Science.gov

Sample records for microbial natural products

  1. Microbial production of natural raspberry ketone.

    PubMed

    Beekwilder, Jules; van der Meer, Ingrid M; Sibbesen, Ole; Broekgaarden, Mans; Qvist, Ingmar; Mikkelsen, Joern D; Hall, Robert D

    2007-10-01

    Raspberry ketone is an important compound for the flavour industry. It is frequently used in products such as soft drinks, sweets, puddings and ice creams. The compound can be produced by organic synthesis. Demand for "natural" raspberry ketone is growing considerably. However, this product is extremely expensive. Consequently, there is a remaining desire to better understand how raspberry ketone is synthesized in vivo, and which genes and enzymes are involved. With this information we will then be in a better position to design alternative production strategies such as microbial fermentation. This article focuses on the identification and application of genes potentially linked to raspberry ketone synthesis. We have isolated candidate genes from both raspberry and other plants, and these have been introduced into bacterial and yeast expression systems. Conditions have been determined that result in significant levels of raspberry ketone, up to 5 mg/L. These results therefore lay a strong foundation for a potentially renewable source of "natural" flavour compounds making use of plant genes.

  2. Mining the Metabiome: Identifying Novel Natural Products from Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Milshteyn, Aleksandr; Schneider, Jessica S.; Brady, Sean F.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Microbial-derived natural products provide the foundation for most of the chemotherapeutic arsenal available to contemporary medicine. In the face of a dwindling pipeline of new lead structures identified by traditional culturing techniques and an increasing need for new therapeutics, surveys of microbial biosynthetic diversity across environmental metabiomes have revealed enormous reservoirs of as yet untapped natural products chemistry. In this review we touch on the historical context of microbial natural product discovery and discuss innovations and technological advances that are facilitating culture-dependent and culture-independent access to new chemistry from environmental microbiomes with the goal of re-invigorating the small molecule therapeutics discovery pipeline. We highlight the successful strategies that have emerged and some of the challenges that must be overcome to enable the development of high-throughput methods for natural product discovery from complex microbial communities. PMID:25237864

  3. Small molecule inhibition of microbial natural product biosynthesis – An emerging antibiotic strategy

    PubMed Central

    Cisar, Justin S.; Tan, Derek S.

    2008-01-01

    A variety of natural products modulate critical biological processes in the microorganisms that produce them. Thus, inhibition of the corresponding natural product biosynthesis pathways represents a promising avenue to develop novel antibiotics. In this tutorial review, we describe several recent examples of designed small molecule inhibitors of microbial natural product biosynthesis and their use in evaluating this emerging antibiotic strategy. PMID:18568158

  4. Construction of a microbial natural product library for chemical biology studies.

    PubMed

    Kato, Naoki; Takahashi, Shunji; Nogawa, Toshihiko; Saito, Tamio; Osada, Hiroyuki

    2012-04-01

    The RIKEN Natural Products Depository (NPDepo) is a public depository of small molecules. Currently, the NPDepo chemical library contains 39,200 pure compounds, half of which are natural products and their derivatives. In order to reinforce the uniqueness of our chemical library, we have improved our strategies for the collection of microbial natural products. Firstly, a microbial metabolite fraction library coupled with an MP (microbial products) plot database provides a powerful resource for the efficient isolation of microbial metabolites. Secondly, biosynthetic studies of microbial metabolites have enabled us to not only access ingenious biosynthetic machineries, but also obtain a variety of biosynthetic intermediates. Our chemical library contributes to the discovery of molecular probes for increasing our understanding of complex biological processes and for eventually developing new drug leads.

  5. Mapping Microbial Response Metabolomes for Induced Natural Product Discovery.

    PubMed

    Derewacz, Dagmara K; Covington, Brett C; McLean, John A; Bachmann, Brian O

    2015-09-18

    Intergeneric microbial interactions may originate a significant fraction of secondary metabolic gene regulation in nature. Herein, we expose a genomically characterized Nocardiopsis strain, with untapped polyketide biosynthetic potential, to intergeneric interactions via coculture with low inoculum exposure to Escherichia, Bacillus, Tsukamurella, and Rhodococcus. The challenge-induced responses of extracted metabolites were characterized via multivariate statistical and self-organizing map (SOM) analyses, revealing the magnitude and selectivity engendered by the limiting case of low inoculum exposure. The collected inventory of cocultures revealed substantial metabolomic expansion in comparison to monocultures with nearly 14% of metabolomic features in cocultures undetectable in monoculture conditions and many features unique to coculture genera. One set of SOM-identified responding features was isolated, structurally characterized by multidimensional NMR, and revealed to comprise previously unreported polyketides containing an unusual pyrrolidinol substructure and moderate and selective cytotoxicity. Designated ciromicin A and B, they are detected across mixed cultures with intergeneric preferences under coculture conditions. The structural novelty of ciromicin A is highlighted by its ability to undergo a diastereoselective photochemical 12-π electron rearrangement to ciromicin B at visible wavelengths. This study shows how organizing trends in metabolomic responses under coculture conditions can be harnessed to characterize multipartite cultures and identify previously silent secondary metabolism. PMID:26039241

  6. Discovery of New Compounds Active against Plasmodium falciparum by High Throughput Screening of Microbial Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Moreno, Guiomar; Cantizani, Juan; Sánchez-Carrasco, Paula; Ruiz-Pérez, Luis Miguel; Martín, Jesús; el Aouad, Noureddine; Pérez-Victoria, Ignacio; Tormo, José Rubén; González-Menendez, Víctor; González, Ignacio; de Pedro, Nuria; Reyes, Fernando; Genilloud, Olga; Vicente, Francisca; González-Pacanowska, Dolores

    2016-01-01

    Due to the low structural diversity within the set of antimalarial drugs currently available in the clinic and the increasing number of cases of resistance, there is an urgent need to find new compounds with novel modes of action to treat the disease. Microbial natural products are characterized by their large diversity provided in terms of the chemical complexity of the compounds and the novelty of structures. Microbial natural products extracts have been underexplored in the search for new antiparasitic drugs and even more so in the discovery of new antimalarials. Our objective was to find new druggable natural products with antimalarial properties from the MEDINA natural products collection, one of the largest natural product libraries harboring more than 130,000 microbial extracts. In this work, we describe the optimization process and the results of a phenotypic high throughput screen (HTS) based on measurements of Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase. A subset of more than 20,000 extracts from the MEDINA microbial products collection has been explored, leading to the discovery of 3 new compounds with antimalarial activity. In addition, we report on the novel antiplasmodial activity of 4 previously described natural products. PMID:26735308

  7. [Strategies on the construction of high-quality microbial natural product library--a review].

    PubMed

    Bian, Jiang; Song, Fuhang; Zhang, Lixin

    2008-08-01

    The microbial secondary metabolites are always the main source of the natural drugs. The historical paradigm of the deep ocean as a biological 'desert' has shifted to one of a 'rainforest' owing to the isolation of many novel microbes and their associated bioactive compounds. A high quality microbial and its natural product library are crucial for successful drug and other screenings. However, how to build up the library efficiently is still faced with many bottlenecks. To overcome the difficulties and limitations, we reviewed the following strategies: (1) diversifying microbial sources and dereplication; (2) diversifying gene sources and dereplication; (3) diversifying microbial metabolite sources and dereplication; (4) novel methods and technologies for bioactive secondary metabolites, especially the high-throughput synergy screening for multi-target drugs. Bioactive compounds isolated using the above chemical microbiology strategies have not only shown importance in biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications but also increased our understanding of the diversity of microbe, ecosystem functions and the exploitable biology.

  8. Microbial biotransformation as a tool for drug development based on natural products from mevalonic acid pathway: A review

    PubMed Central

    Hegazy, Mohamed-Elamir F.; Mohamed, Tarik A.; ElShamy, Abdelsamed I.; Mohamed, Abou-El-Hamd H.; Mahalel, Usama A.; Reda, Eman H.; Shaheen, Alaa M.; Tawfik, Wafaa A.; Shahat, Abdelaaty A.; Shams, Khalid A.; Abdel-Azim, Nahla S.; Hammouda, Fayza M.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products are structurally and biologically interesting metabolites, but they have been isolated in minute amounts. The syntheses of such natural products help in obtaining them in bulk amounts. The recognition of microbial biotransformation as important manufacturing tool has increased in chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In recent years, microbial transformation is increasing significantly from limited interest into highly active area in green chemistry including preparation of pharmaceutical products. This is the first review published on the usage of microbial biocatalysts for some natural product classes and natural product drugs. PMID:25685541

  9. The re-emerging role of microbial natural products in antibiotic discovery.

    PubMed

    Genilloud, Olga

    2014-07-01

    New classes of antibacterial compounds are urgently needed to respond to the high frequency of occurrence of resistances to all major classes of known antibiotics. Microbial natural products have been for decades one of the most successful sources of drugs to treat infectious diseases but today, the emerging unmet clinical need poses completely new challenges to the discovery of novel candidates with the desired properties to be developed as antibiotics. While natural products discovery programs have been gradually abandoned by the big pharma, smaller biotechnology companies and research organizations are taking over the lead in the discovery of novel antibacterials. Recent years have seen new approaches and technologies being developed and integrated in a multidisciplinary effort to further exploit microbial resources and their biosynthetic potential as an untapped source of novel molecules. New strategies to isolate novel species thought to be uncultivable, and synthetic biology approaches ranging from genome mining of microbial strains for cryptic biosynthetic pathways to their heterologous expression have been emerging in combination with high throughput sequencing platforms, integrated bioinformatic analysis, and on-site analytical detection and dereplication tools for novel compounds. These different innovative approaches are defining a completely new framework that is setting the bases for the future discovery of novel chemical scaffolds that should foster a renewed interest in the identification of novel classes of natural product antibiotics from the microbial world.

  10. Bioprospecting microbial natural product libraries from the marine environment for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiangyang; Ashforth, Elizabeth; Ren, Biao; Song, Fuhang; Dai, Huanqin; Liu, Mei; Wang, Jian; Xie, Qiong; Zhang, Lixin

    2010-08-01

    Marine microorganisms are fascinating resources due to their production of novel natural products with antimicrobial activities. Increases in both the number of new chemical entities found and the substantiation of indigenous marine actinobacteria present a fundamental difficulty in the future discovery of novel antimicrobials, namely dereplication of those compounds already discovered. This review will share our experience on the taxonomic-based construction of a highly diversified and low redundant marine microbial natural product library for high-throughput antibiotic screening. We anticipate that libraries such as these can drive the drug discovery process now and in the future. PMID:20606699

  11. Use of in situ solid-phase adsorption in microbial natural product fermentation development.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Thomas; Chase, Matthew; Wagner, Stephanie; Renzi, Chris; Powell, Marcella; DeAngelo, Joseph; Michels, Peter

    2013-05-01

    It has been half a century since investigators first began experimenting with adding ion exchange resins during the fermentation of microbial natural products. With the development of nonionic polymeric adsorbents in the 1970s, the application of in situ product adsorption in bioprocessing has grown slowly, but steadily. To date, in situ product adsorption strategies have been used in biotransformations, plant cell culture, the production of biofuels, and selected bulk chemicals, such as butanol and lactic acid, as well as in more traditional natural product fermentation within the pharmaceutical industry. Apart from the operational gains in efficiency from the integration of fermentation and primary recovery, the addition of adsorbents during fermentation has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to significantly increase titers by sequestering the product and preventing or mitigating degradation, feedback inhibition and/or cytotoxic effects. Adoption of in situ product adsorption has been particularly valuable in the early stages of natural product-based drug discovery programs, where quickly and cost-effectively generating multigram quantities of a lead compound can be challenging when using a wild-type strain and fermentation conditions that have not been optimized. While much of the literature involving in situ adsorption describes its application early in the drug development process, this does not imply that the potential for scale-up is limited. To date, commercial-scale processes utilizing in situ product adsorption have reached batch sizes of at least 30,000 l. Here we present examples where in situ product adsorption has been used to improve product titers or alter the ratios among biosynthetically related natural products, examine some of the relevant variables to consider, and discuss the mechanisms by which in situ adsorption may impact the biosynthesis of microbial natural products.

  12. Use of in situ solid-phase adsorption in microbial natural product fermentation development.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Thomas; Chase, Matthew; Wagner, Stephanie; Renzi, Chris; Powell, Marcella; DeAngelo, Joseph; Michels, Peter

    2013-05-01

    It has been half a century since investigators first began experimenting with adding ion exchange resins during the fermentation of microbial natural products. With the development of nonionic polymeric adsorbents in the 1970s, the application of in situ product adsorption in bioprocessing has grown slowly, but steadily. To date, in situ product adsorption strategies have been used in biotransformations, plant cell culture, the production of biofuels, and selected bulk chemicals, such as butanol and lactic acid, as well as in more traditional natural product fermentation within the pharmaceutical industry. Apart from the operational gains in efficiency from the integration of fermentation and primary recovery, the addition of adsorbents during fermentation has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to significantly increase titers by sequestering the product and preventing or mitigating degradation, feedback inhibition and/or cytotoxic effects. Adoption of in situ product adsorption has been particularly valuable in the early stages of natural product-based drug discovery programs, where quickly and cost-effectively generating multigram quantities of a lead compound can be challenging when using a wild-type strain and fermentation conditions that have not been optimized. While much of the literature involving in situ adsorption describes its application early in the drug development process, this does not imply that the potential for scale-up is limited. To date, commercial-scale processes utilizing in situ product adsorption have reached batch sizes of at least 30,000 l. Here we present examples where in situ product adsorption has been used to improve product titers or alter the ratios among biosynthetically related natural products, examine some of the relevant variables to consider, and discuss the mechanisms by which in situ adsorption may impact the biosynthesis of microbial natural products. PMID:23526181

  13. Microbial production of natural gas from coal and organic-rich shale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orem, William

    2013-01-01

    Natural gas is an important component of the energy mix in the United States, producing greater energy yield per unit weight and less pollution compared to coal and oil. Most of the world’s natural gas resource is thermogenic, produced in the geologic environment over time by high temperature and pressure within deposits of oil, coal, and shale. About 20 percent of the natural gas resource, however, is produced by microorganisms (microbes). Microbes potentially could be used to generate economic quantities of natural gas from otherwise unexploitable coal and shale deposits, from coal and shale from which natural gas has already been recovered, and from waste material such as coal slurry. Little is known, however, about the microbial production of natural gas from coal and shale.

  14. Importance of microbial natural products and the need to revitalize their discovery.

    PubMed

    Demain, Arnold L

    2014-02-01

    Microbes are the leading producers of useful natural products. Natural products from microbes and plants make excellent drugs. Significant portions of the microbial genomes are devoted to production of these useful secondary metabolites. A single microbe can make a number of secondary metabolites, as high as 50 compounds. The most useful products include antibiotics, anticancer agents, immunosuppressants, but products for many other applications, e.g., antivirals, anthelmintics, enzyme inhibitors, nutraceuticals, polymers, surfactants, bioherbicides, and vaccines have been commercialized. Unfortunately, due to the decrease in natural product discovery efforts, drug discovery has decreased in the past 20 years. The reasons include excessive costs for clinical trials, too short a window before the products become generics, difficulty in discovery of antibiotics against resistant organisms, and short treatment times by patients for products such as antibiotics. Despite these difficulties, technology to discover new drugs has advanced, e.g., combinatorial chemistry of natural product scaffolds, discoveries in biodiversity, genome mining, and systems biology. Of great help would be government extension of the time before products become generic. PMID:23990168

  15. Current challenges in the discovery of novel antibacterials from microbial natural products.

    PubMed

    Genilloud, Olga

    2012-12-01

    Microbial natural products have been for decades one of the most successful sources of drugs to treat infectious diseases. The high occurrence of resistances to all major classes of known antibiotics represents today a new challenge and new classes of antibacterial compounds are urgently needed to respond to this unmet clinical need. While natural products discovery programs have been gradually abandoned by big pharma, smaller biotechnology companies and other research organizations are taking the lead in the discovery of novel antibacterials. A survey of recent patents has shown that in spite of the efforts, few novel compounds are being developed that can overcome most of the emerging multi-resistant and pan-resistant pathogens. In order to respond to the current challenges of discovering novel antibiotics, new approaches are required to be developed to further exploit the microbial resources and their biosynthetic potential as an untapped source of novel metabolites. Strategies to mine microbial collections for orphan biosynthetic pathways and novel species thought to be uncultivable, are emerging as a need within antibacterial drug discovery programs, in combination with high throughput screening and chemical dereplication of novel compounds. Different innovative methods that are being developed to respond to the new challenges that are faced today by drug discovery programs will ensure the evolution of these strategies into a completely new framework that will address the renovated interest in the discovery of novel classes of antibiotics. PMID:22963258

  16. Microbial genome mining for accelerated natural products discovery: is a renaissance in the making?

    PubMed Central

    Bachmann, Brian O; Van Lanen, Steven G; Baltz, Richard H

    2014-01-01

    Microbial genome mining is a rapidly developing approach to discover new and novel secondary metabolites for drug discovery. Many advances have been made in the past decade to facilitate genome mining, and these are reviewed in this Special Issue of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. In this Introductory Review, we discuss the concept of genome mining and why it is important for the revitalization of natural product discovery; what microbes show the most promise for focused genome mining; how microbial genomes can be mined; how genome mining can be leveraged with other technologies; how progress on genome mining can be accelerated; and who should fund future progress in this promising field. We direct interested readers to more focused reviews on the individual topics in this Special Issue for more detailed summaries on the current state-of-the-art. PMID:24342967

  17. n-butanol: challenges and solutions for shifting natural metabolic pathways into a viable microbial production.

    PubMed

    Branduardi, Paola; Porro, Danilo

    2016-04-01

    The economic upturn of the past 200 years would not have been conceivable without fossil resources such as coal and oil. However, the fossil-based economy increasingly reaches its limits and displays contradictions. Bioeconomy, strategically combining economy and ecology willing to make biobased and sustainable growth possible, is promising to make a significant contribution towards solving these issues. In this context, microbial bioconversions are promising to support partially the increasing need for materials and fuels starting from fresh, preferably waste, biomass. Butanol is a very attractive molecule finding applications both as a chemical platform and as a fuel. Today it principally derives from petroleum, but it also represents the final product of microbial catabolic pathways. Because of the need to maximize yield, titer and productivity to make the production competitive and viable, the challenge is to transform a robustly regulated metabolic network into the principal cellular activity. However, this goal can only be accomplished by a profound understanding of the cellular physiology, survival strategy and sensing/signalling cascades. Here, we shortly review on the natural cellular pathways and circumstances that lead to n-butanol accumulation, its physiological consequences that might not match industrial needs and on possible solutions for circumventing these natural constraints. PMID:27020412

  18. Bio-mining the microbial treasures of the ocean: new natural products.

    PubMed

    Imhoff, Johannes F; Labes, Antje; Wiese, Jutta

    2011-01-01

    The biological resources of the oceans have been exploited since ancient human history, mainly by catching fish and harvesting algae. Research on natural products with special emphasis on marine animals and also algae during the last decades of the 20th century has revealed the importance of marine organisms as producers of substances useful for the treatment of human diseases. Though a large number of bioactive substances have been identified, some many years ago, only recently the first drugs from the oceans were approved. Quite astonishingly, the immense diversity of microbes in the marine environments and their almost untouched capacity to produce natural products and therefore the importance of microbes for marine biotechnology was realized on a broad basis by the scientific communities only recently. This has strengthened worldwide research activities dealing with the exploration of marine microorganisms for biotechnological applications, which comprise the production of bioactive compounds for pharmaceutical use, as well as the development of other valuable products, such as enzymes, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. While the focus in these fields was mainly on marine bacteria, also marine fungi now receive growing attention. Although culture-dependent studies continue to provide interesting new chemical structures with biological activities at a high rate and represent highly promising approaches for the search of new drugs, exploration and use of genomic and metagenomic resources are considered to further increase this potential. Many efforts are made for the sustainable exploration of marine microbial resources. Large culture collections specifically of marine bacteria and marine fungi are available. Compound libraries of marine natural products, even of highly purified substances, were established. The expectations into the commercial exploitation of marine microbial resources has given rise to numerous institutions worldwide, basic research facilities as

  19. Recent Advances in the Discovery and Development of Marine Microbial Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Jian-Feng; Hao, Yu-You; Wang, Yong

    2013-01-01

    Marine microbial natural products (MMNPs) have attracted increasing attention from microbiologists, taxonomists, ecologists, agronomists, chemists and evolutionary biologists during the last few decades. Numerous studies have indicated that diverse marine microbes appear to have the capacity to produce an impressive array of MMNPs exhibiting a wide variety of biological activities such as antimicrobial, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-cardiovascular agents. Marine microorganisms represent an underexplored reservoir for the discovery of MMNPs with unique scaffolds and for exploitation in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. This review focuses on MMNPs discovery and development over the past decades, including innovative isolation and culture methods, strategies for discovering novel MMNPs via routine screenings, metagenomics, genomics, combinatorial biosynthesis, and synthetic biology. The potential problems and future directions for exploring MMNPs are also discussed. PMID:23528949

  20. Exploring and exploiting microbial diversity through metagenomics for natural product drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Guo, Jun; Dai, Shikun; Ouyang, Yongchang; Wu, Houbo; Sun, Wei; Wang, Guanghua

    2009-01-01

    Microorganisms of millions species exist in every corner of the Earth, and form a dynamic genetic reservoir that are not clearly revealed and categorized due to barrier in current cultivation technology. Their applications in biomedical and environmental aspects are more than satisfactory. However, the situation has drastically changed during the turn of the century because of the rapid development of phylogenetic studies based on rRNA sequencing independent of standard laboratory cultivation. More recently, high throughput sequencing technology which enables direct sequencing of community DNA for metagenomic analyses are making a direct impact on our understanding of microbial diversity, ecology, and secondary metabolism. In this review, we highlight some recent progress and innovation on metagenomic research with an emphasis on natural product drug discovery. The rapid path of accumulating decoded metagenomics would be an efficient guide on direct access to the genomes of numerous non-culturable microorganisms for their genomic diversity and associated chemical prosperity for potential medicinal applications.

  1. Engineering and comparison of non-natural pathways for microbial phenol production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Brian; Machas, Michael; Nielsen, David R

    2016-08-01

    The non-renewable petrochemical phenol is used as a precursor to produce numerous fine and commodity chemicals, including various pharmaceuticals and phenolic resins. Microbial phenol biosynthesis has previously been established, stemming from endogenous tyrosine via tyrosine phenol lyase (TPL). TPL, however, suffers from feedback inhibition and equilibrium limitations, both of which contribute to reduced flux through the overall pathway. To address these limitations, two novel and non-natural phenol biosynthesis pathways, both stemming instead from chorismate, were constructed and comparatively evaluated. The first proceeds to phenol in one heterologous step via the intermediate p-hydroxybenzoic acid, while the second involves two heterologous steps and the associated intermediates isochorismate and salicylate. Maximum phenol titers achieved via these two alternative pathways reached as high as 377 ± 14 and 259 ± 31 mg/L in batch shake flask cultures, respectively. In contrast, under analogous conditions, phenol production via the established TPL-dependent route reached 377 ± 23 mg/L, which approaches the maximum achievable output reported to date under batch conditions. Additional strain development and optimization of relevant culture conditions with respect to each individual pathway is ultimately expected to result in further improved phenol production. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1745-1754. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26804162

  2. Microbial Flocculant for Nature Soda

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Peiyong; Zhang, Tong; Chen, Cuixian

    2004-03-31

    Microbial flocculant for nature soda has been studied. Lactobacillus TRJ21, which was able to produce an excellent biopolymer flocculant for nature soda, was obtained in our lab. The microbial flocculant was mainly produced when the bacteria laid in stationary growth phase. Fructose or glucose, as carbon sources, were more favorable for the bacterial growth and flocculant production. The bacteria was able to use ammonium sulfate or Urea as nitrogen to produce flocculant, but was not able to use peptone effectively. High C/N ratio was more favorable to Lactobacillus TRJ21 growth and flocculant production than low C/N ratio. The biopolymer flocculant was mainly composed of polysaccharide and protein with a molecular weight 1.38x106 by gel permeation chromatography. It was able to be easily purified from the culture medium by acetone. Protein in the flocculant was tested for the flocculating activity ingredient by heating the flocculant.

  3. Distributing a metabolic pathway among a microbial consortium enhances production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Kang; Qiao, Kangjian; Edgar, Steven; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic engineering of microorganisms such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce high-value natural metabolites is often done through functional reconstitution of long metabolic pathways. Problems arise when parts of pathways require specialized environments or compartments for optimal function. Here we solve this problem through co-culture of engineered organisms, each of which contains the part of the pathway that it is best suited to hosting. In one example, we divided the synthetic pathway for the acetylated diol paclitaxel precursor into two modules, expressed in either S. cerevisiae or E. coli, neither of which can produce the paclitaxel precursor on their own. Stable co-culture in the same bioreactor was achieved by designing a mutualistic relationship between the two species in which a metabolic intermediate produced by E. coli was used and functionalized by yeast. This synthetic consortium produced 33 mg/L oxygenated taxanes, including a monoacetylated dioxygenated taxane. The same method was also used to produce tanshinone precursors and functionalized sesquiterpenes. PMID:25558867

  4. A survey of phytotoxic microbial and plant metabolites as potential natural products for pest management.

    PubMed

    Schrader, Kevin K; Andolfi, Anna; Cantrell, Charles L; Cimmino, Alessio; Duke, Stephen O; Osbrink, Weste; Wedge, David E; Evidente, Antonio

    2010-09-01

    Phytotoxic microbial metabolites produced by certain phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria, and a group of phytotoxic plant metabolites including Amaryllidacea alkaloids and some derivatives of these compounds were evaluated for algicide, bactericide, insecticide, fungicide, and herbicide activities in order to discover natural compounds for potential use in the management and control of several important agricultural and household structural pests. Among the various compounds evaluated: i) ophiobolin A was found to be the most promising for potential use as a selective algicide; ii) ungeremine was discovered to be bactericidal against certain species of fish pathogenic bacteria; iii) cycasin caused significant mortality in termites; iv) cavoxin, ophiobolin A, and sphaeropsidin A were most active towards species of plant pathogenic fungi; and v) lycorine and some of its analogues (1-O-acetyllycorine and lycorine chlorohydrate) were highly phytotoxic in the herbicide bioassay. Our results further demonstrated that plants and microbes can provide a diverse and natural source of compounds with potential use as pesticides.

  5. Considerations of the chemical biology of microbial natural products provide an effective drug discovery strategy.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyukjae; Oh, Dong-Chan

    2015-09-01

    Conventional approaches to natural product drug discovery rely mainly on random searches for bioactive compounds using bioassays. These traditional approaches do not incorporate a chemical biology perspective. Searching for bioactive molecules using a chemical and biological rationale constitutes a powerful search paradigm. Here, the authors review recent examples of the discovery of bioactive natural products based on chemical and biological interactions between hosts and symbionts, and propose this method provides a more effective means of exploring natural chemical diversity and eventually of discovering new drugs.

  6. Development of fecal microbial enzyme mix for mutagenicity assay of natural products.

    PubMed

    Yeo, Hee Kyung; Hyun, Yang-Jin; Jang, Se-Eun; Han, Myung Joo; Lee, Yong Sup; Kim, Dong-Hyun

    2012-06-01

    Orally administered herbal glycosides are metabolized to their hydrophobic compounds by intestinal microflora in the intestine of animals and human, not liver enzymes, and absorbed from the intestine to the blood. Of these metabolites, some, such as quercetin and kaempherol, are mutagenic. The fecal bacterial enzyme fraction (fecalase) of human or animals has been used for measuring the mutagenicity of dietary glycosides. However, the fecalase activity between individuals is significantly different and its preparation is laborious and odious. Therefore, we developed a fecal microbial enzyme mix (FM) usable in the Ames test to remediate the fluctuated reaction system activating natural glycosides to mutagens. We selected, cultured, and mixed 4 bacteria highly producing glycosidase activities based on a cell-free extract of feces (fecalase) from 100 healthy Korean volunteers. When the mutagenicities of rutin and methanol extract of the flos of Sophora japonica L. (SFME), of which the major constituent is rutin, towards Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, 100, 102, 1,535, and 1,537 were tested using FM and/or S9 mix, these agents were potently mutagenic. These mutagenicities using FM were not significantly different compared with those using Korean fecalase. SFME and rutin were potently mutagenic in the test when these were treated with fecalase or FM in the presence of S9 mix, followed by those treated with S9 mix alone and those with fecalase or FM. Freeze-dried FM was more stable in storage than fecalase. Based on these findings, FM could be usable instead of human fecalase in the Ames test. PMID:22573163

  7. Microbial production of epoxides

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, Thomas R.; Roberto, Francisco F.

    2003-06-10

    A method for microbial production of epoxides and other oxygenated products is disclosed. The method uses a biocatalyst of methanotrophic bacteria cultured in a biphasic medium containing a major amount of a non-aqueous polar solvent. Regeneration of reducing equivalents is carried out by using endogenous hydrogenase activity together with supplied hydrogen gas. This method is especially effective with gaseous substrates and cofactors that result in liquid products.

  8. 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.

  9. Pest management with natural products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The 2012 Philadelphia ACS Symposium on Natural Products for Pest Management introduced recent discoveries and applications of natural products from insect, terrestrial plant, microbial, and synthetic sources for the management of insects, weeds, plant pathogenic microbes, and nematodes. The symposiu...

  10. Microbial production of 1-octanol: A naturally excreted biofuel with diesel-like properties

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, M. Kalim; Dandapani, Hariharan; Thiel, Kati; Jones, Patrik R.

    2014-01-01

    The development of sustainable, bio-based technologies to convert solar energy and carbon dioxide into fuels is a grand challenge. A core part of this challenge is to produce a fuel that is compatible with the existing transportation infrastructure. This task is further compounded by the commercial desire to separate the fuel from the biotechnological host. Based on its fuel characteristics, 1-octanol was identified as an attractive metabolic target with diesel-like properties. We therefore engineered a synthetic pathway specifically for the biosynthesis of 1-octanol in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) by over-expression of three enzymes (thioesterase, carboxylic acid reductase and aldehyde reductase) and one maturation factor (phosphopantetheinyl transferase). Induction of this pathway in a shake flask resulted in 4.4 mg 1-octanol L−1 h−1 which exceeded the productivity of previously engineered strains. Furthermore, the majority (73%) of the fatty alcohol was localised within the media without the addition of detergent or solvent overlay. The deletion of acrA reduced the production and excretion of 1-octanol by 3-fold relative to the wild-type, suggesting that the AcrAB–TolC complex may be responsible for the majority of product efflux. This study presents 1-octanol as a potential fuel target that can be synthesised and naturally accumulated within the media using engineered microbes. PMID:27066394

  11. BIOTIGER, A NATURAL MICROBIAL PRODUCT FOR ENHANCED HYDROCARBON RECOVERY FROM OIL SANDS.

    SciTech Connect

    Brigmon, R; Topher Berry, T; Whitney Jones, W; Charles Milliken, C

    2008-05-27

    BioTiger{trademark} is a unique microbial consortia that resulted from over 8 years of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from a century-old Polish waste lagoon. BioTiger{trademark} shows rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, produces novel surfactants, is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and shows good activity at temperature and pH extremes. Although originally developed and used by the U.S. Department of Energy for bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils, recent efforts have proven that BioTiger{trademark} can also be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery process utilizes BioTiger{trademark} to optimize bitumen separation. A floatation test protocol with oil sands from Ft. McMurray, Canada was used for the BioTiger{trademark} evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/floatation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger{trademark} demonstrated a 50% improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis in 4 h and a five-fold increase at 25 hr. Since BioTiger{trademark} performs well at high temperatures and process engineering can enhance and sustain metabolic activity, it can be applied to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands or other complex recalcitrant matrices.

  12. Bioprocess design for the microbial production of natural phenolic compounds by Debaryomyces hansenii.

    PubMed

    Max, Belén; Tugores, Francisco; Cortés-Diéguez, Sandra; Domínguez, José M

    2012-12-01

    Debaryomyces hansenii NRRL Y-7426 metabolised ferulic acid into different phenolic compounds using a factorial design where glucose concentration (in the range of 1-20 g/L), peptone concentration (2-20 g/L) and yeast extract concentration (0.2-10 g/L) were the independent variables. The interrelationship between dependent and operational variables was well fitted (R (2) > 0.95) to models including linear, interaction and quadratic terms. Depending on the glucose and nitrogen concentrations, which redirected the metabolism, the major degradation products were 1,226.2 mg 4-vinyl guaiacol/L after 72 h (molar yield of 86.0 %), 1,077.8 mg vanillic acid/L after 360 h (molar yield of 91.1 %) or 1,682.6 mg acetovanillone/L after 408 h (molar yield of 98.8 %) in fermentations carried out with 2,000 mg ferulic acid/L. Other metabolites such as vanillin, vanillyl alcohol or 4-ethylguaiacol were present in lower amounts. PMID:23076573

  13. Microbial production of fatty alcohols.

    PubMed

    Fillet, Sandy; Adrio, José L

    2016-09-01

    Fatty alcohols have numerous commercial applications, including their use as lubricants, surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, plasticizers, emollients, thickeners, and even fuels. Fatty alcohols are currently produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acids from plant oils or animal fats. Microbial production of fatty alcohols may be a more direct and environmentally-friendly strategy since production is carried out by heterologous enzymes, called fatty acyl-CoA reductases, able to reduce different acyl-CoA molecules to their corresponding primary alcohols. Successful examples of metabolic engineering have been reported in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli in which the production of fatty alcohols ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 g/L, respectively. Due to their metabolic advantages, oleaginous yeasts are considered the best hosts for production of fatty acid-derived chemicals. Some of these species can naturally produce, under specific growth conditions, lipids at high titers (>50 g/L) and therefore provide large amounts of fatty acyl-CoAs or fatty acids as precursors. Very recently, taking advantage of such features, over 8 g/L of C16-C18 fatty alcohols have been produced in Rhodosporidium toruloides. In this review we summarize the different metabolic engineering strategies, hosts and cultivation conditions used to date. We also point out some future trends and challenges for the microbial production of fatty alcohols. PMID:27465852

  14. Microbial production of fatty alcohols.

    PubMed

    Fillet, Sandy; Adrio, José L

    2016-09-01

    Fatty alcohols have numerous commercial applications, including their use as lubricants, surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, plasticizers, emollients, thickeners, and even fuels. Fatty alcohols are currently produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acids from plant oils or animal fats. Microbial production of fatty alcohols may be a more direct and environmentally-friendly strategy since production is carried out by heterologous enzymes, called fatty acyl-CoA reductases, able to reduce different acyl-CoA molecules to their corresponding primary alcohols. Successful examples of metabolic engineering have been reported in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli in which the production of fatty alcohols ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 g/L, respectively. Due to their metabolic advantages, oleaginous yeasts are considered the best hosts for production of fatty acid-derived chemicals. Some of these species can naturally produce, under specific growth conditions, lipids at high titers (>50 g/L) and therefore provide large amounts of fatty acyl-CoAs or fatty acids as precursors. Very recently, taking advantage of such features, over 8 g/L of C16-C18 fatty alcohols have been produced in Rhodosporidium toruloides. In this review we summarize the different metabolic engineering strategies, hosts and cultivation conditions used to date. We also point out some future trends and challenges for the microbial production of fatty alcohols.

  15. Microbial Production of Biovanillin

    PubMed Central

    Converti, A.; Aliakbarian, B.; Domínguez, J.M.; Bustos Vázquez, G.; Perego, P.

    2010-01-01

    This review aims at providing an overview on the microbial production of vanillin, a new alternative method for the production of this important flavor of the food industry, which has the potential to become economically competitive in the next future. After a brief description of the applications of vanillin in different industrial sectors and of its physicochemical properties, we described the traditional ways of providing vanillin, specifically extraction and chemical synthesis (mainly oxidation) and compared them with the new biotechnological options, i.e., biotransformations of caffeic acid, veratraldehyde and mainly ferulic acid. In the second part of the review, emphasis has been addressed to the factors most influencing the bioproduction of vanillin, specifically the age of inoculum, pH, temperature, type of co-substrate, as well as the inhibitory effects exerted either by excess substrate or product. The final part of the work summarized the downstream processes and the related unit operations involved in the recovery of vanillin from the bioconversion medium. PMID:24031526

  16. Prospects for microbial biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Shi, Shuobo; Valle-Rodríguez, Juan Octavio; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2011-03-01

    As the demand for biofuels for transportation is increasing, it is necessary to develop technologies that will allow for low-cost production of biodiesel. Conventional biodiesel is mainly produced from vegetable oil by chemical transesterification. This production, however, has relatively low land-yield and is competing for agricultural land that can be used for food production. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in developing microbial fermentation processes for production of biodiesel as this will allow for the use of a wide range of raw-materials, including sugar cane, corn, and biomass. Production of biodiesel by microbial fermentation can be divided into two different approaches, (1) indirect biodiesel production from oleaginous microbes by in vitro transesterification, and (2) direct biodiesel production from redesigned cell factories. This work reviews both microbial approaches for renewable biodiesel production and evaluates the existing challenges in these two strategies.

  17. Microbial production of scent and flavor compounds.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Austin L; Desai, Shuchi H; Atsumi, Shota

    2016-02-01

    Scents and flavors like those of fresh oranges are no longer limited to just the natural product. Fruit, flower, and essential oil scents have found place in cosmetics, soaps, candles, and food amongst many common household products. With their increasing global demand and difficulty in extractation from the natural source, alternative methods of their production are being sought. One sustainable method is to employ microorganisms for the production of these high value compounds. With the tools of metabolic engineering, microorganisms can be modified to produce compounds such as esters, terpenoids, aldehydes, and methyl ketones. Approaches and challenges for the production of these compounds from microbial hosts are discussed in this review.

  18. 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene mineralization and bacterial production rates of natural microbial assemblages from coastal sediments.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Michael T; Coffin, Richard B; Boyd, Thomas J; Smith, Joseph P; Walker, Shelby E; Osburn, Christopher L

    2011-12-01

    The nitrogenous energetic constituent, 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT), is widely reported to be resistant to bacterial mineralization (conversion to CO(2)); however, these studies primarily involve bacterial isolates from freshwater where bacterial production is typically limited by phosphorus. This study involved six surveys of coastal waters adjacent to three biome types: temperate broadleaf, northern coniferous, and tropical. Capacity to catabolize and mineralize TNT ring carbon to CO(2) was a common feature of natural sediment assemblages from these coastal environments (ranging to 270+/-38 μg C kg(-1) d(-1)). More importantly, these mineralization rates comprised a significant proportion of total heterotrophic production. The finding that most natural assemblages surveyed from these ecosystems can mineralize TNT ring carbon to CO(2) is consistent with recent reports that assemblage components can incorporate TNT ring carbon into bacterial biomass. These data counter the widely held contention that TNT is recalcitrant to bacterial catabolism of the ring carbon in natural environments.

  19. Combinatorial multicomponent access to natural-products-inspired peptidomimetics: discovery of selective inhibitors of microbial metallo-aminopeptidases.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Yanira; Pérez-Labrada, Karell; González-Bacerio, Jorge; Valdés, Gilberto; de los Chávez, María Á; Osuna, Joel; Charli, Jean-Louis; Pascual, Isel; Rivera, Daniel G

    2014-10-01

    The development of selective inhibitors of microbial metallo-aminopeptidases is an important goal in the pursuit of antimicrobials for therapeutic applications. Herein, we disclose a combinatorial approach relying on two Ugi reactions for the generation of peptidomimetics inspired by natural metallo-aminopeptidase inhibitors. The library was screened for inhibitory activity against the neutral metallo-aminopeptidase of Escherichia coli (ePepN) and the porcine kidney cortex metallo-aminopeptidase (pAPN), which was used as a model of the M1-aminopeptidases of mammals. Six compounds showed typical dose-response inhibition profiles toward recombinant ePepN, with two of them being very potent and highly selective for ePepN over pAPN. Another compound showed moderate ePepN inhibition but total selectivity for this bacterial enzyme over its mammalian orthologue at concentrations of physiological relevance. This strategy proved to be useful for the identification of lead compounds for further optimization and development.

  20. Microbial production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Eiteman, Mark A; Ramalingam, Subramanian

    2015-05-01

    Lactic acid is an important commodity chemical having a wide range of applications. Microbial production effectively competes with chemical synthesis methods because biochemical synthesis permits the generation of either one of the two enantiomers with high optical purity at high yield and titer, a result which is particularly beneficial for the production of poly(lactic acid) polymers having specific properties. The commercial viability of microbial lactic acid production relies on utilization of inexpensive carbon substrates derived from agricultural or waste resources. Therefore, optimal lactic acid formation requires an understanding and engineering of both the competing pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism, as well as pathways leading to potential by-products which both affect product yield. Recent research leverages those biochemical pathways, while researchers also continue to seek strains with improved tolerance and ability to perform under desirable industrial conditions, for example, of pH and temperature.

  1. MICROBIAL RESISTANT GYPSUM PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gypsum building materials often become wet, resulting in mold growth that leads to health and productivity impacts. A major source of mold growth is gypsum wallboard since nearly 90% of the interior finished surfaces of buildings are covered with gypsum products. It has been est...

  2. Commercial production of microbial enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Munro, I.G.

    1985-01-01

    The advantages and uses of industrially produced microbial enzymes are described. The processes involved in the production of these enzymes, cultivation techniques, enzyme extraction, enzyme purification and immobilization are outlined. Both the history of enzyme technology and its future development are discussed.

  3. NATURAL CO2 FLOW FROM THE LOIHI VENT: IMPACT ON MICROBIAL PRODUCTION AND FATE OF THE CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Richard B. Coffin; Thomas J. Boyd; David L. Knies; Kenneth S. Grabowski; John W. Pohlman; Clark S. Mitchell

    2004-02-27

    The program for International Collaboration on CO{sub 2} Ocean Sequestration was initiated December 1997. Preliminary steps involved surveying a suite of biogeochemical parameters off the coast of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The preliminary survey was conducted twice, in 1999 and 2000, to obtain a thorough data set including measurements of pH, current profiles, CO{sub 2} concentrations, microbial activities, and water and sediment chemistries. These data were collected in order to interpret a planned CO{sub 2} injection experiment. After these preliminary surveys were completed, local environment regulation forced moving the project to the coast north east of Bergen, Norway. The preliminary survey along the Norwegian Coast was conducted during 2002. However, Norwegian government revoked a permit, approved by the Norwegian State Pollution Control Authority, for policy reasons regarding the CO{sub 2} injection experiment. As a result the research team decided to monitor the natural CO{sub 2} flow off the southern coast of the Big Island. From December 3rd-13th 2002 scientists from four countries representing the Technical Committee of the International Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Experiment examined the hydrothermal venting at Loihi Seamount (Hawaiian Islands, USA). Work focused on tracing the venting gases, the impacts of the vent fluids on marine organisms, and CO{sub 2} influence on biogeochemical cycles. The cruise on the R/V Ka'imikai-O-Kanaloa (KOK) included 8 dives by the PISCES V submarine, 6 at Loihi and 2 at a nearby site in the lee of the Big Island. Data for this final report is from the last 2 dives on Loihi.

  4. Combining microbial cultures for efficient production of electricity from butyrate in a microbial electrochemical cell.

    PubMed

    Miceli, Joseph F; Garcia-Peña, Ines; Parameswaran, Prathap; Torres, César I; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2014-10-01

    Butyrate is an important product of anaerobic fermentation; however, it is not directly used by characterized strains of the highly efficient anode respiring bacteria (ARB) Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrochemical cells. By combining a butyrate-oxidizing community with a Geobacter rich culture, we generated a microbial community which outperformed many naturally derived communities found in the literature for current production from butyrate and rivaled the highest performing natural cultures in terms of current density (∼ 11A/m(2)) and Coulombic efficiency (∼ 70%). Microbial community analyses support the shift in the microbial community from one lacking efficient ARB in the marine hydrothermal vent community to a community consisting of ∼ 80% Geobacter in the anode biofilm. This demonstrates the successful production and adaptation of a novel microbial culture for generating electrical current from butyrate with high current density and high Coulombic efficiency, by combining two mixed microbial cultures containing complementing biochemical pathways.

  5. Lack of the programmed death-1 receptor renders host susceptible to enteric microbial infection through impairing the production of the mucosal natural killer cell effector molecules.

    PubMed

    Solaymani-Mohammadi, Shahram; Lakhdari, Omar; Minev, Ivelina; Shenouda, Steve; Frey, Blake F; Billeskov, Rolf; Singer, Steven M; Berzofsky, Jay A; Eckmann, Lars; Kagnoff, Martin F

    2016-03-01

    The programmed death-1 receptor is expressed on a wide range of immune effector cells, including T cells, natural killer T cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, and natural killer cells. In malignancies and chronic viral infections, increased expression of programmed death-1 by T cells is generally associated with a poor prognosis. However, its role in early host microbial defense at the intestinal mucosa is not well understood. We report that programmed death-1 expression is increased on conventional natural killer cells but not on CD4(+), CD8(+) or natural killer T cells, or CD11b(+) or CD11c(+) macrophages or dendritic cells after infection with the mouse pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Mice genetically deficient in programmed death-1 or treated with anti-programmed death-1 antibody were more susceptible to acute enteric and systemic infection with Citrobacter rodentium. Wild-type but not programmed death-1-deficient mice infected with Citrobacter rodentium showed significantly increased expression of the conventional mucosal NK cell effector molecules granzyme B and perforin. In contrast, natural killer cells from programmed death-1-deficient mice had impaired expression of those mediators. Consistent with programmed death-1 being important for intracellular expression of natural killer cell effector molecules, mice depleted of natural killer cells and perforin-deficient mice manifested increased susceptibility to acute enteric infection with Citrobacter rodentium. Our findings suggest that increased programmed death-1 signaling pathway expression by conventional natural killer cells promotes host protection at the intestinal mucosa during acute infection with a bacterial gut pathogen by enhancing the expression and production of important effectors of natural killer cell function.

  6. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Jessica A.; Charkoudian, Louise K.; Docherty, Kathryn M.; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W.; Green, Jessica L.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  7. Combining microbial cultures for efficient production of electricity from butyrate in a microbial electrochemical cell

    PubMed Central

    Miceli, Joseph F.; Garcia-Peña, Ines; Parameswaran, Prathap; Torres, César I.; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2014-01-01

    Butyrate is an important product of anaerobic fermentation; however, it is not directly used by characterized strains of the highly efficient anode respiring bacteria (ARB) Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrochemical cells. By combining a butyrate-oxidizing community with a Geobacter rich culture, we generated a microbial community which outperformed many naturally derived communities found in the literature for current production from butyrate and rivaled the highest performing natural cultures in terms of current density (~11 A/m2) and Coulombic efficiency (~70%). Microbial community analyses support the shift in the microbial community from one lacking efficient ARB in the marine hydrothermal vent community to a community consisting of ~80% Geobacter in the anode biofilm. This demonstrates the successful production and adaptation of a novel microbial culture for generating electrical current from butyrate with high current density and high Coulombic efficiency, by combining two mixed micro bial cultures containing complementing biochemical pathways. PMID:25048958

  8. Microbial desulfurization of natural gas

    SciTech Connect

    Sublette, K.L.; Sylvester, N.D.

    1987-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that the H/sub 2/S content of a gas can be reduced to very low levels by contact with an aerobic or anaerobic culture of Thiobacillus denitrificans if the reactor is operated under sulfide-limiting conditions. Hydrogen sulfide was observed to be an inhibitory substrate; however, upset conditions produced by excess H/sub 2/S feed were readily detected and reversed. Biomass yield is lower under aerobic conditions than anaerobic conditions presumably because of inhibition of growth by oxygen. However, under aerobic conditions the maximum loading of the biomass is 2-3 times higher than that observed for anaerobic conditions. Heterotrophic contamination was shown to have a negligible effect on reactor performance. The use of mixed cultures (T. denitrification and heterotrophs) could simplify a microbial gas desulfurization process by removing the requirement for aseptic operation of the reactor.

  9. Microbial utilisation of natural organic wastes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilyin, V. K.; Smirnov, I. A.; Soldatov, P. E.; Korniushenkova, I. N.; Grinin, A. S.; Lykov, I. N.; Safronova, S. A.

    2004-03-01

    The waste management strategy for the future should meet the benefits of humanity safety, respect principals of planet ecology, and compatibility with other habitability systems. For these purpose the waste management technologies, relevant to application of the biodegradation properties of bacteria are of great value. The biological treatment method is based upon the biodegradation of organic substances by various microorganisms. The advantage of the biodegradation waste management in general: it allows to diminish the volume of organic wastes, the biological hazard of the wastes is controlled and this system may be compatible with the other systems. The objectives of our study were: to evaluate effectiveness of microbial biodegradation of non-pretreated substrate, to construct phneumoautomatic digester for organic wastes biodegradation and to study microbial characteristics of active sludge samples used as inoculi in biodegradation experiment. The technology of vegetable wastes treatment was elaborated in IBMP and BMSTU. For this purpose the special unit was created where the degradation process is activated by enforced reinvention of portions of elaborated biogas into digester. This technology allows to save energy normally used for electromechanical agitation and to create optimal environment for anaerobic bacteria growth. The investigations were performed on waste simulator, which imitates physical and chemical content of food wastes calculated basing on the data on food wastes of moderate Russian city. The volume of created experimental sample of digester is 40 l. The basic system elements of device are digesters, gas receiver, remover of drops and valve monitoring and thermal control system. In our testing we used natural food wastes to measure basic parameters and time of biodegradation process. The diminution rate of organic gained 76% from initial mass taking part within 9 days of fermentation. The biogas production achieved 46 l per 1 kg of substrate

  10. Production Methods for Microbial Biocontrol Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A critical constraint to the commercial use of microbial biopesticides is the development of an economic production process. The production process must be cost-effective and yield a microbial propagule that is stable and efficacious under field conditions. Currently, the commercial production of ...

  11. Engineering microbial factories for synthesis of value-added products

    PubMed Central

    Du, Jing; Shao, Zengyi; Zhao, Huimin

    2011-01-01

    Microorganisms have become an increasingly important platform for the production of drugs, chemicals, and biofuels from renewable resources. Advances in protein engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology enable redesigning microbial cellular networks and fine-tuning physiological capabilities, thus generating industrially viable strains for the production of natural and unnatural value-added compounds. In this review, we describe the recent progress on engineering microbial factories for synthesis of valued-added products including alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, biofuels, and chemicals. Related topics on lignocellulose degradation, sugar utilization, and microbial tolerance improvement will also be discussed. PMID:21526386

  12. Natural Products as Aromatase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Balunas, Marcy J.; Su, Bin; Brueggemeier, Robert W.; Kinghorn, A. Douglas

    2010-01-01

    With the clinical success of several synthetic aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in the treatment of postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, researchers have also been investigating also the potential of natural products as AIs. Natural products from terrestrial and marine organisms provide a chemically diverse array of compounds not always available through current synthetic chemistry techniques. Natural products that have been used traditionally for nutritional or medicinal purposes (e.g., botanical dietary supplements) may also afford AIs with reduced side effects. A thorough review of the literature regarding natural product extracts and secondary metabolites of plant, microbial, and marine origin that have been shown to exhibit aromatase inhibitory activity is presented herein. PMID:18690828

  13. Enantioselective microbial synthesis of the indigenous natural product (-)-α-bisabolol by a sesquiterpene synthase from chamomile (Matricaria recutita).

    PubMed

    Son, Young-Jin; Kwon, Moonhyuk; Ro, Dae-Kyun; Kim, Soo-Un

    2014-10-15

    (-)-α-Bisabolol, a sesquiterpene alcohol, is a major ingredient in the essential oil of chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and is used in many health products. The current supply of (-)-α-bisabolol is mainly dependent on the Brazilian candeia tree (Eremanthus erythropappus) by distillation or by chemical synthesis. However, the distillation method using the candeia tree is not sustainable, and chemical synthesis suffers from impurities arising from undesirable α-bisabolol isomers. Therefore enzymatic synthesis of (-)-α-bisabolol is a viable alternative. In the present study, a cDNA encoding (-)-α-bisabolol synthase (MrBBS) was identified from chamomile and used for enantioselective (-)-α-bisabolol synthesis in yeast. Chamomile MrBBS was identified by Illumina and 454 sequencing, followed by activity screening in yeast. When MrBBS was expressed in yeast, 8 mg of α-bisabolol was synthesized de novo per litre of culture. The structure of purified α-bisabolol was elucidated as (S,S)-α-bisabolol [or (-)-α-bisabolol]. Although MrBBS possesses a putative chloroplast-targeting peptide, it was localized in the cytosol, and a deletion of its N-terminal 23 amino acids significantly reduced its stability and activity. Recombinant MrBBS showed kinetic properties comparable with those of other sesquiterpene synthases. These data provide compelling evidence that chamomile MrBBS synthesizes enantiopure (-)-α-bisabolol as a single sesquiterpene product, opening a biotechnological opportunity to produce (-)-α-bisabolol. PMID:25048207

  14. Method Analysis of Microbial Resistant Gypsum Products

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: Several commercially available gypsum products are marketed as microbial-resistant. During previous test method research on a microbial resistant gypsum wallboard study, a common theme from both stakeholders and product vendors was the need for a unified and accepted m...

  15. Microbial production of lactate-containing polyesters

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jung Eun; Choi, So Young; Shin, Jae Ho; Park, Si Jae; Lee, Sang Yup

    2013-01-01

    Due to our increasing concerns on environmental problems and limited fossil resources, biobased production of chemicals and materials through biorefinery has been attracting much attention. Optimization of the metabolic performance of microorganisms, the key biocatalysts for the efficient production of the desired target bioproducts, has been achieved by metabolic engineering. Metabolic engineering allowed more efficient production of polyhydroxyalkanoates, a family of microbial polyesters. More recently, non-natural polyesters containing lactate as a monomer have also been produced by one-step fermentation of engineered bacteria. Systems metabolic engineering integrating traditional metabolic engineering with systems biology, synthetic biology, protein/enzyme engineering through directed evolution and structural design, and evolutionary engineering, enabled microorganisms to efficiently produce natural and non-natural products. Here, we review the strategies for the metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the in vivo biosynthesis of lactate-containing polyesters and for the optimization of whole cell metabolism to efficiently produce lactate-containing polyesters. Also, major problems to be solved to further enhance the production of lactate-containing polyesters are discussed. PMID:23718266

  16. Marine actinomycete diversity and natural product discovery.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Paul R; Mincer, Tracy J; Williams, Philip G; Fenical, William

    2005-01-01

    Microbial natural products remain an important resource for drug discovery yet the microorganisms inhabiting the world's oceans have largely been overlooked in this regard. The recent discovery of novel secondary metabolites from taxonomically unique populations of marine actinomycetes suggests that these bacteria add an important new dimension to microbial natural product research. Continued efforts to characterize marine actinomycete diversity and how adaptations to the marine environment affect secondary metabolite production will create a better understanding of the potential utility of these bacteria as a source of useful products for biotechnology.

  17. Uranium Biomineralization By Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Taillefert, Martial

    2015-04-01

    This project investigated the geochemical and microbial processes associated with the biomineralization of radionuclides in subsurface soils. During this study, it was determined that microbial communities from the Oak Ridge Field Research subsurface are able to express phosphatase activities that hydrolyze exogenous organophosphate compounds and result in the non-reductive bioimmobilization of U(VI) phosphate minerals in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The changes of the microbial community structure associated with the biomineralization of U(VI) was determined to identify the main organisms involved in the biomineralization process, and the complete genome of two isolates was sequenced. In addition, it was determined that both phytate, the main source of natural organophosphate compounds in natural environments, and polyphosphate accumulated in cells could also be hydrolyzed by native microbial population to liberate enough orthophosphate and precipitate uranium phosphate minerals. Finally, the minerals produced during this process are stable in low pH conditions or environments where the production of dissolved inorganic carbon is moderate. These findings suggest that the biomineralization of U(VI) phosphate minerals is an attractive bioremediation strategy to uranium bioreduction in low pH uranium-contaminated environments. These efforts support the goals of the SBR long-term performance measure by providing key information on "biological processes influencing the form and mobility of DOE contaminants in the subsurface".

  18. Microbial D-xylonate production.

    PubMed

    Toivari, Mervi H; Nygård, Yvonne; Penttilä, Merja; Ruohonen, Laura; Wiebe, Marilyn G

    2012-10-01

    D-Xylonic acid is a versatile platform chemical with reported applications as complexing agent or chelator, in dispersal of concrete, and as a precursor for compounds such as co-polyamides, polyesters, hydrogels and 1,2,4-butanetriol. With increasing glucose prices, D-xylonic acid may provide a cheap, non-food derived alternative for gluconic acid, which is widely used (about 80 kton/year) in pharmaceuticals, food products, solvents, adhesives, dyes, paints and polishes. Large-scale production has not been developed, reflecting the current limited market for D-xylonate. D-Xylonic acid occurs naturally, being formed in the first step of oxidative metabolism of D-xylose by some archaea and bacteria via the action of D-xylose or D-glucose dehydrogenases. High extracellular concentrations of D-xylonate have been reported for various bacteria, in particular Gluconobacter oxydans and Pseudomonas putida. High yields of D-xylonate from D-xylose make G. oxydans an attractive choice for biotechnical production. G. oxydans is able to produce D-xylonate directly from plant biomass hydrolysates, but rates and yields are reduced because of sensitivity to hydrolysate inhibitors. Recently, D-xylonate has been produced by the genetically modified bacterium Escherichia coli and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lactis. Expression of NAD(+)-dependent D-xylose dehydrogenase of Caulobacter crescentus in either E. coli or in a robust, hydrolysate-tolerant, industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain has resulted in D-xylonate titres, which are comparable to those seen with G. oxydans, at a volumetric rate approximately 30% of that observed with G. oxydans. With further development, genetically modified microbes may soon provide an alternative for production of D-xylonate at industrial scale.

  19. Community Proteomics of a Natural Microbial Biofilm

    SciTech Connect

    Ram, Rachna J.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Thelen, Michael P.; Tyson, Gene W.; Baker, Brett J.; Shah, Manesh B; BlakeII, Robert C.; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2005-06-01

    Using genomic and mass spectrometry-based proteomic methods, we evaluated gene expression, identified key activities, and examined partitioning of metabolic functions in a natural acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial biofilm community. We detected 2033 proteins from the five most abundant species in the biofilm, including 48% of the predicted proteins from the dominant biofilm organism, Leptospirillum group II. Proteins involved in protein refolding and response to oxidative stress appeared to be highly expressed, which suggests that damage to biomolecules is a key challenge for survival. We validated and estimated the relative abundance and cellular localization of 357 unique and 215 conserved novel proteins and determined that one abundant novel protein is a cytochrome central to iron oxidation and AMD formation.

  20. The influence of soluble microbial products on microbial community composition: hypothesis of microbial community succession.

    PubMed

    Chipasa, Kangala B; Medrzycka, Krystyna

    2008-01-01

    Soluble microbial products (SMP) are organic compounds produced by activated sludge microorganisms as they degrade substrates. They include by-products of microbial activity, death and lysis. The available literature does not reveal how SMP influence microbial community composition. In this regard, we microscopically studied changes in composition of microbial communities, especially protozoa and metazoa, under the influence of increased as well as reduced levels of SMP. The presence of SMP at high level significantly caused changes in microbial community composition. Microbial species shifted from attached ciliates (12-175 microm) to free-swimming and crawling ciliates (35-330 microm) and then invertebrates, which included rotifers (0.2-1 mm) and nematodes (1-50 mm). The shift of small-size microorganisms to large ones was observed as one of the most significant influences of SMP. Attached ciliates reappeared when we removed the SMP that had accumulated in the bioreactors - we have called this as the resurrection phenomenon of microorganisms. Such rapid changes in microbial community composition were not observed in the experiment with low concentration of SMP. Overall, the results suggest that accumulation of SMP is one of the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms that control viability and dormancy of microbial communities in activated sludge. PMID:18610657

  1. Effect of Gamma radiation on microbial population of natural casings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigo, M. J.; Fraqueza, M. J.

    1998-06-01

    The high microbial load of fresh and dry natural casings increases the risk of meat product contamination with pathogenic microorganisms, agents of foodborn diseases. The aim of this work is to evaluate the killing effect of gamma radiation of the resident microbial population of pork and beef casings, to improve their hygiene and safety. Portions of fresh pork (small intestines and colon) and dry beef casings were irradiated in a Cobalt 60 source with with absorbed doses of 1,2,5 and 10 kGy. The D 10 values of total aerobic microorganisms in the pork casings were 1.65 kGy for colon and 1.54 kGy for small intestine. The D 10 value found in beef dry casings (small intestine) was 10.17 kGy. Radurization with 5 kGy was able to reduce, at least, 6 logs the coliform bacteria in pork casings. The killing effect over faecal Streptococci was 4 logs for pork fresh casings and 2 logs for beef dry casings. Gamma radiation with 5 kGy proved to be a convenient method to reduce substantially the microbial population of pork fresh casings. Otherwise, the microbial population of beef dry casings still resisted to 10 kGy.

  2. Microbial Production of Isoprenoids Enabled by Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Immethun, Cheryl M.; Hoynes-O’Connor, Allison G.; Balassy, Andrea; Moon, Tae Seok

    2013-01-01

    Microorganisms transform inexpensive carbon sources into highly functionalized compounds without toxic by-product generation or significant energy consumption. By redesigning the natural biosynthetic pathways in an industrially suited host, microbial cell factories can produce complex compounds for a variety of industries. Isoprenoids include many medically important compounds such as antioxidants and anticancer and antimalarial drugs, all of which have been produced microbially. While a biosynthetic pathway could be simply transferred to the production host, the titers would become economically feasible when it is rationally designed, built, and optimized through synthetic biology tools. These tools have been implemented by a number of research groups, with new tools pledging further improvements in yields and expansion to new medically relevant compounds. This review focuses on the microbial production of isoprenoids for the health industry and the advancements though synthetic biology. PMID:23577007

  3. Hydrogen production from microbial strains

    DOEpatents

    Harwood, Caroline S; Rey, Federico E

    2012-09-18

    The present invention is directed to a method of screening microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. This method involves inoculating one or more microbes in a sample containing cell culture medium to form an inoculated culture medium. The inoculated culture medium is then incubated under hydrogen producing conditions. Once incubating causes the inoculated culture medium to produce hydrogen, microbes in the culture medium are identified as candidate microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. Methods of producing hydrogen using one or more of the microbial strains identified as well as the hydrogen producing strains themselves are also disclosed.

