. gordonii and Ltp1 activity controls adhesin expression and levels of the interspecies signal AI-2. PMID:22388693

  12. Mutation--The Engine of Evolution: Studying Mutation and Its Role in the Evolution of Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Hershberg, Ruth

    2015-09-01

    Mutation is the engine of evolution in that it generates the genetic variation on which the evolutionary process depends. To understand the evolutionary process we must therefore characterize the rates and patterns of mutation. Starting with the seminal Luria and Delbruck fluctuation experiments in 1943, studies utilizing a variety of approaches have revealed much about mutation rates and patterns and about how these may vary between different bacterial strains and species along the chromosome and between different growth conditions. This work provides a critical overview of the results and conclusions drawn from these studies, of the debate surrounding some of these conclusions, and of the challenges faced when studying mutation and its role in bacterial evolution. PMID:26330518

  13. A Cross-Taxon Analysis of Insect-Associated Bacterial Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities. PMID:23613815

  14. A cross-taxon analysis of insect-associated bacterial diversity.

    PubMed

    Jones, Ryan Thomas; Sanchez, Leticia Gonzales; Fierer, Noah

    2013-01-01

    Although it is well known that plants and animals harbor microbial symbionts that can influence host traits, the factors regulating the structure of these microbial communities often remain largely undetermined. This is particularly true for insect-associated microbial communities, as few cross-taxon comparisons have been conducted to date. To address this knowledge gap and determine how host phylogeny and ecology affect insect-associated microbial communities, we collected 137 insect specimens representing 39 species, 28 families, and 8 orders, and characterized the bacterial communities associated with each specimen via 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial taxa within the phylum Proteobacteria were dominant in nearly all insects sampled. On average, the insect-associated bacterial communities were not very diverse, with individuals typically harboring fewer than 8 bacterial phylotypes. Bacterial communities also tended to be dominated by a single phylotype; on average, the most abundant phylotype represented 54.7% of community membership. Bacterial communities were significantly more similar among closely related insects than among less-related insects, a pattern driven by within-species community similarity but detected at every level of insect taxonomy tested. Diet was a poor predictor of bacterial community composition. Individual insect species harbored remarkably unique communities: the distribution of 69.0% of bacterial phylotypes was limited to unique insect species, whereas only 5.7% of phylotypes were detected in more than five insect species. Together these results suggest that host characteristics strongly regulate the colonization and assembly of bacterial communities across insect lineages, patterns that are driven either by co-evolution between insects and their symbionts or by closely related insects sharing conserved traits that directly select for similar bacterial communities.

  15. Pseudomonas Exotoxin A: optimized by evolution for effective killing

    PubMed Central

    Michalska, Marta; Wolf, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Pseudomonas Exotoxin A (PE) is the most toxic virulence factor of the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This review describes current knowledge about the intoxication pathways of PE. Moreover, PE represents a remarkable example for pathoadaptive evolution, how bacterial molecules have been structurally and functionally optimized under evolutionary pressure to effectively impair and kill their host cells. PMID:26441897

  16. Evolution in a Test Tube: Rise of the Wrinkly Spreaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Jennifer H.; Koza, Anna; Moshynets, Olena; Pajor, Radoslaw; Ritchie, Margaret R.; Spiers, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding evolutionary mechanisms is fundamental to a balanced biological education, yet practical demonstrations are rarely considered. In this paper we describe a bacterial liquid microcosm which can be used to demonstrate aspects of evolution, namely adaptive radiation, niche colonisation and competitive fitness. In microcosms inoculated…

  17. Bacterial growth laws reflect the evolutionary importance of energy efficiency.

    PubMed

    Maitra, Arijit; Dill, Ken A

    2015-01-13

    We are interested in the balance of energy and protein synthesis in bacterial growth. How has evolution optimized this balance? We describe an analytical model that leverages extensive literature data on growth laws to infer the underlying fitness landscape and to draw inferences about what evolution has optimized in Escherichia coli. Is E. coli optimized for growth speed, energy efficiency, or some other property? Experimental data show that at its replication speed limit, E. coli produces about four mass equivalents of nonribosomal proteins for every mass equivalent of ribosomes. This ratio can be explained if the cell's fitness function is the the energy efficiency of cells under fast growth conditions, indicating a tradeoff between the high energy costs of ribosomes under fast growth and the high energy costs of turning over nonribosomal proteins under slow growth. This model gives insight into some of the complex nonlinear relationships between energy utilization and ribosomal and nonribosomal production as a function of cell growth conditions.

  18. Laying date, incubation and egg breakage as determinants of bacterial load on bird eggshells: experimental evidence.

    PubMed

    Soler, Juan José; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Tomás, Gustavo

    2015-09-01

    Exploring factors guiding interactions of bacterial communities with animals has become of primary importance for ecologists and evolutionary biologists during the last years because of their likely central role in the evolution of animal life history traits. We explored the association between laying date and eggshell bacterial load (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococci, and Enterococci) in natural and artificial magpie (Pica pica) nests containing fresh commercial quail (Coturnix coturnix) eggs. We manipulated hygiene conditions by spilling egg contents on magpie and artificial nests and explored experimental effects during the breeding season. Egg breakage is a common outcome of brood parasitism by great spotted cuckoos (Clamator glandarius) on the nests of magpie, one of its main hosts. We found that the treatment increased eggshell bacterial load in artificial nests, but not in magpie nests with incubating females, which suggests that parental activity prevents the proliferation of bacteria on the eggshells in relation to egg breakage. Moreover, laying date was positively related to eggshell bacterial load in active magpie nests, but negatively in artificial nests. The results suggest that variation in parental characteristics of magpies rather than climatic variation during the breeding season explained the detected positive association. Because the eggshell bacterial load is a proxy of hatching success, the detected positive association between eggshell bacterial loads and laying date in natural, but not in artificial nests, suggests that the generalized negative association between laying date and avian breeding success can be, at least partially, explained by differential bacterial effects.

  19. Steady at the wheel: conservative sex and the benefits of bacterial transformation

    PubMed Central

    Ambur, Ole Herman; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnsen, Pål J.

    2016-01-01

    Many bacteria are highly sexual, but the reasons for their promiscuity remain obscure. Did bacterial sex evolve to maximize diversity and facilitate adaptation in a changing world, or does it instead help to retain the bacterial functions that work right now? In other words, is bacterial sex innovative or conservative? Our aim in this review is to integrate experimental, bioinformatic and theoretical studies to critically evaluate these alternatives, with a main focus on natural genetic transformation, the bacterial equivalent of eukaryotic sexual reproduction. First, we provide a general overview of several hypotheses that have been put forward to explain the evolution of transformation. Next, we synthesize a large body of evidence highlighting the numerous passive and active barriers to transformation that have evolved to protect bacteria from foreign DNA, thereby increasing the likelihood that transformation takes place among clonemates. Our critical review of the existing literature provides support for the view that bacterial transformation is maintained as a means of genomic conservation that provides direct benefits to both individual bacterial cells and to transformable bacterial populations. We examine the generality of this view across bacteria and contrast this explanation with the different evolutionary roles proposed to maintain sex in eukaryotes.  This article is part of the themed issue ‘Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction’. PMID:27619692

  20. Bacterial communities and their association with the bio-drying of sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Cai, Lu; Chen, Tong-Bin; Gao, Ding; Yu, Jie

    2016-03-01

    Bio-drying is a technology that aims to remove water from a material using the microbial heat originating from organic matter degradation. However, the evolution of bacterial communities that are associated with the drying process has not been researched systematically. This study was performed to investigate the variations of bacterial communities and the relationships among bacterial communities, water evaporation, water generation, and organic matter degradation during the bio-drying of sewage sludge. High-throughput pyrosequencing was used to analyze the bacterial communities, while water evaporation and water generation were determined based on an in situ water vapor monitoring device. The values of water evaporation, water generation, and volatile solids degradation were 412.9 g kg(-1) sewage sludge bio-drying material (SSBM), 65.0 g kg(-1) SSBM, and 70.2 g kg(-1) SSBM, respectively. Rarefaction curves and diversity indices showed that bacterial diversity plummeted after the temperature of the bio-drying pile dramatically increased on d 2, which coincided with a remarkable increase of water evaporation on d 2. Bacterial diversity increased when the pile cooled. During the thermophilic phase, in which Acinetobacter and Bacillus were the dominant genera, the rates of water evaporation, water generation, and VS degradation peaked. These results implied that the elevated temperature reshaped the bacterial communities, which played a key role in water evaporation, and the high temperature also contributed to the effective elimination of pathogens.

  1. Steady at the wheel: conservative sex and the benefits of bacterial transformation.

    PubMed

    Ambur, Ole Herman; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnsen, Pål J; Miller, Eric L; Rozen, Daniel E

    2016-10-19

    Many bacteria are highly sexual, but the reasons for their promiscuity remain obscure. Did bacterial sex evolve to maximize diversity and facilitate adaptation in a changing world, or does it instead help to retain the bacterial functions that work right now? In other words, is bacterial sex innovative or conservative? Our aim in this review is to integrate experimental, bioinformatic and theoretical studies to critically evaluate these alternatives, with a main focus on natural genetic transformation, the bacterial equivalent of eukaryotic sexual reproduction. First, we provide a general overview of several hypotheses that have been put forward to explain the evolution of transformation. Next, we synthesize a large body of evidence highlighting the numerous passive and active barriers to transformation that have evolved to protect bacteria from foreign DNA, thereby increasing the likelihood that transformation takes place among clonemates. Our critical review of the existing literature provides support for the view that bacterial transformation is maintained as a means of genomic conservation that provides direct benefits to both individual bacterial cells and to transformable bacterial populations. We examine the generality of this view across bacteria and contrast this explanation with the different evolutionary roles proposed to maintain sex in eukaryotes. This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'.

  2. Steady at the wheel: conservative sex and the benefits of bacterial transformation.

    PubMed

    Ambur, Ole Herman; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnsen, Pål J; Miller, Eric L; Rozen, Daniel E

    2016-10-19

    Many bacteria are highly sexual, but the reasons for their promiscuity remain obscure. Did bacterial sex evolve to maximize diversity and facilitate adaptation in a changing world, or does it instead help to retain the bacterial functions that work right now? In other words, is bacterial sex innovative or conservative? Our aim in this review is to integrate experimental, bioinformatic and theoretical studies to critically evaluate these alternatives, with a main focus on natural genetic transformation, the bacterial equivalent of eukaryotic sexual reproduction. First, we provide a general overview of several hypotheses that have been put forward to explain the evolution of transformation. Next, we synthesize a large body of evidence highlighting the numerous passive and active barriers to transformation that have evolved to protect bacteria from foreign DNA, thereby increasing the likelihood that transformation takes place among clonemates. Our critical review of the existing literature provides support for the view that bacterial transformation is maintained as a means of genomic conservation that provides direct benefits to both individual bacterial cells and to transformable bacterial populations. We examine the generality of this view across bacteria and contrast this explanation with the different evolutionary roles proposed to maintain sex in eukaryotes. This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. PMID:27619692

  3. Influence of phytoplankton lysis or grazing on bacterial metabolism and trophic relationships.

    PubMed

    Van Wambeke, F

    1994-01-01

    Experimental microcosms were used to study the dynamics of heterotrophic bacterial populations with respect to phytoplankton loss. In a two-stage linked culture system, we artificially separated production and loss processes of a diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In the first (productive) stage, the algae developed axenically and continuously. The outflow was fluxed in two degradation stages, where phytoplankton-derived detritus resulted respectively from: (1) excretion and by-products of phagotrophic organisms (protozoans), and (2) bacterial degradation through bacterial attachment and lysis. According to the phytoplankton decay mode, i.e., lysis or grazing, bacterial adaptations were different. The study of bacterial productivity and aminopeptidase activity showed specific bacterial evolution during the succession of different prey-predator relationships. The occurrence of aggregates allowed nanoflagellates to develop an alternative diet; they fed not only on bacteria, but also on partially degraded phytoplankton detritus, inducing a strong short-cut in the food chain. Sources and controls of extracellular proteolytic activity are discussed. Such experimental approaches are interesting because they separate bacterial lysis and protozoan grazing of phytoplankton, as well as the fates of their corresponding phytoplankton detritus in the microbial food web.

  4. SIMPLAS: A Simulation of Bacterial Plasmid Maintenance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, A.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    This article describes a computer simulation of bacterial physiology during growth in a chemostat. The program was designed to help students to appreciate and understand the related effects of parameters which influence plasmid persistence in bacterial populations. (CW)

  5. Diversity and Abundance of the Bacterial Community of the Red Macroalga Porphyra umbilicalis: Did Bacterial Farmers Produce Macroalgae?

    PubMed Central

    Miranda, Lilibeth N.; Hutchison, Keith; Grossman, Arthur R.; Brawley, Susan H.

