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Sample records for mer mediated microbial

  1. Structural basis of the mercury(II)-mediated conformational switching of the dual-function transcriptional regulator MerR

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chih-Chiang; Lin, Li-Ying; Zou, Xiao-Wei; Huang, Chieh-Chen; Chan, Nei-Li

    2015-01-01

    The mer operon confers bacterial resistance to inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and organomercurials by encoding proteins involved in sensing, transport and detoxification of these cytotoxic agents. Expression of the mer operon is under tight control by the dual-function transcriptional regulator MerR. The metal-free, apo MerR binds to the mer operator/promoter region as a repressor to block transcription initiation, but is converted into an activator upon Hg2+-binding. To understand how MerR interacts with Hg2+ and how Hg2+-binding modulates MerR function, we report here the crystal structures of apo and Hg2+-bound MerR from Bacillus megaterium, corresponding respectively to the repressor and activator conformation of MerR. To our knowledge, the apo-MerR structure represents the first visualization of a MerR family member in its intact and inducer-free form. And the Hg2+-MerR structure offers the first view of a triligated Hg2+-thiolate center in a metalloprotein, confirming that MerR binds Hg2+ via trigonal planar coordination geometry. Structural comparison revealed the conformational transition of MerR is coupled to the assembly/disassembly of a buried Hg2+ binding site, thereby providing a structural basis for the Hg2+-mediated functional switching of MerR. The pronounced Hg2+-induced repositioning of the MerR DNA-binding domains suggests a plausible mechanism for the transcriptional regulation of the mer operon. PMID:26150423

  2. MerTK cleavage limits proresolving mediator biosynthesis and exacerbates tissue inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Bishuang; Thorp, Edward B.; Doran, Amanda C.; Subramanian, Manikandan; Sansbury, Brian E.; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Spite, Matthew; Fredman, Gabrielle; Tabas, Ira

    2016-01-01

    The acute inflammatory response requires a coordinated resolution program to prevent excessive inflammation, repair collateral damage, and restore tissue homeostasis, and failure of this response contributes to the pathology of numerous chronic inflammatory diseases. Resolution is mediated in part by long-chain fatty acid-derived lipid mediators called specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs). However, how SPMs are regulated during the inflammatory response, and how this process goes awry in inflammatory diseases, are poorly understood. We now show that signaling through the Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MerTK) receptor in cultured macrophages and in sterile inflammation in vivo promotes SPM biosynthesis by a mechanism involving an increase in the cytoplasmic:nuclear ratio of a key SPM biosynthetic enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase. This action of MerTK is linked to the resolution of sterile peritonitis and, after ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury, to increased circulating SPMs and decreased remote organ inflammation. MerTK is susceptible to ADAM metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17)-mediated cell-surface cleavage under inflammatory conditions, but the functional significance is not known. We show here that SPM biosynthesis is increased and inflammation resolution is improved in a new mouse model in which endogenous MerTK was replaced with a genetically engineered variant that is cleavage-resistant (MertkCR). MertkCR mice also have increased circulating levels of SPMs and less lung injury after I/R. Thus, MerTK cleavage during inflammation limits SPM biosynthesis and the resolution response. These findings contribute to our understanding of how SPM synthesis is regulated during the inflammatory response and suggest new therapeutic avenues to boost resolution in settings where defective resolution promotes disease progression. PMID:27199481

  3. MerTK cleavage limits proresolving mediator biosynthesis and exacerbates tissue inflammation.

    PubMed

    Cai, Bishuang; Thorp, Edward B; Doran, Amanda C; Subramanian, Manikandan; Sansbury, Brian E; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Spite, Matthew; Fredman, Gabrielle; Tabas, Ira

    2016-06-07

    The acute inflammatory response requires a coordinated resolution program to prevent excessive inflammation, repair collateral damage, and restore tissue homeostasis, and failure of this response contributes to the pathology of numerous chronic inflammatory diseases. Resolution is mediated in part by long-chain fatty acid-derived lipid mediators called specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs). However, how SPMs are regulated during the inflammatory response, and how this process goes awry in inflammatory diseases, are poorly understood. We now show that signaling through the Mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase (MerTK) receptor in cultured macrophages and in sterile inflammation in vivo promotes SPM biosynthesis by a mechanism involving an increase in the cytoplasmic:nuclear ratio of a key SPM biosynthetic enzyme, 5-lipoxygenase. This action of MerTK is linked to the resolution of sterile peritonitis and, after ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, to increased circulating SPMs and decreased remote organ inflammation. MerTK is susceptible to ADAM metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17)-mediated cell-surface cleavage under inflammatory conditions, but the functional significance is not known. We show here that SPM biosynthesis is increased and inflammation resolution is improved in a new mouse model in which endogenous MerTK was replaced with a genetically engineered variant that is cleavage-resistant (Mertk(CR)). Mertk(CR) mice also have increased circulating levels of SPMs and less lung injury after I/R. Thus, MerTK cleavage during inflammation limits SPM biosynthesis and the resolution response. These findings contribute to our understanding of how SPM synthesis is regulated during the inflammatory response and suggest new therapeutic avenues to boost resolution in settings where defective resolution promotes disease progression.

  4. Microbially mediated mineral carbonation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Power, I. M.; Wilson, S. A.; Dipple, G. M.; Southam, G.

    2010-12-01

    Mineral carbonation involves silicate dissolution and carbonate precipitation, which are both natural processes that microorganisms are able to mediate in near surface environments (Ferris et al., 1994; Eq. 1). (Ca,Mg)SiO3 + 2H2CO3 + H2O → (Ca,Mg)CO3 + H2O + H4SiO4 + O2 (1) Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophs with cell surface characteristics and metabolic processes involving inorganic carbon that can induce carbonate precipitation. This occurs partly by concentrating cations within their net-negative cell envelope and through the alkalinization of their microenvironment (Thompson & Ferris, 1990). Regions with mafic and ultramafic bedrock, such as near Atlin, British Columbia, Canada, represent the best potential sources of feedstocks for mineral carbonation. The hydromagnesite playas near Atlin are a natural biogeochemical model for the carbonation of magnesium silicate minerals (Power et al., 2009). Field-based studies at Atlin and corroborating laboratory experiments demonstrate the ability of a microbial consortium dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria to induce the precipitation of carbonate minerals. Phototrophic microbes, such as cyanobacteria, have been proposed as a means for producing biodiesel and other value added products because of their efficiency as solar collectors and low requirement for valuable, cultivable land in comparison to crops (Dismukes et al., 2008). Carbonate precipitation and biomass production could be facilitated using specifically designed ponds to collect waters rich in dissolved cations (e.g., Mg2+ and Ca2+), which would allow for evapoconcentration and provide an appropriate environment for growth of cyanobacteria. Microbially mediated carbonate precipitation does not require large quantities of energy or chemicals needed for industrial systems that have been proposed for rapid carbon capture and storage via mineral carbonation (e.g., Lackner et al., 1995). Therefore, this biogeochemical approach may represent a readily

  5. Development and evaluation of 50-mer oligonucleotide arrays for detecting microbial populations in Acid Mine Drainages and bioleaching systems.

    PubMed

    Yin, Huaqun; Cao, Linhui; Qiu, Guanzhou; Wang, Dianzuo; Kellogg, Laurie; Zhou, Jizhong; Dai, Zhimin; Liu, Xueduan

    2007-07-01

    To effectively monitor microbial populations in acidic environments and bioleaching systems, a comprehensive 50-mer-based oligonucleotide microarray was developed based on most of the known genes associated with the acidophiles. This array contained 1,072 probes in which there were 571 related to 16S rRNA and 501 related to functional genes. The functional genes in the microarray were involved in carbon metabolism (158), nitrogen metabolism (72), sulfur metabolism (39), iron metabolism (68), DNA replication and repair (97), metal-resistance (27), membrane-relate gene (16), transposon (13) and IST sequence (11). Based on the results of microarray hybridizations, specificity tests with representative pure cultures indicated that the designed probes on the arrays appeared to be specific to their corresponding target genes. The detection limit was 5 ng of genomic DNA in the absence of background DNA. Strong linear relationships between the signal intensity and the target DNA were observed (r(2) approximately 0.98). Application of this type of the microarray to analyze the acidic environments and bioleaching systems demonstrated that the developed microarray appeared to be useful for profiling differences in microbial community structures of acidic environments and bioleaching systems. Our results indicate that this technology has potential as a specific, sensitive, and quantitative tool in revealing a comprehensive picture of the compositions of genes related with acidophilic microorganism and the microbial community in acidic environments and bioleaching systems, although more work is needed to improve.

  6. Mercuric reductase genes (merA) and mercury resistance plasmids in High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine.

    PubMed

    Møller, Annette K; Barkay, Tamar; Hansen, Martin A; Norman, Anders; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Boyd, Eric S; Kroer, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial reduction in Hg(2+) to Hg(0) , mediated by the mercuric reductase (MerA), is important in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in temperate environments. Little is known about the occurrence and diversity of merA in the Arctic. Seven merA determinants were identified among bacterial isolates from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Three determinants in Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria showed < 92% (amino acid) sequence similarity to known merA, while one merA homologue in Alphaproteobacteria and 3 homologues from Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were > 99% similar to known merA's. Phylogenetic analysis showed the Bacteroidetes merA to be part of an early lineage in the mer phylogeny, whereas the Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria merA appeared to have evolved recently. Several isolates, in which merA was not detected, were able to reduce Hg(2+) , suggesting presence of unidentified merA genes. About 25% of the isolates contained plasmids, two of which encoded mer operons. One plasmid was a broad host-range IncP-α plasmid. No known incompatibility group could be assigned to the others. The presence of conjugative plasmids, and an incongruent distribution of merA within the taxonomic groups, suggests horizontal transfer of merA as a likely mechanism for High Arctic microbial communities to adapt to changing mercury concentration.

  7. Role of MerC, MerE, MerF, MerT, and/or MerP in resistance to mercurials and the transport of mercurials in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Sone, Yuka; Nakamura, Ryosuke; Pan-Hou, Hidemitsu; Itoh, Tomoo; Kiyono, Masako

    2013-01-01

    The characteristics of bacteria take up mercury into cells via membrane potential-dependent sequence-divergent members of the mercuric ion (Mer) superfamily, i.e., a periplasmic mercuric ion scavenging protein (MerP) and one or more inner membrane-spanning proteins (MerC, MerE, MerF, and MerT), which transport mercuric ions into the cytoplasm, have been applied in engineering of bioreactor used for mercurial bioremediation. We engineered bacteria to express MerC, MerE, MerF, or MerT with or without MerP to clarify their individual role and potential in transport of mercurial. By immunoblot analysis using specific polyclonal antibody, the proteins encoded by merC, merE, merF, merT or merP, were certainly expressed and identified in the membrane fraction. Bacteria expressing MerC, MerE, MerF or MerT in the absence of MerP transported significantly more C6H5Hg(I) and Hg(II) across bacterial membrane than their isogenic strain. In vivo expression of MerP in the presence of all the transporters did not cause apparent difference to the C6H5Hg(I) transport, but gives an apparently higher Hg(II) transport than that did by MerE, MerF or MerT but not by MerC. Among the four transporters studied, MerC showed more potential to transport Hg(II) across bacterial membrane than MerE, MerF and MerT. Together these findings, we demonstrated for the first time that in addition to MerE and MerT, MerF and MerC are broad-spectrum mercury transporters that mediate both Hg(II) and phenylmercury transport into cells. Our results suggested that MerC is the most efficient tool for designing mercurial bioremediation systems, because MerC is sufficient for mercurial transport into cells.

  8. One-Pot Reverse Transcriptional Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) for Detecting MERS-CoV

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Se Hee; Baek, Yun Hee; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Choi, Young-Ki; Song, Min-Suk; Ahn, Ji-Young

    2017-01-01

    Due to the limitation of rapid development of specific antiviral drug or vaccine for novel emerging viruses, an accurate and rapid diagnosis is a key to manage the virus spread. We developed an efficient and rapid method with high specificity for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), based on one-pot reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (one-pot RT-LAMP). A set of six LAMP primers [F3, B3, FIP, BIP, LF (Loop-F), and LB (Loop-B)] were designed using the sequence of nucleocapsid (N) gene with optimized RT-LAMP enzyme conditions: 100 U M-MLV RTase and 4 U Bst polymerase, implying that the reaction was able to detect four infectious viral genome copies of MERS-CoV within a 60 min reaction time period. Significantly, EvaGreen dye has better signal read-out properties in one-pot RT-LAMP reaction and is more compatible with DNA polymerase than SYBR green I. Isothermally amplified specific N genes were further evaluated using field-deployable microchamber devices, leading to the specific identification of as few as 0.4 infectious viral genome copies, with no cross-reaction to the other acute respiratory disease viruses, including influenza type A (H1N1 and H3N2), type B, human coronavirus 229E, and human metapneumovirus. This sensitive, specific and feasible method provides a large-scale technical support in emergencies, and is also applied as a sample-to-detection module in Point of Care Testing devices. PMID:28119682

  9. One-Pot Reverse Transcriptional Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) for Detecting MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Lee, Se Hee; Baek, Yun Hee; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Choi, Young-Ki; Song, Min-Suk; Ahn, Ji-Young

    2016-01-01

    Due to the limitation of rapid development of specific antiviral drug or vaccine for novel emerging viruses, an accurate and rapid diagnosis is a key to manage the virus spread. We developed an efficient and rapid method with high specificity for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), based on one-pot reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (one-pot RT-LAMP). A set of six LAMP primers [F3, B3, FIP, BIP, LF (Loop-F), and LB (Loop-B)] were designed using the sequence of nucleocapsid (N) gene with optimized RT-LAMP enzyme conditions: 100 U M-MLV RTase and 4 U Bst polymerase, implying that the reaction was able to detect four infectious viral genome copies of MERS-CoV within a 60 min reaction time period. Significantly, EvaGreen dye has better signal read-out properties in one-pot RT-LAMP reaction and is more compatible with DNA polymerase than SYBR green I. Isothermally amplified specific N genes were further evaluated using field-deployable microchamber devices, leading to the specific identification of as few as 0.4 infectious viral genome copies, with no cross-reaction to the other acute respiratory disease viruses, including influenza type A (H1N1 and H3N2), type B, human coronavirus 229E, and human metapneumovirus. This sensitive, specific and feasible method provides a large-scale technical support in emergencies, and is also applied as a sample-to-detection module in Point of Care Testing devices.

  10. Real-Time Sequence-Validated Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assays for Detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    Bhadra, Sanchita; Jiang, Yu Sherry; Kumar, Mia R.; Johnson, Reed F.; Hensley, Lisa E.; Ellington, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), an emerging human coronavirus, causes severe acute respiratory illness with a 35% mortality rate. In light of the recent surge in reported infections we have developed asymmetric five-primer reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assays for detection of MERS-CoV. Isothermal amplification assays will facilitate the development of portable point-of-care diagnostics that are crucial for management of emerging infections. The RT-LAMP assays are designed to amplify MERS-CoV genomic loci located within the open reading frame (ORF)1a and ORF1b genes and upstream of the E gene. Additionally we applied one-step strand displacement probes (OSD) for real-time sequence-specific verification of LAMP amplicons. Asymmetric amplification effected by incorporating a single loop primer in each assay accelerated the time-to-result of the OSD-RT-LAMP assays. The resulting assays could detect 0.02 to 0.2 plaque forming units (PFU) (5 to 50 PFU/ml) of MERS-CoV in infected cell culture supernatants within 30 to 50 min and did not cross-react with common human respiratory pathogens. PMID:25856093

  11. k-merSNP discovery: Software for alignment-and reference-free scalable SNP discovery, phylogenetics, and annotation for hundreds of microbial genomes

    SciTech Connect

    2014-11-18

    With the flood of whole genome finished and draft microbial sequences, we need faster, more scalable bioinformatics tools for sequence comparison. An algorithm is described to find single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in whole genome data. It scales to hundreds of bacterial or viral genomes, and can be used for finished and/or draft genomes available as unassembled contigs or raw, unassembled reads. The method is fast to compute, finding SNPs and building a SNP phylogeny in minutes to hours, depending on the size and diversity of the input sequences. The SNP-based trees that result are consistent with known taxonomy and trees determined in other studies. The approach we describe can handle many gigabases of sequence in a single run. The algorithm is based on k-mer analysis.

  12. Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures

    PubMed Central

    Tisato, Nicola; Torriani, Stefano F. F.; Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Tavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia M.; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso R. R.

    2015-01-01

    Helictites—an enigmatic type of mineral structure occurring in some caves—differ from classical speleothems as they develop with orientations that defy gravity. While theories for helictite formation have been forwarded, their genesis remains equivocal. Here, we show that a remarkable suite of helictites occurring in Asperge Cave (France) are formed by biologically-mediated processes, rather than abiotic processes as had hitherto been proposed. Morphological and petro-physical properties are inconsistent with mineral precipitation under purely physico-chemical control. Instead, microanalysis and molecular-biological investigation reveals the presence of a prokaryotic biofilm intimately associated with the mineral structures. We propose that microbially-influenced mineralization proceeds within a gliding biofilm which serves as a nucleation site for CaCO3, and where chemotaxis influences the trajectory of mineral growth, determining the macroscopic morphology of the speleothems. The influence of biofilms may explain the occurrence of similar speleothems in other caves worldwide, and sheds light on novel biomineralization processes. PMID:26510667

  13. Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures.

    PubMed

    Tisato, Nicola; Torriani, Stefano F F; Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Tavagna, Maria Luisa; D'Angeli, Ilenia M; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I; Bontognali, Tomaso R R

    2015-10-29

    Helictites--an enigmatic type of mineral structure occurring in some caves--differ from classical speleothems as they develop with orientations that defy gravity. While theories for helictite formation have been forwarded, their genesis remains equivocal. Here, we show that a remarkable suite of helictites occurring in Asperge Cave (France) are formed by biologically-mediated processes, rather than abiotic processes as had hitherto been proposed. Morphological and petro-physical properties are inconsistent with mineral precipitation under purely physico-chemical control. Instead, microanalysis and molecular-biological investigation reveals the presence of a prokaryotic biofilm intimately associated with the mineral structures. We propose that microbially-influenced mineralization proceeds within a gliding biofilm which serves as a nucleation site for CaCO3, and where chemotaxis influences the trajectory of mineral growth, determining the macroscopic morphology of the speleothems. The influence of biofilms may explain the occurrence of similar speleothems in other caves worldwide, and sheds light on novel biomineralization processes.

  14. Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tisato, Nicola; Torriani, Stefano F. F.; Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; de Waele, Jo; Tavagna, Maria Luisa; D'Angeli, Ilenia M.; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso R. R.

    2015-10-01

    Helictites—an enigmatic type of mineral structure occurring in some caves—differ from classical speleothems as they develop with orientations that defy gravity. While theories for helictite formation have been forwarded, their genesis remains equivocal. Here, we show that a remarkable suite of helictites occurring in Asperge Cave (France) are formed by biologically-mediated processes, rather than abiotic processes as had hitherto been proposed. Morphological and petro-physical properties are inconsistent with mineral precipitation under purely physico-chemical control. Instead, microanalysis and molecular-biological investigation reveals the presence of a prokaryotic biofilm intimately associated with the mineral structures. We propose that microbially-influenced mineralization proceeds within a gliding biofilm which serves as a nucleation site for CaCO3, and where chemotaxis influences the trajectory of mineral growth, determining the macroscopic morphology of the speleothems. The influence of biofilms may explain the occurrence of similar speleothems in other caves worldwide, and sheds light on novel biomineralization processes.

  15. Microbially mediated barite dissolution in anoxic brines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ouyang, Bingjie; Akob, Denise M.; Dunlap, Darren S.; Renock, Devon

    2017-01-01

    Fluids injected into shale formations during hydraulic fracturing of black shale return with extraordinarily high total-dissolved-solids (TDS) and high concentrations of barium (Ba) and radium (Ra). Barite, BaSO4, has been implicated as a possible source of Ba as well as a problematic mineral scale that forms on internal well surfaces, often in close association with radiobarite, (Ba,Ra)SO4. The dissolution of barite by abiotic processes is well quantified. However, the identification of microbial communities in flowback and produced water necessitates the need to understand barite dissolution in the presence of bacteria. Therefore, we evaluated the rates and mechanisms of abiotic and microbially-mediated barite dissolution under anoxic and hypersaline conditions in the laboratory. Barite dissolution experiments were conducted with bacterial enrichment cultures established from produced water from Marcellus Shale wells located in northcentral Pennsylvania. These cultures were dominated by anaerobic halophilic bacteria from the genus Halanaerobium. Dissolved Ba was determined by ICP-OES and barite surfaces were investigated by SEM and AFM. Our results reveal that: 1) higher amounts of barium (up to ∼5 × ) are released from barite in the presence of Halanaerobium cultures compared to brine controls after 30 days of reaction, 2) etch pits that develop on the barite (001) surface in the presence of Halanaerobium exhibit a morphology that is distinct from those that form during control experiments without bacteria, 3) etch pits that develop in the presence of Halanaerobium exhibit a morphology that is similar to the morphology of etch pits formed in the presence of strong organic chelators, EDTA and DTPA, and 4) experiments using dialysis membranes to separate barite from bacteria suggest that direct contact between the two is not required in order to promote dissolution. These results suggest that Halanaerobium increase the rate of barite dissolution in anoxic and

  16. Chlorine stress mediates microbial surface attachment in drinking water systems.

    PubMed

    Liu, Li; Le, Yang; Jin, Juliang; Zhou, Yuliang; Chen, Guowei

    2015-03-01

    Microbial attachment to drinking water pipe surfaces facilitates pathogen survival and deteriorates disinfection performance, directly threatening the safety of drinking water. Notwithstanding that the formation of biofilm has been studied for decades, the underlying mechanisms for the origins of microbial surface attachment in biofilm development in drinking water pipelines remain largely elusive. We combined experimental and mathematical methods to investigate the role of environmental stress-mediated cell motility on microbial surface attachment in chlorination-stressed drinking water distribution systems. Results show that at low levels of disinfectant (0.0-1.0 mg/L), the presence of chlorine promotes initiation of microbial surface attachment, while higher amounts of disinfectant (>1.0 mg/L) inhibit microbial attachment. The proposed mathematical model further demonstrates that chlorination stress (0.0-5.0 mg/L)-mediated microbial cell motility regulates the frequency of cell-wall collision and thereby controls initial microbial surface attachment. The results reveal that transport processes and decay patterns of chlorine in drinking water pipelines regulate microbial cell motility and, thus, control initial surface cell attachment. It provides a mechanistic understanding of microbial attachment shaped by environmental disinfection stress and leads to new insights into microbial safety protocols in water distribution systems.

  17. Structural basis for the neutralization of MERS-CoV by a human monoclonal antibody MERS-27

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Senyan; Jiang, Liwei; Cui, Ye; Li, Dongxia; Wang, Dongli; Wang, Nianshuang; Fu, Lili; Shi, Xuanlin; Li, Ziqiang; Zhang, Linqi; Wang, Xinquan

    2015-01-01

    The recently reported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe respiratory illness in humans with an approximately 30% mortality rate. The envelope spike glycoprotein on the surface of MERS-CoV mediates receptor binding, membrane fusion, and viral entry. We previously reported two human monoclonal antibodies that target the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike and exhibit strong neutralization activity against live and pesudotyped MERS-CoV infection. Here we determined the crystal structure of MERS-CoV RBD bound to the Fab fragment of MERS-27 antibody at 3.20 Å resolution. The MERS-27 epitope in the RBD overlaps with the binding site of the MERS-CoV receptor DPP4. Further biochemical, viral entry, and neutralization analyses identified two critical residues in the RBD for both MERS-27 recognition and DPP4 binding. One of the residues, Trp535, was found to function as an anchor residue at the binding interface with MERS-27. Upon receptor binding, Trp535 interacts with the N-linked carbohydrate moiety of DPP4. Thus, MERS-27 inhibits MERS-CoV infection by directly blocking both protein-protein and protein-carbohydrate interactions between MERS-CoV RBD and DPP4. These results shed light on the molecular basis of MERS-27 neutralization and will assist in the optimization of MERS-27 as a tool to combat MERS-CoV infection. PMID:26281793

  18. Allelopathy-mediated Competition in Microbial Mats from Antarctic Lakes.

    PubMed

    Slattery, Marc; Lesser, Michael P

    2017-02-18

    Microbial mats are vertically stratified communities that host a complex consortium of microorganisms, dominated by cyanobacteria, that compete for available nutrients and environmental niches, within these extreme habitats. The Antarctic Dry Valleys near McMurdo Sound include a series of lakes within the drainage basin that are bisected by glacial traverses. These lakes are traditionally independent, but recent increases in glacial melting have allowed two lakes (Chad and Hoare) to become connected by a meltwater stream. Microbial mats were collected from these lakes, and cultured under identical conditions at the McMurdo Station laboratory. Replicate pairings of the microbial mats exhibited consistent patterns of growth inhibition indicative of competitive dominance. Natural products were extracted from the microbial mats, and a disc diffusion assay was utilized to show that allelochemical compounds mediate competitive interactions. Both microscopy and 16S rRNA sequencing show that these mats contain significant populations of cyanobacteria known to produce allelochemicals. Two compounds were isolated from these microbial mats that might be important in the chemical ecology of these psychrophiles. In other disc:mat pairings, including extract versus mat of origin, the allelochemicals exhibited no effect. Taken together, these results indicate that Antarctic lake microbial mats can compete via allelopathy.

  19. Humic substances-mediated microbial reductive dehalogenation of triclosan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, L.; Xu, S.; Yang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The role of natural organic matter in regulating the redox reactions as an electron shuttle has received lots of attention, because it can significantly affect the environmental degradation of contaminants and biogeochemical cycles of major elements. However, up to date, limited studies examined the role of natural organic matter in affecting the microbial dehalogenation of emergent organohalides, a critical detoxification process. In this study, we investigated the humic substance (HS)-mediated microbial dehalogenation of triclosan, a widely used antimicrobial agent. We found that the presence of HS stimulated the microbial degradation of triclosan by Shewanella putrefaciens CN-32. In the absence of HS, the triclosan was degraded gradually, achieving 8.6% residual at 8 days. With HS, the residual triclosan was below 2% after 4 days. Cl- was confirmed by ion chromatography analysis, but the dehalogenation processes and other byproducts warrant further investigations. The impact of HS on the degradation of triclosan was highly dependent on the concentration of HS. When the HS was below 15 mg/L, the degradation rate constant for triclosan increased with the organic carbon concentration. Beyond that point, the increased organic carbon concentration decreased the degradation of triclosan. Microbially pre-reduced HS abiotically reduced triclosan, testifying the electron shuttling processes. These results indicate that dissolved organic matter plays a dual role in regulating the degradation of triclosan: it mediates electron transport and inhibits the bioavailability through complexation. Such novel organic matter-mediated reactions for organohalides are important for evaluating the natural attenuation of emergent contaminants and designing cost-effective engineering treatment.

  20. Microbially Mediated Kinetic Sulfur Isotope Fractionation: Reactive Transport Modeling Benchmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wanner, C.; Druhan, J. L.; Cheng, Y.; Amos, R. T.; Steefel, C. I.; Ajo Franklin, J. B.

    2014-12-01

    Microbially mediated sulfate reduction is a ubiquitous process in many subsurface systems. Isotopic fractionation is characteristic of this anaerobic process, since sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) favor the reduction of the lighter sulfate isotopologue (S32O42-) over the heavier isotopologue (S34O42-). Detection of isotopic shifts have been utilized as a proxy for the onset of sulfate reduction in subsurface systems such as oil reservoirs and aquifers undergoing uranium bioremediation. Reactive transport modeling (RTM) of kinetic sulfur isotope fractionation has been applied to field and laboratory studies. These RTM approaches employ different mathematical formulations in the representation of kinetic sulfur isotope fractionation. In order to test the various formulations, we propose a benchmark problem set for the simulation of kinetic sulfur isotope fractionation during microbially mediated sulfate reduction. The benchmark problem set is comprised of four problem levels and is based on a recent laboratory column experimental study of sulfur isotope fractionation. Pertinent processes impacting sulfur isotopic composition such as microbial sulfate reduction and dispersion are included in the problem set. To date, participating RTM codes are: CRUNCHTOPE, TOUGHREACT, MIN3P and THE GEOCHEMIST'S WORKBENCH. Preliminary results from various codes show reasonable agreement for the problem levels simulating sulfur isotope fractionation in 1D.

  1. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change.

    PubMed

    Crowther, Thomas W; Thomas, Stephen M; Maynard, Daniel S; Baldrian, Petr; Covey, Kristofer; Frey, Serita D; van Diepen, Linda T A; Bradford, Mark A

    2015-06-02

    Decomposition of organic material by soil microbes generates an annual global release of 50-75 Pg carbon to the atmosphere, ∼7.5-9 times that of anthropogenic emissions worldwide. This process is sensitive to global change factors, which can drive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks with the potential to enhance atmospheric warming. Although the effects of interacting global change factors on soil microbial activity have been a widespread ecological focus, the regulatory effects of interspecific interactions are rarely considered in climate feedback studies. We explore the potential of soil animals to mediate microbial responses to warming and nitrogen enrichment within a long-term, field-based global change study. The combination of global change factors alleviated the bottom-up limitations on fungal growth, stimulating enzyme production and decomposition rates in the absence of soil animals. However, increased fungal biomass also stimulated consumption rates by soil invertebrates, restoring microbial process rates to levels observed under ambient conditions. Our results support the contemporary theory that top-down control in soil food webs is apparent only in the absence of bottom-up limitation. As such, when global change factors alleviate the bottom-up limitations on microbial activity, top-down control becomes an increasingly important regulatory force with the capacity to dampen the strength of positive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks.

  2. MER SPICE Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sayfi, Elias

    2004-01-01

    MER SPICE Interface is a software module for use in conjunction with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and the SPICE software system of the Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility (NAIF) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (SPICE is used to acquire, record, and disseminate engineering, navigational, and other ancillary data describing circumstances under which data were acquired by spaceborne scientific instruments.) Given a Spacecraft Clock value, MER SPICE Interface extracts MER-specific data from SPICE kernels (essentially, raw data files) and calculates values for Planet Day Number, Local Solar Longitude, Local Solar Elevation, Local Solar Azimuth, and Local Solar Time (UTC). MER SPICE Interface was adapted from a subroutine, denoted m98SpiceIF written by Payam Zamani, that was intended to calculate SPICE values for the Mars Polar Lander. The main difference between MER SPICE Interface and m98SpiceIf is that MER SPICE Interface does not explicitly call CHRONOS, a time-conversion program that is part of a library of utility subprograms within SPICE. Instead, MER SPICE Interface mimics some portions of the CHRONOS code, the advantage being that it executes much faster and can efficiently be called from a pipeline of events in a parallel processing environment.

  3. Nutrient Limitation of Microbial Mediated Decomposition and Arctic Soil Chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melle, C. J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    effective soil age. My research is focused on addressing the questions of the extent of microbial N limitation in arctic tundra soils, the potential for co-limitation of labile C despite a high SOC environment, and the dependence, if any, nutrient limitation may have on the effective age of the soil. I have addressed these questions by conducting a laboratory soil incubation of factorial design with treatments of amended glucose, amended ammonium nitrate, and a control consisting of an addition of an equivalent volume of deionized water. Moist acid tundra soils possessing similar soil properties from two arctic sites of close proximity yet with varying deglaciation chronologies were utilized in my study. Soil properties of C-mineralization via respiration, microbial biomass, and nitrogen content in the forms of ammonium, nitrate, and total free amino acids and microbial extra-cellular enzyme production were assayed to determine the microbial response to the experimental treatments. Through the results of this work, I hope to better our understanding of biogeochemical cycling within arctic tundra ecosystems and the response to climate change by contributing to existing knowledge of nutrient limitation on microbial mediated decomposition of SOC in the arctic and how this may differ in soils of varying effective age.

  4. Embryo fossilization is a biological process mediated by microbial biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Elizabeth C.; Schollaert, Kaila L.; Nelson, David E.; Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Turner, F. Rudolf; Stein, Barry D.; Dong, Xiping; Bengtson, Stefan; Huldtgren, Therese; Stampanoni, Marco; Chongyu, Yin; Raff, Rudolf A.

    2008-01-01

    Fossilized embryos with extraordinary cellular preservation appear in the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian, coincident with the appearance of animal body fossils. It has been hypothesized that microbial processes are responsible for preservation and mineralization of organic tissues. However, the actions of microbes in preservation of embryos have not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, we show that bacterial biofilms assemble rapidly in dead marine embryos and form remarkable pseudomorphs in which the bacterial biofilm replaces and exquisitely models details of cellular organization and structure. The experimental model was the decay of cleavage stage embryos similar in size and morphology to fossil embryos. The data show that embryo preservation takes place in 3 distinct steps: (i) blockage of autolysis by reducing or anaerobic conditions, (ii) rapid formation of microbial biofilms that consume the embryo but form a replica that retains cell organization and morphology, and (iii) bacterially catalyzed mineralization. Major bacterial taxa in embryo decay biofilms were identified by using 16S rDNA sequencing. Decay processes were similar in different taphonomic conditions, but the composition of bacterial populations depended on specific conditions. Experimental taphonomy generates preservation states similar to those in fossil embryos. The data show how fossilization of soft tissues in sediments can be mediated by bacterial replacement and mineralization, providing a foundation for experimentally creating biofilms from defined microbial species to model fossilization as a biological process. PMID:19047625

  5. Microbial communities mediating algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Jessica M.; Murphy, Chelsea L.; Baker, Kristina; Zamor, Richard M.; Nikolai, Steve J.; Wilder, Shawn; Elshahed, Mostafa S.

    2017-01-01

    Background Algae encompass a wide array of photosynthetic organisms that are ubiquitously distributed in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Algal species often bloom in aquatic ecosystems, providing a significant autochthonous carbon input to the deeper anoxic layers in stratified water bodies. In addition, various algal species have been touted as promising candidates for anaerobic biogas production from biomass. Surprisingly, in spite of its ecological and economic relevance, the microbial community involved in algal detritus turnover under anaerobic conditions remains largely unexplored. Results Here, we characterized the microbial communities mediating the degradation of Chlorella vulgaris (Chlorophyta), Chara sp. strain IWP1 (Charophyceae), and kelp Ascophyllum nodosum (phylum Phaeophyceae), using sediments from an anaerobic spring (Zodlteone spring, OK; ZDT), sludge from a secondary digester in a local wastewater treatment plant (Stillwater, OK; WWT), and deeper anoxic layers from a seasonally stratified lake (Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, OK; GL) as inoculum sources. Within all enrichments, the majority of algal biomass was metabolized within 13–16 weeks, and the process was accompanied by an increase in cell numbers and a decrease in community diversity. Community surveys based on the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene identified different lineages belonging to the phyla Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria (alpha, delta, gamma, and epsilon classes), Spirochaetes, and Firmicutes that were selectively abundant under various substrate and inoculum conditions. Within all kelp enrichments, the microbial communities structures at the conclusion of the experiment were highly similar regardless of the enrichment source, and were dominated by the genus Clostridium, or family Veillonellaceae within the Firmicutes. In all other enrichments the final microbial community was dependent on the inoculum source, rather than the type of algae utilized as substrate. Lineages enriched

  6. MERS and SARS

    MedlinePlus

    ... transmission Therapeutics & Vaccines NIAID-funded researchers at the University of Washington are searching for MERS-CoV therapeutics ... Aureus Biocontainment Research Facilities Biosafety Laboratory Sites Rutgers University University of Alabama George Mason University Tufts University ...

  7. Microbially Mediated Glass Alteration in the Geological Record: Textural clues for Microbial Functions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staudigel, H.; Furnes, H.; McLoughlin, N.; Banerjee, N.

    2007-12-01

    Fe and Mn oxidizing microbes interact with their environment through the microbially mediated formation of Fe/Mn oxides and through the corrosion textures they may leave behind in the solids they colonize and from which they extract nutrients. Understanding the geo-biology of Fe and Mn oxidation may focus on the study of the microbes themselves, the mineral products, its biocorrosion features and the relationships between these types of observations. We have reviewed our own data on glass bio-corrosion and in particular the wider literature on microbial mineral tunneling to develop a two stage biocorrosion model for volcanic glass that offers feedback for our understanding of the mechanisms and the dynamics of microbial dissolution. Traces of microbially mediated dissolution of volcanic glass are commonly observed in volcanic glass found in submarine volcanoes on the seafloor, and in uplifted submarine volcanoes of almost any geological age back to the origin of life. Two main bioalteration textures care observed, granular and tubular. Based on a comparison of these features in particular with tunneling by ectomycorrhizal fungi, we propose two distinct types of biocorrosion that affects glass: (1) Granular alteration textures, made up of colonies of microbe-sized, near spherical mineral - filled cavities that form irregular clusters ranging to a tens of micron thick bands at the glas surfaces. These granular textures are interpreted as the result of microbial colonization. accompanied by dissolution of the glass in their contact surface, deposition of authigenic minerals and the formation of a biofilm, that eventually seals the glass from easy access by seawater for hydration, or from microbes accessing Fe (II) in the glass. (2) The most spectacular bioalteration feature, repesented by the formation of tubes cannot be easily formed by the former mechanism because near spherical, individual microbes are likely not to produce the directionality that is required to

  8. MerTK regulates thymic selection of autoreactive T cells.

    PubMed

    Wallet, Mark A; Flores, Rafael R; Wang, Yaming; Yi, Zuoan; Kroger, Charles J; Mathews, Clayton E; Earp, H Shelton; Matsushima, Glenn; Wang, Bo; Tisch, Roland

    2009-03-24

    T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes (T1D) are believed to be the result in part of inefficient negative selection of self-specific thymocytes. However, the events regulating thymic negative selection are not fully understood. In the current study, we demonstrate that nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice lacking expression of the Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) have reduced inflammation of the pancreatic islets and fail to develop diabetes. Furthermore, NOD mice deficient in MerTK expression (Mer(-/-)) exhibit a reduced frequency of beta cell-specific T cells independent of immunoregulatory effectors. The establishment of bone marrow chimeric mice demonstrated that the block in beta cell autoimmunity required hematopoietic-derived cells lacking MerTK expression. Notably, fetal thymic organ cultures and self-peptide administration showed increased thymic negative selection in Mer(-/-) mice. Finally, thymic dendritic cells (DC) prepared from Mer(-/-) mice exhibited an increased capacity to induce thymocyte apoptosis in a peptide-specific manner in vitro. These findings provide evidence for a unique mechanism involving MerTK-mediated regulation of thymocyte negative selection and thymic DC, and suggest a role for MerTK in contributing to beta cell autoimmunity.

  9. Microbial-mediated method for metal oxide nanoparticle formation

    DOEpatents

    Rondinone, Adam J.; Moon, Ji Won; Love, Lonnie J.; Yeary, Lucas W.; Phelps, Tommy J.

    2015-09-08

    The invention is directed to a method for producing metal oxide nanoparticles, the method comprising: (i) subjecting a combination of reaction components to conditions conducive to microbial-mediated formation of metal oxide nanoparticles, wherein said combination of reaction components comprise: metal-reducing microbes, a culture medium suitable for sustaining said metal-reducing microbes, an effective concentration of one or more surfactants, a reducible metal oxide component containing one or more reducible metal species, and one or more electron donors that provide donatable electrons to said metal-reducing microbes during consumption of the electron donor by said metal-reducing microbes; and (ii) isolating said metal oxide nanoparticles, which contain a reduced form of said reducible metal oxide component. The invention is also directed to metal oxide nanoparticle compositions produced by the inventive method.

  10. Phytoremediation using microbially mediated metal accumulation in Sorghum bicolor.

    PubMed

    Phieler, René; Merten, Dirk; Roth, Martin; Büchel, Georg; Kothe, Erika

    2015-12-01

    Reclaiming land that has been anthropogenically contaminated with multiple heavy metal elements, e.g., during mining operations, is a growing challenge worldwide. The use of phytoremediation has been discussed with varying success. Here, we show that a careful examination of options of microbial determination of plant performance is a key element in providing a multielement remediation option for such landscapes. We used both (a) mycorrhiza with Rhizophagus irregularis and (b) bacterial amendments with Streptomyces acidiscabies E13 and Streptomyces tendae F4 to mediate plant-promoting and metal-accumulating properties to Sorghum bicolor. In pot experiments, the effects on plant growth and metal uptake were scored, and in a field trial at a former uranium leaching heap site near Ronneburg, Germany, we could show the efficacy under field conditions. Different metals could be extracted at the same time, with varying microbial inoculation and soil amendment scenarios possible when a certain metal is the focus of interest. Especially, manganese was extracted at very high levels which might be useful even for phytomining approaches.

  11. MER Telemetry Processor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Hyun H.

    2012-01-01

    MERTELEMPROC processes telemetered data in data product format and generates Experiment Data Records (EDRs) for many instruments (HAZCAM, NAVCAM, PANCAM, microscopic imager, Moessbauer spectrometer, APXS, RAT, and EDLCAM) on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). If the data is compressed, then MERTELEMPROC decompresses the data with an appropriate decompression algorithm. There are two compression algorithms (ICER and LOCO) used in MER. This program fulfills a MER specific need to generate Level 1 products within a 60-second time requirement. EDRs generated by this program are used by merinverter, marscahv, marsrad, and marsjplstereo to generate higher-level products for the mission operations. MERTELEPROC was the first GDS program to process the data product. Metadata of the data product is in XML format. The software allows user-configurable input parameters, per-product processing (not streambased processing), and fail-over is allowed if the leading image header is corrupted. It is used within the MER automated pipeline. MERTELEMPROC is part of the OPGS (Operational Product Generation Subsystem) automated pipeline, which analyzes images returned by in situ spacecraft and creates level 1 products to assist in operations, science, and outreach.

  12. MER ARA pyroshock test results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Kurng Y.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents the shock test results achieved in the MER ARA/brush motor pyroshock qualification. The results of MER flight system pyrofiring tests in comparison with the ARA shock test requirements are discussed herein. Alternate test methods were developed in an effort to qualify the critical MER equipment for adequate performance in the actual flight pyroshock condition.

  13. THE NEAR-EQUILIBRIUM OF MICROBIALLY MEDIATED REDOX COUPLES IN REDUCING GROUNDWATER ENVIRONMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Redox couples are commonly held to be in disequilibrium among each other in most natural waters. To evaluate this view for microbially mediated, reducing, groundwater environments, monitoring data were examined for several couples under conditions ranging from nitrate-detectable...

  14. Analyzing MER Uplink Reports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savin, Stephen C.

    2005-01-01

    The MER project includes two rovers working simultaneously on opposite sides of Mars each receiving commands only once a day. Creating this uplink is critical, since a failed uplink means a lost day and a waste of money. Examining the process of creating this uplink, I tracked the use of the system developed for requesting observations as well as the development, from stage to stage, in forming an activity plan. I found the system for requesting observations was commonly misused, if used at all. There are half a dozen reports to document the creation of the uplink plan and often there are discrepancies among them. Despite this, the uplink process worked very well and MER has been one of the most successful missions for NASA in recent memory. Still it is clear there is room for improvement.

  15. MerR and ChrR mediate blue light induced photo-oxidative stress response at the transcriptional level in Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Tardu, Mehmet; Bulut, Selma; Kavakli, Ibrahim Halil

    2017-01-01

    Blue light (BL) is a major environmental factor that affects the physiology, behavior, and infectivity of bacteria as it contributes to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) while increasing photo-oxidative stress in cells. However, precise photo-oxidative response mechanism in non-phototrophic bacteria is yet to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effect of BL in Vibrio cholerae by using genetics and transcriptome profiling. Genome-wide analysis revealed that transcription of 6.3% of V. cholerae genes were regulated by BL. We further showed that BL enhances ROS production, which is generated through the oxidative phosphorylation. To understand signaling mechanisms, we generated several knockouts and analyzed their transcriptome under BL exposure. Studies with a double-knockout confirm an anti-sigma factor (ChrR) and putative metalloregulatory-like protein (MerR) are responsible for the genome-wide regulation to BL response in V. cholerae. Collectively, these results demonstrate that MerR-like proteins, in addition to ChrR, are required for V. cholerae to mount an appropriate response against photo-oxidative stress induced by BL. Outside its natural host, V. cholerae can survive for extended periods in natural aquatic environments. Therefore, the regulation of light response for V. cholerae may be a critical cellular process for its survival in these environments. PMID:28098242

  16. A biophysical index for predicting hydration-mediated microbial diversity in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G.; Or, D.

    2012-04-01

    Exploring the origins of soil microbial diversity represents an immense and uncharted scientific frontier. Progress in resolving mechanisms that promote and sustain the unparalleled soil microbial diversity found in soil requires development of process-based predictive tools that consider dynamic biophysical interactions at highly resolved spatial and temporal scales. We report a novel biophysical metric for hydration-mediated microbial coexistence in soils by integrating key biophysical variables, such as aquatic habitat size and connectivity, nutrient diffusion affecting microbial growth, and aqueous films controlling motility and dispersal, into a predictive index. Results show a surprisingly narrow range of hydration conditions (a few kPa) that mark a sharp transition from suppression (wet) to promotion (dry) of microbial diversity in unsaturated soils in agreement with limited observations and with simulation results based on individual-based models of competing populations. The framework enables systematic hypothesis testing for key factors that regulate microbial populations and affect soil bio-geochemical functions, and represents a step towards deciphering key mechanisms that support soil microbial diversity. New insights into the different roles of biophysical mechanisms in promoting soil microbial diversity enable predictions concerning microbial consortia function and bioremediation activities in soils, and may shape how we quantify microbial diversity within the context of land resources and biogeochemical cycling.

  17. Microbial mediated formation of low-temperature hydrothermal barite chimneys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorseth, I. H.; Steen, I. H.; Eickmann, B.; Dahle, H.; Baumberger, T.; Peters, M.; Strauss, H.; Pedersen, R. B.

    2012-12-01

    A low-temperature (20 degrees C) venting area with numerous active and extinct barite chimneys (up to 1 m tall) are located on the eastern flank of the hydrothermal mound of Loki's Castle black smoker field at the Mohns-Knipovich bend of the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge. The active barite chimneys are covered by white mats containing abundant microbial cells and extracellular material with attached barite crystals. Within the chimneys microbial cells are partly embedded in barite and crystals are covered by extracellular material. These observations indicate that the microbial material serve as a substrate for nucleation and precipitation of barite with the potential of having an important control on the construction of the chimneys. In addition, the presence of framboidal pyrite in black interior flow channels and in the underlying hydrothermal sediment further suggests that the chimney formation is linked to microbial sulphate reduction (MSR). To further investigate the relationship between chimney growth and microbial activity we used a combination of biomolecular and isotope analyses. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplicons of 16S rRNA followed by taxonomic classification revealed that sulphide oxidizers (Sulfurimonas) within the Epsilonproteobacteria dominate the microbial mats and the white barite of the chimney wall. In the black interior flow channel a more diverse microbial community was observed indicating methane, sulphur and ammonia oxidation as well as heterotrophic processes. Multiple isotope analyses (δ18O, δ34S, Δ33S) reveal that the barite chimneys precipitated from a fluid that was modified by subseafloor MSR in the sulphide mound. This is supported by the sulphur isotope signature of the framboidal pyrite, pore water, and mono- and disulphides extracted from the hydrothermal sediment as well as the biomolecular data. We suggest that the MSR was triggered by mixing of the H2 and CH4 rich high-temperature (320 degrees C) fluids and percolating seawater, which

  18. Preventing cleavage of Mer promotes efferocytosis and suppresses acute lung injury in bleomycin treated mice

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Ye-Ji; Lee, Seung-Hae; Youn, Young-So; Choi, Ji-Yeon; Song, Keung-Sub; Cho, Min-Sun; Kang, Jihee Lee

    2012-08-15

    Mer receptor tyrosine kinase (Mer) regulates macrophage activation and promotes apoptotic cell clearance. Mer activation is regulated through proteolytic cleavage of the extracellular domain. To determine if membrane-bound Mer is cleaved during bleomycin-induced lung injury, and, if so, how preventing the cleavage of Mer enhances apoptotic cell uptake and down-regulates pulmonary immune responses. During bleomycin-induced acute lung injury in mice, membrane-bound Mer expression decreased, but production of soluble Mer and activity as well as expression of disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) were enhanced . Treatment with the ADAM inhibitor TAPI-0 restored Mer expression and diminished soluble Mer production. Furthermore, TAPI-0 increased Mer activation in alveolar macrophages and lung tissue resulting in enhanced apoptotic cell clearance in vivo and ex vivo by alveolar macrophages. Suppression of bleomycin-induced pro-inflammatory mediators, but enhancement of hepatocyte growth factor induction were seen after TAPI-0 treatment. Additional bleomycin-induced inflammatory responses reduced by TAPI-0 treatment included inflammatory cell recruitment into the lungs, levels of total protein and lactate dehydrogenase activity in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, as well as caspase-3 and caspase-9 activity and alveolar epithelial cell apoptosis in lung tissue. Importantly, the effects of TAPI-0 on bleomycin-induced inflammation and apoptosis were reversed by coadministration of specific Mer-neutralizing antibodies. These findings suggest that restored membrane-bound Mer expression by TAPI-0 treatment may help resolve lung inflammation and apoptosis after bleomycin treatment. -- Highlights: ►Mer expression is restored by TAPI-0 treatment in bleomycin-stimulated lung. ►Mer signaling is enhanced by TAPI-0 treatment in bleomycin-stimulated lung. ►TAPI-0 enhances efferocytosis and promotes resolution of lung injury.

  19. The mechanism of neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis in Escherichia coli: menaquinone reduction.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Timothy D; Tran, Vi N; Mohamed, Abdelrhman; Renslow, Ryan; Biria, Saeid; Orfe, Lisa; Call, Douglas R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-09-01

    The aim of this work was to elucidate the mechanism of mediated microbial electrosynthesis via neutral red from an electrode to fermenting Escherichia coli cultures in a bioelectrochemical system. Chemical reduction of NAD(+) by reduced neutral red did not occur as predicted. Instead, neutral red was shown to reduce the menaquinone pool in the inner bacterial membrane. The reduced menaquinone pool altered fermentative metabolite production via the arcB redox-sensing cascade in the absence of terminal electron acceptors. When the acceptors DMSO, fumarate, or nitrate were provided, as many as 19% of the electrons trapped in the reduced acceptors were derived from the electrode. These results demonstrate the mechanism of neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis during fermentation as well as how neutral red enables microbial electrosynthesis of reduced terminal electron acceptors.

  20. The mechanism of neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis in Escherichia coli: menaquinone reduction

    PubMed Central

    Harrington, Timothy D.; Tran, Vi N.; Mohamed, Abdelrhman; Renslow, Ryan; Biria, Saeid; Orfe, Lisa; Call, Douglas R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to elucidate the mechanism of mediated microbial electrosynthesis via neutral red from an electrode to fermenting Escherichia coli cultures in a bioelectrochemical system. Chemical reduction of NAD+ by reduced neutral red did not occur as predicted. Instead, neutral red was shown to reduce the menaquinone pool in the inner bacterial membrane. The reduced menaquinone pool altered fermentative metabolite production via the arcB redoxsensing cascade in the absence of terminal electron acceptors. When the acceptors DMSO, fumarate, or nitrate were provided, as many as 19% of the electrons trapped in the reduced acceptors were derived from the electrode. These results demonstrate the mechanism of neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis during fermentation as well as how neutral red enables microbial electrosynthesis of reduced terminal electron acceptors. PMID:26094195

  1. Microbially Mediated Formation of Benzonaphthothiophenes from Benzo[b]thiophenes.

    PubMed

    Kropp, K G; Gonçalves, J A; Andersson, J T; Fedorak, P M

    1994-10-01

    Studies of the microbial metabolism of benzo[b]thiophene (molecular weight 134) by three Pseudomonas isolates showed the formation of benzothiophene sulfoxide, benzothiophene sulfone, and a sulfur-containing metabolite with a molecular weight of 234. Desulfurization of the high-molecular-weight product with nickel boride gave 1-phenylnaphthalene, indicating that the metabolite was benzo[b]naphtho[1,2-d]thiophene. Similarly, the isolates were capable of producing the analogous dimethyl-substituted benzonaphthothiophenes from methylbenzothiophenes that had the methyl substitution on the benzene ring. The formation of benzo[b] naphtho[1,2-d]thiophene was also observed when a petroleum-degrading mixed culture was incubated with benzothiophene-supplemented Prudhoe Bay crude oil. Investigations into the mechanism of formation of these high-molecular-weight compounds showed that they resulted from an abiotic, Diels-Alder-type condensation of two molecules of the sulfoxide, which were microbially produced from the respective benzothiophene, with the subsequent loss of two atoms of hydrogen and oxygen and one atom of sulfur. The condensation products also formed from the sulfoxides of benzothiophene and methylbenzothiophenes when the sulfoxides were enzymatically synthesized by oxidation of the benzothiophene with horse heart cytochrome c and H(2)O(2).

  2. Microbially-Mediated Precipitation of Calcium Carbonate Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kang, Ser Ku; Roh, Yul

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the biomineralization of carbonate minerals using microorganisms (Wu Do-1) enriched from rhodoliths. A 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that Wu Do-1 mainly contained Proteus mirabilis. The pH decreased from 6.5 to 5.3 over the first 4 days of incubation due to microbial oxidation of organic acids, after which it increased to 7.8 over the remaining incubation period. XRD analysis showed that the precipitates were Mg-rich cal- cite (MgxCa(1-x)CO3), whereas no precipitates were formed without the addition of Wu Do-1 in D-1 medium. SEM-EDS analyses showed that the Mg-rich calcite had a rhombohedron shape and consisted of Ca, Si and Mg with an extracelluar polymeric substance (EPS). In addition, TEM-EDS analyses revealed they were hexagon in shape, 500-700 nm in size, and composed of Ca, Mg, C, and O. These results indicated that Wu Do-1 induced precipitation of Mg-rich calcite on the cell walls and EPS via the accumulation of Ca and/or Mg ions. Therefore, microbial precipitation of carbonate nanoparticles may play an important role in metal and carbon biogeochemistry, as well as in carbon sequestration in natural environments.

  3. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MedlinePlus

    ... also been found in camels and in one bat. While it is believed to come from animals, ... Prevention. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Updated December 2, 2015. www.cdc. ...

  4. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MedlinePlus

    ... United Kingdom (UK), and United States of America (USA). CDC Commentary: Be on the Lookout for MERS- ... OIG 1600 Clifton Road Atlanta , GA 30329-4027 USA 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) , TTY: 888- ...

  5. Long- and short-term temperature responses of microbially-mediated boreal soil organic matter transformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Min, K.; Buckeridge, K. M.; Edwards, K. A.; Ziegler, S. E.; Billings, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Microorganisms use exoenzymes to decay soil organic matter into assimilable substrates, some of which are transformed into CO2. Microbial CO2 efflux contributes up to 60% of soil respiration, a feature that can change with temperature due to altered exoenzyme activities (short-term) and microbial communities producing different exoenzymes (longer-term). Often, however, microbial temperature responses are masked by factors that also change with temperature in soil, making accurate projections of microbial CO2 efflux with warming challenging. Using soils along a natural climate gradient similar in most respects except for temperature regime (Newfoundland Labrador Boreal Ecosystem Latitudinal Transect), we investigated short-vs. long-term temperature responses of microbially-mediated organic matter transformations. While incubating soils at 5, 15, and 25°C for 84 days, we measured exoenzyme activities, CO2 efflux rates and biomass, and extracted DNA at multiple times. We hypothesized that short-term, temperature-induced increases in exoenzyme activities and CO2 losses would be smaller in soils from warmer regions, because microbes presumably adapted to warmer regions should use assimilable substrates more efficiently and thus produce exoenzymes at a lower rate. While incubation temperature generally induced greater exoenzyme activities (p<0.001), exoenzymes' temperature responses depended on enzymes and regions (p<0.001). Rate of CO2 efflux was affected by incubation temperature (P<0.001), but not by region. Microbial biomass and DNA sequencing will reveal how microbial community abundance and composition change with short-vs. longer-term temperature change. Though short-term microbial responses to temperature suggest higher CO2 efflux and thus lower efficiency of resource use with warming, longer-term adaptations of microbial communities to warmer climates remain unknown; this work helps fill that knowledge gap.

  6. Biotic and abiotic properties mediating plant diversity effects on soil microbial communities in an experimental grassland.

    PubMed

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities.

  7. Biotic and Abiotic Properties Mediating Plant Diversity Effects on Soil Microbial Communities in an Experimental Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Markus; Habekost, Maike; Eisenhauer, Nico; Roscher, Christiane; Bessler, Holger; Engels, Christof; Oelmann, Yvonne; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Gleixner, Gerd

    2014-01-01

    Plant diversity drives changes in the soil microbial community which may result in alterations in ecosystem functions. However, the governing factors between the composition of soil microbial communities and plant diversity are not well understood. We investigated the impact of plant diversity (plant species richness and functional group richness) and plant functional group identity on soil microbial biomass and soil microbial community structure in experimental grassland ecosystems. Total microbial biomass and community structure were determined by phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis. The diversity gradient covered 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and 60 plant species and 1, 2, 3 and 4 plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs). In May 2007, soil samples were taken from experimental plots and from nearby fields and meadows. Beside soil texture, plant species richness was the main driver of soil microbial biomass. Structural equation modeling revealed that the positive plant diversity effect was mainly mediated by higher leaf area index resulting in higher soil moisture in the top soil layer. The fungal-to-bacterial biomass ratio was positively affected by plant functional group richness and negatively by the presence of legumes. Bacteria were more closely related to abiotic differences caused by plant diversity, while fungi were more affected by plant-derived organic matter inputs. We found diverse plant communities promoted faster transition of soil microbial communities typical for arable land towards grassland communities. Although some mechanisms underlying the plant diversity effect on soil microorganisms could be identified, future studies have to determine plant traits shaping soil microbial community structure. We suspect differences in root traits among different plant communities, such as root turnover rates and chemical composition of root exudates, to structure soil microbial communities. PMID:24816860

  8. Humic substances as a mediator for microbially catalyzed metal reduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Fraga, J.L.; Blunt-Harris, E. L.; Hayes, L.A.; Phillips, E.J.P.; Coates, J.D.

    1998-01-01

    The potential for humic substances to serve as a terminal electron acceptor in microbial respiration and to function as an electron shuttle between Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms and insoluble Fe(III) oxides was investigated. The Fe(III)-reducing microorganism Geobacter metallireducens conserved energy to support growth from electron transport to humics as evidenced by continued oxidation of acetate to carbon dioxide after as many as nine transfers in a medium with acetate as the electron donor and soil humic acids as the electron acceptor. Growth of G. metallireducens with poorly crystalline Fe(III) oxide as the electron acceptor was greatly stimulated by the addition of as little as 100 ??M of the humics analog, anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate. Other quinones investigated, including lawsone, menadione, and anthraquinone-2-sulfonate, also stimulated Fe(III) oxide reduction. A wide phylogenetic diversity of microorganisms capable of Fe(III) reduction were also able to transfer electrons to humics. Microorganisms which can not reduce Fe(III) could not reduce humics. Humics stimulated the reduction of structural Fe(III) in clay and the crystalline Fe(III) forms, goethite and hematite. These results demonstrate that electron shuttling between Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms and Fe(III) via humics not only accelerates the microbial reduction of poorly crystalline Fe(III) oxide, but also can facilitate the reduction of Fe(III) forms that are not typically reduced by microorganisms in the absence of humics. Addition of humic substances to enhance electron shuttling between Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms and Fe(III) oxides may be a useful strategy to stimulate the remediation of soils and sediments contaminated with organic or metal pollutants.

  9. Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.

    PubMed

    Haas, Andreas F; Nelson, Craig E; Rohwer, Forest; Wegley-Kelly, Linda; Quistad, Steven D; Carlson, Craig A; Leichter, James J; Hatay, Mark; Smith, Jennifer E

    2013-01-01

    producers were always estimated to be net autotrophic. However, estimates of microbial consumption of DOC at the reef scale surpassed the DOC exudation rates suggesting net consumption of DOC at the reef-scale. In situ mesocosm experiments using custom-made benthic chambers placed over different types of benthic communities exhibited identical trends to those found in incubation experiments. Here we provide the first comprehensive dataset examining direct primary producer-induced, and indirect microbially mediated alterations of elemental cycling in both benthic and planktonic reef environments over diurnal cycles. Our results highlight the variability of the influence of different benthic primary producers on microbial metabolism in reef ecosystems and the potential implications for energy transfer to higher trophic levels during shifts from coral to algal dominance on reefs.

  10. Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Craig E.; Rohwer, Forest; Wegley-Kelly, Linda; Quistad, Steven D.; Carlson, Craig A.; Leichter, James J.; Hatay, Mark; Smith, Jennifer E.

    2013-01-01

    producers were always estimated to be net autotrophic. However, estimates of microbial consumption of DOC at the reef scale surpassed the DOC exudation rates suggesting net consumption of DOC at the reef-scale. In situ mesocosm experiments using custom-made benthic chambers placed over different types of benthic communities exhibited identical trends to those found in incubation experiments. Here we provide the first comprehensive dataset examining direct primary producer-induced, and indirect microbially mediated alterations of elemental cycling in both benthic and planktonic reef environments over diurnal cycles. Our results highlight the variability of the influence of different benthic primary producers on microbial metabolism in reef ecosystems and the potential implications for energy transfer to higher trophic levels during shifts from coral to algal dominance on reefs. PMID:23882445

  11. Molecular mechanisms of CRISPR-mediated microbial immunity.

    PubMed

    Gasiunas, Giedrius; Sinkunas, Tomas; Siksnys, Virginijus

    2014-02-01

    Bacteriophages (phages) infect bacteria in order to replicate and burst out of the host, killing the cell, when reproduction is completed. Thus, from a bacterial perspective, phages pose a persistent lethal threat to bacterial populations. Not surprisingly, bacteria evolved multiple defense barriers to interfere with nearly every step of phage life cycles. Phages respond to this selection pressure by counter-evolving their genomes to evade bacterial resistance. The antagonistic interaction between bacteria and rapidly diversifying viruses promotes the evolution and dissemination of bacteriophage-resistance mechanisms in bacteria. Recently, an adaptive microbial immune system, named clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and which provides acquired immunity against viruses and plasmids, has been identified. Unlike the restriction–modification anti-phage barrier that subjects to cleavage any foreign DNA lacking a protective methyl-tag in the target site, the CRISPR–Cas systems are invader-specific, adaptive, and heritable. In this review, we focus on the molecular mechanisms of interference/immunity provided by different CRISPR–Cas systems.

  12. Plant roots alter microbial potential for mediation of soil organic carbon decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Firestone, M.; Shi, S.; Herman, D.; He, Z.; Zhou, J.

    2014-12-01

    Plant root regulation of soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition is a key controller of terrestrial C-cycling. Although many studies have tested possible mechanisms underlying plant "priming" of decomposition, few have investigated the microbial mediators of decomposition, which can be greatly influenced by plant activities. Here we examined effects of Avena fatua roots on decomposition of 13C-labeled root litter in a California grassland soil over two simulated growing-seasons. The presence of plant roots consistently suppressed rates of litter decomposition. Reduction of inorganic nitrogen (N) concentration in soil reduced but did not completely relieve this suppressive effect. The presence of plants significantly altered the abundance, composition and functional potential of microbial communities. Significantly higher signal intensities of genes capable of degrading low molecular weight organic compounds (e.g., glucose, formate and malate) were observed in microbial communities from planted soils, while microorganisms in unplanted soils had higher relative abundances of genes involved in degradation of some macromolecules (e.g., hemicellulose and lignin). Additionally, compared to unplanted soils, microbial communities from planted soils had higher signal intensities of proV and proW, suggesting microbial osmotic stress in planted soils. Possible mechanisms for the observed inhibition of decomposition are 1) microbes preferentially using simple substrates from root exudates and 2) soil drying by plant evapotranspiration impairing microbial activity. We propose a simple data-based model suggesting that the impacts of roots, the soil environment, and microbial community composition on decomposition processes result from impacts of these factors on the soil microbial functional gene potential.

  13. Role of Soil Microstructure in Microbially-mediated Drying Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, B. C.; Shor, L. M.; Gage, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The retention of soil moisture between rainfall or irrigation events is imperative to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems. Amplified weather conditions are expected to result in widespread reduction in soil moisture. Extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) produced by soil bacteria have the ability to influence soil moisture by (i) retaining water directly within the hydrogel matrix, and (ii) promoting an aggregated soil structure. We have developed microfluidic devices that emulate realistic soil microstructures and enable direct observation of EPS production and drying resistance. The objective of this study was to compare moisture retention in emulated soil micromodels containing different soil microstructures. "Aggregated" devices contain a greater number of small (<30 μm) and large (>100 μm) pores, while "non-aggregated" devices contained more intermediate-sized (30-100 μm) pores. Particle-size distributions, similar to a sandy loam, were identical in both cases. Dilute suspensions of either of two strains of Sinorhizobium meliloti were introduced into replicate micromodels: one strain produced EPS ("EPS+") and the other did not produce EPS ("EPS-"). Loaded micromodels were equilibrated at saturated conditions, then dried at 83% RH for several days. Direct observation showed micro-scale patterns of air infiltration. The rate and extent of moisture loss was determined as a function of bacterial strain and microstructure aggregation state. Results showed devices loaded with EPS+ bacteria retained moisture longer than devices loaded with EPS- bacteria. Moisture retention by EPS+ bacteria was enhanced in aggregated versus non-aggregated microstructures. This work illustrates how moisture retention in soil is the result of microbial processes acting within pore-scale soil microstructures. Validated microfluidics-based approaches may help quantitatively link pore-scale phenomena to ecosystem function.

  14. Calcium isotopic fractionation in microbially mediated gypsum precipitates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harouaka, Khadouja; Mansor, Muammar; Macalady, Jennifer L.; Fantle, Matthew S.

    2016-07-01

    Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) precipitation experiments were carried out at low pH in the presence of the sulfur oxidizing bacterium Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. The observed Ca isotopic fractionation (expressed as Δ44/40Cas-f = δ44/40Casolid-δ44/40Cafluid) at the end of each experimental time period (∼50 to 60 days) was -1.41‰ to -1.09‰ in the biotic experiments, -1.09‰ in the killed control, and -1.01‰ to -0.88‰ in the abiotic controls. As there were no strong differences in the solution chemistry and the rate at which gypsum precipitated in the biotic and abiotic controls, we deduce a biological Ca isotope effect on the order of -0.3‰. The isotope effect correlates with a difference in crystal aspect ratios between the biotic experiments (8.05 ± 3.99) and abiotic controls (31.9 ± 8.40). We hypothesize that soluble and/or insoluble organic compounds selectively inhibit crystal growth at specific crystal faces, and that the growth inhibition affects the fractionation factor associated with gypsum precipitation. The experimental results help explain Ca isotopic variability in gypsum sampled from a sulfidic cave system, in which gypsum crystals exhibiting a diversity of morphologies (microcrystalline to cm-scale needles) have a broad range of δ44/40Ca values (∼1.2-0.4‰) relative to the limestone wall (δ44/40Ca = 1.3‰). In light of the laboratory experiments, the variation in Ca isotope values in the caves can be interpreted as a consequence of gypsum precipitation in the presence of microbial organic matter and subsequent isotopic re-equilibration with the Ca source.

  15. MERS-CoV spike protein: Targets for vaccines and therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qihui; Wong, Gary; Lu, Guangwen; Yan, Jinghua; Gao, George F

    2016-09-01

    The disease outbreak caused by Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is still ongoing in the Middle East. Over 1700 people have been infected since it was first reported in September 2012. Despite great efforts, licensed vaccines or therapeutics against MERS-CoV remain unavailable. The MERS-CoV spike (S) protein is an important viral antigen known to mediate host-receptor binding and virus entry, as well as induce robust humoral and cell-mediated responses in humans during infection. In this review, we highlight the importance of the S protein in the MERS-CoV life cycle, summarize recent advances in the development of vaccines and therapeutics based on the S protein, and discuss strategies that can be explored to develop new medical countermeasures against MERS-CoV.

  16. Plant stimulation of soil microbial community succession: how sequential expression mediates soil carbon stabilization and turnover

    SciTech Connect

    Firestone, Mary

    2015-03-31

    It is now understood that most plant C is utilized or transformed by soil microorganisms en route to stabilization. Hence the composition of microbial communities that mediate decomposition and transformation of root C is critical, as are the metabolic capabilities of these communities. The change in composition and function of the C-transforming microbial communities over time in effect defines the biological component of soil C stabilization. Our research was designed to test 2 general hypotheses; the first two hypotheses are discussed first; H1: Root-exudate interactions with soil microbial populations results in the expression of enzymatic capacities for macromolecular, complex carbon decomposition; and H2: Microbial communities surrounding roots undergo taxonomic succession linked to functional gene activities as roots grow, mature, and decompose in soil. Over the term of the project we made significant progress in 1) quantifying the temporal pattern of root interactions with the soil decomposing community and 2) characterizing the role of root exudates in mediating these interactions.

  17. Microbial metabolism mediates interactions between dissolved organic matter and clay minerals in streamwater

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, W. R.; Battin, T. J.

    2016-01-01

    Sorption of organic molecules to mineral surfaces is an important control upon the aquatic carbon (C) cycle. Organo-mineral interactions are known to regulate the transport and burial of C within inland waters, yet the mechanisms that underlie these processes are poorly constrained. Streamwater contains a complex and dynamic mix of dissolved organic compounds that coexists with a range of organic and inorganic particles and microorganisms. To test how microbial metabolism and organo-mineral complexation alter amino acid and organic carbon fluxes we experimented with 13C-labelled amino acids and two common clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite). The addition of 13C-labelled amino acids stimulated increased microbial activity. Amino acids were preferentially mineralized by the microbial community, concomitant with the leaching of other (non-labelled) dissolved organic molecules that were removed from solution by clay-mediated processes. We propose that microbial processes mediate the formation of organo-mineral particles in streamwater, with potential implications for the biochemical composition of organic matter transported through and buried within fluvial environments. PMID:27481013

  18. Microbial metabolism mediates interactions between dissolved organic matter and clay minerals in streamwater.

    PubMed

    Hunter, W R; Battin, T J

    2016-08-02

    Sorption of organic molecules to mineral surfaces is an important control upon the aquatic carbon (C) cycle. Organo-mineral interactions are known to regulate the transport and burial of C within inland waters, yet the mechanisms that underlie these processes are poorly constrained. Streamwater contains a complex and dynamic mix of dissolved organic compounds that coexists with a range of organic and inorganic particles and microorganisms. To test how microbial metabolism and organo-mineral complexation alter amino acid and organic carbon fluxes we experimented with (13)C-labelled amino acids and two common clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite). The addition of (13)C-labelled amino acids stimulated increased microbial activity. Amino acids were preferentially mineralized by the microbial community, concomitant with the leaching of other (non-labelled) dissolved organic molecules that were removed from solution by clay-mediated processes. We propose that microbial processes mediate the formation of organo-mineral particles in streamwater, with potential implications for the biochemical composition of organic matter transported through and buried within fluvial environments.

  19. Microbial metabolism mediates interactions between dissolved organic matter and clay minerals in streamwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, W. R.; Battin, T. J.

    2016-08-01

    Sorption of organic molecules to mineral surfaces is an important control upon the aquatic carbon (C) cycle. Organo-mineral interactions are known to regulate the transport and burial of C within inland waters, yet the mechanisms that underlie these processes are poorly constrained. Streamwater contains a complex and dynamic mix of dissolved organic compounds that coexists with a range of organic and inorganic particles and microorganisms. To test how microbial metabolism and organo-mineral complexation alter amino acid and organic carbon fluxes we experimented with 13C-labelled amino acids and two common clay minerals (kaolinite and montmorillonite). The addition of 13C-labelled amino acids stimulated increased microbial activity. Amino acids were preferentially mineralized by the microbial community, concomitant with the leaching of other (non-labelled) dissolved organic molecules that were removed from solution by clay-mediated processes. We propose that microbial processes mediate the formation of organo-mineral particles in streamwater, with potential implications for the biochemical composition of organic matter transported through and buried within fluvial environments.

  20. Microbially mediated carbon mineralization: Geoengineering a carbon-neutral mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Power, I. M.; McCutcheon, J.; Harrison, A. L.; Wilson, S. A.; Dipple, G. M.; Southam, G.