  4. Microbial production of scleroglucan and downstream processing.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Natalia A; Valdez, Alejandra L; Fariña, Julia I

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic petroleum-based polymers and natural plant polymers have the disadvantage of restricted sources, in addition to the non-biodegradability of the former ones. In contrast, eco-sustainable microbial polysaccharides, of low-cost and standardized production, represent an alternative to address this situation. With a strong global market, they attracted worldwide attention because of their novel and unique physico-chemical properties as well as varied industrial applications, and many of them are promptly becoming economically competitive. Scleroglucan, a β-1,3-β-1,6-glucan secreted by Sclerotium fungi, exhibits high potential for commercialization and may show different branching frequency, side-chain length, and/or molecular weight depending on the producing strain or culture conditions. Water-solubility, viscosifying ability and wide stability over temperature, pH and salinity make scleroglucan useful for different biotechnological (enhanced oil recovery, food additives, drug delivery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, biocompatible materials, etc.), and biomedical (immunoceutical, antitumor, etc.) applications. It can be copiously produced at bioreactor scale under standardized conditions, where a high exopolysaccharide concentration normally governs the process optimization. Operative and nutritional conditions, as well as the incidence of scleroglucan downstream processing will be discussed in this chapter. The relevance of using standardized inocula from selected strains and experiences concerning the intricate scleroglucan scaling-up will be also herein outlined. PMID:26528259

  5. Microbial production of scleroglucan and downstream processing

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Natalia A.; Valdez, Alejandra L.; Fariña, Julia I.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic petroleum-based polymers and natural plant polymers have the disadvantage of restricted sources, in addition to the non-biodegradability of the former ones. In contrast, eco-sustainable microbial polysaccharides, of low-cost and standardized production, represent an alternative to address this situation. With a strong global market, they attracted worldwide attention because of their novel and unique physico-chemical properties as well as varied industrial applications, and many of them are promptly becoming economically competitive. Scleroglucan, a β-1,3-β-1,6-glucan secreted by Sclerotium fungi, exhibits high potential for commercialization and may show different branching frequency, side-chain length, and/or molecular weight depending on the producing strain or culture conditions. Water-solubility, viscosifying ability and wide stability over temperature, pH and salinity make scleroglucan useful for different biotechnological (enhanced oil recovery, food additives, drug delivery, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, biocompatible materials, etc.), and biomedical (immunoceutical, antitumor, etc.) applications. It can be copiously produced at bioreactor scale under standardized conditions, where a high exopolysaccharide concentration normally governs the process optimization. Operative and nutritional conditions, as well as the incidence of scleroglucan downstream processing will be discussed in this chapter. The relevance of using standardized inocula from selected strains and experiences concerning the intricate scleroglucan scaling-up will be also herein outlined. PMID:26528259

  6. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production

    PubMed Central

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  7. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production.

    PubMed

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  8. The potential of a polyphasic PCR-dGGE approach in evaluating microbial diversity of natural whey cultures for water-buffalo Mozzarella cheese production: bias of culture-dependent and culture-independent analyses.

    PubMed

    Ercolini, D; Moschetti, G; Blaiotta, G; Coppola, S

    2001-12-01

    A polyphasic PCR-DGGE approach was used to describe the microbial population occurring in natural whey cultures (NWCs) for water-buffalo Mozzarella cheese production. Total microbial community was assessed without cultivation by analyzing DNA directly extracted from the original samples of NWC. In addition, DNA extracted from bulks of cells formed by harvesting colonies from the serial dilution agar plates of a variety of culture media was used to profile the "cultivable" community. The 16S rDNA V3 region was amplified using DNA from NWC as well as DNA from bulks as templates and the amplicons were separated by DGGE. The microbial entities occurring in NWCs were identified by partial 16S rDNA sequencing of DGGE bands: four lactic acid bacteria (LAB) closest relative of Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactococcus lactis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii and Lactobacillus crispatus were revealed by the analysis of DNA directly extracted from NWC while two other LAB, Lactobacillus fermentum and Enterococcus faecalis, were identified by analyzing DNA from the cultivable community. The developed PCR-DGGE analysis of the "cultivable" community showed good potential in evaluating microbial diversity of a dairy environment: it usefully highlighted the bias introduced by selective amplification when compared to the analysis of the total community from NWC and allowed suitability of media and growth conditions to be evaluated. Moreover, it could be used to complete the culture independent study of microbial diversity to give information on concentration ratios among species occurring in a particular environment and can be proposed for rapid identification of dominant microorganisms in alternative to traditional tools.

  9. Production of novel microbial biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microorganisms are well known to produce a wide variety of biobased polymers. These biopolymers have found a wide range of commercial uses, including food, feed, and consumer and industrial products. The production and possible uses of several novel biopolymers from both bacteria and fungi will be d...

  10. Tuning microbial hosts for membrane protein production

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The last four years have brought exciting progress in membrane protein research. Finally those many efforts that have been put into expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins are coming to fruition and enable to solve an ever-growing number of high resolution structures. In the past, many skilful optimization steps were required to achieve sufficient expression of functional membrane proteins. Optimization was performed individually for every membrane protein, but provided insight about commonly encountered bottlenecks and, more importantly, general guidelines how to alleviate cellular limitations during microbial membrane protein expression. Lately, system-wide analyses are emerging as powerful means to decipher cellular bottlenecks during heterologous protein production and their use in microbial membrane protein expression has grown in popularity during the past months. This review covers the most prominent solutions and pitfalls in expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins using microbial hosts (prokaryotes, yeasts), highlights skilful applications of our basic understanding to improve membrane protein production. Omics technologies provide new concepts to engineer microbial hosts for membrane protein production. PMID:20040113

  11. Microbial bioinformatics for food safety and production

    PubMed Central

    Alkema, Wynand; Boekhorst, Jos; Wels, Michiel

    2016-01-01

    In the production of fermented foods, microbes play an important role. Optimization of fermentation processes or starter culture production traditionally was a trial-and-error approach inspired by expert knowledge of the fermentation process. Current developments in high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies allow developing more rational approaches to improve fermentation processes both from the food functionality as well as from the food safety perspective. Here, the authors thematically review typical bioinformatics techniques and approaches to improve various aspects of the microbial production of fermented food products and food safety. PMID:26082168

  12. Microbial Content of Nonsterile Therapeutic Agents Containing Natural or Seminatural Active Ingredients

    PubMed Central

    Schiller, I.; Kuntscher, H.; Wolff, A.; Nekola, M.

    1968-01-01

    The relationship was investigated between various chemical or pharmaceutical production processes and the extent of microbial contamination, of natural origin, of the resulting products. The products contained active ingredients of vegetable, enzymatic, or animal origin. It was concluded that (i) vegetable products practically free from microbes can be produced if the proper manufacturing steps are taken; (ii) sterilization of the media used to manufacture antibiotics, etc., produces products with little contamination; and (iii) products containing extracts of animal organs require careful refrigeration and addition of preservatives to produce acceptable levels of microbial contamination. PMID:5726165

  13. Maximizing efficiency of rumen microbial protein production

    PubMed Central

    Hackmann, Timothy J.; Firkins, Jeffrey L.

    2015-01-01

    Rumen microbes produce cellular protein inefficiently partly because they do not direct all ATP toward growth. They direct some ATP toward maintenance functions, as long-recognized, but they also direct ATP toward reserve carbohydrate synthesis and energy spilling (futile cycles that dissipate heat). Rumen microbes expend ATP by vacillating between (1) accumulation of reserve carbohydrate after feeding (during carbohydrate excess) and (2) mobilization of that carbohydrate thereafter (during carbohydrate limitation). Protozoa account for most accumulation of reserve carbohydrate, and in competition experiments, protozoa accumulated nearly 35-fold more reserve carbohydrate than bacteria. Some pure cultures of bacteria spill energy, but only recently have mixed rumen communities been recognized as capable of the same. When these communities were dosed glucose in vitro, energy spilling could account for nearly 40% of heat production. We suspect that cycling of glycogen (a major reserve carbohydrate) is a major mechanism of spilling; such cycling has already been observed in single-species cultures of protozoa and bacteria. Interconversions of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) may also expend ATP and depress efficiency of microbial protein production. These interconversions may involve extensive cycling of intermediates, such as cycling of acetate during butyrate production in certain butyrivibrios. We speculate this cycling may expend ATP directly or indirectly. By further quantifying the impact of reserve carbohydrate accumulation, energy spilling, and SCFA interconversions on growth efficiency, we can improve prediction of microbial protein production and guide efforts to improve efficiency of microbial protein production in the rumen. PMID:26029197

  14. Microbial production of fructosyltransferases for synthesis of pre-biotics.

    PubMed

    Maiorano, Alfredo Eduardo; Piccoli, Rosane Moniz; da Silva, Elda Sabino; de Andrade Rodrigues, Maria Filomena

    2008-11-01

    Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are prebiotic substances found in several vegetable or natural foods. The main commercial production of FOS comes from enzymatic transformation of sucrose by the microbial enzyme fructosyltransferase. The development of more efficient enzymes, with high activity and stability, is required and this has attracted the interest of biotechnologists and microbiologists with production by several microorganisms being studied. This article reviews and discusses FOS chemical structure, enzyme characteristics, the nomenclature, producer microorganisms and enzyme production both in solid state fermentation and submerged cultivation.

  15. Natural Products for Antithrombosis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Cen; Zhang, Qian; Wang, Feng-Qin; Hu, Yuan-Jia; Xia, Zhi-Ning

    2015-01-01

    Thrombosis is considered to be closely related to several diseases such as atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease and stroke, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, hyperuricemia, and various inflammatory conditions. More and more studies have been focused on understanding the mechanism of molecular and cellular basis of thrombus formation as well as preventing thrombosis for the treatment of thrombotic diseases. In reality, there is considerable interest in the role of natural products and their bioactive components in the prevention and treatment of thrombosis related disorders. This paper briefly describes the mechanisms of thrombus formation on three aspects, including coagulation system, platelet activation, and aggregation, and change of blood flow conditions. Furthermore, the natural products for antithrombosis by anticoagulation, antiplatelet aggregation, and fibrinolysis were summarized, respectively. PMID:26075003

  16. Natural products as photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Saewan, Nisakorn; Jimtaisong, Ampa

    2015-03-01

    The rise in solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface has led to a depletion of stratospheric ozone over recent decades, thus accelerating the need to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation such as erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and skin cancer. There are many different ways to protect skin against UV radiation's harmful effects. The most popular way to reduce the amount of UV radiation penetrating the skin is topical application of sunscreen products that contain UV absorbing or reflecting active molecules. Based on their protection mechanism, the active molecules in sunscreens are broadly divided into inorganic and organic agents. Inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV and visible radiation, while organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and then re-emit energy as heat or light. These synthetic molecules have limited concentration according to regulation concern. Several natural compounds with UV absorption property have been used to substitute for or to reduce the quantity of synthetic sunscreen agents. In addition to UV absorption property, most natural compounds were found to act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents, which provide further protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation exposure. Compounds derived from natural sources have gained considerable attention for use in sunscreen products and have bolstered the market trend toward natural cosmetics. This adds to the importance of there being a wide selection of active molecules in sunscreen formulations. This paper summarizes a number of natural products derived from propolis, plants, algae, and lichens that have shown potential photoprotection properties against UV radiation exposure-induced skin damage. PMID:25582033

  17. Natural products as photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Saewan, Nisakorn; Jimtaisong, Ampa

    2015-03-01

    The rise in solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth's surface has led to a depletion of stratospheric ozone over recent decades, thus accelerating the need to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation such as erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, photoaging, and skin cancer. There are many different ways to protect skin against UV radiation's harmful effects. The most popular way to reduce the amount of UV radiation penetrating the skin is topical application of sunscreen products that contain UV absorbing or reflecting active molecules. Based on their protection mechanism, the active molecules in sunscreens are broadly divided into inorganic and organic agents. Inorganic sunscreens reflect and scatter UV and visible radiation, while organic sunscreens absorb UV radiation and then re-emit energy as heat or light. These synthetic molecules have limited concentration according to regulation concern. Several natural compounds with UV absorption property have been used to substitute for or to reduce the quantity of synthetic sunscreen agents. In addition to UV absorption property, most natural compounds were found to act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory agents, which provide further protection against the damaging effects of UV radiation exposure. Compounds derived from natural sources have gained considerable attention for use in sunscreen products and have bolstered the market trend toward natural cosmetics. This adds to the importance of there being a wide selection of active molecules in sunscreen formulations. This paper summarizes a number of natural products derived from propolis, plants, algae, and lichens that have shown potential photoprotection properties against UV radiation exposure-induced skin damage.

  18. Towards commercial production of microbial surfactants.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Soumen; Das, Palashpriya; Sen, Ramkrishna

    2006-11-01

    Biosurfactants or microbial surfactants are surface-active biomolecules that are produced by a variety of microorganisms. Biosurfactants have gained importance in the fields of enhanced oil recovery, environmental bioremediation, food processing and pharmaceuticals owing to their unique properties--higher biodegradability, lower toxicity, and effectiveness at extremes of temperature, pH and salinity. However, large-scale production of these molecules has not been realized because of low yields in production processes and high recovery and purification costs. This article describes some practical approaches that have been adopted to make the biosurfactant production process economically attractive: these include the use of cheaper raw materials, optimized and efficient bioprocesses and overproducing mutant and recombinant strains for obtaining maximum productivity. The application of these strategies in biosurfactant production processes, particularly those using hyper-producing recombinant strains in the optimally controlled environment of a bioreactor, might lead towards the successful commercial production of these valuable and versatile biomolecules in near future.

  19. Natural selection for costly nutrient recycling in simulated microbial metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Richard A; Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2012-11-01

    Recycling of essential nutrients occurs at scales from microbial communities to global biogeochemical cycles, often in association with ecological interactions in which two or more species utilise each others' metabolic by-products. However, recycling loops may be unstable; sequences of reactions leading to net recycling may be parasitised by side-reactions causing nutrient loss, while some reactions in any closed recycling loop are likely to be costly to participants. Here we examine the stability of nutrient recycling loops in an individual-based ecosystem model based on microbial functional types that differ in their metabolism. A supplied nutrient is utilised by a "source" functional type, generating a secondary nutrient that is subsequently used by two other types-a "mutualist" that regenerates the initial nutrient at a growth rate cost, and a "parasite" that produces a refractory waste product but does not incur any additional cost. The three functional types are distributed across a metacommunity in which separate patches are linked by a stochastic diffusive migration process. Regions of high mutualist abundance feature high levels of nutrient recycling and increased local population density leading to greater export of individuals, allowing the source-mutualist recycling loop to spread across the system. Individual-level selection favouring parasites is balanced by patch-level selection for high productivity, indirectly favouring mutualists due to the synergistic productivity benefits of the recycling loop they support. This suggests that multi-level selection may promote nutrient cycling and thereby help to explain the apparent ubiquity and stability of nutrient recycling in nature.

  20. Microbial production strategies and applications of lycopene and other terpenoids.

    PubMed

    Ma, Tian; Deng, Zixin; Liu, Tiangang

    2016-01-01

    Terpenoids are a large class of compounds that have far-reaching applications and economic value, particularly those most commonly found in plants; however, the extraction and synthesis of these compounds is often expensive and technically challenging. Recent advances in microbial metabolic engineering comprise a breakthrough that may enable the efficient, cost-effective production of these limited natural resources. Via the engineering of safe, industrial microorganisms that encode product-specific enzymes, and even entire metabolic pathways of interest, microbial-derived semisynthetic terpenoids may soon replace plant-derived terpenoids as the primary source of these valuable compounds. Indeed, the recent metabolic engineering of an Escherichia coli strain that produces the precursor to lycopene, a commercially and medically important compound, with higher yields than those in tomato plants serves as a successful example. Here, we review the recent developments in the metabolic engineering of microbes for the production of certain terpenoid compounds, particularly lycopene, which has been increasingly used in pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, and cosmetics. Furthermore, we summarize the metabolic engineering strategies used to achieve successful microbial production of some similar compounds. Based on this overview, there is a reason to believe that metabolic engineering comprises an optimal approach for increasing the production of lycopene and other terpenoids. PMID:26715120

  1. Microbial biomass and productivity in seagrass beds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moriarty, D. J.; Boon, P. I.; Hansen, J. A.; Hunt, W. G.; Poiner, I. R.; Pollard, P. C.; Skyring, G. W.; White, D. C.

    1985-01-01

    Different methods for measuring the rates of processes mediated by bacteria in sediments and the rates of bacterial cell production have been compared. In addition, net production of the seagrass Zostera capricorni and bacterial production have been compared and some interrelationships with the nitrogen cycle discussed. Seagrass productivity was estimated by measuring the plastochrone interval using a leaf stapling technique. The average productivity over four seasons was 1.28 +/- 0.28 g C m-2 day-1 (mean +/- standard deviation, n = 4). Bacterial productivity was measured five times throughout a year using the rate of tritiated thymidine incorporated into DNA. Average values were 33 +/- 12 mg C m-2 day-1 for sediment and 23 +/- 4 for water column (n = 5). Spatial variability between samples was greater than seasonal variation for both seagrass productivity and bacterial productivity. On one occasion, bacterial productivity was measured using the rate of 32P incorporated into phospholipid. The values were comparable to those obtained with tritiated thymidine. The rate of sulfate reduction was 10 mmol SO4(-2) m-2 day-1. The rate of methanogenesis was low, being 5.6 mg CH4 produced m-2 day-1. A comparison of C flux measured using rates of sulfate reduction and DNA synthesis indicated that anaerobic processes were predominant in these sediments. An analysis of microbial biomass and community structure, using techniques of phospholipid analysis, showed that bacteria were predominant members of the microbial biomass and that of these, strictly anaerobic bacteria were the main components. Ammonia concentration in interstitial water varied from 23 to 71 micromoles. Estimates of the amount of ammonia required by seagrass showed that the ammonia would turn over about once per day. Rapid recycling of nitrogen by bacteria and bacterial grazers is probably important.

  2. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2015-02-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2013 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 982 citations (644 for the period January to December 2013) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1163 for 2013), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included.

  3. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2016-03-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2014 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 1116 citations (753 for the period January to December 2014) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1378 in 456 papers for 2014), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included.

  4. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2014-01-17

    This review covers the literature published in 2012 for marine natural products, with 1035 citations (673 for the period January to December 2012) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1241 for 2012), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:24389707

  5. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2015-02-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2013 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 982 citations (644 for the period January to December 2013) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1163 for 2013), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:25620233

  6. Marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Blunt, John W; Copp, Brent R; Keyzers, Robert A; Munro, Murray H G; Prinsep, Michèle R

    2016-03-01

    This review covers the literature published in 2014 for marine natural products (MNPs), with 1116 citations (753 for the period January to December 2014) referring to compounds isolated from marine microorganisms and phytoplankton, green, brown and red algae, sponges, cnidarians, bryozoans, molluscs, tunicates, echinoderms, mangroves and other intertidal plants and microorganisms. The emphasis is on new compounds (1378 in 456 papers for 2014), together with the relevant biological activities, source organisms and country of origin. Reviews, biosynthetic studies, first syntheses, and syntheses that lead to the revision of structures or stereochemistries, have been included. PMID:26837534

  7. Utilization of wastewater originated from naturally fermented virgin coconut oil manufacturing process for bioextract production: physico-chemical and microbial evolution.

    PubMed

    Tripetchkul, Sudarut; Kusuwanwichid, Sasithorn; Koonsrisuk, Songpon; Akeprathumchai, Saengchai

    2010-08-01

    Production of virgin coconut oil via natural fermentation has led to large amount of wastes being generated, i.e., coconut pulp and wastewater containing coconut crème. Objective of this study is to gain more insight into the feasibility of utilization of such wastes as raw materials together with several types of wastes such as fish waste and/or pineapple peel for bioextract production. Chemical, physico-chemical and biological changes including phytotoxicity of the fermented mixture were closely monitored. Physical observation suggested that fermentation of bioextract obtained with fish waste appeared to be complete within the first month of fermentation while bioextract obtained using pineapple waste seemed to be complete after 8 months post-fermentation. Fermentation broth is of blackish color with alcoholic as well as acidic odour with no gas bubble and/or yeast film present on top of the surface. During the whole fermentation interval, several attributes of both bioextracts, e.g., pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and organic acids, were statistically different. Further, the total bacteria and lactic acid bacteria present in pineapple bioextract were statistically higher than those of the fish bioextract (p<0.01). The highest germination indices of 123 and 106 were obtained at 21 and 14 days post-fermentation for fish and pineapple bioextracts, respectively. In addition, qualities of both bioextracts conformed well with those specified by the Thai standard for liquid biofertilizer after 1 month fermentation. Results further showed that wastewater derived from virgin coconut oil manufacturing process could effectively be employed together with other types of wastes such as fish waste and pineapple peel for bioextract production. However, for the best bioextract quality, fermentation should be carefully planned since over fermentation led to bioextract of low qualities. PMID:20362440

  8. [Microbial silage production from eviscerated fish].

    PubMed

    Bello, R; Cardillo, E; Martínez, R

    1993-09-01

    Microbial fish silage was produced from a mixture of several fish species that belong to the shrimp by-catch. They were mixed with molasses, fruits (pineapple and papaya), sorbate and a starter of Lactobacillus plantarum ATCC8014. Process was evaluated by pH, acidity, consistency, exudate liquid, non-protein nitrogen, total volatile bases, microbial and toxicological tests. Results indicated that acid production and pH reduction occurs during the first two days of processing, later these values were maintained stable during 64 storage days. Total volatile bases increased during storage period. Consistency, non-protein nitrogen and exudate liquid showed that hydrolysis and liquefaction occurs during the first 8 days of processing. Raw material showed high counts of aerobic mesophilic and psicrotrophic organisms, in addition to Pseudomonas, coliform and S. aureus. However silage showed only a few aerobic mesophilic organisms due to low pH values and development of lactic acid bacteria. Silage dehydration reduces possibilities of microbial growth, and only spores of Bacillus were observed. Low levels of lead, mercury and chrome were detected in the dry silage. Proximal analysis values did not change during process and storage period. PMID:8779624

  9. Comparison of microbial communities in Lake Tahoe surface sample with Tonga Trench water column samples using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography - Electrospray Ionization - Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC - ESI - MS) and Global Natural Products Social Molecular Network (GNPS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmonte, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    Intact polar lipids (IPLs) are lipids composed of a head group, a glycerol, and a fatty acid chain that make up the lipid bilayer of cell membranes in living cells; and the varying head groups can be indicative of the type of microbes present in the environment (Van Mooy 2010). So by distinguishing and identifying the IPL distribution in an environment one can make inferences about the microbial communities in the said environment. In this study, we used High Pressure Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization- Mass Spectroscopy (HPLC-ESI-MS) and Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) to compare the IPL distributions of two oligotrophic environments: surface waters of Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the water column of the Tonga Trench in the South Pacific. We hypothesized that the similar nutrient dynamics of the two oligotrophic environments would result in similar eukaryotic and prokaryotic communities, which would be reflected in the IPL composition of suspended particulate organic matter (POM). For simplicity we focused on the classes of IPLs most commonly observed in the marine environment: phosphotidylglycerol (PG), phosphotidylethanolamine (PE), diacylglyceryl-trimethyl-homoserine (DGTS), diacylglyceryl-hydroxymethyl-trimethylalanine (DGTA), sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG), monoglycosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and diglycosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG). Our results showed that all of the marine IPLs of interest were present in Lake Tahoe which confirms that there are many of the same microbial communities in the fresh waters of Lake Tahoe and the salt waters Tonga Trench.

  10. Computational approaches to natural product discovery.

    PubMed

    Medema, Marnix H; Fischbach, Michael A

    2015-09-01

    Starting with the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering longstanding questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions.

  11. Computational approaches to natural product discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    From the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data, and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering long-standing questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions. PMID:26284671

  12. Biodegradation potential of a modified natural product

    SciTech Connect

    Sajjad, W.

    1996-12-31

    Biodegradation potential of a modified natural product for treating petroleum contaminated soils was investigated along with some commercially available microbial cultures in three different scales from a laboratory to pilot to case studies. The modified natural product is lignocellulosic in nature and proprietary product of a company in Iowa. The production process of this product involves mechanical size reduction, blending/coating, and aerobic digestion of hay, corn cob residue, straw or crop residue in presence of poultry manure. The degradation kinetics of the petroleum products in the contaminated soils were measured both directly and indirectly. Residual petroleum products in different soils (treated and untreated) at various time periods were quantified by gas chromatographic (GC) analysis on extracted samples. The indirect assessment of the kinetics of biological activity involved the measurement of CO{sub 2} evolved from flasks (250 ml capacity) containing contaminated soil (about 50 ml) with various treatments. The results indicated that the biodegradation kinetics of petroleum products in the contaminated soils were significantly improved by treatment with this modified natural product. In most cases tested, this product performed significantly better than the available commercial bacterial cultures for biological removal of petroleum products from contaminated soils. This study also demonstrated the significance of temperature and moisture content in biodegradation kinetics.

  13. Widespread non-microbial methane production by organic compounds and the impact of environmental stresses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhi-Ping; Chang, Scott X.; Chen, Hua; Han, Xing-Guo

    2013-12-01

    Non-microbial methane (CH4) production is more pervasive in nature than previously thought, but it has received less attention than microbial CH4 production. Non-microbial CH4 is produced commonly by an instantaneous reaction involving organic compounds under environmental stresses, without enzymatic catalysis by methanogenic archaea. In addition to the widely known sources of non-microbial CH4, i.e., energy usage, biomass burning, and geological emissions, non-microbial CH4 emissions from plants, animals, fungi, soils, and surface waters of oceans have been recently reported. In most ecosystems, microbial and non-microbial CH4 production co-occur and/or alternate depending on the conditions, and thus CH4 emission in terrestrial ecosystems represents a mixture of microbial and non-microbial CH4 production. Global CH4 emission was estimated at 582 Tg yr- 1 over the 2000-2004 period, where geological sources of non-microbial CH4 were not included. When geological sources are included, total emissions will likely not increase but its partition among the individual sources would change, and emissions of non-microbial CH4 might account for approximately 40% of the global total. This fraction would slightly increase if non-microbial CH4 emissions of plants, animals, fungi and soils in terrestrial ecosystems and surface waters of oceans are considered, although no global estimates for those fractions currently exist. The stable isotope signatures of C and H in CH4 may be a useful tool for identifying the source of CH4. Based on this review of the literature, we conclude that non-microbial CH4 production may occur in any organism or dead organic matter when organic compounds are exposed to environmental stresses.

  14. Innate and cytokine-driven signals, rather than microbial antigens, dominate in natural killer T cell activation during microbial infection

    PubMed Central

    Tatituri, Raju V.V.; Watts, Gerald F.M.; Bhowruth, Veemal; Leadbetter, Elizabeth A.; Barton, Nathaniel; Cohen, Nadia R.; Hsu, Fong-Fu; Besra, Gurdyal S.

    2011-01-01

    Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) are critical for host defense against a variety of microbial pathogens. However, the central question of how iNKT cells are activated by microbes has not been fully explained. The example of adaptive MHC-restricted T cells, studies using synthetic pharmacological α-galactosylceramides, and the recent discovery of microbial iNKT cell ligands have all suggested that recognition of foreign lipid antigens is the main driver for iNKT cell activation during infection. However, when we compared the role of microbial antigens versus innate cytokine-driven mechanisms, we found that iNKT cell interferon-γ production after in vitro stimulation or infection with diverse bacteria overwhelmingly depended on toll-like receptor–driven IL-12. Importantly, activation of iNKT cells in vivo during infection with Sphingomonas yanoikuyae or Streptococcus pneumoniae, pathogens which are known to express iNKT cell antigens and which require iNKT cells for effective protection, also predominantly depended on IL-12. Constitutive expression of high levels of IL-12 receptor by iNKT cells enabled instant IL-12–induced STAT4 activation, demonstrating that among T cells, iNKT cells are uniquely equipped for immediate, cytokine-driven activation. These findings reveal that innate and cytokine-driven signals, rather than cognate microbial antigen, dominate in iNKT cell activation during microbial infections. PMID:21555485

  15. Stable isotope fractionation of selenium by natural microbial consortia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, A.S.; Johnson, T.M.; Herbel, M.J.; Bullen, T.D.

    2003-01-01

    The mobility and bioavailability of Se depend on its redox state, and reduction of Se oxyanions to less mobile, reduced species controls transport of this potentially toxic element in the environment. Stable isotope fractionation of Se is currently being developed as an indicator of Se immobilization through reduction. In this study, Se isotope fractionation resulting from reduction of Se(VI) and Se(IV) oxyanions by natural microbial consortia was measured in sediment slurry experiments under nearly natural conditions, with no substrate added. Experiments were conducted with a wide range of initial Se concentrations and with sediment and water from three locations with contrasting environmental settings. The products of Se(VI) and Se(IV) reduction were enriched in the lighter isotopes relative to the reactants. Shifts of -2.6??? to -3.1??? and -5.5??? to -5.7???, respectively, were observed in the 80Se/76Se ratio. These isotopic fractionations did not depend significantly on initial Se concentrations, which were varied from 22 ??g/l to 8 mg/l, or on geochemical differences among the sediments. These results provide estimates of Se isotope fractionation in organic-rich wetland environments but may not be appropriate for substrate-poor aquifers and marine sediments. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Natural Products for Cancer Prevention

    PubMed Central

    Greenlee, Heather

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES To review the clinical trial literature on the use and effects of natural products for cancer prevention. DATA SOURCES Clinical trials published in PubMed. CONCLUSION There is a growing body of literature on the use of natural products for cancer prevention. To date, few trials have demonstrated conclusive benefit. Current guidelines recommend against the use of natural products for cancer prevention. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE Clinicians should ask patients about their use of natural products and motivations for use. If patients are using natural products specifically for cancer prevention, they should be counseled on the current guidelines, as well as their options for other cancer prevention strategies. PMID:22281308

  17. Microbial protein production: maximizing protein production efficiency in Space habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clauwaert, Peter; Alloul, Abbas; Muys, Maarten; Sui, Yixing; Boon, Nico; Luther, Amanda; Christiaens, Marlies E. R.; Ilgrande, Chiara; Lindeboom, Ralph E. F.; Rabaey, Korneel; Vlaeminck, Siegfried

    2016-07-01

    On top of the goal of a closed material cycle for Space habitats or deep Space missions with food production, extreme requirements apply to such Life Support Systems (LSS) in terms of mass, volume, crew time, energy consumption and controllability. Although relatively high water recovery efficiencies (~70-90%) can be achieved, all Space missions until now have relied on terrestrial food resupply and thus no nutrient recovery has been achieved so far. Researchers and Space agencies have typically been focussing on the cultivation of higher plants to produce food for crew members for future Space LSS. It can be assumed that the required surface area (50-500 m2 per crew member), plant evaporation rates (~200 kg per crew member per day), power consumption (~65 kW per crew member) and the degree of controllability of a higher plant compartment will have a great impact on the feasibility of realizing a future closed loop LSS in Space for the first time. As the food production density is so critical in a LSS, a combination of higher plant cultivation and microbial protein production might increase the chances of success of future Space LSS's since the production densities are significantly higher. Higher plants in Space LSS's would typically have an average specific protein production rate in the order of 0-4 kg protein m-3 year-1 (calculated from Do, Owens et al. (2016)), whereas bacterial biomass can be produced continuously at a rate up to ~1000 kg protein m-3 year-1. Several routes for microbial food production will be discussed in this presentation, ranging from aerobic heterotrophic production with for instance Candida ingens (Strayer, Finger et al. 1997), photoheterotrophic production with PNSB such as Rhodospirillum rubrum (Hendrickx, De Wever et al. 2006) and hydrogenotrophic production with HOB such as Cupriavidus necator (Matassa, Boon et al. 2015)) and photoautotrophic production of oxygen and microbial food (e.g. Arthrospira sp. (Hendrickx, De Wever et al

  18. Microbial production of antioxidant food ingredients via metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yuheng; Jain, Rachit; Yan, Yajun

    2014-04-01

    Antioxidants are biological molecules with the ability to protect vital metabolites from harmful oxidation. Due to this fascinating role, their beneficial effects on human health are of paramount importance. Traditional approaches using solvent-based extraction from food/non-food sources and chemical synthesis are often expensive, exhaustive, and detrimental to the environment. With the advent of metabolic engineering tools, the successful reconstitution of heterologous pathways in Escherichia coli and other microorganisms provides a more exciting and amenable alternative to meet the increasing demand of natural antioxidants. In this review, we elucidate the recent progress in metabolic engineering efforts for the microbial production of antioxidant food ingredients - polyphenols, carotenoids, and antioxidant vitamins.

  19. Carbonate Precipitation through Microbial Activities in Natural Environment, and Their Potential in Biotechnology: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Tingting; Dittrich, Maria

    2016-01-01

    Calcium carbonate represents a large portion of carbon reservoir and is used commercially for a variety of applications. Microbial carbonate precipitation, a by-product of microbial activities, plays an important metal coprecipitation and cementation role in natural systems. This natural process occurring in various geological settings can be mimicked and used for a number of biotechnologies, such as metal remediation, carbon sequestration, enhanced oil recovery, and construction restoration. In this study, different metabolic activities leading to calcium carbonate precipitation, their native environment, and potential applications and challenges are reviewed. PMID:26835451

  20. Counteraction of antibiotic production and degradation stabilizes microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Kelsic, Eric D.; Zhao, Jeffrey; Vetsigian, Kalin; Kishony, Roy

    2015-01-01

    Summary A major challenge in theoretical ecology is understanding how natural microbial communities support species diversity1-8, and in particular how antibiotic producing, sensitive and resistant species coexist9-15. While cyclic “rock-paper-scissors” interactions can stabilize communities in spatial environments9-11, coexistence in unstructured environments remains an enigma12,16. Here, using simulations and analytical models, we show that the opposing actions of antibiotic production and degradation enable coexistence even in well-mixed environments. Coexistence depends on 3-way interactions where an antibiotic degrading species attenuates the inhibitory interactions between two other species. These 3-way interactions enable coexistence that is robust to substantial differences in inherent species growth rates and to invasion by “cheating” species that cease producing or degrading antibiotics. At least two antibiotics are required for stability, with greater numbers of antibiotics enabling more complex communities and diverse dynamical behaviors ranging from stable fixed-points to limit cycles and chaos. Together, these results show how multi-species antibiotic interactions can generate ecological stability in both spatial and mixed microbial communities, suggesting strategies for engineering synthetic ecosystems and highlighting the importance of toxin production and degradation for microbial biodiversity. PMID:25992546

  1. Microbial products from sweet potato wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Nghiem, N.P.

    1982-01-01

    Microbial production of methane from alkaline sweet potato wastes was studied. Assessment of methane production potential was based on total COD of the wastes. A single-stage and a two-stage system were studied. In both systems, to ensure stable operation and high performance, methane fermenters had to be initially seeded with large quantities of methane formers. A 50% inoculum (based on total fermenter volume) was found to be most effective. Methane formers tended to aggregate to form spherical particles which had extremely high settling rates, this eliminated the requirement of cell recycle. In both single-stage and two-stage systems the rates of gas production was sufficiently fast to induce thorough mixing of the fermenter contents. At low residence times of two and four days the two-stage system achieved significantly higher conversions. Gas production started almost immediately after feeding the methane fermenter of the two-stage system. The conversions in the methane fermenter of a two-stage system could be predicted by a model based on Contois' kinetics. The composition of the gas produced in this fermenter could also be predicted from the distribution of the organic acids in the effluent from the acid fermenter. The acid formation stage was studied in a chemostat operated at a fixed residence time of 5.5 hours. The highest yield of 0.09 g protein/g glucose consumed was obtained at pH 5.5 and 37/sup 0/C.

  2. Microbial production of spider silk proteins.

    PubMed

    Fahnestock, S R; Yao, Z; Bedzyk, L A

    2000-08-01

    The remarkable properties of spider dragline silk and related protein polymers will find many applications if the materials can be produced economically. We have demonstrated the production of high molecular weight spider dragline silk analog proteins encoded by synthetic genes in several microbial systems, including Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris. In E. coli, proteins of up to 1000 amino acids in length could be produced efficiently, but the yield and homogeneity of higher molecular weight silk proteins were found to be limited by truncated synthesis, probably as a result of ribosome termination errors. No such phenomenon was observed in the yeast P. pastoris, where higher molecular weight silk proteins could be produced without heterogeneity due to truncated synthesis. Spider dragline silk analog proteins could be secreted by P. pastoris when fused to both the signal sequence and N-terminal pro-sequence of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha-mating factor gene. PMID:11763501

  3. Strategies to diagnose and control microbial souring in natural gas storage reservoirs and produced water systems

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, E.A.; Derr, R.M.; Pope, D.H.

    1995-12-31

    Hydrogen sulfide production (souring) in natural gas storage reservoirs and produced water systems is a safety and environmental problem that can lead to operational shutdown when local hydrogen sulfide standards are exceeded. Systems affected by microbial souring have historically been treated using biocides that target the general microbial community. However, requirements for more environmentally friendly solutions have led to treatment strategies in which sulfide production can be controlled with minimal impact to the system and environment. Some of these strategies are based on microbial and/or nutritional augmentation of the sour environment. Through research sponsored by the Gas Research Institute (GRI) in Chicago, Illinois, methods have been developed for early detection of microbial souring in natural gas storage reservoirs, and a variety of mitigation strategies have been evaluated. The effectiveness of traditional biocide treatment in gas storage reservoirs was shown to depend heavily on the methods by which the chemical is applied. An innovative strategy using nitrate was tested and proved ideal for produced water and wastewater systems. Another strategy using elemental iodine was effective for sulfide control in evaporation ponds and is currently being tested in microbially sour natural gas storage wells.

  4. Microbial granulation for lactic acid production.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong-Hoon; Lee, Mo-Kwon; Hwang, Yuhoon; Im, Wan-Taek; Yun, Yeo-Myeong; Park, Chul; Kim, Mi-Sun

    2016-01-01

    This work investigated the formation of microbial granules to boost the productivity of lactic acid (LA). The flocculated form of LA-producing microbial consortium, dominated by Lactobacillus sp. (91.5% of total sequence), was initially obtained in a continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR), which was fed with 2% glucose and operated at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 12 h and pH 5.0 ± 0.1 under a thermophilic condition (50°C). The mixed liquor in the CSTR was then transferred to an up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor (UASB). The fermentation performance and granulation process were monitored with a gradual decrease of HRT from 8.0 to 0.17 h, corresponding to an increase in the substrate loading from 60 to 2,880 g glucose L(-1) d(-1) . As the operation continued, the accumulation of biomass in the UASB was clearly observed, which changed from flocculent to granular form with decrease in HRT. Up to the HRT decrease to 0.5 h, the LA concentration was maintained at 19-20 g L(-1) with over 90% of substrate removal efficiency. However, further decrease of HRT resulted in a decrease of LA concentration with increase in residual glucose. Nevertheless, the volumetric LA productivity continuously increased, reaching 67 g L-fermenter (-1) h(-1) at HRT 0.17 h. The size of LA-producing granules and hydrophobicity gradually increased with decrease in HRT, reaching 6.0 mm and 60%, respectively. These biogranules were also found to have high settling velocities and low porosities, ranging 2.69-4.73 cm s(-1) and 0.39-0.92, respectively.

  5. Natural product discovery: past, present, and future.

    PubMed

    Katz, Leonard; Baltz, Richard H

    2016-03-01

    Microorganisms have provided abundant sources of natural products which have been developed as commercial products for human medicine, animal health, and plant crop protection. In the early years of natural product discovery from microorganisms (The Golden Age), new antibiotics were found with relative ease from low-throughput fermentation and whole cell screening methods. Later, molecular genetic and medicinal chemistry approaches were applied to modify and improve the activities of important chemical scaffolds, and more sophisticated screening methods were directed at target disease states. In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical industry moved to high-throughput screening of synthetic chemical libraries against many potential therapeutic targets, including new targets identified from the human genome sequencing project, largely to the exclusion of natural products, and discovery rates dropped dramatically. Nonetheless, natural products continued to provide key scaffolds for drug development. In the current millennium, it was discovered from genome sequencing that microbes with large genomes have the capacity to produce about ten times as many secondary metabolites as was previously recognized. Indeed, the most gifted actinomycetes have the capacity to produce around 30-50 secondary metabolites. With the precipitous drop in cost for genome sequencing, it is now feasible to sequence thousands of actinomycete genomes to identify the "biosynthetic dark matter" as sources for the discovery of new and novel secondary metabolites. Advances in bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and gene expression are driving the new field of microbial genome mining for applications in natural product discovery and development.

  6. Natural product discovery: past, present, and future.

    PubMed

    Katz, Leonard; Baltz, Richard H

    2016-03-01

    Microorganisms have provided abundant sources of natural products which have been developed as commercial products for human medicine, animal health, and plant crop protection. In the early years of natural product discovery from microorganisms (The Golden Age), new antibiotics were found with relative ease from low-throughput fermentation and whole cell screening methods. Later, molecular genetic and medicinal chemistry approaches were applied to modify and improve the activities of important chemical scaffolds, and more sophisticated screening methods were directed at target disease states. In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical industry moved to high-throughput screening of synthetic chemical libraries against many potential therapeutic targets, including new targets identified from the human genome sequencing project, largely to the exclusion of natural products, and discovery rates dropped dramatically. Nonetheless, natural products continued to provide key scaffolds for drug development. In the current millennium, it was discovered from genome sequencing that microbes with large genomes have the capacity to produce about ten times as many secondary metabolites as was previously recognized. Indeed, the most gifted actinomycetes have the capacity to produce around 30-50 secondary metabolites. With the precipitous drop in cost for genome sequencing, it is now feasible to sequence thousands of actinomycete genomes to identify the "biosynthetic dark matter" as sources for the discovery of new and novel secondary metabolites. Advances in bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and gene expression are driving the new field of microbial genome mining for applications in natural product discovery and development. PMID:26739136

  7. Biohydrogen production: strategies to improve process efficiency through microbial routes.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekhar, Kuppam; Lee, Yong-Jik; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The current fossil fuel-based generation of energy has led to large-scale industrial development. However, the reliance on fossil fuels leads to the significant depletion of natural resources of buried combustible geologic deposits and to negative effects on the global climate with emissions of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, enormous efforts are directed to transition from fossil fuels to nonpolluting and renewable energy sources. One potential alternative is biohydrogen (H2), a clean energy carrier with high-energy yields; upon the combustion of H2, H2O is the only major by-product. In recent decades, the attractive and renewable characteristics of H2 led us to develop a variety of biological routes for the production of H2. Based on the mode of H2 generation, the biological routes for H2 production are categorized into four groups: photobiological fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, enzymatic and microbial electrolysis, and a combination of these processes. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the evaluation of the biological routes for the production of H2. In particular, we assess the efficiency and feasibility of these bioprocesses with respect to the factors that affect operations, and we delineate the limitations. Additionally, alternative options such as bioaugmentation, multiple process integration, and microbial electrolysis to improve process efficiency are discussed to address industrial-level applications.

  8. Biohydrogen production: strategies to improve process efficiency through microbial routes.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekhar, Kuppam; Lee, Yong-Jik; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The current fossil fuel-based generation of energy has led to large-scale industrial development. However, the reliance on fossil fuels leads to the significant depletion of natural resources of buried combustible geologic deposits and to negative effects on the global climate with emissions of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, enormous efforts are directed to transition from fossil fuels to nonpolluting and renewable energy sources. One potential alternative is biohydrogen (H2), a clean energy carrier with high-energy yields; upon the combustion of H2, H2O is the only major by-product. In recent decades, the attractive and renewable characteristics of H2 led us to develop a variety of biological routes for the production of H2. Based on the mode of H2 generation, the biological routes for H2 production are categorized into four groups: photobiological fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, enzymatic and microbial electrolysis, and a combination of these processes. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the evaluation of the biological routes for the production of H2. In particular, we assess the efficiency and feasibility of these bioprocesses with respect to the factors that affect operations, and we delineate the limitations. Additionally, alternative options such as bioaugmentation, multiple process integration, and microbial electrolysis to improve process efficiency are discussed to address industrial-level applications. PMID:25874756

  9. Biohydrogen Production: Strategies to Improve Process Efficiency through Microbial Routes

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekhar, Kuppam; Lee, Yong-Jik; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    The current fossil fuel-based generation of energy has led to large-scale industrial development. However, the reliance on fossil fuels leads to the significant depletion of natural resources of buried combustible geologic deposits and to negative effects on the global climate with emissions of greenhouse gases. Accordingly, enormous efforts are directed to transition from fossil fuels to nonpolluting and renewable energy sources. One potential alternative is biohydrogen (H2), a clean energy carrier with high-energy yields; upon the combustion of H2, H2O is the only major by-product. In recent decades, the attractive and renewable characteristics of H2 led us to develop a variety of biological routes for the production of H2. Based on the mode of H2 generation, the biological routes for H2 production are categorized into four groups: photobiological fermentation, anaerobic fermentation, enzymatic and microbial electrolysis, and a combination of these processes. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the evaluation of the biological routes for the production of H2. In particular, we assess the efficiency and feasibility of these bioprocesses with respect to the factors that affect operations, and we delineate the limitations. Additionally, alternative options such as bioaugmentation, multiple process integration, and microbial electrolysis to improve process efficiency are discussed to address industrial-level applications. PMID:25874756

  10. Microbial consortia for hydrogen production enhancement.

    PubMed

    Rajhi, Haifa; Díaz, Emiliano E; Rojas, Patricia; Sanz, José L

    2013-07-01

    Ten efficient hydrogen-producing strains affiliated to the Clostridium genus were used to develop consortia for hydrogen production. In order to determine their saccharolytic and proteolytic activities, glucose and meat extract were tested as fermentation substrates, and the best hydrogen-producing strains were selected. The C. roseum H5 (glucose-consuming) and C. butyricum R4 (protein-degrading) co-culture was the best hydrogen-producing co-culture. The end-fermentation products for the axenic cultures and co-cultures were analyzed. In all cases, organic acids, mainly butyrate and acetate, were produced lowering the pH and thus inhibiting further hydrogen production. In order to replace the need for reducing agents for the anaerobic growth of clostridia, a microbial consortium including Clostridium spp. and an oxygen-consuming microorganism able to form dense granules (Streptomyces sp.) was created. Increased yields of hydrogen were achieved. The effect of adding a butyrate-degrading bacteria and an acetate-consuming archaea to the consortia was also studied.

  11. Antibiotics: natural products essential to human health.

    PubMed

    Demain, Arnold L

    2009-11-01

    For more than 50 years, natural products have served us well in combating infectious bacteria and fungi. Microbial and plant secondary metabolites helped to double our life span during the 20th century, reduced pain and suffering, and revolutionized medicine. Most antibiotics are either (i) natural products of microorganisms, (ii) semi-synthetically produced from natural products, or (iii) chemically synthesized based on the structure of the natural products. Production of antibiotics began with penicillin in the late 1940s and proceeded with great success until the 1970-1980s when it became harder and harder to discover new and useful products. Furthermore, resistance development in pathogens became a major problem, which is still with us today. In addition, new pathogens are continually emerging and there are still bacteria that are not eliminated by any antibiotic, e.g., Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition to these problems, many of the major pharmaceutical companies have abandoned the antibiotic field, leaving much of the discovery efforts to small companies, new companies, and the biotechnology industries. Despite these problems, development of new antibiotics has continued, albeit at a much lower pace than in the last century. We have seen the (i) appearance of newly discovered antibiotics (e.g., candins), (ii) development of old but unutilized antibiotics (e.g., daptomycin), (iii) production of new semi-synthetic versions of old antibiotics (e.g., glycylcyclines, streptogrammins), as well as the (iv) very useful application of old but underutilized antibiotics (e.g., teicoplanin).

  12. Microbial diversity — exploration of natural ecosystems and microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are the pillars of life on Earth. Over billions of years, they have evolved into every conceivable niche on the planet. Microbes reshaped the oceans and atmosphere and gave rise to conditions conducive to multicellular organisms. Only in the past decade have we started to peer deeply into the microbial cosmos, and what we have found is amazing. Microbial ecosystems behave, in many ways, like large-scale ecosystems, although there are important exceptions. We review recent advances in our understanding of how microbial diversity is distributed across environments, how microbes influence the ecosystems in which they live, and how these nanomachines might be harnessed to advance our understanding of the natural world. PMID:26598941

  13. Supramolecular complexations of natural products.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Hans-Jörg; Agrawal, Pawan; Yatsimirsky, Anatoly K

    2013-08-21

    Complexations of natural products with synthetic receptors as well as the use of natural products as host compounds are reviewed, with an emphasis on possible practical uses or on biomedical significance. Applications such as separation, sensing, enzyme monitoring, and protection of natural drugs are first outlined. We then discuss examples of complexes with all important classes of natural compounds, such as amino acids, peptides, nucleosides/nucleotides, carbohydrates, catecholamines, flavonoids, terpenoids/steroids, alkaloids, antibiotics and toxins. PMID:23703643

  14. Genomic Prospecting for Microbial Biodiesel Production

    SciTech Connect

    Lykidis, Athanasios; Lykidis, Athanasios; Ivanova, Natalia

    2008-03-20

    Biodiesel is defined as fatty acid mono-alkylesters and is produced from triacylglycerols. In the current article we provide an overview of the structure, diversity and regulation of the metabolic pathways leading to intracellular fatty acid and triacylglycerol accumulation in three types of organisms (bacteria, algae and fungi) of potential biotechnological interest and discuss possible intervention points to increase the cellular lipid content. The key steps that regulate carbon allocation and distribution in lipids include the formation of malonyl-CoA, the synthesis of fatty acids and their attachment onto the glycerol backbone, and the formation of triacylglycerols. The lipid biosynthetic genes and pathways are largely known for select model organisms. Comparative genomics allows the examination of these pathways in organisms of biotechnological interest and reveals the evolution of divergent and yet uncharacterized regulatory mechanisms. Utilization of microbial systems for triacylglycerol and fatty acid production is in its infancy; however, genomic information and technologies combined with synthetic biology concepts provide the opportunity to further exploit microbes for the competitive production of biodiesel.

  15. 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.

  16. Engineering Microbial Cells for the Biosynthesis of Natural Compounds of Pharmaceutical Significance

    PubMed Central

    Jeandet, Philippe; Vasserot, Yann; Chastang, Thomas; Courot, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Microbes constitute important platforms for the biosynthesis of numerous molecules of pharmaceutical interest such as antitumor, anticancer, antiviral, antihypertensive, antiparasitic, antioxidant, immunological agents, and antibiotics as well as hormones, belonging to various chemical families, for instance, terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polyketides, amines, and proteins. Engineering microbial factories offers rich opportunities for the production of natural products that are too complex for cost-effective chemical synthesis and whose extraction from their originating plants needs the use of many solvents. Recent progresses that have been made since the millennium beginning with metabolic engineering of microorganisms for the biosynthesis of natural products of pharmaceutical significance will be reviewed. PMID:23710459

  17. Microbial pigments as natural color sources: current trends and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Tuli, Hardeep S; Chaudhary, Prachi; Beniwal, Vikas; Sharma, Anil K

    2015-08-01

    Synthetic colors have been widely used in various industries including food, textile, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals. However toxicity problems caused by synthetic pigments have triggered intense research in natural colors and dyes. Among the natural Sources, pigment producing microorganisms hold a promising potential to meet present day challenges. Furthermore natural colors not only improve the marketability of the product but also add extra features like anti oxidant, anti cancer properties etc. In this review, we present various sources of microbial pigments and to explore their biological and clinical properties like antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer and anti inflammatory. The study also emphasizes upon key parameters to improve the bioactivity and production of microbial pigments for their commercial use in pharmacological and medical fields. PMID:26243889

  18. Microbial pigments as natural color sources: current trends and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Tuli, Hardeep S; Chaudhary, Prachi; Beniwal, Vikas; Sharma, Anil K

    2015-08-01

    Synthetic colors have been widely used in various industries including food, textile, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals. However toxicity problems caused by synthetic pigments have triggered intense research in natural colors and dyes. Among the natural Sources, pigment producing microorganisms hold a promising potential to meet present day challenges. Furthermore natural colors not only improve the marketability of the product but also add extra features like anti oxidant, anti cancer properties etc. In this review, we present various sources of microbial pigments and to explore their biological and clinical properties like antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer and anti inflammatory. The study also emphasizes upon key parameters to improve the bioactivity and production of microbial pigments for their commercial use in pharmacological and medical fields.

  19. Microbial production of organic acids: expanding the markets.

    PubMed

    Sauer, Michael; Porro, Danilo; Mattanovich, Diethard; Branduardi, Paola

    2008-02-01

    Microbial production of organic acids is a promising approach for obtaining building-block chemicals from renewable carbon sources. Although some acids have been produced for some time and in-depth knowledge of these microbial production processes has been gained, further microbial production processes seem to be feasible, but large-scale production has not yet been possible. Citric, lactic and succinic acid production exemplify three processes in different stages of industrial development. Although the questions being addressed by current research on these processes are diverging, a comparison is helpful for understanding microbial organic acid production in general. In this article, through analysis of the current advances in production of these acids, we present guidelines for future developments in this fast-moving field. PMID:18191255

  20. Microbial fuel cells and microbial ecology: applications in ruminant health and production research.

    PubMed

    Bretschger, Orianna; Osterstock, Jason B; Pinchak, William E; Ishii, Shun'ichi; Nelson, Karen E

    2010-04-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H(2)) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H(2)in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H(2) plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H(2) partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research.

  1. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Ecology: Applications in Ruminant Health and Production Research

    PubMed Central

    Osterstock, Jason B.; Pinchak, William E.; Ishii, Shun’ichi; Nelson, Karen E.

    2009-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H2in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H2 plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H2 partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research. PMID:20024685

  2. Coastal Microbial Mat Diversity along a Natural Salinity Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Bolhuis, Henk; Fillinger, Lucas; Stal, Lucas J.

    2013-01-01

    The North Sea coast of the Dutch barrier island of Schiermonnikoog is covered by microbial mats that initiate a succession of plant communities that eventually results in the development of a densely vegetated salt marsh. The North Sea beach has a natural elevation running from the low water mark to the dunes resulting in gradients of environmental factors perpendicular to the beach. These gradients are due to the input of seawater at the low water mark and of freshwater from upwelling groundwater at the dunes and rainfall. The result is a natural and dynamic salinity gradient depending on the tide, rainfall and wind. We studied the microbial community composition in thirty three samples taken every ten meters along this natural salinity gradient by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of rRNA gene fragments. We looked at representatives from each Domain of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya) and with a particular emphasis on Cyanobacteria. Analysis of the DGGE fingerprints together with pigment composition revealed three distinct microbial mat communities, a marine community dominated by diatoms as primary producers, an intermediate brackish community dominated by Cyanobacteria as primary producers and a freshwater community with Cyanobacteria and freshwater green algae. PMID:23704895

  3. Increased biogas production using microbial stimulants.

    PubMed

    Singh, S; Kumar, S; Jain, M C; Kumar, D

    2001-07-01

    Laboratory studies were undertaken to evaluate the effect of microbial stimulants Aquasan and Teresan, on biogas yields from cattle dung and combined residues of cattle dung and kitchen waste, respectively. The addition of single dose of Aquasan at the rate of 10, 15 and 20 ppm to cattle dung on the first day of incubation resulted in increased gas yields ranging between 45.1 and 62.1 l/kg dry matter. Subsequent addition of Aquasan at 15 and 20 ppm dosage after a period of 15 days increased the gas yields by 15-16%. The gas production was found to be optimum at a dosage level of 15 ppm and was 39% and 55% higher with single and dual additions, respectively, than untreated cattle dung. In another bench scale study (1:1 dry matter) the addition of Teresan at 10 ppm concentration to the mixed residues of cattle dung and kitchen wastes at different solids concentration, produced 34.8% more gas (272.4 l/kg d.m.) than the uninoculated mixture at 15% TS concentration (202.4 l/kg d.m.).

  4. Increased biogas production using microbial stimulants.

    PubMed

    Singh, S; Kumar, S; Jain, M C; Kumar, D

    2001-07-01

    Laboratory studies were undertaken to evaluate the effect of microbial stimulants Aquasan and Teresan, on biogas yields from cattle dung and combined residues of cattle dung and kitchen waste, respectively. The addition of single dose of Aquasan at the rate of 10, 15 and 20 ppm to cattle dung on the first day of incubation resulted in increased gas yields ranging between 45.1 and 62.1 l/kg dry matter. Subsequent addition of Aquasan at 15 and 20 ppm dosage after a period of 15 days increased the gas yields by 15-16%. The gas production was found to be optimum at a dosage level of 15 ppm and was 39% and 55% higher with single and dual additions, respectively, than untreated cattle dung. In another bench scale study (1:1 dry matter) the addition of Teresan at 10 ppm concentration to the mixed residues of cattle dung and kitchen wastes at different solids concentration, produced 34.8% more gas (272.4 l/kg d.m.) than the uninoculated mixture at 15% TS concentration (202.4 l/kg d.m.). PMID:11341694

  5. Microbial Community Structure of Three Traditional Zambian Fermented Products: Mabisi, Chibwantu and Munkoyo

    PubMed Central

    Schoustra, Sijmen E.; Kasase, Chitundu; Toarta, Cristian; Kassen, Rees; Poulain, Alexandre J.

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, raw materials are converted into fermented food products through microbial and enzymatic activity. Products are typically produced using a process known as batch culture, where small volumes of an old culture are used to initiate a fresh culture. Repeated over many years, and provided samples are not shared among producers, batch culture techniques allow for the natural evolution of independent microbial ecosystems. While these products form an important part of the diets of many people because of their nutritional, organoleptic and food safety properties, for many traditional African fermented products the microbial communities responsible for fermentation are largely unknown. Here we describe the microbial composition of three traditional fermented non-alcoholic beverages that are widely consumed across Zambia: the milk based product Mabisi and the cereal based products Munkoyo and Chibwantu. Using culture and non-culture based techniques, we found that six to eight lactic acid bacteria predominate in all products. We then used this data to investigate in more detail the factors affecting community structure. We found that products made from similar raw materials do not harbor microbial communities that are more similar to each other than those made from different raw materials. We also found that samples from the same product taken at the same location were as different from each other in terms of microbial community structure and composition, as those from geographically very distant locations. These results suggest that microbial community structure in these products is neither a simple consequence of the raw materials used, nor the particular suite of microbes available in the environment but that anthropogenic variables (e.g., competition among sellers or organoleptic preferences by different tribes) are important in shaping the microbial community structures. PMID:23691123

  6. Microbial community structure of three traditional zambian fermented products: mabisi, chibwantu and munkoyo.

    PubMed

    Schoustra, Sijmen E; Kasase, Chitundu; Toarta, Cristian; Kassen, Rees; Poulain, Alexandre J

    2013-01-01

    Around the world, raw materials are converted into fermented food products through microbial and enzymatic activity. Products are typically produced using a process known as batch culture, where small volumes of an old culture are used to initiate a fresh culture. Repeated over many years, and provided samples are not shared among producers, batch culture techniques allow for the natural evolution of independent microbial ecosystems. While these products form an important part of the diets of many people because of their nutritional, organoleptic and food safety properties, for many traditional African fermented products the microbial communities responsible for fermentation are largely unknown. Here we describe the microbial composition of three traditional fermented non-alcoholic beverages that are widely consumed across Zambia: the milk based product Mabisi and the cereal based products Munkoyo and Chibwantu. Using culture and non-culture based techniques, we found that six to eight lactic acid bacteria predominate in all products. We then used this data to investigate in more detail the factors affecting community structure. We found that products made from similar raw materials do not harbor microbial communities that are more similar to each other than those made from different raw materials. We also found that samples from the same product taken at the same location were as different from each other in terms of microbial community structure and composition, as those from geographically very distant locations. These results suggest that microbial community structure in these products is neither a simple consequence of the raw materials used, nor the particular suite of microbes available in the environment but that anthropogenic variables (e.g., competition among sellers or organoleptic preferences by different tribes) are important in shaping the microbial community structures.

  7. Natural Products as Molecular Messengers*

    PubMed Central

    Meinwald, Jerrold

    2011-01-01

    The chemistry of naturally-occurring compounds has long been pursued in the search for medicines, dyes, pesticides, flavors, and fragrances. In addition, the deeper aim of understanding life itself as a chemical phenomenon has motivated generations of scientists. One consequence of such studies has been the realization that natural products often serve central roles as biological signaling agents. We consider natural products from the viewpoint of the organisms that produce and/or respond to them, and suggest how a naturally-occurring compound may acquire its role in chemical communication. PMID:21190370

  8. Recognition of Microbial Glycolipids by Natural Killer T Cells.

    PubMed

    Zajonc, Dirk M; Girardi, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    T cells can recognize microbial antigens when presented by dedicated antigen-presenting molecules. While peptides are presented by classical members of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) family (MHC I and II), lipids, glycolipids, and lipopeptides can be presented by the non-classical MHC member, CD1. The best studied subset of lipid-reactive T cells are type I natural killer T (iNKT) cells that recognize a variety of different antigens when presented by the non-classical MHCI homolog CD1d. iNKT cells have been shown to be important for the protection against various microbial pathogens, including B. burgdorferi, the causative agents of Lyme disease, and S. pneumoniae, which causes pneumococcal meningitis and community-acquired pneumonia. Both pathogens carry microbial glycolipids that can trigger the T cell antigen receptor (TCR), leading to iNKT cell activation. iNKT cells have an evolutionary conserved TCR alpha chain, yet retain the ability to recognize structurally diverse glycolipids. They do so using a conserved recognition mode, in which the TCR enforces a conserved binding orientation on CD1d. TCR binding is accompanied by structural changes within the TCR binding site of CD1d, as well as the glycolipid antigen itself. In addition to direct recognition of microbial antigens, iNKT cells can also be activated by a combination of cytokines (IL-12/IL-18) and TCR stimulation. Many microbes carry TLR antigens, and microbial infections can lead to TLR activation. The subsequent cytokine response in turn lower the threshold of TCR-mediated iNKT cell activation, especially when weak microbial or even self-antigens are presented during the cause of the infection. In summary, iNKT cells can be directly activated through TCR triggering of strong antigens, while cytokines produced by the innate immune response may be necessary for TCR triggering and iNKT cell activation in the presence of weak antigens. Here, we will review the molecular basis of iNKT cell

  9. Recognition of Microbial Glycolipids by Natural Killer T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zajonc, Dirk M.; Girardi, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    T cells can recognize microbial antigens when presented by dedicated antigen-presenting molecules. While peptides are presented by classical members of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) family (MHC I and II), lipids, glycolipids, and lipopeptides can be presented by the non-classical MHC member, CD1. The best studied subset of lipid-reactive T cells are type I natural killer T (iNKT) cells that recognize a variety of different antigens when presented by the non-classical MHCI homolog CD1d. iNKT cells have been shown to be important for the protection against various microbial pathogens, including B. burgdorferi, the causative agents of Lyme disease, and S. pneumoniae, which causes pneumococcal meningitis and community-acquired pneumonia. Both pathogens carry microbial glycolipids that can trigger the T cell antigen receptor (TCR), leading to iNKT cell activation. iNKT cells have an evolutionary conserved TCR alpha chain, yet retain the ability to recognize structurally diverse glycolipids. They do so using a conserved recognition mode, in which the TCR enforces a conserved binding orientation on CD1d. TCR binding is accompanied by structural changes within the TCR binding site of CD1d, as well as the glycolipid antigen itself. In addition to direct recognition of microbial antigens, iNKT cells can also be activated by a combination of cytokines (IL-12/IL-18) and TCR stimulation. Many microbes carry TLR antigens, and microbial infections can lead to TLR activation. The subsequent cytokine response in turn lower the threshold of TCR-mediated iNKT cell activation, especially when weak microbial or even self-antigens are presented during the cause of the infection. In summary, iNKT cells can be directly activated through TCR triggering of strong antigens, while cytokines produced by the innate immune response may be necessary for TCR triggering and iNKT cell activation in the presence of weak antigens. Here, we will review the molecular basis of iNKT cell

  10. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Interactions in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems.