    2013-01-01

    Macroalgae harbor microbial communities whose bacterial biodiversity remains largely uncharacterized. The goals of this study were 1) to examine the composition of the bacterial community associated with Porphyra umbilicalis Kützing from Schoodic Point, ME, 2) determine whether there are seasonal trends in species diversity but a core group of bacteria that are always present, and 3) to determine how the microbial community associated with a laboratory strain (P.um.1) established in the presence of antibiotics has changed. P. umbilicalis blades (n = 5, fall 2010; n = 5, winter 2011; n = 2, clonal P.um.1) were analyzed by pyrosequencing over two variable regions of the 16 S rDNA (V5–V6 and V8; 147,880 total reads). The bacterial taxa present were classified at an 80% confidence threshold into eight phyla (Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Firmicutes, and the candidate division TM7). The Bacteroidetes comprised the majority of bacterial sequences on both field and lab blades, but the Proteobacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria) were also abundant. Sphingobacteria (Bacteroidetes) and Flavobacteria (Bacteroidetes) had inverse abundances on natural versus P.um.1 blades. Bacterial communities were richer and more diverse on blades sampled in fall compared to winter. Significant differences were observed between microbial communities among all three groups of blades examined. Only two OTUs were found on all 12 blades, and only one of these, belonging to the Saprospiraceae (Bacteroidetes), was abundant. Lewinella (as 66 OTUs) was found on all field blades and was the most abundant genus. Bacteria from the Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Planctomycetes that are known to digest the galactan sulfates of red algal cell walls were well-represented. Some of these taxa likely provide essential morphogenetic and beneficial nutritive factors to P. umbilicalis and may have had unexpected

  6. Novel mechanisms power bacterial gliding motility.

    PubMed

    Nan, Beiyan; Zusman, David R

    2016-07-01

    For many bacteria, motility is essential for survival, growth, virulence, biofilm formation and intra/interspecies interactions. Since natural environments differ, bacteria have evolved remarkable motility systems to adapt, including swimming in aqueous media, and swarming, twitching and gliding on solid and semi-solid surfaces. Although tremendous advances have been achieved in understanding swimming and swarming motilities powered by flagella, and twitching motility powered by Type IV pili, little is known about gliding motility. Bacterial gliders are a heterogeneous group containing diverse bacteria that utilize surface motilities that do not depend on traditional flagella or pili, but are powered by mechanisms that are less well understood. Recently, advances in our understanding of the molecular machineries for several gliding bacteria revealed the roles of modified ion channels, secretion systems and unique machinery for surface movements. These novel mechanisms provide rich source materials for studying the function and evolution of complex microbial nanomachines. In this review, we summarize recent findings made on the gliding mechanisms of the myxobacteria, flavobacteria and mycoplasmas. PMID:27028358

  7. Bacterial Adaptation through Loss of Function

    PubMed Central

    Donnell, Zachary N.; Liu, Julia C.; Tavazoie, Saeed

    2013-01-01

    The metabolic capabilities and regulatory networks of bacteria have been optimized by evolution in response to selective pressures present in each species' native ecological niche. In a new environment, however, the same bacteria may grow poorly due to regulatory constraints or biochemical deficiencies. Adaptation to such conditions can proceed through the acquisition of new cellular functionality due to gain of function mutations or via modulation of cellular networks. Using selection experiments on transposon-mutagenized libraries of bacteria, we illustrate that even under conditions of extreme nutrient limitation, substantial adaptation can be achieved solely through loss of function mutations, which rewire the metabolism of the cell without gain of enzymatic or sensory function. A systematic analysis of similar experiments under more than 100 conditions reveals that adaptive loss of function mutations exist for many environmental challenges. Drawing on a wealth of examples from published articles, we detail the range of mechanisms through which loss-of-function mutations can generate such beneficial regulatory changes, without the need for rare, specific mutations to fine-tune enzymatic activities or network connections. The high rate at which loss-of-function mutations occur suggests that null mutations play an underappreciated role in the early stages of adaption of bacterial populations to new environments. PMID:23874220

  8. Molecular and Functional Aspects of Bacterial Chemotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celani, A.; Shimizu, T. S.; Vergassola, M.

    2011-07-01

    We consider the dynamics of chemotaxis in the model bacterium Escherichia coli. We analyze both its molecular mechanisms and the functional causes governing the evolution of the observed behaviors. We review molecular models of the transduction network controlling the bacterial chemotaxis in response to chemoattractant binding to the receptors. In particular, recent progress stimulated by FRET experiments is presented for statistical physics allosteric models. The response function to a pulse of chemoattractant is expressed in terms of microscopic parameters of the allosteric models. The functional causes for the shape of the response function, as measured in experimental tethering assay, are then investigated. A hydrodynamic equation, valid for space-time scales larger than the microscopic running length and time, is derived for the position of a swimming bacterium. It is then shown how optimization over the microscopic parameters of the response function yields the curve observed experimentally. In particular, the observed property of adaptation to the background level of aspartate emerges as being produced by fluctuations in the space-time chemoattractant profiles sensed by bacteria along their trajectories. This functional cause is distinct from arguments based on the extension of the dynamical range. Future directions and experiments to probe the adaptation of E. coli chemotaxis to the environmental conditions and its response to realistic space-time chemoattractant stimuli are finally discussed.

  9. Bacterial Landlines: Contact-dependent Signaling in Bacterial Populations

    PubMed Central

    Blango, Matthew G.; Mulvey, Matthew A.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Bacterial populations utilize a variety of signaling strategies to exchange information, including the secretion of quorum-sensing molecules and contact-dependent signaling cascades. Although quorum sensing has received the bulk of attention for many years, contact-dependent signaling is forging a niche in the research world with the identification of novel systems and the emergence of more mechanistic data. Contact-dependent signaling is likely a common strategy by which bacteria in close contact, such as within biofilms, can modulate the growth and behavior of both siblings and competitors. Ongoing work with diverse bacterial systems, including Myxococcus xanthus, pathogenic Escherichia coli strains, Bacillus subtilis, and dissimilatory metal-reducing soil bacteria, is providing increasingly detailed insight into the dynamic mechanisms and potential of contact-dependent signaling processes. PMID:19246237

  10. Subchromosomal karyotype evolution in Equidae.

    PubMed

    Musilova, P; Kubickova, S; Vahala, J; Rubes, J

    2013-04-01

    Equidae is a small family which comprises horses, African and Asiatic asses, and zebras. Despite equids having diverged quite recently, their karyotypes underwent rapid evolution which resulted in extensive differences among chromosome complements in respective species. Comparative mapping using whole-chromosome painting probes delineated genome-wide chromosome homologies among extant equids, enabling us to trace chromosome rearrangements that occurred during evolution. In the present study, we performed subchromosomal comparative mapping among seven Equidae species, representing the whole family. Region-specific painting and bacterial artificial chromosome probes were used to determine the orientation of evolutionarily conserved segments with respect to centromere positions. This allowed assessment of the configuration of all fusions occurring during the evolution of Equidae, as well as revealing discrepancies in centromere location caused by centromere repositioning or inversions. Our results indicate that the prevailing type of fusion in Equidae is centric fusion. Tandem fusions of the type telomere-telomere occur almost exclusively in the karyotype of Hartmann's zebra and are characteristic of this species' evolution. We revealed inversions in segments homologous to horse chromosomes 3p/10p and 13 in zebras and confirmed inversions in segments 4/31 in African ass, 7 in horse and 8p/20 in zebras. Furthermore, our mapping results suggested that centromere repositioning events occurred in segments homologous to horse chromosomes 7, 8q, 10p and 19 in the African ass and an element homologous to horse chromosome 16 in Asiatic asses. Centromere repositioning in chromosome 1 resulted in three different chromosome types occurring in extant species. Heterozygosity of the centromere position of this chromosome was observed in the kiang. Other subtle changes in centromere position were described in several evolutionary conserved chromosomal segments, suggesting that tiny

  11. Historical Contingency in Controlled Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Peter

    2014-12-01

    A basic question in evolution is dealing with the nature of an evolutionary memory. At thermodynamic equilibrium, at stable stationary states or other stable attractors the memory on the path leading to the long-time solution is erased, at least in part. Similar arguments hold for unique optima. Optimality in biology is discussed on the basis of microbial metabolism. Biology, on the other hand, is characterized by historical contingency, which has recently become accessible to experimental test in bacterial populations evolving under controlled conditions. Computer simulations give additional insight into the nature of the evolutionary memory, which is ultimately caused by the enormous space of possibilities that is so large that it escapes all attempts of visualization. In essence, this contribution is dealing with two questions of current evolutionary theory: (i) Are organisms operating at optimal performance? and (ii) How is the evolutionary memory built up in populations?

  12. Evolution of small prokaryotic genomes

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Cano, David J.; Reyes-Prieto, Mariana; Martínez-Romero, Esperanza; Partida-Martínez, Laila P.; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Delaye, Luis

    2015-01-01

    As revealed by genome sequencing, the biology of prokaryotes with reduced genomes is strikingly diverse. These include free-living prokaryotes with ∼800 genes as well as endosymbiotic bacteria with as few as ∼140 genes. Comparative genomics is revealing the evolutionary mechanisms that led to these small genomes. In the case of free-living prokaryotes, natural selection directly favored genome reduction, while in the case of endosymbiotic prokaryotes neutral processes played a more prominent role. However, new experimental data suggest that selective processes may be at operation as well for endosymbiotic prokaryotes at least during the first stages of genome reduction. Endosymbiotic prokaryotes have evolved diverse strategies for living with reduced gene sets inside a host-defined medium. These include utilization of host-encoded functions (some of them coded by genes acquired by gene transfer from the endosymbiont and/or other bacteria); metabolic complementation between co-symbionts; and forming consortiums with other bacteria within the host. Recent genome sequencing projects of intracellular mutualistic bacteria showed that previously believed universal evolutionary trends like reduced G+C content and conservation of genome synteny are not always present in highly reduced genomes. Finally, the simplified molecular machinery of some of these organisms with small genomes may be used to aid in the design of artificial minimal cells. Here we review recent genomic discoveries of the biology of prokaryotes endowed with small gene sets and discuss the evolutionary mechanisms that have been proposed to explain their peculiar nature. PMID:25610432

  13. Dynamics of bacterial gene regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narang, Atul

    2009-03-01

    The phenomenon of diauxic growth is a classical problem of bacterial gene regulation. The most well studied example of this phenomenon is the glucose-lactose diauxie, which occurs because the expression of the lac operon is strongly repressed in the presence of glucose. This repression is often explained by appealing to molecular mechanisms such as cAMP activation and inducer exclusion. I will begin by analyzing data showing that these molecular mechanisms cannot explain the strong lac repression because they exert a relatively weak effect. I will then present a minimal model accounting only for enzyme induction and dilution, which yields strong repression despite the absence of catabolite repression and inducer exclusion. The model also explains the growth patterns observed in batch and continuous cultures of various bacterial strains and substrate mixtures. The talk will conclude with a discussion of the experimental evidence regarding positive feedback, the key component of the minimal model.

  14. Functional Taxonomy of Bacterial Hyperstructures

    PubMed Central

    Norris, Vic; den Blaauwen, Tanneke; Cabin-Flaman, Armelle; Doi, Roy H.; Harshey, Rasika; Janniere, Laurent; Jimenez-Sanchez, Alfonso; Jin, Ding Jun; Levin, Petra Anne; Mileykovskaya, Eugenia; Minsky, Abraham; Saier, Milton; Skarstad, Kirsten

    2007-01-01

    The levels of organization that exist in bacteria extend from macromolecules to populations. Evidence that there is also a level of organization intermediate between the macromolecule and the bacterial cell is accumulating. This is the level of hyperstructures. Here, we review a variety of spatially extended structures, complexes, and assemblies that might be termed hyperstructures. These include ribosomal or “nucleolar” hyperstructures; transertion hyperstructures; putative phosphotransferase system and glycolytic hyperstructures; chemosignaling and flagellar hyperstructures; DNA repair hyperstructures; cytoskeletal hyperstructures based on EF-Tu, FtsZ, and MreB; and cell cycle hyperstructures responsible for DNA replication, sequestration of newly replicated origins, segregation, compaction, and division. We propose principles for classifying these hyperstructures and finally illustrate how thinking in terms of hyperstructures may lead to a different vision of the bacterial cell. PMID:17347523

  15. Bacterial meningitis: new therapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Nau, Roland; Djukic, Marija; Spreer, Annette; Eiffert, Helmut

    2013-10-01

    Bacterial meningitis remains a disease with high mortality and long-term morbidity. Outcome critically depends on the rapid initiation of effective antibiotic therapy. Since a further increase of the incidence of pathogens resistant to antibacterials can be expected both in community-acquired and nosocomial bacterial meningitis, the choice of an optimum initial empirical antibiotic regimen will gain significance. In this context, the use of antibiotics which are bactericidal but do not lyse bacteria, may emerge as a therapeutic option. Conversely, the role of corticosteroids, which decrease the entry of hydrophilic antibacterials into the cerebrospinal fluid, as adjunctive therapy will probably decline as a consequence of the increasing antibiotic resistance of bacteria causing meningitis. Consequent vaccination of all children at present is the most efficient manner to reduce disease burden. PMID:24073921

  16. Bacterial colonization of percutaneous sutures.

    PubMed

    Gristina, A G; Price, J L; Hobgood, C D; Webb, L X; Costerton, J W

    1985-07-01

    The direct electron microscopic examination of 15 sutures and 15 staples removed from 10 healed surgical wounds showed, on the intradermal portions, consistent colonization by bacteria growing in adherent biofilms. This clearly demonstrable bacterial colonization of biomaterials within the wound tract had not resulted in infection or perceptible inflammation in any of the wounds. These bacterial cells were of several morphotypes, including gram-positive cocci, and all specimens yielded cultures of the autochthonous (native) skin bacterium, Staphylococcus epidermidis. The bacteria within the wound tracts were enveloped by extracellular material that appeared on scanning electron microscopy to be a condensed amorphous residue and on transmission electron microscopy to be a fibrous extracellular matrix. We suggest that this mode of growth, in which the colonizing bacteria are enveloped in a copious exopolysaccharide glycocalix, protects the bacteria from host defense factors and accounts for their persistence on the suture surfaces until they are removed with the sutures.

  17. Collective Functionality through Bacterial Individuality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackermann, Martin

    According to the conventional view, the properties of an organism are a product of nature and nurture - of its genes and the environment it lives in. Recent experiments with unicellular organisms have challenged this view: several molecular mechanisms generate phenotypic variation independently of environmental signals, leading to variation in clonal groups. My presentation will focus on the causes and consequences of this microbial individuality. Using examples from bacterial genetic model systems, I will first discuss different molecular and cellular mechanisms that give rise to bacterial individuality. Then, I will discuss the consequences of individuality, and focus on how phenotypic variation in clonal populations of bacteria can promote interactions between individuals, lead to the division of labor, and allow clonal groups of bacteria to cope with environmental uncertainty. Variation between individuals thus provides clonal groups with collective functionality.