    2013-12-01

    Ultramafic and mafic mine tailings are a potentially valuable feedstock for carbon mineralization, affording the mining industry an opportunity to completely offset their carbon emissions. Passive carbon mineralization has previously been documented at the abandoned Clinton Creek asbestos mine, and the active Diavik diamond mine and Mount Keith nickel mine, yet the majority of tailings remain unreacted. Examples of microbe-carbonate interactions at each mine suggest that biological pathways could be harnessed to promote carbon mineralization. In suitable environmental conditions, microbes can mediate geochemical processes to accelerate mineral dissolution, increase the supply of carbon dioxide (CO2), and induce carbonate precipitation, all of which may accelerate carbon mineralization. Tailings mineralogy and the availability of a CO2 point source are key considerations in designing tailings storage facilities (TSF) for optimizing carbon mineralization. We evaluate the efficacy of acceleration strategies including bioleaching, biologically induced carbonate precipitation, and heterotrophic oxidation of waste organics, as well as abiotic strategies including enhancing passive carbonation through modifying tailings management practices and use of CO2 point sources (Fig. 1). With the aim of developing carbon-neutral mines, implementation of carbon mineralization strategies into TSF design will be driven by economic incentives and public pressure for environmental sustainability in the mining industry. Figure 1. Schematic illustrating geoengineered scenarios for carbon mineralization of ultramafic mine tailings. Scenarios A and B are based on non-point and point sources of CO2, respectively.

  1. [Microbial reduction of Cu2+ mediated by electroactive biofilms].

    PubMed

    Liu, Yi; Zhou, Shun-Gui; Yuan, Yong; Liu, Zhi

    2014-04-01

    The formation, electron transfer mechanism and environmental effect of electrochemically active biofilms (EABs) have become a hot research topic in environmental science. In this study, bacteria were enriched on a carbon felt to form an EAB under controlled potential conditions. The electrochemical properties of the EAB were evaluated with electrochemical methods. The process of copper reduction and transformation mediated by the EAB was revealed. Analytical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were used to examine the morphology, content and state of copper in the biofilm. The results showed that the EAB could utilize acetate as electron donor to produce electrons and Cu2+ was reduced to Cu or Cu+. Laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) was employed to probe the toxic effects of Cu2+ on the EAB. Copper toxicity on the microbes was reduced in the presence of acetate because of the reduction transformation of Cu2+ to less toxic Cu or Cu+. The results from this study are expected to be instructive for using EABs to stabilize and recover copper from copper-contaminated environments.

  2. Monte Carlo evaluation of microbial-mediated contaminant reactions in heterogeneous aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohamed, Mohamed M. A.; Hatfield, Kirk; Hassan, Ahmed E.

    2006-08-01

    Monte Carlo simulations are conducted to evaluate microbial-mediated contaminant reactions in an aquifer comprised of spatially variable microbial biomass concentrations, aquifer hydraulic conductivities, and initial electron donor/acceptor concentrations. A finite element simulation model is used that incorporates advection, dispersion, and Monod kinetic expressions to describe biological processes. Comparisons between Monte Carlo simulations of heterogeneous systems and simulations using homogeneous formulation of the same two-dimensional transport problem are presented. For the assumed set of parameters, physical aquifer heterogeneity is found to have a minor effect on the mass of contaminant biodegraded/transformed when compared to a homogeneous system; however, it noticeably changes the dispersion, skewness, and peakness of contaminant concentration distributions. Similarly, for low microbial growth rate, given favorable microbial growth characteristics, biological heterogeneity has minor effect on the mass of contaminant biodegraded/transformed when compared to a homogeneous system. On the other hand, when higher effective growth rates are assumed, biological heterogeneity and spatial heterogeneities in essential electron donor/acceptors reduce the efficiency of biotic contaminant reactions; consequently, model simulations derived from heterogeneous biomass distributions predict remediation time scales that are longer than those simulated for homogeneous systems. When correlations between physical aquifer and biological heterogeneities are considered, the assumed correlation affects predicted mean and variance of contaminant concentration and biomass distributions. For example, an assumed negative correlation between hydraulic conductivity and the initial biomass distribution produces a plume where less efficient biotic contaminant reactions occur at the leading edge of the plume; this is consistent with less degradation/transformation occurring over regions

  3. Microbially-mediated transformation and mobilization of soil Fe-organic associations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poggenburg, Christine; Mikutta, Robert; Schippers, Axel; Dohrmann, Reiner; Kaufhold, Stephan; Guggenberger, Georg

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic matter (OM) has been proposed to be stabilized in the long term via sorption to iron((oxy)hydr)oxides under aerobic conditions. However, in an anaerobic environment, Fe-organic associations may be subject to microbial reduction and mobilization, which counteract the suggested stabilizing effect of Fe compounds. Desorption of OM can result in its microbial decomposition causing the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) or release of associated contaminants into the soil solution and groundwater. While the reductive dissolution of pure iron((oxy)hydr)oxides by dissimilatory FeIII reducing bacteria is well established, little is known about the influence of natural OM on microbially mediated mobilization of Fe-organic associations. Therefore, this study aims to elucidate the effect of adsorbed OM on microbial FeIII reduction of Fe-organic associations with regard to (i) the composition of OM, (ii) the carbon loading, and (iii) surface coverage and/or pore blockage by adsorbed OM. Mineral-organic associations with varying carbon contents were synthesized using several iron((oxy)hydr)oxides (Goethite, Lepidocrocite, Ferrihydrite, Hematite, Magnetite) and OM of different origin (dissolved OM extracted from the Oa horizon of a Podzol and Oi horizon of a Cambisol, extracellular polymeric substance extracted from Bacillus subtilis). Incubation experiments under anaerobic conditions were conducted for 16 days using two different strains of dissimilatory FeIII reducing bacteria (Shewanella putrefaciens, Geobacter metallireducens). At five sampling points in time the solution phase was analyzed for pH, Fetotal, and FeII. The initial mineral-organic associations and post-incubation phase were characterized by N2 gas adsorption, FTIR, XRD, and XPS. The results indicate that the composition of OM and carbon loading significantly influence the rate and extend of microbial reduction of Fe-organic associations depending on the type of microbial strain and iron

  4. Microbial mediation of biogeochemical cycles revealed by simulation of global changes with soil transplant and cropping.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mengxin; Xue, Kai; Wang, Feng; Liu, Shanshan; Bai, Shijie; Sun, Bo; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2014-10-01

    Despite microbes' key roles in driving biogeochemical cycles, the mechanism of microbe-mediated feedbacks to global changes remains elusive. Recently, soil transplant has been successfully established as a proxy to simulate climate changes, as the current trend of global warming coherently causes range shifts toward higher latitudes. Four years after southward soil transplant over large transects in China, we found that microbial functional diversity was increased, in addition to concurrent changes in microbial biomass, soil nutrient content and functional processes involved in the nitrogen cycle. However, soil transplant effects could be overridden by maize cropping, which was attributed to a negative interaction. Strikingly, abundances of nitrogen and carbon cycle genes were increased by these field experiments simulating global change, coinciding with higher soil nitrification potential and carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux. Further investigation revealed strong correlations between carbon cycle genes and CO2 efflux in bare soil but not cropped soil, and between nitrogen cycle genes and nitrification. These findings suggest that changes of soil carbon and nitrogen cycles by soil transplant and cropping were predictable by measuring microbial functional potentials, contributing to a better mechanistic understanding of these soil functional processes and suggesting a potential to incorporate microbial communities in greenhouse gas emission modeling.

  5. Microbial mediation of biogeochemical cycles revealed by simulation of global changes with soil transplant and cropping

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Mengxin; Xue, Kai; Wang, Feng; Liu, Shanshan; Bai, Shijie; Sun, Bo; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2014-01-01

    Despite microbes' key roles in driving biogeochemical cycles, the mechanism of microbe-mediated feedbacks to global changes remains elusive. Recently, soil transplant has been successfully established as a proxy to simulate climate changes, as the current trend of global warming coherently causes range shifts toward higher latitudes. Four years after southward soil transplant over large transects in China, we found that microbial functional diversity was increased, in addition to concurrent changes in microbial biomass, soil nutrient content and functional processes involved in the nitrogen cycle. However, soil transplant effects could be overridden by maize cropping, which was attributed to a negative interaction. Strikingly, abundances of nitrogen and carbon cycle genes were increased by these field experiments simulating global change, coinciding with higher soil nitrification potential and carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux. Further investigation revealed strong correlations between carbon cycle genes and CO2 efflux in bare soil but not cropped soil, and between nitrogen cycle genes and nitrification. These findings suggest that changes of soil carbon and nitrogen cycles by soil transplant and cropping were predictable by measuring microbial functional potentials, contributing to a better mechanistic understanding of these soil functional processes and suggesting a potential to incorporate microbial communities in greenhouse gas emission modeling. PMID:24694714

  6. Mediated microbial biosensor using a novel yeast strain for wastewater BOD measurement.

    PubMed

    Trosok, S P; Driscoll, B T; Luong, J H

    2001-08-01

    Two new yeast strains (SPT1 and SPT2) were isolated and immobilized on glassy carbon electrodes to form microbial biosensors for estimation of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Ferricyanide was proven to be the most efficient mediator to shuttle electrons from the redox center of reduced microbial enzymes to the electrode in the presence of excess glucose/glutamic acid (GGA). With a 3-fold greater metabolic assimilation capability and greater responses to various effluent samples, SPT1 was selected for sensor-BOD measurements. BOD estimations for the GGA standard resulted in an extended linear range: 2-100 mg/l. Response reproducibility was +/-10% for a GGA standard containing 10 mg BOD/l. For analysis of pulp mill effluents, the BOD detection limit was 2 mg/l with a response time of 5 min.

  7. Hydrodynamic Coupling in Microbially Mediated Fracture Mineralization: Formation of Self-Organized Groundwater Flow Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunn, R. J.; El Mountassir, G.; MacLachlan, E.; Moir, H.

    2013-12-01

    Evidence of fossilized microorganisms embedded within mineral veins and mineral-filled fractures has been observed in a wide range of geological environments. Microorganisms can act as sites for mineral nucleation and also contribute to mineral precipitation by inducing local geochemical changes. In this study, we explore fundamental controls on microbially induced mineralization in rock fractures. Specifically, we systematically investigate the influence of hydrodynamics (velocity, flow rate, aperture) on microbially mediated calcite precipitation. We use a case study of microbially induced calcite precipitation as a model biomineralization system to investigate potential feedback mechanisms between the temporally varying patterns of mineral precipitation within a fracture and the resulting variations in the local velocity field. Fractures are represented as a series of precision-etched parallel channels between a pair of sealed Perspex plates. Multiple channels are designed to maintain a constant flow rate, whilst independently adjusting channel aperture and width to explore the effects of aperture and fluid velocity on biomineral precipitation. Our experimental results demonstrate that a feedback mechanism exists between the gradual reduction in fracture aperture due to precipitation, and its effect on the local fluid velocity. This feedback results in mineral fill distributions that focus flow into a small number of self-organizing channels that remain open, ultimately controlling the final aperture profile that governs flow within the fracture. This feedback mechanism exists because precipitation on the fracture walls (as opposed to in solution) requires the bacteria to be transported to the fracture surface. Bacteria settle out of a quiescent solution at a velocity that is dependent on individual floc size and density. This settling velocity competes with the bed shear velocity, inhibiting deposition via entrainment. As precipitation progresses, the flow

  8. Microbial Mediation of Carbonate Precipitation: Biogeochemistry of Stromatolitic Mats of Lagoa Vermelha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasconcelos, C.; Visscher, P. T.; Mauclaire, L.; Warthmann, R. J.; McKenzie, J. A.

    2002-12-01

    Contemporary microbial mats are organosedimentary constructions, which have a structure similar to ancient stromatolites. However, only a few marine and hypersaline microbial mats have been found to precipitate carbonates. In addition, the formation of continuous laminae of carbonates has been observed only in Shark Bay (Western Australia) and Highborne Cay (Bahamas). Here, we describe microcrystalline carbonate precipitation in microbial mats of the moderate hypersaline lagoon, Lagoa Vermelha (RJ, Brazil), where precipitation of dolomite at ca. 15 cm depth in the sediments has been previously reported. The Lagoa Vermelha mats sustain high rates of photosynthesis, aerobic respiration, sulfate reduction and fermentation, resulting in large pH fluctuations in the upper 5-8 mm. Several discrete lithified calcium carbonate layers are present, in which the Mg content increases with depth. The first lithified layer (Ca:Mg of 11:1) in the mats is found beneath a 2-mm-thick biofilm which contains Gloeocapsa. Below the underlying dense Microcoleus layer, the second micrite deposit (Ca:Mg of 8:1) is observed at 4-5 mm depth. Successive micritic laminae (Ca:Mg of 3:1 and lower) are found in the layer of decaying cyanobacteria that harbors large numbers of heterotrophic microbes and purple sulfur bacteria. This is the first report of microbial-mediated Ca-Mg carbonate precipitation in discrete laminae. Observations in this particular environment will undoubtedly offer clues to understand complex ancient conditions involved in stromatolite formation, as well as provide information about the role played by microorganisms during high-Mg calcite and dolomite precipitation. As dolomitic stromatolites are abundant from the Precambrian, understanding the mechanisms driving microbial dolomite precipitation in this microcosm will lead to insights about one of the oldest biomineralization processes.

  9. Carbon nanoparticles-assisted mediator-less microbial fuel cells using Proteus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yong; Ahmed, Jalal; Zhou, Lihua; Zhao, Bo; Kim, Sunghyun

    2011-09-15

    Recently mediator-less microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are attracting great interest among researchers due to their potential applications to electricity generation as well as wastewater treatment. Common mediator-less MFCs employ electroactive bacteria called exoelectrogens to directly transfer electrons to the anode from the bacteria. However, exoelectrogens are rather limited in number and thus may not find general use for practical purposes. Here we showed our results in which mediator-less MFCs could be developed from Gram-negative non-exoelectrogens. By using carbon nanoparticles as a conductive medium to immobilize bacteria, it was possible to generate appreciable electricity from Proteus vulgaris without exogenous mediators. Maximum power density of 269 mW m(-2) and cell voltage of ca. 400 mV were obtained using glucose as a substrate. Power generation was attributed to direct electron transfer and to self-produced mediators, both of which were assisted by carbon nanoparticles. Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive bacterium, in the meantime, did not produce appreciable electricity.

  10. Microbially Mediated Plant Salt Tolerance and Microbiome-based Solutions for Saline Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yuan; Druzhinina, Irina S; Pan, Xueyu; Yuan, Zhilin

    2016-11-15

    Soil salinization adversely affects plant growth and has become one of the major limiting factors for crop productivity worldwide. The conventional approach, breeding salt-tolerant plant cultivars, has often failed to efficiently alleviate the situation. In contrast, the use of a diverse array of microorganisms harbored by plants has attracted increasing attention because of the remarkable beneficial effects of microorganisms on plants. Multiple advanced '-omics' technologies have enabled us to gain insights into the structure and function of plant-associated microbes. In this review, we first focus on microbe-mediated plant salt tolerance, in particular on the physiological and molecular mechanisms underlying root-microbe symbiosis. Unfortunately, when introducing such microbes as single strains to soils, they are often ineffective in improving plant growth and stress tolerance, largely due to competition with native soil microbial communities and limited colonization efficiency. Rapid progress in rhizosphere microbiome research has revived the belief that plants may benefit more from association with interacting, diverse microbial communities (microbiome) than from individual members in a community. Understanding how a microbiome assembles in the continuous compartments (endosphere, rhizoplane, and rhizosphere) will assist in predicting a subset of core or minimal microbiome and thus facilitate synthetic re-construction of microbial communities and their functional complementarity and synergistic effects. These developments will open a new avenue for capitalizing on the cultivable microbiome to strengthen plant salt tolerance and thus to refine agricultural practices and production under saline conditions.

  11. Strategies to Optimize Microbially-Mediated Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Landfill Cover Soils

    SciTech Connect

    Jeremy Semrau; Sung-Woo Lee; Jeongdae Im; Sukhwan Yoon; Michael Barcelona

    2010-09-30

    The overall objective of this project, 'Strategies to Optimize Microbially-Mediated Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Landfill Cover Soils' was to develop effective, efficient, and economic methodologies by which microbial production of nitrous oxide can be minimized while also maximizing microbial consumption of methane in landfill cover soils. A combination of laboratory and field site experiments found that the addition of nitrogen and phenylacetylene stimulated in situ methane oxidation while minimizing nitrous oxide production. Molecular analyses also indicated that methane-oxidizing bacteria may play a significant role in not only removing methane, but in nitrous oxide production as well, although the contribution of ammonia-oxidizing archaea to nitrous oxide production can not be excluded at this time. Future efforts to control both methane and nitrous oxide emissions from landfills as well as from other environments (e.g., agricultural soils) should consider these issues. Finally, a methanotrophic biofiltration system was designed and modeled for the promotion of methanotrophic activity in local methane 'hotspots' such as landfills. Model results as well as economic analyses of these biofilters indicate that the use of methanotrophic biofilters for controlling methane emissions is technically feasible, and provided either the costs of biofilter construction and operation are reduced or the value of CO{sub 2} credits is increased, can also be economically attractive.

  12. An orthopoxvirus-based vaccine reduces virus excretion after MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels.

    PubMed

    Haagmans, Bart L; van den Brand, Judith M A; Raj, V Stalin; Volz, Asisa; Wohlsein, Peter; Smits, Saskia L; Schipper, Debby; Bestebroer, Theo M; Okba, Nisreen; Fux, Robert; Bensaid, Albert; Solanes Foz, David; Kuiken, Thijs; Baumgärtner, Wolfgang; Segalés, Joaquim; Sutter, Gerd; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections have led to an ongoing outbreak in humans, which was fueled by multiple zoonotic MERS-CoV introductions from dromedary camels. In addition to the implementation of hygiene measures to limit further camel-to-human and human-to-human transmissions, vaccine-mediated reduction of MERS-CoV spread from the animal reservoir may be envisaged. Here we show that a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccine expressing the MERS-CoV spike protein confers mucosal immunity in dromedary camels. Compared with results for control animals, we observed a significant reduction of excreted infectious virus and viral RNA transcripts in vaccinated animals upon MERS-CoV challenge. Protection correlated with the presence of serum neutralizing antibodies to MERS-CoV. Induction of MVA-specific antibodies that cross-neutralize camelpox virus would also provide protection against camelpox.

  13. Microbial mediated formation of Fe-carbonate minerals under extreme acidic conditions

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Fernández-Remolar, David; Amils, Ricardo; Sánchez-Navas, Antonio; Schmid, Thomas; Martin-Uriz, Patxi San; Rodríguez, Nuria; McKenzie, Judith A.; Vasconcelos, Crisogono

    2014-01-01

    Discovery of Fe-carbonate precipitation in Rio Tinto, a shallow river with very acidic waters, situated in Huelva, South-western Spain, adds a new dimension to our understanding of carbonate formation. Sediment samples from this low-pH system indicate that carbonates are formed in physico-chemical conditions ranging from acid to neutral pH. Evidence for microbial mediation is observed in secondary electron images (Fig. 1), which reveal rod-shaped bacteria embedded in the surface of siderite nanocrystals. The formation of carbonates in Rio Tinto is related to the microbial reduction of ferric iron coupled to the oxidation of organic compounds. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time, that Acidiphilium sp. PM, an iron-reducing bacterium isolated from Rio Tinto, mediates the precipitation of siderite (FeCO3) under acidic conditions and at a low temperature (30°C). We describe nucleation of siderite on nanoglobules in intimate association with the bacteria cell surface. This study has major implications for understanding carbonate formation on the ancient Earth or extraterrestrial planets. PMID:24755961

  14. Microbial mediated formation of Fe-carbonate minerals under extreme acidic conditions.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Román, Mónica; Fernández-Remolar, David; Amils, Ricardo; Sánchez-Navas, Antonio; Schmid, Thomas; San Martin-Uriz, Patxi; Rodríguez, Nuria; McKenzie, Judith A; Vasconcelos, Crisogono

    2014-04-23

    Discovery of Fe-carbonate precipitation in Rio Tinto, a shallow river with very acidic waters, situated in Huelva, South-western Spain, adds a new dimension to our understanding of carbonate formation. Sediment samples from this low-pH system indicate that carbonates are formed in physico-chemical conditions ranging from acid to neutral pH. Evidence for microbial mediation is observed in secondary electron images (Fig. 1), which reveal rod-shaped bacteria embedded in the surface of siderite nanocrystals. The formation of carbonates in Rio Tinto is related to the microbial reduction of ferric iron coupled to the oxidation of organic compounds. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time, that Acidiphilium sp. PM, an iron-reducing bacterium isolated from Rio Tinto, mediates the precipitation of siderite (FeCO3) under acidic conditions and at a low temperature (30°C). We describe nucleation of siderite on nanoglobules in intimate association with the bacteria cell surface. This study has major implications for understanding carbonate formation on the ancient Earth or extraterrestrial planets.

  15. Salt marsh plants as key mediators on the level of cadmium impact on microbial denitrification.

    PubMed

    Almeida, C Marisa R; Mucha, Ana P; da Silva, Marta Nunes; Monteiro, Maria; Salgado, Paula; Necrasov, Tatiana; Magalhães, Catarina

    2014-09-01

    The fate of excess nitrogen in estuaries is determined by the microbial-driven nitrogen cycle, being denitrification a key process since it definitely removes fixed nitrogen as N2. However, estuaries receive and retain metals, which may negatively affect this process efficiency. In this study, we evaluated the role of salt marsh plants in mediating cadmium (Cd) impact on microbial denitrification process. Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis from an estuary were collected together with the sediment involving their roots, each placed in vessels and maintained in a greenhouse, exposed to natural light, with tides simulation. Similar non-vegetated sediment vessels were prepared. After 3 weeks of accommodation, nine vessels (three per plant species plus three non-vegetated) were doped with 20 mg/L Cd(2+) saline solution, nine vessels were doped with 2 mg/L Cd(2+) saline solution and nine vessels were left undoped. After 10 weeks, vessels were dissembled and denitrification potential was measured in sediment slurries. Results revealed that the addition of Cd did not cause an effect on the denitrification process in non-vegetated sediment but had a clear stimulation in colonized ones (39 % for P. australis and 36 % for J. maritimus). In addition, this increase on denitrification rates was followed by a decrease on N2O emissions and on N2O/N2 ratios in both J. maritimus and P. australis sediments, increasing the efficiency of the N2O step of denitrification pathway. Therefore, our results suggested that the presence of salt marsh plants functioned as key mediators on the degree of Cd impact on microbial denitrification.

  16. Microbial Populations Associated with Phosphate-Mediated Vadose Zone Sequestration of Strontium and Uranium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, C. H.; Chou, J.; Fujita, Y.; Bill, M.; Brodie, E. L.; Andersen, G. L.; Hazen, T. C.; Conrad, M. S.

    2007-12-01

    Significant quantities of metals and radionuclides are contained in thick unsaturated zones at several contaminated sites in the western US. In many cases, this contamination has migrated to underlying groundwater, sometimes decades after being released into the subsurface. Because of the prohibitive costs associated with physically removing the contamination, an attractive remedy to this problem is to develop methods for long-term in situ stabilization of the contamination in the vadose zone. Our research focuses on developing a method of introducing gaseous compounds to stimulate precipitation of stable phosphate mineral phases in the vadose zone to immobilize soluble contaminants thus minimizing further transport to groundwater. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that biological precipitation of phosphate minerals can be stimulated under unsaturated conditions by injection of triethyl phosphate (TEP) gas. Microorganisms hydrolyze TEP, releasing inorganic phosphate, catalyzing the precipitation of metals and radionuclide-containing phosphate minerals. Our initial results demonstrate that a mixed culture of aerobic microorganisms from vadose zone sediments, enriched with TEP, produce significantly higher concentrations of inorganic phosphate than the no TEP control. A high-density microarray (PhyloChip) capable of detecting up to 9,000 prokaryotic taxa will be used to identify the microbial community composition of the enriched culture. In addition, the metabolically active organisms will be investigated through extraction and hybridization of ribosomal RNA. Organisms capable of hydrolyzing TEP to inorganic phosphate will be further characterized to determine the requirements for aerobic microbially-mediated radionuclide immobilization. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the reactants and products will be measured to enable in situ monitoring of microbial TEP utilization. The result of these studies will be the basis for unsaturated column experiments

  17. New method for characterizing electron mediators in microbial systems using a thin-layer twin-working electrode cell.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Md Mahamudul; Cheng, Ka Yu; Ho, Goen; Cord-Ruwisch, Ralf

    2017-01-15

    Microbial biofilms are significant ecosystems where the existence of redox gradients drive electron transfer often via soluble electron mediators. This study describes the use of two interfacing working electrodes (WEs) to simulate redox gradients within close proximity (250µm) for the detection and quantification of electron mediators. By using a common counter and reference electrode, the potentials of the two WEs were independently controlled to maintain a suitable "voltage window", which enabled simultaneous oxidation and reduction of electron mediators as evidenced by the concurrent anodic and cathodic currents, respectively. To validate the method, the electrochemical properties of different mediators (hexacyanoferrate, HCF, riboflavin, RF) were characterized by stepwise shifting the "voltage window" (ranging between 25 and 200mV) within a range of potentials after steady equilibrium current of both WEs was established. The resulting differences in electrical currents between the two WEs were recorded across a defined potential spectrum (between -1V and +0.5V vs. Ag/AgCl). Results indicated that the technique enabled identification (by the distinct peak locations at the potential scale) and quantification (by the peak of current) of the mediators for individual species as well as in an aqueous mixture. It enabled a precise determination of mid-potentials of the externally added mediators (HCF, RF) and mediators produced by pyocyanin-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa (WACC 91) culture. The twin working electrode described is particularly suitable for studying mediator-dependent microbial electron transfer processes or simulating redox gradients as they exist in microbial biofilms.

  18. Biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate promoted by microbially-mediated phytate hydrolysis in contaminated soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salome, Kathleen R.; Beazley, Melanie J.; Webb, Samuel M.; Sobecky, Patricia A.; Taillefert, Martial

    2017-01-01

    The bioreduction of uranium may immobilize a significant fraction of this toxic contaminant in reduced environments at circumneutral pH. In oxic and low pH environments, however, the low solubility of U(VI)-phosphate minerals also makes them good candidates for the immobilization of U(VI) in the solid phase. As inorganic phosphate is generally scarce in soils, the biomineralization of U(VI)-phosphate minerals via microbially-mediated organophosphate hydrolysis may represent the main immobilization process of uranium in these environments. In this study, contaminated sediments were incubated aerobically in two pH conditions to examine whether phytate, a naturally-occurring and abundant organophosphate in soils, could represent a potential phosphorous source to promote U(VI)-phosphate biomineralization by natural microbial communities. While phytate hydrolysis was not evident at pH 7.0, nearly complete hydrolysis was observed both with and without electron donor at pH 5.5, suggesting indigenous microorganisms express acidic phytases in these sediments. While the rate of hydrolysis of phytate generally increased in the presence of uranium, the net rate of inorganic phosphate production in solution was decreased and inositol phosphate intermediates were generated in contrast to similar incubations conducted without uranium. These findings suggest uranium stress enhanced the phytate-metabolism of the microbial community, while simultaneously inhibiting phosphatase production and/or activity by the indigenous population. Finally, phytate hydrolysis drastically decreased uranium solubility, likely due to formation of ternary sorption complexes, U(VI)-phytate precipitates, and U(VI)-phosphate minerals. Overall, the results of this study provide evidence for the ability of natural microbial communities to liberate phosphate from phytate in acidic sediments, possibly as a detoxification mechanism, and demonstrate the potential utility of phytate-promoted uranium

  19. Development of microbial-enzyme-mediated decomposition model parameters through steady-state and dynamic analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M; Mayes, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    We developed a Microbial-ENzyme-mediated Decomposition (MEND) model, based on the Michaelis-Menten kinetics, that describes the dynamics of physically defined pools of soil organic matter (SOC). These include particulate, mineral-associated, dissolved organic matter (POC, MOC, and DOC, respectively), microbial biomass, and associated exoenzymes. The ranges and/or distributions of parameters were determined by both analytical steady-state and dynamic analyses with SOC data from the literature. We used an improved multi-objective parameter sensitivity analysis (MOPSA) to identify the most important parameters for the full model: maintenance of microbial biomass, turnover and synthesis of enzymes, and carbon use efficiency (CUE). The model predicted an increase of 2 C (baseline temperature =12 C) caused the pools of POC-Cellulose, MOC, and total SOC to increase with dynamic CUE and decrease with constant CUE, as indicated by the 50% confidence intervals. Regardless of dynamic or constant CUE, the pool sizes of POC, MOC, and total SOC varied from 8% to 8% under +2 C. The scenario analysis using a single parameter set indicates that higher temperature with dynamic CUE might result in greater net increases in both POC-Cellulose and MOC pools. Different dynamics of various SOC pools reflected the catalytic functions of specific enzymes targeting specific substrates and the interactions between microbes, enzymes, and SOC. With the feasible parameter values estimated in this study, models incorporating fundamental principles of microbial-enzyme dynamics can lead to simulation results qualitatively different from traditional models with fast/slow/passive pools.

  20. MerTK inhibition in tumor leukocytes decreases tumor growth and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Rebecca S.; Jacobsen, Kristen M.; Wofford, Anne M.; DeRyckere, Deborah; Stanford, Jamie; Prieto, Anne L.; Redente, Elizabeth; Sandahl, Melissa; Hunter, Debra M.; Strunk, Karen E.; Graham, Douglas K.; Earp, H. Shelton

    2013-01-01

    MerTK, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) of the TYRO3/AXL/MerTK family, is expressed in myeloid lineage cells in which it acts to suppress proinflammatory cytokines following ingestion of apoptotic material. Using syngeneic mouse models of breast cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer, we found that tumors grew slowly and were poorly metastatic in MerTK–/– mice. Transplantation of MerTK–/– bone marrow, but not wild-type bone marrow, into lethally irradiated MMTV-PyVmT mice (a model of metastatic breast cancer) decreased tumor growth and altered cytokine production by tumor CD11b+ cells. Although MerTK expression was not required for tumor infiltration by leukocytes, MerTK–/– leukocytes exhibited lower tumor cell–induced expression of wound healing cytokines, e.g., IL-10 and growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), and enhanced expression of acute inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-12 and IL-6. Intratumoral CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers were higher and lymphocyte proliferation was increased in tumor-bearing MerTK–/– mice compared with tumor-bearing wild-type mice. Antibody-mediated CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion restored tumor growth in MerTK–/– mice. These data demonstrate that MerTK signaling in tumor-associated CD11b+ leukocytes promotes tumor growth by dampening acute inflammatory cytokines while inducing wound healing cytokines. These results suggest that inhibition of MerTK in the tumor microenvironment may have clinical benefit, stimulating antitumor immune responses or enhancing immunotherapeutic strategies. PMID:23867499

  1. MerTK inhibition in tumor leukocytes decreases tumor growth and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Cook, Rebecca S; Jacobsen, Kristen M; Wofford, Anne M; DeRyckere, Deborah; Stanford, Jamie; Prieto, Anne L; Redente, Elizabeth; Sandahl, Melissa; Hunter, Debra M; Strunk, Karen E; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton

    2013-08-01

    MerTK, a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) of the TYRO3/AXL/MerTK family, is expressed in myeloid lineage cells in which it acts to suppress proinflammatory cytokines following ingestion of apoptotic material. Using syngeneic mouse models of breast cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer, we found that tumors grew slowly and were poorly metastatic in MerTK-/- mice. Transplantation of MerTK-/- bone marrow, but not wild-type bone marrow, into lethally irradiated MMTV-PyVmT mice (a model of metastatic breast cancer) decreased tumor growth and altered cytokine production by tumor CD11b+ cells. Although MerTK expression was not required for tumor infiltration by leukocytes, MerTK-/- leukocytes exhibited lower tumor cell-induced expression of wound healing cytokines, e.g., IL-10 and growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), and enhanced expression of acute inflammatory cytokines, e.g., IL-12 and IL-6. Intratumoral CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers were higher and lymphocyte proliferation was increased in tumor-bearing MerTK-/- mice compared with tumor-bearing wild-type mice. Antibody-mediated CD8+ T lymphocyte depletion restored tumor growth in MerTK-/- mice. These data demonstrate that MerTK signaling in tumor-associated CD11b+ leukocytes promotes tumor growth by dampening acute inflammatory cytokines while inducing wound healing cytokines. These results suggest that inhibition of MerTK in the tumor microenvironment may have clinical benefit, stimulating antitumor immune responses or enhancing immunotherapeutic strategies.

  2. Robust k-mer frequency estimation using gapped k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Ghandi, Mahmoud; Mohammad-Noori, Morteza

    2013-01-01

    Oligomers of fixed length, k, commonly known as k-mers, are often used as fundamental elements in the description of DNA sequence features of diverse biological function, or as intermediate elements in the constuction of more complex descriptors of sequence features such as position weight matrices. k-mers are very useful as general sequence features because they constitute a complete and unbiased feature set, and do not require parameterization based on incomplete knowledge of biological mechanisms. However, a fundamental limitation in the use of k-mers as sequence features is that as k is increased, larger spatial correlations in DNA sequence elements can be described, but the frequency of observing any specific k-mer becomes very small, and rapidly approaches a sparse matrix of binary counts. Thus any statistical learning approach using k-mers will be susceptible to noisy estimation of k-mer frequencies once k becomes large. Because all molecular DNA interactions have limited spatial extent, gapped k-mers often carry the relevant biological signal. Here we use gapped k-mer counts to more robustly estimate the ungapped k-mer frequencies, by deriving an equation for the minimum norm estimate of k-mer frequencies given an observed set of gapped k-mer frequencies. We demonstrate that this approach provides a more accurate estimate of the k-mer frequencies in real biological sequences using a sample of CTCF binding sites in the human genome. PMID:23861010

  3. Applying Reactive Barrier Technology to Enhance Microbially-mediated Denitrification during Managed Aquifer Recharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beganskas, S.; Weir, W. B.; Harmon, R. E.; Gorski, G.; Fisher, A. T.; Saltikov, C.; Young, K. S.; Runneals, D.; Teo, E. K.; Stoneburner, B.; Hernandez, J.

    2015-12-01

    We are running field experiments to observe and quantify microbially-mediated water quality improvement via denitrification during infiltration in the shallow subsurface. Nitrate is a pervasive groundwater contaminant, and nitrate removal through denitrification can occur during infiltration in natural and anthropogenic systems, including during managed aquifer recharge (MAR). The rate of denitrification can vary depending on factors such as infiltration rate; previous work suggests that denitrification rates can increase monotonically with infiltration rates until reaching a critical threshold. We are performing controlled field tests of variables that affect denitrification rate, including sampling to link water chemistry changes to microbial ecology and activity. This study explores how microbial activity and denitrification rates respond to different infiltration rates and the presence or absence of a reactive material (wood chips, a carbon source). We are conducting four two-week-long tests, each under different conditions. For each test, we measure bulk infiltration rate (the sum of lateral and vertical infiltration), vertical infiltration rate using heat as a tracer, and water level. We collect surface and subsurface water samples daily, and we collect soil samples at the start and end of each test. For each water sample, we are measuring NO3-, NO2-, NH3, DOC, and N and O isotopes in nitrate. Soil samples will be tested for grain size, total C/N, and the presence of microbiological genes associated with denitrification. These results will expand our knowledge of the conditions under which denitrification occurs by implicating specific microorganisms and physical infiltration parameters. Our design has the potential for additional experimentation with variables that impact water chemistry during infiltration. This study has broad applications for designing MAR systems that effectively improve water supply and water quality.

  4. Microbially-Mediated Subsurface Calcite Precipitation for Removal of Hazardous Divalent Cations

    SciTech Connect

    Colwell, Frederick S.; Smith, R.W.; Ferris, F. Gratn; Ingram, Jani C.; Reysenbach, A.-L.; Fujita, Yoshiko; Tyler, T.L.; Taylor, J.L.; Banta, A.; Delwiche, M.E.; McLing, T.; Cortez, Marnie, M.; Watwood, M.E.

    2003-03-27

    We are investigating microbially-mediated acceleration of calcite precipitation and co-precipitation of hazardous divalent cations (e.g., 90Sr) in calcite saturated subsurface systems. In theory, the addition of urea to an aquifer or vadose zone and its subsequent hydrolysis by indigenous microbes will cause an increase in alkalinity, pH and calcite precipitation. Lab studies indicated the ability of various bacteria to precipitate calcite through urea hydrolysis and that incorporation of strontium in biogenically-formed calcite is greater than in abiotically formed calcite. Results from a field experiment in a pristine location in the Snake River Plain aquifer involving the phased addition of molasses and then urea showed increases in total cell numbers, rate of urea hydrolysis and calcite formation during the study. The combined diagnostic approaches of microbiology, molecular ecology and analytical chemistry demonstrate the feasibility of this biogeochemical manipulation for subsurface remediation at arid Western DOE sites such as Hanford and INEEL.

  5. Microbial mediation of authigenic clays during hydrothermal alteration of basaltic tephra, Kilauea Volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konhauser, Kurt O.; Schiffman, Peter; Fisher, Quentin J.

    2002-12-01

    Highly altered, glassy tephras within the active steam vents at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, contain subsurface bacteria characterized by small (<500 nm in diameter), epicellular grains attached directly to the cell walls. Compositionally, the grains were dominated by Si, Al, Fe, and K, in a stoichiometry similar to a dioctahedral smectite. The initial dissolution of glass, which may in part have been microbiologically mediated, served as the source for many of the elements sequestered into the biomineralized clays. Overlying the tephras are white crusts (silica and calcite) and green-colored biofilms. The biofilms comprise a filamentous, likely cyanobacterial, community coated with spherical (<100 nm in diameter) grains of amorphous silica directly attached to the sheaths. Individual precipitates can easily be resolved, but quite often they coalesce, forming a dense mineral matrix of amorphous silica. For both the clays and silica, the microbial surfaces are clearly sites for mineral nucleation and growth. These observations imply that microbial biomineralization may be a significant process in the overall alteration of primary basaltic glass in active steam vent systems.

  6. Gold nanoparticles produced in situ mediate bioelectricity and hydrogen production in a microbial fuel cell by quantized capacitance charging.

    PubMed

    Kalathil, Shafeer; Lee, Jintae; Cho, Moo Hwan

    2013-02-01

    Oppan quantized style: By adding a gold precursor at its cathode, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) is demonstrated to form gold nanoparticles that can be used to simultaneously produce bioelectricity and hydrogen. By exploiting the quantized capacitance charging effect, the gold nanoparticles mediate the production of hydrogen without requiring an external power supply, while the MFC produces a stable power density.

  7. MER EDL: Overview and Reconstruction Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Lee, Wayne J.

    2005-01-01

    An overview and reconstruction of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) is shown. The topics include: 1) Background; 2) MER Candidate Landing Sites; 3) MER Entry Heritage w/Viking & Mars Pathfinder; 4) MER EDL Animation; 5) MER Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Sequence; 6) Pre-Entry Spirit Entry Atmosphere Models; 7) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD, & Updated Estimate Differenced 1-way Doppler; 8) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD and Final Location Estimates; 9) Monte Carlo Results for Spirit ; 10) Reconstructed and refined Spirit Entry Density Profile; 11) Mars Pathfinder Attitude Reconstruction; 12) Spirit Attitude Reconstruction; 13) Spirit Entry Ground Track; 14) Reconstructed Spirit Terminal Descent Dynamics (Side View); 15) Opportunity Landing Ellipse at Final OD, & Updated Estimate Differenced 1-way Doppler; 16) Spirit Landing Ellipse at Final OD and Final Location Estimates; 17) Monte Carlo Results for Opportunity; 18) Reconstructed Opportunity Entry Density Profile; and 19) Opportunity Attitude Reconstruction.

  8. MERS-CoV spike nanoparticles protect mice from MERS-CoV infection.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Christopher M; Venkataraman, Thiagarajan; Liu, Ye V; Glenn, Gregory M; Smith, Gale E; Flyer, David C; Frieman, Matthew B

    2017-03-14

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first discovered in late 2012 and has gone on to cause over 1800 infections and 650 deaths. There are currently no approved therapeutics or vaccinations for MERS-CoV. The MERS-CoV spike (S) protein is responsible for receptor binding and virion entry to cells, is immunodominant and induces neutralizing antibodies in vivo, all of which, make the S protein an ideal target for anti-MERS-CoV vaccines. In this study, we demonstrate protection induced by vaccination with a recombinant MERS-CoV S nanoparticle vaccine and Matrix-M1 adjuvant combination in mice. The MERS-CoV S nanoparticle vaccine produced high titer anti-S neutralizing antibody and protected mice from MERS-CoV infection in vivo.

  9. Final report - Microbial pathways for the reduction of mercury in saturated subsurface sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Tamar barkay; Lily Young; Gerben Zylstra

    2009-08-25

    Mercury is a component of mixed wastes that have contaminated vast areas of the deep subsurface as a result of nuclear weapon and energy production. While this mercury is mostly bound to soil constituents episodes of groundwater contamination are known in some cases resulting in potable water super saturated with Hg(0). Microbial processes that reduce Hg(II) to the elemental form Hg(0) in the saturated subsurface sediments may contribute to this problem. When we started the project, only one microbial pathway for the reduction of Hg(II), the one mediated by the mer operon in mercury resistant bacteria was known. As we had previously demonstrated that the mer mediated process occurred in highly contaminated environments (Schaefer et al., 2004), and mercury concentrations in the subsurface were reported to be low (Krabbenhoft and Babiarz, 1992), we hypothesized that other microbial processes might be active in reducing Hg(II) to Hg(0) in saturated subsurface environments. The specific goals of our projects were: (1) Investigating the potential for Hg(II) reduction under varying electron accepting conditions in subsurface sediments and relating these potential to mer gene distribution; and (2) Examining the physiological and biochemical characteristics of the interactions of anaerobic bacteria with mercury. The results are briefly summarized with references to published papers and manuscripts in preparation where details about our research can be found. Additional information may be found in copies of our published manuscripts and conference proceedings, and our yearly reports that were submitted through the RIMS system.

  10. Season mediates herbivore effects on litter and soil microbial abundance and activity in a semi-arid woodland

    SciTech Connect

    Classen, Aimee T; Overby, Stephen; Hart, Stephen C; Koch, George W; Whitham, Thomas G

    2007-01-01

    Herbivores can directly impact ecosystem function by altering litter quality entering an ecosystem or indirectly by affecting a shift in the microbial community that mediate nutrient processes. We examine herbivore susceptibility and resistance effects on litter microarthropod and soil microbial communities to test the general hypothesis that herbivore driven changes in litter inputs will feedback to the microbial community. Our study population consisted of individual trees that are susceptible or resistant to the stem-boring moth (Dioryctria albovittella) and trees that herbivores have been manually removed since 1982. Moth herbivory increased pi on litter nitrogen concentrations (16%) and canopy precipitation infiltration (28%), both significant factors influencing litter and soil microbial populations. Our research resulted in three major conclusions: 1) In spite of an increase in litter quality, herbivory does not change litter microarthropod abundance or species richness. 2) Herbivore susceptibility alters bulk soil microbial communities, but not soil properties. 3) Season has a strong influence on microbial communities, and their response to herbivore inputs, in this semi-arid ecosystem.

  11. Discovery of Mer specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors for the treatment and prevention of thrombosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; McIver, Andrew L; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Branchford, Brian R; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M; Lee, Minjung; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Di Paola, Jorge A; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-12-12

    The role of Mer kinase in regulating the second phase of platelet activation generates an opportunity to use Mer inhibitors for preventing thrombosis with diminished likelihood for bleeding as compared to current therapies. Toward this end, we have discovered a novel, Mer kinase specific substituted-pyrimidine scaffold using a structure-based drug design and a pseudo ring replacement strategy. The cocrystal structure of Mer with two compounds (7 and 22) possessing distinct activity have been determined. Subsequent SAR studies identified compound 23 (UNC2881) as a lead compound for in vivo evaluation. When applied to live cells, 23 inhibits steady-state Mer kinase phosphorylation with an IC50 value of 22 nM. Treatment with 23 is also sufficient to block EGF-mediated stimulation of a chimeric receptor containing the intracellular domain of Mer fused to the extracellular domain of EGFR. In addition, 23 potently inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation, suggesting that this class of inhibitors may have utility for prevention and/or treatment of pathologic thrombosis.

  12. Discovery of Mer Specific Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment and Prevention of Thrombosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weihe; McIver, Andrew L.; Stashko, Michael A.; DeRyckere, Deborah; Branchford, Brian R.; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J.; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M.; Lee, Minjung; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Di Paola, Jorge A.; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    The role of Mer kinase in regulating the second phase of platelet activation generates an opportunity to use Mer inhibitors for preventing thrombosis with diminished likelihood for bleeding as compared to current therapies. Toward this end, we have discovered a novel, Mer kinase specific substituted-pyrimidine scaffold using a structure-based drug design and a pseudo-ring replacement strategy. The co-crystal structure of Mer with two compounds (7 & 22) possessing distinct activity have been determined. Subsequent SAR studies identified compound 23 (UNC2881) as a lead compound for in vivo evaluation. When applied to live cells, 23 inhibits steady-state Mer kinase phosphorylation with an IC50 value of 22 nM. Treatment with 23 is also sufficient to block EGF-mediated stimulation of a chimeric receptor containing the intracellular domain of Mer fused to the extracellular domain of EGFR. In addition, 23 potently inhibits collagen-induced platelet aggregation, suggesting that this class of inhibitors may have utility for prevention and/or treatment of pathologic thrombosis. PMID:24219778

  13. Evidence for microbial mediation of subseafloor nitrogen redox processes at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sylvan, Jason B.; Wankel, Scott D.; LaRowe, Douglas E.; Charoenpong, Chawalit N.; Huber, Julie A.; Moyer, Craig L.; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2017-02-01

    The role of nitrogen cycling in submarine hydrothermal systems is far less studied than that of other biologically reactive elements such as sulfur and iron. In order to address this knowledge gap, we investigated nitrogen redox processes at Loihi Seamount, Hawaii, using a combination of biogeochemical and isotopic measurements, bioenergetic calculations and analysis of the prokaryotic community composition in venting fluids sampled during four cruises in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2013. Concentrations of NH4+ were positively correlated to dissolved Si and negatively correlated to NO3- + NO2-, while NO2- was not correlated to NO3- + NO2-, dissolved Si or NH4+. This is indicative of hydrothermal input of NH4+ and biological mediation influencing NO2- concentrations. The stable isotope ratios of NO3- (δ15N and δ18O) was elevated with respect to background seawater, with δ18O values exhibiting larger changes than corresponding δ15N values, reflecting the occurrence of both production and reduction of NO3- by an active microbial community. δ15N-NH4+ values ranged from 0‰ to +16.7‰, suggesting fractionation during consumption and potentially N-fixation as well. Bioenergetic calculations reveal that several catabolic strategies involving the reduction of NO3- and NO2- coupled to sulfide and iron oxidation could provide energy to microbes in Loihi fluids, while 16S rRNA gene sequencing of Archaea and Bacteria in the fluids reveals groups known to participate in denitrification and N-fixation. Taken together, our data support the hypothesis that microbes are mediating N-based redox processes in venting hydrothermal fluids at Loihi Seamount.

  14. Genetic analysis of transcriptional activation and repression in the Tn21 mer operon. [Bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, W.; Park, S.J.; Summers, A.O. )

    1989-07-01

    Transcription of the Tn21 mercury resistance operon (mer) is controlled by the toxic metal cation Hg(II). This control is mediated by the product of the merR gene, a 144-amino-acid protein which represses transcription of the structural genes (merTPCAD) in the absence of Hg(II) and activates transcription in the presence of Hg(II). We have used a mer-lac transcriptional fusion to obtain regulatory mutants in this metal-responsive system. Some mutants were defective in Hg(II)-induced activation while retaining repression function, others were defective in repression but not activation, and some had lost both functions. Mutations in three of the four cysteine residues of merR resulted in complete loss of Hg(II)-inducible activation but retention of the repressor function. Other lesions adjacent to or very near these cysteines exhibited severely reduced activation and also retained repressor function. There were two putative helix-turn-helix (HTH) domains in merR, and mutants in each had very different phenotypes. A partially dominant mutation in the more amino-terminal region of the two putative HTH regions resulted in loss of both activation and repression, consistent with a role for this region in DNA binding. Mutations in the more centrally located HTH region resulted only in loss of Hg(II)-induced activation. Lesions in the central and in the carboxy-terminal regions of merR exhibited both Hg(II)-independent and Hg(II)-dependent transcriptional activation. The sole cis-acting mutant obtained with this operon fusion strategy, a down-promoter mutation, lies in a highly conserved base in the -35 region of the merTPCAD promoter.

  15. Microbially-mediated method for synthesis of non-oxide semiconductor nanoparticles

    DOEpatents

    Phelps, Tommy J.; Lauf, Robert J.; Moon, Ji Won; Rondinone, Adam J.; Love, Lonnie J.; Duty, Chad Edward; Madden, Andrew Stephen; Li, Yiliang; Ivanov, Ilia N.; Rawn, Claudia Jeanette

    2014-06-24

    The invention is directed to a method for producing non-oxide semiconductor nanoparticles, the method comprising: (a) subjecting a combination of reaction components to conditions conducive to microbially-mediated formation of non-oxide semiconductor nanoparticles, wherein said combination of reaction components comprises i) anaerobic microbes, ii) a culture medium suitable for sustaining said anaerobic microbes, iii) a metal component comprising at least one type of metal ion, iv) a non-metal component containing at least one non-metal selected from the group consisting of S, Se, Te, and As, and v) one or more electron donors that provide donatable electrons to said anaerobic microbes during consumption of the electron donor by said anaerobic microbes; and (b) isolating said non-oxide semiconductor nanoparticles, which contain at least one of said metal ions and at least one of said non-metals. The invention is also directed to non-oxide semiconductor nanoparticle compositions produced as above and having distinctive properties.

  16. Analysis of common k-mers for whole genome sequences using SSB-tree.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeong-Hyeon; Cho, Hwan-Gue

    2002-01-01

    As sequenced genomes become larger and sequencing process becomes faster, there is a need to develop a tool to analyze sequences in the whole genomic scale. However, on-memory algorithms such as suffix tree and suffix array are not applicable to the analysis of whole genome sequence set, since the size of individual whole genome ranges from several million base pairs to hundreds billion base pairs. In order to effectively manipulate the huge sequence data, it is necessary to use the indexed data structure for external memory. In this paper, we introduce a workbench called SequeX for the analysis and visualization of whole genome sequences using SSB-tree (Static SB-tree). It consists of two parts: the analysis query subsystem and the visualization subsystem. The query subsystem supports various transactions such as pattern matching, k-occurrence, and k-mer analysis. The visualization subsystem helps biologists to easily understand whole genome structure and feature by sequence viewer, annotation viewer, CGR (Chaos Game Representation) viewer, and k-mer viewer. The system also supports a user-friendly programming interface based on Java script for batch processing and the extension for a specific purpose of a user. SequeX can be used to identify conserved genes or sequences by the analysis of the common k-mers and annotation. We analyze the common k-mer for 72 microbial genomes announced by Entrez, and find an interesting biological fact that the longest common k-mer for 72 sequences is 11-mer, and only 11 such sequences exist. Finally we note that many common k-mers occur in conserved region such as CDS, rRNA, and tRNA.

  17. Conversion of orange peel waste biomass to bioelectricity using a mediator-less microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Miran, Waheed; Nawaz, Mohsin; Jang, Jiseon; Lee, Dae Sung

    2016-03-15

    Microorganisms have the potential to become a game-changer in sustainable energy production in the coming generations. Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as an alternative renewable technology can capture bioenergy (electricity) from carbon-based sources by utilizing microorganisms as biocatalysts. This study demonstrated that MFC technology can be explored for bioelectricity production from orange peel waste (OPW), an agricultural byproduct and an organic substrate, without any chemical pretreatment or the addition of extra mediators. A maximum voltage generation of 0.59 ± 0.02 V (at 500 Ω) was achieved in a dual chamber MFC during stable voltage generation stages. The maximum power density and current density obtained were 358.8 ± 15.6 mW/m(2) and 847 ± 18.4 mA/m(2), respectively. Key components of OPW, namely pectin and cellulose, were also tested in their pure form, with pectin giving a stable current, while no significant current generation was achieved using cellulose alone as the substrate, thus demonstrating the absence of cellulose-degrading bacteria. Maximum pectinase and polygalacturonase enzyme activities of 18.55 U/g and 9.04 U/g (per gram of substrate), respectively were achieved during orange peel degradation in MFCs. Bacterial identification using 16S rRNA analysis of the initial inoculum fed to the MFC, the biofilm attached to the anode, and the anode suspension, showed significant diversity in community composition. A well-known exoelectrogen, Pseudomonas, was present among the predominant genera in the anode biofilm.

  18. Stimulation of Microbially Mediated Arsenic Release in Bangladesh Aquifers by Young Carbon Indicated by Radiocarbon Analysis of Sedimentary Bacterial Lipids.

    PubMed

    Whaley-Martin, K J; Mailloux, B J; van Geen, A; Bostick, B C; Silvern, R F; Kim, C; Ahmed, K M; Choudhury, I; Slater, G F

    2016-07-19

    The sources of reduced carbon driving the microbially mediated release of arsenic to shallow groundwater in Bangladesh remain poorly understood. Using radiocarbon analysis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) and potential carbon pools, the abundance and carbon sources of the active, sediment-associated, in situ bacterial communities inhabiting shallow aquifers (<30 m) at two sites in Araihazar, Bangladesh, were investigated. At both sites, sedimentary organic carbon (SOC) Δ(14)C signatures of -631 ± 54‰ (n = 12) were significantly depleted relative to dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) of +24 ± 30‰ and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of -230 ± 100‰. Sediment-associated PLFA Δ(14)C signatures (n = 10) at Site F (-167‰ to +20‰) and Site B (-163‰ to +21‰) were highly consistent and indicated utilization of carbon sources younger than the SOC, likely from the DOC pool. Sediment-associated PLFA Δ(14)C signatures were consistent with previously determined Δ(14)C signatures of microbial DNA sampled from groundwater at Site F indicating that the carbon source for these two components of the subsurface microbial community is consistent and is temporally stable over the two years between studies. These results demonstrate that the utilization of relatively young carbon sources by the subsurface microbial community occurs at sites with varying hydrology. Further they indicate that these young carbon sources drive the metabolism of the more abundant sediment-associated microbial communities that are presumably more capable of Fe reduction and associated release of As. This implies that an introduction of younger carbon to as of yet unaffected sediments (such as those comprising the deeper Pleistocene aquifer) could stimulate microbial communities and result in arsenic release.

  19. Introduction to the Special Issue: The role of soil microbial-driven belowground processes in mediating exotic plant invasions

    PubMed Central

    Inderjit

    2015-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are one of the multiple factors that facilitate or resist plant invasion. Regional and biogeographic studies help to determine how soil communities and the processes mediated by soil microbes are linked to other mechanisms of invasion. Both the success of plant invasions and their impacts are profoundly influenced by a wide range of soil communities and the soil processes mediated by them. With an aim to better understand the mechanisms responsible for the soil community-driven routes, a special issue of AoB PLANTS was conceived. I hope that the range of papers included in the special issue will reveal some of the complexities in soil community-mediated plant invasion. PMID:25979967

  20. Exploring redox-mediating characteristics of textile dye-bearing microbial fuel cells: thionin and malachite green.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Yann; Xu, Bin; Qin, Lian-Jie; Lan, John Chi-Wei; Hsueh, Chung-Chuan

    2014-10-01

    Prior studies indicated that biodecolorized intermediates of azo dyes could act as electron shuttles to stimulate wastewater decolorization and bioelectricity generation (WD&BG) in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study tended to explore whether non-azo textile dyes (i.e., thionin and malachite green) could also own such redox-mediating capabilities for WD&BG. Prior findings mentioned that OH and/or NH2 substitute-containing auxochrome compounds (e.g., 2-aminophenol and 1,2-dihydroxybenzene) could effectively mediate electron transport in MFCs for simultaneous WD&BG. This work clearly suggested that the presence of electron-mediating textile dyes (e.g., thionin and malachite green (MG)) in MFCs is promising to stimulate color removal and bioelectricity generation. That is, using MFCs as operation strategy for wastewater biodecolorization is economically promising in industrial applications due to autocatalytic acceleration of electron-flux for WD&BG in MFCs.

  1. Nutrient limitation and microbially mediated chemistry: studies using tuff inoculum obtained from the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, C. I.; Chuu, Y. J.; Meike, A.; Ringelberg, D.; Sawvel, A.

    1998-10-30

    Flow-through bioreactors are used to investigate the relationship between the supply (and limitation) of major nutrients required by microorganisms (C, N, P, S) and effluent chemistry to obtain data that can be useful to develop models of microbially mediated aqueous chemistry. The bioreactors were inoculated with crushed tuff from Yucca Mountain. Six of the 14 bioreactor experiments currently in operation have shown growth, which occurred in as few as 5 days and as much as a few months after initiation of the experiment. All of the bioreactors exhibiting growth contained glucose as a carbon source, but other nutritional components varied. Chemical signatures of each bioreactor were compared to each other and selected results were compared to computer simulations of the equivalent abiotic chemical reactions. At 21 C, the richest medium formulation produced a microbial community that lowered the effluent pH from 6.4 to as low as 3.9. The same medium formulation at 50 C produced no significant change in pH but caused a significant increase in Cl after a period of 200 days. Variations in concentrations of other elements, some of which appear to be periodic (Ca, Mg, etc.) also occur. Bioreactors fed with low C, N, P, S media showed growth, but had stabilized at lower cell densities. The room temperature bioreactor in this group exhibited a phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) signature of sulfur- or iron-reducing bacteria, which produced a significant chemical signature in the effluent from that bioreactor. Growth had not been observed yet in the alkaline bioreactors, even in those containing glucose. The value of combining detailed chemical and community (e.g., ester-linked PLFA) analyses, long-duration experiments, and abiotic chemical models to distinguish chemical patterns is evident. Although all of the bioreactors contain the same initial microorganisms and mineral constituents, PLFA analysis demonstrates that both input chemistry and temperature determine the

  2. Temporal dynamic of parasite-mediated linkages between the forest canopy and soil processes and the microbial community.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Ana; Morillas, Lourdes; Gallardo, Antonio; Zamora, Regino

    2016-09-01

    Parasitic plants are important drivers of community and ecosystem properties. In this study, we identify different mechanisms by which mistletoe (Viscum album subsp. austriacum) can affect soil chemical and biological properties at different temporal stages of parasitism. We quantified the effect of parasitism on host growth and the number of frugivorous mutualists visiting the host canopy. Then we collected, identified, and weighed the organic matter input underneath tree canopies and analyzed its nutrient content. Simultaneously, we analyzed soil samples under tree canopies and examined the chemical properties, microbial abundance, and functional evenness of heterotrophic microbial communities. Mistletoe increased the amount, quality, and diversity of organic matter input beneath the host canopy, directly through its nutrient-rich litter and indirectly through a reduction in host litterfall and an increase in bird-derived debris. All these effects gave rise to enriched hotspots able to support larger and more functionally even soil microbial communities beneath parasitized hosts, the effects of which were accentuated after host death. We conclude that mistletoe, together with the biotic interactions it mediates, plays a key role in intensifying soil resource availability, regulating the functional evenness, abundance, and spatial distribution of soil microbial communities.

  3. Interactions Between Temperature and Nutrient Availability in Mediating Microbial Respiration in High Arctic Polar Semi-desert Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holland, K. J.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M.; Arens, S.; Schimel, J. P.; Welker, J. M.

    2005-12-01

    Field respiration measurements in high arctic polar semi-desert in northern Greenland suggest a divergence in respiration rates of microbial communities in fertilization treatments at temperatures above 4°C. We hypothesized that this divergence could be attributed to either greater temperature responsiveness of microbial communities in nitrogen fertilized treatments, or to increased substrate availability in nitrogen fertilization treatments at higher temperatures. Microbial respiration responses to labile substrate addition were equal across fertilization treatments, suggesting that microbial communities had similar temperature sensitivities. To determine whether substrate availability differed between fertilization treatments, we measured 13CO2 of respiration at four temperatures. With increased temperature, rates of CO2 efflux increased and isotopic signatures of respired carbon became lighter, suggesting increasing turnover of more recalcitrant C at higher temperatures. Respiration of nitrogen fertilized soils had lighter 13CO2 signatures than ambient soils, suggesting that nitrogen might increase turnover of more recalcitrant soil carbon. These data suggest the divergence in CO2 efflux in the nitrogen fertilization treatments could be mediated by increasing availability of recalcitrant carbon.

  4. Efficient clearance of early apoptotic cells by human macrophages requires M2c polarization and MerTK induction.

    PubMed

    Zizzo, Gaetano; Hilliard, Brendan A; Monestier, Marc; Cohen, Philip L

    2012-10-01

    Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) is a major macrophage apoptotic cell (AC) receptor. Its functional impairment promotes autoimmunity and atherosclerosis, whereas overexpression correlates with poor prognosis in cancer. However, little is known about mechanisms regulating MerTK expression in humans. We found that MerTK expression is heterogenous among macrophage subsets, being mostly restricted to anti-inflammatory M2c (CD14(+)CD16(+)CD163(+)CD204(+)CD206(+)CD209(-)) cells, differentiated by M-CSF or glucocorticoids. Small numbers of MerTK(+) "M2c-like" cells are also detectable among circulating CD14(bright)CD16(+) monocytes. MerTK expression levels adapt to changing immunologic environment, being suppressed in M1 and M2a macrophages and in dendritic cells. Remarkably, although glucocorticoid-induced differentiation is IL-10 independent, M-CSF-driven M2c polarization and related MerTK upregulation require IL-10. However, neither IL-10 alone nor TGF-β are sufficient to fully differentiate M2c (CD16(+)CD163(+)MerTK(+)) macrophages. M-CSF and IL-10, both released by T lymphocytes, may thus be required together to promote regulatory T cell-mediated induction of anti-inflammatory monocytes-macrophages. MerTK enables M2c macrophages to clear early ACs more efficiently than other macrophage subsets, and it mediates AC clearance by CD14(bright)CD16(+) monocytes. Moreover, M2c cells release Gas6, which in turn amplifies IL-10 secretion via MerTK. IL-10-dependent induction of the Gas6/MerTK pathway may, therefore, constitute a positive loop for M2c macrophage homeostasis and a critical checkpoint for maintenance of anti-inflammatory conditions. Our findings give new insight into human macrophage polarization and favor a central role for MerTK in regulation of macrophage functions. Eliciting M2c polarization can have therapeutic utility for diseases such as lupus, in which a defective AC clearance contributes to initiate and perpetuate the pathological process.

  5. Microbially mediated formation of a new REE enriched Mn-oxide, Ytterby mine, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sjöberg, Susanne; Allard, Bert; Rattray, Jayne E.; Callac, Nolwenn; Skelton, Alasdair; Ivarsson, Magnus; Karlsson, Stefan; Sjöberg, Viktor; Dupraz, Christophe

    2016-04-01

    Characterization of a black substance seeping from fractured bedrock in a subterranean tunnel revealed a new, microbially mediated, secondary manganese oxide mineralisation, highly enriched in rare earth elements (REEs). This tunnel is dry and at shallow depth and was built to convert the former Ytterby mine, known for the discovery of yttrium (Y), scandium (Sc) and five rare earth elements, into a fuel deposit for the Swedish Armed Forces. As the type locality of these rare earth elements, the Ytterby mine gave its name to yttrium, ytterbium, erbium and terbium. Geochemical analysis shows that the substance is enriched in REEs with concentrations one to two orders of magnitude higher than the surrounding rocks. Elemental analysis and X-ray diffraction establish that the main component is a manganese oxide of the birnessite type (general formula: [Na,Ca]0.5[Mn(III),Mn(IV)]2O4xAq). There are also minor fractions of calcite, some other manganese oxides, feldspars, quartz and about 1% organic matter, but no iron oxides. Leaching studies (sequential and selective) were performed in order to establish how the minor components are associated with the matrix (in the lattice or merely adsorbed on the outer surface). It shows that the Ytterby birnessite contains about 1% REEs in the lattice, as well as calcium but no sodium. Formation of birnessite by manganese oxidizing bacteria is well-known (e.g. Tebo et al, 2004). Quantitative PCR shows that the total number of bacteria in the Ytterby substance is in the order 1010 cells per g substance while the water feeding the fracture has in the order of 106 cells per ml groundwater. qPCR data further confirm that manganese oxidizing microorganisms are present and that the abundance varies with the seasons. Analysis of the precipitated manganese using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy shows that the substance is composed of two or more components, with one part having a biogenic signature. The occurrence of C31 to C35

  6. Early microbial translocation blockade reduces SIV-mediated inflammation and viral replication.

    PubMed

    Kristoff, Jan; Haret-Richter, George; Ma, Dongzhu; Ribeiro, Ruy M; Xu, Cuiling; Cornell, Elaine; Stock, Jennifer L; He, Tianyu; Mobley, Adam D; Ross, Samantha; Trichel, Anita; Wilson, Cara; Tracy, Russell; Landay, Alan; Apetrei, Cristian; Pandrea, Ivona

    2014-06-01

    Damage to the intestinal mucosa results in the translocation of microbes from the intestinal lumen into the circulation. Microbial translocation has been proposed to trigger immune activation, inflammation, and coagulopathy, all of which are key factors that drive HIV disease progression and non-HIV comorbidities; however, direct proof of a causal link is still lacking. Here, we have demonstrated that treatment of acutely SIV-infected pigtailed macaques with the drug sevelamer, which binds microbial lipopolysaccharide in the gut, dramatically reduces immune activation and inflammation and slightly reduces viral replication. Furthermore, sevelamer administration reduced coagulation biomarkers, confirming the contribution of microbial translocation in the development of cardiovascular comorbidities in SIV-infected nonhuman primates. Together, our data suggest that early control of microbial translocation may improve the outcome of HIV infection and limit noninfectious comorbidities associated with AIDS.

  7. Early microbial translocation blockade reduces SIV-mediated inflammation and viral replication

    PubMed Central

    Kristoff, Jan; Haret-Richter, George; Ma, Dongzhu; Ribeiro, Ruy M.; Xu, Cuiling; Cornell, Elaine; Stock, Jennifer L.; He, Tianyu; Mobley, Adam D.; Ross, Samantha; Trichel, Anita; Wilson, Cara; Tracy, Russell; Landay, Alan; Apetrei, Cristian; Pandrea, Ivona

    2014-01-01

    Damage to the intestinal mucosa results in the translocation of microbes from the intestinal lumen into the circulation. Microbial translocation has been proposed to trigger immune activation, inflammation, and coagulopathy, all of which are key factors that drive HIV disease progression and non-HIV comorbidities; however, direct proof of a causal link is still lacking. Here, we have demonstrated that treatment of acutely SIV-infected pigtailed macaques with the drug sevelamer, which binds microbial lipopolysaccharide in the gut, dramatically reduces immune activation and inflammation and slightly reduces viral replication. Furthermore, sevelamer administration reduced coagulation biomarkers, confirming the contribution of microbial translocation in the development of cardiovascular comorbidities in SIV-infected nonhuman primates. Together, our data suggest that early control of microbial translocation may improve the outcome of HIV infection and limit noninfectious comorbidities associated with AIDS. PMID:24837437

  8. Design and Synthesis of Novel Macrocyclic Mer Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaodong; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; Nichols, James; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Chen, Zhilong; Machius, Mischa; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wood, Edgar; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton; Kireev, Dmitri; Frye, Stephen V

    2016-12-08

    Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) is aberrantly elevated in various tumor cells and has a normal anti-inflammatory role in the innate immune system. Inhibition of MerTK may provide dual effects against these MerTK-expressing tumors through reducing cancer cell survival and redirecting the innate immune response. Recently, we have designed novel and potent macrocyclic pyrrolopyrimidines as MerTK inhibitors using a structure-based approach. The most active macrocycles had an EC50 below 40 nM in a cell-based MerTK phosphor-protein ELISA assay. The X-ray structure of macrocyclic analogue 3 complexed with MerTK was also resolved and demonstrated macrocycles binding in the ATP binding pocket of the MerTK protein as anticipated. In addition, the lead compound 16 (UNC3133) had a 1.6 h half-life and 16% oral bioavailability in a mouse PK study.

  9. MER Caching Rover for 2018 Exploration of Ancient Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Manning, R. M.; Rivellini, T. P.; Backes, P. G.; Ganino, A. J.; Shiraishi, L. R.; Klein, K. J.; Allen, W. C.; Kahn, C. L.; Ziemer, J. K.; Sherwood, B.; Eisen, H. J.

    2012-06-01

    A modern, minimally updated MER rover can begin sample return in 2018. We demonstrate MER accommodates a caching system and robust science payload. A guided entry airbag landing system enables exploration and sample collection at high priority sites.

  10. Potential MER Landing Site in Melas Chasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Parker, Timothy J.; Anderson, F. Scott

    2001-01-01

    We have selected one area in Valles Marineris as a potential landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. After 30 years of analyses, the formation of the Valles Marineris system of troughs and its associated deposits still remains an enigma. Understanding all aspects of the Valles Marineris would significantly contribute to deciphering the internal and external history of Mars. A landing site within Melas Chasma could provide insight into both the formation of Valles Marineris and the composition and origin of the interior layered deposits (ILDs). The ILDs have been proposed as: (1) sedimentary deposits formed in lakes mass wasted material from the walls; (3) remnants of the wall rock; (4) carbonate deposits; (5) aeolian deposits; and (6) volcanic. More recently, Malin and Edgett suggest that the fine-scale, rhythmic layering seen in the interior deposits, as well as other layered deposits in craters, supports a sedimentary origin. Because an understanding of the formation of Valles Marineris and its interior deposits is so important to deciphering the history of Mars, we have proposed a landing site for the MER mission on an exposure of interior deposits in western Melas Chasma. Either MER-A and MER-B could land at this same location.

  11. The MER/CIP Portal for Ground Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Louise; Desai, Sanjay; DOrtenzio, Matthew; Filman, Robtert E.; Heher, Dennis M.; Hubbard, Kim; Johan, Sandra; Keely, Leslie; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2003-01-01

    We developed the Mars Exploration Rover/Collaborative Information Portal (MER/CIP) to facilitate MER operations. MER/CIP provides a centralized, one-stop delivery platform integrating science and engineering data from several distributed heterogeneous data sources. Key issues for MER/CIP include: 1) Scheduling and schedule reminders; 2) Tracking the status of daily predicted outputs; 3) Finding and analyzing data products; 4) Collaboration; 5) Announcements; 6) Personalization.

  12. Human Centered Design and Development for NASA's MerBoard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trimble, Jay

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of the design and development process for NASA's MerBoard. These devices are large interactive display screens which can be shown on the user's computer, which will allow scientists in many locations to interpret and evaluate mission data in real-time. These tools are scheduled to be used during the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) expeditions. Topics covered include: mission overview, Mer Human Centered Computers, FIDO 2001 observations and MerBoard prototypes.

  13. Deciphering MERS-CoV Evolution in Dromedary Camels.

    PubMed

    Du, Lin; Han, Guan-Zhu

    2016-02-01

    The emergence of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) poses a potential threat to global public health. Many aspects of the evolution and transmission of MERS-CoV in its animal reservoir remain unclear. A recent study provides new insights into the evolution and transmission of MERS-CoV in dromedary camels.

  14. Generation of a tamoxifen inducible Tnnt2MerCreMer knock-in mouse model for cardiac studies.

    PubMed

    Yan, Jianyun; Sultana, Nishat; Zhang, Lu; Park, David S; Shekhar, Akshay; Hu, Jun; Bu, Lei; Cai, Chen-Leng

    2015-06-01

    Tnnt2, encoding thin-filament sarcomeric protein cardiac troponin T, plays critical roles in heart development and function in mammals. To develop an inducible genetic deletion strategy in myocardial cells, we generated a new Tnnt2:MerCreMer (Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+)) knock-in mouse. Rosa26 reporter lines were used to examine the specificity and efficiency of the inducible Cre recombinase. We found that Cre was specifically and robustly expressed in the cardiomyocytes at embryonic and adult stages following tamoxifen induction. The knock-in allele on Tnnt2 locus does not impact cardiac function. These results suggest that this new Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+) mouse could be applied towards the temporal genetic deletion of genes of interests in cardiomyocytes with Cre-LoxP technology. The Tnnt2(MerCreMer/+) mouse model also provides a useful tool to trace myocardial lineage during development and repair after cardiac injury.

  15. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors.

    PubMed

    Almatouq, Abdullah; Babatunde, Akintunde O

    2016-03-29

    This study investigated the mechanism and key factors influencing concurrent phosphorus (P) recovery and energy generation in microbial fuel cells (MFC) during wastewater treatment. Using a mediator-less dual chamber microbial fuel cell operated for 120 days; P was shown to precipitate as struvite when ammonium and magnesium chloride solutions were added to the cathode chamber. Monitoring data for chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and aeration flow rate showed that a maximum 38% P recovery was achieved; and this corresponds to 1.5 g/L, pH > 8, -550 ± 10 mV and 50 mL/min respectively, for COD, pH(cathode), ORP and cathode aeration flow rate. More importantly, COD and aeration flow rate were shown to be the key influencing factors for the P recovery and energy generation. Results further show that the maximum P recovery corresponds to 72 mW/m² power density. However, the energy generated at maximum P recovery was not the optimum; this shows that whilst P recovery and energy generation can be concurrently achieved in a microbial fuel cell, neither can be at the optimal value.

