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Sample records for mer mediated microbial

  1. Mass dependent stable isotope fractionation of mercury during mer mediated microbial degradation of monomethylmercury

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kritee, K.; Barkay, Tamar; Blum, Joel D.

    2009-03-01

    Controlling bioaccumulation of toxic monomethylmercury (MMHg) in aquatic food chains requires differentiation between biotic and abiotic pathways that lead to its production and degradation. Recent mercury (Hg) stable isotope measurements of natural samples suggest that Hg isotope ratios can be a powerful proxy for tracing dominant Hg transforming pathways in aquatic ecosystems. Specifically, it has been shown that photo-degradation of MMHg causes both mass dependent (MDF) and mass independent fractionation (MIF) of Hg isotopes. Because the extent of MDF and MIF observed in natural samples (e.g., fish, soil and sediments) can potentially be used to determine the relative importance of pathways leading to MMHg accumulation, it is important to determine the potential role of microbial pathways in contributing to the fractionation, especially MIF, observed in these samples. This study reports the extent of fractionation of Hg stable isotopes during degradation of MMHg to volatile elemental Hg and methane via the microbial Hg resistance ( mer) pathway in Escherichia coli carrying a mercury resistance ( mer) genetic system on a multi-copy plasmid. During experimental microbial degradation of MMHg, MMHg remaining in reactors became progressively heavier (increasing δ202Hg) with time and underwent mass dependent Rayleigh fractionation with a fractionation factor α202/198 = 1.0004 ± 0.0002 (2SD). However, MIF was not observed in any of the microbial MMHg degradation experiments indicating that the isotopic signature left by mer mediated MMHg degradation is significantly different from fractionation observed during DOC mediated photo-degradation of MMHg. Additionally, a clear suppression of Hg isotope fractionation, both during reduction of Hg(II) and degradation of MMHg, was observed when the cell densities increased, possibly due to a reduction in substrate bioavailability. We propose a multi-step framework for understanding the extent of fractionation seen in our MMHg

  2. Mer receptor tyrosine kinase mediates both tethering and phagocytosis of apoptotic cells

    PubMed Central

    Dransfield, I; Zagórska, A; Lew, E D; Michail, K; Lemke, G

    2015-01-01

    Billions of inflammatory leukocytes die and are phagocytically cleared each day. This regular renewal facilitates the normal termination of inflammatory responses, suppressing pro-inflammatory mediators and inducing their anti-inflammatory counterparts. Here we investigate the role of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) Mer and its ligands Protein S and Gas6 in the initial recognition and capture of apoptotic cells (ACs) by macrophages. We demonstrate extremely rapid binding kinetics of both ligands to phosphatidylserine (PtdSer)-displaying ACs, and show that ACs can be co-opsonized with multiple PtdSer opsonins. We further show that macrophage phagocytosis of ACs opsonized with Mer ligands can occur independently of a requirement for αV integrins. Finally, we demonstrate a novel role for Mer in the tethering of ACs to the macrophage surface, and show that Mer-mediated tethering and subsequent AC engulfment can be distinguished by their requirement for Mer kinase activity. Our results identify Mer as a receptor uniquely capable of both tethering ACs to the macrophage surface and driving their subsequent internalization. PMID:25695599

  3. 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

  4. Microbially mediated phosphine emission.

    PubMed

    Roels, Joris; Huyghe, Gwen; Verstraete, Willy

    2005-02-15

    There is still a lot of controversy in literature concerning the question whether a biochemical system exists enabling micro-organisms to reduce phosphate to phosphine gas. The search for so-called 'de novo synthesised' phosphine is complicated by the fact that soils, slurries, sludges, etc., which are often used as inocula, usually contain matrix bound phosphine (MBP). Matrix bound phosphine is a general term used to indicate non-gaseous reduced phosphorus compounds that are transformed into phosphine gas upon reaction with bases or acids. A study was carried out to compare the different digestion methods, used to transform matrix bound phosphine into phosphine gas. It was demonstrated that caustic and acidic digestion methods should be used to measure the matrix bound phosphine of the inoculum prior to inoculation to avoid false positive results concerning de novo synthesis. This is especially true if anthropogenically influenced inocula possibly containing minute steel or aluminium particles are used. The comparative study on different digestion methods also revealed that the fraction of phosphorus in mild steel, converted to phosphine during acid corrosion depended on the temperature. Following these preliminary studies, anaerobic growth experiments were set up using different inocula and media to study the emission of phosphine gas. Phosphine was detected in the headspace gases and its quantity and timeframe of emission depended on the medium composition, suggesting microbially mediated formation of the gas. The amount of phosphine emitted during the growth experiments never exceeded the bound phosphine present in inocula, prior to inoculation. Hence, de novo synthesis of phosphine from phosphate could not be demonstrated. Yet, microbially mediated conversion to phosphine of hitherto unknown reduced phosphorus compounds in the inoculum was evidenced. PMID:15713333

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

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

    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 inmore » 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.« less

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Microbially Mediated-Precipitation of Cadmium Carbonate Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Kang, Serku; Kim, Yumi; Lee, Youngjae; Rohl, Yul

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the microbially mediated precipitation of cadmium using microorganisms enriched from rhodoliths and to characterize the mineralogical properties of the precipitates. A 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed the enriched microorganisms contained carbonate forming microorganisms such as Proteus mirabilis. The microorganisms mediated Cd-precipitation with Cd-acetate, but no precipitates were formed without the microbes in D-1 medium. XRD analysis showed the precipitates were poorly crystalline Cd-carbonates (CdCO3). SEM and TEM-EDS analyses showed that the Cd-carbonate minerals were irregular in shape, 20-30 nm in size, and composed of C, O, and Cd. Therefore, microbially mediated precipitation of cadmium carbonates could be used as a precursor of CdO nanoparticles and could play an important role in Cd immobilization in Cd-contaminated water as well as CO2 fixation in natural environments.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  19. Biotic interactions mediate soil microbial feedbacks to climate change

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26038557

  20. 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

    2015-06-01

    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. PMID:26038557

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

    MedlinePlus

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus; MERS-CoV; Novel coronavirus; nCoV ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Updated ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Cheston B; Opal, Steven M

    2014-01-01

    Coronaviruses have traditionally been associated with mild upper respiratory tract infections throughout the world. In the fall of 2002, a new coronavirus emerged in in Asia causing severe viral pneumonia, i.e., severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Nearly a decade following the SARS epidemic, a new coronavirus causing severe viral pneumonia has emerged, i.e., middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS). Since the initial case of MERS-CoV occurred in June of 2012 in Saudi Arabia there have been 688 confirmed cases and 282 deaths in 20 countries.   Although both SARS and MERS are caused by coronaviruses, SARS was characterized by efficient human transmission and relatively low mortality rate. In contrast, MERS is relatively inefficiently transmitted to humans but has a high mortality rate. Given the potential overlap in presentation and manifestation, it is important to understand the clinical and epidemiologic differences between MERS, SARS and influenza. PMID:25089913

  12. [Development of peptidic MERS-CoV entry inhibitors].

    PubMed

    Xia, Shuai; Wang, Qian; Liu, Shu-wen; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shi-bo

    2015-12-01

    In 2012, a new SARS-like coronavirus emerged in the Middle East, namely the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It has caused outbreaks with high mortality. During infection of target cell, MERS-CoV S protein S1 subunit binds to the cellular receptor (DPP4), and its S2 subunit HR1 and HR2 regions intact with each other to form a stable six-helix bundle to mediate the fusion between virus and target cell membranes. Hence, blocking the process of six-helix bundle formation can effectively inhibit MERS-CoV entry into the target cells. This review focuses on the recent advance in the development of peptidic entry inhibitors targeting the MERS-CoV S2 subunit. PMID:27169270

  13. Microbially mediated cobalt oxidation in seawater revealed by radiotracer experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, B.G.; Fisher, N.S. )

    1993-12-01

    The influence of microbial activity on Co and Mn oxidation in decomposing diatom cultures was determined with radiotracer techniques. Adding a consortium of microorganisms collected from coastal seawater (0.2-3-[mu]m size fraction) to the cultures increased particulate Co formation rates at 18[degrees]C by an order of magnitude (to 3.8% d[sup [minus]1]) and particulate Mn formation rates 3-fold (to 7.9% d[sup [minus

  14. Microbially mediated redox processes in natural analogues for radioactive waste

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haveman, Shelley A.; Pedersen, Karsten

    2002-03-01

    Natural analogues allow scientists to investigate biogeochemical processes relevant to radioactive waste disposal that occur on time scales longer than those that may be studied by time-limited laboratory experiments. The Palmottu U-Th deposit in Finland and the Bangombé natural nuclear reactor in Gabon involve the study of natural uranium, and are both considered natural analogues for subsurface radioactive waste disposal. The microbial population naturally present in groundwater may affect the redox conditions, and hence, the radionuclide solubility and migration. Therefore, groundwater samples from the two sites were investigated for microbial populations. The total numbers of cells ranged from 10 4 to 10 6 cells ml -1. Iron-reducing bacteria (IRB) were the largest culturable microbial population in the Palmottu groundwater and were present at up to 1.3×10 5 cells ml -1. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and acetogens could also be cultured from the Palmottu groundwater. The numbers of IRB and SRB were largest in groundwater with the lowest uranium concentrations. Removal of dissolved U(VI) from solution was concomitant with the growth of IRB enrichment cultures and the reduction of iron. The redox buffer in the Palmottu groundwater consists of iron and uranium species, both of which are affected by IRB. IRB and aerobic heterotrophs were cultured from the Bangombé groundwater, where redox potentials are buffered by iron and organic carbon species. Microbial populations similar to those found at Palmottu and Bangombé are found throughout the Fennoscandian Shield, a potential host rock for subsurface radioactive waste disposal. These results confirm that microorganisms can be expected to play a role in stabilizing radioactive waste disposed of in the subsurface by lowering redox potential and immobilizing radionuclides.

  15. Geochemical Evidence of Microbially-Mediated Subglacial Mineral Weathering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montross, S. N.; Skidmore, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Interactions between dilute meltwater and fine-grained, freshly comminuted debris at the bed of temperate glaciers liberate significant solute. The proportions of solute produced in the subglacial environment via biotic and abiotic processes remains unknown, however, this work suggests the biotic contribution is substantial. Laboratory analyses of microbiological and geochemical properties of sediment and meltwater from the Haut Glacier d'Arolla (HGA) indicates that a metabolically active microbial community exists in water-saturated sediments at the ice-bedrock interface. Basal sediment slurries and meltwater were incubated in the laboratory for 100 days under near in situ subglacial conditions. Relative proportions of solute produced via abiotic v. biotic mineral weathering were analyzed by comparing the evolved aqueous chemistry of biologically active "live" sediment slurries with sterilized controls. Aqueous chemical analyses indicate an increase in solute produced from mineral weathering coupled with nitrate depletion in the biologically active slurries compared with the killed controls. These results infer that microbial activity at HGA is likely an important contributor to chemical weathering associated solute fluxes from the glaciated catchment. Due to the magnitude of past glaciations throughout geologic time (e.g., Neoproterozoic and Late-Pleistocene), and evidence that subglacial microbial activity impacts mineral weathering, greater consideration needs to be given to cold temperature biogeochemical weathering and its impact on global geochemical cycles.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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. Tubby regulates microglial phagocytosis through MerTK.

    PubMed

    Caberoy, Nora B; Alvarado, Gabriela; Li, Wei

    2012-11-15

    Immunologically-silent microglial phagocytosis of apoptotic cells and cellular debris is critical for CNS homeostasis and innate immune balance. The beneficial and detrimental effects of microglial phagocytosis on neurons remain controversial. Phagocytosis ligands are the key to selecting extracellular cargos, initiating the engulfment process, defining phagocyte functional roles and regulating phagocyte activities with therapeutic potentials. Here we characterized tubby as a new ligand to regulate microglial phagocytosis through MerTK receptor, which is well known for its immunosuppressive signaling. Tubby at 0.1nM significantly induced microglial phagocytosis of apoptotic cells with a maximal activity at 10nM. Tubby activated MerTK with receptor autophosphorylation in a similar dose range. Excessive soluble MerTK extracellular domain blocked tubby-mediated microglial phagocytosis of plasma membrane vesicles as cellular debris. Immunocytochemistry revealed that the ingested cargos were co-localized with MerTK-dependent non-muscle myosin II, whose rearrangement is necessary for cargo engulfment. Phagosome biomarker Rab7 was colocalized with cargos, suggesting that internalized cargos were targeted to phagocytic pathway. Tubby stimulated phagocytosis by neonatal and aged microglia with similar activities, but not by MerTK(-/-) microglia. These results suggest that tubby is a ligand to facilitate microglial phagocytosis through MerTK for the maintenance of CNS homeostasis.

  20. 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. PMID:27433711

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:23882445

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:23959171

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Circulating inflammatory mediators predict shock and mortality in febrile patients with microbial infection.

    PubMed

    Groeneveld, A B J; Tacx, A N; Bossink, A W J; van Mierlo, G J; Hack, C E

    2003-02-01

    The host response to microbial infection is associated with the release of inflammatory mediators. We hypothesized that the type and degree of the systemic response as reflected by levels of circulating mediators predict morbidity and mortality, according to the invasiveness of microbial infection. We prospectively studied 133 medical patients with fever and culture-proven microbial infection. For 3 days after inclusion, the circulating levels of activated complement C3a, interleukin (IL)-6, and secretory phospholipase A(2) (sPLA(2)) were determined daily. Based on results of microbiological studies performed for up to 7 days, patients were classified as having local infections (Group 1, n = 80 positive local cultures or specific stains for fungal or tuberculous infections) or bacteremia (Group 2, n = 52 plus 1 patient with malaria parasitemia). Outcome was assessed as the development of septic shock and as mortality up to 28 days after inclusion. Fifteen patients (11%) developed septic shock and overall mortality was 18% (n = 24). Bacteremia was associated with shock and shock predisposed to death. Circulating mediator levels were generally higher in Group 2 than in Group 1. Circulating levels of IL-6 and sPLA(2) were higher in patients developing septic shock and in nonsurvivors, particularly in Group 1. High C3a was particularly associated with nonsurvival in Group 2. In Group 1, the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the peak sPLA(2) for shock development was 0.79 (P < 0.05). The AUC of the ROC curve of the peak IL-6 and sPLA(2) for mortality was 0.69 and 0.68 (P < 0.05), respectively. In Group 2, the AUC of the ROC for peak C3a predicting mortality was 0.73 (P < 0.05). In conclusion, in medical patients with fever and microbial infection, the systemic inflammatory host response predicts shock and death, at an early stage, dependent on the invasiveness of microbial infection. The results suggest a differential

  14. 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. PMID:27468951

  15. 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

  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

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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 (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. PMID:27481013

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

    PubMed

    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 (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.

  20. Microbially mediated mineral carbonation: roles of phototrophy and heterotrophy.

    PubMed

    Power, Ian M; Wilson, Siobhan A; Small, Darcy P; Dipple, Gregory M; Wan, Wankei; Southam, Gordon

    2011-10-15

    Ultramafic mine tailings from the Diavik Diamond Mine, Canada and the Mount Keith Nickel Mine, Western Australia are valuable feedstocks for sequestering CO₂ via mineral carbonation. In microcosm experiments, tailings were leached using various dilute acids to produce subsaline solutions at circumneutral pH that were inoculated with a phototrophic consortium that is able to induce carbonate precipitation. Geochemical modeling of the experimental solutions indicates that up to 2.5% and 16.7% of the annual emissions for Diavik and Mount Keith mines, respectively, could be sequestered as carbonate minerals and phototrophic biomass. CO₂ sequestration rates are mainly limited by cation availability and the uptake of CO₂. Abundant carbonate mineral precipitation occurred when heterotrophic oxidation of acetate acted as an alternative pathway for CO₂ delivery. These experiments highlight the importance of heterotrophy in producing sufficient DIC concentrations while phototrophy causes alkalinization of waters and produces biomass (fatty acids = 7.6 wt.%), a potential feedstock for biofuel production. Tailings storage facilities could be redesigned to promote CO₂ sequestration by directing leachate waters from tailings piles into specially designed ponds where carbonate precipitation would be mediated by both chemical and biological processes, thereby storing carbon in stable carbonate minerals and potentially valuable biomass. PMID:21879741

  1. 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.

  2. Biofuel Cells Select for Microbial Consortia That Self-Mediate Electron Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Rabaey, Korneel; Boon, Nico; Siciliano, Steven D.; Verhaege, Marc; Verstraete, Willy

    2004-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells hold great promise as a sustainable biotechnological solution to future energy needs. Current efforts to improve the efficiency of such fuel cells are limited by the lack of knowledge about the microbial ecology of these systems. The purposes of this study were (i) to elucidate whether a bacterial community, either suspended or attached to an electrode, can evolve in a microbial fuel cell to bring about higher power output, and (ii) to identify species responsible for the electricity generation. Enrichment by repeated transfer of a bacterial consortium harvested from the anode compartment of a biofuel cell in which glucose was used increased the output from an initial level of 0.6 W m−2 of electrode surface to a maximal level of 4.31 W m−2 (664 mV, 30.9 mA) when plain graphite electrodes were used. This result was obtained with an average loading rate of 1 g of glucose liter−1 day−1 and corresponded to 81% efficiency for electron transfer from glucose to electricity. Cyclic voltammetry indicated that the enhanced microbial consortium had either membrane-bound or excreted redox components that were not initially detected in the community. Dominant species of the enhanced culture were identified by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and culturing. The community consisted mainly of facultative anaerobic bacteria, such as Alcaligenes faecalis and Enterococcus gallinarum, which are capable of hydrogen production. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other Pseudomonas species were also isolated. For several isolates, electrochemical activity was mainly due to excreted redox mediators, and one of these mediators, pyocyanin produced by P. aeruginosa, could be characterized. Overall, the enrichment procedure, irrespective of whether only attached or suspended bacteria were examined, selected for organisms capable of mediating the electron transfer either by direct bacterial transfer or by excretion of redox components. PMID:15345423

  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. Effect of microbial mediated iron plaque reduction on arsenic mobility in paddy soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xinjun; Chen, Xueping; Yang, Jing; Wang, Zhaosu; Sun, Guoxin

    2009-01-01

    The potential of microbial mediated iron plaque reduction, and associated arsenic (As) mobility were examined by iron reducing bacteria enriched from As contaminated paddy soil. To our knowledge, this is the first time to report the impact of microbial iron plaque reduction on As mobility. Iron reduction occurred during the inoculation of iron reducing enrichment culture in the treatments with iron plaque and ferrihydrite as the electron acceptors, respectively. The Fe(II) concentration with the treatment of anthraquinone-2, 6-disulfonic acid (AQDS) and iron reducing bacteria increased much faster than the control. Arsenic released from iron plaque with the iron reduction, and a significant correlation between Fe(II) and total As in culture was observed. However, compared with control, the increasing rate of As was inhibited by iron reducing bacteria especially in the presence of AQDS. In addition, the concentrations of As(III) and As(V) in abiotic treatments were higher than those in the biotic treatments at day 30. These results indicated that both microbial and chemical reductions of iron plaque caused As release from iron plaque to aqueous phase, however, microbial iron reduction induced the formation of more crystalline iron minerals, leading to As sequestration. In addition, the presence of AQDS in solution can accelerate the iron reduction, the As release from iron plaque and subsequently the As retention in the crystalline iron mineral. Thus, our results suggested that it is possible to remediate As contaminated soils by utilizing iron reducing bacteria and AQDS. PMID:20108691

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Structural insights into the inhibited states of the Mer receptor tyrosine kinase

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xudong; Finerty, Patrick; Walker, John R.; Butler-Cole, Christine; Vedadi, Masoud; Schapira, Matthieu; Parker, Sirlester A.; Turk, Benjamin E.; Thompson, Debra A.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano

    2009-01-01

    The mammalian ortholog of the retroviral oncogene v-Eyk, and a receptor tyrosine kinase upstream of antiapoptotic and transforming signals, Mer (MerTK) is a mediator of the phagocytic process, being involved in retinal and immune cell clearance and platelet aggregation. Mer knockout mice are viable and are protected from epinephrine-induced pulmonary thromboembolism and ferric chloride-induced thrombosis. Mer overexpression, on the other hand, is associated with numerous carcinomas. Although Mer adaptor proteins and signaling pathways have been identified, it remains unclear how Mer initiates phagocytosis. When bound to its nucleotide cofactor, the high-resolution structure of Mer shows an autoinhibited αC-Glu-out conformation with insertion of an activation loop residue into the active site. Mer complexed with compound-52 (C52: 2-(2-hydroxyethylamino)-6-(3-chloroanilino)-9-isopropylpurine), a ligand identified from a focused library, retains its DFG-Asp-in and αC-Glu-out conformation, but acquires other conformational changes. The αC helix and DFGL region is closer to the hinge region and the ethanolamine moiety of C52 binds in the groove formed between Leu593 and Val601 of the P-loop, causing a compression of the active site pocket. These conformational states reveal the mechanisms of autoinhibition, the pathophysiological basis of disease-causing mutations, and a platform for the development of chemical probes. PMID:19028587

  10. Tubby and tubby-like protein 1 are new MerTK ligands for phagocytosis.

    PubMed

    Caberoy, Nora B; Zhou, Yixiong; Li, Wei

    2010-12-01

    Tubby and tubby-like protein 1 (Tulp1) are newly identified phagocytosis ligands to facilitate retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and macrophage phagocytosis. Both proteins without classical signal peptide have been demonstrated with unconventional secretion. Here, we characterized them as novel MerTK ligands to facilitate phagocytosis. Tulp1 interacts with Tyro3, Axl and MerTK of the TAM receptor tyrosine kinase subfamily, whereas tubby binds only to MerTK. Excessive soluble MerTK extracellular domain blocked tubby- or Tulp1-mediated phagocytosis. Both ligands induced MerTK activation with receptor phosphorylation and signalling cascade, including non-muscle myosin II redistribution and co-localization with phagosomes. Tubby and Tulp1 are bridging molecules with their N-terminal region as MerTK-binding domain and C-terminal region as phagocytosis prey-binding domain (PPBD). Five minimal phagocytic determinants (MPDs) of K/R(X)(1-2)KKK in Tulp1 N-terminus were defined as essential motifs for MerTK binding, receptor phosphorylation and phagocytosis. PPBD was mapped to the highly conserved 54 amino acids at the C-terminal end of tubby and Tulp1. These data suggest that tubby and Tulp1 are novel bridging molecules to facilitate phagocytosis through MerTK.

  11. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Sonja A; Watson, Amelia K; Swerdlow, David L

    2016-06-01

    Since the identification of the first patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, over 1,600 cases have been reported as of February 2016. Most cases have occurred in Saudi Arabia or in other countries on or near the Arabian Peninsula, but travel-associated cases have also been seen in countries outside the Arabian Peninsula. MERS-CoV causes a severe respiratory illness in many patients, with a case fatality rate as high as 40%, although when contacts are investigated, a significant proportion of patients are asymptomatic or only have mild symptoms. At this time, no vaccines or treatments are available. Epidemiological and other data suggest that the source of most primary cases is exposure to camels. Person-to-person transmission occurs in household and health care settings, although sustained and efficient person-to-person transmission has not been observed. Strict adherence to infection control recommendations has been associated with control of previous outbreaks. Vigilance is needed because genomic changes in MERS-CoV could result in increased transmissibility, similar to what was seen in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). PMID:27337460

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Monitoring of microbially mediated corrosion and scaling processes using redox potential measurements.

    PubMed

    Opel, Oliver; Eggerichs, Tanja; Otte, Tobias; Ruck, Wolfgang K L

    2014-06-01

    The use of redox potential measurements for corrosion and scaling monitoring, including microbially mediated processes, is demonstrated. As a case study, monitoring data from 10years of operation of an aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) site located in Berlin, Germany, were examined. (Fe(2+))-activities as well as [Fe(3+)]-build up rates were calculated from redox potential, pH, conductivity, temperature and dissolved oxygen measurements. Calculations are based on assuming (Fe(3+))-activity being controlled by Fe(OH)3-solubility, the primary iron(III)-precipitate. This approach was tested using a simple log-linear model including dissolved oxygen besides major Fe(2+)-ligands. Measured redox potential values in groundwater used for thermal storage are met within ±8mV. In other systems comprising natural groundwater and in heating and cooling systems in buildings, quantitatively interpretable values are obtained also. It was possible to calculate particulate [Fe(3+)]-loads in the storage fluids in the order of 2μM and correlate a decrease in filter lifetimes to [Fe(3+)]-build up rates, although observations show clear signs of microbially mediated scaling processes involving iron and sulphur cycling.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Humic acids enhance the microbially mediated release of sedimentary ferrous iron.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chun-Han; Wei, Chia-Cheng; Lin, Li-Hung; Tu, Tzu-Hsuan; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2016-03-01

    Iron (Fe) is an essential element for many organisms, but high concentrations of iron can be toxic. The complex relation between iron, arsenic (As), bacteria, and organic matter in sediments and groundwater is still an issue of environmental concern. The present study addresses the effects of humic acids and microorganisms on the mobilization of iron in sediments from an arsenic-affected area, and the microbial diversity was analyzed. The results showed that the addition of 50, 100, and 500 mg/L humic acids enhanced ferrous iron (Fe(II)) release in a time-dependent and dose-dependent fashion under anaerobic conditions. A significant increase in the soluble Fe(II) concentrations occurred in the aqueous phases of the samples during the first 2 weeks, and aqueous Fe(II) reached its maximum concentrations after 8 weeks at the following Fe(II) concentrations: 28.95 ± 1.16 mg/L (original non-sterilized sediments), 32.50 ± 0.71 mg/L (50 mg/L humic acid-amended, non-sterilized sediments), 37.50 ± 1.85 mg/L (100 mg/L humic acid-amended, non-sterilized sediments), and 39.00 ± 0.43 mg/L (500 mg/L humic acid-amended, non-sterilized sediments). These results suggest that humic acids can further enhance the microbially mediated release of sedimentary iron under anaerobic conditions. By contrast, very insignificant amounts of iron release were observed from sterilized sediments (the abiotic controls), even with the supplementation of humic acids under anaerobic incubation. In addition, the As(III) release was increased from 50 ± 10 μg/L (original non-sterilized sediments) to 110 ± 45 μg/L (100 mg/L humic acid-amended, non-sterilized sediments) after 8 weeks of anaerobic incubation. Furthermore, a microbial community analysis indicated that the predominant class was changed from Alphaproteobacteria to Deltaproteobacteria, and clearly increased populations of Geobacter sp., Paludibacter sp., and Methylophaga sp. were found after adding humic acids

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Recently identified microbial guild mediates soil N2O sink capacity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Christopher M.; Spor, Ayme; Brennan, Fiona P.; Breuil, Marie-Christine; Bru, David; Lemanceau, Philippe; Griffiths, Bryan; Hallin, Sara; Philippot, Laurent

    2014-09-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the predominant ozone-depleting substance and contributes approximately 6% to overall global warming. Terrestrial ecosystems account for nearly 70% of total global N2O atmospheric loading, of which at least 45% can be attributed to microbial cycling of nitrogen in agriculture. The reduction of N2O to nitrogen gas by microorganisms is critical for mitigating its emissions from terrestrial ecosystems, yet the determinants of a soil's capacity to act as a source or sink for N2O remain uncertain. Here, we demonstrate that the soil N2O sink capacity is mostly explained by the abundance and phylogenetic diversity of a newly described N2O-reducing microbial group, which mediate the influence of edaphic factors. Analyses of interactions and niche preference similarities suggest niche differentiation or even competitive interactions between organisms with the two types of N2O reductase. We further identified several recurring communities comprised of co-occurring N2O-reducing bacterial genotypes that were significant indicators of the soil N2O sink capacity across different European soils.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessing the effect of oxygen and microbial inhibitors to optimize ferricyanide-mediated BOD assay.

    PubMed

    Bonetto, M Celina; Sacco, Natalia J; Ohlsson, Astrid Hilding; Cortón, Eduardo

    2011-07-15

    Methods for short-term BOD analysis (BOD(st)) based on ferricyanide mediator reduction have succeeded in overcoming some problems associated with the standard BOD test analysis (BOD(5)) such as long-term incubations (5 days), the need to dilute samples and low reproducibility. Here we present a bioassay where a Klebsiella pneumoniae environmental strain successfully reduces ferricyanide without de-aeration of the samples with linear BOD(5) ranges between 30 and 500 mg L(-1) or 30 and 200 mg L(-1), using glucose-glutamic acid solution (GGA) or OECD standards respectively. We further propose a new assay termination solution that allows higher reproducibility and standardization of the cell-based assay, employing formaldehyde (22.7 g L(-1)) or other compounds in order to stop ferricyanide reduction without affecting the amperometric detection and therefore replace the centrifugation step normally used to stop microbial-driven reactions in ferricyanide-mediated bioassays. These improvements led to an accurate determination of real municipal wastewater samples.

  5. Short communication: Measuring the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory activity of an 8-amino acid (8mer) fragment of the C12 antihypertensive peptide.

    PubMed

    Paul, Moushumi; Phillips, John G; Renye, John A

    2016-05-01

    An 8-AA (8mer) fragment (PFPEVFGK) of a known antihypertensive peptide derived from bovine αS1-casein (C12 antihypertensive peptide) was synthesized by microwave-assisted solid-phase peptide synthesis and purified by reverse phase HPLC. Its ability to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) was assessed and compared with that of the parent 12mer peptide (FFVAPFPEVFGK) to determine the effect of truncating the sequence on overall hypotensive activity. The activity of the truncated 8mer peptide was found to be almost 1.5 times less active than that of the 12mer, with ACE-inhibiting IC50 (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) values of 108 and 69μM, for the 8mer and 12mer, respectively. Although the 8mer peptide is less active than the original 12mer peptide, its overall activity is comparable to activities reported for other small proteins that elicit physiological responses within humans. These results suggest that microbial degradation of the 12mer peptide would not result in a complete loss of antihypertensive activity if used to supplement fermented foods and that the stable 8mer peptide could have potential as a blood pressure-lowering agent for use in functional foods.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial impacts on the geochemistry evolution in a nuclear waste repository -Laboratory experiment of microbially mediated redox changes-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagaoka, T.

    2010-12-01

    It is important to investigate geochemical evolution around nuclear waste repositories, because geochemical conditions could affect radionuclide migration. Therefore, a laboratory jar experiment was conducted with subsurface sediments, in order to assess the response of the geochemical and microbial communities toward redox processes. The redox process was induced by exposure to air and discontinuation to sediment suspension, which simulated the process occurring during operation of nuclear waste repositories, i.e., tunnel excavation, transport of waste containers, and final backfilling. During the experiments, redox potential, dissolved oxygen, and pH in the suspension were measured, and the concentrations of dissolved ions concentration (e.g., NO3-, SO42- and organic acid), HCl-extractable iron, and also head space gasses (e.g., CO2, CH4) in the jar were analyzed. Moreover, microbial DNA was extracted from the suspension, and PCR-DGGE analysis was performed to analyze the response of microbial communities toward the geochemical changes. As a results, after discontinuation of air exposure with lactate amendment, redox potentials decreased from ca. +300 mV to -430 m V (vs. Ag/AgCl), and the sequential terminal electron-accepting process (TEAPs) was observed with the reactions of aerobic respiration, nitrate reduction, iron reduction, sulfate reduction, and methanogenesis. The related species of the microbes along with TEAPs, e.g., Pseudomonas sp. for nitrate reduction and Desulfovibrio sp. for sulfate reduction, was also detected. These results indicated that the microbial activities would affect the geochemical changes in nuclear repositories.

