(1/2414) Desulfocella halophila gen. nov., sp. nov., a halophilic, fatty-acid-oxidizing, sulfate-reducing bacterium isolated from sediments of the Great Salt Lake.

A new halophilic sulfate-reducing bacterium, strain GSL-But2T, was isolated from surface sediment of the Southern arm of the Great Salt Lake, UT, USA. The organism grew with a number of straight-chain fatty acids (C4-C16), 2-methylbutyrate, L-alanine and pyruvate as electron donors. Butyrate was oxidized incompletely to acetate. Sulfate, but not sulfite or thiosulfate, served as an electron acceptor. Growth was observed between 2 and 19% (w/v) NaCl with an optimum at 4-5% (w/v) NaCl. The optimal temperature and pH for growth were around 34 degrees C and pH 6.5-7.3, respectively. The generation time under optimal conditions in defined medium was around 28 h, compared to 20 h in complex medium containing yeast extract. The G+C content was 35.0 mol%. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that strain GSL-But2T belongs to the family Desulfobacteriaceae within the delta-subclass of the Proteobacteria and suggested that strain GSL-But2T represents a member of a new genus. The name Desulfocella halophila gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed for this organism. The type strain of D. halophila is strain GSL-But2T (= DSM 11763T = ATCC 700426T).  (+info)

(2/2414) Isolation from estuarine sediments of a Desulfovibrio strain which can grow on lactate coupled to the reductive dehalogenation of 2,4, 6-tribromophenol.

Strain TBP-1, an anaerobic bacterium capable of reductively dehalogenating 2,4,6-tribromophenol to phenol, was isolated from estuarine sediments of the Arthur Kill in the New York/New Jersey harbor. It is a gram-negative, motile, vibrio-shaped, obligate anaerobe which grows on lactate, pyruvate, hydrogen, and fumarate when provided sulfate as an electron acceptor. The organism accumulates acetate when grown on lactate and sulfate, contains desulfoviridin, and will not grow in the absence of NaCl. It will not utilize acetate, succinate, propionate, or butyrate for growth via sulfate reduction. When supplied with lactate as an electron donor, strain TBP-1 will utilize sulfate, sulfite, sulfur, and thiosulfate for growth but not nitrate, fumarate, or acrylate. This organism debrominates 2-, 4-, 2,4-, 2,6-, and 2,4,6-bromophenol but not 3- or 2,3-bromophenol or monobrominated benzoates. It will not dehalogenate monochlorinated, fluorinated, or iodinated phenols or chlorinated benzoates. Together with its physiological characteristics, its 16S rRNA gene sequence places it in the genus Desulfovibrio. The average growth yield of strain TBP-1 grown on a defined medium supplemented with lactate and 2,4,6-bromophenol is 3.71 mg of protein/mmol of phenol produced, and the yield was 1.42 mg of protein/mmol of phenol produced when 4-bromophenol was the electron acceptor. Average growth yields (milligrams of protein per millimole of electrons utilized) for Desulfovibrio sp. strain TBP-1 grown with 2,4,6-bromophenol, 4-bromophenol, or sulfate are 0.62, 0.71, and 1.07, respectively. Growth did not occur when either lactate or 2,4,6-bromophenol was omitted from the growth medium. These results indicate that Desulfovibrio sp. strain TBP-1 is capable of growth via halorespiration.  (+info)

(3/2414) Diversity of nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) genes in continental shelf sediments.

Diversity of the nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ) gene was examined in sediments obtained from the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean continental shelves. Approximately 1,100 bp of the nosZ gene were amplified via PCR, using nosZ gene-specific primers. Thirty-seven unique copies of the nosZ gene from these marine environments were characterized, increasing the nosZ sequence database fourfold. The average DNA similarity for comparisons between all 49 variants of the nosZ gene was 64% +/- 10%. Alignment of the derived amino acid sequences confirmed the conservation of important structural motifs. A highly conserved region is proposed as the copper binding, catalytic site (CuZ) of the mature protein. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated three major clusters of nosZ genes, with little overlap between environmental and culture-based groups. Finally, the two non-culture-based gene clusters generally corresponded to sampling location, implying that denitrifier communities may be restricted geographically.  (+info)

(4/2414) Dense populations of a giant sulfur bacterium in Namibian shelf sediments.