    PubMed

    Perez-Garcia, Octavio; Lear, Gavin; Singhal, Naresh

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches to characterize metabolic interactions within microbial communities using Stoichiometric Metabolic Network (SMN) models for applications in environmental and industrial biotechnology. SMN models are computational tools used to evaluate the metabolic engineering potential of various organisms. They have successfully been applied to design and optimize the microbial production of antibiotics, alcohols and amino acids by single strains. To date however, such models have been rarely applied to analyze and control the metabolism of more complex microbial communities. This is largely attributed to the diversity of microbial community functions, metabolisms, and interactions. Here, we firstly review different types of microbial interaction and describe their relevance for natural and engineered environmental processes. Next, we provide a general description of the essential methods of the SMN modeling workflow including the steps of network reconstruction, simulation through Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), experimental data gathering, and model calibration. Then we broadly describe and compare four approaches to model microbial interactions using metabolic networks, i.e., (i) lumped networks, (ii) compartment per guild networks, (iii) bi-level optimization simulations, and (iv) dynamic-SMN methods. These approaches can be used to integrate and analyze diverse microbial physiology, ecology and molecular community data. All of them (except the lumped approach) are suitable for incorporating species abundance data but so far they have been used only to model simple communities of two to eight different species. Interactions based on substrate exchange and competition can be directly modeled using the above approaches. However, interactions based on metabolic feedbacks, such as product inhibition and synthropy require extensions to current models, incorporating gene regulation and compounding accumulation mechanisms. SMN models of microbial interactions can

  11. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Interactions in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Garcia, Octavio; Lear, Gavin; Singhal, Naresh

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches to characterize metabolic interactions within microbial communities using Stoichiometric Metabolic Network (SMN) models for applications in environmental and industrial biotechnology. SMN models are computational tools used to evaluate the metabolic engineering potential of various organisms. They have successfully been applied to design and optimize the microbial production of antibiotics, alcohols and amino acids by single strains. To date however, such models have been rarely applied to analyze and control the metabolism of more complex microbial communities. This is largely attributed to the diversity of microbial community functions, metabolisms, and interactions. Here, we firstly review different types of microbial interaction and describe their relevance for natural and engineered environmental processes. Next, we provide a general description of the essential methods of the SMN modeling workflow including the steps of network reconstruction, simulation through Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), experimental data gathering, and model calibration. Then we broadly describe and compare four approaches to model microbial interactions using metabolic networks, i.e., (i) lumped networks, (ii) compartment per guild networks, (iii) bi-level optimization simulations, and (iv) dynamic-SMN methods. These approaches can be used to integrate and analyze diverse microbial physiology, ecology and molecular community data. All of them (except the lumped approach) are suitable for incorporating species abundance data but so far they have been used only to model simple communities of two to eight different species. Interactions based on substrate exchange and competition can be directly modeled using the above approaches. However, interactions based on metabolic feedbacks, such as product inhibition and synthropy require extensions to current models, incorporating gene regulation and compounding accumulation mechanisms. SMN models of microbial interactions can

  12. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Interactions in Natural and Engineered Environmental Systems.

    PubMed

    Perez-Garcia, Octavio; Lear, Gavin; Singhal, Naresh

    2016-01-01

    We review approaches to characterize metabolic interactions within microbial communities using Stoichiometric Metabolic Network (SMN) models for applications in environmental and industrial biotechnology. SMN models are computational tools used to evaluate the metabolic engineering potential of various organisms. They have successfully been applied to design and optimize the microbial production of antibiotics, alcohols and amino acids by single strains. To date however, such models have been rarely applied to analyze and control the metabolism of more complex microbial communities. This is largely attributed to the diversity of microbial community functions, metabolisms, and interactions. Here, we firstly review different types of microbial interaction and describe their relevance for natural and engineered environmental processes. Next, we provide a general description of the essential methods of the SMN modeling workflow including the steps of network reconstruction, simulation through Flux Balance Analysis (FBA), experimental data gathering, and model calibration. Then we broadly describe and compare four approaches to model microbial interactions using metabolic networks, i.e., (i) lumped networks, (ii) compartment per guild networks, (iii) bi-level optimization simulations, and (iv) dynamic-SMN methods. These approaches can be used to integrate and analyze diverse microbial physiology, ecology and molecular community data. All of them (except the lumped approach) are suitable for incorporating species abundance data but so far they have been used only to model simple communities of two to eight different species. Interactions based on substrate exchange and competition can be directly modeled using the above approaches. However, interactions based on metabolic feedbacks, such as product inhibition and synthropy require extensions to current models, incorporating gene regulation and compounding accumulation mechanisms. SMN models of microbial interactions can

  13. Soil water fluctuations: microbial community responses and CO2 production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Placella, S.; Brodie, E. L.; Firestone, M. K.; Lennon, J. T.

    2012-12-01

    Water availability is one of the primary controllers of microbial activity in soils. Likely even more important to microbial activity than static values of soil water potential are changes in soil water potential; changes in soil water potential may trigger pulses of or cross thresholds for microbial activity. How do increases and declines in soil water potential affect microbial activity and rates of carbon dioxide (CO2) production from soil? While extremely dry soils have very low rates of CO2 production, wetting of dry soil is known to initiate a large CO2 pulse known as the Birch effect. We studied this pulse in two California annual grassland soils while concurrently monitoring microbial resuscitation. We also examined the impacts of reduced rainfall in a successional grassland in Michigan, with a focus on changes in microbial activity during a dry down period. In both systems we used relative RNA quantity to identify when different microorganisms were relatively more active. Upon wetting of dry soil, we found that the large CO2 pulse occurred during the resuscitation of the microbial community. We identified three resuscitation strategies (rapid, intermediate and delayed responders) and found that they are phylogenetically conserved, with related organisms displaying the same strategy. During a soil dry down event, we found a decline in the rate of CO2 production from soils and examined the concurrent change in the microbial community during this 7-day period. We also investigated how a summer of greater water potential fluctuation, due to reduced rainfall, impacted the stability of the microbial community. Our results demonstrate that changes in water potential can drive changes in microbial activity, leading to serious implications for soil CO2 production.

  14. Natural products in crop protection.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Franck E; Cantrell, Charles L; Duke, Stephen O

    2009-06-15

    The tremendous increase in crop yields associated with the 'green' revolution has been possible in part by the discovery and utilization of chemicals for pest control. However, concerns over the potential impact of pesticides on human health and the environment has led to the introduction of new pesticide registration procedures, such as the Food Quality Protection Act in the United States. These new regulations have reduced the number of synthetic pesticides available in agriculture. Therefore, the current paradigm of relying almost exclusively on chemicals for pest control may need to be reconsidered. New pesticides, including natural product-based pesticides are being discovered and developed to replace the compounds lost due to the new registration requirements. This review covers the historical use of natural products in agricultural practices, the impact of natural products on the development of new pesticides, and the future prospects for natural products-based pest management.

  15. The Structural Biology of Enzymes Involved in Natural Product Glycosylation

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Shanteri; Phillips, George N.

    2012-01-01

    The glycosylation of microbial natural products often dramatically influences the biological and/or pharmacological activities of the parental metabolite. Over the past decade, crystal structures of several enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and attachment of novel sugars found appended to natural products have emerged. In many cases, these studies have paved the way to a better understanding of the corresponding enzyme mechanism of action and have served as a starting point for engineering variant enzymes to facilitate to production of differentially-glycosylated natural products. This review specifically summarizes the structural studies of bacterial enzymes involved in biosynthesis of novel sugar nucleotides. PMID:22688446

  16. Unconventional food regeneration in space - Opportunities for microbial food production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petersen, Gene R.; Schubert, Wayne W.; Seshan, P. K.; Dunlop, Eric H.

    1987-01-01

    The possible role of microbial species in regenerating food is considered, and three areas where microbial systems can be used in controlled ecological life support systems are discussed. Microbial species can serve as the biological portion of hybrid chemical/biological schemes for primary food products, as a means more fully to utilize waste materials from agronomical food production, and as a source of nutritional supplements to conventional plant foods. Work accomplished in each of these areas is described. The role of microgravity fermenters in this technology is addressed.

  17. Microbial production of short-chain alkanes.

    PubMed

    Choi, Yong Jun; Lee, Sang Yup

    2013-10-24

    Increasing concerns about limited fossil fuels and global environmental problems have focused attention on the need to develop sustainable biofuels from renewable resources. Although microbial production of diesel has been reported, production of another much in demand transport fuel, petrol (gasoline), has not yet been demonstrated. Here we report the development of platform Escherichia coli strains that are capable of producing short-chain alkanes (SCAs; petrol), free fatty acids (FFAs), fatty esters and fatty alcohols through the fatty acyl (acyl carrier protein (ACP)) to fatty acid to fatty acyl-CoA pathway. First, the β-oxidation pathway was blocked by deleting the fadE gene to prevent the degradation of fatty acyl-CoAs generated in vivo. To increase the formation of short-chain fatty acids suitable for subsequent conversion to SCAs in vivo, the activity of 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase (FabH), which is inhibited by unsaturated fatty acyl-ACPs, was enhanced to promote the initiation of fatty acid biosynthesis by deleting the fadR gene; deletion of the fadR gene prevents upregulation of the fabA and fabB genes responsible for unsaturated fatty acids biosynthesis. A modified thioesterase was used to convert short-chain fatty acyl-ACPs to the corresponding FFAs, which were then converted to SCAs by the sequential reactions of E. coli fatty acyl-CoA synthetase, Clostridium acetobutylicum fatty acyl-CoA reductase and Arabidopsis thaliana fatty aldehyde decarbonylase. The final engineered strain produced up to 580.8 mg l(-1) of SCAs consisting of nonane (327.8 mg l(-1)), dodecane (136.5 mg l(-1)), tridecane (64.8 mg l(-1)), 2-methyl-dodecane (42.8 mg l(-1)) and tetradecane (8.9 mg l(-1)), together with small amounts of other hydrocarbons. Furthermore, this platform strain could produce short-chain FFAs using a fadD-deleted strain, and short-chain fatty esters by introducing the Acinetobacter sp. ADP1 wax ester synthase (atfA) and the E. coli mutant

  18. Proteogenomic Approaches for the Molecular Characterization of Natural Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Banfield, Jillian F.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Thelen, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS2) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of genetic

  19. Autologous transplant: microbial contamination of hematopoietic stem cell products.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Igor Dullius; Schmalfuss, Tissiana; Röhsig, Liane Marise; Goldani, Luciano Zubaran

    2012-01-01

    Hematopoietic progenitor cells from peripheral blood (HPCPB) are commonly used for autologous and allogenic transplants in patients with most various onco-hematological diseases, and despite the utilization of sterile techniques during collection and processing of these products, bacterial contamination can occur. This study aimed to investigate the microbial contamination of HPCPB products. Microbial cultures of 837 HPCPB products between the year 2000 and 2009 were retrospectively analyzed to determine the incidence of culture positivity and identify the main organisms that cause contamination. The microbiological studies were performed with an automated system (BacT/Alert(®) bioMérieux Corporate). Thirty-six (4.3%) of 837 microbial cultures were contaminated. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus was the most frequent bacteria isolated from HPCPB products (20 [56%] of the 36 positive microbial cultures). Considering the 36 contaminated samples, 22 HPCPB products were infused and 14 discarded. Pre- and post-infusion antibiotic therapy of the patients transfused with contaminated products was established based on the isolated microorganism and its antibiogram. Microbial contamination rate of HPCPB products was low. Clinically significant outcomes after infusion of contaminated HPCPB products were not observed. PMID:22846122

  20. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production.

    PubMed

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-02-01

    High-throughput, 'next-generation' sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems. PMID:26773388

  1. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production

    PubMed Central

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-01-01

    High-throughput, ‘next-generation’ sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems. PMID:26773388

  2. A new perspective on microbial landscapes within food production.

    PubMed

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Lewis, Zachery T; Boundy-Mills, Kyria; Mills, David A

    2016-02-01

    High-throughput, 'next-generation' sequencing tools offer many exciting new possibilities for food research. From investigating microbial dynamics within food fermentations to the ecosystem of the food-processing built environment, amplicon sequencing, metagenomics, and transcriptomics present novel applications for exploring microbial communities in, on, and around our foods. This review discusses the many uses of these tools for food-related and food facility-related research and highlights where they may yield nuanced insight into the microbial world of food production systems.

  3. Carboxylases in Natural and Synthetic Microbial Pathways▿†

    PubMed Central

    Erb, Tobias J.

    2011-01-01

    Carboxylases are among the most important enzymes in the biosphere, because they catalyze a key reaction in the global carbon cycle: the fixation of inorganic carbon (CO2). This minireview discusses the physiological roles of carboxylases in different microbial pathways that range from autotrophy, carbon assimilation, and anaplerosis to biosynthetic and redox-balancing functions. In addition, the current and possible future uses of carboxylation reactions in synthetic biology are discussed. Such uses include the possible transformation of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into value-added compounds and the production of novel antibiotics. PMID:22003013

  4. Natural Products as Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Erin E.

    2010-01-01

    Natural products have evolved to encompass a broad spectrum of chemical and functional diversity. It is this diversity, along with their structural complexity, that enables nature’s small molecules to target a nearly limitless number of biological macromolecules and to often do so in a highly selective fashion. Because of these characteristics, natural products have seen great success as therapeutic agents. However, this vast pool of compounds holds much promise beyond the development of future drugs. These features also make them ideal tools for the study of biological systems. Recent examples of the use of natural products and their derivatives as chemical probes to explore biological phenomena and assemble biochemical pathways are presented here. PMID:20509672

  5. Synthesis of Polycyclic Natural Products

    SciTech Connect

    Tuan Hoang Nguyen

    2003-05-31

    With the continuous advancements in molecular biology and modern medicine, organic synthesis has become vital to the support and extension of those discoveries. The isolations of new natural products allow for the understanding of their biological activities and therapeutic value. Organic synthesis is employed to aid in the determination of the relationship between structure and function of these natural products. The development of synthetic methodologies in the course of total syntheses is imperative for the expansion of this highly interdisciplinary field of science. In addition to the practical applications of total syntheses, the structural complexity of natural products represents a worthwhile challenge in itself. The pursuit of concise and efficient syntheses of complex molecules is both gratifying and enjoyable.

  6. A microbial biomanufacturing platform for natural and semisynthetic opioids.

    PubMed

    Thodey, Kate; Galanie, Stephanie; Smolke, Christina D

    2014-10-01

    Opiates and related molecules are medically essential, but their production via field cultivation of opium poppy Papaver somniferum leads to supply inefficiencies and insecurity. As an alternative production strategy, we developed baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a microbial host for the transformation of opiates. Yeast strains engineered to express heterologous genes from P. somniferum and bacterium Pseudomonas putida M10 convert thebaine to codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. We discovered a new biosynthetic branch to neopine and neomorphine, which diverted pathway flux from morphine and other target products. We optimized strain titer and specificity by titrating gene copy number, enhancing cosubstrate supply, applying a spatial engineering strategy and performing high-density fermentation, which resulted in total opioid titers up to 131 mg/l. This work is an important step toward total biosynthesis of valuable benzylisoquinoline alkaloid drug molecules and demonstrates the potential for developing a sustainable and secure yeast biomanufacturing platform for opioids. PMID:25151135

  7. A microbial biomanufacturing platform for natural and semisynthetic opioids.

    PubMed

    Thodey, Kate; Galanie, Stephanie; Smolke, Christina D

    2014-10-01

    Opiates and related molecules are medically essential, but their production via field cultivation of opium poppy Papaver somniferum leads to supply inefficiencies and insecurity. As an alternative production strategy, we developed baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a microbial host for the transformation of opiates. Yeast strains engineered to express heterologous genes from P. somniferum and bacterium Pseudomonas putida M10 convert thebaine to codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone and oxycodone. We discovered a new biosynthetic branch to neopine and neomorphine, which diverted pathway flux from morphine and other target products. We optimized strain titer and specificity by titrating gene copy number, enhancing cosubstrate supply, applying a spatial engineering strategy and performing high-density fermentation, which resulted in total opioid titers up to 131 mg/l. This work is an important step toward total biosynthesis of valuable benzylisoquinoline alkaloid drug molecules and demonstrates the potential for developing a sustainable and secure yeast biomanufacturing platform for opioids.

  8. Microbial response to single-cell protein production and brewery wastewater treatment.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jackson Z; Logan, Andrew; Terry, Seth; Spear, John R

    2015-01-01

    As global fisheries decline, microbial single-cell protein (SCP) produced from brewery process water has been highlighted as a potential source of protein for sustainable animal feed. However, biotechnological investigation of SCP is difficult because of the natural variation and complexity of microbial ecology in wastewater bioreactors. In this study, we investigate microbial response across a full-scale brewery wastewater treatment plant and a parallel pilot bioreactor modified to produce an SCP product. A pyrosequencing survey of the brewery treatment plant showed that each unit process selected for a unique microbial community. Notably, flow equalization basins were dominated by Prevotella, methanogenesis effluent had the highest levels of diversity, and clarifier wet-well samples were sources of sequences for the candidate bacterial phyla of TM7 and BD1-5. Next, the microbial response of a pilot bioreactor producing SCP was tracked over 1 year, showing that two different production trials produced two different communities originating from the same starting influent. However, SCP production resulted generally in enrichment of several clades of rhizospheric diazotrophs of Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in the bioreactor and even more so in the final product. These diazotrophs are potentially useful as the basis of a SCP product for commercial feed production. PMID:24837420

  9. Microbial response to single-cell protein production and brewery wastewater treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jackson Z; Logan, Andrew; Terry, Seth; Spear, John R

    2015-01-01

    As global fisheries decline, microbial single-cell protein (SCP) produced from brewery process water has been highlighted as a potential source of protein for sustainable animal feed. However, biotechnological investigation of SCP is difficult because of the natural variation and complexity of microbial ecology in wastewater bioreactors. In this study, we investigate microbial response across a full-scale brewery wastewater treatment plant and a parallel pilot bioreactor modified to produce an SCP product. A pyrosequencing survey of the brewery treatment plant showed that each unit process selected for a unique microbial community. Notably, flow equalization basins were dominated by Prevotella, methanogenesis effluent had the highest levels of diversity, and clarifier wet-well samples were sources of sequences for the candidate bacterial phyla of TM7 and BD1-5. Next, the microbial response of a pilot bioreactor producing SCP was tracked over 1 year, showing that two different production trials produced two different communities originating from the same starting influent. However, SCP production resulted generally in enrichment of several clades of rhizospheric diazotrophs of Alphaproteobacteria and Betaproteobacteria in the bioreactor and even more so in the final product. These diazotrophs are potentially useful as the basis of a SCP product for commercial feed production. PMID:24837420

  10. A versatile and robust aerotolerant microbial community capable of cellulosic ethanol production.

    PubMed

    Ronan, Patrick; Yeung, C William; Schellenberg, John; Sparling, Richard; Wolfaardt, Gideon M; Hausner, Martina

    2013-02-01

    The use of microbial communities in the conversion of cellulosic materials to bio-ethanol has the potential to improve the economic competitiveness of this biofuel and subsequently lessen our dependency on fossil fuel-based energy sources. Interactions between functionally different microbial groups within a community can expand habitat range, including the creation of anaerobic microenvironments. Currently, research focussing on exploring the nature of the interactions occurring during cellulose degradation and ethanol production within mixed microbial communities has been limited. The aim of this study was to enrich and characterize a cellulolytic bacterial community, and determine if ethanol is a major soluble end-product. Cellulolytic activity by the community was observed in both non-reduced and pre-reduced media, with ethanol and acetate being major fermentation products. Similar results were obtained when sterile wastewater extract was provided as nutrient. Several community members showed high similarity to Clostridium species with overlapping metabolic capabilities, suggesting clostridial functional redundancy.

  11. EIA's Natural Gas Production Data

    EIA Publications

    2009-01-01

    This special report examines the stages of natural gas processing from the wellhead to the pipeline network through which the raw product becomes ready for transportation and eventual consumption, and how this sequence is reflected in the data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

  12. Natural products: DNA double whammy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gates, Kent S.

    2014-06-01

    The lomaiviticins are exceedingly potent antibiotic agents, but the mechanism responsible for this activity has so far been unclear. Now, efficient generation of double-strand breaks in DNA by lomaiviticin A has been linked to the remarkable cytotoxicity of these diazobenzofluorene-containg natural products.

  13. Natural and Heterologous Production of Bacteriocins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cintas, Luis M.; Herranz, Carmen; Hernández, Pablo E.

    Bacteriocins are ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides produced by bacteria, and their use as natural and nontoxic food preservatives has been the source of considerable interest for the research community. In addition, bacteriocins have been investigated for their potential use in human and veterinary applications and in the animal production field. In the native bacterial strain, most bacteriocins are synthesized as biologically inactive precursors, with N-terminal extensions, that are cleaved concomitantly during export of the bacteriocin by dedicated ABC transporters, or the general secretory pathway (GSP) or Sec-dependent pathway. However, a few bacteriocins are synthesized without an N-terminal extension, and others are circularized through a head-to-tail peptide bond, complicating the elucidation of their processing and transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. The high cost of synthetic bacteriocin synthesis and their low yields from many natural producers recommends the exploration of recombinant microbial systems for the heterologous production of bacteriocins. Other advantages of such systems include production of bacteriocins in safer hosts, increased bacteriocin production, control of bacteriocin gene expression, production of food ingredients with antimicrobial activity, construction of multibacteriocinogenic strains with a wider antagonistic spectrum, a better adaptation of the selected hosts to food environments, and providing antagonistic properties to lactic acid bacteria (LAB) used as starter, protective, or probiotic cultures. The recombinant production of bacteriocins mostly relies on the use of expression vectors that replicate in Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria, and yeasts, whereas the production of bacteriocins in heterologous LAB hosts may be essentially based on the expression of native biosynthetic genes, by exchanging or replacing leader peptides and/or dedicated processing and secretion systems (ABC transporters

  14. NATURAL PRODUCTS: A CONTINUING SOURCE OF NOVEL DRUG LEADS

    PubMed Central

    Cragg, Gordon M.; Newman, David J.

    2013-01-01

    1. Background Nature has been a source of medicinal products for millennia, with many useful drugs developed from plant sources. Following discovery of the penicillins, drug discovery from microbial sources occurred and diving techniques in the 1970s opened the seas. Combinatorial chemistry (late 1980s), shifted the focus of drug discovery efforts from Nature to the laboratory bench. 2. Scope of Review This review traces natural products drug discovery, outlining important drugs from natural sources that revolutionized treatment of serious diseases. It is clear Nature will continue to be a major source of new structural leads, and effective drug development depends on multidisciplinary collaborations. 3. Major Conclusions The explosion of genetic information led not only to novel screens, but the genetic techniques permitted the implementation of combinatorial biosynthetic technology and genome mining. The knowledge gained has allowed unknown molecules to be identified. These novel bioactive structures can be optimized by using combinatorial chemistry generating new drug candidates for many diseases. 4 General Significance: The advent of genetic techniques that permitted the isolation / expression of biosynthetic cassettes from microbes may well be the new frontier for natural products lead discovery. It is now apparent that biodiversity may be much greater in those organisms. The numbers of potential species involved in the microbial world are many orders of magnitude greater than those of plants and multi-celled animals. Coupling these numbers to the number of currently unexpressed biosynthetic clusters now identified (>10 per species) the potential of microbial diversity remains essentially untapped. PMID:23428572

  15. Natural Products from Mangrove Actinomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dong-Bo; Ye, Wan-Wan; Han, Ying; Deng, Zi-Xin; Hong, Kui

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are woody plants located in tropical and subtropical intertidal coastal regions. The mangrove ecosystem is becoming a hot spot for natural product discovery and bioactivity survey. Diverse mangrove actinomycetes as promising and productive sources are worth being explored and uncovered. At the time of writing, we report 73 novel compounds and 49 known compounds isolated from mangrove actinomycetes including alkaloids, benzene derivatives, cyclopentenone derivatives, dilactones, macrolides, 2-pyranones and sesquiterpenes. Attractive structures such as salinosporamides, xiamycins and novel indolocarbazoles are highlighted. Many exciting compounds have been proven as potential new antibiotics, antitumor and antiviral agents, anti-fibrotic agents and antioxidants. Furthermore, some of their biosynthetic pathways have also been revealed. This review is an attempt to consolidate and summarize the past and the latest studies on mangrove actinomycetes natural product discovery and to draw attention to their immense potential as novel and bioactive compounds for marine drugs discovery. PMID:24798926

  16. Synergistic Microbial Consortium for Bioenergy Generation from Complex Natural Energy Sources

    PubMed Central

    Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong; Chua, Song-Lin; Zhang, Qichun; Cao, Bin; Chye, Joachim Loo Say

    2014-01-01

    Microbial species have evolved diverse mechanisms for utilization of complex carbon sources. Proper combination of targeted species can affect bioenergy production from natural waste products. Here, we established a stable microbial consortium with Escherichia coli and Shewanella oneidensis in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to produce bioenergy from an abundant natural energy source, in the form of the sarcocarp harvested from coconuts. This component is mostly discarded as waste. However, through its usage as a feedstock for MFCs to produce useful energy in this study, the sarcocarp can be utilized meaningfully. The monospecies S. oneidensis system was able to generate bioenergy in a short experimental time frame while the monospecies E. coli system generated significantly less bioenergy. A combination of E. coli and S. oneidensis in the ratio of 1 : 9 (v : v) significantly enhanced the experimental time frame and magnitude of bioenergy generation. The synergistic effect is suggested to arise from E. coli and S. oneidensis utilizing different nutrients as electron donors and effect of flavins secreted by S. oneidensis. Confocal images confirmed the presence of biofilms and point towards their importance in generating bioenergy in MFCs. PMID:25097866

  17. Synergistic microbial consortium for bioenergy generation from complex natural energy sources.

    PubMed

    Wang, Victor Bochuan; Yam, Joey Kuok Hoong; Chua, Song-Lin; Zhang, Qichun; Cao, Bin; Chye, Joachim Loo Say; Yang, Liang

    2014-01-01

    Microbial species have evolved diverse mechanisms for utilization of complex carbon sources. Proper combination of targeted species can affect bioenergy production from natural waste products. Here, we established a stable microbial consortium with Escherichia coli and Shewanella oneidensis in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to produce bioenergy from an abundant natural energy source, in the form of the sarcocarp harvested from coconuts. This component is mostly discarded as waste. However, through its usage as a feedstock for MFCs to produce useful energy in this study, the sarcocarp can be utilized meaningfully. The monospecies S. oneidensis system was able to generate bioenergy in a short experimental time frame while the monospecies E. coli system generated significantly less bioenergy. A combination of E. coli and S. oneidensis in the ratio of 1:9 (v:v) significantly enhanced the experimental time frame and magnitude of bioenergy generation. The synergistic effect is suggested to arise from E. coli and S. oneidensis utilizing different nutrients as electron donors and effect of flavins secreted by S. oneidensis. Confocal images confirmed the presence of biofilms and point towards their importance in generating bioenergy in MFCs.

  18. Microbial control of hydrogen sulfide production

    SciTech Connect

    Montgomery, A.D.; Bhupathiraju, V.K.; Wofford, N.; McInerney, M.J.

    1995-12-31

    A sulfide-resistant strain of Thiobacillus denitrificans, strain F, prevented the accumulation of sulfide by Desulfovibrio desulfuricans when both organisms were grown in liquid medium. The wild-type strain of T. denitrificans did not prevent the accumulation of sulfide produced by D. desulfuricans. Strain F also prevented the accumulation of sulfide by a mixed population of sulfate-reducing bacteria enriched from an oil field brine. Fermentation balances showed that strain F stoichiometrically oxidized the sulfide produced by D. desulfuricans and the oil field brine enrichment to sulfate. The ability of a strain F to control sulfide production in an experimental system of cores and formation water from the Redfield, Iowa, natural gas storage facility was also investigated. A stable, sulfide-producing biofilm was established in two separate core systems, one of which was inoculated with strain F while the other core system (control) was treated in an identical manner, but was not inoculated with strain F. When formation water with 10 mM acetate and 5 mM nitrate was injected into both core systems, the effluent sulfide concentrations in the control core system ranged from 200 to 460 {mu}M. In the test core system inoculated with strain F, the effluent sulfide concentrations were lower, ranging from 70 to 110 {mu}M. In order to determine whether strain F could control sulfide production under optimal conditions for sulfate-reducing bacteria, the electron donor was changed to lactate and inorganic nutrients (nitrogen and phosphate sources) were added to the formation water. When nutrient-supplemented formation water with 3.1 mM lactate and 10 mM nitrate was used, the effluent sulfide concentrations of the control core system initially increased to about 3,800 {mu}M, and then decreased to about 1,100 {mu}M after 5 weeks. However, in the test core system inoculated with strain F, the effluent sulfide concentrations were much lower, 160 to 330 {mu}M.

  19. Percarbonate as a naturally buffering catholyte for microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Forrestal, Casey; Huang, Zhe; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2014-11-01

    Sustainable cathode development has been a challenge for the emerging microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology. This study presents a simple catholyte called sodium percarbonate to serve as a new type of electron acceptor for MFCs. Lab scale comparisons showed sodium percarbonate cathode obtained comparable power density (9.6W/m(3)) with traditional air-cathode and potassium ferricyanide, but percarbonate showed multiple additional benefits that no other catholyte had demonstrated. Percarbonate has a sustaining natural buffering capacity that can counter pH fluctuations seen in many other systems, and the peroxide produced prevents bio-fouling problems associated with air-cathodes. It is also safer to use and has the lowest cost among popular cathode options based on per mole of electron transferred, which makes it a good candidate for modular system scale up.

  20. Automated genome mining of ribosomal peptide natural products

    SciTech Connect

    Mohimani, Hosein; Kersten, Roland; Liu, Wei; Wang, Mingxun; Purvine, Samuel O.; Wu, Si; Brewer, Heather M.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Bandeira, Nuno; Moore, Bradley S.; Pevzner, Pavel A.; Dorrestein, Pieter C.

    2014-07-31

    Ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs), especially from microbial sources, are a large group of bioactive natural products that are a promising source of new (bio)chemistry and bioactivity (1). In light of exponentially increasing microbial genome databases and improved mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomic platforms, there is a need for computational tools that connect natural product genotypes predicted from microbial genome sequences with their corresponding chemotypes from metabolomic datasets. Here, we introduce RiPPquest, a tandem mass spectrometry database search tool for identification of microbial RiPPs and apply it for lanthipeptide discovery. RiPPquest uses genomics to limit search space to the vicinity of RiPP biosynthetic genes and proteomics to analyze extensive peptide modifications and compute p-values of peptide-spectrum matches (PSMs). We highlight RiPPquest by connection of multiple RiPPs from extracts of Streptomyces to their gene clusters and by the discovery of a new class III lanthipeptide, informatipeptin, from Streptomyces viridochromogenes DSM 40736 as the first natural product to be identified in an automated fashion by genome mining. The presented tool is available at cy-clo.ucsd.edu.

  1. Characterizing man-made and natural modifications of microbial diversity and activity in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Paerl, Hans W; Dyble, Julianne; Twomey, Luke; Pinckney, James L; Nelson, Joshua; Kerkhof, Lee

    2002-08-01

    The impacts of growing coastal pollution and habitat alteration accompanying human encroachment are of great concern at the microbial level, where much of the ocean's primary production and biogeochemical cycling takes place. Coastal ecosystems are also under the influence of natural perturbations such as major storwns and flooding. Distinguishing the impacts of natural and human stressors is essential for understanding environmentally-induced change in microbial diversity and function. The objective of this paper is to discuss the applications and merits of recently developed molecular, ecophysiological and analytical indicators and their utility in examining anthropogenic and climatic impacts on the structure and function of coastal microbial communities. The nitrogen-limited Neuse River Estuary and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina are used as examples of ecosystems experiencing both anthropogenic (i.e., accelerating eutrophication) and climatic stress (increasing frequencies of tropical storms and hurricanes). Additional examples are derived from a coastal monitoring site (LEO) on the Atlantic coast of New Jersey and Galveston Bay, on the Gulf of Mexico. In order to assess structure, function, and trophic state of these and other coastal ecosystems, molecular (DNA and RNA-based) characterizations of the microbial taxa involved in carbon, nitrogen and other nutrient transformations can be combined with diagnostic pigment-based indicators of primary producer groups. Application of these methods can reveal process-level microbial community responses to environmental variability over a range of scales. Experimental approaches combined with strategic monitoring utilizing these methods will facilitate: (a) understanding organismal and community responses to environmental change, and (b) synthesizing these responses in the context of ecosystem models that integrate physical, chemical and biotic variability with environmental controls.

  2. Engineering microbial electrocatalysis for chemical and fuel production.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Miriam A; Henrich, Alexander W

    2014-10-01

    In many biotechnological areas, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have become core technologies for biocatalyst development. Microbial electrocatalysis for biochemical and fuel production is still in its infancy and reactions rates and the product spectrum are currently very low. Therefore, molecular engineering strategies will be crucial for the advancement and realization of many new bioproduction routes using electroactive microorganisms. The complex and unresolved biochemistry and physiology of extracellular electron transfer and the lack of molecular tools for these new non-model hosts for genetic engineering constitute the major challenges for this effort. This review is providing an insight into the current status, challenges and promising approaches of pathway engineering for microbial electrocatalysis.

  3. Uranium Biomineralization by Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Sobecky, Patricia A.

    2015-04-06

    In this project, inter-disciplinary research activities were conducted in collaboration among investigators at The University of Alabama (UA), Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light source (SSRL) to: (i) confirm that phosphatase activities of subsurface bacteria in Area 2 and 3 from the Oak Ridge Field Research Center result in solid U-phosphate precipitation in aerobic and anaerobic conditions; (ii) investigate the eventual competition between uranium biomineralization via U-phosphate precipitation and uranium bioreduction; (iii) determine subsurface microbial community structure changes of Area 2 soils following organophosphate amendments; (iv) obtain the complete genome sequences of the Rahnella sp. Y9-602 and the type-strain Rahnella aquatilis ATCC 33071 isolated from these soils; (v) determine if polyphosphate accumulation and phytate hydrolysis can be used to promote U(VI) biomineralization in subsurface sediments; (vi) characterize the effect of uranium on phytate hydrolysis by a new microorganism isolated from uranium-contaminated sediments; (vii) utilize positron-emission tomography to label and track metabolically-active bacteria in soil columns, and (viii) study the stability of the uranium phosphate mineral product. Microarray analyses and mineral precipitation characterizations were conducted in collaboration with DOE SBR-funded investigators at LBNL. Thus, microbial phosphorus metabolism has been shown to have a contributing role to uranium immobilization in the subsurface.

  4. Production Strategies and Applications of Microbial Single Cell Oils

    PubMed Central

    Ochsenreither, Katrin; Glück, Claudia; Stressler, Timo; Fischer, Lutz; Syldatk, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) of the ω-3 and ω-6 class (e.g., α-linolenic acid, linoleic acid) are essential for maintaining biofunctions in mammalians like humans. Due to the fact that humans cannot synthesize these essential fatty acids, they must be taken up from different food sources. Classical sources for these fatty acids are porcine liver and fish oil. However, microbial lipids or single cell oils, produced by oleaginous microorganisms such as algae, fungi and bacteria, are a promising source as well. These single cell oils can be used for many valuable chemicals with applications not only for nutrition but also for fuels and are therefore an ideal basis for a bio-based economy. A crucial point for the establishment of microbial lipids utilization is the cost-effective production and purification of fuels or products of higher value. The fermentative production can be realized by submerged (SmF) or solid state fermentation (SSF). The yield and the composition of the obtained microbial lipids depend on the type of fermentation and the particular conditions (e.g., medium, pH-value, temperature, aeration, nitrogen source). From an economical point of view, waste or by-product streams can be used as cheap and renewable carbon and nitrogen sources. In general, downstream processing costs are one of the major obstacles to be solved for full economic efficiency of microbial lipids. For the extraction of lipids from microbial biomass cell disruption is most important, because efficiency of cell disruption directly influences subsequent downstream operations and overall extraction efficiencies. A multitude of cell disruption and lipid extraction methods are available, conventional as well as newly emerging methods, which will be described and discussed in terms of large scale applicability, their potential in a modern biorefinery and their influence on product quality. Furthermore, an overview is given about applications of microbial lipids or derived fatty

  5. Sediment biogeochemistry and microbial activity at natural hydrocarbon seeps and at sites impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.; Sibert, R.; Battles, J.; Fields, L.; Kleindienst, S.; Crespo-Medina, M.; Hunter, K.; Meile, C. D.; Montoya, J. P.

    2013-12-01

    Natural hydrocarbon seeps occur along the seafloor where geologic faults facilitate transfer of deeply sourced fluids enriched in gas, oil, and dissolved organic matter through shallow sediments and into the water column. At natural seeps, microbial populations specialize in hydrocarbon degradation and rates of microbial activity, including sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane, can be extremely high. As a result, the biogeochemical signature of sediments near areas of active natural seepage is distinct: high concentrations of metabolic end products, such as dissolved inorganic carbon and hydrogen sulfide, abound, and often, high dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations result in the precipitation of authigenic carbonate minerals. We examined microbial processes and biogeochemical signatures at two natural seeps, Green Canyon 600 and Mississippi Canyon 118. Higher and more frequent seepage loci at the Green Canyon 600 site led to more widespread hotspots of elevated microbial activity and distinct geochemistry. However, rates of microbial activity were comparable at the two sites in areas of active hydrocarbon seepage. The microbial communities at the two sites were surprisingly different. The second group of sites was impacted by anthropogenic hydrocarbon discharges instead of natural seepage. One site, Oceanus 26, lies near the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo wellhead and was impacted by weathered oil sedimentation during the Macondo discharge. The second set of impacted sites, noted as Taylor Energy, lie near a sunken platform and compromised riser, which have together resulted in persistent hydrocarbon discharge to the adjacent oceanic system for more than 6 years. Rates of microbial activity in the upper sediments at Oceanus 26 were depressed relative to activity in the deeper layers, suggesting inhibition by the presence of weathered oil or an microbial community unable to weather the carbon available in the layer. At the Taylor energy site

  6. Natural products as antimitotic agents.

    PubMed

    Dall'Acqua, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Natural products still play an important role in the medicinal chemistry, especially in some therapeutic areas. As example more than 60% of currently-used anticancer agents are derives from natural sources including plants, marine organisms or micro-organism. Thus natural products (NP) are an high-impact source of new "lead compounds" or new potential therapeutic agents despite the large development of biotechnology and combinatorial chemistry in the drug discovery and development. Many examples of anticancer drugs as paclitaxel, combretastatin, bryostatin and discodermolide have shown the importance of NP in the anticancer chemotherapy through many years. Many organisms have been studied as sources of drugs namely plants, micro-organisms and marine organisms and the obtained NP can be considered a group of "privileged chemical structures" evolved in nature to interact with other organisms. For this reason NP are a good starting points for pharmaceutical research and also for library design. Tubulin and microtubules are one of the most studied targets for the search of anticancer compounds. Microtubule targeting agents (MTA) also named antimitotic agents are compounds that are able to perturb mitosis but are also able to arrest cell growing during interphase. The anticancer drugs, taxanes and vinca alkaloids have established tubulin as important target in cancer therapy. More recently the vascular disrupting agents (VDA) combretastatin analogues were studied for their antimitotics properties. This review will consider the anti mitotic NP and their potential impact in the development of new therapeutic agents.

  7. Fluorescent profiling of natural product producers.

    PubMed

    Sandler, Joel S; Fenical, William; Gulledge, Brian M; Chamberlin, A Richard; La Clair, James J

    2005-07-01

    The identification of natural product producer organisms remains a problem for both isolation and natural product classification. A concise screen is developed through fluorescent modification of a set of natural products that offer a common activity. Through real-time multicolor microscopy, the processing, storage, and effects of a natural product are rapidly screened at the level of the strain and individual organism.

  8. Versatile microbial surface-display for environmental remediation and biofuels production

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Cindy H.; Mulchandani, Ashok; Chen, wilfred

    2008-02-14

    Surface display is a powerful technique that utilizes natural microbial functional components to express proteins or peptides on the cell exterior. Since the reporting of the first surface-display system in the mid-1980s, a variety of new systems have been reported for yeast, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Non-conventional display methods are emerging, eliminating the generation of genetically modified microorganisms. Cells with surface display are used as biocatalysts, biosorbents and biostimulants. Microbial cell-surface display has proven to be extremely important for numerous applications ranging from combinatorial library screening and protein engineering to bioremediation and biofuels production.

  9. Low-potential respirators support electricity production in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Grüning, André; Beecroft, Nelli J; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2015-07-01

    In this paper, we analyse how electric power production in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) depends on the composition of the anodic biofilm in terms of metabolic capabilities of identified sets of species. MFCs are a promising technology for organic waste treatment and sustainable bioelectricity production. Inoculated with natural communities, they present a complex microbial ecosystem with syntrophic interactions between microbes with different metabolic capabilities. Our results demonstrate that low-potential anaerobic respirators--that is those that are able to use terminal electron acceptors with a low redox potential--are important for good power production. Our results also confirm that community metabolism in MFCs with natural inoculum and fermentable feedstock is a two-stage system with fermentation followed by anode respiration.

  10. Microbial antibiotic production aboard the International Space Station.

    PubMed

    Benoit, M R; Li, W; Stodieck, L S; Lam, K S; Winther, C L; Roane, T M; Klaus, D M

    2006-04-01

    Previous studies examining metabolic characteristics of bacterial cultures have mostly suggested that reduced gravity is advantageous for microbial growth. As a consequence, the question of whether space flight would similarly enhance secondary metabolite production was raised. Results from three prior space shuttle experiments indicated that antibiotic production was stimulated in space for two different microbial systems, albeit under suboptimal growth conditions. The goal of this latest experiment was to determine whether the enhanced productivity would also occur with better growth conditions and over longer durations of weightlessness. Microbial antibiotic production was examined onboard the International Space Station during the 72-day 8A increment. Findings of increased productivity of actinomycin D by Streptomyces plicatus in space corroborated with previous findings for the early sample points (days 8 and 12); however, the flight production levels were lower than the matched ground control samples for the remainder of the mission. The overall goal of this research program is to elucidate the specific mechanisms responsible for the initial stimulation of productivity in space and translate this knowledge into methods for improving efficiency of commercial production facilities on Earth.

  11. Microbial Conversion Products of Leptomycin B

    PubMed Central

    Kuhnt, Michaela; Bitsch, Francis; Ponelle, Monique; Sanglier, Jean-Jacques; Wang, Ying; Wolff, Barbara

    1998-01-01

    Leptomycin B (LMB), a secondary metabolite produced by Streptomyces sp. strain ATS 1287, with known antifungal and antitumor effects, inhibits the nucleo-cytoplasmic translocation of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 regulatory protein Rev and exhibits significant antiproliferative activity. Since LMB itself turned out to be distinctly cytotoxic, a bioconversion screening with a selected set of 29 bacterial and 72 fungal strains was performed in order to obtain metabolites of LMB with reduced antiproliferative effects. Several derivatives of LMB, more polar than the parent compound and produced in yields of >5%, were detected. Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis indicated the type of bioconversion. Fermentations (1-liter scale) of those strains with high rates of transformation were suitable for isolation and characterization of the most prominent metabolites. Thus, bioconversion of LMB with Aspergillus flavus ATCC 9170 and Emericella unguis ATCC 13431 served for isolation of the novel derivatives 26-hydroxy-LMB (30% was the concentration of the metabolite [with respect to LMB] used for bioconversion) and LMB-24-glutaminamide (90%), respectively. Streptomyces rimosus ATCC 28893 converted LMB into 4,11-dihydroxy-LMB (13%) and 2,3-dihydro-LMB (55%). Although the antiproliferative effects of the LMB metabolites could be reduced through microbial conversion, none of these metabolites inhibited the nuclear export of Rev better than LMB itself.  PMID:9464413

  12. Method Analysis of Microbial-Resistant Gypsum Products

    EPA Science Inventory

    Method Analysis of Microbial-Resistant Gypsum ProductsD.A. Betancourt1, T.R.Dean1, A. Evans2, and G.Byfield2 1. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory; RTP, NC 277112. RTI International, RTP, NCSeveral...

  13. Production of microbial glycolipid biosurfactants and their antimicrobial activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial glycolipids produced by bacteria or yeast as secondary metabolites, such as sophorolipids (SLs), rhamnolipids (RLs) and mannosylerythritol lipids (MELs) are “green” biosurfactants desirable in a bioeconomy. High cost of production is a major hurdle toward widespread commercial use of bios...

  14. Frontiers in microbial 1-butanol and isobutanol production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chang-Ting; Liao, James C

    2016-03-01

    The heavy dependence on petroleum-derived fuel has raised concerns about energy sustainability and climate change, which have prompted researchers to explore fuel production from renewable sources. 1-Butanol and isobutanol are promising biofuels that have favorable properties and can also serve as solvents or chemical feedstocks. Microbial production of these alcohols provides great opportunities to access a wide spectrum of renewable resources. In recent years, research has improved the native 1-butanol production and has engineered isobutanol production in various organisms to explore metabolic diversity and a broad range of substrates. This review focuses on progress in metabolic engineering for the production of these two compounds using various resources. PMID:26832641

  15. Initial and bulk extraction of natural products isolation.

    PubMed

    Seidel, Véronique

    2012-01-01

    Currently, there is a growing interest in the study of natural products, especially as part of drug discovery programs. Secondary metabolites can be extracted from a variety of natural sources, including plants, microbes, marine animals, insects, and amphibians. This chapter focuses principally on laboratory-scale processes of initial and bulk extraction from plant and microbial sources. With regard to plant natural products, the steps required for the preparation of the material prior to extraction, including aspects concerning plant selection, collection, identification, drying, and grinding, are detailed. The various extraction methods available (maceration, ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction, percolation, Soxhlet extraction, pressurized solvent extraction, extraction under reflux, steam distillation, and acid/based extraction) are reviewed. Regarding microbial natural products, this chapter covers issues relating to the isolation and culture of microorganisms and presents the extraction methods available for the recovery of microbial metabolites. Methods of minimizing compound degradation, artifacts formation, extract contamination with external impurities, and enrichment of extracts with desired metabolites are also examined.

  16. Recycling microbial lipid production wastes to cultivate oleaginous yeasts.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobing; Jin, Guojie; Gong, Zhiwei; Shen, Hongwei; Bai, Fengwu; Zhao, Zongbao Kent

    2015-01-01

    To reduce wastes and the costs of microbial lipid production, it is imperative to recycle resources, including spent cell mass, mineral nutrients and water. In the present study, lipid production by the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides was used as a model system to demonstrate resources recycling. It was found that the hydrolysates of spent cell mass were good media to support cell growth of various oleaginous yeasts. When serial repitching experiments were performed using 70g/L glucose and the hydrolysates alone as nutrients, it produced 16.6, 14.6 and 12.9g/L lipids, for three successive cycles, while lipid titre remained almost constant when spent water was also recycled. The cell mass hydrolysates could be used as equivalents to the mixture of yeast extract and peptone to support lipid production from corn stalk hydrolysates. Our results showed efficient recycling of lipid production wastes and should be helpful to advance microbial lipid technology. PMID:25459808

  17. Recycling microbial lipid production wastes to cultivate oleaginous yeasts.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaobing; Jin, Guojie; Gong, Zhiwei; Shen, Hongwei; Bai, Fengwu; Zhao, Zongbao Kent

    2015-01-01

    To reduce wastes and the costs of microbial lipid production, it is imperative to recycle resources, including spent cell mass, mineral nutrients and water. In the present study, lipid production by the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides was used as a model system to demonstrate resources recycling. It was found that the hydrolysates of spent cell mass were good media to support cell growth of various oleaginous yeasts. When serial repitching experiments were performed using 70g/L glucose and the hydrolysates alone as nutrients, it produced 16.6, 14.6 and 12.9g/L lipids, for three successive cycles, while lipid titre remained almost constant when spent water was also recycled. The cell mass hydrolysates could be used as equivalents to the mixture of yeast extract and peptone to support lipid production from corn stalk hydrolysates. Our results showed efficient recycling of lipid production wastes and should be helpful to advance microbial lipid technology.

  18. Natural products for cancer chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Demain, Arnold L.; Vaishnav, Preeti

    2011-01-01

    Summary For over 40 years, natural products have served us well in combating cancer. The main sources of these successful compounds are microbes and plants from the terrestrial and marine environments. The microbes serve as a major source of natural products with anti‐tumour activity. A number of these products were first discovered as antibiotics. Another major contribution comes from plant alkaloids, taxoids and podophyllotoxins. A vast array of biological metabolites can be obtained from the marine world, which can be used for effective cancer treatment. The search for novel drugs is still a priority goal for cancer therapy, due to the rapid development of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. In addition, the high toxicity usually associated with some cancer chemotherapy drugs and their undesirable side‐effects increase the demand for novel anti‐tumour drugs active against untreatable tumours, with fewer side‐effects and/or with greater therapeutic efficiency. This review points out those technologies needed to produce the anti‐tumour compounds of the future. PMID:21375717

  19. Microbial Activation of Wooden Vats Used for Traditional Cheese Production and Evolution of Neoformed Biofilms.

    PubMed

    Gaglio, Raimondo; Cruciata, Margherita; Di Gerlando, Rosalia; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Mancuso, Isabella; Sardina, Maria Teresa; Moschetti, Giancarlo; Portolano, Baldassare; Settanni, Luca

    2015-11-06

    Three Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains were used to develop ad hoc biofilms on the surfaces of virgin wooden vats used for cheese production. Two vats (TZ) were tested under controlled conditions (pilot plant), and two vats (TA) were tested under uncontrolled conditions (industrial plant). In each plant, one vat (TA1 and TZ1) was used for the control, traditional production of PDO Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (Vastedda) cheese, and one (TA2 and TZ2) was used for experimental production performed after lactococcal biofilm activation and the daily addition of a natural whey starter culture (NWSC). Microbiological and scanning electron microscopy analyses showed differences in terms of microbial levels and composition of the neoformed biofilms. The levels of the microbial groups investigated during cheese production showed significant differences between the control trials and between the control and experimental trials, but the differences were not particularly marked between the TA2 and TZ2 productions, which showed the largest numbers of mesophilic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) cocci. LAB populations were characterized phenotypically and genotypically, and 44 dominant strains belonging to 10 species were identified. Direct comparison of the polymorphic profiles of the LAB collected during cheese making showed that the addition of the NWSC reduced their biodiversity. Sensory evaluation showed that the microbial activation of the wooden vats with the multistrain Lactococcus culture generated cheeses with sensory attributes comparable to those of commercial cheese. Thus, neoformed biofilms enable a reduction of microbial variability and stabilize the sensorial attributes of Vastedda cheese.

  20. Microbial mannanases: an overview of production and applications.

    PubMed

    Dhawan, Samriti; Kaur, Jagdeep

    2007-01-01

    Microbial mannanases have become biotechnologically important since they target the hydrolysis of complex polysaccharides of plant tissues into simple molecules like manno-oligosaccharides and mannoses. The role of mannanases in the paper and pulp industry is well established and recently they have found application in the food and feed technology, coffee extraction, oil drilling and detergent industry. Mannanses are enzymes produced mainly from microorganisms but mannanases produced from plants and animals have also been reported. Bacterial mannanases are mostly extracellular and can act in a wide range of pH and temperature, though acidic and neutral mannanases are more common. This review will focus on complex mannan structure and the microbial enzyme complex involved in its complete breakdown, mannanase sources, production conditions and their applications in the commercial sector. The reference to plant and animal mannanases has been made to complete the overview. However, the major emphasis of the review is on the microbial mannanases.

  1. Natural Product Biosynthesis in Escherichia coli: Mentha Monoterpenoids.

    PubMed

    Toogood, H S; Tait, S; Jervis, A; Ní Cheallaigh, A; Humphreys, L; Takano, E; Gardiner, J M; Scrutton, N S

    2016-01-01

    The era of synthetic biology heralds in a new, more "green" approach to fine chemical and pharmaceutical drug production. It takes the knowledge of natural metabolic pathways and builds new routes to chemicals, enables nonnatural chemical production, and/or allows the rapid production of chemicals in alternative, highly performing organisms. This route is particularly useful in the production of monoterpenoids in microorganisms, which are naturally sourced from plant essential oils. Successful pathways are constructed by taking into consideration factors such as gene selection, regulatory elements, host selection and optimization, and metabolic considerations of the host organism. Seamless pathway construction techniques enable a "plug-and-play" switching of genes and regulatory parts to optimize the metabolic functioning in vivo. Ultimately, synthetic biology approaches to microbial monoterpenoid production may revolutionize "natural" compound formation. PMID:27417932

  2. Spatial and Temporal Control of Fungal Natural Product Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Fang Yun; Keller, Nancy P.

    2014-01-01

    Despite their oftentimes-elusive ecological role, fungal natural products have, for better or worse, impacted our daily lives tremendously owing to their diverse and potent bioactive properties. This Janus-faced nature of fungal natural products inevitably ushered in a field of research dedicated towards understanding the ecology, organisms, genes, enzymes, and biosynthetic pathways that give rise to this arsenal of diverse and complex chemistry. Ongoing research in fungal secondary metabolism has not only increased our appreciation for fungal natural products as an asset but also sheds light on the pivotal role that these once-regarded “metabolic wastes” play in fungal biology, defense, and stress response in addition to their potential contributions towards human mycoses. Full orchestration of secondary metabolism requires not only the seamless coordination between temporal and spatial control of SM-associated machineries (e.g. enzymes, cofactors, intermediates, and end-products) but also integration of these machineries into primary metabolic processes and established cellular mechanisms. An intriguing, but little known aspect of microbial natural product synthesis lies in the spatial organization of both pathway intermediates and enzymes responsible for the production of these compounds. In this highlight, we summarize some major breakthroughs in understanding the genes and regulation of fungal natural product synthesis and introduce the current state of knowledge on the spatial and temporal control of fungal natural product synthesis. PMID:25142354

  3. The C7N aminocyclitol family of natural products.

    PubMed

    Mahmud, Taifo

    2003-02-01

    This review covers microbial secondary metabolites classified in the family of C7N aminocyclitols, a relatively new class of natural products that is increasingly gaining recognition due to their significant biomedical and agricultural uses. Their discovery and structure determinations, their biosynthetic origin, biological properties, chemical synthesis, as well as their further development for pharmaceutical uses are described. The literature from 1970 to July 2002 is reviewed, with 269 references cited.

  4. Natural gas production from Arctic gas hydrates

    SciTech Connect

    Collett, T.S. )

    1993-01-01

    The natural gas hydrates of the Messoyakha field in the West Siberian basin of Russia and those of the Prudhoe Bay-Kuparuk River area on the North Slope of Alaska occur within a similar series of interbedded Cretaceous and Tertiary sandstone and siltstone reservoirs. Geochemical analyses of gaseous well-cuttings and production gases suggest that these two hydrate accumulations contain a mixture of thermogenic methane migrated from a deep source and shallow, microbial methane that was either directly converted to gas hydrate or was first concentrated in existing traps and later converted to gas hydrate. Studies of well logs and seismic data have documented a large free-gas accumulation trapped stratigraphically downdip of the gas hydrates in the Prudhoe Bay-Kuparuk River area. The presence of a gas-hydrate/free-gas contact in the Prudhoe Bay-Kuparuk River area is analogous to that in the Messoyakha gas-hydrate/free-gas accumulation, from which approximately 5.17x10[sup 9] cubic meters (183 billion cubic feet) of gas have been produced from the hydrates alone. The apparent geologic similarities between these two accumulations suggest that the gas-hydrated-depressurization production method used in the Messoyakha field may have direct application in northern Alaska. 30 refs., 15 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Antimalarial natural products: a review

    PubMed Central

    Mojab, Faraz

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Malaria is an infectious disease commonplace in tropical countries. For many years, major antimalarial drugs consisted of natural products, but since 1930s these drugs have been largely replaced with a series of synthetic drugs. This article tries to briefly indicate that some plants which previously were used to treat malaria, as a result of deficiencies of synthetic drugs, have revived into useful products once more. It also attempts to describe some tests which can be used to evaluate plant extracts for antimalarial activity. Materials and Methods: By referring to some recent literatures, data were collected about plants used for the treatment of malaria, evaluation of plant extracts for antimalarial activity, modes of action of natural antimalarial agents, and recent research on antimalarial plants in Iran and other countries. Results and Conclusion: There is an urgent need for the development of new treatments for malaria. Many countries have a vast precedence in the use of medicinal plants and the required knowledge spans many centuries. Although malaria is controlled in Iran, some researchers tend to study malaria and related subjects. In vitro biological tests for the detection of antimalarial activities in plant extracts are currently available. It is vital that the efficacy and safety of traditional medicines be validated and their active constituents be identified in order to establish reliable quality control measures. PMID:25050231

  6. Degradation products of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene by a microbial consortia

    SciTech Connect

    Ortiz, O.; Parker, C.; Bender, J.

    1995-12-01

    Remediation of contaminated soils can be accomplished using microbial species. Of particular interest is the remediation of explosive contaminated soils. A microbial consortia has been developed which removes TNT by an unexplained mechanism. Our goal is to understand the degradation of TNT by this microbial mat. Constructed mats have been generated in our laboratory by enriching water with ensiled grass and adding specific microbial components for organic degradation. Microbial mats are natural mixed microbial communities dominated by cyanobacterias (blue-green algae). In this research, degradation products of TNT have been identified using GC/MS. Ninety-seven percent of TNT (1000 mg/L), was removed in < 1 day by floating mats placed over TNT-contaminated water in quiescent ponds. Metabolites of TNT, 2, 4-Dinitro-6 amminotoluene and 2-Nitro-4,6 diaminotoluene has been observed after 1 day of mat treatment. A mechanism is postulated for this degradation showing that two of the nitro groups of the TNT molecule are being reduced to amino groups systematically. Anoxic zones in the mat, containing sulfur-reducing bacteria, may account for the reduction of TNT. GC/MS shows significant decreases in metabolite concentrations in 4-7 days, indicating continued degradation of TNT. It has been found by toxicity assays that these metabolites appeared to be nontoxic and nonmutagenic. These results suggest that floating microbial mats may be useful for the decontamination of sites in the environment contaminated with TNT. Further studies using {sup 13}C TNT will focus on the fate of the carbon, to determine the intermediates products prior to transformations into hydrocarbons or utilization by the bacteria consortia.

  7. Method for redesign of microbial production systems

    DOEpatents

    Maranas, Costas D.; Burgard, Anthony P.; Pharkya, Priti

    2010-11-02

    A computer-assisted method for identifying functionalities to add to an organism-specific metabolic network to enable a desired biotransformation in a host includes accessing reactions from a universal database to provide stoichiometric balance, identifying at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway at least partially based on the reactions and a substrate to minimize a number of non-native functionalities in the production host, and incorporating the at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway into the host to provide the desired biotransformation. A representation of the metabolic network as modified can be stored.

  8. Method for redesign of microbial production systems

    DOEpatents

    Maranas, Costas D.; Burgard, Anthony P.; Pharkya, Priti

    2012-01-31

    A computer-assisted method for identifying functionalities to add to an organism-specific metabolic network to enable a desired biotransformation in a host includes accessing reactions from a universal database to provide stoichiometric balance, identifying at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway at least partially based on the reactions and a substrate to minimize a number of non-native functionalities in the production host, and incorporating the at least one stoichiometrically balanced pathway into the host to provide the desired biotransformation. A representation of the metabolic network as modified can be stored.

  9. Soil microbial substrate properties and microbial community responses under irrigated organic and reduced-tillage crop and forage production systems.

    PubMed

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B; Stahl, Peter D; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  10. Soil Microbial Substrate Properties and Microbial Community Responses under Irrigated Organic and Reduced-Tillage Crop and Forage Production Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ghimire, Rajan; Norton, Jay B.; Stahl, Peter D.; Norton, Urszula

    2014-01-01

    Changes in soil microbiotic properties such as microbial biomass and community structure in response to alternative management systems are driven by microbial substrate quality and substrate utilization. We evaluated irrigated crop and forage production in two separate four-year experiments for differences in microbial substrate quality, microbial biomass and community structure, and microbial substrate utilization under conventional, organic, and reduced-tillage management systems. The six different management systems were imposed on fields previously under long-term, intensively tilled maize production. Soils under crop and forage production responded to conversion from monocropping to crop rotation, as well as to the three different management systems, but in different ways. Under crop production, four years of organic management resulted in the highest soil organic C (SOC) and microbial biomass concentrations, while under forage production, reduced-tillage management most effectively increased SOC and microbial biomass. There were significant increases in relative abundance of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, with two- to 36-fold increases in biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Under crop production, dissolved organic C (DOC) content was higher under organic management than under reduced-tillage and conventional management. Perennial legume crops and organic soil amendments in the organic crop rotation system apparently favored greater soil microbial substrate availability, as well as more microbial biomass compared with other management systems that had fewer legume crops in rotation and synthetic fertilizer applications. Among the forage production management systems with equivalent crop rotations, reduced-tillage management had higher microbial substrate availability and greater microbial biomass than other management systems. Combined crop rotation, tillage management, soil amendments, and legume crops in rotations considerably influenced soil

  11. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. Product performance data must be developed...

  12. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. Product performance data must be developed...

  13. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. Product performance data must be developed...

  14. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 25 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. Product performance data must be developed...

  15. 40 CFR 158.2160 - Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2160 Microbial pesticides product performance data requirements. Product performance data must be developed...

  16. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    PubMed Central

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  17. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    PubMed

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-01-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession. PMID:25943705

  18. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-01

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  19. Analyses of soil microbial community compositions and functional genes reveal potential consequences of natural forest succession.

    PubMed

    Cong, Jing; Yang, Yunfeng; Liu, Xueduan; Lu, Hui; Liu, Xiao; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang; Yin, Huaqun; Ding, Junjun; Zhang, Yuguang

    2015-05-06

    The succession of microbial community structure and function is a central ecological topic, as microbes drive the Earth's biogeochemical cycles. To elucidate the response and mechanistic underpinnings of soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential relevant to natural forest succession, we compared soil microbial communities from three adjacent natural forests: a coniferous forest (CF), a mixed broadleaf forest (MBF) and a deciduous broadleaf forest (DBF) on Shennongjia Mountain in central China. In contrary to plant communities, the microbial taxonomic diversity of the DBF was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than those of CF and MBF, rendering their microbial community compositions markedly different. Consistently, microbial functional diversity was also highest in the DBF. Furthermore, a network analysis of microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling genes showed the network for the DBF samples was relatively large and tight, revealing strong couplings between microbes. Soil temperature, reflective of climate regimes, was important in shaping microbial communities at both taxonomic and functional gene levels. As a first glimpse of both the taxonomic and functional compositions of soil microbial communities, our results suggest that microbial community structure and function potentials will be altered by future environmental changes, which have implications for forest succession.

  20. Natural and engineered biosynthesis of fluorinated natural products.

    PubMed

    Walker, Mark C; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2014-09-21

    Both natural products and synthetic organofluorines play important roles in the discovery and design of pharmaceuticals. The combination of these two classes of molecules has the potential to be useful in the ongoing search for new bioactive compounds but our ability to produce site-selectively fluorinated natural products remains limited by challenges in compatibility between their high structural complexity and current methods for fluorination. Living systems provide an alternative route to chemical fluorination and could enable the production of organofluorine natural products through synthetic biology approaches. While the identification of biogenic organofluorines has been limited, the study of the native organisms and enzymes that utilize these compounds can help to guide efforts to engineer the incorporation of this unusual element into complex pharmacologically active natural products. This review covers recent advances in understanding both natural and engineered production of organofluorine natural products.