  9. Efficacy of a Mer and Flt3 tyrosine kinase small molecule inhibitor, UNC1666, in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Lee-Sherick, Alisa B.; Zhang, Weihe; Menachof, Kelly K.; Hill, Amanda A.; Rinella, Sean; Kirkpatrick, Gregory; Page, Lauren S.; Stashko, Michael A.; Jordan, Craig T.; Wei, Qi; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Dehui; DeRyckere, Deborah; Wang, Xiaodong; Frye, Stephen; Earp, H. Shelton; Graham, Douglas K.

    2015-01-01

    Mer and Flt3 receptor tyrosine kinases have been implicated as therapeutic targets in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In this manuscript we describe UNC1666, a novel ATP-competitive small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which potently diminishes Mer and Flt3 phosphorylation in AML. Treatment with UNC1666 mediated biochemical and functional effects in AML cell lines expressing Mer or Flt3 internal tandem duplication (ITD), including decreased phosphorylation of Mer, Flt3 and downstream effectors Stat, Akt and Erk, induction of apoptosis in up to 98% of cells, and reduction of colony formation by greater than 90%, compared to treatment with vehicle. These effects were dose-dependent, with inhibition of downstream signaling and functional effects correlating with the degree of Mer or Flt3 kinase inhibition. Treatment of primary AML patient samples expressing Mer and/or Flt3-ITD with UNC1666 also inhibited Mer and Flt3 intracellular signaling, induced apoptosis, and inhibited colony formation. In summary, UNC1666 is a novel potent small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that decreases oncogenic signaling and myeloblast survival, thereby validating dual Mer/Flt3 inhibition as an attractive treatment strategy for AML. PMID:25762638

  10. MERS coronavirus: diagnostics, epidemiology and transmission.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Ian M; Arden, Katherine E

    2015-01-01

    The first known cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), associated with infection by a novel coronavirus (CoV), occurred in 2012 in Jordan but were reported retrospectively. The case first to be publicly reported was from Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Since then, MERS-CoV sequences have been found in a bat and in many dromedary camels (DC). MERS-CoV is enzootic in DC across the Arabian Peninsula and in parts of Africa, causing mild upper respiratory tract illness in its camel reservoir and sporadic, but relatively rare human infections. Precisely how virus transmits to humans remains unknown but close and lengthy exposure appears to be a requirement. The KSA is the focal point of MERS, with the majority of human cases. In humans, MERS is mostly known as a lower respiratory tract (LRT) disease involving fever, cough, breathing difficulties and pneumonia that may progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure and death in 20% to 40% of those infected. However, MERS-CoV has also been detected in mild and influenza-like illnesses and in those with no signs or symptoms. Older males most obviously suffer severe disease and MERS patients often have comorbidities. Compared to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), another sometimes- fatal zoonotic coronavirus disease that has since disappeared, MERS progresses more rapidly to respiratory failure and acute kidney injury (it also has an affinity for growth in kidney cells under laboratory conditions), is more frequently reported in patients with underlying disease and is more often fatal. Most human cases of MERS have been linked to lapses in infection prevention and control (IPC) in healthcare settings, with approximately 20% of all virus detections reported among healthcare workers (HCWs) and higher exposures in those with occupations that bring them into close contact with camels. Sero-surveys have found widespread evidence of past infection in adult camels and limited

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Mediation of Dolomite Precipitation in Natural Environments, Culture Experiments and Molecular Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meister, P.; Nealson, K.; McKenzie, J. A.; Warthmann, R.; Vasconcelos, C.

    2005-12-01

    Although dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] is a common carbonate mineral in sedimentary rocks, it is rarely observed forming in modern environments, and, until recently, experimental precipitation under Earth surface conditions proved impossible. With the discovery of microbial mediated dolomite formation in culture experiments with sulfate-reducing bacteria, it has become apparent that microbes play an important role in overcoming the kinetic barrier of mineral precipitation and, thus, may represent a key factor controlling early diagenetic processes throughout Earth history. The detailed mechanisms of these processes, however, remain poorly understood. Recent studies of dolomite layers in organic carbon-rich hemipelagic sediments recovered on the Peru margin during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 201 (Meister et al., in prep.) indicate precipitation at the interface between the sulphate reduction and methanogenic zones. At this chemical front, alkalinity is strongly increased, sulphate ions, a possible inhibitor of dolomite precipitation, are efficiently removed, and highest total cell densities were counted (up to 10 to the 9 cells / cm3; Shipboard Scientific Party, 2003). These results strengthen the model that microbes are involved in dolomite formation, providing the appropriate chemical conditions, whereas the high cell density may kinetically control the strictly focused precipitation process. We are currently conducting a systematic study of the precipitation of dolomite and other carbonate minerals in the Ca-Mg-bicarbonate-system. In preliminary experiments under aerobic conditions we used agar plates with a marine medium to grow a bacterium isolated from sediments of the San Pedro basin (California), an upwelling area similar to the Peru margin. We observed that the crystals formed only inside of the colonies and showed a dumbbell-shaped morphology similar to dolomite produced in anaerobic experiments. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed, however, that the product was

  13. 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.

  14. Kinetics of microbially mediated reactions: dissimilatory sulfate reduction in saltmarsh sediments (Sapelo Island, Georgia, USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roychoudhury, Alakendra N.; Van Cappellen, Philippe; Kostka, Joel E.; Viollier, Eric

    2003-04-01

    A sediment disk reactor was tested in once flow-through mode to retrieve kinetic parameters for the Monod rate law that describes sulfate reduction. The experimental method was compared with a previously described procedure by the authors where a sediment plug-flow reactor was operated in a recirculation mode. In recirculation mode, accumulation of metabolic byproducts in certain cases may result in negative feedback, thus preventing accurate determination of kinetic information. The method described in this article provides an alternative to the recirculation sediment plug-flow-through reactor technique for retrieving kinetic parameters of microbially mediated reactions in aquatic sediments. For sulfate reduction in a saltmarsh site, a maximum estimate of the half-saturation concentration, Ks, of 204±26 μM and a maximum reaction rate, Rm, of 2846±129 nmol cm( wet sediment ) 3 d-1 was determined. The Ks value obtained was consistent with the one estimated previously (K s=240±20 μM) from a different site within the same saltmarsh mud flat using a recirculating reactor. From the Rm value and reduction rates determined using 35SO 42- incubation experiments, we infer that sulfate reduction is limited in the field. Substrate availability is not the main contributor for the limitation, however. Competition from other microbes, such as iron reducers affects the activity of sulfate reducers in the suboxic to anoxic zones, whereas aerobes compete in the oxic zone. High sulfide concentration in the pore water may also have acted as a toxin to the sulfate reducers in the field.

  15. Magnetic nanoparticle-mediated isolation of functional bacteria in a complex microbial community.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dayi; Berry, James P; Zhu, Di; Wang, Yun; Chen, Yin; Jiang, Bo; Huang, Shi; Langford, Harry; Li, Guanghe; Davison, Paul A; Xu, Jian; Aries, Eric; Huang, Wei E

    2015-03-01

    Although uncultured microorganisms have important roles in ecosystems, their ecophysiology in situ remains elusive owing to the difficulty of obtaining live cells from their natural habitats. In this study, we employed a novel magnetic nanoparticle-mediated isolation (MMI) method to recover metabolically active cells of a group of previously uncultured phenol degraders, Burkholderiales spp., from coking plant wastewater biosludge; five other culturable phenol degraders-Rhodococcus sp., Chryseobacterium sp. and three different Pseudomonas spp.-were also isolated from the same biosludge using traditional methods. The kinetics of phenol degradation by MMI-recovered cells (MRCs) was similar to that of the original sludge. Stable isotope probing (SIP) and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA from the 'heavy' DNA ((13)C-DNA) fractions indicated that Burkholderiales spp. were the key phenol degraders in situ in the biosludge, consistent with the results of MRCs. Single-cell Raman micro-spectroscopy was applied to probe individual bacteria in the MRCs obtained from the SIP experiment and showed that 79% of them were fully (13)C-labelled. Biolog assays on the MRCs revealed the impact of various carbon and nitrogen substrates on the efficiency of phenol degradation in the wastewater treatment plant biosludge. Specifically, hydroxylamine, a metabolite of ammonia oxidisation, but not nitrite, nitrate or ammonia, inhibited phenol degradation in the biosludge. Our results provided a novel insight into the occasional abrupt failure events that occur in the wastewater treatment plant. This study demonstrated that MMI is a powerful tool to recover live and functional cells in situ from a complex microbial community to enable further characterisation of their physiology.

  16. Magnetic nanoparticle-mediated isolation of functional bacteria in a complex microbial community

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dayi; Berry, James P; Zhu, Di; Wang, Yun; Chen, Yin; Jiang, Bo; Huang, Shi; Langford, Harry; Li, Guanghe; Davison, Paul A; Xu, Jian; Aries, Eric; Huang, Wei E

    2015-01-01

    Although uncultured microorganisms have important roles in ecosystems, their ecophysiology in situ remains elusive owing to the difficulty of obtaining live cells from their natural habitats. In this study, we employed a novel magnetic nanoparticle-mediated isolation (MMI) method to recover metabolically active cells of a group of previously uncultured phenol degraders, Burkholderiales spp., from coking plant wastewater biosludge; five other culturable phenol degraders—Rhodococcus sp., Chryseobacterium sp. and three different Pseudomonas spp.—were also isolated from the same biosludge using traditional methods. The kinetics of phenol degradation by MMI-recovered cells (MRCs) was similar to that of the original sludge. Stable isotope probing (SIP) and pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA from the ‘heavy' DNA (13C-DNA) fractions indicated that Burkholderiales spp. were the key phenol degraders in situ in the biosludge, consistent with the results of MRCs. Single-cell Raman micro-spectroscopy was applied to probe individual bacteria in the MRCs obtained from the SIP experiment and showed that 79% of them were fully 13C-labelled. Biolog assays on the MRCs revealed the impact of various carbon and nitrogen substrates on the efficiency of phenol degradation in the wastewater treatment plant biosludge. Specifically, hydroxylamine, a metabolite of ammonia oxidisation, but not nitrite, nitrate or ammonia, inhibited phenol degradation in the biosludge. Our results provided a novel insight into the occasional abrupt failure events that occur in the wastewater treatment plant. This study demonstrated that MMI is a powerful tool to recover live and functional cells in situ from a complex microbial community to enable further characterisation of their physiology. PMID:25191996

  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. PMID:26780146

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:25062539

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27333443

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27105275

  6. MERS: emergence of a novel human coronavirus

    PubMed Central

    Raj, V. Stalin; Osterhaus, Albert D.M.E.; Fouchier, Ron A.M.; Haagmans, Bart L.

    2014-01-01

    A novel coronavirus (CoV) that causes a severe lower respiratory tract infection in humans, emerged in the Middle East region in 2012. This virus, named Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, is phylogenetically related to bat CoVs, but other animal species like dromedary camels may potentially act as intermediate hosts by spreading the virus to humans. Although human to human transmission has been demonstrated, analysis of human MERS clusters indicated that chains of transmission were not self-sustaining, especially when infection control was implemented. Thus, timely identification of new MERS cases followed by their quarantine, combined with measures to limit spread of the virus from the (intermediate) host to humans, may be crucial in controlling the outbreak of this emerging CoV. PMID:24584035

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Summary 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 (Tnnt2MerCreMer/+) 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 Tnnt2MerCreMer/+ mouse could be applied towards the temporal genetic deletion of genes of interests in cardiomyocytes with Cre-LoxP technology. The Tnnt2MerCreMer/+ mouse model also provides a useful tool to trace myocardial lineage during development and repair after cardiac injury. PMID:26010701

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Engineered bidirectional communication mediates a consensus in a microbial biofilm consortium

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Katie; Karig, David K.; Weiss, Ron; Arnold, Frances H.

    2007-01-01

    Microbial consortia form when multiple species colocalize and communally generate a function that none is capable of alone. Consortia abound in nature, and their cooperative metabolic activities influence everything from biodiversity in the global food chain to human weight gain. Here, we present an engineered consortium in which the microbial members communicate with each other and exhibit a “consensus” gene expression response. Two colocalized populations of Escherichia coli converse bidirectionally by exchanging acyl-homoserine lactone signals. The consortium generates the gene-expression response if and only if both populations are present at sufficient cell densities. Because neither population can respond without the other's signal, this consensus function can be considered a logical AND gate in which the inputs are cell populations. The microbial consensus consortium operates in diverse growth modes, including in a biofilm, where it sustains its response for several days. PMID:17959781

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:22423995

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Microbial Contamination of Ice Machines Is Mediated by Activated Charcoal Filtration Systems in a City Hospital.

    PubMed

    Yorioka, Katsuhiro; Oie, Shigeharu; Hayashi, Koji; Kimoto, Hiroo; Furukawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-06-01

    Although microbial contamination of ice machines has been reported, no previous study has addressed microbial contamination of ice produced by machines equipped with activated charcoal (AC) filters in hospitals. The aim of this study was to provide clinical data for evaluating AC filters to prevent microbial contamination of ice. We compared microbial contamination in ice samples produced by machines with (n = 20) and without an AC filter (n = 40) in Shunan City Shinnanyo Municipal Hospital. All samples from the ice machine equipped with an AC filter contained 10-116 CFUs/g of glucose nonfermenting gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. No microorganisms were detected in samples from ice machines without AC filters. After the AC filter was removed from the ice machine that tested positive for Gram-negative bacteria, the ice was resampled (n = 20). Analysis found no contaminants. Ice machines equipped with AC filters pose a serious risk factor for ice contamination. New filter-use guidelines and regulations on bacterial detection limits to prevent contamination of ice in healthcare facilities are necessary.

  18. Novel BOD (biological oxygen demand) sensor using mediator-less microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byung Hong; Chang, In Seop; Gil, Geun Cheol; Park, Hyung Soo; Kim, Hyung Joo

    2003-04-01

    A microbial fuel cell type of biosensor was used to determine the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) of wastewater. The biosensor gave a good correlation between the BOD value and the coulomb produced. The BOD sensor has been operated for over 5 years in a stable manner without any servicing. This is much longer that that of previously reported BOD biosensors.

  19. Microbial Contamination of Ice Machines Is Mediated by Activated Charcoal Filtration Systems in a City Hospital.

    PubMed

    Yorioka, Katsuhiro; Oie, Shigeharu; Hayashi, Koji; Kimoto, Hiroo; Furukawa, Hiroyuki

    2016-06-01

    Although microbial contamination of ice machines has been reported, no previous study has addressed microbial contamination of ice produced by machines equipped with activated charcoal (AC) filters in hospitals. The aim of this study was to provide clinical data for evaluating AC filters to prevent microbial contamination of ice. We compared microbial contamination in ice samples produced by machines with (n = 20) and without an AC filter (n = 40) in Shunan City Shinnanyo Municipal Hospital. All samples from the ice machine equipped with an AC filter contained 10-116 CFUs/g of glucose nonfermenting gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chryseobacterium meningosepticum. No microorganisms were detected in samples from ice machines without AC filters. After the AC filter was removed from the ice machine that tested positive for Gram-negative bacteria, the ice was resampled (n = 20). Analysis found no contaminants. Ice machines equipped with AC filters pose a serious risk factor for ice contamination. New filter-use guidelines and regulations on bacterial detection limits to prevent contamination of ice in healthcare facilities are necessary. PMID:27348980

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Barrier properties of k-mer packings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebovka, N.; Khrapatiy, S.; Vygornitskyi; Pivovarova, N.

    2014-08-01

    This work discusses numerical studies of the barrier properties of k-mer packings by the Monte Carlo method. The studied variants of regular and non-regular arrangements on a square lattice included models of random sequential adsorption (RSA) and random deposition (RD). The discrete problem of diffusion through the bonds of a square lattice was considered. The k-mers were perfectly oriented perpendicular to the diffusion direction and blocked certain fraction of bonds fb against diffusion. The barrier efficiency was estimated by calculation of the ratio D/Do where D is diffusion coefficient in direction perpendicular to the orientation of k-mers and Do is the same value for diffusion on the square lattice without blocked bonds, i.e., at fb=0. The value of k varied from 1 to 512 and different lattice sizes up to L=8192 lattice units were used. For dense packings (p=1), the obtained D/Do versus fb dependences deviated from the theoretical prediction of effective medium (EM) theory and deviation was the most obvious for the regular non-staggered arrangement. For loose RSA and RD packings, the percolation like-behavior of D/Do with threshold at fb=p∞ was observed and the data evidenced that their barrier properties at large values of k may be more effective than those of some dense packings. Such anomalous behavior can reflect the details of k-mer spatial organization (aggregation) and structure of pores in RD and RSA packings. The contradictions between simulation data and predictions of EM theory were also discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:23892163

  7. 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

  8. Characteristics and Kinetic Analysis of AQS Transformation and Microbial Goethite Reduction:Insight into "Redox mediator-Microbe-Iron oxide" Interaction Process.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. The role of Fc–FcγR interactions in IgG-mediated microbial neutralization

    PubMed Central

    Bournazos, Stylianos; DiLillo, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Antibodies are bifunctional molecules, containing a variable Fab domain that mediates binding specificity and a constant Fc domain that bridges antibody-coated targets with FcγR-expressing cells that mediate effector functions. Although traditional mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization of microbes have been largely thought to result from Fab–antigen interactions, recent studies suggest that recruitment of FcγR-expressing effector cells by antibodies is a major in vivo mechanism of antibody-mediated protection from infection. In this article, we review FcγR biology, compare mammalian FcγR families, and summarize recent evidence demonstrating the crucial role that Fc–FcγR interactions play during in vivo protection from infection. PMID:26282878

  11. 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...

  12. Evidences of microbial mediation in the formation of MDAC in the Gulf of Cadiz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magalhaes, V. H.; Pinheiro, L. M.; Birguel, D.; Peckmann, J.; Niemann, H.; Santos, L.; Vasconcelos, C.; McKenzie, J.; Ivanov, M.

    2006-12-01

    The study of methane-derived authigenic carbonates (MDAC) in the Gulf of Cadiz allowed the identification and collection of different types of authigenic carbonates: (I) dolomite crusts, dolomite nodules, chimneys or filled burrows and (II) aragonitic slabs or pavements. Both correspond to the cementation of sediments by the precipitation of authigenic carbonates, and the different lithologic types correspond to different geochemical environment of formation. Authigenic carbonates yielded 13C values indicating methane as the major carbon source with ratios as low as -46.9(per mil PDB). Likewise, the crusts and chimneys can be interpreted as a record of extensive methane seepage in this particular area of the Gulf of Cadiz. SEM observations revealed large amounts of structures and textures that clearly indicate microbial activity. In the cement of the dolomite chimneys, which consists of minor aggregates of rhombohedric calcite, high-Mg calcite and dolomite, SEM observations allowed the identification of a large variety of microbial-induced fabrics, such as: (1) microbial filaments; (2) high Mg-calcite and dolomite crystal aggregates calcifying and mimetizing filaments and flattening themselves against dolomite and calcite minerals; (3) rods with brush-like terminations; (4) dumbbell-like and cauliflower structures. The identification of microbial and mucous biofilms is frequent in aragonite pavements, occurring as a coating, draped between the aragonite fibres and needles of the stromatolitic layers. Also, aragonite batons, ball-capped batons and nanograins are observed. Specific 13C-depleted biomarkers indicators of archaea involved in the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) as PMI, squalane, crocetane/phytane have been identified in dolomite chimney samples. The aragonite crusts showed even better preserved biomarkers. PMI is accompanied by unsaturated derivatives with 1 to 3 double bonds. Several bacterial lipid biomarkers, also with 13C-depleted compositions

  13. 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.

  14. The effects of spatial structure, frequency dependence and resistance evolution on the dynamics of toxin-mediated microbial invasions.

    PubMed

    Libberton, Ben; Horsburgh, Malcolm J; Brockhurst, Michael A

    2015-08-01

    Recent evidence suggests that interference competition between bacteria shapes the distribution of the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus in the lower nasal airway of humans, either by preventing colonization or by driving displacement. This competition within the nasal microbial community would add to known host factors that affect colonization. We tested the role of toxin-mediated interference competition in both structured and unstructured environments, by culturing S. aureus with toxin-producing or nonproducing Staphylococcus epidermidis nasal isolates. Toxin-producing S. epidermidis invaded S. aureus populations more successfully than nonproducers, and invasion was promoted by spatial structure. Complete displacement of S. aureus was prevented by the evolution of toxin resistance. Conversely, toxin-producing S. epidermidis restricted S. aureus invasion. Invasion of toxin-producing S. epidermidis populations by S. aureus resulted from the evolution of toxin resistance, which was favoured by high initial frequency and low spatial structure. Enhanced toxin production also evolved in some invading populations of S. epidermidis. Toxin production therefore promoted invasion by, and constrained invasion into, populations of producers. Spatial structure enhanced both of these invasion effects. Our findings suggest that manipulation of the nasal microbial community could be used to limit colonization by S. aureus, which might limit transmission and infection rates.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25733885

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Microbially mediated leaching of low-sulfur coal in experimental coal columns

    SciTech Connect

    Radway, J.C.; Tuttle, J.H.; Fendinger, N.J.; Means, J.C.

    1987-05-01

    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 CO/sub 2/ 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Enhanced Regulatory Sequence Prediction Using Gapped k-mer Features

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad-Noori, Morteza; Beer, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Oligomers of length k, or k-mers, are convenient and widely used features for modeling the properties and functions of DNA and protein sequences. However, k-mers suffer from the inherent limitation that if the parameter k is increased to resolve longer features, the probability of observing any specific k-mer becomes very small, and k-mer counts approach a binary variable, with most k-mers absent and a few present once. Thus, any statistical learning approach using k-mers as features becomes susceptible to noisy training set k-mer frequencies once k becomes large. To address this problem, we introduce alternative feature sets using gapped k-mers, a new classifier, gkm-SVM, and a general method for robust estimation of k-mer frequencies. To make the method applicable to large-scale genome wide applications, we develop an efficient tree data structure for computing the kernel matrix. We show that compared to our original kmer-SVM and alternative approaches, our gkm-SVM predicts functional genomic regulatory elements and tissue specific enhancers with significantly improved accuracy, increasing the precision by up to a factor of two. We then show that gkm-SVM consistently outperforms kmer-SVM on human ENCODE ChIP-seq datasets, and further demonstrate the general utility of our method using a Naïve-Bayes classifier. Although developed for regulatory sequence analysis, these methods can be applied to any sequence classification problem. PMID:25033408

  4. Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth

    PubMed Central

    Grivennikov, Sergei I.; Wang, Kepeng; Mucida, Daniel; Stewart, C. Andrew; Schnabl, Bernd; Jauch, Dominik; Taniguchi, Koji; Yu, Guann-Yi; Osterreicher, Christoph H.; Hung, Kenneth E.; Datz, Christian; Feng, Ying; Fearon, Eric R.; Oukka, Mohamed; Tessarollo, Lino; Coppola, Vincenzo; Yarovinsky, Felix; Cheroutre, Hilde; Eckmann, Lars; Trinchieri, Giorgio; Karin, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Approximately 2% of colorectal cancer is linked to pre-existing inflammation known as colitis-associated cancer, but most develops in patients without underlying inflammatory bowel disease. Colorectal cancer often follows a genetic pathway whereby loss of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor and activation of β-catenin are followed by mutations in K-Ras, PIK3CA and TP53, as the tumour emerges and progresses1,2. Curiously, however, ‘inflammatory signature’ genes characteristic of colitis-associated cancer are also upregulated in colorectal cancer3,4. Further, like most solid tumours, colorectal cancer exhibits immune/inflammatory infiltrates5, referred to as ‘tumour elicited inflammation’6. Although infiltrating CD4+ TH1 cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells constitute a positive prognostic sign in colorectal cancer7,8, myeloid cells and T-helper interleukin (IL)-17-producing (TH17) cells promote tumorigenesis5,6, and a ‘TH17 expression signature’ in stage I/II colorectal cancer is associated with a drastic decrease in disease-free survival9. Despite its pathogenic importance, the mechanisms responsible for the appearance of tumour-elicited inflammation are poorly understood. Many epithelial cancers develop proximally to microbial communities, which are physically separated from immune cells by an epithelial barrier10. We investigated mechanisms responsible for tumour-elicited inflammation in a mouse model of colorectal tumorigenesis, which, like human colorectal cancer, exhibits upregulation of IL-23 and IL-17. Here we show that IL-23 signalling promotes tumour growth and progression, and development of a tumoural IL-17 response. IL-23 is mainly produced by tumour-associated myeloid cells that are likely to be activated by microbial products, which penetrate the tumours but not adjacent tissue. Both early and late colorectal neoplasms exhibit defective expression of several barrier proteins. We propose that barrier deterioration induced by

  5. 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.

  6. Principles and applications of Ligation Mediated PCR methods for DNA-based typing of microbial organisms.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, Beata; Kur, Józef; Stojowska-Swędrzyńska, Karolina; Śpibida, Marta

    2016-01-01

    A significant number of DNA-based techniques has been introduced into the field of microorganisms' characterization and taxonomy. These genomic fingerprinting methods were developed to detect DNA sequence polymorphisms by using general principles, such as restriction endonuclease analysis, molecular hybridization, and PCR amplification. In recent years, some alternative techniques based on ligation of oligonucleotide adapters before DNA amplification by PCR, known as Ligation-Mediated PCR methods (LM PCR), have been successfully applied for the typing of microorganisms below the species level. These molecular methods include: Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), Amplification of DNA fragments Surrounding Rare Restriction Sites (ADSRRS), PCR Melting Profiles (PCR MP), Ligation Mediated PCR/Shifter (LM PCR/Shifter), Infrequent-Restriction-Site Amplification (IRS PCR), double digestion Ligation Mediated Suppression PCR (ddLMS PCR). These techniques are now applied more and more often because they involve less time, are comparably inexpensive, and require only standard lab equipment. Here, we present a general review of this group of methods showing their possibilities and limitations. We also identify questions and propose solutions which may be helpful in choosing a particular LM PCR method for the achievement of the required goal.

  7. Principles and applications of Ligation Mediated PCR methods for DNA-based typing of microbial organisms.

    PubMed

    Krawczyk, Beata; Kur, Józef; Stojowska-Swędrzyńska, Karolina; Śpibida, Marta

    2016-01-01

    A significant number of DNA-based techniques has been introduced into the field of microorganisms' characterization and taxonomy. These genomic fingerprinting methods were developed to detect DNA sequence polymorphisms by using general principles, such as restriction endonuclease analysis, molecular hybridization, and PCR amplification. In recent years, some alternative techniques based on ligation of oligonucleotide adapters before DNA amplification by PCR, known as Ligation-Mediated PCR methods (LM PCR), have been successfully applied for the typing of microorganisms below the species level. These molecular methods include: Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP), Amplification of DNA fragments Surrounding Rare Restriction Sites (ADSRRS), PCR Melting Profiles (PCR MP), Ligation Mediated PCR/Shifter (LM PCR/Shifter), Infrequent-Restriction-Site Amplification (IRS PCR), double digestion Ligation Mediated Suppression PCR (ddLMS PCR). These techniques are now applied more and more often because they involve less time, are comparably inexpensive, and require only standard lab equipment. Here, we present a general review of this group of methods showing their possibilities and limitations. We also identify questions and propose solutions which may be helpful in choosing a particular LM PCR method for the achievement of the required goal. PMID:26885774

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:26519036

  10. B. subtilis GS67 protects C. elegans from Gram-positive pathogens via fengycin-mediated microbial antagonism.

    PubMed

    Iatsenko, Igor; Yim, Joshua J; Schroeder, Frank C; Sommer, Ralf J

    2014-11-17

    Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans have provided detailed insight into host-pathogen interactions. Usually, the E. coli strain OP50 is used as food source for laboratory studies, but recent work has shown that a variety of bacteria have dramatic effects on C. elegans physiology, including immune responses. However, the mechanisms by which different bacteria impact worm resistance to pathogens are poorly understood. Although pathogen-specific immune priming is often discussed as a mechanism underlying such observations, interspecies microbial antagonism might represent an alternative mode of action. Here, we use several natural Bacillus strains to study their effects on nematode survival upon pathogen challenge. We show that B. subtilis GS67 persists in the C. elegans intestine and increases worm resistance to Gram-positive pathogens, suggesting that direct inhibition of pathogens might be the primary protective mechanism. Indeed, chemical and genetic analyses identified the lipopeptide fengycin as the major inhibitory molecule produced by B. subtilis GS67. Specifically, a fengycin-defective mutant of B. subtilis GS67 lost inhibitory activity against pathogens and was unable to protect C. elegans from infections. Furthermore, we found that purified fengycin cures infected worms in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that it acts as an antibiotic. Our results reveal a molecular mechanism for commensal-mediated C. elegans protection and highlight the importance of interspecies microbial antagonism for the outcome of animal-pathogen interactions. Furthermore, our work strengthens C. elegans as an in vivo model to reveal protective mechanisms of commensal bacteria, including those relevant to mammalian hosts.

  11. Experimentally-controlled carbon and oxygen isotope exchange between bioapatites and water under inorganic and microbially-mediated conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zazzo, Antoine; Lécuyer, Christophe; Mariotti, André

    2004-01-01

    Modern bone and enamel powders have reacted at 301 K with 13C- and 18O-labelled waters under inorganic and microbial conditions. The aim of the study is to investigate the resistance of stable isotope compositions of bioapatite carbonate (δ 13C, δ 18Oc) and phosphate (δ 18Op) to isotopic alteration during early diagenesis. Rapid and significant carbon and oxygen isotope changes were observed in the carbonate and phosphate fractions of bone apatite before any detectable change occurred in the crystallinity or organic matter content. These observations indicate that chemical alterations of bone apatite are likely to start within days of death. Enamel crystallites are much more resistant than bone crystallites, but are not exempt of alteration. Non removable carbon and oxygen isotope enrichments were measured in the carbonate phase of bone (50-90%) and enamel (40%) after the acetic acid treatment. This result indicates that a significant part of 13C and 18O-labelled coming from the aqueous fluid has been durably incorporated into the apatite structure, probably through isotopic exchange or secondary carbonate apatite precipitation. As a result, acetic acid pre-treatments that are currently used to remove exogenous material by selective dissolution, are not adequate to restore pristine δ 13C and δ 18Oc values of fossil apatites. Under inorganic conditions, kinetics of oxygen isotope exchange are 10 times faster in carbonate than in phosphate. On the opposite, during biologically-mediated reactions, the kinetics of oxygen isotope exchange between phosphate and water is, at least, from 2 to 15 times faster than between carbonate and water. Enamel is a more suitable material than bone for paleoenvironmental or paleoclimatical reconstructions, but interpretations of δ 18Op or δ 13C values must be restricted to specimens for which no or very limited trace of microbial activity can be detected.

