The molecular and biological consequences of UV-B radiation were investigated by studying five species of marine bacteria and one enteric bacterium. Laboratory cultures were exposed to an artificial UV-B source and subjected to various post-UV irradiation treatments. Significant differences in survival subsequent to UV-B radiation were observed among the isolates, as measured by culturable counts. UV-B-induced DNA photodamage was investigated by using a highly specific radioimmunoassay to measure cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). The CPDs determined following UV-B exposure were comparable for all of the organisms except Sphingomonas sp. strain RB2256, a facultatively oligotrophic ultramicrobacterium. This organism exhibited little DNA damage and a high level of UV-B resistance. Physiological conditioning by growth phase and starvation did not change the UV-B sensitivity of marine bacteria. The rates of photoreactivation following exposure to UV-B were investigated by using different light sources (UV-A and cool white light). The rates of photoreactivation were greatest during UV-A exposure, although diverse responses were observed. The differences in sensitivity to UV-B radiation between strains were reduced after photoreactivation. The survival and CPD data obtained for Vibrio natriegens when we used two UV-B exposure periods interrupted by a repair period (photoreactivation plus dark repair) suggested that photoadaptation could occur. Our results revealed that there are wide variations in marine bacteria in their responses to UV radiation and subsequent repair strategies, suggesting that UV-B radiation may affect the microbial community structure in surface water. (+info)
(2/457) Identification of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria with monoclonal antibodies recognizing the nitrite oxidoreductase.
Immunoblot analyses performed with three monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognized the nitrite oxidoreductase (NOR) of the genus Nitrobacter were used for taxonomic investigations of nitrite oxidizers. We found that these MAbs were able to detect the nitrite-oxidizing systems (NOS) of the genera Nitrospira, Nitrococcus, and Nitrospina. The MAb designated Hyb 153-2, which recognized the alpha subunit of the NOR (alpha-NOR), was specific for species belonging to the genus Nitrobacter. In contrast, Hyb 153-3, which recognized the beta-NOR, reacted with nitrite oxidizers of the four genera. Hyb 153-1, which also recognized the beta-NOR, bound to members of the genera Nitrobacter and Nitrococcus. The molecular masses of the beta-NOR of the genus Nitrobacter and the beta subunit of the NOS (beta-NOS) of the genus Nitrococcus were identical (65 kDa). In contrast, the molecular masses of the beta-NOS of the genera Nitrospina and Nitrospira were different (48 and 46 kDa). When the genus-specific reactions of the MAbs were correlated with 16S rRNA sequences, they reflected the phylogenetic relationships among the nitrite oxidizers. The specific reactions of the MAbs allowed us to classify novel isolates and nitrite oxidizers in enrichment cultures at the genus level. In ecological studies the immunoblot analyses demonstrated that Nitrobacter or Nitrospira cells could be enriched from activated sludge by using various substrate concentrations. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and electron microscopic analyses confirmed these results. Permeated cells of pure cultures of members of the four genera were suitable for immunofluorescence labeling; these cells exhibited fluorescence signals that were consistent with the location of the NOS. (+info)
(3/457) 2-hydroxyglutaryl-CoA dehydratase from Clostridium symbiosum.
Component D (HgdAB) of 2-hydroxyglutaryl-CoA dehydratase from Clostridium symbiosum was purified to homogeneity. It is able to use component A from Acidaminococcus fermentans (HgdC) to initiate catalysis together with ATP, Mg2+ and a strong reducing agent such as Ti(III)citrate. Component D from C. symbiosum has a 6 x higher specific activity compared with that from A. fermentans and contains a second [4Fe-4S] cluster but the same amount of riboflavin 5'-phosphate (1.0 per heterodimeric enzyme, m = 100 kDa). Mossbauer spectroscopy revealed symmetric cube-type structures of the two [4Fe-4S]2+ clusters. EPR spectroscopy showed the resistance of the clusters to reducing agents, but detected a sharp signal at g = 2. 004 probably due to a stabilized flavin semiquinone. Three genes from C. symbiosum coding for components D (hgdA and hgdB) and A (hgdC) were cloned and sequenced. Primer extension experiments indicated that the genes are transcribed in the order hgdCAB from an operon only half the size of that from A. fermentans. Sequence comparisons detected a close relationship to the dehydratase system from A. fermentans and HgdA from Fusobacterium nucleatum, as well as to putative proteins of unknown function from Archaeoglobus fulgidus. Lower, but significant, identities were found with putative enzymes from several methanogenic Archaea and Escherichia coli, as well as with the mechanistically related benzoyl-CoA reductases from the Proteobacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Thauera aromatica. (+info)
(4/457) Simultaneous reduction of nitrate and selenate by cell suspensions of selenium-respiring bacteria.