  1. Natural and engineered biosynthesis of fluorinated natural products.

    PubMed

    Walker, Mark C; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2014-09-21

    Both natural products and synthetic organofluorines play important roles in the discovery and design of pharmaceuticals. The combination of these two classes of molecules has the potential to be useful in the ongoing search for new bioactive compounds but our ability to produce site-selectively fluorinated natural products remains limited by challenges in compatibility between their high structural complexity and current methods for fluorination. Living systems provide an alternative route to chemical fluorination and could enable the production of organofluorine natural products through synthetic biology approaches. While the identification of biogenic organofluorines has been limited, the study of the native organisms and enzymes that utilize these compounds can help to guide efforts to engineer the incorporation of this unusual element into complex pharmacologically active natural products. This review covers recent advances in understanding both natural and engineered production of organofluorine natural products. PMID:24776946

  2. Glycosylation and Activities of Natural Products.

    PubMed

    Huang, Gangliang; Lv, Meijiao; Hu, Jinchuan; Huang, Kunlin; Xu, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Natural products are widely found in nature, their number and variety are numerous, the structures are complex and diverse. These natural products have many physiological and pharmacological activities. Glycosylation can increase the diversity of structure and function of natural product, it has become the focus of drug research and development. The impacts of glycosylation of natural products to water solubility, pharmacological activities, bioavailability, or others were described in this review, which provides a reference for the development and application of glycosylated natural products. PMID:27499190

  3. Discovery of phosphonic acid natural products by mining the genomes of 10,000 actinomycetes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although natural products have been a particularly rich source of human medicines, the rate at which new molecules are being discovered is declining precipitously. Based on the large number of natural product biosynthetic genes in microbial genomes, many have suggested “genome mining” as an approach...

  4. Chemical diversity of microbial volatiles and their potential for plant growth and productivity

    PubMed Central

    Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) are produced by a wide array of microorganisms ranging from bacteria to fungi. A growing body of evidence indicates that MVOCs are ecofriendly and can be exploited as a cost-effective sustainable strategy for use in agricultural practice as agents that enhance plant growth, productivity, and disease resistance. As naturally occurring chemicals, MVOCs have potential as possible alternatives to harmful pesticides, fungicides, and bactericides as well as genetic modification. Recent studies performed under open field conditions demonstrate that efficiently adopting MVOCs may contribute to sustainable crop protection and production. We review here the chemical diversity of MVOCs by describing microbial–plants and microbial–microbial interactions. Furthermore, we discuss MVOCs role in inducing phenotypic plant responses and their potential physiological effects on crops. Finally, we analyze potential and actual limitations for MVOC use and deployment in field conditions as a sustainable strategy for improving productivity and reducing pesticide use. PMID:25821453

  5. Characterization of proton production and consumption associated with microbial metabolism

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Production or consumption of protons in growth medium during microbial metabolism plays an important role in determining the pH of the environment. Such pH changes resulting from microbial metabolism may influence the geochemical speciation of many elements in subsurface environments. Protons produced or consumed during microbial growth were measured by determining the amount of acid or base added in a 5 L batch bioreactor equipped with pH control for different species including Escherichia coli, Geobacter sulfurreducens, and Geobacter metallireducens. Results An in silico model was used to predict the proton secretion or consumption rates and the results were compared with the data. The data was found to confirm predictions of proton consumption during aerobic growth of E. coli with acetate as the carbon source. However, in contrast to proton consumption observed during aerobic growth of E. coli with acetate, proton secretion was observed during growth of Geobacter species with acetate as the donor and Fe(III) as the extracellular electron acceptor. Conclusions In this study, we have also shown that the final pH of the medium can be either acidic or basic depending on the choice of the electron acceptor for the same electron donor. In all cases, the in silico model could predict qualitatively the proton production/consumption rates obtained from the experimental data. Therefore, measurements of pH equivalents generated or consumed during growth can help characterize the microbial physiology further and can be valuable for optimizing practical applications such as microbial fuel cells, where growth associated pH changes can limit current generation rates. PMID:20089195

  6. Isolation of marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Houssen, Wael E; Jaspars, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Marine macro- and micro-biota offer a wealth of chemically diverse compounds that have been evolutionary preselected to modulate biochemical pathways. Many industrial and academic groups are accessing this source using advanced technology platforms. The previous edition of this chapter offered some practical guidance in the process of extraction and isolation of marine natural products with more emphasis on the procedures adapted to the physical and chemical characteristics of the isolated compounds. Automation and direct integration of the isolation technology into high-throughput screening (HTS) systems were also reported. In this edition, we refer to some new topics which are heavily represented in the literature. These include methods for sampling the deep ocean and the procedures for culturing high-pressure-adapted (piezophilic) marine microorganisms to be amenable to laboratory investigation. A brief discussion on genomic-guided approaches to detect the presence of biosynthetic loci even those that are silent or cryptic is also included.

  7. Biotechnological Aspects and Perspective of Microbial Keratinase Production.

    PubMed

    Gopinath, Subash C B; Anbu, Periasamy; Lakshmipriya, Thangavel; Tang, Thean-Hock; Chen, Yeng; Hashim, Uda; Ruslinda, A Rahim; Arshad, M K Md

    2015-01-01

    Keratinases are proteolytic enzymes predominantly active when keratin substrates are available that attack disulfide bridges in the keratin to convert them from complex to simplified forms. Keratinases are essential in preparation of animal nutrients, protein supplements, leather manufacture, textile processing, detergent formulation, feather meal processing for feed and fertilizer, the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, and waste management. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop a method for continuous production of keratinase from reliable sources that can be easily managed. Microbial keratinase is less expensive than conventionally produced keratinase and can be obtained from fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. In this overview, the expansion of information about microbial keratinases and important considerations in keratinase production are discussed.

  8. Biotechnological Aspects and Perspective of Microbial Keratinase Production

    PubMed Central

    Gopinath, Subash C. B.; Anbu, Periasamy; Lakshmipriya, Thangavel; Tang, Thean-Hock; Chen, Yeng; Hashim, Uda; Ruslinda, A. Rahim; Arshad, M. K. Md.

    2015-01-01

    Keratinases are proteolytic enzymes predominantly active when keratin substrates are available that attack disulfide bridges in the keratin to convert them from complex to simplified forms. Keratinases are essential in preparation of animal nutrients, protein supplements, leather manufacture, textile processing, detergent formulation, feather meal processing for feed and fertilizer, the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries, and waste management. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop a method for continuous production of keratinase from reliable sources that can be easily managed. Microbial keratinase is less expensive than conventionally produced keratinase and can be obtained from fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. In this overview, the expansion of information about microbial keratinases and important considerations in keratinase production are discussed. PMID:26180780

  9. Rhamnose lipids--biosynthesis, microbial production and application potential.

    PubMed

    Lang, S; Wullbrandt, D

    1999-01-01

    Biosurfactants containing rhamnose and beta-hydroxydecanoic acid and called rhamnolipids are reviewed with respect to microbial producers, their physiological role, biosynthesis and genetics, and especially their microbial overproduction, physicochemical properties and potential applications. With Pseudomonas species, more than 100 g l-1 rhamnolipids were produced from 160 g l-1 soybean oil at a volumetric productivity of 0.4 g l-1 h-1. The individual rhamnolipids are able to lower the surface tension of water from 72 mN m-1 to 25-30 mN m-1 at concentrations of 10-200 mg l-1. After initial testing, rhamnolipids seem to have potential applications in combating marine oil pollution, removing oil from sand and in combating zoosporic phytopathogens. Rhamnolipids are also a source of L-rhamnose, which is already used for the industrial production of high-quality flavor components.

  10. Production of anti-cancer agent using microbial biotransformation.

    PubMed

    Roh, Changhyun; Kang, ChanKyu

    2014-01-01

    Microbial biotransformation is a great model system to produce drugs and biologically active compounds. In this study, we elucidated the fermentation and production of an anti-cancer agent from a microbial process for regiospecific hydroxylation of resveratrol. Among the strains examined, a potent strain showed high regiospecific hydroxylation activity to produce piceatannol. In a 5 L (w/v 3 L) jar fermentation, this wild type Streptomyces sp. in the batch system produced 205 mg of piceatannol (i.e., 60% yields) from 342 mg of resveratrol in 20 h. Using the product, an in vitro anti-cancer study was performed against a human cancer cell line (HeLa). It showed that the biotransformed piceatannol possessed a significant anticancer activity. This result demonstrates that a biotransformation screening method might be of therapeutic interest with respect to the identification of anti-cancer drugs. PMID:25325153

  11. Microbial xylanases: engineering, production and industrial applications.

    PubMed

    Juturu, Veeresh; Wu, Jin Chuan

    2012-01-01

    and paper industries for a longer time but more and more attention has been paid to using them in producing sugars and other chemicals from lignocelluloses in recent years. Mining new genes from nature, rational engineering of known genes and directed evolution of these genes are required to get tailor-made xylanases for various industrial applications.

  12. Microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells for the production of bioelectricity and biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Minghua; Yang, Jie; Wang, Hongyu; Jin, Tao; Xu, Dake; Gu, Tingyue

    2013-01-01

    Today's global energy crisis requires a multifaceted solution. Bioenergy is an important part of the solution. The microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology stands out as an attractive potential technology in bioenergy. MFCs can convert energy stored in organic matter directly into bioelectricity. MFCs can also be operated in the electrolysis mode as microbial electrolysis cells to produce bioproducts such as hydrogen and ethanol. Various wastewaters containing low-grade organic carbons that are otherwise unutilized can be used as feed streams for MFCs. Despite major advances in the past decade, further improvements in MFC power output and cost reduction are needed for MFCs to be practical. This paper analysed MFC operating principles using bioenergetics and bioelectrochemistry. Several major issues were explored to improve the MFC performance. An emphasis was placed on the use of catalytic materials for MFC electrodes. Recent advances in the production of various biomaterials using MFCs were also investigated.

  13. Microbial community structure accompanied with electricity production in a constructed wetland plant microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Lu, Lu; Xing, Defeng; Ren, Zhiyong Jason

    2015-11-01

    This study reveals the complex structure of bacterial and archaeal communities associated with a Canna indica plant microbial fuel cell (PMFC) and its electricity production. The PMFC produced a maximum current of 105 mA/m(2) by utilizing rhizodeposits as the sole electron donor without any external nutrient or buffer supplements, which demonstrates the feasibility of PMFCs in practical oligotrophic conditions with low solution conductivity. The microbial diversity was significantly higher in the PMFC than non-plant controls or sediment-only controls, and pyrosequencing and clone library reveal that rhizodeposits conversion to current were carried out by syntrophic interactions between fermentative bacteria (e.g., Anaerolineaceae) and electrochemically active bacteria (e.g., Geobacter). Denitrifying bacteria and acetotrophic methanogens play a minor role in organics degradation, but abundant hydrogenotrophic methanogens and thermophilic archaea are likely main electron donor competitors.

  14. Enhanced product formation in continuous fermentations with microbial cell recycle

    SciTech Connect

    Bull, D.N.; Young, M.D.

    1981-02-01

    The effect of partial recycle of microbial cells on the operation of a chemostat has been investigated for two fermentations. Stable steady states with and without partial cell recycle were obtained for the conversion of d-sorbitol to L-sorbose by Gluconobacter oxydans subsp. suboxydans 1916B and for the conversion of glucose to 2-ketogluconic acid by Serratia marcescens NRRl B-486. The employment of partial cell recycle dramatically increased product formation rates for both fermentations.

  15. Enantiomeric Natural Products: Occurrence and Biogenesis**

    PubMed Central

    Finefield, Jennifer M.; Sherman, David H.; Kreitman, Martin; Williams, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    In Nature, chiral natural products are usually produced in optically pure form; however, on occasion Nature is known to produce enantiomerically opposite metabolites. These enantiomeric natural products can arise in Nature from a single species, or from different genera and/or species. Extensive research has been carried out over the years in an attempt to understand the biogenesis of naturally occurring enantiomers, however, many fascinating puzzles and stereochemical anomalies still remain. PMID:22555867

  16. Final Technical Report: Microbial Production of Isoprene

    SciTech Connect

    Fall, Ray

    2003-09-12

    natural state (e.g. as biofilms on surfaces). (3) We successfully used on-line mass spectrometry methods to measure release of volatiles, including isoprene, from bioreactors during growth of B. subtilis. This methodology, still in its infancy, may provide a new means to assess physiological processes during industrial growth of Bacillus species, and use isoprene formation as a barometer of carbon flow in these bacteria. (4) We also addressed the question: is Bacillus isoprene formation analogous to chloroplast processes? This research was initiated because of the continuing interest in the puzzle of isoprene formation in leaf chloroplasts. In pursuit of linkages between bacterial and plant isoprene formation, we used our DMAPP assay to demonstrate that leaves of the isoprene-emitter (cottonwood) show a diurnal cycle, peaking at mid-day in parallel with isoprene release. Thus it appears that in two different biological systems isoprene formation is highly regulated, and linked to isoprenoid carbon availability. (5) We developed a new method to detect Bacillus species in plant root samples, and demonstrated that plant roots are a rich source of biofilm-forming B. subtilis. Furthermore, using cultured Arabidopsis roots as a test system, we were able to demonstrate the formation of stable, viable Bacillus biofilms on the roots. Such roots were protected from killing by a root pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae strain. We have now formulated a mechanism to explain how such biocontrol by B. subtilis occurs, and future work will explore the role of isoprene in signaling between different rhizobacteria and plant roots.

  17. Rumen microbial (meta)genomics and its application to ruminant production.

    PubMed

    Morgavi, D P; Kelly, W J; Janssen, P H; Attwood, G T

    2013-03-01

    Meat and milk produced by ruminants are important agricultural products and are major sources of protein for humans. Ruminant production is of considerable economic value and underpins food security in many regions of the world. However, the sector faces major challenges because of diminishing natural resources and ensuing increases in production costs, and also because of the increased awareness of the environmental impact of farming ruminants. The digestion of feed and the production of enteric methane are key functions that could be manipulated by having a thorough understanding of the rumen microbiome. Advances in DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics are transforming our understanding of complex microbial ecosystems, including the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. The application of these techniques to the rumen ecosystem has allowed the study of the microbial diversity under different dietary and production conditions. Furthermore, the sequencing of genomes from several cultured rumen bacterial and archaeal species is providing detailed information about their physiology. More recently, metagenomics, mainly aimed at understanding the enzymatic machinery involved in the degradation of plant structural polysaccharides, is starting to produce new insights by allowing access to the total community and sidestepping the limitations imposed by cultivation. These advances highlight the promise of these approaches for characterising the rumen microbial community structure and linking this with the functions of the rumen microbiota. Initial results using high-throughput culture-independent technologies have also shown that the rumen microbiome is far more complex and diverse than the human caecum. Therefore, cataloguing its genes will require a considerable sequencing and bioinformatic effort. Nevertheless, the construction of a rumen microbial gene catalogue through metagenomics and genomic sequencing of key populations is an attainable goal. A rumen

  18. Rumen microbial (meta)genomics and its application to ruminant production.

    PubMed

    Morgavi, D P; Kelly, W J; Janssen, P H; Attwood, G T

    2013-03-01

    Meat and milk produced by ruminants are important agricultural products and are major sources of protein for humans. Ruminant production is of considerable economic value and underpins food security in many regions of the world. However, the sector faces major challenges because of diminishing natural resources and ensuing increases in production costs, and also because of the increased awareness of the environmental impact of farming ruminants. The digestion of feed and the production of enteric methane are key functions that could be manipulated by having a thorough understanding of the rumen microbiome. Advances in DNA sequencing technologies and bioinformatics are transforming our understanding of complex microbial ecosystems, including the gastrointestinal tract of mammals. The application of these techniques to the rumen ecosystem has allowed the study of the microbial diversity under different dietary and production conditions. Furthermore, the sequencing of genomes from several cultured rumen bacterial and archaeal species is providing detailed information about their physiology. More recently, metagenomics, mainly aimed at understanding the enzymatic machinery involved in the degradation of plant structural polysaccharides, is starting to produce new insights by allowing access to the total community and sidestepping the limitations imposed by cultivation. These advances highlight the promise of these approaches for characterising the rumen microbial community structure and linking this with the functions of the rumen microbiota. Initial results using high-throughput culture-independent technologies have also shown that the rumen microbiome is far more complex and diverse than the human caecum. Therefore, cataloguing its genes will require a considerable sequencing and bioinformatic effort. Nevertheless, the construction of a rumen microbial gene catalogue through metagenomics and genomic sequencing of key populations is an attainable goal. A rumen

  19. Recent advances in deep-sea natural products.

    PubMed

    Skropeta, Danielle; Wei, Liangqian

    2014-08-01

    Covering: 2009 to 2013. This review covers the 188 novel marine natural products described since 2008, from deep-water (50->5000 m) marine fauna including bryozoa, chordata, cnidaria, echinodermata, microorganisms, mollusca and porifera. The structures of the new compounds and details of the source organism, depth of collection and country of origin are presented, along with any relevant biological activities of the metabolites. Where reported, synthetic studies on the deep-sea natural products have also been included. Most strikingly, 75% of the compounds were reported to possess bioactivity, with almost half exhibiting low micromolar cytotoxicity towards a range of human cancer cell lines, along with a significant increase in the number of microbial deep-sea natural products reported.

  20. Recent advances in deep-sea natural products.

    PubMed

    Skropeta, Danielle; Wei, Liangqian

    2014-08-01

    Covering: 2009 to 2013. This review covers the 188 novel marine natural products described since 2008, from deep-water (50->5000 m) marine fauna including bryozoa, chordata, cnidaria, echinodermata, microorganisms, mollusca and porifera. The structures of the new compounds and details of the source organism, depth of collection and country of origin are presented, along with any relevant biological activities of the metabolites. Where reported, synthetic studies on the deep-sea natural products have also been included. Most strikingly, 75% of the compounds were reported to possess bioactivity, with almost half exhibiting low micromolar cytotoxicity towards a range of human cancer cell lines, along with a significant increase in the number of microbial deep-sea natural products reported. PMID:24871201

  1. Electricity production and microbial biofilm characterization in cellulose-fed microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ren, Z; Steinberg, L M; Regan, J M

    2008-01-01

    Converting biodegradable materials into electricity, microbial fuel cells (MFCs) present a promising technology for renewable energy production in specific applications. Unlike typical soluble substrates that have been used as electron donors in MFC studies, cellulose is unique because it requires a microbial consortium that can metabolize both an insoluble electron donor (cellulose) and electron acceptor (electrode). In this study, electricity generation and the microbial ecology of cellulose-fed MFCs were analyzed using a defined co-culture of Clostridium cellulolyticum and Geobacter sulfurreducens. Fluorescent in situ hybridization and quantitative PCR showed that when particulate MN301 cellulose was used as sole substrate, most Clostridium cells were found adhered to cellulose particles in suspension, while most Geobacter cells were attached to the electrode. By comparison, both bacteria resided in suspension and biofilm samples when soluble carboxymethyl cellulose was used. This distinct function-related distribution of the bacteria suggests an opportunity to optimize reactor operation by settling cellulose and decanting supernatant to extend cellulose hydrolysis and improve cellulose-electricity conversion.

  2. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  3. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides product analysis... AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2120 Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through...

  4. Potential contribution of microbial degradation to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradley, P.M.; Chapelle, F.H.; Landmeyer, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    The potential contribution of in situ biodegradation as a mechanism for natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water was studied. Surface water sediments from streams and lakes at 11 sites throughout the US. Microbial degradation of [U-14C] MTBE was observed in surface-water-sediment microcosms under anaerobic conditions, but the efficiency and products of anaerobic MTBE biodegradation were strongly dependent on the predominant terminal electron accepting conditions. In the presence of substantial methanogenic activity, MTBE biodegradation was nominal and involved reduction of MTBE to t-butanol (TBA). Under more oxidizing conditions, minimal accumulation of 14C-TBA and significant mineralization of [U-14C] MTBE to 14CO2 were observed. Microorganisms inhabiting the bed sediments of streams and lakes could degrade MTBE effectively under a range of anaerobic terminal electron accepting conditions. Thus, anaerobic bed sediment microbial processes also might contribute to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems throughout the US. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 222nd ACS National Meting (Chicago, IL 8/26-30/2001).

  5. Potential contribution of microbial degradation to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bradley, P.M.; Chapelle, F.H.; Landmeyer, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    To evaluate the potential contribution of in situ biodegradation as a mechanism for natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water, surface water sediments were collected from streams and lakes at 11 sites throughout the US and the ability of the indigenous microorganisms to mineralize [U-14C] MTBE to 14CO2 under aerobic conditions was examined. Mineralization of [U-14C] MTBE to 14CO2 ranged from 15 to 66% over 50 days and did not differ significantly between sediments collected from MTBE contaminated sites and from sites with no history of MTBE exposure. The microorganisms, which inhabit the bed sediments of streams and lakes could degrade MTBE efficiently and this capability is widespread in the environment. Microbial degradation of [U-14C] MTBE was observed in surface-water-sediment microcosms under anaerobic conditions, but the efficiency and products of anaerobic MTBE biodegradation were strongly dependent on the predominant terminal electron accepting conditions. Microorganisms inhabiting the bed sediments of streams and lakes could degrade MTBE effectively under a range of anaerobic terminal electron accepting conditions. Thus, anaerobic bed sediment microbial processes also might contribute to natural attenuation of MTBE in surface water systems throughout the US.

  6. Microbial Consumption of Natural Gases Released from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, S. D.; Valentine, D. L.; Farwell, C.

    2010-12-01

    The BP Deepwater Horizon disaster caused the release of natural gas, which dissolved in the water column to form gas plumes. Containing methane, ethane, and propane, these gas plumes fuel microbial respiration. This work targeted the water column to quantify the maximum rate of microbial respiration in the natural gas plume. A novel method using uniformly 13C-labeled substrates as tracers was applied to determine the rate of microbial consumption of these gases in water surrounding the impacted area. Consumption rate experiments were performed on board the R/V Cape Hatteras (July 12-20, 2010) and analyzed using an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS). The kinetic order and maximum consumption rate of the microbial community were determined by experimental controls using the 13C-labeled tracers in temperature, time, and concentration series. Ongoing sampling efforts allow changes in the response of the microbial community to be monitored over time.

  7. Microbial lipid production by oleaginous Rhodococci cultured in lignocellulosic autohydrolysates.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhen; Zeng, Guangming; Huang, Fang; Kosa, Matyas; Sun, Qining; Meng, Xianzhi; Huang, Danlian; Ragauskas, Arthur J

    2015-09-01

    Metabolic synthesis of single cell oils (SCOs) for biodiesel application by heterotrophic oleaginous microorganisms is being hampered by the high cost of culture media. This study investigated the possibility of using loblolly pine and sweetgum autohydrolysates as economic feedstocks for microbial lipid production by oleaginous Rhodococcus opacus (R. opacus) PD630 and DSM 1069. Results revealed that when the substrates were detoxified by the removal of inhibitors (such as HMF-hydroxymethyl-furfural), the two strains exhibited viable growth patterns after a short adaptation/lag phase. R. opacus PD630 accumulated as much as 28.6 % of its cell dry weight (CDW) in lipids while growing on detoxified sweetgum autohydrolysate (DSAH) that translates to 0.25 g/l lipid yield. The accumulation of SCOs reached the level of oleagenicity in DSM 1069 cells (28.3 % of CDW) as well, while being cultured on detoxified pine autohydrolysate (DPAH), with the maximum lipid yield of 0.31 g/l. The composition of the obtained microbial oils varied depending on the substrates provided. These results indicate that lignocellulosic autohydrolysates can be used as low-cost fermentation substrates for microbial lipid production by wild-type R. opacus species. Consequently, the variety of applications for aqueous liquors from lignocellulosic pretreatment has been expanded, allowing for the further optimization of the integrated biorefinery.

  8. Natural atmospheric microbial conditions in a typical suburban area.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, B L; Cookson, J T

    1983-01-01

    Ambient outdoor concentrations and size distributions of airborne microbial particles were measured approximately weekly for 2 years in a Washington, D.C., suburban area. The study objective was to characterize microbial air quality in the vicinity of a proposed sewage sludge composting facility. During the study, 379 samples were taken at 17 stations, using Andersen microbial samplers. Concentration ranges (in viable particles per cubic meter) were as follows: airborne mesophilic fungi, 0 to 7,220 with a geometric mean of 273; thermophilic fungi, 0 to 193 with a median of 2.1; Aspergillus fumigatus, 0 to 71 with a median of 1.0; aerobic bacteria, 4.2 to 1,640 with a geometric mean of 79; and fecal streptococci, 0 to 5.7 with a median of 0. No fecal coliforms were recovered. The potentially respirable fraction (less than 8 microns) averaged 34% for total bacteria, 56% for mesophilic fungi, 91% for thermophilic fungi, and 95% for A. fumigatus. The specific sampling location was not a major factor affecting microbial particle concentrations or size distributions. Conversely, the time of year was an important determinant of viable particle concentrations for all groups of microorganisms studied. The highest concentrations were observed in summer and fall, with significantly lower levels detected in winter. In general, the microbial data did not correlate with other variables, including weather conditions, measured in this study. PMID:6342536

  9. Microbial production of propionic acid from propionibacteria: current state, challenges and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Liu, Long; Zhu, Yunfeng; Li, Jianghua; Wang, Miao; Lee, Pengsoon; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2012-12-01

    Propionic acid (PA) is an important building block chemical and finds a variety of applications in organic synthesis, food, feeding stuffs, perfume, paint and pharmaceutical industries. Presently, PA is mainly produced by petrochemical route. With the continuous increase in oil prices, public concern about environmental pollution, and the consumers' desire for bio-based natural and green ingredients in foods and pharmaceuticals, PA production from propionibacteria has attracted considerable attention, and substantial progresses have been made on microbial PA production. However, production of PA by propionibacteria is facing challenges such as severe inhibition of end-products during cell growth and the formation of by-products (acetic acid and succinic acid). The integration of reverse metabolic engineering and systematic metabolic engineering provides an opportunity to significantly improve the acid tolerance of propionibacteria and reduce the formation of by-products, and makes it feasible to strengthen the commercial competition of biotechnological PA production from propionibacteria to be comparable to the petrochemical route.

  10. Microbial-processing of fruit and vegetable wastes for production of vital enzymes and organic acids: Biotechnology and scopes.

    PubMed

    Panda, Sandeep K; Mishra, Swati S; Kayitesi, Eugenie; Ray, Ramesh C

    2016-04-01

    Wastes generated from fruits and vegetables are organic in nature and contribute a major share in soil and water pollution. Also, green house gas emission caused by fruit and vegetable wastes (FVWs) is a matter of serious environmental concern. This review addresses the developments over the last one decade on microbial processing technologies for production of enzymes and organic acids from FVWs. The advances in genetic engineering for improvement of microbial strains in order to enhance the production of the value added bio-products as well as the concept of zero-waste economy have been briefly discussed.

  11. Microbial-processing of fruit and vegetable wastes for production of vital enzymes and organic acids: Biotechnology and scopes.

    PubMed

    Panda, Sandeep K; Mishra, Swati S; Kayitesi, Eugenie; Ray, Ramesh C

    2016-04-01

    Wastes generated from fruits and vegetables are organic in nature and contribute a major share in soil and water pollution. Also, green house gas emission caused by fruit and vegetable wastes (FVWs) is a matter of serious environmental concern. This review addresses the developments over the last one decade on microbial processing technologies for production of enzymes and organic acids from FVWs. The advances in genetic engineering for improvement of microbial strains in order to enhance the production of the value added bio-products as well as the concept of zero-waste economy have been briefly discussed. PMID:26761593

  12. Expanding the product profile of a microbial alkane biosynthetic pathway.

    PubMed

    Harger, Matthew; Zheng, Lei; Moon, Austin; Ager, Casey; An, Ju Hye; Choe, Chris; Lai, Yi-Ling; Mo, Benjamin; Zong, David; Smith, Matthew D; Egbert, Robert G; Mills, Jeremy H; Baker, David; Pultz, Ingrid Swanson; Siegel, Justin B

    2013-01-18

    Microbially produced alkanes are a new class of biofuels that closely match the chemical composition of petroleum-based fuels. Alkanes can be generated from the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway by the reduction of acyl-ACPs followed by decarbonylation of the resulting aldehydes. A current limitation of this pathway is the restricted product profile, which consists of n-alkanes of 13, 15, and 17 carbons in length. To expand the product profile, we incorporated a new part, FabH2 from Bacillus subtilis , an enzyme known to have a broader specificity profile for fatty acid initiation than the native FabH of Escherichia coli . When provided with the appropriate substrate, the addition of FabH2 resulted in an altered alkane product profile in which significant levels of n-alkanes of 14 and 16 carbons in length are produced. The production of even chain length alkanes represents initial steps toward the expansion of this recently discovered microbial alkane production pathway to synthesize complex fuels. This work was conceived and performed as part of the 2011 University of Washington international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) project.

  13. Contrasted effects of natural complex mixtures of PAHs and metals on oxygen cycle in a microbial mat.

    PubMed

    Pringault, Olivier; Aube, Johanne; Bouchez, Olivier; Klopp, Christophe; Mariette, Jérome; Escudie, Frédéric; Senin, Pavel; Goni-Urriza, Marisol

    2015-09-01

    The contamination of polluted environments is often due to a complex mixture of pollutants sometimes at trace levels which nevertheless may have significant effects on the diversity and functioning of organisms. The aim of this study was to assess the functional responses of a microbial mat exposed to a natural complex mixture of PAHs and metals as a function of the maturation stage of the biofilm. Microbial mats sampled in a slightly polluted environment were exposed to contaminated water of a retention basin of an oil refinery. The responses of the microbial mats differed according to season. In spring 2012, strong inhibition of both oxygen production and respiration was observed relative to the control, with rates representing less than 5% of the control after 72 h of incubation. A decrease of microbial activities was followed by a decrease of the coupling between autotrophs and heterotrophs. In contrast, in autumn 2012, no significant changes for oxygen production and respiration were observed and the coupling between autotrophs and heterotrophs was not altered. The differences observed between the spring and autumn mats might be explained by the maturity of the microbial mat with dominance of heterotrophic bacteria in spring, and diatoms and cyanobacteria in autumn, as well as by the differences in the chemical composition of the complex mixture of PAHs and metals. PMID:25957138

  14. Contrasted effects of natural complex mixtures of PAHs and metals on oxygen cycle in a microbial mat.

    PubMed

    Pringault, Olivier; Aube, Johanne; Bouchez, Olivier; Klopp, Christophe; Mariette, Jérome; Escudie, Frédéric; Senin, Pavel; Goni-Urriza, Marisol

    2015-09-01

    The contamination of polluted environments is often due to a complex mixture of pollutants sometimes at trace levels which nevertheless may have significant effects on the diversity and functioning of organisms. The aim of this study was to assess the functional responses of a microbial mat exposed to a natural complex mixture of PAHs and metals as a function of the maturation stage of the biofilm. Microbial mats sampled in a slightly polluted environment were exposed to contaminated water of a retention basin of an oil refinery. The responses of the microbial mats differed according to season. In spring 2012, strong inhibition of both oxygen production and respiration was observed relative to the control, with rates representing less than 5% of the control after 72 h of incubation. A decrease of microbial activities was followed by a decrease of the coupling between autotrophs and heterotrophs. In contrast, in autumn 2012, no significant changes for oxygen production and respiration were observed and the coupling between autotrophs and heterotrophs was not altered. The differences observed between the spring and autumn mats might be explained by the maturity of the microbial mat with dominance of heterotrophic bacteria in spring, and diatoms and cyanobacteria in autumn, as well as by the differences in the chemical composition of the complex mixture of PAHs and metals.

  15. Novel Strategies for Combating Pathogenic Biofilms Using Plant Products and Microbial Antibiosis.

    PubMed

    Khan, Mohd S A; Lee, Jintae

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms prefer to live in three-dimensional self-organized communities (biofilms), and this behavior provides microbial pathogens inhabiting various sites in the human body or on medical devices with survival advantages. In fact, pathogens in the biofilm stage exhibit up to a thousandfold more tolerance to conventional antimicrobial agents, and thus, they are difficult to eradicate and biofilms generated during acute infections become persistent, chronic, and recurrent. Consequently, novel strategies are being sought to control biofilm associated infections. The developmental strategies used include improved drug delivery and the penetration of biofilm matrices, and in particular, natural products that interfere with virulence and cross talk between microbial cells are being investigated as potential anti-biofilm agents. This article provides an overview of existing and promising biofilm control strategies based on plant and microbial products. Control strategies like quorum sensing inhibition, microbial antibiosis, and the uses of phages and probiotics are reviewed along with current developments in high throughput screening and in our understanding of structure activity relationships related to the regulation of biofilms by small molecules. PMID:26343132

  16. Natural product-based nanomedicine: recent advances and issues

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Rebekah; Wu, Ling; Zhang, Chenming; Davis, Richey M; Xu, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Natural products have been used in medicine for many years. Many top-selling pharmaceuticals are natural compounds or their derivatives. These plant- or microorganism-derived compounds have shown potential as therapeutic agents against cancer, microbial infection, inflammation, and other disease conditions. However, their success in clinical trials has been less impressive, partly due to the compounds’ low bioavailability. The incorporation of nanoparticles into a delivery system for natural products would be a major advance in the efforts to increase their therapeutic effects. Recently, advances have been made showing that nanoparticles can significantly increase the bioavailability of natural products both in vitro and in vivo. Nanotechnology has demonstrated its capability to manipulate particles in order to target specific areas of the body and control the release of drugs. Although there are many benefits to applying nanotechnology for better delivery of natural products, it is not without issues. Drug targeting remains a challenge and potential nanoparticle toxicity needs to be further investigated, especially if these systems are to be used to treat chronic human diseases. This review aims to summarize recent progress in several key areas relevant to natural products in nanoparticle delivery systems for biomedical applications. PMID:26451111

  17. Microbial production and oxidation of methane in deep subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotelnikova, Svetlana

    2002-10-01

    The goal of this review is to summarize present studies on microbial production and oxidation of methane in the deep subterranean environments. Methane is a long-living gas causing the "greenhouse" effect in the planet's atmosphere. Earlier, the deep "organic carbon poor" subsurface was not considered as a source of "biogenic" methane. Evidence of active methanogenesis and presence of viable methanogens including autotrophic organisms were obtained for some subsurface environments including water-flooded oil-fields, deep sandy aquifers, deep sea hydrothermal vents, the deep sediments and granitic groundwater at depths of 10 to 2000 m below sea level. As a rule, the deep subterranean microbial populations dwell at more or less oligotrophic conditions. Molecular hydrogen has been found in a variety of subsurface environments, where its concentrations were significantly higher than in the tested surface aquatic environments. Chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms from deep aquifers that could grow on hydrogen and carbon dioxide can act as primary producers of organic carbon, initiating heterotrophic food chains in the deep subterranean environments independent of photosynthesis. "Biogenic" methane has been found all over the world. On the basis of documented occurrences, gases in reservoirs and older sediments are similar and have the isotopic character of methane derived from CO 2 reduction. Groundwater representing the methanogenic end member are characterized by a relative depletion of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in combination with an enrichment in 13C in inorganic carbon, which is consistent with the preferential reduction of 12CO 2 by autotrophic methanogens or acetogens. The isotopic composition of methane formed via CO 2 reduction is controlled by the δ13C of the original CO 2 substrate. Literature data shows that CH 4 as heavy as -40‰ or -50‰ can be produced by the microbial reduction of isotopically heavy CO 2. Produced methane may be oxidized

  18. Trends in the relative contributions of microbial N2O production processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, S.; Croteau, P. L.; Boering, K. A.; Etheridge, D. M.; Ferretti, D.; Fraser, P.; Kim, K.; Krummel, P. B.; Langenfelds, R.; Perez, T. J.; Steele, P.; Trudinger, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    The increase in the atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) burden is largely a result of increased use of nitrogen-based agricultural fertilizer which stimulates microbial soil nitrification and denitrification processes. The enzymatic microbial production processes favor 14N over 15N, whereby kinetic isotope fractionation results in the distinct isotope fingerprints of the N2O sources: natural versus anthropogenic sources and nitrification versus denitrification. Long-term decreasing trends in δ15N, δ15Nα, and δ15Nβ (i.e., the central "α" and terminal "β" nitrogen positions in NNO), and δ18O of N2O observed in Antarctic firn air and archived air samples from Cape Grim, Tasmania, from 1940 to 2005 [Park et al., 2008], confirm that the anthropogenic source must be substantially isotopically lighter in 15N than the natural (or pre-industrial) source, as previously inferred from N2O soil emissions isotope measurements in mature tropical rainforests and agricultural soils [Park et al., 2011] and from a box model results based on the isotope values [Perez et al., 2001]. We estimated the relative contributions of nitrification and denitrification to the production of N2O and how they may have changed over time, based on the long-term record of Site Preference (SP=δ15Nα-δ15Nβ), as a proxy to differentiate nitrification and denitrification. An optimized box model analysis suggested a flux-weighted average SP for natural N2O sources of 4.2±1.5% and for the anthropogenic sources of 13.1±9.4%. If laboratory measurements of SP, for a variety of nitrifying (SP≈33%) versus denitrifying (SP≈0%) bacteria [Sutka et al., 2006], are globally relevant, then combining these microbial SP values with our model results suggested that the relative contribution of nitrification to global microbial N2O production has increased from 13(±5)% in pre-industrial times to 23(±13)% in 2005. Note that denitrification has been a major production process as consistently shown in

  19. Microbial Activation of Wooden Vats Used for Traditional Cheese Production and Evolution of Neoformed Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Gaglio, Raimondo; Cruciata, Margherita; Di Gerlando, Rosalia; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Mancuso, Isabella; Sardina, Maria Teresa; Moschetti, Giancarlo; Portolano, Baldassare

    2015-01-01

    Three Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris strains were used to develop ad hoc biofilms on the surfaces of virgin wooden vats used for cheese production. Two vats (TZ) were tested under controlled conditions (pilot plant), and two vats (TA) were tested under uncontrolled conditions (industrial plant). In each plant, one vat (TA1 and TZ1) was used for the control, traditional production of PDO Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (Vastedda) cheese, and one (TA2 and TZ2) was used for experimental production performed after lactococcal biofilm activation and the daily addition of a natural whey starter culture (NWSC). Microbiological and scanning electron microscopy analyses showed differences in terms of microbial levels and composition of the neoformed biofilms. The levels of the microbial groups investigated during cheese production showed significant differences between the control trials and between the control and experimental trials, but the differences were not particularly marked between the TA2 and TZ2 productions, which showed the largest numbers of mesophilic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) cocci. LAB populations were characterized phenotypically and genotypically, and 44 dominant strains belonging to 10 species were identified. Direct comparison of the polymorphic profiles of the LAB collected during cheese making showed that the addition of the NWSC reduced their biodiversity. Sensory evaluation showed that the microbial activation of the wooden vats with the multistrain Lactococcus culture generated cheeses with sensory attributes comparable to those of commercial cheese. Thus, neoformed biofilms enable a reduction of microbial variability and stabilize the sensorial attributes of Vastedda cheese. PMID:26546430

  20. A new approach to microbial production of gallic acid

    PubMed Central

    Bajpai, Bhakti; Patil, Shridhar

    2008-01-01

    In a new approach to microbial gallic acid production by Aspergillus fischeri MTCC 150, 40gL−1 of tannic acid was added in two installments during the bioconversion phase of the process (25gL−1 and 15gL−1 at 32 and 44h respectively). The optimum parameters for the bioconversion phase were found to be temperature: 35°C, pH: slightly acidic (3.3–3.5), aeration: nil and agitation: 250 rpm. A maximum of 71.4% conversion was obtained after 71h fermentation with 83.3% product recovery. The yield was 7.35 g of gallic acid per g of biomass accumulated and the fermenter productivity was 0.56 g of gallic acid produced per liter of medium per hour. PMID:24031294

  1. Antimycobacterial natural products--an opportunity for the Colombian biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Juan; Coy, Ericsson David; Stashenko, Elena

    2011-12-01

    It is estimated that one-third part of the world population is infected with the tubercle bacillus. While only a small percentage of infected individuals will develop clinical tuberculosis, each year there are approximately eight million new cases and two million deaths. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is thus responsible for more human mortality than any other single microbial species. The goals of tuberculosis control are focused to cure active disease, prevent relapse, reduce transmission and avert the emergence of drug-resistance. For over 50 years, natural products have served us well on combating infectious bacteria and fungi. During the 20th century, microbial and plant secondary metabolites have helped to double our life span, reduced pain and suffering, and revolutionized medicine. Colombia is a megadiverse country with enormous potential to offer leads for new antimycobacterial drugs. The principal aim of this article is to show a state of the art on antimycobacterial natural products research in Colombia compared to the rest of the world, in order to develop programs for bioprospecting with a view to determining the biological activity for pharmaceutical and industrial application of natural products in our country.

  2. Whey-derived valuable products obtained by microbial fermentation.

    PubMed

    Pescuma, Micaela; de Valdez, Graciela Font; Mozzi, Fernanda

    2015-08-01

    Whey, the main by-product of the cheese industry, is considered as an important pollutant due to its high chemical and biological oxygen demand. Whey, often considered as waste, has high nutritional value and can be used to obtain value-added products, although some of them need expensive enzymatic synthesis. An economical alternative to transform whey into valuable products is through bacterial or yeast fermentations and by accumulation during algae growth. Fermentative processes can be applied either to produce individual compounds or to formulate new foods and beverages. In the first case, a considerable amount of research has been directed to obtain biofuels able to replace those derived from petrol. In addition, the possibility of replacing petrol-derived plastics by biodegradable polymers synthesized during bacterial fermentation of whey has been sought. Further, the ability of different organisms to produce metabolites commonly used in the food and pharmaceutical industries (i.e., lactic acid, lactobionic acid, polysaccharides, etc.) using whey as growth substrate has been studied. On the other hand, new low-cost functional whey-based foods and beverages leveraging the high nutritional quality of whey have been formulated, highlighting the health-promoting effects of fermented whey-derived products. This review aims to gather the multiple uses of whey as sustainable raw material for the production of individual compounds, foods, and beverages by microbial fermentation. This is the first work to give an overview on the microbial transformation of whey as raw material into a large repertoire of industrially relevant foods and products. PMID:26124070

  3. Recent Advances in Natural Product Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Cobb, Ryan E.; Zhao, Huimin

    2014-01-01

    Natural products have been and continue to be the source and inspiration for a substantial fraction of human therapeutics. Although the pharmaceutical industry has largely turned its back on natural product discovery efforts, such efforts continue to flourish in academia with promising results. Natural products have traditionally been identified from a top-down perspective, but more recently genomics- and bioinformatics-guided bottom-up approaches have provided powerful alternative strategies. Here we review recent advances in natural product discovery from both angles, including diverse sampling and innovative culturing and screening approaches, as well as genomics-driven discovery and genetic manipulation techniques for both native and heterologous expression. PMID:25260043

  4. Culture-independent discovery of natural products from soil metagenomes.

    PubMed

    Katz, Micah; Hover, Bradley M; Brady, Sean F

    2016-03-01

    Bacterial natural products have proven to be invaluable starting points in the development of many currently used therapeutic agents. Unfortunately, traditional culture-based methods for natural product discovery have been deemphasized by pharmaceutical companies due in large part to high rediscovery rates. Culture-independent, or "metagenomic," methods, which rely on the heterologous expression of DNA extracted directly from environmental samples (eDNA), have the potential to provide access to metabolites encoded by a large fraction of the earth's microbial biosynthetic diversity. As soil is both ubiquitous and rich in bacterial diversity, it is an appealing starting point for culture-independent natural product discovery efforts. This review provides an overview of the history of soil metagenome-driven natural product discovery studies and elaborates on the recent development of new tools for sequence-based, high-throughput profiling of environmental samples used in discovering novel natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. We conclude with several examples of these new tools being employed to facilitate the recovery of novel secondary metabolite encoding gene clusters from soil metagenomes and the subsequent heterologous expression of these clusters to produce bioactive small molecules.

  5. Microbial nitrogen cycling response to forest-based bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Minick, Kevan J; Strahm, Brian D; Fox, Thomas R; Sucre, Eric B; Leggett, Zakiya H

    2015-12-01

    Concern over rising atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel combustion has intensified research into carbon-neutral energy production. Approximately 15.8 million ha of pine plantations exist across the southeastern United States, representing a vast land area advantageous for bioenergy production without significant landuse change or diversion of agricultural resources from food production. Furthermore, intercropping of pine with bioenergy grasses could provide annually harvestable, lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks along with production of traditional wood products. Viability of such a system hinges in part on soil nitrogen (N) availability and effects of N competition between pines and grasses on ecosystem productivity. We investigated effects of intercropping loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on microbial N cycling processes in the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA. Soil samples were collected from bedded rows of pine and interbed space of two treatments, composed of either volunteer native woody and herbaceous vegetation (pine-native) or pure switchgrass (pine-switchgrass) in interbeds. An in vitro 15N pool-dilution technique was employed to quantify gross N transformations at two soil depths (0-5 and 5-15 cm) on four dates in 2012-2013. At the 0-5 cm depth in beds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was two to three times higher in November and February compared to the pine-native treatment, resulting in increased NH4(+) availability. Gross and net nitrification were also significantly higher in February in the same pine beds. In interbeds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was lower from April to November, but higher in February, potentially reflecting positive effects of switchgrass root-derived C inputs during dormancy on microbial activity. These findings indicate soil N cycling and availability has increased in pine beds of the pine

  6. Microbial nitrogen cycling response to forest-based bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Minick, Kevan J; Strahm, Brian D; Fox, Thomas R; Sucre, Eric B; Leggett, Zakiya H

    2015-12-01

    Concern over rising atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel combustion has intensified research into carbon-neutral energy production. Approximately 15.8 million ha of pine plantations exist across the southeastern United States, representing a vast land area advantageous for bioenergy production without significant landuse change or diversion of agricultural resources from food production. Furthermore, intercropping of pine with bioenergy grasses could provide annually harvestable, lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks along with production of traditional wood products. Viability of such a system hinges in part on soil nitrogen (N) availability and effects of N competition between pines and grasses on ecosystem productivity. We investigated effects of intercropping loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) with switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) on microbial N cycling processes in the Lower Coastal Plain of North Carolina, USA. Soil samples were collected from bedded rows of pine and interbed space of two treatments, composed of either volunteer native woody and herbaceous vegetation (pine-native) or pure switchgrass (pine-switchgrass) in interbeds. An in vitro 15N pool-dilution technique was employed to quantify gross N transformations at two soil depths (0-5 and 5-15 cm) on four dates in 2012-2013. At the 0-5 cm depth in beds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was two to three times higher in November and February compared to the pine-native treatment, resulting in increased NH4(+) availability. Gross and net nitrification were also significantly higher in February in the same pine beds. In interbeds of the pine-switchgrass treatment, gross N mineralization was lower from April to November, but higher in February, potentially reflecting positive effects of switchgrass root-derived C inputs during dormancy on microbial activity. These findings indicate soil N cycling and availability has increased in pine beds of the pine

  7. Counting on natural products for drug design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodrigues, Tiago; Reker, Daniel; Schneider, Petra; Schneider, Gisbert

    2016-06-01

    Natural products and their molecular frameworks have a long tradition as valuable starting points for medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. Recently, there has been a revitalization of interest in the inclusion of these chemotypes in compound collections for screening and achieving selective target modulation. Here we discuss natural-product-inspired drug discovery with a focus on recent advances in the design of synthetically tractable small molecules that mimic nature's chemistry. We highlight the potential of innovative computational tools in processing structurally complex natural products to predict their macromolecular targets and attempt to forecast the role that natural-product-derived fragments and fragment-like natural products will play in next-generation drug discovery.

  8. Natural Microbial Assemblages Reflect Distinct Organismal and Functional Partitioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilmes, P.; Andersson, A.; Kalnejais, L. H.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Lefsrud, M. G.; Wexler, M.; Singer, S. W.; Shah, M.; Bond, P. L.; Thelen, M. P.; Hettich, R. L.; Banfield, J. F.

    2007-12-01

    The ability to link microbial community structure to function has long been a primary focus of environmental microbiology. With the advent of community genomic and proteomic techniques, along with advances in microscopic imaging techniques, it is now possible to gain insights into the organismal and functional makeup of microbial communities. Biofilms growing within highly acidic solutions inside the Richmond Mine (Iron Mountain, Redding, California) exhibit distinct macro- and microscopic morphologies. They are composed of microorganisms belonging to the three domains of life, including archaea, bacteria and eukarya. The proportion of each organismal type depends on sampling location and developmental stage. For example, mature biofilms floating on top of acid mine drainage (AMD) pools exhibit layers consisting of a densely packed bottom layer of the chemoautolithotroph Leptospirillum group II, a less dense top layer composed mainly of archaea, and fungal filaments spanning across the entire biofilm. The expression of cytochrome 579 (the most highly abundant protein in the biofilm, believed to be central to iron oxidation and encoded by Leptospirillum group II) is localized at the interface of the biofilm with the AMD solution, highlighting that biofilm architecture is reflected at the functional gene expression level. Distinct functional partitioning is also apparent in a biological wastewater treatment system that selects for distinct polyphosphate accumulating organisms. Community genomic data from " Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis" dominated activated sludge has enabled high mass-accuracy shotgun proteomics for identification of key metabolic pathways. Comprehensive genome-wide alignment of orthologous proteins suggests distinct partitioning of protein variants involved in both core-metabolism and specific metabolic pathways among the dominant population and closely related species. In addition, strain- resolved proteogenomic analysis of the AMD biofilms

  9. Super Natural II--a database of natural products.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Priyanka; Erehman, Jevgeni; Gohlke, Björn-Oliver; Wilhelm, Thomas; Preissner, Robert; Dunkel, Mathias

    2015-01-01

    Natural products play a significant role in drug discovery and development. Many topological pharmacophore patterns are common between natural products and commercial drugs. A better understanding of the specific physicochemical and structural features of natural products is important for corresponding drug development. Several encyclopedias of natural compounds have been composed, but the information remains scattered or not freely available. The first version of the Supernatural database containing ∼ 50,000 compounds was published in 2006 to face these challenges. Here we present a new, updated and expanded version of natural product database, Super Natural II (http://bioinformatics.charite.de/supernatural), comprising ∼ 326,000 molecules. It provides all corresponding 2D structures, the most important structural and physicochemical properties, the predicted toxicity class for ∼ 170,000 compounds and the vendor information for the vast majority of compounds. The new version allows a template-based search for similar compounds as well as a search for compound names, vendors, specific physical properties or any substructures. Super Natural II also provides information about the pathways associated with synthesis and degradation of the natural products, as well as their mechanism of action with respect to structurally similar drugs and their target proteins. PMID:25300487

  10. Methane Production by Microbial Mats Under Low Sulfate Concentrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Hoehler, Tori M.; Thamdrup, Bo; Albert, Dan; Carpenter, Steven P.; Hogan, Mary; Turk, Kendra; DesMarais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    Cyanobacterial mats collected in hypersaline salterns were incubated in a greenhouse under low sulfate concentrations ([SO4]) and examined for their primary productivity and emissions of methane and other major carbon species. Atmospheric greenhouse warming by gases such as carbon dioxide and methane must have been greater during the Archean than today in order to account for a record of moderate to warm paleoclemates, despite a less luminous early sun. It has been suggested that decreased levels of oxygen and sulfate in Archean oceans could have significantly stimulated microbial methanogenesis relative to present marine rates, with a resultant increase in the relative importance of methane in maintaining the early greenhouse. We maintained modern microbial mats, models of ancient coastal marine communities, in artificial brine mixtures containing both modern [SO4=] (ca. 70 mM) and "Archean" [SO4] (less than 0.2 mM). At low [SO4], primary production in the mats was essentially unaffected, while rates of sulfate reduction decreased by a factor of three, and methane fluxes increased by up to ten-fold. However, remineralization by methanogenesis still amounted to less than 0.4 % of the total carbon released by the mats. The relatively low efficiency of conversion of photosynthate to methane is suggested to reflect the particular geometry and chemical microenvironment of hypersaline cyanobacterial mats. Therefore, such mats w-ere probably relatively weak net sources of methane throughout their 3.5 Ga history, even during periods of low- environmental levels oxygen and sulfate.

  11. Improving microbial biogasoline production in Escherichia coli using tolerance engineering

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Foo, Jee Loon; Jensen, Heather M.; Dahl, Robert H.; George, Kevin; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon; Leong, Susanna; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2014-11-04

    Engineering microbial hosts for the production of fungible fuels requires mitigation of limitations posed on the production capacity. One such limitation arises from the inherent toxicity of solvent-like biofuel compounds to production strains, such as Escherichia coli. Here we show the importance of host engineering for the production of short-chain alcohols by studying the overexpression of genes upregulated in response to exogenous isopentenol. Using systems biology data, we selected 40 genes that were upregulated following isopentenol exposure and subsequently overexpressed them in E. coli. Overexpression of several of these candidates improved tolerance to exogenously added isopentenol. Genes conferring isopentenol tolerancemore » phenotypes belonged to diverse functional groups, such as oxidative stress response (soxS, fpr, and nrdH), general stress response (metR, yqhD, and gidB), heat shock-related response (ibpA), and transport (mdlB). To determine if these genes could also improve isopentenol production, we coexpressed the tolerance-enhancing genes individually with an isopentenol production pathway. Our data show that expression of 6 of the 8 candidates improved the production of isopentenol in E. coli, with the methionine biosynthesis regulator MetR improving the titer for isopentenol production by 55%. Additionally, expression of MdlB, an ABC transporter, facilitated a 12% improvement in isopentenol production. To our knowledge, MdlB is the first example of a transporter that can be used to improve production of a short-chain alcohol and provides a valuable new avenue for host engineering in biogasoline production.« less

  12. Improving Microbial Biogasoline Production in Escherichia coli Using Tolerance Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Foo, Jee Loon; Jensen, Heather M.; Dahl, Robert H.; George, Kevin; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon; Leong, Susanna

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Engineering microbial hosts for the production of fungible fuels requires mitigation of limitations posed on the production capacity. One such limitation arises from the inherent toxicity of solvent-like biofuel compounds to production strains, such as Escherichia coli. Here we show the importance of host engineering for the production of short-chain alcohols by studying the overexpression of genes upregulated in response to exogenous isopentenol. Using systems biology data, we selected 40 genes that were upregulated following isopentenol exposure and subsequently overexpressed them in E. coli. Overexpression of several of these candidates improved tolerance to exogenously added isopentenol. Genes conferring isopentenol tolerance phenotypes belonged to diverse functional groups, such as oxidative stress response (soxS, fpr, and nrdH), general stress response (metR, yqhD, and gidB), heat shock-related response (ibpA), and transport (mdlB). To determine if these genes could also improve isopentenol production, we coexpressed the tolerance-enhancing genes individually with an isopentenol production pathway. Our data show that expression of 6 of the 8 candidates improved the production of isopentenol in E. coli, with the methionine biosynthesis regulator MetR improving the titer for isopentenol production by 55%. Additionally, expression of MdlB, an ABC transporter, facilitated a 12% improvement in isopentenol production. To our knowledge, MdlB is the first example of a transporter that can be used to improve production of a short-chain alcohol and provides a valuable new avenue for host engineering in biogasoline production. PMID:25370492

  13. Mimicking a natural pathway for de novo biosynthesis: natural vanillin production from accessible carbon sources.

    PubMed

    Ni, Jun; Tao, Fei; Du, Huaiqing; Xu, Ping

    2015-09-02

    Plant secondary metabolites have been attracting people's attention for centuries, due to their potentials; however, their production is still difficult and costly. The rich diversity of microbes and microbial genome sequence data provide unprecedented gene resources that enable to develop efficient artificial pathways in microorganisms. Here, by mimicking a natural pathway of plants using microbial genes, a new metabolic route was developed in E. coli for the synthesis of vanillin, the most widely used flavoring agent. A series of factors were systematically investigated for raising production, including efficiency and suitability of genes, gene dosage, and culture media. The metabolically engineered strain produced 97.2 mg/L vanillin from l-tyrosine, 19.3 mg/L from glucose, 13.3 mg/L from xylose and 24.7 mg/L from glycerol. These results show that the metabolic route enables production of natural vanillin from low-cost substrates, suggesting that it is a good strategy to mimick natural pathways for artificial pathway design.

  14. Mimicking a natural pathway for de novo biosynthesis: natural vanillin production from accessible carbon sources

    PubMed Central

    Ni, Jun; Tao, Fei; Du, Huaiqing; Xu, Ping

    2015-01-01

    Plant secondary metabolites have been attracting people’s attention for centuries, due to their potentials; however, their production is still difficult and costly. The rich diversity of microbes and microbial genome sequence data provide unprecedented gene resources that enable to develop efficient artificial pathways in microorganisms. Here, by mimicking a natural pathway of plants using microbial genes, a new metabolic route was developed in E. coli for the synthesis of vanillin, the most widely used flavoring agent. A series of factors were systematically investigated for raising production, including efficiency and suitability of genes, gene dosage, and culture media. The metabolically engineered strain produced 97.2 mg/L vanillin from l-tyrosine, 19.3 mg/L from glucose, 13.3 mg/L from xylose and 24.7 mg/L from glycerol. These results show that the metabolic route enables production of natural vanillin from low-cost substrates, suggesting that it is a good strategy to mimick natural pathways for artificial pathway design. PMID:26329726

  15. Recent insights into microbial catalases: isolation, production and purification.

    PubMed

    Sooch, Balwinder Singh; Kauldhar, Baljinder Singh; Puri, Munish

    2014-12-01

    Catalase, an oxidoreductase enzyme, works as a detoxification system inside living cells against reactive oxygen species formed as a by-product of different metabolic reactions. The enzyme is found in a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic organisms. Catalase has also been employed in various analytical and diagnostic methods in the form of biosensors and biomarkers in addition to its other applications in textile, paper, food and pharmaceutical industries. New applications for catalases are constantly emerging thanks to their high turnover rate, distinct evolutionary origin, relatively simple and well-defined reaction mechanisms. The following review provides comprehensive information on isolation, production and purification of catalases with different techniques from various microbial sources along with their types, structure, mechanism of action and applications. PMID:25261851

  16. Recent insights into microbial catalases: isolation, production and purification.

    PubMed

    Sooch, Balwinder Singh; Kauldhar, Baljinder Singh; Puri, Munish

    2014-12-01

    Catalase, an oxidoreductase enzyme, works as a detoxification system inside living cells against reactive oxygen species formed as a by-product of different metabolic reactions. The enzyme is found in a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic organisms. Catalase has also been employed in various analytical and diagnostic methods in the form of biosensors and biomarkers in addition to its other applications in textile, paper, food and pharmaceutical industries. New applications for catalases are constantly emerging thanks to their high turnover rate, distinct evolutionary origin, relatively simple and well-defined reaction mechanisms. The following review provides comprehensive information on isolation, production and purification of catalases with different techniques from various microbial sources along with their types, structure, mechanism of action and applications.

  17. Microbial evaluation and deterioration of paints and paint-products.

    PubMed

    Obidi, O F; Aboaba, O O; Makanjuola, M S; Nwachukwu, S C U

    2009-09-01

    The microbial quality of materials and final products of a reputable paint industry in Lagos area were analysed. The bacterial contaminants isolated in the paint-products included Bacillus brevis, B. polymyxa, B. laterosporus, Lactobacillus gasseri, L. brevis, Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis. The fungal contaminants detected in the paints were mainly Aspergillus niger, A. flavus and Penicillium citrinum. The microbial populations in the raw materials ranged from 1.0 x 10(6) - 9.5 x 10(6) cfu g(-1) for bacteria and between 1.25 x 10(4) and 6.8 x 10(4) cfu g(-1) for fungi while those present in packaging materials ranged from 3.45 x 10(6) - 7.65 x 10(6) cfu g(-1) for bacteria and 2.4 x 10(3) - 2.8 x 10(3) cfu g(-1) for fungi respectively. The bacterial populations in the fresh paint samples monitored every two weeks from the time of production ranged from 1.6 x 10(1) - 4.7 x 10(5) cfu ml(-1) while the fungal populations ranged from 1.0 x 10(1) - 5.5 x 10(3) cfu ml(-1) over a ten-month study period. The optical density at 600 nm increased while transmittance, pH, specific gravity and viscosity of the paint samples decreased over the period suggesting gradual deterioration of the aesthetic qualities of the paint-products with time as indicated by the measured parameters.

  18. Uranium Biomineralization by Natural Microbial Phosphatase Activities in the Subsurface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martinez, R.; Wu, C. H.; Beazley, M. J.; Andersen, G. L.; Hazen, T. C.; Taillefert, M.; Sobecky, P. A.