  12. 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).

  13. B. subtilis GS67 protects C. elegans from Gram-positive pathogens via fengycin-mediated microbial antagonism.

    PubMed

    Iatsenko, Igor; Yim, Joshua J; Schroeder, Frank C; Sommer, Ralf J

    2014-11-17

    Studies on Caenorhabditis elegans have provided detailed insight into host-pathogen interactions. Usually, the E. coli strain OP50 is used as food source for laboratory studies, but recent work has shown that a variety of bacteria have dramatic effects on C. elegans physiology, including immune responses. However, the mechanisms by which different bacteria impact worm resistance to pathogens are poorly understood. Although pathogen-specific immune priming is often discussed as a mechanism underlying such observations, interspecies microbial antagonism might represent an alternative mode of action. Here, we use several natural Bacillus strains to study their effects on nematode survival upon pathogen challenge. We show that B. subtilis GS67 persists in the C. elegans intestine and increases worm resistance to Gram-positive pathogens, suggesting that direct inhibition of pathogens might be the primary protective mechanism. Indeed, chemical and genetic analyses identified the lipopeptide fengycin as the major inhibitory molecule produced by B. subtilis GS67. Specifically, a fengycin-defective mutant of B. subtilis GS67 lost inhibitory activity against pathogens and was unable to protect C. elegans from infections. Furthermore, we found that purified fengycin cures infected worms in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that it acts as an antibiotic. Our results reveal a molecular mechanism for commensal-mediated C. elegans protection and highlight the importance of interspecies microbial antagonism for the outcome of animal-pathogen interactions. Furthermore, our work strengthens C. elegans as an in vivo model to reveal protective mechanisms of commensal bacteria, including those relevant to mammalian hosts. PMID:25448001

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 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, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], 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

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

    PubMed

    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., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 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, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], 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

  17. Microbial transglutaminase-mediated synthesis of hapten-protein conjugates for immunoassays.

    PubMed

    Josten, A; Meusel, M; Spener, F

    1998-05-01

    Hapten-protein conjugates are essential in many immunochemical assays, in particular, in assays employing titration or competitive assay formats. By exploitation of the catalytic properties of the microbial transglutaminase from Streptoverticillium mobarense sp. (MTGase), i.e., acyl transfer between gamma-carboxamide groups and various primary amines, new techniques for the synthesis of hapten-protein conjugates were developed. This is demonstrated by two examples. The feasibility of MTGase for hapten-protein conjugate synthesis was studied by coupling the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) to casein. Different procedures for the synthesis and the immobilization of these 2,4-D-casein conjugates were evaluated, comprising (i) a batch procedure, (ii) coupling of 2,4-D to an already immobilized layer of casein, and (iii) a method for simultaneous immobilization and conjugation. Kinetic studies revealed that conjugate formation in the batch procedure was almost complete after approx 2 h. By employing the conjugates in a competitive ELISA, detection limits as low as 0.05 microgram/L 2,4-D were reached. Using the approach with simultaneous immobilization and conjugation, the time for the whole assay could be reduced to only 2 h. Finally, to demonstrate the versatility of the enzymatic synthesis of hapten-protein conjugates, an ELISA for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) determination based on transglutaminase-synthesized conjugates was developed. In this assay, a detection limit as low as 0.04 microgram/l TNT was obtained.

  18. 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.

  19. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS): a new zoonotic viral pneumonia.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Cheston B; Opal, Steven M

    2014-08-15

    Coronaviruses have traditionally been associated with mild upper respiratory tract infections throughout the world. In the fall of 2002, a new coronavirus emerged in in Asia causing severe viral pneumonia, i.e., severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Nearly a decade following the SARS epidemic, a new coronavirus causing severe viral pneumonia has emerged, i.e., middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS). Since the initial case of MERS-CoV occurred in June of 2012 in Saudi Arabia there have been 688 confirmed cases and 282 deaths in 20 countries. Although both SARS and MERS are caused by coronaviruses, SARS was characterized by efficient human transmission and relatively low mortality rate. In contrast, MERS is relatively inefficiently transmitted to humans but has a high mortality rate. Given the potential overlap in presentation and manifestation, it is important to understand the clinical and epidemiologic differences between MERS, SARS and influenza.

  20. [Small molecular agents against MERS-CoV infection].

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiao-yun; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shi-bo; Liu, Shu-wen

    2015-12-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused outbreaks of SARS-like disease with 35% case-fatality rate, mainly in the Middle East. A more severe outbreak of MERS occurred recently in the Republic of Korea, where 186 people contracted the infections, causing great concern worldwide. So far, there has been no clinically available drug for the treatment of MERS-CoV infection. The potential drugs against MERS-CoV mainly consist of monoclonal antibodies, peptides and small molecular agents. Small molecular agents have an advantage of easier synthesis, lower cost in production and relatively higher stability. There is better chance for those candidates to gain a quick development. This article reviews the progress of developing small molecular MERS-CoV agents. PMID:27169271

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. Measurement of biochemical oxygen demand from different wastewater samples using a mediator-less microbial fuel cell biosensor.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Min-Chi; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2014-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have attracted considerable attention as potential biosensors. A MFC biosensor for rapid measurement of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) has been recently studied. However, a standardized bacterial mixture inoculated in the MFC biosensor for BOD measurement is unavailable. Thus, the commercial application of a MFC biosensor is limited. In this study, a mediator-less MFC biosensor inoculated with known mixed cultures to quickly determine BOD concentration was tested. Optimal external resistance, operating temperature and measurement time for the MFC biosensor were determined to be 5000 omega, 35 degrees C and 12h, respectively. A good relationship between BOD concentration and voltage output, high reproducibility and long-term stability for the MFC biosensor was observed. The newly developed MFC biosensor was inoculated with a mixture of six bacterial strains (Thermincola carboxydiphila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Ochrobactrum intermedium, Shewanella frigidimarina, Citrobacter freundii and Clostridium acetobutylicum) capable of degrading complex organic compounds and surviving toxic conditions. The described MFC biosensor was able to successfully measure BOD concentrations below 240 mg L(-1) in real wastewater samples. PMID:25145173

  7. Enhanced electrical contact of microbes using Fe(3)O(4)/CNT nanocomposite anode in mediator-less microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Park, In Ho; Christy, Maria; Kim, Pil; Nahm, Kee Suk

    2014-08-15

    A novel Fe(3)O(4)/CNT nanocomposite was synthesized and employed for the modification of carbon paper anode in a mediator-less microbial fuel cell (MFC) to enhance its performance. The Fe(3)O(4)/CNT composite modified anodes with various Fe(3)O(4) contents were investigated to find the optimum ratio of the nanocomposite for the best MFC performance. The Fe(3)O(4)/CNT modified anodes produced much higher power densities than unmodified carbon anode and the 30wt% Fe3O4/CNT modified anode exhibited a maximum power density of 830mW/m(2). In the Fe(3)O(4)/CNT composite modified anode, Fe(3)O(4) helps to attach the CNT on anode surface by its magnetic attraction and forms a multi layered network, whereas CNT offers a better nanostructure environment for bacterial growth and helps electron transfer from E.coli to electrode resulting in the increase in the current production with the catalytic activity of bacteria. The electrocatalytic behavior and all possible mechanism for their better performance are discussed in detail with the help of various structural and electrochemical techniques.

  8. Measurement of biochemical oxygen demand from different wastewater samples using a mediator-less microbial fuel cell biosensor.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Min-Chi; Chung, Ying-Chien

    2014-01-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have attracted considerable attention as potential biosensors. A MFC biosensor for rapid measurement of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) has been recently studied. However, a standardized bacterial mixture inoculated in the MFC biosensor for BOD measurement is unavailable. Thus, the commercial application of a MFC biosensor is limited. In this study, a mediator-less MFC biosensor inoculated with known mixed cultures to quickly determine BOD concentration was tested. Optimal external resistance, operating temperature and measurement time for the MFC biosensor were determined to be 5000 omega, 35 degrees C and 12h, respectively. A good relationship between BOD concentration and voltage output, high reproducibility and long-term stability for the MFC biosensor was observed. The newly developed MFC biosensor was inoculated with a mixture of six bacterial strains (Thermincola carboxydiphila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Ochrobactrum intermedium, Shewanella frigidimarina, Citrobacter freundii and Clostridium acetobutylicum) capable of degrading complex organic compounds and surviving toxic conditions. The described MFC biosensor was able to successfully measure BOD concentrations below 240 mg L(-1) in real wastewater samples.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Microbially-mediated Iron Dissolution and the Potential for Radionuclide Redistribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lack, J. G.; Maldonado, D.; Rivere, T.; Forsythe, J.; Boukhalfa, H.; Ruggiero, C.; Neu, M.; Traina, S.; Hersman, L.

    2003-12-01

    Investigation into microbial iron dissolution and the effects on radionuclides associated with Fe-containing minerals is of significant importance in determining the distribution and fate of actinides (e.g. uranium, plutonium, neptunium) in contaminated environments. Nearly all microorganisms have a metabolic requirement for iron at ~10-7 M for growth and survival. Iron, while abundant, only has a solubility product in the range of 10-39 to 10-44 M Fe that limits its available concentration in the environment to ~10-17 M. Thus, microorganisms are faced with a discrepancy of ~10 orders of magnitude to overcome in acquiring Fe needed for growth. Experiments were performed with two ubiquitous aerobic Pseudomonads (Pseudomonas mendocina and P. putida) to determine their ability to grow on iron-deficient media utilizing insoluble Fe-oxides as well as soluble Fe as their iron sources. Bacterial growth was observed indicating that the bacteria are actively sequestering Fe from the minerals via dissolution mechanism(s). Moreover, different pathways of dissolution used in obtaining iron from different Fe-oxides (ferrihydrite, goethite, and hematite) were quantified by determining siderophore production - an average of ~4-6 x 10-13 mmol x cell-1 when the cells were grown on either of the three minerals studied, while as expected much more siderophore was generated on a per cell basis in the no Fe control, ~15-16 x 10-13 mmol x cell-1, and much less in the readily accessible soluble Fe control (FeEDTA), ~1.5 x 10-13 mmol x cell-1; and reductant production - an average of about ~1-4 x 10-18 mol x cell-1 both cell associated and in the supernatant for hematite, goethite, and FeEDTA, while the cells grown on ferrihydrite produced a much greater amount of reductant per cell, ~14-26 x 10-18 mol x cell-1 and the no Fe control ~6-9 x 10-18 mol x cell-1. These studies of different dissolution mechanisms are not only significant from a geomicrobial view on iron distribution and

  13. Recombination spot identification Based on gapped k-mers.

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:27273193

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Characteristics and Kinetic Analysis of AQS Transformation and Microbial Goethite Reduction:Insight into “Redox mediator-Microbe-Iron oxide” Interaction Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Phase coexistence and spatial correlations in reconstituting k -mer models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Amit Kumar; Daga, Bijoy; Mohanty, P. K.

    2016-07-01

    In reconstituting k -mer models, extended objects that occupy several sites on a one-dimensional lattice undergo directed or undirected diffusion, and reconstitute—when in contact—by transferring a single monomer unit from one k -mer to the other; the rates depend on the size of participating k -mers. This polydispersed system has two conserved quantities, the number of k -mers and the packing fraction. We provide a matrix product method to write the steady state of this model and to calculate the spatial correlation functions analytically. We show that for a constant reconstitution rate, the spatial correlation exhibits damped oscillations in some density regions separated, from other regions with exponential decay, by a disorder surface. In a specific limit, this constant-rate reconstitution model is equivalent to a single dimer model and exhibits a phase coexistence similar to the one observed earlier in totally asymmetric simple exclusion process on a ring with a defect.

  3. Self-assembly of 33-mer gliadin peptide oligomers.

    PubMed

    Herrera, M G; Benedini, L A; Lonez, C; Schilardi, P L; Hellweg, T; Ruysschaert, J-M; Dodero, V I

    2015-11-28

    The 33-mer gliadin peptide, LQLQPF(PQPQLPY)3PQPQPF, is a highly immunogenic peptide involved in celiac disease and probably in other immunopathologies associated with gliadin. Herein, dynamic light scattering measurements showed that 33-mer, in the micromolar concentration range, forms polydisperse nano- and micrometer range particles in aqueous media. This behaviour is reminiscent of classical association of colloids and we hypothesized that the 33-mer peptide self-assembles into micelles that could be the precursors of 33-mer oligomers in water. Deposition of 33-mer peptide aqueous solution on bare mica generated nano- and microstructures with different morphologies as revealed by atomic force microscopy. At 6 μM, the 33-mer is organised in isolated and clusters of spherical nanostructures. In the 60 to 250 μM concentration range, the spherical oligomers associated mainly in linear and annular arrangements and structures adopting a "sheet" type morphology appeared. At higher concentrations (610 μM), mainly filaments and plaques immersed in a background of nanospherical structures were detected. The occurrence of different morphologies of oligomers and finally the filaments suggests that the unique specific geometry of the 33-mer oligomers has a crucial role in the subsequent condensation and organization of their fractal structures into the final filaments. The self-assembly process on mica is described qualitatively and quantitatively by a fractal diffusion limited aggregation (DLA) behaviour with the fractal dimension in the range of 1.62 ± 0.02 to 1.73 ± 0.03. Secondary structure evaluation of the oligomers by Attenuated Total Reflection FTIR spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) revealed the existence of a conformational equilibrium of self-assembled structures, from an extended conformation to a more folded parallel beta elongated structures. Altogether, these findings provide structural and morphological information about supramolecular organization of the 33-mer

  4. 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.

  5. Electrotransformation of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans with plasmids containing a mer determinant.

    PubMed Central

    Kusano, T; Sugawara, K; Inoue, C; Takeshima, T; Numata, M; Shiratori, T

    1992-01-01

    The mer operon from a strain of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans (C. Inoue, K. Sugawara, and T. Kusano, Mol. Microbiol. 5:2707-2718, 1991) consists of the regulatory gene merR and an operator-promoter region followed by merC and merA structural genes and differs from other known gram-negative mer operons. We have constructed four potential shuttle plasmids composed of a T. ferrooxidans-borne cryptic plasmid, a pUC18 plasmid, and the above-mentioned mer determinant as a selectable marker. Mercury ion-sensitive T. ferrooxidans strains were electroporated with constructed plasmids, and one strain, Y4-3 (of 30 independent strains tested), was found to have a transformation efficiency of 120 to 200 mercury-resistant colonies per microgram of plasmid DNA. This recipient strain was confirmed to be T. ferrooxidans by physiological, morphological, and chemotaxonomical data. The transformants carried a plasmid with no physical rearrangements through 25 passages under no selective pressure. Cell extracts showed mercury ion-dependent NADPH oxidation activity. Images PMID:1400213

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Evaluation of candidate vaccine approaches for MERS-CoV

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Lingshu; Shi, Wei; Joyce, M. Gordon; Modjarrad, Kayvon; Zhang, Yi; Leung, Kwanyee; Lees, Christopher R.; Zhou, Tongqing; Yassine, Hadi M.; Kanekiyo, Masaru; et al

    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

  9. Beta-arrestin-2 negatively modulates inflammation response in mouse chondrocytes induced by 4-mer hyaluronan oligosaccharide.

    PubMed

    Campo, Giuseppe M; Avenoso, Angela; D'Ascola, Angela; Scuruchi, Michele; Calatroni, Alberto; Campo, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Beta-arrestin-2 is an adaptor protein that terminates G protein activation and seems to be involved in the modulation of the inflammatory response. Small hyaluronan (HA) fragments, such as 4-mer HA oligosaccharides, are known to interact with the toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4) with consequent activation of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) that in turn stimulates the inflammation response. NF-kB activation is mediated by different pathways, in particular by the transforming growth factor-activated kinase-1 (TAK-1). Conversely, increased levels of protein kinase A (PKA), induced by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), seem to inhibit NF-kB activation. We studied the involvement and role of beta-arrestin-2 in mouse chondrocytes stimulated with 4-mer HA fragments. The exposure of chondrocytes to 4-mer HA produced a significant up-regulation in TLR-4, cAMP, beta-arrestin-2, TAK-1, protein 38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and PKA, both in terms of mRNA expression and of the related protein levels. NF-kB was significantly activated, thereby producing the transcription of pro-inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, and interleukin-17. The treatment of 4-mer HA-stimulated chondrocytes with antibodies against beta-arrestin-2 and/or a specific PKA inhibitor, significantly increased the inflammatory response, while the treatment with a specific p38MAPK inhibitor significantly reduced the inflammatory response. Interestingly, the anti-inflammatory action exerted by beta-arrestin-2 appeared to be mediated in part through the direct inhibition of p38MAPK, preventing NF-kB activation, and in part through cAMP and PKA activation primed by G protein signaling, which exerted an inhibitory effect on NF-kB. Taken together, these results could be useful for future anti-inflammatory strategies. PMID:25318610

  10. Beta-arrestin-2 negatively modulates inflammation response in mouse chondrocytes induced by 4-mer hyaluronan oligosaccharide.

    PubMed

    Campo, Giuseppe M; Avenoso, Angela; D'Ascola, Angela; Scuruchi, Michele; Calatroni, Alberto; Campo, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Beta-arrestin-2 is an adaptor protein that terminates G protein activation and seems to be involved in the modulation of the inflammatory response. Small hyaluronan (HA) fragments, such as 4-mer HA oligosaccharides, are known to interact with the toll-like receptor-4 (TLR-4) with consequent activation of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kB) that in turn stimulates the inflammation response. NF-kB activation is mediated by different pathways, in particular by the transforming growth factor-activated kinase-1 (TAK-1). Conversely, increased levels of protein kinase A (PKA), induced by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), seem to inhibit NF-kB activation. We studied the involvement and role of beta-arrestin-2 in mouse chondrocytes stimulated with 4-mer HA fragments. The exposure of chondrocytes to 4-mer HA produced a significant up-regulation in TLR-4, cAMP, beta-arrestin-2, TAK-1, protein 38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), and PKA, both in terms of mRNA expression and of the related protein levels. NF-kB was significantly activated, thereby producing the transcription of pro-inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, and interleukin-17. The treatment of 4-mer HA-stimulated chondrocytes with antibodies against beta-arrestin-2 and/or a specific PKA inhibitor, significantly increased the inflammatory response, while the treatment with a specific p38MAPK inhibitor significantly reduced the inflammatory response. Interestingly, the anti-inflammatory action exerted by beta-arrestin-2 appeared to be mediated in part through the direct inhibition of p38MAPK, preventing NF-kB activation, and in part through cAMP and PKA activation primed by G protein signaling, which exerted an inhibitory effect on NF-kB. Taken together, these results could be useful for future anti-inflammatory strategies.

  11. Prolonged applied potential to anode facilitate selective enrichment of bio-electrochemically active Proteobacteria for mediating electron transfer: microbial dynamics and bio-catalytic analysis.

    PubMed

    Kannaiah Goud, R; Mohan, S Venkata

    2013-06-01

    Prolonged application of poised potential to anode was evaluated to understand the influence of applied potentials [500 mV (E500); 1000 mV (E1000); 2000 mV (E2000)] on bio-electrogenic activity of microbial fuel cell (MFC) and the resulting dynamics in microbial community in comparison to control operation. E1000 system documented higher electrogenic activity (309 mW/m(2)) followed by E500 (143 mW/m(2)), E2000 (112 mW/m(2)) and control (65 mW/m(2)) operations. The improved power output at optimum applied potential (1000mV) might be attributed to the enrichment of electrochemically active bacteria majorly belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria with less extent of Firmicutes which helped in effective electron (mediated) transfer through release of exogenous shuttlers. Improved bio-electrogenic activity due to enrichment at 1000mV applied potential also correlated well with the observed cyctochrome-c peaks on the voltamatogram, lower ion ohmic losses and bio-electro kinetic analysis. Electric-shock at higher applied potential (E2000) resulted in the survival of less number of microbial species leading to lower electrogenesis.

  12. A Practical Modeling Approach for NAPL Dissolution Kinetics, Microbially-Mediated Redox Reactions and Aquifer-Aquitard Diffusion to Assess Remedial Options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parker, J.; Kim, U.; Widdowson, M.; Chappel, F.

    2008-12-01

    Explicit modeling of contaminant dissolution from heterogeneously distributed NAPL sources, microbial growth and reaction kinetics, and diffusion into or out of low permeability layers pose significant difficulties. These include the need to estimate a large number of parameters, which may subject to great uncertainty due to inverse problem ill-posedness given limited data, and to a lesser extent, the large computational effort that may be required to solve a rigorously formulated problem. An upscaled model for NAPL dissolution kinetics is utilized in the present study based on previous work, with extentions to consider concurrent effects of residual DNAPL and pools or lenses and to consider multi-component NAPL mixtures. An approach is presented to model microbially-mediated redox reactions subject to the assumption that microbial growth and reaction rates are primarily limited by transport processes rather than by microbial kinetics at time and space scales relevant for many remediation problems. The simplified model requires only stoichiometric coefficients for electron donor and electron acceptor half-reactions and the fraction of electron donor needed for cell synthesis. Contaminant diffusion into low permeability layers and subsequent back-diffusion is approximated as a first-order mass transfer problem with an effective mass transfer coefficient computed from aquifer-aquitard properties by equating second moments of diffusion and mass transfer solutions. Accuracy of the simplified model formulation is evaluated for a hypothetical problem involving a DNAPL source consisting of a mixture of TCE and Stoddard solvent with background dissolved organic carbon, oxygen and sulfate in groundwater for 40 years followed by injection of vegetable oil as a supplemental electron donor to enhance reductive dechlorination. The simplified solution is compared to numerical results that consider multi-species Monod kinetics with explicit treatment of back-diffusion.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2004-07-01

    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. PMID:15222746

  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. Gas6 receptors Axl, Sky and Mer enhance platelet activation and regulate thrombotic responses.

    PubMed

    Gould, W R; Baxi, S M; Schroeder, R; Peng, Y W; Leadley, R J; Peterson, J T; Perrin, L A

    2005-04-01

    Gas6 (encoded by growth arrest-specific gene 6) is a vitamin-K dependent protein highly homologous to coagulation protein S that is secreted from platelet alpha-granules and has recently been demonstrated to participate in platelet thrombus formation. The current study evaluated the contribution of each of the three known Gas6 receptors (Axl, Sky and Mer) in human and mouse platelet function. Flow cytometry analyses confirmed that all three receptors are present on both human and mouse platelets. Pre-incubation of human platelets with either an anti-Gas6 antibody or blocking antibodies to Sky or Mer inhibited platelet aggregation and degranulation responses to both ADP and the PAR-1 activating peptide, SFLLRN, by more than 80%. In contrast, a stimulatory anti-Axl antibody increased activation responses to these agonists, suggesting a potentiating role for Gas6 in platelet activation. Moreover, in a mouse model of thrombosis, administration of Gas6 or Sky blocking antibodies resulted in a decrease in thrombus weight similar to clopidogrel but, unlike clopidogrel, produced no increase in template bleeding. Thus, Gas6 enhances platelet degranulation and aggregation responses through its known receptors, promoting platelet activation and mediating thrombus formation such that its inhibition prevents thrombosis without increasing bleeding. PMID:15733062

  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

    2016-08-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. Intronic cis-regulatory modules mediate tissue-specific and microbial control of angptl4/fiaf transcription.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Microbially-Mediated Sulfur Oxidation in Diffuse Hydrothermal Vent Fluids at Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akerman, N. H.; Butterfield, D. A.; Huber, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    Diffusely venting hydrothermal fluids can act as a window to the subseafloor microbial environment, where chemically-reduced hydrothermal fluids mixing with oxygenated seawater in the shallow crust creates chemical disequilibria that chemotrophic microorganisms can exploit for energy gain. At Axial Seamount, an active deep-sea volcano located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, sulfide concentrations have been measured as high as 5770 μM, and sulfide oxidation is quantitatively the most important chemical energy source for microbial metabolism. In addition, studies of microbial population structure indicate that diffuse fluids at Axial are dominated by putative sulfur- and sulfide-oxidizing bacteria belonging to the Epsilonproteobacteria. To further study this important microbial process, we surveyed diffuse vent samples from Axial over a range of temperature, pH, and sulfide concentrations for the presence and expression of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria using a functional gene approach. Dissolved oxygen concentrations decrease exponentially above 40°C and lower the potential for sulfide oxidation, so we identified six sites of different temperatures, two each in the low (< 30°C), medium (~30°C), and high temperature (30 - 50°C) range. The low temperature sites had sulfide-to-temperature ratios of 1 - 26, the medium from 15 - 29, and the high from 26 - 36. PCR primers were designed to target the sulfur oxidation gene soxB specifically from Epsilonproteobacteria and five of the six sites were positive for soxB in the DNA fraction. Bulk RNA was also extracted from the same sites to examine in situ expression of soxB. Data from these analyses, along with quantification of the soxB gene abundance and expression using quantitative PCR, are currently being carried out. Together, this data set of soxB gene diversity, expression, and abundance along with geochemical data will allow us to quantitatively determine the functional dynamics of sulfide oxidation in the subseafloor at

  4. Sustainable power production in a membrane-less and mediator-less synthetic wastewater microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Aldrovandi, Aba; Marsili, Enrico; Stante, Loredana; Paganin, Patrizia; Tabacchioni, Silvia; Giordano, Andrea

    2009-07-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) fed with wastewater are currently considered a feasible strategy for production of renewable electricity. A membrane-less MFC with biological cathode was built from a compact wastewater treatment reactor and fed with synthetic wastewater. When operated with an external resistance of 250 Omega, the MFC produced a long-term power of about 70 mW/m(2) for 10 months. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of the cathode biomass when the MFC was closed on a 2100 Omega external resistance showed that the sequenced bands were affiliated with Firmicutes, alpha-Proteobacteria,beta-Proteobacteria, gamma-Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes groups. When the external resistance was varied between 250 and 2100 Omega, minimum sustainable resistance decreased from 900 to 750 Omega, while maximum sustainable power output decreased from 32 to 28 mW/m(2). It is likely that these effects were caused by changes in the microbial ecology of anodic and cathodic biomass attached to the electrodes. Results suggest that cathodic biomass enrichment in "electroactive" bacteria may improve MFCs power output in a similar fashion to what has been already observed for anodic biomass.

  5. 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

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26966066

  6. Synthesis and degradation of the mRNA of the Tn21 mer operon.

    PubMed

    Gambill, B D; Summers, A O

    1992-05-20

    The mercury resistance locus encoded by Tn21 on the monocopy IncFII plasmid R100 (merTn21) consists of a metal-responsive activator/repressor, merR, which controls initiation of a polycistronic message that includes genes for the uptake (merTPC) and reduction (merA) of Hg2+ and merD, which may also play a minor regulatory role. Comparison of the relative abundance of the 5' and 3' ends of the merTPCAD transcript revealed a strong transcriptional gradient in the operon, consistent with previous observations of lower relative abundance of the more promoter-distal gene products. In vivo mRNA degradation rates varied only slightly for the different genes: however, the rates of mRNA synthesis varied considerably from the beginning to the end of the operon. Specifically, mRNA corresponding to the promoter-proximal genes, merTPC, achieved a maximum in vivo synthesis rate between 60 and 120 seconds after induction; this rate was maintained for approximately ten minutes. In contrast, the synthesis rates of mRNA corresponding to the promoter-distal genes merA and merD, were initially fivefold lower than the rates of the promoter-proximal genes for the first five minutes after induction, and then rose gradually to approximately 50% of the merTPC synthesis rates. These data suggested that early after induction only 20% of the transcripts initiating at merT proceed beyond merC. At later times after induction approximately 50% of the transcripts proceed beyond merC. Nuclease end mapping did not reveal any discrete termination events in the merPCA region, thus, premature termination may occur at many sites.

  7. 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

  8. These are not the k-mers you are looking for: efficient online k-mer counting using a probabilistic data structure.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qingpeng; Pell, Jason; Canino-Koning, Rosangela; Howe, Adina Chuang; Brown, C Titus

    2014-01-01

    K-mer abundance analysis is widely used for many purposes in nucleotide sequence analysis, including data preprocessing for de novo assembly, repeat detection, and sequencing coverage estimation. We present the khmer software package for fast and memory efficient online counting of k-mers in sequencing data sets. Unlike previous methods based on data structures such as hash tables, suffix arrays, and trie structures, khmer relies entirely on a simple probabilistic data structure, a Count-Min Sketch. The Count-Min Sketch permits online updating and retrieval of k-mer counts in memory which is necessary to support online k-mer analysis algorithms. On sparse data sets this data structure is considerably more memory efficient than any exact data structure. In exchange, the use of a Count-Min Sketch introduces a systematic overcount for k-mers; moreover, only the counts, and not the k-mers, are stored. Here we analyze the speed, the memory usage, and the miscount rate of khmer for generating k-mer frequency distributions and retrieving k-mer counts for individual k-mers. We also compare the performance of khmer to several other k-mer counting packages, including Tallymer, Jellyfish, BFCounter, DSK, KMC, Turtle and KAnalyze. Finally, we examine the effectiveness of profiling sequencing error, k-mer abundance trimming, and digital normalization of reads in the context of high khmer false positive rates. khmer is implemented in C++ wrapped in a Python interface, offers a tested and robust API, and is freely available under the BSD license at github.com/ged-lab/khmer.

  9. Computational Performance Assessment of k-mer Counting Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Nelson; Gutierrez, Miguel; Vera, Nelson

    2016-04-01

    This article is about the assessment of several tools for k-mer counting, with the purpose to create a reference framework for bioinformatics researchers to identify computational requirements, parallelizing, advantages, disadvantages, and bottlenecks of each of the algorithms proposed in the tools. The k-mer counters evaluated in this article were BFCounter, DSK, Jellyfish, KAnalyze, KHMer, KMC2, MSPKmerCounter, Tallymer, and Turtle. Measured parameters were the following: RAM occupied space, processing time, parallelization, and read and write disk access. A dataset consisting of 36,504,800 reads was used corresponding to the 14th human chromosome. The assessment was performed for two k-mer lengths: 31 and 55. Obtained results were the following: pure Bloom filter-based tools and disk-partitioning techniques showed a lesser RAM use. The tools that took less execution time were the ones that used disk-partitioning techniques. The techniques that made the major parallelization were the ones that used disk partitioning, hash tables with lock-free approach, or multiple hash tables.