  16. Concurrent Phosphorus Recovery and Energy Generation in Mediator-Less Dual Chamber Microbial Fuel Cells: Mechanisms and Influencing Factors

    PubMed Central

    Almatouq, Abdullah; Babatunde, Akintunde O.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the mechanism and key factors influencing concurrent phosphorus (P) recovery and energy generation in microbial fuel cells (MFC) during wastewater treatment. Using a mediator-less dual chamber microbial fuel cell operated for 120 days; P was shown to precipitate as struvite when ammonium and magnesium chloride solutions were added to the cathode chamber. Monitoring data for chemical oxygen demand (COD), pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and aeration flow rate showed that a maximum 38% P recovery was achieved; and this corresponds to 1.5 g/L, pH > 8, −550 ± 10 mV and 50 mL/min respectively, for COD, pHcathode, ORP and cathode aeration flow rate. More importantly, COD and aeration flow rate were shown to be the key influencing factors for the P recovery and energy generation. Results further show that the maximum P recovery corresponds to 72 mW/m2 power density. However, the energy generated at maximum P recovery was not the optimum; this shows that whilst P recovery and energy generation can be concurrently achieved in a microbial fuel cell, neither can be at the optimal value. PMID:27043584

  17. Autophagy protein Rubicon mediates phagocytic NADPH oxidase activation in response to microbial infection or TLR stimulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chul-Su; Lee, Jong-Soo; Rodgers, Mary; Min, Chan-Ki; Lee, June-Yong; Kim, Hee Jin; Lee, Kwang-Hoon; Kim, Chul-Joong; Oh, Byungha; Zandi, Ebrahim; Yue, Zhenyu; Kramnik, Igor; Liang, Chengyu; Jung, Jae U

    2012-03-15

    Phagocytosis and autophagy are two important and related arms of the host's first-line defense against microbial invasion. Rubicon is a RUN domain containing cysteine-rich protein that functions as part of a Beclin-1-Vps34-containing autophagy complex. We report that Rubicon is also an essential, positive regulator of the NADPH oxidase complex. Upon microbial infection or Toll-like-receptor 2 (TLR2) activation, Rubicon interacts with the p22phox subunit of the NADPH oxidase complex, facilitating its phagosomal trafficking to induce a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokines. Consequently, ectopic expression or depletion of Rubicon profoundly affected ROS, inflammatory cytokine production, and subsequent antimicrobial activity. Rubicon's actions in autophagy and in the NADPH oxidase complex are functionally and genetically separable, indicating that Rubicon functions in two ancient innate immune machineries, autophagy and phagocytosis, depending on the environmental stimulus. Rubicon may thus be pivotal to generating an optimal intracellular immune response against microbial infection.

  18. Isotope evidence for the microbially mediated formation of elemental sulfur: A case study from Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchyn, A. V.; Bennett, V. A.; Hodell, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    Elemental, or native, sulfur nodules or veins can be formed during aqueous diagenesis and have been found in a range of natural environments, including lake sediments. What governs the formation of elemental sulfur remains enigmatic, although it is widely thought to be microbially-mediated. While most of the literature suggests elemental sulfur is formed by partial re-oxidation of hydrogen sulphide, elemental sulfur can also form during incomplete bacterial sulfate reduction or during aborted sulfur disproportionation. Lake Peten Itza, in Northern Guatemala, which was cored during the International Continental Drilling program in 2006, is one of the few places where elemental sulfur nodules are forming during microbial diagenesis today. Sulfur isotopes are strongly partitioned during bacterial sulfate reduction and the magnitude of the partitioning yields insight into the microbial reactions and environmental conditions. For example, sulfate reduction that terminates at elemental sulfur likely requires the use of the intracellular trithonite pathway, which may drive larger overall sulfur isotope fractionation between the precursor sulfate and the elemental sulfur product. Sulfur isotopes combined with oxygen isotopes in the precursor sulfate may provide even more information about microbial mechanisms. We present coupled pore fluid sulfate concentrations and sulfur and oxygen isotope measurements, as well as co-existing nodule sulfur isotopes from the Lake Peten Itza sediments. The δ34S of the nodules in the lake sediments ranges from +12 to -13‰, often within a single nodule. This suggests formation from an open system where sulfate is replenished by diffusion, as might be expected during pore fluid diagenesis. The δ34S of the pore fluid sulfate at the depth of nodule formation is between 50 and 60‰ (versus the precursor gypsum which is 17 to 18‰) suggesting a large sulfur isotope fractionation between sulfate and elemental sulfur (38 to 73‰). Pyrite was

  19. Metagenome Fragment Classification Using N-Mer Frequency Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Rosen, Gail; Garbarine, Elaine; Caseiro, Diamantino; Polikar, Robi; Sokhansanj, Bahrad

    2008-01-01

    A vast amount of microbial sequencing data is being generated through large-scale projects in ecology, agriculture, and human health. Efficient high-throughput methods are needed to analyze the mass amounts of metagenomic data, all DNA present in an environmental sample. A major obstacle in metagenomics is the inability to obtain accuracy using technology that yields short reads. We construct the unique N-mer frequency profiles of 635 microbial genomes publicly available as of February 2008. These profiles are used to train a naive Bayes classifier (NBC) that can be used to identify the genome of any fragment. We show that our method is comparable to BLAST for small 25 bp fragments but does not have the ambiguity of BLAST's tied top scores. We demonstrate that this approach is scalable to identify any fragment from hundreds of genomes. It also performs quite well at the strain, species, and genera levels and achieves strain resolution despite classifying ubiquitous genomic fragments (gene and nongene regions). Cross-validation analysis demonstrates that species-accuracy achieves 90% for highly-represented species containing an average of 8 strains. We demonstrate that such a tool can be used on the Sargasso Sea dataset, and our analysis shows that NBC can be further enhanced. PMID:19956701

  20. Metagenome fragment classification using N-mer frequency profiles.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Gail; Garbarine, Elaine; Caseiro, Diamantino; Polikar, Robi; Sokhansanj, Bahrad

    2008-01-01

    A vast amount of microbial sequencing data is being generated through large-scale projects in ecology, agriculture, and human health. Efficient high-throughput methods are needed to analyze the mass amounts of metagenomic data, all DNA present in an environmental sample. A major obstacle in metagenomics is the inability to obtain accuracy using technology that yields short reads. We construct the unique N-mer frequency profiles of 635 microbial genomes publicly available as of February 2008. These profiles are used to train a naive Bayes classifier (NBC) that can be used to identify the genome of any fragment. We show that our method is comparable to BLAST for small 25 bp fragments but does not have the ambiguity of BLAST's tied top scores. We demonstrate that this approach is scalable to identify any fragment from hundreds of genomes. It also performs quite well at the strain, species, and genera levels and achieves strain resolution despite classifying ubiquitous genomic fragments (gene and nongene regions). Cross-validation analysis demonstrates that species-accuracy achieves 90% for highly-represented species containing an average of 8 strains. We demonstrate that such a tool can be used on the Sargasso Sea dataset, and our analysis shows that NBC can be further enhanced.

  1. Environmental conditions constrain the distribution and diversity of archaeal merA in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanping; Boyd, Eric; Crane, Sharron; Lu-Irving, Patricia; Krabbenhoft, David; King, Susan; Dighton, John; Geesey, Gill; Barkay, Tamar

    2011-11-01

    The distribution and phylogeny of extant protein-encoding genes recovered from geochemically diverse environments can provide insight into the physical and chemical parameters that led to the origin and which constrained the evolution of a functional process. Mercuric reductase (MerA) plays an integral role in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry by catalyzing the transformation of Hg(II) to Hg(0). Putative merA sequences were amplified from DNA extracts of microbial communities associated with mats and sulfur precipitates from physicochemically diverse Hg-containing springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, using four PCR primer sets that were designed to capture the known diversity of merA. The recovery of novel and deeply rooted MerA lineages from these habitats supports previous evidence that indicates merA originated in a thermophilic environment. Generalized linear models indicate that the distribution of putative archaeal merA lineages was constrained by a combination of pH, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved total mercury and sulfide. The models failed to identify statistically well supported trends for the distribution of putative bacterial merA lineages as a function of these or other measured environmental variables, suggesting that these lineages were either influenced by environmental parameters not considered in the present study, or the bacterial primer sets were designed to target too broad of a class of genes which may have responded differently to environmental stimuli. The widespread occurrence of merA in the geothermal environments implies a prominent role for Hg detoxification in these environments. Moreover, the differences in the distribution of the merA genes amplified with the four merA primer sets suggests that the organisms putatively engaged in this activity have evolved to occupy different ecological niches within the geothermal gradient.

  2. Environmental Conditions Constrain the Distribution and Diversity of Archaeal merA in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, Y.; Boyd, E.; Crane, S.; Lu-Irving, P.; Krabbenhoft, D.; King, S.; Dighton, J.; Geesey, G.; Barkay, T.

    2011-01-01

    The distribution and phylogeny of extant protein-encoding genes recovered from geochemically diverse environments can provide insight into the physical and chemical parameters that led to the origin and which constrained the evolution of a functional process. Mercuric reductase (MerA) plays an integral role in mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry by catalyzing the transformation of Hg(II) to Hg(0). Putative merA sequences were amplified from DNA extracts of microbial communities associated with mats and sulfur precipitates from physicochemically diverse Hg-containing springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, using four PCR primer sets that were designed to capture the known diversity of merA. The recovery of novel and deeply rooted MerA lineages from these habitats supports previous evidence that indicates merA originated in a thermophilic environment. Generalized linear models indicate that the distribution of putative archaeal merA lineages was constrained by a combination of pH, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved total mercury and sulfide. The models failed to identify statistically well supported trends for the distribution of putative bacterial merA lineages as a function of these or other measured environmental variables, suggesting that these lineages were either influenced by environmental parameters not considered in the present study, or the bacterial primer sets were designed to target too broad of a class of genes which may have responded differently to environmental stimuli. The widespread occurrence of merA in the geothermal environments implies a prominent role for Hg detoxification in these environments. Moreover, the differences in the distribution of the merA genes amplified with the four merA primer sets suggests that the organisms putatively engaged in this activity have evolved to occupy different ecological niches within the geothermal gradient. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  3. Effect of salt concentration and mediators in salt bridge microbial fuel cell for electricity generation from synthetic wastewater.

    PubMed

    Sevda, Surajbhan; Sreekrishnan, T R

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using agar salt bridges for proton transport in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFC). It also tries to elucidate and effect of mediators on electricity production from wastewaters through experimentation using a simulated wastewater. In order to offset the very high cost of proton exchange membrane, salt bridges have been used in dual chamber MFCs. When the concentration of salt was varied in agar salt bridges from 1% to 10%, the volumetric power density changed from 1.71 to 84.99 mW/m(3) with a concomitant variation in power density from 0.32 to 16.02 mW/m(2). The maximum power density was observed at 5% salt concentration with 10% agar, which was accompanied by 88.41% COD reduction. In the case of methylene blue (0.01 mM) as the electron mediator, the voltage and current generation were 0.551 V and 0.47 mA, respectively. A maximum open circuit voltage of 0.718 V was seen at 0.08 mM methylene blue concentration, whereas maximum power densities of 17.59 mW/m(2) and 89.22 mW/m(3) were obtained. Different concentrations of neutral red were also tried out as mediators. A maximum open circuit voltage of 0.730 V was seen at 0.01 mM neutral red, corresponding to a power density of 12.02 mW/m(2) (volumetric power density of 60.97 mW/m(3)). Biofilm formation on the electrode surface was not observed in the presence of mediators, but was present in the absence of mediators. The results clearly demonstrated the feasibility to use agar salt bridge for proton transport and role of mediators in MFCs to generate electricity.

  4. Temperature-mediated changes in microbial carbon use efficiency and 13C discrimination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmeier, C. A.; Ballantyne, F., IV; Min, K.; Billings, S. A.

    2015-10-01

    Understanding how carbon dioxide (CO2) flux from soils feeds back to climate warming depends in part on our ability to quantify the efficiency with which microorganisms convert soil organic carbon (C) into either biomass or CO2. Quantifying ecosystem-level respiratory CO2 losses often also requires assumptions about stable C isotope fractionations associated with the microbial transformation of soil organic substrates. However, the diversity of organic substrates' δ13C and the challenges of measuring microbial C use efficiency (CUE) in soils fundamentally limit our ability to project soil, and thus ecosystem, C budgets in a warming climate. Here, we quantify the effect of temperature on C fluxes during metabolic transformations of cellobiose, a common microbial substrate, by a cosmopolitan soil microorganism growing at a constant rate. Specific respiration rate increased by 250 % between 13 and 26.5 °C, decreasing CUE from 77 to 56 %. Specific respiration rate was positively correlated with an increase in respiratory 13C discrimination from 4.4 to 6.7 ‰ across the same temperature range. This first demonstration of a direct link between temperature, microbial CUE and associated isotope fluxes provides a critical step towards understanding δ13C of respired CO2 at multiple scales, and towards a framework for predicting future soil C fluxes.

  5. Temperature-mediated changes in microbial carbon use efficiency and 13C discrimination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehmeier, Christoph A.; Ballantyne, Ford, IV; Min, Kyungjin; Billings, Sharon A.

    2016-06-01

    Understanding how carbon dioxide (CO2) flux from ecosystems feeds back to climate warming depends in part on our ability to quantify the efficiency with which microorganisms convert organic carbon (C) into either biomass or CO2. Quantifying ecosystem-level respiratory CO2 losses often also requires assumptions about stable C isotope fractionations associated with the microbial transformation of organic substrates. However, the diversity of organic substrates' δ13C and the challenges of measuring microbial C use efficiency (CUE) in their natural environment fundamentally limit our ability to project ecosystem C budgets in a warming climate. Here, we quantify the effect of temperature on C fluxes during metabolic transformations of cellobiose, a common microbial substrate, by a cosmopolitan microorganism growing at a constant rate. Biomass C specific respiration rate increased by 250 % between 13 and 26.5 °C, decreasing CUE from 77 to 56 %. Biomass C specific respiration rate was positively correlated with an increase in respiratory 13C discrimination from 4.4 to 6.7 ‰ across the same temperature range. This first demonstration of a direct link between temperature, microbial CUE, and associated isotope fluxes provides a critical step towards understanding δ13C of respired CO2 at multiple scales, and towards a framework for predicting future ecosystem C fluxes.

  6. Microbially-mediated fate of {sup 14}C-pyrene in soil organic matter

    SciTech Connect

    Guthroe, E.A.; Pfaender, F.K.

    1995-12-31

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants that result from both natural and anthropogenic combustion processes. Several microbial processes are known to influence the fate of PAH in soil. Their effect on PAH structure and mobility can affect the potential health risk exposure to humans and indigenous organisms in soil. Microbial metabolism of PAHs can result in the accumulation of more polar by-products or the formation of by-products that may be further metabolized or mineralized by other microorganisms. A third possible fate is the incorporation of PAHs into soil organic matter via various sorption/binding processes. Experiments were conducted to determine the extent of {sup 14}C-pyrene associations with soil organic matter (SOM) in adapted and non-adapted soils. Changes in microbial respiration (CO{sub 2} efflux), {sup 14}C volatile organics, {sup 14}C water soluble metabolites and {sup 14}C SOM were measured in aerated soil systems treated individually with 100 mg/kg [4,5,9,10-{sup 14}C] pyrene over time. Mass balances were generated based on V products in water extracts, CO{sub 2} efflux. SOM, {sup 14}C-volatiles, and residual soil. The {sup 14}C products in SOM were further fractionated into humic acids (HA), fulvic acids (FA), and humin. The presence of an adapted, microbial community enhances {sup 14}C-pyrene mineralization and increases the {sup 14}C product accumulation in water extracts and fulvic acids (FA).

  7. Recapitulating phylogenies using k-mers: from trees to networks

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Guillaume; Ragan, Mark A.; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2016-01-01

    Ernst Haeckel based his landmark Tree of Life on the supposed ontogenic recapitulation of phylogeny, i.e. that successive embryonic stages during the development of an organism re-trace the morphological forms of its ancestors over the course of evolution. Much of this idea has since been discredited. Today, phylogenies are often based on families of molecular sequences. The standard approach starts with a multiple sequence alignment, in which the sequences are arranged relative to each other in a way that maximises a measure of similarity position-by-position along their entire length. A tree (or sometimes a network) is then inferred. Rigorous multiple sequence alignment is computationally demanding, and evolutionary processes that shape the genomes of many microbes (bacteria, archaea and some morphologically simple eukaryotes) can add further complications. In particular, recombination, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer undermine the assumptions that underlie multiple sequence alignment, and imply that a tree-like structure may be too simplistic. Here, using genome sequences of 143 bacterial and archaeal genomes, we construct a network of phylogenetic relatedness based on the number of shared k-mers (subsequences at fixed length k). Our findings suggest that the network captures not only key aspects of microbial genome evolution as inferred from a tree, but also features that are not treelike. The method is highly scalable, allowing for investigation of genome evolution across a large number of genomes. Instead of using specific regions or sequences from genome sequences, or indeed Haeckel’s idea of ontogeny, we argue that genome phylogenies can be inferred using k-mers from whole-genome sequences. Representing these networks dynamically allows biological questions of interest to be formulated and addressed quickly and in a visually intuitive manner. PMID:28105314

  8. Sulfur-Oxidizing Bacteria Mediate Microbial Community Succession and Element Cycling in Launched Marine Sediment.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Hideyuki; Hori, Tomoyuki; Aoyagi, Tomo; Takasaki, Mitsuru; Katayama, Yoko

    2017-01-01

    A large amount of marine sediment was launched on land by the Great East Japan earthquake. Here, we employed both on-site and laboratory studies on the launched marine sediment to investigate the succession of microbial communities and its effects on geochemical properties of the sediment. Twenty-two-month on-site survey showed that microbial communities at the uppermost layer (0-2 mm depth) of the sediment changed significantly with time, whereas those at the deeper layer (20-40 mm depth) remained nearly unchanged and kept anaerobic microbial communities. Nine months after the incidence, various sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) prevailed in the uppermost layer, in which afterwards diverse chemoorganotrophic bacteria predominated. Geochemical analyses indicated that the concentration of metals other than Fe was lower in the uppermost layer than that in the deeper layer. Laboratory study was carried out by incubating the sediment for 57 days, and clearly indicated the dynamic transition of microbial communities in the uppermost layer exposed to atmosphere. SOB affiliated in the class Epsilonproteobacteria rapidly proliferated and dominated at the uppermost layer during the first 3 days, after that Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria and chemoorganotrophic bacteria were sequentially dominant. Furthermore, the concentration of sulfate ion increased and the pH decreased. Consequently, SOB may have influenced the mobilization of heavy metals in the sediment by metal-bound sulfide oxidation and/or sediment acidification. These results demonstrate that SOB initiated the dynamic shift from the anaerobic to aerobic microbial communities, thereby playing a critical role in element cycling in the marine sediment.

  9. Sulfur-Oxidizing Bacteria Mediate Microbial Community Succession and Element Cycling in Launched Marine Sediment

    PubMed Central

    Ihara, Hideyuki; Hori, Tomoyuki; Aoyagi, Tomo; Takasaki, Mitsuru; Katayama, Yoko

    2017-01-01

    A large amount of marine sediment was launched on land by the Great East Japan earthquake. Here, we employed both on-site and laboratory studies on the launched marine sediment to investigate the succession of microbial communities and its effects on geochemical properties of the sediment. Twenty-two-month on-site survey showed that microbial communities at the uppermost layer (0–2 mm depth) of the sediment changed significantly with time, whereas those at the deeper layer (20–40 mm depth) remained nearly unchanged and kept anaerobic microbial communities. Nine months after the incidence, various sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) prevailed in the uppermost layer, in which afterwards diverse chemoorganotrophic bacteria predominated. Geochemical analyses indicated that the concentration of metals other than Fe was lower in the uppermost layer than that in the deeper layer. Laboratory study was carried out by incubating the sediment for 57 days, and clearly indicated the dynamic transition of microbial communities in the uppermost layer exposed to atmosphere. SOB affiliated in the class Epsilonproteobacteria rapidly proliferated and dominated at the uppermost layer during the first 3 days, after that Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria and chemoorganotrophic bacteria were sequentially dominant. Furthermore, the concentration of sulfate ion increased and the pH decreased. Consequently, SOB may have influenced the mobilization of heavy metals in the sediment by metal-bound sulfide oxidation and/or sediment acidification. These results demonstrate that SOB initiated the dynamic shift from the anaerobic to aerobic microbial communities, thereby playing a critical role in element cycling in the marine sediment. PMID:28217124

  10. Animal models for SARS and MERS coronaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Gretebeck, Lisa M; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), two strains of animal coronaviruses that crossed the species barrier to infect and cause severe respiratory infections in humans within the last 12 years, have taught us that coronaviruses represent a global threat that does not recognize international borders. We can expect to see other novel coronaviruses emerge in the future. An ideal animal model should reflect the clinical signs, viral replication and pathology seen in humans. In this review, we present factors to consider in establishing an animal model for the study of novel coronaviruses and compare the different animal models that have been employed to study SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. PMID:26184451

  11. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Burl, Michael; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Daniel; Judd, Michele; Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) system provides automated data collection for planetary rovers. AEGIS is currently being used onboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission's Opportunity to provide autonomous targeting of the MER Panoramic camera. Prior to AEGIS, targeted data was collected in a manual fashion where targets were manually identified in images transmitted to Earth and the rover had to remain in the same location for one to several communication cycles. AEGIS enables targeted data to be rapidly acquired with no delays for ground communication. Targets are selected by AEGIS through the use of onboard data analysis techniques that are guided by scientist-specified objectives. This paper provides an overview of the how AEGIS has been used on the Opportunity rover, focusing on usage that occurred during a 21 kilometer historic trek to the Mars Endeavour crater.

  12. Animal models for SARS and MERS coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    Gretebeck, Lisa M; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-08-01

    The emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), two strains of animal coronaviruses that crossed the species barrier to infect and cause severe respiratory infections in humans within the last 12 years, have taught us that coronaviruses represent a global threat that does not recognize international borders. We can expect to see other novel coronaviruses emerge in the future. An ideal animal model should reflect the clinical signs, viral replication and pathology seen in humans. In this review, we present factors to consider in establishing an animal model for the study of novel coronaviruses and compare the different animal models that have been employed to study SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

  13. Automated Targeting for the MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Gaines, Daniel; de Granville, Charles; Thompson, David; Burl, Michael; Chien, Steve; Judd, Michele

    2009-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science System (AEGIS) will soon provide automated targeting for remote sensing instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, which currently which currently has two rovers exploring the surface of Mars. Currently, targets for rover remote-sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission ChemCam Spectrometer), must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. AEGIS enables the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. In this paper, we first provide some background information on the larger autonomous science framework in which AEGIS was developed. We then describe how AEGIS was specifically developed and tested on the JPL FIDO rover. Finally we discuss how AEGIS will be uploaded and used on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission in early 2009.

  14. Enhanced microbial decolorization of methyl red with oxidized carbon fiber as redox mediator.

    PubMed

    Emilia Rios-Del Toro, E; Celis, Lourdes B; Cervantes, Francisco J; Rangel-Mendez, J Rene

    2013-09-15

    The anaerobic degradation of azo dyes under anaerobic conditions is possible but at a slow rate. Redox mediators (quinones, activated carbon) are used to improve the reduction rate. The aim of this work was to use activated carbon fiber (ACF) as a redox mediator for the anaerobic reduction of the azo dye methyl red. ACF was chemically modified with 8M HNO₃ to increase its redox-mediating capacity and used in chemical and anaerobic biological batch assays for the reduction of methyl red. ACF increased its redox-mediating capacity up to 3-fold in chemical assays; in biological assays ACF increased the reduction rate up to 8-fold compared to controls without ACF. However, since the ACF served as support for biomass, a biofilm formed on the fiber significantly reduced its redox-mediating capacity; substrate consumption suggested that the electron transport from ACF to methyl red was the rate-limiting step in the process. These results are the first evidence of the role of ACF as a redox mediator in the reductive decolorization of methyl red, in addition to the effect of biofilm attached to ACF on methyl red reduction. Due to the versatile characteristics of ACF and its redox-mediating capacity, carbon fibers could be used in biological wastewater treatment systems to accelerate the reductive transformation of pollutants commonly found in industrial effluents.

  15. Plasmid-Mediated Bioaugmentation of Wastewater Microbial Communities in a Laboratory-Scale Bioreactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bathe, Stephan; Hausner, Martina

    Xenobiotic degradation during biological wastewater treatment can be established or enhanced by bioaugmentation - the addition of biological agents carrying biodegradation genes required to perform the task. Whereas the addition of microbial cells carrying chromosomally encoded catabolic genes can be impaired by limited survival of the added microorganisms, the addition of donor organisms carrying a transmissible catabolic plasmid is a promising alternative. This plasmid can spread within the indigenous microbial community of the system, circumventing the need for extended survival of the introduced bacterial strain. Here we discuss how the catabolic plasmid pNB2 can be evaluated towards its potential to facilitate the degradation of a xenobiotic compound, 3-chloroaniline, and demonstrate the applicability of this plasmid to accomplish 3-chloroaniline degradation in a bioreactor setting after in situ transfer to suitable recipient strains.

  16. Microbially mediated transformations of phosphorus in the sea: new views of an old cycle.

    PubMed

    Karl, David M

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorus (P) is a required element for life. Its various chemical forms are found throughout the lithosphere and hydrosphere, where they are acted on by numerous abiotic and biotic processes collectively referred to as the P cycle. In the sea, microorganisms are primarily responsible for P assimilation and remineralization, including recently discovered P reduction-oxidation bioenergetic processes that add new complexity to the marine microbial P cycle. Human-induced enhancement of the global P cycle via mining of phosphate-bearing rock will likely influence the pace of P-cycle dynamics, especially in coastal marine habitats. The inextricable link between the P cycle and cycles of other bioelements predicts future impacts on, for example, nitrogen fixation and carbon dioxide sequestration. Additional laboratory and field research is required to build a comprehensive understanding of the marine microbial P cycle.

  17. Microbially Mediated Biodegradation of Hexahydro-1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5- Triazine by Extracellular Electron Shuttling Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Man Jae; Finneran, Kevin T.

    2006-01-01

    The potential for humic substances to stimulate the reduction of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) was investigated. This study describes a novel approach for the remediation of RDX-contaminated environments using microbially mediated electron shuttling. Incubations without cells demonstrated that reduced AQDS transfers electrons directly to RDX, which was reduced without significant accumulation of the nitroso intermediates. Three times as much reduced AQDS (molar basis) was needed to completely reduce RDX. The rate and extent of RDX reduction differed greatly among electron shuttle/acceptor amendments for resting cell suspensions of Geobacter metallireducens and G. sulfurreducens with acetate as the sole electron donor. AQDS and purified humic substances stimulated the fastest rate of RDX reduction. The nitroso metabolites did not significantly accumulate in the presence of AQDS or humic substances. RDX reduction in the presence of poorly crystalline Fe(III) was relatively slow and metabolites transiently accumulated. However, adding humic substances or AQDS to Fe(III)-containing incubations increased the reduction rates. Cells of G. metallireducens alone reduced RDX; however, the rate of RDX reduction was slow relative to AQDS-amended incubations. These data suggest that extracellular electron shuttle-mediated RDX transformation is not organism specific but rather is catalyzed by multiple Fe(III)- and humic-reducing species. Electron shuttle-mediated RDX reduction may eventually become a rapid and effective cleanup strategy in both Fe(III)-rich and Fe(III)-poor environments. PMID:16957213

  18. Iron-mediated microbial oxidation and abiotic reduction of organic contaminants under anoxic conditions.

    PubMed

    Tobler, Nicole B; Hofstetter, Thomas B; Straub, Kristina L; Fontana, Daniela; Schwarzenbach, René P

    2007-11-15

    In anoxic environments, the oxidation of organic compounds, such as BTEX fuel components, by dissimilatory Fe(III) reduction can generate reactive mineral-bound Fe(II) species, which in turn are able to reduce other classes of organic and inorganic groundwater contaminants. In this study, we designed and evaluated an anaerobic batch reactor that mimicks iron-reducing conditions to investigate the factors that favor the coupling of microbial toluene oxidation and abiotic reduction of nitroaromatic contaminants. We investigated the influence of different Fe(III)-bearing minerals and combinations thereof on the coupling of these two processes. Results from laboratory model systems show that complete oxidation of toluene to CO2 by Geobacter metallireducens in the presence of Fe(III)-bearing minerals leads to the formation of mineral-bound Fe(II) species capable of the reduction of 4-nitroacetophenone. Whereas significant microbial toluene oxidation was only observed in the presence of amorphous Fe(III) phases, reduction of nitroaromatic compounds only proceeded with Fe(II) species bound to crystalline Fe(III) oxides. Our results suggest that in anoxic soils and sediments containing amorphous and crystalline iron phases simultaneously, coupling of microbial oxidation and abiotic reduction of organic compounds may allow for concurrent natural attenuation of different contaminant classes.

  19. Microbial mediated retention/transformation of organic and inorganic materials in freshwater and marine ecosystems

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic ecosystems are globally connected by hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. Microorganisms inhabiting aquatic ecosystems form the basis of food webs, mediate essential element cycles, decompose natural organic matter, transform inorganic nutrients and metals, and degrad...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Biodegradation and surfactant-mediated biodegradation of diesel fuel by 218 microbial consortia are not correlated to cell surface hydrophobicity.

    PubMed

    Owsianiak, Mikołaj; Szulc, Alicja; Chrzanowski, Łukasz; Cyplik, Paweł; Bogacki, Mariusz; Olejnik-Schmidt, Agnieszka K; Heipieper, Hermann J

    2009-09-01

    In this study, we elucidated the role of cell surface hydrophobicity (microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons method, MATH) and the effect of anionic rhamnolipids and nonionic Triton X-100 surfactants on biodegradation of diesel fuel employing 218 microbial consortia isolated from petroleum-contaminated soils. Applied enrichment procedure with floating diesel fuel as a sole carbon source in liquid cultures resulted in consortia of varying biodegradation potential and diametrically different cell surface properties, suggesting that cell surface hydrophobicity is a conserved parameter. Surprisingly, no correlations between cell surface hydrophobicity and biodegradation of diesel fuel were found. Nevertheless, both surfactants altered cell surface hydrophobicity of the consortia in similar manner: increased for the hydrophilic and decreased for the hydrophobic cultures. In addition to this, the surfactants exhibited similar influence on diesel fuel biodegradation: Increase was observed for initially slow-degrading cultures and the opposite for fast degraders. This indicates that in the surfactant-mediated biodegradation, effectiveness of surfactants depends on the specification of microorganisms and not on the type of surfactant. In contrary to what was previously reported for pure strains, cell surface hydrophobicity, as determined by MATH, is not a good descriptor of biodegrading potential for mixed cultures.

  2. Extracellular Saccharide-Mediated Reduction of Au(3+) to Gold Nanoparticles: New Insights for Heavy Metals Biomineralization on Microbial Surfaces.

    PubMed

    Kang, Fuxing; Qu, Xiaolei; Alvarez, Pedro J J; Zhu, Dongqiang

    2017-02-15

    Biomineralization is a critical process controlling the biogeochemical cycling, fate, and potential environmental impacts of heavy metals. Despite the indispensability of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) to microbial life and their ubiquity in soil and aquatic environments, the role played by EPS in the transformation and biomineralization of heavy metals is not well understood. Here, we used gold ion (Au(3+)) as a model heavy metal ion to quantitatively assess the role of EPS in biomineralization and discern the responsible functional groups. Integrated spectroscopic analyses showed that Au(3+)was readily reduced to zerovalent gold nanoparticles (AuNPs, 2-15 nm in size) in aqueous suspension of Escherichia coli or dissolved EPS extracted from microbes. The majority of AuNPs (95.2%) was formed outside Escherichia coli cells, and the removal of EPS attached to cells pronouncedly suppressed Au(3+) reduction, reflecting the predominance of the extracellular matrix in Au(3+) reduction. XPS, UV-vis, and FTIR analyses corroborated that Au(3+) reduction was mediated by the hemiacetal groups (aldehyde equivalents) of reducing saccharides of EPS. Consistently, the kinetics of AuNP formation obeyed pseudo-second-order reaction kinetics with respect to the concentrations of Au(3+) and the hemiacetal groups in EPS, with minimal dependency on the source of microbial EPS. Our findings indicate a previously overlooked, universally significant contribution of EPS to the reduction, mineralization, and potential detoxification of metal species with high oxidation state.

  3. Disentangling mechanisms that mediate the balance between stochastic and deterministic processes in microbial succession.

    PubMed

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Stegen, James C; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2015-03-17

    Ecological succession and the balance between stochastic and deterministic processes are two major themes within microbial ecology, but these conceptual domains have mostly developed independent of each other. Here we provide a framework that integrates shifts in community assembly processes with microbial primary succession to better understand mechanisms governing the stochastic/deterministic balance. Synthesizing previous work, we devised a conceptual model that links ecosystem development to alternative hypotheses related to shifts in ecological assembly processes. Conceptual model hypotheses were tested by coupling spatiotemporal data on soil bacterial communities with environmental conditions in a salt marsh chronosequence spanning 105 years of succession. Analyses within successional stages showed community composition to be initially governed by stochasticity, but as succession proceeded, there was a progressive increase in deterministic selection correlated with increasing sodium concentration. Analyses of community turnover among successional stages--which provide a larger spatiotemporal scale relative to within stage analyses--revealed that changes in the concentration of soil organic matter were the main predictor of the type and relative influence of determinism. Taken together, these results suggest scale-dependency in the mechanisms underlying selection. To better understand mechanisms governing these patterns, we developed an ecological simulation model that revealed how changes in selective environments cause shifts in the stochastic/deterministic balance. Finally, we propose an extended--and experimentally testable--conceptual model integrating ecological assembly processes with primary and secondary succession. This framework provides a priori hypotheses for future experiments, thereby facilitating a systematic approach to understand assembly and succession in microbial communities across ecosystems.

  4. Cleavage of Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) from the cell surface contributes to the regulation of retinal phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Law, Ah-Lai; Parinot, Célia; Chatagnon, Jonathan; Gravez, Basile; Sahel, José-Alain; Bhattacharya, Shomi S; Nandrot, Emeline F

    2015-02-20

    Phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages and spent photoreceptor outer segments (POS) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells requires several proteins, including MerTK receptors and associated Gas6 and protein S ligands. In the retina, POS phagocytosis is rhythmic, and MerTK is activated promptly after light onset via the αvβ5 integrin receptor and its ligand MFG-E8, thus generating a phagocytic peak. The phagocytic burst is limited in time, suggesting a down-regulation mechanism that limits its duration. Our previous data showed that MerTK helps control POS binding of integrin receptors at the RPE cell surface as a negative feedback loop. Our present results show that a soluble form of MerTK (sMerTK) is released in the conditioned media of RPE-J cells during phagocytosis and in the interphotoreceptor matrix of the mouse retina during the morning phagocytic peak. In contrast to macrophages, the two cognate MerTK ligands have an opposite effect on phagocytosis and sMerTK release, whereas the integrin ligand MFG-E8 markedly increases both phagocytosis and sMerTK levels. sMerTK acts as a decoy receptor blocking the effect of both MerTK ligands. Interestingly, stimulation of sMerTK release decreases POS binding. Conversely, blocking MerTK cleavage increased mostly POS binding by RPE cells. Therefore, our data suggest that MerTK cleavage contributes to the acute regulation of RPE phagocytosis by limiting POS binding to the cell surface.

  5. Neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Zymomonas mobilis

    PubMed Central

    Harrington, Timothy D.; Mohamed, Abdelrhman; Tran, Vi N.; Biria, Saeid; Gargouri, Mahmoud; Park, Jeong-Jin; Gang, David R.; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to compare the effects of electrosynthesis on different bacterial species. The effects of neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis on the metabolite profiles of three microorganisms: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Zymomonas mobilis, were measured and compared and contrasted. A statistically comprehensive analysis of neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis is presented using the analysis of end-product profiles, current delivered, and changes in cellular protein expression. K. pneumoniae displayed the most dramatic response to electrosynthesis of the three bacteria, producing 93% more ethanol and 76% more lactate vs. control fermentation with no neutral red and no electron delivery. Z. mobilis showed no response to electrosynthesis except elevated acetate titers. Stoichiometric comparison showed that NAD+ reduction by neutral red could not account for changes in metabolites during electrosynthesis. Neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis was shown to have multifarious effects on the three species. PMID:26096579

  6. Neutral red-mediated microbial electrosynthesis by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Zymomonas mobilis.

    PubMed

    Harrington, Timothy D; Mohamed, Abdelrhman; Tran, Vi N; Biria, Saeid; Gargouri, Mahmoud; Park, Jeong-Jin; Gang, David R; Beyenal, Haluk

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this work was to compare the effects of electrosynthesis on different bacterial species. The effects of neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis on the metabolite profiles of three microorganisms: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Zymomonas mobilis, were measured and compared and contrasted. A statistically comprehensive analysis of neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis is presented using the analysis of end-product profiles, current delivered, and changes in cellular protein expression. K. pneumoniae displayed the most dramatic response to electrosynthesis of the three bacteria, producing 93% more ethanol and 76% more lactate vs. control fermentation with no neutral red and no electron delivery. Z. mobilis showed no response to electrosynthesis except elevated acetate titers. Stoichiometric comparison showed that NAD(+) reduction by neutral red could not account for changes in metabolites during electrosynthesis. Neutral red-mediated electrosynthesis was shown to have multifarious effects on the three species.

  7. UNC1062, a new and potent Mer inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; Deryckere, Deborah; Cummings, Christopher T; Hunter, Debra; Yang, Chao; Jayakody, Chatura N; Cheng, Nancy; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-07-01

    Abnormal activation of Mer kinase has been implicated in the oncogenesis of many human cancers including acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and glioblastoma. We have discovered a new family of small molecule Mer inhibitors, pyrazolopyrimidine sulfonamides, that potently inhibit the kinase activity of Mer. Importantly, these compounds do not demonstrate significant hERG activity in the PatchXpress assay. Through structure-activity relationship studies, 35 (UNC1062) was identified as a potent (IC50 = 1.1 nM) and selective Mer inhibitor. When applied to live tumor cells, UNC1062 inhibited Mer phosphorylation and colony formation in soft agar. Given the potential of Mer as a therapeutic target, UNC1062 is a promising candidate for further drug development.

  8. UNC1062, a new and potent Mer inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jing; Zhang, Weihe; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Cummings, Christopher T.; Hunter, Debra; Yang, Chao; Jayakody, Chatura N.; Cheng, Nancy; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-01-01

    Abnormal activation of Mer kinase has been implicated in the oncogenesis of many human cancers including acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia, non-small cell lung cancer, and glioblastoma. We have discovered a new family of small molecule Mer inhibitors, pyrazolopyrimidine sulfonamides, that potently inhibit the kinase activity of Mer. Importantly, these compounds do not demonstrate significant hERG activity in the PatchXpress assay. Through structure-activity relationship studies, 35 (UNC1062) was identified as a potent (IC50 = 1.1 nM) and selective Mer inhibitor. When applied to live tumor cells, UNC1062 inhibited Mer phosphorylation and colony formation in soft agar. Given the potential of Mer as a therapeutic target, UNC1062 is a promising candidate for further drug development. PMID:23693152

  9. Spectral induced polarization and electrodic potential monitoring of microbially mediated iron sulfide transformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Personna, Yves Robert; Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Slater, Lee; Yee, Nathan; O'Brien, Michael; Hubbard, Susan

    2008-06-01

    Stimulated sulfate-reduction is a bioremediation technique utilized for the sequestration of heavy metals in the subsurface. We performed laboratory column experiments to investigate the geoelectrical response of iron sulfide transformations by Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Two geoelectrical methods, (1) spectral induced polarization (SIP), and (2) electrodic potential measurements, were investigated. Aqueous geochemistry (sulfate, lactate, sulfide, and acetate), observations of precipitates (identified from electron microscopy as iron sulfide), and electrodic potentials on bisulfide ion (HS-) sensitive silver-silver chloride (Ag-AgCl) electrodes (˜-630 mV) were diagnostic of induced transitions between anaerobic iron sulfide forming conditions and aerobic conditions promoting iron sulfide dissolution. The SIP data showed ˜10 mrad anomalies during iron sulfide mineralization accompanying microbial activity under an anaerobic transition. These anomalies disappeared during iron sulfide dissolution under the subsequent aerobic transition. SIP model parameters based on a Cole-Cole relaxation model of the polarization at the mineral-fluid interface were converted to (1) estimated biomineral surface area to pore volume (Sp), and (2) an equivalent polarizable sphere diameter (d) controlling the relaxation time. The temporal variation in these model parameters is consistent with filling and emptying of pores by iron sulfide biofilms, as the system transitions between anaerobic (pore filling) and aerobic (pore emptying) conditions. The results suggest that combined SIP and electrodic potential measurements might be used to monitor spatiotemporal variability in microbial iron sulfide transformations in the field.

  10. Spectral induced polarization and electrodic potential monitoring of microbially mediated iron sulfide transformations

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, Susan; Personna, Y.R.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Slater, L.; Yee, N.; O'Brien, M.; Hubbard, S.

    2008-02-15

    Stimulated sulfate-reduction is a bioremediation technique utilized for the sequestration of heavy metals in the subsurface.We performed laboratory column experiments to investigate the geoelectrical response of iron sulfide transformations by Desulfo vibriovulgaris. Two geoelectrical methods, (1) spectral induced polarization (SIP), and (2) electrodic potential measurements, were investigated. Aqueous geochemistry (sulfate, lactate, sulfide, and acetate), observations of precipitates (identified from electron microscopy as iron sulfide), and electrodic potentials on bisulfide ion (HS) sensitive silver-silver chloride (Ag-AgCl) electrodes (630 mV) were diagnostic of induced transitions between an aerobic iron sulfide forming conditions and aerobic conditions promoting iron sulfide dissolution. The SIP data showed 10m rad anomalies during iron sulfide mineralization accompanying microbial activity under an anaerobic transition. These anomalies disappeared during iron sulfide dissolution under the subsequent aerobic transition. SIP model parameters based on a Cole-Cole relaxation model of the polarization at the mineral-fluid interface were converted to (1) estimated biomineral surface area to pore volume (Sp), and (2) an equivalent polarizable sphere diameter (d) controlling the relaxation time. The temporal variation in these model parameters is consistent with filling and emptying of pores by iron sulfide biofilms, as the system transitions between anaerobic (pore filling) and aerobic (pore emptying) conditions. The results suggest that combined SIP and electrodic potential measurements might be used to monitor spatiotemporal variability in microbial iron sulfide transformations in the field.

  11. Nutrient Enrichment Mediates the Relationships of Soil Microbial Respiration with Climatic Factors in an Alpine Meadow.

    PubMed

    Zong, Ning; Jiang, Jing; Shi, Peili; Song, Minghua; Shen, Zhenxi; Zhang, Xianzhou

    2015-01-01

    Quantifying the effects of nutrient additions on soil microbial respiration (R m) and its contribution to soil respiration (R s) are of great importance for accurate assessment ecosystem carbon (C) flux. Nitrogen (N) addition either alone (coded as LN and HN) or in combination with phosphorus (P) (coded as LN + P and HN + P) were manipulated in a semiarid alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau since 2008. Either LN or HN did not affect R m, while LN + P enhanced R m during peak growing periods, but HN + P did not affect R m. Nutrient addition also significantly affected R m /R s, and the correlations of R m /R s with climatic factors varied with years. Soil water content (Sw) was the main factor controlling the variations of R m /R s. During the years with large rainfall variations, R m /R s was negatively correlated with Sw, while, in years with even rainfall, R m/R s was positively correlated with Sw. Meanwhile, in N + P treatments the controlling effects of climatic factors on R m /R s were more significant than those in CK. Our results indicate that the sensitivity of soil microbes to climatic factors is regulated by nutrient enrichment. The divergent effects of Sw on R m /R s suggest that precipitation distribution patterns are key factors controlling soil microbial activities and ecosystem C fluxes in semiarid alpine meadow ecosystems.

  12. Microbially Mediated Leaching of Low-Sulfur Coal in Experimental Coal Columns †

    PubMed Central

    Radway, JoAnn C.; Tuttle, Jon H.; Fendinger, Nicholas J.; Means, Jay C.

    1987-01-01

    The leaching of a low-sulfur bituminous coal was investigated with experimental coal columns subjected to simulated rainfall events. Leachates from the columns became dominated by iron-oxidizing bacteria as evidenced by specific enrichment cultures and measurements of CO2 assimilation. Heterotrophic microorganisms were also present in the coal leachates, but their numbers and activity decreased with decreasing pH. This pattern could be reversed by increasing the pH of the coal with lime. Organosulfur-utilizing bacteria made up a substantial portion of the heterotrophic community. Measurements of microbial activity in coal cores indicated that although much of the microbial community remained associated with coal particles, the relative abundance of heterotrophs and autotrophs in leachate seemed to reflect that in coal cores. When bacterial growth was delayed by autoclaving coal samples, acid production and leaching of iron and sulfur were also delayed. Rapid leaching of materials from coal thus appears to be strongly dependent on the presence of the natural bacterial microflora. PMID:16347336

  13. Receptor usage and cell entry of bat coronavirus HKU4 provide insight into bat-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Du, Lanying; Liu, Chang; Wang, Lili; Ma, Cuiqing; Tang, Jian; Baric, Ralph S; Jiang, Shibo; Li, Fang

    2014-08-26

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) currently spreads in humans and causes ∼ 36% fatality in infected patients. Believed to have originated from bats, MERS-CoV is genetically related to bat coronaviruses HKU4 and HKU5. To understand how bat coronaviruses transmit to humans, we investigated the receptor usage and cell entry activity of the virus-surface spike proteins of HKU4 and HKU5. We found that dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), the receptor for MERS-CoV, is also the receptor for HKU4, but not HKU5. Despite sharing a common receptor, MERS-CoV and HKU4 spikes demonstrated functional differences. First, whereas MERS-CoV prefers human DPP4 over bat DPP4 as its receptor, HKU4 shows the opposite trend. Second, in the absence of exogenous proteases, both MERS-CoV and HKU4 spikes mediate pseudovirus entry into bat cells, whereas only MERS-CoV spike, but not HKU4 spike, mediates pseudovirus entry into human cells. Thus, MERS-CoV, but not HKU4, has adapted to use human DPP4 and human cellular proteases for efficient human cell entry, contributing to the enhanced pathogenesis of MERS-CoV in humans. These results establish DPP4 as a functional receptor for HKU4 and host cellular proteases as a host range determinant for HKU4. They also suggest that DPP4-recognizing bat coronaviruses threaten human health because of their spikes' capability to adapt to human cells for cross-species transmissions.

  14. Managing PV Power on Mars - MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Chin, Keith; Wood, Eric; Herman, Jennifer; Ewell, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The MER Rovers have recently completed over 5 years of operation! This is a remarkable demonstration of the capabilities of PV power on the Martian surface. The extended mission required the development of an efficient process to predict the power available to the rovers on a day-to-day basis. The performance of the MER solar arrays is quite unlike that of any other Space array and perhaps more akin to Terrestrial PV operation, although even severe by that comparison. The impact of unpredictable factors, such as atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation (and removal) on the panels limits the accurate prediction of array power to short time spans. Based on the above, it is clear that long term power predictions are not sufficiently accurate to allow for detailed long term planning. Instead, the power assessment is essentially a daily activity, effectively resetting the boundary points for the overall predictive power model. A typical analysis begins with the importing of the telemetry from each rover's previous day's power subsystem activities. This includes the array power generated, battery state-of-charge, rover power loads, and rover orientation, all as functions of time. The predicted performance for that day is compared to the actual performance to identify the extent of any differences. The model is then corrected for these changes. Details of JPL's MER power analysis procedure are presented, including the description of steps needed to provide the final prediction for the mission planners. A dust cleaning event of the solar array is also highlighted to illustrate the impact of Martian weather on solar array performance

  15. Electrochemically Active Soluble Mediators from Shewanella oneidensis: Relevance to Microbial Fuel Cells and Extracellular Electron Transfer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-01

    A second approach is the use of soluble mediators such as, quinones, phenazines , and riboflavin, which are able to shuttle electrons from the cell...done using the equivalent graphite felt or graphite felt coated with platinum nanoparticles . Fuel cell chambers were separated using a gas-permeable

  16. Evaluation of CO₂ solubility-trapping and mineral-trapping in microbial-mediated CO₂-brine-sandstone interaction.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jing; Lu, Wei; Zhang, Fengjun; Lu, Cong; Du, Juanjuan; Zhu, Rongyue; Sun, Lei

    2014-08-15

    Evaluation of CO₂ solubility-trapping and mineral-trapping by microbial-mediated process was investigated by lab experiments in this study. The results verified that microbes could adapt and keep relatively high activity under extreme subsurface environment (pH<5, temperature>50 °C, salinity>1.0 mol/L). When microbes mediated in the CO₂-brine-sandstone interaction, the CO₂ solubility-trapping was enhanced. The more biomass of microbe added, the more amount of CO₂ dissolved and trapped into the water. Consequently, the corrosion of feldspars and clay minerals such as chlorite was improved in relative short-term CO₂-brine-sandstone interaction, providing a favorable condition for CO₂ mineral-trapping. Through SEM images and EDS analyses, secondary minerals such as transition-state calcite and crystal siderite were observed, further indicating that the microbes played a positive role in CO₂ mineral trapping. As such, bioaugmentation of indigenous microbes would be a promising technology to enhance the CO₂ capture and storage in such deep saline aquifer like Erdos, China.

  17. Identification of the merR gene of R100 by using mer-lac gene and operon fusions.

    PubMed Central

    Foster, T J; Brown, N L

    1985-01-01

    Transcriptional (operon) and translational (gene) fusions between the R100 merR gene and lacZ were constructed in vitro in a pBR322 plasmid carrying the mer genes derived from plasmid R100. The translational fusions were oriented in the opposite direction to and divergently from the merTCAD genes. This shows that the reading frame previously thought to be merR was incorrect. Expression of the gene fusion was repressed in trans by a compatible plasmid carrying the R100 merR+ gene, as was a similarly oriented transcriptional fusion. In contrast, expression of beta-galactosidase by the lac fragment located at the same site but in the opposite orientation was at a lower level and was not repressed by merR+. Images PMID:2993235

  18. Disentangling Mechanisms That Mediate the Balance Between Stochastic and Deterministic Processes in Microbial Succession

    SciTech Connect

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Stegen, James C.; van Elsas, Jan D.; Falcao Salles, Joana

    2015-03-17

    Despite growing recognition that deterministic and stochastic factors simultaneously influence bacterial communities, little is known about mechanisms shifting their relative importance. To better understand underlying mechanisms, we developed a conceptual model linking ecosystem development during primary succession to shifts in the stochastic/deterministic balance. To evaluate the conceptual model we coupled spatiotemporal data on soil bacterial communities with environmental conditions spanning 105 years of salt marsh development. At the local scale there was a progression from stochasticity to determinism due to Na accumulation with increasing ecosystem age, supporting a main element of the conceptual model. At the regional-scale, soil organic matter (SOM) governed the relative influence of stochasticity and the type of deterministic ecological selection, suggesting scale-dependency in how deterministic ecological selection is imposed. Analysis of a new ecological simulation model supported these conceptual inferences. Looking forward, we propose an extended conceptual model that integrates primary and secondary succession in microbial systems.

  19. Association between fertilizer-mediated changes in microbial communities and Aedes albopictus growth and survival.

    PubMed

    Muturi, Ephantus J; Ramirez, Jose L; Rooney, Alejandro P; Dunlap, Chris

    2016-12-01

    Contamination of aquatic habitats with anthropogenic nutrients has been associated with an increase in mosquito larval populations but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. We examined the individual and combined effects of two synthetic fertilizers (ammonium sulfate and potassium chloride) on Aedes albopictus survival, development time, and sex ratio. The bacterial and fungal communities of water samples from different fertilizer treatments were also characterized by MiSeq sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene (bacteria) and internal transcribed spacer 1 (fungi) and their relationship with mosquito survival and development determined. Mosquitoes from ammonium sulfate treatment had significantly lower survival rates and longer development times compared to those from control, potassium chloride or a mixture of the two fertilizers. Fertilizer treatment had no significant effects on Ae. albopictus sex ratio although ammonium sulfate treatment tended to be more biased towards males relative to the other treatments. There were no significant effects of fertilizer treatment on fungal communities. However, potassium chloride treatments had lower bacterial diversity compared to the other treatments and the bacterial community structure of control and potassium chloride treatments differed significantly from that of ammonium sulfate and a mixture of the two fertilizers. Microbial composition but not diversity was significantly associated with mosquito survival and development. These findings suggest that anthropogenic nutrients can have a profound impact on mosquito survival and development. In addition to any potential direct effects on mosquito physiology, our results suggest that fertilizers can act indirectly by disrupting the microbial communities that provide a critical food resource for mosquito larvae.

  20. Science Activity Planner for the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norris, Jeffrey S.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Powell, Mark W.; Shams, Khawaja S.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Wallick, Michael N.; Mittman, David S.

    2008-01-01

    The Maestro Science Activity Planner is a computer program that assists human users in planning operations of the Mars Explorer Rover (MER) mission and visualizing scientific data returned from the MER rovers. Relative to its predecessors, this program is more powerful and easier to use. This program is built on the Java Eclipse open-source platform around a Web-browser-based user-interface paradigm to provide an intuitive user interface to Mars rovers and landers. This program affords a combination of advanced display and simulation capabilities. For example, a map view of terrain can be generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Explorer instrument aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft and overlaid with images from a navigation camera (more precisely, a stereoscopic pair of cameras) aboard a rover, and an interactive, annotated rover traverse path can be incorporated into the overlay. It is also possible to construct an overhead perspective mosaic image of terrain from navigation-camera images. This program can be adapted to similar use on other outer-space missions and is potentially adaptable to numerous terrestrial applications involving analysis of data, operations of robots, and planning of such operations for acquisition of scientific data.

  1. PEDF and 34-mer inhibit angiogenesis in the heart by inducing tip cells apoptosis via up-regulating PPAR-γ to increase surface FasL.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hao; Wei, Tengteng; Jiang, Xia; Li, Zhimin; Cui, Huazhu; Pan, Jiajun; Zhuang, Wei; Sun, Teng; Liu, Zhiwei; Zhang, Zhongming; Dong, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Pigment epithelial-derived factor (PEDF) is a potent anti-angiogenic factor whose effects are partially mediated through the induction of endothelial cell apoptosis. However, the underlying mechanism for PEDF and the functional PEDF peptides 34-mer and 44-mer to inhibit angiogenesis in the heart has not been fully established. In the present study, by constructing adult Sprague-Dawley rat models of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and in vitro myocardial angiogenesis, we showed that PEDF and 34-mer markedly inhibits angiogenesis by selectively inducing tip cells apoptosis rather than quiescent cells. Peptide 44-mer on the other hand exhibits no such effects. Next, we identified Fas death pathway as essential downstream regulators of PEDF and 34-mer activities in inhibiting angiogenesis. By using peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) siRNA and PPAR-γ inhibitor, GW9662, we found the effects of PEDF and 34-mer were extensively blocked. These data suggest that PEDF and 34-mer inhibit angiogenesis via inducing tip cells apoptosis at least by means of up-regulating PPAR-γ to increase surface FasL in the ischemic heart, which might be a novel mechanism to understanding cardiac angiogenesis after AMI.

  2. Distributed microbially- and chemically-mediated redox processes controlling arsenic dynamics within Mn-/Fe-oxide constructed aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ying, Samantha C.; Masue-Slowey, Yoko; Kocar, Benjamin D.; Griffis, Sarah D.; Webb, Samuel; Marcus, Matthew A.; Francis, Christopher A.; Fendorf, Scott

    2013-03-01

    The aggregate-based structure of soils imparts physical heterogeneity that gives rise to variation in microbial and chemical processes which influence the speciation and retention of trace elements such as As. To examine the impact of distributed redox conditions on the fate of As in soils, we imposed various redox treatments upon constructed soil aggregates composed of ferrihydrite- and birnessite-coated sands presorbed with As(V) and inoculation with the dissimilatory metal reducing bacterium Shewanella sp. ANA-3. Aeration of the advecting solution surrounding the aggregates was varied to simulate environmental conditions. We find that diffusion-limited transport within high dissolved organic carbon environments allows reducing conditions to persist in the interior of aggregates despite aerated advecting external solutes, causing As, Mn, and Fe to migrate from the reduced aggregate interiors to the aerated exterior region. Upon transitioning to anoxic conditions in the external solutes, pulses of As, Mn and Fe are released into the advecting solution, while, conversely, a transition to aerated conditions in the exterior resulted in a cessation of As, Mn, and Fe release. Importantly, we find that As(III) oxidation by birnessite is appreciable only in the presence of O2; oxidation of As(III) to As(V) by Mn-oxides ceases under anaerobic conditions apparently as a result of microbially mediated Mn(IV/III) reduction. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering redox conditions and the physical complexity of soils in determining As dynamics, where redox transitions can either enhance or inhibit As release due to speciation shifts in both sorbents (solubilization versus precipitation of Fe and Mn oxides) and sorbates (As).

  3. Reconstructing the Genetic Potential of the Microbially-Mediated Nitrogen Cycle in a Salt Marsh Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Brossi, Maria Julia de L.; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling in such systems. Here, we employed two complementary methodological approaches (i.e., shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR) to examine the distribution and abundance of selected microbial genes involved in N transformations. We used soil samples collected along a well-established pristine salt marsh soil chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development at the island of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. Across the examined soil successional stages, the structure of the populations of genes involved in N cycling processes was strongly related to (shifts in the) soil nitrogen levels (i.e., NO3−, NH4+), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R2 = 0.71). Quantification of the genes used as proxies for N fixation, nitrification and denitrification revealed clear successional signatures that corroborated the taxonomic assignments obtained by metagenomics. Notably, we found strong evidence for niche partitioning, as revealed by the abundance and distribution of marker genes for nitrification (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea) and denitrification (nitrite reductase nirK, nirS and nitrous oxide reductase nosZ clades I and II). This was supported by a distinct correlation between these genes and soil physico-chemical properties, such as soil physical structure, pH, salinity, organic matter, total N, NO3−, NH4+ and SO42−, across four seasonal samplings. Overall, this study sheds light on the successional trajectories of microbial N cycle genes along a naturally developing salt marsh ecosystem. The data obtained serve as a foundation to guide the formulation of ecological models that aim to effectively monitor and manage pristine

  4. Labile soil carbon inputs mediate the soil microbial community composition and plant residue decomposition rates

    SciTech Connect

    De Graaff, Marie-Anne; Classen, Aimee T; Castro Gonzalez, Hector F; Schadt, Christopher Warren

    2010-01-01

    Root carbon (C) inputs may regulate decomposition rates in soil, and in this study we ask: how do labile C inputs regulate decomposition of plant residues, and soil microbial communities? In a 14 d laboratory incubation, we added C compounds often found in root exudates in seven different concentrations (0, 0.7, 1.4, 3.6, 7.2, 14.4 and 21.7 mg C g{sup -1} soil) to soils amended with and without {sup 13}C-labeled plant residue. We measured CO{sub 2} respiration and shifts in relative fungal and bacterial rRNA gene copy numbers using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Increased labile C input enhanced total C respiration, but only addition of C at low concentrations (0.7 mg C g{sup -1}) stimulated plant residue decomposition (+2%). Intermediate concentrations (1.4, 3.6 mg C g{sup -1}) had no impact on plant residue decomposition, while greater concentrations of C (> 7.2 mg C g{sup -1}) reduced decomposition (-50%). Concurrently, high exudate concentrations (> 3.6 mg C g{sup -1}) increased fungal and bacterial gene copy numbers, whereas low exudate concentrations (< 3.6 mg C g{sup -1}) increased metabolic activity rather than gene copy numbers. These results underscore that labile soil C inputs can regulate decomposition of more recalcitrant soil C by controlling the activity and relative abundance of fungi and bacteria.

  5. An NLRP7-containing inflammasome mediates recognition of microbial lipopeptides in human macrophages.

    PubMed

    Khare, Sonal; Dorfleutner, Andrea; Bryan, Nicole B; Yun, Chawon; Radian, Alexander D; de Almeida, Lucia; Rojanasakul, Yon; Stehlik, Christian

    2012-03-23

    Cytosolic pathogen- and damage-associated molecular patterns are sensed by pattern recognition receptors, including members of the nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat-containing gene family (NLR), which cause inflammasome assembly and caspase-1 activation to promote maturation and release of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 and induction of pyroptosis. However, the contribution of most of the NLRs to innate immunity, host defense, and inflammasome activation and their specific agonists are still unknown. Here we describe identification and characterization of an NLRP7 inflammasome in human macrophages, which is induced in response to microbial acylated lipopeptides. Activation of NLRP7 promoted ASC-dependent caspase-1 activation, IL-1β and IL-18 maturation, and restriction of intracellular bacterial replication, but not caspase-1-independent secretion of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α. Our study therefore increases our currently limited understanding of NLR activation, inflammasome assembly, and maturation of IL-1β and IL-18 in human macrophages.

  6. Geology of the MER 2003 "Elysium" Candidate Landing Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Carr, M. H.; Gilmore, M. S.; Hare, T. M.

    2003-03-01

    Although chosen mainly for its safety characteristics, new Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey data suggest that the MER 2003 "Elysium" candidate landing site in southeastern Utopia Planitia also meets basic science requirements for the MER mission involving the geologic activity of water.

  7. Microbial mediated iron redox cycling in Fe (hydr)oxides for nitrite removal.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yongsheng; Xu, Lu; Shu, Weikang; Zhou, Jizhi; Chen, Xueping; Xu, Yunfeng; Qian, Guangren

    2017-01-01

    Nitrite, at an environmentally relevant concentration, was significantly reduced with iron (hydr)oxides mediated by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. The average nitrite removal rates of 1.28±0.08 and 0.65±0.02(mgL(-1))h(-1) were achieved with ferrihydrite and magnetite, respectively. The results showed that nitrite removal was able to undergo multiple redox cycles with iron (hydr)oxides mediated by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. During the bioreduction of the following cycles, biogenic Fe(II) was subsequently chemically oxidized to Fe(III), which is associated with nitrite reduction. There was 11.18±1.26mgL(-1) of NH4(+)-N generated in the process of redox cycling of ferrihydrite. Additionally, results obtained by using X-ray diffraction showed that ferrihydrite and magnetite remained mainly stable in the system. This study indicated that redox cycling of Fe in iron (hydr)oxides was a potential process associated with NO2(-)-N removal from solution, and reduced most nitrite abiotically to gaseous nitrogen species.

  8. Dust Accumulation on MER Solar Panels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guinness, E. A.; Arvidson, R. E.; McEwen, A. S.; Cull, S.

    2011-12-01

    HiRISE acquired in March 2011 a color image of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover from orbit that shows an exceptionally bright reflection from the rover solar panels. HiRISE data combined with laboratory measurements of MER solar cell reflectance provide a method for constraining the thickness of dust on the solar panels. Spirit is the brightest object in the HiRISE scene with a reflectance that is about 3 times higher at 500 nm and about 1.5 times higher at 700 and 850 nm than bright outcrop and soil near the rover. The rover is also less red than these nearby materials and less red than a typical Mars dust spectrum modeled with the same geometry and seen through similar atmospheric conditions as the HiRISE image. Lighting and viewing angles for the HiRISE image of Spirit are close to a specular reflection geometry when factoring in the rover orientation, the sun position, and the location of HiRISE during image acquisition. Laboratory photometric measurements of clean and dust-coated MER solar cells show a strong specular reflection for dust coating thicknesses up to at least 45 micrometers. The specular reflection was not present in the laboratory data when the solar cell was covered with about a 135 micrometer thick layer. The dust used in the experiments consisted of less than 10 micrometer sized particles derived from a palagonitic tephra from Mauna Kea that is spectrally similar to Mars dust. A survey of MER Pancam color images acquired by Spirit and Opportunity also shows several examples of specular reflections from the solar panels. These examples correspond to times when the solar cells were moderately clean to dusty as inferred from the amount of power generated by the cells. Specular reflections in Pancam images have been observed when the solar cell output was only 45% that of a dust-free cell. Spirit HiRISE data indicate that the rover was not covered by an optical thick layer of dust because some of the reflected light must have come from the

  9. Acceleration of Microbially Mediated U(VI) Reduction at a Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Colorado Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Phil Long; Todd Anderson; Aaron Peacock; Steve Heald; Yun-Juan Chang; Dick Dayvault; Derek R. Lovley; C.T. Resch; Helen Vrionis; Irene Ortiz-Bernad; D.C. White

    2004-03-17

    A second field-scale electron donor amendment experiment was conducted in 2003 at the Old Rifle Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) site in Rifle, Colorado. The objective of the 2003 experiment (done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's UMTRA Groundwater Project) was to test the hypothesis that amendment of increased concentration of electron donor would result in an increased export of electron donor down gradient which in turn would create a larger zone of down-gradient U(VI) bioreduction sustained over a longer time period relative to the 2002 experiment (Anderson et al. 2003). During the first experiment (2002), {approx}3 mM acetate was amended to subsurface over a period of 3 months in a 15m by 18m by 2.5m volume comprised of 3 upgradient monitoring wells, 20 injection wells, and 15 down-gradient monitoring wells. After an initial one-month phase of metal reduction, bioavailable oxidized Fe was consumed near the injection gallery and the dominant terminal electron accepting process became sulfate reduction, rapidly consuming the injected acetate. For the 2003 experiment, we amended sufficient acetate ({approx}10 mM) to consume available sulfate and export acetate down-gradient where bioavailable oxidized Fe was still present. Data from the experiment indicate that acetate was exported further down gradient, resulting in a larger zone of microbial U(VI) reduction than for the 2002 experiment. Geohydrologic, geochemical, and microbiological data collected during the course of both experiments enable assessment of relative importance of a number of factors controlling the experimental outcomes. Companion posters by Anderson et al. and White et al. provide additional results.

  10. Plasmid-mediated susceptibility to intestinal microbial antagonisms in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Andremont, A; Gerbaud, G; Tancrède, C; Courvalin, P

    1985-09-01

    Self-transferable plasmid pIP1100 confers to Escherichia coli an unusually high level of resistance (1 to 2 mg/ml) to erythromycin by production of an erythromycin esterase. The effect of pIP1100 on the destiny of E. coli strains in the intestines of gnotobiotic mice was studied. In germfree mice, pIP1100 was efficiently transferred to a plasmid-free E. coli recipient. Intestinal counts of the donor, the recipient, and the transconjugants were greater than 8.5 log CFU/g of feces. When erythromycin was added to the diet of the mice, counts of the plasmid-bearing strains were only slightly lowered and partial inactivation of erythromycin was observed in the feces. Transfer of pIP1100 also occurred in human-flora-associated mice. In this model all the E. coli strains were subject to microbial antagonisms caused by the anaerobic components of the flora. However, strains harboring pIP1100 were strongly inhibited (less than 2.5 log CFU/g of feces), whereas their plasmid-free counterparts persisted at much higher population levels (greater than 5.2 log CFU/g of feces). The ecological disadvantage conferred by pIP1100 to E. coli when a complex human flora was concomitantly present in the intestine of the mice persisted during erythromycin administration. These results provide an explanation for the low incidence of isolation of highly erythromycin-resistant E. coli strains despite the extensive use of the antibiotic.

  11. Nitrate-Mediated Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery (N-MEOR) from model upflow bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Gassara, Fatma; Suri, Navreet; Voordouw, Gerrit

    2017-02-15

    Microbially Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) can enhance oil production with less energy input and less costs than other technologies. The present study used different aqueous electron donors (acetate, glucose, molasses) and an aqueous electron acceptor (nitrate) to stimulate growth of heterotrophic nitrate reducing bacteria (hNRB) to improve production of oil. Initial flooding of columns containing heavy oil (viscosity of 3400cP at 20°C) with CSBK (Coleville synthetic brine medium) produced 0.5 pore volume (PV) of oil. Bioreactors were then inoculated with hNRB with 5.8g/L of molasses and 0, 10, 20, 40, 60 or 80mM nitrate, as well as with 17mM glucose or 57mM acetate and 80mM nitrate. During incubations no oil was produced in the bioreactors that received 5.8g/L of molasses and 0, 10, 20, 40 or 60mM nitrate. However, the bioreactors injected with 5.8g/L of molasses, 17mM glucose or 57mM acetate and 80mM nitrate produced 13.9, 11.3±3.1 and 17.8±6.6% of residual oil, respectively. The significant production of oil from these bioreactors may be caused by N2-CO2 gas production. Following continued injection with CSBK without nitrate, subsequent elution of significant residual oil (5-30%) was observed. These results also indicate possible involvement of fermentation products (organic acids, alcohols) to enhance heavy oil recovery.

  12. Engineering MerR for Sequestration and MerA for Reduction of Toxic Metals and Radionuclides

    SciTech Connect

    Anne O. Summers

    2008-12-15

    The objectives of this project were (1) to alter a metalloregulatory protein (MerR) so that it would bind other toxic metals or radionuclides with similar affinity so that the engineered protein itself and/or bacteria expressing it could be deployed in the environment to specifically sequester such metals and (2) to alter the mercuric reductase, MerA, to reduce radionuclides and render them less mobile. Both projects had a basic science component. In the first case, such information about MerR illuminates how proteins discriminate very similar metals/elements. In the second case, information about MerA reveals the criteria for transmission of reducing equivalents from NADPH to redox-active metals. The work involved genetic engineering of all or parts of both proteins and examination of their resultant properties both in vivo and in vitro, the latter with biochemical and biophysical tools including equilibrium and non-equilibrium dialysis, XAFS, NMR, x-ray crystallography, and titration calorimetry. We defined the basis for metal specificity in MerR, devised a bacterial strain that sequesters Hg while growing, characterized gold reduction by MerA and the role of the metallochaperone domain of MerA, and determined the 3-D structure of MerB, the organomercurial lyase.

  13. The Ames MER Microscopic Imager Toolkit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sargent, Randy; Deans, Matthew; Kunz, Clayton; Sims, Michael; Herkenhoff, Ken

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have spent several successful months on Mars, returning gigabytes of images and spectral data to scientists on Earth. One of the instruments on the MER rovers, the Athena Microscopic Imager (MI), is a fixed focus, megapixel camera providing a plus or minus mm depth of field and a 3lx31mm field of view at a working distance of 63 mm from the lens to the object being imaged. In order to maximize the science return from this instrument, we developed the Ames MI Toolkit and supported its use during the primary mission. The MI Toolkit is a set of programs that operate on collections of MI images, with the goal of making the data more understandable to the scientists on the ground. Because of the limited depth of field of the camera, and the often highly variable topography of the terrain being imaged, MI images of a given rock are often taken as a stack, with the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) moving along a computed normal vector, pausing every few millimeters for the MI to acquire an image. The MI Toolkit provides image registration and focal section merging, which combine these images to form a single, maximally in-focus image, while compensating for changes in lighting as well as parallax due to the motion of the camera. The MI Toolkit also provides a 3-D reconstruction of the surface being imaged using stereo and can embed 2-D MI images as texture maps into 3-D meshes produced by other imagers on board the rover to provide context. The 2-D images and 3-D meshes output from the Toolkit are easily viewed by scientists using other mission tools, such as Viz or the MI Browser. This paper describes the MI Toolkit in detail, as well as our experience using it with scientists at JPL during the primary MER mission.

  14. The Ames MER microscopic imager toolkit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargent, R.; Deans, Matthew; Kunz, C.; Sims, M.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2005-01-01

    12The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have spent several successful months on Mars, returning gigabytes of images and spectral data to scientists on Earth. One of the instruments on the MER rovers, the Athena Microscopic Imager (MI), is a fixed focus, megapixel camera providing a ??3mm depth of field and a 31??31mm field of view at a working distance of 63 mm from the lens to the object being imaged. In order to maximize the science return from this instrument, we developed the Ames MI Toolkit and supported its use during the primary mission. The MI Toolkit is a set of programs that operate on collections of MI images, with the goal of making the data more understandable to the scientists on the ground. Because of the limited depth of field of the camera, and the often highly variable topography of the terrain being imaged, MI images of a given rock are often taken as a stack, with the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) moving along a computed normal vector, pausing every few millimeters for the MI to acquire an image. The MI Toolkit provides image registration and focal section merging, which combine these images to form a single, maximally in-focus image, while compensating for changes in lighting as well as parallax due to the motion of the camera. The MI Toolkit also provides a 3-D reconstruction of the surface being imaged using stereo and can embed 2-D MI images as texture maps into 3-D meshes produced by other imagers on board the rover to provide context. The 2-D images and 3-D meshes output from the Toolkit are easily viewed by scientists using other mission tools, such as Viz or the MI Browser.This paper describes the MI Toolkit in detail, as well as our experience using it with scientists at JPL during the primary MER mission. ?? 2005 IEEE.

