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Sample records for international fungus spore

  1. Fifth international fungus spore conference

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Timberlake, W.E.

    1993-04-01

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

  3. Computer-assisted image processing to detect spores from the fungus Pandora neoaphidis

    PubMed Central

    Korsnes, Reinert; Westrum, Karin; Fløistad, Erling; Klingen, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    This contribution demonstrates an example of experimental automatic image analysis to detect spores prepared on microscope slides derived from trapping. The application is to monitor aerial spore counts of the entomopathogenic fungus Pandora neoaphidis which may serve as a biological control agent for aphids. Automatic detection of such spores can therefore play a role in plant protection. The present approach for such detection is a modification of traditional manual microscopy of prepared slides, where autonomous image recording precedes computerised image analysis. The purpose of the present image analysis is to support human visual inspection of imagery data – not to replace it. The workflow has three components:•Preparation of slides for microscopy.•Image recording.•Computerised image processing where the initial part is, as usual, segmentation depending on the actual data product. Then comes identification of blobs, calculation of principal axes of blobs, symmetry operations and projection on a three parameter egg shape space. PMID:27073786

  4. Computer-assisted image processing to detect spores from the fungus Pandora neoaphidis.

    PubMed

    Korsnes, Reinert; Westrum, Karin; Fløistad, Erling; Klingen, Ingeborg

    2016-01-01

    This contribution demonstrates an example of experimental automatic image analysis to detect spores prepared on microscope slides derived from trapping. The application is to monitor aerial spore counts of the entomopathogenic fungus Pandora neoaphidis which may serve as a biological control agent for aphids. Automatic detection of such spores can therefore play a role in plant protection. The present approach for such detection is a modification of traditional manual microscopy of prepared slides, where autonomous image recording precedes computerised image analysis. The purpose of the present image analysis is to support human visual inspection of imagery data - not to replace it. The workflow has three components:•Preparation of slides for microscopy.•Image recording.•Computerised image processing where the initial part is, as usual, segmentation depending on the actual data product. Then comes identification of blobs, calculation of principal axes of blobs, symmetry operations and projection on a three parameter egg shape space. PMID:27073786

  5. Detection of a novel bacterium associated with spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita.

    PubMed

    Long, Liangkun; Yao, Qing; Ai, Yuncan; Deng, Mingrong; Zhu, Honghui

    2009-06-01

    With PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis, two bacterial 16S rRNA gene V3 region sequences, 7A and 7B, were detected in association with the crushed spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Gigaspora margarita W.N. Becker & I.R. Hall 1976 MAFF520054. DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed that 7B was mostly related to the documented cytoplasm endosymbiotic bacterium Candidatus Glomeribacter gigasporarum of G. margarita, but 7A could not be confidently assigned to a known taxon. Further characterization of 7A was conducted by obtaining its almost complete 16S rRNA gene sequence via PCR amplification and sequencing. BLAST search indicates that the 16S rRNA gene sequence did not match any identified species sequences in the GenBank database. Further detection revealed that 7A was also associated with the clean G. margarita MAFF520054 spores that were obtained by the surface-sterilized method or dual culture with Ri T-DNA transformed carrot roots. Many ellipse-shaped or egg-shaped bacterium-like organisms were clustered in layer 3 of the fungal spore wall by transmission electron microscopy observation. Our results indicate that 7A represents a novel bacterial population associated with G. margarita MAFF520054 spores, and its doubtless location (wall or cytoplasm) remains unclear based on the present data.

  6. Spores

    MedlinePlus

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

  7. Diffusible component from the spore surface of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus which inhibits the macrophage oxidative burst is distinct from gliotoxin and other hyphal toxins

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, C. G.; Slight, J.; Donaldson, K.

    1997-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, whose spores are present ubiquitously in the air, causes a range of diseases in the human lung. A small molecular weight (< 10 kD) heat stable toxin released from the spores of clinical and environmental isolates of A fumigatus within minutes of deposition in aqueous solution has previously been described. A key effect of the toxin was to inhibit the oxidative burst of macrophages as measured by superoxide anion release. It was hypothesised that the toxin was one of the commonly found A fumigatus hyphal toxins such as gliotoxin. This inhibitor may be an important factor which allows the fungus to colonise the lung. METHODS: The spore derived inhibitor was shown to inhibit the respiratory burst of rat alveolar macrophages, as measured by the generation of superoxide anion. Samples of the spore diffusate were subject to reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), thin layer chromatography (TLC), high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), or organic extraction followed by TLC or HPLC to identify the presence of gliotoxin, fumagillin, helvolic acid, fumigaclavine-C, and aurasperone-C. Commercially obtained preparations of the toxins gliotoxin, fumagillin and helvolic acid and extracts enriched for fumigaclavine-C and aurasperone-C were used as internal and external standards and in the respiratory burst measurements. RESULTS: Gliotoxin, fumagillin, helvolic acid, fumigaclavine-C, and aurasperone- C were not detected in spore derived diffusate using PHLC or TLC. Using extraction procedures with solvents known to extract gliotoxin from A fumigatus culture supernatants, no gliotoxin was detected in the spore derived diffusate. Commercial gliotoxin, fumagillin, and helvolic acid or extracts enriched for fumigaclavine-C and aurasperone-C did not inhibit the oxidative burst of macrophages. CONCLUSIONS: The hypothesis that the spore derived toxin is one of the toxins derived from hyphae such as gliotoxin

  8. Fungal Spores Viability on the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomoiu, I.; Chatzitheodoridis, E.; Vadrucci, S.; Walther, I.; Cojoc, R.

    2016-11-01

    In this study we investigated the security of a spaceflight experiment from two points of view: spreading of dried fungal spores placed on the different wafers and their viability during short and long term missions on the International Space Station (ISS). Microscopic characteristics of spores from dried spores samples were investigated, as well as the morphology of the colonies obtained from spores that survived during mission. The selected fungal species were: Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium herbarum, Ulocladium chartarum, and Basipetospora halophila. They have been chosen mainly based on their involvement in the biodeterioration of different substrate in the ISS as well as their presence as possible contaminants of the ISS. From biological point of view, three of the selected species are black fungi, with high melanin content and therefore highly resistant to space radiation. The visual inspection and analysis of the images taken before and after the short and the long term experiments have shown that all biocontainers were returned to Earth without damages. Microscope images of the lids of the culture plates revealed that the spores of all species were actually not detached from the surface of the wafers and did not contaminate the lids. From the adhesion point of view all types of wafers can be used in space experiments, with a special comment on the viability in the particular case of iron wafers when used for spores that belong to B. halophila (halophilic strain). This is encouraging in performing experiments with fungi without risking contamination. The spore viability was lower in the experiment for long time to ISS conditions than that of the short experiment. From the observations, it is suggested that the environment of the enclosed biocontainer, as well as the species'specific behaviour have an important effect, reducing the viability in time. Even the spores were not detached from the surface of the wafers, it was observed that spores used in the

  9. Fungal Spores Viability on the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomoiu, I.; Chatzitheodoridis, E.; Vadrucci, S.; Walther, I.; Cojoc, R.

    2016-04-01

    In this study we investigated the security of a spaceflight experiment from two points of view: spreading of dried fungal spores placed on the different wafers and their viability during short and long term missions on the International Space Station (ISS). Microscopic characteristics of spores from dried spores samples were investigated, as well as the morphology of the colonies obtained from spores that survived during mission. The selected fungal species were: Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium herbarum, Ulocladium chartarum, and Basipetospora halophila. They have been chosen mainly based on their involvement in the biodeterioration of different substrate in the ISS as well as their presence as possible contaminants of the ISS. From biological point of view, three of the selected species are black fungi, with high melanin content and therefore highly resistant to space radiation. The visual inspection and analysis of the images taken before and after the short and the long term experiments have shown that all biocontainers were returned to Earth without damages. Microscope images of the lids of the culture plates revealed that the spores of all species were actually not detached from the surface of the wafers and did not contaminate the lids. From the adhesion point of view all types of wafers can be used in space experiments, with a special comment on the viability in the particular case of iron wafers when used for spores that belong to B. halophila (halophilic strain). This is encouraging in performing experiments with fungi without risking contamination. The spore viability was lower in the experiment for long time to ISS conditions than that of the short experiment. From the observations, it is suggested that the environment of the enclosed biocontainer, as well as the species'specific behaviour have an important effect, reducing the viability in time. Even the spores were not detached from the surface of the wafers, it was observed that spores used in the

  10. Involvement of a caleosin in lipid storage, spore dispersal, and virulence in the entomopathogenic filamentous fungus, Beauveria bassiana.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yanhua; Ortiz-Urquiza, Almudena; Garrett, Timothy; Pei, Yan; Keyhani, Nemat O

    2015-11-01

    Eukaryotic cells store lipids in membrane-encased droplets. The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, initiates infection via attachment of its spores to the epicuticle or waxy layer of target insects, degrading and assimilating host surface hydrocarbons, carbohydrates and proteins. Caleosins are components of the proteinaceous coat of lipid droplets and a single B. bassiana caleosin homologue, Bbcal1, was identified and characterized. The BbCal1 sequence contained an EF-hand Ca(2+) binding domain and potential hydrophobic stretches similar to those found in plant caleosins, along with a proline knot motif defined by only two proline residues. Targeted gene inactivation of Bbcal1 did not appear to affect spore germination, growth on lipid substrates or stress response, but changes in lipid, vacuole and endoplasmic reticulum/multilamellar vesicle-like structures, and altered cellular lipid profiles were seen in conidia grown on a variety of substrates including potato dextrose agar, olive oil, glyceride trioleate, oleic acid and the alkane, C16 . The ΔBbcal1 mutant produced more compact assemblages of conidia, displayed a reduced and delayed spore dispersal phenotype, and showed decreased virulence in insect bioassays using the greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella. Our data indicate novel functions for caleosins in fungal virulence, spore development and the trafficking and/or turnover of lipid-related structures. PMID:26235819

  11. THE EFFECTS OF ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION ON SPORES OF THE FUNGUS ASPERGILLUS NIGER

    PubMed Central

    Zahl, Paul A.; Koller, L. R.; Haskins, C. P.

    1939-01-01

    The survival ratio of Aspergillus spores exposed to ultraviolet radiation has been measured as a function of total incident energy for wave lengths of 2537 Å, 3022 Å, 3129 Å, and 3650 Å. The effect of humidity on killing of Aspergillus spores by ultraviolet radiation has been found to be negligible. A delay in germination as a result of irradiation has been found. The Bunsen-Roscoe reciprocity law has been found to hold within the limits of the radiation intensities studied. Certain morphological changes have been observed. PMID:19873127

  12. Spore Density Determines Infection Strategy by the Plant Pathogenic Fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Necrotrophic and biotrophic pathogens are resisted by different plant defenses. While necrotrophic pathogens are sensitive to jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent resistance, biotrophic pathogens are resisted by salicylic acid (SA)- and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent resistance. Although many pathogens switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy during infection, little is known about the signals triggering this transition. This study is based on the observation that the early colonization pattern and symptom development by the ascomycete pathogen Plectosphaerella cucumerina (P. cucumerina) vary between inoculation methods. Using the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) defense response as a proxy for infection strategy, we examined whether P. cucumerina alternates between hemibiotrophic and necrotrophic lifestyles, depending on initial spore density and distribution on the leaf surface. Untargeted metabolome analysis revealed profound differences in metabolic defense signatures upon different inoculation methods. Quantification of JA and SA, marker gene expression, and cell death confirmed that infection from high spore densities activates JA-dependent defenses with excessive cell death, while infection from low spore densities induces SA-dependent defenses with lower levels of cell death. Phenotyping of Arabidopsis mutants in JA, SA, and ROS signaling confirmed that P. cucumerina is differentially resisted by JA- and SA/ROS-dependent defenses, depending on initial spore density and distribution on the leaf. Furthermore, in situ staining for early callose deposition at the infection sites revealed that necrotrophy by P. cucumerina is associated with elevated host defense. We conclude that P. cucumerina adapts to early-acting plant defenses by switching from a hemibiotrophic to a necrotrophic infection program, thereby gaining an advantage of immunity-related cell death in the host. PMID:26842622

  13. Total Dose Effects (TDE) of heavy ionizing radiation in fungus spores and plant seeds: Preliminary investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kranz, A. R.; Zimmermann, M. W.; Stadler, R.; Gartenbach, K. E.; Pickert, M.

    1992-01-01

    The opportunity to compare cosmic radiation effects caused during long and short duration exposure flights in biological objects are limited until now, and data obtained so far are very rare and insufficient. Because of the very long exposure of the experiment during the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) mission (approximately 2000 days) structural changes of the hardware material can be expected which will influence its biocompatibility and, thus, will interact with the radiobiological effects. The aim of the experiment flown on LDEF was a detailed investigation of biological effects caused by cosmic radiation especially of particles of high atomic number Z and high energy. The flight hardware consisted of standard BIOSTACK containers; in these containers a special sandwich construction consisted of visual plastic detectors with seed rsp. spore layers interlocked.

  14. Self-inhibition of spore germination via reactive oxygen in the fungus Cladosporium cucumerinum, causal agent of cucurbit scab

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cladosporium cucumerinum spore germination in vitro depended on spore suspension density. Different fungal isolates displayed maximum germination at different spore concentrations. For one isolate, maximum spore density was observed at both 18 and 25 °C, although germination percentage increased sli...

  15. Single spore isolation and morphological characterization of local Malaysian isolates of rice blast fungus Magnoporthe grisea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Ankitta; Ratnam, Wickneswari; Bhuiyan, Md Atiqur Rahman; Ponaya, Ariane; Jena, Khisord K.

    2015-09-01

    Rice blast is a destructive disease, caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe grisea. It causes considerable damage to rice and leads to crop loss in rice growing regions worldwide. Although fungicides can be used to control rice blast, they generate additional cost in rice production and contamination of environment and food. Therefore, the use of resistant varieties is thought to be one of the most economically and environmentally efficient ways of crop protection from the disease. Six new local Malaysian isolates of M. grisea were isolated using single spore isolation method. Five isolates were from infected leaf samples collected from Kompleks Latihan MADA, Kedah and one was from Kelantan. These isolates were identified using morphological characteristics and microscopic studies and later confirmed by ITSequences. These isolates were induced to sporulate and used for greenhouse screening on two differential rice varieties: Mahsuri (susceptible) and Pongsu Seribu 2 (resistant). Among the 6 isolates, isolate number 3 was found to be the most virulent showing high sporulation while isolate number 4 was very slow growing, and the least virulent.

  16. Ascosphaera subglobosa, a new spore cyst fungus from North America associated with the solitary bee Megachile rotundata.

    PubMed

    Wynns, Anja Amtoft; Jensen, Annette Bruun; Eilenberg, Jørgen; James, Rosalind

    2012-01-01

    Ascosphaera subglobosa (Eurotiomycetes: Onygenales) is newly described from the pollen provisions and nesting material of the solitary leaf-cutting bee Megachile rotundata in Canada and the western United States. This new species, related to A. atra and A. duoformis, is distinguished from other Ascosphaera species by its globose to subglobose ascospores, evanescent spore balls and unique nuclear ribosomal DNA sequences (ITS and LSU). PMID:21828215

  17. Fungus Amongus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wakeley, Deidra

    2005-01-01

    This role-playing simulation is designed to help teach middle level students about the typical lifecycle of a fungus. In this interactive simulation, students assume the roles of fungi, spores, living and dead organisms, bacteria, and rain. As they move around a playing field collecting food and water chips, they discover how the organisms…

  18. The CarO rhodopsin of the fungus Fusarium fujikuroi is a light-driven proton pump that retards spore germination.

    PubMed

    García-Martínez, Jorge; Brunk, Michael; Avalos, Javier; Terpitz, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Rhodopsins are membrane-embedded photoreceptors found in all major taxonomic kingdoms using retinal as their chromophore. They play well-known functions in different biological systems, but their roles in fungi remain unknown. The filamentous fungus Fusarium fujikuroi contains two putative rhodopsins, CarO and OpsA. The gene carO is light-regulated, and the predicted polypeptide contains all conserved residues required for proton pumping. We aimed to elucidate the expression and cellular location of the fungal rhodopsin CarO, its presumed proton-pumping activity and the possible effect of such function on F. fujikuroi growth. In electrophysiology experiments we confirmed that CarO is a green-light driven proton pump. Visualization of fluorescent CarO-YFP expressed in F. fujikuroi under control of its native promoter revealed higher accumulation in spores (conidia) produced by light-exposed mycelia. Germination analyses of conidia from carO(-) mutant and carO(+) control strains showed a faster development of light-exposed carO(-) germlings. In conclusion, CarO is an active proton pump, abundant in light-formed conidia, whose activity slows down early hyphal development under light. Interestingly, CarO-related rhodopsins are typically found in plant-associated fungi, where green light dominates the phyllosphere. Our data provide the first reliable clue on a possible biological role of a fungal rhodopsin.

  19. The CarO rhodopsin of the fungus Fusarium fujikuroi is a light-driven proton pump that retards spore germination

    PubMed Central

    García-Martínez, Jorge; Brunk, Michael; Avalos, Javier; Terpitz, Ulrich

    2015-01-01

    Rhodopsins are membrane-embedded photoreceptors found in all major taxonomic kingdoms using retinal as their chromophore. They play well-known functions in different biological systems, but their roles in fungi remain unknown. The filamentous fungus Fusarium fujikuroi contains two putative rhodopsins, CarO and OpsA. The gene carO is light-regulated, and the predicted polypeptide contains all conserved residues required for proton pumping. We aimed to elucidate the expression and cellular location of the fungal rhodopsin CarO, its presumed proton-pumping activity and the possible effect of such function on F. fujikuroi growth. In electrophysiology experiments we confirmed that CarO is a green-light driven proton pump. Visualization of fluorescent CarO-YFP expressed in F. fujikuroi under control of its native promoter revealed higher accumulation in spores (conidia) produced by light-exposed mycelia. Germination analyses of conidia from carO− mutant and carO+ control strains showed a faster development of light-exposed carO− germlings. In conclusion, CarO is an active proton pump, abundant in light-formed conidia, whose activity slows down early hyphal development under light. Interestingly, CarO-related rhodopsins are typically found in plant-associated fungi, where green light dominates the phyllosphere. Our data provide the first reliable clue on a possible biological role of a fungal rhodopsin. PMID:25589426

  20. A role for the asexual spores in infection of Fraxinus excelsior by the ash-dieback fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus

    PubMed Central

    Fones, Helen Nicola; Mardon, Charlotte; Gurr, Sarah Jane

    2016-01-01

    The invasive pathogen, ash dieback fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is spreading rapidly across Europe. It shows high levels of outcrossing and limited population structure, even at the epidemic front. The anamorphic (asexual) form produces prolific conidia, thought to function solely as spermatia (male gametes), facilitating gene flow between sympatric strains. Here, we show that conidia are capable of germination on ash leaves and in vitro, and can infect seedlings via leaves or soil. In leaves, germlings form structures resembling fruiting bodies. Additionally, H. fraxineus colonises ash debris and grows in soil in the absence of ash tissues. We propose an amended life-cycle in which wind-dispersed, insect-vectored or water-spread conidia infect ash and may sporulate in planta, as well as in forest debris. This amplifies inoculum levels of different strains in ash stands. In combination with their function as spermatia, conidia thus act to maximise gene flow between sympatric strains, including those originally present at low inoculum. Such mixing increases evolutionary potential, as well as enhancing the likelihood of gene introgression from closely-related strains or assimilation of further genetic diversity from parental Asian populations. This scenario increases the adaptability of H. fraxineus to new climates and, indeed, onto new host species. PMID:27694963

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Airborne mesophilic fungal spores in various residential environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasanen, A.-L.

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

  3. Assessing fungus prevalence in domestic interiors.

    PubMed

    Solomon, W R

    1975-09-01

    Single-plate, Andersen sampler collections of mesonphilic imperfect fungi were made at three points in and immediately outside a series of midwestern homes. During frost-free periods, emanations of dark-spored form genera predominated at both points with indoor levels averaging 25% of those in outside air. At these times, volumetric recoveries and those by 30-min exposure of open culture plates have correlated tenuously (r = 0.29) in bedroom air of 20 homes. During winter, form species of Penicillium, Aspergillus, Oospora, Sporothrix, yeasts, etc. predominated indoors, with levels exceeding 1,000 particles/M3 noted in over 18% of homes; outdoor concentrations never exceeded 230 particles/M3. Comparisons of volumetric and open-plate recoveries from 50 homes during winter have revealed an almost random relationship (r = 0.06). These findings reflect the case with which outdoor spore clouds may penetrate structures and obscure evidence of internal fungus cources. The data also imply that, because of size-related undersampling, open plates often seriously misrepresent prevalence levels and occasionally can exclude abundant types from recovery. The fungus flora of enclosed spaces merits further critical study by volumetric techniques of calculable efficiency in a setting that minimizes contamination from without.

  4. Mushrooms use convectively created airflows to disperse their spores

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Hydrazine vapor inactivates Bacillus spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Fun Microbiology: Using a Plant Pathogenic Fungus To Demonstrate Koch's Postulates.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, James K.; Orsted, Kathy M.; Warnes, Carl E.

    1997-01-01

    Describes an experiment using a plant pathogenic fungus in which students learn to follow aseptic techniques, grow and produce spores of a fungus, use a hemacytometer for enumerating spores, prepare serial dilutions, grow and inoculate plants, isolate a pure culture using agar streak plates, and demonstrate the four steps of Koch's postulates.…

  7. Spore Resistance Properties.

    PubMed

    Setlow, Peter

    2014-10-01

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

  8. Spores Disperse, Too!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schumann, Donna N.

    1981-01-01

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

  9. Nondestructive quantification of internal damage in rough rice caused by insects and fungus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardarelli, Anthony J.; Tao, Yang; Bernhardt, John L.; Lee, Fleet N.

    1999-01-01

    A machine vision system was developed to inspect and estimate the internal damage of rough rice. A modified dark field illumination technique was use to direct light through the rice kernels without saturating the CCD camera. Under modified dark field illumination, the good portions of the rice kernels appeared translucent, while the damaged portions appeared opaque as well as some portions of the hull and the germ of the kernel. A combination of thresholding and morphological operators were used to segment the dark areas and to approximate the actual damaged area. The rice was visually separated into categories of undamaged, spot dammed, and damaged by trained entomologist and plant pathologists. The machine vision system was 91.5 percent successful overall for correctly categorizing a test sample of rice kernels.

  10. Release of elicitors from rice blast spores under the action of reactive oxygen species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on secretion of hypothesized elicitors from spores of rice blast causal fungus Magnaporthe grisea were studied. For spore exposure to exogenous ROS, they were germinated for 5 h in 50 µM H2O2 followed by addition of catalase E.C. 1.11.1.6 (to decompose pe...

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

    PubMed Central

    Burggraf, Larry W.; Xing, Yun

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Allergenic airborne pollen and spores in Anchorage, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, J.H.

    1985-05-01

    Major aeroallergens in Anchorage are birch, alder, poplar, spruce, grass pollen, Cladosporium, and unspecified fungus spores. Lesser pollens are sorrel, willow, pine, juniper, sedge, lamb's-quarters, wormwood, plantain, and others. The aero-flora is discussed in terms of the frequency of allergenically significant events and within-season and year-to-year dynamics.

  13. Allergenic airborne pollen and spores in Anchorage, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J H

    1985-05-01

    Major aeroallergens in Anchorage are birch, alder, poplar, spruce, grass pollen, Cladosporium, and unspecified fungus spores. Lesser pollens are sorrel, willow, pine, juniper, sedge, lamb's-quarters, wormwood, plantain, and others. The aero-flora is discussed in terms of the frequency of allergenically significant events and within-season and year-to-year dynamics.

  14. Spore dispersal of fetid Lysurus mokusin by feces of mycophagous insects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gao; Zhang, Rui-Rui; Liu, Yang; Sun, Wei-Bang

    2014-08-01

    The ecological roles and biological mechanisms of zoochory in plants have long been foci in studies of co-evolutionary processes between plants and animals. However, the dispersal of fungal spores by animals has received comparatively little attention. In this study, the dispersal of spores of a selected fetid fungus, Lysurus mokusin, via feces of mycophagous insects was explored by: collecting volatiles emitted by the fungus using dynamic headspace extraction and analyzing them by GC-MS; testing the capacity of mycophagous insects to disperse its spores by counting spores in their feces; comparing the germinability of L. mokusin spores extracted from feces of nocturnal earwigs and natural gleba of the fungus; and assessing the ability of L. mokusin volatiles to attract insects in bioassays with synthetic scent mixtures. Numerous spores were detected in insects' feces, the bioassays indicated that L. mokusin odor (similar to that of decaying substances) attracts diverse generalist mycophagous insects, and passage through the gut of Anisolabis maritima earwigs significantly enhanced the germination rate of L. mokusin spores. Therefore, nocturnal earwigs and diurnal flies probably play important roles in dispersal of L. mokusin spores, and dispersal via feces may be an important common dispersal mechanism for fungal reproductive tissue.

  15. Spore dispersal of fetid Lysurus mokusin by feces of mycophagous insects.

    PubMed

    Chen, Gao; Zhang, Rui-Rui; Liu, Yang; Sun, Wei-Bang

    2014-08-01

    The ecological roles and biological mechanisms of zoochory in plants have long been foci in studies of co-evolutionary processes between plants and animals. However, the dispersal of fungal spores by animals has received comparatively little attention. In this study, the dispersal of spores of a selected fetid fungus, Lysurus mokusin, via feces of mycophagous insects was explored by: collecting volatiles emitted by the fungus using dynamic headspace extraction and analyzing them by GC-MS; testing the capacity of mycophagous insects to disperse its spores by counting spores in their feces; comparing the germinability of L. mokusin spores extracted from feces of nocturnal earwigs and natural gleba of the fungus; and assessing the ability of L. mokusin volatiles to attract insects in bioassays with synthetic scent mixtures. Numerous spores were detected in insects' feces, the bioassays indicated that L. mokusin odor (similar to that of decaying substances) attracts diverse generalist mycophagous insects, and passage through the gut of Anisolabis maritima earwigs significantly enhanced the germination rate of L. mokusin spores. Therefore, nocturnal earwigs and diurnal flies probably play important roles in dispersal of L. mokusin spores, and dispersal via feces may be an important common dispersal mechanism for fungal reproductive tissue. PMID:25064696

  16. Cryopreservation of fern spores

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  17. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2.

    PubMed

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores. PMID:27656175

  18. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores.

  19. Investigating the Inactivation Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis Spores by High Pressure CO2

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Lei; Zhao, Feng; Wang, Yongtao; Chen, Fang; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 (HPCD) processing. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa or HPCD at 6.5-20 MPa, and 64-86°C for 0-120 min. The germination, the permeability of inner membrane (IM) and cortex, the release of pyridine-2, 6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA), and changes in the morphological and internal structures of spores were investigated. The HPCD-treated spores did not lose heat resistance and their DPA release was lower than the inactivation, suggesting that spores did not germinate during HPCD. The flow cytometry analysis suggested that the permeability of the IM and cortex of HPCD-treated spores was increased. Furthermore, the DPA of the HPCD-treated spores were released in parallel with their inactivation and the fluorescence photomicrographs showed that these treated spores were stained by propidium iodide, ensuring that the permeability of IM of spores was increased by HPCD. The scanning electron microscopy photomicrographs showed that spores were crushed into debris or exhibited a hollowness on the surface, and the transmission electron microscopy photomicrographs exhibited an enlarged core, ruptured and indistinguishable IM and a loss of core materials in the HPCD-treated spores, indicating that HPCD damaged the structures of the spores. These findings suggested that HPCD inactivated B. subtilis spores by directly damaging the structure of the spores, rather than inducing germination of the spores. PMID:27656175

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Aspergillosis in the common sea fan Gorgonia ventalina: isolation of waterborne hyphae and spores.

    PubMed

    Troeger, Victoria J; Sammarco, Paul W; Caruso, John H

    2014-07-01

    The octocoral disease aspergillosis is caused by the terrestrial fungus Aspergillus sydowii. The possibility of secondary (horizontal) transmission of aspergillosis among common sea fans Gorgonia ventalina would require waterborne transmission of hyphae and/or spores. A laboratory filtration experiment confirmed that fungal hyphae and spores were shed into the water by infected fans. This suggests that secondary infection might be possible in this species. It remains to be determined whether healthy fans actually develop aspergillosis after contact with hyphae-laden water.

  2. Bacillus subtilis Spore Coat

    PubMed Central

    Driks, Adam

    1999-01-01

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

  3. Malaria mosquitoes attracted by fatal fungus.

    PubMed

    George, Justin; Jenkins, Nina E; Blanford, Simon; Thomas, Matthew B; Baker, Thomas C

    2013-01-01

    Insect-killing fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are being evaluated as possible active ingredients for use in novel biopesticides against mosquito vectors that transmit malaria. Fungal pathogens infect through contact and so applications of spores to surfaces such as walls, nets, or other resting sites provide possible routes to infect mosquitoes in and around domestic dwellings. However, some insects can detect and actively avoid fungal spores to reduce infection risk. If true for mosquitoes, such behavior could render the biopesticide approach ineffective. Here we find that the spores of B. bassiana are highly attractive to females of Anopheles stephensi, a major anopheline mosquito vector of human malaria in Asia. We further find that An. stephensi females are preferentially attracted to dead and dying caterpillars infected with B. bassiana, landing on them and subsequently becoming infected with the fungus. Females are also preferentially attracted to cloth sprayed with oil-formulated B. bassiana spores, with 95% of the attracted females becoming infected after a one-minute visit on the cloth. This is the first report of an insect being attracted to a lethal fungal pathogen. The exact mechanisms involved in this behavior remain unclear. Nonetheless, our results indicate that biopesticidal formulations comprising B. bassiana spores will be conducive to attraction and on-source visitation by malaria vectors. PMID:23658757

  4. Ambispora granatensis, a new arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, associated with Asparagus officinalis in Andalucia (Spain).

    PubMed

    Palenzuela, Javier; Barea, José-Miguel; Ferrol, Nuria; Oehl, Fritz

    2011-01-01

    A new dimorphic fungal species in the arbuscular mycorrhiza-forming Glomeromycota, Ambispora granatensis, was isolated from an agricultural site in the province of Granada (Andalucía, Spain) growing in the rhizosphere of Asparagus officinalis. It was propagated in pot cultures with Trifolium pratense and Sorghum vulgare. The fungus also colonized Ri T-DNA transformed Daucus carota roots but did not form spores in these root organ cultures. The spores of the acaulosporoid morph are 90-150 μm diam and hyaline to white to pale yellow. They have three walls and a papillae-like rough irregular surface on the outer surface of the outer wall. The irregular surface might become difficult to detect within a few hours in lactic acid-based mountings but are clearly visible in water. The structural central wall layer of the outer wall is only 0.8-1.5 μm thick. The glomoid spores are formed singly or in small, loose spore clusters of 2-10 spores. They are hyaline to pale yellow, (25)40-70 μm diam and have a bilayered spore wall without ornamentation. Nearly full length sequences of the 18S and the ITS regions of the ribosomal gene place the new fungus in a separate clade next to Ambispora fennica and Ambispora gerdemannii. The acaulosporoid spores of the new fungus can be distinguished easily from all other spores in genus Ambispora by the conspicuous thin outer wall. PMID:20952800

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Detection of presumptive mycoparasites associated with Entomophaga maimaiga resting spores in forest soils.

    PubMed

    Castrillo, Louela A; Hajek, Ann E

    2015-01-01

    The fungal pathogen Entomophaga maimaiga can provide high levels of control of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, an important forest defoliator. This fungus persists in the soil as resting spores and occurs naturally throughout many areas where gypsy moth is established. Studies on the spatial dynamics of gypsy moth population have shown high variability in infection levels, and one possible biological factor could be the variable persistence of E. maimaiga resting spores in the soil due to attacks by mycoparasites. We surveyed presumptive mycoparasites associated with parasitized E. maimaiga resting spores using baiting and molecular techniques and identified an ascomycete (Pochonia sp.) and oomycetes (Pythium spp.). PMID:25433313

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Anthrax Spores under a microscope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Phagocytosis, germination and killing of Bacillus subtilis spores presenting heterologous antigens in human macrophages.

    PubMed

    Ceragioli, Mara; Cangiano, Giuseppina; Esin, Semih; Ghelardi, Emilia; Ricca, Ezio; Senesi, Sonia

    2009-02-01

    Bacillus subtilis is a Gram-positive spore-bearing bacterium long used as a probiotic product and more recently regarded as an attractive vehicle for delivering heterologous antigens to be used for mucosal vaccination. This report describes the in vitro interaction between human macrophages and B. subtilis spores displaying the tetanus toxin fragment C or the B subunit of the heat-labile toxin of Escherichia coli on their surface in comparison to spores of the parental strain. Recombinant and parental B. subtilis spores were similarly internalized by human macrophages, at a frequency lower than 2.5%. Inside macrophages, nearly all spores germinated and were killed within 6 h. Using germination-defective spores and inhibiting spore germination inside macrophages, evidence was produced that only germinated spores were killed by human macrophages and that intracellular spore germination was mediated by an alanine-dependent pathway. The germinated spores were killed by macrophages before any round of cell duplication, as estimated by fluorescence microscopy analysis of macrophages infected with spores carrying the gfp gene fused to abrB, a B. subtilis gene shown here to be expressed at the transition between outgrowth and vegetative growth. Monitoring of macrophage infection never revealed cytotoxic effects being exerted by B. subtilis spores. These in vitro data support the hypothesis that B. subtilis spores may potentially be used as a suitable and safe vehicle for administering heterologous antigens to humans.

  11. Analysis of the antimicrobial effects of nonthermal plasma on fungal spores in ionic solutions.

    PubMed

    Kang, Min Ho; Hong, Young June; Attri, Pankaj; Sim, Geon Bo; Lee, Geon Joon; Panngom, Kamonporn; Kwon, Gi Chung; Choi, Eun Ha; Uhm, Han S; Park, Gyungsoon

    2014-07-01

    The antimicrobial efficiency of reactive species-based control strategies is significantly affected by the dynamics of reactive species in the biological environment. Atmospheric-pressure nonthermal plasma is an ionized gas in which various reactive species are produced. The various levels of antimicrobial activity may result from the dynamic interaction of the plasma-generated reactive species with the environment. However, the nature of the interaction between plasma and environments is poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed the influence of the ionic strength of surrounding solutions (environment) on the antimicrobial activity of plasma in relation to the plasma-generated reactive species using a model filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa. Our data revealed that the presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) in the background solution attenuated the deleterious effects of plasma on germination, internal structure, and genomic DNA of fungal spores. The protective effects of NaCl were not explained exclusively by pH, osmotic stability, or the level of reactive species in the solution. These were strongly associated with the ionic strength of the background solution. The presence of ions reduced plasma toxicity, which might be due to a reduced access of reactive species to fungal spores, and fungal spores were inactivated by plasma in a background fluid of nonionic osmolytes despite the low level of reactive species. Our results suggest that the surrounding environment may affect the behavior of reactive species, which leads to different biological consequences regardless of their quantity. Moreover, the microbicidal effect of plasma can be synergistically regulated through control of the microenvironment.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-14

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

  14. Label-Free Detection of Soybean Rust Spores using Photonic Crystal Biosensors

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soybean rust, caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is one of the most devastating foliar diseases affecting soybeans grown worldwide. The disease was reported for the first time in the United States in 2004. Early spore detection, prior to the appearance of visible symptoms, is critical to ef...

  15. Possible Contribution of Blast Spores to the Oxidative Burst in the Infection Droplet on Rice Leaf

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The infection-induced overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in resistant plants is usually ascribed to the host. Here we tested the possible contribution of the parasite, the rice blast fungus to ROS production. Droplets of spore suspensions or water were kept on rice leaves or on plastic....

  16. Levels of H+ and other monovalent cations in dormant and germinating spores of Bacillus megaterium.

    PubMed Central

    Swerdlow, B M; Setlow, B; Setlow, P

    1981-01-01

    Previous investigators using the extent of uptake of the weak base methylamine to measure internal pH have shown that the pH in the core region of dormant spores of Bacillus megaterium is 6.3 to 6.5. Elevation of the internal pH of spores by 1.6 U had no significant effect on their degree of dormancy or their heat or ultraviolet light resistance. Surprisingly, the rate of methylamine uptake into dormant spores was slow (time for half-maximal uptake, 2.5 h at 24 degrees C). Most of the methylamine taken up by dormant spores was rapidly (time for half-maximal uptake, less than 3 min) released during spore germination as the internal pH of spores rose to approximately 7.5. This rise in internal spore pH took place before dipicolinic acid release, was not abolished by inhibition of energy metabolism, and during germination at pH 8.0 was accompanied by a decrease in the pH of the germination medium. Also accompanying the rise in internal spore pH during germination was the release of greater than 80% of the spores K+ and Na+. The K+ was subsequently reabsorbed in an energy-dependent process. These data indicate (i) that between pH 6.2 and 7.8 internal spore pH has little effect on dormant spore properties, (ii) that there is a strong permeability barrier in dormant spores to movement of charged molecules and small uncharged molecules, and (iii) that extremely early in spore germination this permeability barrier is breached, allowing rapid release of internal monovalent cations (H+, Na+, and K+). PMID:6793553

  17. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  18. The role of mites in insect-fungus associations.

    PubMed

    Hofstetter, R W; Moser, J C

    2014-01-01

    The interactions among insects, mites, and fungi are diverse and complex but poorly understood in most cases. Associations among insects, mites, and fungi span an almost incomprehensible array of ecological interactions and evolutionary histories. Insects and mites often share habitats and resources and thus interact within communities. Many mites and insects rely on fungi for nutrients, and fungi benefit from them with regard to spore dispersal, habitat provision, or nutrient resources. Mites have important impacts on community dynamics, ecosystem processes, and biodiversity within many insect-fungus systems. Given that mites are understudied but highly abundant, they likely have bigger, more important, and more widespread impacts on communities than previously recognized. We describe mutualistic and antagonistic effects of mites on insect-fungus associations, explore the processes that underpin ecological and evolutionary patterns of these multipartite communities, review well-researched examples of the effects of mites on insect-fungus associations, and discuss approaches for studying mites within insect-fungus communities.

  19. Thermal Spore Exposure Vessels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. New Rapid Spore Assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catharine

    2012-07-01

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

  1. Dual Beam FIB for Imaging, Nano-Sectioning and Sample Preparation of Spores: Initial Results.

    SciTech Connect

    Wall, M A; Fluss, M J; Schaldach, C

    2004-04-26

    Results from the first use of Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technology to section Bacillus spores at LLNL in a dual-beam (electron and ion) instrument is presented and discussed. With the use of a dual-beam instrument, high resolution imaging of single spores using low voltage scanning electron microscopy followed by FIB sectioning, SEM imaging of internal structure of the same spore is demonstrated to be possible. Additionally, FIB is shown to be able to precisely micro-machine spores thus potentially facilitating micro-scale experiments on single spores.

  2. Morphological and molecular characterization of Magnaporthe oryzae (fungus) from infected rice leaf samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muni, Nurulhidayah Mat; Nadarajah, Kalaivani

    2014-09-01

    Magnaporthe oryzae is a plant-pathogenic fungus that causes a serious disease affecting rice called rice blast. Outbreaks of rice blast have been a threat to the global production of rice. This fungal disease is estimated to cause production losses of US55 million each year in South and Southeast Asia. It has been used as a primary model for elucidating various aspects of the host-pathogen interaction with its host. We have isolated five isolates of Magnaporthe oryzae from diseased leaf samples obtained from the field at Kompleks Latihan MADA, Kedah, Malaysia. We have identified the isolates using morphological and microscopic studies on the fungal spores and the lesions on the diseased leaves. Amplification of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) was carried out with universal primers ITS1 and ITS4. The sequence of each isolates showed at least 99% nucleotide identity with the corresponding sequence in GenBank for Magnaporthe oryzae.

  3. Spore collection and elimination apparatus and method

    DOEpatents

    Czajkowski, Carl; Warren, Barbara Panessa

    2007-04-03

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

  4. Clostridium difficile Spore-Macrophage Interactions: Spore Survival

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Development, Distribution, and Host Studies of the Fungus Macrobiotophthoira vermicola (Entomophthorales)

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Ernest C.; Arroyo, Teresa L.

    1990-01-01

    The life cycle and host range of Macrobiotophthora vermicola were studied. Secondary spores produced from forcibly ejected primary spores adhered to the cuticle of Cruznema tripartitum, germinated, and penetrated the cuticle within 30 minutes. New primary spores were produced within 24 hours of initial spore adhesion. In a host range study, species of Rhabditidae, Diplogasteridae, and Aphelenchoidea were hosts, but not species of Bunonematidae, Tripylidae, Cephalobida, or Tylenchina. Numbers of second-stage Meloidogyne incognita juveniles were not decreased when added to soil seeded with infected C. tripartitum. In six Tennessee soybean fields, Macrobiotophthora vermicola was the most commonly encountered nematode-destroying fungus, followed by a sterile, nonseptate fungus and Arthrobotrys conoides. Nematophagous fungi were isolated more frequently from silt loam soils than from clay soils. Addition of C. tripartitum to soil extract plates as a bait nematode did not increase isolations of nematophagous fungi. PMID:19287687

  6. Pathogenicity of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae (Deuteromycetes) to Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhioua, E.; Browning, M.; Johnson, P.W.; Ginsberg, H.S.; LeBrun, R.A.

    1997-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae is highly pathogenic to the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis. Spore concentrations of 108/ml for engorged larvae and 107/ml for engorged females resulted in 100% tick mortality, 2 wk post-infection. The LC50 value for engorged larvae (concentration to kill 50% of ticks) was 107 spores/ml. Metarhizium anisopliae shows considerable potential as a microbial control agent for the management of Ixodes scapularis.

  7. "Spore" and the Sociocultural Moment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, W. Max

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Genetic Factors and Host Traits Predict Spore Morphology for a Butterfly Pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Sander, Sarah E.; Altizer, Sonia; de Roode, Jacobus C.; Davis, Andrew K.