  10. Computational Performance Assessment of k-mer Counting Algorithms.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Nelson; Gutierrez, Miguel; Vera, Nelson

    2016-04-01

    This article is about the assessment of several tools for k-mer counting, with the purpose to create a reference framework for bioinformatics researchers to identify computational requirements, parallelizing, advantages, disadvantages, and bottlenecks of each of the algorithms proposed in the tools. The k-mer counters evaluated in this article were BFCounter, DSK, Jellyfish, KAnalyze, KHMer, KMC2, MSPKmerCounter, Tallymer, and Turtle. Measured parameters were the following: RAM occupied space, processing time, parallelization, and read and write disk access. A dataset consisting of 36,504,800 reads was used corresponding to the 14th human chromosome. The assessment was performed for two k-mer lengths: 31 and 55. Obtained results were the following: pure Bloom filter-based tools and disk-partitioning techniques showed a lesser RAM use. The tools that took less execution time were the ones that used disk-partitioning techniques. The techniques that made the major parallelization were the ones that used disk partitioning, hash tables with lock-free approach, or multiple hash tables. PMID:26982880

  11. Constitutive synthesis of a transport function encoded by the Thiobacillus ferrooxidans merC gene cloned in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Kusano, Tomonobu Akita Prefectural College of Agriculture ); Ji, Guangyong; Silver, S. ); Inoue, Chihiro )

    1990-05-01

    Mercuric reductase activity determined by the Thiobacillus ferrooxidans merA gene (cloned and expressed constitutively in Escherichia coli) was measured by volatilization of {sup 203}Hg{sup 2+}. (The absence of a merR regulatory gene in the cloned Thiobacillus mer determinant provides a basis for the constitutive synthesis of this system.) In the absence of the Thiobacillus merC transport gene, the mercury volatilization activity was cryptic and was not seen with whole cells but only with sonication-disrupted cells. The Thiobacillus merC transport function was compared with transport via the merT-merP system of plasmid pDU1358. Both systems, cloned and expressed in E. coli, governed enhanced uptake of {sup 203}Hg{sup 2+} in a temperature- and concentration-dependent fashion. Uptake via MerT-MerP was greater and conferred greater hypersensitivity to Hg{sup 2+} than did uptake with MerC. Mercury uptake was inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide but not by EDTA. Ag{sup +} salts inhibited mercury uptake by the MerT-MerP system but did not inhibit uptake via MerC. Radioactive mercury accumulated by the MerT-MerP and by the MerC systems was exchangeable with nonradioactive Hg{sup 2+}.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. MERS coronavirus induces apoptosis in kidney and lung by upregulating Smad7 and FGF2.

    PubMed

    Yeung, Man-Lung; Yao, Yanfeng; Jia, Lilong; Chan, Jasper F W; Chan, Kwok-Hung; Cheung, Kwok-Fan; Chen, Honglin; Poon, Vincent K M; Tsang, Alan K L; To, Kelvin K W; Yiu, Ming-Kwong; Teng, Jade L L; Chu, Hin; Zhou, Jie; Zhang, Qing; Deng, Wei; Lau, Susanna K P; Lau, Johnson Y N; Woo, Patrick C Y; Chan, Tak-Mao; Yung, Susan; Zheng, Bo-Jian; Jin, Dong-Yan; Mathieson, Peter W; Qin, Chuan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes sporadic zoonotic disease and healthcare-associated outbreaks in human. MERS is often complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure(1,2). The high incidence of renal failure in MERS is a unique clinical feature not often found in other human coronavirus infections(3,4). Whether MERS-CoV infects the kidney and how it triggers renal failure are not understood(5,6). Here, we demonstrated renal infection and apoptotic induction by MERS-CoV in human ex vivo organ culture and a nonhuman primate model. High-throughput analysis revealed that the cellular genes most significantly perturbed by MERS-CoV have previously been implicated in renal diseases. Furthermore, MERS-CoV induced apoptosis through upregulation of Smad7 and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) expression in both kidney and lung cells. Conversely, knockdown of Smad7 effectively inhibited MERS-CoV replication and protected cells from virus-induced cytopathic effects. We further demonstrated that hyperexpression of Smad7 or FGF2 induced a strong apoptotic response in kidney cells. Common marmosets infected by MERS-CoV developed ARDS and disseminated infection in kidneys and other organs. Smad7 and FGF2 expression were elevated in the lungs and kidneys of the infected animals. Our results provide insights into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV and host targets for treatment. PMID:27572168

  15. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. [Infections with the MERS coronavirus--for the present no threat to Europe].

    PubMed

    Stock, Ingo

    2015-12-01

    In Saudi Arabia, a novel coronavirus named Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was isolated in 2012 from patients with severe respiratory symptoms. Up to now, more than 1600 MERS cases have been registered mainly in the Arabian Peninsula. MERS is usually accompanied with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In many cases, pneumonia is observed. However, clinical features of MERS range from mild disease to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan failure resulting in death, especially in individuals with underlying comorbidities. To date, about one in three people died as a result of MERS. In Europe, MERS cases have only been registered in isolated travelers entering from the Middle East.

  20. Aberrant Mer receptor tyrosine kinase expression contributes to leukemogenesis in acute myeloid leukemia.

    PubMed

    Lee-Sherick, A B; Eisenman, K M; Sather, S; McGranahan, A; Armistead, P M; McGary, C S; Hunsucker, S A; Schlegel, J; Martinson, H; Cannon, C; Keating, A K; Earp, H S; Liang, X; DeRyckere, D; Graham, D K

    2013-11-14

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) continues to be extremely difficult to treat successfully, and the unacceptably low overall survival rates mandate that we assess new potential therapies to ameliorate poor clinical response to conventional therapy. Abnormal tyrosine kinase activation in AML has been associated with poor prognosis and provides strategic targets for novel therapy development. We found that Mer receptor tyrosine kinase was over-expressed in a majority of pediatric (29/36, 80%) and adult (10/10, 100%) primary AML patient blasts at the time of diagnosis, and 100% of patient samples at the time of relapse. Mer was also found to be expressed in 12 of 14 AML cell lines (86%). In contrast, normal bone marrow myeloid precursors expressed little to no Mer. Following AML cell line stimulation with Gas6, a Mer ligand, we observed activation of prosurvival and proliferative signaling pathways, including phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, MSK1, CREB, ATF1, AKT and STAT6. To assess the phenotypic role of Mer in AML, two independent short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs were used to decrease Mer expression in the AML cell lines Nomo-1 and Kasumi-1. Reduction of Mer protein levels significantly increased rates of myeloblast apoptosis two to threefold in response to serum starvation. Furthermore, myeloblasts with knocked-down Mer demonstrated decreased colony formation by 67-87%, relative to control cell lines (P<0.01). NOD-SCID-gamma mice transplanted with Nomo-1 myeloblasts with reduced levels of Mer had a significant prolongation in survival compared with mice transplanted with the parental or control cell lines (median survival 17 days in parental and control cell lines, versus 32-36 days in Mer knockdown cell lines, P<0.0001). These data suggest a role for Mer in acute myeloid leukemogenesis and indicate that targeted inhibition of Mer may be an effective therapeutic strategy in pediatric and adult AML. PMID:23474756

  1. Aberrant Mer receptor tyrosine kinase expression contributes to leukemogenesis in acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Lee-Sherick, A B; Eisenman, K M; Sather, S; McGranahan, A; Armistead, P M; McGary, C S; Hunsucker, S A; Schlegel, J; Martinson, H; Cannon, C; Keating, A K; Earp, H S; Liang, X; DeRyckere, D; Graham, D K

    2013-01-01

    Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) continues to be extremely difficult to treat successfully, and the unacceptably low overall survival rates mandate that we assess new potential therapies to ameliorate poor clinical response to conventional therapy. Abnormal tyrosine kinase activation in AML has been associated with poor prognosis and provides strategic targets for novel therapy development. We found that Mer receptor tyrosine kinase was over-expressed in a majority of pediatric (29/36, 80%) and adult (10/10, 100%) primary AML patient blasts at the time of diagnosis, and 100% of patient samples at the time of relapse. Mer was also found to be expressed in 12 of 14 AML cell lines (86%). In contrast, normal bone marrow myeloid precursors expressed little to no Mer. Following AML cell line stimulation with Gas6, a Mer ligand, we observed activation of prosurvival and proliferative signaling pathways, including phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, MSK1, CREB, ATF1, AKT and STAT6. To assess the phenotypic role of Mer in AML, two independent short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs were used to decrease Mer expression in the AML cell lines Nomo-1 and Kasumi-1. Reduction of Mer protein levels significantly increased rates of myeloblast apoptosis two to threefold in response to serum starvation. Furthermore, myeloblasts with knocked-down Mer demonstrated decreased colony formation by 67–87%, relative to control cell lines (P<0.01). NOD-SCID-gamma mice transplanted with Nomo-1 myeloblasts with reduced levels of Mer had a significant prolongation in survival compared with mice transplanted with the parental or control cell lines (median survival 17 days in parental and control cell lines, versus 32–36 days in Mer knockdown cell lines, P<0.0001). These data suggest a role for Mer in acute myeloid leukemogenesis and indicate that targeted inhibition of Mer may be an effective therapeutic strategy in pediatric and adult AML. PMID:23474756

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) entry inhibitors targeting spike protein.

    PubMed

    Xia, Shuai; Liu, Qi; Wang, Qian; Sun, Zhiwu; Su, Shan; Du, Lanying; Ying, Tianlei; Lu, Lu; Jiang, Shibo

    2014-12-19

    The recent outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection has led to more than 800 laboratory-confirmed MERS cases with a high case fatality rate (∼35%), posing a serious threat to global public health and calling for the development of effective and safe therapeutic and prophylactic strategies to treat and prevent MERS-CoV infection. Here we discuss the most recent studies on the structure of the MERS-CoV spike protein and its role in virus binding and entry, and the development of MERS-CoV entry/fusion inhibitors targeting the S1 subunit, particularly the receptor-binding domain (RBD), and the S2 subunit, especially the HR1 region, of the MERS-CoV spike protein. We then look ahead to future applications of these viral entry/fusion inhibitors, either alone or in combination with specific and nonspecific MERS-CoV replication inhibitors, for the treatment and prevention of MERS-CoV infection. PMID:25451066

  8. A Re‐evaluation of Electron‐Transfer Mechanisms in Microbial Electrochemistry: Shewanella Releases Iron that Mediates Extracellular Electron Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Oram, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Exoelectrogenic bacteria can couple their metabolism to extracellular electron acceptors, including macroscopic electrodes, and this has applications in energy production, bioremediation and biosensing. Optimisation of these technologies relies on a detailed molecular understanding of extracellular electron‐transfer (EET) mechanisms, and Shewanella oneidensis MR‐1 (MR‐1) has become a model organism for such fundamental studies. Here, cyclic voltammetry was used to determine the relationship between the surface chemistry of electrodes (modified gold, ITO and carbon electrodes) and the EET mechanism. On ultra‐smooth gold electrodes modified with self‐assembled monolayers containing carboxylic‐acid‐terminated thiols, an EET pathway dominates with an oxidative catalytic onset at 0.1 V versus SHE. Addition of iron(II)chloride enhances the catalytic current, whereas the siderophore deferoxamine abolishes this signal, leading us to conclude that this pathway proceeds via an iron mediated electron transfer mechanism. The same EET pathway is observed at other electrodes, but the onset potential is dependent on the electrolyte composition and electrode surface chemistry. EET pathways with onset potentials above −0.1 V versus SHE have previously been ascribed to direct electron‐transfer (DET) mechanisms through the surface exposed decaheme cytochromes (MtrC/OmcA) of MR‐1. In light of the results reported here, we propose that the previously identified DET mechanism of MR‐1 needs to be re‐evaluated.

  9. 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.

  10. CoMeta: Classification of Metagenomes Using k-mers

    PubMed Central

    Kawulok, Jolanta; Deorowicz, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays, the study of environmental samples has been developing rapidly. Characterization of the environment composition broadens the knowledge about the relationship between species composition and environmental conditions. An important element of extracting the knowledge of the sample composition is to compare the extracted fragments of DNA with sequences derived from known organisms. In the presented paper, we introduce an algorithm called CoMeta (Classification of metagenomes), which assigns a query read (a DNA fragment) into one of the groups previously prepared by the user. Typically, this is one of the taxonomic rank (e.g., phylum, genus), however prepared groups may contain sequences having various functions. In CoMeta, we used the exact method for read classification using short subsequences (k-mers) and fast program for indexing large set of k-mers. In contrast to the most popular methods based on BLAST, where the query is compared with each reference sequence, we begin the classification from the top of the taxonomy tree to reduce the number of comparisons. The presented experimental study confirms that CoMeta outperforms other programs used in this context. CoMeta is available at https://github.com/jkawulok/cometa under a free GNU GPL 2 license. PMID:25884504

  11. 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. PMID:25600485

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

    PubMed

    Omrani, Ali S; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A; Memish, Ziad 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

  13. Expedient chemical synthesis of 75mer DNA binding domain of MafA: an insight on its binding to insulin enhancer.

    PubMed

    Pellegrino, Sara; Annoni, Chiara; Contini, Alessandro; Clerici, Francesca; Gelmi, Maria Luisa

    2012-11-01

    An expedient chemical synthesis of a 75mer peptide corresponding to the DNA binding domain (DBD, 227-301) of the human MafA leucine zipper transcription factor is reported. The application of microwave-assisted solid phase peptide synthesis (MW-SPPS) with a protocol modified respect to the standard one allowed obtaining the desired 75mer peptide in a short time with high quantity and optimal purity. MW-SPPS methodology was thus demonstrated as a valuable alternative to recombinant methods to obtain protein domains. Considering that recent findings suggest an involvement of MafA in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus, we also performed circular dichroism studies both on DBD folding and its interaction with MafA recognition element (MARE) on insulin enhancer. From our results, it was evicted that a disorder to order transition occurs after DBD interaction with insulin MARE which is mediated by specific structural elements on the N-terminus of the DBD.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Lack of MERS Coronavirus Neutralizing Antibodies in Humans, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Gierer, Stefanie; Hofmann-Winkler, Heike; Albuali, Waleed H.; Bertram, Stephanie; Al-Rubaish, Abdullah M.; Yousef, Abdullah A.; Al-Nafaie, Awatif N.; Al-Ali, Amein K.; Obeid, Obeid E.; Alkharsah, Khaled R.

    2013-01-01

    We used a lentiviral vector bearing the viral spike protein to detect neutralizing antibodies against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in persons from the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. None of the 268 samples tested displayed neutralizing activity, which suggests that MERS-CoV infections in humans are infrequent in this province. PMID:24274664

  18. 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

  19. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Transverse Impulse Rocket System (TIRS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SanMartin, Alejandro Miguel; Bailey, Erik

    2005-01-01

    In a very short period of time the MER project successfully developed and tested a system, TIRS/DIMES, to improve the probability of success in the presence of large Martian winds. The successful development of TIRS/DIMES played a big role in the landing site selection process by enabling the landing of Spirit on Gusev crater, a site of very high scientific interest but with known high wind conditions. The performance of TIRS by Spirit at Gusev Crater was excellent. The velocity prediction error was small and Big TIRS was fired reducing the impact horizontal velocity from approximately 23 meters per second to approximately 11 meters per second, well within the airbag capabilities. The performance of TIRS by Opportunity at Meridiani was good. The velocity prediction error was rather large (approximately 6 meters per second, a less than 2 sigma value, but TIRS did not fire which was the correct action.

  20. Inferences of Strength of Soil Deposits Along MER Rover Traverses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L. O.

    2005-12-01

    As the two Mars Exploration Rovers 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity' traverse terrains within Gusev crater and at Meridiani Planum, respectively, they leave behind wheel tracks that are routinely imaged by the different sets of cameras as part of the MER Athena instrument suite. Stereo observations of these tracks reveal wheel rut depths which are diagnostic of the strength of the soil-like deposits crossed by the vehicles. This contribution will discuss results of systematic analyses of MER-A and -B wheel sinkage measurements with regard to solutions for soil bearing strength, cohesion, and friction angle, occurring in the context of a suite of physical properties studies that are part of the Athena science investigation. Sinkage data are analyzed with wheel-soil theory calibrated to the shape of the MER wheel while accounting for wheel slip and by consulting comparisons with terrestrial soils. Results are applicable to the top ~20 to 30 cm of the soil deposits 'sampled' by normal stresses incurred from the wheels. The large number of wheel track observations per distance travelled enables investigations of variations of soil physical properties as a function of spatial scale, type of surface feature encountered, and local topography. Exploiting relationships between soil strength and degree of soil consolidation known from lunar regolith and dry terrestrial soils allows one to relate inferred soil strengths to bulk density which in turn is related to dielectric properties and to fine-component thermal inertia, both of which have been constrained for the two MER landing sites by remote sensing with comparatively coarse spatial resolution. In the context of the Athena science investigation, physical properties studies contribute to an overall understanding of the geology at the landing sites as they i) allow comparisons to be made between physical and compositional properties, ii) support attempts to correlate materials with geologic units, iii) help identify

  1. MER : from landing to six wheels on Mars ... twice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krajewski, Joel; Burke, Kevin; Lewicki, Chris; Limonadi, Daniel; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Voorhees, Chris

    2005-01-01

    Application of the Pathfinder landing system design to enclose the much larger Mars Exploration Rover required a variety of Rover deployments to achieve the surface driving configuration. The project schedule demanded that software design, engineering model test, and flight hardware build to be accomplished in parallel. This challenge was met through (a) bounding unknown environments against which to design and test, (b) early mechanical prototype testing, (c) constraining the scope of on-board autonomy to survival-critical deployments, (d) executing a balance of nominal and off-nominal test cases, (e) developing off-nominal event mitigation techniques before landing, (f) flexible replanning in response to surprises during operations. Here is discussed several specific events encountered during initial MER surface operations.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Dust Accumulation and Cleaning of the MER Solar Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    The solar arrays of the two NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity, were expected to accumulate so much dust after 90 Martian days (sols) that they 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, they have carried out surface operations for over 2200 sols each. During this time period, the rovers 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 scientifically estimate the loading and aeolian removal of dust from the solar arrays each sol. We will discuss the accumulation of dust on the solar panels as a proxy for dust movement on the Martian surface over the last 6 years.

  5. 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.

  6. Receptor Tyrosine Kinases, TYRO3, AXL, and MER, Demonstrate Distinct Patterns and Complex Regulation of Ligand-induced Activation*

    PubMed Central

    Tsou, Wen-I; Nguyen, Khanh-Quynh N.; Calarese, Daniel A.; Garforth, Scott J.; Antes, Anita L.; Smirnov, Sergey V.; Almo, Steve C.; Birge, Raymond B.; Kotenko, Sergei V.

    2014-01-01

    TYRO3, AXL, and MER receptors (TAMs) are three homologous type I receptor-tyrosine kinases that are activated by endogenous ligands, protein S (PROS1) and growth arrest-specific gene 6 (GAS6). These ligands can either activate TAMs as soluble factors, or, in turn, opsonize phosphatidylserine (PS) on apoptotic cells (ACs) and serve as bridging molecules between ACs and TAMs. Abnormal expression and activation of TAMs have been implicated in promoting proliferation and survival of cancer cells, as well as in suppressing anti-tumor immunity. Despite the fact that TAM receptors share significant similarity, little is known about the specificity of interaction between TAM receptors and their ligands, particularly in the context of ACs, and about the functional diversity of TAM receptors. To study ligand-mediated activation of TAMs, we generated a series of reporter cell lines expressing chimeric TAM receptors. Using this system, we found that each TAM receptor has a unique pattern of interaction with and activation by GAS6 and PROS1, which is also differentially affected by the presence of ACs, PS-containing lipid vesicles and enveloped virus. We also demonstrated that γ-carboxylation of ligands is essential for the full activation of TAMs and that soluble immunoglobulin-like TAM domains act as specific ligand antagonists. These studies demonstrate that, despite their similarity, TYRO3, AXL, and MER are likely to perform distinct functions in both immunoregulation and the recognition and removal of ACs. PMID:25074926

  7. 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.

  8. Statistical Properties of Short Subsequences in Microbial Genomes and Their Link to Pathogen Identification and Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Meizhuo; Putonti, Catherine; Chumakov, Sergei; Gupta, Adhish; Fox, George E.; Graur, Dan; Fofanov, Yuriy

    2006-09-01

    Numerous sequencing projects have unveiled partial and full microbial genomes. The data produced far exceeds one person's analytical capabilities and thus requires the power of computing. A significant amount of work has focused on the diversity of statistical characteristics along microbial genomic sequences, e.g. codon bias, G+C content, the frequencies of short subsequences (n-mers), etc. Based upon the results of these studies, two observations were made: (1) there exists a correlation between regions of unusual statistical properties, e.g. difference in codon bias, etc., from the rest of the genomic sequence, and evolutionary significant regions, e.g. regions of horizontal gene transfer; and (2) because no two microbial genomes look statistically identical, statistical properties can be used to distinguish between genomic sequences. Recently, we conducted extensive analysis on the presence/absence of n-mers for many microbial genomes as well as several viral and eukaryotic genomes. This analysis revealed that the presence of n-mers in all genomes considered (in the range of n, when the condition M<<4n holds, where M is the genome length) can be treated as a nearly random and independent process. Thus we hypothesize that one may use relatively small sets of randomly picked n-mers for differentiating between different microorganisms. Recently, we analyzed the frequency of appearance of all 8- to 12-mers present in each of the 200+ publicly available microbial genomes. For nearly all of the genomes under consideration, we observed that some n-mers are present much more frequently than expected: from 50 to over a thousand copies. Upon closer inspection of these sequences, we found several cases in which an overrepresented n-mer exhibits a bias towards being located in the coding or being located in the non-coding region. Although the evolutionary reason for the conservation of such sequences remains unclear, in some cases it is plausible to believe that sequences

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

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Spacecraft Observations of Atmospheric Temperature and Aerosol Optical Depth Near the Time of the MER Landings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M. D.

    2005-05-01

    Continued atmospheric monitoring by the Mars Global Surveyor TES and Mars Odyssey THEMIS instruments provided daily maps of the regional to global scale variation of atmospheric temperature and aerosol optical depth before, during, and after the time of the two Mars Exploration Rover (MER) landings in January 2005. After landing, the MER Mini-TES instrument provided additional complementary information about the late-summer atmospheric state at the Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum landing sites. Orbital observations taken before the MER landings documented the initiation, growth, and decay of a large regional dust storm in mid-December 2004, just weeks before the MER Spirit landing. This dust storm caused an increase in atmospheric temperature above nominal seasonal values, and left relatively dusty conditions for the rovers after landing. Atmospheric entry parameters such as the height at which to open the parachute were adjusted considering the daily TES updates in the days before both MER landings. Here we present observations of atmospheric temperatures and aerosol optical depth by TES and THEMIS in the time period near the MER landings. We compare the TES and THEMIS observations against the values predicted from climatology and the observations taken after landing by the MER Mini-TES.

  12. [Bioinformatics-based Design of Peptide Vaccine Candidates Targeting Spike Protein of MERS-CoV and Immunity analysis in Mice].

    PubMed

    Lan, Jiaming; Lu, Shuai; Deng, Yao; Wen, Bo; Chen, Hong; Wang, Wen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified as a novel human coronavirus and posed great threat to public health world wide,which calls for the development of effective and safe vaccine urgently. In the study, peptide epitopes tagrgeting spike antigen were predicted based on bioinformatics methods. Nine polypeptides with high scores were synthesized and linked to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Female BALB/C mice were immunized with individual polypeptide-KLH, and the total IgG was detected by ELISA as well as the cellular mediated immunity (CMI) was analyzed using ELIs-pot assay. The results showed that an individual peptide of YVDVGPDSVKSACIEVDIQQTFFDKTWPRPIDVSKADGI could induce the highest level of total IgG as well as CMI (high frequency of IFN-γ secretion) against MERS-CoV antigen in mice. Our study identified a promising peptide vaccine candidate against MERS-CoV and provided an experimental support for bioinformatics-based design of peptide vaccine.

  13. [Bioinformatics-based Design of Peptide Vaccine Candidates Targeting Spike Protein of MERS-CoV and Immunity analysis in Mice].

    PubMed

    Lan, Jiaming; Lu, Shuai; Deng, Yao; Wen, Bo; Chen, Hong; Wang, Wen; Tan, Wenjie

    2016-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was identified as a novel human coronavirus and posed great threat to public health world wide,which calls for the development of effective and safe vaccine urgently. In the study, peptide epitopes tagrgeting spike antigen were predicted based on bioinformatics methods. Nine polypeptides with high scores were synthesized and linked to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH). Female BALB/C mice were immunized with individual polypeptide-KLH, and the total IgG was detected by ELISA as well as the cellular mediated immunity (CMI) was analyzed using ELIs-pot assay. The results showed that an individual peptide of YVDVGPDSVKSACIEVDIQQTFFDKTWPRPIDVSKADGI could induce the highest level of total IgG as well as CMI (high frequency of IFN-γ secretion) against MERS-CoV antigen in mice. Our study identified a promising peptide vaccine candidate against MERS-CoV and provided an experimental support for bioinformatics-based design of peptide vaccine. PMID:27295887

  14. The receptor binding domain of MERS-CoV: the dawn of vaccine and treatment development.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Nan; Zhang, Yun; Zhang, Jin-Chun; Feng, Ling; Bao, Jin-Ku

    2014-03-01

    The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is becoming another "SARS-like" threat to the world. It has an extremely high death rate (∼50%) as there is no vaccine or efficient therapeutics. The identification of the structures of both the MERS-CoV receptor binding domain (RBD) and its complex with dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), raises the hope of alleviating this currently severe situation. In this review, we examined the molecular basis of the RBD-receptor interaction to outline why/how could we use MERS-CoV RBD to develop vaccines and antiviral drugs.

  15. 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.

  16. Prophylaxis With a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)-Specific Human Monoclonal Antibody Protects Rabbits From MERS-CoV Infection.

    PubMed

    Houser, Katherine V; Gretebeck, Lisa; Ying, Tianlei; Wang, Yanping; Vogel, Leatrice; Lamirande, Elaine W; Bock, Kevin W; Moore, Ian N; Dimitrov, Dimiter S; Subbarao, Kanta

    2016-05-15

    With >1600 documented human infections with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and a case fatality rate of approximately 36%, medical countermeasures are needed to prevent and limit the disease. We examined the in vivo efficacy of the human monoclonal antibody m336, which has high neutralizing activity against MERS-CoV in vitro. m336 was administered to rabbits intravenously or intranasally before infection with MERS-CoV. Prophylaxis with m336 resulted in a reduction of pulmonary viral RNA titers by 40-9000-fold, compared with an irrelevant control antibody with little to no inflammation or viral antigen detected. This protection in rabbits supports further clinical development of m336.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Human Infection with MERS Coronavirus after Exposure to Infected Camels, Saudi Arabia, 2013

    PubMed Central

    Memish, Ziad A.; Cotten, Matthew; Meyer, Benjamin; Watson, Simon J.; Alsahafi, Abdullah J.; Al Rabeeah, Abdullah A.; Corman, Victor Max; Sieberg, Andrea; Makhdoom, Hatem Q.; Assiri, Abdullah; Al Masri, Malaki; Aldabbagh, Souhaib; Bosch, Berend-Jan; Beer, Martin; Müller, Marcel A.; Kellam, Paul

    2014-01-01

    We investigated a case of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) after exposure to infected camels. Analysis of the whole human-derived virus and 15% of the camel-derived virus sequence yielded nucleotide polymorphism signatures suggestive of cross-species transmission. Camels may act as a direct source of human MERS-CoV infection. PMID:24857749

  3. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): what lessons can we learn?

    PubMed

    Omrani, A S; Shalhoub, S

    2015-11-01

    The Middle East Respiratory Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first isolated from a patient who died with severe pneumonia in June 2012. As of 19 June 2015, a total of 1,338 MERS-CoV infections have been notified to the World Health Organization (WHO). Clinical illness associated with MERS-CoV ranges from mild upper respiratory symptoms to rapidly progressive pneumonia and multi-organ failure. A significant proportion of patients present with non-respiratory symptoms such as headache, myalgia, vomiting and diarrhoea. A few potential therapeutic agents have been identified but none have been conclusively shown to be clinically effective. Human to human transmission is well documented, but the epidemic potential of MERS-CoV remains limited at present. Healthcare-associated clusters of MERS-CoV have been responsible for the majority of reported cases. The largest outbreaks have been driven by delayed diagnosis, overcrowding and poor infection control practices. However, chains of MERS-CoV transmission can be readily interrupted with implementation of appropriate control measures. As with any emerging infectious disease, guidelines for MERS-CoV case identification and surveillance evolved as new data became available. Sound clinical judgment is required to identify unusual presentations and trigger appropriate control precautions. Evidence from multiple sources implicates dromedary camels as natural hosts of MERS-CoV. Camel to human transmission has been demonstrated, but the exact mechanism of infection remains uncertain. The ubiquitously available social media have facilitated communication and networking amongst healthcare professionals and eventually proved to be important channels for presenting the public with factual material, timely updates and relevant advice. PMID:26452615

  4. Development of Animal Models Against Emerging Coronaviruses: From SARS to MERS coronavirus

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Troy C; Subbarao, Kanta

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:25791336

  5. 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. PMID:27298584

  6. 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.

  7. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus "MERS-CoV": current knowledge gaps.

    PubMed

    Banik, G R; Khandaker, G; Rashid, H

    2015-06-01

    The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that causes a severe lower respiratory tract infection in humans is now considered a pandemic threat to the Gulf region. Since its discovery in 2012, MERS-CoV has reached 23 countries affecting about 1100 people, including a dozen children, and claiming over 400 lives. Compared to SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), MERS-CoV appears to kill more people (40% versus 10%), more quickly, and is especially more severe in those with pre-existing medical conditions. Most MERS-CoV cases (>85%) reported thus far have a history of residence in, or travel to the Middle East. The current epidemiology is characterised by slow and sustained transmission with occasional sparks. The dromedary camel is the intermediate host of MERS-CoV, but the transmission cycle is not fully understood. In this current review, we have briefly summarised the latest information on the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of MERS-CoV especially highlighting the knowledge gaps in its transmission dynamics, diagnosis and preventive strategy. PMID:26002405

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

    SciTech Connect

    Stomakhin, A. A.; Vasiliskov, V. A.; Timofeev, E.; Schulga, D.; Cotter, R. J.; Mirzabekov, A. D.; Biochip Technology Center; Engelhardt Inst. of Molecular Biology; Moscow Inst. of Physics and Technology; Middle Atlantic Mass Spectrometry Lab.; Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine

    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{sup o}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.

  9. Percolation and jamming of linear k -mers on a square lattice with defects: Effect of anisotropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu.; Burmistrov, Andrei S.; Shinyaeva, Taisiya S.; Laptev, Valeri V.; Vygornitskii, Nikolai V.; Lebovka, Nikolai I.