  15. mer [Römer, Roemer], Ole [Olaf] Christensen (1644-1710)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Born in Aarhus, Denmark, studied at the University of Copenhagen under Thomas and Erasmus Bartholin, who gave him TYCHO BRAHE's manuscripts to edit and his own daughter to wed. Rømer accompanied Bartholin and JEAN PICARD to Hven to measure the position of Tycho's observatory, the better to reduce Tycho's observations. He went on to the Paris Observatory where he made and used instruments for the ...

  16. Enhanced reductive degradation of methyl orange in a microbial fuel cell through cathode modification with redox mediators.

    PubMed

    Liu, Rong-Hua; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Sun, Min; Zang, Guo-Long; Li, Wen-Wei; Tong, Zhong-Hua; Dong, Fang; Lam, Michael Hon-Wah; Yu, Han-Qing

    2011-01-01

    A model azo dye, methyl orange (MO), was reduced through in situ utilization of the electrons derived from the anaerobic conversion of organics in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). The MO reduction process could be described by a pseudo first-order kinetic model with a rate constant of 1.29 day(-1). Electrochemical impedance spectroscopic analysis shows that the cathode had a high polarization resistance, which could decrease the reaction rate and limit the electron transfer. To improve the MO reduction efficiency, the cathode was modified with redox mediators to enhance the electron transfer. After modification with thionine, the polarization resistance significantly decreased by over 50%. As a consequence, the MO decolorization rate increased by over 20%, and the power density was enhanced by over three times. Compared with thionine, anthraquinone-2, 6-disulfonate modified cathode has less positive effect on the MFC performance. These results indicate that the electrode modification with thionine is a useful approach to accelerate the electrochemical reactions. This work provides useful information about the key factors limiting the azo dye reduction in the MFC and how to improve such a process.

  17. Silicon-mediated tomato resistance against Ralstonia solanacearum is associated with modification of soil microbial community structure and activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Cai, Kunzheng; Chen, Yuting; Wang, Guoping

    2013-05-01

    Bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum is a serious soil-borne disease of Solanaceae crops. In this study, the soil microbial effects of silicon-induced tomato resistance against R. solanacearum were investigated through pot experiment. The results showed that exogenous 2.0 mM Si treatment reduced the disease index of bacterial wilt by 19.18 % to 52.7 % compared with non-Si-treated plants. The uptake of Si was significantly increased in the Si-treated tomato plants, where the Si content was higher in the roots than that in the shoots. R. solanacearum inoculation resulted in a significant increase of soil urease activity and reduction of soil sucrase activity, but had no effects on soil acid phosphatase activity. Si supply significantly increased soil urease and soil acid phosphatase activity under pathogen-inoculated conditions. Compared with the non-inoculated treatment, R. solanacearum infection significantly reduced the amount of soil bacteria and actinomycetes by 52.5 % and 16.5 %, respectively, but increased the ratio of soil fungi/soil bacteria by 93.6 %. After R. solanacearum inoculation, Si amendments significantly increased the amount of soil bacteria and actinomycetes and reduced soil fungi/soil bacteria ratio by 53.6 %. The results suggested that Si amendment is an effective approach to control R. solanacearum. Moreover, Si-mediated resistance in tomato against R. solanacearum is associated with the changes of soil microorganism amount and soil enzyme activity.

  18. Flow-through Column Experiments and Modeling of Microbially Mediated Cr(VI) Reduction at Hanford 100H

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, L.; Molins, S.; Beller, H. R.; Brodie, E. L.; Steefel, C.; Nico, P. S.; Han, R.

    2010-12-01

    Microbially mediated Cr(VI) reduction at the Hanford 100H area was investigated by flow-through column experiments. Three separate experiments were conducted to promote microbial activities associated with denitrification, iron and sulfate reduction, respectively. Replicate columns packed with natural sediments from the site under anaerobic environment were injected with 5mM Lactate as the electron donor and 5 μM Cr(VI) in all experiments. Sulfate and nitrate solutions were added to act as the main electron acceptors in the respective experiments, while iron columns relied on the indigenous sediment iron (and manganese) oxides as electron acceptors. Column effluent solutions were analyzed by IC and ICP-MS to monitor the microbial consumption/conversion of lactate and the associated Cr(VI) reduction. Biogeochemical reactive transport modeling was performed to gain further insights into the reaction mechanisms and Cr(VI) bioreduction rates. All experimental columns showed a reduction of the injected Cr(VI). Columns under denitrifying conditions showed the least Cr(VI) reduction at early stages (<60 days) compared to columns run under other experimental conditions, but became more active over time, and ultimately showed the most consistent Cr(VI) reduction. A strong correlation between denitrification and Cr(VI) reduction processes was observed and was in agreement with the results obtained in batch experiments with a denitrifying bacterium isolated from the Hanford site. The accumulation of nitrite does not appear to have an adverse effect on Cr(VI) reduction rates. Reactive transport simulations indicated that biomass growth completely depleted influent ammonium, and called for an additional source of N to account for the measured reduction rates. Iron columns were the least active with undetectable consumption of the injected lactate, slowest cell growth, and the smallest change in Cr(VI) concentrations during the course of the experiment. In contrast, columns

  19. Reactive Transport Modeling of Microbially-Mediated Chromate Reduction in 1-D Soil Columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, H.; Viamajala, S.; Alam, M. M.; Peyton, B. M.; Petersen, J. N.; Yonge, D. R.

    2002-12-01

    Cr(VI) reduction tests were performed with the well known metal reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 in liquid phase batch reactors and continuous flow soil columns under anaerobic conditions. In the batch tests, the cultures were grown with fumarate as the terminal electron acceptor and lactate as the electron donor in a simulated groundwater medium to determine yield coefficients and specific growth rates. The bench-scale soil column experiments were carried out with MR-1 to test the hypothesis that the kinetic parameters obtained in batch studies, combined with microbial attachment /detachment processes, will accurately predict reactive transport of Cr(VI) during bacterial Cr(VI) reduction in a soil matrix. Cr(VI)-free simulated groundwater media containing fumarate as the limiting substrate and lactate was supplied to a 2.1cm (ID) x 15 cm soil column inoculated with MR-1 for a duration of 9 residence times to allow for biomass to build-up in the column. Thereafter the column was supplied with both Cr(VI) and substrate. The concentrations of effluent substrate, biomass and Cr(VI) were monitored on a periodic basis and attached biomass in the column was measured in the termination of each column test. A reactive transport model was developed in which 6 governing equations deal with Cr(VI) bioreaction, fumarate (as electron donor) consumption, aqueous biomass growth and transport, solid biomass detachment and attachment kinetics, aqueous and solid phase enzyme reaction and transport, respectively. The model incorporating the enzyme reaction kinetics for Cr(VI) reduction, Monod kinetic expressions for substrate depletion, nonlinear attachment and detachment kinetics for aqueous and solid phase microorganism concentration, was solved by a fully implicit, finite-difference procedure using RT3D (A Modular Computer Code for Reactive Multi-species Transport in 3-Dimensional Groundwater Systems) platform in one dimension. Cr(VI)-free column data was used to

  20. Diatom-mediated barite precipitation in microbial mats calcifying at Stinking Springs, a warm sulphur spring system in Northwestern Utah, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonny, Sandy M.; Jones, Brian

    2007-02-01

    The Stinking Springs, Utah, produce warm (avg. 48 °C), saline, sulphur- and bicarbonate-rich spring water that is anomalously enriched in barium (up to 7.8 ppm). Diatoms, cyanobacteria and sulphate reducing bacteria form thick microbial mats in the flow path, and are lithified by calcite precipitating from the spring water. The flow path is underlain by relic tufas that formed in an analogous manner. Samples of microbial mats, fresh mineral precipitates and relic tufa were examined by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and electron microprobe. Relic tufas were found to contain weakly radioactive diagenetic barite cements. Primary barite is localized around diatom frustules: microcrystalline barite forms haloes around grouped diatoms, lines diatom frustules, forms internal casts of diatoms, and locally replaces diatom silica. Bioaccumulation of barium in diatom tissues and adsorption of barium to diatom extracellular polysaccharides mediates barite saturation in lithifying microbial mats and is directly responsible for precipitation of primary barite at the Stinking Hot Springs. Cyanobacteria and sulphate reducing bacteria are locally preserved in relic tufa by impregnation or encrustation with calcite, but are not associated with barite. This suggests a re-evaluation of the capability of different microbial groups to mediate barite precipitation, which may influence the efficacy of particulate marine barite as a palaeoproductivity proxy.

  1. An XPS analytical approach for elucidating the microbially mediated enargite oxidative dissolution.

    PubMed

    Fantauzzi, M; Rossi, G; Elsener, B; Loi, G; Atzei, D; Rossi, A

    2009-04-01

    In this work, the microbe-mediated oxidative dissolution of enargite surfaces (Cu(3)AsS(4)) was studied on powdered samples exposed to 9K nutrient solution (pH 2.3) inoculated by Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans initially adapted to arsenopyrite. These conditions simulate the acid mine environment. The redox potential of the inoculated solutions increased up to +0.72 V vs normal hydrogen electrode (NHE), indicating the increase of the Fe(3+) to Fe(2+) ratio, and correspondingly the pH decreased to values as low as 1.9. In the sterile 9K control, the redox potential and pH remained constant at +0.52 V NHE and 2.34, respectively. Solution analyses showed that in inoculated medium Cu and As dissolved stoichiometrically with a dissolution rate of about three to five times higher compared to the sterile control. For the first time, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was carried out on the bioleached enargite powder with the aim of clarifying the role of the microorganisms in the dissolution process. XPS results provide evidence of the formation of a thin oxidized layer on the mineral surface. Nitrogen was also detected on the bioleached surfaces and was attributed to the presence of an extracellular polymer substance layer supporting a mechanism of bacteria attachment via the formation of a biofilm a few nanometers thick, commonly known as nanobiofilm.

  2. A camel-derived MERS-CoV with a variant spike protein cleavage site and distinct fusion activation properties

    PubMed Central

    Millet, Jean Kaoru; Goldstein, Monty E; Labitt, Rachael N; Hsu, Hung-Lun; Daniel, Susan; Whittaker, Gary R

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to circulate in both humans and camels, and the origin and evolution of the virus remain unclear. Here we characterize the spike protein of a camel-derived MERS-CoV (NRCE-HKU205) identified in 2013, early in the MERS outbreak. NRCE-HKU205 spike protein has a variant cleavage motif with regard to the S2′ fusion activation site—notably, a novel substitution of isoleucine for the otherwise invariant serine at the critical P1′ cleavage site position. The substitutions resulted in a loss of furin-mediated cleavage, as shown by fluorogenic peptide cleavage and western blot assays. Cell–cell fusion and pseudotyped virus infectivity assays demonstrated that the S2′ substitutions decreased spike-mediated fusion and viral entry. However, cathepsin and trypsin-like protease activation were retained, albeit with much reduced efficiency compared with the prototypical EMC/2012 human strain. We show that NRCE-HKU205 has more limited fusion activation properties possibly resulting in more restricted viral tropism and may represent an intermediate in the complex pattern of MERS-CoV ecology and evolution. PMID:27999426

  3. Recombination spot identification Based on gapped k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Rong; Xu, Yong; Liu, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Recombination is crucial for biological evolution, which provides many new combinations of genetic diversity. Accurate identification of recombination spots is useful for DNA function study. To improve the prediction accuracy, researchers have proposed several computational methods for recombination spot identification. The k-mer feature is one of the most useful features for modeling the properties and function of DNA sequences. However, it suffers from the inherent limitation. If the value of word length k is large, the occurrences of k-mers are closed to a binary variable, with a few k-mers present once and most k-mers are absent. This usually causes the sparse problem and reduces the classification accuracy. To solve this problem, we add gaps into k-mer and introduce a new feature called gapped k-mer (GKM) for identification of recombination spots. By using this feature, we present a new predictor called SVM-GKM, which combines the gapped k-mers and Support Vector Machine (SVM) for recombination spot identification. Experimental results on a widely used benchmark dataset show that SVM-GKM outperforms other highly related predictors. Therefore, SVM-GKM would be a powerful predictor for computational genomics. PMID:27030570

  4. Understanding M-ligand bonding and mer-/fac-isomerism in tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes.

    PubMed

    Lima, Carlos F R A C; Taveira, Ricardo J S; Costa, José C S; Fernandes, Ana M; Melo, André; Silva, Artur M S; Santos, Luís M N B F

    2016-06-28

    Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinate) metallic complexes, Mq3, are one of the most important classes of organic semiconductor materials. Herein, the nature of the chemical bond in Mq3 complexes and its implications on their molecular properties were investigated by a combined experimental and computational approach. Various Mq3 complexes, resulting from the alteration of the metal and substitution of the 8-hydroxyquinoline ligand in different positions, were prepared. The mer-/fac-isomerism in Mq3 was explored by FTIR and NMR spectroscopy, evidencing that, irrespective of the substituent, mer- and fac-are the most stable molecular configurations of Al(iii) and In(iii) complexes, respectively. The relative M-ligand bond dissociation energies were evaluated experimentally by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS-MS), showing a non-monotonous variation along the group (Al > In > Ga). The results reveal a strong covalent character in M-ligand bonding, which allows for through-ligand electron delocalization, and explain the preferred molecular structures of Mq3 complexes as resulting from the interplay between bonding and steric factors. The mer-isomer reduces intraligand repulsions, being preferred for smaller metals, while the fac-isomer is favoured for larger metals where stronger covalent M-ligand bonds can be formed due to more extensive through-ligand conjugation mediated by metal "d" orbitals.

  5. Monoclonal Antibody Shows Promise as Potential Therapeutic for MERS | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    A monoclonal antibody has proven effective in preventing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in lab animals, suggesting further development as a potential intervention for the deadly disease in humans, according to new research. MERS is a newly emerged coronavirus first detected in humans in 2012. Most cases have occurred in the Middle East, but the disease has appeared elsewhere. In all, MERS has infected more than 1,700 individuals and killed more than 600, according to the World Health Organization. No vaccines or antiviral therapies currently exist. Several candidate vaccines are being developed, and some have been tested in animal models, a prerequisite to human clinical trials.

  6. MGS and Odyssey - relay satellites for the MER mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esposito, Pasquale B.; Bhat, R.; Demeak, S.; Ardalan, S.; Breeden, J.; Helfrich, C.; Jefferson, D.; Stauch, J.

    2004-01-01

    Both Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Odyssey are currently in low altitude, nearly circular and highly inclined orbits about Mars. Thus, they are available adn compartible to serve as relay satellites for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission. Consequently, the MER project developed requirements for MGS to be overhead for MER-A (Spirit) at Gusev crater, at maximum elevation, mudway between lander separation and initial touchdown; in time, this was specified as 01/04/04. 04:24:55 UTC/SCET with a 30 sec tolerance.

  7. Translating MAPGEN to ASPEN for MER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rabideau, Gregg R.; Knight, Russell L.; Lenda, Matthew; Maldague, Pierre F.

    2013-01-01

    This software translates MAPGEN (Europa and APGEN) domains to ASPEN, and the resulting domain can be used to perform planning for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER). In other words, this is a conversion of two distinct planning languages (both declarative and procedural) to a third (declarative) planning language in order to solve the problem of faithful translation from mixed-domain representations into the ASPEN Modeling Language. The MAPGEN planning system is an example of a hybrid procedural/declarative system where the advantages of each are leveraged to produce an effective planner/scheduler for MER tactical planning. The adaptation of the planning system (ASPEN) was investigated, and, with some translation, much of the procedural knowledge encoding is amenable to declarative knowledge encoding. The approach was to compose translators from the core languages used for adapting MAGPEN, which consists of Europa and APGEN. Europa is a constraint- based planner/scheduler where domains are encoded using a declarative model. APGEN is also constraint-based, in that it tracks constraints on resources and states and other variables. Domains are encoded in both constraints and code snippets that execute according to a forward sweep through the plan. Europa and APGEN communicate to each other using proxy activities in APGEN that represent constraints and/or tokens in Europa. The composition of a translator from Europa to ASPEN was fairly straightforward, as ASPEN is also a declarative planning system, and the specific uses of Europa for the MER domain matched ASPEN s native encoding fairly closely. On the other hand, translating from APGEN to ASPEN was considerably more involved. On the surface, the types of activities and resources one encodes in APGEN appear to match oneto- one to the activities, state variables, and resources in ASPEN. But, when looking into the definitions of how resources are profiled and activities are expanded, one sees code snippets that access

  8. Characteristics and kinetic analysis of AQS transformation and microbial goethite reduction: Insight into “redox mediator-microbe-iron oxide” interaction process

    DOE PAGES

    Zhu, Weihuang; Shi, Mengran; Yu, Dan; ...

    2016-03-29

    Here, the characteristics and kinetics of redox transformation of a redox mediator, anthraquinone-2-sulfonate (AQS), during microbial goethite reduction by Shewanella decolorationis S12, a dissimilatory iron reduction bacterium (DIRB), were investigated to provide insights into “redox mediator-iron oxide” interaction in the presence of DIRB. Two pre-incubation reaction systems of the “strain S12-goethite” and the “strain S12-AQS” were used to investigate the dynamics of goethite reduction and AQS redox transformation. Results show that the concentrations of goethite and redox mediator, and the inoculation cell density all affect the characteristics of microbial goethite reduction, kinetic transformation between oxidized and reduced species of themore » redox mediator. Both abiotic and biotic reactions and their coupling regulate the kinetic process for “Quinone-Iron” interaction in the presence of DIRB. Our results provide some new insights into the characteristics and mechanisms of interaction among “quinone-DIRB- goethite” under biotic/abiotic driven.« less

  9. Characteristics and kinetic analysis of AQS transformation and microbial goethite reduction: Insight into “redox mediator-microbe-iron oxide” interaction process

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Weihuang; Shi, Mengran; Yu, Dan; Liu, Chongxuan; Huang, Tinglin; Wu, Fengchang

    2016-03-29

    Here, the characteristics and kinetics of redox transformation of a redox mediator, anthraquinone-2-sulfonate (AQS), during microbial goethite reduction by Shewanella decolorationis S12, a dissimilatory iron reduction bacterium (DIRB), were investigated to provide insights into “redox mediator-iron oxide” interaction in the presence of DIRB. Two pre-incubation reaction systems of the “strain S12-goethite” and the “strain S12-AQS” were used to investigate the dynamics of goethite reduction and AQS redox transformation. Results show that the concentrations of goethite and redox mediator, and the inoculation cell density all affect the characteristics of microbial goethite reduction, kinetic transformation between oxidized and reduced species of the redox mediator. Both abiotic and biotic reactions and their coupling regulate the kinetic process for “Quinone-Iron” interaction in the presence of DIRB. Our results provide some new insights into the characteristics and mechanisms of interaction among “quinone-DIRB- goethite” under biotic/abiotic driven.

  10. Microbially-mediated thiocyanate oxidation and manganese cycling control arsenic mobility in groundwater at an Australian gold mine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horvath, A. S.; Baldisimo, J. G.; Moreau, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Arsenic contamination of groundwater poses a serious environmental and human health problem in many regions around the world. Historical groundwater chemistry data for a Western-Central Victorian gold mine (Australia) revealed a strong inverse correlation between dissolved thiocyanate and iron(II), supporting the interpretation that oxidation of thiocyanate, a major groundwater contaminant by-product of cyanide-based gold leaching, was coupled to reductive dissolution of iron ox(yhydrox)ides in tailings dam sediments. Microbial growth was observed in this study in a selective medium using SCN- as the sole carbon and nitrogen source. The potential for use of SCN- as a tracer of mining contamination in groundwater was evaluated in the context of biological SCN- oxidation potential in the aquifer. Geochemical data also revealed a high positive correlation between dissolved arsenic and manganese, indicating that sorption on manganese-oxides most likely controls arsenic mobility at this site. Samples of groundwater and sediments along a roughly straight SW-NE traverse away from a large mine tailings storage facility, and parallel to the major groundwater flow direction, were analysed for major ions and trace metals. Groundwater from wells approaching the tailings along this traverse showed a nearly five-fold increase (roughly 25-125 ppb) in dissolved arsenic concentrations relative to aqueous Mn(II) concentrations. Thus, equivalent amounts of dissolved manganese released a five-fold difference in the amount of adsorbed arsenic. The interpretation that reductive dissolution of As-bearing MnO2 at the mine site has been mediated by groundwater (or aquifer) microorganisms is consistent with our recovery of synthetic birnessite-reducing enrichment cultures that were inoculated with As-contaminated groundwaters.

  11. High abundances of viruses in a deep-sea hydrothermal vent system indicates viral mediated microbial mortality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortmann, Alice C.; Suttle, Curtis A.

    2005-08-01

    Little is known about the distribution and abundance of viruses at deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Based on estimates made using epifluorescence microscopy and the dye YoPro-1, much higher viral abundances were observed at active hydrothermal vents than in the surrounding deep sea. This indicates that viral production was occurring and that viruses were a source of microbial mortality. Samples collected from three actively venting sites (Clam Bed, S&M and Salut) within the Endeavour Ridge system off the west coast of North America had viral abundances ranging from 1.45×10 5 to 9.90×10 7 ml -1, while the abundances of prokaryotes ranged from 1.30×10 5 to 4.46×10 6 ml -1. The abundances of viruses and prokaryotes in samples collected along the neutrally buoyant plume associated with the Main Endeavour Field were lower than at actively venting sites, with a mean of 5.3×10 5 prokaryotes ml -1 (s.d. 2.9×10 5, n=64) and 3.50×10 6 viruses ml -1 (s.d. 1.89×10 6, n=64), but were higher than non-plume samples (2.7×10 5 prokaryotes ml -1, s.d. 5.0×10 4, n=15 and 2.94×10 6 viruses ml -1, s.d. 1.08×10 6, n=15). Prokaryotic and viral abundances in non-hydrothermal regions were as much as 10-fold higher than found in previous studies, in which sample fixation likely resulted in underestimates. This suggests that viral infection may be a greater source of prokaryotic mortality throughout the deep sea than previously recognized. Overall, our results indicate that virus-mediated mortality of prokaryotes at these hydrothermal-vent environments is significant and may reduce energy flow to higher trophic levels.

  12. The effect of salinity, redox mediators and temperature on anaerobic biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Adelaja, Oluwaseun; Keshavarz, Tajalli; Kyazze, Godfrey

    2015-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) need to be robust if they are to be applied in the field for bioremediation. This study investigated the effect of temperature (20-50°C), salinity (0.5-2.5% (w/v) as sodium chloride), the use of redox mediators (riboflavin and anthraquinone-2-sulphonate, AQS) and prolonged fed-batch operation (60 days) on biodegradation of a petroleum hydrocarbon mix (i.e. phenanthrene and benzene) in MFCs. The performance criteria were degradation efficiency, % COD removal and electrochemical performance. Good electrochemical and degradation performance were maintained up to a salinity of 1.5% (w/v) but deteriorated by 35-fold and 4-fold respectively as salinity was raised to 2.5%w/v. Degradation rates and maximum power density were both improved by approximately 2-fold at 40°C compared to MFC performance at 30°C but decreased sharply by 4-fold when operating temperature was raised to 50°C. The optimum reactor performance obtained at 40°C was 1.15 mW/m(2) maximum power density, 89.1% COD removal and a degradation efficiency of 97.10%; at moderately saline (1% w/v) conditions the maximum power density was 1.06 mW/m(2), 79.1% COD removal and 91.6% degradation efficiency. This work suggests the possible application of MFC technology in the effective treatment of petroleum hydrocarbons contaminated site and refinery effluents.

  13. Novel chimeric virus-like particles vaccine displaying MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain induce specific humoral and cellular immune response in mice.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chong; Zheng, Xuexing; Gai, Weiwei; Wong, Gary; Wang, Hualei; Jin, Hongli; Feng, Na; Zhao, Yongkun; Zhang, Weijiao; Li, Nan; Zhao, Guoxing; Li, Junfu; Yan, Jinghua; Gao, Yuwei; Hu, Guixue; Yang, Songtao; Xia, Xianzhu

    2017-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has continued spreading since its emergence in 2012 with a mortality rate of 35.6%, and is a potential pandemic threat. Prophylactics and therapies are urgently needed to address this public health problem. We report here the efficacy of a vaccine consisting of chimeric virus-like particles (VLP) expressing the receptor binding domain (RBD) of MERS-CoV. In this study, a fusion of the canine parvovirus (CPV) VP2 structural protein gene with the RBD of MERS-CoV can self-assemble into chimeric, spherical VLP (sVLP). sVLP retained certain parvovirus characteristics, such as the ability to agglutinate pig erythrocytes, and structural morphology similar to CPV virions. Immunization with sVLP induced RBD-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. sVLP-specific antisera from these animals were able to prevent pseudotyped MERS-CoV entry into susceptible cells, with neutralizing antibody titers reaching 1: 320. IFN-γ, IL-4 and IL-2 secreting cells induced by the RBD were detected in the splenocytes of vaccinated mice by ELISpot. Furthermore, mice inoculated with sVLP or an adjuvanted sVLP vaccine elicited T-helper 1 (Th1) and T-helper 2 (Th2) cell-mediated immunity. Our study demonstrates that sVLP displaying the RBD of MERS-CoV are promising prophylactic candidates against MERS-CoV in a potential outbreak situation.

  14. Mars Atmosphere Argon Density Measurement on MER Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Economou, T. E.

    2008-11-01

    Using the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) on board Spirit and Opportunity rovers on MER mission, we were able to measure the argon density variation in the martian atmosphere as a function of seasonal changes.

  15. Characterization of Martian Rock Shape for MER Airbag Drop Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimaggio, E. N.; Schroeder, R. D.; Golombek, M. P.; Haldemann, A.; Castle, N.

    2003-03-01

    To aid in defining the rock distributions for MER airbag tests, images from the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and MPF were used to identify rocks that are >20 cm high and characterize them by their shape and burial.

  16. WATER ON MARS: EVIDENCE FROM MER MISSION RESULTS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers on Mars, equipped with a highly-capable suite of science instruments. The Spirit rover landed on the inside Gusev Crater on January 5, 2004, and the Opportunity rover three weeks later on Meridiani Planum. This paper summarizes some of the findings from the MER rovers related to the NASA science strategy of investigating past and present water on Mars.

  17. NFkappaB p50-CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta (C/EBPbeta)-mediated transcriptional repression of microRNA let-7i following microbial infection.

    PubMed

    O'Hara, Steven P; Splinter, Patrick L; Gajdos, Gabriella B; Trussoni, Christy E; Fernandez-Zapico, Martin E; Chen, Xian-Ming; LaRusso, Nicholas F

    2010-01-01

    MicroRNAs, central players of numerous cellular processes, regulate mRNA stability or translational efficiency. Although these molecular events are established, the mechanisms regulating microRNA function and expression remain largely unknown. The microRNA let-7i regulates Toll-like receptor 4 expression. Here, we identify a novel transcriptional mechanism induced by the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum and Gram(-) bacteria-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mediating let-7i promoter silencing in human biliary epithelial cells (cholangiocytes). Using cultured cholangiocytes, we show that microbial stimulus decreased let-7i expression, and promoter activity. Analysis of the mechanism revealed that microbial infection promotes the formation of a NFkappaB p50-C/EBPbeta silencer complex in the regulatory sequence. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays (ChIP) demonstrated that the repressor complex binds to the let-7i promoter following microbial stimulus and promotes histone-H3 deacetylation. Our results provide a novel mechanism of transcriptional regulation of cholangiocyte let-7i expression following microbial insult, a process with potential implications for epithelial innate immune responses in general.

  18. Discovery of Macrocyclic Pyrimidines as MerTK-Specific Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    McIver, Andrew L; Zhang, Weihe; Liu, Qingyang; Jiang, Xinpeng; Stashko, Michael A; Nichols, James; Miley, Michael J; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Machius, Mischa; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wood, Edgar; Graham, Douglas K; Earp, H Shelton; Kireev, Dmitri; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2017-02-03

    Macrocycles have attracted significant attention in drug discovery recently. In fact, a few de novo designed macrocyclic kinase inhibitors are currently in clinical trials with good potency and selectivity for their intended target. In this study, we successfully engaged a structure-based drug design approach to discover macrocyclic pyrimidines as potent Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK)-specific inhibitors. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 384-well format was employed to evaluate the inhibitory activity of macrocycles in a cell-based assay assessing tyrosine phosphorylation of MerTK. Through structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies, analogue 11 [UNC2541; (S)-7-amino-N-(4-fluorobenzyl)-8-oxo-2,9,16-triaza-1(2,4)-pyrimidinacyclohexadecaphane-1-carboxamide] was identified as a potent and MerTK-specific inhibitor that exhibits sub-micromolar inhibitory activity in the cell-based ELISA. In addition, an X-ray structure of MerTK protein in complex with 11 was resolved to show that these macrocycles bind in the MerTK ATP pocket.

  19. Receptor-binding domain-based subunit vaccines against MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Naru; Tang, Jian; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2015-04-16

    Development of effective vaccines, in particular, subunit-based vaccines, against emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) will provide the safest means of preventing the continuous spread of MERS in humans and camels. This review briefly describes the structure of the MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), discusses the current status of MERS vaccine development and illustrates the strategies used to develop RBD-based subunit vaccines against MERS. It also summarizes currently available animal models for MERS-CoV and proposes a future direction for MERS vaccines. Taken together, this review will assist researchers working to develop effective and safe subunit vaccines against MERS-CoV and any other emerging coronaviruses that might cause future pandemics.

  20. Predicting the Mars Atmosphere for MER EDL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kass, D.

    2005-05-01

    As the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) approached Mars, Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) detected a regional dust storm. The storm developed as a local storm descending the Chryse storm track but instead of dying out near the equator, it crossed over the Meridiani landing site into the southern hemisphere and started growing. It eventually became a planet encircling storm, with a global impact on atmospheric temperatures. The storm peaked (in terms of dust loading) around December 18th. While the storm was already decaying, it was still expected to change the atmosphere from baseline "clear" atmosphere used for planning Entry Descent and Landing (EDL). To help insure the successful landing, an attempt was made to model and then predict the atmosphere as the dust from the storm (and associated warming) cleared. Two types of data analyses were performed. The first was to rapidly look at MGS-TES daily global maps and MOC weekly reports. This gave a good qualitative assessment of the activity and help give a global view of the activity. The daily global atmospheric temperature maps from TES were particularly useful in showing where there were atmospheric changes but little measurable dust. The second analysis was to use vertical temperature profiles retrieved from the TES data. An effort was made to minimize the turnaround on the analysis and a 3 day latency was achieved. The retrieved profiles from the orbit nearest to the landing site were averaged over a ~ 10 degree latitude bin. They were then incorporated into an engineering model based on the one described in Golombek et al. [2003]. This is an interpolation scheme/Monte-Carlo distribution generator and not an actual dynamical model. It basically uses the TES data as a mean and applies a variability. For Spirit, there was no attempt to make predictions (the storm was too close to landing), so the most recent profiles were just used as a best guess. This turned out to be adequate, resulting in the final model being

  1. Role of MerH in mercury resistance in the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus

    PubMed Central

    Schelert, James; Rudrappa, Deepak; Johnson, Tyler

    2013-01-01

    Crenarchaeota include extremely thermoacidophilic organisms that thrive in geothermal environments dominated by sulfidic ores and heavy metals such as mercury. Mercuric ion, Hg(II), inactivates transcription in the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus and simultaneously derepresses transcription of a resistance operon, merHAI, through interaction with the MerR transcription factor. While mercuric reductase (MerA) is required for metal resistance, the role of MerH, an adjacent small and predicted product of an ORF, has not been explored. Inactivation of MerH either by nonsense mutation or by in-frame deletion diminished Hg(II) resistance of mutant cells. Promoter mapping studies indicated that Hg(II) sensitivity of the merH nonsense mutant arose through transcriptional polarity, and its metal resistance was restored partially by single copy merH complementation. Since MerH was not required in vitro for MerA-catalysed Hg(II) reduction, MerH may play an alternative role in metal resistance. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis of the MerH deletion strain following metal challenge indicated that there was prolonged retention of intracellular Hg(II). Finally, a reduced rate of mer operon induction in the merH deletion mutant suggested that the requirement for MerH could result from metal trafficking to the MerR transcription factor. PMID:23619003

  2. Molecular phylogenetics before sequences: oligonucleotide catalogs as k-mer spectra.

    PubMed

    Ragan, Mark A; Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin

    2014-01-01

    From 1971 to 1985, Carl Woese and colleagues generated oligonucleotide catalogs of 16S/18S rRNAs from more than 400 organisms. Using these incomplete and imperfect data, Carl and his colleagues developed unprecedented insights into the structure, function, and evolution of the large RNA components of the translational apparatus. They recognized a third domain of life, revealed the phylogenetic backbone of bacteria (and its limitations), delineated taxa, and explored the tempo and mode of microbial evolution. For these discoveries to have stood the test of time, oligonucleotide catalogs must carry significant phylogenetic signal; they thus bear re-examination in view of the current interest in alignment-free phylogenetics based on k-mers. Here we consider the aims, successes, and limitations of this early phase of molecular phylogenetics. We computationally generate oligonucleotide sets (e-catalogs) from 16S/18S rRNA sequences, calculate pairwise distances between them based on D 2 statistics, compute distance trees, and compare their performance against alignment-based and k-mer trees. Although the catalogs themselves were superseded by full-length sequences, this stage in the development of computational molecular biology remains instructive for us today.

  3. Soils containing 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin: aspects of their microbial activity and the potential for their microbially-mediated decontamination

    SciTech Connect

    Arthur, M.F.

    1987-01-01

    Three soils from Missouri and a soil from New Jersey, containing between 0.008 and 26.3 ug/g of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), were examined for microbial activity; the Missouri soils were also monitored for TCDD biodegradation. The objective was to simulate TCDD biodegradation by the indigenous microflora in order to develop a cost-effective method to decontaminate soils in situ. Microbial activity in TCDD soils was examined by enumeration of aerobic eutrophic and oligotrophic bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi; determination of soil enzyme activity, including dehydrogenase, acid and alkaline phosphatase, arylsulfatase, and rhodanese; and measurement of soil respiration. The Missouri soils were subsequently amended with fertilizer, /sup 14/C-TCDD and a TCDD-solubilizing nonionic surfactant in order to improve the availability of TCDD to the indigenous soil microflora. Biodegradation of TCDD was monitored by the evolution of /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ and by high resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (CC/MS).

  4. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; Modjarrad, Kayvon; Zhang, Yi; Leung, Kwanyee; Lees, Christopher R.; Zhou, Tongqing; Yassine, Hadi M.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; Yang, Zhi-yong; Chen, Xuejun; Becker, Michelle M.; Freeman, Megan; Vogel, Leatrice; Johnson, Joshua C.; Olinger, Gene; Todd, John P.; Bagci, Ulas; Solomon, Jeffrey; Mollura, Daniel J.; Hensley, Lisa; Jahrling, Peter; Denison, Mark R.; Rao, Srinivas S.; Subbarao, Kanta; Kwong, Peter D.; Mascola, John R.; Kong, Wing-Pui; Graham, Barney S.

    2015-07-28

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as a cause of severe respiratory disease highlights the need for effective approaches to CoV vaccine development. Efforts focused solely on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein may not optimize neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here we show that immunogens based on full-length S DNA and S1 subunit protein elicit robust serum-neutralizing activity against several MERS-CoV strains in mice and non-human primates. Serological analysis and isolation of murine monoclonal antibodies revealed that immunization elicits NAbs to RBD and, non-RBD portions of S1 and S2 subunit. Multiple neutralization mechanisms were demonstrated by solving the atomic structure of a NAb-RBD complex, through sequencing of neutralization escape viruses and by constructing MERS-CoV S variants for serological assays. Immunization of rhesus macaques confers protection against MERS-CoV-induced radiographic pneumonia, as assessed using computerized tomography, supporting this strategy as a promising approach for MERS-CoV vaccine development.

  5. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; ...

    2015-07-28

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) as a cause of severe respiratory disease highlights the need for effective approaches to CoV vaccine development. Efforts focused solely on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral Spike (S) glycoprotein may not optimize neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. Here we show that immunogens based on full-length S DNA and S1 subunit protein elicit robust serum-neutralizing activity against several MERS-CoV strains in mice and non-human primates. Serological analysis and isolation of murine monoclonal antibodies revealed that immunization elicits NAbs to RBD and, non-RBD portions of S1 and S2 subunit. Multiple neutralization mechanismsmore » were demonstrated by solving the atomic structure of a NAb-RBD complex, through sequencing of neutralization escape viruses and by constructing MERS-CoV S variants for serological assays. Immunization of rhesus macaques confers protection against MERS-CoV-induced radiographic pneumonia, as assessed using computerized tomography, supporting this strategy as a promising approach for MERS-CoV vaccine development.« less

  6. Potential Noachian-Aged Sites for MER-B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Tanaka, K. L.

    2001-01-01

    Two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are slated for launch in 2003 and will land in the equatorial region of Mars. These rovers are More formidable in both size and instrument complement than the Sojourner rover, potentially allowing greater range. For landing, they will be housed in an airbag system nearly identical to Pathfinder allowing them to land in an area with elevation below 1.3 km, Root Mean Square (RMS) slopes less than 6 degrees, rock abundance less than 20%, and fine component thermal inertia greater than 3-4 cgs units. MER-A may land between 15 S to 5 N and MER-B between 10 S and 10 N. Numerous sites have been identified by the JPL team as meeting the above engineering requirements for the landing of the rovers. Here we focus on a subset of these that lie in Noachian-aged terrain, as defined by Viking-era geologic mapping. This subset is further reduced by the first author's support of the selection (if possible) of a site in the Valles Marineris which can only be reached by MER-A, this study therefore focuses on those Noachian-aged sites that can be reached by MER-B.

  7. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project Environmental Assurance Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Man, Kin F.; Farguson, Christine T.; Hoffman, Alan R.

    2004-08-01

    A comprehensive prelaunch environmental assurance program was planned and implemented on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. This project consisted of two rovers/spacecraft launched on two separate launch vehicles. The environmental assurance program included assembly/subsystem and system-level testing in the areas of dynamics, thermal, and electromagnetic (EMC), as well as venting/pressure, dust, radiation, and micrometeoroid analyses. Due to the Martian diurnal cycles, the susceptible hardware also underwent thermal cycling qualification of their packaging designs and manufacturing processes. This paper presents a comprehensive summary of the environmental assurance program for the MER project. A series of test and analysis metrics are generated. Selections of the numerous lessons that have been learned from implementation of the MER environmental assurance program are documented in this paper. They include both technical and programmatic lessons that would be helpful in improving implementation of the environmental program for future projects.

  8. A stable mercury-containing complex of the organomercurial lyase MerB: catalysis, product release, and direct transfer to MerA.

    PubMed

    Benison, Gregory C; Di Lello, Paola; Shokes, Jacob E; Cosper, Nathaniel J; Scott, Robert A; Legault, Pascale; Omichinski, James G

    2004-07-06

    Bacteria isolated from organic mercury-contaminated sites have developed a system of two enzymes that allows them to efficiently convert both ionic and organic mercury compounds to the less toxic elemental mercury. Both enzymes are encoded on the mer operon and require sulfhydryl-bound substrates. The first enzyme is an organomercurial lyase (MerB), and the second enzyme is a mercuric ion reductase (MerA). MerB catalyzes the protonolysis of the carbon-mercury bond, resulting in the formation of a reduced carbon compound and inorganic ionic mercury. Of several mercury-containing MerB complexes that we attempted to prepare, the most stable was a complex consisting of the organomercurial lyase (MerB), a mercuric ion, and a molecule of the MerB inhibitor dithiothreitol (DTT). Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy of the MerB/Hg/DTT complex have shown that the ligands to the mercuric ion in the complex consist of both sulfurs from the DTT molecule and one cysteine ligand, C96, from the protein. The stability of the MerB/Hg/DTT complex, even in the presence of a large excess of competing cysteine, has been demonstrated by NMR and dialysis. We used an enzyme buffering test to determine that the MerB/Hg/DTT complex acts as a substrate for the mercuric reductase MerA. The observed MerA activity is higher than the expected activity assuming free diffusion of the mercuric ion from MerB to MerA. This suggests that the mercuric ion can be transferred between the two enzymes by a direct transfer mechanism.

  9. The response of soil carbon storage and microbially mediated carbon turnover to simulated climatic disturbance in a northern peatland forest. Revisiting the concept of soil organic matter recalcitrance

    SciTech Connect

    Kostka, Joel

    2015-09-14

    closely paralleled the chemical evolution of peat, with large shifts in microbial populations occurring in the biogeochemical hotspot, the mesotelm, where the highest rates of decomposition were detected. Stable isotope geochemistry and potential rates of methane production paralleled vertical changes in methanogen community composition to indicate a predominance of acetoclastic methanogenesis mediated by the Methanosarcinales in the mesotelm, while hydrogen-utilizing methanogens dominated in the deeper catotelm. Evidence pointed to the availability of phosphorus as well as nitrogen limiting the microbially-mediated turnover of organic carbon at MEF. Prior to initiation of the experimental treatments, our study provided key baseline data for the SPRUCE site on the vertical stratification of peat decomposition, key enzymatic pathways, and microbial taxa containing these pathways. The sensitivity of soil carbon turnover to climate change is strongly linked to recalcitrant carbon stocks and the temperature sensitivity of decomposition is thought to increase with increasing molecular complexity of carbon substrates. This project delivered results on how climate change perturbations impact the microbially-mediated turnover of recalcitrant organic matter in peatland forest soils, both under controlled conditions in the laboratory and at the ecosystem-scale in the field. This project revisited the concept of “recalcitrance” in the regulation of soil carbon turnover using a combination of natural abundance radiocarbon and optical spectroscopic measurements on bulk DOM, and high resolution molecular characterization of DOM. The project elucidated how organic matter reactivity and decomposition will respond to climate change in a both a qualitative (organic matter lability) and quantitiative (increased rates) manner. An Aromaticity Index was developed to represent a more direct and accurate parameter for modeling of DOM reactivity in peatlands. The abundance and community

  10. The Ballerina Experiment on the Rømer Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandt, Soren

    The Rømer mission has recently been approved as the next mission within the Danish Small Satellite Program. The scientific payload will consist of two separate experiments, the MONS and the Ballerina payloads. The primary objective of Ballerina is to provide accurate, real-time positions relayed to ground for ~ 70 Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) per year, and to study the temporal and spectral evolution of the early GRB X-ray afterglow. As an additional goal, Ballerina will detect and study bright X-ray transients, in particular X-ray novae and micro-quasar systems. R{\\o}mer is currently scheduled for launch in late 2003.

  11. Cassini, Rømer, and the velocity of light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobis, Laurence; Lequeux, James

    2008-07-01

    The discovery of the finite nature of the velocity of light is usually attributed to Rømer. However, a text at the Paris Observatory confirms the minority opinion according to which Cassini was first to propose the ‘successive motion’ of light, while giving a rather correct order of magnitude for the duration of its propagation from the Sun to the Earth. We examine this question, and discuss why, in spite of the criticisms of Halley, Cassini abandoned this hypothesis while leaving Rømer free to publish it.

  12. Impedance Spectroscopy as a Tool for Non-Intrusive Detection of Extracellular Mediators in Microbial Fuel Cells

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-01

    bioseparation. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, p. 267. HernandezME, Kappler A, Newman DK. 2004. Phenazines and other redox active antibiotics promote...Verstraete W. 2005. Microbial phenazine production enhances electron transfer in biofuel cells. Environ Sci Technol 39:3401. Ramasamy RP, Ren Z, Mench MM

  13. Improved Method for Recovery of mRNA from Aquatic Samples and Its Application to Detection of mer Expression

    PubMed Central

    Jeffrey, Wade H.; Nazaret, Sylvie; Von Haven, Robin

    1994-01-01

    Previously described methods for extraction of mRNA from environmental samples may preclude detecting transcripts from genes that were present in low abundance in aquatic bacterial communities. By combining a boiling sodium dodecyl sulfate-diethylpyrocarbonate lysis step with acid-guanidinium extraction, we improved recovery of target mRNA from both pure cultures and environmental samples. The most significant advantage of the new protocol is that it is easily adapted to yield high recovery of mRNA from 142-mm-diameter flat filters and high-capacity cartridge filters. The lysis and extraction procedures are more rapid than previously described methods, and many samples can be handled at once. RNA extracts have been shown to be free of contaminating DNA. The lysis procedure does not damage target mRNA sequences, and mRNA can be detected from fewer than 106 bacterial cells. We used the new method to examine transcripts of genes responsible for detoxification of mercurial compounds. Induction of merA (specifying mercuric reductase) transcripts in stationary-phase Pseudomonas aeruginosa containing Tn501 occurred within 60 s of HgCl2 addition and was proportional to the amount of Hg(II) added. The new technique also allowed the detection of merA transcripts from the microbial community of a mercury-contaminated pond (Reality Lake, Oak Ridge, Tenn.). Significant differences in merA transcript abundance were observed between different locations associated with the lake. The results indicate that the new method is simple and rapid and can be applied to the study of mer gene expression of aquatic communities in their natural habitats. PMID:16349274

  14. Cultivation of hard-to-culture subsurface mercury-resistant bacteria and discovery of new merA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, L D; Zawadsky, C; Binnerup, S J; Oregaard, G; Sørensen, S J; Kroer, N

    2008-06-01

    Mercury-resistant bacteria may be important players in mercury biogeochemistry. To assess the potential for mercury reduction by two subsurface microbial communities, resistant subpopulations and their merA genes were characterized by a combined molecular and cultivation-dependent approach. The cultivation method simulated natural conditions by using polycarbonate membranes as a growth support and a nonsterile soil slurry as a culture medium. Resistant bacteria were pregrown to microcolony-forming units (mCFU) before being plated on standard medium. Compared to direct plating, culturability was increased up to 2,800 times and numbers of mCFU were similar to the total number of mercury-resistant bacteria in the soils. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of DNA extracted from membranes suggested stimulation of growth of hard-to-culture bacteria during the preincubation. A total of 25 different 16S rRNA gene sequences were observed, including Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria; Actinobacteria; Firmicutes; and Bacteroidetes. The diversity of isolates obtained by direct plating included eight different 16S rRNA gene sequences (Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria). Partial sequencing of merA of selected isolates led to the discovery of new merA sequences. With phylum-specific merA primers, PCR products were obtained for Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria but not for Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. The similarity to known sequences ranged between 89 and 95%. One of the sequences did not result in a match in the BLAST search. The results illustrate the power of integrating advanced cultivation methodology with molecular techniques for the characterization of the diversity of mercury-resistant populations and assessing the potential for mercury reduction in contaminated environments.

  15. Current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS-CoV vaccines.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Naru; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2014-06-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a new member in the lineage C of β-coronavirus (β-CoV). The increased human cases and high mortality rate of MERS-CoV infection make it essential to develop safe and effective vaccines. In this review, the current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS vaccines, particularly subunit vaccines based on MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), are discussed. How to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines through novel adjuvant formulations and routes of administration as well as currently available animal models for evaluating the in vivo efficacy of MERS-CoV vaccines are also addressed. Overall, these strategies may have important implications for the development of effective and safe vaccines for MERS-CoV in the future.

  16. Current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS-CoV vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Naru; Jiang, Shibo; Du, Lanying

    2014-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a newly emerging infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus, MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a new member in the lineage C of β-coronavirus (β-CoV). The increased human cases and high mortality rate of MERS-CoV infection make it essential to develop safe and effective vaccines. In this review, the current advancements and potential strategies in the development of MERS vaccines, particularly subunit vaccines based on MERS-CoV spike (S) protein and its receptor-binding domain (RBD), are discussed. How to improve the efficacy of subunit vaccines through novel adjuvant formulations and routes of administration as well as currently available animal models for evaluating the in vivo efficacy of MERS-CoV vaccines are also addressed. Overall, these strategies may have important implications for the development of effective and safe vaccines for MERS-CoV in the future. PMID:24766432

  17. Formation of Amorphous Mg-Si Precipitates Mediated by Microbial Activity: A Recent Analogue For Understanding their Role in Microbialite Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacton, M.; Ariztegui, D.; Vasconcelos, C.; Barbarand, J.; Gorin, G. E.; McKenzie, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    Occurrence of amorphous Mg-Si precipitates has been reported in different environments, i.e., biofilms and microbialites, from acidic to alkaline conditions. They are always associated to microbial activity, while their authigenesis remains elusive. Although a biological factor is undoubtedly linked to their occurrence, different assumptions have been proposed in order to explain their role in the formation of sediments. Léveillé et al. (2002) and Souza-Egipsy et al. (2005) showed that a highly hydrated Mg-Si gel is mediated by EPS. They have been thought to be a precursor of some clays, e.g., kerolite (Léveillé et al., 2005) and dolomite (Bontognali et al., 2008). On the other hand, Arp et al. (2003) considered that they have precipitated after the dissolution of a primary carbonate mineral. They have been also demonstrated as an agent of preservation of cell walls enhancing fossilization in rocks: Mg-Si permineralization of cell walls was reported as a possible explanation for the preservation of green algae remains in subfossil freshwater microbialites (Arp et al., 2003) and cyanobacterial cell walls (Souza-Egipsy et al., 2005). From a physico-chemical point of view, little is known about the conditions required for Mg-Si complexation. For example, Kent and Kastner (1985) proposed that chemical Mg-hydroxysilicate precipitation is likely to occur in carbonate-containing siliceous sediments because the CaCO3 dissolution helps to maintain pH values near 8. However, other environments exhibit more acidic pH suggesting that the latter is not a fundamental parameter for the nucleation of Mg-Si precipitates. Modern microbial mats are excellent systems to study the processes leading to the formation of Mg-Si precipitates. Two samples from microbial mats retrieved at the hypersaline Lagoa Vermelha (Brazil) were studied. One sample was studied after recovery without any further treatment, whereas an equivalent sample was placed in an anoxic chamber without light

  18. Cdc7-dependent phosphorylation of Mer2 facilitates initiation of yeast meiotic recombination.

    PubMed

    Sasanuma, Hiroyuki; Hirota, Kouji; Fukuda, Tomoyuki; Kakusho, Naoko; Kugou, Kazuto; Kawasaki, Yasuo; Shibata, Takehiko; Masai, Hisao; Ohta, Kunihiro

    2008-02-01

    Meiosis ensures genetic diversification of gametes and sexual reproduction. For successful meiosis, multiple events such as DNA replication, recombination, and chromosome segregation must occur coordinately in a strict regulated order. We investigated the meiotic roles of Cdc7 kinase in the initiation of meiotic recombination, namely, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) mediated by Spo11 and other coactivating proteins. Genetic analysis using bob1-1 cdc7Delta reveals that Cdc7 is essential for meiotic DSBs and meiosis I progression. We also demonstrate that the N-terminal region of Mer2, a Spo11 ancillary protein required for DSB formation and phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK), contains two types of Cdc7-dependent phosphorylation sites near the CDK site (Ser30): One (Ser29) is essential for meiotic DSB formation, and the others exhibit a cumulative effect to facilitate DSB formation. Importantly, mutations on these sites confer severe defects in DSB formation even when the CDK phosphorylation is present at Ser30. Diploids of cdc7Delta display defects in the chromatin binding of not only Spo11 but also Rec114 and Mei4, other meiotic coactivators that may assist Spo11 binding to DSB hot spots. We thus propose that Cdc7, in concert with CDK, regulates Spo11 loading to DSB sites via Mer2 phosphorylation.

  19. Unraveling the drivers of MERS-CoV transmission

    PubMed Central

    Cauchemez, Simon; Nouvellet, Pierre; Cori, Anne; Jombart, Thibaut; Clapham, Hannah; Moore, Sean; Mills, Harriet Linden; Salje, Henrik; Collins, Caitlin; Rodriquez-Barraquer, Isabel; Riley, Steven; Truelove, Shaun; Algarni, Homoud; Alhakeem, Rafat; AlHarbi, Khalid; Turkistani, Abdulhafiz; Aguas, Ricardo J.; Cummings, Derek A. T.; Van Kerkhove, Maria D.; Donnelly, Christl A.; Lessler, Justin; Fraser, Christophe; Al-Barrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M.

    2016-01-01

    With more than 1,700 laboratory-confirmed infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a significant threat for public health. However, the lack of detailed data on modes of transmission from the animal reservoir and between humans means that the drivers of MERS-CoV epidemics remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop a statistical framework to provide a comprehensive analysis of the transmission patterns underlying the 681 MERS-CoV cases detected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between January 2013 and July 2014. We assess how infections from the animal reservoir, the different levels of mixing, and heterogeneities in transmission have contributed to the buildup of MERS-CoV epidemics in KSA. We estimate that 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 9%, 15%] of cases were infected from the reservoir, the rest via human-to-human transmission in clusters (60%; CI: 57%, 63%), within (23%; CI: 20%, 27%), or between (5%; CI: 2%, 8%) regions. The reproduction number at the start of a cluster was 0.45 (CI: 0.33, 0.58) on average, but with large SD (0.53; CI: 0.35, 0.78). It was >1 in 12% (CI: 6%, 18%) of clusters but fell by approximately one-half (47% CI: 34%, 63%) its original value after 10 cases on average. The ongoing exposure of humans to MERS-CoV from the reservoir is of major concern, given the continued risk of substantial outbreaks in health care systems. The approach we present allows the study of infectious disease transmission when data linking cases to each other remain limited and uncertain. PMID:27457935

  20. Unraveling the drivers of MERS-CoV transmission.

    PubMed

    Cauchemez, Simon; Nouvellet, Pierre; Cori, Anne; Jombart, Thibaut; Garske, Tini; Clapham, Hannah; Moore, Sean; Mills, Harriet Linden; Salje, Henrik; Collins, Caitlin; Rodriquez-Barraquer, Isabel; Riley, Steven; Truelove, Shaun; Algarni, Homoud; Alhakeem, Rafat; AlHarbi, Khalid; Turkistani, Abdulhafiz; Aguas, Ricardo J; Cummings, Derek A T; Van Kerkhove, Maria D; Donnelly, Christl A; Lessler, Justin; Fraser, Christophe; Al-Barrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M

    2016-08-09

    With more than 1,700 laboratory-confirmed infections, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains a significant threat for public health. However, the lack of detailed data on modes of transmission from the animal reservoir and between humans means that the drivers of MERS-CoV epidemics remain poorly characterized. Here, we develop a statistical framework to provide a comprehensive analysis of the transmission patterns underlying the 681 MERS-CoV cases detected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) between January 2013 and July 2014. We assess how infections from the animal reservoir, the different levels of mixing, and heterogeneities in transmission have contributed to the buildup of MERS-CoV epidemics in KSA. We estimate that 12% [95% credible interval (CI): 9%, 15%] of cases were infected from the reservoir, the rest via human-to-human transmission in clusters (60%; CI: 57%, 63%), within (23%; CI: 20%, 27%), or between (5%; CI: 2%, 8%) regions. The reproduction number at the start of a cluster was 0.45 (CI: 0.33, 0.58) on average, but with large SD (0.53; CI: 0.35, 0.78). It was >1 in 12% (CI: 6%, 18%) of clusters but fell by approximately one-half (47% CI: 34%, 63%) its original value after 10 cases on average. The ongoing exposure of humans to MERS-CoV from the reservoir is of major concern, given the continued risk of substantial outbreaks in health care systems. The approach we present allows the study of infectious disease transmission when data linking cases to each other remain limited and uncertain.

  1. MGS and Odyssey - Relay Satellites for the MER Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esposito, Pasquale B.; Bhat, R.; Demcak, S.; Ardakab, S.; Breeden, J.; Helfrich, C.; Jefferson, D.; Stauch, J.

    2004-01-01

    Both Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Odyssey are currently in low altitude, nearly circular and highly inclined orbits about Mars. Thus, they are available and compatible to serve as relay satellites for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Consequently, the MER project developed requirements for MGS to be overhead, at a specific time with a 30 second tolerance, during the atmospheric entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase of both MER vehicles. The result, after execution of a single orbit synchronization maneuver (OSM) on 10/03/03, 92.4 days or 1130 orbits before Spirit's EDL, was that MGS was over Spirit 8 seconds past the required time. This maneuver, with a delta-velocity of 0.534 m/s, caused the orbital period to change by 3.34 s and resulted in a time-phasing change of 62 min 19 s in order to achieve the EDL overflight. Based on the navigation and execution of an OSM on 01/04/04, MGS was overhead for the Opportunity EDL on 01/25/04,3.5 seconds after the required epoch. Requirements also existed for the Odyssey over-flight of the MER rovers after landing and various equipment deployments had been completed. Thus, these requirements were that Odyssey should rise no earlier than specified times with respect to each of the landing sites. The Odyssey over-flights of both Spirit and Opportunity on sol 1 were equally successful. This paper will present the navigation plan, trajectory propagation accuracy and maneuver execution for the successful MGS and Odyssey over-flights of both the MER rovers.

  2. MERS-CoV Antibodies in Humans, Africa, 2013–2014

    PubMed Central

    Liljander, Anne; Meyer, Benjamin; Jores, Joerg; Müller, Marcel A.; Lattwein, Erik; Njeru, Ian; Bett, Bernard; Corman, Victor Max

    2016-01-01

    Dromedaries in Africa and elsewhere carry the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). To search for evidence of autochthonous MERS-CoV infection in humans, we tested archived serum from livestock handlers in Kenya for MERS-CoV antibodies. Serologic evidence of infection was confirmed for 2 persons sampled in 2013 and 2014. PMID:27071076

  3. Antenna Designs for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spacecraft, Lander, and Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vacchione, Joseph; Thelen, Michael; Brown, Paula; Huang, John; Kelly, Ken; Krishnan, Satish

    2001-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the design of antennas for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Specific topics covered include: MER spacecraft architecture, the evolution of an antenna system, MER cruise stage antennas, antenna stacks, the heat-shield/back shell antenna, and lander and rover antennas. Additionally, the mission's science objectives are reviewed.

  4. Intronic Cis-Regulatory Modules Mediate Tissue-Specific and Microbial Control of angptl4/fiaf Transcription

    PubMed Central

    Camp, J. Gray; Jazwa, Amelia L.; Trent, Chad M.; Rawls, John F.

    2012-01-01

    The intestinal microbiota enhances dietary energy harvest leading to increased fat storage in adipose tissues. This effect is caused in part by the microbial suppression of intestinal epithelial expression of a circulating inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase called Angiopoietin-like 4 (Angptl4/Fiaf). To define the cis-regulatory mechanisms underlying intestine-specific and microbial control of Angptl4 transcription, we utilized the zebrafish system in which host regulatory DNA can be rapidly analyzed in a live, transparent, and gnotobiotic vertebrate. We found that zebrafish angptl4 is transcribed in multiple tissues including the liver, pancreatic islet, and intestinal epithelium, which is similar to its mammalian homologs. Zebrafish angptl4 is also specifically suppressed in the intestinal epithelium upon colonization with a microbiota. In vivo transgenic reporter assays identified discrete tissue-specific regulatory modules within angptl4 intron 3 sufficient to drive expression in the liver, pancreatic islet β-cells, or intestinal enterocytes. Comparative sequence analyses and heterologous functional assays of angptl4 intron 3 sequences from 12 teleost fish species revealed differential evolution of the islet and intestinal regulatory modules. High-resolution functional mapping and site-directed mutagenesis defined the minimal set of regulatory sequences required for intestinal activity. Strikingly, the microbiota suppressed the transcriptional activity of the intestine-specific regulatory module similar to the endogenous angptl4 gene. These results suggest that the microbiota might regulate host intestinal Angptl4 protein expression and peripheral fat storage by suppressing the activity of an intestine-specific transcriptional enhancer. This study provides a useful paradigm for understanding how microbial signals interact with tissue-specific regulatory networks to control the activity and evolution of host gene transcription. PMID:22479192

  5. Demonstration of Mer-Cure Technology for Enhanced Mercury Control

    SciTech Connect

    John Marion; Dave O'Neill; Kevin Taugher; Shin Kang; Mark Johnson; Gerald Pargac; Jane Luedecke; Randy Gardiner; Mike Silvertooth; Jim Hicks; Carl Edberg; Ray Cournoyer; Stanley Bohdanowicz; Ken Peterson; Kurt Johnson; Steve Benson; Richard Schulz; Don McCollor; Mike Wuitshick

    2008-06-01

    Alstom Power Inc. has completed a DOE/NETL-sponsored program (under DOE Cooperative Agreement No. De-FC26-07NT42776) to demonstrate Mer-Cure{trademark}, one of Alstom's mercury control technologies for coal-fired boilers. The Mer-Cure{trademark}system utilizes a small amount of Mer-Clean{trademark} sorbent that is injected into the flue gas stream for oxidation and adsorption of gaseous mercury. Mer-Clean{trademark} sorbents are carbon-based and prepared with chemical additives that promote oxidation and capture of mercury. The Mer-Cure{trademark} system is unique in that the sorbent is injected into an environment where the mercury capture kinetics is accelerated. The full-scale demonstration program originally included test campaigns at two host sites: LCRA's 480-MW{sub e} Fayette Unit No.3 and Reliant Energy's 190-MW{sub e} Shawville Unit No.3. The only demonstration tests actually done were the short-term tests at LCRA due to budget constraints. This report gives a summary of the demonstration testing at Fayette Unit No.3. The goals for this Mercury Round 3 program, established by DOE/NETL under the original solicitation, were to reduce the uncontrolled mercury emissions by 90% at a cost significantly less than 50% of the previous target of $60,000/lb mercury removed. The results indicated that Mer-Cure{trademark} technology could achieve mercury removal of 90% based on uncontrolled stack emissions. The estimated costs for 90% mercury control, at a sorbent cost of $0.75 to $2.00/lb respectively, were $13,400 to $18,700/lb Hg removed. In summary, the results from demonstration testing show that the goals established by DOE/NETL were met during this test program. The goal of 90% mercury reduction was achieved. Estimated mercury removal costs were 69-78% lower than the benchmark of $60,000/lb mercury removed, significantly less than 50% of the baseline removal cost.

  6. Adaptation of aquatic microbial communities to pollutant stress

    SciTech Connect

    Barkay, T.; Pritchard, H.

    1988-01-01

    Adaptation to biodegradation of p-nitrophenol and to volatilization of Hg/sup 2 +/ are examples of the role the process plays in removal of environmental pollutants and in maintaining active microbial communities in impacted ecosystems. A molecular mechanism of adaptation to Hg/sup 2 +/ is suggested by the enrichment of mercury resistance (MER) genes in some communities upon exposure to mercury.

  7. Soil aggregate mediates the impacts of land uses on organic carbon, total nitrogen, and microbial activity in a Karst ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Shuangshuang; Zhang, Wei; Ye, Yingying; Zhao, Jie; Wang, Kelin

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the effect of land use on soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial activity associated with aggregates is critical for thorough comprehension of the C and N dynamics of karst landscapes/ecosystems. We monitored soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and Cmic: Corg ratio in large macro- (>2 mm), small macro- (0.25–2 mm), and micro- (0.053–0.25 mm) aggregates to determine the changes in soil properties under different land uses in the karst area of Southwest China. Five common land-use types—enclosure land (natural system, control), prescribed-burning land, fuel-wood shrubland, pasture and maize fields—were selected. Results showed that pasture and maize fields remarkably decreased the SOC and TN concentrations in aggregates. Conversion of natural system to other land uses decreased MBC (except for prescribed-burning) and increased Cmic: Corg ratios in aggregates. The extent of the response to land uses of SOC and TN concentrations was similar whereas that of MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios differed across the three aggregate sizes. Further, the SOC concentrations were significantly higher in macro-aggregates than micro-aggregates; the MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios were highest in small macro-aggregates. Therefore, small macro-aggregates might have more active C dynamics. PMID:28211507

  8. Soil aggregate mediates the impacts of land uses on organic carbon, total nitrogen, and microbial activity in a Karst ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Shuangshuang; Zhang, Wei; Ye, Yingying; Zhao, Jie; Wang, Kelin

    2017-02-01

    Understanding the effect of land use on soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial activity associated with aggregates is critical for thorough comprehension of the C and N dynamics of karst landscapes/ecosystems. We monitored soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and Cmic: Corg ratio in large macro- (>2 mm), small macro- (0.25–2 mm), and micro- (0.053–0.25 mm) aggregates to determine the changes in soil properties under different land uses in the karst area of Southwest China. Five common land-use types—enclosure land (natural system, control), prescribed-burning land, fuel-wood shrubland, pasture and maize fields—were selected. Results showed that pasture and maize fields remarkably decreased the SOC and TN concentrations in aggregates. Conversion of natural system to other land uses decreased MBC (except for prescribed-burning) and increased Cmic: Corg ratios in aggregates. The extent of the response to land uses of SOC and TN concentrations was similar whereas that of MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios differed across the three aggregate sizes. Further, the SOC concentrations were significantly higher in macro-aggregates than micro-aggregates; the MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios were highest in small macro-aggregates. Therefore, small macro-aggregates might have more active C dynamics.

  9. Soil aggregate mediates the impacts of land uses on organic carbon, total nitrogen, and microbial activity in a Karst ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Shuangshuang; Zhang, Wei; Ye, Yingying; Zhao, Jie; Wang, Kelin

    2017-02-17

    Understanding the effect of land use on soil carbon, nitrogen, and microbial activity associated with aggregates is critical for thorough comprehension of the C and N dynamics of karst landscapes/ecosystems. We monitored soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and Cmic: Corg ratio in large macro- (>2 mm), small macro- (0.25-2 mm), and micro- (0.053-0.25 mm) aggregates to determine the changes in soil properties under different land uses in the karst area of Southwest China. Five common land-use types-enclosure land (natural system, control), prescribed-burning land, fuel-wood shrubland, pasture and maize fields-were selected. Results showed that pasture and maize fields remarkably decreased the SOC and TN concentrations in aggregates. Conversion of natural system to other land uses decreased MBC (except for prescribed-burning) and increased Cmic: Corg ratios in aggregates. The extent of the response to land uses of SOC and TN concentrations was similar whereas that of MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios differed across the three aggregate sizes. Further, the SOC concentrations were significantly higher in macro-aggregates than micro-aggregates; the MBC and Cmic: Corg ratios were highest in small macro-aggregates. Therefore, small macro-aggregates might have more active C dynamics.

  10. PEDF and PEDF-derived peptide 44mer inhibit oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced oxidative stress through upregulating PPARγ via PEDF-R in H9c2 cells.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Wei; Zhang, Hao; Pan, Jiajun; Li, Zhimin; Wei, Tengteng; Cui, Huazhu; Liu, Zhiwei; Guan, Qiuhua; Dong, Hongyan; Zhang, Zhongming

    2016-04-08

    Pigment epithelial-derived factor (PEDF) is a glycoprotein with broad biological activities including inhibiting oxygen-glucose deprivation(OGD)-induced cardiomyocytes apoptosis through its anti-oxidative properties. PEDF derived peptide-44mer shows similar cytoprotective effect to PEDF. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating cardiomyocytes apoptosis have not been fully established. Here we found that PEDF and 44mer decreased the content of ROS. This content was abolished by either PEDF-R small interfering RNA (siRNA) or PPARγ antagonist. The level of Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and phospholipase A2 (PLA2) was observed as drawn from the ELISA assays. PEDF and 44mer sequentially induced PPARγ expression was observed both in qPCR and Western blot assays. The level of LPA and PLA2 and PPARγ expression increased by PEDF and 44mer was significantly attenuated by PEDF-R siRNA. However, PEDF and 44mer inhibited the H9c2 cells and cultured neonatal rat myocardial cells apoptosis rate. On the other hand, TUNEL assay and cleavage of procaspase-3 showed that PEDF-R siRNA or PPARγ antagonist increased the apoptosis again. We conclude that under OGD condition, PEDF and 44mer reduce H9c2 cells apoptosis and inhibit OGD-induced oxidative stress via its receptor PEDF-R and the PPARγ signaling pathway.

  11. Mobility and microbially mediated mobilization of gold and arsenic in soils from two gold mines in semi-arid and tropical Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reith, F.; McPhail, D. C.

    2007-03-01

    The mobility and microbially mediated solubilization of Au and As in regolith materials from two Au mines in Australia, i.e., the Peak Hill Gold Mine in semi-arid New South Wales and the Hit or Miss Gold Mine in tropical northern Queensland, was studied using a combination of geochemical and microbiological techniques. Gold is highly mobile in both environments, the mobility of Au increases with increasing degree of weathering of host materials, and the resident microbiota are capable of mediating its solubilization. The results of the microcosm experiments demonstrate that the activity of microorganisms needs to be taken into account when studying the mobility and solubilization of Au in the Australian regolith. In primary, unweathered mineralization material from the Hit or Miss mine 99 wt% of Au was extracted only in the strongest final step of the sequential extractions, in concentrated aqua regia. In alteration zone material from the Peak Hill Gold Mine 80 wt% of Au was associated with the operationally defined Mn and Fe oxides. In contrast, in auriferous soils overlying mineralization at both sites 90-95 wt% of Au was associated with the operationally defined exchangeable, clay-bound and organic fractions. Microcosm experiments were incubated biologically active and inactive (sterilized) in 1:4 (w/v) aqueous slurries at 25 °C in the dark for up to 95 days. In biologically active microcosms with soils from the Peak Hill- and the Hit or Miss Gold Mines approximately 55 wt% (907 ng g -1 d.w. soil) and 20 wt% (233 ng g -1 d.w. soil) of the total Au, respectively, was solubilized during the incubation. In contrast, no or significantly lower Au concentrations were observed in biologically inactive microcosms. The mobility and microbially mediated release of As was limited at both sites and appears to be mostly controlled by abiotic adsorption and desorption on Mn- and Fe-oxides. Arsenic has a low solubility in the more mobile fractions and is mostly associated

  12. HlSRB, a Class B scavenger receptor, is key to the granulocyte-mediated microbial phagocytosis in ticks.

    PubMed

    Aung, Kyaw Min; Boldbaatar, Damdinsuren; Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika; Liao, Min; Tsuji, Naotoshi; Xuenan, Xuan; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Kume, Aiko; Galay, Remil Linggatong; Tanaka, Tetsuya; Fujisaki, Kozo

    2012-01-01

    Ixodid ticks transmit various pathogens of deadly diseases to humans and animals. However, the specific molecule that functions in the recognition and control of pathogens inside ticks is not yet to be identified. Class B scavenger receptor CD36 (SRB) participates in internalization of apoptotic cells, certain bacterial and fungal pathogens, and modified low-density lipoproteins. Recently, we have reported on recombinant HlSRB, a 50-kDa protein with one hydrophobic SRB domain from the hard tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. Here, we show that HlSRB plays vital roles in granulocyte-mediated phagocytosis to invading Escherichia coli and contributes to the first-line host defense against various pathogens. Data clearly revealed that granulocytes that up-regulated the expression of cell surface HlSRB are almost exclusively involved in hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis for E. coli in ticks, and post-transcriptional silencing of the HlSRB-specific gene ablated the granulocytes' ability to phagocytose E. coli and resulted in the mortality of ticks due to high bacteremia. This is the first report demonstrating that a scavenger receptor molecule contributes to hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis against exogenous pathogens, isolated and characterized from hematophagous arthropods.

  13. HlSRB, a Class B Scavenger Receptor, Is Key to the Granulocyte-Mediated Microbial Phagocytosis in Ticks

    PubMed Central

    Aung, Kyaw Min; Boldbaatar, Damdinsuren; Umemiya-Shirafuji, Rika; Liao, Min; Tsuji, Naotoshi; Xuenan, Xuan; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Kume, Aiko; Galay, Remil Linggatong; Tanaka, Tetsuya; Fujisaki, Kozo

    2012-01-01

    Ixodid ticks transmit various pathogens of deadly diseases to humans and animals. However, the specific molecule that functions in the recognition and control of pathogens inside ticks is not yet to be identified. Class B scavenger receptor CD36 (SRB) participates in internalization of apoptotic cells, certain bacterial and fungal pathogens, and modified low-density lipoproteins. Recently, we have reported on recombinant HlSRB, a 50-kDa protein with one hydrophobic SRB domain from the hard tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. Here, we show that HlSRB plays vital roles in granulocyte-mediated phagocytosis to invading Escherichia coli and contributes to the first-line host defense against various pathogens. Data clearly revealed that granulocytes that up-regulated the expression of cell surface HlSRB are almost exclusively involved in hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis for E. coli in ticks, and post-transcriptional silencing of the HlSRB-specific gene ablated the granulocytes' ability to phagocytose E. coli and resulted in the mortality of ticks due to high bacteremia. This is the first report demonstrating that a scavenger receptor molecule contributes to hemocyte-mediated phagocytosis against exogenous pathogens, isolated and characterized from hematophagous arthropods. PMID:22479406

  14. Characterization of anti-MERS-CoV antibodies against various recombinant structural antigens of MERS-CoV in an imported case in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wenling; Wang, Huijuan; Deng, Yao; Song, Tie; Lan, Jiaming; Wu, Guizhen; Ke, Changwen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-11-09

    The first imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in China recently occurred, allowing for the characterization of antibody titers in a series of the patient's sera using the following methods based on recombinant viral structural antigens: inactivated MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), recombinant MERS-CoV spike (S, or fragments of S) ELISA, nucleoprotein (NP) ELISA and MERS S pseudovirus particle-based neutralization test (ppNT). A longitudinal profile of the infection showed that seroconversion detected by ELISAs based on the recombinant extracellular domain, S, S1 and receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigens occurred as early as neutralizing antibodies were detected by the ppNT and earlier than antibodies were detected by the inactivated MERS-CoV and N-terminal domain (NTD) ELISAs. Antibodies detected by the NP ELISA occurred last. Strong correlations were found between the S1, RBD and NP ELISAs and the inactivated MERS-CoV ELISA. The S and RBD ELISAs were highly correlated with the commercial S1 ELISA. The S ELISA strongly correlated with the ppNT, although the MERS-CoV, S1, NTD and RBD ELISAs were also significantly correlated with the ppNT (P<0.001).