  18. The problem of bacterial diarrhoea.

    PubMed

    Harries, J T

    1976-01-01

    The reported incidence of "pathogenic" bacteria, as judged by serotype, in the stools of children with acute diarrhoea has varied from 4 to 33% over the last twenty years. Techniques such as tissue culture provide a means for detecting enterotoxin-producing strains of bacteria, strains which often do not possess "pathogenic" serotypes. "Pathogenicity" requires redefinition, and the aetiological importance of bacteria in diarrhoea is probably considerably greater than previous reports have indicated. Colonization of the bowel by a pathogen will result in structural and/or mucosal abnormalities, and will depend on a series of complex interactions between the external environment, the pathogen, and the host and its resident bacterial flora. Enteropathogenic bacteria may be broadly classified as (i) invasive (e.g. Shigella, Salmonella and some Escherichia coli) which predominantly affect the distal bowel, or (ii) non-invasive (e.g. Vibrio cholerae and E. coli) which affect the proximal bowel. V. cholerae and E. coli elaborate heat-labile enterotoxins which activate adenylate cyclase and induce small intestinal secretion; the secretory effects of heat-stable E. coli and heat-labile Shigella dysenteriae enterotoxins are not accompanied by cyclase activation. The two major complications of acute diarrhoea are (i) hypernatraemic dehydration with its attendant neurological, renal and vascular lesions, and (ii) protracted diarrhoea which may lead to severe malnutrition. Deconjugation of bile salts and colonization of the small bowel with toxigenic strains of E. coli may be important in the pathophysiology of the protracted diarrhoea syndrome. The control of bacterial diarrhoea requires a corrdinated political, educational, social, public health and scientific attack. Bacterial diarrhoea is a major health problem throughout the world, and carries an appreciable morbidity and mortality. This is particularly the case during infancy, and in those developing parts of the world

  19. Quinine sulfate and bacterial invasion

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Ronni; Baroni, Adone; Greco, Rita; Donnarumma, Giovanna; Ruocco, Eleonora; Tufano, Maria Antonietta; Ruocco, Vincenzo

    2002-01-01

    Background As many patients who receive antimalarial drugs for treatment of noninfectious, inflammatory diseases are also immunosuppressed and might have a concomitant bacterial infection, we studied the effectiveness of these drugs against bacterial infections, to find out whether they could protect against (and even treat) such conditions and obviate the need for an additional antibiotic drug. Methods Effect of QS on bacterial growth: Escherichia coli (E. coli) HB101 pRI203 were cultured overnight at 37°C in TSB and inoculated (approx 1 × 107 cells /ml) in MEM in the presence of QS at various concentrations (0, 50 and 100 μM). The effect of QS at concentration of 50 and 100 μM on the entry process of E. coli HB101 pRI203 into HeLa cells was studied under different experimental conditions: 1. QS was incubated with 3 × 105 HeLa cells for 60 min at 37°C prior to infection. 2. QS was added to HeLa cell monolayers during the infection period. Results QS showed no antibacterial activity after 24 h of incubation. The invasive efficiency of the bacteria was significantly inhibited at a dose-dependent manner, when QS was added to HeLa cells for 60 min at 37°C prior to infection (condition 1), and to a lesser extent when added during the period of infection (condition 2). Conclusions Although the antimalarials are generally regarded as being inactive against most extracellular bacterial species, our results indicate that QS significantly inhibited the internalization/invasion efficacy of E. coli in the host cells. PMID:12437776

  20. Detergent-compatible bacterial amylases.

    PubMed

    Niyonzima, Francois N; More, Sunil S

    2014-10-01

    Proteases, lipases, amylases, and cellulases are enzymes used in detergent formulation to improve the detergency. The amylases are specifically supplemented to the detergent to digest starchy stains. Most of the solid and liquid detergents that are currently manufactured contain alkaline enzymes. The advantages of using alkaline enzymes in the detergent formulation are that they aid in removing tough stains and the process is environmentally friendly since they reduce the use of toxic detergent ingredients. Amylases active at low temperature are preferred as the energy consumption gets reduced, and the whole process becomes cost-effective. Most microbial alkaline amylases are used as detergent ingredients. Various reviews report on the production, purification, characterization, and application of amylases in different industry sectors, but there is no specific review on bacterial or fungal alkaline amylases or detergent-compatible amylases. In this mini-review, an overview on the production and property studies of the detergent bacterial amylases is given, and the stability and compatibility of the alkaline bacterial amylases in the presence of the detergents and the detergent components are highlighted.

  1. How old are bacterial pathogens?

    PubMed

    Achtman, Mark

    2016-08-17

    Only few molecular studies have addressed the age of bacterial pathogens that infected humans before the beginnings of medical bacteriology, but these have provided dramatic insights. The global genetic diversity of Helicobacter pylori, which infects human stomachs, parallels that of its human host. The time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of these bacteria approximates that of anatomically modern humans, i.e. at least 100 000 years, after calibrating the evolutionary divergence within H. pylori against major ancient human migrations. Similarly, genomic reconstructions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of tuberculosis, from ancient skeletons in South America and mummies in Hungary support estimates of less than 6000 years for the tMRCA of M. tuberculosis Finally, modern global patterns of genetic diversity and ancient DNA studies indicate that during the last 5000 years plague caused by Yersinia pestis has spread globally on multiple occasions from China and Central Asia. Such tMRCA estimates provide only lower bounds on the ages of bacterial pathogens, and additional studies are needed for realistic upper bounds on how long humans and animals have suffered from bacterial diseases. PMID:27534956

  2. Lignasan for bacterial gill disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rucker, Robert R.; B.J., Earp; Burrows, Roger E.

    1956-01-01

    Bacterial gill disease plagues salmon and trout in many hatcheries: some infections are sporadic, but others are continual. An inexpensive, easily applied, stable, safe chemical would be highly advantageous for treatment. The use of Roccal as a 1-hour treatment for bacterial gill disease (Fish 1947) was developed at the Leavenworth (Washington) Station of the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1942 and was quite successful. Since then, Roccal has been used extensively; but because of variability in composition, its efficacy is not consistent (Rucker et al. 1949). The objection to the variability of Roccal was overcome by using another compound, pyridylmercuric acetate, which was suggested by Van Horn and Katz (1946) as having some therapeutic therapy. Pyridylmercuric acetate was tested experimentally at the Leavenworth Station and was found to be very effective for bacterial gill disease. This compound had highly differential toxicities for bacteria and fish but was quite expensive (Rucker 1948, Burrows and Palmer 1949, Snieszko 1949). Another objection to pyridylmercuric acedate was its toxicity to rainbow trout—not to other species of trout or to salmon—at the concentration necessary to control the bacteria (Seaman 1950, Rodgers et al. 1951, Bryant 1951, Foster and Olson 1951).

  3. Bacterial infections complicating tongue piercing

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Catherine HY; Minnema, Brian J; Gold, Wayne L

    2010-01-01

    Tongue piercing has become an increasingly popular form of body art. However, this procedure can occasionally be complicated by serious bacterial infections. The present article reports a case of prosthetic valve endocarditis caused by a Gemella species in a patient with a pierced tongue, and reviews 18 additional cases of local and systemic bacterial infections associated with tongue piercing. Infections localized to the oral cavity and head and neck region included molar abscess, glossal abscess, glossitis, submandibular lymphadenitis, submandibular sialadenitis, Ludwig’s angina and cephalic tetanus. Infections distal to the piercing site included eight cases of infective endocarditis, one case of chorioamnionitis and one case of cerebellar abscess. Oropharyngeal flora were isolated from all cases. While bacterial infections following tongue piercing are rare, there are reports of potentially life-threatening infections associated with the procedure. Both piercers and their clients should be aware of these potential complications, and standardized infection prevention and control practices should be adopted by piercers to reduce the risk. PMID:21358880

  4. How old are bacterial pathogens?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Only few molecular studies have addressed the age of bacterial pathogens that infected humans before the beginnings of medical bacteriology, but these have provided dramatic insights. The global genetic diversity of Helicobacter pylori, which infects human stomachs, parallels that of its human host. The time to the most recent common ancestor (tMRCA) of these bacteria approximates that of anatomically modern humans, i.e. at least 100 000 years, after calibrating the evolutionary divergence within H. pylori against major ancient human migrations. Similarly, genomic reconstructions of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of tuberculosis, from ancient skeletons in South America and mummies in Hungary support estimates of less than 6000 years for the tMRCA of M. tuberculosis. Finally, modern global patterns of genetic diversity and ancient DNA studies indicate that during the last 5000 years plague caused by Yersinia pestis has spread globally on multiple occasions from China and Central Asia. Such tMRCA estimates provide only lower bounds on the ages of bacterial pathogens, and additional studies are needed for realistic upper bounds on how long humans and animals have suffered from bacterial diseases. PMID:27534956

  5. Cytochemical Differences in Bacterial Glycocalyx

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krautgartner, Wolf Dietrich; Vitkov, Ljubomir; Hannig, Matthias; Pelz, Klaus; Stoiber, Walter

    2005-02-01

    To examine new cytochemical aspects of the bacterial adhesion, a strain 41452/01 of the oral commensal Streptococcus sanguis and a wild strain of Staphylococcus aureus were grown with and without sucrose supplementation for 6 days. Osmiumtetraoxyde (OsO4), uranyl acetate (UA), ruthenium red (RR), cupromeronic blue (CB) staining with critical electrolytic concentrations (CECs), and the tannic acid-metal salt technique (TAMST) were applied for electron microscopy. Cytochemically, only RR-positive fimbriae in S. sanguis were visualized. By contrast, some types of fimbriae staining were observed in S. aureus glycocalyx: RR-positive, OsO4-positive, tannophilic and CB-positive with ceasing point at 0.3 M MgCl2. The CB staining with CEC, used for the first time for visualization of glycoproteins of bacterial glycocalyx, also reveals intacellular CB-positive substances-probably the monomeric molecules, that is, subunits forming the fimbriae via extracellular assembly. Thus, glycosylated components of the biofilm matrix can be reliably related to single cells. The visualization of intracellular components by CB with CEC enables clear distinction between S. aureus and other bacteria, which do not produce CB-positive substances. The small quantities of tannophilic substances found in S. aureus makes the use of TAMST for the same purpose difficult. The present work protocol enables, for the first time, a partial cytochemical differentiation of the bacterial glycocalyx.

  6. Earthquakes promote bacterial genetic exchange in serpentinite crevices.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Naoto; Fujiura, Nori

    2009-04-01

    We report the results of our efforts to study the effects of seismic shaking on simulated biofilms within serpentinite fissures. A colloidal solution consisting of recipient bacterial cells (Pseudomonas sp. or Bacillus subtilis), donor plasmid DNA encoded for antibiotic resistance, and chrysotile (an acicular clay mineral that forms in crevices of serpentinite layers) were placed onto an elastic body made from gellan gum, which acted as the biofilm matrix. Silica beads, as rock analogues (i.e., chemically inert mechanical serpentinite), were placed on the gellan surface, which was coated with the colloidal solution. A rolling vibration similar to vibrations generated by earthquakes was applied, and the silica beads moved randomly across the surface of the gellan. This resulted in the recipient cells' acquiring plasmid DNA and thus becoming genetically transformed to demonstrate marked antibiotic resistance. Neither Pseudomonas sp. nor B. subtilis were transformed by plasmid DNA when chrysotile was substituted for by kaolinite or bentonite in the colloidal solution. Tough gellan (1.0%) promoted the introduction of plasmid DNA into Pseudomonas sp., but soft gellan (0.3%) had no such effect. Genetic transformation of bacteria on the surface of gellan by exposure to exogenous plasmid DNA required seismic shaking and exposure to the acicular clay mineral chrysotile. These experimental results suggest that bacterial genetic exchange readily occurs when biofilms that form in crevices of serpentinite are exposed to seismic shaking. Seismic activity may be a key factor in bacterial evolution along with the formation of biofilms within crevices of serpentinite.

  7. Probiotics - a helpful additional therapy for bacterial vaginosis

    PubMed Central

    Bodean, O; Munteanu, O; Cirstoiu, C; Secara, D; Cirstoiu, M

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background: Bacterial vaginosis is a condition of unknown etiology, associated with an imbalance of the normal vaginal microbiota, characterized by a high recurrence rate despite of classical therapy solutions. Probiotics are microorganisms, which taken in adequate amounts, are proven to bring health benefits in human and animal bodies, by re-establishing the normal flora at different levels. Objective: The present article studies the possibility of using probiotic treatment as an adjuvant therapy for nonspecific vaginosis and reducing its recurrence rate. Methods: We have evaluated the evolution of patients with bacterial vaginosis who received the classical antibiotic therapy and a probiotic product. The study group consisted of 173 non-pregnant, sexually active patients, 20-45 years old, with no additional health problems and no contraceptive undergoing treatment, which have been admitted to the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Bucharest Emergency University Hospital between 1.01.2012-31.12.2012.The bacteriological evaluation was made on cervical and vaginal cultures. Results: From a total of 173 patients, those who used probiotics oral capsules while taking an antibiotic had lower recurrence rates. More than a half of women who did not use any probiotic product had 3 or more relapse episodes per year. Vaginal capsules with probiotics have also proven to be useful in lowering the recurrence rate, but research is still needed. Conclusion: Probiotic products are proven to be a helpful adjuvant therapy for bacterial vaginosis, with no adverse outcomes. PMID:24868256

  8. Earthquakes Promote Bacterial Genetic Exchange in Serpentinite Crevices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naoto, Yoshida; Fujiura, Nori

    2009-04-01

    We report the results of our efforts to study the effects of seismic shaking on simulated biofilms within serpentinite fissures. A colloidal solution consisting of recipient bacterial cells (Pseudomonas sp. or Bacillus subtilis), donor plasmid DNA encoded for antibiotic resistance, and chrysotile (an acicular clay mineral that forms in crevices of serpentinite layers) were placed onto an elastic body made from gellan gum, which acted as the biofilm matrix. Silica beads, as rock analogues (i.e., chemically inert mechanical serpentinite), were placed on the gellan surface, which was coated with the colloidal solution. A rolling vibration similar to vibrations generated by earthquakes was applied, and the silica beads moved randomly across the surface of the gellan. This resulted in the recipient cells' acquiring plasmid DNA and thus becoming genetically transformed to demonstrate marked antibiotic resistance. Neither Pseudomonas sp. nor B. subtilis were transformed by plasmid DNA when chrysotile was substituted for by kaolinite or bentonite in the colloidal solution. Tough gellan (1.0%) promoted the introduction of plasmid DNA into Pseudomonas sp., but soft gellan (0.3%) had no such effect. Genetic transformation of bacteria on the surface of gellan by exposure to exogenous plasmid DNA required seismic shaking and exposure to the acicular clay mineral chrysotile. These experimental results suggest that bacterial genetic exchange readily occurs when biofilms that form in crevices of serpentinite are exposed to seismic shaking. Seismic activity may be a key factor in bacterial evolution along with the formation of biofilms within crevices of serpentinite.

  9. A growing family: the expanding universe of the bacterial cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Ingerson-Mahar, Michael; Gitai, Zemer

    2012-01-01

    Cytoskeletal proteins are important mediators of cellular organization in both eukaryotes and bacteria. In the past, cytoskeletal studies have largely focused on three major cytoskeletal families, namely the eukaryotic actin, tubulin, and intermediate filament (IF) proteins and their bacterial homologs MreB, FtsZ, and crescentin. However, mounting evidence suggests that these proteins represent only the tip of the iceberg, as the cellular cytoskeletal network is far more complex. In bacteria, each of MreB, FtsZ, and crescentin represents only one member of large families of diverse homologs. There are also newly identified bacterial cytoskeletal proteins with no eukaryotic homologs, such as WACA proteins and bactofilins. Furthermore, there are universally conserved proteins, such as the metabolic enzyme CtpS, that assemble into filamentous structures that can be repurposed for structural cytoskeletal functions. Recent studies have also identified an increasing number of eukaryotic cytoskeletal proteins that are unrelated to actin, tubulin, and IFs, such that expanding our understanding of cytoskeletal proteins is advancing the understanding of the cell biology of all organisms. Here, we summarize the recent explosion in the identification of new members of the bacterial cytoskeleton and describe a hypothesis for the evolution of the cytoskeleton from self-assembling enzymes.

