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  • 1. Agostinelli, Marta
    et al.
    Cleary, Michelle
    Martin, Juan A.
    Albrectsen, Benedicte R.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
    Witzell, Johanna
    Pedunculate Oaks (Quercus robur L.) Differing in Vitality as Reservoirs for Fungal Biodiversity2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 1758Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological significance of trees growing in urban and peri-urban settings is likely to increase in future land-use regimes, calling for better understanding of their role as potential reservoirs or stepping stones for associated biodiversity. We studied the diversity of fungal endophytes in woody tissues of asymptomatic even aged pedunculate oak trees, growing as amenity trees in a peri-urban setting. The trees were classified into three groups according to their phenotypic vitality (high, medium, and low). Endophytes were cultured on potato dextrose media from surface sterilized twigs and DNA sequencing was performed to reveal the taxonomic identity of the morphotypes. In xylem tissues, the frequency and diversity of endophytes was highest in oak trees showing reduced vitality. This difference was not found for bark samples, in which the endophyte infections were more frequent and communities more diverse than in xylem. In general, most taxa were shared across the samples with few morphotypes being recovered in unique samples. Leaf phenolic profiles were found to accurately classify the trees according to their phenotypic vitality. Our results confirm that xylem is more selective substrate for endophytes than bark and that endophyte assemblages in xylem are correlated to the degree of host vitality. Thus, high vitality of trees may be associated with reduced habitat quality to wood-associated endophytes.

  • 2.
    Aliashkevich, Alena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Alvarez, Laura
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    New Insights Into the Mechanisms and Biological Roles of D-Amino Acids in Complex Eco-Systems2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 683Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the environment bacteria share their habitat with a great diversity of organisms, from microbes to humans, animals and plants. In these complex communities, the production of extracellular effectors is a common strategy to control the biodiversity by interfering with the growth and/or viability of nearby microbes. One of such effectors relies on the production and release of extracellular D-amino acids which regulate diverse cellular processes such as cell wall biogenesis, biofilm integrity, and spore germination. Non-canonical D-amino acids are mainly produced by broad spectrum racemases (Bsr). Bsr's promiscuity allows it to generate high concentrations of D-amino acids in environments with variable compositions of L-amino acids. However, it was not clear until recent whether these molecules exhibit divergent functions. Here we review the distinctive biological roles of D-amino acids, their mechanisms of action and their modulatory properties of the biodiversity of complex eco-systems.

  • 3. Askarian, Fatemeh
    et al.
    Lapek, John D., Jr.
    Dongre, Mitesh
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Tsai, Chih-Ming
    Kumaraswamy, Monika
    Kousha, Armin
    Valderrama, J. Andres
    Ludviksen, Judith A.
    Cavanagh, Jorunn P.
    Uchiyama, Satoshi
    Mollnes, Tom E.
    Gonzalez, David J.
    Wai, Sun N.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Nizet, Victor
    Johannessen, Mona
    Staphylococcus aureus Membrane-Derived Vesicles Promote Bacterial Virulence and Confer Protective Immunity in Murine Infection Models2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Staphylococcus aureus produces membrane-derived vesicles (MVs), which share functional properties to outer membrane vesicles. Atomic force microscopy revealed that S. aureus-derived MVs are associated with the bacterial surface or released into the surrounding environment depending on bacterial growth conditions. By using a comparative proteomic approach, a total of 131 and 617 proteins were identified in MVs isolated from S. aureus grown in Luria-Bertani and brain-heart infusion broth, respectively. Purified S. aureus MVs derived from the bacteria grown in either media induced comparable levels of cytotoxicity and neutrophil-activation. Administration of exogenous MVs increased the resistance of S. aureus to killing by whole blood or purified human neutrophils ex vivo and increased S. aureus survival in vivo. Finally, immunization of mice with S. aureus-derived MVs induced production of IgM, total IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b resulting in protection against subcutaneous and systemic S. aureus infection. Collectively, our results suggest S. aureus MVs can influence bacterial-host interactions during systemic infections and provide protective immunity in murine models of infection.

  • 4. Bengtsson-Palme, Johan
    et al.
    Boulund, Fredrik
    Fick, Jerker
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Kristiansson, Erik
    Larsson, D. G. Joakim
    Shotgun metagenomics reveals a wide array of antibiotic resistance genes and mobile elements in a polluted lake in India2014In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is increasing evidence for an environmental origin of many antibiotic resistance genes. Consequently, it is important to identify environments of particular risk for selecting and maintaining such resistance factors. In this study, we described the diversity of antibiotic resistance genes in an Indian lake subjected to industrial pollution with fluoroquinolone antibiotics. We also assessed the genetic context of the identified resistance genes, to try to predict their genetic transferability. The lake harbored a wide range of resistance genes (81 identified gene types) against essentially every major class of antibiotics, as well as genes responsible for mobilization of genetic material. Resistance genes were estimated to be 7000 times more abundant than in a Swedish lake included for comparison, where only eight resistance genes were found. The sul2 and qnrD genes were the most common resistance genes in the Indian lake. Twenty-six known and 21 putative novel plasmids were recovered in the Indian lake metagenome, which, together with the genes found, indicate a large potential for horizontal gene transfer through conjugation. Interestingly, the microbial community of the lake still included a wide range of taxa, suggesting that, across most phyla, bacteria has adapted relatively well to this highly polluted environment. Based on the wide range and high abundance of known resistance factors we have detected, it is plausible that yet unrecognized resistance genes are also present in the lake. Thus, we conclude that environments polluted with waste from antibiotic manufacturing could be important reservoirs for mobile antibiotic resistance genes.

  • 5. Berner, Christoffer
    et al.
    Bertos-Fortis, Mireia
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Legrand, Catherine
    Response of Microbial Communities to Changing Climate Conditions During Summer Cyanobacterial Blooms in the Baltic Sea2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 1562Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Frequencies and biomass of Baltic Sea cyanobacterial blooms are expected to be higher in future climate conditions, but also of longer duration as a result of increased sea surface temperature. Concurrently, climate predictions indicate a reduced salinity in the Baltic Sea. These climate-driven changes are expected to alter not solely the phytoplankton community but also the role of microbial communities for nutrient remineralization. Here, we present the response of summer plankton communities (filamentous cyanobacteria, picocyanobacteria, and heterotrophic bacteria) to the interplay of increasing temperature (from 16 to 18 degrees C and 20 degrees C) and reduced salinity (from salinity 6.9 to 5.9) in the Baltic Proper (NW Gotland Sea) using a microcosm approach. Warmer temperatures led to an earlier peak of cyanobacterial biomass, while yields were reduced. These conditions caused a decrease of nitrogen-fixers (Dolichospermum sp.) biomass, while non nitrogen-fixers (Pseudanabaena sp.) increased. Salinity reduction did not affect cyanobacterial growth nor community composition. Among heterotrophic bacteria, Actinobacteria showed preference for high temperature, while Gammaproteobacteria thrived at in situ temperature. Heterotrophic bacteria community changed drastically at lower salinity and resembled communities at high temperature. Picocyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacterial biomass had a pronounced increase associated with the decay of filamentous cyanobacteria. This suggests that shifts in community composition of heterotrophic bacteria are influenced both directly by abiotic factors (temperature and salinity) and potentially indirectly by cyanobacteria. Our findings suggest that at warmer temperature, lower yield of photosynthetic cyanobacteria combined with lower proportion of nitrogen-fixers in the community could result in lower carbon export to the marine food web with consequences for the decomposer community of heterotrophic bacteria.