  15. Characterization of anti-MERS-CoV antibodies against various recombinant structural antigens of MERS-CoV in an imported case in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wenling; Wang, Huijuan; Deng, Yao; Song, Tie; Lan, Jiaming; Wu, Guizhen; Ke, Changwen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-01-01

    The first imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in China recently occurred, allowing for the characterization of antibody titers in a series of the patient's sera using the following methods based on recombinant viral structural antigens: inactivated MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), recombinant MERS-CoV spike (S, or fragments of S) ELISA, nucleoprotein (NP) ELISA and MERS S pseudovirus particle-based neutralization test (ppNT). A longitudinal profile of the infection showed that seroconversion detected by ELISAs based on the recombinant extracellular domain, S, S1 and receptor-binding domain (RBD) antigens occurred as early as neutralizing antibodies were detected by the ppNT and earlier than antibodies were detected by the inactivated MERS-CoV and N-terminal domain (NTD) ELISAs. Antibodies detected by the NP ELISA occurred last. Strong correlations were found between the S1, RBD and NP ELISAs and the inactivated MERS-CoV ELISA. The S and RBD ELISAs were highly correlated with the commercial S1 ELISA. The S ELISA strongly correlated with the ppNT, although the MERS-CoV, S1, NTD and RBD ELISAs were also significantly correlated with the ppNT (P<0.001). PMID:27826140

  16. Evaluation of MerCAP for Power Plant Mercury Control

    SciTech Connect

    Carl Richardson

    2008-09-30

    This report is submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE-NETL) as part of Cooperative Agreement DE-FC26-03NT41993, 'Evaluation of EPRI's MerCAP{trademark} Technology for Power Plant Mercury Control'. This project has investigated the mercury removal performance of EPRI's Mercury Capture by Amalgamation Process (MerCAP{trademark}) technology. Test programs were conducted to evaluate gold-based MerCAP{trademark} at Great River Energy's Stanton Station Unit 10 (Site 1), which fired both North Dakota lignite (NDL) and Power River Basin (PRB) coal during the testing period, and at Georgia Power's Plant Yates Unit 1 (Site 2) [Georgia Power is a subsidiary of The Southern Company] which fires a low sulfur Eastern bituminous coal. Additional tests were carried out at Alabama Power's Plant Miller, which fires Powder River Basin Coal, to evaluate a carbon-based MerCAP{trademark} process for removing mercury from flue gas downstream of an electrostatic precipitator [Alabama Power is a subsidiary of The Southern Company]. A full-scale gold-based sorbent array was installed in the clean-air plenum of a single baghouse compartment at GRE's Stanton Station Unit 10, thereby treating 1/10th of the unit's exhaust gas flow. The substrates that were installed were electroplated gold screens oriented parallel to the flue gas flow. The sorbent array was initially installed in late August of 2004, operating continuously until its removal in July 2006, after nearly 23 months. The initial 4 months of operation were conducted while the host unit was burning North Dakota lignite (NDL). In November 2004, the host unit switched fuel to burn Powder River Basin (PRB) subbituminous coal and continued to burn the PRB fuel for the final 19 months of this program. Tests were conducted at Site 1 to evaluate the impacts of flue gas flow rate, sorbent plate spacing, sorbent pre-cleaning and regeneration, and spray dryer operation on Mer

  17. Segmented K-mer and its application on similarity analysis of mitochondrial genome sequences.

    PubMed

    Yu, Hong-Jie

    2013-04-15

    K-mer-based approach has been widely used in similarity analyses so as to discover similarity/dissimilarity among different biological sequences. In this study, we have improved the traditional K-mer method, and introduce a segmented K-mer approach (s-K-mer). After each primary sequence is divided into several segments, we simultaneously transform all these segments into corresponding K-mer-based vectors. In this approach, it is vital how to determine the optimal combination of distance metric with the number of K and the number of segments, i.e., (K(⁎), s(⁎), and d(⁎)). Based on the cascaded feature vectors transformed from s(⁎) segmented sequences, we analyze 34 mammalian genome sequences using the proposed s-K-mer approach. Meanwhile, we compare the results of s-K-mer with those of traditional K-mer. The contrastive analysis results demonstrate that s-K-mer approach outperforms the traditionally K-mer method on similarity analysis among different species.

  18. Replication and shedding of MERS-CoV in Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis).

    PubMed

    Munster, Vincent J; Adney, Danielle R; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Brown, Vienna R; Miazgowicz, Kerri L; Milne-Price, Shauna; Bushmaker, Trenton; Rosenke, Rebecca; Scott, Dana; Hawkinson, Ann; de Wit, Emmie; Schountz, Tony; Bowen, Richard A

    2016-02-22

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) highlights the zoonotic potential of Betacoronaviruses. Investigations into the origin of MERS-CoV have focused on two potential reservoirs: bats and camels. Here, we investigated the role of bats as a potential reservoir for MERS-CoV. In vitro, the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein interacted with Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) receptor and MERS-CoV replicated efficiently in Jamaican fruit bat cells, suggesting there is no restriction at the receptor or cellular level for MERS-CoV. To shed light on the intrinsic host-virus relationship, we inoculated 10 Jamaican fruit bats with MERS-CoV. Although all bats showed evidence of infection, none of the bats showed clinical signs of disease. Virus shedding was detected in the respiratory and intestinal tract for up to 9 days. MERS-CoV replicated transiently in the respiratory and, to a lesser extent, the intestinal tracts and internal organs; with limited histopathological changes observed only in the lungs. Analysis of the innate gene expression in the lungs showed a moderate, transient induction of expression. Our results indicate that MERS-CoV maintains the ability to replicate in bats without clinical signs of disease, supporting the general hypothesis of bats as ancestral reservoirs for MERS-CoV.

  19. Replication and shedding of MERS-CoV in Jamaican fruit bats (Artibeus jamaicensis)

    PubMed Central

    Munster, Vincent J.; Adney, Danielle R.; van Doremalen, Neeltje; Brown, Vienna R.; Miazgowicz, Kerri L.; Milne-Price, Shauna; Bushmaker, Trenton; Rosenke, Rebecca; Scott, Dana; Hawkinson, Ann; de Wit, Emmie; Schountz, Tony; Bowen, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) highlights the zoonotic potential of Betacoronaviruses. Investigations into the origin of MERS-CoV have focused on two potential reservoirs: bats and camels. Here, we investigated the role of bats as a potential reservoir for MERS-CoV. In vitro, the MERS-CoV spike glycoprotein interacted with Jamaican fruit bat (Artibeus jamaicensis) dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) receptor and MERS-CoV replicated efficiently in Jamaican fruit bat cells, suggesting there is no restriction at the receptor or cellular level for MERS-CoV. To shed light on the intrinsic host-virus relationship, we inoculated 10 Jamaican fruit bats with MERS-CoV. Although all bats showed evidence of infection, none of the bats showed clinical signs of disease. Virus shedding was detected in the respiratory and intestinal tract for up to 9 days. MERS-CoV replicated transiently in the respiratory and, to a lesser extent, the intestinal tracts and internal organs; with limited histopathological changes observed only in the lungs. Analysis of the innate gene expression in the lungs showed a moderate, transient induction of expression. Our results indicate that MERS-CoV maintains the ability to replicate in bats without clinical signs of disease, supporting the general hypothesis of bats as ancestral reservoirs for MERS-CoV. PMID:26899616

  20. Microbial excavation of solid carbonates powered by P-type ATPase-mediated transcellular Ca2+ transport

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Pichel, Ferran; Ramírez-Reinat, Edgardo; Gao, Qunjie

    2010-01-01

    Some microbes, among them a few species of cyanobacteria, are able to excavate carbonate minerals, from limestone to biogenic carbonates, including coral reefs, in a bioerosive activity that directly links biological and geological parts of the global carbon cycle. The physiological mechanisms that enable such endolithic cyanobacteria to bore, however, remain unknown. In fact, their boring constitutes a geochemical paradox, in that photoautotrophic metabolism will tend to precipitate carbonates, not dissolve them. We developed a stable microbe/mineral boring system based on a cyanobacterial isolate, strain BC008, with which to study the process of microbial excavation directly in the laboratory. Measurements of boring into calcite under different light regimes, and an analysis of photopigment content and photosynthetic rates along boring filaments, helped us reject mechanisms based on the spatial or temporal separation of alkali versus Acid-generating metabolism (i.e., photosynthesis and respiration). Instead, extracellular Ca2+ imaging of boring cultures in vivo showed that BC008 was able to take up Ca2+ at the excavation front, decreasing the local extracellular ion activity product of calcium carbonate enough to promote spontaneous dissolution there. Intracellular Ca2+ was then transported away along the multicellular cyanobacterial trichomes and excreted at the distal borehole opening into the external medium. Inhibition assays and gene expression analyses indicate that the uptake and transport was driven by P-type Ca2+-ATPases. We believe such a chemically simple and biologically sophisticated mechanism for boring to be unparalleled among bacteria. PMID:21115827

  1. IFITM Proteins Inhibit Entry Driven by the MERS-Coronavirus Spike Protein: Evidence for Cholesterol-Independent Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Wrensch, Florian; Winkler, Michael; Pöhlmann, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    The interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) proteins 1, 2 and 3 inhibit the host cell entry of several enveloped viruses, potentially by promoting the accumulation of cholesterol in endosomal compartments. IFITM3 is essential for control of influenza virus infection in mice and humans. In contrast, the role of IFITM proteins in coronavirus infection is less well defined. Employing a retroviral vector system for analysis of coronavirus entry, we investigated the susceptibility of human-adapted and emerging coronaviruses to inhibition by IFITM proteins. We found that entry of the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is sensitive to inhibition by IFITM proteins. In 293T cells, IFITM-mediated inhibition of cellular entry of the emerging MERS- and SARS-CoV was less efficient than blockade of entry of the globally circulating human coronaviruses 229E and NL63. Similar differences were not observed in A549 cells, suggesting that cellular context and/or IFITM expression levels can impact inhibition efficiency. The differential IFITM-sensitivity of coronaviruses observed in 293T cells afforded the opportunity to investigate whether efficiency of entry inhibition by IFITMs and endosomal cholesterol accumulation correlate. No such correlation was observed. Furthermore, entry mediated by the influenza virus hemagglutinin was robustly inhibited by IFITM3 but was insensitive to accumulation of endosomal cholesterol, indicating that modulation of cholesterol synthesis/transport did not account for the antiviral activity of IFITM3. Collectively, these results show that the emerging MERS-CoV is a target of the antiviral activity of IFITM proteins and demonstrate that mechanisms other than accumulation of endosomal cholesterol can contribute to viral entry inhibition by IFITMs. PMID:25256397

  2. K-mer natural vector and its application to the phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Jia; Chan, Raymond H.; Yau, Shek-Chung; He, Rong L.; Yau, Stephen S. T.

    2014-01-01

    Based on the well-known k-mer model, we propose a k-mer natural vector model for representing a genetic sequence based on the numbers and distributions of k-mers in the sequence. We show that there exists a one-to-one correspondence between a genetic sequence and its associated k-mer natural vector. The k-mer natural vector method can be easily and quickly used to perform phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences without requiring evolutionary models or human intervention. Whole or partial genomes can be handled more effective with our proposed method. It is applied to the phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences, and the obtaining results fully demonstrate that the k-mer natural vector method is a very powerful tool for analysing and annotating genetic sequences and determining evolutionary relationships both in terms of accuracy and efficiency. PMID:24858075

  3. Impact of nitrate-mediated microbial control of souring in oil reservoirs on the extent of corrosion.

    PubMed

    Nemati, M; Jenneman, G E; Voordouw, G

    2001-01-01

    The effect of microbial control of souring on the extent of corrosion was studied in a model system consisting of pure cultures of the nitrate-reducing, sulfide-oxidizing bacterium (NR-SOB) Thiomicrospira sp. strain CVO and the sulfate-reducing bacterium (SRB) Desulfovibrio sp. strain Lac6, as well as in an SRB consortium enriched from produced water from a Canadian oil reservoir. The average corrosion rate induced by the SRB consortium (1.4 g x m(-2) x day(-1)) was faster than that observed in the presence of strain Lac6 (0.2 g x m(-2) x day(-1)). Examination of the metallic coupons at the end of the tests indicated a uniform corrosion in both cases. Addition of CVO and 10 mM nitrate to a fully grown culture of Lac6 or the SRB consortium led to complete removal of sulfide from the system and a significant increase in the population of CVO, as determined by reverse sample genome probing. In the case of the SRB consortium addition of just nitrate (10 mM) had a similar effect. When grown in the absence of nitrate, the consortium was dominated by Desulfovibrio sp. strains Lac15 and Lac29, while growth in the presence of nitrate led to dominance of Desulfovibrio sp. strain Lac3. The addition of CVO and nitrate to the Lac6 culture or nitrate to the SRB consortium accelerated the average corrosion rate to 1.5 and 2.9 g x m(-2) x day(-1), respectively. Localized corrosion and the occurrence of pitting were apparent in both cases. Although the sulfide concentration (0.5-7 mM) had little effect on corrosion rates, a clear increase of the corrosion rate with increasing nitrate concentration was observed in experiments conducted with consortia enriched from produced water.

  4. Do secondary compounds inhibit microbial- and insect-mediated leaf breakdown in a tropical rainforest stream, Costa Rica?

    PubMed

    Ardón, Marcelo; Pringle, Catherine M

    2008-03-01

    We examined the hypothesis that high concentrations of secondary compounds in leaf litter of some tropical riparian tree species decrease leaf breakdown by inhibiting microbial and insect colonization. We measured leaf breakdown rates, chemical changes, bacterial, fungal, and insect biomass on litterbags of eight species of common riparian trees incubated in a lowland stream in Costa Rica. The eight species spanned a wide range of litter quality due to varying concentrations of nutrients, structural and secondary compounds. Leaf breakdown rates were fast, ranging from 0.198 d(-1 )(Trema integerrima) to 0.011 d(-1) (Zygia longifolia). Processing of individual chemical constituents was also rapid: cellulose was processed threefold faster and hemicellulose was processed fourfold faster compared to similar studies in temperate streams. Leaf toughness (r = -0.86, P = 0.01) and cellulose (r = -0.78, P = 0.02) were the physicochemical parameters most strongly correlated with breakdown rate. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, secondary compounds were rapidly leached (threefold faster than in temperate studies), with all species losing all secondary compounds within the first week of incubation. Cellulose was more important than secondary compounds in inhibiting breakdown. Levels of fungal and bacterial biomass were strongly correlated with breakdown rate (fungi r = 0.64, P = 0.05; bacteria r = 0.93, P < 0.001) and changes in structural compounds (lignin r = -0.55, P = 0.01). Collector-gatherers were the dominant functional group of insects colonizing litterbags, in contrast to temperate studies where insect shredders dominate. Insect biomass was negatively correlated with breakdown rate (r = -0.70, P = 0.02), suggesting that insects did not play an important role in breakdown. Despite a wide range of initial concentrations of secondary compounds among the eight species used, we found that secondary compounds were rapidly leached and were less important than structural

  5. Allopurinol-mediated lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitor tolerance by Clostridium beijerinckii during acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation.

    PubMed

    Ujor, Victor; Agu, Chidozie Victor; Gopalan, Venkat; Ezeji, Thaddeus Chukwuemeka

    2015-04-01

    In addition to glucans, xylans, and arabinans, lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates contain significant levels of nonsugar components that are toxic to the microbes that are typically used to convert biomass to biofuels and chemicals. To enhance the tolerance of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE)-generating Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 to these lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitory compounds (LDMICs; e.g., furfural), we have been examining different metabolic perturbation strategies to increase the cellular reductant pools and thereby facilitate detoxification of LDMICs. As part of these efforts, we evaluated the effect of allopurinol, an inhibitor of NAD(P)H-generating xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH), on C. beijerinckii grown in furfural-supplemented medium and found that it unexpectedly increased the rate of detoxification of furfural by 1.4-fold and promoted growth, butanol, and ABE production by 1.2-, 2.5-, and 2-fold, respectively. Since NAD(P)H/NAD(P)(+) levels in C. beijerinckii were largely unchanged upon allopurinol treatment, we postulated and validated a possible basis in DNA repair to account for the solventogenic gains with allopurinol. Following the observation that supplementation of allopurinol in the C. beijerinckii growth media mitigates the toxic effects of nalidixic acid, a DNA-damaging antibiotic, we found that allopurinol elicited 2.4- and 6.7-fold increase in the messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of xanthine and hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferases, key purine-salvage enzymes. Consistent with this finding, addition of inosine (a precursor of hypoxanthine) and xanthine led to 1.4- and 1.7-fold increase in butanol production in furfural-challenged cultures of C. beijerinckii. Taken together, our results provide a purine salvage-based rationale for the unanticipated effect of allopurinol in improving furfural tolerance of the ABE-fermenting C. beijerinckii.

  6. Effects of Red Bean (Vigna angularis) Protein Isolates on Rheological Properties of Microbial Transglutaminase Mediated Pork Myofibrillar Protein Gels as Affected by Fractioning and Preheat Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hong Chul

    2016-01-01

    Fractioning and/or preheating treatment on the rheological properties of myofibrillar protein (MP) gels induced by microbial transglutaminase (MTG) has been reported that they may improve the functional properties. However, the optimum condition was varied depending on the experimental factors. This study was to evaluate the effect of red bean protein isolate (RBPI) on the rheological properties of MP gels mediated by MTG as affected by modifications (fractioning: 7S-globulin of RBPI and/or preheat treatment (pre-heating; 95℃/30 min): pre-heating RBPI or pre-heating/7S-globulin). Cooking yields (CY, %) of MP gels was increased with RBPI (p<0.05), while 7S-globulin decreased the effect of RBPI (p<0.05); however, preheating treatments did not affect the CY (p>0.05). Gel strength of MP was decreased when RBPI or 7S-globulin added, while preheat treatments compensated for the negative effects of those in MP. This effect was entirely reversed by MTG treatment. Although the major band of RBPI disappeared, the preheated 7S globulin band was remained. In scanning electron microscopic (SEM) technique, the appearance of more cross-linked structures were observed when RBPI was prepared with preheating at 95℃ to improve the protein-protein interaction during gel setting of MP mixtures. Thus, the effects of RBPI and 7S-globulin as a substrate, and water and meat binder for MTG-mediated MP gels were confirmed to improve the rheological properties. However, preheat treatment of RBPI should be optimized. PMID:27857544

  7. Characterization of Martian Rock Shape for MER Airbag Drop Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimaggio, E. N.; Schroeder, R.; Castle, N.; Golombek, M.

    2002-12-01

    Rock distributions for the final platforms used in airbag drop tests are currently being designed for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) scheduled to launch in 2003. Like Mars Pathfinder (MPF), launched in 1996, MER will use a series of airbags to cushion its landing on the surface of Mars. Previous MER airbag drop tests have shown that sharp, angular (triangular) rocks >20 cm high may be hazardous. To aid in defining the rock distributions for the final airbag tests, images from the Viking Landers 1 and 2 and MPF were used to identify rocks that are >20 cm high, and characterize them as triangular, square or round. Approximately 33% of all rocks analyzed are triangular. Of the rocks analyzed that are ~20-60 cm high, ~14% are triangular. Most of these triangular rocks are small, ~20-30 cm high. Rock distributions of previous airbag platforms were similarly classified and show a greater percentage of triangular and square rocks that are ~20-60 cm high than at the landing sites. The burial of a rock (perched, partially buried or buried) was also considered because perched rocks may pose less of a threat to the airbags than those buried because perched rocks can be dislodged and roll during impact. Approximately 19% of all rocks analyzed, and ~19% of rocks that are ~20-60 cm high, are triangular and partially buried or buried. These data suggest that the platform rock distributions appropriately represented the risks to the airbags associated with triangular rocks. A similar percentage of >20 cm high triangular rocks will be added to the drop test platforms to represent landing site rock distributions.

  8. Indexing Arbitrary-Length k-Mers in Sequencing Reads.

    PubMed

    Kowalski, Tomasz; Grabowski, Szymon; Deorowicz, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    We propose a lightweight data structure for indexing and querying collections of NGS reads data in main memory. The data structure supports the interface proposed in the pioneering work by Philippe et al. for counting and locating k-mers in sequencing reads. Our solution, PgSA (pseudogenome suffix array), based on finding overlapping reads, is competitive to the existing algorithms in the space use, query times, or both. The main applications of our index include variant calling, error correction and analysis of reads from RNA-seq experiments.

  9. Indexing Arbitrary-Length k-Mers in Sequencing Reads

    PubMed Central

    Kowalski, Tomasz; Grabowski, Szymon; Deorowicz, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    We propose a lightweight data structure for indexing and querying collections of NGS reads data in main memory. The data structure supports the interface proposed in the pioneering work by Philippe et al. for counting and locating k-mers in sequencing reads. Our solution, PgSA (pseudogenome suffix array), based on finding overlapping reads, is competitive to the existing algorithms in the space use, query times, or both. The main applications of our index include variant calling, error correction and analysis of reads from RNA-seq experiments. PMID:26182400

  10. Evaluating the efficiency of a mixed culture biofilm for the treatment of black liquor and molasses in a mediator-less microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Ali, Naeem; Yousaf, Sameen; Anam, Maira; Bangash, Zain; Maleeha, Sehrish

    2016-11-01

    A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an emerging environment-friendly technology to recover the useful energy available in waste by using microorganisms as catalyst. In this study, double chamber mediator-less MFCs separated by proton exchange membrane (PEM; Nafion) were constructed to determine the efficiency of mixed culture in using complex substrates (molasses and black liquor). It was found that activated sludge can serve as efficient source of electricigens for biofilm development on an anode. Power density of 2.425 W/m² was generated from molasses with chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency of 67% as compared to power density of 3.55 W/m² produced from black liquor along with COD removal efficiency of 78%. Moreover, it was demonstrated that surface area of PEM has a significant effect on power generation. An almost 5- to 8-fold increase in voltage was observed as the size of PEM was increased from 6.5 to 25 cm².

  11. A mouse model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cockrell, Adam S; Yount, Boyd L; Scobey, Trevor; Jensen, Kara; Douglas, Madeline; Beall, Anne; Tang, Xian-Chun; Marasco, Wayne A; Heise, Mark T; Baric, Ralph S

    2016-11-28

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel virus that emerged in 2012, causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe pneumonia-like symptoms and multi-organ failure, with a case fatality rate of ∼36%. Limited clinical studies indicate that humans infected with MERS-CoV exhibit pathology consistent with the late stages of ARDS, which is reminiscent of the disease observed in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Models of MERS-CoV-induced severe respiratory disease have been difficult to achieve, and small-animal models traditionally used to investigate viral pathogenesis (mouse, hamster, guinea-pig and ferret) are naturally resistant to MERS-CoV. Therefore, we used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to modify the mouse genome to encode two amino acids (positions 288 and 330) that match the human sequence in the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 receptor, making mice susceptible to MERS-CoV infection and replication. Serial MERS-CoV passage in these engineered mice was then used to generate a mouse-adapted virus that replicated efficiently within the lungs and evoked symptoms indicative of severe ARDS, including decreased survival, extreme weight loss, decreased pulmonary function, pulmonary haemorrhage and pathological signs indicative of end-stage lung disease. Importantly, therapeutic countermeasures comprising MERS-CoV neutralizing antibody treatment or a MERS-CoV spike protein vaccine protected the engineered mice against MERS-CoV-induced ARDS.

  12. Debate on MERS-CoV respiratory precautions: surgical mask or N95 respirators?

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Jasmine Shimin; Ling, Moi Lin; Seto, Wing Hong; Ang, Brenda Sze Peng; Tambyah, Paul Anantharajah

    2014-01-01

    Since the emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in mid-2012, there has been controversy over the respiratory precaution recommendations in different guidelines from various international bodies. Our understanding of MERS-CoV is still evolving. Current recommendations on infection control practices are heavily influenced by the lessons learnt from severe acute respiratory syndrome. A debate on respiratory precautions for MERS-CoV was organised by Infection Control Association (Singapore) and the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore). We herein discuss and present the evidence for surgical masks for the protection of healthcare workers from MERS-CoV. PMID:25017402

  13. Improving Bloom Filter Performance on Sequence Data Using k-mer Bloom Filters.

    PubMed

    Pellow, David; Filippova, Darya; Kingsford, Carl

    2016-11-09

    Using a sequence's k-mer content rather than the full sequence directly has enabled significant performance improvements in several sequencing applications, such as metagenomic species identification, estimation of transcript abundances, and alignment-free comparison of sequencing data. As k-mer sets often reach hundreds of millions of elements, traditional data structures are often impractical for k-mer set storage, and Bloom filters (BFs) and their variants are used instead. BFs reduce the memory footprint required to store millions of k-mers while allowing for fast set containment queries, at the cost of a low false positive rate (FPR). We show that, because k-mers are derived from sequencing reads, the information about k-mer overlap in the original sequence can be used to reduce the FPR up to 30 × with little or no additional memory and with set containment queries that are only 1.3 - 1.6 times slower. Alternatively, we can leverage k-mer overlap information to store k-mer sets in about half the space while maintaining the original FPR. We consider several variants of such k-mer Bloom filters (kBFs), derive theoretical upper bounds for their FPR, and discuss their range of applications and limitations.

  14. Stable iron isotopes and microbial mediation in red pigmentation of the Rosso Ammonitico (mid-late Jurassic, Verona area, Italy).

    PubMed

    Préat, Alain R; de Jong, Jeroen T M; Mamet, Bernard L; Mattielli, Nadine

    2008-08-01

    The iron (Fe) isotopic composition of 17 Jurassic limestones from the Rosso Ammonitico of Verona (Italy) have been analyzed by Multiple-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Such analysis allowed for the recognition of a clear iron isotopic fractionation (mean -0.8 per thousand, ranging between -1.52 to -0.06 per thousand) on a millimeter-centimeter scale between the red and grey facies of the studied formation. After gentle acid leaching, measurements of the Fe isotopic compositions gave delta(56)Fe values that were systematically lower in the red facies residues (median: -0.84 per thousand, range: -1.46 to +0.26 per thousand) compared to the grey facies residues (median: -0.08 per thousand, range: -0.34 to +0.23 per thousand). In addition, the red facies residues were characterized by a lighter delta(56)Fe signal relative to their corresponding leachates. These Fe isotopic fractionations could be a sensitive fingerprint of a biotic process; systematic isotopic differences between the red and grey facies residues, which consist of hematite and X-ray amorphous iron hydroxides, respectively, are hypothesized to have resulted from the oxidizing activity of iron bacteria and fungi in the red facies. The grey Fe isotopic data match the Fe isotopic signature of the terrestrial baseline established for igneous rocks and low-C(org) clastic sedimentary rocks. The Fe isotopic compositions of the grey laminations are consistent with the influx of detrital iron minerals and lack of microbial redox processes at the water-interface during deposition. Total Fe concentration measurements were performed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) (confirmed by concentration estimations obtained by MC-ICP-MS analyses of microdrilled samples) on five samples, and resultant values range between 0.30% (mean) in the grey facies and 1.31% (mean) in the red facies. No correlation was observed between bulk Fe content and pigmentation

  15. Constraining pathways of microbial mediation for carbonate concretions of the Miocene Monterey Formation using carbonate-associated sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loyd, Sean J.; Berelson, William M.; Lyons, Timothy W.; Hammond, Douglas E.; Corsetti, Frank A.

    2012-02-01

    Carbonate concretions can form as a result of organic matter degradation within sediments. However, the ability to determine specific processes and timing relationships to particular concretions has remained elusive. Previously employed proxies (e.g., carbon and oxygen isotopes) cannot uniquely distinguish among diagenetic alkalinity sources generated by microbial oxidation of organic matter using oxygen, nitrate, metal oxides, and sulfate as electron acceptors, in addition to degradation by thermal decarboxylation. Here, we employ concentrations of carbonate-associated sulfate (CAS) and δ 34S CAS (along with more traditional approaches) to determine the specific nature of concretion authigenesis within the Miocene Monterey Formation. Integrated geochemical analyses reveal that at least three specific organo-diagenetic reaction pathways can be tied to concretion formation and that these reactions are largely sample-site specific. One calcitic concretion from the Phosphatic Shale Member at Naples Beach yields δ 34S CAS values near Miocene seawater sulfate (˜+22‰ VCDT), abundant CAS (ca. 1000 ppm), depleted δ 13C carb (˜-11‰ VPDB), and very low concentrations of Fe (ca. 700 ppm) and Mn (ca. 15 ppm)—characteristics most consistent with shallow formation in association with organic matter degradation by nitrate, iron-oxides and/or minor sulfate reduction. Cemented concretionary layers of the Phosphatic Shale Member at Shell Beach display elevated δ 34S CAS (up to ˜+37‰), CAS concentrations of ˜600 ppm, mildly depleted δ 13C carb (˜-6‰), moderate amounts of Mn (ca. 250 ppm), and relatively low Fe (ca. 1700 ppm), indicative of formation in sediments dominated by sulfate reduction. Finally, concretions within a siliceous host at Montaña de Oro and Naples Beach show minimal CAS concentrations, positive δ 13C values, and the highest concentrations of Fe (ca. 11,300 ppm) and Mn (ca. 440 ppm), consistent with formation in sediments experiencing

  16. Microbial diversity of traditional Vietnamese alcohol fermentation starters (banh men) as determined by PCR-mediated DGGE.

    PubMed

    Thanh, Vu Nguyen; Mai, Le Thuy; Tuan, Duong Anh

    2008-12-10

    The diversity of fungi and bacteria associated with traditional Vietnamese alcohol fermentation starters (banh men) was investigated by PCR-mediated DGGE. From 52 starter samples, 13 species of fungi (including yeasts) and 23 species of bacteria were identified. The fungal composition of the starters was consistent with little variation among samples. It consisted of amylase producers (Rhizopus oryzae, R. microsporus, Absidia corymbifera, Amylomyces sp., Saccharomycopsis fibuligera), ethanol producers (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Issatchenkia sp., Pichia anomala, Candida tropicalis, P. ranongensis, Clavispora lusitaniae), and (opportunistic) contaminants (Xeromyces bisporus, Botryobasidium subcoronatum). The bacterial microflora of starters was highly variable in species composition and dominated by lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The most frequent LAB were Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactobacillus plantarum, L. brevis, Weissella confusa, and W. paramesenteroides. Species of amylase-producing Bacillus (Bacillus subtilis, B. circulans, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. sporothermodurans), acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter orientalis, A. pasteurianus), and plant pathogens/environment contaminants (Burkholderia ubonensis, Ralstonia solanacearum, Pelomonas puraquae) were also detected. Fungal DGGE was found to be useful for evaluating starter type and starter quality. Moreover, in view of the high biological diversity of these substrates, bacterial DGGE may be useful in determining the identity of a starter. The constant occurrence of opportunistic contaminants highlights the need for careful examination of the role of individual components in starters.

  17. mer and fac isomerism in tris chelate diimine metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Dabb, Serin L; Fletcher, Nicholas C

    2015-03-14

    In this perspective, we highlight the issue of meridional (mer) and facial (fac) orientation of asymmetrical diimines in tris-chelate transition metal complexes. Diimine ligands have long been the workhorse of coordination chemistry, and whilst there are now good strategies to isolate materials where the inherent metal centered chirality is under almost complete control, and systematic methodologies to isolate heteroleptic complexes, the conceptually simple geometrical isomerism has not been widely investigated. In systems where the two donor atoms are significantly different in terms of the σ-donor and π-accepting ability, the fac isomer is likely to be the thermodynamic product. For the diimine complexes with two trigonal planar nitrogen atoms there is much more subtlety to the system, and external factors such as the solvent, lattice packing and the various steric considerations play a delicate role in determining the observed and isolable product. In this article we discuss the possibilities to control the isomeric ratio in labile systems, consider the opportunities to separate inert complexes and discuss the observed differences in their spectroscopic properties. Finally we report on the ligand orientation in supramolecular systems where facial coordination leads to simple regular structures such as helicates and tetrahedra, but the ability of the ligand system to adopt a mer orientation enables self-assembled structures of considerable beauty and complexity.

  18. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): animal to human interaction

    PubMed Central

    Omrani, Ali S.; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A.

    2015-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel enzootic betacoronavirus that was first described in September 2012. The clinical spectrum of MERS-CoV infection in humans ranges from an asymptomatic or mild respiratory illness to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure; overall mortality is around 35.7%. Bats harbour several betacoronaviruses that are closely related to MERS-CoV but more research is needed to establish the relationship between bats and MERS-CoV. The seroprevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies is very high in dromedary camels in Eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. MERS-CoV RNA and viable virus have been isolated from dromedary camels, including some with respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, near-identical strains of MERS-CoV have been isolated from epidemiologically linked humans and camels, confirming inter-transmission, most probably from camels to humans. Though inter-human spread within health care settings is responsible for the majority of reported MERS-CoV cases, the virus is incapable at present of causing sustained human-to-human transmission. Clusters can be readily controlled with implementation of appropriate infection control procedures. Phylogenetic and sequencing data strongly suggest that MERS-CoV originated from bat ancestors after undergoing a recombination event in the spike protein, possibly in dromedary camels in Africa, before its exportation to the Arabian Peninsula along the camel trading routes. MERS-CoV serosurveys are needed to investigate possible unrecognized human infections in Africa. Amongst the important measures to control MERS-CoV spread are strict regulation of camel movement, regular herd screening and isolation of infected camels, use of personal protective equipment by camel handlers and enforcing rules banning all consumption of unpasteurized camel milk and urine. PMID:26924345

  19. Bat-to-human: spike features determining 'host jump' of coronaviruses SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and beyond.

    PubMed

    Lu, Guangwen; Wang, Qihui; Gao, George F

    2015-08-01

    Both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are zoonotic pathogens that crossed the species barriers to infect humans. The mechanism of viral interspecies transmission is an important scientific question to be addressed. These coronaviruses contain a surface-located spike (S) protein that initiates infection by mediating receptor-recognition and membrane fusion and is therefore a key factor in host specificity. In addition, the S protein needs to be cleaved by host proteases before executing fusion, making these proteases a second determinant of coronavirus interspecies infection. Here, we summarize the progress made in the past decade in understanding the cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV by focusing on the features of the S protein, its receptor-binding characteristics, and the cleavage process involved in priming.

  20. Evolutionary Dynamics of MERS-CoV: Potential Recombination, Positive Selection and Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhao; Shen, Libing; Gu, Xun

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) belongs to beta group of coronavirus and was first discovered in 2012. MERS-CoV can infect multiple host species and cause severe diseases in human. We conducted a series of phylogenetic and bioinformatic analyses to study the evolution dynamics of MERS-CoV among different host species with genomic data. Our analyses show: 1) 28 potential recombinant sequences were detected and they can be classified into seven potential recombinant types; 2) The spike (S) protein of MERS-CoV was under strong positive selection when MERS-CoV transmitted from their natural host to human; 3) Six out of nine positive selection sites detected in spike (S) protein are located in its receptor-binding domain which is in direct contact with host cells; 4) MERS-CoV frequently transmitted back and forth between human and camel after it had acquired the human-camel infection capability. Together, these results suggest that potential recombination events might have happened frequently during MERS-CoV’s evolutionary history and the positive selection sites in MERS-CoV’s S protein might enable it to infect human. PMID:27142087

  1. Serologic Evidence for MERS-CoV Infection in Dromedary Camels, Punjab, Pakistan, 2012–2015

    PubMed Central

    Saqib, Muhammad; Sieberg, Andrea; Hussain, Muhammad Hammad; Mansoor, Muhammad Khalid; Zohaib, Ali; Lattwein, Erik; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Corman, Victor Max

    2017-01-01

    Dromedary camels from Africa and Arabia are an established source for zoonotic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection among humans. In Pakistan, we found specific neutralizing antibodies in samples from 39.5% of 565 dromedaries, documenting significant expansion of the enzootic range of MERS-CoV to Asia. PMID:28221127

  2. Knowledge and Apprehension of Dental Patients about MERS-A Questionnaire Survey

    PubMed Central

    Ashok, Nipun; Rodrigues, Jean Clare; Azouni, Khalid; Darwish, Shorouk; Abuderman, Abdulwahab; Alkaabba, Abdul Aziz Fahad

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a disease caused by beta corona virus. From April 11th to 9th June 2014, World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 402 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS from KSA, out of which 132 cases were reported from Riyadh alone. Aim The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge and apprehension of patients about MERS visiting Al Farabi College of Dentistry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire based survey was conducted which consisted of 10 self-prepared questions. A total of 404 patients participated in this study. Results Three hundred and forty patients had heard about MERS. Nearly a quarter of the patients (25.74%) were apprehensive about undergoing dental treatment because of MERS. A little more than half of the patients (50.99%) knew that camel was a source of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona virus. Most of the patients (80.72%) were aware of the infection control measures to be followed by dentist and 138 patients claimed they took some precaution when present inside the dental college. Conclusion Majority of the patients had heard about MERS and was aware of the infection control measures. However, some patients were apprehensive about undergoing dental treatment because of MERS. Further steps need to be taken to educate the patient’s about transmission of MERS and infection control measures in a dental hospital. PMID:27437361

  3. Exportations of Symptomatic Cases of MERS-CoV Infection to Countries outside the Middle East

    PubMed Central

    O’Hagan, Justin J.; Jewett, Amy; Gambhir, Manoj; Cohen, Nicole J.; Haber, Yoni; Pesik, Nicki; Swerdlow, David L.

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, an outbreak of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was detected in the Arabian Peninsula. Modeling can produce estimates of the expected annual number of symptomatic cases of MERS-CoV infection exported and the likelihood of exportation from source countries in the Middle East to countries outside the region. PMID:27358972

  4. Time Course of MERS-CoV Infection and Immunity in Dromedary Camels

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Benjamin; Juhasz, Judit; Barua, Rajib; Das Gupta, Aungshuman; Hakimuddin, Fatima; Corman, Victor M.; Müller, Marcel A.; Wernery, Ulrich; Nagy, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge about immunity to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels is essential for infection control and vaccination. A longitudinal study of 11 dam–calf pairs showed that calves lose maternal MERS-CoV antibodies 5–6 months postparturition and are left susceptible to infection, indicating a short window of opportunity for vaccination. PMID:27224315

  5. Nordic Winter and Cold: Their Correspondence with Tomas Tranströmer's Poetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hosian, Mohammad Akbar

    2015-01-01

    The Nobel Prize winning poet Tomas Tranströmer was born and bred in Sweden, a remarkably Scandinavian country. Topographically, Scandinavian countries are locations of extreme cold and snowing. This distinguishing climatic condition has had a dominant influence and impact on almost all Scandinavian art and literature, including Tomas Tranströmer's…

  6. Exportations of Symptomatic Cases of MERS-CoV Infection to Countries outside the Middle East.

    PubMed

    Carias, Cristina; O'Hagan, Justin J; Jewett, Amy; Gambhir, Manoj; Cohen, Nicole J; Haber, Yoni; Pesik, Nicki; Swerdlow, David L

    2016-04-01

    In 2012, an outbreak of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was detected in the Arabian Peninsula. Modeling can produce estimates of the expected annual number of symptomatic cases of MERS-CoV infection exported and the likelihood of exportation from source countries in the Middle East to countries outside the region.

  7. Electrochemical Characterization of a Novel Exoelectrogenic Bacterium Strain SCS5, Isolated from a Mediator-Less Microbial Fuel Cell and Phylogenetically Related to Aeromonas jandaei

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Subed Chandra Dev; Feng, Cuijie; Li, Jiangwei; Hu, Anyi; Wang, Han; Qin, Dan; Yu, Chang-Ping

    2016-01-01

    A facultative anaerobic bacterium, designated as strain SCS5, was isolated from the anodic biofilm of a mediator-less microbial fuel cell using acetate as the electron donor and α-FeOOH as the electron acceptor. The isolate was Gram-negative, motile, and shaped as short rods (0.9–1.3 μm in length and 0.4–0.5 μm in width). A phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA, gyrB, and rpoD genes suggested that strain SCS5 belonged to the Aeromonas genus in the Aeromonadaceae family and exhibited the highest 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity (99.45%) with Aeromonas jandaei ATCC 49568. However, phenotypic, cellular fatty acid profile, and DNA G+C content analyses revealed that there were some distinctions between strain SCS5 and the type strain A. jandaei ATCC 49568. The optimum growth temperature, pH, and NaCl (%) for strain SCS5 were 35°C, 7.0, and 0.5% respectively. The DNA G+C content of strain SCS5 was 59.18%. The isolate SCS5 was capable of reducing insoluble iron oxide (α-FeOOH) and transferring electrons to extracellular material (the carbon electrode). The electrochemical activity of strain SCS5 was corroborated by cyclic voltammetry and a Raman spectroscopic analysis. The cyclic voltammogram of strain SCS5 revealed two pairs of oxidation-reduction peaks under anaerobic and aerobic conditions. In contrast, no redox pair was observed for A. jandaei ATCC 49568. Thus, isolated strain SCS5 is a novel exoelectrogenic bacterium phylogenetically related to A. jandaei, but shows distinct electrochemical activity from its close relative A. jandaei ATCC 49568. PMID:27396922

  8. Development of a mediated whole cell-based electrochemical biosensor for joint toxicity assessment of multi-pollutants using a mixed microbial consortium.

    PubMed

    Gao, Guanyue; Qian, Jun; Fang, Deyu; Yu, Yuan; Zhi, Jinfang

    2016-06-14

    Since most risk assessment for toxicants is based on individual single-species test, the deduction of such results to ecosystem evaluation is afflicted with uncertainties. Herein, we successfully developed a p-benzoquinone mediated whole-cell electrochemical biosensor for multi-pollutants toxicological analysis by co-immobilizing mixed strains of microorganism, including Escherichia coli (gram-negative bacteria), Bacillus subtilis (gram-positive bacteria) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (fungus). The individual and combined toxicities of heavy metal ions (Cu(2+), Cd(2+)), phenol (3,5-dichlorophenol) and pesticides (Ametryn, Acephate) were examined. The experimental results showed that the order of toxicity for individual toxicant was ranked as Cu(2+) > 3,5-dichlorophenol (DCP) > Ametryn > Cd(2+) > Acephate. Then the toxic unit (TU) model was applied to determine the nature of toxicological interaction of the toxicants which can be classified as concentration additive (IC50mix = 1TU), synergistic (IC50mix < 1TU) and antagonistic (IC50mix > 1TU) responses. The binary combination of Cu(2+) + Cd(2+), Cu(2+) + DCP, Cu(2+) + Acephate, DCP + Acephate, Acephate + Ametryn were analyzed and the three kind of joint toxicity effects (i.e. additive, synergistic and antagonistic) mentioned above were observed according to the dose-response relationship. The results indicate that the whole-cell electrochemical biosensor based on mixed microbial consortium is more reasonable to reflect the joint biotoxicity of multi-pollutants existing in real wastewater, and combined effects of toxicants is extremely necessary to be taken into account in ecological risk assessment. Thus, present study has provided a promising approach to the quality assessment of wastewater and a reliable way for early risk warning of acute biotoxicity.

  9. Discovery of Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at subnanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design. PMID:22662287

  10. Discovery of Novel Small Molecule Mer Kinase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Simpson, Catherine; Deryckere, Deborah; Van Deusen, Amy; Miley, Michael J; Kireev, Dmitri; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra; Korboukh, Victoria K; Patel, Hari S; Janzen, William P; Machius, Mischa; Johnson, Gary L; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2012-02-09

    Ectopic Mer expression promotes pro-survival signaling and contributes to leukemogenesis and chemoresistance in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Consequently, Mer kinase inhibitors may promote leukemic cell death and further act as chemosensitizers increasing efficacy and reducing toxicities of current ALL regimens. We have applied a structure-based design approach to discover novel small molecule Mer kinase inhibitors. Several pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives effectively inhibit Mer kinase activity at sub-nanomolar concentrations. Furthermore, the lead compound shows a promising selectivity profile against a panel of 72 kinases and has excellent pharmacokinetic properties. We also describe the crystal structure of the complex between the lead compound and Mer, opening new opportunities for further optimization and new template design.

  11. Dust Accumulation and Cleaning of the MER Opportunity Solar Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, J.

    2015-12-01

    The solar array of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity was expected to accumulate a sufficient quantity of dust after ninety Martian days (sols) such that it could no longer provide enough energy to guarantee continued surface operations. Instead, due in part to low dust accumulation rates and numerous dust cleaning events, Opportunity continues to operate on the Martian surface for over 4000 sols (over six Mars years). During this time period, the rover experienced six Martian winters and several dust storms. Because the sources of solar energy loss are known, the solar array energy output offers a method to scientifically estimate the loading and aeolian removal of dust from the solar array each sol. We will discuss the accumulation of dust on the solar panels as a proxy for dust movement at Meridiani Planum over the course of the entire mission to date.

  12. Dust Accumulation and Cleaning of the MER Spirit Solar Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, J. A.; Lemmon, M. T.; Johnson, J. R.; Cantor, B. A.; Stella, P. M.; Chin, K. B.; Wood, E. G.

    2012-12-01

    The solar array of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit was expected to accumulate so much dust after ninety Martian days (sols) that it could no longer provide enough energy to guarantee continued surface operations. Instead, due in part to low dust accumulation rates and numerous dust cleaning events, Spirit carried out surface operations for over 2200 sols (over three Mars years). During this time period, the rover experienced four Martian winters and several dust storms. Because the sources of solar energy loss are known, the solar array energy output offers a tool to quantitatively estimate the loading and aeolian removal of dust from the solar array each sol. We will discuss the accumulation of dust on the solar panels as a proxy for dust movement at Gusev Crater over the course of the entire mission.

  13. Molecular identification of Lodoicea maldivica (coco de mer) seeds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The edible endosperm of Lodoicea maldivica with the common name of coco de mer is used in Chinese medicine for treating cough. Native to Seychelles, Lodoicea maldivica seeds have commanded high prices for centuries due to its scarcity. This study aims to develop a molecular identification method for the authentication of Lodoicea maldivica seeds. Methods DNA was extracted from the sample. Two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) systems were developed to amplify a region of the chloroplast DNA and the nuclear phosphoribulokinase (PRK) region specific to Lodoicea maldivica respectively. DNA sequence of a sample was determined and compared with that of the Lodoicea maldivica reference material. Results The PRK gene of Lodoicea maldivica was successfully amplified and sequenced for identification. Conclusion A new molecular method for the identification of Lodoicea maldivica seeds in fresh, frozen or dried forms was developed. PMID:21961930

  14. MER-DIMES : a planetary landing application of computer vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cheng, Yang; Johnson, Andrew; Matthies, Larry

    2005-01-01

    During the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landings, the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) was used for horizontal velocity estimation. The DIMES algorithm combines measurements from a descent camera, a radar altimeter and an inertial measurement unit. To deal with large changes in scale and orientation between descent images, the algorithm uses altitude and attitude measurements to rectify image data to level ground plane. Feature selection and tracking is employed in the rectified data to compute the horizontal motion between images. Differences of motion estimates are then compared to inertial measurements to verify correct feature tracking. DIMES combines sensor data from multiple sources in a novel way to create a low-cost, robust and computationally efficient velocity estimation solution, and DIMES is the first use of computer vision to control a spacecraft during planetary landing. In this paper, the detailed implementation of the DIMES algorithm and the results from the two landings on Mars are presented.

  15. Successful recovery of MERS CoV pneumonia in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome: a case report.

    PubMed

    Shalhoub, Sarah; AlZahrani, Abdulwahab; Simhairi, Raed; Mushtaq, Adnan

    2015-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) may cause severe pneumonia with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly in patients with multiple comorbid condition. MERS CoV pneumonia has not been previously reported in patients with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Herein, we report a case of MERS CoV pneumonia with a successful outcome in a patient recently diagnosed with HIV.

  16. Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Marlow, Jeffery; Skennerton, Connor T.; Li, Zhou; Chourey, Karuna; Hettich, Robert L.; Pan, Chongle; Orphan, V.

    2016-04-29

    Marine methane seep habitats represent an important control on the global flux of methane between the subsurface and water column reservoirs. Meta-omics studies have begun to outline community-wide metabolic potential, but expression patterns of proteins that enact sulfate-mediated anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps are poorly characterized. Proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) offers an additional layer of information for characterizing phylogenetically specific, functionally relevant activity in mixed microbial communities. Here we applied proteomic SIP to 15NH4+ and CH4 amended seep sediment microcosms in an attempt to track the protein synthesis of slow-growing, low-energy microbial systems. Across all samples, 3495 proteins were identified, 21% of which were 15N-labeled. We observed active synthesis (15N enrichment) of all proteins believed to be involved in sulfate reduction and reverse methanogenesis including methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer). The abundance and phylogenetic range of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) orthologs produced during incubation experiments suggests that seeps provide sufficient niches for multiple organisms performing analogous metabolisms. Twenty-eight previously unreported post-translational modifications of McrA were measured, indicating dynamic enzymatic machinery and offering a dimension of functional diversity beyond gene-dictated sequence. RNA polymerase associated with putative sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria and aerobic Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant among pre-incubation proteins, suggesting diminished metabolic activity in long-term anoxic, sulfidic experimental incubations. Twenty-six proteins of unknown function were detected in all proteomic experiments and actively expressed in labeled experiments, suggesting that they play important roles in methane seep ecosystems. The addition of stable isotope probing to environmental proteomics experiments provides a mechanism to begin

  17. Expansion of quiescent lung adenocarcinoma CD8+ T cells by MUC1-8-mer peptide-T2 cell-β2 microglobulin complexes

    PubMed Central

    ATZIN-MÉNDEZ, J.A.; LÓPEZ-GONZÁLEZ, J.S.; BÁEZ, R.; ARENAS-DEL ANGEL, M.C.; MONTAÑO, L.F.; SILVA-ADAYA, D.; LASCURAIN, R.; GOROCICA, P.

    2016-01-01

    Adoptive immunotherapy requires the isolation of CD8+ T cells specific for tumor-associated antigens, their expansion in vitro and their transfusion to the patient to mediate a therapeutic effect. MUC1 is an important adenocarcinoma antigen immunogenic for T cells. The MUC1-derived SAPDTRPA (MUC1-8-mer) peptide is a potent epitope recognized by CD8+ T cells in murine models. Likewise, the T2 cell line has been used as an antigen-presenting cell to activate CD8+ T cells, but so far MUC1 has not been assessed in this context. We evaluated whether the MUC1-8-mer peptide can be presented by T2 cells to expand CD25+CD8+ T cells isolated from HLA-A2+ lung adenocarcinoma patients with stage III or IV tumors. The results showed that MUC1-8-mer peptide-loaded T2 cells activated CD8+ T cells from cancer HLA-A2+ patients when anti-CD2, anti-CD28 antibodies and IL-2 were added. The percentage of CD25+CD8+ T cells was 3-fold higher than those in the non-stimulated cells (P=0.018). HLA-A2+ patient cells showed a significant difference (2.3-fold higher) in activation status than HLA-A2+ healthy control cells (P=0.04). Moreover, 77.6% of MUC1-8-mer peptide-specific CD8+ T cells proliferated following a second stimulation with MUC1-8-mer peptide-loaded T2 cells after 10 days of cell culture. There were significant differences in the percentage of basal CD25+CD8+ T cells in relation to the cancer stage; this difference disappeared after MUC1-8-mer peptide stimulation. In conclusion, expansion of CD25+CD8+ T cells by MUC1-8 peptide-loaded T2 cells plus costimulatory signals via CD2, CD28 and IL-2 can be useful in adoptive immunotherapy. PMID:26498650

  18. MERS and the dromedary camel trade between Africa and the Middle East.

    PubMed

    Younan, M; Bornstein, S; Gluecks, I V

    2016-08-01

    Dromedary camels are the most likely source for the coronavirus that sporadically causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in humans. Serological results from archived camel sera provide evidence for circulation of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) among dromedary camels in the Greater Horn of Africa as far back as 1983 and in Saudi Arabia as far back as 1992. High seroprevalences of MERS-CoV antibodies and the high virus prevalence in Saudi Arabian dromedary camels indicate an endemicity of the virus in the Arabian Peninsula, which predates the 2012 human MERS index case. Saudi Arabian dromedary camels show significantly higher MERS-CoV carrier rates than dromedary camels imported from Africa. Two MERS-CoV lineages identified in Nigerian camels were found to be genetically distinct from those found in camels and humans in the Middle East. This supports the hypothesis that camel imports from Africa are not of significance for circulation of the virus in camel populations of the Arabian Peninsula.

  19. NMR assignments of the macro domain from Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    PubMed

    Huang, Yi-Ping; Cho, Chao-Cheng; Chang, Chi-Fon; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2016-10-01

    The newly emerging human pathogen, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), contains a macro domain in the highly conserved N-terminal region of non-structural protein 3. Intense research has shown that macro domains bind ADP-ribose and other derivatives, but it still remains intangible about their exact function. In this study we report the preliminary structural analysis through solution NMR spectroscopy of the MERS-CoV macro domain. The near complete NMR assignments of MERS-CoV macro domain provide the basis for subsequent structural and biochemical investigation in the context of protein function.

  20. Improvement in Engine Generator Characteristics by Using a Series Compensator Named MERS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashiwagi, Kouhei; Isobe, Takanori; Shimada, Ryuichi

    Terminal voltage of a synchronous generator drops with an increase in the generator current because of the large inductance in the generator, called synchronous reactance. This paper proposes the use of an active series compensation device named magnetic energy recovery switch (MERS) for improving engine generator performance. The MERS can compensate for the voltage drop caused by the synchronous reactance and it can control the load voltage more quickly than the auto voltage regulator can control the excitation current. Thus, the MERS can improve the generator efficiency and transient over power characteristics.

  1. Water on Mars: Evidence from MER Mission Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Viking and the Mars Exploration Rover missions observed that the surface of Mars is encrusted by a thinly cemented layer, or "duricrust". Elemental analyzes at five sites on Mars show that these soils have sulfur content and chlorine content consistent with the presence of sulfates and halides as mineral cements. The soil is highly enriched in the salt-forming elements compared with rock. Analysis of the soil cementation indicates some features which may be evidence of liquid water. At both MER sites, duricrust textures revealed by the Microscopic Imager show features including the presence of fine sand-sized grains, some of which may be aggregates of fine silt and clay, surrounded by a pervasive light colored material that is associated with microtubular structures and networks of microfractures. Stereo views of undisturbed duricrust surfaces reveal rugged microrelief between 2-3 mm and minimal loose material. Comparisons of microscopic images of duricrust soils obtain before and after placement of the Mossbauer spectrometer indicate differing degrees of compaction and cementation. Two models of a transient water hypothesis are offered, a "top down" hypothesis that emphasizes the surface deposition of frost, melting and downward migration of liquid water and a "bottom up" alternative that proposes the presence of interstitial ice/brine, with the upward capillary migration of liquid water. The viability of both of these models ultimately hinges on the availability of seasonally transient liquid water for brief periods.

  2. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  3. Nutrient availability at Mer Bleue bog measured by PRSTM probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, M.; Moore, T. R.; Talbot, J.

    2015-12-01

    Bogs, covering ~0.7 million km2 in Canada, store a large amount of C and N. As nutrient deficient ecosystems, it's critical to examine the nutrient availabilities and seasonal dynamics. We used Plant Root Simulators (PRSTM) at Mer Bleue bog to provide some baseline data on nutrient availability and its variability. In particular, we focused on ammonium, nitrate, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and potassium, iron, sulphate and aluminum. We placed PRS probes at a depth of 5 - 15 cm in pristine plots and plots with long term N, P and K fertilization for 4 weeks and determined the availability of these nutrients, from spring through to fall. Probes were also placed beneath the water table in hummock and hollow microtopography and along a transect including part of the bog which had been drained through the creation of a ditch 80 years ago. The result showed that there was limited available ammonium, nitrate and phosphate in the bog, the seasonal variation of nutrient availabilities probably due to mineralization, an increase in the availability of some nutrients between different water table depths or as a result of drainage, and the relative availability of nutrients compared to the input from fertilization. We suggest that PRS probes could be a useful tool to examine nutrient availability and dynamics in wetlands, with careful consideration of installing condition, for example, proper exposure period, depth relative to water table etc.

  4. Planning Mars Memory: Learning from the Mer Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2004-01-01

    Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort at recognizing, preserving and transmitting learning. Each mission should be built on the learning, of both successes and failures, derived from previous missions. Knowledge management begins with learning, and the recognition that this learning has produced knowledge. The Mars Exploration Rover mission provides us with an opportunity to track how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and whether the representations of this learning will be optimally useful for subsequent missions. This paper focuses on the MER science and engineering teams during Rover operations. A NASA team conducted an observational study of the ongoing work and learning of the these teams. Learning occurred in a wide variety of areas: how to run two teams on Mars time for three months; how to use the instruments within the constraints of the martian environment, the deep space network and the mission requirements; how to plan science strategy; how best to use the available software tools. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in peoples memories, to be carried on to the next mission. It is also encoded in stones, in programming sequences, in published reports, and in lessons learned activities, Studying learning and knowledge development as it happens allows us to suggest proactive ways of capturing and using it across multiple missions and generations.

  5. Redefining Tactical Operations for MER Using Cloud Computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joswig, Joseph C.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2011-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) includes the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, which have been performing geological research and surface exploration since early 2004. The rovers' durability well beyond their original prime mission (90 sols or Martian days) has allowed them to be a valuable platform for scientific research for well over 2000 sols, but as a by-product it has produced new challenges in providing efficient and cost-effective tactical operational planning. An early stage process adaptation was the move to distributed operations as mission scientists returned to their places of work in the summer of 2004, but they would still came together via teleconference and connected software to plan rover activities a few times a week. This distributed model has worked well since, but it requires the purchase, operation, and maintenance of a dedicated infrastructure at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This server infrastructure is costly to operate and the periodic nature of its usage (typically heavy usage for 8 hours every 2 days) has made moving to a cloud based tactical infrastructure an extremely tempting proposition. In this paper we will review both past and current implementations of the tactical planning application focusing on remote plan saving and discuss the unique challenges present with long-latency, distributed operations. We then detail the motivations behind our move to cloud based computing services and as well as our system design and implementation. We will discuss security and reliability concerns and how they were addressed

  6. UNC2025, a Potent and Orally Bioavailable MER/FLT3 Dual Inhibitor

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We previously reported a potent small molecule Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitor UNC1062. However, its poor PK properties prevented further assessment in vivo. We report here the sequential modification of UNC1062 to address DMPK properties and yield a new potent and highly orally bioavailable Mer inhibitor, 11, capable of inhibiting Mer phosphorylation in vivo, following oral dosing as demonstrated by pharmaco-dynamic (PD) studies examining phospho-Mer in leukemic blasts from mouse bone marrow. Kinome profiling versus more than 300 kinases in vitro and cellular selectivity assessments demonstrate that 11 has similar subnanomolar activity against Flt3, an additional important target in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with pharmacologically useful selectivity versus other kinases examined. PMID:25068800

  7. UNC2025, a potent and orally bioavailable MER/FLT3 dual inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Liu, Jing; Stashko, Michael A; Minson, Katherine A; Cummings, Christopher T; Lee, Minjung; Glaros, Trevor G; Newton, Dianne L; Sather, Susan; Zhang, Dehui; Kireev, Dmitri; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-08-28

    We previously reported a potent small molecule Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitor UNC1062. However, its poor PK properties prevented further assessment in vivo. We report here the sequential modification of UNC1062 to address DMPK properties and yield a new potent and highly orally bioavailable Mer inhibitor, 11, capable of inhibiting Mer phosphorylation in vivo, following oral dosing as demonstrated by pharmaco-dynamic (PD) studies examining phospho-Mer in leukemic blasts from mouse bone marrow. Kinome profiling versus more than 300 kinases in vitro and cellular selectivity assessments demonstrate that 11 has similar subnanomolar activity against Flt3, an additional important target in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), with pharmacologically useful selectivity versus other kinases examined.

  8. Unanswered questions about the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) represents a current threat to the Arabian Peninsula, and potential pandemic disease. As of June 3, 2014, MERS CoV has reportedly infected 688 people and killed 282. We briefly summarize the state of the outbreak, and highlight unanswered questions and various explanations for the observed epidemiology. Findings The continuing but infrequent cases of MERS-CoV reported over the past two years have been puzzling and difficult to explain. The epidemiology of MERS-CoV, with many sporadic cases and a few hospital outbreaks, yet no sustained epidemic, suggests a low reproductive number. Furthermore, a clear source of infection to humans remains unknown. Also puzzling is the fact that MERS-CoV has been present in Saudi Arabia over several mass gatherings, including the 2012 and 2013 Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, which predispose to epidemics, without an epidemic arising. Conclusions The observed epidemiology of MERS-CoV is quite distinct and does not clearly fit either a sporadic or epidemic pattern. Possible explanations of the unusual features of the epidemiology of MERS-CoV include sporadic ongoing infections from a non-human source; human to human transmission with a large proportion of undetected cases; or a combination of both. The virus has been identified in camels; however the mode of transmission of the virus to humans remains unknown, and many cases have no history of animal contact. In order to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of MERS CoV, further investigation is warranted. PMID:24920393

  9. A truncated receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV spike protein potently inhibits MERS-CoV infection and induces strong neutralizing antibody responses: implication for developing therapeutics and vaccines.

    PubMed

    Du, Lanying; Kou, Zhihua; Ma, Cuiqing; Tao, Xinrong; Wang, Lili; Zhao, Guangyu; Chen, Yaoqing; Yu, Fei; Tseng, Chien-Te K; Zhou, Yusen; Jiang, Shibo

    2013-01-01

    An emerging respiratory infectious disease with high mortality, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), is caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and has now spread to eight countries. Development of effective therapeutics and vaccines is crucial to save lives and halt the spread of MERS-CoV. Here, we show that a recombinant protein containing a 212-amino acid fragment (residues 377-588) in the truncated receptor-binding domain (RBD: residues 367-606) of MERS-CoV spike (S) protein fused with human IgG Fc fragment (S377-588-Fc) is highly expressed in the culture supernatant of transfected 293T cells. The purified S377-588-Fc protein efficiently binds to dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), the receptor of MERS-CoV, and potently inhibited MERS-CoV infection, suggesting its potential to be further developed as a therapeutic modality for treating MERS-CoV infection and saving the patients' lives. The recombinant S377-588-Fc is able to induce in the vaccinated mice strong MERS-CoV S-specific antibodies, which blocks the binding of RBD to DPP4 receptor and effectively neutralizes MERS-CoV infection. These findings indicate that this truncated RBD protein shows promise for further development as an effective and safe vaccine for the prevention of MERS-CoV infection.

  10. Antibodies against MERS coronavirus in dromedary camels, United Arab Emirates, 2003 and 2013.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Benjamin; Müller, Marcel A; Corman, Victor M; Reusken, Chantal B E M; Ritz, Daniel; Godeke, Gert-Jan; Lattwein, Erik; Kallies, Stephan; Siemens, Artem; van Beek, Janko; Drexler, Jan F; Muth, Doreen; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Wernery, Ulrich; Koopmans, Marion P G; Wernery, Renate; Drosten, Christian

    2014-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused an ongoing outbreak of severe acute respiratory tract infection in humans in the Arabian Peninsula since 2012. Dromedary camels have been implicated as possible viral reservoirs. We used serologic assays to analyze 651 dromedary camel serum samples from the United Arab Emirates; 151 of 651 samples were obtained in 2003, well before onset of the current epidemic, and 500 serum samples were obtained in 2013. Recombinant spike protein-specific immunofluorescence and virus neutralization tests enabled clear discrimination between MERS-CoV and bovine CoV infections. Most (632/651, 97.1%) camels had antibodies against MERS-CoV. This result included all 151 serum samples obtained in 2003. Most (389/651, 59.8%) serum samples had MERS-CoV-neutralizing antibody titers >1,280. Dromedary camels from the United Arab Emirates were infected at high rates with MERS-CoV or a closely related, probably conspecific, virus long before the first human MERS cases.

  11. MERS-CoV recombination: implications about the reservoir and potential for adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Dudas, Gytis; Rambaut, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Recombination is a process that unlinks neighboring loci allowing for independent evolutionary trajectories within genomes of many organisms. If not properly accounted for, recombination can compromise many evolutionary analyses. In addition, when dealing with organisms that are not obligately sexually reproducing, recombination gives insight into the rate at which distinct genetic lineages come into contact. Since June 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused 1,106 laboratory-confirmed infections, with 421 MERS-CoV-associated deaths as of 16 April 2015. Although bats are considered as the likely ultimate source of zoonotic betacoronaviruses, dromedary camels have been consistently implicated as the source of current human infections in the Middle East. In this article, we use phylogenetic methods and simulations to show that MERS-CoV genome has likely undergone numerous recombinations recently. Recombination in MERS-CoV implies frequent co-infection with distinct lineages of MERS-CoV, probably in camels given the current understanding of MERS-CoV epidemiology. PMID:27774293

  12. Challenges presented by MERS corona virus, and SARS corona virus to global health.

    PubMed

    Al-Hazmi, Ali

    2016-07-01

    Numerous viral infections have arisen and affected global healthcare facilities. Millions of people are at severe risk of acquiring several evolving viral infections through several factors. In the present article we have described about risk factors, chance of infection, and prevention methods of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV), human coronaviruses (CoVs) frequently cause a normal cold which is mild and self-restricting. Zoonotic transmission of CoVs such as the newly discovered MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, may be associated with severe lower respiratory tract infection. The present review provides the recent clinical and pathological information on MERS and SARS. The task is to transform these discoveries about MERS and SARS pathogenesis and to develop intervention methods that will eventually allow the effective control of these recently arising severe viral infections. Global health sector has learnt many lessons through the recent outbreak of MERS and SARS, but the need for identifying new antiviral treatment was not learned. In the present article we have reviewed the literature on the several facets like transmission, precautions and effectiveness of treatments used in patients with MERS-CoV and SARS infections.

  13. Development of animal models against emerging coronaviruses: From SARS to MERS coronavirus.

    PubMed

    Sutton, Troy C; Subbarao, Kanta

    2015-05-01

    Two novel coronaviruses have emerged to cause severe disease in humans. While bats may be the primary reservoir for both viruses, SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) likely crossed into humans from civets in China, and MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been transmitted from camels in the Middle East. Unlike SARS-CoV that resolved within a year, continued introductions of MERS-CoV present an on-going public health threat. Animal models are needed to evaluate countermeasures against emerging viruses. With SARS-CoV, several animal species were permissive to infection. In contrast, most laboratory animals are refractory or only semi-permissive to infection with MERS-CoV. This host-range restriction is largely determined by sequence heterogeneity in the MERS-CoV receptor. We describe animal models developed to study coronaviruses, with a focus on host-range restriction at the level of the viral receptor and discuss approaches to consider in developing a model to evaluate countermeasures against MERS-CoV.

  14. Mice lacking Axl and Mer tyrosine kinase receptors are susceptible to experimental autoimmune orchitis induction.

    PubMed

    Li, Nan; Liu, Zhenghui; Zhang, Yue; Chen, Qiaoyuan; Liu, Peng; Cheng, C Yan; Lee, Will M; Chen, Yongmei; Han, Daishu

    2015-03-01

    The mammalian testis is an immunoprivileged organ where male germ cell autoantigens are immunologically ignored. Both systemic immune tolerance to autoantigens and local immunosuppressive milieu contribute to the testicular immune privilege. Testicular immunosuppression has been intensively studied, but information on systemic immune tolerance to autoantigens is lacking. In the present study, we aimed to determine the role of Axl and Mer receptor tyrosine kinases in maintaining the systemic tolerance to male germ cell antigens using the experimental autoimmune orchitis (EAO) model. Axl and Mer double-knockout (Axl(-/-)Mer(-/-)) mice developed evident EAO after a single immunization with germ cell homogenates emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant. EAO was characterized by the accumulation of macrophages and T lymphocytes in the testis. Damage to the seminiferous epithelium was also observed. EAO induction was associated with pro-inflammatory cytokine upregulation in the testes, impaired permeability of the blood-testis barrier and generation of autoantibodies against germ cell antigens in Axl(-/-)Mer(-/-) mice. Immunization also induced mild EAO in Axl or Mer single-gene-knockout mice. By contrast, a single immunization failed to induce EAO in wild-type mice. The results indicate that Axl and Mer receptors cooperatively regulate the systemic immune tolerance to male germ cell antigens.

  15. DNA sequence analysis by hybridization with oligonucleotide microchips: MALDI mass spectrometry identification of 5mers contiguously stacked to microchip oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Stomakhin, Andrey A.; Vasiliskov, Vadim A.; Timofeev, Edward; Schulga, Dennis; Cotter, Richard J.; Mirzabekov, Andrei D.

    2000-01-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) has been applied to increase the informational output from DNA sequence analysis. It has been used to analyze DNA by hybridization with microarrays of gel-immobilized oligonucleotides extended with stacked 5mers. In model experiments, a 28 nt long DNA fragment was hybridized with 10 immobilized, overlapping 8mers. Then, in a second round of hybridization DNA–8mer duplexes were hybridized with a mixture of 10 5mers. The stability of the 5mer complex with DNA was increased to raise the melting temperature of the duplex by 10–15°C as a result of stacking interaction with 8mers. Contiguous 13 bp duplexes containing an internal break were formed. MALDI MS identified one or, in some cases, two 5mers contiguously stacked to each DNA–8mer duplex formed on the microchip. Incorporating a mass label into 5mers optimized MALDI MS monitoring. This procedure enabled us to reconstitute the sequence of a model DNA fragment and identify polymorphic nucleotides. The application of MALDI MS identification of contiguously stacked 5mers to increase the length of DNA for sequence analysis is discussed. PMID:10666462

  16. Microbially mediated clinoptilolite regeneration in a multifunctional permeable reactive barrier used to remove ammonium from landfill leachate contamination: laboratory column evaluation.

    PubMed

    Nooten, Thomas Van; Diels, Ludo; Bastiaens, Leen

    2010-05-01

    This study focuses on multifunctional permeable reactive barrier (multibarrier) technology, combining microbial degradation and abiotic ion exchange processes for removal of ammonium from landfill leachate contamination. The sequential multibarrier concept relies on the use of a clinoptilolite-filled buffer compartment to ensure a robust ammonium removal in case of temporary insufficient microbial activities. An innovative strategy was developed to allow in situ clinoptilolite regeneration. Laboratory-scale clinoptilolite-filled columns were first saturated with ammonium, using real landfill leachate as well as synthetic leachates as feed media. Other inorganic metal cations, typically present in landfill leachate, had a detrimental influence on the ammonium removal capacity by competing for clinoptilolite exchange sites. On the other hand, the metals had a highly favorable impact on regeneration of the saturated material. Feeding the columns with leachate deprived from ammonium (e.g., by microbial nitrification in an upgradient compartment), resulted in a complete release of the previously sorbed ammonium from the clinoptilolite, due to exchange with metal cations present in the leachate. The released ammonium is then available for microbial consumption in a downgradient compartment. The regeneration process resulted in a slightly increased ammonium exchange capacity afterward. The described strategy throws a new light on sustainable use of sorption materials for in situ groundwater remediation, by avoiding the need for material replacement and the use of external chemical regenerants.

  17. Habitat management affects soil chemistry and allochthonous organic inputs mediating microbial structure and exo-enzyme activity in Wadden Sea salt-marsh soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Peter; Granse, Dirk; Thi Do, Hai; Weingartner, Magdalena; Nolte, Stefanie; Hoth, Stefan; Jensen, Kai

    2016-04-01

    The Wadden Sea (WS) region is Europe's largest wetland and home to approximately 20% of its salt marsh area. Mainland salt marshes of the WS are anthropogenically influenced systems and have traditionally been used for livestock grazing in wide parts. After foundation of WS National Parks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, artificial drainage has been abandoned; however, livestock grazing is still common in many areas of the National Parks and is under ongoing discussion as a habitat-management practice. While studies so far focused on effects of livestock grazing on biodiversity, little is known about how biogeochemical processes, element cycling, and particularly carbon sequestration are affected. Here, we present data from a recent field study focusing on grazing effects on soil properties, microbial exo-enzyme activity, microbial abundance and structure. Exo-enzyme activity was studied conducting digestive enzyme assays for various enzymes involved in C- and N cycling. Microbial abundance and structure was assessed measuring specific gene abundance of fungi and bacteria using quantitative PCR. Soil compaction induced by grazing led to higher bulk density and decreases in soil redox (∆ >100 mV). Soil pH was significantly lower in grazed parts. Further, the proportion of allochthonous organic matter (marine input) was significantly smaller in grazed vs. ungrazed sites, likely caused by a higher sediment trapping capacity of the taller vegetation in the ungrazed sites. Grazing induced changes in bulk density, pH and redox resulted in reduced activity of enzymes involved in microbial C acquisition; however, there was no grazing effect on enzymes involved in N acquisition. While changes in pH, bulk density or redox did not affect microbial abundance and structure, the relative amount of marine organic matter significantly reduced the relative abundance of fungi (F:B ratio). We conclude that livestock grazing directly affects microbial exo-enzyme activity, thus

  18. Biomolecular Mechanisms of Mercury Transfers and Transformations by Proteins of the Mer Operon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, S. M.; Hong, B.; Nauss, R.; Momany, C.; Summers, A. O.; Feng, X.; Harwood, I.; Stroud, R.