Washed-cell suspensions of Sulfurospirillum barnesii reduced selenate [Se(VI)] when cells were cultured with nitrate, thiosulfate, arsenate, or fumarate as the electron acceptor. When the concentration of the electron donor was limiting, Se(VI) reduction in whole cells was approximately fourfold greater in Se(VI)-grown cells than was observed in nitrate-grown cells; correspondingly, nitrate reduction was approximately 11-fold higher in nitrate-grown cells than in Se(VI)-grown cells. However, a simultaneous reduction of nitrate and Se(VI) was observed in both cases. At nonlimiting electron donor concentrations, nitrate-grown cells suspended with equimolar nitrate and selenate achieved a complete reductive removal of nitrogen and selenium oxyanions, with the bulk of nitrate reduction preceding that of selenate reduction. Chloramphenicol did not inhibit these reductions. The Se(VI)-respiring haloalkaliphile Bacillus arsenicoselenatis gave similar results, but its Se(VI) reductase was not constitutive in nitrate-grown cells. No reduction of Se(VI) was noted for Bacillus selenitireducens, which respires selenite. The results of kinetic experiments with cell membrane preparations of S. barnesii suggest the presence of constitutive selenate and nitrate reduction, as well as an inducible, high-affinity nitrate reductase in nitrate-grown cells which also has a low affinity for selenate. The simultaneous reduction of micromolar Se(VI) in the presence of millimolar nitrate indicates that these organisms may have a functional use in bioremediating nitrate-rich, seleniferous agricultural wastewaters. Results with (75)Se-selenate tracer show that these organisms can lower ambient Se(VI) concentrations to levels in compliance with new regulations proposed for release of selenium oxyanions into the environment. (+info)
(5/457) Analyses of spatial distributions of sulfate-reducing bacteria and their activity in aerobic wastewater biofilms.
The vertical distribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in aerobic wastewater biofilms grown on rotating disk reactors was investigated by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 16S rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. To correlate the vertical distribution of SRB populations with their activity, the microprofiles of O(2), H(2)S, NO(2)(-), NO(3)(-), NH(4)(+), and pH were measured with microelectrodes. In addition, a cross-evaluation of the FISH and microelectrode analyses was performed by comparing them with culture-based approaches and biogeochemical measurements. In situ hybridization revealed that a relatively high abundance of the probe SRB385-stained cells (approximately 10(9) to 10(10) cells per cm(3) of biofilm) were evenly distributed throughout the biofilm, even in the oxic surface. The probe SRB660-stained Desulfobulbus spp. were found to be numerically important members of SRB populations (approximately 10(8) to 10(9) cells per cm(3)). The result of microelectrode measurements showed that a high sulfate-reducing activity was found in a narrow anaerobic zone located about 150 to 300 microm below the biofilm surface and above which an intensive sulfide oxidation zone was found. The biogeochemical measurements showed that elemental sulfur (S(0)) was an important intermediate of the sulfide reoxidation in such thin wastewater biofilms (approximately 1,500 microm), which accounted for about 75% of the total S pool in the biofilm. The contribution of an internal Fe-sulfur cycle to the overall sulfur cycle in aerobic wastewater biofilms was insignificant (less than 1%) due to the relatively high sulfate reduction rate. (+info)
(6/457) Ubiquity and diversity of dissimilatory (per)chlorate-reducing bacteria.