  • 6. Bertos-Fortis, Mireia
    et al.
    Farnelid, Hanna M.
    Lindh, Markus V.
    Casini, Michele
    Andersson, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Legrand, Catherine
    Unscrambling Cyanobacteria Community Dynamics Related to Environmental Factors2016In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 7, article id 625Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Future climate scenarios in the Baltic Sea project an increase of cyanobacterial bloom frequency and duration, attributed to eutrophication and climate change. Some cyanobacteria can be toxic and their impact on ecosystem services is relevant for a sustainable sea. Yet, there is limited understanding of the mechanisms regulating cyanobacterial diversity and biogeography. Here we unravel successional patterns and changes in cyanobacterial community structure using a 2-year monthly time series during the productive season in a 100 km coastal-offshore transect using microscopy and high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragments. A total of 565 cyanobacterial OTUs were found, of which 231 where filamentous/colonial and 334 picocyanobacterial. Spatial differences in community structure between coastal and offshore waters were minor. An "epidemic population structure" (dominance of a single cluster) was found for Aphanizomenon/Dolichospermum within the filamentous/colonial cyanobacterial community. In summer, this cluster simultaneously occurred with opportunistic clusters/OTUs, e.g., Nodulana spumigena and Pseudanabaena. Picocyanobacteria, Synechococcus/Cyanobium, formed a consistent but highly diverse group. Overall, the potential drivers structuring summer cyanobacterial communities were temperature and salinity. However, the different responses to environmental factors among and within genera suggest high niche specificity for individual OTUs. The recruitment and occurrence of potentially toxic filamentous/colonial clusters was likely related to disturbance such as mixing events and short-term shifts in salinity, and not solely dependent on increasing temperature and nitrogen-limiting conditions. Nutrients did not explain further the changes in cyanobacterial community composition. Novel occurrence patterns were identified as a strong seasonal succession revealing a tight coupling between the emergence of opportunistic picocyanobacteria and the bloom of filamentous/colonial clusters. These findings highlight that if environmental conditions can partially explain the presence of opportunistic picocyanobacteria, microbial and trophic interactions with filamentous/colonial cyanobacteria should also be considered as potential shaping factors for single-celled communities. Regional climate change scenarios in the Baltic Sea predict environmental shifts leading to higher temperature and lower salinity; conditions identified here as favorable for opportunistic filamentous/colonial cyanobacteria. Altogether, the diversity and complexity of cyanobacterial communities reported here is far greater than previously known, emphasizing the importance of microbial interactions between filamentous and picocyanobacteria in the context of environmental disturbances.

  • 7.
    Blumenstein, Kathrin
    et al.
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden.
    Macaya-Sanz, David
    Madrid, Spain.
    Martin, Juana A.
    Madrid, Spain.
    Albrectsen, Benedicte R.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Witzell, Johanna
    Joensuu, Finland.
    Phenotype MicroArrays as a complementary tool to next generation sequencing for characterization of tree endophytes2015In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 6, article id 1033Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an increasing need to calibrate microbial community profiles obtained through next generation sequencing (NGS) with relevant taxonomic identities of the microbes, and to further associate these identities with phenotypic attributes. Phenotype MicroArray (PM) techniques provide a semi-high throughput assay for characterization and monitoring the microbial cellular phenotypes. Here, we present detailed descriptions of two different PM protocols used in our recent studies on fungal endophytes of forest trees, and highlight the benefits and limitations of this technique. We found that the PM approach enables effective screening of substrate utilization by endophytes. However, the technical limitations are multifaceted and the interpretation of the PM data challenging. For the best result, we recommend that the growth conditions for the fungi are carefully standardized. In addition, rigorous replication and control strategies should be employed whether using pre-configured, commercial microwell-plates or in-house designed PM plates for targeted substrate analyses. With these precautions, the PM technique is a valuable tool to characterize the metabolic capabilities of individual endophyte isolates, or successional endophyte communities identified by NGS, allowing a functional interpretation of the taxonomic data. Thus, PM approaches can provide valuable complementary information for NGS studies of fungal endophytes in forest trees.

  • 8.
    Brodiazhenko, Tetiana
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
    Johansson, Marcus J. O.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Science and Technology).
    Takada, Hiraku
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Nissan, Tracy
    Hauryliuk, Vasili
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
    Murina, Victoriia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Elimination of Ribosome Inactivating Factors Improves the Efficiency of Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cell-Free Translation Systems2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 3041Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cell-free translation systems based on cellular lysates optimized for in vitro protein synthesis have multiple applications both in basic and applied science, ranging from studies of translational regulation to cell-free production of proteins and ribosome-nascent chain complexes. In order to achieve both high activity and reproducibility in a translation system, it is essential that the ribosomes in the cellular lysate are enzymatically active. Here we demonstrate that genomic disruption of genes encoding ribosome inactivating factors – HPF in Bacillus subtilis and Stm1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae – robustly improve the activities of bacterial and yeast translation systems. Importantly, the elimination of B. subtilis HPF results in a complete loss of 100S ribosomes, which otherwise interfere with disome-based approaches for preparation of stalled ribosomal complexes for cryo-electron microscopy studies.

  • 9.
    Broman, Elias
    et al.
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Sachpazidou, Varvara
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Dopson, Mark
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Oxygenation of Hypoxic Coastal Baltic Sea Sediments Impacts on Chemistry, Microbial Community Composition, and Metabolism2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 2453Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Baltic Sea has undergone severe eutrophication during the last century, resulting in increased algal blooms and the development of hypoxic bottom waters. In this study, we sampled oxygen deficient sediment cores from a Baltic Sea coastal bay and exposed the bottom water including the sediment surface to oxygen shifts via artificial addition of air during laboratory incubation. Surface sediment (top 1 cm) from the replicate cores were sliced in the field as well as throughout the laboratory incubations and chemical parameters were analyzed along with high throughput sequencing of community DNA and RNA. After oxygenation, dissolved iron decreased in the water overlying the sediment while inorganic sulfur compounds (thiosulfate and tetrathionate) increased when the water was kept anoxic. Oxygenation of the sediment also maintained RNA transcripts attributed to sulfide and sulfur oxidation as well as nitrogen fixation in the sediment surface. Based on 16S rRNA gene and metatranscriptomic analyses it was found that oxygenation of the sediment surface caused a bloom of the Epsilonproteobacteria genus Arcobacter. In addition, the formation of a thick white film was observed that was likely filamentous zero-valent sulfur produced by the Arcobacter spp. Based on these results, sulfur cycling and nitrogen fixation that were evident in the field samples were ongoing during re-oxygenation of the sediment. These processes potentially added organic nitrogen to the system and facilitated the re-establishment of micro- and macroorganism communities in the benthic zone.

  • 10.
    Bunse, Carina
    et al.
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Bertos-Fortis, Mireia
    Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för biologi och miljö (BOM).
    Sassenhagen, Ingrid
    Sildever, Sirje
    Sjöqvist, Conny
    Godhe, Anna
    Gross, Susanna
    Kremp, Anke
    Lips, Inga
    Lundholm, Nina
    Rengefors, Karin
    Sefbom, Josefin
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Legrand, Catherine
    Spatio-temporal interdependence of bacteria and phytoplankton during a baltic sea spring bloom2016In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 7, article id 517Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In temperate systems, phytoplankton spring blooms deplete inorganic nutrients and are major sources of organic matter for the microbial loop. In response to phytoplankton exudates and environmental factors, heterotrophic microbial communities are highly dynamic and change their abundance and composition both on spatial and temporal scales. Yet, most of our understanding about these processes comes from laboratory model organism studies, mesocosm experiments or single temporal transects. Spatial -temporal studies examining interactions of phytoplankton blooms and bacterioplankton community composition and function, though being highly informative, are scarce. In this study, pelagic microbial community dynamics (bacteria and phytoplankton) and environmental variables were monitored during a spring bloom across the Baltic Proper (two cruises between North Germany to Gulf of Finland). To test to what extent bacterioplankton community composition relates to the spring bloom, we used next generation amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, phytoplankton diversity analysis based on microscopy counts and population genotyping of the dominating diatom Skeletonema rnarinoi. Several phytoplankton bloom related and environmental variables were identified to influence bacterial community composition. Members of Bacteroidetes and Alphaproteobacteria dominated the bacterial community composition but the bacterial groups showed no apparent correlation with direct bloom related variables. The less abundant bacterial phyla Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, and Verrucomicrobia, on the other hand, were strongly associated with phytoplankton biomass, diatom:dinoflagellate ratio, and colored dissolved organic matter (cDOM). Many bacterial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) showed high niche specificities. For example, particular Bacteroidetes OTUs were associated with two distinct genetic clusters of S. marinoi. Our study revealed the complexity of interactions of bacterial taxa with inter- and intraspecific genetic variation in phytoplankton. Overall, our findings imply that biotic and abiotic factors during spring bloom influence bacterial community dynamics in a hierarchical manner.