    2013-01-01

    Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) throughout the world are commonly infected by the specialist pathogen Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). This protozoan is transmitted when larvae ingest infectious stages (spores) scattered onto host plant leaves by infected adults. Parasites replicate internally during larval and pupal stages, and adult monarchs emerge covered with millions of dormant spores on the outsides of their bodies. Across multiple monarch populations, OE varies in prevalence and virulence. Here, we examined geographic and genetic variation in OE spore morphology using clonal parasite lineages derived from each of four host populations (eastern and western North America, South Florida and Hawaii). Spores were harvested from experimentally inoculated, captive-reared adult monarchs. Using light microscopy and digital image analysis, we measured the size, shape and color of 30 replicate spores per host. Analyses examined predictors of spore morphology, including parasite source population and clone, parasite load, and the following host traits: family line, sex, wing area, and wing color (orange and black pigmentation). Results showed significant differences in spore size and shape among parasite clones, suggesting genetic determinants of morphological variation. Spore size also increased with monarch wing size, and monarchs with larger and darker orange wings tended to have darker colored spores, consistent with the idea that parasite development depends on variation in host quality and resources. We found no evidence for effects of source population on variation in spore morphology. Collectively, these results provide support for heritable variation in spore morphology and a role for host traits in affecting parasite development. PMID:26462429

  9. Inhibition of fungal spore adhesion by zosteric Acid as the basis for a novel, nontoxic crop protection technology.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Michele S; Callow, Maureen E; Perry, Ruth; Alberte, Randall S; Smith, Robert; Callow, James A

    2002-04-01

    ABSTRACT To explore the potential for nontoxic crop protection technologies based on the inhibition of fungal spore adhesion, we have tested the effect of synthetic zosteric acid (p-(sulfo-oxy) cinnamic acid), a naturally occurring phenolic acid in eelgrass (Zostera marina L.) plants, on spore adhesion and infection in two pathosystems: rice blast caused by Magnaporthe grisea and bean anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. We have shown that zosteric acid inhibits spore adhesion to model and host leaf surfaces and that any attached spores fail to develop appressoria, and consequently do not infect leaf cells. Low concentrations of zosteric acid that are effective in inhibiting adhesion are not toxic to either fungus or to the host. The inhibition of spore adhesion in the rice blast pathogen is fully reversible. On plants, zosteric acid reduced (rice) or delayed (bean) lesion development. These results suggest that there is potential for novel and environmentally benign crop protection technologies based on manipulating adhesion.

  10. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating. PMID:24375142

  11. Nanoscale structural and mechanical analysis of Bacillus anthracis spores inactivated with rapid dry heating.

    PubMed

    Xing, Yun; Li, Alex; Felker, Daniel L; Burggraf, Larry W

    2014-03-01

    Effective killing of Bacillus anthracis spores is of paramount importance to antibioterrorism, food safety, environmental protection, and the medical device industry. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of spore resistance and inactivation is highly desired for developing new strategies or improving the known methods for spore destruction. Previous studies have shown that spore inactivation mechanisms differ considerably depending upon the killing agents, such as heat (wet heat, dry heat), UV, ionizing radiation, and chemicals. It is believed that wet heat kills spores by inactivating critical enzymes, while dry heat kills spores by damaging their DNA. Many studies have focused on the biochemical aspects of spore inactivation by dry heat; few have investigated structural damages and changes in spore mechanical properties. In this study, we have inactivated Bacillus anthracis spores with rapid dry heating and performed nanoscale topographical and mechanical analysis of inactivated spores using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Our results revealed significant changes in spore morphology and nanomechanical properties after heat inactivation. In addition, we also found that these changes were different under different heating conditions that produced similar inactivation probabilities (high temperature for short exposure time versus low temperature for long exposure time). We attributed the differences to the differential thermal and mechanical stresses in the spore. The buildup of internal thermal and mechanical stresses may become prominent only in ultrafast, high-temperature heat inactivation when the experimental timescale is too short for heat-generated vapor to efficiently escape from the spore. Our results thus provide direct, visual evidences of the importance of thermal stresses and heat and mass transfer to spore inactivation by very rapid dry heating.

  12. [The connection between sports and spores. The foot, its mycoses and onychomycoses].

    PubMed

    Braham, C; Ezzine-Sebai, N; Arrese, J E; Piérard-Franchimont, C; Piérard, G E

    2001-11-01

    The epidemiological survey Achillus on over 76,000 subjects has highlighted the high prevalence of foot diseases. In particular, the risk of contracting skin and nail infections of the foot by fungi is quite important during some sport practices. The interhuman transmission is due to propagules commonly called spores. It often occurs by indirect contamination from the soil. Clinical presentations are diverse, largely depending upon the identity of the pathogen fungus. Prevention and treatment of these infections require both patience and perseverance. Boosting the transformation of spores into an active growing phase might paradoxically increase the clinical efficacy of antifungals.

  13. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Methyl Iodide Fumigation of Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Spore Coat Architecture of Clostridium novyi-NT spores

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-07

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

  16. NASA Facts: SporeSat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Andres; Cappuccio, Gelsomina; Tomko, David

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Identifying and Inactivating Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newcombe, David; Dekas, Anne; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Effects of meteorological conditions on spore plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burch, M.; Levetin, E.

    2002-05-01

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

  19. Some observations concerning microsclerotia and spore production of Mycoleptodiscus terrestris in culture.

    PubMed

    Shearer, Judy F

    2007-01-01

    Some interesting growth characteristics of Mycoleptodiscus terrestris were discovered while evaluating the fungus as a potential bioherbicide for management of the submersed macrophyte, Hydrilla verticillata. Microsclerotia were produced readily in a liquid culture medium containing a basal salts solution supplemented with corn steep liquor powder and glucose. Dried microsclerotia were capable of germinating hyphally within 24 h and sporogenically within 72 h. Initiation of spore production was not dependent on the presence of host plant material or light.

  20. UV-Photobiology of bacterial spores in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    The vast, cold and radiation filled regimes of outer space present on one hand an environmental challenge for any form of terrestrial life; on the other hand they constitute a unique platform for astrobiology research. Major environmental parameters of space that are of interest to astrobiology are (i) space vacuum, (ii) solar electromagnetic radiation, above all the high energy UV radiation, (iii) galactic cosmic radiation, (iv) extreme temperature fluctuations, and (v) microgravity. Exposure facilities on board of Earth orbiting satellites and the International Space Station (ISS) have provided unique opportunities to study biological and chemical processes in response to those parameters directly in space. Endospores of Bacillus spp., especially B. subtilis, characterized by an extreme resistance to environmental insults and an incredible longevity have served as experimental models in studies on (i) the role of the ozone layer in protecting our biosphere; (ii) the likelihood of the interplanetary transfer of life via meteorites, i.e. the hypothesis of lithopanspermia; (iii) the habitability of Mars; (iv) the need for planetary protection measures; and (v) the molecular mechanisms underlying the extreme lethality of solar extraterrestrial UV-radiation. Role of the ozone layer in protecting our biosphere: Using solar extraterrestrial UV radiation and a set of optical filters, the terrestrial UV radiation climate at different ozone concentration was simulated and the biologically effective irradiance was measured with B. subtilis spores immobilized in a biofilm. With decreasing (simulated) ozone concentrations the biologically effective solar irradiance strongly increased by nearly 1000-fold for early Earth conditions before the ozone layer was built up. Likelihood of lithopanspermia: In an impact-driven scenario of lithopanspermia, rock-dwelling microorganisms - after being ejected from a planet - may wander through space for extended periods of time before being

  1. Measuring Total and Germinable Spore Populations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. Biochemical properties of Clostridium bifermentans spores.

    PubMed Central

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

    1977-01-01

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

  3. Fungal spores: hazardous to health?

    PubMed Central

    Sorenson, W G

    1999-01-01

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

  4. The Gonzo Scientist. Flunking Spore.

    PubMed

    Bohannon, John

    2008-10-24

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

  5. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    SciTech Connect

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-08-12

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. Here, we present the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical

  6. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military.

    PubMed

    Doona, Christopher J; Feeherry, Florence E; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-01-01

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC's novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of Bacillus

  7. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-08-12

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as amore » dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. Here, we present the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of

  8. Fighting Ebola with novel spore decontamination technologies for the military

    PubMed Central

    Doona, Christopher J.; Feeherry, Florence E.; Kustin, Kenneth; Olinger, Gene G.; Setlow, Peter; Malkin, Alexander J.; Leighton, Terrance

    2015-01-01

    Recently, global public health organizations such as Doctors without Borders (MSF), the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health Canada, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. government developed and deployed Field Decontamination Kits (FDKs), a novel, lightweight, compact, reusable decontamination technology to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical devices at remote clinical sites lacking infra-structure in crisis-stricken regions of West Africa (medical waste materials are placed in bags and burned). The basis for effectuating sterilization with FDKs is chlorine dioxide (ClO2) produced from a patented invention developed by researchers at the US Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center (NSRDEC) and commercialized as a dry mixed-chemical for bacterial spore decontamination. In fact, the NSRDEC research scientists developed an ensemble of ClO2 technologies designed for different applications in decontaminating fresh produce; food contact and handling surfaces; personal protective equipment; textiles used in clothing, uniforms, tents, and shelters; graywater recycling; airplanes; surgical instruments; and hard surfaces in latrines, laundries, and deployable medical facilities. These examples demonstrate the far-reaching impact, adaptability, and versatility of these innovative technologies. We present herein the unique attributes of NSRDEC’s novel decontamination technologies and a Case Study of the development of FDKs that were deployed in West Africa by international public health organizations to sterilize Ebola-contaminated medical equipment. FDKs use bacterial spores as indicators of sterility. We review the properties and structures of spores and the mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by ClO2. We also review mechanisms of bacterial spore inactivation by novel, emerging, and established non-thermal technologies for food preservation, such as high pressure processing, irradiation, cold plasma, and chemical sanitizers, using an array of Bacillus

  9. Developmental modulation of DNA methylation in the fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus.

    PubMed Central

    Antequera, F; Tamame, M; Vilanueva, J R; Santos, T

    1985-01-01

    DNA methylation is a rather sparse event among fungi. Phycomyces blakesleeanus seems to be one of the few exceptions in this context. 5-Methylcytosine represents 2.9% of the total cytosine in spore DNA and is located in approximately the same amount at any of the four CA, CT, CC or CG dinucleotides. A progressive and gradual drop in total 5-methylcytosine parallels the development of the fungus. This demethylation is non random but sequence specific and is not accounted for equally by the four different methylated dinucleotides, CG being much less affected (20% demethylated) than CA, CT and CC (more than 90% demethylated at the same time). "De novo" methylation to restore the initial pattern probably takes place during spore maturation. By using specific hybridization probes we have been able to show that the rRNA genes are not significantly methylated at any stage of development, regardless of their transcription status. Images PMID:2997714

  10. 1-Octanol, a self-inhibitor of spore germination in Penicillium camemberti.

    PubMed

    Gillot, Guillaume; Decourcelle, Nicolas; Dauer, Gaëlle; Barbier, Georges; Coton, Emmanuel; Delmail, David; Mounier, Jérôme

    2016-08-01

    Penicillium camemberti is a technologically relevant fungus used to manufacture mold-ripened cheeses. This fungal species produces many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including ammonia, methyl-ketones, alcohols and esters. Although it is now well known that VOCs can act as signaling molecules, nothing is known about their involvement in P. camemberti lifecycle. In this study, spore germination was shown to be self-regulated by quorum sensing in P. camemberti. This phenomenon, also called "crowding effect", is population-dependent (i.e. observed at high population densities). After determining the volatile nature of the compounds involved in this process, 1-octanol was identified as the main compound produced at high-spore density using GC-MS. Its inhibitory effect was confirmed in vitro and 3 mM 1-octanol totally inhibited spore germination while 100 μM only transiently inhibited spore germination. This is the first time that self-inhibition of spore germination is demonstrated in P. camemberti. The obtained results provide interesting perspectives for better control of mold-ripened cheese processes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  12. Isolating and Purifying Clostridium difficile Spores.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Adrianne N; McBride, Shonna M

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Fungus-growing ants.

    PubMed

    Weber, N A

    1966-08-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) are in reality unique fungus-culturing insects.There are several hundred species in some dozen genera, of which Acromyrmex and Atta are the conspicuous leaf-cutters. The center of their activities is the fungus garden, which is also the site of the queen and brood. The garden, in most species, is made from fresh green leaves or other vegetal material. The ants forage for this, forming distinct trails to the vegetation that is being harvested. The cut leaves or other substrate are brought into the nest and prepared for the fungus. Fresh leaves and flowers are cut into pieces a millimeter or two in diameter; the ants form them into a pulpy mass by pinching them with the mandibles and adding saliva. Anal droplets are deposited on the pieces, which are then forced into place in the garden. Planting of the fungus is accomplished by an ant's picking up tufts of the adjacent mycelium and dotting the surface of the new substrate with it. The combination of salivary and anal secretions, together with the constant care given by the ants, facilitates the growth of the ant fungus only, despite constant possibilities for contamination. When the ants are removed, alien fungi and other organisms flourish. A mature nest of Atta Sexdens may consist of 2000 chambers, some temporarily empty, some with refuse, and the remainder with fungus gardens. Thousands of kilograms of fresh leaves will have been used. A young laboratory colony of Atta cephalotes will use 1 kilogram of fresh leaves for one garden. The attines are the chief agents for introducing organic matter into the soil in tropical rain forests; this matter becomes the nucleus for a host of other organisms, including nematodes and arthropods, after it is discarded by the ants. One ant species cultures a yeast; all others grow a mycelium. In the higher species the mycelium forms clusters of inflated hyphae. Mycologists accept as valid two names for confirmed fruiting stages: Leucocoprinus ( or

  14. Ultraviolet-Resistant Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. The microsporidian spore invasion tube. II. Role of calcium in the activation of invasion tube discharge

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    A swelling response by the polaroplast organelle initiated microsporidian invasion tube extrusions by Glugea hertwigi spores. The tumescence was induced by the displacement of internal calcium. Sodium citrate, phosphate, and the calcium ionophore A23187 were effective in initiating polaroplast swelling and spore discharge; however, the addition of external CaCl2 switched the expanded polaroplasts to a contracted state and blocked spore discharge. Unlike CaCl2, equivalent concentrations of KCl, NaCl, MgCl2, and BaCl2 did not induced polaroplast contraction, and spore discharge was not blocked. 45CaCl2 readily incorporated into spores with expanded polaroplasts; however, little calcium uptake was apparent in spores with contracted polaroplasts. Metallochromic arsenazo III yielded a color spectrum characteristic of the dye-Ca++ complex in the polaroplast region; furthermore, a membrane association with calcium was indicated by strong chlorotetracycline fluorescence within the polaroplast; this fluorescence was extinguished by pretreating spores with ionophore A23187. An association of the membrane with calcium was also indicated by a potassium ferrocyanide-osmium tetroxide technique. All evidence indicates that an internal calcium displacement is an important initial step in the swelling response of the polaroplast organelle. PMID:6811603

  16. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores.

    PubMed

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-11-01

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

  17. The walk and jump of Equisetum spores

    PubMed Central

    Marmottant, Philippe; Ponomarenko, Alexandre; Bienaimé, Diane

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Differential Inactivation of Fungal Spores in Water and on Seeds by Ozone and Arc Discharge Plasma.

    PubMed

    Kang, Min Ho; Pengkit, Anchalee; Choi, Kihong; Jeon, Seong Sil; Choi, Hyo Won; Shin, Dong Bum; Choi, Eun Ha; Uhm, Han Sup; Park, Gyungsoon

    2015-01-01

    Seed sterilization is essential for preventing seed borne fungal diseases. Sterilization tools based on physical technologies have recently received much attention. However, available information is very limited in terms of efficiency, safety, and mode of action. In this study, we have examined antifungal activity of ozone and arc discharge plasma, potential tools for seed sterilization. In our results, ozone and arc discharge plasma have shown differential antifungal effects, depending on the environment associated with fungal spores (freely submerged in water or infected seeds). Ozone inactivates Fusarium fujikuroi (fungus causing rice bakanae disease) spores submerged in water more efficiently than arc discharge plasma. However, fungal spores associated with or infecting rice seeds are more effectively deactivated by arc discharge plasma. ROS generated in water by ozone may function as a powerful fungicidal factor. On the other hand, shockwave generated from arc discharge plasma may have greatly contributed to antifungal effects on fungus associated with rice seeds. In support of this notion, addition of ultrasonic wave in ozone generating water has greatly increased the efficiency of seed disinfection.

  19. Differential Inactivation of Fungal Spores in Water and on Seeds by Ozone and Arc Discharge Plasma.

    PubMed

    Kang, Min Ho; Pengkit, Anchalee; Choi, Kihong; Jeon, Seong Sil; Choi, Hyo Won; Shin, Dong Bum; Choi, Eun Ha; Uhm, Han Sup; Park, Gyungsoon

    2015-01-01

    Seed sterilization is essential for preventing seed borne fungal diseases. Sterilization tools based on physical technologies have recently received much attention. However, available information is very limited in terms of efficiency, safety, and mode of action. In this study, we have examined antifungal activity of ozone and arc discharge plasma, potential tools for seed sterilization. In our results, ozone and arc discharge plasma have shown differential antifungal effects, depending on the environment associated with fungal spores (freely submerged in water or infected seeds). Ozone inactivates Fusarium fujikuroi (fungus causing rice bakanae disease) spores submerged in water more efficiently than arc discharge plasma. However, fungal spores associated with or infecting rice seeds are more effectively deactivated by arc discharge plasma. ROS generated in water by ozone may function as a powerful fungicidal factor. On the other hand, shockwave generated from arc discharge plasma may have greatly contributed to antifungal effects on fungus associated with rice seeds. In support of this notion, addition of ultrasonic wave in ozone generating water has greatly increased the efficiency of seed disinfection. PMID:26406468

  20. Differential Inactivation of Fungal Spores in Water and on Seeds by Ozone and Arc Discharge Plasma

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Min Ho; Pengkit, Anchalee; Choi, Kihong; Jeon, Seong Sil; Choi, Hyo Won; Shin, Dong Bum; Choi, Eun Ha; Uhm, Han Sup; Park, Gyungsoon

    2015-01-01

    Seed sterilization is essential for preventing seed borne fungal diseases. Sterilization tools based on physical technologies have recently received much attention. However, available information is very limited in terms of efficiency, safety, and mode of action. In this study, we have examined antifungal activity of ozone and arc discharge plasma, potential tools for seed sterilization. In our results, ozone and arc discharge plasma have shown differential antifungal effects, depending on the environment associated with fungal spores (freely submerged in water or infected seeds). Ozone inactivates Fusarium fujikuroi (fungus causing rice bakanae disease) spores submerged in water more efficiently than arc discharge plasma. However, fungal spores associated with or infecting rice seeds are more effectively deactivated by arc discharge plasma. ROS generated in water by ozone may function as a powerful fungicidal factor. On the other hand, shockwave generated from arc discharge plasma may have greatly contributed to antifungal effects on fungus associated with rice seeds. In support of this notion, addition of ultrasonic wave in ozone generating water has greatly increased the efficiency of seed disinfection. PMID:26406468

  1. Microsatellites for disentangling underground networks: strain-specific identification of Glomus intraradices, an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus.

    PubMed

    Mathimaran, Natarajan; Falquet, Laurent; Ineichen, Kurt; Picard, Cyril; Redecker, Dirk; Boller, Thomas; Wiemken, Andres

    2008-06-01

    The underground network of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is decisive for the above-ground diversity of many plant ecosystems, but tools to investigate the population structure of AM fungi are sorely lacking. Here, we present a bioinformatics approach to identify microsatellite markers in the AM fungus Glomus intraradices. Based on 1958 contigs of this fungus, assembled from public databases, we identified 842 microsatellites. One hundred of them were subjected to closer scrutiny by designing flanking primers and performing an extensive screen to identify polymorphic loci. We obtained 18 polymorphic microsatellite markers, and we found that seven out of eight individual single-spore cultures of G. intraradices could readily be identified by at least five allelic differences, as compared to all other strains. Two single-spore cultures, however, nominally originating from completely different locations, displayed identity at all 18 loci, suggesting with 99.999999% probability that they represent a single clone.

  2. High symbiont relatedness stabilizes mutualistic cooperation in fungus-growing termites.

    PubMed

    Aanen, Duur K; de Fine Licht, Henrik H; Debets, Alfons J M; Kerstes, Niels A G; Hoekstra, Rolf F; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2009-11-20

    It is unclear how mutualistic relationships can be stable when partners disperse freely and have the possibility of forming associations with many alternative genotypes. Theory predicts that high symbiont relatedness should resolve this problem, but the mechanisms to enforce this have rarely been studied. We show that African fungus-growing termites propagate single variants of their Termitomyces symbiont, despite initiating cultures from genetically variable spores from the habitat. High inoculation density in the substrate followed by fusion among clonally related mycelia enhances the efficiency of spore production in proportion to strain frequency. This positive reinforcement results in an exclusive lifetime association of each host colony with a single fungal symbiont and hinders the evolution of cheating. Our findings explain why vertical symbiont transmission in fungus-growing termites is rare and evolutionarily derived.

  3. Interactions between Entomopathogenic Fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae and Sublethal Doses of Spinosad for Control of House Fly, Musca domestica

    PubMed Central

    Sharififard, M; Mossadegh, MS; Vazirianzadeh, B; Zarei-Mahmoudabadi, A

    2011-01-01

    Background: Metarhizium anisopliae strain IRAN 437C is one of the most virulent fungal isolates against house fly, Musca domestica. The objective of this study was to determine the interaction of this isolate with sublethal doses of spinosad against housefly. Methods: In adult bioassay, conidia of entomopathogenic fungus were applied as inoculated bait at 105 and 107 spore per gram and spinosad at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 μg (A.I.) per gram bait. In larval bioassay, conidia were applied as combination of spore with larval bedding at 106 and 108 spore per gram and spinosad at sublethals of 0.002, 0.004 and 0.006 μg (AI) per gram medium. Results: Adult mortality was 48% and 72% for fungus alone but ranged from 66–87% and 89–95% in combination treatments of 105 and 107 spore/g with sublethal doses of spinosad respectively. The interaction between 105 spore/g with sublethals exhibited synergistic effect, but in combination of 107 spore in spite of higher mortality, the interaction was additive. There was significant difference in LT50 among various treatments. LT50 values in all combination treatments were smaller than LT50 values in alone ones. Larval mortality was 36% and 69% for fungus alone but ranged from 58%–78% and 81%–100% in combination treatments of 106 and 108 spore/g medium with sublethals of spinosad respectively. The interaction was synergistic in all combination treatments of larvae. Conclusion: The interaction between M. anispliae and spinosad indicated a synergetic effect that increased the house fly mortality as well as reduced the lethal time. PMID:22808408

  4. On the fate of ingested Bacillus spores.

    PubMed

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

    2000-06-01

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

  5. Crypticity of Myrothecium verrucaria Spores to Maltose and Induction of Transport by Maltulose, a Common Maltose Contaminant

    PubMed Central

    Parrish, F. W.; Hahn, W. B.; Mandels, G. R.

    1968-01-01

    Spores of the fungus Myrothecium verrucaria are cryptic to maltose and isomaltose. Induction of a transport system can be effected by several sugars whose order of effectiveness is: turanose > maltulose > sucrose > d-arabinose, d-fructose, nigerose, maltotriulose, kestose > melezitose, raffinose, nystose, and stachyose. The transport system is not specific to maltose and isomaltose, and it is apparently identical to an induced trehalose permease described previously. Induction of the permease is markedly influenced by spore age—older spores being more responsive. Pure maltose is not absorbed by spores. Absorption of commercial reagent-grade maltose is due to permease induction by maltulose as an impurity. Maltulose contamination of maltose was demonstrated by charcoal column chromatography and comparison of its physical, chemical, and permease-inductive properties with those of authentic maltulose. Maltose accumulates temporarily in spores after absorption and then decreases, although no conversion to glucose can be detected. Although spores contain small quantities of maltase, metabolism of maltose may be via some nonhydrolytic pathway. PMID:5690932

  6. Inducing and Quantifying Clostridium difficile Spore Formation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Forecasting spore concentrations: A time series approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1990-06-01

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

  8. Entrophospora nevadensis, a new arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus from Sierra Nevada National Park (southeastern Spain).

    PubMed

    Palenzuela, Javier; Barea, José Miguel; Ferrol, Nuria; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Oehl, Fritz

    2010-01-01

    A new fungal species in the arbuscular mycorrhiza-forming Glomeromycetes, Entrophospora nevadensis, was isolated from soil near the roots of several endemic and endangered plant species (e.g. Plantago nivalis and Alchemilla fontqueri) growing in Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada, Andalucia, Spain). The fungus was propagated in trap cultures on Plantago nivalis and Sorbus hybrida and in pure cultures on Trifolium pratense and Sorghum vulgare. Spores are yellow brown to brown, 90-115 .m diam and form singly in soil, in the neck of adherent sporiferous saccules that form either terminally or intercalary on mycelial hyphae. Spores have two three-layered walls and conspicuous, 6-12 microm long, spiny, thorn-like projections on the outer wall consisting of hyaline to subhyaline, evanescent tips and yellow brown to brown, persistent bases. In aging spores these projections are usually shorter (1-2.8 microm) and dome-shaped or rounded, sometimes with a central pit on top where the evanescent tip has sloughed off. Molecular analysis with partial sequences of the 18S ribosomal gene places the fungus within the Diversisporales. The new fungus was found in soil near plants with different living strategies but growing in high altitude soils with acidic pH, high soil moisture and organic carbon content, and close to streams. PMID:20524595

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cote, Christopher K; Welkos, Susan L

    2015-08-17

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Christopher K.; Welkos, Susan L.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Laaberki, Maria-Halima; Dworkin, Jonathan

    2008-09-01

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

  14. Defending against parasites: fungus-growing ants combine specialized behaviours and microbial symbionts to protect their fungus gardens

    PubMed Central

    Little, Ainslie E.F; Murakami, Takahiro; Mueller, Ulrich G; Currie, Cameron R

    2005-01-01

    Parasites influence host biology and population structure, and thus shape the evolution of their hosts. Parasites often accelerate the evolution of host defences, including direct defences such as evasion and sanitation and indirect defences such as the management of beneficial microbes that aid in the suppression or removal of pathogens. Fungus-growing ants are doubly burdened by parasites, needing to protect their crops as well as themselves from infection. We show that parasite removal from fungus gardens is more complex than previously realized. In response to infection of their fungal gardens by a specialized virulent parasite, ants gather and compress parasitic spores and hyphae in their infrabuccal pockets, then deposit the resulting pellet in piles near their gardens. We reveal that the ants' infrabuccal pocket functions as a specialized sterilization device, killing spores of the garden parasite Escovopsis. This is apparently achieved through a symbiotic association with actinomycetous bacteria in the infrabuccal pocket that produce antibiotics which inhibit Escovopsis. The use of the infrabuccal pocket as a receptacle to sequester Escovopsis, and as a location for antibiotic administration by the ants' bacterial mutualist, illustrates how the combination of behaviour and microbial symbionts can be a successful defence strategy for hosts. PMID:17148313

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Alternaria alternata transcription factor CmrA controls melanization and spore development.

    PubMed

    Fetzner, Ramona; Seither, Kristin; Wenderoth, Maximilian; Herr, Andreas; Fischer, Reinhard

    2014-09-01

    Melanin is a black pigment widely distributed across the kingdoms, from bacterial to human. The filamentous fungus Alternaria alternata is a typical 'black fungus', which produces melanin in its hyphal and especially its asexual spore cell walls. Its biosynthesis follows the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) pathway with 1,8-DHN as an intermediate. Two genes, encoding a polyketide synthase (pksA) and a 1,3,8-trihydroxynaphthalene (THN) reductase (brm2), along with a putative transcription factor, CmrA, comprise a small gene cluster. Here we show that CmrA controls the expression of pksA and brm2, but that it also controls the expression of a scytalone dehydratase encoding gene (brm1) located elsewhere in the genome. The regulatory function of CmrA was shown in a reporter assay system. Al. alternata CmrA was expressed in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans where it was able to induce the expression of a reporter construct under the control of the putative pksA promoter. This suggests direct binding of CmrA to the promoter of pksA in the heterologous system. Likewise, silencing of cmrA in Al. alternata led to white colonies due to the lack of melanin. In addition, hyphal diameter and spore morphology were changed in the mutant and the number of spores reduced. Silencing of brm2 and inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by tricyclazole largely phenocopied the effects of cmrA silencing, suggesting a novel regulatory function of melanin in morphogenetic pathways.

  18. Beyond animals and plants: dynamic maternal effects in the fungus Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed

    Zimmerman, K C K; Levitis, D A; Pringle, A

    2016-07-01

    Maternal effects are widely documented in animals and plants, but not in fungi or other eukaryotes. A principal cause of maternal effects is asymmetrical parental investment in a zygote, creating greater maternal vs. paternal influence on offspring phenotypes. Asymmetrical investments are not limited to animals and plants, but are also prevalent in fungi and groups including apicomplexans, dinoflagellates and red algae. Evidence suggesting maternal effects among fungi is sparse and anecdotal. In an experiment designed to test for maternal effects across sexual reproduction in the model fungus Neurospora crassa, we measured offspring phenotypes from crosses of all possible pairs of 22 individuals. Crosses encompassed reciprocals of 11 mating-type 'A' and 11 mating-type 'a' wild strains. After controlling for the genetic and geographic distances between strains in any individual cross, we found strong evidence for maternal control of perithecia (sporocarp) production, as well as maternal effects on spore numbers and spore germination. However, both parents exert equal influence on the percentage of spores that are pigmented and size of pigmented spores. We propose a model linking the stage-specific presence or absence of maternal effects to cellular developmental processes: effects appear to be mediated primarily through the maternal cytoplasm, and, after spore cell walls form, maternal influence on spore development is limited. Maternal effects in fungi, thus far largely ignored, are likely to shape species' evolution and ecologies. Moreover, the association of anisogamy and maternal effects in a fungus suggests maternal effects may also influence the biology of other anisogamous eukaryotes. PMID:27062053

  19. Septoglomus altomontanum, a new arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus from mountainous and alpine areas in Andalucía (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Palenzuela, Javier; Azcón-Aguilar, Concepción; Barea, José-Miguel; da Silva, Gladstone Alves; Oehl, Fritz

    2013-12-01

    A new arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus was found in Sierra Nevada National Park of Andalucía (Southern Spain). It forms intraradical hyphae, vesicles and arbuscles, typical characteristics of Glomeromycetes. The spores are dark reddish brown to dark reddish black, 132-205 μm diam, and are formed on pigmented subtending hyphae whose pores are regularly closed by a thick septum at the spore base but without support of introverted wall thickening. Phylogenetic analyses on concatenate sequences of the partial SSU, ITS region and the partial LSU of the rDNA confirm the new species, described here as Septoglomus altomontanum, in a monophyletic clade next to S. africanum. An identification key to all Septoglomus species described is given. The new fungus can unequivocally be distinguished from all other Septoglomus species by the combination of spore size, colour and spore wall structure, and especially by the shape and colour of the subtending hyphae. Septoglomus altomontanum has so far been found only in soils with pH 5.9-6.7, located in mountainous and alpine altitudes (1800-3100 m asl) of Sierra Nevada which is well known for a high degree of plant endemism. While it is a frequent fungus in this area, it has so far not been found in lower altitudes in Andalucía. PMID:24563836

  20. Sphagnum moss disperses spores with vortex rings.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Dwight L; Edwards, Joan

    2010-07-23

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

  1. Bioluminescence characteristics of a tropical terrestrial fungus (Basidiomycetes).

    PubMed

    Deheyn, Dimitri D; Latz, Michael I

    2007-01-01

    Freshly collected samples of luminous mycelium of a terrestrial fungus from Panama were investigated for their bioluminescence characteristics. Taxonomic identification of fungal species could not be determined because of the lack of fruiting bodies. Fluorescence excited by 380 nm illumination had an emission spectrum with a main peak at 480 nm and additional chlorophyll peaks related to the wood substrate. Bioluminescence appeared as a continuous glow that did not show any diel variation. The light production was sensitive to temperature and decreased with temperatures higher or lower than ambient. Bioluminescence intensity was sensitive to hydration, increasing by a factor of 400 immediately after exposure to water and increasing by a factor of 1 million after several hours. This increase may have occurred through dilution of superoxide dismutase, which is a suppressive factor of bioluminescence in fungus tissue. The mycelium typically transports nutritive substances back to the fruiting body. The function of luminescent mycelium may be to increase the intensity of light from the fungus and more effectively attract nocturnal insects and other animals that serve as disseminating vectors for fungal spores. PMID:17610297

  2. The components of rice and watermelon root exudates and their effects on pathogenic fungus and watermelon defense.

    PubMed

    Ren, Lixuan; Huo, Hongwei; Zhang, Fang; Hao, Wenya; Xiao, Liang; Dong, Caixia; Xu, Guohua

    2016-06-01

    Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is susceptible to wilt disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp niveum (FON). Intercropping management of watermelon/aerobic rice (Oryza sativa) alleviates watermelon wilt disease, because some unidentified component(s) in rice root exudates suppress FON sporulation and spore germination. Here, we show that the phenolic acid p-coumaric acid is present in rice root exudates only, and it inhibits FON spore germination and sporulation. We found that exogenously applied p-coumaric acid up-regulated the expression of ClPR3 in roots, as well as increased chitinase activity in leaves. Furthermore, exogenously applied p-coumaric acid increased β-1,3-glucanase activity in watermelon roots. By contrast, we found that ferulic acid was secreted by watermelon roots, but not by rice roots, and that it stimulated spore germination and sporulation of FON. Exogenous application of ferulic acid down-regulated ClPR3 expression and inhibited chitinase activity in watermelon leaves. Salicylic acid was detected in both watermelon and rice root exudates, which stimulated FON spore germination at low concentrations and suppressed spore germination at high concentrations. Exogenously applied salicylic acid did not alter ClPR3 expression, but did increase chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase activities in watermelon leaves. Together, our results show that the root exudates of phenolic acids were different between rice and watermelon, which lead to their special ecological roles on pathogenic fungus and watermelon defense. PMID:27217091

  3. Epicoccum allergy: skin reaction patterns and spore/mycelium disparities recognized by IgG and IgE ELISA inhibition.

    PubMed

    Portnoy, J; Chapman, J; Burge, H; Muilenberg, M; Solomon, W

    1987-07-01

    Comparable degrees of skin reactivity were observed towards spore and mycelium extracts from two isolates of Epicoccum and to one preparation of Alternaria in 35 rural and 120 university patients. The best experimental extracts detected Epicoccum sensitivity in 70% of the group tested while the commercial extract detected sensitivity in only 6%. Skin reaction correlations were greatest within isolates (eg, spore-A/mycelium-A), then for specific fungus parts (eg, spore-A/spore-B), then between isolates and parts (spore-A/mycelium-B). High correlations were found between individual IgG and IgE ELISA values for all antigens using serum from Epicoccum skin-reactive patients. ELISA inhibition results suggested that significant cross-reactivity exists between Epicoccum and Alternaria antigens recognized by IgG but not by IgE. ELISA inhibition cross-reaction patterns among Epicoccum antigens were comparable to skin reactions while IgG patterns showed little variability. Further characterization of spore/mycelium and interstrain recognition patterns among different immunoglobulin isotypes will be necessary before complete standardization of extracts from different parts of fungi will be possible. The use of spore material for skin testing and treatment of Epicoccum sensitivity appears to be both premature and unnecessary at this time. PMID:3605796

  4. Effect of relative humidity on the aerodynamic diameter and respiratory deposition of fungal spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reponen, Tiina; Willeke, Klaus; Ulevicius, Vidmantas; Reponen, Auvo; Grinshpun, Sergey A.

    Exposure to airborne fungal spores may cause respiratory symptoms. The hygroscopicity of airborne spores may significantly affect their aerodynamic diameter, and thus change their deposition pattern in the human respiratory tract. We have investigated the change in aerodynamic diameter of five different fungal species as a function of relative humidity. Liquid and dry dispersion methods were explored for the aerosolization of the fungal spores. A new system that produces non-aggregated spore aerosol directly from a moldy surface was designed and found suitable for this study. The spores were aerosolized from a mold growth on agar by ducting dry air over the surface, and spore chains in the flow were broken up by passing the entire flow through a critical orifice. Size-spectrometric measurements with an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer showed that the aerodynamic diameter of the tested fungal spores does not change significantly when the relative humidity increases from 30% to 90%. A more distinct spore size increase was found at a relative humidity of ˜ 100%. The highest change of the aerodynamic diameter was found with Cladosporium cladosporioides: it increased from 1.8 μm to 2.3 μm when the relative humidity increased from 30% to ˜ 100%. The size increase corresponds to an approximate doubling of the particle volume. In order to estimate the effect of hygroscopic growth on the respiratory deposition of spores, the mean depositions in the human respiratory tract were calculated for fungal spores with various size changes due to hygroscopic growth. A recently developed model of the International Commission of Radiological Protection was used for the respiratory deposition calculations. We found that the 27% increase in Cladosporium size results in a 20-30% increase in the respiratory deposition of these spores. We conclude that most fungal spores are only slightly hygroscopic and the hygroscopic increase does not significantly affect their respiratory deposition. Our

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

    PubMed Central

    Ferencko, Linda; Rotman, Boris

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Protection of Bacillus pumilus spores by catalases.

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Protection of Bacillus pumilus Spores by Catalases

    PubMed Central

    Checinska, Aleksandra; Burbank, Malcolm

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Analysis of Bacillus globigii spores by CE.

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

  10. Nanomechanical analysis of Clostridium tyrobutyricum spores.

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

  11. Micro-sonicator for spore lysis

    DOEpatents

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Water absorption in a refractive index model for bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegrist, K. M.; Thrush, E.; Airola, M.; Carr, A. K.; Limsui, D. M.; Boggs, N. T.; Thomas, M. E.; Carter, C. C.

    2009-05-01

    The complexity of biological agents can make it difficult to identify the important factors impacting scattering characteristics among variables such as size, shape, internal structure and biochemical composition, particle aggregation, and sample additives. This difficulty is exacerbated by the environmentally interactive nature of biological organisms. In particular, bacterial spores equilibrate with environmental humidity by absorption/desorption of water which can affect both the complex refractive index and the size/shape distributions of particles - two factors upon which scattering characteristics depend critically. Therefore accurate analysis of experimental data for determination of refractive index must take account of particle water content. First, spectral transmission measurements to determine visible refractive index done on suspensions of bacterial spores must account for water (or other solvent) uptake. Second, realistic calculations of aerosol scattering cross sections should consider effects of atmospheric humidity on particle water content, size and shape. In this work we demonstrate a method for determining refractive index of bacterial spores bacillus atropheus (BG), bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and bacillus anthracis Sterne (BAs) which accounts for these effects. Visible index is found from transmission measurements on aqueous and DMSO suspensions of particles, using an anomalous diffraction approximation. A simplified version of the anomalous diffraction theory is used to eliminate the need for knowledge of particle size. Results using this approach indicate the technique can be useful in determining the visible refractive index of particles when size and shape distributions are not well known but fall within the region of validity of anomalous dispersion theory.

  13. Quantification and Single-Spore Detection of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  15. Mechanism by which contact with plant cuticle triggers cutinase gene expression in the spores of Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi

    SciTech Connect

    Woloshuk, C.P.; Kolattukudy, P.E.

    1986-03-01

    Spores of the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi were shown to produce the extracellular enzyme, cutinase, only when cutin or cutin hydrolysate was added to the spore suspension. Dihydroxy-C/sub 16/ acid and trihydroxy-C/sub 18/ acid, which are unique cutin monomers, showed the greatest cutinase-inducing activity. Experiments with several compounds structurally related to these fatty acids suggested that both a omega-hydroxyl and a midchain hydroxyl are required for cutinase-inducing activity. Cutinase appeared in the medium 30-45 min after the addition of the inducers to the spore suspension, and the activity level increased for 6 hr. Addition of cycloheximide (5 ..mu..g/ml) completely inhibited cutinase production, suggesting that protein synthesis was involved in the increase of cutinase activity. Immunoblot analysis with rabbit antibodies prepared against cutinase showed that cutinase protein increased in parallel with the increase in enzyme activity. Measurement of cutinase-specific RNA levels by dot-blot hybridization with /sup 32/P-labeled cutinase cDNA showed that the cutinase gene transcripts could be detected within 15 min after addition of the inducers. Addition of exogenous cutinase greatly enhanced the level of cutinase gene transcripts induced by cutin. These results strongly suggest that the fungal spore senses that it is in contact with the plant by the production of small amounts of cutin monomers catalyzed by the low level of cutinase carried by the spore and that these monomers induce the synthesis of cutinase needed for penetration of the fungus into the plant.

  16. Bacterial spores survive electrospray charging and desolvation.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Sara N; Austin, Daniel E

    2014-05-01

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

  17. Rapid onsite assessment of spore viability.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-12-01

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

  18. Bacterial spores in silage and raw milk.

    PubMed

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

    2002-08-01

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

  19. The origin of the attine ant-fungus mutualism.

    PubMed

    Mueller, U G; Schultz, T R; Currie, C R; Adams, R M; Malloch, D

    2001-06-01

    from contents of the ant alimentary canal and particularly from the contents of the infrabuccal pocket, a pharyngeal device that filters out solids before liquids pass into the intestine. Infrabuccal pocket contents reveal that ants routinely ingest fungal spores and hyphal material. Infrabuccal contents are eventually expelled as a pellet on nest middens or away from the nest by foragers, suggesting that the pellet provides fungi with a means for the dispersal of spores and hyphae. Associations between such "buccophilous" fungi and ants may have originated multiple times and may have become elaborated and externalized in the case of the attine ant-fungus mutualism. Thus, contrary to the traditional model in which attine fungi are viewed as passive symbionts that happened to come under ant control, this alternative model of a myrmecochorous origin of the attine mutualism attributes an important role to evolutionary modifications of the fungi that preceded the ant transition from hunter-gatherer to fungus farmer. PMID:11409051

  20. A new spore precipitator with polarized dielectric insulators for physical control of tomato powdery mildew.

    PubMed

    Matsuda, Yoshinori; Ikeda, Hiroki; Moriura, Nobuyuki; Tanaka, Norio; Shimizu, Kunihiko; Oichi, Wataru; Nonomura, Teruo; Kakutani, Koji; Kusakari, Shin-Ichi; Higashi, Katsuhide; Toyoda, Hideyoshi

    2006-09-01

    ABSTRACT In an attempt to physically protect greenhouse tomato plants from the powdery mildew fungus Oidium neolycopersici, we developed a new electrostatic spore precipitator in which a copper wire conductor is linked to an electrostatic generator and covered with a transparent acrylic cylinder (insulator). The conductor was negatively charged by the generator, and the electrostatic field created by the conductor was used to dielectrically polarize the insulator cylinder. The dielectrically polarized cylinder also produced an electrostatic force without a spark discharge. This force was directly proportional to the potential applied to the conductor and was used to attract conidia of the pathogen. The efficacy of this spore precipitator in protecting hydroponically cultured tomato plants from powdery mildew was evaluated in the greenhouse. The hydroponic culture troughs were covered with a cubic frame installed with the spore precipitator, and the disease progress on precipitator-guarded and unguarded seedlings was traced after the conidia were disseminated mechanically from inoculum on tomato plants. Seedlings in the guarded troughs remained uninfected during the entire experiment, in spite of rapid spread of the disease to all leaves of the unguarded seedlings.