    2011-12-01

    Soils and groundwater contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides remain a legacy of Cold War nuclear weapons development. Due to the scale of environmental contamination, in situ sequestration of heavy metals and radionuclides remain the most cost-effective strategy for remediation. We are currently investigating a remediation approach that utilizes periplasmic and extracellular microbial phosphatase activity of soil bacteria capable promoting in situ uranium phosphate sequestration. Our studies focus on the contaminated soils from the DOE Field Research Center (ORFRC) in Oak Ridge, TN. We have previously demonstrated that ORFRC strains with phosphatase-positive phenotypes were capable of promoting the precpitation of >95% U(VI) as a low solubility phosphate mineral during growth on glycerol phosphate as a sole carbon and phosphorus source. Here we present culture-independent soil slurry studies aimed at understanding microbial community dynamics resulting from exogenous organophosphate additions. Soil slurries containing glycerol-2-phosphate (G2P) or glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) and nitrate as the sole C, P and N sources were incubated under oxic growth conditions at pH 5.5 or pH 6.8. Following treatments, total DNA was extracted and prokaryotic diversity was assessed using high-density 16S oligonucleotide microarray (PhyloChip) analysis. Treatments at pH 5.5 and pH 6.8 amended with G2P required 36 days to accumulate 4.8mM and 2.2 mM phosphate, respectively. In contrast, treatments at pH 5.5 and pH 6.8 amended with G3P accumulated 8.9 mM and 8.7 mM phosphate, respectively, after 20 days. A total of 2120 unique taxa representing 46 phyla, 66 classes, 110 orders, and 186 families were detected among all treatment conditions. The phyla that significantly (P<0.05) increased in abundance relative to incubations lacking organophosphate amendments included: Crenarchaeota, Euryarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. Members from the classes Bacteroidetes

  19. Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication

    PubMed Central

    Masiello, Caroline A.; Chen, Ye; Gao, Xiaodong; Liu, Shirley; Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Bennett, Matthew R.; Rudgers, Jennifer A.; Wagner, Daniel S.; Zygourakis, Kyriacos; Silberg, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700°C (surface area of 301 m2/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300°C (surface area of 3 m2/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops. PMID:24066613

  20. Microbial and Natural Metabolites That Inhibit Splicing: A Powerful Alternative for Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Montiel, Nancy; Rosas-Murrieta, Nora Hilda; Martínez-Montiel, Mónica; Gaspariano-Cholula, Mayra Patricia; Martínez-Contreras, Rebeca D

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, genes are frequently interrupted with noncoding sequences named introns. Alternative splicing is a nuclear mechanism by which these introns are removed and flanking coding regions named exons are joined together to generate a message that will be translated in the cytoplasm. This mechanism is catalyzed by a complex machinery known as the spliceosome, which is conformed by more than 300 proteins and ribonucleoproteins that activate and regulate the precision of gene expression when assembled. It has been proposed that several genetic diseases are related to defects in the splicing process, including cancer. For this reason, natural products that show the ability to regulate splicing have attracted enormous attention due to its potential use for cancer treatment. Some microbial metabolites have shown the ability to inhibit gene splicing and the molecular mechanism responsible for this inhibition is being studied for future applications. Here, we summarize the main types of natural products that have been characterized as splicing inhibitors, the recent advances regarding molecular and cellular effects related to these molecules, and the applications reported so far in cancer therapeutics. PMID:27610372

  1. Microbial and Natural Metabolites That Inhibit Splicing: A Powerful Alternative for Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Rosas-Murrieta, Nora Hilda; Martínez-Montiel, Mónica; Gaspariano-Cholula, Mayra Patricia

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, genes are frequently interrupted with noncoding sequences named introns. Alternative splicing is a nuclear mechanism by which these introns are removed and flanking coding regions named exons are joined together to generate a message that will be translated in the cytoplasm. This mechanism is catalyzed by a complex machinery known as the spliceosome, which is conformed by more than 300 proteins and ribonucleoproteins that activate and regulate the precision of gene expression when assembled. It has been proposed that several genetic diseases are related to defects in the splicing process, including cancer. For this reason, natural products that show the ability to regulate splicing have attracted enormous attention due to its potential use for cancer treatment. Some microbial metabolites have shown the ability to inhibit gene splicing and the molecular mechanism responsible for this inhibition is being studied for future applications. Here, we summarize the main types of natural products that have been characterized as splicing inhibitors, the recent advances regarding molecular and cellular effects related to these molecules, and the applications reported so far in cancer therapeutics. PMID:27610372

  2. Microbial and Natural Metabolites That Inhibit Splicing: A Powerful Alternative for Cancer Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Rosas-Murrieta, Nora Hilda; Martínez-Montiel, Mónica; Gaspariano-Cholula, Mayra Patricia

    2016-01-01

    In eukaryotes, genes are frequently interrupted with noncoding sequences named introns. Alternative splicing is a nuclear mechanism by which these introns are removed and flanking coding regions named exons are joined together to generate a message that will be translated in the cytoplasm. This mechanism is catalyzed by a complex machinery known as the spliceosome, which is conformed by more than 300 proteins and ribonucleoproteins that activate and regulate the precision of gene expression when assembled. It has been proposed that several genetic diseases are related to defects in the splicing process, including cancer. For this reason, natural products that show the ability to regulate splicing have attracted enormous attention due to its potential use for cancer treatment. Some microbial metabolites have shown the ability to inhibit gene splicing and the molecular mechanism responsible for this inhibition is being studied for future applications. Here, we summarize the main types of natural products that have been characterized as splicing inhibitors, the recent advances regarding molecular and cellular effects related to these molecules, and the applications reported so far in cancer therapeutics.

  3. Long lasting effects of the conversion from natural forest to poplar plantation on soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Vitali, Francesco; Mastromei, Giorgio; Senatore, Giuliana; Caroppo, Cesarea; Casalone, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we evaluate the long-lasting effects on soil microbial communities of a change within a single land-use category, specifically the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation. To minimize the effects of impacts other than land-use (i.e., climatic and anthropogenic), we chose three sites within a Natural Park, with homogeneous orographic and soil texture characteristics. We compared microbial diversity in a total of 156 soil samples from two natural mixed forests and a similar forest converted to poplar plantation about thirty years ago. The diversity and structure of bacterial and fungal communities were investigated by terminal restriction fragments length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of the 16S-rRNA gene and the ITS-rDNA regions, respectively. Bacterial and fungal communities from the forest plantation, compared to those from natural forest soils, showed different community structure and lower α-diversity values, consistently with the significantly higher pH values and lower organic matter content of those soils. β-diversity values, the number of measured and estimated dominant OTUs, and their distribution among the three sites showed that microbial communities from the two natural forests were much more similar to each other than they were to communities from the poplar plantation, suggesting an effect of the forest conversion on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. α-diversity in cultivated forest soils had narrower temporal fluctuations than in natural forest soils, suggesting higher temporal stability of microbial communities. Overall, we demonstrated that the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation altered soil microbial communities, changing their structure, lowering their diversity, and causing a spatial and temporal homogenization.

  4. Long lasting effects of the conversion from natural forest to poplar plantation on soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Vitali, Francesco; Mastromei, Giorgio; Senatore, Giuliana; Caroppo, Cesarea; Casalone, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we evaluate the long-lasting effects on soil microbial communities of a change within a single land-use category, specifically the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation. To minimize the effects of impacts other than land-use (i.e., climatic and anthropogenic), we chose three sites within a Natural Park, with homogeneous orographic and soil texture characteristics. We compared microbial diversity in a total of 156 soil samples from two natural mixed forests and a similar forest converted to poplar plantation about thirty years ago. The diversity and structure of bacterial and fungal communities were investigated by terminal restriction fragments length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of the 16S-rRNA gene and the ITS-rDNA regions, respectively. Bacterial and fungal communities from the forest plantation, compared to those from natural forest soils, showed different community structure and lower α-diversity values, consistently with the significantly higher pH values and lower organic matter content of those soils. β-diversity values, the number of measured and estimated dominant OTUs, and their distribution among the three sites showed that microbial communities from the two natural forests were much more similar to each other than they were to communities from the poplar plantation, suggesting an effect of the forest conversion on the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. α-diversity in cultivated forest soils had narrower temporal fluctuations than in natural forest soils, suggesting higher temporal stability of microbial communities. Overall, we demonstrated that the conversion from natural forest to forest plantation altered soil microbial communities, changing their structure, lowering their diversity, and causing a spatial and temporal homogenization. PMID:26686617

  5. Microbial Metabolite Production for Accelerated Metal and Radionuclide Bioremediation (Microbial Metabolite Production Report)

    SciTech Connect

    TURICK, CHARLES

    2004-09-21

    Biogeochemical activity is an ongoing and dynamic process due to bacterial activity in the subsurface. Bacteria contribute significantly to biotransformation of metals and radionuclides. As basic science reveals more information about specific mechanisms of bacterial-metal reduction, an even greater contribution of bacteria to biogeochemical activities is realized. An understanding and application of the mechanisms of metal and radionuclide reduction offers tremendous potential for development into bioremedial processes and technologies. Most bacteria are capable of biogeochemical transformation as a result of meeting nutrient requirements. These assimilatory mechanisms for metals transformation include production of small molecules that serve as electron shuttles for metal reduction. This contribution to biogeochemistry is small however due to only trace requirements for minerals by bacteria. Dissimilatory metal reducing bacteria (DMRB) reduce oxidized metals and insoluble mineral oxides as a means for biological energy production during growth. These types of bacteria offer considerable potential for bioremediation of environments contaminated with toxic metals and radionuclides because of the relatively large amount of metal biotransformation they require for growth. One of the mechanisms employed by some DMRB for electron transfer to insoluble metal oxides is melanin production. The electrochemical properties of melanin provide this polymeric, humic-type compound with electron shuttling properties. Melanin, specifically, pyomelanin, increases the rate and degree of metal reduction in DMRB as a function of pyomelanin concentration. Due to its electron shuttling behavior, only low femtogram quantities per cell are required to significantly increase metal reduction capacity of DMRB. Melanin production is not limited to DMRB. In fact melanin is one of the most common pigments produced by biological systems. Numerous soil microorganisms produce melanin, contributing

  6. C1-carbon sources for chemical and fuel production by microbial gas fermentation.

    PubMed

    Dürre, Peter; Eikmanns, Bernhard J

    2015-12-01

    Fossil resources for production of fuels and chemicals are finite and fuel use contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Thus, sustainable fuel supply, security, and prices necessitate the implementation of alternative routes to the production of chemicals and fuels. Much attention has been focussed on use of cellulosic material, particularly through microbial-based processes. However, this is still costly and proving challenging, as are catalytic routes to biofuels from whole biomass. An alternative strategy is to directly capture carbon before incorporation into lignocellulosic biomass. Autotrophic acetogenic, carboxidotrophic, and methanotrophic bacteria are able to capture carbon as CO, CO2, or CH4, respectively, and reuse that carbon in products that displace their fossil-derived counterparts. Thus, gas fermentation represents a versatile industrial platform for the sustainable production of commodity chemicals and fuels from diverse gas resources derived from industrial processes, coal, biomass, municipal solid waste (MSW), and extracted natural gas.

  7. Electrochemically assisted microbial production of hydrogen from acetate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong; Grot, Stephen; Logan, Bruce E

    2005-06-01

    Hydrogen production via bacterial fermentation is currently limited to a maximum of 4 moles of hydrogen per mole of glucose, and under these conditions results in a fermentation end product (acetate; 2 mol/mol glucose) that bacteria are unable to further convert to hydrogen. It is shown here that this biochemical barrier can be circumvented by generating hydrogen gas from acetate using a completely anaerobic microbial fuel cell (MFC). By augmenting the electrochemical potential achieved by bacteria in this MFC with an additional voltage of 250 mV or more, it was possible to produce hydrogen at the cathode directly from the oxidized organic matter. More than 90% of the protons and electrons produced by the bacteria from the oxidation of acetate were recovered as hydrogen gas, with an overall Coulombic efficiency (total recovery of electrons from acetate) of 60-78%. This is equivalent to an overall yield of 2.9 mol H2/mol acetate (assuming 78% Coulombic efficiency and 92% recovery of electrons as hydrogen). This bio-electrochemically assisted microbial system, if combined with hydrogen fermentation that produces 2-3 mol H2/mol glucose, has the potential to produce ca. 8-9 mol H2/mol glucose at an energy cost equivalent to 1.2 mol H2/mol glucose. Production of hydrogen by this anaerobic MFC process is not limited to carbohydrates, as in a fermentation process, as any biodegradable dissolved organic matter can theoretically be used in this process to generate hydrogen from the complete oxidation of organic matter.

  8. Microbial Diversity in Engineered Haloalkaline Environments Shaped by Shared Geochemical Drivers Observed in Natural Analogues.

    PubMed

    Santini, Talitha C; Warren, Lesley A; Kendra, Kathryn E

    2015-08-01

    Microbial communities in engineered terrestrial haloalkaline environments have been poorly characterized relative to their natural counterparts and are geologically recent in formation, offering opportunities to explore microbial diversity and assembly in dynamic, geochemically comparable contexts. In this study, the microbial community structure and geochemical characteristics of three geographically dispersed bauxite residue environments along a remediation gradient were assessed and subsequently compared with other engineered and natural haloalkaline systems. In bauxite residues, bacterial communities were similar at the phylum level (dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes) to those found in soda lakes, oil sands tailings, and nuclear wastes; however, they differed at lower taxonomic levels, with only 23% of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared with other haloalkaline environments. Although being less diverse than natural analogues, bauxite residue harbored substantial novel bacterial taxa, with 90% of OTUs nonmatchable to cultured representative sequences. Fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, consistent with previous studies of hypersaline environments, and also harbored substantial novel (73% of OTUs) taxa. In bauxite residues, community structure was clearly linked to geochemical and physical environmental parameters, with 84% of variation in bacterial and 73% of variation in fungal community structures explained by environmental parameters. The major driver of bacterial community structure (salinity) was consistent across natural and engineered environments; however, drivers differed for fungal community structure between natural (pH) and engineered (total alkalinity) environments. This study demonstrates that both engineered and natural terrestrial haloalkaline environments host substantial repositories of microbial diversity, which are strongly shaped by geochemical drivers. PMID:25979895

  9. Microbial Diversity in Engineered Haloalkaline Environments Shaped by Shared Geochemical Drivers Observed in Natural Analogues

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Lesley A.; Kendra, Kathryn E.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities in engineered terrestrial haloalkaline environments have been poorly characterized relative to their natural counterparts and are geologically recent in formation, offering opportunities to explore microbial diversity and assembly in dynamic, geochemically comparable contexts. In this study, the microbial community structure and geochemical characteristics of three geographically dispersed bauxite residue environments along a remediation gradient were assessed and subsequently compared with other engineered and natural haloalkaline systems. In bauxite residues, bacterial communities were similar at the phylum level (dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes) to those found in soda lakes, oil sands tailings, and nuclear wastes; however, they differed at lower taxonomic levels, with only 23% of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) shared with other haloalkaline environments. Although being less diverse than natural analogues, bauxite residue harbored substantial novel bacterial taxa, with 90% of OTUs nonmatchable to cultured representative sequences. Fungal communities were dominated by Ascomycota and Basidiomycota, consistent with previous studies of hypersaline environments, and also harbored substantial novel (73% of OTUs) taxa. In bauxite residues, community structure was clearly linked to geochemical and physical environmental parameters, with 84% of variation in bacterial and 73% of variation in fungal community structures explained by environmental parameters. The major driver of bacterial community structure (salinity) was consistent across natural and engineered environments; however, drivers differed for fungal community structure between natural (pH) and engineered (total alkalinity) environments. This study demonstrates that both engineered and natural terrestrial haloalkaline environments host substantial repositories of microbial diversity, which are strongly shaped by geochemical drivers. PMID:25979895

  10. Precipitation of iron minerals by a natural microbial consortium

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, D.A.; Sherriff, B.L.; Sparling, R.; Sawicki, J.A.

    1999-08-01

    A microbial biofilm consortium enriched from Shield surface water is able to mediate geochemical cycling of iron within a biofilm. Iron can be leached from Fe(II) containing minerals such as magnetite, biotite and ilmenite to generate a colloidal Fe(III) suspension. The Fe(III) can then be reduced back to Fe(II) by iron-reducing bacteria that utilize it as an electron acceptor. On precipitation, different iron compounds are formed depending on the ratio of iron to carbon in the media and upon the local environment. Moessbauer and X-ray diffraction spectroscopy show these compounds to include ferrous hydroxide, vivianite, ferrihydrite and hematite. These minerals may then become incorporated into stratifer iron deposits such as Banded Iron Formations.

  11. Natural products that inhibit carbonic anhydrase.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Sally-Ann; Davis, Rohan A

    2014-01-01

    The chemical diversity, binding specificity and propensity to interact with biological targets has inspired many researchers to utilize natural products as molecular probes. Almost all reported carbonic anhydrase inhibitors comprise a zinc binding group in their structure of which the primary sulfonamide moiety (-SO2NH2) is the foremost example and to a lesser extent the primary sulfamate (-O-SO2NH2) and sulfamide (-NH-SO2NH2) groups. Natural products that comprise these zinc binding groups in their structure are however rare and relatively few natural products have been explored as a source for novel carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. This chapter will highlight the recent and growing interest in carbonic anhydrase inhibitors sourced from nature, demonstrating that natural product chemical space presents a rich source of potential alternate chemotypes for the discovery of novel drug-like carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. PMID:24146386

  12. Targeting Nuclear Receptors with Marine Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chunyan; Li, Qianrong; Li, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are important pharmaceutical targets because they are key regulators of many metabolic and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, dyslipidemia, cirrhosis, and fibrosis. As ligands play a pivotal role in modulating nuclear receptor activity, the discovery of novel ligands for nuclear receptors represents an interesting and promising therapeutic approach. The search for novel NR agonists and antagonists with enhanced selectivities prompted the exploration of the extraordinary chemical diversity associated with natural products. Recent studies involving nuclear receptors have disclosed a number of natural products as nuclear receptor ligands, serving to re-emphasize the translational possibilities of natural products in drug discovery. In this review, the natural ligands of nuclear receptors will be described with an emphasis on their mechanisms of action and their therapeutic potentials, as well as on strategies to determine potential marine natural products as nuclear receptor modulators. PMID:24473166

  13. Targeting nuclear receptors with marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chunyan; Li, Qianrong; Li, Yong

    2014-01-27

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are important pharmaceutical targets because they are key regulators of many metabolic and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, dyslipidemia, cirrhosis, and fibrosis. As ligands play a pivotal role in modulating nuclear receptor activity, the discovery of novel ligands for nuclear receptors represents an interesting and promising therapeutic approach. The search for novel NR agonists and antagonists with enhanced selectivities prompted the exploration of the extraordinary chemical diversity associated with natural products. Recent studies involving nuclear receptors have disclosed a number of natural products as nuclear receptor ligands, serving to re-emphasize the translational possibilities of natural products in drug discovery. In this review, the natural ligands of nuclear receptors will be described with an emphasis on their mechanisms of action and their therapeutic potentials, as well as on strategies to determine potential marine natural products as nuclear receptor modulators.

  14. Microbial Resistance to Triclosan: A Case Study in Natural Selection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Serafini, Amanda; Matthews, Dorothy M.

    2009-01-01

    Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution caused by the environmental selection of organisms most fit to reproduce, sometimes explained as "survival of the fittest." An example of evolution by natural selection is the development of bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial agents as a result of exposure to these agents. Triclosan, which…

  15. Natural Products for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

    PubMed

    Ríos, José Luis; Francini, Flavio; Schinella, Guillermo R

    2015-08-01

    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia. High blood sugar can produce long-term complications such as cardiovascular and renal disorders, retinopathy, and poor blood flow. Its development can be prevented or delayed in people with impaired glucose tolerance by implementing lifestyle changes or the use of therapeutic agents. Some of these drugs have been obtained from plants or have a microbial origin, such as galegine isolated from Galega officinalis, which has a great similarity to the antidiabetic drug metformin. Picnogenol, acarbose, miglitol, and voglibose are other antidiabetic products of natural origin. This review compiles the principal articles on medicinal plants used for treating diabetes and its comorbidities, as well as mechanisms of natural products as antidiabetic agents. Inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase, effects on glucose uptake and glucose transporters, modification of mechanisms mediated by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B activity, modification of gene expression, and activities of hormones involved in glucose homeostasis such as adiponectin, resistin, and incretin, and reduction of oxidative stress are some of the mechanisms in which natural products are involved. We also review the most relevant clinical trials performed with medicinal plants and natural products such as aloe, banaba, bitter melon, caper, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, fenugreek, garlic, guava, gymnema, nettle, sage, soybean, green and black tea, turmeric, walnut, and yerba mate. Compounds of high interest as potential antidiabetics are: fukugetin, palmatine, berberine, honokiol, amorfrutins, trigonelline, gymnemic acids, gurmarin, and phlorizin. PMID:26132858

  16. Genomes to natural products PRediction Informatics for Secondary Metabolomes (PRISM)

    PubMed Central

    Skinnider, Michael A.; Dejong, Chris A.; Rees, Philip N.; Johnston, Chad W.; Li, Haoxin; Webster, Andrew L. H.; Wyatt, Morgan A.; Magarvey, Nathan A.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial natural products are an invaluable source of evolved bioactive small molecules and pharmaceutical agents. Next-generation and metagenomic sequencing indicates untapped genomic potential, yet high rediscovery rates of known metabolites increasingly frustrate conventional natural product screening programs. New methods to connect biosynthetic gene clusters to novel chemical scaffolds are therefore critical to enable the targeted discovery of genetically encoded natural products. Here, we present PRISM, a computational resource for the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters, prediction of genetically encoded nonribosomal peptides and type I and II polyketides, and bio- and cheminformatic dereplication of known natural products. PRISM implements novel algorithms which render it uniquely capable of predicting type II polyketides, deoxygenated sugars, and starter units, making it a comprehensive genome-guided chemical structure prediction engine. A library of 57 tailoring reactions is leveraged for combinatorial scaffold library generation when multiple potential substrates are consistent with biosynthetic logic. We compare the accuracy of PRISM to existing genomic analysis platforms. PRISM is an open-source, user-friendly web application available at http://magarveylab.ca/prism/. PMID:26442528

  17. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial communities during microalgal biomass production.

    PubMed

    Lakaniemi, Aino-Maija; Hulatt, Chris J; Wakeman, Kathryn D; Thomas, David N; Puhakka, Jaakko A

    2012-11-01

    Eukaryotic and bacterial communities were characterized and quantified in microalgal photobioreactor cultures of freshwater Chlorella vulgaris and marine Dunaliella tertiolecta. The microalgae exhibited good growth, whilst both cultures contained diverse bacterial communities. Both cultures included Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, while C. vulgaris cultures also contained Actinobacteria. The bacterial genera present in the cultures were different due to different growth medium salinities and possibly different extracellular products. Bacterial community profiles were relatively stable in D. tertiolecta cultures but not in C. vulgaris cultures likely due to presence of ciliates (Colpoda sp.) in the latter. The presence of ciliates did not, however, cause decrease in total number of C. vulgaris or bacteria during 14 days of cultivation. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) reliably showed relative microalgal and bacterial cell numbers in the batch cultures with stable microbial communities, but was not effective when bacterial communities varied. Raw culture samples were successfully used as qPCR templates. PMID:22995170

  18. Microbial production of fatty acid-derived fuels and chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Lennen, Rebecca M; Pfleger, Brian F

    2013-01-01

    Fatty acid metabolism is an attractive route to produce liquid transportation fuels and commodity oleochemicals from renewable feedstocks. Recently, genes and enzymes, which comprise metabolic pathways for producing fatty acid-derived compounds (e.g. esters, alkanes, olefins, ketones, alcohols, polyesters) have been elucidated and used in engineered microbial hosts. The resulting strains often generate products at low percentages of maximum theoretical yields, leaving significant room for metabolic engineering. Economically viable processes will require strains to approach theoretical yields, particularly for replacement of petroleum-derived fuels. This review will describe recent progress toward this goal, highlighting the scientific discoveries of each pathway, ongoing biochemical studies to understand each enzyme, and metabolic engineering strategies that are being used to improve strain performance. PMID:23541503

  19. Spatial Heterogeneity of Gut Microbial Composition along the Gastrointestinal Tract in Natural Populations of House Mice

    PubMed Central

    Nachman, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the role of gut microbial communities in host biology. However, the nature of variation in microbial communities among different segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is not well understood. Here, we describe microbial communities from ten different segments of the GI tract (mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, ileum, proximal cecum, distal cecum, colon, rectum, and feces) in wild house mice using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. We also measured carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic ratios from hair samples of individual mice as a proxy for diet. We identified factors that may explain differences in microbial composition among gut segments, and we tested for differences among individual mice in the composition of the microbiota. Consistent with previous studies, the lower GI tract was characterized by a greater relative abundance of anaerobic bacteria and greater microbial diversity relative to the upper GI tract. The upper and lower GI tracts also differed in the relative abundances of predicted microbial gene functions, including those involved in metabolic pathways. However, when the upper and lower GI tracts were considered separately, gut microbial composition was associated with individual mice. Finally, microbial communities derived from fecal samples were similar to those derived from the lower GI tract of their respective hosts, supporting the utility of fecal sampling for studying the gut microbiota of mice. These results show that while there is substantial heterogeneity among segments of the GI tract, individual hosts play a significant role in structuring microbial communities within particular segments of the GI tract. PMID:27669007

  20. New Synthetic Methods for Hypericum Natural Products

    SciTech Connect

    Jeon, Insik

    2006-01-01

    Organic chemistry has served as a solid foundation for interdisciplinary research areas, such as molecular biology and medicinal chemistry. An understanding of the biological activities and structural elucidations of natural products can lead to the development of clinically valuable therapeutic options. The advancements of modern synthetic methodologies allow for more elaborate and concise natural product syntheses. The theme of this study centers on the synthesis of natural products with particularly challenging structures and interesting biological activities. The synthetic expertise developed here will be applicable to analog syntheses and to other research problems.

  1. Follow-up of natural products isolation.

    PubMed

    Cannell, Richard J P; Sarker, Satyajit D; Nahar, Lutfun

    2012-01-01

    Follow-up of natural products isolation refers to re-isolation of compound(s) of interest in larger amounts for further pharmacological testing, conclusive structure elucidation, structure modifications to synthesize analogs for structure-activity relationships (SAR) studies, preformulation and formulation studies or clinical trials. In addition to conventional synthetic chemistry approaches, several other methodologies can be applied for following-up natural products isolation. This chapter outlines, with specific examples, various strategies and methods involved in follow-up of natural products isolation. PMID:22367909

  2. Microbial Primary Productivity in Hydrothermal Vent Chimneys at Middle Valley, Juan de Fuca Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olins, H. C.; Rogers, D.; Frank, K. L.; Girguis, P. R.; Vidoudez, C.

    2012-12-01

    Chemosynthetic primary productivity supports hydrothermal vent ecosystems, but the extent of that productivity has not been well measured. To examine the role that environmental temperature plays in controlling carbon fixation rates, and to assess the degree to which microbial community composition, in situ geochemistry, and mineralogy influence carbon fixation, we conducted a series of shipboard incubations across a range of temperatures (4, 25, 50 and 90°C) and at environmentally relevant geochemical conditions using material recovered from three hydrothermal vent chimneys in the Middle Valley hydrothermal vent field (Juan de Fuca Ridge). Net rates of carbon fixation (CFX) were greatest at lower temperatures, and were similar among structures. Rates did not correlate with the mineralogy or the geochemical composition of the high temperature fluids at each chimney. No obvious patterns of association were observed between carbon fixation rates and microbial community composition. Abundance of selected functional genes related to different carbon fixation pathway exhibited striking differences among the three study sites, but did not correlate with rates. Natural carbon isotope ratios implicate the Calvin Benson Bassham Cycle as the dominant mechanism of primary production in these systems, despite the abundance of genes related to other pathways (and presumably some degree of activity). Together these data reveal that primary productivity by endolithic communities does not exhibit much variation among these chimneys, and further reveal that microbial activity cannot easily be related to mineralogical and geochemical assessments that are made at a coarser scale. Indeed, the relationships between carbon fixation rates and community composition/functional gene abundance were also likely obfuscated by differences in scale at which these measurements were made. Regardless, these data reveal the degree to which endolithic, anaerobic carbon fixation contributes to

  3. Plant Natural Products Targeting Bacterial Virulence Factors.

    PubMed

    Silva, Laura Nunes; Zimmer, Karine Rigon; Macedo, Alexandre José; Trentin, Danielle Silva

    2016-08-24

    Decreased antimicrobial efficiency has become a global public health issue. The paucity of new antibacterial drugs is evident, and the arsenal against infectious diseases needs to be improved urgently. The selection of plants as a source of prototype compounds is appropriate, since plant species naturally produce a wide range of secondary metabolites that act as a chemical line of defense against microorganisms in the environment. Although traditional approaches to combat microbial infections remain effective, targeting microbial virulence rather than survival seems to be an exciting strategy, since the modulation of virulence factors might lead to a milder evolutionary pressure for the development of resistance. Additionally, anti-infective chemotherapies may be successfully achieved by combining antivirulence and conventional antimicrobials, extending the lifespan of these drugs. This review presents an updated discussion of natural compounds isolated from plants with chemically characterized structures and activity against the major bacterial virulence factors: quorum sensing, bacterial biofilms, bacterial motility, bacterial toxins, bacterial pigments, bacterial enzymes, and bacterial surfactants. Moreover, a critical analysis of the most promising virulence factors is presented, highlighting their potential as targets to attenuate bacterial virulence. The ongoing progress in the field of antivirulence therapy may therefore help to translate this promising concept into real intervention strategies in clinical areas. PMID:27437994

  4. [Characteristics of soil microbial community under different vegetation types in Wuyishan National Nature Reserve, East China].

    PubMed

    Wu, Ze-yan; Lin, Wen-xiong; Chen, Zhi-fang; Fang, Chang-xun; Zhang, Zhi-xing; Wu, Lin-kun; Zhou, Ming-ming; Shen, Li-hua

    2013-08-01

    By using Biolog Ecoplate system, this paper studied the structure and functional diversity of soil microbial community under different vegetation types in Wuyishan National Nature Reserve, aimed to probe into the effects of vegetation type on the diversity of soil microbial community. The results showed that the soil chemical properties, soil enzyme activities, and average well color development (AWCD) were higher in natural forest than in planted forest, and were the lowest in abandoned field. The AWCD reflecting soil microbial activity and functional diversity was increased with increasing incubation time, but there existed significant differences among different vegetation types. The carbon sources mostly used by soil microbes were carbohydrates and carboxylic acids, followed by amino acids, phenolic acids and polymers, and amines had the lowest utilization rate. The Simpson index, Shannon index, Richness index and McIntosh index in natural forest were holistically higher than those in planted forest. Principal component analysis (PCA) identified 2 principal component factors in relation to carbon sources, explaining 56.3% and 30.2% of the variation, respectively. The carbon sources used by soil microbial community differed with vegetation types. Amino acids and amides were the two main carbon sources separating the 2 principal component factors. The results of this study could provide basis for further approaching the relationships between vegetation diversity and soil microbial community diversity.

  5. Microbial isoprenoid production: an example of green chemistry through metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Maury, Jérôme; Asadollahi, Mohammad A; Møller, Kasper; Clark, Anthony; Nielsen, Jens

    2005-01-01

    Saving energy, cost efficiency, producing less waste, improving the biodegradability of products, potential for producing novel and complex molecules with improved properties, and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels as raw materials are the main advantages of using biotechnological processes to produce chemicals. Such processes are often referred to as green chemistry or white biotechnology. Metabolic engineering, which permits the rational design of cell factories using directed genetic modifications, is an indispensable strategy for expanding green chemistry. In this chapter, the benefits of using metabolic engineering approaches for the development of green chemistry are illustrated by the recent advances in microbial production of isoprenoids, a diverse and important group of natural compounds with numerous existing and potential commercial applications. Accumulated knowledge on the metabolic pathways leading to the synthesis of the principal precursors of isoprenoids is reviewed, and recent investigations into isoprenoid production using engineered cell factories are described. PMID:16270655

  6. Recent progress in synthetic biology for microbial production of C3–C10 alcohols

    PubMed Central

    Lamsen, Edna N.; Atsumi, Shota

    2012-01-01

    The growing need to address current energy and environmental problems has sparked an interest in developing improved biological methods to produce liquid fuels from renewable sources. While microbial ethanol production is well established, higher-chain alcohols possess chemical properties that are more similar to gasoline. Unfortunately, these alcohols (except 1-butanol) are not produced efficiently in natural microorganisms, and thus economical production in industrial volumes remains a challenge. Synthetic biology, however, offers additional tools to engineer synthetic pathways in user-friendly hosts to help increase titers and productivity of these advanced biofuels. This review concentrates on recent developments in synthetic biology to produce higher-chain alcohols as viable renewable replacements for traditional fuel. PMID:22701113

  7. Natural gas and temperature structured a microbial community response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    PubMed Central

    Redmond, Molly C.; Valentine, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Microbial communities present in the Gulf of Mexico rapidly responded to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In deep water plumes, these communities were initially dominated by members of Oceanospirillales, Colwellia, and Cycloclasticus. None of these groups were abundant in surface oil slick samples, and Colwellia was much more abundant in oil-degrading enrichment cultures incubated at 4 °C than at room temperature, suggesting that the colder temperatures at plume depth favored the development of these communities. These groups decreased in abundance after the well was capped in July, but the addition of hydrocarbons in laboratory incubations of deep waters from the Gulf of Mexico stimulated Colwellia's growth. Colwellia was the primary organism that incorporated 13C from ethane and propane in stable isotope probing experiments, and given its abundance in environmental samples at the time that ethane and propane oxidation rates were high, it is likely that Colwellia was active in ethane and propane oxidation in situ. Colwellia also incorporated 13C benzene, and Colwellia's abundance in crude oil enrichments without natural gas suggests that it has the ability to consume a wide range of hydrocarbon compounds or their degradation products. However, the fact that ethane and propane alone were capable of stimulating the growth of Colwellia, and to a lesser extent, Oceanospirillales, suggests that high natural gas content of this spill may have provided an advantage to these organisms. PMID:21969552

  8. Effects of encapsulation of microorganisms on product formation during microbial fermentations.

    PubMed

    Westman, Johan O; Ylitervo, Päivi; Franzén, Carl Johan; Taherzadeh, Mohammad J

    2012-12-01

    This paper reviews the latest developments in microbial products by encapsulated microorganisms in a liquid core surrounded by natural or synthetic membranes. Cells can be encapsulated in one or several steps using liquid droplet formation, pregel dissolving, coacervation, and interfacial polymerization. The use of encapsulated yeast and bacteria for fermentative production of ethanol, lactic acid, biogas, L-phenylacetylcarbinol, 1,3-propanediol, and riboflavin has been investigated. Encapsulated cells have furthermore been used for the biocatalytic conversion of chemicals. Fermentation, using encapsulated cells, offers various advantages compared to traditional cultivations, e.g., higher cell density, faster fermentation, improved tolerance of the cells to toxic media and high temperatures, and selective exclusion of toxic hydrophobic substances. However, mass transfer through the capsule membrane as well as the robustness of the capsules still challenge the utilization of encapsulated cells. The history and the current state of applying microbial encapsulation for production processes, along with the benefits and drawbacks concerning productivity and general physiology of the encapsulated cells, are discussed. PMID:23104646

  9. Microbial food web dynamics during spring phytoplankton blooms in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area (Southern Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christaki, U.; Lefèvre, D.; Georges, C.; Colombet, J.; Catala, P.; Courties, C.; Sime-Ngando, T.; Blain, S.; Obernosterer, I.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial food web dynamics were determined during the onset of several spring phytoplankton blooms induced by natural iron fertilization off Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean (KEOPS2). The abundances of heterotrophic bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates, bacterial heterotrophic production, bacterial respiration, and bacterial growth efficiency, were consistently higher in surface waters of the iron-fertilized sites than at the reference site in HNLC (high nutrient low chlorophyll) waters. The abundance of virus-like particles remained unchanged, but viral production increased by a factor of 6 in iron-fertilized waters. Bacterial heterotrophic production was significantly related to heterotrophic nanoflagellate abundance and viral production across all sites, with bacterial production explaining about 70 and 85%, respectively, of the variance of each in the mixed layer (ML). Estimated rates of grazing and viral lysis, however, indicated that heterotrophic nanoflagellates accounted for a substantially higher loss of bacterial production (50%) than viruses (11%). Combining these results with rates of primary production and export determined for the study area, a budget for the flow of carbon through the microbial food web and higher trophic levels during the early (KEOPS2) and the late phase (KEOPS1) of the Kerguelen bloom is provided.

  10. Microbial food web dynamics during spring phytoplankton blooms in the naturally iron-fertilized Kerguelen area (Southern Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christaki, U.; Lefèvre, D.; Georges, C.; Colombet, J.; Catala, P.; Courties, C.; Sime-Ngando, T.; Blain, S.; Obernosterer, I.

    2014-05-01

    Microbial food web dynamics were determined during the onset of several spring phytoplankton blooms induced by natural iron fertilization off Kerguelen Island in the Southern Ocean (KEOPS2). The abundances of heterotrophic bacteria and heterotrophic nanoflagellates, bacterial heterotrophic production, bacterial respiration, and bacterial growth efficiency, were consistently higher in surface waters of the iron-fertilized sites than at the reference site in HNLC (high nutrient low chlorophyll) waters. The abundance of viral like particles remained unchanged, but viral production increased by a factor of 6 in iron-fertilized waters. Bacterial heterotrophic production was significantly related to heterotrophic nanoflagellate abundance and viral production across all sites, with bacterial production explaining about 70 and 85%, respectively, of the variance of each in the mixed layer (ML). Estimated rates of grazing and viral lysis, however, indicated that heterotrophic nanoflagellates accounted for a substantially higher loss of bacterial production (50%) than viruses (11%). Combining these results with rates of primary production and export determined for the study area, a budget for the flow of carbon through the microbial food web and higher levels during the early (KEOPS2) and the late phase (KEOPS1) of the Kerguelen bloom is provided.

  11. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  12. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  13. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  14. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements...

  15. Cancer wars: Natural products strike back

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basmadjian, Christine; Zhao, Qian; Djehal, Amel; Bentouhami, Embarek; Nebigil, Canan; Johnson, Roger; Serova, Maria; De Gramont, Armand; Faivre, Sandrine; Raymond, Eric; Désaubry, Laurent

    2014-05-01

    Natural products have historically been a mainstay source of anticancer drugs, but in the 90’s they fell out of favor in pharmaceutical companies with the emergence of targeted therapies, which rely on antibodies or small synthetic molecules identified by high throughput screening. Although targeted therapies greatly improved the treatment of a few cancers, the benefit has remained disappointing for many sol¬¬id tumors, which revitalized the interest in natural products. With the approval of rapamycin in 2007, twelve novel natural product derivatives have been brought to market. The present review describes the discovery and development of these new anticancer drugs and highlights the peculiarities of natural product and new trends in this exciting field of drug discovery.

  16. Cancer wars: natural products strike back

    PubMed Central

    Basmadjian, Christine; Zhao, Qian; Bentouhami, Embarek; Djehal, Amel; Nebigil, Canan G.; Johnson, Roger A.; Serova, Maria; de Gramont, Armand; Faivre, Sandrine; Raymond, Eric; Désaubry, Laurent G.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products have historically been a mainstay source of anticancer drugs, but in the 90's they fell out of favor in pharmaceutical companies with the emergence of targeted therapies, which rely on antibodies or small synthetic molecules identified by high throughput screening. Although targeted therapies greatly improved the treatment of a few cancers, the benefit has remained disappointing for many solid tumors, which revitalized the interest in natural products. With the approval of rapamycin in 2007, 12 novel natural product derivatives have been brought to market. The present review describes the discovery and development of these new anticancer drugs and highlights the peculiarities of natural product and new trends in this exciting field of drug discovery. PMID:24822174

  17. Natural products from the genus tephrosia.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yinning; Yan, Tao; Gao, Chenghai; Cao, Wenhao; Huang, Riming

    2014-01-01

    The genus Tephrosia, belonging to the Leguminosae family, is a large pantropical genus of more than 350 species, many of which have important traditional uses in agriculture. This review not only outlines the source, chemistry and biological evaluations of natural products from the genus Tephrosia worldwide that have appeared in literature from 1910 to December 2013, but also covers work related to proposed biosynthetic pathways and synthesis of some natural products from the genus Tephrosia, with 105 citations and 168 new compounds.

  18. Microbial liquefaction of peat for the production of synthetic fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Gunasekaran, M.

    1988-01-01

    Objectives of this study were: to evaluate the potential of using various microorganisms to hydrolyse and liquify peat; to determine the optimal conditions for peat hydrolysis and liquefaction; to study the co-metabolizable substances; to separate the compounds present in liquified peat by alumina and silica acid chromatography and capillary gas chromatography; and to identify the compounds in liquified peat by capillary GC-Mass spectrometry. Organisms used in the study include: Coprinus comatus, Coriolus hirsutus, Ganoderma lucidum, Lentinus edodes, Lenzites trabea, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, Pleurotus ostreatus, P. sapidus, Polyporus adjustus, Neurospora sitophila, Rhizophus arrhizus, Bacillus subtilis, Acinetobacter sp. and Alcaligenes sp. The fungi were maintained and cultivated in potato dextrose agar at 30 C. The bacteria were maintained in nutrient agar at 30 C. We have also initiated work on coal solubilization in addition to the studies on peat liquefaction. A relatively new substratum or semi-solid base for culture media called Pluronic F-127, or Polyol (BASF, New Jersey). Objectives of this study were: (1) to study the growth patterns of Candida ML 13 on pluronic as substratum; (2) to determine the rate of microbial coal solubilization on pluronic F-127 amended in different growth media; (3) to separate the mycelial mat of Candida ML 13 from unsolubilized coal particles and solubilized coal products from pluronic F-127; (4) to determine the effects of pH on microbial coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media; (5) the effect of concentration of pluronic F-127 in media on coal solubilization; and, (6) to study the role of extracellular factors secreted by Candida ML 13 on coal solubilization in pluronic F-127 media. Results are discussed. 4 refs.

  19. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products.

    PubMed

    Prado, Maria R; Blandón, Lina Marcela; Vandenberghe, Luciana P S; Rodrigues, Cristine; Castro, Guillermo R; Thomaz-Soccol, Vanete; Soccol, Carlos R

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir's exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir's microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance.

  20. Milk kefir: composition, microbial cultures, biological activities, and related products

    PubMed Central

    Prado, Maria R.; Blandón, Lina Marcela; Vandenberghe, Luciana P. S.; Rodrigues, Cristine; Castro, Guillermo R.; Thomaz-Soccol, Vanete; Soccol, Carlos R.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, there has been a strong focus on beneficial foods with probiotic microorganisms and functional organic substances. In this context, there is an increasing interest in the commercial use of kefir, since it can be marketed as a natural beverage that has health promoting bacteria. There are numerous commercially available kefir based-products. Kefir may act as a matrix in the effective delivery of probiotic microorganisms in different types of products. Also, the presence of kefir’s exopolysaccharides, known as kefiran, which has biological activity, certainly adds value to products. Kefiran can also be used separately in other food products and as a coating film for various food and pharmaceutical products. This article aims to update the information about kefir and its microbiological composition, biological activity of the kefir’s microflora and the importance of kefiran as a beneficial health substance. PMID:26579086

  1. A sea of biosynthesis: marine natural products meet the molecular age†

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Amy L.; Moore, Bradley S.

    2011-01-01

    The years 2000 through mid-2010 marked a transformational period in understanding of the biosynthesis of marine natural products. During this decade the field emerged from one largely dominated by chemical approaches to understanding biosynthetic pathways to one incorporating the full force of modern molecular biology and bioinformatics. Fusion of chemical and biological approaches yielded great advances in understanding the genetic and enzymatic basis for marine natural product biosynthesis. Progress was particularly pronounced for marine microbes, especially actinomycetes and cyanobacteria. During this single decade, both the first complete marine microbial natural product biosynthetic gene cluster sequence was released as well as the first entire genome sequence for a secondary metabolite-rich marine microbe. The decade also saw tremendous progress in recognizing the key role of marine microbial symbionts of invertebrates in natural product biosynthesis. Application of genetic and enzymatic knowledge led to genetic engineering of novel “unnatural” natural products during this time, as well as opportunities for discovery of novel natural products through genome mining. The current review highlights selected seminal studies from 2000 through to June 2010 that illustrate breakthroughs in understanding of marine natural product biosynthesis at the genetic, enzymatic, and small-molecule natural product levels. A total of 154 references are cited. PMID:21170424

  2. How EIA Estimates Natural Gas Production

    EIA Publications

    2004-01-01

    The Energy Information Administration (EIA) publishes estimates monthly and annually of the production of natural gas in the United States. The estimates are based on data EIA collects from gas producing states and data collected by the U. S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) in the Department of Interior. The states and MMS collect this information from producers of natural gas for various reasons, most often for revenue purposes. Because the information is not sufficiently complete or timely for inclusion in EIA's Natural Gas Monthly (NGM), EIA has developed estimation methodologies to generate monthly production estimates that are described in this document.

  3. Clostridium ljungdahlii represents a microbial production platform based on syngas.

    PubMed

    Köpke, Michael; Held, Claudia; Hujer, Sandra; Liesegang, Heiko; Wiezer, Arnim; Wollherr, Antje; Ehrenreich, Armin; Liebl, Wolfgang; Gottschalk, Gerhard; Dürre, Peter

    2010-07-20

    Clostridium ljungdahlii is an anaerobic homoacetogen, able to ferment sugars, other organic compounds, or CO(2)/H(2) and synthesis gas (CO/H(2)). The latter feature makes it an interesting microbe for the biotech industry, as important bulk chemicals and proteins can be produced at the expense of CO(2), thus combining industrial needs with sustained reduction of CO and CO(2) in the atmosphere. Sequencing the complete genome of C. ljungdahlii revealed that it comprises 4,630,065 bp and is one of the largest clostridial genomes known to date. Experimental data and in silico comparisons revealed a third mode of anaerobic homoacetogenic metabolism. Unlike other organisms such as Moorella thermoacetica or Acetobacterium woodii, neither cytochromes nor sodium ions are involved in energy generation. Instead, an Rnf system is present, by which proton translocation can be performed. An electroporation procedure has been developed to transform the organism with plasmids bearing heterologous genes for butanol production. Successful expression of these genes could be demonstrated, leading to formation of the biofuel. Thus, C. ljungdahlii can be used as a unique microbial production platform based on synthesis gas and carbon dioxide/hydrogen mixtures.

  4. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). Themore » SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast

  5. Designer synthetic media for studying microbial-catalyzed biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Xiaoyu; da Costa Sousa, Leonardo; Jin, Mingjie; Chundawat, Shishir; Chambliss, Charles; Lau, Ming W; Xiao, Zeyi; Dale, Bruce E; Balan, Venkatesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: The fermentation inhibition of yeast or bacteria by lignocellulose-derived degradation products, during hexose/pentose co-fermentation, is a major bottleneck for cost-effective lignocellulosic biorefineries. To engineer microbial strains for improved performance, it is critical to understand the mechanisms of inhibition that affect fermentative organisms in the presence of major components of a lignocellulosic hydrolysate. The development of a synthetic lignocellulosic hydrolysate (SH) media with a composition similar to the actual biomass hydrolysate will be an important advancement to facilitate these studies. In this work, we characterized the nutrients and plant-derived decomposition products present in AFEX™ pretreated corn stover hydrolysate (ACH). The SH was formulated based on the ACH composition and was further used to evaluate the inhibitory effects of various families of decomposition products during Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A (LNH-ST) fermentation. Results: The ACH contained high levels of nitrogenous compounds, notably amides, pyrazines, and imidazoles. In contrast, a relatively low content of furans and aromatic and aliphatic acids were found in the ACH. Though most of the families of decomposition products were inhibitory to xylose fermentation, due to their abundance, the nitrogenous compounds showed the most inhibition. From these compounds, amides (products of the ammonolysis reaction) contributed the most to the reduction of the fermentation performance. However, this result is associated to a concentration effect, as the corresponding carboxylic acids (products of hydrolysis) promoted greater inhibition when present at the same molar concentration as the amides. Due to its complexity, the formulated SH did not perfectly match the fermentation profile of the actual hydrolysate, especially the growth curve. However, the SH formulation was effective for studying the inhibitory effect of various compounds on yeast fermentation

  6. Microbial production of surfactants and their commercial potential.

    PubMed Central

    Desai, J D; Banat, I M

    1997-01-01

    Many microorganisms, especially bacteria, produce biosurfactants when grown on water-immiscible substrates. Biosurfactants are more effective, selective, environmentally friendly, and stable than many synthetic surfactants. Most common biosurfactants are glycolipids in which carbohydrates are attached to a long-chain aliphatic acid, while others, like lipopeptides, lipoproteins, and heteropolysaccharides, are more complex. Rapid and reliable methods for screening and selection of biosurfactant-producing microorganisms and evaluation of their activity have been developed. Genes involved in rhamnolipid synthesis (rhlAB) and regulation (rhlI and rhlR) in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are characterized, and expression of rhlAB in heterologous hosts is discussed. Genes for surfactin production (sfp, srfA, and comA) in Bacillus spp. are also characterized. Fermentative production of biosurfactants depends primarily on the microbial strain, source of carbon and nitrogen, pH, temperature, and concentration of oxygen and metal ions. Addition of water-immiscible substrates to media and nitrogen and iron limitations in the media result in an overproduction of some biosurfactants. Other important advances are the use of water-soluble substrates and agroindustrial wastes for production, development of continuous recovery processes, and production through biotransformation. Commercialization of biosurfactants in the cosmetic, food, health care, pulp- and paper-processing, coal, ceramic, and metal industries has been proposed. However, the most promising applications are cleaning of oil-contaminated tankers, oil spill management, transportation of heavy crude oil, enhanced oil recovery, recovery of crude oil from sludge, and bioremediation of sites contaminated with hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other pollutants. Perspectives for future research and applications are also discussed. PMID:9106364

  7. Sequence-selective DNA recognition: natural products and nature's lessons.

    PubMed

    Tse, Winston C; Boger, Dale L

    2004-12-01

    Biologically active, therapeutically useful, DNA binding natural products continue to reveal new paradigms for sequence-selective recognition, to enlist beautiful mechanisms of in situ activation for DNA modification, to define new therapeutic targets, to exploit new mechanisms to achieve cellular selectivity, and to provide a rich source of new drugs. These attributes arise in compact structures of complex integrated function.

  8. Effects of Environmental Toxicants on Metabolic Activity of Natural Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Barnhart, Carole L. H.; Vestal, J. Robie

    1983-01-01

    Two methods of measuring microbial activity were used to study the effects of toxicants on natural microbial communities. The methods were compared for suitability for toxicity testing, sensitivity, and adaptability to field applications. This study included measurements of the incorporation of 14C-labeled acetate into microbial lipids and microbial glucosidase activity. Activities were measured per unit biomass, determined as lipid phosphate. The effects of various organic and inorganic toxicants on various natural microbial communities were studied. Both methods were useful in detecting toxicity, and their comparative sensitivities varied with the system studied. In one system, the methods showed approximately the same sensitivities in testing the effects of metals, but the acetate incorporation method was more sensitive in detecting the toxicity of organic compounds. The incorporation method was used to study the effects of a point source of pollution on the microbiota of a receiving stream. Toxic doses were found to be two orders of magnitude higher in sediments than in water taken from the same site, indicating chelation or adsorption of the toxicant by the sediment. The microbiota taken from below a point source outfall was 2 to 100 times more resistant to the toxicants tested than was that taken from above the outfall. Downstream filtrates in most cases had an inhibitory effect on the natural microbiota taken from above the pollution source. The microbial methods were compared with commonly used bioassay methods, using higher organisms, and were found to be similar in ability to detect comparative toxicities of compounds, but were less sensitive than methods which use standard media because of the influences of environmental factors. PMID:16346432

  9. Naturally occurring products in cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Rajesh, E.; Sankari, Leena S.; Malathi, L.; Krupaa, Jayasri R.

    2015-01-01

    Natural products have been used for the treatment of various diseases and are becoming an important research area for drug discovery. These products, especially phytochemicals have been extensively studies and have exhibited anti-carcinogenic activities by interfering with the initiation, development and progression of cancer through the modulation of various mechanisms including cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. This concept is gaining attention because it is a cost-effective alternative to cancer treatment. In this article, we have discussed some of the naturally occurring products used in cancer treatment. PMID:26015704

  10. A comparative evaluation of different types of microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangli; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Haiping; Cheng, Xing; Zhang, Renduo; Teng, Wenkai

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate different microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production. The systems included microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC), microbial electrolysis desalination cell (MEDC) with bipolar membrane and anion exchange membrane (BP-A MEDC), MEDC with bipolar membrane and cation exchange membrane (BP-C MEDC), and modified microbial desalination cell (M-MDC). The microbial electrolysis desalination cells performed differently in terms of malic acid production and energy consumption. The MEDCC performed best with the highest malic acid production rate (18.4 ± 0.6 mmol/Lh) and the lowest energy consumption (0.35 ± 0.14 kWh/kg). The best performance of MEDCC was attributable to the neutral pH condition in the anode chamber, the lowest internal resistance, and the highest Geobacter percentage of the anode biofilm population among all the reactors.

  11. A comparative evaluation of different types of microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Guangli; Zhou, Ying; Luo, Haiping; Cheng, Xing; Zhang, Renduo; Teng, Wenkai

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate different microbial electrolysis desalination cells for malic acid production. The systems included microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC), microbial electrolysis desalination cell (MEDC) with bipolar membrane and anion exchange membrane (BP-A MEDC), MEDC with bipolar membrane and cation exchange membrane (BP-C MEDC), and modified microbial desalination cell (M-MDC). The microbial electrolysis desalination cells performed differently in terms of malic acid production and energy consumption. The MEDCC performed best with the highest malic acid production rate (18.4 ± 0.6 mmol/Lh) and the lowest energy consumption (0.35 ± 0.14 kWh/kg). The best performance of MEDCC was attributable to the neutral pH condition in the anode chamber, the lowest internal resistance, and the highest Geobacter percentage of the anode biofilm population among all the reactors. PMID:26367771

  12. Using Genomics for Natural Product Structure Elucidation.

    PubMed

    Tietz, Jonathan I; Mitchell, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are the most historically bountiful source of chemical matter for drug development-especially for anti-infectives. With insights gleaned from genome mining, interest in natural product discovery has been reinvigorated. An essential stage in NP discovery is structural elucidation, which sheds light not only on the chemical composition of a molecule but also its novelty, properties, and derivatization potential. The history of structure elucidation is replete with techniquebased revolutions: combustion analysis, crystallography, UV, IR, MS, and NMR have each provided game-changing advances; the latest such advance is genomics. All natural products have a genetic basis, and the ability to obtain and interpret genomic information for structure elucidation is increasingly available at low cost to non-specialists. In this review, we describe the value of genomics as a structural elucidation technique, especially from the perspective of the natural product chemist approaching an unknown metabolite. Herein we first introduce the databases and programs of interest to the natural products chemist, with an emphasis on those currently most suited for general usability. We describe strategies for linking observed natural product-linked phenotypes to their corresponding gene clusters. We then discuss techniques for extracting structural information from genes, illustrated with numerous case examples. We also provide an analysis of the biases and limitations of the field with recommendations for future development. Our overview is not only aimed at biologically-oriented researchers already at ease with bioinformatic techniques, but also, in particular, at natural product, organic, and/or medicinal chemists not previously familiar with genomic techniques.

  13. Chemistry, physiological properties, and microbial production of hydroxycitric acid.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Takashi; Hida, Hiroyuki; Yamada, Yasuhiro

    2007-07-01

    The tropical plants Garcinia cambogia and Hibiscus subdariffa produce hydroxycitric acid (HCA), of which the absolute configurations are (2S,3S) and (2S,3R), respectively. (2S,3S)-HCA is an inhibitor of ATP-citrate lyase, which is involved in fatty acid synthesis. (2S,3R)-HCA inhibits pancreatic alpha-amylase and intestinal alpha-glucosidase, leading to a reduction in carbohydrate metabolism. In this study, we review current knowledge on the structure, biological occurrence, and physiological properties of HCA. The availability of HCA is limited by the restricted habitat of its source plants and the difficulty of stereoselective organic synthesis. Hence, in our recent study, thousands of microbial strains were screened and finally two bacterial strains were, for the first time, found to produce trace amounts of HCA. The HCA variants produced were the Hibiscus-type (2S,3R) enantiomer. Subsequent genome shuffling rapidly generated a mutant population with improved HCA yield relative to the parent strain of bacteria. These bacteria are a potential alternative source of natural HCA. PMID:17476502

  14. Microbially-Enhanced Coal Bed Methane: Strategies for Increased Biogenic Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, K.; Barhart, E. P.; Schweitzer, H. D.; Cunningham, A. B.; Gerlach, R.; Hiebert, R.; Fields, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    Coal is the largest fossil fuel resource in the United States. Most of this coal is deep in the subsurface making it costly and potentially dangerous to extract. However, in many of these deep coal seams, methane, the main component of natural gas, has been discovered and successfully harvested. Coal bed methane (CBM) currently accounts for approximately 7.5% of the natural gas produced in the U.S. Combustion of natural gas produces substantially less CO2 and toxic emissions (e.g. heavy metals) than combustion of coal or oil thereby making it a cleaner energy source. In the large coal seams of the Powder River Basin (PRB) in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming, CBM is produced almost entirely by biogenic processes. The in situ conversion of coal to CBM by the native microbial community is of particular interest for present and future natural gas sources as it provides the potential to harvest energy from coal seams with lesser environmental impacts than mining and burning coal. Research at Montana State University has shown the potential for enhancing the subsurface microbial processes that produce CBM. Long-term batch enrichments have investigated the methane enhancement potential of yeast extract as well as algal and cyanobacterial biomass additions with increased methane production observed with all three additions when compared to no addition. Future work includes quantification of CBM enhancement and normalization of additions. This presentation addresses the options thus far investigated for increasing CBM production and the next steps for developing the enhanced in situ conversion of coal to CBM.

  15. Natural Product Chemistry Meets Genetics: When is a Genotype a Chemotype?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The chemotype of a microbial or plant species has traditionally been defined as its profile of natural products, and the genotype as its genetic constitution or DNA sequence. The purpose of this perspective is to discuss applications of DNA genotyping, particularly by PCR-amplification methods, to ...

  16. Microbial bioavailability of 2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) in natural sediments from major rivers of China.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Baotong; Xia, Xinghui; Wu, Shan; Lu, Xiaoxia; Yin, Xin'an

    2016-06-01

    Microbial degradation plays a crucial role in eliminating polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in environments. However, the microbial bioavailability of PBDEs in aquatic sediments is not well understood. In this work, the bioavailability of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), a typical PBDE congener, to PBDE-degrading microorganisms in natural sediments from six Chinese rivers under anaerobic conditions was investigated. The contents of black carbon (BC) and total organic carbon (TOC) in the six sediment samples were in the range of 0.025%-0.30% and 0.03%-3.38%, respectively. BDE-47 desorption from various sediments was fitted well with the first-order three-compartment desorption model. The desorbing fraction of sediment-associated BDE-47 at each desorption time interval exhibited a significant negative correlation with the BC content (p < 0.01). In the sediments, the anaerobic debromination of BDE-47 by microorganisms underwent a stepwise debromination pathway generating mainly three lower brominated congeners (BDE-28, -17 and -4). The microbial debromination ratio of BDE-47 ranged from 4.21% to 7.89% in various sediments after 120 d incubation anaerobically, and it negatively correlated with the content of sediment BC significantly (p < 0.01). However, the desorbing fraction and microbial debromination ratio of BDE-47 only showed weak correlations with the TOC content in sediments (p > 0.05). Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation of desorbing fraction of BDE-47 from sediments with its microbial debromination ratio (p < 0.01) as well as with the level of its three lower brominated products (p < 0.05) after the first 20 d incubation. This study suggests that the BDE-47 bioavailability to microorganisms in anaerobic river sediments is mainly influenced by the content of sediment BC which controls the desorbing fraction of sediment-associated BDE-47. PMID:27031801

  17. Marine microbial production of dimethylsulfide from dissolved dimethylsulfoniopropionate. Doctoral thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Ledyard, K.M.

    1993-02-01

    Dimethylsulfide (DMS) plays a central role in the transfer of sulfur from the ocean to the atmosphere, and ultimately to land. The most abundant volatile organosulfur compound in seawater, DMS is believed to account for the bulk of the sea-to-air biogenic sulfur flux. DMS has also been implicated as the major precursor of submicron-sized sulfate aerosol over the ocean. This aerosol acts as an effective site for cloud droplet condensation, suggesting a possibly important role for DMS in marine cloud formation. In the ocean, the precursor of DMS is presumed to be the zwitterionic sulfonium compound dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), a common osmoticum in certain classes of marine algae. While some algae can cleave DMSP intracellularly to form DMS, correlation of DMS concentrations with indicators of algal productivity on a local scale is poor. This thesis focuses on an alternative pathway of DMS formation: microbial cleavage of dissolved (extracellular) DMSP. In laboratory studies, bacteria able to cleave DMSP to form DMS were isolated from seawater by a DMSP enrichment technique, and the kinetics of DMSP uptake and DMS production were examined closely in pure cultures of a bacterial isolate from the Sargasso Sea. The isolate could grow with both DMSP and acrylic acid, one of the products of DMSP cleavage, as the sole source of carbon and energy, and the enzyme catalyzing DMSP cleavage appeared to be induced by both of these compounds. Kinetic parameters were estimated for DMSP uptake and cleavage by whole cells. Comparison of the 16S rRNA sequence of this isolate with that of known eubacteria showed that it was most closely related to Erythrobacter longus, an aerobic, bacteriochlorophyll-containing member of the alpha proteobacteria.

  18. Modeling microbial competition in food: application to the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes and lactic acid flora in pork meat products.

    PubMed

    Cornu, M; Billoir, E; Bergis, H; Beaufort, A; Zuliani, V

    2011-06-01

    Competition between background microflora and microbial pathogens raises questions about the application of predictive microbiology in situ, i.e., in non-sterile naturally contaminated foods. In this article, we present a review of the models developed in predictive microbiology to describe interactions between microflora in foods, with a special focus on two approaches: one based on the Jameson effect (simultaneous deceleration of all microbial populations) and one based on the Lotka-Volterra competition model. As an illustration of the potential of these models, we propose various modeling examples in estimation and in prediction of microbial growth curves, all related to the behavior of Listeria monocytogenes with lactic acid bacteria in three pork meat products (fresh pork meat and two types of diced bacon).

  19. Mining and engineering natural-product biosynthetic pathways.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Barrie; Micklefield, Jason

    2007-07-01

    Natural products continue to fulfill an important role in the development of therapeutic agents. In addition, with the advent of chemical genetics and high-throughput screening platforms, these molecules have become increasingly valuable as tools for interrogating fundamental aspects of biological systems. To access the vast portion of natural-product structural diversity that remains unexploited for these and other applications, genome mining and microbial metagenomic approaches are proving particularly powerful. When these are coupled with recombineering and related genetic tools, large biosynthetic gene clusters that remain intractable or cryptic in the native host can be more efficiently cloned and expressed in a suitable heterologous system. For lead optimization and the further structural diversification of natural-product libraries, combinatorial biosynthetic engineering has also become indispensable. However, our ability to rationally redesign biosynthetic pathways is often limited by our lack of understanding of the structure, dynamics and interplay between the many enzymes involved in complex biosynthetic pathways. Despite this, recent structures of fatty acid synthases should allow a more accurate prediction of the likely architecture of related polyketide synthase and nonribosomal peptide synthetase multienzymes. PMID:17576425

  20. Synthetic Biological Approaches to Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Jaclyn M; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Small molecules produced in Nature continue to be an inspiration for the development of new therapeutic agents. These natural products possess exquisite chemical diversity, which gives rise to their wide range of biological activities. In their host organism, natural products are assembled and modified by dedicated biosynthetic pathways that Nature has meticulously developed. Often times, the complex structures or chemical modifications instated by these pathways are difficult to replicate using traditional synthetic methods. An alternative approach for creating or enhancing the structural variation of natural products is through combinatorial biosynthesis. By rationally reprogramming and manipulating the biosynthetic machinery responsible for their production, unnatural metabolites that were otherwise inaccessible can be obtained. Additionally, new chemical structures can be synthesized or derivatized by developing the enzymes that carry out these complicated chemical reactions into biocatalysts. In this review, we will discuss a variety of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies, their technical challenges, and highlight some recent (since 2007) examples of rationally designed unnatural metabolites, as well as platforms that have been established for the production and modification of clinically important pharmaceutical compounds. PMID:22221832

  1. Microbial transformations of natural organic compounds and radionuclides in subsurface environments

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.

    1985-10-01

    A major national concern in the subsurface disposal of energy wastes is the contamination of ground and surface waters by waste leachates containing radionuclides, toxic metals, and organic compounds. Microorganisms play an important role in the transformation of organic compounds, radionuclides, and toxic metals present in the waste and affect their mobility in subsurface environments. Microbial processes involved in dissolution, mobilization, and immobilization of toxic metals under aerobic and anaerobic conditions are briefly reviewed. Metal complexing agents and several organic acids produced by microbial action affect mobilization of radionuclides and toxic metals in subsurface environments. Information on the persistence of and biodegradation rates of synthetic as well as microbiologically produced complexing agents is scarce but important in determining the mobility of metal organic complexes in subsoils. Several gaps in knowledge in the area of microbial transformation of naturally occurring organics, radionuclides, and toxic metals have been identified, and further basic research has been suggested. 31 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  2. Fungal ABC transporters and microbial interactions in natural environments.