Environmental contamination with compounds containing oxyanions of chlorine, such as perchlorate or chlorate [(per)chlorate] or chlorine dioxide, has been a constantly growing problem over the last 100 years. Although the fact that microbes reduce these compounds has been recognized for more than 50 years, only six organisms which can obtain energy for growth by this metabolic process have been described. As part of a study to investigate the diversity and ubiquity of microorganisms involved in the microbial reduction of (per)chlorate, we enumerated the (per)chlorate-reducing bacteria (ClRB) in very diverse environments, including pristine and hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, aquatic sediments, paper mill waste sludges, and farm animal waste lagoons. In all of the environments tested, the acetate-oxidizing ClRB represented a significant population, whose size ranged from 2.31 x 10(3) to 2.4 x 10(6) cells per g of sample. In addition, we isolated 13 ClRB from these environments. All of these organisms could grow anaerobically by coupling complete oxidation of acetate to reduction of (per)chlorate. Chloride was the sole end product of this reductive metabolism. All of the isolates could also use oxygen as a sole electron acceptor, and most, but not all, could use nitrate. The alternative electron donors included simple volatile fatty acids, such as propionate, butyrate, or valerate, as well as simple organic acids, such as lactate or pyruvate. Oxidized-minus-reduced difference spectra of washed whole-cell suspensions of the isolates had absorbance maxima close to 425, 525, and 550 nm, which are characteristic of type c cytochromes. In addition, washed cell suspensions of all of the ClRB isolates could dismutate chlorite, an intermediate in the reductive metabolism of (per)chlorate, into chloride and molecular oxygen. Chlorite dismutation was a result of the activity of a single enzyme which in pure form had a specific activity of approximately 1,928 micromol of chlorite per mg of protein per min. Analyses of the 16S ribosomal DNA sequences of the organisms indicated that they all belonged to the alpha, beta, or gamma subclass of the Proteobacteria. Several were closely related to members of previously described genera that are not recognized for the ability to reduce (per)chlorate, such as the genera Pseudomonas and Azospirllum. However, many were not closely related to any previously described organism and represented new genera within the Proteobacteria. The results of this study significantly increase the limited number of microbial isolates that are known to be capable of dissimilatory (per)chlorate reduction and demonstrate the hitherto unrecognized phylogenetic diversity and ubiquity of the microorganisms that exhibit this type of metabolism. (+info)
(7/457) Geomicrobiology of subglacial ice above Lake Vostok, Antarctica.
Data from ice 3590 meters below Vostok Station indicate that the ice was accreted from liquid water associated with Lake Vostok. Microbes were observed at concentrations ranging from 2.8 x 10(3) to 3.6 x 10(4) cells per milliliter; no biological incorporation of selected organic substrates or bicarbonate was detected. Bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA genes revealed low diversity in the gene population. The phylotypes were closely related to extant members of the alpha- and beta-Proteobacteria and the Actinomycetes. Extrapolation of the data from accretion ice to Lake Vostok implies that Lake Vostok may support a microbial population, despite more than 10(6) years of isolation from the atmosphere. (+info)
(8/457) Local sequence dependence of polyhydroxyalkanoic acid degradation in Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava.
The first order intracellular degradation of various polyhydroxyalkanoic acid (PHA) inclusions in Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava cells was investigated by analyzing the compositional and microstructural changes of the PHA using gas chromatography, (13)C NMR spectroscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. Two types of PHA, copolymers and blend-type polymers, were separately accumulated in cells for comparison. The constituent monomers were 3-hydroxybutyric acid (3HB), 4-hydroxybutyric acid (4HB), and 3-hydroxyvaleric acid (3HV). It was found that the 3HB-4HB copolymer was degraded only when the polymer contained a minimal level of 3HB units. With the cells containing a 3HB/4HB blend-type polymer, only poly(3HB) was degraded, whereas poly(4HB) was not degraded, indicating the totally inactive nature of the intracellular depolymerase against poly(4HB). On the basis of the magnitude of the first order degradation rate constants, the relative substrate specificity of the depolymerase toward the constituting monomer units was determined to decrease in the order 3HB > 3HV > 4HB. (13)C NMR resonances of the tetrad, triad, and dyad sequences were analyzed for the samples isolated before and after degradation experiments. The results showed that the intracellular degradation depended on the local monomer sequence of the copolymers. The relative substrate specificity of the depolymerase determined from the NMR local sequence analysis agreed well with that obtained from the kinetics analysis. It is suggested that, without isolation and purification of the intracellular PHA depolymerase and "native" PHA substrates, the relative specificity of the enzyme as well as the microstructural heterogeneity of the PHA could be determined by measuring in situ the first order degradation rate constants of the PHA in cells. (+info)