  • 11. Bunse, Carina
    et al.
    Israelsson, Stina
    Baltar, Federico
    Bertos-Fortis, Mireia
    Fridolfsson, Emil
    Legrand, Catherine
    Lindehoff, Elin
    Lindh, Markus V.
    Martinez-Garcia, Sandra
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    High Frequency Multi-Year Variability in Baltic Sea Microbial Plankton Stocks and Activities2019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 3296Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Marine bacterioplankton are essential in global nutrient cycling and organic matter turnover. Time-series analyses, often at monthly sampling frequencies, have established the paramount role of abiotic and biotic variables in structuring bacterioplankton communities and productivities. However, fine-scale seasonal microbial activities, and underlying biological principles, are not fully understood. We report results from four consecutive years of high-frequency time-series sampling in the Baltic Proper. Pronounced temporal dynamics in most investigated microbial variables were observed, including bacterial heterotrophic production, plankton biomass, extracellular enzyme activities, substrate uptake rate constants of glucose, pyruvate, acetate, amino acids, and leucine, as well as nutrient limitation bioassays. Spring blooms consisting of diatoms and dinoflagellates were followed by elevated bacterial heterotrophic production and abundances. During summer, bacterial productivity estimates increased even further, coinciding with an initial cyanobacterial bloom in early July. However, bacterial abundances only increased following a second cyanobacterial bloom, peaking in August. Uptake rate constants for the different measured carbon compounds varied seasonally and inter-annually and were highly correlated to bacterial productivity estimates, temperature, and cyanobacterial abundances. Further, we detected nutrient limitation in response to environmental conditions in a multitude of microbial variables, such as elevated productivities in nutrient bioassays, changes in enzymatic activities, or substrate preferences. Variations among biotic variables often occurred on time scales of days to a few weeks, yet often spanning several sampling occasions. Such dynamics might not have been captured by sampling at monthly intervals, as compared to more predictable transitions in abiotic variables such as temperature or nutrient concentrations. Our study indicates that high resolution analyses of microbial biomass and productivity parameters can help out in the development of biogeochemical and food web models disentangling the microbial black box.

  • 12. Chauhan, Deepika
    et al.
    Srivastava, Pulkit Anupam
    Ritzl, Barbara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Yennamalli, Ragothaman M.
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Priyadarshini, Richa
    Amino Acid-Dependent Alterations in Cell Wall and Cell Morphology of Deinococcus indicus DR12019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 10, article id 1449Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Deinococcus radiodurans exhibits growth medium-dependent morphological variation in cell shape, but there is no evidence whether this phenomenon is observed in other members of the Deinococcaceae family. In this study, we isolated a red-pigmented, aerobic, Deinococcus indicus strain DR1 from Dadri wetland, India. This D. indicus strain exhibited cell-morphology transition from rod-shaped cells to multi-cell chains in a growth-medium-dependent fashion. In response to addition of 1% casamino acids in the minimal growth medium, rod-shaped cells formed multi-cell chains. Addition of all 20 amino acids to the minimal medium was able to recapitulate the phenotype. Specifically, a combination of L-methionine, L-lysine, L-aspartate, and L-threonine caused morphological alterations. The transition from rod shape to multi-cell chains is due to delay in daughter cell separation after cell division. Minimal medium supplemented with L-ornithine alone was able to cause cell morphology changes. Furthermore, a comparative UPLC analysis of PG fragments isolated from D. indicus cells propagated in different growth media revealed alterations in the PG composition. An increase in the overall cross-linkage of PG was observed in muropeptides from nutrient-rich TSB and NB media versus PYE medium. Overall our study highlights that environmental conditions influence PG composition and cell morphology in D. indicus.

  • 13.
    de Pedro, Miguel A.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Structural constraints and dynamics of bacterial cell wall architecture2015In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 6, article id 449Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The peptidoglycan wall (PG) is a unique structure which confers physical strength and defined shape to bacteria. It consists of a net-like macromolecule of peptide interlinked glycan chains overlying the cell membrane. The structure and layout of the PG dictates that the wall has to be continuously modified as bacteria go through division, morphological differentiation, and adaptive responses. The PG is poorly known in structural terms. However, to understand morphogenesis a precise knowledge of glycan strand arrangement and of local effects of the different kinds of subunits is essential. The scarcity of data led to a conception of the PG as a regular, highly ordered structure which strongly influenced growth models. Here, we review the structure of the PG to define a more realistic conceptual framework. We discuss the consequences of the plasticity of murein architecture in morphogenesis and try to define a set of minimal structural constraints that must be fulfilled by any model to be compatible with present day information.

  • 14. Dopson, Mark
    et al.
    Ossandon, Francisco J.
    Lövgren, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Holmes, David S.
    Metal resistance or tolerance?: Acidophiles confront high metal loads via both abiotic and biotic mechanisms2014In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 5, p. 157-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    All metals are toxic at high concentrations and consequently their intracellular concentrations must be regulated. Extremely acidophilic microorganisms have an optimum growth of pH <3 and proliferate in natural and anthropogenic low pH environments. Some acidophiles are involved in the catalysis of sulfide mineral dissolution, resulting in high concentrations of metals in solution. Acidophiles are often described as highly metal resistant via mechanisms such as multiple and/or more efficient active resistance systems than are present in neutrophiles. However, this is not the case for all acidophiles and we contend that their growth in high metal concentrations is partially due to an intrinsic tolerance as a consequence of the environment in which they live. In this perspective, we highlight metal tolerance via complexation of free metals by sulfate ions and passive tolerance to metal influx via an internal positive cytoplasmic transmembrane potential. These tolerance mechanisms have been largely ignored in past studies of acidophile growth in the presence of metals and should be taken into account.

  • 15. Huerta-Uribe, Alejandro
    et al.
    Marjenberg, Zoe R.
    Yamaguchi, Nao
    Fitzgerald, Stephen
    Connolly, James P. R.
    Carpena, Nuria
    Uvell, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Douce, Gillian
    Elofsson, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Byron, Olwyn
    Marquez, Rudi
    Gally, David L.
    Roe, Andrew J.
    Identification and Characterization of Novel Compounds Blocking Shiga Toxin Expression in Escherichia coli O157:H72016In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 7, article id 1930Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli strains constitute a health problem, as they are problematic to treat. Shiga toxin (Stx) production is a key virulence factor associated with the pathogenicity of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) and can result in the development of haemolytic uremic syndrome in infected patients. The genes encoding Stx are located on temperate lysogenic phages integrated into the bacterial chromosome and expression of the toxin is generally coupled to phage induction through the SOS response. We aimed to find new compounds capable of blocking expression of Stx type 2 (Stx2) as this subtype of Stx is more strongly associated with human disease. High-throughput screening of a small-molecule library identified a lead compound that reduced Stx2 expression in a dose-dependent manner. We show that the optimised compound interferes with the SOS response by directly affecting the activity and oligomerisation of RecA, thus limiting phage activation and Stx2 expression. Our work suggests that RecA is highly susceptible to inhibition and that targeting this protein is a viable approach to limiting production of Stx2 by EHEC. This type of approach has the potential to limit production and transfer of other phage induced and transduced determinants.