    PubMed

    Schoonbeek, Henk-jan; Raaijmakers, Jos M; De Waard, Maarten A

    2002-11-01

    In natural environments, microorganisms are exposed to a wide variety of antibiotic compounds produced by competing organisms. Target organisms have evolved various mechanisms of natural resistance to these metabolites. In this study, the role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in interactions between the plant-pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea and antibiotic-producing Pseudomonas bacteria was investigated in detail. We discovered that 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), broad-spectrum antibiotics produced by Pseudomonas spp., induced expression of several ABC transporter genes in B. cinerea. Phenazines strongly induced expression of BcatrB, and deltaBcatrB mutants were significantly more sensitive to these antibiotics than their parental strain. Treatment of B. cinerea germlings with PCN strongly affected the accumulation of [14C]fludioxonil, a phenylpyrrole fungicide known to be transported by BcatrB, indicating that phenazines also are transported by BcatrB. Pseudomonas strains producing phenazines displayed a stronger antagonistic activity in vitro toward ABcatrB mutants than to the parental B. cinerea strain. On tomato leaves, phenazine-producing Pseudomonas strains were significantly more effective in reducing gray mold symptoms incited by a ABcatrB mutant than by the parental strain. We conclude that the ABC transporter BcatrB provides protection to B. cinerea in phenazine-mediated interactions with Pseudomonas spp. Collectively, these results indicate that fungal ABC transporters can play an important role in antibiotic-mediated interactions between bacteria and fungi in plant-associated environments. The implications of these findings for the implementation and sustainability of crop protection by antagonistic microorganisms are discussed. PMID:12423022

  3. Membrane bioreactors fed with different COD/N ratio wastewater: impacts on microbial community, microbial products, and membrane fouling.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiaomeng; Wang, Zhiwei; Ma, Jinxing; Zhu, Chaowei; Li, Yaxin; Wu, Zhichao

    2015-08-01

    It is known that an increase of COD/N ratio can result in an enhanced removal of nutrients in membrane bioreactors (MBRs); however, impacts of doing so on membrane filtration performance remain unclear. In this work, comparison of membrane filtration performance, microbial community, and microbial products under low temperature was carried out in anoxic/oxic (A/O) MBRs with COD/N ratios of 9.9 and 5.5 g COD/g N in influent. There was no doubt that an improvement of nitrogen removal under high COD/N ratio was observed; however, severer membrane fouling was found compared to the MBR fed with low COD/N ratio wastewater. The increase of COD/N ratio resulted in an elevated production of humic acids in soluble microbial product (SMP) and carbohydrates, proteins, and humic acids in loosely bound extracellular polymeric substance (LB-EPS). Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) analysis showed that the adsorption capability of SMP and LB-EPS was higher in the MBR with higher COD/N ratio. Four hundred fifty four high-throughput pyrosequencing revealed that the higher COD/N ratio led to the enrichment of Bacteroidetes at phylum level and Azospira, Thauera, Zoogloea, etc. at genus level. Bacteroidetes are considered to potentially release EPS, and Azospira, Thauera, and Zoogloea, etc. have denitrification activity. The change in microbial communities is consistent with MBR performance.

  4. Microbial Interactions with Natural Organic Matter Extracted from the Oak Ridge FRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, X.; Jagadamma, S.; Lancaster, A.; Adams, M. W. W.; Hazen, T.; Justice, N.; Chakraborty, R.

    2015-12-01

    Natural organic matter (NOM) is central to microbial food webs; however, little is known about the interplay between the physical and chemical characteristics of NOM and its turnover by microbial communities based upon biotic and abiotic parameters (e.g., biogenic precursors, redox state, bioavailability). Microbial activity changes the structures and properties that influence further bioavailability of NOM. To date, our understanding of these interactions is insufficient, and indigenous microbial activities that regulate NOM turnover are poorly resolved. It is critical to identify NOM characteristics to the structure and composition of microbial communities and to the metabolic potential of that community. Towards that end, sediment samples collected from the background area well FW305 (Oak Ridge Field Research Center, Oak Ridge, TN) were tested for NOM extraction methods that used three mild solvents, e.g., phosphate buffered saline (PBS), pyrophosphate, and MilliQ-water. MilliQ-water was finally chosen for extracting sediment samples via shaking and sonication. Groundwater from well FW301 was used as an inoculum to which the extracted NOM was added as carbon sources to feed native microbes. To identify the specific functional groups of extracted NOM that are bioavailable to indigenous microbes, several techniques, including FTIR, LC-MS, EEM, were applied to characterize the extracted NOM as well as the transformed NOM metabolites. 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing was also performed to identify the specific microbial diversity that was enriched and microbial isolates that preferentially grew with these NOM was also cultivated in the lab for future detailed studies.

  5. Acceleration of Fe-silicate mineral dissolution for CO2 sequestration via microbial siderophore production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, M. A.; Nealson, K. H.; West, A.

    2013-12-01

    While the dissolution of silicate minerals will ultimately neutralize anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the slow natural timescale of this process limits its ability to mitigate any of the societal impacts of high atmospheric pCO2. As a result, much research has been focused on developing ways to significantly accelerate silicate mineral dissolution rates. Harnessing the effects of microbial activity is one particularly attractive strategy because research has shown that microbes can appreciably accelerate mineral dissolution rates and they require little external energy input. At present, one major hurdle in the development of microbe-based CO2 sequestration techniques is the observation that bacteria only accelerate dissolution rates under particular culturing conditions. In this work, natural and genetic mutant strains of the bacterial genera Shewanella, Pseudomonas, and Marinobacter are used to identify the geochemical and genetic factors that underlie the 'accelerated-weathering phenotype' in order to support the development of microbe-based CO2 sequestration techniques using olivine as a model mineral. Preliminary results suggest that microbial siderophore production at circum-neutral pH results in significantly accelerated olivine dissolution rates.

  6. Bioelectricity production from soil using microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wolińska, Agnieszka; Stępniewska, Zofia; Bielecka, Arletta; Ciepielski, Jakub

    2014-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a device using microorganisms as biocatalysts for transforming chemical energy into bioelectricity. As soil is an environment with the highest number of microorganisms and diversity, we hypothesized that it should have the potential for energy generation. The soil used for the study was Mollic Gleysol collected from the surface layer (0-20 cm). Four combinations of soil MFC differing from each other in humidity (full water holding capacity [WHC] and flooding) and the carbon source (glucose and straw) were constructed. Voltage (mV) and current intensity (μA) produced by the MFCs were recorded every day or at 2-day intervals. The fastest and the most effective MFCs in voltage generation (372.2 ± 5 mV) were those constructed on the basis of glucose (MFC-G). The efficiency of straw MFCs (MFC-S) was noticeable after 2 weeks (319.3 ± 4 mV). Maximal power density (P max = 32 mW m(-2)) was achieved by the MFC-G at current density (CD) of 100 mA m(-2). Much lower values of P max (10.6-10.8 mW m(-2)) were noted in the MFC-S at CD of ca. 60-80 mA m(-2). Consequently, soil has potential for production of renewable energy.

  7. Bioelectricity production from soil using microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Wolińska, Agnieszka; Stępniewska, Zofia; Bielecka, Arletta; Ciepielski, Jakub

    2014-08-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a device using microorganisms as biocatalysts for transforming chemical energy into bioelectricity. As soil is an environment with the highest number of microorganisms and diversity, we hypothesized that it should have the potential for energy generation. The soil used for the study was Mollic Gleysol collected from the surface layer (0-20 cm). Four combinations of soil MFC differing from each other in humidity (full water holding capacity [WHC] and flooding) and the carbon source (glucose and straw) were constructed. Voltage (mV) and current intensity (μA) produced by the MFCs were recorded every day or at 2-day intervals. The fastest and the most effective MFCs in voltage generation (372.2 ± 5 mV) were those constructed on the basis of glucose (MFC-G). The efficiency of straw MFCs (MFC-S) was noticeable after 2 weeks (319.3 ± 4 mV). Maximal power density (P max = 32 mW m(-2)) was achieved by the MFC-G at current density (CD) of 100 mA m(-2). Much lower values of P max (10.6-10.8 mW m(-2)) were noted in the MFC-S at CD of ca. 60-80 mA m(-2). Consequently, soil has potential for production of renewable energy. PMID:24980749

  8. Engineering Escherichia coli for Microbial Production of Butanone

    PubMed Central

    Srirangan, Kajan; Liu, Xuejia; Akawi, Lamees; Bruder, Mark; Moo-Young, Murray

    2016-01-01

    To expand the chemical and molecular diversity of biotransformation using whole-cell biocatalysts, we genetically engineered a pathway in Escherichia coli for heterologous production of butanone, an important commodity ketone. First, a 1-propanol-producing E. coli host strain with its sleeping beauty mutase (Sbm) operon being activated was used to increase the pool of propionyl-coenzyme A (propionyl-CoA). Subsequently, molecular heterofusion of propionyl-CoA and acetyl-CoA was conducted to yield 3-ketovaleryl-CoA via a CoA-dependent elongation pathway. Lastly, 3-ketovaleryl-CoA was channeled into the clostridial acetone formation pathway for thioester hydrolysis and subsequent decarboxylation to form butanone. Biochemical, genetic, and metabolic factors affecting relative levels of ketogenesis, acidogenesis, and alcohologenesis under selected fermentative culture conditions were investigated. Using the engineered E. coli strain for batch cultivation with 30 g liter−1 glycerol as the carbon source, we achieved coproduction of 1.3 g liter−1 butanone and 2.9 g liter−1 acetone. The results suggest that approximately 42% of spent glycerol was utilized for ketone biosynthesis, and thus they demonstrate potential industrial applicability of this microbial platform. PMID:26896132

  9. Microbial lipid production from corn stover via Mortierella isabellina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianguo; Hu, Bo

    2014-09-01

    Microbial lipid is a promising source of oil to produce biofuel if it can be generated from lignocellulosic materials. Mortierella isabellina is a filamentous fungal species featuring high content of oil in its cell biomass. In this work, M. isabellina was studied for lipid production from corn stover. The experimental results showed that M. isabellina could grow on different kinds of carbon sources including xylose and acetate, and the lipid content reached to 35 % at C/N ratio of 20. With dilution, M. isabellina could endure inhibition effects by dilute acid pretreatment of corn stover (0.3 g/L furfural, 1.2 g/L HMF, and 1 g/L 4-hydroxybenozic acid) and the strain formed pellets in the cell cultivations. An integrated process was developed combining the dilute acid pretreatment, cellulase hydrolysis, and cell cultivation for M. isabellina to convert corn stover to oil containing fungal biomass. With 7.5 % pretreated biomass solid loading ratio, the final lipid yield from sugar in pretreated biomass was 40 % and the final lipid concentration of the culture reached to 6.46 g/L.

  10. Determining microbial products and identifying molecular targets in the human microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Joice, Regina; Yasuda, Koji; Shafquat, Afrah; Morgan, Xochitl C.; Huttenhower, Curtis

    2014-01-01

    Human-associated microbes are the source of many bioactive microbial products (proteins and metabolites) that play key functions both in human host pathways and in microbe-microbe interactions. Culture-independent studies now provide an accelerated means of exploring novel bioactives in the human microbiome; however, intriguingly, a substantial fraction of the microbial metagenome cannot be mapped to annotated genes or isolate genomes and is thus of unknown function. Meta'omic approaches, including metagenomic sequencing, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics, and integration of multiple assay types, represent an opportunity to efficiently explore this large pool of potential therapeutics. In combination with appropriate follow-up validation, high-throughput culture-independent assays can be combined with computational approaches to identify and characterize novel and biologically interesting microbial products. Here, we briefly review the state of microbial product identification and characterization and discuss possible next steps to catalog and leverage the large uncharted fraction of the microbial metagenome. PMID:25440055

  11. Microbial desalination cells for improved performance in wastewater treatment, electricity production, and desalination.

    PubMed

    Luo, Haiping; Xu, Pei; Roane, Timberley M; Jenkins, Peter E; Ren, Zhiyong

    2012-02-01

    The low conductivity and alkalinity in municipal wastewater significantly limit power production from microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study integrated desalination with wastewater treatment and electricity production in a microbial desalination cell (MDC) by utilizing the mutual benefits among the above functions. When using wastewater as the sole substrate, the power output from the MDC (8.01 W/m(3)) was four times higher than a control MFC without desalination function. In addition, the MDC removed 66% of the salts and improved COD removal by 52% and Coulombic efficiency by 131%. Desalination in MDCs improved wastewater characteristics by increasing the conductivity by 2.5 times and stabilizing anolyte pH, which therefore reduced system resistance and maintained microbial activity. Microbial community analysis revealed a more diverse anode microbial structure in the MDC than in the MFC. The results demonstrated that MDC can serve as a viable option for integrated wastewater treatment, energy production, and desalination.

  12. Microbial colonization of biopolymeric thin films containing natural compounds and antibiotics fabricated by MAPLE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristescu, R.; Surdu, A. V.; Grumezescu, A. M.; Oprea, A. E.; Trusca, R.; Vasile, O.; Dorcioman, G.; Visan, A.; Socol, G.; Mihailescu, I. N.; Mihaiescu, D.; Enculescu, M.; Chifiriuc, M. C.; Boehm, R. D.; Narayan, R. J.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2015-05-01

    Although a great number of antibiotics are currently available, they are often rendered ineffective by the ability of microbial strains to develop genetic resistance and to grow in biofilms. Since many antimicrobial agents poorly penetrate biofilms, biofilm-associated infections often require high concentrations of antimicrobial agents for effective treatment. Among the various strategies that may be used to inhibit microbial biofilms, one strategy that has generated significant interest involves the use of bioactive surfaces that are resistant to microbial colonization. In this respect, we used matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) involving a pulsed KrF* excimer laser source (λ = 248 nm, τ = 25 ns, ν = 10 Hz) to obtain thin composite biopolymeric films containing natural (flavonoid) or synthetic (antibiotic) compounds as bioactive substances. Chemical composition and film structures were investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Films morphology was studied by scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The antimicrobial assay of the microbial biofilms formed on these films was assessed by the viable cell counts method. The flavonoid-containing thin films showed increased resistance to microbial colonization, highlighting their potential to be used for the design of anti-biofilm surfaces.

  13. Contrasting microbial biogeographical patterns between anthropogenic subalpine grasslands and natural alpine grasslands.

    PubMed

    Geremia, Roberto A; Pușcaș, Mihai; Zinger, Lucie; Bonneville, Jean-Marc; Choler, Philippe

    2016-02-01

    The effect of plant species composition on soil microbial communities was studied at the multiregional level. We compared the soil microbial communities of alpine natural grasslands dominated by Carex curvula and anthropogenic subalpine pastures dominated by Nardus stricta. We conducted paired sampling across the Carpathians and the Alps and used Illumina sequencing to reveal the molecular diversity of soil microbes. We found that bacterial and fungal communities exhibited contrasting regional distributions and that the distribution in each grassland is well discriminated. Beta diversity of microbial communities was much higher in C. curvula grasslands due to a marked regional effect. The composition of grassland-type core microbiomes suggest that C. curvula, and N. stricta to a lesser extent, tend to select a cohort of microbes related to antibiosis/exclusion, pathogenesis and endophytism. We discuss these findings in light of the postglacial history of the studied grasslands, the habitat connectivity and the disturbance regimes. Human-induced disturbance in the subalpine belt of European mountains has led to homogeneous soil microbial communities at large biogeographical scales. Our results confirm the overarching role of the dominant grassland plant species in the distribution of microbial communities and highlight the relevance of biogeographical history.

  14. Psychoactive natural products: overview of recent developments.

    PubMed

    Ujváry, István

    2014-01-01

    Natural psychoactive substances have fascinated the curious mind of shamans, artists, scholars and laymen since antiquity. During the twentieth century, the chemical composition of the most important psychoactive drugs, that is opium, cannabis, coca and "magic mushrooms", has been fully elucidated. The mode of action of the principal ingredients has also been deciphered at the molecular level. In the past two decades, the use of herbal drugs, such as kava, kratom and Salvia divinorum, began to spread beyond their traditional geographical and cultural boundaries. The aim of the present paper is to briefly summarize recent findings on the psychopharmacology of the most prominent psychoactive natural products. Current knowledge on a few lesser-known drugs, including bufotenine, glaucine, kava, betel, pituri, lettuce opium and kanna is also reviewed. In addition, selected cases of alleged natural (or semi-natural) products are also mentioned. PMID:24695249

  15. Countercurrent Separation of Natural Products: An Update

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This work assesses the current instrumentation, method development, and applications in countercurrent chromatography (CCC) and centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC), collectively referred to as countercurrent separation (CCS). The article provides a critical review of the CCS literature from 2007 since our last review (J. Nat. Prod.2008, 71, 1489–1508), with a special emphasis on the applications of CCS in natural products research. The current state of CCS is reviewed in regard to three continuing topics (instrumentation, solvent system development, theory) and three new topics (optimization of parameters, workflow, bioactivity applications). The goals of this review are to deliver the necessary background with references for an up-to-date perspective of CCS, to point out its potential for the natural product scientist, and thereby to induce new applications in natural product chemistry, metabolome, and drug discovery research involving organisms from terrestrial and marine sources. PMID:26177360

  16. Using Stable Isotopes to Trace Microbial Hydrogen Production Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moran, J.; Hill, E.; Bartholomew, R.; Yang, H.; Shi, L.; Ostrom, N. E.; Gandhi, H.; Hegg, E.; Kreuzer, H.

    2010-12-01

    Biological H2 production by hydrogenase enzymes (H2ases) plays an important role in anaerobic microbial metabolism and community structure. Despite considerable progress in elucidating H2 metabolism, the regulation of and flux through key H2 production pathways remain largely undefined. Our goal is to improve understanding of biological H2 production by using H isotope ratios to dissect proton fluxes through different H2ase enzymes and from different substrates. We hypothesized that the isotope ratio of H2 produced by various hydrogenases (H2ase) would differ, and that the H isotope ratios would allow us to define the contribution of different enzymes when more than one is present in vivo. We chose Shewanella oneidensis (S.o.) MR-1, a facultative anaerobe capable of transferring electrons to a variety of terminal acceptors, including protons, as a model system for in vivo studies. S. o. encodes one [FeFe]- and one [NiFe]-H2ase. We purified three [FeFe]-H2ases (S.o., Clostridium pasteurianum, and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) and two [NiFe]-H2ases (S. o. and Desulfovibrio fructosovorans) to test the isotope fractionation associated with activity by each enzyme in vitro. For in vivo analysis we used wild-type S.o. as well as electron transfer-deficient and H2ase-deficient strains. We employed batch cultures using lactate as an electron donor and O2 as an initial electron acceptor (with H2 production after O2 consumption). The five H2ases we tested all had a unique isotope fractionation. Measurements of H2 produced in vivo showed distinct periods of H2 production having isotope signatures consistent with in vitro results. Isotope data as well as studies of H2 production by mutants in the genes encoding either the [NiFe]-H2ase or the [FeFe]-H2ase, respectively, show that the [NiFe]- and [FeFe]- H2ases became active at different times. The [NiFe]-H2ase both produces and consumes H2 before the [FeFe]-H2ase becomes active. RNA analysis is consistent with up regulation of

  17. Applications of microbial fermentations for production of gluten-free products and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Zannini, Emanuele; Pontonio, Erica; Waters, Deborah M; Arendt, Elke K

    2012-01-01

    A gluten-free (GF) diet is recognised as being the only accepted treatment for celiac disease-a permanent autoimmune enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing cereals. The bakery products available in today's gluten-free market are characterised by lower palatability than their conventional counterparts and may lead to nutritional deficiencies of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Thus, the production of high-quality gluten-free products has become a very important socioeconomical issue. Microbial fermentation by means of lactic acid bacteria and yeast is one of the most ecological/economical methods of producing and preserving food. In this review, the role of a fermentation process for improving the quality of GF products and for developing a new concept of GF products with nutraceutical and health-promoting characteristics will be examined.

  18. Evidence of soluble microbial products accelerating chloramine decay in nitrifying bulk water samples.

    PubMed

    Bal Krishna, K C; Sathasivan, Arumugam; Chandra Sarker, Dipok

    2012-09-01

    The discovery of a microbially derived soluble product that accelerates chloramine decay is described. Nitrifying bacteria are believed to be wholly responsible for rapid chloramine loss in drinking water systems. However, a recent investigation showed that an unidentified soluble agent significantly accelerated chloramine decay. The agent was suspected to be either natural organic matter (NOM) or soluble microbial products (SMPs). A laboratory scale reactor was fed chloraminated reverse osmosis (RO) treated water to eliminate the interference from NOM. Once nitrification had set in, experiments were conducted on the reactor and feed waters to determine the identity of the component. The study showed the presence of SMPs released by microbes in severely nitrified waters. Further experiments proved that the SMPs significantly accelerated chloramine decay, probably through catalytic reaction. Moreover, application of common protein denaturing techniques stopped the reaction implying that the compound responsible was likely to be a protein. This significant finding will pave the way for better control of chloramine in the distribution systems.

  19. Modeling of Sustainable Base Production by Microbial Electrolysis Cell.

    PubMed

    Blatter, Maxime; Sugnaux, Marc; Comninellis, Christos; Nealson, Kenneth; Fischer, Fabian

    2016-07-01

    A predictive model for the microbial/electrochemical base formation from wastewater was established and compared to experimental conditions within a microbial electrolysis cell. A Na2 SO4 /K2 SO4 anolyte showed that model prediction matched experimental results. Using Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a strong base (pH≈13) was generated using applied voltages between 0.3 and 1.1 V. Due to the use of bicarbonate, the pH value in the anolyte remained unchanged, which is required to maintain microbial activity.

  20. Natural Product Sugar Biosynthesis and Enzymatic Glycodiversification**

    PubMed Central

    Thibodeaux, Christopher J.; Melançon, Charles E.; Liu, Hung-wen

    2009-01-01

    Many biologically active small molecule natural products produced by microorganisms derive their activities from sugar substituents. Changing the structures of these sugars can have a profound impact on the biological properties of the parent compounds. This realization has inspired attempts to derivatize the sugar moieties of these natural products through exploitation of the sugar biosynthetic machinery. This approach requires an understanding of the biosynthetic pathway of each target sugar and detailed mechanistic knowledge of the key enzymes. Scientists have begun to unravel the biosynthetic logic behind the assembly of many glycosylated natural products, and have found that a core set of enzyme activities is mixed and matched to synthesize the diverse sugar structures observed in nature. Remarkably, many of these sugar biosynthetic enzymes and glycosyltransferases also exhibit relaxed substrate specificity. The promiscuity of these enzymes has prompted efforts to modify the sugar structures and/or alter the glycosylation patterns of natural products via metabolic pathway engineering and/or enzymatic glycodiversification. In applied biomedical research, these studies will enable the development of new glycosylation tools and generate novel glycoforms of secondary metabolites with useful biological activity. PMID:19058170

  1. Enhanced Microbial Pathways for Methane Production from Oil Shale

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Fallgren

    2009-02-15

    Methane from oil shale can potentially provide a significant contribution to natural gas industry, and it may be possible to increase and continue methane production by artificially enhancing methanogenic activity through the addition of various substrate and nutrient treatments. Western Research Institute in conjunction with Pick & Shovel Inc. and the U.S. Department of Energy conducted microcosm and scaled-up reactor studies to investigate the feasibility and optimization of biogenic methane production from oil shale. The microcosm study involving crushed oil shale showed the highest yield of methane was produced from oil shale pretreated with a basic solution and treated with nutrients. Incubation at 30 C, which is the estimated temperature in the subsurface where the oil shale originated, caused and increase in methane production. The methane production eventually decreased when pH of the system was above 9.00. In the scaled-up reactor study, pretreatment of the oil shale with a basic solution, nutrient enhancements, incubation at 30 C, and maintaining pH at circumneutral levels yielded the highest rate of biogenic methane production. From this study, the annual biogenic methane production rate was determined to be as high as 6042 cu. ft/ton oil shale.

  2. Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicines

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Liang-Tzung; Hsu, Wen-Chan; Lin, Chun-Ching

    2014-01-01

    Viral infections play an important role in human diseases, and recent outbreaks in the advent of globalization and ease of travel have underscored their prevention as a critical issue in safeguarding public health. Despite the progress made in immunization and drug development, many viruses lack preventive vaccines and efficient antiviral therapies, which are often beset by the generation of viral escape mutants. Thus, identifying novel antiviral drugs is of critical importance and natural products are an excellent source for such discoveries. In this mini-review, we summarize the antiviral effects reported for several natural products and herbal medicines. PMID:24872930

  3. [Influence of Microbial Metabolites of Phenolic Nature on the Activity of Mitochondrial Enzymes].

    PubMed

    Fedotcheva, N I; Litvinova, E G; Osipov, A Aa; Olenin, A Yu; Moroz, V V; Beloborodova, N V

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to study the effect of microbial metabolites of phenolic nature on the activity of enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle in isolated mitochondria, and determine metabolites of the tricarboxylic acid cycle as potential biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction in the blood of patients with sepsis. It is shown that microbial metabolites of phenolic nature have an inhibitory effect on the activity of dehydrogenases, determined by the reduction of dichlorophenolindophenol and nitroblue tetrazolium in liver mitochondria and liver homogenates. This effect is more pronounced in oxidation of the NAD-dependent substrates than succinate oxidation, and at lower concentrations of microbial metabolites than inhibition of respiration. By gas chromatography-mass spectrometry it was found that the content of the tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites in the blood of patients with sepsis decreased compared to healthy donors. The data obtained show that the microbial phenolic acids can contribute significantly to the dysfunction of mitochondria and suppression of general metabolism, characteristic of these pathologies. PMID:26841505

  4. A natural view of microbial biodiversity within hot spring cyanobacterial mat communities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ward, D. M.; Ferris, M. J.; Nold, S. C.; Bateson, M. M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats.

  5. A Natural View of Microbial Biodiversity within Hot Spring Cyanobacterial Mat Communities

    PubMed Central

    Ward, David M.; Ferris, Michael J.; Nold, Stephen C.; Bateson, Mary M.

    1998-01-01

    This review summarizes a decade of research in which we have used molecular methods, in conjunction with more traditional approaches, to study hot spring cyanobacterial mats as models for understanding principles of microbial community ecology. Molecular methods reveal that the composition of these communities is grossly oversimplified by microscopic and cultivation methods. For example, none of 31 unique 16S rRNA sequences detected in the Octopus Spring mat, Yellowstone National Park, matches that of any prokaryote previously cultivated from geothermal systems; 11 are contributed by genetically diverse cyanobacteria, even though a single cyanobacterial species was suspected based on morphologic and culture analysis. By studying the basis for the incongruity between culture and molecular samplings of community composition, we are beginning to cultivate isolates whose 16S rRNA sequences are readily detected. By placing the genetic diversity detected in context with the well-defined natural environmental gradients typical of hot spring mat systems, the relationship between gene and species diversity is clarified and ecological patterns of species occurrence emerge. By combining these ecological patterns with the evolutionary patterns inherently revealed by phylogenetic analysis of gene sequence data, we find that it may be possible to understand microbial biodiversity within these systems by using principles similar to those developed by evolutionary ecologists to understand biodiversity of larger species. We hope that such an approach guides microbial ecologists to a more realistic and predictive understanding of microbial species occurrence and responsiveness in both natural and disturbed habitats. PMID:9841675

  6. Metabolic Engineering for the Production of Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Pickens, Lauren B.; Tang, Yi; Chooi, Yit-Heng

    2014-01-01

    Natural products and natural product derived compounds play an important role in modern healthcare as frontline treatments for many diseases and as inspiration for chemically synthesized therapeutics. With advances in sequencing and recombinant DNA technology, many of the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the production of these chemically complex and pharmaceutically valuable compounds have been elucidated. With an ever expanding toolkit of biosynthetic components, metabolic engineering is an increasingly powerful method to improve natural product titers and generate novel compounds. Heterologous production platforms have enabled access to pathways from difficult to culture strains; systems biology and metabolic modeling tools have resulted in increasing predictive and analytic capabilities; advances in expression systems and regulation have enabled the fine-tuning of pathways for increased efficiency, and characterization of individual pathway components has facilitated the construction of hybrid pathways for the production of new compounds. These advances in the many aspects of metabolic engineering have not only yielded fascinating scientific discoveries but also make it an increasingly viable approach for the optimization of natural product biosynthesis. PMID:22432617

  7. Natural oil slicks fuel surface water microbial activities in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

    PubMed

    Ziervogel, Kai; D'Souza, Nigel; Sweet, Julia; Yan, Beizhan; Passow, Uta

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a series of roller tank incubations with surface seawater from the Green Canyon oil reservoir, northern Gulf of Mexico, amended with either a natural oil slick (GCS-oil) or pristine oil. The goal was to test whether bacterial activities of natural surface water communities facilitate the formation of oil-rich marine snow (oil snow). Although oil snow did not form during any of our experiments, we found specific bacterial metabolic responses to the addition of GCS-oil that profoundly affected carbon cycling within our 4-days incubations. Peptidase and β-glucosidase activities indicative of bacterial enzymatic hydrolysis of peptides and carbohydrates, respectively, were suppressed upon the addition of GCS-oil relative to the non-oil treatment, suggesting that ascending oil and gas initially inhibits bacterial metabolism in surface water. Biodegradation of physically dispersed GCS-oil components, indicated by the degradation of lower molecular weight n-alkanes as well as the rapid transformation of particulate oil-carbon (C: N >40) into the DOC pool, led to the production of carbohydrate- and peptide-rich degradation byproducts and bacterial metabolites such as transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). TEP formation was highest at day 4 in the presence of GCS-oil; in contrast, TEP levels in the non-oil treatment already peaked at day 2. Cell-specific enzymatic activities closely followed TEP concentrations in the presence and absence of GCS-oil. These results demonstrate that the formation of oil slicks and activities of oil-degrading bacteria result in a temporal offset of microbial cycling of organic matter, affecting food web interactions and carbon cycling in surface waters over cold seeps.

  8. Natural oil slicks fuel surface water microbial activities in the northern Gulf of Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Ziervogel, Kai; D'souza, Nigel; Sweet, Julia; Yan, Beizhan; Passow, Uta

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a series of roller tank incubations with surface seawater from the Green Canyon oil reservoir, northern Gulf of Mexico, amended with either a natural oil slick (GCS-oil) or pristine oil. The goal was to test whether bacterial activities of natural surface water communities facilitate the formation of oil-rich marine snow (oil snow). Although oil snow did not form during any of our experiments, we found specific bacterial metabolic responses to the addition of GCS-oil that profoundly affected carbon cycling within our 4-days incubations. Peptidase and β-glucosidase activities indicative of bacterial enzymatic hydrolysis of peptides and carbohydrates, respectively, were suppressed upon the addition of GCS-oil relative to the non-oil treatment, suggesting that ascending oil and gas initially inhibits bacterial metabolism in surface water. Biodegradation of physically dispersed GCS-oil components, indicated by the degradation of lower molecular weight n-alkanes as well as the rapid transformation of particulate oil-carbon (C: N >40) into the DOC pool, led to the production of carbohydrate- and peptide-rich degradation byproducts and bacterial metabolites such as transparent exopolymer particles (TEP). TEP formation was highest at day 4 in the presence of GCS-oil; in contrast, TEP levels in the non-oil treatment already peaked at day 2. Cell-specific enzymatic activities closely followed TEP concentrations in the presence and absence of GCS-oil. These results demonstrate that the formation of oil slicks and activities of oil-degrading bacteria result in a temporal offset of microbial cycling of organic matter, affecting food web interactions and carbon cycling in surface waters over cold seeps. PMID:24847314

  9. Deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir: baseline characterization prior CO2 injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, Daria; Shaheed, Mina; Vieth, Andrea; Krüger, Martin; Kock, Dagmar; Würdemann, Hilke

    2010-05-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of about 3500m, is characterised by high salinity fluid and temperatures up to 127° C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery) the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism) and DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis). First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other saline, hot, anoxic, deep environments. However, due to the hypersaline and hyperthermophilic reservoir conditions, cell numbers are low, so that

  10. An automated Genomes-to-Natural Products platform (GNP) for the discovery of modular natural products

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Chad W.; Skinnider, Michael A.; Wyatt, Morgan A.; Li, Xiang; Ranieri, Michael R. M.; Yang, Lian; Zechel, David L.; Ma, Bin; Magarvey, Nathan A.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial natural products are a diverse and valuable group of small molecules, and genome sequencing indicates that the vast majority remain undiscovered. The prediction of natural product structures from biosynthetic assembly lines can facilitate their discovery, but highly automated, accurate, and integrated systems are required to mine the broad spectrum of sequenced bacterial genomes. Here we present a genome-guided natural products discovery tool to automatically predict, combinatorialize and identify polyketides and nonribosomal peptides from biosynthetic assembly lines using LC–MS/MS data of crude extracts in a high-throughput manner. We detail the directed identification and isolation of six genetically predicted polyketides and nonribosomal peptides using our Genome-to-Natural Products platform. This highly automated, user-friendly programme provides a means of realizing the potential of genetically encoded natural products. PMID:26412281

  11. New Methodology for Natural Gas Production Estimates

    EIA Publications

    2010-01-01

    A new methodology is implemented with the monthly natural gas production estimates from the EIA-914 survey this month. The estimates, to be released April 29, 2010, include revisions for all of 2009. The fundamental changes in the new process include the timeliness of the historical data used for estimation and the frequency of sample updates, both of which are improved.

  12. Chocolate: A Marvelous Natural Product of Chemistry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tannenbaum, Ginger

    2004-01-01

    The study of chocolate, a natural product, can be beneficial for the chemistry students as they ask frequently about the relevancy of their chemistry classes. The history of chocolate, its chemical and physical changes during processing, its composition, different crystalline forms, tempering and its viscosity are discussed.

  13. Biotransformation of furanic and phenolic compounds with hydrogen gas production in a microbial electrolysis cell

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Zeng, Xiaofei; Borole, Abhijeet P.; Pavlostathis, Spyros G.

    2015-10-27

    In this study, furanic and phenolic compounds are problematic byproducts resulting from the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass during biofuel production. This study assessed the capacity of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to produce hydrogen gas (H2) using a mixture of two furanic (furfural, FF; 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, HMF) and three phenolic (syringic acid, SA; vanillic acid, VA; and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, HBA) compounds as the sole carbon and energy source in the bioanode. The rate and extent of biotransformation of the five compounds, efficiency of H2 production, as well as the anode microbial community structure were investigated. The five compounds were completelymore » transformed within 7-day batch runs and their biotransformation rate increased with increasing initial concentration. At an initial concentration of 1,200 mg/L (8.7 mM) of the mixture of the five compounds, their biotransformation rate ranged from 0.85 to 2.34 mM/d. The anode coulombic efficiency was 44-69%, which is comparable to wastewater-fed MECs. The H2 yield varied from 0.26 to 0.42 g H2-COD/g COD removed in the anode, and the bioanode volume-normalized H2 production rate was 0.07-0.1 L/L-d. The major identified fermentation products that did not transform further were catechol and phenol. Acetate was the direct substrate for exoelectrogenesis. Current and H2 production were inhibited at an initial substrate concentration of 1,200 mg/L, resulting in acetate accumulation at a much higher level than that measured in other batch runs conducted with a lower initial concentration of the five compounds. The anode microbial community consisted of exoelectrogens, putative degraders of the five compounds, and syntrophic partners of exoelectrogens. The H2 production route demonstrated in this study has proven to be an alternative to the currently used process of reforming natural gas to supply H2 needed to upgrade bio-oils to stable hydrocarbon fuels.« less

  14. Biotransformation of furanic and phenolic compounds with hydrogen gas production in a microbial electrolysis cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zeng, Xiaofei; Borole, Abhijeet P.; Pavlostathis, Spyros G.

    2015-10-27

    In this study, furanic and phenolic compounds are problematic byproducts resulting from the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass during biofuel production. This study assessed the capacity of a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) to produce hydrogen gas (H2) using a mixture of two furanic (furfural, FF; 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, HMF) and three phenolic (syringic acid, SA; vanillic acid, VA; and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, HBA) compounds as the sole carbon and energy source in the bioanode. The rate and extent of biotransformation of the five compounds, efficiency of H2 production, as well as the anode microbial community structure were investigated. The five compounds were completely transformed within 7-day batch runs and their biotransformation rate increased with increasing initial concentration. At an initial concentration of 1,200 mg/L (8.7 mM) of the mixture of the five compounds, their biotransformation rate ranged from 0.85 to 2.34 mM/d. The anode coulombic efficiency was 44-69%, which is comparable to wastewater-fed MECs. The H2 yield varied from 0.26 to 0.42 g H2-COD/g COD removed in the anode, and the bioanode volume-normalized H2 production rate was 0.07-0.1 L/L-d. The major identified fermentation products that did not transform further were catechol and phenol. Acetate was the direct substrate for exoelectrogenesis. Current and H2 production were inhibited at an initial substrate concentration of 1,200 mg/L, resulting in acetate accumulation at a much higher level than that measured in other batch runs conducted with a lower initial concentration of the five compounds. The anode microbial community consisted of exoelectrogens, putative degraders of the five compounds, and syntrophic partners of exoelectrogens. The H2 production route demonstrated in this study has proven to be an alternative to the currently used process of reforming natural gas to supply H2 needed to

  15. Natural Products for Chemoprevention of Breast Cancer.

    PubMed

    Ko, Eun-Yi; Moon, Aree

    2015-12-01

    Breast cancer is the primary cause of cancer death in women. Although current therapies have shown some promise against breast cancer, there is still no effective cure for the majority of patients in the advanced stages of breast cancer. Development of effective agents to slow, reduce, or reverse the incidence of breast cancer in high-risk women is necessary. Chemoprevention of breast cancer by natural products is advantageous, as these compounds have few side effects and low toxicity compared to synthetic compounds. In the present review, we summarize natural products which exert chemopreventive activities against breast cancer, such as curcumin, sauchinone, lycopene, denbinobin, genipin, capsaicin, and ursolic acid. This review examines the current knowledge about natural compounds and their mechanisms that underlie breast cancer chemopreventive activity both in vitro and in vivo. The present review may provide information on the use of these compounds for the prevention of breast cancer. PMID:26734584

  16. Natural Products for Chemoprevention of Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ko, Eun-Yi; Moon, Aree

    2015-01-01

    Breast cancer is the primary cause of cancer death in women. Although current therapies have shown some promise against breast cancer, there is still no effective cure for the majority of patients in the advanced stages of breast cancer. Development of effective agents to slow, reduce, or reverse the incidence of breast cancer in high-risk women is necessary. Chemoprevention of breast cancer by natural products is advantageous, as these compounds have few side effects and low toxicity compared to synthetic compounds. In the present review, we summarize natural products which exert chemopreventive activities against breast cancer, such as curcumin, sauchinone, lycopene, denbinobin, genipin, capsaicin, and ursolic acid. This review examines the current knowledge about natural compounds and their mechanisms that underlie breast cancer chemopreventive activity both in vitro and in vivo. The present review may provide information on the use of these compounds for the prevention of breast cancer. PMID:26734584

  17. Differences in Intertidal Microbial Assemblages on Urban Structures and Natural Rocky Reef

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Elisa L.-Y.; Mayer-Pinto, Mariana; Johnston, Emma L.; Dafforn, Katherine A.

    2015-01-01

    Global seascapes are increasingly modified to support high levels of human activity in the coastal zone. Modifications include the addition of defense structures and boating infrastructure, such as seawalls and marinas that replace natural habitats. Artificial structures support different macrofaunal communities to those found on natural rocky shores; however, little is known about differences in microbial community structure or function in urban seascapes. Understanding how artificial constructions in marine environments influence microbial communities is important as these assemblages contribute to many basic ecological processes. In this study, the bacterial communities of intertidal biofilms were compared between artificial structures (seawalls) and natural habitats (rocky shores) within Sydney Harbour. Plots were cleared on each type of habitat at eight locations. After 3 weeks the newly formed biofilm was sampled and the 16S rRNA gene sequenced using the Illumina Miseq platform. To account for differences in orientation and substrate material between seawalls and rocky shores that might have influenced our survey, we also deployed recruitment blocks next to the habitats at all locations for 3 weeks and then sampled and sequenced their microbial communities. Intertidal bacterial community structure sampled from plots differed between seawalls and rocky shores, but when substrate material, age and orientation were kept constant (with recruitment blocks) then bacterial communities were similar in composition and structure among habitats. This suggests that changes in bacterial communities on seawalls are not related to environmental differences between locations, but may be related to other intrinsic factors that differ between the habitats such as orientation, complexity, or predation. This is one of the first comparisons of intertidal microbial communities on natural and artificial surfaces and illustrates substantial ecological differences with potential

  18. Natural Product Research in the Australian Marine Invertebrate Dicathais orbita

    PubMed Central

    Benkendorff, Kirsten

    2013-01-01

    The predatory marine gastropod Dicathais orbita has been the subject of a significant amount of biological and chemical research over the past five decades. Natural products research on D. orbita includes the isolation and identification of brominated indoles and choline esters as precursors of Tyrian purple, as well as the synthesis of structural analogues, bioactivity testing, biodistributional and biosynthetic studies. Here I also report on how well these compounds conform to Lipinski’s rule of five for druglikeness and their predicted receptor binding and enzyme inhibitor activity. The composition of mycosporine-like amino acids, fatty acids and sterols has also been described in the egg masses of D. orbita. The combination of bioactive compounds produced by D. orbita is of interest for further studies in chemical ecology, as well as for future nutraceutical development. Biological insights into the life history of this species, as well as ongoing research on the gene expression, microbial symbionts and biosynthetic capabilities, should facilitate sustainable production of the bioactive compounds. Knowledge of the phylogeny of D. orbita provides an excellent platform for novel research into the evolution of brominated secondary metabolites in marine molluscs. The range of polarities in the brominated indoles produced by D. orbita has also provided an effective model system used to develop a new method for biodistributional studies. The well characterized suite of chemical reactions that generate Tyrian purple, coupled with an in depth knowledge of the ecology, anatomy and genetics of D. orbita provide a good foundation for ongoing natural products research. PMID:23612370

  19. Interfacing Microbial Styrene Production with a Biocompatible Cyclopropanation Reaction**

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Stephen; Balskus, Emily P.

    2015-01-01

    Introducing new reactivity into living organisms is a major challenge in synthetic biology. Despite an increasing interest in both developing aqueous-compatible small molecule catalysts and engineering enzymes to perform new chemistry in vitro, the integration of non-native reactivity into metabolic pathways for small molecule production has been underexplored. Herein we report a biocompatible iron(III) phthalocyanine catalyst capable of efficient olefin cyclopropanation in the presence of a living microorganism. By interfacing this catalyst with E. coli engineered to produce styrene, we synthesize non-natural phenyl cyclopropanes directly from D-glucose in single-vessel fermentations. This process represents the first combination of non-biological carbene-transfer reactivity with cellular metabolism for small molecule production. PMID:25925138

  20. Interfacing microbial styrene production with a biocompatible cyclopropanation reaction.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Stephen; Balskus, Emily P

    2015-06-01

    The introduction of new reactivity into living organisms is a major challenge in synthetic biology. Despite an increasing interest in both the development of small-molecule catalysts that are compatible with aqueous media and the engineering of enzymes to perform new chemistry in vitro, the integration of non-native reactivity into metabolic pathways for small-molecule production has been underexplored. Herein we report a biocompatible iron(III) phthalocyanine catalyst capable of efficient olefin cyclopropanation in the presence of a living microorganism. By interfacing this catalyst with E. coli engineered to produce styrene, we synthesized non-natural phenyl cyclopropanes directly from D-glucose in single-vessel fermentations. This process is the first example of the combination of nonbiological carbene-transfer reactivity with cellular metabolism for small-molecule production. PMID:25925138

  1. Natural products in modern life science

    PubMed Central

    Göransson, Ulf; Alsmark, Cecilia; Wedén, Christina; Backlund, Anders

    2010-01-01

    With a realistic threat against biodiversity in rain forests and in the sea, a sustainable use of natural products is becoming more and more important. Basic research directed against different organisms in Nature could reveal unexpected insights into fundamental biological mechanisms but also new pharmaceutical or biotechnological possibilities of more immediate use. Many different strategies have been used prospecting the biodiversity of Earth in the search for novel structure–activity relationships, which has resulted in important discoveries in drug development. However, we believe that the development of multidisciplinary incentives will be necessary for a future successful exploration of Nature. With this aim, one way would be a modernization and renewal of a venerable proven interdisciplinary science, Pharmacognosy, which represents an integrated way of studying biological systems. This has been demonstrated based on an explanatory model where the different parts of the model are explained by our ongoing research. Anti-inflammatory natural products have been discovered based on ethnopharmacological observations, marine sponges in cold water have resulted in substances with ecological impact, combinatory strategy of ecology and chemistry has revealed new insights into the biodiversity of fungi, in depth studies of cyclic peptides (cyclotides) has created new possibilities for engineering of bioactive peptides, development of new strategies using phylogeny and chemography has resulted in new possibilities for navigating chemical and biological space, and using bioinformatic tools for understanding of lateral gene transfer could provide potential drug targets. A multidisciplinary subject like Pharmacognosy, one of several scientific disciplines bridging biology and chemistry with medicine, has a strategic position for studies of complex scientific questions based on observations in Nature. Furthermore, natural product research based on intriguing scientific

  2. Electricity production from municipal solid waste using microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Chiu, H Y; Pai, T Y; Liu, M H; Chang, C A; Lo, F C; Chang, T C; Lo, H M; Chiang, C F; Chao, K P; Lo, W Y; Lo, S W; Chu, Y L

    2016-07-01

    The organic content of municipal solid waste has long been an attractive source of renewable energy, mainly as a solid fuel in waste-to-energy plants. This study focuses on the potential to use microbial fuel cells to convert municipal solid waste organics into energy using various operational conditions. The results showed that two-chamber microbial fuel cells with carbon felt and carbon felt allocation had a higher maximal power density (20.12 and 30.47 mW m(-2) for 1.5 and 4 L, respectively) than those of other electrode plate allocations. Most two-chamber microbial fuel cells (1.5 and 4 L) had a higher maximal power density than single-chamber ones with corresponding electrode plate allocations. Municipal solid waste with alkali hydrolysis pre-treatment and K3Fe(CN)6 as an electron acceptor improved the maximal power density to 1817.88 mW m(-2) (~0.49% coulomb efficiency, from 0.05-0.49%). The maximal power density from experiments using individual 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, and serial and parallel connections of 1.5 and 4 L two-chamber microbial fuel cells, was found to be in the order of individual 4 L (30.47 mW m(-2)) > serial connection of 1.5 and 4 L (27.75) > individual 1.5 L (20.12) > parallel connection of 1.5 and 4 L (17.04) two-chamber microbial fuel cells . The power density using municipal solid waste microbial fuel cells was compared with information in the literature and discussed.

  3. [Fermentation production of microbial catalase and its application in textile industry].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dongxu; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2010-11-01

    Microbial catalase is an important industrial enzyme that catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen. This enzyme has great potential of application in food, textile and pharmaceutical industries. The production of microbial catalase has been significantly improved thanks to advances in bioprocess engineering and genetic engineering. In this paper, we review the progresses in fermentation production of microbial catalase and its application in textile industry. Among these progresses, we will highlight strain isolation, substrate and environment optimization, enzyme induction, construction of engineering strains and application process optimization. Meanwhile, we also address future research trends for microbial catalase production and its application in textile industry. Molecular modification (site-directed mutagenesis and directed revolution) will endue catalase with high pH and temperature stabilities. Improvement of catalase production, based on the understanding of induction mechanism and the process control of recombinant stain fermentation, will further accelerate the application of catalase in textile industry.

  4. Biorefinery of corn cob for microbial lipid and bio-ethanol production: An environmental friendly process.

    PubMed

    Cai, Di; Dong, Zhongshi; Wang, Yong; Chen, Changjing; Li, Ping; Qin, Peiyong; Wang, Zheng; Tan, Tianwei

    2016-07-01

    Microbial lipid and bio-ethanol were co-generated by an integrated process using corn cob bagasse as raw material. After pretreatment, the acid hydrolysate was used as substrate for microbial lipid fermentation, while the solid residue was further enzymatic hydrolysis for bio-ethanol production. The effect of acid loading and pretreatment time on microbial lipid and ethanol production were evaluated. Under the optimized condition for ethanol production, ∼131.3g of ethanol and ∼11.5g of microbial lipid were co-generated from 1kg raw material. On this condition, ∼71.6% of the overall fermentable sugars in corn cob bagasse could be converted into valuable products. At the same time, at least 33% of the initial COD in the acid hydrolysate was depredated.

  5. RESEARCH PLAN FOR MICROBIAL PATHOGENS AND DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS IN DRINKING WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research plan was developed to describe research needed to support EPA's development of drinking water regulations concerning disinfectants, disinfection by-products (DBPs) and microbial pathogens, focusing on key scientific and technical information needed. The research pl...

  6. Biorefinery of corn cob for microbial lipid and bio-ethanol production: An environmental friendly process.

    PubMed

    Cai, Di; Dong, Zhongshi; Wang, Yong; Chen, Changjing; Li, Ping; Qin, Peiyong; Wang, Zheng; Tan, Tianwei

    2016-07-01

    Microbial lipid and bio-ethanol were co-generated by an integrated process using corn cob bagasse as raw material. After pretreatment, the acid hydrolysate was used as substrate for microbial lipid fermentation, while the solid residue was further enzymatic hydrolysis for bio-ethanol production. The effect of acid loading and pretreatment time on microbial lipid and ethanol production were evaluated. Under the optimized condition for ethanol production, ∼131.3g of ethanol and ∼11.5g of microbial lipid were co-generated from 1kg raw material. On this condition, ∼71.6% of the overall fermentable sugars in corn cob bagasse could be converted into valuable products. At the same time, at least 33% of the initial COD in the acid hydrolysate was depredated. PMID:27060242

  7. RMS Titanic and the emergence of new concepts on consortial nature of microbial events.

    PubMed

    Cullimore, D Roy; Pellegrino, Charles; Johnston, Lori

    2002-01-01

    The RMS Titanic sank in 1912 and created a historical event that still ripples through time. Stories were told and lessons learned but the science has only just begun. Today the fading remains of the ship resemble the hanging gardens of Babylon except that it is not plants that drape the walls but complex microbial growths called rusticles. These organisms have been found to be not a species, like plants and animals, but to be structures created by complex communities of bacterial species. Like the discovery of tube worms in the mid-oceanic vents, the nature of these rusticles presents another biological discovery of a fundamental nature. Essentially these microbial consortia on the RMS Titanic have generated structures of a mass that would rival whales and elephants while gradually extracting the iron from the steel. Rusticle-like consortia appear to play many roles within the environment, and it is perhaps the RMS Titanic that is showing that there is a new way to understand the form, function, and nature of microorganisms. This understanding would develop by considering the bacteria not as individual species functioning independently but as consortia of species functioning in community structures within a common habitat. This concept, if adopted, would change dramatically the manner in which a microbial ecologist and any scientist or engineer would view the occurrence of a slime, encrustation, biocolloid, rust flake, iron pan, salt deposit, and perhaps even some of the diseases that remain unexplained as a disease of unknown cause.

  8. Natural production of biological optical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Seung Ho; Kim, Young L.

    2015-03-01

    Synthesis and production in nature often provide ideas to design and fabricate advanced biomimetic photonic materials and structures, leading to excellent physical properties and enhanced performance. In addition, the recognition and utilization of natural or biological substances have been typical routes to develop biocompatible and biodegradable materials for medical applications. In this respect, biological lasers utilizing such biomaterials and biostructures have been received considerable attention, given a variety of implications and potentials for bioimaging, biosensing, implantation, and therapy. However, without relying on industrial facilities, eco-friendly massive production of such optical components or systems has not yet been investigated. We show examples of bioproduction of biological lasers using agriculture and fisheries. We anticipate that such approaches will open new possibilities for scalable eco-friendly `green' production of biological photonics components and systems.

  9. Microbial community analysis in a long-term membrane-less microbial electrolysis cell with hydrogen and methane production.

    PubMed

    Rago, Laura; Ruiz, Yolanda; Baeza, Juan A; Guisasola, Albert; Cortés, Pilar

    2015-12-01

    A single-chamber microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) aiming at hydrogen production with acetate as sole carbon source failed due to methanogenesis build-up despite the significant amount of 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) dosage, 50 mM. Specific batch experiments and a thorough microbial community analysis, pyrosequencing and qPCR, of cathode, anode and medium were performed to understand these observations. The experimental data rebuts different hypothesis and shows that methanogenesis at high BES concentration was likely due to the capacity of some Archaea (hydrogen-oxidizing genus Methanobrevibacter) to resist high BES concentration up to 200 mM. Methanobrevibacter, of the Methanobacteriales order, represented almost the 98% of the total Archaea in the cathode whereas Geobacter was highly abundant in the anode (72% of bacteria). Moreover, at higher BES concentration (up to 200 mM), methanogenesis activity decreased resulting in an increase of homoacetogenic activity, which challenged the performance of the MEC for H2 production.

  10. Design of a microbial fuel cell and its transition to microbial electrolytic cell for hydrogen production by electrohydrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Pratima; Parkhey, Piyush; Joshi, Komal; Mahilkar, Anjali

    2013-10-01

    Anaerobic bacteria were isolated from industrial wastewater and soil samples and tested for exoelectrogenic activity by current production in double chambered microbial fuel cell (MFC), which was further transitioned into a single chambered microbial electrolytic cell to test hydrogen production by electrohydrogenesis. Of all the cultures, the isolate from industrial water sample showed the maximum values for current = 0.161 mA, current density = 108.57 mA/m2 and power density = 48.85 mW/m2 with graphite electrode. Maximum voltage across the cell, however, was reported by the isolate from sewage water sample (506 mv) with copper as electrode. Tap water with KMnO4 was the best cathodic electrolyte as the highest values for all the measured MFC parameters were reported with it. Once the exoelectrogenic activity of the isolates was confirmed by current production, these were tested for hydrogen production in a single chambered microbial electrolytic cell (MEC) modified from the MFC. Hydrogen production was reported positive from co-culture of isolates of both the water samples and co-culture of one soil and one water sample. The maximum rate and yield of hydrogen production was 0.18 m3H2/m3/d and 3.2 mol H2/mol glucose respectively with total hydrogen production of 42.4 mL and energy recovery of 57.4%. Cumulative hydrogen production for a five day cycle of MEC operation was 0.16 m3H2/m3/d.

  11. Microbial Competition in Polar Soils: A Review of an Understudied but Potentially Important Control on Productivity

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Terrence H.; Callender, Katrina L.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Greer, Charles W.

    2013-01-01

    Intermicrobial competition is known to occur in many natural environments, and can result from direct conflict between organisms, or from differential rates of growth, colonization, and/or nutrient acquisition. It has been difficult to extensively examine intermicrobial competition in situ, but these interactions may play an important role in the regulation of the many biogeochemical processes that are tied to microbial communities in polar soils. A greater understanding of how competition influences productivity will improve projections of gas and nutrient flux as the poles warm, may provide biotechnological opportunities for increasing the degradation of contaminants in polar soil, and will help to predict changes in communities of higher organisms, such as plants. PMID:24832797

  12. Role of discontinuous chlorination on microbial production by drinking water biofilms.

    PubMed

    Codony, Francesc; Morató, Jordi; Mas, Jordi

    2005-05-01

    Microbial quality in water distribution systems is strongly affected by the development of microbial biofilms. Production and release of microbial cells by the biofilm affect microbial levels in the water column and in some cases this fact constitutes a public health concern. In this study, we attempt to analyze in which way the existence of different episodes of chlorine depletion affects both biofilm formation and microbial load of an artificial laboratory system. The work was carried out using two parallel packed bed reactors both supplied with running tap water. One of the reactors was used as a control and was permanently exposed to the action of chlorine. In the other reactor, chlorine was neutralized at selected times during the experiment and for periods of variable length. During the experiment the concentration of total and viable cells from the effluent was monitored at the exit of each of the reactors. The data obtained were used to estimate microbial production from the biofilms. As an average, release of microbial cells to the water phase increased tenfold in the absence of chlorine. The results also indicate that disinfectant efficiency against the biofilm was not recovered when chlorine returned to normal levels after each event of chlorine neutralization. Cell viability in the water phase in the presence of chlorine was low at the beginning of the experiment but increased 4 orders of magnitude after five neutralization periods. Therefore, subsequent episodes of chlorine depletion may accelerate the development of microbial communities with reduced susceptibility to disinfection in real drinking water systems.

  13. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-23

    In this study, accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux is critically important for investigating and predicting the biogeochemistry-climate feedback. Better simulating CH4 flux requires explicit representations of microbial processes on CH4 dynamics because all processes for CH4 production and consumption are actually carried out by microbes. A microbial functional group based module was developed and tested against an incubation experiment. The module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. These four processes were carried out by four microbial functional groups: acetoclastic methanogens, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was then linked with the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model, and was further used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model could capture the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and a temperature gradient of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting the behavior of the climate system.

  14. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-23

    In this study, accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux is critically important for investigating and predicting the biogeochemistry-climate feedback. Better simulating CH4 flux requires explicit representations of microbial processes on CH4 dynamics because all processes for CH4 production and consumption are actually carried out by microbes. A microbial functional group based module was developed and tested against an incubation experiment. The module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. These four processes were carried out by four microbial functional groups: acetoclastic methanogens,more » hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was then linked with the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model, and was further used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model could capture the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and a temperature gradient of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting the behavior of the climate system.« less

  15. Growth and element flux at fine taxonomic resolution in natural microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Microorganisms are the engines of global biogeochemical cycles, driving half of all photosynthesis and nearly all decomposition. Yet, quantifying the rates at which uncultured microbial taxa grow and transform elements in intact and highly diverse natural communities in the environment remains among the most pressing challenges in microbial ecology today. Here, we show how shifts in the density of DNA caused by stable isotope incorporation can be used to estimate the growth rates of individual bacterial taxa in intact soil communities. We found that the distribution of growth rates followed the familiar lognormal distribution observed for the abundances, biomasses, and traits of many organisms. Growth rates of most bacterial taxa increased in response to glucose amendment, though the increase in growth observed for many taxa was larger than could be explained by direct utilization of the added glucose for growth, illustrating that glucose addition indirectly stimulated the utilization of other substrates. Variation in growth rates and phylogenetic distances were quantitatively related, connecting evolutionary history and biogeochemical function in intact soil microbial communities. Our approach has the potential to identify biogeochemically significant taxa in the microbial community and quantify their contributions to element transformations and ecosystem processes.

  16. Natural gas production and consumption 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-01-01

    Total marketed production of natural gas in the United States during 1979 was 20,471 billion cubic feet, an increase of approximately 497 billion cubic feet, or 2.5 percent over 1978. Texas and Louisiana, the two leading producing states, accounted for 70.5 percent of total 1979 marketed production. In 1979, deliveries of natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, electric utilities, and other consumers totaled 18,141 billion cubic feet. Total consumption, which includes lease, plant, and pipeline fuel in addition to deliveries to consumers, was 20,241 billion cubic feet in 1979 compared to 19,627 billion cubic feet in 1978, an increase of 3.1 percent. Movements of natural gas into and out of each state are presented. Louisiana accounted for the largest quantity of net deliveries, 5,107 billion cubic feet, followed by Texas and Oklahoma with net deliveries of 2,772 billion cubic feet and 914 billion cubic feet, respectively. Imports of natural gas by pipeline from Canada and as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Algeria totaled 1,253 billion cubic feet in 1979. Total imports increased 288 billion cubic feet, or 29.8 percent, from 1978 levels. Exports of LNG to Japan and pipeline shipments to Canada and Mexico increased 6.0 percent from 52.5 billion cubic feet in 1978 to 55.7 billion cubic feet in 1979. LNG shipments to Japan accounted for 92.1 percent of total exports in 1979.

  17. Microbial biodegradation of proteinaceous tannery solid waste and production of a novel value added product - Metalloprotease.

    PubMed

    Ravindran, Balasubramani; Wong, Jonathan W C; Selvam, Ammaiyappan; Thirunavukarasu, Kathirvel; Sekaran, Ganesan

    2016-10-01

    In this study, animal fleshing (ANFL) was utilized as a substrate for the production of extracellular protease by Clostridium limosum through central composite rotatable design (CCRD) and response surface methodology (RSM). Optimum protease production of 433U/ml was achieved and the purified enzyme was identified as acidic metalloprotease, a monomeric protein. The molecular weight of the enzyme was 71kDa, whose activity was enhanced by bivalent metals such as Zn(2+) and Mg(2+). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination also revealed the hydrolysis/microbial degradation of ANFL through protease activity in the anaerobic fermentation process. Simultaneous hydrolysis of ANFL and production of an enzyme with the potential for different industrial applications provide an attractive methodology for the disposal of tannery solid waste.

  18. Environmental proteomics of microbial plankton in a highly productive coastal upwelling system

    SciTech Connect

    Sowell, Sarah; Abraham, Paul E; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Smith, Daniel; Barofsky, Douglas; Giovannoni, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    Metaproteomics is one of a suite of new approaches providing insights into the activities of microorganisms in natural environments. Proteins, the final products of gene expression, indicate cellular priorities, taking into account both transcriptional and posttranscriptional control mechanisms that control adaptive responses. Here, we report the proteomic composition of the o 1.2 lm fraction of a microbial community from Oregon coast summer surface waters, detected with two-dimensional liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Spectra corresponding to proteins involved in protein folding and biosynthesis, transport, and viral capsid structure were the most frequently detected. A total of 36% of all the detected proteins were best matches to the SAR11 clade, and other abundant coastal microbial clades were also well represented, including the Roseobacter clade (17%), oligotrophic marine gammaproteobacteria group (6%), OM43 clade (1%). Viral origins were attributed to 2.5% of proteins. In contrast to oligotrophic waters, phosphate transporters were not highly detected in this nutrient-rich system. However, transporters for amino acids, taurine, polyamines and glutamine synthetase were among the most highly detected proteins, supporting predictions that carbon and nitrogen are more limiting than phosphate in this environment. Intriguingly, one of the highly detected proteins was methanol dehydrogenase originating from the OM43 clade, providing further support for recent reports that the metabolism of one-carbon compounds by these streamlined methylotrophs might be an important feature of coastal ocean biogeochemistry.

  19. Natural product inhibitors of ocular angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sulaiman, Rania S.; Basavarajappa, Halesha D.; Corson, Timothy W.