  1. Sensitive, Rapid Detection of Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-04-01

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

  4. Method for collecting spores from a mold

    DOEpatents

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

    1977-01-01

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

  5. Pulmonary Injury after Combined Exposures to Low-Dose Low-LET Radiation and Fungal Spores

    PubMed Central

    Marples, B.; Downing, L.; Sawarynski, K. E.; Finkelstein, J. N.; Williams, J. P.; Martinez, A. A.; Wilson, G. D.; Sims, M. D.

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to infectious microbes is a likely confounder after a nuclear terrorism event. In combination with radiation, morbidity and mortality from an infection may increase significantly. Pulmonary damage after low-dose low-LET irradiation is characterized by an initial diffuse alveolar inflammation. By contrast, inhaled fungal spores produce localized damage around pulmonary bronchioles. In the present study, we assessed lung injury in C57BL/6 mice after combined exposures to whole-body X radiation and inhaled fungal spores. Either animals were exposed to Aspergillus spores and immediately irradiated with 2 Gy, or the inoculation and irradiation were separated by 8 weeks. Pulmonary injury was assessed at 24 and 48 h and 1, 2, 4, 8, and 24 weeks later using standard H&E-stained sections and compared with sham-treated age-matched controls. Immunohistochemistry for invasive inflammatory cells (macrophages, neutrophils and B and T lymphocytes) was performed. A semi-quantitative assessment of pulmonary injury was made using three distinct parameters: local infiltration of inflammatory cells, diffuse inflammation, and thickening and distortion of alveolar architecture. Radiation-induced changes in lung architecture were most evident during the first 2 weeks postexposure. Fungal changes were seen over the first 4 weeks. Simultaneous combined exposures significantly increased the duration of acute pulmonary damage up to 24 weeks (P < 0.01). In contrast, administration of the fungus 8 weeks after irradiation did not produce enhanced levels of acute pulmonary damage. These data imply that the inhalation of fungal spores at the time of a radiation exposure alters the susceptibility of the lungs to radiation-induced injury. PMID:21275606

  6. Immunolocalization of an alternative respiratory chain in Antonospora (Paranosema) locustae spores: mitosomes retain their role in microsporidial energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Dolgikh, Viacheslav V; Senderskiy, Igor V; Pavlova, Olga A; Naumov, Anton M; Beznoussenko, Galina V

    2011-04-01

    Microsporidia are a group of fungus-related intracellular parasites with severely reduced metabolic machinery. They lack canonical mitochondria, a Krebs cycle, and a respiratory chain but possess genes encoding glycolysis enzymes, a glycerol phosphate shuttle, and ATP/ADP carriers to import host ATP. The recent finding of alternative oxidase genes in two clades suggests that microsporidial mitosomes may retain an alternative respiratory pathway. We expressed the fragments of mitochondrial chaperone Hsp70 (mitHsp70), mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mitG3PDH), and alternative oxidase (AOX) from the microsporidium Antonospora (Paranosema) locustae in Escherichia coli. Immunoblotting with antibodies against recombinant polypeptides demonstrated specific accumulation of both metabolic enzymes in A. locustae spores. At the same time comparable amounts of mitochondrial Hsp70 were found in spores and in stages of intracellular development as well. Immunoelectron microscopy of ultrathin cryosections of spores confirmed mitosomal localization of the studied proteins. Small amounts of enzymes of an alternative respiratory chain in merogonial and early sporogonial stages, alongside their accumulation in mature spores, suggest conspicuous changes in components and functions of mitosomes during the life cycle of microsporidia and the important role of these organelles in parasite energy metabolism, at least at the final stages of sporogenesis.

  7. ROS Involves the Fungicidal Actions of Thymol against Spores of Aspergillus flavus via the Induction of Nitric Oxide

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Qingshan; Zhou, Wei; Li, Hongbo; Hu, Liangbin; Mo, Haizhen

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus flavus is a well-known pathogenic fungus for both crops and human beings. The acquisition of resistance to azoles by A. flavus is leading to more failures occurring in the prevention of infection by A. flavus. In this study, we found that thymol, one of the major chemical constituents of the essential oil of Monarda punctate, had efficient fungicidal activity against A. flavus and led to sporular lysis. Further studies indicated that thymol treatment induced the generation of both ROS and NO in spores, whereas NO accumulation was far later than ROS accumulation in response to thymol. By blocking ROS production with the inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, NO generation was also significantly inhibited in the presence of thymol, which indicated that ROS induced NO generation in A. flavus in response to thymol treatment. Moreover, the removal of either ROS or NO attenuated lysis and death of spores exposed to thymol. The addition of SNP (exogenous NO donor) eliminated the protective effects of the inhibitors of NADPH oxidase on thymol-induced lysis and death of spores. Taken together, it could be concluded that ROS is involved in spore death induced by thymol via the induction of NO. PMID:27196096

  8. ROS Involves the Fungicidal Actions of Thymol against Spores of Aspergillus flavus via the Induction of Nitric Oxide.

    PubMed

    Shen, Qingshan; Zhou, Wei; Li, Hongbo; Hu, Liangbin; Mo, Haizhen

    2016-01-01

    Aspergillus flavus is a well-known pathogenic fungus for both crops and human beings. The acquisition of resistance to azoles by A. flavus is leading to more failures occurring in the prevention of infection by A. flavus. In this study, we found that thymol, one of the major chemical constituents of the essential oil of Monarda punctate, had efficient fungicidal activity against A. flavus and led to sporular lysis. Further studies indicated that thymol treatment induced the generation of both ROS and NO in spores, whereas NO accumulation was far later than ROS accumulation in response to thymol. By blocking ROS production with the inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, NO generation was also significantly inhibited in the presence of thymol, which indicated that ROS induced NO generation in A. flavus in response to thymol treatment. Moreover, the removal of either ROS or NO attenuated lysis and death of spores exposed to thymol. The addition of SNP (exogenous NO donor) eliminated the protective effects of the inhibitors of NADPH oxidase on thymol-induced lysis and death of spores. Taken together, it could be concluded that ROS is involved in spore death induced by thymol via the induction of NO. PMID:27196096

  9. Back-trajectory modelling and DNA-based species-specific detection methods allow tracking of fungal spore transport in air masses.

    PubMed

    Grinn-Gofroń, Agnieszka; Sadyś, Magdalena; Kaczmarek, Joanna; Bednarz, Aleksandra; Pawłowska, Sylwia; Jedryczka, Malgorzata

    2016-11-15

    Recent advances in molecular detection of living organisms facilitate the introduction of novel methods to studies of the transport of fungal spores over large distances. Monitoring the migration of airborne fungi using microscope based spore identification is limited when different species produce very similar spores. In our study, DNA-based monitoring with the use of species-specific probes allowed us to track the aerial movements of two important fungal pathogens of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), i.e., Leptosphaeria maculans and Leptosphaeria biglobosa, which have identical spore shape and size. The fungi were identified using dual-labelled fluorescent probes that were targeted to a β-tubulin gene fragment of either Leptosphaeria species. Spore identification by Real-Time PCR techniques capable of detecting minute amounts of DNA of selected fungal species was combined with back-trajectory analysis, allowing the tracking of past movements of air masses using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model. Over a study period spanning the previous decade (2006-2015) we investigated two specific events relating to the long distance transport of Leptosphaeria spp. spores to Szczecin in North-West Poland. Based on the above mentioned methods and the results obtained with the additional spore sampler located in nearby Szczecin, and operating at the ground level in an oilseed rape field, we have demonstrated that on both occasions the L. biglobosa spores originated from the Jutland Peninsula. This is the first successful attempt to combine analysis of back-trajectories of air masses with DNA-based identification of economically important pathogens of oilseed rape in Europe. In our studies, the timing of L. biglobosa ascospore dispersal in the air was unlikely to result in the infection of winter oilseed rape grown as a crop plant. However, the fungus could infect other host plants, such as vegetable brassicas, cruciferous weeds, spring rapeseed

  10. Back-trajectory modelling and DNA-based species-specific detection methods allow tracking of fungal spore transport in air masses.

    PubMed

    Grinn-Gofroń, Agnieszka; Sadyś, Magdalena; Kaczmarek, Joanna; Bednarz, Aleksandra; Pawłowska, Sylwia; Jedryczka, Malgorzata

    2016-11-15

    Recent advances in molecular detection of living organisms facilitate the introduction of novel methods to studies of the transport of fungal spores over large distances. Monitoring the migration of airborne fungi using microscope based spore identification is limited when different species produce very similar spores. In our study, DNA-based monitoring with the use of species-specific probes allowed us to track the aerial movements of two important fungal pathogens of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), i.e., Leptosphaeria maculans and Leptosphaeria biglobosa, which have identical spore shape and size. The fungi were identified using dual-labelled fluorescent probes that were targeted to a β-tubulin gene fragment of either Leptosphaeria species. Spore identification by Real-Time PCR techniques capable of detecting minute amounts of DNA of selected fungal species was combined with back-trajectory analysis, allowing the tracking of past movements of air masses using the Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory model. Over a study period spanning the previous decade (2006-2015) we investigated two specific events relating to the long distance transport of Leptosphaeria spp. spores to Szczecin in North-West Poland. Based on the above mentioned methods and the results obtained with the additional spore sampler located in nearby Szczecin, and operating at the ground level in an oilseed rape field, we have demonstrated that on both occasions the L. biglobosa spores originated from the Jutland Peninsula. This is the first successful attempt to combine analysis of back-trajectories of air masses with DNA-based identification of economically important pathogens of oilseed rape in Europe. In our studies, the timing of L. biglobosa ascospore dispersal in the air was unlikely to result in the infection of winter oilseed rape grown as a crop plant. However, the fungus could infect other host plants, such as vegetable brassicas, cruciferous weeds, spring rapeseed

  11. Photocontrol of the Germination of Onoclea Spores

    PubMed Central

    Towill, Leslie R.; Ikuma, Hiroshi

    1975-01-01

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

  12. Factors affecting spore germination in algae - review.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, S C

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Bacterial spores and chemical sporicidal agents.

    PubMed Central

    Russell, A D

    1990-01-01

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

  14. Multigeneration Cross Contamination of Mail with Bacillus Species Spores by Tumbling ▿

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Clark, Paul; Williams, Leslie; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Martinez, Kenneth; Gardner, Warren; Shadomy, Sean; Hornsby-Myers, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    In 2001, envelopes loaded with Bacillus anthracis spores were mailed to Senators Daschle and Leahy as well as to the New York Post and NBC News buildings. Additional letters may have been mailed to other news agencies because there was confirmed anthrax infection of employees at these locations. These events heightened the awareness of the lack of understanding of the mechanism(s) by which objects contaminated with a biological agent might spread disease. This understanding is crucial for the estimation of the potential for exposure to ensure the appropriate response in the event of future attacks. In this study, equipment to simulate interactions between envelopes and procedures to analyze the spread of spores from a “payload” envelope (i.e., loaded internally with a powdered spore preparation) onto neighboring envelopes were developed. Another process to determine whether an aerosol could be generated by opening contaminated envelopes was developed. Subsequent generations of contaminated envelopes originating from a single payload envelope showed a consistent two-log decrease in the number of spores transferred from one generation to the next. Opening a tertiary contaminated envelope resulted in an aerosol containing 103 B. anthracis spores. We developed a procedure for sampling contaminated letters by a nondestructive method aimed at providing information useful for consequence management while preserving the integrity of objects contaminated during the incident and preserving evidence for law enforcement agencies. PMID:20511424

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-03-14

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

  16. Bacterial communities in termite fungus combs are comprised of consistent gut deposits and contributions from the environment.

    PubMed

    Otani, Saria; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites (subfamily Macrotermitinae) mix plant forage with asexual spores of their plant-degrading fungal symbiont Termitomyces in their guts and deposit this blend in fungus comb structures, within which the plant matter is degraded. As Termitomyces grows, it produces nodules with asexual spores, which the termites feed on. Since all comb material passes through termite guts, it is inevitable that gut bacteria are also deposited in the comb, but it has remained unknown which bacteria are deposited and whether distinct comb bacterial communities are sustained. Using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we explored the bacterial community compositions of 33 fungus comb samples from four termite species (three genera) collected at four South African geographic locations in 2011 and 2013. We identified 33 bacterial phyla, with Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Candidate division TM7 jointly accounting for 92 % of the reads. Analyses of gut microbiotas from 25 of the 33 colonies showed that dominant fungus comb taxa originate from the termite gut. While gut communities were consistent between 2011 and 2013, comb community compositions shifted over time. These shifts did not appear to be due to changes in the taxa present, but rather due to differences in the relative abundances of primarily gut-derived bacteria within fungus combs. This indicates that fungus comb microbiotas are largely termite species-specific due to major contributions from gut deposits and also that environment affects which gut bacteria dominate comb communities at a given point in time.

  17. Draft Genome Sequence of Two Monosporidial Lines of the Karnal Bunt Fungus Tilletia indica Mitra (PSWKBGH-1 and PSWKBGH-2).

    PubMed

    Sharma, Pradeep; Tiwari, Ratan; Saharan, M S; Sharma, Indu; Kumar, Jitender; Mishra, Shefali; Muthusamy, Senthilkumar K; Gupta, R K; Jaiswal, Sarika; Iquebal, M A; Angadi, U B; Kumar, Neeraj; Fatma, Samar; Rai, Anil; Kumar, Dinesh

    2016-01-01

    Karnal bunt disease caused by the fungus Tilletia indica Mitra is a serious concern due to strict quarantines affecting international trade of wheat. We announce here the first draft assembly of two monosporidial lines, PSWKBGH-1 and -2, of this fungus, having approximate sizes of 37.46 and 37.21 Mbp, respectively. PMID:27634992

  18. Draft Genome Sequence of Two Monosporidial Lines of the Karnal Bunt Fungus Tilletia indica Mitra (PSWKBGH-1 and PSWKBGH-2)

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Pradeep; Saharan, M. S.; Sharma, Indu; Kumar, Jitender; Mishra, Shefali; Muthusamy, Senthilkumar K.; Gupta, R. K.; Jaiswal, Sarika; Iquebal, M. A.; Angadi, U. B.; Kumar, Neeraj; Fatma, Samar; Rai, Anil; Kumar, Dinesh

    2016-01-01

    Karnal bunt disease caused by the fungus Tilletia indica Mitra is a serious concern due to strict quarantines affecting international trade of wheat. We announce here the first draft assembly of two monosporidial lines, PSWKBGH-1 and -2, of this fungus, having approximate sizes of 37.46 and 37.21 Mbp, respectively. PMID:27634992

  19. Airborne myxomycete spores: detection using molecular techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Real time viability detection of bacterial spores

    DOEpatents

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

    2003-07-29

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

  1. Bacillus anthracis spore interactions with mammalian cells: Relationship between germination state and the outcome of in vitro

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background During inhalational anthrax, internalization of Bacillus anthracis spores by host cells within the lung is believed to be a key step for initiating the transition from the localized to disseminated stages of infection. Despite compelling in vivo evidence that spores remain dormant within the bronchioalveolar spaces of the lungs, and germinate only after uptake into host cells, most in vitro studies of infection have been conducted under conditions that promote rapid germination of spores within the culture medium. Results Using an in vitro model of infection, we evaluated the influence of the germination state of B. anthracis spores, as controlled by defined culture conditions, on the outcome of infection. Spores prepared from B. anthracis Sterne 7702 germinated in a variety of common cell culture media supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS) while, in the absence of FBS, germination was strictly dependent on medium composition. RAW264.7 macrophage-like cells internalized spores to the same extent in either germinating or non-germinating media. However, significantly more viable, intracellular B. anthracis were recovered from cells infected under non-germinating conditions compared to germinating conditions. At the same time, RAW264.7 cells demonstrated a significant loss in viability when infected under non-germinating conditions. Conclusions These results suggest that the outcome of host cell infection is sensitive to the germination state of spores at the time of uptake. Moreover, this study demonstrates the efficacy of studying B. anthracis spore infection of host cells within a defined, non-germinating, in vitro environment. PMID:21356113

  2. [Sporogenesis and spores of Equisetum bogotense (Equisetaceae) from mountain areas of Colombia].

    PubMed

    Rincón-Baron, Edgar Javier; Torres, Gerardo Andrés; Rolleri, Cristina Hilda

    2013-09-01

    Studies on some reproductive traits in Equisetum species are scarce and valuable to understand species distribution. Therefore, a detailed study of the sporogenesis process and spore development in E. bogotense is presented, with an analysis of the main events during meiosis, maturation of spores, spore wall ultrastructure, orbicules and elaters. Specimens were collected from 500 to 4500 m in Cauca, Colombia. Strobili at different maturation stages were fixed, dehydrated, embedded in resin, and ultra-microtome obtained sections were stained with Toluidine blue. Observations were made with optical microscopy with differential interference contrast illumination technique (DIC), transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM and SEM). Ultrathin sections (70-80 microm) for TEM observations were stained with uranyl acetate and lead citrate; while samples for SEM observations, were fixed, dehydrated in 2.2-dimethoxypropane and dried at critical point as in standard methods. Strobili have numerous mature sporangiophores, each one with a peltate structure, the scutellum, bearing five-six sessile sporangia attached to the axis of strobilus by the manubrium. Immature sporocytes (spore mother cells) are tightly packed within the young sporangia. The sporocytes quickly undergo meiosis, by passing the stage of archesporium and give origin to tetrads of spores. The tapetum loses histological integrity during early stages of sporogenesis, intrudes as a plasmodial mass into the cavity of the sporangium, partially surrounding premeiotic sporocytes, and then, tetrads and adult spores. The tapetum disintegrates towards the end of the sporogenesis, leaving spores free within the sporangial cavity. Spores present several cytological changes that allow them to achieve greater size and increase the number of plastids, before reaching the adult stage. Sporoderm includes three layers external to the cytoplasmic membrane of the spore cell, and they are pseudoendospore, exospore and

  3. Seasonal fungus prevalence inside and outside of domestic environments in the subtropical climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Yu-Mei; Li, Chin-Shan

    Airborne fungi were collected using the N6 Andersen sampler at 1-month intervals for I yr inside and outside of six apartments in Taipei. It was shown that seasonal variations of indoor and outdoor fungus number concentrations were remarkable and indoor and outdoor air spore counts varied considerably from residence to residence. The geometric mean concentrations of indoor and outdoor fungi were found to be higher than 1000 CFU m -3 during the summer months and abruptly decreased to below 100 CFU m -3 in the winter. A high correlation coefficient was found between fungus concentrations in living rooms and outdoors. Moreover, the ratios of indoor to outdoor fungus concentrations (0.21-3.81) were too low to indicate the presence of any indoor fungus sources. A large variety of mold genera was isolated, and Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, and yeast were observed to be predominant. Indoors, Penicillium showed the highest concentrations in the summer and autumn months, while Asperyillus and Cladosporium were also observed frequently. The outside air was dominated by Asperyillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium in spring, summer, and autumn, but by Penicillium and yeast during winter months. In addition, Cladosporium was found to be absent indoors and outdoors in the winter.

  4. Classification of Streptomyces Spore Surfaces into Five Groups

    PubMed Central

    Dietz, Alma; Mathews, John

    1971-01-01

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

  5. Requirements for In Vitro Germination of Paenibacillus larvae Spores

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-04-01

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

  7. Genome Diversity of Spore-Forming Firmicutes

    PubMed Central

    Galperin, Michael Y.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

    Williams, N D; Russell, A D

    1993-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    de Groot, G Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    de Groot, G. Arjen; During, Heinjo

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Decrease in optical density as a results of germination of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spores under high hydrostatic pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porębska, I.; Rutkowska, M.; Sokołowska, B.

    2015-01-01

    Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris is a spore-forming bacterium, causing spoilage of juices. The spores of these bacteria have the ability to survive in the typical conditions used for thermal pasteurization. Therefore, the use of other techniques such as high hydrostatic pressure is considered for their inactivation. The effect of hydrostatic pressure of 200-500 MPa, at temperatures 4-50 °C for 15 min, on the dynamics of germination of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice and pH 4 buffer was studied. To estimate the share of germinated spores, the method of determining the optical density at a wavelength of 660 nm (OD660) was used. Parameters of hydrostatic pressure treatment used in this work affected the dynamics of germination of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice, and the temperature had the greatest effect. The results indicate that nutrients present in apple juice can promote the germination of A. acidoterrestris spores. This paper was presented at the 8th International Conference on High Pressure Bioscience & Biotechnology (HPBB 2014) in Nantes (France) 15-18 July 2014.

  18. Identification by Quantitative Carrier Test of Surrogate Spore-Forming Bacteria To Assess Sporicidal Chemicals for Use against Bacillus anthracis▿

    PubMed Central

    Majcher, Miles R.; Bernard, Kathryn A.; Sattar, Syed A.

    2008-01-01

    The spores of six strains of Bacillus anthracis (four virulent and two avirulent) were compared with those of four other types of spore-forming bacteria for their resistance to four liquid chemical sporicides (sodium hypochlorite at 5,000 ppm available chlorine, 70,000 ppm accelerated H2O2, 1,000 ppm chlorine dioxide, and 3,000 ppm peracetic acid). All test bacteria were grown in a 1:10 dilution of Columbia broth (with manganese) incubated at 37°C for 72 h. The spore suspensions, heat treated at 80°C for 10 min to rid them of any viable vegetative cells, contained 1 × 108 to 3 × 108 CFU/ml. The second tier of the quantitative carrier test (QCT-2), a standard of ASTM International, was used to assess for sporicidal activity, with disks (1 cm in diameter) of brushed and magnetized stainless steel as spore carriers. Each carrier, with 10 μl (≥106 CFU) of the test spore suspension in a soil load, was dried and then overlaid with 50 μl of the sporicide being evaluated. The contact time at room temperature ranged from 5 to 20 min, and the arbitrarily set criterion for acceptable sporicidal activity was a reduction of ≥106 in viable spore count. Each test was repeated at least three times. In the final analysis, the spores of Bacillus licheniformis (ATCC 14580T) and Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 6051T) proved to be generally more resistant than the spores of the strains of B. anthracis tested. The use of one or both of the safe and easy-to-handle surrogates identified here should help in developing safer and more-effective sporicides and also in evaluating the field effectiveness of existing and newer formulations in the decontamination of objects and surfaces suspected of B. anthracis contamination. PMID:18083869

  19. Chlorine inactivation of fungal spores on cereal grains.

    PubMed

    Andrews, S; Pardoel, D; Harun, A; Treloar, T

    1997-04-01

    Although 0.4% chlorine for 2 min has been recommended for surface disinfection of food samples before direct plating for fungal enumeration, this procedure may not be adequate for highly contaminated products. The effectiveness of a range of chlorine solutions was investigated using barley samples artificially contaminated with four different concentrations of Aspergillus flavus. A. niger, A. ochraceus, Eurotium repens, Penicillium brevicompactum P. chrysogenum and Cladosporium cladosporioides. At initial contamination levels greater than 10(4)/g, 0.4% chlorine did not inactivate sufficient spores to produce less than 20% contamination. Of the test fungi, ascospores of E. repens were the most resistant to chlorine inactivation, whereas the conidia of C. cladosporioides were the most sensitive. Rinsing the samples with 70% ethanol improved the effectiveness of the recommended surface disinfection procedure. However, some ethanol appears to permeate into the grains and may inactivate sensitive internal fungi, although a minimal effect only was observed on wheat infected with Alternaria.

  20. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival

    PubMed Central

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J.; Penn, Tina J.; Thornton, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H2O2), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H2O2 treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not contribute to

  1. CLOSTRIDIUM SPORE ATTACHMENT TO HUMAN CELLS

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-08-10

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

  2. Characterization of aerobic spore-forming bacteria associated with industrial dairy processing environments and product spoilage.

    PubMed

    Lücking, Genia; Stoeckel, Marina; Atamer, Zeynep; Hinrichs, Jörg; Ehling-Schulz, Monika

    2013-09-01

    Due to changes in the design of industrial food processing and increasing international trade, highly thermoresistant spore-forming bacteria are an emerging problem in food production. Minimally processed foods and products with extended shelf life, such as milk products, are at special risk for contamination and subsequent product damages, but information about origin and food quality related properties of highly heat-resistant spore-formers is still limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the biodiversity, heat resistance, and food quality and safety affecting characteristics of aerobic spore-formers in the dairy sector. Thus, a comprehensive panel of strains (n=467), which originated from dairy processing environments, raw materials and processed foods, was compiled. The set included isolates associated with recent food spoilage cases and product damages as well as isolates not linked to product spoilage. Identification of the isolates by means of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and molecular methods revealed a large biodiversity of spore-formers, especially among the spoilage associated isolates. These could be assigned to 43 species, representing 11 genera, with Bacillus cereus s.l. and Bacillus licheniformis being predominant. A screening for isolates forming thermoresistant spores (TRS, surviving 100°C, 20 min) showed that about one third of the tested spore-formers was heat-resistant, with Bacillus subtilis and Geobacillus stearothermophilus being the prevalent species. Strains producing highly thermoresistant spores (HTRS, surviving 125°C, 30 min) were found among mesophilic as well as among thermophilic species. B. subtilis and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens were dominating the group of mesophilic HTRS, while Bacillus smithii and Geobacillus pallidus were dominating the group of thermophilic HTRS. Analysis of spoilage-related enzymes of the TRS isolates showed that mesophilic strains, belonging to the B. subtilis and B. cereus

  3. Characterization of aerobic spore-forming bacteria associated with industrial dairy processing environments and product spoilage.

    PubMed

    Lücking, Genia; Stoeckel, Marina; Atamer, Zeynep; Hinrichs, Jörg; Ehling-Schulz, Monika

    2013-09-01

    Due to changes in the design of industrial food processing and increasing international trade, highly thermoresistant spore-forming bacteria are an emerging problem in food production. Minimally processed foods and products with extended shelf life, such as milk products, are at special risk for contamination and subsequent product damages, but information about origin and food quality related properties of highly heat-resistant spore-formers is still limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the biodiversity, heat resistance, and food quality and safety affecting characteristics of aerobic spore-formers in the dairy sector. Thus, a comprehensive panel of strains (n=467), which originated from dairy processing environments, raw materials and processed foods, was compiled. The set included isolates associated with recent food spoilage cases and product damages as well as isolates not linked to product spoilage. Identification of the isolates by means of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and molecular methods revealed a large biodiversity of spore-formers, especially among the spoilage associated isolates. These could be assigned to 43 species, representing 11 genera, with Bacillus cereus s.l. and Bacillus licheniformis being predominant. A screening for isolates forming thermoresistant spores (TRS, surviving 100°C, 20 min) showed that about one third of the tested spore-formers was heat-resistant, with Bacillus subtilis and Geobacillus stearothermophilus being the prevalent species. Strains producing highly thermoresistant spores (HTRS, surviving 125°C, 30 min) were found among mesophilic as well as among thermophilic species. B. subtilis and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens were dominating the group of mesophilic HTRS, while Bacillus smithii and Geobacillus pallidus were dominating the group of thermophilic HTRS. Analysis of spoilage-related enzymes of the TRS isolates showed that mesophilic strains, belonging to the B. subtilis and B. cereus

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Intra and Inter-Spore Variability in Rhizophagus irregularis AOX Gene.

    PubMed

    Campos, Catarina; Cardoso, Hélia; Nogales, Amaia; Svensson, Jan; Lopez-Ráez, Juan Antonio; Pozo, María José; Nobre, Tânia; Schneider, Carolin; Arnholdt-Schmitt, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are root-inhabiting fungi that form mutualistic symbioses with their host plants. AMF symbiosis improves nutrient uptake and buffers the plant against a diversity of stresses. Rhizophagus irregularis is one of the most widespread AMF species in the world, and its application in agricultural systems for yield improvement has increased over the last years. Still, from the inoculum production perspective, a lack of consistency of inoculum quality is referred to, which partially may be due to a high genetic variability of the fungus. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is an enzyme of the alternative respiratory chain already described in different taxa, including various fungi, which decreases the damage caused by oxidative stress. Nevertheless, virtually nothing is known on the involvement of AMF AOX on symbiosis establishment, as well on the existence of AOX variability that could affect AMF effectiveness and consequently plant performance. Here, we report the isolation and characterisation of the AOX gene of R. irregularis (RiAOX), and show that it is highly expressed during early phases of the symbiosis with plant roots. Phylogenetic analysis clustered RiAOX sequence with ancient fungi, and multiple sequence alignment revealed the lack of several regulatory motifs which are present in plant AOX. The analysis of RiAOX polymorphisms in single spores of three different isolates showed a reduced variability in one spore relatively to a group of spores. A high number of polymorphisms occurred in introns; nevertheless, some putative amino acid changes resulting from non-synonymous variants were found, offering a basis for selective pressure to occur within the populations. Given the AOX relatedness with stress responses, differences in gene variants amongst R. irregularis isolates are likely to be related with its origin and environmental constraints and might have a potential impact on inoculum production. PMID:26540237

  6. Intra and Inter-Spore Variability in Rhizophagus irregularis AOX Gene

    PubMed Central

    Nogales, Amaia; Svensson, Jan; Lopez-Ráez, Juan Antonio; Pozo, María José; Nobre, Tânia; Schneider, Carolin; Arnholdt-Schmitt, Birgit

    2015-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are root-inhabiting fungi that form mutualistic symbioses with their host plants. AMF symbiosis improves nutrient uptake and buffers the plant against a diversity of stresses. Rhizophagus irregularis is one of the most widespread AMF species in the world, and its application in agricultural systems for yield improvement has increased over the last years. Still, from the inoculum production perspective, a lack of consistency of inoculum quality is referred to, which partially may be due to a high genetic variability of the fungus. The alternative oxidase (AOX) is an enzyme of the alternative respiratory chain already described in different taxa, including various fungi, which decreases the damage caused by oxidative stress. Nevertheless, virtually nothing is known on the involvement of AMF AOX on symbiosis establishment, as well on the existence of AOX variability that could affect AMF effectiveness and consequently plant performance. Here, we report the isolation and characterisation of the AOX gene of R. irregularis (RiAOX), and show that it is highly expressed during early phases of the symbiosis with plant roots. Phylogenetic analysis clustered RiAOX sequence with ancient fungi, and multiple sequence alignment revealed the lack of several regulatory motifs which are present in plant AOX. The analysis of RiAOX polymorphisms in single spores of three different isolates showed a reduced variability in one spore relatively to a group of spores. A high number of polymorphisms occurred in introns; nevertheless, some putative amino acid changes resulting from non-synonymous variants were found, offering a basis for selective pressure to occur within the populations. Given the AOX relatedness with stress responses, differences in gene variants amongst R. irregularis isolates are likely to be related with its origin and environmental constraints and might have a potential impact on inoculum production. PMID:26540237

  7. Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on mycelial development, spore viability and enzyme activity of Penicillium Roqueforti.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Rodríguez, Yamile; Acosta-Muñiz, Carlos; Olivas, Guadalupe I; Guerrero-Beltrán, José; Rodrigo-Aliaga, Dolores; Mujica-Paz, Hugo; Welti-Chanes, Jorge; Sepulveda, David R

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of high hydrostatic pressure treatments on mycelial development, spore viability, and total proteolytic and lipolytic activity of Penicillium roqueforti PV-LYO 10 D. Fungus growing in liquid medium was pressure-treated at 300, 400, and 500 MPa for 10 min at 20°C following seven days of incubation at 25°C and analyzed periodically up to day 9 after treatments to evaluate the effect on fungal growth. Mycelial mass of P. roqueforti was significantly affected at all pressure treatments evaluated, being 15.48%, 22.28%, 30.03%, and 12.53% lower than controls on day 1, 3, 6, and 9 after 300 MPa treatment, respectively. In a similar way, at 400 and 500 MPa, mycelial mass was 31.08% and 60.34% lower than controls one day after treatments and 49.74% and 80.85% lower on day 9, respectively. The viability of P. roqueforti spores decreased by 36.53% at 300 MPa, and complete inactivation took place at ≥400 MPa from an initial count of 7 log cfu/mL. Total proteolytic activity was not significantly affected at 300 MPa but was reduced by 18.22% at 400 MPa and by 43.18% at 500 MPa. Total lipolytic activity also decreased as the intensity of the pressure treatments increased. 21.69%, 39.12%, and 56.26% activity reductions were observed when treatments of 300, 400 and 500 MPa were applied, respectively. The results from this study show that pressure treatments are able to control growth, inactivate spores, and alter enzyme activity of P. roqueforti, which could be of interest in extending the shelf-life of blue-veined cheeses and other food products.

  8. Changes in Atmospheric CO2 Influence the Allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus fungal spore

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang-Yona, N.; Levin, Y.; Dannemoller, K. C.; Yarden, O.; Peccia, J.; Rudich, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Increased allergic susceptibility has been documented without a comprehensive understanding for its causes. Therefore understanding trends and mechanisms of allergy inducing agents is essential. In this study we investigated whether elevated atmospheric CO2 levels can affect the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus, a common allergenic fungal species. Both direct exposure to changing CO2 levels during fungal growth, and indirect exposure through changes in the C:N ratios in the growth media were inspected. We determined the allergenicity of the spores through two types of immunoassays, accompanied with genes expression analysis, and proteins relative quantification. We show that fungi grown under present day CO2 levels (392 ppm) exhibit 8.5 and 3.5 fold higher allergenicity compared to fungi grown at preindustrial (280 ppm) and double (560 ppm) CO2 levels, respectively. A corresponding trend is observed in the expression of genes encoding for known allergenic proteins and in the major allergen Asp f1 concentrations, possibly due to physiological changes such as respiration rates and the nitrogen content of the fungus, influenced by the CO2 concentrations. Increased carbon and nitrogen levels in the growth medium also lead to a significant increase in the allergenicity, for which we propose two different biological mechanisms. We suggest that climatic changes such as increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and changes in the fungal growth medium may impact the ability of allergenic fungi such as Aspergillus fumigatus to induce allergies. The effect of changing CO2 concentrations on the total allergenicity per 10^7 spores of A. fumigatus (A), the major allergen Asp f1 concentration in ng per 10^7 spores (B), and the gene expression by RT-PCR (C). The error bars represent the standard error of the mean.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

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

  11. Pan-European Distribution of White-Nose Syndrome Fungus (Geomyces destructans) Not Associated with Mass Mortality

    PubMed Central

    Korn, Vanessa; Fuller, Hubert; Forget, Frédéric; Mühldorfer, Kristin; Kurth, Andreas; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Borel, Christophe; Bosch, Thijs; Cherezy, Thomas; Drebet, Mikhail; Görföl, Tamás; Haarsma, Anne-Jifke; Herhaus, Frank; Hallart, Guénael; Hammer, Matthias; Jungmann, Christian; Le Bris, Yann; Lutsar, Lauri; Masing, Matti; Mulkens, Bart; Passior, Karsten; Starrach, Martin; Wojtaszewski, Andrzej; Zöphel, Ulrich; Teeling, Emma C.

    2011-01-01

    Background The dramatic mass mortalities amongst hibernating bats in Northeastern America caused by “white nose-syndrome” (WNS) continue to threaten populations of different bat species. The cold-loving fungus, Geomyces destructans, is the most likely causative agent leading to extensive destruction of the skin, particularly the wing membranes. Recent investigations in Europe confirmed the presence of the fungus G. destructans without associated mass mortality in hibernating bats in six countries but its distribution remains poorly known. Methodology/Principal Findings We collected data on the presence of bats with white fungal growth in 12 countries in Europe between 2003 and 2010 and conducted morphological and genetic analysis to confirm the identity of the fungus as Geomyces destructans. Our results demonstrate the presence of the fungus in eight countries spanning over 2000 km from West to East and provide compelling photographic evidence for its presence in another four countries including Romania, and Turkey. Furthermore, matching prevalence data of a hibernaculum monitored over two consecutive years with data from across Europe show that the temporal occurrence of the fungus, which first becomes visible around February, peaks in March but can still be seen in some torpid bats in May or June, is strikingly similar throughout Europe. Finally, we isolated and cultured G. destructans from a cave wall adjacent to a bat with fungal growth. Conclusions/Significance G. destructans is widely found over large areas of the European continent without associated mass mortalities in bats, suggesting that the fungus is native to Europe. The characterisation of the temporal variation in G. destructans growth on bats provides reference data for studying the spatio-temporal dynamic of the fungus. Finally, the presence of G. destructans spores on cave walls suggests that hibernacula could act as passive vectors and/or reservoirs for G. destructans and therefore, might

  12. Investigating the biology of plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

    PubMed

    Martin-Urdiroz, Magdalena; Oses-Ruiz, Miriam; Ryder, Lauren S; Talbot, Nicholas J

    2016-05-01

    The rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, is responsible for the most serious disease of rice and is a continuing threat to ensuring global food security. The fungus has also, however, emerged as a model experimental organism for understanding plant infection processes by pathogenic fungi. This is largely due to its amenability to both classical and molecular genetics, coupled with the efforts of a very large international research community. This review, which is based on a plenary presentation at the 28th Fungal Genetics Conference in Asilomar, California in March 2015, describes recent progress in understanding how M. oryzae uses specialised cell called appressoria to bring about plant infection and the underlying biology of this developmental process. We also review how the fungus is then able to proliferate within rice tissue, deploying effector proteins to facilitate its spread by suppressing plant immunity and promoting growth and development of the fungus.

  13. Monoxenic in vitro production and colonization potential of AM fungus Glomus intraradices.

    PubMed

    Mohamma, A; Khan, A G

    2002-09-01

    The paper reports the establishment of mycorrhizal infection of a non-mycorrhizal Ri-T-DNA transformed carrot root when co-cultured with a surface sterilized sweet potato root segment colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus G. intraradices on minimal M medium. Extensive fungal hyphal emergence from each cut end of the mycorrhizal sweet potato root piece was observed in one week old cultures. These hyphae caused infection on contacting the transformed-carrot- root segment and produced many hyphae and spores both inside and outside the zone of the root after 6 week of growth. Axenically produced fungal propagules proliferated on the surface of fresh minimal M medium when sub-cultured without any root segment. On repeated sub-culturing, these propagules did not lose their ability to grow and produced many juvenile small spore-like vesicles during the non-symbiotic phase. Although these spores were morphologically and anatomically similar to their soil borne counter parts, they were much smaller. When placed in the vicinity of a fresh hairy root on the minimal medium or a Sudan grass seedling in sand culture, the axenically produced AM fungal propagules caused root infection, but the infection characteristics were significantly different to the original culture in terms of shape (spherical vs oval) and size (20 microm vs 45 microm) of the intraradical vesicles, and absence of 'H' branches. Sudan grass seedlings inoculated with the axenically cultured fungus showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher dry weights plant'. When compared to the plants inoculated with sand cultures, the growth parameters and the percentage infection were not significantly different. However, when both sources of inocula were used together, a synergistic effect on plant growth as well as root infection was observed.

  14. Effect of Lysozyme on Resting Spores of Bacillus Megaterium

    PubMed Central

    Suzuki, Yahiko; Rode, L. J.

    1969-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. A study of Ganoderma lucidum spores by FTIR microspectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  17. A pulmonary fungus ball produced by Cladosporium cladosporioides.

    PubMed

    Kwon-Chung, K J; Schwartz, I S; Rybak, B J

    1975-10-01

    A case of pulmonary fungus ball produced by Cladosporium cladosporioides is reported. The fungus occupied a cavity in the upper lobe of right lung. Invasion of the cavitary wall or adjacent pulmonary tissue by the fungus was not observed.

  18. Do fungicides used to control Rhizoctonia solani impact the non-target arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis?

    PubMed

    Buysens, Catherine; Dupré de Boulois, Hervé; Declerck, Stéphane

    2015-05-01

    There is growing evidence that the application of biocontrol organisms (e.g., Pseudomonas and Bacillus spp., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi-AMF) is a feasible option to reduce incidence of plant pathogens in an integrated control strategy. However, the utilization of these microorganisms, in particular AMF, may be threatened by the application of fungicides, a widely-used measure to control Rhizoctonia solani in various crops among which potato. Prior to their application, it is thus important to determine the impact of fungicides on AMF. The present study investigated, under in vitro controlled conditions, the impact of azoxystrobin (a systemic broad-spectrum fungicide), flutolanil (a systemic Basidiomycota-specific fungicide), and pencycuron (a contact Rhizoctonia-specific fungicide) and their respective formulations (Amistar, Monarch, and Monceren) on the growth and development of the AMF Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 (spore germination, root colonization, extraradical mycelium development, and spore production) at doses used to control R. solani. Results demonstrated that azoxystrobin and its formulation Amistar, at threshold values for R. solani control (estimated by the half maximal inhibitory concentration, IC50, on a dry weight basis), did not affect spore germination and potato root colonization by R. irregularis, while the development of extra-radical mycelium and spore production was reduced at 10 times the threshold value. Flutolanil and its formulation Monarch at threshold value did not affect spore germination or extra-radical development but decreased root colonization and arbuscule formation. At threshold value, pencycuron and its formulation Monceren, did not affect spore germination and intra- or extraradical development of R. irregularis. These results suggest that azoxystrobin and pencycuron do not affect the AMF at threshold concentrations to control R. solani in vitro, while flutolanil (as formulation) impacts the intraradical phase of the

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

    PubMed

    Ahn, Juhee; Balasubramaniam, V M

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Aydogan, Ahmet; Gurol, Mirat D

    2006-02-01

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

  2. Applied usage of yeast spores as chitosan beads.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

  5. Spore-Forming Bacteria that Resist Sterilization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaDuc, Myron; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri

    2003-01-01

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

  6. Characterization of Five Novel Mitoviruses in the White Pine Blister Rust Fungus Cronartium ribicola.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jun-Jun; Chan, Danelle; Xiang, Yu; Williams, Holly; Li, Xiao-Rui; Sniezko, Richard A; Sturrock, Rona N

    2016-01-01

    The white pine blister rust (WPBR) fungus Cronartium ribicola (J.C. Fisch.) is an exotic invasive forest pathogen causing severe stem canker disease of native white pine trees (subgenus Strobus) in North America. The present study reports discovery of five novel mitoviruses in C. ribicola by deep RNA sequencing. The complete genome of each mitovirus was determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) was detected in each of the viral genomes using mitochondrial genetic codes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the C. ribicola mitoviruses (CrMV1 to CrMV5) are new putative species of the genus Mitovirus. qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq analyses revealed that viral RNAs were significantly increased in fungal mycelia in cankered pine stems compared to expression during two different stages of spore development, suggesting that viral genome replication and transcription benefit from active growth of the host fungus. CrMVs were widespread with relatively high levels of minor allele frequency (MAF) in western North America. As the first report of mitoviruses in the Class Pucciniomycetes, this work allows further investigation of the dynamics of a viral community in the WPBR pathosystem, including potential impacts that may affect pathogenicity and virulence of the host fungus. PMID:27196406

  7. Characterization of Five Novel Mitoviruses in the White Pine Blister Rust Fungus Cronartium ribicola

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jun-Jun; Chan, Danelle; Xiang, Yu; Williams, Holly; Li, Xiao-Rui; Sniezko, Richard A.; Sturrock, Rona N.