  • 16. Hägglund, Moa
    et al.
    Bäckman, Stina
    Macellaro, Anna
    Lindgren, Fetter
    Borgmästars, Emmy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Jacobsson, Karin
    Dryselius, Rikard
    Stenberg, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Division of CBRN Security and Defence, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Umeå, Sweden.
    Sjödin, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Division of CBRN Security and Defence, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Umeå, Sweden.
    Forsman, Mats
    Ahlinder, Jon
    Accounting for bacterial overlap between raw water communities and contaminating sources improves the accuracy of signature-based microbial source tracking2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2364Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Microbial source tracking (MST) analysis is essential to identifying and mitigating the fecal pollution of water resources. The signature-based MST method uses a library of sequences to identify contaminants based on operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that are unique to a certain source. However, no clear guidelines for how to incorporate OTU overlap or natural variation in the raw water bacterial community into MST analyses exist. We investigated how the inclusion of bacterial overlap between sources in the library affects source prediction accuracy. To achieve this, large-scale sampling-including feces from seven species, raw sewage, and raw water samples from water treatment plants - was followed by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The MST library was defined using three settings: (i) no raw water communities represented; (ii) raw water communities selected through clustering analysis; and (iii) local water communities collected across consecutive years. The results suggest that incorporating either the local background or representative bacterial composition improves MST analyses, as the results were positively correlated to measured levels of fecal indicator bacteria and the accuracy at which OTUs were assigned to the correct contamination source increased fourfold. Using the proportion of OTUs with high source origin probability, underpinning a contaminating signal, is a solid foundation in a framework for further deciphering and comparing contaminating signals derived in signature-based MST approaches. In conclusion, incorporating background bacterial composition of water in MST can improve mitigation efforts for minimizing the spread of pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria into essential freshwater resources.

  • 17.
    Irazoki, Oihane
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Hernandez, Sara B.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Peptidoglycan Muropeptides: Release, Perception, and Functions as Signaling Molecules2019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 10, article id 500Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Peptidoglycan (PG) is an essential molecule for the survival of bacteria, and thus, its biosynthesis and remodeling have always been in the spotlight when it comes to the development of antibiotics. The peptidoglycan polymer provides a protective function in bacteria, but at the same time is continuously subjected to editing activities that in some cases lead to the release of peptidoglycan fragments (i.e., muropeptides) to the environment. Several soluble muropeptides have been reported to work as signaling molecules. In this review, we summarize the mechanisms involved in muropeptide release (PG breakdown and PG recycling) and describe the known PG-receptor proteins responsible for PG sensing. Furthermore, we overview the role of muropeptides as signaling molecules, focusing on the microbial responses and their functions in the host beyond their immunostimulatory activity.

  • 18. Jiménez-Leiva, Andrea
    et al.
    Cabrera, Juan J.
    Bueno, Emilio
    Department of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic Systems, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Granada, Spain.
    Torres, María J.
    Salazar, Sergio
    Bedmar, Eulogio J.
    Delgado, María J.
    Mesa, Socorro
    Expanding the Regulon of the Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens NnrR Transcription Factor: New Insights Into the Denitrification Pathway2019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 10, article id 1926Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Denitrification in the soybean endosymbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens is controlled by a complex regulatory network composed of two hierarchical cascades, FixLJ-FixK(2)-NnrR and RegSR-NifA. In the former cascade, the CRP/FNR-type transcription factors FixK(2) and NnrR exert disparate control on expression of core denitrifying systems encoded by napEDABC, nirK, norCBQD, and nosRZDFYLX genes in response to microoxia and nitrogen oxides, respectively. To identify additional genes controlled by NnrR and involved in the denitrification process in B. diazoefficiens, we compared the transcriptional profile of an nnrR mutant with that of the wild type, both grown under anoxic denitrifying conditions. This approach revealed more than 170 genes were simultaneously induced in the wild type and under the positive control of NnrR. Among them, we found the cycA gene which codes for the c(550) soluble cytochrome (CycA), previously identified as an intermediate electron donor between the bc(1) complex and the denitrifying nitrite reductase NirK. Here, we demonstrated that CycA is also required for nitrous oxide reductase activity. However, mutation in cycA neither affected nosZ gene expression nor NosZ protein steady-state levels. Furthermore, cycA, nnrR and its proximal divergently oriented nnrS gene, are direct targets for FixK(2) as determined by in vitro transcription activation assays. The dependence of cycA expression on FixK(2) and NnrR in anoxic denitrifying conditions was validated at transcriptional level, determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR, and at the level of protein by performing heme c-staining of soluble cytochromes. Thus, this study expands the regulon of NnrR and demonstrates the role of CycA in the activity of the nitrous oxide reductase, the key enzyme for nitrous oxide mitigation.

  • 19. Johnning, Anna
    et al.
    Kristiansson, Erik
    Fick, Jerker
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Weijdegard, Birgitta
    Larsson, D. G. Joakim
    Resistance Mutations in gyrA and parC are Common in Escherichia Communities of both Fluoroquinolone-Polluted and Uncontaminated Aquatic Environments2015In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 6, article id 1355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Alterations in the target proteins of fluoroquinolones, especially in GyrA and ParC, are known to cause resistance. Here, we investigated environmental Escherichia communities to explore the possible link between the abundance of mutations, and the exposure to fluoroquinolones. Sediment samples were collected from a relatively pristine lake, up and downstream from a sewage treatment plant, and from several industrially polluted sites. The quinolone resistance-determining regions of gyrA and parC were analyzed using amplicon sequencing of metagenomic DNA. Five non-synonymous substitutions were present in all samples, and all of these mutations have been previously linked to fluoroquinolone resistance in Escherichia coli. In GyrA, substitutions S83L and D87N were on average detected at frequencies of 86 and 32%, respectively, and 31% of all amplicons encoded both substitutions. In ParC, substitutions S80I, E84G, and E84V were detected in 42, 0.9, and 6.0% of the amplicons, respectively, and 6.5% encoded double substitutions. There was no significant correlation between the level of fluoroquinolone pollution and the relative abundance of resistance mutations, with the exception of the most polluted site, which showed the highest abundance of said substitutions in both genes. Our results demonstrate that resistance mutations can be common in environmental Escherichia, even in the absence of a fluoroquinolone selective pressure.

  • 20. Lekmeechai, Sujinna
    et al.
    Su, Yu-Ching
    Brant, Marta
    Alvarado-Kristensson, Maria
    Vallström, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Obi, Ikenna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Arnqvist, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Riesbeck, Kristian
    Helicobacter pylori Outer Membrane Vesicles Protect the Pathogen From Reactive Oxygen Species of the Respiratory Burst2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 1837Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) play an important role in the persistence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Helicobacter OMVs carry a plethora of virulence factors, including catalase (KatA), an antioxidant enzyme that counteracts the host respiratory burst. We found KatA to be enriched and surface-associated in OMVs compared to bacterial cells. This conferred OMV-dependent KatA activity resulting in neutralization of H2O2 and NaClO, and rescue of surrounding bacteria from oxidative damage. The antioxidant activity of OMVs was abolished by deletion of KatA. In conclusion, enrichment of antioxidative KatA in OMVs is highly important for efficient immune evasion.