  10. Convergent bacterial microbiotas in the fungal agricultural systems of insects

    DOE PAGES

    Aylward, Frank O.; Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H. W.; Adams, Aaron S.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tringe, Susannah G.; Poulsen, Michael; Raffa, Kenneth F.; et al

    2014-11-18

    The ability to cultivate food is an innovation that has produced some of the most successful ecological strategies on the planet. Although most well recognized in humans, where agriculture represents a defining feature of civilization, species of ants, beetles, and termites have also independently evolved symbioses with fungi that they cultivate for food. Despite occurring across divergent insect and fungal lineages, the fungivorous niches of these insects are remarkably similar, indicating convergent evolution toward this successful ecological strategy. Here, we characterize the microbiota of ants, beetles, and termites engaged in nutritional symbioses with fungi to define the bacterial groups associatedmore » with these prominent herbivores and forest pests. Using culture-independent techniques and the in silico reconstruction of 37 composite genomes of dominant community members, we demonstrate that different insect-fungal symbioses that collectively shape ecosystems worldwide have highly similar bacterial microbiotas comprised primarily of the genera Enterobacter, Rahnella, and Pseudomonas. Although these symbioses span three orders of insects and two phyla of fungi, we show that they are associated with bacteria sharing high whole-genome nucleotide identity. Due to the fine-scale correspondence of the bacterial microbiotas of insects engaged in fungal symbioses, our findings indicate that this represents an example of convergence of entire host-microbe complexes.« less

  11. Convergent Bacterial Microbiotas in the Fungal Agricultural Systems of Insects

    PubMed Central

    Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H. W.; Adams, Aaron S.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tringe, Susannah G.; Poulsen, Michael; Raffa, Kenneth F.; Klepzig, Kier D.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ability to cultivate food is an innovation that has produced some of the most successful ecological strategies on the planet. Although most well recognized in humans, where agriculture represents a defining feature of civilization, species of ants, beetles, and termites have also independently evolved symbioses with fungi that they cultivate for food. Despite occurring across divergent insect and fungal lineages, the fungivorous niches of these insects are remarkably similar, indicating convergent evolution toward this successful ecological strategy. Here, we characterize the microbiota of ants, beetles, and termites engaged in nutritional symbioses with fungi to define the bacterial groups associated with these prominent herbivores and forest pests. Using culture-independent techniques and the in silico reconstruction of 37 composite genomes of dominant community members, we demonstrate that different insect-fungal symbioses that collectively shape ecosystems worldwide have highly similar bacterial microbiotas comprised primarily of the genera Enterobacter, Rahnella, and Pseudomonas. Although these symbioses span three orders of insects and two phyla of fungi, we show that they are associated with bacteria sharing high whole-genome nucleotide identity. Due to the fine-scale correspondence of the bacterial microbiotas of insects engaged in fungal symbioses, our findings indicate that this represents an example of convergence of entire host-microbe complexes. PMID:25406380

  12. Social behavior and decision making in bacterial conjugation.

    PubMed

    Koraimann, Günther; Wagner, Maria A

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria frequently acquire novel genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT through the process of bacterial conjugation is highly efficient and depends on the presence of conjugative plasmids (CPs) or integrated conjugative elements (ICEs) that provide the necessary genes for DNA transmission. This review focuses on recent advancements in our understanding of ssDNA transfer systems and regulatory networks ensuring timely and spatially controlled DNA transfer (tra) gene expression. As will become obvious by comparing different systems, by default, tra genes are shut off in cells in which conjugative elements are present. Only when conditions are optimal, donor cells-through epigenetic alleviation of negatively acting roadblocks and direct stimulation of DNA transfer genes-become transfer competent. These transfer competent cells have developmentally transformed into specialized cells capable of secreting ssDNA via a T4S (type IV secretion) complex directly into recipient cells. Intriguingly, even under optimal conditions, only a fraction of the population undergoes this transition, a finding that indicates specialization and cooperative, social behavior. Thereby, at the population level, the metabolic burden and other negative consequences of tra gene expression are greatly reduced without compromising the ability to horizontally transfer genes to novel bacterial hosts. This undoubtedly intelligent strategy may explain why conjugative elements-CPs and ICEs-have been successfully kept in and evolved with bacteria to constitute a major driving force of bacterial evolution.

  13. Horizontal transfer of DNA methylation patterns into bacterial chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jung-Eun; Lin, Chris; Lim, Han N.

    2016-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the non-inherited acquisition of novel DNA sequences. HGT is common and important in bacteria because it enables the rapid generation of new phenotypes such as antibiotic resistance. Here we show that in vivo and in vitro DNA methylation patterns can be horizontally transferred into bacterial chromosomes to program cell phenotypes. The experiments were performed using a synthetic system in Escherichia coli where different DNA methylation patterns within the cis-regulatory sequence of the agn43 gene turn on or off a fluorescent reporter (CFP). With this system we demonstrated that DNA methylation patterns not only accompany the horizontal transfer of genes into the bacterial cytoplasm but can be transferred into chromosomes by: (i) bacteriophage P1 transduction; and (ii) transformation of extracellular synthetic DNA. We also modified the experimental system by replacing CFP with the SgrS small RNA, which regulates glucose and methyl α-D-glucoside uptake, and showed that horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can increase or decrease cell fitness. That is, horizontally acquired DNA methylation patterns can result in the selection for and against cells that have HGT. Findings from these proof-of-concept experiments have applications in synthetic biology and potentially broad implications for bacterial adaptation and evolution. PMID:27084942

  14. Social behavior and decision making in bacterial conjugation

    PubMed Central

    Koraimann, Günther; Wagner, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria frequently acquire novel genes by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). HGT through the process of bacterial conjugation is highly efficient and depends on the presence of conjugative plasmids (CPs) or integrated conjugative elements (ICEs) that provide the necessary genes for DNA transmission. This review focuses on recent advancements in our understanding of ssDNA transfer systems and regulatory networks ensuring timely and spatially controlled DNA transfer (tra) gene expression. As will become obvious by comparing different systems, by default, tra genes are shut off in cells in which conjugative elements are present. Only when conditions are optimal, donor cells—through epigenetic alleviation of negatively acting roadblocks and direct stimulation of DNA transfer genes—become transfer competent. These transfer competent cells have developmentally transformed into specialized cells capable of secreting ssDNA via a T4S (type IV secretion) complex directly into recipient cells. Intriguingly, even under optimal conditions, only a fraction of the population undergoes this transition, a finding that indicates specialization and cooperative, social behavior. Thereby, at the population level, the metabolic burden and other negative consequences of tra gene expression are greatly reduced without compromising the ability to horizontally transfer genes to novel bacterial hosts. This undoubtedly intelligent strategy may explain why conjugative elements—CPs and ICEs—have been successfully kept in and evolved with bacteria to constitute a major driving force of bacterial evolution. PMID:24809026

  15. Convergent bacterial microbiotas in the fungal agricultural systems of insects

    SciTech Connect

    Aylward, Frank O.; Suen, Garret; Biedermann, Peter H. W.; Adams, Aaron S.; Scott, Jarrod J.; Malfatti, Stephanie A.; Glavina del Rio, Tijana; Tringe, Susannah G.; Poulsen, Michael; Raffa, Kenneth F.; Klepzig, Kier D.; Currie, Cameron R.

    2014-11-18

    The ability to cultivate food is an innovation that has produced some of the most successful ecological strategies on the planet. Although most well recognized in humans, where agriculture represents a defining feature of civilization, species of ants, beetles, and termites have also independently evolved symbioses with fungi that they cultivate for food. Despite occurring across divergent insect and fungal lineages, the fungivorous niches of these insects are remarkably similar, indicating convergent evolution toward this successful ecological strategy. Here, we characterize the microbiota of ants, beetles, and termites engaged in nutritional symbioses with fungi to define the bacterial groups associated with these prominent herbivores and forest pests. Using culture-independent techniques and the in silico reconstruction of 37 composite genomes of dominant community members, we demonstrate that different insect-fungal symbioses that collectively shape ecosystems worldwide have highly similar bacterial microbiotas comprised primarily of the genera Enterobacter, Rahnella, and Pseudomonas. Although these symbioses span three orders of insects and two phyla of fungi, we show that they are associated with bacteria sharing high whole-genome nucleotide identity. Due to the fine-scale correspondence of the bacterial microbiotas of insects engaged in fungal symbioses, our findings indicate that this represents an example of convergence of entire host-microbe complexes.

  16. Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin.

    PubMed

    Findley, Keisha; Oh, Julia; Yang, Joy; Conlan, Sean; Deming, Clayton; Meyer, Jennifer A; Schoenfeld, Deborah; Nomicos, Effie; Park, Morgan; Kong, Heidi H; Segre, Julia A

    2013-06-20

    Traditional culture-based methods have incompletely defined the microbial landscape of common recalcitrant human fungal skin diseases, including athlete's foot and toenail infections. Skin protects humans from invasion by pathogenic microorganisms and provides a home for diverse commensal microbiota. Bacterial genomic sequence data have generated novel hypotheses about species and community structures underlying human disorders. However, microbial diversity is not limited to bacteria; microorganisms such as fungi also have major roles in microbial community stability, human health and disease. Genomic methodologies to identify fungal species and communities have been limited compared with those that are available for bacteria. Fungal evolution can be reconstructed with phylogenetic markers, including ribosomal RNA gene regions and other highly conserved genes. Here we sequenced and analysed fungal communities of 14 skin sites in 10 healthy adults. Eleven core-body and arm sites were dominated by fungi of the genus Malassezia, with only species-level classifications revealing fungal-community composition differences between sites. By contrast, three foot sites--plantar heel, toenail and toe web--showed high fungal diversity. Concurrent analysis of bacterial and fungal communities demonstrated that physiologic attributes and topography of skin differentially shape these two microbial communities. These results provide a framework for future investigation of the contribution of interactions between pathogenic and commensal fungal and bacterial communities to the maintainenace of human health and to disease pathogenesis.

  17. Persistence and resistance as complementary bacterial adaptations to antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Vogwill, T; Comfort, A C; Furió, V; MacLean, R C

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial persistence represents a simple of phenotypic heterogeneity, whereby a proportion of cells in an isogenic bacterial population can survive exposure to lethal stresses such as antibiotics. In contrast, genetically based antibiotic resistance allows for continued growth in the presence of antibiotics. It is unclear, however, whether resistance and persistence are complementary or alternative evolutionary adaptations to antibiotics. Here, we investigate the co-evolution of resistance and persistence across the genus Pseudomonas using comparative methods that correct for phylogenetic nonindependence. We find that strains of Pseudomonas vary extensively in both their intrinsic resistance to antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and rifampicin) and persistence following exposure to these antibiotics. Crucially, we find that persistence correlates positively to antibiotic resistance across strains. However, we find that different genes control resistance and persistence implying that they are independent traits. Specifically, we find that the number of type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) in the genome of a strain is correlated to persistence, but not resistance. Our study shows that persistence and antibiotic resistance are complementary, but independent, evolutionary adaptations to stress and it highlights the key role played by TAs in the evolution of persistence.

  18. Persistence and resistance as complementary bacterial adaptations to antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Vogwill, T; Comfort, A C; Furió, V; MacLean, R C

    2016-06-01

    Bacterial persistence represents a simple of phenotypic heterogeneity, whereby a proportion of cells in an isogenic bacterial population can survive exposure to lethal stresses such as antibiotics. In contrast, genetically based antibiotic resistance allows for continued growth in the presence of antibiotics. It is unclear, however, whether resistance and persistence are complementary or alternative evolutionary adaptations to antibiotics. Here, we investigate the co-evolution of resistance and persistence across the genus Pseudomonas using comparative methods that correct for phylogenetic nonindependence. We find that strains of Pseudomonas vary extensively in both their intrinsic resistance to antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and rifampicin) and persistence following exposure to these antibiotics. Crucially, we find that persistence correlates positively to antibiotic resistance across strains. However, we find that different genes control resistance and persistence implying that they are independent traits. Specifically, we find that the number of type II toxin-antitoxin systems (TAs) in the genome of a strain is correlated to persistence, but not resistance. Our study shows that persistence and antibiotic resistance are complementary, but independent, evolutionary adaptations to stress and it highlights the key role played by TAs in the evolution of persistence. PMID:26999656

  19. Evolution: Help for the Confused.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheer, Bradley T.

    1979-01-01

    Written in response to an earlier article questioning certain aspects of evolution theory. Discusses ontogeny and phylogeny, the basis of evolution, chance or purpose in evolution, micro and macro-evolution, reversibility, and the evolution processes today. (MA)

  20. Root microbiome relates to plant host evolution in maize and other Poaceae.

    PubMed

    Bouffaud, Marie-Lara; Poirier, Marie-Andrée; Muller, Daniel; Moënne-Loccoz, Yvan

    2014-09-01

    Prokaryote-eukaryote interactions are primordial, but host selection of its bacterial community remains poorly understood. Because eukaryote evolution affects numerous traits shaping the ecology of their microbiome, we can expect that many evolutionary changes in the former will have the potential to impact on the composition of the latter. Consequently, the more phylogenetically distant the eukaryotic hosts, the more distinct their associated bacterial communities should be. We tested this with plants, by comparing the bacterial communities associated with maize genotypes or other Poaceae. 16S rRNA taxonomic microarray analysis showed that the genetic distance between rhizobacterial communities correlated significantly with the phylogenetic distance (derived from chloroplastic sequences) between Poaceae genotypes. This correlation was also significant when considering specific bacterial populations from all main bacterial divisions, instead of the whole rhizobacterial community. These results indicate that eukaryotic host's evolutionary history can be a significant factor shaping directly the assembly and composition of its associated bacterial compartment. PMID:24588973