    2008-12-01

    Aerobic bacteria exhibiting resistance to the toxic effects of Hg(II) and organomercurials [RHg(I), e.g. MeHg(I)] and are widely found in both pristine and mercury contaminated environments. Resistance, afforded by a plasmid- or transposon-associated mer operon, involves an unusual pathway where Hg(II) and organomercurials [RHg(I)] undergo facilitated entry into the bacterial cytoplasm via an integral membrane transport protein (MerT) and are then "detoxified" by the concerted effort of two enzymes, organomercurial lyase (MerB), which catalyzes dealkylation (i.e., demethylation) of RHg(I) to Hg(II) and a hydrocarbon, and mercuric ion reductase (MerA), which catalyzes reduction of Hg(II) to Hg(0) as the ultimate detoxification for the organism. With a widespread distribution, these bacterial transformations play a significant role in the fate of mercury in the environment. Our focus is on elucidation of the molecular mechanisms for the transport and catalytic transformations of RHg(I) and Hg(II) by these proteins and the factors that influence the overall efficiency of the process. Current efforts are focused primarily on elucidating details of RHg(I) binding and dealkylation by MerB as well as the mechanism for transfer of the Hg(II) product to MerA. Key findings include the demonstration of a non-cysteine residue as essential for the catalytic activity and demonstration that direct transfer of Hg(II) to MerA proceeds more rapidly and more completely than transfer to small MW thiols such as cysteines or glutathione. Reuslts of these studies as well as an overview of our current understanding of the whole system will be presented.

  19. Characterizing the empirical distribution of prokaryotic genome n-mers in the presence of nullomers.

    PubMed

    Tabb, Loni Philip; Zhao, Wei; Huang, Jingyu; Rosen, Gail L

    2014-10-01

    Characterizing the empirical distribution of the frequency of n-mers is a vital step in understanding the entire genome. This will allow for researchers to examine how complex the genome really is, and move beyond simple, traditional modeling frameworks that are often biased in the presence of abundant and/or extremely rare words. We hypothesize that models based on the negative binomial distribution and its zero-inflated counterpart will characterize the n-mer distributions of genomes better than the Poisson. Our study examined the empirical distribution of the frequency of n-mers (6 ≤ n ≤ 11) in 2,199 genomes. We considered four distributions: Poisson, negative binomial, zero-inflated Poisson, and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB). The number of genomes that have nullomers in 6-, 7-, and 8-mers was 150, 602 and 2,012, respectively, whereas all of the genomes for the 9-, 10-, and 11-mers had nullomers. In each n-mer considered, the negative binomial model performed the best for at least 93% of the 2,199 genomes; however, a small percentage (i.e., <7%) of the genomes did prefer the ZINB. The negative binomial and zero-inflation distributions extend the traditional Poisson setting and are more flexible in handling overdispersion that can be caused by an increase in nullomers. In an effort to characterize the distribution of the frequency of n-mers, researchers should also consider other discrete distributions that are more flexible and adjust for possible overdispersion.

  20. Worry experienced during the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) pandemic in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Ro, Jun-Soo; Lee, Jin-Seok; Kang, Sung-Chan; Jung, Hye-Min

    2017-01-01

    Background Korea failed in its risk communication during the early stage of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak; consequently, it faced difficulties in managing MERS, while disease-related worry increased. Disease-related worry can help disease prevention and management, but can also have a detrimental effect. This study measured the overall level of disease-related worry during the MERS outbreak period in Korea and the influencing factors and levels of disease-related worry during key outbreak periods. Methods The cross-sectional survey included 1,000 adults who resided in Korea. An ordinal logistic regression was performed for the overall level of MERS-related worry, and influencing factors of worry were analyzed. A reliability test was performed on the levels of MERS-related worry during key outbreak periods. Results The overall level of MERS-related worry was 2.44. Multivariate analysis revealed that women and respondents w very poor subjective health status had higher levels of worry. Respondents with very high stress in daily life had higher levels of worry than those who reported having little stress. The reliability test results on MERS-related worry scores during key outbreak periods showed consistent scores during each period. Conclusion Level of worry increased in cases having higher perceived susceptibility and greater trust in informal information, while initial stage of outbreak was closely associated with that at later stages. These findings suggest the importance of managing the level of worry by providing timely and accurate disease-related information during the initial stage of disease outbreak. PMID:28273131

  1. Comparison of De Novo Transcriptome Assemblers and k-mer Strategies Using the Killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

    PubMed Central

    Rana, Satshil B.; Zadlock, Frank J.; Zhang, Ziping; Murphy, Wyatt R.; Bentivegna, Carolyn S.

    2016-01-01

    Background De novo assembly of non-model organism’s transcriptomes has recently been on the rise in concert with the number of de novo transcriptome assembly software programs. There is a knowledge gap as to what assembler software or k-mer strategy is best for construction of an optimal de novo assembly. Additionally, there is a lack of consensus on which evaluation metrics should be used to assess the quality of de novo transcriptome assemblies. Result Six different assembly strategies were evaluated from four different assemblers. The Trinity assembly was used in its default 25 single k-mer value while Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed with multiple k-mer strategies. Bridger, Oases, and SOAPdenovo-Trans used a small multiple k-mer (SMK) strategy consisting of the k-mer lengths of 21, 25, 27, 29, 31, and 33. Additionally, Oases and SOAPdenovo-Trans were performed using a large multiple k-mer (LMK) strategy consisting of k-mer lengths of 25, 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, and 85. Eleven metrics were used to evaluate each assembly strategy including three genome related evaluation metrics (contig number, N50 length, Contigs >1 kb, reads) and eight transcriptome evaluation metrics (mapped back to transcripts (RMBT), number of full length transcripts, number of open reading frames, Detonate RSEM-EVAL score, and percent alignment to the southern platyfish, Amazon molly, BUSCO and CEGMA databases). The assembly strategy that performed the best, that is it was within the top three of each evaluation metric, was the Bridger assembly (10 of 11) followed by the Oases SMK assembly (8 of 11), the Oases LMK assembly (6 of 11), the Trinity assembly (4 of 11), the SOAP LMK assembly (4 of 11), and the SOAP SMK assembly (3 of 11). Conclusion This study provides an in-depth multi k-mer strategy investigation concluding that the assembler itself had a greater impact than k-mer size regardless of the strategy employed. Additionally, the comprehensive performance

  2. Serological Evidence of MERS-CoV Antibodies in Dromedary Camels (Camelus dromedaries) in Laikipia County, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Deem, Sharon L; Fèvre, Eric M; Kinnaird, Margaret; Browne, A Springer; Muloi, Dishon; Godeke, Gert-Jan; Koopmans, Marion; Reusken, Chantal B

    2015-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently identified virus causing severe viral respiratory illness in people. Little is known about the reservoir in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya, where no human MERS cases have been reported, our survey of 335 dromedary camels, representing nine herds in Laikipia County, showed a high seroprevalence (46.9%) to MERS-CoV antibodies. Between herd differences were present (14.3%- 82.9%), but was not related to management type or herd isolation. Further research should focus on identifying similarity between MERS-CoV viral isolates in Kenya and clinical isolates from the Middle East and elsewhere.

  3. Microbial pathways for the mobilization of mercury as Hg(O) in anoxic subsurface environments

    SciTech Connect

    Barkay, Tamar

    2005-06-01

    The goal of our project which was initiated in June 2005 is focused on the presence of merA in microbial communities of anoxic environments and the effect of anaerobic respiratory pathways on MR expression and activities. The following progress has been made to date: PCR primers were designed to span the known phylogenetic range of merA genes of Gram-negative bacteria. In control experiments, these primers successfully amplified a 288 bp region at the 3? end of previously characterized merA genes from Shewanella putrefaciens pMERPH, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Pseudomonas stutzeri pPB, Tn5041, Pseudomonas sp. K-62, and Serratia marcescens pDU1358.

  4. Changes in optical characteristics of surface microlayers hint to photochemically and microbially-mediated DOM turnover in the upwelling region off Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgani, L.; Engel, A.

    2015-12-01

    The coastal upwelling system off Peru is characterized by high biological activity and a pronounced subsurface oxygen minimum zone, as well as associated emissions of atmospheric trace gases such as N2O, CH4 and CO2. During the Meteor (M91) cruise to the Peruvian upwelling system in 2012, we investigated the composition of the sea-surface microlayer (SML), the oceanic uppermost boundary directly subject to high solar radiation, often enriched in specific organic compounds of biological origin like Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) and marine gels. In the SML, the continuous photochemical and microbial recycling of organic matter may strongly influence gas exchange between marine systems and the atmosphere. In order to understand organic matter cycling in surface films, we analyzed SML and underlying water samples at 38 stations determining DOC concentration, amino acid composition, marine gels, CDOM and bacterial and phytoplankton abundance as indicators of photochemical and microbial alteration processes. CDOM composition was characterized by spectral slope (S) values and Excitation-Emission Matrix fluorescence (EEMs), which allow to track changes in molecular weight (MW) of DOM, and to determine potential DOM sources and sinks. We identified five fluorescent components of the CDOM pool, of which two had excitation/emission characteristics of protein-like fluorophores and were highly enriched in the SML. CDOM composition and changes in spectral slope properties suggested a local microbial release of HMW DOM directly in the SML as a response to light exposure in this extreme environment. Our results suggest that microbial and photochemical processes play an important role for the production, alteration and loss of optically active substances in the SML.

  5. Evolutionary mechanism and biological functions of 8-mers containing CG dinucleotide in yeast.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yan; Li, Hong; Wang, Yue; Meng, Hu; Zhang, Qiang; Zhao, Xiaoqing

    2017-02-09

    The rules of k-mer non-random usage and the biological functions are worthy of special attention. Firstly, the article studied human 8-mer spectra and found that only the spectra of cytosine-guanine (CG) dinucleotide classification formed independent unimodal distributions when the 8-mers were classified into three subsets under 16 dinucleotide classifications. Secondly, the distribution rules were reproduced by other seven species including yeast, which showed that the evolution phenomenon had species universality. It followed that we proposed two theoretical conjectures: (1) CG1 motifs (8-mers including 1 CG) are the nucleosome-binding motifs. (2) CG2 motifs (8-mers including two or more than two CG) are the modular units of CpG islands. Our conjectures were confirmed in yeast by the following results: a maximum of average area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC) resulted from CG1 information during nucleosome core sequences, and linker sequences were distinguished by three CG subsets; there was a one-to-one relationship between abundant CG1 signal regions and histone positions; the sequence changing of squeezed nucleosomes was relevant with the strength of CG1 signals; and the AUC value of 0.986 was based on CG2 information when CpG islands and non-CpG islands were distinguished by the three CG subsets.

  6. Tomas Tranströmer's stroke of genius: language but no words.

    PubMed

    Iniesta, Iván

    2013-01-01

    In 1990, the widely acclaimed Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer lost his speech and the ability to use his right hand as a result of a stroke. As if anticipating his own fate, in 1974, he referred in his longest poem Baltics the story of the Russian composer Vissarion Shebalin who suffered the same symptoms as Tranströmer following a brain bleed: "Then, cerebral hemorrhage: paralysis on the right side with aphasia." An amateur pianist himself, Tranströmer carried on playing left-handed piano pieces after the stroke. In spite of a severe nonfluent dysphasia with dysgraphia, Tranströmer kept producing a poetic language of the highest caliber in accordance with his 1979 no less prophetic verse "language but no words." And through music and poetry, overcame the great communication barriers imposed by a large dominant hemispheric stroke. A nonprolific writer before the stroke, after it Tranströmer became disproportionately brief compared to his prestroke production, confining most of his poetry to the agrammatical and telegraphic haiku style.

  7. Recombinant Receptor-Binding Domains of Multiple Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronaviruses (MERS-CoVs) Induce Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies against Divergent Human and Camel MERS-CoVs and Antibody Escape Mutants.

    PubMed

    Tai, Wanbo; Wang, Yufei; Fett, Craig A; Zhao, Guangyu; Li, Fang; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Du, Lanying

    2017-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) binds to cellular receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) via the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). The RBD contains critical neutralizing epitopes and serves as an important vaccine target. Since RBD mutations occur in different MERS-CoV isolates and antibody escape mutants, cross-neutralization of divergent MERS-CoV strains by RBD-induced antibodies remains unknown. Here, we constructed four recombinant RBD (rRBD) proteins with single or multiple mutations detected in representative human MERS-CoV strains from the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 outbreaks, respectively, and one rRBD protein with multiple changes derived from camel MERS-CoV strains. Like the RBD of prototype EMC2012 (EMC-RBD), all five RBDs maintained good antigenicity and functionality, the ability to bind RBD-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and the DPP4 receptor, and high immunogenicity, able to elicit S-specific antibodies. They induced potent neutralizing antibodies cross-neutralizing 17 MERS pseudoviruses expressing S proteins of representative human and camel MERS-CoV strains identified during the 2012-2015 outbreaks, 5 MAb escape MERS-CoV mutants, and 2 live human MERS-CoV strains. We then constructed two RBDs mutated in multiple key residues in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of RBD and demonstrated their strong cross-reactivity with anti-EMC-RBD antibodies. These RBD mutants with diminished DPP4 binding also led to virus attenuation, suggesting that immunoevasion after RBD immunization is accompanied by loss of viral fitness. Therefore, this study demonstrates that MERS-CoV RBD is an important vaccine target able to induce highly potent and broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies against infection by divergent circulating human and camel MERS-CoV strains.

  8. Changes in optical characteristics of surface microlayers hint to photochemically and microbially mediated DOM turnover in the upwelling region off the coast of Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgani, Luisa; Engel, Anja

    2016-04-01

    The coastal upwelling system off the coast of Peru is characterized by high biological activity and a pronounced subsurface oxygen minimum zone, as well as associated emissions of atmospheric trace gases such as N2O, CH4 and CO2. From 3 to 23 December 2012, R/V Meteor (M91) cruise took place in the Peruvian upwelling system between 4.59 and 15.4° S, and 82.0 to 77.5° W. During M91 we investigated the composition of the sea-surface microlayer (SML), the oceanic uppermost boundary directly subject to high solar radiation, often enriched in specific organic compounds of biological origin like chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and marine gels. In the SML, the continuous photochemical and microbial recycling of organic matter may strongly influence gas exchange between marine systems and the atmosphere. We analyzed SML and underlying water (ULW) samples at 38 stations focusing on CDOM spectral characteristics as indicator of photochemical and microbial alteration processes. CDOM composition was characterized by spectral slope (S) values and excitation-emission matrix fluorescence (EEMs), which allow us to track changes in molecular weight (MW) of DOM, and to determine potential DOM sources and sinks. Spectral slope S varied between 0.012 to 0.043 nm-1 and was quite similar between SML and ULW, with no significant differences between the two compartments. Higher S values were observed in the ULW of the southern stations below 15° S. By EEMs, we identified five fluorescent components (F1-5) of the CDOM pool, of which two had excitation/emission characteristics of amino-acid-like fluorophores (F1, F4) and were highly enriched in the SML, with a median ratio SML : ULW of 1.5 for both fluorophores. In the study region, values for CDOM absorption ranged from 0.07 to 1.47 m-1. CDOM was generally highly concentrated in the SML, with a median enrichment with respect to the ULW of 1.2. CDOM composition and changes in spectral slope properties suggested a local

  9. Dynamical transmission model of MERS-CoV in two areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yong, Benny; Owen, Livia

    2016-02-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a disease first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and it can be transmitted from human to human. This disease has spread to several other countries, most confirmed cases have displayed symptoms of severe acute respiratory illness and many of these patients have died. This research is aimed to construct a mathematical model for the transmission of MERS-CoV in two areas by separating the human population into two groups; susceptible and infectious groups. The dynamics of the disease is studied by a compartmental model involving ordinary differrential equations. The basic reproductive number of this disease is discussed to control the outbreak of this disease. Sensitivity analysis of this model is performed to determine the relative importance of the model parameters to the MERS-CoV transmission.

  10. Simrank: Rapid and sensitive general-purpose k-mer search tool

    SciTech Connect

    DeSantis, T.Z.; Keller, K.; Karaoz, U.; Alekseyenko, A.V; Singh, N.N.S.; Brodie, E.L; Pei, Z.; Andersen, G.L; Larsen, N.

    2011-04-01

    Terabyte-scale collections of string-encoded data are expected from consortia efforts such as the Human Microbiome Project (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/hmp). Intra- and inter-project data similarity searches are enabled by rapid k-mer matching strategies. Software applications for sequence database partitioning, guide tree estimation, molecular classification and alignment acceleration have benefited from embedded k-mer searches as sub-routines. However, a rapid, general-purpose, open-source, flexible, stand-alone k-mer tool has not been available. Here we present a stand-alone utility, Simrank, which allows users to rapidly identify database strings the most similar to query strings. Performance testing of Simrank and related tools against DNA, RNA, protein and human-languages found Simrank 10X to 928X faster depending on the dataset. Simrank provides molecular ecologists with a high-throughput, open source choice for comparing large sequence sets to find similarity.

  11. A parasite-derived 68-mer peptide ameliorates autoimmune disease in murine models of Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Lund, Maria E.; Greer, Judith; Dixit, Aakanksha; Alvarado, Raquel; McCauley-Winter, Padraig; To, Joyce; Tanaka, Akane; Hutchinson, Andrew T.; Robinson, Mark W.; Simpson, Ann M.; O’Brien, Bronwyn A.; Dalton, John P.; Donnelly, Sheila

    2016-01-01

    Helminth parasites secrete molecules that potently modulate the immune responses of their hosts and, therefore, have potential for the treatment of immune-mediated human diseases. FhHDM-1, a 68-mer peptide secreted by the helminth parasite Fasciola hepatica, ameliorated disease in two different murine models of autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes and relapsing-remitting immune-mediated demyelination. Unexpectedly, FhHDM-1 treatment did not affect the proliferation of auto-antigen specific T cells or their production of cytokines. However, in both conditions, the reduction in clinical symptoms was associated with the absence of immune cell infiltrates in the target organ (islets and the brain tissue). Furthermore, after parenteral administration, the FhHDM-1 peptide interacted with macrophages and reduced their capacity to secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF and IL-6. We propose this inhibition of innate pro-inflammatory immune responses, which are central to the initiation of autoimmunity in both diseases, prevented the trafficking of autoreactive lymphocytes from the periphery to the site of autoimmunity (as opposed to directly modulating their function per se), and thus prevented tissue destruction. The ability of FhHDM-1 to modulate macrophage function, combined with its efficacy in disease prevention in multiple models, suggests that FhHDM-1 has considerable potential as a treatment for autoimmune diseases. PMID:27883079

  12. Value, Market Preferences and Trade of Beche-De-Mer from Pacific Island Sea Cucumbers

    PubMed Central

    Purcell, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Market preferences of natural resources contribute to shape their exploitation and production. Beche-de-mer, the product after gutting, cooking, salting and drying sea cucumbers, is exported worldwide to Asian dried seafood markets. A better understanding of the trade, value and market preferences of Pacific island beche-de-mer could identify critical postharvest processing techniques and management strategies for fisheries and aquaculture. Data were collected on export prices and trade of beche-de-mer from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, and the selling prices, respective sizes and organoleptic properties of the products in stores in China. Export prices varied considerably within and among the four countries and low-value species were the most exported by volume. Most of the beche-de-mer from the four Pacific islands is exported to Hong Kong, where quality products are sold and others are distributed to mainland China. Prices of the beche-de-mer in Chinese stores varied up to ten-fold and were mostly influenced by species, body size and, to a lesser extent, physical damage to the products. Market prices across species (averaging US$15–385 kg−1) appear to have mostly increased six- to twelve-fold over the past decade. The data allude that fisheries for Holothuria scabra, H. lessoni, H. fuscogilva, H. whitmaei and Thelenota ananas should be most carefully managed because they were the highest-value species and under greatest demand. The relationships between size of beche-de-mer and sale price were species specific and highly varied. This study also highlights the need for better regulations and/or enforcement of minimum size limits in sea cucumber fisheries, which can help to maximise economic benefits of wild stocks. PMID:24736374

  13. Compact representation of k-mer de Bruijn graphs for genome read assembly

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Processing of reads from high throughput sequencing is often done in terms of edges in the de Bruijn graph representing all k-mers from the reads. The memory requirements for storing all k-mers in a lookup table can be demanding, even after removal of read errors, but can be alleviated by using a memory efficient data structure. Results The FM-index, which is based on the Burrows–Wheeler transform, provides an efficient data structure providing a searchable index of all substrings from a set of strings, and is used to compactly represent full genomes for use in mapping reads to a genome: the memory required to store this is in the same order of magnitude as the strings themselves. However, reads from high throughput sequences mostly have high coverage and so contain the same substrings multiple times from different reads. I here present a modification of the FM-index, which I call the kFM-index, for indexing the set of k-mers from the reads. For DNA sequences, this requires 5 bit of information for each vertex of the corresponding de Bruijn subgraph, i.e. for each different k−1-mer, plus some additional overhead, typically 0.5 to 1 bit per vertex, for storing the equivalent of the FM-index for walking the underlying de Bruijn graph and reproducing the actual k-mers efficiently. Conclusions The kFM-index could replace more memory demanding data structures for storing the de Bruijn k-mer graph representation of sequence reads. A Java implementation with additional technical documentation is provided which demonstrates the applicability of the data structure (http://folk.uio.no/einarro/Projects/KFM-index/). PMID:24152242

  14. Healthcare Workers Emotions, Perceived Stressors and Coping Strategies During a MERS-CoV Outbreak

    PubMed Central

    Khalid, Imran; Khalid, Tabindeh J.; Qabajah, Mohammed R.; Barnard, Aletta G.; Qushmaq, Ismael A.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of contracting Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during an epidemic. We explored the emotions, perceived stressors, and coping strategies of healthcare workers who worked during a MERS-CoV outbreak in our hospital. Design A cross-sectional descriptive survey design. Setting A tertiary care hospital. Participants HCWs (150) who worked in high risk areas during the April–May 2014 MERS-CoV outbreak that occurred in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Methods We developed and administered a “MERS-CoV staff questionnaire” to study participants. The questionnaire consisted of 5 sections with 72 questions. The sections evaluated hospital staffs emotions, perceived stressors, factors that reduced their stress, coping strategies, and motivators to work during future outbreaks. Responses were scored on a scale from 0–3. The varying levels of stress or effectiveness of measures were reported as mean and standard deviation, as appropriate. Results Completed questionnaires were returned by 117 (78%) of the participants. The results had many unique elements. HCWs ethical obligation to their profession pushed them to continue with their jobs. The main sentiments centered upon fear of personal safety and well-being of colleagues and family. Positive attitudes in the workplace, clinical improvement of infected colleagues, and stoppage of disease transmission among HCWs after adopting strict protective measures alleviated their fear and drove them through the epidemic. They appreciated recognition of their efforts by hospital management and expected similar acknowledgment, infection control guidance, and equipment would entice them to work during future epidemics. Conclusion The MERS-CoV outbreak was a distressing time for our staff. Hospitals can enhance HCWs experiences during any future MERS-CoV outbreak by focusing on the above mentioned aspects. PMID:26847480

  15. Value, market preferences and trade of Beche-de-mer from Pacific Island sea cucumbers.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Steven W

    2014-01-01

    Market preferences of natural resources contribute to shape their exploitation and production. Beche-de-mer, the product after gutting, cooking, salting and drying sea cucumbers, is exported worldwide to Asian dried seafood markets. A better understanding of the trade, value and market preferences of Pacific island beche-de-mer could identify critical postharvest processing techniques and management strategies for fisheries and aquaculture. Data were collected on export prices and trade of beche-de-mer from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia, and the selling prices, respective sizes and organoleptic properties of the products in stores in China. Export prices varied considerably within and among the four countries and low-value species were the most exported by volume. Most of the beche-de-mer from the four Pacific islands is exported to Hong Kong, where quality products are sold and others are distributed to mainland China. Prices of the beche-de-mer in Chinese stores varied up to ten-fold and were mostly influenced by species, body size and, to a lesser extent, physical damage to the products. Market prices across species (averaging US$15-385 kg-1) appear to have mostly increased six- to twelve-fold over the past decade. The data allude that fisheries for Holothuria scabra, H. lessoni, H. fuscogilva, H. whitmaei and Thelenota ananas should be most carefully managed because they were the highest-value species and under greatest demand. The relationships between size of beche-de-mer and sale price were species specific and highly varied. This study also highlights the need for better regulations and/or enforcement of minimum size limits in sea cucumber fisheries, which can help to maximise economic benefits of wild stocks.

  16. Microbial DNA records historical delivery of anthropogenic mercury

    PubMed Central

    Poulain, Alexandre J; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane; Blais, Jules M; Brazeau, Michelle; Keller, Wendel (Bill); Paterson, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is an anthropogenic pollutant that is toxic to wildlife and humans, but the response of remote ecosystems to globally distributed Hg is elusive. Here, we use DNA extracted from a dated sediment core to infer the response of microbes to historical Hg delivery. We observe a significant association between the mercuric reductase gene (merA) phylogeny and the timing of Hg deposition. Using relaxed molecular clock models, we show a significant increase in the scaled effective population size of the merA gene beginning ~200 years ago, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution and a coincident strong signal for positive selection acting on residues in the terminal region of the mercuric reductase. This rapid evolutionary response of microbes to changes in the delivery of anthropogenic Hg indicates that microbial genomes record ecosystem response to pollutant deposition in remote regions. PMID:26057844

  17. Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Reed F.; Via, Laura E.; Kumar, Mia R.; Cornish, Joseph P.; Yellayi, Srikanth; Huzella, Louis; Postnikova, Elena; Oberlander, Nicholas; Bartos, Christopher; Ork, Britini L.; Mazur, Steven; Allan, Cindy; Holbrook, Michael R.; Solomon, Jeffrey; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pickel, James; Hensley, Lisa E.; Jahrling, Peter B.

    2015-11-15

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a threat to human health in the Middle East. Development of countermeasures is ongoing; however, an animal model that faithfully recapitulates human disease has yet to be defined. A recent study indicated that inoculation of common marmosets resulted in inconsistent lethality. Based on these data we sought to compare two isolates of MERS-CoV. We followed disease progression in common marmosets after intratracheal exposure with: MERS-CoV-EMC/2012, MERS-CoV-Jordan-n3/2012, media, or inactivated virus. Our data suggest that common marmosets developed a mild to moderate non-lethal respiratory disease, which was quantifiable by computed tomography (CT), with limited other clinical signs. Based on CT data, clinical data, and virological data, MERS-CoV inoculation of common marmosets results in mild to moderate clinical signs of disease that are likely due to manipulations of the marmoset rather than as a result of robust viral replication. - Highlights: • Common marmosets infected with MERS-EMC and MERS-JOR did not develop lethal disease. • Infected subjects developed transient signs of clinical disease. • CT indicated few differences between the infected and control groups. • Marmosets do not faithfully replicate human MERS pathogenesis.

  18. 3B11-N, a monoclonal antibody against MERS-CoV, reduces lung pathology in rhesus monkeys following intratracheal inoculation of MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Reed F.; Bagci, Ulas; Keith, Lauren; Tang, Xianchun; Mollura, Daniel J.; Zeitlin, Larry; Qin, Jing; Huzella, Louis; Bartos, Christopher J.; Bohorova, Natasha; Bohorov, Ognian; Goodman, Charles; Kim, Do H.; Paulty, Michael H.; Velasco, Jesus; Whaley, Kevin J.; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pettitt, James; Ork, Britini L.; Solomon, Jeffrey [Clinical Research Directorate and others

    2016-03-15

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified in 2012 as the causative agent of a severe, lethal respiratory disease occurring across several countries in the Middle East. To date there have been over 1600 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV in 26 countries with a case fatality rate of 36%. Given the endemic region, it is possible that MERS-CoV could spread during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, necessitating countermeasure development. In this report, we describe the clinical and radiographic changes of rhesus monkeys following infection with 5×10{sup 6} PFU MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012. Two groups of NHPs were treated with either a human anti-MERS monoclonal antibody 3B11-N or E410-N, an anti-HIV antibody. MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 infection resulted in quantifiable changes by computed tomography, but limited other clinical signs of disease. 3B11-N treated subjects developed significantly reduced lung pathology when compared to infected, untreated subjects, indicating that this antibody may be a suitable MERS-CoV treatment. - Highlights: • MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 challenge of rhesus monkeys results in a mild disease. • CT can be used to monitor disease progression to aid models of human disease. • Treatment with the human monoclonal antibody 3B11-N resulted in decreased disease.

  19. The MER Mossbauer Spectrometers: 40 Months of Operation on the Martian Surface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleischer, Iris; Rodionov, D.; Schroeder, C.; Morris, R.; Yen, A.; Ming, D.; McCoy, T.; Mittlefehldt, D.; Gellert, R.; Cohen, B.; Schmidt, M.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar

    2007-01-01

    The primary MER objectives have been successfully completed. The total integration time of all MB measurements exceeds the duration of the primary 90-sols-mission for Spirit's MB spectrometer, and approaches this value for Opportunity's MB spectrometer. Both MB spectrometers continue to accumulate valuable scientific data after three years of operation (data is available for download [13]) The identification of aqueous minerals such as goethite in Gusev crater and jarosite at Meridiani Planum by the MER Mossbauer spectrometers is strong evidence for past water activity at the two landing sites.

  20. 77 FR 49059 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel CHAT DE MER; Invitation for...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel CHAT DE MER... of the vessel CHAT DE MER is: Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: Primarily carrying passengers...

  1. Microbial reduction of iodate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Councell, T.B.; Landa, E.R.; Lovley, D.R.

    1997-01-01

    The different oxidation species of iodine have markedly different sorption properties. Hence, changes in iodine redox states can greatly affect the mobility of iodine in the environment. Although a major microbial role has been suggested in the past to account for these redox changes, little has been done to elucidate the responsible microorganisms or the mechanisms involved. In the work presented here, direct microbial reduction of iodate was demonstrated with anaerobic cell suspensions of the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans which reduced 96% of an initial 100 ??M iodate to iodide at pH 7 in 30 mM NaHCO3 buffer, whereas anaerobic cell suspensions of the dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens were unable to reduce iodate in 30 mM NaHCO3 buffer (pH 7). Both D. desulfuricans and S. putrefaciens were able to reduce iodate at pH 7 in 10 mM HEPES buffer. Both soluble ferrous iron and sulfide, as well as iron monosulfide (FeS) were shown to abiologically reduce iodate to iodide. These results indicate that ferric iron and/or sulfate reducing bacteria are capable of mediating both direct, enzymatic, as well as abiotic reduction of iodate in natural anaerobic environments. These microbially mediated reactions may be important factors in the fate and transport of 129I in natural systems.

  2. Impact of Fe(III) as an effective electron-shuttle mediator for enhanced Cr(VI) reduction in microbial fuel cells: Reduction of diffusional resistances and cathode overpotentials.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiang; Huang, Liping; Pan, Yuzhen; Quan, Xie; Li Puma, Gianluca

    2017-01-05

    The role of Fe(III) was investigated as an electron-shuttle mediator to enhance the reduction rate of the toxic heavy metal hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in wastewaters, using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The direct reduction of chromate (CrO4(-)) and dichromate (Cr2O7(2-)) anions in MFCs was hampered by the electrical repulsion between the negatively charged cathode and Cr(VI) functional groups. In contrast, in the presence of Fe(III), the conversion of Cr(VI) and the cathodic coulombic efficiency in the MFCs were 65.6% and 81.7%, respectively, 1.6 times and 1.4 folds as those recorded in the absence of Fe(III). Multiple analytical approaches, including linear sweep voltammetry, Tafel plot, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and kinetic calculations demonstrated that the complete reduction of Cr(VI) occurred through an indirect mechanism mediated by Fe(III). The direct reduction of Cr(VI) with cathode electrons in the presence of Fe(III) was insignificant. Fe(III) played a critical role in decreasing both the diffusional resistance of Cr(VI) species and the overpotential for Cr(VI) reduction. This study demonstrated that the reduction of Cr(VI) in MFCs was effective in the presence of Fe(III), providing an alternative and environmentally benign approach for efficient remediation of Cr(VI) contaminated sites with simultaneous production of renewable energy.

  3. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon.

    PubMed

    Kane, Aunica L; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E; Heinsch, Stephen C; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G; Sarkar, Casim A; Nater, Edward A; Gralnick, Jeffrey A

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation.

  4. Introduction of neutralizing immunogenicity index to the rational design of MERS coronavirus subunit vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Du, Lanying; Tai, Wanbo; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Guangyu; Zhu, Qing; Sun, Shihui; Liu, Chang; Tao, Xinrong; Tseng, Chien-Te K.; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Li, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Viral subunit vaccines often contain immunodominant non-neutralizing epitopes that divert host immune responses. These epitopes should be eliminated in vaccine design, but there is no reliable method for evaluating an epitope's capacity to elicit neutralizing immune responses. Here we introduce a new concept ‘neutralizing immunogenicity index' (NII) to evaluate an epitope's neutralizing immunogenicity. To determine the NII, we mask the epitope with a glycan probe and then assess the epitope's contribution to the vaccine's overall neutralizing immunogenicity. As proof-of-concept, we measure the NII for different epitopes on an immunogen comprised of the receptor-binding domain from MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Further, we design a variant form of this vaccine by masking an epitope that has a negative NII score. This engineered vaccine demonstrates significantly enhanced efficacy in protecting transgenic mice from lethal MERS-CoV challenge. Our study may guide the rational design of highly effective subunit vaccines to combat MERS-CoV and other life-threatening viruses. PMID:27874853

  5. Estimating Potential Incidence of MERS-CoV Associated with Hajj Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, 2014.

    PubMed

    Lessler, Justin; Rodriguez-Barraquer, Isabel; Cummings, Derek A T; Garske, Tini; Van Kerkhove, Maria; Mills, Harriet; Truelove, Shaun; Hakeem, Rafat; Albarrak, Ali; Ferguson, Neil M

    2014-11-24

    Between March and June 2014 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) had a large outbreak of MERS-CoV, renewing fears of a major outbreak during the Hajj this October. Using KSA Ministry of Health data, the MERS-CoV Scenario and Modeling Working Group forecast incidence under three scenarios. In the expected incidence scenario, we estimate 6.2 (95% Prediction Interval [PI]: 1-17) pilgrims will develop MERS-CoV symptoms during the Hajj, and 4.0 (95% PI: 0-12) foreign pilgrims will be infected but return home before developing symptoms. In the most pessimistic scenario, 47.6 (95% PI: 32-66) cases will develop symptoms during the Hajj, and 29.0 (95% PI: 17-43) will be infected but return home asymptomatic. Large numbers of MERS-CoV cases are unlikely to occur during the 2014 Hajj even under pessimistic assumptions, but careful monitoring is still needed to detect possible mass infection events and minimize introductions into other countries.

  6. Discovery of Mer kinase inhibitors by Virtual Screening using Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Da, C.; Stashko, M.; Jayakody, C.; Wang, X.; Janzen, W.; Frye, S.; Kireev, D.

    2015-01-01

    Mer is a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common malignancy in children. The currently available data provide a rationale for development of Mer kinase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics that can target both cell autologous and immune-modulatory anti-tumor effects. We have previously reported several series of potent Mer inhibitors and the objective of the current report is to identify a chemically dissimilar back-up series that might circumvent potential, but currently unknown, flaws inherent to the lead series. To this end, we virtually screened a database of ∼3.8 million commercially available compounds using high-throughput docking followed by a filter involving Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints (SPLIF). SPLIF permits a quantitative assessment of whether a docking pose interacts with the protein target similarly to an endogenous or known synthetic ligand, and therefore helps to improve both sensitivity and specificity with respect to the docking score alone. Of the total of 62 experimentally tested compounds, 15 demonstrated reliable dose-dependent responses in the Mer in vitro kinase activity assay with inhibitory potencies ranging from 0.46 μM to 9.9 μM. PMID:25638502

  7. Discovery of Mer kinase inhibitors by virtual screening using Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints.

    PubMed

    Da, C; Stashko, M; Jayakody, C; Wang, X; Janzen, W; Frye, S; Kireev, D

    2015-03-01

    Mer is a receptor tyrosine kinase implicated in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common malignancy in children. The currently available data provide a rationale for development of Mer kinase inhibitors as cancer therapeutics that can target both cell autologous and immune-modulatory anti-tumor effects. We have previously reported several series of potent Mer inhibitors and the objective of the current report is to identify a chemically dissimilar back-up series that might circumvent potential, but currently unknown, flaws inherent to the lead series. To this end, we virtually screened a database of ∼3.8million commercially available compounds using high-throughput docking followed by a filter involving Structural Protein-Ligand Interaction Fingerprints (SPLIF). SPLIF permits a quantitative assessment of whether a docking pose interacts with the protein target similarly to an endogenous or known synthetic ligand, and therefore helps to improve both sensitivity and specificity with respect to the docking score alone. Of the total of 62 experimentally tested compounds, 15 demonstrated reliable dose-dependent responses in the Mer in vitro kinase activity assay with inhibitory potencies ranging from 0.46μM to 9.9μM.

  8. Toward Bioremediation of Methylmercury Using Silica Encapsulated Escherichia coli Harboring the mer Operon

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Aunica L.; Al-Shayeb, Basem; Holec, Patrick V.; Rajan, Srijay; Le Mieux, Nicholas E.; Heinsch, Stephen C.; Psarska, Sona; Aukema, Kelly G.; Sarkar, Casim A.; Nater, Edward A.; Gralnick, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal and the ability of the neurotoxin methylmercury to biomagnify in the food chain is a serious concern for both public and environmental health globally. Because thousands of tons of mercury are released into the environment each year, remediation strategies are urgently needed and prompted this study. To facilitate remediation of both organic and inorganic forms of mercury, Escherichia coli was engineered to harbor a subset of genes (merRTPAB) from the mercury resistance operon. Protein products of the mer operon enable transport of mercury into the cell, cleavage of organic C-Hg bonds, and subsequent reduction of ionic mercury to the less toxic elemental form, Hg(0). E. coli containing merRTPAB was then encapsulated in silica beads resulting in a biological-based filtration material. Performing encapsulation in aerated mineral oil yielded silica beads that were smooth, spherical, and similar in diameter. Following encapsulation, E. coli containing merRTPAB retained the ability to degrade methylmercury and performed similarly to non-encapsulated cells. Due to the versatility of both the engineered mercury resistant strain and silica bead technology, this study provides a strong foundation for use of the resulting biological-based filtration material for methylmercury remediation. PMID:26761437

  9. Enhanced MERS coronavirus surveillance of travelers from the Middle East to England.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Helen Lucy; Zhao, Hongxin; Green, Helen K; Boddington, Nicola L; Carvalho, Carlos F A; Osman, Husam K; Sadler, Carol; Zambon, Maria; Bermingham, Alison; Pebody, Richard G

    2014-09-01

    During the first year of enhanced MERS coronavirus surveillance in England, 77 persons traveling from the Middle East had acute respiratory illness and were tested for the virus. Infection was confirmed in 2 travelers with acute respiratory distress syndrome and 2 of their contacts. Patients with less severe manifestations tested negative.

  10. Multi-Agent Modeling and Simulation Approach for Design and Analysis of MER Mission Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seah, Chin; Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.

    2005-01-01

    A space mission operations system is a complex network of human organizations, information and deep-space network systems and spacecraft hardware. As in other organizations, one of the problems in mission operations is managing the relationship of the mission information systems related to how people actually work (practices). Brahms, a multi-agent modeling and simulation tool, was used to model and simulate NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission work practice. The objective was to investigate the value of work practice modeling for mission operations design. From spring 2002 until winter 2003, a Brahms modeler participated in mission systems design sessions and operations testing for the MER mission held at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He observed how designers interacted with the Brahms tool. This paper discussed mission system designers' reactions to the simulation output during model validation and the presentation of generated work procedures. This project spurred JPL's interest in the Brahms model, but it was never included as part of the formal mission design process. We discuss why this occurred. Subsequently, we used the MER model to develop a future mission operations concept. Team members were reluctant to use the MER model, even though it appeared to be highly relevant to their effort. We describe some of the tool issues we encountered.

  11. Geology of a Proposed MER Landing Site in Western Melas Chasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weitz, C. M.; Parker, T. J.; Anderson, F. S.; Grant, J. A.

    2002-01-01

    A proposed landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) has been identified in western Melas Chasma. The landing ellipse contains a blocky, bright deposit which we propose formed as a landslide, perhaps beneath a former lake. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  12. Endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling regulate prostate cancer stem cells in bone marrow

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Younghun; Decker, Ann M.; Wang, Jingcheng; Lee, Eunsohl; Kana, Lulia A.; Yumoto, Kenji; Cackowski, Frank C.; Rhee, James; Carmeliet, Peter; Buttitta, Laura; Morgan, Todd M.; Taichman, Russell S.

    2016-01-01

    GAS6 and its receptors (Tryo 3, Axl, Mer or “TAM”) are known to play a role in regulating tumor progression in a number of settings. Previously we have demonstrated that GAS6 signaling regulates invasion, proliferation, chemotherapy-induced apoptosis of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. We have also demonstrated that GAS6 secreted from osteoblasts in the bone marrow environment plays a critical role in establishing prostate tumor cell dormancy. Here we investigated the role that endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling plays in establishing prostate cancer stem cells in the bone marrow microenvironment. We first observed that high levels of endogenous GAS6 are expressed by disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow, whereas relatively low levels of endogenous GAS6 are expressed in PCa tumors grown in a s.c. setting. Interestingly, elevated levels of endogenous GAS6 were identified in putative cancer stem cells (CSCs, CD133+/CD44+) compared to non-CSCs (CD133–/CD44–) isolated from PCa/osteoblast cocultures in vitro and in DTCs isolated from the bone marrow 24 hours after intracardiac injection. Moreover, we found that endogenous GAS6 expression is associated with Mer receptor expression in growth arrested (G1) PCa cells, which correlates with the increase of the CSC populations. Importantly, we found that overexpression of GAS6 activates phosphorylation of Mer receptor signaling and subsequent induction of the CSC phenotype in vitro and in vivo. Together these data suggest that endogenous GAS6 and Mer receptor signaling contribute to the establishment of PCa CSCs in the bone marrow microenvironment, which may have important implications for targeting metastatic disease. PMID:27028863

  13. Intranasal vaccination with recombinant receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV spike protein induces much stronger local mucosal immune responses than subcutaneous immunization: Implication for designing novel mucosal MERS vaccines.

    PubMed

    Ma, Cuiqing; Li, Ye; Wang, Lili; Zhao, Guangyu; Tao, Xinrong; Tseng, Chien-Te K; Zhou, Yusen; Du, Lanying; Jiang, Shibo

    2014-04-11

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was originally identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It has caused MERS outbreaks with high mortality in the Middle East and Europe, raising a serious concern about its pandemic potential. Therefore, development of effective vaccines is crucial for preventing its further spread and future pandemic. Our previous study has shown that subcutaneous (s.c.) vaccination of a recombinant protein containing receptor-binding domain (RBD) of MERS-CoV S fused with Fc of human IgG (RBD-Fc) induced strong systemic neutralizing antibody responses in vaccinated mice. Here, we compared local and systemic immune responses induced by RBD-Fc via intranasal (i.n.) and s.c. immunization pathways. We found that i.n. vaccination of MERS-CoV RBD-Fc induced systemic humoral immune responses comparable to those induced by s.c. vaccination, including neutralizing antibodies, but more robust systemic cellular immune responses and significantly higher local mucosal immune responses in mouse lungs. This study suggests the potential of developing MERS-CoV RBD protein into an effective and safe mucosal candidate vaccine for prevention of respiratory tract infections caused by MERS-CoV.

  14. Mercury induced community tolerance in microbial biofilms is related to pollution gradients in a long-term polluted river.

    PubMed

    Kovac Virsek, Manca; Hubad, Barbara; Lapanje, Ales

    2013-11-15

    The net toxicity of different forms of mercury, in the long-term during their transformation processes, leads to the selection of resistant bacterial cells and this result in community tolerance which is pollution induced. Accordingly, based on profiles of a bacterial community structure, analysis of Hg resistant culturable bacteria and quantification of merA genes, we assessed development of pollution induced community tolerance in a mercury-polluted gradient in the Idrijca River. TTGE analysis did not show effects of mercury pollution to bacterial community diversity, while quantification of merA genes showed that merA genes can be correlated precisely (R(2)=0.83) with the total concentration of mercury in the biofilm microbial communities in the pollution gradient.

  15. Probabilistic differential diagnosis of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) using the time from immigration to illness onset among imported cases.

    PubMed

    Ejima, Keisuke; Aihara, Kazuyuki; Nishiura, Hiroshi

    2014-04-07

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has spread worldwide since 2012. As the clinical symptoms of MERS tend to be non-specific, the incubation period has been shown to complement differential diagnosis, especially to rule out influenza. However, because an infection event is seldom directly observable, the present study aims to construct a diagnostic model that predicts the probability of MERS diagnosis given the time from immigration to illness onset among imported cases which are suspected of MERS. Addressing censoring by considering the transmission dynamics in an exporting country, we demonstrate that the illness onset within 2 days from immigration is suggestive of influenza. Two exceptions to suspect MERS even for those with illness onset within 2 days since immigration are (i) when we observe substantial community transmissions of MERS and (ii) when the cases are at high risk of MERS (e.g. cases with close contact in hospital or household). It is vital to collect the information of the incubation period upon emergence of a novel infectious disease, and moreover, in our model, the fundamental transmission dynamics including the initial growth rate has to be explored to differentiate the disease diagnoses with non-specific symptoms.

  16. Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Schalk, Kathrin; Lang, Christina; Wieser, Herbert; Koehler, Peter; Scherf, Katharina Anne

    2017-01-01

    Coeliac disease (CD) is triggered by the ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, rye, and barley. The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin has frequently been described as the most important CD-immunogenic sequence within gluten. However, from more than 890 published amino acid sequences of α-gliadins, only 19 sequences contain the 33-mer. In order to make a precise assessment of the importance of the 33-mer, it is necessary to elucidate which wheat species and cultivars contain the peptide and at which concentrations. This paper presents the development of a stable isotope dilution assay followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the 33-mer in flours of 23 hexaploid modern and 15 old common (bread) wheat as well as two spelt cultivars. All flours contained the 33-mer peptide at levels ranging from 91–603 μg/g flour. In contrast, the 33-mer was absent (mer in all common wheat and spelt flours analysed here, the special focus in the literature on this most immunodominant peptide seems to be justified. PMID:28327674

  17. Quantitation of the immunodominant 33-mer peptide from α-gliadin in wheat flours by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Schalk, Kathrin; Lang, Christina; Wieser, Herbert; Koehler, Peter; Scherf, Katharina Anne

    2017-03-22

    Coeliac disease (CD) is triggered by the ingestion of gluten proteins from wheat, rye, and barley. The 33-mer peptide from α2-gliadin has frequently been described as the most important CD-immunogenic sequence within gluten. However, from more than 890 published amino acid sequences of α-gliadins, only 19 sequences contain the 33-mer. In order to make a precise assessment of the importance of the 33-mer, it is necessary to elucidate which wheat species and cultivars contain the peptide and at which concentrations. This paper presents the development of a stable isotope dilution assay followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry to quantitate the 33-mer in flours of 23 hexaploid modern and 15 old common (bread) wheat as well as two spelt cultivars. All flours contained the 33-mer peptide at levels ranging from 91-603 μg/g flour. In contrast, the 33-mer was absent (mer in all common wheat and spelt flours analysed here, the special focus in the literature on this most immunodominant peptide seems to be justified.

  18. Subunit sequences of the 4 x 6-mer hemocyanin from the golden orb-web spider, Nephila inaurata.

    PubMed

    Averdam, Anne; Markl, Jürgen; Burmester, Thorsten

    2003-08-01

    The transport of oxygen in the hemolymph of many arthropod and mollusc species is mediated by large copper-proteins that are referred to as hemocyanins. Arthropod hemocyanins are composed of hexamers and oligomers of hexamers. Arachnid hemocyanins usually form 4 x 6-mers consisting of seven distinct subunit types (termed a-g), although in some spider taxa deviations from this standard scheme have been observed. Applying immunological and electrophoretic methods, six distinct hemocyanin subunits were identified in the red-legged golden orb-web spider Nephila inaurata madagascariensis (Araneae: Tetragnathidae). The complete cDNA sequences of six subunits were obtained that corresponded to a-, b-, d-, e-, f- and g-type subunits. No evidence for a c-type subunit was found in this species. The inclusion of the N. inaurata hemocyanins in a multiple alignment of the arthropod hemocyanins and the application of the Bayesian method of phylogenetic inference allow, for the first time, a solid reconstruction of the intramolecular evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanin subunits. The branch leading to subunit a diverged first, followed by the common branch of the dimer-forming b and c subunits, while subunits d and f, as well as subunits e and g form common branches. Assuming a clock-like evolution of the chelicerate hemocyanins, a timescale for the evolution of the Chelicerata was obtained that agrees with the fossil record.

  19. Improvement of power generation using Shewanella putrefaciens mediated bioanode in a single chambered microbial fuel cell: effect of different anodic operating conditions.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Soumya; Khilari, Santimoy; Roy, Shantonu; Pradhan, Debabrata; Das, Debabrata

    2014-08-01

    Three different approaches were employed to improve single chambered microbial fuel cell (sMFC) performance using Shewanella putrefaciens as biocatalyst. Taguchi design was used to identify the key process parameter (anolyte concentration, CaCl₂ and initial anolyte pH) for maximization of volumetric power. Supplementation of CaCl₂ was found most significant and maximum power density of 4.92 W/m(3) was achieved. In subsequent approaches, effect on power output by riboflavin supplementation to anolyte and anode surface modification using nano-hematite (Fe₂O₃) was observed. Volumetric power density was increased by 44% with addition of 100 nM riboflavin to anolyte while with 0.8 mg/cm(2) nano-Fe₂O₃ impregnated anode power density and columbic efficiency increased by 40% and 33% respectively. Cyclic voltammetry revealed improvement in electrochemical activity of Shewanella with nano-Fe₂O₃ loading and electrochemical impedance depicted inverse relationship between charge transfer resistance and nano-Fe₂O₃ loading. This study suggests anodic improvement strategies for maximization of power output.

  20. Effects of pH-treated Fish Sarcoplasmic Proteins on the Functional Properties of Chicken Myofibrillar Protein Gel Mediated by Microbial Transglutaminase.

    PubMed

    Hemung, Bung-Orn; Chin, Koo Bok

    2014-01-01

    pH adjustment would be of advantage in improving the water holding capacity of muscle proteins. The objective of this study was to evaluate the addition of fish sarcoplasmic protein (SP) solution, which was adjusted to pH 3.0 or 12.0, neutralized to pH 7.0, and lyophilized to obtain the acid- and alkaline-treated SP samples, on the functional properties of the chicken myofibrillar protein induced by microbial transglutaminase (MTG). The solubility of alkaline-treated SP was higher than that of the acid counterpart; however, those values of the two pH-treated samples were lower than that of normal SP (p<0.05). All SP solutions were mixed with myofibrillar proteins (MP) extracted from chicken breast, and incubated with MTG. The shear stresses of MP with acid- and alkaline-treated SP were higher than that of normal SP. The thermal stability of MP mixture reduced upon adding SP, regardless of the pH treatment. The breaking force of MP gels with acid-treated SP increased more than those of alkaline-treated SP, while normal SP showed the highest value. The MP gel lightness increased, but cooking loss reduced, with the addition of SP. Smooth microstructure of the gel surface was observed. These results indicated that adjusting the pH of SP improved the water holding capacity of chicken myofibrillar proteins induced by MTG.

  1. Microbially mediated O-methylation of bisphenol A results in metabolites with increased toxicity to the developing zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo.

    PubMed

    McCormick, Jessica M; Van Es, Theo; Cooper, Keith R; White, Lori A; Häggblom, Max M

    2011-08-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in the manufacture of plastics, and has been identified in various environmental matrices, including human serum and breast milk. The prevalence of BPA in the environment and the potential exposure to humans underscores the need to more fully understand the fate of BPA in the environment and the resulting effects and toxicity to humans and other organisms. Here we demonstrate that Mycobacterium species, including Mycobacterium vanbaalenii strain PYR-1, are able to O-methylate BPA to its mono- and dimethyl ether derivatives (BPA MME and BPA DME, respectively). The O-methylation of BPA results in metabolites with increased toxicity as shown from differences in survival and occurrence of developmental lesions in developing zebrafish embryos exposed to BPA, BPA MME, and BPA DME. The mono- and dimethyl ether derivatives were more toxic than BPA, resulting in increased mortality at 5 (LC(50) = 0.66 and 1.2 mg L(-1)) and 28 (LC(50) = 0.38, <0.5 mg L(-1)) days post fertilization. Furthermore, exposure to either of the O-methylated metabolites resulted in an increase in the incidence of developmental lesions as compared to BPA exposure. These data illustrate a new mechanism for microbial transformation of BPA, producing metabolites warranting further study to understand their prevalence and effects in the environment.

  2. A Comparative Study of Clinical Presentation and Risk Factors for Adverse Outcome in Patients Hospitalised with Acute Respiratory Disease Due to MERS Coronavirus or Other Causes

    PubMed Central

    Garbati, Musa A.; Fagbo, Shamsudeen F.; Fang, Vicky J.; Skakni, Leila; Joseph, Mercy; Wani, Tariq A.; Cowling, Benjamin J.; Peiris, Malik; Hakawi, Ahmed

    2016-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory syndrome (MERS) first emerged in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and remains a global health concern. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical features and risk factors for adverse outcome in patients with RT-PCR confirmed MERS and in those with acute respiratory disease who were MERS-CoV negative, presenting to the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh between October 2012 and May 2014. The demographics, clinical and laboratory characteristics and clinical outcomes of patients with RT-PCR confirmed MERS-CoV infection was compared with those testing negative MERS-CoV PCR. Health care workers (HCW) with MERS were compared with MERS patients who were not health care workers. One hundred and fifty nine patients were eligible for inclusion. Forty eight tested positive for MERS CoV, 44 (92%) being hospital acquired infections and 23 were HCW. There were 111 MERS-CoV negative patients with acute respiratory illnesses included in this study as “negative controls”. Patient with confirmed MERS-CoV infection were not clinically distinguishable from those with negative MERS-CoV RT-PCR results although diarrhoea was commoner in MERS patients. A high level of suspicion in initiating laboratory tests for MERS-CoV is therefore indicated. Variables associated with adverse outcome were older age and diabetes as a co-morbid illness. Interestingly, co-morbid illnesses other than diabetes were not significantly associated with poor outcome. Health care workers with MERS had a markedly better clinical outcome compared to non HCW MERS patients. PMID:27812197

  3. UNC569, a novel small molecule Mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Christoph, Sandra; DeRyckere, Deborah; Schlegel, Jennifer; Frazer, J. Kimble; Batchelor, Lance A.; Trakhimets, Alesia Y.; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra M.; Cummings, Christopher; Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Kireev, Dmitri; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Hull-Ryde, Emily A.; Janzen, William P.; Johnson, Gary L.; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen V.; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.

    2013-01-01

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biological subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces pro-survival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukaemia in vivo suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiation have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (ATRT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small molecule Mer inhibitor. This manuscript describes the biochemical and biological effects of UNC569 in ALL and ATRT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 µM for 2 weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced green fluorescent protein. UNC569 induced >50% reduction in tumor burden compared to vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and ATRT. PMID:23997116

  4. UNC569, a novel small-molecule mer inhibitor with efficacy against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Christoph, Sandra; Deryckere, Deborah; Schlegel, Jennifer; Frazer, J Kimble; Batchelor, Lance A; Trakhimets, Alesia Y; Sather, Susan; Hunter, Debra M; Cummings, Christopher T; Liu, Jing; Yang, Chao; Kireev, Dmitri; Simpson, Catherine; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Hull-Ryde, Emily A; Janzen, William P; Johnson, Gary L; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen V; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K

    2013-11-01

    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common malignancy in children. Although survival rates have improved, patients with certain biologic subtypes still have suboptimal outcomes. Current chemotherapeutic regimens are associated with short- and long-term toxicities and novel, less toxic therapeutic strategies are needed. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is ectopically expressed in ALL patient samples and cell lines. Inhibition of Mer expression reduces prosurvival signaling, increases chemosensitivity, and delays development of leukemia in vivo, suggesting that Mer tyrosine kinase inhibitors are excellent candidates for targeted therapies. Brain and spinal tumors are the second most common malignancies in childhood. Multiple chemotherapy approaches and radiotherapies have been attempted, yet overall survival remains dismal. Mer is also abnormally expressed in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT), providing a rationale for targeting Mer as a therapeutic strategy. We have previously described UNC569, the first small-molecule Mer inhibitor. This article describes the biochemical and biologic effects of UNC569 in ALL and AT/RT. UNC569 inhibited Mer activation and downstream signaling through ERK1/2 and AKT, determined by Western blot analysis. Treatment with UNC569 reduced proliferation/survival in liquid culture, decreased colony formation in methylcellulose/soft agar, and increased sensitivity to cytotoxic chemotherapies. MYC transgenic zebrafish with T-ALL were treated with UNC569 (4 μmol/L for two weeks). Fluorescence was quantified as indicator of the distribution of lymphoblasts, which express Mer and enhanced GFP. UNC569 induced more than 50% reduction in tumor burden compared with vehicle- and mock-treated fish. These data support further development of Mer inhibitors as effective therapies in ALL and AT/RT.

  5. A humanized neutralizing antibody against MERS-CoV targeting the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Wan, Yuhua; Liu, Peipei; Zhao, Jincun; Lu, Guangwen; Qi, Jianxun; Wang, Qihui; Lu, Xuancheng; Wu, Ying; Liu, Wenjun; Zhang, Buchang; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Perlman, Stanley; Gao, George F; Yan, Jinghua

    2015-11-01

    The newly-emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) can cause severe and fatal acute respiratory disease in humans. Despite global efforts, the potential for an associated pandemic in the future cannot be excluded. The development of effective counter-measures is urgent. MERS-CoV-specific anti-viral drugs or vaccines are not yet available. Using the spike receptor-binding domain of MERS-CoV (MERS-RBD) to immunize mice, we identified two neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) 4C2 and 2E6. Both mAbs potently bind to MERS-RBD and block virus entry in vitro with high efficacy. We further investigated their mechanisms of neutralization by crystallizing the complex between the Fab fragments and the RBD, and solved the structure of the 4C2 Fab/MERS-RBD complex. The structure showed that 4C2 recognizes an epitope that partially overlaps the receptor-binding footprint in MERS-RBD, thereby interfering with the virus/receptor interactions by both steric hindrance and interface-residue competition. 2E6 also blocks receptor binding, and competes with 4C2 for binding to MERS-RBD. Based on the structure, we further humanized 4C2 by preserving only the paratope residues and substituting the remaining amino acids with the counterparts from human immunoglobulins. The humanized 4C2 (4C2h) antibody sustained similar neutralizing activity and biochemical characteristics to the parental mouse antibody. Finally, we showed that 4C2h can significantly abate the virus titers in lungs of Ad5-hCD26-transduced mice infected with MERS-CoV, therefore representing a promising agent for prophylaxis and therapy in clinical settings.

  6. Proteomic Stable Isotope Probing Reveals Biosynthesis Dynamics of Slow Growing Methane Based Microbial Communities

    DOE PAGES

    Marlow, Jeffery; Skennerton, Connor T.; Li, Zhou; ...

    2016-04-29

    Marine methane seep habitats represent an important control on the global flux of methane between the subsurface and water column reservoirs. Meta-omics studies have begun to outline community-wide metabolic potential, but expression patterns of proteins that enact sulfate-mediated anaerobic methane oxidation in seeps are poorly characterized. Proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) offers an additional layer of information for characterizing phylogenetically specific, functionally relevant activity in mixed microbial communities. Here we applied proteomic SIP to 15NH4+ and CH4 amended seep sediment microcosms in an attempt to track the protein synthesis of slow-growing, low-energy microbial systems. Across all samples, 3495 proteinsmore » were identified, 21% of which were 15N-labeled. We observed active synthesis (15N enrichment) of all proteins believed to be involved in sulfate reduction and reverse methanogenesis including methylenetetrahydromethanopterin reductase (Mer). The abundance and phylogenetic range of methyl-coenzyme M reductase (Mcr) orthologs produced during incubation experiments suggests that seeps provide sufficient niches for multiple organisms performing analogous metabolisms. Twenty-eight previously unreported post-translational modifications of McrA were measured, indicating dynamic enzymatic machinery and offering a dimension of functional diversity beyond gene-dictated sequence. RNA polymerase associated with putative sulfur-oxidizing Epsilonproteobacteria and aerobic Gammaproteobacteria were more abundant among pre-incubation proteins, suggesting diminished metabolic activity in long-term anoxic, sulfidic experimental incubations. Twenty-six proteins of unknown function were detected in all proteomic experiments and actively expressed in labeled experiments, suggesting that they play important roles in methane seep ecosystems. The addition of stable isotope probing to environmental proteomics experiments provides a mechanism to

  7. NCI Researchers Discover Exceptionally Potent Antibodies with Potential for Prophylaxis and Therapy of MERS-Coronavirus Infections | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    By Andrea Frydl, Contributing Writer In a recent article published in the Journal of Virology, Tianlei Ying, Ph.D., Dimiter Dimitrov, Ph.D., and their colleagues in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology (LEI), Cancer and Inflammation Program, NCI Center for Cancer Research, reported the identification of three human monoclonal antibodies (m336, m337, and m338) that target the part of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that is responsible for binding to its receptor. These antibodies are exceptionally potent inhibitors of MERS-CoV infection and also provide a basis for creating a future MERS-CoV vaccine.

  8. Microbial mercury methylation in Antarctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Gionfriddo, Caitlin M; Tate, Michael T; Wick, Ryan R; Schultz, Mark B; Zemla, Adam; Thelen, Michael P; Schofield, Robyn; Krabbenhoft, David P; Holt, Kathryn E; Moreau, John W

    2016-08-01

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury onto sea ice and circumpolar sea water provides mercury for microbial methylation, and contributes to the bioaccumulation of the potent neurotoxin methylmercury in the marine food web. Little is known about the abiotic and biotic controls on microbial mercury methylation in polar marine systems. However, mercury methylation is known to occur alongside photochemical and microbial mercury reduction and subsequent volatilization. Here, we combine mercury speciation measurements of total and methylated mercury with metagenomic analysis of whole-community microbial DNA from Antarctic snow, brine, sea ice and sea water to elucidate potential microbially mediated mercury methylation and volatilization pathways in polar marine environments. Our results identify the marine microaerophilic bacterium Nitrospina as a potential mercury methylator within sea ice. Anaerobic bacteria known to methylate mercury were notably absent from sea-ice metagenomes. We propose that Antarctic sea ice can harbour a microbial source of methylmercury in the Southern Ocean.

  9. Autoimmunity and the microbiome: T-cell receptor mimicry of "self" and microbial antigens mediates self tolerance in holobionts: The concepts of "holoimmunity" (TcR-mediated tolerance for the holobiont) and "holoautoimmunity" (loss of tolerance for the holobiont) are introduced.

    PubMed

    Root-Bernstein, Robert

    2016-11-01

    I propose a T-cell receptor (TcR)-based mechanism by which immunity mediates both "genetic self" and "microbial self" thereby, connecting microbiome disease with autoimmunity. The hypothesis is based on simple principles. First, TcR are selected to avoid strong cross-reactivity with "self," resulting in selection for a TcR repertoire mimicking "genetic self." Second, evolution has selected for a "microbial self" that mimics "genetic self" so as to share tolerance. In consequence, our TcR repertoire also mimics microbiome antigenicity, providing a novel mechanism for modulating tolerance to it. Also, the microbiome mimics the TcR repertoire, acting as a secondary immune system. I call this TcR-microbiome mimicry "holoimmunity" to denote immune tolerance to the "holobiont self." Logically, microbiome-host mimicry means that autoimmunity directed at host antigens will also attack components of the microbiome, and conversely, an immunological attack on the microbiome may cross-react with host antigens producing "holoautoimmunity."

  10. Lactic Acid Bacteria Improves Peyer's Patch Cell-Mediated Immunoglobulin A and Tight-Junction Expression in a Destructed Gut Microbial Environment.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Hwan; Jeung, Woonhee; Choi, Il-Dong; Jeong, Ji-Woong; Lee, Dong Eun; Huh, Chul-Sung; Kim, Geun-Bae; Hong, Seong Soo; Shim, Jae-Jung; Lee, Jung Lyoul; Sim, Jae-Hun; Ahn, Young-Tae

    2016-06-28

    To evaluate the effects of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) on Peyer's patch cells, mice were treated with a high dose of kanamycin to disturb the gut microbial environment. The overarching goal was to explore the potential of LAB for use as a dietary probiotic that buffers the negative consequences of antibiotic treatment. In vitro, LAB stimulated the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA) from isolated Peyer's patch cells. Inflammation-related genes (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-8) were up-regulated in Caco-2 cells stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), while tight-junction-related genes (ZO-1 and occludin) were down-regulated; the effects of LPS on inflammatory gene and tight-junction gene expression were reversed by treatment with LAB. Mice treated with a high dose of kanamycin showed increased serum IgE levels and decreases in serum IgA and fecal IgA levels; the number of Peyer's patch cells decreased with kanamycin treatment. However, subsequent LAB treatment was effective in reducing the serum IgE level and recovering the serum IgA and fecal IgA levels, as well as the number of Peyer's patch cells. In addition, ZO-1 and occludin mRNA levels were up-regulated in the ileum tissues of mice receiving LAB treatment. Lactic acid bacteria can enhance the intestinal immune system by improving the integrity of the intestinal barrier and increasing the production of IgA in Peyer's patches. Lactic acid bacteria should be considered a potential probiotic candidate for improving intestinal immunity, particularly in mitigating the negative consequences of antibiotic use.

  11. Throughfall-mediated alterations to soil microbial community structure in a forest plot of homogenous soil texture, litter, and plant species composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Stan, John; Rosier, Carl; Moore, Leslie; Gay, Trent; Reichard, James; Wu, Tiehang; Kan, Jinjun

    2015-04-01

    Identifying spatiotemporal influences on soil microbial community (SMC) structure is critical to our understanding of patterns in biogeochemical cycling and related ecological services (e.g., plant community structure, water quality, response to environmental change). Since forest canopy structure alters the spatiotemporal patterning of precipitation water and solute supplies to soils (via "throughfall"), is it possible that changes in SMC structure could arise from modifications in canopy elements? Our study investigates this question by monitoring throughfall water and dissolved ion supply to soils beneath a continuum of canopy structure: from large gaps (0% cover), to bare Quercus virginiana Mill. (southern live oak) canopy (~50-70%), to heavy Tillandsia usneoides L. (Spanish moss) canopy (>90% cover). Throughfall water supply diminished with increasing canopy cover, yet increased washoff/leaching of Na+, Cl-, PO43-, and SO42- from the canopy to the soils. Presence of T. usneoides diminished throughfall NO3-, but enhanced NH4+, concentrations supplied to subcanopy soils. The mineral soil horizon (0-10 cm) sampled in triplicate from locations receiving throughfall water and solutes from canopy gaps, bare canopy, and T. usneoides-laden canopy significantly differed in soil chemistry parameters (pH, Ca2+, Mg2+, CEC). Polymerase Chain Reaction-Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) banding patterns beneath similar canopy covers (experiencing similar throughfall dynamics) also produced high similarities per ANalyses Of SIMilarity (ANO-SIM), and clustered together when analyzed by Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS). These results suggest that modifications of forest canopy structures are capable of affecting mineral-soil horizon SMC structure via throughfall when canopies' biomass distribution is highly heterogeneous. As SMC structure, in many instances, relates to functional diversity, we suggest that future research seek to identify functional

  12. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  13. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  14. Microbial biosurfactants and biodegradation.

    PubMed

    Ward, Owen P

    2010-01-01

    Microbial biosurfactants are amphipathic molecules having typical molecular weights of 500-1500 Da, made up of peptides, saccharides or lipids or their combinations. In biodegradation processes they mediate solubilisation, mobilization and/or accession of hydrophobic substrates to microbes. They may be located on the cell surface or be secreted into the extracellular medium and they facilitate uptake of hydrophobic molecules through direct cellular contact with hydrophobic solids or droplets or through micellarisation. They are also involved in cell physiological processes such as biofilm formation and detachment, and in diverse biofilm associated processes such as wastewater treatment and microbial pathogenesis. The protection of contaminants in biosurfactants micelles may also inhibit uptake of contaminants by microbes. In bioremediation processes biosurfactants may facilitate release of contaminants from soil, but soils also tend to bind surfactants strongly which makes their role in contaminant desorption more complex. A greater understanding of the underlying roles played by biosurfactants in microbial physiology and in biodegradative processes is developing through advances in cell and molecular biology.

  15. Application of State Analysis and Goal-Based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, J. Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the behavior of states and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  16. MAPGEN : mixed initiative planning and scheduling for the Mars '03 MER mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ai-Chang, Mitchell; Bresina, John; Charest, Len; Jonsson, Ari; Hsu, Jennifer; Kanefsky, Bob; Maldague, Pierre; Morris, Paul; Rajan, Kanna; Yglesias, Jeffrey

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers Mars '03 mission is one of NASA's most ambitious science missions to date. The rovers will be launched in the summer of 2003 with each rover carrying instruments to conduct remote and in-situ observation to elucidate the planet's past climate, water activity, and habitability. Science is the primary driver of MER and, as a consequence, making best use of the scientific instruments, within the available resources, is a crucial aspect of the mission. To address this critically, the MER project has selected MAPGEN (Mixed-Initiative Activity Plan GENerator) as an activity planning tool. MAPGEN combines two exiting systems, each with a strong heritage: APGEN the Activity Planning tool from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Europs Planning/Scheduling system from NASA Ames Research Center. This paper discusses the issues arising from combining these tools in the context of this mission.

  17. The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) does not replicate in Syrian hamsters.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Emmie; Prescott, Joseph; Baseler, Laura; Bushmaker, Trenton; Thomas, Tina; Lackemeyer, Matthew G; Martellaro, Cynthia; Milne-Price, Shauna; Haddock, Elaine; Haagmans, Bart L; Feldmann, Heinz; Munster, Vincent J

    2013-01-01

    In 2012 a novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV, associated with severe respiratory disease emerged in the Arabian Peninsula. To date, 55 human cases have been reported, including 31 fatal cases. Several of the cases were likely a result of human-to-human transmission. The emergence of this novel coronavirus prompts the need for a small animal model to study the pathogenesis of this virus and to test the efficacy of potential intervention strategies. In this study we explored the use of Syrian hamsters as a small animal disease model, using intratracheal inoculation and inoculation via aerosol. Clinical signs of disease, virus replication, histological lesions, cytokine upregulation nor seroconversion were observed in any of the inoculated animals, indicating that MERS-CoV does not replicate in Syrian hamsters.

  18. Interaction of SARS and MERS Coronaviruses with the Antiviral Interferon Response.

    PubMed

    Kindler, E; Thiel, V; Weber, F

    2016-01-01

    Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are the most severe coronavirus (CoV)-associated diseases in humans. The causative agents, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, are of zoonotic origin but may be transmitted to humans, causing severe and often fatal respiratory disease in their new host. The two coronaviruses are thought to encode an unusually large number of factors that allow them to thrive and replicate in the presence of efficient host defense mechanisms, especially the antiviral interferon system. Here, we review the recent progress in our understanding of the strategies that highly pathogenic coronaviruses employ to escape, dampen, or block the antiviral interferon response in human cells.

  19. Competitive, microbially-mediated reduction of nitrate with sulfide and aromatic oil components in a low-temperature, western Canadian oil reservoir.