    2015-12-01

    Using the Monte Carlo simulation, we study the percolation and jamming of oriented linear k -mers on a square lattice that contains defects. The point defects with a concentration d are placed randomly and uniformly on the substrate before deposition of the k -mers. The general case of unequal probabilities for orientation of depositing of k -mers along different directions of the lattice is analyzed. Two different relaxation models of deposition that preserve the predetermined order parameter s are used. In the relaxation random sequential adsorption (RRSA) model, the deposition of k -mers is distributed over different sites on the substrate. In the single-cluster relaxation (RSC) model, the single cluster grows by the random accumulation of k -mers on the boundary of the cluster (Eden-like model). For both models, a suppression of growth of the infinite (percolation) cluster at some critical concentration of defects dc is observed. In the zero-defect lattices, the jamming concentration pj (RRSA model) and the density of single clusters ps (RSC model) decrease with increasing length k -mers and with a decrease in the order parameter. For the RRSA model, the value of dc decreases for short k -mers (k <16 ) as the value of s increases. For k =16 and 32, the value of dc is almost independent of s . Moreover, for short k -mers, the percolation threshold is almost insensitive to the defect concentration for all values of s . For the RSC model, the growth of clusters with ellipselike shapes is observed for nonzero values of s . The density of the clusters ps at the critical concentration of defects dc depends in a complex manner on the values of s and k . An interesting finding for disordered systems (s =0 ) is that the value of ps tends towards zero in the limits of the very long k -mers, k →∞ , and very small critical concentrations dc→0 . In this case, the introduction of defects results in a suppression of k -mer stacking and in the formation of empty or loose

  10. Ligand-induced Dimerization of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Coronavirus nsp5 Protease (3CLpro)

    PubMed Central

    Tomar, Sakshi; Johnston, Melanie L.; St. John, Sarah E.; Osswald, Heather L.; Nyalapatla, Prasanth R.; Paul, Lake N.; Ghosh, Arun K.; Denison, Mark R.; Mesecar, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    All coronaviruses, including the recently emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from the β-CoV subgroup, require the proteolytic activity of the nsp5 protease (also known as 3C-like protease, 3CLpro) during virus replication, making it a high value target for the development of anti-coronavirus therapeutics. Kinetic studies indicate that in contrast to 3CLpro from other β-CoV 2c members, including HKU4 and HKU5, MERS-CoV 3CLpro is less efficient at processing a peptide substrate due to MERS-CoV 3CLpro being a weakly associated dimer. Conversely, HKU4, HKU5, and SARS-CoV 3CLpro enzymes are tightly associated dimers. Analytical ultracentrifugation studies support that MERS-CoV 3CLpro is a weakly associated dimer (Kd ∼52 μm) with a slow off-rate. Peptidomimetic inhibitors of MERS-CoV 3CLpro were synthesized and utilized in analytical ultracentrifugation experiments and demonstrate that MERS-CoV 3CLpro undergoes significant ligand-induced dimerization. Kinetic studies also revealed that designed reversible inhibitors act as activators at a low compound concentration as a result of induced dimerization. Primary sequence comparisons and x-ray structural analyses of two MERS-CoV 3CLpro and inhibitor complexes, determined to 1.6 Å, reveal remarkable structural similarity of the dimer interface with 3CLpro from HKU4-CoV and HKU5-CoV. Despite this structural similarity, substantial differences in the dimerization ability suggest that long range interactions by the nonconserved amino acids distant from the dimer interface may control MERS-CoV 3CLpro dimerization. Activation of MERS-CoV 3CLpro through ligand-induced dimerization appears to be unique within the genogroup 2c and may potentially increase the complexity in the development of MERS-CoV 3CLpro inhibitors as antiviral agents. PMID:26055715

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Rare k-mer DNA: Identification of sequence motifs and prediction of CpG island and promoter.

    PubMed

    Mohamed Hashim, Ezzeddin Kamil; Abdullah, Rosni

    2015-12-21

    Empirical analysis on k-mer DNA has been proven as an effective tool in finding unique patterns in DNA sequences which can lead to the discovery of potential sequence motifs. In an extensive study of empirical k-mer DNA on hundreds of organisms, the researchers found unique multi-modal k-mer spectra occur in the genomes of organisms from the tetrapod clade only which includes all mammals. The multi-modality is caused by the formation of the two lowest modes where k-mers under them are referred as the rare k-mers. The suppression of the two lowest modes (or the rare k-mers) can be attributed to the CG dinucleotide inclusions in them. Apart from that, the rare k-mers are selectively distributed in certain genomic features of CpG Island (CGI), promoter, 5' UTR, and exon. We correlated the rare k-mers with hundreds of annotated features using several bioinformatic tools, performed further intrinsic rare k-mer analyses within the correlated features, and modeled the elucidated rare k-mer clustering feature into a classifier to predict the correlated CGI and promoter features. Our correlation results show that rare k-mers are highly associated with several annotated features of CGI, promoter, 5' UTR, and open chromatin regions. Our intrinsic results show that rare k-mers have several unique topological, compositional, and clustering properties in CGI and promoter features. Finally, the performances of our RWC (rare-word clustering) method in predicting the CGI and promoter features are ranked among the top three, in eight of the CGI and promoter evaluations, among eight of the benchmarked datasets.

  15. Rare k-mer DNA: Identification of sequence motifs and prediction of CpG island and promoter.

    PubMed

    Mohamed Hashim, Ezzeddin Kamil; Abdullah, Rosni

    2015-12-21

    Empirical analysis on k-mer DNA has been proven as an effective tool in finding unique patterns in DNA sequences which can lead to the discovery of potential sequence motifs. In an extensive study of empirical k-mer DNA on hundreds of organisms, the researchers found unique multi-modal k-mer spectra occur in the genomes of organisms from the tetrapod clade only which includes all mammals. The multi-modality is caused by the formation of the two lowest modes where k-mers under them are referred as the rare k-mers. The suppression of the two lowest modes (or the rare k-mers) can be attributed to the CG dinucleotide inclusions in them. Apart from that, the rare k-mers are selectively distributed in certain genomic features of CpG Island (CGI), promoter, 5' UTR, and exon. We correlated the rare k-mers with hundreds of annotated features using several bioinformatic tools, performed further intrinsic rare k-mer analyses within the correlated features, and modeled the elucidated rare k-mer clustering feature into a classifier to predict the correlated CGI and promoter features. Our correlation results show that rare k-mers are highly associated with several annotated features of CGI, promoter, 5' UTR, and open chromatin regions. Our intrinsic results show that rare k-mers have several unique topological, compositional, and clustering properties in CGI and promoter features. Finally, the performances of our RWC (rare-word clustering) method in predicting the CGI and promoter features are ranked among the top three, in eight of the CGI and promoter evaluations, among eight of the benchmarked datasets. PMID:26427337

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Reduced Epithelial Na+/H+ Exchange Drives Gut Microbial Dysbiosis and Promotes Inflammatory Response in T Cell-Mediated Murine Colitis

    PubMed Central

    Midura-Kiela, Monica T.; Ramalingam, Rajalakshmy; Larmonier, Claire B.; Chase, John H.; Caporaso, J. Gregory; Besselsen, David G.; Ghishan, Fayez K.; Kiela, Pawel R.

    2016-01-01

    Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are associated with functional inhibition of epithelial Na+/H+ exchange. In mice, a selective disruption of NHE3 (Slc9a3), a major apical Na+/H+ exchanger, also promotes IBD-like symptoms and gut microbial dysbiosis. We hypothesized that disruption of Na+/H+ exchange is necessary for the development of dysbiosis, which promotes an exacerbated mucosal inflammatory response. Therefore, we performed a temporal analysis of gut microbiota composition, and mucosal immune response to adoptive T cell transfer was evaluated in Rag2-/- and NHE3-/-/Rag2-/- (DKO) mice with and without broad-spectrum antibiotics. Microbiome (16S profiling), colonic histology, T cell and neutrophil infiltration, mucosal inflammatory tone, and epithelial permeability were analyzed. In adoptive T cell transfer colitis model, Slc9a3 status was the most significant determinant of gut microbial community. In DKO mice, NHE3-deficiency and dysbiosis were associated with dramatically accelerated and exacerbated disease, with rapid body weight loss, increased mucosal T cell and neutrophil influx, increased mucosal cytokine expression, increased permeability, and expansion of CD25-FoxP3+ Tregs; this enhanced susceptibility was alleviated by oral broad-spectrum antibiotics. Based on these results and our previous work, we postulate that epithelial electrolyte homeostasis is an important modulator in the progression of colitis, acting through remodeling of the gut microbial community. PMID:27050757

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Design and Performance of the MER (Mars Exploration Rovers) Solar Arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Ewell, Richard C.; Hoskin, Julie J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) program posed a significant engineering and technology challenge. Now that the Rovers have operated beyond their original design life of three months by nearly a factor of four it is clear that the challenge was met and far exceeded. A key to the success of MER has been the enhanced power provided by the cruise and Rover solar arrays. Benefiting from a nearly 50% improvement in cell efficiency compared to the single junction GaAs cells used on Pathfinder, the MER designs were subject to many constraints both in design and in operation. These constraints included limited available panel area, changing illumination levels and temperatures, and variable shadowing, atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation for the rovers. This paper will discuss those constraints and their impact on the design. In addition, flight data will be provided to assess the performance achieved during the mission.

  3. 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.

  4. Local Surface Reconstruction from MER images using Stereo Workstation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Dongjoe; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2010-05-01

    The authors present a semi-automatic workflow that reconstructs the 3D shape of the martian surface from local stereo images delivered by PnCam or NavCam on systems such as the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission and in the future the ESA-NASA ExoMars rover PanCam. The process is initiated with manually selected tiepoints on a stereo workstation which is then followed by a tiepoint refinement, stereo-matching using region growing and Levenberg-Marquardt Algorithm (LMA)-based bundle adjustment processing. The stereo workstation, which is being developed by UCL in collaboration with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) within the EU FP7 ProVisG project, includes a set of practical GUI-based tools that enable an operator to define a visually correct tiepoint via a stereo display. To achieve platform and graphic hardware independence, the stereo application has been implemented using JPL's JADIS graphic library which is written in JAVA and the remaining processing blocks used in the reconstruction workflow have also been developed as a JAVA package to increase the code re-usability, portability and compatibility. Although initial tiepoints from the stereo workstation are reasonably acceptable as true correspondences, it is often required to employ an optional validity check and/or quality enhancing process. To meet this requirement, the workflow has been designed to include a tiepoint refinement process based on the Adaptive Least Square Correlation (ALSC) matching algorithm so that the initial tiepoints can be further enhanced to sub-pixel precision or rejected if they fail to pass the ALSC matching threshold. Apart from the accuracy of reconstruction, it is obvious that the other criterion to assess the quality of reconstruction is the density (or completeness) of reconstruction, which is not attained in the refinement process. Thus, we re-implemented a stereo region growing process, which is a core matching algorithm within the UCL

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Microbial DNA records historical delivery of anthropogenic mercury.

    PubMed

    Poulain, Alexandre J; Aris-Brosou, Stéphane; Blais, Jules M; Brazeau, Michelle; Keller, Wendel Bill; Paterson, Andrew M

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Crystal Structures of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB in Its Free and Mercury-Bound Forms

    SciTech Connect

    Lafrance-Vanasse, J.; Lefebvre, M; Di Lello, P; Sygusch, J; Omichinski, J

    2009-01-01

    Bacteria resistant to methylmercury utilize two enzymes (MerA and MerB) to degrade methylmercury to the less toxic elemental mercury. The crucial step is the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase (MerB). In this study, we determined high resolution crystal structures of MerB in both the free (1.76-{angstrom} resolution) and mercury-bound (1.64-{angstrom} resolution) states. The crystal structure of free MerB is very similar to theNMRstructure, but important differences are observed when comparing the two structures. In the crystal structure, an amino-terminal-helix that is not present in the NMR structure makes contact with the core region adjacent to the catalytic site. This interaction between the amino-terminal helix and the core serves to bury the active site of MerB. The crystal structures also provide detailed insights into the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. The structures demonstrate that two conserved cysteines (Cys-96 and Cys-159) play a role in substrate binding, carbon-mercury bond cleavage, and controlled product (ionic mercury) release. In addition, the structures establish that an aspartic acid (Asp-99) in the active site plays a crucial role in the proton transfer step required for the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond. These findings are an important step in understanding the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB.

  12. Inhibition of Mer and Axl receptor tyrosine kinases leads to increased apoptosis and improved chemosensitivity in human neuroblastoma.

    PubMed

    Li, Yixin; Wang, Xiqian; Bi, Shaojie; Zhao, Kun; Yu, Chao

    2015-02-13

    Ectopic expression of Mer and Axl receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are frequently found in various cancers as known to promote oncogenesis by activating antiapoptotic signaling pathways. However, the roles of these receptors in neuroblastoma remain unclear. We found Mer and Axl was co-expressed in neuroblastoma patient samples and cell lines. Ligand-dependent Mer or Axl activation led to an increase in phosphorylated ERK1/2, AKT and FAK indicating roles for these RTKs in multiple oncogenic processes. Furthermore, Mer and Axl knockdown led to apoptosis and inhibition of migration as well as a significant increase in chemosensitivity in response to cisplatin and vincristine treatment. Taken together, our results demonstrated that inhibition of Mer and Axl improved apoptotic response and chemosensitivity in neuroblastoma, providing new insights into development of novel therapeutic strategies by targeting these oncogenes.

  13. Structure and conformational dynamics of the metalloregulator MerR upon binding of Hg(II).

    PubMed

    Guo, Hao-Bo; Johs, Alexander; Parks, Jerry M; Olliff, Lyn; Miller, Susan M; Summers, Anne O; Liang, Liyuan; Smith, Jeremy C

    2010-05-14

    The bacterial metalloregulator MerR is the index case of an eponymous family of regulatory proteins, which controls the transcription of a set of genes (the mer operon) conferring mercury resistance in many bacteria. Homodimeric MerR represses transcription in the absence of mercury and activates transcription upon Hg(II) binding. Here, the average structures of the apo and Hg(II)-bound forms of MerR in aqueous solution are examined using small-angle X-ray scattering, indicating an extended conformation of the metal-bound protein and revealing the existence of a novel compact conformation in the absence of Hg(II). Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to characterize the conformational dynamics of the Hg(II)-bound form. In both small-angle X-ray scattering and MD, the average torsional angle between DNA-binding domains is approximately 65 degrees. Furthermore, in MD, interdomain motions on a timescale of approximately 10 ns involving large-amplitude (approximately 20 A) domain opening-and-closing, coupled to approximately 40 degrees variations of interdomain torsional angle, are revealed. This correlated domain motion may propagate allosteric changes from the metal-binding site to the DNA-binding site while maintaining DNA contacts required to initiate DNA underwinding.

  14. Feasibility of Using Convalescent Plasma Immunotherapy for MERS-CoV Infection, Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Hajeer, Ali H.; Luke, Thomas; Raviprakash, Kanakatte; Balkhy, Hanan; Johani, Sameera; Al-Dawood, Abdulaziz; Al-Qahtani, Saad; Al-Omari, Awad; Al-Hameed, Fahad; Hayden, Frederick G.; Fowler, Robert; Bouchama, Abderrezak; Shindo, Nahoko; Al-Khairy, Khalid; Carson, Gail; Taha, Yusri; Sadat, Musharaf; Alahmadi, Mashail

    2016-01-01

    We explored the feasibility of collecting convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection by using ELISA to screen serum samples from 443 potential plasma donors: 196 patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection, 230 healthcare workers, and 17 household contacts exposed to MERS-CoV. ELISA-reactive samples were further tested by indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assays. Of the 443 tested samples, 12 (2.7%) had a reactive ELISA result, and 9 of the 12 had reactive indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assay titers. Undertaking clinical trials of convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of MERS-CoV infection may be feasible, but such trials would be challenging because of the small pool of potential donors with sufficiently high antibody titers. Alternative strategies to identify convalescent plasma donors with adequate antibody titers should be explored, including the sampling of serum from patients with more severe disease and sampling at earlier points during illness. PMID:27532807

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Structure and Conformational Dynamics of the Metalloregulator MerR upon Binding of Hg(II)

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, Hao-Bo; Johs, Alexander; Parks, Jerry M; Olliff, Lyn; Miller, Susan M; Summers, Anne O; Liang, Liyuan; Smith, Jeremy C

    2010-05-01

    The bacterial metalloregulator MerR is the index case of an eponymous family of regulatory proteins, which controls the transcription of a set of genes (the mer operon) conferring mercury resistance in many bacteria. Homodimeric MerR represses transcription in the absence of mercury and activates transcription upon Hg(II) binding. Here, the average structures of the apo and Hg(II)-bound forms of MerR in aqueous solution are examined using small-angle X-ray scattering, indicating an extended conformation of the metal-bound protein and revealing the existence of a novel compact conformation in the absence of Hg(II). Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are performed to characterize the conformational dynamics of the Hg(II)-bound form. In both small-angle X-ray scattering and MD, the average torsional angle between DNA-binding domains is not, vert, similar 65 . Furthermore, in MD, interdomain motions on a timescale of not, vert, similar 10 ns involving large-amplitude (not, vert, similar 20 ) domain opening-and-closing, coupled to not, vert, similar 40 variations of interdomain torsional angle, are revealed. This correlated domain motion may propagate allosteric changes from the metal-binding site to the DNA-binding site while maintaining DNA contacts required to initiate DNA underwinding.

  18. Phase coexistence and spatial correlations in reconstituting k-mer models.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Amit Kumar; Daga, Bijoy; Mohanty, P K

    2016-07-01

    In reconstituting k-mer models, extended objects that occupy several sites on a one-dimensional lattice undergo directed or undirected diffusion, and reconstitute-when in contact-by transferring a single monomer unit from one k-mer to the other; the rates depend on the size of participating k-mers. This polydispersed system has two conserved quantities, the number of k-mers and the packing fraction. We provide a matrix product method to write the steady state of this model and to calculate the spatial correlation functions analytically. We show that for a constant reconstitution rate, the spatial correlation exhibits damped oscillations in some density regions separated, from other regions with exponential decay, by a disorder surface. In a specific limit, this constant-rate reconstitution model is equivalent to a single dimer model and exhibits a phase coexistence similar to the one observed earlier in totally asymmetric simple exclusion process on a ring with a defect. PMID:27575091

  19. Simulating a MER Landing Site Remote Sensing Data Set for the 2002 FIDO Field Test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andres, P. M.; Anderson, R. C.; Bryant, N. A.; Capraro, K. S.; de Jong, E. M.; Haldemann, A. F.; Kiefer, D. E.; Levoe, S. R.; Logan, T. L.; Stein, T.

    2002-12-01

    To support the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover field test for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) science team training, we assembled a portfolio of modified terrestrial remote-sensing data to imitate the datasets available for MER landing sites. The MER landing sites data we synthesized were:\\(i) Viking MDIM base images at around 200 m/pixel, \\(ii) interpolated 1/64th degree Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbital Laser Altimeter (MOLA) topography, \\(iii) MOLA topographic profiles, \\(iv) some number of MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) high resolution strips, \\(v) Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging Spectrometer (THEMIS) visible (VIS) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) reflectance images, and \\(vi) THEMIS thermal IR (TIR) emissivity images. \\Terrestrial datasets selected and modified were (respectively):\\(i) Landsat TM composite images 90 m/pixel degraded to 180 m/pixel, \\(ii) USGS 90 m/pixel DEM degraded to 450 m/pixel, \\(iii) the same USGS 90 m/pixel DEM was individually sampled to generate 100 m shot size MOLA profiles, \\(iv) USGS Digital Orthoquad 1 m/pixel aerial photographs, mosaiced, cropped and re-sampled to 1.5, 3, and 7 m/pixel, \\(v) ASTER VIS and SWIR Level 2 reflectance, and \\(vi) ASTER TIR emissivity images.\\The MER Athena science team was able to successfully assess and evaluate the scientific potential of their test "landing ellipse" using these data, suggesting that the team will be capable of similar interpretive extrapolation on Mars.

  20. 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. PMID:26761437

  1. 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.

  2. Feasibility of Using Convalescent Plasma Immunotherapy for MERS-CoV Infection, Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Arabi, Yaseen M; Hajeer, Ali H; Luke, Thomas; Raviprakash, Kanakatte; Balkhy, Hanan; Johani, Sameera; Al-Dawood, Abdulaziz; Al-Qahtani, Saad; Al-Omari, Awad; Al-Hameed, Fahad; Hayden, Frederick G; Fowler, Robert; Bouchama, Abderrezak; Shindo, Nahoko; Al-Khairy, Khalid; Carson, Gail; Taha, Yusri; Sadat, Musharaf; Alahmadi, Mashail

    2016-09-01

    We explored the feasibility of collecting convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection by using ELISA to screen serum samples from 443 potential plasma donors: 196 patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection, 230 healthcare workers, and 17 household contacts exposed to MERS-CoV. ELISA-reactive samples were further tested by indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assays. Of the 443 tested samples, 12 (2.7%) had a reactive ELISA result, and 9 of the 12 had reactive indirect fluorescent antibody and microneutralization assay titers. Undertaking clinical trials of convalescent plasma for passive immunotherapy of MERS-CoV infection may be feasible, but such trials would be challenging because of the small pool of potential donors with sufficiently high antibody titers. Alternative strategies to identify convalescent plasma donors with adequate antibody titers should be explored, including the sampling of serum from patients with more severe disease and sampling at earlier points during illness. PMID:27532807

  3. Soil environmental conditions and microbial build-up mediate the effect of plant diversity on soil nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activities in temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Le Roux, Xavier; Schmid, Bernhard; Poly, Franck; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Guillaumaud, Nadine; Habekost, Maike; Oelmann, Yvonne; Philippot, Laurent; Salles, Joana Falcao; Schloter, Michael; Steinbeiss, Sibylle; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Random reductions in plant diversity can affect ecosystem functioning, but it is still unclear which components of plant diversity (species number - namely richness, presence of particular plant functional groups, or particular combinations of these) and associated biotic and abiotic drivers explain the observed relationships, particularly for soil processes. We assembled grassland communities including 1 to 16 plant species with a factorial separation of the effects of richness and functional group composition to analyze how plant diversity components influence soil nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activities (NEA and DEA, respectively), the abundance of nitrifiers (bacterial and archaeal amoA gene number) and denitrifiers (nirK, nirS and nosZ gene number), and key soil environmental conditions. Plant diversity effects were largely due to differences in functional group composition between communities of identical richness (number of sown species), though richness also had an effect per se. NEA was positively related to the percentage of legumes in terms of sown species number, the additional effect of richness at any given legume percentage being negative. DEA was higher in plots with legumes, decreased with increasing percentage of grasses, and increased with richness. No correlation was observed between DEA and denitrifier abundance. NEA increased with the abundance of ammonia oxidizing bacteria. The effect of richness on NEA was entirely due to the build-up of nitrifying organisms, while legume effect was partly linked to modified ammonium availability and nitrifier abundance. Richness effect on DEA was entirely due to changes in soil moisture, while the effects of legumes and grasses were partly due to modified nitrate availability, which influenced the specific activity of denitrifiers. These results suggest that plant diversity-induced changes in microbial specific activity are important for facultative activities such as denitrification, whereas changes

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Distortion of the Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Binding Groove to Accommodate an Insulin-derived 10-Mer Peptide*

    PubMed Central

    Motozono, Chihiro; Pearson, James A.; De Leenheer, Evy; Rizkallah, Pierre J.; Beck, Konrad; Trimby, Andrew; Sewell, Andrew K.; Wong, F. Susan; Cole, David K.

    2015-01-01

    The non-obese diabetic mouse model of type 1 diabetes continues to be an important tool for delineating the role of T-cell-mediated destruction of pancreatic β-cells. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that enable this disease pathway. We show that insulin reactivity by a CD8+ T-cell clone, known to induce type 1 diabetes, is characterized by weak T-cell antigen receptor binding to a relatively unstable peptide-MHC. The structure of the native 9- and 10-mer insulin epitopes demonstrated that peptide residues 7 and 8 form a prominent solvent-exposed bulge that could potentially be the main focus of T-cell receptor binding. The C terminus of the peptide governed peptide-MHC stability. Unexpectedly, we further demonstrate a novel mode of flexible peptide presentation in which the MHC peptide-binding groove is able to “open the back door” to accommodate extra C-terminal peptide residues. PMID:26085090

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2014-04-01

    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.

  9. Effects of pH-treated Fish Sarcoplasmic Proteins on the Functional Properties of Chicken Myofibrillar Protein Gel Mediated by Microbial Transglutaminase

    PubMed Central

    Hemung, Bung-Orn

    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. PMID:26761171

  10. 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.

  11. Evaluation of Acid-treated Fish Sarcoplasmic Proteins on Physicochemical and Rheological Characteristics of Pork Myofibrillar Protein Gel Mediated by Microbial Transglutaminase.

    PubMed

    Hemung, Bung-Orn; Chin, Koo Bok

    2015-01-01

    Fish sarcoplasmic protein (SP) is currently dumped as waste from surimi industry and its recovery by practical method for being the non-meat ingredient in meat industry would be a strategy to utilize effectively the fish resource. This study was aimed to apply pH treatment for fish SP recovery and evaluated its effect on pork myofibrillar protein (MP) gel. The pH values of fish SP were changed to 3 and 12, and neutralized to pH 7 before lyophilizing the precipitated protein after centrifugation. Acid-treated fish SP (AFSP) showed about 4-fold higher recovery yield than that of alkaline-treated SP and water absorption capacity was also about 1.2-fold greater. Because of the high recovery yield and water absorption capacity, AFSP was selected to incorporate into MP with/without microbial transglutaminase (MTG). The effects of AFSP and MTG on the physicochemical and rheological characteristics of MP and MP gel were evaluated. MTG induced an increase shear stress of the MP mixture and increase the breaking force of MP gels. MP gel lightness was decreased by adding AFSP. MP gel with MTG showed higher cooking loss than that without MTG. A reduction of cooking loss was observed when the AFSP was added along with MTG, where the insoluble particles were found. Therefore, AFSP could be contributed as a water holding agent in meat protein gel. PMID:26761800

  12. Evaluation of Acid-treated Fish Sarcoplasmic Proteins on Physicochemical and Rheological Characteristics of Pork Myofibrillar Protein Gel Mediated by Microbial Transglutaminase

    PubMed Central

    Hemung, Bung-Orn

    2015-01-01

    Fish sarcoplasmic protein (SP) is currently dumped as waste from surimi industry and its recovery by practical method for being the non-meat ingredient in meat industry would be a strategy to utilize effectively the fish resource. This study was aimed to apply pH treatment for fish SP recovery and evaluated its effect on pork myofibrillar protein (MP) gel. The pH values of fish SP were changed to 3 and 12, and neutralized to pH 7 before lyophilizing the precipitated protein after centrifugation. Acid-treated fish SP (AFSP) showed about 4-fold higher recovery yield than that of alkaline-treated SP and water absorption capacity was also about 1.2-fold greater. Because of the high recovery yield and water absorption capacity, AFSP was selected to incorporate into MP with/without microbial transglutaminase (MTG). The effects of AFSP and MTG on the physicochemical and rheological characteristics of MP and MP gel were evaluated. MTG induced an increase shear stress of the MP mixture and increase the breaking force of MP gels. MP gel lightness was decreased by adding AFSP. MP gel with MTG showed higher cooking loss than that without MTG. A reduction of cooking loss was observed when the AFSP was added along with MTG, where the insoluble particles were found. Therefore, AFSP could be contributed as a water holding agent in meat protein gel. PMID:26761800

  13. A humanized neutralizing antibody against MERS-CoV targeting the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26391698

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    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 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

  18. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27670112

  19. 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.

  20. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) origin and animal reservoir.

    PubMed

    Mohd, Hamzah A; Al-Tawfiq, Jaffar A; Memish, Ziad A

    2016-01-01

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel coronavirus discovered in 2012 and is responsible for acute respiratory syndrome in humans. Though not confirmed yet, multiple surveillance and phylogenetic studies suggest a bat origin. The disease is heavily endemic in dromedary camel populations of East Africa and the Middle East. It is unclear as to when the virus was introduced to dromedary camels, but data from studies that investigated stored dromedary camel sera and geographical distribution of involved dromedary camel populations suggested that the virus was present in dromedary camels several decades ago. Though bats and alpacas can serve as potential reservoirs for MERS-CoV, dromedary camels seem to be the only animal host responsible for the spill over human infections. PMID:27255185

  1. Mechanism of Hg-C protonolysis in the organomercurial lyase MerB.

    PubMed

    Parks, Jerry M; Guo, Hong; Momany, Cory; Liang, Liyuan; Miller, Susan M; Summers, Anne O; Smith, Jeremy C

    2009-09-23

    Demethylation is a key reaction in global mercury cycling. The bacterial organomercurial lyase, MerB, catalyzes the demethylation of a wide range of organomercurials via Hg-C protonolysis. Two strictly conserved cysteine residues in the active site are required for catalysis, but the source of the catalytic proton and the detailed reaction mechanism have not been determined. Here, the two major proposed reaction mechanisms of MerB are investigated and compared using hybrid density functional theory calculations. A model of the active site was constructed from an X-ray crystal structure of the Hg(II)-bound MerB product complex. Stationary point structures and energies characterized for the Hg-C protonolysis of methylmercury rule out the direct protonation mechanism in which a cysteine residue delivers the catalytic proton directly to the organic leaving group. Instead, the calculations support a two-step mechanism in which Cys96 or Cys159 first donates a proton to Asp99, enabling coordination of two thiolates with R-Hg(II). At the rate-limiting transition state, Asp99 protonates the nascent carbanion in a trigonal planar, bis thiol-ligated R-Hg(II) species to cleave the Hg-C bond and release the hydrocarbon product. Reactions with two other substrates, vinylmercury and cis-2-butenyl-2-mercury, were also modeled, and the computed activation barriers for all three organomercurial substrates reproduce the trend in the experimentally observed enzymatic reaction rates. Analysis of atomic charges in the rate-limiting transition state structure using Natural Population Analysis shows that MerB lowers the activation free energy in the Hg-C protonolysis reaction by redistributing electron density into the leaving group and away from the catalytic proton.

  2. MerTK Is a Functional Regulator of Myelin Phagocytosis by Human Myeloid Cells.

    PubMed

    Healy, Luke M; Perron, Gabrielle; Won, So-Yoon; Michell-Robinson, Mackenzie A; Rezk, Ayman; Ludwin, Samuel K; Moore, Craig S; Hall, Jeffery A; Bar-Or, Amit; Antel, Jack P

    2016-04-15

    Multifocal inflammatory lesions featuring destruction of lipid-rich myelin are pathologic hallmarks of multiple sclerosis. Lesion activity is assessed by the extent and composition of myelin uptake by myeloid cells present in such lesions. In the inflamed CNS, myeloid cells are comprised of brain-resident microglia, an endogenous cell population, and monocyte-derived macrophages, which infiltrate from the systemic compartment. Using microglia isolated from the adult human brain, we demonstrate that myelin phagocytosis is dependent on the polarization state of the cells. Myelin ingestion is significantly enhanced in cells exposed to TGF-β compared with resting basal conditions and markedly reduced in classically activated polarized cells. Transcriptional analysis indicated that TGF-β-treated microglia closely resembled M0 cells. The tyrosine kinase phagocytic receptor MerTK was one of the most upregulated among a select number of differentially expressed genes in TGF-β-treated microglia. In contrast, MerTK and its known ligands, growth arrest-specific 6 and Protein S, were downregulated in classically activated cells. MerTK expression and myelin phagocytosis were higher in CNS-derived microglia than observed in monocyte-derived macrophages, both basally and under all tested polarization conditions. Specific MerTK inhibitors reduced myelin phagocytosis and the resultant anti-inflammatory biased cytokine responses for both cell types. Defining and modulating the mechanisms that regulate myelin phagocytosis has the potential to impact lesion and disease evolution in multiple sclerosis. Relevant effects would include enhancing myelin clearance, increasing anti-inflammatory molecule production by myeloid cells, and thereby permitting subsequent tissue repair. PMID:26962228

  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. Equation of state for two-dimensional fluids with hard cyclic n-mer molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maeso, M. J.; Solana, J. R.

