Analysis and dynamics of the chromosomal complements of wild sparkling-wine yeast strains.
We isolated Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains that are able to carry out the second fermentation of sparkling wine from spontaneously fermenting musts in El Penedes (Spain) by specifically designed selection protocols. All of them (26 strains) showed one of two very similar mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction patterns, whereas their karyotypes differed. These strains showed high rates of karyotype instability, which were dependent on both the medium and the strain, during vegetative growth. In all cases, the mtDNA restriction pattern was conserved in strains kept under the same conditions. Analysis of different repetitive sequences in their genomes suggested that ribosomal DNA repeats play an important role in the changes in size observed in chromosome XII, whereas SUC genes or Ty elements did not show amplification or transposition processes that could be related to rearrangements of the chromosomes showing these sequences. Karyotype changes also occurred in monosporidic diploid derivatives. We propose that these changes originated mainly from ectopic recombination between repeated sequences interspersed in the genome. None of the rearranged karyotypes provided a selective advantage strong enough to allow the strains to displace the parental strains. The nature and frequency of these changes suggest that they may play an important role in the establishment and maintenance of the genetic diversity observed in S. cerevisiae wild populations. (+info)
Erwinia pyrifoliae sp. nov., a novel pathogen that affects Asian pear trees (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai)
A novel pathogen from Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai) was analysed by sequencing the 16S rDNA and the adjacent intergenic region, and the data were compared to related Enterobacteriaceae. The 16S rDNA of the Asian pear pathogen was almost identical with the sequence of Erwinia amylovora, in contrast to the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer region of both species. A dendrogram was deduced from determined sequences of the spacer regions including those of several related species such as Erwinia amylovora, Enterobacter pyrinus, Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii and Escherichia coli. Dendrograms derived from 121 biochemical characteristics including Biotype 100 data placed the Asian pear pathogen close to Erwinia amylovora and more distantly to other members of the species Erwinia and to the species Pantoea and Enterobacter. Another DNA relatedness study was performed by DNA hybridizations and estimation of delta Tm values. The Asian pear strains constituted a tight DNA hybridization group (89-100%) and were barely related to strains of Erwinia amylovora (40-50%) with a delta Tm in the range of 5.2-6.8. The G + C content of DNA from the novel pathogen is 52 mol%. Therefore, it is proposed that strains isolated from Asian pears constitute a new species and the name Erwinia pyrifoliae is suggested; the type strain is strain Ep 16/96T (= CFBP 4172T = DSM 12163T). (+info)
Presence of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol lipid anchor on rose arabinogalactan proteins.
Arabinogalactan proteins constitute a class of plant cell surface proteoglycans with widespread occurrence and suggested functions in various aspects of plant growth and development, including cell proliferation, expansion, marking, and death. Previous investigations of subcellular fractions from suspension-cultured cells of "Paul's Scarlet" rose (Rosa sp.) have revealed extensive structural similarity between some soluble arabinogalactan proteins from the cell wall space and some plasma membrane-associated arabinogalactan proteins, thus inspiring the present investigation of the mechanism through which these inherently water-soluble molecules are held on the plasma membrane. Several lines of evidence gained through a combination of methods including reversed-phase chromatography, treatment with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, and chemical structural analysis now show that some rose arabinogalactan proteins carry a ceramide class glycosylphosphatidylinositol lipid anchor. The predominant form of the ceramide is composed of tetracosanoic acid and 4-hydroxysphinganine. Plasma membrane vesicles readily shed arabinogalactan proteins by an inherent mechanism that appears to involve a phospholipase. This finding has significance toward understanding the biosynthesis, localization, and function of arabinogalactan proteins and toward stimulating other studies that may expand the currently very short list of higher plant proteins found to carry such membrane lipid anchors. (+info)
Phlorisovalerophenone synthase, a novel polyketide synthase from hop (Humulus lupulus L.) cones.
Phlorisovalerophenone synthase (VPS), a novel aromatic polyketide synthase, was purified to homogeneity from 4.2 mg protein extract obtained from hop (Humulus lupulus L.) cone glandular hairs. The enzyme uses isovaleryl-CoA or isobutyryl-CoA and three molecules of malonyl-CoA to form phlorisovalerophenone or phlorisobutyrophenone, intermediates in the biosynthesis of the hop bitter acids (alpha- and beta-acids). VPS is an homodimeric enzyme, with subunits of 45 kDa. The pI of the enzyme was 6.1. Km values of 4 microm for isovaleryl-CoA, 10 microm for isobutyryl-CoA and 33 microm for malonyl-CoA, were found. The amino-acid sequences of two peptides, obtained by digestion of VPS, showed that the enzyme is highly homologous to plant chalcone synthases. The functional and structural relationship between VPS and other aromatic polyketide synthases is discussed. (+info)
The nine C-terminal residues of the grapevine fanleaf nepovirus movement protein are critical for systemic virus spread.
The grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) RNA2-encoded polyprotein P2 is proteolytically cleaved by the RNA1-encoded proteinase to yield protein 2A, 2B(MP) movement protein and 2C(CP) coat protein. To further investigate the role of the 2B(MP) and 2C(CP) proteins in virus movement, RNA2 was engineered by alternatively replacing the GFLV 2B(MP) and 2C(CP) genes with their counterparts from the closely related Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV). Transcripts of all chimeric RNA2s were able to replicate in Chenopodium quinoa protoplasts and form tubules in tobacco BY-2 protoplasts in the presence of the infectious transcript of GFLV RNA1. Virus particles were produced when the GFLV 2C(CP) gene was replaced with its ArMV counterpart, but systemic virus spread did not occur in C. quinoa plants. In addition, chimeric RNA2 containing the complete ArMV 2B(MP) gene was neither encapsidated nor infectious on plants, probably because polyprotein P2 was incompletely processed. However, chimeric RNA2 encoding ArMV 2B(MP), in which the nine C-terminal residues were those of GFLV 2B(MP), formed virus particles and were infectious in the presence of GFLV but not ArMV 2C(CP). These results suggest that the nine C-terminal residues of 2B(MP) must be of the same virus origin as the proteinase for efficient proteolytic processing of polyprotein P2 and from the same virus origin as the 2C(CP) for systemic virus spread. (+info)
Effect of C-terminal deletions in the movement protein of cowpea chlorotic mottle virus on cell-to-cell and long-distance movement.
In order to elucidate the function of the C-terminal region of cowpea chlorotic mottle bromovirus (CCMV) movement protein (MP) in cell-to-cell movement, a set of deletions ranging from 10 to 80 amino acids (deltaMP10, deltaMP20, deltaMP33, deltaMP43, deltaMP60 and deltaMP80) was engineered into the MP gene encoded by the biologically active clone C3/deltaCP-EGFP, a variant of CCMV RNA3 that contained wild-type (wt) MP and the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene in place of the coat protein (CP). The effect of each MP deletion on cell-to-cell movement was examined in three susceptible host plants: Chenopodium quinoa, Nicotiana benthamiana and cowpea (Vigno sinensis cv. Black Eye). The results indicate that, except for mutant deltaMP43, infections resulting from the deletion mutants remained subliminal. Interestingly, infections resulting from inoculating mutant deltaMP43, which lacked the 43 most C-terminal amino acids, spread rapidly between cells and the number of infected cells expressing EGFP approached that of control inoculations made with C3/deltaCP-EGFP. To verify whether the presence of wt CP altered the movement behaviour of these mutants, each MP deletion was also incorporated into the genetic background of wt CCMV RNA3 (pCC3) and inoculated independently to all three hosts. The results suggest that the overall movement process exhibited by each MP mutant is influenced profoundly by the presence of CP and the particular host plant tested. (+info)
Proline accumulation in developing grapevine fruit occurs independently of changes in the levels of delta1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase mRNA or protein.
Mature fruit of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) contains unusually high levels of free proline (Pro; up to 24 micromol or 2.8 mg/g fresh weight). Pro accumulation does not occur uniformly throughout berry development but only during the last 4 to 6 weeks of ripening when both berry growth and net protein accumulation have ceased. In contrast, the steady-state levels of both the mRNA encoding V. vinifera Delta1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase (VVP5CS), a key regulatory enzyme in Pro biosynthesis, and its protein product remain relatively uniform throughout fruit development. In addition, the steady-state protein levels of Pro dehydrogenase, the first enzyme in Pro degradation, increased throughout early fruit development but thereafter remained relatively constant. The developmental accumulation of free Pro late in grape berry ripening is thus clearly distinct from the osmotic stress-induced accumulation of Pro in plants. It is not associated with either sustained increases in steady-state levels of P5CS mRNA or protein or a decrease in steady-state levels of Pro dehydrogenase protein, suggesting that other physiological factors are important for its regulation. (+info)
Molecular identification of Lactobacillus hilgardii and genetic relatedness with Lactobacillus brevis.
Conventional phenotypic methods lead to misidentification of the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus hilgardii and Lactobacillus brevis. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and repetitive element PCR (REP-PCR) techniques were developed for a molecular study of these two species. The taxonomic relationships were confirmed by analysis of the ribosomal operon. Amplified DNA fragments were chosen to isolate L. hilgardii-specific probes. In addition to rapid molecular methods for identification of L. hilgardii, these results convincingly proved that some strains first identified as L. brevis must be reclassified as L. hilgardii. The data clearly showed that these molecular methods are more efficient than phenotypic or biochemical studies for bacterial identification at the species level. (+info)