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Microorganisms, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 204 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Microorganisms require iron to grow, develop, and produce metabolites. Genomic analyses of the aflatoxin-producing species Aspergillus flavus revealed both putative reductive and siderophore-mediated iron uptake and utilization pathways. Multiple indels that disable genes in the iron uptake cluster were detected, and in each case, conservation of indels suggests these mutations are fixed in clonal lineages. Climate change is expected to reduce iron concentrations in crop tissues, and this may cause differential abilities to utilize iron to impact competitiveness of aflatoxin producers during crop infection and, as a result, effectiveness of various atoxigenic A. flavus biocontrol genotypes. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Plasmid-Based Inducible and Constitutive Gene Expression in Corynebacterium glutamicum
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 204; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010204 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Corynebacterium glutamicum has been safely used in white biotechnology for the last 60 years and the portfolio of new pathways and products is increasing rapidly. Hence, expression vectors play a central role in discovering endogenous gene functions and in establishing heterologous gene expression. [...] Read more.
Corynebacterium glutamicum has been safely used in white biotechnology for the last 60 years and the portfolio of new pathways and products is increasing rapidly. Hence, expression vectors play a central role in discovering endogenous gene functions and in establishing heterologous gene expression. In this work, new expression vectors were designed based on two strategies: (i) a library screening of constitutive native and synthetic promoters and (ii) an increase of the plasmid copy number. Both strategies were combined and resulted in a very strong expression and overproduction of the fluorescence protein GfpUV. As a second test case, the improved vector for constitutive expression was used to overexpress the endogenous xylulokinase gene xylB in a synthetic operon with xylose isomerase gene xylA from Xanthomonas campestris. The xylose isomerase activity in crude extracts was increased by about three-fold as compared to that of the parental vector. In terms of application, the improved vector for constitutive xylA and xylB expression was used for production of the N-methylated amino acid sarcosine from monomethylamine, acetate, and xylose. As a consequence, the volumetric productivity of sarcosine production was 50% higher as compared to that of the strain carrying the parental vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Physiology of Corynebacteria)
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Bacteria Isolates and Antimicrobial Resistance in Wildlife in Sicily, Southern Italy
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 203; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010203 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Wild environments and wildlife can be reservoirs of pathogens and antibiotic resistance. Various studies have reported the presence of zoonotic bacteria, resistant strains, and genetic elements that determine antibiotic resistance in wild animals, especially near urban centers or agricultural and zootechnical activities. The [...] Read more.
Wild environments and wildlife can be reservoirs of pathogens and antibiotic resistance. Various studies have reported the presence of zoonotic bacteria, resistant strains, and genetic elements that determine antibiotic resistance in wild animals, especially near urban centers or agricultural and zootechnical activities. The purpose of this study was the analysis, by cultural and molecular methods, of bacteria isolated from wild animals in Sicily, Italy, regarding their susceptibility profile to antibiotics and the presence of antibiotic resistance genes. Bacteriological analyses were conducted on 368 wild animals, leading to the isolation of 222 bacterial strains identified by biochemical tests and 16S rRNA sequencing. The most isolated species was Escherichia coli, followed by Clostridium perfringens and Citrobacter freundii. Antibiograms and the determination of resistance genes showed a reduced spread of bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance among wild animals in Sicily. However, since several wild animals are becoming increasingly close to residential areas, it is important to monitor their health status and to perform microbiological analyses following a One Health approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wildlife Microbiology 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Antibiotics Associated with the Development of Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis on Early and Late-Onset Infectious Complications
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 202; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010202 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare disease, which predominantly manifests as damage to the skin and mucosa. Antibiotics count among the most common triggers of this hypersensitive reaction. Patients with TEN are highly susceptible to infectious complications due to the loss of [...] Read more.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) is a rare disease, which predominantly manifests as damage to the skin and mucosa. Antibiotics count among the most common triggers of this hypersensitive reaction. Patients with TEN are highly susceptible to infectious complications due to the loss of protective barriers and immunosuppressant therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential relationship between antibiotics used before the development of TEN and early and late-onset infectious complications in TEN patients. In this European multicentric retrospective study (Central European Lyell syndrome: therapeutic evaluation (CELESTE)), records showed that 18 patients with TEN used antibiotics (mostly aminopenicillins) before the disease development (group 1), while in 21 patients, TEN was triggered by another factor (group 2). The incidence of late-onset infectious complications (5 or more days after the transfer to the hospital) caused by Gram-positive bacteria (especially by Enterococcus faecalis/faecium) was significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 (82.4% vs. 35.0%, p = 0.007/pcorr = 0.014) while no statistically significant difference was observed between groups of patients with infection caused by Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous fungi (p > 0.05). Patients with post-antibiotic development of TEN are critically predisposed to late-onset infectious complications caused by Gram-positive bacteria, which may result from the dissemination of these bacteria from the primary focus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Microbiology)
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Open AccessReview
Corynebacterium glutamicum Mechanosensing: From Osmoregulation to L-Glutamate Secretion for the Avian Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 201; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010201 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 428
Abstract
After the discovery of Corynebacterium glutamicum from avian feces-contaminated soil, its enigmatic L-glutamate secretion by corynebacterial MscCG-type mechanosensitive channels has been utilized for industrial monosodium glutamate production. Bacterial mechanosensitive channels are activated directly by increased membrane tension upon hypoosmotic downshock; thus; the physiological [...] Read more.