  • 21. LeRoux, Frederique
    et al.
    Wegner, K. Mathias
    Baker-Austin, Craig
    Vezzulli, Luigi
    Osorio, Carlos R.
    Amaro, Carmen
    Ritchie, Jennifer M.
    Defoirdt, Tom
    Destoumieux-Garzon, Delphine
    Blokesch, Melanie
    Mazel, Didier
    Jacq, Annick
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Gram, Lone
    Wendling, Carolin C.
    Strauch, Eckhard
    Kirschner, Alexander
    Huehn, Stephan
    The emergence of Vibrio pathogens in Europe: ecology, evolution, and pathogenesis (Paris, 11-12th March 2015)2015In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 6, article id 830Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Global change has caused a worldwide increase in reports of Vibrio-associated diseases with ecosystem-wide impacts on humans and marine animals. In Europe, higher prevalence of human infections followed regional climatic trends with outbreaks occurring during episodes of unusually warm weather. Similar patterns were also observed in Vibrio-associated diseases affecting marine organisms such as fish, bivalves and corals. Basic knowledge is still lacking on the ecology and evolutionary biology of these bacteria as well as on their virulence mechanisms. Current limitations in experimental systems to study infection and the lack of diagnostic tools still prevent a better understanding of Vibrio emergence. A major challenge is to foster cooperation between fundamental and applied research in order to investigate the consequences of pathogen emergence in natural Vibrio populations and answer federative questions that meet societal needs. Here we report the proceedings of the first European workshop dedicated to these specific goals of the Vibrio research community by connecting current knowledge to societal issues related to ocean health and food security.

  • 22. Lindh, Markus V.
    et al.
    Figueroa, Daniela
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Sjostedt, Johanna
    Baltar, Federico
    Lundin, Daniel
    Andersson, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF).
    Legrand, Catherine
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Transplant experiments uncover Baltic Sea basin-specific responses in bacterioplankton community composition and metabolic activities2015In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 6, article id 223Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Anthropogenically induced changes in precipitation are projected to generate increased river runoff to semi enclosed seas, increasing loads of terrestrial dissolved organic matter and decreasing salinity. To determine how bacterial community structure and functioning adjust to such changes, we designed microcosm transplant experiments with Baltic Proper (salinity 7.2) and Bothnian Sea (salinity 3.6) water. Baltic Proper bacteria generally reached higher abundances than Bothnian Sea bacteria in both Baltic Proper and Bothnian Sea water, indicating higher adaptability. Moreover, Baltic Proper bacteria growing in Bothnian Sea water consistently showed highest bacterial production and beta-glucosidase activity. These metabolic responses were accompanied by basin specific changes in bacterial community structure. For example, Baltic Proper Pseudomonas and Limnobacter populations increased markedly in relative abundance in Bothnian Sea water, indicating a replacement effect. In contrast, Roseobacter and Rheinheknera populations were stable or increased in abundance when challenged by either of the waters, indicating an adjustment effect. Transplants to Bothnian Sea water triggered the initial emergence of particular Burkholderiaceae populations, and transplants to Baltic Proper water triggered Alteromonadaceae populations. Notably, in the subsequent re transplant experiment, a priming effect resulted in further increases to dominance of these populations. Correlated changes in community composition and metabolic activity were observed only in the transplant experiment and only at relatively high phylogenetic resolution. This suggested an importance of successional progression for interpreting relationships between bacterial community composition and functioning. We infer that priming effects on bacterial community structure by natural episodic events or climate change induced forcing could translate into long-term changes in bacterial ecosystem process rates.

  • 23. Lindh, Markus V.
    et al.
    Sjöstedt, Johanna
    Casini, Michele
    Andersson, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Legrand, Catherine
    Pinhassi, Jarone
    Local Environmental Conditions Shape Generalist But Not Specialist Components of Microbial Metacommunities in the Baltic Sea2016In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 7, article id 2078Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Marine microbes exhibit biogeographical patterns linked with fluxes of matter and energy. Yet, knowledge of the mechanisms shaping bacterioplankton community assembly across temporal scales remains poor. We examined bacterioplankton 16S rRNA gene fragments obtained from Baltic Sea transects to determine phylogenetic relatedness and assembly processes coupled with niche breadth. Communities were phylogenetically more related over time than expected by chance, albeit with considerable temporal variation. Hence, habitat filtering, i.e., local environmental conditions, rather than competition structured bacterioplankton communities in summer but not in spring or autumn. Species sorting (SS) was the dominant assembly process, but temporal and taxonomical variation in mechanisms was observed. For May communities, Cyanobacteria, Actinobacteria, Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria exhibited SS while Bacteroidetes and Verrucomicrobia were assembled by SS and mass effect. Concomitantly, Gammaproteobacteria were assembled by the neutral model and patch dynamics. Temporal variation in habitat filtering and dispersal highlights the impact of seasonally driven reorganization of microbial communities. Typically abundant Baltic Sea populations such as the NS3a marine group (Bacteroidetes) and the SAR86 and SAR11 clade had the highest niche breadth. The verrucomicrobial Spartobacteria population also exhibited high niche breadth. Surprisingly, variation in bacterioplankton community composition was regulated by environmental factors for generalist taxa but not specialists. Our results suggest that generalists such as NS3a, SAR86, and SAR11 are reorganized to a greater extent by changes in the environment compared to specialists and contribute more strongly to determining overall biogeographical patterns of marine bacterial communities.

  • 24.
    Mojica, Sergio
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology.
    Eriksson, Anna U.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Davis, Rohan A.
    Bahnan, Wael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Elofsson, Mikael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Gylfe, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Red Fluorescent Chlamydia trachomatis Applied to Live Cell Imaging and Screening for Antibacterial Agents2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 3151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, we describe the application of a transformed Chlamydia trachomatis strain constitutively expressing the red fluorescent protein mCherry, to allow real-time monitoring of the infection cycle and screening for agents that block replication of C. trachomatis. The red fluorescent C. trachomatis strain was detected autonomously without antibody staining and was equally susceptible to doxycycline as the wild type strain. A high-throughput screening assay was developed using the transformed strain and automated fluorescence microscopy. The assay was used in a pilot screen of a 349 compound library containing natural products from Australian flora and fauna. Compounds with anti-chlamydial activity were tested for dose response and toxicity to host cells and two non-toxic compounds had 50% effective concentration (EC50) values in the low micromolar range. Natural products are valuable sources for drug discovery and the identified Chlamydia growth inhibition may be starting points for future drug development. Live cell imaging was used to visualize growth of the red fluorescent C. trachomatis strain over time. The screening assay reduced workload and reagents compared to an assay requiring immunostaining and could further be used to monitor the development of Chlamydia inclusions and anti-chlamydial effect in real time.

  • 25.
    Moreno-Garcia, Jaime
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry. Department of Microbiology, University of Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain; Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Jose Martin-Garcia, Francisco
    Ogawa, Minami
    Garcia-Martinez, Teresa
    Moreno, Juan
    Mauricio, Juan C.
    Bisson, Linda F.
    FLO1, FLO5 and FLO11 flocculation gene Expression impacts saccharomyces cerevisiae attachment to penicillium chrysogenum in a Co-immobilization technique2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2586Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A reoccurring flaw of most yeast immobilization systems that limits the potential of the technique is leakage of the cells from the matrix. Leakage may be due to weakly adherent cells, deterioration of the matrix, or to new growth and loss of non-adherent daughter cells. Yeast biocapsules are a spontaneous, cost effective system of immobilization whereby Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells are attached to the hyphae of Penicillium chrysogenum, creating hollow spheres that allow recovery and reutilization. This attachment is based on naturally occurring adherent properties of the yeast cell surface. We hypothesized that proteins associated with flocculation might play a role in adherence to fungal hyphae. To test this hypothesis, yeast strains with overexpressed and deleted flocculation genes (FLO1, FLO5, and FLO11) were evaluated for biocapsule formation to observe the impact of gene expression on biocapsule diameter, number, volume, dry mass, and percent immobilized versus non-immobilized cells. Overexpression of all three genes enhanced immobilization and resulted in larger diameter biocapsules. In particular, overexpression of FLO11 resulted in a five fold increase of absorbed cells versus the wild type isogenic strain. In addition, deletion of FLO1 and FLO11 significantly decreased the number of immobilized yeast cells compared to the wild type BY4742. These results confirm the role of natural adherent properties of yeast cells in attachment to fungal hyphae and offer the potential to create strongly adherent cells that will produce adherent progeny thereby reducing the potential for cell leakage from the matrix.