    1995-12-01

    The procedure previously developed to obtain the equation of state of two-dimensional fluids of hard linear molecules is modified for application to cyclic molecules. The resulting equation of state of two-dimensional hard cyclic n-mer fluids is related to the equation of state of the hard disc fluid and reproduces simulation data within their uncertainty for all the molecular geometries considered.

  5. Mechanism of Hg-C Protonolysis in the Organomercurial Lyase MerB

    SciTech Connect

    Parks, Jerry M; Guo, Hong; Liang, Liyuan; Miller, Susan M; Summers, Anne O; Smith, Jeremy C

    2009-01-01

    Demethylation is a key reaction in global mercury cycling. The bacterial organomercurial lyase, MerB, catalyzes the demethylation of a wide range of organomercurials via Hg-C protonolysis. Two strictly conserved cysteine residues in the active site are required for catalysis, but the source of the catalytic proton and the detailed reaction mechanism have not been determined. Here, the two major proposed reaction mechanisms of MerB are investigated and compared using hybrid density functional theory calculations. A model of the active site was constructed from an X-ray crystal structure of the Hg(II)-bound MerB product complex. Stationary point structures and energies characterized for the Hg-C protonolysis of methylmercury rule out the direct protonation mechanism in which a cysteine residue delivers the catalytic proton directly to the organic leaving group. Instead, the calculations support a two-step mechanism in which Cys96 or Cys159 first donates a proton to Asp99, enabling coordination of two thiolates with R-Hg(II). At the rate-limiting transition state, Asp99 protonates the nascent carbanion in a trigonal planar, bis thiol-ligated R-Hg(II) species to cleave the Hg-C bond and release the hydrocarbon product. Reactions with two other substrates, vinylmercury and cis-2-butenyl-2-mercury, were also modeled, and the computed activation barriers for all three organomercurial substrates reproduce the trend in the experimentally observed enzymatic reaction rates. Analysis of atomic charges in the rate-limiting transition state structure using Natural Population Analysis shows that MerB lowers the activation free energy in the Hg-C protonolysis reaction by redistributing electron density into the leaving group and away from the catalytic proton.

  6. MerTK Is a Functional Regulator of Myelin Phagocytosis by Human Myeloid Cells.

    PubMed

    Healy, Luke M; Perron, Gabrielle; Won, So-Yoon; Michell-Robinson, Mackenzie A; Rezk, Ayman; Ludwin, Samuel K; Moore, Craig S; Hall, Jeffery A; Bar-Or, Amit; Antel, Jack P

    2016-04-15

    Multifocal inflammatory lesions featuring destruction of lipid-rich myelin are pathologic hallmarks of multiple sclerosis. Lesion activity is assessed by the extent and composition of myelin uptake by myeloid cells present in such lesions. In the inflamed CNS, myeloid cells are comprised of brain-resident microglia, an endogenous cell population, and monocyte-derived macrophages, which infiltrate from the systemic compartment. Using microglia isolated from the adult human brain, we demonstrate that myelin phagocytosis is dependent on the polarization state of the cells. Myelin ingestion is significantly enhanced in cells exposed to TGF-β compared with resting basal conditions and markedly reduced in classically activated polarized cells. Transcriptional analysis indicated that TGF-β-treated microglia closely resembled M0 cells. The tyrosine kinase phagocytic receptor MerTK was one of the most upregulated among a select number of differentially expressed genes in TGF-β-treated microglia. In contrast, MerTK and its known ligands, growth arrest-specific 6 and Protein S, were downregulated in classically activated cells. MerTK expression and myelin phagocytosis were higher in CNS-derived microglia than observed in monocyte-derived macrophages, both basally and under all tested polarization conditions. Specific MerTK inhibitors reduced myelin phagocytosis and the resultant anti-inflammatory biased cytokine responses for both cell types. Defining and modulating the mechanisms that regulate myelin phagocytosis has the potential to impact lesion and disease evolution in multiple sclerosis. Relevant effects would include enhancing myelin clearance, increasing anti-inflammatory molecule production by myeloid cells, and thereby permitting subsequent tissue repair.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  10. Probing high-affinity 11-mer DNA aptamer against Lup an 1 (β-conglutin).

    PubMed

    Nadal, P; Svobodova, M; Mairal, T; O'Sullivan, C K

    2013-11-01

    Aptamers are synthetic nucleic acids with great potential as analytical tools. However, the length of selected aptamers (typically 60-100 bases) can affect affinity, due to the presence of bases not required for interaction with the target, and therefore, the truncation of these selected sequences and identification of binding domains is a critical step to produce potent aptamers with higher affinities and specificities and lowered production costs. In this paper we report the truncation of an aptamer that specifically binds to β-conglutin (Lup an 1), an anaphylactic allergen. Through comparing the predicted secondary structures of the aptamers, a hairpin structure with a G-rich loop was determined to be the binding motif. The highest affinity was observed with a truncation resulting in an 11-mer sequence that had an apparent equilibrium dissociation constant (K D) of 1.7 × 10(-9) M. This 11-mer sequence was demonstrated to have high specificity for β-conglutin and showed no cross-reactivity to other lupin conglutins (α-, δ-, γ-conglutins) and closely related proteins such as gliadin. Finally, the structure of the truncated 11-mer aptamer was preliminarily elucidated, and the GQRS Mapper strongly predicted the presence of a G-quadruplex, which was subsequently corroborated using one-dimensional NMR, thus highlighting the stability of the truncated structure. PMID:24126837

  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. PMID:11821925

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Exploring the microbially-mediated soil H2 sink: A lab-based study of the physiology and related H2 consumption of isolates from the Harvard Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, D.; Meredith, L. K.; Bosak, T.; Hansel, C. M.; Ono, S.; Prinn, R. G.

    2012-12-01

    Atmospheric hydrogen (H2) is a secondary greenhouse gas because it attenuates the removal of methane (CH4) from the atmosphere. The largest and most uncertain term in the H2 biogeochemical cycle, microbe-mediated soil uptake, is responsible for about 80% of Earth's tropospheric H2 sink. Recently, the first H2-oxidizing soil microorganisms were discovered (genus Streptomyces) whose low-threshold, high-affinity NiFe-hydrogenase functions at ambient H2 levels (approx. 530 ppb). To better understand the ecological function of this hydrogenase, we conducted a controlled laboratory study of the H2 uptake behavior in accordance with the complex life cycle development of the streptomycetes. Several strains of the genus Streptomyces containing a high-affinity NiFe- hydrogenase were isolated from soil at the Harvard Forest. The presence of this hydrogenase, detected by PCR amplification of the hydrogenase large subunit, predicted H2 uptake behavior in wild-type streptomycetes and in phylogenetically different organisms containing more distantly related versions of the gene. H2 uptake depended on the streptomyces' life cycle, reaching a maximum during spore formation. These findings reveal connections between environmental conditions, organismal life cycle, and H2 uptake. With the rise of H2-based energy sources and a potential change in the tropospheric concentration of H2, understanding the sources and sinks of this trace gas is important for the future.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. MICROBIAL ENZYME ACTIVITY FOR CHARACTERIZING NUTRIENT LOADING TO GREAT LAKES COASTAL WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Energy and material flows in aquatic ecosystems are mediated by microbial carbon and nutrient cycling. Extracellular enzymes produced by the microbial community aid in the degradation of organic matter and the resultant acquisition of limiting nutrients. Organic carbon sequestrat...

  19. Structural Analysis of the Hg(II)-Regulatory Protein Tn501 MerR from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    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

  20. Jamming and percolation in generalized models of random sequential adsorption of linear k -mers on a square lattice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebovka, Nikolai I.; Tarasevich, Yuri Yu.; Dubinin, Dmitri O.; Laptev, Valeri V.; Vygornitskii, Nikolai V.

    2015-12-01

    The jamming and percolation for two generalized models of random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k -mers (particles occupying k adjacent sites) on a square lattice are studied by means of Monte Carlo simulation. The classical RSA model assumes the absence of overlapping of the new incoming particle with the previously deposited ones. The first model is a generalized variant of the RSA model for both k -mers and a lattice with defects. Some of the occupying k adjacent sites are considered as insulating and some of the lattice sites are occupied by defects (impurities). For this model even a small concentration of defects can inhibit percolation for relatively long k -mers. The second model is the cooperative sequential adsorption one where, for each new k -mer, only a restricted number of lateral contacts z with previously deposited k -mers is allowed. Deposition occurs in the case when z ≤(1 -d ) zm where zm=2 (k +1 ) is the maximum numbers of the contacts of k -mer, and d is the fraction of forbidden contacts. Percolation is observed only at some interval kmin≤k ≤kmax where the values kmin and kmax depend upon the fraction of forbidden contacts d . The value kmax decreases as d increases. A logarithmic dependence of the type log10(kmax) =a +b d , where a =4.04 ±0.22 ,b =-4.93 ±0.57 , is obtained.

  1. 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.

  2. Improvement of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for equine herpesvirus type 4 by using a synthetic-peptide 24-mer repeat sequence of glycoprotein G as an antigen.

    PubMed

    Bannai, Hiroshi; Nemoto, Manabu; Tsujimura, Koji; Yamanaka, Takashi; Maeda, Ken; Kondo, Takashi

    2016-02-01

    To increase the sensitivity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) that uses a 12-mer peptide of glycoprotein G (gG4-12-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSL) [4], we used a longer peptide consisting of a 24-mer repeat sequence (gG4-24-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSLMLNVQHDDSIHT) as an antigen. Sera of horses experimentally infected with EHV-4 reacted much more strongly to the gG4-24-mer peptide than to the gG4-12-mer peptide. We used peptide ELISAs to test paired sera from horses naturally infected with EHV-4 (n=40). gG4-24-mer ELISA detected 37 positive samples (92.5%), whereas gG4-12-mer ELISA detected only 28 (70.0%). gG4-24-mer ELISA was much more sensitive than gG4-12-mer ELISA.

  3. Improvement of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for equine herpesvirus type 4 by using a synthetic-peptide 24-mer repeat sequence of glycoprotein G as an antigen

    PubMed Central

    BANNAI, Hiroshi; NEMOTO, Manabu; TSUJIMURA, Koji; YAMANAKA, Takashi; MAEDA, Ken; KONDO, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    To increase the sensitivity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) that uses a 12-mer peptide of glycoprotein G (gG4-12-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSL) [4], we used a longer peptide consisting of a 24-mer repeat sequence (gG4-24-mer: MKNNPIYSEGSLMLNVQHDDSIHT) as an antigen. Sera of horses experimentally infected with EHV-4 reacted much more strongly to the gG4-24-mer peptide than to the gG4-12-mer peptide. We used peptide ELISAs to test paired sera from horses naturally infected with EHV-4 (n=40). gG4-24-mer ELISA detected 37 positive samples (92.5%), whereas gG4-12-mer ELISA detected only 28 (70.0%). gG4-24-mer ELISA was much more sensitive than gG4-12-mer ELISA. PMID:26424485

  4. NMR structural studies reveal a novel protein fold for MerB, the organomercurial lyase involved in the bacterial mercury resistance system.

    PubMed

    Di Lello, Paola; Benison, Gregory C; Valafar, Homayoun; Pitts, Keith E; Summers, Anne O; Legault, Pascale; Omichinski, James G

    2004-07-01

    Mercury resistant bacteria have developed a system of two enzymes (MerA and MerB), which allows them to efficiently detoxify both ionic and organomercurial compounds. The organomercurial lyase (MerB) catalyzes the protonolysis of the carbon-mercury bond resulting in the formation of ionic mercury and a reduced hydrocarbon. The ionic mercury [Hg(II)] is subsequently reduced to the less reactive elemental mercury [Hg(0)] by a specific mercuric reductase (MerA). To better understand MerB's unique enzymatic activity, we used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the structure of the free enzyme. MerB is characterized by a novel protein fold consisting of three noninteracting antiparallel beta-sheets surrounded by six alpha-helices. By comparing the NMR data of free MerB and the MerB/Hg/DTT complex, we identified a set of residues that likely define a Hg/DTT binding site. These residues cluster around two cysteines (C(96) and C(159)) that are crucial to MerB's catalytic activity. A detailed analysis of the structure revealed the presence of an extensive hydrophobic groove adjacent to this Hg/DTT binding site. This extensive hydrophobic groove has the potential to interact with the hydrocarbon moiety of a wide variety of substrates and may explain the broad substrate specificity of MerB. PMID:15222745

  5. Percolation and jamming of linear k-mers on a square lattice with defects: Effect of anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Tarasevich, Yuri Yu; Burmistrov, Andrei S; Shinyaeva, Taisiya S; Laptev, Valeri V; Vygornitskii, Nikolai V; Lebovka, Nikolai I

    2015-12-01

    Using the Monte Carlo simulation, we study the percolation and jamming of oriented linear k-mers on a square lattice that contains defects. The point defects with a concentration d are placed randomly and uniformly on the substrate before deposition of the k-mers. The general case of unequal probabilities for orientation of depositing of k-mers along different directions of the lattice is analyzed. Two different relaxation models of deposition that preserve the predetermined order parameter s are used. In the relaxation random sequential adsorption (RRSA) model, the deposition of k-mers is distributed over different sites on the substrate. In the single-cluster relaxation (RSC) model, the single cluster grows by the random accumulation of k-mers on the boundary of the cluster (Eden-like model). For both models, a suppression of growth of the infinite (percolation) cluster at some critical concentration of defects d(c) is observed. In the zero-defect lattices, the jamming concentration p(j) (RRSA model) and the density of single clusters p(s) (RSC model) decrease with increasing length k-mers and with a decrease in the order parameter. For the RRSA model, the value of d(c) decreases for short k-mers (k<16) as the value of s increases. For k=16 and 32, the value of d(c) is almost independent of s. Moreover, for short k-mers, the percolation threshold is almost insensitive to the defect concentration for all values of s. For the RSC model, the growth of clusters with ellipselike shapes is observed for nonzero values of s. The density of the clusters p(s) at the critical concentration of defects d(c) depends in a complex manner on the values of s and k. An interesting finding for disordered systems (s=0) is that the value of p(s) tends towards zero in the limits of the very long k-mers, k→∞, and very small critical concentrations d(c)→0. In this case, the introduction of defects results in a suppression of k-mer stacking and in the formation of empty or loose

  6. Microbial xanthophylls.

    PubMed

    Bhosale, Prakash; Bernstein, Paul S

    2005-09-01

    Xanthophylls are oxygenated carotenoids abundant in the human food supply. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are major xanthophyll carotenoids in human plasma. The consumption of these xanthophylls is directly associated with reduction in the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract formation. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin also have considerable importance in aquaculture for salmonid and crustacean pigmentation, and are of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical synthesis is a major source for the heavy demand of xanthophylls in the consumer market; however, microbial producers also have potential as commercial sources. In this review, we discuss the biosynthesis, commercial utility, and major microbial sources of xanthophylls. We also present a critical review of current research and technologies involved in promoting microbes as potential commercial sources for mass production.

  7. 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

  8. Protection of rat liver against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury by a novel selenocysteine-containing 7-mer peptide

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Qianqian; Pan, Yu; Cheng, Yupeng; Li, Huiling; Li, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury causes acute organ damage or dysfunction, and remains a problem for liver transplantation. In the I-R phase, the generation of reactive oxygen species aggravates the injury. In the current study, a novel selenocysteine-containing 7-mer peptide (H-Arg-Sec-Gly-Arg-Asn-Ala-Gln-OH) was constructed to imitate the active site of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase (GPX). The 7-mer peptide which has a lower molecular weight, and improved water-solubility, higher stability and improved cell membrane permeability compared with other GPX mimics. Its GPX activity reached 13 U/µmol, which was 13 times that of ebselen (a representative GPX mimic). The effect of this GPX mimic on I-R injury of the liver was assessed in rats. The 7-mer peptide significantly inhibited the increase in serum hepatic amino-transferases, tissue malondialdehyde, nitric oxide contents, myeloperoxidase activity and decrease of GPX activity compared with I-R tissue. Following treatment with the 7-mer peptide, the expression of B-cell CLL/lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) was significantly upregulated at the mRNA and protein level compared with the I-R group, as determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively. By contrast, Bcl-2 associated X protein (Bax) was downregulated by the 7-mer peptide compared the I-R group. Histological and ultrastructural changes of the rat liver tissue were also compared among the experimental groups. The results of the current study suggest that the 7-mer peptide protected the liver against hepatic I-R injury via suppression of oxygen-derived free radicals and regulation of Bcl-2 and Bax expression, which are involved in the apoptosis of liver cells. The findings of the present study will further the investigation of the 7-mer peptide as an effective therapeutic agent in hepatic I-R injury. PMID:27431272

  9. [Molecular diagnosis and phylogenetic analysis of the first MERS case in Turkey].

    PubMed

    Bayrakdar, Fatma; Altaş, Ayşe Başak; Korukluoğlu, Gülay; Topal, Selmur

    2015-07-01

    Coronaviruses (CoV) are enveloped, spherical, single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses causing mainly respiratory and intestinal infections in animals and humans. Until recently five types of human coronaviruses (HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, SARS-CoV) have been known, however a novel CoV has been identified in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. This virus, namely MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), was classified within Coronaviridae family, Coronavirinae sub-family, Betacoronavirus genus, clade C. It causes acute respiratory infections in humans and transmits via respiratory route and close contact between humans. The aim of this study was to present the first MERS case from Turkey identified by molecular methods and the results of viral sequence analysis. A 42-year-old male Turkish citizen who worked as an employee in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, admitted to hospital with the complaints of fever and malaise on 25-26 September 2014. Since his symptoms went on and got worse, he returned to Turkey, and hospitalized in a hospital's intensive care unit in Hatay on 6th of October with the symptoms of fever, malaise, sweating, cough and respiratory distress. He transferred to a university hospital on 8th of October and died on 11th October. The tracheal aspirate sample obtained before he died was sent to Virology Unit of Reference Laboratories of the Turkish Public Health Institution. Detection of viral RNA was performed by using a commercial real-time PCR kit (hCoV-EMC Real-Time RT-PCR, Fast Track Diagnostics, Luxembourg) targeting the MERS-CoV E protein (upE), ORF1a and ORF1b gene regions. The reference method Superscript III One Step RT-PCR (Invitrogen, USA) recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) was also applied for confirmation. Both of the methods yielded positive results for MERS-CoV RNA. For the amplification of nucleocapsid (N) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes, hemi-nested PCR (Invitrogen, ABD) was conducted

  10. Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. A novel nickel responsive MerR-like regulator, NimR, from Haemophilus influenzae.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Stephen P; Djoko, Karrera Y; Ng, JiaQi; Argente, M Pilar; Jennings, Michael P; McEwan, Alastair G

    2011-10-01

    We have identified a novel regulator from the MerR family of transcription factors in the bacterial pathogen Haemophilus influenzae (HI1623; nickel-associated merR-like Regulator--NimR). NimR regulates the expression of a Ni(2+) uptake transporter (NikKLMQO). The promoters for nimR and the nik operon are divergent and overlapping and NimR binds at a site between the promoter elements for nikKLMQO. Expression of this operon requires NimR and depends on Ni(2+). Growth rates of the H. influenzae nimR and nikQ mutants were reduced in chemically defined media compared to the wild type and the mutants were unable to grow in the presence of EDTA. The mutant strains were less tolerant of acidic pH and the wild type Rd KW20 could not tolerate low pH in the presence of fluoramide, a urease specific inhibitor, confirming that both nickel transport and urea hydrolysis are a central process in pH control. H. influenzae nimR and nikQ strains were deficient in urease activity, but this could be specifically restored by the addition of excess Ni(2+). NimR did not directly regulate the expression of urease genes but the activity of urease requires both nimR and nikQ. Purified NimR is a dimer that binds 1 Ni(2+)ion. NimR is the first example of a Ni-dependent regulator from the MerR family and targeting a metal ion uptake system; it is distinct from NikR the Ni-responsive regulators of the ribbon-helix-helix family. PMID:21952667

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26298697

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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 ).

  17. 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

  18. Transport of localized and extended excitations in chains embedded with randomly distributed linear and nonlinear n -mers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-González, Dany; Molina, Mario I.

    2016-03-01

    We examine the transport of extended and localized excitations in one-dimensional linear chains populated by linear and nonlinear symmetric identical n -mers (with n =3 , 4, 5, and 6), randomly distributed. First, we examine the transmission of plane waves across a single linear n -mer, paying attention to its resonances, and looking for parameters that allow resonances to merge. Within this parameter regime we examine the transmission of plane waves through a disordered and nonlinear segment composed by n -mers randomly placed inside a linear chain. It is observed that nonlinearity tends to inhibit the transmission, which decays as a power law at long segment lengths. This behavior still holds when the n -mer parameters do not obey the resonance condition. On the other hand, the mean square displacement exponent of an initially localized excitation does not depend on nonlinearity at long propagation distances z , and shows a superdiffusive behavior ˜z1.8 for all n -mers, when parameters obey the resonance merging condition; otherwise the exponent reverts back to the random dimer model value ˜z1.5 .

  19. Microbial metropolis.

    PubMed

    Wimpenny, Julian

    2009-01-01

    Microorganisms can form tightly knit communities such as biofilms. Many others include marine snow, anaerobic digester granules, the ginger beer plant and bacterial colonies. This chapter is devoted to a survey of the main properties of these communities, with an emphasis on biofilms. We start with attachment to surfaces and the nature of adhesion. The growing community then forms within a matrix, generally of organic macromolecules. Inevitably the environment within such a matrix is different from that outside. Organisms respond by forming crowd-detection and response units; these quorum sensing systems act as switches between planktonic life and the dramatically altered conditions found inside microbial aggregates. The community then matures and changes and may even fail and disappear. Antimicrobial resistance is discussed as an example of multicellular behavior. The multicellular lifestyle has been modeled mathematically and responded to powerful molecular biological techniques. Latterly, microbial systems have been used as models for fundamental evolutionary processes, mostly because of their high rates of reproduction and the ease of genetic manipulation. The life of most microbes is a duality between the yin of the community and the yang of planktonic existence. Sadly far less research has been devoted to adaptation to free-living forms than in the opposite direction. PMID:20943124

  20. 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

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26066462

  1. 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.

  2. Coordinated expression of tyro3, axl, and mer receptors in macrophage ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Malawista, Anna; Wang, Xiaomei; Trentalange, Mark; Allore, Heather G.; Montgomery, Ruth R.

    2016-01-01

    The TAM receptors (Tyro3, Axl, and Mer) are a family of homologous receptor-tyrosine kinases that inhibit Toll-like receptor signaling to regulate downstream pathways and restore homeostasis. TAM triple mutant mice (Tyro3−/−, Axl−/−, Mer−/−) have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and are prone to developing lymphoproliferative disorders and autoimmunity. Understanding differential expression of TAM receptors among human subjects is critical to harnessing this pathway for therapeutic interventions. We have quantified changes in TAM expression during the ontogeny of human macrophages using paired samples of monocytes and macrophages to take advantage of characteristic expression within an individual. No significant differences in levels of Tyro3 were found between monocytes and macrophages (flow cytometry: p=0.652, immunoblot: p=0.231, qPCR: p=0.389). Protein levels of Axl were reduced (flow cytometry: p=0.049, immunoblot: p<0.001) when monocytes matured to macrophages. No significant differences in the levels of Axl mRNA transcripts were found (qPCR: p=0.082), however, Tyro3 and Axl were proportionate. The most striking difference was upregulation of expression of Mer with both protein and mRNA being significantly increased when monocytes developed into macrophages (flow cytometry: p<0.001, immunoblot: p<0.001, qPCR: p=0.004). A fuller characterization of TAM receptor expression in macrophage ontogeny informs our understanding of their function and potential therapeutic interventions.

  3. 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.

  4. Sparse representation of MER signals for localizing the Subthalamic Nucleus in Parkinson's disease surgery.

    PubMed

    Vargas Cardona, Hernán Darío; Álvarez, Mauricio A; Orozco, Álvaro A

    2014-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of Subthalamic Nucleus (STN) is the best method for treating advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), leading to striking improvements in motor function and quality of life of PD patients. During DBS, online analysis of microelectrode recording (MER) signals is a powerful tool to locate the STN. Therapeutic outcomes depend of a precise positioning of a stimulator device in the target area. In this paper, we show how a sparse representation of MER signals allows to extract discriminant features, improving the accuracy in identification of STN. We apply three techniques for over-complete representation of signals: Method of Frames (MOF), Best Orthogonal Basis (BOB) and Basis Pursuit (BP). All the techniques are compared to classical methods for signal processing like Wavelet Transform (WT), and a more sophisticated method known as adaptive Wavelet with lifting schemes (AW-LS). We apply each processing method in two real databases and we evaluate its performance with simple supervised classifiers. Classification outcomes for MOF, BOB and BP clearly outperform WT and AW-LF in all classifiers for both databases, reaching accuracy values over 98%.

  5. Structure and assembly of an augmented Sm-like archaeal protein 14-mer.

    PubMed

    Mura, Cameron; Phillips, Martin; Kozhukhovsky, Anna; Eisenberg, David

    2003-04-15

    To better understand the roles of Sm proteins in forming the cores of many RNA-processing ribonucleoproteins, we determined the crystal structure of an atypical Sm-like archaeal protein (SmAP3) in which the conserved Sm domain is augmented by a previously uncharacterized, mixed alpha/beta C-terminal domain. The structure reveals an unexpected SmAP3 14-mer that is perforated by a cylindrical pore and is bound to 14 cadmium (Cd(2+)) ions. Individual heptamers adopt either "apical" or "equatorial" conformations that chelate Cd(2+) differently. SmAP3 forms supraheptameric oligomers (SmAP3)(n = 7,14,28) in solution, and assembly of the asymmetric 14-mer is modulated by differential divalent cation-binding in apical and equatorial subunits. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses substantiate SmAP3s as a unique subset of SmAPs. These results distinguish SmAP3s from other Sm proteins and provide a model for the structure and properties of Sm proteins >100 residues in length, e.g., several human Sm proteins.

  6. 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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  7. Characterization of Immunodominant BK Polyomavirus 9mer Epitope T Cell Responses

    PubMed Central

    Cioni, M.; Leboeuf, C.; Comoli, P.; Ginevri, F.

    2016-01-01

    Uncontrolled BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) replication in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) causes polyomavirus‐associated nephropathy and allograft loss. Reducing immunosuppression is associated with clearing viremia and nephropathy and increasing BKPyV‐specific T cell responses in most patients; however, current immunoassays have limited sensitivity, target mostly CD4+ T cells, and largely fail to predict onset and clearance of BKPyV replication. To characterize BKPyV‐specific CD8+ T cells, bioinformatics were used to predict 9mer epitopes in the early viral gene region (EVGR) presented by 14 common HLAs in Europe and North America. Thirty‐nine EVGR epitopes were experimentally confirmed by interferon‐γ enzyme‐linked immunospot assays in at least 30% of BKPyV IgG–seropositive healthy participants. Most 9mers clustered in domains, and some were presented by more than one HLA class I, as typically seen for immunodominant epitopes. Specific T cell binding using MHC class I streptamers was demonstrated for 21 of 39 (54%) epitopes. In a prospective cohort of 118 pediatric KTRs, 19 patients protected or recovering from BKPyV viremia were experimentally tested, and 13 epitopes were validated. Single HLA mismatches were not associated with viremia, suggesting that failing immune control likely involves multiple factors including maintenance immunosuppression. Combining BKPyV load and T cell assays using immunodominant epitopes may help in evaluating risk and reducing immunosuppression and may lead to safe adoptive T cell transfer. PMID:26663765

  8. 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

  9. A lesson learned from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Al Shehri, Ali M

    2015-04-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) caused by novel Corona virus hit Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and resulted in hundreds of mortality and morbidity, fears and psychosocial stress among population, economic loss and major political change at Ministry of Health (MoH). Although MERS discovered two years ago, confusion still exists about its origin, nature, and consequences. In 2003, similar virus (SARS) hit Canada and resulted in a reform of Canada's public health system and creation of a Canadian Agency for Public Health, similar to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The idea of Saudi CDC is attractive and even "sexy" but it is not the best option. Experience and literature indicate that the best option for KSA is to revitalize national public health systems on the basis of comprehensive, continuing, and integrated primary health care (PHC) and public health (PH). This article proposes three initial, but essential, steps for such revitalization to take place: political will and support, integration of PHC and PH, and on-job professional programs for the workforce. In addition, current academic and training programs for PHC and PH should be revisited in the light of national vision and strategy that aim for high quality products that protect and promote healthy nation. Scientific associations, medical education research chair, and relevant academic bodies should be involved in the revitalization to ensure quality of process and outcomes. PMID:25803593

  10. Evaluation of 50-mer oligonucleotide arrays for detectingmicrobial populations in environmental samples.

    SciTech Connect

    Tiquia, S.M.; Wu, L.; Chong, S.C.; Passovets, S.; Xu, D.; Xu, Y.; Zhou, J.

    2004-03-30

    Microarrays fabricated with oligonucleotides longer than 40bp have been introduced for monitoring whole genome expression but havenot been evaluated with environmental samples. To determine the potentialof this type of microarray for environmental studies, a 50-meroligonucleotide microarray was constructed using 763 genes involved innitrogen cycling: nitrite reductase (nirS and nirK), ammoniamonooxygenase (amoA), nitrogenase (nifH), methane monooxygenase (pmoA),and sulfite reductase (dsrAB) from public databases and our own sequencecollections. The comparison of the sequences from pure cultures indicatedthat the developed microarrays could provide species-level resolution foranalyzing microorganisms involved in nitrification, denitrification,nitrogen fixation, methane oxidation, and sulfite reduction. Sensitivitytests suggested that the 50-mer oligonucleotide arrays could detectdominant populations in the environments, although sensitivity stillneeds to be improved. A significant quantitative relationship was alsoobtained with a mixture of DNAs from eight different bacteria. Theseresults suggest that the 50-mer oligonucleotide array can be used as aspecific and quantitative parallel tool for the detection of microbialpopulations in environmental samples.