    2016-01-01

    The white pine blister rust (WPBR) fungus Cronartium ribicola (J.C. Fisch.) is an exotic invasive forest pathogen causing severe stem canker disease of native white pine trees (subgenus Strobus) in North America. The present study reports discovery of five novel mitoviruses in C. ribicola by deep RNA sequencing. The complete genome of each mitovirus was determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) was detected in each of the viral genomes using mitochondrial genetic codes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the C. ribicola mitoviruses (CrMV1 to CrMV5) are new putative species of the genus Mitovirus. qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq analyses revealed that viral RNAs were significantly increased in fungal mycelia in cankered pine stems compared to expression during two different stages of spore development, suggesting that viral genome replication and transcription benefit from active growth of the host fungus. CrMVs were widespread with relatively high levels of minor allele frequency (MAF) in western North America. As the first report of mitoviruses in the Class Pucciniomycetes, this work allows further investigation of the dynamics of a viral community in the WPBR pathosystem, including potential impacts that may affect pathogenicity and virulence of the host fungus. PMID:27196406

  8. Morphological and Molecular Analysis Identifies the Associated Fungus ("Xianghui") of the Medicinal White Jelly Mushroom, Tremella fuciformis, as Annulohypoxylon stygium.

    PubMed

    Deng, Youjin; van Peer, Arend Frans; Lan, Fu-Sheng; Wang, Qing-Fu; Jiang, Yuji; Lian, Ling-Dan; Lu, Dong-Min; Xie, Baogui

    2016-01-01

    White jelly mushroom, Tremella fuciformis, is a popular edible mushroom with interesting medicinal properties (e.g., immunostimulating, antidiabetic). The formation of T. fuciformis basidiomes is highly dependent on the presence of a specific host fungus, both in nature and for industrial production. This host has traditionally been indicated as "Xianghui" in China, yet which or how many fungal species Xianghui comprises is unclear, with various authorities claiming different species. At present, Annulohypoxilon archeri is generally assumed to be the main Xianghui species, but this has not yet been confirmed experimentally. The implementation of older, premolecular-based research data (i.e., morphological) with present, sequence-based data to solve the identity remains confusing and studies addressing both identification methods in combination are lacking. The unclear identity of Xianghui is a major obstacle for further understanding of the important relationship between the host(s) and T. fuciformis. In this study, we collected a wild specimen of T. fuciformis together with several nearby stroma of Xianghui, cocultivated T. fuciformis with the Xianghui isolates, and observed basidiome formation. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence analysis showed that all Xianghui spore isolates belonged to the same species and both morphological analysis of sexual stages and ITS β-tubulin and actin gene sequences of the Xianghui specified it as Annulohypoxylon stygium. The ITS sequences of the newly identified Xianghui further closely matched those of the Xianghui strains used in the mushroom industry, showing that wild and culture spawn Xianghui in China consist of A. stygium. In contrast with previous conclusions, A. stygium, and not A. archeris, seems to be the preferred host of T. fuciformis. PMID:27481159

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  10. Effect of volatiles versus exudates released by germinating spores of Gigaspora margarita on lateral root formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xue-Guang; Bonfante, Paola; Tang, Ming

    2015-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi influence the root system architecture of their hosts; however, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Ectomycorrhizal fungi influence root architecture via volatiles. To determine whether volatiles also play a role in root system changes in response to AM fungi, spores of the AM fungus Gigaspora margarita were inoculated on the same plate as either wild type (WT) Lotus japonicus, the L. japonicus mutant Ljcastor (which lacks the symbiotic cation channel CASTOR, which is required for inducing nuclear calcium spiking, which is necessary for symbiotic partner recognition), or Arabidopsis thaliana, separated by cellophane membranes (fungal exudates experiment), or on different media but with a shared head space (fungal volatiles experiment). Root development was monitored over time. Both germinating spore exudates (GSEs) and geminated-spore-emitted volatile organic compounds (GVCs) significantly promoted lateral root formation (LRF) in WT L. japonicus. LRF in Ljcastor was significantly enhanced in the presence of GVCs. GVCs stimulated LRF in A. thaliana, whereas GSEs showed an inhibitory effect. The expression profile of the genes involved in mycorrhizal establishment and root development were investigated using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Only the expression of the LjCCD7 gene, an important component of the strigolactone synthesis pathway, was differentially expressed following exposure to GVCs. We conclude that volatile organic compounds released by the germinating AM fungal spores may stimulate LRF in a symbiosis signaling pathway (SYM)- and host-independent way, whereas GSEs stimulate LRF in a SYM- and host-dependent way.

  11. Effect of volatiles versus exudates released by germinating spores of Gigaspora margarita on lateral root formation.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xue-Guang; Bonfante, Paola; Tang, Ming

    2015-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi influence the root system architecture of their hosts; however, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. Ectomycorrhizal fungi influence root architecture via volatiles. To determine whether volatiles also play a role in root system changes in response to AM fungi, spores of the AM fungus Gigaspora margarita were inoculated on the same plate as either wild type (WT) Lotus japonicus, the L. japonicus mutant Ljcastor (which lacks the symbiotic cation channel CASTOR, which is required for inducing nuclear calcium spiking, which is necessary for symbiotic partner recognition), or Arabidopsis thaliana, separated by cellophane membranes (fungal exudates experiment), or on different media but with a shared head space (fungal volatiles experiment). Root development was monitored over time. Both germinating spore exudates (GSEs) and geminated-spore-emitted volatile organic compounds (GVCs) significantly promoted lateral root formation (LRF) in WT L. japonicus. LRF in Ljcastor was significantly enhanced in the presence of GVCs. GVCs stimulated LRF in A. thaliana, whereas GSEs showed an inhibitory effect. The expression profile of the genes involved in mycorrhizal establishment and root development were investigated using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Only the expression of the LjCCD7 gene, an important component of the strigolactone synthesis pathway, was differentially expressed following exposure to GVCs. We conclude that volatile organic compounds released by the germinating AM fungal spores may stimulate LRF in a symbiosis signaling pathway (SYM)- and host-independent way, whereas GSEs stimulate LRF in a SYM- and host-dependent way. PMID:26397199

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Efficient biotransformation of ginsenoside Rb1 to Rd by isolated Aspergillus versicolor, excreting β-glucosidase in the spore production phase of solid culture.

    PubMed

    Lin, Fujian; Guo, Xiaoyan; Lu, Wenyu

    2015-11-01

    Ginsenosides are the major pharmacological components in ginseng. Microorganisms from a ginseng field were isolated to identify transformation of ginsenosides. Based on HPLC and LC-MS analysis, strain LFJ1403 showed strong activities to transform ginsenoside Rb1 to Rd as the sole product. Phylogenetic analysis of 18S rDNA indicated that LFJ1403 belonged to Aspergillus versicolor. Through comparing four systems of transforming Rb1 to Rd, strain LFJ1403 was found to secrete ginsenoside-converting enzymes in the spore production phase of plate culture. This result suggested that the enzyme could be directly obtained from the plate. The spore suspension, which contained the exocrine enzyme, was easy to prepare and efficient for biotransformation of ginsenoside Rb1 to Rd. Further study showed that the maximum bioconversion rate was 96% (w/w) in shake flasks when a spore suspension system was used with optimized biotransformation conditions. Scale-up of this system to 2L resulted in an 85% conversion rate. The ginsenoside Rb1 converting enzyme was separated by gradient HPLC with Q-Sepharose column, and its β-glucosidase activity and Rb1-converting ability was assayed by the 4-Nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (PNPG) method and HPLC with C18 column, respectively. We obtained 130 U ml(-1) enzymatic activity with the purified β-glucosidase. This is the first report on efficiently converting ginsenoside using extracellular enzyme directly from the fungus spore production phase of solid culture.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Enumerating Spore-Forming Bacteria Airborne with Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, Ying; Barengoltz, Jack

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Binding Affinity of Glycoconjugates to BACILLUS Spores and Toxins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rasol, Aveen; Eassa, Souzan; Tarasenko, Olga

    2010-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  3. PROCEDURE FOR CLEANING OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM SPORES1

    PubMed Central

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

    1962-01-01

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

  4. The Role of the Electrostatic Force in Spore Adhesion

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Inhibition of Bacillus anthracis Spore Outgrowth by Nisin▿

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-05-15

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-11-01

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

  10. Bacillus atrophaeus Outer Spore Coat Assembly and Ultrastructure

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-11-21

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Raber, E; Burklund, A

    2010-02-16

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

  14. Methods for neutralizing anthrax or anthrax spores

    DOEpatents

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

    2013-02-26

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

  15. Variation in Tolerance and Virulence in the Chestnut Blight Fungus-Hypovirus Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Peever, Tobin L.; Liu, Yir-Chung; Cortesi, Paolo; Milgroom, Michael G.

    2000-01-01

    Chestnut blight, caused by the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, has been effectively controlled with double-stranded RNA hypoviruses in Europe for over 40 years. The marked reduction in the virulence of C. parasitica by hypoviruses is a phenomenon known as hypovirulence. This virus-fungus pathosystem has become a model system for the study of biological control of fungi with viruses. We studied variation in tolerance to hypoviruses in fungal hosts and variation in virulence among virus isolates from a local population in Italy. Tolerance is defined as the relative fitness of a fungal individual when infected with hypoviruses (compared to being uninfected); virulence is defined for each hypovirus as the reduction in fitness of fungal hosts relative to virus-free hosts. Six hypovirus-infected isolates of C. parasitica were sampled from the population, and each hypovirus was transferred into six hypovirus-free recipient isolates. The resulting 36 hypovirus-fungus combinations were used to estimate genetic variation in tolerance to hypoviruses, in hypovirus virulence, and in virus-fungus interactions. Four phenotypes were evaluated for each virus-fungus combination to estimate relative fitness: (i) sporulation, i.e., the number of asexual spores (conidia) produced; (ii) canker area on field-inoculated chestnut trees, (iii) vertical transmission of hypoviruses into conidia, and (iv) conidial germination. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed significant interactions (P < 0.001) between viruses and fungal isolates for sporulation and canker area but not for conidial germination or transmission. One-way ANOVA among hypoviruses (within each fungal isolate) and among fungal isolates (within each hypovirus) revealed significant genetic variation (P < 0.01) in hypovirus virulence and fungal tolerance within several fungal isolates, and hypoviruses, respectively. These interactions and the significant genetic variation in several fitness characters indicate the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. Entomology: A Bee Farming a Fungus.

    PubMed

    Oldroyd, Benjamin P; Aanen, Duur K

    2015-11-16

    Farming is done not only by humans, but also by some ant, beetle and termite species. With the discovery of a stingless bee farming a fungus that provides benefits to its larvae, bees can be added to this list.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Water Behavior in Bacterial Spores by Deuterium NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Activity of essential oils against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Hayley A; Palombo, Enzo A

    2009-12-01

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

  2. Bacillus subtilis spores as adjuvants for DNA vaccines.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-31

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

  4. Infrared signatures to discriminate viability of autoclaved Bacillus spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Dragon, D C; Rennie, R P

    1995-01-01

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

  7. Mapping Interactions between Germinants and Clostridium difficile Spores

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Immunomagnetic capture of Bacillus anthracis spores from food.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. New pressure and temperature effects on bacterial spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  14. Micromotors to capture and destroy anthrax simulant spores.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  15. Simultaneous Chronic Invasive Fungal Infection and Tracheal Fungus Ball Mimicking Cancer in an Immunocompetent Patient.

    PubMed

    Çetinkaya, Erdoğan; Çörtük, Mustafa; Gül, Şule; Mert, Ali; Boyacı, Hilal; Çam, Ertan; Dincer, H Erhan

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections of the lung are uncommon and mainly affect people with immune deficiency. There are crucial problems in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and candidiasis are the most common opportunistic fungal infections. Aspergillus species (spp.) are saprophytes molds that exist in nature as spores and rarely cause disease in immunocompetent individuals. In patients with immune deficiency or chronic lung disease, such as cavitary lung disease or bronchiectasis, Aspergillus may cause a variety of aspergillosis infections. Here we present a case of a 57-year-old patient without immunodeficiency or chronic lung disease who was diagnosed with endotracheal fungus ball and chronic fungal infection, possibly due to Aspergillus. Bronchoscopic examination showed a paralyzed right vocal cord and vegetating mass that was yellow in color, at the posterior wall of tracheal lumen. After 3 months, both the parenchymal and tracheal lesions were completely resolved. PMID:27418930

  16. Utilizing DART Mass Spectrometry to Pinpoint Halogenated Metabolites from a Marine Invertebrate-Derived Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Katharine R.; Loveridge, Steven T.; Tenney, Karen; Media, Joseph; Valeriote, Frederick A.; Crews, Phillip

    2011-01-01

    Prenylated indole alkaloids are a diverse group of fungal secondary metabolites and represent an important biosynthetic class. In this study we have identified new halogenated prenyl-indole alkaloids from an invertebrate-derived Malbranchea graminicola strain. Using Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometry, these compounds were initially detected from spores of the fungus grown on agar plates, without the need for any organic extraction. Subsequently, the metabolites were isolated from liquid culture in artificial seawater. The structures of two novel chlorinated metabolites, named (−)-spiromalbramide and (+)-isomalbrancheamide B, provide additional insights into the assembly of the malbrancheamide compound family. Remarkably, two new brominated analogs, (+)-malbrancheamide C and (+)-isomalbrancheamide C, were produced by enriching the growth medium with bromine salts. PMID:21682275

  17. Conceptual aspects in creation of fungus-resistant polyurethanes having special purpose

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudenko, A. V.; Saveliev, Yu. V.; Koval, E. Z.; Lenova, L. I.; Voloschuk, E. M.

    Based upon peculiarities of the structure of synthesized polyurethanes which allows one to include additional groups and heteroatoms in the processs of construction of fungus-resistant variants, the passive way of protection by means of introducing the Zn, Cu, Sn ions of metals (they were inaccessible for micromycets) into the structure of macromolecules is used. The synthesized polyurethanes, the macromolecule of which contains the fragments of Sn, Zn, Cu and Pb acetyleacetones, manifested the contact fungicide action on those micromycet strains which were detected in the orbital station. It should be noted that its activity was demonstrated in inhibing the process of spore sprouting and vitality maintaining during 3 to 10 days, with lysis of cell wall to follow.

  18. Simultaneous Chronic Invasive Fungal Infection and Tracheal Fungus Ball Mimicking Cancer in an Immunocompetent Patient

    PubMed Central

    Çetinkaya, Erdoğan; Gül, Şule; Mert, Ali; Boyacı, Hilal; Çam, Ertan; Dincer, H. Erhan

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections of the lung are uncommon and mainly affect people with immune deficiency. There are crucial problems in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and candidiasis are the most common opportunistic fungal infections. Aspergillus species (spp.) are saprophytes molds that exist in nature as spores and rarely cause disease in immunocompetent individuals. In patients with immune deficiency or chronic lung disease, such as cavitary lung disease or bronchiectasis, Aspergillus may cause a variety of aspergillosis infections. Here we present a case of a 57-year-old patient without immunodeficiency or chronic lung disease who was diagnosed with endotracheal fungus ball and chronic fungal infection, possibly due to Aspergillus. Bronchoscopic examination showed a paralyzed right vocal cord and vegetating mass that was yellow in color, at the posterior wall of tracheal lumen. After 3 months, both the parenchymal and tracheal lesions were completely resolved. PMID:27418930

  19. Simultaneous Chronic Invasive Fungal Infection and Tracheal Fungus Ball Mimicking Cancer in an Immunocompetent Patient.

    PubMed

    Çetinkaya, Erdoğan; Çörtük, Mustafa; Gül, Şule; Mert, Ali; Boyacı, Hilal; Çam, Ertan; Dincer, H Erhan

    2016-01-01

    Fungal infections of the lung are uncommon and mainly affect people with immune deficiency. There are crucial problems in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and candidiasis are the most common opportunistic fungal infections. Aspergillus species (spp.) are saprophytes molds that exist in nature as spores and rarely cause disease in immunocompetent individuals. In patients with immune deficiency or chronic lung disease, such as cavitary lung disease or bronchiectasis, Aspergillus may cause a variety of aspergillosis infections. Here we present a case of a 57-year-old patient without immunodeficiency or chronic lung disease who was diagnosed with endotracheal fungus ball and chronic fungal infection, possibly due to Aspergillus. Bronchoscopic examination showed a paralyzed right vocal cord and vegetating mass that was yellow in color, at the posterior wall of tracheal lumen. After 3 months, both the parenchymal and tracheal lesions were completely resolved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. Microalgae harvesting via co-culture with filamentous fungus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gultom, Sarman Oktovianus

    Microalgae harvesting is a labor- and energy-intensive process. For instance, classical harvesting technologies such as chemical addition and mechanical separation are economically prohibiting for biofuel production. Newer approaches to harvest microalgae have been developed in order to decrease costs. Among these new methods, fungal co-pelletization seems to be a promising technology. By co-culturing filamentous fungi with microalgae, it is possible to form pellets, which can easily be separated. In this study, different parameters for the cultivation of filamentous fungus (Aspergillus niger) and microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris) to efficiently form cell pellets were evaluated under heterotrophic and phototrophic conditions, including organic carbon source (glucose, glycerol and sodium acetate) concentration, pH, initial concentration of fungal spores, initial concentration of microalgal cells, concentration of ionic strength (Calcium and Magnesium) and concentration of salinity (NaCl). In addition, zeta-potential measurements were carried out in order to get a better understanding of the mechanism of attraction. It was found that 2 g/L of glucose, a fungus to microalgae ratio of 1:300, and uncontrolled pH (around 7) are the best culturing conditions for co-pelletization. Under these conditions, it was possible to achieve a high harvesting performance (>90%). In addition, it was observed that most pellets formed in the co-culture were spherical with an average diameter of 3.5 mm and in concentrations of about 5 pellets per mL of culture media. Under phototrophic conditions, co-pelletization required the addition of glucose as organic carbon source to sustain the growth of fungi and to allow the harvesting of microalgae. Zeta-potential measurements indicated that (i) both microalgae and fungi have low zeta-potential values regardless of the pH on the bulk (i.e. <-10 mV) (ii) fungi can have a positive electric charge at low pH (ie. pH=3). These values suggest that it

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

    PubMed

    Wang; Li

    2000-08-01

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

  5. Environmental Stresses on Spore Populations of Bacillus stearothermophilus1

    PubMed Central

    Fields, M. L.

    1964-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Disinfection of Bacillus spores with acidified nitrite.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. Vacuum-induced Mutations In Bacillus Subtilis Spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. Fate of ingested Clostridium difficile spores in mice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pityn, Peter J; Anderson, James

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Infrared Signatures to Discriminate Viability of Autoclaved Bacillus Spores

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-10-06

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Dispersal of spores following a persistent random walk.

    PubMed

    Bicout, D J; Sache, I

    2003-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, K M; Busta, F F

    1984-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    James, R R; Buckner, J S

    2004-10-01

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

  1. Small acid soluble proteins for rapid spore identification.

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-12-01

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

  2. Tip-enhanced Raman scattering of bacillus subtilis spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  4. Atmospheric mold spore counts in relation to meteorological parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. Optimization of nutritional requirements for mycelial growth and sporulation of entomogenous fungus Aschersonia aleyrodis Webber

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yanping; Pan, Jieru; Qiu, Junzhi; Guan, Xiong

    2008-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate the optimal nutritional requirements for mycelial growth and sporulation of entomopathogenic fungus Aschersonia aleyrodis Webber by orthogonal layout methods. Herein the order of effects of nutrient components on mycelial growth was tryptone > Ca2+ > soluble starch > folacin, corresponding to the following optimal concentrations: 1.58% Soluble Starch, 3.16% Tryptone, 0.2 mmol l-1 Ca2+ and 0.005% Folacin. The optimal concentration of each factors for sporulation was 1.16% lactose, 0.394% tryptone, 0.4 mmol l-1 Fe2+ and 0.00125% VB1, and the effects of medium components on sporulation were found to be in the order lactose > VB1 > Fe2+ > tryptone. Under the optimal culture conditions, the maximum production of mycelial growth achieved 20.05 g l-1 after 7 days of fermentation, while the maximum spore yield reached 5.23 ×1010 spores l-1 after 22 days of cultivation. This is the first report on optimization of nutritional requirements and design of simplified semi-synthetic media for mycelial growth and sporulation of A. aleyrodis. PMID:24031305

  6. Rapid global spread of two aggressive strains of a wheat rust fungus.

    PubMed

    Hovmøller, Mogens S; Yahyaoui, Amor H; Milus, Eugene A; Justesen, Annemarie F

    2008-09-01

    Rust fungi can overcome the effect of host resistance genes rapidly, and spores can disperse long distance by wind. Here we demonstrate a foreign incursion of similar strains of the wheat yellow rust fungus, Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, in North America, Australia and Europe in less than 3 years. One strain defined by identity at 15 virulence loci and 130 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fragments was exclusive to North America (present since 2000) and Australia (since 2002). Another strain of the same virulence phenotype, but differing in two AFLP fragments, was exclusive to Europe (present since 2000-2001) as well as Western and Central Asia and the Red Sea Area (first appearance unknown). This may be the most rapid spread of an important crop pathogen on the global scale. The limited divergence between the two strains and their derivatives, and the temporal-spatial occurrence pattern confirmed a recent spread. The data gave evidence for additional intercontinental dispersal events in the past, that is, many isolates sampled before 2000 in Europe, North America and Australia had similar AFLP fingerprints, and isolates from South Africa, which showed no divergence in AFLP, differed by only two fragments from particular isolates from Central Asia, West Asia and South Europe, respectively. Previous research has demonstrated that isolates of the two new strains produced up to two to three times more spores per day than strains found in USA and Europe before 2000, suggesting that increased aggressiveness at this level may accelerate global spread of crop pathogens.

  7. Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of a taxol-producing endophytic fungus, Cladosporium cladosporioides MD2.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Liu, Ting-Ting; Zhou, Peng-Peng; Li, Shu-Tao; Yu, Long-Jiang

    2011-04-01

    In this study, an Agrobacteriurn tumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT) protocol was successfully developed for the genetic transformation of a taxol-producing fungus, Cladosporium cladosporioides MD2, and the co-cultivation conditions affecting the transformation efficiency were optimized. The optimal transformation conditions were that 1 ml of C. cladosporioides MD2 spore suspension (10(8) spores/ml) was mixed with an equal volume of A. tumefaciens cultures, which contained 400 μl of A. tumefaciens LBA4404 (OD(660) ≈ 0.6) and 600 μl LB medium that were used to make up difference in volume, and the mix cultures were supplemented with 300 μM acetosyringone (AS) and co-cultivated at 26°C and 50 rpm for 48 h. Stable transformants were obtained through analysis of the mitotic stability of inserted T-DNA and the presence of hygromycin resistance gene (hpt II). This study laid a fine groundwork for development of transgenic C. cladosporioides MD2 strains.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. Peroxisome dynamics during development of the fungus Podospora anserina.

    PubMed

    Takano-Rojas, Harumi; Zickler, Denise; Peraza-Reyes, Leonardo

    2016-01-01

    Peroxisomes are versatile and dynamic organelles that are required for the development of diverse eukaryotic organisms. We demonstrated previously that in the fungus Podospora anserina different peroxisomal functions are required at distinct stages of sexual development, including the initiation and progression of meiocyte (ascus) development and the differentiation and germination of sexual spores (ascospores). Peroxisome assembly during these processes relies on the differential activity of the protein machinery that drives the import of proteins into the organelle, indicating a complex developmental regulation of peroxisome formation and activity. Here we demonstrate that peroxisome dynamics is also highly regulated during development. We show that peroxisomes in P. anserina are highly dynamic and respond to metabolic and environmental cues by undergoing changes in size, morphology and number. In addition, peroxisomes of vegetative and sexual cell types are structurally different. During sexual development peroxisome number increases at two stages: at early ascus differentiation and during ascospore formation. These processes are accompanied by changes in peroxisome structure and distribution, which include a cell-polarized concentration of peroxisomes at the beginning of ascus development, as well as a morphological transition from predominantly spherical to elongated shapes at the end of the first meiotic division. Further, the mostly tubular peroxisomes present from second meiotic division to early ascospore formation again become rounded during ascospore differentiation. Ultimately the number of peroxisomes dramatically decreases upon ascospore maturation. Our results reveal a precise regulation of peroxisome dynamics during sexual development and suggest that peroxisome constitution and function during development is defined by the coordinated regulation of the proteins that control peroxisome assembly and dynamics.

  10. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods. PMID:25344264

  11. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods.

  12. Analysis of the Loss in Heat and Acid Resistance during Germination of Spores of Bacillus Species

    PubMed Central

    Luu, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    A major event in the nutrient germination of spores of Bacillus species is release of the spores' large depot of dipicolinic acid (DPA). This event is preceded by both commitment, in which spores continue through germination even if germinants are removed, and loss of spore heat resistance. The latter event is puzzling, since spore heat resistance is due largely to core water content, which does not change until DPA is released during germination. We now find that for spores of two Bacillus species, the early loss in heat resistance during germination is most likely due to release of committed spores' DPA at temperatures not lethal for dormant spores. Loss in spore acid resistance during germination also paralleled commitment and was also associated with the release of DPA from committed spores at acid concentrations not lethal for dormant spores. These observations plus previous findings that DPA release during germination is preceded by a significant release of spore core cations suggest that there is a significant change in spore inner membrane permeability at commitment. Presumably, this altered membrane cannot retain DPA during heat or acid treatments innocuous for dormant spores, resulting in DPA-less spores that are rapidly killed. PMID:24563034

  13. Saprophytic growth of the alder rust fungus Melampsoridium hiratsukanum on artificial media.

    PubMed

    Moricca, Salvatore; Ginetti, Beatrice

    2015-07-01

    The first axenic culture of a free living saprophytic stage of the exotic rust fungus Melampsoridium hiratsukanum is reported. Colonies were obtained from one-celled, dikaryotic urediniospores on eight nutrient media out of twelve. Modified Harvey and Grasham (HG) and Schenk and Hildebrandt (HS) media HG1 and SH1 and their bovine serum albumin (BSA)-enriched derivatives gave abundant mycelial growth, but modified Murashige and Skoog (MS) QMS media and their BSA-enriched modifications performed poorly, colony growth being low on QMS-1 and QMS1+BSA, and nil on QMS-5 and QMS-6, with or without BSA. Colonies initially grew poorly when subcultured for one month in purity, but much better after re-transfer to fresh media later: presumably because only the most exploitative genotypes survived, best able to cope with an uncongenial medium. Stabilised cultures survived, and remained vegetative, but only few reproductive colonies produced spore-like bodies. Though the agarised medium remains an inhospitable environment for this biotrophic parasite, it is shown that non-living media can nevertheless sustain the growth and sporulation of this fungus outside its natural hosts and habitat. Axenic culture promises important advances in basic and applied research on this rust, leading to a better understanding of its nutrition, metabolism, diversity and pathogenicity.

  14. Alternariol 9-methyl ether from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 and its bioactivities

    PubMed Central

    Lou, Jingfeng; Yu, Ruiting; Wang, Xiaohan; Mao, Ziling; Fu, Linyun; Liu, Yang; Zhou, Ligang

    2016-01-01

    One bioactive compound, identified as alternariol 9-methyl ether, was isolated from the crude extract of the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 residing in the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. Alternariol 9-methyl ether was active against bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 25 to 75 μg/mL and median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 16.00 to 38.27 μg/mL. The IC50 value of alternariol 9-methyl ether against spore germination of Magnaporthe oryzae was 87.18 μg/mL. Alternariol 9-methyl ether also showed antinematodal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and Caenorhabditis elegans with IC50 values of 98.17 μg/mL and 74.62 μg/mL, respectively. This work is the first report on alternariol 9-methyl ether and its biological activities from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 derived from S. miltiorrhiza Bunge. The results indicate the potential of Alternaria sp. Samif01 as a source of alternariol 9-methyl ether and also support that alternariol 9-methyl ether is a natural compound with high potential bioactivity against microorganisms. PMID:26887231

  15. Improvement of Biological Indicators by Uniformly Distributing Bacillus subtilis Spores in Monolayers To Evaluate Enhanced Spore Decontamination Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Stapelmann, Katharina; Madela, Kazimierz; Laue, Michael; Lackmann, Jan-Wilm; Thwaite, Joanne E.; Setlow, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Novel decontamination technologies, including cold low-pressure plasma and blue light (400 nm), are promising alternatives to conventional surface decontamination methods. However, the standardization of the assessment of such sterilization processes remains to be accomplished. Bacterial endospores of the genera Bacillus and Geobacillus are frequently used as biological indicators (BIs) of sterility. Ensuring standardized and reproducible BIs for reliable testing procedures is a significant problem in industrial settings. In this study, an electrically driven spray deposition device was developed, allowing fast, reproducible, and homogeneous preparation of Bacillus subtilis 168 spore monolayers on glass surfaces. A detailed description of the structural design as well as the operating principle of the spraying device is given. The reproducible formation of spore monolayers of up to 5 × 107 spores per sample was verified by scanning electron microscopy. Surface inactivation studies revealed that monolayered spores were inactivated by UV-C (254 nm), low-pressure argon plasma (500 W, 10 Pa, 100 standard cubic cm per min), and blue light (400 nm) significantly faster than multilayered spores were. We have thus succeeded in the uniform preparation of reproducible, highly concentrated spore monolayers with the potential to generate BIs for a variety of nonpenetrating surface decontamination techniques. PMID:26801572

  16. Improvement of Biological Indicators by Uniformly Distributing Bacillus subtilis Spores in Monolayers To Evaluate Enhanced Spore Decontamination Technologies.

    PubMed

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Stapelmann, Katharina; Madela, Kazimierz; Laue, Michael; Lackmann, Jan-Wilm; Thwaite, Joanne E; Setlow, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-04-01

    Novel decontamination technologies, including cold low-pressure plasma and blue light (400 nm), are promising alternatives to conventional surface decontamination methods. However, the standardization of the assessment of such sterilization processes remains to be accomplished. Bacterial endospores of the genera Bacillus and Geobacillus are frequently used as biological indicators (BIs) of sterility. Ensuring standardized and reproducible BIs for reliable testing procedures is a significant problem in industrial settings. In this study, an electrically driven spray deposition device was developed, allowing fast, reproducible, and homogeneous preparation of Bacillus subtilis 168 spore monolayers on glass surfaces. A detailed description of the structural design as well as the operating principle of the spraying device is given. The reproducible formation of spore monolayers of up to 5 × 10(7) spores per sample was verified by scanning electron microscopy. Surface inactivation studies revealed that monolayered spores were inactivated by UV-C (254 nm), low-pressure argon plasma (500 W, 10 Pa, 100 standard cubic cm per min), and blue light (400 nm) significantly faster than multilayered spores were. We have thus succeeded in the uniform preparation of reproducible, highly concentrated spore monolayers with the potential to generate BIs for a variety of nonpenetrating surface decontamination techniques. PMID:26801572

  17. Interaction of antimicrobial cyclic lipopeptides from Bacillus subtilis influences their effect on spore germination and membrane permeability in fungal plant pathogens.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jiajie; Hagberg, Ingrid; Novitsky, Laura; Hadj-Moussa, Hanane; Avis, Tyler J

    2014-11-01

    Bacillus subtilis cyclic lipopeptides are known to have various antimicrobial effects including different types of interactions with the cell membranes of plant pathogenic fungi. The various spectra of activities of the three main lipopeptide families (fengycins, iturins, and surfactins) seem to be linked to their respective mechanisms of action on the fungal biomembrane. Few studies have shown the combined effect of more than one family of lipopeptides on fungal plant pathogens. In an effort to understand the effect of producing multiple lipopeptide families, sensitivity and membrane permeability of spores from four fungal plant pathogens (Alternaria solani, Fusarium sambucinum, Rhizopus stolonifer, and Verticillium dahliae) were assayed in response to lipopeptides, both individually and as combined treatments. Results showed that inhibition of spores was highly variable depending on the tested fungus-lipopeptide treatment. Results also showed that inhibition of the spores was closely associated with SYTOX stain absorption suggesting effects of efficient treatments on membrane permeability. Combined lipopeptide treatments revealed additive, synergistic or sometimes mutual inhibition of beneficial effects. PMID:25442289

  18. Virulence Plasmids of Spore-Forming Bacteria.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Cytological Characterization of Anamorphic Fungus Lecanicillium pui and Its Relationship with Chinese Caterpillar Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Ascomycetes).

    PubMed

    Lei, Wei; Zhang, Guren; Wu, Guangguo; Liu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Ophiocordyceps sinensis (syn. Cordyceps sinensis), one of the most valuable medicinal mushrooms, has great economic importance on the Tibetan Plateau. We isolated an anamorphic fungus Lecanicillium pui from natural O. sinensis specimens and found that the optimal temperature for its culture on potato dextrose agar media was 25°C. Cell ultrastructure in L. pui hyphae and spores was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, and it was observed that some primary organelles showed the typical fungal features. Five chemical elements were determined in this fungus and niobium was discovered for the first time even with trace amounts. A species-specific method, nested polymerase chain reaction, was established to investigate the colonization of this fungus. Thus, the extensive distribution of L. pui on O. sinensis, in the shape of hyphae or mycelia, suggested that it may have subtle and chronic effects on the growth of the O. sinensis teleomorphic stage. These findings provide a potential reference, in the view of microbial ecology, for the study on the occurrence and mechanism of development of O. sinensis. PMID:27279447

  20. Heterologous expression of VHb can improve the yield and quality of biocontrol fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus, during submerged fermentation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shumeng; Wang, Jieping; Wei, Yale; Tang, Qing; Ali, Maria Kanwal; He, Jin

    2014-10-10

    Paecilomyces lilacinus is an egg-parasitic fungus which is effective against plant-parasitic nematodes and it has been successfully commercialized for the control of many plant-parasitic nematodes. However, during the large-scale industrial fermentation process of the filamentous fungus, the dissolved oxygen supply is a limiting factor, which influences yield, product quality and production cost. To solve this problem, we intended to heterologously express VHb in P. lilacinus ACSS. After optimizing the vgb gene, we fused it with a selection marker gene nptII, a promoter PgpdA and a terminator TtrpC. The complete expression cassette PgpdA-nptII-vgb-TtrpC was transferred into P. lilacinus ACSS by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Consequently, we successfully screened an applicable fungus strain PNVT8 which efficiently expressed VHb. The submerged fermentation experiments demonstrated that the expression of VHb not only increased the production traits of P. lilacinus such as biomass and spore production, but also improved the beneficial product quality and application value, due to the secretion of more protease and chitinase. It can be speculated that the recombinant strain harboring vgb gene will have a growth advantage over the original strain under anaerobic conditions in soil and therefore will possess higher biocontrol efficiency against plant-parasitic nematodes.

  1. A guide to the recent literature on aspergillosis as caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, a fungus frequently found in self-heating organic matter.

    PubMed

    Marsh, P B; Millner, P D; Kla, J M

    1979-11-30

    Spores of Aspergillus fumigatus have been found to be abundantly present in the outdoor air at a site where large scale experimental composting of sewage sludge is in progress at Beltsville, Maryland. The health significance of this finding, for that site and for others in the future, is still only incompletely understood. Further studies are in progress to characterize absolute concentrations of the spores of the fungus in air at the site, spore dispersal by air from composting operations, and background environmental spore levels in air. The present paper contains a list of references to papers on health effects of A. fumigatus, many published in the past ten years, along with a review of the same designed to assist the reader in finding information on particular aspects of the subject in the literature. It is intended primarily as an aid to individuals interested in sludge composting and wishing to attain an insight into the A. fumigatus-composting situation, but it may also interest others concerned with other substrates which become moldy at 40--50 C. A. fumigatus has been found in great numbers in naturally and artificially heated environments such as decaying leaves, compost heaps, solar heated sloughs, cooling canals for nuclear power generators, silos, grain storage bins, boiler rooms, detritus around steam turbines and sauna baths. The evident practical merits of sludge composting have been described elsewhere; the information presented here has its main significance in respect to requirements for choice of locations for composting sites and to process and design criteria.

  2. Mating type-correlated molecular markers and demonstration of heterokaryosis in the phytopathogenic fungus Thanatephorus cucumeris (Rhizoctonia solani) AG 1-IC by AFLP DNA fingerprinting analysis.

    PubMed

    Julián, M C; Acero, J; Salazar, O; Keijer, J; Rubio, V

    1999-01-01

    The destructive soil-borne plant pathogenic basidiomycetous fungus Thanatephorus cucumeris (Frank) Donk [anamorph: Rhizoctonia solani Kühn] is not a homogeneous species, but is composed of at least twelve anastomosis groups (AG), which seem to be genetically isolated. The genetics of several T. cucumeris anastomosis groups has been studied by analysis of heterokaryotic tuft formation in the area of contact between homokaryotic single-spore isolates, revealing that AG 1 is heterokaryotic and bipolar. To prove that tuft formation is due to heterokaryosis, AFLP DNA fingerprinting has been applied to a heterokaryotic T. cucumeris AG 1-IC isolate, its homokaryotic single spore-derived progeny, and newly formed heterokaryons. By means of AFLP markers, it is demonstrated that fluffy tufts formed upon pairing of homokaryons from different mating types are newly formed heterokaryons. Mating type-correlated markers have also been found, which will be useful for future studies of the genetics of this fungal species complex.

  3. Viable spore counts in biological controls pre-sterilization.

    PubMed

    Brusca, María I; Bernat, María I; Turcot, Liliana; Nastri, Natalia; Nastri, Maria; Rosa, Alcira

    2005-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the total count of viable spores in standardized inoculated carriers pre-sterilization. Samples of "Bacterial Spore Sterilization Strip" (R Biological Laboratories) (well before their expiry date) were divided into Group A (B. subtilis) and Group B (B. stearothermophylus). Twenty-four strips were tested per group. The strips were minced in groups of three, placed in chilled sterile water and vortexed for 5 minutes to obtain a homogenous suspension. Ten ml of the homogenous suspension were transferred to two sterile jars, i.e. one jar per group. The samples were then heated in a water bath at 95 degrees C (Group A) or 80 degrees C (Group B) for 15 minutes and cooled rapidly in an ice bath at 0- 4 degrees C during 15 minutes. Successive dilutions were performed until a final aliquot of 30 to 300 colony-forming units (CFU) was obtained. The inoculums were placed in Petri dishes with culture medium (soy extract, casein agar adapted for spores, melted and cooled to 45-50 degrees C) and incubated at 55 degrees C or 37 degrees C. Statistical analysis of the data was performed. A larger number of spores were found at 48 hours than at 24 hours. However, this finding did not hold true for all the groups. The present results show that monitoring viable spores pre-sterilization would guarantee the accuracy of the data. Total spore counts must be within 50 and 300% of the number of spores indicated in the biological control. The procedure is essential to guarantee the efficacy of the biological control. PMID:16673791

  4. Thermal inactivation and injury of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores.

    PubMed Central

    Feeherry, F E; Munsey, D T; Rowley, D B

    1987-01-01

    Aqueous spore suspensions of Bacillus stearothermophilus ATCC 12980 were heated at different temperatures for various time intervals in a resistometer, spread plated on antibiotic assay medium supplemented with 0.1% soluble starch without (AAMS) or with (AAMS-S) 0.9% NaCl, and incubated at 55 degrees C unless otherwise indicated. Uninjured spores formed colonies on AAMS and AAMS-S; injured spores formed colonies only on AAMS. Values of D, the decimal reduction time (time required at a given temperature for destruction of 90% of the cells), when survivors were recovered on AAMS were 62.04, 18.00, 8.00, 3.33, and 1.05 min at 112.8, 115.6, 118.3, 121.1, and 123.9 degrees C, respectively. Recovery on AAMS-S resulted in reduced decimal reduction time. The computed z value (the temperature change which will alter the D value by a factor of 10) for spores recovered on AAMS was 8.3 degrees C; for spores recovered on AAMS-S, it was 7.6 degrees C. The rates of inactivation and injury were similar. Injury (judged by salt sensitivity) was a linear function of the heating temperature. At a heating temperature of less than or equal to 118.3 degrees C, spore injury was indicated by the curvilinear portion of the survival curve (judged by salt sensitivity), showing that injury occurred early in the thermal treatment as well as during logarithmic inactivation (reduced decimal reduction time). Heat-injured spores showed an increased sensitivity not only to 0.9% NaCl but also to other postprocessing environmental factors such as incubation temperatures, a pH of 6.6 for the medium, and anaerobiosis during incubation. PMID:3566270

  5. Expression of Meiotic Drive Elements Spore Killer-2 and Spore Killer-3 in Asci of Neurospora Tetrasperma

    PubMed Central

    Raju, N. B.; Perkins, D. D.