  • 26.
    Nakao, Ryoma
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Department of Bacteriology I, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.
    Myint, Si Lhyam
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Wai, Sun Nyunt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Uhlin, Bernt Eric
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Enhanced Biofilm Formation and Membrane Vesicle Release by Escherichia coli Expressing a Commonly Occurring Plasmid Gene, kil2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2605Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Escherichia coli is one of the most prevalent microorganisms forming biofilms on indwelling medical devices, as well as a representative model to study the biology and ecology of biofilms. Here, we report that a small plasmid gene, kil, enhances biofilm formation of E coli. The kil gene is widely conserved among naturally occurring colicinogenic plasmids such as ColE1 plasmid, and is also present in some plasmid derivatives used as cloning vectors. First, we found that overexpression of the kil gene product dramatically increased biofilm mass enriched with extracellular DNA in the outer membrane-compromised strain RN102, a deep rough LPS mutant E. coli K-12 derivative. We also found that the kil-enhanced biofilm formation was further promoted by addition of physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+, not only in the case of RN102, but also with the parental strain BW25113, which retains intact core-oligosaccharide LPS. Biofilm formation by kil-expressing BW25113 strain (BW25113 kil+) was significantly inhibited by protease but not DNase I. In addition, a large amount of proteinous materials were released from the BW25113 kil+ cells. These materials contained soluble cytoplasmic and periplasmic proteins, and insoluble membrane vesicles (MVs). The kil-induced MVs were composed of not only outer membrane/periplasmic proteins, but also inner membrane/cytoplasmic proteins, indicating that MVs from both of the outer and inner membranes could be released into the extracellular milieu. Subcellular fractionation analysis revealed that the Kil proteins translocated to both the outer and inner membranes in whole cells of BW25113 kil+. Furthermore, the BW25113 kil+ showed not only reduced viability in the stationary growth phase, but also increased susceptibility to killing by predator bacteria, Vibrio cholerae expressing the type VI secretion system, despite no obvious change in morphology and physiology of the bacterial membrane under regular culture conditions. Taken together, our findings suggest that there is risk of increasing biofilm formation and spreading of numerous MVs releasing various cellular components due to kil gene expression. From another point of view, our findings could also offer efficient MV production strategies using a conditional kil vector in biotechnological applications.

  • 27.
    Näslund Salomonsson, Emelie
    et al.
    CBRN Defence and Security, FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Umeå, Sweden.
    Forslund, Anna-Lena
    CBRN Defence and Security, FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Umeå, Sweden.
    Forsberg, Åke
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
    Type IV pili in Francisella: a virulence trait in an intracellular pathogen2011In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 2, article id 29Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Francisella tularensis is a highly virulent intracellular human pathogen that is capable of rapid proliferation in the infected host. Mutants affected in intracellular survival and growth are highly attenuated which highlights the importance of the intracellular phase of the infection. Genomic analysis has revealed that Francisella encodes all genes required for expression of functional type IV pili (Tfp), and in this focused review we summarize recent findings regarding this system in the pathogenesis of tularemia. Tfp are dynamic adhesive structures that have been identified as major virulence determinants in several human pathogens, but it is not obvious what role these structures could have in an intracellular pathogen like Francisella. In the human pathogenic strains, genes required for secretion and assembly of Tfp and one pilin, PilA, have shown to be required for full virulence. Importantly, specific genetic differences have been identified between the different Francisella subspecies where in the most pathogenic type A variants all genes are intact while several Tfp genes are pseudogenes in the less pathogenic type B strains. This suggests that there has been a selection for expression of Tfp with different properties in the different subspecies. There is also a possibility that the genetic differences reflect adaptation to different environmental niches of the subspecies and plays a role in transmission of tularemia. This is also in line with recent findings where Tfp pilins are found to be glycosylated which could reflect a role for Tfp in the environment to promote survival and transmission. We are still far from understanding the role of Tfp in virulence and transmission of tularemia, but with the genomic information and genetic tools available we are in a good position to address these issues in the future.

  • 28.
    Pajarillo, Edward Alain B.
    et al.
    Dankook University.
    Kim, Sang Hoon
    Dankook University.
    Valeriano, Valerie Diane
    Department of Animal Resources Science, Dankook University, Cheonan, South Korea.
    Lee, Ji Yoon
    Seoul National University.
    Kang, Dae-Kyung
    Dankook University.
    Proteomic View of the Crosstalk between Lactobacillus mucosae and Intestinal Epithelial Cells in Co-culture Revealed by Q Exactive-Based Quantitative Proteomics2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 2459Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lactobacilli are bacteria that are beneficial to host health, but information on communication between Lactobacilli and host cells in the intestine is lacking. In this study, we examined the proteomes of the Lactobacillus mucosae strain LM1, as a model of beneficial bacteria, and the intestinal porcine epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2) after co-culture. Label-free proteomics demonstrated the high-throughput capability of the technique, and robust characterization of the functional profiles and changes in the bacteria and intestinal cells was achieved in pure and mixed cultures. After co-culture, we identified totals of 376 and 653 differentially expressed proteins in the LM1 and IPEC-J2 proteomes, respectively. The major proteomic changes in the LM1 strain occurred in the functional categories of transcription, general function, and translation, whereas those in IPEC-J2 cells involved metabolic and cellular processes, and cellular component organization/biogenesis. Among them, elongation factor Tu, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and phosphocarrier protein HPr, which are known to be involved in bacterial adhesion, were upregulated in LM1. In contrast, proteins involved in tight junction assembly, actin organization, and genetic information processing (i.e., histones and signaling pathways) were significantly upregulated in IPEC-J2 cells. Furthermore, we identified functional pathways that are possibly involved in host–microbe crosstalk and response. These findings will provide novel insights into host–bacteria communication and the molecular mechanism of probiotic establishment in the intestine.

  • 29. Paulsson, Magnus
    et al.
    Che, Karlhans F.
    Ahl, Jonas
    Tham, Johan
    Sandblad, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine).
    Smith, Margaretha E.
    Qvarfordt, Ingemar
    Su, Yu-Ching
    Linden, Anders
    Riesbeck, Kristian
    Bacterial Outer Membrane Vesicles Induce Vitronectin Release Into the Bronchoalveolar Space Conferring Protection From Complement-Mediated Killing2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 1559Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pathogens causing pneumonia utilize the complement regulator vitronectin to evade complement-mediated killing. Although vitronectin is associated with several chronic lung diseases, the role of bronchoalveolar vitronectin in pneumonia has not been studied. This study sought to reveal the involvement of vitronectin in the bronchoalveolar space during pneumonia, to assess the effect of outer membrane vesicles and endotoxin on vitronectin release, and to determine whether bacterial pathogens utilize pulmonary vitronectin for evasion. Vitronectin was analyzed in cell-free bronchoalveolar lavage fluid harvested from patients with pneumonia (n = 8) and from healthy volunteers after subsegmental endotoxin instillation (n = 13). Vitronectin binding by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Haemophilus influenzae was analyzed, and subsequent complement evasion was assessed by serum challenge. The effects of outer membrane vesicles on vitronectin production in mouse lungs and human type II alveolar epithelial cells (A549) were determined. We detected increased vitronectin concentrations in lavage fluid during pneumonia (p = 0.0063) and after bronchial endotoxin challenge (p = 0.016). The capture of vitronectin by bacteria significantly reduced complement-mediated lysis. Following challenge with vesicles, vitronectin was detected in mouse bronchoalveolar space, and mouse alveolar epithelial cells in vivo as well as A549 cells in vitro contained increased levels of vitronectin. Taken together, outer membrane vesicles and endotoxin from Gram-negative bacteria induce vitronectin, which is released into the bronchoalveolar space, and used for evasion of complement-mediated clearance.