After the discovery of Corynebacterium glutamicum from avian feces-contaminated soil, its enigmatic L-glutamate secretion by corynebacterial MscCG-type mechanosensitive channels has been utilized for industrial monosodium glutamate production. Bacterial mechanosensitive channels are activated directly by increased membrane tension upon hypoosmotic downshock; thus; the physiological significance of the corynebacterial L-glutamate secretion has been considered as adjusting turgor pressure by releasing cytoplasmic solutes. In this review, we present information that corynebacterial mechanosensitive channels have been evolutionally specialized as carriers to secrete L-glutamate into the surrounding environment in their habitats rather than osmotic safety valves. The lipid modulation activation of MscCG channels in L-glutamate production can be explained by the “Force-From-Lipids” and “Force-From-Tethers” mechanosensing paradigms and differs significantly from mechanical activation upon hypoosmotic shock. The review also provides information on the search for evidence that C. glutamicum was originally a gut bacterium in the avian host with the aim of understanding the physiological roles of corynebacterial mechanosensing. C. glutamicum is able to secrete L-glutamate by mechanosensitive channels in the gut microbiota and help the host brain function via the microbiota–gut–brain axis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Physiology of Corynebacteria)
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Open AccessArticle
Production Optimization, Structural Analysis, and Prebiotic- and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Gluco-Oligosaccharides Produced by Leuconostoc lactis SBC001
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 200; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010200 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 419
Abstract
Leuconostoc lactis SBC001, isolated from chive, produces glucansucrase and synthesizes oligosaccharides through its enzymatic activity. This study was conducted to optimize oligosaccharide production using response surface methodology, analyze the structure of purified oligosaccharides, and investigate the prebiotic effect on 24 bacterial and yeast [...] Read more.
Leuconostoc lactis SBC001, isolated from chive, produces glucansucrase and synthesizes oligosaccharides through its enzymatic activity. This study was conducted to optimize oligosaccharide production using response surface methodology, analyze the structure of purified oligosaccharides, and investigate the prebiotic effect on 24 bacterial and yeast strains and the anti-inflammatory activity using RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. The optimal conditions for oligosaccharide production were a culture temperature of 30 °C and sucrose and maltose concentrations of 9.6% and 7.4%, respectively. Based on 1H-NMR spectroscopic study, the oligosaccharides were identified as gluco-oligosaccharides that consisted of 23.63% α-1,4 glycosidic linkages and 76.37% α-1,6 glycosidic linkages with an average molecular weight of 1137 Da. The oligosaccharides promoted the growth of bacterial and yeast strains, including Lactobacillus plantarum, L. paracasei, L. johnsonii, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, L. rhamnosus, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. When lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells were treated with the oligosaccharides, the production of nitric oxide was decreased; the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 was suppressed; and the nuclear factor-kappa B signaling pathway was inhibited. In conclusion, the gluco-oligosaccharides obtained from Leu. lactis SBC001 exhibited a prebiotic effect on six bacterial and yeast strains and anti-inflammatory activity in RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Fecal Microbiota Transplant from Human to Mice Gives Insights into the Role of the Gut Microbiota in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 199; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010199 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 989
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) are associated with changes in the composition and metabolic activities of the gut microbiota. However, the causal role played by the gut microbiota in individual susceptibility to NAFLD and particularly at its early stage is still unclear. In [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD) are associated with changes in the composition and metabolic activities of the gut microbiota. However, the causal role played by the gut microbiota in individual susceptibility to NAFLD and particularly at its early stage is still unclear. In this context, we transplanted the microbiota from a patient with fatty liver (NAFL) and from a healthy individual to two groups of mice. We first showed that the microbiota composition in recipient mice resembled the microbiota composition of their respective human donor. Following administration of a high-fructose, high-fat diet, mice that received the human NAFL microbiota (NAFLR) gained more weight and had a higher liver triglycerides level and higher plasma LDL cholesterol than mice that received the human healthy microbiota (HR). Metabolomic analyses revealed that it was associated with lower and higher plasma levels of glycine and 3-Indolepropionic acid in NAFLR mice, respectively. Moreover, several bacterial genera and OTUs were identified as differently represented in the NAFLR and HR microbiota and therefore potentially responsible for the different phenotypes observed. Altogether, our results confirm that the gut bacteria play a role in obesity and steatosis development and that targeting the gut microbiota may be a preventive or therapeutic strategy in NAFLD management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Human Gut Microbiome, Diets and Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
Effects of Radiation Intensity, Mineral Matrix, and Pre-Irradiation on the Bacterial Resistance to Gamma Irradiation under Low Temperature Conditions
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 198; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010198 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Ionizing radiation is one of the main factors limiting the survival of microorganisms in extraterrestrial conditions. The survivability of microorganisms under irradiation depends significantly on the conditions, in which the irradiation occurs. In particular, temperature, pressure, oxygen and water concentrations are of great [...] Read more.
Ionizing radiation is one of the main factors limiting the survival of microorganisms in extraterrestrial conditions. The survivability of microorganisms under irradiation depends significantly on the conditions, in which the irradiation occurs. In particular, temperature, pressure, oxygen and water concentrations are of great influence. However, the influence of factors such as the radiation intensity (in low-temperature conditions) and the type of mineral matrix, in which microorganisms are located, has been practically unstudied. It has been shown that the radioresistance of bacteria can increase after their exposure to sublethal doses and subsequent repair of damage under favorable conditions, however, such studies are also few and the influence of other factors of extraterrestrial space (temperature, pressure) was not studied in them. The viability of bacteria Arthrobacter polychromogenes, Kocuria rosea and Xanthomonas sp. after irradiation with gamma radiation at a dose of 1 kGy under conditions of low pressure (1 Torr) and low temperature (−50 °C) at different radiation intensities (4 vs. 0.8 kGy/h) with immobilization of bacteria on various mineral matrices (montmorillonite vs. analogue of lunar dust) has been studied. Native, previously non-irradiated strains, and strains that were previously irradiated with gamma radiation and subjected to 10 passages of cultivation on solid media were irradiated. The number of survived cells was determined by culturing on a solid medium. It has been shown that the radioresistance of bacteria depends significantly on the type of mineral matrix, on which they are immobilized, wherein montmorillonite contributes to an increased survivability in comparison with a silicate matrix. Survivability of the studied bacteria was found to increase with decreasing radiation intensity, despite the impossibility of active reparation processes under experimental conditions. Considering the low intensity of radiation on various space objects in comparison with radiobiological experiments, this suggests a longer preservation of the viable microorganisms outside the Earth than is commonly believed. An increase in bacterial radioresistance was revealed even after one cycle of irradiation of the strains and their subsequent cultivation under favourable conditions. This indicates the possibility of hypothetical microorganisms on Mars increasing their radioresistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
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Open AccessReview
Fungal Endophytes as Efficient Sources of Plant-Derived Bioactive Compounds and Their Prospective Applications in Natural Product Drug Discovery: Insights, Avenues, and Challenges
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 197; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010197 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Fungal endophytes are well-established sources of biologically active natural compounds with many producing pharmacologically valuable specific plant-derived products. This review details typical plant-derived medicinal compounds of several classes, including alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, glycosides, lignans, phenylpropanoids, quinones, saponins, terpenoids, and xanthones that are produced [...] Read more.