    1991-01-01

    It was shown previously that when a chromosomal Spore killer factor is heterozygous in Neurospora species with eight-spored asci, the four sensitive ascospores in each ascus die and the four survivors are all killers. Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) are nonrecombining haplotypes that segregate with the centromere of linkage group III. No killing occurs when either one of these killers is homozygous, but each is sensitive to killing by the other in crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K). In the present study, Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) were transferred by recurrent backcrosses from the eight-spored species Neurospora crassa into Neurospora tetrasperma, a pseudohomothallic species which normally makes asci with four large spores, each heterokaryotic for mating type and for any other centromere-linked genes that are heterozygous in the cross. The action of Sk-2(K) and Sk-3(K) in N. tetrasperma is that predicted from their behavior in eight-spored species. A sensitive nucleus is protected from killing if it is enclosed in the same ascospore with a killer nucleus. Crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-2(S), Sk-3(K) X Sk-3(S), and Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K) all produce four-spored asci that are wild type in appearance, with the ascospores heterokaryotic and viable. The Eight-spore gene E, which shows variable penetrance, was used to obtain N. tetrasperma asci in which two to eight spores are small and homokaryotic. When killer and sensitive alleles are segregating in the presence of E, only those ascospores that contain a killer allele survive. Half of the small ascospores are killed. In crosses of Sk-2(K) X Sk-3(K) (with E heterozygous), effectively all small ascospores are killed. The ability of N. tetrasperma to carry killer elements in cryptic condition suggests a possible role for Spore killers in the origin of pseudohomothallism, with adoption of the four-spored mode restoring ascospore viability of crosses in which killing would otherwise occur. PMID:1834522

  6. First radiobiological results of LDEF-1 experiment A0015 with Arabidopsis seed embryos and Sordaria fungus spores.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, M W; Gartenbach, K E; Kranz, A R

    1994-10-01

    This article highlights the first results of investigations on the general vitality and damage endpoints caused by cosmic ionizing radiation in dry, dormant plant seeds of the crucifer plant Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. and the ascomycete Sordaria fimicola after 69 month stay in space. Wild-type and mutant gene marker lines were included in Free Flyer Biostack containers and exposed on earth and side tray of the LDEF-1 satellite. The damage in biological endpoints observed in the seeds increased in the side tray sample compared to the earth tray sample. For the ascospores we found different effects depending on the biological endpoints investigated for both expositions.

  7. Chemical States of Bacterial Spores: Heat Resistance and Its Kinetics at Intermediate Water Activity

    PubMed Central

    Alderton, Gordon; Snell, Neva

    1970-01-01

    Bacterial spore heat resistance at intermediate water activity, like aqueous and strictly dry heat resistance, is a property manipulatable by chemical pretreatments of the dormant mature spore. Heat resistances differ widely, and survival is prominently nonlogarithmic for both chemical forms of the spore. Log survival varies approximately as the cube of time for the resistant state of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores and as the square of time for the sensitive state. A method for measuring heat resistance at intermediate humidity was designed to provide direct and unequivocal control of water vapor concentration with quick equilibration, maintenance of known spore state, and dispersion of spores singly for valid survivor counting. Temperature characteristics such as z, Ea, and Q10 cannot be determined in the usual sense (as a spore property) for spores encapsulated with a constant weight of water. Effect on spore survival of temperature induced changes of water activity in such systems is discussed. PMID:5418938

  8. Inactivation of chemical and heat-resistant spores of Bacillus and Geobacillus by nitrogen cold atmospheric plasma evokes distinct changes in morphology and integrity of spores.

    PubMed

    van Bokhorst-van de Veen, Hermien; Xie, Houyu; Esveld, Erik; Abee, Tjakko; Mastwijk, Hennie; Nierop Groot, Masja

    2015-02-01

    Bacterial spores are resistant to severe conditions and form a challenge to eradicate from food or food packaging material. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) treatment is receiving more attention as potential sterilization method at relatively mild conditions but the exact mechanism of inactivation is still not fully understood. In this study, the biocidal effect by nitrogen CAP was determined for chemical (hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide), physical (UV) and heat-resistant spores. The three different sporeformers used are Bacillus cereus a food-borne pathogen, and Bacillus atrophaeus and Geobacillus stearothermophilus that are used as biological indicators for validation of chemical sterilization and thermal processes, respectively. The different spores showed variation in their degree of inactivation by applied heat, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and UV treatments, whereas similar inactivation results were obtained with the different spores treated with nitrogen CAP. G. stearothermophilus spores displayed high resistance to heat, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, while for UV treatment B. atrophaeus spores are most tolerant. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed distinct morphological changes for nitrogen CAP-treated B. cereus spores including etching effects and the appearance of rough spore surfaces, whereas morphology of spores treated with heat or disinfectants showed no such changes. Moreover, microscopy analysis revealed CAP-exposed B. cereus spores to turn phase grey conceivably because of water influx indicating damage of the spores, a phenomenon that was not observed for non-treated spores. In addition, data are supplied that exclude UV radiation as determinant of antimicrobial activity of nitrogen CAP. Overall, this study shows that nitrogen CAP treatment has a biocidal effect on selected Bacillus and Geobacillus spores associated with alterations in spore surface morphology and loss of spore integrity. PMID:25481059

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  10. At-line determining spore germination of Penicillium chrysogenum bioprocesses in complex media.

    PubMed

    Ehgartner, Daniela; Fricke, Jens; Schröder, Andreas; Herwig, Christoph

    2016-10-01

    Spore inoculum quality in filamentous bioprocesses is a critical parameter associated with viable spore concentration (1) and spore germination (2). It influences pellet morphology and, consequently, process performance. The state-of-the-art method to measure viable spore concentration is tedious, associated with significant inherent bias, and not applicable in real-time. Therefore, it is not usable as process analytical technology (PAT). Spore germination has so far been monitored using image analysis, which is hampered by complex medium background often observed in filamentous bioprocesses. The method presented here is based on the combination of viability staining and large-particle flow cytometry which enables measurements in real-time and hence aims to be applicable as a PAT tool. It is compatible with the complex media background and allows the quantification of metabolically active spores and the monitoring of spore germination. A distinction of germinated spores and not germinated spores was based on logistic regression, using multiparameteric data from flow cytometry. In a first step, a significant correlation between colony-forming unit (CFU) counts and viable spore concentration (1) in an industrially relevant model bioprocess was found. Spore germination (2) was followed over the initial process phase with close temporal resolution. The validation of the method showed an error below 5 %. Differences in spore germination for various spore inocula ages and spore inoculum concentrations were monitored. The real-time applicability of the method suggests the implementation as a PAT tool in filamentous bioprocesses. PMID:27557717

  11. At-line determining spore germination of Penicillium chrysogenum bioprocesses in complex media.

    PubMed

    Ehgartner, Daniela; Fricke, Jens; Schröder, Andreas; Herwig, Christoph

    2016-10-01

    Spore inoculum quality in filamentous bioprocesses is a critical parameter associated with viable spore concentration (1) and spore germination (2). It influences pellet morphology and, consequently, process performance. The state-of-the-art method to measure viable spore concentration is tedious, associated with significant inherent bias, and not applicable in real-time. Therefore, it is not usable as process analytical technology (PAT). Spore germination has so far been monitored using image analysis, which is hampered by complex medium background often observed in filamentous bioprocesses. The method presented here is based on the combination of viability staining and large-particle flow cytometry which enables measurements in real-time and hence aims to be applicable as a PAT tool. It is compatible with the complex media background and allows the quantification of metabolically active spores and the monitoring of spore germination. A distinction of germinated spores and not germinated spores was based on logistic regression, using multiparameteric data from flow cytometry. In a first step, a significant correlation between colony-forming unit (CFU) counts and viable spore concentration (1) in an industrially relevant model bioprocess was found. Spore germination (2) was followed over the initial process phase with close temporal resolution. The validation of the method showed an error below 5 %. Differences in spore germination for various spore inocula ages and spore inoculum concentrations were monitored. The real-time applicability of the method suggests the implementation as a PAT tool in filamentous bioprocesses.

  12. The Exosporium Layer of Bacterial Spores: a Connection to the Environment and the Infected Host.

    PubMed

    Stewart, George C

    2015-12-01

    Much of what we know regarding bacterial spore structure and function has been learned from studies of the genetically well-characterized bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Molecular aspects of spore structure, assembly, and function are well defined. However, certain bacteria produce spores with an outer spore layer, the exosporium, which is not present on B. subtilis spores. Our understanding of the composition and biological functions of the exosporium layer is much more limited than that of other aspects of the spore. Because the bacterial spore surface is important for the spore's interactions with the environment, as well as being the site of interaction of the spore with the host's innate immune system in the case of spore-forming bacterial pathogens, the exosporium is worthy of continued investigation. Recent exosporium studies have focused largely on members of the Bacillus cereus family, principally Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus cereus. Our understanding of the composition of the exosporium, the pathway of its assembly, and its role in spore biology is now coming into sharper focus. This review expands on a 2007 review of spore surface layers which provided an excellent conceptual framework of exosporium structure and function (A. O. Henriques and C. P. Moran, Jr., Annu Rev Microbiol 61:555-588, 2007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.micro.61.080706.093224). That review began a process of considering outer spore layers as an integrated, multilayered structure rather than simply regarding the outer spore components as independent parts.

  13. Open-Ended Experimentation with the Fungus Pilobolus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coble, Charles R.; Bland, Charles E.

    This paper describes open-ended experimentation with the fungus Pilobolus for laboratory work by high school students. The fungus structure and reproduction is described and sources of the fungus are suggested. Four areas for investigation are suggested: the effect of a diffuse light source, the effect of a point light source, the effect of light…

  14. White-nose syndrome fungus (Geomyces destructans) in bat, France.

    PubMed

    Puechmaille, Sebastien J; Verdeyroux, Pascal; Fuller, Hubert; Gouilh, Meriadeg Ar; Bekaert, Michael; Teeling, Emma C

    2010-02-01

    White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus Geomyces destructans and is responsible for the deaths of >1,000,000 bats since 2006. This disease and fungus had been restricted to the northeastern United States. We detected this fungus in a bat in France and assessed the implications of this finding. PMID:20113562

  15. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  16. STREPTOMYCES SPECIES COMPRISING THE BLUE-SPORE SERIES

    PubMed Central

    Trejo, W. H.; Bennett, R. E.

    1963-01-01

    Trejo, W. H. (Squibb Institute for Medical Research, New Brunswick, N.J.) and R. E. Bennett. Streptomyces species comprising the blue-spore series. J. Bacteriol. 85:676–690. 1963.—The objective of this study was to define and delimit the streptomycetes of the blue-spored (Viridochromogenes) series. The series, as defined in this study, includes 11 blue and blue-green species. The green-spored species were excluded on the basis of morphology as well as color. It was proposed that NRRL B-1511 be designated as the neotype strain of Streptomyces viridochromogenes (Krainsky) Waksman and Henrici, and that IMRU 3761 be designated as the neotype for Streptomyces cyaneus (Krassilnikov) Waksman. Evidence was presented to show that physiological criteria cannot be used to differentiate these organisms below the series level. The major characteristics of the Viridochromogenes series are blue to blue-green spores borne in spirals, and chromogenicity (melanin-positive). Reverse color and spore morphology provide a basis for separation below the series level. Images PMID:14042949

  17. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Joseph P.; Meyer, Kathryn M.; Kelly, Thomas J.; Choi, Young W.; Rogers, James V.; Riggs, Karen B.; Willenberg, Zachary J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially. PMID:26372011

  18. Detection of Bacterial Spores with Lanthanide-Macrocycle Binary Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Cable, Morgan L.; Kirby, James P.; Levine, Dana J.; Manary, Micah J.; Gray, Harry B.; Ponce, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    The detection of bacterial spores via dipicolinate-triggered lanthanide luminescence has been improved in terms of detection limit, stability, and susceptibility to interferents by use of lanthanide-macrocycle binary complexes. Specifically, we compared the effectiveness of Sm, Eu, Tb and Dy complexes with the macrocycle 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,7-diacetate (DO2A) to the corresponding lanthanide aquo ions. The Ln(DO2A)+ binary complexes bind dipicolinic acid (DPA), a major constituent of bacterial spores, with greater affinity and demonstrate significant improvement in bacterial spore detection. Of the four luminescent lanthanides studied, the terbium complex exhibits the greatest dipicolinate binding affinity (100-fold greater than Tb3+ alone, and 10-fold greater than other Ln(DO2A)+ complexes) and highest quantum yield. Moreover, the inclusion of DO2A extends the pH range over which Tb-DPA coordination is stable, reduces the interference of calcium ions nearly 5-fold, and mitigates phosphate interference 1000-fold compared to free terbium alone. In addition, detection of Bacillus atrophaeus bacterial spores was improved by the use of Tb(DO2A)+, yielding a 3-fold increase in the signal-to-noise ratio over Tb3+. Out of the eight cases investigated, the Tb(DO2A)+ binary complex is best for the detection of bacterial spores. PMID:19537757

  19. Scanning Surface Potential Microscopy of Spore Adhesion on Surfaces

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-01

    The adhesion of spores of Bacillus anthracis - the cause of anthrax and a likely biological threat - to solid surfaces is an important consideration in cleanup after an accidental or deliberate release. However, because of safety concerns, directly studying B. anthracis spores with advanced instrumentation is problematic. As a first step, we are examining the electrostatic potential of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a closely related species that is often used as a simulant to study B. anthracis. Scanning surface potential microscopy (SSPM), also known as Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), was used to investigate the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the surface electrostatic potential of Bt that had adhered to silica, mica, or gold substrates. AFM/SSPM side-by-side images were obtained separately in air, at various values of RH, after an aqueous droplet with spores was applied on each surface and allowed to dry before measurements. In the SSPM images, a negative potential on the surface of the spores was observed compared with that of the substrates. The surface potential decreased as the humidity increased. Spores were unable to adhere to a surface with an extremely negative potential, such as mica.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Environmental Persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis Spores.

    PubMed

    Wood, Joseph P; Meyer, Kathryn M; Kelly, Thomas J; Choi, Young W; Rogers, James V; Riggs, Karen B; Willenberg, Zachary J

    2015-01-01

    There is a lack of data for how the viability of biological agents may degrade over time in different environments. In this study, experiments were conducted to determine the persistence of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus subtilis spores on outdoor materials with and without exposure to simulated sunlight, using ultraviolet (UV)-A/B radiation. Spores were inoculated onto glass, wood, concrete, and topsoil and recovered after periods of 2, 14, 28, and 56 days. Recovery and inactivation kinetics for the two species were assessed for each surface material and UV exposure condition. Results suggest that with exposure to UV, decay of spore viability for both Bacillus species occurs in two phases, with an initial rapid decay, followed by a slower inactivation period. The exception was with topsoil, in which there was minimal loss of spore viability in soil over 56 days, with or without UV exposure. The greatest loss in viable spore recovery occurred on glass with UV exposure, with nearly a four log10 reduction after just two days. In most cases, B. subtilis had a slower rate of decay than B. anthracis, although less B. subtilis was recovered initially.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  3. Understanding of the importance of the spore coat structure and pigmentation in the Bacillus subtilis spore resistance to low-pressure plasma sterilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raguse, Marina; Fiebrandt, Marcel; Denis, Benjamin; Stapelmann, Katharina; Eichenberger, Patrick; Driks, Adam; Eaton, Peter; Awakowicz, Peter; Moeller, Ralf

    2016-07-01

    Low-pressure plasmas have been evaluated for their potential in biomedical and defense purposes. The sterilizing effect of plasma can be attributed to several active agents, including (V)UV radiation, charged particles, radical species, neutral and excited atoms and molecules, and the electric field. Spores of Bacillus subtilis were used as a bioindicator and a genetic model system to study the sporicidal effects of low-pressure plasma decontamination. Wild-type spores, spores lacking the major protective coat layers (inner, outer, and crust), pigmentation-deficient spores or spore impaired in encasement (a late step in coat assembly) were systematically tested for their resistance to low-pressure argon, hydrogen, and oxygen plasmas with and without admixtures. We demonstrate that low-pressure plasma discharges of argon and oxygen discharges cause significant physical damage to spore surface structures as visualized by atomic force microscopy. Spore resistance to low-pressure plasma was primarily dependent on the presence of the inner, and outer spore coat layers as well as spore encasement, with minor or less importance of the crust and spore pigmentation, whereas spore inactivation itself was strongly influenced by the gas composition and operational settings.

  4. Daily variations of Alternaria spores in the city of Murcia (semi-arid southeastern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munuera Giner, M.; Carrión García, J. S.

    1995-12-01

    Annual variations in the abundance of Alternaria spores were related to the length of the spore period for data from Murcia (southeastern Spain). To understand the relationship between the number of spores and climatic factors, Alternaria spore counts for March 1993 to February 1994 were examined by means of correlation and regression analyses with fourteen different weather parameters. The results indicated that there was a tendency for Alternaria spore concentrations to increase with increases in temperature, wind speed and hours of sunshine. Negative correlations were observed with air pressure, wind direction and humidity. Theoretical curves for Alternaria spore counts are given in relation to temperatures during the period studied.

  5. Differentiating bacterial spores from hoax materials by Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farquharson, Stuart; Smith, Wayne W.

    2004-03-01

    The bioterrorism of October 2001 caused by the distribution of anthrax through the U.S. postal system was compounded by the significant delay associated with positive identification of the Bacillus anthracis spores and the unknown extent of their distribution along the eastern seaboard. In the ensuing two years, literally thousands of hoaxes, letters containing harmless powders, have been mailed creating additional anxiety. Thus, there is a need for instruments and/or methods that can not only identify anthrax-causing spores to save lives, but also identify hoax materials to eliminate costly shutdowns. Here we present Raman spectra of Bacillus cereus spores, an anthrax surrogate, as well as of 30 common substances that might be used as hoax materials. We also examine the choice of laser excitation, 785 nm or 1064 nm, and its impact on the ability to measure visible particles in 5 minutes or less, and to provide a complete answer to the question of suspicious material identity.

  6. Adenosine Monophosphate-Based Detection of Bacterial Spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kern, Roger G.; Chen, Fei; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Hattori, Nori; Suzuki, Shigeya

    2009-01-01

    A method of rapid detection of bacterial spores is based on the discovery that a heat shock consisting of exposure to a temperature of 100 C for 10 minutes causes the complete release of adenosine monophosphate (AMP) from the spores. This method could be an alternative to the method described in the immediately preceding article. Unlike that method and related prior methods, the present method does not involve germination and cultivation; this feature is an important advantage because in cases in which the spores are those of pathogens, delays involved in germination and cultivation could increase risks of infection. Also, in comparison with other prior methods that do not involve germination, the present method affords greater sensitivity. At present, the method is embodied in a laboratory procedure, though it would be desirable to implement the method by means of a miniaturized apparatus in order to make it convenient and economical enough to encourage widespread use.

  7. Enhanced Spore Biomarker Detection Following Laser Induced Lysis

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  9. Efficacy of ozone against Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris spores in apple juice.

    PubMed

    Torlak, Emrah

    2014-02-17

    Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris survives during the typical pasteurization process and can cause the spoilage of fruit juices thanks to its spore forming and thermo-acidophilic nature. In recent years, A. acidoterrestris has become a major concern to the fruit juices industry worldwide. This study was undertaken to evaluate ozone for the reducing number of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice. Apple juice inoculated with A. acidoterrestris spores was bubbled with continuous stream of two different constant concentrations (2.8 and 5.3mg/L) of ozone at 4 and 22 °C up to 40 min. Level of A. acidoterrestris spores in juice decreased by 2.2 and 2.8 log after 40 min of ozonation at 4 °C with concentrations of 2.8 and 5.3mg/L, respectively. Treatments at 22 °C for 40 min with 2.8 and 5.3 mg/L ozone resulted in 1.8 and 2.4 log reductions of spore viability, respectively. At the ozone concentration of 5.3 mg/L, significant (P<0.05) reductions were observed in total phenolic content of juice at both temperature levels. However, treatments performed at 2.8 mg/L were observed to have no significant (P>0.05) effect on total phenolic content. The results presented in this study indicate that over the 2 log reduction in the count of A. acidoterrestris spores in apple juice can be achieved by bubbling ozonation at 4 °C without causing a significant decrease in total phenolic content of product. Therefore, it can be suggested that bubbling ozonation is a promising method for the control of A. acidoterrestris in fruit juices.

  10. Effect of aposymbiotic conditions on colony growth and secondary metabolite production in the lichen-forming fungus Ramalina dilacerata.

    PubMed

    Timsina, Brinda A; Sorensen, John L; Weihrauch, Dirk; Piercey-Normore, Michele D

    2013-01-01

    The production of secondary metabolites by aposymbiotic lichen-forming fungi in culture is thought to be influenced by environmental conditions. The effects of the environment may be studied by culturing fungi under defined growing parameters to provide a better understanding of the role of the large number of polyketide synthase (PKS) gene paralogs detected in the genomes of many fungi. The objectives of this study were to examine the effects of culture conditions (media composition and pH level) on the colony growth, the numbers of secondary products, and the expression of two PKS genes by the lichen-forming fungus Ramalina dilacerata. Four types of growth media at four different pH levels were prepared to culture spore isolates of R. dilacerata. Colony diameter and texture were recorded. The number of secondary compounds were determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Expression of two PKS genes (non-reducing (NR) and 6-MSAS-type PKS) were compared with expression of an internal control mitochondrial small subunit gene (mtSSU). The results showed that media containing yeast extracts produced the largest colony diameters and the fewest number of secondary metabolites. Colony growth rates also varied with different media conditions, and a significant negative relationship occurred between colony diameter and number of secondary metabolites. Expression of the NR PKS gene was significantly higher at pH 6.5 on the glucose malt agar than any other media, and expression of the 6-MSAS-type (partially-reducing) PKS gene was significantly higher at pH 8.5 on (malt agar) malt agar than on the other types of agar. Gene expression was correlated with the pH level and media conditions that induced the production of the larger number of secondary substances. This is the first study to examine secondary metabolite production in R. dilacerata by comparing the number of polyketides detected with quantitative polymerase chain

  11. Influence of transition metals added during sporulation on heat resistance of Clostridium botulinum 113B spores.

    PubMed Central

    Kihm, D J; Hutton, M T; Hanlin, J H; Johnson, E A

    1990-01-01

    Sporulation of Clostridium botulinum 113B in a complex medium supplemented with certain transition metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, or Zn) at 0.01 to 1.0 mM gave spores that were increased two to sevenfold in their contents of the added metals. The contents of calcium, magnesium, and other metals in the purified spores were relatively unchanged. Inclusion of sodium citrate (3 g/liter) in the medium enhanced metal accumulation and gave consistency in the transition metal contents of independent spore crops. In citrate-supplemented media, C. botulinum formed spores with very high contents of Zn (approximately 1% of the dry weight). Spores containing an increased content of Fe (0.1 to 0.2%) were more susceptible to thermal killing than were native spores or spores containing increased Zn or Mn. The spores formed with added Fe or Cu also appeared less able to repair heat-induced injuries than the spores with added Mn or Zn. Fe-increased spores appeared to germinate and outgrow at a higher frequency than did native and Mn-increased spores. This study shows that C. botulinum spores can be sensitized to increased thermal destruction by incorporation of Fe in the spores. PMID:2180370

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinn, E.A.; Griffin, Dale W.; Seba, D.B.

    2003-01-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

  14. The Fungal Spores Survival Under the Low-Temperature Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soušková, Hana; Scholtz, V.; Julák, J.; Savická, D.

    This paper presents an experimental apparatus for the decontamination and sterilization of water suspension of fungal spores. The fungicidal effect of stabilized positive and negative corona discharges on four fungal species Aspergillus oryzae, Clacosporium sphaerospermum, Penicillium crustosum and Alternaria sp. was studied. Simultaneously, the slower growing of exposed fungal spores was observed. The obtained results are substantially different in comparison with those of the analogous experiments performed with bacteria. It may be concluded that fungi are more resistant to the low-temperature plasma.

  15. Effect of synthetic detergents on germination of fern spores

    SciTech Connect

    Devi, Y.; Devi, S.

    1986-12-01

    Synthetic detergents constitute one of the most important water pollutants by contaminating the lakes and rivers through domestic and industrial use. Considerable information is now available for the adverse effects of detergents an aquatic fauna including fish, algae, and higher aquatic plants. Marked inhibition of germination in orchids and brinjals and of seedlings growth in raddish suggest that rapidly growing systems could be sensitive to detergent polluted water. The present study of the effect of linear alkyl benzene sulphonate on germination of the spores of a fern, Diplazium esculentum aims at the understanding of the effects of water pollution on pteridophytes and the development of spore germination assay for phytoxicity evaluation.

  16. Discrimination of Spore-Forming Bacilli Using spoIVA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; LaDuc, Myron; Stuecker, Tara

    2009-01-01

    A method of discriminating between spore-forming and non-spore-forming bacteria is based on a combination of simultaneous sporulation-specific and non-sporulation-specific quantitative polymerase chain reactions (Q-PCRs). The method was invented partly in response to the observation that for the purposes of preventing or reducing biological contamination affecting many human endeavors, ultimately, only the spore-forming portions of bacterial populations are the ones that are problematic (or, at least, more problematic than are the non-spore-forming portions). In some environments, spore-forming bacteria constitute small fractions of the total bacterial populations. The use of sporulation-specific primers in Q-PCR affords the ability to assess the spore-forming fraction of a bacterial population present in an environment of interest. This assessment can provide a more thorough and accurate understanding of the bacterial contamination in the environment, thereby making it possible to focus contamination- testing, contamination-prevention, sterilization, and decontamination resources more economically and efficiently. The method includes the use of sporulation-specific primers in the form of designed, optimized deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) oligonucleotides specific for the bacterial spoIVA gene (see table). [In "spoIVA," "IV" signifies Roman numeral four and the entire quoted name refers to gene A for the fourth stage of sporulation.] These primers are mixed into a PCR cocktail with a given sample of bacterial cells. A control PCR cocktail into which are mixed universal 16S rRNA primers is also prepared. ["16S rRNA" denotes a ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequence that is common to all organisms.] Following several cycles of heating and cooling according to the PCR protocol to amplify amounts of DNA molecules, the amplification products can be analyzed to determine the types of bacterial cells present within the samples. If the amplification product is strong

  17. Atmospheric transport of mold spores in clouds of desert dust.

    PubMed

    Shinn, Eugene A; Griffin, Dale W; Seba, Douglas B

    2003-08-01

    Fungal spores can be transported globally in clouds of desert dust. Many species of fungi (commonly known as molds) and bacteria--including some that are human pathogens--have characteristics suited to long-range atmospheric transport. Dust from the African desert can affect air quality in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. Asian desert dust can affect air quality in Asia, the Arctic, North America, and Europe. Atmospheric exposure to mold-carrying desert dust may affect human health directly through allergic induction of respiratory stress. In addition, mold spores within these dust clouds may seed downwind ecosystems in both outdoor and indoor environments.

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

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Linlin; Li, Lei

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Systematic Assessment of Nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum Spores for Heat Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Stringer, Sandra C.; Barker, Gary C.; Peck, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Heat treatment is an important controlling factor that, in combination with other hurdles (e.g., pH, aw), is used to reduce numbers and prevent the growth of and associated neurotoxin formation by nonproteolytic C. botulinum in chilled foods. It is generally agreed that a heating process that reduces the spore concentration by a factor of 106 is an acceptable barrier in relation to this hazard. The purposes of the present study were to review the available data relating to heat resistance properties of nonproteolytic C. botulinum spores and to obtain an appropriate representation of parameter values suitable for use in quantitative microbial risk assessment. In total, 753 D values and 436 z values were extracted from the literature and reveal significant differences in spore heat resistance properties, particularly those corresponding to recovery in the presence or absence of lysozyme. A total of 503 D and 338 z values collected for heating temperatures at or below 83°C were used to obtain a probability distribution representing variability in spore heat resistance for strains recovered in media that did not contain lysozyme. IMPORTANCE In total, 753 D values and 436 z values extracted from literature sources reveal significant differences in spore heat resistance properties. On the basis of collected data, two z values have been identified, z = 7°C and z = 9°C, for spores recovered without and with lysozyme, respectively. The findings support the use of heat treatment at 90°C for 10 min to reduce the spore concentration by a factor of 106, providing that lysozyme is not present during recovery. This study indicates that greater heat treatment is required for food products containing lysozyme, and this might require consideration of alternative recommendation/guidance. In addition, the data set has been used to test hypotheses regarding the dependence of spore heat resistance on the toxin type and strain, on the heating technique used, and on the

  20. Decontamination of Anthrax spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets.

    SciTech Connect

    Boucher, Raymond M.; Crown, Kevin K.; Tucker, Mark David; Hankins, Matthew Granholm

    2010-05-01

    Decontamination of anthrax spores in critical infrastructure (e.g., subway systems, major airports) and critical assets (e.g., the interior of aircraft) can be challenging because effective decontaminants can damage materials. Current decontamination methods require the use of highly toxic and/or highly corrosive chemical solutions because bacterial spores are very difficult to kill. Bacterial spores such as Bacillus anthracis, the infectious agent of anthrax, are one of the most resistant forms of life and are several orders of magnitude more difficult to kill than their associated vegetative cells. Remediation of facilities and other spaces (e.g., subways, airports, and the interior of aircraft) contaminated with anthrax spores currently requires highly toxic and corrosive chemicals such as chlorine dioxide gas, vapor- phase hydrogen peroxide, or high-strength bleach, typically requiring complex deployment methods. We have developed a non-toxic, non-corrosive decontamination method to kill highly resistant bacterial spores in critical infrastructure and critical assets. A chemical solution that triggers the germination process in bacterial spores and causes those spores to rapidly and completely change to much less-resistant vegetative cells that can be easily killed. Vegetative cells are then exposed to mild chemicals (e.g., low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds, alcohols, aldehydes, etc.) or natural elements (e.g., heat, humidity, ultraviolet light, etc.) for complete and rapid kill. Our process employs a novel germination solution consisting of low-cost, non-toxic and non-corrosive chemicals. We are testing both direct surface application and aerosol delivery of the solutions. A key Homeland Security need is to develop the capability to rapidly recover from an attack utilizing biological warfare agents. This project will provide the capability to rapidly and safely decontaminate critical facilities and assets to return them to

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-05-27

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

  2. Bacteria and Spores - Skylab Student Experiment ED-31

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    This chart describes the Skylab student experiment Bacteria and Spores, proposed by Robert L. Staehle of Rochester, New York. This experiment was intended to determine the effect of the Skylab environment (particularly weightlessness) on the survival, growth rates, and mutations of certain bacteria and spores. In March 1972, NASA and the National Science Teachers Association selected 25 experiment proposals for flight on Skylab. Science advisors from the Marshall Space Flight Center aided and assisted the students in developing the proposals for flight on Skylab.

  3. Slowing them down will make them lose: a role for attine ant crop fungus in defending pupae against infections?

    PubMed

    Armitage, Sophie A O; Fernández-Marín, Hermógenes; Boomsma, Jacobus J; Wcislo, William T

    2016-09-01

    Fungus-growing ants (Attini) have evolved an obligate dependency upon a basidiomycete fungus that they cultivate as their food. Less well known is that the crop fungus is also used by many attine species to cover their eggs, larvae and pupae. The adaptive functional significance of this brood covering is poorly understood. One hypothesis to account for this behaviour is that it is part of the pathogen protection portfolio when many thousands of sister workers live in close proximity and larvae and pupae are not protected by cells, as in bees and wasps, and are immobile. We performed behavioural observations on brood covering in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior, and we experimentally manipulated mycelial cover on pupae and exposed them to the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum to test for a role in pathogen resistance. Our results show that active mycelial brood covering by workers is a behaviourally plastic trait that varies temporally, and across life stages and castes. The presence of a fungal cover on the pupae reduced the rate at which conidia appeared and the percentage of pupal surface that produced pathogen spores, compared to pupae that had fungal cover experimentally removed or naturally had no mycelial cover. Infected pupae with mycelium had higher survival rates than infected pupae without the cover, although this depended upon the time at which adult sister workers were allowed to interact with pupae. Finally, workers employed higher rates of metapleural gland grooming to infected pupae without mycelium than to infected pupae with mycelium. Our results imply that mycelial brood covering may play a significant role in suppressing the growth and subsequent spread of disease, thus adding a novel layer of protection to their defence portfolio. PMID:27136600

  4. Spore production of Penicillium roqueforti by solid state fermentation: Stoichiometry, growth and sporulation behavior.

    PubMed

    Desfarges, C; Larroche, C; Gros, J B

    1987-06-01

    The development of Penicillium roqueforti on buckwheat seeds proceeds roughly into four steps, involving a lag phase and three growth phases. First, it appears as a spore germination and external colonization of the grains by the mycelium. Then, mainly external sporulation and internal colonization of the seeds occur and finally internal sporulation takes place. The Stoichiometry of the growth and the sporulation is established. Kinetic experiments performed in a fixed bed reactor show that the growth of the microorganism (biomass production) may be estimated by the protein content of the medium. This growth occurs with a very low mu(max) value close to 0.030 h(-1). The chitin content of the medium is an indicator of the sporulation, just as the metabolic liquor (mainly water) produced during the course of a cultivation. The values of the observed respiratory quotient are close to those predicted by stoichiometry.

  5. FORMALDEHYDE GAS INACTIVATION OF BACILLUS ANTHRACIS, BACILLUS SUBTILIS AND GEOBACILLUS STEAROTHERMOPHILUS SPORES ON INDOOR SURFACE MATERIALS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Research evaluated the decontamination of Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus subtilis, and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores on indoor surface material using formaldehyde gas. Spores were dried on seven types of indoor surfaces and exposed to 1100 ppm formaldehyde gas for 10 hr. Fo...

  6. Minimizing the level of Bacillus cereus spores in farm tank milk.

    PubMed

    Vissers, M M M; Te Giffel, M C; Driehuis, F; De Jong, P; Lankveld, J M G

    2007-07-01

    In a year-long survey on 24 Dutch farms, Bacillus cereus spore concentrations were measured in farm tank milk (FTM), feces, bedding material, mixed grass and corn silage, and soil from the pasture. The aim of this study was to determine, in practice, factors affecting the concentration of B. cereus spores in FTM throughout the year. In addition, the results of the survey were used in combination with a previously published modeling study to determine requirements for a strategy to control B. cereus spore concentrations in FTM below the MSL of 3 log10 spores/L. The B. cereus spore concentration in FTM was 1.2 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/L and in none of samples was the concentration above the MSL. The spore concentration in soil (4.9 +/- 0.04 log10 spores/g) was more than 100-fold higher than the concentration in feces (2.2 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g), bedding material (2.8 +/- 0.07 log10 spores/g), and mixed silage (2.4 +/- 0.07 log10 spores/g). The spore concentration in FTM increased between July and September compared with the rest of the year (0.5 +/- 0.02 log10 spores/L difference). In this period, comparable increases of the concentrations in feces (0.4 +/- 0.03 log10 spores/g), bedding material (0.5 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g), and mixed silage (0.4 +/- 0.05 log10 spores/g) were found. The increased B. cereus spore concentration in FTM was not related to the grazing of cows. Significant correlations were found between the spore concentrations in FTM and feces (r = 0.51) and in feces and mixed silage (r = 0.43) when the cows grazed. The increased concentrations during summer could be explained by an increased growth of B. cereus due to the higher temperatures. We concluded that year-round B. cereus spores were predominantly transmitted from feeds, via feces, to FTM. Farmers should take measures that minimize the transmission of spores via this route by ensuring low initial contamination levels in the feeds (<3 log10 spores/g) and by preventing growth of B. cereus in the

  7. Ant-fungus species combinations engineer physiological activity of fungus gardens.

    PubMed

    Seal, J N; Schiøtt, M; Mueller, U G

    2014-07-15

    Fungus-gardening insects are among the most complex organisms because of their extensive co-evolutionary histories with obligate fungal symbionts and other microbes. Some fungus-gardening insect lineages share fungal symbionts with other members of their lineage and thus exhibit diffuse co-evolutionary relationships, while others exhibit little or no symbiont sharing, resulting in host-fungus fidelity. The mechanisms that maintain this symbiont fidelity are currently unknown. Prior work suggested that derived leaf-cutting ants in the genus Atta interact synergistically with leaf-cutter fungi (Attamyces) by exhibiting higher fungal growth rates and enzymatic activities than when growing a fungus from the sister-clade to Attamyces (so-called 'Trachymyces'), grown primarily by the non-leaf cutting Trachymyrmex ants that form, correspondingly, the sister-clade to leaf-cutting ants. To elucidate the enzymatic bases of host-fungus specialization in leaf-cutting ants, we conducted a reciprocal fungus-switch experiment between the ant Atta texana and the ant Trachymyrmex arizonensis and report measured enzymatic activities of switched and sham-switched fungus gardens to digest starch, pectin, xylan, cellulose and casein. Gardens exhibited higher amylase and pectinase activities when A. texana ants cultivated Attamyces compared with Trachymyces fungi, consistent with enzymatic specialization. In contrast, gardens showed comparable amylase and pectinase activities when T. arizonensis cultivated either fungal species. Although gardens of leaf-cutting ants are not known to be significant metabolizers of cellulose, T. arizonensis were able to maintain gardens with significant cellulase activity when growing either fungal species. In contrast to carbohydrate metabolism, protease activity was significantly higher in Attamyces than in Trachymyces, regardless of the ant host. Activity of some enzymes employed by this symbiosis therefore arises from complex interactions between the

  8. Superdormant spores of Bacillus species have elevated wet-heat resistance and temperature requirements for heat activation.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sonali; Zhang, Pengfei; Li, Yong-qing; Setlow, Peter

    2009-09-01

    Purified superdormant spores of Bacillus cereus, B. megaterium, and B. subtilis isolated after optimal heat activation of dormant spores and subsequent germination with inosine, d-glucose, or l-valine, respectively, germinate very poorly with the original germinants used to remove dormant spores from spore populations, thus allowing isolation of the superdormant spores, and even with alternate germinants. However, these superdormant spores exhibited significant germination with the original or alternate germinants if the spores were heat activated at temperatures 8 to 15 degrees C higher than the optimal temperatures for the original dormant spores, although the levels of superdormant spore germination were not as great as those of dormant spores. Use of mixtures of original and alternate germinants lowered the heat activation temperature optima for both dormant and superdormant spores. The superdormant spores had higher wet-heat resistance and lower core water content than the original dormant spore populations, and the environment of dipicolinic acid in the core of superdormant spores as determined by Raman spectroscopy of individual spores differed from that in dormant spores. These results provide new information about the germination, heat activation optima, and wet-heat resistance of superdormant spores and the heterogeneity in these properties between individual members of dormant spore populations.

  9. Water and Small-Molecule Permeation of Dormant Bacillus subtilis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Cermak, Nathan; Feijó Delgado, Francisco; Setlow, Barbara; Setlow, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We use a suspended microchannel resonator to characterize the water and small-molecule permeability of Bacillus subtilis spores based on spores' buoyant mass in different solutions. Consistent with previous results, we found that the spore coat is not a significant barrier to small molecules, and the extent to which small molecules may enter the spore is size dependent. We have developed a method to directly observe the exchange kinetics of intraspore water with deuterium oxide, and we applied this method to wild-type spores and a panel of congenic mutants with deficiencies in the assembly or structure of the coat. Compared to wild-type spores, which exchange in approximately 1 s, several coat mutant spores were found to have relatively high water permeability with exchange times below the ∼200-ms temporal resolution of our assay. In addition, we found that the water permeability of the spore correlates with the ability of spores to germinate with dodecylamine and with the ability of TbCl3 to inhibit germination with l-valine. These results suggest that the structure of the coat may be necessary for maintaining low water permeability. IMPORTANCE Spores of Bacillus species cause food spoilage and disease and are extremely resistant to standard decontamination methods. This hardiness is partly due to spores' extremely low permeability to chemicals, including water. We present a method to directly monitor the uptake of molecules into B. subtilis spores by weighing spores in fluid. The results demonstrate the exchange of core water with subsecond resolution and show a correlation between water permeability and the rate at which small molecules can initiate or inhibit germination in coat-damaged spores. The ability to directly measure the uptake of molecules in the context of spores with known structural or genetic deficiencies is expected to provide insight into the determinants of spores' extreme resistance. PMID:26483518

  10. Characterization of fungal spores in ambient particulate matter: A study from the Himalayan region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, Ajay; Attri, Arun K.

    2016-10-01

    Fungal spores as a constituent of ambient particulate matter (PM) is of concern; they not only display the physical traits of a particle, but are also potential allergens and health risk. An investigation over fourteen month was undertaken at a rural site located in the Western Himalayan region, to evaluate the PM associated fungal spores' concentration and diversity. The season-wise change in the fungal spores concentration in the Coarse Particulate Matter (CPM) fraction (aerodynamic diameter > 10 μm) varied from 500 to 3899 spores m-3. Their average concentration over 14 months was 1517 spores m-3. Significant diversity of fungal spores in the CPM samples was observed; 27 individual genera of fungal spores were identified, of which many were known allergens. Presence of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota fungal spores was dominant in the samples; ∼20% of the spores were un-characterized. The season-wise variability in fungal spores showed a statistically significant high correlation with CPM load. Maximum number concentration of the spores in CPM was recorded in the summer, while minimum in the winter. The high diversity of spores occurred during monsoon and post monsoon months. The meteorological factors played an important role in the fungal spores' distribution profile. The temporal profile of the spores showed significant correlation with the ambient temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS) and planetary boundary layer (PBL) height. Strong correlation of WS with fungal spores and CPM, and wind back trajectories suggest that re-suspension and wind assisted transport of PM contributes to ambient CPM associated fungal spores.

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

    PubMed

    Stewart, Kerry-Ann V; Setlow, Peter

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raghavan, V.

    1992-01-01

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

  13. Multinucleate spores contribute to evolutionary longevity of asexual glomeromycota.

    PubMed

    Jany, Jean-Luc; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota) are the dominant symbionts of land plants and one of the oldest multicellular lineages that exist without evidence of sexual reproduction. The mechanisms that protect these organisms from extinction due to accumulation of deleterious mutations in the absence of sexual recombination are unclear. Glomeromycota reproduce by spores containing hundreds of nuclei, which represents a departure from the typical eukaryotic developmental pattern, where a multicellular organism is re-created from a uninucleate propagule. To understand whether the multinucleate spore makeup may have contributed to the evolutionary success of Glomeromycota, we examined the dynamics of spore nuclei in Glomus etunicatum using live three-dimensional imaging and mathematical models. We show that the spores are populated by an influx of a stream of nuclei from the surrounding mycelium rather than by divisions of a single founder nucleus. We present evidence that mechanisms of selection are likely to operate at the level of individual nuclei. On the basis of mathematical analyses of the effects that these nuclear dynamics have on the population mutation load, we postulate that the developmental patterns of sporogenesis have adaptive significance for moderating the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may have contributed to the evolutionary longevity of Glomeromycota. PMID:20170364

  14. Taphonomic bias in pollen and spore record: a review

    SciTech Connect

    Fisk, L.H.