  • 30.
    Rehman, Saima
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Li, Yang Grace
    Schmitt, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Lassinantti, Lena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Christie, Peter J.
    Berntsson, Ronnie P. -A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Enterococcal PcfF Is a Ribbon-Helix-Helix Protein That Recruits the Relaxase PcfG Through Binding and Bending of the oriT Sequence2019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 10, article id 958Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The conjugative plasmid pCF10 from Enterococcus faecalis encodes a Type 4 Secretion System required for plasmid transfer. The accessory factor PcfF and relaxase PcfG initiate pCF10 transfer by forming the catalytically active relaxosome at the plasmid’s origin-of-transfer (oriT) sequence. Here, we report the crystal structure of the homodimeric PcfF, composed of an N-terminal DNA binding Ribbon-Helix-Helix (RHH) domain and a C-terminal stalk domain. We identified key residues in the RHH domain that are responsible for binding pCF10’s oriT sequence in vitro, and further showed that PcfF bends the DNA upon oriT binding. By mutational analysis and pull-down experiments, we identified residues in the stalk domain that contribute to interaction with PcfG. PcfF variant proteins defective in oriT or PcfG binding attenuated plasmid transfer in vivo, but also suggested that intrinsic or extrinsic factors might modulate relaxosome assembly. We propose that PcfF initiates relaxosome assembly by binding oriT and inducing DNA bending, which serves to recruit PcfG as well as extrinsic factors necessary for optimal plasmid processing and engagement with the pCF10 transfer machine.

  • 31. Rodríguez, Juanjo
    et al.
    Gallampois, Christine
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Timonen, Sari
    Andersson, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Sinkko, Hanna
    Haglund, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Berglund, Åsa M. M.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Ripszam, Matyas
    Figueroa, Daniela
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
    Tysklind, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
    Rowe, Owen
    Effects of Organic Pollutants on Bacterial Communities Under Future Climate Change Scenarios2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2926Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Coastal ecosystems are highly dynamic and can be strongly influenced by climate change, anthropogenic activities (e.g. pollution) and a combination of the two pressures. As a result of climate change, the northern hemisphere is predicted to undergo an increased precipitation regime, leading in turn to higher terrestrial runoff and increased river inflow. This increased runoff will transfer terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM) and anthropogenic contaminants to coastal waters. Such changes can directly influence the resident biology, particularly at the base of the food web, and can influence the partitioning of contaminants and thus their potential impact on the food web. Bacteria have been shown to respond to high tDOM concentration and organic pollutants loads, and could represent the entry of some pollutants into coastal food webs. We carried out a mesocosm experiment to determine the effects of: 1) increased tDOM concentration, 2) organic pollutant exposure, and 3) the combined effect of these two factors, on pelagic bacterial communities. This study showed significant responses in bacterial community composition under the three environmental perturbations tested. The addition of tDOM increased bacterial activity and diversity, while the addition of organic pollutants led to an overall reduction of these parameters, particularly under concurrent elevated tDOM concentration. Furthermore, we identified 33 bacterial taxa contributing to the significant differences observed in community composition, as well as 35 bacterial taxa which responded differently to extended exposure to organic pollutants. These findings point to the potential impact of organic pollutants under future climate change conditions on the basal coastal ecosystem, as well as to the potential utility of natural bacterial communities as efficient indicators of environmental disturbance.

  • 32.
    Sjöstedt, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Bacteriology.
    Special topic on Francisella tularensis and tularemia2011In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 2, article id 86Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 33. Taniguchi, Saki
    et al.
    Kasho, Kazutoshi
    Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.
    Ozaki, Shogo
    Katayama, Tsutomu
    Escherichia coli CrfC Protein, a Nucleoid Partition Factor, Localizes to Nucleoid Poles via the Activities of Specific Nucleoid-Associated Proteins2019In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 10, article id 72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Escherichia coli CrfC protein is an important regulator of nucleoid positioning and equipartition. Previously we revealed that CrfC homo-oligomers bind the clamp, a DNA-binding subunit of the DNA polymerase III holoenzyme, promoting colocalization of the sister replication forks, which ensures the nucleoid equipartition. In addition, CrfC localizes at the cell pole-proximal loci via an unknown mechanism. Here, we demonstrate that CrfC localizes to the distinct subnucleoid structures termed nucleoid poles (the cell pole-proximal nucleoid-edges) even in elongated cells as well as in wild-type cells. Systematic analysis of the nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) and related proteins revealed that HU, the most abundant NAP, and SImA, the nucleoid occlusion factor regulating the localization of cell division apparatus, promote the specific localization of CrfC foci. When the replication initiator DnaA was inactivated, SImA and HU were required for formation of CrfC foci. In contrast, when the replication initiation was inhibited with a specific mutant of the helicase-loader DnaC, CrfC foci were sustained independently of SImA and HU. H-NS, which forms clusters on AT-rich DNA regions, promotes formation of CrfC foci as well as transcriptional regulation of crfC. In addition, MukB, the chromosomal structure mainetanice protein, and SeqA, a hemimethylated nascent DNA region-binding protein, moderately stimulated formation of CrfC foci. However, IHF, a structural homolog of HU, MatP, the replication terminus-binding protein, Dps, a stress-response factor, and FtsZ, an SImA-interacting factor in cell division apparatus, little or only slightly affected CrfC foci formation and localization. Taken together, these findings suggest a novel and unique mechanism that CrfC localizes to the nucleoid poles in two steps, assembly and recruitment, dependent upon HU, MukB, SeqA, and SImA, which is stimulated directly or indirectly by H-NS and DnaA. These factors might concordantly affect specific nucleoid substructures. Also, these nucleoid dynamics might be significant in the role for CrfC in chromosome partition.

  • 34. Terceti, Mateus S.
    et al.
    Rivas, Amable J.
    Alvarez, Laura
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Noia, Manuel
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Osorio, Carlos R.
    rstB Regulates Expression of the Photobacterium damselae subsp damselae Major Virulence Factors Damselysin, Phobalysin P and Phobalysin C2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 582Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The marine pathogenic bacterium Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae causes septicemia in marine animals and in humans. The pPHDD1 plasmid-encoded hemolysins damselysin (Dly) and phobalysin P (PhlyP), and the chromosome-encoded hemolysin phobalysin C (PhlyC) constitute its main virulence factors. However, the mechanisms by which expression of these three hemolysins is regulated remain unknown. Here we report the isolation of a mini-Tn10 transposon mutant which showed a strong impairment in its hemolytic activity. The transposon disrupted a putative sensor histidine kinase gene vda_000600 (rstB), which together with vda_000601 (rstA) is predicted to encode a putative two-component regulatory system. This system showed to be homologous to the Vibrio cholerae CarSR/VprAB and Escherichia coli RstAB systems. Reconstruction of the mutant by allelic exchange of rstB showed equal impairment in hemolysis, and complementation with a plasmid expressing rstAB restored hemolysis to wild-type levels. Remarkably, we demonstrated by promoter expression analyses that the reduced hemolysis in the rstB mutant was accompanied by a strong decrease in transcription activities of the three hemolysin genes dly (damselysin), hlyA(pl) (phobalysin P) and hlyA(ch) (phobalysin C). Thus, RstB, encoded in the small chromosome, regulates plasmid and chromosomal virulence genes. We also found that reduced expression of the three virulence genes correlated with a strong decrease in virulence in a sea bass model, demonstrating that RstB constitutes a master regulator of the three P. damselae subsp. damselae hemolysins and plays critical roles in the pathogenicity of this bacterium. This study represents the first evidence of a direct role of a RstAB-like system in the regulation of bacterial toxins.