Fungal endophytes are well-established sources of biologically active natural compounds with many producing pharmacologically valuable specific plant-derived products. This review details typical plant-derived medicinal compounds of several classes, including alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, glycosides, lignans, phenylpropanoids, quinones, saponins, terpenoids, and xanthones that are produced by endophytic fungi. This review covers the studies carried out since the first report of taxol biosynthesis by endophytic Taxomyces andreanae in 1993 up to mid-2020. The article also highlights the prospects of endophyte-dependent biosynthesis of such plant-derived pharmacologically active compounds and the bottlenecks in the commercialization of this novel approach in the area of drug discovery. After recent updates in the field of ‘omics’ and ‘one strain many compounds’ (OSMAC) approach, fungal endophytes have emerged as strong unconventional source of such prized products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Microbe Interactions)
Open AccessCommunication
The Stable Matching Problem in TBEV Enzootic Circulation: How Important Is the Perfect Tick-Virus Match?
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 196; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010196 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), like other arthropod-transmitted viruses, depends on specific vectors to complete its enzootic cycle. It has been long known that Ixodes ricinus ticks constitute the main vector for TBEV in Europe. In contrast to the wide distribution of the TBEV [...] Read more.
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), like other arthropod-transmitted viruses, depends on specific vectors to complete its enzootic cycle. It has been long known that Ixodes ricinus ticks constitute the main vector for TBEV in Europe. In contrast to the wide distribution of the TBEV vector, the occurrence of TBEV transmission is focal and often restricted to a small parcel of land, whereas surrounding areas with seemingly similar habitat parameters are free of TBEV. Thus, the question arises which factors shape this focal distribution of TBEV in the natural habitat. To shed light on factors driving TBEV-focus formation, we used tick populations from two TBEV-foci in Lower Saxony and two TBEV-foci from Bavaria with their respective virus isolates as a showcase to analyze the impact of specific virus isolate-tick population relationships. Using artificial blood feeding and field-collected nymphal ticks as experimental means, our investigation showed that the probability of getting infected with the synonymous TBEV isolate as compared to the nonsynonymous TBEV isolate was elevated but significantly higher only in one of the four TBEV foci. More obviously, median viral RNA copy numbers were significantly higher in the synonymous virus–tick population pairings. These findings may present a hint for a coevolutionary adaptation of virus and tick populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tick-Borne Encephalitis)
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Open AccessCommunication
Genomic Features of MCR-1 and Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing Enterobacterales from Retail Raw Chicken in Egypt
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010195 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 457
Abstract
Colistin is considered as a last resort agent for treatment of severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Recently, plasmid-mediated colistin resistance genes (mcr type) have been reported, mainly corresponding to mcr-1 producers. Those mcr-1-positive Enterobacterales have been identified not only [...] Read more.
Colistin is considered as a last resort agent for treatment of severe infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE). Recently, plasmid-mediated colistin resistance genes (mcr type) have been reported, mainly corresponding to mcr-1 producers. Those mcr-1-positive Enterobacterales have been identified not only from human isolates, but also from food samples, from animal specimens and from environmental samples in various parts of the world. Our study focused on the occurrence and characterization of mcr-1-positive Enterobacterales recovered from retail raw chicken in Egypt. From the 345 retail chicken carcasses collected, a total of 20 samples allowed to recover mcr-1-positive isolates (Escherichia coli, n = 19; Citrobacter freundii, n = 1). No mcr-2- to mcr-10-positive isolate was identified from those samples. The colistin resistance trait was confirmed for all those 20 isolates with a positivity of the Rapid Polymyxin NP (Nordmann-Poirel) test. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of colistin for all MCR-1-producing isolates ranged between 4 and 16 μg/mL. Noticeably, 9 out of the 20 mcr-1-positive isolates produced an extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), respectively producing CTX-M-9 (n = 2), CTX-M-14 (n = 4), CTX-M-15 (n = 2), and SHV-12 (n = 1). Noteworthy, the fosA4 gene encoding resistance to fosfomycin was found in a single mcr-1-positive E. coli isolate, in which both genes were located on different conjugative plasmids. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns were identified, corresponding to 10 different sequence types (STs), highlighting the genetic diversity of those different E. coli. Whole-genome sequencing revealed three major types of mcr-1-bearing plasmids, corresponding to IncI2, IncX4, and IncHI2 scaffolds. The occurrence of MCR-1-producing multidrug-resistant Enterobacterales in retail raw chicken is of great concern, considering the possibility of transmission to humans through the food chain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Production Chain )
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Open AccessReview
Detection and Potential Virulence of Viable but Non-Culturable (VBNC) Listeria monocytogenes: A Review
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010194 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
The detection, enumeration, and virulence potential of viable but non-culturable (VBNC) pathogens continues to be a topic of discussion. While there is a lack of definitive evidence that VBNC Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) pose a public health risk, recent studies suggest that Lm in [...] Read more.