    1986-05-01

    The high dispersibility and ease of pollen and spore transport have led researchers to conclude erroneously that fossil pollen and spore floras are relatively complete and record unbiased representations of the regional vegetation extant at the time of sediment deposition. That such conclusions are unjustified is obvious when the authors remember that polynomorphs are merely organic sedimentary particles and undergo hydraulic sorting not unlike clastic sedimentary particles. Prior to deposition in the fossil record, pollen and spores can be hydraulically sorted by size, shape, and weight, subtly biasing relative frequencies in fossil assemblages. Sorting during transport results in palynofloras whose composition is environmentally dependent. Therefore, depositional environment is an important consideration to make correct inferences on the source vegetation. Sediment particle size of original rock samples may contain important information on the probability of a taphonomically biased pollen and spore assemblage. In addition, a reasonable test of hydraulic sorting is the distribution of pollen grain sizes and shapes in each assemblage. Any assemblage containing a wide spectrum of grain sizes and shapes has obviously not undergone significant sorting. If unrecognized, taphonomic bias can lead to paleoecologic, paleoclimatic, and even biostratigraphic misinterpretations.

  15. Mutagenic and tumourigenic properties of the spores of Aspergillus clavatus.

    PubMed Central

    Blyth, W.; Hardy, J. C.

    1982-01-01

    Spore walls of a sputum-derived isolate of Aspergillus clavatus yielded mutagen(s) when their extracts were fractionally precipitated with ethanol following alkaline hydrolysis. After spores were given by nasal inoculation to 6-8-week-old CF-1 mice, light and electron microscopy of lung sections showed that they had been readily phagocytozed by the polymorphonuclear leucocytes and alveolar macrophages mobilized during early allergic alveolitis in immunized mice. The formation of phagosomes was followed in thioglycollate-stimulated peritoneal macrophages grown in vitro. Unimmunised mice showed a comparable lung reaction, attributed to pulmonary mycotoxicosis, and revealed a rising incidence of lung tumours, from 25% at 2 months from inoculation, to 27.3% at 6 and to 55.5% at 8. Mean numbers of tumours per lung rose from 1.0 to 2.2. Total tumours, including lymphomas, reached a final incidence of 77.7% at 8 months, when control animals were tumour-free. Tumour development correlated with the retention of apparently intact spores within giant cells probably derived from aggregates of alveolar macrophages. The implications of these findings in the light of the known history of human exposure to such spores is discussed. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Figs 6 and 7 Fig. 8 Fig. 9 Fig. 10 PMID:7059453

  16. Sporicidal characteristics of heated dolomite powder against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Yasue, Syogo; Sawai, Jun; Kikuchi, Mikio; Nakakuki, Takahito; Sano, Kazuo; Kikuchi, Takahide

    2014-01-01

    Dolomite is a double salt composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The heat treatment of CaCO3 and MgCO3 respectively generates calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO), which have antimicrobial activity. In this study, heated dolomite powder (HDP) slurry was investigated for its sporicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 spores. The B. subtilis spores used in this study were not affected by acidic (pH 1) or alkaline (pH 13) conditions, indicating that they were highly resistant. However, dolomite powder heated to 1000℃ for 1 h could kill B. subtilis spores, even at pH 12.7. Sporicidal activity was only apparent when the dolomite powder was heated to 800℃ or higher, and sporicidal activity increased with increases in the heating temperature. This temperature corresponded to that of the generation of CaO. We determined that MgO did not contribute to the sporicidal activity of HDP. To elucidate the sporicidal mechanism of the HDP against B. subtilis spores, the generation of active oxygen from HDP slurry was examined by chemiluminescence analysis. The generation of active oxygen increased when the HDP slurry concentration rose. The results suggested that, in addition to its alkalinity, the active oxygen species generated from HDP were associated with sporicidal activity. PMID:25252642

  17. Adhesion of Spores of Bacillus thuringiensis on a Planar Surface

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, Eunhyea; Kweon, Hyojin; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Lee, Ida; Joy, David Charles; Palumbo, Anthony Vito; Tsouris, Costas

    2010-01-01

    Adhesion of spores of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and spherical silica particles on surfaces was experimentally and theoretically investigated in this study. Topography analysis via atomic force microscopy (AFM) and electron microscopy indicates that Bt spores are rod shaped, {approx}1.3 {mu}m in length and {approx}0.8 {mu}m in diameter. The adhesion force of Bt spores and silica particles on gold-coated glass was measured at various relative humidity (RH) levels by AFM. It was expected that the adhesion force would vary with RH because the individual force components contributing to the adhesion force depend on RH. The adhesion force between a particle and a planar surface in atmospheric environments was modeled as the contribution of three major force components: capillary, van der Waals, and electrostatic interaction forces. Adhesion force measurements for Bt spore (silica particle) and the gold surface system were comparable with calculations. Modeling results show that there is a critical RH value, which depends on the hydrophobicity of the materials involved, below which the water meniscus does not form and the contribution of the capillary force is zero. As RH increases, the van der Waals force decreases while the capillary force increases to a maximum value.

  18. Isolation of the Paenibacillus phoenicis, a Spore-Forming Bacterium

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benardini, James N.; Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.; Osman, Shariff; Satomi, Masataka

    2010-01-01

    A microorganism was isolated from the surfaces of the cleanroom facility in which the Phoenix lander was assembled. The isolated bacterial strain was subjected to a comprehensive polyphasic analysis to characterize its taxonomic position. Both phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses clearly indicate that this isolate belongs to the genus Paenibacillus and represents a novel species. Bacillus spores have been utilized to assess the degree and level of microbiological contamination on spacecraft and their associated spacecraft assembly facilities. Spores of Bacillus species are of particular concern to planetary protection due to the extreme resistance of some members of the genus to space environmental conditions such as UV and gamma radiation, vacuum, oxidation, and temperature fluctuation. These resistive spore phenotypes have enhanced potential for transfer, and subsequent proliferation, of terrestrial microbes on another solar body. Due to decreased nutrient conditions within spacecraft assembly facility clean rooms, the vegetative cells of Bacillus species and other spore-forming Paenibacillus species are induced to sporulate, thereby enhancing their survivability of bioreduction

  19. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis.

  20. Multinucleate spores contribute to evolutionary longevity of asexual glomeromycota.

    PubMed

    Jany, Jean-Luc; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomeromycota) are the dominant symbionts of land plants and one of the oldest multicellular lineages that exist without evidence of sexual reproduction. The mechanisms that protect these organisms from extinction due to accumulation of deleterious mutations in the absence of sexual recombination are unclear. Glomeromycota reproduce by spores containing hundreds of nuclei, which represents a departure from the typical eukaryotic developmental pattern, where a multicellular organism is re-created from a uninucleate propagule. To understand whether the multinucleate spore makeup may have contributed to the evolutionary success of Glomeromycota, we examined the dynamics of spore nuclei in Glomus etunicatum using live three-dimensional imaging and mathematical models. We show that the spores are populated by an influx of a stream of nuclei from the surrounding mycelium rather than by divisions of a single founder nucleus. We present evidence that mechanisms of selection are likely to operate at the level of individual nuclei. On the basis of mathematical analyses of the effects that these nuclear dynamics have on the population mutation load, we postulate that the developmental patterns of sporogenesis have adaptive significance for moderating the accumulation of deleterious mutations and may have contributed to the evolutionary longevity of Glomeromycota.

  1. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores.

    PubMed

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H D Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  2. 14C Analysis of protein extracts from Bacillus spores.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  4. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  5. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

  6. 9 CFR 113.66 - Anthrax Spore Vaccine-Nonencapsulated.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... in 9 CFR 113.64 and the requirements in this paragraph. Any serial or subserial found unsatisfactory... serial or first subserial shall be tested for safety in sheep or goats by the methods described in 9 CFR... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Anthrax Spore...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1979-01-01

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

  8. Multigeneration Cross-Contamination of Mail with Bacillus anthracis Spores

    PubMed Central

    Edmonds, Jason; Lindquist, H. D. Alan; Sabol, Jonathan; Martinez, Kenneth; Shadomy, Sean; Cymet, Tyler; Emanuel, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The release of biological agents, including those which could be used in biowarfare or bioterrorism in large urban areas, has been a concern for governments for nearly three decades. Previous incidents from Sverdlosk and the postal anthrax attack of 2001 have raised questions on the mechanism of spread of Bacillus anthracis spores as an aerosol or contaminant. Prior studies have demonstrated that Bacillus atrophaeus is easily transferred through simulated mail handing, but no reports have demonstrated this ability with Bacillus anthracis spores, which have morphological differences that may affect adhesion properties between spore and formite. In this study, equipment developed to simulate interactions across three generations of envelopes subjected to tumbling and mixing was used to evaluate the potential for cross-contamination of B. anthracis spores in simulated mail handling. In these experiments, we found that the potential for cross-contamination through letter tumbling from one generation to the next varied between generations while the presence of a fluidizer had no statistical impact on the transfer of material. Likewise, the presence or absence of a fluidizer had no statistically significant impact on cross-contamination levels or reaerosolization from letter opening. PMID:27123934

  9. Fatty Acid Oxidation by Spores of Penicillium roqueforti

    PubMed Central

    Gehrig, R. F.; Knight, S. G.

    1963-01-01

    When 1 μm sodium octanoate was the substrate for spores, most of the molecule was recovered as CO2 and no ketone was produced. However, when larger concentrations (20 μm) were used as substrate, part of the molecule was converted to methyl ketone and part was completely oxidized. Optimal conditions for the production of 2-heptanone were determined because of the importance of this compound in giving aroma and flavor to mold-ripened cheeses. Optimal ketone formation was not dependent upon the temperature and length of time at which the spores were stored. The spore suspensions were stored for over 36 months at 4 C without losing their ability to convert octanoic acid to 2-heptanone. The oxidation of octanoic acid was inhibited by cyanide, carbon monoxide, mercury, 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanol, and α, α-dipyridyl. No ketone was produced under anaerobic conditions. Although no intermediates of fatty acid oxidation were isolated, since an active cell-free preparation could not be obtained, this investigation has yielded some evidence for the beta oxidation of the fatty acids by spores of Penicillium roqueforti. PMID:13947000

  10. Evaluation of tools for environmental sampling of Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Fujinami, Yoshihito; Hosokawa-Muto, Junji; Mizuno, Natsuko

    2015-12-01

    This study describes the validation of sampling techniques used to detect biological warfare agents used in terror attacks. For this purpose, we tested the efficiencies of different sampling media and extraction solutions for the recovery of bacterial pathogens. We first used Bacillus cereus ATCC 4342 spores as a surrogate for highly pathogenic B. anthracis to compare recovery efficiencies of spores from four different surfaces. We used three different types of sampling swabs and four different solutions to extract spores from the swabs. The most effective sampling method employed rayon swabs moistened with water. The efficencies of the four extraction solutions did not differ significantly, although yields were highest using phosphate-buffered saline containing Tween 80 (PBS-T). Using rayon swabs and sterile water, we recovered B. cereus ATCC 4342 and B. anthracis spores with equivalent efficiencies. These findings indicate that because of its reduced pathogenicity and relative ease in handling (Biosafety Level 1), use of B. cereus ATCC 4342 will facilitate further optimization of techniques to detect B. anthracis. PMID:26528669

  11. Sporicidal characteristics of heated dolomite powder against Bacillus subtilis spores.

    PubMed

    Yasue, Syogo; Sawai, Jun; Kikuchi, Mikio; Nakakuki, Takahito; Sano, Kazuo; Kikuchi, Takahide

    2014-01-01

    Dolomite is a double salt composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). The heat treatment of CaCO3 and MgCO3 respectively generates calcium oxide (CaO) and magnesium oxide (MgO), which have antimicrobial activity. In this study, heated dolomite powder (HDP) slurry was investigated for its sporicidal activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 spores. The B. subtilis spores used in this study were not affected by acidic (pH 1) or alkaline (pH 13) conditions, indicating that they were highly resistant. However, dolomite powder heated to 1000℃ for 1 h could kill B. subtilis spores, even at pH 12.7. Sporicidal activity was only apparent when the dolomite powder was heated to 800℃ or higher, and sporicidal activity increased with increases in the heating temperature. This temperature corresponded to that of the generation of CaO. We determined that MgO did not contribute to the sporicidal activity of HDP. To elucidate the sporicidal mechanism of the HDP against B. subtilis spores, the generation of active oxygen from HDP slurry was examined by chemiluminescence analysis. The generation of active oxygen increased when the HDP slurry concentration rose. The results suggested that, in addition to its alkalinity, the active oxygen species generated from HDP were associated with sporicidal activity.

  12. Early silurian spore tetrads from new york: earliest new world evidence for vascular plants?

    PubMed

    Gray, J; Boucot, A J

    1971-09-01

    Several taxa of abundant cutinized trilete spores from earliest Silurian shale in New York predate by almost an entire period vascular land plant megafossils. Paleoecological evidence suggests that these spores may represent vascular land or semiaquatic plants but a bryophytic origin cannot be precluded on the basis of spore characters. An algal origin is considered unlikely.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demidova, Tatiana N.; Hamblin, Michael R.

    2005-04-01

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

  14. Transmission of fungal spores in space and their conditions for survival: a review.

    PubMed

    Volz, P A

    1997-01-01

    The transfer of fungal spores to suitable hosts or nutrient substrates frequently depends on spore discharge and aerial transport to transmit the species. Factors affecting spore translocation and travel have been evaluated mycologically and mathematically and are reviewed. Global disease spread and transmission monitoring are discussed.

  15. FACTORS RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM SPORES FROM CONTAMINATED SOURCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper describes preliminary results of a research project to determine the factors that control the release of S. chartarum spores from a contaminated source and test ways to reduce spore release and thus exposure. As anticipated, S. chartarum spore emissions from gypsum boar...

  16. Effect of temperature on green spore longevity for the ferns Equisetum ramosissimum and Osmunda regalis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Some fern species produce chlorophyllic or green spores. Green spores lose viability quickly compared to nongreen spores, and so need specialized treatment for long term conservation in germplasm banks. Dry storage at different temperatures (25 ºC, 4 ºC, -25 ºC, -80 ºC and -196 ºC) was studied in ...

  17. The Ice Nucleation Ability of Selected Atmospherically Abundant Fungal Spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iannone, R.; Chernoff, D. I.; Bertram, A. K.

    2010-12-01

    Ice clouds are widely recognized for their roles in the earth’s radiation budget and climate systems. However, their formation mechanisms are poorly understood thus constituting an uncertainty in the evaluation of the global radiation budget. An important mechanism of ice cloud formation is heterogeneous nucleation on aerosol particles. The surface properties of these particles, called ice nuclei (IN), directly affect the temperature at which ice nucleation occurs. There is a growing emphasis on the study of bioaerosols (e.g., bacteria, fungi, pollen) as IN since they are ubiquitous in the atmosphere. The focus of the current study is to determine the ice nucleation properties of spores obtained from a variety of fungi. Aerosolized spores were impacted onto a hydrophobic glass substrate and immersed in ultrapure water. A technique involving an optical light microscope coupled to a flow cell was used to precisely control temperature and humidity within the cell. A digital camera captured high-resolution video of the particles undergoing ice nucleation, allowing for the analyses of freezing events and particle sizes. The first experimental results using spores obtained from the fungal genera Cladosporium and Penicillium reveal an average temperature increase of ~1-5 K in the ice nucleation temperature compared to homogeneous nucleation (i.e., freezing of pure liquid water). Furthermore, there appears to be a relationship between the amount of spores present per droplet and the freezing temperature of water. These results are presented and discussed, and the potential contribution of these data to further the understanding of heterogeneous nucleation in the atmosphere is provided. Box plot summarizing freezing data for homogeneous nucleation experiments (leftmost box) and binned data from heterogeneous nucleation experiments involving spores of Cladosporium. Freezing data are distributed into 200 µm2 bins that represent the total area of all observable inclusions

  18. Size matters for violent discharge height and settling speed of Sphagnum spores: important attributes for dispersal potential

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Sebastian

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aims Initial release height and settling speed of diaspores are biologically controlled components which are key to modelling wind dispersal. Most Sphagnum (peat moss) species have explosive spore liberation. In this study, how capsule and spore sizes affect the height to which spores are propelled were measured, and how spore size and spore number of discharged particles relate to settling speed in the aspherical Sphagnum spores. Methods Spore discharge and spore cloud development were filmed in a closed chamber (nine species). Measurements were taken from snapshots at three stages of cloud development. Settling speed of spores (14 species) and clusters were timed in a glass tube. Key Results The maximum discharge speed measured was 3·6 m s−1. Spores reached a maximum height of 20 cm (average: 15 cm) above the capsule. The cloud dimensions at all stages were related positively to capsule size (R2 = 0·58–0·65). Thus species with large shoots (because they have large capsules) have a dispersal advantage. Half of the spores were released as singles and the rest as clusters (usually two to four spores). Single spores settled at 0·84–1·86 cm s−1, about 52 % slower than expected for spherical spores with the same diameters. Settling speed displayed a positive curvilinear relationship with spore size, close to predictions by Stokes' law for spherical spores with 68 % of the actual diameters. Light-coloured spores settled slower than dark spores. Settling speed of spore clusters agrees with earlier studies. Effective spore discharge and small, slowly settling spores appear particularly important for species in forested habitats. Conclusions The spore discharge heights in Sphagnum are among the greatest for small, wind-dispersed propagules. The discharge heights and the slow settling of spores affect dispersal distances positively and may help to explain the wide distribution of most boreal Sphagnum species. PMID:20123930

  19. NanoSIMS analysis of Bacillus spores for forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, P K; Davisson, M L; Velsko, S P

    2010-02-23

    The threat associated with the potential use of radiological, nuclear, chemical and biological materials in terrorist acts has resulted in new fields of forensic science requiring the application of state-of-the-science analytical techniques. Since the anthrax letter attacks in the United States in the fall of 2001, there has been increased interest in physical and chemical characterization of bacterial spores. While molecular methods are powerful tools for identifying genetic differences, other methods may be able to differentiate genetically identical samples based on physical and chemical properties, as well as provide complimentary information, such as methods of production and approximate date of production. Microanalysis has the potential to contribute significantly to microbial forensics. Bacillus spores are highly structured, consisting of a core, cortex, coat, and in some species, an exosporium. This structure provides a template for constraining elemental abundance differences at the nanometer scale. The primary controls on the distribution of major elements in spores are likely structural and physiological. For example, P and Ca are known to be abundant in the spore core because that is where P-rich nucleic acids and Cadipicolinic acid are located, respectively. Trace elements are known to bind to the spore coat but the controls on these elements are less well understood. Elemental distributions and abundances may be directly related to spore production, purification and stabilization methodologies, which are of particular interest for forensic investigation. To this end, we are developing a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry method using a Cameca NanoSIMS 50 to study the distribution and abundance of trace elements in bacterial spores. In this presentation we will review and compare methods for preparing and analyzing samples, as well as review results on the distribution and abundance of elements in bacterial spores. We use NanoSIMS to

  20. [Report on a fungus parasitizing Entamoeba histolytica].

    PubMed

    Cao, C Q; Feng, Y S

    1989-01-01

    Infection of Entamoeba histolytica with chytridiaceous fungus Sphaerita was observed in some specimens obtained from a farmer and stained with iron-haematoxylin. The fungi were found in 78% of the cysts, mostly immature ones. Within the amoebae this parasite occurred singly, in groups, or in the form of a sporangium. It was located in the cytoplasm, the glycogen mass or the chromatoidal bars. In the same specimen, the parasitic fungus was also found in 18% of E. coli cysts; in 11% of E. nana cysts; while only one of 16 E. hartmanni cysts was parasitized. It is an interesting case of superimposed parasitism so far reported in China as well as a rare case of several species of amoebae being heavily involved with the same in the scientific literature. PMID:2548767

  1. Molecular dissection of Neurospora Spore killer meiotic drive elements

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Holographic sensors for the detection of bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Bhatta, D; Christie, G; Madrigal-González, B; Blyth, J; Lowe, C R

    2007-11-30

    Holographic sensors for the detection of Bacillus species spore germination and vegetative growth are described. Reflection holograms were fabricated using a diffusion method for the distribution of ultra-fine silver bromide grains into pre-formed polymer films, followed by holographic recording using a frequency doubled Nd:YAG (532 nm) laser. Changes in holographic replay wavelength or diffraction intensity were used to characterise the swelling behaviour or structural integrity of a range of holographic matrices in response to various extracellular products of bacterial spore germination and vegetative metabolism. Divalent metal ion-sensitive holograms containing a methacrylated analogue of nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) as the chelating monomer were successfully used to monitor Ca2+ ions released during B. subtilis spore germination in real-time, which was within minutes of sample addition; the holographic response manifested as a 16 nm blue-shift in diffraction wavelength over the progress of germination. Similarly, pH-sensitive holograms comprising methacrylic acid (MAA) as the ionisable monomer were responsive to changes in pH associated with early vegetative metabolism following germination of B. megaterium spores; a visually perceptible blue-shift in holographic replay wavelength of 75 nm was observed. Casein and starch-based holographic matrices, prepared by co-polymerisation of the appropriate substrate with acrylamide, were used to detect exo-enzymes released during later stages of B. megaterium and B. subtilis vegetative cell growth; holographic responses of both matrices were visible as a reduction in diffraction intensity due to progressive fringe disruption caused by enzymatic cleavage. The combined monitoring of various germination and growth events using the range of aforementioned holographic sensors provides a novel, comprehensive means for the detection of viable bacterial spores.

  3. New tricycloalternarenes from fungus Alternaria sp.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xiu; Wei, Wei; Zhang, Wen-Jing; Hua, Cheng-Pin; Chen, Chao-Jun; Ge, Hui-Ming; Tan, Ren-Xiang; Jiao, Rui-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Two new tricycloalternarenes I (1) and J (2), together with five known derivatives (3-7), were isolated from the culture of marine fungus Alternaria sp. The structures were elucidated by a combination of spectroscopic approach ((1)H, (13)C NMR, HMBC, COSY, and NOESY) and the low-temperature (100 K) single-crystal X-ray crystallography analysis. The antimicrobial assays of tricycloalternarenes I (1) and J (2) were tested.

  4. Growth of Clostridium perfringens from spore inocula in sous-vide turkey products.

    PubMed

    Juneja, V K; Marmer, B S

    1996-09-01

    Clostridium perfringens growth from a spore inoculum was investigated in vacuum-packaged, cook-in-bag ground turkey (pH 6) that included 0.3% (w/w) sodium pyrophosphate, and sodium chloride at 0, 1, 2, or 3% (w/w). The packages were processed to an internal temperature of 71.1 degrees C, ice chilled and stored at various temperatures. The total C. perfringens population was determined by plating diluted samples on tryptose-sulfite-cycloserine agar followed by anaerobic incubation at 37 degrees C for 48 h. At 28 degrees C, the addition of 3% salt in turkey was effective in delaying growth for 12 h. At 15 degrees C, growth occurred at a relatively slow rate in the presence of 1-2% salt. Vegetative cells were not observed even after 28 days of storage in the presence of 3% salt. C. perfringens growth was not observed at 4 degrees C regardless of salt levels. The D-values ranged from 23.2 min (no salt) to 17.7 min (3% salt). Cyclic and static temperature abuse of refrigerated products for 8 h did not lead to growth by C. perfringens from a spore inoculum. PMID:8880332

  5. Zombie bugs? The fungus Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum may manipulate the behavior of its host bug Edessa rufomarginata.

    PubMed

    Eberhard, William; Pacheco-Esquivel, Jessica; Carrasco-Rueda, Farah; Christopher, Yuliana; Gonzalez, Cely; Ramos, Daniel; Urbina, Hector; Blackwell, Meredith

    2014-01-01

    Just before dying, Edessa rufomarginata (Hemiptera, Pentotomidae) individuals that are infected with the fungus Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum (Ascomycota: Ophiocordycipitaceae) move from the leaves onto the stems of their Solanum sp. host and firmly grasp the stems in ways seldom employed by uninfected bugs. These alterations in host behavior probably improve the chances that the subsequently produced fungal spores will be dispersed aerially. Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum is a member of the Ophiocordycipitaceae, a group in which other species also modify the behavior of their hosts. As in the case of newly distinguished relatives of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis associated with "zombie ants" the discovery of P. cf. lilacinum infecting bugs reveals that P. lilacinum may be more diverse than previously appreciated. PMID:25143477

  6. Bacillus cereus spores during housing of dairy cows: factors affecting contamination of raw milk.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, M; Christiansson, A; Svensson, B

    2007-06-01

    The contamination of raw milk with Bacillus cereus spores was studied during the indoor confinement of dairy cattle. The occurrence of spores in fresh and used bedding material, air samples, feed, feces, and the rinse water from milking equipment was compared with the spore level in bulk tank milk on 2 farms, one of which had 2 different housing systems. A less extensive study was carried out on an additional 5 farms. High spore concentrations of >100 spores/L in the raw milk were found on 4 of the farms. The number of spores found in the feed, feces, and air was too small to be of importance for milk contamination. Elevated spore contents in the rinse water from the milking equipment (up to 322 spores/L) were observed and large numbers of spores were found in the used bedding material, especially in free stalls with >5 cm deep sawdust beds. At most, 87,000 spores/g were found in used sawdust bedding. A positive correlation was found between the spore content in used bedding material and milk (r = 0.72). Comparison of the genetic fingerprints obtained by the random amplified polymorphic DNA PCR of isolates of B. cereus from the different sources indicated that used bedding material was the major source of contamination. A separate feeding experiment in which cows were experimentally fed B. cereus spores showed a positive relationship between the number of spores in the feed and feces and in the feces and milk (r = 0.78). The results showed that contaminated feed could be a significant source of spore contamination of raw milk if the number of spores excreted in the feces exceeded 100,000/g.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Influence of Spore Moisture Content on the Dry-Heat Resistance of Bacillus subtilis var. niger

    PubMed Central

    Angelotti, Robert; Maryanski, James H.; Butler, Thomas F.; Peeler, James T.; Campbell, Jeptha E.

    1968-01-01

    The dry-heat resistance of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores located in or on various materials was determined as D and z values in the range of 105 through 160 C. The systems tested included spores located on steel and paper strips, spores located between stainless-steel washers mated together under 150 inch-lb and 12 inch-lb of torque, and spores encapsulated in methylmethacrylate and epoxy plastics. D values for a given temperature varied with the test system. High D values were observed for the systems in which spores were encapsulated or under heavy torque, whereas lower D values were observed for the steel and paper strip systems and the lightly torqued system. Similar z values were obtained for the plastic and steel strip systems (zD = 21 C), but an unusually low z for spores on paper (zD = 12.9 C) and an unusually high z for spores on steel washers mated at 150 inch-lb of torque (zD = 32 C) were observed. The effect of spore moisture content on the D value of spores encapsulated in water-impermeable plastic was determined, and maximal resistance was observed for spores with a water activity (aw) of 0.2 to 0.4. Significantly decreased D values were observed for spores with moisture contents below aw 0.2 or above aw 0.4. The data indicate that the important factors to be considered when measuring the dry heat resistance of spores are (i) the initial moisture content of the spore, (ii) the rate of spore desiccation during heating, (iii) the water retention capacity of the material in or on which spores are located, and (iv) the relative humidity of the system at the test temperature. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 7 PMID:4968962

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Pathogenicity of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var. major on different stages of the sunn pest Eurygaster integriceps.

    PubMed

    Sedighi, Neda; Abbasipour, Habib; Askary, Hassan; Gorjan, Aziz Sheikhi; Karimi, Jaber

    2013-01-01

    The sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps Puton (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), is the most important insect pest of wheat and barley. The population management of this pest is of major concern to wheat producers. One of the potential control strategies is to use entomopathogenic fungi. This study evaluates the pathogenicity of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var. major (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) on the sunn pest, E. integriceps. Five concentrations of the fungus were utilized, ranging from 1×10(4) to 1×10(8) conidia/mL, accompanied by controls. Fifth instar nymphs and adults (a migratory summer population and a diapausing population) previously exposed to fungi were sown to isolate the fungi, and the growth parameters were analyzed. A direct spray technique was used to expose the isolates to the E. integriceps. The experiment was repeated four times, and mortalities of the insects for all treatments were recorded daily. The results showed that the mortality of infected nymphs was significantly higher than the mortality of control nymphs. Also, the longevity of infected adults was lower than the controls. The results also showed that diapausing adults of the sunn pest were much more susceptible to infection than the summer adults. Estimated LC50 values for the M14 isolate were 1.4 × 10(6), 1.4 ×10 (5) , and 2.3 × 10(3) spores/mL against the aestivation population, the diapausing population, and 5(th) instar nymphs, respectively. Estimated LT50 values using 10(8) spores/mL of the Mm isolate on the aestivation and diapausing populations were 11.9 and 5.11 days, respectively. The results demonstrated that M. anisoplaie was effective on all of stages of E. integriceps. In addition, the nymphal stage was more susceptible than the adults.

  12. Pathogenicity of the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae Var. Major on Different Stages of the Sunn Pest Eurygaster integriceps

    PubMed Central

    Sedighi, Neda; Abbasipour, Habib; Askary, Hassan; Gorjan, Aziz Sheikhi; Karimi, Jaber

    2013-01-01

    The sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps Puton (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), is the most important insect pest of wheat and barley. The population management of this pest is of major concern to wheat producers. One of the potential control strategies is to use entomopathogenic fungi. This study evaluates the pathogenicity of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae var. major (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) on the sunn pest, E. integriceps. Five concentrations of the fungus were utilized, ranging from 1×104 to 1×108 conidia/mL, accompanied by controls. Fifth instar nymphs and adults (a migratory summer population and a diapausing population) previously exposed to fungi were sown to isolate the fungi, and the growth parameters were analyzed. A direct spray technique was used to expose the isolates to the E. integriceps. The experiment was repeated four times, and mortalities of the insects for all treatments were recorded daily. The results showed that the mortality of infected nymphs was significantly higher than the mortality of control nymphs. Also, the longevity of infected adults was lower than the controls. The results also showed that diapausing adults of the sunn pest were much more susceptible to infection than the summer adults. Estimated LC50 values for the M14 isolate were 1.4 × 106, 1.4 ×10 5 , and 2.3 × 103 spores/mL against the aestivation population, the diapausing population, and 5th instar nymphs, respectively. Estimated LT50 values using 108 spores/mL of the Mm isolate on the aestivation and diapausing populations were 11.9 and 5.11 days, respectively. The results demonstrated that M. anisoplaie was effective on all of stages of E. integriceps. In addition, the nymphal stage was more susceptible than the adults. PMID:24766585

  13. Effect of sporulation medium on wet-heat resistance and structure of Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris DSM 3922-type strain spores and modeling of the inactivation kinetics in apple juice.

    PubMed

    Molva, Celenk; Baysal, Ayse Handan

    2014-10-17

    Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris is a spoilage bacterium in fruit juices leading to high economic losses. The present study evaluated the effect of sporulation medium on the thermal inactivation kinetics of A. acidoterrestris DSM 3922 spores in apple juice (pH3.82±0.01; 11.3±0.1 °Brix). Bacillus acidocaldarius agar (BAA), Bacillus acidoterrestris agar (BATA), malt extract agar (MEA), potato dextrose agar (PDA) and B. acidoterrestris broth (BATB) were used for sporulation. Inactivation kinetic parameters at 85, 87.5 and 90°C were obtained using the log-linear model. The decimal reduction times at 85°C (D85°C) were 41.7, 57.6, 76.8, 76.8 and 67.2min; D87.5°C-values were 22.4, 26.7, 32.9, 31.5, and 32.9min; and D90°C-values were 11.6, 9.9, 14.7, 11.9 and 14.1min for spores produced on PDA, MEA, BATA, BAA and BATB, respectively. The estimated z-values were 9.05, 6.60, 6.96, 6.15, and 7.46, respectively. The present study suggests that the sporulation medium affects the wet-heat resistance of A. acidoterrestris DSM 3922 spores. Also, the dipicolinic acid content (DPA) was found highest in heat resistant spores formed on mineral containing media. After wet-heat treatment, loss of internal volume due to the release of DPA from spore core was observed by scanning electron microscopy. Since, there is no standardized media for the sporulation of A. acidoterrestris, the results obtained from this study might be useful to determine and compare the thermal resistance characteristics of A. acidoterrestris spores in fruit juices. PMID:25129530

  14. Rice Blast Fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae) Infects Arabidopsis via a Mechanism Distinct from That Required for the Infection of Rice1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Park, Ju-Young; Jin, Jianming; Lee, Yin-Won; Kang, Seogchan; Lee, Yong-Hwan

    2009-01-01

    Magnaporthe oryzae is a hemibiotrophic fungal pathogen that causes rice (Oryza sativa) blast. Although M. oryzae as a whole infects a wide variety of monocotyledonous hosts, no dicotyledonous plant has been reported as a host. We found that two rice pathogenic strains of M. oryzae, KJ201 and 70-15, interacted differentially with 16 ecotypes of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Strain KJ201 infected all ecotypes with varying degrees of virulence, whereas strain 70-15 caused no symptoms in certain ecotypes. In highly susceptible ecotypes, small chlorotic lesions appeared on infected leaves within 3 d after inoculation and subsequently expanded across the affected leaves. The fungus produced spores in susceptible ecotypes but not in resistant ecotypes. Fungal cultures recovered from necrotic lesions caused the same symptoms in healthy plants, satisfying Koch's postulates. Histochemical analyses showed that infection by the fungus caused an accumulation of reactive oxygen species and eventual cell death. Similar to the infection process in rice, the fungus differentiated to form appressorium and directly penetrated the leaf surface in Arabidopsis. However, the pathogenic mechanism in Arabidopsis appears distinct from that in rice; three fungal genes essential for pathogenicity in rice played only limited roles in causing disease symptoms in Arabidopsis, and the fungus seems to colonize Arabidopsis as a necrotroph through the secretion of phytotoxic compounds, including 9,12-octadecadienoic acid. Expression of PR-1 and PDF1.2 was induced in response to infection by the fungus, suggesting the activation of salicylic acid- and jasmonic acid/ethylene-dependent signaling pathways. However, the roles of these signaling pathways in defense against M. oryzae remain unclear. In combination with the wealth of genetic and genomic resources available for M. oryzae, this newly established pathosystem allows comparison of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying

  15. Protection against UV disinfection of E. coli bacteria and B. subtilis spores ingested by C. elegans nematodes.

    PubMed

    Bichai, Françoise; Barbeau, Benoit; Payment, Pierre

    2009-08-01

    Nematodes, which occur abundantly in granular media filters of drinking water treatment plants and in distribution systems, can ingest and transport pathogenic bacteria and provide them protection against chemical disinfectants. However, protection against UV disinfection had not been investigated to date. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes (wild-type strain N2) were allowed to feed on Escherichia coli OP50 and Bacillus subtilis spores before being exposed to 5 and 40 mJ/cm(2) UV fluences, using a collimated beam apparatus (LP, 254 nm). Sonication (15 W, 60s) was used to extract bacteria from nematode guts following UV exposure in order to assess the amount of ingested bacteria that resisted the UV treatment using a standard culture method. Bacteria located inside the gut of C. elegans were shown to benefit from a significant protection against UV. Approximately 15% of the applied UV fluence of 40 mJ/cm(2) (as typically used in WTP) was found to reach the bacteria located inside nematode guts based on the inactivation of recovered bacteria (2.7 log reduction of E. coli bacteria and 0.7 log reduction of B. subtilis spores at 40 mJ/cm(2)). To our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration of the protection effect of bacterial internalization by higher organisms against UV treatment, using the specific case of E. coli and B. subtilis spores ingested by C. elegans.

  16. Activity of bleach, ethanol and two commercial disinfectants against spores of Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Carly N; Dicristina, Jennifer A; Lindsay, David S

    2006-03-31

    Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a small protist parasite in the phylum Microspora. Hosts are infected by ingestion or inhalation of spores passed in the urine or feces. Infection with E. cuniculi is usually asymptomatic, except in young or immunocompromised hosts. This study examined the effects of various disinfectants on in vitro infectivity of E. cuniculi spores. Spores of E. cuniculi were exposed to several dilutions of commercial bleach, 70% ethanol and dilutions of commercial disinfectants HiTor and Roccal for 10 min and then loaded onto human fibroblast cells (Hs68 cells). Ten minutes of exposure to these disinfectants was lethal to E. cuniculi spores. Additional exposure time studies were done using dilutions of bleach at 0.1, 1 and 10%, and 70% ethanol. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 1 or 10% bleach for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Growth of E. cuniculi was observed in Hs68 cells inoculated with spores treated with 0.1% bleach for 30s or 1, 3 and 5 min, but not with spores treated for 7 min or longer. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 70% ethanol for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Spores of E. cuniculi are more sensitive to disinfectants than are coccidial oocysts and other parasite cysts. The relatively short contact time needed to kill spores indicates that disinfection of animal housing may be a viable means to reduce exposure of animals to E. cuniculi spores. PMID:16368193

  17. Arabitol and mannitol as tracers for the quantification of airborne fungal spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, Heidi; Claeys, Magda; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Schueller, Elisabeth; Weinke, Gert; Berger, Anna; Puxbaum, Hans

    Fungal spores constitute a sizeable fraction of coarse organic carbon (OC) in the atmospheric aerosol. In order to avoid tedious spore count methods, tracers for quantifying the spore-OC in atmospheric aerosol are sought. Arabitol and mannitol have been proposed as such tracers, since no other emission sources for these compounds have been reported. By parallel investigations of spore counts and tracer determinations from PM 10 filter samples we could derive quantitative relationships between the amounts of tracer compounds and the numbers of spores in the atmosphere for different sites in the area of Vienna. We obtained over all average relationships of 1.2 pg arabitol spore -1, with a range of 0.8-1.8, and 1.7 pg mannitol spore -1, with a range of 1.2-2.4, with a clear site dependence. Thus, using these conversion factors from spore counts to spore-OC and spore-mass, along with analytical data for arabitol or mannitol in filter samples, the contribution of fungal spores to the OC and to the mass balance of atmospheric aerosol particles can be estimated.

  18. Activity of bleach, ethanol and two commercial disinfectants against spores of Encephalitozoon cuniculi.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Carly N; Dicristina, Jennifer A; Lindsay, David S

    2006-03-31

    Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a small protist parasite in the phylum Microspora. Hosts are infected by ingestion or inhalation of spores passed in the urine or feces. Infection with E. cuniculi is usually asymptomatic, except in young or immunocompromised hosts. This study examined the effects of various disinfectants on in vitro infectivity of E. cuniculi spores. Spores of E. cuniculi were exposed to several dilutions of commercial bleach, 70% ethanol and dilutions of commercial disinfectants HiTor and Roccal for 10 min and then loaded onto human fibroblast cells (Hs68 cells). Ten minutes of exposure to these disinfectants was lethal to E. cuniculi spores. Additional exposure time studies were done using dilutions of bleach at 0.1, 1 and 10%, and 70% ethanol. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 1 or 10% bleach for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Growth of E. cuniculi was observed in Hs68 cells inoculated with spores treated with 0.1% bleach for 30s or 1, 3 and 5 min, but not with spores treated for 7 min or longer. Exposure of E. cuniculi spores to 70% ethanol for 30s rendered them non-infectious for Hs68 cells. Spores of E. cuniculi are more sensitive to disinfectants than are coccidial oocysts and other parasite cysts. The relatively short contact time needed to kill spores indicates that disinfection of animal housing may be a viable means to reduce exposure of animals to E. cuniculi spores.

  19. Spore ornamentation of Haplosporidium pickfordi Barrow, 1961 (Haplosporidia), a parasite of freshwater snails in Michigan, USA.

    PubMed

    Burreson, E M

    2001-01-01

    Spore ornamentation is increasingly recognized as a key character for species differentiation and genus assignment in the phylum Haplosporidia. Unfortunately, spore ornamentation is known for only a small number of described species so it is difficult to assign most species to genera with any confidence. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy were used to determine the presence and morphology of spore ornamentation of Haplosporidium pickfordi collected from the digestive gland of the snail Physella parkeri in Douglas Lake, Michigan. Spores possess filaments that are derived from the spore wall and originate from two separate areas at the posterior end of the spore. When spores are first isolated from host tissue, filaments are fused into a sheet that wraps around the spore, passing under the opercular lid. These filaments gradually unravel when spores are held in water and after about 14 d most filaments project freely from the posterior end of the spore. The number of filaments could not be determined with certainty, but appears to be approximately nine. Filaments are 100 nm in diam. and up to 50 microm in length. The presence of spore wall-derived filaments confirms the placement of the parasite in the genus Haplosporidium.

  20. Explosively launched spores of ascomycete fungi have drag-minimizing shapes.

    PubMed

    Roper, Marcus; Pepper, Rachel E; Brenner, Michael P; Pringle, Anne

    2008-12-30

    The forcibly launched spores of ascomycete fungi must eject through several millimeters of nearly still air surrounding fruiting bodies to reach dispersive air flows. Because of their microscopic size, spores experience great fluid drag, and although this drag can aid transport by slowing sedimentation out of dispersive air flows, it also causes spores to decelerate rapidly after launch. We hypothesize that spores are shaped to maximize their range in the nearly still air surrounding fruiting bodies. To test this hypothesis we numerically calculate optimal spore shapes-shapes of minimum drag for prescribed volumes-and compare these shapes with real spore shapes taken from a phylogeny of >100 species. Our analysis shows that spores are constrained to remain within 1% of the minimum possible drag for their size. From the spore shapes we predict the speed of spore launch, and confirm this prediction through high-speed imaging of ejection in Neurospora tetrasperma. By reconstructing the evolutionary history of spore shapes within a single ascomycete family we measure the relative contributions of drag minimization and other shape determinants to spore shape evolution. Our study uses biomechanical optimization as an organizing principle for explaining shape in a mega-diverse group of species and provides a framework for future measurements of the forces of selection toward physical optima.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-02-18

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

  2. Spores of Ascosphaera apis contained in wax foundation can infect honeybee brood.

    PubMed

    Flores, J M; Spivak, M; Gutiérrez, I

    2005-06-15

    Chalkbrood disease in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) is caused by an infection with Ascosphaera apis. Disease expression requires the consumption of fungal spores and a predisposing condition in the susceptible brood. A. apis spores within sheets of wax foundation could be a source of inoculum leading to chalkbrood, but it is also possible that these spores remain confined in the wax and do not contribute to disease. We have resolved this topic by chilling susceptible brood within wax combs built on contaminated foundation (using treatments of spores from 1 mummy and spores from 10 mummies) versus uncontaminated foundation. We found significantly higher levels of chalkbrood in brood exposed to the higher dosage. Our results demonstrate that foundation wax contaminated with spores of A. apis spores may be a source of chalkbrood in honeybee colonies.