  1. Surface micropattern limits bacterial contamination

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Bacterial surface contamination contributes to transmission of nosocomial infections. Chemical cleansers used to control surface contamination are often toxic and incorrectly implemented. Additional non-toxic strategies should be combined with regular cleanings to mitigate risks of human error and further decrease rates of nosocomial infections. The Sharklet micropattern (MP), inspired by shark skin, is an effective tool for reducing bacterial load on surfaces without toxic additives. The studies presented here were carried out to investigate the MP surfaces capability to reduce colonization of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) compared to smooth control surfaces. Methods The MP and smooth surfaces produced in acrylic film were compared for remaining bacterial contamination and colonization following inoculation. Direct sampling of surfaces was carried out after inoculation by immersion, spray, and/or touch methods. Ultimately, a combination assay was developed to assess bacterial contamination after touch transfer inoculation combined with drying (persistence) to mimic common environmental contamination scenarios in the clinic or hospital environment. The combination transfer and persistence assay was then used to test antimicrobial copper beside the MP for the ability to reduce MSSA and MRSA challenge. Results The MP reduced bacterial contamination with log reductions ranging from 87-99% (LR = 0.90-2.18; p < 0.05) compared to smooth control surfaces. The MP was more effective than the 99.9% pure copper alloy C11000 at reducing surface contamination of S. aureus (MSSA and MRSA) through transfer and persistence of bacteria. The MP reduced MSSA by as much as 97% (LR = 1.54; p < 0.01) and MRSA by as much as 94% (LR = 1.26; p < 0.005) compared to smooth controls. Antimicrobial copper had no significant effect on MSSA contamination, but reduced MRSA contamination by 80% (LR

  2. Modeling of the Bacillus subtilis Bacterial Biofilm Growing on an Agar Substrate

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoling; Wang, Guoqing; Hao, Mudong

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms are organized communities composed of millions of microorganisms that accumulate on almost any kinds of surfaces. In this paper, a biofilm growth model on an agar substrate is developed based on mass conservation principles, Fick's first law, and Monod's kinetic reaction, by considering nutrient diffusion between biofilm and agar substrate. Our results show biofilm growth evolution characteristics such as biofilm thickness, active biomass, and nutrient concentration in the agar substrate. We quantitatively obtain biofilm growth dependence on different parameters. We provide an alternative mathematical method to describe other kinds of biofilm growth such as multiple bacterial species biofilm and also biofilm growth on various complex substrates. PMID:26355542

  3. Modeling of the Bacillus subtilis Bacterial Biofilm Growing on an Agar Substrate.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoling; Wang, Guoqing; Hao, Mudong

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial biofilms are organized communities composed of millions of microorganisms that accumulate on almost any kinds of surfaces. In this paper, a biofilm growth model on an agar substrate is developed based on mass conservation principles, Fick's first law, and Monod's kinetic reaction, by considering nutrient diffusion between biofilm and agar substrate. Our results show biofilm growth evolution characteristics such as biofilm thickness, active biomass, and nutrient concentration in the agar substrate. We quantitatively obtain biofilm growth dependence on different parameters. We provide an alternative mathematical method to describe other kinds of biofilm growth such as multiple bacterial species biofilm and also biofilm growth on various complex substrates.

  4. Gut bacterial communities across tadpole ecomorphs in two diverse tropical anuran faunas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vences, Miguel; Lyra, Mariana L.; Kueneman, Jordan G.; Bletz, Molly C.; Archer, Holly M.; Canitz, Julia; Handreck, Svenja; Randrianiaina, Roger-Daniel; Struck, Ulrich; Bhuju, Sabin; Jarek, Michael; Geffers, Robert; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Tebbe, Christoph C.; Haddad, Célio F. B.; Glos, Julian

    2016-04-01

    Animal-associated microbial communities can play major roles in the physiology, development, ecology, and evolution of their hosts, but the study of their diversity has yet focused on a limited number of host species. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing of partial sequences of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to assess the diversity of the gut-inhabiting bacterial communities of 212 specimens of tropical anuran amphibians from Brazil and Madagascar. The core gut-associated bacterial communities among tadpoles from two different continents strongly overlapped, with eight highly represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in common. In contrast, the core communities of adults and tadpoles from Brazil were less similar with only one shared OTU. This suggests a community turnover at metamorphosis. Bacterial diversity was higher in tadpoles compared to adults. Distinct differences in composition and diversity occurred among gut bacterial communities of conspecific tadpoles from different water bodies and after experimental fasting for 8 days, demonstrating the influence of both environmental factors and food on the community structure. Communities from syntopic tadpoles clustered by host species both in Madagascar and Brazil, and the Malagasy tadpoles also had species-specific isotope signatures. We recommend future studies to analyze the turnover of anuran gut bacterial communities at metamorphosis, compare the tadpole core communities with those of other aquatic organisms, and assess the possible function of the gut microbiota as a reservoir for protective bacteria on the amphibian skin.

  5. Purification and assembly of bacterial tubulin BtubA/B and constructs bearing eukaryotic tubulin sequences.

    PubMed

    Andreu, José M; Oliva, María A

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial tubulin BtubA/B is a close structural homolog of eukaryotic αβ-tubulin, thought to have originated by transfer of ancestral tubulin genes from a primitive eukaryotic cell to a bacterium, followed by divergent evolution. BtubA and BtubB are easily expressed homogeneous polypeptides that fold spontaneously without eukaryotic chaperone requirements, associate into weak BtubA/B heterodimers and assemble forming tubulin-like protofilaments. These protofilaments coalesce into pairs and bundles, or form five-protofilament tubules proposed to share the architecture of microtubules. Bacterial tubulin is an attractive framework for tubulin engineering. Potential applications include humanizing different sections of bacterial tubulin with the aims of creating recombinant binding sites for antitumor drugs, obtaining well-defined substrates for the enzymes responsible for tubulin posttranslational modification, or bacterial microtubule-like polymeric trails for motor proteins. Several divergent sequences from the surface loops of bacterial tubulin have already been replaced by the corresponding eukaryotic sequences, yielding soluble folded chimeras. We describe the purification protocol of untagged bacterial tubulin BtubA/B by means of ion exchange, size exclusion chromatography, and an assembly-disassembly cycle. This is followed by methods and examples to characterize its assembly, employing light scattering, sedimentation, and electron microscopy. PMID:23973078

  6. Genome-scale co-evolutionary inference identifies functions and clients of bacterial Hsp90.

    PubMed

    Press, Maximilian O; Li, Hui; Creanza, Nicole; Kramer, Günter; Queitsch, Christine; Sourjik, Victor; Borenstein, Elhanan

    2013-01-01

    The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is essential in eukaryotes, in which it facilitates the folding of developmental regulators and signal transduction proteins known as Hsp90 clients. In contrast, Hsp90 is not essential in bacteria, and a broad characterization of its molecular and organismal function is lacking. To enable such characterization, we used a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis to identify genes that co-evolve with bacterial Hsp90. We find that genes whose gain and loss were coordinated with Hsp90 throughout bacterial evolution tended to function in flagellar assembly, chemotaxis, and bacterial secretion, suggesting that Hsp90 may aid assembly of protein complexes. To add to the limited set of known bacterial Hsp90 clients, we further developed a statistical method to predict putative clients. We validated our predictions by demonstrating that the flagellar protein FliN and the chemotaxis kinase CheA behaved as Hsp90 clients in Escherichia coli, confirming the predicted role of Hsp90 in chemotaxis and flagellar assembly. Furthermore, normal Hsp90 function is important for wild-type motility and/or chemotaxis in E. coli. This novel function of bacterial Hsp90 agreed with our subsequent finding that Hsp90 is associated with a preference for multiple habitats and may therefore face a complex selection regime. Taken together, our results reveal previously unknown functions of bacterial Hsp90 and open avenues for future experimental exploration by implicating Hsp90 in the assembly of membrane protein complexes and adaptation to novel environments. PMID:23874229

  7. Temperate phages both mediate and drive adaptive evolution in pathogen biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Emily V.; James, Chloe E.; Williams, David; O’Brien, Siobhan; Fothergill, Joanne L.; Haldenby, Sam; Paterson, Steve; Winstanley, Craig

    2016-01-01

    Temperate phages drive genomic diversification in bacterial pathogens. Phage-derived sequences are more common in pathogenic than nonpathogenic taxa and are associated with changes in pathogen virulence. High abundance and mobilization of temperate phages within hosts suggests that temperate phages could promote within-host evolution of bacterial pathogens. However, their role in pathogen evolution has not been experimentally tested. We experimentally evolved replicate populations of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with or without a community of three temperate phages active in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung infections, including the transposable phage, ɸ4, which is closely related to phage D3112. Populations grew as free-floating biofilms in artificial sputum medium, mimicking sputum of CF lungs where P. aeruginosa is an important pathogen and undergoes evolutionary adaptation and diversification during chronic infection. Although bacterial populations adapted to the biofilm environment in both treatments, population genomic analysis revealed that phages altered both the trajectory and mode of evolution. Populations evolving with phages exhibited a greater degree of parallel evolution and faster selective sweeps than populations without phages. Phage ɸ4 integrated randomly into the bacterial chromosome, but integrations into motility-associated genes and regulators of quorum sensing systems essential for virulence were selected in parallel, strongly suggesting that these insertional inactivation mutations were adaptive. Temperate phages, and in particular transposable phages, are therefore likely to facilitate adaptive evolution of bacterial pathogens within hosts. PMID:27382184

  8. Continuous monitoring of bacterial attachment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeing, D. W.; Mishra, S. K.; Pierson, D. L.

    1994-01-01

    A major concern with the Space Station Freedom (SSF) water supply system is the control of longterm microbial contamination and biofilm development in the water storage and distribution systems. These biofilms have the potential for harboring pathogens as well as microbial strains containing resistance factors that could negatively influence crew health. The proposed means for disinfecting the water system on SSF (iodine) may encourage the selection of resistant strains. In fact, biofilm bacteria were observed in water lines from the Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102); therefore, an alternative remediation method is required to disinfect spacecraft water lines. A thorough understanding of colonization events and the physiological parameters that will influence bacteria adhesion is required. The limiting factor for development of this technology is the ability to continuously monitor adhesion events and the effects of biocides on sessile bacteria. Methods were developed to allow bacterial adhesion and subsequent biocidal treatment to be monitored continuously. This technique couples automated image analysis with a continuous flow of a bacterial suspension through an optical flow cell. A strain of Pseudomonas cepacia isolated from the water supply of the Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103) during STS-39 was grown in a nitrogen-limited continuous culture. This culture was challenged continuously with iodine during growth, and the adhesion characteristics of this strain was measure with regard to flow rate. Various biocides (ozone, hypochlorite, and iodine) were added to the flow stream to evaluate how well each chemical removed the bacteria. After biocide treatment, a fresh bacterial suspension was introduced into the flow cell, and the attachment rate was evaluated on the previously treated surface. This secondary fouling was again treated with biocide to determine the efficacy of multiple batch chemical treatments in removing biofilm.

  9. Bacterial Adhesion at Synthetic Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Cunliffe, D.; Smart, C. A.; Alexander, C.; Vulfson, E. N.

    1999-01-01

    A systematic investigation into the effect of surface chemistry on bacterial adhesion was carried out. In particular, a number of physicochemical factors important in defining the surface at the molecular level were assessed for their effect on the adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli. The primary experiments involved the grafting of groups varying in hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, chain length, and chemical functionality onto glass substrates such that the surfaces were homogeneous and densely packed with functional groups. All of the surfaces were found to be chemically well defined, and their measured surface energies varied from 15 to 41 mJ · m−2. Protein adsorption experiments were performed with 3H-labelled bovine serum albumin and cytochrome c prior to bacterial attachment studies. Hydrophilic uncharged surfaces showed the greatest resistance to protein adsorption; however, our studies also showed that the effectiveness of poly(ethyleneoxide) (PEO) polymers was not simply a result of its hydrophilicity and molecular weight alone. The adsorption of the two proteins approximately correlated with short-term cell adhesion, and bacterial attachment for L. monocytogenes and E. coli also correlated with the chemistry of the underlying substrate. However, for S. aureus and S. typhimurium a different pattern of attachment occurred, suggesting a dissimilar mechanism of cell attachment, although high-molecular-weight PEO was still the least-cell-adsorbing surface. The implications of this for in vivo attachment of cells suggest that hydrophilic passivating groups may be the best method for preventing cell adsorption to synthetic substrates provided they can be grafted uniformly and in sufficient density at the surface. PMID:10543814

  10. Functional microdomains in bacterial membranes

    PubMed Central

    López, Daniel; Kolter, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    The membranes of eukaryotic cells harbor microdomains known as lipid rafts that contain a variety of signaling and transport proteins. Here we show that bacterial membranes contain microdomains functionally similar to those of eukaryotic cells. These membrane microdomains from diverse bacteria harbor homologs of Flotillin-1, a eukaryotic protein found exclusively in lipid rafts, along with proteins involved in signaling and transport. Inhibition of lipid raft formation through the action of zaragozic acid—a known inhibitor of squalene synthases—impaired biofilm formation and protein secretion but not cell viability. The orchestration of physiological processes in microdomains may be a more widespread feature of membranes than previously appreciated. PMID:20713508

  11. [Food-borne bacterial diseases].

    PubMed

    Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia

    2009-01-01

    People's increased traveling and free movement of foodstuffs has increased the risk of contracting food poisonings. Supply networks of foodstuffs with their covering cold chains and long shelf lives of foods have changed the risks of bacterial food poisonings. The significance of spore-forming bacteria and bacteria being capable of growing in the cold has increased. Elucidation by molecular biological detection and typing methods of reservoirs and routes of transport of food-borne bacteria from foodstuffs to humans has significantly increased our understanding of the epidemiology of these bacteria. PMID:19413173

  12. Magnetic microbes: Bacterial magnetite biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Prozorov, Tanya

    2015-10-01

    Magnetotactic bacteria are a diverse group of prokaryotes with the ability to orient and migrate along the magnetic field lines in search for a preferred oxygen concentration in chemically stratified water columns and sediments. These microorganisms produce magnetosomes, the intracellular nanometer-sized magnetic crystals surrounded by a phospholipid bilayer membrane, typically organized in chains. Magnetosomes have nearly perfect crystal structures with narrow size distribution and species-specific morphologies, leading to well-defined magnetic properties. As a result, the magnetite biomineralization in these organisms is of fundamental interest to diverse disciplines, from biotechnology to astrobiology. This article highlights recent advances in the understanding of the bacterial magnetite biomineralization.

  13. Magnetic microbes: Bacterial magnetite biomineralization

    SciTech Connect

    Prozorov, Tanya

    2015-09-14

    Magnetotactic bacteria are a diverse group of prokaryotes with the ability to orient and migrate along the magnetic field lines in search for a preferred oxygen concentration in chemically stratified water columns and sediments. These microorganisms produce magnetosomes, the intracellular nanometer-sized magnetic crystals surrounded by a phospholipid bilayer membrane, typically organized in chains. Magnetosomes have nearly perfect crystal structures with narrow size distribution and species-specific morphologies, leading to well-defined magnetic properties. As a result, the magnetite biomineralization in these organisms is of fundamental interest to diverse disciplines, from biotechnology to astrobiology. As a result, this article highlights recent advances in the understanding of the bacterial magnetite biomineralization.