The detection, enumeration, and virulence potential of viable but non-culturable (VBNC) pathogens continues to be a topic of discussion. While there is a lack of definitive evidence that VBNC Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) pose a public health risk, recent studies suggest that Lm in its VBNC state remains virulent. VBNC bacteria cannot be enumerated by traditional plating methods, so the results from routine Lm testing may not demonstrate a sample’s true hazard to public health. We suggest that supplementing routine Lm testing methods with methods designed to enumerate VBNC cells may more accurately represent the true level of risk. This review summarizes five methods for enumerating VNBC Lm: Live/Dead BacLightTM staining, ethidium monoazide and propidium monoazide-stained real-time polymerase chain reaction (EMA- and PMA-PCR), direct viable count (DVC), 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride-4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (CTC-DAPI) double staining, and carboxy-fluorescein diacetate (CDFA) staining. Of these five supplementary methods, the Live/Dead BacLightTM staining and CFDA-DVC staining currently appear to be the most accurate for VBNC Lm enumeration. In addition, the impact of the VBNC state on the virulence of Lm is reviewed. Widespread use of these supplemental methods would provide supporting data to identify the conditions under which Lm can revert from its VBNC state into an actively multiplying state and help identify the environmental triggers that can cause Lm to become virulent. Highlights: Rationale for testing for all viable Listeria (Lm) is presented. Routine environmental sampling and plating methods may miss viable Lm cells. An overview and comparison of available VBNC testing methods is given. There is a need for resuscitation techniques to recover Lm from VBNC. A review of testing results for post VBNC virulence is compared Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Listeria monocytogenes)
Open AccessArticle
The Role of Polyphosphate in Motility, Adhesion, and Biofilm Formation in Sulfolobales
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010193 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 458
Abstract
Polyphosphates (polyP) are polymers of orthophosphate residues linked by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds that are important in all domains of life and function in many different processes, including biofilm development. To study the effect of polyP in archaeal biofilm formation, our previously described Sa. [...] Read more.
Polyphosphates (polyP) are polymers of orthophosphate residues linked by high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds that are important in all domains of life and function in many different processes, including biofilm development. To study the effect of polyP in archaeal biofilm formation, our previously described Sa. solfataricus polyP (−) strain and a new polyP (−) S. acidocaldarius strain generated in this report were used. These two strains lack the polymer due to the overexpression of their respective exopolyphosphatase gene (ppx). Both strains showed a reduction in biofilm formation, decreased motility on semi-solid plates and a diminished adherence to glass surfaces as seen by DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole) staining using fluorescence microscopy. Even though arlB (encoding the archaellum subunit) was highly upregulated in S. acidocardarius polyP (−), no archaellated cells were observed. These results suggest that polyP might be involved in the regulation of the expression of archaellum components and their assembly, possibly by affecting energy availability, phosphorylation or other phenomena. This is the first evidence indicating polyP affects biofilm formation and other related processes in archaea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of an Acidic Amino Acid Permease Involved in d-Aspartate Uptake in the Yeast Cryptococcus humicola
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 192; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010192 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
d-aspartate oxidase (DDO) catalyzes the oxidative deamination of acidic d-amino acids, and its production is induced by d-Asp in several eukaryotes. The yeast Cryptococcus humicola strain UJ1 produces large amounts of DDO (ChDDO) only in the presence of d-Asp. [...] Read more.
d-aspartate oxidase (DDO) catalyzes the oxidative deamination of acidic d-amino acids, and its production is induced by d-Asp in several eukaryotes. The yeast Cryptococcus humicola strain UJ1 produces large amounts of DDO (ChDDO) only in the presence of d-Asp. In this study, we analyzed the relationship between d-Asp uptake by an amino acid permease (Aap) and the inducible expression of ChDDO. We identified two acidic Aap homologs, named “ChAap4 and ChAap5,” in the yeast genome sequence. ChAAP4 deletion resulted in partial growth defects on d-Asp as well as l-Asp, l-Glu, and l-Phe at pH 7, whereas ChAAP5 deletion caused partial growth defects on l-Phe and l-Lys, suggesting that ChAap4 might participate in d-Asp uptake as an acidic Aap. Interestingly, the growth of the Chaap4 strain on d- or l-Asp was completely abolished at pH 10, suggesting that ChAap4 is the only Aap responsible for d- and l-Asp uptake under high alkaline conditions. In addition, ChAAP4 deletion significantly decreased the induction of DDO activity and ChDDO transcription in the presence of d-Asp. This study revealed that d-Asp uptake by ChAap4 might be involved in the induction of ChDDO expression by d-Asp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Core and Accessory Genome Analysis of Vibrio mimicus
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 191; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010191 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Vibrio mimicus is an emerging pathogen, mainly associated with contaminated seafood consumption. However, little is known about its evolution, biodiversity, and pathogenic potential. This study analyzes the pan-, core, and accessory genomes of nine V. mimicus strains. The core genome yielded 2424 genes [...] Read more.
Vibrio mimicus is an emerging pathogen, mainly associated with contaminated seafood consumption. However, little is known about its evolution, biodiversity, and pathogenic potential. This study analyzes the pan-, core, and accessory genomes of nine V. mimicus strains. The core genome yielded 2424 genes in chromosome I (ChI) and 822 genes in chromosome II (ChII), with an accessory genome comprising an average of 10.9% of the whole genome for ChI and 29% for ChII. Core genome phylogenetic trees were obtained, and V. mimicus ATCC-33654 strain was the closest to the outgroup in both chromosomes. Additionally, a phylogenetic study of eight conserved genes (ftsZ, gapA, gyrB, topA, rpoA, recA, mreB, and pyrH), including Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parilis, Vibrio metoecus, and Vibrio caribbenthicus, clearly showed clade differentiation. The main virulence genes found in ChI corresponded with type I secretion proteins, extracellular components, flagellar proteins, and potential regulators, while, in ChII, the main categories were type-I secretion proteins, chemotaxis proteins, and antibiotic resistance proteins. The accessory genome was characterized by the presence of mobile elements and toxin encoding genes in both chromosomes. Based on the genome atlas, it was possible to characterize differential regions between strains. The pan-genome of V. mimicus encompassed 3539 genes for ChI and 2355 genes for ChII. These results give us an insight into the virulence and gene content of V. mimicus, as well as constitute the first approach to its diversity. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interactions between Anaerobic Fungi and Methanogens in the Rumen and Their Biotechnological Potential in Biogas Production from Lignocellulosic Materials
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 190; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010190 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Anaerobic fungi in the digestive tract of herbivores are one of the critical types of fiber-degrading microorganisms present in the rumen. They degrade lignocellulosic materials using unique rhizoid structures and a diverse range of fiber-degrading enzymes, producing metabolic products such as H2 [...] Read more.
