Decolorization and detoxification of extraction-stage effluent from chlorine bleaching of kraft pulp by Rhizopus oryzae.
Rhizopus oryzae, a zygomycete, was found to decolorize, dechlorinate, and detoxify bleach plant effluent at lower cosubstrate concentrations than the basidiomycetes previously investigated. With glucose at 1 g/liter, this fungus removed 92 to 95% of the color, 50% of the chemical oxygen demand, 72% of the adsorbable organic halide, and 37% of the extractable organic halide in 24 h at temperatures of 25 to 45 degrees C and a pH of 3 to 5. Even without added cosubstrate the fungus removed up to 78% of the color. Monomeric chlorinated aromatic compounds were removed almost completely, and toxicity to zebra fish was eliminated. The fungal mycelium could be immobilized in polyurethane foam and used repeatedly to treat batches of effluent. The residue after treatment was not further improved by exposure to fresh R. oryzae mycelium. (+info)
Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures.
The geometrical properties of zinc binding sites in a dataset of high quality protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank have been examined to identify important differences between zinc sites that are directly involved in catalysis and those that play a structural role. Coordination angles in the zinc primary coordination sphere are compared with ideal values for each coordination geometry, and zinc coordination distances are compared with those in small zinc complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database as a guide of expected trends. We find that distances and angles in the primary coordination sphere are in general close to the expected (or ideal) values. Deviations occur primarily for oxygen coordinating atoms and are found to be mainly due to H-bonding of the oxygen coordinating ligand to protein residues, bidentate binding arrangements, and multi-zinc sites. We find that H-bonding of oxygen containing residues (or water) to zinc bound histidines is almost universal in our dataset and defines the elec-His-Zn motif. Analysis of the stereochemistry shows that carboxyl elec-His-Zn motifs are geometrically rigid, while water elec-His-Zn motifs show the most geometrical variation. As catalytic motifs have a higher proportion of carboxyl elec atoms than structural motifs, they provide a more rigid framework for zinc binding. This is understood biologically, as a small distortion in the zinc position in an enzyme can have serious consequences on the enzymatic reaction. We also analyze the sequence pattern of the zinc ligands and residues that provide elecs, and identify conserved hydrophobic residues in the endopeptidases that also appear to contribute to stabilizing the catalytic zinc site. A zinc binding template in protein crystal structures is derived from these observations. (+info)
Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor: identification of a gene cluster required for the rugose colony type, exopolysaccharide production, chlorine resistance, and biofilm formation.
The rugose colony variant of Vibrio cholerae O1, biotype El Tor, is shown to produce an exopolysaccharide, EPSETr, that confers chlorine resistance and biofilm-forming capacity. EPSETr production requires a chromosomal locus, vps, that contains sequences homologous to carbohydrate biosynthesis genes of other bacterial species. Mutations within this locus yield chlorine-sensitive, smooth colony variants that are biofilm deficient. The biofilm-forming properties of EPSETr may enable the survival of V. cholerae O1 within environmental aquatic habitats between outbreaks of human disease. (+info)
Investigation of two evolutionarily unrelated halocarboxylic acid dehalogenase gene families.
Dehalogenases are key enzymes in the metabolism of halo-organic compounds. This paper describes a systematic approach to the isolation and molecular analysis of two families of bacterial alpha-halocarboxylic acid (alphaHA) dehalogenase genes, called group I and group II deh genes. The two families are evolutionarily unrelated and together represent almost all of the alphaHA deh genes described to date. We report the design and evaluation of degenerate PCR primer pairs for the separate amplification and isolation of group I and II deh genes. Amino acid sequences derived from 10 of 11 group I deh partial gene products of new and previously reported bacterial isolates showed conservation of five residues previously identified as essential for activity. The exception, DehD from a Rhizobium sp., had only two of these five residues. Group II deh gene sequences were amplified from 54 newly isolated strains, and seven of these sequences were cloned and fully characterized. Group II dehalogenases were stereoselective, dechlorinating L- but not D-2-chloropropionic acid, and derived amino acid sequences for all of the genes except dehII degrees P11 showed conservation of previously identified essential residues. Molecular analysis of the two deh families highlighted four subdivisions in each, which were supported by high bootstrap values in phylogenetic trees and by enzyme structure-function considerations. Group I deh genes included two putative cryptic or silent genes, dehI degrees PP3 and dehI degrees 17a, produced by different organisms. Group II deh genes included two cryptic genes and an active gene, dehIIPP3, that can be switched off and on. All alphaHA-degrading bacteria so far described were Proteobacteria, a result that may be explained by limitations either in the host range for deh genes or in isolation methods. (+info)
Chlorine inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7.
We analyzed isolates of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (which has recently caused waterborne outbreaks) and wild-type E. coli to determine their sensitivity to chlorination. Both pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains were significantly reduced within 1 minute of exposure to free chlorine. Results indicate that chlorine levels typically maintained in water systems are sufficient to inactivate these organisms. (+info)
Longitudinal distribution of chlorine absorption in human airways: comparison of nasal and oral quiet breathing.
The fraction of an inspired chlorine (Cl2) bolus absorbed during a single breath (Lambda) was measured as a function of bolus penetration (VP) into the respiratory system of five male and five female nonsmokers during both nasal and oral breathing at a quiet respiratory flow of 250 ml/s. The correspondence between VP and specific anatomic landmarks was found for each subject by a combination of acoustic reflection and nitrogen washout measurements. For both nasal and oral breathing, Lambda reached approximately 0. 95 at the distal end of the upper airways and reached 1.00 within the lower conducting airways. The values of a regional mass transfer parameter computed from the Lambda-VP data indicated that the resistance to Cl2 diffusion in the airway mucosa was negligible compared with the diffusion resistance in the respired gas. Changing the peak inhaled Cl2 concentration from 0.5 to 3.0 parts/million did not significantly affect the distribution of Cl2 absorption, suggesting that the underlying mass transport and chemical reaction processes were linear with respect to Cl2 concentration. (+info)
Development and testing of a microbiological assay to detect residual effects of disinfectant on hard surfaces.
We describe a glucuronidase bioassay for detecting residual bactericidal activity from the use of disinfectants on hard surfaces; in this assay we used formaldehyde, ethanol, isopropanol, chlorine, and a commercial preparation containing 2-bromo-2-nitro-1, 3-propanediol. Chlorine and the commercial preparation showed bactericidal activity (53.5% and 98.2%, respectively) for a week after disinfection. (+info)
Chlorine disinfection of recreational water for Cryptosporidium parvum.
We examined the effects of chlorine on oocyst viability, under the conditions of controlled pH and elevated calcium concentrations required for most community swimming pools. We found that fecal material may alter the Ct values (chlorine concentration in mg/L, multiplied by time in minutes) needed to disinfect swimming pools or other recreational water for Cryptosporidium parvum. (+info)