  14. Understanding Evolution: An Evolution Website for Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scotchmoor, Judy; Janulaw, Al

    2005-01-01

    While many states are facing challenges to the teaching of evolution in their science classrooms, the University of California Museum of Paleontology, working with the National Center for Science Education, has developed a useful web-based resource for science teachers of all grade- and experience-levels. Understanding Evolution (UE) was developed…

  15. Phenotypic signatures arising from unbalanced bacterial growth.

    PubMed

    Tan, Cheemeng; Smith, Robert Phillip; Tsai, Ming-Chi; Schwartz, Russell; You, Lingchong

    2014-08-01

    Fluctuations in the growth rate of a bacterial culture during unbalanced growth are generally considered undesirable in quantitative studies of bacterial physiology. Under well-controlled experimental conditions, however, these fluctuations are not random but instead reflect the interplay between intra-cellular networks underlying bacterial growth and the growth environment. Therefore, these fluctuations could be considered quantitative phenotypes of the bacteria under a specific growth condition. Here, we present a method to identify "phenotypic signatures" by time-frequency analysis of unbalanced growth curves measured with high temporal resolution. The signatures are then applied to differentiate amongst different bacterial strains or the same strain under different growth conditions, and to identify the essential architecture of the gene network underlying the observed growth dynamics. Our method has implications for both basic understanding of bacterial physiology and for the classification of bacterial strains.

  16. Phenotypic Signatures Arising from Unbalanced Bacterial Growth

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Cheemeng; Smith, Robert Phillip; Tsai, Ming-Chi; Schwartz, Russell; You, Lingchong

    2014-01-01

    Fluctuations in the growth rate of a bacterial culture during unbalanced growth are generally considered undesirable in quantitative studies of bacterial physiology. Under well-controlled experimental conditions, however, these fluctuations are not random but instead reflect the interplay between intra-cellular networks underlying bacterial growth and the growth environment. Therefore, these fluctuations could be considered quantitative phenotypes of the bacteria under a specific growth condition. Here, we present a method to identify “phenotypic signatures” by time-frequency analysis of unbalanced growth curves measured with high temporal resolution. The signatures are then applied to differentiate amongst different bacterial strains or the same strain under different growth conditions, and to identify the essential architecture of the gene network underlying the observed growth dynamics. Our method has implications for both basic understanding of bacterial physiology and for the classification of bacterial strains. PMID:25101949

  17. Rapid compensatory evolution promotes the survival of conjugative plasmids.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ellie; Dytham, Calvin; Hall, James P J; Guymer, David; Spiers, Andrew J; Paterson, Steve; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2016-01-01

    Conjugative plasmids play a vital role in bacterial adaptation through horizontal gene transfer. Explaining how plasmids persist in host populations however is difficult, given the high costs often associated with plasmid carriage. Compensatory evolution to ameliorate this cost can rescue plasmids from extinction. In a recently published study we showed that compensatory evolution repeatedly targeted the same bacterial regulatory system, GacA/GacS, in populations of plasmid-carrying bacteria evolving across a range of selective environments. Mutations in these genes arose rapidly and completely eliminated the cost of plasmid carriage. Here we extend our analysis using an individual based model to explore the dynamics of compensatory evolution in this system. We show that mutations which ameliorate the cost of plasmid carriage can prevent both the loss of plasmids from the population and the fixation of accessory traits on the bacterial chromosome. We discuss how dependent the outcome of compensatory evolution is on the strength and availability of such mutations and the rate at which beneficial accessory traits integrate on the host chromosome. PMID:27510852

  18. Chromophore-enhanced bacterial photothermolysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckleby, Jana K.; Morton, Rebecca J.; Bartels, Kenneth E.

    1999-06-01

    The use of chromophore dyes to enhance the bactericidal effect of laser energy was studied as a means to optimize laser treatment for the decontamination of wound. Using an in vitro study, various concentrations of indocyanine green (ICG), carbon black, and fluorescein were mixed with a suspension of bacteria and plated on tryptic soy agar. Plates were exposed to a laser beam of 10-15 watts for times ranging from 0 to 180 seconds, incubated overnight, and colony counts were performed. Bacteria not mixed with chromophore were used as controls. Six bacterial strains encompassing a range of bacterial types were used: Staphylococcus aureau, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus spore suspensions, and Clostridium perfringens. Laser treatment alone had no effect on any of the bacteria. Significant killing of gram-positive bacteria, including spores of Bacillus cereus, was observed only with the use of ICG and diode laser energy. No effect was observed using any of the chromophores on the gram-negative bacteria. The results of this study indicate that successful killing of gram-positive bacteria can be achieved using ICG combined with appropriate laser energy and wavelength. Efforts to enhance the susceptibility of gram-negative bacteria to photothermolysis by laser energy were unsuccessful.

  19. Bacterial Strain Diversity Within Wounds

    PubMed Central

    Kirkup, Benjamin C.

    2015-01-01

    Significance: Rare bacterial taxa (taxa of low relative frequency) are numerous and ubiquitous in virtually any sample—including wound samples. In addition, even the high-frequency genera and species contain multiple strains. These strains, individually, are each only a small fraction of the total bacterial population. Against the view that wounds contain relatively few kinds of bacteria, this newly recognized diversity implies a relatively high rate of migration into the wound and the potential for diversification during infection. Understanding the biological and medical importance of these numerous taxa is an important new element of wound microbiology. Recent Advances: Only recently have these numerous strains been discovered; the technology to detect, identify, and characterize them is still in its infancy. Multiple strains of both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria have been found in a single wound. In the few cases studied, the distribution of the bacteria suggests microhabitats and biological interactions. Critical Issues: The distribution of the strains, their phenotypic diversity, and their interactions are still largely uncharacterized. The technologies to investigate this level of genomic detail are still developing and have not been largely deployed to investigate wounds. Future Directions: As advanced metagenomics, single-cell genomics, and advanced microscopy develop, the study of wound microbiology will better address the complex interplay of numerous individually rare strains with both the host and each other. PMID:25566411

  20. Bacterial dehalorespiration with chlorinated benzenes.

    PubMed

    Adrian, L; Szewzyk, U; Wecke, J; Görisch, H

    2000-11-30

    Chlorobenzenes are toxic, highly persistent and ubiquitously distributed environmental contaminants that accumulate in the food chain. The only known microbial transformation of 1,2,3,5-tetrachlorobenzene (TeCB) and higher chlorinated benzenes is the reductive dechlorination to lower chlorinated benzenes under anaerobic conditions observed with mixed bacterial cultures. The lower chlorinated benzenes can subsequently be mineralized by aerobic bacteria. Here we describe the isolation of the oxygen-sensitive strain CBDB1, a pure culture capable of reductive dechlorination of chlorobenzenes. Strain CBDB1 is a highly specialized bacterium that stoichiometrically dechlorinates 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene (TCB), 1,2,4-TCB, 1,2,3,4-TeCB, 1,2,3,5-TeCB and 1,2,4,5-TeCB to dichlorobenzenes or 1,3,5-TCB. The presence of chlorobenzene as an electron acceptor and hydrogen as an electron donor is essential for growth, and indicates that strain CBDB1 meets its energy needs by a dehalorespiratory process. According to their 16S rRNA gene sequences, strain CBDB1, Dehalococcoides ethenogenes and several uncultivated bacteria form a new bacterial cluster, of which strain CBDB1 is the first, so far, to thrive on a purely synthetic medium.

  1. Immunization by a bacterial aerosol.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Contreras, Lucila; Wong, Yun-Ling; Muttil, Pavan; Padilla, Danielle; Sadoff, Jerry; Derousse, Jessica; Germishuizen, Willem Andreas; Goonesekera, Sunali; Elbert, Katharina; Bloom, Barry R; Miller, Rich; Fourie, P Bernard; Hickey, Anthony; Edwards, David

    2008-03-25

    By manufacturing a single-particle system in two particulate forms (i.e., micrometer size and nanometer size), we have designed a bacterial vaccine form that exhibits improved efficacy of immunization. Microstructural properties are adapted to alter dispersive and aerosol properties independently. Dried "nanomicroparticle" vaccines possess two axes of nanoscale dimensions and a third axis of micrometer dimension; the last one permits effective micrometer-like physical dispersion, and the former provides alignment of the principal nanodimension particle axes with the direction of airflow. Particles formed with this combination of nano- and micrometer-scale dimensions possess a greater ability to aerosolize than particles of standard spherical isotropic shape and of similar geometric diameter. Here, we demonstrate effective application of this biomaterial by using the live attenuated tuberculosis vaccine bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Prepared as a spray-dried nanomicroparticle aerosol, BCG vaccine exhibited high-efficiency delivery and peripheral lung targeting capacity from a low-cost and technically simple delivery system. Aerosol delivery of the BCG nanomicroparticle to normal guinea pigs subsequently challenged with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis significantly reduced bacterial burden and lung pathology both relative to untreated animals and to control animals immunized with the standard parenteral BCG.

  2. Bacterial pathogen genomics and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Moxon, Richard; Rappuoli, Rino

    2002-01-01

    Infectious diseases remain a major cause of deaths and disabilities in the world, the majority of which are caused by bacteria. Although immunisation is the most cost effective and efficient means to control microbial diseases, vaccines are not yet available to prevent many major bacterial infections. Examples include dysentery (shigellosis), gonorrhoea, trachoma, gastric ulcers and cancer (Helicobacter pylori). Improved vaccines are needed to combat some diseases for which current vaccines are inadequate. Tuberculosis, for example, remains rampant throughout most countries in the world and represents a global emergency heightened by the pandemic of HIV. The availability of complete genome sequences has dramatically changed the opportunities for developing novel and improved vaccines and facilitated the efficiency and rapidity of their development. Complete genomic databases provide an inclusive catalogue of all potential candidate vaccines for any bacterial pathogen. In conjunction with adjunct technologies, including bioinformatics, random mutagenesis, microarrays, and proteomics, a systematic and comprehensive approach to identifying vaccine discovery can be undertaken. Genomics must be used in conjunction with population biology to ensure that the vaccine can target all pathogenic strains of a species. A proof in principle of the utility of genomics is provided by the recent exploitation of the complete genome sequence of Neisseria meningitidis group B.

  3. Bacterial Silicification: An Experimental Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toporski, J.; Steele, A.; Westall, F.; Thomas-Keprta, K.; McKay, D.

    2002-05-01

    Evidence of life on Earth in form of silicified microorganisms is reported from throughout the geological record as early as 3.5 Ga ago to recent hot spring environments. Silicified microfossils are resistant to weathering which renders them readily preservable over long time spans. This is of particular interest in astropalaeontological research as if microbial life once was present outside Earth its traces may have become silicified. To better understand the mechanisms involved in silicification, laboratory experiments were designed to simulate silicification of bacterial biofilms. These were exposed to Si solution to test the influence of exposure time and Si ion concentration on silicification. The bacterial biofilms were subsequently analysed using Transmission Electron Microscopy/TEM in combination with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis. It was found that silicification commences after 24h in Si solution and high ion availability results in better preservation of cellular detail; the concentration of Si thus is more important than exposure time. Cells became permineralised and no amorphous silica precipitation was observed. High-resolution TEM studies revealed the presence of nanometer-sized crystallites in highly silicified cell walls. The design of this study will be used to monitor molecular alteration due to silicification to better understand biomarker formation.

  4. Bacterial mutagenicity assays: test methods.

    PubMed

    Gatehouse, David

    2012-01-01

    The most widely used assays for detecting chemically induced gene mutations are those employing bacteria. The plate incorporation assay using various Salmonella typhimurium LT2 and E. coli WP2 strains is a short-term bacterial reverse mutation assay specifically designed to detect a wide range of chemical substances capable of causing DNA damage leading to gene mutations. The test is used worldwide as an initial screen to determine the mutagenic potential of new chemicals and drugs.The test uses several strains of S. typhimurium which carry different mutations in various genes of the histidine operon, and E. coli which carry the same AT base pair at the critical mutation site within the trpE gene. These mutations act as hot spots for mutagens that cause DNA damage via different mechanisms. When these auxotrophic bacterial strains are grown on a minimal media agar plates containing a trace of the required amino-acid (histidine or tryptophan), only those bacteria that revert to amino-acid independence (His(+) or Tryp(+)) will grow to form visible colonies. The number of spontaneously induced revertant colonies per plate is relatively constant. However, when a mutagen is added to the plate, the number of revertant colonies per plate is increased, usually in a dose-related manner.This chapter provides detailed procedures for performing the test in the presence and absence of a metabolic activation system (S9-mix), including advice on specific assay variations and any technical problems. PMID:22147566

  5. Bacterial hemagglutination by Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

    PubMed Central

    Koransky, J R; Scales, R W; Kraus, S J

    1975-01-01

    Direct bacterial hemagglutination was investigated with 20 clinical isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The hemagglutination tests were performed by both a macrotechnique with glass slides and a microtechnique with autotrays. Only organisms from form type 1 or 2 colonies caused hemagglutination. There was no statistical difference at a 10% or higher level in hemagglutination powers of type 1 and type 2 organisms, of male urethral and female cervical isolates, and of the eight major human blood types (ABO-Rh). Of seven erythrocyte species tested, only human cells were agglutinated. D-Mannose did not prevent the agglutination. Rabbit antigonococcal serum and high-titer antigonococcal human sera inhibited the hemagglutination. The results suggest the pili are the mediators of hemagglutination and that their specific agglutination of human erythrocytes may be a correlate of their adherence to human mucosal cells in natural infection. Also, although the procedure is presently insensitive, it is possible to detect human antigonococcal antibody by inhibition of direct bacterial hemagglutination. Images PMID:809353

  6. Mistakes and Molecular Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trevors, J. T.

    1998-01-01

    Examines the role mistakes play in the molecular evolution of bacteria. Discusses the interacting physical, chemical, and biological factors that cause changes in DNA and play a role in prokaryotic evolution. (DDR)

  7. The Evolution of Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stebbins, G. Ledyard

    1973-01-01

    Describes the basic logic behind the modern view of evolution theory. Despite gaps in fossil records, evidence is indicative of the origin of life from nonliving molecules and evolution of higher forms of life from simpler forms. (PS)

  8. Oxygen and Biological Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baugh, Mark A.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed is the evolution of aerobic organisms from anaerobic organisms and the accompanying biochemistry that developed to motivate and enable this evolution. Uses of oxygen by aerobic organisms are described. (CW)

  9. Evolution of Drug Resistance in Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Waclaw, B

    2016-01-01

    Resistance to antibiotics is an important and timely problem of contemporary medicine. Rapid evolution of resistant bacteria calls for new preventive measures to slow down this process, and a longer-term progress cannot be achieved without a good understanding of the mechanisms through which drug resistance is acquired and spreads in microbial populations. Here, we discuss recent experimental and theoretical advances in our knowledge how the dynamics of microbial populations affects the evolution of antibiotic resistance . We focus on the role of spatial and temporal drug gradients and show that in certain situations bacteria can evolve de novo resistance within hours. We identify factors that lead to such rapid onset of resistance and discuss their relevance for bacterial infections. PMID:27193537

  10. Evolution of Drug Resistance in Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Waclaw, B

    2016-01-01

    Resistance to antibiotics is an important and timely problem of contemporary medicine. Rapid evolution of resistant bacteria calls for new preventive measures to slow down this process, and a longer-term progress cannot be achieved without a good understanding of the mechanisms through which drug resistance is acquired and spreads in microbial populations. Here, we discuss recent experimental and theoretical advances in our knowledge how the dynamics of microbial populations affects the evolution of antibiotic resistance . We focus on the role of spatial and temporal drug gradients and show that in certain situations bacteria can evolve de novo resistance within hours. We identify factors that lead to such rapid onset of resistance and discuss their relevance for bacterial infections.