Anaerobic fungi in the digestive tract of herbivores are one of the critical types of fiber-degrading microorganisms present in the rumen. They degrade lignocellulosic materials using unique rhizoid structures and a diverse range of fiber-degrading enzymes, producing metabolic products such as H2/CO2, formate, lactate, acetate, and ethanol. Methanogens in the rumen utilize some of these products (e.g., H2 and formate) to produce methane. An investigation of the interactions between anaerobic fungi and methanogens is helpful as it provides valuable insight into the microbial interactions within the rumen. During the last few decades, research has demonstrated that anaerobic fungi stimulate the growth of methanogens and maintain methanogenic diversity. Meanwhile, methanogens increase the fiber-degrading capability of anaerobic fungi and stimulate metabolic pathways in the fungal hydrogenosome. The ability of co-cultures of anaerobic fungi and methanogens to degrade fiber and produce methane could potentially be a valuable method for the degradation of lignocellulosic materials and methane production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Anaerobic Fungi)
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Open AccessArticle
Microbiome Signatures in a Fast- and Slow-Progressing Gastric Cancer Murine Model and Their Contribution to Gastric Carcinogenesis
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 189; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010189 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 423
Abstract
Gastric cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in the world and infection with Helicobacterpylori (H. pylori) is the main cause of gastric cancer. In addition to Helicobacter infection, the overall stomach microbiota has recently emerged [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in the world and infection with Helicobacterpylori (H. pylori) is the main cause of gastric cancer. In addition to Helicobacter infection, the overall stomach microbiota has recently emerged as a potential factor in gastric cancer progression. Previously we had established that mice deficient in myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88, Myd88−/−) rapidly progressed to neoplasia when infected with H. felis. Thus, in order to assess the role of the microbiota in this fast-progressing gastric cancer model we investigated changes of the gastric microbiome in mice with different genotypic backgrounds: wild type (WT), MyD88-deficient (Myd88−/−), mice deficient in the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β (TRIF, TrifLps2), and MyD88- and TRIF-deficient (Myd88−/−/TrifLps2, double knockout (DKO)) mice. We compared changes in alpha diversity, beta diversity, relative abundance, and log-fold differential of relative abundance ratios in uninfected and Helicobacter infected mice and studied their correlations with disease progression to gastric cancer in situ. We observed an overall reduction in microbial diversity post-infection with H. felis across all genotypes. Campylobacterales were observed in all infected mice, with marked reduction in abundance at 3 and 6 months in Myd88−/− mice. A sharp increase in Lactobacillales in infected Myd88−/− and DKO mice at 3 and 6 months was observed as compared to TrifLps2 and WT mice, hinting at a possible role of these bacteria in gastric cancer progression. This was further reinforced upon comparison of Lactobacillales log-fold differentials with histological data, indicating that Lactobacillales are closely associated with Helicobacter infection and gastric cancer progression. Our study suggests that differences in genotypes could influence the stomach microbiome and make it more susceptible to the development of gastric cancer upon Helicobacter infection. Additionally, increase in Lactobacillales could contribute to faster development of gastric cancer and might serve as a potential biomarker for the fast progressing form of gastric cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessReview
Metagenomics Approaches for the Detection and Surveillance of Emerging and Recurrent Plant Pathogens
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 188; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010188 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Globalization has a dramatic effect on the trade and movement of seeds, fruits and vegetables, with a corresponding increase in economic losses caused by the introduction of transboundary plant pathogens. Current diagnostic techniques provide a useful and precise tool to enact surveillance protocols [...] Read more.
Globalization has a dramatic effect on the trade and movement of seeds, fruits and vegetables, with a corresponding increase in economic losses caused by the introduction of transboundary plant pathogens. Current diagnostic techniques provide a useful and precise tool to enact surveillance protocols regarding specific organisms, but this approach is strictly targeted, while metabarcoding and shotgun metagenomics could be used to simultaneously detect all known pathogens and potentially new ones. This review aims to present the current status of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) diagnostics of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens, discuss the challenges that need to be addressed, and provide direction for the development of methods for the detection of a restricted number of related taxa (specific surveillance) or all of the microorganisms present in a sample (general surveillance). HTS techniques, particularly metabarcoding, could be useful for the surveillance of soilborne, seedborne and airborne pathogens, as well as for identifying new pathogens and determining the origin of outbreaks. Metabarcoding and shotgun metagenomics still suffer from low precision, but this issue can be limited by carefully choosing primers and bioinformatic algorithms. Advances in bioinformatics will greatly accelerate the use of metagenomics to address critical aspects related to the detection and surveillance of plant pathogens in plant material and foodstuffs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Microbe Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
The HrpG/HrpX Regulon of Xanthomonads—An Insight to the Complexity of Regulation of Virulence Traits in Phytopathogenic Bacteria
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 187; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010187 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas cause a wide variety of economically important diseases in most crops. The virulence of the majority of Xanthomonas spp. is dependent on secretion and translocation of effectors by the type 3 secretion system (T3SS) that is controlled by [...] Read more.
Bacteria of the genus Xanthomonas cause a wide variety of economically important diseases in most crops. The virulence of the majority of Xanthomonas spp. is dependent on secretion and translocation of effectors by the type 3 secretion system (T3SS) that is controlled by two master transcriptional regulators HrpG and HrpX. Since their discovery in the 1990s, the two regulators were the focal point of many studies aiming to decipher the regulatory network that controls pathogenicity in Xanthomonas bacteria. HrpG controls the expression of HrpX, which subsequently controls the expression of T3SS apparatus genes and effectors. The HrpG/HrpX regulon is activated in planta and subjected to tight metabolic and genetic regulation. In this review, we cover the advances made in understanding the regulatory networks that control and are controlled by the HrpG/HrpX regulon and their conservation between different Xanthomonas spp. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Genomics of Marine Bacteria from a Historically Defined Plastic Biodegradation Consortium with the Capacity to Biodegrade Polyhydroxyalkanoates
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 186; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010186 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Biodegradable and compostable plastics are getting more attention as the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-based plastics are revealed. Microbes can consume these plastics and biodegrade them within weeks to months under the proper conditions. The biobased polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymer family is an attractive alternative [...] Read more.