  • 35. Torres, Maria J.
    et al.
    Bueno, Emilio
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). CSIC, Estn Expt Zaidin, Dept Soil Microbiol & Symbiot Syst, Granada, Spain.
    Jimenez-Leiva, Andrea
    Cabrera, Juan J.
    Bedmar, Eulogio J.
    Mesa, Socorro
    Delgado, Maria J.
    FixK(2) Is the Main Transcriptional Activator of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens nosRZDYFLX Genes in Response to Low Oxygen2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 1621Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The powerful greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O) has a strong potential to drive climate change. Soils are the major source of N2O and microbial nitrification and denitrification the main processes involved. The soybean endosymbiont Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens is considered a model to study rhizobial denitrification, which depends on the napEDABC, nirK, norCBQD, and nosRZDYFLX genes. In this bacterium, the role of the regulatory cascade FixLJ-FixK(2)-NnrR in the expression of napEDABC, nirK, and norCBQD genes involved in N2O synthesis has been previously unraveled. However, much remains to be discovered regarding the regulation of the respiratory N2O reductase (N2OR), the key enzyme that mitigates N2O emissions. In this work, we have demonstrated that nosRZDYFLX genes constitute an operon which is transcribed from a major promoter located upstream of the nosR gene. Low oxygen was shown to be the main inducer of expression of nosRZDYFLX genes and N2OR activity, FixK(2) being the regulatory protein involved in such control. Further, by using an in vitro transcription assay with purified FixK(2) protein and B. diazoefficiens RNA polymerase we were able to show that the nosRZDYFLX genes are direct targets of FixK(2).

  • 36. Traving, Sachia J.
    et al.
    Rowe, Owen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF).
    Jakobsen, Nina M.
    Sorensen, Helle
    Dinasquet, Julie
    Stedmon, Colin A.
    Andersson, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF).
    Riemann, Lasse
    The Effect of Increased Loads of Dissolved Organic Matter on Estuarine Microbial Community Composition and Function2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 351Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increased river loads are projected as one of the major consequences of climate change in the northern hemisphere, leading to elevated inputs of riverine dissolved organic matter (DOM) and inorganic nutrients to coastal ecosystems. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of elevated DOM on a coastal pelagic food web from the coastal northern Baltic Sea, in a 32-day mesocosm experiment. In particular, the study addresses the response of bacterioplankton to differences in character and composition of supplied DOM. The supplied DOM differed in stoichiometry and quality and had pronounced effects on the recipient bacterioplankton, driving compositional changes in response to DOM type. The shifts in bacterioplankton community composition were especially driven by the proliferation of Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Planctomycetes, and Alpha-and Betaproteobacteria populations. The DOM additions stimulated protease activity and a release of inorganic nutrients, suggesting that DOM was actively processed. However, no difference between DOM types was detected in these functions despite different community compositions. Extensive release of re-mineralized carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus was associated with the bacterial processing, corresponding to 25-85% of the supplied DOM. The DOM additions had a negative effect on phytoplankton with decreased Chl a and biomass, particularly during the first half of the experiment. However, the accumulating nutrients likely stimulated phytoplankton biomass which was observed to increase towards the end of the experiment. This suggests that the nutrient access partially outweighed the negative effect of increased light attenuation by accumulating DOM. Taken together, our experimental data suggest that parts of the future elevated riverine DOM supply to the Baltic Sea will be efficiently mineralized by microbes. This will have consequences for bacterioplankton and phytoplankton community composition and function, and significantly affect nutrient biogeochemistry.

  • 37.
    van Teeseling, Muriel C. F.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    de Pedro, Miguel A.
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Determinants of Bacterial Morphology: From Fundamentals to Possibilities for Antimicrobial Targeting2017In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 8, article id 1264Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacterial morphology is extremely diverse. Specific shapes are the consequence of adaptive pressures optimizing bacterial fitness. Shape affects critical biological functions, including nutrient acquisition, motility, dispersion, stress resistance and interactions with other organisms. Although the characteristic shape of a bacterial species remains unchanged for vast numbers of generations, periodical variations occur throughout the cell (division) and life cycles, and these variations can be influenced by environmental conditions. Bacterial morphology is ultimately dictated by the net-like peptidoglycan (PG) sacculus. The species-specific shape of the PG sacculus at any time in the cell cycle is the product of multiple determinants. Some morphological determinants act as a cytoskeleton to guide biosynthetic complexes spatiotemporally, whereas others modify the PG sacculus after biosynthesis. Accumulating evidence supports critical roles of morphogenetic processes in bacteria-host interactions, including pathogenesis. Here, we review the molecular determinants underlying morphology, discuss the evidence linking bacterial morphology to niche adaptation and pathogenesis, and examine the potential of morphological determinants as antimicrobial targets.

  • 38. Vestö, Kim
    et al.
    Huseby, Douglas L.
    Snygg, Iina
    Wang, Helen
    Hughes, Diarmaid
    Rhen, Mikael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Muramyl Endopeptidase Spr Contributes to Intrinsic Vancomycin Resistance in Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2941Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The impermeability barrier provided by the outer membrane of enteric bacteria, a feature lacking in Gram-positive bacteria, plays a major role in maintaining resistance to numerous antimicrobial compounds and antibiotics. Here we demonstrate that mutational inactivation of spr, coding for a muramyl endopeptidase, significantly sensitizes Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to vancomycin without any accompanying apparent growth defect or outer membrane destabilization. A similar phenotype was not achieved by deleting the genes coding for muramyl endopeptidases MepA, PbpG, NlpC, YedA, or YhdO. The spr mutant showed increased autolytic behavior in response to not only vancomycin, but also to penicillin G, an antibiotic for which the mutant displayed a wild-type MIC. A screen for suppressor mutations of the spr mutant phenotype revealed that deletion of tsp (prc), encoding a periplasmic carboxypeptidase involved in processing Spr and PBP3, restored intrinsic resistance to vancomycin and reversed the autolytic phenotype of the spr mutant. Our data suggest that Spr contributes to intrinsic antibiotic resistance in S. Typhimurium without directly affecting the outer membrane permeability barrier. Furthermore, our data suggests that compounds targeting specific cell wall endopeptidases might have the potential to expand the activity spectrum of traditional Gram-positive antibiotics.

  • 39.
    Yadav, Akhilesh K.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Espaillat, Akbar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Cava, Felipe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR).
    Bacterial Strategies to Preserve Cell Wall Integrity Against Environmental Threats2018In: Frontiers in Microbiology, ISSN 1664-302X, E-ISSN 1664-302X, Vol. 9, article id 2064Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Bacterial cells are surrounded by an exoskeleton-like structure, the cell wall, composed primarily of the peptidoglycan (PG) sacculus. This structure is made up of glycan strands cross-linked by short peptides generating a covalent mesh that shapes bacteria and prevents their lysis due to their high internal osmotic pressure. Even though the PG is virtually universal in bacteria, there is a notable degree of diversity in its chemical structure. Modifications in both the sugars and peptides are known to be instrumental for bacteria to cope with diverse environmental challenges. In this review, we summarize and discuss the cell wall strategies to withstand biotic and abiotic environmental insults such as the effect of antibiotics targeting cell wall enzymes, predatory PG hydrolytic proteins, and PG signaling systems. Finally we will discuss the opportunities that species-specific PG variability might open to develop antimicrobial therapies.

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