    2014-01-01

    Natural products are characterized by high chemical diversity and biochemical specificity; therefore, they are appealing as lead compounds for drug discovery. Given the importance of angiogenesis to many pathologies, numerous natural products have been explored as potential anti-angiogenic drugs. Ocular angiogenesis underlies blinding eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in children, proliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) in adults of working age, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the elderly. Despite the presence of effective therapy in many cases, these diseases are still a significant health burden. Anti-VEGF biologics are the standard of care, but may cause ocular or systemic side effects after intraocular administration and patients may be refractory. Many anti-angiogenic compounds inhibit tumor growth and metastasis alone or in combination therapy, but a more select subset of them has been tested in the context of ocular neovascular diseases. Here, we review the promise of natural products as anti-angiogenic agents, with a specific focus on retinal and choroidal neovascularization. The multifunctional curcumin and the chalcone isoliquiritigenin have demonstrated promising anti-angiogenic effects in mouse models of DR and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) respectively. The homoisoflavanone cremastranone and the flavonoid deguelin have been shown to inhibit ocular neovascularization in more than one disease model. The isoflavone genistein and the flavone apigenin on the other hand are showing potential in the prevention of retinal and choroidal angiogenesis with long-term administration. Many other products with antiangiogenic potential in vitro such as the lactone withaferin A, the flavonol quercetin, and the stilbenoid combretastatin A4 are awaiting investigation in different ocular disease relevant animal models. These natural products may serve as lead compounds for the design of more specific, efficacious, and affordable

  20. Natural product inhibitors of ocular angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sulaiman, Rania S; Basavarajappa, Halesha D; Corson, Timothy W

    2014-12-01

    Natural products are characterized by high chemical diversity and biochemical specificity; therefore, they are appealing as lead compounds for drug discovery. Given the importance of angiogenesis to many pathologies, numerous natural products have been explored as potential anti-angiogenic drugs. Ocular angiogenesis underlies blinding eye diseases such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in children, proliferative diabetic retinopathy (DR) in adults of working age, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the elderly. Despite the presence of effective therapy in many cases, these diseases are still a significant health burden. Anti-VEGF biologics are the standard of care, but may cause ocular or systemic side effects after intraocular administration and patients may be refractory. Many anti-angiogenic compounds inhibit tumor growth and metastasis alone or in combination therapy, but a more select subset of them has been tested in the context of ocular neovascular diseases. Here, we review the promise of natural products as anti-angiogenic agents, with a specific focus on retinal and choroidal neovascularization. The multifunctional curcumin and the chalcone isoliquiritigenin have demonstrated promising anti-angiogenic effects in mouse models of DR and choroidal neovascularization (CNV) respectively. The homoisoflavanone cremastranone and the flavonoid deguelin have been shown to inhibit ocular neovascularization in more than one disease model. The isoflavone genistein and the flavone apigenin on the other hand are showing potential in the prevention of retinal and choroidal angiogenesis with long-term administration. Many other products with anti-angiogenic potential in vitro such as the lactone withaferin A, the flavonol quercetin, and the stilbenoid combretastatin A4 are awaiting investigation in different ocular disease-relevant animal models. These natural products may serve as lead compounds for the design of more specific, efficacious, and affordable

  1. Taxonomy, Physiology, and Natural Products of Actinobacteria.

    PubMed

    Barka, Essaid Ait; Vatsa, Parul; Sanchez, Lisa; Gaveau-Vaillant, Nathalie; Jacquard, Cedric; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Clément, Christophe; Ouhdouch, Yder; van Wezel, Gilles P

    2016-03-01

    Actinobacteria are Gram-positive bacteria with high G+C DNA content that constitute one of the largest bacterial phyla, and they are ubiquitously distributed in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many Actinobacteria have a mycelial lifestyle and undergo complex morphological differentiation. They also have an extensive secondary metabolism and produce about two-thirds of all naturally derived antibiotics in current clinical use, as well as many anticancer, anthelmintic, and antifungal compounds. Consequently, these bacteria are of major importance for biotechnology, medicine, and agriculture. Actinobacteria play diverse roles in their associations with various higher organisms, since their members have adopted different lifestyles, and the phylum includes pathogens (notably, species of Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Propionibacterium, and Tropheryma), soil inhabitants (e.g., Micromonospora and Streptomyces species), plant commensals (e.g., Frankia spp.), and gastrointestinal commensals (Bifidobacterium spp.). Actinobacteria also play an important role as symbionts and as pathogens in plant-associated microbial communities. This review presents an update on the biology of this important bacterial phylum. PMID:26609051

  2. Natural products from cyanobacteria: Exploiting a new source for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Sielaff, Heike; Christiansen, Guntram; Schwecke, Torsten

    2006-02-01

    In the 1990s, the pharmaceutical industry shifted its focus to a combinatorial chemistry approach to fill drug-discovery pipelines; however, more recently there has been renewed interest in natural products as sources of lead compounds. Cyanobacteria are prolific producers of natural products displaying enormous chemical diversity, yet, until recently, exploitation of the genera was hampered by a number of issues related to their handling. With most of these problems now resolved, cyanobacteria have the potential to expand the variety of natural products obtained from microorganisms. The relative disregard in the past of cyanobacteria compared with other microbial sources of natural products, as well as the huge chemical diversity and biological activities of their products, recommend them as an attractive source of novel drugs for use in diverse therapeutic areas.

  3. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil's capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as 'biomarker' indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and soil

  4. Response of Soil Properties and Microbial Communities to Agriculture: Implications for Primary Productivity and Soil Health Indicators

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Pankaj; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Anderson, Ian C.; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural intensification is placing tremendous pressure on the soil’s capacity to maintain its functions leading to large-scale ecosystem degradation and loss of productivity in the long term. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find early indicators of soil health degradation in response to agricultural management. In recent years, major advances in soil meta-genomic and spatial studies on microbial communities and community-level molecular characteristics can now be exploited as ‘biomarker’ indicators of ecosystem processes for monitoring and managing sustainable soil health under global change. However, a continental scale, cross biome approach assessing soil microbial communities and their functional potential to identify the unifying principles governing the susceptibility of soil biodiversity to land conversion is lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis from a dataset generated from 102 peer-reviewed publications as well as unpublished data to explore how properties directly linked to soil nutritional health (total C and N; C:N ratio), primary productivity (NPP) and microbial diversity and composition (relative abundance of major bacterial phyla determined by next generation sequencing techniques) are affected in response to agricultural management across the main biomes of Earth (arid, continental, temperate and tropical). In our analysis, we found strong statistical trends in the relative abundance of several bacterial phyla in agricultural (e.g., Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi) and natural (Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Cyanobacteria) systems across all regions and these trends correlated well with many soil properties. However, main effects of agriculture on soil properties and productivity were biome-dependent. Our meta-analysis provides evidence on the predictable nature of the microbial community responses to vegetation type. This knowledge can be exploited in future for developing a new set of indicators for primary productivity and

  5. A quantitative analysis of microbially-induced calcite precipitation employing artificial and naturally-occurring sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lokier, Stephen; Krieg Dosier, Ginger

    2013-04-01

    Microbially-induced calcite precipitation is a strong candidate for the production of sustainable construction materials. The process employs the microbe Sporosarcina pasteurii as an agent to microbially mediate the precipitation of calcium carbonate to bind unconsolidated sediment. As this process can be achieved under ambient temperature conditions and can utilise a wide variety of easily-available sediments, potentially including waste materials, it is envisioned that this procedure could significantly reduce carbon-dioxide emissions in the construction industry. This study describes and quantifies the precipitation of calcite cement in a range of naturally-occurring sediments compared with a control matrix. The study establishes the optimum treatment time for effective cement precipitation in order to produce a material that meets the standards required for construction whilst keeping economic and environmental outlays at a minimum. The 'control sediment' employed industrial-grade glass beads with a grain size range of 595-1180 microns (16-30 US mesh). Sporosarcina pasteurii were mixed in a solution of urea and calcium chloride and then inoculated into the control sediment. The microbes attach to the surface of the sediment grains and employ urea as a source of energy to produce ammonia and carbon dioxide. By so doing, they increase the pH of the solution allowing calcium carbonate to precipitate at the cell walls to act as nucleation points facilitating the precipitation of cements as a grain-coating and biocementing the unconsolidated sediment. The solution treatment was repeated at eight hour intervals with samples removed for detailed analysis after each every five consecutive treatments (i.e. 40 hours). The process was repeated to produce 20 samples with treatment times between 40 and 800 hours. Cemented samples were impregnated with blue epoxy and examined petrographically to monitor cement development. Modal analysis was undertaken on each cemented

  6. Identification of a potent microbial lipid antigen for diverse Natural Killer T cells1

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Benjamin J.; Tatituri, Raju V. V.; Almeida, Catarina F.; Le Nours, Jérôme; Bhowruth, Veemal; Johnson, Darryl; Uldrich, Adam P.; Hsu, Fong-Fu; Brigl, Manfred; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Rossjohn, Jamie; Godfrey, Dale I.; Brenner, Michael B.

    2016-01-01

    Invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells are a well-characterized CD1d-restricted T cell subset. The availability of potent antigens and tetramers for iNKT cells has allowed this population to be extensively studied and has revealed their central roles in infection, autoimmunity, and tumor immunity. In contrast, diverse Natural Killer T (dNKT) cells are poorly understood because the lipid antigens they recognize are largely unknown. We sought to identify dNKT cell lipid antigen(s) by interrogating a panel of dNKT mouse cell hybridomas with lipid extracts from the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. We identified Listeria phosphatidylglycerol (PG) as a microbial antigen that was significantly more potent than a previously characterized dNKT cell antigen, mammalian PG. Further, while mammalian PG loaded CD1d tetramers did not stain dNKT cells, the Listeria-derived PG loaded tetramers did. The structure of Listeria PG was distinct from mammalian PG since it contained shorter, fully-saturated anteiso fatty acid lipid tails. CD1d binding lipid displacement studies revealed that the microbial PG antigen binds significantly better to CD1d than counterparts with the same headgroup. These data reveal a highly-potent microbial lipid antigen for a subset of dNKT cells and provide an explanation for its increased antigen potency compared to the mammalian counterpart. PMID:26254340

  7. European Directive fragrances in natural products.

    PubMed

    Scheman, Andrew; Scheman, Nicole; Rakowski, Ella-Marie

    2014-01-01

    Information on the presence of European Directive fragrance (EUF) allergens in plants and foods is important for numerous reasons. If an individual is allergic to an EUF and is avoiding fragrance, it is possible that they may still be exposed to the allergen in a natural product. In addition, because many of these allergens are also found in foods, it is possible that ingestion of a food containing the allergen may induce systemic contact allergy. Finally, individuals with lip dermatitis may react to contact with foods that contain the allergen. In this article, we have used the data available to identify which plants and foods contain EUF. When available, concentrations of EUF in natural products are provided. The goal of this article is to narrow down the list of botanicals to avoid for specific EUF allergies.

  8. New chemistry from natural product biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Catherine B; Barry, Sarah M

    2016-06-15

    Catalysts are a vital part of synthetic chemistry. However, there are still many important reactions for which catalysts have not been developed. The use of enzymes as biocatalysts for synthetic chemistry is growing in importance due to the drive towards sustainable methods for producing both bulk chemicals and high value compounds such as pharmaceuticals, and due to the ability of enzymes to catalyse chemical reactions with excellent stereoselectivity and regioselectivity. Such challenging transformations are a common feature of natural product biosynthetic pathways. In this mini-review, we discuss the potential to use biosynthetic pathways as a starting point for biocatalyst discovery. We introduce the reader to natural product assembly and tailoring, then focus on four classes of enzyme that catalyse C─H bond activation reactions to functionalize biosynthetic precursors. Finally, we briefly discuss the challenges involved in novel enzyme discovery.

  9. Genome Mining for Ribosomally Synthesized Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Velásquez, Juan E.; van der Donk, Wilfred

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, the number of known peptide natural products that are synthesized via the ribosomal pathway has rapidly grown. Taking advantage of sequence homology among genes encoding precursor peptides or biosynthetic proteins, in silico mining of genomes combined with molecular biology approaches has guided the discovery of a large number of new ribosomal natural products, including lantipeptides, cyanobactins, linear thiazole/oxazole-containing peptides, microviridins, lasso peptides, amatoxins, cyclotides, and conopeptides. In this review, we describe the strategies used for the identification of these ribosomally-synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) and the structures of newly identified compounds. The increasing number of chemical entities and their remarkable structural and functional diversity may lead to novel pharmaceutical applications. PMID:21095156

  10. (+)-discodermolide: a marine natural product against cancer.

    PubMed

    De Souza, Marcus Vinícius Nora

    2004-06-11

    (+)-discodermolide was isolated in 1990 by Gunasekera et al. from the deep-water Caribbean sponge Discodermia dissoluta. It attacks cancer cells in a similar way to the successful cancer drug Taxol that has become the best-selling anticancer drug in history. Taxol is also the first natural product described that stabilizes the microtubules involved in many aspects of cellular biology and that represent an important target of anticancer chemotherapeutics. However, (+)-discodermolide appears to be far more potent than Taxol against tumors that have developed multiple-drug resistance, with an IC50 in the low nanomolar range. Due to these excellent results, this natural product was licensed to Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation in early 1998. The present review covers the history, biological activity, total synthesis, and synthetic analogs of (+)-discodermolide.

  11. New chemistry from natural product biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Hubert, Catherine B; Barry, Sarah M

    2016-06-15

    Catalysts are a vital part of synthetic chemistry. However, there are still many important reactions for which catalysts have not been developed. The use of enzymes as biocatalysts for synthetic chemistry is growing in importance due to the drive towards sustainable methods for producing both bulk chemicals and high value compounds such as pharmaceuticals, and due to the ability of enzymes to catalyse chemical reactions with excellent stereoselectivity and regioselectivity. Such challenging transformations are a common feature of natural product biosynthetic pathways. In this mini-review, we discuss the potential to use biosynthetic pathways as a starting point for biocatalyst discovery. We introduce the reader to natural product assembly and tailoring, then focus on four classes of enzyme that catalyse C─H bond activation reactions to functionalize biosynthetic precursors. Finally, we briefly discuss the challenges involved in novel enzyme discovery. PMID:27284036

  12. Microbial interactions with naturally occurring hydrophobic sediments: Influence on sediment and associated contaminant mobility.

    PubMed

    Droppo, I G; Krishnappan, B G; Lawrence, J R

    2016-04-01

    The erosion, transport and fate of sediments and associated contaminants are known to be influenced by both particle characteristics and the flow dynamics imparted onto the sediment. The influential role of bitumen containing hydrophobic sediments and the microbial community on sediment dynamics are however less understood. This study links an experimental evaluation of sediment erosion with measured sediment-associated contaminant concentrations and microbial community analysis to provide an estimate of the potential for sediment to control the erosion, transport and fate of contaminants. Specifically the paper addresses the unique behaviour of hydrophobic sediments and the role that the microbial community associated with hydrophobic sediment may play in the transport of contaminated sediment. Results demonstrate that the hydrophobic cohesive sediment demonstrates unique transport and particle characteristics (poor settling and small floc size). Biofilms were observed to increase with consolidation/biostabilization times and generated a unique microbial consortium relative to the eroded flocs. Natural oil associated with the flocs appeared to be preferentially associated with microbial derived extracellular polymeric substances. While PAHs and naphthenic acid increased with increasing shear (indicative of increasing loads), they tended to decrease with consolidation/biostabilization (CB) time at similar shears suggesting a chemical and/or biological degradation. PAH and napthenic acid degrading microbes decreased with time as well, which may suggest that there was a reduced pool of PAHs and naphthenic acids available resulting in their die off. This study emphasizes the importance that any management strategies and operational assessments for the protection of human and aquatic health incorporate the sediment (suspended and bed sediment) and biological (biofilm) compartments and the energy dynamics within the system in order to better predict contaminant

  13. Standardization for natural product synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huimin; Medema, Marnix H

    2016-08-27

    Standardization is one of the foundational features of modern-day engineering, and the use of standardized parts and processes is a key element that distinguishes bona fide synthetic biology from traditional genetic engineering. Here, we discuss the role of standardization in natural product synthetic biology, focusing on standardization of data on biosynthetic pathways and gene clusters, as well as the role of standardization in the process of biosynthetic gene cluster engineering. PMID:27313083

  14. Microbial ecology involved in the ripening of naturally fermented llama meat sausages. A focus on lactobacilli diversity.

    PubMed

    Fontana, Cecilia; Bassi, Daniela; López, Constanza; Pisacane, Vincenza; Otero, Maria Claudia; Puglisi, Edoardo; Rebecchi, Annalisa; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; Vignolo, Graciela

    2016-11-01

    Llama represents for the Andean regions a valid alternative to bovine and pork meat and thanks to the high proteins and low fat content; it can constitute a good product for the novel food market. In this study, culture-dependent and independent methods were applied to investigate the microbial ecology of naturally fermented llama sausages produced in Northwest Argentina. Two different production technologies of llama sausage were investigated: a pilot-plant scale (P) and an artisanal one (A). Results obtained by High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) of 16S rRNA amplicons showed that the production technologies influenced the development of microbial communities with a different composition throughout the entire fermentation process. Both sequencing and microbiological counts demonstrated that Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) contributed largely to the dominant microbiota. When a total of 230 isolates were approached by RAPD-PCR, presumptive LAB strains from P production exhibited an initial variability in RAPD fingerprints switching to a single profile at the final of ripening, while A production revealed a more heterogeneous RAPD pattern during the whole fermentation process. The constant presence of Lactobacillus sakei along the fermentation in both productions was revealed by HTS and confirmed by species-specific PCR from isolated strains. The technological characterization of Lb. sakei isolates evidenced their ability to grow at 15°C, pH4.5 and 5% NaCl (95%). Most strains hydrolyzed myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins. Bacteriocins encoding genes and antimicrobial resistance were found in 35% and 42.5% of the strains, respectively. An appropriate choice of a combination of autochthonous strains in a starter formulation is fundamental to improve and standardize llama sausages safety and quality. PMID:27434177

  15. Microbial ecology involved in the ripening of naturally fermented llama meat sausages. A focus on lactobacilli diversity.

    PubMed

    Fontana, Cecilia; Bassi, Daniela; López, Constanza; Pisacane, Vincenza; Otero, Maria Claudia; Puglisi, Edoardo; Rebecchi, Annalisa; Cocconcelli, Pier Sandro; Vignolo, Graciela

    2016-11-01

    Llama represents for the Andean regions a valid alternative to bovine and pork meat and thanks to the high proteins and low fat content; it can constitute a good product for the novel food market. In this study, culture-dependent and independent methods were applied to investigate the microbial ecology of naturally fermented llama sausages produced in Northwest Argentina. Two different production technologies of llama sausage were investigated: a pilot-plant scale (P) and an artisanal one (A). Results obtained by High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS) of 16S rRNA amplicons showed that the production technologies influenced the development of microbial communities with a different composition throughout the entire fermentation process. Both sequencing and microbiological counts demonstrated that Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) contributed largely to the dominant microbiota. When a total of 230 isolates were approached by RAPD-PCR, presumptive LAB strains from P production exhibited an initial variability in RAPD fingerprints switching to a single profile at the final of ripening, while A production revealed a more heterogeneous RAPD pattern during the whole fermentation process. The constant presence of Lactobacillus sakei along the fermentation in both productions was revealed by HTS and confirmed by species-specific PCR from isolated strains. The technological characterization of Lb. sakei isolates evidenced their ability to grow at 15°C, pH4.5 and 5% NaCl (95%). Most strains hydrolyzed myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins. Bacteriocins encoding genes and antimicrobial resistance were found in 35% and 42.5% of the strains, respectively. An appropriate choice of a combination of autochthonous strains in a starter formulation is fundamental to improve and standardize llama sausages safety and quality.

  16. Resolution of natural microbial community dynamics by community fingerprinting, flow cytometry, and trend interpretation analysis.

    PubMed

    Bombach, Petra; Hübschmann, Thomas; Fetzer, Ingo; Kleinsteuber, Sabine; Geyer, Roland; Harms, Hauke; Müller, Susann

    2011-01-01

    Natural microbial communities generally have an unknown structure and composition because of their still not yet cultivable members. Therefore, understanding the relationships among the bacterial members, prediction of their behaviour, and controlling their functions are difficult and often only partly successful endeavours to date. This study aims to test a new idea that allows to follow community dynamics on the basis of a simple concept. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes was used to describe a community profile that we define as composition of a community. Flow cytometry and analysis of DNA contents and forward scatter characteristics of the single cells were used to describe a community profile, which we define as structure of a community. Both approaches were brought together by a non-metric multidimensional scaling (n-MDS) for trend interpretation of changes in the complex community data sets. This was done on the basis of a graphical evaluation of the cytometric data, leading to the newly developed Dalmatian plot tool, which gave an unexpected insight into the dynamics of the unknown bacterial members of the investigated natural microbial community. The approach presented here was compared with other techniques described in the literature. The microbial community investigated in this study was obtained from a BTEX contaminated anoxic aquifer. The indigenous bacteria were allowed to colonise in situ microcosms consisting of activated carbon. These microcosms were amended with benzene and one of the electron acceptors nitrate, sulphate or ferric iron to stimulate microbial growth. The data obtained in this study indicated that the composition (via T-RFLP) and structure (via flow cytometry) of the natural bacterial community were influenced by the hydro-geochemical conditions in the test site, but also by the supplied electron acceptors, which led to distinct shifts in relative abundances of

  17. Renewable microbial lipid production from Oleaginous Yeast: some surfactants greatly improved lipid production of Rhodosporidium toruloides.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jingyang; Du, Wei; Zhao, Xuebing; Liu, Dehua

    2016-07-01

    Microbial oil is drawing increasing interest worldwide as an alternative non-food oil feedstock for biodiesel industry. Nowadays researchers have been increasingly focused on the improvement of microbial oil production process. Oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides (R. toruloides) is considered an important candidate due to its excellent capabilities of lipid accumulation, broad adaptabilities to various carbon substrates, and the potential of co-production of some pigments. In present work, the individual effects of non-ionic, cationic, and anionic surfactant on cell growth and lipid accumulation of R. toruloides were investigated for the first time. Interesting results were noticed when some anionic surfactants were supplemented. The most significant effect was observed with addition of 0.2 % (w/v) sodium lignosulfonate, that biomass concentration, lipid concentration, and lipid yield was increased by 25.1, 44.9, and 15.7 %, respectively. The fatty acid compositions of R. toruloides lipids remained unchanged, which is similar to that of vegetable oils, and is considered potential feedstock for biodiesel preparation. PMID:27263002

  18. Glucose‐based microbial production of the hormone melatonin in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Germann, Susanne M.; Baallal Jacobsen, Simo A.; Schneider, Konstantin; Harrison, Scott J.; Jensen, Niels B.; Chen, Xiao; Stahlhut, Steen G.; Borodina, Irina; Luo, Hao; Zhu, Jiangfeng; Maury, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Melatonin is a natural mammalian hormone that plays an important role in regulating the circadian cycle in humans. It is a clinically effective drug exhibiting positive effects as a sleep aid and a powerful antioxidant used as a dietary supplement. Commercial melatonin production is predominantly performed by complex chemical synthesis. In this study, we demonstrate microbial production of melatonin and related compounds, such as serotonin and N‐acetylserotonin. We generated Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that comprise heterologous genes encoding one or more variants of an L‐tryptophan hydroxylase, a 5‐hydroxy‐L‐tryptophan decarboxylase, a serotonin acetyltransferase, an acetylserotonin O‐methyltransferase, and means for providing the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin via heterologous biosynthesis and recycling pathways. We thereby achieved de novo melatonin biosynthesis from glucose. We furthermore accomplished increased product titers by altering expression levels of selected pathway enzymes and boosting co‐factor supply. The final yeast strain produced melatonin at a titer of 14.50 ± 0.57 mg L−1 in a 76h fermentation using simulated fed‐batch medium with glucose as sole carbon source. Our study lays the basis for further developing a yeast cell factory for biological production of melatonin. PMID:26710256

  19. Glucose-based microbial production of the hormone melatonin in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Germann, Susanne M; Baallal Jacobsen, Simo A; Schneider, Konstantin; Harrison, Scott J; Jensen, Niels B; Chen, Xiao; Stahlhut, Steen G; Borodina, Irina; Luo, Hao; Zhu, Jiangfeng; Maury, Jérôme; Forster, Jochen

    2016-05-01

    Melatonin is a natural mammalian hormone that plays an important role in regulating the circadian cycle in humans. It is a clinically effective drug exhibiting positive effects as a sleep aid and a powerful antioxidant used as a dietary supplement. Commercial melatonin production is predominantly performed by complex chemical synthesis. In this study, we demonstrate microbial production of melatonin and related compounds, such as serotonin and N-acetylserotonin. We generated Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains that comprise heterologous genes encoding one or more variants of an L-tryptophan hydroxylase, a 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan decarboxylase, a serotonin acetyltransferase, an acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase, and means for providing the cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin via heterologous biosynthesis and recycling pathways. We thereby achieved de novo melatonin biosynthesis from glucose. We furthermore accomplished increased product titers by altering expression levels of selected pathway enzymes and boosting co-factor supply. The final yeast strain produced melatonin at a titer of 14.50 ± 0.57 mg L(-1) in a 76h fermentation using simulated fed-batch medium with glucose as sole carbon source. Our study lays the basis for further developing a yeast cell factory for biological production of melatonin.

  20. A microbial functional group-based module for simulating methane production and consumption: Application to an incubated permafrost soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Elias, Dwayne A.; Graham, David E.; Phelps, Tommy J.; Carroll, Sue L.; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-01

    Accurately estimating methane (CH4) flux in terrestrial ecosystems is critically important for investigating and predicting biogeochemistry-climate feedbacks. Improved simulations of CH4 flux require explicit representations of the microbial processes that account for CH4 dynamics. A microbial functional group-based module was developed, building on the decomposition subroutine of the Community Land Model 4.5. This module considers four key mechanisms for CH4 production and consumption: methanogenesis from acetate or from single-carbon compounds and CH4 oxidation using molecular oxygen or other inorganic electron acceptors. Four microbial functional groups perform these processes: acetoclastic methanogens, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, aerobic methanotrophs, and anaerobic methanotrophs. This module was used to simulate dynamics of carbon dioxide (CO2) and CH4 concentrations from an incubation experiment with permafrost soils. The results show that the model captures the dynamics of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in microcosms with top soils, mineral layer soils, and permafrost soils under natural and saturated moisture conditions and three temperature conditions of -2°C, 3°C, and 5°C (R2 > 0.67 P < 0.001). The biases for modeled results are less than 30% across the soil samples and moisture and temperature conditions. Sensitivity analysis confirmed the importance of acetic acid's direct contribution as substrate and indirect effects through pH feedback on CO2 and CH4 production and consumption. This study suggests that representing the microbial mechanisms is critical for modeling CH4 production and consumption; it is urgent to incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models for better predicting trace gas dynamics and the behavior of the climate system.

  1. Integrated hydrogen production process from cellulose by combining dark fermentation, microbial fuel cells, and a microbial electrolysis cell.

    PubMed

    Wang, Aijie; Sun, Dan; Cao, Guangli; Wang, Haoyu; Ren, Nanqi; Wu, Wei-Min; Logan, Bruce E

    2011-03-01

    Hydrogen gas production from cellulose was investigated using an integrated hydrogen production process consisting of a dark fermentation reactor and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as power sources for a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC). Two MFCs (each 25 mL) connected in series to an MEC (72 mL) produced a maximum of 0.43 V using fermentation effluent as a feed, achieving a hydrogen production rate from the MEC of 0.48 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d (based on the MEC volume), and a yield of 33.2 mmol H(2)/g COD removed in the MEC. The overall hydrogen production for the integrated system (fermentation, MFC and MEC) was increased by 41% compared with fermentation alone to 14.3 mmol H(2)/g cellulose, with a total hydrogen production rate of 0.24 m(3) H(2)/m(3)/d and an overall energy recovery efficiency of 23% (based on cellulose removed) without the need for any external electrical energy input.

  2. The Rhizosphere Zone: A Hot Spot of Microbial Activity and Methylmercury Production in Saltmarsh Sediments of San Francisco Bay, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Windham-Myers, L.; Marvin-Dipasquale, M.; Voytek, M.; Kirshtein, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Agee, J. L.; Cox, M.; Kakouros, E.; Collins, J. N.; Yee, D.

    2008-12-01

    Tidal marshes of varying hydrology and salinity have been shown to have high rates of microbial methylmercury (MeHg) production, especially the periodically flooded, higher elevations which are densely vegetated with shallowly rooted plants. The specific influence of emergent wetland plants and their active rhizosphere (root zone) on mercury (Hg) biogeochemistry, however, is poorly understood. Seasonal and spatial patterns of Hg biogeochemistry were examined in 2005 and 2006 at three marshes along a salinity gradient of the Petaluma River, in Northern San Francisco Bay, California. In addition, to directly examine the influence of rhizosphere activity on MeHg production, a suite of devegetation experiments was conducted in 2006 within each marsh using paired vegetated and devegetated plots in two marsh subhabitats: poorly- drained interior sites and well-drained "edge" sites near slough channels. Surface sediment (0-2cm) was sampled in both April and August from these plots, as well as from 1st and 3rd order slough channels that were naturally free of vegetation. Vegetated marsh sites produced 3- to19-fold more MeHg than did slough sites, and MeHg production rates were greater in marsh interior sites compared to more oxic marsh "edge" sites. Microbial biomass (ng DNA gdrysed) was greater in vegetated marsh settings, compared to slough channels, and increased significantly between April and August at all marsh sites. Despite this seasonal increase in microbial biomass, MeHg concentrations and production rates decreased from April to August in vegetated surface sediments. Microbial indicators of methylation also decreased from April to August, including rates of microbial sulfate reduction and the abundance of iron- and sulfate- reducing bacterial DNA. Results from the devegetated plots suggest that root exudation of fermentative labile carbon to surface soils is responsible for the higher microbial biomass, and the higher relative abundance of iron- and sulfate

  3. Hydrogen production from switchgrass via a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, Alex J.; Ren, Shoujie; Ye, Philip; Kim, Pyoungchung; Labbe, Niki; Borole, Abhijeet P.

    2015-06-30

    A new approach to hydrogen production using a hybrid pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process is described. The aqueous stream generated during pyrolysis of switchgrass was used as a substrate for hydrogen production in a microbial electrolysis cell, achieving a maximum hydrogen production rate of 4.3 L H2/L-day at a loading of 10 g COD/L-anode-day. Hydrogen yields ranged from 50 3.2% to76 0.5% while anode coulombic efficiency ranged from 54 6.5% to 96 0.21%, respectively. Significant conversion of furfural, organic acids and phenolic molecules was observed under both batch and continuous conditions. The electrical and overall energy efficiency ranged from 149-175% and 48-63%, respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process as a sustainable and efficient route for production of renewable hydrogen with significant implications for hydrocarbon production from biomass.

  4. Hydrogen production from switchgrass via an integrated pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process.

    PubMed

    Lewis, A J; Ren, S; Ye, X; Kim, P; Labbe, N; Borole, A P

    2015-11-01

    A new approach to hydrogen production using an integrated pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process is described. The aqueous stream generated during pyrolysis of switchgrass was used as a substrate for hydrogen production in a microbial electrolysis cell, achieving a maximum hydrogen production rate of 4.3 L H2/L anode-day at a loading of 10 g COD/L-anode-day. Hydrogen yields ranged from 50±3.2% to 76±0.5% while anode Coulombic efficiency ranged from 54±6.5% to 96±0.21%, respectively. Significant conversion of furfural, organic acids and phenolic molecules was observed under both batch and continuous conditions. The electrical and overall energy efficiency ranged from 149-175% and 48-63%, respectively. The results demonstrate the potential of the pyrolysis-microbial electrolysis process as a sustainable and efficient route for production of renewable hydrogen with significant implications for hydrocarbon production from biomass.

  5. Cyclooxygenase inhibitory natural products: current status.

    PubMed

    Jachak, Sanjay M

    2006-01-01

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are of huge therapeutic benefit in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and various types of inflammatory conditions. The target for these drugs is cyclooxygenase (COX), a rate-limiting enzyme involved in the conversion of arachidonic acid into inflammatory prostaglandins. COX-2 selective inhibitors are believed to have the same anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and analgesic activities as that of nonselective inhibitor NSAIDs with little or none of the gastrointestinal side effects. Thus, in the last 6-7 years several selective COX-2 inhibitors including coxibs were discovered and introduced into clinic. Recent reports evidence that selective COX-2 inhibitor such as rofecoxib, can lead to thrombotic cardiovascular events through inhibition of prostacyclin formation in the infracted heart. This has resulted in withdrawal of rofecoxib from the clinic in September 2004. Moreover, the COX-2/COX-1 selectivity ratio is vital in the design of COX-2 inhibitory drugs, as it is clear from rofecoxib, which is more than 50-fold COX-2 selective. After looking at all above mentioned facts, natural product-based compounds seem better as these compounds are generally supposed to be devoid of severe side effects. The literature indicates that natural product-based compounds are mainly COX-1 selective. Through minor semi-synthetic changes in the structures, their selectivity towards COX-2 can be increased. The present review article addresses natural product COX inhibitors of plant and marine origin, reported during last ten years and their advantages, possible leads for further development and current status. In addition we describe our experience in the characterization, design and synthesis of potential natural COX inhibitors. PMID:16529558

  6. Volatile organic compound production and consumption by microbial plankton communities on the NOAA WACS cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovannoni, S. J.; Halsey, K.; Thrash, J. C.; De Gouw, J. A.; Graus, M.

    2013-12-01

    Information about biological sources and sinks of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ocean surface could result in a better understanding of the underlying causes of variation in air/sea VOC fluxes, and potentially could alter predictions about the impact of climate change on ocean surface ecology and air/sea interactions. The goal of this work was to measure rates of biological production, oxidation and assimilation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by microbial plankton communities along the WACS cruise transect from Boston to Bermuda in August 2013. Tangential flow filtration was used to concentrate microbial plankton communities for incubation in environmentally controlled dynamic stripping chambers under simulated ocean surface layer conditions. Gas streams exiting the chambers were monitored in real time with proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). In separate experiments aliquots of plankton suspensions were incubated with 14C-methanol, 14C-TMAO, and 14C-pyruvate, and the assimilation of 14C into biomass and the production of 14C-CO2 were measured. Results showed that the highly productive George's Bank plankton community has a high capacity for methanol and trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) oxidation. Biomass was estimated by counting cells. The rate of incorporation of methanol-carbon into biomass was only 21% of the rate of methanol oxidation to CO2. Similar results were observed for TMAO. These experiments also allowed estimates of kinetic constants for both compounds. The half-saturation constants (Ks) for methanol oxidation were similar in natural populations collected at George's Bank and the Sargasso Sea (12.8 and 9.9 μM, respectively). Interestingly, the Ks values for TMAO oxidation were an order of magnitude lower than for methanol in plankton communities sampled from both sites (0.5 and 0.3 μM, respectively). These results provide additional evidence that microbial plankton have a high capacity for oxidation of these low

  7. Afforestation impacts microbial biomass and its natural (13)C and (15)N abundance in soil aggregates in central China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Junjun; Zhang, Qian; Yang, Fan; Lei, Yao; Zhang, Quanfa; Cheng, Xiaoli

    2016-10-15

    We investigated soil microbial biomass and its natural abundance of δ(13)C and δ(15)N in aggregates (>2000μm, 250-2000μm, 53-250μm and <53μm) of afforested (implementing woodland and shrubland plantations) soils, adjacent croplands and open area (i.e., control) in the Danjiangkou Reservoir area of central China. The afforested soils averaged higher microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and nitrogen (MBN) levels in all aggregates than in open area and cropland, with higher microbial biomass in micro-aggregates (<250μm) than in macro-aggregates (>2000μm). The δ(13)C of soil microbial biomass was more enriched in woodland soils than in other land use types, while δ(15)N of soil microbial biomass was more enriched compared with that of organic soil in all land use types. The δ(13)C and δ(15)N of microbial biomass were positively correlated with the δ(13)C and δ(15)N of organic soil across aggregates and land use types, whereas the (13)C and (15)N enrichment of microbial biomass exhibited linear decreases with the corresponding C:N ratio of organic soil. Our results suggest that shifts in the natural (13)C and (15)N abundance of microbial biomass reflect changes in the stabilization and turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) and thereby imply that afforestation can greatly impact SOM accumulation over the long-term.

  8. Informatic search strategies to discover analogues and variants of natural product archetypes.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Chad W; Connaty, Alex D; Skinnider, Michael A; Li, Yong; Grunwald, Alyssa; Wyatt, Morgan A; Kerr, Russell G; Magarvey, Nathan A

    2016-03-01

    Natural products are a crucial source of antimicrobial agents, but reliance on low-resolution bioactivity-guided approaches has led to diminishing interest in discovery programmes. Here, we demonstrate that two in-house automated informatic platforms can be used to target classes of biologically active natural products, specifically, peptaibols. We demonstrate that mass spectrometry-based informatic approaches can be used to detect natural products with high sensitivity, identifying desired agents present in complex microbial extracts. Using our specialised software packages, we could elaborate specific branches of chemical space, uncovering new variants of trichopolyn and demonstrating a way forward in mining natural products as a valuable source of potential pharmaceutical agents. PMID:26350080

  9. Microbial oils as food additives: recent approaches for improving microbial oil production and its polyunsaturated fatty acid content.

    PubMed

    Bellou, Stamatia; Triantaphyllidou, Irene-Eva; Aggeli, Dimitra; Elazzazy, Ahmed Mohammed; Baeshen, Mohammed Nabih; Aggelis, George

    2016-02-01

    In this short review, we summarize the latest research in the production of polyunsaturated microbial oils that are of interest in food technology. The current research targets the productivity of oleaginous microorganisms, as well as the biosynthesis of particular polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The most important efforts target the efficiency of the oleaginous machinery, via overexpression of key-enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis, as well as the minimization of lipid degradation, by repressing genes involved in the β-oxidation pathway. The production of specific PUFAs is approached by homologous or heterologous expression of specific desaturases and elongases involved in PUFA biosynthesis in oleaginous microorganisms. New perspectives, such as the production of triacylglycerols of specific structure and the employment of adaptive experimental evolution for creating robust oleaginous strains able to produce PUFAs are also discussed.

  10. Distribution of Toxin Genes and Enterotoxins in Bacillus thuringiensis Isolated from Microbial Insecticide Products.

    PubMed

    Cho, Seung-Hak; Kang, Suk-Ho; Lee, Yea-Eun; Kim, Sung-Jo; Yoo, Young-Bin; Bak, Yeong-Seok; Kim, Jung-Beom

    2015-12-28

    Bacillus thuringiensis microbial insecticide products have been applied worldwide. Although a few cases of B. thuringiensis foodborne illness have been reported, little is known about the toxigenic properties of B. thuringiensis isolates. The aims of this study were to estimate the pathogenic potential of B. thuringiensis selected from microbial insecticide products, based on its possession of toxin genes and production of enterotoxins. Fifty-two B. thuringiensis strains selected from four kinds of microbial insecticide products were analyzed. PCR assay for detection of toxin genes and immunoassay for detection of enterotoxins were performed. The hemolysin BL complex as a major enterotoxin was produced by 17 (32.7%), whereas the nonhemolytic enterotoxin complex was detected in 1 (1.9%) of 52 B. thuringiensis strains. However, cytK, entFM, and ces genes were not detected in any of the tested B. thuringiensis strains. The potential risk of food poisoning by B. thuringiensis along with concerns over B. thuringiensis microbial insecticide products has gained attention recently. Thus, microbial insecticide products based on B. thuringiensis should be carefully controlled.

  11. Microbial Reverse-Electrodialysis Electrolysis and Chemical-Production Cell for H2 Production and CO2 Sequestration

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Natural mineral carbonation can be accelerated using acid and alkali solutions to enhance atmospheric CO2 sequestration, but the production of these solutions needs to be carbon-neutral. A microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis and chemical-production cell (MRECC) was developed to produce these solutions and H2 gas using only renewable energy sources (organic matter and salinity gradient). Using acetate (0.82 g/L) as a fuel for microorganisms to generate electricity in the anode chamber (liquid volume of 28 mL), 0.45 mmol of acid and 1.09 mmol of alkali were produced at production efficiencies of 35% and 86%, respectively, along with 10 mL of H2 gas. Serpentine dissolution was enhanced 17–87-fold using the acid solution, with approximately 9 mL of CO2 absorbed and 4 mg of CO2 fixed as magnesium or calcium carbonates. The operational costs, based on mineral digging and grinding, and water pumping, were estimated to be only $25/metric ton of CO2 fixed as insoluble carbonates. Considering the additional economic benefits of H2 generation and possible wastewater treatment, this method may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method for CO2 sequestration. PMID:24741666

  12. Neurotrophic Natural Products: Chemistry and Biology

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jing; Lacoske, Michelle H.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases and spinal cord injury affect approximately 50 million people worldwide, bringing the total healthcare cost to over 600 billion dollars per year. Nervous system growth factors, that is, neurotrophins, are a potential solution to these disorders, since they could promote nerve regeneration. An average of 500 publications per year attests to the significance of neurotrophins in biomedical sciences and underlines their potential for therapeutic applications. Nonetheless, the poor pharmacokinetic profile of neurotrophins severely restricts their clinical use. On the other hand, small molecules that modulate neurotrophic activity offer a promising therapeutic approach against neurological disorders. Nature has provided an impressive array of natural products that have potent neurotrophic activities. This Review highlights the current synthetic strategies toward these compounds and summarizes their ability to induce neuronal growth and rehabilitation. It is anticipated that neurotrophic natural products could be used not only as starting points in drug design but also as tools to study the next frontier in biomedical sciences: the brain activity map project. PMID:24353244

  13. [Electricity production from surplus sludge using microbial fuel cells].

    PubMed

    Jia, Bin; Liu, Zhi-Hua; Li, Xiao-Ming; Yang, Yong-Lin; Yang, Qi; Zeng, Guang-Ming; Liu, Yi-Lin; Liu, Qian-Qian; Zheng, Shi-Wen

    2009-04-15

    A single-chamber and membrane-less microbial fuel cells were successfully started up using anaerobic sludge as inoculums without any chemical substance for 20 d. The electricity generation of the microbial fuel cell using surplus sludge as fuel and the change of substrate were investigated. The results showed that the obtained maximum voltage and power density were 495 mV and 44 mW x m(-2) (fixed 1,000 Omega), and the internal resistance was about 300 Omega during steady state. In a cycle, the removal efficiency of SS and VSS were 27.3% and 28.7%, pH was 6.5-8.0. In addition, the COD increased from 617 mg x L(-1) to 1,150 mg x L(-1) and decreased afterwards with time. The change of glucose was similar to that of COD, glucose increased from 47 mg x L(-1) to 60 mg x L(-1) and decreased afterwards with time. Consequently, the microbial fuel cell can transform chemical energy of surplus sludge into the cleanest electrical energy, and it provides a new way of sludge recycling.

  14. Soil Microbial 15N-Natural Abundance is Enriched Relative to Other Soil N Pools and Indicates Microbial C-Limitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dijkstra, P.; Doucett, R.; Hart, S. C.; Boring, L. L.; Schwartz, E.; Hungate, B. A.

    2004-12-01

    Soil microbial biomass is responsible for many of the nitrogen (N) transformations that occur between different soil organic matter pools, plants and atmosphere. For this reason, it is important to learn more about the 15N natural abundance of these organisms. The microbial biomass takes up organic carbon (C) and N and inorganic N for assimilation and respiration. Under C-limited conditions, organic N compounds are mainly utilized as C-source, and excess N leaves the cell (mineralization). The processes of N assimilation, N dissimilation, and export discriminate against the heavier 15N isotope. This leaves the cells 15N enriched compared to their supposed substrates, or total soil N. Selective uptake of enriched ammonium (as a result of nitrification) may contribute to the higher \\delta15N of the micro-organisms. We measured 15N natural abundances of the microbial biomass, using the chloroform-fumigation-extraction method, in grassland soils along an elevation gradient, a fire-disturbance gradient in Florida, a ponderosa forest restoration study, and a dung-gradient near a water source in desert grassland and found 0-12\\permil difference between the soil extractable N and the microbial biomass. We also found that the enrichment is quantitatively dependent on C availability. We speculate that, in addition to an indicator for C availability to the microbes, microbial transformations may explain the 15N-enrichment of soil organic matter with depth.

  15. Unconventional microbial systems for the cost-efficient production of high-quality protein therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Corchero, José Luis; Gasser, Brigitte; Resina, David; Smith, Wesley; Parrilli, Ermenegilda; Vázquez, Felícitas; Abasolo, Ibane; Giuliani, Maria; Jäntti, Jussi; Ferrer, Pau; Saloheimo, Markku; Mattanovich, Diethard; Schwartz, Simó; Tutino, Maria Luisa; Villaverde, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Both conventional and innovative biomedical approaches require cost-effective protein drugs with high therapeutic potency, improved bioavailability, biocompatibility, stability and pharmacokinetics. The growing longevity of the human population, the increasing incidence and prevalence of age-related diseases and the better comprehension of genetic-linked disorders prompt to develop natural and engineered drugs addressed to fulfill emerging therapeutic demands. Conventional microbial systems have been for long time exploited to produce biotherapeutics, competing with animal cells due to easier operation and lower process costs. However, both biological platforms exhibit important drawbacks (mainly associated to intracellular retention of the product, lack of post-translational modifications and conformational stresses), that cannot be overcome through further strain optimization merely due to physiological constraints. The metabolic diversity among microorganisms offers a spectrum of unconventional hosts, that, being able to bypass some of these weaknesses, are under progressive incorporation into production pipelines. In this review we describe the main biological traits and potentials of emerging bacterial, yeast, fungal and microalgae systems, by comparing selected leading species with well established conventional organisms with a long run in protein drug production.

  16. Phylogenetic approaches to natural product structure prediction.

    PubMed

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function.

  17. Screening of natural products for antimicrobial agents.

    PubMed

    Silver, L; Bostian, K

    1990-07-01

    Antimicrobial research is geared toward the discovery and development of novel chemical structures such as therapeutic antimicrobial agents. The continuing problem of development of resistance to existing antibacterial agents and the dearth of good antifungal agents motivates this effort toward innovation. Selection of possible new enzyme targets for antibiotic inhibition may be made on theoretical grounds, but it appears premature to select any single, previously unvalidated target for the intensive study required for rational drug design. Instead, a broad screen of chemical entities can be undertaken, dedicated to the discovery of novel antimicrobial inhibitors. A number of target areas are under investigation, including fungal mRNA splicing and bacterial DNA synthesis. A major part of the endeavor is in the historically productive area of natural product screening. To make the best use of natural product resources for the discovery of novel antibiotics, a balance is struct between screening for inhibitors of rationally chosen targets for which clinically useful inhibitors are not yet available, and screening more broadly to ensure that rare activities of unanticipated mode-of-action are not missed.

  18. Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Staphylococcus aureus in natural and processed cheese in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heeyoung; Kim, Kyunga; Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Yoon, Yohan

    2015-09-01

    This study quantitatively assessed the microbial risk of Staphylococcus aureus in cheese in Korea. The quantitative microbial risk assessment was carried out for natural and processed cheese from factory to consumption. Hazards for S. aureus in cheese were identified through the literature. For exposure assessment, the levels of S. aureus contamination in cheeses were evaluated, and the growth of S. aureus was predicted by predictive models at the surveyed temperatures, and at the time of cheese processing and distribution. For hazard characterization, a dose-response model for S. aureus was found, and the model was used to estimate the risk of illness. With these data, simulation models were prepared with @RISK (Palisade Corp., Ithaca, NY) to estimate the risk of illness per person per day in risk characterization. Staphylococcus aureus cell counts on cheese samples from factories and markets were below detection limits (0.30-0.45 log cfu/g), and pert distribution showed that the mean temperature at markets was 6.63°C. Exponential model [P=1 - exp(7.64×10(-8) × N), where N=dose] for dose-response was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Mean temperature of home storage was 4.02°C (log-logistic distribution). The results of risk characterization for S. aureus in natural and processed cheese showed that the mean values for the probability of illness per person per day were higher in processed cheese (mean: 2.24×10(-9); maximum: 7.97×10(-6)) than in natural cheese (mean: 7.84×10(-10); maximum: 2.32×10(-6)). These results indicate that the risk of S. aureus-related foodborne illness due to cheese consumption can be considered low under the present conditions in Korea. In addition, the developed stochastic risk assessment model in this study can be useful in establishing microbial criteria for S. aureus in cheese.

  19. Towards efficient bioethanol production from agricultural and forestry residues: Exploration of unique natural microorganisms in combination with advanced strain engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Xiong, Liang; Zhang, Mingming; Bai, Fengwu

    2016-09-01

    Production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural and forestry residues is receiving increasing attention due to the unsustainable supply of fossil fuels. Three key challenges include high cellulase production cost, toxicity of the cellulosic hydrolysate to microbial strains, and poor ability of fermenting microorganisms to utilize certain fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate. In this article, studies on searching of natural microbial strains for production of unique cellulase for biorefinery of agricultural and forestry wastes, as well as development of strains for improved cellulase production were reviewed. In addition, progress in the construction of yeast strains with improved stress tolerance and the capability to fully utilize xylose and glucose in the cellulosic hydrolysate was also summarized. With the superior microbial strains for high titer cellulase production and efficient utilization of all fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate, economic biofuels production from agricultural residues and forestry wastes can be realized. PMID:27067672

  20. Towards efficient bioethanol production from agricultural and forestry residues: Exploration of unique natural microorganisms in combination with advanced strain engineering.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinqing; Xiong, Liang; Zhang, Mingming; Bai, Fengwu

    2016-09-01

    Production of fuel ethanol from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as agricultural and forestry residues is receiving increasing attention due to the unsustainable supply of fossil fuels. Three key challenges include high cellulase production cost, toxicity of the cellulosic hydrolysate to microbial strains, and poor ability of fermenting microorganisms to utilize certain fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate. In this article, studies on searching of natural microbial strains for production of unique cellulase for biorefinery of agricultural and forestry wastes, as well as development of strains for improved cellulase production were reviewed. In addition, progress in the construction of yeast strains with improved stress tolerance and the capability to fully utilize xylose and glucose in the cellulosic hydrolysate was also summarized. With the superior microbial strains for high titer cellulase production and efficient utilization of all fermentable sugars in the hydrolysate, economic biofuels production from agricultural residues and forestry wastes can be realized.

  1. Microbially-Enhanced Redox Solution Reoxidation for Sour Natural Gas Sweetening

    SciTech Connect

    Kenneth Brezinsky

    2008-01-15

    The specific objective of this project are to advance the technology and improve the economics of the commercial iron-based chelate processes such as LO-CAT II and SulFerox process utilizing biologically enhanced reoxidation of the redox solutions used in these processes. The project is based on the use of chelated ferric iron as the catalyst for the production of elemental sulfur, and then oxidizing bacteria, such as Thiobacillus Ferrooxidans (ATCC 23270) as an oxidizer. The regeneration of Fe{sup 3+} - chelate is accomplished by the use of these same microbes under mild conditions at 25-30 C and at atmospheric pressure to minimize the chelate degradation process. The pH of the redox solution was observed to be a key process parameter. Other parameters such as temperature, total iron concentration, gas to liquid ratio and bacterial cell densities also influence the overall process. The second part of this project includes experimental data and a kinetic model of microbial H{sub 2}S removal from sour natural gas using thiobacillus species. In the experimental part, a series of experiments were conducted with a commercial chelated iron catalyst at pH ranges from 8.7 to 9.2 using a total iron concentration range from 925 ppm to 1050 ppm in the solution. Regeneration of the solution was carried out by passing air through the solution. Iron oxidizing bacteria were used at cell densities of 2.3 x 10{sup 7}cells/ml for optimum effective performance. In the modeling part, oxidation of Fe{sup 2+} ions by the iron oxidizing bacteria - Thiobacillus Ferrooxidans was studied for application to a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The factors that can directly affect the oxidation rate such as dilution rate, temperature, and pH were analyzed. The growth of the microorganism was assumed to follow Monod type of growth kinetics. Dilution rate had influence on the rate of oxidation of ferrous iron. Higher dilution rates caused washout of the biomass. The oxidation rate was

  2. Microbial Diversity in Natural Asphalts of the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits▿

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jong-Shik; Crowley, David E.

    2007-01-01

    Bacteria commonly inhabit subsurface oil reservoirs, but almost nothing is known yet about microorganisms that live in naturally occurring terrestrial oil seeps and natural asphalts that are comprised of highly recalcitrant petroleum hydrocarbons. Here we report the first survey of microbial diversity in ca. 28,000-year-old samples of natural asphalts from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, CA. Microbiological studies included analyses of 16S rRNA gene sequences and DNA encoding aromatic ring-hydroxylating dioxygenases from two tar pits differing in chemical composition. Our results revealed a wide range of phylogenetic groups within the Archaea and Bacteria domains, in which individual taxonomic clusters were comprised of sets of closely related species within novel genera and families. Fluorescent staining of asphalt-soil particles using phylogenetic probes for Archaea, Bacteria, and Pseudomonas showed coexistence of mixed microbial communities at high cell densities. Genes encoding dioxygenases included three novel clusters of enzymes. The discovery of life in the tar pits provides an avenue for further studies of the evolution of enzymes and catabolic pathways for bacteria that have been exposed to complex hydrocarbons for millennia. These bacteria also should have application for industrial microbiology and bioremediation. PMID:17416692

  3. Microbial interactions affecting the natural transformation of Bacillus subtilis in a model aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Matsui, Kazuaki; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Kawabata, Zen'ichiro

    2003-08-01

    The involvement of microbial interactions in natural transformation of bacteria was evaluated using an aquatic model system. For this purpose, the naturally transformable Bacillus subtilis was used as the model bacterium which was co-cultivated with the protist Tetrahymena thermophila (a consumer) and/or the photosynthetic alga Euglena gracilis (a producer). Co-cultivation with as few as 10(2) individuals ml(-1) of T. thermophila lowered the number of transformants to less than the detectable level (<1x10(0) ml(-1)), while co-cultivation with E. gracilis did not. Metabolites from co-cultures of T. thermophila and B. subtilis also decreased the number of transformants to less than the detectable level, while metabolites from co-culture of T. thermophila and B. subtilis with E. gracilis did not. Thus, the introduction of transformation inhibitory factor(s) by the grazing of T. thermophila and the attenuation of this inhibitory factor(s) by E. gracilis is indicated. These observations suggest that biological components do affect the natural transformation of B. subtilis. The study described is the first to suggest that ecological interactions are responsible not only for the carbon and energy cycles, but also for the processes governing horizontal transfer of genes, in microbial ecosystems.

  4. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R; Denef, Vincent; Kalnejals, Linda; Suttle, K Blake; Thomas, Brian; Wilmes, P; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R Blaine; Shah, Manesh B; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems.We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism s metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ

  5. Ecological distribution and population physiology defined by proteomics in a natural microbial community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, Ryan S.; Denef, Vincent J.; Kalnejais, Linda H.; Suttle, K. Blake; Thomas, Brian C.; Wilmes, Paul; Smith, Richard L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; McCleskey, R. Blaine; Shah, Menesh B.; VerBekmoes, Nathan C.; Hettich, Robert L.; Banfield, Jillian F.

    2010-01-01

    An important challenge in microbial ecology is developing methods that simultaneously examine the physiology of organisms at the molecular level and their ecosystem level interactions in complex natural systems. We integrated extensive proteomic, geochemical, and biological information from 28 microbial communities collected from an acid mine drainage environment and representing a range of biofilm development stages and geochemical conditions to evaluate how the physiologies of the dominant and less abundant organisms change along environmental gradients. The initial colonist dominates across all environments, but its proteome changes between two stable states as communities diversify, implying that interspecies interactions affect this organism's metabolism. Its overall physiology is robust to abiotic environmental factors, but strong correlations exist between these factors and certain subsets of proteins, possibly accounting for its wide environmental distribution. Lower abundance populations are patchier in their distribution, and proteomic data indicate that their environmental niches may be constrained by specific sets of abiotic environmental factors. This research establishes an effective strategy to investigate ecological relationships between microbial physiology and the environment for whole communities in situ.

  6. Microbial diversity and dynamics of a groundwater and a still bottled natural mineral water.

    PubMed

    França, Luís; Lopéz-Lopéz, Arantxa; Rosselló-Móra, Ramon; da Costa, Milton S

    2015-03-01

    The microbial abundance and diversity at source, after bottling and through 6 months of storage of a commercial still natural mineral water were assessed by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. The results revealed clear shifts of the dominant communities present in the three different stages. The borehole waters displayed low cell densities that increased 1.5-fold upon bottling and storage, reaching a maximum (6.2 × 10(8)  cells l(-1) ) within 15 days after bottling, but experienced a significant decrease in diversity. In all cases, communities were largely dominated by Bacteria. The culturable heterotrophic community was characterized by recovering 3626 isolates, which were primarily affiliated with the Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. This study indicates that bottling and storage induce quantitative and qualitative changes in the microbial assemblages that seem to be similar as revealed by the two sample batches collected on 2 consecutive years. To our knowledge, this is the first study combining culture-independent with culture-dependent methods, and repeated tests to reveal the microbial dynamics occurring from source to stored bottled water.

  7. Natural products for dental caries prevention.

    PubMed

    Badria, Farid A; Zidan, Omar A

    2004-01-01

    Selected natural compounds were evaluated for their effects on dental caries due to different strains of Streptococcus mutans bacteria. Out of 39 tested compounds, four (catechol, emetine, quinine, and flavone) showed potent inhibitory activity on different strains of S. mutans at 6.25 microg/mL or less with inhibition of adherence <50%, two compounds (5,7-dihydroxy-4'-methoxy isoflavone and ellagic acid) exhibited a moderate inhibitory effect at 12.5 microg/mL with inhibition to adherence <50%, and 12 compounds exhibited weak antibacterial activity at 125 microg/mL or more with inhibition of adherence <25%. These compounds represent three major classes of natural products: tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Further study for possible application of these compounds as inhibitors for dental caries is underway. PMID:15383236

  8. Effect of pretreatment by a microbial consortium on methane production of waste paper and cardboard.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Xufeng; Cao, Yanzhuan; Li, Jiajia; Wen, Boting; Zhu, Wanbin; Wang, Xiaofen; Cui, Zongjun

    2012-08-01

    A microbial consortium MC1 was used to pretreat filter paper, office paper, newspaper, and cardboard to enhance methane production. The results of pretreatment indicated that sCOD of hydrolysates of the four substrates increased significantly in the early stage, and peaked on day 7. During pretreatment, ethanol, acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, and glycerol were the predominant volatile organic products in hydrolysates. MC1 had strong degradation ability on the four substrates, and the weight loss of filter paper, office paper, newspaper, and cardboard reached 78.3%, 80.5%, 39.7%, and 49.7%, respectively. The results of anaerobic digestion showed that methane production yields and rates of the four substrates significantly increased after pretreatment. This study is the first attempt to explore the microbial pretreatment method for anaerobic digestion of waste paper and cardboard. Microbial consortium pretreatment could be an effective method for enhancing methane production of waste paper and cardboard into bioenergy.

  9. Identification and microbial production of a terpene-based advanced biofuel

    PubMed Central

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P.; Ouellet, Mario; Chan, Rossana; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Keasling, Jay D.; Lee, Taek Soon

    2011-01-01

    Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Here we identify a novel biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel, bisabolane, and engineer microbial platforms for the production of its immediate precursor, bisabolene. First, we identify bisabolane as an alternative to D2 diesel by measuring the fuel properties of chemically hydrogenated commercial bisabolene. Then, via a combination of enzyme screening and metabolic engineering, we obtain a more than tenfold increase in bisabolene titers in Escherichia coli to >900 mg l−1. We produce bisabolene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (>900 mg l−1), a widely used platform for the production of ethanol. Finally, we chemically hydrogenate biosynthetic bisabolene into bisabolane. This work presents a framework for the identification of novel terpene-based advanced biofuels and the rapid engineering of microbial farnesyl diphosphate-overproducing platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:21952217

  10. Microbial production of specialty organic acids from renewable and waste materials.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Saúl; Rendueles, Manuel; Díaz, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Microbial production of organic acids has become a fast-moving field due to the increasing role of these compounds as platform chemicals. In recent years, the portfolio of specialty fermentation-derived carboxylic acids has increased considerably, including the production of glyceric, glucaric, succinic, butyric, xylonic, fumaric, malic, itaconic, lactobionic, propionic and adipic acid through innovative fermentation strategies. This review summarizes recent trends in the use of novel microbial platforms as well as renewable and waste materials for efficient and cost-effective bio-based production of emerging high-value organic acids. Advances in the development of robust and efficient microbial bioprocesses for producing carboxylic acids from low-cost feedstocks are also discussed. The industrial market scenario is also reviewed, including the latest information on the stage of development for producing these emerging bio-products via large-scale fermentation.

  11. The Role of Synthetic Biology in the Design of Microbial Cell Factories for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Colin, Verónica Leticia; Rodríguez, Analía; Cristóbal, Héctor Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Insecurity in the supply of fossil fuels, volatile fuel prices, and major concerns regarding climate change have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Because of this, the use of biodiesel has grown dramatically during the last few years and is expected to increase even further in the future. Biodiesel production through the use of microbial systems has marked a turning point in the field of biofuels since it is emerging as an attractive alternative to conventional technology. Recent progress in synthetic biology has accelerated the ability to analyze, construct, and/or redesign microbial metabolic pathways with unprecedented precision, in order to permit biofuel production that is amenable to industrial applications. The review presented here focuses specifically on the role of synthetic biology in the design of microbial cell factories for efficient production of biodiesel. PMID:22028591

  12. Identification and microbial production of a terpene-based advanced biofuel.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Yahya, Pamela P; Ouellet, Mario; Chan, Rossana; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Keasling, Jay D; Lee, Taek Soon

    2011-01-01

    Rising petroleum costs, trade imbalances and environmental concerns have stimulated efforts to advance the microbial production of fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Here we identify a novel biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel, bisabolane, and engineer microbial platforms for the production of its immediate precursor, bisabolene. First, we identify bisabolane as an alternative to D2 diesel by measuring the fuel properties of chemically hydrogenated commercial bisabolene. Then, via a combination of enzyme screening and metabolic engineering, we obtain a more than tenfold increase in bisabolene titers in Escherichia coli to >900 mg l(-1). We produce bisabolene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (>900 mg l(-1)), a widely used platform for the production of ethanol. Finally, we chemically hydrogenate biosynthetic bisabolene into bisabolane. This work presents a framework for the identification of novel terpene-based advanced biofuels and the rapid engineering of microbial farnesyl diphosphate-overproducing platforms for the production of biofuels. PMID:21952217

  13. Dithiolopyrrolone Natural Products: Isolation, Synthesis and Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Zhiwei; Huang, Sheng; Yu, Yi; Deng, Hai

    2013-01-01

    Dithiolopyrrolones are a class of antibiotics that possess the unique pyrrolinonodithiole (4H-[1,2] dithiolo [4,3-b] pyrrol-5-one) skeleton linked to two variable acyl groups. To date, there are approximately 30 naturally occurring dithiolopyrrolone compounds, including holomycin, thiolutin, and aureothricin, and more recently thiomarinols, a unique class of hybrid marine bacterial natural products containing a dithiolopyrrolone framework linked by an amide bridge with an 8-hydroxyoctanoyl chain linked to a monic acid. Generally, dithiolopyrrolone antibiotics have broad-spectrum antibacterial activity against various microorganisms, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, and even parasites. Holomycin appeared to be active against rifamycin-resistant bacteria and also inhibit the growth of the clinical pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus N315. Its mode of action is believed to inhibit RNA synthesis although the exact mechanism has yet to be established in vitro. A recent work demonstrated that the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri employs an RNA methyltransferase for self-resistance during the holomycin production. Moreover, some dithiolopyrrolone derivatives have demonstrated promising antitumor activities. The biosynthetic gene clusters of holomycin have recently been identified in S. clavuligerus and characterized biochemically and genetically. The biosynthetic gene cluster of thiomarinol was also identified from the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas sp. SANK 73390, which was uniquely encoded by two independent pathways for pseudomonic acid and pyrrothine in a novel plasmid. The aim of this review is to give an overview about the isolations, characterizations, synthesis, biosynthesis, bioactivities and mode of action of this unique family of dithiolopyrrolone natural products, focusing on the period from 1940s until now. PMID:24141227

  14. Natural Products from Plant-associated Microorganisms: Distribution, Structural Diversity, Bioactivity, and Implications of Their Occurrence⊥

    PubMed Central

    Gunatilaka, A. A. Leslie

    2012-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that plant-associated microorganisms, especially endophytic and rhizosphere bacteria and fungi, represent a huge and largely untapped resource of natural products with chemical structures that have been optimized by evolution for biological and ecological relevance. A diverse array of bioactive small molecule natural products has been encountered in these microorganisms. The structures of over 230 metabolites isolated and characterized from over 70 plant-associated microbial strains during the past four years are presented with information on their hosts, culture conditions, and biological activities. Some significant biological and ecological implications of their occurrence are also reviewed. PMID:16562864

  15. The chemistry of isoindole natural products

    PubMed Central

    Speck, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Summary This review highlights the chemical and biological aspects of natural products containing an oxidized or reduced isoindole skeleton. This motif is found in its intact or modified form in indolocarbazoles, macrocyclic polyketides (cytochalasan alkaloids), the aporhoeadane alkaloids, meroterpenoids from Stachybotrys species and anthraquinone-type alkaloids. Concerning their biological activity, molecular structure and synthesis, we have limited this review to the most inspiring examples. Within different congeners, we have selected a few members and discussed the synthetic routes in more detail. The putative biosynthetic pathways of the presented isoindole alkaloids are described as well. PMID:24204418

  16. Anti-infective Natural Products from Cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Niedermeyer, Timo Horst Johannes

    2015-10-01

    Cyanobacteria are a promising yet underexplored source for novel natural products with potent biological activities. While predominantly cytotoxic compounds have been isolated from cyanobacteria in the past, there are also a significant number of compounds known that possess anti-infective activities. As the need for novel anti-infective lead compounds is high, this manuscript aims at giving a concise overview on the current knowledge about anti-infective secondary metabolites isolated from cyanobacteria. Antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and molluscicidal activities are discussed. Covering up to February 2015.