A previously unknown giant sulfur bacterium is abundant in sediments underlying the oxygen minimum zone of the Benguela Current upwelling system. The bacterium has a spherical cell that exceeds by up to 100-fold the biovolume of the largest known prokaryotes. On the basis of 16S ribosomal DNA sequence data, these bacteria are closely related to the marine filamentous sulfur bacteria Thioploca, abundant in the upwelling area off Chile and Peru. Similar to Thioploca, the giant bacteria oxidize sulfide with nitrate that is accumulated to +info)

(5/2414) Environment and behavior of 2.5-million-year-old Bouri hominids.

The Hata Member of the Bouri Formation is defined for Pliocene sedimentary outcrops in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia. The Hata Member is dated to 2.5 million years ago and has produced a new species of Australopithecus and hominid postcranial remains not currently assigned to species. Spatially associated zooarchaeological remains show that hominids acquired meat and marrow by 2.5 million years ago and that they are the near contemporary of Oldowan artifacts at nearby Gona. The combined evidence suggests that behavioral changes associated with lithic technology and enhanced carnivory may have been coincident with the emergence of the Homo clade from Australopithecus afarensis in eastern Africa.  (+info)

(6/2414) Rhodococcus erythropolis DCL14 contains a novel degradation pathway for limonene.

Strain DCL14, which is able to grow on limonene as a sole source of carbon and energy, was isolated from a freshwater sediment sample. This organism was identified as a strain of Rhodococcus erythropolis by chemotaxonomic and genetic studies. R. erythropolis DCL14 also assimilated the terpenes limonene-1,2-epoxide, limonene-1,2-diol, carveol, carvone, and (-)-menthol, while perillyl alcohol was not utilized as a carbon and energy source. Induction tests with cells grown on limonene revealed that the oxygen consumption rates with limonene-1,2-epoxide, limonene-1,2-diol, 1-hydroxy-2-oxolimonene, and carveol were high. Limonene-induced cells of R. erythropolis DCL14 contained the following four novel enzymatic activities involved in the limonene degradation pathway of this microorganism: a flavin adenine dinucleotide- and NADH-dependent limonene 1, 2-monooxygenase activity, a cofactor-independent limonene-1, 2-epoxide hydrolase activity, a dichlorophenolindophenol-dependent limonene-1,2-diol dehydrogenase activity, and an NADPH-dependent 1-hydroxy-2-oxolimonene 1,2-monooxygenase activity. Product accumulation studies showed that (1S,2S,4R)-limonene-1,2-diol, (1S, 4R)-1-hydroxy-2-oxolimonene, and (3R)-3-isopropenyl-6-oxoheptanoate were intermediates in the (4R)-limonene degradation pathway. The opposite enantiomers [(1R,2R,4S)-limonene-1,2-diol, (1R, 4S)-1-hydroxy-2-oxolimonene, and (3S)-3-isopropenyl-6-oxoheptanoate] were found in the (4S)-limonene degradation pathway, while accumulation of (1R,2S,4S)-limonene-1,2-diol from (4S)-limonene was also observed. These results show that R. erythropolis DCL14 metabolizes both enantiomers of limonene via a novel degradation pathway that starts with epoxidation at the 1,2 double bond forming limonene-1,2-epoxide. This epoxide is subsequently converted to limonene-1,2-diol, 1-hydroxy-2-oxolimonene, and 7-hydroxy-4-isopropenyl-7-methyl-2-oxo-oxepanone. This lactone spontaneously rearranges to form 3-isopropenyl-6-oxoheptanoate. In the presence of coenzyme A and ATP this acid is converted further, and this finding, together with the high levels of isocitrate lyase activity in extracts of limonene-grown cells, suggests that further degradation takes place via the beta-oxidation pathway.  (+info)

(7/2414) Role of methanogens and other bacteria in degradation of dimethyl sulfide and methanethiol in anoxic freshwater sediments.