  3. In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-11-14

    Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. AFM analysis of the nascent surface of the emerging germ cell revealed a porous network of peptidoglycan fibers. The results are consistent with a honeycomb model structure for synthetic peptidoglycan oligomers determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. AFM is a promising experimental tool for investigating the morphogenesis of spore germination and cell wall peptidoglycan structure.

  4. In vitro high-resolution structural dynamics of single germinating bacterial spores

    SciTech Connect

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    2006-12-11

    Although significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genetic and biochemical bases of the spore germination process, the structural basis for breaking the dormant spore state remains poorly understood. We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to probe the high-resolution structural dynamics of single Bacillus atrophaeus spores germinating under native conditions. Here we show that AFM can reveal previously unrecognized germination-induced alterations in spore coat architecture and topology as well as the disassembly of outer spore coat rodlet structures. These results and previous studies in other microorganisms suggest that the spore coat rodlets are structurally similar to amyloid fibrils. AFM analysis of the nascent surface of the emerging germ cell revealed a porous network of peptidoglycan fibers. The results are consistent with a honeycomb model structure for synthetic peptidoglycan oligomers determined by nuclear magnetic resonance. AFM is a promising experimental tool for investigating the morphogenesis of spore germination and cell wall peptidoglycan structure.

  5. Analysis of Yeast Sporulation Efficiency, Spore Viability, and Meiotic Recombination on Solid Medium.

    PubMed

    Börner, G Valentin; Cha, Rita S

    2015-11-01

    Under conditions of nutrient deprivation, yeast cells initiate a differentiation program in which meiosis is induced and spores are formed. During meiosis, one round of genome duplication is followed by two rounds of chromosome segregation (meiosis I and meiosis II) to generate four haploid nuclei. Meiotic recombination occurs during prophase I. During sporogenesis, each nucleus becomes surrounded by an individual spore wall, and all four haploid spores become contained as a tetrad within an ascus. Important insights into the meiotic function(s) of a gene of interest can be gained by observing the effects of gene mutations on spore viability and viability patterns among tetrads. Moreover, recombination frequencies among viable spores can reveal potential involvement of the gene during meiotic exchange between homologous chromosomes. Here, we describe methods for inducing spore formation on solid medium, determining spore viability, and measuring, via tetrad analysis, frequencies of crossing over and gene conversion as indicators of meiotic chromosome exchange. PMID:26527763

  6. Susceptibilities of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis spores to liquid biocides.

    PubMed

    Hilgren, J; Swanson, K M J; Diez-Gonzalez, F; Cords, B

    2009-02-01

    The susceptibility of spores of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, and avirulent Bacillus anthracis to treatment with hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, a peroxy-fatty acid mixture, sodium hypochlorite, and acidified sodium chlorite was investigated. Results indicated that B. cereus spores may be reasonable predictors of B. anthracis spore inactivation by peroxyacetic acid-based biocides. However, B. cereus was not a reliable predictor of B. anthracis inactivation by the other biocides. In studies comparing B. cereus and B. subtilis, B. cereus spores were more resistant (by 1.5 to 2.5 log CFU) than B. subtilis spores to peroxyacetic acid, the peroxy-fatty acid mixture, and acidified sodium chlorite. Conversely, B. subtilis spores were more resistant than B. cereus spores to hydrogen peroxide. These findings indicated the relevance of side-by-side testing of target organisms and potential surrogates against categories of biocides to determine whether both have similar properties and to validate the use of the surrogate microorganisms.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  8. Delayed Clostridium perfringens growth from a spore inocula by sodium lactate in sous-vide chicken products.

    PubMed

    Juneja, Vijay K

    2006-04-01

    Clostridium perfringens growth from a spore inoculum was investigated in vacuum-packaged, cook-in-bag marinated chicken breast that included 0%, 1.5%, 3%, or 4.8% sodium lactate (NaL; w/w). The packages were processed to an internal temperature of 71.1 degrees C, ice chilled and stored at 4, 19, and 25 degrees C. The total C. perfringens population was determined by plating diluted samples on Tryptose-sulfite-cycloserine agar followed by anaerobic incubation for 48 h at 37 degrees C. At 25 degrees C, addition of 1.5% NaL was effective in delaying growth for 29 h. Increasing the NaL level to 4.8%, C. perfringens growth from a spore inoculum during storage at 25 degrees C for 480 h was not observed. At 19 degrees C, the growth was > 6 log 10 cfu/g by 288 h in control samples. In samples with 3.0% or 4.8% NaL, the growth of C. perfringens from spores was dramatically restricted with little or no growth in 648 h at 19 degrees C. C. perfringens growth was not observed at 4 degrees C regardless of NaL concentration. The D-values at 55 degrees C ranged from 47.40 (no NaL) to 57.58 min (1.5% NaL). Cyclic and static temperature abuse of refrigerated products for 20 h did not permit C. perfringens growth. However, temperature abuse of products for periods 24 h or longer in the absence of NaL led to growth of C. perfringens from a spore inoculum. An extra degree of safety may be assured in such products by supplementation with NaL at 1.5-4.8% NaL level. PMID:16942993

  9. Major transcriptome reprogramming underlies floral mimicry induced by the rust fungus Puccinia monoica in Boechera stricta.

    PubMed

    Cano, Liliana M; Raffaele, Sylvain; Haugen, Riston H; Saunders, Diane G O; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; MacLean, Dan; Hogenhout, Saskia A; Kamoun, Sophien

    2013-01-01

    Pucciniamonoica is a spectacular plant parasitic rust fungus that triggers the formation of flower-like structures (pseudoflowers) in its Brassicaceae host plant Boecherastricta. Pseudoflowers mimic in shape, color, nectar and scent co-occurring and unrelated flowers such as buttercups. They act to attract insects thereby aiding spore dispersal and sexual reproduction of the rust fungus. Although much ecological research has been performed on P. monoica-induced pseudoflowers, this system has yet to be investigated at the molecular or genomic level. To date, the molecular alterations underlying the development of pseudoflowers and the genes involved have not been described. To address this, we performed gene expression profiling to reveal 256 plant biological processes that are significantly altered in pseudoflowers. Among these biological processes, plant genes involved in cell fate specification, regulation of transcription, reproduction, floral organ development, anthocyanin (major floral pigments) and terpenoid biosynthesis (major floral volatile compounds) were down-regulated in pseudoflowers. In contrast, plant genes involved in shoot, cotyledon and leaf development, carbohydrate transport, wax biosynthesis, cutin transport and L-phenylalanine metabolism (pathway that results in phenylethanol and phenylacetaldehyde volatile production) were up-regulated. These findings point to an extensive reprogramming of host genes by the rust pathogen to induce floral mimicry. We also highlight 31 differentially regulated plant genes that are enriched in the biological processes mentioned above, and are potentially involved in the formation of pseudoflowers. This work illustrates the complex perturbations induced by rust pathogens in their host plants, and provides a starting point for understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-induced floral mimicry.

  10. Major transcriptome reprogramming underlies floral mimicry induced by the rust fungus Puccinia monoica in Boechera stricta.

    PubMed

    Cano, Liliana M; Raffaele, Sylvain; Haugen, Riston H; Saunders, Diane G O; Leonelli, Lauriebeth; MacLean, Dan; Hogenhout, Saskia A; Kamoun, Sophien

    2013-01-01

    Pucciniamonoica is a spectacular plant parasitic rust fungus that triggers the formation of flower-like structures (pseudoflowers) in its Brassicaceae host plant Boecherastricta. Pseudoflowers mimic in shape, color, nectar and scent co-occurring and unrelated flowers such as buttercups. They act to attract insects thereby aiding spore dispersal and sexual reproduction of the rust fungus. Although much ecological research has been performed on P. monoica-induced pseudoflowers, this system has yet to be investigated at the molecular or genomic level. To date, the molecular alterations underlying the development of pseudoflowers and the genes involved have not been described. To address this, we performed gene expression profiling to reveal 256 plant biological processes that are significantly altered in pseudoflowers. Among these biological processes, plant genes involved in cell fate specification, regulation of transcription, reproduction, floral organ development, anthocyanin (major floral pigments) and terpenoid biosynthesis (major floral volatile compounds) were down-regulated in pseudoflowers. In contrast, plant genes involved in shoot, cotyledon and leaf development, carbohydrate transport, wax biosynthesis, cutin transport and L-phenylalanine metabolism (pathway that results in phenylethanol and phenylacetaldehyde volatile production) were up-regulated. These findings point to an extensive reprogramming of host genes by the rust pathogen to induce floral mimicry. We also highlight 31 differentially regulated plant genes that are enriched in the biological processes mentioned above, and are potentially involved in the formation of pseudoflowers. This work illustrates the complex perturbations induced by rust pathogens in their host plants, and provides a starting point for understanding the molecular mechanisms of pathogen-induced floral mimicry. PMID:24069397

  11. Calcineurin orchestrates dimorphic transitions, antifungal drug responses, and host-pathogen interactions of the pathogenic mucoralean fungus Mucor circinelloides

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Soo Chan; Li, Alicia; Calo, Silvia; Inoue, Makoto; Tonthat, Nam K.; Bain, Judith M.; Louw, Johanna; Shinohara, Mari L.; Erwig, Lars P.; Schumacher, Maria A.; Ko, Dennis C.; Heitman, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Summary Calcineurin plays essential roles in virulence and growth of pathogenic fungi and is a target of the natural products FK506 and Cyclosporine A. In the pathogenic mucoralean fungus Mucor circinelloides, calcineurin mutation or inhibition confers a yeast-locked phenotype indicating that calcineurin governs the dimorphic transition. Genetic analysis in this study reveals that two calcineurin A catalytic subunits (out of three) are functionally diverged. Homology modeling illustrates modes of resistance resulting from amino substitutions in the interface between each calcineurin subunit and the inhibitory drugs. In addition, we show how the dimorphic transition orchestrated by calcineurin programs different outcomes during host-pathogen interactions. For example, when macrophages phagocytose Mucor yeast, subsequent phagosomal maturation occurs, indicating host cells respond appropriately to control the pathogen. On the other hand, upon phagocytosis of spores, macrophages fail to form mature phagosomes. Cytokine production from immune cells differs following exposure to yeast vs. spores (which germinate into hyphae). Thus, the morphogenic transition can be targeted as an efficient treatment option against Mucor infection. In addition, genetic analysis (including gene disruption and mutational studies) further strengthens the understanding of calcineurin and provides a foundation to develop antifungal agents targeting calcineurin to deploy against Mucor and other pathogenic fungi. PMID:26010100

  12. Fed-batch production of gluconic acid by terpene-treated Aspergillus niger spores.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, Sumitra; Fontanille, Pierre; Pandey, Ashok; Larroche, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Aspergillus niger spores were used as catalyst in the bioconversion of glucose to gluconic acid. Spores produced by solid-state fermentation were treated with 15 different terpenes including monoterpenes and monoterpenoids to permeabilize and inhibit spore germination. It was found that spore membrane permeability is significantly increased by treatment with terpenoids when compared to monoterpenes. Best results were obtained with citral and isonovalal. Studies were carried out to optimize spores concentration (10(7)-10(10) spores/mL), terpene concentrations in the bioconversion medium and time of exposure (1-18 h) needed for permeabilization of spores. Fed-batch production of gluconate was done in a bioreactor with the best conditions [10(9) spores/mL of freeze-thawed spores treated with citral (3% v/v) for 5 h] followed by sequential additions of glucose powder and pH-regulated with a solution containing 2 mol/L of either NaOH or KOH. Bioconversion performance of the spore enzyme was compared with the commercial glucose oxidase at 50, 60, and 70 degrees C. Results showed that the spore enzyme was comparatively stable at 60 degrees C. It was also found that the spores could be reutilized for more than 14 cycles with almost similar reaction rate. Similar biocatalytic activity was rendered by spores even after its storage of 1 year at -20 degrees C. This study provided an experimental evidence of the significant catalytic role played by A. niger spore in bioconversion of glucose to gluconic acid with high yield and stability, giving protection to glucose oxidase.

  13. Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 with high temperature.

    PubMed

    Rao, Lei; Xu, Zhenzhen; Wang, Yongtao; Zhao, Feng; Hu, Xiaosong; Liao, Xiaojun

    2015-07-16

    The objective of this study was to investigate the inactivation of the Bacillus subtilis spores by high pressure CO2 combined with high temperature (HPCD+HT) and to analyze the clumping effect of the spores on their HPCD+HT resistance. The spores of B. subtilis were subjected to heat at 0.1 MPa and HPCD at 6.5-25 MPa, and 82 °C, 86 °C, and 91 °C for 0-120 min. The spores were effectively inactivated by HPCD+HT, but a protective effect on the spores was also found, which was closely correlated to the pressure, temperature and time. The spores treated by HPCD+HT at 6.5 and 10 MPa exhibited a two-stage inactivation curve of shoulder and log-linear regions whereas the spores at 15-25 MPa exhibited a three-stage inactivation curve of shoulder, log-linear and tailing regions, and these curves were well fitted to the Geeraerd model. Approximately 90% of pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA) was released after HPCD+HT and the 90% DPA release time depend on the pressure and temperature. Moreover, the spore clumping in suspensions was examined by dynamic light scattering. The particle size of the spore suspensions increased with the increase of pressure, temperature and time, indicating the spore clumping. 0.1% Tween 80 as a surfactant inhibited the spore clumping and increased the inactivation ratio of the spores by HPCD+HT. These results indicated that the spore clumping enhanced the spores' resistance to HPCD+HT and induced a protective effect.

  14. Symbiotic Fungi Produce Laccases Potentially Involved in Phenol Degradation in Fungus Combs of Fungus-Growing Termites in Thailand†

    PubMed Central

    Taprab, Yaovapa; Johjima, Toru; Maeda, Yoshimasa; Moriya, Shigeharu; Trakulnaleamsai, Savitr; Noparatnaraporn, Napavarn; Ohkuma, Moriya; Kudo, Toshiaki

    2005-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites efficiently decompose plant litter through their symbiotic relationship with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we investigated phenol-oxidizing enzymes in symbiotic fungi and fungus combs (a substrate used to cultivate symbiotic fungi) from termites belonging to the genera Macrotermes, Odontotermes, and Microtermes in Thailand, because these enzymes are potentially involved in the degradation of phenolic compounds during fungus comb aging. Laccase activity was detected in all the fungus combs examined as well as in the culture supernatants of isolated symbiotic fungi. Conversely, no peroxidase activity was detected in any of the fungus combs or the symbiotic fungal cultures. The laccase cDNA fragments were amplified directly from RNA extracted from fungus combs of five termite species and a fungal isolate using degenerate primers targeting conserved copper binding domains of basidiomycete laccases, resulting in a total of 13 putative laccase cDNA sequences being identified. The full-length sequences of the laccase cDNA and the corresponding gene, lcc1-2, were identified from the fungus comb of Macrotermes gilvus and a Termitomyces strain isolated from the same fungus comb, respectively. Partial purification of laccase from the fungus comb showed that the lcc1-2 gene product was a dominant laccase in the fungus comb. These findings indicate that the symbiotic fungus secretes laccase to the fungus comb. In addition to laccase, we report novel genes that showed a significant similarity with fungal laccases, but the gene product lacked laccase activity. Interestingly, these genes were highly expressed in symbiotic fungi of all the termite hosts examined. PMID:16332742

  15. A novel method to optimize culture conditions for biomass and sporulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana IBC1201

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Li

    2011-01-01

    Biomass yields and sporulation of Beauveria bassiana was concerned on culture conditions, environmental factors and cultivation method. We optimized the best culture conditions for biomass yields of B. bassiana IBC1201 with the novel “two-stage” cultivation method as well as orthogonal matrix method. Firstly, we cultured spore suspension on the basal medium (sucrose 19.00 g, soy peptone 4.06 g, K2HPO4 1.00 g, KCl 0.50 g, MgSO4 0.50 g, FeSO4 0.10 g and 17.00 g Bactor) for the first stage culture of 4 days under room condition. Then, we transferred them to another defined medium (Cellobiose 9.52 g, urea 1.70 g, ZnSO4•7H2O 0.05 g/L, MnSO4•H2O 0.005 g/L, CaCl2 1.00 g/L, CuSO4•5H2O 0.05 g/L and 17.00 g Bactor) for more 4 days cultivation with the environmental factors combination of water potential -1.2 MPa /pH 3 /12 h light cycle/23 ℃ for biomass yields, and with the environmental factors combination of water potential -0.8 MPa /pH 3 /24 h light cycle/23 ℃ for spore yields. These results provided important information for mass production (including biomass and spore yields) of this great potential biocontrol fungus. PMID:24031792

  16. Identifying experimental surrogates for Bacillus anthracis spores: a review

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, is a proven biological weapon. In order to study this threat, a number of experimental surrogates have been used over the past 70 years. However, not all surrogates are appropriate for B. anthracis, especially when investigating transport, fate and survival. Although B. atrophaeus has been widely used as a B. anthracis surrogate, the two species do not always behave identically in transport and survival models. Therefore, we devised a scheme to identify a more appropriate surrogate for B. anthracis. Our selection criteria included risk of use (pathogenicity), phylogenetic relationship, morphology and comparative survivability when challenged with biocides. Although our knowledge of certain parameters remains incomplete, especially with regards to comparisons of spore longevity under natural conditions, we found that B. thuringiensis provided the best overall fit as a non-pathogenic surrogate for B. anthracis. Thus, we suggest focusing on this surrogate in future experiments of spore fate and transport modelling. PMID:21092338

  17. Distribution of sterols in the fungi. I - Fungal spores

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weete, J. D.; Laseter, J. L.

    1974-01-01

    Mass spectrometry was used to examine freely extractable sterols from spores of several species of fungi. Ergosterol was the most common sterol produced by any individual species, but it was completely absent from two species belonging to apparently distantly related groups of fungi: the aquatic Phycomycetes and the rust fungi. This fact could have taxonomic or phylogenetic implications. The use of glass capillary columns in the resolution of the sterols is shown to eliminate some of the difficulty inherent in this process.

  18. Visualizing Bacillus subtilis During Vegetative Growth and Spore Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xindan; Montero Llopis, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Bacillus subtilis is the most commonly used Gram-positive bacterium to study cellular processes because of its genetic tractability. In addition, during nutrient limitation, B. subtilis undergoes the development process of spore formation, which is among the simplest examples of cellular differentiation. Many aspects of these processes have benefited from fluorescence microscopy. Here, we describe basic wide-field fluorescence microscopy techniques to visualize B. subtilis during vegetative growth, and the developmental process of sporulation. PMID:27283315

  19. Remediating office environments of spore-forming bacteria.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Luke; Smith, Myron L; Begin, Melissa; Fraser, Bruce; Miller, J David

    2010-10-01

    This study examines decontamination processes that were developed on an emergency basis to eliminate Bacillus anthracis spores from deliberately contaminated buildings. The recommended steps include a survey with sampling, the removal of sensitive items, and HEPA vacuuming of all readily available surfaces, followed by biocide treatment and subsequent analyses for viable cells. There are several analytical challenges posed by this approach. These include the ability to discriminate the added strain from naturally occurring resident microbes, determining detection limits for anthrax spores in settled dusts, and detecting viable but nonculturable spores. There are also logistical issues relating to the various skill sets required from investigation to reconstruction. In the present study, a model office was constructed, and a strain of Bacillus pumilus was isolated from the carpet and reintroduced to the office in excess. The abundance of the B. pumilus strain was monitored in settled dust using a strain-specific, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR)-based detection method following repeated HEPA vacuum cleanings. The QPCR method had a limit of detection corresponding to < or = 10(2) colony forming units per gram of settled dust. QPCR results were compared with measures of dust recoveries and fungal glucan and endotoxin levels in the dust samples. The largest fraction (ca. 81%) of added spores was recovered during the first HEPA cleaning. Subsequent cleanings resulted in incrementally lower recoveries, with removal of 93% of the initial inoculum by the third HEPA vacuuming. HEPA vacuuming prior to removal of items such as office contents and furnishings would result in much less resuspension of dust and limiting the extent of contamination. This approach also ensures that residual contaminants are as low as can be reasonably achieved.

  20. 14C Analysis of Protein Extracts from Bacillus Spores

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Modelling the heat stress and the recovery of bacterial spores.

    PubMed

    Mafart, P; Leguérinel, I

    1997-07-22

    After heat treatment, the temperature incubation and the medium composition, (pH and sodium chloride content) influence the capacity of injured spores to repair heat damage. The concept of heat resistance D- (decimal reduction time) and z-values (temperature increase which results in a ten fold reduction of the D value) is not sufficient and the ratio of spore recovery after incubation should be considered in calculations used in thermal processing of food. This paper aims to derive a model describing the recovery of injured spores as a function of both the heat treatment intensity and the environmental conditions. According to data from numerous investigators, when spores are incubated in unfavorable conditions, the ratio of cell recovery and the apparent D-value are reduced. Moreover the ratio of the apparent D-value and the estimated in optimal incubation D-value is constant and independent of the heat treatment conditions. Beyond these observations it is shown that the ratio of cell recovery with respect to the heat treatment F-value (exposure time, in minutes, at 121.1 degrees C which results in the same destruction ratio that the considered heat treatment does) is linear and can be quantified by using two factors independent of the heat treatment: the gamma-factor reflects the degree of precariousness due to the heat stress while the epsilon-factor reflects more intrinsically the incubation conditions without previous heat treatment. The gamma-factor varies as a function of the incubation temperature according to an Arrhenius law.

  2. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores. PMID:22352747

  3. Bacteria and Spores - Skylab Student Experiment ED-31

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Pictures 1 and 2 show samples of Bacillus Subtillus grown during the first performance of Robert Staehle's experiment (ED-31) aboard Skylab. Pictures 3 and 4 show colonies of the same bacteria that developed during the second performance of the experiment. The experiment ED-31 was proposed by Robert L. Staehle of Rochester, New York to determine the effect of the Skylab environment (particularly weightlessness) on the survival, growth rates, and mutations of certain bacteria and spores.

  4. Decontamination after a release of B. anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Chris G; Kirvel, Robert D; Love, Adam H; Bailey, Christopher G; Miles, Robin; Schweickert, Jerry; Sutton, Mark; Raber, Ellen

    2012-03-01

    Decontaminating civilian facilities or large urban areas following an attack with Bacillus anthracis poses daunting challenges because of the lack of resources and proven technologies. Nevertheless, lessons learned from the 2001 cleanups together with advances derived from recent research have improved our understanding of what is required for effective decontamination. This article reviews current decontamination technologies appropriate for use in outdoor environments, on material surfaces, within large enclosed spaces, in water, and on waste contaminated with aerosolized B. anthracis spores.

  5. FgFlbD regulates hyphal differentiation required for sexual and asexual reproduction in the ascomycete fungus Fusarium graminearum.

    PubMed

    Son, Hokyoung; Kim, Myung-Gu; Chae, Suhn-Kee; Lee, Yin-Won

    2014-11-01

    Fusarium graminearum is a filamentous fungal plant pathogen that infects major cereal crops. The fungus produces both sexual and asexual spores in order to endure unfavorable environmental conditions and increase their numbers and distribution across plants. In a model filamentous fungus, Aspergillus nidulans, early induction of conidiogenesis is orchestrated by the fluffy genes. The objectives of this study were to characterize fluffy gene homologs involved in conidiogenesis and their mechanism of action in F. graminearum. We characterized five fluffy gene homologs in F. graminearum and found that FlbD is the only conserved regulator for conidiogenesis in A. nidulans and F. graminearum. Deletion of fgflbD prevented hyphal differentiation and the formation of perithecia. Successful interspecies complementation using A. nidulans flbD demonstrated that the molecular mechanisms responsible for FlbD functions are conserved in F. graminearum. Moreover, abaA-wetA pathway is positively regulated by FgFlbD during conidiogenesis in F. graminearum. Deleting fgflbD abolished morphological effects of abaA overexpression, which suggests that additional factors for FgFlbD or an AbaA-independent pathway for conidiogenesis are required for F. graminearum conidiation. Importantly, this study led to the construction of a genetic pathway of F. graminearum conidiogenesis and provides new insights into the genetics of conidiogenesis in fungi.

  6. Quantum dot incorporated Bacillus spore as nanosensor for viral infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinya; Zhou, Qian; Shen, Zhongfeng; Li, Zheng; Fei, Ruihua; Ji, Eoon Hye; Hu, Shen; Hu, Yonggang

    2015-12-15

    In this paper, we report a high-throughput biological method to prepare spore-based monodisperse microparticles (SMMs) and then form the nanocomposites of CdTe quantum dot (QD)-loaded SMMs by utilizing the endogenous functional groups from Bacillus spores. The SMMs and QD-incorporated spore microspheres (QDSMs) were characterized by using transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, zeta potential analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, potentiometric titrations, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy. The thermodynamics of QD/SMM interaction and antigen/QDSM interaction was also investigated by isothermal titration microcalorimetry (ITC). Fluorescent QDSMs coded either with a single luminescence color or with multiple colors of controlled emission intensity ratios were obtained. Green QDSMs were used as a model system to detect porcine parvovirus antibody in swine sera via flow cytometry, and the results demonstrated a great potential of QDSMs in high-throughput immunoassays. Due to the advantages such as simplicity, low cost, high throughput and eco-friendliness, our developed platform may find wide applications in disease detection, food safety evaluation and environmental assessment.

  7. Limited period of graviresponsiveness in germinating spores of Ceratopteris richardii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, E. S.; Roux, S. J.

    1994-01-01

    Rhizoids of the fern Ceratopteris richardii Brogn. usually emerge 40 h after germination is initiated by light, and more than 90% of them emerge growing in a downward direction. However, when the spores are germinated on a clinostat, the emerging rhizoids show no preferential orientation. This indicates that under normal 1 g conditions the initial growth direction of rhizoids can be oriented by gravity. If the orientation of the spores is changed 3 h or less after the start of germination, the growth direction of most emerging rhizoids becomes downward relative to the new orientation. However, if the orientation of the spores is changed by 180 degrees 8 h or more after germination is initiated by light, most rhizoids emerge growing upward; i.e., the same direction as if there had been no orientation change. Emerged rhizoids also do not change their direction of growth if their orientation is changed. These results indicate that the growth direction of emerging rhizoids is set by gravity prior to actual emergence, and that the time of full orientation responsiveness is limited to a period ranging from the initiation of germination to about 3-4 h after the start of germination. There is a gravity-oriented nuclear movement beginning at about 13 h after germination, and this movement appears to predict the initial growth direction of rhizoids.

  8. Kinetics of Death of Bacterial Spores at Elevated Temperatures

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Daniel I-C.; Scharer, Jeno; Humphrey, Arthur E.

    1964-01-01

    The kinetics of death of Bacillus stearothermophilus spores (FS 7954) suspended in phosphate buffer (pH 7) were studied over a temperature range of 127.2 to 143.8 C and exposure times of 0.203 to 4.150 sec. These short exposure were achieved by use of a tubular flow reactor in which a suspension of spores was injected into a hot flowing stream at the entrance of the reactor. Thermal equilibria of the suspension with the hot stream was achieved within 0.0006 sec. After flow through a fixed length of reactor, the stream containing the spores was cooled by flash vaporization and then assayed for viable count. The death rate data were fitted by a logarithmic expression. However, logarithmic death rate was only approximated in the tail or high-kill regions of exposure. Death rate constants obtained from this portion of the data were found to correlate by Arrhenius as well as Absolute Reaction Rate Theory relationships. Thermal-death time curves were found to correlate the data rather poorly. The activation energy and frequency constant for an Arrhenius relationship fit of the data were found to be 83.6 kcal/gmole and 1047.2 min-1, respectively. The standard enthalpy and entropy changes for an Absolute Reaction Rate Theory relationship fit of the data were found to be 84.4 kcal/gmole and 157 cal/gmole-K, respectively. PMID:14215978

  9. Mutagenesis of Bacillus subtilis spores exposed to simulated space environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munakata, N.; Natsume, T.; Takahashi, K.; Hieda, K.; Panitz, C.; Horneck, G.

    Bacterial spores can endure in a variety of extreme earthly environments. However, some conditions encountered during the space flight could be detrimental to DNA in the spore, delimiting the possibility of transpermia. We investigate the genetic consequences of the exposure to space environments in a series of preflight simulation project of EXPOSE. Using Bacillus subtilis spores of repair-proficient HA101 and repair-deficient TKJ6312 strains, the mutations conferring resistance to rifampicin were detected, isolated and sequenced. Most of the mutations were located in a N-terminal region of the rpoB gene encoding RNA polymerase beta-subunit. Among several potentially mutagenic factors, high vacuum, UV radiation, heat, and accelerated heavy ions induced mutations with varying efficiencies. A majority of mutations induced by vacuum exposure carried a tandem double-base change (CA to TT) at a unique sequence context of TCAGC. Results indicate that the vacuum and high temperature may act synergistically for the induction of mutations.

  10. Setting risk-informed environmental standards for Bacillus anthracis spores.

    PubMed

    Hong, Tao; Gurian, Patrick L; Ward, Nicholas F Dudley

    2010-10-01

    In many cases, human health risk from biological agents is associated with aerosol exposures. Because air concentrations decline rapidly after a release, it may be necessary to use concentrations found in other environmental media to infer future or past aerosol exposures. This article presents an approach for linking environmental concentrations of Bacillus. anthracis (B. anthracis) spores on walls, floors, ventilation system filters, and in human nasal passages with human health risk from exposure to B. anthracis spores. This approach is then used to calculate example values of risk-informed concentration standards for both retrospective risk mitigation (e.g., prophylactic antibiotics) and prospective risk mitigation (e.g., environmental clean up and reoccupancy). A large number of assumptions are required to calculate these values, and the resulting values have large uncertainties associated with them. The values calculated here suggest that documenting compliance with risks in the range of 10(-4) to 10(-6) would be challenging for small diameter (respirable) spore particles. For less stringent risk targets and for releases of larger diameter particles (which are less respirable and hence less hazardous), environmental sampling would be more promising.

  11. Arrhenius reconsidered: astrophysical jets and the spread of spores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Malkah I.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2015-09-01

    In 1871, Lord Kelvin suggested that the fossil record could be an account of bacterial arrivals on comets. In 1903, Svante Arrhenius suggested that spores could be transported on stellar winds without comets. In 1984, Sir Fred Hoyle claimed to see the infrared signature of vast clouds of dried bacteria and diatoms. In 2012, the Polonnaruwa carbonaceous chondrite revealed fossilized diatoms apparently living on a comet. However, Arrhenius' spores were thought to perish in the long transit between stars. Those calculations, however, assume that maximum velocities are limited by solar winds to ~5 km/s. Herbig-Haro objects and T-Tauri stars, however, are young stars with jets of several 100 km/s that might provide the necessary propulsion. The central engine of bipolar astrophysical jets is not presently understood, but we argue it is a kinetic plasma instability of a charged central magnetic body. We show how to make a bipolar jet in a belljar. The instability is non-linear, and thus very robust to scaling laws that map from microquasars to active galactic nuclei. We scale up to stellar sizes and recalculate the viability/transit-time for spores carried by supersonic jets, to show the viability of the Arrhenius mechanism.

  12. Response of Bacillus Spores to Combinations of Germinative Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Foerster, Harold F.; Foster, J. W.

    1966-01-01

    Foerster, Harold F. (University of Texas, Austin), and J. W. Foster. Response of Bacillus spores to combinations of germinative compounds. J. Bacteriol. 91:1168–1177. 1966.—Spores of 21 strains of Bacillus megaterium and 25 other strains representing 13 species of Bacillus were produced under standardized conditions. The germination of a washed spore suspension of each strain was measured as a response to various combinations of 30 different germinative compounds. The strains were first typed with respect to their response to “primary” germination compounds, i.e., glucose, l-alanine, inosine, and l-alanine-inosine mixture, and also Na+ and K+. The second stage was the determination of the response to various organic and inorganic anions and cations, each strain being supplied with the “primary” compounds best for it. Marked differences in germination patterns were observed among species and strains of the same species. No relation to established taxonomic lines was evident. A nonspecific requirement for ions was found for all strains, but not all ions were effective. A striking degree of interchangeability of germinative chemicals was found. “Fractional germination” was very common. A mixture of l-alanine and inosine and various ions was the best germinative solution for most strains. Some anomalous germination patterns were encountered. Those studied included a strain whose cells lysed spontaneously upon germination and other strains for which l-leucine had striking germinative powers. PMID:4956331

  13. Long-term survival of bacterial spores in space.

    PubMed

    Horneck, G; Bucker, H; Reitz, G

    1994-10-01

    On board of the NASA Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), spores of Bacillus subtilis in monolayers (10(6)/sample) or multilayers (10(8)/sample) were exposed to the space environment for nearly six years and their survival was analyzed after retrieval. The response to space parameters, such as vacuum (10(-6) Pa), solar electromagnetic radiation up to the highly energetic vacuum-ultraviolet range (10(9) J/m2) and/or cosmic radiation (4.8 Gy), was studied and compared to the results of a simultaneously running ground control experiment. If shielded against solar ultraviolet (UV)-radiation, up to 80 % of spores in multilayers survive in space. Solar UV-radiation, being the most deleterious parameter of space, reduces survival by 4 orders of magnitude or more. However, up to 10(4) viable spores were still recovered, even in completely unprotected samples. Substances, such as glucose or buffer salts serve as chemical protectants. With this 6 year study in space, experimental data are provided to the discussion on the likelihood of "Panspermia".

  14. Raman spectroscopic study of Lactarius spores (Russulales, Fungi)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Gussem, Kris; Vandenabeele, Peter; Verbeken, Annemieke; Moens, Luc

    2005-10-01

    Fungi are important organisms in ecosystems, in industrial and pharmaceutical production and are valuable food sources as well. Classical identification is often time-consuming and specialistic. In this study, Raman spectroscopy is applied to the analysis of fungal spores of Lactarius, an economically and ecologically important genus of Basidiomycota. Raman spectra of spores of Lactarius controversus Pers.: Fr., Lactarius lacunarum (Romagn.) ex Hora, Lactarius quieticolor Romagn. and Lactarius quietus (Fr.: Fr.) Fr. are reported for the first time. The spectra of these species show large similarity. These spectra are studied and compared with the Raman spectra of reference substances known to occur in macrofungi, including saccharides, lipids and some minor compounds that may serve as specific biomarkers (adenine, ergosterol and glycine). Most Raman bands could be attributed to specific components. In agreement with the biological role of fungal spores, high amounts of lipids were observed, the main fatty acid being oleate. In addition to different types of lipids and phospholipids, the polysaccharides chitin and amylopectin could be detected as well. The presence of trehalose is not equivocally shown, due to overlapping bands. Raman band positions are reported for the observed bands of the different species and reference products.

  15. Nisin Resistance in Clostridium botulinum Spores and Vegetative Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mazzotta, A. S.; Crandall, A. D.; Montville, T. J.

    1997-01-01

    The frequencies at which vegetative cells and spores of Clostridium botulinum strains 56A, 62A, 17409A, 25763A, 213B, B-aphis, and 169B formed colonies on agar media containing 0, 10(sup2), 10(sup3), and 10(sup4) IU of nisin per ml at 30(deg)C were determined. Strain 56A had the highest frequencies of nisin resistance, while strains 62A, 169B, and B-aphis had the lowest. For most strains, spores were more resistant than vegetative cells. One exposure to nisin was sufficient to generate stable nisin-resistant isolates in some strains. Stepwise exposure to increasing concentrations of nisin generated stable resistant isolates from all strains. Spores produced from nisin-resistant isolates maintained their nisin resistance. The frequency of spontaneous nisin resistance was reduced considerably by lowering the pH of the media and adding 3% NaCl. Nisin-resistant isolates of strains 56A and 169B also had increased resistance to pediocin PA1, bavaricin MN, plantaricin BN, and leuconocin S. PMID:16535641

  16. Quantum dot incorporated Bacillus spore as nanosensor for viral infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinya; Zhou, Qian; Shen, Zhongfeng; Li, Zheng; Fei, Ruihua; Ji, Eoon Hye; Hu, Shen; Hu, Yonggang

    2015-12-15

    In this paper, we report a high-throughput biological method to prepare spore-based monodisperse microparticles (SMMs) and then form the nanocomposites of CdTe quantum dot (QD)-loaded SMMs by utilizing the endogenous functional groups from Bacillus spores. The SMMs and QD-incorporated spore microspheres (QDSMs) were characterized by using transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence and UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, zeta potential analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, potentiometric titrations, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy. The thermodynamics of QD/SMM interaction and antigen/QDSM interaction was also investigated by isothermal titration microcalorimetry (ITC). Fluorescent QDSMs coded either with a single luminescence color or with multiple colors of controlled emission intensity ratios were obtained. Green QDSMs were used as a model system to detect porcine parvovirus antibody in swine sera via flow cytometry, and the results demonstrated a great potential of QDSMs in high-throughput immunoassays. Due to the advantages such as simplicity, low cost, high throughput and eco-friendliness, our developed platform may find wide applications in disease detection, food safety evaluation and environmental assessment. PMID:26190468

  17. Fungal spores overwhelm biogenic organic aerosols in a midlatitudinal forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Chunmao; Kawamura, Kimitaka; Fukuda, Yasuro; Mochida, Michihiro; Iwamoto, Yoko

    2016-06-01

    Both primary biological aerosol particles (PBAPs) and oxidation products of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) contribute significantly to organic aerosols (OAs) in forested regions. However, little is known about their relative importance in diurnal timescales. Here, we report biomarkers of PBAP and secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) for their diurnal variability in a temperate coniferous forest in Wakayama, Japan. Tracers of fungal spores, trehalose, arabitol and mannitol, showed significantly higher levels in nighttime than daytime (p < 0.05), resulting from the nocturnal sporulation under near-saturated relative humidity. On the contrary, BVOC oxidation products showed higher levels in daytime than nighttime, indicating substantial photochemical SOA formation. Using tracer-based methods, we estimated that fungal spores account for 45 % of organic carbon (OC) in nighttime and 22 % in daytime, whereas BVOC oxidation products account for 15 and 19 %, respectively. To our knowledge, we present for the first time highly time-resolved results that fungal spores overwhelmed BVOC oxidation products in contributing to OA especially in nighttime. This study emphasizes the importance of both PBAPs and SOAs in forming forest organic aerosols.

  18. Airborne pollen and spores of León (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández-González, Delia; Suarez-Cervera, María; Díaz-González, Tomás; Valencia-Barrera, Rosa María

    1993-06-01

    A qualitative and quantitative analysis of airborne pollen and spores was carried out over 2 years (from September 1987 to August 1989) in the city of León. Slides were prepared daily using a volumetric pollen trap, which was placed on the Faculty of Veterinary Science building (University of León) 12m above ground-level. Fifty-one pollen types were observed; the most important of these were: Cupressaceae during the winter, Pinus and Quercus in spring, and Poaceae, Leguminosae and Chenopodiaceae in the summer. The results also showed the existence of a rich mould spore assemblage in the atmosphere. The group of Amerospores ( Penicillium, Aspergillus and Cladosporium) as well as Dictyospores ( Alternaria) were the most abundant; Puccinia was common in the air in August. Fluctuations in the total pollen and spores m3 of air were compared with meteorological parameters (temperature, relative humidity and rainfall). From the daily sampling of the atmosphere of León, considering the maximum and minimum temperature and duration of rainfall, the start of the pollen grain season was observed generally to coincide with a rise in temperature in the absence of rain.

  19. Fast and Sensitive Detection of Bacillus anthracis Spores by Immunoassay

    PubMed Central

    Volland, Hervé; Dano, Julie; Lamourette, Patricia; Sylvestre, Patricia; Mock, Michèle; Créminon, Christophe

    2012-01-01

    Bacillus anthracis is one of the most dangerous potential biological weapons, and it is essential to develop a rapid and simple method to detect B. anthracis spores in environmental samples. The immunoassay is a rapid and easy-to-use method for the detection of B. anthracis by means of antibodies directed against surface spore antigens. With this objective in view, we have produced a panel of monoclonal antibodies against B. anthracis and developed colorimetric and electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunoassays. Using Meso Scale Discovery ECL technology, which is based on electrochemiluminescence (ECL) detection utilizing a sulfo-Tag label that emits light upon electrochemical stimulation (using a dedicated ECL plate reader, an electrical current is placed across the microplate with electrodes integrated into the bottom of the plate, resulting in a series of electrically induced reactions leading to a luminescent signal), a detection limit ranging between 0.3 × 103 and 103 CFU/ml (i.e., 30 to 100 spores per test), depending on the B. anthracis strain assayed, was achieved. In complex matrices (5 mg/ml of soil or simulated powder), the detection level (without any sample purification or concentration) was never altered more than 3-fold compared with the results obtained in phosphate-buffered saline. PMID:22773632

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, M. Lauren; Fimlaid, Kelly A.

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Genetic Diversity and Association Characters of Bacteria Isolated from Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Spore Walls.