  17. Natural products from microbes associated with insects

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Huijuan; Rischer, Maja; Poulsen, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Summary Here we review discoveries of secondary metabolites from microbes associated with insects. We mainly focus on natural products, where the ecological role has been at least partially elucidated, and/or the pharmaceutical properties evaluated, and on compounds with unique structural features. We demonstrate that the exploration of specific microbial–host interactions, in combination with multidisciplinary dereplication processes, has emerged as a successful strategy to identify novel chemical entities and to shed light on the ecology and evolution of defensive associations. PMID:26977191

  18. Natural attenuation process via microbial oxidation of arsenic in a high Andean watershed.

    PubMed

    Leiva, Eduardo D; Rámila, Consuelo d P; Vargas, Ignacio T; Escauriaza, Cristian R; Bonilla, Carlos A; Pizarro, Gonzalo E; Regan, John M; Pasten, Pablo A

    2014-01-01

    Rivers in northern Chile have arsenic (As) concentrations at levels that are toxic for humans and other organisms. Microorganism-mediated redox reactions have a crucial role in the As cycle; the microbial oxidation of As (As(III) to As(V)) is a critical transformation because it favors the immobilization of As in the solid phase. We studied the role of microbial As oxidation for controlling the mobility of As in the extreme environment found in the Chilean Altiplano (i.e., > 4000 meters above sea level (masl) and < 310 mm annual rainfall), which are conditions that have rarely been studied. Our model system was the upper Azufre River sub-basin, where the natural attenuation of As from hydrothermal discharge (pH 4-6) was observed. As(III) was actively oxidized by a microbial consortium, leading to a significant decrease in the dissolved As concentrations and a corresponding increase in the sediment's As concentration downstream of the hydrothermal source. In-situ oxidation experiments demonstrated that the As oxidation required biological activity, and microbiological molecular analysis confirmed the presence of As(III)-oxidizing groups (aroA-like genes) in the system. In addition, the pH measurements and solid phase analysis strongly suggested that the As removal mechanism involved adsorption or coprecipitation with Fe-oxyhydroxides. Taken together, these results indicate that the microorganism-mediated As oxidation contributed to the attenuation of As concentrations and the stabilization of As in the solid phase, therefore controlling the amount of As transported downstream. This study is the first to demonstrate the microbial oxidation of As in Altiplano basins and its relevance in the immobilization of As.

  19. Electrodic voltages in the presence of dissolved sulfide: Implications for monitoring natural microbial activity

    SciTech Connect

    Slater, L.; Ntarlagiannis, D.; Yee, N.; O'Brien, M.; Zhang, C.; Williams, K. H.

    2008-10-01

    There is growing interest in the development of new monitoring strategies for obtaining spatially extensive data diagnostic of microbial processes occurring in the earth. Open-circuit potentials arising from variable redox conditions in the fluid local-to-electrode surfaces (electrodic potentials) were recorded for a pair of silver-silver chloride electrodes in a column experiment, whereby a natural wetland soil containing a known community of sulfate reducers was continuously fed with a sulfate-rich nutrient medium. Measurements were made between five electrodes equally spaced along the column and a reference electrode placed on the column inflow. The presence of a sulfate reducing microbial population, coupled with observations of decreasing sulfate levels, formation of black precipitate (likely iron sulfide),elevated solid phase sulfide, and a characteristic sulfurous smell, suggest microbial-driven sulfate reduction (sulfide generation) in our column. Based on the known sensitivity of a silver electrode to dissolved sulfide concentration, we interpret the electrodic potentials approaching 700 mV recorded in this experiment as an indicator of the bisulfide (HS-) concentration gradients in the column. The measurement of the spatial and temporal variation in these electrodic potentials provides a simple and rapid method for monitoring patterns of relative HS- concentration that are indicative of the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Our measurements have implications both for the autonomous monitoring of anaerobic microbial processes in the subsurface and the performance of self-potential electrodes, where it is critical to isolate, and perhaps quantify, electrochemical interfaces contributing to observed potentials.

  20. Characterization of the deep microbial life in the Altmark natural gas reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morozova, D.; Alawi, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Kock, D.; Krüger, M.; Wuerdemann, H.; Shaheed, M.

    2010-12-01

    Within the framework of the CLEAN project (CO2 Largescale Enhanced gas recovery in the Altmark Natural gas field) technical basics with special emphasis on process monitoring are explored by injecting CO2 into a gas reservoir. Our study focuses on the investigation of the in-situ microbial community of the Rotliegend natural gas reservoir in the Altmark, located south of the city Salzwedel, Germany. In order to characterize the microbial life in the extreme habitat we aim to localize and identify microbes including their metabolism influencing the creation and dissolution of minerals. The ability of microorganisms to speed up dissolution and formation of minerals might result in changes of the local permeability and the long-term safety of CO2 storage. However, geology, structure and chemistry of the reservoir rock and the cap rock as well as interaction with saline formation water and natural gases and the injected CO2 affect the microbial community composition and activity. The reservoir located at the depth of approximately 3500 m, is characterised by high salinity (420 g/l) and temperatures up to 127°C. It represents an extreme environment for microbial life and therefore the main focus is on hyperthermophilic, halophilic anaerobic microorganisms. In consequence of the injection of large amounts of CO2 in the course of a commercial EGR (Enhanced Gas Recovery), the environmental conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, pressure and solubility of minerals) for the autochthonous microorganisms will change. Genetic profiling of amplified 16S rRNA genes are applied for detecting structural changes in the community by using PCR- SSCP (PCR-Single-Strand-Conformation Polymorphism), DGGE (Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis) and 16S rRNA cloning. First results of the baseline survey indicate the presence of microorganisms similar to representatives from other deep environments. The sequence analyses revealed the presence of several H2-oxidising bacteria (Hydrogenophaga sp

  1. Microbial Diversity-Based Novel Crop Protection Products

    SciTech Connect

    Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.; DuPont Experimental Station; Yalpani, Ronald Flannagan, Rafael Herrmann, James Presnail, Tamas Torok, and Nasser; Herrmann, Rafael; Presnail, James; Torok, Tamas; Yalpani, Nasser

    2007-05-10

    Extremophilic microorganisms are adapted to survive in ecological niches with high temperatures, extremes of pH, high salt concentrations, high pressure, radiation, etc. Extremophiles produce unique biocatalysts and natural products that function under extreme conditions comparab le to those prevailing in various industrial processes. Therefore, there is burgeoning interest in bioprospecting for extremophiles with potential immediate use in agriculture, the food, chemical, and pharm aceutical industries, and environmental biotechnology. Over the years, several thousand extremophilic bacteria, archaea, and filamentous fungi were collected at extreme environmental sites in the USA, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone surrounding the faeild nuclear power plant in Ukraine, in and around Lake Baikal in Siberia, and at geothermal sites on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia. These organisms were cultured under proprietary conditions, and the cell- free supernatants were screened for biological activities against plant pathogenic fungi and major crop damaging insects. Promising peptide lead molecules were isolated, characterized, and sequenced. Relatively high hit rates characterized the tested fermentation broths. Of the 26,000 samples screened, over thousand contained biological activity of interest. A fair number of microorganisms expressed broad- spectrum antifungal or insecticidal activity. Two- dozen broadly antifungal peptides (AFPs) are alr eady patent protected, and many more tens are under further investigation. Tapping the gene pool of extremophilic microorganisms to provide novel ways of crop protection proved a successful strategy.

  2. Fungal natural products in research and development.

    PubMed

    Schueffler, Anja; Anke, Timm

    2014-10-01

    To date approximately 100 000 fungal species are known although far more than one million are expected. The variety of species and the diversity of their habitats, some of them less exploited, allow the conclusion that fungi continue to be a rich source of new metabolites. Besides the conventional fungal isolates, an increasing interest in endophytic and in marine-derived fungi has been noticed. In addition new screening strategies based on innovative chemical, biological, and genetic approaches have led to novel fungal metabolites in recent years. The present review focuses on new fungal natural products published from 2009 to 2013 highlighting the originality of the structures and their biological potential. Furthermore synthetic products based on fungal metabolites as well as new developments in the uses or the biological activity of known compounds or new derivatives are discussed.

  3. Multimodular biocatalysts for natural product assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarzer, Dirk; Marahiel, Mohamed A.

    2001-03-01

    Nonribosomal peptides and polyketides represent a large class of natural products that show an extreme structural diversity and broad pharmacological relevance. They are synthesized from simple building blocks such as amino or carboxy acids and malonate derivatives on multimodular enzymes called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs), respectively. Although utilizing different substrates, NRPSs and PKSs show striking similarities in the modular architecture of their catalytic domains and product assembly-line mechanism. Among these compounds are well known antibiotics (penicillin, vancomycin and erythromycin) as well as potent immunosuppressive agents (cyclosporin, rapamycin and FK 506). This review focuses on the modular organization of NRPSs, PKSs and mixed NRPS/PKS systems and how modules and domains that build up the biosynthetic templates can be exploited for the rational design of recombinant enzymes capable of synthesizing novel compounds.

  4. Synthetic biology of fungal natural products

    PubMed Central

    Mattern, Derek J.; Valiante, Vito; Unkles, Shiela E.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an ever-expanding field in science, also encompassing the research area of fungal natural product (NP) discovery and production. Until now, different aspects of synthetic biology have been covered in fungal NP studies from the manipulation of different regulatory elements and heterologous expression of biosynthetic pathways to the engineering of different multidomain biosynthetic enzymes such as polyketide synthases or non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. The following review will cover some of the exemplary studies of synthetic biology in filamentous fungi showing the capacity of these eukaryotes to be used as model organisms in the field. From the vast array of different NPs produced to the ease for genetic manipulation, filamentous fungi have proven to be an invaluable source for the further development of synthetic biology tools. PMID:26284053

  5. Interaction of natural products with cell survival and signaling pathways in the biochemical elucidation of drug targets in cancer.

    PubMed

    Qurishi, Yasrib; Hamid, Abid; Majeed, Rabiya; Hussain, Aashiq; Qazi, Asif K; Ahmed, Mudassier; Zargar, Mohmmad Afzal; Singh, Shashank Kumar; Saxena, Ajit Kumar

    2011-08-01

    The use of natural products with therapeutic properties is as ancient as human civilization and for a long time mineral, plant and animal products were the main sources of drugs. Worldwide sales of medicinal plants, crude extracts and finished products amounted to US$15 billion in 1999 and it increased to $23 billion in 2002. More interestingly, the influence of natural products upon anticancer drug discovery and design cannot be underestimated. Approximately 60% of all drugs in clinical trials are either a natural product, compounds derived from natural products or contain pharmacophores derived from active natural products. Thus, even today, in the presence of massive numbers of agents from combinatorial libraries, compounds from natural sources are still in the forefront of cancer chemotherapeutics as sources of active drug types, as well as being involved in drug discovery in diseases such as microbial and parasitic infections and the control of cholesterol/lipids, among other functions.

  6. Plant cell culture strategies for the production of natural products

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa-Villarreal, Marisol; Howat, Susan; Hong, SunMi; Jang, Mi Ok; Jin, Young-Woo; Lee, Eun-Kyong; Loake, Gary J.

    2016-01-01

    Plants have evolved a vast chemical cornucopia to support their sessile lifestyles. Man has exploited this natural resource since Neolithic times and currently plant-derived chemicals are exploited for a myriad of applications. However, plant sources of most high-value natural products (NPs) are not domesticated and therefore their production cannot be undertaken on an agricultural scale. Further, these plant species are often slow growing, their populations limiting, the concentration of the target molecule highly variable and routinely present at extremely low concentrations. Plant cell and organ culture constitutes a sustainable, controllable and environmentally friendly tool for the industrial production of plant NPs. Further, advances in cell line selection, biotransformation, product secretion, cell permeabilisation, extraction and scale-up, among others, are driving increases in plant NP yields. However, there remain significant obstacles to the commercial synthesis of high-value chemicals from these sources. The relatively recent isolation, culturing and characterisation of cambial meristematic cells (CMCs), provides an emerging platform to circumvent many of these potential difficulties. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(3): 149-158] PMID:26698871

  7. Microbial screening and analytical methods for the production of polyol oils from soybean oil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study is to develop a new useful method including microbial screening and product identification for a bioprocess to produce polyol oils from soybean oil. Methods for separating of product polyol oils from soybean oil substrate and free fatty acid byproducts using HPLC and TLC...

  8. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... data requirements table. 158.2120 Section 158.2120 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through 158.130 describe how to use this table to determine the product analysis data requirements and the substance to...

  9. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... data requirements table. 158.2120 Section 158.2120 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through 158.130 describe how to use this table to determine the product analysis data requirements and the substance to...

  10. 40 CFR 158.2171 - Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... pesticides product analysis data requirements table. 158.2171 Section 158.2171 Protection of Environment... Pesticides § 158.2171 Experimental use permit microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table... individual tests in the following table: (c) Table. The following table shows the data requirements...

  11. 40 CFR 158.2120 - Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... data requirements table. 158.2120 Section 158.2120 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION... Microbial pesticides product analysis data requirements table. (a) General. Sections 158.100 through 158.130 describe how to use this table to determine the product analysis data requirements and the substance to...

  12. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    PubMed

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  13. Development of the microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell for desalination as well as acid and alkali productions.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shanshan; Liu, Guangli; Zhang, Renduo; Qin, Bangyu; Luo, Yong

    2012-02-21

    By combining the microbial electrolysis cell and the microbial desalination cell, the microbial electrolysis desalination cell (MEDC) becomes a novel device to desalinate salty water. However, several factors, such as sharp pH decrease and Cl(-) accumulation in the anode chamber, limit the MEDC development. In this study, a microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC) was developed with four chambers using a bipolar membrane. Results showed that the pH in the anode chamber of the MEDCC always remained near 7.0, which greatly enhanced the microbial activities in the cell. With applied voltages of 0.3-1.0 V, 62%-97% of Coulombic efficiencies were achieved from the MEDCC, which were 1.5-2.0 times of those from the MEDC. With 10 mL of 10 g/L NaCl in the desalination chamber, desalination rates of the MEDCC reached 46%-86% within 18 h. Another unique feature of the MEDCC was the simultaneous production of HCl and NaOH in the cell. With 1.0 V applied voltage, the pH values at 18 h in the acid-production chamber and cathode chamber were 0.68 and 12.9, respectively. With the MEDCC, the problem with large pH changes in the anode chamber was resolved, and products of the acid and alkali were obtained.

  14. Microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell for CO2 sequestration.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiuping; Logan, Bruce E

    2014-05-01

    Mineral carbonation can be used for CO2 sequestration, but the reaction rate is slow. In order to accelerate mineral carbonation, acid generated in a microbial electrolysis desalination and chemical-production cell (MEDCC) was examined to dissolve natural minerals rich in magnesium/calcium silicates (serpentine), and the alkali generated by the same process was used to absorb CO2 and precipitate magnesium/calcium carbonates. The concentrations of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) dissolved from serpentine increased 20 and 145 times by using the acid solution. Under optimal conditions, 24 mg of CO2 was absorbed into the alkaline solution and 13 mg of CO2 was precipitated as magnesium/calcium carbonates over a fed-batch cycle (24h). Additionally, the MEDCC removed 94% of the COD (initially 822 mg/L) and achieved 22% desalination (initially 35 g/L NaCl). These results demonstrate the viability of this process for effective CO2 sequestration using renewable organic matter and natural minerals.

  15. Natural Products: Insights into Leishmaniasis Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Igor A.; Mazotto, Ana Maria; Cardoso, Verônica; Alves, Renan L.; Amaral, Ana Claudia F.; Silva, Jefferson Rocha de Andrade; Pinheiro, Anderson S.; Vermelho, Alane B.

    2015-01-01

    Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease that affects several populations worldwide, against which there are no vaccines available and the chemotherapy is highly toxic. Depending on the species causing the infection, the disease is characterized by commitment of tissues, including the skin, mucous membranes, and internal organs. Despite the relevance of host inflammatory mediators on parasite burden control, Leishmania and host immune cells interaction may generate an exacerbated proinflammatory response that plays an important role in the development of leishmaniasis clinical manifestations. Plant-derived natural products have been recognized as bioactive agents with several properties, including anti-protozoal and anti-inflammatory activities. The present review focuses on the antileishmanial activity of plant-derived natural products that are able to modulate the inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo. The capability of crude extracts and some isolated substances in promoting an anti-inflammatory response during Leishmania infection may be used as part of an effective strategy to fight the disease. PMID:26538837

  16. Quantitation of microbial products and their effectiveness in enhanced oil recovery. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X.; Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.

    1995-02-01

    A three-dimensional, three-phase, multiple-component numerical simulator was developed to investigate transport and growth of microorganisms in porous media and the impacts of microbial activities on oil recovery. The microbial activities modeled in this study included: (1) growth, retention, chemotaxis, and end product inhibition of growth, (2) the formation of metabolic products, and (3) the consumption of nutrients. Major mechanisms for microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) processes were modeled as follows: (1) improvement in sweep efficiency of a displacement process due to in situ plugging of highly-permeable production zones by cell mass or due to improved mobility control achieved by increasing the viscosity of the displacing fluid with a biopolymer, and (2) solubilization and mobilization of residual oil in porous media due to the reduction of the interfacial tension between oleic and aqueous phases by the production of a biosurfactant. The numerical solutions for mathematical models involved two steps. The distributions of pressure and phase saturations were solved from continuity equations and Darcy flow velocities for the aqueous phase were computed. This was followed by the solution of convection-dispersion equations for individual components. Numerical solutions from the proposed model were compared to results obtained from analytical equations, commercial simulators, and laboratory experiments. The comparison indicated that the model accurately quantified microbial transport and metabolism in porous media, and predicted additional crude oil recovery due to microbial processes. 50 refs., 41 figs., 26 tabs.

  17. Natural product synthesis at the interface of chemistry and biology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Nature has evolved to produce unique and diverse natural products that possess high target affinity and specificity. Natural products have been the richest sources for novel modulators of biomolecular function. Since the chemical synthesis of urea by Wöhler, organic chemists have been intrigued by natural products, leading to the evolution of the field of natural product synthesis over the past two centuries. Natural product synthesis has enabled natural products to play an essential role in drug discovery and chemical biology. With the introduction of novel, innovative concepts and strategies for synthetic efficiency, natural product synthesis in the 21st century is well poised to address the challenges and complexities faced by natural product chemistry and will remain essential to progress in biomedical sciences. PMID:25043880

  18. Antibacterial natural products in medicinal chemistry--exodus or revival?

    PubMed

    von Nussbaum, Franz; Brands, Michael; Hinzen, Berthold; Weigand, Stefan; Häbich, Dieter

    2006-08-01

    To create a drug, nature's blueprints often have to be improved through semisynthesis or total synthesis (chemical postevolution). Selected contributions from industrial and academic groups highlight the arduous but rewarding path from natural products to drugs. Principle modification types for natural products are discussed herein, such as decoration, substitution, and degradation. The biological, chemical, and socioeconomic environments of antibacterial research are dealt with in context. Natural products, many from soil organisms, have provided the majority of lead structures for marketed anti-infectives. Surprisingly, numerous "old" classes of antibacterial natural products have never been intensively explored by medicinal chemists. Nevertheless, research on antibacterial natural products is flagging. Apparently, the "old fashioned" natural products no longer fit into modern drug discovery. The handling of natural products is cumbersome, requiring nonstandardized workflows and extended timelines. Revisiting natural products with modern chemistry and target-finding tools from biology (reversed genomics) is one option for their revival.

  19. Natural product synthesis at the interface of chemistry and biology.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jiyong

    2014-08-11

    Nature has evolved to produce unique and diverse natural products that possess high target affinity and specificity. Natural products have been the richest sources for novel modulators of biomolecular function. Since the chemical synthesis of urea by Wöhler, organic chemists have been intrigued by natural products, leading to the evolution of the field of natural product synthesis over the past two centuries. Natural product synthesis has enabled natural products to play an essential role in drug discovery and chemical biology. With the introduction of novel, innovative concepts and strategies for synthetic efficiency, natural product synthesis in the 21st century is well poised to address the challenges and complexities faced by natural product chemistry and will remain essential to progress in biomedical sciences.

  20. Removal of soluble microbial products as the precursors of disinfection by-products in drinking water supplies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin-Lin; Li, Xiao-Yan

    2015-01-01

    Water pollution worsens the problem of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water supply. Biodegradation of wastewater organics produces soluble microbial products (SMPs), which can be important DBP precursors. In this laboratory study, a number of enhanced water treatment methods for DBP control, including enhanced coagulation, ozonation, and activated carbon adsorption, were evaluated for their effectiveness in treating SMP-containing water for the DBP reduction purpose. The results show that enhanced coagulation with alum could remove SMPs only marginally and decrease the DBP formation potential (DBPFP) of the water by less than 20%. Although ozone could cause destruction of SMPs in water, the overall DBPFP of the water did not decrease but increased after ozonation. In contrast, adsorption by granular activated carbon could remove the SMP organics from water by more than 60% and reduce the DBPFP by more than 70%. It is apparent that enhanced coagulation and ozonation are not suitable for the removal of SMPs as DBP precursors from polluted water, although enhanced coagulation has been commonly used to reduce the DBP formation caused by natural organic matter. In comparison, activated carbon adsorption is shown as a more effective means to remove the SMP content from water and hence to control the wastewater-derived DBP problem in water supply.

  1. Removal of soluble microbial products as the precursors of disinfection by-products in drinking water supplies.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin-Lin; Li, Xiao-Yan

    2015-01-01

    Water pollution worsens the problem of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water supply. Biodegradation of wastewater organics produces soluble microbial products (SMPs), which can be important DBP precursors. In this laboratory study, a number of enhanced water treatment methods for DBP control, including enhanced coagulation, ozonation, and activated carbon adsorption, were evaluated for their effectiveness in treating SMP-containing water for the DBP reduction purpose. The results show that enhanced coagulation with alum could remove SMPs only marginally and decrease the DBP formation potential (DBPFP) of the water by less than 20%. Although ozone could cause destruction of SMPs in water, the overall DBPFP of the water did not decrease but increased after ozonation. In contrast, adsorption by granular activated carbon could remove the SMP organics from water by more than 60% and reduce the DBPFP by more than 70%. It is apparent that enhanced coagulation and ozonation are not suitable for the removal of SMPs as DBP precursors from polluted water, although enhanced coagulation has been commonly used to reduce the DBP formation caused by natural organic matter. In comparison, activated carbon adsorption is shown as a more effective means to remove the SMP content from water and hence to control the wastewater-derived DBP problem in water supply. PMID:25241751

  2. Consumers of natural health products: natural-born pharmacovigilantes?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Natural health products (NHPs), such as herbal medicines and vitamins, are widely available over-the-counter and are often purchased by consumers without advice from a healthcare provider. This study examined how consumers respond when they believe they have experienced NHP-related adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in order to determine how to improve current safety monitoring strategies. Methods Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve consumers who had experienced a self-identified NHP-related ADR. Key emergent themes were identified and coded using content analysis techniques. Results Consumers were generally not comfortable enough with their conventional health care providers to discuss their NHP-related ADRs. Consumers reported being more comfortable discussing NHP-related ADRs with personnel from health food stores, friends or family with whom they had developed trusted relationships. No one reported their suspected ADR to Health Canada and most did not know this was possible. Conclusion Consumers generally did not report their suspected NHP-related ADRs to healthcare providers or to Health Canada. Passive reporting systems for collecting information on NHP-related ADRs cannot be effective if consumers who experience NHP-related ADRs do not report their experiences. Healthcare providers, health food store personnel, manufacturers and other stakeholders also need to take responsibility for reporting ADRs in order to improve current pharmacovigilance of NHPs. PMID:20184759

  3. Microbial and chemical factors influencing methane production in laboratory incubations of low-rank subsurface coals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Stephen H.; Smith, Richard L.; Barker, Charles E.

    2008-01-01

    Lignite and subbituminous coals were investigated for their ability to support microbial methane production in laboratory incubations. Results show that naturally-occurring microorganisms associated with the coals produced substantial quantities of methane, although the factors influencing this process were variable among different samples tested. Methanogenic microbes in two coals from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, produced 140.5-374.6 mL CH4/kg ((4.5-12.0 standard cubic feet (scf)/ton) in response to an amendment of H2/CO2. The addition of high concentrations (5-10 mM) of acetate did not support substantive methane production under the laboratory conditions. However, acetate accumulated in control incubations where methanogenesis was inhibited, indicating that acetate was produced and consumed during the course of methane production. Acetogenesis from H2/CO2 was evident in these incubations and may serve as a competing metabolic mode influencing the cumulative amount of methane produced in coal. Two low-rank (lignite A) coals from Fort Yukon, Alaska, USA, demonstrated a comparable level of methane production (131.1-284.0 mL CH4/kg (4.2-9.1 scf/ton)) in the presence of an inorganic nutrient amendment, indicating that the source of energy and organic carbon was derived from the coal. The concentration of chloroform-extractable organic matter varied by almost three orders of magnitude among all the coals tested, and appeared to be related to methane production potential. These results indicate that substrate availability within the coal matrix and competition between different groups of microorganisms are two factors that may exert a profound influence on methanogenesis in subsurface coal beds.

  4. Production of drugs by microbial biosynthesis and biotransformation. Possibilities, limits and future developments (1st communication).

    PubMed

    Kieslich, K

    1986-04-01

    Before the advent of alchemy the therapeutic aids for man and animals consisted exclusively of using natural products in many different forms. Chemical syntheses have been used for little more than 100 years as a means of obtaining drugs. The discovery of penicillin and the first industrial production of this compound in 1941/42 opened the door to a third way for the preparation of drugs by exploitation of the manifold biosynthetic capabilities of microorganisms to produce antibiotics or more recently other pharmacologically active substances. The selective use of individual enzymatic transformation stages with microorganisms in chemical production pathways in particular by biotransformations of steroids in 1950 expanded the field of biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals. The increasing knowledge in the regulation of the biosynthesis of primary and secondary metabolites, the growing experience in the use of microorganisms as biocatalysts and source of valuable enzymes and the development of new economical technical procedures raised the number and volume of drugs prepared by microbial biosynthesis and biotransformation. The modern method of the genetic engineering supported by the chemical DNA-synthesis enabled the preparation of important proteohormones and physiologically active peptides in microorganisms. Finally, the development of monoclonal antibodies, although at present still formed in mammalian cells, will lead to new ways of therapy in future. A review is given on the present state of biotechnological productions of antibiotics, vitamins, steroids, alkaloids, amino acids and pharmaceutical enzymes combined with new developments in the preparation of blood factors, enzyme inhibitors, hormones and physiologically active peptides and the possible future use of monoclonal antibodies.

  5. Parasites pitched against nature: Pitch Lake water protects guppies (Poecilia reticulata) from microbial and gyrodactylid infections.

    PubMed

    Schelkle, Bettina; Mohammed, Ryan S; Coogan, Michael P; McMullan, Mark; Gillingham, Emma L; VAN Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2012-11-01

    SUMMARY The enemy release hypothesis proposes that in parasite depleted habitats, populations will experience relaxed selection and become more susceptible (or less tolerant) to pathogenic infections. Here, we focus on a population of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) that are found in an extreme environment (the Pitch Lake, Trinidad) and examine whether this habitat represents a refuge from parasites. We investigated the efficacy of pitch in preventing microbial infections in Pitch Lake guppies, by exposing them to dechlorinated water, and reducing gyrodactylid infections on non-Pitch Lake guppies by transferring them to Pitch Lake water. We show that (i) natural prevalence of ectoparasites in the Pitch Lake is low compared to reference populations, (ii) Pitch Lake guppies transferred into aquarium water develop microbial infections, and (iii) experimentally infected guppies are cured of their gyrodactylid infections both by natural Pitch Lake water and by dechlorinated water containing solid pitch. These results indicate a role for Pitch Lake water in the defence of guppies from their parasites and suggest that Pitch Lake guppies might have undergone enemy release in this extreme environment. The Pitch Lake provides an ideal ecosystem for studies on immune gene evolution in the absence of parasites and long-term evolutionary implications of hydrocarbon pollution for vertebrates.

  6. Investigation of Microbial Respirometry for Monitoring Natural Sulfide Abatement in Geothermal Cooling Tower Basins

    SciTech Connect

    Peter A. Pryfogle

    2005-09-01

    Geothermal plant operators are interested in investigating the ability of micro-organisms found in the cooling tower basin to metabolize and cycle sulfide to less toxic sulfur compounds. If the growth or activity of the organisms participating in sulfur-oxidation could be selectively enhanced, then hydrogen sulfide could be naturally abated in the cooling basin, substantially reducing the costs associated with the chemicals used for abatement. The use of respirometry has been proposed as a technique for monitoring the response of the microbial populations found in geothermal cooling towers to various conditions, including the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Respiro-metry is a manometric measurement of dissolved gases that are in equilibrium in a con-fined sample volume. Since microbes expire varying amounts of carbon dioxide or oxygen as they metabolize nutrients, this technique can be used to evaluate their activities in process streams. This report describes a series of experiments designed to determine the suitability of respirometry for tracking microbial activity for evaluating and enhancing natural abatement processes in geothermal cooling basins.

  7. What heat is telling us about microbial conversions in nature and technology: from chip- to megacalorimetry.

    PubMed

    Maskow, Thomas; Kemp, Richard; Buchholz, Friederike; Schubert, Torsten; Kiesel, Baerbel; Harms, Hauke

    2010-05-01

    The exploitation of microorganisms in natural or technological systems calls for monitoring tools that reflect their metabolic activity in real time and, if necessary, are flexible enough for field application. The Gibbs energy dissipation of assimilated substrates or photons often in the form of heat is a general feature of life processes and thus, in principle, available to monitor and control microbial dynamics. Furthermore, the combination of measured heat fluxes with material fluxes allows the application of Hess' law to either prove expected growth stoichiometries and kinetics or identify and estimate unexpected side reactions. The combination of calorimetry with respirometry is theoretically suited for the quantification of the degree of coupling between catabolic and anabolic reactions. New calorimeter developments overcome the weaknesses of conventional devices, which hitherto limited the full exploitation of this powerful analytical tool. Calorimetric systems can be integrated easily into natural and technological systems of interest. They are potentially suited for high-throughput measurements and are robust enough for field deployment. This review explains what information calorimetric analyses provide; it introduces newly emerging calorimetric techniques and it exemplifies the application of calorimetry in different fields of microbial research.

  8. Characterization of soluble microbial products as precursors of disinfection byproducts in drinking water supply.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin-Lin; Li, Xiao-Yan; Xie, Yue-Feng; Tang, Hao

    2014-02-15

    Water pollution by wastewater discharge can cause the problem of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water supply. In this study, DBP formation characteristics of soluble microbial products (SMPs) as the main products of wastewater organic biodegradation were investigated. The results show that SMPs can act as DBP precursors in simulated wastewater biodegradation process. Under the experimental conditions, stabilized SMPs had DBPFP (DBP formation potential) yield of around 5.6 μmol mmol(-1)-DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and DBP speciation profile different from that of the conventional precursor, natural organic matter (NOM). SMPs contained polysaccharides, proteins, and humic-like substances, and the latter two groups can act as reactive DBP precursors. SMP fraction with molecular weight of <1 kDa accounted for 85% of the organic carbon and 65% of the DBP formation. As small SMP molecules are more difficult to remove by conventional water treatment processes, more efforts are needed to control wastewater-derived DBP problem in water resource management.

  9. Identification of natural inhibitors of Entamoeba histolytica cysteine synthase from microbial secondary metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Mori, Mihoko; Jeelani, Ghulam; Masuda, Yui; Sakai, Kazunari; Tsukui, Kumiko; Waluyo, Danang; Tarwadi; Watanabe, Yoshio; Nonaka, Kenichi; Matsumoto, Atsuko; Ōmura, Satoshi; Nozaki, Tomoyoshi; Shiomi, Kazuro

    2015-01-01

    Amebiasis is a common worldwide diarrheal disease, caused by the protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica. Metronidazole has been a drug of choice against amebiasis for decades despite its known side effects and low efficacy against asymptomatic cyst carriers. E. histolytica is also capable of surviving sub-therapeutic levels of metronidazole in vitro. Novel drugs with different mode of action are therefore urgently needed. The sulfur assimilatory de novo L-cysteine biosynthetic pathway is essential for various cellular activities, including the proliferation and anti-oxidative defense of E. histolytica. Since the pathway, consisting of two reactions catalyzed by serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and cysteine synthase (CS, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase), does not exist in humans, it is a rational drug target against amebiasis. To discover inhibitors against the CS of E. histolytica (EhCS), the compounds of Kitasato Natural Products Library were screened against two recombinant CS isozymes: EhCS1 and EhCS3. Nine compounds inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3 with IC50 values of 0.31–490 μM. Of those, seven compounds share a naphthoquinone moiety, indicating the structural importance of the moiety for binding to the active site of EhCS1 and EhCS3. We further screened >9,000 microbial broths for CS inhibition and purified two compounds, xanthofulvin and exophillic acid from fungal broths. Xanthofulvin inhibited EhCS1 and EhCS3. Exophillic acid showed high selectivity against EhCS1, but exhibited no inhibition against EhCS3. In vitro anti-amebic activity of the 11 EhCS inhibitors was also examined. Deacetylkinamycin C and nanaomycin A showed more potent amebicidal activity with IC50 values of 18 and 0.8 μM, respectively, in the cysteine deprived conditions. The differential sensitivity of trophozoites against deacetylkinamycin C in the presence or absence of L-cysteine in the medium and the IC50 values against EhCS suggest the amebicidal effect of deacetylkinamycin C is due to

  10. The automation of natural product structure elucidation.

    PubMed

    Steinbeck, C

    2001-05-01

    The last two or three years have seen exciting developments in the field of computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) with a number of programs becoming commercially or freely available. This was the conditio sine qua non for CASE to be widely applied in the daily work of bench chemists and spectroscopists. A number of promising applications have been published in the area of structure generators, deterministic and stochastic CASE tools and property predictions, including the automatic distinction between natural products and artificial compounds, as well as the determination of 3-D structure from a connection table based on IR spectroscopy. Advancements in coupling techniques between chromatographic and spectroscopic methods demonstrate progress towards a fully automated structure elucidation or identification process starting at the earliest steps of obtaining crude extracts.

  11. Spectroscopic Characterization of a Natural Product: Anethole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, Victoria P.; Newby, Josh J.

    2013-06-01

    Anethole [(E)-1-methoxy-4-(1-propenyl)benzene] is a natural product molecule that is commonly recognized as the flavor component of anise, fennel, and licorice. Early jet-cooled spectroscopy of anethole showed the existence of two possible conformations, but did not address details of the vibronic structure. Here, we report the jet-cooled, laser-induced fluorescence and single vibronic level fluorescence spectra of anethole. Analysis of the spectra confirms the existence of two rotamers in the expansion that differ by the relative orientation of the methoxy and propenyl groups. The observed vibronic activity is similar to that of styrene and indicates planar symmetry of both rotamers. Vibrational assignments of anethole are assisted by density functional theory calculations and the results are compared with the analogous motions in styrene. V. H. Grassian, E. R. Bernstein, H. V. Secor and J. I. Seeman J. Phys. Chem. {93, 3470 (1989).

  12. Natural products: a safest approach for obesity.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Neeru; Yadav, Neerja; Sharma, Surendra Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is recognized as a social problem, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. Numerous trials have been conducted to find and develop new anti-obesity drugs through herbal sources to minimize adverse reactions associated with the present anti-obesity drugs. The use of natural products as medicine has been documented for hundreds of years in various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. This review focuses on the medicinal plants such as Achyranthus aspera, Camellia sinensis, Emblica officinalis, Garcinia cambogia, Terminalia arjuna, etc., being used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Chinese, etc., systems of medicine. The review also highlights recent reported phytochemicals such as escins, perennisosides, dioscin, gracillin, etc., and the various extracts of the plants like Nelumbo nucifera, Panax japonicas, Cichorium intybus, Cyperus rotundus, Paeonia suffruticosa, etc., which have been successfully identified for the treatment of obesity. PMID:22821661

  13. Novel Chemical Space Exploration via Natural Products

    PubMed Central

    Rosén, Josefin; Gottfries, Johan; Muresan, Sorel; Backlund, Anders; Oprea, Tudor I.

    2009-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are a rich source of novel compound classes and new drugs. In the present study we have used the chemical space navigation tool ChemGPS-NP to evaluate the chemical space occupancy by NPs and bioactive medicinal chemistry compounds from the database WOMBAT. The two sets differ notable in coverage of chemical space, and tangible lead-like NPs were found to cover regions of chemical space that lack representation in WOMBAT. Property based similarity calculations were performed to identify NP neighbours of approved drugs. Several of the NPs revealed by this method, were confirmed to exhibit the same activity as their drug neighbours. The identification of leads from a NP starting point may prove a useful strategy for drug discovery, in the search for novel leads with unique properties. PMID:19265440

  14. CO Methanation for Synthetic Natural Gas Production.

    PubMed

    Kambolis, Anastasios; Schildhauer, Tilman J; Kröcher, Oliver

    2015-01-01

    Energy from woody biomass could supplement renewable energy production towards the replacement of fossil fuels. A multi-stage process involving gasification of wood and then catalytic transformation of the producer gas to synthetic natural gas (SNG) represents progress in this direction. SNG can be transported and distributed through the existing pipeline grid, which is advantageous from an economical point of view. Therefore, CO methanation is attracting a great deal of attention and much research effort is focusing on the understanding of the process steps and its further development. This short review summarizes recent efforts at Paul Scherrer Institute on the understanding of the reaction mechanism, the catalyst deactivation, and the development of catalytic materials with benign properties for CO methanation. PMID:26598405

  15. Natural Products as a Foundation for Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Beutler, John A.

    2009-01-01

    Natural products have contributed to the development of many drugs for diverse indications. While most U.S. pharmaceutical companies have reduced or eliminated their in-house natural product groups, new paradigms and new enterprises have evolved to carry on a role for natural products in the pharmaceutical industry. Many of the reasons for the decline in popularity of natural products are being addressed by the development of new techniques for screening and production. This overview aims to inform pharmacologists of current strategies and techniques that make natural products a viable strategic choice for inclusion in drug discovery programs. PMID:20161632

  16. Recent advances in lactic acid production by microbial fermentation processes.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Rahman, Mohamed Ali; Tashiro, Yukihiro; Sonomoto, Kenji

    2013-11-01

    Fermentative production of optically pure lactic acid has roused interest among researchers in recent years due to its high potential for applications in a wide range of fields. More specifically, the sharp increase in manufacturing of biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) materials, green alternatives to petroleum-derived plastics, has significantly increased the global interest in lactic acid production. However, higher production costs have hindered the large-scale application of PLA because of the high price of lactic acid. Therefore, reduction of lactic acid production cost through utilization of inexpensive substrates and improvement of lactic acid production and productivity has become an important goal. Various methods have been employed for enhanced lactic acid production, including several bioprocess techniques facilitated by wild-type and/or engineered microbes. In this review, we will discuss lactic acid producers with relation to their fermentation characteristics and metabolism. Inexpensive fermentative substrates, such as dairy products, food and agro-industrial wastes, glycerol, and algal biomass alternatives to costly pure sugars and food crops are introduced. The operational modes and fermentation methods that have been recently reported to improve lactic acid production in terms of concentrations, yields, and productivities are summarized and compared. High cell density fermentation through immobilization and cell-recycling techniques are also addressed. Finally, advances in recovery processes and concluding remarks on the future outlook of lactic acid production are presented. PMID:23624242

  17. Tracing the long-term microbial production of recalcitrant fluorescent dissolved organic matter in seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jørgensen, Linda; Stedmon, Colin A.; Granskog, Mats A.; Middelboe, Mathias

    2014-04-01

    The majority of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean is resistant to microbial degradation, yet its formation remains poorly understood. The fluorescent fraction of DOM can be used to trace the formation of recalcitrant DOM (RDOM). A long-term (> 1 year) experiment revealed 27-52% removal of dissolved organic carbon and a nonlinear increase in RDOM fluorescence associated with microbial turnover of semilabile DOM. This fluorescence was also produced using glucose as the only initial carbon source, suggesting that degradation of prokaryote remnants contributes to RDOM. Our results indicate that the formation of a fluorescent RDOM component depends on the bioavailability of the substrate: the less labile, the larger the production of fluorescent RDOM relative to organic carbon remineralized. The anticipated increase in microbial carbon demand due to ocean warming can potentially force microbes to degrade less labile substrates, thereby increasing RDOM production and stimulating ocean carbon storage.

  18. Microbial electrolysis cells for high yield hydrogen gas production from organic matter.

    PubMed

    Logan, Bruce E; Call, Douglas; Cheng, Shaoan; Hamelers, Hubertus V M; Sleutels, Tom H J A; Jeremiasse, Adriaan W; Rozendal, René A

    2008-12-01

    The use of electrochemically active bacteria to break down organic matter, combined with the addition of a small voltage (> 0.2 V in practice) in specially designed microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), can result in a high yield of hydrogen gas. While microbial electrolysis was invented only a few years ago, rapid developments have led to hydrogen yields approaching 100%, energy yields based on electrical energy input many times greater than that possible by water electrolysis, and increased gas production rates. MECs used to make hydrogen gas are similar in design to microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that produce electricity, but there are important differences in architecture and analytical methods used to evaluate performance. We review here the materials, architectures, performance, and energy efficiencies of these MEC systems that show promise as a method for renewable and sustainable energy production, and wastewater treatment.

  19. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide turnover in natural and engineered microbial communities: biological pathways, chemical reactions, and novel technologies.

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Frank; Wunderlin, Pascal; Udert, Kai M; Wells, George F

    2012-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N(2)O) is an environmentally important atmospheric trace gas because it is an effective greenhouse gas and it leads to ozone depletion through photo-chemical nitric oxide (NO) production in the stratosphere. Mitigating its steady increase in atmospheric concentration requires an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to its formation in natural and engineered microbial communities. N(2)O is formed biologically from the oxidation of hydroxylamine (NH(2)OH) or the reduction of nitrite (NO(-) (2)) to NO and further to N(2)O. Our review of the biological pathways for N(2)O production shows that apparently all organisms and pathways known to be involved in the catabolic branch of microbial N-cycle have the potential to catalyze the reduction of NO(-) (2) to NO and the further reduction of NO to N(2)O, while N(2)O formation from NH(2)OH is only performed by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In addition to biological pathways, we review important chemical reactions that can lead to NO and N(2)O formation due to the reactivity of NO(-) (2), NH(2)OH, and nitroxyl (HNO). Moreover, biological N(2)O formation is highly dynamic in response to N-imbalance imposed on a system. Thus, understanding NO formation and capturing the dynamics of NO and N(2)O build-up are key to understand mechanisms of N(2)O release. Here, we discuss novel technologies that allow experiments on NO and N(2)O formation at high temporal resolution, namely NO and N(2)O microelectrodes and the dynamic analysis of the isotopic signature of N(2)O with quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS). In addition, we introduce other techniques that use the isotopic composition of N(2)O to distinguish production pathways and findings that were made with emerging molecular techniques in complex environments. Finally, we discuss how a combination of the presented tools might help to address important open questions on pathways and controls of nitrogen flow through complex microbial

  20. Nitric oxide and nitrous oxide turnover in natural and engineered microbial communities: biological pathways, chemical reactions, and novel technologies

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Frank; Wunderlin, Pascal; Udert, Kai M.; Wells, George F.

    2012-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an environmentally important atmospheric trace gas because it is an effective greenhouse gas and it leads to ozone depletion through photo-chemical nitric oxide (NO) production in the stratosphere. Mitigating its steady increase in atmospheric concentration requires an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to its formation in natural and engineered microbial communities. N2O is formed biologically from the oxidation of hydroxylamine (NH2OH) or the reduction of nitrite (NO−2) to NO and further to N2O. Our review of the biological pathways for N2O production shows that apparently all organisms and pathways known to be involved in the catabolic branch of microbial N-cycle have the potential to catalyze the reduction of NO−2 to NO and the further reduction of NO to N2O, while N2O formation from NH2OH is only performed by ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). In addition to biological pathways, we review important chemical reactions that can lead to NO and N2O formation due to the reactivity of NO−2, NH2OH, and nitroxyl (HNO). Moreover, biological N2O formation is highly dynamic in response to N-imbalance imposed on a system. Thus, understanding NO formation and capturing the dynamics of NO and N2O build-up are key to understand mechanisms of N2O release. Here, we discuss novel technologies that allow experiments on NO and N2O formation at high temporal resolution, namely NO and N2O microelectrodes and the dynamic analysis of the isotopic signature of N2O with quantum cascade laser absorption spectroscopy (QCLAS). In addition, we introduce other techniques that use the isotopic composition of N2O to distinguish production pathways and findings that were made with emerging molecular techniques in complex environments. Finally, we discuss how a combination of the presented tools might help to address important open questions on pathways and controls of nitrogen flow through complex microbial communities that eventually lead to N2O build

  1. Examining the fish microbiome: vertebrate-derived bacteria as an environmental niche for the discovery of unique marine natural products.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Laura M; Wong, Weng Ruh; Riener, Romina M; Schulze, Christopher J; Linington, Roger G

    2012-01-01

    Historically, marine invertebrates have been a prolific source of unique natural products, with a diverse array of biological activities. Recent studies of invertebrate-associated microbial communities are revealing microorganisms as the true producers of many of these compounds. Inspired by the human microbiome project, which has highlighted the human intestine as a unique microenvironment in terms of microbial diversity, we elected to examine the bacterial communities of fish intestines (which we have termed the fish microbiome) as a new source of microbial and biosynthetic diversity for natural products discovery. To test the hypothesis that the fish microbiome contains microorganisms with unique capacity for biosynthesizing natural products, we examined six species of fish through a combination of dissection and culture-dependent evaluation of intestinal microbial communities. Using isolation media designed to enrich for marine Actinobacteria, we have found three main clades that show taxonomic divergence from known strains, several of which are previously uncultured. Extracts from these strains exhibit a wide range of activities against both gram-positive and gram-negative human pathogens, as well as several fish pathogens. Exploration of one of these extracts has identified the novel bioactive lipid sebastenoic acid as an anti-microbial agent, with activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium, and Vibrio mimicus.

  2. Use of natural health products in children

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Andrea; Etchegary, Holly; Godwin, Marshall; McCrate, Farah; Crellin, John; Mathews, Maria; Law, Rebecca; Newhook, Leigh Anne; Kinden, Jody

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Objective To gain a more thorough understanding of why parents choose to give their children natural health products (NHPs), parents’ sources of information about NHPs, and the extent of disclosure and conversation with family doctors about the use of NHPs. Design Qualitative study. Setting Newfoundland and Labrador. Participants Parents of children who were using NHPs (N = 20). Methods Individual, semistructured interviews were carried out with parents to obtain a better understanding of the reasoning behind the use of NHPs. Key themes emerging from the qualitative data were identified according to a number of criteria, including relevance to the research objectives, frequency with which a theme was mentioned, relative importance of the themes based on the amount of text taken up to address an issue, and emphasis (eg, emphatic or emotional speech). Main findings The types of NHPs used by parents participating in this study varied, except for the use of multivitamins. In addition, use of the products themselves was variable and inconsistent. Parents reported few concerns about the use of NHPs. The most commonly reported source of information about NHPs was family and friends. Most participants had not spoken to their family doctors about the use of NHPs. Conclusion Participants considered NHPs to be “natural” and seemed to equate this assessment with safety. This might explain why these parents sought advice and information from family and friends rather than from their family doctors and often failed to disclose the use of NHPs to their children’s family doctors. PMID:23946044

  3. Chocolate: A Marvelous Natural Product of Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, Ginger

    2004-08-01

    Chocolate is a natural product as ubiquitous as television. Of course, it is eaten, but it is also found in air fresheners, marking pens, flavoring in a multitude of products including soda pop, and as an aroma in "chocolate-dyed" T-shirts. However, most of us are completely unaware of the complex chemical reactions that take place to produce chocolate and the necessary technology that has evolved to produce chocolate and all its byproducts. Processing results in a mixture of many components, an interesting contrast to most of the simple, one-step reactions introduced at the high school level. This article is a survey of chocolate from tree to table. After a brief introduction to the history of chocolate and how and where it is grown, the manufacturing process is examined, and the chemistry is explored. A bit of the jargon used in the industry is mentioned. Cocoa butter is a significant ingredient in chocolate, and an investigation of it introduces triglycerides, fatty acids, polymorphic behavior, and molecular packing of the fats in chocolate and how they affect the tempering process. There is a brief discussion of chocolate's non-Newtonian behavior and the resulting challenges presented in the manufacturing process. See Featured Molecules Featured on the Cover

  4. Enhanced methane production via repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of enriched microbial consortia.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiman; Guo, Rongbo; Xu, Xiaohui; Wang, Lin; Dai, Meng

    2016-09-01

    Using batch and repeated batch cultivations, this study investigated the effects of bioaugmentation with enriched microbial consortia (named as EMC) on methane production from effluents of hydrogen-producing stage of potato slurry, as well as on the indigenous bacterial community. The results demonstrated that the improved methane production and shift of the indigenous bacterial community structure were dependent on the EMC/sludge ratio and bioaugmentation patterns. The methane yield and production rate in repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC were, respectively, average 15% and 10% higher than in one-time bioaugmentation pattern of EMC. DNA-sequencing approach showed that the enhanced methane production in the repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC mainly resulted from the enriched iron-reducing bacteria and the persistence of the introduced Syntrophomonas, which led to a rapid degradation of individual VFAs to methane. The findings contributed to understanding the correlation between the bioaugmentation of microbial consortia, community shift, and methane production.

  5. Enhanced methane production via repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of enriched microbial consortia.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhiman; Guo, Rongbo; Xu, Xiaohui; Wang, Lin; Dai, Meng

    2016-09-01

    Using batch and repeated batch cultivations, this study investigated the effects of bioaugmentation with enriched microbial consortia (named as EMC) on methane production from effluents of hydrogen-producing stage of potato slurry, as well as on the indigenous bacterial community. The results demonstrated that the improved methane production and shift of the indigenous bacterial community structure were dependent on the EMC/sludge ratio and bioaugmentation patterns. The methane yield and production rate in repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC were, respectively, average 15% and 10% higher than in one-time bioaugmentation pattern of EMC. DNA-sequencing approach showed that the enhanced methane production in the repeated batch bioaugmentation pattern of EMC mainly resulted from the enriched iron-reducing bacteria and the persistence of the introduced Syntrophomonas, which led to a rapid degradation of individual VFAs to methane. The findings contributed to understanding the correlation between the bioaugmentation of microbial consortia, community shift, and methane production. PMID:27262722

  6. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Clostridium perfringens in Natural and Processed Cheeses

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Heeyoung; Lee, Soomin; Kim, Sejeong; Lee, Jeeyeon; Ha, Jimyeong; Yoon, Yohan

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the risk of Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) foodborne illness from natural and processed cheeses. Microbial risk assessment in this study was conducted according to four steps: hazard identification, hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization. The hazard identification of C. perfringens on cheese was identified through literature, and dose response models were utilized for hazard characterization of the pathogen. For exposure assessment, the prevalence of C. perfringens, storage temperatures, storage time, and annual amounts of cheese consumption were surveyed. Eventually, a simulation model was developed using the collected data and the simulation result was used to estimate the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption with @RISK. C. perfringens was determined to be low risk on cheese based on hazard identification, and the exponential model (r = 1.82×10−11) was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Annual amounts of natural and processed cheese consumption were 12.40±19.43 g and 19.46±14.39 g, respectively. Since the contamination levels of C. perfringens on natural (0.30 Log CFU/g) and processed cheeses (0.45 Log CFU/g) were below the detection limit, the initial contamination levels of natural and processed cheeses were estimated by beta distribution (α1 = 1, α2 = 91; α1 = 1, α2 = 309)×uniform distribution (a = 0, b = 2; a = 0, b = 2.8) to be −2.35 and −2.73 Log CFU/g, respectively. Moreover, no growth of C. perfringens was observed for exposure assessment to simulated conditions of distribution and storage. These data were used for risk characterization by a simulation model, and the mean values of the probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness by cheese consumption per person per day for natural and processed cheeses were 9.57×10−14 and 3.58×10−14, respectively. These results indicate that probability of C. perfringens foodborne illness

  7. 7 CFR 3201.105 - Microbial cleaning products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... use microscopic organisms to treat or eliminate waste materials within drains, plumbing fixtures, sewage systems, wastewater treatment systems, or on a variety of other surfaces. These products...

  8. Isolation by ion-exchange methods. In Sarker S.D. (ed) Natural Products Isolation, 3rd edition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The primary goal of many natural products chemists is to extract, isolate, and characterize specific analytes from complex plant, animal, microbial, and food matrices. To achieve this goal, they rely considerably on highly sophisticated and highly hyphenated modern instrumentation. Yet, the vast maj...

  9. Microbial lipid production from pretreated and hydrolyzed corn fiber.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yanna; Perez, Ivan; Goetzelmann, Kyle; Trupia, Sabrina

    2014-01-01

    With its high content of carbohydrates and low percentage of lignin, corn fiber represents a renewable feedstock that can be processed to produce biofuels. Through a combination of pretreatment by lime and enzymatic hydrolysis, total reducing sugars of 700 mg/g corn fiber were released. This amount is equivalent to 92.7% of theoretically available sugars in corn fiber. The resulting hydrolysate itself did not support any growth of Cryptococcus curvatus. But with addition of minerals, C. curvatus grew to a cell density of 6.6 g/L in 6 days. Using the adapted cells, rapid sugar consumption and cell growth were observed. This study demonstrated that it is feasible to produce microbial lipids from corn fiber through pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentation. In addition, C. curvatus is an excellent candidate for this application since it can utilize all major sugars, glucose, xylose, and arabinose with yield of cells and lipids as 0.55 and 0.27 g/g sugars, respectively.

  10. Submersible microbial fuel cell for electricity production from sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifeng; Olias, Lola Gonzalez; Kongjan, Prawit; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was utilized to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously generate electricity. Stable power generation (145 +/- 5 mW/m2, 470 omega) was produced continuously from raw sewage sludge for 5.5 days. The maximum power density reached 190 +/- 5 mW/m2. The corresponding total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal efficiency was 78.1 +/- 0.2% with initial TCOD of 49.7 g/L. The power generation of SMFC was depended on the sludge concentration, while dilution of the raw sludge resulted in higher power density. The maximum power density was saturated at sludge concentration of 17 g-TCOD/L, where 290 mw/m2 was achieved. When effluents from an anaerobic digester that was fed with raw sludge were used as substrate in the SMFC, a maximum power density of 318 mW/m2, and a final TCOD removal of 71.9 +/- 0.2% were achieved. These results have practical implications for development of an effective system to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously recover energy.

  11. Submersible microbial fuel cell for electricity production from sewage sludge.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yifeng; Olias, Lola Gonzalez; Kongjan, Prawit; Angelidaki, Irini

    2011-01-01

    A submersible microbial fuel cell (SMFC) was utilized to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously generate electricity. Stable power generation (145 +/- 5 mW/m2, 470 omega) was produced continuously from raw sewage sludge for 5.5 days. The maximum power density reached 190 +/- 5 mW/m2. The corresponding total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal efficiency was 78.1 +/- 0.2% with initial TCOD of 49.7 g/L. The power generation of SMFC was depended on the sludge concentration, while dilution of the raw sludge resulted in higher power density. The maximum power density was saturated at sludge concentration of 17 g-TCOD/L, where 290 mw/m2 was achieved. When effluents from an anaerobic digester that was fed with raw sludge were used as substrate in the SMFC, a maximum power density of 318 mW/m2, and a final TCOD removal of 71.9 +/- 0.2% were achieved. These results have practical implications for development of an effective system to treat sewage sludge and simultaneously recover energy. PMID:22053457

  12. Impacts of Strobilurin Fungicides on Yield and Soil Microbial Processes for Minnesota Strawberry Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article will describe the preliminary results of the ongoing research into the impacts of strobilurin fungicides both on yield as well as soil microbial processes for strawberry production in Minnesota. The research is being conducted with an on-farm collaborator. This article will present the ...

  13. Biohydrogen Production from Cheese Processing Wastewater by Anaerobic Fermentation Using Mixed Microbial Communities

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrogen (H2) production from simulated cheese processing wastewater via anaerobic fermentation was conducted using mixed microbial communities under mesophilic conditions. In batch H2 fermentation experiments H2 yields of 8 and 10 mM/g-COD fed were achieved at food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios of ...

  14. Exploring anti-TB leads from natural products library originated from marine microbes and medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xueting; Chen, Caixia; He, Wenni; Huang, Pei; Liu, Miaomiao; Wang, Qian; Guo, Hui; Bolla, Krishna; Lu, Yan; Song, Fuhang; Dai, Huanqin; Liu, Mei; Zhang, Lixin

    2012-10-01

    Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and TB-HIV co-infection have become a great threat to global health. However, the last truly novel drug that was approved for the treatment of TB was discovered 40 years ago. The search for new effective drugs against TB has never been more intensive. Natural products derived from microbes and medicinal plants have been an important source of TB therapeutics. Recent advances have been made to accelerate the discovery rate of novel TB drugs including diversifying strategies for environmental strains, high-throughput screening (HTS) assays, and chemical diversity. This review will discuss the challenges of finding novel natural products with anti-TB activity from marine microbes and plant medicines, including biodiversity- and taxonomy-guided microbial natural products library construction, target- and cell-based HTS, and bioassay-directed isolation of anti-TB substances from traditional medicines.

  15. Anoxic Biodegradation of Isosaccharinic Acids at Alkaline pH by Natural Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Rout, Simon P.; Charles, Christopher J.; Doulgeris, Charalampos; McCarthy, Alan J.; Rooks, Dave J.; Loughnane, J. Paul; Laws, Andrew P.; Humphreys, Paul N.

    2015-01-01

    One design concept for the long-term management of the UK’s intermediate level radioactive wastes (ILW) is disposal to a cementitious geological disposal facility (GDF). Under the alkaline (10.013.0) anoxic conditions expected within a GDF, cellulosic wastes will undergo chemical hydrolysis. The resulting cellulose degradation products (CDP) are dominated by α- and β-isosaccharinic acids (ISA), which present an organic carbon source that may enable subsequent microbial colonisation of a GDF. Microcosms established from neutral, near-surface sediments demonstrated complete ISA degradation under methanogenic conditions up to pH 10.0. Degradation decreased as pH increased, with β-ISA fermentation more heavily influenced than α-ISA. This reduction in degradation rate was accompanied by a shift in microbial population away from organisms related to Clostridium sporosphaeroides to a more diverse Clostridial community. The increase in pH to 10.0 saw an increase in detection of Alcaligenes aquatilis and a dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens within the Archaeal population. Methane was generated up to pH 10.0 with acetate accumulation at higher pH values reflecting a reduced detection of acetoclastic methanogens. An increase in pH to 11.0 resulted in the accumulation of ISA, the absence of methanogenesis and the loss of biomass from the system. This study is the first to demonstrate methanogenesis from ISA by near surface microbial communities not previously exposed to these compounds up to and including pH 10.0. PMID:26367005

  16. Anoxic Biodegradation of Isosaccharinic Acids at Alkaline pH by Natural Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Rout, Simon P; Charles, Christopher J; Doulgeris, Charalampos; McCarthy, Alan J; Rooks, Dave J; Loughnane, J Paul; Laws, Andrew P; Humphreys, Paul N

    2015-01-01

    One design concept for the long-term management of the UK's intermediate level radioactive wastes (ILW) is disposal to a cementitious geological disposal facility (GDF). Under the alkaline (10.013.0) anoxic conditions expected within a GDF, cellulosic wastes will undergo chemical hydrolysis. The resulting cellulose degradation products (CDP) are dominated by α- and β-isosaccharinic acids (ISA), which present an organic carbon source that may enable subsequent microbial colonisation of a GDF. Microcosms established from neutral, near-surface sediments demonstrated complete ISA degradation under methanogenic conditions up to pH 10.0. Degradation decreased as pH increased, with β-ISA fermentation more heavily influenced than α-ISA. This reduction in degradation rate was accompanied by a shift in microbial population away from organisms related to Clostridium sporosphaeroides to a more diverse Clostridial community. The increase in pH to 10.0 saw an increase in detection of Alcaligenes aquatilis and a dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens within the Archaeal population. Methane was generated up to pH 10.0 with acetate accumulation at higher pH values reflecting a reduced detection of acetoclastic methanogens. An increase in pH to 11.0 resulted in the accumulation of ISA, the absence of methanogenesis and the loss of biomass from the system. This study is the first to demonstrate methanogenesis from ISA by near surface microbial communities not previously exposed to these compounds up to and including pH 10.0. PMID:26367005

  17. Use of natural health products in children

    PubMed Central

    Godwin, Marshall; Crellin, John; Mathews, Maria; Chowdhury, Nurun L.; Newhook, Leigh Anne; Pike, Andrea; McCrate, Farah; Law, Rebecca

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Objective To determine how common it is for parents to give natural health products (NHPs) to their children, which NHPs are being used, why they