  11. 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

  12. Overview of preparedness and response for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Oman.

    PubMed

    Al-Abaidani, I S; Al-Maani, A S; Al-Kindi, H S; Al-Jardani, A K; Abdel-Hady, D M; Zayed, B E; Al-Harthy, K S; Al-Shaqsi, K H; Al-Abri, S S

    2014-12-01

    Several countries in the Middle East and around 22 countries worldwide have reported cases of human infection with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The exceptionally high fatality rate resulting from MERS-CoV infection in conjunction with the paucity of knowledge about this emerging virus has led to major public and international concern. Within the framework of the national acute respiratory illness surveillance, the Ministry of Health in the Sultanate of Oman has announced two confirmed cases of MERS-CoV to date. The aim of this report is to describe the epidemiological aspects of these two cases and to highlight the importance of public health preparedness and response. The absence of secondary cases among contacts of the reported cases can be seen as evidence of the effectiveness of infection prevention and control precautions as an important pillar of the national preparedness and response plan applied in the health care institutions in Oman. PMID:25447719

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Allosteric underwinding of DNA is a critical step in positive control of transcription by Hg-MerR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Aseem Z.; Chael, Mark L.; O'Halloran, Thomas V.

    1992-01-01

    POSITIVE control of transcription often involves stimulatory protein-protein interactions between regulatory factors and RNA polymerase1. Critical steps in the activation process itself are seldom ascribed to protein-DNA distortions. Activator-induced DNA bending is typically assigned a role in binding-site recognition2, alterations in DNA loop structures3 or optimal positioning of the activator for interaction with polymerase4. Here we present a transcriptional activation mechanism that does not require a signal-induced DNA bend but rather a receptor-induced untwisting of duplex DNA. The allosterically modulated transcription factor MerR is a represser and an Hg(II)-responsive activator of bacterial mercury-resistance genes5-7.Escherichia coliRNA polymerase binds to the MerR-promoter complex but cannot proceed to a transcriptionally active open complex until Hg(II) binds to MerR (ref. 6). Chemical nuclease studies show that the activator form, but not the represser, induces a unique alteration of the helical structure localized at the centre of the DNA-binding site6. Data presented here indicate that this Hg-MerR-induced DNA distortion corresponds to a local underwinding of the spacer region of the promoter by about 33° relative to the MerR-operator complex. The magnitude and the direction of the Hg-MerR-induced change in twist angle are consistent with a positive control mechanism involving reorientation of conserved, but suboptimally phased, promoter elements and are consistent with a role for torsional stress in formation of an open complex.

  19. Jamming and percolation in generalized models of random sequential adsorption of linear k-mers on a square lattice.

    PubMed

    Lebovka, Nikolai I; Tarasevich, Yuri Yu; Dubinin, Dmitri O; Laptev, Valeri V; Vygornitskii, Nikolai V

    2015-12-01

    The jamming and percolation for two generalized models of random sequential adsorption (RSA) of linear k-mers (particles occupying k adjacent sites) on a square lattice are studied by means of Monte Carlo simulation. The classical RSA model assumes the absence of overlapping of the new incoming particle with the previously deposited ones. The first model is a generalized variant of the RSA model for both k-mers and a lattice with defects. Some of the occupying k adjacent sites are considered as insulating and some of the lattice sites are occupied by defects (impurities). For this model even a small concentration of defects can inhibit percolation for relatively long k-mers. The second model is the cooperative sequential adsorption one where, for each new k-mer, only a restricted number of lateral contacts z with previously deposited k-mers is allowed. Deposition occurs in the case when z≤(1-d)z(m) where z(m)=2(k+1) is the maximum numbers of the contacts of k-mer, and d is the fraction of forbidden contacts. Percolation is observed only at some interval k(min)≤k≤k(max) where the values k(min) and k(max) depend upon the fraction of forbidden contacts d. The value k(max) decreases as d increases. A logarithmic dependence of the type log(10)(k(max))=a+bd, where a=4.04±0.22,b=-4.93±0.57, is obtained. PMID:26764641

  20. 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

  1. The Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Evaluation System of the Board of Education for the Borough of York. Management of Educational Resources System (MERS). Progress Report Number One.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    York Borough Board of Education, Toronto (Ontario).

    Three aspects of the York Borough's school instructional programs are discussed: program structure, program costs, and program evaluation. Some basic philosophies of the Management of Educational Resources System (MERS) are set forth and the early history of the project is described showing how the boardwide MERS evolved from a pilot experiment…

  2. Crystal Structures of the Organomercurial Lyase MerB in Its Free and Mercury-bound Forms: INSIGHTS INTO THE MECHANISM OF METHYLMERCURY DEGRADATION

    SciTech Connect

    Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Lefebvre, Maryse; Lello, Paola Di; Sygusch, Jurgen; Omichinski, James G. )

    2009-01-27

    Bacteria resistant to methylmercury utilize two enzymes (MerA and MerB) to degrade methylmercury to the less toxic elemental mercury. The crucial step is the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase (MerB). In this study, we determined high resolution crystal structures of MerB in both the free (1.76-{angstrom} resolution) and mercury-bound (1.64-{angstrom} resolution) states. The crystal structure of free MerB is very similar to the NMR structure, but important differences are observed when comparing the two structures. In the crystal structure, an amino-terminal {alpha}-helix that is not present in the NMR structure makes contact with the core region adjacent to the catalytic site. This interaction between the amino-terminal helix and the core serves to bury the active site of MerB. The crystal structures also provide detailed insights into the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. The structures demonstrate that two conserved cysteines (Cys-96 and Cys-159) play a role in substrate binding, carbon-mercury bond cleavage, and controlled product (ionic mercury) release. In addition, the structures establish that an aspartic acid (Asp-99) in the active site plays a crucial role in the proton transfer step required for the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond. These findings are an important step in understanding the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Prevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels in Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Yusof, Mohammed F; Eltahir, Yassir M; Serhan, Wissam S; Hashem, Farouk M; Elsayed, Elsaeid A; Marzoug, Bahaaeldin A; Abdelazim, Assem Si; Bensalah, Oum Keltoum A; Al Muhairi, Salama S

    2015-06-01

    High seroprevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome corona virus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels has been previously reported in United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the molecular detection of the virus has never been reported before in UAE. Of the 7,803 nasal swabs tested in the epidemiological survey, MERS-CoV nucleic acid was detected by real-time PCR in a total of 126 (1.6 %) camels. Positive camels were detected at the borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman and in camels' slaughter houses. MERS-CoV partial sequences obtained from UAE camels were clustering with human- and camel-derived MERS-CoV sequences in the same geographic area. Results provide further evidence of MERS-CoV zoonosis.

  8. 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

  9. 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, ...

  10. Results from Automated Cloud and Dust Devil Detection Onboard the MER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chien, Steve; Castano, Rebecca; Bornstein, Benjamin; Fukunaga, Alex; Castano, Andres; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey; Greeley, Ron; Whelley, Patrick; Lemmon, Mark

    2008-01-01

    We describe a new capability to automatically detect dust devils and clouds in imagery onboard rovers, enabling downlink of just the images with the targets or only portions of the images containing the targets. Previously, the MER rovers conducted campaigns to image dust devils and clouds by commanding a set of images be collected at fixed times and downloading the entire image set. By increasing the efficiency of the campaigns, more campaigns can be executed. Software for these new capabilities was developed, tested, integrated, uploaded, and operationally checked out on both rovers as part of the R9.2 software upgrade. In April 2007 on Sol 1147 a dust devil was automatically detected onboard the Spirit rover for the first time. We discuss the operational usage of the capability and present initial dust devil results showing how this preliminary application has demonstrated the feasibility and potential benefits of the approach.

  11. THEMIS Observations, Discoveries and Predictions for the MER A Landing Site in Gusev Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, J. W.; Christensen, P. R.

    2003-12-01

    THEMIS has "followed the water" and discovered the youngest water flow into the MER A landing site in Gusev crater. This flow has a rumpled looking texture and is interpreted to be viscous material emanating from the mouth of Ma'adim Vallis. The flow can be traced for over 150 km across the floor of Gusev. This flow is emplaced on top of the smooth plains material and covers the whole western half of the landing ellipse. The flow does not show up in THEMIS IR indicating that it is mantled with at least a few cm of dust. This flow is either a debris flow (15-40% water volume content) or hyperconcentrated flow (40-80% water volume content) and not a lava flow based on its morphology, geologic setting, and lack of nearby volcanic sources. Debris flow deposits can be differentiated from hyperconcentrated flows on the basis of particle sorting, sedimentary structures, and inferred rheological properties. Access to this deposit will allow sampling of the most recent water related sediment in the basin. A very interesting relationship has been found to exist for many craters in the region of Gusev. These craters contain stacks of layered sedimentary deposits. It should be noted that these craters lack a large inflowing channel system. A similar layered morphology is seen on the floor of Gusev, especially the SE portion of the crater, where a 190 m thick deposit is being eroded. We propose that this material in Gusev is the remnant of a formerly more extensive regional unit related to the layered deposits seen in the many nearby craters. This observation suggests that the region was formerly buried by several hundred meters of material that is now being exhumed. This also implies that Ma'adim Vallis was a superposed channel that cut down from above and across Gusev. We also offer another scenario for Gusev in that it received periodic outwash deposits and may have contained shallow ephemeral playas with short lifetimes and not deep long lived lakes as suggested by some

  12. Comparative and kinetic analysis of viral shedding and immunological responses in MERS patients representing a broad spectrum of disease severity

    PubMed Central

    Min, Chan-Ki; Cheon, Shinhye; Ha, Na-Young; Sohn, Kyung Mok; Kim, Yuri; Aigerim, Abdimadiyeva; Shin, Hyun Mu; Choi, Ji-Yeob; Inn, Kyung-Soo; Kim, Jin-Hwan; Moon, Jae Young; Choi, Myung-Sik; Cho, Nam-Hyuk; Kim, Yeon-Sook

    2016-01-01

    Despite the ongoing spread of MERS, there is limited knowledge of the factors affecting its severity and outcomes. We analyzed clinical data and specimens from fourteen MERS patients treated in a hospital who collectively represent a wide spectrum of disease severity, ranging from mild febrile illness to fatal pneumonia, and classified the patients into four groups based on severity and mortality. Comparative and kinetic analyses revealed that high viral loads, weak antibody responses, and lymphopenia accompanying thrombocytopenia were associated with disease mortality, whereas persistent and gradual increases in lymphocyte responses might be required for effective immunity against MERS-CoV infection. Leukocytosis, primarily due to increased neutrophils and monocytes, was generally observed in more severe and fatal cases. The blood levels of cytokines such as IL-10, IL-15, TGF-β, and EGF were either positively or negatively correlated with disease mortality. Robust induction of various chemokines with differential kinetics was more prominent in patients that recovered from pneumonia than in patients with mild febrile illness or deceased patients. The correlation of the virological and immunological responses with disease severity and mortality, as well as their responses to current antiviral therapy, may have prognostic significance during the early phase of MERS. PMID:27146253

  13. 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

  14. Remote Robotic Geology: Learning from the MER-FIDO Field Test Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. C.; Dohm, J. M.; Haldemann, A. F.; Bass, D. S.; Huntsberger, T. L.

    2002-12-01

    Understanding the geology of a region from a robotic platform can be a challenging and difficult task. In order to prepare the team of investigators and engineers for the upcoming 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission, a "blind" rover field test was performed August 10 - 19, 2002, using the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) Rover. The field site, which is located near Gray Mountain Arizona (approximately 40 miles north of Flagstaff), was chosen because it: (1) maximizes science return and permits rover trafficability, (2) is easily accessed via a well-maintained mining road, (3) occurs north of Flagstaff, Arizona, where seasonal temperatures are adequate for rover operations and climate records show minimal rainfall, (4) lacks vegetation (a very difficult variable for Earth), and (5) contains diverse geological terrains similar to what might be encountered on Mars, including claystones, siltsones, mudstones, and sandstones of the Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation. that crop out among fluvially carved drainages, fluvial and eolian deposits that partly blanket the drainage floors, and cobbles and boulders of diverse petrology and geochemistry (e.g., basalt, chert, sandstone, limestone, metamorphic). The goal of the FIDO test was to teach the MER Science Team the techniques involved in conducting a geologic investigation with a remote rover. Inherent disadvantages associated with remote robotic exploration include a limited time-associated visibility to the site. This disadvantage is somewhat offset by the availability of instruments on the rover that might ordinarily be available to a geologist only in a laboratory setting. This talk will further explore the coupling of a remote robotic platform with what is known about the field site to provide insight into future robotic exploration of planetary locales.

  15. 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).

  16. Protection of rat liver against hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury by a novel selenocysteine-containing 7-mer peptide.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Qianqian; Pan, Yu; Cheng, Yupeng; Li, Huiling; Li, Hui

    2016-09-01

    Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury causes acute organ damage or dysfunction, and remains a problem for liver transplantation. In the I-R phase, the generation of reactive oxygen species aggravates the injury. In the current study, a novel selenocysteine-containing 7‑mer peptide (H-Arg-Sec-Gly-Arg-Asn-Ala-Gln-OH) was constructed to imitate the active site of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase (GPX). The 7‑mer peptide which has a lower molecular weight, and improved water‑solubility, higher stability and improved cell membrane permeability compared with other GPX mimics. Its GPX activity reached 13 U/µmol, which was 13 times that of ebselen (a representative GPX mimic). The effect of this GPX mimic on I‑R injury of the liver was assessed in rats. The 7‑mer peptide significantly inhibited the increase in serum hepatic amino‑transferases, tissue malondialdehyde, nitric oxide contents, myeloperoxidase activity and decrease of GPX activity compared with I‑R tissue. Following treatment with the 7‑mer peptide, the expression of B‑cell CLL/lymphoma‑2 (Bcl‑2) was significantly upregulated at the mRNA and protein level compared with the I‑R group, as determined by reverse transcription‑polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, respectively. By contrast, Bcl‑2 associated X protein (Bax) was downregulated by the 7‑mer peptide compared the I‑R group. Histological and ultrastructural changes of the rat liver tissue were also compared among the experimental groups. The results of the current study suggest that the 7‑mer peptide protected the liver against hepatic I‑R injury via suppression of oxygen‑derived free radicals and regulation of Bcl‑2 and Bax expression, which are involved in the apoptosis of liver cells. The findings of the present study will further the investigation of the 7-mer peptide as an effective therapeutic agent in hepatic I-R injury. PMID:27431272

  17. Diminishing return for increased Mappability with longer sequencing reads: implications of the k-mer distributions in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The amount of non-unique sequence (non-singletons) in a genome directly affects the difficulty of read alignment to a reference assembly for high throughput-sequencing data. Although a longer read is more likely to be uniquely mapped to the reference genome, a quantitative analysis of the influence of read lengths on mappability has been lacking. To address this question, we evaluate the k-mer distribution of the human reference genome. The k-mer frequency is determined for k ranging from 20 bp to 1000 bp. Results We observe that the proportion of non-singletons k-mers decreases slowly with increasing k, and can be fitted by piecewise power-law functions with different exponents at different ranges of k. A slower decay at greater values for k indicates more limited gains in mappability for read lengths between 200 bp and 1000 bp. The frequency distributions of k-mers exhibit long tails with a power-law-like trend, and rank frequency plots exhibit a concave Zipf’s curve. The most frequent 1000-mers comprise 172 regions, which include four large stretches on chromosomes 1 and X, containing genes of biomedical relevance. Comparison with other databases indicates that the 172 regions can be broadly classified into two types: those containing LINE transposable elements and those containing segmental duplications. Conclusion Read mappability as measured by the proportion of singletons increases steadily up to the length scale around 200 bp. When read length increases above 200 bp, smaller gains in mappability are expected. Moreover, the proportion of non-singletons decreases with read lengths much slower than linear. Even a read length of 1000 bp would not allow the unique alignment of reads for many coding regions of human genes. A mix of techniques will be needed for efficiently producing high-quality data that cover the complete human genome. PMID:24386976

  18. Circulating levels of soluble MER in lupus reflect M2c activation of monocytes/macrophages, autoantibody specificities and disease activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by impaired efferocytosis and aberrant activation of innate immunity. We asked if shedding of MER receptor tyrosine kinase (MerTK) and AXL into soluble (s) ectodomains was related to immunological and clinical aspects of SLE. Methods Levels of sMER and sAXL in the plasma of 107 SLE patients and 45 matched controls were measured by ELISA. In 40 consecutive SLE patients, we examined potential correlations between either sMER or sAXL and plasma levels of sCD163, a marker of M2 activation. All three soluble receptors were measured in supernatants of monocytes/macrophages cultured in various immunological conditions. Membrane expression of MerTK, AXL and CD163 was assessed by flow cytometry. Results Both sMER and sAXL were associated with anti-chromatin and anti-phospholipid autoantibodies, and with hematological and renal involvement. However, sMER and sAXL did not significantly correlate with each other; sAXL correlated with growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6), whereas sMER correlated with reduced free protein S (PROS) levels. Only sMER showed significant associations with lupus-specific anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm, anti-ribonucleoprotein (anti-RNP) and anti-Ro60 autoantibodies. Strong correlations with disease activity indices (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), complement reduction, titer of circulating anti-dsDNA) were found for sMER, not for sAXL. Patients with active SLEDAI, nephritis, anti-dsDNA and anti-Ro60 positivity showed higher levels of sMER compared to controls. Levels of sMER, not sAXL, correlated with sCD163 levels, and these correlated with SLEDAI. Production of sMER and sCD163 occurred under “M2c” polarizing conditions, whereas sAXL was released upon type-I IFN exposure. Conclusions Alterations in homeostasis of anti-inflammatory and efferocytic “M2c” monocytes/macrophages may have a role in immunopathogenesis of SLE. PMID:24325951

  19. Sertoli cell-initiated testicular innate immune response through toll-like receptor-3 activation is negatively regulated by Tyro3, Axl, and mer receptors.

    PubMed

    Sun, Bing; Qi, Nan; Shang, Tao; Wu, Hui; Deng, Tingting; Han, Daishu

    2010-06-01

    Several Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are expressed in Sertoli cells and can trigger testicular innate responses after activation by ligands. TLR signaling pathway must be tightly controlled because unrestrained TLR activation generates a chronic inflammatory milieu that often leads to pathogenesis of the host. However, the regulation of TLR signaling in Sertoli cells remains to be clarified. Here we demonstrate that Tyro3 subfamily of receptor tyrosine kinases, Tyro3, Axl, and Mer (TAM), negatively regulate TLR3 signaling in Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells from TAM triple mutant (TAM(-/-)) mice exhibit an excessive activation of TLR3 in response to its ligand polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, resulting in the up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines including IL-1beta, IL-6, TNFalpha, and type I interferons (alpha and beta). Growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6), a common ligand of TAM receptors, inhibits the TLR3-driven expression of cytokines in Sertoli cells. This TAM-mediated inhibition of TLR3 signaling in Sertoli cells is transduced through the up-regulation of TLR signaling suppressors suppressor of cytokine signaling-1/3 by Gas6. Moreover, we provide evidence that TAM inhibition of inflammatory cytokine production by Sertoli cells may have physiological significance in vivo. These results illuminate a negative regulatory mechanism of TLR3 signaling in Sertoli cells, which may participate in controlling the testicular innate immune responses to pathogens.

  20. 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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Evaporative evolution of Martian brines based on halogens in nakhlites and MER samples

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, M.N.; Sutton, S.R.; McKay, D.S.

    2005-02-04

    Comparison of Cl and Br from Nakhla viens to MER samples suggests two kinds of brine solutions existed on Mars, one early and one late in the evaporation sequence. These solutions precipitated the secondary salts at the Meridiani and Gusev sites. We have recently reported the Cl and Br abundances determined by APS X-ray Microprobe and EMPA analyses of secondary aqueous minerals in Nakhla veins and discussed the significance of Cl-Br correlations with respect to the evolution of brine solutions on Mars. In that study, we suggested that the low Br concentration ({approx}10 ppm) in Lafayette Iddingsite is indicative of early stage of evaporation during progressive evolution of Martian brine solutions, which is, in turn, consistent with the petrographic evidence of early deposition of salt sequence of carbonate-sulfate- and no halite in Lafayette. We showed that the high Br concentrations of {approx}240 ppm in secondary salts in Nakhla veins similarly indicate late stages of evaporation in evolving Martian brine solutions which is again consistent with petrographic evidence of late stage deposition of salt sequence i.e. carbonate-sulfate-halite in Nakhla. When sea water evaporates under equilibrium conditions, the most insoluble carbonates (siderite and calcite) deposit first, followed by sulfates (gypsum and anhydrite) and finally the water-soluble halides are precipitated when the water content is sufficiently low. In the present study, we make a detailed comparison of Cl/Br ratios in secondary minerals in nakhlites with those in MER soils and rocks at Gusev and Meridiani and show that the compositions of solutions that inundated Lafayette iddingsite (early stage) and Nakhla veins (late stage) include the range of solution-compositions that gave rise to a variety of secondary salts at Gusev and Meridiani sites. Further, the results obtained here suggest that two kinds of brine solutions (one, late and the other, early or intermediate stage) seem to have inundated

  3. 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

  4. Microfluidics and microbial engineering.

    PubMed

    Kou, Songzi; Cheng, Danhui; Sun, Fei; Hsing, I-Ming

    2016-02-01

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Inoculation of Goats, Sheep, and Horses with MERS-CoV Does Not Result in Productive Viral Shedding.

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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

  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. PMID:26743127

  9. Duplex stabilities of phosphorothioate, methylphosphonate, and RNA analogs of two DNA 14-mers.

    PubMed Central

    Kibler-Herzog, L; Zon, G; Uznanski, B; Whittier, G; Wilson, W D

    1991-01-01

    The duplex stabilities of various phosphorothioate, methylphosphonate, RNA and 2'-OCH3 RNA analogs of two self-complementary DNA 14-mers are compared. Phosphorothioate and/or methylphosphonate analogs of the two sequences d(TAATTAATTAATTA) [D1] and d(TAGCTAATTAGCTA) [D2] differ in the number, position, or chirality (at the 5' terminal linkage) of the modified phosphates. Phosphorothioate derivatives of D1 are found to be less destabilized when the linkage modified is between adenines rather than between thymines. Surprisingly, no base sequence effect on duplex stabilization is observed for any methylphosphonate derivatives of D1 or D2. Highly modified phosphorothioates or methylphosphonates are less stable than their partially modified counterparts which are less stable than the unmodified parent compounds. The 'normal' (2'-OH) RNA analog of duplex D1 is slightly destabilized, whereas the 2'-OCH3 RNA derivative is significantly stabilized relative to the unmodified DNA. For the D1 sequence, at approximately physiological salt concentration, the order of duplex stability is 2'-OCH3 RNA greater than unmodified DNA greater than 'normal' RNA greater than methylphosphonate DNA greater than phosphorothioate DNA. D2 and the various D2 methylphosphonate analogs investigated all formed hairpin conformations at low salt concentrations. PMID:1711677

  10. 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

  11. Dissecting the Metal Selectivity of MerR Monovalent Metal Ion Sensors in Salmonella

    PubMed Central

    Ibáñez, María M.; Cerminati, Sebastián; Checa, Susana K.

    2013-01-01

    Two homologous transcription factors, CueR and GolS, that belong to the MerR metalloregulatory family are responsible for Salmonella Cu and Au sensing and resistance, respectively. They share similarities not only in their sequences, but also in their target transcription binding sites. While CueR responds similarly to Au, Ag, or Cu to induce the expression of its target genes, GolS shows higher activation by Au than by Ag or Cu. We showed that the ability of GolS to distinguish Au from Cu resides in the metal-binding loop motif. Here, we identify the amino acids within the motif that determine in vivo metal selectivity. We show that residues at positions 113 and 118 within the metal-binding loop are the main contributors to metal selectivity. The presence of a Pro residue at position 113 favors the detection of Cu, while the presence of Pro at position 118 disfavors it. Our results highlight the molecular bases that allow these regulators to coordinate the correct metal ion directing the response to a particular metal injury. PMID:23645605

  12. 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. PMID:26820485

  13. 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.

  14. Monitoring the formation of kernel-based topographic maps in a hybrid SOM-kMER model.

    PubMed

    Teh, Chee Siong; Lim, Chee Peng

    2006-09-01

    A new lattice disentangling monitoring algorithm for a hybrid self-organizing map-kernel-based maximum entropy learning rule (SOM-kMER) model is proposed. It aims to overcome topological defects owing to a rapid decrease of the neighborhood range over the finite running time in topographic map formation. The empirical results demonstrate that the proposed approach is able to accelerate the formation of a topographic map and, at the same time, to simplify the monitoring procedure.

  15. Mutagenesis of the C1 Oxidation Pathway in Methanosarcina barkeri: New Insights into the Mtr/Mer Bypass Pathway▿

    PubMed Central

    Welander, Paula V.; Metcalf, William W.

    2008-01-01

    A series of Methanosarcina barkeri mutants lacking the genes encoding the enzymes involved in the C1 oxidation/reduction pathway were constructed. Mutants lacking the methyl-tetrahydromethanopterin (H4MPT):coenzyme M (CoM) methyltransferase-encoding operon (Δmtr), the methylene-H4MPT reductase-encoding gene (Δmer), the methylene-H4MPT dehydrogenase-encoding gene (Δmtd), and the formyl-methanofuran:H4MPT formyl-transferase-encoding gene (Δftr) all failed to grow using either methanol or H2/CO2 as a growth substrate, indicating that there is an absolute requirement for the C1 oxidation/reduction pathway for hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic methanogenesis. The mutants also failed to grow on acetate, and we suggest that this was due to an inability to generate the reducing equivalents needed for biosynthetic reactions. Despite their lack of growth on methanol, the Δmtr and Δmer mutants were capable of producing methane from this substrate, whereas the Δmtd and Δftr mutants were not. Thus, there is an Mtr/Mer bypass pathway that allows oxidation of methanol to the level of methylene-H4MPT in M. barkeri. The data further suggested that formaldehyde may be an intermediate in this bypass; however, no methanol dehydrogenase activity was found in Δmtr cell extracts, nor was there an obligate role for the formaldehyde-activating enzyme (Fae), which has been shown to catalyze the condensation of formaldehyde and H4MPT in vitro. Both the Δmer and Δmtr mutants were able to grow on a combination of methanol plus acetate, but they did so by metabolic pathways that are clearly distinct from each other and from previously characterized methanogenic pathways. PMID:18178739

  16. Alignment independent 3D-QSAR, quantum calculations and molecular docking of Mer specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors as anticancer drugs

    PubMed Central

    Shiri, Fereshteh; Pirhadi, Somayeh; Ghasemi, Jahan B.

    2015-01-01

    Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is a promising novel cancer therapeutic target in many human cancers, because abnormal activation of Mer has been implicated in survival signaling and chemoresistance. 3D-QSAR analyses based on alignment independent descriptors were performed on a series of 81 Mer specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The fractional factorial design (FFD) and the enhanced replacement method (ERM) were applied and tested as variable selection algorithms for the selection of optimal subsets of molecular descriptors from a much greater pool of such regression variables. The data set was split into 65 molecules as the training set and 16 compounds as the test set. All descriptors were generated by using the GRid INdependent descriptors (GRIND) approach. After variable selection, GRIND were correlated with activity values (pIC50) by PLS regression. Of the two applied variable selection methods, ERM had a noticeable improvement on the statistical parameters of PLS model, and yielded a q2 value of 0.77, an rpred2 of 0.94, and a low RMSEP value of 0.25. The GRIND information contents influencing the affinity on Mer specific tyrosine kinase were also confirmed by docking studies. In a quantum calculation study, the energy difference between HOMO and LUMO (gap) implied the high interaction of the most active molecule in the active site of the protein. In addition, the molecular electrostatic potential energy at DFT level confirmed results obtained from the molecular docking. The identified key features obtained from the molecular modeling, enabled us to design novel kinase inhibitors. PMID:27013913

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Montmorillonite Catalysis of 30-50 Mer Oligonucleotides: Laboratory Demonstration of Potential Steps in the Origin of the RNA World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferris, James P.

    2002-08-01

    Elongation of the primer 32pdA(pdA)8pA proceeds by the reaction of the 5'-phosphorimidazolides of adenosine and uridine in the presence of montmorillonite clay. Daily addition of the activated nucleotides for up to 14 days results in the formation of 40-50 mers using the 5'-phosphorimidazolide of adenosine (ImpA) and 25-30 mers using the 5'-phosphorimidazolide of uridine (ImpU). The limitation on the lengths of the chains formed is not due to the inhibitors formed since the same chain lengths were formed using 2-3 times the amount of montmorillonite catalyst. The shorter oligomers formed by the addition of U monomers is not due to its greater rate of decomposition since it was found that both the A and the U adducts decompose at about the same rates. Alkaline phosphatase hydrolysis studies revealed that some of the oligomers are capped at the 5'-end to form, with ImpA, Ap32pdA(pdA)8pA(pA)n. The extent of capping depends on the reaction time and the purine or pyrimidine base in the activated mononucleotide. Hydrolysis with ribonuclease T2 followed by alkaline phosphatase determined the sites of the 3', 5'- and 2', 5'-phosphodiester bonding to the primer. The potential significance of the mineral catalyzed formation of 50 mer oligonucleotides to the origin of life based on RNA (the RNA world scenario) is discussed.

  2. 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

  3. Exploring Subglacial Microbial Ecology (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikucki, J.; Mitchell, A. C.; Johnson, S. S.; Grzymski, J.

    2009-12-01

    Subglacial environments were long thought to be abiotic. We now know that microbial life exists below glaciers, but know relatively little about the in situ metabolic processes they mediate and how their activity transforms the geochemistry of subglacial efflux. It has been hypothesized that subglacial systems, driven to anoxia in the presence of sufficient organic matter, will follow a continuum of redox chemistries utilizing electron acceptors with decreasing reduction potential (i.e. Fe (III), sulfate, CO2). Indeed, sulfate reduction and methanogenesis have been detected in studies of polythermal glaciers. However, it is unclear whether there is sufficient organic matter to sustain highly reducing conditions below Antarctic ice. Here we present a broad overview of the microbial ecology of subglacial ecosystems and describe the links between microbial diversity and community function in these chemically complex environments. The subglacial environment below the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica provides an example where biogeochemical measurements made on subglacial efflux can inform specific mechanisms of microbial metabolism. We have tested the validity of these mechanisms using environmental genomic surveys and biogeochemical measurements of subglacial fluids to describe an active community that cycles iron and sulfur below Taylor Glacier. Examples include the incorporation of radiolabeled bicarbonate by cells in the outflow and detection of functional genes responsible for CO2-fixation (i.e. RuBisCO), and isotopic composition of sulfate sulfur and oxygen in the outflow indicative of sulfate reduction with the presence of functional genes of the sulfur cycle (i.e. APS reductase). Moving forward in our exploration of subglacial ecosystems, key questions regarding microbial energetics include: 1) How microorganisms cycle mineral substrates below glaciers to gain energy for growth 2) Whether subglacial microorganisms grow syntrophically in order to metabolize iron and

  4. Efficacy of an Automated Multiple Emitter Whole-Room Ultraviolet-C Disinfection System Against Coronaviruses MHV and MERS-CoV.

    PubMed

    Bedell, Kurt; Buchaklian, Adam H; Perlman, Stanley

    2016-05-01

    Efficient and automated methods of disinfecting surfaces contaminated with the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) may prevent the spread of the virus. Here we report the efficacy and use of an automated triple-emitter whole room UV-C disinfection system to inactivate mouse hepatitis virus, strain A59 (MHV-A59) and MERS-CoV viruses on surfaces with a >5 log10 reduction.