Biodegradable and compostable plastics are getting more attention as the environmental impacts of fossil-fuel-based plastics are revealed. Microbes can consume these plastics and biodegrade them within weeks to months under the proper conditions. The biobased polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) polymer family is an attractive alternative due to its physicochemical properties and biodegradability in soil, aquatic, and composting environments. Standard test methods are available for biodegradation that employ either natural inocula or defined communities, the latter being preferred for standardization and comparability. The original marine biodegradation standard test method ASTM D6691 employed such a defined consortium for testing PHA biodegradation. However, the taxonomic composition and metabolic potential of this consortium have never been confirmed using DNA sequencing technologies. To this end, we revived available members of this consortium and determined their phylogenetic placement, genomic sequence content, and metabolic potential. The revived members belonged to the Bacillaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, and Vibrionaceae families. Using a comparative genomics approach, we found all the necessary enzymes for both PHA production and utilization in most of the members. In a clearing-zone assay, three isolates also showed extracellular depolymerase activity. However, we did not find classical PHA depolymerases, but identified two potentially new extracellular depolymerases that resemble triacylglycerol lipases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbes on Plastics, Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Infectious Agents in Lower Respiratory Tract Samples Belonging to Patients Admitted to Intensive Care Units of a Tertiary-Care Hospital, Located in an Epidemic Area, during the Italian Lockdown
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 185; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010185 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 381
Abstract
The aim of this study was the detection of infectious agents from lower respiratory tract (LRT) samples in order to describe their distribution in patients with severe acute respiratory failure and hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU) in an Italian tertiary-care hospital. LRT [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was the detection of infectious agents from lower respiratory tract (LRT) samples in order to describe their distribution in patients with severe acute respiratory failure and hospitalized in intensive care units (ICU) in an Italian tertiary-care hospital. LRT samples from 154 patients admitted to ICU from 27 February to 10 May 2020 were prospectively examined for respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, bacteria and/or fungi. SARS-CoV-2 was revealed in 90 patients (58.4%, 72 males, mean age 65 years). No significant difference was observed between SARS-CoV-2 positives and SARS-CoV-2 negatives with regard to sex, age and bacterial and/or fungal infections. Nonetheless, fungi were more frequently detected among SARS-CoV-2 positives (44/54, 81.4%, p = 0.0053). Candida albicans was the overall most frequently isolated agent, followed by Enterococcus faecalis among SARS-CoV-2 positives and Staphylococcus aureus among SARS-CoV-2 negatives. Overall mortality rate was 40.4%, accounting for 53 deaths: 37 among SARS-CoV-2 positives (mean age 69 years) and 16 among SARS-CoV-2 negatives (mean age 63 years). This study highlights the different patterns of infectious agents between the two patient categories: fungi were prevalently involved among SARS-CoV-2-positive patients and bacteria among the SARS-CoV-2-negative patients. The different therapies and the length of the ICU stay could have influenced these different patterns of infectious agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Focusing on Epidemiologic, Virologic, and Clinical Studies)
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Open AccessArticle
Blastocystis sp. Prevalence and Subtypes Distribution amongst Syrian Refugee Communities Living in North Lebanon
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 184; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010184 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Molecular data concerning the prevalence and subtype (ST) distribution of the intestinal parasite Blastocystis sp. remain scarce in the Middle East. Accordingly, we performed the first molecular epidemiological survey ever conducted in the Syrian population. A total of 306 stool samples were collected [...] Read more.
Molecular data concerning the prevalence and subtype (ST) distribution of the intestinal parasite Blastocystis sp. remain scarce in the Middle East. Accordingly, we performed the first molecular epidemiological survey ever conducted in the Syrian population. A total of 306 stool samples were collected from Syrian refugees living in 26 informal tented settlements (ITS) subjected or not to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions in North Lebanon, then screened for the presence of Blastocystis sp. by real-time polymerase chain reaction followed by subtyping. The overall prevalence of the parasite was shown to reach 63.7%. Blastocystis sp. colonization was not significantly associated with gender, age, symptomatic status, abdominal pain or diarrhea. In contrast, WASH intervention status of ITS was identified as a risk factor for infection. Among a total of 164 subtyped isolates, ST3 was predominant, followed by ST1, ST2, and ST10. No particular ST was reported to be associated with age, gender, symptomatic status, digestive disorders, or WASH intervention status of ITS. Intra-ST diversity of ST1 to ST3 was low suggesting large-scale anthroponotic transmission. Moreover, comparative analysis of ST1 to ST3 genotypes revealed that the circulation of the parasite between Syrian refugees and the host population was likely limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Parasitology)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Models of Streptococcus canis Colonization and Disease Reveal Modest Contributions of M-Like (SCM) Protein
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 183; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010183 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Streptococcus canis is a common colonizing bacterium of the urogenital tract of cats and dogs that can also cause invasive disease in these animal populations and in humans. Although the virulence mechanisms of S. canis are not well-characterized, an M-like protein, SCM, has [...] Read more.