  11. Accelerated Evolution in the Death Galaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Austin, Robert; Tung, Chih-Kuan; Gong, Xiu-Quing; Lambert, Guillaume; Liao, David

    2010-03-01

    We recall 4 main guiding principles of evolution: 1) instability of defections, 2) stress induced non-random mutations, 3) genetic heterogeneity, and 4) fragmented populations. Our previous preliminary experiments have been relatively simple 1-D stress experiments. We are proceeding with 2-D experiments whose design is guided by these principles. Our new experiment we have dubbed the Death Galaxy because of it's use of these design principles. The ``galaxy'' name comes from the fact that the structure is designed as an interconnected array of micro-ecologies, these micro-ecologies are similar to the stars that comprise an astronomical galaxy, and provide the fragmented small populations. A gradient of the antibiotic Cipro is introduced across the galaxy, and we will present results which show how bacterial evolution resulting in resistance to Cipro is accelerated by the physics principles underlying the device.

  12. Spatial distribution of marine airborne bacterial communities

    PubMed Central

    Seifried, Jasmin S; Wichels, Antje; Gerdts, Gunnar

    2015-01-01

    The spatial distribution of bacterial populations in marine bioaerosol samples was investigated during a cruise from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea via Skagerrak and Kattegat. The analysis of the sampled bacterial communities with a pyrosequencing approach revealed that the most abundant phyla were represented by the Proteobacteria (49.3%), Bacteroidetes (22.9%), Actinobacteria (16.3%), and Firmicutes (8.3%). Cyanobacteria were assigned to 1.5% of all bacterial reads. A core of 37 bacterial OTUs made up more than 75% of all bacterial sequences. The most abundant OTU was Sphingomonas sp. which comprised 17% of all bacterial sequences. The most abundant bacterial genera were attributed to distinctly different areas of origin, suggesting highly heterogeneous sources for bioaerosols of marine and coastal environments. Furthermore, the bacterial community was clearly affected by two environmental parameters – temperature as a function of wind direction and the sampling location itself. However, a comparison of the wind directions during the sampling and calculated backward trajectories underlined the need for more detailed information on environmental parameters for bioaerosol investigations. The current findings support the assumption of a bacterial core community in the atmosphere. They may be emitted from strong aerosolizing sources, probably being mixed and dispersed over long distances. PMID:25800495

  13. Old Perspectives on Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Blacquiere-Clarkson, John

    1976-01-01

    Presents a perspective on evolution which includes an explanation of the textbook theory of evolution, a review of evolutionary theory before Darwin, and an outline of Darwin's early theories. Describes a rethinking of evolutionary theory to include natural selection, conservative selection, discontinous evolution, catastrophism, and the…

  14. Evolution & Diversity in Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Lorentz C.

    1988-01-01

    Summarizes recent findings that help in understanding how evolution has brought about the diversity of plant life that presently exists. Discusses basic concepts of evolution, diversity and classification, the three-line hypothesis of plant evolution, the origin of fungi, and the geologic time table. Included are 31 references. (CW)

  15. Evolution for Young Victorians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lightman, Bernard

    2012-07-01

    Evolution was a difficult topic to tackle when writing books for the young in the wake of the controversies over Darwin's Origin of Species. Authors who wrote about evolution for the young experimented with different ways of making the complex concepts of evolutionary theory accessible and less controversial. Many authors depicted presented evolution in a non-Darwinian form amenable to religious interpretation.

  16. A Shuttle evolution strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teixeira, Charles; Mallini, Charles

    1989-01-01

    An overview of a potential Space Shuttle evolution strategy is presented. A Shuttle development study which reviews past and ongoing studies, implements a Shuttle Enhancement Data Base, and develops a methodology and a strawman evolution strategy is discussed. The long-term goals of a Shuttle evolution strategy, including increased reliability, lower cost, robustness, resiliency, increased capability, and assured access are addressed.

  17. Arguing for Evolution.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayala, Francisco J.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the Kansas State Board of Education's decision to remove references to evolution and cosmology from the state's education standards and assessment. Advocates the need to teach evolution in high schools for a meaningful biology education. Addresses the question whether the teaching of evolution poses a threat to Christianity or other…

  18. A cross-disciplinary perspective on the innate immune responses to bacterial lipopolysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Yunhao; Kagan, Jonathan C

    2014-01-01

    The study of innate immunity to bacteria has focused heavily on the mechanisms by which mammalian cells detect lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the conserved surface component of gram-negative bacteria. While Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) is responsible for all the host transcriptional responses to LPS, recent discoveries have revealed the existence of several TLR4-independent responses to LPS. These discoveries not only broaden our view of the means by which mammalian cells interact with bacteria, but also highlight new selective pressures that may have promoted the evolution of bacterial immune evasion strategies. In this review, we highlight past and recent discoveries on host LPS sensing mechanisms and discuss bacterial countermeasures that promote infection. By looking at both sides of the host-pathogen interaction equation, we hope to provide comprehensive insights into host defense mechanisms and bacterial pathogenesis. PMID:24766885

  19. Advances in Understanding Bacterial Pathogenesis Gained from Whole-Genome Sequencing and Phylogenetics.

    PubMed

    Klemm, Elizabeth; Dougan, Gordon

    2016-05-11

    The development of next-generation sequencing as a cost-effective technology has facilitated the analysis of bacterial population structure at a whole-genome level and at scale. From these data, phylogenic trees have been constructed that define population structures at a local, national, and global level, providing a framework for genetic analysis. Although still at an early stage, these approaches have yielded progress in several areas, including pathogen transmission mapping, the genetics of niche colonization and host adaptation, as well as gene-to-phenotype association studies. Antibiotic resistance has proven to be a major challenge in the early 21(st) century, and phylogenetic analyses have uncovered the dramatic effect that the use of antibiotics has had on shaping bacterial population structures. An update on insights into bacterial evolution from comparative genomics is provided in this review. PMID:27173928

  20. Evolutionary Conservation of Bacterial Essential Metabolic Genes across All Bacterial Culture Media.

    PubMed

    Ish-Am, Oren; Kristensen, David M; Ruppin, Eytan

    2015-01-01

    One of the basic postulates of molecular evolution is that functionally important genes should evolve slower than genes of lesser significance. Essential genes, whose knockout leads to a lethal phenotype are considered of high functional importance, yet whether they are truly more conserved than nonessential genes has been the topic of much debate, fuelled by a host of contradictory findings. Here we conduct the first large-scale study utilizing genome-scale metabolic modeling and spanning many bacterial species, which aims to answer this question. Using the novel Media Variation Analysis, we examine the range of conservation of essential vs. nonessential metabolic genes in a given species across all possible media. We are thus able to obtain for the first time, exact upper and lower bounds on the levels of differential conservation of essential genes for each of the species studied. The results show that bacteria do exhibit an overall tendency for differential conservation of their essential genes vs. their non-essential ones, yet this tendency is highly variable across species. We show that the model bacterium E. coli K12 may or may not exhibit differential conservation of essential genes depending on its growth medium, shedding light on previous experimental studies showing opposite trends.

  1. Evolutionary Conservation of Bacterial Essential Metabolic Genes across All Bacterial Culture Media

    PubMed Central

    Ish-Am, Oren; Kristensen, David M.; Ruppin, Eytan

    2015-01-01

    One of the basic postulates of molecular evolution is that functionally important genes should evolve slower than genes of lesser significance. Essential genes, whose knockout leads to a lethal phenotype are considered of high functional importance, yet whether they are truly more conserved than nonessential genes has been the topic of much debate, fuelled by a host of contradictory findings. Here we conduct the first large-scale study utilizing genome-scale metabolic modeling and spanning many bacterial species, which aims to answer this question. Using the novel Media Variation Analysis, we examine the range of conservation of essential vs. nonessential metabolic genes in a given species across all possible media. We are thus able to obtain for the first time, exact upper and lower bounds on the levels of differential conservation of essential genes for each of the species studied. The results show that bacteria do exhibit an overall tendency for differential conservation of their essential genes vs. their non-essential ones, yet this tendency is highly variable across species. We show that the model bacterium E. coli K12 may or may not exhibit differential conservation of essential genes depending on its growth medium, shedding light on previous experimental studies showing opposite trends. PMID:25894004

  2. The Black Queen Hypothesis: Evolution of Dependencies through Adaptive Gene Loss

    PubMed Central

    Morris, J. Jeffrey; Lenski, Richard E.; Zinser, Erik R.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Reductive genomic evolution, driven by genetic drift, is common in endosymbiotic bacteria. Genome reduction is less common in free-living organisms, but it has occurred in the numerically dominant open-ocean bacterioplankton Prochlorococcus and “Candidatus Pelagibacter,” and in these cases the reduction appears to be driven by natural selection rather than drift. Gene loss in free-living organisms may leave them dependent on cooccurring microbes for lost metabolic functions. We present the Black Queen Hypothesis (BQH), a novel theory of reductive evolution that explains how selection leads to such dependencies; its name refers to the queen of spades in the game Hearts, where the usual strategy is to avoid taking this card. Gene loss can provide a selective advantage by conserving an organism’s limiting resources, provided the gene’s function is dispensable. Many vital genetic functions are leaky, thereby unavoidably producing public goods that are available to the entire community. Such leaky functions are thus dispensable for individuals, provided they are not lost entirely from the community. The BQH predicts that the loss of a costly, leaky function is selectively favored at the individual level and will proceed until the production of public goods is just sufficient to support the equilibrium community; at that point, the benefit of any further loss would be offset by the cost. Evolution in accordance with the BQH thus generates “beneficiaries” of reduced genomic content that are dependent on leaky “helpers,” and it may explain the observed nonuniversality of prototrophy, stress resistance, and other cellular functions in the microbial world. PMID:22448042

  3. Effect of heavy metals on bacterial transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Olson, M. S.

    2010-12-01

    Adsorption of metals onto bacteria and soil takes place as stormwater runoff infiltrates into the subsurface. Changes in both bacterial surfaces and soil elemental content have been observed, and may alter the attachment of bacteria to soil surfaces. In this study, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS) analyses were performed on soil samples equilibrated with synthetic stormwater amended with copper, lead and zinc. The results demonstrate the presence of copper and zinc on soil surfaces. To investigate bacterial attachment behavior, sets of batch sorption experiments were conducted on Escherichia Coli (E. coli) under different chemical conditions by varying solution compositions (nutrient solution vs synthetic stormwater). The adsorption data is best described using theoretical linear isotherms. The equilibrium coefficient (Kd) of E. coli is higher in synthetic stormwater than in nutrient solution without heavy metals. The adsorption of heavy metals onto bacterial surfaces significantly decreases their negative surface charge as determined via zeta potential measurements (-17.0±5.96mv for E. coli equilibrated with synthetic stormwater vs -21.6±5.45mv for E. coli equilibrated with nutrient solution), indicating that bacterial attachment may increase due to the attachment of metals onto bacterial surfaces and their subsequent change in surface charge. The attachment efficiency (α) of bacteria was also calculated and compared for both solution chemistries. Bacterial attachment efficiency (α) in synthetic stormwater is 0.997, which is twice as high as that in nutrient solution(α 0.465). The ratio of bacterial diameter : collector diameter suggests minimal soil straining during bacterial transport. Results suggest that the presence of metals in synthetic stormwater leads to an increase in bacterial attachment to soil surfaces. In terms of designing stormwater infiltration basins, the presence of heavy metals seems to

  4. Frontiers of stellar evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lambert, David L. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    The present conference discusses theoretical and observational views of star formation, spectroscopic constraints on the evolution of massive stars, very low mass stars and brown dwarfs, asteroseismology, globular clusters as tests of stellar evolution, observational tests of stellar evolution, and mass loss from cool evolved giant stars. Also discussed are white dwarfs and hot subdwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, supernovae from single stars, close binaries with evolved components, accretion disks in interacting binaries, supernovae in binary systems, stellar evolution and galactic chemical evolution, and interacting binaries containing compact components.

  5. Glyconanomaterials for Combating Bacterial Infections.

    PubMed

    Ramström, Olof; Yan, Mingdi

    2015-11-01

    Bacterial infections constitute an increasing problem to human health in response to build-up of resistance to present antibiotics and sluggish development of new pharmaceuticals. However, a means to address this problem is to pinpoint the drug delivery to-and into-the bacteria. This results in a high local concentration of the drug, circumventing the increasingly high doses otherwise necessary. Combined with other effectors, such as covalent attachment to carriers, rendering the drugs less degradable, and the combination with efflux inhibitors, old drugs can be revived. In this context, glyconanomaterials offer exceptional potential, since these materials can be tailored to accommodate different effectors. In this Concept article, we describe the different advantages of glyconanomaterials, and point to their potential in antibiotic "revitalization". PMID:26418195

  6. Bacterial Exopolysaccharides: Functionality and Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Nwodo, Uchechukwu U.; Green, Ezekiel; Okoh, Anthony I.

