Tight binding of the 5' exon to domain I of a group II self-splicing intron requires completion of the intron active site.
Group II self-splicing requires the 5' exon to form base pairs with two stretches of intronic sequence (EBS1 and EBS2) which also bind the DNA target during retrotransposition of the intron. We have used dimethyl sulfate modification of bases to obtain footprints of the 5' exon on intron Pl.LSU/2 from the mitochondrion of the alga Pylaiella littoralis, as well as on truncated intron derivatives. Aside from the EBS sites, which are part of the same subdomain (ID) of ribozyme secondary structure, three distant adenines become either less or more sensitive to modification in the presence of the exon. Unexpectedly, one of these adenines in subdomain IC1 is footprinted only in the presence of the distal helix of domain V, which is involved in catalysis. While the loss of that footprint is accompanied by a 100-fold decrease in the affinity for the exon, both protection from modification and efficient binding can be restored by a separate domain V transcript, whose binding results in its own, concise footprint on domains I and III. Possible biological implications of the need for the group II active site to be complete in order to observe high-affinity binding of the 5' exon to domain I are discussed. (+info)
Growth characteristics of Heterosigma akashiwo virus and its possible use as a microbiological agent for red tide control.
The growth characteristics of Heterosigma akashiwo virus clone 01 (HaV01) were examined by performing a one-step growth experiment. The virus had a latent period of 30 to 33 h and a burst size of 7.7 x 10(2) lysis-causing units in an infected cell. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the virus particles formed on the peripheries of viroplasms, as observed in a natural H. akashiwo cell. Inoculation of HaV01 into a mixed algal culture containing four phytoplankton species, H. akashiwo H93616, Chattonella antiqua (a member of the family Raphidophyceae), Heterocapsa triquetra (a member of the family Dinophyceae), and Ditylum brightwellii (a member of the family Bacillariophyceae), resulted in selective growth inhibition of H. akashiwo. Inoculation of HaV01 and H. akashiwo H93616 into a natural seawater sample produced similar results. However, a natural H. akashiwo red tide sample did not exhibit any conspicuous sensitivity to HaV01, presumably because of the great diversity of the host species with respect to virus infection. The growth characteristics of the lytic virus infecting the noxious harmful algal bloom-causing alga were considered, and the possibility of using this virus as a microbiological agent against H. akashiwo red tides is discussed. (+info)
Morphological and compositional changes in a planktonic bacterial community in response to enhanced protozoan grazing.
We analyzed changes in bacterioplankton morphology and composition during enhanced protozoan grazing by image analysis and fluorescent in situ hybridization with group-specific rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. Enclosure experiments were conducted in a small, fishless freshwater pond which was dominated by the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The removal of metazooplankton enhanced protozoan grazing pressure and triggered a microbial succession from fast-growing small bacteria to larger grazing-resistant morphotypes. These were mainly different types of filamentous bacteria which correlated in biomass with the population development of heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF). Small bacterial rods and cocci, which showed increased proportion after removal of Daphnia and doubling times of 6 to 11 h, belonged nearly exclusively to the beta subdivision of the class Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster. The majority of this newly produced bacterial biomass was rapidly consumed by HNF. In contrast, the proportion of bacteria belonging to the gamma and alpha subdivisions of the Proteobacteria increased throughout the experiment. The alpha subdivision consisted mainly of rods that were 3 to 6 microm in length, which probably exceeded the size range of bacteria edible by protozoa. Initially, these organisms accounted for less than 1% of total bacteria, but after 72 h they became the predominant group of the bacterial assemblage. Other types of grazing-resistant, filamentous bacteria were also found within the beta subdivision of Proteobacteria and the Cytophaga-Flavobacterium cluster. We conclude that the predation regimen is a major structuring force for the bacterial community composition in this system. Protozoan grazing resulted in shifts of the morphological as well as the taxonomic composition of the bacterial assemblage. Grazing-resistant filamentous bacteria can develop within different phylogenetic groups of bacteria, and formerly underepresented taxa might become a dominant group when protozoan predation is the major selective pressure. (+info)
Fermentation substrate and dilution rate interact to affect microbial growth and efficiency.
The effect of dilution rate (D) on carbohydrate, fibrous and nonfibrous, and protein fermentation by ruminal microorganisms was studied using a single-effluent continuous-culture system. The diets of fibrous carbohydrate, nonfibrous carbohydrate, or protein were formulated with soybean hulls (FC), ground corn (NFC), or isolated soy protein (PR) as the primary ingredient, respectively. Six dilution rates (.025, .050, .075, .10, .15, and .20/h of fermenter volume) were used. Digestibilities of DM, OM, and CP for the three diets and of NDF and ADF for the FC diet decreased (P<.001) as D increased, although the response of the digestibility to D varied with diet. Increasing D resulted in an increase in pH (P<.001) and a decrease (P<.001) in ammonia concentration. Daily volatile fatty acid production increased (quadratic; P<.01) for the FC and NFC diets, but decreased (quadratic; P<.001) for the PR diet. Increasing D quadratically increased (P<.001) the molar percentage of acetate and propionate, but quadratically decreased (P<.001) butyrate and valerate for the FC and NFC diets. For the PR diet, the molar percentage of propionate and valerate increased (quadratic; P<.01), whereas acetate and butyrate decreased (linear; P<.001) in response to increasing D. Molar percentage of isobutyrate and isovalerate decreased (P<.01) with increasing D for all three diets. As D increased, daily microbial N production showed quadratic responses with maximum values achieved at .126, .143, and .187/h D for the FC, NFC, and PR diet, respectively. There was a positive correlation between microbial growth efficiency (MOEFF) and D. A quadratic model fit the data of MOEFF as affected by D, and maximum MOEFF of 37.3, 59.6, and 71.4 g of bacterial N/kg OM truly fermented were calculated to be achieved at .177, .314, and .207/h D for the FC, NFC, and PR diet, respectively. Dilution rate significantly influenced the ruminal microbial fermentation of fibrous and nonfibrous carbohydrates and proteins, and was positively related to microbial yield and growth efficiency. In addition, microbial nitrogen composition, and therefore efficiency, was affected by substrate fermented. (+info)
Whirling disease: host specificity and interaction between the actinosporean stage of Myxobolus cerebralis and rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss.