    PubMed

    Lambo, Adewale J; Noke, Kim; Larter, Steve R; Voordouw, Gerrit

    2008-12-01

    Fields from which oil is produced by injection of sulfate-bearing water often exhibit an increase in sulfide concentration with time (souring). Nitrate added to the injection water lowers the sulfide concentration by the action of sulfide-oxidizing, nitrate-reducing bacteria (SO-NRB). However, the injected nitrate can also be reduced with oil organics by heterotrophic NRB (hNRB). Aqueous volatile fatty acids (VFAs; a mixture of acetate, propionate, and butyrate) are considered important electron donors in this regard. Injection and produced waters from a western Canadian oil field with a low in situ reservoir temperature (30 degrees C) had only 0.1-0.2 mM VFAs. Amendment of these waters with nitrate gave therefore only partial reduction. More nitrate was reduced when 2% (v/v) oil was added, with light oil giving more reduction than heavy oil. GC-MS analysis of in vitro degraded oils and electron balance considerations indicated that toluene served as the primary electron donor for nitrate reduction. The differences in the extent of nitrate reduction were thus related to the toluene content of the light and heavy oil (30 and 5 mM, respectively). Reduction of nitrate with sulfide by SO-NRB always preceded that with oil organics by hNRB, even though microbially catalyzed kinetics with either electron donor were similar. Inhibition of hNRB by sulfide is responsible for this phenomenon. Injected nitrate will thus initially be reduced with sulfide through the action of SO-NRB. However, once sulfide has been eliminated from the near-injection wellbore region, oil organics will be targeted by the action of hNRB. Hence, despite the kinetic advantage of SO-NRB, the nitrate dose required to eliminate sulfide from a reservoir depends on the concentration of hNRB-degradable oil organics, with toluene being the most important in the field under study. Because the toluene concentration is lower in heavy oilthan in light oil, nitrate injection into a heavy-oil-producing field of

  20. The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron-Interference Experiment.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Rodolfo

    In 2002 readers of Physics World voted Young's double-slit experiment with single electrons as "the most beautiful experiment in physics" of all time. Pier Giorgio Merli, Gian Franco Missiroli, and Giulio Pozzi carried out this experiment in a collaboration between the Italian Research Council and the University of Bologna almost three decades earlier. I examine their experiment, place it in historical context, and discuss its philosophical implications.

  1. The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron-Interference Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosa, Rodolfo

    2012-06-01

    In 2002 readers of Physics World voted Young's double-slit experiment with single electrons as "the most beautiful experiment in physics" of all time. Pier Giorgio Merli, Gian Franco Missiroli, and Giulio Pozzi carried out this experiment in a collaboration between the Italian Research Council and the University of Bologna almost three decades earlier. I examine their experiment, place it in historical context, and discuss its philosophical implications.

  2. TAM receptors Tyro3 and Mer as novel targets in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Robin; Valls, Aida Freire; Yerbes, Rosario; von Richter, Sophie; Kahlert, Christoph; Loges, Sonja; Weitz, Jürgen; Schneider, Martin; de Almodovar, Carmen Ruiz; Ulrich, Alexis; Schmidt, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Purpose CRC remains the third most common cancer worldwide with a high 5-year mortality rate in advanced cases. Combined with chemotherapy, targeted therapy is an additional treatment option. However as CRC still escapes targeted therapy the vigorous search for new targets is warranted to increase patients' overall survival. Results In this study we describe a new role for Gas6/protein S-TAM receptor interaction in CRC. Gas6, expressed by tumor-infiltrating M2-like macrophages, enhances malignant properties of tumor cells including proliferation, invasion and colony formation. Upon chemotherapy macrophages increase Gas6 synthesis, which significantly attenuates the cytotoxic effect of 5-FU chemotherapy on tumor cells. The anti-coagulant protein S has similar effects as Gas6. In CRC patient samples Tyro3 was overexpressed within the tumor. In-vitro inhibition of Tyro3 and Mer reduces tumor cell proliferation and sensitizes tumor cells to chemotherapy. Moreover high expression of Tyro3 and Mer in tumor tissue significantly shortens CRC patients' survival. Experimental design Various in vitro models were used to investigate the role of Gas6 and its TAM receptors in human CRC cells, by stimulation (rhGas6) and knockdown (siRNA) of Axl, Tyro3 and Mer. In terms of a translational research, we additionally performed an expression analysis in human CRC tissue and analyzed the medical record of these patients. Conclusions Tyro3 and Mer represent novel therapeutic targets in CRC and warrant further preclinical and clinical investigation in the future. PMID:27486820

  3. NCI Scientists Solve Structure of Protein that Enables MERS Virus to Spread | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    Scientists at the Frederick National Lab have produced three crystal structures that reveal a specific part of a protein that can be targeted to fight the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an emerging viral respiratory illness. Senior Investigator David Waugh, Ph.D., Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory, has solved the structure of an enzyme known as the 3C-like protease (3CLpro), which, if blocked, can prevent the virus from replicating...

  4. Public response to MERS-CoV in the Middle East: iPhone survey in six countries.

    PubMed

    Alqahtani, Amani S; Rashid, Harunor; Basyouni, Mada H; Alhawassi, Tariq M; BinDhim, Nasser F

    2017-02-06

    Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries bear the heaviest brunt of MERS-CoV. This study aims to compare public awareness and practice around MERS-CoV across GCC countries. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the Gulf Indicators (GI) smartphone app among people in the six GCC countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. A total of 1812 participants recruited. All were aware of MERS-CoV, yet the perception and practice around MERS-CoV varied widely between countries. Over two thirds were either "not concerned" or "slightly concerned" about contracting MERS-CoV; believing that they were under Allah's (God's) protection (40%) was the most cited reason. While 79% were aware that the disease can transmit through droplet from infected person, only 12% stated that MERS-CoV transmits via camels; people in Saudi Arabia were better aware of the transmission. Nevertheless, only 22% of respondents believed that camels are the zoonotic reservoir of MERS-CoV. Those who were concerned about contracting MERS-CoV (aOR: 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2-2.1, p<0.01) and those who thought MERS-CoV to be a severe disease only for those with high-risk conditions (aOR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.1, p<0.01) were more likely to believe that camels are the zoonotic source. However, residents of KSA (aOR: 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01-0.07, p<0.01), UAE (aOR: 0.01, 95% CI: 0.004-0.02, p<0.01) and Kuwait (aOR: 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01-0.07, p<0.01) were less likely to believe that camels are the main zoonotic source compared to respondents from the other countries. Hygienic measures were more commonly adopted than avoidance of camels or their raw products, yet there was a discrepancy between the countries. This study highlights that despite being aware of the ongoing MERS-CoV epidemic; many people lack accurate understanding about MERS-CoV transmission, prevention, and are not fully compliant with preventive measures.

  5. [Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): bats or dromedary, which of them is responsible?].

    PubMed

    Chastel, C

    2014-05-01

    In 2012 a new viral emergent human disease appeared in the Middle East. This entity was named MERS for' Middle East respiratory syndrome'. By January 9, 2014, the disease had already struck 178 persons of whom 75 died from respiratory failure and diarrhoea. As the new disease was very similar to the deadly SARS (2002-2003) and since it was provoked by a Betacoronavirus, chiroptera were first suspected to be at the origin of this infection. Morever, recent studies performed in Saudi Arabia showed that one individual of the bat Taphozous perforatus harbored a short nucleotide segment identical to the homologous segment present in the viral strain isolated from the index-case of the epidemic. In addition, many strains of Betacoronavirus more or less related to those responsible for the MERS disease in man have been isolated from bats in Africa, Asia and Europe. However, another hypothesis was simultaneously proposed incriminating dromedary (Camelus dromedarius L.) as a likely actor in the transmission to human beings of the disease.We then reviewed data relative to other viral zoonosis in which dromedary was possibly implicated. This led to the provisional conclusion that this large mammal might play a role in the dissemination of the MERS-COV, the etiologic agent of the disease. This is based on epidemiological data and results of several serological surveys in animals.

  6. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mishkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, the pace of this process was never intended to be continued indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5-day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  7. Avoiding student infection during a Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak: a single medical school experience

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: In outbreaks of infectious disease, medical students are easily overlooked in the management of healthcare personnel protection although they serve in clinical clerkships in hospitals. In the early summer of 2015, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) struck South Korea, and students of Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine (SKKUSOM) were at risk of contracting the disease. The purpose of this report is to share SKKUSOM’s experience against the MERS outbreak and provide suggestions for medical schools to consider in the face of similar challenges. Methods: Through a process of reflection-on-action, we examined SKKUSOM’s efforts to avoid student infection during the MERS outbreak and derived a few practical guidelines that medical schools can adopt to ensure student safety in outbreaks of infectious disease. Results: The school leadership conducted ongoing risk assessment and developed contingency plans to balance student safety and continuity in medical education. They rearranged the clerkships to another hospital and offered distant lectures and tutorials. Five suggestions are extracted for medical schools to consider in infection outbreaks: instant cessation of clinical clerkships; rational decision making on a school closure; use of information technology; constant communication with hospitals; and open communication with faculty, staff, and students. Conclusion: Medical schools need to take the initiative and actively seek countermeasures against student infection. It is essential that medical schools keep constant communication with their index hospitals and the involved personnel. In order to assure student learning, medical schools may consider offering distant education with online technology. PMID:27240893

  8. From Prime to Extended Mission: Evolution of the MER Tactical Uplink Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Michkin, Andrew H.; Laubach, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    To support a 90-day surface mission for two robotic rovers, the Mars Exploration Rover mission designed and implemented an intensive tactical operations process, enabling daily commanding of each rover. Using a combination of new processes, custom software tools, a Mars-time staffing schedule, and seven-day-a-week operations, the MER team was able to compress the traditional weeks-long command-turnaround for a deep space robotic mission to about 18 hours. However, there was never an intention of maintaining the pace of this process indefinitely. Even before the end of the three-month prime mission, MER operations began evolving towards greater sustainability. A combination of continued software tool development, increasing team experience, and availability of reusable sequences first reduced the mean process duration to approximately 11 hours. The number of workshifts required to perform the process dropped, and the team returned to a modified 'Earth-time' schedule. Additional process and tool adaptation eventually provided the option of planning multiple Martian days of activity within a single workshift, making 5- day-a-week operations possible. The vast majority of the science team returned to their home institutions, continuing to participate fully in the tactical operations process remotely. MER has continued to operate for over two Earth-years as many of its key personnel have moved on to other projects, the operations team and budget have shrunk, and the rovers have begun to exhibit symptoms of aging.

  9. Meter-scale slopes of candidate MER landing sites from point photoclinometry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, R.A.; McEwen, A.S.; Kirk, R.L.

    2003-01-01

    Photoclinometry was used to analyze the small-scale roughness of areas that fall within the proposed Mars Exploration Rover (MER) 2003 landing ellipses. The landing ellipses presented in this study were those in Athabasca Valles, Elysium Planitia, Eos Chasma, Gusev Crater, Isidis Planitia, Melas Chasma, and Meridiani Planum. We were able to constrain surface slopes on length scales comparable to the image resolution (1.5 to 12 m/pixel). The MER 2003 mission has various engineering constraints that each candidate landing ellipse must satisfy. These constraints indicate that the statistical slope values at 5 m baselines are an important criterion. We used our technique to constrain maximum surface slopes across large swaths of each image, and built up slope statistics for the images in each landing ellipse. We are confident that all MER 2003 landing site ellipses in this study, with the exception of the Melas Chasma ellipse, are within the small-scale roughness constraints. Our results have provided input into the landing hazard assessment process. In addition to evaluating the safety of the landing sites, our mapping of small-scale roughnesses can also be used to better define and map morphologic units. The morphology of a surface is characterized by the slope distribution and magnitude of slopes. In looking at how slopes are distributed, we can better define landforms and determine the boundaries of morphologic units. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. Geology of the MER 2003 "Elysium" candidate landing site in southeastern Utopia Planitia, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, K.L.; Carr, M.H.; Skinner, J.A.; Gilmore, M.S.; Hare, T.M.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project has been considering a landing-site ellipse designated EP78B2 in southeastern Utopia Planitia, southwest of Elysium Mons. The site appears to be relatively safe for a MER landing site because of its predicted low wind velocities in mesoscale atmospheric circulation models and its low surface roughness at various scales as indicated by topographic and imaging data sets. Previously, the site's surface rocks have been interpreted to be marine sediments or lava flows. In addition, we suggest that Late Noachian to Early Hesperian collapse and mass wasting of Noachian highland rocks contributed to the deposition of detritus in the area of the ellipse. Furthermore, we document partial Late Hesperian to Early Amazonian resurfacing of the ellipse by flows and vents that may be of mud or silicate volcanic origin. A rover investigation of the Utopia landing site using the MER Athena instrument package might address some fundamental aspects of Martian geologic evolution, such as climate change, hydrologic evolution, and magmatic and tectonic history. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. Relationship between the persistence of mer operon sequences in Escherichia coli and their resistance to mercury.

    PubMed

    Murtaza, Imtiyaz; Dutt, Amit; Ali, Arif

    2002-03-01

    Studies related to geographic distribution of E. coli carrying mer operon sequences were carried out on the Indian subcontinent. Out of the 80 E. coli isolates, collected from five geographically distinct regions of India, 68 were found to be resistant to one or the other heavy metal used in the study. Among these isolates, 36 were found to be resistant to the inorganic form (HgCl2) and only 5 to resist both the inorganic and organic forms of mercury. Colony hybridization studies revealed 35 isolates out of 68 to hybridize with the probe. Interestingly, some of the mercury-sensitive isolates (Hgs), especially from the Dal Lake, were found positive in hybridization studies. These findings, supported by mercury volatilization studies, indicate the presence of nonfunctional/vestigial mer sequences in the isolates collected from different environments. On the other hand, few of the mercury-resistant isolates (Hgr) from the Yamuna River did not show any sign of hybridization. Further, volatilization studies also indicated an alternate mode of resistance mechanism operating in them. The studies demonstrate that the mer operon sequences share very high homology among the E. coli isolates collected from different geographical locations, and this metal resistance may be a genetic character that arose from a common ancestral background.

  12. Thermophysical properties of the MER and Beagle II landing site regions on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakosky, Bruce M.; Hynek, Brian M.; Pelkey, Shannon M.; Mellon, Michael T.; Martínez-Alonso, Sara; Putzig, Nathaniel E.; Murphy, Nate; Christensen, Philip R.

    2006-08-01

    We analyzed remote-sensing observations of the Isidis Basin, Gusev Crater, and Meridiani Planum landing sites for Beagle II, MER-A Spirit, and MER-B Opportunity spacecraft, respectively. We emphasized the thermophysical properties using daytime and nighttime radiance measurements from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer and Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) and thermal inertias derived from nighttime data sets. THEMIS visible images, MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) narrow-angle images, and MGS Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data are incorporated as well. Additionally, the remote-sensing data were compared with ground-truth at the MER sites. The Isidis Basin surface layer has been shaped by aeolian processes and erosion by slope winds coming off of the southern highlands and funneling through notches between massifs. In the Gusev region, surface materials of contrasting thermophysical properties have been interpreted as rocks or bedrock, duricrust, and dust deposits; these are consistent with a complex geological history dominated by volcanic and aeolian processes. At Meridiani Planum the many layers having different thermophysical and erosional properties suggest periodic deposition of differing sedimentological facies possibly related to clast size, grain orientation and packing, or mineralogy.

  13. Immunogenicity of Candidate MERS-CoV DNA Vaccines Based on the Spike Protein

    PubMed Central

    Al-amri, Sawsan S.; Abbas, Ayman T.; Siddiq, Loai A.; Alghamdi, Abrar; Sanki, Mohammad A.; Al-Muhanna, Muhanna K.; Alhabbab, Rowa Y.; Azhar, Esam I.; Li, Xuguang; Hashem, Anwar M.

    2017-01-01

    MERS-coronavirus is a novel zoonotic pathogen which spread rapidly to >25 countries since 2012. Its apparent endemicity and the wide spread of its reservoir host (dromedary camels) in the Arabian Peninsula highlight the ongoing public health threat of this virus. Therefore, development of effective prophylactic vaccine needs to be urgently explored given that there are no approved prophylactics or therapeutics for humans or animals to date. Different vaccine candidates have been investigated but serious safety concerns remain over protein or full-length spike (S) protein-based vaccines. Here, we investigated the immunogenicity of naked DNA vaccines expressing different fragments of MERS-CoV S protein in mice. We found that plasmids expressing full-length (pS) or S1-subunit (pS1) could induce significant levels of S1-specific antibodies (Abs) but with distinct IgG isotype patterns. Specifically, pS1 immunization elicited a balanced Th1/Th2 response and generally higher levels of all IgG isotypes compared to pS vaccination. Interestingly, only mice immunized with pS1 demonstrated significant S1-specific cellular immune response. Importantly, both constructs induced cross-neutralizing Abs against multiple strains of human and camel origins. These results indicate that vaccines expressing S1-subunit of the MERS-CoV S protein could represent a potential vaccine candidate without the possible safety concerns associated with full-length protein-based vaccines. PMID:28332568

  14. Identification of human neutralizing antibodies against MERS-CoV and their role in virus adaptive evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xian-Chun; Agnihothram, Sudhakar S.; Jiao, Yongjun; Stanhope, Jeremy; Graham, Rachel L.; Peterson, Eric C.; Avnir, Yuval; Tallarico, Aimee St. Clair; Sheehan, Jared; Zhu, Quan; Baric, Ralph S.; Marasco, Wayne A.

    2014-01-01

    The newly emerging Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-like disease with ∼43% mortality. Given the recent detection of virus in dromedary camels, zoonotic transfer of MERS-CoV to humans is suspected. In addition, little is known about the role of human neutralizing Ab (nAb) pressure as a driving force in MERS-CoV adaptive evolution. Here, we used a well-characterized nonimmune human Ab-phage library and a panning strategy with proteoliposomes and cells to identify seven human nAbs against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the MERS-CoV Spike protein. These nAbs bind to three different epitopes in the RBD and human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4) interface with subnanomolar/nanomolar binding affinities and block the binding of MERS-CoV Spike protein with its hDPP4 receptor. Escape mutant assays identified five amino acid residues that are critical for neutralization escape. Despite the close proximity of the three epitopes on the RBD interface, escape from one epitope did not have a major impact on neutralization with Abs directed to a different epitope. Importantly, the majority of escape mutations had negative impacts on hDPP4 receptor binding and viral fitness. To our knowledge, these results provide the first report on human nAbs against MERS-CoV that may contribute to MERS-CoV clearance and evolution. Moreover, in the absence of a licensed vaccine or antiviral for MERS, this panel of nAbs offers the possibility of developing human mAb-based immunotherapy, especially for health-care workers. PMID:24778221

  15. External Store Airloads Prediction Technique. Volume 2. Detailed Data. Book 3. MER Carriage Side Force and Yawing Moment Predictions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1975-07-01

    STORE.AIRLOADS- PREDICTION TE-CHNIQUE 0: VOLUMEE DETAILED DATA. BOOK 3. MER CARRIAGE SIDE FORCE AND YAWING MOMENT PREDICTIONS, VOUGHT SYSTEMS DIVISION...OF CONTENTS Section Title Page No. IV MER Carriage Airload Prediction ..................... 385 4.1 Side Force...obtain an initial prediction for the side force, yawing moment, normal force, and pitching moment components for the two rack centerline stations (MIR

  16. Nutrient Addition Leads to a Weaker CO2 Sink and Higher CH4 Emissions through Vegetation-Microclimate Feedbacks at Mer Bleue Bog, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubier, J. L.; Arnkil, S.; Humphreys, E.; Juutinen, S.; Larmola, T.; Moore, T. R.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has led to nutrient enrichment in wetlands globally, affecting plant community composition, carbon (C) cycling, and microbial dynamics. Nutrient-limited boreal bogs are long-term sinks of carbon dioxide (CO2), but sources of methane (CH4), an important greenhouse gas. We fertilized Mer Bleue Bog, a Sphagnum moss and evergreen shrub-dominated ombrotrophic bog near Ottawa, Ontario, for 10-15 years with N as NO3 and NH4 at 5, 10 and 20 times ambient N deposition (0.6-0.8 g N m-2 y-1), with and without phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Treatments were applied to triplicate plots (3 x 3 m) from May - August 2000-2015 and control plots received distilled water. We measured net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration, and CH4 flux with climate-controlled chambers; leaf-level CO2 exchange and biochemistry; substrate-induced respiration, CH4 production and consumption potentials with laboratory incubations; plant species composition and abundance; and microclimate (peat temperature, moisture, light interception). After 15 years, we have found that NEE has decreased, and CH4 emissions have increased, in the highest nutrient treatments owing to changes in vegetation, microtopography, and peat characteristics. Vegetation changes include a loss of Sphagnum moss and introduction of new deciduous species. Simulated atmospheric N deposition has not benefitted the photosynthetic apparatus of the dominant evergreen shrubs, but resulted in higher foliar respiration, contributing to a weaker ecosystem CO2 sink. Loss of moss has led to wetter near-surface substrate, higher rates of decomposition and CH4 emission, and a shift in microbial communities. Thus, elevated atmospheric deposition of nutrients may endanger C storage in peatlands through a complex suite of feedbacks and interactions among vegetation, microclimate, and microbial communities.

  17. Molecular cloning of MER-2, a human chromosome-11-encoded red blood cell antigen, using linkage of cotransfected markers.

    PubMed

    Bill, J; Palmer, E; Jones, C

    1987-09-01

    We report the molecular cloning of a human gene MER-2 located on chromosome 11 that encodes a cell surface antigen which is polymorphic on red blood cells. An essential element of the cloning strategy was cotransfection-induced linkage of pSV2-neo, which encodes resistance to the antibiotic G418, to the human MER-2 gene. An important feature of the pSV2-neo construct is that the same gene (the transposon, Tn5) that encodes G418 resistance in eukaryotic cells confers neomycin resistance in bacteria. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were cotransfected with pSV2-neo and genomic DNA from a CHO X human cell hybrid containing a single human chromosome (chromosome 11). Transfectants expressing both the human MER-2 gene and G418 resistance were isolated by selection in the antibiotic G418, followed by indirect immunofluorescence using the monoclonal antibody 1D12, which recognizes the MER-2 antigen, manual enrichment, and single-cell cloning. Genomic DNA from a primary transfectant positive for MER-2 expression and G418 resistance was used to construct a cosmid library and cosmid clones able to grow in neomycin were isolated. Of 150,000 cosmid clones screened, 90 were resistant to neomycin and of these, 11 contained human repetitive sequences. Five neomycin-resistant cosmid clones containing human repetitive DNA were able to transfect CHO cells for G418 resistance and MER-2 expression.

  18. Bat origins of MERS-CoV supported by bat coronavirus HKU4 usage of human receptor CD26.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qihui; Qi, Jianxun; Yuan, Yuan; Xuan, Yifang; Han, Pengcheng; Wan, Yuhua; Ji, Wei; Li, Yan; Wu, Ying; Wang, Jianwei; Iwamoto, Aikichi; Woo, Patrick C Y; Yuen, Kwok-Yung; Yan, Jinghua; Lu, Guangwen; Gao, George F

    2014-09-10

    The recently reported Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is phylogenetically closely related to the bat coronaviruses (BatCoVs) HKU4 and HKU5. However, the evolutionary pathway of MERS-CoV is still unclear. A receptor binding domain (RBD) in the MERS-CoV envelope-embedded spike protein specifically engages human CD26 (hCD26) to initiate viral entry. The high sequence identity in the viral spike protein prompted us to investigate if HKU4 and HKU5 can recognize hCD26 for cell entry. We found that HKU4-RBD, but not HKU5-RBD, binds to hCD26, and pseudotyped viruses embedding HKU4 spike can infect cells via hCD26 recognition. The structure of the HKU4-RBD/hCD26 complex revealed a hCD26-binding mode similar overall to that observed for MERS-RBD. HKU4-RBD, however, is less adapted to hCD26 than MERS-RBD, explaining its lower affinity for receptor binding. Our findings support a bat origin for MERS-CoV and indicate the need for surveillance of HKU4-related viruses in bats.

  19. Microfabricated devices in microbial bioenergy sciences.

    PubMed

    Han, Arum; Hou, Huijie; Li, Lei; Kim, Hyun Soo; de Figueiredo, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Microbes provide a platform for the synthesis of clean energy from renewable resources. Significant investments in discovering new microbial systems and capabilities, discerning the molecular mechanisms that mediate microbial bioenergy production, and optimizing existing microbial bioenergy systems have been made. However, further development is needed to achieve the economically feasible large-scale production of value-added energy products. Microfabricated lab-on-a-chip systems provide cost- and time-efficient opportunities for analyzing microbe-mediated bioenergy synthesis. Here, we review developments in the application of lab-on-a-chip systems to the bioenergy sciences. We focus on systems that support the analysis of microbial generation of bioelectricity, biogas, and liquid transportation fuels. We conclude by suggesting possible future directions.

  20. Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus Accessory Protein 4a Inhibits PKR-Mediated Antiviral Stress Responses

    PubMed Central

    Rabouw, Huib H.; Canton, Javier; Sola, Isabel; Enjuanes, Luis; Bredenbeek, Peter J.; Kikkert, Marjolein; de Groot, Raoul J.; van Kuppeveld, Frank J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe respiratory infections that can be life-threatening. To establish an infection and spread, MERS-CoV, like most other viruses, must navigate through an intricate network of antiviral host responses. Besides the well-known type I interferon (IFN-α/β) response, the protein kinase R (PKR)-mediated stress response is being recognized as an important innate response pathway. Upon detecting viral dsRNA, PKR phosphorylates eIF2α, leading to the inhibition of cellular and viral translation and the formation of stress granules (SGs), which are increasingly recognized as platforms for antiviral signaling pathways. It is unknown whether cellular infection by MERS-CoV activates the stress response pathway or whether the virus has evolved strategies to suppress this infection-limiting pathway. Here, we show that cellular infection with MERS-CoV does not lead to the formation of SGs. By transiently expressing the MERS-CoV accessory proteins individually, we identified a role of protein 4a (p4a) in preventing activation of the stress response pathway. Expression of MERS-CoV p4a impeded dsRNA-mediated PKR activation, thereby rescuing translation inhibition and preventing SG formation. In contrast, p4a failed to suppress stress response pathway activation that is independent of PKR and dsRNA. MERS-CoV p4a is a dsRNA binding protein. Mutation of the dsRNA binding motif in p4a disrupted its PKR antagonistic activity. By inserting p4a in a picornavirus lacking its natural PKR antagonist, we showed that p4a exerts PKR antagonistic activity also under infection conditions. However, a recombinant MERS-CoV deficient in p4a expression still suppressed SG formation, indicating the expression of at least one other stress response antagonist. This virus also suppressed the dsRNA-independent stress response pathway. Thus, MERS-CoV interferes with antiviral stress responses using at least two different mechanisms, with p4a

  1. Modeling microbial growth and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Esser, Daniel S; Leveau, Johan H J; Meyer, Katrin M

    2015-11-01

    Modeling has become an important tool for widening our understanding of microbial growth in the context of applied microbiology and related to such processes as safe food production, wastewater treatment, bioremediation, or microbe-mediated mining. Various modeling techniques, such as primary, secondary and tertiary mathematical models, phenomenological models, mechanistic or kinetic models, reactive transport models, Bayesian network models, artificial neural networks, as well as agent-, individual-, and particle-based models have been applied to model microbial growth and activity in many applied fields. In this mini-review, we summarize the basic concepts of these models using examples and applications from food safety and wastewater treatment systems. We further review recent developments in other applied fields focusing on models that explicitly include spatial relationships. Using these examples, we point out the conceptual similarities across fields of application and encourage the combined use of different modeling techniques in hybrid models as well as their cross-disciplinary exchange. For instance, pattern-oriented modeling has its origin in ecology but may be employed to parameterize microbial growth models when experimental data are scarce. Models could also be used as virtual laboratories to optimize experimental design analogous to the virtual ecologist approach. Future microbial growth models will likely become more complex to benefit from the rich toolbox that is now available to microbial growth modelers.

  2. Microbial Metalloproteomics

    PubMed Central

    Hagedoorn, Peter-Leon

    2015-01-01

    Metalloproteomics is a rapidly developing field of science that involves the comprehensive analysis of all metal-containing or metal-binding proteins in a biological sample. The purpose of this review is to offer a comprehensive overview of the research involving approaches that can be categorized as inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-MS based methods, X-ray absorption/fluorescence, radionuclide based methods and bioinformatics. Important discoveries in microbial proteomics will be reviewed, as well as the outlook to new emerging approaches and research areas. PMID:28248278

  3. Microbial Metabolomics

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jane

    2011-01-01

    Microbial metabolomics constitutes an integrated component of systems biology. By studying the complete set of metabolites within a microorganism and monitoring the global outcome of interactions between its development processes and the environment, metabolomics can potentially provide a more accurate snap shot of the actual physiological state of the cell. Recent advancement of technologies and post-genomic developments enable the study and analysis of metabolome. This unique contribution resulted in many scientific disciplines incorporating metabolomics as one of their “omics” platforms. This review focuses on metabolomics in microorganisms and utilizes selected topics to illustrate its impact on the understanding of systems microbiology. PMID:22379393

  4. Highly Active Microbial Phosphoantigen Induces Rapid yet Sustained MEK/Erk- and PI-3K/Akt-Mediated Signal Transduction in Anti-Tumor Human γδ T-Cells

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Bruno A.; Lança, Telma; Grosso, Ana R.; deBarros, Ana; Martins, Leila R.; Barata, João T.; Silva-Santos, Bruno

    2009-01-01

    -tumor effector T-cell responses. By characterizing the intracellular mechanisms of HMB-PP-mediated activation of the highly cytotoxic Vγ9+ T-cell subset, our data strongly support the usage of this microbial antigen in novel cancer clinical trials. PMID:19479075

  5. Pollutant effects on the microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Ford, T

    1994-01-01

    Genetic diversity of a microbial community will inevitably be affected by environmental stress. However, our understanding of the implications of these effects is limited. Genetic exchange between natural microbial communities appears to be a common phenomenon, mediated by a number of microbial processes (conjugation, transformation, and transduction). These mechanisms of change are presumably adaptations to natural environmental perturbation, e.g., the low levels of antibiotics produced by other organisms. However, anthropogenic influences on the environment may be accelerating genetic change within microbiologic ecosystems, beyond these natural adaptation rates. This article highlights some of the perceived risks to ecosystem health and research questions that need to be addressed. PMID:7713033

  6. Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Reed F.; Via, Laura E.; Kumar, Mia R.; Cornish, Joseph P.; Yellayi, Srikanth; Huzella, Louis; Postnikova, Elena; Oberlander, Nicholas; Bartos, Christopher; Ork, Britini L.; Mazur, Steven; Allan, Cindy; Holbrook, Michael R.; Solomon, Jeffrey; Johnson, Joshua C.; Pickel, James; Hensley, Lisa E.; Jahrling, Peter B.

    2016-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a threat to human health in the Middle East. Development of countermeasures is ongoing; however, an animal model that faithfully recapitulates human disease has yet to be defined. A recent study indicated that inoculation of common marmosets resulted in inconsistent lethality. Based on these data we sought to compare two isolates of MERS-CoV. We followed disease progression in common marmosets after intratracheal exposure with: MERS-CoV-EMC/2012, MERS-CoV-Jordan-n3/2012, media, or inactivated virus. Our data suggest that common marmosets developed a mild to moderate non-lethal respiratory disease, which was quantifiable by computed tomography (CT), with limited other clinical signs. Based on CT data, clinical data, and virological data, MERS-CoV inoculation of common marmosets results in mild to moderate clinical signs of disease that are likely due to manipulations of the marmoset rather than as a result of robust viral replication. PMID:26342468

  7. Efficient Design of Compact Unstructured RNA Libraries Covering All k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Orenstein, Yaron

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Current microarray technologies to determine RNA structure or measure protein–RNA interactions rely on single-stranded, unstructured RNA probes on a chip covering together all k-mers. Since space on the array is limited, the problem is to efficiently design a compact library of unstructured ℓ-long RNA probes, where each k-mer is covered at least p times. Ray et al. designed such a library for specific values of k, ℓ, and p using ad-hoc rules. To our knowledge, there is no general method to date to solve this problem. Here, we address the problem of finding a minimum-size covering of all k-mers by ℓ-long sequences with the desired properties for any value of k, ℓ, and p. As we prove that the problem is NP-hard, we give two solutions: the first is a greedy algorithm with a logarithmic approximation ratio; the second, a heuristic greedy approach based on random walks in de Bruijn graphs. The heuristic algorithm works well in practice and produces a library of unstructured RNA probes that is only ∼1.1-times greater in size compared to the theoretical lower bound. We present results for typical values of k and probe lengths ℓ and show that our algorithm generates a library that is significantly smaller than the library of Ray et al.; moreover, we show that our algorithm outperforms naive methods. Our approach can be generalized and extended to generate RNA or DNA oligo libraries with other desired properties. The software is freely available online. PMID:26713687

  8. The Amorphous Component in Martian Basaltic Soil in Global Perspective from MSL and MER Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Blake, D. F.; Vaniman, D. T.; Bish, D. L.; Chipera, S. J.; Downs, R. T.; Gellert, R.; Treiman, A. H.; Yen, A. S.; Achilles, C. N.; Anderson, R. C.; Bristow, T. F.; Crisp, J. A.; Des Marais, D. J.; Farmer, J. D.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Leshin, L. A.; McAdam, A. C.; Morookian, J. M.; Morrison, S. M.; Rampe, E. B.; Sarrazin, P. C.; Spanovich, N.; Stolper, E. M.

    2013-01-01

    The mineralogy instrument CheMin onboard the MSL rover Curiosity analyzed by transmission XRD [1] the <150 microns size fraction of putative global basaltic martian soil from scoops 4 and 5 of the Rocknest aeolian bedform (sol 81-120). Here, we combine chemical (APXS) and mineralogical (Mossbauer; MB) results from the MER rovers with chemical (APXS) and mineralogical (CheMin) results from Curiosity to constrain the relative proportions of amorphous and crystalline components, the bulk chemical composition of those components, and the

  9. Electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by random sequential adsorption of linear k -mers onto a square lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu.; Goltseva, Valeria A.; Laptev, Valeri V.; Lebovka, Nikolai I.

    2016-10-01

    The electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by the random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k -mers (particles occupying k adjacent adsorption sites) onto a square lattice was studied by means of computer simulation. Overlapping with predeposited k -mers and detachment from the surface were forbidden. The RSA process continued until the saturation jamming limit, pj. The isotropic (equiprobable orientations of k -mers along x and y axes) and anisotropic (all k -mers aligned along the y axis) depositions for two different models—of an insulating substrate and conducting k -mers (C model) and of a conducting substrate and insulating k -mers (I model)—were examined. The Frank-Lobb algorithm was applied to calculate the electrical conductivity in both the x and y directions for different lengths (k =1 - 128) and concentrations (p =0 - pj) of the k -mers. The "intrinsic electrical conductivity" and concentration dependence of the relative electrical conductivity Σ (p ) (Σ =σ /σm for the C model and Σ =σm/σ for the I model, where σm is the electrical conductivity of substrate) in different directions were analyzed. At large values of k the Σ (p ) curves became very similar and they almost coincided at k =128 . Moreover, for both models the greater the length of the k -mers the smoother the functions Σx y(p ) ,Σx(p ) and Σy(p ) . For the more practically important C model, the other interesting findings are (i) for large values of k (k =64 ,128 ), the values of Σx y and Σy increase rapidly with the initial increase of p from 0 to 0.1; (ii) for k ≥16 , all the Σx y(p ) and Σx(p ) curves intersect with each other at the same isoconductivity points; (iii) for anisotropic deposition, the percolation concentrations are the same in the x and y directions, whereas, at the percolation point the greater the length of the k -mers the larger the anisotropy of the electrical conductivity, i.e., the ratio σy/σx (>1 ).

  10. 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) nosocomial outbreak in South Korea: insights from modeling.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Ying-Hen

    2015-01-01

    Background. Since the emergence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, more than 1,300 laboratory confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infections have been reported in Asia, North Africa, and Europe by July 2015. The recent MERS-CoV nosocomial outbreak in South Korea quickly became the second largest such outbreak with 186 total cases and 36 deaths in a little more than one month, second only to Saudi Arabia in country-specific number of reported cases. Methods. We use a simple mathematical model, the Richards model, to trace the temporal course of the South Korea MERS-CoV outbreak. We pinpoint its outbreak turning point and its transmissibility via basic reproduction number R 0 in order to ascertain the occurrence of this nosocomial outbreak and how it was quickly brought under control. Results. The estimated outbreak turning point of ti = 23.3 days (95% CI [22.6-24.0]), or 23-24 days after the onset date of the index case on May 11, pinpoints June 3-4 as the time of the turning point or the peak incidence for this outbreak by onset date. R 0 is estimated to range between 7.0 and 19.3. Discussion and Conclusion. The turning point of the South Korea MERS-CoV outbreak occurred around May 27-29, when control measures were quickly implemented after laboratory confirmation of the first cluster of nosocomial infections by the index patient. Furthermore, transmissibility of MERS-CoV in the South Korea outbreak was significantly higher than those reported from past MERS-CoV outbreaks in the Middle East, which is attributable to the nosocomial nature of this outbreak. Our estimate of R 0 for the South Korea MERS-CoV nosocomial outbreak further highlights the importance and the risk involved in cluster infections and superspreading events in crowded settings such as hospitals. Similar to the 2003 SARS epidemic, outbreaks of infectious diseases with low community transmissibility like MERS-CoV could still occur initially with large clusters of nosocomial

  11. Electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by random sequential adsorption of linear k-mers onto a square lattice.

    PubMed

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu; Goltseva, Valeria A; Laptev, Valeri V; Lebovka, Nikolai I

    2016-10-01

    The electrical conductivity of a monolayer produced by the random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k-mers (particles occupying k adjacent adsorption sites) onto a square lattice was studied by means of computer simulation. Overlapping with predeposited k-mers and detachment from the surface were forbidden. The RSA process continued until the saturation jamming limit, p_{j}. The isotropic (equiprobable orientations of k-mers along x and y axes) and anisotropic (all k-mers aligned along the y axis) depositions for two different models-of an insulating substrate and conducting k-mers (C model) and of a conducting substrate and insulating k-mers (I model)-were examined. The Frank-Lobb algorithm was applied to calculate the electrical conductivity in both the x and y directions for different lengths (k=1 - 128) and concentrations (p=0 - p_{j}) of the k-mers. The "intrinsic electrical conductivity" and concentration dependence of the relative electrical conductivity Σ(p) (Σ=σ/σ_{m} for the C model and Σ=σ_{m}/σ for the I model, where σ_{m} is the electrical conductivity of substrate) in different directions were analyzed. At large values of k the Σ(p) curves became very similar and they almost coincided at k=128. Moreover, for both models the greater the length of the k-mers the smoother the functions Σ_{xy}(p),Σ_{x}(p) and Σ_{y}(p). For the more practically important C model, the other interesting findings are (i) for large values of k (k=64,128), the values of Σ_{xy} and Σ_{y} increase rapidly with the initial increase of p from 0 to 0.1; (ii) for k≥16, all the Σ_{xy}(p) and Σ_{x}(p) curves intersect with each other at the same isoconductivity points; (iii) for anisotropic deposition, the percolation concentrations are the same in the x and y directions, whereas, at the percolation point the greater the length of the k-mers the larger the anisotropy of the electrical conductivity, i.e., the ratio σ_{y}/σ_{x} (>1).

  12. Pseudo Cyclization through Intramolecular Hydrogen Bond Enables Discovery of Pyridine Substituted Pyrimidines as New Mer Kinase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Weihe; Zhang, Dehui; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Cummings, Christopher; Lee, Minjung; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M.; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P.; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.; Frye, Stephen V.; Wang, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    Abnormal activation or overexpression of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase has been implicated in survival signaling and chemoresistance in many human cancers. Consequently, Mer is a promising novel cancer therapeutic target. A structure-based drug design approach using a pseudo-ring replacement strategy was developed and validated to discover a new family of pyridinepyrimidine analogs as potent Mer inhibitors. Through SAR studies, 10 (UNC2250) was identified as the lead compound for further investigation based on high selectivity against other kinases and good pharmacokinetic properties. When applied to live cells, 10 inhibited steady-state phosphorylation of endogenous Mer with an IC50 of 9.8 nM and blocked ligand-stimulated activation of a chimeric EGFR-Mer protein. Treatment with 10 also resulted in decreased colony-forming potential in rhabdoid and NSCLC tumor cells, thereby demonstrating functional anti-tumor activity. The results provide a rationale for further investigation of this compound for therapeutic application in patients with cancer. PMID:24195762

  13. Pseudo-cyclization through intramolecular hydrogen bond enables discovery of pyridine substituted pyrimidines as new Mer kinase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weihe; Zhang, Dehui; Stashko, Michael A; DeRyckere, Deborah; Hunter, Debra; Kireev, Dmitri; Miley, Michael J; Cummings, Christopher; Lee, Minjung; Norris-Drouin, Jacqueline; Stewart, Wendy M; Sather, Susan; Zhou, Yingqiu; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Machius, Mischa; Janzen, William P; Earp, H Shelton; Graham, Douglas K; Frye, Stephen V; Wang, Xiaodong

    2013-12-12

    Abnormal activation or overexpression of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase has been implicated in survival signaling and chemoresistance in many human cancers. Consequently, Mer is a promising novel cancer therapeutic target. A structure-based drug design approach using a pseudo-ring replacement strategy was developed and validated to discover a new family of pyridinepyrimidine analogues as potent Mer inhibitors. Through SAR studies, 10 (UNC2250) was identified as the lead compound for further investigation based on high selectivity against other kinases and good pharmacokinetic properties. When applied to live cells, 10 inhibited steady-state phosphorylation of endogenous Mer with an IC50 of 9.8 nM and blocked ligand-stimulated activation of a chimeric EGFR-Mer protein. Treatment with 10 also resulted in decreased colony-forming potential in rhabdoid and NSCLC tumor cells, thereby demonstrating functional antitumor activity. The results provide a rationale for further investigation of this compound for therapeutic application in patients with cancer.

  14. The heptad repeat region is a major selection target in MERS-CoV and related coronaviruses

    PubMed Central

    Forni, Diego; Filippi, Giulia; Cagliani, Rachele; De Gioia, Luca; Pozzoli, Uberto; Al-Daghri, Nasser; Clerici, Mario; Sironi, Manuela

    2015-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) originated in bats and spread to humans via zoonotic transmission from camels. We analyzed the evolution of the spike (S) gene in betacoronaviruses (betaCoVs) isolated from different mammals, in bat coronavirus populations, as well as in MERS-CoV strains from the current outbreak. Results indicated several positively selected sites located in the region comprising the two heptad repeats (HR1 and HR2) and their linker. Two sites (R652 and V1060) were positively selected in the betaCoVs phylogeny and correspond to mutations associated with expanded host range in other coronaviruses. During the most recent evolution of MERS-CoV, adaptive mutations in the HR1 (Q/R/H1020) arose in camels or in a previous host and spread to humans. We determined that different residues at position 1020 establish distinct inter- and intra-helical interactions and affect the stability of the six-helix bundle formed by the HRs. A similar effect on stability was observed for a nearby mutation (T1015N) that increases MERS-CoV infection efficiency in vitro. Data herein indicate that the heptad repeat region was a major target of adaptive evolution in MERS-CoV-related viruses; these results are relevant for the design of fusion inhibitor peptides with antiviral function. PMID:26404138

  15. Identification and evaluation of potent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 3CL(Pro) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Vathan; Shin, Jin Soo; Shie, Jiun-Jie; Ku, Keun Bon; Kim, Chonsaeng; Go, Yun Young; Huang, Kai-Fa; Kim, Meehyein; Liang, Po-Huang

    2017-02-17

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe acute respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Up to date, it has resulted in 1826 human infections, including 649 deaths. Analogous to picornavirus 3C protease (3C(pro)), 3C-like protease (3CL(pro)) is critical for initiation of the MERS-CoV replication cycle and is thus regarded as a validated drug target. As presented here, our peptidomimetic inhibitors of enterovirus 3C(pro) (6b, 6c and 6d) inhibited 3CL(pro) of MERS-CoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) with IC50 values ranging from 1.7 to 4.7 μM and from 0.2 to 0.7 μM, respectively. In MERS-CoV-infected cells, the inhibitors showed antiviral activity with EC50 values ranging from 0.6 to 1.4 μM, by downregulating the viral protein production in cells as well as reducing secretion of infectious viral particles into culture supernatants. They also suppressed other α- and β-CoVs from human and feline origin. These compounds exhibited good selectivity index (over 70 against MERS-CoV) and could lead to the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs against emerging CoVs and picornaviruses.

  16. Application of State Analysis and Goal-based Operations to a MER Mission Scenario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, John Richard; Ingham, Michel D.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Rasmussen, Robert D.; Starbird, Thomas W.

    2006-01-01

    State Analysis is a model-based systems engineering methodology employing a rigorous discovery process which articulates operations concepts and operability needs as an integrated part of system design. The process produces requirements on system and software design in the form of explicit models which describe the system behavior in terms of state variables and the relationships among them. By applying State Analysis to an actual MER flight mission scenario, this study addresses the specific real world challenges of complex space operations and explores technologies that can be brought to bear on future missions. The paper first describes the tools currently used on a daily basis for MER operations planning and provides an in-depth description of the planning process, in the context of a Martian day's worth of rover engineering activities, resource modeling, flight rules, science observations, and more. It then describes how State Analysis allows for the specification of a corresponding goal-based sequence that accomplishes the same objectives, with several important additional benefits.

  17. Exploring the GalMer database: bar properties and non-circular motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randriamampandry, T. H.; Deg, N.; Carignan, C.; Combes, F.; Spekkens, K.

    2016-10-01

    Context. We use Tree-SPH simulations from the GalMer database to characterize and quantify the non-circular motions induced by the presence of bar-like structures on the observed rotation curve of barred galaxies derived from empirical models of their line-of-sight velocity maps. The GalMer database consists of SPH simulations of galaxies spanning a wide range of morphological types and sizes. Aims: The aim is to compare the intrinsic velocities and bar properties from the simulations with those derived from pseudo-observations. This allows us to estimate the amount of non-circularity and to test the various methods used to derive the bar properties and rotation curves. Methods: The intrinsic velocities in the simulations are calculated from the gravitational forces whereas the observed rotation velocities are derived by applying the ROTCUR and DiskFit algorithms to well-resolved observations of intermediate-inclination, strongly barred galaxies. Results: Our results confirm that the tilted ring method implemented in ROTCUR systematically underestimates or overestimates the rotational velocities by up to 40 percent in the inner part of the galaxy when the bar is aligned with one of the symmetry axes for all the models. For the DiskFit analysis, we find that it produces unrealistic values for all the models used in this work when the bar is within approximately ten degrees of the major or minor axis.

  18. Seasonal Variation of Aerosol Particle Size Using MER/Pancam Sky Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M. D.; Wolff, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Imaging of the sky taken by the Pancam cameras on-board the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) provide a useful tool for determining the optical depth and physcial properties of aerosols above the rover. Specifically, the brightness of the sky as a function of angle away from the Sun provides a powerful constraint on the size distribution and shape of dust and water ice aerosols. More than 100 Pancam "sky surveys" were taken by each of the two MER rovers covering a time span of several Mars years and a wide range of dust loading conditions including the planet-encirclind dust storm during Mars Year 28 (Earth year 2007). These sky surveys enable the time evolution of aerosol particle size to be determined including its relation to dust loading. Radiative transfer modeling is used to model the observations. Synthetic Pancam sky brightness is computed using a discrete-ordinates radiative transfer code that accounts for multiple scattering from aerosols and spherical geometry by integrating the source functions along curved paths in that coordinate system. We find that Mie scattering from spheres is not a good approximation for describing the angular variation of sky brightness far from the Sun (at scattering angles greater than 45 degrees). Significant seasonal variations are seen in the retrieved effective radius of the aerosols with higher optical depth strongly correlated with larger particle size.

  19. Genome Sizes of Nine Insect Species Determined by Flow Cytometry and k-mer Analysis

    PubMed Central

    He, Kang; Lin, Kejian; Wang, Guirong; Li, Fei

    2016-01-01

    The flow cytometry method was used to estimate the genome sizes of nine agriculturally important insects, including two coleopterans, five Hemipterans, and two hymenopterans. Among which, the coleopteran Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus (Kuschel) had the largest genome of 981 Mb. The average genome size was 504 Mb, suggesting that insects have a moderate-size genome. Compared with the insects in other orders, hymenopterans had small genomes, which were averagely about ~200 Mb. We found that the genome sizes of four insect species were different between male and female, showing the organismal complexity of insects. The largest difference occurred in the coconut leaf beetle Brontispa longissima (Gestro). The male coconut leaf beetle had a 111 Mb larger genome than females, which might be due to the chromosome number difference between the sexes. The results indicated that insect invasiveness was not related to genome size. We also determined the genome sizes of the small brown planthopper Laodelphax striatellus (Fallén) and the parasitic wasp Macrocentrus cingulum (Brischke) using k-mer analysis with Illunima Solexa sequencing data. There were slight differences in the results from the two methods. k-mer analysis indicated that the genome size of L. striatellus was 500–700 Mb and that of M. cingulum was ~150 Mb. In all, the genome sizes information presented here should be helpful for designing the genome sequencing strategy when necessary. PMID:27932995

  20. Acute viral respiratory infections among children in MERS-endemic Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Fagbo, Shamsudeen F; Garbati, Musa A; Hasan, Rami; AlShahrani, Dayel; Al-Shehri, Mohamed; AlFawaz, Tariq; Hakawi, Ahmed; Wani, Tariq Ahmad; Skakni, Leila

    2017-02-01

    The emergence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia has intensified focus on Acute Respiratory Infections [ARIs]. This study sought to identify respiratory viruses (RVs) associated with ARIs in children presenting at a tertiary hospital. Children (aged ≤13) presenting with ARI between January 2012 and December 2013 tested for 15 RVs using the Seeplex(R) RV15 kit were retrospectively included. Epidemiological data was retrieved from patient records. Of the 2235 children tested, 61.5% were ≤1 year with a male: female ratio of 3:2. Viruses were detected in 1364 (61.02%) children, 233 (10.4%) having dual infections: these viruses include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (24%), human rhinovirus (hRV) (19.7%), adenovirus (5.7%), influenza virus (5.3%), and parainfluenzavirus-3 (4.6%). Children, aged 9-11 months, were most infected (60.9%). Lower respiratory tract infections (55.4%) were significantly more than upper respiratory tract infection (45.3%) (P < 0.001). Seasonal variation of RV was directly and inversely proportional to relative humidity and temperature, respectively, for non MERS coronaviruses (NL63, 229E, and OC43). The study confirms community-acquired RV associated with ARI in children and suggests modulating roles for abiotic factors in RV epidemiology. However, community-based studies are needed to elucidate how these factors locally influence RV epidemiology. J. Med. Virol. 89:195-201, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. The emergence of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

    PubMed Central

    Milne-Price, Shauna; Miazgowicz, Kerri L.; Munster, Vincent J.

    2014-01-01

    On September 20, 2012, a Saudi Arabian physician reported the isolation of a novel coronavirus from a patient with pneumonia on ProMED-mail. Within a few days the same virus was detected in a Qatari patient receiving intensive care in a London hospital, a situation reminiscent of the role air travel played in the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002. SARS-CoV originated in China’s Guangdong Province and affected more than 8000 patients in 26 countries before it was contained six months later. Over a year after the emergence of this novel coronavirus—Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)—it has caused 178 laboratory confirmed cases and 76 deaths The emergence of a second highly pathogenic coronavirus within a decade highlights the importance of a coordinated global response incorporating reservoir surveillance, high-containment capacity with fundamental and applied research programs, and dependable communication pathways to ensure outbreak containment. Here we review the current state of knowledge on the epidemiology, ecology, molecular biology, clinical features and intervention strategies of the novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV. PMID:24585737

  2. A 17-mer Membrane-Active MSI-78 Derivative with Improved Selectivity toward Bacterial Cells.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Claudia; Pinheiro, Marina; Fernandes, Mariana; Maia, Sílvia; Seabra, Catarina L; Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico; Reis, Salette; Gomes, Paula; Martins, M Cristina L

    2015-08-03

    Antimicrobial peptides are widely recognized as an excellent alternative to conventional antibiotics. MSI-78, a highly effective and broad spectrum AMP, is one of the most promising AMPs for clinical application. In this study, we have designed shorter derivatives of MSI-78 with the aim of improving selectivity while maintaining antimicrobial activity. Shorter 17-mer derivatives were created by truncating MSI-78 at the N- and/or C-termini, while spanning MSI-78 sequence. Despite the truncations made, we found a 17-mer peptide, MSI-78(4-20) (KFLKKAKKFGKAFVKIL), which was demonstrated to be as effective as MSI-78 against the Gram-positive Staphylococcus strains tested and the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This shorter derivative is more selective toward bacterial cells as it was less toxic to erythrocytes than MSI-78, representing an improved version of the lead peptide. Biophysical studies support a mechanism of action for MSI-78(4-20) based on the disruption of the bacterial membrane permeability barrier, which in turn leads to loss of membrane integrity and ultimately to cell death. These features point to a mechanism of action similar to the one described for the lead peptide MSI-78.

  3. Mineralogy at Meridiani Planum, Mars, from the MER Opportunity Mössbauer Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klingelhöfer, G.; Morris, R. V.; Rodionov, D.; Schröder, C.; Yen, A.; Ming, D. W.; Fleischer, I.

    The Mars Exploration Rover MER Opportunity landed in Eagle crater Meridiani Planum on 24 January 2004 1 This landing site was chosen on an engineering basis because the region seemed to be flat and smooth favoring a save landing and because hematite alpha -Fe 2 O 3 was detected from orbit by the MGO Thermal Emission Spectrometer TES in significant quantities Hematite can form in different ways including aqueous processes After landing Opportunity with its M o ssbauer MB spectrometer investigated soils and outcrop material present in Eagle crater before exploring the plains and several other craters In contrast to the Spirit landing site at Gusev crater the surface within Eagle crater and the surrounding plains are not heavily covered with large rock fragments The surface is very flat and smooth with some wind ripples on the top and with several craters of different sizes up to sim 200 m diameter where exposed outcrop material similar to Eagle crater is found The scientific objective of the MB spectrometer MIMOS II on MER 3 is to identify the Fe-bearing minerals and phases provide quantitative information about the amount of these minerals and phases present in soils and rocks and the oxidation state and coordination state of Fe In Meridiani Planum MB could identify four main mineralogical components 1 2 i a ferric sulfate called jarosite present in significant amounts in the hematite- and sulfate-rich outcrop rock unit covering the surface and craters of Meridiani Planum along Opportunity s traverse

  4. MERS-CoV in Upper Respiratory Tract and Lungs of Dromedary Camels, Saudi Arabia, 2013-2014.

    PubMed

    Khalafalla, Abdelmalik I; Lu, Xiaoyan; Al-Mubarak, Abdullah I A; Dalab, Abdul Hafeed S; Al-Busadah, Khalid A S; Erdman, Dean D

    2015-07-01

    To assess the temporal dynamics of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in dromedary camels, specimens were collected at 1-2 month intervals from 2 independent groups of animals during April 2013-May 2014 in Al-Ahsa Province, Saudi Arabia, and tested for MERS-CoV RNA by reverse transcription PCR. Of 96 live camels, 28 (29.2%) nasal swab samples were positive; of 91 camel carcasses, 56 (61.5%) lung tissue samples were positive. Positive samples were more commonly found among young animals (<4 years of age) than adults (>4 years of age). The proportions of positive samples varied by month for both groups; detection peaked during November 2013 and January 2014 and declined in March and May 2014. These findings further our understanding of MERS-CoV infection in dromedary camels and may help inform intervention strategies to reduce zoonotic infections.

  5. The Effects of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Work Schedule Regime on Locomotor Activity Circadian Rhythms, Sleep and Fatigue

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeRoshia, Charles W.; Colletti, Laura C.; Mallis, Melissa M.

    2008-01-01

    This study assessed human adaptation to a Mars sol by evaluating sleep metrics obtained by actigraphy and subjective responses in 22 participants, and circadian rhythmicity in locomotor activity in 9 participants assigned to Mars Exploration Rover (MER) operational work schedules (24.65 hour days) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2004. During MER operations, increased work shift durations and reduced sleep durations and time in bed were associated with the appearance of pronounced 12-hr (circasemidian) rhythms with reduced activity levels. Sleep duration, workload, and circadian rhythm stability have important implications for adaptability and maintenance of operational performance not only of MER operations personnel but also in space crews exposed to a Mars sol of 24.65 hours during future Mars missions.

  6. Detection of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus using reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The first documented case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) occurred in 2012, and outbreaks have continued ever since, mainly in Saudi Arabia. MERS-CoV is primarily diagnosed using a real-time RT-PCR assay, with at least two different genomic targets required for a positive diagnosis according to the case definition of The World Health Organization (WHO) as of 3 July 2013. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to develop as many specific genetic diagnostic methods as possible to allow stable diagnosis of MERS-CoV infections. Methods Reverse transcription-loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) is a genetic diagnostic method used widely for the detection of viral pathogens, which requires only a single temperature for amplification, and can be completed in less than 1 h. This study developed a novel RT-LAMP assay for detecting MERS-CoV using primer sets targeting a conserved nucleocapsid protein region. Results The RT-LAMP assay was capable of detecting as few as 3.4 copies of MERS-CoV RNA, and was highly specific, with no cross-reaction to other respiratory viruses. Pilot experiments to detect MERS-CoV from medium containing pharyngeal swabs inoculated with pre-titrated viruses were also performed. The RT-LAMP assay exhibited sensitivity similar to that of MERS-CoV real-time RT-PCR. Conclusions These results suggest that the RT-LAMP assay described here is a useful tool for the diagnosis and epidemiologic surveillance of human MERS-CoV infections. PMID:25103205

  7. Mer or Axl receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition promotes apoptosis, blocks growth and enhances chemosensitivity of human non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Linger, R M A; Cohen, R A; Cummings, C T; Sather, S; Migdall-Wilson, J; Middleton, D H G; Lu, X; Barón, A E; Franklin, W A; Merrick, D T; Jedlicka, P; DeRyckere, D; Heasley, L E; Graham, D K

    2013-07-18

    Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a prevalent and devastating disease that claims more lives than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. Current research suggests that standard chemotherapy regimens have been optimized to maximal efficiency. Promising new treatment strategies involve novel agents targeting molecular aberrations present in subsets of NSCLC. We evaluated 88 human NSCLC tumors of diverse histology and identified Mer and Axl as receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) overexpressed in 69% and 93%, respectively, of tumors relative to surrounding normal lung tissue. Mer and Axl were also frequently overexpressed and activated in NSCLC cell lines. Ligand-dependent Mer or Axl activation stimulated MAPK, AKT and FAK signaling pathways indicating roles for these RTKs in multiple oncogenic processes. In addition, we identified a novel pro-survival pathway-involving AKT, CREB, Bcl-xL, survivin, and Bcl-2-downstream of Mer, which is differentially modulated by Axl signaling. We demonstrated that short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of Mer or Axl significantly reduced NSCLC colony formation and growth of subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. Mer or Axl knockdown also improved in vitro NSCLC sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents by promoting apoptosis. When comparing the effects of Mer and Axl knockdown, Mer inhibition exhibited more complete blockade of tumor growth while Axl knockdown more robustly improved chemosensitivity. These results indicate that Mer and Axl have complementary and overlapping roles in NSCLC and suggest that treatment strategies targeting both RTKs may be more effective than singly-targeted agents. Our findings validate Mer and Axl as potential therapeutic targets in NSCLC and provide justification for development of novel therapeutic compounds that selectively inhibit Mer and/or Axl.

  8. Structural Analysis of the Hg(II)-Regulatory Protein Tn501 MerR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dan; Huang, Shanqing; Liu, Pingying; Liu, Xichun; He, Yafeng; Chen, Weizhong; Hu, Qingyuan; Wei, Tianbiao; Gan, Jianhua; Ma, Jing; Chen, Hao

    2016-09-01

    The metalloprotein MerR is a mercury(II)-dependent transcriptional repressor-activator that responds to mercury(II) with extraordinary sensitivity and selectivity. It’s widely distributed in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but with barely detectable sequence identities between the two sources. To provide structural basis for the considerable biochemical and biophysical experiments previously performed on Tn501 and Tn21 MerR from Gram-negative bacteria, we analyzed the crystal structure of mercury(II)-bound Tn501 MerR. The structure in the metal-binding domain provides Tn501 MerR with a high affinity for mercury(II) and the ability to distinguish mercury(II) from other metals with its unique planar trigonal coordination geometry, which is adopted by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The mercury(II) coordination state in the C-terminal metal-binding domain is transmitted through the allosteric network across the dimer interface to the N-terminal DNA-binding domain. Together with the previous mutagenesis analyses, the present data indicate that the residues in the allosteric pathway have a central role in maintaining the functions of Tn501 MerR. In addition, the complex structure exhibits significant differences in tertiary and quaternary structural arrangements compared to those of Bacillus MerR from Gram-positive bacteria, which probably enable them to function with specific promoter DNA with different spacers between ‑35 and ‑10 elements.

  9. Critical Assessment of the Important Residues Involved in the Dimerization and Catalysis of MERS Coronavirus Main Protease

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Bo-Lin; Cheng, Shu-Chun; Shi, Lin; Wang, Ting-Yun; Ho, Kuan-I; Chou, Chi-Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Background A highly pathogenic human coronavirus (CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has emerged in Jeddah and other places in Saudi Arabia, and has quickly spread to European and Asian countries since September 2012. Up to the 1st October 2015 it has infected at least 1593 people with a global fatality rate of about 35%. Studies to understand the virus are necessary and urgent. In the present study, MERS-CoV main protease (Mpro) is expressed; the dimerization of the protein and its relationship to catalysis are investigated. Methods and Results The crystal structure of MERS-CoV Mpro indicates that it shares a similar scaffold to that of other coronaviral Mpro and consists of chymotrypsin-like domains I and II and a helical domain III of five helices. Analytical ultracentrifugation analysis demonstrated that MERS-CoV Mpro undergoes a monomer to dimer conversion in the presence of a peptide substrate. Glu169 is a key residue and plays a dual role in both dimerization and catalysis. The mutagenesis of other residues found on the dimerization interface indicate that dimerization of MERS-CoV Mpro is required for its catalytic activity. One mutation, M298R, resulted in a stable dimer with a higher level of proteolytic activity than the wild-type enzyme. Conclusions MERS-CoV Mpro shows substrate-induced dimerization and potent proteolytic activity. A critical assessment of the residues important to these processes provides insights into the correlation between dimerization and catalysis within the coronaviral Mpro family. PMID:26658006

  10. Structural Analysis of the Hg(II)-Regulatory Protein Tn501 MerR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dan; Huang, Shanqing; Liu, Pingying; Liu, Xichun; He, Yafeng; Chen, Weizhong; Hu, Qingyuan; Wei, Tianbiao; Gan, Jianhua; Ma, Jing; Chen, Hao

    2016-01-01

    The metalloprotein MerR is a mercury(II)-dependent transcriptional repressor-activator that responds to mercury(II) with extraordinary sensitivity and selectivity. It’s widely distributed in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria but with barely detectable sequence identities between the two sources. To provide structural basis for the considerable biochemical and biophysical experiments previously performed on Tn501 and Tn21 MerR from Gram-negative bacteria, we analyzed the crystal structure of mercury(II)-bound Tn501 MerR. The structure in the metal-binding domain provides Tn501 MerR with a high affinity for mercury(II) and the ability to distinguish mercury(II) from other metals with its unique planar trigonal coordination geometry, which is adopted by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The mercury(II) coordination state in the C-terminal metal-binding domain is transmitted through the allosteric network across the dimer interface to the N-terminal DNA-binding domain. Together with the previous mutagenesis analyses, the present data indicate that the residues in the allosteric pathway have a central role in maintaining the functions of Tn501 MerR. In addition, the complex structure exhibits significant differences in tertiary and quaternary structural arrangements compared to those of Bacillus MerR from Gram-positive bacteria, which probably enable them to function with specific promoter DNA with different spacers between −35 and −10 elements. PMID:27641146

  11. Identification of residues on human receptor DPP4 critical for MERS-CoV binding and entry

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Wenfei; Wang, Ying; Wang, Nianshuang; Wang, Dongli; Guo, Jianying; Fu, Lili; Shi, Xuanling

    2014-12-15

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infects host cells through binding the receptor binding domain (RBD) on its spike glycoprotein to human receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4). Here, we report identification of critical residues on hDPP4 for RBD binding and virus entry through analysis of a panel of hDPP4 mutants. Based on the RBD–hDPP4 crystal structure we reported, the mutated residues were located at the interface between RBD and hDPP4, which potentially changed the polarity, hydrophobic or hydrophilic properties of hDPP4, thereby interfering or disrupting their interaction with RBD. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding analysis and pseudovirus infection assay, we showed that several residues in hDPP4–RBD binding interface were important on hDPP4–RBD binding and viral entry. These results provide atomic insights into the features of interactions between hDPP4 and MERS-CoV RBD, and also provide potential explanation for cellular and species tropism of MERS-CoV infection. - Highlights: • It has been demonstrated that MERS-CoV infects host cells through binding its envelope spike (S) glycoprotein to the host cellular receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4). • To identify the critical residues on hDPP4 for RBD binding and virus entry, we constructed a panel of hDPP4 mutants based on structure-guided mutagenesis. • Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding analysis and pseudovirus infection assay, we showed that several residues on hDPP4 had significant impacts on virus/receptor interactions and viral entry. • Our study has provided new insights into the features of interactions between hDPP4 and MERS-CoV RBD, and provides potential explanation for cellular and species tropism of MERS-CoV infection.

  12. Assessing the risk of observing multiple generations of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) cases given an imported case.

    PubMed

    Nishiura, H; Miyamatsu, Y; Chowell, G; Saitoh, M

    2015-07-09

    To guide risk assessment, expected numbers of cases and generations were estimated, assuming a case importation of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Our analysis of 36 importation events yielded the risk of observing secondary transmission events at 22.7% (95% confidence interval: 19.3–25.1). The risks of observing generations 2, 3 and 4 were estimated at 10.5%, 6.1% and 3.9%, respectively. Countries at risk should be ready for highly variable outcomes following an importation of MERS.

  13. MERS-CoV at the Animal-Human Interface: Inputs on Exposure Pathways from an Expert-Opinion Elicitation.

    PubMed

    Funk, Anna L; Goutard, Flavie Luce; Miguel, Eve; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Chevalier, Veronique; Faye, Bernard; Peiris, J S Malik; Van Kerkhove, Maria D; Roger, Francois Louis

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 4 years after the first report of the emergence of Middle-East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and nearly 1800 human cases later, the ecology of MERS-CoV, its epidemiology, and more than risk factors of MERS-CoV transmission between camels are poorly understood. Knowledge about the pathways and mechanisms of transmission from animals to humans is limited; as of yet, transmission risks have not been quantified. Moreover the divergent sanitary situations and exposures to animals among populations in the Arabian Peninsula, where human primary cases appear to dominate, vs. other regions in the Middle East and Africa, with no reported human clinical cases and where the virus has been detected only in dromedaries, represents huge scientific and health challenges. Here, we have used expert-opinion elicitation in order to obtain ideas on relative importance of MERS-CoV risk factors and estimates of transmission risks from various types of contact between humans and dromedaries. Fourteen experts with diverse and extensive experience in MERS-CoV relevant fields were enrolled and completed an online questionnaire that examined pathways based on several scenarios, e.g., camels-camels, camels-human, bats/other species to camels/humans, and the role of diverse biological substances (milk, urine, etc.) and potential fomites. Experts believed that dromedary camels play the largest role in MERS-CoV infection of other dromedaries; however, they also indicated a significant influence of the season (i.e. calving or weaning periods) on transmission risk. All experts thought that MERS-CoV-infected dromedaries and asymptomatic humans play the most important role in infection of humans, with bats and other species presenting a possible, but yet undefined, risk. Direct and indirect contact of humans with dromedary camels were identified as the most risky types of contact, when compared to consumption of various camel products, with estimated "most likely" incidence

  14. MERS-CoV at the Animal–Human Interface: Inputs on Exposure Pathways from an Expert-Opinion Elicitation

    PubMed Central

    Funk, Anna L.; Goutard, Flavie Luce; Miguel, Eve; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Chevalier, Veronique; Faye, Bernard; Peiris, J. S. Malik; Van Kerkhove, Maria D.; Roger, Francois Louis

    2016-01-01

    Nearly 4 years after the first report of the emergence of Middle-East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and nearly 1800 human cases later, the ecology of MERS-CoV, its epidemiology, and more than risk factors of MERS-CoV transmission between camels are poorly understood. Knowledge about the pathways and mechanisms of transmission from animals to humans is limited; as of yet, transmission risks have not been quantified. Moreover the divergent sanitary situations and exposures to animals among populations in the Arabian Peninsula, where human primary cases appear to dominate, vs. other regions in the Middle East and Africa, with no reported human clinical cases and where the virus has been detected only in dromedaries, represents huge scientific and health challenges. Here, we have used expert-opinion elicitation in order to obtain ideas on relative importance of MERS-CoV risk factors and estimates of transmission risks from various types of contact between humans and dromedaries. Fourteen experts with diverse and extensive experience in MERS-CoV relevant fields were enrolled and completed an online questionnaire that examined pathways based on several scenarios, e.g., camels–camels, camels–human, bats/other species to camels/humans, and the role of diverse biological substances (milk, urine, etc.) and potential fomites. Experts believed that dromedary camels play the largest role in MERS-CoV infection of other dromedaries; however, they also indicated a significant influence of the season (i.e. calving or weaning periods) on transmission risk. All experts thought that MERS-CoV-infected dromedaries and asymptomatic humans play the most important role in infection of humans, with bats and other species presenting a possible, but yet undefined, risk. Direct and indirect contact of humans with dromedary camels were identified as the most risky types of contact, when compared to consumption of various camel products, with estimated “most likely

  15. The use of microarrays in microbial ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Andersen, G.L.; He, Z.; DeSantis, T.Z.; Brodie, E.L.; Zhou, J.

    2009-09-15

    Microarrays have proven to be a useful and high-throughput method to provide targeted DNA sequence information for up to many thousands of specific genetic regions in a single test. A microarray consists of multiple DNA oligonucleotide probes that, under high stringency conditions, hybridize only to specific complementary nucleic acid sequences (targets). A fluorescent signal indicates the presence and, in many cases, the abundance of genetic regions of interest. In this chapter we will look at how microarrays are used in microbial ecology, especially with the recent increase in microbial community DNA sequence data. Of particular interest to microbial ecologists, phylogenetic microarrays are used for the analysis of phylotypes in a community and functional gene arrays are used for the analysis of functional genes, and, by inference, phylotypes in environmental samples. A phylogenetic microarray that has been developed by the Andersen laboratory, the PhyloChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that targets the known diversity within the 16S rRNA gene to determine microbial community composition. Using multiple, confirmatory probes to increase the confidence of detection and a mismatch probe for every perfect match probe to minimize the effect of cross-hybridization by non-target regions, the PhyloChip is able to simultaneously identify any of thousands of taxa present in an environmental sample. The PhyloChip is shown to reveal greater diversity within a community than rRNA gene sequencing due to the placement of the entire gene product on the microarray compared with the analysis of up to thousands of individual molecules by traditional sequencing methods. A functional gene array that has been developed by the Zhou laboratory, the GeoChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that dynamically identifies functional activities of multiple members within a community. The recent version of GeoChip contains more than 24,000 50mer

  16. Microbial Community Analysis of a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell Using Potato Wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Zhen Li; Rishika Haynes; Eugene Sato; Malcolm Shields; Yoshiko Fujita; Chikashi Sato

    2014-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy via bioelectrochemical reactions mediated by microorganisms. We investigated the diversity of the microbial community in an air cathode single chamber MFC that utilized potato-process wastewater as substrate. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) results indicated that the bacterial communities on the anode, cathode, control electrode, and MFC bulk fluid were similar, but differed dramatically from that of the anaerobic domestic sludge and potato wastewater inoculum. The 16S rDNA sequencing results showed that microbial species detected on the anode were predominantly within the phyla of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Fluorescent microscopy results indicated that there was a clear enhancement of biofilm formation on the anode. Results of this study could help improve understanding of the complexity of microbial communities and optimize the microbial composition for generating electricity by MFCs that utilize potato wastewater.

  17. Microbial community analysis of a single chamber microbial fuel cell using potato wastewater.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhen; Haynes, Rishika; Sato, Eugene; Shields, Malcolm S; Fujita, Yoshiko; Sato, Chikashi

    2014-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy via bio-electrochemical reactions mediated by microorganisms. This study investigated the diversity of the microbial community in an air cathode single chamber MFC that used potato-process wastewater as substrate. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism results indicated that the bacterial communities on the anode, cathode, control electrode, and MFC bulk fluid were similar, but differed dramatically from that of the anaerobic domestic sludge and potato wastewater inoculum. The 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing results showed that microbial species detected on the anode were predominantly within the phyla of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Fluorescent microscopy results indicated that there was a clear enhancement of biofilm formation on the anode. Results of this study could help improve understanding of the complexity of microbial communities and optimize the microbial composition for generating electricity by MFCs that use potato wastewater.