    2012-01-01

    Diverse structural, functional and valuable polysaccharides are synthesized by bacteria of all taxa and secreted into the external environment. These polysaccharides are referred to as exopolysaccharides and they may either be homopolymeric or heteropolymeric in composition and of diverse high molecular weights (10 to 1000 kDa). The material properties of exopolysaccharides have revolutionized the industrial and medical sectors due to their retinue of functional applications and prospects. These applications have been extensive in areas such as pharmacological, nutraceutical, functional food, cosmeceutical, herbicides and insecticides among others, while prospects includes uses as anticoagulant, antithrombotic, immunomodulation, anticancer and as bioflocculants. Due to the extensive applications of bacterial exopolysaccharides, this overview provides basic information on their physiologic and morphologic functions as well as their applications and prospects in the medical and industrial sectors. PMID:23203046

  7. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  8. Bacterial vesicles in marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Biller, Steven J; Schubotz, Florence; Roggensack, Sara E; Thompson, Anne W; Summons, Roger E; Chisholm, Sallie W

    2014-01-10

    Many heterotrophic bacteria are known to release extracellular vesicles, facilitating interactions between cells and their environment from a distance. Vesicle production has not been described in photoautotrophs, however, and the prevalence and characteristics of vesicles in natural ecosystems is unknown. Here, we report that cultures of Prochlorococcus, a numerically dominant marine cyanobacterium, continuously release lipid vesicles containing proteins, DNA, and RNA. We also show that vesicles carrying DNA from diverse bacteria are abundant in coastal and open-ocean seawater samples. Prochlorococcus vesicles can support the growth of heterotrophic bacterial cultures, which implicates these structures in marine carbon flux. The ability of vesicles to deliver diverse compounds in discrete packages adds another layer of complexity to the flow of information, energy, and biomolecules in marine microbial communities.

  9. Can bacterial interference prevent infection?

    PubMed

    Reid, G; Howard, J; Gan, B S

    2001-09-01

    The concept that one bacterial species can interfere with the ability of another to colonize and infect the host has at its foundation the prerequisite that bacteria must attach to biological surfaces to cause infection. Although this is an over-simplification of pathogenesis, it has led to studies aimed at creating vaccines that block adhesion events. Arguably, the use of commensal bacteria (also referred to as "normal flora", "indigenous" or "autochthonous" microorganisms) to inhibit pathogens has even greater potential than vaccine use, because these bacteria are natural competitors of pathogens and their action does not require host immune stimulation. Exogenous application of commensal organisms (probiotics) has been shown to reduce the risk of infections in the gut, urogenital tract and wound sites. To manipulate and optimize these effects, further studies are required to understand cell signaling amongst commensals and pathogens within biofilms adherent to host tissues. The potential for new therapeutic regimens using probiotics is significant and worthy of further study.

  10. Magnetic microbes: Bacterial magnetite biomineralization

    DOE PAGES

    Prozorov, Tanya

    2015-09-14

    Magnetotactic bacteria are a diverse group of prokaryotes with the ability to orient and migrate along the magnetic field lines in search for a preferred oxygen concentration in chemically stratified water columns and sediments. These microorganisms produce magnetosomes, the intracellular nanometer-sized magnetic crystals surrounded by a phospholipid bilayer membrane, typically organized in chains. Magnetosomes have nearly perfect crystal structures with narrow size distribution and species-specific morphologies, leading to well-defined magnetic properties. As a result, the magnetite biomineralization in these organisms is of fundamental interest to diverse disciplines, from biotechnology to astrobiology. As a result, this article highlights recent advances inmore » the understanding of the bacterial magnetite biomineralization.« less

  11. Bacterial ice crystal controlling proteins.

    PubMed

    Lorv, Janet S H; Rose, David R; Glick, Bernard R

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  12. Bacterial survival in laundered fabrics.

    PubMed

    Walter, W G; Schillinger, J E

    1975-03-01

    Bacterial survival was determined in linens (i) inoculated with Staphylococcus auerus (ii), taken from hospital isolation patients' beds, and (iii) used by students in their homes. Two different washers using temperatures of 38, 49, 54 and 60 C, respectively, for different times were empolyed along with a commercial tumbler dryer. Findings, after macerating the linens in Waring blender and enumerating on nonselective media, indicate that acceptable levels of survivors can be acheived in motel and hotel linens by an 8- to 10-min wash cycle at 54 C followed by adequate drying. However, it is recommended that a wash cycle with 60 C for 10 to 13 min be employed for linens in health care factilities. The microbial significance of various laundering practices is discussed. PMID:1090256

  13. Bacterial Survival in Laundered Fabrics

    PubMed Central

    Walter, William G.; Schillinger, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Bacterial survival was determined in linens (i) inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus (ii), taken from hospital isolation patients' beds, and (iii) used by students in their homes. Two different washers using temperatures of 38, 49, 54 and 60 C, respectively, for different times were employed along with a commercial tumbler dryer. Findings, after macerating the linens in a Waring blender and enumerating on nonselective media, indicate that acceptable levels of survivors can be achieved in motel and hotel linens by an 8- to 10-min wash cycle at 54 C followed by adequate drying. However, it is recommended that a wash cycle with 60 C for 10 to 13 min be employed for linens in health care factilities. The microbial significance of various laundering practices is discussed. PMID:1090256

  14. Unexpected versatility in bacterial riboswitches.

    PubMed

    Mellin, J R; Cossart, Pascale

    2015-03-01

    Bacterial riboswitches are elements present in the 5'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of mRNA molecules that bind to ligands and regulate the expression of downstream genes. Riboswitches typically regulate the expression of protein-coding genes. However, mechanisms of riboswitch-mediated regulation have recently been shown to be more diverse than originally thought, with reports showing that riboswitches can regulate the expression of noncoding RNAs and control the access of proteins, such as transcription termination factor Rho and RNase E, to a nascent RNA. Riboswitches are also increasingly used in biotechnology, with advances in the engineering of synthetic riboswitches and the development of riboswitch-based sensors. In this review we address the emerging roles and mechanisms of riboswitch-mediated regulation in natura and recent progress in the development of riboswitch-based technology. PMID:25708284

  15. Transfusion-associated bacterial sepsis.

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, S J; Friedman, L I; Dodd, R Y

    1994-01-01

    The incidence of sepsis caused by transfusion of bacterially contaminated blood components is similar to or less than that of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis C virus infection, yet significantly exceeds those currently estimated for transfusion-associated human immunodeficiency and hepatitis B viruses. Outcomes are serious and may be fatal. In addition, transfusion of sterile allogenic blood can have generalized immunosuppressive effects on recipients, resulting in increased susceptibility to postoperative infection. This review examines the frequency of occurrence of transfusion-associated sepsis, the organisms implicated, and potential sources of bacteria. Approaches to minimize the frequency of sepsis are discussed, including the benefits and disadvantages of altering the storage conditions for blood. In addition, the impact of high levels of bacteria on the gross characteristics of erythrocyte and platelet concentrates is described. The potentials and limitations of current tests for detecting bacteria in blood are also discussed. PMID:7923050

  16. Metabolic Signatures of Bacterial Vaginosis

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Martin T.; Fiedler, Tina L.; Djukovic, Danijel; Hoffman, Noah G.; Raftery, Daniel; Marrazzo, Jeanne M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is characterized by shifts in the vaginal microbiota from Lactobacillus dominant to a microbiota with diverse anaerobic bacteria. Few studies have linked specific metabolites with bacteria found in the human vagina. Here, we report dramatic differences in metabolite compositions and concentrations associated with BV using a global metabolomics approach. We further validated important metabolites using samples from a second cohort of women and a different platform to measure metabolites. In the primary study, we compared metabolite profiles in cervicovaginal lavage fluid from 40 women with BV and 20 women without BV. Vaginal bacterial representation was determined using broad-range PCR with pyrosequencing and concentrations of bacteria by quantitative PCR. We detected 279 named biochemicals; levels of 62% of metabolites were significantly different in women with BV. Unsupervised clustering of metabolites separated women with and without BV. Women with BV have metabolite profiles marked by lower concentrations of amino acids and dipeptides, concomitant with higher levels of amino acid catabolites and polyamines. Higher levels of the signaling eicosanoid 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE), a biomarker for inflammation, were noted in BV. Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii exhibited similar metabolite correlation patterns, which were distinct from correlation patterns exhibited by BV-associated bacteria. Several metabolites were significantly associated with clinical signs and symptoms (Amsel criteria) used to diagnose BV, and no metabolite was associated with all four clinical criteria. BV has strong metabolic signatures across multiple metabolic pathways, and these signatures are associated with the presence and concentrations of particular bacteria. PMID:25873373

  17. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Bures, Jan; Cyrany, Jiri; Kohoutova, Darina; Förstl, Miroslav; Rejchrt, Stanislav; Kvetina, Jaroslav; Vorisek, Viktor; Kopacova, Marcela

    2010-01-01

    Human intestinal microbiota create a complex polymicrobial ecology. This is characterised by its high population density, wide diversity and complexity of interaction. Any dysbalance of this complex intestinal microbiome, both qualitative and quantitative, might have serious health consequence for a macro-organism, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO). SIBO is defined as an increase in the number and/or alteration in the type of bacteria in the upper gastrointestinal tract. There are several endogenous defence mechanisms for preventing bacterial overgrowth: gastric acid secretion, intestinal motility, intact ileo-caecal valve, immunoglobulins within intestinal secretion and bacteriostatic properties of pancreatic and biliary secretion. Aetiology of SIBO is usually complex, associated with disorders of protective antibacterial mechanisms (e.g. achlorhydria, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, immunodeficiency syndromes), anatomical abnormalities (e.g. small intestinal obstruction, diverticula, fistulae, surgical blind loop, previous ileo-caecal resections) and/or motility disorders (e.g. scleroderma, autonomic neuropathy in diabetes mellitus, post-radiation enteropathy, small intestinal pseudo-obstruction). In some patients more than one factor may be involved. Symptoms related to SIBO are bloating, diarrhoea, malabsorption, weight loss and malnutrition. The gold standard for diagnosing SIBO is still microbial investigation of jejunal aspirates. Non-invasive hydrogen and methane breath tests are most commonly used for the diagnosis of SIBO using glucose or lactulose. Therapy for SIBO must be complex, addressing all causes, symptoms and complications, and fully individualised. It should include treatment of the underlying disease, nutritional support and cyclical gastro-intestinal selective antibiotics. Prognosis is usually serious, determined mostly by the underlying disease that led to SIBO. PMID:20572300

  18. Absorption Changes in Bacterial Chromatophores

    PubMed Central

    Kuntz, Irwin D.; Loach, Paul A.; Calvin, Melvin

    1964-01-01

    The magnitude and kinetics of photo-induced absorption changes in bacterial chromatophores (R. rubrum, R. spheroides and Chromatium) have been studied as a function of potential, established by added redox couples. No photochanges can be observed above +0.55 v or below -0.15 v. The loss of signal at the higher potential is centered at +0.439 v and follows a one-electron change. The loss of signal at the lower potential is centered at -0.044 v and is also consistent with a one-electron change. Both losses are reversible. A quantitative relationship exists between light-minus-dark and oxidized-minus-reduced spectra in the near infrared from +0.30 to +0.55 v. Selective treatment of the chromatophores with strong oxidants irreversibly bleaches the bulk pigments but appears to leave intact those pigments responsible for the photo- and chemically-induced absorption changes. Kinetic studies of the photochanges in deaerated samples of R. rubrum chromatophores revealed the same rise time for bands at 433, 792, and 865 mμ (t½ = 50 msec.). However, these bands had different decay rates (t½ = 1.5, 0.5, 0.15 sec., respectively), indicating that they belong to different pigments. Analysis of the data indicates, as the simplest interpretation, a first-order (or pseudo first-order) forward reaction and two parallel first-order (or pseudo first-order) decay reactions at each wavelength. These results imply that all pigments whose kinetics are given are photooxidized and the decay processes are dark reductions. These experiments are viewed as supporting and extending the concept of a bacterial photosynthetic unit, with energy migration within it to specific sites of electron transfer. PMID:14185583

  19. Bacterial sorption of heavy metals.

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, M D; Wolf, D C; Ferris, F G; Beveridge, T J; Flemming, C A; Bailey, G W

    1989-01-01

    Four bacteria, Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, were examined for the ability to remove Ag+, Cd2+, Cu2+, and La3+ from solution by batch equilibration methods. Cd and Cu sorption over the concentration range 0.001 to 1 mM was described by Freundlich isotherms. At 1 mM concentrations of both Cd2+ and Cu2+, P. aeruginosa and B. cereus were the most and least efficient at metal removal, respectively. Freundlich K constants indicated that E. coli was most efficient at Cd2+ removal and B. subtilis removed the most Cu2+. Removal of Ag+ from solution by bacteria was very efficient; an average of 89% of the total Ag+ was removed from the 1 mM solution, while only 12, 29, and 27% of the total Cd2+, Cu2+, and La3+, respectively, were sorbed from 1 mM solutions. Electron microscopy indicated that La3+ accumulated at the cell surface as needlelike, crystalline precipitates. Silver precipitated as discrete colloidal aggregates at the cell surface and occasionally in the cytoplasm. Neither Cd2+ nor Cu2+ provided enough electron scattering to identify the location of sorption. The affinity series for bacterial removal of these metals decreased in the order Ag greater than La greater than Cu greater than Cd. The results indicate that bacterial cells are capable of binding large quantities of different metals. Adsorption equations may be useful for describing bacterium-metal interactions with metals such as Cd and Cu; however, this approach may not be adequate when precipitation of metals occurs. Images PMID:2515800

  20. Cefoxitin therapy for bacterial endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Webb, D; Thadepalli, H; Bach, V

    1979-01-01

    Of 22 patients who were suspected of having bacterial endocarditis and who were treated with cefoxitin intravenously (8-12 g per day), 12 were evaluated for responses to therapy. Ten patients had infections due to a single pathogen, and two had polymicrobial infections. Staphylococci were isolated from eight patients, and streptococci from four; both of these pathogens were susceptible to 2-16 micrograms of cefoxitin/ml. Staphylococcus aureus and four strains of anaerobic bacteria, including Bacteroides fragilis (minimal inhibitory concentration, 32 micrograms/ml), were isolated from one patient. The average level of cefoxitin in serum was 32.8 micrograms/ml (range, 14.5-64 micrograms/ml) at 1 hr after an intravenous dose of 2 g; after 5 hr the average level in serum was 8.5 micrograms/ml (range, 2-20 micrograms/ml). The mean (+/- SD) level of cefoxitin in myocardial tissues from eight rabbits at 1 hr following a 250-mg/kg dose of the antibiotic was 4 +/- 0.5 micrograms/g. On the average, patients were treated for 29 days (range, 14-40 days), and they became afebrile in 6.2 days (range, three to 20 days). Both clinical and microbiologic responses to cefoxitin therapy were excellent in 10 patients with monobacterial infections. Both patients with polymicrobial infections were not cured. One, who was infected with a mixed flora of anaerobes, died; the other was cured after surgical valvectomy. These results suggest that cefoxitin is effective in the treatment of endocarditis due to a single susceptible organism but that this antibiotic should be used with caution in patients whose endocarditis is caused by a mixed population of bacterial pathogens.