Scanning electron microscopic studies were conducted on rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in the first 60 min after their exposure to the triactinomyxon spores of Myxobolus cerebralis. The results demonstrated that as early as 1 min post exposure the whole process, from the attachment of the triactinomyxon spores to the complete penetration of their sporoplasm germs, had occurred. The triactinomyxon spores sought out the secretory openings of mucous cells of the epidermis, the respiratory epithelium and the buccal cavity of trout and used them as portals of entry. Exposure experiments of the triactinomyxon spores of M. cerebralis to non-salmonid fish, such as goldfish Carassius auratus, carp Cyprinus carpio, nose Chondrostoma nasus, medaka Oryzias latipes, guppy Poecilia reticulata and also the amphibian tadpole Rana pipiens as well as to rainbow trout fry indicated a specificity for salmonids. Attempts to activate the triactinomyxon spores by exposure to mucus prepared from cyprinid and salmonid fish showed no significant differences from those conducted in tap water. The results suggest that the simultaneous presence of both mechano- and chemotactic stimuli was required for finding the salmonid fish host. (+info)
Pathogenicity of Ichthyophonus hoferi for laboratory-reared Pacific herring Clupea pallasi and its early appearance in wild Puget Sound herring.
Laboratory-reared pathogen-free Pacific herring were exposed to pure cultures of Ichthyophonus hoferi, and reproduced the disease seen in naturally infected fish--thus fulfilling Koch's Postulates. Pathogen-free herring used in this study were reared from artificially spawned eggs incubated in filtered, UV-sterilized seawater, eliminating the variables associated with multiple infections, which are common in wild herring. Wild free-ranging herring were captured monthly from June through October by dip net from 'herring balls' located in the northern Puget Sound. I. hoferi infections were identified in these fish soon after metamorphoses, about 4 mo post-hatch. The prevalence increased from 5 to 6% in 0-yr fish to 24% in 1-yr-old fish to 50 to 70% in fish over 2 yr old, with no associated increase in mortality. The route of natural transmission to wild herring was not determined, but carnivorous fish became infected and died when they were experimentally fed tissues infected with the organism. In vitro culture of tissues was the most sensitive method for identifying both clinical and subclinical infections. (+info)
Nosema notabilis (Microsporidia), its ultrastructure and effect on the myxosporean host Ortholinea polymorpha.
Nosema notabilis Kudo, 1939 produces chain-forming meronts with a dense cell coat in direct contact with the host cell cytoplasm. Cytoplasmic microtubules and membranaceous whorls could be observed in meront cytoplasm. Sporonts differ in that they have a thicker cell wall and more conspicuous endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cisternae. Sporoblasts have an externally ridged cell wall. Spores have an apically located anchoring disc, an isofilar polar tube with 6 to 9 turns and polyribosomal strands in the sporoplasm. Diplokarya occur in all stages. Heavily infected plasmodia of Ortholinea polymorpha (Davis, 1917) reveal marked pathological signs. The most prominent are reduction of surface projections and/or pinocytosis, inflated mitochondria with altered inner structures, affected vegetative nuclei, damage to generative cells and occurrence of various anomalous formations in the plasmodium cytoplasm. The damage may result in complete disintegration of the plasmodium. However, the development of the microsporidian is affected by a remarkably high percentage of teratological stages revealing membranaceous and tubular structures. (+info)
Nitrate removal in closed-system aquaculture by columnar denitrification.
The columnar denitrification method of nitrate-nitrogen removal from high-density, closed system, salmonid aquaculture was investigated and found to be feasible. However, adequate chemical monitoring was found to be necessary for the optimization and quality control of this method. When methanol-carbon was not balanced with inlet nitrate-nitrogen, the column effluent became unsatisfactory for closed-system fish culture due to the presence of excess amounts of nitrite, ammonia, sulfide, and dissolved organic carbon. Sulfide production was also influenced by column maturity and residence time. Methane-carbon was found to be unsatisfactory as an exogenous carbon source. Endogenous carbon could not support high removal efficiencies. Freshwater columns adpated readily to an artificial seawater with a salinity of 18% without observable inhibition. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the bacterial flora was mainly rod forms with the Peritricha (protozoa) dominating as the primary consumers. Denitrifying bacteria isolated from freshwater columns were tentatively identified as species of Pseudomonas and Alcaligenes. A pilot plant column was found to behave in a manner similar to the laboratory columns except that nitrite production was never observed. (+info)