Streptococcus canis is a common colonizing bacterium of the urogenital tract of cats and dogs that can also cause invasive disease in these animal populations and in humans. Although the virulence mechanisms of S. canis are not well-characterized, an M-like protein, SCM, has recently identified been as a potential virulence factor. SCM is a surface-associated protein that binds to host plasminogen and IgGs suggesting its possible importance in host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we developed in vitro and ex vivo blood component models and murine models of S. canis vaginal colonization, systemic infection, and dermal infection to compare the virulence potential of the zoonotic S. canis vaginal isolate G361 and its isogenic SCM-deficient mutant (G361∆scm). We found that while S. canis establishes vaginal colonization and causes invasive disease in vivo, the contribution of the SCM protein to virulence phenotypes in these models is modest. We conclude that SCM is dispensable for invasive disease in murine models and for resistance to human blood components ex vivo, but may contribute to mucosal persistence, highlighting a potential contribution to the recently appreciated genetic diversity of SCM across strains and hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Pathogenicity of Animal-Adapted Streptococci)
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Open AccessArticle
Tracing the Trophic Plasticity of the Coral–Dinoflagellate Symbiosis Using Amino Acid Compound-Specific Stable Isotope Analysis
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 182; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010182 - 16 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
The association between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates is one of the most well-known nutritional symbioses, but nowadays it is threatened by global changes. Nutritional exchanges are critical to understanding the performance of this symbiosis under stress conditions. Here, compound-specific δ15N and [...] Read more.
The association between corals and photosynthetic dinoflagellates is one of the most well-known nutritional symbioses, but nowadays it is threatened by global changes. Nutritional exchanges are critical to understanding the performance of this symbiosis under stress conditions. Here, compound-specific δ15N and δ13C values of amino acids (δ15NAA and δ13CAA) were assessed in autotrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic holobionts as diagnostic tools to follow nutritional interactions between the partners. Contrary to what was expected, heterotrophy was mainly traced through the δ15N of the symbiont’s amino acids (AAs), suggesting that symbionts directly profit from host heterotrophy. The trophic index (TP) ranged from 1.1 to 2.3 from autotrophic to heterotrophic symbionts. In addition, changes in TP across conditions were more significant in the symbionts than in the host. The similar δ13C-AAs signatures of host and symbionts further suggests that symbiont-derived photosynthates are the main source of carbon for AAs synthesis. Symbionts, therefore, appear to be a key component in the AAs biosynthetic pathways, and might, via this obligatory function, play an essential role in the capacity of corals to withstand environmental stress. These novel findings highlight important aspects of the nutritional exchanges in the coral–dinoflagellates symbiosis. In addition, they feature δ15NAA as a useful tool for studies regarding the nutritional exchanges within the coral–symbiodiniaceae symbiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Microbe Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
Listeria monocytogenes Biofilms in the Food Industry: Is the Current Hygiene Program Sufficient to Combat the Persistence of the Pathogen?
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 181; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010181 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Biofilms contain microbial cells which are protected by a self-produced matrix and they firmly attach themselves to many different food industry surfaces. Due to this protection, microorganisms within biofilms are much more difficult to eradicate and therefore to control than suspended cells. A [...] Read more.
Biofilms contain microbial cells which are protected by a self-produced matrix and they firmly attach themselves to many different food industry surfaces. Due to this protection, microorganisms within biofilms are much more difficult to eradicate and therefore to control than suspended cells. A bacterium that tends to produce these structures and persist in food processing plants is Listeria monocytogenes. To this effect, many attempts have been made to develop control strategies to be applied in the food industry, although there seems to be no clear direction on how to manage the risk the bacteria poses. There is no standardized protocol that is applied equally to all food sectors, so the strategies for the control of this pathogen depend on the type of surface, the nature of the product, the conditions of the food industry environment, and indeed the budget. The food industry performs different preventive and corrective measures on possible L. monocytogenes-contaminated surfaces. However, a critical evaluation of the sanitization methods applied must be performed to discern whether the treatment can be effective in the long-term. This review will focus on currently used strategies to eliminate biofilms and control their formation in processing facilities in different food sectors (i.e., dairy, meat, fish, chilled vegetables, and ready-to-eat products). The technologies employed for their control will be exemplified and discussed with the objective of understanding how L. monocytogenes can be improved through food safety management systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Listeria monocytogenes)
Open AccessReview
Chronic Active Epstein–Barr Virus Infection: The Elucidation of the Pathophysiology and the Development of Therapeutic Methods
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 180; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010180 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 369
Abstract
Chronic active Epstein–Barr virus infection (CAEBV) is a disease where Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-infected T- or NK-cells are activated and proliferate clonally. The symptoms of this dual-faced disease include systemic inflammation and multiple organ failures caused by the invasion of infected cells: inflammation and [...] Read more.
Chronic active Epstein–Barr virus infection (CAEBV) is a disease where Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-infected T- or NK-cells are activated and proliferate clonally. The symptoms of this dual-faced disease include systemic inflammation and multiple organ failures caused by the invasion of infected cells: inflammation and neoplasm. At present, the only effective treatment strategy to eradicate EBV-infected cells is allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Lately, the investigation into the disease’s pathogenic mechanism and pathophysiology has been advancing. In this review, I will evaluate the new definition in the 2017 WHO classification, present the advancements in the study of CAEBV, and unfold the future direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenic Role of Virus Infection in Head and Neck Tumors)
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Open AccessArticle
Adjunct Culture of Non-Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria for the Production of Provola Dei Nebrodi PDO Cheese: In Vitro Screening and Pilot-Scale Cheese-Making
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010179 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 308
Abstract
The present study aimed at selecting non-starter lactic acid bacteria strains, with desirable technological and enzymatic activities, suitable as adjunct culture for the Provola dei Nebrodi cheese production. One hundred and twenty-one lactic acid bacteria, isolated from traditional Provola dei Nebrodi cheese samples, [...] Read more.