  18. Specificity of marine microbial surface interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Imam, S H; Bard, R F; Tosteson, T R

    1984-01-01

    The macromolecular surface components involved in intraspecific cell surface interactions of the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris and closely associated bacteria were investigated. The specific surface attachment between this alga and its associated bacteria is mediated by lectin-like macromolecules associated with the surfaces of these cells. The binding activity of these surface polymers was inhibited by specific simple sugars; this suggests the involvement of specific receptor-ligand binding sites on the interactive surfaces. Epifluorescent microscopic evaluation of bacteria-alga interactions in the presence and absence of the macromolecules that mediate these interactions showed that the glycoproteins active in these processes were specific to the microbial sources from which they were obtained. The demonstration and definition of the specificity of these interactions in mixed microbial populations may play an important role in our understanding of the dynamics of marine microbial populations in the sea. PMID:6508293

  19. Anticorrosive Microbial Polysaccharides: Structure-Function Relationships

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water-soluble microbial polysaccharides are often implicated in biofilm formation and are believed to mediate cell-cell aggregation and adhesion to surfaces. Generally, biofilm formation is considered harmful or undesirable, as it leads to increased drag, plugging of pores, dimished heat transfer, ...

  20. MER Field Geologic Traverse in Gusev Crater, Mars: Initial Results From the Perspective of Spirit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crumpler, L.; Cabrol, N.; desMarais, D.; Farmer, J.; Golmbek, M.; Grant, J.; Greely, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Haskin, L.; Arvidson, R.

    2004-01-01

    This report casts the initial results of the traverse and science investigations by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit at Gusev crater [1] in terms of data sets commonly used in field geologic investigations: Local mapping of geologic features, analyses of selected samples, and their location within the local map, and the regional context of the field traverse in terms of the larger geologic and physiographic region. These elements of the field method are represented in the MER characterization of the Gusev traverse by perspective-based geologic/morphologic maps, the placement of the results from Mossbauer, APXS, Microscopic Imager, Mini-TES and Pancam multispectral studies in context within this geologic/ morphologic map, and the placement of the overall traverse in the context of narrow-angle MOC (Mars Orbiter Camera) and descent images. A major campaign over a significance fraction of the mission will be the first robotic traverse of the ejecta from a Martian impact crater along an approximate radial from the crater center. The Mars Exploration Rovers have been conceptually described as 'robotic field geologists', that is, a suite of instruments with mobility that enables far-field traverses to multiple sites located within a regional map/image base at which in situ analyses may be done. Initial results from MER, where the field geologic method has been used throughout the initial course of the investigation, confirm that this field geologic model is applicable for remote planetary surface exploration. The field geologic method makes use of near-field geologic characteristics ('outcrops') to develop an understanding of the larger geologic context through continuous loop of rational steps focused on real-time hypothesis identification and testing. This poster equates 'outcrops' with the locations of in situ investigations and 'regional context' with the geology over distance of several kilometers. Using this fundamental field geologic method, we have

  1. mer-Tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)iridium(III): preparation and comparison with other mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)metal complexes.

    PubMed

    Brown, Loren C; DuChane, Christine M; Merola, Joseph S

    2016-09-01

    The title complex, [IrCl3(C4H8S)3], was prepared according to a literature method. A suitable crystal was obtained by diffusion of pentane into a di-chloro-methane solution and analyzed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction at 100 K. The title complex is isotypic with mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)rhodium(III). However, the orientation of the tetra-hydro-thio-phene rings is different from an earlier report of mer-tri-chlorido-tris-(tetra-hydro-thio-phene-κS)iridium(III) deposited in the Cambridge Structural Database. The IrS3Cl3 core shows a nearly octa-hedral structure with various bond angles within 1-2° of the perfect 90 or 180° expected for an octa-hedron. The structure of the title compound is compared with the previous iridium complex as well as the rhodium and other octa-hedral metal tris-tetra-hydro-thio-phene compounds previously structurally characterized. DFT calculations were performed, which indicate the mer isomer is significantly lower in energy than the fac isomer by 50.1 kJ mol(-1), thereby accounting for all compounds in the CSD being of the mer geometry. Powder X-ray diffraction of the bulk material showed that the preparation method yielded only the isomorph reported in this communication.

  2. Support for marine microbial ecology research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-04-01

    Support for marine microbial ecology research A new research competition will provide support to innovative scientists in marine microbial ecology and related fields, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced on 30 March. The foundation's Investigators in Marine Microbiology program will select 10-15 current and emerging leaders based on their potential to conduct cutting-edge research on the principles that govern microbially mediated nutrient flow and the interactions among marine microbes in ocean ecosystems. The foundation will invest a total of $25 million in the new investigator program over the next 5 years. The competition is open to researchers around the world at varying stages of their careers who represent a variety of scientific backgrounds, including microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, evolutionary biology, and bioinformatics.

  3. Reproducible Synthesis and High Porosity of mer-Zn(Im)2 (ZIF-10): Exploitation of an Apparent Double-Eight Ring Template.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Joseph R; Yang, Haiyang; Kane, Christopher M; Ley, Amanda N; Holman, K Travis

    2016-09-21

    Reproducible synthesis of the elusive merlinoite (mer) topology of zinc imidazolate (mer-Zn(Im)2, or ZIF-10) has been achieved by employing a simple macrocyclic solute-MeMeCH2-as a kinetic template. The corresponding phase-pure material, mer-MeMeCH2@Zn16(Im)32, is confirmed to be porous and exhibits one of the highest experimental surface areas (1893 m(2)/g, BET) yet reported for any ZIF. The X-ray single crystal structure of mer-MeMeCH2@Zn16(Im)32·xsolvent reveals the role of the macrocyle as an 8-fold hydrogen bond acceptor in templating the requisite double-eight rings (d8r) of the mer framework.

  4. A View from the Cheap Seats: MER and its Implications for Future Mars Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leshin, L. A.; Minitti, M.; Cosarinsky, M.; McAdam, A.; Niles, P.

    2004-12-01

    The spectacular success of the Mars Exploration Rover mission is reflected by the exciting scientific discoveries that Spirit and Opportunity have made concerning habitability potential and geologic history of two sites on Mars. The apparent discovery of strong evidence for the presence of liquid water at the Opportunity site is of historic importance (although at the time of this writing we must note that there is not yet any peer-reviewed publication of this result). But perhaps even more importantly, the success of MER provides key validation of a strategy and approach to Mars exploration. Here, we highlight some of the strategic successes, as well as lessons learned for refining our approach to Mars exploration, and for future exploration endeavors across the solar system and beyond. Almost more than imaginable, MER has validated both the "follow the water" strategy and the "seek-in situ-sample" approach of the Mars Exploration Program developed by a broad, inclusive group of Mars explorers. Seeking interesting, water-relevant sites with remote observations from orbit resulted in one clear success at Meridiani, and in perhaps what is most optimistically termed "delayed success" at Gusev. Three lessons from this are clear. First, it's always better to fly two spacecraft! Second, significant mobility enables greatly enhanced science return. Third, mineralogical evidence appears more reliable than geomorphic evidence if the goal is to seek preserved evidence of aqueous processes (Pathfinder results also support this observation), although the combination of mineralogical information with high-resolution imagery is almost certainly the best way to optimize for success. The 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's spectral mapping and imaging capability will thus be critical to future landing site selection. And yet, it is important to note that in spite of mineralogical evidence pointing to Meridiani as a site of "aqueous interest", and the detailed regional geological

  5. Contributions from Particles in Europe (PiE) 2010, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France: an introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikkelsen, Ole A.; Chami, Malik; Doxaran, David

    2012-04-01

    This special issue of Geo-Marine Letters presents selected contributions from the international conference Particles in Europe (PiE) 2010 organized by Sequoia Scientific, Inc., and the Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche (LOV) on 15-17 November 2010 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, and guest-edited by Ole Mikkelsen, Malik Chami and David Doxaran. PiE was initiated in 2008, in order to promote and further our understanding of the importance of suspended particulate matter (SPM) for a very wide range of processes in the aquatic environment—from optics and acoustics, over sediment transport, to the global carbon balance. The papers in this special issue are in particular concerned with the interaction between SPM and water optical properties, as well as how to use optical proxy measurements to understand SPM processes. The next PiE conference is scheduled for 17-19 October 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

  6. T-cell immunity of SARS-CoV: Implications for vaccine development against MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Liu, William J; Zhao, Min; Liu, Kefang; Xu, Kun; Wong, Gary; Tan, Wenjie; Gao, George F

    2017-01-01

    Over 12 years have elapsed since severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) triggered the first global alert for coronavirus infections. Virus transmission in humans was quickly halted by public health measures and human infections of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) have not been observed since. However, other coronaviruses still pose a continuous threat to human health, as exemplified by the recent emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in humans. The work on SARS-CoV widens our knowledge on the epidemiology, pathophysiology and immunology of coronaviruses and may shed light on MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It has been confirmed that T-cell immunity plays an important role in recovery from SARS-CoV infection. Herein, we summarize T-cell immunological studies of SARS-CoV and discuss the potential cross-reactivity of the SARS-CoV-specific immunity against MERS-CoV, which may provide useful recommendations for the development of broad-spectrum vaccines against coronavirus infections.

  7. Concerted action of the MutLβ heterodimer and Mer3 helicase regulates the global extent of meiotic gene conversion

    PubMed Central

    Duroc, Yann; Kumar, Rajeev; Ranjha, Lepakshi; Adam, Céline; Guérois, Raphaël; Md Muntaz, Khan; Marsolier-Kergoat, Marie-Claude; Dingli, Florent; Laureau, Raphaëlle; Loew, Damarys; Llorente, Bertrand; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste; Cejka, Petr; Borde, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Gene conversions resulting from meiotic recombination are critical in shaping genome diversification and evolution. How the extent of gene conversions is regulated is unknown. Here we show that the budding yeast mismatch repair related MutLβ complex, Mlh1-Mlh2, specifically interacts with the conserved meiotic Mer3 helicase, which recruits it to recombination hotspots, independently of mismatch recognition. This recruitment is essential to limit gene conversion tract lengths genome-wide, without affecting crossover formation. Contrary to expectations, Mer3 helicase activity, proposed to extend the displacement loop (D-loop) recombination intermediate, does not influence the length of gene conversion events, revealing non-catalytical roles of Mer3. In addition, both purified Mer3 and MutLβ preferentially recognize D-loops, providing a mechanism for limiting gene conversion in vivo. These findings show that MutLβ is an integral part of a new regulatory step of meiotic recombination, which has implications to prevent rapid allele fixation and hotspot erosion in populations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21900.001 PMID:28051769

  8. Concerted action of the MutLβ heterodimer and Mer3 helicase regulates the global extent of meiotic gene conversion.

    PubMed

    Duroc, Yann; Kumar, Rajeev; Ranjha, Lepakshi; Adam, Céline; Guérois, Raphaël; Md Muntaz, Khan; Marsolier-Kergoat, Marie-Claude; Dingli, Florent; Laureau, Raphaëlle; Loew, Damarys; Llorente, Bertrand; Charbonnier, Jean-Baptiste; Cejka, Petr; Borde, Valérie

    2017-01-04

    Gene conversions resulting from meiotic recombination are critical in shaping genome diversification and evolution. How the extent of gene conversions is regulated is unknown. Here we show that the budding yeast mismatch repair related MutLβ complex, Mlh1-Mlh2, specifically interacts with the conserved meiotic Mer3 helicase, which recruits it to recombination hotspots, independently of mismatch recognition. This recruitment is essential to limit gene conversion tract lengths genome-wide, without affecting crossover formation. Contrary to expectations, Mer3 helicase activity, proposed to extend the displacement loop (D-loop) recombination intermediate, does not influence the length of gene conversion events, revealing non-catalytical roles of Mer3. In addition, both purified Mer3 and MutLβ preferentially recognize D-loops, providing a mechanism for limiting gene conversion in vivo. These findings show that MutLβ is an integral part of a new regulatory step of meiotic recombination, which has implications to prevent rapid allele fixation and hotspot erosion in populations.

  9. The Miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometers MIMOS II on MER: Four Years of Operation - A Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleischer, I.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Morris, R. V.; Rodionov, D.; Blumers, M.; Bernhardt, B.; Schroeder, C.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Cohen, B. A.; McCoy, T. J.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Schmidt, M. E.; Girones Lopez, J.; Studlek, G.; Brueckner, J.; Gellert, R.; d'Uston, C.

    2008-01-01

    The two Miniaturized Moessbauer Spectrometers (MIMOS II) on board the two Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have now been collecting important scientific data for more than four years. The spectrometers provide information about Fe-bearing mineral phases and determine Fe oxidation states. The total amount of targets analized exceeds 600, the total integration time exceeds 260 days for both rovers. Since landing, more than five half-lives of the Co-57 MB sources have past (intensity at the time of landing approx. 150 mCi). Current integration times are about 50 hours in order to achieve reasonable statistics as opposed to 8 hours at the beginning of the mission. In total, 13 different mineral phases were detected: Olivine, pyroxene, hematite, magnetite and nanophase ferric oxide were detected at both landing sites. At Gusev, ilmenite, goethite, a ferric sulfate phase and a yet unassigned phase (in the rock Fuzzy Smith) were detected. At Meridiani, jarosite, metallic iron in meteoritic samples (kamacite), troilite, and an unassigned ferric phase were detected. Jarosite and goethite are of special interest, as these minerals are indicators for water activity. In this abstract, an overview of Moessbauer results will be given, with a focus on data obtained since the last martian winter. The MER mission has proven that Moessbauer spectroscopy is a valuable tool for the in situ exploration of extraterrestrial bodies and for the study of Febearing samples. The experience gained through the MER mission makes MIMOS II a obvious choice for future missions to Mars and other targets. Currently, MIMOS II is on the scientific payload of two approved future missions: Phobos Grunt (Russian Space Agency; 2009) and ExoMars (European Space Agency; 2013).

  10. From SARS to MERS: 10 years of research on highly pathogenic human coronaviruses.

    PubMed

    Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Peiris, Malik

    2013-10-01

    This article introduces a series of invited papers in Antiviral Research marking the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged in southern China in late 2002. Until that time, coronaviruses had not been recognized as agents causing severe disease in humans, hence, the emergence of the SARS-CoV came as a complete surprise. Research during the past ten years has revealed the existence of a diverse pool of coronaviruses circulating among various bat species and other animals, suggesting that further introductions of highly pathogenic coronaviruses into the human population are not merely probable, but inevitable. The recent emergence of another coronavirus causing severe disease, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), in humans, has made it clear that coronaviruses pose a major threat to human health, and that more research is urgently needed to elucidate their replication mechanisms, identify potential drug targets, and develop effective countermeasures. In this series, experts in many different aspects of coronavirus replication and disease will provide authoritative, up-to-date reviews of the following topics: - clinical management and infection control of SARS; - reservoir hosts of coronaviruses; - receptor recognition and cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV; - SARS-CoV evasion of innate immune responses; - structures and functions of individual coronaviral proteins; - anti-coronavirus drug discovery and development; and - the public health legacy of the SARS outbreak. Each article will be identified in the last line of its abstract as belonging to the series "From SARS to MERS: 10years of research on highly pathogenic human coronaviruses."

  11. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  12. Identification and regulation of receptor tyrosine kinases Rse and Mer and their ligand Gas6 in testicular somatic cells.

    PubMed

    Chan, M C; Mather, J P; McCray, G; Lee, W M

    2000-01-01

    Receptor tyrosine kinases act to convey extracellular signals to intracellular signaling pathways and ultimately control cell proliferation and differentiation. Rse, Axl, and Mer belong to a newly identified family of cell adhesion molecule-related receptor tyrosine kinase. They bind the vitamin K-dependent protein growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6), which is also structurally related to the anticoagulation factor Protein S. The aim of this study is to investigate the possible role of Rse/Axl/Mer tyrosine kinase receptors and their ligand in regulating testicular functions. Gene expression of Rse, Axl, Mer, and Gas6 in the testis was studied by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analysis. The results indicated that receptors Rse and Mer and the ligand Gas6 were expressed in the rat endothelial cell line (TR1), mouse Leydig cell line (TM3), rat peritubular myoid cell line (TRM), mouse Sertoli cell line (TM4), and primary rat Sertoli cells. Axl was not expressed in the testicular somatic cells by RT-PCR or Northern blot analysis. The highest level of expression of Gas6 messenger RNA (mRNA) was observed in the Sertoli cells, and its expression was responsive to the addition of forskolin in vitro. The effects of serum, insulin, and transferrin on Gas6 expression by TM4 cells were examined. It was shown that they all exhibited an up-regulating effect on Gas6 expression. The forskolin-stimulated Gas6 expression was accompanied by an increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of the Rse receptor in vitro, suggesting that Gas6 may exhibit an autocrine effect in the Sertoli cells through multiple tyrosine kinase receptors. Our studies so far have demonstrated that tyrosine kinase receptors Rse and Mer and their ligand Gas6 are widely expressed in the testicular somatic cell lines and may play a marked role in promoting testicular cell survival.

  13. MetaPalette: a k-mer Painting Approach for Metagenomic Taxonomic Profiling and Quantification of Novel Strain Variation

    PubMed Central

    Falush, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Metagenomic profiling is challenging in part because of the highly uneven sampling of the tree of life by genome sequencing projects and the limitations imposed by performing phylogenetic inference at fixed taxonomic ranks. We present the algorithm MetaPalette, which uses long k-mer sizes (k = 30, 50) to fit a k-mer “palette” of a given sample to the k-mer palette of reference organisms. By modeling the k-mer palettes of unknown organisms, the method also gives an indication of the presence, abundance, and evolutionary relatedness of novel organisms present in the sample. The method returns a traditional, fixed-rank taxonomic profile which is shown on independently simulated data to be one of the most accurate to date. Tree figures are also returned that quantify the relatedness of novel organisms to reference sequences, and the accuracy of such figures is demonstrated on simulated spike-ins and a metagenomic soil sample. The software implementing MetaPalette is available at: https://github.com/dkoslicki/MetaPalette. Pretrained databases are included for Archaea, Bacteria, Eukaryota, and viruses. IMPORTANCE Taxonomic profiling is a challenging first step when analyzing a metagenomic sample. This work presents a method that facilitates fine-scale characterization of the presence, abundance, and evolutionary relatedness of organisms present in a given sample but absent from the training database. We calculate a “k-mer palette” which summarizes the information from all reads, not just those in conserved genes or containing taxon-specific markers. The compositions of palettes are easy to model, allowing rapid inference of community composition. In addition to providing strain-level information where applicable, our approach provides taxonomic profiles that are more accurate than those of competing methods. Author Video: An author video summary of this article is available. PMID:27822531

  14. The Synechocystis PCC6803 MerA-Like Enzyme Operates in the Reduction of Both Mercury and Uranium under the Control of the Glutaredoxin 1 Enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Marteyn, Benoit; Sakr, Samer; Farci, Sandrine; Bedhomme, Mariette; Chardonnet, Solenne; Decottignies, Paulette; Lemaire, Stéphane D.; Cassier-Chauvat, Corinne

    2013-01-01

    In a continuing effort to analyze the selectivity/redundancy of the three glutaredoxin (Grx) enzymes of the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC6803, we have characterized an enzyme system that plays a crucial role in protection against two toxic metal pollutants, mercury and uranium. The present data show that Grx1 (Slr1562 in CyanoBase) selectively interacts with the presumptive mercuric reductase protein (Slr1849). This MerA enzyme plays a crucial role in cell defense against both mercuric and uranyl ions, in catalyzing their NADPH-driven reduction. Like MerA, Grx1 operates in cell protection against both mercury and uranium. The Grx1-MerA interaction requires cysteine 86 (C86) of Grx1 and C78 of MerA, which is critical for its reductase activity. MerA can be inhibited by glutathionylation and subsequently reactivated by Grx1, likely through deglutathionylation. The two Grx1 residues C31, which belongs to the redox active site (CX2C), and C86, which operates in MerA interactions, are both required for reactivation of MerA. These novel findings emphasize the role of glutaredoxins in tolerance to metal stress as well as the evolutionary conservation of the glutathionylation process, so far described mostly for eukaryotes. PMID:23852862

  15. Microfluidics and microbial engineering.

    PubMed

    Kou, Songzi; Cheng, Danhui; Sun, Fei; Hsing, I-Ming

    2016-02-07

    The combination of microbial engineering and microfluidics is synergistic in nature. For example, microfluidics is benefiting from the outcome of microbial engineering and many reported point-of-care microfluidic devices employ engineered microbes as functional parts for the microsystems. In addition, microbial engineering is facilitated by various microfluidic techniques, due to their inherent strength in high-throughput screening and miniaturization. In this review article, we firstly examine the applications of engineered microbes for toxicity detection, biosensing, and motion generation in microfluidic platforms. Secondly, we look into how microfluidic technologies facilitate the upstream and downstream processes of microbial engineering, including DNA recombination, transformation, target microbe selection, mutant characterization, and microbial function analysis. Thirdly, we highlight an emerging concept in microbial engineering, namely, microbial consortium engineering, where the behavior of a multicultural microbial community rather than that of a single cell/species is delineated. Integrating the disciplines of microfluidics and microbial engineering opens up many new opportunities, for example in diagnostics, engineering of microbial motors, development of portable devices for genetics, high throughput characterization of genetic mutants, isolation and identification of rare/unculturable microbial species, single-cell analysis with high spatio-temporal resolution, and exploration of natural microbial communities.

  16. A novel photo-biological engineering method for Salvia miltiorrhiza-mediated fabrication of silver nanoparticles using LED lights sources and its effectiveness against Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae and microbial pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this study, Salvia miltiorrhiza-synthesized Ag nanoparticles (AgNPs) fabricated using sunlight or various LED lights were studied for their biophysical features and evaluated as larvicides against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and growth inhibitors on different species of microbial pathogens. AgNPs pr...

  17. Analysis of mer Gene Subclasses within Bacterial Communities in Soils and Sediments Resolved by Fluorescent-PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Bruce, K. D.

    1997-01-01

    Bacterial mer (mercury resistance) gene subclasses in mercury-polluted and pristine natural environments have been profiled by Fluorescent-PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (FluRFLP). For FluRFLP, PCR products were amplified from individual mer operons in mercury-resistant bacteria and from DNA isolated directly from bacteria in soil and sediment samples. The primers used to amplify DNA were designed from consensus sequences of the major subclasses of archetypal gram-negative mer operons within Tn501, Tn21, pDU1358, and pKLH2. Two independent PCRs were used to amplify two regions of different lengths (merRT(Delta)P [ca. 1 kb] and merR [ca. 0.4 kb]) starting at the same position in merR. The oligonucleotide primer common to both reactions (FluRX) was labelled at the 5(prm1) end with green (TET) fluorescent dye. Analysis of the mer sequences within databases indicated that the major subclasses could be differentiated on the basis of the length from FluRX to the first FokI restriction endonuclease site. The amplified PCR products were digested with FokI restriction endonuclease, with the restriction digest fragments resolved on an automated DNA sequencing machine which detected only those bands labelled with the fluorescent dye. For each of the individual mer operon sources examined, this single peak (in bases) position was observed in separate digests of either amplified region. These peak positions were as predicted on the basis of DNA sequence. mer PCR products amplified from DNA extracted directly from soil and sediment bacteria were studied in order to determine the profiles of the major mer subclasses present in each natural environment. In addition to peaks of the expected sizes, extra peaks were observed which were not predicted on the basis of DNA sequence. Those appearing in the restriction endonuclease digests of both study regions were presumed to be novel mer types. Genetic heterogeneity within and between mercury-polluted and pristine sites

  18. MIMOS II on MER One Year of Mossbauer Spectroscopy on the Surface of Mars: From Jarosite at Meridiani Planum to Goethite at Gusev Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klingelhoefer, G.; Rodionov, D. S.; Morris, R. V.; Schroeder, C.; deSouza, P. A.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A. S.; Bernhardt, B.; Renz, F.; Fleischer, I.

    2005-01-01

    The miniaturized Mossbauer (MB) spectrometer MIMOS II [1] is part of the Athena payload of NASA s twin Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" (MER-A) and "Opportunity" (MER-B). It determines the Fe-bearing mineralogy of Martian soils and rocks at the Rovers respective landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. Both spectrometers performed successfully during first year of operation. Total integration time is about 49 days for MERA (79 samples) and 34 days for MER-B (85 samples). For curiosity it might be interesting to mention that the total odometry of the oscillating part of the MB drive exceeds 35 km for both rovers.

  19. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) RNA and neutralising antibodies in milk collected according to local customs from dromedary camels, Qatar, April 2014.

    PubMed

    Reusken, C B; Farag, E A; Jonges, M; Godeke, G J; El-Sayed, A M; Pas, S D; Raj, V S; Mohran, K A; Moussa, H A; Ghobashy, H; Alhajri, F; Ibrahim, A K; Bosch, B J; Pasha, S K; Al-Romaihi, H E; Al-Thani, M; Al-Marri, S A; AlHajri, M M; Haagmans, B L; Koopmans, M P

    2014-06-12

    Antibodies to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) were detected in serum and milk collected according to local customs from 33 camels in Qatar, April 2014. At one location, evidence for active virus shedding in nasal secretions and/or faeces was observed for 7/12 camels; viral RNA was detected in milk of five of these seven camels. The presence of MERS-CoV RNA in milk of camels actively shedding the virus warrants measures to prevent putative food-borne transmission of MERS-CoV.

  20. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Laura R.; Smith, Stephanie M.; Downum, Kelsey R.; Mydlarz, Laura D.

    2012-01-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists. PMID:22822369

  1. Identification of Nafamostat as a Potent Inhibitor of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus S Protein-Mediated Membrane Fusion Using the Split-Protein-Based Cell-Cell Fusion Assay.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Mizuki; Matsuyama, Shutoku; Li, Xiao; Takeda, Makoto; Kawaguchi, Yasushi; Inoue, Jun-Ichiro; Matsuda, Zene

    2016-11-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is an emerging infectious disease associated with a relatively high mortality rate of approximately 40%. MERS is caused by MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, and no specific drugs or vaccines are currently available to prevent MERS-CoV infection. MERS-CoV is an enveloped virus, and its envelope protein (S protein) mediates membrane fusion at the plasma membrane or endosomal membrane. Multiple proteolysis by host proteases, such as furin, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and cathepsins, causes the S protein to become fusion competent. TMPRSS2, which is localized to the plasma membrane, is a serine protease responsible for the proteolysis of S in the post-receptor-binding stage. Here, we developed a cell-based fusion assay for S in a TMPRSS2-dependent manner using cell lines expressing Renilla luciferase (RL)-based split reporter proteins. S was stably expressed in the effector cells, and the corresponding receptor for S, CD26, was stably coexpressed with TMPRSS2 in the target cells. Membrane fusion between these effector and target cells was quantitatively measured by determining the RL activity. The assay was optimized for a 384-well format, and nafamostat, a serine protease inhibitor, was identified as a potent inhibitor of S-mediated membrane fusion in a screening of about 1,000 drugs approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Nafamostat also blocked MERS-CoV infection in vitro Our assay has the potential to facilitate the discovery of new inhibitors of membrane fusion of MERS-CoV as well as other viruses that rely on the activity of TMPRSS2.

  2. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  3. Microbial Metabolism in Serpentinite Fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo-Medina, M.; Brazelton, W. J.; Twing, K. I.; Kubo, M.; Hoehler, T. M.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2013-12-01

    Serpentinization is the process in which ultramafic rocks, characteristic of the upper mantle, react with water liberating mantle carbon and reducing power to potenially support chemosynthetic microbial communities. These communities may be important mediators of carbon and energy exchange between the deep Earth and the surface biosphere. Our work focuses on the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (CROMO) in Northern California where subsurface fluids are accessible through a series of wells. Preliminary analyses indicate that the highly basic fluids (pH 9-12) have low microbial diversity, but there is limited knowledge about the metabolic capabilities of these communties. Metagenomic data from similar serpentine environments [1] have identified Betaproteobacteria belonging to the order Burkholderiales and Gram-positive bacteria from the order Clostridiales as key components of the serpentine microbiome. In an effort to better characterize the microbial community, metabolism, and geochemistry at CROMO, fluids from two representative wells (N08B and CSWold) were sampled during recent field campaigns. Geochemical characterization of the fluids includes measurements of dissolved gases (H2, CO, CH4), dissolved inorganic and organic carbon, volatile fatty acids, and nutrients. The wells selected can be differentiated in that N08B had higher pH (10-11), lower dissolved oxygen, and cell counts ranging from 105-106 cells mL-1 of fluid, with an abundance of the betaproteobacterium Hydrogenophaga. In contrast, fluids from CSWold have slightly lower pH (9-9.5), DO, and conductivity, as well as higher TDN and TDP. CSWold fluid is also characterized for having lower cell counts (~103 cells mL-1) and an abundance of Dethiobacter, a taxon within the phylum Clostridiales. Microcosm experiments were conducted with the purpose of monitoring carbon fixation, methanotrophy and metabolism of small organic compounds, such as acetate and formate, while tracing changes in fluid

  4. Extraintestinal manifestations of celiac disease: 33-mer gliadin binding to glutamate receptor GRINA as a new explanation.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Quintanilla, Albert; Miranzo-Navarro, Domingo

    2016-05-01

    We propose a biochemical mechanism for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity that may rationalize many of the extradigestive disorders not explained by the current immunogenetic model. Our hypothesis is based on the homology between the 33-mer gliadin peptide and a component of the NMDA glutamate receptor ion channel - the human GRINA protein - using BLASTP software. Based on this homology the 33-mer may act as a natural antagonist interfering with the normal interactions of GRINA and its partners. The theory is supported by numerous independent data from the literature, and provides a mechanistic link with otherwise unrelated disorders, such as cleft lip and palate, thyroid dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, depression, ataxia, hearing loss, fibromyalgia, dermatitis herpetiformis, schizophrenia, toxoplasmosis, anemia, osteopenia, Fabry disease, Barret's adenocarcinoma, neuroblastoma, urinary incontinence, recurrent miscarriage, cardiac anomalies, reduced risk of breast cancer, stiff person syndrome, etc. The hypothesis also anticipates better animal models, and has the potential to open new avenues of research.

  5. Inoculation of Goats, Sheep, and Horses with MERS-CoV Does Not Result in Productive Viral Shedding

    PubMed Central

    Adney, Danielle R.; Brown, Vienna R.; Porter, Stephanie M.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle; Hartwig, Airn E.; Bowen, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first recognized in 2012 and can cause severe disease in infected humans. Dromedary camels are the reservoir for the virus, although, other than nasal discharge, these animals do not display any overt clinical disease. Data from in vitro experiments suggest that other livestock such as sheep, goats, and horses might also contribute to viral transmission, although field data has not identified any seropositive animals. In order to understand if these animals could be infected, we challenged young goats and horses and adult sheep with MERS-CoV by intranasal inoculation. Minimal or no virus shedding was detected in all of the animals. During the four weeks following inoculation, neutralizing antibodies were detected in the young goats, but not in sheep or horses. PMID:27548203

  6. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Copper-Binding Mutant of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB: Insight into the Key Role of the Active Site Aspartic Acid in Hg-Carbon Bond Cleavage and Metal Binding Specificity.

    PubMed

    Wahba, Haytham M; Lecoq, Lauriane; Stevenson, Michael; Mansour, Ahmed; Cappadocia, Laurent; Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Sygusch, Jurgen; Wilcox, Dean E; Omichinski, James G

    2016-02-23

    In bacterial resistance to mercury, the organomercurial lyase (MerB) plays a key role in the detoxification pathway through its ability to cleave Hg-carbon bonds. Two cysteines (C96 and C159; Escherichia coli MerB numbering) and an aspartic acid (D99) have been identified as the key catalytic residues, and these three residues are conserved in all but four known MerB variants, where the aspartic acid is replaced with a serine. To understand the role of the active site serine, we characterized the structure and metal binding properties of an E. coli MerB mutant with a serine substituted for D99 (MerB D99S) as well as one of the native MerB variants containing a serine residue in the active site (Bacillus megaterium MerB2). Surprisingly, the MerB D99S protein copurified with a bound metal that was determined to be Cu(II) from UV-vis absorption, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and electron paramagnetic resonance studies. X-ray structural studies revealed that the Cu(II) is bound to the active site cysteine residues of MerB D99S, but that it is displaced following the addition of either an organomercurial substrate or an ionic mercury product. In contrast, the B. megaterium MerB2 protein does not copurify with copper, but the structure of the B. megaterium MerB2-Hg complex is highly similar to the structure of the MerB D99S-Hg complexes. These results demonstrate that the active site aspartic acid is crucial for both the enzymatic activity and metal binding specificity of MerB proteins and suggest a possible functional relationship between MerB and its only known structural homologue, the copper-binding protein NosL.

  7. Leveraging Cloud Computing to Improve Storage Durability, Availability, and Cost for MER Maestro

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, George W.; Powell, Mark W.; Callas, John L.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Shams, Khawaja S.

    2012-01-01

    The Maestro for MER (Mars Exploration Rover) software is the premiere operation and activity planning software for the Mars rovers, and it is required to deliver all of the processed image products to scientists on demand. These data span multiple storage arrays sized at 2 TB, and a backup scheme ensures data is not lost. In a catastrophe, these data would currently recover at 20 GB/hour, taking several days for a restoration. A seamless solution provides access to highly durable, highly available, scalable, and cost-effective storage capabilities. This approach also employs a novel technique that enables storage of the majority of data on the cloud and some data locally. This feature is used to store the most recent data locally in order to guarantee utmost reliability in case of an outage or disconnect from the Internet. This also obviates any changes to the software that generates the most recent data set as it still has the same interface to the file system as it did before updates

  8. A FASTQ compressor based on integer-mapped k-mer indexing for biologist.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yeting; Patel, Khyati; Endrawis, Tony; Bowers, Autumn; Sun, Yazhou

    2016-03-15

    Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have gained considerable popularity among biologists. For example, RNA-seq, which provides both genomic and functional information, has been widely used by recent functional and evolutionary studies, especially in non-model organisms. However, storing and transmitting these large data sets (primarily in FASTQ format) have become genuine challenges, especially for biologists with little informatics experience. Data compression is thus a necessity. KIC, a FASTQ compressor based on a new integer-mapped k-mer indexing method, was developed (available at http://www.ysunlab.org/kic.jsp). It offers high compression ratio on sequence data, outstanding user-friendliness with graphic user interfaces, and proven reliability. Evaluated on multiple large RNA-seq data sets from both human and plants, it was found that the compression ratio of KIC had exceeded all major generic compressors, and was comparable to those of the latest dedicated compressors. KIC enables researchers with minimal informatics training to take advantage of the latest sequence compression technologies, easily manage large FASTQ data sets, and reduce storage and transmission cost.

  9. Thermal stability and energetics of 15-mer DNA duplex interstrand crosslinked by trans-diamminedichloroplatinum(II).

    PubMed

    Hofr, Ctirad; Brabec, Viktor

    2005-03-01

    The effect of the location of the interstrand cross-link formed by trans-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (transplatin) on the thermal stability and energetics of 15-mer DNA duplex has been investigated. The duplex containing single, site-specific cross-link, thermodynamically equivalent model structures (hairpins) and nonmodified duplexes were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry, temperature-dependent uv absorption, and circular dichroism. The results demonstrate that the formation of the interstrand cross-link of transplatin does not affect pronouncedly thermodynamic stability of DNA: the cross-link induces no marked changes not only in enthalpy, but also in "reduced" (concentration independent) monomolecular transition entropy. These results are consistent with the previous observations that interstrand cross-links of transplatin structurally perturb DNA only to a relatively small extent. On the other hand, constraining the duplex with the interstrand cross-link of transplatin results in a significant increase in thermal stability that is primarily due to entropic effects: the cross-link reduces the molecularity of the oligomer system from bimolecular to monomolecular. Importantly, the position of the interstrand cross-link within the duplex modulates cooperativity of the melting transition of the duplex and consequently its thermal stability.

  10. Possible Evidence for Iron Sulfates, Iron Sulfides, and Elemental Sulfur at Gusev Crater, Mars, from Mer, Crism, and Analog Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Yen, A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Gruener, J.; Humm, D.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Murchie, S.; Schroeder, C.; Seelos, F., IV; Squyres, S.; Wiseman, S.; Wolff, M.

    2007-01-01

    The Mossbauer (MB) spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (Gusev crater) and Opportunity (Meridiani Planum) have detected 14 Fe-bearing phases, and mineralogical assignments have been made for all except 3. Identified Fe2+-bearing phases are olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, and troilite. Magnetite and chromite are present as mixed Fe(2+) and Fe(3+) phases. Identified Fe(3+) phase are jarosite, hematite, goethite, and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx). Fe(sup 0) (iron metal) is present as kamacite. Nanophase ferric oxide (npOx) is a generic name for octahedrally coordinated Fe(3+) alteration products that cannot be otherwise mineralogically assigned on the basis of MER data. On the Earth, npOx would include ferrihydrite, iddingsite, schwertmannite, akaganeite, and superparamagnetic hematite and goethite. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CRISM instrument, a visible, near-IR hyperspectral imager (approximately 0.35 to 4 micron) enables mineralogical examination of Mars with a tool that is sensitive to H2O and to M-OH (M = Al, Si, Fe, Mg, etc.) at spatial resolution of about 20 m/pixel. We examined a CRISM image of the MER region of Gusev crater (Columbia Hills and plains to the west), looking for spectral evidence of the aqueous process apparent from the MER analyses. We also searched for spectral constraints for the mineralogical composition of our unidentified Fe-bearing phases and the forms of npOx present on Mars. We also consider evidence from analogue samples that the precursor for the goethite detected by MB in Clovis Class rocks is an iron sulfide. We suggest that there is some indirect evidence that elemental sulfur might be present to different extents in Clovis Class rocks, the Fe3Sulfate-rich soils, and perhaps even typical (Laguna Class) surface soils.

  11. Solfataric Alteration in Hawaii as a Mechanism for Formation of the Sulfates Observed on Mars by OMEGA and the MER Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, J. L.; Schiffman, P.; Lane, M. D.; Dyar, M. D.

    2005-03-01

    Solfataric alteration in the Kilauea caldera, HI, forms sulfates and hydrated phases from volcanic ash. Spectral analyses are presented for detection of these minerals/phases on Mars by OMEGA and for groundtruthing the OMEGA spectra with MER data.

  12. Presence of antibodies but no evidence for circulation of MERS-CoV in dromedaries on the Canary Islands, 2015.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Carlos; Tejedor-Junco, María Teresa; González, Margarita; Lattwein, Erik; Renneker, Stefanie

    2015-01-01

    In 2012, a new betacoronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), was identified in humans. Several studies confirmed dromedary camels to be a potential reservoir and a source for human infection. Camels located on the Canary Islands were included in those studies and ca 10% of them were positive for MERS-CoV-specific antibodies. However, these findings could not be correctly interpreted because epidemiological information was not provided. Thus, further investigations were necessary to clarify these results. A total of 170 camels were investigated in this survey, of which seven (4.1%) were seropositive by ELISA. Epidemiological information revealed that all seropositive camels had been imported from Africa 20 or more years prior. We conclude that seropositive camels had contact with MERS-CoV in Africa and that there is no shedding of the virus among camels or people around the farms on the Canary Islands. However, the presence of antibodies in the camel herds should be monitored.

  13. Flow cytometry and K-mer analysis estimates of the genome sizes of Bemisia tabaci B and Q (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Li T.; Wang, Shao L.; Wu, Qing J.; Zhou, Xu G.; Xie, Wen; Zhang, You J.

    2015-01-01

    The genome sizes of the B- and Q-types of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennnadius) were estimated using flow cytometry (Drosophila melanogaster as the DNA reference standard and propidium iodide (PI) as the fluorochrome) and k-mer analysis. For flow cytometry, the mean nuclear DNA content was 0.686 pg for B-type males, 1.392 pg for B-type females, 0.680 pg for Q-type males, and 1.306 pg for Q-type females. Based on the relationship between DNA content and genome size (1 pg DNA = 980 Mbp), the haploid genome size of B. tabaci ranged from 640 to 682 Mbp. For k-mer analysis, genome size of B-type by two methods were consistent highly, but the k-mer depth distribution graph of Q-type was not enough perfect and the genome size was estimated about 60 M larger than its flow cytometry result. These results corroborate previous reports of genome size based on karyotype analysis and chromosome counting. However, these estimates differ from previous flow cytometry estimates, probably because of differences in the DNA reference standard and dyeing time, which were superior in the current study. For Q-type genome size difference by two method, some discussion were also stated, and all these results represent a useful foundation for B. tabaci genomics research. PMID:26042041

  14. STN area detection using K-NN classifiers for MER recordings in Parkinson patients during neurostimulator implant surgery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiaffino, L.; Rosado Muñoz, A.; Guerrero Martínez, J.; Francés Villora, J.; Gutiérrez, A.; Martínez Torres, I.; Kohan, y. D. R.

    2016-04-01

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) applies electric pulses into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) improving tremor and other symptoms associated to Parkinson’s disease. Accurate STN detection for proper location and implant of the stimulating electrodes is a complex task and surgeons are not always certain about final location. Signals from the STN acquired during DBS surgery are obtained with microelectrodes, having specific characteristics differing from other brain areas. Using supervised learning, a trained model based on previous microelectrode recordings (MER) can be obtained, being able to successfully classify the STN area for new MER signals. The K Nearest Neighbours (K-NN) algorithm has been successfully applied to STN detection. However, the use of the fuzzy form of the K-NN algorithm (KNN-F) has not been reported. This work compares the STN detection algorithm of K-NN and KNN-F. Real MER recordings from eight patients where previously classified by neurophysiologists, defining 15 features. Sensitivity and specificity for the classifiers are obtained, Wilcoxon signed rank non-parametric test is used as statistical hypothesis validation. We conclude that the performance of KNN-F classifier is higher than K-NN with p<0.01 in STN specificity.

  15. Unbiased K-mer Analysis Reveals Changes in Copy Number of Highly Repetitive Sequences During Maize Domestication and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Sanzhen; Zheng, Jun; Migeon, Pierre; Ren, Jie; Hu, Ying; He, Cheng; Liu, Hongjun; Fu, Junjie; White, Frank F.; Toomajian, Christopher; Wang, Guoying

    2017-01-01

    The major component of complex genomes is repetitive elements, which remain recalcitrant to characterization. Using maize as a model system, we analyzed whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences for the two maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 using k-mer analysis to quantify the differences between the two genomes. Significant differences were identified in highly repetitive sequences, including centromere, 45S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), knob, and telomere repeats. Genotype specific 45S rDNA sequences were discovered. The B73 and Mo17 polymorphic k-mers were used to examine allele-specific expression of 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Although Mo17 contains higher copy number than B73, equivalent levels of overall 45S rDNA expression indicates that transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms operate for the 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Using WGS sequences of B73xMo17 doubled haploids, genomic locations showing differential repetitive contents were genetically mapped, which displayed different organization of highly repetitive sequences in the two genomes. In an analysis of WGS sequences of HapMap2 lines, including maize wild progenitor, landraces, and improved lines, decreases and increases in abundance of additional sets of k-mers associated with centromere, 45S rDNA, knob, and retrotransposons were found among groups, revealing global evolutionary trends of genomic repeats during maize domestication and improvement. PMID:28186206

  16. Comparison of incubation period distribution of human infections with MERS-CoV in South Korea and Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Virlogeux, Victor; Fang, Vicky J.; Park, Minah; Wu, Joseph T.; Cowling, Benjamin J.

    2016-01-01

    The incubation period is an important epidemiologic distribution, it is often incorporated in case definitions, used to determine appropriate quarantine periods, and is an input to mathematical modeling studies. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS) is an emerging infectious disease in the Arabian Peninsula. There was a large outbreak of MERS in South Korea in 2015. We examined the incubation period distribution of MERS coronavirus infection for cases in South Korea and in Saudi Arabia. Using parametric and nonparametric methods, we estimated a mean incubation period of 6.9 days (95% credibility interval: 6.3–7.5) for cases in South Korea and 5.0 days (95% credibility interval: 4.0–6.6) among cases in Saudi Arabia. In a log-linear regression model, the mean incubation period was 1.42 times longer (95% credibility interval: 1.18–1.71) among cases in South Korea compared to Saudi Arabia. The variation that we identified in the incubation period distribution between locations could be associated with differences in ascertainment or reporting of exposure dates and illness onset dates, differences in the source or mode of infection, or environmental differences. PMID:27775012

  17. The catalytic core of an archaeal 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complex is a 42-mer protein assembly.

    PubMed

    Marrott, Nia L; Marshall, Jacqueline J T; Svergun, Dmitri I; Crennell, Susan J; Hough, David W; Danson, Michael J; van den Elsen, Jean M H

    2012-03-01

    The dihydrolipoyl acyl-transferase (E2) enzyme forms the structural and catalytic core of the tripartite 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase multienzyme complexes of the central metabolic pathways. Although this family of multienzyme complexes shares a common architecture, their E2 cores form homo-trimers that, depending on the source, further associate into either octahedral (24-mer) or icosahedral (60-mer) assemblies, as predicted by the principles of quasi-equivalence. In the crystal structure of the E2 core from Thermoplasma acidophilum, a thermophilic archaeon, the homo-trimers assemble into a unique 42-mer oblate spheroid. Analytical equilibrium centrifugation and small-angle X-ray scattering analyses confirm that this catalytically active 1.08 MDa assembly exists as a single species in solution, forming a hollow spheroid with a maximum diameter of 220 Å. In this paper we show that a monodisperse macromolecular assembly, built from identical subunits in non-identical environments, forms an irregular protein shell via non-equivalent interactions. This unusually irregular protein shell, combining cubic and dodecahedral geometrical elements, expands on the concept of quasi-equivalence as a basis for understanding macromolecular assemblies by showing that cubic point group symmetry is not a physical requirement in multienzyme assembly. These results extend our basic knowledge of protein assembly and greatly expand the number of possibilities to manipulate self-assembling biological complexes to be utilized in innovative nanotechnology applications.

  18. Microbial hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-09-01

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

  19. Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviours of Healthcare Workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to MERS Coronavirus and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Alsahafi, Abdullah J.; Cheng, Allen C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has experienced a prolonged outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus since 2012. Healthcare workers (HCWs) form a significant risk group for infection. Objectives: The aim of this survey was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, infection control practices and educational needs of HCWs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to MERS coronavirus and other emerging infectious diseases. Methods: 1500 of HCWs from Saudi Ministry of Health were invited to fill a questionnaire developed to cover the survey objectives from 9 September 2015 to 8 November 2015. The response rate was about 81%. Descriptive statistics was used to summarise the responses. Results: 1216 HCWs were included in this survey. A total of 56.5% were nurses and 22% were physicians. The most common sources of MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) information were the Ministry of Health (MOH) memo (74.3%). Only (47.6%) of the physicians, (30.4%) of the nurses and (29.9%) of the other HCWs were aware that asymptomatic MERS-CoV was described. Around half of respondents who having been investigated for MERS-CoV reported that their work performance decreased while they have suspicion of having MERS-CoV and almost two thirds reported having psychological problems during this period. Almost two thirds of the HCWs (61.2%) reported anxiety about contracting MERS-CoV from patients. Conclusions: The knowledge about emerging infectious diseases was poor and there is need for further education and training programs particularly in the use of personal protective equipment, isolation and infection control measures. The self-reported infection control practices were sub-optimal and seem to be overestimated. PMID:27929452

  20. Microbial limitation in a changing world: A stoichiometric approach for predicting microbial resource limitation and fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midgley, M.; Phillips, R.

    2014-12-01

    Microbes mediate fluxes of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) in soils depending on ratios of available C, N, and P relative to microbial demand. Hence, characterizing microbial C and nutrient limitation in soils is critical for predicting how ecosystems will respond to human alterations of climate and nutrient availability. Here, we take a stoichiometric approach to assessing microbial C, N, and P limitation by using threshold element ratios (TERs). TERs enable shifting resource limitation to be assessed by matching C, N and P ratios from microbial biomass, extracellular enzyme activities, and soil nutrient concentrations. We assessed microbial nutrient limitation in temperate forests dominated by trees that associate with one of two mycorrhizal symbionts: arbsucular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. We found that both ECM and AM microbial communities were co-limited by C and N, supporting conventional wisdom that microbes are C-limited and temperate forests are N-limited. However, AM microbial communities were relatively more C-limited than ECM communities (P=0.001). In response to chronic field N fertilization, both AM and ECM communities became relatively more P-limited (P=0.011), but they remained N- and C-limited overall. Thus, realistic levels of N deposition may not dampen microbial N limitation. Reflecting differences in relative limitation, N mineralization rates were higher in AM soils than in ECM soils (P=0.004) while C mineralization rates were higher in ECM soils than in AM soils (P=0.023). There were no significant differences in P flux between AM and ECM soils or detectable mineralization responses to N addition, indicating that mineralization rates are closely tied to C and nutrient limitation. Overall, we found that 1) microbial resource limitation can be detected without resource addition; and 2) TERs and ratios of labile resources are viable tools for predicting mineralization responses to resource additions.

  1. Macro Domain from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Is an Efficient ADP-ribose Binding Module: CRYSTAL STRUCTURE AND BIOCHEMICAL STUDIES.

    PubMed

    Cho, Chao-Cheng; Lin, Meng-Hsuan; Chuang, Chien-Ying; Hsu, Chun-Hua

    2016-03-04

    The newly emerging Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) encodes the conserved macro domain within non-structural protein 3. However, the precise biochemical function and structure of the macro domain is unclear. Using differential scanning fluorimetry and isothermal titration calorimetry, we characterized the MERS-CoV macro domain as a more efficient adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribose binding module than macro domains from other CoVs. Furthermore, the crystal structure of the MERS-CoV macro domain was determined at 1.43-Å resolution in complex with ADP-ribose. Comparison of macro domains from MERS-CoV and other human CoVs revealed structural differences in the α1 helix alters how the conserved Asp-20 interacts with ADP-ribose and may explain the efficient binding of the MERS-CoV macro domain to ADP-ribose. This study provides structural and biophysical bases to further evaluate the role of the MERS-CoV macro domain in the host response via ADP-ribose binding but also as a potential target for drug design.

  2. Microbial Properties Database Editor Tutorial

    EPA Science Inventory

    A Microbial Properties Database Editor (MPDBE) has been developed to help consolidate microbial-relevant data to populate a microbial database and support a database editor by which an authorized user can modify physico-microbial properties related to microbial indicators and pat...

  3. Why Microbial Communities?

    ScienceCinema

    Fredrickson, Jim (PNNL)

    2016-07-12

    The Microbial Communities Initiative is a 5-year investment by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that integrates biological/ecological experimentation, analytical chemistry, and simulation modeling. The objective is to create transforming technologies, elucidate mechanistic forces, and develop theoretical frameworks for the analysis and predictive understanding of microbial communities. Dr. Fredrickson introduces the symposium by defining microbial communities and describing their scientific relevance as they relate to solving problems in energy, climate, and sustainability.

  4. Using Mars and the Mer Mission to Teach Science: A Curriculum Designed for Teachers and Their Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubele, J. C.; Stanley, J.; Grochowski, A.; Jones, K.; Aragon, J.

    2006-12-01

    Learning opportunities can be exceptionally successful when linked to national, newsworthy events. Planetary missions are particularly exciting in engaging teachers, and their students, because they combine the human "stories" of scientists and engineers with cutting-edge technology and new science. Planetary suface missions, such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, return beautiful and human-scale images that can virtually transport the viewer to another world. The MER mission allows children and adults to participate in the exploration of one of our nearest neighbors in space. New discoveries in the natural history of Mars have been used as the basis of a new integrated curriculum created by Museum and class-room educators designed to serve informal (family learning) and formal (classroom) audiences. The curriculum uses Mars and the MER mission as a "hook" to teach a wide range of topics that relate to all of the sciences, mathematics, social studies (history and exploration), science and society, career readiness, language and literacy, and visual arts. The curriculum, entitled "Making Tracks on Mars: Teacher Resource and Activity Guide," includes the following key features that have contributed to its success and usefulness: (1) basic information about Mars, Mars missions, and the MER mission providing teachers with the knowledge they may lack; (2) activities that follow a standardized format and include necessary information, pre-lesson preparation and post-lesson closure and extensions, and all information and/or images needed; (3) activities that cross the curriculum and can be used to address many different standards; (4) relevant state and national standards listed for each activity; (5) annotated MER image file and PowerPoint presentation for easy classroom use; (6) lists of additional Mars-related resources; (7) emphasis on local connections to the mission to enable teachers and students to feel personally connected; (8) elementary through high

  5. Effect of the antiestrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25) on placental low density lipoprotein uptake and degradation in baboons

    SciTech Connect

    Henson, M.C.; Babischkin, J.S.; Pepe, G.J.; Albrecht, E.D.

    1988-05-01

    The present study determined if the decline in placental progesterone (P4) production that results from administration of the antiestrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25) to pregnant baboons results from a change in placental low density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake and/or degradation. Pregnant baboons (Papio anubis) were untreated (n = 10) or received MER-25 (25 mg/kg BW, orally; n = 10) daily on days 140-170 of gestation (term, 184 days). Placentas were removed by cesarean section on day 170 of gestation, and villous tissue was dispersed with 0.1% collagenase at 37 C for 40 min. Placental cells (10(6)) were incubated in medium 199 (pH 7.2) for 12 h at 37 C with increasing amounts (5-100 micrograms) of (125I)LDL, with or without a 100-fold excess of unlabeled baboon LDL. Mean (+/- SE) peripheral serum P4 concentrations on days 140-170 of gestation were 51% lower (P less than 0.01) in MER-25-treated (5.7 +/- 0.3 ng/ml) than in untreated (11.6 +/- 0.5 ng/ml) baboons. The uptake of LDL was 56% lower (P less than 0.01) in placental cells from antiestrogen-treated (6.3 +/- 1.6 ng/micrograms cell protein) than in those from untreated (14.4 +/- 1.9 ng/micrograms cell protein) baboons. The dissociation constants for placental LDL uptake, as assessed by Scatchard analysis, however, were similar in untreated (0.80 microgram/ml) and MER-25-treated (0.76 microgram/ml) animals. The amount of (125I)LDL concomitantly degraded by cells from baboons that received MER-25 was 54% of that degraded by cells from untreated controls. The relative decline in LDL degradation by cells of antiestrogen-treated baboons was proportionate to the decline in overall LDL uptake. The results indicate, therefore, that antiestrogen treatment decreased the amount of placental LDL uptake, but did not change the affinity for the lipoprotein.

  6. A predictive wheel-soil interaction model for planetary rovers validated in testbeds and against MER Mars rover performance data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Ellery, A.; Gao, Y.; Michaud, S.; Schmitz, N.; Weiss, S.

    Successful designs of vehicles intended for operations on planetary objects outside the Earth demand, just as for terrestrial off-the-road vehicles, a careful assessment of the terrain relevant for the vehicle mission and predictions of the mobility performance to allow rational trade-off's to be made for the choice of the locomotion concept and sizing. Principal issues driving the chassis design for rovers are the stress-strain properties of the planetary surface soil, the distribution of rocks in the terrain representing potential obstacles to movement, and the gravity level on the celestial object in question. Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully designed and operated for missions to the Earth's moon and to the planet Mars, including NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER's) `Spirit' and `Opportunity' being in operation on Mars since their landings in January 2004. Here we report on the development of a wheel-soil interaction model with application to wheel sizes and wheel loads relevant to current and near-term robotic planetary rovers, i.e. wheel diameters being between about 200 and 500 mm and vertical quasistatic wheel loads in operation of roughly 100 to 200 N. Such a model clearly is indispensable for sizings of future rovers to analyse the aspect of rover mobility concerned with motion across soils. This work is presently funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the `Rover Chassis Evaluation Tools' (RCET) effort which has developed a set of S/W-implemented models for predictive mobility analysis of rovers in terms of movement on soils and across obstacles, coupled with dedicated testbeds to validate the wheel-soil models. In this paper, we outline the details of the wheel-soil modelling performed within the RCET work and present comparisons of predictions of wheel performance (motion resistance, torque vs. slip and drawbar pull vs. slip) for specific test cases with the corresponding measurements performed in the RCET single wheel

  7. Mediation Analysis

    PubMed Central

    MacKinnon, David P.; Fairchild, Amanda J.; Fritz, Matthew S.

    2010-01-01

    Mediating variables are prominent in psychological theory and research. A mediating variable transmits the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable. Differences between mediating variables and confounders, moderators, and covariates are outlined. Statistical methods to assess mediation and modern comprehensive approaches are described. Future directions for mediation analysis are discussed. PMID:16968208

  8. Microbial life in a liquid asphalt desert.

    PubMed

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Haque, Shirin; de Sousa Antonio, Marina Resendes; Ali, Denzil; Hosein, Riad; Song, Young C; Yang, Jinshu; Zaikova, Elena; Beckles, Denise M; Guinan, Edward; Lehto, Harry J; Hallam, Steven J

    2011-04-01

    Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago is a natural asphalt reservoir nourished by pitch seepage, a form of petroleum that consists of mostly asphaltines, from the surrounding oil-rich region. During upward seepage, pitch mixes with mud and gases under high pressure, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a liquid asphalt residue characterized by low water activity, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and noxious chemical compounds. An active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains (particularly from the new Tar ARC groups), totaling a biomass of up to 10(7) cells per gram, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed diverse, novel, and deeply branching microbial lineages with the potential to mediate anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation processes in different parts of the asphalt column. In addition, we found markers for archaeal methane metabolism and specific gene sequences affiliated with facultative and obligate anaerobic sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The microbial diversity at Pitch Lake was found to be unique when compared to microbial communities analyzed at other hydrocarbon-rich environments, which included Rancho Le Brea, a natural asphalt environment in California, USA, and an oil well and a mud volcano in Trinidad and Tobago, among other sites. These results open a window into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices and establish the site as a terrestrial analogue for modeling the biotic potential of hydrocarbon lakes such as those found on Saturn's largest moon Titan.

  9. Microbial Life in a Liquid Asphalt Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Haque, Shirin; de Sousa Antonio, Marina Resendes; Ali, Denzil; Hosein, Riad; Song, Young C.; Yang, Jinshu; Zaikova, Elena; Beckles, Denise M.; Guinan, Edward; Lehto, Harry J.; Hallam, Steven J.

    2011-04-01

    Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago is a natural asphalt reservoir nourished by pitch seepage, a form of petroleum that consists of mostly asphaltines, from the surrounding oil-rich region. During upward seepage, pitch mixes with mud and gases under high pressure, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a liquid asphalt residue characterized by low water activity, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and noxious chemical compounds. An active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains (particularly from the new Tar ARC groups), totaling a biomass of up to 107 cells per gram, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed diverse, novel, and deeply branching microbial lineages with the potential to mediate anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation processes in different parts of the asphalt column. In addition, we found markers for archaeal methane metabolism and specific gene sequences affiliated with facultative and obligate anaerobic sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The microbial diversity at Pitch Lake was found to be unique when compared to microbial communities analyzed at other hydrocarbon-rich environments, which included Rancho Le Brea, a natural asphalt environment in California, USA, and an oil well and a mud volcano in Trinidad and Tobago, among other sites. These results open a window into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices and establish the site as a terrestrial analogue for modeling the biotic potential of hydrocarbon lakes such as those found on Saturn's largest moon Titan.

  10. Microbial biomass, activity and community composition in constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Truu, Marika; Juhanson, Jaanis; Truu, Jaak

    2009-06-15

    The aim of the current article is to give an overview about microbial communities and their functioning but also about factors affecting microbial activity in the three most common types (surface flow and two types of sub-surface flow) of constructed wetlands. The paper reviews the community composition and structural diversity of the microbial biomass, analyzing different aspects of microbial activity with respect to wastewater properties, specific wetland type, and environmental parameters. A brief introduction about the application of different novel molecular techniques for the assessment of microbial communities in constructed wetlands is also given. Microbially mediated processes in constructed wetlands are mainly dependent on hydraulic conditions, wastewater properties, including substrate and nutrient quality and availability, filter material or soil type, plants, and different environmental factors. Microbial biomass is within similar ranges in both horizontal and vertical subsurface flow and surface flow constructed wetlands. Stratification of the biomass but also a stratified structural pattern of the bacterial community can be seen in subsurface flow systems. Microbial biomass C/N ratio is higher in horizontal flow systems compared to vertical flow systems, indicating the structural differences in microbial communities between those two constructed wetland types. The total activity of the microbial community is in the same range, but heterotrophic growth is higher in the subsurface (vertical flow) system compared to the surface flow systems. Available species-specific data about microbial communities in different types of wetlands is scarce and therefore it is impossible make any general conclusions about the dynamics of microbial community structure in wetlands, its relationship to removal processes and operational parameters.

  11. Automated Recognition of Geologically Significant Shapes in MER PANCAM and MI Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Robert; Shipman, Mark; Roush, Ted L.

    2004-01-01

    Autonomous recognition of scientifically important information provides the capability of: 1) Prioritizing data return; 2) Intelligent data compression; 3) Reactive behavior onboard robotic vehicles. Such capabilities are desirable as mission scenarios include longer durations with decreasing interaction from mission control. To address such issues, we have implemented several computer algorithms, intended to autonomously recognize morphological shapes of scientific interest within a software architecture envisioned for future rover missions. Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) instrument payloads include a Panoramic Camera (PANCAM) and Microscopic Imager (MI). These provide a unique opportunity to evaluate our algorithms when applied to data obtained from the surface of Mars. Early in the mission we applied our algorithms to images available at the mission web site (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/images.html), even though these are not at full resolution. Some algorithms would normally use ancillary information, e.g. camera pointing and position of the sun, but these data were not readily available. The initial results of applying our algorithms to the PANCAM and MI images are encouraging. The horizon is recognized in all images containing it; such information could be used to eliminate unwanted areas from the image prior to data transmission to Earth. Additionally, several rocks were identified that represent targets for the mini-thermal emission spectrometer. Our algorithms also recognize the layers, identified by mission scientists. Such information could be used to prioritize data return or in a decision-making process regarding future rover activities. The spherules seen in MI images were also autonomously recognized. Our results indicate that reliable recognition of scientifically relevant morphologies in images is feasible.

  12. Modeling seasonal to annual carbon balance of Mer Bleue Bog, Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frolking, Steve; Roulet, Nigel T.; Moore, Tim R.; Lafleur, Peter M.; Bubier, Jill L.; Crill, Patrick M.

    2002-07-01

    Northern peatlands contain enormous quantities of organic carbon within a few meters of the atmosphere and play a significant role in the planetary carbon balance. We have developed a new, process-oriented model of the contemporary carbon balance of northern peatlands, the Peatland Carbon Simulator (PCARS). Components of PCARS are (1) vascular and nonvascular plant photosynthesis and respiration, net aboveground and belowground production, and litterfall; (2) aerobic and anaerobic decomposition of peat; (3) production, oxidation, and emission of methane; and (4) dissolved organic carbon loss with drainage water. PCARS has an hourly time step and requires air and soil temperatures, incoming radiation, water table depth, and horizontal drainage as drivers. Simulations predict a complete peatland C balance for one season to several years. A 3-year simulation was conducted for Mer Bleue Bog, near Ottawa, Ontario, and results were compared with multiyear eddy covariance tower CO2 flux and ancillary measurements from the site. Seasonal patterns and the general magnitude of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 were similar for PCARS and the tower data, though PCARS was generally biased toward net ecosystem respiration (i.e., carbon loss). Gross photosynthesis rates (calculated directly in PCARS, empirically inferred from tower data) were in good accord, so the discrepancy between model and measurement was likely related to autotrophic and/or heterotrophic respiration. Modeled and measured methane emission rates were quite low. PCARS has been designed to link with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) land surface model and a global climate model (GCM) to examine climate-peatland carbon feedbacks at regional scales in future analyses.

  13. [Microbial geochemical calcium cycle].

    PubMed

    Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    The participation of microorganisms in the geochemical calcium cycle is the most important factor maintaining neutral conditions on the Earth. This cycle has profound influence on the fate of inorganic carbon, and, thereby, on the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. The major part of calcium deposits was formed in the Precambrian, when prokaryotic biosphere predominated. After that, calcium recycling based on biogenic deposition by skeletal organisms became the main process. Among prokaryotes, only a few representatives, e.g., cyanobacteria, exhibit a special calcium function. The geochemical calcium cycle is made possible by the universal features of bacteria involved in biologically mediated reactions and is determined by the activities of microbial communities. In the prokaryotic system, the calcium cycle begins with the leaching of igneous rock predominantly through the action of the community of organotrophic organisms. The release of carbon dioxide to the soil air by organotrophic aerobes leads to leaching with carbonic acid and soda salinization. Under anoxic conditions, of major importance is the organic acid production by primary anaerobes (fermentative microorganisms). Calcium carbonate is precipitated by secondary anaerobes (sulfate reducers) and to a smaller degree by methanogens. The role of the cyanobacterial community in carbonate deposition is exposed by stromatolites, which are the most common organo-sedimentary Precambrian structures. Deposition of carbonates in cyanobacterial mats as a consequence of photoassimilation of CO2 does not appear to be a significant process. It is argued that carbonates were deposited at the boundary between the "soda continent", which emerged as a result of subaerial leaching with carbonic acid, and the ocean containing Ca2+. Such ecotones provided favorable conditions for the development of the benthic cyanobacterial community, which was a precursor of stromatolites.

  14. An integrated insight into the response of sedimentary microbial communities to heavy metal contamination

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Huaqun; Niu, Jiaojiao; Ren, Youhua; Cong, Jing; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Fan, Fenliang; Xiao, Yunhua; Zhang, Xian; Deng, Jie; Xie, Ming; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Liang, Yili; Liu, Xueduan

    2015-01-01

    Response of biological communities to environmental stresses is a critical issue in ecology, but how microbial communities shift across heavy metal gradients remain unclear. To explore the microbial response to heavy metal contamination (e.g., Cr, Mn, Zn), the composition, structure and functional potential of sedimentary microbial community were investigated by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons and a functional gene microarray. Analysis of 16S rRNA sequences revealed that the composition and structure of sedimentary microbial communities changed significantly across a gradient of heavy metal contamination, and the relative abundances were higher for Firmicutes, Chloroflexi and Crenarchaeota, but lower for Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria in highly contaminated samples. Also, molecular ecological network analysis of sequencing data indicated that their possible interactions might be enhanced in highly contaminated communities. Correspondently, key functional genes involved in metal homeostasis (e.g., chrR, metC, merB), carbon metabolism, and organic remediation showed a higher abundance in highly contaminated samples, indicating that bacterial communities in contaminated areas may modulate their energy consumption and organic remediation ability. This study indicated that the sedimentary indigenous microbial community may shift the composition and structure as well as function priority and interaction network to increase their adaptability and/or resistance to environmental contamination. PMID:26391875

  15. [Advance in the bioavailability monitoring of heavy metal based on microbial whole-cell sensor].

    PubMed

    Hou, Qi-Hui; Ma, An-Shou; Zhuang, Xiu-Liang; Zhuang, Guo-Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Microbial whole-cell biosensor is an excellent tool to assess the bioavailability of heavy metal in soil and water. However, the traditional physicochemical instruments are applied to detect the total metal. Furthermore, microbial whole-cell biosensor is simple, rapid and economical in manipulating, and is thus a highly qualified candidate for emergency detection of pollution incidents. The biological component of microbial whole-cell biosensor mostly consists of metalloregulatory proteins and reporter genes. In detail, metalloregulatory proteins mainly include the MerR family, ArsR family and RS family, and reporter genes mainly include gfp, lux and luc. Metalloregulatory protein and reporter gene are related to the sensitivity, specificity and properties in monitoring. The bioavailability of heavy metals is alterable under different conditions, influenced by pH, chelate and detection methods and so on. Increasing the accumulation of intracellular heavy metal, modifying the metalloregulatory proteins and optimizing the detecting conditions are important for improving the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the microbial whole-cell biosensor. The future direction of microbial whole-cell biosensor is to realize the monitoring of pollutions in situ and on line.

  16. Interactions between snow chemistry, mercury inputs and microbial population dynamics in an Arctic snowpack.

    PubMed

    Larose, Catherine; Prestat, Emmanuel; Cecillon, Sébastien; Berger, Sibel; Malandain, Cédric; Lyon, Delina; Ferrari, Christophe; Schneider, Dominique; Dommergue, Aurélien; Vogel, Timothy M

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the interactions between snowpack chemistry, mercury (Hg) contamination and microbial community structure and function in Arctic snow. Snowpack chemistry (inorganic and organic ions) including mercury (Hg) speciation was studied in samples collected during a two-month field study in a high Arctic site, Svalbard, Norway (79 °N). Shifts in microbial community structure were determined by using a 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic microarray. We linked snowpack and meltwater chemistry to changes in microbial community structure by using co-inertia analyses (CIA) and explored changes in community function due to Hg contamination by q-PCR quantification of Hg-resistance genes in metagenomic samples. Based on the CIA, chemical and microbial data were linked (p = 0.006) with bioavailable Hg (BioHg) and methylmercury (MeHg) contributing significantly to the ordination of samples. Mercury was shown to influence community function with increases in merA gene copy numbers at low BioHg levels. Our results show that snowpacks can be considered as dynamic habitats with microbial and chemical components responding rapidly to environmental changes.

  17. Microbial inoculants and their impact on soil microbial communities: a review.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Darine; Mhamdi, Ridha

    2013-01-01

    The knowledge of the survival of inoculated fungal and bacterial strains in field and the effects of their release on the indigenous microbial communities has been of great interest since the practical use of selected natural or genetically modified microorganisms has been developed. Soil inoculation or seed bacterization may lead to changes in the structure of the indigenous microbial communities, which is important with regard to the safety of introduction of microbes into the environment. Many reports indicate that application of microbial inoculants can influence, at least temporarily, the resident microbial communities. However, the major concern remains regarding how the impact on taxonomic groups can be related to effects on functional capabilities of the soil microbial communities. These changes could be the result of direct effects resulting from trophic competitions and antagonistic/synergic interactions with the resident microbial populations, or indirect effects mediated by enhanced root growth and exudation. Combination of inoculants will not necessarily produce an additive or synergic effect, but rather a competitive process. The extent of the inoculation impact on the subsequent crops in relation to the buffering capacity of the plant-soil-biota is still not well documented and should be the focus of future research.

  18. Microbial Inoculants and Their Impact on Soil Microbial Communities: A Review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The knowledge of the survival of inoculated fungal and bacterial strains in field and the effects of their release on the indigenous microbial communities has been of great interest since the practical use of selected natural or genetically modified microorganisms has been developed. Soil inoculation or seed bacterization may lead to changes in the structure of the indigenous microbial communities, which is important with regard to the safety of introduction of microbes into the environment. Many reports indicate that application of microbial inoculants can influence, at least temporarily, the resident microbial communities. However, the major concern remains regarding how the impact on taxonomic groups can be related to effects on functional capabilities of the soil microbial communities. These changes could be the result of direct effects resulting from trophic competitions and antagonistic/synergic interactions with the resident microbial populations, or indirect effects mediated by enhanced root growth and exudation. Combination of inoculants will not necessarily produce an additive or synergic effect, but rather a competitive process. The extent of the inoculation impact on the subsequent crops in relation to the buffering capacity of the plant-soil-biota is still not well documented and should be the focus of future research. PMID:23957006

  19. Biofilms: A microbial home

    PubMed Central

    Chandki, Rita; Banthia, Priyank; Banthia, Ruchi

    2011-01-01

    Microbial biofilms are mainly implicated in etiopathogenesis of caries and periodontal disease. Owing to its properties, these pose great challenges. Continuous and regular disruption of these biofilms is imperative for prevention and management of oral diseases. This essay provides a detailed insight into properties, mechanisms of etiopathogenesis, detection and removal of these microbial biofilms. PMID:21976832

  20. Inflight microbial analysis technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierson, Duane L.; Brown, Harlan D.

    1987-01-01

    This paper provides an assessment of functional characteristics needed in the microbial water analysis system being developed for Space Station. Available technology is reviewed with respect to performing microbial monitoring, isolation, or identification functions. An integrated system composed of three different technologies is presented.

  1. Experimental warming effects on the microbial community of a temperate mountain forest soil.

    PubMed

    Schindlbacher, A; Rodler, A; Kuffner, M; Kitzler, B; Sessitsch, A; Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S

    2011-07-01

    Soil microbial communities mediate the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). The amount of carbon (C) that is respired leaves the soil as CO(2) (soil respiration) and causes one of the greatest fluxes in the global carbon cycle. How soil microbial communities will respond to global warming, however, is not well understood. To elucidate the effect of warming on the microbial community we analyzed soil from the soil warming experiment Achenkirch, Austria. Soil of a mature spruce forest was warmed by 4 °C during snow-free seasons since 2004. Repeated soil sampling from control and warmed plots took place from 2008 until 2010. We monitored microbial biomass C and nitrogen (N). Microbial community composition was assessed by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) and by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) of ribosomal RNA genes. Microbial metabolic activity was estimated by soil respiration to biomass ratios and RNA to DNA ratios. Soil warming did not affect microbial biomass, nor did warming affect the abundances o