The roles of several trophic groups of organisms (methanogens and sulfate- and nitrate-reducing bacteria) in the microbial degradation of methanethiol (MT) and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) were studied in freshwater sediments. The incubation of DMS- and MT-amended slurries revealed that methanogens are the dominant DMS and MT utilizers in sulfate-poor freshwater systems. In sediment slurries, which were depleted of sulfate, 75 micromol of DMS was stoichiometrically converted into 112 micromol of methane. The addition of methanol or MT to DMS-degrading slurries at concentrations similar to that of DMS reduced DMS degradation rates. This indicates that the methanogens in freshwater sediments, which degrade DMS, are also consumers of methanol and MT. To verify whether a competition between sulfate-reducing and methanogenic bacteria for DMS or MT takes place in sulfate-rich freshwater systems, the effects of sulfate and inhibitors, like bromoethanesulfonic acid, molybdate, and tungstate, on the degradation of MT and DMS were studied. The results for these sulfate-rich and sulfate-amended slurry incubations clearly demonstrated that besides methanogens, sulfate-reducing bacteria take part in MT and DMS degradation in freshwater sediments, provided that sulfate is available. The possible involvement of an interspecies hydrogen transfer in these processes is discussed. In general, our study provides evidence for methanogenesis as a major sink for MT and DMS in freshwater sediments.  (+info)

(8/2414) Molecular analysis of microbial community structures in pristine and contaminated aquifers: field and laboratory microcosm experiments.

This study used phylogenetic probes in hybridization analysis to (i) determine in situ microbial community structures in regions of a shallow sand aquifer that were oxygen depleted and fuel contaminated (FC) or aerobic and noncontaminated (NC) and (ii) examine alterations in microbial community structures resulting from exposure to toluene and/or electron acceptor supplementation (nitrate). The latter objective was addressed by using the NC and FC aquifer materials for anaerobic microcosm studies in which phylogenetic probe analysis was complemented by microbial activity assays. Domain probe analysis of the aquifer samples showed that the communities were predominantly Bacteria; Eucarya and Archaea were not detectable. At the phylum and subclass levels, the FC and NC aquifer material had similar relative abundance distributions of 43 to 65% beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria (B+G), 31 to 35% alpha-Proteobacteria (ALF), 15 to 18% sulfate-reducing bacteria, and 5 to 10% high G+C gram positive bacteria. Compared to that of the NC region, the community structure of the FC material differed mainly in an increased abundance of B+G relative to that of ALF. The microcosm communities were like those of the field samples in that they were predominantly Bacteria (83 to 101%) and lacked detectable Archaea but differed in that a small fraction (2 to 8%) of Eucarya was detected regardless of the treatment applied. The latter result was hypothesized to reflect enrichment of anaerobic protozoa. Addition of nitrate and/or toluene stimulated microbial activity in the microcosms, but only supplementation of toluene alone significantly altered community structures. For the NC material, the dominant subclass shifted from B+G to ALF, while in the FC microcosms 55 to 65% of the Bacteria community was no longer identifiable by the phylum or subclass probes used. The latter result suggested that toluene exposure fostered the proliferation of phylotype(s) that were otherwise minor constituents of the FC aquifer community. These studies demonstrated that alterations in aquifer microbial communities resulting from specific anthropogenic perturbances can be inferred from microcosm studies integrating chemical and phylogenetic probe analysis and in the case of hydrocarbon contamination may facilitate the identification of organisms important for in situ biodegradation processes. Further work integrating and coordinating microcosm and field experiments is needed to explore how differences in scale, substrate complexity, and other hydrogeological conditions may affect patterns observed in these systems.  (+info)