The present study aimed at selecting non-starter lactic acid bacteria strains, with desirable technological and enzymatic activities, suitable as adjunct culture for the Provola dei Nebrodi cheese production. One hundred and twenty-one lactic acid bacteria, isolated from traditional Provola dei Nebrodi cheese samples, were genetically identified by Rep-PCR genomic fingerprinting, using the (GTG)5-primer, and by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). Twenty-seven strains, included in the qualified presumption of safety (QPS) list, were tested for technological and proteinase/peptidase activities. Results showed that technological features and flavour formation abilities were strain-dependent. Among the selected strains, Lacticaseibacillus paracasei PN 76 and Limosilactobacillus fermentum PN 101 were used as adjunct culture in pilot-scale cheese-making trials. Data revealed that adjunct cultures positively affected the flavour development of cheese, starting from 30 days of ripening, contributing to the formation of key flavour compounds. The volatile organic compound profiles of experimental cheeses was significantly different from those generated in the controls, suggesting that the selected adjunct strains were able to accelerate the flavour development, contributing to a unique profile of Provola dei Nebrodi cheese. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Populations of Fermented Foods)
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Open AccessArticle
Elicitation of Antimicrobial Active Compounds by Streptomyces-Fungus Co-Cultures
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010178 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 401
Abstract
The bacteria of the genus Streptomyces and Basidiomycete fungi harbor many biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that are at the origin of many bioactive molecules with medical or industrial interests. Nevertheless, most BGCs do not express in standard lab growth conditions, preventing the full [...] Read more.
The bacteria of the genus Streptomyces and Basidiomycete fungi harbor many biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that are at the origin of many bioactive molecules with medical or industrial interests. Nevertheless, most BGCs do not express in standard lab growth conditions, preventing the full metabolic potential of these organisms from being exploited. Because it generates biotic cues encountered during natural growth conditions, co-culture is a means to elicit such cryptic compounds. In this study, we explored 72 different Streptomyces-fungus interaction zones (SFIZs) generated during the co-culture of eight Streptomyces and nine fungi. Two SFIZs were selected because they showed an elicitation of anti-bacterial activity compared to mono-cultures. The study of these SFIZs showed that co-culture had a strong impact on the metabolic expression of each partner and enabled the expression of specific compounds. These results show that mimicking the biotic interactions present in this ecological niche is a promising avenue of research to explore the metabolic capacities of Streptomyces and fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products from Streptomyces)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of a Four-Antigen Staphylococcus aureus Vaccine in Preclinical Models of Invasive S. aureus Disease
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010177 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
A Staphylococcus aureus four-antigen vaccine (SA4Ag) was designed for the prevention of invasive disease in surgical patients. The vaccine is composed of capsular polysaccharide type 5 and type 8 CRM197 conjugates, a clumping factor A mutant (Y338A-ClfA) and manganese transporter subunit C [...] Read more.
A Staphylococcus aureus four-antigen vaccine (SA4Ag) was designed for the prevention of invasive disease in surgical patients. The vaccine is composed of capsular polysaccharide type 5 and type 8 CRM197 conjugates, a clumping factor A mutant (Y338A-ClfA) and manganese transporter subunit C (MntC). S. aureus pathogenicity is characterized by an ability to rapidly adapt to the host environment during infection, which can progress from a local infection to sepsis and invasion of distant organs. To test the protective capacity of the SA4Ag vaccine against progressive disease stages of an invasive S. aureus infection, a deep tissue infection mouse model, a bacteremia mouse model, a pyelonephritis model, and a rat model of infectious endocarditis were utilized. SA4Ag vaccination significantly reduced the bacterial burden in deep tissue infection, in bacteremia, and in the pyelonephritis model. Complete prevention of infection was demonstrated in a clinically relevant endocarditis model. Unfortunately, these positive preclinical findings with SA4Ag did not prove the clinical utility of SA4Ag in the prevention of surgery-associated invasive S. aureus infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Staphylococcal Infections (Host and Pathogenic Factors))
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Open AccessArticle
RNA Interference by Cyanobacterial Feeding Demonstrates the SCSG1 Gene Is Essential for Ciliogenesis during Oral Apparatus Regeneration in Stentor
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 176; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010176 - 15 Jan 2021
Viewed by 330
Abstract
In the giant ciliate Stentor coeruleus, oral apparatus (OA) regeneration is an experimentally tractable regeneration paradigm that occurs via a series of morphological steps. OA regeneration is thought to be driven by a complex regulatory system that orchestrates the temporal expression of [...] Read more.
In the giant ciliate Stentor coeruleus, oral apparatus (OA) regeneration is an experimentally tractable regeneration paradigm that occurs via a series of morphological steps. OA regeneration is thought to be driven by a complex regulatory system that orchestrates the temporal expression of conserved and specific genes. We previously identified a S. coeruleus-specific gene (named SCSG1) that was significantly upregulated during the ciliogenesis stages of OA regeneration, with an expression peak at the stage of the first OA cilia appearance. We established a novel RNA interference (RNAi) method through cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 feeding in S. coeruleus. The expression of SCSG1 gene was significantly knocked down by using this method and induced abnormal ciliogenesis of OA regeneration in S. coeruleus, suggesting that SCSG1 is essential for OA regeneration in S. coeruleus. This novel RNAi method by cyanobacterial feeding has potential utility for studying other ciliates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Crossing Leads to Weak Co-Variation of the Bacterial and Fungal Communities in the Rice Rhizosphere
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 175; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/microorganisms9010175 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 363
Abstract
The rhizomicrobial community is influenced by plant genotype. However, the potential differences in the co-assembly of bacterial and fungal communities between parental lines and different generations of rice progenies have not been examined. Here we compared the bacterial and fungal communities in the [...] Read more.
The rhizomicrobial community is influenced by plant genotype. However, the potential differences in the co-assembly of bacterial and fungal communities between parental lines and different generations of rice progenies have not been examined. Here we compared the bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizomicrobiomes of female parent Oryza rufipogon wild rice; male parent Oryza sativa cultivated rice; their F1 progeny; and the F2, F3 and F4 self-crossing generations. Our results showed that the bacterial and fungal α-diversities of the hybrid F1 and self-crossing generations (F2, F3, F4) were closer to one of the two parental lines, which may indicate a role of the parental line in the diversity of the rhizosphere microbial community assembly. Self-crossing from F1 to F4 led to weak co-variation of the bacterial and fungal communities and distinct rhizosphere microbiomes. In the parental and self-crossing progenies, the reduction of community dissimilarity was higher for the fungal community than for the bacterial community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Interactions in Soil)
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