  5. Crystal structures of the organomercurial lyase MerB in its free and mercury-bound forms: insights into the mechanism of methylmercury degradation.

    PubMed

    Lafrance-Vanasse, Julien; Lefebvre, Maryse; Di Lello, Paola; Sygusch, Jurgen; Omichinski, James G

    2009-01-01

    Bacteria resistant to methylmercury utilize two enzymes (MerA and MerB) to degrade methylmercury to the less toxic elemental mercury. The crucial step is the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase (MerB). In this study, we determined high resolution crystal structures of MerB in both the free (1.76-A resolution) and mercury-bound (1.64-A resolution) states. The crystal structure of free MerB is very similar to the NMR structure, but important differences are observed when comparing the two structures. In the crystal structure, an amino-terminal alpha-helix that is not present in the NMR structure makes contact with the core region adjacent to the catalytic site. This interaction between the amino-terminal helix and the core serves to bury the active site of MerB. The crystal structures also provide detailed insights into the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. The structures demonstrate that two conserved cysteines (Cys-96 and Cys-159) play a role in substrate binding, carbon-mercury bond cleavage, and controlled product (ionic mercury) release. In addition, the structures establish that an aspartic acid (Asp-99) in the active site plays a crucial role in the proton transfer step required for the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond. These findings are an important step in understanding the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. PMID:19004822

  6. 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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Our unique microbial identity.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Jack A

    2015-05-14

    A recent article examines the extent of individual variation in microbial identities and how this might determine disease susceptibility, therapeutic responses and recovery from clinical interventions.

  15. Metabolic interactions and dynamics in microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segre', Daniel

    Metabolism, in addition to being the engine of every living cell, plays a major role in the cell-cell and cell-environment relations that shape the dynamics and evolution of microbial communities, e.g. by mediating competition and cross-feeding interactions between different species. Despite the increasing availability of metagenomic sequencing data for numerous microbial ecosystems, fundamental aspects of these communities, such as the unculturability of many isolates, and the conditions necessary for taxonomic or functional stability, are still poorly understood. We are developing mechanistic computational approaches for studying the interactions between different organisms based on the knowledge of their entire metabolic networks. In particular, we have recently built an open source platform for the Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS), which combines metabolic models with convection-diffusion equations to simulate the spatio-temporal dynamics of metabolism in microbial communities. COMETS has been experimentally tested on small artificial communities, and is scalable to hundreds of species in complex environments. I will discuss recent developments and challenges towards the implementation of models for microbiomes and synthetic microbial communities.

  16. 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.

  17. Role for zinc in a cellular response mediated by protein kinase C in human B lymphocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Forbes, I.J.; Zalewski, P.D.; Giannakis, C. )

    1991-07-01

    Recent studies have suggested a role for Zn{sup 2+}, distinct from that of CA{sup 2+}, in the subcellular distribution and activation of protein kinase C (PKC). Here the author show that Zn{sup 2+} is required for a cellular response mediated by PKC, the rapid loss of expression of a human B cell receptor MER, detected by resetting with mouse erythrocytes. Zn{sup 2+}, in the presence of the Zn{sup 2+} ionophore pyrithione, caused rapid inhibition of MER rosetting at concentrations which induce the translocation and activation of PKC. This required cellular uptake of Zn{sup 2+} and was blocked by 1,10-phenanthroline and TPEN which chelate Zn{sup 2+} but not Ca{sup 2+}. Gold, a metal with similar properties, also induced translocation of PKC and inhibition of MER. Phenanthroline and TPEN also blocked the inhibition of MER induced by the PKC activators phorbol ester and sodium fluoride, suggesting that endogenous cellular Zn{sup 2+} is required. They propose that some cellular actions of PKC require a Zn{sup 2+}-dependent event and that these may be a target for gold during chrysotherapy in rheumatoid arthritis.

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. The MerR-like regulator BrlR confers biofilm tolerance by activating multidrug efflux pumps in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.

    PubMed

    Liao, Julie; Schurr, Michael J; Sauer, Karin

    2013-08-01

    A defining characteristic of biofilms is antibiotic tolerance that can be up to 1,000-fold greater than that of planktonic cells. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, biofilm tolerance to antimicrobial agents requires the biofilm-specific MerR-type transcriptional regulator BrlR. However, the mechanism by which BrlR mediates biofilm tolerance has not been elucidated. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling indicated that brlR was required for maximal expression of genes associated with antibiotic resistance, in particular those encoding the multidrug efflux pumps MexAB-OprM and MexEF-OprN. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis revealed a direct regulation of these genes by BrlR, with DNA binding assays confirming BrlR binding to the promoter regions of the mexAB-oprM and mexEF-oprN operons. Quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis further indicated BrlR to be an activator of mexAB-oprM and mexEF-oprN gene expression. Moreover, immunoblot analysis confirmed increased MexA abundance in cells overexpressing brlR. Inactivation of both efflux pumps rendered biofilms significantly more susceptible to five different classes of antibiotics by affecting MIC but not the recalcitrance of biofilms to killing by bactericidal agents. Overexpression of either efflux pump in a ΔbrlR strain partly restored tolerance of ΔbrlR biofilms to antibiotics. Expression of brlR in mutant biofilms lacking both efflux pumps partly restored antimicrobial tolerance of biofilms to wild-type levels. Our results indicate that BrlR acts as an activator of multidrug efflux pumps to confer tolerance to P. aeruginosa biofilms and to resist the action of antimicrobial agents.

  1. A folding pathway for betapep-4 peptide 33mer: from unfolded monomers and beta-sheet sandwich dimers to well-structured tetramers.

    PubMed

    Mayo, K H; Ilyina, E

    1998-02-01

    It was recently reported that a de novo designed peptide 33mer, betapep-4, can form well-structured beta-sheet sandwich tetramers (Ilyina E, Roongta V, Mayo KH, 1997b, Biochemistry 36:5245-5250). For insight into the pathway of betapep-4 folding, the present study investigates the concentration dependence of betapep-4 self-association by using 1H-NMR pulsed-field gradient (PFG)-NMR diffusion measurements, and circular dichroism. Downfield chemically shifted alphaH resonances, found to arise only from the well-structured betapep-4 tetramer state, yield the fraction of tetramer within the oligomer equilibrium distribution. PFG-NMR-derived diffusion coefficients, D, provide a means for deriving the contribution of monomer and other oligomer states to this distribution. These data indicate that tetramer is the highest oligomer state formed, and that inclusion of monomer and dimer states in the oligomer distribution is sufficient to explain the concentration dependence of D values for betapep-4. Equilibrium constants calculated from these distributions [2.5 x 10(5) M(-1) for M-D and 1.2 x 10(4) M(-1) for D-T at 313 K] decrease only slightly, if at all, with decreasing temperature indicating a hydrophobically mediated, entropy-driven association/folding process. Conformational analyses using NMR and CD provide a picture where "random coil" monomers associate to form molten globule-like beta-sheet sandwich dimers that further associate and fold as well-structured tetramers. Betapep-4 folding is thermodynamically linked to self-association. As with folding of single-chain polypeptides, the final folding step to well-structured tetramer betapep-4 is rate limiting.

  2. 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

  3. Interactions between Snow Chemistry, Mercury Inputs and Microbial Population Dynamics in an Arctic Snowpack

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24282515

  4. An integrated insight into the response of sedimentary microbial communities to heavy metal contamination.

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. An integrated insight into the response of sedimentary microbial communities to heavy metal contamination.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. [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. PMID:23487961

  9. 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 of most microbial groups. Warming significantly enhanced microbial metabolic activity in terms of soil respiration per amount of microbial biomass C. Microbial stress biomarkers were elevated in warmed plots. In summary, the 4 °C increase in soil temperature during the snow-free season had no influence on microbial community composition and biomass but strongly increased microbial metabolic activity and hence reduced carbon use efficiency.

  10. Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination.

    PubMed

    Otter, J A; Donskey, C; Yezli, S; Douthwaite, S; Goldenberg, S D; Weber, D J

    2016-03-01

    Viruses with pandemic potential including H1N1, H5N1, and H5N7 influenza viruses, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)/Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses (CoV) have emerged in recent years. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus can survive on surfaces for extended periods, sometimes up to months. Factors influencing the survival of these viruses on surfaces include: strain variation, titre, surface type, suspending medium, mode of deposition, temperature and relative humidity, and the method used to determine the viability of the virus. Environmental sampling has identified contamination in field-settings with SARS-CoV and influenza virus, although the frequent use of molecular detection methods may not necessarily represent the presence of viable virus. The importance of indirect contact transmission (involving contamination of inanimate surfaces) is uncertain compared with other transmission routes, principally direct contact transmission (independent of surface contamination), droplet, and airborne routes. However, influenza virus and SARS-CoV may be shed into the environment and be transferred from environmental surfaces to hands of patients and healthcare providers. Emerging data suggest that MERS-CoV also shares these properties. Once contaminated from the environment, hands can then initiate self-inoculation of mucous membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth. Mathematical and animal models, and intervention studies suggest that contact transmission is the most important route in some scenarios. Infection prevention and control implications include the need for hand hygiene and personal protective equipment to minimize self-contamination and to protect against inoculation of mucosal surfaces and the respiratory tract, and enhanced surface cleaning and disinfection in healthcare settings. PMID:26597631

  11. Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination.

    PubMed

    Otter, J A; Donskey, C; Yezli, S; Douthwaite, S; Goldenberg, S D; Weber, D J

    2016-03-01

    Viruses with pandemic potential including H1N1, H5N1, and H5N7 influenza viruses, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)/Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses (CoV) have emerged in recent years. SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus can survive on surfaces for extended periods, sometimes up to months. Factors influencing the survival of these viruses on surfaces include: strain variation, titre, surface type, suspending medium, mode of deposition, temperature and relative humidity, and the method used to determine the viability of the virus. Environmental sampling has identified contamination in field-settings with SARS-CoV and influenza virus, although the frequent use of molecular detection methods may not necessarily represent the presence of viable virus. The importance of indirect contact transmission (involving contamination of inanimate surfaces) is uncertain compared with other transmission routes, principally direct contact transmission (independent of surface contamination), droplet, and airborne routes. However, influenza virus and SARS-CoV may be shed into the environment and be transferred from environmental surfaces to hands of patients and healthcare providers. Emerging data suggest that MERS-CoV also shares these properties. Once contaminated from the environment, hands can then initiate self-inoculation of mucous membranes of the nose, eyes or mouth. Mathematical and animal models, and intervention studies suggest that contact transmission is the most important route in some scenarios. Infection prevention and control implications include the need for hand hygiene and personal protective equipment to minimize self-contamination and to protect against inoculation of mucosal surfaces and the respiratory tract, and enhanced surface cleaning and disinfection in healthcare settings.

  12. Rock and Soil Physical Properties at the MER Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum Landing Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.; Cabrol, N.; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Ming, D.; Sullivan, R.; Mer Athena Science Team

    Following the successful landings of both Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively, their Athena suite of instruments is being used to study the geologic history of these two very different landing sites on Mars that had been selected on the basis of showing different types of evidence for aqueous processes in the planet's past. Utilizing the on-board instruments as well as the rovers' mobility system, a wide range of physical properties investigations is carried out as well -- the subject of this abstract - that provide additional information on the geology and processes at the sites. Results of the mission in general as well as of the physical properties studies thus far greatly exceed expectations in that observations and measurements by both vehicles show a rich variety in materials and processes: the Gusev site in the vicinity of the lander is remarkably flat and generally devoid of large rocks along traverses up to the time of this writing (˜ Sol 50) and suggestive of a deflated surface with generally only thin veneers of bright dust while exhibiting evidence of a widespread occurrence of a crust from cemented fines that has been observed to fail in the form of blocky clods when disturbed by vehicle rolling action; numerous small and shallow depressions -- presumably created by impacts - are observed at the site which are infilled with bright, fine-grained material that likewise appears indurated and which was studied by a trenching experiment; small ripple bedforms are scattered across the site and were characterized in terms of particle size distributions. At the Meridiani site, studies so far -- up to ˜ Sol 33 -- have focussed on soils and the rock outcrop encountered within the ˜ 20 m diameter crater that the spacecraft came to rest in: from a physical properties point of view, a mantle of dark, well-sorted, apparently basaltic sand with small to moderate cohesion has been of interest -- and has been

  13. ROCK AND SOIL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AT THE MER GUSEV CRATER AND MERIDIANI PLANUM LANDING SITES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Richter, L.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.; Cabrol, N.; Gorevan, S.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2006-01-01

    Following the successful landings of both Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively, their Athena suite of instruments is being used to study the geologic history of these two very different landing sites on Mars that had been selected on the basis of showing different types of evidence for aqueous processes in the planet s past. Utilizing the on-board instruments as well as the rovers mobility system, a wide range of physical properties investigations is carried out as well - the subject of this abstract - that provide additional information on the geology and processes at the sites. Results of the mission in general as well as of the physical properties studies thus far greatly exceed expectations in that observations and measurements by both vehicles show a rich variety in materials and processes: the Gusev site in the vicinity of the lander is remarkably flat and generally devoid of large rocks along traverses up to the time of this writing (approx.Sol 50) and suggestive of a deflated surface with generally only thin veneers of bright dust while exhibiting evidence of a widespread occurrence of a crust from cemented fines that has been observed to fail in the form of blocky clods when disturbed by vehicle rolling action; numerous small and shallow depressions - presumably created by impacts - are observed at the site which are infilled with bright, fine-grained material that likewise appears indurated and which was studied by a trenching experiment; small ripple bedforms are scattered across the site and were characterized in terms of particle size distributions. At the Meridiani site, studies so far - up to approx.Sol 33 - have focussed on soils and the rock outcrop encountered within the approx.20 m diameter crater that the spacecraft came to rest in: from a physical properties point of view, a mantle of dark, well-sorted, apparently basaltic sand with small to moderate cohesion has been of interest - and has

  14. An In-Situ Rb-Sr Dating & Organics Characterization Instrument For A MER+ Sized Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, F.; Whitaker, T.; Nowicki, K.; Zacny, K.; Pierce, J.

    2012-12-01

    We posit that a Mars in-situ geochronology mission that will triage and validate samples for Mars Sample Return (MSR) is technically feasible in the 2018-2022 time frame and addresses the competing scientific, political, and fiscal requirements for flight in this decade.The mission must be responsive to the astrobiological and chronological science goals of the MEPAG, Decadal Survey (DS), and E2E-iSAG, and avoid the MSR appearance of long term political commitment and cost. These requirements can best be accomplished by a rover with a coring drill. JPL has reassessed the MER landing system performance, and determined that the system is capable of significantly higher landed mass (~40-60 kg plus reserve), allowing more sophisticated instruments to be carried. The instrument package is comprised of a time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometer combined with a laser desorption resonance ionization source to sensitively measure isobar free Rb-Sr isotopes for geochronology and organics characterization. The desorption laser is also used with a μRaman/LIBS for mineral characterization, which in combination with the TOF, will additionally provide measurements of K-Ar isotopes for a second form of radiometric dating. The laser desorption resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LDRIMS) technique avoids the interference and mass resolution issues associated with geochronology measurements, and has miniaturization potential. A sample is placed in the TOF mass spectrometer and surface atoms, molecules, and ions are desorbed with a 213 nm laser. Ions are suppressed by an electric field and the plume of expanding particles is present for many μs, during which it is first illuminated with laser light tuned to ionize only Sr, and then 1-3 μs later, for Rb. We have partially miniaturized the instrument, including Sr lasers, ablation laser, and mass spectrometer, and will soon to start using the instrument for field measurements. Our current prototype can measure the isotope ratio of

  15. Modelling impacts of offshore wind farms on trophic web: the Courseulles-sur-Mer case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raoux, Aurore; Pezy, Jean-Philippe; Dauvin, Jean-Claude; Tecchio, samuele; Degraer, Steven; Wilhelmsson, Dan; Niquil, Nathalie

    2016-04-01

    The French government is planning the construction of three offshore wind farms in Normandy. These offshore wind farms will integrate into an ecosystem already subject to a growing number of anthropogenic disturbances such as transportation, fishing, sediment deposit, and sediment extraction. The possible effects of this cumulative stressors on ecosystem functioning are still unknown, but they could impact their resilience, making them susceptible to changes from one stable state to another. Understanding the behaviour of these marine coastal complex systems is essential in order to anticipate potential state changes, and to implement conservation actions in a sustainable manner. Currently, there are no global and integrated studies on the effects of construction and exploitation of offshore wind farms. Moreover, approaches are generally focused on the conservation of some species or groups of species. Here, we develop a holistic and integrated view of ecosystem impacts through the use of trophic webs modelling tools. Trophic models describe the interaction between biological compartments at different trophic levels and are based on the quantification of flow of energy and matter in ecosystems. They allow the application of numerical methods for the characterization of emergent properties of the ecosystem, also called Ecological Network Analysis (ENA). These indices have been proposed as ecosystem health indicators as they have been demonstrated to be sensitive to different impacts on marine ecosystems. We present here in detail the strategy for analysing the potential environmental impacts of the construction of the Courseulles-sur-Mer offshore wind farm (Bay of Seine) such as the reef effect through the use of the Ecopath with Ecosim software. Similar Ecopath simulations will be made in the future on the Le Tréport offshore wind farm site. Results will contribute to a better knowledge of the impacts of the offshore wind farms on ecosystems. They also allow to

  16. 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.

  17. Proglacial sediment supply and channel evolution of the Arveyron of the Mer de Glace since the early 20th c.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berthet, Johan; Astrade, Laurent; Ravanel, Ludovic; Ployon, Estelle

    2015-04-01

    The Arveyron of the Mer de Glace is the emissary of the most famous and largest French glacier. The latter has dramatically shrunk since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA), such as every alpine glacier: the front has registered a retreat of 2.7 km since 1820 and a recent modelling showed a likely decrease of an extra km by 2040. The Arveyron and its surroundings are deeply impacted by the retreat. Then, dynamics of proglacial streams and of lateral moraines have been studied at different time and space scales through various methods: airborne and terrestrial Lidar DEM comparisons, mapping from orthophotos, 2D and 3D monoplotting to quantify past events from old terrestrial pictures, etc. By coupling studies on moraines and on stream morphology we wanted to better understand the influence of glacier retreat on sediment supply and transport downstream. Results show the evolution of the stream sediment sources linked to the glacier retreat. Before the middle of the 20th century, till was the main sediment source and was released by major flood events such as GLOFs. Now, geomorphic activity is especially important on the right lateral moraine into the recently deglaciated hanging valley of the Mer de Glace but also in the moraine flanks of the current glacier tongue (many landslides occurred during the Summer 2014). The recent glacier retreat has also formed sediments sinks such as two proglacial lakes which are progressively filling. These lakes work as big sediment traps until they will disappear (around 2017). Fluvial dynamics of the Arveyron depends on the connectivity with potential sediments sources. This is why we crossed upstream studies with the channel evolution on its fan. Arveyron channel has got narrower and incised for at least a century. Such evolution should mean a decreasing sediment yield, but anthropic factors play also an important role on stream morphology. The main anthorpic impact is the complex subglacial harnessing of the Mer de Glace. The

  18. Microbial responses to environmental arsenic.

    PubMed

    Páez-Espino, David; Tamames, Javier; de Lorenzo, Víctor; Cánovas, David

    2009-02-01

    Microorganisms have evolved dynamic mechanisms for facing the toxicity of arsenic in the environment. In this sense, arsenic speciation and mobility is also affected by the microbial metabolism that participates in the biogeochemical cycle of the element. The ars operon constitutes the most ubiquitous and important scheme of arsenic tolerance in bacteria. This system mediates the extrusion of arsenite out of the cells. There are also other microbial activities that alter the chemical characteristics of arsenic: some strains are able to oxidize arsenite or reduce arsenate as part of their respiratory processes. These type of microorganisms require membrane associated proteins that transfer electrons from or to arsenic (AoxAB and ArrAB, respectively). Other enzymatic transformations, such as methylation-demethylation reactions, exchange inorganic arsenic into organic forms contributing to its complex environmental turnover. This short review highlights recent studies in ecology, biochemistry and molecular biology of these processes in bacteria, and also provides some examples of genetic engineering for enhanced arsenic accumulation based on phytochelatins or metallothionein-like proteins.

  19. Structural and mutational analysis of the interaction between the Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) papain-like protease and human ubiquitin.

    PubMed

    Lei, Jian; Hilgenfeld, Rolf

    2016-08-01

    The papain-like protease (PL(pro)) of Middle-East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has proteolytic, deubiquitinating, and deISGylating activities. The latter two are involved in the suppression of the antiviral innate immune response of the host cell. To contribute to an understanding of this process, we present here the X-ray crystal structure of a complex between MERS-CoV PL(pro) and human ubiquitin (Ub) that is devoid of any covalent linkage between the two proteins. Five regions of the PL(pro) bind to two areas of the Ub. The C-terminal five residues of Ub, RLRGG, are similar to the P5-P1 residues of the polyprotein substrates of the PL(pro) and are responsible for the major part of the interaction between the two macromolecules. Through sitedirected mutagenesis, we demonstrate that conserved Asp165 and non-conserved Asp164 are important for the catalytic activities of MERS-CoV PL(pro). The enzyme appears not to be optimized for catalytic efficiency; thus, replacement of Phe269 by Tyr leads to increased peptidolytic and deubiquitinating activities. Ubiquitin binding by MERS-CoV PL(pro) involves remarkable differences compared to the corresponding complex with SARS-CoV PL(pro). The structure and the mutational study help understand common and unique features of the deubiquitinating activity of MERS-CoV PL(pro). PMID:27245450

  20. Infectious diseases epidemic threats and mass gatherings: refocusing global attention on the continuing spread of the Middle East Respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    PubMed

    Zumla, Alimuddin; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Cotten, Matthew; Azhar, Esam I

    2016-01-01

    Media and World Health Organization (WHO) attention on Zika virus transmission at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the 2015 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa diverted the attention of global public health authorities from other lethal infectious diseases with epidemic potential. Mass gatherings such as the annual Hajj pilgrimage hosted by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attract huge crowds from all continents, creating high-risk conditions for the rapid global spread of infectious diseases. The highly lethal Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remains in the WHO list of top emerging diseases likely to cause major epidemics. The 2015 MERS-CoV outbreak in South Korea, in which 184 MERS cases including 33 deaths occurred in 2 months, that was imported from the Middle East by a South Korean businessman was a wake-up call for the global community to refocus attention on MERS-CoV and other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases with epidemic potential. The international donor community and Middle Eastern countries should make available resources for, and make a serious commitment to, taking forward a "One Health" global network for proactive surveillance, rapid detection, and prevention of MERS-CoV and other epidemic infectious diseases threats. PMID:27604081

  1. Finding a human telomere DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex formed by human telomeric 6-mer RNA and 16-mer DNA using click chemistry: a protective structure for telomere end.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Suzuki, Yuta; Ishizuka, Takumi; Xiao, Chao-Da; Liu, Xiao; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Komiyama, Makoto

    2014-08-15

    Telomeric repeat-containing RNA is a non-coding RNA molecule newly found in mammalian cells. The telomere RNA has been found to localize to the telomere DNA, but how the newly discovered RNA molecule interacts with telomere DNA is less known. In this study, using the click chemistry we successfully found that a 6-mer human telomere RNA and 16-mer human telomere DNA sequence can form a DNA-RNA hybrid type G-quadruplex structure. Detection of the click-reaction products directly probes DNA-RNA G-quadruplex structures in a complicated solution, whereas traditional methods such as NMR and crystallography may not be suitable. Importantly, we found that formation of DNA-RNA G-quadruplex induced an exonuclease resistance for telomere DNA, indicating that such structures might be important for protecting telomeric DNA from enzyme digestion to avoid telomere DNA shortening. These results provide the direct evidence for formation of DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure by human telomere DNA and RNA sequence, suggesting DNA-RNA hybrid G-quadruplex structure associated between telomere DNA and RNA may respond to chromosome end protection and/or present a valuable target for drug design.

  2. Microbial enzyme activities of peatland soils in south central Alaska lowlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial enzyme activities related to carbon and nutrient acquisition were measured on Alaskan peatland soils as indicators of nutrient limitation and biochemical sustainability. Peat decomposition is mediated by microorganisms and enzymes that in turn are limited by various ph...

  3. RNA-seq study of microbially induced hemocyte transcripts from larval Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Larvae of the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens, are major polyphagous pests throughout the Americas. Development of effective microbial biopesticides for this and related noctuid pests has been stymied by the natural resistance mediated innate immune response. Disruption or immunosuppression ma...

  4. Nitrogen cycle in microbial mats: completely unknown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coban, O.; Bebout, B.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are thought to have originated around 3.7 billion years ago, most likely in the areas around submarine hydrothermal vents, which supplied a source of energy in the form of reduced chemical species from the Earth's interior. Active hydrothermal vents are also believed to exist on Jupiter's moon Europa, Saturn's moon Enceladus, and on Mars, earlier in that planet's history. Microbial mats have been an important force in the maintenance of Earth's ecosystems and the first photosynthesis was also originated there. Microbial mats are believed to exhibit most, if not all, biogeochemical processes that exist in aquatic ecosystems, due to the presence of different physiological groups of microorganisms therein. While most microbially mediated biogeochemical transformations have been shown to occur within microbial mats, the nitrogen cycle in the microbial mats has received very little study in spite of the fact that nitrogen usually limits growth in marine environments. We will present the first results in the determination of a complete nitrogen budget for a photosynthetic microbial mat. Both in situ sources and sinks of nitrogen in photosynthetic microbial mats are being measured using stable isotope techniques. Our work has a particular focus on recently described, but poorly understood, processes, e.g., anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, and an emphasis on understanding the role that nitrogen cycling may play in generating biogenic nitrogen isotopic signatures and biomarker molecules. Measurements of environmental controls on nitrogen cycling should offer insight into the nature of co-evolution of these microbial communities and their planets of origin. Identifying the spatial (microscale) as well as temporal (diel and seasonal) distribution of nitrogen transformations, e.g., rates of nitrification and denitrification, within mats, particularly with respect to the distribution of photosynthetically-produced oxygen, is anticipated. The results

  5. An ensemble distance measure of k-mer and Natural Vector for the phylogenetic analysis of multiple-segmented viruses.

    PubMed

    Huang, Hsin-Hsiung

    2016-06-01

    The Natural Vector combined with Hausdorff distance has been successfully applied for classifying and clustering multiple-segmented viruses. Additionally, k-mer methods also yield promising results for global genome comparison. It is not known whether combining these two approaches can lead to more accurate results. The author proposes a method of combining the Hausdorff distances of the 5-mer counting vectors and natural vectors which achieves the best classification without cutting off any sample. Using the proposed method to predict the taxonomic labels for the 2363 NCBI reference viral genomes dataset, the accuracy rates are 96.95%, 94.37%, 99.41% and 93.82% for the Baltimore, family, subfamily, and genus labels, respectively. We further applied the proposed method to 48 isolates of the influenza A H7N9 viruses which have eight complete segments of nucleotide sequences. The single-linkage clustering trees and the statistical hypothesis testing results all indicate that the proposed ensemble distance measure can cluster viruses well using all of their segments of genome sequences.

  6. Complete subunit sequences, structure and evolution of the 6 x 6-mer hemocyanin from the common house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata.

    PubMed

    Kusche, Kristina; Hembach, Anne; Hagner-Holler, Silke; Gebauer, Wolfgang; Burmester, Thorsten

    2003-07-01

    Hemocyanins are large oligomeric copper-containing proteins that serve for the transport of oxygen in many arthropod species. While studied in detail in the Chelicerata and Crustacea, hemocyanins had long been considered unnecessary in the Myriapoda. Here we report the complete molecular structure of the hemocyanin from the common house centipede Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda), as deduced from 2D-gel electrophoresis, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, protein and cDNA sequencing, and homology modeling. This is the first myriapod hemocyanin to be fully sequenced, and allows the investigation of hemocyanin structure-function relationship and evolution. S. coleoptrata hemocyanin is a 6 x 6-mer composed of four distinct subunit types that occur in an approximate 2 : 2 : 1 : 1 ratio and are 49.5-55.5% identical. The cDNA of a fifth, highly diverged, putative hemocyanin was identified that is not included in the native 6 x 6-mer hemocyanin. Phylogenetic analyses show that myriapod hemocyanins are monophyletic, but at least three distinct subunit types evolved before the separation of the Chilopoda and Diplopoda more than 420 million years ago. In contrast to the situation in the Crustacea and Chelicerata, the substitution rates among the myriapod hemocyanin subunits are highly variable. Phylogenetic analyses do not support a common clade of Myriapoda and Hexapoda, whereas there is evidence in favor of monophyletic Mandibulata.

  7. Contribution aux etudes de signaux radar de surfaces de mer et mise au point d'un traitement rapide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jousselme, Anne-Laure

    Dans le but d'utiliser un radar comme instrument de mesures oceanographiques, il apparai t necessaire de developper des techniques pour extraire les caracteristiques d'une surface de mer a partir du signal recu par le radar. La plupart des algorithmes existant considerent les images radar comme des photographies de la surface oceanique, negligeant l'effet de la vitesse de rotation du radar sur le signal, ainsi que le systeme de coordonnees polaires intrinseque de l'image radar. De plus, a cause de la loudeur des calculs, ces methodes ne peuvent fournir de resultats dans des applications en temps reel. La premiere partie de notra travail consiste a modeliser et quantifier l'effet de la distorsion du spectre oceanique provoquee par une vitesse de rotation du radar trop faible. Les resultats permettent de definir clairement les vitesses de rotation du radar pour lesquelles cette distorsion est negligeable. La deuxieme partie prospose un algorithme de traitement en temps reel qui extrait les informations caracteristiques principales de la surface de mer observee, i.e., la longueur d'onde et la direction des vagues. Cette estimation, basees sur une modelisation autoregressive offre une ouverture pour le traitement des signaux en temps reel. A travers cette approche, une succession de signaux unidimensionnels est traitee, ce qui conduit a l'elimination naturelle de la distorsion introduite dans le spectre du signal.

  8. Isolation of ZnO-binding 12-mer peptides and determination of their binding epitopes by NMR spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Rothenstein, Dirk; Claasen, Birgit; Omiecienski, Beatrice; Lammel, Patricia; Bill, Joachim

    2012-08-01

    Inorganic-binding peptides are in the focus of research fields such as materials science, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Applications concern surface functionalization by the specific coupling to inorganic target substrates, the binding of soluble molecules for sensing applications, or biomineralization approaches for the controlled formation of inorganic materials. The specific molecular recognition of inorganic surfaces by peptides is of major importance for such applications. Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an important semiconductor material which is applied in various devices. In this study the molecular fundamentals for a ZnO-binding epitope was determined. 12-mer peptides, which specifically bind to the zinc- or/and the oxygen-terminated sides of single-crystalline ZnO (0001) and (000-1) substrates, were selected from a random peptide library using the phage display technique. For two ZnO-binding peptides the ma