    PubMed

    Selvakumar, Gopal; Krishnamoorthy, Ramasamy; Kim, Kiyoon; Sa, Tong-Min

    2016-01-01

    Association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and bacteria has long been studied. However, the factors influencing their association in the natural environment is still unknown. This study aimed to isolate bacteria associated with spore walls of AMF and identify their potential characters for association. Spores collected from coastal reclamation land were differentiated based on their morphology and identified by 18S rDNA sequencing as Funneliformis caledonium, Racocetra alborosea and Funneliformis mosseae. Bacteria associated with AMF spore walls were isolated after treating them with disinfection solution at different time intervals. After 0, 10 and 20 min of spore disinfection, 86, 24 and 10 spore associated bacteria (SAB) were isolated, respectively. BOX-PCR fingerprinting analysis showed that diverse bacterial communities were associated to AMF spores. Bacteria belonging to the same genera could associate with different AMF spores. Gram positive bacteria were more closely associated with AMF spores. Isolated SAB were characterized and tested for spore association characters such as chitinase, protease, cellulase enzymes and exopolysaccharide production (EPS). Among the 120 SAB, 113 SAB were able to show one or more characters for association and seven SAB did not show any association characters. The 16S rDNA sequence of SAB revealed that bacteria belonging to the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bactereiodes were associated with AMF spore walls. PMID:27479250

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

    PubMed

    Imamura, Daisuke

    2012-01-01

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

  5. A natural O-ring optimizes the dispersal of fungal spores.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Joerg A; Seminara, Agnese; Roper, Marcus; Pringle, Anne; Brenner, Michael P

    2013-08-01

    The forcibly ejected spores of ascomycete fungi must penetrate several millimetres of nearly still air surrounding sporocarps to reach dispersive airflows, and escape is facilitated when a spore is launched with large velocity. To launch, the spores of thousands of species are ejected through an apical ring, a small elastic pore. The startling diversity of apical ring and spore shapes and dimensions make them favoured characters for both species descriptions and the subsequent inference of relationships among species. However, the physical constraints shaping this diversity and the adaptive benefits of specific morphologies are not understood. Here, we develop an elastohydrodynamic theory of the spore's ejection through the apical ring and demonstrate that to avoid enormous energy losses during spore ejection, the four principal morphological dimensions of spore and apical ring must cluster within a nonlinear one-dimensional subspace. We test this prediction using morphological data for 45 fungal species from two different classes and 18 families. Our sampling encompasses multiple loss and gain events and potentially independent origins of this spore ejection mechanism. Although the individual dimensions of the spore and apical ring are only weakly correlated with each other, they collapse into the predicted subspace with high accuracy. The launch velocity appears to be within 2 per cent of the optimum for over 90 per cent of all forcibly ejected species. Although the morphological diversity of apical rings and spores appears startlingly diverse, a simple principle can be used to organize it. PMID:23782534

  6. Genetic Diversity and Association Characters of Bacteria Isolated from Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Spore Walls

    PubMed Central

    Selvakumar, Gopal; Krishnamoorthy, Ramasamy; Kim, Kiyoon; Sa, Tong-Min

    2016-01-01

    Association between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and bacteria has long been studied. However, the factors influencing their association in the natural environment is still unknown. This study aimed to isolate bacteria associated with spore walls of AMF and identify their potential characters for association. Spores collected from coastal reclamation land were differentiated based on their morphology and identified by 18S rDNA sequencing as Funneliformis caledonium, Racocetra alborosea and Funneliformis mosseae. Bacteria associated with AMF spore walls were isolated after treating them with disinfection solution at different time intervals. After 0, 10 and 20 min of spore disinfection, 86, 24 and 10 spore associated bacteria (SAB) were isolated, respectively. BOX-PCR fingerprinting analysis showed that diverse bacterial communities were associated to AMF spores. Bacteria belonging to the same genera could associate with different AMF spores. Gram positive bacteria were more closely associated with AMF spores. Isolated SAB were characterized and tested for spore association characters such as chitinase, protease, cellulase enzymes and exopolysaccharide production (EPS). Among the 120 SAB, 113 SAB were able to show one or more characters for association and seven SAB did not show any association characters. The 16S rDNA sequence of SAB revealed that bacteria belonging to the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Bactereiodes were associated with AMF spore walls. PMID:27479250

  7. Development of an Aerosol Surface Inoculation Method for Bacillus Spores

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang Don; Ryan, Shawn P.; Snyder, Emily Gibb

    2011-01-01

    A method was developed to deposit Bacillus subtilis spores via aerosolization onto various surface materials for biological agent decontamination and detection studies. This new method uses an apparatus coupled with a metered dose inhaler to reproducibly deposit spores onto various surfaces. A metered dose inhaler was loaded with Bacillus subtilis spores, a surrogate for Bacillus anthracis. Five different material surfaces (aluminum, galvanized steel, wood, carpet, and painted wallboard paper) were tested using this spore deposition method. This aerosolization method deposited spores at a concentration of more than 107 CFU per coupon (18-mm diameter) with less than a 50% coefficient of variation, showing that the aerosolization method developed in this study can deposit reproducible numbers of spores onto various surface coupons. Scanning electron microscopy was used to probe the spore deposition patterns on test coupons. The deposition patterns observed following aerosol impaction were compared to those of liquid inoculation. A physical difference in the spore deposition patterns was observed to result from the two different methods. The spore deposition method developed in this study will help prepare spore coupons via aerosolization fast and reproducibly for bench top decontamination and detection studies. PMID:21193670

  8. Effect of Fertilizers and Neem Cake Amendment in Soil on Spore Germination of Arthrobotrys dactyloides

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, D.; Jaiswal, R. K.

    2005-01-01

    Application of fertilizers such as urea, diammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash in soil adversely affected the spore germination of Arthrobotrys dactyloides. Amendment of soil with urea at the concentrations of 1.0%, 0.5% and 0.1% completely inhibited spore germination and direct trap formation on the conidium, whereas muriate of potash delayed and reduced the spore germination even at the lowest concentration. DAP also inhibited spore germination at 1.0% concentration, while at lower concentration the percentage of spore germination was reduced. Application of neem cake at the concentration of 0.5% also inhibited spore germination after 24 h of amendment. The inhibitory effect of neem cake was reduced after 15 days of amendment, while after 30 days after amendment the inhibitory effect was completely lost and the spore germinated by direct trap as in unamended soil. Nematodes were not attracted to ungerminated spores after 24 h of amendment. After 15 days of amendment nematodes were attracted to agar blocks containing fewer germinated spores after 24 h of incubation but after 48 h of incubation large number of nematodes were attracted and trapped by the germinated spores with direct traps. After 30 days of amendment, larger number of nematodes were attracted and trapped by direct traps. PMID:24049500

  9. Significance of air humidity and air velocity for fungal spore release into the air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasanen, A.-L.; Pasanen, P.; Jantunen, M. J.; Kalliokoski, P.

    Our previous field studies have shown that the presence of molds in buildings does not necessarily mean elevated airborne spore counts. Therefore, we investigated the release of fungal spores from cultures of Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium sp. and Cladosporium sp. at different air velocities and air humidities. Spores of A. fumigatus and Penicillium sp. were released from conidiophores already at air velocity of 0.5 ms -1, whereas Cladosporium spores required at least a velocity of 1.0 ms -1. Airborne spore counts of A. fumigatus and Penicillium sp. were usually higher in dry than moist air, being minimal at relative humidities (r.h.) above 70%, while the effect of r.h. on the release of Cladosporium sp. was ambivalent. The geometric mean diameter of released spores increased when the r.h. exceeded a certain level which depends on fungal genus. Thus, spores of all three fungi were hygroscopic but the hygroscopicity of various spores appeared at different r.h.-ranges. This study indicates that spore release is controlled by external factors and depends on fungal genus which can be one reason for considerable variation of airborne spore counts in buildings with mold problems.

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

    PubMed

    Imamura, Daisuke

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Characterization of the Dynamic Germination of Individual Clostridium difficile Spores Using Raman Spectroscopy and Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shiwei; Shen, Aimee; Setlow, Peter

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Gram-positive spore-forming anaerobe Clostridium difficile is a leading cause of nosocomial diarrhea. Spores of C. difficile initiate infection when triggered to germinate by bile salts in the gastrointestinal tract. We analyzed germination kinetics of individual C. difficile spores using Raman spectroscopy and differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. Similar to Bacillus spores, individual C. difficile spores germinating with taurocholate plus glycine began slow leakage of a ∼15% concentration of a chelate of Ca2+ and dipicolinic acid (CaDPA) at a heterogeneous time T1, rapidly released CaDPA at Tlag, completed CaDPA release at Trelease, and finished peptidoglycan cortex hydrolysis at Tlysis. T1 and Tlag values for individual spores were heterogeneous, but ΔTrelease periods (Trelease − Tlag) were relatively constant. In contrast to Bacillus spores, heat treatment did not stimulate spore germination in the two C. difficile strains tested. C. difficile spores did not germinate with taurocholate or glycine alone, and different bile salts differentially promoted spore germination, with taurocholate and taurodeoxycholate being best. Transient exposure of spores to taurocholate plus glycine was sufficient to commit individual spores to germinate. C. difficile spores did not germinate with CaDPA, in contrast to B. subtilis and C. perfringens spores. However, the detergent dodecylamine induced C. difficile spore germination, and rates were increased by spore coat removal although cortex hydrolysis did not follow Trelease, in contrast with B. subtilis. C. difficile spores lacking the cortex-lytic enzyme, SleC, germinated extremely poorly, and cortex hydrolysis was not observed in the few sleC spores that partially germinated. Overall, these findings indicate that C. difficile and B. subtilis spore germination exhibit key differences. IMPORTANCE Spores of the Gram-positive anaerobe Clostridium difficile are responsible for initiating infection

  13. Carvacrol suppresses high pressure high temperature inactivation of Bacillus cereus spores.

    PubMed

    Luu-Thi, Hue; Corthouts, Jorinde; Passaris, Ioannis; Grauwet, Tara; Aertsen, Abram; Hendrickx, Marc; Michiels, Chris W

    2015-03-16

    The inactivation of bacterial spores generally proceeds faster and at lower temperatures when heat treatments are conducted under high pressure, and high pressure high temperature (HPHT) processing is, therefore, receiving an increased interest from food processors. However, the mechanisms of spore inactivation by HPHT treatment are poorly understood, particularly at moderately elevated temperature. In the current work, we studied inactivation of the spores of Bacillus cereus F4430/73 by HPHT treatment for 5 min at 600MPa in the temperature range of 50-100°C, using temperature increments of 5°C. Additionally, we investigated the effect of the natural antimicrobial carvacrol on spore germination and inactivation under these conditions. Spore inactivation by HPHT was less than about 1 log unit at 50 to 70°C, but gradually increased at higher temperatures up to about 5 log units at 100°C. DPA release and loss of spore refractility in the spore population were higher at moderate (≤65°C) than at high (≥70°C) treatment temperatures, and we propose that moderate conditions induced the normal physiological pathway of spore germination resulting in fully hydrated spores, while at higher temperatures this pathway was suppressed and replaced by another mechanism of pressure-induced dipicolinic acid (DPA) release that results only in partial spore rehydration, probably because spore cortex hydrolysis is inhibited. Carvacrol strongly suppressed DPA release and spore rehydration during HPHT treatment at ≤65°C and also partly inhibited DPA release at ≥65°C. Concomitantly, HPHT spore inactivation was reduced by carvacrol at 65-90°C but unaffected at 95-100°C.

  14. Turbulent Dispersion of Pathogenic Spores Within and Above Plant Canopies: Field Experiments and Lagrangian Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleicher, S.; Chamecki, M.; Isard, S.; Katul, G. G.

    2012-12-01

    Plant disease epidemics caused by pathogenic spores are a common and consequential threat to agricultural crops. In most cases, pathogenic spores are produced and released deep inside plant canopies and must be transported out of the canopy region in order to infect other fields and spread the disease. The fraction of spores that "escape" the canopy is crucial in determining how fast and far these plant diseases will spread. The goal of this work is to use a field experiment, coupled with a Lagrangian Stochastic Model (LSM), to investigate how properties of canopy turbulence impact the dispersion of spores inside the canopy and the fraction of spores that escape from the canopy. An extensive field experiment was conducted to study spore dispersion inside and outside a corn canopy. The spores were released from point sources located at various depths inside the canopy. Concentration measurements were obtained inside and above the canopy by a 3-dimensional grid of spore collectors. The experimental measurements of mean spore concentration are used to validate a LSM for spore dispersion. In the LSM, flow field statistics used to drive the particle dispersion are specified by a second-order closure model for turbulence within plant canopies. The dispersion model includes spore deposition on and rebound from canopy elements. The combination of experimental and numerical simulations is used to quantify the fraction of spores that escape the canopy. Effects of release height, friction velocity, and canopy architecture on the escape fraction of spores are explored using the LSM, and implications for disease propagation are discussed.

  15. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank; Lötters, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity.

  16. Phomalactone from a phytopathogenic fungus infecting Zinnia elegans (Asteraceae) leaves

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Zinnia elegans plants are infected by a fungus that causes necrosis with dark red spots particularly in late spring to the middle of summer in the Mid-South part of the United States. This fungal disease when untreated causes the leaves to wilt and eventually kills the plant. The fungus was isolated...

  17. Genome Sequence of the Pathogenic Fungus Sporothrix schenckii (ATCC 58251).

    PubMed

    Cuomo, Christina A; Rodriguez-Del Valle, Nuri; Perez-Sanchez, Lizaida; Abouelleil, Amr; Goldberg, Jonathan; Young, Sarah; Zeng, Qiandong; Birren, Bruce W

    2014-05-22

    Sporothrix schenckii is a pathogenic dimorphic fungus that grows as a yeast and as mycelia. This species is the causative agent of sporotrichosis, typically a skin infection. We report the genome sequence of S. schenckii, which will facilitate the study of this fungus and of the Sporothrix schenckii group.

  18. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K.; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C.; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F.; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010–2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

  19. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank; Lötters, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

  20. Live Cell Imaging of Germination and Outgrowth of Individual Bacillus subtilis Spores; the Effect of Heat Stress Quantitatively Analyzed with SporeTracker

    PubMed Central

    Vischer, Norbert O. E.; Smelt, Jan P. P. M.; Brul, Stanley; Manders, Erik M. M.

    2013-01-01

    Spore-forming bacteria are a special problem for the food industry as some of them are able to survive preservation processes. Bacillus spp. spores can remain in a dormant, stress resistant state for a long period of time. Vegetative cells are formed by germination of spores followed by a more extended outgrowth phase. Spore germination and outgrowth progression are often very heterogeneous and therefore, predictions of microbial stability of food products are exceedingly difficult. Mechanistic details of the cause of this heterogeneity are necessary. In order to examine spore heterogeneity we made a novel closed air-containing chamber for live imaging. This chamber was used to analyze Bacillus subtilis spore germination, outgrowth, as well as subsequent vegetative growth. Typically, we examined around 90 starting spores/cells for ≥4 hours per experiment. Image analysis with the purposely built program “SporeTracker” allows for automated data processing from germination to outgrowth and vegetative doubling. In order to check the efficiency of the chamber, growth and division of B. subtilis vegetative cells were monitored. The observed generation times of vegetative cells were comparable to those obtained in well-aerated shake flask cultures. The influence of a heat stress of 85°C for 10 min on germination, outgrowth, and subsequent vegetative growth was investigated in detail. Compared to control samples fewer spores germinated (41.1% less) and fewer grew out (48.4% less) after the treatment. The heat treatment had a significant influence on the average time to the start of germination (increased) and the distribution and average of the duration of germination itself (increased). However, the distribution and the mean outgrowth time and the generation time of vegetative cells, emerging from untreated and thermally injured spores, were similar. PMID:23536843

  1. Live cell imaging of germination and outgrowth of individual bacillus subtilis spores; the effect of heat stress quantitatively analyzed with SporeTracker.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Rachna; Ter Beek, Alex; Vischer, Norbert O E; Smelt, Jan P P M; Brul, Stanley; Manders, Erik M M

    2013-01-01

    Spore-forming bacteria are a special problem for the food industry as some of them are able to survive preservation processes. Bacillus spp. spores can remain in a dormant, stress resistant state for a long period of time. Vegetative cells are formed by germination of spores followed by a more extended outgrowth phase. Spore germination and outgrowth progression are often very heterogeneous and therefore, predictions of microbial stability of food products are exceedingly difficult. Mechanistic details of the cause of this heterogeneity are necessary. In order to examine spore heterogeneity we made a novel closed air-containing chamber for live imaging. This chamber was used to analyze Bacillus subtilis spore germination, outgrowth, as well as subsequent vegetative growth. Typically, we examined around 90 starting spores/cells for ≥4 hours per experiment. Image analysis with the purposely built program "SporeTracker" allows for automated data processing from germination to outgrowth and vegetative doubling. In order to check the efficiency of the chamber, growth and division of B. subtilis vegetative cells were monitored. The observed generation times of vegetative cells were comparable to those obtained in well-aerated shake flask cultures. The influence of a heat stress of 85°C for 10 min on germination, outgrowth, and subsequent vegetative growth was investigated in detail. Compared to control samples fewer spores germinated (41.1% less) and fewer grew out (48.4% less) after the treatment. The heat treatment had a significant influence on the average time to the start of germination (increased) and the distribution and average of the duration of germination itself (increased). However, the distribution and the mean outgrowth time and the generation time of vegetative cells, emerging from untreated and thermally injured spores, were similar.

  2. Characterization of a Basidiomycete fungus from stored sugar beet roots.

    PubMed

    Toda, Takeshi; Strausbaugh, Carl A; Rodriguez-Carres, Marianela; Cubeta, Marc A

    2012-01-01

    Eighteen isolates from sugar beet roots associated with an unknown etiology were characterized based on observations of morphological characters, hyphal growth at 4-28 C, production of phenol oxidases and sequence analysis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) regions of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The isolates did not produce asexual or sexual spores, had binucleate hyphal cells with clamp connections, grew 4-22 C with estimated optimal growth at 14.5 C and formed a dark brown pigment on potato dextrose or malt extract agar amended with 0.5% tannic acid. Color changes observed when solutions of gum guiac, guiacol and syringaldzine were applied directly to mycelium grown on these media indicated that all isolates produced phenol oxidases. Sequences of ITS and LSU regions on the rDNA gene from 15 isolates were 99.2-100% identical, and analysis of sequence data with maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony suggest that the isolates from sugar beet roots are phylogenetically related to Athelia bombacina, Granulobasidium vellereum and Cyphella digitalis. High statistical support for both loci under different criteria confirmed that Athelia bombacina was consistently the closest known relative to the sugar beet isolates. Additional taxonomic investigations are needed before species can be clarified and designated for these isolates.

  3. Assembly of complex plant–fungus networks

    PubMed Central

    Toju, Hirokazu; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Olesen, Jens M.; Thompson, John N.

    2014-01-01

    Species in ecological communities build complex webs of interaction. Although revealing the architecture of these networks is fundamental to understanding ecological and evolutionary dynamics in nature, it has been difficult to characterize the structure of most species-rich ecological systems. By overcoming this limitation through next-generation sequencing technology, we herein uncover the network architecture of below-ground plant–fungus symbioses, which are ubiquitous to terrestrial ecosystems. The examined symbiotic network of a temperate forest in Japan includes 33 plant species and 387 functionally and phylogenetically diverse fungal taxa, and the overall network architecture differs fundamentally from that of other ecological networks. In contrast to results for other ecological networks and theoretical predictions for symbiotic networks, the plant–fungus network shows moderate or relatively low levels of interaction specialization and modularity and an unusual pattern of ‘nested’ network architecture. These results suggest that species-rich ecological networks are more architecturally diverse than previously recognized. PMID:25327887

  4. Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes

    PubMed Central

    Pion, Martin; Spangenberg, Jorge E.; Simon, Anaele; Bindschedler, Saskia; Flury, Coralie; Chatelain, Auriel; Bshary, Redouan; Job, Daniel; Junier, Pilar

    2013-01-01

    The interactions between bacteria and fungi, the main actors of the soil microbiome, remain poorly studied. Here, we show that the saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal soil fungus Morchella crassipes acts as a bacterial farmer of Pseudomonas putida, which serves as a model soil bacterium. Farming by M. crassipes consists of bacterial dispersal, bacterial rearing with fungal exudates, as well as harvesting and translocation of bacterial carbon. The different phases were confirmed experimentally using cell counting and 13C probing. Common criteria met by other non-human farming systems are also valid for M. crassipes farming, including habitual planting, cultivation and harvesting. Specific traits include delocalization of food production and consumption and separation of roles in the colony (source versus sink areas), which are also found in human agriculture. Our study evidences a hitherto unknown mutualistic association in which bacteria gain through dispersal and rearing, while the fungus gains through the harvesting of an additional carbon source and increased stress resistance of the mycelium. This type of interaction between fungi and bacteria may play a key role in soils. PMID:24174111

  5. Hazardous waste treatment using fungus enters marketplace

    SciTech Connect

    Illman, D.L.

    1993-07-01

    When the announcement was made eight years ago that a common fungus had been found that could degrade a variety of environmental pollutants, the news stirred interest in the scientific community, the private sector, and the general public. Here was the promise of a new technology that might be effective and economical in treating hazardous waste, especially the most recalcitrant of toxic pollutants. Today, commercialization is beginning amid a mixture of optimism and skepticism. The organism in question is white rot fungus, or Phanerochaete chrysosporium, and it belongs to a family of woodrotting fungi common all over North America. The fungi secrete enzymes that break down lignin in wood to carbon dioxide and water--a process called mineralization. These lignin-degrading enzymes are not very discriminating, however. The white rot fungi have been shown to degrade such materials as DDT, the herbicide (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4,5-T), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), pentachlorophenol (PCP), creosote, coal tars, and heavy fuels, in many cases mineralizing these pollutants to a significant extent.

  6. Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes.

    PubMed

    Pion, Martin; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Simon, Anaele; Bindschedler, Saskia; Flury, Coralie; Chatelain, Auriel; Bshary, Redouan; Job, Daniel; Junier, Pilar

    2013-12-22

    The interactions between bacteria and fungi, the main actors of the soil microbiome, remain poorly studied. Here, we show that the saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal soil fungus Morchella crassipes acts as a bacterial farmer of Pseudomonas putida, which serves as a model soil bacterium. Farming by M. crassipes consists of bacterial dispersal, bacterial rearing with fungal exudates, as well as harvesting and translocation of bacterial carbon. The different phases were confirmed experimentally using cell counting and (13)C probing. Common criteria met by other non-human farming systems are also valid for M. crassipes farming, including habitual planting, cultivation and harvesting. Specific traits include delocalization of food production and consumption and separation of roles in the colony (source versus sink areas), which are also found in human agriculture. Our study evidences a hitherto unknown mutualistic association in which bacteria gain through dispersal and rearing, while the fungus gains through the harvesting of an additional carbon source and increased stress resistance of the mycelium. This type of interaction between fungi and bacteria may play a key role in soils. PMID:24174111

  7. General metabolism of the dimorphic and pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.

    PubMed

    Arraes, Fabrício B M; Benoliel, Bruno; Burtet, Rafael T; Costa, Patrícia L N; Galdino, Alexandro S; Lima, Luanne H A; Marinho-Silva, Camila; Oliveira-Pereira, Luciana; Pfrimer, Pollyanna; Procópio-Silva, Luciano; Reis, Viviane Castelo-Branco; Felipe, Maria Sueli S

    2005-06-30

    Annotation of the transcriptome of the dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis has set the grounds for a global understanding of its metabolism in both mycelium and yeast forms. This fungus is able to use the main carbohydrate sources, including starch, and it can store reduced carbons in the form of glycogen and trehalose; these provide energy reserves that are relevant for metabolic adaptation, protection against stress and infectivity mechanisms. The glyoxylate cycle, which is also involved in pathogenicity, is present in this fungus. Classical pathways of lipid biosynthesis and degradation, including those of ketone body and sterol production, are well represented in the database of P. brasiliensis. It is able to synthesize de novo all nucleotides and amino acids, with the sole exception of asparagine, which was confirmed by the fungus growth in minimal medium. Sulfur metabolism, as well as the accessory synthetic pathways of vitamins and co-factors, are likely to exist in this fungus.

  8. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators.

  9. Clonality and recombination in the life history of an asexual arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus.

    PubMed

    den Bakker, Henk C; Vankuren, Nicholas W; Morton, Joseph B; Pawlowska, Teresa E

    2010-11-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi in the phylum Glomeromycota colonize roots of the majority of land plants and assist them in the uptake of mineral nutrients in exchange for plant-assimilated carbon. In the absence of sexual reproductive structures and with asexual spore morphology conserved since the Ordovician, Glomeromycota may be one of the oldest eukaryotic lineages that rely predominantly on asexual reproduction for gene transmission. Clonal population structure detected in the majority of AM fungi examined to date supports this hypothesis. However, evidence of recombination found in few local populations suggests that genetic exchanges may be more common in these organisms than is currently recognized. To explore the significance of clonal expansion versus genetic recombination in the life history of modern Glomeromycota, we examined the global population of a cosmopolitan fungus Glomus etunicatum and made inferences about the population structure and the occurrence of recombination in the history of this species. We sampled eight loci from 84 isolates. We found that although the global population of G. etunicatum showed a pattern of significant differentiation, several haplotypes had a broad geographic distribution spanning multiple continents. Molecular variation among the sampled isolates indicated an overwhelmingly clonal population structure and suggested that clonal expansion plays an important role in the ecological success of modern Glomeromycota. In contrast, a pattern of homoplasy consistent with a history of recombination suggested that gene exchanges are not completely absent from the life history of these organisms, although they are likely to be very rare.

  10. Estimating the spontaneous mutation rate of loss of sex in the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jianping

    2002-01-01

    Few events have evolutionary consequences as pervasive as changes in reproductive behavior. Among those changes, the loss of the ability to undergo sexual reproduction is probably the most profound. However, little is known about the rate of loss of sex. Here I describe an experimental system using the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans and provide the first empirical estimate of the spontaneous mutation rate of loss of sex in fungi. Two critical steps in sexual reproduction in C. neoformans were examined: mating and filamentation. Mating, the fusion of cells of opposite sexes, is a universal first step in eukaryotic sexual reproduction. In contrast, filamentation, a prerequisite process preceding meiosis and sexual spore development, is restricted to C. neoformans and a few other fungal species. After approximately 600 mitotic divisions under favorable asexual growth conditions, mean abilities for mating and filamentation decreased significantly by >67 and 24%, respectively. Similarly, though statistically not significant, the mean vegetative growth rates also decreased and among the mutation accumulation lines, the vegetative growth rates were negatively correlated to the mating ability. The estimated mutation rates to decreases in mating ability and filamentation were in excess of 0.0172 and 0.0036, respectively. The results show that C. neoformans can be a highly attractive model for analyses of reproductive system evolution in fungi. PMID:12454063

  11. Virulence determinants of the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus protect against soil amoeba predation.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Novohradská, Silvia; Mattern, Derek J; Forberger, Tilmann; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Westermann, Martin; Winckler, Thomas; Brakhage, Axel A

    2015-08-01

    Filamentous fungi represent classical examples for environmentally acquired human pathogens whose major virulence mechanisms are likely to have emerged long before the appearance of innate immune systems. In natural habitats, amoeba predation could impose a major selection pressure towards the acquisition of virulence attributes. To test this hypothesis, we exploited the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to study its interaction with Aspergillus fumigatus, two abundant soil inhabitants for which we found co-occurrence in various sites. Fungal conidia were efficiently taken up by D. discoideum, but ingestion was higher when conidia were devoid of the green fungal spore pigment dihydroxynaphtalene melanin, in line with earlier results obtained for immune cells. Conidia were able to survive phagocytic processing, and intracellular germination was initiated only after several hours of co-incubation which eventually led to a lethal disruption of the host cell. Besides phagocytic interactions, both amoeba and fungus secreted cross inhibitory factors which suppressed fungal growth or induced amoeba aggregation with subsequent cell lysis, respectively. On the fungal side, we identified gliotoxin as the major fungal factor killing Dictyostelium, supporting the idea that major virulence attributes, such as escape from phagocytosis and the secretion of mycotoxins are beneficial to escape from environmental predators. PMID:25684622

  12. An endophytic taxol-producing fungus from Taxus media, Cladosporium cladosporioides MD2.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Peng-Peng; Yu, Long-Jiang

    2009-09-01

    Fermentation processes using taxol-producing fungi other than Taxus spp. may be an alternative way to produce taxol, which is an important antitumor agent used widely in the clinic setting. In this study, a taxol-producing endophytic fungus strain MD2 was isolated from the inner bark of Taxus media. Strain MD2 produced taxol when grown in potato dextrose liquid medium. The fungal taxol-which was analyzed by ultraviolet, high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry-was shown to be identical to authentic taxol and 10-deacetylbaccatin III. Further analysis with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to show the chemical structure of the fungal taxol indicated that the fungal taxol produced an NMR spectrum identical to that of authentic taxol. Strain MD2 was identified as Cladosporium cladosporioides according to morphology of the fungal culture, characteristics of the spores, and analysis of 18S rDNA sequence. In addition, 10-deacetylbaccatin III-10-O-acetyl transferase gene of C. cladosporioides MD2 was cloned for the first time and was shown to share 99% identity with that of T. x media and 97% identity with that of T. wallichiana var. mairei.

  13. Effect of washing on identification of Bacillus spores by principal-component analysis of fluorescence data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunnil, Joseph; Sarasanandarajah, Sivananthan; Chacko, Easaw; Reinisch, Lou

    2006-05-01

    The fluorescence spectra of Bacillus spores are measured at excitation wavelengths of 280, 310, 340, 370, and 400 nm. When cluster analysis is used with the principal-component analysis, the Bacillus globigii spores can be distinguished from the other species of Bacillus spores (B. cereus, B. popilliae, and B. thuringiensis). To test how robust the identification process is with the fluorescence spectra, the B. globigii is obtained from three separate preparations in different laboratories. Furthermore the fluorescence is measured before and after washing and redrying the B. globigii spores. Using the cluster analysis of the first two or three principal components of the fluorescence spectra, one is able to distinguish B. globigii spores from the other species, independent of preparing or washing the spores.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. Responses of Bacillus subtilis spores to space environment: results from experiments in space.

    PubMed

    Horneck, G

    1993-02-01

    Onboard of several spacecrafts (Apollo 16, Spacelab 1, LDEF), spores of Bacillus subtilis were exposed to selected parameters of space, such as space vacuum, different spectral ranges of solar UV-radiation and cosmic rays, applied separately or in combination, and we have studied their survival and genetic changes after retrieval. The spores survive extended periods of time in space--up to several years--, if protected against the high influx of solar UV-radiation. Water desorption caused by the space vacuum leads to structural changes of the DNA; the consequences are an increased mutation frequency and altered photobiological properties of the spores. UV-effects, such as killing and mutagenesis, are augmented, if the spores are in space vacuum during irradiation. Vacuum-specific photoproducts which are different from the 'spore photoproduct' may cause the synergistic response of spores to the simultaneous action of UV and vacuum. The experiments provide an experimental test of certain steps of the panspermia hypothesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-20

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

  19. Sterilization of hydrogen peroxide resistant bacterial spores with stabilized chlorine dioxide.

    PubMed

    Friedline, Anthony; Zachariah, Malcolm; Middaugh, Amy; Heiser, Matt; Khanna, Neeraj; Vaishampayan, Parag; Rice, Charles V

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 spores isolated from a clean room environment are known to exhibit enhanced resistance to peroxide, desiccation, UV radiation and chemical disinfection than other spore-forming bacteria. The survival of B. pumilus SAFR-032 spores to standard clean room sterilization practices requires development of more stringent disinfection agents. Here, we report the effects of a stabilized chlorine dioxide-based biocidal agent against spores of B. pumilus SAFR-032 and Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6051. Viability was determined via CFU measurement after exposure. Chlorine dioxide demonstrated efficacy towards sterilization of spores of B. pumilus SAFR-032 equivalent or better than exposure to hydrogen peroxide. These results indicate efficacy of chlorine dioxide delivered through a stabilized chlorine dioxide product as a means of sterilization of peroxide- and UV-resistant spores.

  20. Penicillium menonorum: A Novel Fungus to Promote Growth and Nutrient Management in Cucumber Plants

    PubMed Central

    Babu, Anam Giridhar; Kim, Sang Woo; Yadav, Dil Raj; Hyum, Umyong; Adhikari, Mahesh

    2015-01-01

    The present study is the first report on the isolation of Penicillium menonorum from rhizosphere soil in Korea and its identification based on morphological characteristics and internal transcribed spacer gene sequence. The fungal isolate was named KNU-3 and was found to exhibit plant growth-promoting (PGP) activity through indole acetic acid (IAA) and siderophore production, as well as P solubilization. KNU-3 produced 9.7 mg/L IAA and solubilized 408 mg of Ca3PO4/L, and inoculation with the isolate significantly (p < 0.05) increased the dry biomass of cucumber roots (57%) and shoots (52%). Chlorophyll, starch, protein, and P contents were increased by 16%, 45%, 22%, and 14%, respectively, compared to plants grown in uninoculated soil. The fungus also increased soil dehydrogenase (30%) and acid phosphatase (19%) activities. These results demonstrate that the isolate KNU-3 has potential PGP attributes, and therefore it can be considered as a new fungus to enhance soil fertility and promote plant growth. Moreover, the discovery of PGP ability and traits of this fungus will open new aspects of research and investigations. In this study, plant growth promotion by P. menonorum KNU-3 is reported for the first time in Korea after its original description. PMID:25892915

  1. Water properties in fern spores: sorption characteristics relating to water affinity, glassy states, and storage stability.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Daniel; Walters, Christina

    2007-01-01

    Ex situ conservation of ferns may be accomplished by maintaining the viability of stored spores for many years. Storage conditions that maximize spore longevity can be inferred from an understanding of the behaviour of water within fern spores. Water sorption properties were measured in spores of five homosporeous species of ferns and compared with properties of pollen, seeds, and fern leaf tissue. Isotherms were constructed at 5, 25, and 45 degrees C and analysed using different physicochemical models in order to quantify chemical affinity and heat (enthalpy) of sorption of water in fern spores. Fern spores hydrate slowly but dry rapidly at ambient relative humidity. Low Brunauer-Emmet-Teller monolayer values, few water-binding sites according to the D'Arcy-Watt model, and limited solute-solvent compatibility according to the Flory-Huggins model suggest that fern spores have low affinity for water. Despite the low water affinity, fern spores demonstrate relatively high values of sorption enthalpy (DeltaH(sorp)). Parameters associated with binding sites and DeltaH(sorp) decrease with increasing temperature, suggesting temperature- and hydration-dependent changes in volume of spore macromolecules. Collectively, these data may relate to the degree to which cellular structures within fern spores are stabilized during drying and cooling. Water sorption properties within fern spores suggest that storage at subfreezing temperatures will give longevities comparable with those achieved with seeds. However, the window of optimum water contents for fern spores is very narrow and much lower than that measured in seeds, making precise manipulation of water content imperative for achieving maximum longevity.

  2. Environmental microbiology as related to planetary quarantine. [water activity and temperature effects on bacterial spore survival

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pflug, I. J.

    1972-01-01

    The survival of Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores suspended in solutions of sucrose and glycerol at calculated water activities and varying temperatures was studied. The overall results indicated that as the water activity of the liquid decreased from .99 to .85, the heat resistance of the spores increased. The nature of the substance controlling the water activity, and the history of the spores prior to treatment also had an affect on their heat resistance.

  3. Examination of Peak Power Dependence in the UV Inactivation of Bacterial Spores

    PubMed Central

    Rice, Jane K.; Ewell, Michael

    2001-01-01

    We examine whether the rate of delivery of photons from a UV radiation source has an effect on the inactivation of spores. We directly compare the output of a high-peak-power UV laser source at 248 nm to a low-power continuous lamp source (254 nm) in the inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores. The two UV sources differ by a factor of 108 in peak power. Contrary to previous reports, no clear differences in spore survival were observed. PMID:11722941

  4. Novel Strategies for Enhanced Removal of Persistent Bacillus anthracis Surrogates and Clostridium difficile Spores from Skin

    PubMed Central

    Nerandzic, Michelle M.; Rackaityte, Elze; Jury, Lucy A.; Eckart, Kevin; Donskey, Curtis J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Removing spores of Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis from skin is challenging because they are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials and soap and water washing provides only modest efficacy. We hypothesized that hygiene interventions incorporating a sporicidal electrochemically generated hypochlorous acid solution (Vashe®) would reduce the burden of spores on skin. Methods Hands of volunteers were inoculated with non-toxigenic C. difficile spores or B. anthracis spore surrogates to assess the effectiveness of Vashe solution for reducing spores on skin. Reduction in spores was compared for Vashe hygiene interventions versus soap and water (control). To determine the effectiveness of Vashe solution for removal of C. difficile spores from the skin of patients with C. difficile infection (CDI), reductions in levels of spores on skin were compared for soap and water versus Vashe bed baths. Results Spore removal from hands was enhanced with Vashe soak (>2.5 log10 reduction) versus soap and water wash or soak (~2.0 log10 reduction; P <0.05) and Vashe wipes versus alcohol wipes (P <0.01). A combined approach of soap and water wash followed by soaking in Vashe removed >3.5 log10 spores from hands (P <0.01 compared to washing or soaking alone). Bed baths using soap and water (N =26 patients) did not reduce the percentage of positive skin cultures for CDI patients (64% before versus 57% after bathing; P =0.5), whereas bathing with Vashe solution (N =21 patients) significantly reduced skin contamination (54% before versus 8% after bathing; P =0.0001). Vashe was well-tolerated with no evidence of adverse effects on skin. Conclusions Vashe was safe and effective for reducing the burden of B. anthracis surrogates and C. difficile spores on hands. Bed baths with Vashe were effective for reducing C. difficile on skin. These findings suggest a novel strategy to reduce the burden of spores on skin. PMID:23844234

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Sensitivities of germinating spores and carvacrol-adapted vegetative cells and spores of Bacillus cereus to nisin and pulsed-electric-field treatment.

    PubMed

    Pol, I E; van Arendonk, W G; Mastwijk, H C; Krommer, J; Smid, E J; Moezelaar, R

    2001-04-01

    Treatment of Bacillus cereus spores with nisin and/or pulsed-electric-field (PEF) treatment did not lead to direct inactivation of the spores or increased heat sensitivity as a result of sublethal damage. In contrast, germinating spores were found to be sensitive to PEF treatment. Nisin treatment was more efficient than PEF treatment for inactivating germinating spores. PEF resistance was lost after 50 min of germination, and not all germinated spores could be inactivated. Nisin, however, was able to inactivate the germinating spores to the same extent as heat treatment. Resistance to nisin was lost immediately when the germination process started. A decrease in the membrane fluidity of vegetative cells caused by incubation in the presence of carvacrol resulted in a dramatic increase in the sensitivity to nisin. On the other hand, inactivation by PEF treatment or by a combination of nisin and PEF treatments did not change after adaptation to carvacrol. Spores grown in the presence of carvacrol were not susceptible to nisin and/or PEF treatment in any way. PMID:11282623

  7. Fungal spore content of the atmosphere of the Cave of Nerja (southern Spain): diversity and origin.

    PubMed

    Docampo, Silvia; Trigo, M Mar; Recio, Marta; Melgar, Marta; García-Sánchez, José; Cabezudo, Baltasar

    2011-01-15

    Fungal spores are of great interest in aerobiology and allergy due to their high incidence in both outdoor and indoor environments and their widely recognized ability to cause respiratory diseases and other pathologies. In this work, we study the spore content of the atmosphere of the Cave of Nerja, a karstic cavity and an important tourist attraction situated on the eastern coast of Malaga (southern Spain), which receives more than half a million visitors every year. This study was carried out over an uninterrupted period of 4 years (2002-2005) with the aid of two Hirst-type volumetric pollen traps (Lanzoni VPPS 2000) situated in different halls of the cave. In the atmosphere of the Cave of Nerja, 72 different spore types were detected during the studied period and daily mean concentrations of up to 282,195 spores/m(3) were reached. Thirty-five of the spore types detected are included within Ascomycota and Basidiomycota (19 and 16 types, respectively). Of the remaining spore types, 32 were categorized within the group of so-called imperfect fungi, while Oomycota and Myxomycota were represented by 2 and 3 spore types, respectively. Aspergillus/Penicillium was the most abundant spore type with a yearly mean percentage that represented 50% of the total, followed by Cladosporium. Finally, the origin of the fungal spores found inside the cave is discussed on the basis of the indoor/outdoor concentrations and the seasonal behaviour observed. PMID:21138779

  8. Bacteria Associated with Spores of the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Glomus geosporum and Glomus constrictum

    PubMed Central

    Roesti, David; Ineichen, Kurt; Braissant, Olivier; Redecker, Dirk; Wiemken, Andres; Aragno, Michel

    2005-01-01

    Spores of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) Glomus geosporum and Glomus constrictum were harvested from single-spore-derived pot cultures with either Plantago lanceolata or Hieracium pilosella as host plants. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis revealed that the bacterial communities associated with the spores depended more on AMF than host plant identity. The composition of the bacterial populations linked to the spores could be predominantly influenced by a specific spore wall composition or AMF exudate rather than by specific root exudates. The majority of the bacterial sequences that were common to both G. geosporum and G. constrictum spores were affiliated with taxonomic groups known to degrade biopolymers (Cellvibrio, Chondromyces, Flexibacter, Lysobacter, and Pseudomonas). Scanning electron microscopy of G. geosporum spores revealed that these bacteria are possibly feeding on the outer hyaline spore layer. The process of maturation and eventual germination of AMF spores might then benefit from the activity of the surface microorganisms degrading the outer hyaline wall layer. PMID:16269696

  9. Effects of meteorological factors on the levels of Alternaria spores on a potato crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escuredo, Olga; Seijo, Maria Carmen; Fernández-González, Maria; Iglesias, Isabel

    2011-03-01

    Alternaria solani Soraeur produces early blight in Solanum tuberosum L., leading to significant agricultural losses. The current study was carried out on the extensive potato crop situated in north-western of Spain during 2007, 2008 and 2009. In this area potato crops are the most important source of income. In this work we used a Hirst-type volumetric spore-trap for the aerobiological monitoring of Alternaria spores. The highest spore concentrations were recorded during the 2009 cycle (10,555 spores), and the lowest concentrations were recorded during the 2008 cycle (5,471 spores). Over the 3 years of study, the highest concentrations were registered during the last stage of the crop. The aim of the study was to observe the influence of meteorological factors on the concentration of Alternaria spores, which can lead to serious infection and early blight. Prediction of the stages during which a crop is particularly vulnerable to infection allows for adjustment of the application of fungicide and is of environmental and agricultural importance. For this reason, we tested three models (P-Days, DD and IWP) to predict the first treatment and decrease the negative effect that these spores have on potato crops. The parameter that showed the most significant correlation with spore concentrations was minimum temperature. We used ARIMA (autoregressive integrated model of running mean) time-series models to determine the forecast. We considered weather data as predictor variables and the concentration of spores on the previous day as the fixed variable.

  10. Method and apparatus for detecting and quantifying bacterial spores on a surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponce, Adrian (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    A method and an apparatus for detecting and quantifying bacterial spores on a surface. In accordance with the method: a matrix including lanthanide ions is provided on the surface containing the bacterial spores; functionalized aromatic molecules are released from the bacterial spores on the surface; a complex of the lanthanide ion and the aromatic molecule is formed on the surface; the complex of the lanthanide ion and the aromatic molecule is excited to generate a characteristic luminescence of the complex on the surface; and the bacterial spores exhibiting the luminescence of the complex on the surface are detected and quantified.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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